Free-Range Kids

Ilya Somin weighs in on the harassment of a parents who practice raising free-range kids by Montgomery County.

The bottom line is that the CPS’ actions here seem to be the result of exactly the kind of “mere disagreement” with parental choices that the Supreme Court specifically barred as a basis for overriding parents’ constitutional right to direct their children’s upbringing.

Read the whole thing.

Somin believes that the parents have a strong basis for their lawsuit. I still favor tar and feathers.

Pepper Potts and Poverty Voyeurism

My former codefendant Michelle Malkin has a post up at NRO that looks at recent bit of photo-op activism by Gwyneth Paltrow. (H/T, Instapundit) It was a bit of agitation for “improved” SNAP benefits by posing with a haul of “poverty” groceries: seven limes, a tomato, one head of garlic, a bunch of scallions, bags of brown rice, black beans and peas, a package of corn tortillas, one avocado, a yam, an ear of corn, a dozen eggs, and bunches of kale, lettuce, and cilantro.

Even some lefties have been complaining about Paltrow’s inadvertent mockery of their attempt to draw attention to their cause of expanding the SNAP program, but given the life the actress leads which is so disconnected from the real world … this sentence from Ms. Malkin’s article puts things in perspective.

OK, it’s not as painful as her last $5,200 Thermage session in Santa Monica, but still, she really, really does feel the agony of the ordinary.

$5,200 would go a long way toward feeding a lot of needy families via Carroll Food Sunday or thousands of other such community efforts around the country.

Free-Range Kids

I guess I was a free-range kid. When I was in elementary school, we sometimes walked or rode our bikes to school without adult supervision. I can remember going on Boy Scout hikes/camping trips in a patrol in which the oldest boy was 12. And I can remember playing in the park when I was 10 and my brother was 7 while my mother was shopping at the A&P across the street.

A family who allows their 6- and 10-year old kids to play in the park by themselves is in the news again because of apparent harassment by Child Protective Services in Montgomery County. You see, in Maryland kids must always be under the supervision of someone who is at least 13. Free range kids are illegal here in the Democratic Peoples Republic.

I suppose that a lawsuit against the State is their best recourse in the situation, but I’m inclined to agree with the solution suggested by Glenn Reynolds. Tar. Feathers.

Nuclear or Asymmetrical?

Jonathan V. Last has a piece over at The Weekly Standard called The Culture War Goes Nuclear. He notes that campaigns such as #GamerGate and Sad Puppies and the reaction to Honey Maid’s my-two-dads commercial signal a change in the Culture War.

Pile Honey Maid on top of #GamerGate, and Anthony Stokes, and Brendan Eich, and the UVA rape epidemic-not to mention Indiana and the Little Sisters of the Poor-and eventually you understand that the culture war isn’t just about abortion anymore. Or even gay marriage. It’s about everybody and everything.

Read the whole thing.

I disagree with his characterization of the conflict as going nuclear. From this old soldier’s point of view it looks more like the sort of asymmetrical warfare the Left used to glorify as a “war of national liberation.”

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) is a federal law that was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It was sponsored by then-Congresscritter Chuck Schumer of New York.

Since the federal law was passed, the following states have passed essentially identical laws: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, 
Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Alabama has enacted a RFRA constitutional amendment.

Additionally, these states have state supreme court decisions that essentially implement the terms of the federal legislation through case law: Alaska, Hawaii, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.

So the courts in Massachusetts and Hawaii, the same courts that found gay marriage a constitutional right, have also found in favor of RFRA-like protections for religious people. The suggestion has been made that the whole flap over Indiana’s law is really a bunch of progressives yelling, “Squirrel!” during an unfavorable news cycle.

Could be.


I don’t like Starbucks’s coffee. Like so many west coast coffee purveyors, they use over-roasted beans. I don’t mind some of what I refer to as their “candy drinks” where the bad coffee is buffered by other flavors. Still, for the price of a few visits to Starbucks, I can buy a week’s supply of properly roasted Kona or Blue Mountain coffee and brew it properly at home.

Since I don’t frequent their stores, I haven’t been accosted by one of their baristas with a gratuitous discussion of race from a kid whose parents probably weren’t alive when I was covering the civil rights movement as a broadcaster in the South in the ’60s.

For that I’m thankful.