MASS SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA, and WHY MEN KEEP DOING THIS

I originally posted this to my blog on February 17, 2018

August 18, 2018

2457 Words 10 minute 5 second read

Last night while I was writing a post to give another perspective, I looked back, and this post had blown away.

I struggled for quite a while to find it again. I am not sure where I did I was getting pretty frantic by that time.

It is an excellent article and since I don’t want it to disappear again, I will type this piece in its entirety.

I hope Mr. Charlie Hoehn doesn’t mind.

I will type in his style, not mine (which will be an improvement I assure you).

He posted this article on October 3, 2017.

HIS WORDS

I’ll never forget April 20th, 1999.

I was 12 years old, sitting in art class in middle school. We were playing with clay and making sculptures.

Suddenly, our principal came on over the PA. Her voice trembled.

“I have an important announcement to make. All teachers and students need to hear this. I will wait 60 seconds for everyone to be completely silent.”

The next minute was eerie. My friends and I exchanged confused looks and nervously laughed. Our teach held her finger to her lips. Silence.

The principal’s voice came back onto the PA:

“There is a shooting at Columbine high school. All students are to go home immediately.”

Columbine was 15 minutes away from us.

I remember taking the bus home and walking into my house. My mom turned on the news. I recognized that fence. We’ve driven by that fence.

My mom knew the teacher. Dave Sanders. She’d substituted with him at Columbine.

In the last 18 years, we Americans have experienced too many of these shootings. And I want to share a few of my thoughts on why I think they keep happening.

By the way, this isn’t a political post about guns or the media. It’s a post about men and their emotional health.

Over the past few years, I’ve found myself in the mental health space. I’ve learned a lot. Particularly that men in the United States REALLY struggle in this realm and have very little social or emotional support. This affects men of every race and socioeconomic background.

I was watching Jimmy Kimmel’s impassioned, raw speech last night about the Vegas shootings. Like Jimmy, I felt sick and heartbroken by the tragedy. But something he said stood out to me:

“There’s probably no way to ever know why a human being could do something like this to other human beings.”

Sadly researchers know a lot about why human beings—particularly men-do things like this.

WHY MASS SHOOTINGS KEEP HAPPENING

It’s tempting to say the mass shooter’s motive was simply “pure evil”, or to blame the media or guns, but that absolves us of looking deeply at what each of us -as individuals, family members, friends, and community members might be missing.

Now, I’m not a psychiatrist. And I don’t know much about the Vegas shooter, I’m just a guy who studies mental health.

Again, this is not a political post about guns, for the same reason, it’s not a political post about weaponized cars. Easy access to guns is a part of the problem, but I’m not interested in the tool as I am in what causes a man to use it so destructively.

Nor is this a post in defense of the shooter, or to make him sound like a victim in any way. What he did was a horrific act. He is a murderer, and he is not excused from this by any stretch (though I truly feel sympathy for the shooter’s brother, who seemed to be totally caught off guard by this behavior, and now he has to deal with the aftermath for the rest of his life).

The goal of this post is simply to shine a light on what’s eroding men’s emotional health.

1 MEN IN THE UNITED STATES ARE CHRONICALLY LONELY

Boys in the United States-just like all human beings-need touch, caring, warmth, empathy, and close relationships. But as we grow up most of us lose those essential components of our humanity.

What’s worse: we have no idea how to ask for those things or admit we need them, because we’re afraid it will make us look weak.

As a man, you might be thinking, “Not me, I’ve got drinking buddies. I play poker with the guys. I’ve got friends.”

But do you have confidants? Do you have male friends who you can actually be vulnerable with? Do you have friends whom you can confide in, by 100% yourself around, that you can hug without saying “No home,” be without feeling tense or uncomfortable while you’re doing it?

For many men, the answer is “no”. So, we spend our time posturing instead.

From an early age, we have an unhealthy, ideal of masculinity that we try to live up to. Part of the ideal tells us the REAL MEN DO EVERYTHING ON THEIR OWN. REAL MEN DON’T CRY. REAL MEN EXPRESS ANGER TROUGH VIOLENCE.

The byproduct is isolation. Most men spend most of their adult lives without deeper friendships or any real sense of community. Not to mention a complete inability to release anger or sadness in a healthy way.

There is a fantastic documentary called “The Mask You Live in”, which explains how boys in our society are ultimately shaped into mentally unstable adults. My friend Ryan recommend this film to me, after confiding that he cried throughout the entire thing. I cried, as well.

Simon Sinek echoed similar insights on Glenn Beck’s show:

“We’re seeing a rise of loneliness and isolation. NO one kills themselves when they’re hungry; we kill ourselves when we’re lonely. And we act out as well.

In the 1960s, there was one school shooting.

In the 1980s there were 27.

In the 1990s there were 58.

In the past decade, there have been over 120.

IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GUNS, IT HAS TO DO WITH PEOPLE FEELING LONELY.

How we combat the loneliness that kids are feeling? All of them attacked people in their own community, and all of them attack people they blamed for their own loneliness.”

This loneliness compounds as men grow older.

Without deeper friendships or a strong sense of community, the isolation is soul-deadening and maddening. You are alone.

Any slight from someone you care about can feel emotionally traumatizing. After enough rejections and feeling like an outcast, you begin to believe that people are just cruel and not worth the effort. You perceive people as threats.

And the effects on our health are devastating. Here is Dr. Dean Ornish, the founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, on the effects of loneliness:

“I am not aware of any other factor- not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery- that has a greater impact on our incidence of illness, and [chance of] premature death”.

Before we ask, “How could he do such a thing?” we have to understand how that person felt on a daily basis, and how those feelings grew over the years.

2 MEN IN THE UNITED STATES ARE DEPRIVED OF PLAY OPPORTUNITIES.

You might be offended by this suggestion.

How could this guy talk about play after a shooting?!” Play is for kids!

Wrong.

Homo sapiens play more than any other species. It’s impossible to prevent a human from playing. We play shortly after we are born, and the healthiest (and least stressed) humans tend to play for their entire lives.

Play may be God’s greatest gift to mankind. It’s how we form friendships, and learn skills, and master difficult things that help us survive. Play is a release valve for stress and an outlet for creativity. Play brings us music, comedy, dance, and everything we value.

Above all, play is how we bond with each other-it’s how we communicate “I am safe to be around, I am not a threat.” Play is how we form connections with other humans.

The irony is that loneliness would not be a problem if we all got ample time to play. Not only would we have deeper friendships, we’d also have better relationships with ourselves, Play allows us to enjoy our own company.

THERE IS A STRONG CORRELATION WITH PLAY DEPRIVATION AND MENTAL ILLNESS.

When you deprive mammals of play, it leads to chronic depression. When you deprived a human child of play, their mental and emotional health deteriorated. Play suppression has enormous health consequences.

“But the Vegas shooter loved to gamble. He went on cruises!”

That’s not the type of play I’m talking about.

To better understand this dynamic, we need to look at the background of another mass shooter.

In 1966, Charles Whitman shot his wife and mother. The, he climbed up the tower at the University of Texas in Austin and shot 46 people. In total, he murdered 16 people. At the time, this was the biggest mass shooting of its kind in United States history.

Dr. Stuart Brown and his team of researchers were commissioned to find out what “The Texas Sniper” had in common with other mass murderers.

They gained a key insight when they examined their childhoods.

Brown recalls:

“None of them engaged in healthy rough-and-tumble play. The linkages that lead to Charles Whitman producing this crime was an unbelievable suppression of play behavior throughout his life by a very overbearing, very disturbed father.

Healthy and joyful play must be had in order to thrive. Boys need to wrestle with their dads, and they need to roughhouse with other boys. Parent and teacher need to play with their boys.

But more importantly, they need to encourage those boys to go out and play. And then, let them be.

IT’S 10 O’clock. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR KIDS ARE?”

Ever since that famous ad aired, parents have shamed each other into watching their kids like a hawk.

If you let your kid walk up the street alone, you’ll either get a call from another parent, or the cops will pick them up. Our kids are stripped of their right to experience life on their own terms.

In an effort to improve our kids’ test and beef up their future resumes, we’ve stripped away nearly all of their free play opportunities. Recess has been sacrificed in the name of Scantrons, and pills are prescribed to the kids whose bodies and minds cry out for play.

The result: A generation of the most anxious, depressed, and suicidal American children on record.

This alignment with Dr. Peter Gray’s research, who studied the epidemics of mental illness and the decline in play:

“Over the past half century, in the United States and other developed nations, childrens’ free play with other children has declined sharply. Over the same period, anxiety, depression, suicide, feelings of helplessness, and narcissism have increased sharply in children, adolescents, and your adults…The decline in play has contributed to the rise of the psychopathology of young people.

This why I believe that mental illness may be the biggest health crisis of our lifetimes. Because those kids will grow up into isolated adults who don’t know how to play or seek out their friends when they are lonely. They have no emotional support.

They are alone.

3 MEN IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ASHAMED OF THEIR EMOTIONAL TRAUMAS.

In the most memorable chapter of “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”, the author describes the research of James Gilligan, a young psychiatrist at the Harvard Medical School in the 1970s.

Gilligan was invited to makes sense of the Massachusetts’s prisons and mental hospital, where she interviewed murderous inmates. He included in his notebook this heartbreaking observation:

“They would all say that they themselves had died before they started killing other people… They felt dead inside. They had no capacity for feelings. No emotional feelings, Or even physical feelings.

Universal among the violent criminals was the fact that they were keeping a secret. A central secret. And that secret was that they felt ashamed- deeply ashamed, chronically ashamed, acutely ashamed.

“I have yet to see a serious act of violence that was not provoked by the experience of feeling shamed or humiliated, disrespected and ridiculed.”

ALL OF US will face difficult times in our lives where we will experience shame, humiliation, disrespect, and ridicule.

Do you know what gets us through those hard times?

FRIENDSHIP: THE LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU GET, FROM THE PEOPLE YOU PLAY WITH.

Whatever the case, these factors about mass shooters are often true:

  1. THEY ARE DEEPLY LONELY. They have no significant friendships or meaningful relationships to rely on, and very few quality people to confide in or lean on.
  2. THEY EXPERIENCED ONGOING PLAY DEPRIVATION: Their innate ability was crippled, and they struggle to maintain a healthy emotional connection with themselves and others.
  3. THEY ARE DEEPLY ASHAMED. They experienced extreme ridicule, rejection, humiliation, or abuse.

Are there other factors at play here?

Absolutely. Mass shootings are complex, and so are people. They don’t fit perfectly into our narratives.

Do the above three factors always lead to murderous behavior:

Of course not. But over time, they shatter an individual’s emotional health. And that’s the point.

We’ve created a culture where the first two factors- loneliness and play deprivation- affect EVERYONE. And because friendship struggles to take root in this environment, we are more likely to be struck by the third factor-shame.

We cannot recover from emotional trauma without support from our friends, our community, our tribe. Without their help, we stay wounded and lost in the darkness.

Although we’re in the safest period in the history of civilization, these shootings will keep happening in America. They happen every single day. Guns are part of the problem, and so is the media. But there is a bigger problem:

WE LIVE IN A CULTURE THAT CONTINUALLY NEGLECTS EMOTIONAL HEALTH OUR BOYS AND OUR MEN.

The good news is that we-the men and boys of America- can save each other.

Reach out to someone who you think could be lonely or hurting and invite them to do something fun together. Keep inviting them. Build trust and confide in each other. Set the example by being a safe, supportive, and compassionate friend that they can be around.

If you’ve noticed their personality has drastically changed, invite them ours for several hours. Be there wit6h them. You could save their life.

CHARLIE HOEHN IS THE AUTHOR OF PLAY IT AWAY. HE HAS SPOKEN ON THE TOPIC OF MENTAL HEALTH AT THE PENTAGON, U.S. MILITARY BASES, STANFORD, AND TEDX.

You can get his books for free at CHARLIEHOEHN.COM.

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

BLUE ROSE ON ANGLE labled

 

 

Advertisements

How Do I Understand?

Read 5 min 54 seconds 1708 words

August 10, 2018

This is my “deep story”

I stumbled upon a rich treasure the other day. It is already bearing fruit.

I am not sure how I connected with this source but it is amazing!

It is called ‘Cognoscenti’. The tagline on its page is “Thinking That Matters”.

The definition of Cognoscenti is “persons who have superior knowledge and understanding of a particular field, especially in the fine arts, literature, and the world of fashion according to dictionary.com

I have provided the link to the page where the inside story is.

This medium is a sponsored program by WBRU Radio in Boston MA. I recommend reading the article.

GETTING BACK ON TOPIC

clenched fist in red white and blue Google Images

The title of an article struck me “I Keep Trying to Understand Trump Voters, But I Keep Failing,”.

 Julie Wittes Schlack Cognoscenti Contributor wrote the article

Julie writes essays, short stories and book reviews for various publications including WBUR’s Cognoscenti and The ARTery.

By day, she leads the product innovation team for C Space, a Boston-based consumer collaboration company.

It is Ms. Wittes Schlack’s review of a book by Arlie Russell Hochschild “Strangers In Their Own Land”.

She describes the book as “a deeply researched and prescient study of Tea Party activists in Louisiana.

She quotes Ms. Hochschild “In a period of political tumult, we grasp for quick certainties”. We shoehorn new information into ways we already think.”

WOW!

This is attached to a podcast named “Hidden Brain” hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by  Maggie Penman, Renee Klar, Jennifer Schmidt, Rhaina Cohen,  Tara Boyle, and Chloe Connelly. It was distributed on January 24, 2017.

The work of sociologist Arlie Hochschild was researched for some time.

The article starts out by restating my conundrum: “Researchers have long been confused by what seems like a paradox: many people in America vote against their economic self-interests.

Whether it’s the working-class conservative who wants a tax cut for the wealthy or a member of the liberal elite who fights for safety nets that raise his own taxes – we don’t always act in the way that would help US most.”

Aha! I dim light flickers to life!

Ms. Arlie Hochschild tackles this paradox.

“She says that people might vote against their economic needs, they’re actually voting for their emotional needs”.

Ms. Hochschild spent years in Louisiana trying to understand the deep stories of conservative, white, heterosexual, working-class Americans.

“Their deep story focused on the American Dream: the idea that, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have a better life,”

Today that dream is shattered best that I can tell.

I read an article today that discussed how the rents paid by the uber-wealthy are decreasing while the rents paid by the poor are increasing.

How can that be?

I thought America was a capitalist country governed by the “marketplace”, whatever that is.

(I am working on a post about poverty in American and the pay gaps: between rich and poor, women and men.)

I will get to that soon. I have been postponing it because I don’t think all of that story is told yet.

Yes, unemployment is low and the stock market is high.

But it all seems artificial.

I vividly recall the crash in 2007. I have been waiting for the crash of 2018 or 2019 to hit.

In addition, the tariffs and trade wars are going to working classes and the not uber-rich one more time.

The hardships unleashed by the last crash were not felt by the uber-rich.

The US Treasury is borrowing at a rate that makes me gasp.

I don’t understand it all but when the talk is of ‘unprecedented’ increases, my heart plummets.

But Ms. Hochschild’s observations ring true.

When I was in the Army in Alabama, the local people that worked in the same building were very much in favor of Nixon.

I cautioned them that all was not well.

They didn’t believe, but I think I righter than they.

The times are so much like the days and turmoil of Nixon’s reign but even he did not go to the autocrat extremes of our current dictator.

But I wander from my story.

I noticed last week that Trump’s approval ratings were at 50%.

Huh?

A recent Pew survey found that approval ratings for Trump have been stable

Thirty-nine percent of Americans approved of his job performance in February 2017, almost a month after his inauguration.

With all the terrible things that have happened since his approval rating has improved!

Looking across to the opposition while 84 percent of Republicans approve of his job performance compared to just 7 percent of Democrats.

I never recall that big a chasm in this country.

I didn’t understand people voting for him in the first place. Now, even more, think he is just swell.

I mentioned that the American Dream was the quest for all Americans.

What happens when that dream does not come true?

Conservative white people see blacks and immigrants cutting in line in front of them.

They get ahead while the white people flounder.

No improvement in wages.

No improvement in job security.

Even when Trump kills industries with his tariffs they still approve of his job performance!

According to Hochschild, Trump tapped into the deep stories of these white people.

He confirmed what these people felt and that validated them.

His rhetoric even gives them a way to talk about their stories.

This has been one of my ‘not-understandings’.

They voted for him. Now they approve of him even more! ??

I wondered where these people had been.

Why hadn’t I heard of them before?

But that was part of the problem.

They didn’t have a voice until Trump came along.

Sure they elected a lot of crazy, of the rocker congresspeople. But that is the nature of the South.

‘A different country’ when I talked about Alabama.

Okay. That explains the attitudes of the people that lined the top of the freeways in Kentucky.

Blacks for Trump Google Images

Shanties.

My story was reinforced by an up-and-coming singer. Dolly Parton. She sings of the squalor that she and so many others lived in.

I just didn’t pay enough attention to the words.

Ms. Hochschild explored the ‘deep stories’.

 “The phenomenon of the tales we construct and tell ourselves to create coherence, to explain our values, hopes and disappointment.’

The stories may not be accurate but they ‘FEEL’ TRUE.

That still is only part of the story.

Last week Pence was in Duluth. A month earlier it was Trump.

The city was upside down!

How did these people, those that I grew up with, that I attended school devise such different ‘deep stories’ than mine?

I heard my rage and utter despair at the conditions that were and are developing.

Hochschild describes the “empathy wall” that makes us feel different even hostile to those who hold different beliefs

Boy that describes me to the hair I don’t have on my head.

What still befuddles me is that approximately four in 10 Americans support Trump even though a majority say they don’t like the way he conducts himself.

Another HUH?

How can someone vote for a person they don’t respect or admire? Especially for president?

Ms. Wittes Schlack describes the theory of Arlie Hochschild.

“In her telling, the conservative right’s deep story is about standing in line to get to the summit of a hill where you’ll finally realize the American Dream.”

You will have the prosperity and security of your dreams.

“The line moves slowly, but despite your lack of progress, you feel proud for  not complaining.”

You are tenacious. You are patient.

But now, the line quit moving.

It was moving at a snail’s pace, but now you see women, African-Americans, and immigrants cutting in line in front of you.

That you made you mad as a child and maybe even more now.

You feel “increasingly outnumbered and victimized.”

But you are like your ancestors, stoic and not complaining.

You won’t be a ‘whiner’.

It is safer for your ‘deep story’ to “characterize them, those people who cut in line, as rapists and criminals.

“They are job-stealing parasites infesting the homeland.”

You blame them and then you can hold onto your self-respect.

I am like the rest of the Americans that are increasingly contemptuous of the Republicans.

I even have created a name for them “The Trumpsters”. Those who follow Trump are “The Intolerants”.

In my story, it makes no difference whether you ‘born into privilege or poverty’.

We don’t look at the losses we have experienced we look at the great things we have accomplished.

We have redressed the wrongs of Civil Rights and Women’s Rights.

We “champion diversity and economic fairness.”

“We see the last 50 years not as an erosion of American values” but as a fulfillment of them.

We can agree with the conservatives that the “American Dream’ is increasingly unattainable.

But I blame the 1% and the skewed capitalist system on which they gorge.

I don’t blame the destitute or the working poor.

Granted liberals congratulate themselves on doing good works.

Stop Trump Google Images

But what do we do when we see the world rails ‘off the rails’?

I get angry and I despair for the future.

We have achieved all the ‘rights’ but now, in a blip, gone.

How do we address the rising tensions in our midst? The rising likelihood of racial violence?

We have already been thru this once!

What?

What did the hard work of the last 50 years accomplish?

Each story feels right for the people living in it.

It looks equally twisted to those that are looking in from the outside.

I don’t understand how we will reach common ground?

we the people Google Images

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

db284-red2brose2bsvetlana-manic-674670-unsplash

Who is this Man?

August 5, 2018

4 minutes 18 sec read  997 words

He came from strict Catholic roots, born on Oct 29, 1897, studied history and literature.

He had contracted polio as a child and was rejected from military service.

This “sense of physical inadequacy tormented him,”  his whole life.

He had black hair and “a diminutive frame” and an intellectual background.

He was hostile to his nickname “little doctor”. He had a doctorate in literature and wrote revealing personal journals.

In his youth, crippled with high intelligence, driving ambition, voracious sexuality, and poverty.

These shortcomings along with his club foot “provided a rich cocktail of bitter complexes and hang-ups”.

His biographer described him as “always in search of a Messiah-like father figure to fulfill his nagging need for attention and applause.”

When he finally met a man who met his criteria, he fell under his spell. His conversion to this man’s cause “was instant and complete.”

He was a devoted disciple and did not waiver in his loyalty.

They even died together.

This man crafted the message and stage-managed the appearances of his manic devotion.

He created an empire “beyond the dreams of the spin-doctor imitators today.”

He gained total control of whole industries including the press, publishing, broadcasting, theater, and film.

He commissioned movies “(and bedded the actresses)” which put the sugar on the pill of his master.

His affairs led his wife to demand a divorce even though she too was unfaithful.

ENOUGH HINTS
WHO IS THE MAN?

Who is or was, depending on how you look at the time, is this man?

He of the slippery tongue, the masterful spinner of tales, the pre-eminent ‘bullshitter’.

I covered the requirements for the title ‘bullshitter’ in my recent post…

As his turn came, as it always does, he became even more fanatical to the cause.

He has served as the ‘master to emulate’ by our current dictator in chief.

Trump is described as a follower of Roy Cohn who showed Trump how to ‘exploit the power and instill fear’.

Being acknowledged as a disciple of Roy Cohn, as damning as that is, is only a part of Trump’s evil designs.

His real anchor as he presides over the death of the United States of America is:

Joseph Goebbels.

Yes, you read that right.

I have read Trump is a modern day Hitler.

That may be.

But I put forth the nomination of Joseph Goebbels.

He is a fascist leading the brain-washed citizens to overtake an experiment in democracy.

But I recommend that Trump, the most powerful ‘illiberal’ to ever walk the earth, to be the incarnation of Dr. Joseph Goebbels.

I claim Trump is the master of ‘illiberal’ because even Hitler did not have as much power as Trump has at his fingertips.

Hitler had Mussolini who made up the Rome-Berlin Axis.

Japan was also considered part of the Axis powers but there had been no summit or meeting to establish the formality.

The three countries controlled Europe, North Africa, and East Asia at their zenith.

But Trump has Putin and Xi Jinping.

Trump has powerful followers of his tradecraft: Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban; Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro; the Philipines President RodrigoDutarte and no doubt even more up and comers who haven’t reached the world stage just yet.

Hitler also had Marshal Philippe Petain who headed Vichy France until 1942 when the Allied Invasion of France brought Charles De Gaulle back to France.

Charles De Gaulle led Free French Provincial government of the Free French Republic and ousted Petain from power.

But in terms of the number of people under subjugation to these dictators and the sheer firepower they can amass beats Hitler and his ilk any day.

Goebbels is described by the Jewish Virtual Library. org which recorded Hitler’s impression of Goebbels.

“Dr. Goebbels was gifted with the two things without which the situation in Berlin could not have been mastered: ‘verbal facility and intellect’”.

The Jewish Virtual Library. org’s description continues “Goebbels was the true creator and organizer of the Fuhrer myth, of the image of the Messiah-redeemer, feeding the theatrical element of the Nazi leader while inducing the self-surrender of the German masses through skillful stage management and manipulation’.

Now, I ask you, which of the above images does not describe Trump to the last of his coiffed fake hair.

If not for his orange complexion maybe he could resemble Goebbels more closely.

But, does his  ” deeply rooted contempt for humanity, his urge to sow confusion, hatred, and intoxication, lust for power and his mastery of the techniques of mass persuasion” match, Joseph Goebbels, when he was given full vent in the election campaigns of 1932 which brought Hitler to center stage.

Why do the major media outlets fear to bring these characteristic similarities of Trump and Goebbels to center stage in American news?

No doubt they do not want to inflame passions more than they are.

Based on the marches of Portland OR last weekend where the right wing Patriot Prayer party’s demonstration was met by counter-protesters.

The police were prepared for the event, keep each party to an opposite sidewalk along the street. Skirmishers of the opposing forces met and they shed blood.

Noteworthy is that this alt-right gathering is just ahead of the alt-right ‘Unite the Right’ in Charlottesville last August.

Would you expect that Trump will continue his wild-tinged calls for against the press as “enemies of the people” and the Mueller investigation “a witch hunt” are having the desired effect?

American Citizens are beginning to believe him. America’s citizens are beginning to believe him.

Keith Payne is a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He states “When a statement is repeated, it starts to feel more familiar. It is the concept of “illusory truth”.

He continues “Even when people know a claim is false, just a few repetitions can make them more likely to think it’s true.

Now how does that square with your thinking Trump’s supporters?

 “The Intolerants’ as I have labeled them should not be discarded out of hand—just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it not true!

Now for the picture gallery:

 

 

 

Goebbel’s Rallies

Trump’s Rallies

 

 

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

db284-red2brose2bsvetlana-manic-674670-unsplash

Addiction to Search

 

Addiction to Search

August 4, 2018

690 words
2 min 51 read

On my way to research the search phenomenon, I just recognized, my addiction to ‘SEARCH’
 
I found an equalling interesting subject: ‘FAKE NEWS’ NEW PHILOSOPHER Issue #17: Communication, September 1, 2017
By Tom Chatfield
He quotes philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his 2005 book ‘ON BULLSHIT’.

Quoting Mr. Frankfurt “The essence of bullshit is not that it is false but that it is phony.”
 
 

“A liar and an honest person are interested in the truth, they are playing on opposite sides of the same game.
 
A bullshitter, however, has no such constraint.”
 
 
A politician witnessed the collapse of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.
During a campaign interview in 2015, he proclaimed that New Jersey, which had a heavy Arab population, he saw the Muslims cheering the collapse of these towers.

A normal politician caught in a lie would offer an apology, or an excuse or offer some reason when he knew he was caught.
However, this politician made up a different rule: claim what is false is FAKE NEWS.

I read the other day a summary of FAKE NEWS as being ‘propaganda’.

I now have to concede that calling it ‘BULLSHIT’ is far more accurate and, I dare say, more enjoyable.

For Frankfurt, a bullshitteris neither on the side of truth nor the side of false… He does not care whether the things he says describe reality. He just makes them up to suit his purpose.”

Our author, Tom Chatfield, continues “these words capture something central to the phenomenon that is called fake news: the belief that emotive impact is not only the supreme test of a story but the only metric that matters.”
 

WOW!

Two perceptive insights in four paragraphs.

I have to move onto the main reason for this post but I will leave you with Mr. Chatfield’s observation: we are in a FESTIVAL OF BULLSHIT (caps mine).

What a fabulous metaphor!

Enjoy slogging around in this bullshit for a long while longer.


In the 1950s, psychologists found that, when an electrode was placed in a rat’s brain, the lateral hypothalamus, they would give themselves shocks.
 
 

They would do this rather than eat or drink.

They would do this up to seven hundred times per hour!

“What is especially troubling is that humans have a brain system similar to rats.” Antonia Case 11/14/2014 in the NewPhilospher Issue #5: ‘self’
 

Think about that for a minute.

How many of us can lie around, on a couch, doing nothing? Not reading, not watching TV just staring off into nothingness?

Neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp was a neuroscientist and psychobiologist at Washington State University.

He and other researchers say that we are happiest when we ’re in search mode, seeking rewards of some kind.

Apparently, it doesn’t make much difference what we are searching for.
 
 
“We seek new weather, new disasters, new ideas, new inspiration. The more novel and unexpected, the bigger hit we get from it.”

Ms. Case uses the analogy our seeking is a “conveyor belt that’s forever moving onward”.

We may profess that we really want to “lay up in a hammock and happily look at the sky, neuroscientists give us the unfortunate verdict, that no, we’ll simply replace the search with another.”

“Our seeking pathways, called dopamine transmitter, which energizes us while seeking, are firing best when we are in search mode.”

Professor Panksepp says “animals can be driven into a frenzy when rewards for search are dished out in minuscule chunks; unable to be satisfied, the search continues, at a more frantic pace.”

How do you react when the ding announcing a new text message or email tinkles on your phone? This is the” bell Pavlov rang for his dogs.”


“We become sweating rats in the laboratory, pressing the lever to get our fix!”

Are you like a drug user?

“Drug users get to the point where they can’t stop seeking drugs, even as the rewards for usi
ng decline over time.”
“We keep hitting the refresh button because we have no choice–we’re caught in a loop.”


Are we doing harm?

Thanks for stopping.


Craig
 
PS I am a rat on a conveyor belt hunting for a sugar fix.
 


YOU SOLD OUR SOUL and …

This post was originally posted to my blog “MN Noreaster.com”. I am trying to decide what blogging platform to use, Blogger or WordPress. Please bear with me. Craig

see also this post: You Sold Your Soul

Super Blue Blood Moon Day!

Before we start, let’s start the day over:

Phases of the Super Blue Blood Moon Image by Sergio Garcia Rill
Sergio Garcia Rill  CNN

 

BLOOD MOON RISE CAPTIAL IN FOREGROUND CNN
CNN Image

 
January 31, 2018
Now I feel better all over again. Today was a corker. I was still in rehab when the Super Blue Blood Moon arose so I missed it. I am going to check out a video of it later. I would feel guilty since I posted an article about it. One hundred and fifty years ago, January 1918 was the last Trifecta.  There will be another Lunar Elicpse is in July 2018 but we won’t see it in North America. The next total lunar eclipse will be on January 20 and 21st 2019 that we can view. July 4 and 5th of 2020 for much of North America. I had a lot of fun researching that blog post.

The Speech

A friend on Facebook reminded me of Hubert Humphry today. A reprinted a quote of Humphrey’s:  “The moral test of government is how it treats those in the dawn of life, the young; those who are in the twilight of life. the elderly; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, the unemployed. Humphrey also said, “compassion is not a weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.”
Mr. Humphrey was Vice President of the United States from 1965 to 1969.
Let me see, yes that was a troubling time also.
But not as troubling as this.
After all, that was at the time of the Vietnam War.
The time of the Tet Offensive. The time before the huge buildup up began.
Yes, that was a troubling time as I recall. (I wrote a blog post on an incident during my boot camp 
Before we get into Trump’s State of the Union Address and believe me we will! I want to quote what Senator John McCain said in his speech upon receiving the Liberty Medal on October 16, 2017:
“We are blessed, and we are a blessing to humanity in turn. The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war, and we defend to this day, has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. This wondrous land has shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots to help make a new, better world. And as we did so, we made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America which existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7th, 1941.” 
He then began the most telling part of his speech:
“To fear the world we organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last hope of the earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious, nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems are as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history. We live in a land made of ideals at home and their champion abroad. We have done great good in the world. Leadership has its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more shame on ourselves if we don’t. We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. We wouldn’t deserve to.”

Reactions to the State of the Union Pictures

What were your reactions to the State of the Union? I saw the pictures that were painted when I read the various accounts.
1. I saw the picture of trump’s raised fist, copying another racist leader.
2. I saw the picture of Guantonimo remaining open, for political prisoners?
3. I saw republicans foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs
4. I saw trump abandoning the rule of law “I don’t have to enforce the sanctions against Russia”!  I saw the picture of the Director of the CIA meeting with a sanctioned Russian spy. REALLY?
5. I saw trump, as I predicted: using a well-worn playbook written by Hitler.
6. I saw trump as smiling after the 2018 elections. The elections are rigged. The CIA director said so – mark that down.
A picture is worth a 1,000 words. Trump painted these pictures time and time again. They don’t deceive as his words do.
He has subverted the rule of law by forcing out the deputy director of the FBI. Mueller is to quickly follow! The repubs will make it happen.
Newspapers and news outlets will be muffled!
You think trump moved fast to destroy America last year? 
Hang on!
He has lulled some critics to sleep or at least to shut up.
He has laid the groundwork for killing the Mueller investigations.
He has rallied the morally and ethically to do his bidding. They will not oppose him as they abandon the United States of America.
He has said what he will do.
BELIEVE HIM!

The Eleven Lies

1. 2.4 million jobs have been created.
2. Rising wages.
3. Unemployment at a 45-year low.
4. Stock market gained $8 trillion in value.
5. Biggest tax cuts in history.
6. Tax cuts massive relief for the middle class.
7. Slashed corporate tax rate so companies can compete.  Family income increases  $4,000.
8. 5 million workers have received tax cut bonuses.
9. Tax cuts, Apple announced it will invest in America $350 billion. Apple may have planned at that earlier.
10. “Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico.
11  We are proud to do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged.
Robert Riech Facebook Posts written by Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, Meg Kelly of Washington post.

What the speech sounded like throughout America

Trump was declared “there has never been a better time to start living the American Dream”.
That overused phrase may have fallen on thousands of deaf ears.
A father in New Jersey, whose son died from a heroin overdose; in Phoenix, a mother of six from Mexico grew increasingly worried about the future of her two daughters (DACA).
In Denver, a veteran of the Afganistan war wondered why the President kept sending more troops without a clear plan of action.
“Trump: “We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission – to make America great again for all Americans.”
When Trump claimed the African-American unemployment rate is at “the lowest ever recorded” Kandice Webber dropped her fork in Houston.
When he labeled the recent repub tax cuts “tremendous relief”  she relabeled it “The biggest tax heist”.
bars of gold Image Google Images
A black couple in Cleveland can’t get past Trump’s rhetoric.
A woman that served in the Air Force likes the way Trump takes care of the military and first responders. She was disappointed he didn’t propose a plan to defeat ISIS.
A man in Milwaukee finished Trump’s sentences for him. And mocked his rivals and was ecstatic about the infrastructure spending.
Thanks for Stopping.
Craig

Google Images dual blue roses