Sun, 25 Jun 2000

Dear Mr Wonderful:

Criminals are unafraid in our society. Some crooks even say that they'll "do the time" if they want to commit the crime bad enough. Crime is unafraid now and very boisterous about it....therefore...I want caning (cane with ing at the end) instated here in the United States! Can you imagine?...criminals being SPANKED PUBLICALLY! Yes, tough gangsters getting paddled on their punk ass asses...and then can't sit down for 2 weeks! All criminals, jaywalkers, thieves, whatever could be given spankings! Also, death row guys should get paddled every week! It'd be humiliating. It just might...just might...stop crime or make it think. It worked for that idiot American kid in Singapore!

Thoughts? Anything you'd like to add? If I wrote this up in the form of a political petition to go on the ballot...think I'd get the full support of your huge fan club?

bad bad BAD boy!


Dear Snidely Whiplash,

I think that what you'd wind up with is an entirely new class of criminals. "I get to hang out in a workyard with sweaty men all day... and there's free spankings? Good lord, sign me up! What do I have to steal?"

I just don't think your thesis, "scare the criminals and crime will disappear", holds water. Batman tries to scare criminals and look at Gotham these days. New guys in Day-Glo suits trying to knock over banks every day. The Joker's been beat what, eighty gajillion times? He keeps coming back. Coincidentally, Batman did try spanking him the first couple times they met. That had to stop when Robin came along.

People were talking. You know how it is.

Anyway, the thing is - only comfortable, well-fed people with options weigh the consequences of committing crimes. Most criminals aren't thinking about the possible downside - they're thinking about the hell that is their very existence. Yes, what they do is wrong. Yes, they harm the innocent. But fear and desperation have a way of focusing the mind on the present and the personal. Your "Respect The Spank" message would simply not get through.

What Mister Wonderful would like to see is an alleviation of the conditions that cause crime. If someone is secure, nutritionally balanced, has a voice in the community, can provide for loved ones, can express spiritual views without reprisal, can achieve a desired level of education, experiences pleasure and pain in acceptable amounts and still wants to steal candy from babies or put an icepick through a business partner or whatever, then I say we can punish them because of their choice. Put that on the ballot and I'd even register to vote.