Saturday, October 14, 2006

Blog Juice

Well, apparently everyone is taking a look at their ranking on the new Blog Juice Calculator that determines one's blog rank by the number of Blogline subscribers, links, Technorati and Alexa ranking. Okay, so my blog does not have the highest ranking (why the heck would it? I work off a free blogger site, post less than most and have some odd ideas according to some) but it is not the worse. A Blog Juice score of 5.5--I'll take that.

My Blog Juice

Friday, October 13, 2006

Let's Roll

Sometimes, fighting back may be the answer; it seems that a school in Burleson, Texas is teaching kids not to comply with a gunman's orders when it comes to school violence:

Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got - books, pencils, legs and arms.

"Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success," said Robin Browne, a major in the British Army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools.
Hat tip: Instapundit and Joanne Jacobs.

Of course, there is no sure strategy to use when confronted with a mass murderer but denial and regressive behavior such as hiding under a desk do not appear to be the best option either. I am not the only psychologist to think this. In his book, Violence Risk and Threat Assessment, forensic psychologist J. Reid Meloy states:

I have worked several mass murder cases during both criminal and civil suits, and I have discovered something that has important implications for survival: the people who live through these horrible events are active and aggressive. They either run out of the building, or if cornered, they aggress against the perpretrator, and then run. People who are killed do not run or hide effectively: they usually choose obvious hiding places, like under a desk or table. As a psychologist, this behavior appears to be acutely regressive-like the child who hides in an obvious place, believing that if he closes his eyes and cannot see, he won't be seen.

My guess is that most experts will err on the side of caution and denial such as this:

Hilda Quiroz of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in California, said she knows of no other school system in the country that is offering fight-back training, and found the strategy at Burleson troubling.

"If kids are saved, then this is the most wonderful thing in the world. If kids are killed, people are going to wonder who's to blame," she said.

So, it is better to let children die while hiding under a table just so no one will later be blamed. Isn't that a little heartless?

Update: Well, the Burleson program has been halted, of course, too dangerous. So kids, just go back to hiding under those desks, that will really stop the violence.

A Word on Podcast Transcripts

Many of our listeners and readers have asked for transcipts of the Glenn and Helen Show podcasts. Transcripts will be available about one week or so after the podcast is put up on our sites. You can view the transcripts at the Pajamas Media site here at PoliticsCentral. The transcript of our interview with Judge Richard Posner is now up. Judge Posner is the author of the book, Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency. It is an interesting and thought-provoking read. Thanks again to all of our listeners and readers for being interested enough in the podcast interviews to suggest transcripts.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

So, the Amish school house where ten girls were shot by Charles Carl Roberts IV is now demolished:

Workers with machines moved in before dawn Thursday and demolished the one-room Amish schoolhouse where a gunman fatally shot five girls and injured five others.

Though known for constructing buildings without the aid of modern technology, the Amish relied on an outside demolition crew with heavy machinery to bring closure to the painful chapter in their peaceful community.....

β€œI think the Amish leaders made the right decision,” Mike Hart, a spokesman for the Bart Fire Company, said as loaders lifted debris into dump trucks to be hauled away.

A group of 20 to 30 people, most of them Amish, gathered nearby to watch as the schoolhouse was leveled. β€œIt seems this is a type of closure for them,” Hart said.

I guess it's already been ten whole days since the killing and everyone, including the Amish, want closure on this horrible incident. So now that the murderer has been forgiven and the school demolished, I wonder if that will help erase the memory of the five murdered girls from their minds? If it is true that the Amish think that the girls are better off than their survivors, why knock down the school house at all--shouldn't it stand as a symbol of these girls going to a better place?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Podcast with the Secretary of the Army

We are joined today by the Secretary of the United States Army Francis J. Harvey who talks with us about recruitment of new troops, retention of old troops, the Army's new advertising campaign--"Army Strong"--and other pressing issues. My interest in speaking with him was in finding out if opposition to the military in high school and college campuses was a concern, if the Army has lowered or raised its standards on the qualification test in recent years (so many psychological patients in the past have told me that as teens or young people, they were given a choice between jail and the army) and to ask about the reinstatement of the draft which seems to be a scare tactic of the antiwar crowd. If you want to know the answers to these questions or learn more about the current state of army recruitment, take a listen to the podcast.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Podcast with LT Smash

Glenn had dinner and interviewed LT Smash, blogger, soldier, and contributor to a new book, The Blog of War: Front-Line Dispatches from Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. During dinner at Calhoun's (there seems to be a theme that we take all bloggers out for barbecue), LT talks about Cindy Sheehan's fast, his part in a book of military bloggers, his travels and his face-off with Code Pink protestors at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Ahh, yes, if only a Hug-In could end this little Middle Eastern problem.

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