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posted by janrinok on Friday January 16 2015, @05:38PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the who-knows-the-kids-best? dept.

The WaPo reports that Danielle and Alexander Meitiv in Montgomery County Maryland say they are being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. “We wouldn’t have let them do it if we didn’t think they were ready for it,” says Danielle. The Meitivs say they believe in “free-range” parenting, a movement that has been a counterpoint to the hyper-vigilance of “helicopter” parenting, with the idea that children learn self-reliance by being allowed to progressively test limits, make choices and venture out in the world. “The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” says Danielle. “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

On December. 20, Alexander agreed to let the children walk from Woodside Park to their home, a mile south, in an area the family says the children know well. Police picked up the children near the Discovery building, the family said, after someone reported seeing them. Alexander said he had a tense time with police when officers returned his children, asked for his identification and told him about the dangers of the world. The more lasting issue has been with Montgomery County Child Protective Services which showed up a couple of hours later. Although Child Protective Services could not address this specific case they did point to Maryland law, which defines child neglect as failure to provide proper care and supervision of a child. “I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing,” says Alexander. “We feel we’re being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with.”

Related Stories

Free-Range Parents Found Responsible For “Unsubstantiated” Child Neglect 50 comments

We previously reported on the parents in Maryland who were being investigated for neglect after letting their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter make a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. Now the Washington Post that after a two-month investigation the Montgomery County Child Protective Services has found the parents responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety. "I think what CPS considered neglect, we felt was an essential part of growing up and maturing," said Alexander Meitiv. "We feel we're being bullied into a point of view about child-rearing that we strongly disagree with."

The finding of unsubstantiated child neglect means CPS will keep a file on the family for at least five years and leaves open the question of what would happen if the Meitiv children get reported again for walking without adult supervision. The parents say they will continue to allow their son, Rafi, 10, and daughter Dvora, 6, to play or walk together, and won’t be swayed by the CPS finding. “We don’t feel it was appropriate for an investigation to start, much less conclude that we are responsible for some form of child neglect,” says Danielle Meitiv, who said she and her husband plan to appeal and worry about being investigated again by CPS. “What will happen next time? We don’t know if we will get caught in this Kafkaesque loop again.” Asked how authorities would respond if the children were reported again for walking unsupervised, Paula Tolson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources, said CPS would become involved if a complaint was made about the safety of the children. In such cases, “if we get a call from law enforcement or from a citizen, we are required to investigate. Our goal is the safety of children, always.”

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by jmorris on Friday January 16 2015, @05:48PM

    by jmorris (4844) on Friday January 16 2015, @05:48PM (#135422)

    I work at at public library in a rural part of a pretty Red state. Recent memo went around saying we should report any unaccompanied child under twelve to CPS as an agency under the 'mandatory reporting' laws. Our civilization is dead. Seriously, any civilization where something that insane can be written and distributed to educated citizens without the writer being carried off and institutionalized is too abnormal to live much longer.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 16 2015, @06:50PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:50PM (#135453) Journal

      Let's avoid the knee-jerk Nanny state comments for a minute here, please.
       
      The timeline that I am aware of is this:
      Someone saw a couple of unaccompanied, youmg, children and reported it to the Police.
      Once that happens the Police and CPS are obligated to investigate.
      An investigation was conducted and no charges were levied.
       
      This is how it is supposed to work!

      • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday January 16 2015, @06:54PM

        by buswolley (848) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:54PM (#135457)

        Rationality? I don't think you understand how this is supposed to work.

        be afraid be afraid the government's out to control you the nanny state is on the rise helicopter parents are controlling you be afraid be afraid also remember to click on the link to support our sponsors

        --
        subicular junctures
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @07:25PM

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:25PM (#135485) Journal

          Between 7 and 12 years old, I would often spend 1-6 hours in a Public Library, by myself - at least twice a week. This was a privileged existence - where I was neith a nuisance nor in danger of anything but increased learning.

          We live in an insane, panic state - divorced from reality and managed by our irrational fears. These are constantly appealed to, deliberately and pruriently.

          A mass of people, busy managing their own anxiety-states through the policing of other people's behavior are in no danger of threatening the massive injustice and inequality of their condition.

          --
          You're betting on the pantomime horse...
          • (Score: 2) by edIII on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:52AM

            by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:52AM (#135597)

            When I was 9 years old I walked 4 miles total every day to school for that entire school year. We absolutely do live in an insane panic state all the time now if CPS is threatening people now for their kids having a normal childhood.

            --
            Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:59PM (#135460)

        Except that this is a waste of time, and often results in great stress for the families. Being obligated to investigate every ridiculous case is absurd.

        • (Score: 1) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 16 2015, @07:04PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:04PM (#135465) Journal

          Being obligated to investigate every ridiculous case is absurd.
           
          Young kids wandering around alone in a park long enough to be reported by a bystander is not a ridiculous case.

          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 16 2015, @07:17PM

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:17PM (#135482) Homepage

            Yes, it is. How old are you, anyway? I'm in my early thirties, and when I was 7 my parents let me walk around the block alone. When i was 9 I was allowed to ride my bike wherever I wanted as long as I was back before dinnertime. When I was in second grade I walked alone through the snow to school (as MechanicJay did as stated below). I was chased by dogs and bullies, jumped my bike and often fell off of it.

            My parents never screamed in horror whenever I came home with a cut or scrape, taught me at an early age how to dress my own wounds and scream and fight back against would-be kidnappers, stay away from the bad parts of town, they would tell me that sometimes shit just happens and that's a fact of life, and told me I'd better not be caught be doing anything bad or I would (and often did) receive an ass-whoopin'.

            And the cops back then didn't give a flying fuck about any of that. They were too busy catching real criminals and eating real donuts.

            You know another thing my parents didn't do? They didn't push drugs and video games on me as a substitute for real parenting like so many parents do now.

            I would be fine with having a kid of my own, but not in this fucking psychological climate. I'd rather have no kid than deny a potential child of mine the joy and exploration I experienced as a kid.

            Even Calvin and Hobbes' parents would have had CPS called on them nowadays...unsupervised sled and wagon rides? Child abuse!

            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 16 2015, @08:03PM

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:03PM (#135501) Journal

              So you are saying when someone reports some lost kids the Police should not check it out. Got it...

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday January 16 2015, @08:20PM

                by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:20PM (#135505)

                So are you saying that every kid walking around without an adult is automatically lost? You seem to be saying, "Investigate absolutely everything no matter how slim the chances are that there is trouble." That's what leads to zero tolerance policies.

                Humans have brains, and they should use them, rather than resorting to zero tolerance-type policies.

                • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 16 2015, @09:22PM

                  by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:22PM (#135526) Journal

                  So are you saying that every kid walking around without an adult is automatically lost?
                   
                  No. I'm saying it is the police's job to find out if the kid is lost when someone reports a potentially lost kid. They might actually have to ask some questions to do that.

                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday January 16 2015, @09:46PM

                    by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:46PM (#135535)

                    They did more than ask questions, though. Apparently some threats were made. Also, not every report of a missing child from a fearmongering loser should be taken seriously. It absolutely should not be the police's job to investigate absolutely every claim no matter how stupid they sound. And of course, the one who reported this should also grow a brain; maybe *they* could've asked the child some questions if they were so concerned, but really, you shouldn't be concerned about a child simply walking around to begin with.

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:04AM

                    by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:04AM (#135626) Journal

                    A simple observation could have provided all the information they needed. Just having a uniformed officer say "hi" and looking for any signs of distress or duress (beyond the natural fear of cops that has been growing in the population).

                    Crap like this is why parents advise their kids to AVOID cops if they get lost and go ask an adult with kids for help. Honestly, it's good advice since random strangers are far less likely to bring the family to harm these days.

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by VitalMoss on Friday January 16 2015, @08:20PM

                by VitalMoss (3789) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:20PM (#135506)

                There's a difference between lost kids and "kids walking home from school."
                Don't use word-phrasing that doesn't line up with the story. People who are walking somewhere and people who are lost look completely different, and even then if they were truly worried about the children's well being, they could have just asked.

              • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Jesus_666 on Monday January 19 2015, @07:35PM

                by Jesus_666 (3044) on Monday January 19 2015, @07:35PM (#136109)
                There's a difference between a child moving somewhere and a child that's lost. If in doubt, observe their behavior and whether they seem to be scared/confused or calm. If still in doubt you may default to calling the police, of course. It's just not an acceptable first reaction.

                As far as the cops are concerned, I'd expect them to behave rationally* and ask the kids if everything's alright and if they need a ride home. If the kids say that they're fine and they know the way home that should be it. They should definitely investigate the call but they should also be able to tell whether any further action beyond talking to the kids is neccessary.

                Assuming that an unsupervised ten-year-old is automatically lost and neglected only makes sense if you assume that children never leave their homes except to travel by car, during which they don't look out the windows. Real children make friends and explore their neighborhood and after a while they know it pretty damn well. In fact, they can cover fairly large areas that way, especially if they have access to bikes. Being able to navigate from a known location a mile away to one's home is not exactly a great feat for a ten-year-old.


                * unless you live in one of those towns that gave American cops their current reputation.
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Friday January 16 2015, @10:25PM

              by Gaaark (41) on Friday January 16 2015, @10:25PM (#135539) Journal

              In my early 50's here, and i know what you are talking about: I think one of the reasons so many kids are coming up ADD/ADHD/WMD is because they aren't out by themselves/in a small group/a bunch of kids playing!
              Football
              'Super heroes'
              Climbing trees
              Getting into trouble!
              Just running around/biking until you are exhausted, so you lay in the grass for a while until you catch your breath and then you run some more.

              Today, kids sit and play video games or text or....
              Kids aren't allowed to run the streets unless they are in sight of their parents (they don't even have to walk 50 feet to catch the school bus in a group: the bus stops every 5 freaking feet to pick them up... my brother and i used to have to run along the highway and up into the subdivision to catch the bus).

              And we wonder why kids are on drugs (meaning Ritalin alone!, for gods sake).

              Kids aren't allowed to play baseball on school property because someone might get hurt.Kids aren't allowed to play on the monkey bars on school property because someone might get hurt.Kids aren't allowed to play football on school property because someone might get hurt.Kids aren't allowed to play "fill in the freaking blank" on school property because someone might get hurt.

              Kids need to get hurt. They need to experience failure AS WELL as success. They need to experience life. And they need to have parents teach them and then back off slowly to let them experience it.

              Damn.

              Glad the cops did check it out, though. It used to be everyone knew everyone and said hi to everyone. Now....

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:05PM

                by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:05PM (#135648) Homepage
                I used to live next to a school (for ~7-11 year olds, I guess), in a fairly hilly, rocky, part of the edge of town. At break times, the kids were allowed to go outside and play. Unsupervised. In the woods. On the rocks. Even in winter, when there was snow and ice everywhere.

                And that made me think that perhaps society did have a future. These kids were free to *discover* that falling off a boulder that's taller than you *fucking hurts*, and that way, they learn. They learn to evaluate risks and danger, with realistic perspectives. I'm guessing that the one of them that grows up to be a politician is not going to wage a "War On Boulders" when their own kid gets a graze one day, for example.

                Another funny tale about that school I have is of the swings they had. There were 2 swings, and there were 4 kids who wanted to play on them, two boys and two girls. The two boys were fighting over one of the swings, if one of them briefly got onto the tyre, the other would do his best to stop it from swinging, and try to pull him off, lose lose all the way. The two girls were squeezed snugly onto the other swing and both having a whale of a time swinging merrily - win win all round. It was in some ways unsurprising, but it still stood out and was a great, powerful, even, commentary on gender, even if it is only an anecdote about 4 people.

                That was Finland, if anyone's interested.
                --
                I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @07:39PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @07:39PM (#135708)
                  Yeah and there are already 7 billion of us after all it's not like a few kids dying from doing stupid stuff or in rare accidents is really such a huge problem from the Big Picture point of view.

                  Call me heartless, but fact is I think it's better for the greater good if more of stupidly careless kids die out (or render themselves less likely to breed or qualify to vote).

                  The cops should be working to make the area safe enough for kids to walk home alone, rather than harassing kids and their parents.

                  If the area is safe enough already, there's no need to bother the kids or their parents. The cops can escort them home if they want. And maybe imprint a "Cops are good guys" image to the future generation. Rather than cause problems and cause the kids to realize that "Cops are bad people to be avoided".
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:05PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:05PM (#135466) Homepage Journal

        What is outrageous is, the fact that some moron felt the need to report two children walking along a street. There is nothing remarkable about two healthy, happy children strolling along, in public.

        It is only somewhat less outrageous that the cops MUST report to child services every time they encounter a child.

        It is equally outrageous that child services MUST investigate every incident.

        In short, the helicopter parents have managed to get laws passed that seem to justify their need to hover over their children.

        In this case, some moron calls in to report two children walking along. The cop shows up, he talks to them for a minute, determines that they are on their way home, and that home is less than a mile away. The cop should have the option of just sitting back, and watching the children complete their little walk. When they get to their home, and run in the door, he dismisses the incident, and goes about his business. No CPS, no investigation, no nothing. THAT is the way things should go.

        Only if the cop saw, heard, or felt some suspicion that things weren't kosher should things have gone any further.

        --
        Let's go Brandon!
        • (Score: 2) by e_armadillo on Friday January 16 2015, @09:24PM

          by e_armadillo (3695) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:24PM (#135527)

          Amen, wish I had mod points. I could not have said it better myself.

          --
          "How are we gonna get out of here?" ... "We'll dig our way out!" ... "No, no, dig UP stupid!"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:05PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:05PM (#135467)

        > An investigation was conducted and no charges were levied.

        The story is not over yet.

        On front of the children, the cop who brought the kids to their home threatened to shoot the father in front of the children because he would not provide ID in his own house.
        A CPS investigator forced him to sign a paper saying he would not let the children be unaccompanied else the CPS would take his children from him immediately.
        A CPS investigator interviewed the children at their school without the parents knowledge or consent.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by tynin on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM

          by tynin (2013) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM (#135487) Journal

          I didn't see that in the original article, so I went looking to see what you were talking about. Found an article where the wife was interviewed. [reason.com]

          At the door the police officer asked to see my husband's ID, but did not explain why. When he refused, she called for backup.

          A total of six patrol cars showed up.

          Alexander then agreed to get his ID and went to go upstairs. The officer said—in front of the kids—that if he came down with anything else, "shots would be fired." She proceeded to follow him upstairs, and when he said she had no right to do so without a warrant, she insisted that she did.

          Our 10 yr. old called me crying and saying that the police were there and that Daddy was going to be arrested. Alexander stepped outside to continue the conversation away from the kids. When he disagreed with one of the officers about the dangers that walking alone posed to children, she asked him: "Don't you realize how dangerous the world is? Don't you watch TV?"

          I swear this country is doing its best to fuel some home grown terrorism.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Hairyfeet on Friday January 16 2015, @08:06PM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <reversethis-{moc ... {8691tsaebssab}> on Friday January 16 2015, @08:06PM (#135503) Journal

            This is why a friend of mine quit the force, he said too many of the new recruits were "brown shirt wannabes" that go out of their way to look for a fight. He said they'd go out of their way to be "little fucking pricks" in his words because they were hoping to get some shit started so they could crack some skulls or whip out the taser. He was the kind that would just give a kid a lecture and drive them home if he found one driving buzzed, tell 'em to drop it down a couple of notches so the neighbors can sleep when called to a loud party, that sort of thing, but he said it ended up with him having to stand between the public and whatever wannabe he got paired with that night and he figured that sooner or later one of the wannabes would fuck with the wrong one and he'd end up caught in the crossfire.

            So sadly none of this surprises me one bit, just another junior SA using the badge as a license to be a giant douche.

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
            • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:41PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:41PM (#135515)

              I wish he stayed on the force. We need more police like him.

              Too bad you won't see this complement. Some of us don't like being tracked on every site we visit.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Friday January 16 2015, @09:33PM

              by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @09:33PM (#135531) Journal

              It's a problem that services like policing have to face. The job is all too attractive to bullies, control freaks, and power trippers. The services have a rough time screening those sorts of people out before they're hired.

              From what I've heard, you don't want to call in the police unless you absolutely have to. If you're not sure, don't call. They will take something minor and escalate it to ridiculous extremes. They're more interested in bullying citizens, racking up crime fighting statistics, and using their toys than in being sensible. Drug users, the mentally ill, and people of the "wrong" color are especially at risk of becoming the victims of police brutality, even when they haven't done anything threatening.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:16AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:16AM (#135589)

                They're more interested in bullying citizens, racking up crime fighting statistics, and using their toys than in being sensible.

                No, that's not true. If it were true, the outcry would have crushed them long ago because nearly everybody would know someone who got fucked over by a cop. As it is now, only poor people have that experience.

                In reality, nearly all cops are interested in doing the right thing. The problem is two-pronged.
                (1) Their definition of the right thing has been warped by factors like racism and 'professional courtesy' among others
                (2) The relatively tiny amount who are as you say, they are general immune to consequences so they can devastating and recourse is rare

                Remember: Risk = Probability x Severity. So even though #2 is rare, if you happen to run into one of them there is a good chance your life will be ruined. That's reason enough to avoid the cops unless you are desperate without having to make claims that will cause normal people to dismiss you as a kook.

                • (Score: 1) by Anal Pumpernickel on Sunday January 18 2015, @10:43PM

                  by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Sunday January 18 2015, @10:43PM (#135895)

                  In reality, nearly all cops are interested in doing the right thing.

                  Then they would be casting out these "bad cops," but rarely do the supposedly "good" cops actually speak out, and when they do, they often get in trouble for it and/or it's swept under the rug. That makes them bad, too.

                  without having to make claims that will cause normal people to dismiss you as a kook.

                  "Normal" people are why we have the Patriot Act. "Normal" people are why we have the TSA. "Normal" people are why we have the NSA's mass surveillance. "Normal" people are gullible, ignorant, and unintelligent, and tend to ignore facts in favor of naive optimism. Most cops are good! The government would never abuse mass surveillance! Let's sacrifice our liberties and our constitution for safety!

                  So being accepted by "normal people" isn't that much of a concern for me.

              • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday January 22 2015, @01:50PM

                by Gaaark (41) on Thursday January 22 2015, @01:50PM (#136945) Journal

                If you ever get a chance, watch Canada's version of 'Cops': it's called 'Protect and Serve', or something like that.

                Cops is all "Get down on the ground, get down on the ground!"

                Protect and serve is: "How's it going, eh? Had a couple drinks? You think you should be driving after drinking? How's about you give me the keys and take the subway home. Thanks... have a good night."

                Gotta laugh, but i think the testosterone/terrorism levels are a lot lower here.

                --
                --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:16AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:16AM (#135628) Journal

            "Don't you realize how dangerous the world is?"

            Yeah, a world where you have to fear the cops is indeed dangerous. More dangerous than a world where you just have to fear the criminals, because there are far more cops than criminals, and unlike criminals, cops don't have to fear getting caught by the police.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:53AM

            by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:53AM (#135636) Journal

            Wow that is pretty egregious on the part of the police. Not surprising, though. I have heard about this kind of abuse my whole life. People with badges, abusing their power. I know things are different in the big city, but in the small Western town where my mom and sister's family still live, this sort of thing does frequently result in deputies no longer having jobs and the sheriffs they report to getting dumped by the voters. The Blue Wall of Silence doesn't help you all that much when everyone in town saw you misbehave and then have nothing else to talk about for weeks until the mayor dumps you unceremoniously on your ass.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday January 16 2015, @10:52PM

        by darkfeline (1030) on Friday January 16 2015, @10:52PM (#135546) Homepage

        That is how it's supposed to work but usually not how it ends.

        What you say is then followed by incessant nagging and investigation by the CPS, a permanent mark put on your record in case you ever stick but a single follicle beyond the invisible line of child abuse laws, at which point the CPS will be waiting to swoop down and take your kids away from you to give to a less competent caretaker, like some twisted vulture/cuckoo hybrid.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
      • (Score: 2) by CirclesInSand on Friday January 16 2015, @11:47PM

        by CirclesInSand (2899) on Friday January 16 2015, @11:47PM (#135555)

        No it isn't. Investigations are supposed to require probable cause and warrants. Police aren't allowed to just go nosing into whatever they want.

        Do you know who the largest demographic to issue legal complaints is? Spouses? Family?

        Not at all. It's the police. With all of the "victimless" crimes that exist, your #1 enemy is the police. No one has to complain about drug use for the police to arrest you for it. No one has to complain about about consensual sales for the police to arrest you for not having paid your license extortion. I guarantee you that today you have committed many victimless crimes just by browsing the Internet that you are unaware of.

        Did you help a stock clerk at a store pick up something he dropped? Legally that is a crime, since you were not paid to do it. If a bird which is endangered in Honduras dies in midflight in the US and lands on your head, you just committed a felony. Most people have so much trouble coming to terms with this that denial is their only defense. "Well they would never enforce it against me" is how they comfort themselves and each other, because accepting what is demonstrably true is just too emotionally anguishing.

        So no, police are not supposed to go around "investigating". You are safer being robbed than being visited by the police.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday January 17 2015, @09:58AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 17 2015, @09:58AM (#135624) Journal

        Of course, that investigation COULD have been just having a patrolman ask the kids "Everything OK?" and closing the investigation when they say "Yes".

        Alas, they had to make a big deal of it and leave the parents feeling threatened. There was absolutely NO sense in:

        The Meitivs say that on Dec. 20, a CPS worker required Alexander to sign a safety plan pledging he would not leave his children unsupervised until the following Monday, when CPS would follow up. At first he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer, his wife said, but changed his mind when he was told his children would be removed if he did not comply.

        Which sounds more than a little threatening.

        I would say that family ties are amongst the most inalienable rights yet the various child 'services' routinely violate it on thin or non-existant evidence, even going so far as to split up already traumatized siblings for the sake of convenience.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @06:59PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @06:59PM (#135459) Homepage Journal

      That is but one symptom of a decaying society. We have seen out "golden" years - they are history. If you need other symptoms to help with our diagnosis, you might look at the NSA, DHS, Islamic "no go zones" right here in the US of A, and gay marriage.

      The golden years came and went, and we weren't even aware of it at the time.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday January 16 2015, @07:38PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:38PM (#135490) Journal

        and gay marriage.

        What has gay marriage to do with it?

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @07:40PM

          by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:40PM (#135492) Journal

          Ass babies. They will have all kind of gay, ass babies. Those kind will ruin the few nice things we have left.

          --
          You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:41PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:41PM (#135493) Homepage Journal

          As I stated above - it is a symptom of a decaying society. THAT is what gay marriage has to do with it.

          --
          Let's go Brandon!
          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday January 16 2015, @07:57PM

            by tathra (3367) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:57PM (#135500)

            is it? where's the research linking homosexual partnering and societal collapse? if anything, it provides even more stability to society since "gay married" couples are married because they actually want to be, not because they had an unplanned pregnancy.

            • (Score: 0, Troll) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @08:23PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @08:23PM (#135507) Homepage Journal

              Read history. Show me one civilization which endorsed homosexuality, then continued to grow stronger. There ain't none.

              --
              Let's go Brandon!
              • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday January 16 2015, @08:33PM

                by tathra (3367) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:33PM (#135511)

                show me a civilization that breathed oxygen that didn't decay. show me a civilization that drank water that didn't decay. there ain't none. therefore, using your logic, both water and oxygen are bad for society.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:33PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:33PM (#135512)

                Show me one civilization which endorsed homosexuality, then continued to grow weaker. There ain't none.

                • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @09:04PM

                  by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:04PM (#135521) Journal

                  C'mon. Sodom and Gomorrah. It's in the history book.

                  --
                  You're betting on the pantomime horse...
                  • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:20AM

                    by dry (223) on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:20AM (#135595) Journal

                    And a righteous person will send his teenage daughters out to get gang-banged, proving that they deserve to be spared Gods wrath.

              • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday January 16 2015, @09:03PM

                by ikanreed (3164) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:03PM (#135520) Journal

                Alexander the fucking great.

                Sparta.

                The early roman empire.

                Mongolian China.

                • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @09:07PM

                  by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:07PM (#135523) Journal

                  Mongols were down with the mano-a-mano butt-trouble? Whoa! I thought this was just a Western value, on which Europe built its civilization!

                  --
                  You're betting on the pantomime horse...
                • (Score: 2) by naubol on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:31AM

                  by naubol (1918) on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:31AM (#135571)

                  I'm pretty pro gay... but I've never read evidence that the Roman republic was homo friendly.

                  OTOH there's an interesting argument that the most homophobic societies on the planet are places where US homophobes absolutely don't want to live.

                  • (Score: 1) by tftp on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:06AM

                    by tftp (806) on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:06AM (#135577) Homepage

                    OTOH there's an interesting argument that the most homophobic societies on the planet are places where US homophobes absolutely don't want to live.

                    It's hardly unusual that US citizens (of any persuasion) prefer to live in the USA. Other countries may have advantages to some, and disadvantages - like a different language, requirement of a work visa, lack of jobs, unfamiliar culture, etc. It's not like you can hop onto an airplane to Czech Republic and be all set in a day.

                    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:53PM

                      by naubol (1918) on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:53PM (#135670)

                      Everything you said is beyond disagreement. I must have failed to proper communicate my point, which is something like: if a US homophobe had to move to another country or voluntarily moved to another country the probability is that they would probably choose a more gay friendly country on average.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:47AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:47AM (#135590)

                    I'm pretty pro gay... but I've never read evidence that the Roman republic was homo friendly.

                    read up on in it then [wikipedia.org]

                  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:11AM

                    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:11AM (#135639) Journal

                    There was a scandal surrounding Emperor Nero [wikipedia.org], which as I understand it, was not because he had a homosexual relationship but that he played the part of the wife. Apparently it was OK to have sex with your male slaves as long as you were on top.

                    --
                    Washington DC delenda est.
                    • (Score: 2) by naubol on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:51PM

                      by naubol (1918) on Saturday January 17 2015, @03:51PM (#135669)

                      Nero is deep into the empire, well after the Roman republic.

                      Also, sample of one.

                      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Tuesday January 20 2015, @02:02PM

                        by ikanreed (3164) on Tuesday January 20 2015, @02:02PM (#136341) Journal

                        Holy Christ are you in denial about this..

                        No. Shut up and read up on homosexuality in ancient rome. It's complex and nuanced, but it sure-as-hell existed centuries before their fall, and sure-as-hell was tacitly approved of.

            • (Score: 2) by SlimmPickens on Saturday January 17 2015, @04:54AM

              by SlimmPickens (1056) on Saturday January 17 2015, @04:54AM (#135594)

              it provides even more stability to society

              Perhaps, however I have to mention that some of my gay friends are as bad as it gets when it comes helicopter parenting. No -on can say they neglect them though.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:45PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:45PM (#135496)

          And WTF is an "islamic no-go zone?"
          Is that one of those redneck towns that had a collective freakout and banned anyone from building a mosque? [onislam.net]

      • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Friday January 16 2015, @08:26PM

        by GlennC (3656) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:26PM (#135509)

        Translation - "As far as I knew, everyone was just like me and those that weren't had the decency to hide themselves. Nowadays, they're getting uppity and refusing to hide from me and I don't like it."

        --
        Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @09:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @09:58PM (#135538)

        That is but one symptom of a decaying society. We have seen out "golden" years - they are history. If you need other symptoms to help with our diagnosis, you might look at the NSA, DHS, Islamic "no go zones" right here in the US of A, and gay marriage.

        Can you point out one of these "Islamic no go zones"? Just one? Be specific. Just to pre-empt you, I'm calling BS on this until you can provide at least one concrete example of an "Islamic no go zone" right here in the USA. And by concrete I mean a neighbourhood that you can point to on a map. Either put up, or shut up. I eagerly await your response.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:58AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @01:58AM (#135576)

          Get an electoral map from the last 12 years.
          Find the red states. [google.com]
          Their defective brains are terrified of minorities.

          -- gewg_

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30 2015, @12:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30 2015, @12:27AM (#139336)

            I thought that it was most concisely known as Jesusland [wikipedia.org].

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31 2015, @11:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31 2015, @11:11PM (#139913)

        > Islamic "no go zones" right here in the US of A,

        With Fox News constantly retracting their story of "no-go zones" in europe I now understand exactly WTF you were talking about, and just how stupid and ignorant you are. Too bad that being so stupid means you are unable to recognize your own stupidity. Man, I wish there were a "highlights reel" for posters here because that one definitely belongs at the top of yours.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:00PM (#135461)

      > I work at at public library ... Recent memo went around saying we should report any unaccompanied child under twelve to CPS as an agency under the 'mandatory reporting' laws.

      Assuming the memo actually said that, then whoever wrote the memo is the idiot. Library employees do not qualify as mandated reporters. They are people like doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, cops, and day care workers. Libraries are none of those things, not even day care workers. As an example, here is the list of mandated reporters [ny.gov] for the state of New York.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:12PM (#135479)

        Perhaps they can also report who is reading what books to the authorities. Why not they are already reporting other people to the authorities...

        That is the slippery slop they are living in.

      • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday January 17 2015, @04:04AM

        by jmorris (4844) on Saturday January 17 2015, @04:04AM (#135591)

        We got added to the list here. Yes it is insane, that was part of my point. If a checkout clerk in a library is a mandatory reporter, who is next? How long until the cashier at the Quik-E-Mart is on the list?

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Arik on Friday January 16 2015, @07:01PM

      by Arik (4543) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:01PM (#135462) Journal
      "Our civilization is dead. Seriously, any civilization where something that insane can be written and distributed to educated citizens without the writer being carried off and institutionalized is too abnormal to live much longer."

      QFT.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM (#135472)

        Make that quoted for hysteria.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 16 2015, @05:50PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 16 2015, @05:50PM (#135423) Homepage

    Bullshit. America is more safe than it's ever been. This is about control, and incidentally creates dependent children incapable of independent thought and action, who will become useful idiots for the nanny-state.

    For this, the emerging trend of helicopter-parenting is partially to blame. The primary instrument of the helicopter-parent is a varient of Munchausen by-Prioxy [wikipedia.org] in which they foster the dependency of their children. This is not often malicious but rather misguided ("I want my kid to be safe and have all those things I always wanted as a kid!").

    This is why the recent generations of American children are weak, malnourished-looking, whiny, effeminate sicklings who have been kept in a state of permanent infantilism not seen since the CIA LSD experiments on infants.

    This all is the fault of liberals who vote Democrat. Yep, liberals are to blame for this. Especially the ones who grew up in California around the Bay Area and Napa Valley. And people who vote Democrat. Others wouldn't dare corrupt life to such an unnatural extent.

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday January 16 2015, @06:07PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:07PM (#135431) Journal

      It's not about an actual dangerous world, nor is about a conspiracy to control.

      The "dangerous world" belief system is strongly identifiable characteristic of right wing authoritarianism [psych-it.com.au]. Tightly correlated with low scores on the Big Five personality trait of openness, it's described by a belief that disaster is eminent, and I'm sorry to say you're exhibiting all the symptoms.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by buswolley on Friday January 16 2015, @06:34PM

      by buswolley (848) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:34PM (#135445)

      I live in a liberal west coast town and our child's liberally ran school district actively promotes riding bikes to school...the schools even have contests on which child has the most miles ridden in a month.

      But I guess its a liberal conspiracy

      --
      subicular junctures
    • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM (#135474) Homepage Journal

      I agree with this "flamebait" post. It should be "insightful". The man told it like it is.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM (#135488)

        I disagree with the 'liberal' bit. I know dyed in the wool republicans who act in the exact same way as well as dyed in the wool democrats.

        You need to trust your children. They will get hurt sometimes. You can not protect them all the time. But you can teach them how to at least give up a fight about it. If you do everything for them they will never learn. They are going to break things. They are going to get it wrong many times. Some people think children are stupid as a box of bricks. Some are. But they are just people who have not learned any better yet. There is a big difference between stupid and does not know.

        The core issue is our school system has been kowtowed into handing it back to the parents. The parents have acted accordingly that they can not trust other adults around their children, as the school is not going to do anything, and in some cases will try to take your children away. This has been done as the schools are terribly afraid of being sued into non existence for any error. Then a very small group have taken advantage of this to bully the schools into treating their special snowflakes more special than the other ones. You also have school admins who are afraid to do anything so legit abuses by other students get swept under the rug just to make things 'go away'. You then also have child crusaders who are protecting the children. At the expense of all the children. The parents are also afraid to show any sort of discipline to their children outside of the home for fear of 'having the cops called'. There are cases where they should step in. But now they just create blanket rules and if they catch a few innocent people in the mix so be it. You are automatically guilty until proven innocent.

        These people do this because they are afraid of being sued into non existence and poverty just because they were seen as 'doing nothing' or 'missed something'. You see the same thing in our medical system. Our justice system is being used to bully our fellow Americans into being politically correct do nothings.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @08:39PM (#135514)

        > I agree with this "flamebait" post. It should be "insightful". The man told it like it is.

        I'm afraid that says way more about your than it does about "it."

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:18AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:18AM (#135579) Homepage

      Flamebait my ass. You're absolutely dead-on, and I don't say that lightly or with "intent to inflame". Even if the nanny-state isn't itself intentional, the self-fulfilling result of all this infanticizing is a nation that =needs= nannying, which in turn "justifies" the nanny state. Democrats typically think they know what's best for us (and that average folks can't determine this for themselves), and =that= is the fundamental source of this nanny mentality in government.

      Remember the woman who was castigated for letting her kid ride the NYC subway? Now she's exposing instances of this government-enforced nannying:

      http://www.freerangekids.com [freerangekids.com]

      • (Score: 1) by dboz87 on Tuesday January 20 2015, @07:46PM

        by dboz87 (1285) on Tuesday January 20 2015, @07:46PM (#136469)

        It is not a Republican/Democrat or even a Liberal/Conservative thing. It is the idea that the plebes should just do what the "smart" people say. Everything would be so much better if everyone just did what they were told.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @05:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @05:51PM (#135424)

    What does it say about their neighborhood when other parents call the police when they see children walking home by themselves? Are these other parents so shocked by seeing something so normal that they need to involve law enforcement? Are they so controlling and smothering that they felt the need to introduce those kids to what has become the militarized police of small town (and big city) America? Is that the first step to getting them accustomed to "papers please"?

    When I was in kindergarten I walked well over a mile to and from school every day. When I started high school sometimes I had to walk close to four miles each way. That's not child neglect, it's called life, or exercise.

    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 16 2015, @06:01PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:01PM (#135430) Homepage

      This is only the later generations doing this because they have internalized the voices of their own helicopter parents, and have transferred that demanding authority into themselves. Couple this with a generally hostile personal and political climate in the states, which is rapidly becoming the "every man for himself" feeding-frenzy like Chinese society, and viola:

      Every person becomes their own budding tyrant, working with the system to exercise their pathological hunger for control they were taught by their own overbearing parents.

      • (Score: 2) by tempest on Friday January 16 2015, @06:27PM

        by tempest (3050) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:27PM (#135439)

        I don't think it's so much the parents are controlling, it's the fact that our society is driven by fear. Watch the news and what do you see? Basically end to end fear mongering. Our government realized a while ago that feeding fear and paranoia allows them to exert control. We should trust them because a terrorist could be just around the corner. Consumerism likewise found this makes them money. Need traffic to a website? Drum up the latest fear. To some extent I believe modern egocentrism amplifies the problem. I see children treated as possessions of parents instead of individuals growing up. Mix all that with modern technology and you get the helicopter parent.

        I'd also like to say I walked to school everyday since kindergarten, about a mile and a half. I was glad when I was old enough to ride bike, but I couldn't ride it in the winter. Ten below zero? Still walked to school. I remember a few occasions when a blizzard would hit, and they'd send us home early. So what did I do? I walked home in the blizzard. :)

        • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Friday January 16 2015, @06:30PM

          by CoolHand (438) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:30PM (#135442) Journal

          Exactly!! There is something really wrong with society today.. (and I know I'm getting older, but it's not just a case of crotchety old man syndrome)

          --
          Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
          • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday January 16 2015, @06:47PM

            by buswolley (848) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:47PM (#135450)

            you are right of course there's something not right about today's sociwty, but... there was something not right about society 10 years ago or a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago.

            --
            subicular junctures
            • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:40AM

              by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:40AM (#135582)

              you are right of course there's something not right about today's sociwty, but... there was something not right about society 10 years ago or a hundred years ago or a thousand years ago.

              It's because of all those effin' people. Get rid of them and the problem goes away.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @10:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @10:39PM (#135542)

          I'd also like to say I walked to school everyday since kindergarten, about a mile and a half. ...

          I was bussed to school through the '60s, but it was several miles (far suburb/exurb school district) each way. I was very envious of my classmates that lived close enough to walk. By high school I was riding a bike to school, along a busy main road.

    • (Score: 1) by thelexx on Friday January 16 2015, @06:27PM

      by thelexx (4735) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:27PM (#135438)

      What it says to me is that the masses have been successfully programmed by the news media to "BE AFRAID - BE VERY AFRAID!" There's muggers, murderers, kidnappers, and rapists just prowling the streets night and day. You can't throw a rock without hitting one! Stay indoors and only travel in packs during the daylight. It's the only way to survive. And we have this medication for your depression...

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday January 16 2015, @07:07PM

        by HiThere (866) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:07PM (#135471) Journal

        How do you know?

        Some places *are* dangerous. I admit that from the story this didn't sound like one of them, but in some areas it's *wise* to avoid being seen to be vulnerable. It's also true that even in such areas the extent of danger is usually overstated. (And it's also true that such areas are generally the last place where the "child protective agencies" are likely to be active.)

        But be a bit cautious about blanket claims that the action is reasonable or unreasonable. There are lots of parts of the story that aren't mentioned.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 1) by thelexx on Friday January 16 2015, @08:54PM

          by thelexx (4735) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:54PM (#135519)

          I thought it was a given that we weren't talking about those obvious kinds of caution. Jeez.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday January 16 2015, @09:26PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:26PM (#135529)

          Some places *are* dangerous.

          A lot less dangerous than you might think. I've been in the worst neighborhood of my city at 2 AM on a Saturday, alone, unarmed, on foot, wearing fairly nice clothes, and white. You'd think somebody would try to rob me, but in fact the only interactions I had were with a stray dog, a guy who offered to sell me drugs, and a bus driver that basically demanded I get on board. In other words, absolutely nothing bad happened to me, even though most think "White guy goes into that neighborhood late at night, someone'll bust a cap in him".

          The fact is that the crime rate, particularly the violent crime rate, has nose-dived over the last couple of decades, and now cops who are trying to be all authoritarian and oppressive are shooting jaywalkers and choking loose cigarette salesmen rather than going after the truly bad guys, in large part because there are fewer truly bad guys.

          --
          The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:52AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:52AM (#135586)

            Fear sells well among those with defective amygdalas, so that is what Fox so-called News and the rest of Lamestream Media pushes.
            A giant void has grown, exposing a lack of balance in media in the years after the Powell Memo, [wikipedia.org] exacerbated by the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine by Reagan's FCC Chairman. [wikipedia.org]

            Left-leaning folks allowed media to be bought up and consolidated by wrong-wingers.
            Repeatedly hearing the unchallenged bleating of wrong-wing mantras has permitted that Neoliberal/Authoritarian propaganda to gain an undeserved mindshare.

            .
            There are clearly way more beat cops[1] in the USA than are necessary.
            In the military there is an up-or-out meme.
            If you don't show that you have what it takes to make the next higher grade, you need to find another line of work.
            The same should apply to the cops.
            This would filter out the non-thinkers and result in more detectives.
            Closing unsolved cases doesn't currently seem to be a priority, but it should be.

            The practice of bullying people on the street and otherwise presenting yourself as part of an occupying force, OTOH, is something that is unneeded and should be winnowed away.

            [1] "Beat cops" as in "I'm going to beat you if you don't bend to my will".

            -- gewg_

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:19PM

              by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:19PM (#135689) Journal

              Fear sells well to nearly everyone. The question is how realistic do you need to make the fear appear to be. The ones who ignore fear are also possessors of defective amygdalas. Judging how afraid one should be in a situation is not one that it's feasible to make accurately, but one should be able to tag certain signals as "deceptive mimicry". Somehow that's very hard to do except at a safe remove.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:15PM

            by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:15PM (#135686) Journal

            Yeah, I have too. So what. *Most* of the time nothing bad happens, but the time something does is the critical one, and the potential positives are a lot less good than the potential negatives are dangerous. Dangerous doesn't mean something bad is guaranteed to happen, but rather the probability of something really bad happening is a lot higher.

            That said, I agree that the news is designed to make things seem worse than they are.

            OTOH (if this is the thread I'm remembering) my point was that my expectation is that if it really is dangerous you won't see the child protective services setting foot there. Parents may keep their kids glued to the TV "and don't you dare open the door", but the child protective services are absent.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @07:10PM (#135477)

      > What does it say about their neighborhood when other parents call the police when they see children walking home by themselves?

      Not other parents. One person. May not even be a parent for all we know. Every neighborhood has at least one uptight nutjob. That one nutjob doesn't represent the entire neighborhood any more than the westboro baptist church represents all christians.

      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:52AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:52AM (#135635) Journal

        So what does it say about our social services that a single nutter can get them so up in arms and in the faces of perfectly normal decent people over nothing?

    • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:13PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:13PM (#135481) Homepage Journal

      BINGO!!! I walked 1/2 mile to catch the school bus when I was 5 yrs old. I think there were twelve kids who lived on the two roads that composed what would be called a "subdivision" today. The big kids kinda watched out for us little kids - sometimes, anyway.

      Later, I walked two miles to junior high school, and a three mile walk to high school. EVERYONE walked back in those days. If you lived within the city limits, you got your own arse to school, and NO ONE wanted Mom or Dad to TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL!!

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @07:44PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:44PM (#135495) Journal

        My younger brother disputed teh calim I made - that in 1969, I walked a half-mile to Kindergarten, five days a week - Sept through May.

        Google maps gave some needed correction to my claim: It was 7/10ths of a mile - but a 5-year-old can't be expected to have a firm grasp on precision in fractions.

        Yes. It snowed.

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
  • (Score: 2) by mechanicjay on Friday January 16 2015, @05:53PM

    by mechanicjay (7) <mechanicjayNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday January 16 2015, @05:53PM (#135426) Homepage Journal

    I regularly walked to and from school alone from the 2 grade on, which was about 3/4 of a mile away.

    I guess CPS has nothing better to do over there than harass good parents...which sounds about right.

    --
    My VMS box beat up your Windows box.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:28PM (#135440)

      I walked to school and back home when I was 7 years old. So did everyone else there, except maybe for first 2 days of school.

      Oh, I grew up in Poland. 1980s. When I moved with my parents to Canada in the 90s I was a little surprised that many parents would drive their kids to school. Or that there was a "school bus". Later, I was surprised that no one walked to school. Today, no one even walks to the "community" mail box.. and there is maybe 1 or 2 kids that I ever see that bike to school.

      "Community" of today, huddled behind walls of fear.

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday January 16 2015, @10:37PM

      by tftp (806) on Friday January 16 2015, @10:37PM (#135541) Homepage

      I regularly walked to and from school alone from the 2 grade on

      I walked to school starting from the first grade. I think my parents were present only on the very first day, since there was some gathering. After that I was on my own all day long - to school, from school, to walk around... But, admittedly, it was in old, bad USSR - and not in the modern USA. USSR was quite safe, modulo some other children.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @05:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @05:57PM (#135427)

    What kind if city is Silver Spring that warrants hauling in the kids? Is it a dangerous place, or pretty safe? Can someone with local knowledge help set the stage for the story?

    • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Friday January 16 2015, @06:21PM

      by DECbot (832) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:21PM (#135434) Journal

      It boarders the northern section of the DC Beltway. Think over-sized DC suburb. Think fairly safe with a few select bad neighborhoods.

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday January 16 2015, @07:09PM

      by HiThere (866) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:09PM (#135476) Journal

      Bingo! That's the real question. At a guess it's a rather safe and conservative place, but that's a guess. And the guess is partially based on the belief that if it were actually dangerous, you wouldn't find the "child protective agencies" active there.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @07:46PM

        by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:46PM (#135497) Journal

        F8ck. I've seen the row-housed hell-holes of Falls Church and Sterling. There's NOBODY out on ANY street. Human presence is suspicious. Human habitation is even doubtful.

        --
        You're betting on the pantomime horse...
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:21PM

          by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 17 2015, @05:21PM (#135690) Journal

          I don't know those places and can't tell whether you're talking about high-class trailer parks, wealthy suburbs, or slums. All seem to have instantiations where the custom is to not be visible.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by Jeremiah Cornelius on Friday January 16 2015, @07:52PM

      by Jeremiah Cornelius (2785) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:52PM (#135498) Journal

      Silver Spring produced Dave Chapelle and Louis Black. So? It's good for a laugh.

      --
      You're betting on the pantomime horse...
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by FanOfAllThingsGood on Friday January 16 2015, @05:58PM

    by FanOfAllThingsGood (4726) on Friday January 16 2015, @05:58PM (#135428)

    but what we have are all these people who think they know best on how to raise and care for children. The real problem is the law that is so vague. The police have little choice but to enforce the law, unless the mayor says lay off.

    Having traveled and lived across the world and seen people in all sorts of settings and handled many situations in doing so I must say that what the parents say is 100% correct. I don't know if I would have been able to comfortably rely on myself had I not learned to do so from early age. Things are much safer now than they were 100 years ago, except for these nut jobs who want everyone to live a sheltered life and never to step outside. Life is not a fantasy dream where bad things never go wrong. You have to learn to handle yourself at a rate you are comfortable with. I ventured out in wider and wider circles from my home while growing up. I was very familiar with our city and knew how to talk to people and how to detect dangers because of my freedom. My children are now the same and live happy lives wherever they hang their hats.

    The ones crying wolf here are the ones that are incompetent and no doubt live a life in fear of everything. Not every parent have that dream for their children.

    --
    Yum!
    • (Score: 1, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday January 16 2015, @06:24PM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:24PM (#135436) Homepage

      If you want to raise your kid entirely in the basement, that's fine with me. If you and the state both think I should raise my kid entirely in the basement and visit me personally to tell me so, you both can get fucked.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:31PM (#135443)

        Maybe you should read the posts you reply to. The post you replied to here says exactly the opposite of what you claim it says.

        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday January 18 2015, @01:51AM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Sunday January 18 2015, @01:51AM (#135751) Homepage

          my post was not replying to the parent, but rather agreed with the parent in using "you" as "if any of you" hypothetically. I was not slamming the parent, rather, turning from the parent to the fourth wall before explaining.

    • (Score: 2) by CirclesInSand on Saturday January 17 2015, @12:27AM

      by CirclesInSand (2899) on Saturday January 17 2015, @12:27AM (#135563)

      The rest of the world manages to not enforce the law. If I see you smoking weed, I don't have to do anything.

      These people chose to be police. They can choose not to be. The rest of us aren't.

  • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Friday January 16 2015, @06:21PM

    by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:21PM (#135435)

    No starving kids, beaten kids, molested kids. No giant caseload at all for CPS agents so they can just swan off to track down and harass every parent of every child not leashed to an adult. Because if they do actually have a caseload then directing effort into this is *taking time and money away from the work of helping abused children* and that would be a sin so vile no reasonable person would accept it... right? Right?

    This is the other part of the story: Not only are innocent families being harmed by having their lives subjected to pointless intrusions and abuses, but innocent abused children are being given less of the help they need.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by frojack on Friday January 16 2015, @07:11PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:11PM (#135478) Journal

      You forgot one associated risk:
      Publishing this story far and wide actually puts those kids MORE at risk. Advertising out that these kids will be out walking alone is likely to attract the very people the CPS/Police thought they were protecting against.

      I don't know who decided to bring this to the attention of the media, but if it was CPS or the Police some action should be taken. If it was the parents calling the newspaper, I'm beginning to question their judgement.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Friday January 16 2015, @08:34PM

        by GlennC (3656) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:34PM (#135513)

        As I don't currently have mod points, please accept a virtual +1 from me.

        --
        Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
      • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Friday January 16 2015, @08:47PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:47PM (#135516)

        Do those people exist in any quantity, though? Kids don't get snatched by strangers that often, and even aside from that grabbing kids who've been on the news seems like a bad way to pick a random target.

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:52AM

          by Reziac (2489) on Saturday January 17 2015, @02:52AM (#135585) Homepage

          They exist in a quantity that doesn't even qualify as statistical noise: There are only about 40 genuine child abductions-by-strangers per year in the U.S.

          The rest are all by family members, custody disputes and the like.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:59AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 17 2015, @10:59AM (#135637) Journal

        I don't question them at all. They are now involved in an unfair fight where some CPS crazy is trying to bust up their family. They need the brightest spotlight possible focused on them to keep their children from being stolen away in the dark by said crazy.

        The greatest danger to their children right now is CPS. Hopefully they're allergic to bright public spotlights.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday January 16 2015, @07:23PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:23PM (#135484)

      It's a case, on the books, it needs to be processed. If they were to dismiss it, they might be found negligent, or overreaching in their independent decision making. Worse, it would reduce their "time to process" workload statistic, and weaken their arguments for being overworked and underpaid.

      "You're in the system now," comes up in a frightening number of living bureaucratic nightmares.

      --
      John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Friday January 16 2015, @08:54PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Friday January 16 2015, @08:54PM (#135518)

        In other words: 'Someone sees something, so he says something. The person he says it to -- a policeman, a security guard... now faces a choice: ignore or escalate. Even though he may believe that it's a false alarm, it's not in his best interests to dismiss the threat. If he's wrong, it'll cost him his career. But if he escalates, he'll be praised for "doing his job" and the cost will be borne by others. So he escalates. And the person he escalates to also escalates, in a series of CYA decisions. And before we're done, innocent people have been arrested... and hundreds of police hours have been wasted.'

        (Not my words, just something from https://www.schneier.com/essays/archives/2007/11/how_we_won_the_war_o.html [schneier.com] with the terrorism-specific lines elided. It was true in 2007, it's true now.)

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 19 2015, @01:25AM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 19 2015, @01:25AM (#135922)

          This is the way of our world - you can ruin people with baseless accusations.

          --
          John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @06:25PM (#135437)

    “I think it’s absolutely critical for their development — to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency.”

    The government doesn't want the children to learn responsibility, to experience the world, to gain confidence and competency. It wants the children to learn obedience, to believe everything they are told about the world, to fear the world and have faith in the leaders.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by mendax on Friday January 16 2015, @06:34PM

    by mendax (2840) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:34PM (#135444)

    This paranoia about allowing kids to be away from their parents for extended periods of time is nonsense. What are they afraid of, that some unknown pedophile will pick them up and do awful things to them? Those people are few and far between. A case in point.

    When I was in first grade (in 1970) we were taught using this silly cartoon horse to say, "Nay, nay! Stay away!" from strangers. This is all well and good. However, it said nothing about the dangers posed by people I was very familiar with in my family and in my neighborhood. As a result, my mom let me run loose outside throughout the neighborhood and walk to school alone starting in kindergarten. Thus, the friendly older boy down the street (he was 13, I was 7) was not thought of as a danger by me and thus he was able to groom me with pornography and eventually rape me.

    We as a society would be much better off teaching parents how to tell their kids about inappropriate touching and that it's okay to tell someone about it, a lecture I never received.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 2) by buswolley on Friday January 16 2015, @06:40PM

      by buswolley (848) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:40PM (#135446)

      Insightful and informative.

      --
      subicular junctures
    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday January 16 2015, @07:07PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:07PM (#135470)

      What are they afraid of, that some unknown pedophile will pick them up and do awful things to them?

      Yes, that is exactly it.

      Of course, that relies on a big misconception about where kids are actually in the greatest danger, which is around people that parents trust, or in some cases around the parents themselves. The reason for this is pretty simple: A 6-year-old who is grabbed by a random stranger can and will take steps to try to do something about it, like screaming, running away, or hitting their attacker, and there's a very good chance anyone else in the vicinity will notice and respond appropriately (call the police, try to stop the attacker, and so forth). A 6-year-old who is ushered into a quiet back room by dear old Father O'Malley or Great-uncle Teddy, on the other hand, will not likely think he's any kind of danger, and will not react the same way.

      Statistically speaking, kids are safest in school, but out and about in public is still pretty safe for them.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by sjames on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:02AM

        by sjames (2882) on Saturday January 17 2015, @11:02AM (#135638) Journal

        And a leading source of such abuse is (drumroll please) the foster care system!

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 16 2015, @07:09PM

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:09PM (#135475) Journal

      As a result, my mom let me run loose outside throughout the neighborhood and walk to school alone starting in kindergarten. Thus, the friendly older boy down the street (he was 13, I was 7) was not thought of as a danger by me and thus he was able to groom me with pornography and eventually rape me.
       
      You were allowed to run around unsupervised, like the kids in the story, and it resulted in you being sexually assaulted.
       
      That isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of "Free Range" parenting.

      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday January 16 2015, @07:54PM

        by tathra (3367) on Friday January 16 2015, @07:54PM (#135499)

        it wasn't done by some mysterious stranger offering candy out of th back of a van, however, it was done by somebody he was close to, which means the failure is completely on the parents, not for allowing him to explore the world on his own, but for refusing to teach him about sexual stuff, what's appropriate and inappropriate, and what would be considered a violation, literally and metaphorically. that kind of shit, along with countless teenage pregnancies, occur because we live in a nation of prudes who refuse to teach their children how to stay safe especially with respect to sexual things, not because parents allow their children some freedom.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by mendax on Friday January 16 2015, @09:05PM

        by mendax (2840) on Friday January 16 2015, @09:05PM (#135522)

        And what's the alternative? Keep the child inside all the time away from friends? Home schooling? Utter foolishness, my friend.

        My parents were correct in letting me outside unsupervised. They were incorrect in telling me about inappropriate touching, but that was not their fault. In those days, adults simply didn't talk about such things to their children. Furthermore, sexual abuse of children, while illegal, was not considered to be as serious a crime then as it is now, partially because it wasn't clear exactly what kind of damage it did to the child. We now know (and I know from personal experience) that the damage done is devastating and ruinous.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @12:44AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 17 2015, @12:44AM (#135566)

      The same thing happened to me, except he was 13 and I was 10. He talked me into it while playing a game of "truth or dare" that escalated gently. I got scared and convinced him to take his cock out of my ass and get the hell off of me. Fortunately for me his parents were in the other room, or else he might not have stopped. I mostly forgot about it for a few years until something reminded me of it later. I guess at the time I didn't think much of it because I did not know what sex was or how serious a situation it was. I never told anyone. And I still haven't, since I posted this anonymously ;-)

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by tynin on Friday January 16 2015, @06:46PM

    by tynin (2013) on Friday January 16 2015, @06:46PM (#135449) Journal

    Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) provides bus service for: [montgomeryschoolsmd.org]
    Elementary school students living more than 1 mile of walking distance from school.*
    Middle school students living more than 1.5 miles of walking distance from school.*
    ...
    *A tenth of a mile may be added to establish a reasonable boundary.

    Seems like both kids are at least in elementary or higher, so they should be allowed to walk 1 mile on their own. I would get a lawyer and fight to get CPS out of my life for doing something everyone in school would be expected to do.

    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:08PM (#135473)

      Some organizations (and the members within) think bad people are everywhere and any hint that you could be one is like some crack they can pry open to the underworld. If they put a little more pressure on you then you'll slip up and they'll have found an agent of evil. If they uncover some evil then their place in the organization is secure and their life entirely worthwhile. Of course that little pressure revealed nothing so they just apply more and more until they just look like crazy people. Just my experiences with ICRC. CPS seems to suffer from the same problem.

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 16 2015, @07:32PM (#135489) Journal

      I would get a lawyer and fight to get CPS out of my life for doing something everyone in school would be expected to do.

      Fighting CPS makes you more suspect, not less. And it draws more CPS attention, not less. Getting a Restraining Order against a state agency is pretty much and impossible hurdle these days. In the few times it actually happens [imperfectparent.com], its big news.

      CPS agencies in many states have run amok due to excessive work load (or so they claim). In Washington state there have been a large amount of attention over the last few years based on the bone headed decisions they have made.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cmn32480 on Friday January 16 2015, @07:20PM

    by cmn32480 (443) <{cmn32480} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday January 16 2015, @07:20PM (#135483) Journal

    This is a big government state. It is rife with government overreach and it lives by the "care for the people from cradle to grave" mentality.

    Maryland is a shining example of what happens when you get single party rule. There are no term limits for the legislature. The Speaker of the House of Delegates has been the Speaker since 2003. The sitting President of the State Senate has been in the senate since 1975, and has been it's President since 1987.

    The legislature and soon to be retiring (by term limit) governor have never met a tax they didn't hike. And when they can't come up with a tax to hike, they make up a new one.

    CPS here makes the news every so often for pulling crap like this. This has been all over the local news, and there has been some well deserved backlash from the people over it. I have yet to hear anybody fault the parents for what they did.

    --
    "It's a dog eat dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear" - Norm Peterson
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @11:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16 2015, @11:35PM (#135552)

      >*looks up Maryland's demographics*
      >black percentage of Maryland in 2010: 29.8%
      cmn32480, you racist fuck! Don't you know that blacks need dem programs to get their lives sorted after they dindu nuffin?