Thursday, October 23, 2008

Signs of the times

From the Omaha World-Herald, more news of awful parents throwing away their children . . . one way or another:
An Omaha teenager has been put in foster care after trying to turn herself in under the state's safe haven law.

Nebraska's safe haven law protects people from being prosecuted for leaving a child at a hospital, but a parent or guardian didn't leave the child in this case.

Also, a 17-year-old boy was dropped off Wednesday, becoming the 20th youth taken in under the safe haven law.

In the teenage girl's case, according to an affidavit by a hospital social worker that was filed in Douglas County Juvenile Court:

The 16-year-old girl went Friday to Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha to "enact the safe haven law on behalf of herself."

The teen said she had been kicked out of her mother's house the previous night.

She said her mother had pushed and hit her before grabbing her by the hair, pushing her out the door and telling her to "get the hell out of my house."

The teen said her mother has been taking welfare checks and vouchers intended for the teen's 10-month-old son and has refused to buy her necessary items, such as tampons. Two of the teen's aunts have been giving her money for baby supplies and food.

The teen said her mother also had been emotionally abusive, telling the teen she looked like a prostitute and making other demeaning remarks.

The teen and her baby were placed in foster care.
AND FROM THE HILL, it could be an interesting election night. In the Chinese-curse sense of "interesting":
Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest.

Public safety officials said in interviews with The Hill that the election, which will end with either the nation’s first black president or its first female vice president, demanded a stronger police presence.

Some worry that if Barack Obama loses and there is suspicion of foul play in the election, violence could ensue in cities with large black populations. Others based the need for enhanced patrols on past riots in urban areas (following professional sports events) and also on Internet rumors.

Democratic strategists and advocates for black voters say they understand officers wanting to keep the peace, but caution that excessive police presence could intimidate voters.

Sen. Obama (Ill.), the Democratic nominee for president, has seen his lead over rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) grow in recent weeks, prompting speculation that there could be a violent backlash if he loses unexpectedly.

Cities that have suffered unrest before, such as Detroit, Chicago, Oakland and Philadelphia, will have extra police deployed.

In Oakland, the police will deploy extra units trained in riot control, as well as extra traffic police, and even put SWAT teams on standby.

“Are we anticipating it will be a riot situation? No. But will we be prepared if it goes awry? Yes,” said Jeff Thomason, spokesman for the Oakland Police Department.

“I think it is a big deal — you got an African-American running and [a] woman running,” he added, in reference to Obama and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. “Whoever wins it, it will be a national event. We will have more officers on the street in anticipation that things may go south.”

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