Jun 26, 2011

Bureaucratic overreach not kids stuff- From the Washington Times

This is just one of those stories which must be shared. Since I can never hope to do as great of a job on this GAWD-Awful story on abuses by our insanely out-of-control federal government, I'm just opting to share an introduction, and a link. Please read and share this story. The USDA is being so ridiculous. What a nightmare this must be for this poor family. It's not so much the first story you read about here, which I hope to bring attention to (although also important) but the last story I hope you follow through on.
While 22-year-old Rory McIlroy was teeing up on June 16 during the first round of his historic victory at the U.S. Open, another drama was unfolding outside Congressional Country Club in Bethesda.

A Montgomery County inspector busted some kids for running a lemonade stand at which they were setting aside half the proceeds for pediatric cancer victims. The charge? No permit.

One of the dads involved got a $500 fine. After a TV station’s tape of the bust went viral, the county backed off, canceled the fine and let the kids set up on a side street. The children decided to donate the entire take to cancer kids.

Although it ended well, the incident became news because it illustrates how bureaucrats can abuse power and bully citizens - even kids.

Along the same lines, many Americans were outraged upon seeing footage in April of a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent patting down a 6-year-old girl at the New Orleans airport and of an 8-year-old boy being patted down in Oregon's Portland International Airport.

But wait. TSA topped that in Kansas City, where agents patted down an 8-month-old baby on May 7 after the infant’s stroller caused the scanner to beep. A pastor, Jacob Jester, who was in line, snapped a photo and tweeted it.

What got into those agents? As far as I can see from the picture, the baby was not dressed in a black burqa with a suspicious bulge, nor maliciously brandishing a bottle or pacifier. Mr. Jester, who said he respects the TSA for trying to ensure everyone’s safety, commented, “I’m not out to embarrass the TSA. But I do believe there has to be a line drawn. I do not believe that an 8-month-old constitutes a security threat.”

Stung by criticism, the TSA blog responded: “Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who, by the way, were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time. The child in the photo was simply receiving a modified pat-down. …” Oh, well then.

To cut the TSA some slack, its agents are more skittish than a hockey goalie in playoff overtime. They’ll be blamed if something - anything - slips by to bring down an airliner. And they know that Muslim extremists use children as suicide bombers. Of course, the kids in these American airports have not been dashing through gates with explosives strapped to them.

Public exposure and outrage is the best medicine for curbing overzealous bureaucrats. On June 22, the TSA said it would do less intrusive checks on children. This will reduce but not abolish such procedures. Wouldn’t want al Qaeda to get the green light to hot-pack the Pampers.

Another bureaucratic outrage is simmering in the Midwest, where a family has been threatened with a potential fine of $4 million for raising bunnies without permission from the federal government. Blogger John McCarty, who publishes on BigGovernment.com, has been following the story, abbreviated here:

John and Judy Dollarhite of Nixa, Mo., wanted to teach their teenage son about management...Go here for the rest of the story.

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