Idiocracy: The Rise of the Nanny State
Fact-Based Reporting by
We applaud Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to help pass sensible gun control and gun safety laws, but…
Many are familiar with New York City’s former Mayor Bloomberg, and his divine crusade against things he feels are bad for the rest of us. During his ban of “Big Gulps”, soda drinks over 20 ounces, one thing that happened was that 7-11s and other big name chain stores were given exemptions, while mom and pop stores and street vendors lost out and lost money.
A Forbes article pointed out that the courts, which often champion individual rights over the rights of the State, struck down the “Big Gulp” ban as well as the chances it woulsd spread to other communities across the U.S.
“We often hear about how freedom is under attack in the United States—that the government is slowly but surely encroaching on our rights. This may have been true in a gradual sense over the last several decades, but in more recent years we are seeing increased attempts to control, by government decree, our behavior and free will.”
“It may be a good idea to consume less sugar, salt, trans fat and tobacco, but should government tell us what we can and can’t eat and drink? At a time when we often toss around rhetoric about taking rights away like its yesterday’s newspaper, Bloomberg actually is taking away New Yorkers’ rights to decide what to drink, eat and consume with increasing regularity. It begs the question: what is next?”
The “NannyState” is a derisive British term for overreaching government policies that go too far in trying to punish and prevent unwanted behaviors. They go too far because they can cause much more harm than they can ever hope to prevent. The NannyState rules are a threat to the development of our children, a threat to our liberties, and a threat to a reasoned and voluntary cultural evolution.
Hiding Information from the People
A recent example of this is all these PHD’s, far left leaders and reporter’s articles imploring the State of Connecticut to not release the 911 tapes, or any other information, from last December’s Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting.
Calls to not broadcast the 911 tapes are entirely understandable. The information is readily available many places on the internet. People want to spare the families the pain of inadvertently hearing screams or cries or gunshots on the tapes broadcast on the news and echoing all over the internet.
Over and above this, these so-called experts from Academia and the Media, were begging Connecticut authorities to not release the tapes at all.
This is in violation of our freedom of information act. We have the right to this information. What harm can ever be done by facing the truth about what happened at a critical event? Instead, these experts were arguing that the public doesn’t need to know the facts and only the Connecticut authorities need the 911 information as well as other facts and details. So how are the rest of us to devise the best ways to prevent another mass shooting?
You Don’t Need to Know
In comparison Colorado released much more information one single day after the ArapahoeHigh School shooting this week then Connecticut authorities have released in a year.
It’s bad enough the Connecticut authorities were able to get away with the paltry information finally released nearly one year after the Sandy Hook Shooting, but here were far left Nanny State Ninnies imploring authorities to continue withholding vital information to the delight of far right gun worshippers and hoax hounds who benefit from exactly this type of obfuscation of the facts and hidden facts that the public has a right to know about.
As it turned out, there were no crying voices or screams on the 911 tapes (not all tapes were released) and there were no audible gunshots.
“Bloomy” wants to decide what is best and dictate this to the rest of us as if we are not capable of making sound decisions for ourselves and our families.
This is just the most recent example of Nanny State Ninnies doing far more damage than good. It’s far worse than that, as the insurance industry, oppressive school policies and overt legislation attempt to harm our quality of life, attack creativity and freedom of expression, and literally force people to behave in politically correct and authoritarian dictated ways.
Let’s look at some recent examples:
Legislation Federal Style
“Terror watch list” terrorizing innocent Americans
Americans including celebrities, politicians, and even a 4 year-old child were put on “terror watch lists” and prevented from travelling by air even within the country. People with similar names to known terrorists have also been caught in the big net and greatly inconvenienced. Now there is news that the watch lists are being used by higher ups as a way to punish political enemies by adding their names to the list.
Indefinite Detention of Americans
All of a sudden, your Constitutional rights can be swept away if you are accused of anything having to do with terrorism. You can be incarcerated and held without bond indefinitely without even being charged with a crime.
“The Obama administration has successfully reinstated the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, which allow American citizens to be kidnapped and held without charge.”
Many of these way over-reaching policies came in under the shock and fear and the public resolve to defeat terrorism during the Bush administration, which thought that post-911, the USA would become a terrorist bombing and shooting gallery by crazy religious zealots armed with Iraqi WMD, “dirty bombs” and loose nukes form Russia unless the public willingly gave up way too much freedoms and liberties in the defense of…..freedom and liberty.
Under President Obama, no common sense reviews were done of these sweeping and overreaching policies which impinge on the freedoms of wide swaths of Americans. We are seeing the effects of this now as the public finally rallies against the wide open license for such departments as the NSA to spy at will on innocent Americans.
The largely automated computers sifting through millions of calls, e-mails and messages seems reasonable and tolerable but all of these actions are under judicial review to protect millions of Americans from illegal search and seizure and to ensure there is probable cause before further actions are taken.
TSA Patting Down Prom-Goers
“The TSA has expanded its pat-down checkpoints beyond the airports to highways, political events and even school prom nights.”
The unwarranted expansion of the already dubious TSA (Too many Standing Around) checkers to places and events outside the scope of transportation has alarmed some.
The TSA does give us all a reassurance of security at the airport, and claims that they are being unfair in kicking people off airplanes for behaving like Alec Baldwin (who refused to switch off his cell-phone and insulted and berated an innocent flight attendant) are not fair at all.
Border Checkpoints Far From the Border
Americans are being harassed and subjected to illegal search and seizures without probable cause at new checkpoints which are nowhere near the borders.
Spy Drone Arial Oppression
Cute but impractical and unworkable plans to have drones deliver packages to homes are paving the way for the widespread public acceptance of these mechanical pests which will then be used to spy on and police Americans from the sky in ways not yet fully envisioned.
Legislative Nanny Provisions
State and Local Style
Lemonade Stand Shutdowns
A bit of Americana and a traditional way our kids learn the responsibilities and opportunities of starting and operating their own business has been under attack by code enforcement officers even in quiet suburban and rural neighborhoods. Really? Our tax dollars hard at work saving the public from nothing whatever and robbing children of the opportunity to learn how to plan, organize, and enjoy running a small business.
No Children Playing Outdoors
The police and social services our punishing and detaining parents for the dangerous practice of allowing their children to play outside.
No Collecting Rainwater
“After an 11-year battle with the state of Oregon, landowner Gary Harrington was found guilty under a 1925 law and sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater in three “illegal reservoirs” despite the fact that they are on his property.”
No Growing Vegetables or Hoisting the Flag
Though restrictions in gated communities are agreed to by homeowners, outdated and nonsensical zoning and neighborhood restrictions prevent people from doing such things as having a small vegetable garden in your front yard or displaying an American flag on Sundays or Holidays. These are two activities which are harmless and are beneficial to individuals and society as a whole.
Smart Recycling Bins
Recycling is a responsible thing to do, but is better accomplished by friendly persuasion and cultivating good habits rather than by embedding computer chips in recycling bins and unleashing “green police” to force everyone to do their part and participates as proper stewards of the environment.
Health Food Criminals
Parents are being harassed and intimidated for their decisions to feed their children organic foods, declining to subject them to receiving questionable injections and keeping them away from (fluoride laced) tap water.
Unauthorized Use of Cash
It’s understandable when the transfer or transportation of large amounts of cash (over $10,000) arouse suspicion in authorities. But small amounts, even less than a dollar, are receiving attention from Nanny State Ninnies who are unduly suspicious of people who choose to pay cash at such venues as toll booths and department stores.
Unlawful Political Opinions
Police watch lists and the FBI are oppressing Americans without cause for displaying political opinions via car bumper stickers, T-shirts, signs, Facebook postings, Tweets and YouTube videos.
Here we could say that discretion is the better part of valor. Freedom of speech and the right to redress the government for grievances are embedded in our Constitution.
Police in California and Arizona have arrested people for displaying their political opinions using chalk for “vandalism, illegal graffiti and desecration of public property”.
For 1st Amendment protectd free speech using chalk?
In Our Schools
Speaking of chalk, the Nanny State Ninnies have now descended into our public Universities and grade schools with overbearing, oppressive, and misapplied, rules which result in children being suspended and even arrested for ludicrous reasons, causing young adults and children to fear and even hate teachers and school authorities rather than being guided and nurtured by them.
Obtuse school administrators and ignorant, negligent teachers are nothing new, but the Idiocracies seem to be spawning more and more misguided rules or applying them in harmful ways.
Kids are kids, teens are teens, and college students are college students. Bending and sometimes breaking the rules, adapting and applying new information, challenging authority, and experimentation are what they do. It’s their job. These are healthy behaviors which are to be expected and part of the natural process of growing up.
Politically Correct Halloween Costumes
“University students in America have been told not to wear “offensive” halloween costumes including cowboys, Indians and anything involving a sombrero.
Students at the University of Colorado Boulder have also been told to avoid “white trash” costumes and anything that portrays a particular culture as “over-sexualised” – which the university says includes dressing up as a geisha or a “squaw” (indigenous woman).
They are also asked not to host parties with offensive themes including those with “ghetto” or “hillbilly” themes or those associated with “crime or sex work.””
These politically correct rules are designed to prevent the “inappropriate perpetuation of racial, cultural, and gender stereotypes.” Really? Do people really think there are Indians in full headdresses walking around are there are no prostitutes in skimpy outfits? What harm is contemplated that these kinds of guidelines need to be dictated instead of agreed to by the students themselves?
Halloween Costume Ban
“Mechanicsburg – A CumberlandValleySchool District elementary school is banning costumes in the classroom this Halloween.
Sporting Hill Elementary in Hampden Township sent a note home late last week, saying they made the decision because “safety is a top priority” for students.”
No Recess Sports
“Port Washington, N.Y. — Worries about injuries at a Long Island school have led to a surprising ban.”
“As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday, officials at WeberMiddle School in Port Washington are worried that students are getting hurt during recess. Thus, they have instituted a ban on footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds.
Tossing a football during recess has long seemed to be a rite of passage for kids in the school community.”
“I think we need the soccer balls, the footballs and everything, so we can have some fun,” one student said.”
These are some of my fondest memories from grade school. Girls and boys alike participated in supervised football, soccer, and softball games. In all my years of school playground sports, and organized sports, I can recall just a handful of injuries occurring. This sounds like an insurance company brokered plan to me.
No Flip-Flops in the Park
City officials in San Juan Capistrano are trying to figure out exactly how flip-flops became banned at two city parks.
The flip-flop ban is in place at LosRiosPark in the city’s historic district and at a recently opened dog park, said city spokeswoman Cathy Salcedo. The ban was first reported by the Orange County Register.
Even the politicians didn’t know why this particular ordinance was enacted. Insurance companies could be behind this as well.
All Students Followed on Social Media
Los Angeles (CNN) – “A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats.
The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students’ posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year.
“Though critics liken the monitoring to government stalking, school officials and their contractor say the purpose is student safety.”
Although the intent is noble, this can cause a quandary of additional and more complicated problems. There should be some kind of probable cause to go looking through a student’s off campus behaviors.
Pop-Tart Gun Suspension
“A second-grader at ParkElementary school in Baltimore, Maryland was munching on his pop-tart and was trying to shape it into a mountain. But quickly he noticed it looked more like a gun and began to play with it like a gun. Next thing you know his teacher confiscated the pop-tart and the school suspended him, alleging that he said “bang bang” while holding the pop tart and that constituted a threat.”
Kindergarten Lego Gun Suspension
“A 5-year-old boy in Massachusetts may be suspended after he reportedly built a toy gun out of Legos during an after-school program.”
“The principal of Hyannis West Elementary told Fox 25 “we need a safe environment for our students,” and said: “While someone might think that making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old, to other 5-year-olds, that might be a scary experience.”
Yes, you were right the first time. Making a Lego gun is just an action of a 5-year-old.
Most boys and girls I know grew up unscathed by gun play. The only reason children would think that toy guns are a scary experience is because they’ve been terrorized by Nanny State Ninnies.
Hello Kitty Gum Gun and Paper Gun Suspensions
“On Jan. 10, a five-year-old girl stood in a bus line with her friends and they discussed the merits of a princess bubble blower compared to a Hello Kitty bubble gun. The little girl extolled the virtues of the Hello Kitty toy, and said, “I’ll shoot you, you shoot me and we’ll all play together.”
According to a report by CNN, the next day, the kindergartner was not only called into the principal’s office at her school in Pennsylvania, she also was suspended for 10 days for a “terrorist threat.” Then, to add insult to injury, the child and her mother had to meet a counselor.”
A five year old making a “terrorist threat”? Who is the real terrorist here, the adult administrator who is making over $100,000 per year for this idiotic reaction or a 5 year-old child?
Even a paper “gun” did not escape the attention of authorities for one confused little girl.
“Melody Valentin’s grandfather had made her a “gun” — which resembled a piece of paper with a chunk torn out of it — the day before, and she stuck it in her pocket and forgot about it, WTXF-TV reported. When she went to throw it out in class the next day, another student spotted it and called her out. A school administrator was summoned, and 10 year-old Melody was reprimanded for having the paper.”
““He yelled at me and said I shouldn’t have brought the gun to school and I kept telling him it was a paper gun but he wouldn’t listen,” she told the station. The administrator allegedly threatened to have her arrested, and other students called her a “murderer.” “
“Melody’s mother, Dianna Kelly, is furious and has been keeping her daughter out of class to avoid harassment. She said she wants to pull her out of the school permanently.”
“Why did he threaten my daughter? Why did you stand over my daughter and tell her that you should call the cops on her? ‘You can be arrested?’ Why were you trying to scare her?” Kelly said.”
Threatening and intimidating little children who do not understand the implications of what they are innocently doing helps no one and causes alarm.
Maybe these overpaid bureaucrats could have thought of a better way to deal with a 5 year-old who was caught in the dangerous act of experimenting and playing with a piece of paper.
Nerf Gun Lockdown
“A Bronx school building was temporarily locked down Tuesday morning after a 12-year-old boy was overheard talking about his “Nerf” gun, police said.
Students said the principal broadcast a pre-established code word over the campus public address system to tell them to hide.”
So scaring the heck out of young children and school staff was the “appropriate response” to a rumor about a child discussing a toy?
Maybe a little more investigation into the matter could have clarified things and a little. The application of a little common sense and wisdom would yield better results for everyone. These kids are just kids, what are the highly educated adult’s excuses?
“It was during class,” first-grader Hunter Yelton said in an interview with CNN affiliate KRDO. “We were doing reading group, and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened.”
Not only did Hunter’s peck get him suspended from school, but the school accused him of sexual harassment, KRDO reported.
Hunter’s mom, Jennifer Saunders, is outraged.
“This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a 6-year-old,” Saunders told KRDO. Now my son’s asking lots of questions about sex?”
“CNN’s Kelly Wallace, a mom to a first and second grader, wonders: Can a 6-year-old sexually harass someone?”
The child had been in trouble before for “roughhousing” and even kissing the same girl before. But this is a learning moment and a teaching moment. These are the expected and normal things which create opportunities for learning, self-reflection, and growth. These are not a time to intimidate, threaten and scare a bewildered child who doesn’t understand the harsh overreactions to his behavior.
Having “Sexual Harassment” on his school record may lead his future teachers and administrators to treat him differently or negatively.
The police have even been brought in for some of these “violations” and parents have had to retain attorneys for their young children. What are we doing, and what things are we passively allowing to be done to our kids? These reactions and punishments can affect their development in these highly formative years.
“A group of high schoolers in Riverhead, N.Y., was suspended after mimicking NFL quarterback Tim Tebow’s “Tebowing” stance in the hallway of RiverheadHigh School. Four boys struck the kneeling pose between classes.”
jam in the hallway. So, the administration was correct in intervening in this instance. But such things as resistance to prayer circles in schools has led to some Tebowers being unduly reprimanded for merely imitating a popular sports figure.
Illegal Hugging “Florida middle schooler Nick Martinez thought nothing of giving his best friend, a female student, a quick hug between classes — until he was suspended for the embrace. As it turns out, Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay has a strict no-hugging policy, in order to prevent harassment and keep students focused on learning.
At a time when the bullying epidemic is such a grave concern, a mutual, platonic embrace shouldn’t be punished, says Jeanne Sager at The Stir.”
Hugging is the last thing you want to discourage in human beings, especially in grade school.
Song Singing Suspension
“Hip-hop group LMFAO’s popular single “I’m Sexy and I Know It” is “so catchy, even a 6-year-old boy can pick it up, says Amanda Sloane at HLN TV. That’s what happened in Colorado, where young D’Avonte Meadows started singing the tune — which includes lyrics like “Girl, look at that body” — to a classmate in his school’s lunch line, and was promptly suspended for sexual harassment.””
Here too, a little reality check and a little common sense may have led to any number of better ways to resolve any conflict caused by singing a popular, well-known song.
Cute Teacher Suspension A 9-year-old North Carolina boy was suspended for sexual harassment, after calling his teacher “cute”.
A classmate overheard him and told on him. “I said Ms. Taylor was cute,” Lockett says. “That’s all I said.” His mother hardly thinks the act qualifies as sexual harassment: “It’s not like he went up to the woman and tried to grab her or touch her in a sexual way.”
Hey authorities, Miss Taylor IS cute!
Should a verbal warning have been given? Yes, but to be suspended and have “sexual harassment” on his permanent school record? If the teacher or the principal can’t handle this offhanded compliment in an instructive manner, these educators have no business being in a school.
Suspended for Holding the Door Open At a middle school in Virginia, an A student at Southampton Middle School was given a one-day suspension for holding an exterior door open for an adult who had her hands full. The student knew the adult, but the school has a policy that prohibits letting a visitor in before he or she is vetted by a security camera. According to the school district’s superintendent, the strict rule is essential to ensure that the high-tech security system is effective.
The school administration is correct in the need to discipline the student, but a school suspension for an inadvertent act of kindness? What are these people thinking?
Many of these punishment situations happen because of what is known as zero-tolerance rules. Zero tolerance rules were originally introduced to combat drugs and violent crimes in schools. Now, it has been extended to such things as the possession of a nail clipper or a rubber band.
Zero-Tolerance is Good
“Supporters of zero-tolerance policies claim that such policies are required to create an appropriate environment. They also point to examples of persons in authority providing lax discipline in the past, with a resulting breakdown of order in the school.
Some supporters also argue that the mass publicizing of examples of unfairness serves the schools’ purpose by frightening students into conformity instead of galvanizing them into resistance.
This is intended as a behavior modification strategy: since those at risk know that it may operate unfairly. This is a standard policy in rule- and law-based systems around the world on “offenses” as minor as traffic violations to major health and safety legislation for the protection of employees and the environment.”
Zero-Tolerance is Bad
“Critics of zero-tolerance policies frequently refer to cases where minor offenses have resulted in severe punishments. Typical examples include the honor-roll student being expelled from school under a “no weapons” policy while in possession of nail clippers, for possessing “drugs” like cough drops and dental mouthwash or “weapons” like rubber bands
A related criticism is that zero-tolerance policies make schools feel like a jail or a prison. Furthermore zero-tolerance policies have been struck down by U.S. courts and by departments of education. Ironically, zero tolerance policies may be ineffective in the very purpose for which they were originally designed.”
One sure thing about these severely strict and inflexible zero-tolerance policies, they provide zero opportunity for reasonable discussion and there is zero learning or teaching to be had from them, unless it’s from a caring and understanding parent at home.
Students who are the victims of abuse, neglect, and lack of love and caring at home will come to strongly resent these rigid policies. They may eventually lash out at these policies and they will resist the exertion of authority from an unloving and uncaring source.
Perhaps more than a few of these school shootings are caused by students who were reacting to this oppressive authority. Maybe the Arapahoe High School shooting that happened this Friday was one such reaction. The shooter had been kicked off the debate team and he went to school, armed with Molotov cocktails, a machete, and a bandolier of shotgun shells, directly after the teacher, a librarian of all things.
When important decisions are made which affect people’s lives, people want to have some kind of say and some kind of discussion and some chance to unserstand, accept, and be involved in the decision. When they are dictated from above without justification or discussion, they create large ripples which can sometimes cause more problems without really addressing the targeted behaviors at all.
Sometimes, for administrators and even teachers, zero-tolerance is more about appearance than reality, and this is a dangerous situation.
This is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. If we are active enough, we can shape our countries policies.
The Nanny State Ninnies on the far left are just as bad as “law and order” crowd on the far right. The main objects of care and attention are something other than the students, the transgressors, and even society at large. This is really a type of dissonance, where the creation and enforcement of rules supersedes the actual care and welfare of the people these laws were supposed to be meant to protect.
The participation, consent, and involvement of the governed are necessary in a school, in a community, and in a democracy.
It’s also needed to bring about a cultural revolution in the way we think about things, the way we act, and the way we interact with each