The Racial Divide On Spanking Kids

Sep 18 2014 @ 3:40pm

In the wake of the Adrian Peterson case, various threads are emerging. Josh Voorhees investigates the race angle:

The perception that black parents are more likely to employ corporal punishment than their nonblack counterparts is borne out by academic research. In one study that examined 20,000 kindergartners and their parents, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that 89 percent of black parents had spanked their children, compared with 79 percent of white parents, 80 percent of Hispanic parents, and 73 percent of Asian parents. There is no single reason why blacks are more likely to turn to the rod for discipline, but the numbers are correlated with factors that include socio-economic status, religious upbringing, and even the heartbreaking feeling that, as it’s often put, “I’d rather my child get a beating from me than from police.”

Still, it’s important to note that while black parents might be more likely to spank their kids, they’re not alone in raising a hand to administer punishment—the rates for white, Hispanic, and Asian parents in that University of Texas study are all above 70 percent.

Michael Eric Dyson had a deeply moving piece today – on the roots of such violence in the slavery era. I learned a lot. Money quote:

The lash of the plantation overseer fell heavily on children to whip them into fear of white authority. Terror in the field often gave way to parents beating black children in the shack, or at times in the presence of the slave owner in forced cooperation to break a rebellious child’s spirit. Black parents beat their children to keep them from misbehaving in the eyes of whites who had the power to send black youth to their deaths for the slightest offense. Today, many black parents fear that a loose tongue or flash of temper could get their child killed by a trigger-happy cop. They would rather beat their offspring than bury them.

But the rates are not that much higher than for whites. Maybe it’s another function of the greater levels of and tolerance for physical violence in Jacksonian America. Aaron Blake has some data to back that up:

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Ramesh Ponnuru makes plain how they have and haven’t shifted:

On same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, public attitudes have, in fact, changed. A majority has gone from opposing to supporting both of them. That doesn’t necessarily mean that opposing them is going to hurt Republicans: It depends on, among other things, whether there’s a large pool of voters who would be open to Republican candidates if only they supported gay marriage. It does, however, mean that Republicans are going to talk less about these issues.

On the other hand, the public has not shifted on abortion, which has been a politically important social issue for much longer than same-sex marriage or legal pot have been. When pollsters for CBS ask people whether abortion should be “generally available,” or Gallup asks whether it should be “legal only under certain circumstances,” the answers look nearly identical to what they were a decade ago. The same is true when Gallup asks whether people consider themselves “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”

Isn’t it obvious why? Marriage equality and legal cannabis cannot plausibly be described as harming anyone. They’re both classically libertarian, live-and-let-live initiatives. But abortion touches on something very different. Many people believe (and I am one of them) that abortion doesn’t just affect another human life, but ends it. The individual liberty argument – so potent with marriage and cannabis – is checked by a legitimate concern for the unborn child. That’s why the younger generation is close to unanimous on cannabis and marriage but still divided over abortion. Kevin Williamson is in agreement:

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A Lesbian Genius To Watch Out For

Sep 18 2014 @ 3:02pm

After the travesty of Jo Becker’s alleged history of the marriage equality movement, and after Chad Griffin’s PR attempt to portray himself as Rosa Parks, and after Ted Olsen and David Boies’ grandiloquent credit-hogging in their recent book, it comes as something of a massive relief to see one of the true architects of marriage equality finally getting her due. Mary Bonauto was fighting for gay marriage rights as a lawyer and organizer when very few others were. She started at the state level – because that’s where civil marriage is rooted in American politics and law. And she critically understood that it was vital to get a foothold somewhere, to prove we were not just fringe weirdos, and she saw Massachusetts and New England as the most favorable terrain.

And they were. One aspect of marriage equality in America that is sometimes missed is the role New England played. The gay and lesbian community in Boston in the 1980s and 1990s was remarkably advanced and organized. It was a community I was immensely lucky to grow up in. The self-confidence and self-esteem that this community helped spawn in its members broke through the fear and doubt and squabbling that cursed us elsewhere. It was a gay community big enough to make a splash, but small enough not to splinter. And Mary was a central component of that with her remarkably successful group, Gay And Lesbian Advocates And Defenders.

Let’s be clear: there would be no national surge in support of marriage equality without ten years of civil marriage equality in one state, and then several others. There would be none without Mary Bonauto.

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Busted With An Eggcorn, Ctd

Sep 18 2014 @ 2:40pm

A classic Dish thread continues:

I used to think people were saying they need to “make a piss stop” when going to the restroom at work, instead of pitt stop. One day I earnestly asked a female colleague, “Are they saying ‘piss stop’ or is it ‘pitt stop’??” And so she spit out her water and broke out on laughter, and then, you know how a woman will look at you like you’ve totally lost your mind again. But I really didn’t know.

Another eggcorn:

From a student paper, several years back: “It’s a doggie-dog world.”

Another:

My wife had, for the past 20+ years, always said “connipshit” instead of “conniption.” I finally made her repeat it to me after she said it two-three times in a day and verified she thought the word was “connipshit.” But I can’t say I blame her; people in a conniption are usually in a connipshit as well.

Another:

I recently wrote an email to a client where I said that allowing something to happen would set a “very bad president.” (For the record, it was not a Freudian slip; I’m an Obama supporter.)

That’s actually a malapropism, which many readers are still confusing for an eggcorn (though often the distinction can be tricky). Here’s Wiki again:

The unintentionally incorrect use of similar-sounding words or phrases in speaking is a malapropism. If there is a connection in meaning, it can be called an eggcorn.

Or:

I had a friend in college that swore up and down that it was a “greatfruit”. But in his defense, they are nothing like a grape and they are pretty great.

Another:

My wife likes to tell how when she was younger and watched Star Wars, they said the Jedi used a “Life Saver” instead of a Light Saber. They were trying to save people, after all.

And here’s a “gem of an eggcorn from my father, a reporter at a local newspaper”:

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An ISIS Plot Down Under?

Sep 18 2014 @ 2:20pm

Australian police today arrested 15 people in connection with a terror plot, allegedly ordered by an Australian member of ISIS, to behead random citizens on video in the manner of Foley, Sotloff, and Haines. Some 800 police officers reportedly took part in the raid, the largest anti-terrorist operation in the country’s history:

Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Kings Cross bouncer and part-time actor, is understood to have made the instruction to kidnap people in Brisbane and Sydney and have them executed on camera. That video was then to be sent back to IS’s media unit, where it would be publicly released. Omarjan Azari, 22, from the western Sydney suburb of Guildford, was one of 15 people detained during the operation in Sydney and is accused of conspiring with Baryalei and others to act in preparation or plan a terrorist act or acts, court documents show. Commonwealth prosecutor Michael Allnutt told Sydney’s Central Local Court the alleged offence was “clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify the community”.

Ishaan Tharoor puts the news in context:

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Psilocybin vs Nicotine

Sep 18 2014 @ 2:04pm

The Dish has long covered and investigated the medical and spiritual dimensions of psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.” Its potency for mental health, depression, PTSD, and the trauma of end-of-life treatment of cancer. Read it all in one place here. But today, there’s news of new research that examines the use of the drug for people who have found it impossible to quit smoking. Surprise! Its impact is powerful:

Psilocybin_27febThe abstinence rate for study participants was 80 percent after six months, much higher than typical success rates in smoking cessation trials, says Matthew W. Johnson, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the corresponding author on the study.

Approximately 35 percent experience six-month success rates when taking varenicline, which is widely considered to be the most effective smoking cessation drug. Other treatments, including nicotine replacement and behavioral therapies, have success rates that are typically less than 30 percent, Johnson adds.

That’s not a slight improvement over current therapies; it’s a huge jump. And the gain in public health could be substantial.

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A day after Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi ruled out allowing the US to re-station ground forces in his country, Juan Cole observes that the country’s Shiite militias, widely considered proxies of Iran, are also warning against American intervention:

Hamza Mustafa reports from Baghdad that Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Iran-backed Badr Corps, warned that the American plan is to take credit for the victories of the Iraqi armed forces and the popular militias. He called for a rejection of the plan and dependence solely on Iraqi military and paramilitary to defeat ISIL. … The Bloc of the Free (al-Ahrar) led by Shiite cleric Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr called on al-Abadi to reject the US plan. Muqtada al-Sadr warned the US against trying to reoccupy Iraq and threatened, “If you return, we will return.” This was a reference to his Mahdi Army, which had subsided in importance after the US withdrawal. Muqtada boasted that the militia had inflicted heavy casualties on US troops and forced the US out. He also said that if the Mahdi Army “Peace Brigades” discovered an American presence in any province where they were fighting ISIL, they should immediately withdraw from the fight.

His conclusion:

It is difficult to tell how serious these militia leaders’ pronouncements are, since they might be attempting to save face with their followers even as they benefit from the US air cover. On the other hand, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq actually did in the past kidnap US troops, and the Mahdi Army fought them tooth and nail in spring of 2004, inflicting high casualties on them. Since President Obama’s air campaign requires Special Ops forces like Navy Seals or Green Berets to be on the ground with the Iraqi Army, they should apparently watch their backs. The people they are trying to help against ISIL don’t seem to appreciate their being there. And many of them seem to prefer Iran’s help.

So there are indigenous forces against ISIS that are telling us: we’ve got this. And we’re over-ruling them. Eli Lake, on the other hand, interprets these statements as evidence that Iran is working against us, noting that Tehran itself opposes US involvement in the conflict on the ground:

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Back To The Bush Years … ?

Sep 18 2014 @ 1:03pm

Bush Asks Congress For $74.7 Billion In War Aid

My own dismay (even bewilderment) at the current mood in America may well be because I was largely off-grid in August. But it’s still a truly remarkable shift. In a month, the entire political landscape has reverted to Bush-Cheneyism again. I honestly thought that would never happen, that the grisly experience of two failed, endless wars had shifted Americans’ understanding of what is possible in the world, that the panic and terror that flooded our frontal cortexes from 9/12 onward would not be able to come back with such a vengeance. I was clearly wrong. Terrorism does not seem to have lost any of its capacity to promote total panic among Americans. The trauma bin Laden inflicted is still overwhelming rationality. It would be harder to imagine a more stunning success for such a foul mass murder.

The party that was primarily responsible for the years of grinding, bankrupting war, a descent into torture, and an evisceration of many core liberties is now regarded as superior to the man originally tasked with trying to recover from that experience. The political winds unleashed by a few disgusting videos and a blitzkrieg in the desert have swept all before them. And we now hear rhetoric from Democratic party leaders that sounds close to indistinguishable from Bush or Cheney.

Is it merely panic? I doubt it. I think what’s also coursing through the collective psyche is the thought that Obama told us we were finally out of Iraq – and events have shown that assurance to be shaky at best. A core part of his legacy has had the bottom fall out of it. I don’t think most people – outside the Tea Party – really believe that all would be well if we’d just kept more troops in country the last couple of years. But the resurgence of the Sunni insurgency – now tinged with the most fanatical of theocratic barbarisms – is nonetheless blamed on Obama. Maybe it could have been contained without the beheadings. But they touched so many visceral chords that the Jacksonian temperament, always twitching beneath the surface of American life, simply bulldozed away every conceivable objection and doubt.

But will this last? I have my doubts. The Republicans are actually ambivalent about this war – largely because Obama is the president. For a while, they’ll bash him for not being “tough” enough – as if toughness has been shown to be the critical virtue in the fight against Jihadist terrorism. But when and if it actually comes to ground troops, my guess is that they’ll get cold feet. Apart from the unhinged McCain and Butters, few of them are so delusional to think we should re-occupy the place indefinitely. Maybe ISIS can do the neocons a favor and engage in some domestic terrorism to ratchet up the global stakes once again – in which case, we will very much be back where we started, our collective memory erased like those lab rats we covered earlier today.

My point is this: when they actually have to choose to go back to Bush-Cheneyism, and an endless, global civilizational war, Americans will not be as gung-ho as they now appear to be, in the wake of ISIS’ propaganda coups and the Beltway’s hysteria.

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Email Of The Day

Sep 18 2014 @ 12:40pm

Jack09162014

The “newest member of Club Tripod in DC” will cheer you up:

The last few weeks have been so depressing news-wise, I thought I’d pass along something upbeat. Jack came back from Sierra Leone with me two years ago with a limp and arthritis due to an injury that had healed poorly (there’s only one vet in the entire country). When it got worse this summer, I visited an orthopedic surgeon who suggested a range of options, from physical therapy to arthroscopy. She didn’t mention amputation, but when I asked about it, she said that this was the best option, though pet owners tend to react poorly to the suggestion.

It’s been just three weeks since the surgery and she already moves as if her leg were never there. Dogs are amazingly resilient. On our walk this morning, a little boy pointed to her and told his mom to “look at how fast that dog is!”

When people see little Bowie charging like a bullet down the beach after her favorite yellow tennis ball (as seen below), they gawk in wonder:

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The View From Your Window

Sep 18 2014 @ 12:31pm

st-andrews-Scotland-4am

St. Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom, 4 am