Skinwalkers - Chapter 18
The following are direct quotes from the book Tribe, On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger, May 2016, except for statements in italic added.
The ultimate act of disaffiliation isn’t littering or fraud, of course, but violence against your own people. When the Navajo Nation—the Diné, in their language—were rounded up and confined to a reservation in the 1860s, a terrifying phenomenon became more prominent in their culture. The warrior skills that had protected the Diné for thousands of years were no longer relevant in this dismal new era, and people worried that those same skills would now be turned inward, against society. That strengthened their belief in what were known as skinwalkers, or yee naaldlooshii.
Skinwalkers were almost always male and wore the pelt of a sacred animal so that they could subvert that animal’s powers to kill people in the community. They could travel impossibly fast across the desert and their eyes glowed like coals and they could supposedly paralyze you with a single look. They were thought to attack remote homesteads at night and kill people and sometimes eat their bodies. People were still scared of skinwalkers when I lived on the Navajo Reservation in 1983, and frankly, by the time I left, I was too.
Virtually every culture in the world has its version of the skinwalker myth. In Europe, for example, they are called werewolves (literally “man-wolf” in Old English). The myth addresses a fundamental fear in human society: that you can defend against external enemies but still remain vulnerable to one lone madman in your midst. Anglo-American culture doesn’t recognize the skinwalker threat but has its own version. Starting in the early 1980s, the frequency of rampage shootings in the United States began to rise more and more rapidly until it doubled around 2006. Rampages are usually defined as attacks where people are randomly targeted and four or more are killed in one place, usually shot to death by a lone gunman. As such, those crimes conform almost exactly to the kind of threat that the Navajo seemed most to fear on the reservation: murder and mayhem committed by an individual who has rejected all social bonds and attacks people at their most vulnerable and unprepared. For modern society, that would mean not in their log hogans but in movie theaters, schools, shopping malls, places of worship, or simply walking down the street.
Here is a list of skinwalkers, and their shooting rampages in the USA over the last 30 years. Note that from 1988 to 1997 there were 6; from 1998 to 2007 there were 9; from 2008 to 2017 there were 24. Why does it appear that over the last 10 years our society is generating a sharp increase in skinwalkers, individuals committing murder and mayhem who have rejected all social bonds and attack people at their most vulnerable and unprepared? Perhaps it is because, as Sebastion Junger stated, this “shows how completely detribalized this country has become.” Our neurological genetic predisposition, the warrior ethos, all for 1 and 1 for all, is no longer relevant in modern life. As individuals in society it appears we are now very far from our evolutionary roots.
In 2013, areport from the Congressional Research Service, known as Congress's think tank, described mass shootings as those in which shooters "select victims somewhat indiscriminately" and kill four or more people.
Mass shootings over last 30 years until October 1, 2017. And recent news from October 2 to December 31, 2017.
November 14, 2017: Rampaging through a small Northern California town, a gunman took aim on Tuesday at people at an elementary school and several other locations, killing at least four and wounding at least 10 before he was fatally shot by police, the local sheriff’s office said.
November 5, 2017: Devin Patrick Kelley carried out the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history on Sunday, killing 25 people and an unborn child at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, near San Antonio.
October 1, 2017: 58 killed, more than 500 injured: Las Vegas
More than 50 people were killed and at least 500 others injured when a gunman opened fire at a country music festival near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, authorities said. Police said the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, a resident of Mesquite, Nev., was was found dead after a SWAT team burst into the hotel room from which he was firing at the crowd.
Jan. 6, 2017: 5 killed, 6 injured: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
After taking a flight to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, a man retrieves a gun from his luggage in baggage claim, loads it and opens fire, killing five people near a baggage carousel and wounding six others. Dozens more are injured in the ensuing panic. Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old Iraq war veteran from Anchorage, Alaska, has pleaded not guilty to 22 federal charges.
May 28, 2017: 8 killed, Lincoln County, Miss. A Mississippi man went on a shooting spree overnight, killing a sheriff's deputy and seven other people in three separate locations in rural Lincoln County before the suspect was taken into custody by police, authorities said on Sunday.
Sept. 23, 2016: 5 killed: Burlington, Wash.
A gunman enters the cosmetics area of a Macy’s store near Seattle and fatally shoots an employee and four shoppers at close range. Authorities say Arcan Cetin, a 20-year-old fast-food worker, used a semi-automatic Ruger .22 rifle that he stole from his stepfather’s closet.
June 12, 2016: 49 killed, 58 injured in Orlando nightclub shooting
The United States suffered one of the worst mass shootings in its modern history when 49 people were killed and 58 injured in Orlando, Fla., after a gunman stormed into a packed gay nightclub. The gunman was killed by a SWAT team after taking hostages at Pulse, a popular gay club. He was preliminarily identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen.
Dec. 2, 2015: 14 killed, 22 injured: San Bernardino, Calif.
Two assailants killed 14 people and wounded 22 others in a shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. The two attackers, who were married, were killed in a gun battle with police. They were U.S.-born Syed Rizwan Farook and Pakistan national Tashfeen Malik, and had an arsenal of ammunition and pipe bombs in their Redlands home.
Nov. 29, 2015: 3 killed, 9 injured: Colorado Springs, Colo.
A gunman entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., and started firing.
Police named Robert Lewis Dear as the suspect in the attacks.
Oct. 1, 2015: 9 killed, 9 injured: Roseburg, Ore.
Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer shot and killed eight fellow students and a teacher at Umpqua Community College. Authorities described Harper-Mercer, who recently had moved to Oregon from Southern California, as a “hate-filled” individual with anti-religion and white supremacist leanings who had long struggled with mental health issues.
July 16, 2015: 5 killed, 3 injured: Chattanooga, Tenn. A gunman opened fire on two military centers more than seven miles apart, killing four Marines and a Navy sailor. A man identified by federal authorities as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, sprayed dozens of bullets at a military recruiting center, then drove to a Navy-Marine training facility and opened fire again before he was killed.
June 18, 2015: 9 killed: Charleston, S.C.
Dylann Storm Roof is charged with nine counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder in an attack that killed nine people at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C. Authorities say Roof, a suspected white supremacist, started firing on a group gathered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church after first praying with them. He fled authorities before being arrested in North Carolina.
May 23, 2014: 6 killed, 7 injured: Isla Vista, Calif.
Elliot Rodger, 22, meticulously planned his deadly attack on the Isla Vista community for more than a year, spending thousands of dollars in order to arm and train himself to kill as many people as possible, according to a report released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. Rodger killed six people before shooting himself.
April 2, 2014: 3 killed; 16 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas
A gunman at Fort Hood, the scene of a deadly 2009 rampage, kills three people and injures 16 others, according to military officials. The gunman is dead at the scene.
Sept. 16, 2013: 12 killed, 3 injured: Washington, D.C. Aaron Alexis, a Navy contractor and former Navy enlisted man, shoots and kills 12 people and engages police in a running firefight through the sprawling Washington Navy Yard. He is shot and killed by authorities.
June 7, 2013: 5 killed: Santa Monica
John Zawahri, an unemployed 23-year-old, kills five people in an attack that starts at his father’s home and ends at Santa Monica College, where he is fatally shot by police in the school’s library.
Dec. 14, 2012: 27 killed, one injured: Newtown, Conn.
A gunman forces his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and shoots and kills 20 first graders and six adults. The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, kills himself at the scene. Lanza also killed his mother at the home they shared, prior to his shooting rampage.
Aug. 5, 2012: 6 killed, 3 injured: Oak Creek, Wis.
Wade Michael Page fatally shoots six people at a Sikh temple before he is shot by a police officer. Page, an Army veteran who was a “psychological operations specialist,” committed suicide after he was wounded. Page was a member of a white supremacist band called End Apathy and his views led federal officials to treat the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism.
July 20, 2012: 12 killed, 58 injured: Aurora, Colo.
James Holmes, 24, is taken into custody in the parking lot outside the Century 16 movie theater after a post-midnight attack in Aurora, Colo. Holmes allegedly entered the theater through an exit door about half an hour into the local premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
April 2, 2012: 7 killed, 3 injured: Oakland
One L. Goh, 43, a former student at a Oikos University, a small Christian college, allegedly opens fire in the middle of a classroom leaving seven people dead and three wounded.
Jan. 8, 2011: 6 killed, 11 injured: Tucson, Ariz.
Jared Lee Loughner, 22, allegedly shoots Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the head during a meet-and-greet with constituents at a Tucson supermarket. Six people are killed and 11 others wounded.
Nov. 5, 2009: 13 killed, 32 injured: Ft. Hood, Texas
Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly shoots and kills 13 people and injures 32 others in a rampage at Ft. Hood, where he is based. Authorities allege that Hasan was exchanging emails with Muslim extremists including American-born radical Anwar Awlaki.
April 3, 2009: 13 killed, 4 injured: Binghamton, N.Y.
Jiverly Voong, 41, shoots and kills 13 people and seriously wounds four others before apparently committing suicide at the American Civic Assn., an immigration services center, in Binghamton, N.Y.
Feb. 14, 2008: 5 killed, 16 injured: Dekalb, Ill.
Steven Kazmierczak, dressed all in black, steps on stage in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University and opens fire on a geology class. Five students are killed and 16 wounded before Kazmierczak kills himself on the lecture hall stage.
Dec. 5, 2007: 8 killed, 4 injured: Omaha
Robert Hawkins, 19, sprays an Omaha shopping mall with gunfire as holiday shoppers scatter in terror. He kills eight people and wounds four others before taking his own life. Authorities report he left several suicide notes.
April 16, 2007: 32 killed, 17 injured: Blacksburg, Va.
Seung-hui Cho, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech senior, opens fire on campus, killing 32 people in a dorm and an academic building in attacks more than two hours apart. Cho takes his life after the second incident.
Feb. 12, 2007: 5 killed, 4 injured: Salt Lake City
Sulejman Talovic, 18, wearing a trenchcoat and carrying a shotgun, sprays a popular Salt Lake City shopping mall. Witnesses say he displays no emotion while killing five people and wounding four others.
Oct. 2, 2006: 5 killed, 5 injured: Nickel Mines, Pa.
Charles Carl Roberts IV, a milk truck driver armed with a small arsenal, bursts into a one-room schoolhouse and kills five Amish girls. He kills himself as police storm the building.
July 8, 2003: 5 killed, 9 injured: Meridian, Miss.
Doug Williams, 48, a production assemblyman for 19 years at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., goes on a rampage at the defense plant, fatally shooting five and wounding nine before taking his own life with a shotgun.
Dec. 26, 2000: 7 killed: Wakefield, Mass.
Michael McDermott, a 42-year-old software tester shoots and kills seven co-workers at the Internet consulting firm where he is employed. McDermott, who is arrested at the offices of Edgewater Technology Inc., apparently was enraged because his salary was about to be garnished to satisfy tax claims by the Internal Revenue Service. He uses three weapons in his attack.
Sept. 15, 1999: 7 killed, 7 injured: Fort Worth
Larry Gene Ashbrook opens fire inside the crowded chapel of the Wedgwood Baptist Church. Worshipers, thinking at first that it must be a prank, keep singing. But when they realize what is happening, they dive to the floor and scrunch under pews, terrified and silent as the gunfire continues. Seven people are killed before Ashbrook takes his own life.
April 20, 1999: 13 killed, 24 injured: Columbine, Colo.
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, students at Columbine High, open fire at the school, killing a dozen students and a teacher and causing injury to two dozen others before taking their own lives.
March 24, 1998: 5 killed, 10 injured: Jonesboro, Ark.
Middle school students Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden pull a fire alarm at their school in a small rural Arkansas community and then open fire on students and teachers using an arsenal they had stashed in the nearby woods. Four students and a teacher who tried shield the children are killed and 10 others are injured. Because of their ages, Mitchell. 13, and Andrew, 11, are sentenced to confinement in a juvenile facility until they turn 21.
Dec. 7, 1993: 6 killed, 19 injured: Garden City, N.Y.
Colin Ferguson shoots and kills six passengers and wounds 19 others on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train before being stopped by other riders. Ferguson is later sentenced to life in prison.
July 1, 1993: 8 killed, 6 injured: San Francisco
Gian Luigi Ferri, 55, kills eight people in an office building in San Francisco’s financial district. His rampage begins in the 34th-floor offices of Pettit & Martin, an international law firm, and ends in a stairwell between the 29th and 30th floors where he encounters police and shoots himself.
May 1, 1992: 4 killed, 10 injured: Olivehurst, Calif.
Eric Houston, a 20-year-old unemployed computer assembler, invades Lindhurst High School and opens fire, killing his former teacher Robert Brens and three students and wounding 10 others.
Oct. 16, 1991: 22 killed, 20 injured: Killeen, Texas
George Jo Hennard, 35, crashes his pickup truck into a Luby’s cafeteria crowded with lunchtime patrons and begins firing indiscriminately with a semiautomatic pistol, killing 22 people. Hennard is later found dead of a gunshot wound in a restaurant restroom.
June 18, 1990: 10 killed, 4 injured: Jacksonville, Fla.
James E. Pough, a 42-year-old day laborer apparently distraught over the repossession of his car, walks into the offices of General Motors Acceptance Corp. and opens fire, killing seven employees and one customer before fatally shooting himself.
Jan. 17, 1989: 5 killed, 29 injured: Stockton, Calif.
Patrick Edward Purdy turns a powerful assault rifle on a crowded school playground, killing five children and wounding 29 more. Purdy, who also killed himself, had been a student at the school from kindergarten through third grade.Police officials described Purdy as a troubled drifter in his mid-20s with a history of relatively minor brushes with the law. The midday attack lasted only minutes.
July 18, 1984: 21 killed, 19 injured: San Ysidro, Calif.
James Oliver Huberty, a 41-year-old out-of-work security guard, kills 21 employees and customers at a McDonald’s restaurant. Huberty is fatally shot by a police sniper perched on the roof of a nearby post office.
Integrate the Wisdoms of History into Present Culture
Addressing the polarized political climate in the USA
Add Text Here...
President Donald Trump
Summary of Chapters 1-15, published in RAIS, August 2020; and ResearchLEAP, February 2021.
Summary of Chapters 16 - 30, published in RAIS, October, 2020, and ResearchLEAP, April 2021.
Synthisophy - Integrating the wisdoms of history into present culture
Roots – Synthesis/History/Sophy
Synthesis - the integration of separate material or abstract entities into a single
or unified whole
History - what has happened in the past; a detailed description of past events as
relating to a particular people, country, period, etc…
Sophy - Greek root: wisdom, knowledge; an intellectual system embracing
knowledge and truth; study of the real world based on fact and truth, science
As you know, the USA today is a very polarized society. Technology in the Digital Age can be challenging. It can also be an avenue for us to interact despite differences in viewpoints and geography. That is the role of Synthisophy, integrating the wisdoms of history based on fact and truth into present culture. To foster an understanding of the real world, it’s important to learn about points of view which don’t match your own.
Citizens are the crux of democracy, an educated and well informed citizenry is vital for the survival of a democratic republic. As Benjamin Franklin said after exiting the Constitutional Convention and was asked what sort of government the delegates had created, his answer was, “We’ve given you a Republic, can you keep it?” With synthisophy in mind the answer to his question is “Yes, we can.”
"We've given you a Republic, can
you keep it?" Ben Franklin after
the Constitutional Convention
"If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed
ourselves." Abraham Linclon
"United we stand, divided
we fall." John F. Kennedy
"I believe, as I always have,
that America's strength is in
'We the People.'" Ronald Reagan
Here are the latest discussions:
What do you think of the Durham Report?
MSBNC and other far-Left media says “The Durham Report doesn’t just fail to live up to Trump supporters’ expectations of a spectacular vindication; it manages to fail on every other level as well.” And: “Despite Durham’s scolding tone, there’s little advice for DOJ to shape up beyond generic admonishments to adhere to its mission statement.”
The Federalists and other far-Right media says “BOMBSHELL: No ‘Actual Evidence’ Of Collusion By Trump When FBI Launched Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.” And: “Here's Everything The FBI Deliberately Ignored To Get Trump In Russian Collusion Hoax.”
How is it that the same event can have two completely opposite interpretations? Perhaps the truth lies somewhere between these 2 polar opposites.
Here’s the FBI’s response to the Durham Report:
The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented.”
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What do you think of AI and ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows people to have human-like conversations and much more with the chatbot. It runs on a language model architecture created by OpenAI called the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT). ChatGPT launched on November 30, 2022.
ChatGPT is the fastest-growing app of all time. An analysis estimates that ChatGPT had 100 million active users in January, only two months after its launch. For comparison, it took nine months for TikTok to reach 100 million users.
ChatGPT’s advanced AI abilities allow it to do tasks completely on its own, such as composing essays, emails and poems, writing and debugging code, and even passing exams. Now that a chatbot can do what humans do so well in a matter of seconds, what does that mean for our future?
Already, ChatGPT is changing expectations and practices in education, as well as in professional fields that involve skills like coding. While some are sounding the alarm bells, and others are taking the advancements in their stride, technology analysts are still assessing how the tool will change things.
Professors at Minnesota University Law School gave ChatGPT four separate law school final exams and then graded the exams blindly, shuffling them with actual student exams. The bot passed with an average grade of C. Although this score is on the lower end of what students score, it is impressive for a bot.
"The primary problem is that while the answers that ChatGPT produces have a high rate of being incorrect, they typically look like they might be good and the answers are very easy to produce," said Stack Overflow moderators in a post. Critics argue that these tools are just very good at putting words into an order that makes sense from a statistical point of view, but they cannot understand the meaning or know whether the statements it makes are correct.
The issue has made its way to higher education. How professors are handling the AI depends on each individual, with some banning it entirely and others taking a fairly open approach.
What do you think? Share your views at facebook/synthisophy!
What do you think?
Here are quotes from the US Surgeon General’s Social Media and Youth Mental Health Advisory. Here are some quotes, with the link below:
Social media use by youth is nearly universal. Up to 95% of youth ages 13–17 report using a social media platform, with more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.” Although age 13 is commonly the required minimum age used by social media platforms in the U.S.,3 nearly 40% of children ages 8–12 use social media.
Brain development is a critical factor to consider when assessing the risk for harm. Adolescents, ages 10 to 19, are undergoing a highly sensitive period of brain development. This is a period when risk-taking behaviors reach their peak, when well-being experiences the greatest fluctuations, and when mental health challenges such as depression typically emerge. Furthermore, in early adolescence, when identities and sense of self-worth are forming, brain development is especially susceptible to social pressures, peer opinions, and peer comparison. Frequent social media use may be associated with distinct changes in the developing brain in the amygdala (important for emotional learning and behavior) and the prefrontal cortex (important for impulse control, emotional regulation, and moderating social behavior), and could increase sensitivity to social rewards and punishments. As such, adolescents may experience heightened emotional sensitivity to the communicative and interactive nature of social media. Adolescent social media use is predictive of a subsequent decrease in life satisfaction for certain developmental stages including for girls 11–13 years old and boys 14–15 years old. Because adolescence is a vulnerable period of brain development, social media exposure during this period warrants additional scrutiny.
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What do you think?
Ron DeSantis declared his 2024 presidential candidacy yesterday (5.24.23). He officially filed paperwork to seek the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election and announced his candidacy via Twitter. DeSantis, widely seen as former President Trump's most serious challenger, made a name for himself challenging COVID protocols and pursuing an aggressive conservative agenda on race, gender and education in the state of Florida after easily winning re-election in 2022.
He formally announced his run Wednesday evening during a Twitter Spaces event with Elon Musk after months of speculation about his ambitions. The Twitter Spaces event got off to a rough start with an over 20-minute delay after the first link crashed. A second Twitter Spaces was started, but it was interspersed with occasionally dropped audio or disrupted connections for listeners. DeSantis launched into his campaign speech in which he accused President Joe Biden of taking his cues from “the woke mob” and said American decline is “not inevitable.” Then he made his pitch for why voters should back him. He called for “economic sanity” and denounced “inflationary policies that hurt working people” and pledged to “bring the administrative state to heel.” He promised to “shut down the border and construct a border wall.”
DeSantis will use the various moves he's made in Florida — like fighting Disney, banning critical race theory, restricting discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms, removing a "Soros appointed prosecutor," and opposing China — as a proposed "blueprint" for conservative policy across the country.
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Sources: Axios, Time
At this time, who do you think is going to be the Republican nominee for President?
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What do you think?
President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday signed off on an agreement to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and cap some federal spending in order to prevent a U.S. debt default.
Non-defense discretionary spending excluding benefits for veterans would total $637 billion for the 2024 fiscal year, down marginally from $638 billion the year before. That total would also increase by 1% in 2025.
The deal would boost total defense spending to $886 billion. That is about a 3% increase from the $858 billion allocated in the current budget for the Pentagon and other defense-related programs in other agencies.
Biden and Democrats secured $80 billion for a decade in new funding to help the Internal Revenue Service enforce the tax code for wealthy Americans in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, a move the administration said would yield $200 billion in additional revenue over the next 10 years. This deal would shift $10 billion in each of calendar years 2024 and 2025 in funding away the Internal Revenue Service
Biden and McCarthy agreed to claw back much of the unused Covid relief funds as part of the budget deal. The estimated amount of unused funds is between $50 billion and $70 billion.
Biden and McCarthy battled over imposing stricter work requirements on low-income Americans for being eligible for food and healthcare programs. The agreement would impose new work requirements on some low-income people who receive food assistance under the program known as SNAP up to age 54, instead of up to age 50.
The new bill would require the Biden administration to follow through with a plan to end the current pause on student loan repayments by late August. But it did not strike down Biden’s plan to forgive $430 billion in student debt, which the Supreme Court is currently reviewing.
Biden and McCarthy agreed to new rules to make it easier for energy projects — including fossil-fuel based ones — to gain permit approval. McCarthy and his Republicans had identified permitting reform as one of the pillars of any deal and the White House threw its support behind the plan earlier this month.
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Sources: Text CNBC; Pic CNN