American Elephants

A Curious Case at Law in Quebec. by The Elephant's Child
April 10, 2009, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Freedom, Law, Politics

In Canada, recently, there was a curious case at law in Quebec, in which a 12-year-old daughter took her father to court after he grounded her for misbehavior.  The legal wrangling began with a dispute over the girl’s Internet use.

She had been living with her father after the parents split up.  He grounded her for defying his order to stay off the Internet.  The father caught her logged onto websites he had blocked, chatting.  He alleged that his daughter was posting “inappropriate pictures” of herself online.

Her punishment banned her from her Grade 6 graduation trip to Quebec City in June 2008.  Her mother had already granted permission. The father, who had custody, withheld his permission for the trip, prompting the school to refuse to allow the girl to go with her classmates.

At that point, the girl asked for help from the lawyer who represented her in her parents separation, and petitioned the court to intervene in her case.  The legal aid attorney who represented the child said that “Going to court was a last resort. The question was that there was a problem between the father and the mother, and the child asked the court to intervene because it was important to her.  The trip was very important to her.”

A lower court ruled in the girl’s favor in 2008.  She went on the trip, but her father appealed the decision on the principle of the matter.

The father lost the appeal. Quebec Superior Court rejected the father’s appeal of a lower court ruling and said that the punishment was too severe for the wrongs the girl had committed.

The father’s lawyer said: “Either way, he doesn’t have authority over this child anymore.  She sued him because she doesn’t respect his rules.  It’s very hard to raise a child who is the boss.”

The girl now lives with her mother, and doesn’t have much of a relationship with her father.

The appeal court warned that the case should not be seen as an open invitation for children to take legal action every time they’re grounded.

Well.  Anyone care to comment?  Any lawyers or judges?


Goodness, no comments?  This whole thing is so wrong from so many aspects that I expected at least a little comment.  The mother was wrong.  She should have backed up her ex-husband. Kids don’t need their parents fighting over discipline. The father was the custodial parent and should have the say-so.  Kids are going to have many disappointments in their lives — get used to it.  You are creating a spoiled brat.

The child should not have gone to law, but she is only a child, and unwise.

The court should not have accepted the case, since no actual harm is involved, only the child’s disappointment, and should not have interfered with a family matter. We do not need the interference of the law in our private lives where there is no harm.  The court has done immeasurable harm in helping to destroy the relationship of the daughter and her father.

The Superior Court was wrong in approving the interference of the lower court.  Bunch of busybodies demonstrating the overreach of the Nanny State.  So there.

Spending, spending, spending, and more spending. by The Elephant's Child

Where, oh where did the money all go? by The Elephant's Child
April 10, 2009, 1:37 am
Filed under: Economy, Politics, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: ,

When President Obama turned to Congress to pass his $787 billion stimulus package, he said the important thing was to get the money into the economy as soon as possible, because “spending equals stimulus.” Most of us didn’t take that statement too seriously.  Turns out he meant it.

During the stimulus debate, the bill’s supporters emphasized that the bill contained strong oversight safeguards.  But oversight will be after the fact.  The money is beginning to be spent, but members of Congress have no idea where or how.  Democrats could demand details from the Obama administration, but minority Republicans have no way to demand anything, nor can they compel the administration to do anything.

Representative Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip and GOP Senator John Thune have put together a working group to track the spending as well as they can.  Right now, the best tools Cantor and Thune have are Google and the Lexis-Nexis newspaper database.  “Agencies will give you information in very broad terms without being specific.” Byron York documents a little of what is known so far.

When the money comes in, it is usually reported to local newspapers, and that is the information the Republicans search for.   The Binghamton, New York Press & News-Bulletin reported that the small town of Union, N.Y. would receive $578,661 from the HUD Homeless Prevention Fund, although Union did not request the money and does not have a homeless prevention program.

The Altoona Mirror reported that Altoona PA was going to receive $819,000 from the fund even though officials may not have enough of a homelessness problem to use it.  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania will receive $855,478 from the fund, but doesn’t know what to do with it .

In Wisconsin, the Journal Sentinel reported that the town of Arena will get about $426,000 to replace a little-used bridge that gets an average of 10 cars a day.   A Douglas County bridge that also gets stimulus money also gets about 10 cars a day. The vast majority of the bridges receiving stimulus funding carry fewer than 10,000 vehicles a day, and many carry significantly fewer than that.  The small rural bridges will receive $15.8 million, while high priority larger bridges with daily traffic counts near 60,000 vehicles are ineligible for funding in the first round.  The cash flows on the basis of timing.

The 40-foot River Road bridge serves as the only link over Blue Mounds Creek to a state Department of Natural Resources boat landing on the south bank of the Wisconsin River.  Traffic over the bridge is all for recreational use—fishing, canoeing or to a private campground.  It was pretty low priority, but environmental assessments and Army Corps of Engineer permits were in place, and contracts for the work needed to be ready to go by March 2010.

All that Googling indicates that Congress, which has to make critical decisions on how taxpayers’ money should be spent, should have a better way of knowing where the money is going.  The Obama administration promised that its new website would detail everything  to do with stimulus expenditures, but so far it is not in place.  Transparency and accountability are just not there yet.  $787 billion is an awful lot of money.  It seems important to know where it is going.

Most people just want to know if it is actually going to stimulate.

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