Tuesday, May 11, 2010
“And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Chapter 3, Section 17
“If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and to aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.” -- Paragraph III Army Code of Conduct
The consent of the governed to be governed relies upon the government upholding its end of the social contract, primarily signaled by respect for the rule of law. The Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution offer a clear, detailed set of terms and conditions for this nation being formed and for the continued consent of the governed. Once a government violates those terms and conditions, via the making of laws contrary to the liberty enshrined in those founding documents and the allowing of its agencies to disregard the rights and protections listed in those documents, the social contract is shattered.
When the social contract is shattered in this way, the government using its power to constrain and diminish liberty, rather than to protect and nourish it, or as John Locke explained in his Second Treatise of Government, “whenever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence.”
“Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society,” continued Locke, “and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty.” And, because at this point, the balance of power tips heavily to the side of the government, the people are well within their natural rights to utilize alternative means and theories of conflict resolution.
What greater breach of trust is there than the seizing of a family’s children by a rogue agency acting outside of the rule of law as defined by the founding documents of this nation? What greater betrayal of liberty is there than an agency, funded by tax dollars coerced from the people by threat of incarceration and violence, allowed to harass families and take away their children, all without ever convicting the parents of those children with a crime? It is an affront to freedom and civilization of the highest degree, and families should conduct themselves as such.
Children should be educated about their rights and responsibilities as free individuals. They need to be given the tools and knowledge they need to safely carry out their first duties, if captured within the system of a rogue agency, which are to resist and to escape. That means you must invest your time into raising children that are smart and responsible, with the practical skills they need to act safely outside of your supervision. In discussing plans and options with your children, you must, in the interest of safety, make an accurate assessment of their abilities and their maturity levels.
First, they should have absolute confidence that you will -- no matter what, no matter how long it takes, and by any means necessary – retrieve them. That way, you reduce their anxiety and fear, and help them be able to more in control of their actions, which will enhance their abilities to resist and escape. Discuss in age appropriate terms, taking care not to suggest methods and means that are not safe for an individual child’s maturity and skill level.
Pharmaceutical or chemical restraint is rampant within the CPS system, well documented and receiving attention throughout the nation. Teach them to smartly resist attempts to medicate by palming or cheeking pills and disposing of them without swallowing them. If physically forced to ingest, teach them how to make themselves vomit it up. They need to keep their minds clear and sharp.
Resisting is important, but it must be done smartly. For example, going to public school will offer greater contact and escape opportunities. Therefore, a child should make sure to comply enough to be able to attend school. Then, via the school library’s computer or those used in computer class, an e-mail or instant message can be sent to family and trusted family friends with specific information on location. Many schools have payphones and an observant child may be able to take advantage of an unattended desk phone to call home. Caller ID is cheap, and even if the child can only let the phone ring a few times to ensure the number shows up on the Caller ID, the parent can reverse look-up the number and get a location.
In addition to basic computer and telephone skills, which include memorizing important telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, children should from the time they are conscious of travel, be encouraged to learn how to get around their region. Maps make great posters, helping them to visualize their location in relation to other places, as well as teaching them how to use maps to get from one place to another. When my son was 4 years old, he could recite the route from Disney, in Orlando, Florida, to our suburban upstate New York home. He could list the roads and turns for everyplace we regularly went, from the grocery store 45 minutes away to my sister’s house an hour away to our usual restaurants and such. He could tell us how to get home from almost anywhere we typically went.
Actively teaching your children to be street smart can go a long way towards keeping children safe. Say, for example, because you don’t have $30,000 to drop on a lawyer and you don’t win the public defender lottery and get a lawyer interested in helping you, you are forced to use an alternative approach to rescuing your child. An arrangement is made for the child to slip out of school and meet a family friend a short distance away. You want to know that your child can get out of the school successfully and get to the meeting place safely.
They should know how to walk and talk with confidence, even if they don’t feel it. They need to know, when out in the street, who to make eye contact with, who not to, and why. For example, it is better not to make eye contact with the obviously mentally ill homeless, because you cannot predict the outcome of interaction. In other situations, brief eye contact and a nod is better, as it demonstrates a lack of fear and doesn’t suggest you would be a good victim. They should know countless examples of how people will try to get them into cars (I lost my puppy, can you help? Your mother sent me to pick you up. Can you give me directions to…).
They should know about safe body space and safe distance, to stay out of arm reach of strangers. They should know to be always aware of their location and surroundings, how not to be herded by a predator into an alley or some enclosed area. They should have concrete, step-by-step strategies of what to do if they feel threatened or followed. Make noise, kick parked cars to set off car alarms, ring door bells, and if the situation is desperate (in some neighborhoods, people just don’t want to get involved and won’t help), break a window in a place where you see people, so that they call the police, get into a store or public place and ask for help or call somebody and stay inside until help arrives. And, they should know how to defend themselves, with specific moves and strategies. They shouldn’t be afraid to pick up anything to protect themselves with -- a broken bottle, a garbage can lid, anything at all -- and should understand that at their size and age, the strategy is to fight to get free and then run away.
Older children, those that have demonstrated their maturity and life skill mastery, may be able to be trusted to escape and then contact a family adult or trusted family friend. However, they must be able to make solid assessments of their situation. In some cases, a dangerous situation may arise, and they should be willing to abort the escape plan. Their physical safety has to take priority. However, for a kid armed with knowledge, there are many ways to handle a given situation, and it is possible to construct a plan that will achieve both ends, safety and escape.
For example, say a teen escapes from a foster or a group home, slipping out at night and finds a highway heading towards home and walks it, staying off the road, down in the bush. The teen stops at a rest area and a predator aggressively starts harassing and following, to a degree that the teen doesn’t feel safe to leave. A cop notices the teen loitering. Instead of taking off and chancing that the predator is going to get the teen when the teen is back on the road, it is better to tell a portion of the truth to the cop. But, do not give the cop a real name or birth date. The end result is that, after hanging around the police station for a while, the police will probably deliver the teen to an emergency children’s shelter, from which the teen can contact family via an unattended computer or telephone or escape again. Physical safety was secured and the escape is still in progress.
A sense of personal responsibility for their own liberty and confidence in their natural right to engage in responsible, thoughtful direct action to secure it are among the greatest gifts one can give a child. That confidence should be built on real knowledge and practical skills, not the empty, spell it like it sounds honey sort of false self-esteem and near blind obedience to authority found in the public school systems. An educated child understands his or her natural rights, the terms and conditions of the social contract, and his obligations to himself and his family.