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JoshCrow
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I just read about this couple who had their three children taken away for a month, ostensibly because of photos taken of them at bathtime that were deemed to be "provocative" or "erotic".
CNN video

The children were of ages 5 years, 4 years and 18-months.

I'm trying to square off two competing desires here... on the one hand, it's clearly unacceptable for the state to inflict obvious trauma by tearing away children from their parents (an 18-month old, for crying out loud) because of being overzealous. The pictures shown in the CNN video were certainly innocuous.

On the other hand, we cannot be shown the actual offending pictures (containing nudity), so it's impossible to judge them as inappropriately sexual or not, and I can understand that the police can't simply turn a blind eye to a potential child abuse scenario.

I'm wondering - what sort of procedure should be followed in investigating a claim like this? It's clear to me that evidence is going to be subjective - at what point does one have to simply dismiss the possibility of child abuse in progress because evidence could just as easily be innocently motivated? When does the harm of removing children get justified in the face of evidence?

Tough questions for me... perhaps someone wants to weigh in.

[ September 23, 2009, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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cherrypoptart
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I saw this case yesterday and two words immediately popped into my head:

Digital Camera.

-----------------------------------------

But seriously, I don't know how to strike the right balance either. I'm still thinking about it.

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0rnery
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The answer to that question may be enhanced by also answering these questions:

How do you feel about Perverted Justice and Chris Hansen's stings?

How do you feel about Elvis and Priscilla?

How about Roman_Polanski and France's refusal to extradite?

The various state's statutory rape laws?

Death penalty for child rape?


In keeping with my belief that people don't change personality from birth till death, it seems anybody with a bent toward sex with kids, will always have that inclination.

How we deal with that is going to be VERY wide ranging!

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scifibum
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I don't know if I could even begin to construct a standard for evidence that justifies removing kids from a home. Anything that I think is reasonably likely to offer enough protection for kids also seems too likely to lead to investigation of innocent people.

I'd have to say that photos of kids in a bathtub would have to be pretty darn unusual before I would call for the kids to be removed without further evidence.

Apparently in this case someone thought the photos were "posed" in order to be provocative.

I hate to be so blunt but I want to know if I'm wrong: I would be disturbed by photos of unclothed little kids with their legs spread apart - I would not take, much less keep photos like that of my own kids, nor want to look at any of anyone's kids - but I would not call that pornography, not unless there was a sexual act going on.

I understand the reasons for and approve of laws that prohibit the distribution of such photos, but I think the penalties should be different for photos that merely have bodies on display and photos that show evidence of actual sexual abuse/contact.

In this case, since there's no allegation that the photos showed evidence of molestation, I think I'd have to say that I think the police and social service agency showed poor judgment.

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Sauurman
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I tend to avoid giving the benefit of the doubt to CPS workers. I keep hearing cases where there were so many warning sides and they did nothing. And yet they go after bathtub nudity... really? The government has the inverse of the Midas touch, everything it touches turns to CRAP.

The one sole exception seems to be the military and I think the military has only avoided becoming crap due to the superior moral character of those who would lay their lives down for their fellow man.

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0Megabyte
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Ever drive on the interstate?
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Sauurman
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Don't get me started on roads. My normal 45 min commute turned into over an hour due to #$*#($ construction on the major highway in my city. And my old neighborhood still can't get a decent road when I visit my folks.
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TommySama
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"The one sole exception seems to be the military and I think the military has only avoided becoming crap due to the superior moral character of those who would lay their lives down for their fellow man."

lolwut?

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PegLeg
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quote:
what sort of procedure should be followed in investigating a claim like this? It's clear to me that evidence is going to be subjective - at what point does one have to simply dismiss the possibility of child abuse in progress because evidence could just as easily be innocently motivated?
In this particular case it sounds like they followed a pretty good procedure - there was suspicion from the film processer, the police and cps followed up on it and went to the home, searched it, interviewed the children, examined them and so on. It seems to me they followed the procedures well enough.

The problem is that it appears they reached the wrong conclusion in this case. But why? The judge felt they did. If that's the case I really feel bad for the family to have to go through all that, it is very unfortunate.

But at the same time I don't want to judge the police and cps to harshly. The thing is we don't know everything and there may well have been other indicators of possible abuse that lead them to take action.

Another reason I am not wanting to lay too much blame on them is that whenever the media gets hold a good gut wrenching dramatic tear jerking story of a kid being abused or neglected it gets people up in arms and screaming at the social services for not doing a better job, especially if the kid had previously been picked up on their radar screen but they did not act to remove the child from the home or somehow better protect the child. They get pressured to be more proactive but then they have more potential to error on the flip side by removing children they don't really need to.

At the same time we demand a lot we don't provide the resources to actually do it in a competent manner, and lay most of the responsibility on $12 an hour social workers that may be trying to deal with up to 30 different cases at a time. I think a lot of these workers are in way over their head for the level of responsibility and workloads they are given. That is just my opinion based on dealing with social workers in my area as a foster parent.

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aupton15
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I have had to call child services a few times while working with children, and while they are generally very helpful people, they are certainly worked too hard. In addition, they don't always screen out the over zealous crime-fighting types who will remove a child if they find fault with a certain parenting practice. Without more details this case could go either way, of course. In general my tendency is to almost always trust their hearts but not necessarily their heads. I've had a case or two where I am pretty sure the evidence didn't warrant the action that was taken, but fear or anger provoked the CPS worker to reach a little too far in their well-intentioned efforts to protect the child and/or themselves (as PegLeg pointed out, they do take a lot of heat when they miss a case). I'd say without more evidence it becomes pretty near impossible to make a judgment on this one, but many of these cases need to have a new set of eyes on them. Anyone ready to go work for CPS?!
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Don't get me started on roads. My normal 45 min commute turned into over an hour due to #$*#($ construction on the major highway in my city. And my old neighborhood still can't get a decent road when I visit my folks.
I am sure that the roads would be much better if the government weren't involved.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
quote:
Don't get me started on roads. My normal 45 min commute turned into over an hour due to #$*#($ construction on the major highway in my city. And my old neighborhood still can't get a decent road when I visit my folks.
I am sure that the roads would be much better if the government weren't involved.
I don't think they would even exist without a means of collectively paying for them, or enforcing that collection. I'd like to hear your explanation as to how roads would simply emerge and be maintained by market economics.
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0Megabyte
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I assumed it was sarcasm.
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Michelle
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It takes a village to raid a home.
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kenmeer livermaile
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[!RimShot!]

'We'll make 'em a refusal they can't offer.'

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
I assumed it was sarcasm.

[DOH]

Dammit how am I supposed to tell without an emoticon? [Razz]

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RickyB
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"It takes a village to raid a home."

Thank you, thank you. That was Michelle, she'll be here all week! [Big Grin]

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0Megabyte
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Josh:

No clue.

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LetterRip
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Ornery,

quote:
In keeping with my belief that people don't change personality from birth till death, it seems anybody with a bent toward sex with kids, will always have that inclination.
You truly believe that people don't undergo personality changes? That is perhaps one of the most bizarre beliefs I've ever heard of. How is it possibly to maintain such a belief, the evidence from everyday life should make it pretty much impossible?

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20030512/personality-changes-with-age

LetterRip

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seekingprometheus
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LR:

I thought about jumping on that too, but "personality" is such a nebulous term that such a statement really represents nothing more than the fluid foundation essentialists use to base preconceived notions.

You can push at that statement all day, and it'll just give way all day long. It's really just a buffer placed in lieu of the real foundation, which is an article of faith.

For the record though, meaningless terms aside, I tend to agree with this particular conclusion--kiddie-diddlers will always kiddie-diddling desires keep.

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Sauurman
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"lolwut?"

You disagree?

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TommySama
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Unless you are saying that maybe a tiny percentage of people who join the military are morally superior, yeah
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seekingprometheus
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I don't know that I'd speculate on percentages, but I would say that, while there are many individuals of exceptional moral character who are in the military with a fervent desire to serve, sacrifice, and to honor a code, there are also many individuals of exceptionally low moral character, who might be in the military because they had few other options, and figured they wouldn't mind killing others.
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Sauurman
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quote:
I don't know that I'd speculate on percentages, but I would say that, while there are many individuals of exceptional moral character who are in the military with a fervent desire to serve, sacrifice, and to honor a code, there are also many individuals of exceptionally low moral character, who might be in the military because they had few other options, and figured they wouldn't mind killing others.
I'd say the examples of the first far outnumber the examples of the second. Do you believe otherwise?
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seekingprometheus
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[LOL]
I just said I wasn't going to speculate on percentages.

I'm a civilian, currently not risking my life in a desert. I'm grateful that there are individuals willing to do so to preserve the interests of the nation of which I am a part--regardless of the precise composition of their moral fiber.

If you're simply asking what I believe regarding this construction:
quote:
The government has the inverse of the Midas touch, everything it touches turns to CRAP.

The one sole exception seems to be the military and I think the military has only avoided becoming crap due to the superior moral character of those who would lay their lives down for their fellow man.

I'd be inclined not only to see Tommy's: "lolwut?"...but to raise you an: "Everyone in the room is now dumber for having listened to you."

It takes courage to boldly proclaim a simple and undiscriminating critical opinion regarding the functionality of immensely complex bureaucratic agencies in the modern world, but to use such a fearless proclamation as a segueway to proclaim yet another undiscriminating--albeit positive--opinion regarding the national institution of physical force...golden.

Here's the exact level, dude:

"Everything about this school is crap, but the football team rules!"

I especially appreciate the dogged immediacy of the "Do you disagree?" questions. Clever. Maybe someone will fall for the ingeniously crafted trap and declare hatred and animosity toward American soldiers. Then we'll all know who the enemy is, huh?
[LOL]

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Sauurman
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And if the football team does rule and the school is crap?

The United States Military is the most powerful military in the world. The United States government however is one of the most corrupt for a 1st world country and incredibly inefficient. Wasn't there a thread at some point about how many tax dollars were spent per job for the Bailout?

I was merely stating that pretty much everything the government does is crap. And of course this has to do with government institutions as a whole. Some things are necessary however their implementation of even important necessary things can be crap.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Sauurman:

The United States government however is one of the most corrupt for a 1st world country and incredibly inefficient. Wasn't there a thread at some point about how many tax dollars were spent per job for the Bailout?


Have you got a source for this? Why do think this might be the case? Are Americans in general more corrupt? More stupid?

You do understand that most 1st world countries are further to the political left than we are, right?

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Wayward Son
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quote:
The United States government however is one of the most corrupt for a 1st world country and incredibly inefficient.
Aw, come one, Sauurman. You mean you're never going to expound on how corrupt Europe is? And I thought we towered over Europe (especially the French).

Can I use this to argue that Universal Health Care would work, if only we were as honest as the Europeans? [Smile]

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kenmeer livermaile
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Our military kicks ass, awright. Why it tends to play (kick the asses of) the spectators in the stands rather than any real opposing team is quirk, though.
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Sauurman
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Actually Europe has its own corruption but I've been under the impression that pork barrel politics is played less over there. However if I'm wrong feel free to fill me in with more details, a fan of Europe I am not.

The most corruption is in regards to the UN which isn't a European organization. Though many states like France used its programs illegally.

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TomDavidson
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What are you a fan of?
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
What are you a fan of?
The awesome, ass-stomping-est military in the world! [Big Grin]
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