Okay, so since I am home and adultless for the majority of my day, I have made it somewhat of a priority to at least check the news now and then so I can feel less disconnected from the world outside. And sometimes it allows me to have a grown-up conversation with someone -- when I am around a grown-up, that is.
Anyway, two news stories recently sparked my interest and I'm curious if any of you readers of mine have any thoughts on the subject.
One is more of an Amen news story. A version of the news can be found here, but probably if you Google it, you can find other versions.
I think it's crazy that our President didn't know the nation's motto and then when he was called on it, he makes a big stink on the subject. Crazy. To me, the best leaders are the most humble.
But I am glad the House reaffirmed "In God We Trust" as our national motto. To such an overwhelming degree, too. That gives me hope for this country.
The second story was a thinker for me. After reading the story in the morning, it came up in conversation with our son, H, when I saw a napkin blow out of a car door as the passenger opened it on the highway, probably to shut it properly. I said, "Oh! That person is littering!"
H said, "That's illegal. You should call the cops."
I said, "Well, honestly, it might have been an accident and if I called the cops about that, I'd probably be the one getting the most trouble just for wasting their time."
He wanted to know why I'd be wasting their time by reporting an obvious crime. Keep in mind that he's always been our family police officer -- reporting the slightest infractions by siblings, but never his own. He sees the world in a very black-and-white sense where it concerns everyone but himself.
So, you can read the story here or here (and probably many other places), but basically, this pregnant woman, her husband and two-year-old child ate sandwiches in the store while shopping. They intended to pay for the food using the bar code on the wrapper when they bought their other groceries, but they didn't -- forgot or whatever. They were stopped on the way out of the store and brought to the manager's office.
There they apologized for their mistake and offered to pay for the sandwiches (total of $5), but the store's policy was to call the police no matter how big or small the infraction. So the cops came and apparently, it is the policy of where they live that if both parents are present during an arrest that their child be removed from their custody and put into foster care.
So this two-year-old child, who'd never been away from her parents before, was whisked away and spent like 18 hours in foster care while her parents went to jail, court, saw a judge and fought to regain custody of their child. All for $5 worth of sandwiches.
Now, I don't know these people and perhaps they maliciously planned to steal the sandwiches all along and never intended to pay for them at all (I find it unlikely considering they paid for the other stuff in their cart). Even if that was the case, I am so glad to hear that the store is not pressing charges and is going to reevaluate their procedures in such circumstances.
I mean, certainly the store has gained a lot of free publicity through this situation (and by graciously offering not to press charges, they come off as looking like the good guys for sure) -- so they have way more recouped their $5 in free advertising.
The real crime is not $5 worth of stolen chicken salad, but in the needless life disruption for the child, the excessive time and energy spent with police and in front of a judge (all paid for by taxpayers, no less -- and probably totaling way more than $5) and the major upset this has caused as the story makes its way across the land and web. Unbelievable.
Anyway, in the end, H agreed that maybe there are some circumstances that are above and beyond the need for police involvement. I was glad he saw eye-to-eye on that one with me. There's one person.