We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Indeed it is, even in democratic, "social contract" nations where the threat of state violence (police, jails, FBI, Federal prosecutors, etc) is a big part of what holds things together - supposedly. So it's funny to see "life in a bubble" folks at Harvard horrified when a dog kills a squirrel. Harvard Crimson. (h/t, Instapundit). There's a lesson in that.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Nicholas Sarkozy not only knows which end of the whole right-wrong thing is up, but actually believes that there is some political benefit - in France! - to doing the right thing:
A French paper accused of insulting Muslims by printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad surprised a court hearing on Wednesday with a letter of support from presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.
"I prefer an excess of caricatures to an absence of caricatures," Sarkozy, the conservative interior minister who helped launch the French Muslim Council, wrote in a letter read out by a lawyer for the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
The flood of illegal immigrants into California has made things worse than I foresaw.
In the Spring 2002 issue of City Journal, I wrote an essay about growing up in the central San Joaquin Valley and witnessing firsthand, especially over the last 20 years, the ill effects of illegal immigration (City Journal’s editors chose the title of the piece: “Do We Want Mexifornia?”). Controversy over my blunt assessment of the disaster of illegal immigration from Mexico led to an expanded memoir, Mexifornia, published the following year by Encounter Press
Actually, the Crimson piece was okay for a kid (like I used to be). He wasn't being a whuss about the squirrel killing the thing, tho some of the other onlookers may have been. He used it rather well to examine his own and his peers' fall into complacency about their safety within the ivory tower.
I know that I do the same thing today. Not because I am a pacifist or pc twit shrinking from (eek) powerful males,or think violence is unnatural, or to shriek at, but because I just don't see much of it these days. Partly the result of deliberate efforts on my part, partly just blind luck...
On the most mundane domestic level,I didn't ever need to spank my kids (partly because I was beaten to a pulp by my own parents and it only served to make me leave home as soon as possible). My kids now say "Mom doesn't need to resort to physical violence, her voice alone strikes fear in grown men. "
In 19 years where I presently live, I have never been mugged, robbed, or menaced except by blonde bimbos in $75,000 SUVs cutting in front of me or honking at me when I impede their kids getting to soccer. I leave my car and house unlocked, leave a laptop and wallet in the car in plain sight, cellphone ditto. One gets sloppy being safe for too long. I used to live in New York and wasn't manic, just terribly, terribly alert. No one ever succeeded in mugging me, tho several tried (I ran away).
I've worked in drug-infested projects, dragged kids away from their gang friends, been brought in to separate warring factions when two gangs had members wounded in the same ER. I used to be around a lot of violence. It scared me, but I just focussed on what I had to do.
The violence outside, from evildoers, individuals or nations, does not scare me so much as violence at home. The harm that a beloved family member has done in the past (because of illness), the fear of its recurrence, that scares me. The one you love who may kill you when their psychosis recurs...
Enemies I can deal with. You arm to the teeth, don't negotiate with terrorists, bomb em into the stone age, etc.
What do you do when it's a family member who may kill you?
Related questions complicate the mission of our fighting men and women who try to serve their country, protect civilians, grow close to people they are around, yet fight an enemy who never heard of the Queensberry rules and who will burst out murderously in the midst of a group of friendly locals. How to avoid killing a village to save it?
That is more complicated than a hunting dog...or a patriotic rant in support of our brave troops.
And no discussion of violence can neglect that within ourselves. As I write this, I know that my kids may take for granted that I never hit them, but resent my disgusted remarks at bad behavior far more...
To flip flop a little, as I watch our new kitten grow visibly, a killing machine in training, I wonder if the reason some dog lovers hate cats is that cats are constantly stalking, pouncing, torturing, rending their prey in our sight. Dogs, the ones we live with anyway, only go after the occasional squirrel or rabbit, rarely catch them, and seem quite utilitarian about dispatching them. Mostly, they just help us be the Great White Hunter. No tormenting the victim as cats do, to hone their skills. Well-trained dogs' violence seems contained enough but available should humans need it (ie: growl and bite a burglar, or anyone menacing their family).
Sorry, Freudian typo. I meant "dog killing the squirrel". As a gardener, I think the only good squirrel is a dead squirrel. Growing fat and chittering on all my fruit....leaving not an apple, nectarine, cherry, plum for me...