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Tips on Helping Your Child Overcome Bedwetting


Many of the largest markets for trial law is that of child neglect.  Children’s health has been brought up more in the last decade before State and Commonwealth supreme courts than ever before.  This is the first in a series of articles to educate those people who may need it on basic child health.  Children don’t come with instructions.  We can all lend a hand to each other.

You recently potty trained your child and just when you thought he was through with bed wetting, he reverted back to his pattern of doing it. Don’t be alarmed because some kids wet the bed at age five. However, if your child is older than age five and struggles with bed wetting, it might be a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician. Some steps you can take to reduce bedwetting include:

  • Cut back on serving drinks to your child near bedtime
  • Encourage your child and praise him when he is not wetting his bed
  • Reduce your child’s consumption of drinks that affect the bladder negatively such as soft drinks and chocolate milk.
  • Utilize a wet bed alarm such as Dry Buddy.

Here is how Dry Buddy works. It comes with a sensor that alerts the child when bed wetting occurred. This sensor transmits a wireless signal throughout the house so that the parents will also be aware of the situation. Here are other ways to reduce bed wetting in your child.

Have Your Child Use the Bathroom Regularly During the Day

It also helps to make sure that your child uses the restroom consistently during the day. By keeping him on this kind of routine will help him to learn bladder control and this leads to less bed wetting. Make sure he especially uses the bathroom after meals or after a long trip just before bedtime.

Patience is Important

One thing you should not do is berate your child when he frequently wets the bed at night. Realize that this is a temporary phase and as he gains more control of his bladder with practice and encouragement, he will eventually stop bed wetting. You don’t want to force the issue as this causes more stress for your child.

Understand The Causes of Bed wetting

It also helps to understand common causes of bed wetting so you can know the best way to help your child solve the problem. In some cases, diabetes could be a reason for the bed wetting because of high levels of sugar in the child’s bloodstream. Bed wetting might also be caused by stressful situations such as a parent’s divorce, attending a new school, moving to a new city or abuse.

Reward Your Child

When your child goes a period of nights without wetting the bed, reward him and let him know how proud you are of his efforts. You can do this by letting him stay up a little later on weekends, preparing his favorite dinner or dessert, or treating him to an all day outing at local kid-friendly venues.

Bed wetting is normal for children up to age five, and keep in mind that for each child progress happens at a different rate. Whether you use a wet bed alarm such as Dry Buddy or adjustments to your child’s routine, soon he will have better bladder control. Some children become motivated to remain dry when they had enough embarrassing moments or when they are tired of repeatedly changing their clothes and bed sheets. Overall, with the above mentioned steps things will improve for your child.

Individuals Against Same-Sex Marriage Resisting SCOTUS’ Ruling


scotus lgbtJune 26, 2015 is a momentous date for the United States. Same-sex marriage was finally recognized that day by the highest court in the land: the Supreme Court of the United States. Parades were held, bells were rung, and same-sex couples of inundating numbers rush to parishes intending to tie their vows.

But even with the SCOTUS’ ruling there are still states that resist the social change. Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana are among them. The question now is: is it unconstitutional for these states to reject SCOTUS’ decision?

Individuals Resisting SCOTUS

As a state, yes, it is. But individuals like Katie Lang, a clerk from the Hood County, Texas, voiced her objections and stated that she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

However, she did point that while she will not grant the license, her office will, clarifying that what she’s doing is practicing her individual right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.

And she’s just one of the many that are exercising this right.

Ken Paxton, Texas’ Attorney General, also has similar opinion over the ruling calling it “fabricated” and “newly-invented”, adding that the government has no right to force them to perform same-sex marriage wedding service against their religious beliefs.

So while individuals may refuse to perform such ceremony, the state will have to comply as SCOTUS’ decision is a precedent, meaning that law is authoritative.

The State and the Church

There is clear indication that the church has no influence over government concerns under the First Amendment and vice versa. But it also states that individuals have the right to practice their religion freely which also falls in the First Amendment.

This isn’t to say that there is an impasse between the two. Those who refuse to grant their services on a same-sex marriage couple have the right to do so, but the state will still have to find a way to grant the rights of the two. If not then therein lays the violation of SCOTUS’ ruling.

Brant Rios and Eos Parish is one such couple. Together for five years, the two experienced their state’s stubbornness when they decided to get wed after the decision came down. Being the first to arrive at the Ouachita Parish Courthouse they were also the first to be turned away.

They came back Monday with no luck as the clerk’s office inform them that it was awaiting word from Buddy Caldwell, Louisiana’s Attorney General, and one who’s also against same-sex marriage.

That night, however, a friend sent them a local newscast report that the Ouachita Parish is issuing the licenses. They decided to meet the next day to exchange vows in a “down-and-dirty civil ceremony.” At 12.15 p.m. they were pronounced husband and husband by a friend who’s a justice of the peace.

While this momentous social change is causing a lot of headache, tension, and debates the SCOTUS’ decision will stand and will remain standing. It’s high-time that America, a country that prides itself with freedom and equality, joins the rank of countries that have already legalized same-sex marriage.

And while there are those resisting the change – as is expected when change occurs – overtime people will eventually come around and realize that civil liberty extends to all people of different color, race, and gender orientation

The Crackdown on Patent Trolls


war with patent trollsBack in the day when someone speaks of troll people think of large creatures with thick skin wielding huge wooden clubs. Today, trolls are referred to people that rouse trouble over the internet.

However, there is also another kind of troll that exists outside the web. And no, they aren’t wielding clubs. They’re armed with something a lot more damaging than that: lawsuits.

Patent Trolls

This problem is a huge headache, especially for people involved with technological innovation.

To make matters short, patent trolls are people that come up with ideas, bind the idea legally to them – patenting it in their name – and then suing the living daylights out of people should they use those ideas in the future or even if they use technologies encompassed by that idea.

A patent infringement case was even filed against someone using WiFi, and in another case, large fans.

These companies don’t really invent or sell anything. They make money by threatening companies with patent infringement. Small and big businesses alike had been hit by these patent trolls.

“Wait, are they winning these nonsensical lawsuits?”

No, but it doesn’t even have to go to court. Defendants often chose to settle as fighting against the lawsuits would cause hundreds, if not, millions of dollars.

I know, it’s really, really, ridiculous.

So ridiculous, in fact, that in 2012, of the 4,700 patent lawsuits filed, 3,000 were from patent trolls. It was found out that these kind of litigations cause investors an estimated half a trillion dollars since 1990. Half a trillion!

Senate Crackdown

The light in the tunnel is that the Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved a version of the Patent Act. The bill protects businesses like start-ups and building contractors from patent trolls by making it more difficult for them to file lawsuits.

It also places a limit on the amount of work each side has to make in producing evidence significant to the case. It can be noted that these work, or “discovery”, is the reason why businesses chose to settle as they can’t afford its lengthy process.

Furthermore, the bill forces the losing side of the case to pay for the cost the winning side has expended during the whole process.

While the bill hasn’t been made into a law, it’s getting closer to being one.

Jaw-Clenching Changes

However, supporters of the bill were furious after a last-minute addition which alters a facet of the patent system.

A tactic, known as post-grant review, allows companies to challenge the validity of a patent. With this companies can ask the Patent Trading Office to review the patent in which the suit is based.

Unfortunately, critics of the review process stated that it isn’t difficult to get a patent invalidated. Thus, provisions were added that could lead to fewer patents be rendered null. Supporter of the bill are still trying to find ways to strengthen the now botched post-review process before it finally steps on the Senate floor.

Another good news for tech advocates is that another bill, called Innovation Act is, is also on the works. One benefit of this bill is that it forces patent trolls to be more transparent with their identities.

Let’s just hope that these two bills would be enough to stomp out these leeches that have been sucking the blood out of big and small companies for years.

Crime as a Label in the Modern Context


crime as a labelWhat is crime? In Introduction to Criminological Thought, Pavlich (2000) suggests that the word “crime” comes from the Latin word crimen which is used simultaneously with other words like culpa, accusare, offensa and ignominia which mean fault, to call someone to account for their actions, offence, and scandal respectively. There are many controversial topics surrounding the definition of crime.

How is Crime Defined in the Modern Context?

Is a crime only a crime if the culprit gets caught? There are laws that prohibit the smoking of tobacco in certain areas. Is it a crime to smoke in the public library? Academics Muncie and McLaughlin suggested that crime is simply the what the law defines it as. By abolishing the law, crime is abolished. Behavior in society would not have changed, but the label has. It can then be argued that law is the formal cause of crime.

According to the noted US academics Reese Walters and Trevor Bradley in their 2008 book (Introduction To Criminological Thought), Tappan (1947) argued that there can be no crime until an offender is identified, arrested, tried, found guilty and punished. This exemplifies that no behavior can be considered criminal until formally adjudicated by the criminal justice system. A large number of offences and offenders are either not reported or not caught by the justice system. Does this mean that these offenses are not crimes and their perpetrators are not criminals?

There is crime, and there are others that are morally offensive. A good example of this would be the sex industry. Prostitution is legalized in 40% of the countries in the world. According to the article updated on April 8, 2010, Procon.org “100 Countries And Their Prostitution Policies,” both prostitution and brothel ownership is legal in Columbia, but pimping is not.

This brings to question why certain behavior can be singled out and defined as criminal while other equivalent behaviors, often creating even more harm, are left out of the justice system. Why is marijuana illegal while the consumption and possession of drugs like “alcohol” are legal even though studies have shown marijuana to be far less addictive and toxic than alcohol?

Crime is Time Specific in a Given Society

According to Sonia Farid in the June 17, 2010, Al Arabiya News Channel, article “Saudi Activists Outraged As Man Marries 11 Yr Old”, an 11 year old girl’s father allowed his daughter to marry to an 80 year old man. In Saudia Arabia, a man is legally qualified to marry a girl if he has the authorization of the child’s parents. In New Zealand and other western countries, the husband would be convicted of breaching marriage laws and possible child molestation. Hence in one country he is a father and in another he is a criminal.

Apartheid laws in South Africa in 1948 meant the institutionalizing of race laws which affected every aspect of social life including a prohibition of marriage between non-whites and whites and the prohibition of “white- only” jobs. This may be morally unacceptable but was a law at the time until 1990 when Mandela was released from prison and a ban was placed on the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid organizations.

Crime is a Label that is Both Socially and Culturally Constructed

Crime is a socially constructed label. There is no act or behaviour that is, in itself, fundamentally criminal. Every society has different societal norms and problems.

For example, the problem of young people causing trouble is visible in western societies. Most youth are not criminals but as a result of their age, they are denied access from places of adult entertainment, thus seeking their recreation and social existence in public places. Once the teenagers are constructed as a “problem” legislation is promptly executed to control their behavior. As a result, criminalization is the creation of a successful labeling process.

Crime is a label that is culturally constructed. Law is created by those who have the capacity and capability to translate their interests into public code. The formation of white-collar crimes and corporate crimes remain a controversial affair. According to Catherine Rampell in the July 9, 2009, New York Times article “Sotomayor: Tough On White-Collar Crime”, white collar crime is estimated to cost the United States more than $300 billion annually.

As Brett Michael Dykes reported in the August 3, 2010, Yahoo News article “BP Oil Spill Officially Largest On Record”, the BP oil spill has led to the death of 11 people, contamination of an expansive area of the United States marine environment and continues to have a serious ramifications on wildlife, the local fishing industry and regional tourism. While it is seen as unethical, it is not a crime.

What is and is not offensive in society can be found in the cultural framework of lived experience and existence. As a result, the law provides inconsistencies when defining crime. These inconsistencies reflect inequalities in society and uphold the interests of those with the power to define what is “culture” and what is “crime”.

Cited References:

Muncie, John, and Eugene Mclaughlin. The Problem of Crime. London: Sage, 2001.
Walters, Reese, and Trevor Bradley. Introduction to Criminological Thought. Auckland: Pearson Education New Zealand, 2008.

Getting in the Loop About Compassionate Release


compassionate releaseIn 2009, the Lockerbie Bomber was released from prison and allowed to return to his home country because he was terminally ill. Also, Susan Atkins, one of the notorious Manson Family, is also asking for release on the grounds that she is dying of brain cancer. Both of these cases involve the Federal law of compassionate release.

Federal Compassionate Release law was amended in November of 2007 to define the criteria for “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances.

The prisoner must no longer be a danger to the community in the eyes of the court, and must not be sentenced to life without parole to be eligible for compassionate release.

The victims or the victims’ families are allowed to testify at a compassionate release hearing, just as they are at parole hearings. This can be very emotional, as most prisoners serving life sentences have committed heinous crimes, and of course the victims usually feel they should die in prison.

What are the Conditions for Compassionate Release?

In order for a prisoner with a life sentence to qualify for compassionate release, the prisoner must be able to prove that he or she is suffering from a terminal illness and has less than 6 months to live, or that they have an illness so debilitating that they can no longer provide self-care.

They must be released to a medical facility, and must prove that there are adequate finances to pay for such a facility.

The prisoner must also prove that, should they live beyond the 6 months, that they will not pose any threat to society.

Can Compassionate Release be Granted to Prisoners Without Life Sentences?

Compassionate release can be granted in non-life cases. The scenarios may change, but a case in point would be for someone charged with a non-violent crime and transformed to become a model prisoner and someone who have children without a living family member to look after them. However, these inmates would still need to demonstrate that they would create no risk to the community, and that they have the capacity to support their own family.

In this case, they would be granted an early parole, and would be subject to all parole requirements once released.

The Controversy Over Compassionate Release

Victim’s Rights groups oppose most compassionate releases, because of a belief that when a crime is committed, the violator must serve their full sentence in order to be justly punished.

Groups such as Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) lobby congress for legislation which is not as restrictive, and provides more leeway to judges in compassionate release cases.

The loophole in this law is that Bureau of Prisons can arrange early release for any prisoner at any time, and has the sole authority to override the provisions of the law and determine what constitutes “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances.

It is an ongoing debate, which arises each time a prisoner applies for early release for compassionate reasons. The United States, however, is a compassionate country, so there is little chance that these laws will be rescinded in the future.

A Promising Solution to Persisting Gun Violence


gun violenceGun crimes have been one of the persisting headaches among legislatures over the years. From school shootings to increase gun violence within cities, politicians have been drafting laws to lessen gun-related crimes in the country.

GIVE Initiative

Despite all these regulations that are enforced by law makers, gun violence still prevails among areas in the cities. But it’s usually not the whole city that’s the problem, but a certain part of it. Police officials and experts on the matter identify these parts as hotspots where gun violence is at its highest.

Thus, the GIVE initiative was implemented. GIVE or Gun Involved Violence Elimination is a strategy that police enforcers are currently testing to lessen gun crimes in their respected areas. The GIVE initiative is a program granting $13 million dollars for subset programs to curb this problem and decrease shootings in the future.

The program focuses on the said hotspots mentioned earlier, but not on reason you might think. The aim is to foster the relationship between law enforcers and the community in the area. Those involved in the programs uses a stern yet caring approach on the matter, conversing with those highly involved with the shooting and trying to make them understand the gravity of consequences should they continue on their path of violence.

It’s quite the strategy given that former methods that have been used on this dilemma has caused a gaping hole between local law enforcement agencies and the people that they’ve sworn to protect.

With this strategy, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Michael Green, hopes to heal and close the wound that have been caused by prior strategies.

Green added that by communicating directly with the leader of the groups involved with gun violence, they can reach out and tap the problem at its roots. He said that members of these groups should be made to understand that this has stop, there’s no negotiation on the matter.

“If one of your members commits a shooting, your whole group will be targeted,” Green added. The program offers services for these groups that can help them let go of these destructive behaviors that not only harm innocent citizens and officers upholding the law, but also themselves.

Is GIVE finally the answer?

Similar to other strategies, it would take time before results starts coming in. However, the cities that have participated have had positive feedbacks from the program so far.

The Syracuse Police Department is one such city that took part with the GIVE initiative. The department’s captain, Richard Trudell, said that they’ve brought these individuals in, sat them down, and have them listened to community speakers and law enforcers on the issue. “They do listen to what we’re telling them,” the captain stated.

As legislators are still coming up with specific laws that can lessen gun crimes within cities, while allowing its citizens the liberty to carry firearms, officers like Trudell and Green are doing their best to make this new program work.

Perhaps the answer is indeed healing the rift that has fragmented the law enforcers and the community of these hotspot areas. While it’s too early to say it’s the answer, one can only hope that this would turn up for the betterment of everyone involved.

Creating Awareness on Identity Fraud


identity fraudIdentify theft affects up to 13.1 million Americans in 2013 and it is increasing every year, according to the 2014 Identity Fraud Survey Report published by Javelin Strategy and Research. Resolving the damage caused by identity theft takes an average of 21 hours according to Javelin, although some people continue to encounter problems with identity theft for months or years after the initial crime.

Being Street Smart on Personal Safety


street smart tipsThe fear of crime can often supersede the reality of the threat, but it always pays to be cautious. Follow some simple advice to stay safer when out and about.

Building Design to Thwart Crime


design against crimeThe idea of constructing the built environment in a way that reduces the opportunities for crime has formally been in existence since the 1970s. But can it work?

C. Ray Jeffrey, from Florida State University, first coined the phrase ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’ (CPTED) in 1971 with the publication of his book of the same name.

In a nutshell, research suggests that the design of a building helps to determine whether or not criminals decide to commit crime. When assessing the potential opportunity to commit a crime, of primary concern to a would-be criminal is whether or not they are likely to get caught. If the likelihood is high, or higher than a location next door or down the road, it is much more likely that the criminal will walk away.

Experts in CPTED tend to divide how the built environment can help to reduce crime into three categories: Increasing the perception that criminals can be seen, restricting access and classifying space, and provoking a sense of ownership of space.

Natural surveillance
If criminals believe they can be seen, they are unlikely to commit a crime. A number of methods can be employed to create this perception:
• Locating on a busy road with a lot of traffic is often a deterrent to criminals, as they are more likely to be seen.
• Leave window shades and blinds open. People could potentially be looking through a window even from far across a room. Conversely, leaving shades and blinds open could display the steal-able goods on offer inside and provide an insight into the building’s interior, so make a measured judgment on this.
• Windows overlooking pavements and car parks can deter crime both in the building and on the street.
• Potential problem areas should be well-lit. Problem areas could include pathways, stairs, entrances and exits. All lighting should be implemented at a strategic height to light the faces of people in the area. This will also help to identify potential attackers.

Natural access
There are a number of measures homeowners and businesses can adopt to control access to property and to highlight intruders:
• There should be one, easily distinguished point of entry. Opportunistic criminals won’t have an excuse to go looking for another entrance if it’s made obvious in the first place. If it’s a residential property, a locking gate should be in place to prevent access to the back.
• In corporate offices, visitors should be clearly directed towards the reception area and should not be able to access any other part of the building without the authority of an employee.
• Public bathrooms should use maze entrances. Anterooms can cause isolation.
• Low, thorny bushes below ground level windows can be enough to deter potential burglars.
• Residential properties should also have waist-high picket-style fencing at the front of it. Not only does it control access to a property or private land, but defines the boundary to make it easy for neighbours and passers-by to spot intruders.
• Fencing in between neighboring properties should be shoulder-high. Although it’s less private, the ability for neighbors to see over the fence will deter intrusion and the potential for criminality. Robust, high fencing should be used between a property and an alleyway or other public pathway.

Ownership of Space
The built environment can help to effect how spaces are used and communicate that to potential criminals:
• If a premises looks well-maintained and has neat landscaping, it suggests that the area is actively and regularly used, acting as a natural deterrent to criminals.
• Display official signs to communicate that security systems are in use.
• Trees in residential areas and public outdoor spaces make an area significantly more attractive than spaces without trees. In addition to providing seating and refreshments in common or public spaces, this will encourage people to use the area more and keep criminals away. Furthermore, scheduling activities in common areas increases the perception that the areas are being both watched and closely managed.
• Cyclone fencing and razor-wire fencing can suggest that there are no people inside. Opposing their aim, this can actually make the property a safer option to break into as the risk of getting caught is minimized.