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Friday, February 23, 2018

The Second Amendment was ratified to preserve slavery


The hate for Obama has a part in this...



Image from the American anti-slavery almanac, 1836, Flickr Commons

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote.  Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . . and we all should be too.
In the beginning, there were the militias. In the South, they were also called the "slave patrols," and they were regulated by the states.
In Georgia, for example, a generation before the American Revolution, laws were passed in 1755 and 1757 that required all plantation owners or their male white employees to be members of the Georgia Militia, and for those armed militia members to make monthly inspections of the quarters of all slaves in the state.  The law defined which counties had which armed militias and even required armed militia members to keep a keen eye out for slaves who may be planning uprisings.
As Dr. Carl T. Bogus wrote for the University of California Law Review in 1998, "The Georgia statutes required patrols, under the direction of commissioned militia officers, to examine every plantation each month and authorized them to search 'all Negro Houses for offensive Weapons and Ammunition' and to apprehend and give twenty lashes to any slave found outside plantation grounds."
It's the answer to the question raised by the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained when he asks, "Why don't they just rise up and kill the whites?"  If the movie were real, it would have been a purely rhetorical question, because every southerner of the era knew the simple answer: Well regulated militias kept the slaves in chains.
Sally E. Haden, in her book Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, notes that, "Although eligibility for the Militia seemed all-encompassing, not every middle-aged white male Virginian or Carolinian became a slave patroller." There were exemptions so "men in critical professions" like judges, legislators and students could stay at their work.  Generally, though, she documents how most southern men between ages 18 and 45 – including physicians and ministers – had to serve on slave patrol in the militia at one time or another in their lives.
And slave rebellions were keeping the slave patrols busy.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, hundreds of substantial slave uprisings had occurred across the South.  Blacks outnumbered whites in large areas, and the state militias were used to both prevent and to put down slave uprisings.  As Dr. Bogus points out, slavery can only exist in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.
If the anti-slavery folks in the North had figured out a way to disband – or even move out of the state – those southern militias, the police state of the South would collapse.  And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery, and the southern economic and social systems, altogether.
These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned over 300 slaves) and the southern Christian evangelical, Patrick Henry (who opposed slavery on principle, but also opposed freeing slaves).
Their main concern was that Article 1, Section 8 of the newly-proposed Constitution, which gave the federal government the power to raise and supervise a militia, could also allow that federal militia to subsume their state militias and change them from slavery-enforcing institutions into something that could even, one day, free the slaves.
This was not an imagined threat.  Famously, 12 years earlier, during the lead-up to the Revolutionary War, Lord Dunsmore offered freedom to slaves who could escape and join his forces.  "Liberty to Slaves" was stitched onto their jacket pocket flaps.  During the War, British General Henry Clinton extended the practice in 1779.  And numerous freed slaves served in General Washington's army.
Thus, southern legislators and plantation owners lived not just in fear of their own slaves rebelling, but also in fear that their slaves could be emancipated through military service.
At the ratifying convention in Virginia in 1788, Henry laid it out:
"Let me here call your attention to that part [Article 1, Section 8 of the proposed Constitution] which gives the Congress power to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. . . .
"By this, sir, you see that their control over our last and best defence is unlimited. If they neglect or refuse to discipline or arm our militia, they will be useless: the states can do neither . . . this power being exclusively given to Congress. The power of appointing officers over men not disciplined or armed is ridiculous; so that this pretended little remains of power left to the states may, at the pleasure of Congress, be rendered nugatory."
George Mason expressed a similar fear:
"The militia may be here destroyed by that method which has been practised in other parts of the world before; that is, by rendering them useless, by disarming them. Under various pretences, Congress may neglect to provide for arming and disciplining the militia; and the state governments cannot do it, for Congress has an exclusive right to arm them [under this proposed Constitution] . . . "
Henry then bluntly laid it out:
"If the country be invaded, a state may go to war, but cannot suppress [slave] insurrections [under this new Constitution]. If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded. They cannot, therefore, suppress it without the interposition of Congress . . . . Congress, and Congress only [under this new Constitution], can call forth the militia."
And why was that such a concern for Patrick Henry?
"In this state," he said, "there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war? We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free."
Patrick Henry was also convinced that the power over the various state militias given the federal government in the new Constitution could be used to strip the slave states of their slave-patrol militias.  He knew the majority attitude in the North opposed slavery, and he worried they'd use the Constitution to free the South's slaves (a process then called "Manumission").
The abolitionists would, he was certain, use that power (and, ironically, this is pretty much what Abraham Lincoln ended up doing):
"[T]hey will search that paper [the Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission," said Henry.  "And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?
"This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it."
He added: "This is a local matter, and I can see no propriety in subjecting it to Congress."
James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution" and a slaveholder himself, basically called Patrick Henry paranoid.
"I was struck with surprise," Madison said, "when I heard him express himself alarmed with respect to the emancipation of slaves. . . . There is no power to warrant it, in that paper [the Constitution]. If there be, I know it not."
But the southern fears wouldn't go away.
Patrick Henry even argued that southerner's "property" (slaves) would be lost under the new Constitution, and the resulting slave uprising would be less than peaceful or tranquil:
"In this situation," Henry said to Madison, "I see a great deal of the property of the people of Virginia in jeopardy, and their peace and tranquility gone."
So Madison, who had (at Jefferson's insistence) already begun to prepare proposed amendments to the Constitution, changed his first draft of one that addressed the militia issue to make sure it was unambiguous that the southern states could maintain their slave patrol militias.
His first draft for what became the Second Amendment had said: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country [emphasis mine]: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person."
But Henry, Mason and others wanted southern states to preserve their slave-patrol militias independent of the federal government.  So Madison changed the word "country" to the word "state," and redrafted the Second Amendment into today's form:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State [emphasis mine], the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Little did Madison realize that one day in the future weapons-manufacturing corporations, newly defined as "persons" by a Supreme Court some have called dysfunctional, would use his slave patrol militia amendment to protect their "right" to manufacture and sell assault weapons used to murder schoolchildren.
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Storyteller


I imagine that one day after I've died, someone will find where I've disappeared to, find my secret, not a deliberate secret, not one I planned keeping to myself but then I didn't write for the pleasure of others but for myself... it's something I did for myself since before I was ten because I enjoyed it, telling stories, developing the story, the people, the history to myself because as I found out as I aged my work was good, my work made me learn and discover, someone would find it all and read it...then perhaps discover its garbage, they would grow cold in the old cabin and light the fire to warm themselves...

Storyteller...
That is what I have always been...
The first time as a child I wrote and I never imagined selling it.
Never have I tried to publish...for money.
It would be like selling myself.
I never imagined selling my work but I do present it complete or incomplete.
I never have I tried to show my work or wondered of another's interest in my work.
I write for me to read what I write.
While there is so much to read for sale but for years stories have become commodities of another's thoughts. A way to sell.
I have never written for money; I have never written to sell. I tell my stories to tell myself stories because I rarely find amazing writing to read in the fiction market.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My sister, Irene...RIP


I recall Irene guiding me through a snowstorm to our school in Brooklyn...
I recall Irene taking me to my first day of high school...
I remember my brothers John, Joe and I racing to help when she was hurt in an argument with her first husband...
So much more in between...
She was my sister, she was often there for me and the family...
I recall when we had the photo above taken on her girlfriend trip to San Francisco...it was the last time I would see her in person...October 2nd 2015


I will miss you so much...Irene.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Former white supremacist says he knows how to defeat the rising neo-Nazi threat


Christian Picciolini is a 'reformed extremist' and the author of 'White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement and How I Got Out.' (Dennis Sevilla)
Listen
Christian Picciolini has never met a self-confident white supremacist.
"People gravitate towards extremist movements because they're searching for identity, community and purpose," he told Day 6 host Brent Bambury.
'It makes me very sad to know that I planted so many seeds of hate.' - Christian Picciolini
It's a group the writer knows well. He became a member of the Chicago Area Skin Heads (CASH) as a teen. Two years later, he became their leader.
"I had no idea about what I was getting involved in," Picciolini, now 44, recalls. "[I was] 14 years old, I didn't know anything about politics or even racism … I was afraid of losing something and I didn't have much to lose." He left the group when he was 22.
Christian Picciolini performing with his band WAY in Weiman, Germany, 1992. (Christian Picciolini)
For more than 20 years, he has atoned for the hurt he caused.
As a reformed extremist, he runs a group called Life After Hate. He also recounts his experiences in speeches and his new book, White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement and How I Got Out.
"It makes me very sad to know that I planted so many seeds of hate."

Becoming racist

The child of Italian immigrants, Picciolini says he didn't grow up racist. In a video on his website, he describes the teenage angst and bullying that led him into the white supremacy movement.
He was also angry at his parents.
"They loved me and they surrounded me with love," he says. "But they were also gone seven days a week, working 14 hours a day to support a small business, and at that young age I didn't really understand why they weren't there."
It's young people with experiences like this that white supremacy groups target, Picciolini says. Many members once felt isolated or "marginalized."
Being part of a larger group, he says, offers them a sense of purpose.
''There are two things that extremists love: silence and violence.' - Christian Picciolini
One strategy for finding members, Picciolini tells Bambury, is to search online groups and forums for vulnerable people.
"They go to ADHD and schizophrenia forums and autism forums to look for people who are angry, who are lonely, who are marginalized, and then they swoop in and promise them paradise."
Looking back, it was no paradise.

Seeking redemption

Picciolini regrets his time as a white supremacist. While in CASH, he fronted a metal band that wrote and performed blatantly racist songs.
"One of the toughest things that I've learned is Dylann Roof, four months before he committed that tragic act at the Mother Emanuel church in Charleston [South Carolina], had posted … lyrics from a band that he had heard," Picciolini recalls.
Those lyrics were his own.
"I can't help but feel partly responsible for what he did and for what continues to happen across the United States and North America."
People march to Columbia University to protest against former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, and against white supremacists in New York, U.S., October 10, 2017. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
Picciolini worries that racist rhetoric, particularly in the United States, will continue to grow. He points to the Twitter activity of President Donald Trump, who has retweeted conspiracy theories from known alt-right groups. Picciolini fears those tweets validate their beliefs.
And those beliefs, Picciolini warns, could lead to the rise of an extremist third political party.
"Folks who might be isolated, who might be affected by grievance, are going to gravitate [to it] because of the empty promises that are made based on conspiracy theories."

Fighting fire with fire

The way forward, he says, is not to attack those beliefs outright.
"There are two things that extremists love: silence and violence."
If we're silent and ignore them, Picciolini says, they grow. But if we fight back, it's validation.
"They then use that as a victim narrative as if something is being taken away — as if white people are under attack," he says.
Instead, Picciolini encourages people to embrace members of alt-right groups. He wants to show them that they should not be afraid of the backlash they may receive if they renounce their views.
It's that attitude that helped get Picciolini away from extremist beliefs.
"Ultimately, what happened was, I began to receive compassion from the people that I least deserved it from," he says.
"I was able to humanize instead of demonize."

To hear our full interview with Christian Picciolini, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.

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Caricaturist skewers, honors subjects | Jersey Retro


Posted Feb 16, 4:11 PM
Gallery: Drew Friedman's Chosen People

"What's wrong with me?" caricaturist Drew Friedman once asked his wife, Kathy.
It was some years back, and Friedman had finished a magazine illustration depicting movie producer Harvey Weinstein. "I drew him real fat, with these pockmarks and everything," Friedman said in a recent call from Pennsylvania. "I thought, 'Why did I do this? He's probably a nice guy.'
"When the drawing came out, he bought the piece, so there you go. And now, we know he's not such a nice guy. So that worked out."
Friedman's caricatures sometimes honor, sometimes skewer, his subjects. The artist -- whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Village Voice and Readers' Digest -- has published his 12th book, "Drew Friedman's Chosen People" (Fantagraphics Books, 136 pp., $19.99), which collects more than 120 caricatures of the famous and the obscure, the forgotten and the never-known, the old and the older.

Caricature subjects include Steve Jobs, Larry David, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and Whoopi Goldberg. There are plenty of the old-timey entertainers that Friedman is so enamored of, such as Al Lewis, Shemp Howard, Groucho Marx and Bela Lugosi.
Some were commercial assignments, such as Hillary Clinton dressed as Wonder Woman (from "back in more innocent times"), which Friedman did for the New York Observer. Counter to what you might assume, there are no depictions of President Donald Trump.
"That's sort of on purpose," said the New York City native, 59. "I've drawn him many times over the years, from the time he was a real estate developer. But not lately. I was kind of tired of it. I thought I'd give people a break. I'm online every day, and there are so many artists who draw him, so many Photoshopped images of him. I can't really compete with it all."
Friedman wrote brief bios of his caricature subjects in the back of "Chosen People." In the one for Woody Allen, he implies that the filmmaker swore off writing for the Observer after it published Friedman's caricature of him.

Explained Friedman: "Fifteen or 20 years ago, Woody Allen wrote a piece for the New York Observer about his lifelong love of the New York Knicks. The late (editor) Peter Kaplan assigned me to draw the cover. I did this really in-your-face drawing of Woody as a sports reporter, with lots of freckles. When the piece came out, Woody's sister, who is also his producer (Letty Aronson), called Peter Kaplan and told him that Woody was very upset by this drawing, and that 'He will never work for you again.' Peter felt bad; he was a huge Woody Allen fan. He called me up and he was very upset. But then he said, 'You know, (expletive), it's a great drawing.' "
The caricatures are presented alphabetically, which provides for some odd pairings on facing pages. Friedman is certainly the first artist to put Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News chairman and White House strategist, next to Bobby Barber, an obscure, diminutive comic actor from long ago.
"I actually felt bad about that," Friedman said of the pairing. "I felt bad for Bobby Barber. He was this funny guy who did a million movie and TV show appearances. Abbott and Costello used him. I love him. I felt bad that he was next to Bannon, that he had to face that."
Friedman's stuff is fun to view on the web, though you couldn't see him drawing for online exclusively. His work almost has to be printed. But the medium of print has been so embattled, so threatened, over the past decade. People are always talking about the death of print.
"It sounds sexy, 'the death of print,' but I don't believe it," the artist said. "In my bio in the back of book, I write, 'His work has appeared in Raw, Weirdo, Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, Spy, the Village Voice and many other publications that no longer exist.' I can't see doing art for online. To have that physical object -- it means something. I'll die out with that."

Following is more of my interview with Friedman:
Q. In "Drew Friedman's Chosen People," the caricatures are presented alphabetically, which ties your hands in a sense; you can't control which caricatures go next to each other. But you do have facing spreads of, for instance, Bob Dylan and Robert Crumb, so that the art is not interrupted. Please talk about the puzzle in putting "Chosen People" together.
A: Puzzle is a good word. Like, there were two Lou Jacobi's (caricatures). But they didn't fall together, so my editor (Eric Reynolds) did some finagling. When the book was just about complete, he said, "I need one more. If you could give me somebody whose last name begins with a Z, that would be perfect. Then, I wouldn't have to shuffle pages around." So I'm thinking, I did Frank Zappa. Who else is there? Then it dawned on me: George Zucco. That was a perfect way to end the book. It begins with Forrest J Ackerman and ends with George Zucco.
Q. Some caricatures you drew "just for fun," as Merrill Markoe says in her introduction. But a lot of them were commercial assignments.
A: Some of the ("just for fun" caricatures), I'd never drawn before. But some of the assignments still applied to the "Chosen People" title. I wouldn't do somebody I wasn't somehow drawn to. I've said a polite "no" to some assignments -- young actors or TV shows that I'm not aware of. Not that I admire everyone I've ever drawn. Some, I have not. I'm not necessarily a fan of Steve Bannon or Kathie Lee Gifford or Rudy Giuliani.

Q. You wrote brief bios of your caricature subjects in the back of the book. Two of the bios are already outdated. You say that Bannon was still White House chief strategist "as of this writing," which was fairly prescient of you. Also, you have a Kevin Spacey caricature, but in the bio, you don't mention the trouble he's in. Does it feel like the world is moving too quickly?
A: I kind of called it with Bannon. With Kevin Spacey, there was time to slip something in about his being accused of sexual assault, but we left it out. We decided to just leave that alone. The face is what matters most. And people have commented that I kind of captured what was going on beneath the surface. Even if it's just a raised eyebrow or something subtle, the face tells what's beneath the surface. It's tricky. It's hard to be topical. It's easier to stick with deceased celebrities (laughs).

LOOKING AHEAD
A documentary titled "Drew Friedman: Vermeer of the Borscht Belt" is in the works from director Kevin Dougherty. Said Friedman: "He's been working on it for the past year. He's taking his time. What I've seen looks really good. He has access to film me here at my studio. He's interviewed Mike Judge, Merrill Markoe, my dad (Bruce Jay Friedman), and some artists -- Barry Blitt. (Robert) Crumb might do it, but he (Dougherty) would probably have to go to France."

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Florida School Shooting


Violence Is Not a Product of Mental Illness. Violence Is a Product of Anger.


How to Stop Violence

Mentally ill people aren't killers. Angry people are.

Spc. Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard. Lopez is suspected of fatally shooting three people before killing himself at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas on April 2, 2014.
Photo by Puerto Rico National Guard via Reuters

In the 1980s, around the time of the massive deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, I was working toward my degree in clinical psychology by training at a psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C. One sweet, diminutive, elderly patient sometimes wandered the halls. She had been committed to the hospital after she stabbed someone in a supermarket. She was what is sometimes referred to as a revolving-door patient: She was schizophrenic and heard frightening voices in her head, and when she became psychotic enough, she would be hospitalized, stabilized on medication, and then released back to the community. There she would soon go off her medication, become psychotic, be rehospitalized, stabilized again on medication, released, etc.

At her commitment hearing, she testified that she had become extremely upset in the grocery store before repeatedly stabbing the man in front of her in the checkout line. The hearing officer, aware of her history and sympathetic to this woman with such a sweet demeanor, asked helpfully if she had been hearing voices at the time. Yes, she replied, she had. "And what were the voices telling you?" the officer inquired supportively. She explained that the voices were telling her not to hurt the man, but he had gotten in the express checkout lane with more than 10 items, and that made her so mad that she couldn't stop herself.

In addition to being a valuable cautionary tale about grocery etiquette, the story illustrates an important truth about violence and mental health: Violence is not a product of mental illness; violence is a product of anger. When we cannot modulate anger, it will control our behavior.
In the wake of a string of horrific mass shootings by people who in many cases had emotional problems, it has become fashionable to blame mental illness for violent crimes. It has even been suggested that these crimes justify not only banning people with a history of mental illness from buying weapons but also arming those without such diagnoses so that they may protect themselves from the dangerous mentally ill. This fundamentally misrepresents where the danger lies.
Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly "break" and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.
We are a culture awash in anger.

In a summary of studies on murder and prior record of violence, Don Kates and Gary Mauser found that 80 to 90 percent of murderers had prior police records, in contrast to 15 percent of American adults overall. In a study of domestic murderers, 46 percent of the perpetrators had had a restraining order against them at some time. Family murders are preceded by prior domestic violence more than 90 percent of the time. Violent crimes are committed by people who lack the skills to modulate anger, express it constructively, and move beyond it.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, the reference book used by mental health professionals to assign diagnoses of mental illness, does very little to address anger. The one relevant diagnosis is intermittent explosive disorder, a disorder of anger management. People with IED tend to come from backgrounds in which they have been exposed to patterns of IED behavior, often from parents whose own anger is out of control. But the DSM does not provide a diagnostic category helpful for explaining how someone can, with careful advance planning, come to enter an elementary school, nursing home, theater, or government facility and indiscriminately begin to kill.  
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, Fort Hood's commanding general, speaks during a press conference on April 2, 2014, about the shooting that occurred there earlier in the day.
Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Violent crimes committed by people with severe mental illnesses get a lot of attention, but such attacks are relatively rare. Paolo del Vecchio of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has said, "Violence by those with mental illness is so small that even if you could somehow cure it all, 95 percent of violent crime would still exist." A 2009 study by Seena Fazel found a slightly higher rate of violent crime in schizophrenics—but it was almost entirely accounted for by alcohol and drug abuse. Likewise, the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study found that mentally ill people who did not have a substance abuse problem were no more violent than other people in their neighborhoods.

With no clear explanation of the causes of violent crime from the mental health field, and with significant encouragement from the gun lobby, the public has begun to seize on the wrong explanation for tragic, violent events. They focus not on the IED-diagnosed patients but on those with other diagnoses, schizophrenia in particular, ignoring the fact that what the perpetrators have in common in every single one of these cases is a loss of control of their anger.
The attribution of violent crime to people diagnosed with mental illness is increasing stigmatization of the mentally ill while virtually no effort is being made to address the much broader cultural problem of anger management. This broader problem encompasses not just mass murders but violence toward children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault, and violent robberies. We are a culture awash in anger.

Anger disorders are a product of long-term anger mismanagement. They are a pathological misdirection of normal aggressive feelings. Anger is, at its essence, a part of the basic biological reaction to danger, the fight or flight response. The physiological shift makes us stop thinking and mobilize for immediate action, as though our life depends on it. It is a primitive response, and very powerful. Anger prepares us to stand our ground and fight. It helped our ancestors survive, but in today's complex technological world, it is often more hindrance than help. The angrier you feel, the less clearly you can think, and therefore the less able you are to negotiate, take a new perspective, or effectively handle a provocation.
The violence that is a part of anger disorders is fueled by chronic repressed rage that has found no socially acceptable outlet. It is fostered by families in which adults behave in violent, intimidating ways or in which anger is tightly repressed. In either situation there is no appropriate model for the safe or constructive expression of anger.

One of the allegations that have recently been made is that the mental health community is failing society in dealing with violent crime. I would agree with this assessment. We have failed to provide an appropriate diagnosis for out-of-control anger or a framework to assist people in understanding the senseless violence around them, and worse, we have done nothing to prevent it.
The truth is, anger management skills are simple techniques that can and should be taught to children and adolescents. We should not wait to teach these skills until verbally or physically violent behavior has become habitual and, often, life-threatening.

The skills involve balancing the initial fight-or-flight response, governed by the sympathetic nervous system, with its opposite, the parasympathetic nervous system, which permits reasoning to take over again. It's simple, but it requires a significant amount of practice. There are many techniques that can be taught to achieve this end: deliberate shifting from emotional to more objective thinking, deep breathing and other relaxation techniques, communication and listening skills, and identifying warning cues before anger boils over.

Mindfulness training is a technique that shows great promise as a tool for the development of healthy and constructive management of negative emotions. Mindfulness can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It has been used with success in populations as diverse as cardiac patients, prison inmates, police officers, and children. It incorporates deep breathing, heightened attention to one's internal state, and the acceptance of internal discomfort. One can observe one's own thoughts without identifying with them and acting on them.

Dialectical behavior therapy, a kind of cognitive therapy developed by the psychologist Marsha Linehan, was designed to meet the needs of extremely emotional, volatile individuals and has been used successfully over the past 25 years. It incorporates mindfulness skills and also teaches distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.

Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. Though we have the understanding and the skills to treat the anger epidemic in this country, as a culture, we have been unwilling to accept the violence problem as one that belongs to each and every one of us. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. When we are ready to accept that the demon is within us all, we can begin to treat the cycle of anger and suffering.

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De-Funding Public Schools to Fund Private Schools


Blood on Their Hands


Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Return Of FANGORIA


The iconic horror magazine is coming back - with some familiar faces at the helm.
By Phil Nobile Jr.


I have some exciting news to share with the readers of BMD: next month, I'll be teaming up with Dallas Sonnier (the producer of Bone Tomahawk and Brawl In Cell Block 99) to orchestrate and execute the resurrection of Fangoria magazine.
Launched in 1979, Fangoria was a constant genre presence for decades. In a pre-internet world, it was the only place to get horror movie news, insight, and hype. It spawned a convention, an awards show, a video label, and an entire generation of horror fans. The magazine changed owners a couple times over the years, and in the 2010s it ran into some difficulties. Its last printed issue was in 2015, and Fango was declared dead by those in the know shortly afterward.
That's not okay. As I said in today's press release, there needs to be a Fangoria.
So Dallas' company Cinestate has acquired the Fangoria property from the previous owner, and Dallas is now Fangoria's new publisher; I'll be Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, and creative director of the brand.
Fangoria will be reborn later this year as a deluxe quarterly edition, a collectible horror film journal featuring voices both new and familiar (do the names Timpone, Gingold, Zimmerman, or Borders ring a bell?). It will present smart, fun, exclusive horror film coverage - all in time for the magazine's 40th anniversary next year.
I know what you're thinking: why is the BMD Bond guy leaving to run Fangoria? I guess that's a fair question, though long-time readers (and my friends) know that I'm just as steeped in horror, even if it hasn't really been my primary beat here at BMD. But if you require receipts, in the past I've written about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (and its most hated sequel), authored several posts about the career of David Cronenberg, and written here and elsewhere about George Romero. I once wrote and directed a feature-length documentary about John Carpenter's Halloween for A&E. I was one of the masterminds behind Within Week, for God's sake. The truth is I was a horror guy long before I was a Bond guy, and I'm looking forward to creating and curating more content in that space. That I'll be doing it under the brand that's singularly responsible for my lifelong fascination with films and filmmaking is something about which I'm immeasurably excited. Real talk: I bought my first issue of Fango over 30 years ago; becoming its new Editor-in-Chief is gonna be surreal as hell!
The biggest life adjustment will be leaving BMD. As I said in a private note to my colleagues earlier this week, BMD is my family. I've formed lasting friendships with the site's other writers, have been honored to meet and get to know a few readers, and as an editor it's been my privilege to introduce many new voices to the BMD audience. I've been writing here since 2010, and this family of writers and readers has become a support system I never dared dream for myself. I didn't realize my life was missing BMD until I found it - no, more accurately, until we created it together. The BMD team members are all sitting at computers hundreds, even thousands of miles away from one another, but we've made something special together, and it's going to connect us for life. My BMD family is a forever thing.
But the Fangoria gig is a full-time business venture, and I'm going to need to dig in and focus for a bit, so at the end of this month I'll be stepping away from my role here as Editor-at-Large. If they'll have me, you might yet see me pop back in for an editorial here and there, or a podcast now and again. And my new responsibilities will have me crossing paths with my BMD pals at festivals and events all year; I suspect we'll all be seeing each other in real life more than we currently do. In short, I'll be around.
And of course, I'll still be reading. Because I know I won't find another pair of clowns who make the often inane film news cycle as hilarious and entertaining as do Evan Saathoff and Scott Wampler. No one else on earth will move me to guilt-purchase all the vintage deep-dives I haven't yet seen like Jacob Knight and his evangelical film advocacy. There is no one else I can count on to dissect horror franchises in the unique, fastidious fashion of Brian Collins. I'll never find another Amelia Emberwing, Andrew Todd or Siddhant Adlakha - my dear Millennial Triumvirate - whose combined passion and smarts cause me to rethink most of my old man points of view at least once a day. And I can only hope to replicate at the new gig the kind of thoughtful, calm, pragmatic leadership Jenny Jacobi has provided BMD in recent months.
And try as I might, I'm not going to find on any other site the talented, diverse, and divergent collection of voices that have assembled under BMD's roof over the years - folks like Emily Sears, Leigh Monson, Anya Stanley, Jeremy Smith, Priscilla Page, JM Mutore, Russ Fischer, Candice Frederick, Kolleen Carney Hoepfner, James Shapiro, Amanda Hughes, Jof Gurd, Marisa Mirabal, Mustafa Yasar II, Kalyn Corrigan - there are literally too many to name. If I may be so bold, BMD's readers can get a little narrow in their focus, often acting as if the site hosts a very small core group of writers. But I'm pretty proud of the wonderfully varied extended writing team we've assembled, and it's my parting wish that you'll dig in to some of the newer-to-you author pages linked above.
And I hope the readers I've come to know over the past seven-plus years will come and see what we've got planned at Fangoria. But it's not a website I'm plugging; Fangoria is a magazine, and it belongs to (and in) the physical world. When I was a kid, saving up for, finding, and reading a copy of Fangoria was a ritual, and I'm excited by the challenge of trying to bring that magical feeling back to readers, to restore the title to that special, desirable thing it was to me back then. At the same time I'm intrigued by the challenge of putting in readers' hands a version of Fangoria that has kind of grown up with them.
It's gonna be fun, and this thing we do should always be fun.
I start the Fango gig on March 1st. I'll be here right up until then. After that, I'll see you in print!
Cinestate's full press release is below.
DALLAS, TX (February 15, 2018) ––Fangoria Magazine is returning from its digital grave and back into print where it belongs. Thanks to a new investment, a new Editor-in-Chief, and a new Publisher, the world's highest-profile horror movie magazine is reemergingas a collectible quarterly with the first issueset to drop this fall in time for Halloween.
Cinestate, the Texas-based entertainment company,completed the deal to acquire all the assets and trademarks of the Fangoria brand, including the magazine, from The Brooklyn Company.Cinestate CEO Dallas Sonnier diligently courted the previous publisher Thomas DeFeo for several months, with the two signing an agreement that turned over the rights to Sonnier & Cinestate.
Sonnier's first move as the new Publisher was to hire his favorite film writer Phil Nobile Jr. as the Editor-in-Chief of Fangoria Magazine.Nobile comes to Fangoria from his role as Editor-At-Large for the website Birth.Movies.Death., and as a writer/producer for Stage 3 Productions in Philadelphia, where he created a feature-length documentary on John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN.Nobile will also act as the Creative Director for the entire Fangoria brand.
"There needs to be a Fangoria," says Nobile. "The magazine was a constant presence in the genre since 1979 - and then one day it was gone. That felt, to us, tragically incorrect. Fango was, for multiple generations, a privileged window into the world of horror. It gave us access to filmmakers' processes and secrets, opened our eyes to movies we might have otherwise missed, and nurtured a wave of talent that's out there driving the genre today. I'm proud and excited to be part of the team that's bringing this institution back."
As part of the arrangement, Cinestate controls all material from over 300 issues of Fangoria Magazine, including articles, photos, and exclusive interviews, spanning the past 39 years.The contents of the now-infamous Fangoria storage unit in New York, a veritable treasure trove of horror history collected over decades by former staff, has arrived at the Cinestate offices to be sorted and cataloged.
Nobile and Sonnier quickly approached and landed deals with popular Fangoria legends Tony Timpone and Michael Gingold to return to the magazine with their own columns, and to consult for the company. Additionally, the publicationalready has excited commitments fromcontributorsincluding frequent Cinestate collaborator S. Craig Zahler (BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99), Ashlee Blackwell (Graveyard Shift Sisters), Samuel Zimmerman (Curator, Shudder), Grady Hendrix (PAPERBACKS FROM HELL), Meredith Borders (former Editorial Director of Birth.Movies.Death.), Rebekah McKendry (academic and horror historian), and Preston Fassel (whose project OUR LADY OF THE INFERNO is currently in development at Cinestate). Nobile shall further curate a diverse roster of voices for the new iteration of the legendary publication.
"We are fully committed to restoring faith in Fangoria with the horror fan community, so many of whom bought subscriptions, but never received their magazines. We have also been reaching out to previous Fangoria contributors to introduce ourselves and invite them back into the tent for future collaborations. This is a process, but we are confident in our ability to earn back trust and be good partners in a brand that personally means so much to so many awesome people," states Sonnier.
Sonnier was able to complete the Fangoria asset acquisition and fuel growth in Cinestate by raising over $5 million of investment for his company.The primary investor in Cinestate is a member of a prominent Texas family that wishes to remain anonymous.As part of the deal, Cinestate also acquired the assets and trademarks to out-of-print publications Starlog and Gorezone.
A full staff is in place and operating from the Cinestate offices in Dallas, TX.Zack Parker, formerly of Shudder, joins Fangoria as the Director of Brand Management, along with Jessica Safavimehr as Associate Publisher and Ashley Detmering as Art Director.Nobile will be based out of New Jersey. The team is dedicated to putting Fangoria back where it belongs – in print.
"When I read Fangoria as a kid, it was a special ritual. I had to save up for it, and then I had to find it. And bringing it home ten times a year became a kind of sacrament, poring over every photograph on every page, reading that whole thing front to back, then doing it again," Nobile says. "We want to restore that analog thrill to readers. We want to duplicate the excitement that I remember bubbling up around a new issue of Fango, put that excitement in an envelope and mail it to our subscribers. Fangoria is not something that competes with online blogs. Fangoria is not an algorithm. Fangoria is something you hold in your hands, something you spend a bit of time with in the real world. That's what it was for decades, and that's what we're going to make it again."
Cinestate will further develop Fangoria into a brand for producing movies and podcasts, as well as publishing horror novels.Cinestate VP Amanda Presmyk will head up production on a slate of Fangoria-presented horror movies that Sonnier will bring to the table for Cinestate's new label.
Cinestate is currently in post on a gonzo reimagining of the PUPPET MASTER franchise, as well as Zahler's next movie DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE for Lionsgate starring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn.Cinestate also published its first novel in January – Zahler's HUG CHICKENPENNY: THE PANEGYRIC OF AN ANOMALOUS CHILD, which is being developed into a feature by Zahler, Cinestate and the Jim Henson Company.

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