Family Issues

Spank 'Em If You've Got 'Em

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Spanking parents of the world–or at least California, which often mistakes itself for the world–relax. The Great Golden State Spanking Ban is history. From the AP via the Cincy Enquirer:

A Democratic lawmaker has abandoned her heavily ridiculed campaign to make spanking a crime, acknowledging that the idea would get whacked even in California's sometimes whimsical Legislature.

Instead, San Francisco Bay area Assemblywoman Sally Lieber introduced a more narrow bill on Thursday she said would help district attorneys more easily prosecute parents who cross the line from punishment into physical abuse….

Lieber, who has no children, attracted nationwide attention after she pledged to introduce an anti-spanking bill to protect children from violence. Her idea was even the subject of a "Saturday Night Live" parody….

If passed, [the new law] would classify most physical harm to children as unjustified. That would reverse the current principle under which judges and juries are asked to decide whether physical abuse that begins as discipline is justified.

More here.

Read Maia Szalavitz's "The Trouble with Troubled Teen Programs" to get a sense of systemic child abuse in the youth boot-camp industry.

NEXT: Matinee Mitt

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  1. The … Spanking Ban is history.

    YES!
    Now… Whose been a naughty girl scout?

  2. Again I say that there’s no need to draft a new law to prohibit hitting children since striking another person is already a crime.

    I find it interesting that many of the same people who subscribe to the idea that children are somehow different from adults when it comes to battery simultaneously feel that a 20-day old fetus is undeniably a person and, therefore, that abortion is murder. If a fetus is a human and is to be protected by the same laws that deal with humnas killing other humans outside the uterus then a child is a person and should clearly be protected by the same laws that address hitting another person as children are undeniably human. (Personally, though, I’m not convinced that a fetus is a human any more than an egg is a chicken.)

    You can’t have it both ways.

  3. I was under the impression that this law only applied to very young children, and then only in cases that were violent enough to cause long-term harm.

  4. Pi Guy
    The key word is immature and the difference is between discipline and abuse or as I like to say “let the child put thewir hand intot he fire, he/she won’t do it twice…we hope”…btw don’t we handle eggs differently than we do chickens?

  5. Can Miss Lieber propose a law to make beating her whiny ass within an inch of her miserable life permissable?

  6. PI Guy,

    “If a fetus is a human and is to be protected by the same laws that deal with humnas killing other humans outside the uterus then a child is a person and should clearly be protected by the same laws that address hitting another person as children are undeniably human.”

    This is not a logical conclusion.

    Not all rights are universally applied, while some are. Because it is wrong to kill a child or an adult, does not mean that the child should then have every right that an adult has. I can tell my child that they must live in my house, or go to bed at a certain hour, or pick out what food they eat, without their consent. I cannot do this with other adults.

  7. “You can’t have it both ways.”

    Why do you hate this country so much?

  8. DADIO,

    WTF!? Are you saying that it’s morally equivalent to allow a child to hurt them self and to violently beat a child? And what on earth are you trying to get at with the chicken and egg? We eat both of them.

  9. Well, you can beat an egg, but you can’t beat a chicken, right? Is that what this is all about? Because I’m late for breakfast.

  10. “”You can’t have it both ways.”

    Why do you hate this country so much?”

    …because there is no other way to disagree.

  11. Lieber deserves credit if for nothing else causing a lot of cognative dissonance…it was quite interesting to read parents rationalize why it’s okay to use violence against the most helpless among us.

  12. Pi Guy:

    That is very simple. Children do not have the same privileges and rights that adults have. Adults have the right to vote, procreate, and go where they please. Kid’s don’t. Adults get to drive, kids don’t.

  13. ….or at least California, which often mistakes itself for the world……

    Classic Nick. 🙂

  14. Warren
    and both are mighty tasty, no? Anyway what I was was getting at is occasionally children might have to be swatted on the behind to get their attention, to indicate to them that this or that is a no-no and that oh and btw it’s not open for discussion. this being a more immediate & humane approach than letting the young waifs maim themselves under the quise of non-intervention in their bliss. no kid was ever born with a cut glass butt.

  15. can’t beat a chicken

    Always with the reductio ad cockfighting! Seems to be the Godwin’s Law of libertarian blogs.

    Only yolking.

  16. Dan T:

    Puulllleeeeeeezzze. Kids today aren’t so helpless as they used to be. Used to be you could beat the living shit out of your wife ([/sacasm] Ah, the good ole days [/sarcasm] and your kids with in inches of their life.
    And jesus fucking christ, we aren’t pacifist here. Not all violence is verboten. Take ultimate fighting. If two guy beat the shit out each other in front of a bar, it is called disorderly conduct. Put a fence around them and charge people money and, voila, it is ultimate pay per view fighting.
    I can think of plenty of times when a proper amount violence against a you child is completely justified. Like one of those screaming fuckers on a plane. If mom doesn’t want to beat him, let me do it.
    And jesus what a bunch of pussies….you know there is a spectrum of violence….from torture [like ramming a glass rod up your penis then slamming your penis with a hammer] to a small slap.
    Remember this video last week: https://reason.com/blog/show/118683.html#comments
    That was violence….but funny violence.
    Or take the peak of American Cinema, The Three Stooges. Who would deny that the round about smack isn’t funny.

  17. I find it interesting that many of the same people who subscribe to the idea that children are somehow different from adults when it comes to battery simultaneously feel that a 20-day old fetus is undeniably a person and, therefore, that abortion is murder. If a fetus is a human and is to be protected by the same laws that deal with humnas killing other humans outside the uterus then a child is a person and should clearly be protected by the same laws that address hitting another person as children are undeniably human. (Personally, though, I’m not convinced that a fetus is a human any more than an egg is a chicken.)

    What the holy fuck? Hey look! It’s two completely unrelated ideas, let’s group them together with some words and try to destroy all logical thought in the process!

  18. “Anyway what I was was getting at is occasionally children might have to be swatted on the behind to get their attention, to indicate to them that this or that is a no-no and that oh and btw it’s not open for discussion.”

    DADIODADDY,

    I direct you to the Southpark episode (now in reruns) in which Cartman’s mother is able to assert herself as packleader of the household through carefully administered nips on the nape of Cartman’s neck with two fingers. A little psstt! sound was added for effect. It worked like a charm. See iz dominant, not aggressive.

  19. Spanking parents of the world–or at least California, which often mistakes itself for the world–relax.

    Not so fast, Nick. What if they have pot plants in the room where they’re spanking them? What if they smoke while they spank the kids?

    What if they allow them to surf the ‘net without a filter, see beer ads with baseball players in them, play with toy guns, and then spank them?

    There’s just too many ways for kids to be abused nowadays.

  20. Troy,

    Your penis torture comment produced some of the most intense imaginary I have ever had.

  21. should read imaginary pain forgot to preview

  22. you can beat a chicken but you can’t spank a monkey.

    anyhoo… the proposed law did only cover kids under 3, but banned corporal punishment absolutely for them. damage had nothing to do for it. under 3, of course, is the very age range where a swat on the butt does the most good. effective pavlovian conditioning against running out in the street or juggling a knife or chewing an electrical cord is not considered to be socially acceptable by right-thinking sensitive californians. thank god they’re in the minority here.

  23. You shouldn’t spank kids. You should compile a list of all their offenses and them put them in jail when they’re 18.

  24. Note that a similar bill has just passed first reading in the New Zealand Parliament and is likely to make it all the way through. It’s been proposed by the Greens and backed by Labour.

  25. you can beat a chicken but you can’t spank a monkey.

    Can youse whacks a dolphin?

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