Monday, September 19, 2011

The Selfishness of Child Abuse

Child abuse is not a private matter.  Child abuse is not only an act against a child, but it impacts all those, present and future, with whom the child will be united.  It impacts society. 

I often post articles to gauge reactions.

 Everything is autobiographical and comments reveal much about people, their view points and understanding of human nature leading, subsequently, to how they will react to the report of a crime.  

For some, everyone is guilty, while for others, no one is guilty.  Some slowly and carefully come to accept that mothers, like Caylee's mother, do kill, though it is hard to admit. 

What we write, reveals to others insight into our souls...that is, if anyone is listening.  Let's have a go at it:

I think handicapped parking should be done away with.  

Imagine the responses in the comments section:  "you cold hearted SOB!  Do you know how hard it is for me to use my wheel chair 100 yards because there are no spots?"  I would have to spend a great deal of time deleting posts and then I would have to read my name all over Facebook with fake quotes and a portrait that makes Charlie Manson look like Mother Theresa.

Can't you imagine how hard it is to be in a wheel chair, especially in the cold, where you live?

I can imagine how hard it is for someone in a wheelchair to have to travel far to make it into the front door of a grocery store; there by necessity, to buy food.  I can both imagine it, and have seen it.

There was a time when in America people didn't fight over the 'rock star' parking spot because we knew of others that were limited, therefore, we pulled down a-ways, in order to let those in need have the spot. We didn't need lobbyists, money for signs, laws, violations, convictions, fines, and employees to process the fines.  I remember my father telling me that, as a boy, that he was to park 'over there' because of older people in need of a closer spots (to the pharmacy)  that he knew.  It was just something done.

We just needed to think of others first.  It doesn't cost much money to do so.

What does this have to do with analysis of criminal cases?

Question:  How many times have I pulled into a parking lot in cold winter only to see a toddler in the backseat of a car, windows rolled up, who can barely breathe through the smoke of his mother's cigarette  in the front seat?

Answer:  too many times. 

"There oughta be a law!"  

Not so fast.

We cannot legislate kindness, nor consideration and we cannot pass a law demanding common sense or decency.  What we have done, in our social engineering, is attempt to do this very thing.  Here, the mommy in the parking lot who doesn't care for baby's lungs is not going to change her selfish behavior because of a law:  she will simply look around, see no cop, and light up.

Socialism cuts both ways.  Winston Churchill said that it was like asking a man to lift a bucket up, while he had one foot still in it.  What may seem like a good idea; that is, another law passed, often doesn't work out as planned, only to erode freedoms of many, to protect few.  

If you want Person A to pay for Person B's healthcare, and Person B loves Ben & Jerry's more than life itself, does Person A now have the right to put an end to Person B's love affair with ice cream?  I swoon over Gifford's Made in Maine Chocolate Chip Ice Cream; I know, I know. 

This is why towns, cities, or municipalities may 'outlaw' salt, for example, or certain cooking fats.  Rather than giving people freedom of choice in New York City, certain cooking oils are now not allowed to be used.  Is it okay to you to have government dictate your food?  By the way, as many know, there are places you can still get french fries in NYC fried with old fashioned lard in spite of the statutes.  Once decisions like these are made, where does it stop?

If Person A is forced to pay for Person B's medical care, should Person A have the right to tell Person B not to smoke, knowing that Person B will likely have far more expensive health issues due to smoking?

Something to think about.

Do you like  government banning or controlling salt?  Ice cream?

For those who feel that it is a good idea for the state (government, whether local, state or federal) to pass laws far beyond the realm of government's original stated purposes, they will struggle, by nature, to grasp the crimes that human nature is capable of.  The link is strong. 

Back to child abuse and selfishness.

There is a trade off.

We often read comments expressing frustration with obvious cases where a subject is silent and readers will write, "can't he be made to talk!?" knowing that the right to remain silent cuts both ways:  it can protect both the innocent and the guilty.  The same laws that protect you and your family against malicious intrusion are the same laws that protect a child abuser.  Having "just cause" protects you and me against having our homes invaded based on a malicious rumor; but "just cause" also can be used by the guilty as a cover for abuse.  A vindictive neighbor, for example, cannot have your child removed from your home based on a false rumor deliberately spread.  In order for the child to be removed, a judge must see convincing evidence, and even then, will insist that the child be placed with family while an investigation or assessment commences.  (this is how the system is supposed to work; there are always breakdowns).  

Child abuse sentences a child to a lifetime of pain.  I have listened to 40 year old adults cry, never able to come to grips with her mother, for example,  was so  cruel when the victim was but a child, or a 60 year old man, still unable to feel that what he does is successful, because nothing he did as a child was 'good enough' for his father.  The pain can (and often does) last a life  time and impacts many others.   There is an expectation of love, safety, and protection that comes with being born.  It is reasonable.  Professional, successful grown ups, who have risen to high pinnacles in society, continue to hurt over abuse and neglect suffered in childhood.  Most overcome.

Some do not.

A small boy comes to mind. 

He adored his mother but feared his father.  In fact, his father did not discipline him, so that he could grow up and be a man who could control his own passions; instead, his father abused him and used him as a way to release his own anger and stress, via brutal physical and emotional beatings. 

From his earliest memories of his father, he could think of nothing but fear and coldness, yet with his mother, he could think of warmth, and tenderness, but of protection, even as young as 5, he was conflicted:  should she protect him, or should he protect her?  He finally stood up to his father's brutish manner in order to protect his mother.  The beating he received that day was so severe, that he was left unconscious.  He was about 7 years of age. 

Many believe, as I do, that most of our personalities are formed by this critical age.  That which we experience early shapes and forms us.  These patterns are difficult to wrestle with and take firm resolve and an incredibly measure of honesty just to recognize them.

Some abused children possess this incredible sense of honesty and make terrific parents.   Some don't.

Some, due to abuse, become indulgent parents, too fearful of any discipline to set boundaries for their children, and will impact the future generation negatively.  Most vow to be the best parents they can be. 

Some, sadly, will go on to abuse.

Here is where the abuser is seen, selfishly gratifying his own anger on a child, thinking not of the impact upon the child, nor upon the society that will have to deal with the abused child.

The state can and does, investigate allegations of child abuse.  It must do so with the power of authority.   When a mother is investigated her initial reaction is, "how dare you call me an abuser of my child!  I love my child!" and, sure enough, the child clings tightly to its mother telling the social worker how much love he or she has for mommy.  The bond between an abused child and the abusive parent is powerful.   It is a strong bond, but it  is an unhealthy, and nervous bond.  

The abusive father isn't investigated as often; he is usually far gone by the time an investigation is done.  Today, it is not so much the father, but mother's choice of boyfriend.

Love seeks the highest good of its object.

Psychology shines in research and tells us many things about ourselves, but then fails utterly when it is used to excuse criminal behavior.  Is anyone that murders in their right mind?  Arguments could be made that murder is insane, but if the State (armed) does not punish, we know what happens to society.

Motherhood, by itself, has the single greatest impact upon society.  From the first breaths, the child is vulnerable and in need of protection, nurturing and love.  When a woman gives birth to a child, she forfeits privileges as she embraces a new human being's rights.  A mother does not have, for example, the "right" to bring home a sex offender.  Some argue that sex offenders' registry is a form of "double jeopardy" and is re-punishing the offender.  (had we not released the offender to go back and prey upon society in the first place, we would not need to register them).  Others, with a more realistic view of pedophilia and child pornography, for example, know that the offender poses a risk to children wherever the offender goes.

Listening to a predator, in his 80's, boast of enticing little girls to climb up on his wheelchair, first hand, is one heck of a lesson about understand human nature, and the power of evil.  

For those who do not believe that child abuse impacts the small portion about the abused little boy beaten into unconsciousness.

Who was he?  What impact did he have on society?  What became of that little boy so viciously beaten by his father?  What impact did he have on society?

His name?

Adolf Hitler.

Even with German translation, the analysis is sound and sure:  he lied with impunity, yet with the same sensitivity indicators that Caylee's mother used.  His penchant for destruction wasn't simply political or expedient:  it thrilled him.  It wasn't just a case of Hitler and Joseph Stalin in a contest who could kill more; it was deeply imbedded within them.

Pat Brown pointed out, in the most basic of common sense:  If someone enjoys killing, they enjoy killing and will seek enjoyment...again; no reason to wait for another killing to declare him to be what he is. 

Child abuse is not  a private matter.  It is not about socialism.  It is not a political tool to be bantered about for jobs, or to become a cottage industry.

It is about criminal behavior.

Its impact is far reaching; far worse than any of us know.

Fathers have no right to assault wives and children.  Fathers are physically stronger than their wives and children, and are to sacrifice that strength, turn off that desire to compete, and use strength for the purpose of good.   A man who hits a woman is not a man; culture be damned.  

Mothers have no right to import sex offenders, or violent, deviant men, into their homes, needing 'love' for themselves, at the expensive of children.  If they so must have love, I am sure that there are plenty of people who will take the children.  

The children did not ask for such dangers and the consequences of this form of Neglect, "Failure to Protect" can be lethal. 

Childhood is such a short period of time, and it is gone with influence ended, too quickly in life.  Lessons of love that adults felt they were too busy for, are never to be regained.  Any man that a woman sacrifices her children are will prove to be the ultimate in embittered hearts later on; never to grasp, 

"Why did my mother choose him over me?"

To this, there may come intellectual understanding, but not emotional.

Your understanding of human nature will help clarify what you can understand about criminal cases.  If you feel that others should be making your decisions, your trust in human nature may keep you from understanding cases of crime against children.

Projection is something we all must acknowledge when viewing a case.

Some may believe that a boyfriend man, for example, burn a child's foot with his cigarette, but not the child's mother.  It is something too horrific to accept.

It happens.

It may not be that we need new laws, but what we may need is enforcement of laws that we currently have.  We need intelligent, thorough investigations where the guilty are punished, not excused.  Zahra Baker's life was of greater value than her killer will be punished for.

Children are citizens of our country and as a citizen a child has the right to lawful protection.  The burning of a child's foot is an assault.

A man who had been abused as a child sought refuge in drugs.  The fact that he had been abused by a parent would now lead to a tale of horror for many.  By the time I interviewed him, the trail of tears was well known.

At first, pot soothed him and made him relax, but he then grew bored of it and found that pain killers caused him to feel sedate and happy, but, as is the nature of our brain receptors, he built up a tolerance, in a few short months, and needed more and more to just feel 'normal' again.

Tylenol with codeine gave way to Vicodin, which gave way to Oxys, which were incredibly expensive. Although scared out of his mind of needles and the thought of heroin, constant withdrawal symptoms drove him to 'just try' the heroin.

It worked like a dream.

He was not a drug-crazed monster passed out on the couch:  he felt 'normal', energetic (the impact of long term opiate abuse), confident and his family noticed how well and 'up' he was.  Even his boss complimented his work.

What they did not know, however, was that it was the constant source, every few hours, of heroin in his system, keeping him going.

Eventually, he tried crack cocaine.

No one seemed to notice, however, that his apartment was becoming more and more he sold item after item to maintain his habit.

Eventually, unable to keep purchases, he came to the choice of paying the rent or buying drugs.

This led to war with the landlord, and vicious threats of being evicted.

The boss noticed that the long hours must be getting to him as he was more and more fatigued, and called out sick with an alarming increase.

He lied about his apartment and told others that it was the landlord who was stealing from him, and although family had their doubts, he convinced them that he should move in with his elderly aunt; take care of her, while he was saving for a downpayment on a house.

At first his aunt was fine with loaning him a few dollars "for groceries" but became alarmed when he would come down stairs, disheveled and sweaty.  Too often he wouldn't go into work and his requests for money had now turned into demands.

One day, she told her addicted nephew the one word he could not bear to hear:

"no"; she would not give him any more money.  She was, as she reminded him, living on her dead husband's pension, and had to watch every penny.  She and her husband had worked hard all their lives, so that they would have substance to live upon in their elderly years.

The combination of the lack of drugs in his system with the terrible thought that he had nothing left to sell conspired together as he screamed at his elderly aunt, climaxing in grabbing a kitchen knife, and plunging it into her old frail body dozens of times.

His aunt was a citizen who deserved justice, but when the psychologists finished testifying, they weighed the value of her life, against his early childhood abuse and drug addiction and they felt that his punishment would be:

10 years.

This was the value of her life, so said the court, who turned him loose on society.

Early abuse, drugs...and no one knows how many people's lives will be destroyed.

Drugs and children do not mix.  It matters not what the excuse is, as it invites horror and a living hell into the lives of children.

At best, it yields to Neglect, something never understood nor grasped by a child; but at worst, it ends in death.

In some states, possession of a single image of child pornography can lead to 20 years in prison.  Why?

Because this shows an understanding of how dangerous child pornography is to children.  We don't need new child pornography laws, we need to implement them to protect children.

Socialism wants to rehabilitate pedophiles.  It's core belief is that the darwinian few will rise to the surface, and then are responsible for making decisions for the rest.  Many believe they can talk a pedophile out of his lusts for children.  In prison, the pedophile now becomes the burden of tax payers, including the victims' own paychecks having taxes taken out to make sure the pedophile is fed, gets medical care, dental care and therapy.  If the pedophile is put to work to pay for his food, it is now considered slave labor.

Child abuse is not a political issue, though some will attempt to make it so.  It is a criminal matter that needs clear and level headed investigation; not emotional confusion. It begins with understanding:  understanding how child abuse impacts not only the child's life, but the life of society itself, as no one is able to predict how many victims will be claimed.  Prevention comes through a society where civility is practiced, without the constraint of laws.

Many of the laws passed remind me of a large window pane with a sign:

"Do Not Throw Rocks"

Your understanding of human nature, and what humans are capable of, is revealed in some of the criminal cases we see today.  If you hold human nature in such high esteem as to not believe that mothers and fathers are capable of severe crimes, and allow others to do your thinking for you, you are not likely to be successful in understanding crime.

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