R J Cook Matters II

March 2nd 2024

Florida Moves to Ban Homeless Sleeping on Streets

Published Mar 02, 2024 at 8:32 AM EST

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The GOP-controlled Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to prevent homeless people from sleeping in public places.

In a 82-26 vote along party lines, Florida lawmakers approved HB 1365. It prohibits counties and municipalities in the state from “authorizing or otherwise allowing public camping or sleeping” on public property. The bill also allows for funding for homeless shelters while providing designated areas for people to stay in. These areas would need to provide running water and access to utilities such as restrooms, as well as be alcohol- and drug-free zones.

The state of Florida had the third-highest homeless population in the country as of 2022, with nearly 26,000 people listed as experiencing homelessness on any given night, according to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report.

Homelessness in Florida
Homeless people are lying in a makeshift shelter on a sidewalk in Miami on August 4, 2021. Florida lawmakers have passed a bill that would prevent homeless people from sleeping in public. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

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The legislation, which has already been supported by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, was brought forward by Republican state representative Sam Garrison.

“This bill takes steps towards addressing the crisis of chronic homelessness by prohibiting public sleeping or camping on public properties or public rights of way while simultaneously making allowances for secure safe areas for those who have no other place to go,” Rep. Garrison said on the House floor on Friday, reported Florida’s Voice news outlet.

“This is not a bill designed to put people out of sight, out of mind. It’s quite the opposite,” Garrison added, via Fox News. Newsweek emailed Rep. Sam Garrison for comment on Saturday.

“When it gets to a point where the problem exceeds the resources to address it, the cost of dealing with it on the back end is inevitably 10 times what it would be on the front end.”

During the debate on the House floor, Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani asked if a homeless person could be arrested if they choose not to stay at the designated areas approved by the state.

“Our bill does not describe criminal penalties. We leave it to the local jurisdictions to make a determination about what’s the best way to address the problem,” Garrison replied.

The House rejected a series of amendments to the bill put forward by Democrats. These included one to ensure homeless parents and children are kept together, and another that would have banned perpetrators of domestic violence from being allowed in the designated shelters.

In February, DeSantis said he supports the plans to crack down on public homelessness in the state, so Florida does not “become San Francisco.”

“It’s got to be done in ways focused primary on ensuring public order, ensuring quality of life for residents, ensuring that people’s property values are maintained, ensuring that businesses are able to operate,” DeSantis said in a February 5 press conference.

After clearing the House, HB 1365 now moves to the Senate for approval. If it also passes through the upper chamber, the legislation will take effect from October 1.

About the writer

Ewan Palmer

https://www.newsweek.com/florida-ban-homeless-sleeping-hb1365-sam-garrison-1875279

Public Interest Immunity In U.K Democracy

Contents

(Top) Seeking the order

History

Public-interest immunity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Public-interest immunity (PII), previously known as Crown privilege, is a principle of English common law under which the English courts can grant a court order allowing one litigant to refrain from disclosing evidence to the other litigants where disclosure would be damaging to the public interest. This is an exception to the usual rule that all parties in litigation must disclose any evidence that is relevant to the proceedings. In making a PII order, the court has to balance the public interest in the administration of justice (which demands that relevant material is available to the parties to litigation) and the public interest in maintaining the confidentiality of certain documents whose disclosure would be damaging. PII orders have been used in criminal law against large organised criminal outfits and drug dealers where the identity of paid police informants could be at risk.

Seeking the order

An order that PII applies would usually be sought by the British government to protect official secrets, and so can be perceived as a gagging order. Where a minister believes that PII applies, he signs a PII certificate, which then allows the court to make the final decision on whether the balance of public interest was in favour of disclosure or not. Generally, a court will allow a claim of PII without inspecting the documents: only where there is some doubt will the court inspect the documents to decide whether PII applies.

Originally, a government minister was under a duty to advance a PII point where PII could be relevant, and the court took a certificate from a minister claiming PII as final and conclusive. However, over time, there has been an increase in both the ability of a minister to make a disclosure, notwithstanding the potential application of PII, and the ability of the courts to review a claim of PII. In Conway v Rimmer [1968], the House of Lords held that the courts retained the final decision on whether PII should be upheld, and, in R v Chief Constable of West Midlands, ex parte Wiley [1995], the House of Lords decided that a minister could discharge his duty by making his own judgment of where the public interest lies (that is, to disclose or to assert PII). In practice, this is thought to have led to a reduction in the number of cases when PII is asserted.

History

PII was previously known as Crown Privilege, and derived from the same principle as the sovereign immunity of the Crown from prosecution before the Crown Proceedings Act 1947. However, PII is not limited to the Crown (see the NSPCC case mentioned below), and cannot be waived save in exceptional circumstances.

A number of PII certificates were signed in relation to the prosecutions of individuals involved in the Matrix Churchill “Arms to Iraq” case, a subject that was subsequently investigated in the Scott Report.

Examples

  • Duncan v. Cammell Laird and Co. Ltd [1942] AC 624. The submarine HMS Thetis sank on 1 June 1939 during sea trials with the loss of 99 lives. The families of the sailors who had been killed in the disaster claimed damages from the builders, Cammell Laird. The House of Lords upheld a certificate issued by the Admiralty claiming PII in relation to the plans of the submarine. The House of Lords also held that the courts should take a PII certificate at face value.
  • Tomlinson v HMG. In 1995, former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson attempted to bring MI6 before an employment tribunal to seek compensation for unfair dismissal. MI6 argued that this would “damage national security” and obtained a PII from the then Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind to block Tomlinson’s application. Tomlinson argued vociferously that the real reason that MI6 obtained the PII certificate was to cover up their incompetent and dishonest personnel management.
  • Conway v Rimmer [1968]. The House of Lords held that the courts are the final arbiters of whether PII applies or not.
  • D v. National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [1978] AC 171. The NSPCC investigated an allegation that D was mistreating her child. D claimed damages, and sought documents from the NSPCC to identify who had made the allegation. The House of Lords upheld the NSPCC’s claim of PII, since its legitimate role in protecting the welfare of children was clearly in the public interest and would be threatened by disclosure.
  • Air Canada v. Secretary of State for Trade [1983] 2 AC 384. A group of airlines claimed that the British Airports Authority had unlawfully increased landing fees at the instigation of a government minister. The minister disclosed some documents, but claimed PII in respect of others. The House of Lords decided not to inspect the disputed documents, holding that inspection was only required if they were “reasonably likely” to assist or damage a party’s case.
  • R v Chief Constable of West Midlands, ex parte Wiley [1995] 1 AC 274. The House of Lords decided that a minister could discharge his duty by making his own judgment of where the public interest lies, and was not obliged to claim PII in all cases where it may be applicable.
  • The Scott Inquiry found that public interest immunity certificates had been issued which withheld from defence counsel certain documents which would have exonerated the defendants in the Matrix Churchill trial.
  • R v Paul Burrell [2002] – A public-interest immunity certificate allowed the prosecution to apply to the judge for a ruling that disclosure of certain information would be harmful to the public interest and should not be made public.[1]
  • R v Hicks, Nute and Rowe [2002] – A public-interest immunity certificate was presented to the court by the Crown Prosecution Service after about ten minutes of this hearing. A possible reason for the introduction of the PII certificate was that the Duchy of Cornwall refuses to reveal the circumstances under which it transferred several of its properties (including Tintagel Castle) to the care of English Heritage.[2]
  • R v. Yam [2008] (trial of Wang Yam for the murder of Allan Chappelow) – In December 2007 the Crown Prosecution Service indicated it would ask for this trial for murder, burglary and deception to be held “in camera“, making it the first UK murder trial ever heard behind closed doors without access by press or public. A public-interest immunity certificate was sought by the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith; it was reported by the Times on 13 December 2007 that the grounds were “on the basis of protecting national security interests and to protect the identity of informants”. A further order was made under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 prohibiting the press from any speculation as to the reasons for parts of the trial being held in private. In the Court of Appeal on 28 January, the “gagging order” was upheld, with the Lord Chief Justice insisting that a fair trial would be possible even if some or all of it is held “in camera”.[3][4]
  • R (Mohamed) v Foreign Secretary [Feb 2010]

European Convention on Human Rights

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to a fair trial; an “implied” right stemming from this is that of “equality of arms” – the idea that hearings should be adversarial and both parties should have access to the same evidence and witnesses. The European Court of Human Rights has held that Article 6 (especially the “implied” rights) is not an absolute right and that measures restricting the rights of the defence so as to safeguard an important public interest are lawful if “strictly necessary”.[5]

It is of note that fewer PII certificates have been issued in recent years. For example, MI6 have not succeeded in obtaining a PII certificate since the 1995 Tomlinson case, and have thus been subject to court scrutiny for investigations such as the inquest into the death of the Princess of Wales, and allegations that their officers partook in torture.

See also

March 1st 2024

46 Years Ago, a Rare Alignment of Our Planets Allowed For An Iconic Space Mission

With Voyager 1 on the fritz, it’s a great time to look back at the 46-year space mission’s origin story.

byKiona Smith

Feb. 26, 2024

The summer of 1977 was a great time to be a space nerd. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was a summer blockbuster. NASA was testing its futuristic Space Shuttle in the Mojave Desert. And, on August 2 and September 5, Voyager 2 and 1, respectfully, blasted off from Florida on their way to tour the enigmatic giant worlds of the outer solar system. The summer of 1977 changed our view of outer space forever.

The twin Voyagers carried the same array of instruments — spectrometers, cosmic ray detectors, and cameras — to tell scientists on Earth about distant worlds; they also carried matching “Golden Records” with recordings of sounds, music, and voices to tell distant worlds about life on Earth.

Altogether, each Voyager carried slightly less computing power than a modern smartphone. By today’s standards, they’re bare-bones machines, and in some senses, their electronics were outmoded even by the time they launched. But sometimes simplicity works: the Voyagers have outlived many of their original designers. And it’s hard to imagine not knowing the things Voyagers 1 and 2 revealed about the outer reaches of our Solar System: that Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is a gargantuan hurricane, that Europa’s ice is cracked because of tides churning beneath it, that Io is volcanically active on a terrifying scale, or that Titan has hydrocarbon seas and rivers beneath its methane smog.

Thanks to the Voyagers, NASA knew it was worth launching the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn.

“I remember seeing the image of the moon Io for the first time and thinking that the Caltech students had engineered a brilliant stunt — they must have substituted a picture of a poorly made pizza for the picture of Io!” recalls Voyager program co-investigator Alan Cummings in a post for NASA. “All that orange and black on Io changed our thinking about the moons in the Solar System. I think most of us thought they would all look more or less like our own Moon. But, wow, how wrong was that!”

image of the edge of a planet in orange, with blue volcanic plumes, on a black background
This image from one of the Voyager spacecraft is one of the first glimpses of Io’s erupting volcanoes.NASA

Two Long One-Way Trips

Voyager 1 swept past Jupiter in 1979, using the planet’s tremendous gravity to power a slingshot outward toward Saturn and its haze-shrouded moon Titan (mission planners had to choose between a flyby of Titan or Pluto, and they chose Titan). From there, the tug of Saturn’s gravity “bent the spacecraft’s path inexorably northward out of the ecliptic plane.” Voyager 1 was on its way out of the Solar System.

Voyager 2 also flew past Jupiter for a gravity assist in 1979, then past Saturn in 1980, but its path also carried it past the Solar System’s two most distant worlds, “ice giants” Uranus and Neptune. To this day, Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft we’ve sent to either of the ice giants.

“The planet Uranus turned out to be a fuzzy blue tennis ball, with an atmosphere not at all as exciting as Jupiter or Saturn,” recalls Suzanne Dodd, now the Voyager program manager, in a post for NASA. “So initially, it felt a little disappointing, but then there was the moon Miranda. That was shocking – a jumble of different geologies on the same body. It was the jewel of the encounter.”

After flying past Neptune in 1989, Voyager 2 carried on its own way out of the Solar System, curving south (relative to Earth’s poles) while its sister headed north.

grayscale mosaic images of planets
Voyager 1 captured this mosaic portrait of 6 of the Solar System’s 8 planets (and the Sun) from above the plane of the planets’ orbits, 4 billion miles from home.NASA

How The Planets Aligned

The trips were only possible because of a rare alignment of the planets. Our Solar System’s massive outermost worlds lumber slowly along wide, long orbits: Jupiter takes about 12 years to make a lap around the Sun, while Uranus takes 84; Neptune orbits the Sun in such a wide circle that its orbit takes a staggering 165 years to complete. But once every 175 years, the planets happen to pass the same point in their orbits at the same time, so that from Earth’s viewpoint they all line up in a roughly straight line.

Aerospace engineer Gary Flandro, working in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, realized that such an alignment was due to happen in the late 1970s and that NASA could take advantage of it to explore the outer Solar System. The outer planets’ rare alignment meant that a spacecraft could reach all four of them on a single curving trajectory, using each planet’s gravity to get a speed boost and help set the course for the next world. Each spacecraft could save fuel and reach its destinations in a fraction of the time.

Based on Flandro’s calculations, the original version of Voyager would have been a fleet of four spacecraft, dispatched in pairs to the outer worlds: two to Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, and two more to Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. But the price tag for that pair of missions would have been about $1 billion at the time (equivalent to a little over $5 billion today), and NASA’s planetary science missions were competing for funding against the newly-approved Space Shuttle program — part of a longstanding budget rivalry between crewed spaceflight and planetary science.

Eventually, the pared-down version involved two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. And NASA chose to overlook poor little Pluto in favor of Saturn’s moon Titan.

The planetary alignment also meant that in 1990, Voyager 1 could point its camera back toward Earth and capture a “family portrait” of our Solar System. That portrait included the now-famous Pale Blue Dot: a color image of Earth from 4 billion miles away, looking tiny and fragile amid the vastness of space.

Candice Handsen, now a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, and then part of the Voyager imaging team, recalls that her colleagues printed out Voyager 1’s wide-angle mosaic of the Solar System, with the more focused color images of individual planets as insets, and hung them along a wall in the Von Karman Auditorium at JPL.

“Jurrie [Van der Woude] said that he had to replace the picture of Earth rather often — people always wanted to touch it,” writes Handsen.Learn Something New Every Day

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40 Years Ago, NASA Astronauts Captured This Iconic Space Photo

Here’s the history behind an incredible NASA photo.

byDoris Elín Urrutia

Updated: Feb. 20, 2024

Originally Published: Feb. 8, 2024

An astronaut flies above the Earth. The astronaut is at a great distance from the viewer, and no cab...

NASA

Wednesday marked the 40th anniversary of a remarkable space photo: a free-floating astronaut sailing above Earth, seemingly alone.

The Sun was striking directly onto NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless at the time of the photo, prompting him to pull down his helmet visor. That gave the astronaut armor a universal appeal: With no apparent face, anyone could pretend they were in the suit, McCandless once said. “My anonymity means people can imagine themselves doing the same thing.”

In this shot, McCandless is making history. As CAPCOM, or capsule communicator on the Apollo 11 mission, he was in charge of transmitting voice messages to the original Moonwalkers. Then, on February 7, 1984, he debuted a new technology that would carry him away from the safety of his spacecraft, putting him adrift and untethered.

An astronaut flies above the Earth. The astronaut is at a great distance from the viewer, and no cab...
NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless debuts the hand-controlled MMU backpack on February 7, 1984.NASA

The moment is preserved in this striking photo from fellow NASA astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson. He snapped this image with a Hasselblad camera from the crew cabin of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Using the skills he’d learned about placing Earth’s horizon at the bottom of the frame, he tilted the camera to match Challenger’s 28.5-degree inclination in orbit. The artistic effort paid off.

The epic shot shows McCandless becoming the first person to fire the MMU, or Manned Maneuvering Unit, a hand-operated jetpack that allowed astronauts to fly freely in space.

The MMU released gaseous nitrogen propellant via a series of 24 thrusters and three gyros, all while the astronaut wearing it could control their navigation.

There were no lifelines connecting it to Challenger. The daunting flight inspired McCandless to quote his Apollo 11 colleague Neil Armstrong. “It may have been one small step for Neil,” McCandless proclaimed about the task, “but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.”

An astronaut flies in space, tilted with the head pointing to the top right. Earth's curved horizon ...
In this photo, astronaut Bruce McCandless is a few meters away from the cabin of the Space Shuttle Challenger.NASA

The MMU was made up mostly of aluminum, and on Earth, it would weigh about 340 lbs. But the hefty backpack wasn’t a burden for McCandless, thanks to the weightlessness of the microgravity environment of low-Earth orbit.

MMU went on top of the space suit. The outfit was a life-support system that regulated the astronaut’s temperature in space, and included a pressure garment that could act like a bulletproof vest, to protect the astronauts from micrometeoroid strikes.

NASA astronauts used MMU onboard three Space Shuttle flights: on mission STS-41B (McCandless’s historic jaunt), on Challenger’s STS-41C mission, and on the Space Shuttle Discovery mission STS-51A — all in 1984.

This article was originally published on Feb. 8, 2024

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February 18th 2024

Sound Familiar ?

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The European Commission is pushing for “solidarity” despite the fact that not only Eastern European farmers but also Western European farmers are now facing serious competitive disadvantages due to the influx of poor-quality food from Ukraine. Read more…
 Read more…
“It is a real pact with the devil that will lead to the suicide of Europe.“ Read more…
He then turned to the people on the train and demanded they shout, “Heil Hitler.” Read more…

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February 13th 2024

Our Quest for Freedom: Yearning

winter oak February 5 by Paul Cudenec[This is from my new book Our Quest for Freedom and other essays]We have seen that there is a fundamental dislocation here, a deep gulf between the reality of contemporary society and the way in which we are meant to live.In so many ways, the modern system is the exact opposite of what we really crave. It is the inversion of healthy and natural life.It disempowers us, on every level, stifles and stunts us, forces us to repress our deepest feelings, intuitions and desires in order to fit into its gridwork of conformity and obedience.It is the cage in which we are kept, it is the shackles with which we are bound, it is the gag that silences us.There are many who lack the vitality and integrity to resist this and resign themselves to their incarceration.But we are also many who refuse to be defeated. We hold on to our vision of something else outside of this grey gulag and refuse to let go.A tension therefore emerges between the real circumstances in which we find ourselves and the place where we desire to be.This tension – between what is and what could be – is our yearning.This word nicely brings together the two ways in which we remember the archetype of authentic living which we carry within us.As well as meaning a nostalgic, even melancholic, longing for something in the past, it also indicates a strong desire to do something in the future.It is said to originate from the indo-european root word meaning ‘gut’ (along with ‘hernia’, for instance) and thus speaks of our gut feeling, our gut instinct, a voice that calls to us from our physical bodily being.It provides us with a powerful internal motor to move on from our realising and remembering and to set off on the quest to reclaim our freedom.[Audio version]Our Quest for Freedom and other essays can be downloaded for free here or purchased here.

January 26th 2024

Lunatics

Japan recently became the fifth nation to successfully complete a soft landing on the moon’s surface, joining a select few countries — the U.S., Russia, China and India — in accomplishing this feat. But moon landings are likely to become more common over the next few years. Globally, more than 100 lunar missions, both by private companies and by governments, are expected to take place by 2030, according to the European Space Agency.

So why are all these countries eager to get back to the moon?

“The moon is a proving ground,” said Michelle Hanlon, executive director at the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi. “Humanity needs to get to the moon in order to learn how to live in space, in order to learn how to utilize the resources of space. And that is really the stepping stone to all of the vast riches in the universe.”

Some of the riches that these countries and companies seek include rare-earth metals and the isotope helium-3, which, while rare on Earth, is abundant on the moon and can theoretically be used to power nuclear fusion reactors. 

“We haven’t figured out quite how to do it yet. There’s a lot of theories about it. But, once we figure that out, the helium-3 on the moon could seriously power the Earth, the entire Earth, for centuries,” Hanlon said.

And then there is the presence of another vital natural resource that countries are after: water. Aside from being crucial for human survival, water can be used to make rocket fuel, meaning the moon could one day become a refueling station for rockets and a springboard for deeper space exploration. 

“Whoever gets to establish a significant lunar presence is making a statement about their political system, about their economic system, about who is ahead in the geopolitical competition,” said Dean Cheng, senior advisor for the China program at the United States Institute of Peace. “But a second, newer part to this is the belief that there are significant resources on the moon that are useful to Earth, or useful for future space flight.”

To find out more about the new moon race and why the U.S. and China are currently the leaders, watch the

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Our Quest for Freedom and other essays

winter oak Jan 22 by Paul CudenecWhen one constantly decries the state of the modern world and calls for the founding of a free and healthy organic society, it is inevitable that readers are going to ask how exactly this might happen.The answer is a complex one and, in many ways, has been the subject of everything I have ever written.But in the opening essay of my new 2024 book Our Quest for Freedom, I present my thinking on the issue in the space of a mere 35 pages.In his preface to the work, W.D. James focuses on one key aspect of my writing when he says: “The human spirit, and the larger cosmic spirit of which it forms a part or in which it participates, has largely been absent in serious recent discourse. Cudenec is helping to correct that omission.”Cudenec presents the ‘quest’ in heroic and spiritual terms. It is the quest for the ‘grail’; that being the power to become what we are meant to be. That will take action. Not just utilitarian, calculating action. Action infused with spirit. In the concluding dialogue he calls for a ‘political-spiritual revolt’.”In the title essay he teaches: ‘Your purpose is to play your part in the uprising against evil’. Against what he also calls ‘the death-entity’. In doing such, he accurately recognizes the nature of our situation. It is not merely against oligarchs and tyrants that we struggle but against what we should properly term dark spiritual forces.”Cudenec, like a prophet, calls for us to become spirit rebels. In doing such, he situates himself in the radical tradition of Marguerite Porete, Thomas Müntzer, and Gerrard Winstanley. The return of the (human) spirit is what the times are calling for”.In the new piece, I suggest that we might reach a free future by means of a number of interrelated stages: Realising; Remembering; Yearning; Exposing; Explaining; Proposing; Meaning; Motivating; Becoming; Inspiring; Preparing; Boycotting; Building and Defending.There are hints at the answers I propose there in the other essays featured in this compilation, of course.In 1984/2024 – The Hidden Hope in Orwell’s Warning, I write, for instance: “It’s up to us to draw inspiration from our ancestral memory of natural order, to see through the system’s lies, to band together in small groups and form knots of resistance that will keep the tattered flag of freedom flying proudly in the years to come.“We have to do so without any hope that victory will necessarily be achieved in our lifetimes, but must simply aim to do all that is needed in order that, in Orwell’s words, ‘the next generation can carry on where we leave off’”.And I conclude Wisdom Natural and Divine by stating: “This deliberate and self-interested cancelling of age-old knowing and understanding, and of the deep sense of morality innate to our species, has to be ended and then reversed.“Humankind needs to again pay heed to the voices of the birds, the animals and the green trees of Paradise; to return home to nature; to become once more a simple hair in the locks of our divine and infinitely wise Friend”.I also spell out my personal vision quite clearly in Resisting Global Tyranny: Nationalism, Religion and the Golden Chain of Tradition: “Free peoples, close to nature, living simply, peacefully, honestly and humbly; cherishing their own specific traditions and cultures and yet understanding the bigger picture of their belonging to greater human, natural and cosmic wholes – this is the world that I would like the children of tomorrow to inherit”.In the next essay, A Yearning With No Name, I muse on the difficulty of trying to set out a philosophical position using the language of a system that has declared that this particular political position does not even exist!I add: “The forbidden point of view that the system tries so hard to hide is, at its core, nothing less than common sense, the natural inclination of humankind”.Long-term optimism is voiced in A Matter of Life and Death, in which I identify “a long-awaited turning of the tide which will eventually see the energy of life and goodness restored to its rightful place at the centre of human existence”.I predict: “Natural order – fresh, green and vital – will grow up in the ruins of the death-system, leaving humankind free to fulfil its true potential”.But my short-term concerns about the authenticity of certain current strands of the so-called “resistance” are reflected by the question When Will the Real Opposition Emerge?I launch a theme which I continue through subsequent essays when I state: “The system is inherently industrialist and so if we want to be rid of the system we have to be rid of industrialism”.A necessary step in Seizing a Free Future, I go on to argue in the next piece, is to see through “the official narrative of industrialism as real progress and of ‘development’ as both desirable and necessary”.One, in particular, of the Seven Reasons Why I Am an Anti-Industrialist deserves, I think, broader consideration in the context of a fundamental re-evaluation of the meaning and value of so-called “development”, sustainable or otherwise.I write: “When governments are persuaded to borrow money for ‘badly-needed’ industrial infrastructure, or modernisation, for Great Leaps Forward and Five Year Plans, the only way they are ever going to keep paying the interest on the debt is if there is further economic ‘growth’ financed by further loans from the same sources.“These financiers also happen to own the materials required for all this industrial development, for which they are paid with the money they have lent, at interest, to the government in question. Industrialism is the physical manifestation of usury, the way in which the system robs as well as kills”.Within the framing of the criminocracy, it simply is not possible to plausibly oppose industrialism and development.The pro-industrialist, pro-development “opposition” on its right flank is thus mirrored by a pro-industrialist, pro-development “opposition” on its left.In Marxist Doublethink and the Disabling of Resistance, I remark that Marxism, for all its useful analysis, ultimately represents an ideological dead end.“It describes and criticises the current system, but does not provide us with a way out of it”.The next piece is a satirical rendition of the points I was making in the previous essays, with an imaginary industrialist jailer asking Prisoner 1141183891920: “How do you think you could ever cope outside this prison, if indeed an outside even existed? Do you think food grows on trees? Or that drinking water just spurts out of the ground? Fool!”Seeing The Whole Truth With a Three-Dimensional Outlook urges the replacement of binary vision in the political dimension with an approach that recognises binary opposites only in terms of the essential qualitative notions by which we can judge the world around us.I conclude: “Once armed with this holistic perspective, we will quickly see where this modern world is situated on the scale of quality and can begin to take steps to put things right”.Turning Our Backs on the Left-Right Racket is a look at the ideas of French political philosopher Jacques Camatte, written for the Organic Radicals website.Once a Marxist, Camatte has for many decades been a staunch critic of the ideology, warning that it is, in fact, “a theory of development”, aiming for a mere “transition” into “a new mode of production where productive forces blossom”.I very much agree with him that “Communism was affirmed in opposition to bourgeois society, but not in opposition to capital”.Finally, Traditionalism, Anarchism and the Urgent Need for Righteous Revolt: A Dialogue, is an in-depth conversation that I enjoyed with W.D. James, himself a former Marxist, in fact.Here I again stress the utter futility of any form of “resistance” or “opposition” that does not challenge the system, its structures and its thinking to the very core.[Audio version]Our Quest for Freedom and other essays can be downloaded for free here or purchased here.

January 22nd 2024

How many MORE lovers did ‘suicide’ police chief have?

13 April 2012

The widow of Greater Manchester police chief Michael Todd returned to the family home yesterday for the first time since his body was found on Mount Snowdon on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Todd’s private life is to be investigated in order to make sure it had no impact on his professional performance.

Greater Manchester Police have asked that colleagues from the West Midlands look into Mr Todd’s personal life to ensure it had no impact on his duties as chief constable, it was announced today.

A statement from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said that North Wales Police were investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Todd’s apparent suicide, but West Midlands Police had been called in following the revelations about his personal conduct.

It read: “An independent rigorous inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Michael Todd’s tragic death is currently being handled on behalf of the coroner by North Wales Police.

HM Inspectorate are in liaison with that constabulary and are monitoring developments closely.

“Given the circumstances, an examination of the circumstances will take place to ensure that nothing in the conduct of Mr Todd’s personal life had adversely impacted on the professional discharge of his duties as chief constable.”

A Manchester police source revealed the decision to investigate Mr Todd’s private life had been taken to ensure that everything was done above board.

The source said: “We decided to say, ‘Let’s do this properly, and lets make sure everything is being done properly’.”

It recently emerged Mr Todd had sent “absolutely devastating” text messages to his mistress Angie Robinson and an unnamed policewoman shortly before he went missing.

It is understood the search for the father-of-three was launched after they raised the alarm. He was found on the mountain with a bottle of gin. It is not clear whether he committed suicide or was drunk and stumbled during a storm.

A senior police source said: “It appears Mr Todd sent just two texts from Snowdon – one to Angie Robinson and one to a female officer in the Met.

“The content of these texts has been described to me as ‘absolutely devastating’ and was distressing enough to lead both recipients to immediately telephone Greater Manchester Police.”

Mr Todd’s wife Carolyn, 47, was informed last Thursday that her husband – who has been linked to a number of women – was having an affair with 50-year-old Mrs Robinson, chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Here, a Mail investigation unravels Mr Todd’s complicated private life.

Loving tribute: Mr Todd’s widow Carolyn, yesterday

There would seem to have been no more fitting tribute to Michael Todd than the photograph which appeared in his local paper this week.

It showed him surrounded by his colleagues, many of them from the rank and file, and was accompanied by the headline: “Chief constable who led from the front”.

He was, to use that old cliche, the “Copper’s Copper”, and never more so, his many admirers would argue, than on the occasion of this picture. It was taken in 2004.

Mr Todd had just successfully lobbied the Government for extra funds to put more bobbies on the beat in Manchester.

Now, for the first time, the manpower of his force had reached 8,000 (the following year, burglaries were down 41 per cent, robberies by 32 per cent, and car crime by a quarter).

Among those taking part in the lineup to publicise the successful recruitment drive was the ‘8,000th’ officer to join the force.

Mr Todd is seen standing beside Laura Nagulapalli, warmly shaking her hand.

“From this moment on you will be training to perform a crucial role, fighting crime and protecting people,” he told her. It didn’t turn out quite that way.

Less than six months on, Laura Nagulapalli was arrested and subsequently convicted of fraud.

Shortly before joining the police, it emerged, she had obtained more than £1,000 from an insurance company – to cover the cost of her mortgage payments – by falsely claiming she was unemployed.

In fact, she was working at a local beauty salon.

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Loving wife: Mrs Todd said she and her husband were still in love

Michael Todd is said to have made advances towards Laura Nagulapalli, a former model

Behind this story, however, was an even more potentially embarrassing one for Greater Manchester police and their charismatic Chief Constable.

Only now, in the wake of his death on Tuesday close to the summit of galelashed Snowdon, is it finally emerging – along with other details of his complicated private life.

Miss Nagulapalli, a former model and air stewardess in her late 30s, and Michael Todd, a married father of three, had, it is alleged, started seeing each other socially after they were officially introduced, and had enjoyed candlelit dinners together.

Moreover, their relationship – according to a senior police source – came under scrutiny during an internal inquiry into Miss Nagulapalli when the fraud allegations first came to light.

She insisted that she never had an affair with Michael Todd. Nevertheless, the inquiry resulted in the brilliant, and almost universally popular chief constable – who many tipped to one day lead Scotland Yard – being dragged into a scandal.

Under different circumstances, the story might have gone away. Instead, it has been given fresh impetus by other revelations which surfaced this week.

Mr Todd’s affair with prominent Manchester businesswoman Angie Robinson has already been exposed.

But there were, by all accounts, many more women. One former lover, it is alleged, is a serving policewoman from Hertfordshire who is now married to a Harrow schoolmaster.

Another is said to be a national newspaper journalist.

What a tragedy that Michael Todd’s glittering 30-year career and towering achievements have been overshadowed by such matters.

“He was flirtatious, yes, even with his secretaries, but not sleazy or threatening,” said one colleague.

“To be fair, it was not always him doing the chasing. Women were drawn to him and he often found it hard to resist.”

Which is perhaps why his extramarital exploits, which reportedly resulted in him being “tailed” by a private detective, remained secret for so long.

His weakness, if we may call it that, for other women contrasted dramatically with the discipline he brought to his job.

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Superman: Michael Todd was renowned for having a way with the ladies

Not for nothing did Mr Todd, who was 50, have a Superman mug on his desk. He may have been sending himself up, but there was more than a little truth to the joke.

In a working day which stretched from 6.45am to “whenever”, he still found the odd hour to maintain the supreme fitness he had in the days when he turned out for Essex police’s rugby and football teams.

Superintendent Julia Wortley is said to have had a relationship with Todd in the past

He had a crunching handshake and lantern jaw.

Who else but Todd would have volunteered to be zapped with a high-voltage Taser gun to prove his confidence in its safety?

He made a point of walking the beat himself for a few hours every month, and had a habit of turning up at police stations unannounced.

He once manned an anti-terrorist roadblock in Oldham and on a home security drive in Bolton, he insisted on fitting door and window locks for one resident himself.

Of course, it was all good PR. But behind his high-profile public image was a bold policing vision.

One of his first moves after becoming chief constable of Greater Manchester Police in 2002 was to get 200 officers off traffic duties and into the battle against street crime.

Perhaps the real victims of Michael Todd’s all-consuming approach to policing turned out to be his family: it’s hard not to see it that way in the light of his death this week, and the subsequent focus on his private life.

While he worked in Manchester, where he lived alone during the week, his wife Carolyn, their twins sons aged 13 and 16-year-old daughter stayed in their home in Halam, Nottinghamshire.

They had remained in that area, where Mr Todd was assistant chief constable from 1995 to 1998, even though he subsequently joined the Metropolitan Police before finally transferring to Manchester.

Both in London, and later in Manchester, Mr Todd retained his own flat.

“Mike was living the life of a single man,” said an officer who worked with him in Manchester. “He rarely brought Carolyn to any public functions.”

It had been this way for most of the past decade. By the time he joined the Met, his marriage was in trouble, and he and Carolyn separated temporarily.

It was during this period that he became close to a senior officer in the Complaints Investigation Bureau (CIB), the department responsible for investigating police officers.

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Lady in red: Angie Robinson was cheating on her husband with the police chief

Julia Wortley, a detective chief inspector, was based at Colindale police station in North-West London. Mr Todd’s office was on the same floor. The two were often spotted together in the gym situated along the same corridor.

“I saw them flirting,” said a contemporary who worked at Colindale in the late Nineties.

“They were laughing and joking, touching each other’s arms, and flicking water at each other from their plastic bottles. I never heard anyone say a bad word about Michael Todd, but Julia was not popular with everyone.”

Perhaps this is not surprising considering her job was to investigate fellow officers.

Her methods were described as “rigorous” and Miss Wortley, 43, was the subject of malicious canteen gossip. Their relationship is understood to have continued until she joined Hertfordshire police as a superintendent in 2003.

Last year, she married Andrew McGregor, 49, a classics teacher and house master at Harrow School. The couple declined to comment about Mr Todd when contacted yesterday.

This week Mr Todd was also linked with another young woman, journalist Andrea Perry.

Until a few months ago she was a crime reporter on a Sunday newspaper and is said to have interviewed Mr Todd shortly before he left the Met six years ago.

Yesterday, Miss Perry refused to answer her door at her rented flat in South London.

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Michael Todd and his wife Carolyn on their wedding day

Perhaps Todd hoped he could leave behind the rumours of infidelities when he left London in 2002. He was the polar opposite of his rather grey predecessor in Manchester, Sir David Wilmot.

On one occasion, Todd wrestled an offender to the ground on the streets of the city; he was a snappy dresser and embraced the media enthusiastically.

“Mike Todd had charm and he was very flirtatious. He also had immense power and standing but he knew how to put women at their ease and that was part of the attraction,” said a senior colleague.

“Obviously he attended many social occasions in an official capacity and met plenty of highly-powered and motivated women, and many were attracted to him.”

It was at one such function that he became acquainted with Laura Nagulapalli. Some sources claim he invited Miss Nagulapalli out for dinner that evening.

A chief constable could not have chosen a more unsuitable companion. Apart from her criminal past, she had what can best be described as a colourful life.

Born in Malaysia, she had worked as a model, as sales manager for an internet company and as an air hostess.

At one time or another, she spent time living in the Middle East and the Far East. Along the way she’d had a daughter, now aged 12, by a former husband.

At the time of her arrest over the insurance fraud in 2004, she was living in a terraced house on the outskirts of Chorley, Lancashire, with a married police inspector.

John Robinson: The husband of Angie Robinson is thought to have hired a private detective

Having been convicted at Preston Crown Court, she was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and ordered to pay more than £2,000 in costs and compensation.

Miss Nagulapalli, who has moved to Australia, still rents out her home here. Now living in Brisbane, she insisted this week: “The suggestion there was an affair between us [her and Mike Todd] is absolute rubbish.”

By 2005, a new lover had entered the life of Michael Todd. Angie Robinson, 50, was the first female chief executive of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

They met at a business lunch and once more, it seems, Mr Todd’s domestic situation in Manchester afforded him the opportunity to begin an affair.

But was the married mother-of-two the only “girlfriend” he was seeing? It seems not, according to a senior police source, who describes himself as “a close friend and colleague of Michael Todd for years”.

He says: “Angie Robinson was a regular visitor to Mike’s flat in the evenings and at weekends, but she wasn’t the only other woman in his life.

“But Mike wasn’t the kind of man to brag about it, and wouldn’t be seen out with Angie or anyone else for that matter at public events. He kept that side of his life separate.”

Nevertheless, Mrs Robinson’s husband John, 52, the father of their two grown-up children, did discover his wife’s infidelity. He is said to have hired the services of a private detective agency after becoming suspicious of his wife.

As well as sharing a family home, a converted barn on the outskirts of Congleton, Cheshire, with her husband, Mrs Robinson – like Mike Todd – is understood to have kept a flat in Manchester.

Those close to Michael Todd now suspect it was Mr Robinson’s discovery of his wife’s affair which precipitated this week’s tragedy.

Affair: Michael Todd and businesswoman Angie Robinson

Perhaps Mrs Todd knew about her husband’s flings in the past, but last Thursday, Mr Robinson, who has cancer, allegedly drove 70 miles to knock on the door of the Todd family home near Newark, Nottinghamshire, to tell Mrs Todd about her husband’s relationship with his wife.

So what was the fallout of the cuckolded Mr Robinson’s visit? Did it precipitate an ugly scene between Mr and Mrs Todd over the weekend?

Did Mr Robinson himself confront Todd? We may never know, but what is clear is that just four days later, Michael Todd had gone missing.

Having parked his Range Rover in the village at the foot of Snowdon, he struggled to within 300 metres of the summit. When his body was found on Tuesday, he was over the legal drink-drive limit – a bottle of spirits at his side.

Whatever may have gone on between him and his wife in the final days before his death, Carolyn Todd remains loving and dedicated.

As she revealed in her moving tribute to her husband in yesterday’s Mail, they had recently returned from a family holiday in Jamaica.

“I loved Michael very much and the last time I spoke to him he told me he loved me, too. We have been married for 27 years and eight months.

“The whole family is struggling to come to terms with his death.”

Many others have been left bereft by Michael Todd’s death. A poster of Manchester’s most distinguished officer has been put up at the entrance to the city’s police HQ.

It says: Chief Constable Michael Todd 1957 – 2008.

Inside, among the floral tributes in the foyer, is a card which reads: “Boss – To serve and protect. Be Proud. You did both.”

That is how his officers and the people of Manchester will choose to remember him.

Source ‘The Standard.’

Newtownpark House, Newtownpark Avenue, DUBLIN

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Survey Data

Reg No

60230093


Rating

Regional


Categories of Special Interest

Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social


Previous Name

Newtown Park


Nursing/convalescence home


Date

1750 – 1788


Coordinates

321795, 227712



Description

Detached three-bay two-storey over basement country house, extant 1788, on a cruciform plan centred on single-bay full-height breakfront with (single-storey) prostyle distyle Corinthian portico to ground floor; bow-ended three- or five-bay full-height rear (east) elevation centred on single-bay full-height breakfront. “Improved”, 1805, producing present composition. Sold, 1839. Occupied, 1901. Sold, 1908. Occupied, 1911. Sold, 1946. Resold, 1984. Renovated, 1985-6, to accommodate continued alternative use. Flat topped hipped slate roof behind parapet; bow-ended hipped slate roof behind parapet (east), terracotta ridge tiles, paired rendered central chimney stacks having cut-granite “Cavetto” stringcourses below capping supporting terracotta or yellow terracotta pots, rooflights to front (west) pitch, and concealed rainwater goods with replacement uPVC hoppers and downpipes. Replacement rendered, ruled and lined walls on cut-granite chamfered cushion course on rendered, ruled and lined base with cut-granite stringcourse supporting parapet having cut-granite coping. Hipped segmental-headed central door opening behind (single-storey) prostyle distyle Corinthian portico approached by flight of three cut-granite steps with paired columns on pedestals having responsive pilasters supporting “Cyma Recta”- or “Cyma Reversa”-detailed cornice on blind frieze on entablature below parapet, and concealed dressings framing replacement glazed timber panelled double doors having one-over-one timber sash sidelights without horns below fanlight. Square-headed window openings with cut-granite sills, and concealed dressings framing replacement uPVC casement windows replacing six-over-six (ground floor) or three-over-three (first floor) timber sash windows. Square-headed window openings to rear (east) elevation centred on square-headed window openings originally in tripartite arrangement (breakfront) with cut-granite sills, and concealed dressings framing replacement uPVC casement windows replacing four-over-eight (basement), nine-over-six (ground floor) or three-over-six (first floor) timber sash windows centred on four-over-eight (basement), nine-over-six (ground floor) or three-over-six (top floor) timber sash windows having two-over-four (basement), three-over-two (ground floor) or one-over-two (first floor) sidelights. Interior including (ground floor): central hall on an oval plan retaining carved timber surrounds to door openings framing timber panelled doors centred on carved timber surround to door opening framing timber panelled door having overlight, and decorative plasterwork cornice to ceiling on “bas-relief” plasterwork frieze; and reception room (east) retaining decorative plasterwork cornice to ceiling. Set in relandscaped grounds.

Appraisal

A country house erected by Ralph Ward (d. 1788), Surveyor General of Ordnance in Ireland (appointed 1762), representing an important component of the eighteenth-century domestic built heritage of south County Dublin with the architectural value of the composition, one ‘possibly designed under the influence of James Gandon [1742-1823]’ (Bence-Jones 1978, 226), confirmed by such attributes as the compact plan form centred on a pillared portico demonstrating good quality workmanship; the diminishing in scale of the openings on each floor producing a graduated visual impression with the principal “apartments” or reception rooms defined by Sir Richard Morrison (1767-1849)-esque curvilinear bows (ibid., 226); and the monolithic parapeted roofline: meanwhile, aspects of the composition illustrate the continued development or “improvement” of the country house in the early nineteenth century (Pearson 1998, 233). Having been reasonably well maintained, the elementary form and massing survive intact together with quantities of the original fabric, both to the exterior and to the interior showing ‘an attractive sequence of oval entrance halls [and] bow-ended sitting rooms’ (ibid., 233): however, the introduction of replacement fittings to the openings has not had a beneficial impact on the character or integrity of a country house having historic connections with Timothy Dyton (d. 1796), proprietor of “The Dublin Gazette” (The Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle II 1796, 628); John Armit (d. 1835), Secretary of the Board of Ordnance (appointed 1789); the Close family including Henry Samuel Close (d. 1867), ‘Banker late of Henry-street Dublin and of Newtown-park County Dublin’ (Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1867, 590); and Robert Barry Close (d. 1908), ‘late of Newtown Park Blackrock County Dublin’ (Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1908, 82); John Henry Burton (1862-1940), ‘Practising Barrister at Law [in] England’ (NA 1911); and Senator Edward Augustine McGuire (1901-92).

Comment This post is a personal memoir because my maternal grandfather William Close was from Blackrock County Dublin and the local Close family.

R J Cook

Dogs Bark (Deep Resistance Part 3)

winter oak Jan 19 The latest essay in a six-part series by W.D. James, who teaches philosophy in Kentucky, USA.Hear this dog barkWatch the trees swayKeep the candle burningBoth night and dayMany invadeI take no quarterThis is my landI’ll never surrenderI’m a warriori– John Lydon, Public Image Limited (PiL), WarriorAs we saw in the previous essay, the fundamental distinction for the Cynic is between nature and social custom. Which can you stand on? As the Cynic Jesus put it, it is a foolish person who builds their house on sand instead of rock. To the Cynic, the rock is nature. As Hadot puts it: “The Cynic chose his way of life because he believed that the state of nature (phusis), as seen in the behavior of animals or children, was superior to the conventions (nomos) of civilization.”iiIn this essay, we’ll look at four more ‘spiritual exercises’ that Diogenes practiced. As before, we’ll gather together ‘fragments’ of his teaching under each heading then explore the exercise he was advocating and, from there, move on to deducing practices of resistance we might implement.Philosophical PracticesPractice 3: Sticking Close to NatureWe are not as hardy, free, or accomplished as animals. (8)iiiEverything is of one substance. It is custom, not reason, that sets the temple apart from the house, mutton from human flesh for the table, bread from vegetable, vegetable from meat. (21)Raising sons: teach them poetry, history, and philosophy. Geometry and music are not essential, and can be learned later. Teach them to ride a horse, to shoot a true bow, to master the slingshot and javelin. At the gymnasium they should exercise only so much as gives them good color and a trim body. Teach them to wait upon themselves at home, and to enjoy ordinary food, and to drink water rather than wine. Crop their hair close. No ornaments. Have them wear a thin smock, go barefoot, be silent and never gawk at people in the street. (55)A blush is the color of virtue. (111)The greatest beauty of humankind is frankness. (122)Diogenes thinks animals might have it more right than we do. He probably goes too far here. Human nature is different in some key ways to that of other animals, so we should not seek to live exactly as they do. Nevertheless, that we can learn of nature, her ways, and to an extent find models for human action amongst the other creatures seems like a wholesome notion. He is seeking the fulfillment of nature, which might include aspects not present with animals, but which surely should not fall below the level of animals. If we aren’t succeeding in being free, hardy, and accomplished, we have gone wrong somewhere. In his recommendations regarding the education of the young, he recognizes this. We are intelligent souls, so we need to know about the sacredness of language (poesis really goes beyond language; it covers all forms of ‘making’ in accord with the ways of nature), thought, and our own story. Beyond that, he does not emphasize intellectual development, but there is room for it. Physical culture, within reasonable limits (no body-builders here), is equally important. Further, the young should become physically and morally resilient: valuing function, not ornament, and being accustomed to endure some hardship. The soul and the body, not custom, provide the standard.Further, Diogenes points to an innate basis for virtue and morality. In blushing, our bodies participate in a natural sense of propriety. Really, for Diogenes, body and soul are not distinct. As he says, everything is of one substance. His is a fairly hard metaphysical materialism, but not reductive in the modern way. We should probably think of his view of nature and matter along the lines of Aristotle. There is matter but mixed right in with it is some principle of order and meaning. The function of our speaking is to adhere to this, to be truth tellers, not ad-men, propagandists, spin doctors, flatterers, etc…. Truth is nature manifest in human speech and thought.Practice 4: Subversive PietyCan you believe that Pataikion the thief will fare better in Elysion because of his initiation into the Mysteries than Epameinondas the Pythagorean? (38)A choirmaster pitches the note higher than he knows the choristers can manage. So do I. (60)A good man is a picture of a god. (79)After grace and a prayer for health the banqueters set to and eat themselves into an apoplexy. (103)To a woman who had flopped down before an altar with her butt in the air I remarked in passing that the god was also behind her. (104)Diogenes is often at his best, and his funniest, when taking on religion and piety. There is a genuine, natural piety in his thought and practice. A good person is godlike. Be good; that’s good. He means to ‘aim high’.But often our ‘piety’ is no such thing. Do our religious (or ideological, for that matter) rituals actually make us better? If not, they are not really part of piety. Are they just empty forms? Even worse. Are they just for show? Positively evil.He has no problem offending people (see the next practice for a strong example). However, it’s an educative offense he means to offer. And the educator, presumably, has something genuine to offer. He is not a nihilist and not some sort of adolescent rebel. He’s so strong in his denunciations because he is so serious in his affirmations.Practice 5: Self-SufficiencyIf only I could free myself from hunger as well as from desire. (9)Reason or a halter. (45)For three thousand drachmas you can get a statue, for two coppers a quart of barley. (62)Freedom for Diogenes usually takes the form of self-sufficiency, not political liberty, per se. To be free is to be independent: not dependent or subject to domination. At a basic level, that involves making rational choices consistent with freedom. You will have to undergo a lot more unfreedom (wage-work or whatever) to get a statue that really doesn’t do much for you. Our basic needs can be relatively cheaply met. One thinks here of Henry David Thoreau and the exact accounting he kept of how much ‘life’ he had to give up to meet his needs at Walden Pond (his point being to find the way of life that entailed the least cost, understood as the amount of ‘life’ that must be given up in exchange).At a more abstract level, he teaches, we must live according to our reason (which involves no loss of freedom), or we must be restrained. The restraint might be self-imposed or socially imposed. Individually we might try to arrange our circumstances so that we avoid ‘temptations’. Socially, the state, its laws, and prisons are there.Perhaps the most notorious story about Diogenes involves his scandalous public behavior. It is alluded to in Raphael’s masterpiece, The School of Athens, which portrays the classic philosophers and scientists in complex symbolic relationship to one another. Diogenes (the center of the detail of the image above) is portrayed in royal blue, indicating his self-sovereignty. His posture, and I think the object he is holding, suggest the episode. Other translations of Fragment 9 put it more like “If only I could free myself from hunger as easily as from desire.” Diogenes lives on through the ages as the sage who taught self-reliance by publicly masturbating in the marketplace. Again, Diogenes, and the Cynics, probably go too far. One suspects any would-be students present that day did not forget the lesson, though. The Stoics, to whom we’ll turn in the next essay, felt a more moderate path was open to more people and was more genuinely human, though they saw the Cynics as exemplars, not comptetitors. There was much to learn from the Cynics, but in their asceticism and willingness to offend, they had passed beyond the right measure.Practice 6: SimplicityI learned from the mice how to get along: no rent, no taxes, no grocery bill. (15)When Plato said that if I’d gone to the Sicilian court as I was invited, I wouldn’t have to wash lettuce for a living I replied that if he had washed lettuce for a living he wouldn’t have had to go to the Sicilian court. (27)I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough. (35)We have complicated every simple gift of the gods. (106)Learn the pleasure of despising pleasure. (120)He is also reminiscent of his latter-day disciple, Thoreau, whose admonition was to “simplify, simplify, simplify.” Here we hear him recounting lessons learned from animals and children. Don’t complicate things. Don’t get in unnecessary entanglements. There are natural blessings aplenty; don’t screw them up.Fragment 120 probably offers an insight into the actual personality of Diogenes. The pleasure of despising pleasure. There is a conceitedness here. This is no mere following of the dictates of nature or of reason. There is an aristocratic contempt for the lowly here. A higher pleasure to be gained when one has rejected all the lower pleasures. On the one hand that could be the unvirtuous contempt of the aesthete for the ‘ordinary’ people of the world. I think with Diogenes it is other than that, though, and perhaps a lesson it might be worth learning, though with caution. There is an aristocracy of the spirit that is distinct from worldly hierarchies. Anyone who succeeds in rejecting unnatural and unreasonable social conventions will have joined a group that is small and in some ways set apart. They will also have cultivated a high level of character and be courageous in their opposition to shams.Practices of ResistanceAs with the two spiritual exercises discussed in the previous essay, we will now look at how to develop these four additional exercises into practices of resistance.Stick close to natureTake Nature and reason as guides. Question and test values that the broader culture upholds. Seek to be true to the natural virtue implanted in us. Get in the habit of not doing things that don’t feel right. Avoid conventions that depart from nature. Know what your actual needs are; don’t become a slave to consumerism. Reject ideologies that fly in the face of common sense or violate your own conscience Subversive PietyAvoid conformity to established religions when those have become perverted. Avoid conformity to established ideological substitutes (which are always perverted) such as ‘virtue signaling’. Seek and cultivate actual goodness. Fear becoming bad more than you fear being harmed. “Live in the truth” (Vaclav Havel). Self-SufficiencyWork out your own ideas. Become independent of the legacy or establishment media. Make choices that make it easier to economically meet your needs. Be less dependent on, and subject to, those who can wield economic power over you. Do things for yourself if that is feasible. Cook your own food more often. Grow a bit of food, even if just a container or two on your balcony. Practice self-discipline so you don’t go off the rails without external discipline. Self-reliance is morally admirable. SimplicityIdentify a few core principles that you would stake your life on. Ones that you feel are true in your bones. Not many. But then use them as guides in everything you do. Accept the blessings nature gives us. Practice gratitude. Take time out to actually reflect back over the good things that have come your way that day. Perhaps the beauty of the sunset. This may be a little sappy, but sappiness is not a vice. Be simple in your lifestyle; shelter, food, adornment. Nothing in our media and consumer culture encourages us to be simple or to live simple lives. Resist the encouragement to complication. Take planned breaks from mass/social media. Let the true/real shine through simplicity. Achieving a life lived according to nature and reason is a conquest. It won’t just happen. It will take wisdom and courage. Those who succeed will be, as Johnny says above, warriors.i John Lydon (aka, Johhny Rotten), with his abrasive, iconoclastic, and witty take on things seems to channel the spirit of Diogenes. The self-reference to ‘hear this dog bark’ and probably the reference to the candle burning both day and night seem like pretty direct references to me. A famous story has Diogenes walking through Athens in broad daylight with a lit lamp looking for a human being. In an interview, Lydon commented on this song: “I’m making my case quite clear that this is my land and I’m not gonna surrender it easily. I’m sick of damn big businesses just burning up everything, destroying the food, destroying the sea, polluting the air. You know, I’ve got an actual birthright to these things – I’m damned if I’m gonna surrender it lightly.” Listen here: Public Image Limited P.I.L ‘Warrior’ on Countdown Revolution 1989 – YouTubeUnfortunately, the 80s seem to have been the bottom of the fashion curve, even for great bands.ii Pierre Hadot, What is Ancient Philosophy?, translated by Michael Chase, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002 (original French edition, 1995), p. 110.iii All quotes of Diogenes’ Fragments come from Guy Davenport, Herakleitos and Diogenes, Grey Fox Press, 1979. I will note the fragment being quoted parenthetically.W.D. James’s essays on Egalitarian Anti-Modernism have now been brought together in a 118-page pdf booklet, which is available to download for free here. Our complete collection of free books can be found here.
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January 15th 2024

you should be writing Jan. 10, 2024

How to Write a Book Right Now

By Choire Sicha, an editor at New York who also writes about the life of the city

This conversation first appeared in Dinner Party, our daily newsletter about the silliest and most important stuff.

Photo: Bryan Tarnowski/Bryan Tarnowski

Every time I turn around, Jami Attenberg has published another novel or memoir. But I do not begrudge her this, because I know how she does it. For years, Jami has enlisted conspirators in writing a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Today, she’s out with another book (see what I mean?) about writing books, featuring advice from dozens of writers. The book is called 1000 Words. She’s doing events with contributors in New Orleans, Brooklyn, D.C., and Philly this week and may be appearing near you soon. We chatted the other day before she left her home in New Orleans for the tour.

What I really liked about reading this book was — well, my writing advice is like yours. You have to write a lot. Sure, be nice to yourself, but go. But then other people had other kinds of advice. J. Courtney Sullivan’s thing was so brilliant. She had a really young kid. She didn’t have child care. And so every night she would send herself an email with the same subject line. And when she came back later, she called these emails her bread crumbs waiting for her to come and write them through. That’s a brilliant technique. 
I could write this book because these people all told me I could.

You said recently you’ve been thinking a lot about aging, as one does at our age. Are you leaving yourself bread crumbs about aging?
I think so. I started this other little newsletter about it. It has to do with aging as a woman, menopause, the culture. It’s very small, personal stuff, building a little community out of it. But it’s not the big thing that I do — well! I always say it’s not the thing that I do and then it’ll always become something more. I think I’m using this thinking for a character. If you’ve been writing professionally for a long time, nothing you do is a waste of time. Do you know what I mean?

Yeah!
It’s the same thing as the vibe of the book. It’s not a waste of time. People worry too much about that. Why don’t you be playful? Why don’t you enjoy what you’re doing and not worry, not compare yourself to other people or say, Oh, I’m not this. I’m not that. Just sit down and try it.

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All of our lives show that if you follow interests, they take you somewhere worthwhile. This book is really interesting about — this is really ’90s — but about declaring, “Well, I’m an artist. I’m living an artist’s life. Where I live and how I live reflect these choices.” It’s refreshing to hear.
I was thinking about the very first time I met you, I think you had a party for bloggers? It was on the Lower East Side, and maybe it was even that bar that looked like an airplane. [Idlewild, on Houston Street, opened in 1998 and there is not a single picture of it online that I can find! The staff wore “stewardess outfits”!]

That is so funny. Co-hosted by writer and writing teacher Blaise Allysen Kearsley, I believe.
We didn’t really know what blogging meant or if it would do anything for us or if it would take us anywhere. We were like, “This seems kind of interesting and cool.” It felt experimental. Your imagination never really steers you wrong. Your curiosity doesn’t steer you wrong.

Had you published your first book yet?
No, I just had a blog. And I was making zines. I miss it. I really do. I like having things you can touch, because so much of what we do is ephemeral on the internet. I still have them. They’re like precious little objects to me. And they don’t take two years, too.

Books are so long, and that’s what stops so many of us, or traps so many of us. 
Now that I’ve crossed over the 50 threshold. I’m really seeing, Okay, this is the second half of my life. I figured out what I like to do, but there’s more to learn, more to try. I just want to keep doing as much cool stuff as I can for the rest of my time.

I was thinking about bad habits — habits that have stayed too long at the fair. That’s drinking, eating, smoking. When you quit smoking, were you afraid that you would never write again? 
Oh, I did love smoking. It was definitely how I took a break. If I write a couple hundred words, then I can have a cigarette. And it was part of going out. The conversation was better outside than it was inside. Or so we believed. I don’t know if it’s true, but it is fun to hang out with the smokers. I’m okay without it.

A lot of the book is super-plain advice. Like, “Listen, you’re going to do a messy draft.” And then in comes Patricia Lockwood who’s literally like, “Okay, so I needed a bag of magic rocks to tell me what to write every day.” Do you ever do anything esoteric or superstitious? Do you ask anything for help?
Every once in a while I’ll have Alex Chee read my tarot cards.

He’s a great tarot reader. 
That’s what his bio should be. Legendary tarot reader Alexander Chee. But yeah, I spend time thinking about ghosts and visiting otherworldly places, catacombs and cemeteries. I live in a very haunted city. It’s a special environment that’s very creative, and there’s a lot of interesting old houses. This city is really inspiring to me. This city maybe helps me.

You write about the sounds in your house in the front and how that soundscape is different from the sounds in the back. The environment of the place is part of what you’re making.
Everything I do is centered around being creative in one way or another. At this point I have to have my long walks and I have to read and I have to write in my journal. And I know a lot of people who are creative or interesting or open to creative conversations. That’s really helpful. It’s having people you can surround yourself with. The book is so much about community, and I really believe in that. Finding your people is half the battle.

People have asked you since forever: How do I write a novel? Has your answer now changed, cemented? Now that you have a big answer in a book form, do you have a set answer that you give them? 
There are no shortcuts. The most important thing is that the best part of it is the writing. The best part of it is making something cool. We should really enjoy that process and not worry about the book deal or if you’re going to get an agent or if you should build your social-media presence now. Which is a question that people ask: “How much should I be focusing on social media?” And I’m like, “You should be focusing on getting 65,000 words down on the page.” And enjoying it. Why do you want to be here? What kind of writer do you want to be? What kind of stories do you want to tell? Those are the real questions you need to be asking. The answers are going to fill you up. The answers are going to help you grow as a person. Do I sound self-help-y?

No. You’re saying what I say to young writers, which is: “You probably don’t write enough. You’re uncomfortable writing. If you wrote a thousand or 4,000 words a day, you’re going to feel more secure. You’re going to be a better writer every day that you write.” But that also feels boring and unsatisfying. So people ask about your career.
The people I know who have done really cool stuff, it’s like they just figured out what they were interested in. They just spent time trying different things and writing about different things. And I don’t think you’re supposed to do something you feel like you’re supposed to. You make a career out of what you love to do.

Also, we should acknowledge that you can’t move to New York City and spend $250 a month for a room in an East Village apartment anymore. So that path of becoming a writer has changed.
It’s really cool that people can live in other cities that are more affordable. There are people writing books all over the place. There are people making their art all over the place. You don’t have to be in New York City anymore. The internet has changed all that. The way we communicate has changed all that. You can be anywhere and make your art. I’m also not saying that you can make a living at it. In fact, the book is not about that at all. This book is not about getting a publishing deal but the satisfaction you get out of making your art.

People talk about adversity a lot in the book, which I really appreciate. Rebecca Carroll writes about how she works in the middle of her house while her son and her husband are watching TV. She’s saying, “If you’re going to write, you’re going to write. If you’re not going to write, you’re not going to write.” And Rumaan Alam says something really funny about how he was blown away when a friend told him “No one is going to ever ask you to write a book.” We should go to people’s doors like Jehovah’s Witnesses, like Prince. We should ring people’s doors and be like, “Hello, it’s time for you to write a book.”
These letters of advice showed me how to write the book. My stuff is fine, but the book is really just a vessel for their advice.

I really loved hearing from parents about how they met those challenges. I had a lot of respect for how they did that.
They just work all the time, and they’re hungry for it, and they fight for it. I mean, I fight for it too, but they’ve chosen this more complex path. I did NPR’s “1A” show with Deesha Philyaw and Isaac Fitzgerald, and Deesha answered a question in a really interesting way. She had four kids and then she worked on that story collection over a ten-year period. Somebody asked, “How do you manage your time when you have other obligations?” I always am afraid to answer that question. I literally don’t have any obligations except I have to take my dog for a walk twice a day. I have the luxury of time. She said that you have to be willing to disappoint other people in order to be a writer. I thought that that was really fascinating. Sometimes you will make choices that other people might not be happy with — but for sure you will be happy with yourself because you claimed your time to write.

January 13th 2023

Why Get Married If You Are A Man ?

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-so-many-men-refusing-to-get-married-these-days-Is-this-merely-a-response-to-third-wave-feminism-or-due-to-some-other-cause

Third wave feminism

  • more about superiority instead of equality, embraces diversity ie antiwhite racism misandry
    it conceals hatred of white men, hatred of women who don’t also follow modern feminism, and Marxism. It even provides a haven and support for Islam, which even in its moderate form is quite dangerous and toxic for women.
  • white men are the cause of all problems – to which women and their ethnic allies are the solution.White genocide by end
    of 22nd century – if not sooner war disease famine etc

radical third wave feminists call for male advocates and ask them to join the movement and the fight but at the same time turning around and saying all white men are misogynist, sexist, violent people

russian female view
As the word is most often used today, and most often expressed by those who identify as such, I am very irked by modern feminism.

American feminism has come in three or four waves, depending on how you like to count. First American women wanted the vote, which they got, then to work, which they got. And this was good. Now we have the third wave of feminism, which has added the word “intersectional” to itself, and this is where I don’t like it.

This kind of feminism has nothing really to do with women’s equality. Instead, it is maskirovka to conceal hatred of men, hatred of women who don’t also follow modern feminism, and Marxism. It even provides a haven and support for Islam, which even in its moderate form is quite dangerous and toxic for women.

Of course this is not true of every single modern feminist, but the movement cannot reject those that do these things, because it is a leaderless movement, and so does not have a head to determine orthodoxy. The Catholic church may say, “no, this thing is not godly and not part of our beliefs” because they have a Pope. But Feminism cannot do this, and especially not because these beliefs I have described are not actually fringe beliefs in modern Feminism. They are quite common.

It does not good to read the dictionary to me either. A movement is defined by what it does, not what the dictionary says it is. Like Marxism, the dictionary will tell you pretty things, but reality is gulags, holodomor, and death. You may also note that the current feminist playbook is a very close copy of that of Marx, only substituting “identity” for “class”, but using the same divisive rhetoric and demanding many of the same sorts of government programs and authoritarian centralization of power that came from Marx and later Stalin.

So when I look at modern feminism, what I see is that it is actually very much against women. Women who prefer traditional roles are told horrible things, that we are “anti-women”, that we are holding women back, that blah blah blah as if it cannot be conceived that we would choose such a life. So much for women’s choices, eh?

Modern feminism also prizes victimhood, which is perverse. Does not feminism say that women are to be strong? So why is it that those who can claim to be the most oppressed have the biggest voice? This offends me. Power does not come from being a victim. Power comes from strength. If you are victim or oppressed, you do not have voice, you do not make demands, those in power give orders and you follow. If you want to see who really has power, do not look at who claims to be oppressed, look at who gives orders and is obeyed, or at least who makes a lot of noise and is not then stomped into the dirt by soldiers and disappeared by apparatchiks.

I do not like how feminism cultivates a victim mindset. Modern feminism makes many demands that the world adapt itself and accommodate itself to us. This is not how strength works. Modern feminism demands a place at the table of men. Women should either prove that we deserve a place at the table, or build our own damn table. Not impose sex quotas in workplace that gets unqualified women promoted into positions they cannot do, and thereby hurt not only the business but also make every other woman who is qualified look bad.

Modern feminism is also very dogmatic. If you do not believe properly, you are a bad woman. Several years ago at a Woman’s March, a number of women who are anti-abortion were specifically excluded. Yet the believed everything else the march was supposed to mean. While I disagree with those women, I do not think it is appropriate to ban women from a women’s march.

I see also that many modern feminists are very much against pornography, prostitution, and all other forms of sex work. This is stupid. Yes, where women are forced into these jobs it is bad, but nobody disagrees with that idea. But many women choose to do such work and enjoy it, yet I have heard feminists say the same things as the church patriarchs about pornography and such. I thought it was a woman’s choice what she did with her body, and if she uses it to make her own money from horny men, how is this bad? What is wrong with sex or capitalism?

Furthermore, it is shocking to me how many feminist women are staunchly anti-gun. This makes no sense to me. Men are bigger, stronger, faster, and more aggressive than women. Yet the very same women who demand that we teach men not to rape, who insist that we live in a “rape culture”, get upset when the intended victim of a rapists shoots that rapist dead.

I have also seen that much of the modern feminist movement is strangely hateful of Jews. Many feminist organizations support BDS, who claim that Israel is an apartheid state, or other such nonsense. Whether you agree or not though, I must ask, whatever has this to do with feminism?

And all this time, these feminists do nothing to help women in places where they are sold to be wives, where FGM is culturally acceptable, where a woman may be punished for the crime of being raped by being stoned to death.

There is just ever so much baggage that one must adhere to to be a modern feminist. So many points of doctrine one must believe. It is no longer simply believing that women should be the moral and legal equals of men.

And for a doctrine that claims to be about equality, modern feminists will ignore any injustice that men suffer, often saying that the women’s problem is more important or that the man’s problem doesn’t exist.

Perhaps my English is not so good, but does this not mean that there are more homeless men than women? Doesn’t this mean that homelessness is mostly a man’s problem? Many shelters, either for homeless or battered spouses do not accept men.

Men are also most often the victims of violence, commit suicide more often, and die at work more often. I still cannot believe that Mrs. Clinton once claimed that women are the primary victims of war, as if it has not been men who have fought wars since first caveman picked up rock. Yes, women also fight, such as my much admired Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Soviet sniper who killed many fascists, or the ?????? ??????, the Night Witches 588th Night Bomber Regiment who gave the fascists fits. But any sane person can see it is mostly men who are shot, blown up, burned, gassed, tortured, or otherwise suffer gruesomely at war.

Sadly I must now say that this does not mean I think we should ignore women’s problems, but just that men don’t have all the roses. And I must say this because if I do not, some angry modern feminist will accuse me of all manner of sins against women.

What is my view of third wave feminism? I think it is terrible. I think women should be the legal and moral equals to men, and that third wave feminism is counterproductive to that goal. I think that if third wave feminists want to put their money where their mouths are, they should jump in trenches with men. They should try as hard to be garbage men, oil diggers, miners, and all the other dirty deadly jobs, not just CEOs.

I think third wave feminists come in two kinds, the Church ones and the Marxist ones. By this I mean, some feminists act like the church, and tell you that everything is a woman’s choice, but then get angry if you don’t choose what they want you too, like god getting angry when you use the free will he gave you to do things he doesn’t like. The Marxist ones are at least more honest, and will directly tell you not to question the party line, and that if you dare disagree with them you are being politically incorrect. Oh, by the way, politically incorrect does not mean “being polite”, it means holding beliefs that are against the party line. It comes from Soviet Union. It is not politically correct, for example, to acknowledge the holdomor.

That is my view of third wave feminism.

For other good things to read on the topic, please read the following:

An Emerging Problem With "Intersectional" Feminism: The Scramble for Victimhood

“Intersectionality” is the OPPOSITE of Feminism

Eva Glasrud's answer to Why don't feminists fight for Muslim women?
Eva Glasrud's answer to How should secular feminists and Muslim women join forces to uphold women's rights?
Eva Glasrud's answer to Should the feminist concept of fat acceptance have a minimum size limit?
Eva Glasrud's answer to Is it transphobic to refuse to date a trans person? I read a comment saying 'it's transphobic to not have sex with a trans* person just because of who they are'.
Eva Glasrud's answer to Why do I feel I am becoming a misogynist?
Eva Glasrud's answer to Should clothes be gender-free? Should pretty, attractive, and sexually arousing clothes be only for women?
Eva Glasrud's answer to Would you date someone who is fat? To what extent does being fat affect ones attraction?

Yes, they’re all from Eva Glasrud, I very much like her writing.

Poka poka!

Is marriage worth it for men?

In 2022, marriage as a social institution only benefits women. It is women who are forcing marriage on men. Those bloody romcoms don’t help either. Yet almost 90% of divorces are instigated by women.

I think you really need to ask why men should get married. There’s literally nothing in it for men, zero benefit, and mountains of downside and expense. Marriage doesn’t guarantee anything. It doesn’t mean she isn’t going to cheat, it doesn’t mean anything, and if or more likely (statistically) when it all goes wrong it’ll most likely be the guy that suffers. There is no support for men at all.
In sum, when a woman wants to get married without a well written and videotaped prenup she is asking for a blank check. Cant agree on a pre nup honey I assure you we won’t agree in a marriage.

usa – 50% of marriages end in divorce, 70% of divorces initiated by women.

Feminism. Most women today have no interest in being a wife. They’re not interested or capable of being nurturers. They have nothing to offer except a vagina and they don’t want to share that either. Men have awakened and realized there’s no upside in marriage for them.

Modern marriage is a living death for men. If you’re a young single man reading this, heed the warnings of legions of older men like me and never, EVER get married under the current legal system in the west.
I loved my wife for a while and she adored me and we had three beautiful children. We are both highly educated. We took our time getting to know each other. Still it slowly descended into tedious, grinding, soul-crushing misery. Endless nagging, constant complaints, ungratefulness, squandering money, walking back promises about shared goals, cheating, selfishness, deranged behavior, everything every man tries to avoid and untold millions fail to do. Our marriage began to unravel the day of our wedding. When I observed her and her mother’s behavior in those fateful days leading up to the event I knew in the back of my mind it was a mistake. It finally imploded after 8 years when she commenced a legal battle that cost us over $50,000 (ETA $70,000) in attorney fees. Our children are scarred for life. We despise each other with a red hot hatred that I never would have thought possible. The real kicker? I thought I had gotten lucky when I met her.
Here’s the awful truth no one teaches young men:
The voluntary, love-based, monogamous marriage is impossible for the vast majority of people. Evolution favors variety. Deep in our unconscious brains we are programmed by evolution to repel each other. Marriage, at its core, was never about love or emotional connection. It was about survival and social stability and gender-based division of labor in a pre-modem era when the lives of everyone, especially children, depended on maintaining that bond. Marriage is a cultural adaptation, not a biological adaptation. Men are polygamous, women are hypergamous. We come from an alpha male/harem of females evolutionary dynamic, as do the vast majority of social species in the mammalian family. Geneticists have proven we have several times more female ancestors than male ancestors. Such societies are inherently unstable however. Just watch any BBC documentary on lions or gorillas or elk or any other social species in the mammalian family and its non-stop internecine conflict and violence over territory and mating privileges. Prior to the 1970s, marriage, in all its various forms, was the solution to this problem that restrained our primitive sexual behaviors and allowed us to escape a Pleistocene Era existence and create civilization.
As technology advanced (thanks to men), societies began to accumulate more and more wealth. Eventually western society came to enjoy the luxuries of food security, physical safety, and leisure time. Unfortunately, such luxuries also tend to erode the bonds that hold marriages together by lessening the life-or-death need for restraints on our more primitive instincts and by blurring traditional gender roles. Marriage’s days were numbered with the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Women’s enfranchisement gave women a voice in the governance of society, which combined with their solipsistic natures has proven to be a catastrophic social policy mistake. In the 1960s and 1970s, the religious and legal and social constraints that held most marriages together were dismantled in the west. Gradually, the police and welfare states began to be viewed as more efficient and more equitable ways of solving many of the problems marriage was designed to solve in the first place. This is of course is utterly unsustainable. All one has to do is note the social decay and collapsing birth and family formation rates and levels of government debt throughout the ENTIRE developed world to see where this is ultimately headed.
Today, the practical origins of marriage are utterly lost on modern women (and a lot of men to be honest). We have replaced it with an imbecilic, feminized model based on romantic love and voluntary commitment WHICH SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK! The current model is biologically absurd. Worse still, we still have a family court system that punishes men for participating and rewards women for withdrawing. Marriage is still an effective check on men’s polygamous instincts, but it REWARDS women for following their hypergamous instincts. No-fault divorce plus child support plus birth control plus abortion on demand plus smart phones plus social media plus dating apps plus the police and welfare states practically guarantees failure. It’s nothing less than an extinction formula. Women are never satisfied. It’s in their DNA. Briffault’s Law is real. Marriage must be externally enforced (law, church, custom, etc) for it to survive in the VAST majority of cases. Women are, by nature, materialistic and solipsistic and duplicitous and malcontented and emotionally disregulated and erratic and irrational and manipulative. When it comes to men, a woman’s “love” is opportunistic, extractive, and conditional. A western wife is a hole in the ground with no bottom that you pour your soul into. No matter how much attention or money you give her it will never be enough. Just ask Will Smith or BIll Gates or Jeff Bezos or Brad Pitt (ETA: or Sylvester Stallone or Tom Brady or Kevin Costner). I’ve come to believe it is biology impossible for most women to be content in a committed relationship in the long run no matter who she is with. As a man, you’ll get infinitely better results with women when they know they are disposable to you and you treat them as such. Although it’s a difficult pill to swallow, all this makes perfect sense from an evolutionary perspective.
Men simply cannot afford to have any legal or financial ties with ANY women given the current family court system and modern women’s ridiculous expectations and women’s underlying nature. When divorce became an option for every woman, at any time, for any reason, marriage and children became risk prohibitive for every man no matter his wealth or status or physical attributes. No sane man would sign a modern marriage contract if he really knew what he was getting into. Women, if they remain unchecked, will ultimately destroy western civilization. This may sound bombastic and “misogynistic” to anyone conditioned by modern feminism until you consider the fact that virtually EVERY civilization we have knowledge of confined men and women to more or less the same roles. This pattern arose over and over and over again. Throughout the millennia. Across oceans and continents. Among people who had no contact with and no knowledge of each other’s existence. If there was a viable alternative it would be prominent in the historical record. It’s is not. Let that sink in for a moment.
Modern marriage ruins men’s lives. It will destroy your dreams. A wife will feed on your soul until you are nothing but a hollow, empty shell. Being legally and financially at the mercy of a woman is an exhausting, grinding, slow-motion horror I can’t even begin to describe. Marriage is nothing but a loaded gun pointed at a man’s head and the woman gets cash and prizes for pulling the trigger. I’ve had cancer and I’ve been married to a woman who loved me and cancer was infinitely more enjoyable. At least I didn’t have to pretend to love the cancer as it was slowly killing me. At least cancer went about it in silence. Cancer didn’t try to bankrupt me and take my children away.
Until the laws change and society reverts back to a rational model for marriage that is enforceable, NEVER, EVER, GET F-ING MARRIED IF YOU’RE A MAN!!

“What makes men not want to get married?”
I think there are a few things that play into this.
THE RELATIONSHIP MODEL HAS CHANGED. Several decades ago the model was that a woman would give her youth, beauty, and fertility to one man. In exchange for this the man would provide the woman with a home and security for 40+ years. Obviously it wasn’t quite that simple, but that was essentially the nuts and bolts of it. Now the model seems to be that a woman gives her youth, beauty, and fertility to several different men. Then after about a decade or so she decides she wants to find a “good man” to settle down with. What this usually means is she wants this good man to pay her bills and help her raise her two or three kids that all have different last names.
YOU DIDN’T WANT HIM THEN, HE DOESN’T WANT YOU NOW. Remember the awkward geeky guy in high school that she stepped on and over to date the football player? Well now it’s fifteen years later and the geek is pulling down a six figure salary working for a tech giant. The football player is managing a Denny’s. Who do you think she wants to be with now?
FEMINISM, OR WOMEN’S LIB AS IT USED TO BE CALLED. In the old relationship model, the man was the woman’s primary source of security. Therefore, she had a vested interest in making sure he stayed strong, confident, satisfied, and happy. Then women were told that they could provide their own security and didn’t have to depend on a man for it. One of the byproducts of this newfound empowerment is that a great many women now have little concern for what a man needs or desires. The men that end up with these women often find themselves very low on her list of priorities. They come in behind, her career, her children, and her other personal relationships. YET SHE STILL WANTS HER MAN TO MAKE HER HIS PRIMARY FOCUS.
NO FAULT DIVORCE AND MARRIAGE AS A FORM OF INCOME. The family court system in the United States has become extremely gynocentric. What does this mean you ask? Several decades ago if you wanted a divorce, you had to go to court and prove to a judge why you needed one. Now all you need do is decide you no longer want to be married, a reason is no longer needed. With this knowledge women know that all they have to do is stay married to a guy for six or seven years, and pop out a couple of kids. Once they have accomplished that they can walk away with the kids and a sizable chunk of his money and assets.
There are quite a few other good points that have been touched on in the other answers to this question. As I don’t wish to be repetitive I’ll stop right here.
My conclusion is that in the old relationship model when a man got married he worked hard to provide safety and security for his wife. His reward was that he got someone to bear him children and this person also became his best friend, confidant, and lover for life. That seems to be a pretty equitable arrangement in my opinion.
Now it seems that men are putting far more into marriage (voluntarily & involuntarily) then they will ever get out of it. Some men just don’t see the reason to take the risk anymore.
These are some of the things that I believe make men not want to get married.
All the Best, Marriage Veteran of 30 years

Why is marriage is a bad idea for men

It’s only legalized prostitution. She gets all your money, tells you what you can or cant do, and leaves whenever she wants to do whatever. Oh, and yes sex to get her way. It’s just best to pay for it so you dont have to live with it.

The Marriage Foundation, a charity that promotes marriage, said the social pressure to marry in the UK had “pretty much disappeared”, despite “the psychology of marriage remaining deeply compelling”.

Harry Benson, the charity’s research director, argued that the process of making an active decision to be together tended to increase commitment and remove ambiguity, which was “one of the biggest relationship killers”. Getting married in front of your peers also creates “accountability”, he said.

The Policeman’s Lot

A Police Custody Sergeant violently assaulting a drunken female solicitor.
The same woman after the sergeant had finished with her and a night in the cells.

Abstract

Much research has discussed the “police personality.” Yet, it is still unclear what particular traits make up the police personality—or whether it exists at all. This can be partially attributed to the limited availability of data collected within individual police departments. Using a nationally representative sample of adults (Add Health), the current study examines whether the Big Five personality traits, temperamental characteristics, and empirically informed covariates are related to being a police officer. Results indicate that, compared to the general population, individuals in law enforcement score significantly lower on openness to experience. Police officers are also more likely than non-officers to have experienced divorce, served in the military, lean politically conservative, and be male. These findings provide partial support for the notion that there are distinct factors that define the police personality.

In the law enforcement profession, certain traits are assumed to coalesce in individuals forming a distinct “police personality.” This personality has been defined as a value orientation specific to law enforcement officers. It consists of interrelated personality characteristics including bravery, loyalty, authoritarianism, cynicism, suspiciousness, physical courage, self-assertiveness, aggression, distrustfulness, secretiveness, conservatism, dogmatism, and alienation (Bennett & Greenstein, 1975; Lefkowitz, 1975; Twersky-Glasner, 2005; Van Maanen, 1973). The police personality has also been described as a high need for exhibitionism, the need to do new and different things, argumentativeness, assertiveness, and dominance (Mahanta & Kathpalia, 1984). Skolnick (1966) noted that the police working personality is formed by the officer’s role as an authority figure—emerging partly from the pressures associated with being in law enforcement—and consists of cynicism, suspiciousness, external isolation, internal solidarity, and conservatism. The common theme describing the police personality is the idea that law enforcement officers are a distinct group that can be identified based on a certain set of personality characteristics. As Van Maanen (1973) noted, “police are almost always depicted as a homogeneous occupational grouping somehow quite different from most other men” (p. 408).

Before discussing the police personality, it is important to have a general concept of personality and personality traits. The term personality refers to the combination of characteristics of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors forming an individual’s distinct character and is thought to remain relatively stable throughout the life course. Monte (1999), for instance, defines a personality trait as a biological, psychological, and sociological mixture that predisposes an individual towards a specific kind of action under certain circumstances. Some argue that these traits are primarily genetic and set in place early in life (perhaps before birth) and remain stable over the life course, others suggest that these traits are more malleable and are shaped predominantly by socialization, and some scholars claim personality traits are formed by some combination of genetics and environment—and the interaction and/or interplay between the two (Caspi, 1998; DeYoung, 2010; Pomerantz & Thompson, 2008). Pertaining to the police personality, scholars have similarly proposed different “models” or pathways to the formation of the police personality.

The Police Personality

Some of the first studies to discuss the police personality focused on the “working police personality” and attempted to reveal the origins of the police personality (Bennett, 1984; Bennett & Greenstein, 1975; Skolnick, 1966). Recall that Skolnick (1966) argued that the police officer’s working personality consist of cynicism, suspiciousness, external isolation, internal solidarity, and conservatism—and was formed by their role as an authority and the pressures associated with the job. Bennett and Greenstein (1975), likewise, discuss the police personality as a value orientation specific to law enforcement officers that make them unique from those they police and found that police science majors value systems were significantly different from experienced officers, but not other college majors. This led them to conclude that something occurs during the recruitment or training process that makes the value system of officers markedly different from the normal population. Bennett (1984) also found evidence that police academy training seemed to change recruits’ values to be more in line with that of experienced officers, but this effect was attenuated after individuals spent time on the street.

To clarify, there are four general views on the origins of the police personality. First, the predispositional model argues the police personality consists of traits the individual possessed prior to entering law enforcement. Second, the selection model suggests police applicants and candidates have the same common personality traits as the general population, but because of screening procedures only certain personality types are admitted into the academy and then the police force (Check & Klein, 1977). Third, the socialization model suggests the police personality is an artifact of the formal and informal processes of police work (Bennett & Greenstein, 1975). In other words, the police personality is a function of the police subculture and learned in the academy and on the job. At first, this temperament or disposition may only appear while on the job but soon bleeds over into their everyday life and becomes part of their personality. Fourth, the null model proposes that there may be no police personality and those in law enforcement have the same general personality traits and characteristics as the larger population.

While the first three models (predispositional, socialization, and selection) suggest a different mechanism at work in the etiology of the police personality, all assume that individuals in the law enforcement profession have personalities that somehow differ from that of the non-officers. It should also be noted that these models are not mutually exclusive, and that more than one may aid in explaining the underpinnings of the police personality. For example, individuals with certain traits may have a greater likelihood of joining a police force (predispositional hypothesis); during training and hiring, individuals with specific personality traits and predispositions are weeded-out (the selection hypothesis); and while on the job an officer is socialized to act, or think, in a certain way (the socialization hypothesis). It is possible—and likely—that all of these processes take part in shaping an officer’s personality, temperament, and/or behavior. If so, police officers may differ in personality and temperament from the general population. This is an empirical question that warrants further investigation. Indeed, although a number of studies have examined the police personality (Balch, 1972; Carpenter & Raza, 1987; Check & Klein, 1977; Garbarino et al., 2012; Twersky-Glasner, 2005), scholars have yet to explore whether certain personality characteristics are unique to law enforcement officers compared to the general population. Importantly, all the models have found support in the literature with studies supporting no particular theory, beckoning for further research in this area (see, e.g., Bennett & Greenstein, 1975; Hogan & Kurtines, 1975; Rokeach et al., 1971; Van Maanen, 1973).

It is evident that although findings are mixed in terms of which model better explains the origins of the police personality, results tend to support the notion that police officers have a distinct set of personality characteristics that distinguish them from the general population (Carpenter & Raza, 1987; Harper et al., 1999; Matarazzo et al., 1964). Yet, questions still remain as to what exactly the police personality is, what it consists of, if it is generalizable, and how it should be measured. Given that prior findings pertaining to the formation of the police personality have varied from study-to-study and sample-to-sample, the evidence for a singular explanation for the police personality is somewhat weak. It may be that there is a complex process occurring in which certain traits are found to cluster in law enforcement officers. In order to better understand the police personality and how it is formed, scholars must first identify what characteristics—if any—distinguish officers’ personalities from that of the larger population. The most well-known, recognizable, and researched personality characteristics are the “Big Five.”

The “Big Five” and the Police Personality

One of the most commonly used personality measures is the “Big Five” or the “Five Factor Model” (Schmitt et al., 2007). Indeed, it has been utilized in many studies across a variety of disciplines to examine myriad research questions (Gerber et al., 2011; Hurtz & Donovan, 2000; Loehlin et al., 1998). Psychologists, economists, political scientists, and behavioral geneticists, for instance, examined the heritability of the Big Five factors (Loehlin et al., 1998), how the personality traits are related to job performance (Hurtz & Donovan, 2000), and if the Big Five predict political affiliation (Gerber et al., 2011). Moreover, the Big Five has been shown to be both reliable and valid using various instruments and cross-culturally (Schmitt et al., 2007). The model captures five broad domains of personality: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Briefly, extraversion is comparable with pursuing excitement and novelty, and taps into qualities like sociability, outgoingness, talkativeness, and assertiveness (Roccas et al., 2002). Neuroticism includes characteristics related to anxiety and emotional liability; and neurotic individuals are typified as having anxiety, insecurity, depression, and anger (Fenster & Locke, 1973). Agreeableness is attuned with the motivational goals of conformity and traditional values. Individuals scoring high on agreeableness are characterized as good-natured, gentle, modest, compliant, and cooperative (Black, 2000). Conscientiousness includes characteristics such as responsibility, carefulness, thoroughness, scrupulousness, and having self-control. Openness to experience is analogous with universalism and the motivational goals of self-direction and refers to intelligence, imaginativeness, sensitiveness, and open-mindedness (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Judge et al. (2002) note there is a consensus the Big Five can be used to illustrate the most salient aspects of an individual’s personality and that the model has been found to be generalizable across measures, cultures, and sources of ratings.

Although not examining the full Big Five personality traits, some studies have looked at one or multiple facets of the Big Five and the police personality. Gudjonsson and Adlam (1983), for instance, investigated the personality differences between four different British law enforcement groups. Compared to normative groups of a similar age, recruits scored higher on extraversion, impulsiveness, and venturesomeness (i.e., openness to experience). Garbarino and colleagues (2012) examined the personality profiles of Italian special force police officers. Compared to the general population and career soldiers, officers were found to be more emotionally stable and moderately more agreeable, extraverted, open to experience, and conscientious. Collectively, these articles both point to the notion that police recruits and officers may be more extraverted, agreeable, open to experience, and conscientious.

Additional studies, however, did not find evidence of a distinct “police personality” (Fenster & Locke, 1973; Mahanta & Kathpalia, 1984). For example, neuroticism was not found to be a major personality trait of New York City officers (Fenster & Locke, 1973). The authors state that the results are limited given their design and that future studies using nationally representative populations are needed in order to generalize these results. Mahanta and Kathpalia (1984) conducted a study of the personality characteristics of police, judicial, and correctional officers using measures of psychoticism, neuroticism, extraversion, and dissimulation. Results revealed there were no mean differences between the three groups of law enforcement, as well as those in law enforcement and a control group of parents. Thus, there was no evidence of a police personality with police scoring generally the same as those from the general population in measures of neuroticism and extraversion.

Few studies have used the Big Five personality traits in their entirety when examining the police personality (Garbarino et al., 2012; Salters-Pedneault et al., 2010). Salters-Pedneault et al. (2010), for instance, compared the personality and psychological profiles of police recruits, firefighter recruits, and a normative sample. Police and firefighter recruits were found to have similar mean scores on neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, and agreeableness, with police recruits scoring higher on conscientiousness. When compared to the general population, police and firefighter candidates were more extraverted. Though the sample was limited and these findings are difficult to generalize because it included firefighters in the sample and a single Italian special forces unit, the study suggests that police and firefighters recruits’ personality characteristics were not systematically different from the larger population.

Scholars have also explored the value of using the Big Five in predicting police performance and its utility in officer selection. Cortina and colleagues (1992), for instance, found that while the Big Five was a valid measure of police performance, it did not add incremental validity over the Civil Service exam. Extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness were, however, significant predictors of turnover. Similarly, Black (2000) found that higher-order traits of neuroticism and extraversion were predictive of positive job performance for law enforcement officers with conscientiousness having the strongest relationship with performance, while openness to experience and agreeableness had no effect. Barrick and Mount (1991) performed a meta-analysis examining the ability of the Big Five to predict job performance and found that police performance was related to all personality factors except openness to experience—however, those scoring high on openness to experience were most willing to engage in learning experiences and benefit from training programs. On the other hand, Sanders (2008) examined whether the Big five personality traits predicted police officer performance and concluded that the Big Five personality characteristics were not predictive of good or poor officer performance. Sanders notes that this null finding may be partly attributed to the difficulty in measuring officer performance and lack of variation in supervisor performance ratings (i.e., most officers were rated as above average). Though these articles were not examining the police personality directly, these studies demonstrate that the Big Five model can be useful in investigating different aspects of policing.

Overall, the studies demonstrate that evidence for the “police personality” is mixed with some studies finding no differences in the Big Five traits and other studies revealing that—at least for some aspects of the Big Five—there were significant personality differences between law enforcement officers and other groups. Importantly, previous studies have been limited in generalizability due to their small sample size or inclusion of recruits in the sample. However, these studies do suggest that the Big Five model can be useful in exploring the personality differences between law enforcement and those working in other occupations or the general population.

The Current Study

Law enforcement officers have been described as having a distinct set of personality characteristics that distinguish them from the general population. For example, officers have been described as aggressive, dominate, assertive, suspicious, and conservative (Mahanta & Kathpalia, 1984; Skolnick, 1966). Research on the police personality, however, is varied. Research on the origins of the police personality, for example, finds evidence for the predispositional model (Rhead et al., 1968; Rokeach et al., 1971), the socialization model (Van Maanen, 1973), a selection effect (Hogan & Kurtines, 1975), and the null hypothesis (Balch, 1972; Bennett & Greenstein, 1975). The evidence points to the idea that it is probably a combination of the models that aid in forming, defining, and reinforcing the police personality. Given that findings pertaining to the formation of the police personality have varied from study-to-study and sample-to-sample, the evidence for a singular explanation for the police personality is somewhat weak. It may be that there is a complex process taking place in which certain traits are found to cluster in law enforcement officers. Regardless of how it is formed or where it comes from, all these models—except for the null hypothesis—assume that police officers are somehow different from the general population.

As previously stated, evidence is mixed as to whether police officers have a distinct set of personality characteristics different from that of the general population. This is due, in part, to the lack of control variables and generalizability issues in prior studies. Balch (1972), for instance, noted that studies have found Portland police are similar to college students, Denver police were less authoritarian than the general public, and recruits in New York were more authoritarian than the larger population. With this in mind, it is necessary for research to use data from nationally representative samples. Considering that the aforementioned criticisms came in the 1970s, and few studies have addressed these claims, it is necessary for researchers to use national data and a more methodologically rigorous analysis controlling for multiple covariates. Many of the previous studies were conducted 40 years ago and were unable to control for gender because the samples did not include a sufficient number of women, or none at all. Provided that more women are now serving in law enforcement, it is advantageous to control for the effect for gender, as it may show some personality differences to be spurious (e.g., it may be that males are more authoritarian).

To be sure, the Big Five personality traits were chosen because many scholars have utilized the measures when examining the police personality (Garbarino et al., 2012; Salters-Pedneault et al., 2010) and they have been shown to be reliable and valid indicators of relatively stable personality traits (Baldasaro et al., 2013; Judge et al., 2002; Schmitt et al., 2007). Covariates such as stress (Beutler et al., 1988), depression (Lorr & Strack, 1994), anxiousness (Balch, 1972; Evans et al., 1992), anger/hostility (Evans et al., 1992; Garbarino et al., 2012), divorce (Kappeler et al., 2000; McCoy & Aamodt, 2010), college education (Fenster & Locke, 1973), prior military service (Farkas & Manning, 1997; Pasillas et al., 2006), and political ideology (Balch, 1972, 1977; Skolnick, 1966, 1977) were chosen because they were found to be related to law enforcement and the police personality.

For example, research has shown that after only two years on the job, candidates experienced an increase in somatic symptoms, stress, anxiety, and alcohol vulnerability (Beutler et al., 1988). Lorr and Strack (1994) utilized multiple measures of depression when examining the personality profiles of law enforcement candidates. Research has been inconsistent in terms of anger/hostility, with some finding that police personnel had higher scores of anger (Evans et al., 1992) and others concluding that officers had lower scores on anger-hostility compared to the general population (Garbarino et al., 2012). The relationship between divorce and being in law enforcement is also mixed with some claiming that police officers have higher divorce rates than the general population (Kappeler et al., 2000), yet others have found that the divorce rate for law enforcement personnel is lower than that of the general population (McCoy & Aamodt, 2010). Fenster and Locke (1973) found personality differences between college-educated and noncollege-educated officers and civilians. Since it has been argued that police work parallels that of the military (Farkas & Manning, 1997) and because others have included it as a covariate when examining the police personality (Pasillas et al., 2006), military service will be included in the analysis. Finally, officers have been described as politically conservative (Balch, 1972, 1977; Coleman & Gorman, 1982; Skolnick, 1966, 1977) and so political ideology will be included as a covariate. The current study will add to the existing literature by using a nationally representative sample of adults to examine whether personality and temperamental differences exist between law enforcement and the general population while controlling for a host of theoretically informed covariates, leading to a more nuanced examination of the police personality. As such, this study’s aim is to add to the police personality literature by exploring whether individuals in that profession have unique personality characteristics.

Methods

Data

The current study uses data drawn from Wave 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health; Harris, 2009; Udry, 2003). The Add Health is a five-wave study of a nationally representative sample of American adolescents in grades 7 through 12 during the 1994–1995 school year. The first wave of data was collected through two different surveys: an in-school survey and an in-home survey. Initial data collection began at the school-level, originally starting with a sample frame of 26,666 schools. Prior to sampling, the schools were stratified by size, type, urbanization, region, and percent white. A sample of 132 schools were selected and every student attending those schools were administered a 45-minute self-report questionnaire about their background, peers, school life, school work and activities, health-related behaviors and their parent’s background. This resulted in a sample of over 90,000 adolescents for the in-school questionnaire. A subsample of adolescents was then selected to take part in the wave 1 in-home component of the study. Additional information was obtained on the adolescent’s behaviors, tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, social relationships, and personality traits. During the first wave, 17,670 primary caregivers (generally the respondent’s mother) were also interviewed.

The second wave of data was collected roughly one year later and drew on the same sample of adolescents who were interviewed at wave 1, with some exceptions (N = 14,738). In 2001 through 2002 a third wave of data was collected when most of the participants were young adults. Since respondents were now in adulthood, the surveys were updated to include more age-appropriate questions. In total, 15,197 participants were re-interviewed during the third wave. The fourth wave was obtained during 2007–2008, from approximately 80% of the original wave 1 respondents resulting in a sample size of 15,701 respondents. At this time, most of the respondents were between 24 and 32 years old. Questions tapped items such as personality factors, temperament, child-rearing history, educational achievement, work history, and marriage history. Due to the oversampling during Wave 1, some individuals had a higher probability of being included in the sample than others (i.e., not randomly selected). For this reason, survey weights will be used in all analyses.

Measures

Dependent Variable

Law Enforcement

The dependent variable was taken from a single question asked during the wave 4 interview. Specifically, the question asked, “Now I’d like to record a description of your (current/most recent) job. When you see the list of categories, please tell me which best describes what you (do/did) at your (current/most recent) job.” The occupations were coded following the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system to classify respondents’ current, or most recent, paying job that was at least 10 hours per week, excluding military service. During the interview, participants were guided though the four SOC levels: major group, minor group, broad occupation, and detailed occupation until the appropriate job title was identified.

The variable was coded in order to capture those who were police officers. Thus, only those respondents who reported being: police officers, sheriff’s patrol officers, transit and railroad police, detectives, managers of police and detectives, law enforcement workers, criminal investigators, and first-line supervisors. The variable was dichotomously coded with 0 = non-law enforcement and 1 = law enforcement.

Key Independent Variables

The Big Five personality traits were measured via the Mini-IPIP (for a detailed description see Baldasaro et al., 2013). The Mini-IPIP is a short form inventory based on the 50-item International Personality Item Pool five-factor model. The Mini-IPIP has been shown to have exceptional content coverage, high test-retest correlations, and criterion validity (Donnellan et al., 2006). Baldasaro and colleagues (2013) found support for the Mini-IPIP five-factor model based on confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory factor analysis with exploratory factor analysis revealing that items loading on one primary factor and any cross-loading being small. Thus, the five-factor structure of the Mini-IPIP inventory used in the Add Health has received support within the literature.

Extraversion

The extraversion scale was measured via four items taken from the Mini-IPIP. For each item, respondents were asked how much they agreed with each statement: “I am the life of the party,” (reverse coded) “I don’t talk a lot,” “I talk to a lot of different people at parties,” (reverse coded) and “I keep in the background.” Responses were summed so that higher scores indicate higher extraversion (α = .69).

Neuroticism

The neuroticism scale was created by summing four items taken from the Mini-IPIP. For each item, respondents were asked how much they agreed with each statement: “I have frequent mood swings,” (reverse coded) “I am relaxed most of the time,” “I get upset easily,” (reverse coded) and “I seldom feel blue.” Responses were summed so that higher scores indicate higher neuroticism (α = .58).

Agreeableness

The agreeableness scale was generated by summing four items taken from the Mini-IPIP. For each item, respondents were asked how much they agreed with each statement: “I sympathize with others’ feelings,” (reverse coded) “I’m not interested in other people’s problems,” “I feel others’ emotions,” (reverse coded) and “I am not really interested in others.” Responses were summed so that higher scores indicate higher agreeableness (α = .69).

Conscientiousness

The conscientiousness scale was measured via four items taken from the Mini-IPIP. For each item, respondents were asked how much they agreed with each statement: “I get chores done right away,” (reverse coded) “I often forget to put things back in their proper place,” “I like order,” (reverse coded) and “I make a mess of things.” Responses were summed so that higher scores indicate higher conscientiousness (α = .65).

Openness to Experience

The openness to experience scale was generated by summing four items taken from the Mini-IPIP. For each item, respondents were asked how much they agreed with each statement: “I have a vivid imagination,” (reverse coded) “I am not interested in abstract ideas,” “I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas,” and “I do not have a good imagination.” Responses were summed so that higher scores indicate higher openness to experience (α = .65).

Covariates

Stress

Perceived stress was measured using a validated 4-item shortened version of the Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et al., 1983; Cohen & Williamson, 1988; Dowd et al., 2014; Karam et al., 2012; Warttig et al., 2013). All items were coded on a five-point scale so that higher scores reflected more perceived stress. The scale was generated by summing the four items tapping a respondent’s perceived stress over the last 30 days (α = .72).

Depression

Depression was measured via a five-item scale. Specifically, respondents were asked to think about the past seven days and indicate how often each of the following things was true during the past seven days: “you were bothered by things that usually don’t bother you; ” “you could not shake off the blues, even with help from your family and friends; ” “you felt you were just as good as other people; ” “you had trouble keeping your mind on what you were doing; ” “you felt depressed; ” “you felt sad.” Each item was coded such that 0 = never or rarely, 1 = sometimes, 2 = a lot of the time, 3 = most of the time. To create the scale, respondent’s answers were summed together with higher scores representing more depressive symptoms (α = .80).

Anxiousness

Four items were used to generate the anxiousness scale. Specifically, respondents were asked how much they agreed with the following statements: “I worry about things,” “I am not easily bothered by things,” (reverse coded) “I get stressed out easily,” and “I do not worry about things that have already happened” (reverse coded). To generate the scale, all items were summed together with higher scores reflecting higher anxiousness (α = .70).

Anger/Hostility

Respondents were asked four items taken from the anger facet of the NEO PI-R (Costa & McCrae, 1992). Respondents were asked how much they agreed with the following statements: “I get angry easily,” “I rarely get irritated,” (reverse coded) “I lose my temper,” and “I keep my cool” (reverse coded). To generate the scale, all items were summed together with higher scores indicating higher anger/hostility (α = .77).

Divorced

Divorce was measured by one item asking respondents how their marriage to their previous partner ended. The item was coded so that 0 = non-divorce (i.e., they were still married, they had never been married, their spouse died, or they did not know), 1 = divorce or annulment.

College Degree

Respondents were asked to indicate the highest level of education that they had achieved to date. The item was coded so that 0 = 8thgrade or less, some high school, high school graduate, some vocational/technical training, completed vocational/technical training, some college, 1 = completed college (bachelor’s degree) or higher.

Military Service

Respondents were asked to indicate whether they had ever been in the military. The variable was dichotomously coded such that 0 = no, 1 = yes.

Politically Conservative

Respondents were asked to identify their political affiliation. Specifically, respondents were asked, “In terms of politics, do you consider yourself very conservative, conservative, middle-of-the-road, liberal, or very liberal?” The item was coded so that 1 = very liberal, 2 = liberal, 3 = middle-of-the-road, 4 = conservative, 5 = very conservative.

Control Variables

Age

A count variable indexed the respondent’s age. Responses ranged from 24 to 34.

Male

A dichotomous variable indexed the participant’s sex (0 = female, 1 = male).

White

A binary variable indexed the respondent’s race (0 = non-white, 1 = white).

Black

A dummy variable indicating the participant’s race (0 = non-black, 1 = black).

Hispanic

A binary variable indexed the respondent’s race (0 = non-Hispanic, 1 = Hispanic). Descriptive statistics for all variables and scales used in the analysis can be found in Table 1.Table 1. Descriptive Statistics (n = 13,145).

 MeanSDMinMax
Law enforcement.02.1401
Extraversion13.732.70420
Neuroticism11.302.43420
Agreeableness15.432.23420
Conscientiousness14.942.44420
Openness14.692.32420
Stress4.772.93016
Depression2.572.51015
Anxious12.302.93420
Anger/Hostility10.152.86420
Divorced.11.3101
College degree.34.4701
Military service.07.2501
Politically conservative2.95.9215
Age28.571.762434
Male.47.5001
White.64.4801
Black.23.4201
Hispanic.16.3601

Note. SD = Standard Deviation.

Analytic Plan

The analysis for the current study will proceeded in a series of four steps. The first step is to estimate a logistic regression model that examines the effect of the Big Five personality traits (i.e., extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience) on being law enforcement. The second step involves estimating another logistic regression model. This model, however, includes temperamental variables (i.e., stress, depression, anxiousness, anger/hostility) along with the Big Five personality traits. The third step is to estimate a logistic regression model that examines the effect of the Big Five personality traits, temperamental variables, and empirically informed covariates (i.e., divorce, college education, prior military service, political views) on being a police officer. The fourth step is to re-estimate the model including the Big Five personality traits, temperamental variables, covariates, and control variables (i.e., age, sex, and race). The covariates will be entered into the regression equations in a stepwise fashion, allowing for the observation of changes in the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and being in law enforcement as a function of the covariance shared with the different covariates. It is also important to note that—to aid in interpretation and comparisons between models—the sample size was held constant for each model such that only those respondents who had complete data on every variable in the final model (i.e., model 4, which includes all variables) were included in the previous models. In other words, listwise deletion will be utilized in the current study. Despite dropping these cases, a robust sample size remained. This resulted in a sample size of over 13,000 individuals, which provided sufficient statistical power (Barnes et al., 2020). Importantly, there were no systematic missing responses (i.e., the missing values were randomly distributed).

Results

Table 2 presents the results gleaned from the logistic regression models where the effect of the Big Five personality traits on being in law enforcement is analyzed. Note that with minor algebraic manipulation (100*[OR-1]), odds ratios can be interpreted as a percent change in the odds of having a 1 on the dependent variable (i.e., being in law enforcement) for every one unit increase in the independent variable. Any OR below 1.00 denotes a negative association between the two variables and an OR above 1.00 signifies the two variables are positively associated.Table 2. Predictors of Being in Law Enforcement (n = 13,145).

 Model 1Model 2Model 3Model 4
ORSEORSEORSEORSE
Extraversion1.02(.03)1.00(.03).99(.03)1.00(.03)
Neuroticism.88*(.03).93(.06).93(.06).95(.06)
Agreeableness.91*(.03).93(.04).95(.04)1.03(.05)
Conscientiousness1.08(.05)1.06(.05)1.05(.05)1.09(.06)
Openness.97(.03).97(.03).97(.04).93*(.03)
Stress  .90(.05).90(.05).89(.05)
Depression  .93(.10).94(.11).94(.10)
Anxious  .96(.04).98(.04)1.04(.05)
Anger/Hostility  1.06(.04)1.04(.03)1.03(.03)
Divorced    1.36(.30)1.54*(.34)
College degree    .98(.16)1.09(.17)
Military service    3.44*(.81)2.51*(.58)
Politically conservative    1.38*(.11)1.32*(.10)
Age      1.04(.05)
Male      6.42*(1.64)
Black      1.12(.43)
Hispanic      1.40(.39)

*p < .05; Note: OR = Odds Ratio; SE = Linearized Standard Error.

Model 1 analyzes the effect of the Big Five personality traits on being in law enforcement before any additional variables are added to the model. Two personality variables are statistically significant. Specifically, the coefficient for neuroticism is negative and significant with results indicating that a one unit increase in neuroticism is related to a 12% decrease in the odds of being in law enforcement, adjusting for the other personality covariates (IRR = .88, p < .05). Additionally, the coefficient for agreeableness was negative and significant, with the odds ratio revealing that a one unit increase in agreeableness decreases the odds of being in law enforcement by 9% (IRR = .91, p < .05).

Model 2 presents the results of the logistic regression of law enforcement on the Big Five personality traits and additional temperamental variables. As can be seen, once these variables are added to the model, the relationship between the personality characteristics and being in law enforcement is attenuated and rendered insignificant. Moreover, none of the covariates in the model are significant predictors of being in law enforcement.

Model 3 reveals the results from the third logistic regression model analyzing the effect of the Big Five personality traits, temperamental characteristics, and theoretically informed covariates on being a police officer. Again, none of the Big Five traits or temperamental characteristics are significant. Prior military service is, however, significant with results indicating having served in the military was related to a 244% increase in the likelihood of being a police officer (IRR = 3.44, p < .05). Results also reveal that for every one unit increase in being politically conservative, the odds of being in law enforcement increases by 38% (IRR = 1.38, p < .05).

Model 4 presents the full model examining the effects of the Big Five personality traits, temperamental factors, covariates, and control variables on being in law enforcement. As can be seen, once the full model is analyzed, only one of the Big Five personality traits is significant. Specifically, for every one unit increase in openness to experience, the odds of being a police officer decrease by 7% (IRR = .93, p < .05). Being divorced was related to a 54% increase in the likelihood of being a police officer. Prior military service increases the odds of being in law enforcement by 151% (IRR = 2.51, p < .05). Conservatism remains significant, with a one unit increase in being politically conservative increasing the odds of being a police officer by 32% (IRR = 1.32, p < .05). Male is the only significant control variable and is associated with a 542% increase in the odds of being in law enforcement (IRR = 6.42, p < .05).

Discussion

Police have been described as a homogeneous group with distinct personalities consisting of characteristics such as authoritarianism, extraversion, conservatism, exhibitionism, suspiciousness, and aggressiveness (Lefkowitz, 1975; Van Maanen, 1973). Prior research has found that, compared to the general population, police recruits and applicants were more extraverted, less depressed, more impulsive, and more open to experience (Carpenter & Raza, 1987; Gudjonsson & Adlam, 1983; Salters-Pedneault et al., 2010). Additional studies have found that police scored higher in neuroticism and extraversion than the general population (Mahanta & Kathpalia, 1984). To date, however, no study has used a nationally representative sample of individuals to explore the personality traits and temperamental characteristics (i.e., stress, depression, anger) associated with individuals in law enforcement. Moreover, no prior research has included demographic control variables (i.e., age, race, and sex) as well as additional theoretically and empirically informed covariates (i.e., divorce, education, military service, political ideology), which may show the police personality to be spurious. With this in mind, the current study set out to examine the personality and temperamental predictors of being a police officer.

Results from the current study reveal that officers scored significantly lower on openness to experience (recall that openness to experience refers to universalism, intelligence, imaginativeness, sensitiveness, and open-mindedness). Respondents who reported having been divorced, had prior military service, who leaned more conservative, and males were also significantly more likely to be in law enforcement—with males having a 542% increase in the odds of being in law enforcement. This pattern of findings may suggest that certain factors coalesce to form a distinct police personality—such as a domineering or authoritative personality type (see, e.g., Skolnick, 1966; Twersky-Glasner, 2005; Van Maanen, 1973). Given that prior literature has found that stress, depression, anger, and anxiety were associated with the police personality, they were included in the model along with the Big Five personality traits (Pasillas et al., 2006). No temperamental variables were related to being in law enforcement in any model, which was unexpected but in line with prior findings (Gudjonsson & Adlam, 1983; Lawrence, 1984).

This pattern of findings may be due to the length of time officers have been on the job. Though personality traits have been shown to remain relatively stable throughout the life course, the “socialization model” suggests that once an individual is introduced into police subculture, their attitudes (and perhaps personality) change (Bennett & Greenstein, 1975). Since the mean age in the sample was 28, it is possible that once these individuals are acclimated to the subculture their attitudes and characteristics may change. Therefore, the lack of findings for covariates such as stress, depression, and anger might be due to officers not being on the job for an extended amount of time (e.g., they have less exposure to the police subculture). It may be that personality and temperamental differences would become more pronounced once officers have been on the job longer. Future studies should investigate whether officers with more experience on the job differ from newer recruits on personality characteristics.

While the current study filled an existing gap within the literature, certain points must be acknowledged. It is possible that an officer’s behavior is not representative of the individual but a characteristic of the situation. The current study assumes that the traits measured are relatively stable throughout the life course and are not situational. Additionaly, the current study was exploratory and utilized only one wave of data and, thus, could only show correlations. For instance, males were found to have much higher odds of being in law enforcement. However, it is unknown if this is simply due to many more males applying for the jobs or to the rigorous training and physical requirements that may make males more likely to stay in such a profession. Future studies should employ more rigorous quasi-experimental analyses—such as the one used by Garbarino et al. (2012)—to examine if the Big Five personality traits predict being in law enforcement. Future studies should also examine whether one’s social network predicts being in law enforcement. Since the Add Health only collected social network data during adolescence and the Big Five personality traits were not measured until adulthood, the current study was unable to examine this.

Additionally, the data were collected in 2009 and it is possible that the selection process for officers was different at that time than others. While this is possible, there are reasons to believe that this would not greatly impact the results. First, the data came from Add Health Wave 4 data collected in 2009—which is not too long ago. Hirschi, for example, argued that while the world has changed in ways we find important—such as technology—research typically finds that whatever changes have occurred have little relevance for theory or policy (Hirschi, as quoted in Laub, 2011, p. 321). Second, the police personality and police subculture appear to be relatively stable and resistant to change (Herbert, 1998; Malmin, 2012; Salters-Pedneault et al., 2010; Skolnick, 1977; Van Maanen, 1973). Third, results from the current study are in line with others finding that police personality consisted of factors such as low openness to experience, prior military service, and being more conservative (Balch, 1972; Coleman & Gorman, 1982; Gudjonsson & Adlam, 1983; Pasillas et al., 2006; Seklecki & Paynich, 2007; Skolnick, 1977).

It should also be noted that while findings from the current study are generalizable to the United States, they may not be applicable to police officers in other countries. There are reasons this too may not be a major concern. Mainly, the predicators included in this study have been found to be associated with the police personality in other countries—including Britain, Italy, Scotland, and South Africa—and shared characteristics of the police personality have been found cross-culturally (Garbarino et al., 2012; Gudjonsson & Adlam, 1983; Harper et al., 1999; Pienaar et al., 2007). Moreover, a study using data collected from 56 different nations revealed that the Big Five was highly replicable across all cultural regions around the world, the factor scales had high levels of internal reliability as well as cross-cultural and cross-instrument validity, and the Big Five has been found to be reliably measured across diverse human cultures (Schmitt et al., 2007). With this being said, the study was limited to the Big Five personality measures and, although these measures have been shown to be reliable and valid (Baldasaro et al., 2013; Schmitt et al., 2007), there may be other traits or characteristics not captured in the Mini-IPIP that were not controlled for that could comprise the “police personality.”

Notwithstanding the aforementioned limitations, the current study is the first to utilize a nationally representative sample to examine whether the Big Five personality traits, temperament characteristics, and empirically informed covariates are related to being a police officer. Whether it is because certain individuals are more attracted to law enforcement (i.e., the predispositional model), certain personality types are more likely to be admitted law enforcement (i.e., the selection model), or that officers are socialized into the police culture through formal and informal processes of police work (i.e., the socialization model), results from the current study provide partial evidence for a distinct police personality—with officers being less open to new experiences and more likely than non-officers to have prior military service, a more conservative political ideology, and be male. Findings from the current study also demonstrate the importance of including additional covariates beyond the Big Five, as the results changed once other variables related to the police personality were included in the model. Indeed, the model which included only the Big Five personality traits revealed that officers rated significantly lower on neuroticism and agreeableness. However, once empirically relevant variables were included, officers were only found to differ only on openness to experience.

Putting findings from the current study in a broader context, the results suggest a greater import should be placed on casting a wider net when hiring to ensure a diverse pool of candidates in terms personality and political ideology—with a strong emphasis on the recruitment of females and individuals from the civilian population. The finding that males were 542% more likely to be in law enforcement identifies a major point of concern and something that departments should prioritize when recruiting. Considering the finding that officers had a 54% increase in the odds divorce, departments may want to make marriage counseling available—and the finding that officers scored lower on openness to experience may indicate that officers may be reluctant to try services such as counseling or psychotherapy, which should be addressed as well. Additionally, finding that race was not a significant predictor of being an officer suggest that departments are doing well when it comes to reducing the discriminatory hiring practices based on race/ethnicity. Once hired, however, making the workplace culture (or the police subculture) less masculine and militaristic might aid in the retention of female officers and those with characteristics less in line with the traditional police working personality (Farkas & Manning, 1997; Seklecki & Paynich, 2007).

Declaration of Conflicting Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Funding

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website (https://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth). No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

ORCID iD

Michael F. TenEyck https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5287-8224

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Gabbi Tuft is feeling like a true champion. The retired WWE wrestler opened up about her life since coming out as transgender in 2021, sharing that “every morning I wake up, I choose happy, and I align myself and everything around me with things that bring me joy and gratefulness.”15 Nov 2023

Before my transition, I was a WWE star, weighed 280 pounds, and had 6% body fat. It took a lot of trial and error to get the feminine body I always wanted.

January 13th 2024

Essay by Gabbi Tuft

Sep 17, 2023, 12:17 PM BST

Gabbi Tuft before and after the transition
Gabbi Tuft before and after her transition.
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About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook https://www.facebook.com/rj.cook.9081 I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

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