Family Law Unraveled

The latest from Margaret's blog

Public/Private

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What’s up with these people who are so crazed about airport body scanners? Brian Sodergren, the guy who’s leading the pack, says he cannot stand the thought of the TSA taking images of his eight and ten year old daughters. Don’t let the government intrude in precious family life! (Even, apparently, if the price of non-intrusion is a greater likelihood that his daughters could be blown up by terrorists.)

It’s all part of the Tea Party anti-government, populist/libertarian rant: don’t tell me what to do, I’m a mama grizzly who can take care of my family, don’t tax me, and certainly don’t tell me I have to get health insurance. What’s so strange about the emergence of this growing chorus of “get-the-government-out-of-private-life” streaming live from the right, is that it coincides so perfectly with the era of nothing at all being private. Boundaries between public and private have melted away. It’s all out there on Facebook for the world to see. And hear, in public cell phone conversations. (My personal favorite: woman standing literally two feet behind me in line for the ATM one morning, on the phone to her doctor’s office: “Hi, this is so-and-so. I’m calling because I had unprotected sex last night. Can you write me a prescription for the morning after pill?” No kidding.)

Mr. Sodergren is a young guy; he’s part of the reality TV, tell it all to Maury Povich generation. And it’s this same generation who doesn’t hesitate for a moment to run to the government – embodied in the person of a family court judge – to decide not only where their kids should live, but to manage the nitty gritty details of their personal lives after divorce, e.g., who gets to spend Thanksgiving with the kids on odd numbered years, whether custodial exchanges should take place on Sundays at 6 or 6:30 p.m., and if it’s okay to sign the seven-year-old up for karate.

I am always amazed at how many people (not my clients of course, but their unreasonable exes!) are perfectly willing to involve the government in the micro-management of their children in this way. How does that compare on the intrusiveness scale to an anonymous body scan performed for the purpose of thwarting murder? I just don’t get it.

One thought on “Public/Private

  1. I gather you’re talking about a generation in which a new lawyer might feel emboldened to publicly disagree with her boss on the internet? :)

    I would (respectfully!) counter that there’s a big difference between exposing a child’s fate to an experienced legal professional in a specialized court system, and exposing a child to an overly-invasive search performed by an undertrained TSA agent using ineffective equipment. Both are intrusive, and both are largely unnecessary, but I’d say that one has much greater potential to do some serious damage.

    http://www.aclu.org/passengers-stories-recent-travel/

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