Free-Range Kids

New Law Lets Courts Decide If You Are a Sensitive Enough Parent

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Tears
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A new law in Great Britain could criminalize normal parenting—the kind practice by people who are not perfect every single second of every day. The so-called "Cinderella Law" expands the definition of child cruelty to include any form of "emotional, psychological or intangible harm," writes barrister Jon Holbrook in SpikedOnline:

Under the amended offence it will be possible for a parent to be convicted of: smacking a child; not providing it with regular meals; leaving a crying baby alone on the petrol forecourt while visiting the station checkout; even ignoring teenage angst. Indeed, the wayward and emotionally fragile teenager, not to mention the teenager who dislikes his parents' style of parenting, should have little difficulty making a case for his parents to be prosecuted. Defenders of the new law may guffaw at these examples, and claim that such prosecutions could never happen, but they are wrong.

Holbrook goes on to describe a few cases of parents arrested for such everyday "crimes," including Tom Haines, a dad who let his two-year-old wait in the car for 10 minutes while he ran into the store. He was convicted of child cruelty:

Fortunately, Tim Haines had his conviction overturned on appeal after the Crown Court judge, on hearing what Haines had done, asked the question: 'Is that supposed to be a crime?' It ought to have been obvious that Haines did not treat his daughter in a criminal way. Yet it clearly was not obvious to either the police who arrested him, the Crown Prosecution Service that prosecuted him or the judge in the magistrates' court who convicted him.

And that was before the Cinderella Law. That's why we should not allow the definition of "cruelty" to expand any further. It's already stretched too far.

free-range-kids

Until recent times, child cruelty was always understood as physical harm—beating, starving, molesting. Things that parents did that were outright wrong and directly resulted in pain. When we start arresting parents for something that could go wrong, in the very worst case scenario—"What if the child is snatched from the car?"—no parent is safe. And that's doubly true if the courts resort to conjecture about the psychological impact of a parenting style they disdain: "What if the child doesn't feel nurtured enough?" Does forgetting to put a love note in a child's lunch trigger a police investigation?

The state shouldn't decide how to parent.

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  1. leaving a crying baby alone on the petrol forecourt while visiting the station checkout

    “T’wasn’t alone! I was screamin’ ‘Shut yer bloody ‘ole’ th’entire time!”

  2. I appreciate Britain setting the standard. Just when I think the US can’t get any more fucked up, there’s Britain – beckoning, noting that, “We’ll never reach Peak Derp?…come with us…”

    1. Well, clearly, they decided 1984 was a guide for the future development of Britain. This is how they start to get children to inform on their parents.

      1. It’s a mix of 1984 and Camp of the Saints.

        1. Prince Charles married a Pakistani woman? (or was it Indian? Been a while since I read that)

        2. I keep finding that America keeps heading towards a mix of A Brave New World and Demolition Man

          1. But I’m not all that fond of Taco Bell!

      2. Children are the ultimate source of victims. They absolutely love the role.

      3. This from the same country that arrested parents who tried to save their underage daughters from the Muslim rape gang that’s been running without police intervention for over 20 years.

  3. “intangible harm”

    Sounds about right

    1. Yep. Sounds like that could be interpreted to encompass whatever they want. You didn’t breastfeed?! You’ve caused intangible harm to your baby!!

  4. Holy shit, the UK really is trying its best to be a real life parody of the absurd nanny-state.

    1. This does sound like a Monty Python skit.

  5. It’s tough to know whats more enraging: the imperial overreach of the state, or the fact that social services and police can’t even help severely abused children already, and this just allows them to go for the low-hanging fruit to discharge their child protection responsibilities

    1. Forget it, IFH, it’s Britain-town.

    2. ever considered that they COULD help severly abused children, it’s just that they spend their time messing with parents who didn’t do anything? Maybe thats why the social services are “overloaded”?

      1. Maybe thats why the social services are “overloaded”?

        They’re trying to empty a lake to the point where no one can drown. Sure, they could be using tools other than buckets and using the bucket more efficiently, but it doesn’t change the fundamental fact that they’re trying to empty a lake. So, one person dumps two buckets of water and takes a piss and they’ve generated the need for (at least) two social workers.

        Not to say they shouldn’t be more efficient with taxpayer money, just that the notion of being ‘overloaded’ is generated and maintained by the impossible notions that get people arrested for leaving their kids in the car for 10 min.

    3. See my comments below. Instead of having CPS going around trying to scrutinize every houshold, we should encourage children to self-report if they feel abused, and have shelters for children to voluntarily go to if they feel they are being abused.
      What usually happens is that severely abused children run away from home and have no place to go. The cops pick them up and return them to parents. But they would probably self-report abuse if they knew there was some place to go other than the street.

      Yes, you’ll get kids falsely claiming abuse at times, but you can also filter that because the ones who aren’t really being abused will get homesick and want to go home. The ones who don’t want to ever go home should be free not to, and should be allowed to opt for a foster home if they choose.

      1. One of the reasons we don’t trust children to do things like vote, drink, drive, or sign contracts is that kids don’t understand consequences. They’re not known for their long-term thinking.

        The problem with making it really easy for kids to “self-report” anything they consider to be “abuse” is that they don’t grasp what they’ve just done to their parents for turning them in on false charges. False claims of abuse ruin lives, for no damned good reason.

        Kids think they’re being abused if they don’t get an Xbox, or if their parents make them eat vegetables, or they’re told to take baths, pick up their rooms, or do their homework instead of watching TV or screwing around online. Kids tell people their parents don’t love them if they don’t get the cell phones they want. They make up stories about how their parents love their siblings but hate and mistreat them. They’re manipulative little shits, because they love attention, and they have no idea what will actually happen to their parents when they tattle on them.

        I wouldn’t mind kids deciding to “self-report” abuse if it did not necessarily mean the authorities pouncing on parents. Let the kids live in some shelter, if they choose, but claims of abuse should be physically demonstrable, and the child should not be allowed to return if it’s actually that bad, to discourage potentially devastating false reports by prevaricating little drama queens who are budding into victim-culture superstars.

  6. I bet any parent who tells the cops they are Muslim will never be bothered again. It’s only fun the fuck with the Anlgo-Christian crowd.

  7. There should always be a presumption against the state and for a parent. Having said that, I wouldn’t categorically rule out everything outside physical beatings as off limits for a cruelty finding. Some extreme situations of ’emotional’ or ‘psychological’ abuse can be really, really ‘messed up’ and examples of environments children might should be removed from (needless to say a person leaving their kid in a car and running into a store for ten minutes is light years away from that).

    1. Re: Bo Cara Esq.,

      Having said that, I wouldn’t categorically rule out everything outside physical beatings as off limits for a cruelty finding.

      Public Choice theory suggests that bureaucracies in charge of rule enforcement will invariably prosecute the easier cases compared to the more difficult or time-consuming (or soul-consuming) cases in order to BULK UP their records of successful cases while at the same time reducing the expended effort. That explains why government is so keen on criminalizing innocent parents who feel and KNOW they’re doing nothing wrong compared to truly abusive parents who couldn’t care less, because the number of innocent parents is always much higher plus their cases are less disturbing or not at all.

    2. Of course, to a good utilitarian, you would have to balance off the certainty of abuse and overreach of having cops and bureaucrats break up families over “intangible harm” as opposed to the small handful of “extreme” cases of emotional abuse.

      Which way do you think that would go, Bo?

      1. I’m not a utilitarian. Like I said I’d have a strong presumption of parental fitness and only allow findings in very extreme cases

        1. “This case was clearly extreme. EXECUTUION! Next case!”

          /The Authorities

        2. So you’re cool with the certainty of abuse and overreach, if that’s what it takes to get to your handful of extreme cases?

          1. Of course that’s exactly what I said! That’s like me saying so of course you’re cool with evil step parents freely abusing their children until they commit suicide!!!!

            1. I’d have a strong parental presumption and a standard something like IIED + harassment (an objective pattern of outrageous behavior) for a finding of emotional abuse

            2. If you are sticking with your “intangible harm is child abuse justifying seizure of children and jailing of parents”, then you have two choices:

              (1) The abuse and overreach is a price I’m willing for other people to pay, or

              (2) There will be no overreach and abuse by authorities, because I will put words on paper that will have the unprecedented effect of preventing them from taking vague and subjective standards and applying them in ways I do not “intend”?

              Which is it?

              1. To repeat myself I’d put in a system making successful prosecution so difficult only in the most clearly established outrageous cases would that be possible. At that point yes I’d accept the risks of mistake balanced against the alternative you prefer, having kids under even the most outrageous non physical abuse left no recourse

                1. To repeat myself I’d put in a system making successful prosecution so difficult only in the most clearly established outrageous cases would that be possible.

                  So you’re going with option 2, then. When overreach and abuse by the authorities happens, will you claim it is an “unintended consequence” for which you should not be held responsible in any way?

                  1. No, abuse and overreach should always be anticipated. Unless you want no criminal laws at all the best you can do is stack the legal deck against that, or I guess you could leave these kids I’m talking about to their fate.

                    1. RC I take it you’re for the jailing of parents and seizing of kids in cases of actual physical abuse? Of course everything you’ve said applies there right, danger of abuse and overreach. So what’s the basis of a blanket opposition to intervention in non physical forms of abuse? Do you think no non physical abuse can rise to the level of harmfulness to the child to offset the potentials for abuse? None?

                    2. Bo, if I may ask, what state do you intend on practicing law in? asking for a friend.

                  2. dude, the bar he set down with what he wrote is pretty high. Do you understand anything abut law? Do you know what IIED even is?

                    Look, I’m the first person to complain about judicial overreach and legislating from the bench, but a lot of times when the government is able to fuck with people, it isn’t because of judges acting on their own, it’s because the judges HAVE TO FOLLOW THE STATUTORY LAW, WHICH WAS DELIBERATELY WRITTEN BROADLY

                    1. I’m in favor of at least asking the kid what his or her opinion on the matter is.

                      We treat these child abuse cases like the only people capable of deciding are parents and the state.

                      Maybe in the case of a 2 year old that’s fair, but what about a 10 year old?

              2. Isn’t this why we should be looking at a jury trial for such alleged abuses? I mean, why is this different than other crimes? If a child is murdered, the accused can get a jury trial. Why not the same if there is an abuse that does not end in murder? The jury is made up of our peers for a reason. Anyone who has ever been a parent, or even just adults who had parents and have learned as they grew older that their parents were just doing what they thought was best for discipline or whatever, or who have seen or experienced real abuse, can assess an accusation, hear evidence, etc.

                The problem is not that an agency exists that might be expected to get abused children out of their homes, but that there is little to no recourse for parents to get their kids back or really have anyone hear their case except for a judge. That’s too much power for a judge. And that’s not enough oversight by the public for the agency acting on behalf of the public.

                I would expect many allegations would struggle to get past a grand jury. Others that are more disturbing, would bring an indictment.

    3. I’d say that an extreme case like that would be tangible harm, even if not physical harm.

      1. I’m not endorsing their standard just saying I’d not categorically rule out everything other than physical cruelty

  8. A friend of mine’s daughter ran up an over $200 phone bill a while back. My friend yanked the phone cord out of the wall and her daughter call child protective services on her. The person who showed up was giving her a hard time about he treatment of her daughter by not letting her have a phone in her bedroom. Mary (my friend) told the social worker to “take her if I’m such a bad parent. She’s YOUR responsibility now, You pay for her $200 phone bills”. The social worker said she wasn’t trying to break up the family and quickly left.

    1. I’m calling bullshit. How could she call CPS with no phone?

    2. It must have been a long while back. Who doesnt have flat rate phone bills anymore?

      1. Old people.

    3. The person who showed up was giving her a hard time about he treatment of her daughter by not letting her have a phone in her bedroom.

      “Why, if I had a daughter I’d let her have a phone in her *bathroom*, too!”

    4. We had one phone in the entire house. Yeah, I know: Cue the Four Yorkshiremen.

  9. Europe really is trying its damnedest to implode itself from within.

  10. What about neglect of children’s dentistry?

    1. Crooked teeth, not discipline, give British children their character.

  11. “Parents are imbeciles who should be constantly monitored, harassed and even prosecuted!”

    “Now that we’ve dealt with that issue, let’s discuss our declining birth rate. What on earth is going on with that?”

  12. I finally understand why Voyager keeps leaving the solar system, over and over again. It’s to make a point: Get out while you still can. I hear Arrakis is nice–hot, but it’s a dry heat.

    1. True, but it never hurts to pack a windbreaker. And a stillsuit.

      1. We’re signed up for a sandworm-riding excursion near the Shield Wall.

        1. Those nice blue-eyed native fellas always give the best tours.

          1. Just don’t forget to tip.

            1. Just don’t forget to tip spit.

    2. this has got to be one of the funniest posts on reason I’ve read!

      ” I hear Arrakis is nice–hot, but it’s a dry heat.”

    3. Just wait till V’Ger returns home once and for all to kill us all.

  13. If I were a parent, “ignoring teenage angst” would be my primary means of maintaining sanity and avoiding murder charges, if my friends with teenage children are any indication.

    1. Not that it works, but my wife and I just roll our eyes at such nonsense and tell them to do whatever it is they aren’t doing.

    2. my teenage angst was purposefully ignored – especially since I was the youngest sibling.

      1. And yet you still managed to become a fine upstanding lord of the wastes.

    3. Yeah, one of my peeps at work is dealing with a very serious case of this. Formerly-wonderful 13 yo daughter suddenly cutting herself, lying to psychiatric “authorities” about abuse…and of course the “authorities” never question the kid, just believe. This shit he’s had to put up with since, and the tolerance to not just throw the little bitch in the street with “OK, this is what you want?! You got it!” Job-like…

      My son (my youngest of three kids) happened to be home from college when I heard about all this. When I got home from work that night, I ran over and gave him a hug, and thanked him for not REALLY being a problem….

      Ugh. There but for the grace of God sometimes…this is some fucked up shit. But having kids, the number of cases of “Over Dramatized Teen Angst” vs “Actual ‘Abuse'” is about 90/10 in my experience.

      Also, fuck the authorities.

      1. Formerly-wonderful 13 yo daughter suddenly cutting herself, lying to psychiatric “authorities” about abuse

        I wonder if they have the option to call her bluff, just tell her “OK, you’re obviously very unhappy living with us. I’m not willing to go to jail over the lies you are telling. Your aunt/uncle/grandparents have said you’re welcome to live with them starting next semester. Pack up your stuff. They’ll be here to get you in the morning.”

        I know of a couple of families where this essentially happened (teenage daughter (oddly, in both cases) wound up living with someone else through high school).

        1. If you were a relative, and believed the parents that they were truly not abusing the child, would you bring her into your home?

          1. I might, yes. It all depends on whether there is someone willing to take her in. I’ve seen it, more than once.

      2. Formerly-wonderful 13 yo daughter suddenly cutting herself, lying to psychiatric “authorities” about abuse

        I wonder if they have the option to call her bluff, just tell her “OK, you’re obviously very unhappy living with us. I’m not willing to go to jail over the lies you are telling. Your aunt/uncle/grandparents have said you’re welcome to live with them starting next semester. Pack up your stuff. They’ll be here to get you in the morning.”

        I know of a couple of families where this essentially happened (teenage daughter (oddly, in both cases) wound up living with someone else through high school).

      3. make the kid get a regular job. Having actual problems and stuff to do will cure that angst shit right up.

        Seriously.

        And whatever stupid issues she has, tell her to ignore them, and nothing that happens socially in High School is meaningful or consequential long term.

        Then again she could be reacting to some kind of sexual abuse from something, in which case she has to come clean (and it still doesn’t excuse the behavior)

        In general it’s shit like that is why I want to home school my kids, when I have them. That and the complete lack of practical skills and knowledge in public schools

        1. Remember back when it was perfectly normal for people to get jobs after 8th grade?

          There was no such thing as teen angst then. Adult angst, yes. Teen mischief, yes.

          It took the societal elimination of teen employment to create teen agnst.

      4. Formerly-wonderful 13 yo daughter suddenly cutting herself, lying to psychiatric “authorities” about abuse…and of course the “authorities” never question the kid, just believe.

        See, this is exactly what I’m talking about. Who knows if she is being abused or not? But why not let her make her own decision and if she doesn’t want to live with her parents provide her with a safe alternative?
        Have some temp housing facility where they can live, and see if they get homesick. The kids who are really being abused won’t get homesick.

        Seriously, if there are kids who genuinely don’t want to be in their parents custody anymore, I don’t see a good reason to force them to remain there.

        1. But why not let her make her own decision and if she doesn’t want to live with her parents provide her with a safe alternative?

          Because 13 year olds are not known fore their extraordinary decision making skills.

          1. Hence the temporary waiting period.

            Give them a couple of weeks to get homesick and miss their family. The ones who are really being abused won’t get homesick. At least not badly enough to want to go home.

            1. A temporary waiting period? At an undisclosed location where kids come and go as they please? Without the involvement of CPS or some neo-CPS entity?

              Seems like I’ve already seen the story about an emotionally distraught runaway 13-yr.-old girl wandering into a house of (abused) teenage boys. Even assuming significantly less fatalism, congregating at-risk and possibly psychologically mutilated youth in a house and giving them greater autonomy sounds wrought with potential for less-than-optimal outcomes.

              1. I didn’t say greater autonomy. They are still kids and under someone’s supervision. Just not their parents for the tme being. It would just be a non-abusive quasi-household where they can stay. There would likely have to be curfew times and security of some sort.

                1. When I was a kid they called it juvi, and calling it “non-abusive” was a bit of a stretch. If they hadn’t committed a crime, it was called a foster home, not exactly a bastion of non-abuse itself.

                2. They are still kids and under someone’s supervision. Just not their parents for the tme being. It would just be a non-abusive quasi-household where they can stay. There would likely have to be curfew times and security of some sort.

                  OK, I presumed greater autonomy as you suggested some greater ability for the child to decide their own fate. Otherwise, what you’re describing sounds exactly like CPS or some goldilocks arrangement that can/does exist only in your head.

                  When you say the kids would be “under someone’s supervision” would this be someone who has invested heavily in the child’s birth and upbringing or someone who is simply paid by the state to make sure they don’t murder/rape each other? Are they paid on a per child basis or is their pay otherwise measured, categorized, or capped in some way?

            2. You’re wrong.

              I can tell you first hand that most abused kids will still want to be with their parents.

        2. Because this house where allegedly abused kids can go live amongst each other won’t result in Small Town, USA’s party house. Every time.

          “There’s a place we can all go unsupervised, get drunk and high and have sex and they keep it running with heat and TVs and everything. It’s paradise!”

          What could possibly go wrong?

          A better alternative would be staying at the police station in a cell for “protected” youth. Because only the truly abused would ever try to go there. And even that’s probably a bad idea.

          1. Obviously there would be adults in charge of this place, the same as there are at domestic violence and homeless shelters.

            1. And those adults would all be angels none of whom would take advantage of a troubled youth’s dependence on them

    4. I’m glad I’m not a parent, too. The first time the annoying little drama queen screamed at me that I was making her cut herself because I wouldn’t buy her a car and an iPhone, I’d ask her if she wanted help holding the knife steady.

      I’d so be in jail. In the UK, the judge would probably come out with the ol’ black handkerchief on his head.

  14. The state shouldn’t decide how to parent.

    Lenore, the state is already parenting all of us, so what makes you think it will stop deciding for us?

  15. “Who denounced you?” said Winston.

    “It was my little daughter,” said Parsons with a sort of doleful pride. “She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh? I don’t bear her any grudge for it. In fact I’m proud of her. It shows I brought her up in the right spirit, anyway.”

  16. Pony Tail Guy: Mister Clinton, how as President would you act as a sort of parent for all of us in the US….

    /1992 Pres Campaign, paraphrased

    I will never, ever forget Pony Tail Guy. It was one of my first, real glimpses of the US sailing over the cliff.

  17. Also, re: the post further above – I have declared today “Spell ‘Execution’ Any Way You Please” Day.

    Carry on.

  18. Every law should be based on “intangible harm”!

    1. With a minimum sentence of reparations due in full.

  19. Surely the fuckwits who passed this law have some parents among them.
    So it would be nice to see someone or group monitor such parents and turn them in when, inevitably, one of them “abuses” their kid. Fight fire with fire.

    1. The political class is not subject to the law. They are the law.

  20. See ya later, UK. You should be little more than a smoldering ruin, inhabited by squalling adult brats in about 20 years. Well, at least more than you already are now.

  21. Personally, I think we should be letting children themselves have more of an input into whether they are being abused or not.

    There may be cases where a child just feels he/she isn’t being nurtured enough, but if that’s the case why NOT let the child have the freedom to leave his or her parent’s custody, and see if he or she likes being a foster kid better?
    We could have some sort of temporary housing situation where kids can go to get out of their parents house for two weeks and then decide if they want to go back. There are plenty of kids who are being abused who will get up and leave and take foster home over an abusive house, and not many non-abused kids who won’t get homesick. (But even then, why not let the kid make his own choice?)
    Basically, have domestic violence shelters for runaways.

    On the other hand, if the child doesn’t feel abused or neglected then this would reduce the number of situations where overzealous CPS workers or neighborhood busybodies are calling the cops because kids are playing unsupervised in the park. Instead of just assuming the child is in danger, the CPS people should ask the kid if THEY feel unsafe or neglected and at least take that into account.

    1. Is there anything that prevents me from stalking my child at one of these shelters to prevent them from squealing?

      1. Sure. Just like it’s illegal for a husband to stalk a domestic violence shelter where his wife is staying.

        Also, you know, don’t disclose the location.

        1. Also, you know, don’t disclose the location.

          Second to the right, and straight on till morning, right?

          I know parents who’ve sobered up and can’t get CPS to move in favor of their family’s interests (kids included). I also know kids with personality disorders who will manipulate CPS (or whomever) to whatever ends they desire. It’s a black hole that kids already do have input into.

          I think you’re right when addressing CPS agents. They should know/realize that their every (in)action infringes on everyone’s rights.

          1. Sure. But if a kid honestly, genuinely, does NOT want to live with his parents, I don’t see any reason why he or she should be forced to.
            There should be an option for any kid to say “My parents suck, I would rather live in an orphanage or foster home.”
            Personality disorders or not.

            This isn’t about the state taking the kid away, it’s about the kid having the right to leave.

            1. What age does this start? 12? 9? 7? I ran away at 10 and got 3 miles down the road before I was caught. Should my mom have been barred from picking me up if I had made it to some safe house? Even though it was just a minor quibble between me and my mom that set this whole thing off, and that my 10 year old brain wasn’t thinking about the long term ramifications of running away?

              100% of kids are morons, and giving them some “safe place” to go gives them leverage in their moronic tantrums. No 8 year old knows what’s best for them. At least some parents know what is best for their 8 year old, and sometimes it isn’t what the 8 year old wants. Giving the 8 year old a “backstop” by which to control their parents only makes good parenting of uncooperative children harder. The abusers have plenty of ways to make these “safe places” unpalatable to abused children.

            2. This isn’t about the state taking the kid away, it’s about the kid having the right to leave.

              Sure, but what right does a lying petulent child have to live out his/her teen years on my, or my kids’, dime? IDK, that a completely honest but emotionally/physically damaged one doesn’t exactly have that right.

              Prior to developing the ability to seriously leave, IDK that the kid has a ‘right’ to do so. As a parent, I certainly don’t think my children owe my wife and I for the sacrifices we make but, I’m pretty sure they aren’t right when they say, “You aren’t the boss of me.”

              I do know without strongly compelling evidence of guilt and/or the child’s eminent danger, I should pretty much fuck off if I think other peoples’ kids are any of my business. And vice versa.

            3. When you want to go home do you click your heals together? Just checking how far into fantasy you have retreated.

              Government is seldom the solution and almost always makes any problem worse.

              One of the problems is that children (or adults) that have power without responsibility make poor decisions. DUH! That said, let’s just actually resolve the issue.

              Starting whenever you can get it passed, children can chose to be emancipated and be adults at the age of 14.

              So they can chose for themselves if they wish to make their own decisions, with the caviat that they must support themselves.

              Of course we need to change the laws to allow them to work, etc, but we need to do that anyway. We constantly hear how there are no jobs for those without high school diplomas, but somehow we get millions of illegal immigrants every year without them who find them.

              So, if mommy and daddy are too mean (and that really does occur) then they can go out on their own. If they won’t make that choice, then mommy and daddy are clearly not THAT mean.

            4. Can this at least be a two-way street? If some whiny little shit decides his parents are abusing him because they made him do something he didn’t want to do, like come to the dinner table without his cell phone or take out the garbage, can the parents decide, after the kid’s ruined their lives with his false accusations, that the kid can remain in foster care? Can parents at least have the option of minimizing their risk of future criminal investigations by telling a false accuser that he can’t come back?

  22. So it seems the goal is to . . . avoid anything crappy EVER happening to ANYONE. Okay, I can see that being accomplished right alongside ending poverty, evil, and bigotry (and personal responsibility.)

    1. Seems like an odd way to approach that goal. Getting convicted on some bullshit or having your kids taken is pretty crappy.

  23. I was kind of worried about the entire thing. I’ve never worked from home, But Yeah, I did just join and all is good. so I will post back how it goes!

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  24. “What if the child is snatched from the car?”

    The presence of the parent would not necessarily prevent such a thing. Lock the doors and windows could be smashed, for example.

    It seems clear that simply having children is child cruelty — if the child did not exist, no cruelty could occur.

    1. It seems clear that simply having children is child cruelty — if the child did not exist, no cruelty could occur.

      No, even lacking children doesn’t prevent someone from imagining children and cruelty that may happen to them.*

      The only way to prevent the imagining of cruelty is to get rid of those doing the imagining or just their imaginations. I’d settle for them keeping their imaginations as long as the kept it to themselves.

      *This statement is not currently suspected by the State of California or the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

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  26. So they’re working on revising the criminal code, and in the process a bill is written with a vague provision? And I’m sure this one isn’t the only one. Sorry, but this is the normal course of sausage-making. They’ll probably flesh out the language a lot as it gets amended, but in the meantime each of the vague provisions provides fodder for criticism like this by opinionators in their various areas of expertise.

    1. Sorry, but this is the normal course of sausage-making.

      They were revising a criminal code that already had several cracks and made it visibly broken to even the most casual observer. I don’t know when you decide failure has occurred…

      IMO, if there were a sunset clause or some other measure to contain the idiocy, I’d agree it’s just sausage-making. Lacking it, this is just redundant meat grinding; piling up, rapidly becoming unconsumable, and just waiting for more opinionators to add their contribution to it.

  27. While we’re at it, i think we could simply all the law.

    Here’s my idea: just one law: “You are not allowed to be an asshat.”

    This crime will be punishable by a possible fine between $0 and $10 trillion dollars and/or between 0 and 10 trillion hours of community service, and between 0 and 1000 years in prison, and/or the death penalty.

    The prosecutors can try to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has been an asshat, and the judge and/or jury can decide the guilt and associated sentence, within those parameters.

    That should finally capture everything.

  28. Formerly-wonderful 13 yo daughter suddenly cutting herself, lying to psychiatric “authorities” about abuse…and of course the “authorities” never question the kid, just believe.

    Cutting is a sign of abuse. Not necessarily by the parents.

    I had a cousin once who was sexually assaulted in a movie theater while sitting next to her sister. No one could figure out what was wrong with her until I looked into it and figured out what had happened from her fragmentary remembrances. No one besides me ever offered her any support and because I lived far away my support was only temporary. She eventually ODed on drugs. None of the family misses the troublemaker. I do.

  29. This morning on the way home from the gym I was running late and ended up behind a school bus shortly before it stopped in front of my neighbors house. I watched as a parent ambled across the street at a leisurely pace and boarded the bus. Seeing my driveway within striking distance I was shocked to the buss stop n front of my house and pack up another kid. Two bus stops less than two buss lengths apart while parents stand by watching.

    I’m thinking of moving somewhere just so my kid gets the pleasure of walking to a bust stop and hanging out with other kids but without the side of entitlement.

    1. They do this in my neighborhood, too. It’s all rural, two-lane roads out where I live, but that doesn’t stop school buses from blocking the road for miles, stopping at every third house to pick up a kid. And the bus will sit there and wait for the fucking precious little snowflake to grace everyone with his presence. Sometimes the bus will sit there for five minutes waiting for the kid, and nobody can go around because they’ve got the flashing red lights and the retractable STOP sign going. There is a stop two houses from the elementary school, I’m not exaggerating. The kids are not allowed to walk even a house away. Wondering why there are so many fat kids? Well, there you go.

      If you ask me, parents have helped ask for the State to step in and scrutinize their parenting to this degree, like they’re all incubators for the State. The other end of the zero-tolerance-for-risk pipeline is zero-tolerance policies. When you keep calling the cops because there are unaccompanied children in a public park, or you sue the school because your kid fell off his bike while riding to school, you’re telling the state it should be responsible for every moment of a child’s existence.

  30. I propose that we implement a new policy. Any time someone proposes to fix a problem by writing a new law giving the government new power, we just kill them.

    It is only going to end in infringing more peoples rights anyway. Think of it as “Preemptive Defense” (Thanks NeoCons!) for liberty.

    LOL

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