July 1999 Notebook Entries

Notebook entry, July 29, 1999

To my regular readers, my apology for taking so long between notebook entries, but bla, bla, bla, excuse, excuse, etc...I really was busying doing some writing.   To those of you in the know, I have placed a classified advertisement in the weekly, The Nation.  As a result, I have been busy writing two essays that would be of interest to political readers.  After all, if evolutionary psychology is to have any meaning, it has to apply the evolutionary perspective to everything that involves human behavior, and that includes politics.

The first has to do with the origin of the "Angry White Male," and his recent (within the last 20 years) connection to the conservative movement from the late 1970s to the resignation of New Gingrich.  The second is about the American Judicial system and the Resource Alignment theories that I penned with my evolutionary snippets, "The Littleton Shootings: An Evolutionary Perspective."   I was going to start out by the multiple abuses of the police, the prosecutors, juries, and even the Supreme Court, but I mostly wrote about Mr. Micheal Wise, the former head of the Silverado Bank and Trust that went belly up in 1988.  It seems that this rich banker just could not live the plain and simple life and confessed to "borrowing" six million dollars of his investor's money from a company he started in Aspen, Co.  Well, anyway I answered the reasons why I thought that he was "allowed" to almost be excused from the case.  You can read about both of them by going to: Politics2000, and Politics2000a.

On July 24, 1999, I received the following email message from Bill Dedman, a reporter for the New York Times.  It seem that he was a bit upset in how I represented his story of July, 21, 99.  Well, I'll just let you read it below, and my response follows.
Mr. Spriggs,

I read your musing at your notebook.html page.
I can only say that you missed the point entirely.
The point of the Secret Service research is that there is no profile.
Read their materials. There is no type of person who does these killings. But there are patterns of behavior that lead up to such a killing. A person acquires a weapon, usually tells someone, plans, etc. That's the point. But profiling it is not. You said that profiling is a wrongheaded idea, but jumped to the conclusion that the Secret Service is profiling. Just my personal opinion.
All the best,

Dear Bill:

You are 100% correct. I did miss the point entirely. I have not read the Secret Service research materials.

Usually, I am not so inflamed by events in our culture that would allow me to make such a bad judgment call. but, I just finished David Cole's book: No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System a few days before the notebook entry and I was caught up in the passion of the unequal justice that abounds. I think the Washington Post story had the most influence. I am not a trained journalist, nor a trained scientist, but, I do correct errors when brought to my attention.

I will make the necessary corrections before next week.

Bill @ Evolution's Voyage.

As I said in my reply, he was 100% correct.  I meant to write about the 1998 FBI report titled: "Lessons Learned: An FBI Perspective."  The report contained a profile of shooters in five incidents: Paducah, Ky.; Pearl, Miss.; Edinboro, Pa.; and Stamp and Jonesboro, Ark.  You can read the profile and the updated Evolutionary Snipette, by click here: The Littleton Shootings: The Evolutionary Perspective.