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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

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April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2007 / 3 Shevat, 5767

There ought not to be a law on spanking

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Democratic California Assemblywoman Sally Lieber has announced that she will introduce a bill this week to make it a crime to spank children who are 3 years old or younger, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. If this zany idea were to become law, California could be the place where the nanny state meets the authoritarian state.

It is more than ironic that a politician who wants to make it illegal for parents to apply their flat hands to their babies' bare bottoms is more than happy to allow the heavy hand of the law to yank parents from their homes and place them behind bars for disciplining their own children in the way that they see fit and does not injure a child.

"I think we ought to have a law against beating children," Lieber told The San Francisco Chronicle last week.

That's the problem. California does have laws against beating children. But in this politically correct atmosphere, do-gooders believe it is their right to pass laws that expand definitions beyond reason so that a spanking is a beating — when it isn't.

In effect, this is what Lieber really is saying in proposing such a law: I know how to raise your kids, and I am going to make it illegal for other parents to discipline their children in a way I do not like. If you don't do it my way, you can go to jail.

That's not how Lieber sees it, of course. She told me, "I haven't heard any convincing arguments as to why anyone would want to swat a 6-month-old or 1-year-old." As Lieber sees it, spanking is "not effective," as children under 3 "don't understand it." And: Spanking trains children "in violence and domination, even when it's moderate."

While Lieber may believe that she is trying to protect children, it's hard to see how a big fine or putting mom or dad in jail for a spanking could be even remotely in a toddler's interest.

Let me be clear. I am not defending spanking. Like Lieber, I don't think spanking is effective and there are better ways to discipline children.

I just happen to believe that California cops have their hands full dealing with adults who beat, torture or otherwise abuse children. Take the case of Oakland's Chazarus Hill Sr., 27, who beat his 3-year-old son Chazarus "Cha Cha" Hill Jr. to death in 2003 after the poor boy wet his bed and made mistakes recognizing flash cards.

Cha Cha had been beaten repeatedly before his father killed him — and I want police to concentrate on finding and going after adults like Hill. California law rightly gives law enforcement the tools to prosecute such parents — and it is on such cases, of bodily injury, that the law should and must focus.

Indeed, state law mandates that teachers, health-care professionals and cops report suspected child abuse to the proper authorities.

Lieber mentioned the Hill case over the phone — which is wrong-headed because Hill was beating his son with deadly weapons, switches and belts, for weeks before he killed him.

Joseph D. McNamara, a retired police chief of San Jose, Calif., and now a research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, told me that if he were a beat cop, he would be "horrified" at the prospect of enforcing a spanking ban.

Such a law would put police in "everyone's living rooms," where they would have to regulate parenting.

Or as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger so aptly put it when first told about the proposed law, "How do you enforce that?"

McNamara told me he never spanked his children, but he could conceive of instances in which good parents might choose to do so. Say a parent repeatedly tells a young child not to run into the street, or not to talk to strangers, or to stop hurting a younger sibling — and words alone have not worked.

In such cases, parents — not a Sacramento lawmaker — know what best to do. And while Lieber told me she wants to draw a line that makes physical discipline a "black and white" issue, California parents have been dealing with shades of gray since before Lieber was in diapers. Parents are not stupid, they know the difference between beating and spanking, and they do not need her to draw the line for them.

What's next — McNamara wondered — a law against grabbing your kid by the arm? Pass such laws, he added, and you'll see a state in which "parents are afraid to discipline the child." As if that would be good for California families.

Lieber's response is that wife-beating once was off-limits to law enforcement, but in this enlightened age, the law does come between a man's fist and his wife's face. Again, she fails to distinguish between beating and spanking.

Just as some people choose not to distinguish between physical and verbal abuse.

Lieber explained: "Things have changed. Now we tell parents what to do and what not to do." The state makes adults use car seats for children, and there are laws to keep them away from lead-based paint.

Except spanking doesn't cause physical harm, as car accidents and lead paint can. And if spanking does injure children, it is illegal. This is more about philosophy than safety — and California lawmakers don't have a right to mandate how parents think about raising their own kids. Those who want the government to stay out of the bedroom should not want it in the nursery or at the kitchen table, either.

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© 2007, Creators Syndicate