Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Making it up on smacking

186 Responses

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    This is such a bizarre debate.

    Someone has to take it upon their noble shoulders to advocate for those poor endangered cancers in the public breast.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Word up!

    …the English language may be too difficult for some.

    a Crusade for Chris. Finlayson…

    "Use plain English. Avoid waffle at all costs. Get to the point quickly. State the point. Move on,” it reads….
    "I have always preferred the understatement," Mr Finlayson admitted.
    "People use passionate when they mean like, or unique when they mean vaguely fashionable.
    "It’s like what happened in Rome when classical Roman broke down into vulgar Latin. The more intensive adjective or verb was always used over the classical one. And I have this objection to that happening to the English language. It’s just my little jihad."

    err, but Jihad, that’s Arabic, innit?
    surely he means Crusade, if he intends to follow his own edict…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Do you think it’s the English language that drives this need to beat children or is there something deeper in the Anglosphere driving this urge?

    Confining ourselves to Europe, in that case it's also something about French, Italian, Turkish, German, Lithuanian, Latvian, ....

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Ahh, Conservatives, “Looking Backwards for a Better Future”.
    Or how about “Making Tomorrow Just Like Yesterday”?
    I have an irrational distrust of a man with two first names anyway but honestly, how can you repeal a law that was repealed? surely that’s reinstatement?
    As has been said by many and not listened to by the vociferous few, THERE IS NO ANTI SMACKING LAW, it was just taking away the right to smack your kids up, in a reasonable manner of course.
    Can’t we just smack Colin Craig or is that just not OK?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to WH,

    You keep saying “undemocratic” as though that’s a bad thing. If I grant you the “85% want assaulting children to stay legal” number that is exactly why we can’t have a democratic government. I could have sworn I linked to “tyranny of the majority” above and explained it. But just so we’re clear, democracy allows exactly this to happen – a majority decides to take rights away from a minority.

    With a universal franchise you might find the tables turned, and “correcting” elders with violence would be voted in. Which no doubt you would support on the basis that it would be democratic

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    what happened in Rome when classical Roman broke down into vulgar Latin

    Vulgar Latin!? We never got taught that in school, more's the pity!

    The language of ancient Rome was LATIN, and Latin continued to be spoken and to evolve within the Christian church for more than a thousand years after the fall of Rome.

    It's languages spoken by ordinary people, like, er, ENGLISH that are vulgar. "Vulgar" describing what regular folks do.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Lilith __,

    Leigh has reminded me of this:

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I’m interested to know how many people who don’t want the state to ‘spare the rod’, also happen to want the state to control womens’ wombs and what happens in peoples’ bedrooms.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    Vulgar Latin!?

    Yes, Vulgar Latin.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Vulgar Latin!?

    Yes, Vulgar Latin.

    I was attempting to be humourous. Obvs not very successfully. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    Oops, sorry, saw the humour in the "we never got taught that in school", but missed the rest. Another reminder to never post precaffeination.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to WH,

    maybe 85% of people

    Made up nonsense number is made up

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I... think it's, uh, REALLY REALLY PROBLEMATIC, from a human rights perspective, to suggest forcible sterilisation for people who spank their children*. (I just didn't want to let that remark go by without comment, and it seemed to have.)

    *not me. I am not a spanker, or pro-spanking. FWIW.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Danielle,

    I… think it’s, uh, REALLY REALLY PROBLEMATIC, from a human rights perspective, to suggest forcible sterilisation for people who spank their children

    I agree it’s problematic, just as democracy is a problematic system of government. The question I have is “what’s better”. To me the problem is how many of their children does someone get to beat to death before the state says “we shouldn’t let you do that any more”?

    Simply removing each child as soon as it’s born is not necessarily effective. Not only is that traumatic, children can be mistreated before they’re born too, and unfortunately it’s even more problematic to put them in state custody before they’re born. So I think preventing the children is the least awful alternative.

    If you accept that, the question becomes where to draw the line. Which is the problem I stated before.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Danielle,

    I… think it’s, uh, REALLY REALLY PROBLEMATIC, from a human rights perspective, to suggest forcible sterilisation for people who spank their children*. (I just didn’t want to let that remark go by without comment, and it seemed to have.)

    If that was a reply to my post above, I was referring to the inconsistency of those who think the state has no business in taking away the cane/stick/riding crop, while also believing that the state has every business in a woman’s foetus RE abortion rights.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    “what’s better”.

    Benevolent wise dictatorship is the best form of governance. The trick is finding a benevolent one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Moz,

    If you accept that

    That's one hell of an if. I'd hope that in this day and age, only a very small minority of people would think compulsory sterilisation is an acceptable solution to anything.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to B Jones,

    Given the apparent majority who think preventive detention is an acceptable solution, I suspect the numbers who object to sterlisation would be smaller than you think.

    Apparently I'm way out on the fringe thinking that permanently imprisoning someone because we think they might commit crimes if released is an awful thing to do. If it is that or sterilisation, should we allow people to choose?

    Like euthanasia, this is another issue where the way we treat animals is better than the way we treat people. Similar situation, in fact. After you're found to have tortured a few animals to death you're often banned from ever having care of an animal again. But with kids we just say "next time you do that we will punish you again", or "to stop you doing that we're going to put you in jail until you die". One of which is evidently not a deterrent, the other is IMO worse than sterilisation. I realise you disagree, and I think it's enough of a grey area that both sides are reasonable.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    The trick is finding a benevolent one.

    Chiang Ching-kuo, educated in Stalin's Soviet Union, inherited the Republic of China, then long since reduced to Taiwan and its outlying islands, though still officially waiting for the chance to retake the Mainland from those commie bandits, from his father Chiang Kai-shek and ended martial law and set Taiwan on the path of liberalisation that led to eventual democratisation. King Juan Carlos did a similar thing on inheriting Spain from Franco. Then there's everybody else who inherited an authoritarian state or dictatorship...

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Moz,

    “next time you do that we will punish you again”, or “to stop you doing that we’re going to put you in jail until you die”. One of which is evidently not a deterrent, the other is IMO worse than sterilisation.

    But with jail, including preventive detention, there is the possibility of education and healing, reforming people. If even preventive detention includes the possibility of an eventual gradual, carefully supervised and supported re-entry into the community, then former child abusers have the possibility of eventually raising kids and doing it well. Provided, of course, they do actually reform. Sterilisation simply takes away any chance of ever having kids again, so it society's going to do that to them, why should they bother sorting themselves out? And so long as they're on the outside, they can still get access to kids and abuse them. After all, society obviously considers them less than fully human, so why should they do the rest of us the courtesy of trying to properly integrate into civilised society?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones, in reply to Moz,

    I think it’s enough of a grey area that both sides are reasonable.

    So why is forced sterilisation considered a gross abuse of someone's human rights, then? The sort of thing governments around the world apologize for? Taking away a repeat abuser's kids at birth is most comparable to being banned from ever owning pets, and that happens. Giving someone an operation without their consent and permanently removing one of their bodily functions is like chopping off people's hands for theft.

    I'm assuming you're referring to female sterilisation, since that's mostly what people mean in this discussion. Perhaps it would be easier to imagine why people would have a problem with that if there had been a century of appalling history of the state and/or medical profession tinkering with men's bits without the owner's consent.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Sterilisation simply takes away any chance of ever having kids again, so it society’s going to do that to them, why should they bother sorting themselves out?

    My guess is that faced with the choice between sterilisation and indefinite imprisonment some people will choose the former. I would like to see the experiment performed.

    I’m also not at all sure how preventive detention allows the possibility of reform in a way that sterilisation doesn’t. Even for a model prisoner who starts early and commits the absolute minimum offenses, I expect you’d be looking at have baby at 16, kill it, prosecution and sentence, serve 5 years, get out at 22, baby at 23, repeat, serve 5 years (let’s assume the parole board is convinced by a conversion to devout Christianity or something), released at 29, baby at 30, kill it, so at best that decision as to first release from PD will happen at about age 40. By which time most women have a 50/50 chance of another baby. And for men the odds are better and the timeframe a little shorter, so this might all happen by 35. And I suppose if baby kill 2 was egregiously awful you might get PD at that point. Is offering sterilisation and release so much more awful?

    I realise I’m shifting the goalposts a bit, since I’m trying to take your “every criminal life has infinite value” approach, while mine is more “gosh, there’s an awful lot of people and we’re very blase about killing them off”. We sentence about 100 people to agonising death every year purely for the convenience of the survivors, for example. Except we call it “the right to drive” or somesuch nonsense. Compared to that even sterilising every single child abuser seems pretty mild – at least those people have done something wrong.

    I am bemused that you consider indefinite imprisonment less an abuse of human rights than sterilisation, despite both being severe violations according to bodies like the UN.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Another reminder to never post precaffeination.

    You're quite right, of course! Just I take issue with the whole "corruption of language" thing. Looked at another way, Latin outside of the church evolved and blossomed into the Romance languages. And (indirectly) gave us the richness and depth of vocabulary that English now has.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3894 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Lilith __,

    And (indirectly) gave us the richness and depth of vocabulary that English now has.

    And Latin was widely spoken in England before English existed.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    And Latin was widely spoken in England before English existed.

    Widely spoken in Britain before England existed?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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