Misplaced Discipline?

California, land of dreams and golden highways, gives us an example of what our elected officials should really be doing with their time (and our money). State assemblywoman Sally Lieber has introduced a bill to outlaw spanking.

At first glance, this seems to me to be much along the lines of Congress taking some time off to conduct hearings on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball. While these activities are not totally without merit, I have to wonder if these powerful legislative bodies might be spending their time more effectively. Legally, MLB operates under an anti-trust agreement with the U.S. government, so Congress certainly has the authority to do whatever it wants there, but should it? Steroid use by popular sports stars does have cultural effect, but is that the most effective use of Congress’s time?

Likewise in California, land of rolling blackouts and budget woes, is enforcing discipline in the home what the Assembly should be focused on? In light of current law outlawing excessive force or abuse, it seems like micro-managing.

Aides to the assemblywoman said they are still working on a definition for spanking.

This definition is super important and I believe could be the source of a huge amount of argument and trouble. You have to have a very clear definition of something that is inheritantly vague: how much force? measured how? is duration a concern? objects? intent? body parts involved? How would such a definition be proven or enforced?

As someone who was spanked as a child (however infrequently), survived and don’t hate my parents, I hope my legislature is doing something else with my money and the state’s time.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Politics, Social Behaviour

2 responses to “Misplaced Discipline?

  1. Wyoming

    A spanking is a method of getting a child’s attention. A spanking is not synonymous with abuse and if used to break through a child’s psychological hysteria or physical tantrum, the spanking can expedite the resolution of the probelm at hand. Too many times a child is so wrapped up in his or her own emotional trauma that he/she is unable to communicate. A spanking is enough of a shock to break through this barrier and communication can then take place. A spanking can also be used as a mild form of punishment that inflicts no physical or emotional harm. The punishment is immediate and in response to the child’s misbehavior. The spanking has reinforced the reality that there are consequences resulting from a person’s actions. It occurs, hopefully, in close proximity to the event of misbehavior and brings to a close the issue. In addition, a spanking has a way of serving as a mnemonic device (experience speaking).
    The real issue, as noted, is that of abuse and there are already laws pertaining to abuse and what constitutes abuse. I believe this is another political event meant to make headlines for a legislature rather than a serious attempt to better social behavior. My belief is that politics has become a narcissistic activity than than a public service activity. A wild guess, but maybe Ms. Lieber doesn’t have a firm enough grasp on the bigger picture and must find ways to promote herself and remain in the spotlight; hence, she finds a controversial idea fraught with ambiguity. No matter what happens, she benefits from the publicity without having to take the criticism. The issue is so vague that whatever comes out of the debate she can deny that the final outcome was what she ever intended if it is criticized and she can claim that is exactly what she had in mind when she proposed the bill should the bill be lauded by the public. A real win-win situation.

  2. Wyoming: The issue is so vague that whatever comes out of the debate she can deny that the final outcome was what she ever intended if it is criticized and she can claim that is exactly what she had in mind when she proposed the bill should the bill be lauded by the public.

    Couldn’t agree more, with politics being a profession of the narcisistic, as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s