Monday, January 21, 2019

Martin Luther King vs the Presidents’ position on Human Equity and Civil Rights

Martin Luther King, Jr as a civil rights activist sought to end sanctioned racial disparities in opportunity. That -- racial inequity -- has been the hallmark of many societies throughout human existence. Primarily, these inequalities are expressed in a racial caste system which may have stated or implicit lines of demarcation for establishing the social or employment status of individuals. In the United States it has be held that “men” are white males of high European ancestry.

Racial inequities inherently seem to be an injustice which holds that there is oppressor on one extreme and oppressed on the other with varying degrees of both falling on a gradient plane somewhere between. The desire for a pluralistic society free of this gradation has long been dreamt by many, particularly those toward the oppressed end of the scale.

In early 19th Century America utopian societies abounded based upon an equitable share principle for all members and elimination of hierarchies or class but most of these were short-lived and disbanded over internal power squabbles.

Interestingly, these societies were nearly universally homogenous. Consisting of white members of high European ancestry The New Harmony settlement in Indiana added the additional qualifier of being in a position of scientific leadership. But it also fell apart in only a few years. So even the geniuses couldn’t make a go of it.

Thus, it would be a struggle of greater magnitude to then seek equity in class for a heterogenous group. In the United States the turmoil over the status of black people, notably slaves, would reach a tumult in both oratory fashion and physical contention. A portion of the United States would create a separate country over the ensuing financial and subsequent political ramifications. The two countries would engage in a protracted battle but not before Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln addressed the issue of racial disparity.

“I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause] ... I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” [fn1]

Lincoln is later credited with “ending slavery” in the United States by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. This is not entirely accurate though. The Emancipation Proclamation was applied to the opposing combatant country, the Confederate States of America, during the middle period of the conflict. Slavery in the United States, to where recently freed slaves would migrate from the Confederate States and assist in the U.S. war effort, would remain intact however.

These former slaves would remain subjugated citizens in the position of inferior class as Lincoln had demanded and proclaimed. Their freedom was not to elevate their status but was designed to weaken the Confederacy by draining it of a labour pool and the financial benefit of exploited blacks whose exploitation in the U.S. would turn the tide of the war. The remaining slaves would subsequently be freed following cessation of combat.

To his credit, candidate Lincoln, while still being a white supremacist, did argue that slavery was morally unjust and should be ended through legislative action which was a hallmark of his candidacy and presidency. As president he was impeded by his Democratic counterparts who supported slavery. Some withdrew from the United States.

As it stood 150 years ago Democrats supported slavery while Republican leadership sought an end to the practice although their president was an ardent white supremist.

To check on the progress of racial equity in the United States as mandated through three constitutional amendments I advance you nearly 100 years. The issue of racial inequity and subjugation was being brought to the fore by Martin Luther King Jr. In 1960, just days before the presidential election, John F Kennedy had his brother put pressure on a DeKalb County judge which secured Martin Luther King Jr.’s release from jail. That action, followed by King’s praises for and endorsement of Kennedy, contributed to Kennedy obtaining 68% of the black vote in the presidential race and bolstered Democrats -- the pro-slavery party -- broadly.

King had been charged with trespassing after leading a sit-in demonstration against segregation in Atlanta. Kennedy’s intervention and subsequent election marked a clear alliance between civil rights activist and Kennedy. King would refer to Kennedy’s pre-election civil rights commitment as a “huge promissory note” to pass civil rights legislation.

However, Kennedy only reluctantly made token gestures toward civil rights advancement and the Democratic controlled House of Representatives let the early legislation die. Kennedy also undermined the efforts of King and consented to police violence against activists. That abruptly changed in June of 1963, when under intense political pressure following the brutal Birmingham police riot of 03 May 1963, he announced a plan for comprehensive civil rights legislation.

Kennedy, like many in the Democratic Party leadership, wanted blacks to have equity in voting -- based upon the likelihood of those votes being cast for him. When it came to social and economic equity however Kennedy sided with his Republican predecessor Abraham Lincoln.

Over 30 years ago when I was becoming politically active I explored groups that had a civil rights foundation at least partially based upon race. Whenever I broached the subject of ending racial discrimination I was given a cold shoulder. Except among one group. Ironically, it was white nationalists who embraced and lobbied for an end to sanctioned racial discrimination.

Some 30 years later it no longer seems ironic. During those years I have come to fully understand how pretending to support an oppressed group is socially, politically, and financially profitable. The leaders promises to walk hand-in-hand with the oppressed but need their support [votes / $$$] so the leaders can fight for change. Meanwhile, the individuals should stay in their place and accept their lot in life, continue to be exploited, and let the leaders they support make that change.

For over 150 years now Democrats have been providing lip service for racial equity but have only reluctantly accepted what has been thrust upon them by the mass of individuals who refuse to wait for change. The progress in obtaining racial equity in the United States has been a cultural push slowly advancing against the resistance of the Democrat Party which like the former presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln is “ in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Martin Luther King Jr had a dream and Democrats appeared to be the political party to fulfill it. But like many dreams it was partially illusion. Racial equity will be realized by individuals. Individuals who refuse to acknowledge or disclose race on any official documents. Individuals who refuse to participate in sanctioned racial inequity. Individuals who "out" those who do play the race game -- particularly the politicians like Kennedy who pretended to be advocates..

1] The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 4th Debate Part I, Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858; Opening remark of Abraham Lincoln

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©2008, 2019 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in its’ entirety with credit given.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Choosing an Attorney for your best Medical Advice

As the frost covered grounds of Indiana begin to thaw during the closing days of Winter the amorous carnal longings of my extended family seem to burst forth. December births are common among my cousins who added to the clan this year in furtherance of this synchronized generational expansion. While the two newborns healthfully departed their maternal denizens their respective forays into the greater world have proceeded at distinctly contrasting rates.

Following the ritual Winter family gathering my parents queried between themselves why one baby is being brought into the throngs of fellow beings while the other is kept hunkered down in its domestic fortress. More particularly why is one doctor saying do not take the baby out of the house while the other encourages wanderings.

Such contrasting suggestions bring forth no bewilderment to my mind. However, they may not be apparent to those outside my fields of practice. Thus, I present this examination of general professional counsel using these babies as case in point.

The answer for why two medical professionals advising differently on the same circumstance comes down to their respective legal counsel and statistically probabilities of harm. In this case I will use a hypothetical statistical risk assessment using bacterial meningitis.

Let’s say that, while only considering whether a child is quarantined for the first two post-utero weeks of life, 1/3 of meningitis cases are of quarantined children while 2/3 are of environmentally exposed children. Based upon this 2:1 ratio legal counsel for the insurer of the first doctor says that newborns should be quarantined for the first two weeks. The reasoning behind this is that in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor an attorney would raise the issue that the doctor knew that the risk was twice as high for babies not quarantined. Thus, the insurer for that doctor or a medical association includes the quarantine recommendation in its “best medical practices for doctors” guidebook.

So, what about the second doctor? Well, her insurer has legal counsel which read a medical journal article stating that 2/3 of cases contracted by babies outside the home occur from just a few risky scenarios. These included being bottle fed rather than breast fed [contaminated bottle] or exposure to the environment of livestock carrying e-coli or the workers around the livestock. Keep in mind that this is simply my imaginary statistics and causes.

Here is how this works out mathematically thus far;
3/9 cases occur in quarantined children
2/9 cases occur in exposed children
4/9 cases occur in exposed children

Setting aside cases from these few risk factors the ratio of contracting bacterial meningitis for quarantined versus exposed children is 3:2. Armed with this information the insurer for the second doctor publishes an advisory that says newborns are less likely to become infected if they are environmentally exposed but livestock environments and bottle feeding should be avoided.

This dichotomy demonstrates two contrasting styles of thinking. The first is the blanket approach that does not allow for judgment or deliberate action. The second is the case specific approach which requires deliberation and decision which reduce risks by a greater degree. The second approach is on the decline.

The overall goal is the reduction of risks. That is risks to the professional not you the consumer. Again, in the medical field this is apparent in the scheduling of elective surgery. It could be for a knee replacement. The doctor has two years of medical history, x-rays, and field knowledge about the scope, progression, and pain associated with the joint failure. The patient asks, “When should I get this done?” In years gone by the answer may have been, “You could wait until the end of Summer when your son goes off to college.”

But someone who had been told that message was going down some stairs the week before the post Summer surgery was scheduled. While doing so she lost her balance and fell which resulted in numerous fractures. During trial one expert said the deteriorating knee was a likely contributor and that the doctor should have scheduled the surgery earlier.

So, now the response from the doctor is, “I suggest doing it as soon as possible but I will schedule it for when you feel like you want it done.” Thus, if some adverse experience should occur pre-operative time then the doctor can fall back on the patient deciding to wait, against medical advice.

This professional decision making based upon legal advice is ubiquitous in our litigious society. Here is a hiring example.

This is based on actual events. A school hired a teacher based upon educational credentials, work experience, and a criminal background check. The necessary teaching degree/certifications had been obtained, there was positive employment experience, and he had not committed any of particular crimes of violence, sexual in nature or against children that would disqualify him. So, he was hired. Then he was criminally charged for sexual relations with a student.

~ ~ ~ A quick side note. If you want to know where the most prolific and proficient sexual molesters of children are go to where there is ready access to children and look for people not on the sex offender registry. ~ ~ ~

The school had protected itself in two ways. First, it relied upon information provided by others that are reasonable measures to filter potential sexual abusers of children from the employment pool. Second, no one could be held liable for wrongful termination for firing him on a “hunch” that he was going to do this.

The legal protection scheme goes like this. Create a record trail to say we tried to prevent the abuse through hiring procedures, if the potential for abuse is suspected then monitor but let it happen unless you have clear proof of intent, then terminate based upon the judgment of police or a prosecutor that abuse did happened. Using this scheme the sexual abuse risk is reduced. Not for the children but of the financial liability for the insurer of the school corporation.

Our society shuns responsibility. The cacophony of lamentations over parents not being responsible for their children. The lawsuits against tobacco companies for causing people to smoke. Now it’s obesity is caused by the so-called foods industry or portion sizes. People steal because of drugs. And the falsehoods and rationalizations for avoiding responsibility proliferate and have a common basis.

The root for it comes from the top. The white collar professionals have clearly demonstrated a near uniform avoidance of personal accountability for making judgments. Of the few domains where judgments are made those actors are protected by statutory immunity or legislatures are scrambling to expanding immunity to include them. Instead of making judgments based upon experience, intuition, or logical thinking the professionals have outsourced that to attorneys.

So next time you are seeking medical advice make sure it comes from a competent attorney.

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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.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn

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©2008, 2019 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in its’ entirety with credit given.