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The Cat Chronicles: Bells, Beers and Guns

Shakti got her bell off this morning. She's feeling friskier than she has in some time, and was trying to jump up onto the kitchen counter while I was making my smoothie. After she got it off, she played with it for a long time, and now she is hiding under the denim carpet, waiting to pounce on something, anything!

It's cloudy and I'm so grateful to have a second day off. It seems like a long time since I had two days in a row that I could spend mostly at home. I am going to Phoenix with C today, to get her computer fixed. We'll stop at a Trader Joe's too, though I don't need groceries. I have a freezer full of organic meat and berries, a drawer full of carrots and greens. I used to get cases of wine and cheese there, but I'm not consuming those now. Some of the finest things in life......wine and cheese. I miss them. Good thing I also like berries.

I felt amazing bad after three beers Friday night. I had a headache all day Saturday. My three beer limit is now reduce to two. I probably should drink none, but I'm unlikely to give anything up forever: I test the edges periodically. I am certain that part of my pain was because I mixed the barley wine from Flagstaff Brewing Company with the heffe "venom" from the Mogollon. The barley wine is strong, and the venom was milky. I don't know what makes beer milky, but I have heard that the beer there is served while it is still "raw". Their beer does taste somewhat sweeter than most other beers.

I wish I had started investing when I was a teenager. The years that I have been alive were some very good years to let your money grow for you in the stock market. The experts seem to be agreeing now that the long period of fast growth is coming to an end. I've been hedging already. I'm betting on the US economy falling, and on the poor getting poorer. I'm betting on the middle class buying more security fences and guns.

The Va Tech incident is being offered up as proof that we need better gun control. A young man with a history of mental illness had no problem getting a gun, and no problem bringing it onto a supposedly gun-free campus. Then because all the law abiding people on campus did not have a gun, no one could stop him. Just one armed student could have taken the guy out before he could kill so many. And perhaps they could have even taken him into custody without killing him, sparing that life as well.

Guns are out there. Lots of them. The government could try to take them back, but it would be impossible. We could ask people to hand them over, but they wouldn't. I find myself agreeing with the "powerful gun lobby" that "a well armed society is a polite society".

I find it mildly amusing that people assume that I am anti-gun. My parents are both democrats, and I have some communist and socialist leanings, but I am more libertarian, anarchist and pagan than any of that. There is not a party in our politics that represents me. The democrats and republicans are the same: corruptly supporting large corporations at the expense of the people. The greens are wilted. The libertarians are uncivilized, at least based on my lj experience. I would like to discover or create a party with the ideas of the libertarians but without the insults and snide attitude. I would like to see people begin to discuss the issues and arrive at solutions for each one without regard for affiliations. I would like to see compromise. I would like to see us mind our own business, as a nation. We may have the biggest gun, but that doesn't make us the deciders of right and wrong.

Since when is "intellectual" such a bad word, anyway? Why is it that fascist governments have to run out the intellectuals first? To me an intellectual is a person who can discuss ideas without being emotionally attached to them. Someone who can see all sides clearly. Someone who actually reads a book sometimes, with an interest in history, politics, science and religion. Marx expanded the meaning of the word to make it a class, the doctors, lawyers and scientists of a society. By his definition, this is where I belong.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
neptunia67
Apr. 22nd, 2007 05:45 pm (UTC)
I think people in power are threatened by intellectuals. In fact, I'm certain of it. You would make a good sociologist. Many of the things you ponder are the same that we discuss in our classes, and are the things that the great sociological thinkers have tried to wrap their heads around for nearly two centuries.

I disagree with gun ownership in a country that is fed violence and fear by mass media on a daily basis. I question whether, if the students were armed, things would have turned out differently. Yes, it is too easy to get a gun in this country - no question about it. There are a lot of countries where gun ownership is legal and gun violence is minimal. I think there is a fundamental difference there that doesn't have anything to do with the ownership of the gun - it is in the mentality of the society.
liveonearth
Apr. 23rd, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
D is also opposed to gun ownership by the public. She grew up in Germany and no one has guns there. The difficulty here is that we can't get all the guns out of public hands. It is too late. If the government gets aggressive enough try to disarm this society, it will be civil war.

So what do we do now? How do we change the society's mentality, and what is the difference between ours and the less mortal gun owners? Who else owns guns? Do they watch Hollywood movies and Fox TV?

You're right, I do enjoy sociology.

Are you still taking the class on deviance this summer? Would you be willing to conspire with me for me to cover the material without actually being a student in the class? I'd like to buy the books, keep up with the readings, and know what the assigments are. I'd love to read your tests too, if that's possible. I am unwilling to pay the tuition but would love to learn the material with you...
neptunia67
Apr. 23rd, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
And therein lies the problem... what to do? What to do? Makes my head spin.

Sure, I think that's a good idea re: the class. I am getting the syllabus early so I can do some reading on the plane - will make a copy for you. I already know the book: Constructions of Deviance: Social Power, Context, and Interaction, by Adler and Adler; 2005; ISBN-10: 0495003727 - looks like it's running around $50 used at this time.

I think it will be GREAT to take the class alongside you(even unofficially). I'm sure it will inspire some great conversation and make the class more meaningful. Wheeee!
liveonearth
Apr. 23rd, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
I just ordered the book.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 23rd, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Unused yeast makes it cloudy. It is sweet because the yeast has not converted the surgar to alcohol. After the sugar is gone the yeast drops to the bottom of the batch.
bodacia
Apr. 25th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
There is not a party in our politics that represents me. The democrats and republicans are the same: corruptly supporting large corporations at the expense of the people. The greens are wilted....I would like to see people begin to discuss the issues and arrive at solutions for each one without regard for affiliations....I would like to see us mind our own business, as a nation. We may have the biggest gun, but that doesn't make us the deciders of right and wrong.

I feel like I could have written this. You're probably a bit more "libertarian" than I am (I AM in favor of social programs, just not of irresponsible/lazy people taking unfair advantage)...but, essentially, yeah, I agree with you. I SO don't fit into any one political party, spiritual belief system, or any other societal cubby hole. I suppose this makes me interesting? In fact, it makes my life harder, cuz I just can't go with the flow.
liveonearth
Apr. 25th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
You can go with your own flow, my friend! The fact that no one else knows the same truth that you know doesn't mean you're wrong. Better to think for yourself. Sometimes the flow says NO not that way. But it's good to know that sometimes when I write you think "I could have written this". We are not alone. There are more thinkers than just us two.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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