We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Prof. Bainbridge reports that spanking has been criminalized in New Zealand. This is unfortunate, because sometimes we all require an administration of tough love. I know I did, and it probably kept me out of jail. Our Dr. Bliss wrote a defence of corporal punishment here, a while ago. I agree that a good spanking is more to the point, more direct, and less painful than mental punishments - although I agree with a proper administration of shame when appropriate. Still, spare the rod...
Many - not all - kids require a stern Dad and a disapproving Mom from time to time, if not more often. If a person doesn't internalize the guidelines of decent citizenship in the family, the cops will be stuck with the results. And that annoys the cops and makes them act rough because they'd much prefer to be eating jelly donuts in peace in their patrol cars.
The subject makes me wonder about how some in Western culture seems to want to define harshness downwards, to the point of considering waterboarding of terrorists who might plan to kill you and your brethren as "going too far," or the death penalty by injection "cruel and unusual." Are we becoming so namby-pamby that any exertion of force is viewed as barbaric? It's an epidemic of "niceness" and a terror of anything which might have anything in common with "violence."
If so, it's a dangerously decadent road. I blame Rousseau.
Comment by the Editor: How come the first to yelp about spanking and waterboarding tend to be the first people to excuse terrorists and inner city violence? And often the first to propose greater government coercive power over the individual? Authoritarian families produce free, self-regulating citizens who don't need or desire authoritarian or nanny governments. It's all a mystery to me.
Editor: have you noticed that those morally superior people who excuse terrorism and inner-city violence do so our of a sense of cultural superiority? Those darker-skinned peoples just can't help themselves and therefore must be understood? Is there any distinction whatsoever between that patronising attitude and racism?
I think that interpretation is part of the answer. Human beings generally have mixed motives for what they do. An even grimmer interpretation is that they don't wish to think of themselves as violent, but desire their political enemies to be hurt. Thus they tolerate only the violence which serves their own ends.
Or possibly, they need to really, really believe that sitting down and talking with bad guys is what will work, because they are better at sitting and talking and want to be important.
Assistant Village Idiot
People are wimps, that is why. It is survival technique.
Any time people get the chance puss out they will take it. Institutionalized pussing out is even better. That way when the neighbors are screaming bloody murder in the middle of the night, because of, well, bloody murder, you can roll over and say "it's not my problem, as in: I am not going to risk my ass over anything, even if it means going so far as to let my kids murder the neighbors."