As a progressive, I tend towards a more libertarian view of things. I don't believe the government has any right getting into our personal lives.
January 20, 2007

As a progressive, I tend towards a more libertarian view of things. I don't believe the government has any right getting into our personal lives. That's why stories like this just fill me with so much anger.

BizmarckTribune: (h/t OK)

North Dakota's Legislature is encouraging disrespect for the law by making it illegal for a man and woman to live together without being married, a legislator says.

If North Dakota prosecutors began enforcing the anti-cohabitation law, which provides a 30-day jail term and a $1,000 fine, the state would need a "$10 billion prison," Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck, said Wednesday.

[..]North Dakota is one of the few states that outlaws cohabitation, which is defined as a man and woman living together "openly and notoriously" as if they were married.

It is listed as a sex crime in state law, alongside adultery and incest. There are few records of a cohabitation case being prosecuted, aside from a North Dakota Supreme Court appeal in the 1930s.

San Jose Mercury News:

The state Legislature is about to weigh in on a question that stirs impassioned debate among moms and dads: Should parents spank their children?
Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, wants to outlaw spanking children up to 3 years old. If she succeeds, California would become the first state in the nation to explicitly ban parents from smacking their kids.

Making a swat on the behind a misdemeanor might seem a bit much for some -- and the chances of the idea becoming law appear slim, at best -- but Lieber begs to differ.

"I think it's pretty hard to argue you need to beat a child 3 years old or younger,'' Lieber said. ``Is it OK to whip a 1-year-old or a six-month-old or a newborn?''

The bill, which is still being drafted, will be written broadly, she added, prohibiting "any striking of a child, any corporal punishment, smacking, hitting, punching, any of that.'' Lieber said it would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail or a fine up to $1,000, although a legal expert advising her on the proposal said first-time offenders likely only would have to attend parenting classes.

Let me be clear that I don't think that anyone has the right to be abusive to a child. But we have laws on the books for that already. Spanking is not something that I advocate doing regularly as punishment, but I have spanked my kids a few times (and in a few isolated situations that I felt it appropriate). I really don't think that there should be a law that strips away my parental rights to determine the best form of discipline.

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