Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Three Principles of Self-Defense

Earlier this summer, a pair of very violent criminals, 31 year old David Joseph Pedersen and his 24-year-old girlfriend, Holly Grigsby , went on a criminal rampage through our area. They allegedly killed a young man who had attended a concert in Newport, his body was found in the coastal hills a few miles from where we live. The pair continued their killing spree until they were apprehended in California. [1]

In 2004, college student Brooke Wilberger was abducted from a nearby apartment complex. Her body was found in 2009, again, in the nearby coastal hills; her murderer was convicted and is serving a life sentence. [2]

These dangerous criminal surely had driven on the same road that passes just blocks from our house. Yet we don’t live in a crime ridden urban inner city; we live in a small university town known for it’s academics, science and engineering. Still, these crimes, and others just as horrid have happened here in the past, as they do everywhere in the country.

We tend to hold mythological ideas about our probability of being victims of violent crime. We may wrongly think that we are safe at home while or while on vacation, or that we are in danger of harm when we may be perfectly safe. We may also believe that we are safer by having a loaded gun in our home – though statistically, the overwhelming majority of gun violence victims were family members rather than the extremely rare (0.5%) unknown intruder.[3]

So I recently read with great interest a blog posting by Sam Harris titled The Truth about Violence. I believe this is very important information about the reality regarding our personal safety; so much so that I sent the link to my wife and children to read. I am now passing this on to my readers as well as I think it provides some very CRUCIAL and PRACTICAL information about how to survive personal attacks of violence. I urge you to read it and to pass it along to others.

Among the most important points of the article are:
Avoid conflict:
This is a tough one for adult males whose ego is often difficult to disengage from their self image and whose provoking words can quickly escalate into physical combat. In truth, there is nothing anyone can say to you that would justify instigating physical violence. Unless you are clearly defending yourself from physical attack, you could be charged with criminal assault and potentially civil lawsuit.

Do not defend your property:
Your stuff is only stuff. When I worked in bank operations we repeatedly advised tellers to hand over the money quickly and politely to bank robbers. There is nothing in your wallet or purse or in your home that is worth your life or injury or the life or injury of another person. Let it go.

ESCAPE at all costs:
This is a difficult one, if you are approached in a parking lot, for example, and someone tries to force you into a car, RESIST AND FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT. Yes, you may be injured trying to escape, but if someone exerts their control and gets you to a remote location, you are probably going to die anyway and likely in a more horrible way if you don't do everything in your power to prevent being taken to an isolated location.

Lastly, and this is a very tough decision; but if someone takes a family member hostage and demands your compliance – ESCAPE, even if you leave the family member behind. If the criminal takes control of both of you, it will not end well. By one of you escaping, the criminal has lost control and knows now that help may be soon on the way.
Here is the link to the article. Read it, pass it on, and be safe!

The Truth about Violence - 3 Principles of Self-Defense
by Sam Harris.

1. Pair can face trial in Washington in three-state killing rampage, Los Angeles Times.

2. Brooke Wilberger Found: Killer Gives Location of Remains to Avoid Death Penalty, ABCNew.com

3. Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in the Home, New England Journal of Medicine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Eye of Newt

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

clueless — adj
helpless; stupid, ignorant, uninformed

I haven’t been blogging much about the political climate, primarily because my blood pressure is currently under control without need for medication; but seriously, far many other bloggers cover politics much more eloquently than I can.

However, I was forced to do a double-take as I caught a glimpse of a clip of Newt Gingrich railing about the Occupy Wall Street protesters – specifically when he said this about them on national TV:
“… get a job right after you take a bath!”
Hello Newt… anyone in there? You have got to be absolutely without question most blatantly f*#king CLUELESS politician on the planet!

Newt, Baby, the OWS protesters would absolutely LOVE to have a job… some of them at this point would take pretty much ANY job! I know it’s a bit over your limited intellect to understand but, as it turns out, the lack of jobs is EXACTLY WHY they are occupying Wall Street!

You see, you and your conservative cronies and their corporate handlers have systematically dismantled the working class in this country over the last 30 years. You guys basically sent their jobs to China, remember?

But hey Newt, I am in agreement with you; let’s get those lazy louts with their hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid student loan debt, out of those parks. How about asking your “Job Creator” friends, you know, the Bush Tax Cut recipients, to let us all know when all those unfilled jobs you want the OWS people to take will be kicking in? We're all still waiting, you little rascal "Job Creators" you.

I’m thinking I need to write to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Company to suggest a new picture to be associated with their definition for the word “Clueless”. Unfortunately I’m having a bit of difficult deciding which of the two pictures above best illustrates that definition. Perhaps my readers could help me decide.

Which is more stupid; being stupid or being stupid on camera? You decide.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wandering in the Desert

The "shock and awe" of having survived a rather nasty open-heart surgery earlier this year has pretty much ebbed; as a result, I find myself now somewhat adrift in the doldrums (isn't that a great word?) Acquiring focus or grasping onto anything even moderately interesting eludes me at the present moment... obviously blogging and following my friend's blogs among them. I have a new shot at life, but for the moment, I don't quite know where to aim.

I have avoided browsing my Huffington Post app on the i-Pad and have opted for watching Jeopardy and Seinfeld reruns over the nightly news. The whole of America's strategic long-term planning extends no further than November 2012 - as a result, my predictions for our future are as remarkably easy to predict as they are dismal... and this is regardless of which party snatches the Oval Office. It looks like the NBA players and owners cannot come to an agreement so there will be no basketball season this year. I am completely bored by basketball anyway, so there ya go!

On a lighter note, this last weekend my granddaughter accompanied me to the Portland Humanist Film Festival where my short, The Fairy Scientist, starring my granddaughter Lydia, won an award. During the short Q&A session following acceptance of our award, most of the audience wanted to know if Lydia still believed in fairies. Her answer: she doesn't have enough "proof" yet. She is so bright!

So for the time being I'm just lurking. For those of you who inquired if I was "alright", (Nance, Ohren and others) thank you... Although I will add that I have had my fill lately of doctors and procedures. I am fine.

Regarding the header photo. I tried to find out if this sign was a hoax; I found nothing on Snopes.com or anywhere else so I am guessing it may be legit.