Friday, January 19, 2007

I Spank My Kid, Come and Get Me

New legislation for you to watch for, but what could it be and who is passing it? (As if my title didn’t already give some of it away.)

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber…

Surprise. It is a woman.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D…

Surprise. She’s a Dem.
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View…

Surprise. She’s from California.
…wants to outlaw spanking children up to 3 years old. If she succeeds, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from smacking their kids.

Jason Lewis says to watch out for the law-and-order liberal types. Ban smoking, enforce seat belt use, drop the legal blood-alcohol limit well beyond reason… this turns regular law-abiding citizens into criminals. They don’t actually need to do anything wrong, just something unpleasant, unsavory, or out of fashion. Now some left-leaning politician in California wants to make spanking a child under three years old illegal.

Thank God we have caring folks serving the public, protecting the innocent, defending those without voice, challenging the patriarchy, and all of that nonsense. What about cold-cocking a three year old? Is that legal? I suspect there isn’t a specific law covering it, so we all ought to rally behind my new cause. We need to protect our little ones! What about tying a baby up with piano wire? How about subjecting a toddler to the opening segment of The View?

Who are these people who know better? Can we send them all over to Europe, who we are always told are far ahead of us when it comes to these things. Ahead? They’ll fall for anything.

Perhaps Assemblywomyn Sally Lieber’s comments might shed more light.
``I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger,'' Lieber said. ``Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a 6-month-old or a newborn?''

Beat, spank, or whip? Which is it? I hate to ask what the meaning of the word “is” is, but in this case the loaded language she uses might be telling. Are those words synonymous? Any parent would say no. Even the word beating has only recently (since the Boomers) taken a more ugly connotation. Hell, even hearing the Cos say in his routines about Harold getting a beating is funny. His audience knows exactly what Harold is going to get… not a vicious and brutal beating, but strict discipline. There is a vast, yawning chasm of a difference, Assemblywomyn Lieber. If we have to explain that to you, the problem is yours… not ours.
The bill, which is still being drafted, will be written broadly, she added, prohibiting ``any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.'' Lieber said it would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, although a legal expert advising her on the proposal said first-time offenders would probably only have to attend parenting classes.

Broadly, huh? Surely you must be kidding.

So she doesn’t see any difference between a smack and a punch.
If I were a violent man I could show her… luckily, there is a wonderful example in Blackadder the Third (“Dual and Duality”)
Of course, this might just be the sort of legislation that might get voters’ attention if our caring assemblywomyn is up for reelection this year. However, to say so would expose a cynic’s mind.

``Where do you stop?'' asked Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, who said he personally agrees children under 3 shouldn't be spanked but has no desire to make it the law. ``At what point are we going to say we should pass a bill that every parent has to read a minimum of 30 minutes every night to their child? This is right along those same lines.''

Huh, who would have thought there was still a Republican politician in California to stand up to his sort of nonsense?
Lieber conceived the idea while chatting with a family friend and legal expert in children's issues worldwide. The friend, Thomas Nazario, said that while banning spanking might seem like a radical step for the United States, more than 10 European countries already do so. Sweden was the first, in 1979.

Oooh, if Sweden banned it back in 1979 then it CAN’T be radical.
Nazario said there's no good rationale for hitting a child under 3, so the state should draw a ``bright line'' in the law making it clear.

Correction. There’s no good reason for YOU to spank my kid, Nazario.

What’s more, we do not need a bright line to make it clear. Why would you if there is no good rationale for doing it in the first place?

``Why do we allow parents to hit a little child and not someone their own size?'' asked Nazario, a professor at the University of San Francisco Law School. ``Everyone in the state is protected from physical violence, so where do you draw the line? To take a child and spank his little butt until he starts crying, some people would define that as physical violence.''

If everyone in California is protected, then what use is the law? It is, as I have tried to show earlier, redundant… and therefore a waste of time, money, and attention.
It's unclear how a spanking ban would be enforced. Most slapping, after all, happens in the confines of a home, and most children up to age 3 aren't capable of reporting it.

Here is yet another trifle to the politicians and professors… how exactly are you going to catch all of those potentially new criminals? More “subtle” questions anytime a family visits the doctor or police? If a Republican suggested this law, it would be for this reason that the word “fascist” would come from your typical left-leaning jackass.
…Nazario said he and Lieber are still debating whether to treat slapping the same way, or simply to encourage those who witness it to report it. But in either case, said Lieber, the law ``would allow people who view a beating to say, `Excuse me, that's against the law.' ''

Not only more loaded language, more busy-bodies to step up to strangers and say, “Pardon me, but that action is inappropriate and I am offended… if you do not stop I’ll call the police.”
…For the record, [Lieber] does not have children and says she was not slapped as a child. But she does have a cat named Snoop, which her veterinarian told her never to hit.

I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that this assemblywomyn does not have children. I’m even more SHOCKED to learn she has a cat. Freaky cat woman.

Luckily, according to a poll (most of which you should never trust), most Californian folks are against this ridiculous idea.

Again, spanking a child is quite different from hitting, whipping, beating, and physical violence… only a law professor would misunderstand that.

As if that were not enough, my boy didn’t make much of a fuss when his forehead opened up. He does cry when he is scolded. Now, does the crying matter to Nazario and the assemblywomyn? Is the child’s cries important to the aspect of physical violence? If not, why mention it… unless you want to pull at the heart-strings of the voters, I mean the citizens?

Then again, my boy is a tank. He cries not because he runs into a wall, falls down, hits his head on a table, and so on… he gets upset and cries when he is ashamed, knows he’s wrong, and sorry for bad behavior.

I bet he doesn’t grow up to be a law professor… or any other hand-wringing weenie who’s skirt billows up over his head anytime a politician friend wants to publicly care.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Anniversary Gifts: 2007

Once again I try to sharpen my sarcasm and press the limits of my wife's sense of humor.

Looking at various sources, I see this year's anniversary gift should be Bronze... or Pottery... possibly even Rubber, or (if you select from the modern gifts, which I don't) can be Linen or Lace.

Now, I'm getting tested. How silly can one get buying Pottery or Bronze? Sure, some smartass might suggest that I "make with the funny" by picking up a pack of condoms for Rubber, or maybe getting her lingerie for Lace..

Sorry. That's not really original... nor is it clever.

Maybe this little goof of mine has played out. If I thought I could get enough pennies (they were partly bronze from 1944 to 1961), I'd put together a coin roll. I'll have to take a look through my bank (and of course, the boy's bank). Again, where do I go from there?

Not only that, but Pottery on another list is the gift for the Ninth Anniversary.

Hmmm... maybe I should just start moving into contemporary gifts. We could use another set of nice linens. Perhaps with a nice new bra... something dressy.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Like Son, Like Father

An hour or so ago I sliced up my finger at work. I don't think stitches would work well. Pressure, ointment, and bandages.

I think somehow my son willed this to happen. He didn't want me to wake him up this morning... plus, it was only a couple of days ago that he fell and a toy cut into his head. We were running and chasing and playing at the time.

I bet he holds me responsible. ;)

Worst Fortune Cookies

Lame. Utterly lame.

Let me just say I once saw a great fortune cookie fortune. It wasn't wisdom. Not a catchy piece of advice. Hell, it was clearly not going to be in my friend's future. He kept the fortune in his wallet for all time. He might even still have it... although, I can't remember who it was. (I think we've lost touch over the last fifteen years.)

His fortune?
Your ship will make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
That was a keeper.

What do I get? Oh, over the years I've had some clever phrases, some good advice, some nice sayings, some weak fortunes, others were run of the mill. However, I've had two of the lamest fortunes ever printed. The writer should be ashamed.

The first was between ten and fifteen years ago.
A gentleman is a gentle man.
Complete crap.

Last Sunday I got some great Chinese food and another lame fortune.
Promote literacy. Buy a box of fortune cookies today.
Who ever wrote that, you are a pratt. A pillock. A berk. Go stick your head in a pig.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Hate Minneapolis Sidewalks

Working in an old building near the Monte Carlo. Great. However, most every sidewalk has bird shit on it. Now I need to burn my shoes. Now I agree that I cannot eat food that falls on the floor… even if it makes the Five Second Rule.

Nice little deli nearby. Great bead pudding. Looking forward to the stuffed peppers.

Speaking of Italian cooking, my parents bought me another great Italian cookbook. However, there is one major drawback… there are too many recopies for me to possibly try, let alone learn, unless I lived to 103.

One dish it does not appear to have… Timpano. Luckily, I already know how to make that well.

Last week (or earlier) the Anti-Strib folks posted a number of blissful moments from 200. Now that I am completely behind the bandwagon I’ll try to jump on.

  • Watching “Cars” with my boy in the movie theater… his first time to a theater.
  • Decorating our house with Christmas lights for the first time since we moved in.
  • Cutting down a huge Christmas tree.
  • Driving my boy home late one night and seeing houses with “Crimas lights!” along the way and in my old neighborhood.
  • Hearing the boy say, “Don’t call me Shirley,” after I set him up with the straight line.
  • Hearing the news that Hip J was moving back into town.
  • The first poker night after Hip J was back in town.
  • Staying up rather late at my friend’s wedding in January last year… all of us enjoying a couple of drinks and several stories.
  • Getting together at Old d’Artagnan’s house with the guys.
  • Watching the teaser to the season finale of “Doctor Who”.
  • Watching the first big set piece in the recent “Doctor Who” special from Christmas Day.
  • Learning about the new television movie for Sharpe (and, of course, seeing it).
  • Seeing my nephew and my boy goof off together.
  • My wife mocking my laugh, which encouraged my boy to join in.
  • Getting a phone call from Scout.
  • Getting a phone call from Gem.
  • Hearing Jason Lewis back in town.
  • The innocent words, “What was that noise, Daddy?”
  • The response to “Patriotic Duty and Sacrifice”

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Three Stitches

The boy and I love playing around... whether I lift him up and fly him around the room while playing John Williams score for Superman, lifting him up so his little feet can run without hitting the floor while play the score from The Incredibles, or running around the room like trains from Thomas the Tank Engine, or chasing around the house like Lightning and Sheriff from Cars.

Tonight, he was first Sheriff chasing me as Lightning McQueen, then he wanted to be Sheriff. I'm supposed to say the lines, "I haven't gone this fast in years! I'm going to blow a gasket or something," so he can say, "He's shooting me! Why is he shooting me? Serpentine! Serpentine!"

We spin into his bedroom and I scoot out. He turns around to come out and slips and falls. Now I didn't see it, but I bet his hands went up... like they do when you fall down. Unfortunately, one hand held a little oil tanker and another held a caboose. (Diecast Thomas the Tank Engine toys about three inches long and maybe two inches high.)

That caboose has a couple of ridges... enough to tear into an eyebrow if you were to fall on it.

The kid's tough. He didn't want it wiped, cleaned, dressed, bandaged, or pressed with a cold pack. Once the B&D and I learned that he was fine. However, the second I saw it I knew he would need stitches. I'll need to take a picture of the kid.

Since the nurse asked him about his favorite ice cream (he said chocolate) he wanted me to get some this evening. Nice distraction... both at the hospital and later at home. I don't think he remembers much. Not only did he behave the rest of the night, he didn't hesitate to wash his hands, say his prayers, clean up, eat all of his food, say please and thank you, brush his teeth, get ready for bed, and still quote movie lines. (From the new Pixar short "Mater and the Ghost Light" on the Cars DVD... I say, "Don't worry, buddy, it ain't real," and he responds as Sheriff with a loud and gravely voice, "It is real!")

That's my boy.

Chocolate... I mentioned chocolate ice cream. If you like Hagen Daaz make a point to look for the Mayan Chocolate. Damn! (Needless to say, I served regular chocolate to The Boy.)

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Curse You, Donkey Kong!

Found the classic arcade game and got reacquainted with it... however, the same pattern of girders, elevators, and rivets with no cement level really annoys me.

What I'd really like to see is the classic Berzerk (and Frenzy).
"Coins detected in pocket."