Thursday, August 11, 2011

Big Government as Big Failure: The Case of Jaycee Lee Dugard

According to the Declaration of Independence, governments are instituted among men to protect our rights.

Those rights include, as we should all well know, the rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

In light of the obvious, the Federal Government and the state governments of Nevada and California failed to safeguard those rights for Ms. Jaycee Lee Dugard.

Why did the federal and state government fail so monstrously to meet its minimal obligations under the social contract and the US Constitution? Is there something fundamental to the nature of Big Government which lead to egregious lapses in supervision, to the point that a convicted sex-offender was able to kidnap, imprison, and repeatedly rape a young girl for eighteen years without getting caught? This damning indictment is based squarely on the fact that all sex-offenders must register and be monitored by parole officers.

Let's review the facts of the many failures.

Phillip Garrido, by many accounts, was not just a sick man, but a delusional schizophrenic. He had savagely raped a woman, a horrible crime for which he as convicted, and sentenced to fifty years in jail.

He was released after eleven years for good behavior. The outgoing psychiatrist's mental health evaluation conducted by the state of Nevada deemed that was a well-adjusted prisoner ready to be released.

The chilling details of Jaycee Lee Dugard kidnapping and incarceration dictate otherwise.

While hunting for a young girl to exploit ad libitum, Garrido and wife Nancy spotted Jaycee Lee Dugard, an eleven year old heading to school in the quiet communit of Lake Tahoe.

While Ms. Dugard was imprisoned and raped by a convicted, registered, and monitored sex offender, the Californa Department of Corrections visited Garrido's home sixty times. Not once did the check the backyard where Garrido had set up tents to house Dugard and the two children who he had fathered with her. Even when neighbors reported hearing children's voices in the backyard, the department of Corrections refused to carry out a full follow-up.

Ms. Dugard was repeatedly victimized, but not just by the Garridos. The Federal Government and the states of Nevada and California were exploited by a devious predator, who in turn eluded capture for eighteen years. The system failed Jaycee Lee for the repeated failure to monitor a perverse, serial sex offender.

Let's consider the magnitude of the Big Government failures. Pinpointing the points where Big Government failed, a further discussion on how limited government measures would streamline supervision, then finally incorporating civic-mindedness can better protect our youth against predation in the future.

How does this unconscionable incompetence tie into the dangerous dysfunction of Big Government?

Big Government does not submit to oversight. The mental health and corrections officials failed miserably in allowing Garrido to leave Scot free from a fifty-year prison sentence after only eleven years. At no time as the victim of that horrendous crime permitted to speak out against this horrendous error in judgment.

Garrido moved to Northern California, where he registered with the state as a sex-offender, then fell off the map. Parole officers visited his home sixty times. On one occasion, Nancy Garrido videotaped the proceedings, exposing to a now-furious public the frequent lapses in securing the area, even neglecting to inspect the backyard, where poor Jaycee was held up.

Who was responsible for training these officers? Who ensured that they were following protocol? Did higher-ranking officials take the time to investigate for themselves what these officers and their assigned cases were up to? These questions are moot to the degree that there is not inner accountability to mandate that officers of the state comply with their own rules and regulations to protect and serve the public.

Ironically, if there had been less government, if there had been fewer agencies exercising oversight over the protection of minors and the supervision of sex offenders, local agencies would have spent less time fielding frivolous paper work. They would have been securing their jurisdictions without the easy excuse of blaming larger agencies throughout the state or the nation.

Big Government exists to enhance the prestige and pocketbooks of bureaucrats who either create a problem or latch on to a popular cause. They then demand another agency or greater oversight, which in turn spurs lawmakers at the state and federal level to impose more mandates, more oversight, more paperwork, more officers, more pencil pushers, all with less efficiency and regard for the duties originally assigned to them.

Besides the sheer lethargy of Leviathan Big Government, the people expect their elected officials and public protectors to watch out for them. More police, more officials, more press conferences, and still the bad guys get away, and get away with it.

Big Government has siphoned away necessary resources from basic necessities, all while lulling the public into a false sense of safety.

With the heinous kidnapping and captivity of Jaycee Lee Dugard, Big Government has been exposed. Not only for failing to live up to its job, big government "too big that it cannot not fail" has grown to large to limit itself, taking our money and undermining any sense of stability.

How do we counter these endemic failures?

First, a well-deserved round of applause to the law enforcement officers at UC Berkeley. They sensed that there was something off about the pontificating Phillip Garrido on the Cal campus. From the empty look on Jaycee Lee's face and the strange conduct of the two children fathered by Garrido with her, they discerned that something was wrong. Their individual intuition and detective work led them to arrest, question, and coax a confession out of Garrido.

The ingenuity of local law enforcement deserves as much freedom as possible to do its job: protect our rights and secure our local communities from law-breakers. Larger enforcement by superior agencies are simply inferior when it comes to protecting us close to home.

Then there is the failure of the citizens who believe that the government can protect them at length and at all times. National and state registries are not enough for families to protect their young ones. Families must reassert their primary task of safeguarding their children, including to teach them how to protect themselves. No longer should we complacently depend on the state to protect us fully. We have a wonderful yet vital part to play in protecting our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is tragic that this gargantuan cascade of ineptitude and incompetence allowed a serial offender to prey on young people. Big Government is a big failure, from protect our rights and borders, to securing our children. Yet if we take seriously enough these serial failures, perhaps this nation will take a scapel to the Big Government excess drawing away much-needed attention to grave problems and fix our attention on minding our own interests, which we are far better motivated and equipped to do.

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