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Who Decides What Is A 'Big Deal'?

Oct 13, 2009

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Reported by

Michel Martin

Columbus Day is one of those weird half-holidays, where it's a big deal in some parts of the country and not in others; some people have the day off and some don't. In this area, some schools were open and some closed. And that's a lot like how some people see the holiday ... As we mentioned, it's a matter of perception.

For some it's a day of ethnic pride, especially Italian-American pride (you know ... Columbus?), for others a day of grief over lost heritage that came in the wake of the arrival of Europeans to these shores.

Who gets to decide what's true?

It is a lot like how the news works these days. We have a saying, everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion, but we're not entitled to our own facts. But what are the facts? And who is determining what they are?

(That's not a natural segue to spanking, but it will have to do.)

Sweden was the first country to outlaw spanking 30 years ago. (Yes, you read that correctly). And they are not alone. Some 24 countries outlaw corporal punishment at home. And some 100 outlaw it in school. The U.S. does not, although, as I am sure you know, many states and jurisdictions take a tough stand against child "abuse," however it's defined.

We asked a representative from Save the Children Sweden to talk to us about the law and thirty years later, and our regular roundtable of moms to weigh in.

Which of the following philosophies do you embrace?:

Peace at home means peace in the world? Or, "government, stay out of our business"?

We are very interested to know your thoughts.

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