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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wilkes-Barre's "Fight Club"

In what seems like an eon ago, Wifey threatened our eldest two toddlers with physical violence (spanking) for seriously acting out on an LCTA bus.

And thanks to a nosy neighbor who was also riding that bus that day, the Children & Youth incompetents showed up at our house wielding threats of kiddie foreclosure. Luckily for them, I was right where I always was…at work.

Having lived with a physically-abusive step-father for far too many years, I feel I can easily differentiate between idle threats and real child abuse. To be a bit more insightful, know that my step-dad knew no bounds when he blew yet another fuse. In fact, the guy was all-too-frequently flat-out mean.

Anyway, if you threaten your kids in public you could lose them to Foster Hell. And Allah forbid, if you momentarily lose your temper and backhand a deserving child gone temporarily rogue, you do stand the chance of losing custody of said child for years on end, if not, forever.

Yet, it is apparently not considered inattentive or abusive to allow one’s children to wait for the school bus in bone-chilling cold without hats, gloves or coats.

Must be me.

Very recently, my son and his wingman announced that they were headed down to an uber popular downtown watering hole to play some pool.

Hearing that, I asked my son to go elsewhere. I told him he’d be better off playing pool at a corner bar than at downtown Wilkes-Barre’s official version of Fight Club. I warned him of the pitfalls that await those to partake of Fight Club. I reminded him that the police scanner doesn’t lie.

Undaunted, my concerns borne of Scanner Land provided him with a chuckle. Still though, he did listen as I told him what to expect if the fists got to flying at him and his.

Needless to say, the fists did get to flying at him and his. And as I had foretold, the staff of said establishment pushed those who would dare fight onto the sidewalks out front to be, ahem, dealt with by the Wilkes-Barre police department.

In other words, even though the trouble always starts in the establishment, it gets shoved outside and it usually culminates in mini-brawls and blood-strewn donnybrooks on the nearby sidewalks and streets, or in or adjacent to Central Lock, but always within shouting distance of a residential high-rise. And then it's our problem.

Luckily for my son, he did listen when I told him to hit fast and furious if necessary, but to get the hell out of there lickety split as the police typically respond to Fight Club as quickly as can be expected. And he now knows not to frequent that obvious nuisance bar anymore.

So, no more Hardware Bar for my kid.

I promise, I solemnly swear that the next time I see DPW workers scatter garage all over the street, giggle and then drive away from the mess they alone created, I will take down the vehicle number, make note of the time and place and report them to City Hall.

Count on it.

Which makes me ask all over again, why haven’t we privatized our curbside collections? Why? Because those highly efficient private haulers would not hire our then deservingly displaced unionized DPW workers.

Enough already.

A question about Black Friday is as follows…

Are you people freaking serious?

How’s that Haggerty Rule looking to you so far?

The folks promising transparency in government have avoided transparency while anointing a Haggerty Rule transition team.

Not to worry, though. If Initiative and Referendum doesn’t fix it, there’s always moving vans to be had.



Anonymous said...

Who is "wifey"? I drive for LCTA.

Anonymous said...

A reasonable person would not allow a child out in "bone-chilling" cold without proper attire. And no reasonable person who think any child is "deserving" of a backhand. Not sure what your rational is here. Might want to keep something private for your own good.

zorcong said...

A quick check of the bus stops reveals that we are woefully short on reasonable people.

Honestly, I've run across plenty of kids that needed a swift kick in the ass.

As for my kids, they were paddled on occasion, but not roughed up. And I don't care who knows.

If there was one lasting thing that the step-dad taught me, it was that little kids can be motivated without being battered and bloodied.

Anonymous said...

Only suitable for minors?:

Schoolchildrens' "spanking" related injuries (WARNING - These images may be deeply disturbing to some viewers. Do not open this page if children are present).

Reasonable and moderate? You decide.
(WARNING - This sound recording may be deeply disturbing to some listeners. Do not open this file if children are within listening range).

Anonymous said...

People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, college students, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the sex organs, anal region, and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be intentionally or unintentionally sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can read the testimony, documentation, and educational resources available from the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

Child bottom-slapping/battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child bottom-slapping/battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping/battering isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson

by Lesli Taylor MD and Adah Maurer PhD

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping/battering isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
American Psychological Association,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The US states with the highest crime rates and the poorest academic performance are also the ones with the highest rates of child corporal punishment.

There is simply no evidence to suggest that child bottom-slapping/battering instills virtue.

Anonymous said...

You might think violence (or the threat of violence) against other human beings is socially acceptable, but as a motivating tool it is not an effective means of motivation in most cases. There are reams of data and studies that show this. Children exposed to violence learn to lie and deceive rather than correct problematic behavior. About the only venue where violence is an effective tool is in incarceration and there are some significant problems involved.

zorcong said...

I had no idea.

Thanks for the free consultation, Dr. Anonymous.