Archive for February, 2014

Perhaps the strictness of journalism ethics has gone out the window, but there are some things that are just plain inexcusable when it comes to reporting via the written word. It has seemingly become more commonplace these days for journalists to report rape as “having sex with” instead of what it really is — rape. In the latest example of this inexcusable misrepresentation, a 42-year-old Delaware woman, Rachel Holt, was looking to have her prison sentence reduced following her rape of a 13-year-old. The journalist in the article still stated, “for having sex with a 13-year-old student.” (http://www.wboc.com/story/24846745/del-panel-denies-commutation-in-teacher-sex-case)

Let’s get this clear — an adult cannot “have sex” with a minor. Rape is rape. Rape by any other name is minimizing the grotesqueness of the crime. It would be like calling murder “engaged in a physical altercation that led to one’s death.” Did Jeffrey Dahmer go to jail for “a physical altercation that led to death”? I don’t think so. Likewise, Rachel Holt didn’t go to jail for “having sex” — she went to jail for raping a 13-year-old.

Is there something wrong with today’s culture that we’re at the point we’ve become rape apologists? After all, we have states allowing rapists to sue for custody of the children they fathered from their violent crime. Perhaps some of the writers of these articles don’t want to call the rape of a 13-year-old what it is because they’ve had some sort of sick fantasy of sexualizing minors as well and don’t want to admit that the thoughts they’ve had, if acted out, would be rape. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of these writers are actually thinking in the back of their minds, “Where were teachers like that when I went to school?”

It’s time to get your head screwed on straight, America!

Off the Wire: Feb. 27, 2014

Posted: February 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

Recapping the past few days…

EPA obstructed probes through intimidation:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/27/watchdog-epa-officials-obstructed-probes-through-intimidation/

Mother identified after newborn found in dumpster:
http://www.kcentv.com/story/24817216/newborn-baby-boy-found-in-dumpster-in-southeast-houston

Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters star and writer, passes at age 69:
http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ghostbusters-star-writer-harold-ramis-dies-69/story?id=22651174

Not surprising: In this report from PublicCitizen, there are as many as 50,000 incomplete reports in the National Practitioner Databank. The databank is currently closed to the public and scores of practitioners have been able to simply hop to another state when they lose a license in one. Accountability starts with transparency here.
http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=3904

Former presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann has heads shaking on both sides of the aisle after stating she believes Americans are not ready for a female president. Even Senator John McCain (R-AZ) stated he believes if the election were held tomorrow Hillary Clinton “would most likely” win. While American Live Wire doesn’t endorse Clinton, perhaps this is some sort of reverse psychological tactic by Bachmann — knowing that she would get destroyed by Hillary in a head-to-head election, she’s discrediting all female candidates at the moment in hopes the former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State won’t get elected either.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2014/02/22/are-we-ready-for-a-female-president-bachmann-says-no/

Lynette’s Law for Maryland has produced another powerful video “Infantilization of Women… a Pro-Rape Mentality,” this one in part a call out the Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher to support House Bill 33. A striking segment of this video is the mirror image comparison of the effects on victims of sex trafficking and the effects on victims of sexual exploitation by mental health professionals. They’re nearly identical, including:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Disconnection from feelings and flat affect
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Self-blame
  • Hopelessness, helplessness
  • Nightmares – dreams of rapes, sexual assaults, physical abuse
  • Anger and anger management issues Suicidal ideation and attempts
  • Paranoia
  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • Spiritual disruption
  • Fatalism and rage
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Self-care issues
  • Sleeping issues
  • Disassociative disorders

 

 

Positive news for Erin’s Law: New Mexico has become the 10th state to pass the legislation! Due up next week is Kentucky with Tennessee and Maryland following in March.

American Live Wire caught wind that a psychiatrist blog titled “Shrink Rap” posted in opposition of House Bill 33, Lynette’s Law, which would criminalize the sexual exploitation of patients by mental health professionals (Shrink Rap: Should it be a Crime for a Therapist to Have Sex with a Patient?). There is some interesting debate within the comments section of that blog. Here was American Live Wire’s response, although much more could have been (and very likely will be) said:

First of all, let’s get this strangely perceived notion of consent out of the way. The very nature of the mental health professional-client relationship makes it impossible for consent to occur. It it lopsidedly unequal, the therapist in such a position of power, the person who the patient has trusted with his or her deepest and darkest secrets. Secrets that even spouses don’t know about. The DHMH booklet “Broken Boundaries” explains: “By its nature, the relationship between helping professionals and their clients is unequal. Trusting that professionals have their best interests at heart, clients become vulnerable in the health care setting. … Because they depend on professionals’ trustworthiness, knowledge, and authority, clients tend to not question a professional’s judgment or behavior. This places the professional in a position of power and can make the client susceptible to exploitation.”

Furthermore, “Broken Boundaries” describes a sexually exploitative relationship as, “Sexual contact occurs between a helping professional and client in a relationship that, on the surface, may appear to be mutually consensual, but the patient’s role make it impossible for her or him to give meaningful consent.” Hey, guess what? Sex without consent is… rape! That’s a crime. (http://www.examiner.com/article/sexual-exploitation-not-consent)

Long term effects of sexual contact with a mental health professional are similar to that of rape victims. Kenneth S. Pope, Phd., ABPP, author of Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling and considered one of the foremost experts on therapy sex abuse, provides the following statistics of a national study: “The findings suggest that about 90% of patients are harmed by sex with a therapist; 80% are harmed when the sexual involvement begins only after termination of therapy. About 11% required hospitalization; 14% attempted suicide; and 1% committed suicide.” The most common effects of victims that have been involved with therapist-patient sex include ambivalence between escaping the abusive therapist and protecting him or her, cognitive dysfunction, intense emotional eruptions, emptiness and isolation, impaired ability to trust, guilt, increased suicidal risk, role reversal and boundary confusion, sexual confusion (including believing their only worth is to provide sexual gratification to others), and suppressed anger which may lead to self-loathing, self-punishment, and self-destructive behaviors. (http://www.kspope.com/sexiss/sexencyc.php)

So a mental health professional’s sexual exploitation can cause a person to try to murder themselves, among other things that have them hurt for life. How is that not a crime?

Tapping into the American Live Wire for a few items of interest…

A father breaks a judge’s gag order over the concern his daughter is being held at a hospital against his will:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/02/17/ready-jon-father-so-heartbroken-about-daughter-held-at-hospital-against-his-will-he-just-defied-a-judges-order-to-talk-to-us-i-want-to-have-all-my-guns-blazing/

Human traffickers using social media to prey on victims:
http://www.wogx.com/story/24757808/human-traffickers-using-social-media-to-prey-on-victims

Bullying’s health effects snowball over time:
http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/bullyings-health-effects-snowball-over-time-n30806

And in world news… the latest from the Ukranian conflict:
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/02/19/protesters-clash-with-police-in-ukraine-capital-as-opposition/

The two-party system has become so viciously polarized these days it’s surprising that anything gets done at all in this country. From Nancy Pelosi saying that the GOP rhetoric is “frightening” to nearly everyone in the Republican party saying that Barack Obama is going to be the end of civilization as we know it, American politics has become an onslaught of scare tactics. Each side wants you to believe that the other is so wretchedly evil and destructive that their policies are going to destroy the very fabric of the nation. And there is almost no middle ground.

Most Americans form their political viewpoints first through their parents and then from the media they watch. Parental influence is understandable although one hopes as the person grows older they develop their own opinions, but media is meant to be hard and heavy and scare you. It doesn’t matter the network, personality, or distinct party persuasion. From Bill O’Reilly to Sean Hannity to Chris Matthews to Keith Olbermann and on and on, in the guise of a discussion their opinion is going to get crammed down the viewers’ throats as the only right and logical opinion often belittling guests to their shows. So what’s the point in watching unless tearing people apart on TV is your thing?

It doesn’t help that the common politician has now taken up the same shock and awe tactics in order to get a simple sound bite and create an unfounded alarm within the American people. It seems the only form of bipartisanship these days is in the mudslinging rhetoric.

No matter what the talking heads say or try to convince their viewers or listeners it all comes down to one thing on Capitol Hill. Money. If you are a politician, no matter what your party affiliation may be you are going to vote in favor of those policies that help the people and corporations that funded your campaign. If you don’t then you can forget about getting re-elected. The power no longer resides in the voice of the American people, the power resides in the voice of the select few. All the mud is just a red herring.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

While this is supposed to be a day of love it is also, unfortunately, it is also a day that sees a spike in date rape. One organization, V-Day, has designated Valentine’s Day as theirs to speak out against rape culture and violence:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erin-levin/one-billion-rising_b_2641123.html

This is utterly reprehensible: A Kentucky trooper wants his job back after raping a 15-year-old girl, calling it a “moral mistake” and he has now “gotten right” with his family.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/13/kentucky-trooper-wants-job-back-because-raping-that-girl-was-just-a-moral-mistake/

You may have seen this one floating around Facebook lately:
ryanraped

American Live Wire now has a Facebook presence! It’s been a long-time coming, but please “Like” us here:
https://www.facebook.com/theamericanlivewire

The chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Maryland House of Delegates has attempted to kill House Bill 33, Lynette’s Law. Voice your support of this much-needed legislation! Call (410) 841-3488 and let them know you want to keep HB33 alive and to protect patients from sexually exploitative mental health professionals.

Erin’s Law has finally made it to Maryland as House Bill 1344. This is an important task force to study child sex abuse prevention. Congrats, to Erin Merryn. View the bill here:
http://openstates.org/md/bills/2014/HB1344/

“Off the Wire” posts are quick news blurbs in addition to the full blog articles. Keep a lookout for them here on a nearly daily basis.

It’s time to re-ignite the American Live Wire. Nearly five years ago, as part of the Enigma Underground internet radio station this blog was created as a place to sound off politically while the station began to broadcast podcasts of issues of the day. There was a quick splash and both faded out over time while the American Live Wire Twitter account still periodically posted a tweet. It was a faint heartbeat that began beating louder over the past year and a half. Now, American Live Wire is returning.

The Enigma Underground radio station is still shut down at the moment, but we’ll look to broadcast some podcasts and/or radio shows soon. In the meantime, the blog will ramp back up and the tweets will continue to increase. We’re also going to be putting together a Facebook page.

The question is then becomes what political persuasion American Live Wire will now adopt. A look through the archives will instantly reveal a decidedly right wing stance. Sure, the Examiner.com column was “non-partisan,” but non-partisan in Oklahoma is still moderately right. American Live Wire at this time is going to make no particular party distinction — they both have scores of problems and pundits screaming their rhetoric — and is just going to call it like it is, for good or bad. Chalk it up to a few more years of growing wiser and more centrist. There is no party agenda here, just a fair discussion of today’s issues in America.

We’ll also be supporting a number of worthy bi-partisan movements that aim to put forth much-needed policy in the United States. One such example is Lynette’s Law, which you will find in the featured links to the right. The Lynette’s Law legislation is working to protect patients from sexually exploitative mental health professionals and needs your support. This and other movements will be featured on Enigma Underground’s American Live Wire.

Plug us back in and we’re plugging back in!