A Brief Introduction To The History and Principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Although the human rights of children were recognised within the international community more than 50 years ago, by way of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), this was not binding as an international agreement or treaty. However, in 1978 Poland proposed that a new convention should be adopted in the following year, 1979, which was designated as the International Year of the Child. The proposed convention – later to be named the Convention on the Rights of the Child – was initially proposed to follow the principles stated in the 1959 Declaration, addressing economic, social and cultural rights, but many states favoured a wider scope to incorporate issues of justice, ethnicity and children’s involvement in armed conflicts. These additional aspects of children’s rights reflected the provisions of other conventions that had come into force in the intervening period, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966). Another criticism of the proposed convention was that it lacked detail, and was not drafted in enforceable terms.

The United Nations General Assembly was supportive of the Convention being settled during the International Year of the Child, but the Commission on Human Rights resisted undue haste and established a working group comprised of representatives of member states to review the initial proposal. Poland then produced a revised proposal that was accepted as an improved basis for negotiations to reach agreement about the Convention. All of the working group’s decisions were by consensus, which meant that some key issues were not included – e.g., child marriage – because consensus could not be reached on those issues. Nonetheless, this process eventually produced an agreed text that could be submitted to the General Assembly without controversy.

Despite the early hopes for a convention that could be adopted by member states in 1979, it took a decade and successive drafts before the Convention was finalised. In the meantime, more countries from Africa and Asia came on board, as well as some Islamic countries, so the Convention became more representative of worldwide concerns. The drafting process was also assisted by progress in the adoption of other international agreements, including instruments relating to juvenile justice, foster care, and adoption. The terms of these agreements informed many principles stated in the Convention.

Besides the United Nations, UN member states, and inter-governmental organisations – e.g., World Health Organisation, the International Labor Organisation, and (belatedly) UNICEF – some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) became involved in the drafting. The NGOs were not there as of right, but could be invited to make suggestions and give feedback on drafts. As some of the NGOs had been involved in drafting other international agreements around that time, their input into the Convention was invaluable. In about 1983, human rights NGOs and children’s NGOs joined forces, creating an NGO Ad Hoc Group that put forward more consistent proposals to the working party established by the Commission on Human Rights. This led to the NGOs having greater influence in the drafting process.

Several controversial issues addressed during the drafting process included the definition of a child, the determination of fundamental freedoms, protecting the best interests of children who are being adopted, and the minimum age that children can be participants in armed conflict.

The definition of a child is open as to when childhood starts, but the preamble of the Convention refers to children before and after birth. The upper age – when childhood ends – was set at 18 because that was the age of adulthood in most countries. The fundamental freedoms include freedom of association, religion, and communication. Adoption was a big issue because certain countries had previously allowed poorly regulated inter-country adoption of their children.

Many states wanted the minimum age that children can be participants in armed conflict to be set at 18, the age when children cease to be covered by the Convention, so that children would effectively be excluded from participation in armed conflict. However consensus was not able to be achieved on that age. In the end, the age was set at 15. In ratifying the Convention since it was adopted, some states have declined to accept the notion of children being engaged in armed conflict and have reserved their position on this provision of the Convention.

It was not until 1989, a full 10 years after the International Year of the Child, that the Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. As most countries and states in the world have now ratified the Convention, it has truly become “the international legal framework” for protecting and promoting children’s rights (Arbour). Under article 4 of the Convention, states who are parties are required to “undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures” necessary to give effect to the rights and principles stated in the Convention. This obligation is not discretionary. This means that subject to the resources they have available, all state parties must allocate public funds to ensure that laws, policies and programs within the state are consistent with the rights recognised in the Convention. Australia and New Zealand ratified the Convention in 1990 and 1993 respectively. Although the United States has signed the Convention, it has not ratified it, which means that the United States is not a party state and is not obligated to implement the principles of the Convention.

The general principles of the Convention, as they are now recognised, are the right to non-discrimination (article 2), the primacy of the best interests of the child (article 3), the right to life, survival and development (article 6), and the right to be heard (article 12). These general principles are often used as a guide to the interpretation of other principles, which fall into two categories: negative rights (where the state should not interfere with the exercise of the right) and positive rights (where the state must facilitate the exercise of the right). Another way of categorising rights is to consider their adoption historically, so that civil and political rights may be regarded as ‘first generation rights’, economic, social and cultural rights may be regarded as ‘second generation rights’, and ‘solidarity rights’ such as the right to peace and the right to a clean environment may be regarded as ‘third generation rights’.

In assessing the ‘best interests of the child’, which is not defined in the Convention itself, reference can now be made to the UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child (May 2008). This is an important document that complements the Convention and assists child protection practitioners to identify what is in the best interests of a specific child or group of children in their unique circumstances.

The Convention is also an example of the specialisation of rights. Although the right to not be discriminated against is applicable to both adults and children, the best interests principle and the right to life, survival and development are examples of rights that more specifically apply to children under international law. These specialised rights include the right of children to live with their parents, subject to child protection concerns that might prevent this, and the right to play. In this way, the Convention may be regarded as both a statement regarding the needs of children, and a ‘code of conduct’ that tells parents and other adults how they should behave towards children in their care and in their community. Internationally, the Convention stands as a guide to the minimum level of rights that should apply to children everywhere. Where a state has ratified the Convention, it gains the force of law. In this context, an important optional protocol, adopted in 2011, is the ‘communication protocol’ which allows children (or groups of children) directly or through their representatives to address the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding allegations that rights under the Convention have been violated. However, any review rights arising in the home state of the child or children must be exhausted first unless an emergency situation is recognised by the Committee. In some cases the home state may be asked by the committee to take steps to protect a child who comes to the committee’s attention.

An important ongoing feature of the Convention is implemented pursuant to the ‘third optional protocol of the convention’ (the OPIC) which establishes a committee to monitor states’ compliance with the Convention. The committee comprises 18 independent experts who are appointed for terms of 4 years, and who serve personally not on behalf of their home states. States who are parties to the Convention file reports on their compliance. The committee also receives ‘shadow reports’ from NGOs operating in each state. This aspect of the Convention is unique, as no other international treaty expressly reserves a role for specialist agencies in monitoring compliance. Following consideration of the state and NGO reports, the committee will send a list of issues or concerns to the state party. This may lead to dialogue between representatives of the state and the committee, and formal recommendations being issued by the committee. In appropriate circumstances, the committee can offer technical and financial assistance to a state to help it in meeting its obligations under the Convention. The committee also issues formal comments on aspects of the Convention, as a guide to interpretation and implementation.

The issue of children’s rights is closely bound up with children’s well-being and happiness. While obtaining reliable data about well-being and happiness is difficult, particularly in relation to young children, a lot of work has been done in the past couple of decades to measure factors such as children’s physical health, mental health, self-esteem and lifestyle. This kind of well-being data is valuable as a guide to how children are developing towards adulthood, and can help us identify specific issues affecting individual children or groups of children. In 2007, UNICEF published international data in its Report Card Number 7 which included indicators of children’s well-being for the first time (UNICEF, 2007). Although this continuing work is at an early stage, it has the potential to inform further development of the Convention, recognising that children’s happiness is a product of many factors that can have serious lifelong implications for individuals in terms of how they relate to others in society, the contributions they make within society, and the overall quality of life they enjoy.

This evolving view of children’s rights represents a maturation of our awareness of children’s needs and how meeting those needs promotes a better future for us all. It has been suggested that the Convention’s “major accomplishment” is increasing the visibility of children in society, so that children’s rights are not easily ignored (Lee). The Convention stands out amongst all international treaties as the one ratified by the most states, which is an almost universal acknowledgment of the importance of our children to our planet’s future and recognition that the protection of children’s rights must have primacy regardless of other demands on our resources. Moreover, ratification of the Convention by a state has often been closely followed by the establishment of an independent public institution focused on the rights of children. In New Zealand that independent institution is the Children’s Commissioner, while in Australia it is the National Children’s Commissioner. As at 2012, there were more than 200 such institutions throughout the world – under a range of names including ‘ombudsman’, child advocate, and ‘child rights commission’ – engaged to “monitor the actions of governments and other entities, advance the realization of children’s rights, receive complaints, provide remedies for violations, and offer a space for dialogue about children in society and between children and the state” (UNICEF, 2012). In Australia, the Australian Human Rights Commission has described the Convention as “underpin[ning] the work of the National Children’s Commissioner” (AHRC).

Despite the extraordinary efforts of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN member states that have ratified the Convention, NGOs that report to the committee, and independent public institutions in member states, there is considerable work still to be done to overcome breaches of the Convention, and to address remaining areas of contention such as child marriage and juvenile justice. The criminal law is sometimes criticised for treating children like small adults (Edwards). Even Australia and New Zealand struggle with the divide between care and protection issues and criminality. New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner has identified the need to “avoid an unhelpful, rigorous split between the youth justice and care and protection provisions [of legislation] by allowing a cross-over between the two parts” echoing a similar warning by the former President of the Children’s Court of New South Wales in Australia. The New Zealand Commissioner describes the “trenchant criticism” by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child when New Zealand extended the jurisdiction of its Youth Court in October 2010 to include indictable offending by 12 and 13 year olds. Part of the answer here is improved understanding of the neuropsychological factors present in youth offending, and how culpability should be attributed in light of those factors. In a relatively recent decision, Graham v Florida 130 S. Ct. 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States – noting that in the US at that time there were 123 juvenile non-homicide offenders serving sentences of life imprisonment without parole, and that in Florida “a 5-year-old, theoretically, could receive [life without parole] under the letter of the law” – recognised that “developments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds” that must be taken into account when sentencing juvenile offenders.

In relation to child marriage, it is notable that as at 2012 about one-third of girls in developing countries (other than China) were expected to be married before turning 18. Despite a majority of states having ratified the Convention, the same UNFPA report suggests that in the decade from 2010 to 2020 there are likely to be around 142 million child marriages worldwide. Although there are many reasons for the persistence of child marriage, the effects can be devastating. A significant feature of child marriage in some countries is the practice of paying off debts and resolving disputes by giving away a young girl child – a practice sometimes known as ‘swara’ – where the child becomes effectively enslaved to her husband, and is often punished for the alleged wrongdoing of her family.

The widespread ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child stands as a testament to the values expressed within it – values that have been carefully considered and that bring “the weight of the law to the recognition of morally based individual rights for children” (Da Silva et al.) – and the work of innumerable contributors from around the globe. While the Convention is neither complete nor wholly effective, it is nonetheless a major influence on the well-being of children in most developed countries. Even in developing countries, the Convention and its monitoring processes are slowly encouraging positive change. For example, between 2000 and 2014 the number of children engaged in child labour declined by about one-third (UNICEF, 2014). While this might be expressed as still two-thirds too many, for those children who can now attend school instead of work, this change is dramatic and life-changing. Similar patterns can be seen in many other areas of children’s rights. Perhaps most remarkable is that all this has happened in less than 30 years. By any measure that is a laudable achievement.

Sons of Snakes – A Daring Call for the Christian Church Today

I don’t like snakes. I avoid them at all costs and even got an uneasy feeling just writing the title for this article. Yet that reference was the beginning of a passage from the New Testament that ended up challenging the people of first-century Judea, and by extension twenty-first century America, to an extent that we still struggle to grasp.

One of the most interesting characters in the New Testament is John the Baptist. He might have been a distant cousin to Jesus. His mother was named Elizabeth His father was a priest named Zechariah. The gospels suggest that John might have been the second coming of Elijah the prophet. When John saw a group of the religious leaders coming to see him, he called them snakes: “You brood of vipers!” You sons of snakes! His message was simple: “Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand.” It is here! Run for your lives! Run to the Jordan River and get baptized! Change your lives now! It was hard to fool John the Baptist. He knew who those religious leaders were. He knew what they stood for and how they lived their lives. Without question, he let them know they had better change their ways if they wanted him to baptize them.

We live in an age of individual repentance. How many of you have heard the invitation to turn from your sin, repent, receive the Spirit, and be saved? That is not what John was talking about. It was not like today when a political figure, a television evangelist, or a celebrity can cry, confess their sin, seek forgiveness, and expect everything to be okay. John the Baptist was not seeking individual repentance!

The Pharisees and Sadducees represented the Law and the Temple in the first century. In effect, they stood for the whole nation of Judah, which by this time was only a humble Roman province. When John called those religious leaders to repent, he was calling the national to a corporate or group repentance. He was challenging them to change their tune. His challenge was for them to give up being God’s chosen people in the way they had understood it – the way they had been living it. The repentance for which John was calling would have meant a whole new self understanding for the people and their leaders.

What is the connection to our present day? What would John’s challenge be for the Christian Church in the United States today? It would be to call our nation to corporate, or group, repentance. That challenge is, in fact, to call our nation and its leaders to reconsider how we are being the United States of America. To accept such a challenge will mean that we will have to do much more than vote or even get involved in the political process itself, as important as that is. To accept John’s challenge, we will need to find a way to make our voice heard from the local to the national level. We will need to influence leaders who have the ear of the nation to call all of us to a new national self-understanding.

What might this new national self-understanding be? It must begin with confession — that we as a nation have borrowed far too much of our identity from our status as a military and economic super power. Our true national strength is not based on weapons or economics. It is based on imagination, creativity, hard work, and compassion. How would it be for us to begin to embrace a new image that is actually an old image most of us were taught in school: liberty and justice for all and people created equal? To embrace such a new and old image means we will have to trust that what we have of real value to offer this world is our strong commitment to freedom and an almost radical insistence on civil liberty. Are we not, like the chosen people of Israel, called to be a light to the nations, not lord of the nations? It is in keeping with the challenge of John the Baptist for churches to call the United States to be that light to the nations by being a model of inclusion, and a model for non-violence, justice, and economic opportunity.

To call our nation to group repentance may be the easier challenge John the Baptist places before us today. Beyond that, we are to call the Church to repent and let go being Church as we have always done it. John challenges us to call the Church today to confess and repent – to let go a self-understanding of moral superiority, theological monopoly, and the tendency to lust for power. It is the call to step up and do as a small group of Christian college students did in Donald Miller’s book Blue Like Jazz. They decided the best way to communicate the essential message of faith and the true power of Christianity to their anti-religious peer group was to place a confessional booth right in the middle of a spring Bacchanalian festival on campus. But the point was not that they would hear confessions from their peers. It was that they would confess to their fellow students – confess how they had failed to exemplify Jesus by loving others. They would offer apologies for everything from the crusades to televangelists!

The result of their action was powerful. Rather than being defensive in the face of an attitude of moral superiority, students who came into the confessional booth actually offered forgiveness to those representing the Church. The Christian students felt, at least at some level, a sense of renewed life – born again to what being a follower of Jesus really means.

How can we prepare ourselves for the kingdom of God as John proclaimed it? How can we celebrate the Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed is here among us? We can take the proclamation of John seriously about the need for group repentance. We can take his challenge seriously regarding our responsibilities as citizens of a nation and also citizens of the Kingdom of God.

We live in a modern democratic society with a representative government, a republic, and we have personal responsibility as citizens. Unlike John’s and Jesus’ situation, it is theoretically possible for individuals to address issues with the rulers of our society since we the people are the government. It is important for us to do so. The most effective way to influence government and the society at large, in my experience, is to organize – find a group that reflects your most important priorities and add your voice to theirs.

A great deal of good can happen when we work through channels to address and redress societal issues of injustice, and of moral and ethical concerns. Unfortunately, it is rare for a system of power to change itself fundamentally, even in order to address or redress significant societal problems. Systems of power tend toward self preservation, even to the extent of blaming those who attempt corrections. It will be most interesting to watch the Presidential candidates this year in their efforts to bring about real change – how successful they are and how the system responds to their efforts.

What about group repentance by the church? What might it mean for the Christian church to embrace repentance by giving up being church in the way it has gotten used to being church? Could we let go of our institutional insistence on the exclusivity of Christianity for salvation, giving up an attitude of moral superiority arising from a monopoly on correct doctrine? Can we confess a history of seeking and then abusing coercive power? I suspect nothing less than such a radical giving up will suffice for us to respect other faiths at a deep level and for the world to live in peace.

Being a light to the nations does not mean Christians have to give up faith in the importance of Jesus. It does not mean we need to turn away from worshiping Christ or give up a belief in the rightness of the Christian path. It does mean being open to the possibility of God’s presence in other faith traditions and other belief systems as well as our own. It means being willing to separate the reality of God from our interpretation of that reality.

Jesus’ message was as challenging as John’s for his people to hear and accept. It was the call to return to the path of Moses and the prophets from which they had strayed. It was time to let go, give up, and go back to the basics of their faith. The same is true in this time and place as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. God still calls us to a way of living that is fundamentally different than the wisdom of self-serving power and self-justifying wealth. God calls us to be new people and to trust that all newness comes as a gift of God.

God sends us out to live in the world, to share good news and a big challenge to change a world of pain into a world of love, justice, and peace. God sends us out to make the earth into a place where the Kingdom is revealed.

It is Time For Law Firm Marketing and Branding to Evolve

Whether the last straw was dropped in a marriage, a DUI received on a Friday night, or a company board meeting ending with a vote to restructure in bankruptcy, people are turning to Google before turning through Yellow Pages.

A handful of companies exist that claim to have lawyer’s best interests in mind. They offer services like web design, law firm search engine optimization, and so on but do they really understand branding?

I must admit, the law firm marketing department of my company is my favorite to work with. Primarily because it is unspoiled land. I can count on one hand how many attorneys we work with who were branded with a logo, slogan, or any sort of branding prior to working with us. Most law firms come to us with a template web site that they spend thousands of dollars for from a huge lawyer service that doesn’t fully understand branding themselves. But rather than focus on the negative, let’s identify the problems and how law firms can evolve.

Think Like a Business

Most law firms I work with are essentially, small businesses. Less than fifteen lawyers working together, often specializing in various fields. Just like a company, a law firm should consider a positioning statement or slogan.

New Firms May Consider a Company Name

This is something rarely done by attorneys. Using a corporate name like “Divorce Law Group” or even “Smith Defense and Justice” may help your firm stand out. Using a corporate name for your firm rather than your own name also has some online reputation management benefits which we will go into later on.

Brand Your Firm With a Logo

One thing that many law firms fail to do is consider their image. A logo. A face for the firm. By having a logo, your firm stands out and can be easily identified. So long as that logo is not just your law firm’s name and gavel clipart. If your firm does not have a uniquely branded logo, prospective clients will only see “just another group of names”.

Prepare for the Internet

All of this gets your law firm prepared for the internet. Search engine optimization can get traffic to your firm’s web site, but it takes professional design and branding to convert traffic into new cases.

The Logic of Faith

We live in a world that demands from us a constant definition of the self. A lack of understanding of our real mission on earth sometimes leads us into a lot of misconceptions and strains us in our conviction. What is it to have conviction? How can we have conviction? There are certain basic things we must learn. We must carry the ability to weigh things clearly and dispassionately. The human being struggles most times to earn objectivity in his reasoning. He must have the willingness to see the logic of what he is seeing or he is told before he can come to a clearer understanding. Does faith need logic? Yes it does! Creation is logical. It is the basis of our conviction because if we see it as logical then it is easy to accept it. Being logical does not immediately make you an atheist.

We accept the logic that what you sow is what you will reap. It really does not matter what religion you profess to, it is illogical to expect to reap apples if you planted corn. Even miracles will be a hard sell if it did not have logic in it. It is logical to make a fair assessment of someone you just met by assessing the company he keeps. That is why we say, birds of the same feathers flock together. You would not expect to find ravens flying in tandem with eagles will you? It would be illogical. Progress is assumed to propel you upwards. That is the essence of all our struggles. We are born, we get work, we want to improve the status of our lives. We look at success from different prisms. It is a logical assumption that every human being has dreams, to be better in his aspirations and to have these dreams actualized.

We know, that Justice is the epitome of logical reasoning, looking at facts and coming to a logical conclusion that this is right or that is wrong. Justice ensures trust in a system and encourages confidence that the steps to paradise are sequential and not arbitrary. Man’s progression is logical, birth, growth, maturing, and degeneration.

When we are permitted to experience these laws, these concepts of the eternal laws, then we are able to come to the logical conclusion of the stability of continuity and progression. Belief can only come about through experience. It is those things we have experienced that helps to ensure our faith. It is our faith that can give us conviction. If you are told that a slap is painful, you could believe or not, but you have a conviction of it only if you had once experienced the pain of a slap! That is logical. It will be illogical otherwise.

Creation is an ordered logic of the Creator in response to our request to experience the possibility of His proximity. We profess weak faith only when we cannot move our conviction into vibrant faith. Take a walk in your thoughts, watch the many vibrant living colours of your experiences, see in the glint of a tear, the brightness of a smile, the sound of your thumping heart and you will experience life. Being logical does not bar your faith, it can only enhance it.

There is logic in faith, which comes from experiencing. When you give yourself the opportunity to see how the laws of Creation explains why certain things can happen, why you could only be incarnated amongst a group of people. The logic of the eternal laws explains why all the things that have happened to us, globally, nationally and at community level happens the way. There is logic in why one person is poor or the other is healthy. It is the logic of the eternal laws fulfilling itself!

Who in the Police State Gets Extralegal Exemptions?

Executive Summary – The purpose of this article is to show you the special privileges certain people and their spouses and children have in the USA with a special emphasis on those in law enforcement and politics. This is how the police state grooms law enforcement to step into the role of a police state with all its associated lawlessness and brutality. These people are basically immune from traffic law enforcement, vehicle codes, and other minor and not so minor violations of the law.

In police states it is common to extend these privileges to the groups of people listed below. As the police state grows into its fullness the paranoia on the part of the leaders grows and they begin policing the police and government officials with extreme vigor and prejudice. The internal affairs police become all-powerful. Hitler referred to them as the Gestapo. They ruined careers and terrorized ordinary police. Government officials and the military. As they eliminate the private ownership of guns, freedom of movement, international travel etc then their threat risk assessment of those in power, shifts to those with the guns and in control of various aspects of governing the people.

Then the police state evolves into a full-fledged paranoid madhouse, which is the path they all seem to go down. The leaders know they are criminals violating the laws of the land. They know the people hate them with a passion. They generally leave the country in shambles. They fear execution and an overthrow every minute of every day. They have no peace. They do not eat or sleep well. Their health deteriorates. The leaders sleep in different houses each night, bodyguards sleep in their bedrooms, alcoholism and drug use with the leaders becomes widespread, insomnia is common, persecution fantasies abound, trials for treason, sedition, espionage with summary executions abound amongst the ranks of the police, military and government officials.

The law enforcement and low-level government officials get sucked into serving these police states by the government extending certain privileges to them, often not formally codified but just put into practice. They often pay these police out of proportion wages not in sync with the state of the economy. Today there are tens of thousands of police and corrections officers making over $100,000 a year who never attended college. Federal law enforcement agents can easily hit $140,000 a year. Then comes their early retirement, medical, dental, vacations and so forth. The police state wants them happy and proud to have these jobs. The police state is teaching them the advantages to turning a blind eye towards all the injustices. They get used to using the taser and pepper spray on anyone who talks back to them. They get to carry weapons practically anywhere and in some cases even on airplanes. People get long prison sentences for victimless crimes (all they did was break a statue no identifiable persons were victims). They become a tool of the elite and thus acquire certain privileges.

Who Are the People Granted Official and Unofficial Exemptions from Laws –

* City and State Police Officers

* County Sheriffs

* Correction Officers, City, County, State, and Federal

* Parole Officers, City, County, State, and Federal

* Probation Officers, City, County, State, and Federal

* State Troopers

* Highway Patrol

* Animal Enforcement Officers

* Alcoholic Beverage Police

* Weights and Measures Police

* Lottery Police

* Labor Police

* Child and Family Services Police

* Tax Collection Police City, County, State, and Federal

* Building Inspectors

* Food Inspectors

* Health Inspectors

* Traffic Enforcement Officers

* Federal Law Enforcement Agents – There are over 100 such agencies

* City and County Commissioners

* Mayors and Deputy Mayors

* City, County, State and Federal members of legislatures

* Judges on all levels

* Governors and Deputy Governors

* Attorney Generals

* District Attorneys

* Prosecutors called by other titles

* Ambulance Drivers

* Paramedics

* Firemen

* Animal Control Officers

* Court Clerks

To the above you could add in the spouses, children and parents of these people to who various exemptions from the law are also granted informally as a professional courtesy. So as you can see the so-called Thin Blue Line is a lot wider than what one might think. Traffic Enforcement Police will tell you that a tremendous amount of those they stop are part of this list.

The protocol is that the person stopped in a traffic stop presents themselves as one of the privileged few before they show any driver license or registration. If one presents the driver license and registration to the officer they generally will just take it to the cruiser and check their status and then return with a ticket written out. The idea is to explain who you are with or without documentation before the license is shown so it never gets to the ticket stage. There are no bulletproof rules as to one cop not giving another cop a ticket. Generally it is not done. Police departments do get into ticket wars with other cops and start handing out tickets to members of other departments freely.

Usually the high-ranking officials settle this quickly before someone gets arrested. Police will often ask a federal agent if they are working when stopped. Federal agents say yes because they are on 24/7. They generally are let go. Sometimes they get a ticket and then they have their office phone the traffic court and have the judge cancel it. The general rule is that these privileged few look out for each other. If the offense is bad and will result in a big investigation only the very highest of the privileged can expect to get the extra-legal assistance and this can and has extended all the way up to murder.

What Are the Types of Exemptions Offered to these people:\b>

Traffic – These people even have courtesy badges and ID cards that they give to friends and relatives so that other police will not give them traffic tickets. There are probably one million such people running around in the USA. This explains the people who speed incessantly and run red lights and make illegal turns you see all the time and wonder about. They are exempt from citations, not like you. Just discuss this with any law enforcement officer or ex law enforcement officer, who trusts you, to see that it is true. Remember these privileged violators also get good driver rates when they are not really good drivers.

Drunk Driving – This is not always covered but often is. Depends on how drunk they are, where and who they are. They often will have another officer take the car to a safe place and drive the person home so as to keep them off the road. They would rarely just tell the person it’s okay continue driving dead drunk even if it is a judge. Drunken judges are common, as are police officers and legislators. This is a sensitive one but the police will usually try not to cite and arrest the privileged. If it is one of their own and he is not safe to drive they will often call the supervisor of the officer to come get him. This way the department informally knows he is drinking and riving but they avoid exposing one of their own to the justice system that applies to regular people. This is often done as well for bad traffic violations like going 130 mph in a corvette. His supervisor knows about it but the officer is spared the consequences of the law. Hmmm can someone say get out of jail free card.

Traffic Accidents – Here is a courtesy not known by many. The police throw the accident report in favor of the privileged one. The other driver gets a ticket and their insurance rates suffer. The other party has no idea this is going on until he reads the accident report. How many would ever think to investigate the other party to see if they are a police officer and few would complain to the internal affairs department of the law enforcement agency involved.

Truck Driving – A lot of police officers drive over the road trucks off duty. They do not generally have to follow the rules like regular truck drivers. This enables them to make more money than regular drivers. They can exceed weight limits, drive excessive hours, have messed up logbooks, equipment violations etc. A little known but all too common occurrence. Ever see a truck driver barreling down on you speeding like crazy and not caring about getting caught. Now you know why.

Fights – The police will rarely ever arrest one of the privileged if a regular fight broke out over an argument even if they were drunk. If someone is seriously hurt or killed then it tends to go more by the book, but not always. Sometimes they might complain to the cops’ supervisor.

Drugs – One of the privileged caught with personal quantities of drugs would normally get out of it with being arrested. They might not even have the drugs confiscated.

Searches of Vehicles – The privileged are pretty much search free. This means they can carry drugs, illegal weapons, and open alcohol containers without much worry.

Expired License Tags, Driver Licenses etc – This sort of thing is generally overlooked.

Loud Parties – These complaints tend to be played down for the privileged. The police come and say it was phoned in. If the person has a lot of juice the police will not respond to any more disturbance calls at that address. If they do not have a lot of juice they will be told to tone it down nicely so they do not have to come back.

Threatening Violent Harm on People – The privileged can threaten those who get in their way with little fear of retaliation from law enforcement.

Domestic Violence – The privileged few can often get away with this. Depends a lot on who they are and what they did. Doom and gloom on their spouses.

Building Code Violations – The privileged can often get away with a lot here. They just build. The inspectors will look the other way when it comes to those that can retaliate against them.

Alcoholic Beverage Violations – The privileged can serve minors, open after hours; break maximum occupancy codes, etc. with no consequences.

Fire Code Violations – The privileged can generally get extreme leniency from the fire department on enforcing violations.

Special Jobs – The law enforcement people can get high paying jobs off duty that they are not supposed to have in many instances. A lot of these opportunities open up to the retired law enforcement people since it is known that the courtesies will still be extended to those retired. Some of these are:

* Bar Bouncers (the police report will almost always show them always innocent)

* Security Guards (special gun privileges are valuable to the rich and famous)

* Body Guards (They can speed and drive illegally for their wealthy clients)

* Private Detectives (they get private information easily like unlisted phones, addresses)

Summary – This should open your eyes to some of the lower level corruption going on which no one even talks about stopping. Those that can stop it are the partakers. This gives them an elitist mentally. They think the law only applies to the regular people not them. They soon stop caring about the constitution and civil rights since they have plenty of rights; it’s the other people who lose their rights. As the police state rolls on, police brutality and violence continues unchecked. Police are allowed to kill for just about any reason. Their arrogance reaches a sickening level.

The police and the privileged further disassociate from identifying with the common folk. The police state wants the police and privileged to not identify with “We the People” so they can accomplish their agenda. When the people have no guns, no travel privileges, no rights to a fair and speedy trial by their peers, no freedom of speech and expression, can no longer gather in an orderly fashion, the constitution becomes a historical document at best, then the police state is in its fullness as the rules change.

In the final stage of the police state before it falls apart like they always do, the leaders feel threatened by the police and turn on them with a paranoid eye. They will have set up internal police control forces and an super elite group of paramilitary police that would be the only ones trusted and their powers would be extremely broad. They would be focused on enemies of the state only, leaving routine law enforcement for the police forces. The police reap what they sow before it is over and it falls apart. Right now they are in the dark and are too busy enjoying their riot gear, tasers, full automatic weapons, exercising extra constitutional powers over the people to really take the time to understand where it is heading. Like the people they generally wake up when it is too late.

Idea – Try to get the gun control people after these abuses of justice. Their energy would be better spent this way. Write letters to the anti-gun legislators suggesting they can get a lot of publicity and votes by leading a campaign after these injustices. Use their greed for power and votes against the evil system. You’d be shocked at how easy this is to effect.

Also try diverting the high tax legislators into this arena. Remind them that scandals lead to public hearing and make for excellent publicity. Think of it – you are on CNN cleaning up the ranks of the judicial system. It will work but you will only be changing one lousy politician for another lousy politician. You will be rocking the apple cart and apples will fall off. Set your mind to have fun and enjoy yourself. Divide and defeat is the tactics they use on “We the People” so use it back on them.