Civil Rights

Children & Parents / Links & Articles / Judicial Branch / Bush Administration / The "Patriot" Act / Freedom of Information Act
Wards of the Nanny State Protecting America’s Children from Police State Goons, Bureaucratic Idiots and Mercenary Creeps

By John W. Whitehead September 22, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Rutherford Institute"

It’s not easy being a parent in the American police state.

When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ [Hitler] said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’”—As reported by historian William L. Shirer

Out on the streets, you’ve got the menace posed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later. In the schools, parents have to worry about school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.

In your neighborhoods, you’ve got to worry about the Nanny State and its network of busybodies turning parents in for allowing their children to walk to school alone, walk to the park alone, play at the beach alone, or even play in their own yard alone.

And now in the last refuge for privacy—one’s home—parents are being put through the grinder, their actions scrutinized and judged by government goon squads armed with outrageous, overreaching, egregious laws that subject families to the hyped-up, easily offended judgment of the Nanny State.

The latest slap in the face comes from the Arizona Supreme Court whose 3-2 ruling in Arizona v. Holle paves the way for parents to be charged as child molesters or sexual abusers for such innocent acts as changing their children’s diapers or taking baths with their kids.

The message is chillingly clear: your children are not your own but are, in fact, wards of the state who have been temporarily entrusted to your care. Should you fail to carry out your duties to the government’s satisfaction, the children in your care will be re-assigned elsewhere.

This doesn’t even touch on what happens to your kids when they’re at school—especially the public schools—where parents have little to no control over what their kids are taught, how they are taught, how and why they are disciplined, and the extent to which they are being indoctrinated into marching in lockstep with the government’s authoritarian playbook.

The harm caused by attitudes and policies that treat America’s young people as government property is not merely a short-term deprivation of individual rights. It is also a long-term effort to brainwash our young people into believing that civil liberties are luxuries that can and will be discarded at the whim and caprice of government officials if they deem doing so is for the so-called “greater good” (in other words, that which perpetuates the aims and goals of the police state).

Clearly, the schools should be educating children about their duties as citizens and how to protect their constitutional rights. Instead, government officials are molding our young people into compliant citizens with no rights and subjecting them to invasive questioning, searches of their persons and property, and random drug testing, often without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Franklin D. Roosevelt observed, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

Links & Articles

ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Civil Rights in Mississippi
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
We Shall Overcome history of the civil rights movement after WWII

Judicial Branch

""Even in times of national emergency -- indeed, particularly in such times -- it is the obligation of the Judicial Branch to ensure the preservation of our constitutional values and to prevent the Executive Branch from running roughshod over the rights of citizens and aliens alike." So wrote the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on December 18, ruling that foreign nationals held as "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base have a right to seek court review of the legality of their detention. The same day, a Court of Appeals on the other coast ruled that the President acting alone lacks authority to detain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants."

"Never before has the Administration suffered such setbacks to its domestic war on terrorism. And the backlash has been growing...

"On December 9 the military embarrassingly admitted that it did not even know whether supposedly secret information seized from Capt. James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, was classified. Yee had been arrested and detained for more than two months, with much fanfare about national security breaches at Guantanamo, for allegedly taking his own notes off the base in a notebook. Meanwhile, in one of the most vindictive prosecutions in years, the military is prosecuting Yee for committing adultery and having pornographic images on his computer, hardly matters of national security...

"...the Administration has insisted that the more than 650 people held at Guantanamo have no right to any judicial review or even to a hearing before military officers. It has similarly argued that U.S. citizens designated by the President as "enemy combatants" can be held indefinitely, incommunicado, without access to courts or lawyers. In essence, it has argued that when it comes to detentions in the war on terrorism, the President is above the law.

"Now two courts have squarely rejected that view" (David Cole. "The War On Our Rights." The Nation, Jan. 12, 2004: 5).

Bush Administration

"...George W. Bush's Administration is the most secrecy-obsessed regime in American history... an affront to American taxpayers and all who believe in a democratic form of government...

"In late 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft sent a memo to federal agencies that directs them to search for and use any legal authority they have to deny access to documents requested by citizens under the Freedom of Information Act" (Robert Bryce. "Top Secret Bush." Texas Observer, 2/13/04: 10-11).

"...on March 1, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First... filed a landmark lawsuit, Ali et al. vs. Rumsfeld, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Rumsfeld's home state). This carefully documented seventy-six-page Complaint for Declaratory Relief and Damages charges that the Secretary of Defense "was directly and personally involved in setting interrogation rules, and exercised his power to allow illegal practices--namely the torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody...

"[There has been a] failure of most of the media to cover [the case]...

"I doubt, therefore, if many American are aware of the rampant lawlessness of this Administration in its treatment of prisoners--as spelled out in this lawsuit...

"In its editorial, The Washington Post said plainly: "Willing or not, Congressional Republicans are identifying themselves as a party ready to accept systematic violations of human rights." As is our hollow President" (Nat Hentoff. "Covering Up For Rumsfeld." The Progressive, May, 2005: 12).

"Patriot" Act

"By mid-September, 356 cities and counties and four state legislatures (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont) had passed strong Bill of Rights resolutions directing their members of Congress to undo the most dangerous sections of the Patriot Act and subsequent Bush Administration executive orders...

"...Bush's [latest] raid on the Bill of Rights was Bush's signing--on the day Saddam Hussein was extricated from his spider hole--of the 2004 Intelligence Authorization Act. This law allows a huge expansion of National Security Letters allowing the FBI and other federal agencies to get an extensive array of personal records--medical, financial, educational, travel, etc.--without going to a judge. All they need to do is to draw up their own National Security Letters, which take the place of subpoenas" (Nat Hentoff. "Kerry's Silence." The Progressive, Nov. 2004: 14).

Freedom of Information Act

""North Carolina cities and other government agencies are pursuing the authority to sue citizens who ask to see public records," reports the Associated Press. "Lawyers for local governments and the University of North Carolina are talking about pushing for a new state law allowing preemptive lawsuits against citizens, news organizations, and private companies... when there is a dispute about providing records or open meetings" ("No Comment." The Progressive, May, 2005: 11).

co@dadbyrn.comProfessor Colby Glass, MLIS, PhDc, Prof. Emeritus