Wednesday, April 30, 2008

But What About the Children? (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell on how the state becomes ever more oppressive by using the excuse that it's "for the children":

Christopher Ratte, professor in the department of classics at the University of Michigan, was recently turned into a jailbird and had his son taken away from him, all in the name of protecting the child from the father. He had taken his 7-year-old son to a baseball game in Detroit and ordered him lemonade. What was served up was a "Mike’s Hard Lemonade," which his son prepared to drink. Suddenly security arrived.

"You know this is an alcoholic beverage?" the security guard asked.

"You have got to be kidding," responded the professor. And before the professor could examine the bottle, the guard snatched it away, and the boy was taken to the hospital where no traces of alcohol were found in him. The boy was then promptly put in foster care. It was two days before the mother, a professor of architecture, was allowed to take him home, and a full week before the father was allowed to come back into the home again.

The case provides a remarkable look at the workings of bureaucracy. The Detroit Free Press interviewed all the people involved. It turns out that no one was happy about what happened, but the gears of the bureaucracy ground away, ruining peoples' lives for no good reason.

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