Very much the question is one of just how much do you want the tentacles of government to pry into your private life? Most people do not welcome the intrusion, it is viewed as bad, very bad. We are all model parents, and we know what is best for our offspring.

Of course we are the first to react when some awful story emerges on the news. We say things like:

The writing was on the wall, why did authorities ignore the signs?

Different states use different names for their departments, but one that seems to be a common one across the country, DSS (Department Of Social Services). DSS covers many areas but a major part is the well being of children. Are they always successful? The short answer is no. But what we do not hear about are their successes, and the many situations they have prevented.

Of course it is easy to pick out the failures. Two that spring to my mind are Caylee Anthony and Haleigh Cummings. Caylee Anthony is dead. There can be no if’s and’s or but’s, the little girl is dead. Her mother Casey Anthony is accused of the murder, and that trial is slated to start in early May. The Haleigh Cummings case is more complex, even though Law Enforcement have taken the stance that this is a homicide case, there are some that still cling to hopes that she is alive.

Both of these cases have had people begging the question, where were the people that were supposed to protect our children, the people that our tax payer dollars are paying? These are valid questions. But in reality, the bigger question is where were the adults that were aware of the problems? Where were George and Cindy Anthony? By their own admission daughter Casey was untrustworthy. Waiting 31 days to report the little tot missing is testament to that.

The Haleigh Cummings story has its own set of unique twists and turns. It is easy to pick holes in those close to Haleigh Cummings. Most of them are languishing behind bars, and will be there for many years. There are a few family members that we have have heard from, and every interaction is a sad one. Unlike some reporters, we have no interest in toothless grannies who had no part of the child’s life, nor attention seeking lawyers! It would be a huge disservice to share names, and I will not!

In someways I am reminded of the classic line from the movie Animal house “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life”.

It is easy to pick on the Caylee Anthony and Haleigh Cummings stories. But they are just the tip of a very large iceberg.

Where were people to help Zahra Baker?

Actually where were the people looking for many of those missing?. This may come as a shock, but you do not have to be a cute young girl, that is a pre-schooler to go missing. Where is Zachary Pittman? Where is  Phylicia Barnes? Where is 12 year old  Pricilla Ristick from Georgia?

Yes, it is easy to pick on toothless Granny Flo, or the dysfunctional Anthony clan. It does not take any effort to score bulls eyes with the verbal gun. In fact from a reporting standpoint, it gets boring to pick on the life challenged that are involved. I am sure that many years ago Cheney Mason was a polite young man, and who knows, maybe at one time even Jose Baez had an IQ that exceeded Chaney Mason’s hat size!

Simon Barrett

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