CA Legislature Makes Waves, Again

Wave pools draw the attention of the California legislature after what appears to be a tragic accident:

Less than a week after the drowning of a 4-year-old boy in Great America's wave pool, a San Jose legislator said Tuesday that she would introduce a bill aimed at making wave pools safer, including rules requiring life vests and setting requirements for the number of lifeguards on hand....

Alquist commended Great America's new requirements but said more regulation is needed. California laws about wave pools are "weak and almost non-existent" because there are so few and they are so general, [Democratic state Sen. Elaine] Alquist said....

No serious injuries at either Great America or Raging Waters have been reported so far this year, California Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokeswoman Kate McGuire said. Carlos' drowning is the first death in a wave pool reported this year in the state.

The California legislature seems determined to take the phrase "nanny state" as literally as possible--this discussion follows on debates about spanking and smoking near kids. Meanwhile, desperate to capture some of the unlitigated, unlegislated childhoods, American parents rocket The Dangerous Book for Boys to Number 5 on Amazon.com's bestseller list.

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  • Brian Sorgatz||

    I'm guessing that some will say otherwise, but I think it's tasteful and important to bring up the drowning and the book in the same post--since liberty and safety will always be engineered trade-offs.

  • ||

    CA is a nice place to visit, but only insects live there.

  • Tim||

    Wow, Katherine would have loved Action Park in New Jersey, or what I liked to call "the most dangerous place on earth". Lifeguards were busy all day long rescuing people who couldn't swim from the wave pool. There were literally no rules at that place, and best of all, they had no insurance!!!

    Check it out on wikipedia, it's hysterical.

  • Tim||

    Link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Park

  • ||

    damn i'm a jersey kid and i never knew about action park. what a shame i would have liked to go.

  • ||

    "Hey, sorry about your kid but the right of wave pools to not have lifeguards is much more important. We can't suspend our vital liberties here."

  • ||

    LOLZ I CAN TROLL NOW KTHX

  • ||

    "Hey, sorry about your kid, but maybe you should have paid more attention to what he was doing instead of expecting someone else to do all your heavy lifting for you."

  • ||

    Hey, sorry about your kid. Maybe you should have supervised him or maybe not let him get in the pool since he didn't know how to swim... Maybe you should have acted like parents.

  • ||

    "Hey, sorry about your kid but the right of wave pools to not have lifeguards is much more important. We can't suspend our vital liberties here."

    Not one of your finer efforts, Dan. The child's death in question was inarguably caused by his mother's negligence. There were six lifeguards on duty and signs everywhere warning parents to keep an eye on their kids.

  • Naughty Moose||

    mmmmmm watersports

  • Tim||

    Too bad Stephen, the last time I was there I went bungee jumping, by the time I was unhooked there were crowds of people running away from the riot that broke out at the American Gladiator challenge. Oh the memories...

  • ||

    Les, it was absolutely a fine effort on my part. Sometimes pure trolling is fun, especially when the knee-jerk reactions to it are so revealing.

  • ||

    Oh, Dan Troll, do please tell me what my "knee-jerk reaction" revealed to you. I do so value your opinion!

    *leans forward, chin in hands, batting her eyelashes*

  • ||

    No, no, Dan, it was really weak, for a couple of reasons. First, what is "revealing" about the reactions? People responded to your snarky suggestion that the death was caused by the theme-park with snarky suggestions (which happen to be accurate) that the mother was responsible for her child's death.

    Second, how were the reactions to your post more "knee-jerk" than your initial post? You realize you have a reputation for "knee-jerk" reactions, don't you?

    And it was also weak because you admit you were purely trolling, which is an extremely childish activity.

  • ||

    What's revealing is that even though the story pretty clearly indicates that the investigation as to what happened at the pool is still ongoing, several of you have already assumed that it was the parent's fault.

    Because to consider any other possibility is to invite the dreaded state into the situation, with their liberty-shredding safety regulations.

  • ||

    Oops, alias confusion.

  • VM||

    ooooh. never thunk that Proxy was you!

    wow!

    Are you also "Brother Ben"? (or is he Cab?)

  • ||

    What's revealing is that even though the story pretty clearly indicates that the investigation as to what happened at the pool is still ongoing, several of you have already assumed that it was the parent's fault.

    There's no assumption. The facts as reported by the mother:

    Flores said she had not been in the pool with her son at the time and does not know how he drowned. The 4-year-old had been in the water earlier, got out to eat some chips and went back in, she said.

    When he didn't return within 10 minutes, she said, she became concerned and told her daughter to find him. After Jasmine told her mother she couldn't see the boy, both started toward the pool, where Jasmine ultimately found him underwater, Flores said.


    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/14/MNGMKR0LJS1.DTL&hw=wave+pool&sn=004&sc=350

    Ignoring the signs warning parents to supervise their kids and to wear life preservers, 10 minutes pass with her 4-year-old playing unsupervised in a giant, crowded pool before sending her 8-year-old to look for him.

    So, yeah, based on her own words, it's fair to say it was the parent's fault.

    Sorry for all the italics, but you seem to need them today.

  • ||

    ooooh. never thunk that Proxy was you!

    wow!

    Are you also "Brother Ben"? (or is he Cab?)


    I hadn't used Haywood's Proxy in a while.

    I am not, however, Brother Ben or anybody like that.

  • ||

    I feel that this proposed legislation is too week. What the good legislator needs to do is focus on the real danger, the Pacific Ocean. What does Rep. Alquist propose to protect our most innocent from the dangers inherent in the deep blue? How does he propose to keep our children from drowning, becoming shark food or being stung by box jelly fish? I demand answers!!

  • VM||

    oh. hrumph.

  • Episiarch||

    I have to second Tim's appreciation of Action Park. Great fun, with some of the rides/slides crazy dangerous. Really an excellent place. I also bungee-jumped there.

  • Jacob Wintersmith||

    I feel obliged to point out that "spanking" is generally referred to as "assault" when committed against anyone except one's children. Preventing (regulating?) physical violence most certainly is a legitimate function of the state.

  • ||

    "Spanking" can also be an activity pursued by consenting adults during particularly kinky sex.

    That said, wtf brought up spanking?

  • ||


    So, yeah, based on her own words, it's fair to say it was the parent's fault.


    That's your opinion, and it's a little bizarre to think that a parent is in the wrong for not keeping an eye on all children at all times but the water park is somehow off the hook because their lifeguards were unable to realize somebody was drowning.

    I think I've found yet another libertarian paradox - most of the time you guys complain that parents overprotect their children, but if you turn away for a few minutes and something happens, well, you should have been protecting them.

  • ||

    Are you a parent, Dan Troll?

    A parent should never ever turn away for a few minutes if the life of their child could in any way be endangered.

    If a bucket of water, or a bathtub with just a little water in it, or an open toilet bowl fall into the "body of water" category, a fucking WAVE POOL certainly qualifies.

    Then again, you are admittedly playing the troll, so you know all this already.

  • ||

    Oh, and if you can't manage to keep an eye on all of your children in your care at all times, then you've got no business having those children in your care.

  • Mike||

    "most of the time you guys complain that parents overprotect their children"

    Link? By the way, Dan, you have yet to provide that list of things which you say the government cannot regulate and your basis for choosing those particular things.

  • ||

    That's your opinion, and it's a little bizarre to think that a parent is in the wrong for not keeping an eye on all children at all times but the water park is somehow off the hook because their lifeguards were unable to realize somebody was drowning.

    I'm beginning to regret this.

    If you think it's bizarre to keep an eye on a four-year-old at a crowded wave pool, then I sincerely hope you're not considering having children. The water park is voluntarily changing its policy and investigating the matter. That's all it's morally or legally obligated to do.

    I think I've found yet another libertarian paradox - most of the time you guys complain that parents overprotect their children, but if you turn away for a few minutes and something happens, well, you should have been protecting them.

    Most of the time, "us guys" complain that the government overprotects children, not parents. You're arguing like a young-earth creationist, Dan.

    Then second half of your statement is just dishonest. No one has argued that if you turn your back on a kid for a few minutes and the kid gets hurt it's your fault. But if you turn your back on a four-year-old at a giant wave pool for ten minutes, then, yes, you should have been protecting them.

    I'm done with this conversation if you keep engaging in it dishonestly.

  • ||

    When Dan T. has kids, he'll understand.

    this discussion follows on debates about spanking and smoking near kids.

    What, you're not allowed to spank near kids?

  • Xanthippas||

    Not one of your finer efforts, Dan. The child's death in question was inarguably caused by his mother's negligence. There were six lifeguards on duty and signs everywhere warning parents to keep an eye on their kids.

    "Inarguably"? Seriously? Did you read the article? Where exactly are enough facts recounted so that it can be said "inarguably" that the parent's negligence is the cause of the child's death? Or is the standard in libertarian world that anytime a child dies, it is presumed first to be the parent's fault, for not keeping a better eye on them?

    Perhaps some of the responses here are prompted by annoyance with other commentators, but a few of you libertarian types come off as callous and insensitive jerks. I'm not sure why Dan T's initial comment is considered "trolling", since he's poking reasonable fun at the conflation of new pool-regulations with an attack on some vital liberty interest. Or am I mistaken? Perhaps it only seems like you fellows take it as an attack on vital liberty interests because you're so incredibly opposed to this measure, which I think is a fair inference. And taking a princpled stand against pool regulations and further protection of children is perhaps why liberals such as myself don't take libertarians very seriuosly except on a few issues we mostly agree on.

    Oh, and if you can't manage to keep an eye on all of your children in your care at all times, then you've got no business having those children in your care.

    Well if that's the case, why have ANY regulations that protect children, except when they're left completely alone in the wild? After all, if I can't trust myself or someone else to watch my kids, I would ratonally choose not to have them, right?

  • ||

    "Inarguably"? Seriously? Did you read the article? Where exactly are enough facts recounted so that it can be said "inarguably" that the parent's negligence is the cause of the child's death?

    The mother describes the incident in this article, which you might not have read.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/07/14/MNGMKR0LJS1.DTL&hw=wave+pool&sn=004&sc=350

    So, I'll say what I said to Dan:

    Ignoring the signs warning parents to supervise their kids and to wear life preservers, she lets10 minutes pass with her 4-year-old playing unsupervised in a giant, crowded wave pool before sending her 8-year-old to look for him.

    Yes, "inarguably." Seriously.

    The reason the legislation deserves scorn is precisely because it is inspired by an incident which was clearly not the fault of the park.

    I would never go so far as to say that parents should always be with their kids (there is a wide variety of libertarian thought on most subjects), but this incident is not a complex one in the least. It might be if the park promised to keep kids safe when their parents aren't looking, instead of instructing parents to always supervise their kids.

  • ||

    After nailing down the rules for water parks, perhaps Sen. Alquist can proceed to the job of commanding the tides in the sea itself. Or she might look to Canute for lessons humility.

  • ||

    I need to take a whiz. Think the CA legislature would care to hold my unit for me while I do?

  • ||

    I'm headed to my parent's house and thought I would leave my 2 year old son in the backyard swimming pool unsupervised for 10 minutes. Hopefully when he drowns the state will pass some new regulations and I won't feel any responsibility for not being a proper parent.

  • ||

    Don'T. Feed. The. Trolls.

  • ||

    My childhood consisted of exploring the woods and caves behind our house,jumping bikes off homemade ramps,wading the local river while fishing and hunting in the fall.Guess those days are over.

  • ||

    "Dangerous" is trivial, and the conservative / libertarian fixation on it is borderline cultish. Have you actually READ the book? It's got chapters on insects, evolution, and famous historical battles--things many kids aren't exactly super-psyched to read, and over which there is little father-son bonding potential; the presence of evolution at all should have stricken it from National Review's attention, but I don't think they cracked the cover.

    There are also chapters about tying knots and making paper airplanes. Which are, last time I checked, basic and easily communicated and found in Boy Scout manuals for like 70 years already.

    If it weren't for the title, and current conservatism's weird "24" / "300" obsession with false machismo in the light of their philosophy's actual failures in the desert theater, I don't think anyone would care.

  • dhex||

    i feel obligated to mention that 300 is really very obviously an anti-imperialism screed. think about it...all male culture willing to die for the sake of a principle verses a massively rich, effete and lavishly sensual army imperial marauders.

    sparta = al qaeda

    it's so obvious.

  • Duane Lester||

    I bought a copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys. Well worth the money.

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