Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Government Run Amok - Again

Call me a conservative, or a small-L libertarian, or a Tea Party member. Labels today have become meaningless.

But the one thing conservatives/libertarians/tea partiers have in common is a belief that government at all levels has become too intrusive, too rigid, and just plain too screwed up to function properly.

The latest case in point:

Parents Under Investigation After 11-Year-Old Plays Alone in Yard for 90 Minutes
The mom and dad, Cindy and Fred, were on their way home from running errands but were delayed by rain and traffic. Meanwhile, their 11-year-old son had beaten them home and didn’t have a house key, so he amused himself by shooting some hoops while he waited, for about 90 minutes.

That’s when an unknown neighbor, apparently not okay with the situation, called the cops, who in turn looped in CPS. So when Cindy and Fred arrived home they were arrested for child neglect — then fingerprinted, strip searched, and held in jail overnight. Their kids, meanwhile, including their 4-year-old boy, were removed from the home and from their parents’ custody for one month.

“We still do not have our children, we are fighting for our own freedom and due to the nature of my employment I am no longer employed,” she wrote. “My son was in his own yard playing basketball, not in the street or at the park. The authorities claim he had no access to water or shelter. We have an open shed in the back yard and 2 working sinks and 2 hoses. They said he had no food. He ate his snacks already. He had no bathroom, but the responding officer found our yard good enough to relieve himself in while our son sat in a police car alone. In his own yard, in a state, Florida, that has no minimum age for children to be alone.”

Both boys were placed in foster care for two days while a background check was done on a relative who had offered to keep them while the legal matter was resolved. They were only returned home to their parents last week, after the older son spoke up and said he wanted to go home.

... this is not the end of the case — the parents must still defend themselves in criminal court, and that the family has been mandated into therapy, and the kids into summer camp where they will be supervised.
I'll give the neighbor the benefit of the doubt - maybe they were genuinely concerned about the kid's welfare (more likely, the constant thump-thump-thump of the basketball hitting the driveway drove them crazy, but it really doesn't matter). The cops, in days gone by, would have dropped by and done a welfare check on the kid. Once they saw he wasn't neglected or in danger, they would have moved on.

But today, when the police are under microscopic scrutiny, there is no room for judgment or common sense. They have to play CYA, which in this case means calling Child Protective Services. Since CPS is staffed and run by people with a built-in incentive to find (or manufacture) cases of parental neglect (the more 'neglect' they find, the bigger their budget), the might of the government is unleashed upon an innocent family. The kids are traumatized, the parents criminalized, and the only entity that benefits from the whole mess is a government agency.

That's why I'm a conservative/libertarian/tea partier.


Old NFO said...

YGTBSM!!! That is just... sigh... Words fail me!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

The first right we need to defend is, leave me the %^$& alone.

CenTexTim said...

NFO - there seem to be a lot of those YGTBSM moments lately...

WSF - agree 100%!