Are Serial Killers Privileged White Men?

Professor Hugo Schwyer wrote a piece shortly after the Aurora Colorado killings that suggested that White males who are experiencing a sense of “cognitive dissonance” because they are no longer warmly welcomed in their societies, may experience psychotic snaps and that may lead them to take out their anger on folks not directly related to them.

It seems that he is looking at data that we can’t say that one race, or ethnicity kills more than another, although we can say that it is generally men who kill -( that isnt’ to say that women don’t kill people, it’s just a numbers thing- more men do).  The difference is that men of lower socio-economic, or of ethnicities or races other than “white” tend to kill close family members instead of strangers.


What I’m taking away from this article is a bit of a concern…the professor pointed out that when we have a Muslim shooter, or a Korean shooter we look at their societies, or their communities, or their socialization to arrive at an answer, or to try to explain their anger or their frustration.  When a White guy does it, we say he was evil personified.  That worries me.

When a mental health profile asks about an individual participating in their unique social heritage in order to demonstrate the health of that person- you have to begin asking what does that mean for Whites?  When professors say that shootings are an outgrowth of some existential angst because Whites are no longer as welcome into their societies as they once were because of the “browning of America” what does that mean for Whites?

I personally find it strange that I don’t have an answer for what my cultural heritage means.  I’m someone who was raised in an Irish Catholic family.  We had lots of fights and “excommunications” as well as a lot of messy love.  But  how does any of that connect to a social construct that I can use in my life?  What is my life about?   And what traditions should I be passing along to my kids based on their heritage?

In cultures long established there are positions within the group for people who carry forth the stories and traditions of the people.  I think we’ve all been trying to accept that the Earth is a multi-cultural place, but in doing that, we may have forgotten to create strong links to who we are.

I’m not trying to stir up any trouble here, I don’t think Whites or Blacks, or Asians, or Hispanics, or Native Americans, or New Zealanders, or any mix of those groups should feel more welcome or more privileged, but I do feel that we should be spending more time as individuals thinking about our roots and what they mean for our futures…together!




Want to Track Santa? Check Here!

Children got to talk to officials at NORAD 55 years ago when Sears made a mistake in an ad for one of their stores where they planned to tell children about Santa.  When the folks at NORAD, which tracks dangerous objects in the skies heard the calls from kids, they decided to play along and a new tradition was born.  At least that is the story the LA Times is talking about.

They’ve also given us a phone number so kids can call NORAD on Christmas Eve to find out where exactly Santa and his sleigh are, and this year there is another website kids can check out created by Google!

Here is some more information and happy tracking!

For some old-fashioned fun, you can also call NORAD’s Santa hotline, (877) HI-NORAD, to talk to one of the 1,250 volunteers available to answer Santa questions. The hotline opens at 2 a.m. PST on Monday and closes at 2 a.m. PST on Christmas Day.

Google’s Santa-tracking operation, meanwhile, is headquartered at google.com/santatracker.

It’s a slicker website than NORAD’s, and even though the actual Santa tracking won’t get started until Christmas Eve, you can explore the little virtual Christmas village and play several games — which include a sled race and dropping presents into chimneys — that are appropriate even for young players.

It also offers a way to ask Santa to place a personalized call to your friends and family members.

Budding engineers may enjoy Google’s take on the seasonal fun. The company says that Dec. 24, it will showcase a preview of the technology that powers Santa’s sleigh.

“We’ve received this special preview from one of Santa’s many developer elves,” the company says on the website.

Developer elves? This is clearly not your grandmother’s Christmas.

Happy tracking and happy holidays!


8 Dollar A Gallon Milk?!

The other day I was complaining about paying over 4 dollars for a gallon of milk and today I read that we could be paying up to 8 dollars a gallon for the precious fluid in the future.  8 bucks?

It seems that some farmers lobbyists are having a field day scaring up support for a farm bill that is set to expire along with or soon after the “fiscal cliff” hits.  With Congress all tied up in  that cliff, things like this farm bill will be forgotten and the result of that will mean that milk prices aren’t held t any particular level and the price then may become inflated out of proportion.

Farmers appear to be lowering prices in January, so I bet that they have already seen that folks aren’t really thrilled with paying as much as they are paying now.  So if I were a betting person I’d guess that we won’t see 8 dollar a gallon for milk, but what if it was?  How would that impact your food order each month?

Maybe it’s worth buying a case of packaged milk in January?




Understanding Crazy People

Do you think you can understand what it is like to be crazy?  Sure that isn’t exactly the term we should be using in thinking about people who behave in outrageous, dangerous, or suspect ways, but you have to admit that the code word “crazy” certainly gets used often enough when we are talking about people who act outside of what most of us consider to be “normal”.

I’m asking this question because I think it’s important for most of us to recognize that you can’t get to crazy from sane!  You can’t imagine what it is like to be crazy!  It isn’t the same as being “normal” and acting out.  It isn’t the same as having a reasonable point of view and disregarding it.  It means the person’s thinking is bizarre.

A lot of people have been trying to figure out  what was wrong with Adam Lanza after he shot up a school last week.  While I don’t want to assume that Adam would fit into my definition of “crazy”, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume he might have.  And if he was what I’d have called “crazy”, then there is no way I can get to where he was in his head no matter how hard I try.

Have you ever wondered why you think the way you do?  How is it that you can arrive at a similar place after being exposed to a set of ideas, with a total stranger?  We have to accept that some of us absorb information in similar ways but we have to acknowledge that  there are others who will never understand, or appreciate, or get what we feel.

Crazy doesn’t have a map.  You can’t get there from sane!  You can’t torture your head to arrive at the same place a disturbed person thinks from!

IT is dreadful when a crazy person abuses the trust of the rest of us, we desperately want to understand them, but I’m afraid it isn’t going to happen.




An American License to Kill!

Why can’t we create a license to kill?  There is a lot of talk about restricting guns, or getting them off the streets, but why can’t we just create an education system for weapons so that Americans are highly skilled shooters?

We already have more weapons than most other countries per person, we already have a culture of “Cowboys and Indians”, it wouldn’t be so outrageous to create levels of ability for gun carriers.

Most people should learn to shoot to disable, not shoot to kill.  Now of course there are going to be problems because just shooting someone could lead to blood loss and then that might lead to shock and then your shooting victim winds up dying anyhow, but if people are actually taught about weapons and taught about how to shoot, and where to shoot to avoid killing a person then we might be more skilled as a nation with our weapons.

Let’s say  a person shoots and winds up killing their target,  and then it turns out that they had good reason for their “incident” that would award them an upgrade.  Citizens that have used their weapons in a highly skilled way will then be cheered by society and they won’t have to defend themselves in the same way as they do now.

In years past, it was considered an elite skill to learn to fence, why can’t we adopt the same ideals to create superior gun handlers?  We have the weapons in our communities, if we become skilled at using them, rather than having just criminals out there shooting, then they would have to worry about being taken out by a sharp shooter!

I’m no gun advocate, but I don’t think Americans will give up their guns!  Why can’t we work with gun owners to enhance their skills.  Maybe guns should not be thought of as weapons of last resort, maybe we can teach most people to simply maim an attacker, or injure an aggressor?

Rather than have kids go to take up soccer, or tae kwon do on the weekend, they might head to the gun range.

America can’t be compared to other nations when we look at citizens weapons.  Can we think about ways to benefit society?  I would imagine that most  Gun owners  don’t want to be  tasked with taking out the bad guys in society.  I imagine the ones who want to collect and use them on gun ranges really want to be efficient and highly skilled users.  Let’s at least think about expanding how we view this uniquely  American obsession.







Horrible Incident Today in Connecticut

I’m not putting anything in this post about specifics.  I don’t want anyone visiting my site because I’m using key words.  For those of you who have been made aware of a horrible incident with a school in Connecticut- I’m so incredibly sad.

I’m sitting here watching the news, and reading everything I can about the story.  I want to understand what the hell happened.  I want to make sense of it.  But it isn’t possible is it?

What I’ve read is something about an Adam, not the name that has been floated about all day.  It’s a relative of the person the news has been naming.  But what does it matter?  It doesn’t make more sense now that I know who it was that lost their mind and crushed dozens of families.

God, please bless our children!  Parents?  Please love your babies!