Spanking is to War, as….
Exclusive Editorial by Dailyskew co-founder, Tony Vahl
I was spanked as a child. I admit it. And, to be honest, I think it did
me some good.
I find there are times in my life where those childhood spankings have
governed my actions, restricting me from pursuing immorality or following
the wrong crowd. Spanking had the psychological effect of encouraging me to
pursue good. Much like Pavlov’s dogs, when the bells of goodness were rung,
I migrated naturally towards that chime, drooling along the way.
Now, this may sound like I was brainwashed as a child — and maybe I was,
but the point remains; I think being spanked did me some good.
“But what about your freedom of choice? What about the physical abuse you
felt? Don’t you feel you’ve missed out on experiences because of the
psychological effects of spanking?”
Point 1: sometimes the freedom not to choose, when we are children, allows
us to experience and fully appreciate the freedom of choice when we are
Point 2: the pain of spanking was not permanent, physically speaking. It
was not abuse in my case; it was a necessary act to convince me not to
behave a certain way. My father did me a favor … and the world around me.
Point 3: getting high and losing brain cells, becoming addicted to drugs,
stealing, inflicting bodily harm on others, lying, murdering, disrespecting
my elders … no, I do not feel I’ve missed out anything. As I stated
earlier, I feel a tremendous sense of freedom, thanks to the guidance my
father gave me, partially due to his timely use of spanking.
I say timely because I want you readers to understand — he did not spank me
every day. As a matter of fact, he only spanked me four or five times
throughout my childhood.
“Wow,” you might say. “The way you were sounding, I thought he beat you
On the contrary, my friends — he only spanked me when absolutely necessary.
And, when he spanked me, it was a clear, decisive action on his part. There
was no question about who was right or wrong when he spanked me; he was
right, I was wrong, and I was deservedly punished.
So, what does spanking have to do with war? If you haven’t figured it out
by now, I’ll explain it to you.
The United States has been at war several times throughout it’s history. We
are a nation born of revolutionary war, almost torn asunder by civil war,
and united against common foes during world wars. We have won most of our
wars; some, to this day, remain in doubt.
||War of 1812
||World War I
|World War II
||Persian Gulf War
Can you guess which wars were successful? Unsuccessful?
Our nation’s victorious wars all have one thing in common: we had clear,
decisive objectives, and clear, decisive actions to follow suit. Much like
my father’s spankings, our nation was direct, and unyielding. We knew we
were right, and we were going to punish the wrongdoers. We would not stop
until victory was complete and assured.
In Vietnam, the goal was not entirely clear, we were not fully decisive, and
in the end, we yielded. The Korean war continues to this day, although most
of you are probably unaware of this. And the Gulf War has been acknowledged
as an incomplete victory, even by conservative Republicans, because we
stopped prosecuting the war before we had deposed and punished Saddam
Hussein. By leaving him in power, we allowed Iraq to recover, and
eventually continue it’s plans against our nation, and other sovereign
Taliban leader Mullar Omar has been utterly defeated, just as the Realtor predicted.
Today, our goal is clear: we are prosecuting our war against terrorism
decisively. We have a clear, righteous cause, and we will not yield until
terrorism is rooted out from this world. I am proud of our President, his
Cabinet, and our military leaders for having identified crystal clear goals
and pursuing them wholeheartedly. This is how war should be fought.
I am also happy that Israel has finally been given the green light from
Washington to fight back against terrorism within it’s borders. It is
ridiculous to expect a country to negotiate for peace when the enemy is
still unwilling to stand down it’s freedom fighters, or terrorists,
depending on your point of view.
And now, for the “buts”:
Domestically, I must take issue with John Ashcroft and the Justice
Department’s treatment of non-civilian detainees. First of all, it is not
good enough to give detained visitors to our great nation a list of pro-bono
lawyer telephone numbers, and the numbers on the list no longer work, or
lead you to people who are not lawyers and can’t actually help you. This is
not being fair in any way, shape, or form, and is completely unjust.
Our Senators let us down on Thursday by allowing John Ashcroft’s policies to continue, and injustice continues within our borders.
It is also not fair to detain people and not inform that person’s country or
family members that they are being held.
Let’s be clear — you cannot expect to spank a child “out of turn” and then
wonder why that child acts up later on. Much like the civil rights movement
in the 1960′s, we see that a group of people who are unjustly punished will
only rise to meet the challenge of injustice. The fight will continue until
true justice occurs, or death of the unjustly punished.
By mistreating non-citizens, we are planting the seeds of hate in the hearts
of these men, and in their families. Much like a child who is spanked
unjustly and frequently, these people will resist and ignore us — they will
not cooperate. We are making the process of pursuing terrorism within our
borders more difficult by our inability to be fair to those who have done
nothing to harm our country.
Secondly, we are again, figuratively speaking, spanking our child
undeservedly with respect to airport security. Our security pattern for the
last 50 years or so, which was born out of Cold War paranoia, is reduced to
a peculiar thread of logic — as we are attacked, we increase security. As
we increase security, we hassle the innocent. As we hassle the innocent,
the unjust criminals of our society find ways around the hassles and create
more havoc and distress for us all. Thus, even more hassles are born for
Government has been perpetually tightening her grip since the days of
Khrushchev, and yet these attempts to create more security have only brought
about more hassles for the every man, while highlighting unprotected areas
for criminals to attack.
And, as the law-abiding are pummeled into submission, the people’s resolve
to fight back is diminished. We the people become too frustrated, tired and
annoyed to do something to turn the tide. We become cynical. We blame
government for everything. We find pursuits to distract us. We placate
ourselves with sports, movies, and other diversions. And politicians ignore
our meager cries, because we have learned to ignore them and their
We do not need more law enforcement laws. We do not need more security at
airports. We do not need our peaceful borders with Canada and Mexico
practically shut down by overprotection.
We need common sense. Do we really think terrorists are sitting in traffic at border crossings, waiting to be arrested?
Heightened surveillance from our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, as well as
from abroad. Greater intelligence communication, between our agencies, and
agencies around the world. Pilots with guns and locked doors to keep
potential terrorists out.
We also need a change of attitude in some areas of our nation –
particularly transient, mixed communities, like South Florida.
We need better communication between neighbors, regardless of race, religion
or creed. If we all knew each other a little better, it would be harder to
hide in sleepy little beachside towns like Delray Beach, or
upper-middle-class family areas like Coral Springs.
We need to show government that they don’t have to do everything for us –
we can help them out, at times, by offering tips, sharing ideas, and by just
plain being neighborly. There are some areas in this country that are
expert at this, and maybe some of us could take a lesson or two from these
We need to show zero tolerance for legitimate terrorist groups within our
borders.. We need to be moral, we need to be peaceful, and we need to be
unyielding and intolerant in the face of true evil.
I emphasize true evil, because I would not suggest we start conducting Salem
Witch hunt-style gatherings. We must be clear on this point — acting out
of paranoia is not justice.
We must be just among ourselves in order to be just as a nation. I pray,
much like my father before me, that we as a nation spank the unjust until
they yield, and that the victory of justice is complete…
… with liberty and justice for
Tony: “This editorial used to make me nervous because of the photo with Zane Black in the beginning. Plus, the title is a little crazy, and this is a long web editorial — I wasn’t sure people would read it all the way through. Rereading it, I find myself agreeing with a lot of what I wrote. Although some facts are outdated (i.e., Saddam is now deposed), the core thoughts are strong and on the money, in my opinion. The last photo, by the way, was taken in June, 2001, when I was last up in New York. I bought my copy of ‘Enneagram Types’ by Riso and Hudson at the Borders Bookstore that was part of the WTC underground mall. I remember talking to a Bank of America representative on the phone who worked in one of the Towers, asking him why the biggest bank in America didn’t have branches in NYC! I wonder if that guy made it….”