Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Thought control
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, April 26, 2007

In the wake of Va Tech and what is being learned about Cho, it isn't at all surprising that there would be some sensitivity too and awareness of writings which are "disturbing". However:
High school senior Allen Lee sat down with his creative writing class on Monday and penned an essay that so disturbed his teacher, school administrators and police that he was charged with disorderly conduct.

"I understand what happened recently at Virginia Tech," said the teen's father, Albert Lee, referring to last week's massacre of 32 students by gunman Seung-Hui Cho. "I understand the situation.

But he added: "I don't see how somebody can get charged by writing in their homework. The teacher asked them to express themselves, and he followed instructions."
This is simply an overreaction and just as disturbing, in my opinion, as his essay may have been.
Disorderly conduct, which carries a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine, is filed for pranks such as pulling a fire alarm or dialing 911. But it can also apply when someone's writings can disturb an individual, Delelio said.

"The teacher was alarmed and disturbed by the content," he said.

But a civil rights advocate said the teacher's reaction to an essay shouldn't make it a crime.

"One of the elements is that some sort of disorder or disruption is created," said Ed Yohnka, a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "When something is done in private—when a paper is handed in to a teacher—there isn't a disruption."
Additionally what constitutes "disturbing" writing? Will it disturb everyone who reads it? Or would only this teacher consider it "disturbing"? Who gets to decide?

Certainly if a teacher finds it disturbing and fears a problem, he or she should notify ... the parents. Yes, the parents. Time for a good old parent/teacher/student get-together, wouldn't you say? And, if you must, maybe even include a counselor if you're so inclined. But the police? Disorderly conduct?
Experts say the charge against Lee is troubling because it was over an essay that even police say contained no direct threats against anyone at the school. However, Virginia Tech's actions toward Cho came under heavy scrutiny after the killings because of the "disturbing" plays and essays teachers say he had written for classes.

Simmie Baer, an attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, called the Cary incident an example of zero-tolerance policies gone awry. Children, she said, are not as sophisticated as adults and often show emotion through writing or pictures, which is what teachers should want because it is a safe outlet.
Zero-tolerance policies have come to replace common sense. That's because their "one-size-fits-all" situations rules direct that no exceptions can be made. I remember well the little girl here in GA who was suspended because some school administrator thought her Tweety Bird key chain could be used as a weapon. The policy said anyone with a weapon should be suspended and she was.

Now, as in this case, what one person finds "disturbing" in another's writing is enough to have that person arrested?

Overreactions like this (and why in the world did the cops go along with this?) are as big a threat to liberty as anything contained in the Patriot Act. It is time for everyone to calm down a bit and take a more measured and rational approach to situations like this.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Will it disturb everyone who reads it? Or would only this teacher consider it "disturbing"?
Well, obviously it "disturbed" school administrators and the police in addition to his teacher, but I suspect that the former was knee-jerkism (maybe he wrote against abortion), and the cops just acted in order to cover their own butts "just in case, ya know?".

Sad no matter how you slice it...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
But it can also apply when someone’s writings can disturb an individual, Delelio said.
Boy, Stephen King is in a whole heap of trouble. Is it a separate count for each individual who was disturbed after reading It?
 
Written By: Jinnmabe
URL: http://
And they’ll probably mumble ’zero tolerance’, ’no choice’ if someone presses them on it, while pretending they didn’t actually have an alternative.

The kid? Well, I mean, once this is done with and they take whatever corrective action they take, "the kid can come back to school and start fresh!", and those internet background checks that people will be running on him when he applies for jobs later (and can’t get them because this WILL show up in the checks), well, those won’t affect the teacher’s pay, and the kid won’t be their problem at that point anyway.

I mean why trouble themselves to determine if the kid is a loner, or seems to have other social problems, or is in fact, other than this assignment, essentially a normal kid. Screw that, he wrote something that disturbed me because last week a looney shot up Virginia Tech.

I suggest we have Steven King arrested, Thomas Harris too.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Zero Tolerance" is a philosophy based on not having to think or to make and defend critical judgments.

Bob, NHS President, Prom King, Football Captain, Eagle Scout brings a butter knife to school! ARGH! A WEAPON, we have ZERO TOLERANCE, Expulsion and Alternative School for him!

Bubba, 1.25 GPA, local thug, bully and drug dealer, brings a Glock to school...he too gets expulsion and Alternative School.

Because the Principal and Administration don’t want to have to make a critical judgment and then defend it, that well Bob is the better person and certainly shouldn’t be punished for what he did, whilst Bubba is Scum of the Earth and the Prison system is readying his cell for him even as we speak and so we really do need to punish him. Oh No, too difficult, better the "Zero Tolerance" strategy, "our hands are tied...." we don’t have to think or face angry parents or "community activists" we just expel both of them...

And this story illustrates the problem with dealing with "Cho Seung-Hui’s". Are "creepy stories" really something to expel someone over? At what point are we willing to say, "Yuck, get out of here." When the kid at the LDS school writes a story about his sister becoming an astronaut, when the Kid at St. Perpetua of the Eternal Motion writes a story about the Popessa? When the kid at the Michael Moore School of the Creative and Performing Arts writes a story praising George Bush?

Finally, all this hoopla and bother about "creepy/disturbing" stories, says this, even if you do expel the Cho Seung-Hui’s have you really saved anyone’s life? What if THIS event, is the event that pushes the little tyke over the edge..."Expel ME will ya, oh you’re gonna pay for THAT!"

Va. Tech made a case for increased CCW. It didn’t make a case for "Mental Health"...because it’s just not clear that worrying about Cho’s mental health would have done any good, or the good it did would have been outweighed by the bad. It’s not like CCW is a panacea, but it is the option that works best or better than other alternatives.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It is time to start calling the cops any time a teacher/admin says anything that disturbs a student. Let them see how they like it.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
Because the Principal and Administration don’t want to have to make a critical judgment and then defend it...
Joe, as best as I can tell, educators don’t want to make *any* judgment and then defend it. Whenever possible, school policies are written to require little or no judgment, which is why educators are so fond of, e.g., school uniforms. Rather than have gray areas (are those jeans too frayed to wear?) they would rather just make everything black and white.

I view this as a particular failure in educators because one of their main tasks is preparing children for life as an adult in a complex society. Well, a complex society has many gray areas. Pretending that everything is black and white necessarily means they fail at one of their main missions.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Sadly I have to agree, Mr. Hollis.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Va. Tech made a case for increased CCW.
That’s true.
It didn’t make a case for "Mental Health"...because it’s just not clear that worrying about Cho’s mental health would have done any good, or the good it did would have been outweighed by the bad.
That’s bullsh!t.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It didn’t make a case for "Mental Health"...because it’s just not clear that worrying about Cho’s mental health would have done any good, or the good it did would have been outweighed by the bad.
That’s bullsh!t.
How so? Would have expelling Cho made him LESS angry and therefore less dangerous? Would expelling Cho and committing him against his will been better? On the basis of violent stories? Can we then hospitalize Quentin Tarantino? That was the point I was trying to make...

I await your response and illumination of your critique.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Children, she said, are not as sophisticated as adults and often show emotion through writing or pictures, which is what teachers should want because it is a safe outlet."

This is the point I wanted to make and then I saw someone else made it.

I don’t think that teenagers necessarily are less sophisticated than adults but they are more powerless. They also are prone to attempting to be profound or shocking.

Writing evil down is a way to be in control of the world. It’s like the children of a friend of mine who, after 9-11, built block towers and flew toy airplanes into them. It’s about exerting control over what they can not control and what frightens them.

And then there’s just the teenage/college student *thing* where they haven’t discovered yet that "disturbing" isn’t the same thing as "art."

Granted, I do try to gently encourage my oldest daughter not to disturb people with her art. If she were older people would react differently, and it’s not fair, but it’s still polite not to deliberately upset people.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
That was the point I was trying to make...
Mental Health is about the only thing the VA Tech massacre is definite argument for, in the form of locking up people posing so obvious a threat as Cho did.

Expelling him has nothing to do with Mental Health.

I can’t think of why you associate the two.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I don’t think that teenagers necessarily are less sophisticated than adults but they are more powerless
Whilst the rest of what you wrote wasn’t wrong, this is just WRONG. Teenagers ARE less sophisticated...and I don’t mean they might drink a Merlot with fish or that they might imagine the Last Boy Scout to be a fine film oevre. They have far less experience and apparently their brains are not yet fully developed and so they think less "well" than adults, on the whole. As I tried to tell a precocious relative, once...."Yes for a 15 y.o. you have an amazing mental d-base, no doubt you are a d-base of 120 meg, and the average 15 y.o. only has a d-base of 75 meg, sadly to function in a minimal way as an adult you need a d-base of 200 meg. You know everything you know, and it’s a lot, but it’s not near what you need to know to be an adult or to be allowed to make adult choices." Needless to say, as I knew it would be, this passed over the relative’s head and left only an eye-roll. Children are God’s punishment/penance for adults....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Mental Health is about the only thing the VA Tech massacre is definite argument for, in the form of locking up people posing so obvious a threat as Cho did.
he was a threat? How so? He stalked, so you would propose we incarcerate or hospitalize ALL accused of stalking? He wrote an obscenity-laced and violent play, again you have seen Reservoir Dogs, From Dusk "til Dawn, Pulp Fiction, and both Kill Bills, right?
Expelling him has nothing to do with Mental Health.
I simply say that Va. Tech could have expelled him I guess...for being "creepy." I just wonder how "Creepy" is going to play out in court, I mean is there a definition of "creepy" or is there an appeals process for "creepy?"

But you’re right Va. Tech had administrative options and medical options, and I conflate the two. I still ask, though, what options ought we be comfortable with? Bearing in mind that in the 1990’s one of the Ivy League schools asked a student to leave because he made a female student, "Uncomfortable." Of course, they paid for his schooling at another Ivy League school...what options would you grant a school in removing dangerous or disturbing students, whether they are crazy or not?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe, Cho was batsh!t nuts. I’ve only ever met one person as obviously in need of involuntary counseling, and she went around with a cloak and staff pretending to be the male wizard Raistlin from the Dragonlance series of books...

And she was more of a threat to herself if anyone, and presently, she’s ok and married with two kids.

If she’d been stalking people, never met them in the eye, always quietly mumbled, and wrote violent, disjointed plays in the horrendous grammar indicative of the confused mind of a schizophrenic, then I’d agree she should have been committed. But even she was far from qualifying for committment.

You seem not to have recognized the extent to which Cho presented in the last months the very rare textbook image of someone who was effed in the head and in need of self-protective incarceration.

Tarantino writes violent plays, but they aren’t aimed at anyone he knows, and he doesn’t stalk people and can coherently hold his end of a conversation. It is remarkably tenditious even for you to suggest his behavior is on a par with Cho’s.

And frankly, if locking people as clearly mad as Cho was means that we lock-up a few thousand people, that’s probably still better than the occasional massacre plus having homeless people having long arguments with library broom closets and heating grates.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
So Tom let me get this straight YOU’RE libertaian right?
And frankly, if locking people as clearly mad as Cho was means that we lock-up a few thousand people, that’s probably still better than the occasional massacre plus having homeless people having long arguments with library broom closets and heating grates.
And if some of them really AREN’T crazy or a threat, can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, right?

Dante put several Popes, one sitting, and peole he KNEW into He!!, is that writing disturbing? Can we commit or rather could we have committed him?

Seems like Tom Perkins is in favour of freedom for HIMSELF, but doesn’t mind limiting the freedoms of others...

Most mentally ill people, as you admit, are no threat to others, was Cho DSM-IV demonstrably different from other mentally ill folks? Oh sure in RETROSPECT, he was, but at the time, and tomorrow?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I view this as a particular failure in educators because one of their main tasks is preparing children for life as an adult in a complex society.
I think you missed the target with the blame. The core of the problem is the parents who will show up and demand their kid doesn’t deserve punishment for whatever they’ve done and kick, yell, and scream until the punishment is lifted. Now if any discresion has ever been used to not punish the guy with the butter knife, Bubba’s mom will start the argument how this knife is just a bit bigger, you’re only doing this because we’re poor, blah blah blah.

Many of today’s insane education policies come out of parents refusing to be parents and sure refusing to believe that THEIR kid could have possibly done anything wrong. And even if he did, he sure as hell doesn’t deserve to be punished for it.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
So Tom let me get this straight YOU’RE libertaian right?
Much moreso than you are.
And frankly, if locking people as clearly mad as Cho was means that we lock-up a few thousand people, that’s probably still better than the occasional massacre plus having homeless people having long arguments with library broom closets and heating grates.

And if some of them really AREN’T crazy or a threat, can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, right?
If I were to propose locking up persons who were mentally ill enough to merely be inconvenient, then I think that number would have been in the high tens or low hundreds of thousands. Most of the people who are violently mentally ill already end up incarcerated, just not so effectually as psych committment would be.
Dante put several Popes, one sitting, and peole he KNEW into He!!, is that writing disturbing?
Several of the Borgia Popes likely would have thought they got off lightly in the Inferno, and no, Dante’s writing is not even slightly disturbing.
Can we commit or rather could we have committed him?
I certainly would not, AFAIK of him.
Seems like Tom Perkins is in favour of freedom for HIMSELF, but doesn’t mind limiting the freedoms of others...
I don’t mind the committment of the criminally insane, in fact I endorse it.
Most mentally ill people, as you admit, are no threat to others, was Cho DSM-IV demonstrably different from other mentally ill folks?
Yes, he was demonstrably worse off then most mentally ill people.
Oh sure in RETROSPECT, he was, but at the time, and tomorrow?
Yes at the time he was crazy and foreseeably quite violent.

Tomorrow is something he and 32 other people don’t have to worry about anymore, isn’t it?

And, you could see it coming.

Joe, you don’t think I approve of what this school administration did in the post above, do you?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Several of the Borgia Popes likely would have thought they got off lightly in the Inferno, and no, Dante’s writing is not even slightly disturbing.
Disturbing to WHOM, Tom? Mayhap it disturbed several folks in Dante’s time? So the point being define "disturbing" well enough that we get Cho, but not Tarantino and Dante? Or the kid in the story...
Most mentally ill people, as you admit, are no threat to others, was Cho DSM-IV demonstrably different from other mentally ill folks?
Yes, he was demonstrably worse off then most mentally ill people.
You have some evidence of this, that Cho was more DEMONSTRABLY disturbed and dangerous than the schizophrenic you mentioned? So there is a test we can give that will provide a measure of the "danger" a person represents?
Joe, you don’t think I approve of what this school administration did in the post above, do you?
No, I don’t think you do, today, UNLESS the kid goes out and blasts 10 people tomorrow, and THEN you’ll approve of it.

My point being that "disturbing" and "Dangerous" works and words are pretty nebulous things, to be distringuished from actions...so I want you to provide some basis, or reference work, or process whereby we can determine if a person’s words and works are disturbed enough to justify commitment....The women at Va Tech did not press charges against Cho for stalking, so legally there waas NO ACT for which he could be committed or expelled. I basically see your postings as ex post facto arguments, based on what we know TODAY, Va. Tech ought to have done this YESTERDAY, only I don’t think it’s justifiable to claim that and I’d like a little evidence to support your assertions.
So Tom let me get this straight YOU’RE libertaian right?
Much moreso than you are.
Until it comes to locking up the supposedly dangerous, and then not so much. CCW is the better more libertarian approach. It grants the Cho’s of the world liberty and it grants the Emily Hilscher’s the ability to defend themselves from the Cho’s they meet. It’s not perfect, but it doesn’t involve someone being "disturbed" by a piece of art and having the artist locked up and evaluated...any way I’m told that Art is SUPPOSED to be disturbing? Or is that only when it attacks Opressive Hetero-Normaity?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’ll ramble on, apologies to Led Zeppelin, this kid will this arrest be on his record? What if he’s convicted? Will that conviction be on his record? Will it interfere with his life after school? Will he be able to be an attorney, a Marine, will it affect his ability to procure a concealed carry permit? All based on the claim that his teacher was "disturbed." If that doesn’t cause us all to take a little pause what does?

And Tom I’m not trying to spark a personal war, here, but I just think that when you step back from what happened at Va. Tach and ask what could we have concluded from Cho, BEFORE the shootings I just don’t see that your idea is a good one. Because it puts folks in the same position that the teenager is in, someone is "frightened" by them and suddenly they get committed for evaluation?

I just see that as a terribly dangerous position...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
will this arrest be on his record? What if he’s convicted? Will that conviction be on his record?
Joe,
Good points, and the answer is ’maybe’. It’s going to depend on a lot of factors as to how well his lawyer handles things (so it’s all about the money now).

But in the meantime, yes, there’s almost certainly evidence, net background check available, that he’s been arrested for whatever they charged him with.
It only remains to be seen if he gets tried, or if it receives deferred adjudication, or if he can ultimately get it all expunged. All of which can
be found in net searches (kiss normal employment goodbye, kiss becoming a lawyer goodbye, in some places kiss getting an apartment goodbye!)

And one way or another, it’s about to cost his parents a lot more money than they probably wanted to spend, and maybe they don’t HAVE it. All because a teacher was disturbed because last week Cho went non-linear?

We’re creating the needed mindset for the modern equivilent of "She’s a witch!".


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
We’re creating the needed mindset for the modern equivilent of "She’s a witch!".
Yes, but you see we have a test to determine if she’s a witch.....and it involves a duck.

And joking aside, that’s my problem with Tom, do we have a reliable test to determine if Cho’s a witch or not?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Disturbing to WHOM, Tom? Mayhap it disturbed several folks in Dante’s time? So the point being define "disturbing" well enough that we get Cho, but not Tarantino and Dante? Or the kid in the story...
I am unaware, and I think would have heard, if Dante’s personal affect left people unwilling to be in the same room with him despite some notable social and personal obligations to be there. This is in contrast to Cho—to avoid him several students expressed a willingness to be flunked out of their classes with him, on the off chance he showed up even one more time. Merely writing "disturbing" things is not significant, but writing malevolent things directed at individuals certainly is grounds for concern.

You can leave off replying as if I have been saying "disturbing" writing alone warrants committment in all or most cases, if you want to be honest.
You have some evidence of this, that Cho was more DEMONSTRABLY disturbed and dangerous than the schizophrenic you mentioned? So there is a test we can give that will provide a measure of the "danger" a person represents?
Yes, of course, and all the evident I have is in the public record, and was available to several government officals and mental health personnel prior to the massacre.

And yes, for simple yes for sure/no not sure questions of mental hygiene, the DSM provides ample support for Cho’s having been committed. What there is not is sufficient legal and public policy cover to secure mental health professionals making that call.
No, I don’t think you do, today, UNLESS the kid goes out and blasts 10 people tomorrow, and THEN you’ll approve of it.
No, not on the basis of what is known today, no I won’t.
My point being that "disturbing" and "Dangerous" works and words are pretty nebulous things, to be distringuished from actions
Duhuh. Stalking!?
...so I want you to provide some basis, or reference work, or process whereby we can determine if a person’s words and works are disturbed enough to justify commitment
Writing out threats of criminal action against individuals and property is already a crime in and of itself, and so is stalking. What else you looking for?
The women at Va Tech did not press charges against Cho for stalking, so legally there was NO ACT for which he could be committed or expelled.
Sure there was, the judge involved exercised their discretion as to whether Cho’s commitment was involuntary or not, and there need not have been a conviction or even an indictment for the stalked student’s testimony to be relevant. Psych commitment is not a criminal proceeding, nor should it be. How supportive/influencing of the stalked students’ decision not to press charges was VA Tech’s administration, esp. in light of the teacher’s reports?
I basically see your postings as ex post facto arguments, based on what we know TODAY, Va. Tech ought to have done this YESTERDAY, only I don’t think it’s justifiable to claim that and I’d like a little evidence to support your assertions.
These
two
links may do to support my contention that he was not your run-of-the-mill oddball. The stalking I beleive is already common knowledge, I’ll dig up a reference if you feel it is genuinely without support.

If a teacher on their own initiative felt he had to be out of the classroom, the college administration was late to the gate. Before the SHTF.
Until it comes to locking up the supposedly dangerous,
Not supposedly, but beforehand, clearly.
and then not so much. CCW is the better more libertarian approach.
CCW is beneficial generally, and by the constitution, AFAIK, Vermont carry is the unrespected law of the land.

A genuinely libertarian approach would be that other person’s freely contracted insurance companies would have taken him out of circulation on investigating their complaints, and his or his guardians’ insurance company would have negotiated the terms of his release/incarceration as they found appropriate. Or they’d have sprung a commando op to free him, although I don’t think they’d have even contested his imprisonment.
It grants the Cho’s of the world liberty
Not a sole appropriate end in and of itself.
and it grants the Emily Hilscher’s the ability to defend themselves from the Cho’s they meet
Actually it requires they have a known sub-optimal avenue with which to protect themselves.
It’s not perfect
Too far from it, in fact, to be reasonable as a sole recourse.
but it doesn’t involve someone being "disturbed" by a piece of art and having the artist locked up and evaluated
And no where have I suggested that merely "disturbing" art is an appropriate trigger for involutary commitment, have I?
...any way I’m told that Art is SUPPOSED to be disturbing?
Not from adult human beings, you haven’t heard that. Those were some variety of deliberately permanent infant.
Or is that only when it attacks Opressive Hetero-Normaity?
OT, and whatever floats your boat Joe.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Duhuh. Stalking!?
Not CHARGED, Duh-UH...no charge no crime!
It grants the Cho’s of the world liberty
Not a sole appropriate end in and of itself.
Sorry Tom that’s pretty much it from the libertarian view...our personal autonomy, it’s why I’m not really a libertarian...as to the "insurance" angle, nice try EXCEPT he can counter-sue for deprivation of rights and freedom, not a clear-cut solution either and one more reson I’m not a libertarian, because they try this legalism/insurance/syndicalism approach and it has as many draw backs as other approaches.

In short, Tom demonstrate to me that Cho is more of a danger than your friend, the "warlock"...Cho, on the surface, seems far more functional. If you have any program or process or test, whip it out...

We need a trip-wire, not so sensitive that it snares teens like the one above, but that will catch the Cho Seung-Hui’s. And I keep mentioning disturbing art, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOT THIS GUY’S @RSE IN A CRACK! He’s up on Disturbing the Peace charges because of his ART! Hello Tom, that’s my point, being "disturbed" by words and images, within broad limits, is NOT or nor should it be actionable.

Cho was never charged with anything, he committed himself to evaluation, and he was released...tell me what ought to have happened? The evaluators found he REPRESENTED NO THREAT TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS. OOOPS, don’t they have egg on their faces? Now if a new diagnostic has come to hand, let’s hear of it...otherwise mostly this seems hindsight is 20/20.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I think you missed the target with the blame. The core of the problem is the parents who will show up and demand their kid doesn’t deserve punishment for whatever they’ve done and kick, yell, and scream until the punishment is lifted.
Granted that some (not all) parents are failing at their responsibilities also. I don’t see how that excuses the failure of the educators too.

The educators have set up a system that rewards bad behavior on the part of the parents. Again, it’s because they don’t want to make tough calls on what a kid should be responsible for, and then defend those decisions. So they take the easy way out and give the parents what they want on most minor matters.

Then, with parents conditioned to believe they can always override the educator’s judgement on things such as grades, the educators are stuck on how to enforce any rules at all. So they vaccilate between giving in to parents to avoid "conflict" and taking non-sensical stands based on zero-tolerance. Anything to avoid having to make value judgments in gray areas.

 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Not CHARGED, Duh-UH...no charge no crime!
No charge, no prosecution. To believe there was no crime, especially if even in hindsight is what you meant, is moronic.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
If you all remember, this zero-tolerance crap all really started in the wake of Columbine.

That was supposed to prevent that sort of thing from ever happening again!

Well, that didn’t work out very well did it?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I don’t think that teenagers necessarily are less sophisticated than adults
They’re probably as or more sophisticated than your average HS teacher or lifer college academic...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Not CHARGED, Duh-UH...no charge no crime!
No charge, no prosecution. To believe there was no crime, especially if even in hindsight is what you meant, is moronic.
Good Lord, Man...the very definition of a crime is charging someone and then prosecuting them!?

Otherwise I’m just going to have to say Tom, I don’t debate with CHILD MOLESTERS, and though no one has CHARGED you with it, and no one has PROSECUTED you for it, I simply claim you are one. And so, since you are a Child Molestor, I believe I have no need to debate with you.

I’m sorry but the argument you just advanced is just silly....he committed no crime, by the very definition of a crime.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
He committed no crime and until he committed his murderous act he wasn’t to be adjudged incompetent or insane....

You keep looking Cho in the rear view mirror, if you just met him today, you’d have no evidence he was a stalker or dangerous. The most you could say was, "Man that dude is weird, possibly crazy." But as far as to anything concrete there is nothing.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Sorry Tom that’s pretty much it from the libertarian view
If that’s what you think, I have good news, you have a correctable problem.
our personal autonomy
Actually, everyone’s personal liberty, until a swung fist hits someone’s nose (or is thrown at one).
it’s why I’m not really a libertarian
Well your good understanding of the philosophy certainly isn’t the reason.
as to the "insurance" angle, nice try EXCEPT he can counter-sue for deprivation of rights and freedom
So, he could do that now, how’s the current paradigm an improvement as far as that goes? And it certainly is a more "libertarian" approach than what you said was the libertarian one.
not a clear-cut solution either and one more reson I’m not a libertarian, because they try this legalism/insurance/syndicalism approach and it has as many draw backs as other approaches
If "better the devil you know" is the best you can come up with, that’s pretty weak.
In short, Tom demonstrate to me that Cho is more of a danger than your friend, the "warlock"...Cho, on the surface, seems far more functional.
She graduated and could hold up a conversation without—well much—raising the hair on the back of your neck, so she already had Cho beat by a mile. And she was not schizophrenic, just really stretching to avoid dealing with some other issues in her life. She got better without intervention, she dealt. Would’ve been easier if she’d had some support.
We need a trip-wire, not so sensitive that it snares teens like the one above, but that will catch the Cho Seung-Hui’s. And I keep mentioning disturbing art, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOT THIS GUY’S @RSE IN A CRACK! He’s up on Disturbing the Peace charges because of his ART! Hello Tom, that’s my point, being "disturbed" by words and images, within broad limits, is NOT or nor should it be actionable.
And the sum of Cho’s actions in the months prior to the shooting is a full and sufficient tripped wire, or should have been. You keep on obsessing about this guys’ "art", but Cho’s art alone should not have been enough to trigger even elevated scrutiny. There is no excuse to be made for this school’s actions in this boys’ case, the art is a red herring, and you’re swallowing it up to the leader.
Cho was never charged with anything, he committed himself to evaluation, and he was released...tell me what ought to have happened? The evaluators found he REPRESENTED NO THREAT TO HIMSELF OR OTHERS. OOOPS, don’t they have egg on their faces? Now if a new diagnostic has come to hand, let’s hear of it...otherwise mostly this seems hindsight is 20/20.
It is not hindsight to say that he should have been involuntarily committed. And the evaluators did not find he represented no threat, try reading more carefully. They found he represented no imminent threat, by which standard he’s ok to walk out the door unless he says out loud, "I’m going to kill so and so right now." or unless he assaults the shrink.

What I am trying to tell you is that is an unreasonably low standard for him to be held to, and that his art should be a part of what is looked at, not the whole or only thing.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Good Lord, Man...the very definition of a crime is charging someone and then prosecuting them!?
No, that’s really not the definition of a crime.

By the standard you just hung out for everyone to see—right where people are lookin’!—if someone is mugged and no one is caught, no crime happened.

If you really mean that you are a remarkably pig-headed, stone-stupid person, Joe. Try to remember the first rule of holes.
The most you could say was, "Man that dude is weird, possibly crazy." But as far as to anything concrete there is nothing.
I have the impression I’d’ve formed that opinion within minutes of meeting him.

The people who interacted with him for the better part of the semester and were willing to ditch every remaining class and possibly flunk to avoid him, you don’t get that from garden variety weird.

You keep on writing like you think he was just a little off.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Thanks Tom for the primer on libertarianism, I’m glad you keep me up to date on it...
and the insurance/syndicalism thing fails because...I want to have him expelled I call my insurance company, HE calls his, they threaten legal action, MY insurance company says, "Too bad. EXACTLY what is he doing? Without something CONCRETE we can’t act." Because well they’re making cash and they make cash by NOT expending resources. It’s not just a case of the Devil you know, but an obvious flaw in the argument.
They found he represented no imminent threat, by which standard he’s ok to walk out the door unless he says out loud, "I’m going to kill so and so right now." or unless he assaults the shrink.

What I am trying to tell you is that is an unreasonably low standard for him to be held to,
Dude that’s my freak’n point! WHAT standard are you going to institute instead? WHAT process and test is there that would allow us to get Cho, but not the fellow above?

And right now YOU are a little sketchy on that. It’s like a story I read about the Battle of Britain, a fellow had a plan for using a Death Ray, he was very specific about how to employ the thing and where it ought to be used, but when asked about the Death Ray ITSELF, he simply said, "I’m sure you got lots of plans for those, use one of them." You’re busy explaining all sorts of things, but lacking the specific criteria for adjudging Cho dangerous, the day before.

To sum up, he was not judged a danger by the Mental Health PROFESSIONALS, and then he had NO CRIMINAL record, now how do we judge Cho dangerous? There is NOTHING OFFICIAL, no criminal charges, nothing...so again you are judging him in retrospect.

Now if you have a more clear set of proposals that will take us from Cho, as he was, dealing with Cho, but that leaves the teenager above safe then by all means spit them or it out. Otherwise I’m afraid you’re just viewing things as they turned out, again hindsight is 20/20.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
And Tom no one was stalked, because no one charged Cho with it...no charge no crime, OFFICIALLY and sadly that’s what we work on.

Again do I have to repeat I don’t debate Child Molestors, there’s no record you are one, but I am going to act AS IF you are one and refuse to debate you. See how easy, and foolish it is to act without any official evidence of wrong-doing.

Again, nothing official says Cho was anything bad...and unless you can provide a test, a standard that will give us a reasonable chance of getting the Cho’s but avoiding the Tarantino’s, I really don’t see what Va Tech was supposed to do, beyond allow CCW.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Dude that’s my freak’n point!
Well it sounds like you are saying that the art alone is and should be insufficient—and I’m with you up to that point—so we should throw up our hands and do nothing until someone does something that makes us want to throw up. And then the best whing we can do is be armed—and that last is true as far as it goes. It’s that middle one you need to work on.

And you keep on repeating that Cho was found not to be a danger, when that isn’t true at all.

Beat that into your head, you dummy.

He was found not to be an imminent danger, by which standard he has to make an attack or direct, immediate threats before he can be held, and that’s too low a standard of behavior. If you agree that is too low a standard of behavior, then you are agreeing with me that he should—before the massacre—have been held on a mental hygiene warrant.

Your argument is losing coherence, Joe, and the fact I’ve made points you aren’t responding to is beginning to glare.

Like this one:
"And Tom no one was stalked, because no one charged Cho with it."
Again, Joe, by that standard, if no one is charged with a murder, there wasn’t a homicide.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
whing /=- thing

Jeebus, the typos, the horrible typos. TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Beat that into your head, you dummy.
Well argued point. With logic like that who can quibble.
He was found not to be an imminent danger, by which standard he has to make an attack or direct, immediate threats before he can be held, and that’s too low a standard of behavior. If you agree that is too low a standard of behavior, then you are agreeing with me that he should—before the massacre—have been held on a mental hygiene warrant.
Dude that’s all you’re ever going to get from a shrink or anyone. Now get THIS thru YOUR head...All you’re ever going to get is, no IMMINENT THREAT. Now try wrap your head around this concept...

When examined all they ever are going to say that someone is no IMMINENT threat, what else can they say? Can you swear that McQ is NEVER going to be a threat to himself or others? No, you can not, and no one can. So all you get in the end, is no imminent threat. Because no one can foresee all the possible interactions of you or McQ and the outer and inner worlds of McQ or Tom Perkins. All we can say is that, RIGHT NOW, they are no threat. Sorry people aren’t like bridges, can’t guarantee them for 20 years, and Psychologists aren’t Engineers and can’t make those sorts of guarantees. If they did every patient would be locked up, because no one could afford the liability for being wrong.

And the result is that Cho has a clean mental health record. No one chrged him with stalking, so no crime was committed. Wrap your head around THIS concept, Tom, because someone says it, doesn’t mean it happened...So in your example, of murder, simplying saying it happened isn’t enough, LEGALLY. And even if someone IS dead, here’s more news, Tom, we can’t say Cho Seung-Hui or Tom Perkins did it UNLESS there was some adjudication of guilt or innocence. LEGALLY, Cho was clean, too.

And that’s what we have to judge him on, Tom. His OFFICIAL record. It’s what we would judge YOU on, or how about this? I file stalker charges against YOU? And I say Tom Perkins is writing crazy things that seem disturbing, I want him committed. You go in for an eval to shut me up...can I place THAT ON YOUR RECORD TOO? How’s that fair, suddenly Tom Perkins has stalking on his record and has a mental evaluation oon his record...well let’s pull his CCW and prevent him from owning a firearm. How is your story different than Cho’s?


You keep talking about how we should have done something and I keep asking you, EXACTLY what does that mean? He committed no crime, he was not judged a threat to himself or others, so exactly on what basis are you going to "do something" about or to Cho?

And again, how EXACTLY is Cho different from your friend the "warlock?" My I also have HER committed? She’s crazy, too, you admitted it...Oh that’s right she’s not a threat. And you base this on what?

So your friend is walking the streets and Cho should have been locked up, but I don’t see how you make the differentiation, except, that for now, your friend hasn’t killed anyone and that Cho did.

Officially Cho and Tom Perkins, I assume, had the same mental and criminal records. And if I can use Cho’s life, not official records, against him ,why not YOU, Tom? The only difference is Tom is innocent, but prove it. The analogy is to EPO’s, people use them in divorce proceedings to cause the other partner pain and suffering, sometimes. It’s called "Gaming the System." And I don’t see how your proposals protect teh innocent from being gamed, Tom.

Bottom-line: Hindsight is 20/20, unless you’ve got, and it doesn’t have to be fool proof, a test that shows which loonie is going to go off and murder 1-100 people and which one is merely going to be a warlock.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Billy - say this when I can - I think you’re right.


You know what? I wonder if don will find this post- I think CCW, while I don’t support it, would be a better fix to VA Tech than broad application of this sort of thing. So - not supporting CCW - this is even worse.

Of course, broad application of this would probably lead to a backlash that would result in having "disorderly conduct" removed from the law books. Which I would say is a great idea. But, of course, the law could and would never be consistently applied in this manner in the first place.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I often wonder if rules/laws are applied with zero tolerance by those who really want to undermine those laws as a whole.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Joe, you persist in posting as if the current standards which you have said are too easy to meet are ones which are permanent. You also seem to persist in thinking it solely a criminal/legal record which can justify involutary commitment, and you persist in writing as if Cho was not distinguishable from a non-violent crazy person.

You are wrong in each case.

I am stating that the standards for being found sane when it is in question should be higher ones, that involuntary commitment is not dependent on criminal conviction, nor should it be, and that Cho was in fact a very obviously insane and dangerous person.

I have mentioned his oddness in speaking, inability to converse, stalking, and frightening affect. Persons similarly insane should be institutionalized until well or not a threat—i.e. not stalking people.


VA code concerning commitment.


It does not require a criminal act, merely that inpatient treament is required as determined by a mental health professional. The person who released Cho exercised discretion to be more lenient than Virginia law calls for.

And as for how outstandingly crazy he was, I produce a career long anecdote from my Dad.

He was a grade school, high school, and college instructor, college adminstrator, and finally President of New River Community and Technical College. I asked him if he ever had a student in any capacity cross his desk who was a crazy as Cho in his "before the shooting" state. Then I asked him how many students/members of the public he interacted with in his professional capacity.

He said that going strictly by full time equivalent students (two half-times count as one FTE), he’d handled between 30,000 and 40,000 over 40 years. Individuals could number 60,000.

He’d only had to be involved with four or five retraining orders, two suicides (off campus, but were troubled students he was aware of) and exactly one crazy student who assaulted a receptionist.

So only about 1 in 10,000 students in his facilities had campus related behvioral problems requiring restraining orders, and none were "off" enough to motivate people to quit classes rather than expose themselves to a troubled student.

Cho was simply, and long prior to the shooting, in a class almost by himself as to the severeness of his insanity. Quite literally in some of his classes, alone.

You mention the DSM-IV. Have you looked at it? Cho hit so many of the hallmarks of a rubber room resident destined person that it can only be explained as poor public policy in conception or execution that he was not confined.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It is NOT who is crazy, dangerous, or otherwise—The question is;
Who created this person, situation, or effect? I think we ALL know who is guilty of that.
 
Written By: Margaret
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider