This is why I think Democrats from the south do better. When they play the Bubba card, it works. They know how to play to the base and Bubbas at the same time without seeming fake. Gore and Kerry were never able to pull this off.
I'd be interested in what that would look like as well. I would think that non-partisan redistricting in general would be a good thing... you know, as long as the rules for drawing the borders didn't come straight out of Karl Rove's "How to Gerrymander for the GOP" handbook.
Well, actually, we don't have any kids yet, but if you have as many teachers in your family as I do, you definitely hear about dealing with them. Honestly, once they start talking about teaching practices, they're worse than my brother and I are about politics.
Anyways, I wish my wife blogged so she could give the real skinny, but she was able to convince me that there was a way to enforce as strict a discipline as you like without violence, so my "last resort" became pretty unnecessary. Unfortunately, as a computer programmer with no kids, I'm hardly qualified to give out advice on parenting, but I do know that my wife really liked this book.
While I agree with you that teachers need more options when dealing with problem children, there are other punishment options that work without having to resort to corporal punishment. Until recently, I agreed with you about spanking (at least at home), but my wife convinced me otherwise. Her argument was basically, how can you legitimately convince your kids that violence is not an appropriate response to dealing with a situation when you use that as a final resort yourself. In addition, she said that there were other, worse punishments for a child. Do you know how long a 15 minute timeout is for a five year old? It's an eternity.
BTW - I didn't believe her, either until I saw her with her kindergarten class. She has those kids toe the line. Most of the time when they start misbehaving, she just has to raise her eyebrow and they snap to. It's pretty amazing, actually. In the end, the argument, for me boiled down to, "Do I really want to spank my children if there are equally good (or better) ways of maintaining discipline?"
BTW craverguy, when people talk about liberal elitism, this is what they're talking about. You can't just say to someone that something that they do, their parents did and was universally acceptable in society up until 10-15 years ago is now a crime without a bit more... hmmm.. how should I say this... tact? I'm not saying I agree with annatopia, but come on now...
It's worth watching once if for no other reason to see how terrible people's parenting skills are. My skills with kids aren't that good and my wife and my mother in law constantly give me pointers, but man those people on those shows need some help.
Well, one of my favorite programs that Dean implemented in Vermont was the home visits for parents who need help. Giving parents some help in basic child rearing skills would be enormously helpful. That's one way to get at the problem.
Ah... now that I re-read that comment, it's a little less frightening than I first thought. Spanking your own children is one thing, but teachers are quite another.
I would note the teachers that I know (my wife, my mother and my sister in law) would probably agree with the lack of discipline at home, they would vehemently disagree with your assessment that a lack of spanking is the problem. My guess is that they would say that a lack of parenting skills is much more of a problem. Have you ever watched any of those "Nanny" shows? Every single one that I've seen basically shows the kids playing their parents like fools and then has the Nanny come in and give them some basic tips on how not to be such tools. To my mind, yeah, spanking might give work temporarily, but it's a short term solution that illustrates a parent's failures of discipline rather than a method of discipline.