Three Quick Takes

- In one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary to tea party challenger David Brat. As has been pointed out, Cantor’s voting record was certainly conservative, but as a member of the leadership Cantor became a symbol of grassroots frustration with the GOP, particularly in its quixotic attempt to pass amnesty comprehensive immigration reform. Members of the establishment are taking the loss with the usual class and decorum we’ve all come to expect from them.

– Helicopter parents are bad enough, but when they helicopter other people’s kids they’re even more insufferable. Dougherty’s post was inspired by a Salon article in which a mother explains her ordeal of dealing with the police and the courts after leaving her child in the car for five minutes. Some of the comments at both Dougherty’s blog and the Salon article are simultaneously hilarious and infuriating. We are informed of all the possible grisly outcomes of leaving a child in the car for five minutes –  scenarios that are almost all certainly less likely to occur than a child getting hit by a car in the parking lot. I understand that people want to look out for children and want to make sure that an unsupervised children are not being abandoned, but the woman who videotaped the children and waited for the mother to return before snitching is a complete . . . ninny.

– Kevin Teirney has posted roughly the one millionth blog post on civility in the Catholic blogopshere I’ve seen in the past two weeks. I’m not trying to pick on Kevin – the post itself is good and Kevin himself is a fine writer. It’s just that lately there seem to have been an overabundance of these types of posts, and I’ve hit a level of fatigue regarding blogging about blogging. Yes, be more civil. Now let’s move on.

18 Responses to Three Quick Takes

  • “Members of the establishment are taking the loss with the usual class and decorum we’ve all come to expect from them.”

    Ha!

  • “but the woman who videotaped the children and waited for the mother to return before snitching is a complete . . . ninny. ”

    If she had really been concerned she would have stood outside the car and talked with the harried Mom herself and explained how no parent, except 95% based on my experience, ever dash into a store while a small kid of theirs stays in a car. Instead, her whole intent was to get the Mom in trouble. Some people live for such opportunities and I see it regularly in my practice.

    Ms. Snitch would have fainted dead away if she could have seen my brother and me at 8 and 7 being sent to grocery stores to buy items, stores that were half a mile away, and either riding our bikes or walking. If she had called a cop back then he would have laughed at her and told her to mind her own business. Amazing how in five decades the country has moved from teaching kids to be independent at a young age to thinking that it is child abuse if kids are not treated like hermetically sealed heirlooms to be watched and guarded 24-7. I am glad that I grew up when I did, and I pity most of the kids today.

  • Ah, but Donald, actually confronting someone would have taken some amount of courage and activity. The woman who videotaped the event might have actually gotten the mother’s point of view if she would have confronted her. No, that is not done these days. Self-righteous acts of modern heroism entail doing as little as possible oneself.

    The statistics just do not justify this sort of helicopter parenting. Of course statistics don’t mean anything if you happen to the parent of the child who does get snatched, but we do our children no favors by hermetically sealing them from the outside world. But that’s not even the issue here. We have busybodies who want the entire world to share their paranoia, and it’s causing the rest of us no small amount of stress.

  • “Ah, but Donald, actually confronting someone would have taken some amount of courage and activity. The woman who videotaped the event might have actually gotten the mother’s point of view if she would have confronted her. No, that is not done these days. Self-righteous acts of modern heroism entail doing as little as possible oneself.”

    Bingo.

  • I read a story about a man in Britain who had taken his nephew to an amusement park and was photographing him as he went down a water slide. He was later collared by security and told to leave. It seems that a mess of women (five, as I recall) had complained to security about his picture taking. Little to do with child safety and a great deal to do with socially-sanctioned aggression.

  • Idiots like that woman are why I have a print out of all laws about kids in cars for my state in the glove box– and the one on criminal harassment.

  • Pity the fool who tries to bully me on this– I found out they’ve been rolling kids that got in the cars on their own and couldn’t get out into the stats, along with the yearly horror of kids forgotten in the car while their folks go to work.

  • The woman ought to have watched the child until mom returned without calling the authorities. It is incumbent upon each and every citizen to protect and “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” from the Preamble. Patriotism? Common sense.
    .
    I once left my four children in the car for five minutes. When I returned, I was informed by the children that a man had exposed himself to them and only ran off when he saw me coming. Also my seven year old grandson was almost abducted, twice, by the same car with blacked our windows and New York plates. Mom had told him to run screaming which is what he did,Thank God.
    .
    “There’s been this huge cultural shift. We now live in a society where most people believe a child can not be out of your sight for one second, where people think children need constant, total adult supervision. This shift is not rooted in fact. It’s not rooted in any true change. It’s imaginary. It’s rooted in irrational fear.” from Salon.
    .
    No, it is not irrational fear. It is original sin, which only God and parental love can ameliorate.

  • One more observation: This is further proof of the erosion of common sense. Instead of appreciating that there might be something less malicious at work in leaving a child in the car than neglect, the busybody’s freakout monitor immediately goes to eleven. There’s almost no ability to assess the situation in a given context. No, the woman who leaves her child in the car on a mild day for five minutes must absolutely be as bad as the dad who forgets about his newborn child in the backseat all day while he meanders off to work.

  • “We have busybodies who want the entire world to share their paranoia, and it’s causing the rest of us no small amount of stress.”
    .
    The toddler wandered off while mom was doing the laundry. Two blocks later the child was found hanging from the handrails of the local candy store. Mom, in a panic ran from neighbor to neighbor looking for her son. Yes, they had seen him walking down the middle of the road wearing only a tee shirt, but not one neighbor sought to return him home to his mother. Lazybodies.

  • The toddler wandered off while mom was doing the laundry.

    Clearly we need to enact legislation to prohibit mothers from doing the laundry while they are watching their children.

  • My late beloved son Larry was taken to Renfrew Park along with his twin brother back in May of 1993 when he was 1 and nine months. He loved it. He loved it so much that he decided to slip out of the house that afternoon while my bride was doing housework and walk over to the park several blocks away by himself. (Larry even with his autism was ever the last of the rugged individualists!) He was found by a cop and returned to his frantic Mom. My bride was concerned what I would say, but I said that we cannot have our kids under constant observation and that although we needed to stop such soloing in the future until he was a good deal older, I appreciated Larry’s spirit. Such is life, and our attempts to make life a padded safety zone for our kids at all times is bound to fail.

  • Lenore Skenazy is a reliable voice of reason on such topics.

    http://www.freerangekids.com/

  • After some early candidates exhibited some media-amplified pratfalls, it has been harder and harder for the dis-establishment criminal enterprise we call the American 5th estate to portray many other candidates of the dreaded Teaparty as “extremists” and nut-jobs. Rand Paul, Cruz, and McDaniel are people you DONT want in front of a mike, if you are a lefty: they’re “going to make sense on you.” Now, Dr. Brat is a more recent example: all microphones were “leveled” at him to catch him in a euphoric moment, and he ruined those hopes with his cogent observations on a destructive immigration policy and equally destructive national debt and spending habits, even while being very courteous about the defeated Eric Cantor. My only wish is that John McCain and Jeff Flake of AZ were both up for election this year.

  • When my father was a toddler, he wandered out the front door and away from home while my grandmother was washing dishes. He was wearing only a t-shirt at the time. When my frantic grandparents arrived at the local police station to report him missing, they found him there eating an ice cream cone. The cops handed back to my grandparents without incident.

    Ah, the good ol’ days when doing housework without your kid strapped to you wasn’t considered a criminal offense.

  • In Professional Wrestling, there is what is called “the blow off” match. You have one final match that ties up all the loose ends and provides closure to the story before moving onto something else.

    That really is what the Catholic Lane post was. I wrote a lot in previous stuff about the problem, but some people rightly told me “well, what do you propose others should do about it?” I felt it was a fair point, so that was that column.

    Now that its done, I’ll be going back to doing my TLM commentaries. Honestly, I’m a bit fatigued by it as well. I think a real dialogue needs to happen on it, but unless some of the bigger names (and bigger offenders) actually do it, then there’s precious little more to say.

  • Thank you for explaining Kevin. As I said, I wasn’t trying to pick on you or necessarily criticize what you wrote. It seems like there’s been a lot of conversation around this topic lately, so that is what fueled my reaction. I look forward to reading your TLM commentaries.

  • Paul Zummo, Donald McClarey and Jay Anderson: Clearly, our Guardian Angels are the only explanation of how and why these children remained unharmed. I greatly enjoyed your sharing. May God bless and keep our children safe.

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