Rules….For You and Not For Me?
March 8, 2016

Historically, the law has two copies.  One copy is for those who are the least embraced by a community, town, state or within a country.  The other copy is for those who are seated in power, wealth, politically connected or feared by others.  This argument can easily be traced by at least 2000 years.  In the Roman Empire history records a man named Felix.  Felix was born somewhere between 5 and 10 A.D. According Tacitus he was appointed the position of procurator though the influence of his brother Pallas.  Felix was cruel and ruled by taking bribes and utilizing threats and fear according to Josephus in Antiquity of The Jews.  Felix’s style of rule lead to more crime because individuals of status knew that with the proper bribes their crimes would potentially be overlooked.  The politics governing Rome of 2000 years past in many ways became the blueprint of our current form of government that we call a democracy.  Democracy  has the declarations that were the stated, accepted, and written will of the people.   Prominent individuals such as Felix understood the written declarations for a price could be ignored, modified, enforced inconsistently toward those who were willing to pay monetarily or with a type of “this for that” favor. The entire duration of Felix’s rule was constantly filled with unrest and ongoing conflict within his ranks.

An excellent illustration of the above story regarding Felix is found in the book of Acts 24:24-27. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when i have a convenient season, i will call for thee.   He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him:  wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.  But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room:  and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

The facts of Acts 24:24-27 are:  Felix and his wife Drusilla after hearing Paul, knew that he was a man of integrity, worthy of respect, knowledgeable, respected government and loved God.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were intimidated by the astuteness of Paul because of their personal desires for adoration and control.  Felix and his wife Drusilla attempted to set a political and religious trap to discredit Paul;  if he had offered a bribe it would be an admission to him having a flawed character.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were willing to bring public shame upon the must upright man of their day because the refused to be broken by compromising his values.

 

For individuals who do not necessarily ascribe to the Bible as factual, there can be no denying of the external documentation of how Felix and others within the Roman Empire governed.  Equally, there can be no denying that our form of government is a derivative of the Roman form of government complete with the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.

Philippians 3:16 might serve as a 21st Century reminder that our United States Constitution is the rule book for every citizen of America and it should not be up for bribes, ignoring, or retribution toward those that one disagrees.  Nevertheless, wereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. kjv

In the words of George Washington: the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good Government

Domestic Violence – It’s Clearly A Crime – Just Not Clearly Defined In Legal Circles
September 8, 2014

Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report presents trends in intimate partner violence by sex, and examines intimate partner violence against women by the victim’s age, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, and household composition. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Take a look at this video and decide what type of crime is being committed?  Is it simple assault, attempted murder, a felony, or a misunderstanding?  Depending upon the officer, the prosecutor, who the person committing the action is or who the individual on the receiving end of the action is, determines how the incident is handled.

http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_ekaflcqq

Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only.

Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.

According to The U.S. Department of Justice in a July 1996 National Institute of Justice report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act:

Within the criminal justice system, data collection is complicated by the division of
responsibilities across many independent entities—law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, courts, and corrections. Although some local jurisdictions have
established integrated criminal justice information systems, most criminal justice data
are fragmented along operational boundaries. The continued difficulties in obtaining
complete and accurate criminal history records were cited as one indicator of the
inability to track individuals as they move through the criminal justice system or
recidivate for subsequent crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice 1996 report revealed another eyeopener:

Multi-jurisdictional—multiple State and local agencies
Because of victim and offender mobility, agencies increasingly must be able to share
information across State and local boundaries. There are several Federal and regional
efforts under way to either provide mechanisms to do this or to encourage the
development of these systems. Achieving this goal will take time, however, and many
technical and organizational obstacles will have to be overcome.
One situation where this has been identified as a serious problem is with court
protection orders because officials outside of the originating jurisdictions generally do
not have ready access to the information required for enforcement. In addition,
policies and standards for issuing court protection orders can vary from area to area, making enforcement across jurisdictional boundaries a complex issue for local authorities.

The absence of a national definition of domestic violence causes irregularities in the
inclusion/exclusion of more informal relationships such as current or ex-boyfriends/
girlfriends, roommates, and cohabitants.  For example, Michigan and Kansas
have added a box on their crime incident report forms that officers must mark to
indicate whether an incident was domestic violence related. Other States (e.g.,
Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin) have separate forms for reporting domestic
violence. The special domestic violence report form enables States to collect offense specific
information that may be more difficult to include in a general crime incident
report form. Use of a separate form, however, does carry the physical and
psychological burden of additional paperwork, which increases the likelihood that
officers will fail to complete or submit a report.

Because domestic and sexual violence victims can face possible reprisals by the
offenders, a heavy burden of embarrassment, and other repercussions, obtaining their
cooperation can be extremely difficult for law enforcement and other agencies. The
act of reporting domestic violence and some sexual violence incidents may be
considered by victims as a last resort or as a way to make an irreparable break in a
relationship. Consequently, the victims may perceive reporting as an admission of
personal failure that they cannot face or believe is avoidable.
Additionally, the problem of adequate training of personnel in handling these cases
often was cited in the project panel discussions and survey responses. As many
jurisdictions are recognizing the seriousness of these offenses, new laws and policies
are being adopted, which in turn may require time to train all relevant staff in new
procedures and to fully implement them.

For all the above reasons, under reporting of domestic and sexual violence can be
more of a problem than for other types of offenses. Although efforts can be made to
overcome some of the factors hindering accurate reporting, some barriers may never
be completely surmounted given the nature of these crimes and the social and
behavioral issues involved.

Because identifying domestic violence crimes may involve consideration of a criminal
act, the relationship between the victim and offender, and the offender’s motive for
committing the act, properly classifying cases can be more difficult than for other
types of offenses. For example, a crime incident that would normally be considered a
property crime (e.g., a burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, or vandalism) could be
classified as a domestic violence incident if the perpetrator’s intent is to harass or
intimidate the victim. This may require the investigating officers to go beyond the
facts initially presented for a complaint to its possible underlying circumstances.
An additional complication for data reporting is that some States have not mandated a
specific domestic violence offense with which to charge an offender. In these
instances, the offender is charged with another offense, but his case may be flagged as
a domestic violence case for reporting purposes. Other States have broader family
violence statutes that include domestic violence.

As early as 1930 the Uniform Crime Reporting System has been in existence and all states contribute data into it in one form or another.  The UCRS was not mandatory however.  In 1980 the FBI replaced the old 1930 UCRS with the National Incident Based Reporting System NIBRS.  The new NIBRS is not mandatory for states to enter data.  Whether it’s the old UCRS reporting or the newer NIBRS reporting system, neither system has a clearly defined category for Domestic Violence under Category A or Category B Crimes. 

Time has come for our communities, schools, churches, businesses and families to demand that individuals who commit domestic violence be held accountable for their behaviors.  Men are to honor women as vessels of high value.  Women are to esteem men as one who is her point man or one who is willing to go before her.  Behaviorally, whenever domestic violence presents itself, it is certain that someone is functioning below God’s expectations.  There is never a time when domestic violence should be accepted or explained away in a civilized society.

Basic Friendship Principles
September 7, 2011

 

How do you really chose your friends?  According to one study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) students are more likely to select friends within their own racial group when schools are only moderately mixed.  The same study showed the more racially diverse a school is,  the higher the racial diversity of its students selection of friends.  This study can be found in the November 2011 American Journal of Sociology.  In one report from Yale University that studied 194 heart attack patients, those who had a solid emotional support system were more likely to be alive six months following their initial heart attack.  20 years ago most individuals had an average of 3 friends compared to in 2004 most individuals only had 2 friends according to the American Sociological Review.

Friends can often be classified as being reciprocal, desired and choice friendships.  Reciprocal friends are those that are friends who equally view each other as relational friends.  Desired friends are friends that are really are not ones true friends but because of necessary and sometimes coincidental interactions one would like for a friendship to exist.  Choice friendships are friends that one makes a conscience effort to have in the relationship for social, political, or other purposes.

The more similar students backgrounds the more probable they are to develop friendships according to James Moody Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.  Students can easily share a school environment for 12 years and remain for the most part in segregation racially, socially, and economically.  Moody also argued that schools with only two primary races more often than not develops an “us verses them” attitude.  It was also found that the greater the number of integrated extracurricular activities the higher the number of interracial and cross racial relationships.

The Psychology of ADHD
August 23, 2011

Here’s a strong case for funding public education and maintaining school psychological assessments services:  The majority of children receive their earliest diagnostic testing for ADHD and LD at school and not from the family pediatricians and mental health services before entering school.

The American Psychiatric Association DSM IV-TR reports that 3% to 7% of school age children have Attention Deficit Disorder.  This writer ascribes to genetics,environmental conditions, brain injury, premature delivery and low birth weight as potential causes of ADHD. Within a child’s social environment, this writer also believe that family environmental exposure filled with abuse and lack of structure, criminal behavior or socially inappropriate exposure are contributors to ADHD.

Prevalence of Diagnosis and medication Treatment for ADHD Among Children Aged 4-17 Years - United States, 2003

The more general definition of ADHD centers around a persons inability to pay attention and maintain focus on one specific event.  It is not unusual for individuals with ADHD to act before thinking and in some instances to be overactive as well.  According to The Center for Disease Control there are at least three levels of ADHD:

  • Predominantly Inattentive Type: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
  • Combined Type: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
The reported rate of cases in low income homes throughout the United States on average is about 10% higher than homes of middle and upper income families according to the August 2011 Consumer Report News on Health.

The Psychology of Bipolar Disorder
August 21, 2011

Imagine a seesaw and two people playing.  When the two individuals are at rest and completely balanced the right, left and center planes are in a straight line.  Now imagine the seesaw in motion where one person is elevated high in the air and the other person is touching the ground and exerts a lot of energy hoping to spring back if not to the elevated spot at least to center.  If only one person is moving from the left to the right and into the center position of the seesaw, this becomes a great illustration of individuals with bipolar disorder also known as manic depression.  According to The National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder is defined as shifts in mood, activities and energy needed to carry out daily activities.

mood episodes

An episode is divided into two major components but sometimes possibly three.  Episodes of extreme excitement and overwhelming joy and energy with a sense almost of being invisible is the manic phase.  Episodes of  feeling despair, hopeless, and sad having little or no energy is the depressive phase.  Episodes of excitement and despair are experience together is called mixed episodes.  Life is filled with routine ups and downs but bipolar disorder is much more intense and impedes ones daily ability to function in school, family, work, and society sometimes leading to even suicide.

Bipolar disorder once diagnosed will last a life time but can be treated medically.  If not treated the symptoms will get progressively worse.   Although the root cause of bipolar disorder is not fully understood according to The National Institute of Health, what is known is that it runs in families.  Children who have a family member with bipolar disorder are four time more likely to have the disease than the general population according to Numberger and Foround, April 2000.

Scale of Severe Depression, Moderate Depression, and Mild Low Mood

The Psychology of Family
August 18, 2011

A family may have multiple members with their own personal ideas, methods and resources.  Contrary to popular opinion however a family is not nor has it ever been a democracy.  Dating back to the first recorded family consisting of a husband and wife although each person had the freedom to think, within the family constellation neither the male or female invoked their “democratic” when confronted about the choices they had made.  In a completely democratic setting each person has no true accountability to others for their actions.  Within any family system disagreements will arise and unless dealt with properly a major disruption to family cohesion will occur.  Accordingly each person within the family unit must possess a clear understanding that one person within the family must be recognized as the go to person as the voice of reason and the one to whom other families will defer as long as safety and compromise of morals or violation of law are not an issue.

In the world of work employees accept the principle of work settings not being a democratic environment.  In regards to public safety areas such as police, fire houses, or our military, those who work within such areas understand the rank of others and without necessarily agreeing with the person or determinations for the most part honor is given not to the person but rather the position or rank.

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, over 50% of American households today do not meet the criteria of what is considered a nuclear family.  This in some ways has contributed to the blurred understanding of who is “leading” families.  Some children be they male or female resist accepting the role of a single mother, or grandparent, or other kinsman as being the authority within the home.  Some children are raised by older siblings or stepparents who may have even a more difficult time being accepted as the authority figure within the home.

Finally even in some marriages a power struggle can occur between the husband and wife if for instance the male comes from a history of women are not to be respected nor their opinion worth knowing or if the wife comes from a history of dismissing or ignoring directions from men simply because of insecurity and or mistrust.

Relations Require Interaction – Are You Fearful?
August 5, 2011

Relationships Require Interaction Be They Dating, Work, School or Marriage.

Have you ever dreamed of meeting a famous person or speaking with a job CEO only to meet them in a hallway, bathroom or elevator and suddenly you become speechless?  Below is an excellent article from National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland that gives a broad overview of what Social Anxiety is and some general signs with ideas of treatment.

Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder)

What is Social Phobia?

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation — such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others — or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

Signs & Symptoms

People with social phobia have a persistent, intense, and chronic fear of being watched and judged by others and being embarrassed or humiliated by their own actions. Their fear may be so severe that it interferes with work or school, and other ordinary activities. Physical symptoms often accompany the intense anxiety of social phobia and include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking.

Treatment

Effective treatments for social phobia are available, and research is yielding new, improved therapies that can help most people with social phobia and other anxiety disorders lead productive, fulfilling lives.

Counseling
August 3, 2011

Counseling people is one of the most rewarding crafts in the world.  Prior to the Enlightenment Era, individuals depended upon interactions with people who were skilled in the usage of rhetoric or words to ease the cognitive allusions that presented themselves due to day to day life stressors.  The soul healers were know as philosopher’s which included individuals such as Socrates, Plato, Euripides, Aristotle and the like.  All of these were men strong in the art of reason and logic that was capable of challenging the very source of a persons conclusions about how they felt about life, relationships, and even God.  In the Christian world one of the most renowned yet unnoticed “Counselors” was the Apostle Paul.  It the New Testament book of Acts 17, Paul goes to what was the very seat of Greek Counselors and begin reasoning with them with such conviction and logic that some wanted to schedule additional sessions while others concluded he had nothing more to offer.

Counseling today requires preparation, conviction and a desire to help others live the most fulfilled life possible.  Counseling also demands that the counselor is able to accept the foregoing conclusion that not everyone will embrace the opportunity for change.

Have you resisted good counsel lately?