We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Prejudice. GSN will begin production on a new game show based on the UK format Prejudice (the original show Prejudice also airs on BBC America). According to Variety, the US version will be called Without Prejudice?, and is a sixty minute series. The network has ordered up 8 episodes. The game is about how the contestants are perceived to strangers, and they are awarded cash for each successful round they complete.
Penning up and carefully scrutinizing the killer was never an option. Not in Virginia or California or any other state in the union. Because in our well-intentioned quest to maximize personal liberty, we've moved conceptual eons away from taking the concept of dangerousness seriously.
The best predictor of future violent behavior is past violent behavior, yet we regularly grant parole to murderers, serial rapists, chronically assaultive individuals and habitual pedophiles. Even when we do attempt to segregate low-impulse multiple offenders with effective tools such as with three-strikes laws, liberationist clamor never ceases.
Talk to anyone who's tried to commit a dangerously violent child or parent for even a few days: A stranger with a law degree will show up at the hearing and paint you as a fascist. So it's far too much to expect anything resembling a decisive approach to those whose level of threat remains at the verbal level.
Re: the Dave Barry piece. Very funny, but if she had had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, everything would have been just hunky dory...Unless, of course, hubby had been unbearably annoying....
On a more serious note, what to do with violent people: the civil libertarians are going to spend eternity sharing a cell with all those charming people they spring from confinement...
I have been thru nightmares trying to protect relatives in another country who become violent and a danger to themselves and others when ill, but whose freedom the law protects more than their or other people's safety. People who are very ill mentally (or who are criminally violent) lose many of the rights of adults. At least temporarily. They are still human, and to be treated respectfully and with care, but their freedoms may have to be curtailed at times. Why will I be called a fascist monster for saying this? But I will, and I have been, and I have the bruises to prove it.
The article on China explains the dog food problem. I asked my ex, a veterinarian, about this, and he said the problem comes from having one or two huge companies producing most of the dog food. They buy from the same supplier and sell under various labels. He said it's a shame because no one was at fault in terms of malice but that the company would probably go down. Then he said the real problem lies in the huge producers of human food. He said it's just a matter of time before an episode of e. coli or salmonella or something worse exponentially trumps the dog food problem.
Unless they've seen it, no one should call you anything for what you had to do. I think you suggested your situations were family related: I have a couple that are student related. I can't tell the whole stories because it would take too long, but I can give enough details to give anyone an idea of how scary it is to deal with a person who has become pathological. (If 'become' is the right word.)
First off, let me say that I do not sweat/perspire. Not so it shows in even the slightess dampness. I can run a marathon and not even glisten.
I ran into a tall black guy who had been kicked out of the state of South Carolina. He was living with an aunt and, of course, as he'd committed no crime in my state, we had to take him. I met him on a first day of duty when he started circling me and taunting me by grabbing his crotch and by speaking in some ghetto-speak I could not understand. I was fearless as a teacher and felt nothing but annoyance as this thug tried me out in front of all his friends. He kept on and I turned to him and had to look way up, but I looked right into his eyes and saw *nothing*. Black holes. I turned and walked a long way to the office for help, found none, and grabbed one of the principal's walkie talkie's and went back to my duty station. He was waiting for me. He started in again and I called for help. A couple of coaches showed up and the principal - who carefully talked Kahlil (that was his name) away from me and down towards the office. The principal was clearly afraid of this guy. The bell rang and the halls cleared and the two coaches stood by me and explained about Kahlil. He'd been kicked out of every class he had since he was enrolled in our school, and they said things like, "Well, he'll be in jail or dead before he's 21." I listened to them and suddenly the walls closed in on me. I had on a shirt and khaki pants and felt rivulets of water running down my side just before I blacked out. When I came to, I saw that I had soaked the waistband of my pants in about a five-inch half-circle on both sides.
The thing is - I acted professionally, coolly, ..I did what I had to do without flinching or feeling fear whatsoever. But when I looked into his eyes and saw the depths of evil I saw there, something in my subconscious kicked in and didn't bother to alert me until after the fact. My body responded long before my thought processes did. Scary stuff.
Too long to tell the other one, but anyway... we can't get away from this. By the way, Kahlil stalked me for two weeks and the office did nothing. I got him, though. It's a good story, but, again..too long.
Phoenix, glad you were okay. Scarey. I have usually survived dangerous situations by acting obnoxious, like a Jack Russell terrier: small and fierce and making a loud racket. But, obviously, certain people are so dangerous that being feisty does no good. Perhaps that is why so many of us pass out, or become paralyzed physically in the face of overwhelming danger. Animals do for self-preservation too. Sometimes it works, sometimes not...
That emptiness in the eyes is terrifying. As if the soul had been sucked out and something demonic were there. An in-law with Alzheimer's had a wicked look to her she never had before, when she was still healthy, right before she began hitting kids and pets. I had a kid in a class years ago, adorable little boy with ringlets who one afternoon turned to me apropos of nothing and told me how he had set the fire that burned his mother and baby brother to death. I was shaken, told myself he had some sick idea of shaking me up and that it was not true. Only to find out later that it was completely true. Similar chilling eyes.
Perhaps someday the brain imaging types will be able to map the portions of the brain that are working wrong or damaged in such cases. As if one could map what the ancients described as possession.