Tuesday, February 25, 2014

For anyone who has lost a dog...

Which is all dog owners, save those who have had their own lives tragically cut short...

Brigid has a memorial to Barkley who passed yesterday.

  There is much that dogs do not understand,  but they comprehend pain, even if they do not know why  and they look to us, their companions for help. I can understand the pain of the realization when the best thing you can do for your best friend is to release them from their pain.

Sometimes our best is still tragic.

For me it was Bob.  A delightful talkative Brittany Spaniel. I got him when he was a puppy no bigger than my shoe.  Had him through high school,  was separated through university and grad school, and was reunited with him out in Indiana for one last year.

   Brigid,  I'm truly sorry for your loss. He was fortunate to have you as a true friend.

Edit: Erin's got a very touching poem up.  The third to last stanza really hit me.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Yeah I know it's another Tom story....

But this one's quite amusing.

So here's another story from Mr. A's  more blue collar progressive friend.

And he came up to a mutual friend in law school with this question:
I got a question maybe you can shed some light on in my town there's some sort of bylaw they put on the books. Once a year we have to pay them 60 dollars and they come into our home, make sure our fire detectors have batteries and check the temp on our water heater. If we refuse them we can be evicted. How the hell is this legal? Why do cops need warrants but these dipshits can just barge right in?
Just bask in the realization of what his policies of "common good" and "important regulations" have wrought.

The law school friend replies amazingly with a straight face:  "Because those dipshits aren't cops. They're there to perform a "necessary function of government" well, a necessary service. Also! those guys? if they see anything illegal? you don't have 4th amendment search and seizure rights"

To which Tom replies:

That's so fucked. We can check our own fire alarms, thank you. And why the fuck do they get to dictate what temp we can set our water heater to? And how is that a valid administrative reason? Apparently checking batteries qualifies and pretty much everyone has smoke detectors

Careful there buddy!  You're starting to sound like you're some libertarian nut job.  Besides you've got nothing to hide, right citizen?

Remember this IS a man who thinks people should be finned if they don't buy health insurance.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Ehh.... how about another rambling Tom story?

You might remember Tom? He's the more "blue collar" progressive friend of Mr. A.

Now I could tell the story of a "tongue and cheek" tabletop idea of Tom's.
Basically the paranoid right wing fantasies are... dun dun dun... right! That's fascinating for what he doesn't say. See the game is limited to right wing paranoia being communist-Muslim-gays and harry potter being satanic and chemtrail stuff.

And not things like: The IRS is punishing people based on politics.  The AFT shipping guns to Mexican drug lords.  The NSA spying on everyone's email. The President wants to ban guns.

But as Glenn Reynolds says. "Yeah but they keep raising the bar on what it takes to be ridiculous: 9 Utterly Ridiculous Conspiracy Theories."

And his views on guns are interesting.  He doesn't like them, and he doesn't like the gun culture. (There's also some daddy issues at work here. He doesn't want his dad being able to carry a gun.)  But  he'll readily confess the gun control won't work in the US.

And he'll begrudgingly admit that gun control has a racist history, falls disproportionately on the poor,  and the police are totally except.  And this is amazing from someone who is a big anti-rich, the republicans are racist, the cops are corrupt class warrior.

Heck, he'll bemoan the police abuse against the "mostly peaceful" occupy protesters while admitting that armed 2nd amendment protests don't get the hickory shampoo.

But then he'll go on about how gun rights seem to come at the cost of "open season on minorities".  He doesn't have numbers to show that gun control reduces white on minority violence, and because he doesn't actually advocate for gun control he doesn't have too!

Oh as a bonus,  he lives in Massachusetts and his bosses-boss is one of those "connected assholes" (his words) that can get a carry permit.

So he gets to bemoan gun rights, without actually having to face the arguments that refute his position.

And thus he'll occasionally mention some tragedy.  Like a father shooting his daughter when she snuck into the house and he thought she was a burglar.  Or a child accidentally shooting a sibling.

And he'll blame the gun culture.  And when it's pointed out that gun control is all about "abstinence only" education and that gun rights people are the biggest gun safety people and are very big on the Rules, he brushes it aside with a "Well, *some* gun rights people and organizations are big on safety".

Here's a comparison that made the penny drop for me. 

Imagine someone who is all "eww teh gay" and "The bible says Adam and Eve!"
Now imagine this person looking at the various court rulings and going: "Oh guess we're doomed to have gay marriage."

Now imagine this person rooting around for "crime of passions"  where the victim and murderer are the same sex.  And using these examples to denounce same sex marriage while bemoaning that its too late to stop it.

The upside? The guy won't actually advocate for gun control.   So there's that.

But he thinks of it less like a rights or even policy issue and more like a cultural greegree.

On a somewhat related note I've seen people who brim with oikophobia at the idea of  heathens from Utah carrying in NYC admit that magazine and assault weapons bans are stupid. Then they'll go and say the gun debate is pointless and doesn't even address the "real issue of violence".

This has happened a few times.  Heck Cracked even did an article with this exact theme.

Again you have someone conceding "Sure gun control is stupid"  but they can't admit that the gun rights people are... right.

See the people who are arguing for banning guns because they look scary, and the people who don't want to go to jail because they own the wrong type of stock are *equally* to blame for not addressing the "real issue of violence".

It couldn't possibly be that the former is a mite more exploitative than the former.

My guess is that they're saying "Sure gun control is wrong, but! That doesn't mean you gun nuts are right!"

Hell, I've had the Mr. A's friend lament that discretionary issue "isn't binary."  See he didn't like the idea of cops being empowered to deny something to people for any reason, but he felt all icky with the logical result being that all those stupid commoners could carry.

So he had to invent a third option.