Friday, June 26, 2015

Welcome to the Presidential Race Jill Stein

Jill Stein has announced her candidacy for the presidency on Democracy Now and I have no doubt that she will do a much better job addressing the issues than any of the establishment candidates that the traditional media gives an enormous amount of coverage to.

As I said previously Jill Stein addressed many issues in 2012; “viable” candidates didn’t!! 2016?? Unfortunately the traditional media didn't give her more than a token amount of coverage that year effectively rigging the elections so that she couldn't win.

Regrettably this is standard operating procedure for the traditional media which is effectively a corporate propaganda machine that censors or drowns out all views they disagree with; but there is growing awareness of this and one way or another this has to change or lead to disaster. There are signs that this might happen sooner rather than later, and once again I hope we can elect a candidate that hasn't totally sold out.

There are a significant number of people implying that she is running against Bernie Sanders, which isn't true unless he wins the primary, which I hope he does. However if that happens then we'll worry about it then. As I said in Invest in Activism, AND Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Grassroots we need to focus on the issues as well as the candidates and if it is Jill Stein verses Bernie Sanders then that will be the best choice we've had since I can remember.

With the enormous amount of corruption going on in Washington at the expense of the majority, with the help of the corporate propaganda machine we need all the help we can get to expose it and reform it and finally elect people that actually represent the public and both Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are doing far more than traditional candidates and there is no reason why they should be pitted against each other. Even if Bernie Sanders doesn't get the nomination then he could do a lot to show how corrupt Clinton is and force Clinton to show her true colors by using political manipulation tactics she already has a record of using.

In her interview on Democracy Now, Green Party’s Jill Stein Announces She Is Running for President on Democracy Now! (06/22/2015), she said "With Hillary, you know, I think, across the board, Hillary is the Wal-Mart candidate. Though she may change her tune a little bit, you know, she’s been a member of the Wal-Mart board. On jobs, on trade, on healthcare, on banks, on foreign policy, it’s hard to find where we are similar." the same goes for any candidates that the traditional media is willing to cover. The lack of real grass roots support Hillary has is obvious when looking at numerous sources including responses she gets when she promotes her tweets to people that aren't watching her. the feedback is enormously bad with almost everyone expressing outrage; and this has happened repeatedly.

In 2007 Hillary Clinton was exposed red handed when her campaign was planting questions, Student describes how she became a Clinton plant (11/13/2007). Of course they denied it and said it was unacceptable and would never happen again, presumably they blamed someone at lower levels to avoid blaming Clinton. However about a year or so there was another very high profile question asked to her, "If you don't represent women who will." Hillary loved this and amazingly when it happened the media gave it an enormous amount of attention without any discussion of the previous scandal even though it looked like an incredibly obvious plant.

the enormous amount of coverage they give many incredibly incompetent and even clownish candidates, especially Donald Trump while refusing to give more than a token amount of coverage to real grassroots candidates like Jill Stein overwhelmingly demonstrates that the media isn't even trying to do a good job covering politics in a manner that will help educate the public enough to make informed choices. This overwhelmingly proves to anyone that doesn't have their heads in the sand that the consolidated media, controlled by a very small and greedy percentage of the public, is rigging elections by refusing to give sincere candidates coverage.

If enough people wake up then we might actually elect candidates that represent the people; otherwise there is no way we can sincerely consider this a Democracy.

In Hong Kong they know that they won't have a Democracy as long as Beijing can preselect who will run; in the United States there are way to many zombies that don't seem to recognize that the commercial media is doing the same thing by rigging coverage; but if a growing portion of those zombies wake and seek alternative media outlets then ....

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Media Is Following The Wrong Script Ignoring Solutions Again

The media and political establishment seem to have a playbook response for mass shootings that they repeat over and over again. Every time there is a mass shooting they make appeals to emotion and try to convince the public that they're doing what they can to address the problem and presenting the same proposed solutions, which didn't work the last time, again.

I also seem to be developing my own script where I rant and rave about how they aren't covering the most important root causes of crime and how they could be prevented. However this time I also have several more prepared posts about studies explaining some of the most important contributing causes of crime and violence, so I'll go on another one of my rants.

There is plenty of research to indicate how these shootings can be prevented, or at least much less common; but people that rely on the traditional mass media and political establishment might never know it. Fortunately one article, Accused Charleston shooter Dylann Roof was raised in home destroyed by domestic violence: reports (06/19/2015), has reported on the abuse he went through prior to the shooting.

Unfortunately the vast majority of the media isn't repeating this; and when they do the most common response seems to be something quick like, "A lot of people come from troubled backgrounds but they don't go on shooting sprees." This is certainly true but that doesn't mean it isn't a major contributing causes or that abusive upbringings don't contribute to other social problems which need to be addressed; and one thing that is rarely brought up is that people who don't come from abusive upbringings practically never go on violent shootings sprees. Some research indicates that on the rare occasions where it seems like that happens it might be because inadequate efforts were made to find the abuse, which would mean that those not abused never become mass murderers.

More importantly there is little or no talk in the traditional media bout the most effective ways to reduce violence that often escalates starting with child abuse.

If I can figure it out with information available at good libraries, although it is almost completely absent from the media, then so could many people with more political power; and they could do a better job informing the public about these causes and how to prevent them. The fact that they're doing such a bad job at this indicates that there is a serious problem here and the political and media establishment is all following the same script and the best research is only available at alternative media outlets or books the majority doesn't seem to read.

Fortunately there are others figuring this out at the grass roots level and they're implementing solutions in their own areas; but it could lead to reform on a much wider basis if the media and political establishment did even a moderately good job.

By refusing to report some of the best academic work while using news for entertainment purposes and selling deceptive ads the traditional media should be considered guilty of negligence, for not providing a public service of informing the public about news that is required in a functioning democracy, and this negligence is leading to higher rates of violence that could be prevented.

The biggest contributing cause to escalating violence is almost certainly child abuse which often includes corporal punishment and escalates with bullying, hazing and other intimidation tactics that are also used to indoctrinate children to believe what they're told without question. This also teaches children to go along with crowds even when they're prejudiced and often leads to escalating prejudices and reduced ability to develop critical thinking skills. This is one major contributing cause that is almost always, if not always, present in the background of mass murderers; when Dorothy Otnow Lewis looked close enough in her research she always found including some cases where others overlooked it or refused to acknowledge it, and she found back up evidence of it.

Inadequate education poverty and income inequality are also major contributing causes to violence and crime among many other social problems. There are clear correlations to higher murder rates ins rates with high poverty and low educational opportunities. It is clear that we would actually save much more money by investing more in school than prisons and on top of that if we used the money often spent on legal fees to oppose this on education instead of wasteful legal expenses then it would be a major step in the right direction.

Strong religious beliefs actually correlate with higher rates of violence not less in most cases, despite their claims to higher moral authority. This is almost certainly largely because most religions are more likely to rely on corporal punishment to raise and educate their children. The biggest support for corporal punishment in schools are in the most religious states. However there are some exceptions; James Garbarino, mentioned below recommends religious support as part of a process to reduce violence; and the religious people in the church that was just attacked have preached forgiveness, and aren't asking for the death penalty unlike some politicians.

The death penalty clearly doesn't help reduce murder rates at all, even though that is one of the justifications for it. States with more support for the death penalty also have higher murder rates. This also correlates with support for corporal punishment religion and higher poverty and lower educational opportunities. The reason for this shouldn't be hard to figure out; teaching people through escalating violence and punishment instead of offering educational opportunities and thinking critical thinking skills leads to escalating support for tougher punishments, including the death penalty, even though they don't work.

Reasonable gun control and efforts to educate the public about how gambling odds have to be fixed and that it often leads to higher crime then crime related to these problems could be reduced as well. And abandoning inner cities without providing proper educational or economic opportunities is a major contributing cause of violence.

This particular shooting may not be connected to all the contributing causes of violence but, personally I think it would be a good idea to address them as well and prevent other violent incidents that might be related to gambling or other problems. For example there was another high profile shooting in New Orleans of a police officer who was also black along with the suspect shortly after this and my best guess is that it would be much less likely if New Orleans wasn't one of those abandoned inner cities and the suspect wasn't subject to violent upbringing.

However the most important contributing cause is almost certainly child abuse which leads to escalating violence as many researchers including James Garbarino have explained including the article about him, This criminal psychologist explains in one sentence why murderers aren't evil (06/17/2015) "Most of these killers are best understood as untreated, traumatized children who inhabit and control the minds, hearts, and bodies of adult men."

He also provides 5 surprising lessons a psychologist learned from interviewing killers (06/18/2015). One of these surprising lessons is that "The worst criminals can be the most capable of change," which many people might find hard to believe especially with all the propaganda from the traditional press. However if they're treated young enough this is much more likely and his specialty is children. His other research and research from other academics indicates that if violent felons aren't treated until they're older it is much more difficult if not impossible to completely reform them.

He is just one of the more qualified researchers into the subject, and as I said in the opening I have covered some of this before and now have new studies that I have reviewed about a variety of contributing causes. Perhaps one of the most important articles that I have written in the past that seems to apply to this incident is the Cause and Effect of Hatred, starting at the kindergarten level because that is where a surprising number of people make their mistakes. I also wrote plenty of other posts about Child abuse leading to escalating violence which cite many researchers including James Garbarino.

As I said I also did some additional new statistical studies about other contributing causes which are listed in the contents of this blog, Contributing causes to crime and how to prevent them. Most of these studies that I did myself are somewhat rough statistical reviews comparing states with higher murder rates and higher rates of contributing causes; however they're also relatively simple so that anyone can understand them, and review them; and they also include additional studies from the subject they cover which also support some of the conclusions that I have presented in this post. My past rants after other disasters are also listed there.

The traditional media doesn't do much if anything to report on any of this research and on most subjects they often report the opposite of what they should be reporting or implement laws that do the opposite. The reason for this isn't that hard to recognize. The media isn't in business to report the news; they're in business to make a profit the most effective way they can. This means they cater to their advertisers and give the public the propaganda that increases their profits the most, not the research that is most credible.

Instead of informing the public about how much gambling contributes to crime they sell an enormous amount of ads for profit to gambling institutions.

Instead of informing the public about how much life insurance policies contributes to murder they sell an enormous amount of ads for profit to insurance companies and only report these incidents in entertaining ways that puts all the blame on the murderers without considering policy changes that could make it less likely or how pooled insurance is a scam.

Instead of informing the public about how ineffective the death penalty is as a deterrent they make appeals to emotion that enable them to manipulate people more.

Instead of informing the public about the most accurate research on gun control they repeat the same bickering over and over again without accomplishing anything.

They also do a terrible job telling the public about how violence escalates from early abuse and is more common when there is inadequate education or job opportunities; this is almost certainly because they're controlled by a small percentage of the public that is more concerned with advancing their own flawed ideologies and consolidating their power at the expense of the public regardless of how much damage it does to everyone else.

I noticed Nikki Haley did an amazing job shedding tears implying that she really cared about minorities. Perhaps she's hoping that they'll forget about her efforts to suppress voting rights and cut educational opportunities. She was also quick, as usual to call for the death penalty, based on emotional appeals, and there is little or no chance that she'll be willing to provide rational input on education or gun control; instead the usual manipulation and appeals to emotion can be expected.

Politicians follow the same path but they do so because they represent their campaign contributors not the public; and the media ensures that only the ones that support the agenda of the elite get any coverage effectively rigging most elections so that real grassroots candidates can't get elected.

Edit: There has also been some concern about double standards for minorities, which are justified; however in some cases the double standard has one standard that is correct which should be applied to all races. Taking this opportunity to claim that we shouldn't be concerned about the abuse, or accept it as an explanation for why they became violent to white children because they don't do this for minorities isn't the way to go although some well intended people might be tempted to do so when they see the double standard.

This is especially true when it comes to early abuse leading to escalating violence which often involves redirecting hatred to people with the least political power. If the abuse Dylann Roof and many other violent bigots suffered as a child could have been prevented it is much less likely that they would have become so bigoted at all and they would have been much less likely to support the Confederate flag or go on this shooting spree.

The better way to address this would be to reduce or eliminate the double standard is by educating the public about how early abuse leads to escalating violence for everyone. Many conservatives claim that the bigger problem is minorities shooting each other, and there is a lot of truth to this however it isn't the only problem. what conservatives don't say is that a major contributing cause for violence among minorities is very similar to the reason why Dylann Root took out his anger on African Americans instead of the real source of his abuse, which was probably his father. Children brought up in abusive environments often can't take out their anger at their abusers who have more power than them so they might be more likely to misdirect that anger and take it out on people with less political power.

The same often goes for minorities in abandoned inner cities. One thing that conservatives don't mention when they say that minorities are the ones most likely to kill each other is that the lack of educational and economic opportunities and many other problems in the abandoned inner cities are the result of policies by those with the most political power that are rigging the system. So-called white collar crimes do much more damage than traditional crime since it leads to much higher rates of traditional crime indirectly, although conservatives are often very reluctant to look at the evidence behind this.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

David Cullen’s response denying bullying connection to Columbine

In 2010 I reposted a blog that was originally posted the previous year, Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence? on Open Salon which has recently closed. This included a comment from Dave Cullen's book, which I refuted, "There's no evidence that bullying led to murder, but considerable evidence it was a problem at Columbine High." (p.158) A few weeks after that I noticed That Dave Cullen was also on Open Salon and decided to inform him that I had written about him on the same forum so that he would have the opportunity to respond if he saw fit.

I was surprised when he responded immediately thanking me with no further response; this happened so fast I couldn't help but wonder if he had time to read my post. A few days later I saw the first of three posts from him that had related material on Open Salon and they were cross-posted on his own web page which is still up. I asked again about it and it turned into a public discussion that was available on-line until a month an a half ago when Open Salon closed and removed all data after giving people a chance to save what they wanted.

I'm sure some would disagree, including Dave Cullen, but I thought it demonstrated obvious denial of a major part of the contributing causes for violence, so I saved the conversation in it's entirety and posted it below along with links to the original posts which are still on Dave Cullen's other blog.

A few months after this conversation took place there was additional research that showed that child abuse leads to bullying and escalating violence which I covered in Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due, although this didn't address Dave Cullen's remarks directly it did provide additional support for the claims that I made that bullying was part of the contributing causes for the massacre.

One of the strongest claims that Dave Cullen mentioned was that there was no evidence that bullying was connected to the massacre, yet I mentioned one source after another that included evidence of bullying being related, this is included in the Wikipedia entry: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Bullying; the same article also includes another subsection which partially contradicts this conclusion based partly on Dave Cullen's research and one of his leading sources, Robert Hare, Wikipedia: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Psychological analysis

This essentially means that there are contradictory versions within the same article.

Robert Hare was one of the leading sources cited by Dave Cullen for his claims during this conversation; at the time I wasn't familiar with him but I did a search of one of his books, "Without Conscience," and found a statement that actually supported my claims. It wasn't until later that I took a closer look, including reading the whole book and some other material from Robert Hare, and found that he also made contradictory claims that supported Dave Cullen's position. When I read this book, though I found that it had serious problems with it, some of which I went into more detail in Children Psychopaths? And Mitt Romney’s Bullying History. Robert Hare is often in as much denial as Dave Cullen and a surprising number of people the traditional media and political establishment consider "experts."

He has resorted to legal action to suppress criticism, of his work, at least for a while, and there are enormous problems with it; it is hard to imagine why he is considered an expert at all, yet a lot of people still accept his credentials.

One of the claims that Dave Cullen repeated over and over again was that the researchers I cited didn't do original research specifically into Columbine. Even if they didn't look directly into it they did establish an overwhelming case to demonstrate that bullying and child abuse leads to escalating violence on a routine basis. At the time I didn't attempt to refute this, but later found out that Barbara Coloroso was from Littleton Colorado and was in a good position to do direct research. She cited some examples which indicated that it was part of the problem.

It might make some people wonder why, if she were such a good adviser, she didn't advise the people from her own community better to avoid this disaster in the first place. I haven't had the opportunity to ask her but the coverage about Columbine indicates that a lot of the people in that area might be highly religious and this is the same area where James Dobson and related organizations have done a lot of their work. I suspect that a lot of people from that area are much more inclined to accept his teaching although it is no more competent than Robert Hare's as I explained in Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine. Regrettably I suspect that if more people were able to sort through the incompetent researchers like Robert Hare and James Dobson, who is considered more of a religious preacher than an academic researcher, then many of these disasters could have been avoided.

The silver lining of that assumption is that in the future we could do just that.

Some additional information is also available about Brooks Brown, who was mentioned in the discussion as someone I think does much better reporting than Dave Cullen, from Friend of Columbine Killers Still Seeking Answers

The following is the original discussions as they appeared in 2011:

Joran van der Sloot & Bethany Storro help illuminate Columbine killers 09/21/2015

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

I hope this helps.

Dave Cullen September 21, 2010 05:16 PM

It does. Thanks.

Jeanette DeMain September 21, 2010 05:22 PM

Thanks, Jeanette. I've been mulling it since last Thursday or Friday when I saw the acid-face story and shuddered.

Dave Cullen September 21, 2010 05:27 PM

I guess that, in terms of human behavior, there isn't much new under the sun. The various pathologies just get played out in slightly different ways.

BTW, I do want to let you know that I read Columbine awhile ago, and it was really an extraordinary work. Disturbing, but extraordinary. I can only imagine how hard it was to immerse yourself in all that for so long.

Jeanette DeMain September 21, 2010 05:33 PM

The Bethany Storro saga is a hometown piece of news. I told my wife within a day or so that I bet it would go this way. The reports didn't jibe. First time in her life she wore big sunglasses and that's the day a stranger throws acid on her? Nah
We've all heard too many times about these lost souls drifting through a depressed life feeding their own depression.
Now she is being threatened with prosecution for spending some of the rescue money on dinner for her parents. That should help her get better.Sheesh.

alsoknownas September 21, 2010 05:43 PM

Thanks very much for that, Jeanette. Let's say I'm feeling much healthier now that I'm not immersed in that anymore.

Alsoknown, apparently the cops sniffed the same rat. They said it didn't add up from the start, for lots of reasons.

It still unnerves me that a girl would do that to herself, though: especially THE WAY she did it. Splashing it up at yourself would be one thing--you hurtle your arm and there's no turning back. But to systematically apply it while you felt your own face burning?

And they said it took several applications.

That takes some deep self-loathing.

Dave Cullen September 21, 2010 05:53 PM

I’m not up to date on either of these two so I won’t comment on them especially since I’m still skeptical about the way the media is presenting them. They have apparently already changed the story on Storro which isn’t too surprising since it is a news story and they are still in the process of investigating although they aren’t doing what I would consider a good job investigating this or anything else for that matter. I suspect that if they investigated into their early childhood they would find more important information and without this investigation they won’t know for certain why they did what they did.

You have rightfully been described as doing a good job debunking many of the false myths about Columbine. As far as I have read this is much better investigating reporting on this subject than the traditional Mass Media has done on any one subject. This requires more work than the Mass Media seems to be willing to put into doing their job, as I’m sure you know. However there is one exception which I think should receive more attention even from you and this is a big one. It is about how child abuse and bullying contribute to an escalation of violence that often leads to much more serious violence including Columbine. A couple good researchers that have done some work on this and provided some of their work on line are Alice Miller and Olivier Maurel. This might help understand better how violence generally starts young and escalates from there. I haven’t read Olivier Maurel yet but it is recommended by Alice Miller and one of her books includes a letter to the Pope from him indicating he knows something about the subject.

I have also written a little about this based on the work of Alice Miller, Philip Greven and several other researchers about the subject. This includes a review of your book which as I indicated is good investigative reporting but it unfortunately doesn’t address the root causes of violence at an early age. It is right here asking “Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?” As you can see I have no doubt that it does and this is very important when it comes to stopping it. Aside from that one issue I thought your book was very good.

zacherydtaylor September 22, 2010 01:28 PM

Enough school shooters; Time to face depression 09/28/2010

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

As a parent, I can say it's incredibly difficult to determine which behaviors are normal teenage angst and which behaviors need immediate intervention. I know my parents struggled with those questions, with a son who eventually committed suicide. As my children grew up, I watched for signs, missed signs, thought I saw signs...Thankfully, all the signs stopped flashing. For now.

I read your Columbine book this week (I sheepishly admit I checked it out of the library...but I did hold it up and say to my husband, "He's an OS writer!"). It's an extraordinary book and you should be very proud.

Bellwether Vance September 28, 2010 07:58 PM

As nice as it is to see you back around the 'hood, I hope that one day, you won't have to write about these tragedies again. I think you do, too. Hugs....

cartouche September 28, 2010 08:18 PM

Thank you Dave, for sharing your insight on this most tragic event...xox

Robin Sneed September 28, 2010 08:27 PM

Dave, we don't yet know enough about this young man to conclude he was depressed. However, that said, I take your comments to be valuable and true--there is much we need to learn and to do with our kids in order to prevent numerous types of tragedies--the public and the private.

mypsyche September 29, 2010 12:05 AM

Thanks for posting this. Whenever I get asked to talk about guns, because of my book/expertise, I try to re-focus the reactive rhetoric away from "More gun laws!" to the more subtle, difficult and challenging issues of the mental health of those who own guns.

It seems almost impossible to grasp the idea that, with 30 percent of American homes containing a firearm and 25 percent of Americans clinically depressed at some point in life there is a likely crossover between these two potentially deadly categories.

Caitlin Kelly September 29, 2010 10:37 AM

mypsyche: exactly. we don't know about this kid, but we know about the totality of shooters. depression is the easiest, most obvious solution to make the greatest impact.

and we should be doing it anyway. shootings are merely a glaring symptom of a desperate problem.

Dave Cullen September 29, 2010 11:24 AM

I’m somewhat perplexed by the way many people are covering the Columbine incident even over ten years after the fact. This includes you in both your recent blog entries and in your book. As I stated before, in your blog entry about van der Sloot and Storro, you have rightfully been described as one of the best sources to debunk myths about Columbine. In many ways you have done a much better job on this subject than the rest of the Mass Media partly because you seem to have put more time into this subject. You’re comments about depression are also important and I’m sure that this is a major contributing factor. However what I find hard to understand is why you have down played the implications of bullying in your book and why you have failed to address the potential impact that possible child abuse from an earlier age which as far as I can tell hasn’t been investigated as good as it could or should have been. If this did take place then it could be a major contributing factor.

In your book you said "There's no evidence that bullying led to murder, but considerable evidence it was a problem at Columbine High." (p.158) You also cite Dr. Robert Hare who said that that abusive upbringing doesn't create psychopaths but it does make it worse. Dr. Hare also indicated that Psychopaths never develop empathy in the first place. (p.241-2) this leaves open the possibility that Dr. Hare does allow for abuse or bullying being a contributing factor; although I haven’t gone directly to his work or consulted with him as you may have. Even if Dr. Hare doesn’t believe this is a contributing factor there are many other psychologists that do and this seems to be widely accepted among the academic community nowadays; although they haven’t gotten this point across to most of the public. I haven’t checked this recently but I have read several other books about the subject clearly indicating that not only is bullying a major contributing cause to Columbine but potential child abuse probably is too. As indicated before I can’t say for certain about the child abuse since I’m not aware of adequate research being done into this incident but there is an enormous amount of research into many other incidents indicating that it is almost always there when investigators look deep enough. The interview from Oprah may have been helpful but it was from a biased source and the interviewer didn’t attempt to inquire about potential abuse from Dylan’s parents or Eric’s for that matter. She may have been in denial for all I know. Some of the researchers that have come to this conclusion, and provided a significant amount of work to back it up, include James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, Alice Miller, Olivier Maurel, Joanne Scaglione and Dorothy Otnow Lewis. None of them have investigated Columbine as well as you, in fact in one book, published about two years after Columbine, James Garbarino repeated some of the misinformation you corrected; he clearly didn’t spend much time investigating this incident but since the book was about bullying at that time he could hardly ignore it. He presumably didn’t make such mistakes when he was relying on his own work instead of the information given to him by the Mass Media.

The point is that after ten years you have had more than enough time to address these issues and if you were being peer reviewed, as I suspect you must have been, someone surely should have brought this up before now. Yet for some reason you don’t seem to be addressing these issues properly and on some of the most important aspects instead of correcting misinformation, as you did in most cases, you’re contributing to it.

Alice Miller and Olivier Maurel have both made books available free on line about this subject. Also I have included a bibliography of other sources, including James Garbarino and Ellen deLara: "And Words Can Hurt Forever,” Joanne Scaglione, Arrica Rose Scaglione: "Bully-Proofing Children" and Dorothy Otnow Lewis “Guilty by Reason of Insanity” in my “Violence can be Prevented” page listed on my links. Most of these have extensive excerpts from Google or Amazon so you can read some of them before buying or looking for them at your library. Or for more of my own comments on your book see my own blog entry asking "Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence?"

I don’t say this to be argumentative but by failing to address these important issues I actually believe that rather than contributing to the solution you may be contributing to the denial; and since you have done such a good job debunking the false myths this makes you seem more credible, as it should to a point; however that is all the more reasons why I believe these misconceptions need to be corrected.

zacherydtaylor September 29, 2010 12:14 PM

Yep, we can take care of each other.

sweetfeet September 29, 2010 10:18 PM

zach, they explained their actions ad nauseum and didn't bother to mention bullying. there is no credible evidence that they were bullied to any significant degree (ie, more than an average kid). nor is there any evidence from them that that was a motive.

we can hypothesize all we want about things that MIGHT have happened, but if there's no evidence it happened, it would be irresponsible for me to bring that stuff in.

Dave Cullen September 29, 2010 11:14 PM

Dave, thanks for posting on this. You have done so much to further understanding of how these tradgedies occur.
So many depressed kids in the schools are treated without compassion. I've worked for years in schools and have seen teachers humiliate kids in class and mistake them for being manipulative for crying at school. They are not trained for any students but the "good" ones. Thanks, Dave.

o'stephanie September 29, 2010 11:26 PM

nice to see you, too, cartouche. how u been?

Dave Cullen September 30, 2010 11:32 AM

Well then a lot of other people including me and some academics are being “irresponsible.” The following is a quote from Joanne Scaglione a PhD. who researches this subject and wrote a book about it:

‘The violence committed in 1999 by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colorado, shows how horrific the results of bullying can be. Twelve children and a teacher were killed, and eighteen other students were injured. The two teenage boys then killed themselves. Most observers believed this violence resulted from bullying endured by these two students over a long period of time. Apparently teased, ridiculed, and tormented, they could take no more and snapped. Here is an account of one incident they faced: “People surrounded them [Eric and Dylan] in the commons and squirted ketchup packets all over them laughing at them, calling them faggots. That happened while teachers watched. They couldn’t fight back. They wore the ketchup all day and went home covered with it.” Source Joanne Scaglione PhD. “Bully-proofing Children”

As stated before there are many other researchers who have also come to similar conclusions including James Garbarino and Ellen deLara who wrote "And Words Can Hurt Forever: how to protect adolescents from bullying, harassment, and emotional violence". The following is how they address a similar claim to the one you made:

‘However, at columbine High school some of the athletes took it upon themselves almost as a holy mission to ridicule Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. School principle Frank DeAngelis, who himself had spent many years as a football and baseball coach, made the following telling remark: “this harassment by athletes on Eric and Dylan that has been printed time and time again-I never received a call indicating that these people were harassing them. At no time did Eric and Dylan walk into my office and say, ‘Mr DeAngelis, I’m concerned.’ “

This is a peculiar and alarming statement for a high school principle to make. Do all high school principles expect that adolescents will walk into their offices and complain if they are being bullied at school, especially by the athletes? Do secondary school administrators really have such little understanding of adolescents? The sad answer, all too often, is yes.’ Source James Garbarino and Ellen deLara "And Words Can Hurt Forever: how to protect adolescents from bullying, harassment, and emotional violence"

As I said before I don’t say this to be argumentative but there is an enormous amount of research that you don’t seem to be acknowledging including some from some very credible psychologists and teachers who have looked carefully into this subject. They have attempted to address what many people have a hard time dealing with and often respond with denial. I hope you’ll consider reading some of this material or finding other material on your own and reconsider. People with credentials who are in denial make it easier for many others to stay in denial and provide unnecessary obstacles to solutions.

Even if people don’t believe that child abuse and bullying escalate to more extensive violence it should still be considered a problem that needs to be addressed and it shouldn’t be downplayed; in fact down playing it, if as the research indicates, is part of the problem could be just as irresponsible.

zacherydtaylor October 02, 2010 12:31 PM

"Most observers believed this violence resulted from bullying endured by these two students over a long period of time."

That statement is true if by "observers" you/she mean the general public, including noted sociologists, who assumed the original reporting was accurate.

Unfortunately, it was based on enormous hearsay, speculation, and the testimony and opinions of a few kids.

I doubt very much that people like James Garbarino actually did his own primary research on the subject. It's very understandable that he based his conclusions on what was reported. But garbage in, garbage out.

That's how myths are self-perpetuating. Then people quote them on the web (and in papers, etc.) and the cycle continues.

Of course I've looked into it. I spent years on it. I've interviewed hundreds of students there, read all the killers' writings and repeated in-depth interviews with investigators and nationally-recognized psychologists who did study the case first-hand.

Almost zero investigators on the case, or experts of any stripe who have studied it closely, and first-hand have see any significant evidence of bullying.

Dave Cullen October 02, 2010 01:30 PM

Ditto what cartouche said, Dave.

In (admittedly) skimming the comments, I've seen nothing about access to guns. Are we to concentrate on treating psychological issues (sociopathy, depression, alienation, etc) but not discuss guns because access to weapons is a foregone conclusion? I realize that adolescents determined to inflict harm can do other things (poison school lunches or release fatal chemicals into the air) but the fact that kids go to school armed requires more than the "usual" push/pull about supposed Second Amendment rights.

Nikki Stern October 02, 2010 01:36 PM

Actually James Garbarino did an enormous amount of original research into the subject although not specifically into Columbine. As I said before he made a mistake by accepting some of the misinformation about Columbine specifically about the Trench Coat Mafia myth which you and Brookes Brown both corrected. However he has done much more research into the psychology than most people and written many books to back it up. He is well regarded in the academic community and cited by many other psychologists. If you’re right then Brookes Brown must also be wrong; in my opinion he did a very good job writing his book considering his lack of academic education.

He has also done a lot of research into denial and shown the work behind that as well; which seems to be the problem with many people. If that is the case you and others will have to decide on your own whether or not you’ll read up some of this material or reconsider you’re views. Most of your investigation seems very good but on this one issue and the lack of research into possible child abuse I have to disagree.

zacherydtaylor October 02, 2010 01:48 PM

"Actually James Garbarino did an enormous amount of original research into the subject although not specifically into Columbine."

Yes, that's exactly my point. I have no doubt that James understands bullying and its consequences, but if he's basing his conclusions about Columbine on faulty data about it, then those conclusions are meaningless.

Yes, Brooks is wrong. He's one kid, who was 17 or 18 at the time, living through an unbelievably traumatic situation, and with a very bleak view of the world to begin with. I've been incredulous at the weight some people have placed on the perceptions of one kid.

I don't know why you refer to my lack of research on it. I researched it heavily, and just found no data to support it, so I said so in the book briefly and moved on. The last thing I wanted to do was to perpetuate more myths.

As for child abuse, again, there is no evidence of any. Of course we can construct all sorts of scenarios of what MIGHT have happened to the two kids, but I believe that would fall under the category of "making stuff up."

Also, when a kid is abused for years, there are always signs. Most people may brush them off at the time, and/or remain silent. But in retrospect, they are much more clear.

Well, we've had 11 years of retrospect with two of the most famous mass murderers in recent history, and not a single neighbor, friend, classmate, teacher, family doctor, etc. has come forward and mentioned anything. I find it unlikely that all this went on and everyone continues to remain silent.

But regardless, if no evidence has come to light, I can't invent possibilities and identify them as causes.

Dave Cullen October 02, 2010 02:10 PM

When I refer to your lack of research I actually mean into a specific subject which is what the psychologists I have cited have looked into. As I have stated you have clearly done better research into the other myths than the mass media. As for Brooks being wrong it seems to be about only this one subject. He also debunked most if not all of the myths that you focused on if I remember correctly. And he isn’t the only one that has made these reports although he is the one I’m most familiar with. He also cited a report from a qualified expert in his book about bullying that specifically addressed Columbine although I don’t have it in front of me now but this individual did have more academic background. One of the things he did is talk about the intimidation he put up with after the fact to keep quit about it; which is presumably why many other kids didn’t want to come forward. Nor does he seem very bleak as you put it; in fact if he was so bleak he probably wouldn’t have come out with what he felt was the truth when so many people were putting pressure on him. This is probably one of the toughest aspects of the subject to research and I suspect if you had consulted with someone like Garbarino, or another one that could tell about how hard it is to find this evidence, is Dorothy Otnow Lewis who has also looked into this about Mass murderers. They have both learned how to find corroborating evidence as well.

Garbarino was able to easily see the red flag raised by Mr DeAngelis comment which many children also surely recognize. In fact I find it hard to believe that many people don’t see a problem with it. There have been other reports about the sports culture that is at Columbine as well that fits in with the bullying scenario and many other sources that have raised this issue; in fact there are several incidents about it on the news right now including one that apparently you commented on. It is a simple principle that violence begets violence and it has a tendency to escalate.

Another thing to consider is that in the absence of this assessment I can’t imagine what the real explanation could be. If you consider the escalating violence starting with child abuse and escalating with bullying then it makes sense otherwise there is just a total mystery. Furthermore there seems to be evidence just not that many people are willing to acknowledge and as I said you and others will have to deal with that yourself.

zacherydtaylor October 02, 2010 03:12 PM

Half our kids admit to bullying—the worse part 10/27/2010

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

lets see, we have a 9yr war going in roughly 3 different countries. and people wonder why there's bullying in our country. blind spot? obviously the US is the worlds biggest bully-- to say the least. bullying is obviously an understatement.

vzn October 27, 2010 08:43 PM

vzn is right, it's kind of simple we just like things to be complicated so as individuals we don't have to be responsible. When I got to OS in '09 everyone here probably thought what people I personally know thought, but they were kind. I was just a whiny loser with sour grapes complaining about bullies when I was little and as an adult.

I was bullied as a small child and now that I live in a Red State I find because all laws protect business owners it's common here.

It's very simple, the number one attribute a bully looks for in a victim is integrity. If the bully is dumber, the victim doesn't feel like it's "okay" to retaliate, a pretty girl with integrity will not retaliate against a homely girl, etc... So people who have been raised to have integrity are the number one target.

Then you have what I think of as the "guilty bystanders" those who don't want to get involved because they will lose something. For kids they will be picked on, for employees they will be the bosses target, for people who do business they don't want to lose money with bully companies they deal with.

In all the sites I've studied (my focus being bully managers) there is no known way to make the bully change as they benefit. Usually they are able to steal wages, or ideas, or keep an outstanding employee from "making them look bad." Only people with more power can stop them or being ostracized by the "group".

If you have a bully boss you simply lower your production and personal standards and they will target someone else. Never be a whistle blower, if you know there is salmonella in the eggs you just have to let it go. You can only be laid off from so many jobs before you learn.

Now other people have to take crap low wage jobs and cars are built with junk parts and all the food is tainted and the CEO bullies have robbed us all.

It's very simple, either the group stands together or falls together. I arrived realizing not enough people were homeless and not enough victims had killed themselves. I think that's probably still pretty true. As far as the kids at Columbine, or the person who goes to their old company and shoots a bunch of people; they're just killing the guilty bystanders.

It's really nice that there was tons of research available. I think instead of research we should just stop the bullies. Not sure when that point will come, I have no more whistles left to blow for the deaf. The US is the biggest bully in the world. It was fine as long as it benefited us all.

l'Heure Bleue October 27, 2010 09:46 PM

I'm a recently retired principal. (Jeffco) A few days ago I wrote a post, Bullying - A School Principal's Perspective, about the influence of the political discourse on this problem, especially during an election. It would be a great dissertation topic. I'm off to read the study you cited. Your book, Columbine, was powerful and difficult for me. It's an important book - thanks.

Trish Rainbow October 28, 2010 02:33 AM

Trish, thanks. Which school.

I can only imagine that it was tough for you being that close.

I'd love to hear a principal's take on bullying.

Dave Cullen October 28, 2010 09:01 AM

There are plenty of researchers that are investigating this subject; unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the ones that are doing the best job are receiving little if any attention from the Mass Media and what is being presented to the public. As indicated before one of the leading causes of bullying is child abuse which escalates in school and leads to bullying which if goes unchecked will get worse as it goes along. This is often mild in elementary school but can escalate to something worse in high school.

However as far as I can tell most if not all of the researchers that have addressed the issue since Columbine seem to disagree with your conclusion that there is no evidence that it was a contributing factor to the disaster at Columbine. In addition to James Garbarino, Ellen deLara and Joanne Scaglione whom I cited in our previous conversation Barbara Coloroso also cited some testimony which she considered evidence to imply that bullying may have been a contributing factor she wrote:

‘After the video tapes shot by Dylan and Eric were made public well over a year after the shootings, there was still a sense of entitlement and superiority expressed by at least one member of the Columbine football team. In his mind, he had a right to taunt and torment anyone who was “different,” anyone for whom he had contempt: “Columbine is a good, clean place except for those rejects. Most kids don’t want them here. They were into witchcraft. They were into voodoo. Sure we teased them. But what do you expect with kids who come to school with weird hairdos and horns on their hats? It’s not just jocks; the whole schools disgusted with them. They’re a bunch of homos…If you want to get rid of someone, usually you tease ‘em. So the whole school would call them homos….” ‘ Source and additional information: “The Bullied, the Bully and the Bystander” by Barbara Coloroso.

Also there is apparently at least one quote from the tapes they left behind to indicate they were angry about the way they were treated. Klebold said “Being shy didn't help. I'm going to kill you all. You've been giving us shit for years.” This clearly indicates they’re angry at someone that has been “giving us shit for years.”

Additional researchers that I know of in addition to ones I already mentioned include Philip Greven, Murray Straus, Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson; however it may be necessary to consider the point of view of those that disagree with you because although they don’t all directly address Columbine as well as you when it comes to the escalation of violence these experts that I’m aware of seem to agree that violence tends to escalate and bullying is a major part of it. Most of the most effective solution are those that involve educating people at the early stages before violence has a chance to escalate.

Also I’m almost inclined to agree with vzn with one slight variation; the 9 year war does set a bad example but the bigger thing is that they’re both caused by earlier violence which escalated rather than bullying being directly caused by the war. In other words both extreme examples of violence have a common cause not that one caused the other; this common cause is violence earlier in life.

zacherydtaylor October 28, 2010 01:13 PM

for those just tuning in, one flaw in zach's logic: he's citing researchers who DID NOT research columbine, but relied on conclusions about the data they read in the media.

that's correct, right, zach? i'm frankly puzzled that you think conclusions based on faulty info mean anything, no matter how brilliant the person struggling with the bad data.

in fact, nearly every psychological expert who studied the case does not see evidence of bullying. these include Dr. Frank Ochberg, Dr. Robert Hare, Dr. Dwayne Fuselier.

Dave Cullen October 28, 2010 02:39 PM

Dave, I know this is just research and average little people (a phrase from my last boss) like me are of no real interest in such matters but here's a post you may find informative.

He is an award winning teacher who has post traumatic stress syndrome which is common in children (and adults) who are bullied, abused or in any way threatened. It's similar to what rape victims and victims of pedophilia or child abuse suffer. It's not exactly the same as the type service members get in the war but the manifestations are similar. I chose to drop out of school at 15 and run away from home.

A brilliant mind is a terrible thing to waste and blah blah blah, I don't trouble myself with such weighty issues. I'm content that none of my suicide attempts were successful and I managed to escape. In retrospect there may have been some loss to society as was pointed out by my therapist but like society I don't really mind waste. There is plenty of everything and that includes people.

One of the areas I'm trained in is medical coding so of course I had to study anatomy and took particular interest in the areas of neurology and psychiatry because I prefer more challenging areas. Unfortunately this is not a good trait for the average little person like me so I have found more suitable interests.

Here is the link to the story, it does seem a bit of a shame that this is happening to teachers and students but I like to remember that stuff happens and we just have to be positive and hope things get better. I'm certain if we all just keep researching and studying it will finally fix itself. I'm also sure the elections and positive thinking will fix everything and the kids and adults will finally be alright.

l'Heure Bleue

October 29, 2010 05:31 PM Hi Dave,
I can see you have to fend off many divergent viewpoints. I've worked with Barbara Coloroso and, while I think she has lots to offer schools, I always felt she was very quick to reach the conclusions that she did about Columbine. We all want answers and we want them quick because we simple can't bear it again. And Zach - research into bullying is important and very much needed but maybe it also lets everybody off the hook just a little. I wrote a recent post about this and hope you take a look. I was a principal at a school not far from Columbine. While we wait for the research, we can do something about bullying. Every one of us.
Dave, I sent you an email and now I want to let you know how much I appreciated Mr. D.
Don't forget to vote everyone.

Trish Rainbow October 30, 2010 01:48 AM

You’re correct I have cited researchers who didn’t investigate first hand into Columbine but they did cite the information they used to come to their conclusions and I repeated it here or in the previous blog entry on the subject. Also I did an internet search to find some of this information and it turns out that it is backed up by additional sources; the information they relied on does not appear to be faulty. Barbara Colorosa omitted the name of the student who made that quote but it is in another report housed by the state of Colorado. (PDF) Apparently you’re not the only one who looked at that statement and concluded it doesn’t constitute evidence; however some investigators into the subject including Barbara Colorosa and others I cited clearly do.

One of the sources you cited, Robert Hare, has also relied on information from media sources to come to his conclusions and he has also indicated that he believes child abuse is a potential contributing factor to psychopathy; however his specialty doesn’t seem to be dealing with teens or child psychology as is the sources I cited. He said “For many of these individuals, negative social factors- poverty, family violence, child abuse, to name but a few- were contributors to, or even the cause of, their criminality. Indeed, had these factors not been present, many of these criminals would not have turned to crime.” P. 84 It is reasonable to consider the possibility that bullying is one of the other factors that could be a contributor and those that do focus more on child Psychology like James Garbarino and Barbara Coloroso and many others have clearly indicated that this is the case.

A report by Regina Huerter clearly goes into greater detail and cites a much more serious problem with bullying at Columbine. The following is part of the description provided in Brook’s book which goes on for just over three pages:

Brook’s experiences were not unique. A year after the Columbine tragedy, research into the school’s atmosphere was conducted by Regina Huerter director of Juvenile diversion for the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Huerter’s findings paint a disturbing picture of cruelty and indifference in columbines halls….

As for students like Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Huerter wrote that everyone she interviewed described the pair as "loners" and "often the brunt of ridicule and bullying. Although no one had specifics about when and the degree of bullying they received, most often it was about shoving, pushing and name-calling."

Even those associated with Eric and Dylan were punished. A female student told Huerter that she was talking to Dylan Klebold in the school hallway during her freshman year. "After their conversation was over, one of the notorious bullies slammed her against the lockers and called her a 'fag lover,'" Huerter wrote. "Many students were in the area, but no adults. She did not report this to the administration. When I asked her why, she said everyone told her 'it wouldn't do any good because they wouldn't do anything about it.'" source and additional information Brooks Brown “No easy answers: the truth behind death at Columbine” 2002 p. 52-3 I know you didn’t believe Brooks but this is based on the report of Regina Huerter who is an investigator for the state of Colorado.

The issue here seems to be whether or not these reports of bullying constitutes evidence of a contributing cause and the researchers that specialize in this subject clearly think it is. You obviously disagree however in all fairness you admitted you “not an expert on bullying. I have not studied anti-bullying campaigns, to ascertain which ones really work.” These people did.

I don’t mean to be argumentative and I do agree that bullying should be addressed whether or not it was an issue at Columbine; but denying it is an issue at what may be the biggest high school incident in recent history isn’t helping. This is part of a pattern of school shootings and the effect of bullying has been present in many of these incidents. There are already too many people denying the cause and effect of this and it is slowing down a lot of progress towards the solution.

BTW Trish I glanced at your post quickly and intend to get back to it soon.

zacherydtaylor October 30, 2010 12:29 PM

Thanks, Trish.

Dave Cullen October 30, 2010 12:53 PM

I would say that bullying is unfortunately a part of school life. I don't think it's unfair to say that in almost all schools some form of abuse, teasing or physical intimidation goes on. It is however a myth that in all schools bullying is the same. Bullying becomes a serious problem in a school when it is widespread and never confronted or dealt with by authorities. I grew up in a rough school in a poor area of East London where bullying and beatings went on, those actions though were never condoned or excused by the school itself. Certain American schools (Columbine being one of them) are different in two ways: Firstly the social structure is so rigid, and secondly the school administration did little to stop the problem. Columbine also seemed to have a core of notorious bullies who were never punished, and in turn caused great fear and resentment. Research into columbine proved that bullying was a severe problem (peaking between 1997-1998, after which the notorious bullies graduated). I don't think it was your average school. Eric Harris may have been a psychopath (though it can't be proven). However it's not disputed that he was branded a 'faggot' at columbine, teased because of his chest deformity, shoved into lockers and thrown food at in the cafeteria. All of this during his short time there. Is this sufficient to be any sort of casual factor? Or is it just a coincidence? This issue has always fascinated me because it seems hard to find out the whole truth.

Bill Patrice Jones November 06, 2010 12:15 PM

These are the three original URLs for the copy that was previously on Open Salon; however unless someone has access to Google Archives or a similar web recording source, they will now redirect to Salon:

Joran van der Sloot & Bethany Storro illuminate Columbine 09/21/2010

Enough school shooters; Time to face depression 09/28/2010

Half our kids admit to bullying—the worse part 10/27/2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Memorial Day Veteran Shootings Part of Much Larger Problem

There were another two veteran shootings Memorial Day weekend although they didn't get much attention in the national news, nor were there many if any stories that mentioned both of them together; instead, as usual they reported them as isolated incidents without making much if any attempt to find out if they're part of a larger trend. They did get much more attention in local news outlets.

They actually happened on Tuesday the day after Memorial Day but one of them wasn't much more than an hour after midnight and more often than not when that happens the media refers to it as late the night before. However that case involved someone that was clearly intoxicated and he was drinking on Memorial Day into the next morning and the other incident almost certainly resulted from activities during Memorial Day weekend.

I remember the first time I heard about an enormous number of reports of returning veterans killing at home or killing each other while they were still in combat; And I had no idea what the source was talking about. I doubted if this was much of a problem since I had never heard it before, yet this source said it as if it was a given and fairly widely known. I didn't think much of it until shortly after that I saw another story that was similar.

It wasn't until later when it was more widely reported, for a little while anyway, and I started looking into some additional stories on my own (A few more recent stories are listed below plus several links to much longer lists of murders or other crimes below) that I realized what was going on. When I first heard of large numbers of veteran shootings I still thought that the traditional media was reasonably reliable, at least the more liberal segments of it.

Since then I have learned that there are plenty of alternative media outlets, including some that do a much better job covering the news on any given subject. Unfortunately even most of those are also reluctant to report on the large number of veteran shootings that have been going on for decades including many that took place during the Vietnam War; but some of them do better and occasionally even the mainstream media reports on them, at least for a little while, including one occasion when the New York Times and Washington Post reported on the war come home a few years ago.

When this happened there was an enormous amount of outrage by supporters of the military, and more important the troops. This included a lot of appeals to emotion and propaganda including some from so-called experts. One of the things they claimed was that the shootings were being exaggerated; in some cases this was true, it isn't uncommon for people to jump to extremes suddenly. Unfortunately not all of them were exaggeration.

There was an enormous amount of discussion about blaming the veterans and making them all seem like violent criminals, which wasn't what most rational critics were attempting to do, although it probably seemed that way. Unfortunately there was little discussion about if their training was partly responsible and even less about holding people higher up the command chain for their activities including sending soldiers to war based on lies.

What is rarely mentioned is that the most common victims of many of these shootings are the families of veterans, other veterans, cops that are occasionally shot by veterans, although it is more common for them to shoot and kill the veterans, and the veterans themselves.

It also included some rational reviews but the best of these didn't get nearly as much attention. The following two stories include some of the arguments that are often used to try to glorify veterans, even when they're implicated in crimes, without actually addressing the roots causes.

Police identify airman as suspect in fatal ND Wal-Mart shooting, motive unknown 05/26/2015

Police have identified a 21-year-old airman as the gunman in a deadly shooting Tuesday at the Wal-Mart in south Grand Forks, but are still unsure what prompted his actions.

Marcell Travon Willis, originally from Springfield, Tenn., fatally shot one Wal-Mart employee and injured another before turning the gun on himself early Tuesday.

He was on active duty at Grand Forks Air Force Base. Base officials declined to release any information on Willis -- including his rank and how long he had been stationed at the base -- saying a news release will be available Wednesday. Complete article

2 dead, including shooter, after gunshots at Grand Forks ND Walmart 05/26/2015

Police in Grand Forks Search for Motive in Deadly ND Wal-Mart Shooting 05/27/2015

Police: 2 people in gunman's car before fatal ND Wal-Mart shooting 05/27/2015

Family of Willis shocked by ND Wal-Mart shooting 05/28/2015

Police aren't confident about finding motive for Grand Forks ND Wal-Mart shooting 05/29/2015

2 people who rode with ND Wal-Mart gunman unaware of plan, police say 05/27/2015 Zimmel did not reveal what ties the passengers had to Willis. He said authorities were treating them as witnesses, not suspects.

Wal-Mart adds extra private security and public at both Grand Forks stores 06/02/2015

Wal-Mart shooter legally drunk when he killed store cashier 06/03/2015

Police digging into details behind ND Wal-Mart shooting 06/04/2015 "Here you have a 21-year-old who is apparently, according to friends and family, a generally happy individual," Zimmel said. "He's starting off military life, recent promotion. He's proud of that; his family's proud of him; he's just been home, and one night this happens. The challenge is how do you make this make sense."

The police are now aware that he was intoxicated when this happened and it was late at night; there is a strong possibility that the two passengers knew something about what he was doing the night before, yet they don't even discuss this, at least with the public. Also they don't mention whether or not these two people are also from the Air Force Base. Marcell Travon Willis was from out of state and had just returned from home with his girlfriend who was from North Dakota. There is bound to be some speculation that the people with him were either from the Air Force Base or associated with his girlfriend.

They were slow to admit the shooter was an Airman when this story first broke; initially they admitted that one of the people involved was an Airman but wouldn't say whether he was a victim or shooter. The Air Force is more aware than most how much of a public relations problem this could cause; I would think that if the two people weren't from the Air Base they would be quick to say so. It is virtually guaranteed that they know more than they're letting on, for now but as with most investigations it will take time before they disclose it and many people might not be paying attention when they do.

Feedback from Facebook doesn't provide much if any more information about this case but it does include some comments from people familiar with the military who claim that they often intimidate people who ask for help with their emotional problems. This shouldn't be surprising to anyone familiar with their indoctrination practices starting with boot camp where they put recruits through hazing practices that are designed to teach them to obey orders without question.

According to Stars and Stripes Airman shooting part of trend in military suicides; they cite several examples of past problems at the Grand Forks AFB. However when previously searching for shootings and murders in the military this wasn't one of the biggest trouble spots. Fort Hood in Texas and a base in Colorado were among the ones with the biggest problems and there were more in several other parts of the country.

The other high profile incident during Memorial weekend involved a politician that won the republican nomination for State Senate:

Decorated Iraq veteran and aspiring politician arrested in triple-homicide in Washington State 06/01/2015

An Iraq War veteran and failed political candidate was arrested on three counts of first degree murder on Saturday in Washington state.

Roy Murry, 30, was seriously wounded in Iraq and subsequently won the bronze star for valour. He now stands accused of shooting three people to death and torching their home to destroy the evidence.

The victims were Murry's father-in-law Terry Canfield, 59, his wife Lisa Canfield, 52, and Lisa's son John Constable, 23. Terry Canfield was a long-serving lieutenant in the local fire department. ....

After returning from Iraq, Murry turned to politics. He secured the Republican nomination in a state senate race in 2011, but ultimately lost the election.

He has since had multiple run-ins with law enforcement, according to Mr Knezovich, who commended Murry for his military service in the same press conference where he announced the charges against him.

"Mr Murry, by all accounts of people we've talked with, is a hero," he said. "He served with great valour in Iraq and was severely wounded".

Murry was awarded the bronze star after a firefight in which he continued to continued to return fire on the enemy despite being seriously wounded in an ambush. Complete article

Records: Wife suspected war vet husband of killing relatives 06/01/2015

In this case, and some others, they try to portray him as being a hero without denying that he almost certainly was involved in the killing of his in-laws. In most cases they report these incidents as isolated and rare, then quickly forget about them; however there have been enough people that have compiled enough stories about these instances and even some statistical studies, although some of them have conflicting results, to raise doubts about how rare they are. A close look at some of these reports indicates that there are almost certainly well over four or five hundred incidents where veterans are arrested for murder each year, in addition to incidents where they commit suicide or are killed by police.

The coverage on the traditional media about veterans and Memorial Day has turned into almost non-stop propaganda about how heroic they are and how they died "fighting for freedom."

The problem is that this isn't true at all; they joined the military and were taught to blindly obey orders and then they were sent to wars based primarily on lies. The war in Iraq wasn't about 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction that weren't there; it was based on lies.

But veterans start out their training by going through boot camp training which, as I explained in several posts including Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment and Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize research that was designed to indoctrinate recruits into believing what they're told without question, even though they claim it was designed to do the opposite.

This is followed up with non-stop propaganda about how the veterans who obey orders without question are automatically considered heroes even though tey often don't do much if anything daring, they're backed up by and enormously powerful military fighting people with much less technology or numbers, and the wars they fight are based on lies.

On top of that the people that refuse to go along with these lies are often referred to as cowards, even though they take more risk, since they're up against a powerful propaganda machine.

This makes things awkward when one report of veterans killing their family members or each other after another turns up; but the way they handle this is by reporting these stories only in low profile ways while the propaganda is repeated over and over again, so that most people don't know how much of a problem this is.

The result is that many of the most important political decisions are based on lies and we continue to fight wars based on lies and they also contribute to unnecessary violence at home as well.

There may be more people close to the military that are aware of this problem but many of them might hesitate to draw too much attention to it for fear of retaliation, thanks in part to the hype glorifying veterans and the intimidating environment within the military that starts with boot camp and escalates later where everyone is encouraged to go along with the program even when it is based on an enormous amount of false beliefs and contradictions.

Many of the victims of these crimes are family members or other veterans so it is in their best interest to address the problem rationally not by sweeping it under the rug.

It is also in their best interest to acknowledge that their leaders aren't sending them to war for the protection of the majority; instead they send them to war primarily for the benefit of campaign contributes, including energy companies. Many veterans come from poor areas that are often the target of pollution; but instead of defending them from the polluters they defend the polluters from accountability. They also often join the military because of lack of other economic opportunities, which are a result of the elites shipping their jobs overseas. This ensures that there will be more recruits willing to fight wars based on lies; but when they're not glorifying veterans they're often abandoning them without adequate employment after leaving the military or health care including mental health.

The people that advocate for peace, like Michael Moore, are often doing a far better job representing the best interests of veterans than the politicians that glorify them on Veterans and Memorial Days but abandon them the rest of the year.

In response to the shooting in Washington State the VA said PTSD doesn't lead to violent behavior (06/04/2015) in most cases I'm sure they're right but there are \far too many of these incidents to deny there is a problem her.

In States with high murder rates have larger veteran populations I reviewed some of the statistical results of murder rates compared to veteran populations as well as a statistical study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics which starts out by sayi8ng that veterans are half as likely as non-veterans to be in jail; however when looking at the details within the report and at other sources it quickly becomes apparent that these results are misleading. Even veterans in the United States are incarcerated at much higher rates than other developed countries and the main reason why other people are incarcerated at higher rates is the drug war and because the highest crime rates are abandoned inner cities, while the military primarily recruits from rural areas with much lower murder rates. If comparisons are done with veterans compared to the same areas that they're recruited from it doesn't look nearly so well and becomes apparent that they're having a higher violent crime problem than non-veterans including research based in the Colorado area, which has high recruitment rates and low murder rates except for returning veterans.

Teach a soldier to kill and he just might reviews some of the training and child abuse that often precedes boot cap training making people more violent and provides a long list of additional veterans that have been charged with murder or in some cases either killed themselves or were killed by police before they could be tried.

Murderers Who Have Served in the U.S. Military: A Database provides a list of some of the highest profile murderers with over 275 names and it only covers a fraction of all murders.

Additional List of Veteran murders often of other veterans and other crimes

Detailed study confirms high suicide rate among recent veterans 01/14/2015 This is one of many studies that come to the same conclusion; researchers are much more reluctant to do statistical research on rates of murder by troubled veterans but it is clear that there are a lot more than most people would care to admit.

In addition to having problems with violent veterans there are also a lot of problems with police that are also trained to respond to problems with violence including many veterans. As I reported in several previous posts including, Politicians increase crime; Grass roots efforts reduce crime; Politicians steal the credit, other method are far more effective at reducing crime, especially when they involve finding and addressing the root causes of crime before they escalate to violence. The most important things include preventing child abuse, providing a good education and an economic system that benefits all, not just campaign contributors.

Several other incidents happened shortly before or after Memorial day that received far less attention including the following:

Retired Air Force major arrested in realtor attacks 06/09/2015

Michelle O’Keefe, Raymond Lee Jennings: ‘Dateline NBC’ Investigates The Blue Mustang Parking Lot Death Of California College Student 05/24/2015

After acquittal of Michael Brelo, Cleveland braces for another cop's trial 05/24/2015

Cleveland Cop Michael Brelo Arrested 4 Days After Being Acquitted in 2012 Shooting of Unarmed Couple 06/04/2015

Fellow military members and friends defend soldier involved in Hinesville Ga. homicide 06/07/2015

Army veteran identified as shooter in Murray Utah murders-suicide 06/09/2015

Failed Marine arrested over brutal quadruple murder 05/22/2015

Officer and Iraq veteran explains how restraint prevailed in apprehending murder suspect 05/07/2015

Former marine tased to death by police in upstate New York 06/01/2015

Fugitive ex-Los Angeles Police Department officer and Marine caught in Mexico 05/27/2015

Police officer-in-training and Former Marine with PTSD arrested for strangling woman 01/04/2015

More veterans killed by police this year but some survived 12/29/2014

Colorado veteran arrested for online cop threats 12/24/2014