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Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Nanny State Needs to be Dismantled

The following "then vs. now" comparisons of common situations 50 years ago and now are making the rounds on talk radio and the Internet. Although intended to be humorous they are also a sad commentary on the level that the nanny state has encroached into our everyday lives.

Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.
    1957 - Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.
    2007 - School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
    1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.
    2007 - Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.
    1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.
    2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.
    1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
    2007 - Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school.
    1957 - Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.
    2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
    1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
    2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state Democrat party. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
    1957 - Ants die.
    2007 - BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary, hugs him to comfort him.
    1957 - In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
    2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison.

Such meddling by the nanny state will only get worse unless we elect people to office who understand that it is not proper role of government (at any level) to even attempt to eliminate all risk or embarrassment in life or to assume the function of an omnipresent director of all societal interactions.

The next election would be a good place to start dismantling the nanny state as too many of our current elected officials (such as Senator Chaudhary and Representative Knuth) clearly support strengthening the nanny state rather than rolling it back.

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