Thursday, August 21, 2014

Are we Really This Foolish?

  The preceding photo was  brought to my attention amidst great praise for the  expressed  sentiment. Reportedly taken in a doctors office somewhere and posted to social media,  this photo was accompanied by comments of 'Amen ' and 'Great idea!'.   Other commentators, mostly young women, made statements to the effect that, if this  already wasn't the law, then it should be and expressed great admiration and approval for the  doctor's office and this policy.
  Let me  start out by saying that I understand the initial, visceral reaction to this.  Most people understand, even if they don't use these exact words, that the state steals from them every payday and gives that money, in the form of subsidies housing, food stamps et al, to people who  can work, but do not.  This moocher class has a reputation  for sitting around on the public dole and cranking out babies in order to increase their share of the dole.  Illicit drug use is  also rampant  among the moocher class, and so when  most people see this sign, they get the idea that it's intended target is the  drugged-up perpetually-pregnant welfare mooch. The thievery, the  financially-prompted pregnancies, and the  drug use  are all horrible  problems, but I submit to you that this is not the solution.
  Out of all the evils conceived in the warped bosom of the nanny state, the idea that it's the governments job to protect children from the misdeeds of the  parents is  probably one of the most diabolical. For starters, the definition of a misdeed is a floating standard, subject to  change with or without  notice.  I do my best to  provide not only the essentials  to my children, but some of the perks.  My children enjoy an appropriate amount of the benefits of growing up in 21st century America.  We have running water, and we have air-conditioning. My children go to the doctor, and my children go to the dentist.  Having said all that, if I  grew weary of paying my  light bill and decided we were going to  squat in the dark for a month or so, some well-meaning  busybody would declare that I was abusing my children or not providing for them.  Think about this for  a moment.  As I sit here and type this, literally  billions of people are without electricity, running water  or air conditioning, yet they survive.  If that is abuse, then we really should start  shipping them over here as fast as we can.  We as a society should organize some sort of epic move to  get central heat and air installed in every  hut in Kenya.  Of course we realize the silliness of that, even as we realize that not being  offered every technological convenience is hardly abuse.  We realize that, but at the same time, try raising  three or four kids in a house without electricity and see what sort of  government thug shows up at your door. The fact that billions of people already live that way will not sway the  governmental child-snatcher; you must comply to their definition of misdeeds or suffer the potential loss of your children.
  This puts me, as a parent, at the mercy of the subjective standards of some sort of bureaucratic representative. This also assumes that the  faceless government agency  somehow owns my children, and I that I am only raising them in a stewardship role. If I do a good job, I  get to keep  feeding and providing for them, but if I fail, the 'real parents' will show up and whisk them away.  At the very least, the state is assumed to  know the 'right way' to raise children, and  are somehow granted the authority to peer into my home at the slightest whiff of malfeasance with judgement in their wake, and the full backing of the court system at their fingertips.
  Even if the CPS folks had a good track record this would be a horrifically warped idea.  But they don't even have a good track record to  fall back on. Their track record is an  amazing  history of false confessions, drummed up charges,  and  mishandling so monstrous it certainly must be on purpose.  In my life, I have known people  in the midst of a bitter divorce who surprisingly, had CPS show up at their door from an 'anonymous tip'. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that the departing spouse was using the  club of the state to  hit where it hurts, but regardless, in matters of child welfare you are  guilty until proven innocent.  We knew a family in California who lost their kids because due to the false charges brought upon them by an attendee of the day care they ran from their home. They were eventually vindicated, but their children spent 6 months in foster care and the parents  spent thousands of dollars all because a 4 year old didn't want to take a nap, and dropped a dime on them to the state.  The very existence of CPS allows people to use the power of the state to punish , harass, intimidate and bully, all while remaining anonymous.
   CPS regularly misplaces kids, and kids die in their care. They retaliate against parents who highlight their misdeeds. They are one more revenue generator for the state.  If you really love children, it would  be better to leave them with a  parent that may  not have it all figured out but is trying than to entrust them to a soulless bureaucracy that gets paid whether the child  sinks or swims.
  So back to our little sign at the doctors office. You may say "Yes, that's all well and true, Michael, but abuses do happen and if a woman is doing drugs while pregnant somebody ought to step in.  Her doctor could be the early warning detection system that saves that child's life!"   If that sort of vigilance is a good idea, why stop there?  What if the doctor doesn't think you're getting enough sleep or eating the right foods? What if you have expressed reservations about vaccines? What if the  doctor just thinks you're weird?  What if the nurse disagrees with your homeschooling?  what if the admin temp filing your medical record   sees something that she disagrees with?  Once you open the door for a  snitch to snitch, all they need is  a reason.  It doesn't  even have to be a good reason.  Signs and practices like the one above not only  destroy the doctor-patient relationship by turning  your health care provider into just another arm of the snitch apparatus, but it empowers busybodies to use the  strong arm of the  courts to wreak havoc in your life while remaining unscathed. It is a monstrous idea, and I for one would refuse to do business with someone who had such a policy.
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