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I have noticed a growing phenomenon in our culture, but I am not sure where it comes from — people calling the authorities to report or “tattle” on others.

For example, I live in a rural are where it is OK to burn tree limbs and such as long as there isn’t a burn ban and you have a permit from the fire department. Despite this, and my having a permit, hose, and shovel all right there as required, almost without fail every time I light my burn pile, it seems some “do gooder” driving by picks up their cell phone and reports it to 911.

This triggers a visit from the local fire department, who then see that I have the permit, shovel, and hose and that everything is in order.

Really? What a waste of time and resources!

If these people are really so concerned, why don’t they stop and check in with me themselves? Why do they feel the need to call the authorities, or even get involved at all? I could understand if my house was on fire, and of course then I would appreciate the call. But when I am clearly just burning a pile of brush?

I could list many other examples, almost all cases where neighbors talking to neighbors rather than neighbors calling the authorities on neighbors would be the best solution.

For example, not long ago another commenter (Liz, I think?) shared a story of a neighbor who called the police when they noticed the neighbor’s tween-age boy (12, if I recall correctly) was home from school but his parents were not. The boy was calmly playing basketball IN HIS OWN DRIVEWAY waiting patiently for his parents, who were minutes away. Instead of the neighbor just asking the kid if he was OK, or if he needed to use the phone to call his parents, they called 911. And the family lost custody of their son, and spent months caught up in the CPS system trying to get him back. Really?  Because they were stuck in traffic and 15 minutes late?

When and how did America become this? What are the implications to the concepts of freedom and liberty that we supposedly hold so dear?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.