March 14, 2012 Few citizens and even fewer elected officials and bureaucrats are able to distinguish between possibility and probability. As a result extremely unlikely events are often used to impose destructive laws and regulations on the general population. Jeff Koon and Andy Powell in their book You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant-101 Real Dumb Laws provides some classic examples of this.
The constant refrain of why these insane laws and crushing regulations are required is to preserve public safety, particularly that of our children despite voluminous research showing children are safest with their birth parents.
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
Only rarely is there any attempt to measure whether the law or regulation solved the problem. Quite often there is convincing evidence that the unintended consequences made the human condition worse. If there is any measure of effectiveness it is commonly used as a basis for new laws and regulations, and always as a basis for more money and enforcement.
There is little question that our freedom and liberties have been disappearing at an accelerating rate since the turn of the century. Nowhere is this trend more despotic than in the destruction of our families and children.
In the United States we turn to our elected officials to act in a manner that preserves our rights. But in far too many cases these officials and the bureaucrats they employ have proven to be the enemy rather than defenders of liberty.
I am hardly the only one, or the first to recognize this. Dr. Chuck Baldwin in a recent column summarized the issue with the statement The Status Quo Must Go. He makes some cogent observations. He points out that:
"It is far more important who is elected as your governor than who is elected President. It is far more important who is elected as your State attorney general than who is appointed US attorney general. It is far more important who is elected to your State legislature than who is elected to the US House and Senate. It is far more important who is elected as your sheriff than who is appointed as the Director of the FBI...
The problem in Montana, however, is similar to that of most states: the 'good-old-boy,' 'politics-as-usual,' 'scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours' politicians are ensconced in the State political infrastructure. And it's going to take some political dynamite to blast them out! And that dynamite is a courageous constitutionalist (or better yet, a host of courageous constitutionalists) who is not afraid to take on these arrogant elitists and restore the principles of liberty to their states. In short, the status quo has to go!"
I think there is little question that the most corrupt agency in most counties in the United States goes under a title of, or similar to the Department of Human Services (DHS), which includes child "protective" services (CPS). From all around the country, as well as locally, I am repeatedly told the local DHS/CPS has legalized kidnapping of our children and is running an adoption ring with federal, state, and local financing.
In the EJF newsletter In The Face Of Great Evil I documented many of the problems with DHS/CPS in El Paso County, Colorado. With that we come down to the issue of the performance of a local despot who is fighting to maintain the status quo.
Sallie Clark is the elected official directly responsible for oversight of the Department of Human Services or DHS in El Paso County, Colorado. She has now held that position for eight years and despite a two-term limit in place when she took office she is now attempting to get reelected for a third term. Thus, a review of her performance in office is well justified.
Yet by any measure DHS is in much worse shape than when she took over.
Parents are scared to death of DHS and child "protective" services. Any resistance to DHS' imperious demands are met by threats to take their children. Families have fled the county after a single contact by a DHS caseworker. Parents home school their children so they can't be taken without notice from the schoolroom. In this reign of terror kids are taught to hide in the back room if there is a knock at the door.
Under Commissioner Clark's direction DHS has set up a special group tasked with taking children from military families. You might ask how they do that? First, they establish a Memorandum of Agreement with the Army in which "child abuse" is defined (p. 3) as virtually anything that might happen to a kid. Then the soldier is charged with a "crime." In two cases I've observed a rash was sufficient to claim the child was abused, the soldier confined to barracks, and restrained from seeing his little one. If the mother so much as suggests she won't testify against the soldier DHS/CPS threatens to take the kids and put them in foster care, and it is not an idle threat. If the mother then takes the stand and testifies in favor of the father DHS/CPS tells the court she is not providing adequate protection for the children and he is kept under restraint and away from his children. Since DHS caseworkers are known to write out the restraining orders themselves without troubling the court, and the Army follows the civilian lead in these cases, the soldier has few options unless he can afford a competent attorney (scarce as hen's teeth) willing to fight DHS. All this ruins the soldier's military career and he is often chaptered out of the military and loses all benefits. Job prospects for a discharged veteran, especially if the discharge was less than honorable, are not great. Even if the mother qualifies for continued support under 10 USC § 1059 that ends in a year or two and DHS has kept the children under their control and typically ordered the mother not to take them out of El Paso County. So now the family is destitute, even in the unlikely event it is still together, and living conditions aren't great. When the home fails "inspection" (and your house would probably fail as well) the solution is to put the kids in foster care. All this keeps the courts and DHS funding coming.
The Denver Post has been running a series of articles describing problems with DHS and reforms proposed by the Colorado Department of Human Services for many months. Predictably, Commissioner Clark has fought bitterly against any reforms or intrusions into her domain.
Because DHS bases its approach to child abuse on fear and making parents afraid of losing their children, only about 10% of parents who may actually need help are in contact with DHS. The EJF has previously noted that from 1995 to 2002 twelve children died in El Paso County. But after eight years of Sallie Clark, and the expenditure of at least $500 million by the county DHS, eleven children died in just the year 2011 in this county, often while at the tender mercy of DHS.
Since this commission is largely composed of the bureaucrats responsible for the problems, their proposed solution is entirely predictable: more money and more bureaucrats with more children taken from their parents.
As stated at the beginning, the status quo must go. And soon before more of our children die or are taken needlessly from their parents. You have a voice and a vote, use them to protect our families and children.
Sallie Clark and El Paso County, Colorado, are not the only places with a local despot destroying families and children. As Chuck Baldwin does in his article, identify and speak out against the status quo and the destruction it is wreaking on our once great country. This is an election year and it is your local and state races that will have the greatest impact on your future.
Dr. Corry is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and an internationally-known earth scientist whose biography has appeared in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, among others, for thirteen consecutive years.
After service with 1 st Marines he became involved with the early space program in 1960, doing preflight testing and failure analysis on Atlas and Centaur missiles, including all the Project Mercury birds. In 1965 he switched to oceanography and did research at both Scripps Institution in San Diego and Woods Hole Oceanographic on Cape Cod. He has also taught geophysics at university and worked as a research manager for a Fortune 500 company.
He has climbed high mountains, been shipwrecked and marooned on an unexplored desert island, ridden horseback through Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, among other adventures during his career.
Presently Dr. Corry is president and founding director of the Equal Justice Foundation.