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Smockity: There Oughta Be A Law


godlytomatosoup

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smockityfrocks.com/2011/12/there-oughta-be-a-law.html

smockityfrocks.com/2011/12/there-oughta-be-a-law-the-rest-of-the-story.html

The odd thing is, I think that Smockity and I actually almost agree, but we're coming to our conclusions by such different paths.

She thinks that if you disapprove of someone exchanging their child's pyjamas for alcohol and cigarettes, then don't do it, but don't try to interfere with someone else's liberty to do the same thing, and therefore her local Walmart's exchange policy is bad.

I think that it's entirely rational to make sure children have appropriate clothing, but you can't tell by looking at a person whether they're going to exchange the pyjamas for alcohol and cigarettes, or more broadly, whether they're exchanging the pyjamas for a reason that's in the child's best interests or not, and anyway, they're clearly doing it based on race and/or class, and that's bullshit; and therefore her local Walmart's exchange policy is bad.

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I don't know who this Smockity is but I agree with her on this subject.

Do I think Michelle & JB Duggar having 19+ children is irresponsible and bad for said children? Yes. Do I want there to be rules or laws blocking them from having that many kids? No.

Do I think people exchanging stuff for their kids that they get from charities for cigarettes and beer is irresponsible and bad for said children? Yes. Do I want there to be rules or laws blocking them from doing so? No.

If someone who has 19 kids or exchanges pajamas for beer is neglecting those kids, get CPS involved. But don't outlaw their ability to do those things on just the off chance that they might be neglecting their children. Especially if you don't know the whole story. Maybe the pajamas didn't fit their kids. Maybe the parents or other relatives had already gotten pajamas for the children.

Also, if Walmart knows this is happening, inform the charities so they can take measures to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

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The odd thing is, I think that Smockity and I actually almost agree, but we're coming to our conclusions by such different paths.

I'm with you on this one, I think. It seemed like she was starting to get what was so wrong about the situation (the judging), but then got off on a little butthurt tangent about this made her life so much harder.

Irony, however, is paging from the comments section:

I agree that the government is getting too far into our personal business. And I’ve decided that the only answer is God. Until this country turns back to God we are doomed. It’s exhausting to fight so I pray that Jesus will return or our country will repent.

Sounds like she might be part of the Rapture Ready crowd, but honestly, how is having the super "godly" (or so they claim) people in government going to be LESS intrusive? It will be in women's uteri, judging whether people really deserve charity, regulating sex lives...

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I guess I'm a bitch. My belief is "no receipt - no return or exchange". I did notice that she didn't mention what the girl's clothes were exchanged for... Does she even know? And if not how does she know he didn't exchange it to buy a decent meal for his kid(s).

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Part of my job is making sure we coordinate gifts for hundreds of kids through several different charities . It is a huge monumental PITA on virtually every level. While MOST people donate for the best reasons and MOST families are extremely grateful for the help -- there are always a few donors and a few families who are miserable jerks who make the whole thing awful. You get donors who want to micro-manage the family , you get donors who only want the good press, you get other donors who want to make themselves look good while descending on the family and making them feel like shit for needing help. You also get a few families who will be super incredibly ungrateful and demanding and snobby or wanting to exchange/sell gifts to get something for themselves.

Usually though .. if a family who receives charitable gifts wants to return them it is for a perfectly valid reason -- the pajamas are footies and the kid can't stand footies, or they already have xyz game/book/toy or their kid has a phobia of the clown doll or whatever. The same reasons everyone else sometimes exchange gifts.

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Usually though .. if a family who receives charitable gifts wants to return them it is for a perfectly valid reason -- the pajamas are footies and the kid can't stand footies, or they already have xyz game/book/toy or their kid has a phobia of the clown doll or whatever. The same reasons everyone else sometimes exchange gifts.

This. OR the kid has 2 or 3 pairs of pajamas but the parent's are broke for a week or two and they need to return enough stuff to buy a can of formula for the youngest or food for the rest of the family, or pay the power bill, or put gas in the car to get to work. Sometimes people get so upset over exchanges because it seems "ungrateful" that they overlook the family's real needs. (I know of a few people struggling to make ends meet where family won't help with basic needs but will buy the kids name brand clothes, electronics, and other things that show off well in photos and make the giver feel good about themselves).

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Yesterday when I was at WalMart checking out...I overheard a man say to a cashier "I'm 40 years old, I want to speak to a manager" I assumed it was simply a case of he didn't have his ID to buy alcohol and the cashier was being diligent to the must look over 40 rule. Then my cashier says to the other cashier.."what is going on?" The man's cashier explains that even though the man had his ID he's children were with him and it was WalMart policy not to sell alcohol to ADULTS that are accompanied by minors. Really? WalMart is now determining when we can buy alcohol?

What's funny about this is that in Wisconsin, if your children are under 21 you are legally allowed to give them alcohol. You can bring children into bars, ala Sweet Alabama, and even buy them a drink. First time I took my son to a supper club and we were waiting for a table, I told him to stand by the wall while I got him a soda...the bartender looked at me and said, "have him pull up a chair at the bar, I'll even let you buy him a drink" I almost passed out!

I'm including a link to the Wisconsin Dept of Revenue because no one ever believes me when I talk about babies being in bars!

http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/ise/atundrg.html

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how could any store clerk know anything about a family's situation based on a transaction? this whole premise is just strange.

There are laws against neglecting or abusing your children. There are also laws about returning merchandise. I'm really failing to see what's supposed to happen here? People shouldn't be able to exchange goods unless they have a signed note from CPS stating that they aren't neglecting their kids?

Her little anecdote about her own personal charitable giving pisses me off. Sparkly shoes are great, but that was 20 bucks her family might have needed for food, electricity, etc. She's doing exactly what she's bothered at Wal*Mart for doing- presuming she knows a situation and making value judgements when she has no real evidence except for superficial shit.

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She's just a lying idiot. The manager was trying to get rid of her. Wal-Mart just doesn't want to participate in scams to turn merchandise into cash. There is no way for them to tell if you smuggled that item from the kid's department and only claimed you forgot your receipt. The more steps between you and their cash, the better they like it. They walk a thin line between trying to keep honest customers happy by accepting returns without receipt, and trying to keep from getting screwed by scammers, which there are plenty of in this world, especially during "returns season". If I worked retail I'd require a receipt, as well.

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Yesterday when I was at WalMart checking out...I overheard a man say to a cashier "I'm 40 years old, I want to speak to a manager" I assumed it was simply a case of he didn't have his ID to buy alcohol and the cashier was being diligent to the must look over 40 rule. Then my cashier says to the other cashier.."what is going on?" The man's cashier explains that even though the man had his ID he's children were with him and it was WalMart policy not to sell alcohol to ADULTS that are accompanied by minors. Really? WalMart is now determining when we can buy alcohol?

What's funny about this is that in Wisconsin, if your children are under 21 you are legally allowed to give them alcohol. You can bring children into bars, ala Sweet Alabama, and even buy them a drink. First time I took my son to a supper club and we were waiting for a table, I told him to stand by the wall while I got him a soda...the bartender looked at me and said, "have him pull up a chair at the bar, I'll even let you buy him a drink" I almost passed out!

I'm including a link to the Wisconsin Dept of Revenue because no one ever believes me when I talk about babies being in bars!

http://www.revenue.wi.gov/faqs/ise/atundrg.html

Exactly! I was totally confused as in the US you can take babies into pubs, right?

We took Small Relative to the pub when she was ten days old. There's a Scottish tradition of giving new mums and dads "money for the baby" and when I lifted up SR to cuddle her I found people had tucked in a ten and a twenty pound note. A lot of people asked to hold her (we didn't let as she was a preemie) and one old guy started crying, because he had a granddaughter he'd never met who had been a preemie like SR. No one refused to serve us, the bar staff asked to hold SR too :)

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Yesterday when I was at WalMart checking out...I overheard a man say to a cashier "I'm 40 years old, I want to speak to a manager" I assumed it was simply a case of he didn't have his ID to buy alcohol and the cashier was being diligent to the must look over 40 rule. Then my cashier says to the other cashier.."what is going on?" The man's cashier explains that even though the man had his ID he's children were with him and it was WalMart policy not to sell alcohol to ADULTS that are accompanied by minors. Really? WalMart is now determining when we can buy alcohol?

To be honest that actually makes me a little happy - at least some of the supermarkets here in the UK won't sell alcohol to groups of people who look under 25-ish if even one of them doesn't have ID to prove they're over 18. So there can be 5 people, all of them of age, one forgets their ID and no-one else is allowed to buy alcohol because they 'might be supplying someone underage'. Yet no-one would stop an older adult from buying alcohol if they had a 16-year-old with them.

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Exactly! I was totally confused as in the US you can take babies into pubs, right?

We took Small Relative to the pub when she was ten days old. There's a Scottish tradition of giving new mums and dads "money for the baby" and when I lifted up SR to cuddle her I found people had tucked in a ten and a twenty pound note. A lot of people asked to hold her (we didn't let as she was a preemie) and one old guy started crying, because he had a granddaughter he'd never met who had been a preemie like SR. No one refused to serve us, the bar staff asked to hold SR too :)

It depends on the state. I was born in California, kids were most definitely not allowed in bars. Other states I guess allow them. Utah is so f*cking afraid that kiddoes might be corrupted by seeing a bartender in a restaurant (you know, primary purpose is serving food, not a bar) that the legislature brought back the "Zion curtain" (a frosted glass partition blocking the view of the bar where the mixing occurs). I've been in bars in Arizona and I've never seen a sign on the door saying, Nobody under 21 (like in California), so I guess kids are allowed, but I have no idea of the actual law.

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To be honest that actually makes me a little happy - at least some of the supermarkets here in the UK won't sell alcohol to groups of people who look under 25-ish if even one of them doesn't have ID to prove they're over 18. So there can be 5 people, all of them of age, one forgets their ID and no-one else is allowed to buy alcohol because they 'might be supplying someone underage'. Yet no-one would stop an older adult from buying alcohol if they had a 16-year-old with them.

Totally fucking ridiculous. They have the under-40-id rule here for cigarettes. My son and his gf, (27 and 29) went in the drugstore to buy a pack of cigarettes and he didn't have his ID. So she whipped out hers and the damn clerk wouldn't let her buy them. (I am totally against smoking, but I'm totally for the rights of adults.)

It's ridiculous to draw the line at the point-of-sale. Anyone who is going to provide alcohol to someone under age can simply buy it and take it somewhere else to give it. I either have the right to buy alcohol free from your imaginative ways I might use it, or I don't. You don't get to decide at the point of sale any more than you get to decide out on the sidewalk.

eta: I have been in many many taverns and liquor stores with my father as a child. I am not scarred. I posit that having children around gives a place a more sedate atmosphere than if it were a place where people have the idea that they can do anything they want. I'll bet there are less fights in bars where kids are allowed.

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I'll bet there are less fights in bars where kids are allowed.

Yes, because drunk people never act like assholes around kids. That's why no child has ever had to deal with an abusive alcoholic of a parent.

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Yes, because drunk people never act like assholes around kids. That's why no child has ever had to deal with an abusive alcoholic of a parent.

Compared to bars. Not compared to people in their homes.

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My dad has always liked gambling so he would frequently drag the whole family along to Atlantic City. The kids are allowed to walk down a clear path in the middle of the casino because that's often the only way to get to the rooms, but if you linger for a second or step off the clear path, you'll get scolded by a guard. I remember once coming out of the room to find one of my parents who was right on the edge of the casino, and I stopped to talk for a second and a guard insisted that we take it somewhere else. I think that's less about the law though and more about keeping up a certain atmosphere for the gamblers.

As for alcohol, I think that in the U.S. we make too much of a big deal about trying to ensure that people never get a sip of it until they are 21. That's not the responsible way to handle it. It's better to let them ease into it and learn how to be responsible about it, preferably with a responsible guardian around. I think that in the UK teens can get beer at a bar if they are eating a meal and are with parents. I think that's the better way to handle it.

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Compared to bars. Not compared to people in their homes.

Do you have any statistics to back that up? Because I'm pretty sure it's, at best, wishful thinking.

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Do you have any statistics to back that up? Because I'm pretty sure it's, at best, wishful thinking.

Yeah I have to agree. I was in a sports bar/resturant with my family when I was 15, but my brother and sisters were middle school/elementary school age and there was an agrument at the table in front of us over the basket ball game and then one of the guys thought the other said something about his girl friend and a punch was thrown. We were all sitting right near them like this :shock:

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Do you have any statistics to back that up? Because I'm pretty sure it's, at best, wishful thinking.

My guess is the maturity (not age, maturity) of the patron is a much bigger decider for the number of fights than whether or not the bar allows children.

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Do you have any statistics to back that up? Because I'm pretty sure it's, at best, wishful thinking.

It was just a supposition.

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OOOH- THE CARDING UNDER 40 THING IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE!!!!! My local grocery store has started this for buying alcohol. NO ONE thinks my frumpity, middle aged, kid weary self is under 21. They don't even think I am under 31. AND YET- every time I try to buy a bottle of wine I have to whip that stupid ID out. Drives me crazy- kids running around, toddler screaming in the cart, and here I am trying to find my ID when I have been legally drinking for 19 YEARS!!! Gah. Makes me nuts.

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She's just a lying idiot. The manager was trying to get rid of her. Wal-Mart just doesn't want to participate in scams to turn merchandise into cash. There is no way for them to tell if you smuggled that item from the kid's department and only claimed you forgot your receipt. The more steps between you and their cash, the better they like it. They walk a thin line between trying to keep honest customers happy by accepting returns without receipt, and trying to keep from getting screwed by scammers, which there are plenty of in this world, especially during "returns season". If I worked retail I'd require a receipt, as well.

I had wondered about this playing a role as well. Probably a good quarter of the shoplifting docket in my county consists of people taking stuff from the sales floor at Walmart and going to the return desk in search of cash.

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I'm about to try to return a whole bunch of pjs my son got for Christmas. He easily got about 10 sleepers and we already had plenty before Christmas. I doubt I'll be purchasing toys or clothing for him with the store credit if it's from a walmart or target just because we already have so many clothes for him and his toy box is full. However it won't be going towards stuff just for us adults either but most likely food or something random we need like a storage bin. I might get him some crayons or something small or buy clothing the next size up but for right now we're really set on everything for him. When I read about the poor little girl I immeditally thought about the father exchanging it for food especially if they were a quiverful family with a bunch of hungry kids.

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OOOH- THE CARDING UNDER 40 THING IS MY BIGGEST PET PEEVE!!!!! My local grocery store has started this for buying alcohol. NO ONE thinks my frumpity, middle aged, kid weary self is under 21. .

Better not be wearing the kid while trying to purchase said alcohol...they might worry you are buying it for the baby! :lol:

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