Via Radley Balko comes the news story of a father of three who, so he claims, attempted to be a good samaritan and offer two teenage girls caught out walking in a snowstorm without protection a lift home only to be charged with disorderly conduct for his trouble. The girls, you see, were “alarmed and disturbed” by the offer. They waved him off and, like good citizens, did as they were taught in public school — they wrote down his license plate number and reported him to the “authorities.”
Now, we don’t know what really happened. It’s a he-said/she-said situation in which no one was harmed, which makes charging the alleged good samaritan with a crime all the more ridiculous. Maybe the guy really did have bad intentions in this case, though I doubt it; but it hardly matters for our general point because more clearcut cases can surely be found to illustrate how our culture and the US legal system discourage and punish good samaritans.
This is a likely tragic example of the state’s corrosive effects on society as it breaks down social bonds, foments fear and distrust of strangers and even friends and family, encourages snitching and dependence on its protection and support, and punishes good samaritans. In America, the state can let no private good deed go unpunished.
Those who favor laws requiring people to be good samaritans should bear incidents like this in mind. You’re setting people up to be criminals no matter what they do or don’t do, and you’re employing the very institution responsible for creating the conditions that led you to perceive a need for such laws in the first place.
How else could one explain this?
A 7-year-old child allegedly shot a Nerf-style toy gun in his Hammonton, N.J., school Jan. 18. No one was hurt, but the pint-size softshooter now faces misdemeanor criminal charges.
Dr. Dan Blachford, the Hammonton Board of Education superintendent, said the school has a zero tolerance policy.
“We are just very vigilant and we feel that if we draw a very strict line then we have much less worry about someone bringing in something dangerous,” said Blachford.
I bet “school boards” also have zero tolerance even against non-mainstream views (that is, against any view that dares to criticize the establishment’s views on everything, especially on the state).
In a recent post, Akiva claimed that people (in general) get the government they deserve. The US is an imperial-warfare state and a growing surveillance-police state, not to mention a nanny-welfare state. Boston Legal’s left-liberal attorney Alan Shore echoes Akiva’s sentiments in a closing argument in defense of, oddly enough, a tax protester (video below). He points out many of the evils of the US governments and their infringements on our liberties and concludes that Americans must be okay with it all.
I love food shows, enough to be sucked into watching the first two episodes of “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” (I also only have basic cable, so no more Food Network. Sigh.) Last week we followed Oliver as he created a new lunch menu for an elementary school in Huntington, West Virginia, the CDC’s unhealthiest city of 2008. And what did we find? Oliver’s menu of baked chicken, brown rice, and fruit did not meet the USDA standards for a well-rounded lunch. He wasn’t offering two grains! Heaven forbid! Oliver resorted to toasting hamburger buns to serve with the lunch, all the while complaining that this extra starch was just going to make the students fat. The USDA-approved lunch, however, met the guidelines–a slice of cheese pizza is two grains. I think they threw a few carrot and celery sticks and a piece of fruit on the tray as well. Which would you rather your child have for lunch? Well, it doesn’t matter because the USDA demands they have the pizza. [Keep reading…]