A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘Nanny State’ Category

How Do You Sign “Shut Up Slave”

without comments

I often hear people say that the right to free speech much have reasonable restrictions placed upon it. Usually these people are hyper sensitive ninnies whose skin is so thin that it’s penetrated by even the most childish of insults. A school board in New Jersey, a state that is well ahead of the average American police state curve, have found another reason to curtail the freedom of speech, safety:

School officials have threatened a hearing-impaired girl with suspension if she uses sign language to talk to her friends on the school bus, the girl’s parents say.

Danica Lesko and her parents say sign language is the only way to for the 12-year-old to communicate, especially while riding to school on a noisy bus.

But officials at Stonybrook School — which is not a school for the hearing-impaired — and district officials in Branchburg, N.J., apparently believe signing is a safety hazard. They have sent a letter to the Lesko family ordering Danica to stop using sign language on the school bus or risk a three-day suspension.

[…]

In a statement released through the school district’s attorney, David Rubin, the Branchburg Board of Education refused to discuss the details of Danica’s case, saying only that its version of events differs from the parents’ version.

However, the board insisted it has not violated anyone’s rights and is only trying to protect other students who must ride on the school bus.

“The Board is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to all students with disabilities, and is satisfied that there has been no violation of that policy in this case,” officials said in the statement. “The Board is also committed to assuring the safety of all students who travel on District buses, and will continue to take appropriate steps to accomplish that goal.”

It appears that little Danica’s reliance on sign language to communicate is a danger to her fellow students. By Odin, she could have expressed ideas that haven’t been expressly approved by the Thought Police! Imagine the damage she could cause if she incited her fellow slaves to throw off the shackles of the public education system. There could be freethinkers running around in a few years!

Written by Christopher Burg

June 25th, 2013 at 10:00 am

Your Child Belongs to the State

without comments

Remember when MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry started a great deal of controversy by claiming that children belong to the community? It turns out the New Jersey Supreme Court agrees with her:

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that authorities can seek custody of a child, even where there’s no evidence of abuse or neglect.

The case involved a divorced Camden County mother of 9-year-old twin girls. In 2007, she asked New Jersey’s Division of Child Protection and Permanency for help, claiming she was unable to care for the girls who had psychological and developmental disabilities and needed to be placed in residential care.

“You can turn to the Division for help, but it may come with a cost,” says Diana Autin, executive director of Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey. The group filed an amicus brief in the case.

Autin says under the court’s ruling, the state can get custody of a child with behavior problems if it proves that the parent can’t provide the type of services the child needs and the services are in the child’s best interest. She says the division can get custody without using the state’s abuse and neglect law.

In layman’s terms your child is the property of the state. You may be allowed to raise the state’s child if you are the biological or adoptive parent but that privilege may also be revoked if the state decides you are unworthy of the task. Or, to be put even more tersely, shut the fuck up slave and raise “your” child as you’re told to.

Seriously, how much more ridiculous does the legal system in this country have to get before people finally see it as illegitimate?

Cultural Deterioration

without comments

America is advertised as the land of the free and the home of the brave. That may be true at one time but that isn’t true now. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center demonstrates that America is screwed:

A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And while the public is more evenly divided over the government’s monitoring of email and other online activities to prevent possible terrorism, these views are largely unchanged since 2002, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

I’ve been trying to find a descriptive label for the deterioration of American society and I think cultural deterioration is appropriate. At one time the American culture was known for fierce independence, a general distrust of government, and a strong work ethic. Today the American culture is known for dependence, a complete obedience to government, and a lackluster work ethic. How did we get here? I think there are too many factors involved to list them all but, in my opinion, the overall attitude of expecting the government to care for those in need instead of taking direct action to help those in need played a major part. When a society relies on the government to care for those in need it leaves the door wide open for the government to crack down more and more on society at large.

I discussed the failure of relying on the government to provide for those in need a couple of months ago. The primary weakness of such a system is that the state, being an agent of expropriation, has no interest in investing the wealth is as stolen from the general population on people who have nothing to steal. In the eye’s of the government we’re cattle. It wants to extract as much milk from us as possible. That means it will provide some care for people who produce milk but will take the people who don’t produce milk out back and shoot them. The state isn’t going to invest more resources into a cow then it believes can be extracted from it. Besides having no motivation to help cattle that don’t produce milk the government also wants to avoid sinking resources into cattle that do produce milk. This is where nanny state laws come from.

Why is it so difficult to buy and consume raw milk? Because the risks of getting sick by consuming raw milk are higher that the risks of getting sick by consume pasteurized and homogenized milk. Since the government has been tasked with covering the healthcare costs of those who have no insurance it wants to prohibit anything that could make somebody sick. It’s a way of reducing the amount of resources it has to spend on its herd.

What makes this matter worse is that the cattle become dependent on the government and even begin to see the government as a benevolent entity. American cattle have come to rely on the government for many things including safety. Most of the cattle see the government as the only thing between themselves and the wolves and coyotes. The fear of death is a powerful motivator, which makes it a prime target for exploitation by the government. We’re being told that the wolves and coyotes will get us if our every communication isn’t monitored. Most of the cattle have given their consent because they’re afraid of the alternative.

I don’t believe there is any way to salvage this country. Too many people are tied too tightly to the government for any hope of reclaiming liberty to exist. It’s probably time for those of us who actually enjoy liberty to find somewhere else to live. The world is a gigantic place that is full of untold wonders. At this point sticking around here, in my opinion, is a liability because the culture has deteriorated to a point that all hope of salvation is likely gone.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 12th, 2013 at 11:30 am

Mother Arrested for Failing to be Authoritarian Enough

without comments

A mother in Texas was arrested because she failed to acclimate her children to the authoritarian state they must live under:

Police arrested a Texas mom for allowing her children to play outside last week, after a neighbor reported to police that the kids were riding scooters around a cul de sac.

Tammy Cooper, who was arrested for child endangerment, insists she was watching her children from a lawn chair in her front yard.

Now, Cooper is suing the La Porte Police Department, the arresting officer and the neighbor who made the call.

A few hours after the neighbor called police, a La Porte policeman showed up to the scene of the “crime” to arrest Cooper.

“I went out there to see what he was here for and he said, ‘Ma’am, we’re here for you.’ I said, ‘Oh really? Why?’ He proceeded to tell me he had received a call from one of my neighbors that my kids were riding their scooters unsupervised”, Cooper told KRPC.

The state likes to recruit individuals to enforce its decrees. Employers are forced to collect the state’s payroll taxes, corporate whistleblowers are encouraged to come forward with any information that paints their employers in a bad light (government whistleblowers are expected to shut the hell up though), and parents are compelled to send their children to state-approved indoctrination centers as well as play the part of Big Brother. The state is coercing parents to keep an eye on their children at all times, which is also a convenient way to convince children that being spied on at all times is normal.

We’re all expected to do our part in this gigantic nanny state we call America.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 19th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Beware of Terrorist Photographers

without comments

Are you afraid of everybody yet? Has the state finally convinced you that the sweet old lady living down the street is actually a secret Al Qaeda spy who is plotting to kill you and everybody you love? Do you avoid members of the Muslim faith because the state has convinced you that their religion is actually a thin veil to coverup their terroristic activities? When you see a man walking down the street with a holstered firearm on his hip do you run in the oppose direction knowing that he’s a racist right-wing extremist? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions prepare to have an even more fear filled life because photographers are out to kill your mother and rape your father:

Once again, a government agency is encouraging citizens to report photographers as potential terrorists.

This time it is the City of Houston, which has produced a high-budgeted video funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

Starting at 1:45 in the video titled “Make the Call – Terrorism Prevention – The Threat is Real,” a male authoritative voice states the following:

Cameras and recording devices have gotten so small, that most of us seem to have one with us all the time. It’s not unusual to see people taking pictures or video almost anywhere.

But surveillance and information gathering is a common practice used by terrorists prior to an attack. If you see someone trying to conceal what they are doing, taking pictures of exits, security or restricted areas, if they hang around for no apparent reason, ask inappropriate questions about schedules or the facility, or if they try to avoid security when approached, make the call.

[…]

The video also encourages citizens and employees to call police in the event that somebody happens to leave a bag behind at a restaurant instead of just trying to yell out to that person in the case they may have just left it behind by accident.

What’s surprising isn’t the fact the state continues to make these videos, it’s the fact that some people actually believe them. Even though you’re eight times more likely to be killed by a costume clad state thug than a terrorist people still believe that the state exists to protect them from the terrorists.

For the record, if I ever forget my backpack or laptop bag I’d greatly appreciate somebody letting me know instead of calling the police. I don’t want to be the target of a state investigation because I forgot something.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 10th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Remember, it’s Not Your Property

with 2 comments

You must always remember that you are a serf, you cannot own property, all property is collectively owned by the state. Because of this the state has the final say in any activities that are allowed or prohibited on your property. If you own an apartment complex and the state doesn’t want residents to smoke, even though you do, residents will not be allowed to smoke:

Smoking is already banned at beaches, parks, restaurants and near buildings in Santa Monica, but Tuesday night the city council sought to expand that prohibition and voted 4-2 to ban smoking for all new tenants of apartments and condos inside their residences – with one exception.

“It also requires existing residents to designate their units as smoking or non smoking and from then on it will be prohibited to smoke in a non smoking unit,” said Adam Radinksy, head of the Consumer Protection Unit in Santa Monica.

Under the guise of health and safety the state can deem anything prohibited anywhere. I’m surprised more municipalities haven’t entirely banned smoking whether it happens outside or inside private residents. In fact they could have police officers enter homes, with warrants and all, to determine if somebody in the home is smoke and arrest them under the claim that said smoking is harming any children, pets, or other residents living in the home. Better yet the state could just issue fines and expropriate more wealth from the people.

Written by Christopher Burg

July 30th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Where do School Boards Come Up with this Stuff

without comments

The biggest issue with central planning is the fact no person can know what another truly wants. When central planners do get their way unintended consequences are always soon to follow. Take the recent story where a school board in Buffalo, New York decided it would be a jolly good idea to ban sunscreen:

School leaders in Washington State and other parts of the country have said the regulations are needed, because kids could have an allergic reaction or other medical condition as a result of the sunscreen use.

In a little twist of irony the school board banned sunscreen over concerns of students having allergic reactions without stopping to think that some people have allergic reactions to sunlight. As one of these unfortunate soles you’ll never find me with a tan and when I am going to be exposed to sunlight for any notable length of time I always make sure I put on plenty of sunscreen. Even people who aren’t allergic to sunlight don’t tend to react well to overexposure:

There’s outrage nationwide over a school’s policy in Washington State that caused two young girls to get severely sunburned, and that could have an impact here locally.

Sisters Violet and Zoe Michener of Tacoma, Washington arrived home from school last week with severe burns, after the school denied them access to sunscreen. They were out in the blistering sun for several hours during the annual field day event.

Did this possibility never cross the minds of the school board members who banned sunscreen? You would think there would be one member with enough brains to say, “Hey guys, humans invented sunscreen because we don’t react well to sunlight. If we ban sunscreen kids are going to get severely burned and it’ll probably result in a lawsuit against the school.”

If a student is allergic to sunblock then it is up to their parents to ensure the kid doesn’t wear it. Punishing every student because there might be one that has an adverse reaction to something is idiotic.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 26th, 2012 at 10:30 am

The Hypocrisy of Protection Laws

without comments

I touched on this subject last week but it bears a more in depth post. The nanny state has been passing laws meant to protect people for ages now, unfortunately any law meant to protect people is automatically oxymoronic.

Let’s consider what a law is. A law is a decree that either allows, mandates, or prohibits an action or set of actions by threat of violence. This is always the case, there is no such thing as a law that isn’t backed by the threat of violence. For example, if you commit murder you will be arrested and if you attempt to resist the arresting officers they will use force to take you; If you resist sufficiently they will even go so far as to kill you.

Protection laws are ones that mandate or prohibit an action or set of actions that have been deemed harmful. In my previous posted I talked about the new law being pushed in New York City that would ban restaurant and theater owners from selling soft drinks in containers that have a storage capacity greater than 16 ounces. In Minnesota we have laws that mandate the wearing of seat belts while in a motor vehicle and prohibit smoking cigaretts inside publicly accessible buildings (basically any building somebody works in). The idea behind these laws is that not wearing a seat belt is dangerous as is smoking.

Mandating or prohibiting an action through the threat of force to protect somebody is hypocritical. When Minnesota mandates vehicle occupants wear a seat belt they’re actually saying, “Wear a seat belt or else…” The “or else” part starts at a fine which, if not paid, will escalate into kidnapping and even murder. There is no logic behind such laws. How can one claim to be protecting another by threatening that person? Can I enter your home, pull a gun on you, and demand you stop eating potato chips? No, I would go to jail for such an act. Yet when the state does the exact same thing people cheer it.

Anytime a politician starts promoting a law to protect you remember that he really means to threaten you if you perform actions that he believes are harmful.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 8th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Using Force to Fight Obesity

without comments

Mayor Bloomberg is a special kind of tyrant. He views himself as king of New York and people treat him as such. Like any good monarch he acts like his decrees are divinely inspired and therefore he is justified in using force make the heathens obey. His latest crusade has been against soft drink manufacturers:

The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is calling for a municipal ban on sales of super-sized sugary drinks in an attempt to tackle obesity.

He wants to stop the city’s restaurants, delis, sports stadiums and cinemas from selling large sizes of sweetened soft drinks.

[…]

Under the proposals, any bottles of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces would be taken off the shelves in cafes while extra-large options will disappear from restaurant menus.

I would point out that this ban is pointless as most soda isn’t “sugary” as it’s sweetened with corn syrup, a substance that isn’t sugar in any regard, but nobody cares. A far more relevant criticism is the fact the state is willing to use violence to prevent the sale of soft drinks that are above an arbitrarily selected size.

We need to break down Bloomberg’s decree, specifically we need to follow it to its logical end. Let’s say we have a restaurant that gives Bloomberg the middle finger, their customers want 20oz. soft drinks and the restaurant wants to fulfill the wants of its customers. What will happen? Will Bloomberg personally show up and ask the restaurant owner to cease such sales kindly? Will Bloomberg attempt to make a voluntary agreement, a trade in exchange for the restaurant stopping the sale of large soft drinks? No. What Bloomberg will do is sent a bunch of gun toting thus wearing costumes to the restaurant and have them forcefully close the establishment. They’ll likely kidnap the restaurant owner and put him in a cage to boot. After patrons and employees have been removed from the restaurant at gun point the costumed thugs will then start writing extortion notes, commonly referred to as fine. Unless the restaurant owner pays the extortion money he will be held in a cage and the restaurant will continue to be occupied and controlled by the state invaders. Thor help the restaurant owner if he refuses to be kidnapped. If he should resist he will be beaten or even murdered because he dared give his customers what they wanted.

Every law is a threat against the people. Every piece of legislation should read, “Obey or else.” Is it just to threaten somebody with murder just to prevent them from selling soft drinks larger than an arbitrarily selected size? When you boil it down that’s exactly what Bloomberg’s law is, a threat of violence against the people to prohibit voluntary association.

Written by Christopher Burg

June 1st, 2012 at 12:00 pm

The Stasi in School Lunchrooms

with 4 comments

Parents who send their children to public schools have two options when it comes to food; have the kid eat the school provided lunches or pack lunches for the kid. Well it appears as through the latter option is going away as the Stasi are inspecting lunches and confiscating those that aren’t approved by the state:

The West Hoke Elementary School student was in her More at Four classroom when a U.S. Department of Agriculture agent who was inspecting lunch boxes decided that her packed lunch — which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips — “did not meet USDA guidelines,” the Journal reports.

The decision was made under consideration of a regulation put in place by the the Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services, which requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to meet USDA guidelines.

In other words the state makes the requirements. If you don’t agree with those requirements that’s just too fucking bad. Do you believe your child needs turkey and cheese instead of the pink goo used to make chicken nuggest? Too bad, the state has deemed that you believe wrong and will steal your child’s lunch just like it steals your money.

This is no longer the land of the free, it is a police state where every action is controlled by the state at the point of a gun.

EDIT: 2012-02-16 13:20: The link posted by Nicole calls several aspects of this story into question. Namely the situation has become a bit of a he said, she said situatation:

Additionally, citing the above-linked statement, a local TV news outlet which had jumped on the bandwagon claims that “the agency says it gave the little girl milk to offset a missing dairy item.” However, this claim does not appear to be in the cited statement.

The TV station’s update further quotes the school district’s superintendent as saying that the child was simply instructed (it is unclear by whom, and it is unclear whether the child was first asked whether she wanted milk) to go through the lunch line to get some milk, and that the superintendent thinks “that the child became confused about what she had to do. I think the child, instead of going over and picking up the milk, I think the child, for whatever reason, thought she had to go through the line and get a school meal which, that’s not our policy.”

In other words one of two possibilities exist; either an overzealous employee, given legitimacy by the state, ordered the girl to get a school provided lunch or the child was simply order to get milk but became confused. It does sound as though the lunch was not confiscated, which is a relief to know. What becomes far more interesting though is the following:

Notably, as the second-linked story above suggests, the mother’s main gripe here does not even appear to be with this “state agent,” but instead with the school’s teachers, who continue to give the girl milk and vegetables despite letters from the mother asking them not to.

What is not made clear is why the mother desired her child not to be provided milk and vegetables. This is of importance because it is very possible that the child has allergies that must be avoided or the family has religious reasons (for example if they’re strict Orthodox Jews they may require food to be kosher). Regardless the mother’s wishes were ignore. The following claim is then made:

The mother apparently objects to this option being provided to her daughter, not because of any health concerns or the like, but because she incorrectly believes that she will be charged additional money for her child being provided this option.

Of course this statement is in question because we do not know if there is a health concern regarding the child or not, that is never made clear. It seems to me that the mother had some kind of reason for wishing her child not be provided certain foodstuffs and that reasoning is important to know. The author is also unaware of how the state only expands its powers:

Since this is also an opt-in program, there is no chance of this becoming some sort of generally applicable concern even to the extent there is some sort of nanny state concern here. If the mother has some sort of ethical problem with her child being provided with the option of drinking milk or eating vegetables at school, then she is surely free to send her child to an unsubsidized day care program.

Emphasis mine. The state often uses opt-in programs to field test new powers and authorities before making them mandatory elsewhere. Saying there is no chance of this situation becoming generally applicable shows a gross lack of understanding in how governmental powers expand. I also find the second claim interesting because it’s a play on the statist’s usual rebuttal of, “If you don’t like it leave.” Apparently the state should provided these subsidized services, make everybody pay for them at the point of a gun, but if you partake in one of these programs that you’re forced to pay for you should have no say in how it’s run. That sounds like a typical statist to me.

At most, the only actual concern here, hinted at by the second-linked article, is the expense to the taxpayer of providing the extra food free of charge. Then again, since we are definitionally dealing with children whose parents will often lack the resources to provide a consistently balanced lunch, and since the whole point of the program is to provide those children with a pre-K experience that their parents’ income would otherwise prevent, this would not seem to be a tremendously important concern.

Again, emphasis mine. So we’re definitely dealing with a maybe here.

I’m going to toss this story into the he said, she said pile. Evidence exists that both sides of the story are exaggerated and contain misunderstandings and conjecture. It is my belief that the truth lies somewhere between the extremes although we’re unlikely to ever find out what the truth is.