Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dear Parents

Oh, fer Gawd's sake! Put away your paddles and belts and spoons and hairbrushes and... whips and ....

Quit sending out those emails and making those Facebook posts about the wonders of spanking children and how much you just loved being spanked. What are you? A masochist? 

These messages make me bleed from the eyes and wherever! 

I am opposed to any form of physical discipline. I doubt that there is any evidence that there is a positive correlation between corporeal punishment and success in later life or any other positive outcome. I would have to actually read the research to believe it.

I have worked with hundr
eds of people who were physically punished as children. Children vary in temperament and sensitivity. Just like other humans... older humans... 

Some children are terrified. Some are humiliated. Some experience a spanking on the buttocks as a sexual act - even if all they can express at the time is terror.

I have been spanked and seen numerous instances of physical punishment. Never, ever, not even once was the one dishing out the punishment in a calm state of mind with the purpose of teaching a lesson. Therefore...

2. Physical punishment teaches children that it is OK to act out on anger - as opposed to finding other ways of coping with conflict and anger.

3. Spanking is less effective than many other means of punishment.

EX: When my daughter was a toddler, she suddenly learned to turn the disposal on and off - over, and over, and over. She was so precocious!

I asked her to stop. I "scolded" her. I gave her a time out. She returned each time to flipping the switch. I then stood very close to her, crossed by arms, and turned my back. She burst into tears and never flipped that switch again.

There are countless other vastly superior methods of discipline - but, they sometimes require thought on the part of the parent.  Stopping and thinking and acting creatively. What a bummer!

Methods that I and friends have used: 

Have child
a. Write essays! 

b. Sit on the stairs and recite the multiplication table - or the alphabet or addition/subtraction facts or poetry! Yes. Poetry!

c. Replace what they loose, abuse, misuse, etc from their own allowance - using reason in terms of amounts, of course.
Don't be a Scrooge, fer the love of childhood!

d. Read aloud!

e. Run around the house - get some fresh air!

f. Clean the house, dust, do dishes, etc. I know that you are not teaching your brats this because... I know your kids!

g. Write apology letters.

h. Call elderly relatives! Accomplishes a good deed and ... well... children do not want to call elderly relatives.

Parents - take a time out! It's too good for kids. You are the one who needs it!

The single most effective tool I have ever, ever seen or used to eliminate undesirable behavior (nagging, whining, begging, bad language, etc.) is the Reverse Reward!

A. Describe exactly the behavior that you want to stop. (Don't say, "Cut it out" or "Stop that.")

Say, "Do not ask to go the movie again tonight."

B. Then... put a treat on the table (for a very young child) or a jar of treats (for older children). The "treat" has to be something desirable to the child: candy, stickers, coins - or even a mix.

Tell a very young child:

"You will lose that treat if you (beg, whine, ask, shout, etc) in the next minute."

Tell an older child:

"Here is a jar of treats. (Or, money, or stickers, or ...). You will lose one treat every time you beg/whine/shout. Let's try it. You shout out right now!"

After the child has begged, whined, etc. then YOU remove the treat.

Every time the child does the naughty deed, remove another treat, coin, etc

At the end of the time period (as long as a week for teens, a minute for a toddler, an hour or day for children in the mid-range) the child gets what's left.

Now, spanking is certainly easier, isn't it?

I have a very scary theory.  Spanking feels really delicious to parents, doesn't it? I hope not. But...

I love you just as much as you love getting a spanking!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Dear Haters

Do we really "need somebody to love?" Or, are we really looking for somebody to hate?

And, isn't it really fear and sadness that are right under the hate?

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself" because fear makes us do bat-$h!t crazy things!

Do we really want to make America great again by going backwards in time? Let's go forward! With love. With love! Love our neighbors as ourselves. We have to - if we really are a Christian country, right?

Puritans and Separatists came and killed off the Native population and persecuted Baptists! It was all about $$$$ - the Mayflower was a stock company. 

We then found a way to get free labor! Slavery.

We ended slavery but instituted discrimination laws (even north of the Mason-Dixon) to keep more of the jobs and $$$$

Fear keeps people in line, so we had lynchings -- after church on the courthouse lawn with spectators and mementos: body parts.

Then everyone hated the Irish: "Irish need not apply." What?!? Now, we love them and everyone brags about being Irish!

And, we definitely hated those Jews. We turned away a ship load of Holocaust refugees and sent them back - to the camps. Those rats couldn't attend college or join the country club and they still became successful! Now, we love all things, "Judeo-Christian." But, I ask, where were the Christians when the Judeo part of that formula couldn't join the country club?

We had a spell of hating Catholics and it was a big deal when we elected a Catholic president!

Everyone already here in the USA then joined up and hated Italians.

Now, it is Muslims, Latinos, Syrians....

When are we going to learn! No one is taking anything away from us - unless you want to pick strawberries for less than minimum wage and live in an un-insulated shack and...

Love thy sisters and brothers as thyself, I say - or, don't call yourself a Christian.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dear Democracy Lovers

Well, where are you? Where have you been? Are we asleep at the wheel of democracy?

Did the "Wisconsin Uprising" of 2011 accomplished anything at all?

What did these massive protests accomplish?

Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans were hardly ruffled at all.

Would we have been better served if we had donated the gas money we spent to an legal activist organization?

Wisconsin is in the hands of one political party. The USA is in the hands of one political party.

Among the states, there are 31 Republicans, 18 Democrats, and 1 Independent that hold the office of governor.

There are 25 Republican "trifectas" - 25 states where Republicans hold the House, the Senate, and the Governor's office - including Wisconsin.

There are only about 5 Democratic Party trifectas.

Oh, yes, the Federal gov is now under the control of one party.

Wisconsin is so gerrymandered that it is not possible to win more seats in the senate or the assembly.

Republicans very successfully bounce people off the voter rolls in every election with impunity and continue to do their best to make voting as difficult as possible.

We have grave concerns about the integrity of our voting machines - but, is anything ever done about that?

The amount of information available about each of us to the government and to private businesses and industries is massive.

The amount of money consolidated in few hands... the numbers of media outlets owned by a very few companies, the amount of data and money that social media companies have is unbelievably massive.

Republicans own major media sites that function as propaganda sites.

Yet, I am sure that we are going to be hearing from Republicans how persecuted they are; how persecuted Christians are; how Democrats have accomplished nothing and are to blame for everything...

What do we do that is effective?

General strikes?

Protests at lawmakers' homes?

Tax protests?

What do we do?

And, how do we listen to those who voted for Trump and who feel disenfranchised, unheard, unacknowledged?

The so-called "liberal media" is largely just "corporate media" which translates to "Republican media" as soon as there is a conflict of interest.

What to do? 


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dear Evangelical Voters

Well, my friends, you have done it! You have elected a non-Christian, lying, cheating, rude, completely inexperienced, business failure to lead you to a true Evangelical promised land.

Will this man give you the Evangelical Theocracy that you desire and believe that all Americans of every religion deserve? Who knows?

A huge chunk of the American electorate evidently want a state religion: They want theocracy. Evangelical Christianit!y Theocracy, dummy! Not a Muslim theocracy!

Will DT give you teacher-led prayer in public school?

We can assume that the demand for “prayer in public school” doesn’t refer to Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or Catholic prayer but to Evangelical Christian teacher-led prayer in public schools.

You want “In God We Trust” and the “Ten Commandments” posted on public buildings that are paid for by every tax-payer of every religion and no-religion? I am waiting and watching for DT to post those on His buildings.

Of course, that really means, “In Evangelical Christian God We Trust” and you certainly do not want the rest of the Hebrew commandments posted.

Will DT restore to you a world where heterosexuals rule? I haven't heard of him groping men, so... I am guessing "YES!"

No constitutional/civil rights for the LGBTQ population: no marriage, no military service, none of the tax benefits that go to heterosexual couples, no adoption, no foster parenting…?

You want businesses, clubs, civic organizations, etc. to have the right to refuse to serve anyone they don’t want to serve. “No Irish Need Apply?” “No Jews” admitted to the country club – again? 

You are counting on DT's SCOTUS to achieve it.

I almost forgot that you want to prioritize a fetus' constitutional rights over those of a sentient woman. 


You want to put white male Evangelical men in charge of women’s gynecological health care. Pat Robertson making medical decisions for all women? Oh, sure. Why not.

All women – whether they are Evangelicals or Jewish, or Jain will have to follow the rules of white male Evangelicals.

 That translates to “denying gynecological health care to women.” No birth control. No abortion – even to save the life of the mother.

Oh, but, they will provide Viagra and urological services to men.

Do Evangelicals want men to have the right to grope women? 

 If I sound a bit unhinged by the election... I am.