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Mike 03

Mike 03's Journal
Mike 03's Journal
March 20, 2021

Part of rejoining the global community means taking these stands

and I for one am thrilled we have an administration willing to speak out against them, in conjunction with our allies in Europe, Canada and Australia, even if we have serious problems here, because if nobody ever speaks out against human rights abuses because they have issues at home, the entire planet becomes a free-for-all where anything goes--which is exactly what China, Russia, Myanmar, Brazil, etc... want. They'd love western democracies not to take a stand on human rights abuses. Love it!

What you are saying here is exactly what Putin and President Xi tell us: We have no right. Neither does Germany or Canada or Australia or anybody else, then, according to Putin and Xi. They have a vested interested in us believing it, because it makes it easier for them to keep up their abuses.

Also, IIRC, a lot of Democrats were furious at Trump's unwillingness to speak out against human rights abuses especially in nations we sold weapons to.

Criticizing human rights abuses where we see them will make us better and more self-conscious about solving inequalities here.

We have huge challenges ahead. We need to be part of that community again to face those challenges. One of the responsibilities of being a member of that global community is speaking out against human rights abuses.

March 17, 2021


This is the aspect of the story that worries me the most. There are hundreds of thousands of guys just like this out there. Not all of them are mass shooters or spree killers. Some might be serial killers.

I'm just as guilty as anyone else of ridiculing the Incels, but they are not a laughing batter. They are driven by a hatred of women and a ludicrous sense of self-entitlement and a refusal to take personal responsibility for their lives. Some will be propelled into violence. They are first and foremost loners; therefore, more difficult to track than, say, a militia or white supremacy group where members cross-communicate frequently or put themselves at risk attempting to recruit new members. Incels are out there all by themselves, ruminating and fantasizing.

I'm glad there are several posts on this topic.


March 17, 2021

Point taken. People couldn't understand why a guy "with so much going for him" would

do the things Bundy did. Also Bundy was a shameless self-promoter to the bitter end who loved being the center of attention and the FBI tried to use that to get him to reveal the location of the bodies of more of his victims.

There were also some really cynical people who loved the idea that Bundy was blaming pornography for turning him into a serial killer and they talked about him a lot.

I sometimes defend the media in these circumstances because they are asked by the FBI to flatter or string along uncaptured killers for various reasons to get them to slip up, feel overconfident or keep communicating with either the media or the lead investigators.

But your point is dead right. I am very worried about a number of different types of rising crime, especially the mass shooters and crimes that may be happening today that we don't yet know about. It just feels very unsettled right now, with a lot of angry people who have just had their online social communities ruptured (Q people and right wing fanatics) and just lost a major election. The more isolated those people become the more worried I get.

March 17, 2021

You might appreciate this book:

The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime
by Adrian Raine (Author) Format: Kindle Edition


Dr. Raine's argument is basically in agreement with you and he provides a lot of explanation and evidence that is is a deeply biological, sexual behavior.

I might, somewhat agree, and I'm not even sure that most behavioral biologists, forensic psychiatrists or neuropsychiatrists would find your position all that controversial. That viewpoint that "rape is about power, not sex" was something I grew up hearing whenever the topic of rape came up--like an automatic response--and I have always wondered about its origin and it indeed left me with questions when I began to research criminal behavior and motivations in the 90s for some writing projects. It does get confusing when you are looking at the behavior of, say, sexually motivated serial killers because in a strange way it often does have to do with their relationships with their mothers, and it then does seem to circle back to being about power and (even moreso) control. But looking back at the biological roots of rape, at least according to behavioral scientists, it seems to have to do with a drive to reproduce the genes.

When we talk about a 'crime of opportunity', as you point out, it does lead to obvious questions: If it is about power and not sex, why is the perpetrator choosing to express his power sexually? It's not like there aren't dozens of other ways to express power and control. That is always why I had questions as a young person about the cliche'd response that rape is about power, not sex. It went against what I perceived to be common sense and it seemed like people were trying to avoid talking about sexual violence for what it is by tossing it in a bin with any other types of deeply interpersonal violence despite the fact those behaviors vary widely. I remember once asking someone who told me this, "Okay, but why rape?" and that person had no answer. I stopped asking and just began repeating what I was taught: "Rape is about power, not sex," but I have always wondered about it and turned to books by scientists and psychologists for deeper and more thoughtful answers.

As controversial as the issue is, it's not a hill I want to die on, but that is my two cents. I'll keep up with the latest scientific thinking on this.

One conclusion I've gradually come to is that maybe society has reached an unspoken consensus that it is important for us as to assert and believe this whether it is true or not because it serves some important function or larger purpose to culture and civilization.

March 17, 2021

Some of Lars Von Trier's work

Antichrist, Nymphomaniac and The House that Jack Built. Von Trier has proven he knows better when he made a masterpiece called Melancholia. When Antichrist was released, it was genuinely explicit and shocking for its time, and to be fair there was at least a semblance of a point. But his work has really become an assault on the viewer--it is like he is saying, "If you like my work, I really despise you, just wait and see what I'm going to make you sit through this time..." The anger comes from his in-your-face "I'm going to make you watch this actress castrate this actor in spite of the fact my film has already made its point. I'm never going to make a beautiful film like Melancholia again. That was an aberration; I'm back to depravity."

It's not that his work isn't meaningful. It's also that what he thinks is shocking in 2018 is really old hat, because I guess he missed the horror porn of the last 15 years, with remakes of The Hills Have Eyes, I Spit on Your Grave and Last House on the Left (not to mention the Hostel series). And right in his own European backyard we had the "New French Extremity" with films like Martyrs, Frontieres, Inside and High Tension.

So he's behind the times in terms of what is "shocking" and most of what he argues in his films has been better-argued by other filmmakers.

I respectfully admit that Mulholland Drive is on my list of best films ever, and probably my favorite since probably Scorsese's Casino (which is not to say there haven't been great, great movies since Mulholland Drive). It's not that difficult to understand compared to something like Inland Empire. David Lynch's "difficult" films are almost always about the inner turmoil and extreme pathology that is produced in a person who attempts to conceal the truth about something momentous from himself or herself: Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive and (as far as I can discern) Inland Empire are all about this one theme. Blue Velvet is almost like the stepping stone to Lynch arriving at that as a theme he wished to explore for the next 20 years.

One of the greatest things Roger Ebert ever did was have that huge open discussion of Mulholland Drive. I think he even taught a college-level course on that film. I participated and he published my interpretation--but I bring this up not because of that: the important part is that almost everybody, no matter how much they said they didn't understand the movie--pretty much did get it. The answers were pretty much the same ballpark.

Twenty years later, I wonder if modern audiences would still be so confused over the meaning of Mulholland Drive. I see real signs of progress, for example when listening to Millennials interpret something like Black Swan and arrive fairly quickly at a conclusion like "You know, I think the two ballerinas are actually the same girl." I don't think they'd struggle that much with Mulholland Drive.
March 16, 2021

That's my wild guess too, not knowing anything about that particular situation but having

a dog and living in coyote country.

1. Watching the videos gave him the idea that it's okay to express himself that way.

2. He is hearing distant coyotes that are difficult for humans to pick up. Once a pack of coyotes gets going (usually after a kill, unfortunately) it is a sound to behold.

That is the #1 reason my dog howls or barks between sunset and sunrise.

#2 is nocturnal visitors in the yard, specifically our friendly neighborhood pack of javelinas.

Maybe distant sirens? Humans usually pick them up, but it's possible they could remain on the outskirts of audibility, far enough away that they are difficult to hear. The fact that it is happening at night makes me suspect, like you, that it's animal activity.

March 16, 2021

Here's a little background on this

Watchdog Calls on Johnson to Disclose Contacts with Sanctioned Russian Agent
SEP 10, 2020


Derkach said in interviews they provided information to Johnson’s committee – but Johnson denies it. “According to in-depth reports Telizhenko, along with two Russian-linked operatives, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Andrii Derkach — have been working as ‘collaborators’ in conjunction with Rudy Giuliani. Collectively, they comprise, “Team Giuliani,” Onyshchenko said in an interview. Onyshchenko and Derkach each said in interviews that they provided information to Sen. Johnson’s committee, but Johnson denies it. But this specific denial is something of a ruse.” [Just Security, 8/11/20]


Daily Beast: Derkach has “been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens.” “That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Treasury Department, which sanctioned on Thursday one of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian allies for interference in the upcoming U.S. elections. Andriy Derkach worked closely with Giuliani—and with the Trump-friendly cable network, OANN—to push accusations of political misconduct against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Derkach, a member of Kyiv’s parliament and son of a former KGB officer, has also been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens.” [Daily Beast, 9/10/20]
March 16, 2021

Didn't know this. Thanks for posting.

I don't know the case other than the depiction of it in the first Amityville Horror and in brief descriptions.

In familiar mass murders like that, sometimes the killers put the victims back in bed (or otherwise arrange them), although that is incredibly easy for the investigators to see.

Did DeFeo use a silencer?

I'm guessing he shot his parents first, since they were the adults who could fight back and posed the biggest physical threat to him carrying out his plan. (Parents will almost all of the time fight to the death to protect their kids in a situation like this.)

I'm reading the ages of the other child victims as: Dawn (18), Allison (13), Marc (12), and John Matthew (9).

The younger children were probably too scared and might have frozen in their beds, paralyzed in fear and with little choice but to comply and do what they were told to do. Children in general sleep more deeply than adults and less likely to awaken due to noises.

The parents were each shot twice. The children were each shot once, almost like he was in a hurry to finish the heinous act, not wasting time on a second shot. Not to be morbid, but he likely killed them in a particular order of most-to-least physically threatening to him personally, which may not necessarily be by age. At 18 years of age Dawn is basically an adult but not knowing anything about her personality or assertiveness or her relationship with Ronald, I can't really imagine how she would react to a situation like this.

I'm assuming toxicology was performed and the investigators ruled out that any of the victims had been sedated in advance (say, at dinner)?

Haunting case.

March 16, 2021

Russia also loves--and will promote--any migrant crisis in a western democracy:

Cui bono? is a key question that’s been asked by more than few Europe-watchers in recent months as migrants have helped shift EU politics decisively to the right. It’s difficult to avoid noticing that many of the far-right parties reaping the whirlwind now across the EU have positive views of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The EU’s rising right admires the Kremlin for its unapologetic emphasis on traditional values, state sovereignty and zero tolerance for jihadism. Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have featured protestors brandishing Russian flags prominently, as well as German ones.

This extends beyond mere sympathy. France’s FN has accepted millions of dollars in funding from the Kremlin, while Germany’s AfD seems to have benefitted from Russian largesse as well. It’s therefore not surprising that the leaders of those parties have warm, praising things to say about Mr. Putin and his regime, viewing Russia as a bulwark of conservatism and an ally against migrant invasion.


March 13, 2021

An observation from Anne Applebaum's book "Twilight of Democracy"

The movement to destroy a democracy is also a reaction against meritocracy, waged by people who cannot seem to do very well in the countries in which they find themselves, preferring an arrangement where loyalty and unquestioned obedience to the autocrat gets you farther than ingenuity, skill, hard work or education. (Paraphrasing a concept from her new book).

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Modesto California
Home country: United States
Current location: Arizona
Member since: Mon Oct 27, 2008, 05:14 PM
Number of posts: 16,616

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