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Bubbles and other round things - Tactical Ninja

May. 3rd, 2007

10:13 am - Bubbles and other round things

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Yesterday, I got a package of surgical gloves in the mail. I have the best friends! ;-)

Also yesterday, my Mum gave me a bubble machine. I have the best Mum too!




I found this yesterday while looking for something else. It took me back to the warm, sunny, not-like-today days of when we had actual summer. Also to Kiwiburn. Which was when the thing I'd been saying Bring It On to, actually coheezed *winks at jodi* into something Big. You know those things that happen, and you know things are never going to be quite the same again? Yeah, that.

It's great.

In other news, my dream? The one I thought I'd lost? It's back. Another iteration, a few changes here and there, but definitely back. YAY! *skips*

And now for the obligatory commentary on the anti-smacking bill.

I am struggling to decide how I feel about the legislation. On one hand, I find it hard to swallow the idea that there is an 'acceptable level of violence against your children' - let alone define what level that is. On the other, I am getting annoyed with the government reducing the level of personal responsibility in NZ citizens. At what point do we stop thinking (and more importantly, making ethical judgements) for ourselves, and start just doing as we're told?

I got smacked as a kid. Yes, my parents (usually Mum, as the one that was around most and therefore the disciplinarian) were violent towards me as punishment for what they considered to be unacceptable behaviour. The thing about this violence was that it was never inflicted in the heat of the moment. Heat-of-the-moment stuff was done by voice (and my Mum has a screech that could stop a train when she chooses to use it). Hitting was done thus:

"You've done something so bad that I feel I have to punish you. You're going to get the jam spoon. Now sit there and wait while I go get it."

In other words, in cold blood, and with time for us to anticipate before it happened. The pain of being smacked once or twice with the jam spoon was nothing compared to the anticipation of the pain. And that is why it was punishment. Psych one to Mum.

Another thing. I helped a friend with her Psychology degree. One of the things she learned as part of this was two important things about children:

1) Kids generally don't get to the level of cognition where they 'get' delayed gratification (and thus, ongoing consequence) till they are about four or five.

2) By the time a kid is four or five, a lot of 'imprint' type learning has gone on, and their personality is starting to develop, along with habitual response.

As a mother who has observed small children playing - kids are violent. They get angry and hit out - not because they learned it from their parents but because it's instinct when angry or threatened.

This says to me that trying to reason with a kid that's under five is probably confusing for them and pointless for the adult, and that kids will hit/hurt each other, and if we don't stop them from doing it, by the time they are four or five it'll be a habit that becomes very hard to break.

I don't have any answers as to how to get around this without smacking. I have never smacked Tommy. But Tommy is an easy, biddable, even tempered kid who always responded to other techniques (I can screech too), well before it escalated to smacking territory. Every kid is different. I've seen other kids totally ignore their parents doing exactly the same things that work really well on Tommy.

So yeah. I understand the need to protect kids from over-violent parents. As a parent myself, I understand the need for some means of disciplining kids, that actually works and isn't just pandering to pc-ness. I am not having any more kids, partly because my first was so easy and I'm afraid that I'd pay for that with the next one. ;-) I think parents should be allowed to take responsibility for how they bring up their kids, and that the government should not be invading people's homes and creating laws that remove the right to judge for oneself. I also think that there are a lot of other contributing factors in our shocking statistics about serious harm parent to child, that won't be addressed by legislation against smacking.

Finally, I don't think Sue Bradford is qualified to judge. She has no children of her own.


So I lied about content. Spank me.

Comments:

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From:bekitty
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)

Bubble machine caveat

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Make sure you get the right kind of bubble juice for your machine. I'm having problems with the UV juice - it's far too thin to make bubbles. So either I'm going to have to get some glycerin or do a half-and-half mix of effective mix and UV-sensitive stuff.
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From:bekitty
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Bubble machine caveat

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Btw, I'm assuming that it's Pearl with you in the photo? :)
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From:tatjna
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Bubble machine caveat

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Yep, that's Pearl. And, thanks for the bubble info. I'll make sure I get that sorted asap. ;-)
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From:xhile
Date:May 2nd, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Bubble machine caveat

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photo of the bubble machine!

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From:tatjna
Date:May 2nd, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC)

Your wish is my command

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Not the gruntiest one in the world, but should do the job nicely. Also, there's not going to be dripping due to the placement fo the tray. It just seems a matter of getting the mixture right.

*squee*

(today i am 12)
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From:bekitty
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)

Re: Your wish is my command

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Oo! If it's the Mish one, it'll work with the UV mix I've got!

*squee!*
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)

Re: Your wish is my command

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Yes, it's the Mish one. ;-)

*double squee*
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From:xhile
Date:May 2nd, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
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I think my experience with Master T is the same as yours. He's always been very easy, and cooperative. I think I smacked him once in his so-far nearly 9 years, and i was stressed at the time. It's probably easy for me to say, as I'm a part time Dad and he may be better behaved for me.

I do think government would do better to spend more time on courses etc to be better parents, as there are a lot of things one can do without resorting to screeching and smacking.

However, i agree - I think there are times (hopefully rare) when a physical shock is the only way. A relatively gentle whack on the bum is much different to repeated beatings to the point of bruising or worse.

Sue doesn't need children, she has ideology on her side. (I am a peacenik, violence is always wrong.)
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From:tatjna
Date:May 2nd, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
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Children are a great leveller.

I know Tommy gets smacked at his other home. Yet, he's still a relatively well-adjusted kid. Hmm..

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From:xhile
Date:May 3rd, 2007 12:14 am (UTC)
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I agree. Having spent some time at WINZ recently, they have parenting type courses (with Pio Terei - choooice!) advertised.

An abiding childhood memory is of the house up front of ours, where the mother would shout at the kids all day long at the top of her lungs. The whole neighbourhood could hear. Of course, once the kids grew old enough, they started shouting back :)

(For those interested in demographics, they were a white middle class family, and she was the secretary for the local National party.)
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 12:23 am (UTC)
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Whereas our neighbours on one side were a foster home with a kid I used to play with who had burn scars all over her from where her Mum would hit her with a hot iron. To my 7-year-old mind she acted just like a normal kid. Can't imagine what the adults saw though..
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From:theheretic
Date:May 3rd, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
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Ah shapely girl ass. Never confused with anything else. Nice. :)
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From:t_c_da
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
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I don't think Sue Bradford is qualified to judge. She has no children of her own.

Exactly! And even if she did, she may well still not be qualified depending on the kid(s) she had.

May I quote one of the right wing fundamentalists out there - Jim Dobson?

"We had this couple at church with 3 'butter wouldn't melt in their mouths' girls, who were always telling other parents that they just didn't have the right skills or methods for bring up children when their little terrors were playing up. Then they had a little boy who was born 'with hobnail boots on' and all of a sudden they went very quiet on the right way to bring up children." (my paraphrase, my memory isn't THAT good!)

If you haven't been kept up all night with a crying baby and then worked an 8 hour day in the office for a week or two on the trot, then you probably don't have much of an idea where some parents can get to on the smacking scale. I haven't actually done it, but there have been times when I would have cheerfully belted their brains out for a bit of peace and quiet. Well maybe not exactly that, but out in that general direction at least.

I'll stop ranting now...
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
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*nod*

I think the money would be better spent creating working support networks for those without built-in ones.
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From:wildilocks
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
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I got smacked occasionally as a kid. I have never seen anything wrong with it, and kids are smart enough these days to know they can call child abuse on parents who do it at all, which leads to totally uncontrollable kids who become the type who vandalise and cause havoc in the streets, because they have zero discipline and no concept of responsibility or right and wrong. I would vote for making capital punishment expressly legal and I'd also bring back the death penalty. Too many damn humans around as it is.

[and the scary thing is, I'm quite serious.]
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
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grist brought that up last night - is this crazy nana state legislation NZ is so fond of, actually teaching our kids to be manipulative, evil shits from an early age?

(i'm sure i didn't learn that stuff till i got to high school and met other teenage girls)
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From:rivet
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:16 am (UTC)

On qualifications

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Before you judge bradford harshly (I have no opinion on bradford, just a question about the metric), who is qualified?

I have 7 nieces and nephews, and many younger cousins who were around during childhood. I babysat younger children from the age of 12. I have worked as a nanny with infants and toddlers. I have worked as a camp counsellor for pre-adolescents, been full-time guardian for a teenager, and an instructor for university students. I have no children of my own. Am I qualified to weigh in on the topic?
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)

Re: On qualifications

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Everyone is qualified to weigh in.

Sue Bradford is in a slightly more powerful position than you or me in terms of actually creating legislation, and she's one of the ones that's shouting the loudest - and by doing so, passing judgement on the parents of the nation.
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From:mundens
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
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Actually, Sue Bradford does have kids of her own.

I agree with what you say, about the need for violence to control violence, and the lack of ability children have to reason at a young age, but I would say that it sounds like you've fallen for the National Party and right-wing Christian propaganda over this bill.

It is not an "anti-smacking bill". There is no law change to add an offence of "smacking". All the bill does is remove the defence of "reasonable force" when a parent is charged with assaulting their children.

This is because many child abusers have successfully used that defence to avoid responsibility for their crimes in the past. In previous cases, abusers have managed to defend such assaults as hitting a child over the back of the head with a 4x2, punching them repeatedly in the stomach, and slapping them hard enough about the face that the bruising turned their entire face purple, under that clause. That's the primary reason why Sue Bradford and many others want that defence removed.

The other is that the current law is discriminatory, removing the defence merely means that children are entitled to the same protection as everyone else, rather than less protection, as is the current case.

Thus if you weren't going to be charged with assault now, you're highly unlikely to be charged with assault after the bill passes, but if you are charged with assault, you won't be able to use that defence. That's really all there is to it.

Finally, seeing as you requested it, when and where would you like to be spanked?
^__~
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
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Coupla things - first, I stand corrected on Ms Bradford. Shows you what happens when you take second hand info without checking for yourself.

Second - I haven't really fallen for any propaganda, unless you take 'what everyone else is calling it to save writing a paragraph trying to explain what you're talking about' falling for propaganda. I'm not sure where the Christians come into it at all.

As I have said, I am struggling to form an opinion either way on this one. I can see that children need to be protected from abusers. I dislike the direction the country is taking in legislating ethical judgement. I am concerned at the way that some women have used fake sexual abuse claims to 'get' people (especially in borderline cases), and it's actually made it more difficult for those with genuine cases to be believed. I fear similar in this case.

Exactly where is the line between discipline and abuse? It varies between people. Removing the reasonable force defence, I think is a knee-jerk reaction that assumes children are mini-adults with the same cognitive skills and reasoning capacity as adults. I would prefer that resonable force were defined, although I wouldn't like the job of doing it.

I would also prefer that some budget money was spent on education of young people and parenting skills training for all expecting parents, rather than the politicians getting another payrise.

And if my kid is about to run under a bus, I'll still rugby tackle him out of the way, even if it does leave a bruise.
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From:san_grail
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
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Ah, ok, I'm not sure how clear my other post was, so I think I can clarify it a little with this one:
"assumes children are mini-adults with the same cognitive skills and reasoning capacity as adults"

The current law also assumes all adults have the 'same cognitive skills and reasoning capacity as' well, 'adults', which is not true.

And, "if my kid is about to run under a bus, I'll still rugby tackle him out of the way, even if it does leave a bruise."
But, I believe that you'd do the same with another adult - wouldn't you?

I also would like reasonable force defined, but there's no reason it should be defined just for children, when there are other exceptions that should be made. Given that, go ahead, strike that clause down, it's unfair and being abused, and if that drives people to come up with a better definition for reasonable force for everyone, then all to the good.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:45 am (UTC)
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And, "if my kid is about to run under a bus, I'll still rugby tackle him
out of the way, even if it does leave a bruise." But, I believe that
you'd do the same with another adult - wouldn't you?


The difference here, I think, is that if I chose not to rugby tackle the adult, I wouldn't get done for negligence.


I tend to agree regarding other adults, in terms of people who are not considered capable of being responsible for themselves.

Certainly the 'all or nothing' approach has not worked so far, and the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking if there has to be a law about this, then specifically defining it might be the only way.

And the anarchist in me is crying into her overtaxed and regulated beer.
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From:ext_33572
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
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Rather than rant here I've posted on my blog here (http://observationz.blogspot.com/2007/05/dont-smack-your-kids-up.html).

I'd hope if *I* was about to run under a bus (I wasn't planning to, BTW) you'd tackle me out of the way. You'd be allowed to - preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:May 3rd, 2007 03:44 am (UTC)

"Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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Going completely on a tangent: People should have the right to choose their death without being labeled a criminal or saved by self-righteous people.

Of course I know that wasn't what you were debating, but it's a fine line when you say that "preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault". 'Cause if preventing them is against their wishes, it really should be assault.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)

Re: "Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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And then we get to that 'of sound mind' thing. Who gets to decide? By what criteria do we decide?

Personally, I think that a person's life is their own. But at the same time, I have had an occasion in my life where convincing someone to see a doctor to ensure that their desire to die wasn't caused by physical (chemical) issues in the brain, before topping themselves, was a catalyst for them becoming healthy, and now that person has a desire to live.

Welcome to life in the grey area. Ain't it pretty?
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:May 3rd, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)

Re: "Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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Yeah, that's true about the whole sound mind thing.

I think there should probably be a process of consulting with a doctor first. Follow up checks to see that the desire is constant and not a fleeting emotional or chemical induced one. A few more miscellaneous things, and then one gets a license to kill (themselves).

Although it is all very grey. I'm not even sure about it. I just don't like that upon suicide someone has automatically committed a crime. But perhaps I should shhhh now, since this is far from the original topic ;)
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)

Re: "Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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I suspect that there may be a blog in one of our future on this subject.

But maybe after a couple about where my missing sock went and why I think Paris Hilton is actually Britney Spears' long lost twin sister...
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:May 3rd, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)

Re: "Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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Ooooh, I look forward to those two topics ;D
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From:ext_33572
Date:May 3rd, 2007 08:08 am (UTC)

Re: "Preventing people of any age from killing themselves isn't assault"

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And I thought Paris Hilton was Peckham Travelodge's sister?
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From:san_grail
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:23 am (UTC)
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Eeeeee!
It's me!

:)

I see both points on the bill - laws that are proposed under the basis they should be 'selectively enforced' are signs of a facist state.
But, with this law, it is just bringing it in line with the laws for adults - having unequal laws is also a sign of a facist state.
If there is ever a case where it is ok to smack an adult or a child, how about an adult who has mental injuries that prevent the notion of delayed gratification? Or the mentality of a child? What about when an adult is about to hurt themselves, is it ok to smack their hand away? In summary, if an exceptions should be made, it should be made for *all* of these, the situation, not the person.

Discussing delayed gratification with children, that points out that smacking after-the-fact in children under 5 is pretty pointless, but that smacking them in the heat of the moment is also not a good idea, which leaves you with say, smacking their hand away if they're about to hurt themselves, or others. Is that ok to use against another adult? I'm sure you can come up with an example where it would be, or, if that doesn't work for you, and you feel you should never do that to another adult, then, think about what actions you would take with another adult who's judgement may be impaired, and/or who needs a really quick warning to not hurt themselves - and why not just use the same with children?

For older children, the threat of punishment and especially delayed punishment has been shown to be a
disincentive to good behaviour, but again, it's not about parenting tactics, but about whether it's ok to make a law for one group, and not for similar groups.

So, la, I'm chiming in with Mundens on this one. It removes a defence people don't have against other adults for assault, and if it's commonly accepted that some forms of... what, limited physical violence? Against other adults or children are in fact justified, in some situations, then those situations should be codified, and if in fact, it's too complex to do that, and we need to ensure that someone judges borderline incidents as to whether they are acceptable, then that's pretty much the current system, and we do our best to ensure the judging is fair, just and unbiased.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:41 am (UTC)
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One of the things that's occurring to me while mulling over this, is that parents are in fact legally responsible for their children, both their wellbeing and their behaviour.

So, making one law to cover both adults and children (essentially making children the same as the adults in the eye of the law) creates a situation where although the adult must take legal responsibility for the wellbeing and behaviour of the child, they don't have the legal right to act (make judgements) on behalf of, or to prevent negative behaviour of, said child - or at least they don't have a defence in the borderline situations where one person says 'discipline' and another says 'abuse.'

Which opens a can of worms in terms of whether - if the parent cannot legally act - should the children have the same rights and responsibilities as adults across the board? Or is it suddenly up to the government to decide where kids should be treated differently and where they should be treated like adults? And do I want to live in a country where I have to be responsible but don't get to decide?

My jury is still debating madly on this whole issue. I think parents, if legally required to be responsible for their kids, should have the legal right to make decisions on what is good for their kids. I think that creating more laws is unlikely to solve the root of the problem, which is less an issue that 'violence against children is acceptable' and more one of 'why the hell can't some people control their emotions and what should we do about it?'

There is a reason I'm not a politician. Because I'm an idealist. I'm thinking this bill is saying "Bye bye horse, shutting the stable door now" - but I don't have any answers as to how to keep the horse in in the first place.

And I believe that violence against children is wrong, and also that I don't want any government deciding for me on matters of ethics.
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From:bekitty
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
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Smacking a hand away for safety reasons is not assault. If it's done simply to stop an unsafe parctice, for example reaching for a hot kettle, then it is covered (and NOT outlawed) in Bradford's amendment.
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From:bekitty
Date:May 3rd, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
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buzzandhum wrote a good post about the bill a little while ago. You can read it here.
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
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That is indeed, a very good post.

I like the way he (?) manages to separate the 'circumstances' amendment from the 'reasonable force' amendment.

I'm thinking definition of both would go a long way to sorting out this issue, but it still comes down to whether force as correction is considered legal - and to me that still spells government dictating ethics. He's right, it's a debate that needs to be had, and there is no sitting on the fence. Either people think it's ok, or they don't. And frankly, I doubt there'll ever be consensus on that one.

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From:ferrouswheel
Date:May 3rd, 2007 03:54 am (UTC)
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As people have mentioned that the bill removes the defence of "reasonable force" when a parent is charged with assaulting their children.

The question should really be, how the fuck are people arguing that they are just using reasonable force? What weird jury or judge is able to be convinced by the lawyer that it is reasonable when the child has either died or suffered obvious marking?

Perhaps the answer isn't in changing the law, but in sending all the lawyers to the moon?
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From:tatjna
Date:May 3rd, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
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The post in buzzandhum's blog (linked by bekitty - thanks) is very good in terms of clarifying the issues with the actual wording of the amendments that have been suggested. It turns out I wasn't that far wrong in my assessment of the situation - the core issue is whether force for correction should be outlawed, and what constitutes reasonable. One amendment says no, force is never ok for correction, but does allow for 'day to day parenting'. The other allows for correction and attempts to clarify reasonable force.

However, I think you have a very good point there. Some of the things mundens mentions in his comment - how the hell could they ever be viewed as 'reasonable force'???

I am wondering, and will probably research when I get home, how these things are judged - in open court by jury or in closed court by a judge. Because the idea that a whole jury of people could be convinced that reasonable force includes those kinds of actions scares the hell out of me.
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From:ext_33572
Date:May 3rd, 2007 11:39 pm (UTC)
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It's a question of fact, so if the accused opts for jury trial it would be a jury, otherwise a judge.

Names will be suppressed to protect the identity of minors, so it isn't fully open - but not closed like Family Court.

I think with the old law people were inclined to try and tough it out in front of a jury. Hopefully more cases in the future will be handled like this one (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10437753) where the parent accepts they have a problem, pleads guilty and gets help.
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From:morbid_curious
Date:May 3rd, 2007 01:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm too debate-fatigued to talk about the Bradford thing, so I shall merely say that your bottom is quite delightful, and call it a night.
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