The heartland speaks – and it sounds nuts

The individual states are popularly supposed to be the laboratories of US democracy where many ideas can be tried out and the best ones then adopted nationally. The Daily Show takes a look at some of the ideas that being proposed in states that, as we repeatedly told by idiotic politicians, represent the ‘real’ America, without them ever explaining why the rest of America in the big cities and the coasts are any less American.

First up, corporal punishment is advocated in Kansas.

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Next they are considering making taking science optional in Missouri if those classes include evolution.

And of course, there are the ever-popular anti-gay moves in Kansas and Arizona.

(These clips aired on February 20, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. colnago80 says

    Nothing new about this sort of stuff. Martin Gardner in his seminal work, Fads and Fallacies in Science, noted a law in Indiana that set pi = 3 by statute.

  2. wtfwhateverd00d says

    For less comedy, and a bit more nuance, here is a newspaper article about the spanking:

    1. It is proposed by a Democrat

    2. She claims it is because corporal punishment is already legal, but there is no definition for it, which gets families in trouble with DCF (department of children and families)

    The proposed legislation, House Bill 2699, would define corporal punishment as “up to 10 forceful applications in succession of a bare, open-hand palm against the clothed buttocks of a child.”

    The bill also would allow “reasonable physical force” to restrain a child during a spanking, “acknowledging that redness or bruising may occur on the tender skin of a child as a result.”

    It would continue to ban hitting a child with fists, in the head or body or with a belt or switch.

    The bill would allow parents to give permission to others, including school officials, to spank their

    FWIW, I cannot imagine allowing “anyone with a permission slip to do so” to hit a kid, but I can see “some” limited role for it for parents, in that I think making it outright illegal would lead to more inequities in how the law is applied than benefit in eliminating corporal punishment.

    Also, it will probably surprise no one that very shortly after this aired the Wikipedia “protected” the pages of Mike and Zbigniew Brzezinski from anonymous editing.

  3. AnotherAnonymouse says

    I am second-generation American (all 4 of my grandparents were immigrants who came in via Ellis Island and settled in the northeast), but my father joined the military, so I grew up mostly overseas in a variety of countries. Now I live in the mid-Atlantic for work. I find it quite offensive when know-nothings and politicians blather on about how the mid-westerners and the southerners are the only “rill ‘murkkkuns!” Invariably the places they’re crowing about as being superior are the places where I’ve encountered the most racism, misogyny, and flat-out backward thinking (Palin making rape victims pay for their own rape kits and firing the town librarian for not pulling national award-winning books that Palin’s wacko witch-burning religion didn’t care for are perfect examples).

  4. says

    Does that mean employers in Kansas can hit their employees who disobey? Can politicians be physically punished by voters? Husbands can beat their wives for mistakes? Of course not. You’re only allowed to hit people who can’t fight back, who don’t have the knowledge to take legal action to protect themselves.

    What happens when parents repeatedly beat, assault and violate kids, what sort of people do they eventually become? Joe Scarborough is one example (re: Lori Klausutis). What happens when kids suffer years of abuse more than a decade in some cases? Read about people like Kip Kinkel, Donna Wisener, Roy Rowe, William Bresnahan and countless other kids who defend themselves when they are finally big enough to do so.

  5. Chiroptera says

    Does the law allow a child to use a handgun for defense against an abusive parent? ‘Cause that would make it consistent with right wing ideology. In other words, making no sense whatsoever.

  6. doublereed says

    2. She claims it is because corporal punishment is already legal, but there is no definition for it, which gets families in trouble with DCF (department of children and families)

    This sort of reminds of the rape/incest exception in abortion cases. People don’t realize that conservatives are the ones who thought up such things. Liberals want more broad protections and freedom, and conservatives tried to add in caveats and such to not make them look like the absolute horrible people they are.

    So they have to try to fit their arbitrary, narrow worldview into the legal system and it makes it an absolute mess.

    Though putting it down in law in explicit terms like she did also makes it easier to eliminate. People probably didn’t even know corporal punishment was still legal in Kansas. Now they do.

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