A few of the smarter libertarian bloggers (EDK, Balko) are upset because an overzealous public health MD is wondering if obese children should be taken from their parents.
Before we slide down a slippery slope, let’s look at a couple of cases. Here’s one:
That piece [in the journal Pediatrics] discussed a 440-pound 16-year-old girl who developed breathing problems from excess weight and nearly died at a University of Wisconsin hospital. Doctors discussed whether to report her family for neglect. But they didn’t need to, because her medical crisis “was a wake-up call” for her family, and the girl ended up losing about 100 pounds, said co-author Dr. Norman Fost, a medical ethicist at the university’s Madison campus.
Another case involved a mother who lost custody of her 555 lb. 14-year-old son, a boy who’s now living with his aunt and has lost 200 lbs.
Both of those examples are conspicuously absent from ED’s and Balko’s articles. I assume that’s because it’s easier for Balko to call it “self-evidently horrifying” than it is to look at the evidence, and it’s easier for ED to go down a long “what if” chain that ends up with non-vaccinated kids being taken away from parents. Apparently, the real-world evidence of parents feeding their kids to death doesn’t take place in a frictionless, two-dimensional plane that is infinite in all directions, so it must be ignored.
Speaking of the real world, taking away children is well-nigh impossible unless the kid has been beaten hard enough to break bones, fucked by a close family member, unfed or otherwise seriously abused. I have a number of good friends and family members who are healthcare workers, and they’ll all tell you that there are cases that keep them up nights where a child is clearly being neglected but no state intervention is possible. Part of the reason is that it takes all kinds of money to run a good child welfare and foster care system, so the current system is overloaded and only able to deal with the worst possible cases. So, no, your roly-poly or non-vaccinated kid will, as a practical matter, never be taken away from you.
But even if the child welfare system were better-financed and empowered to take away some obese kids, do these smart and thoughtful libertarians really think that it’s state overreach to allow some state intervention for 440-555 lb children? If so, we need more argument than Balko’s self-evidence and ED’s slippery slope.
i don’t know … a case can be made that some type of intervention needs to be made. there’s no way this isn’t a form of child abuse — from the physical ailments to the social ostracization:
I’m pretty sure the answer is “yes”. They’ll argue that it’s overreach for the state to step in and take kids away under any circumstances. If the parents are physically or sexually abusing their kids, that’s a criminal offense and the parents should be sent to jail. If that leaves the kids without means of support, we can send them to a workhouse.
If we had a well funded social services system, staffed with good people . . .
A better solution would be to take custody of the child and the parent[s] for even a couple of weeks, lock them up somewhere so the parent could feel like he/she was in jail, teach both of them about the desired treatment [nutrition and exercise probably], and threaten the parent with a longer sentence next time. This would, of course, be followed by the equivalent of a home health worker living in the home for 2 or 3 days and then coming in to check up on everybody a couple times a week. Lots of follow up, visits to the doctors, etc.
The problem has been addressed. The child has not been separated from his/her family. The home can be reformed.
I don’t like this at all. It is under the heading of abuse if a kid is that fat and the parent is stuffing the child like a Christmas turkey.
The problem is that it’s like means testing. A child with a modicum of baby fat is all of a sudden too fat and the parents are reported for abuse.
Leave it up to individual cases. The serious cases are the ones that need attention and too many kids are abused. It has always been this way and I wonder why we don’t protect children.
What would they say about a severely underweight, undernourished child? Would removing such a child be an overreach as well?
More people are able to have kids than are fit to raise them. I guess that’s where the actual nanny state(tm) comes into play.
The Moar You Know
Non-vaccinated kids should be taken from their parents. That’s gross neglect, child abuse, and creation of a public health menace right there, far as I’m concerned.
Surely, freedom means nothing if you can’t murder you kid with junk food.
Oh, dumber ones, too.
trollhatten, Starvation is considered child abuse.
OT…must thank TPM
The AP is reporting that the Justice Department is looking into the allegations that News Corp. hacked into the cellphones of 9/11 victims. We’re told to expect a statement from DOJ shortly. More when we have it.
I’m going to repost this from below, because it seems to fit here too:
“It was also the end of freedom for Greece; because freedom, in the last resort, means the right to determine one’s own future, for good or ill, the right to be stupid, vindictive, dishonest or faction-ridden if that is the will of the majority. Free men would always rather make a hash of affairs on a public vote than be dragooned into efficiency and success by any dictator, however far-sighted or benevolent…An ideological opposition [Philip and Alexander] could neither understand nor deal with: Philip regarded such an attitude with jovial cynicism, while Alexander simply rode roughshod over it. The polis, the city-state, had run its course: a new era was dawning.”
—Peter Green, Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.
The Tragically Flip
Mistermix, if you don’t allow libertarians to use this form of slippery slope argument, then clearly liberal do gooder nanny staters will outlaw all slippery slope arguments and then libertarians will have no arguments to make at all.
(p.s. hahaha that is a good line)
First, assume a spherical
While at work I should spend more time at BJ. I was in a business meeting today and this very topic came up, but I had yet to read this post. Much consternation in the meeting from dithering single brain celled freaks who think taking kids away from families is a coming. The whole thing smacks of fox entertainment hooey.
Libertarians have a knack of being consistently stupid, blissfully unaware of life outside their sunny little upper-middle class bubble of privilege. In the real world, many children are born to parents who couldn’t manage to care for a pet rock. Some of these parents actively hate their children (yes, hate) or just don’t care if they live or die, let alone if they are healthy and well-cared for. Some of these parents beat and rape their children, some of them give their kids, even infants, drugs, and some of them stuff their children like foie gras geese. You’d think that the followers of a ghoul like Ayn Rand would have a better understanding of human evil. But then again, liberatrians are stupid.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
If we had a better funded child care system, then I think that a case that needs intervention should require going before a judge to be granted the correct documents, just like cops have to do to perform a raid. Require a set of eyes outside the case workers.
They have a great understanding of good and evil, it’s just that their views have been twisted by listening to Rand. They think that good consists of following your own selfish interests and evil consists of trying to help other people. Naturally, stopping kids from eating as much as they feel like is a terrible evil under this belief system.
I think that would have to be a ‘spherical child of uniform density placed in a vacuum’
I agree with you that some parents are mean and nasty and should be separated from their offspring. In my scenario above, I assumed that the parent[s] meant well.
I do think that treating parent and child together would be beneficial in many, many cases.
And how is allowing a child to reach 500 pounds any different from allowing them to smoke or consume alcohol? There’s many ways to slowly poison a person, and a 3500 calorie diet is no exception.
All hail the isotropic plain and the homo economicus that inhabit therein.
This is why I love you mistermix.
I sometimes wonder if libertarians are actually alive, or if their entire existence consists of nothing but slippery-slope hypotheticals about the least egregious governmental intrusions they can invent.
I have a good friend who has taken in at least two dozen foster kids (both temporary and long term) over the past decade. I’ve had an opportunity to meet some of the parents. Having done so, I’d say your statement is…optimistic at best.
Yes, yes, I know. Anecdote, data, etc.
The four hundred pound, eight year old girl should never have been returned to the care of her mother. My god, the child’s legs are permanently damaged/deformed from the bowing caused by the stress of carrying that weight around, and still the parent fed her limitlessly. I mean, wtf?
So the kid is back with the Mom, who is herself severely overweight, but somehow is supposed to be raising and setting good boundaries for this kid. I’m not buying it.
The more I think about this, the idea that anyone would think turning your eight year old into a walrus who gets around the house by rolling on the floor is NOT child abuse is, um, misguided to say the least.
They might if they weren’t hell-bent on being ghouls themselves.
Every definition of good and evil requires admitting that there’s something more important than your whims, whether it’s God, Natural Law, Society, or whatever. Ayn Rand’s philosophy begins and ends with the idea that your whims are the only thing that should ever matter, and that selfishness is the highest moral law.
No, they don’t understand human evil, unless by “understand” you mean “wallow in.” They reject just about everything that would allow them to recognize human evil in the first place.
Here’s my suggestion: if all you’re talking about is extreme outliers like the 555-pound boy, don’t write an article with the headline “Should Obese Children Be Taken From Parents” and then act surprised when people freak out. A 5’4″ teenager is considered “obese” at 175 pounds.
Oh, and I’m stunned, simply stunned that anyone can think of comparing the mere threat of physical asphyxiation with the clear and present danger of witnessing same-sex positive bonding.
Are there any existing circumstances where a guardian can lose custody of a child that the defenders of liberty would also like to do away with for fear of the coefficient of static friction of the present slope being insufficient to keep us from falling into Plato’s Republic? Or are they less ‘libertarians’ and more ‘conservatives’ looking to keep things where they are, lest the coefficient of kinetic friction loose us into chaos?
I just need to know if appointing an intermediary to act on behalf of a child in a case where a parent is giving their child heroin is tyranny or if that’s only when appointing one when a child weighs 400lbs.
Whether or not you agree with mistermix, this one line is the best piece of snark I’ve read all month.
Let’s see….I’m a foster mom. All intervention DOES require going before a judge within 24 hours and usually BEFORE, not after. The child we adopted was removed for “failure to thrive” which is fancy talk for starving, off the charts low weight. There are an incredible number of different ways children can be abused
Everything would be better with a better funded system. I’m pretty sure the system already CAN remove a child in such extreme cases. You don’t hear about it because they are rare unlike sexual abuse or severe physical abuse. The system isn’t going to go after the kids who are a few pounds or even a bit more overweight because they have to concentrate on the really serious cases, just like they really don’t go after the parents who do spanking. If there is an abuse report, they may investigate, and then move on, just like other tips. Can’t help that. Unfortunately false reports for malice are a common problem. In foster parent training they say you must expect to be reported for abuse at least once. Parents often do it for revenge on foster parents. Ex whatever’s often report parent’s falsely which can be the initial reason someone gets investigated by DCF. Investigator’s have to be on the look out for this too.
If they did remove lots of children for being overweight-where would we put them? There is a shortage of foster parents and don’t statistics say the majority of Americans are obese now?
That would include foster parent’s. Having been to the meeting’s I can say as a group we are typical.
Only the serious cases are going to be acted on. I really don’t think child care workers and bosses are as stupid as libertarians think.
As a child welfare worker, I’m simply skeptical that child welfare is the appropriate intervention. Perhaps a hierarchy, utilizing parenting classes through child welfare and the public health nurse? After all, if the kid is obese, what are the odds the parents aren’t?
we should preemptively refudiate stalin and broccoli mandate before the glibs come over and demand it.
anonymous for now
Speaking of the real world, taking away children is well-nigh impossible unless the kid has been beaten hard enough to break bones, fucked by a close family member, unfed or otherwise seriously abused
That is incorrect. I’ve seen newborn infants removed from their mother by the state because she was homeless. The state then balked at returning them because she was deaf (she ultimately won in court).
God, I hate libertarians that reduce everything to a bumper sticker, slick up the slippery slope and then walk away with their morally righteousness intact while doing real harm in the flesh-and-blood world that the rest of us inhabit.
However, a lot of libertarians ARE as stupid as they think others are.
@GVG: Foster parents are some of the least recognized and most important people in our country. Good for you.
@17. Belafon: It does. You can have an initial investigation without court oversight, but removing a child requires either prior review or, in an emergent situation, the police and review immediately following. There are so many eyes on those agencies, cops would crap themselves if they had to report as diligently as CPS.
I imagine most libertarians are more attached to their slippery slope arguments than the average NRA member is to his/her guns.
What evidence is there that it’s unhealthy for a young person to weigh over 500 lbs? This is merely librul totalitarianism.
It’s just an excuse to hate on the South for having traditional cultural values like eating all the food it’s possible to grab quickly and make as much if it as possible in huge portions of extremely high calorie, high fat content, high sugar, high salt foods.
If libruls really wanted to protect children from risk, they’d let them grow up under incandescent light bulbs.
Hey — Al Gore is fat! What do they say about that?
From your link:
Jerri Gray, a Greenville, S.C., single mother who lost custody of her 555-pound 14-year-old son two years ago, said authorities don’t understand the challenges families may face in trying to control their kids’ weight.
“I was always working two jobs so we wouldn’t end up living in ghettos,” Gray said. She said she often didn’t have time to cook, so she would buy her son fast food. She said she asked doctors for help for her son’s big appetite but was accused of neglect.
The libertards are all in favor of individual rights for themselves but don’t care about individual rights for others. What the hell – do the parents have a right to fatten kids up to death? What about the kid’s rights? Seems to me that if parents let a kid get obese, and there’s no compelling medical interest, the kid should be taken away. They’re unfit parents.
My hat is off to you. Being a good foster parent exemplifies a heroic willingness to do what’s right in the face of continuous heartbreak.
You say this right after citing a case where an obese boy was taken from his mother.
State child protective agencies ARE grossly underfunded. But in my observation, what that means is not that children aren’t taken away, but that once they are, there is no effective work being done to reunite families. This affects poor people, who often don’t have transportation and who can’t afford the fees to enroll in drug counseling classes that they are routinely ordered to take even when there is no evidence that drug use has anything to do with the issue that led to the removal.
It is really, really hard to take a kid away from a mother. Multiple family court appearances are required. It is not an overnight visit from people in black vans. Before I believe a “child stolen from parents by awful child welfare” story, I want to see the fine print.
Also, as in the case of the 555 lb’ers mother, since the aunt (mother’s sister) took the kid, it’s not like mom never sees the kid or the kid was given to strangers (not that there’s anything wrong with that if the kid is being abused).
I was annoyed that you forced me to click and look at the posts to see if you were fairly representing them. Sadly you were, and I’m with others – no, I don’t find it self-evidently upsetting that the state may step in when someone is mistreating their child to the degree that they are cutting their life expectancy by more than 50%.
Maddening. I’d have sympathy for their positions if they expressed concern that the collateral damage and cost of these interventions were too great to justify it. Don’t know that I’d agree, but when it comes down to this complete a disconnect from reason about nutrition and health I think you can certainly question whether productive intervention can happen. I’d even respect an assertion that we allow other questionable decisions to stand – say, christian scientists who would rather let a child die than allow a transfusion – and this is inconsistent.
But OH NOES THEY TOOK MY CHUNKY BABY is insane and so very clearly not supported by the article that Balko links to. if you don’t see that sort of treatment as almost identical to starving a child or failing to provide it with basic human needs… then I don’t know what to say other than “you’s nuts.”
Libertarians are the most frustrating species of idiots, because they are capable of thinking, but insist that thought must stop at a predetermined level of abstraction, i.e., their “principles.” It takes some mental work to construct a slippery slope fallacy. The problem with libertarians is that once they have reached that point, no other thought or factual input is allowed. They can think, but what they really seem to want is to reach the point where they can stop. It makes them kind of itchy.
Libertarianism is the proof of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
The solution is to take away:
1) everything with fructose corn syrup
3) candy, gum
4) junk food
5) everything labeled “food product”
This shit is the current era’s equivalent of the cause of the slow miserable death of smoking.
good reacharound mistermix?
dumbass, EDK and Balko aren’t the “smarter” ill1bertarians– greenwald and sanchez and yglesias are the “smarter” ill1bertarians.
Kain wasn’t even smart enuff to pass for liberal with you and Cole and Doug running interference for him and coaching him 24/7.
better watch out– you are gunna wind up with cyber stds like Cole from sukking libertarian cock.
Obviously the morbidly obese children can sue their parents, and this will discourage parents from raising their children to be morbidly obese.
@50: But that means no more “cheese product”? How can America do without cheese product? I think all the gunk called American Cheese is nothing but cheese product.
Has anyone ever seen anything called American Cheese that was not laballed “cheese product”?
America will not survive the loss of cheese product.
This story is the kind of thing that makes people paranoid about overreaching child welfare workers. I sure don’t see a lot of checks and balances that kept that guy from having his kid taken away for a full weekend and from returning to his own home for over a week.
Yes, giving your article a title like “Should Obese Children Be Taken From Parents” is a good way to get attention. It’s also a good way to ensure a lot of people freak out before they get around to reading your mind and deducing that you’re only talking about the 500-pound outliers.
You neglected to mention the free market solution that enables morbidly obese kids to choose another set of parents from the lucrative “I Want a Child with Health Problems” section of Craigslist.
@Steve – 54: While I agree that CPS overreacted, Jesus Christ on a pogo stick – how fucking dumb are you when you don’t know that Mike’s Hard Lemonade has alcohol in it? (And the whole “they have advanced degrees” talk is just foolishness on stilts. They don’t have advanced degrees in child rearing, obviously, so they’re going to get the same kind of scrutiny as any other idiot who feeds their kid a bottle of alcohol in a sports stadium, i.e., a lot.)
It is really, really hard to take a kid away from a mother. Multiple family court appearances are required. It is not an overnight visit from people in black vans. Before I believe a “child stolen from parents by awful child welfare” story, I want to see the fine print.
Well, I’m afraid I can’t show you the “fine print” on that one. There was a reason I (tried) to post it anonymously. but what happened is this: The mother went to the hospital to give birth, told the hospital staff she was homeless; hospital calls CPS; CPS shows up with cops and they take newborn twins. Yes, there was a 24 hour probable cause hearing. The mother, who was deaf, didn’t have an interpreter.
Mom got a home with a family member, but CPS deemed it unsuitable because there were “too many people.” (the family member lived with his wife, four kids, and mother in a 5 bedroom house).
Yeah, there were multiple court appearances before one judge finally ordered that an attorney be appointed for mom and that CPS provide an interpreter.
Even after she was able to rent her own two bedroom place, CPS didn’t want to give the kids to her, because of her deafness (“what if she’s another room and one of them falls?”). Of course they finally lost in court but only after a big fight, and they’d kept the kids for over 18 months.
I know this is anecdotal and you certainly don’t have to believe it, but I’ve seen several cases like this.
I don’t disagree that the state should be able to intervene when the child’s health is at risk, but affordable counseling and treatment services ought be offered for the family first, and removal should be a last resort. Unfortunately I don’t think our underfunded state CPS agency is capable of doing the former. It’s almost easier to remove the kids and just order the parents to accomplish a bunch of unrealistic goals in 6 months, with no support.
Relax; our Galtian overlords are working on a process to coagulate fracking fluid into something orange and sliceable. Once their work is done American Cheese will be available at can’t miss prices.
I think there are many, many people who have never heard of lemonade with alcohol in it. Are you really under the impression that Mike’s Hard Lemonade is as well-known as Coca-Cola? That a guy is supposed to instinctively know that if he orders something called “lemonade” for his kid, he needs to check the bottle to make sure there is no alcohol listed?
The major issue here is that the guy lost his kid for days and you’re trying to pooh-pooh it as “heightened scrutiny,” which tells me that you flat-out don’t get it. Like stories of kids being abducted and murdered by strangers, these things happen very rarely, but many parents tend to have an outsized reaction just the same. And you don’t make that go away by smugly proclaiming that oh, most child welfare workers are smart and diligent people (even if they are), nor is it a good idea to use an attention-grabbing headline like “Should Obese Children Be Taken From Parents” if you only want people to soberly consider a much more restrained proposal.
The comments section of the Balko piece includes a suggestion from one true fucking numbskull about delivering “veggie baskets” to these kids as an alternative to government intervention. That guy is dumber than Michelle Bachmann’s dried-up afterbirth and he has plenty of company there.
Kathy in St. Louis
Morbid obesity is such a huge issue, it’s hard to even understand it. More children are obese today for myriad reasons, including working parents, dangerous neighborhoods, larger portion sizes over the past 30 years, families eating out more often, nutrition illiteracy, etc. As someone who has been dealing with overweight adults, as well as a personal weight issue for many years, it’s hard enough to get adults to understand what they should be eating, let alone children. That said, when a kid is morbidly obese, someone should be working with the family to help that kid. Otherwise, he or she is set up for a lifetime of health and social difficulties.
Like any bureaucracy, CPS fucks up, and it’s too bad when they do, and head should roll if the fuck up badly. But let’s consider a clear statement of the case, minus excuses and hyperbole:
*7 year-old child drank alcohol under direct supervision of dad.
* Child spent 1.5 days in foster care.
* Child was released to home as long as Dad stayed in hotel.
* Dad’s restriction was lifted in 3 days.
This miscarriage of justice is so gross that it ends up being featured in a newspaper. One might conclude that the reason it was written up was that it’s a dog bites man story – i.e., a rare anomaly – not your standard CPS case. The fact that the parents were rich and well-educated probably helped, too.
Yes, it is a rare anomaly, but it also rebuts your claim that no kid gets taken away without multiple family court appearances. This was not an emergency situation, and if someone thought it was then that only serves to compound the terrible judgment involved. I am not denying that these cases are quite rare (exactly how rare, I am not sure, because as you acknowledge we are less likely to hear when it happens to lower-class folks), but pointing out that you don’t help your case by pretending they don’t exist at all. There is additional irony in that your original post was about how lame these libertarians are for failing to consider the existence of extreme outlier cases.
No, the original post was about the lameness of these libertarians for failing to consider that the ONLY cases in existence were extreme outliers.
I didn’t deny that those cases don’t exist. That’s the straw man you invented. I said it was well-nigh impossible to take a child away from parents without serious abuse. And it is. That kid wasn’t “taken away” from his parents in the sense that the 550 lb kid was. He was in a foster home for 36 hours.
Just because some wrong thing happened somewhere, and that wrong was perpetrated by a government agency, doesn’t mean that we can’t use government agencies to enforce our laws.
And, in this case, the state did not swoop in unprovoked. Any reasonable person would consider that they had some kind of probable cause (i.e., a 7 year old consuming alcohol). They went too far with it, but it wasn’t part of a scheme to dragoon 7 year olds into foster care.
He’s a very neat fellow who comes to the Pediatric Bioethics meeting held here in Seattle every year. Here’s his interesting presentation on medical futility.
@28 – guess what article writers often don’t get to pick the title for their piece. Guess what plays into title selection? Whatever will draw the most eyeballs.
Meanwhile, the pundit/analysts like EDK and Radko should be able to look beyond the mere title and find out what is really being discussed.
@murbella, your syntax, illogic, horrible grammar, and general fucking idiocy greatly remind me of the illiterate mongrel matoko chan…
murbella @51 (goddamn you, absent reply thingy) wrote that Yglesias is a libertarian.
I assume you mean Matthew, not Enrique. ;=)
Can you provide support (i.e., with a linky) for your allegation?
There wouldn’t be enough space in all the buildings in Paris to foster the children if that was a reason to take kids away from their parents in France.
Having friends and family who are healthcare workers doesn’t give you bona fides to talk on this issue. You have no clue what you’re talking about. True story: I was in a very physically abusive marriage (I’ve told this story before on this blog, several years ago) and my abusive husband decided it was a good idea to start physically abusing my 3 year old daughter (from a previous marriage). I defended my daughter, stopped the attack, had to use a weapon (not a gun), took the husband to the emergency room where he got help, and I lost my child. You have NO CLUE what happens in many situations in different states. You have a small group of people in one or a few areas to rely on for information. I’m sure you’ve probably heard before that Florida DCFS was a brutal agency. They didn’t investigate children who were severely abused, and were overly cautious in other cases. I cared enough to try to defend my child and I ended up losing custody over it. Don’t tell me what it takes to lose custody of a child.
Its so adorable how libertarians believe that there is this monolithic uniform governmental thirst for power which is in evidence anytime the govenrment takes any type of action.
Libertarians are just underpants gnomes with think tanks.
Phase 1: Government gets the power to remove 500 lb 12 year-olds from their parents care
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: Totalitarian State
The article claims that healthy food is more expensive, but also says that these kids are being fed frozen dinners.
Healthy food is not more expensive than frozen dinner.
Decent fresh food is available at $1/pound. (Chicken, Potatoes, carrots, cabbage.)
Even expensive vegetables ($3/pound) are cheaper than most frozen dinners.
I do have sympathy with the parents who say they don’t have time after holding down two jobs. But prepared dinners are relatively expensive.
Grumpy Code Monkey
Two examples do not (necessarily) a counterpoint make. I’d like to see statistics over anecdotes. What percentage of American adolescents are morbidly obese, and what percentage of those are morbidly obese because of direct parental action (i.e. abuse), as opposed to the percentage who are obese because all they can afford is cheap calories (i.e. fast food)?
I really do not want to give the state the power to take kids away from parents simply because those parents don’t measure up to some subjective standard.
weren’t you one of juicers that fell for EDK’s fake conversion narrative?
/points and laffs
Ella in New Mexico
Fat kid=abusive parent who deserves to have their kids taken away? Oh for Chrissakes use your HEADS PEOPLE!!!
Most of you sitting here arguing that this is perfectly ok a response to obese kids are also very likely for gay marriage or laws against sodomy because it none of the government’s damn business what you do in your own home, right? And against the death penalty or of the government jailing small time drug users because of all the abuse we witness in those areas. So now, because “we all hate fate people, right?” the same concerns don’t apply?
By the way, I have a sneaking suspicion that most of you cheering this on and mocking the “paranoid” libertarians either have genetically perfect children or none at all. No one here but loving parents who have had children who are overweight or have done “bad” things that make you, as a parent, potentially blame-worthy should say a damned thing about ANY of this. Because YES there are such a things as slippery slopes, you morans, and yes they end up causing harm unnecessarily.
Just ask Rome Again @#71 above, for one. Just ask the 5-year old in my town who not only got arrested, but was sentenced to Juvenile Probation and Parole for 6 months for bringing a God-damned plastic squirt gun to the schools “Water FunDAZE” outdoor activity on the last day of his kindergarten year. Why, that’s absurd you say–why would anyone do that, you ask? Zero tolerance policy on BRINGING GUNS TO SCHOOL. Combined with marginally intelligent “professionals” with no ability see shades of gray in their new policy, applying it with bland indifference to using any of their God-given ability to judge or reason.
Yes, fat kids need intervention, and occasionally, there might be a case to be made, in front of a judge, that the family is willfully contributing to the child’s obesity in reckless disregard for that child’s health. That’s gonna happen rarely, (however, because of our lack of scientific and medical understanding of how some kids become gargantuan even on even controlled diets, this has already been abused by authorities in our own state, traumatizing a preschooler and her loving family).
And by the way, NO you do NOT want to give frustrated, zealous, black-or-white thinking Child Protection Workers a shiny brand-new bulls eye to place on potentially easy targets like fat kids–you do NOT want to go there, folks. It would be like shooting goldfish in a pond for a group of people who are regularly stymied in their efforts to move past REAL roadblocks in protecting kids who are out right physically and sexually abused–they don’t need to get some twisted psychological reward for something easier to do.
“Can’t convince the court to take the kids out of that drug-dealing gang-banger’s home? Find a fatty! Easy as 1-2-3 for any judge to see the merits of with our brand new laws!”
And really, do you think there will ever be a legitimate cut-off for who you can go after as being a “fat kid” and who you can’t? If you do, then you must believe in the complete and total accuracy of BMI charts. You know, the ones that make athletic people with lots of muscle and not a lot of fat “Obese” and the skinny little heroin addict “Normal”? Or my completely breast-fed 4 month old “Obese” because he was at the 100th percentile for weight–and height. And who has NEVER had a true weight problem in his life.
Jeezus, when I think of handing out BMI charts to mindless, discretion-incapable BSW social workers I almost can’t sleep at night.
Ella in New Mexico
“for gay marriage or laws against sodomy” should have read
for gay marriage and against sodomy laws”, but the damn edit feature wouldn’t let me do it. It’s obviously a libertarian plot or something.
That guy can read, right? Freedom means never having to know what’s in bottles you pour into your kids.
I mean, if you know what hard cider is, it shouldn’t be that fucking hard to figure out what hard lemonade is.
Firstly, who would be in favor of gay marriage equality and for laws outlawing ‘sodomy?’ Some kind of sadistic asshole?
Secondly, no the idea isn’t that it’s “none of the government’s damn business what you do in your home.” If that were the case you could skin your neighbors alive as long as it were in your home. The underlying issues are those of equality, harm, and consent. Where there is consent and no harm what is the motivation for preventing homosexuals from marrying or for adults from acts of sodomy?
I certainly don’t oppose capital punishment. For serial killers and other pathologically antisocial people for which we have no means of treatment and there is absolute evidence of guilt, I have no qualms with execution. Were our resources infinite I would see no particular reason to bother, but since they are not, if I have to choose between allocating resources to improving aggregate welfare or incarcerating a defective human, I’m not disposed to do the latter.
If your premises are incorrect don’t be surprised to find that your conclusion is also incorrect. However, in your case the problem appears to be that you can’t tell the difference between a non sequitur and a reasoned conclusion.
I don’t hate fat people. I don’t anything fat people. However, obesity is bad for one’s health. Just because you might “feel good” after consuming food doesn’t mean that piling 5000 calories a day into your 14-year old is any more justifiable than burning plastic and old tires in a barrel in their room. Children are not livestock for which one might expect to be able to make foie gras without concern from the State.
The phrase ‘genetically perfect children’ makes no sense.
Sorry, that is not actually how civilization works anywhere on this planet. Feel free to move in with the penguins and hope they don’t care about you raising a pod of killer whales in their backyard.
Ella in New Mexico
@80 mb: Let me guess: you’re an ISTJ on the Meyers-Briggs, am I right? If that’s the case, I am SO sorry that my rant was a little over your head. I’ll be much more diligent in simplifying it for you the next time.
I guess I didn’t realize we were sitting in a Comp and Rhetoric 101 class.
Right–which is why I corrected myself in the next post.
On second thought, this Selective Quoting and Response Game is SOOOO KEWL! Especially when you analyze stuff semantically. Thanks for the intro!!
non-vaccinated children should be taken away from thier parents. Either that, or failure to vaccinate puts you in a special 95% tax bracket.
No, when I was dragged into that nonsense I was classified as an INTP. However, the MBTI is pseudoscience. Would you care for my blood type and my astrological sign as well?
Most of what you write is uninteresting to me. The register of your writing is frantic and a bit daft.
It means you can move to Antarctica, which you could take seriously, but was certainly not intended that way. It would be a challenge for me to assume that you were taking it seriously though.
Ella in New Mexico
Thank you for the proof that you are an absolute ass. Congrats, and go the fuck away.
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