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Posts Tagged ‘laws’

     Here is an interesting story in the news…it seems that people who annoy others are now being held legally responsible and can receive fines for their annoying behavior.  Those who have been annoyed now have legal recourse against those who continually display behavior that is alarming, annoying, or serves no legitimate purpose.  Wow!  That is interesting.

     In Brighton, Michigan starting January 17, 2009…the new ordinance will begin.  It will also be against the law to molest anyone, to insult them,  annoy or accost them.  Hmmm, one wonders about the potential limitations, of such of a law or ordinance.  Who decides what constitutes legal annoyance?  Will there be guidelines as to what is just a frustration, and what is over the top and prosecutable?

       All that i could think of when i heard about this was; that it was a good thing that the law was not viable in my own home between my children….everything they do annoys each other some days!  🙂  I can just see it in homes across the nation, can’t you?  Mom…make him/her stop…they won’t leave me alone…so and so took my seat…he/she is annoying me…Mooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!!!  Good thing we don’t have to pay fines against annoying each other in families…don’t ya think?  I mean…really stop and think about this law…is it going to have a positive impact on the community of Brighton?

       It would seem like this type of law has unlimited potential for frivolous lawsuits by people with grudges against one another.   It has a price tag of a $500.00 fine; which is no small thing.   I think that the courts will eventually resent having every little dispute brought before the bench…but, the fee that the court would levy against those violating the new law would help them to overcome the inconvience and  resentment associated with enforcing such a new law.  What do you think…will this be something that catches on around the country?  Should it?  Does a law like this have the power to be abused?  Should there be some kind of written guidelines or consequences to prevent someone from fraudulently accusing innocent people?

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        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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        Here is a concept that many vehicle makers have been pursuing for a while now…making your vehicle a hot spot wireless connected tool.  Chrysler will give a peek at their UConnectWeb system tomorrow…it may become available next year.  Of course, like everything else having to do with technology…there is a huge push to be the first to have the most cutting edge program or system available, that the masses can’t live without.  (more…)

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        Senator Barack Obama and Dr. Dobson, from Focus on the Family, have brought out their dueling swords…their bible’s and their interpetations of the scriptures as it applies to each person’s choices in their daily living. (more…)

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        Wow, who knew that it mattered, when you were born, which side of the blanket you were born on when it comes to getting your birthright inheritence or whether your rights will be denied?

         Is a child’s birthright not automatic when that birthparent gives the child up for adoption?  No, it can be denied in the state of New York, anyway. 

          Today, i read in the news that a woman born over 50 years ago to a direct descendent of the jello fortune was denied by the highest court in New York the right to a portion of that said fortune. 

           It seems that the estate of the woman’s birthmother denied that she was entitled to a third of the estate; because, she had been put up for adoption and, because the laws of the state said that a child put up for adoption wasn’t considered a child of the person for whom the trust was established.

        The mother of the “child” went on to get married later after putting up the infant for adoption and went on to have two additional children who were entitled to their portion of the estate because they were born during her marriage.

         Does that seem fair?  The child did not have a say about when she was conceived or to whom she was born; she was born to the woman and allegedly, to a man who was married to someone else.  Is it her fault about the circumstances of her birth?  No.  Was it her choice to be adopted?  No.  Still, i guess legally…the decision has been made.

         My question is…morally is it a correct decision?  I wonder how the birth, half- siblings feel?  I mean, obviously the estate felt that they had a right to fight paying a portion of the trust fund to this woman; but, personally, if it were me….i would feel that she was entitled to a sum of money. 

         The woman started searching for her birthparents when she was 19.  She spent lots of money and time searching.  She didn’t start her search thinking that she was going to discover she was born to a family with incredible riches that she could inherit.  I am sure that she began searching strictly for the purpose of finding out more about herself personally. 

           Whatever her personal reasons for searching; I hope she found some kind of answers to her questions when she met her mother.  She did get to meet her and find out about her birth circumstances.  Hopefully she was able to heal those parts of herself that were filled with questions when she discovered she had a NEED to know about her beginnings. 

           It seems that these questions about the trust fund came up after the birth mother died.  Who knows what the birth mother’s feelings were on the subject.  That wasn’t reported in anything i have heard about this trust fund issue with the courts.  Was the woman and her siblings able to develop any type of postitive relationship?  If so, why the issue of money went before the court is curious. 

            If the half siblings contested sharing the money…i then wonder, what makes them in their own minds feel more entitled?  It is kind of sad.  Who knows how much richer their lives could have been otherwise.  I mean, i wonder if they would find joy in knowing their sister had there not been money involved?   Maybe it isn’t just an issue of money; could it be some other reason that they feel she is not entitled to a share of the wealth?   I wonder is the sister the kind of person that would not be welcome in a family whether they had money or not?  Is she a good, friendly, moral person?

             Some how, it feels like an injustice.  I mean, the half siblings got to grow up with their mother.  The woman did not.  They were born to a comfortable lifestyle; did the woman live in comfort?  Should she be compensated for being rejected at her birth?  I don’t know.  But regardless, it just feels a little unfair to me. 

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