May 30, 2017

"Someone attempted to move Christian away from the girls he was verbally harassing with a slight push or shove."

"'Touch me again, or I'm going to kill you,' Macy heard Christian respond. Namkai-Meche was holding up his phone, Macy said. She wasn't sure if Namkai-Meche was trying to show Christian something on the phone or was recording the interaction. Suddenly, Christian hit the phone away and stabbed Namkai-Meche in the neck, she said. 'It was just a swift, hard hit,' she said. 'It was a nightmare.'"

A witness, Rachel May, describes what she saw on the MAX Green Line train in Portland.

It made me think of what James Hamblin wrote in The Atlantic, in response to the Gianforte/Jacobs "body-slamming" incident: "
"The visceral instinct to physically attack a person who has just attacked you is strong; the surge of adrenal hormones makes it feel possible and necessary. That circuitry is increasingly vestigial, but overriding it and playing the longer game requires an active decision...."
Hamblin was praising Jacobs for not reacting to a shove with violence. The ground for the praise was that it's so hard to override the bodily urge to hit back. As Rachel May tells it, Jeremy Christian — who'd been using words (very offensive words) — received a "slight push or shove" and managed to restrict himself to words (a dire warning, "Touch me again, or I'm going to kill you"). He was working on the difficult override of what Hamblin called "the surge of adrenal hormones" that makes physical retaliation "feel possible and necessary." And what came next, the trigger Christian didn't override, was the phone in the face, presumably Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche's effort to get the paranoid/racist's awful behavior on video to show the world.

Also at the link, May's touching story of helping and praying for Namkai-Meche as he died of Christian's attack. She gave him the shirt of her back, literally. Namkai-Meche's last words to her were: "Tell everyone on this train I love them."

94 comments:

Kevin said...

The idea that because of the "rightness" of your position you can get in the other person's face and shame them into backing down has never been true. People defend themselves first and foremost and work out the morality later. Those who don't, tend to leave the gene pool.

Hundreds die in Chicago every year because the "righteous" walked up to the "unrighteous" to forcefully point out their unrighteous ways. And yet we are seeing more righteous indignation and moves to "get in their face" in the broader society.

This will not end well.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Has it already been said that having a camera/mic shoved in your face is "triggering?" Seen lately in the Jacobs incident and now here? I think it's very aggressive and would be happy to see it discouraged. The maniac actually suffered a physical touching but was goaded beyond endurance by our roving reporter hippie. In a way, it's the hippie's fault this happened.

David said...

Two comments already seemingly blaming the victim. Not on this one. The young man was probably unwise to stick a camera in the budding killer's face, but a lapse in judgment under stress is not fault. He and the other man were killed in a terrible ruthless fashion. A horrid scene.

Once written, twice... said...

So Ann and her Althouse Hillbillies are blaming those who record the racist rankings of a white supremacist for causing their own deaths.

Why am I not surprised?

rehajm said...

Two comments already seemingly blaming the victim.

It's fair to make observations about the motivations of the players or comments about the passive/aggressive behavior pointing a camera while trying to deescalate the situation. 'Blaming the victim' is an unfair assessment.

Ann Althouse said...

I know my posts risks the criticism "blaming the victim." Obviously, I don't mean to do that. It's very sad that these 2 men died and they were impressive for having responded in a valiant, protective way.

But I wonder what is the best way to deal with an apparent madman in an enclosed space like that? He may have been spouting offensive ideas, but it's not a conversation about ideas. The most important thing is to protect everyone, not to communicate that his ideas are bad or to persuade him that he's wrong. I think what usually happens with ranters on a train (and I rode the NYC subway for 10 years) is that everyone ignores them. No one confronts the person and no one tries to force him off the train. Maybe people today are starting to feel that a person saying offensive things shouldn't be allowed to go unanswered and confrontation is necessary. I don't think that's going to work very well.

Once written, twice... said...

Do you Hillbillies object to all recording of anti social public behavior or just that of incidences of police brutality and racist verbal assaults?

Kevin said...

Much of progressive ideology is that the right to self-defense should be abolished. No matter what happens, you do not have the right to strike back or defend yourself.

This is because the other part of progressive ideology is giving themselves power over you. They can't shove a microphone in your face if you can shoot them. They can't force you to pay higher taxes if you can move to another country. They can't make you to buy health insurance if you can opt out. And they can't bind you to a global climate change treaty if the next president can decide its not in his country's best interest to stay in it.

To take away your choice requires taking away your right to resist.

Kevin said...

As we've seen in the comments section of this blog, progressives don't truly decry violence, as long as it's meted out by the right people. Had it been the Muslim girl who stabbed the person yelling unapproved words, she would be hailed as a hero.

n.n said...

[class] diversity and bullying.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, he was doing more than "spouting offensive ideas." He was verbally assualting two young women because one was wearing a hajab. Yes there is danger in coming to the aid of another person under assault. Would you just sit there and pretend it was not happening and it does not concern you anyways? Would you want Meade to cower and do the same?

Kevin said...

Two comments already seemingly blaming the victim.

Recognizing that people are hard-wired to defend themselves is biology, not victim blaming. Everyone who has walked away rather than inflaming a situation has recognized this fact.

Rick said...

Popehat Flight Disturbance

I immediately thought of this potentially tragic story. I have no idea what "Calm Man" said or how he was trained. But obviously I wish there were many more people so capable.

It's hard for people to understand their mundane activity has transformed into life or death and almost no one is prepared to handle a truly deranged individual. We pull out our phones because our brains contextualize all incidents in the most normal way they can. But we are woefully unprepared when that context turns out false.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

they were impressive for having responded in a valiant, protective way.

Intersectional feminism has a different perspective. The men should have checked their male privilege and let the fearless girls handle the situation in an empowering way.

Schorsch said...

I've done what Mr. Best was doing, on the advice of a police officer friend. Match their intensity, agree and support, bring the energy level down, redirect their attention, then get away. Sounds like it was working, if the attacker was planning to get off the bus. Then came the shove, and the camera. It's tragic. The number one rule is: never get in another person's space unless you intend to immediately end the conflict through force. Even armed, trained cops observe this.

Once written, twice... said...

Kevin wrote "Had it been the Muslim girl who stabbed the person yelling unapproved words, she would be hailed as a hero."

That is complete and utter bullshit.

There has been three terrorist attacks this year in North America. The killing of seven in a mosque in Quebec. The one in Kansas in February. And now this one. They are all the result of the rising hatred being directed at Muslims and immigrants. And yes, that is Trump's central message that he is using for political traction.

But Ann does not blog about that. Instead, she does this "maybe they brought it upon themselves" bullshit.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin said...

But Ann does not blog about that. Instead, she does this "maybe they brought it upon themselves" bullshit.

Ann creates a forum for people to express their ideas so they can learn from others who might not agree with them. She writes her posts accordingly, and the vast majority of her readers come here because of it.

If you want to read things with only the right amount of moral indignation you require at all times, there are thousands of other places you can spend your time.

Once written, twice... said...

Is this loser in Portland a "madman"? If you say yes then you should be consistent and say that the nightclub shooter in Orlando last year was also a madman. If you say that the madman in Orlando was responding to radical Islam messaging then you should be consistent and acknowledge that this white madman is responding to the messages of hate towards Muslims and immigrants that are finding currency in our current political discourse.

Kevin said...

That is complete and utter bullshit.

Oh please. Just this week we had plenty of people denounce Gianforte who would not similarly call for the arrest and prosecution of Al Franken.

And Franken wasn't even wearing a hijab when he did it.

David said...

"The number one rule is: never get in another person's space unless you intend to immediately end the conflict through force. Even armed, trained cops observe this."

That is correct. But the calculus is made difficult by varying and subjective definitions of what one's "space" is.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Once,

Let me ask you one question.

What would YOU have done?

IMHO, what Schorsch said. I'd have guessed him to death. Failing that, I would have been watching him for violence.

The hippie, for all his good intentions, got people killed. The maniac had no agency. Like a rabid dog, or a pittie abused beyond all endurance, or Harambe, or that sea lion who pulled the girl into the drink.

You. Don't. Tease. A. Rabid. Dog.

William said...

One crazy white man berated two Muslim women. Two sane white men came to their defense. I'm unable to feel much in the way of racial guilt in this case......I don't know if there are any useful lessons to be gleaned from this case or any case involving psychotic mad men. My habit has always been to avoid or ignore them as much as possible but that's no guarantee of a safe journey.

Once written, twice... said...

Trump used his personal twitter account to respond to both the first Paris terrorist incident this year (where only the suspect was killed) and the more recent one. He did not use his personal twitter account (or the POTUS account) to condemn and offer condolences for the terrorist killings in Quebec or Kansas. Trump also did not use his personal twitter account to condemn and offer condolences for this Portland attack even though a career Army vet died heroically.

That tells you all you need to know about what is going on.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, he was doing more than "spouting offensive ideas." He was verbally assualting two young women because one was wearing a hajab. Yes there is danger in coming to the aid of another person under assault. Would you just sit there and pretend it was not happening and it does not concern you anyways? Would you want Meade to cower and do the same?"

I was wondering what I would say to my sons if this had happened when they were teenagers and we were discussing what to do. I wouldn't advise them to behave in a way that spirals up the violence. The basic way to deal with ranting people is for everyone to ignore them. But if there are particular individuals who are the targets of the rant and the ranter keeps up directing threats at them, it's good to think strategically about what you should do. It depends on all of the circumstances. I don't think you should rile the ranter up. I'm interested in discussing what's the best thing to do. I think it's bad to go straight to extremes: Either confront the guy right up in his face or sit there frozen in fear.

For example, depending on the layout of the space and the position of people in the crowd, it might be good to speak to the person who is the ranter's target. Go stand between her and the ranter or sit next to her and say: "Don't listen to him. He's just a crazy person. People around here don't feel like that. I'm sorry you have to hear that." Or: "Don't worry. I won't let him get near you."

Ann Althouse said...

You know, people who think you have to go to one extreme or the other are a big part of the problem!

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

"Yes there is danger in coming to the aid of another person under assault."

The women were NOT being assaulted. The man was ranting and making nasty statements about muslims. Obviously that is unpleasant and no one should be subjected to that behavior, however, it is not the same as being assaulted - which involves physical harm.

The killer was a Bernie Bro who had been evicted from a Trump rally for his behavior. I wonder if leftist ideology lead these good samaritans to believe it was safe to approach him. If you recognize the person is mentally ill, common sense should tell you to keep a safe body distance and NOT film/antagonize the individual. However, if you have been brainwashed to believe this is typical behavior for Republicans you might fail to recognize the signs of mental illness which were obvious to the Trump supporters who had previously phoned the police on this individual.

Ann Althouse said...

Another thing I don't like is people who insist on only looking backward and not forward. I want to talk about what people who aren't dead yet can do to help in bad situations, and I'm not impressed by those who say: We must look at what happened and honor the dead by treating whatever they did as the best thing that could have been done.

Ann Althouse said...

"The killer was a Bernie Bro..."

Could you link to something?

I'm dismayed by the politicizing of this story. A horrible person commits an atrocity, and people immediately want to say he was a member of the group that isn't mine.

Is it good to think like that? Is it making this world a better place? Is it a search for truth? Or all we just doggedly tracked into partisan fighting? I don't like that. My presumption about Christian — as I avoided writing this story for a couple days because I just don't know — is that he's psychotic.

Bob Boyd said...

"The visceral instinct to physically attack a person who has just attacked you is strong...overriding it and playing the longer game requires an active decision...."

Another powerful instinct in a confrontation is to advance when the other appears to retreat. Overriding that urge in the interest of de-escalation also requires clear-headed, goal driven judgement.
Even trained, experienced pros, like cops for example, can't always control their emotions, stay calm and think fast when things get really scary. And even then, we're talking about dealing with a "normal" person. If the subject is crazy or high or both, it's all out the window.
To make it even more complicated, in a crowded space, one person might be doing everything right, then when the subject starts to de-escalate, another bystander might suddenly feel encouraged jump into the situation re-escalating it.
I don't mean to judge or criticize. When you read these stories, it's natural to wonder what could have been done? What would I have done? What should I do if...?'

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Once written, twice... said...

Is this loser in Portland a "madman"? If you say yes then you should be consistent and say the nightclub shooter in Orlando was also a madman.

I don't know if madman is the right term for the Portland stabber. But there is a glaringly obvious difference between someone who plans a mass killing, and someone who resorts to lethal violence in an escalating confrontation.

Then again, this guy was a Sanders/Stein supporter, so clearly he did not have a firm grasp on reality.

Once written, twice... said...

It is so offensive that you are second guessing these heros decisions that were made in the split second and without full information. Was he using his phone to record the incident to "get in his face" or was he documenting the scene as evidence?

Ann, you have no reason to believe that these men went to "one extreme." What has been reported is that they told the guy to leave the two young women alone and that one of them recorded the encounter.

Ann, what is your justification that they were being extreme in their actions?

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Let's see if I have this right. A Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein supporter kills a republican politician and ex military guy. If any politician has some responsibility it is Sanders with all his talk about revolution and controlling immigration.

And if blowing up 22 young girls is the "new normal" then some crazy guy berating young Muslim girls can't be so bad. Maybe it's time to ban the hajib if it is so triggering.

See it's so easy to think like a leftist. It takes no critical thinking skills.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Typo...I'd have yessed him to death. (Yesed? Yes'd?)

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

I am a former police officer who dealt with many violent mentally ill people. First call 911. When you know help is on the way, if you feel you must intervene then treat the person as normal. Do NOT try to convince them of the error of what they are doing. Asking them for help is an excellent distraction. For example: Do you know what time it is? Can you tell me what the next stop is, I am looking for... Engaging the person in an unrelated matter to distract them can often help. If the person responds to that type of inquiry you can try to keep the conversation going. Based on their rants you may be able to get a sense of a topic that interests them while at the same time distracting them from the victim they are abusing. But you must be aware and prepared should they could turn on you. Once they start swinging it is too late to use distraction.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Was he using his phone to record the incident to "get in his face"

Since apparently the maniac was able to reach out and swat away the phone, yes, he was too close.

Kevin said...

I want to talk about what people who aren't dead yet can do to help in bad situations

Given that many of us face these situations on a frequent basis, and some will do so at one point in their lives, I can only be sure that the answer has something to do with Trump and which Twitter account he might choose to Tweet with.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Here is Buzzfeed report which claims he supported Bernie then switched to Trump:https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/portland-suspect?utm_term=.tirzMNwr7#.coN6y7ZQR

Gatewaypundit has images of tweets which show he hated Trump and video of him at Trump rally he was evicted from:

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/05/update-portland-killer-voted-bernie-reported-trump-supporters-police-nothing-video/

I agree that this man appears to have been mentally ill.However, media has been purposefully presenting him as a "right winger." They are trying to build a narrative, knowing full well he was a Bernie supporter - which has not been noted by any BIG media.

Once written, twice... said...

There is nothing in Bernie Sanders message that would account or have any influence on this evil madman's behavior. There is in Trump's message and those he has associated himself with.

I think this guy in Portland, like most of these cases, is probably mentally ill which led him to do a crazy evil act. I think that was true of the Orlando killer as well. Both were influenced by and responded to messages they were hearing. We need to call out and condemn hateful ideas whether they come from a small faction associated with Islam or white supremacy anti-immigrant groups and leaders in this country.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Go stand between her and the ranter or sit next to her and say: "Don't listen to him. He's just a crazy person. People around here don't feel like that. I'm sorry you have to hear that."

I would not counsel anyone to do this. At this point a crazy person is probably going to take any interaction as a threat or provocation, because you are disrupting his ownership of the scene. You are attempting to Nullify him.

The crazy person is exerting his place in the world he alone sees. Your words are rarely going to break the Spell.

There is not a Rational Mind for you to reach.

If you get in-between and your back is turned you are merely an obstacle to be removed.

If you get in-between and you face him you are now confronting him.

Can you make eye contact without showing fear?

If you cannot do this you will probably not be able to talk him down.

If you do not have a weapon you are not prepared to deal with this.

Schizophrenia is a Motherfucker.

I am Laslo.

Once written, twice... said...

There has now been three major terrorist attacks this year in North America. All three have been directed at Muslims. Why is Trump not speaking out and providing leadership on this?

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Another option is joining the mentally ill person in their rant, using that to distract them. For example: Have you heard a big new mosque is about to open. What can we do about to stop it from opening. You might find this distasteful, but the point is to keep the person occupied with speaking and refocus them from the immediate object of their hate before they begin assaulting the person. I

Martha said...

Christian was clearly mentally ill and off his meds.
The good Samaritans responded to the anti-Muslim nature of the rant—not the craziness.
The media has been in hysterics depicting Trump and his supporters as deranged bigots that the
left no longer distinguishes between clinically crazy crazy and Trumpers.

Kevin said...

There has now been three major terrorist attacks this year in North America. All three have been directed at Muslims. Why is Trump not speaking out and providing leadership on this?

I would like to get between someone who is ranting and the actual topic of this thread, but I don't want to set them off.

Martha said...

Trump on Twitter May 29:

The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them.

Once written, twice... said...

Martha, that was from the POTUS twitter account controlled by his staff. It is not from his personal twitter account. The one that everyone reads.

stever said...

Once, to the extent you make a point, you give it away with your arrogance. You care more about being an a smart ass than being part of a conversation .

Once written, twice... said...

I engaged in this thread. I did not get that in return. Ann can't even explain why she believes these heros were acting in an extreme way.

Kevin said...

Ann asked: "I was wondering what I would say to my sons if this had happened when they were teenagers and we were discussing what to do."

As someone who rides the subway most every day, I can tell you there are no easy answers other than once you choose to get involved, you are no longer in control of how involved you're going to be. As has been pointed out, even professional police officers know better than to indiscriminately walk into a situation.

Three situations I handled very differently because of how I saw the situation:

1. Two larger black men yelling at a smaller black man: "Nigger, nigger, nigger. You're a nigger and you know it. Nigger. Right nigger? You feel me nigger? You know you do. So what you got to say, nigger? That's what I thought. Nigger."

Two on one. Some probability they were armed. But most importantly, they clearly knew each other. It was going to go on after they got off the train no matter whether anyone intervened or not. And it might have been worse for the person if it did escalate. So I didn't intervene, got off the train, and told the nearest transit cop.

2. A guy on the platform clearly bothering a girl: "Hey honey, how come you got no boyfriend? I'll be your boyfriend. I'll treat you so nicely you'll never want to leave me. That's right. You know I'm your boyfriend now."

She's trying to figure out how to get away from him and he's not letting her. If they get on the train together he's just going to keep following her. Looks like he's on his way to work. No cops around, obviously. And I figure if I get into an altercation with him I can likely hold my own. I don't get in between them or cut off his route out, but just start talking to him. "How do you know her? How long have you known her?" He has to admit he doesn't so I engage him in a conversation about how you can tell she'd not interested which ends politely enough as she gets away.

3. Woman on the train who asks to use my phone and I decline: "What's your problem? Why can't you let me use your phone? You aint using it and I need it. I gotta make an important call. You some stuck up son of a bitch. What's your problem?"

She's wafer thin. Strung out. I can easily let this go, but since she continues I figure she's done this before to other people. Tried to intimidate them. So I get out of my seat, walk over to her, and tell her what's up loud enough for the entire car to hear me. I give her room enough to back off and I won't follow if she moves, but I'm clearly standing my ground as I explain to her in a loud voice that "I paid for my phone and so I get to use it whenever I want. And when she pays for her phone she can do the same". It's not personal. There are no insults. I'm simply answering the questions she's been asking, and doing so in a way that lets her know her behavior wasn't OK.

I get off at the next stop, even though it's not my stop, to get on another train. You don't confront someone and then hang around for them to stay mad at you and realize they have a knife in their bag.

These are decisions which I didn't take lightly and didn't move into until I considered a number of factors. Even so, in two of the three cases I well understood I could be assaulted and accepted that risk while taking every opportunity to minimize it through my actions.

Kevin said...

You know what's really an extenuating circumstance? When your kids are with you. You have to provide for their safety first, you don't want them to take the wrong lessons away from a situation, and you don't want to find yourself bleeding out in front of them.

So I'm much less inclined to get involved with them around, but we have more interesting conversations about situations and how to handle them as they grow up.

Kevin said...

Ann can't even explain why she believes these heros were acting in an extreme way.

Because people are dead who might be alive today if they hadn't acted as they did. And if we're not smart enough to get beyond "those poor girls were Muslim", then more people might die as a result of learning nothing from this tragedy.

Gahrie said...

My presumption about Christian — as I avoided writing this story for a couple days because I just don't know — is that he's psychotic.

Not only a psychotic...he was a known psychotic. The question we should be asking is "Why wasn't he in an institution?".

Birches said...

Kevin has offered some very helpful comments.

When I heard about this story, I remembered the story about the guy getting stabbed on the Metro in DC and no one doing anything. Althouse blogged about it then and I remember a lot of people saying they would have gotten involved. Obviously, the will to get involved go way up when someone is actually being injured instead of just verbally berated. It's a tricky line and one that we all need to think about. In some situations, we can be labeled cowards, in some heroes, in some heroes that are dead. I don't think there's anything wrong with an after action report. It helps all of us refine any hypothetical response if we are ever in a similar situation.

epador said...

The lesson here is that your iPhone is not a shield or a weapon, and if you advance towards a sane or insane person with only that in hand, in an attempt to prevent them from continuing whatever disruptive and violent behavior they are or are threatening to perpetrate, you are both escalating the situation and putting yourself at dire risk.

Its tempting to call the victims heroes. Many do the same thing when folks make ill advised risks in an attempt to rescue someone and only become another victim or person to rescue. However it marginalizes the importance of using a level head when determining a course of action. These folks were indeed well intentioned, it seems, but their intentions did not make for intelligent choices or a favorable outcome.

I think there's a message there of importance applicable to analysis of many current trending social and political themes.

Rick said...

Once written, twice... said...
I engaged in this thread. I did not get that in return.


Just so we're clear this is his first comment:

Once written, twice... said...
So Ann and her Althouse Hillbillies are blaming those who record the racist rankings of a white supremacist for causing their own deaths.


This comment is insulting and either deliberately or obtusely mischaracterizes the content of Althouse's post. Yet he thinks this is engagement?

Please quit feeding this idiot.

Once written, twice... said...

The ugliness of the Althouse Hillbillies was on full display in this thread.

You must be so proud Ann.

vanderleun said...

Clearly, 1ce, 2ice has gone off his med since his firing from his career of teaching autofellatio to dogs. I propose we launch a GoFundMe to return his to his position.

As for his "insights" honeybadger don't care.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

epador said...The lesson here is that your iPhone is not a shield or a weapon, and if you advance towards a sane or insane person with only that in hand, in an attempt to prevent them from continuing whatever disruptive and violent behavior they are or are threatening to perpetrate, you are both escalating the situation and putting yourself at dire risk.

Yes. Your phone is not a weapon and your phone is not a shield. Good, non-violent people might be deterred by realizing they're being captured on video. Bad, violent people will not care and will take your attempt to capture them on video as an insult and a provocation.
De-escalation is important. If you're going to engage and you're within range you've got to be ready for things to get violent--if you're holding a phone up and focused on your phone's screen you're almost certainly not ready for things to get violent.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

You never know who's crazy and you never know who's going to get violent. You never know who's armed...and armed can mean something as simple as a small screwdriver, etc.
It's a shame that this is the reality, but it's silly and dangerous to pretend otherwise.
The victims of this (seemingly) crazy, violent person were trying to do what they saw as the right thing and defend a woman from a verbal attack. That's praiseworthy. They may have made mistakes in how they tried to do that praiseworthy thing, though, and others may be able to learn from those mistakes. That's not blaming the victim, and refusing to learn from this situation does no one any good.
Confined spaces are tough. They limit your ability to put distance between yourself and an attacker and that might mean you can't get out of range. Coordinating any effort with others is a good idea, but against an armed attacker in a confined space having a numerical advantage isn't automatically decisive. The best course is always de-escalation, distraction, and distance--calm things down, remove the focus of the potential attack, and the get the hell away. All of that isn't always possible, of course, so sometimes attacking (in self-defense) is the best bet. Being armed yourself can be vitally important in providing for your own defense. Situations like this are tricky--if these guys had tackled the dude when he was "just" yelling at a woman and they'd injured him then there's every chance the "good guys" would have been criminally liable (or gotten sued by the guy, etc).

Keep your distance, watch their hands, be ready to run if possible and if not to attack with everything you've got.

Even when you do everything right, though, things don't always go your way and some violent asshole might kill you. The world can be an unpleasant place--the best you can do is give yourself as much chance to succeed as you can.

mockturtle said...

'Touch me again, or I'm going to kill you,' Macy heard Christian respond.

Or I'm going to kill you? Makes no sense.

William said...

When in disgrace in fortune and men's eyes, I like to ponder the fact that on three separate occasions, I intervened in physical assaults or muggings and perhaps saved the victim from greater harm. I'm fairly craven and in most situations will go to elaborate lengths to avoid a fight, but my deep tendon reflexes are sound, and I get involved. There have also been other occasions, wrong but not so overtly and physically wrong, when I sat by and did nothing. You really feel guilty about it afterwards, as though you were in come way complicit in the wrong. Life is tough to negotiate.

FullMoon said...

There is nothing in Bernie Sanders message that would account or have any influence on this evil madman's behavior. There is in Trump's message and those he has associated himself with.

Yeah, pretty sure the guy was more influenced by simplified message sent by bomber at Ariana Grande concert. : Muslims hate you and want to kill all of you"

And, camera, or anything else, inches from your face is a threat to your eyes that cannot be quickly defended against. Counter-intuitive to let the threat remain.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...
Another option is joining the mentally ill person in their rant, using that to distract them. For example: Have you heard a big new mosque is about to open. What can we do about to stop it from opening. You might find this distasteful, but the point is to keep the person occupied with speaking and refocus them from the immediate object of their hate before they begin assaulting the person."

I like your comments, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here. You are assuming a mentally ill person would process your rant as sympathetic and would be glad to have someone agree with them. But for all you know they might see you as a plant, someone from the government or Planet Z who is trying to entrap them. And the other people on the train might very well think that now they have, not one, but 2 nutjobs to worry about.

I found that even making eye contact with crazies on trains and buses is perceived as a threat and a challenge. "You looking at me, lady?"

Owen said...

(1) great comments about how to read a situation, defuse it, redirect it if possible. (2) the culture of Niceness means that many of us have no clue about body language, people responding to instinct, how crazy folk and thug culture can produce mayhem in an eye-blink. By the time those Good Samaritans knew what was about to happen, it had happened. (3) I am no warrior but it seems obvious that you have to (a) plan your attack and (b) attack with total commitment. If there is some dude with a knife, bring a gun or at least a cane, and hit him as hard as you can while he's not looking. End it or be ended.

Very sad.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

@exiled.
I did first mention asking for the time. The point is to redirect their thinking. Each case is different and you have to get a feel for what might work. Usually there is still some sane left and if you speak to the person normally you can bring that to the surface for a bit.

Rick said...

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...
Another option is joining the mentally ill person in their rant, using that to distract them. For example: Have you heard a big new mosque is about to open. What can we do about to stop it from opening. You might find this distasteful, but the point is to keep the person occupied with speaking and refocus them from the immediate object of their hate before they begin assaulting the person."


I would never recommend this. Someone would video it and the SJWs would ruin your life.

Kirk Parker said...

Once written,

"verbally assualting "

Bzzzzzttt! 10 minutes in the penalty box for you, for obvious conflating.



And today, at least on this post, Kevin adds far more value than Once Written subtracts, so it's all good.


Gahrie,

"... he was a known psychotic. The question we should be asking is "Why wasn't he in an institution?".

Putting people in institutions? That's Not Who We Are <sarcasm>

n.n said...

So, they forced catastrophic anthropogenic climate change that led to their abortion. This is reminiscent of the left-wing contemplative cuckoo who assaulted Giffords. The left (and left of center) enjoys it greatest success in triggering other left-wing ideologues, then projecting [class] diversity, intolerance, or Pro-Choice on their competitors.

Yancey Ward said...

When I was a graduate student in Chicago, I used to share a train on some mornings with a person who was clearly schizophrenic and prone to verbally abusing passengers. In such an enclosed space, there is no really safe way to confront such a person. It seems to me that the victims basically seemed to have assumed that Christian was unarmed in any way. I would have simply asked the women Christian was verbally assaulting to walk with me to another car since his carrying at least a knife or worse would have been high on my list of worries.

I think in such environments, a taser might be a handy thing to always have if you are going to confront a raving lunatic that way. You probably should be ready to strike first and hard enough to end it quickly because all the right in the world won't mean anything if you get stabbed in the neck.

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Char Char Binks said...

Once written, twice..., I ain't had much book l'arvin', but I do know that when man has his mind dead set ta scrap it's powerful hard to get him to act peaceable-like. Now, I hear tell some folks has stopped a scuffle by moseyin' into it, eating' tater chips,an such like, shown' how we don't hafta come to blows just on account of a little disagreement. But when a man right up n tells ya he's gonna stab ya, you best take that into some serious consideration. But shucks, what do I know? I'm jess a simple man who an aint never even took no diversity trainin' class or a nonviolent crisis intervention training course.

mockturtle said...

The perils of public transportation. I had to take two buses to the University of WA as there was no student parking. Half the riders seemed to converse with molecules in the air. Add a few gang-bangers and it was lots of fun. I remember the driver was attacked one day and I really didn't know which side the majority of passengers were on. This was well before cell phones.

Ken B said...

Those politicizing the story are also like those thinking this is "a conversation about ideas." As Ann says, it isn't. It's about a guy ranting, who might get violent, and how to deal with him. Imagine that he was ranting love-babble. Imagine he was ranting about the best pet food. Imagine he was ranting against nazis.


Ann Althouse said...

"Or I'm going to kill you? Makes no sense."

I noticed that. My theory was that this was a person who was deficient in the use of language. It's understandable if not logical.

Ken B said...

The ugliness of the Althouse Hillbillies was on full display in this thread.

You must be so proud Ann.

That person was on the theme from his first comment here:

"Do you Hillbillies object to all recording of anti social public behavior or just that of incidences of police brutality and racist verbal assaults?"

But I think there's real ugliness on display in his comment. Never mind the Hillbilly slur. It's the characterization of a discussion of how to avert harm that's ugly.

Then he goes on to politicize this with a screed about Trump.

Ugly is not an inaposite word.

Char Char Binks said...

Jeremy Joseph Christian would have still been in prison for his past robbery and kidnapping convictions if liberal legislators took crime seriously. He likely would have been in custody at the time of the stabbings if the brainless Portland hippie chick who video-recorded him threatening to stab people the night before, after he reportedly hit someone with a bottle, had called 911. She probably didn't want the "fascist" police to get involved. Taliesin Mekka-Hekka-Hi Mekka-Hiney-Ho would be alive today if he hadn't been a virtue-signaling do-gooder who lacked the sense to leave a seeming lunatic alone. I don't blame him; I blame his hippie parents.

Char Char Binks said...

Yes, Taliesin Mekka-Lekka-Hi Mekka-Hiney-Ho was an idiot, and possibly a criminal, for giving Christian a "slight push or shove".

Paul said...

Lesson to learn folks. IF YOU ARE GOING TO INTERVENE IN A DISPUTE.... please be ARMED and capable of defending yourself.

These three guys were in 'Condition White' and didn't have a clue it would go south. One can make a knife out of just about any flat piece of metal (in face in prison they use tooth brushes sharpened to make 'shivs'.)

Oh and about 'Good Samaritan'. Read the Bible folks. The Samaritan in the story found the guy half beaten to death with no bad guys around..... He didn't first fight off bad guys. He was in NO DANGER OF BEING KILLED.

mandrewa said...

Ann said, "I'm dismayed by the politicizing of this story. A horrible person commits an atrocity, and people immediately want to say he was a member of the group that isn't mine."

And that is an admirable sentiment except that 99% of the people that have heard about this are convinced that this guy was right-wing and they think so because were told so by the media. That is the media thought it was very important to immediately brand this guy as being right-wing, etc.

But it turns out to be a lie and the media should have known this because what competent journalist wouldn't go to look to see if there was an associated Facebook page? Once you read his Facebook comments you realize he seems to be pretty far left-wing. Not only did he vote for left-wing politicians but he also expressed his disdain for religion, specifically Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which he collectively blamed for all sorts of things. And in particular there is one incident that I thought was remarkable.

He wanted to demonstrate how evil the right-wing was, and the way he did this was by attending a free-speech rally with an American flag wrapped around him, giving the Nazi salute, and shouting out racial slurs. Now according to his Facebook message about this which he posted before he actually did it, the intent was to discredit the people at the free-speech rally by his behavior. In other words, this isn't really his views, it's the views of these horrible right-wing Nazis, that he is going to make obvious by showing what they really think.

This raises some questions. Was he doing the same on the train on Portland? Was he pretending to be his idea of right-wing and doing horrible things to discredit the right and he got carried away by his acting?

Or is it that he actually feels compelled to express racial slurs and he's in denial that that is what he wants to do, and he's virtue-signaling with his political correctness to prove that he's just acting, and this is all the fault of the right-wing, which he really, really hates.

Now it's clear the man is not right in the head, but if you just read his words, he sounds like some people you can find on the web pretty easily.

Gahrie said...

"Or I'm going to kill you? Makes no sense."

I just assumed it should have actually read ...Or "I'm going to kill you".

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Go stand between her and the ranter or sit next to her and say

Was on the subway in NYC this last winter with my infant in a front carrier and my other kids around me. Homeless ranter fixated on me and the baby and started cooing at her and I accidentally made eye contact with him. Three women commuters very subtly moved closer around me and the kids with their backs to me and their impassive, book-reading fronts to him, forming a barrier between him and me/my family. It was perfectly done and very much appreciated by me.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Or I'm going to kill you? Makes no sense."

I noticed that. My theory was that this was a person who was deficient in the use of language. It's understandable if not logical.

5/30/17, 1:58 PM


Maybe women, or emeritae, don't get this, but you can be so angry that the proper words in the proper order and agreement don't come just at the moment. Just think how angry you've been at some commenters, then subtract, I suppose, sanity. Don't worry, as you get older you'll understand.

Bad Lieutenant said...

mockturtle said...
'Touch me again, or I'm going to kill you,' Macy heard Christian respond.

Or I'm going to kill you? Makes no sense.

5/30/17, 9:43 AM

Please don't get killed trying to parse maniacs. I mean you, mockturtle, Onesie can do as he pleases on that.

Please do: watch hands. Hands kill.

Bad Lieutenant said...

From The First Deadly Sin, Lawrence Sanders

...
Thinking of it later, Delaney decided that from that moment on, the night simply exploded and went whirling away.
It was the mink-clad matron, her wrinkled face crimson. “They’re killing him!” she screamed. “They’re killing him!” The little nurse came from behind her desk. She reached for the distraught woman. The matron raised one fur-covered arm and clubbed her down.
The others in the room looked up. Dazed. Bewildered. Frightened. Delaney rose lightly to his feet.
“They’re killing him!” the woman screamed.
The nurse scrambled up, rushed out the door.
Delaney moved very slowly toward the hysterical woman.
“Oh yes,” he said in a voice deliberately dulled, slowed. “They’re killing him. Oh yes,” he nodded.
The woman turned to him. “They’re killing him,” she repeated, not yelling now but pulling at the loose skin beneath her chin.
“Oh yes,” Delaney kept nodding. “Oh yes.”
He, to whom touching a stranger was anathema, knew from experience how important physical contact was in dealing with irrational or maddened people.
“Oh yes,” he kept repeating, nodding his head but never smiling. “I understand. Oh yes.”
He put a hand lightly, tentatively, on her furred arm.
“Oh yes,” he kept nodding. “Oh yes.”
She looked down at the hand on her arm, but she didn’t throw him off.
“Oh yes,” he nodded. “Tell me about it. I want to know all about it. Oh yes. Tell me from the beginning. I want to hear all about it.”
Now he had his arm about her shoulders; she was leaning into him. Then an intern and attendant, white-clad, came flinging in, followed by the furious nurse. Delaney, leading the matron slowly toward a couch, waved them away with his free hand. The intern had enough sense to stop in his tracks and halt the others. The old Italian couple, open-mouthed, and the hippie couple watched in silence. The white-haired gentleman slept on.
“They’re killing him!” she screamed once more.
“Oh yes,” he nodded, hugging her closer. “Tell me all about it. I want to know all about it.”
He got her seated on a plastic couch, his arm still about her shoulders. The intern and his aides watched nervously but didn’t approach.
“Tell me,” Delaney soothed. “Tell me everything. Start from the beginning. I want to know.”
“Shit,” the woman said suddenly, and fumbled in her alligator bag for a handkerchief. She blew her nose with a tremendous fluttering blast that startled everyone in the room. “You’re a beautiful man, you know that? You’re not like those other mother-fuckers in this butcher shop.”
“Tell me,” he droned on, “tell me about it.”
“Well,” she said, dabbing at her nose, “it began about six months ago. Irving came home early from the office and complained about-”
Delaney heard a scuffling of feet and looked up. The room seemed filled with police uniforms. Oh God, he thought despairingly, don’t tell me that stupid nurse called the cops because of one poor, sad, frightened, hysterical woman.
But it couldn’t be. There was Captain Richard Boznanski of the 188th Precinct, just north of his. And he recognized a detective lieutenant and a man from the public relations section. A sergeant had his arm around Boznanski’s waist and was half supporting him.
Delaney pulled apart from the matron.
“Don’t go away,” she pleaded. “Please don’t go away.”
“Just for a minute,” he whispered. “I’ll be back. I promise I’ll be back.”
The loudspeaker was shouting: “Dr. Spencer, report to 201, please. Dr. Ingram, report to 201, please. Dr. Gomez, report to 201, please. Drs. Spencer, Ingram and Gomez, report to 201, please.”
...

Once written, twice... said...

Nickolas Kristof has a moving piece today about the Portland terrorist attack and its three heroes. Ann's post today accusing these three men of extreme actions and causing their own deaths is morally repugnant. But Ann long ago chose that side of the road.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/30/opinion/portland-train-attack-muslim.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

mandrewa said...

But "Once written, twice..." that's you. Look in the mirror, Jeremy Christian looks back. He's your spiritual brother. You can't admit it, but you have something in common.

The same goes for Kristof. Nickolas Kristof is desperate to write columns like that. He wants to hate certain people. He wants to write what he's writing and blame who he's blaming. The column writes itself. He could have written it long ago. Except you need a genuine person to base on it. But there is something curious about Jeremy Christian. He, too, hates the people Kristof hates. He can't write like Kristof, but no doubt he wants to see that column written.

How convenient. Now we have the excuse. Just don't look to closely.

The truth is that this is a strange story. There is something going on here that deserves to be written about and explored. But we are not going to see that are we?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

For example, depending on the layout of the space and the position of people in the crowd, it might be good to speak to the person who is the ranter's target. Go stand between her and the ranter or sit next to her and say: "Don't listen to him. He's just a crazy person. People around here don't feel like that. I'm sorry you have to hear that." Or: "Don't worry. I won't let him get near you."

This is almost exactly right. Unless you are officers of the peace you don't confront the person. If they have a target you show/tell the target you will support/defend them. You move to a place where you can defend the target and they can take comfort, but not in-between unless you want to escalate the confrontation.

Achilles said...

Once written, twice... said...
The ugliness of the Althouse Hillbillies was on full display in this thread.

You must be so proud Ann.


If a Bernie supporter stabs people including a veteran that ran for local office as a republican in Portland the stabber was really a Trump supporter. If you don't accept everything Once says you are Ugly. All Trump supporters are just like the stabber. Blah blah blah. Any attempt to discuss the situation means you should just shut up because you are racist/ugly whatever.

The left never operates in good faith. Once written does nothing for this community. He does not engage in anything meaningful and nothing good will come from his actions.

It is easy to see how antifa was formed.

mockturtle said...

The Oregonian reports that Christian has convictions for felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon charges. His first conviction was in 2002 in a first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping case, reports KOIN. The station says that his most recent offence was in November 2010 when a case of theft was dismissed for unknown reasons.

The dude should have been locked up. Let's put some of the blame on the Oregon 'justice' system.

Kevin said...

His first conviction was in 2002 in a first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping case, reports KOIN. The station says that his most recent offence was in November 2010 when a case of theft was dismissed for unknown reasons.

Wow, Trump was influencing his behavior even before he became President?

mockturtle said...

Kevin is incredulous: Wow, Trump was influencing his behavior even before he became President?

Yes. Back in 2002 he had a slight premonition that Trump might run for the presidency. Inspired by that premonition alone, he began his criminal career. After Trump actually became President, murderous rage seemed the appropriate celebration.

Danno said...

Kevin has been on a roll today, rebutting pretty much every post from Once/Twice. Bravo!!

Danno said...

His reply of..."If you want to read things with only the right amount of moral indignation you require at all times, there are thousands of other places you can spend your time." was great, and my favorite.

Once/Twice wasn't smart enough to realize the truth that Kevin had posited.

openidname said...

Call-out culture and decompensating psychotics are not a good mixture.