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.
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Tuesday, August 28. 2007
Do dog-fighting laws raise the interesting issue of libertarian vs. conservative views of the law? How about laws regarding public indecency? I think they do, and Prof B. agrees.
I am going to lie in the sun by the pool this weekend with a gin and tonic or two and give the subject a deep think, with the working biases that the Constitution's intent is to limit the power of government over localities and over the people, and that "that government which governs least, governs best." I will, no doubt, fall happily asleep before finding the magic resolution of the issue which would be quoted in all the journals had I only remained awake. In the meantime, the Prof quotes another commentator:
Living with ambiguity is part of maturity, I am told. I'm working on that.
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"You can take the measure of a man by observing how he treats dumb animals".
The problem is not the death of the dogs, or even their torture, but what it does to a person to take delight in it.
It does nothing to a person to take delight in it. The capacity to delight in it comes first.
Consider how all of London used to come out for a hanging, or all Paris for guillotine day - or how traffic slows for a car crash.
Schadenfreude [spelling?]. Or what Aristotle observed "good luck is when the arrow hits the one beside you."
With you, Mikebert. And not just dumb animals, but how he (or she) treats dumb people, criminals and other fallible, sinful humanoids.
And yet....Although I loathe Vick's behavior, we are all dumb, witless, cruel creatures at least some of the time.
My kids were furious at what they perceived to be Vick's hypocrisy about claiming to have found Jesus, turned over his life over to God, etc. in the wake of all this. Easy to feel that way, as most of us are sick to death of hypocrisy. Hate it in ourselves, are merciless about it in others. Hence the snarls at that republican sleaze in the bathroom. Yeah, it's tacky to hit on strangers in a bathroom, but mostly it's tacky to publicly condemn others who've been caught doing what one does in private. Yeah, we are all tacky, we all do in private similar things to those we excoriate in others. As the Monty Python blithering shrink repeats in an ever more rabid tone "I know I do..."
Re: Vick, as I tirelessly (and tiresomely?) remind myself, if God could love those SOBs in the Old Testament, we can surely find it in ourselves to believe that He loves us and our most unloveable companions here on earth. If He could love and save adulterers, child molesters, rapists, murderers, genocidal beasts, prostitutes, embezzlers, traitors, , etc. He can probably find it in him to take Vick out to the woodshed, administer some serious discipline, and give him a second chance.
On the sincerity of Vick's repentance, no one but God can judge. A couple of links that made me ponder beyond that knee jerk teenagers' judgmental reaction:
Tho as I go to brush the burrs out of the coat of my own beloved elderly golden retriever, who is coughing painfully with a tumor in his throat, I become savage at the thought of anyone hurting any dog for fun or money...
In our household, we daily debate when we will put the dog to sleep. He is not in constant pain, merely discomfort some of the time. He enjoys his miles runningi thru the wild woods with us, and stealing our dinner off the grill, and trying to hump the cat he is in lust with. He loves us passionately and devotedly. When we do put him to sleep, it will only be when we feel that he is suffering too much to warrant our keeping him alive because we cannot bear to lose him. We are sentimental.
As far as the Barrister's intellectual question, I admire his detachment for being able to formulate it, and will look forward to his response. Will undoubtedly clarify my own muddy thinking on the topic. But am afraid that I will never be libertarian about how people treat their animals or their children. If I see anyone hitting or tormenting a child or animal in public, I go over and make them stop. It's the Sunday School teacher and mom in me. "We don't bash people on the head with toy tractors, Johnny, not in this family/class we don't! It may be your tractor, you may feel moved to righteous wrath that he took your chocolate, but he is 2 years old and you should be looking after him, not bashing him..."
Regarding your dog, you have my sympathies. Our Byron had lymphoma and coughed horribly as you describe. We work at home and he was always with us. When to put him down was a hard decision to make. He was so much a part of our family—like a child and a friend. I really loved him. So I understand your situation.
I made blog for B on the back of Jephnol. I haven’t written much in it, but I’ve put in quite a few photos. Check it out if you like. I wish the best for you.
Your poor, beautiful pooch! You must miss him so! loved the pictures of him...So sorry you had to put him down. But comes a time when it is the merciful thing to do...
Chortled over the poison ivy stuff in your blog....If I say this I will jinx myself, but I have for years been as undeservedly lucky as a drunk walking barefoot but unscathed thru broken glass, with all my outdoor work, not getting poison ivy in years...Am obsessive about avoiding it, shrieking at kids (who react like Bozo in your post to my warnings of its presence within fifty feet!).
I had an English friend, devoted gardening buddy, who one fine spring called me from her first solid day out in the yard, discovering what had come up. "I found this beautiful reddish leaved vine and I have transplanted it and put it around the porch, along the trellis fence, etc.:" "UH, it's not a GOOD VINE...." She was lucky and got a relatively mild reaction, but it took five years to get rid of the poison ivy. Both of us organic gardeners save for two things: PI, and ground nests of yellow jackets which we nuke with every deadly chemical in the arsenal. I have always wanted to try pouring gasoliine down a nest and see what happens when I light it, but scared they will emerge mad from some back door...Where I am now, another frightful invasive thing (besides porcelain berry) is BAMBOO. Kid and I spend hours pulling up twenty foot long roots through the lawn, trying to keep the neighbor's 70 foot long thicket of it from advancing into our yard. I threaten to spray Agent Orange or at least Roundup over the fence, like a mission into Cambodia, but husband is afraid of a liability suit, so I restrain myself....
He was my buddy. I miss him a bunch.
I have a special hate for poison ivy, too. "I found this beautiful reddish leaved vine..." LOL!
Yellow Jackets. You're hitting all of my favorites. I was working an account and was asked if I could kill an above ground nest. I didn't have any spray, so this woman--a very nice lady--brings out a can of RAID. Lord! I walked up to the nest in a tree and began spraying and the wasps were flying right through it! I emptied the can, which only emptied the nest. I moved so slow--they're attracted to motion--it looked like I was a living statue. I moved through a cloud of the nasty monsters. Not a sting. It's funny looking back, but I'd pass on the RAID if I had to do it over!
Try spraying the round-up just on the bamboo that comes up on your side of the fence, see if that works. Might beat all that pulling.
The problem is, even in high concentrations, Round-up isn't going to get the problem solved--as attractive as that sounds. Bamboo is pretty hardy. Plus your going to kill everything on your side of the fence. If it's garden you end up having to pull 'em, I'll wager, or if'n it's lawn you can jus mow 'em over.
I think Agent Orange will work though. Liability will be a problem so you have to go covert.
Here's a good article on controling the bamboo problem without explosives:
Or, you could let it grow, and go into the bamboo fly rod business.
Pandas are very messy. I have two nesting in my attic.
Do goats eat bamboo? Falling asleep after the extreme mental exertion of writing convincing PR to help the guidance counselor...er...."sharing parental impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of your child" for two kids applying to college this coming year. AAAAARGH! It would be easier if said kids were more helpful around the house and not so prone to look at Mom as if she were poison ivy...As my boss likes to say "they're trying to get you to give them permission to leave!" Good kids, work hard, no vices that I know of, but adolescent disdain causes me to wither at times...Get them to stare the poison ivy into giving up...
I worked with juveniles 12 -18 at a group home for many moons. My advice... Don't show any weakness. Love. Discipline. Teflon. You must become the teflon mom. Heh.