First, ask Americans what they think the correct parental response should be to a 4-year-old child who spills food or wets the bed. I estimate 3 out of 5 will recommend some form of punishment. A "good swift smack," most likely.
Next, ask them if they think the same treatment is appropriate for an elderly person -- one's aging, forgetful grandparent, for instance -- who spills food or wets the bed. They are incredulous at the question, and you pursue the discussion at your peril.
Joey Salvati makes wooden paddles for hitting children. He offers no suggestions, one way or the other, about their possible use to discipline the elderly. Nothing about his product suggests it would be either more dangerous or less effective in that application. He advertises on his Web site that he will send a free paddle to anyone who requests one. The customer only pays shipping. He says God visited him while he was taking a shower and instructed him to do this, and that he will keep doing it until God tells him to stop.
Apparently FOX Television Stations, Inc. was so impressed with Mr. Salvati's bathroom epiphany that they gave him free advertising. On June 29, 2007, this notice appeared on the "my FOX - Los Angeles" Web site.
Free Spanking Paddles|
Last Edited: Friday, 29 Jun 2007, 7:27 AM PDT
Wooden paddles designed for spanking your kids are free on the internet.
Joey Salvati of Pittsburgh has already sent out more than 1,200 of them free … plus shipping costs to any parent who asks for one.
He says God told him to do it.
He also says a careful whack with a paddle works better than other disciplinary alternatives.
Click on the related link for more information.
Readers who share our sense of alarm over Salvati's threat to public safety should alert the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to his operation. And don't forget to mention his accomplice, FOX. Keep a record of the time you call, the agent to whom you speak, and the nature of the response. Also, fill out and submit the online complaint form linked below. If the CPSC is doing the job for which it was created, it will immediately remove this dangerous product from the market. It will not wait until someone kills or injures a child with it.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Complaint Form
Toll-free Consumer Hotline: 800-638-2772 (TTY 800-638-8270). Call to obtain product safety and other agency information and to report unsafe products. Hotline staff may be reached from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm ET. Messages may be left anytime after these hours. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
General Information: (301) 504-7923 M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm ET
Fax: (301) 504-0124 and (301) 504-0025
Street and Mailing Address:
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Salvati Construction & Design
1228 Martin Ave.
New Kensington, PA 15068-5022