Monday, September 18, 2017

Most disease may be communicable and affecting your well-being

When proceeding through a divorce or child custody battle it is well established that your health may be compromised. The stress of these events can dampen the immune system making the body more susceptible to communicable diseases. Likewise, there may be a psychological impact that can adversely affect health. Finally, this period of transition may result in initiation, resumption, or increase in poor health habits as well as associations with people who model poor behaviours.

In health classes and throughout medical literature you may have encountered diseases being classified in one of two categories; communicable and noncommunicable. Under an absolutists' view disease is readily classified into one of the two categories. I contend and endeavor to demonstrate here that such a dichotomy does not adequately represent the factors relevant to the proliferation of disease and that the spread of disease once considered to be noncommunicable is actually communicable.

I recently wrote about societal scripts and perceptions in Turning Negatives Into Positives Through Cognitive Modification where I made the point that the scripts that have molded our lens of consciousness can be modified. In this article I am again going to dispute some societal scripts. It is my premise that what are labeled as non-communicable disease are actually communicable.

Typically it has been ailments passed through infected fluids secreted by mucus membranes that are held to be communicable diseases. Communicable diseases may be subdivided into viral, bacterial, fungal, sexually transmitted, or contagions of insect or parasite origin. They are spread via various modes of transmission. Mononucleosis through saliva. AIDS through blood. Influenza through sneezes and coughs.

Ailments such as cancers, coronary artery disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or Alzheimer's Disease are said to be non-communicable. They are dysfunction within the body due to environmental or lifestyle influences.

So let's examine what it means to be communicable. Communication is the transmission and receipt of information. Information can be transmitted through a diverse array of modes. Typically we think of speaking and writing -- we hear it or read it. Think of the blind who feel it. Think of how you determine if a food contains an alkali metal [salty], sugar [sweet], hydrogen [sour], toxin [bitter], or meaty/fermented [umami]. Think of encountering a stranger and determining his or her mood or level of friendliness. You can see from these brief examples that we are involved in communication continually without being conscious of it.

A virus, bacteria, protein or DNA strand are all information. Thus, when passed to you as an infective agent the information the agent contains is communicated to your body. It isn’t really the material passed to you that ails you but the information about contagion replication and your body’s defenses which allows the agent to divert your body’s resources to its benefit which it does. But what about the material passed to you that may ail you but doesn’t contain self-replication information?

What I am referring to here is the materials you deliberately put into body. This is the food and beverages, the drugs, the topical applications [soaps, lotions, cosmetics, deodorants], and the airborne particulate matter [air fresheners, esters, non-methane hydrocarbons].

For purposes here I will limit the array of these materials to commercially available products. So it’s the food and beverage products, the pharmaceuticals, the toiletries, and indoor air additives to which I will refer. All of these are advertised which influences our decisions on whether to use these products. The influences on our decisions whether to use products are most likely resulting from cultural exposure. Commercial advertising is usually limited to influencing immediacy of action or brand preference.

Our families, friends, cults, community, and even national identity can affect our decisions. Take cigarette smoking for example. Rates of smoking differ widely by country, family, community, and specific demographic. It has also changed dramatically over time. I see this in movies spanning nearly 100 years. What was once treated as part of the typical accoutrements of a social gathering is now rarely offered or accommodated in some areas.

A “no smoking” sign sends a message. A parent smoking in the home as a toddler looks on sends a message. When friends at a party pass a bottle and everyone takes a pill or drink a message is being transmitted and received. When an event host offers doughnuts or hotdogs that sends a message. When people give praises about the scent of perfume imbued homes that sends a message. Likewise when admiration is shown for someone covered with cosmetics that sends a message. When someone refuses to engage in an unhealthy activity and another gives a disapproving or puzzling look that sends a message. These actions all communicate thoughts about whether one approves or disapproves of a cultural norm which affects health.

Now I take you back to cancers, coronary artery disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or Alzheimer's Disease which are generally thought to be non-communicable. These conditions and many others like them are nearly wholly environmentally triggered. That is, it takes the act of breathing, eating, or absorbing something for these conditions to develop. Now think about what triggers them.

What I have broadly referred to here as “food” actually includes garbage made to appear as food. Eating from this niche of consumables along with the manner and amount of consumption, and the modes of delivery, are largely responsible for those ailments. Other significant contributors are drugs -- especially if delivered via smoking -- and chemicals in topical applications.

The decision whether to inflict harm upon our bodies by using these items is influenced significantly by information communicated to us about them. It my be the facial expressions of our social group, highway signage, or what was inculcated through the daily practices of our parents. Also consider the influence of popular culture such as movies. In one I recently watched a character offered fruit juice to another who rebuffed the offer and requested soda instead. This was met with a scolding about soda being loaded with sugar. This demonstrates a clear cultural perception that fruit juices and sodas are on different ends of the healthful spectrum. But, fruit juices, other than citrus, are nothing more than sucrose extract of fruit - table sugar. So, I contend that ultimately these ailments are also communicable diseases.

Looking back to the viral, bacterial, or fungal pathogens we find preventative measures in protective wear, hygienic practices, and vaccines. These cannot protect us from this new class of communicable diseases though. There are analogous options though.

Protection from receiving the harmful information can first come from blocking it. As I previously said this information is advertised. For numerous reasons television broadcasts should not be viewed. Likewise advertisements encountered during internet usage should be ignored.

Next one should clean out his or her immediate environment. This means removing the harmful influences or staying away from them. This includes people as well as products. Places such as bars should be avoided. Paying for gas at the pump rather than being exposed to all the harmful products in the convenience mart can reduce the perception that those items are acceptable.

Psychologically, exposure tends to breed acceptance. This is when one is said to be conditioned. It’s the practice that cults use through the adoption of rituals, ornaments, symbolism, media and socialization. When cult images adorn the home, texts related to the cult are present and read, music or television programs are cult related, and the social network is limited to cult members then the message becomes inculcated.

If cult ideology, which is typically absurd and is delivered in a purposeful and blatant manner, can be inculcated through exposure then just imagine how easy it is to come to accept the cultural norms that are discretely applied. Fruit juice is an example of that. There is a cultural assumption that fruit juice is healthier than table sugar but the body treats them the same. Of course there are much broader cultural norms when it comes to consumables.

It is generally considered polite to accept and eat food products when offered. Likewise, the same was applied ubiquitously to alcohol, cigarettes and arsenic. People accepted these when offered purely as custom even though all were harmful and promoted disease. Well, I guess people refused arsenic because it would kill them. Over time society would come to reject smoking tobacco and consuming alcohol as a perfunctory element of polite socializing because it was apparent that they promote death also. The same is slowly and sporadically coming to fruition in regards to garbage manufactured to appear as food. Thus, the disease effect of the message communicated that these deadly practices were part of good and polite living has diminished as that message has been rebuffed.

A final consideration is the type of people with whom you may associate. Steer clear of people who are depressed, angry, hostile, negative, or despondent. They tend to overtly and covertly send messages about the world that can have a negative psychological impact and consequently have an adverse effect on your immune system. If you are in a child custody battle and participate in online forums related to this topic you may well notice a general victimhood attitude and worse. Just like association with a cult can adversely affect health so can the exposure to self-pity and outwardly directed action often espoused among these groups which behave quite similarly to cults.

Disease is almost purely a result of deliberate action -- the effect of choosing. So, to avoid “catching” one of the diseases primarily thought of as non-communicable you should choose wisely about the information to which you allow yourself to be exposed.

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Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

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©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Genetically Modified Organisms [GMO] in the food supply, your wellness, and whether you should eat them

Sometimes you encounter an option that is self-evident and which you do not need explanation or further evidence before deciding. Whether to eat foods containing GMOs for some people is one of those. So this article is for those who need guidance or have opted to eat GMO impregnated foods but still wonder.

Clearly GMOs in the food supply is controversial and a subject of debate. To be clear I will say that GMO impregnated foods are safe as the FDA applies the term “safe.” What that basically means is that a substance does not proximately cause death or injury. “Safe” does not mean “harmless” or “less harmful”. The cumulative effect of a safe substance can still be molecular damage or transcription errors in DNA. Think of having medical diagnostic x-rays of your body produced. When that is done a state health department has determined it to be “safe”. Notice however that those administering the procedure shield themselves behind protective barriers during the safe procedure.

Like so many health related issues there are reports or studies that appear to directly contradict each other. The GMO issue is no different. The reason for this is that ethical considerations bar the cloning of humans to be test subjects and controls for the purpose of measuring risk of a single variable by confining them to a controlled environment to observe the effect of that one variable during their entire lives. Thus, the evidence becomes like a polygraph examination -- the conclusion is not an absolute but only a subjective interpretation of the evidence. Who pays for the research often affects the bias or subjectivity of the researcher.

In the realm of GMO foods it is the food manufacturers who have been the financial backers of much of the research. This is a consequence of them being the ones seeking approval from the FDA which requires them to conduct the research. They also have access to the raw data produced before the subjective interpretation.

This is where my analysis gets very simple. I am not going to bother with a meta-analysis or citations to any particular study. Instead I offer one anecdote for you to use in deciding whether to eat foods impregnated with GMOs.

One day I was having lunch during a professional meeting and conversing with others seated alongside me. Two of the gentlemen worked for an Indiana based food processor. We got onto the subject of GMOs and ethics. After listening to their defense of their jobs following my likening of them to Mengele I asked one question: Do you eat the GMO foods you make?

The first gentleman replied that he does not and does not intend to eat them. The second affirmed the same and also included that there was no way that he does not allow his children to consume any nor his wife, especially when she was pregnant.

That was years ago. I have not done any research on GMO foods since then because I had already talked to the designers who had access to all the raw data on GMO foods. Their decision to not use the products they design, out of consideration for the well-being of their families and themselves, was all the information I needed to decide.

Genetically Modified Organisms, GMO, is it safe to eat GMO foods, do GMO food designers eat their own food,

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©2008, 2016 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Turning Negatives Into Positives Through Cognitive Modification

As I listened to a recent lecture the professor mentioned “but, of course, not every moment of that is going to be enjoyable.” I was immediately struck by that caveat, especially the emphasis that the presumed displeasure seemed to be a natural consequence. He was referring to infant rearing. The conflict that I felt with that life script or schema for child rearing underpins the essence of cognitive behaviour therapy [CBT] – reality is only what the brain perceives it to be.

At another time I will write about how every moment of rearing my son was pleasurable. In today's posting I am instead going to articulate the primary foundation that I provide to clients receiving CBT. While much of what I provide here is still discussed during individual therapy, understanding the cognitive process is substantial and better achieved with advanced knowledge of general principles.

Whether the symptom is child custody or relationship conflict, financial disorder, employment dissatisfaction, mood disorder, body shape problems, or other wellness issues the basis lies in cognition. It is the manner in which we perceive the world that affects our actions and it is those deliberate, yet often reflexive or habitual, acts which account for these outcomes.

Our perceptions are based upon the emotional attachment given to memories. This is a point of particular importance. Emotional attachment is a significant driving force.

The societal scripts that are inculcated by our brains have the greatest staying power when attached to an emotion. The purveyors of these scripts do so to maintain order, regulate group dynamics, and best serve their interest or that of those advocating them.

So let's jump right into this with statutory law and prison. We are told that laws exist to maintain order, preserve the peace, facilitate cooperation, and provide for the common welfare of the community. While we are encouraged to abide the laws our motivation to do so is based upon fear. The fear of prison, stigma, loss of employment, loss of physical freedom, and loss of connections to loved ones is perpetuated through culture.

This lever of compliance breaks down when the perceived reward exceeds the perceived consequence. Or . . . when the perceived consequence is diminished.

Fix in your mind your impression of prison life. Do you imagine fighting, cramped miserable conditions, incessant noise, horrible food, abusive guards, and a general threat to your health and safety? What about your family connections?

Now I want for you to jump to the opposite end of the spectrum. Imagine that you are living in a gated community with a diverse population. There are sporting facilities, cafeteria, health clinic, library, and other amenities all within a brief walk. Unemployment is zero, the grounds crew keeps the community clean, and maintenance crews quickly tend to any issues in your home. Residents of this community extend their life expectancy while living there as compared to those outside the community. In the evening you may sit by the ball court, sipping on tea or lemonade while watching others stroll the pathways or workout while the sun sets. The neighborhood health clinic doesn't require appointments, often provides same-day service and dispenses its own meds. The kicker of it all is there is no charge – housing, food, healthcare, recreation, entertainment, and even clothing. It's free.

Thus, whether prison is good or bad is dependent upon perception. If it is viewed from the perspective of deprivation – what one has to give up – then it may be perceived as adverse. However, if one changes cognition to see what is obtained then the perception becomes that the experience is positive.

Here is how this plays out. The deprivation view is that incarceration is a loss of freedom. Additionally, a common view from some people is that prison is a dangerous environment where safety is lost. I see these people as a paradox. They may lock themselves in cars, in their homes, or in office buildings. Their housing community, apartment building, or workplace may have guards posted or patrolling. It seems as though they perceive their environment as being unsafe and under constant threat. The beneficial view is that prison is a respite from the responsibilities of living in that larger, dangerous society which is prohibited from bringing its problems into the inmate community. Prison, after all, is the ultimate gated-community with around-the-clock armed guards patrolling the perimeter and guards posted at the entrances or roaming throughout the housing units prepared to respond at a moments notice to any threat against a resident.

Those on the outside may see that one in prison is deprived of preparing whatever he wants to eat. On the inside I was given the privilege of being able to go to the diner with friends three times a day and have our meals served to us at no charge.

How horrible it must be to be in prison deprived of the opportunity of trying to select and pay for a healthcare plan, schedule an appointment with an in-network provider, obtain a necessary referral, get time off work for treatment, then go pick up a prescription. In prison I was stuck with walking to the hospital, being seen that day, receiving evaluation or treatment, taking hold of any prescription, and then heading off to work. Entirely without payment, employment consequence, or limitation. It was my Constitutional right.

As you may not plan to engage in an intrusion into the domain of a financial superior, such as manufacturing, transporting, or delivering drugs outside of the pharmaceutical protocol, then prison may not be on your horizon. For you I will provide some other example to illustrate this premise – that you only experience what you perceive.

You don't give up doughnuts, french fries, and hot dogs. Instead give yourself an opportunity to truly taste delicious foods, feel more elated, and savor succulent flavours more often.

You don't give up having the ability to see your child on a daily basis. Instead, you give yourself one evening a week dedicated solely to your child. You give yourself time during the week to take care of the mundane chores of living and make alternating weekends special times where your child gets your full attention.

Your spousal figure doesn't argue with you to keep you from getting your way. Rather, he or she cares enough about you to use his or her time and effort to convince you to adopt an alternate position.

Here is why I congratulate people when they get fired from their jobs. You don't get fired from a job and lose your income. Instead, you appreciate that someone made an assessment of your satisfaction with the job, determined that you would be happier elsewhere, and you took advantage of the push to change. Also, you appreciate the fortitude that you exhibited by building some savings and reducing obligations which allowed you to take a hiatus from working which builds your esteem.

These few examples are not intended to be extrapolations from a how-to list of negative thoughts changed to positive ones. If it was that simple then therapy, which is guided exploration, would be unnecessary. These examples are the outcomes.

The path to these outcomes lies in determining the emotional attachment given to the stimulus and if those are objectively valid. That is, are the feelings you have given to a merit-based job termination a universal consequence of a firing.

I used to eat doughnuts. I enjoyed eating doughnuts. The aroma alone could elevate my mood. There is a doughnut shop within view of my house. Sometimes I experience a fleeting thought that I should get a doughnut. It comes from deep within my mind based on long past experiences.

Going to the doughnut shop when I was young and getting to select my portion of the dozen meant that I was spending time with my father. It was during the weekend when he would set aside some time for this activity with my sister and I. It even continued into my adolescence on Sundays after I completed my newspaper delivery.

I don't recall much from my childhood but I know he was there for dinner most nights but that it didn't necessarily correlate to being home for the evening. We had our weekend morning but the rest of the time could be dedicated to working around the house or going back to the office. I estimate that time at the office accounted for about 60 hours in a typical week.

Thus, doughnut mornings where significant to me and I formed a strong emotional attachment to doughnuts and subsequently the feelings experienced while eating them.

While improving my wellness doughnuts clearly had to go. It took recognizing that emotional attachment to do it. I yearned for a meaningful father-son relationship. Even into my early 40's I wasn't able to actively listen to the song Cats in the Cradle without crying.

Objectively I assessed the doughnut eating experience. It was a blast of sugar tinted by flavours that nearly obscured a somewhat metallic taste which provided brief exuberance. This was followed by a depressed state that wasn't sadness but more akin to just blah. I think that is the technical term. The “Blahs” may be mentioned in the ISDM-IV. Then there was the lethargic feeling as that artificially flavoured sugary lump of dough traversed my colon having stimulated neurotransmitters and my immune system.

I also made the realization that the father-son relationship I had was what it was and eating doughnuts wasn't going to change it. My father valued his employment. He cherished the “Vice-President” title, the corner office and, I suspect, the attention of the employees with greater appreciation for that of the females.

I had an option of trying to build a meaningful father-son relationship well into my adult life or seeking solace elsewhere. I don't even like it that a so-called food was the basis of a father-son relationship. I opted for satisfaction in a strong father-son relationship. It was through a position flip though. I am the father in my exceedingly gratifying father-son relationship which doesn't include doughnuts. A Chinese buffet may be in there though. On a good day it could still include me yanking on the connective tissue in a crab claw to pinch my son's face or nearly poke out an eye as he struggles to evade the Crustacean attack.

The scripts that have molded our lens of consciousness can be modified. We are not automatons destined to follow a particular course or view the world in a particularly skewed manner. Our reality is what we perceive it to be. When properly guided we are able to see all situations objectively, without the interference of emotion, and in a manner that facilitates a positive outcome.

Whether you have seen the glass half full or half empty becomes irrelevant once you master perception and are able to see what I see – that I have a pitcher and ready access to the tap.

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Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

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©2008, 2014 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

PTO Treasurer stealing from children in the Lebanon Community Schools

We have all heard the proverbial "it's like stealing candy from a baby". It can be just as easy to steal from teachers, parents, and children when there is no oversight or questioning. Getting away with it may be another thing.

According to a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in the Boone Superior Court I on 25 August 2017 the Harney Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization [PTO] was fleeced of about $15,000 during the past year. The police report names the former treasurer of the PTO, Rosella K Sutherland, 1101 Helena Drive, Lebanon, Indiana, as the Defendant. Mrs. Sutherland was arrested and taken into custody on Friday 25 August 2017. She posted a cash bond and was released that evening. The following information is taken from the police report.

Mrs. Sutherland was appointed to act as Treasurer for the PTO by her daughter, Kelley Davis who lives at the same address, in August 2016. On 06 August 2016 Mrs. Sutherland's name was added to the bank account. On 26 September 2016 a debit card was issued to the account which only had the name of Mrs. Sutherland on it.

Subsequent to the May 2017 PTO election of officers a new treasurer assumed duties in June 2017. A new PTO president simultaneously assumed duties. Upon reviewing bank records the current treasurer found numerous inconsistencies and questionable expenses. When she approached Mrs. Sutherland to obtain missing financial records she was continually put off and was unable to get the requested accounting records.

When the current treasurer was able to get the existing PTO account closed it had a balance of seven cents. The accounting of the missing funds was divided into three categories; 1] Personal Expenses $4340.99, 2] Questionable Expenses $6775.82, and 3] Missing Deposits $4680.60.

The PTO sponsors a few fundraisers throughout the school year. The first for the 2016-17 school year was with Paragon in September. Records held by Paragon indicate that $16,979 was collected which included $4555 in currency. However only $3305 in cash was deposited -- a shortfall of $1250. In November the PTO sponsored a Chili Supper which included a pizza night. Leftover pizzas were sold for $5 each. However, there was no cash deposit from this event nor were any accounting records kept. In December the PTO hosted the Santa Shop which is where items are purchased from Dollar Tree and then made available for the children to purchase at the school. Expenses for this event totaled $3188.60. However, this event apparently generated no revenue as there were no deposits made.

At the end of January 2017 the account balance was $6645.87 which was reported by Mrs. Sutherland as $3712.39.

In March 2017 the PTO sponsored the Harney Carnival. From this event a deposit of $3900 was made of which $3371 was cash and $529 was checks. You should try holding an event like this and having the revenue total exactly $3900. There were no other fund-raising events for the year.

The PTO sponsored two events in May, a teacher lunch and a fifth grade picnic, which were expenses. Expensive expenses they must have been because the PTO account plunged from what Ms Sutherland reported at the 27 April 2017 PTO meeting as being $3794.00 to ($100.93) on 30 June 2017. Although no longer treasurer at this point Mrs. Sutherland made a cash deposit of $171 into the account during July 2017.

During questioning at the Lebanon City Police Department, Mrs. Sutherland admitted that she had used the PTO debit card erroneously ONE time. What she considered to be intentional debits for the benefit of the PTO included two payments to Lebanon Utilities for the residence at 1101 Helena Drive, Nintendo digital, five ATM cash withdrawals totaling $1611, Tingles (flowers) in Kentucky, and 16 other debits mostly for pizzas, Wal-Mart, and Western Union transfers to a family member.

The investigating detective stated that he was unable to determine the full amount stolen by Mrs. Sutherland as there was a lack of record keeping pertaining to cash revenue. He did feel that $4439.72 was expended from the PTO by Mrs. Sutherland for her personal benefit.

On 02 August 2017 Mrs. Sutherland attempted to deposit "a large amount of cash" into the PTO account but was informed that the account had been closed. She then obtained a cashier's check in the amount of $6261.36 which she dropped off at Harney Elementary that day.

This is not the desperate act of a downtrodden individual. Rather, this theft was the result of deliberate, intentional, and calculated acts by someone with a highly egocentric personality. To have done this she must hold a firm belief that she is entitled to an opulent lifestyle and the conveniences afforded to her as demonstrated by the list of expenses unrelated to PTO activities without recompense. Further, it must be her conviction that the teachers and children for whom the monies were raised to benefit are not entitled to those benefits in lieu of accommodation to her laziness. That is the root of such a scheme – pure laziness. This theft was easily detected. Anyone close to her or the organization would have been able to detect such an ill-conceived plan unless wholly incompetent, mentally defective, or engaged in facilitating the scheme. Her slothfulness is manifest in her lack of ingenuity or diversity in illegal schemes which is apparent by one other fact.

Mrs. Sutherland has a prior criminal conviction for a similar offense.

The presidency of any organization carries with it an obligation to secure responsible officers to serve its operations. As President Harry Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.” Well, in this case the buck and 15,000 of its equivalents made their way into her household through her neglect to provide adequate oversight or observation. She should have been able to notice the change in lifestyle of her mother which this massive theft afforded. I never took issue with Bill Clinton for smoking marijuana. The problem I had with it was his failure to engage one of the basic elementary steps to achieving the desired outcome – he didn't inhale.

Kelley Davis's failure to provide a minimal degree of proper oversight for the operations of an organization she was entrusted to run costs the teachers and students of Harney Elementary more than just money. A critical bond was violated. I my opinion she as equally as culpable in the theft as her mother.

To this day Kelley Davis is trying to stay involved in the Harney PTO.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Prosecuting Domestic Violence against children: Two recent Lebanon Indiana cases

Domestic Violence is a crime that falls into a special class based upon an uncommon dynamic between the perpetrator and target. Similarly, there are criminal or ethical violations which receive special consequences when the relationship is between a medical provider and patient or school teacher and student. This is because offenses within the confines of these relationships are a breach of trust and the parties have accepted responsibility of the relationship roles.

When a perpetrator targets or uses his or her child in a violent manner to achieve the ends of a Domestic Violence agenda then that crime should be dealt with in the harshest manner. Two Domestic Violence cases which occurred in Lebanon, Indiana in this month exemplify this point.

On 17 July 2017 Fox 59 News reported that a Lebanon man is facing two felony counts of domestic battery for allegedly striking his wife and son.

The wife complained that on 10 July her husband struck the boy twice with a charging cord to an electronic device and then began hitting and kicking her when she intervened to protect the child. She said that this was the most recent event of her husband's physical abuse toward her and their son which has been ongoing for multiple years.

This incident was apparently prompted by the child, who is age 3, wanting to play with his tablet which was not charged. The boy was told that he couldn't because it was being charged. That is when he expressed his impatience by getting upset and pulling the charging cord from a wall.

This apparently enraged the husband who, according to court documents, “became angry and took the charger from (the boy’s) hands and then struck (the boy) twice,” as if it were a whip. He then directed his attack toward the wife by hitting and kicking her.

The wife indicated that she never contacted police because her husband threatened to take the child and leave for Mexico, and she would never see him again.

You likely didn't hear the story of a similar incident which occurred on 15 July 2017 which was allegedly perpetrated by a Lebanon woman.

That involved Elissa Summers, the embryonic host and birth parent to a boy who is eight months of age, allegedly attempting to physically attack the child's father in the child's presence at their home and harming the child during that attempt.

Her first attack of the day occurred away from the residence when she repeatedly struck Father in the back as witnesses looked on and encouraged her to stop the assault. The subsequent incident occurred at Father's house where he cohabited with Ms. Summers.

This happened as a Lebanon City Police Department officer was attempting to get a statement from her in regards to the earlier attack. When Father arrived home Ms. Summers became enraged and spewed forth a verbal tirade laced with obscenities toward Father and another resident. As witnesses looked on she tried to push her way past the officer.

According to witnesses I spoke with, as she was being restrained by the officer she threw the baby to the ground, apparently to divert the officer's attention by having him check on the welfare of the infant. As Ms. Summers attempted to again physically attack Father the officer attempted to restrain her. She then battered the officer who called for back-up and she was subsequently placed under arrest. This was not before she snatched the baby off the ground, fled into the house and proceeded to destroy items for use by the baby along with smashing jars of baby food against the walls.

At this time she is being held in the Boone County Jail without bond. A Domestic Violence Protective Order has been issued on behalf of Father. Additionally, the prosecutor has issued a No Contact Order against Ms. Summers on behalf of the baby and Father.

It was not uncommon for police to be at the residence as there had been three previous police responses in the recent past upon her request. There was an open CHiNS case at the time of this latest incident based upon an allegation Ms. Summers made against Father two weeks earlier. However, that allegation was determined to be unsubstantiated when a Lebanon City Police Department officer heard one of Ms. Summers older children make a statement contradicting what he said while in her presence. After further investigation it was determined that Ms. Summers had coached the children to lie.

The Boone County Department of Child Services has placed the boy with his father and is recommending that Ms. Summers parental rights be terminated along with the two older children she has by a different father. The Termination of Parental Rights proceedings will be quite familiar to her as she has already lost custody of four other children in four previous actions.

These incidents both convey the severity and trauma of Domestic Violence. Here, it is the use of children and infliction of physical harm toward them to coerce a trusting target into complying with the desired objectives of the perpetrators.

This is a crime that has victims. People are harmed both physically and psychologically. This is not a status offense such as those proscribed in the marijuana trade where no victim exists. Consequently, society would be better served by resources being devoted toward remediation of Domestic Violence offenders.

That young boy learned to defy his mother and yank the charging cord out of the outlet from someone near him. He also learned that when someone doesn't do as you wish then the appropriate response is to physically attack that person. In both incidents violence was directed toward small children. I have previously written about violent parents in Societal Acceptance of Domestic Violence Against the Most Vulnerable.

I am not an advocate of punishments. I find that case specific consequences are more effective that static punishments. In these cases both perpetrators should face jury trials. The common fare of plea bargains to probation is not appropriate. Society benefits by the jurors personal exposure as well as the potential media coverage. The perpetrators are forced to confront their actions and must attempt to defend against what has no defense.

If convicted they are under the coercive control of the court as well as Child Protective Services. They should be removed from the environment in which they caused the harm and the people whom they harmed. These restrictions should remain in place until such time, if ever, that they can demonstrate a high likelihood that a similar offense would not occur again. Violation of those conditions may warrant incarceration or termination of parental rights.

I have expressed these sentiments to our county prosecutor. The next step is up to him. These alleged offenders may face a jury or these alleged perpetrators can be told it's no worse than speeding; pay a little money to the state and all is well.

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