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Hi, I’m from the Government, and I’m Here to Protect You

In the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, there was once again a plethora of bills to license, regulate and tax all manner of businesses and individual activity. These ranged from forcing moped riders to register with the DMV and wear a helmet, to requiring a note from mommy before a teenager could use a tanning bed, to regulating hair braiders, music therapists and fundraisers for non-profits.

The excuse for such expansions of the nanny-state is as old as it is lame: Protecting the public….even if it means protecting us from ourselves.

Alas, busy-body nanny-statism isn’t limited to bleeding heart liberals. Indeed, session after session shows us, to their eternal shame, self-proclaimed conservative Republicans who somehow find a reason to vote for – and sometimes actually propose – legislation to insert the government into areas it really doesn’t belong, all in the name of protecting the public.

Seriously, ask youself this: What danger do hair braiders pose to the public that should require them to get a license, pay a fee and be regulated by a government that can’t even keep nurses from re-using syringes!

Along that line, consider the following story published recently in the Nevada Appeal:

“In 2006, Norma Childers pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct after she was jailed and charged with abuse for allegedly placing tape over the mouths of children in her care at the Sugar ‘N’ Spice Daycare,” the paper reported. “But the case was settled before trial.”

That was six years after Childers and her husband were “acquitted by a jury on felony abuse and neglect charges at Nevada Cares, a nursing home they owned in Carson City.” Which was the same year the couple “signed a stipulation with the state of California that ended a jury trial in which they were charged with neglecting elderly patients in their care.”

In that stipulation, the Childers acknowledged “among some 75 allegations, that they failed to provide adequate care to their clients, employed under-skilled staff and failed to report injuries and violations of personal rights of clients.”

So naturally, the Nevada state government, through the health department’s Bureau of Health Care & Compliance, issued the Childers a license last November “to operate a home for individual residential care in their home” in Washoe Valley.

As one Carson City mother familiar with Norma Childers from her child-care days put it, “Excuse me, but why the f- – are we giving her a license to run any type of people contact facility at all? I’m very angry and want to protect the community from these people.”

But have no fear. At least those dangerous, unlicensed hair braiders won’t be running around on the loose! Yes, by all means, let’s trust the government to look out for our welfare.