Wednesday, February 26, 2014

And Then This Happened

Student Faces Major Trouble Over Knife Found In What He Says Is His Father's Old Car

I found this story in my Twitter feed, was bored and monitoring it for whatever caught my eye. As I read it, it is a very short article so take the time to do so now, I found so many examples of what's wrong with our cultures today.

The first clue to one of our biggest problems is the "random search" of a car driven by a high school student. Have we really reach the level of paranoia in which this is considered acceptable by society? To invade a child's privacy in such a manner does not give them much reason to respect the privacy, or lives, of anyone else. We are teaching them that people don't matter, is that what we really want them to learn?

They once tried to propose this in my school once, and my school was pretty violent at the time, the 80s were really violent compared to today. The student body, with the support of parents and many teachers, protested this notion so strongly that the board had no choice, they didn't employ such an archaic policy for us. Today the students have been beaten down by the authorities as to accept this policy, and that scares me more than the kids with knives. This scares me even more than kids with knives who intend to actually harm someone, because that's so rare now I haven't encountered one in more than a decade.

The implications of this are made worse by the fact that society does not question it, at all. A long time ago someone famous once said something very profound, if we are willing to sacrifice even our basic liberties for an illusion of security, we deserve neither. Of course I added my touch to the phrase, because security is truly an illusion, no government agency can really effectively protect it's people, that's just not possible. This is because our biggest threats are ourselves, no one else. No one can protect you from yourself. So giving these agencies the power to do what they want simply so we can pretend they are protecting us is ludicrous.

Okay, so back to the story before I go on and on. The next part that stands out was that it was not even his property, he was borrowing it. So not only was his privacy infringed on, his father's privacy was also trampled under the boot of an obviously authoritarian party. The reason for them being authoritarian is that they are taking what is unlikely to occur as justification for enforcing their authority. The reasons for the tool being present are perfectly valid on their own, however, even without those reasons, a knife is a tool far more than a weapon. If you want to get technical, retractable pens are more useful as weapons, those can be turned into dangerous projectiles with only simple modifications.

This entire situation only demonstrates why paranoia is so bad for us. Originally, in the 90s, they made a claim that violence was on the rise, which it was actually on a steep decline in that era. They attempted to blame video games for this, Super Mario was convincing kids to kill everyone around them, after they grew up and did a ton of drugs and alcohol of course. But we now know this was all nothing more than alarmists seeking a way to attack something they just didn't understand.

Today violence, the world over actually, is at an all time low. Mind you, we still have a lot of work to do, but not in the USA. Our violent crimes have been in check for a very long time now, I can remember when you had to carry a weapon at night, in rural Washington, just because us kids would rob you blind .... for fun. Now, I can walk down the streets of downtown Seattle without seeing any crime at all. We need to take back our paranoia, and focus on important matters, like helping other countries who do still have problems with serious violence.

Now here is where the story really takes a turn for WTF. They are considering punishing this student for something their father did, which was completely innocent and practically expected. This means he's guilty until proven innocent. Now remind me, what is it our justice system is based on? Oh, that's right, innocent until proven guilty. This is one of many stories that show our culture has completely discarded the basic foundation of our justice, the one thing that made the USA better than most other countries, the only saving grace in our government, and we are discarding it for a false sense of security from threats that don't even exist.

Parents, teachers, authorities in the USA, you are all wrong. Stop ignoring that fact, you are wrong, we have lost our soul here, the one thing that made this country great, the only reason I even liked the USA, you are destroying. This is not my country, my country had a sense of justice, equality, and freedom, not authoritarian dictators who want to tell you what to do.

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