THE HORROR, THE HORROR: We human beings don't reezun reel gud!


Maddow limns mental health:
Simply put, we human beings just don't reezun reel gud.

As one example among at least several, consider what happened when Albert Einstein wrote his own "Einstein made easy" book, Relativity: The Special and General Theory.

The 87-page book appeared in 1916. At age 37, Einstein was already famous as the greatest genius since Newton.

A publisher suggested that he write a short book which would make his theory of relativity accessible to us general readers. To this day, the book which emerged is almost wholly incoherent, though Penguin describes it like this:

"An accessible version of Einstein’s masterpiece of theory, written by the genius himself."

We tried to reread the book up in Maine two weeks back, but abandoned the project as essentially pointless at this particular time.

Everyone agrees that Einstein was a genius, but his skills only extended so far. Nothing about his accessible book is actually accessible to general readers.

A century later, Penguin still doesn't seem aware of that fact, and neither is anyone else.

Though Einstein was an acknowledged genius, he didn't seem to possess the skills which lead to clear "popular writing." In his sprawling biography of Einstein, Walter Isaacson tells the comical story of the way this allegedly accessible book came to be so incoherent:
ISAACSON (page 232): [In 1916], he produced an even more understandable version—a book for the lay reader, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory. To make sure that the average person would fathom it, he read every page out loud to Elsa's daughter, Margot, pausing frequently to ask whether she indeed got it. "Yes, Albert," she invariably replied, even though (as she confided to others) she found the whole thing totally baffling.
Elsa was Einstein's cousin (later his wife). Margot was her 16-year-old daughter.

Margot was too much in awe of her Uncle Albert to tell him that she found his book baffling. Presumably, this helps explain the book's incoherence.

Einstein's Einstein-made-easy book isn't easy at all! But to this very day, Penguin apparently hasn't heard, and even as he tells this story, Isaacson tells us how "understandable" the resulting text actually was.

Einstein was one of human history's greatest geniuses—but his intellectual skill set only extended so far. This seems to bode ill for the rest of us humans. Consider the missive which tops this morning's letters page in the Washington Post:
LETTER TO THE WASHINGTON POST (8/9/19): Regarding the Aug. 6 front-page article “Trump condemns bigotry, not guns”:

Mass shootings in the United States tend to be committed by young, white men. Republican members of Congress and the president continue to talk about mental illness as the cause for such violence. But mental illness is more or less evenly distributed in the population as a whole. Few women and few people of color become mass shooters. There must be other reasons that young white men commit these mass shootings.

We need to call these acts what they are: domestic terrorism resulting from ascendant white nationalism. Our elected leaders have the duty to employ effective strategies. One of those strategies may, indeed, include control of high-capacity magazines and some weapons. The Second Amendment is fundamental, but it is not absolute.
This letter is an example of tribal dogma on the march. The writer doesn't seem to want to hear any talk about the possible role of mental illness in our endless mass shootings.

Instead, she seems to want to hear talk about "domestic terrorism resulting from ascendant white nationalism." She seems to want us to describe mass shootings that way. It seems that she doesn't want to hear anything else.

Statements like these have been quite common in the past four days. They exist in reaction to Donald J. Trump's claim that mental illness plays a role, perhaps a major role, in gruesome events of this type.

What role does, or might, mental illness play in our endless mass shootings? We can't answer that question in any serious way.

We can note the zeal with which the writer wants to eliminate any such idea, an idea she tracks to "Republican members of Congress and the president." In other words, she tracks that idea to the Others, to those in The Other Tribe.

How eager is this writer to banish all talk which comes from people like Them? How eager is the Washington Post to help spread her advice?

This eager! Her claim about the racial demographics of mass shooters seems to be wrong, but the Post ran her letter, and her claim, right at the top of its letters page. And might we make the following point?

Of the two mass shootings last weekend which have sparked the current pseudo-discussion, one of them—the mass shooting in Dayton—seems to have no connection to "domestic terrorism resulting from ascendant white nationalism" at all.

Is the following possible? Is it possible that white nationalism plays a role in some mass shootings, with mental illness playing a role in some others? Is it possible that mental illness and white nationalism could be commingled in some of these ghastly events?

Actually, no, that isn't possible—not in the current circumstance! According to the top anthropologists who report to us from the future through the mysterious nocturnal transmissions the haters glibly refer to as dreams, all hints of nuance would be disappeared whenever our floundering species, Homo sapiens, attempted to declaim its way through the types of events which defined tribal division during such highly fraught eras as this one.

"Simply put, the species was wired that way," these top future experts despondently say, gloomily speaking in the past tense, the troubling framework they constantly use when discussing the ways of our species.

Does mental illness play a role in our endless mass shootings? You'd almost think we'd want to know, but as soon as Mister Trump played the illness card this Monday, a furious push-back emerged from within our own unimpressive tribe.

Facts and logic disappeared as we tried to banish The Unacceptable Thing He Had Said. Consider the logic Our Own Rhodes Scholar spoon-fed us liberals this Tuesday.

The scholar seemed eager to banish ThumpThought. Midway through her eponymous TV show, she emerged from COMMERCIAL BREAK in the following manner:
MADDOW (8/6/19): In the aftermath of this weekend's mass shootings, the talking-point from President Trump and many Republicans, their central message, has been that the issue is not guns but mental illness. The president saying it's not guns that pull the trigger, it's mental illness that pulls the trigger.

Forgive me for saying this bluntly, but that's bull-pucky, and we can all prove it.
She could have quoted Trump precisely, but she didn't bother. She was eager to "prove" that the murky statement she attributed to the king of the Others was, in fact, "bull-pucky," just as she had now claimed.

The scholar proceeded to "prove" her point in the following manner:
MADDOW (continuing directly): First, obviously, we as a country do not have a monopoly on mental illness, and yet only in America do mass shootings happen anywhere near this often. Beyond that, though, all of the studies, all of the research, disproves the notion that mental illness is the thing you should blame for mass shootings in America.

Only a tiny fraction of violent crime is committed by people with mental illness. People who are mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than its perpetrators. So claiming this is a mental illness problem that explains what's going on in America with gun violence is bull.
As you can see, the logical leaps in the scholar's short statement are remarkably numerous. We'll restrict ourselves to just one of her many full-gainers:

"All of the studies, all of the research, disproves the notion that mental illness is the thing you should blame for mass shootings in America?"

So said the massively overpaid scholar. But how about if mental illness is one of the things you should "blame" for mass shootings?

Just for the record, whoo but a child would instantly turn to the language of blame? More to the point, who but a child would instantly suggest that we should engage in a search for one lone causal factor?

If you want to read the fuller transcript,
you'll see the scholar rush forward from there to the claim that "Republican lawmakers do not mean it and are not serious about this supposed problem of guns in the hands of the mentally ill." It's there that you see her essential stance, in which she reduces this to a battle between two tribal groups.

As always, so too here:

If the Others have said it, it has to be wrong. It has to be banished from discourse.

Einstein was one of the most brilliant people in all of human history. It's also true that he wrote a barely coherent book.

Maddow is a trillionaire corporate-paid true believer. On the whole, our species is extremely tribal and isn't especially "rational" or bright.

At times like these, the bull[shit] flows! And if Einstein thought his book made good clear sense, what hope is there for us?

"The horror, the horror," Conrad's Kurtz said. Not to be gloomy, but given the way the rest of us function, is there any chance our own Samson will exit the Oval without tearing some large pillars down?


  1. "The writer doesn't seem to want to hear any talk about the possible role of mental illness in our endless mass shootings."

    The writer explained why mental illness cannot be the sole explanation for the shootings. Somerby ignores that explanation to insist that mental illness must be the cause. He offers no evidence or proof of his assertion but calls this writer close-minded. Whatta guy!

    1. No the author did not. They offered an inaccurate claim as evidence.

  2. "What role does, or might, mental illness play in our endless mass shootings? We can't answer that question in any serious way."

    If Somerby cannot answer this question, why does he insist that mental illness be taken so seriously as a cause? Because the suggestion comes from "The Other"? Must we consider all arguments emanating from the right as worthy of discussion, regardless of merit, simply because they are not us? I don't think so. The right's ideas are no more or less important than those from any other source.

    Our national experts on mental illness are telling us that this is not the cause of these shootings. Why is it OK to ignore their expertise in favor of ignorant suggestions from the right wing? Somerby never explains that.

  3. "Just for the record, whoo but a child would instantly turn to the language of blame? More to the point, who but a child would instantly suggest that we should engage in a search for one lone causal factor?"

    The language of "blame" is the language of causality. Without identifying a cause, it is difficult to target prevention efforts. Playing word games about "blame" is stupid, more so when the issue is as important as this one.

    Does Maddow insist there must be a lone cause? No, our President did that, when he focused on mental illness to the exclusion of other factors.

    Again, Somerby ignores the statistical evidence that these kinds of shootings do not occur in other countries despite similar incidences of mental illness elsewhere. He ignores that men exclusively, not women and not minority men and women, commit these mass shootings, despite mental illness affecting all groups. He utterly fails to address any of the facts about mental illness and violent behavior.

    And then he has the nerve to talk about rationality!

  4. Einstein was not a writer. He was a physicist. There is no reason to expect him to be able to write a book that translates physics into everyday language. Papers in physics do not rely on language to communicate ideas -- they use math to do that. Einstein was reputedly not that good at math. Why assume that because he was a great physicist, he was also great at writing a simplified book in a second language?

    These kinds of illogical assumptions denigrate the work done by professional writers who must first understand highly technical ideas and then translate them into easier language, with examples that are truly accessible. Technical writers do this difficult work. Einstein was not trained as a technical writer, or any kind of writer. Why should he have been good at it?

    1. As I understand Bob, he's not dinging Einstein for not being a clear writer. He's dinging Penguin Books for representing Einstein's book as clear.

  5. "Maddow is a trillionaire corporate-paid true believer."

    Maddow can be a true believer or a corporate shill, but not both. Sooner or later, they come in conflict with each other.

    Somerby is just slinging mud today. "The Other," in this case conservatives, have no special claim to an audience. Why should anyone pay any attention to what they say, especially when they have been shown to lie and have been aided by Russians lying for them? They are the least trustworthy source of information. Including our President.

    But Somerby thinks we should be listening to them. What an ass Somerby has become.

  6. tl;dr, but this:
    "Simply put, the species was wired that way"
    is quite accurate, if the species in question is liberal zombies, members of the liberal zombie cult.

  7. Good at one thing doesn't make you good at everything.

    Witness Einstein's failures in marriage:

    1. The Law of Relativity says that things appear different to different observers. One observer might say Einstein was bad at marriage; another observer could say he was good at seducing women. :)

    2. Which women did he seduce? Be specific.

  8. “She could have quoted Trump precisely, but she didn't bother.”

    Nor, it should be noted, does Somerby bother to quote Trump. Why?

    Here is what Trump said, exact quote:

    “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

    You can watch the video of his remarks here:

    Or view the transcript here:

    So, Somerby takes issue with Maddow saying this:

    "All of the studies, all of the research, disproves the notion that mental illness is the thing you should blame for mass shootings in America". Somerby asks: “how about if mental illness is *one* of the things you should "blame" for mass shootings?”

    But Maddow is responding to Trump, who makes that very claim, that “mental illness is the thing you should blame.” Trump’s exact words again were “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

    This is the standard anti-gun-control dodge that needs to be debunked if we are ever going to actually do something about *the availability of guns and ammo.*

    1. Plural subject. Should be "pull" not "pulls". Trump even gets grammar wrong.

  9. ‘“Republican lawmakers do not mean it and are not serious about this supposed problem of guns in the hands of the mentally ill." It's there that you see her essential stance, in which she reduces this to a battle between two tribal groups.’

    Her statement is demonstrably true. Since when did truth become tribalism?

    All you have to do is look at the GOP response after every mass shooting: Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, etc. Same talking points, same lack of action.

    -Trump undid an Obama rule to prevent gun sales to the mentally ill.

    -Obamacare mandated that every insurance policy provide mental health coverage, which many policies lacked previously. Of course, Republicans want to get rid of Obamacare and replace with ...? Junk policies like before that do not include mental health coverage.

    -Medicaid is the single largest payer for mental health services. The GOP, of course, wants to cut it.

    -opposition to any new gun laws, despite wide popular support for them.

    On and on it goes.

    If would be great if the GOP actually took steps to help, and do so in a bipartisan way. McConnell, however, has decreed that that would essentially never happen on his watch. Or did Somerby miss this rather important reality in current American politics?

    It is up to the GOP right now to prove Maddow wrong.

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  11. To add to the list of examples of how much Republicans care (not) about mental illness and guns:

    The Tiahrt Amendment and
    The Dickey Amendment,

    both Republican amendments aimed at eliminating the possibility of researching gun crimes and making any recommendations.

    The Dickey Amendment dates back to 1996.

    Both of these need to go.

  12. Fiction: "Mass shootings in the United States tend to be committed by young, white men."


    Even when "mass shooting" is tailor made for shootings that affect white liberals, a disproportionate number are STILL not white.

    Aug. 4: Nine people shot dead in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Police fatally shot white, male suspect Connor Stephen Betts.
    Aug. 3: 22 people shot dead at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. White, male suspect Patrick Crusius arrested and detained.
    July 28: Three people shot dead at a festival in Gilroy, California. Suspect Santigo William Legan shot himself dead. Male suspect’s race and ethnicity are unclear, but he described himself as being of Iranian and Italian heritage. (Police originally claimed to have shot Legan to death, but the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office confirmed to Snopes that Legan had died by an intraoral gunshot wound, and that the manner of his death was suicide).
    May 31: 12 people shot dead at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Police shot dead the African American, male suspect, DeWayne Craddock.
    Feb. 15: Five people shot dead at the Henry Pratt manufacturing plant in Aurora, Illinois. Police shot dead the African American, male suspect, Gary Martin.
    Jan. 23: Five people shot dead at a bank in Sebring, Florida. Police arrested the white, male suspect Zephen Xaver.

    1. The writer didn’t say all mass shooters were white. She said they “tend” to be. Even in your seemingly random list of examples, 3 and possibly 4 were white, while 2 were black. That looks like a tendency for the shooters to be white.

    2. And the data show that they don't TEND to be white, so the writer is a liar.

      Numerical comparisons do not tell the statistical story. Proportionality does. The examples show disproportionate number of black shooters given blacks' proportion in the population.

    3. And yet they still tend to be white.

    4. @3:29 This reminds me of a headline, when the media were in the process of destroying the Tea Party group. They described a rally as "mostly white", although there were a number of non-whites in the photo.

      A phrase popularized by Mark Twain, who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    5. A person who looks at a disproportional representation of blacks committing certain crimes and concludes those committing those crimes "tend to be white" is really too dumb to be talking politics with adults.

    6. 5:33
      If 4 out of 6 are white, and 2 out of 6 are black, and based on proportionality, the figure for blacks should be 1 out of 6, that still shows a tendency for shooters to be white.

    7. One is neither. Of the remaining 5, 3 killers are white, 2 are black. Proportionally whites "should" make up 4 of the 5 and blacks "should" make up one in the 5.

    8. 6:45
      Your 6 examples hardly represent the entire database of mass shootings over time.

  13. While true that the discussion about mass shootings ought to be more precise, the issue of white supremacy is separate. It is a violent ideology and is being emboldened, and represents a rising threat, and as such, needs to be dealt with as a specific danger.

    That is what the letter writer meant to say, or should have said.

    There are really two indisputable facts about mass shootings, and indeed gun violence in general:

    1. almost all perpetrators are men
    2. the availability of guns and ammo enables gun violence

    Really, everything outside of #2 is essentially extraneous.

    1. The availability of automobiles enables drunk driving deaths.

      All perpetrators of violence through history have been be disproportionately male. So have defenders against violence.

      Young males are violent by default. The check against them is a father. Democrats do everything they possibly can do to alienate men from their families and societies.

      It's coming home to roost.

    2. 3:25:
      So you don’t dispute either point.

    3. I don't consider either a "point" with any meaning for solutions to deaths by violence other than "do away with all useful objects that have caused harm to human bodies" and "eliminate males and the females who would give birth to them."

      You seem to be suggesting your two statements are meaningful to this discussion in some other way.

    4. The points are simply factual. You have drawn some bizarre inferences from them. The question is, given these facts, what do we do?

    5. "the availability of guns and ammo enables gun violence"

      This is a tautology. However, it is NOT the case that the availability of guns and ammo enables violence or enables mass murder. Two of the very worst mass murders in the US were committed without the use of guns.

    6. “The availability of alcohol enables drunk driving.” It may be a tautology, but it is true. And yet, we regulate alcohol. We ban people under 21 from drinking. We hold establishments that serve alcohol responsible when they serve someone too much. We fine or put out of business establishments that serve to minors. We have community outreach. There is AA. There is police involvement, through sobriety checkpoints and tough sentencing. The point is, the GOP argument about guns vs “mental health” is like saying “we cannot regulate alcohol, because we must find out WHY people get drunk.” It’s insane.

    7. Given these facts along with other facts, such as a right to own objects for self-defense and the defense of liberty, and a right not to be slaughtered on the basis of sex, the only solution would seem to be doing the best we can to curb the violent tendencies of men. The research shows the most effective social practice for doing this is maintaining, incentivizing intact families with fathers mentoring sons.

      Unfortunately the anti-social half of the country is hell bent on destroying intact families.

      These anti-social forces are animated by hatred of whites and men, and everything whites and men established, like a standard of intact families.

      It's an irrational world view, with carnage at the end of it. Addressing that carnage was the reason for civilizing humanity out of the chaos, but the anti-social left is intent on returning us to that chaos to own whitey.

      So given the anti-family half of the country is showing no sign of relenting on the destruction of our functioning society, sadly there are no solutions. You and your children and their children will exist within an ever-deteriorating culture. Your grandchildren will be lucky to live in a second world power with any personal freedom whatsoever.

    8. We regulate alcohol and we regulate guns. We enhance legal penalties for use of guns in crime. Alcohol and cars still remain accessible to drunk drivers, who kill many thousands more innocent people than guns.

      You're simply proving the point that anything short of regulating useful tools to the point that they are no longer useful or available is ineffective.

      Convincing people it is wrong to get behind the wheel drunk and kill people is 100% effective.

    9. We also regulate guns in the vicinity of establishments serving alcohol. All kinds of regulation. The danger of living in a society with liberty to drive cars and drink alcohol is that you might be T-boned the next time you get in your car or run over the next time you cross the street. Being victimized by a car is far more likely to happen to you or your loved ones than by a random shooting. You just don't value what guns actually do for people to keep them safe.

      You probably live in a safe neighborhood and don't feel safe at Walmart, so are hoping to make people who DON'T live in a safe neighborhood less able to protect themselves so that you may be safer.

    10. 4:16:
      “drunk drivers, who kill many thousands more innocent people than guns.”

      Perhaps you might check some data before making wild claims like this. According to the cdc:
      “In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes”

      For that same year:
      There were 15,109 deaths by gun violence, not including nearly 22,000 suicides by gun.

    11. 5:13
      Be it noted that I tried to have a reasonable conversation with you, without calling you names or making up ridiculous things that you never said, and you failed to respond in kind. This shows the problem with discussion in our society. You can’t even come to a website where the blogger attacks tribalism and refrain from being tribal. Sad.

    12. OK I will be more polite.

      Why are you fixated on random shootings in the locations that affect white liberals when you consider what laws to pass to reduce violent deaths?

      Even when we address only those crimes, why are you fixated on the object used for the crime (illegally in the vast majority of cases) and not the root causes?

      When we accept the fixation on the object and put aside root causes and offer solutions to the immediate problem of the object (lifelong penalties for violent criminals or possession of an illegally obtained gun), why do you support a party that opposes those measures as "racist"? Even though the vast majority of lives saved (and imprisoned) would be minorities'?

      Assuming you understand the logic, it starts to appear like a vendetta against a specific group of people who share a color and sex, based on the thoughts you imagine in their minds or their voting pattern on issues unrelated to guns, not so much their association with the occasional random shooting.

      If you really think white men are the culprits in gun violence problem plaguing the country you've seen too many movies and ADT commercials that only feature white home intruders.

      Men who decide to commit mass violence have all kinds of excuses for doing it but the real reason is that they're deranged sociopaths.

      One deranged socipath almost slaughtered dozens of Republican congressmen because he was responding to the constant hate and dehumanizing language coming off of Democrats which continues all day every day.

      This is a problem we're going to be living with. The magic solutions except the ones I offered are ineffective and even if they were not would be worse than the disease.

      Looks like an impasse.

    13. 6:21:
      You keep bringing up ideology and politics.

      And where did I say it was only a problem of white males? It’s fascinating that I made two simple, irrefutable factual statements, and you were off and running down some partisan rabbit hole, as if you were offended by the mere listing of facts, attributing a bunch of beliefs to me that I never stated. Any rational discussion has to start with facts.

      There are additional measures that can be taken to decrease gun violence, including certain additional laws, as well as other things. Sadly, we are unlikely to get to the low level of gun violence/mass shootings in countries like Japan, because we are now awash in guns.

      As you say, males + guns = gun violence.

      I also fail to understand what you mean by “locations that affect white liberals.” Random shootings affect random people. How many liberals were there, and how many conservatives, were among the 500 killed or wounded at that Las Vegas country music contest? How many whites were killed by Dylan Roof in that black church in South Carolina? The Hispanics killed in El Paso were people of color; do you assume they were all liberal?

      Do you assume only liberals worry or care about random shootings in movie theaters, or churches, or schools? Do you think these kinds of shootings don’t affect all of us, because we can no longer feel safe in our daily lives?

      This is at least partly the legacy of too many guns. It’s unfortunate.

    14. "There are additional measures that can be taken to decrease gun violence, including certain additional laws, as well as other things."

      Like what?

      " Sadly, we are unlikely to get to the low level of gun violence/mass shootings in countries like Japan, because we are now awash in guns. "

      Certain locations awash with guns that are also awash with liberal gun laws also are the locations with the lowest gun homicide rates.

      Certain locations awash with guns, with the strictest gun laws, are the locations with the highest gun homicide rates.

      The problem is cultural. Two percent of counties in the US have half of murders. Counties with the highest legal gun ownership have lower or even nonexistent murder rates.

      "No longer feel safe in our daily lives." Black people in most major Democrat run cities haven't felt safe in their daily lives in generations.

      Every time you drive or walk across the street you are at risk of being randomly killed. I don't worry about that or shootings or avalanches.

      The guns are here. The guns can be everywhere, in high numbers, and present minimal dangers if the culture does not produce the mentality of sociopathic mass shooters or gang violence. The culture produces violence through broken families (top cause), inadequate sentencing, and probably even violent video games played by unsupervised fatherless young males.

      Taking away the right to self defense and protection and the protected right to produce violent games and movies aren't reasonable solutions.

      There are others but most of the resistance to realistic solutions comes from Democrats.

      Certain red flag laws will face resistance from the NRA and ACLU and beyond a certain point, should.

      Better security is another measure.

      Masses of angry young alienated fatherless men are socially catastrophic.

      Wish we conservatives could gloat about being right in the culture wars but vindication is coming at a high price.

    15. So, your solution seems to be: more guns, more liberal gun laws, since you seem to think places where those conditions obtain are safer.

      You say: “There are others but most of the resistance to realistic solutions comes from Democrats.”

      Did you actually offer any “realistic solutions” here? Trump is mulling over expanded background checks. Is that a realistic solution?

      “Better security...”

      What does that involve?

      “Masses of angry young alienated fatherless men are socially catastrophic.”

      What is your solution to this problem?

      “we conservatives”

      Yes, it is always about the partisanship.

      “being right in the culture wars”

      What are you talking about? Another tribal meme?

      “vindication is coming at a high price.”

      I hope that isn’t a threat that the FBI needs to look into.

    16. 730

      What about the Dickey amendment? If Republicans had good faith on the issue, they would get rid of that. But they are lying,cheating bastards.

    17. Clinton killed Epstein to keep boys away from their fathers and become fags.

    18. 12:45,
      You are being played into buying the mainstream media narrative that Seth Rich didn't kill Epstein.
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  14. What on earth is the connection between Einstein’s book and Rachel Maddow’s discussion of gun control?

  15. Dr. Langman served on Pennsylvania’s Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention. In the wake of the Sandy Hook attack, his recommendations on preventing school shootings were presented by the CEO of the American Psychological Association to President Obama. His research on school shooters has been cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill.

    Langman compiled a list of 56 school shooters—many of who would fit the active shooter definition—and found that 82 percent grew up in dysfunctional families. Langman describes dysfunctional as denoting broken homes, drug abuse, parental absence, and divorce.

    1. If you are strongly concerned about improving family dynamics in the US, you ought to welcome immigrants. They tend to have strong extended families that are an excellent model for our society.

      Similarly, you should encourage measures that put more money into the hands of young people, so that they can afford to start families and buy homes and do the things that strengthen families (e.g., take vacations, have relief from money-related stress, have stable jobs because of access to transportation, and so on).

      I find that people who want to promote families tend to espouse religious views and want to preach, not do anything that would actually help those who want to marry. For example, a marriage license costs $200 in Los Angeles. Who thought that was a good idea? Family counseling is typically not covered by anyone's insurance, so how are families in trouble supposed to seek help? There are so many ways our society could become more family-friendly -- visit Utah and notice what they do, for a starter. Yes, their approach is religiously motivated, but the way cities support families with children is secular and could be pursued anywhere. Numerous parks have free electric car charging stations. Kids are welcome in nearly all restaurants. Hotels and motels have multi-room suites available to families, not cots. And so on.

      But it seems to me dysfunctional families are only mentioned when someone wants to blame liberals for those dirty fucking hippies back in the 60s. No one takes families seriously when it comes to voting for family leave or sick pay for all, or a living wage.

    2. I don't oppose legal immigration.

      I support fair wages.

      Who thought it was a good idea in Los Angeles to impose a high marriage license fee? Who thinks anything any politician does in Los Angeles is a good idea?

      Dysfunctional families are mentioned when their effects are endured by every member of a society, and those without an interest in tearing them down (god knows why, I'm not a shrink) dare to notice the causes by observation and education.

      Credit for mentioning Utah when most who do not identify as conservative would avoid citing a success story where religion is a contributor.

  16. Getting back to Relativity, isn't the best introductory book on the subject the Russian one by Landau, written basically for young teenagers? From the early 60s I think, and still in print.

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