When You Are Poor, There Really Are No Breaks

Prepare for the most heartbreaking story of the last year or more:

Shanesha Taylor, a woman from Scottsdale, Arizona, is homeless. So when she got asked to come in for a job interview last Thursday, she must have been excited by the prospect. But when you’re homeless, there isn’t always an easy way to take an hour off from watching your kids to be at an interview. That’s how Taylor, 35, wound up losing her children to Child Protective Service — and losing out on the potential job.

Taylor was charged with two felony counts of child abuse for leaving her six-month-old and two-year-old in a car with the windows cracked last Thursday for at least 45 minutes as she sat in an interview for a potential job. She told officers that she was homeless, so she couldn’t leave her children in the house, and she had no one else to watch them.

“She was upset,” Sargent Mark Clark, Public Information Officer for Scottsdale Police, told WFSB. “This is a sad situation all around. She said she was homeless, she needed the job. Obviously, not getting the job. So it’s just a sad situation.”

Taylor remains in jail, an official from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office confirmed, and will likely remain there until her first court date.

It is undeniably very unsafe to leave a child in a locked car. Thirty-eight children suffer heat-related deaths every year from being locked in a vehicle, according to Kids and Cars. But Taylor’s story raises an important issue: People in her situation are left with only bad options.

“It’s reasonable to turn the lens back on us,” Shahera Hyatt, Project Director for the California Homeless Youth Project, told ThinkProgress. “What did we do to not help her find childcare when she had that appointment?”

But wait, it gets worse. Here is her mugshot:

Shanesha-Taylor-2

I’ll give you all a second to cry, because even my acid corroded heart at ten sizes too small let me shed a tear. What a totally horrible situation.

There simply are no breaks when you are poor. Everything is more expensive, and you are in the worst position to deal with the additional expense. If you’re poor, you probably live an area with a depressed economy, which means the schools are subpar. You probably live in one of the grocery graveyards (or whatever they are called), which means you not only don’t have access to a variety of healthful foods, but you are paying double for crap at a convenience store. You probably don’t have access to banking and deal with payday lenders and other frauds. On the odd chance you will get a loan, the APR will be astronomical. You can’t afford to shop ahead and buy things in bulk, because you just don’t have the money for the initial outlay, so when you buy toilet paper, you aren’t hitting Costco, you’re paying triple to quadruple price at a Bodega. You probably have to buy shitty appliances and clothes that deteriorate rapidly, and have to replace them constantly simply because they were crap to begin with, and in the long run, spend more money than if you had the capital to buy something decent.

And I could go on and on and on. But let’s not forget the obvious one- if you are poor, you probably don’t have a support system in which someone can watch your kids while you try to, in the term of Republican Paul Ryan Universe, pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. Basically, when you are trapped in this kind of poverty, the only way out is a miracle.

There has to be something the internet community can do for this woman.

*** Update ***

This fundraiser website for Shanesha has been verified, so go give if you can. Hell, maybe the internet can raise enough to find her a permanent residence and, god forbid, a cell phone so she can continue to look for a job.

We are a very demented and sad society, and not really very social, but maybe we can help a desperate woman and her kids out. Given how shitty everything is, I’d chalk that up as a win.

BTW- What are the odds we can, given this communities wide reach, find a lawyer in Scottsdale who will represent her for free so anything raised for this woman can be used to better her life and not killed in legal fees?






279 replies
  1. 1
    Phylllis says:

    There’s this: http://www.youcaring.com/help-.....ser/153519.

    It’s up to over $14,000. Considering her bail was $9000.00.

  2. 2
    cokane says:

    food deserts, Cole

  3. 3
    MomSense says:

    This makes me want to break shit.

  4. 4
    mclaren says:

    Send her a gun so she can shoot herself in the head and end the torture.

    No matter how much money she gets, the state will steal it by asset forfeiture (“unearned income, probably from drug transactions”), shark lawyers will drain away whatever remains without getting her kids back, and, since she’ll have a bunch of cash income, she’ll no longer be eligible for food stamps or WIC or anything else.

    If you’re poor, American society views you as a criminal and tortures you accordingly. The only way out? Die quick to end the suffering.

  5. 5
    Svensker says:

    @Phylllis:

    Does anyone know who the person is who’s doing the fundraiser? Sounds like a worthy cause but how do you know the mom is the one getting helped?

  6. 6
    Svensker says:

    @mclaren:

    Well, isn’t that helpful.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    When I first read this story, I just felt rage surging through me. It was heartbreaking. I’m so sick of shyt like this. She was fucking homeless. She thought she had finally caught a break, and then this happens. She’s not a neglectful mother.

    SHE’S A POOR, HOMELESS MOTHER AND THIS IS THE SHYT THEY GO THROUGH!@

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    First comment got it – front page the fundraiser (which has been verified as legit http://www.usprisonculture.com.....-not-jail/) and let’s get her as much money as we can.

    This story is heart-breaking and infuriating :(

  9. 9
    🍀 Martin says:

    Maricopa County

    So on top of everything else, she gets to put up with Sheriff Joe’s pink underwear and bread and water bullshit.

    Post-racial America, everyone. Lets break out the foam fingers.

  10. 10
    Phylllis says:

    @Svensker: I found it via Shakesville; Melissa verified it’s legit.

  11. 11
    The Dude says:

    If only she had the good sense to borrow $30K from her parents to start a small business.

  12. 12
    Jeff Spender says:

    @mclaren:

    You’re like the piss-soaked blanket on the party of life. Go be maudlin in a corner while other people try to do something worthwhile.

  13. 13
    Chris says:

    I’m sick to death of this society. I really fucking am.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    So where are the kids while she’s in jail?

  15. 15
    geg6 says:

    @rikyrah:

    This. This. MOTHERFUCKING THIS! Goddamn it, this crap has got to end. I saw this earlier and if that mugshot doesn’t break your heart, you don’t have one.

  16. 16
    celticdragonchick says:

    @MomSense:

    Agreed. I really want to smash something after reading this story and seeing her picture.

    If there is a God, this country deserves whatever wrath He or She sends our way. What a fucking disgrace.

  17. 17
    Hawes says:

    How long before Malkin investigates if she has leather seats in her car?

  18. 18
    Hawes says:

    @celticdragonchick: as Thomas Jefferson said, “I tremble for my country as I know that God is just.”

  19. 19
    gogol's wife says:

    @cokane:

    “Grocery graveyards” is good, though. I’ve lived in them, and it’s apt.

    Beautiful post by John Cole. It’s a rival for the first 100 pages of Crime and Punishment, which are devoted to the same topic.

  20. 20
    Phylllis says:

    @Baud: Taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    There has to be something the internet community can do for this woman.

    Reddit is hit or miss, but this is the type of thing that can go viral if it gets exposure there.

  22. 22
    Jeff Spender says:

    When I first saw that mugshot…man. That picture sums up so much of the last decade. I just hope the rest of my generation remembers this and we can move past all this stuff. We’re so much better than this.

  23. 23
    Tractarian says:

    But Taylor’s story raises an important issue: People in her situation are left with only bad options.

    True, but why did she choose the option that could have killed her children?

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Phylllis:

    Well, that would have been helpful to have beforehand.

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    @Hawes: In Wingnut World, the fact that she has a car – no matter the condition – just proves that the woman isn’t really poor.

  26. 26
    Tractarian says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’m so sick of shyt like this. She was fucking homeless. She thought she had finally caught a break, and then this happens. She’s not a neglectful mother.

    Are you suggesting homeless people should be exempt from laws governing child safety?

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @Tractarian:

    As opposed to what other option?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    lol says:

    @Baud:

    Redditors will say she’s just a stupid blah person who should’ve known better than to have kids RON PAUL.

  30. 30
    Phylllis says:

    @Baud: Yes, we do seem to have child protective services rather backward in this country. And I speak from experience as a former cps worker.

  31. 31
    ruemara says:

    @mclaren: go fuck yourself.

    She’ll need the funding for bail, and if a letter writing campaign could happen so the potential employers could give her a shot, that might work. And if the police department could be given lesson in what a real crime is versus what community servant is, that’d be great.

    Poverty sucks and is like swimming with 1000 lb weights on your limbs. You know you’re drowning, even when you’re using every faculty to change the inevitable.

  32. 32
    MazeDancer says:

    @Baud:

    The linked article said the kids are with family. And her family are raising bail. And that the money for the fundraiser goes into an account that belongs to Shanesha’s mother. (Not clear why Shanesha was homeless with an infant, yet has family who will raise bail. Family things can be so very complicated. Clearly, the family couldn’t help on job interview day. Probably they had work themselves.)

    So hope Shanesha gets some good coming her way.

  33. 33
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Tractarian:

    What options? Taking them into the interview is an immediate “Thank you for coming” and you never hear from the employer again. If she had family to help, she would have used them This shit hits too fucking close to home since we had no help to deal with things like this when our son was young.

  34. 34
    SatanicPanic says:

    Well said Cole.

  35. 35
    Tractarian says:

    @Baud:

    She could have taken the kids in with her to the job interview. Or she could have decided not to go to the job interview since it meant she would have to leave her very young children unattended.

    I’m not disagreeing with the general point here. She had no good options; the deck was stacked against her as it is against any desperately poor person. But don’t tell me she had no choice but to put her kids in danger.

  36. 36
    Geeno says:

    @Tractarian: Was there another option? Besides “don’t go to the interview”?
    She left the windows cracked and prayed. If you have another way she could’ve gone here, let’s hear it.

  37. 37
    Tractarian says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    What options? Taking them into the interview is an immediate “Thank you for coming” and you never hear from the employer again.

    If she realized that then she should have also realized that leaving them in the car is an immediate “You’re under arrest” and you never see your kids again.

  38. 38
    Hungry Joe says:

    Old tale — I’m probably mangling it — about how every year a poor man buys a pair of winter boots for a dollar, and before winter’s end he’s stuffing them with cardboard because the soles have worn out. Rich man buys a pair of winter boots for five dollars and they last him ten years.

  39. 39
    celticdragonchick says:

    @ruemara:

    Arizona seems to be real intent on shooting homeless people right now

    http://www.mediaite.com/online.....y-camping/

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Tractarian: In Atlanta, there was a situation where a mother left her sick eight year old in the car while she went to work. There is not a daycare that takes sick children and if you lose your job, you can’t take care of your sick child. It was summer time and she checked on the child and brought water during her break. At noon the child was dead. The woman was charged with murder. There are no good options for hourly workers who are just scraping by.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @lol:

    There’s that vocal contingent there, but they’re not the majority.

  42. 42
    Alison says:

    @Tractarian: As celticdragonchick noted, taking the kids into the interview would very likely have – however unfairly – torpedoed her chances at getting the job. And uhhhhh not go to the interview? So, not try at all to do whatever she can to better her situation? She’s homeless with young kids. She needs a fucking job and money.

    Good God, why is it so fucking hard for people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes for one hot minute?

  43. 43
    Tractarian says:

    Was there another option? Besides “don’t go to the interview”?
    She left the windows cracked and prayed. If you have another way she could’ve gone here, let’s hear it.

    Don’t go to the interview, and bring the kids in to the interview, are only two options I can think of. Yes, both of these options suck. But one of these options puts your kids in physical danger and one does not.

  44. 44
    Big R says:

    I have to confess that I am stunned by the cynicism in this thread. Questioning the fundraiser – good, due diligence, thinking things through. Suggesting that Ms. Thomas is morally blameworthy for leaving her kids in the car on a fairly warm day (here’s the weather record for Scottsdale), when she didn’t have many more options – I mean, I get the attitude, and I even agree that it’s a hell of a gamble, but the question, as already raised, is “What would you have done in her shoes?” Shooting down potential attempts to help by using bad stereotypes – concern trolling at its best. And suggesting that she should commit suicide because society believes in fucking her sideways – we all agree that that’s a really fucked up suggestion, right?

    Today is a day that I am seriously unhappy to be a Juicer.

  45. 45
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Tractarian:

    So what the fuck are her options?????

    Hey, she’s drowning…throw her a fucking anchor and tell her that moochers deserve what they get amirite?

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @Tractarian: So, does continuing to kick someone who’s already down as far as they can go feel good?

  47. 47
    John O says:

    @Tractarian:

    You sure do seem to know a lot about this woman’s situation.

    Impressive!

  48. 48
    ruemara says:

    @Tractarian: double go fuck yourself. You’re monstrous.

  49. 49
    Kevin says:

    Ultimately, this society will break down unless there is a guaranteed minimum income. You cannot have situations like this, and with the way our society is going, it will become more common as technology takes more “good” jobs away from even the middle class.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tractarian: Last Thursday had a high of 81 in Scottsdale. I think they would have survived being in the car.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @mclaren:

    Send her a gun so she can shoot herself in the head and end the torture.

    You first.

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @Tractarian: Not if she didn’t get caught. She might have left the kids in the car, come back from the interview and everything was fine. It was a chance. She took it. There is no way this is the first time a desperately poor person has done something like that and held their breath hoping everything would work out okay.

    It might have worked out great for her–kids in the car stay safe, she doesn’t get picked up by the cops, and she gets the job. She took a chance.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    If I was still practicing crim def, I’d represent her gratis.

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    @Tractarian: One may get you a job and a chance to not be homeless anymore. One does not.

  55. 55
    Jeff Spender says:

    I get what Tractarian is getting at, and he’s right to raise the point that leaving your children in a car is bad no matter what the situation is.

    But I think he misses the forest for the trees, as others have so rightly pointed out as well. She took a desperate gamble with so much risk. I cannot bring myself to place any blame on her shoulders for it. I think it’s more of an indictment on our society as a whole that people like this slip through the cracks when they’re trying to become responsible members of society or raise children.

    It’s depressing, and there are many facets to this issue. I think, perhaps, the better response by a police department that fashions itself in the image of public servants would have been to help her watch the children–make sure they’re safe, while she did what she had to do.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Alison:

    Good God, why is it so fucking hard for people to put themselves in someone else’s shoes for one hot minute?

    Two possible reasons:

    1) Utter lack of empathy (aka Republicanism)
    2) Having so little clue of what life is like for others that their best efforts at empathy fall short

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Phylllis:
    @Alison:

    I just made a small contribution, and mentioned Balloon Juice in my comment.

    I hope Ms. Taylor is released from jail very quickly, reunited with her children, and able to get a job that fucking pays enough for her to get her life to a better place.

  58. 58
    Cacti says:

    @Alison:

    As celticdragonchick noted, taking the kids into the interview would very likely have – however unfairly – torpedoed her chances at getting the job. And uhhhhh not go to the interview? So, not try at all to do whatever she can to better her situation? She’s homeless with young kids. She needs a fucking job and money.

    Yup.

    Here you have a woman trying to pull herself up by her proverbial bootstraps and provide for her family. So she has three choices: 1. Don’t go to the interview, 2. Take the kids to the interview, 3. Leave the kids in the car and hope for the best.

    2 of 3 possibilities will result in her not getting a job and remaining destitute.

  59. 59
    The Fat Kate Middleton says:

    This breaks my heart. I am so ashamed that something like this could happen in our country. Five years ago, during my last year of teaching before retirement, one of my best students didn’t show up for class for three days. I was worried, because this wasn’t like him at all. When I checked on it, I learned that his family (he, mom and younger sister) were told they had to leave the homeless shelter they had been in, and were living in their car. We were able to get a message to them that they would be able to live with a teacher or other family at least until the school year ended, and I had the privilege of being the person they stayed with. Mom was told she could live with Grandma in another city about 150 miles away, but not for another two or three weeks. They were wonderful guests, and it was, as I said, a true privilege to get to know them, and to learn what good people they are. Last I heard, Mom has a job, and son and daughter have both been able to attend college. And all of that reminds me … I really need to check in with them again.

  60. 60
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    it’s more of an indictment on our society

    This.

  61. 61
    lol says:

    @Baud:

    Reddit is majority entitled young white guy assholes incapable of empathizing with other people. That’s why their top issues are legalizing pot, pirating media and the freedom to take non-consensual upskirt photos of underage girls.

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    I get what Tractarian is getting at, and he’s right to raise the point that leaving your children in a car is bad no matter what the situation is. But I think he misses the forest for the trees, as others have so rightly pointed out as well. She took a desperate gamble with so much risk

    I won’t assume bad intentions, but as you pointed out, it’s easy to be doctrinaire about it when it’s not your kids going hungry.

  63. 63
    Chris says:

    @Big R:

    I have to confess that I am stunned by the cynicism in this thread.

    + 1.

    (There’s probably a stronger word better suited, but I can’t be arsed to find it right now).

  64. 64
    Alison says:

    Thanks for putting the fundraiser link up, JC.

  65. 65
    Big R says:

    @Hungry Joe: The Sam Vimes “Boots” theory of economic unfairness.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    @Tractarian:

    Having no money, no job and no home ain’t exactly the model of safety either.

  67. 67
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Big R:

    Today is a day that I am seriously unhappy to be a Juicer.

    Please don’t be. Tractarian and mclaren are not typical.

  68. 68
    Tommy says:

    You said it best in the title of this post. When you are poor you don’t really catch many breaks. I am not a lawyer, but I have a question to ask. She is homeless. How many folks to you think are sleeping in a car tonight with their children? Makes me think if I was a lawyer that liked to sue folks, I’d sue the state of Arizona and the city of Scottsdale, cause by the logic of this arrest, if they are not giving a homeless person with a child housing, well they are breaking the law.

    I know this is only a case you’d see on a show like the old Boston Legal, but I do think the state might be opening themselves up to some legal issues here.

  69. 69
    Big R says:

    @SatanicPanic: I dunno; I’ve gotten in my car on days with a high in the 80s and immediately broken into a sweat. The sealed box with glass windows makes a car a pretty damn good oven.

    I think the problem is still “there weren’t any good choices.” Don’t know how we fix that in Ms. Taylor’s case; in the broader society we at least know what needs to be done, even if it’s a hell of a heavy lift.

  70. 70
    JPL says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton: Sometimes it just takes one door to open. You did good!

    There is such a lack of empathy in our country, that Ann Rand is probably smiling in her grave.

  71. 71
    John O says:

    If I can donate for Tunch, I can certainly find some money for this poor lady, so I did. And I’m glad I could help.

    Thanks for the link.

  72. 72
    John Cole says:

    Jesus, tractarian. Just stop.

  73. 73
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    It’s depressing, and there are many facets to this issue. I think, perhaps, the better response by a police department that fashions itself in the image of public servants would have been to help her watch the children–make sure they’re safe, while she did what she had to do.

    Indeed…but the “Officer Friendly” of days past has been replaced by the “Warrior Cop” who kicks in your door, shoots your pets and then charges you with assaulting an officer after beating you half to death.

    Read the comments on stories over at Policeone.com. You will want to gargle with bleach afterwards…and that site is only law enforcement allowed to comment…

    When a kid put a faux ticket on a police car last week after the cop parked illegally, cops at policeone seriously suggested the kid should be punished.

  74. 74
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Big R: That’s it! (Mr. Google tells me that Vimes used $10 boots/$50 boots.)

  75. 75
    OGLiberal says:

    Had this been a story on ny local newspaper’s site in “liberal” NJ, half the comments would have been asking what drugs she’s on, or where’s the dad, or why does she even have kids, or how is she ablw to afford a car, etc, etc. Bonus points if she was from Newark or Camden and if the comment somehow worked in the tetm ” animals”.

    Meanwhile, if some finance fellow from Summit left his infant in the backseat while rushing to catch the train for his ultra important job and got arrested, sympathy would abound.

  76. 76
    gwangung says:

    @Tractarian:=WRONG .

    Both options put them in danger. Think about it. You obviously haven’t up till now.

  77. 77
    ruemara says:

    One of the best things my city does is provide emergency babysitting services. We organize and provide help for several smaller cities and unincorporated areas along with the farming workers. I’ve seen so many fantastic services cut in the name of fiscal prudence and public private partnerships. Cities are not for profit and things like this are what they should be taking care of.

  78. 78
    Violet says:

    Update on her case here–she may be released tonight or tomorrow. She has a hearing on March 31st.

    There are links to a petition to the County Attorney for Maricopa county, phone numbers, Facebook links, email, etc.

  79. 79
    West of the Cascades says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: And I suspect that a lot of Juicers (me included just now) are going over to the fundraising site and trying to help Ms. Taylor out. I hope she does get a good pro bono lawyer to help her out (I suspect someone will offer, not all lawyers suck), and a little cushion from the fundraiser from which to stabilize her life. Thank you John Cole for posting this, and for reminding us that it should be absolutely intolerable in this society that someone should have no options other than bad ones when they’re just trying to survive and feed their children, and that our safety net has become a sieve thanks to the Republican party and to too many people in the Democratic party that have forgotten what the latter should stand for.

  80. 80
    Tiny Tim says:

    While I get that leaving a baby and a toddler in a car isn’t the best plan, why do people like to pretend it was putting them in danger any more than putting them to bed in a separate room at night is putting them in danger? What’s the danger?

  81. 81
    kc says:

    Oh, my God, that just breaks my heart.

  82. 82
    Tommy says:

    Look to me if I was a cop it is how you apply the law. Clearly it isn’t a good idea to leave your kids in the car. But wasn’t this law really put in place so the soccer mom doesn’t leave her kids (or even a dog for that matter) in the car to go have a beer at a bar? For a person that is just either too lazy or stupid to take care of her kids.

    That doesn’t seem to be what happened here.

    BTW: That mug shot is heartbreaking. It will haunt my memories for days if not weeks.

  83. 83
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ruemara:

    One of the best things my city does is provide emergency babysitting services. We organize and provide help for several smaller cities and unincorporated areas along with the farming workers.

    What a fantastic idea! And such a great way to volunteer!

  84. 84
    Gex says:

    We could help this woman for the same money it costs to take her kids and imprison her. But our “family values” party will have none of that.

    I hate the GOP and the glibertarians with a blinding rage right now. Dishing out misery, and often paying more/foregoing gains in order to do so, just because they lack the empathy and ability to understand complexity outside of their pretty little thought experiments about how they think things work.

  85. 85
    Chris says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Indeed…but the “Officer Friendly” of days past has been replaced by the “Warrior Cop” who kicks in your door, shoots your pets and then charges you with assaulting an officer after beating you half to death.

    I’ve always wondered how much of the “Officer Friendly” concept, and the assorted “it was better in the old days, before SWAT teams and drug wars and the militarization of the police” shtick is actually true and how much of it is the same sort of fluff we project back onto the fifties.

    Anybody who’s old enough to remember care to comment? I really am curious. From what I understand, police departments were absolute assholes to blacks and other minorities since pretty much forever… but I could see how things might be more civilized when race wasn’t in play.

  86. 86
    Chet says:

    @mclaren: Fuck off and due in a fire, you goddamn fucking self-satisfied piece of shit. Your pathetic, sick-fuck ass isn’t worth the effort of spitting on.

  87. 87
    Pogonip says:

    Would this have been likely to happen in any other industrialized country?

    In countries where this would have been unlikely to happen, what can U.S. citizens learn from them?

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @lol:

    I’m there every day lurking. Those aren’t the majority of stories on the front page. It’s mostly animal photos and attempts at humor.

  89. 89
    JPL says:

    @Tommy: Soccer moms get off because they are so busy, they just forget about the child.

  90. 90
    John O says:

    It IS infuriating that my fucking tax dollars don’t cover this shit.

    My niece, her husband, three little boys (under 10), dog, and two cats had their rental farm house wiped out by the tornado in Washington, IL last year. By a miracle of coincidence, they all escaped. Their house was relocated to Lake Michigan. No time to rescue the cats, but they were found the next day as a small army of us picked through the rubble, which believe you me was one heartwarming scene.

    Both young University of IL grads, just struggling to bring up a family. Were it not for the help of thousands, they’d be living with family at best and in THEIR car at worst. They’re still struggling, and will be for some time, but they are back on their feet, dealing with “first world problems,” as they told me recently, but were it not for the generosity of others, I don’t know where they’d be.

    I think the BJ community knows what to do, personally.

  91. 91
    raven says:

    Hey Cole, ban this lowlife motherfucker McLaren will you? God I’d like to kick it’s fucking ass.

  92. 92
    BGinCHI says:

    Goddamn it. This is ridiculous. Tell me that structured income inequality is not the root of all evil and much of the suffering in this country.

    I fucking hope there is a burning hell for all of the assholes who try to fuck the poor and get as much as they can.

  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gex:

    We could help this woman for the same money it costs to take her kids and imprison her.

    So true, and the same principle applies to so many other situations as well.

  94. 94
    kc says:

    Ugh, that’s the county that’s elected Joe Arpaio multiple times.

  95. 95

    @Tiny Tim: You…aren’t familiar with hazards in the desert environment much, are you?

    Remind me to get you a book before we hike the Grand Canyon. It will contain scientific data about altitude and UV exposure and this thing called ‘refraction’. Meanwhile you can Google ‘pets in cars Arizona’.

    Hint: In most cities in the Southwest, it’s legal to break someone’s car window to release a dog.

  96. 96
    Tommy says:

    John I have a few questions/comments for you. I am your age (a little older). I find myself getting into a phase in my life where I fear at sometime I might yell “get off my lawn.” But I also find myself thinking we are becoming a society of wimps. Look I am not remotely coming out for leaving your children in a car. Not at the age of these children.

    But I was visiting my five year old niece the other day and asked the question, how long does she have to ride in a car seat? Look I am in 24/7 for child safety. But I think back to being a kid, and my parents are freaking rock stars, they’d be in jail today for the things they did with me. And it was, just normal.

  97. 97
    BGinCHI says:

    @raven: mclaren meetup? Some tube socks and cans of soda?

  98. 98
    the Conster says:

    This country has totally run off the rails where this is a thing that can happen as a routine matter, because you can be sure for every instance we know of, thousands of people are forced to make these impossible choices every day. Capitalism and its Randian bastard the cult of IGMFY must die, and the only question and of course the biggest is how best to drive a stake through its black heart. I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to dance on its corpse, but I do know it’s going to happen. It has to happen.

  99. 99

    @JPL: Not typically. Learn more please.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....01549.html this story centers on the adoptive father of a Russian boy who died in his dad’s car. It was fairly well-circulated last year, as Russia decided to cut off adoptions by US families and named the law after the child.

  100. 100
    Chris says:

    @the Conster:

    This country has totally run off the rails where this is a thing that can happen as a routine matter, because you can be sure for every instance we know of, thousands of people are forced to make these impossible choices every day. Capitalism and its Randian bastard the cult of IGMFY must die, and the only question and of course the biggest is how best to drive a stake through its black heart. I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to dance on its corpse, but I do know it’s going to happen. It has to happen.

  101. 101
    Gex says:

    @celticdragonchick: Part of the problem too is that the PD is a revenue generating arm of the government now. Asset seizures and maximum ticketing are highly encouraged, such that the idea of simply helping without citing someone for something hardly ever crosses an officer’s mind.

    ETA: Also I hope this is one of those high profile cases where someone up and gives her a job. That would be the least she deserves for all she has gone through to try to get a job.

  102. 102
    Pogonip says:

    @JPL: A few years ago in Ohio, a woman left the baby in a hot SUV several times; finally managed to kill it on the 3rd or 4th go-round. Said she was sure she had dropped the baby at the sitter’s; she was so busy she just forgot, don’t you know. She walked. Not even charged.

    Oh, did I mention she was the principal of a suburban, wealthy, school? Not that that had anything to do with it, of course.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ah, I didn’t think of mentioning BJ since I was so goddamn furious of this cancerous lowlife motherfucker McClaren.

  104. 104
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chris:

    Being about the same age as our host here, I can say that I have certainly seen a change in policing since 1980. That being said, I am about as white as white gets (Scottish family) and I did not witness all of the horrible shit that was going down in the projects in Los Angeles and South Central in the years leading up to the LA riots.

    That infamous video from the Boston marathon police reaction from last year…where people are being dragged out of the homes with MP5 submachineguns in their faces and no warrant or writ in evidence…is a taste of what African American had been getting for years during the CAMP raids and Operation Hammer.

  105. 105
    raven says:

    @BGinCHI: Entrenching tools and the three minute motherfucker.

  106. 106
    Gex says:

    I also can’t get over the fact that political movement that would condemn her for having kids she can’t support also thinks she has no right to birth control or an abortion. It is absolutely necessary for the overclass to have an underclass with few to little options, and most of them bad.

  107. 107
    Pogonip says:

    @the Conster: I sure hope so. Every day I wonder, “Will this FINALLY be The Day, the day that citizens rise up in righteous anger?”

    Not yet. Maybe tomorrow.

  108. 108
    bluefoot says:

    I would love to know what people think her options were. As far as I can tell, all her options sucked. In many cases, if you try to reschedule an interview, you’re told not to bother coming in at all because you obviously “don’t want the job badly enough.” And if you’re homeless and jobless, how do you find childcare?
    And I admit to being perplexed at the degree to which Ms. Taylor is being punished. Yes, leaving two young children in a car alone for 45 minutes is dangerous, but when I was a kid, my parents left us in the car *a lot* when they would run errands. By the time I was seven, I was taking care of my siblings (2-6 years younger than I) waiting in the car or at home when my parents weren’t around. They never ended up in jail…but maybe that’s because we were in a solidly middle-class suburb? Or because back then we didn’t think kids needed to be under a parent’s eye 24/7?

  109. 109
    ruemara says:

    @Betty Cracker: we actually pay. We have a network of certified, trained childcare workers that you can contact and if you need to use them, they can bill us for the time.

  110. 110
    Nutella says:

    @Chris:

    I’ve always wondered how much of the “Officer Friendly” concept, and the assorted “it was better in the old days, before SWAT teams and drug wars and the militarization of the police” shtick is actually true and how much of it is the same sort of fluff we project back onto the fifties.

    Most definitely NOT true for poor and/or non-white people in the fifties or any other decade. The big difference now, I think, is the police sometimes beat/shoot/murder middle-class whites these days too. And get away with it.

  111. 111
    celticdragonchick says:

    @bluefoot:

    Same here. Staying in the car for half an hour was not uncommon when I was a kid and we were a middle class professional white collar family.

  112. 112
    Christina L says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Yes, there IS a God. He gets angry over injustice too. He binds up the broken hearted. He is near the poor in spirit. HE is what inspired someone to start the fundraiser, and what inspired over 500 people so far to GIVE. Matthew 5:3-12 John 3:16

  113. 113
    Greg says:

    I have spent the last 6 months of my life endlessly dealing with social services, SSI and the like. There is no break for you at all.. They make it as difficult as possible for you to use their services. The answer is always that they “have” to because otherwise people would “commit fraud”. So for me just to get my SSI payments set up, my school financial aid set up, and my insurance set up, has taken literally hours of computer time, multiple hours of telephone calls, and multiple visits to various offices, all of which required waiting one or more hours before anyone could even see you, much less solve your problem. And the whole time I have been doing this, all I keep thinking is, if I, an intelligent, previously upper level management guy with unlimited time on his hands due to an unfortunate health issue, has this much trouble navigating the system, what the hell chance does an uneducated single mother with kids have? She would give up and be homeless. And I’d be willing to bet that this is partly what happened here. There is no “help”. There is only all or nothing.

  114. 114
    John Cole says:

    @bluefoot: This. As kids here in my small hometown, we were basically under “town supervision” from the time we got up until sunset. Unless we had to be working in the garden or doing something for dad, we would basically wake up, eat breakfast, and unleash ourselves on the town to skateboard, bike ride, play in the park, fish, hike. My parents would go hours without knowing where we were, but could always call us home with a dinner bell on the back porch that they would ring for lunch and dinner, and we would all converge to eat. Most of the time, we would show up with extra kids from the neighborhood and mom and dad would feed them. The next day, I’d probably be eating at the Atkin’s or the Davis’s or the Olshan’s or the Thompson’s.

    Back to the point, there were 5-6 hour stretches where my parents had no clue where I was- hell, we spent hours on the creek when I was 7-8- you know, where kids can drown? And we would ride our backs for miles down the country roads by ourselves at 11 and 12. We were fine.

    And we did it without bike helmets and cell phones. Really, I blame cell phones. Hell, my mom will call me three times in a row if I don’t answer, and I am 43, and when I was 9 she wouldn’t know where I was for hours on end.

  115. 115
    mclaren says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    You’re like the piss-soaked blanket on the party of life. Go be maudlin in a corner while other people try to do something worthwhile.

    Sending her money will only make her situation worse in Shithole America. As mentioned, the state will view the donations as income and will cut off all her services. Meanwhile, PayPal will either freeze her account, or the state will seize it using asset forfeiture.

    The only real way to help this woman is to give her a job and a place to live. Any of you assholes going to do that?

    No?

    Then shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down.

  116. 116

    @Pogonip: Link please?

    Two thoughts:

    1) Small children die when they are left in a car for what may seem a short time. This happens. Many times the parent is then criminally prosecuted as if s/he had dropped the child off a bridge, which is often inappropriate to the act (vast majority of the time the parent was acting outside normal scheduling and forgot the child).

    This woman took an enormous and real risk with her children’s health. She also should have realized that she was not going to ‘get lucky’ and have no one notice. There is nowhere in this region that she was going to ‘get away with’ taking this risk. It was unacceptable to her community, and that is appropriate to the actual potential consequences, not an expression of racial or class bias.

    2) We are broken beyond repair, as a society, because she had no better option that she could see.

  117. 117
    raven says:

    @mclaren: Can we meet somewhere so I can kick your fucking face in?

  118. 118
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Nutella:

    The big difference now, I think, is the police sometimes beat/shoot/murder middle-class whites these days too. And get away with it.

    True. Still, you know that shit has gone pretty fucking far awry when some dipshit sheriff in South Carolina has an M113 track with a noshityesitsreal M2 .50 cal machinegun mounted on the cupola.

    http://reason.com/blog/2008/09.....ts-new-toy

  119. 119
    the Conster says:

    @Pogonip:

    Things change. You can never pinpoint exactly what it is that changes a heart or a mind, but in the course of human evolution, we as a collective have come to understand that certain ways of doing things are just wrong – slavery, child labor, genocides etc. There are always skirmishes to fight in the dark corners of civilization, but the paradigm shifts and bends the arc of justice. Things that were common practice become unacceptable and then unthinkable, and the worship of capitalism has shown its ass. We’ll see.

  120. 120
    RandomMonster says:

    Great, great post, JC.

  121. 121
    Tommy says:

    @bluefoot: I am getting more and more to the point, well my god my parents would be in jail if they raised me today. This is from the State of IL web site:

    In Illinois, by law children who have outgrown their child safety seat must be properly restrained in a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends booster seat use until the adult belt fits properly – which could be as old as 12 years for some children.

    Look again I am all for child safety. But at 12, you are four years away from driving the freaking car you have to be in a child seat to ride.

    I asked my father about this, cause my five year old niece was going to ride with me, and he said he thought the law was 47 inches (3.9 feet). He joked (I come from a family of short folks) that if that was the law when he was a kid, he would have had to ride in a car seat as he pulled up to military high school.

  122. 122
    AxelFoley says:

    @mclaren:

    How about you kill yourself? What kind of bullshit is that to say?

    You really have fucking issues.

  123. 123
    celticdragonchick says:

    @raven:

    Really not called for at all. Please…no advocating actual violence to another person here. I know that I am not a FP and have no authority…but do you really want to respond like that?

  124. 124
    Chris says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Thanks.

    @Nutella:

    Thanks. Yeah, I figured if there’d been any chance it’d be that.

  125. 125
    raven says:

    @RandomMonster: Until he let this fucking vermin stay in it.

  126. 126
    Cassidy says:

    The only real way to help this woman is to give her a job and a place to live. Any of you assholes going to do that?

    No?

    Then shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down.

    Daaaaaaaaammmmmmnnnnnn!

  127. 127
    Jeff Spender says:

    @mclaren:

    Look at you, so self-righteously angry. So sure that you’re the only one who knows what’s going on while we’re only making the problems worse by actually trying to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Sure, there are things that could go wrong, but it’s a far sight better than what you’re doing, sitting your fat ass behind a keyboard and pounding away, muttering so many self-affirming insults.

    Go out and take a fucking walk and calm down. Maybe see that what people want to do is change things, not to bow to your infinite an all-encompassing knowledge and prognostications.

    You’re a fucking shit-heeled troglodyte, you know that?

  128. 128
    Steve S says:

    This fundraiser website for Shanesha has been verified, so go give if you can. Hell, maybe the internet can raise enough to find her a permanent residence and, god forbid, a cell phone so she can continue to look for a job.

    We are a very demented and sad society, and not really very social, but maybe we can help a desperate woman and her kids out. Given how shitty everything is, I’d chalk that up as a win.

    BTW- What are the odds we can, given this communities wide reach, find a lawyer in Scottsdale who will represent her for free so anything raised for this woman can be used to better her life and not killed in legal fees?

    Silly liberal. If you give her stuff, she’ll be a lazy dependent moocher parasite.

    What she outta do is stop having that inner-city culture of laziness, and get a job. My plan helps her out by cutting Mitt Romney’s taxes.

  129. 129
    MikeJ says:

    @Gex:

    We could help this woman for the same money it costs to take her kids and imprison her. But our “family values” party will have none of that.

    Too many people see all interactions with others as either punish or reward. There’s no such thing as problem solving, no such thing as working together. It’s not just that they want to punish or reward, that is literally the only way they are capable of describing every interaction.

  130. 130
    Pogonip says:

    @PhoenixRising: Beats me. All I remember is every mother in my office (including me) being outraged that the prosecutor believed she forgot where she put the baby. We knew better.

    To be fair, the prosecutor may have just figured it was too unlikely that he could send a rich bitch to prison, to justify the cost of pursuing the case. They do have a budget. But we were still just infuriated that she could tell such an obvious lie and walk.

  131. 131
    celticdragonchick says:

    @mclaren:

    I am not going to ask to meet you and commence beating you with a tire iron or such other as some folks would no doubt like to do at this point.

    I will merely observe that something is really wrong with you tonight, and maybe you should give it a rest and get some dinner or something.

  132. 132
    Jacks mom says:

    @Tractarian: I’ve seen a lot of these stories over the years. “Mom leaves kid/kids in car ” and they are found dead or in very bad shape. Difference here is those other stories have the parent in a bar or a crack house. This woman was trying to get a job!

    Yes she put her kids in danger but can we really, as a society, justify making her and her children’s lives worse?

  133. 133
    raven says:

    @celticdragonchick: This has nothing to do with “tonight”. This fucking scumbag is always like this.

  134. 134
    Elizabelle says:

    Thank you for highlighting this. Would not have seen it.

    I hope that life is about to change for the better for Shanesha and her family.

    Most heartbreaking mug shot I have ever, ever seen.

  135. 135
    bluefoot says:

    @John Cole: Yeah, and when I say “errands” I mean 90 minutes of grocery shopping, plus a stop at the post office, etc, etc. Back in the 70’s (when I was a kid), it was pretty freaking common to leave your kids in the car if you were going to the grocery store or going to the DMV or whatever. Every kid I knew had games they made up to kill time sitting in the car.

  136. 136
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Steve S:

    What she outta do is stop having that inner-city culture of laziness, and get a job. My plan helps her out by cutting Mitt Romney’s taxes.

    We really need a wingnut font like Charles has at LGF. That was depressingly spot-on for Paul Ryan.

  137. 137
    gwangung says:

    @mclaren: Fuck off, racist.

  138. 138
    celticdragonchick says:

    @raven:

    Maybe so. I can always hope that a person will have a moment of decency, but I have been wrong before.

  139. 139
    SatanicPanic says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    You…aren’t familiar with hazards in the desert environment much, are you?

    I am and I’m saying 81 degrees (at the most) with the windows down for 45 minutes isn’t likely to kill anyone. We don’t know what time of day it was or whether she parked it in the shade, and I’m not saying it’s a great idea, but it’s not as dangerous as you’re suggesting.

  140. 140

    @Pogonip: I guess you want to be outraged, then. Do you and all the other moms at your office know for sure that you’re better than all those other parents?

    You are not. You simply lack awareness of your own human frailty.

  141. 141
    Pogonip says:

    @John Cole: Your story of your mom reminds me of when my family set out for the grocery store one fine day, 2 blocks away, and about halfway there my son yells, “Mom! We have to go back! We forgot our phones!”

    (I said I’d struggled along for 45 years without a phone and I was willing to gamble we could make it to Kroger’s and back while phoneless. We did.)

  142. 142
    celticdragonchick says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I agree. If it was 95, I would be saying something else here but 81 in a car with the windows part way down isn’t going to bother anybody. I experienced that more then a few times myself when I was 7 or 8 back in the mid 70s.

  143. 143
    John O says:

    Count me as one of those weirdos who think that accidentally killing your own child is a self-contained punishment enough.

    There is no compelling reason for society to pile on.

  144. 144
    dp says:

    What a horror, and an indictment of our society.

  145. 145
    AxelFoley says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Two possible reasons:

    1) Utter lack of empathy (aka Tractarianism)
    2) Having so little clue of what life is like for others that their best efforts at empathy fall short (again, Tractarianism)

    Fix’d

  146. 146
    JPL says:

    @PhoenixRising: What a tragic article. I tried to write a longer comment and just kept erasing it and starting over.

  147. 147
    Pogonip says:

    @PhoenixRising: We know it’s not possible to forget where you left the baby (unless you have some sort of mental problem). The baby’s always in the back of your mind. I’d also have difficulty believing a father who claimed where he left the baby. Although Dave Barry did write about a guy who put the baby, in car seat. on the roof of the car and drove off (baby was OK).

    And if the police have already cautioned you about leaving the baby in a hot vehicle, you definitely don’t forget. Save your sympathy for Shanesha. The principal doesn’t deserve it.

  148. 148
    kc says:

    @bluefoot:

    Yeah, sis and I got left in the car on occasion. Not for any lengthy periods of time, mind you, but a few minutes here or there if Mom was running errands. It wasn’t considered a heinous crime . . .

  149. 149
    Tommy says:

    @John Cole: Your intro graph in that comment was my childhood. There was only one rule in my household. Dinner is at 5:30 PM. BE THERE! Outside of that I’d often leave the house (we are talking starting at like 7 or less) and my parents didn’t know where I was until well, 5:30.

    We made our own fun. A lot of sports. Hiking. Bikes. Skateboard.

    It was wonderful. I miss kids don’t have that today.

    Look I was a video game nerd (my parents played with me). I played D&D. I wasn’t always outside playing.

    But the mantra in my household was go outside and play. So I went outside and played. Heck I like to joke with my slingshot, if turtles and frogs have any power in heaven, I am in a world of shit :).

  150. 150

    @SatanicPanic: You’re wrong.

    A six month old can certainly die in less time than you think under these circumstances.

    I didn’t get a weight on the 6 month old from the news stories, but the odds of his death are a factor of that, air temp, parking in the sun & how far the windows were cracked–not math I’d care to do if the stakes were my child’s life.

    Having never been in that situation, I can’t speculate about whether I’d ever do the same– but I sincerely hope that if I did, someone would report me and/or break my car’s windows.

    Trying to excuse this potentially deadly bad choice and empathizing with the mom’s untenable circumstances are different things. She did something that isn’t merely ‘technically illegal’, but often deadly.

  151. 151
    mai naem says:

    I live in the Phoenix area and, yes, a car gets hotter than the outside temperature but it has not been that hot. The high last thursday was 83 and low humidity. Obviously it wasn’t the right thing to do but felony child abuse is taking it a little too far. BTW, we had a cop whose K-9 dog died a few years ago after being forgotten in the car during the summer and he walked. Yeah, I know a dog is not a human being but still, he walked.

  152. 152
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @bluefoot: You had games? Lucky. I usually just resorted to clicking the lever so that when my mom started the car after grocery shopping the blinker would be on. I thought that was hysterical.

  153. 153
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: Kids do, there’s just less space for most. No empty fields or abandoned houses to play in. All the fun places. You just have to grow up somewhere crappy like I did- those places never change.

  154. 154
    Pogonip says:

    @Tommy: When I was a kid, we even went trick-or-treating without an adult tagging along. Uphill. Both ways.

    Seriously, once you knew how to cross the street safely, you were good to go. And we could eat the apples, popcorn balls, and homemade cookies.

  155. 155
    Halteclere says:

    I haven’t read all the responses, so maybe someone pointed this out already: The temperature high in Scottsdale last Thursday was 81 degrees and partially sunny (from Weather.com). With windows slightly opened this wasn’t a child baking kind of event.

  156. 156
    Red Apple Smokes says:

    Stories like this are why I spend entirely too much time in a state that can only be described as borderline rage. I know way too many people that would say that she got what was coming to her.

  157. 157
    Lavocat says:

    Wow. I don’t feel sorry for this STUPID parent at all.

    Why? Because She completely and utterly put her children at direct risk of harm or even death.

    Sorry. Just because you’re poor, you don’t get a pass at being a bad parent.

    There were any number of things this woman could have done to avoid this.

    Poor judgment does not win my sympathy; it garners my disdain.

    She got what she deserved.

  158. 158
    Pogonip says:

    @Lavocat: What are some of the many things she could have done?

  159. 159
    SatanicPanic says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    You’re wrong.

    Err, what evidence are you presenting there?

  160. 160
    Hawes says:

    @John Cole: I trend towards the “Bowling for Columbine” explanation. We have become obsessed as a country with our fears about what COULD happen, because we are fed a steady diet of scary stories and blaring headlines. “Ten things in your home that can kill you!” “Susan Smith!” “Charles Manson!” And then we warp our behavior to accommodate possibilities that are incredibly unlikely to happen.

    So, yeah, I’ll blame the media.

    And Joe Lieberman, because fuck him.

  161. 161
    John O says:

    @Lavocat:

    What business is it of yours? What is the harm to you (all of us) if the child or children dies?

    Jesus. On so many levels.

  162. 162
    Cassidy says:

    @Lavocat:

    There were any number of things this woman could have done to avoid this.

    Name them.

  163. 163
    Lokahi says:

    Small donation made because I do volunteer work at Front Steps, which serves the homeless in Austin, and I am constantly reminded of the dignity and worth of every individual…

  164. 164
    raven says:

    @John O: huh?

  165. 165

    I’m perplexed. There is a degree of open-mindedness which results in your brains falling out, apparently.

    It is always wrong to leave a baby (not a 7 year old, a baby) in a car, in the sun. There is a good chance of the baby dying. Again, how likely is complicated math you should be grateful you’ve not had to attempt.This topic is in the news here constantly because it happens a lot.

    Some of you refuse to take seriously that this mom was so desperate, she was willing to risk her baby’s life (maybe, judgment call) and her custody of her kids (if either one woke up and started crying, coin flip) for a shot at a job that was going to get her kiddos out of the Dodge and under an air conditioned roof before summer arrives.

    That’s the tragedy here, not that she is being appropriately charged with the crime she committed.

  166. 166
    shelly says:

    But the mantra in my household was go outside and play.

    I remember summer evenings, where we were running around everybody’s front and backyards, When it finally started to get dark you’d hear a parent calling out “Time to come in”

  167. 167

    Poor people are just bad, bad people. That’s what the winners believe. If they don’t struggle and suffer, if we don’t debase and dehumanize and humiliate them every day, then they might forget what awful, awful people they are, and we wouldn’t want that.

    This kind of thinking goes so deep with conservatives today that they don’t even know what they’re saying when they say some shit. A few weeks ago, I heard a clip of everybody’s favorite closet case, Rick Santorum at the conservative lunatic conference. He was one of the few speakers, hell, maybe he was the only one, who was talking about how poor people struggle. I loathe the guy, but I’ll give him a nod for that. He was talking about how hard life is for the poor, and bemoaning that Republicans have nothing but hatred and scorn for them.

    Anyway, even when he was trying to be marginally human and humane, he couldn’t help himself, and let something from deep inside slip out, and I’m not talking about frothy santorum, either. He went on about how the “inner city” culture devalues work and commitment and family life and that’s what makes people poor. And I guess he really believes that shit.

    I happen to believe that grinding poverty breaks down families and wears away people’s hope and resolve, and that the poverty comes first, not after. People don’t magically, and with perfect justice, become poor because they’re naughty, naughty people. Life beats them down and they struggle and fall farther behind and screw up afterwards. Poverty turns people into failures; they aren’t failures first. (I should say that when I say “screw up” or “failures”, I’m describing these people as society sees them, however unjust the labels might be.)

  168. 168
    Tommy says:

    @SatanicPanic: Oh I get if you live in NYC or a large metro area you can’t do what I did (which I did in three different towns and states). I just find it sad.

    There are two stories I like to tell.

    The first, I bought the last house I grew up in. Lived there was 12 until I went to college. The secondary school and high school are each a mile away. I walked to school each day. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my mom to drive me to be “cool.” I was just told, walk to work. When it rained we used this thing called an umbrella. Snow, boats. Heck me and my friends had this plan. We all went from house to house to get each other and walked to school.

    The second thing is my town about ten years ago voted to raise our taxes (I don’t live in a liberal town BTW). I kid you not the tax increase was to build more parks and improve those we have. Get local artist to do artwork. It is hard for me to walk 3-4 blocks in any direction and not find a park. We torn down a number of older buildings and just planted grass and trees. Kind of a neat thing.

    Things can be better in this world ….

  169. 169
    Citizen_X says:

    @John O:

    accidentally killing your own child is a self-contained punishment enough.

    Oh, and America agrees–if you’re white, male, and do it with a gun.

    A black mother, and a car? Stone her!

  170. 170
    Laertes says:

    This puts the reader in a difficult spot. You might be ashamed that your country treats people like this, and that shame is uncomfortable.

    Take heart! There’s a way out. Lavocat and Tractarian helpfully show how it’s done: If you can convince yourself that you’d do a better job of being poor and desperate than this woman did, then you’re most of the way toward convincing yourself that she deserves everything that’s happening to her. At that point you’re off the hook.

  171. 171
    Cassidy says:

    @PhoenixRising: So again, and it’s been asked many times over with none of the scold brigade answering, what should she have done differently?

  172. 172
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven: and there’s no need. I did only because I thought it was possible that they might get a big flurry of donations more or less all at once and might be interested to know what the catalyst was. That happened once before, with one of the animal rescue places I think, where the people were just amazed to see this tsunami of donations coming in all within about 30 minutes. Anyhow, always happy to credit John when he allows his inner mensch to emerge.

  173. 173
    raven says:

    @PhoenixRising: Thank you.

  174. 174
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Lavocat:

    Another sociopath troll.

    Anybody else want to start on this one?

    Wow. I don’t feel sorry for this STUPID parent at all.

    How is desperation stupid? Please elaborate without making yourself look worse than you have already accomplished.

    Why? Because She completely and utterly put her children at direct risk of harm or even death.

    In what way? As many of us here have noted, this was not unusual when we were children. Heat does not seem to have been an issue…so you are suggesting the one on ten thousand kidnapping event?

    Sorry. Just because you’re poor, you don’t get a pass at being a bad parent

    Explain. Why is trying to get a job without any fucking help from the rest of us (unfortunately) being a bad parent? Are you suggesting that not trying to get the job is good parenting?

    There were any number of things this woman could have done to avoid this.

    So you know her? By all means, please explain…considering that she was homeless and apparently desperate. No doubt you were waiting nearby and offered to watch her kids and she blew you off?

    Poor judgment does not win my sympathy; it garners my disdain. She got what she deserved.

    I will let Shakespeare handle this one:

    Good heavens, man, give them more than that! If you pay everyone what they deserve, would anyone ever escape a whipping?

    Hamlet, Act II Scene II

  175. 175
    John O says:

    @raven:

    I’ll say it again: I see no compelling societal interest in punishing people who (indisputably and accidentally) are responsible for their own child’s death.

    It’s a waste of resources.

    I too ran around unsupervised in rural IL for all of my youth. We were never buckled in while driving. Never (even to this day) wore a bicycle helmet. Shit happens, and people should be responsible for their own mistakes.

  176. 176
    raven says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I went back and read about 20 pages of notes and there were a number of references. I wrote the organizer a quick note of thanks and told her.

  177. 177
    raven says:

    @John O: I’m sorry, I don’t get what this “What business is it of yours? What is the harm to you (all of us) if the child or children dies?” has to do with that?

  178. 178
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: That’s awesome. I drove through Oregon last year and there were some great, small communities. Really would consider moving out there. The parks in my town were like Mad Max hellscapes. I drove through a few years back and they hadn’t changed. I kid, but really, it was a mixed blessing growing up in a small town- lots of freedom, but kind of a dump, at least in my case.

  179. 179
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    Holy Fk. Talk about a situation with no good options. Worser: that job she didn’t get was probably a min. wager, and wouldn’t pay enough for a place to stay, let alone some kind of daycare.
    When my daughter was a baby, and even years after she grew up, I’d have nightmares that I’d forgotten and left her behind somewhere. I can’t imagine this lady made a good impression at the interview.
    Also, John, and others– I, too, spent many childhood hours alone in a car waiting for Dad to do whatever he was doing. Small town, no one but me seemed to mind.
    Off to donate. Back soon. Or maybe I’ll call my daughter.

  180. 180
    John O says:

    @raven:

    A clumsy attempt to personalize my larger point, I guess.

  181. 181
    Tiny Tim says:

    Yes it gets desert hot in Scottsdale. It’s also March. High temp on the day in question was 80. Kids with cracked windows weren’t actually in danger.

  182. 182
    SatanicPanic says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Good heavens, man, give them more than that! If you pay everyone what they deserve, would anyone ever escape a whipping?

    That’s a great line. I am going to remember that one

  183. 183
    raven says:

    @John O: I may be the clumsy one.

  184. 184
    raven says:

    I sent money. I feel horribly for her. I don’t think she should have left the kids alone hot or not.

  185. 185
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Greg:

    I’ve been jumping through similar hoops the past several months on behalf of a recently-widowed cousin, just simple stuff like changing the insurance policies and bank accounts, getting her a renewed driver’s license (you wouldn’t believe the documentation the state of Georgia demands these days!), and gathering up all the paperwork she needs to take to her accountant for her taxes.

    At least for the government/official stuff, how hard would it be to set up a kind of one-stop shopping facility, where the different agencies were not only co-located but actually talked to each other? With maybe an ombudsman-type person to help people negotiate their way through the various bureaucracies? It would save lots of time, I imagine it would save lots of money, and it would humanize the process. So I know every Republican will automatically hate the idea, right?

  186. 186
    PIGL says:

    @ruemara: word.

  187. 187
    celticdragonchick says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Lots of fantastic lines in Hamlet. That one is one of my favorites…and it is truer then many of us might want to admit. All that bullshit on the far right about wealth=virtue?

    Shakespeare would have spewed his ale and mocked them for all time.

  188. 188
    Chris says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    I think the closest conservatives come to sympathy for the inner cities is those among them who see them… basically the same way nineteenth century missionaries saw China, Africa, etc: a heathen culture whose people should be pitied, not hated, because their culture taught them to be savages and animals. If only, oh, if only they could become more like us.

  189. 189
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mclaren:

    I already know about someone who is going to try to visit her in jail and help her get a job. So just shut up, okay?

  190. 190
    Tommy says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I drove through Oregon last year and there were some great, small communities. Really would consider moving out there.

    I never, never thought I would move back to where I grew up. I recall not liking it as a kid. I ran away the second I could. Went to the college as far away as possible. Then lived in DC for almost 20 years.

    Not that long ago if you would have told me I’d move back I would have laugh and mocked you. But then after a time living in other places, I realized where I grew up wasn’t that bad. In fact it was kid of nice.

    A lot of my friends from DC have come to visit me here in rural, southern Illinois and they are stunned. One guy, after a divorce, was driving across the nation on his Harley. He stopped here and stayed for like a month :). Ny favorite line from him, “you mean there is something under the Arch?”

    In a long winded way, that small town in Oregon might be something to look into!

  191. 191
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chris:

    The Charles Murray “Coming Apart” effect.

    The savages in Fishtown need to learn from their betters…and then he throws in selective breeding among the rich concentrating those meritocratic high IQ’s at the top (yes, he went there) and how allegedly awesome our schools are at identifying the gifted students.

  192. 192
    mainmata says:

    I contributed and i know it’s just one person among many thousands living marginalized lives (and I see them on the street every day in droves) but she got unlucky while trying to do right by her kids and herself. Given that this AZ, she’ll likely be shafted big time and maybe lose her kids but at least I can make the gesture.

  193. 193
    TooManyJens says:

    @bluefoot: When my daughter asks why she can’t stay in the car and read while I run in to the store, I just tell her “Because somebody will call the cops.” In decent weather, that’s the only real reason, but I’m not willing to risk it.

    @Lavocat: It’s so easy to judge what desperate people have to do when you’re not desperate, isn’t it?

  194. 194
  195. 195
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @bluefoot:

    I agree. I think one huge difference is that back in the day (back in my day, anyhow), kids left in a car could roll down the windows and, if necessary, open the doors and get out. You can’t do that today with all the electronically-controlled locks and windows and childproofing.

    /yells and waves fist at automotive improvements

  196. 196
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Lavocat:

    There were any number of things this woman could have done to avoid this.

    Name them. Please.

    And her name isn’t “this woman.” It’s Shanesha Taylor. Ms. Taylor to you.

  197. 197
    TooManyJens says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Wait, what? Granted, I wouldn’t know because my car is 14 years old (and I bet Taylor’s car is pretty old too), but surely it’s still possible to get out of even a new car without the key.

  198. 198

    Can’t wait for the hyenas on Fox to crow about the fact this poor woman actually had the gall to be poor and own a car. The Gadfly has said it before and will say it again — if a screaming meteor the size of a refrigerator (which is a luxury item for the poor as well according to Fox) were tomorrow to fall smack dab on to and wipe out . . .

    CORPORATE
    INFORMATION
    Fox News Channel
    1211 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036
    Phone: 212-301-3000
    Website: http://www.foxnews.com

    . . . The Gadfly would go to bed tomorrow night and have the best damn sleep of his life.

  199. 199
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cacti:

    If I was still practicing crim def, I’d represent her gratis.

    That’s probably the least of her worries. She’ll get quality representation. BigLaw pro bono coordinators will kill each other to get this. It will make the partners feel so good about themselves to actually help someone who needs help.

  200. 200
    Cain says:

    @lol:

    Redditors will say she’s just a stupid blah person who should’ve known better than to have kids RON PAUL.

    You must be thinking of some other kind of redditors. I think reddit would have risen to the challenge and would have done something. They revel in using crowdsourcing means to solve problems. It is the millienium way.

  201. 201
    celticdragonchick says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Never mind. Lavocat shit all over the thread and then ran off like the little vulture he is…but that would be an insult to vultures.

  202. 202
    TooManyJens says:

    @Cain: Yeah, there are vast swaths of Reddit that are an absolute cesspool, but there are good parts too. Reddit is large, it contains multitudes.

  203. 203
    raven says:

    @TooManyJens: This line of reasoning is not all that great. This was a six month old and a two-year old.

  204. 204
    celticdragonchick says:

    @burnspbesq:

    One can hope. What we will likely see is the prosecution throwing in 8 or 9 more felony counts and a threat of 30 years hard time if she does not take a plea that would still make it next to impossible to work and make her lose her kids for a year or more.

  205. 205
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    Nice.

  206. 206
    Calouste says:

    Of course, if Ms. Taylor had “accidentally” shot the kids instead of left them unsupervised in a car, she would have gotten off without any trouble and certainly not gone to jail. Well, if she was a he and white.

  207. 207
    Svensker says:

    @Chris:

    When I was a hippie first living on my own in the late 60s a cop walked into my apartment (the door was open to the hall) saying he thought he’d seen a missing kid come in and had I seen him. Since I was just lighting up I was scared shitless and yelled at the cop to get the hell out of my apartment, what the HAIL did he think he was doing walking in like that? He apologized profusely and went away.

    Can you imagine that happening anywhere in America now?

  208. 208
    Cervantes says:

    @Lavocat:

    She got what she deserved.

    Here’s hoping you do.

  209. 209
    TooManyJens says:

    @raven: I’m in no way saying that it was safe to leave kids that young in the car for that long, though I recognize that she had nothing but shitty choices available to her. But SiubhanDuinne was saying that nowadays kids (in general) can’t open the door and get out, and that just seemed odd to me.

    @Calouste: Yeah, this.

  210. 210
    J says:

    @SatanicPanic: no they wouldn’t and neither would a dog. If I had seen a dog left in 80 degree weather I would call the cops. I feel for her but she did put her kids in danger.

  211. 211
    Elmo says:

    What is wrong with this woman – not even to consider daycare? Babysitters? I mean, can’t she just call her au pair like a civilized person?

    Are there no nannies?
    /Lavocat

    As for me, I’m in for fifty. And anyone who hasn’t ever, EVER done anything risky for a short, quick, “it’ll be ok for just a minute,” can talk about irresponsibility. Everyone else needs to shut the fuck up and kick in, because that’s what society is for.

  212. 212
    AxelFoley says:

    @Lavocat:

    Eat shit and die, asswipe.

  213. 213
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Svensker:

    You would be handcuffed on the floor with a broken bone or two and any animals in your apartment would be bleeding out on the floor next to you.

    The doctrine of overwhelming force and “let the city pay damages a couple years later” is now the norm.

  214. 214
    The Tragically Flip says:

    If no one else has, we should consider that being homeless with kids also runs you the risk that they get taken away, if someone notices and reports you to CPS.

    So yeah, it’s pretty understandable that she took a risk toward being able to provide a home and keep her kids. Saying she should have just not done the interview ignores the likely outcome of the path she was already on.

  215. 215
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Tommy: I think I’ll probably end up in a small town again someday. Just not the one I grew up in- I can say for sure I’ll never move back there. But I like small town life.

  216. 216
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Cervantes:

    Seconded.

  217. 217
    celticdragonchick says:

    Out for the night. Going to paint some warhammer 40K figs and watch Dallas Buyers Club.

  218. 218
    raven says:

    @Svensker: Right before I got sober I was in an apartment with some folks and the DA walked it to see his daughter. There was an oz on the kitchen table where we were sitting and he just ignored it. The pucker factor was in effect.

  219. 219
    Greg says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That is the other big issue. I am in Sacramento and for some reason instead of locating the various services near to each other they are scattered all over the city and the suburbs. So if you need to see, say, social security, the DMV, and the housing authority on the same day, they are located quite far from each other, so a good chunk of your day would be spent just in travel time. The Social Security office is the most maddening. It is on the light rail, sort of, but it is on a stop far from downtown (where most of the people who use their services live) and once you get off the train you have to walk about a 1/2 mile along a very busy thoroughfare to get to it. How hard would it be to have all of the services in one location?

  220. 220
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Yes, vultures are at least useful creatures.

    I get unreasonably upset when I see the locution “this woman” (“you people”).

  221. 221
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    @raven: me, too. But I understand the desperation, and making a bad decision because of it.
    Also, there’s a petition at Change.org to have the prosecutor drop the charges, just in case anyone missed it–
    https://www.change.org/petitions/bill-montgomery-drop-the-child-abuse-charges-against-shanesha-taylor

    Also, too: don’t know if anyone else checked the comments at the donation site, but it’s depressing. Rather hang out here.

  222. 222
    Svensker says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    You got that right.

    @raven:

    Pucker factor? I dang near sucked up the couch!

  223. 223
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Calouste:

    Ah, yes, the old “haven’t they suffered enough?” defence.

  224. 224
    Cervantes says:

    @mclaren:

    Send her a gun so she can shoot herself in the head and end the torture.

    I know what you mean.

    No matter how much money she gets, the state will steal it by asset forfeiture (“unearned income, probably from drug transactions”), shark lawyers will drain away whatever remains without getting her kids back, and, since she’ll have a bunch of cash income, she’ll no longer be eligible for food stamps or WIC or anything else.

    I admit I don’t know what the rules are that govern her specific situation (past and present). It’s apparent those rules have not helped her much to date, and that’s a crying shame. Let’s hope a good attorney, if one can be found, can help her avoid the (allegedly) unintended consequences that you list.

    Meanwhile, millions of others will have to go through the same torture that she’s being put through — and we’ll never know their names, or see their tearful faces.

    If you’re poor, American society views you as a criminal and tortures you accordingly. The only way out? Die quick to end the suffering.

    It must seem that way to many people, and I am sorry that’s the case.

    Thanks.

  225. 225
  226. 226
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Svensker:

    Can you imagine that happening anywhere in America now?

    No. You would probably not be here to tell the story.

  227. 227
    burnspbesq says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    At that point, the proper response from the $800/hr. BigLaw white collar defense partner handling her case pro bono is “fuck it, let’s go to trial.”

    DAs are bullies. The last thing in the world they want is to fight on a level playing field with somebody who actually has resources.

  228. 228
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TooManyJens:

    But SiubhanDuinne was saying that nowadays kids (in general) can’t open the door and get out, and that just seemed odd to me.

    Fuck, half the time I can’t figure out which series of buttons to push in which sequence. I’m pretty sure that if I had spent my entire vehicular life in the back seat, strapped and safety-seated and child-proofed in, I probably wouldn’t even know what button to push to lower the window. And I am far from being 6 or 7 years old.

  229. 229
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @celticdragonchick:

    Going to paint some warhammer 40K figs

    I have no idea what any of that means but I hope you have fun.

  230. 230
    Cervantes says:

    @Big R:

    And suggesting that she should commit suicide because society believes in fucking her sideways – we all agree that that’s a really fucked up suggestion, right?

    For what it’s worth, I doubt that was a literal suggestion.

  231. 231
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: Yea, that makes it all better.

  232. 232
    Cervantes says:

    @Tractarian: You need to read a Greek tragedy or three.

    Then again, I am not entirely sure it would help. Worth a try, though.

  233. 233
    mainmata says:

    @John Cole: I grew up in the city of Pittsburgh the same way. Mom didn’t know where her large passel of kids were for much the day (school, after hour play or extra-curricular activities) all long before cell phones and traveling using public transport or often hitchhiking (esp. us boys). There was no tether and communications were mostly face-to-face. Radically different from my 15 year old daughter.

  234. 234
    Cervantes says:

    @raven: Well, it should.

    Venting here is quite different from going to visit the woman and handing her a gun, I’d say.

  235. 235
    TooManyJens says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Clearly, I need to stick with my old car.

  236. 236
    LIsa Mayhew says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    Thank you for being a decent human being. It’s good to hear there are still a few left in this country …..

  237. 237
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Greg:

    This is what I’m talking about. Even if they are different jurisdictions for different services (feds, state, county), what is the harm in co-locating them in one big “Government Services” building instead of miles and miles distant from each other.

    Christ, if they could merge a big fistful of federal agencies (can’t remember how many) into the Department of Homeland Security, in a not very long period of time, what are the obstacles to harmonizing actual services to actual people?

    As I said upthread, the Repubs would hate the idea — unless it were proposed under a Repub administration. Because who doesn’t love government efficiency and economy?

  238. 238
    LIsa Mayhew says:

    @The Fat Kate Middleton:

    Thank you for being a decent human being. It’s good to hear there are still a few left in this country …..

  239. 239
    Cervantes says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: “Warhammer” is the name of a fantasy game of some sort — that’s all I know about it, and it may be even be the wrong “Warhammer.”

  240. 240
    raven says:

    @Cervantes: McClaren is a fucking lowlife snake who needs it’s head cut off and every time it shows up here I’m going for it.

  241. 241
    mainmata says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I love figs, especially in port wine. warhammer figs must be especially strong. Yum.

  242. 242
    kindness says:

    I gave. How can you not?

  243. 243
    TrishB says:

    I just went to the link and gave. Why? Why the hell not!? Shanesha Taylor has been screwed and needs help. We KNOW the system is screwed up and can fuck well find another time to argue about it. She and her kids don’t have that luxury.

  244. 244
    Cervantes says:

    @raven: Those who have and make choices are morally responsible for them.

    And those who don’t have a choice can be held responsible regardless.

    (This thread, and life, in a nutshell.)

  245. 245
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Thanks for posting this, JC. I feel for her and her kids. I hope she is able to turn things around quickly. I sent $100.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  246. 246
    RedKitten says:

    That poor, poor soul. It really does highlight just how poor people (especially poor women, and ESPECIALLY poor women of colour) are completely fucked by the fickle finger of fate. If they have kids, they’re a “drain on society, having kids they can’t afford”. If they use birth control, they’re “sluts who are using MY tax dollars to sleep around”. If they get an abortion, they’re “evil baby-killers”. They can’t afford to go to college, and so get crappy, low-paying jobs. Those crappy jobs do not pay enough to cover daycare, rent, food, utilities and transportation. So the woman goes on social assistance, because she’s actually financially better off to do so. (And fuck ANYBODY who suggests that a poor person should take food out of their kids’ mouths for the sake of pride and not living off of the taxpayer). And then she’s stuck.

    Being poor is like being caught in one of the puzzles from Saw. You might escape if you’re really smart and really lucky. But everybody else is pretty much fucked right from the opening credits.

  247. 247
    Nellie in NZ says:

    @Greg: This. My daughter had the best working medical team last year but her husband’s employer switched insurance companies abruptly. She was told she could continue with her therapist with the same benefits until January and then it would switch to out of network coverage. She just needed to pay upfront and then they would reimburse her. Except they don’t like this number. Then that number. Four times, she has been told everything is fine and she’ll see the money in ten days. Every time, there is a hitch. They just settled (ha!) 2013 claims. As out of network, when it is in writing that they will treat it as in network. Her husband’s company has hired a health care advocacy team to work on it on her behalf. I get up at 4 am in New Zealand to make calls. We have four intelligent people (I taught in a university for nearly 25 years) working on this for hours every week. And we get no. where. Yes, beginning to look at legal options now. Every. Little. Thing. Is. Denied. And this is a fully paid policy. And what was she being treated for? Stress related illness, both physical and mental. She is considering dropping all treatment as trying to get what she’s paid for is making her more stressed and more ill. Greed and monsters. No one could be this incompetent. It is by design. Sorry for the rant. As she wrote, if all of us can’t get something done, what happens to those without our advantages?

  248. 248
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    It’s at $19,015 at the moment.

    If folks on the Internet can raise $1.37M for a Tesla Museum, one would hope that her fundraiser would grow substantially larger before the 34 days are up…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  249. 249
    Chris says:

    @RedKitten:

    That poor, poor soul. It really does highlight just how poor people (especially poor women, and ESPECIALLY poor women of colour) are completely fucked by the fickle finger of fate. If they have kids, they’re a “drain on society, having kids they can’t afford”. If they use birth control, they’re “sluts who are using MY tax dollars to sleep around”. If they get an abortion, they’re “evil baby-killers”

    And if they forego all that and practice abstinence until marriage as the Baby Jesus would’ve wanted… they’re man-hating [insert lesbian slur] bitchez.

  250. 250
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Some really empathy impaired people are popping up in this thread. Was leaving her kids in the car while she went to the interview a good idea? No, of course not. Do you really want to argue that one mistake, during the course of which no one was actually harmed, should ruin her life? Jean Valjean got what was coming to him as well. Fucking hell, people, try not to be judgmental assholes. Christ.

  251. 251
    Chris says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    One of the points of that book is that the punishment was egregiously disproportionate to the crime. Valjean does a little introspective tour early on in the book and has to admit that he’s guilty, but also that he’s not the only guilty party and that what was done to him for twenty years was a crime all of its own.

    The event with the priest saving him from the police was also a point about the number of people who might’ve turned out differently if society had ever shown them anything more than a clenched fist.

    It’s still a great book. (The number of conservatives who adore it and manage to completely miss the message – not to mention the ode to the French Revolution and the radicalism of the age – continues to impress me. Supposedly, it was a popular book in Robert E. Lee’s army, too).

  252. 252
    patrick II says:

    When Ms. Romney complained that people did not appreciate how much hard work it took to raise her kids, I don’t think she had this sort of thing in mind.

    It has been a downward cycle for working class people since we elected that faux movie star president thirty years ago.

  253. 253

    […] For the poor, there is no exit. […]

  254. 254
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: Ticketing her and warning her that doing something like this again again would result in some serious consequences would have been more than enough. If the cops had actually talked to her and listened, that is how this would have ended.

  255. 255
    Scotius says:

    @Svensker: @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    I figured I could afford $15 for the Veronica Mars Movie VOD, so I could afford to bung Ms. Taylor $100. Money well spent as far as I’m concerned.

  256. 256
    Groucho48 says:

    Is it more of a risk leaving the two kids in a car for 45 minutes, or, sleeping in a car with them, probably in an isolated spot, for night after night until she finds a job and then a place to live?

  257. 257
    Scotius says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Ticketing her and warning her that doing something like this again again would result in some serious consequences would have been more than enough. If the cops had actually talked to her and listened, that is how this would have ended.

    This was Maricopa County. She’s lucky they didn’t taze and beat her to death on the spot. That must be one shitty place to be a homeless woman with 2 kids facing impossible choices every day of her life.

  258. 258
    Betsy says:

    @Tractarian: wow, aren’t you a world-class ethicist. It isn’t easy deciding this shit from in front of a computer screen, is it? But you make it look like a piece of cake! And you show everyone else how straightforward the logic of it really is, even though it seems intractably complex to us.

    Truly, we who do not see the ease of your deductions are your moral inferiors, just as is this poor homeless mother. I feel like a moral midget, just thinking about the clarity and simplicity of your pure logic.

    You must be so, so, big of a person, and smart to boot — always making those tough decisions with such ease. It’s almost like you could do it in your sleep!

  259. 259
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tractarian:

    But one of these options puts your kids in physical danger and one does not.

    Living in your car does not put your kids in physical danger? Malnutrition does not put your kids in physical danger?

    Her kids were already in physical danger because of the way she was forced to live. So your “choice” between short-term physical danger and longer-term physical danger isn’t a choice at all.

    And I can’t help noticing that you still can’t come up with any kind of alternative solution. All you can do is sit in judgement without having anything useful to say.

  260. 260
    danielx says:

    @Chris:

    And they supposedly expressed tongue in cheek astonishment that it wasn’t about themselves: “Lee’s Miserables, Faintin’ “.

  261. 261
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Donated.

  262. 262
    The Very Revered Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Donated. Posted on facebook.

  263. 263
    reality-based says:

    @Tractarian:

    ever been poor yourself? Ever been desperately trying to feed and care for your children? For that matter, have you ever been the sole provider and caretaker for two children, with no job and no money?

    No?

    Didn’t think so.

  264. 264
    dee says:

    Lets talk about the almighty, Child Protective Services, so eager to swoop in AFTER the fact to “protect” these poor children…but ask this…what do you think their reaction would have been if this woman had taken her children to the closest CPS office, explaining that she had a job interview but no one to watch her children and would they watch them for her? Truth be told, she was probably trying to stay as far under their radar as she could knowing if they discovered her lack of resources, lack of a support system, no job and homelessness, they would come at her like vultures, scavenging away with her children. Unless you are a parent, especially a single mother, you have no idea the desperation and fear this woman was taking every breath with. I wish no one any harm but I pray that all that were 1st on the scene find it hard to look at themselves in the mirror. They faced a drowning woman, hanging on to a life preserver by a thread and rather than reach a hand out to help her, they pulled the preserver away and shoved her under the water. Karma will bring them clarity and judging by the generous support and donations, Karma has definitely joined in the fight, I wonder will leaving them with only their burden of guilt satisfy her or will she choose the path of hopelessness and desperate choices as punishment?

  265. 265
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tractarian: I’m sorry, but I got left in the car routinely by my parents when I was a kid and I didn’t die. There’s a big difference between leaving kids in a car and forgetting kids in there. Ms. Taylor cracked the windows open.

    When I was in the car I was far more afraid of strangers than anything else. I was never left in a sealed car in the hot sun.

  266. 266
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @raven: Not true. She was lucid and reasonable that one day. Guess she was doing so good she thought she could stretch out the meds and here we go again.

  267. 267
    Keith G says:

    @Jacks mom:

    I’ve seen a lot of these stories over the years. “Mom leaves kid/kids in car ” and they are found dead or in very bad shape. Difference here is those other stories have the parent in a bar or a crack house. This woman was trying to get a job!

    I have sympathy for your overall sentiment, but I understand where Tractarian is coming from. Why does it matter what the reason was? Dead is forever. If you expose a child to a situation of proven danger (whether it be a unlocked-up handgun or enclosed in a car) there needs to be an intervention. The question is, what is the intervention?

    There used to be a time when police and other authorities felt freer to use moral suasion and “lessons learned” to deal with an error in judgement. Now citations, a court date, and jail time seem to be the only way to go. I guess it is part of the awful zero-tolerance manifesto that our wonderful society chooses to live by (This seems doubly the case when children are involved).

    Anyway, I think the dumping on Tractarian is uncalled for. She/He politely brought up a reasoned alternative view to what many here were saying. Sometimes, a disagreement might best be handled as just a ……disagreement.

  268. 268
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Greg: They locate this stuff out of town where land is cheap. After all the Chamber of Commerce types never have to worry about the food stamp office, child support office, Social Security office, unemployment office, health department, etc., so they encourage the pols to take this route.

    Everywhere you have to pay a bill, like the light bill or a ticket or fine or your IRS tax bill, is right downtown near the bus transfer station. Hmmmm.

  269. 269
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Keith G: Tractarian was being rigid and unnecessarily obtuse. Also, hadn’t apparently read the news items about it, but persisted in arguing just because. Ditto PhoenixRising. No amount of evidence was sufficient to sway that pre-formed opinion.

  270. 270
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @dee: That’s a good question. What would CPS have done if she had gone to them prior to her interview and asked for assistance with her children? Is CPS trying to come up with ways to help homeless parents rather than waiting for them to mess up so that they can grab their children?

    Hoping that this woman gets the help she deserves. Where are the churches to reach out to her?

  271. 271
    Cervantes says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    When I was in the car I was far more afraid of strangers than anything else.

    A justifiable apprehension. Ms. Taylor’s kids might have felt a version of it, too (they are very young).

  272. 272
    Johnny Trudat says:

    Hey, all you over-the-top outraged, “I can’t believe this country” types who “can’t believe this is happening in America.” YOU are and I are America. One of you outraged in Scottsdale quit shaking your head, hop in your car and go get her. Put her up in a back room or spruce up the garage. She doesn’t need your outrage or your sympathy. She needs a place to live. She needs some help. Not in six months when the collection arrives. Quit your “Someone’s gotta do something” and look in the mirror. You are the someone.

  273. 273
    Seejay says:

    @Alison: What’s funny is, if she draws unemployment…she’s a drain and a mooch, etc. If she DOES TRY AND PULL HER BOOTSTRAPS, she’s a child abuser. You’re literally set up to fail if you’re poor. The American Dream is a great big myth. And this is coming from someone that served this country as a U.S. Marine, graduated from college, and worked in the corporate world. My story doesn’t invalidate the stories of millions. No matter how loudly conservatives will try to tell you otherwise.

  274. 274

    Oh and by the way, let’s ask Paul Ryan about that culture of poverty where people don’t WANT to work. They just want handouts.

    God this story makes me want to punch someone.

  275. 275
    voncey says:

    When people like Donald Trump go bankrupt, they have rolodexes full of millionaires and billionaires they can call on for help. A few of them will find you a gig on a corporate board, or give you a book deal or book you a speaking tour. But when you’re poor most likely everyone you know is poor and has two jobs and is just struggling to get by so you can’t ask them for help.

  276. 276

    […] When You Are Poor, There Really Are No Breaks – This post talks about Shanesha Taylor, the homeless woman who left her young kids in the car while she went to a job interview, and how society sets poor people up for failure. There’s a link to an online fundraiser for her at the end. […]

  277. 277
    PanurgeATL says:

    @PhoenixRising:

    I don’t know how that makes us “broken BEYOND REPAIR”. I know you want to express your frustration, but I mean, if that’s our attitude, no wonder things don’t get better.

  278. 278
    PanurgeATL says:

    @Nutella:

    Just ask anyone in Chicago in 1968.

  279. 279
    Bri says:

    @Tractarian: No the other two choices just means they go hungry and be homeless longer.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] When You Are Poor, There Really Are No Breaks – This post talks about Shanesha Taylor, the homeless woman who left her young kids in the car while she went to a job interview, and how society sets poor people up for failure. There’s a link to an online fundraiser for her at the end. […]

  2. […] For the poor, there is no exit. […]

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