A Cautious Man
December 15, 2004
 
Overreacting
In Washington State, they have a wiretap law which says that every party to a telephone conversation has to consent, before the call is intercepted or recorded. In a recent case, a mother whose daughter was friends with a robbery suspect, was asked by the local police to keep an eye out for any evidence against the suspect. When the suspect called the daughter, the mother listened in on the conversation, and provided testimony at the suspect's trial which helped to convict him. The appeals court ruled that the mother's testimony could not be used. As reported in the press:
Attorneys for the state argued that minors should have a reduced expectation of privacy because parents have an absolute right to monitor phone calls coming into the family home. The attorneys cited provisions in federal wiretap law which are less restrictive than Washington's law and allow parents to tape and listen to their children's conversations.

"The Washington act, with its all-party consent requirement, contains no such parental exception and no Washington court has ever implied such an exception. We decline to do so now," wrote Justice Tom Chambers in the court's opinion.
The local sheriff, Bill Cumming, was quoted as stating that the decision was only about trial evidence based on listening in on a child's telephone call: "The ruling will likely not result in parents being prosecuted for snooping, Cumming said. But it prohibits courts and law enforcement from using the fruits of such snooping."

Sounds fairly reasonable, with the court applying the law as written, on the issue of the admission of evidence in a criminal case. Well, it's not so simple if you're Bill O'Reilly and his Talking Points:
So let's get this straight. If you suspect your child is dealing with a criminal, a dope dealer, a mugger, a molester, you can't eavesdrop on that child's conversations. That's now the law in Washington state, which has become a model for progressive activism.

~ snip ~

So don't try to find out what your kids are up to on the computer or on the telephone. Children must have privacy in these matters, so 14-year- old girls can deal with 17-year-old criminals.

Now why is this happening? As with the Christmas controversy, which I explain in my column this week on billoreilly.com, there's much more to this than just a legal decision. If you study all [the] state dominated societies from the Soviet Union, to Nazi Germany, to Red China to Cuba, you will see those governments try to diminish parental power because it's easier to mold young minds when state-sanctioned values don't compete with traditional parenting.

Public schooling in America is now devoid of any moralizing or spiritual emphasis. The Pledge of Allegiance being the last holdout. So if the progressives can succeed in eroding parental influence at home, it becomes much easier to influence American children to embrace a secular point of view. That's what's going on here.

And once again, the courts are helping the Progressives. It is simply chilling to realize that you cannot monitor behavior of your children. Judges in Washington state have decided that even if your kid is dealing with a criminal, you have no right to be pro-active.— Incredible and dangerous.
Now, anybody who spends any time actually finding out about what happened, knows that this entire tirade is a lot of hot air. Unfortunately, there are too many people who do not get the facts, only the tirades. Mr. O'Reilly makes his living by scaring his viewers about the vast conspiracy between the public schools and the courts, in order to prepare young minds to be more compliant with secular state domination (or something like that).

Of course, one could argue that lack of accurate information is more likely to harm our citizens, young and old, but people don't give you shows on Fox in order to talk like that.

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