Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Trading Spouses - question for the masses

I am lounging, waiting for my hair to dry and I flipped on the TV to drink my Sam Adams Lite beer (not bad, by the way--ice cold on this awful hot day).

Anyway, Trading Spouses is on, and I just watched a scene with a supposed "liberal" (white woman married to a black man with mixed kids) trades places with a flag-waving "neo-con".

Liberal mom catches kid putting salt on worms and snails watching them die. LIberal mom has a hissy fit.

Someone neo-con dad and liberal mom get into an altercation, discussing this little boy who liberal mom calls a potential serial-killer. Neo-con boy's sister got her eye put out with a BB gun, neo-con brother is in Iraq war.

Liberal mom says neo-con dad is setting a poor example because neo-con boy could easily become a Columbine stereotype or something.

Neo-con dad says something about how his kids aren't violent, etc. Liberal mom asks "so what would you do if your son dies in Iraq?" I believe her implication is that his son wouldn't have volunteered for Iraq were it not for the violence, gun-loving promoted by the dad.

Neo-con dad lost it and walked out.

This sort of thing is what I imagine is typical of what is going through the minds of people on each side.

At first I thought liberal mom overreacted. THen I thought, well my little bro is all man but he was the daredevil type. I never ever remember seeing him kill living things for the fun of it, or at least not watch them die and laugh.

It makes me wonder if liberal mom is right.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 9th, 2005
"Someone neo-con dad and liberal mom get into an altercation,"

should be


"So neo-con dad and liberal mom get into an altercation,"

...

I should add that neo-con dad believes his son went to Iraq because he is courageous, not because of violence taught in the home.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 9th, 2005
I don't think I actually had a question for the masses. I was just shocked to see this confrontation and wanted to share.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 9th, 2005
Often these confrontations are pre-written.
Permalink Almost H. Anonymous 
August 9th, 2005
You mean reality TV isn't real?


I'm a sucka.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 9th, 2005
The differences between modern reality shows and Jerry Springer:

1. Reality shows are somewhat more believable (Flava-Flav shacking up with Brigitte Nielson vs. lesbian Nazi hookers)
2. Springer was more entertaining (see: lesbian Nazi hookers, above)
3. Reality shows have shallow people as stars.
4. Springer has people willing to do anything for a buck. And I mean *anything*
5. Reality shows can afford better writers.
Permalink example 
August 9th, 2005
Whether or not it results in antisocial behavior, self-destructive impulses, or sniping from bell towers, hurting things and watching them die for the pleasure of it is not behavior I would tolerate from my child. Period.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 9th, 2005
What Philo said, but furthermore, here's an entire book about how violence towards animals is correlated with violence towards humans:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1557531064/104-3838467-7804750?v=glance

I've heard this anecdotally many times, and it appears that there is research to back it up.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 9th, 2005
How did you establish that he was a neo-con as opposed to just a con?
Permalink KC 
August 9th, 2005
Yeah, it's largely what drove me to (psuedo) vegetarianism. One woman I greatly respect chose vegeetarianism out of consistency, she flet she couldn't harm the animal, so she wouldn't eat it.

I, on the other hand, found it altogether too easy to harm, and chose to try to modify that behavior in myself. I think it's had an effect.
Permalink Mongo 
August 9th, 2005
I used to burn ants, spiders (legs first) and flies with a magnifying glass.

..oh, and hunt flies down in the house with a piece of elastic.

when I got older, I shot rabbits and possum with various relatives.

now Im a pacifist, and dont kill anything anymore if I can help it.

nothing big changed me, just a gradual drift of ideas as I grew and matured.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 9th, 2005
"when I got older, I shot rabbits and possum with various relatives."

Did you eat them, or just leave them to rot?

If the former, you were certainly no more cruel than any other non vegetarian (and, of course, no less).
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 9th, 2005
It's not uncommon for boys to torture animals. BUT, when discovered, it must be dealt with extremely seriously. Studies show that almost all violent criminals tortured small animals as children.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 9th, 2005
Studies have also shown that *all* violent criminals breathed air. For your own safety, and the safety of those around you, I suggest you stop doing so immediately.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 9th, 2005
Philo, the logician. How apropos.

:p
Permalink sharkfish 
August 9th, 2005
Much less that all non-criminals tortured small animals. It's not a good sign in general.

What sort of animals did you enjoy torturing as a youth? Ho you feel that your experiences there led to your decision to join the military and then Microsoft?
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 9th, 2005
Wow, pouring salt on worms is now considered the equivalent of burning puppies? What a sad sad world we live in.

My guess would be that the kids who turn in to serial killers do so because they get so screwed up by the wackos who can't figure out that there are differences between worms and dogs and humans. Reminds me of the old PETA "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" line.
Permalink SomeBody 
August 9th, 2005
My reply was intended for Rich, but may I point out that you've got logical issues as well.

No, putting salt on worms is not equivalent to burning puppies. But then burning puppies isn't equivalent to shooting up schools, either.

I wouldn't want my kid doing any of the above. As I said, if my child was deriving pleasure from the suffering of other things, there are problems afoot. Not because Rich thinks it means they'll be in a bell tower in sixteen years, or because that particular form of life is somehow sacred - mainly because I simply don't want my kids deriving pleasure from suffering. At all.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 9th, 2005
Philo, I have stated no logical errors. your reasoning is faulty that you think I have.

"Studies show that almost all violent criminals tortured small animals as children."

This is true. It's also true that almost all of them breathed air, drank milk and played in sandboxes. However, of children who did not become violent criminals, although all of them breathed air, drank milk and played in sandboxes, much fewer of them tortured small animals.

It's like how almost all rapists are compulsive about pornography. Now, among the general public the rate of pornograptic obsession is lower than rapists.

See, there is a correlation between some of these things but not others. Correlation deosn't imply causation, therefore we shouldn't arrest them as children for FutureCrime, but it does mean that we can use this information to usefully intervene in children who are at higher risk of becoming psychopaths.

But I do understand that you are incapable of comprehending what I just said because you are a nitwit.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 10th, 2005
"Wow, pouring salt on worms is now considered the equivalent of burning puppies?"

Actually, both are equally as good in showing propensity towards psychopathy. The key is that the child derives pleasure from the suffering of other creatures or people. This is a bad thing. The size or species of the creature is not relevant in terms of the correlations.
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 10th, 2005
Here are some references with statistics:

http://www.cfhs.ca/Programs/HumaneEducation/ViolenceLink/ccbackgrounder4.htm

Animal abusers often suffer from low self-esteem, a history of family abuse, frustration and an inability to manage anger. Childhood cruelty may provide a child with a sense of power and mastery over animals. Typical factors are revenge, retaliation, intimidation, deviant arousal or peer pressure.

In one American study, 118 out of 135 criminals, including robbers and rapists, admitted that when they were children, they had burned, hanged and stabbed domestic animals.

78% of 63 people charged with animal cruelty had also been charged with violence or threats of violence against people (Jim McIsaac, Winnipeg Police Services).

152 criminal subjects reported 373 acts involving undue harm to animals. 60% reported at least one or more acts of childhood cruelty toward animals. 41% reported 1 - 2 cruelties, 11% admitted 3 - 4 cruel acts towards animals and 8% indicated 5 or more animal cruelties during childhood. 25% of aggressive criminals reported 5 or more childhood cruelties compared to less than 6% of moderate and nonaggressive criminals. 3/4 of all aggressive criminal subjects reported excessive and repeated child abuse. (Kellert and Felthous "Childhood Cruelty Toward Animals Among Criminals and Non-Criminals", Human Relations Volume 38, No. 12, PP. 1113 - 1129).

61% of 39 women who had been abused by their partners and were living in women's shelters in Hamilton and Owen Sound said their pets had either been abused or killed by their partners. 48% said concern for the safety of their pets prevented them from leaving their abusive home sooner.

Three surveys of women's shelters in Wisconsin and Utah showed an average of 74% of women with pets reported that their animals had been threatened, injured or killed by their abuser.

83% of families in Britain with a history of animal abuse were identified by social service agencies as at risk for child abuse or neglect (Royal SPCA, Britain, 1981).

58% of sexual homicide perpetrators who were sexually abused as children recounted childhood animal cruelty (Dr. Patricia Schene "One By One Is Not the Only Way" Advocate Fall/Winter 1993).
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 10th, 2005
Nuts to you Rogers, the animal torture thing is a lousy predictor. But there is one predictor that is nigh on correct every time. The Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Police Service's Sex Crimes Unit uncovered a 'dark fact' about *all* of the child molestaters they have arrested over the last five years, all of them but one, and that's a damn lot of child molestors: They were all hard core Star Trek fans, or Trekkies. This is a fact and if you don't believe me, check the April 27 Los Angeles Times story that covers this little tidbit in detail.
Permalink Danielle Waters 
August 10th, 2005
Danielle, that absurd LA Times article has long been debunked:

http://www.corante.com/importance/archives/2005/04/28/la_times_claim_about_pedophiles_wrong.php
Permalink Rich Rogers 
August 10th, 2005
That only shows that the detective was interviewed and maybe it wasn't all but one, it was just the overwhelming majority of them. Big deal. So the LA Times engaged in a small abount of hyperbole. The original facts remain. The survey showed that most hard core Star Trek "Trekkie" people are pedophiles. Now that is a proven scientific fact. You can argue with me, but you can't argue with figures.
Permalink Danielle Waters 
August 10th, 2005
"The survey showed that most hard core Star Trek "Trekkie" people are pedophiles"

Wow.

Anyway. I don't think the correlation is too surprising. I think many pedophiles want to be friends with young people since they couldn't relate to other adults.
Permalink Rick Tang 
August 10th, 2005
I wonder if the Egyptians with their cult of the After Life, the continuing story of Isis and Osiris playing over their head, were as gullible a set of folk as we appear to be in this modern era.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 10th, 2005
>> The survey showed that most hard core Star
>> Trek "Trekkie" people are pedophiles.

No, the survey showed that most pedophiles are trekkies. You cannot invert the study unless you have gone to a trek convention and asked all of the participants 'Are you a pedophile?'.

In the same vein, the assertion above that criminals abused small animals as children is meaningless without knowing how many children who performed this action did not become criminals. As Philo said above 100% of criminals where converting oxygen to carbon dioxide as children as well. Lets lock up all the 02 --> CO2 producing children as a 'preventative' measure.
Permalink sam 
August 10th, 2005
++As I said, if my child was deriving pleasure from the suffering of other things...

I put salt on slugs when I was a kid. I also burned ants and other insects with a magnifying glass. It had absolutely nothing to do with enjoying their suffering though. It was all about the visuals of slimy stuff and smoke.
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 10th, 2005
We put salt on slugs when they increase to the point of infestation, which is what they were when we moved into the house some 16 years ago. This was not done out of cruelty but as a less poisonous way of getting rid of them, it meant neither the cats nor the birds would be likely to ingest slug pellets.

I doubt that salt on worms would have much effect, they're built entirely differently.
Permalink Simon Lucy 
August 10th, 2005
It's normal for little kids to do stuff to ants, flies, spiders, etc. We all did it - it was part of sitting around outside digging holes in the ground and whatnot. We grew out of it.

The difference between normal kids and potential serial killers is that the future killers are torturing mammals, often their own pets or someone else's. I mean, if anyone over the age of four gets off on hurting furry li'l critters, there may very well be some issues that need to be addressed.
Permalink Dana (formerly Blue State Bitch) 
August 10th, 2005
Not quite in the same vein, but on Bob and Tom's radio show this morning they had a comic talking about discovering his daughter sucking their labrador's nipples.

I really do not think I could handle that. What the hell do you do about that, anyway?
Permalink I am Jack's infinite id 
August 10th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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