There have been so many stories over recent years about the state stepping in to take away children because they (the children and/or the parents) are too fat. There’s this recent story on FOX about the couple in Scotland who had their seven children removed from the home (blogged on LewRockwell.com) Formerly, the state used charges of abuse, and now bureaucrats are yanking children from homes based on behavior, weight, and health/medical treatment controversies.
This ties in to a story I read in a recent version of Outside magazine about the amazing teenagers who are sailing around the world. In a time when most teenagers are so uninspring and unremarkable, leading a life of consumerism, television, video games, amusement hunting, and mall wandering in packs with their friends-of-the-moment, we have these enterprising kids who are sailing around the world … solo. Zac Sunderland, 17; Mike Perham, 17; Jessica Watson, 16; and Abby Sunderland, 16 (Zac’s sister). These kids live and thrive in a No Mall Rat Zone.
Four teenage sailors tacking around the globe may not sound like that many. But according to the American Sailing Association (ASA), fewer than 250 people have solo-circumnavigated the world’s oceans since Joshua Slocum, author of the classic adventure memoir Sailing Alone Around the World, became the first, in 1898. By comparison, more than 3,000 have reached the top of Mount Everest in only 56 years. Since Slocum’s era, improvements in boat design, navigation, and technology have made the voyage easier and faster, but the oceans remain as vast and unpredictable as ever.
And then there was Laura Dekker, 13. Civil authorities in the Netherlands have said she does not have permission to skip school to take her planned 2-year journey. The court decided she was too young to engage such an adventure. Child “protection” services threatened to take custody of her for two months to block her September launch and put her through psychological assesments. Media and citizen busybodies are furious that the Dekkers have such an outstanding, independent child would consider letting their daughter take this trip. Laura said, “All the media are horrible.”2:15 pm on October 24, 2009 Email Karen De Coster