Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Minority Report in America: why it is dangerous to have a different viewpoint than the one approved by the State.

Washington Post

From the article:
"Police —acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional —took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime..."

"A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said..."

"Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, said there was no Facebook snooping by her agency."

"'We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts,' she said. 'Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints....'"

"Col. Theirry Depuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous."

My perspective:

1. Some may say that he wasn't arrested, but that is of little consequence for this man was clearly seized.

2. The fact that he wasn't charged with a crime may be seen as a good thing by those who would see this as merely a common sense measure to keep people safe from 'unstable' or 'crazy' people. However, the fact that someone can be seized without a warrant and held for a month in a psych hospital without a single charge (and for merely posting opinions on a social media site), should frighten everyone. Apparently, we now live in the world of pre-crime where the state cab declare that you are a criminal for merely disagreeing with them.

Even if he said some outlandish things, he has done nothing to warrant a seizure nor a detention. Furthermore, to do so for admittedly no crime (no harm to another person or a persons property) is the most glaring disregard of one's natural right to their liberty and constitutional right to their free speech.

3. Using the fear of the violence of recent mass shootings to justify violence perpetrated by the state is not only logically incoherent, it is down right scary. If the terrorists hate us for our freedom and wish to take it away, then how can the solution be allowing a bunch of domestic terrorists in suits (aka the state) to strip us of those very freedoms?

Also, it is right that we should be mindful of what people say, and to "pay attention to complaints," but paying attention does not mean violating the very rights of people the government was instituted to protect. To observe his posts and possibly visit him in a friendly and truely inquisitive fashion would have been alright, but to lock him up (and likely pump him full of unnecessary and harmful psychotropic drugs) for a month because he is fearful of the growing government power and threat to individual rights (apparently, rightfully so) is not just ridiculous, it is downright soviet; it is tyranny.

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