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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Achilles Heel of Alternative Life Styles

Those of us with a more experimental bent are often tempted by alternative life styles. What do I mean by that? They could include, but are not limited to, living off-grid, without any electricity at all, without refrigeration, composting toilets, outside the money system, or even as a modern hunter gatherer. It includes various forms of nomadic living: boat living, RV living, backpacking, or even living in a van down by the river.

If one adult person does any of these things, it may be considered odd, but not that big a deal. Two or more adults living an alternative life style . . . whatever. As soon as children are involved, then it's a whole other story.

There are numerous people and agencies whose sole purpose is to prevent children from living an "abnormal" lifestyle.

You could be living a fairly normal life in suburbia, doing pretty much what all your neighbors are doing. One "weird" variation could cause someone to report you to child services. It could be something as simple as trying to live without a refrigerator. Did you know that many government agencies believe that children absolutely must have refrigeration? It doesn't matter that the children are eating safe wholesome food everyday. Every normal family must have refrigeration. Not having it is child abuse.

Ho boy. Now imagine that you are living a bit weirder, like in a tent. If you have to do such a thing, make sure you don't set up in a tent city with a bunch of homeless people. My buddy in KY recently told me of a tent city that sprang up in his town. Authorities took children away from their parents. To be fair temperatures had climbed up over 100 F. Tent cities aren't a really safe place for kids -to many desperate characters. Stay under the radar.

It is possible to live a bit differently, but the kids have to be taken care of. I've met more than a few people living in a big RV and traveling around the country. The children were home schooled. It just so happened the home was on wheels. Their nominal home base was in a state with relaxed home schooling laws. The RV has to be resisted somewhere, so why not in a state that makes home schooling easy?

Also met a family living on a sailboat. They'd just spent a year sailing the world while schooling their kids. They weren't in one legal jurisdiction long enough for authorities to worry about the kids. For the few weeks they were in one place, they were "on vacation."

There was one family living in a RV who's daughter went to a regular public school. The family used to live in a normal house. One day it occurred to them that property taxes were a scam and they vowed to never pay them again. They sold the house and bought a big 5th wheel trailer. The man of the house got a job at a Federal campground as a grounds keeper. His site rent was free. They provided him with electricity, a phone, propane and a small monthly payment. He convinced the local school district to have the school bus swing by the campground to pick up his kid everyday.

I know of another family that seems fairly normal. They live like most middle class Americans. There's a husband, wife, and bunch of kids . . . and another husband. While this living arrangement has caused a few problems, no one has really gone out of their way to persecute them. It does help that they live in a liberal state outside of the bible belt. Probably wouldn't fly in a small town in the heart of Jesusland. That's a key point. If you are living in a manner outside of the norm, doing so where people just don't care can make all the difference. Hey, maybe you can find a town where everyone is alternative.

Take care of your kids; keep them sheltered, clothed, fed and educated. Also keep them out of the clutches of Nanny Government. A little care and planning can make all the difference. Nobody wants their kids taken away.

-Sixbears

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