[lbo-talk] How populist conservatives in the USA see this modernworld....

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at jhu.edu
Thu May 3 07:13:59 PDT 2007


How populist conservatives in the USA see this modern world....

Sounded pretty accurate to me. Under new rules here parents who want to organise after school clubs have to be vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau. Not surprisingly, this has led to a big fall-off of dad's doing football - not that they have criminal records, only that the whole process is intrusive and bureaucratic, and makes everyone feel like they are potential abusers when all they wanted to do was football.

[WS:] I would not call it "accurate" but rather "supported by factual anecdotal evidence." However, anecdotal evidence, like school shooting, does not make trends. Yes, there are some cases of regulatory zeal and bureaucratic idiocy, but they are just that - cases, not trends.

I cannot speak about the deployment of SWAT teams, but I know a bit about child abuse reporting. In most states, everyone who has occupations contact with minors (teachers, health care professionals, etc,) is a "mandated reporter" - meaning that he or she has the legal obligation to report all suspected cases of child abuse, whether substantiated or not. That means that if you are a school teacher and see kid with bruises in your classroom and do not report to the child welfare agency, you may be criminally liable. It is not up to you to investigate if your suspicion is true. All reported cases are investigated and either substantiated or not. Most (about 80% in Pennsylvania, where I did research) are not. Of those that are substantiated, the child welfare agency has some discretion how to dispose them - i.e. whether to report them to law enforcement. So it is pretty clear that only a small fraction of all child abuse reports are actually prosecuted. Needless to say that prosecution does not mean conviction.

Of course, there are some cases of overzealous social workers or prosecutors, and those cases are picked up by demagogues of various stripes in their rants against the system. But if there is any valid criticism of the system it is that it does not do enough, as many cases of abuse and neglect still slip through the cracks, rather than it does too much.

I personally have no problems in curtailing the "civil rights" of males - because this group is typically the target of protective measures for a reason - they are the violent and abusive ones - to protect the safety of others. For too long the males had the blank check to terrorize whomever they pleased. Finally, something has been done about it, at least in this country, and the assholes are screaming bloody murder. Fuck them.

That reminds me of a true story of my female friend from Poland living in New Jersey. She was visited by her husband's brother, who was verbally abusive toward her. When she threatened to call the cops, the asshole laughed in her face asking "What are they going to do?" Indeed, in Poland they would not do anything, but in New Jersey they came right away, dragged the guy from the house in handcuffs, and since my friend did not press criminal charges, they told they guy that they would deport him if he does it again. Needless to say that the asshole was scared shitless.

Thank goddess that this country has strong abuse prevention laws. In many other countries, abusive males can still take "law" into their own hands and there is nothing that stops them.


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