Sunday, January 02, 2005


Our Wonderful World.

From a really depressing story in the Modesto, California Bee, about a host of new laws aimed at children:

Children under 14 are banned from using tanning salons, unless they have a doctor's note, and those 14 to 18 need parental permission to receive a tan.
To paraphrase what National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez said about this: you need a parent's permission to get a tan, but an abortion? No problemo.

Actually, the whole article is infuriating, especially to a conservative such as myself.

Every time the government does something for me, even if it's in my best interests, I will be less likely to do it for myself. It could be providing welfare, Social Security, or parenting children-- it doesn't matter.

California, like many states, is simply throwing up their hands in frustration, and saying "We give up. You lousy parents can't do your job, so we'll do it for you."

Of course, that may be entirely accurate. However, that doesn't make it right, or conducive to functioning society.

As dictator for the day, in my perfect world, there'd be ten, maybe a dozen laws, tops. One of the first laws is "Don't Do Anything Stupid, You Dumbass."

Because the laws would be few, everyone would know them, and everyone would know the penalties for violating them, ranging from a slap upside the head, to a firing squad.

Outside of those laws, the few laws fundamental to orderly society, everyone would be left alone. Tradition, courtesy, ethics, chivalry, religious morality would do what the laws could not, and should not do. Parents would know their role, and be expected to fulfill their responsibilities towards their children.

C'mon, it really can't be that hard, people. My parents were far from active in my daily life growing up. Even saying it that way is a terrific understatement. Yet, if I could reach a point in my life where I know not to spend too much time in the tanning booth, how come these parents and their children can't reach that same point? Is it more of that old "soft bigotry of low expectations" at play? Have we really set the bar that high?

Let's start with just a few basics, shall we? Set rules. Enforce rules. Set goals. Motivate. Punish. Reward.

Or am I missing something here?

Hillary explained it to takes a village to raise a child.

California thinks it is a village!
It's a village alright. . . a Village of the Damned!
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