Patterico's Pontifications


California Legislator Seeks to Criminalize Spanking

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:10 pm

A California legislator wants to make it a criminal offense for parents to spank their own children, if the children are younger than four years old.

No, she doesn’t have any children of her own.

Yes, she’s a Democrat.

P.S. For the record, I don’t spank my children, as a general rule. But I have once or twice — when the child was three, and nothing else seemed to work.

Should that make me a criminal??

Interviews with Teflon Don and Badger6

Filed under: General,War — Patterico @ 6:18 pm

Don’t miss Bill Roggio’s interview with Teflon Don of the excellent Acute Politics blog. Teflon Don’s real name is PFC Gordon Alanko, and he is “an engineer serving in the Fallujah region with Alpha Company, Task Force 321 Engineers (Task Force Pathfinder).” Quotable:

I would say that the biggest challenge I see is balancing operational concerns against humanitarian concerns. When we go looking for IEDs, we have a twofold mission: secure the route for coalition forces, and limit damage to Iraqi civilians and civilian infrastructure. If something goes wrong while we’re trying to neutralize an IED, it can damage our equipment, but it can also injure the ever-present gawkers, or damage roads, power lines, or canals. If we’re pushing hard to clear a route for an operation, we may have to make a decision on where we destroy the explosives to take as little time as possible, and yet avoid damaging infrastructure. I’ve posted a story on my blog, A Village Named Karma, which illustrates the type of things that can happen.

I linked that post when it came out, and it’s definitely worth a look if you haven’t already read it. As I noted here, it makes interesting reading in conjunction with Bill Ardolino’s post about hunting IEDs.

Also, I just realized that I never linked Roggio’s interview with Badger6 of the indispensable Badgers Forward blog. Capt. Coulson is “the commanding officer of Alpha Company, Task Force 321 Engineers (Task Force Pathfinder).” It is a great interview. Quotable:

On October 12, 1984 the PIRA [Provisional Irish Republican Army] set off two bombs in the Grand Hotel, in Brighton, England. Prime Minister Margret Thatcher was there along with her entire cabinet. None of them were killed although several high ranking Conservative MP’s were killed. When the PIRA claimed responsibility their statement said ‘Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.’ Such is the way with IED’s, I can take 5 IED’s off the street in one night, but if one IED in another part of the country hits the right vehicle the effectiveness can be rated as high, no one hears about the ones that did not go off. Since we are so cagey about what we have done to fight this battle one big IED hit can look bigger than it really is in the military picture. This war though is about Information Operations as much as anything.

Both Capt. Coulson and PFC Alanko are good friends of this blog, and I urge you to read both interviews if you haven’t already.

Steve Lopez: Where Did All the Gang Members Go?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 5:48 pm

Steve Lopez went looking for some gang members but couldn’t find any:

I went off on my own after a while, trying to find gang members. Call me naive, but I wanted to see what they had to say about race relations, what sucked them into gang life, what might get them out and why they thought it was OK to cordon off sections of the city for their exclusive use.

I had no luck in the end . . .

This isn’t where I all you naive, Steve. This is where I make fun of you.

First of all, it’s tough finding gang members in Los Angeles, to be sure. L.A. has only 39,000 or so, and they’re tough to spot.

Second, I’m sure that gang members would love to have a nice little polite chat with Steve Lopez — if only he could find one.

I’ve never met Lopez and have no idea what he sounds like, but it amuses me to picture him talking to the gang members in a voice resembling that of Professor Frink from the Simpsons:

Excuse me, Mr. Gang Member, sir. Mhey. I’m Mr. Steve Lopez, don’t you know. Could you, uh, please explain to me why you believe it’s OK to, ahhh, cordon off sections of the city for your exclusive use, mhey? [Slight pause.] Why, yes, I see. Well, that is a good reason, why, you could even call it a .38 caliber reason. Please do carry on, then, Mr. Gang Member, sir.

Lopez says the solution to the gang problem is more jobs:

“If you don’t have a job for them, it’s over,” [Connie] Rice said about what happens if you’re lucky enough to talk a kid out of a gang. “[Father] Greg Boyle is right. The only factor that has ever substantially reduced crime by gangs is jobs.”

She had a thought too on how to create them.

“You need a Manhattan Project to create violence-reduction jobs like the public works jobs from World War II,” she said, telling me Los Angeles has arrested 450,000 minors in the last 10 years and sent many of them off to prisons at tremendous public expense. “You create jobs because it’s a whole lot cheaper than what we’re doing now.”

And then all you have to do is get them to the jobs every day, on time, and make sure they do some work while they’re there.

Why, nothing could be easier, mhey.

This is where I call you naive, Steve.

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