Why It’s NEVER Okay To Hit Children

The  US National Football League (NFL) is a brutal organization.  Football players make obscene amounts of money beating up on opponent football players in front of massive live audiences and millions of of television watchers who love the mayhem.

In the USA, football, boxing and to lesser extent hockey represent the acceptability of violence in the greater US society.

It is therefore no great surprise that participants in these sports often come from violent backgrounds.  Their personal experience with being on the receiving end of violence, especially as defenseless children, shows up like a lighthouse in a fog.

NFL Minnesota Vikings (football team) running back Adrian Peterson had made that fact come to the forefront this week.  He is charged with felony abuse of his child after a discipline incident.  Following the “discipline incident” his son’s leg was covered with visible injuries, including broken skin, that could have come from a switch (thin tree branch).

Fellow NFL Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush came out in support of Peterson by stating publicly that, as a child, he had been beaten with straps and he thought that was “normal”.  He went on to say that he has a one-year-old daughter that he won’t hesitate to beat the same way depending upon her offense (like being a one-year-old??) and he will “try not to leave bruises”…

WTF….

in the USA and every other advanced western industrialized nation on Earth, it is a crime to hit (assault) an adult.  One can actually be sentenced to prison time for such an offense.  it is NOT permitted to hit a spouse or other adult, except in a provable act of self-defense/survival.

So why is it legal to hit (assault) a small, defenseless  child?

Actually, in 33 nations on Earth, it is not.  if you assault (hit, spank, slap, etc.) a child in any of those countries, you can be arrested and convicted of assault and serve jail time.

The USA is NOT among those 33 advanced nations.  And many US citizens would oppose such a law in the USA.  Why is that?

First off, most American parents today were hit, spanked, slapped, and/or otherwise beaten by their own parents.  They know nothing else and have never given any thought to this barbaric and brutal practice of physically assaulting a defenseless and fearful child who weighs less than half of what their parent might weigh.

Non-premeditated violence in any form usually occurs as a result of spontaneous anger on the part of one person, caused by the unanticipated action of another person.  In the case of violence against a child, this means that a parent or guardian has lost his or her temper as a result of something the child did.  However, If the child had been an adult, in all probability the offended person would have found a different (and most likely, verbal) way to deal with the issue.

So why don’t parents deal the same way with children?  The reason is as clear as they are timeless:  People do what they learned.

Adults who commits acts of violence (including spanking, hitting, slapping, etc.) against a child were once children themselves.  They were also subjected to physical punishment by their own parents or guardians.  30-50 years ago no one thought too much about spanking or hitting children.  Today, in some states it is considered child abuse, especially if marks or bruises are evident.

However, what most people do not consider even for a moment is the fact that until a child enters the public school system, parents are their primary teachers, so when parents hit their kids, they are teaching these kids that sometimes violence is an acceptable human behavior.  In other words, sometimes it’s okay to offensively hit another person especially one who is smaller and weaker than you.

Kids then grow into adults, and what they carry this learned behavior into their adulthood.  They often grow up believing that offensive violence is okay if the the ends justify the means, and that equation is different for everyone.  It is thus no wonder that so many adults are potentially violent and/or are subjected to violence.

Humans are not born with this offensive violence concept written on their brains.  They learn this behavior early on from their parents.  Instead of utilizing creative, non-violent, non-abusive means of discipline and positive reinforcement with their children, parents perpetrate what was done to them as children…the truest form of self-propagating ignorance.

Thus, it should be no surprise that in the USA, with its roots in the deeply religious past, is one for the few “advanced” (maybe not so much…) western industrialized nations on Earth that outlaws offensive violence against anyone and everyone…except defenseless children.  The USA is also the only “advanced” (maybe even less) western industrialized nation that doesn’t yet have universal health care for all.

What’s wrong with this picture??

 

 

 

Not a Good Time To Be US President

It’s a reasonable concept that no other US president has had a harder time of it than Barack Obama, except possibly the one president who made Obama’s presidency possible, Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was sworn in as US president 4 March 1861, and five short weeks later, the US Civil War began.  It lasted until the the Confederacy surrendered to Union forces on 9 April 1865.  Lincoln was assassinated only three short days later. It is therefore fair to postulate that his entire presidency was spent trying to guarantee the survival of the United States of America against a brutal insurgency known as the Confederate States of America.  

Lincoln had to contend with incompetent generals, formulating military strategy, economic challenges, civil opposition to a military draft that included riots, keeping outlying territories from becoming slave-tolerant, a hostile congress that did not want to address the slavery issue, and the deaths of several of his children which triggered clinical depression in Lincoln while he was trying to deal with all these other issues.

Fast-forwards 150 years:   The world has become largely global, and the USA leads the world nations in much technology as well as in military capability.  It also has the dubious distinction of getting involved in more military operations and adventures since World War 2 than any other western industrialized country.

it started with the Korean War of the early 1950’s, then the Vietnam War from 1962 through 1973, then Grenada and Panama, then the Kosovo operations in the 90’s, and then the Afghanistan invasion in late 2001, which we never completed because of the idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003.

When Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, took office in 2009, he promised to get the US out of Iraq by 2011.  He did that.  Still, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 had two very negative consequences:

The first was that the USA “took its eye off the ball”, as it were, in Afghanistan.  Troops were transferred from Afghanistan to Iraq to support that effort.  That gave the Taliban and Al Qaeda a chance to regroup and re-entrench in Afghanistan, and US armed forces are STILL fighting there in 2014 because of the idiot Bush Administration decision to invade Iraq.

The second negative consequence is that the US removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and banned members of Saddam’s Baath party from participating in either the new Iraqi government or in its military forces.  This action had numerous negative impacts, such as allowing an insurgency to grow in Iraq, allowing Al Qaeda to become entrenched in Iraq, and allowing Iran’s influence to grow in Iraq.  It also allowed ethnic divisions between Iraqi Shia, Sunni and Kurds to grow and further alienate these groups.  Finally, it allowed the incompetent iraqi prime minister to make those ethnic divisions even worse, which utterly destroyed the competence of the Iraqi armed forces.

All this made Iraq fertile territory for the Islamic State, a.k.a. ISIS/ISIL, for come in and take over large portions of western and northern Iraq. They grew in Syrian as one of several anti-regime groups, but this group is more fanatical from most.  They brutalize anyone not like them.  They rape, murder, kidnap, enslave, and generally terrorize  large portions of Iraq and Syria.  As they accumulate more territory and resources, they get bolder.

So president Obama  has a dilemma regarding how to deal with the Islamic State…without putting US forces directly into a ground combat situation.  To date he has ordered very effective tactical air strikes against ISIS/ISIL.  And while all his critics say he should be doing something more, no one has a specific idea of what that is….

Meanwhile, back on the Euro-Asian continent, Russian president Vladimir Putin has decided that eastern Ukraine really should be a part of Russia.  As a result, Obama has so far invoked strong sanctions against Russia and had helped to bring Western Europe along for the ride.

But Putin is undeterred.  And while Europe is so much closer to Ukraine and Russia than the USA, Obama’s critics say he should be doing something more, but no one has a specific idea of what that is.  Yet, everyone agrees we should avoid a nuclear weapon exchange with Russia and also keep American troops off the ground.

Finally, Obama faces a GOP that since day one of his presidency has done everything it can to obstruct him, hurt him, embarrass him, oppose him, and generally try to make his administration look as bad a possible.

Ultimately, history is going to judge Obama on the legacy of his presidency, as it has done with every president since George Washington.

Being US president at this time would challenge a saint, as they say.  So next time you want to criticize Barack Obama, ask yourself two questions:

“Do I want to be where he is?”…and… “Could I do better without causing more damage?”