• J.F. Skubis

Institutional Incest in America

Today we’re going to be talking about incest! Not like brother / sister kind, more like the institutional kind. In two areas that seem to be crossing swords at the moment. Those two areas are police training and academia. We’ll leave politics alone today… or will we? Don’t worry! I’m actually more qualified to speak intelligently on the subject than most of the talking heads you’re probably hearing today and I’ll get into that as we go.

Let’s first cover the topic of the police. Over the last four years I worked very closely with military, police, and other government agencies. In fact, for the last two years I was responsible for managing the sales division of the largest sport optics manufacturer in the world for those groups. The territory my team was responsible for was the United States. It was a pretty cool gig and allowed me a near front row seat to some things a lot of people don’t get to see. Part of doing this was being a subject matter expert in firearms and optics in order to do my job effectively. Because of my position I’ve had the honor of being trained by and interacting with many people, including but not limited to training industry professionals, members of Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps Recon, Secret Service, all manner of Law Enforcement, SWAT, and training officers, FBI, DEA, DOE, and every other alphabet soup acronym you can think of- seriously, it’s a long list.

One thing you encounter, and it’s not as pronounced in military, because they have learned to mitigate it to some extent, especially in the Special Operations Forces community, is incestuous training. Now what do I mean by incestuous training? Simply put, the guy in charge of training says, “This is how we do it. We’ve always done it that way and that’s how we will continue to do it.” It may not be an issue if that person is using the most up-to-date tactics, but generally if that is their approach they don’t have the most up-to-date tactics because the way they are doing it doesn’t allow for change. Now we don’t want change for the sake of change, because if it isn’t a good change that’s just stupid. We want good change, not just change.

So what happens when the training doesn’t evolve and allow for new best practices? It’s kind of like a game of telephone. You know the game you played as a kid where one person along a chain of people whispers a word or phrase into the next person’s ear and they in turn do the same until it gets to the last person, then that person says what they heard out loud.

Now from my experience that type of training can cause a lot of what the training industry calls training scars. Training scars are bad habits that unknowingly develop and become relevant in critical situations. So if we have an officer in charge of training and they don’t have the best possible method because they did it the way the last guy taught them, and that guy did it the way the guy before him taught him, then you see where the institutional incest comes in, then the training scars, and then down the road you have cops being trained with tactics that may not be that relevant or heck, may not even work when they need them the most. It all gets watered down and bastardized.

It’s a problem and the majority of cops that I have known are aware of it and want to change that. Notice I wrote, want to change that. The thing is it generally takes a ton of effort and time, of which they don’t have a lot of, in addition they will not be compensated for those efforts. The cause often has to be taken up by a younger, ambitious, highly tactically skilled officer who is often times coming from a different department or perhaps a more advanced department. Then they have to fight through red tape and the higher up’s or “brass” as you will often hear it referred to. It’s an extreme uphill battle and oftentimes once that battle is won, that person finds out the department does not have the funds to make the necessary changes. I repeat, does not have the funds to make the necessary changes.

Now that’s a tough position to be in. You look at that and also add in the vilification of police caused by media sensationalism coupled with a lack of relevant education by those critiquing the position and it ends up being a job that not many people want anymore. Why? Because it’s super difficult, the hours suck, you’re always fighting an uphill battle, you’re dealing with some of the worst aspects of society, not to mention it’s insanely dangerous, and you don’t get paid that well. All these things considered you have the majority of people who still do that job and do it incredibly well.

We’re now in a position where people are saying and taking action to “defund the police”. That’s an interesting stance. If I had a child and that child wanted to play cello I would likely get them lessons. Obviously at first they would probably play pretty poorly until they started to get the hang of it, it wouldn’t be too pleasing to the ear. Now if they didn’t progress past a certain point and their playing sounded awful, even though they had plenty of lessons what should I do? I should grab the bow out of their hand, snap it over my knee, yell in their face, and then take away the funding for lessons. Yeah! That will teach them to play better!

Wait… or maybe I should find them a better teacher? Maybe one that has a more advanced method and can get through to them, allowing them to become a better player of ear tickling tunes. Hmm… that’s likely going to cost more money, not less.

The truth is this job has become so difficult because of arm-chair quarterbacks in society that have no foundation to speak intelligently to what is happening. Also, if you look at how many successful peaceful interactions police have compared to the not so good ones that get blasted on the news, it's not even statistically significant. I would venture to guess doctors kill more patients than police kill citizens, after all for many years doctors have been one of the leading causes of death. Actually I don't have to guess because John's Hopkins did the research and medical errors by doctors is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer. You don't see doctors getting heat like police. As a result of all of this the quality of candidates for the job has gone down severely. The approach of society has caused the opposite intended effect.The quote in this cartoon is no joke, something my friend was asked.

Now let’s take a look at another area of incest in American institutions- Academia! An article in Washington Times online [source below] has announced that Liberal Professors outnumber conservative professors 12:1 or stated another way liberal professors compose 83% of the teaching staff. There are a few studies out there like this with varying numbers so let’s say it's a range of 70-90% of professors that are liberal to be more fair.

Now I went to college for 4.5 years and didn’t get a degree, pretty impressive I know! If you want to read more about that you should just buy my book. When there I was pretty darn liberal, like really, really liberal. Like stay up all night with my friends in the art building, making anti-war pro-love posters, and then putting them up all over campus guerilla style and watch professors rip them down because they weren’t approved type liberal. I was actually close friends with quite a few professors and am in fact still friends with one of them to this day.

That said what’s the issue with our higher learning institutions being so incredibly skewed to one side of the political spectrum? What does incest have to do with that? Well, we’re getting there.

I vividly recall day one of my sociology class. It was taught by a professor, let’s call him Tiny Tim. Now Tiny Tim was not sweet and feeble like the character in A Christmas Carol, check that, he was feeble, but not sweet. Tiny Tim in this setting was an angry and bitter little man. The first day of class he told us, “The American dream is a lie. No matter what you do or how hard you work you will never achieve it. If you believe that you can, you’re a fool!” The rest of the class consisted of him ranting about how the system was unfair and no one would ever make something of themselves in a position like that. I decided by the third class that I shouldn’t have to pay to listen to Tiny Tim rant about how he doesn’t like life and dropped the class.

This was in 2005 folks- it has only become more harshly skewed since then. So why is that a problem? Well back then I found that the majority, but not all of the professors mind you, were unable to separate their personal political ideology from the subjects they were teaching. What was more interesting was that most of the students ate it up with a spoon, me included, except for when it came to Tiny Tim. That guy was a douche, but I did have a friend that worshiped him. ***cringes while typing***

This all started somewhere back in the 1960’s, back when “woke” was dope and actually meant something. Now back then a certain amount of that was likely with merit. The problem came when it became unbalanced. Let’s look at it this way. You have a wave of radical liberals becoming professors and beginning to incorporate their political ideology into their teaching while crafting the next generation of young adults who will someday take over the world. Some of those young minds as students decide that academia is pretty cool and they want to be the person at the head of the class injecting their ideas into young minds. So you see, they become the next generation of professors and do as the professor before them. Then a few of that person’s students want to become professors so they do so and inject their ideology into the next generation.

Here’s the problem. Those new professors go straight from being in college as a student to then becoming a professor who is now teaching students. A complicating factor is these young and impressionable minds aren’t even fully formed until they reach 25 years of age, when the squishy cerebral cortex starts to firm up and become fully functional. What does the cerebral cortex do?

The cerebral cortex is the largest site of neural integration in the central nervous system. It plays a key role in attention, perception, awareness, thought, memory, language, and consciousness. More specifically the frontal cortex is the last thing to form. According to Robert M. Sapolsky, a Harvard and Rockefeller University educated professor of Biology and Neurology at Stanford, an immature frontal cortex explains the spectrum of teenage behaviors. Sapolsky says, "The sensation-seeking and the risk-taking; the highs are higher and the lows are lower. Teenagers are more adventurous and more heroic during this time—but can also be more violent and impulsive. It's the part of the brain that is most sculpted by environment and experience—and least constrained by genes.” Bigthink.com put it this way, “That's great news! Your adventure levels, openness, experience, and influences at 25 years old will shape who you are when you're 60.”

Does this terrify anyone else? Do you see a parallel being drawn between policing and academia? You should… training scars. It’s another game of telephone. In academia you now have a professor whose only worldly experience came in college and they never leave that setting, but yet are still allowed to shape the next generation of minds. It’s a highly insulated and incestuous scenario which can lead to much absurdity and here is proof.

James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, three scholars, performed an experiment. They wrote academic papers and submitted them to highly acclaimed peer-reviewed academic journals. They submitted 20 of them in 10 months [1-2 per year is normal per person], of those 7 were accepted, 4 were published, and at least, according to their own account, 5 or 6 more would have gotten in had they not been “busted”. Their goal was to make these papers as ludicrous as possible to see what would be accepted. The overview of the process is they would write a paper, submit to the journal for peer-review, this would get reviewed with requested revisions, which they found often made them more ludicrous, then they make their revisions and submit. Once it is accepted it can then be published and is a large feather in their academic cap, the gold standard of peer-review, granting them validity in academia and helping them gain tenure and other high profile positions out in the world. This experiment is often referred to now as the “Grievance Studies” affair or hoax. Here are some of the titles of their papers that were accepted and published, fyi they even won an award for one of these:

“Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon”

"Who Are They to Judge? Overcoming Anthropometry and a Framework for Fat Bodybuilding"

"Going in Through the Back Door: Challenging Straight Male Homohysteria and Transphobia through Receptive Penetrative Sex Toy Use"

"An Ethnography of Breastaurant Masculinity: Themes of Objectification, Sexual Conquest, Male Control, and Masculine Toughness in a Sexually Objectifying Restaurant"

Need I go on? Fat Bodybuilding folks!!! If you read these articles or listen to the authors speak it is shocking to see what is now being accepted in academia as valid and this experiment definitely exposes the incestuousness of academia and how it is leading our society astray. People cite these academic journals as factual evidence to further validate their arguments. If you identify as liberal and the hairs on the back of your neck are raised and you feel a primal growl coming on just know that Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghassian all identify as left-leaning liberal as well. This isn’t about us vs them, it’s about finding appropriate balance.

So back to the parallels. It seems academia and policing have something in common that is negatively impacting desired outcomes in America. That brings us to a very important subject. Developing rapport. We can’t even begin to fix the issues we are facing until we find the common ground and work on it from a place of understanding. Everyone is yelling, no one is listening. We’re all like baby birds in a nest mouths agape in want.

It can be really challenging though because things are relative but they don’t always feel or look that way. After-all, a bad day on the job looks very different for a cop and professor.

The rapport comes in where we can notice the positive feedback loops in these areas which must be changed and also identify with the difficulty and struggle people face in their own unique situations. The long term effects of positive feedback loops are leading to cognitive dissonance, which is the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. These are contradictory in nature. Take a look at the CHAZ or CHOP or the Autonomous Zone in Seattle, or whatever it is called currently today. It was started by far-left leaning people who have a propensity to want open borders and more gun control. The first thing they did was create borders and placed armed guards at them. Another example, we want safer communities and better policing but are seeing a call to "defund" the police. There is no logic and no reason in these and therefore they cannot be solved. Logic, reason, and consistency are not optional in order to solve problems, they are mandatory.

So what do we need to do? We need to focus first on the good and likeness to get to a point of rapport, then come together to focus on the bad and how to intelligently approach fixes. We need to start asking questions and be willing to not only hear, but listen to and process the answers from a genuine heartfelt place of improvement. We cannot continue shouting each other down and thinking this will improve something.

There are so many feeding their ego now it’s disgusting. I have friends who label themselves progressive but post things on social media that do nothing to help progress. They post it because they know it will be inflammatory and upsetting to people “on the other side”. I have conservative friends who do the same. None of this helps. It’s just self-serving pompous satisfaction that is causing more strife in the world. I don’t care who you are and what you think you stand for if you are purposefully stirring the pot, you are acting like a child. You say you want to “make the world a better place”. You are a hypocrite and making the world a better place really isn’t your goal when you are creating more conflict. It’s self satisfaction. Instead of causing conflict maybe you should check your ego for a sec and focus on conflict resolution.

If the adults in the United States can’t calm themselves and refrain from acting like children and learn to approach problems with kindness, intellect, and understanding, big daddy government is going to step in and do it for them. This won’t be good. That means your rights will be taken and once a government takes rights it rarely, if ever, grants them back. We need to fix what we can and press on where we need to. Not everything can be the same for everyone, it is scientifically and statistically impossible. That said we should do our best to help others where we can. If the government steps in, takes all of our rights away because we can’t act like adults, then attempts to make everything the same for everyone, well that sounds a lot like communism. But hey, don’t worry guys, my professor said that communism can totally work this time! It just didn’t work correctly the other umpteen times because they didn’t do it right. Here’s some of the current communist countries. China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and North Korea. Last time I checked those places weren’t utopias, in fact it’s really terrible for a lot of people there compared to how we live here in the US. Maybe we should show some gratitude for where we are and go to work calmly and intelligently fixing the problems. The incestual bits of institutions seem like a reasonable place to start.










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