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Archive for the ‘sick society’ Category

This is a rather frightening article about kids who are psychopaths.

Yet I wonder… is it perhaps too quick to label all kids with this specific set of behaviors as psychopaths?

I’m thinking of two kids that I dealt with at the behavior center where I taught. One of them definitely was a psychopath. He didn’t even feel pain the same way that other kids did. The orderlies would jack him up and he’d be both screaming and laughing, and basically they couldn’t do anything with him until the screaming tired him out enough that he was no longer able to fight them. Then they’d take him to the isolation room and let him loose, and he’d happily bounce around in there until he was let out again, at which point maybe he’d participate in class, maybe he wouldn’t. We used positive reinforcement to encourage participation, of course. But sometimes he just snapped and tried to hurt people even with that, and then the cycle started all over again.

It was pretty clear to those of us in the program that this was a kid who was going to be the next Charles Manson. He had no empathy, his view of the world was very monochromic, he hurt based on whim with no conscience, he was, basically, evil.

Then there’s another kid. He was a mini gang banger. As in, doing drive-by shootings on his bicycle, throwing cinder blocks off of Interstate pedestrian walkways and laughing as they smashed through car windshields and killed people, etc. Yet… we threw a birthday party for him. His little 5 year old sister came with his mother to his birthday party. It was quite clear that he loved his little sister dearly. If you said anything that could even conceivably be thought of as critical about his little sister, he would get all upset. And he loved his momma too. This was a kid who wasn’t a psychopath. He’d simply been raised wrong, to view people outside his immediate circle of family and friends as “other”. And he was definitely capable of empathy… as this next story shows:

There were two Hispanic kids in the group that I taught. One was a chubby bespectacled baby-ish kid who was there primarily because the self-control centers of his brain had been burnt out by crack while he was still in his momma’s tummy. He didn’t *want* to do wrong, but sometimes he just did things without thinking. So we were trying to teach him some cognitive workarounds to that impulsiveness that used parts of his brain that weren’t burnt out.

The other was the mini gang banger. They despised each other, these two. Never a good word for each other, and always making trouble for each other. Now, we had a celebration at the end of every week for those kids who’d managed to work their points and get enough points to join the celebration. Nothing fancy, just a little party with some games cupcakes and little gifts from the dollar store or from the district media center at the end of the day when no learning would have been happening anyhow because everybody was happy to go home for the weekend (this being a day program). So anyhow, the chubby kid had gone through some trouble that week, I don’t recall what exactly had happened, and hadn’t made his points. So he got to sit in the front of the classroom in the chairs while we all had fun back in the carpeted nook.

So he’s sitting there looking forlorn, and the mini gang banger says, “C’mon, let Freddie join us.” (Not his name). And I’m, like, “no, he didn’t make his points, that wouldn’t be fair to the kids who did the work to make their points.” So the mini gang banger, let’s call him “Mikey” as in “Mikey hates everything”, keeps begging with those puppy dog eyes to let Freddie join the party. Finally I say, “Why are you asking me to do this for Freddie anyhow? You don’t even like him!”

And he says to me softly, looking down at the table, “I know how he feels.”

Yeah, if you just knew his record, you might think this kid was a psychopath. But he wasn’t. He could feel empathy for others, if he hadn’t been taught to consider that other to be a non-person, or if he interacted with that person every day so he could learn that this person was a fellow human being and not an “other”. That makes all the difference, in the end, and probably is why he’s not on death row for murder right now (though he’s currently midway through his second stint as a guest of the Texas Department of Corrections for drug dealing –quelle surprise!).

But for the real life psychopaths out there… if they aren’t in prison, it’s because they haven’t been caught yet. Either because they’re too smart, or they got a job on Wall Street. Either way, they view human beings as prey, not as fellow travellers in the human race. And they are in charge.

They are in charge.

If that doesn’t fucking terrify you, you’re dumber than a box of rocks. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Psychopath-observin’ Penguin

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Just rather overheated — it’s been above 90F here for two days in a row. Even had to plug in the portable air conditioner in my bedroom yesterday to cool it down enough to sleep.

So anywho: America’s largest oil refinery is now 100% owned by Saudi Arabia. MAGA!

Spicey runs away from a press briefing. ¿Apparently scared that the reporters would ask him hard questions about what he’s butt-tweeting on Twitter?

As I keep pointing out, Hillary Clinton didn’t ignore the working class. She had detailed policy proposals to help them. But those policy proposals would have helped the poors and the blahs too, so. Can’t have that, can we? Our working-class white people, if they were underneath a bridge cooking a pigeon on a stick over a hobo stove, would gladly give up their pigeon if it meant that the black person the next bridge over didn’t even have a hobo stove.

This Nazi vs anti-Nazi bullshit is getting ridiculous. How do so many Nazis have so much time to go to strange towns where nobody knows them and hold rallies? Sheesh.

Finally, all this needs is some Truck Nutz and it’s the perfect Trump supporter truck:

Hint: If you have to loudly proclaim that you’re an alpha male… you ain’t one. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Views that now apparently require mass marches to bring them to the attention of the general public:

* Women are people who deserve rights
* Science is important; don’t ban it
* POTUS should pay taxes
* Water is wet.

Wait, that last one maybe doesn’t belong on that list. Or does it? Seems to be a lot of people who miss some pretty obvious shit nowadays…

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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Any alien invasion of Earth would fail quietly as the aliens arrived, realized that the inhabitants of Earth had already pretty much destroyed it already without their help and were so violent and stupid as to not be worth keeping as slaves, and quietly slunk away.

Call it stupidity as a survival strategy. Or not survival strategy, actually, since at current rates of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere, we’re all going to suffocate within a couple hundred years anyhow. Which is okay with our current regime. They’ll all be dead by then anyhow, amirite?

We’re like the cockroaches that infest the Sony PS4, frying ourselves because we’re too stupid to do anything else. We elect shit leaders who don’t know as much science as a 10 year old girl to oversee the process of baking ourselves like we were living in a fucking shake’n’bake oven, then yell “USA! USA!” waving fucking flags as if they were anything other than pieces of cloth useful for wiping your ass with if you take a shit, maybe.

And then we rail against monsters, when the only monsters are us.

Yeah, stupid is our only renewable resource.

– Badtux the Feelin’ Pissy Penguin

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Three common criminals were executed for high crimes against the State today. Now, there’s some objections that the punishment these criminals received was far out of proportion to the crimes they committed. But look, these were some bad hombres. Let’s look at one of them:

Born (possibly out of wedlock?) in a stable, this jobless thirty-something of Middle Eastern origin had had previous run-ins with local authorities for disturbing the peace, and had become increasingly associated with the members of a fringe religious group. He spent the majority of his time in the company of sex workers and criminals.

He had had prior run-ins with local authorities — most notably, an incident of vandalism downtown when he wrecked the places of business of numerous bankers. He had used violent language, too, claiming that he could destroy a gathering place and rebuild it.

At the time of his arrest, he had not held a fixed residence for years. Instead, he led an itinerant lifestyle, staying at the homes of friends and advocating the redistribution of wealth.

He had come to the attention of the authorities more than once for his unauthorized distribution of food, disruptive public behavior, and participation in farcical aquatic ceremonies.

Some say that this Communist muck-raker’s brutal punishment at the hands of the state for what was basically a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace was out of proportion to and unrelated to any of these incidents in his record. But that’s ridiculous. After all, he was no angel.

(From the Jerusalem Times, approximately 2025 years ago).

— Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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My final thought on United endorsing knocking out the teeth and bloodying the face of 69 year old men who dared raise his voice: What’s interesting is that there’s anybody, anywhere, who think it is appropriate to knock out the teeth and bloody the face of a 69 year old man under any circumstance short of the man brandishing a gun or knife.

The fact that the airline and police actually have defenders just reminds me of how brutal we have become as a nation, where brutalizing both our own citizens and people overseas is seen as normal and acceptable behavior. We have the majority in Congress saying that the solution to hungry people is to take away their food stamps, for example, because we must brutalize those poor people into being less poor — the beatings shall not stop until morale improves! In this case, the man had been sold a fraudulent ticket, one that purported to offer him airline travel but in fact apparently only offered him the chance to sit in a terminal since United wasn’t going to give him the airline travel he’d paid for, and the man was complaining about that. Going from there to knocking his teeth out and bloodying his face is like going 150mph on a public highway crowded with rush hour traffic — no sane person could ever think that was a good idea.

But then, I’m not sure that we as a nation are sane anymore.

– Badtux the “Am I sane?” Penguin

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Help, help, I’m being oppressed by the unfair burden of being a white male!

I mean, why can’t I have the benefits of being a woman, like being stalked by rapists in dark parking garages? Or the benefits of being a black man, like being shot dead by police on the street for the crime of reaching for my wallet? How unfair!

Yeah, MRA’s are idiots. But: They’re now in charge. To whit: Jeff Sessions saying that the Department of Justice is no longer going to oversee brutal police departments that regularly violate the civil rights of their citizens.

Because we don’t need that anymore. Despite the constant drip drip drip of YouTube videos showing brutal cops slamming people around, the most recent case being that poor old doctor dude that the Chicago Airport Police dragged off a United Airlines plane on his bleeding face. So we can’t live on in ignorance that this sort of thing is still going on… the videos just keep coming, over and over again. But: It appears that a huge number of Americans simply don’t care.

To quote Taibbi:

“Seventy years ago, affluent white people could huddle in the suburbs, watch Leave It to Beaver, and pretend that cops weren’t beating the crap out of people in East St. Louis or Watts or wherever the nearest black neighborhood was. But these days, the whole country regularly gawks at brutal cases of police violence on the Internet. Nobody can pretend it’s not going on, but millions of people clearly don’t want to do anything about it – just the opposite, in fact. They want more. Is this a twisted country, or what?”

I’ll go for $1,000 on “twisted”, Alex. And the end result is not going to be pleasant.

– Badtux the Watching Rome Burn Penguin

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