Jeff Charles' Letter to the Editor of the Boston Herald Jeff Charles' Letter to the Editor of the Boston Herald
re: "Time to Spare the Ron," Mike Barnicle, Nov. 16
November 19, 2004

Like most people who advocate spanking, Barnicle could not actually defend it, so he sunk down to personally attacking someone instead.

Ironically, if we get down to personal attacks, Barnicle himself is a target rich environment, accused of plagiarism -- dishonesty in writing, and being fired for that apparently, according to a slew of news articles that came up when I googled him. I don't know the reality or the specifics, however, and I really don't care. We all make mistakes. Maybe he did his homework this time and had some original thoughts, with solid study behind it? Sadly, for the sake of Brookline children, not.

The fact is Mr. Goldman is hardly an eccentric publicity hound with a lost cause, as Barnicle suggests. The vote on the town going on record, based on science and reason, as encouraging parents to use nonviolent methods of discipline was very close, nearly 50-50, both last year and this. Mr. Barnicle then continues the personal attacks to Brookline citizens themselves for being too "liberal" or too concerned with problems both local and worldwide. What is wrong with a caring and educated population, having their basic needs met for the most part, being concerned and trying to help fix problems in their communities, their state, their country, or their world? All human progress throughout history has been made by folks such as this.

It might seem unusual in the US, but if Brookline were to adopt this resolution it would hardly lead the world. It would be decades behind similar but even more enlightened statements by entire countries, about a dozen so far, as well as the UN itself.

Bravo for Brookline for even considering some advisory language for parents to seek nonviolent childcare methods, and for having a very close vote two years in a row.

Just because MA is a "blue state" doesn't mean the kids have to be black and blue, and for that matter, I hope the day comes when the "red states" don't have to beat the kids red either.

Jeff Charles
Roseville, MI

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