Monday, January 30, 2012

Charlie White Trial - Day 1 Jury selection

The day began at 4:40 for me and started with a one and a half hour Yoga routine then breakfast, getting dressed and on may way to Noblesville at 7:15. I arrived to the Superior Court 1 for the first day of the criminal trial of Charlie White who was already there when I arrived at 8:00 a.m. Judge Steve R Nation is presiding over the jury trial of White who is accused of seven felony counts including perjury, theft and voter fraud.

White, the current Indiana Secretary of State, is accused in all seven counts of falsifying his address on candidacy filing forms and other matters relating to his election to the Fisher's Town Council or a real estate transaction. White has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence insisting that he actually resided at the address he listed.

White is represented by former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi who is not without some political baggage in his closet. Brizzi's office was investigated by the FBI in 2010 related to campaign contributions and the early release of a convicted killer. Although under no obligation to present a defense Brizzi named 16 people as potential defense witnesses.

The prosecution team consists of three attorneys who are Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler, Special Prosecutor John Dowd and Deputy Special Prosecutor DJ Sigler. All three worked as prosecutors in other counties. They are assisted by Paul Hanser, an investigator with the Indiana State Police. The prosecution team named 14 people as potential witnesses for state.

I spoke with White briefly who is barred from commenting about the case because of a gag order issued by the court. We didn't speak of issues related to today's proceeding but we have spoken in the past about matters related to this case and divorce, children and adults cooperating to do what is best for children in general. White has formerly practiced as a family law attorney.

Upon the conclusion of the trial and the lifting of the order I will talk to Charlie more extensively about the case and his feelings after going through it. I have honoured Charlie's request that I not use the names of his children and will not describe them beyond simple demographic information necessary for you to understand the dynamics of this case.

The crux of the case will revolve around where White was actually domiciled at the time of his filing and what his anticipated address would be at the time of the election. White and his then wife were in the process of a marriage dissolution but he stayed in her household for a period of time after the filing. Concurrently though he had a new love interest whom he planned to marry.

A dissolution proceeding is stressful not only for the married participants but more importantly the children. In this case White and his wife, Nicole Mills, decided it would be best to maintain as much continuity for their children as possible while he attempted to establish a stable residence of his own. They agreed to an arrangement whereby Charlie would occupy the basement of the wife's house although much of the time he was essentially living out of his car while on the road campaigning. "We're still friends. We may have different views about life and our careers and things like that, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is that we are parents to our child," Mills said.

White's prospective wife, now Michelle Quigley-White, and he agreed that they would not live together until such time as his dissolution was finalized and they could get married. However, Charlie did purchase a condo that would be his eventual residence. Michelle did live there during some of the time that Charlie is alleged to have been domiciled there and committing election fraud.

A crucial test of where one is domiciled is where one receives his mail and states his residence on tax forms. Indiana has determined residence in insurance cases by considering: (1) physical presence (intending to have a fixed abode for the time being, to dwell under the same roof and compose a family); (2) the unrestricted access to the insured's home and its contents; (3) the intent of the contracting parties to provide coverage; and (4) the totality of the evidence. The critical question will likely be whether White accurately predicted where his residence would be on the day of the election

Jury selection began at 10:30 a.m. with questioning of individual jurors about responses given on their juror questionnaires. Much of this line of questioning related to panel members who indicated they had seen or heard news accounts of the case or may have already developed an opinion about the guilt or innocence of White.

The court broken for lunch around 1:00 p.m. and resumed the process about an hour later. At 3:30 p.m. John Dowd lead the voir dire, the questioning of potential jurors, of the potential jurors as a complete panel. That line of questioning focuses on more broader points such as the members ability to follow the law, find guilt or innocence based only upon the evidence presented and whether the had any personal connection to or knew of any family members who knew any of the attorneys or Charlie.

Additionally, there were questions of individual members about their employment, the type of work they do and if it would present a hardship for any to be away from work for two weeks. DJ Sigler concluded the afternoon voir dire process by speaking about the elements of the crime and the burden that the prosecution must overcome. He focused on a point of interest being that there is no element of a crime described as motive and that is usually a sensationalized element made up for television programs.

The day concluded with the panel being excused at 4:35 p.m. The voir dire process is expected to conclude Tuesday at which time a panel of 12 jurors and two alternates will have been selected. The day had started with 47 potential jurors which was reduced to 30 by the close of the session.

Opening statements are expected on Wednesday morning which will be followed the the presentation of the State's case-in-chief. The trial is expected to be concluded by the middle of next week. It will then be given to the jury for deliberations.

On Tuesday I will post about some of the statements made by the potential jurors during their individual questioning and why these answers should scare the hell out of you.

If you need assistance with a dissolution, child custody matter or criminal matter involving either then please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

Subscribe to this blawg.

More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Divorce and Custody Movie Review - Orange County

Today I review Orange County from my collection of divorce, child custody and child support related movies.

Orange County [2002] - Legendary comedy writer Mike White brings to us another fine offering of his whit delivered through characters based upon reality but slightly over the top. This time the story focuses around Sean, a high school senior who is aspiring to be a writer. His parents are divorced and both caught up in their own, unsatisfied lives. His mother has remarried an old wheelchair bound man with one foot in the grave. His father has taken the opposite approach and married the young bimbo.

The verbal sparing between the two parents provides well for a lighthearted comedy while still capturing the underlying animosity and ill-will that former spouses may hold for each other.

Due to the ineptness of his high school guidance counselor Sean is rejected from the college for which she assured him that he was a "shoe-in". Sean's mother is relieved by the news, hoping that he would not leave home and just go to the city college. However, Sean is devastated at the possibility of not being able to escape the insanity of his mother's home. His perpetually stoned brother takes it in stride proclaiming, "Dude you're over-reacting. I didn't get into college and check me out. I'm kick ass."

Undaunted, Sean, his girlfriend and brother, played by Jack Black, head to the college with Sean's actual transcript and SAT scores in hopes of gaining admission for Sean.

Naturally a series of misadventures ensues involving drugging the admissions officer and burning down a building. Sean seeks the assistance of his father who has his own goals and ambitions and little patience for a child who shuns materialism in pursuit of writing. Through some quick introspection the father comes to a decision to support Sean and heads over to the home he shares with his mother. She answers the door and the insults follow. The type in which people only make to each other because they care. Day falls into night and they are still together by morning.

Although this film has securely claimed a position on the opposite end of the spectrum from a documentary on post-divorce relations it is still a fun watch.

If there is a movie that you would like reviewed please send a request to me. The complete list of movies I have reviewed may be viewed here.

If you need assistance with parenting time, custody or support issues please visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me.

If you would like to follow my activities more closely then send a friend request to my Political FaceBook page.

Subscribe to this blawg.

More information about child custody rights and procedures may be found on the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates website.

©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Consciousness and Demon Slaying

When thinking of battling demons you may first envision images from pop culture; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, other movies like Frailty and the Exorcist, or the writings of Salvatore. Do you ever consider the reality of demon slaying and the power of thought.

I have seen the unmasked persona of people involved in child custody battles. I have seen the abusers of children exposed. I have listened to the pleas and cries of parents who want the abuse stopped. I have heard their disdain, anger and demands for retribution. Ultimately they go unsatisfied.

I feel that their lack of resolution or satisfaction with their plight is not based upon any external force or circumstance but, rather, from missing a very basic premise -- love thy enemy. Applied in the abstract it is not the intention to accept or embrace the action but through universal love to love the person. This is a concept embraced by numerous cults and is attributable to their charismatic leaders or a purported super-being on whose behalf they deliver the message. I also embrace this concept though only through Unity.

I was once in a fierce legal battle with a demon. This was a very unhappy man who pursued a legal career as a means of extending the reach of his bullying personality. 30 years prior he had broken into his parents' home, physically attacked his elderly mother and robbed them of personal belongings while leaving his mother, who resisted, hospitalized. He avoided arrest but a civil protection order was issued and a civil judgment was entered against him which included the costs of private security to protect the parents.

He had also engaged in various schemes, generally fraudulent in nature, for the purpose of attaining wealth unjustly. Clients had sued him, the Disciplinary Commission of the Indiana Supreme Court was finally examining him and he was facing additional complaints and suits.

Everywhere he went, every action he took, every person he encountered would be affected by a residual touch of evil. The time came to set this man free.

Collectively some of those who loved him, had been touched by him, and were engaged in an adversarial relationship with him at the time willed to free this demon from his Earthly existence. It didn't take long before this man with no known medical problems and who outwardly certainly appeared healthy simply collapsed and died.

It was through love that he was set free. I convey this anecdote to those who are currently in an adversarial battle be it a divorce, child custody placement or any other matter involving a loved one in hopes that they too can help free the oppressors. Don't deny your love for that person but instead embrace it. Don't seek retribution or a "victory" in the battle.

Acknowledge your love for that person and use that love to bring that person to an acceptable resolution. It is often your negative thoughts that perpetuate the battle. Instead, bring together the parties that are on your side for the battle and through your collective thoughts offer blessings and love to your adversary. If it is the other parent, former spouse or someone whom you once felt a fondness for then concentrate on those behaviours and the person who elicited such fondness. When you truly believe and embrace the concept that it is your love for that person that will bring resolution then you will have victory.

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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, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Abandoning my automobile

I never did feel much of a need for having a car. It wasn't until I was age 25 that I actually obtained a driver's license which I'll close with an anecdote about. I grew up near the Indiana State Fairgrounds and regularly availed myself of the public transportation system, taxis, family and friends, delivery services, and, most often, my bicycles or own two feet to satisfy my transportation wants and needs.

Although physically disabled for most of my adult life after a collision with a vehicle my body has been regenerated to where I am capable of returning to significant use of cycling or walking for my transportation needs without unrelated pain. While the act of abandoning the vehicle occurs in a moment the process has been ongoing.

In my ongoing quest to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unity and Truth I have been engaging in various experiments on myself and practicing abnegation of materialism. This may involve denial of basic needs such as oxygen deprivation or fasting but also practices akin to the Taoist. I have taught about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in coaching people how to maximize their life fulfillment. By focusing first on needs one can easily discern the difference between a want and a need.

An automobile is clearly a WANT. When I use the term "automobile" for this posting it is in the form most common to readers; a passenger car powered by an internal combustion engine.

In following a rule of unity that one should do no harm the first consideration should be does the automobile do harm and if so to whom or what. In my examination I have concluded that the automobile does do harm in numerous direct and consequential manners. As it is a want the weight given to it is less than the needs of man and therefore must be balanced only against competing wants.

I have always felt an innate sense of justice and goodwill towards fellow man and all members of a unified universe. Therefore I don't want to support regimes or institutions whose actions contravene that part of my essence. The recent intense efforts of labour union leadership to oppose civil rights legislation to protect workers from being discriminated against based on their birth traits has had a major impact on this decision. The automobile industry heavily supports labour unions and other oppressive institutions.

The health benefits are obvious. I think it would be belaboring to go into this axiom so I won't digress here.

The financial costs of purchasing, operating, servicing and maintaining a vehicle can be significant. Although the ancillary costs are huge I will just mention some of them along with the direct cost here. Obviously the purchase price which may include financing charges. Operating primarily includes gasoline purchases but also includes insurance and registration costs. Maintenance includes oil changes, parts, tires and cosmetic enhancements including car washes. Finally, servicing which is an often overlooked cost. This includes fees for parking at a facility, curbside or an apartment complex. There may be a physical structure at home in which to store the car. The construction, maintenance and added insurance cost, especially if attached to the residence, must also be included. Can't overlook the dangly things that adorn the interior rear-view mirror nor the cleaning supplies for the spilled coffee.

I guess what finally secured my decision to forego using my automobile was blowing out the rear main seal. The effort that I would need to expend heavily outweighs the costs of not doing it, so F it!!!

Lastly, I told you I would give you the skinny on not obtaining a license until I was age 25. This event was one of the driving forces behind my incessant attempts to get people to communicate properly.

Not unlike most youngsters coming of age and seeking independence I started the process of driving. I had been, wrongly, scripted to believe that driving and having a car was synonymous with independence or freedom. So, I got a permit sometime around age 16. Just a piece of paper back then, not sure if that has changed. It went through the wash and well, you know the results. Never one to rush I eventually returned to the BMV a year or so later to seek an operators license. I was told by the clerk the various procedural operations and to "bring your own car". All sounded good.

So I found a neighbor who had an old car for sale and made the arrangements to purchase it. I then checked with an insurance agent to get a quote for coverage on that vehicle. As the procedural operations there were explained I was then smacked with the Catch 22. I needed to supply my operators license number to him to get coverage. Yet, I couldn't get an operators license without owning a vehicle and implicitly operating legally by having it registered and insured. This was another F it moment.

Since, by implication, I was to illegally operate the car to get the operators license I just went ahead and drove without one. Then shortly after getting married my wife was going to buy a replacement vehicle. The a-ha moment struck. I could have her add my name to the title. I would then be an "owner" of a vehicle that was registered, plated and insured. After doing so we went to the BMV and I became a legal operator of a motor vehicle.

My of my, it would have been much easier if some stupid twit was aware of the difference between "possession" and "ownership". But those people exist and for us, unfortunately, they find refuge in government work or computer software writing.

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Make a suggestion for me to write about.

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, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Some Musings on Marriage

I believe that marriage is the foundation of a society. In that I mean providing a stable environment in which to raise children. Marriage, when the event occurs, is held in great reverence but somehow that seems to fade for many. Sometimes held together for the sake of the children while at other times disbanded in spite of the children. Throughout the years I have given much thought to the institution of marriage, relationships, lovers and children.

Some recent happenings have given me pause to reflect upon the various aspects of marriage. This includes the recently announced divorce of a friend of mine, my coaching of a parent involved in an international custody dispute, and an evolving friendship of mine that reminds me of a previous relationship that I believe had the greatest impact on my life.

As with most topics that I research and develop an opinion on I fall somewhere between the polarized opinions often borrowing from both. Marriage, it appears, is no different in this respect. As my parents close in on 50 years of marriage I can say that I come from a background of married parents -- all adjectives set aside.

My first observation is the very broad statement that marriage is the business relationship of raising children. That is not to say that there is no room for the romanticized concept of two hearts attracted to each other being joined in matrimony. For the most part though I have found that concept to be mostly a Western invention. There are still places in the world where arranged marriages are mandatory while in others it is the norm. I believe there is some logic to this.

From the time you sprang into this world from the womb it was likely your parents who were there to observe your behaviours, idiosyncrasies, and expressed likes or dislikes. There is also the issue of genetic traits -- physical, social and emotional -- that no one would be more keenly aware of than parents. In the grand scheme of things, parents, lacking hormonal activation, are likely a better determiner of who a child's mate should be than the child himself. After all, it is my view that marriage is the business relationship of rearing children. If it was your intention to start a business you would likely look for someone skilled in that trade, management or general business operations before you would invest with someone merely because of an attractive personality. At the same time you wouldn't want a business partner that you find disagreeable, who you didn't like or appreciate as a person.

In our society deeply rooted in western romanticism we still cling to the concept that marriage is between two lovers and that children may be an eventual consequence of that relationship. Two people make a commitment to be bound to each other for so long as they may live, to hold no others before and to suffer the travails and celebrate the exhilaration in life together. To me this seems an improbable premise for living.

Most people I know, myself included, fall "in-love" with a feeling which is wrongly attributed to a person. The feeling my come from the experiences with that person but those are not the essence of that person. Those experience may be recurring but the feeling can be fleeting just as when you received a new toy and the excitement wore off.

When the excitement -- hormonal activation -- wears off in a marriage someone usually attributes that to not being "in-love" anymore. As animals motivated by the pleasure principle we then seek to replace that feeling. All too often the result is the inclusion of a third-party to act as a surrogate for the partner for which one has lost attraction. If the basis for the marriage was founded upon sexual relations then the compensation relationship will likely be sexual.

I have been through innumerable relationships -- applying the term in the context of shared knowledge or experiences -- with both men and women. This includes the parties I have assisted through divorce or mediation. From all of this I have determined that the root of all problems is communication.

Men have been mystified by the attraction of women to me. Women have been wrought with guilt over their preference for me. From my perspective there is no great mystery -- I am an empathetic listener. Being brutally honest and having a non-judgmental attitude are rare traits which I possess.

In hindsight I now see that my most significant relationship was the extra-marital affair I had. This wasn't during my marriage. It started back in high school when I was about 16 and continued for two years afterward, about four years total. At the time I was so naive about it.

The night I met her and her husband I felt that immediate bond. She held my hand as I prepared to leave their home and told me to come back anytime. Over the ensuing years I returned often. I was a family friend who also helped with the general household chores and raising the small children.

However, the husband's occupational demands required the he travel extensively and be gone for periods of time that may extend to a month in duration. It was those times when I was with her on a near daily basis. If I was in school I may have left to go see her. If my parents observed that I had not been home the previous night they knew where I was.

It was those nights that provided the greatest intimacy. We expressed our innermost secrets and feelings to each other. Some things that I didn't even share with my eventual wife or anyone since and things she hadn't shared with her husband.

I recall fondly the rituals we shared, watching the show Moonlighting while enjoying our bowls of French Vanilla ice cream with added milk. There were times of just lounging on the couch together after the children had gone to sleep, sipping on wine and sharing our thoughts. Watching her awaken and viewing her natural beauty was insurmountable. Smiles radiated from her face as much as the morning sun shining in the kitchen where I had prepared breakfast after finishing my paper routes but before heading off to school.

Soul mates could never be more aptly applied. We shared our mutual likes and dislikes that were known to each other without ever being expressed. We never found fault in the other although we may have disagreed. We communicated openly about everything entrusting the other that such knowledge would not ever be used against the other.

Then near the end came the time that her husband called. Because of the time difference it wasn't until about 1:00am our time that he called. We had been laying in bed, looking through her childhood photo albums and enjoying some wine -- likely where I obtained my appreciation for fine drink. As I listened I could discern that the conversation was concluding and reached for the phone. Her hand cupped my mouth and as she hung up she said, "If he knew you were here right now he would kick your ass into next week." I had always assumed it was known to him. I chuckle just writing that.

But there was another where it was made known. Well at least her desires. This was after my wife had filed for divorce. I was much older at this point and I suppose a bit wiser.

This gal I had met while married through circumstances related to being a parent. As I ramble on here I have to intentionally be a bit coy as I don't want to reveal the identity of these women. We never had much interaction while my wife was still on the scene. After she abandoned my son and I though this woman provided significant support. I was also able to provide support to her much the way I had with the woman whose husband was traveling around the world.

We were together on a near daily basis sharing in the household chores, child rearing and general experiences that a married couple would. But when the weekend came or the husband returned in the evenings I would be gone. Eventually she quit sending me on my way at those times. We often shared dinners together and played our favourite card game, Skip-Bo, afterward.

Again, nothing seemed out-of-whack to me. I was a friend who was available on a daily basis. She was a mother and wife in a marriage that lacked the emotional support which I provided. Being me though my support went beyond that.

I am a very intimate and physical person. It may not appear so to one upon first encounters as I maintain a large field of "personal space" around me but once you are in, you are in. She was definitely in. Much so in what seemed to be very innocent ways. When one of us was at the stove cooking the other may come from behind, wrap his or her arms around the cooks waist and rest the chin upon a shoulder. Just a comforting embrace that neither got elsewhere at the time.

I will avoid saying inevitable but these acts progressed in a predictable fashion. As she was married there was a clearly defined demarcation line that I wanted to but would not cross. I had plenty of experience in the field of restraint though after the previous marital affair.

We slept together when the opportunity availed itself which was bliss to me. Women are at their greatest point of beauty when they awaken. Those moments led to some intimate discussion which at times touched upon her wanting me to just live there all the time and be a husband to her. I must digress a bit to let you know I often stayed overnight sleeping in the living room and sometimes she would join me out there when pissed off at her husband. I didn't want to be the home-wrecker though. It would be hypocritical of me to break apart a marriage after I had strongly condemned my wife for doing so.

Comic relief was found in that moment from her declaration that she had no intention of divorce, she would just have two husbands. Marital commitment is something that has lost some appeal to me. I can make the commitment to the person which I have. To this day I am available to her as a person. It's the affinity that I avoid. I thought the bigamy idea was humourous and joked about it often. But as I said this one was made known.

I was truly stunned when I arrived one day and was greeted with "Well he said no!". "To what" I queried. She had actually asked him the previously night if I could live there and be a second husband to her, in the de facto sense.

That was a relief to me as it kept me from having to be the one to say it. Where would I find the time? There was another relationship running concurrent with this one. She was in the next town up the road. Fortunately for me I had a car that topped out at 140mph. I met her at the mall where she worked. A very outgoing girl whose personality dwarfed her tiny stature. We spoke briefly and I committed to the invitation to soon return. We spent hours together at the next encounter. I can recall the sick feeling in my gut as I returned home.

That was our relationship for awhile, hours together while she worked. On the occasions that my son was with his mother for the weekend I was usually leaving the mall after closing and staying at her house where her boyfriend sporadically stayed also. I think she felt sorry for him more than anything. He had some serious issues, was medicated and to put it mildly was having difficulty extricating himself from dependence upon the household of his parents.

He didn't seem to mind my regular presence. I suspect this guy wouldn't have minded living in a box over a heating grate though. The three of us, or four when my son was with me, had a decent roommates type relationship. There were clearly defined boundaries that we all maintained.

There were times though when I was told we need to cut back on our time together. That provided some necessary relief for me. Besides these two there were also the occasional others like the gal I had hung out with when a large group of us went to King's Island. We clicked that day. I saw her in passing a few days later while I was taking some children to play at the park. After returning them to their mother we went back to my house where this gal stayed for the next four days. She reminded me of the Ally Sheedy character in The Breakfast Club. She had everything in that bag that she needed. I didn't let that one go on long though. It was either let your boyfriend and parents know about me or forget it. This one block down the street all the time doesn't cut it for me.

Eventually the gal from the mall married a friend of mine. He was the ex-husband of the woman whose children I was taking to the park when the Ally Sheedy character accompanied me. This is starting to sound so Jerry Springer and there is plenty more to go. I won't go into detail about her sister either since she was a single gal and that has nothing to do with marriage.

This girl marrying my best bud eventually brought me back to where it all began in high school. So I spent my days hanging out with a married woman at her house while her husband was off at work but also maintained my relationship with them as a couple when he was there. As I am being scurried out the door one day she tells me that he doesn't know that I am over there during the day with her and that he would go ape-shit if he did.

It was not that he didn't trust me. He saw what my wife had done. He knew about her extra-marital affairs or more precisely random sexual liaisons and how she had refused to take our son for any time and care for him after she abandoned us. He had been scripted, as so many men have, that another man is not to be in your home with your wife when you are not there.

As I had already been through marriage I did have somewhat of an alternate perspective to my position on being with a married woman back when was in high school. He was also my best at the time so now I wasn't going to let some woman foul this up. We were neighbors anyway so dropping by later in the day wasn't really an issue. Timing never had been, she was just lonely during the day. Lonely housewives seems to be a common occurrence in my life.

Eventually they divorced. That wasn't a surprise to me as I thought they had jumped into marriage too quickly and that it was much a matter of convenience. But at least it got her away from the mommy-boy who was just an anchor being added to her sinking ship.

I don't think that particular marriage was any more stable than the co-habitation of some unwed parents. This may go against common perceptions and political ideology but relationships clearly cannot be identified by a prescribed criteria based upon some legal acknowledgment. One of the most committed women I know is not married and hasn't been.

I was smitten upon meeting her. Especially since I was blessed with the pleasure of getting to rub her pregnant belly. Back to Jerry Springer here, she is the sister of an aforementioned woman but not the one whose children I took to the park. She was in a committed relationship and would bear two children by him before it ended. She now is with the father of her third child who is just over a year in age. Their relationship wasn't without its' trying moment though. It was a year ago when she called me wanting help. She had a newborn and the father had run off to go live with his girlfriend.

This piece of work had the audacity to be texting the girlfriend while in the delivery room with the mother of his child. He then moves out and refuses to see the child. He told me to never contact him again when I tried to establish a parenting time plan for him.

I could make a list a mile long of things she does that are not to my way of thinking or preference but, all that aside, she has a deep commitment to family. Her home was adorned with all the mementos of familial commitment. She was devastated by the abandonment of someone whom she thought was an equally committed partner.

Again, I was there so often that I eventually just stayed. This being different though in that there was not a husband living there simultaneously. In time however the relationship was reconciled, I moved out and they are now living together in another town. I was proven wrong on this one because I told her he didn't possess the ability to maintain the type of commitment that she and her children needed.

To this day I have never met him and really don't care to. I saw too much pain in a woman whom I love with a deepness and intensity that few others have exceeded. It is unconditional. I don't want to be around anyone who has caused her to have such anguish but she does and apparently it is working for them. My experience in the divorce industry told me otherwise but maybe there actually are those exceptions.

I think that she also feels a love for me that transcends that which married couples have or are expected to have, at least in Western culture. As I said the list is a mile long but I overlook all of that. There is just nothing that she does or has done that could break the sense of commitment that I feel for her. Equally though she could probably compile a longer list about me. And still, it is overlooked.

If I thought that we could be compatible as spouses then I would have long ago asked her to marry me. But we aren't. Those lists are a mile long and while they can be discarded for the sake of maintaining a deep yet infrequent friendship, confidant or whatever applies, when it comes to the business of marriage these issues must be resolved. I don't think we could find resolution among those lists.

She will always remain one of the handful of women that can call upon me at any moment and get my full charge. That is something that is very likely incompatible with the expectations that most people have of marriage. I commit to people though. If I was married at the time she called a year ago I still would have gone. I would have fulfilled my family obligations and certainly been stretched for allocation of time but I would have been there.

Some marriages are more open than others which may be consensual or just unknown to the discarded party. The prior year when I was practically living at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May I was wandering about the garage area when a girl comes up to me and asks who I am. She takes me back to a group of people including one of the sponsors of a car. We settled upon all going to St Elmos for dinner. The girls and I go in my car and we are eventually joined by the others who had remained behind awhile to close their garage.

After dinner, which included their shrimp cocktail with the fiery hot horseradish sauce and some wine, we headed to the Slippery Noodle. We promptly ordered another bottle of wine and started dancing. We put on a nice show and other patrons who were enjoying it covering our drinks for us. At one point I get the hint from the bartender that our groping may be getting beyond the acceptable limit. We manage to stay upright the whole time although a few off balance moments resulted in spilled drinks.

As the last members of our party prepared to leave I suggested to the girls that we should just get a nearby room and then head to the track in the morning. That, of course, was purely from a safety concern standpoint as we may have been intoxicated. It was a weeknight early in the month so I suspected that it shouldn't be a problem to find a room. As it turns out though, the girl who first approached me was married. Her friend told me that she had to get her home because her husband would be wondering where she was.

I suppose it is because I am more of a foot person than a hand person but I hadn't noticed the wedding ring even as we had walked around town hand-in-hand. She sure wasn't behaving in a manner that I expected a married woman to exhibit.

At this point I come almost full circle. I have recently had a relationship evolve rather quickly from the casual friendship that we had in the past to one of an unconditionally accepted confidant. She is a soul-mate.

She had been in somewhat of a long term relationship with a guy who was clearly abusive to her. In one instance she and I were at a very public place taking care of some business. I was then going to drop her off elsewhere where he would then pick her up after his workday ended. But before taking our journey he calls and she tells him that she is with me. He then leaves work and moments later we can see him circling the parking lot waiting for her to come out.

I am not often taken to violence but I came very close to yanking him out of that truck and telling him that he better never contact her again. I restrained that urge purely out of respect for her and the knowledge that I knew she would come to her senses and ditch him, which she did.

I guess it was after that when she really opened up to me. Actually to life, she blossomed like a springtime flower. We engaged in philosophical discussions that would have been impressive coming from any adult. She has evolved into a more dynamic person not constrained by the heavy hand of a partner whose insecurity about himself left him intimidated by her friendship with me.

She and I are connected in a way that transcends any limitations that society would seek to impose upon us. We share commonality in behaviour, thought and desire. We had a moment last night where I said the exact opposite of truth in such a natural and believable manner that she was instantly sucked-in by that possibility. We laughed about it together -- me so hard that I had abdominal pain. But she took no offense. Had that been with my wife I would have been berated for making fun of her, "calling her stupid" and, likely, she would have thrown something at me. But this gal takes it in stride and we both find our gullibility or other logical lapses amusing.

I think she will make an outstanding wife for someone. Not me, I want this everlasting friendship to continue and I don't quite see myself as the husband type any longer. Not for one woman at least but I have an inkling that few accept that. There is plenty to go around though. One day I woke up in one woman's home, went to see another gal took her along to go pick up another, dropped off the first one and then laid my head down in the bed of a fourth one that night. But they all knew and knew the limits.

All she needs to do is find an exceptional man who will accept her relationship with me. In choosing that future husband she will likely be paired with someone for whom she feels a mutual attraction. It's the particular type of attraction that I feel is significant to ensuring a lasting marriage. It's not wrong to suggest that carnal motivation often pairs us with a spouse. But it's the essence of the person that provides a lasting bond.

I believe that marriage is an ill-defined institution. The typical vow asks for a lifelong commitment to a person and that no other shall be placed before that person. I am not here to suggest that there is anything wrong with the vow. The problem I see is that people have been scripted in a way for marriage that is not compatible with either the vow or their nature. Literature from the distant past through current media portrays marriage in a romanticized sense. Two people meeting, falling in love with each other and living "happily ever after." Yet the reality is some cultures was that a mistress was expected and accepted.

What makes women and men happy is not always compatible with marriage. I don't want to say that it is not possible for two soul mates to effectively be parents and spouses for life without the involvement of others. I know it happens but what I see more often is that people who are attracted to each other expect to become soul mates and that they will live happily ever after because that is what marriage produces in the romanticized view. Relationships must be nourished though and what may be a lasting emotional bond may not produce effective parenting while those who can effectively manage family together may not possess that deep, lifelong emotional satisfaction. Thus, it is my contention that marriage is a business partnership. Afterall, it has been turned into a state regulated legally binding partnership. The pros and cons of the potential partner must be weighed and balanced with emotional attraction to hopefully find a happy medium.

I have seen so many spouses and been involved with many more women than mentioned here who were not having their emotional needs met in their marriages. I feel that our society would be best served by embracing the concept of lovers being compatible with successful marriages rather than the downfall of them. I don't propose embracing sexual liaisons but quite to the contrary -- embracing the desire that leads to those sexual liaisons.

Often times women who engage in these extra-marital sexual affairs were seeking not the sex but the emotional high of being placed upon a pedestal, being heard and being appreciated. Likewise men, although biologically endowed with a drive to spread their seed, also have emotional needs. They want to be understood and appreciated. These desires need to be communicated and acted upon. The action should come from the spouse but if not, then from someone else. The term "cheating" gets tossed around in this respect but I contend that it is not.

I don't feel that I ever cheated some man of his wife or girlfriend. I was there when he wasn't or in addition to him. I was not depriving him of his partner but was instead satisfying a need of hers. Contrarily I feel that my wife cheated. Instead of giving attention to our son when she returned home from work she talked on the phone with guys or slept. Often she was tired from having been up during the night talking on the phone or going out for trysts. So I finally stood up for my son and myself and insisted that she give us due attention first before going out for her sexual rendezvous. That lasted a short while before she just moved in with one of those guys and ignored us.

It may seem contrary to our culture, norms and religiously based impositions but I feel that lovers are a substantial part of what keeps marriages intact. It's the failure to communicate about them or trying to hide them that breaks marriages apart. At least where I have been involved. Don't seek refuge or comfort in thoughts that these anecdotes are aberrations. It's far more common than people believe. I certainly won't expose anyone but it may surprise many to know what I know about some people. That's my musings on the subject -- take it as you may.

UPDATE: It was just after midnight on the second night I was writing this when I get the text asking if I had a place for her to live, that she was done with him and that he was not willing to make any effort to save their relationship. It was the gal whom I briefly lived with a year ago. Maybe I have been redeemed in my previously held contention that he didn't possess the ability to maintain the type of commitment that she and her children needed. But I stand resolute in my charge to help her -- that commitment is lifelong.

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©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Union supporters and Democrat legislators in Indiana oppose civil rights legislation and worker safety rules.

In one of the most ironic political reversals ever, Democrats in the Indiana House of Representatives are uniting with supporters of wealthy union leaders and lobbyists to oppose expanding civil rights for workers. This comes from opposition to legislation that is the equivalent of and would have the same effect as protecting the rights of workers based upon religious preference. Basically they would oppose the protections guaranteed by the 1964 Civil Rights Act and more recently the Americans with Disabilities Act.

That catchy headline may have grabbed your attention and left you thinking that Stu is way off the mark on this one -- making employment decisions or holding a political position is not the same as being born of a particular race or gender. But quite to the contrary, I believe that if you read this entire article and follow the logical reasoning in support of my proposition, you will also accept that the right to work is a civil right.

Civil Rights

First, I present some information on Title VII of the Civil rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination by covered employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Subsequent legislation was responsible for expanding the list to include pregnancy, age, and disability discrimination.

Here you can see that race, color, gender, age, national origin, pregnancy, religion and disability are the protected classifications under the Act. Both public and private entities are forbidden under federal law to discriminate in favour of or against any person based upon membership in any of those protected classes except in very limited circumstances. I want to examine each of these individually.

Race: There is nothing less within someone's control than the race that he or she is born to. It is decided by genetics and nothing can change that prior to birth of afterward.

Colour: Similar to race there is little one can do to affect one's colour. The two are not synonymous but are often interrelated. However, chemical processes can affect one's colour as well as exposure to sunlight [ultraviolet rays].

Gender: Again, there is nothing less within someone's control than the gender that he or she is born to. Gender reassignment surgeries may change the external physical apparatus but cannot change the reproductive capacities to which one is assigned. That is a male cannot develop ovum and produce eggs nor may a woman develop testes and produce sperm.

Age: In the sense of the law age is calculated upon the date of birth only. Extremely premature babies may be developmentally much younger than their full-term peers while those with exceptionally well lifestyle habits may appear to have a much younger age. However, none of that is considered under the law.

National origin: Unlike country of origin, national origin is quite similar to race. National origin is often a sub-class of race. There is nothing that someone can do to affect his national origin either.

Pregnancy: Except in the case of rape, incest or incapacity due to age or mental disability pregnancy is a conscious decision, a choice, unlike any of the other protected classes in civil rights law.

Religion: Similar to pregnancy, religion is also a conscious decision or freely made choice. Unlike pregnancy though organized religion gains adherents to the cult through indoctrination and a suspension of truth or reality. Anyone who has ever tried to deprogram these cult members realizes the extent to which choice may no longer hold much weight, especially for those indoctrinated at a very young age.
Their is valid scientific evidence that demonstrates a causal connection between higher intelligence and lessened susceptibility to cult influence. Also, intelligence has been shown to be highly influenced by genetics. Thus, people are born with tendencies to either engage in organized religious practices or to reject those.

Disability: Disability is a multifaceted class. Disabilities may be genetic, occur during pregnancy such as from the use of anti-obesity drugs or come wholly based upon the actions of the disabled person such as voluntarily going into a combat arena and getting injured. Indiana court's once found that an individual who engaged in risky actions that had the ability to but were not the direct consequence or intended result of the action but resulted in an earnings incapacity was not justification for lowering child support payment obligations. This position was reversed in 2007 by the Indiana Supreme Court in Lambert v Lambert. Prior to that time [and currently in some other states] the logical premise was if you choose to work as a fireman, fall off a ladder while fighting a fire, suffer injuries that result in becoming a paraplegic, get discharged from employment because of your inability to function as a firefighter then you voluntarily chose to become unemployed and were still obligated to make child support payments or face incarceration.

So there we can see that protected classes under civil rights legislation includes those that range from 100% genetic to quasi-conscious decisions that have a genetic influence. Scientific research has now determined that what may initially appear as a conscious decision or preference may actually be a genetic predisposition. The most widely known of this is gender preference.

Homosexuals have long held that they didn't choose to be homosexual. While sexuality is still a conscious decision [some people do choose abstinence] there is a genetic influence for gender preference. That is to say that similar to religion, genes cannot be responsible for someone joining one of those cults or for making the decision to engage in sexual activity. However, there is an underlying preference for or against religion or homosexuality that is genetically based.

Scientific study of underlying preferences affecting conscious decisions has recently been expanded. There is now credible scientific evidence that suggest that political decisions such as party affiliation, support or opposition to the death penalty or abortion and school prayer are genetically influenced.

In one study, three political scientists - Dr. John Hibbing of the University of Nebraska, Dr. John R. Alford of Rice University and Dr. Carolyn L. Funk of Virginia Commonwealth - combed survey data from two large continuing studies including more than 8,000 sets of twins.

The researchers then compared dizygotic or fraternal twins, who, like any biological siblings, share 50 percent of their genes, with monozygotic, or identical, twins, who share 100 percent of their genes. The researches found an increased correlation for certain political preferences among monozygotic twins. That is to say that twins with identical genetic material had higher rates of agreement on political issues than siblings with different genetic material.

On school prayer, for example, the identical twins' opinions correlated at a rate of 0.66, a measure of how often they agreed. The correlation rate for fraternal twins was 0.46. This translated into a 41 percent contribution from inheritance.

In previous studies researches have found that attitudes about issues like school prayer, property taxes, political party affiliation and the draft were among the most influenced by inheritance. Others like modern art and divorce were less so. The overall score, derived from 28 questions, found that genes accounted for 53 percent of the differences among the two types of twin sets.

Support or opposition to membership in an organization that devalues individual accomplishment and does not reward exceptional achievement has a basis in genetics. The basis for preferences for union membership, which is partially based upon genetics, may come from evolutionary development.

In collective based tribes or cultures those individuals who were born with a genetic preference of independence may have found themselves not contributing to the group, shunned from the society and then unable to survive or not finding a mate and thus not having their genes passed on. People from these cultures would then be predisposed, genetically, to join a labour union. Other societies where individuality was rewarded may have the opposite effect.

In a society that developed where the females may have selected mates based upon individual hunting skills, strength or other displays of individual achievement those who placed a higher value on self-reliance would have passed on their genetic material. These societies would produce individuals with a genetic preference for competition and independence. Thus these people would be less genetically inclined to join a labour union.

Therefore, the decision to join a union or not seek employment where one is required to join a labour union to be hired has a basis in genetics similar to or moreso than religion. Right to Work is clearly a civil rights matter then. But under current Indiana law people born with a preference related to membership in a labour union are not a protected class. Although it may go against an ingrained moral code of an individual, employers can require employees to contribute a portion of their earnings to support labour union organizations, leaders and lobbyist.

Put another way -- without current civil rights protections an employer or the government could make a condition of employment be that employees join the Catholic church and tithe 10% of their earnings to support the Vatican, church leaders and missionary efforts. I think it is safe to say that nearly everyone, including Catholics, would find that to be an injustice and seek protections against the practice.

Right to Work legislation seeks to remedy the similar injustice of requiring payment to a labour union as a condition of employment which may go against the very genetic moral fiber of an individual based upon an inherited trait.

Worker Safety

Another irony of the opposition of RTW legislation is the position taken by the labour unions with respect to government intrusion into private business matters.

Opponents to this expansion of worker's civil rights argue that the government should not be allowed to interfere in the agreements between employers and employees. They argue that if an employer wants to hire men only and the men working there agree with it then the government would be invading upon their right to mutually agree upon the terms of employment it the government were to mandate that employment opportunities be opened to women also.

Quite succinctly they say that the government should but out of private business. But this is directly contrary to the long history of labour union lobbying efforts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration exist largely based upon the efforts of labour union lobbyists. They argued that employers should not have the liberty to agree with workers on the terms of employment that could impair workers safety or health.

Essentially, unions demanded that the federal government establish laws and rules to limit work hours, exposure to hazards and a series of safety or health related matters that now rivals the tax code. Using their current argument against RTW legislation union leaders would like to see OSHA disbanded and worker safety and health rules repealed.s

But now that the State of Indiana wants to mandate that employers provide opportunities to more out-of-work Hoosiers that does not discriminate based upon inherited traits labour unions and Democratic legislators oppose those worker protections.

On a final note that provides dim hopes for our political future -- the researchers who did the twins studies are not optimistic about the future of bipartisan cooperation or national unity. Because men and women tend to seek mates with a similar ideology, they say, the two gene pools are becoming, if anything, more concentrated and polarized, not less.

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©2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.