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Pets, Pests, and Protesters June 9, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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It’s not like you can avoid them.  They are aggressive, pushy, and they are on a mission.  They want to get their way and they want you to decide it’s OK for them to do it even if it’s at your expense.  I am not talking about people in traffic today, but if I were, I would report I saw the same kind of people on my 7 mile commute that always seems to take at least 15 minutes longer than it should, at a minimum.  If I drive the same route on a Saturday or Sunday it takes 12 minutes.

No, I mean animals, and protesters.  I can see them in front of pet stores.  “Puppy mills are torture, won’t somebody think of the puppies?”  Adopting a pet sounds like a great idea until you get it home and have to deal with the past traumas and ferocious defenses of an abused animal with adrenalin on overload.  By contrast, we have a pet store that people accuse of getting at least some of their pets from mills.  I keep wondering where they get those magnificent fish.  And the guinea pigs and birds are just too cute.  Hold either of them and see them discharge on your clothes!  Yay!  This place sells totally cute puppies, and also sells adorable cats, which I infinitely prefer.  Sadly, although I love them and would delight to have a few, my last batch of tropicals and my last batch of goldfish died and so I emptied the tank and cleaned it, and haven’t gone back for more.  A cat and a few fish would be more fun to watch than our guinea pigs.  We got one from said pet store, and one from a “breeder” at the state fairgrounds.  So which is worse?  A “breeder” or a “mill?”  Or are they really the same thing?  If the animal rights protester has no evidence or hasn’t seen for themselves, why do they bother protesting something they know nothing about?   Because they’re sheep and they follow the leader.

Animal rights protesters will get right in your face.  They think thousands of years of food, fur blankets and fur coats and leather is more barbaric than practical.  Those commercials on TV should have been debunked by now, as I am sure the shabby looking pictures are mostly rescued pets (think floods and natural disasters), or sick pets or animals that are either currently receiving help or are beyond help.  I want to be sympathetic, but I also know wild animal populations are out of control.  And if it’s leather, or already cut into steaks, the animal is beyond saving.  Canadian geese are so well protected they attack us and we aren’t supposed to do anything about it.  They’ve become permanent residents rather than doing their annual migrations north to south and back again.  The green areas, sidewalks and parking lots are host to their dubiously donated evidence, and woe to you if you’re on your sidewalk and they decided to put a nest nearby.  My tiny back yard is full of those rabbits eating our trees and shrubs and my vegetable gardens.  I got smart this year and put chicken wire around the whole thing, only to find we have, or had, tiny rodents in our garage.  And the rabbits are circling around that chicken wire trying to find a way in.

The rabbits are pushy and aggressive too, although a bit passively aggressive- they run if I open my back door, but they’re hiding behind my kids’ swingset slide, and under my neighbor’s back porches.  They push their way through to, and aggressively consume, any plant they can to get their grubby, selfish little paws on, regardless of the cost to the homeowner. Sorry, animals do not have the right to be in my garden eating my food, or in my house, unless it’s by my invitation.  I haven’t done it, but my neighbor and I have discussed thinning the herd of larger rodents from our backyard chairs.  

The entire Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd skit about whether it is “Wabbit Theathon” or “Duck Season” just flashed through my head.

Bugs Bunny: Would you like to shoot me now or wait ’til you get home? 
Daffy Duck: Shoot him now! Shoot him now! 
Bugs Bunny: You keep outta this! He doesn’t have to shoot you now! 
Daffy Duck: He does SO have to shoot me now! 
Daffy Duck[to Elmer] : I demand that you shoot me now! 
[Daffy sticks his tongue out at Bugs. Elmer shoots.] 

The animal rights people would be furious. They’d be more furious to know I got one of the smaller rodent [deleted]s in my garage last night, and it isn’t a catch and release kind of trap.  There are so many rabbits, we could eat for a while AND have lovely fur coats made for our wives.  And there would still be rabbits cavorting in our back yards.  I want to be sympathetic but I could use a free meal, and they’re all, frankly, thieving and destructive pests.  I suspect the neighbors, and my wife and kids, are feeding them!  (Insert Yosemite Sam style “OOOOOOOH!  Consarn rabbits!”)  I’m resetting the mousetraps tonight just in case the companion comes looking for its’ mate or its’ evening meal.  Holes in my nicely drywalled and insulated garage walls will be repaired after I’m sure they’re all vacated or dealt with.  (Insert another Yosemite Sam “OOOOOOOH!”  Because  THERE’S A COTTON PICKIN’ HOLE IN MY FINISHED GARAGE’S DRYWALL!!) 

I see protesters in front of businesses that people don’t like.  Workers on strike.  Unfair employment practices.  Low pay and no unions allowed.  I want to be sympathetic because I know it’s so hard to find a good job, which is why I work at two and my wife works another.  No comment on how good our jobs are, but I suspect the fact that with college degrees, we still have to work more than one to earn a more-than-poverty annual income says something.

Then there are some who line up and pay travel expenses to protest funerals and other events.  You know them.  In the middle of someone’s grieving process, they want to hijack a private memorial event to make some kind of public political statement.  The protests, about a quarter of a million dollars a year wasted on negative campaigns that make no impact, or raise a counter-protest that only makes things worse.  That’s a quarter of a million dollars a year, that could have been spent on positive social ministries.  This kind of hate speech is protected under the First Amendment, unless it’s the wrong kind of hate speech as deemed wrong by the enforcement community, which seems swayed by the loudest squeaks and the most money.  But do you really want your morality defined by whomever has the most wealth and power, or knows the right legal loopholes to get away with their assault on your rights, or do you want to choose what to believe and think for yourself?

An animal is not the same as a human being.  And therefore I see the protesters in front of abortion mills too.  Bless their hearts. They do save a few human babies from being mercilessly slaughtered.  We look out better for the animals than we do our own species.  It’s a societal problem.  The women’s rights movement says it’s the woman’s body, I say, yes it is.  They say what if it was rape?  No problem.  You pays your money and you makes your choice.  It’s entirely legal for you to do whatever you want, and when it’s not you can always find a back-alley butcher like Douglas Karpen or Kermit Gosnell to do it late term.  I can’t tell you the far reaching consequences.  I have my own moral choice and I stand behind it, and you have your right within the law to do whatever you want as long as it’s legal.  I say it’s your right, not that it’s right.

An ounce of prevention may be obtained at your local gas station bathroom, for about $0.75 or $1.00.  If you don’t want a baby, but you want the action, prevention is easy.  They’re teaching that in schools now, a whole lot more freely than I was taught in high school.  All I learned in High School was how it worked, and the diseases and infestations you could get from sharing your time, and… um… talents, too liberally or with the wrong partner.  Our health teacher said he recommended orange juice.  Instead of extramarital um… activities.  It’s refreshing, the vitamins are good for you, it’s cheaper than raising a baby and safer than going to a doctor for a “procedure.”  And even with prevention there are no 100% guarantees.  

Adultery means anything “Extramarital,” which means anything outside of marriage, which by the way was #7 on God’s top 10 list of things not to do.  Don’t murder, that is to say one human killing another human, was #6.  Fortunately for us humans, though we all make mistakes, sometimes even big ones, there is grace to be had for all repentant sinners.  This, finally, brings me to the actual inspiration for today’s blog.

Ever been broadsided by God’s love?

I wish I was more like Jesus, in the way I met people.  I wish other people were too.  If I carried a megaphone to be heard by an audience and started yelling on the street, that there were huge potholes ahead and to slow down, or if the bridge was out and there were no signs from the police up yet, or there’s a speed trap ahead, would your reaction differ than if I were an animal rights protester, a “human rights” protester of any kind, an itinerant street preacher, or broadsided you with a blog?

If I did it like Jesus, you’d hardly know where I was coming from.  You wouldn’t suspect a thing, until I got to the punch line, or until you were already in my clutches and then SNAP!  The HUG FROM GOD would be upon you!  The gentle instruction to repent, the loving forgiveness of past sin.  The promise of future judgement to the unrepentant.

Oh, those tricky keyword “tags.”  If you set up yourself to follow or check blogs by keyword tags, you get what you get.  I can broadside you with the Gospel because my last article was about stupid traffic, how beautiful people are, about my car or my life falling apart, or how random my day or my brain was or is.  If only I knew exactly what to say to let people know how beautiful they are, and how much God loves them, and that there are potholes and pitfalls and speed traps and natural consequences ahead of them in life, and in the afterlife, depending on their choices. 

If I did, I don’t think I would go with the megaphone and the protest route.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as your assembly remains peaceful and orderly and lawful.  In America, you have the right to do whatever is legal, and I have no problem with that.  I used to speak out about such things, but frankly I don’t care enough any more.  Plus it’s not my job as I’m not a paid speaker.  I’m a person of peace, and I don’t like it when bullies try to tell me what to do, or shove themselves and their rights ahead of myself and my rights, as if I were somehow less important than they.  Although I make a value judgement and a personal choice, and a vote, I have no legitimate protest against you until you take my rights, or the rights of another human being away, in the name of expressing your rights.  While you are driving by or parked in your car, I may not like the “music” that is blasting from your subwoofers at top volume, but I’m not going to say anything about it.  I’ll leave it to law enforcement to determine if it is outside an acceptable decibel range.  I’d rather you not blast your free speech, including your expletives, all over my kids and me, but you probably have a right to do that.  As long as the sound doesn’t break my windows, and you came to pass and not to stay, I guess that’s fine.  But if your subwoofers or some garage band decide to burst into loud song at 11PM on a school night, don’t expect me to join the party.  I’m calling the cops to ask them to gently let you know you’re interfering with my right to sleep.

We have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to practice our religion and not one chosen by our government for us. Among other freedoms.  This is what I love about America.  But more and more, Mainstream Christianity seems to be becoming demonized from all fronts- their own moral judgments are seen as intolerant, even if they just teach it in a gentle and loving way.  And there’s guilt by association even if there isn’t association, with the more radicalized sects.  For instance, if I said I was a Baptist, or attended a Baptist church, wouldn’t you, in the back of your mind, wonder if I was like those Baptists?  Or if I said I believe the normal average law abiding citizen has the right to defend their home and family, would you presume I was one firearm away from a barricaded Utah, Texas, Montana, or Colorado commune?  I’m free to say it, you’re free to think it.  It’s your right.  But it isn’t necessarily right.

And if I set up a “cultural display of religious art” whether I call it religious or not, from any other religion than Christianity, would there be a public outcry to tear it down?  If I set up a nativity in the school, there is.  But if I set up a macrame representation of Shiva, in the school, nobody says a word.  Why is any other religion promoted and provided greater largess and freedom than mine?  I love art and artistic expression.  I also love people and believe they have the legal right to do what they will, within the confines of the law and public decency.  But I think that freedom should be across the cultural board, not limited for some and freely expressed by others.  I think Christianity is hated with as much hatred as is legally allowed, and occasionally that hatred steps into illegal grounds.  

At church, the pastor and deacons and leadership should have the right to decide what goes on, and I can choose whether to attend and presumably abide by their behavioral expectations.  In the Boy Scouts, another private organization, apparently they don’t, which frightens me a little bit about the future. That’s an interesting legal opinion that seems to enforce the world’s standards on a private organization and restrict their rights.  But for now while it’s still legal, in my own home and on my own private property I want the right to decide what goes on.  The behavior of immigrant rodents shall be restricted by any legal means.  Which means, for the rabbits, I may have to wait for “wabbit theathon” and get a license, to do whatever is legal and responsible with them, within the confines of my property’s borders.  Fortunately, mousetraps can be purchased almost anywhere and they don’t have to be the catch and release kind.

::As Simpson’s Helen Lovejoy::  “Please, won’t somebody think of the field mice?!  Such inhumane cruelty!”

SNAP!!

Note to people, including those “religious protesters:”  I’m not a pest and I hope you don’t choose to be one either.  My opinion is that God is loving and merciful and gracious, for now.  You have an open invitation to learn about that, and how to behave in response.  And if you don’t accept the invitation, I don’t care as long as you’re in the field not bothering me or interfering with my life.  I’ve said my piece, and offered you what I know, and now I leave you to God’s care and choice to bless or not.  If you ask me for an opinion I’ll offer it.  I think that’s tolerant of me, and I hope you’re equally tolerant of letting me do what I legally do without telling me what I can’t or shouldn’t do.  Do what you want, but I don’t think it’s news and I don’t necessarily care to see it or hear about it.  And again, it may be your “right,” but that doesn’t make it right.  Mostly I think I can express my opinion by saying many “sins” are the result of us deciding to go our own way and ignoring or refusing the design the Designer had in mind, even if it’s an obvious design.  That includes my own sins.  The potential consequences, and the occasional mercy of God, become equally obvious with a careful examination.  That’s not hate speech, it’s just my opinion, which is worth as much as anyone else’s.

Note to readers:  until it’s not lawful I’m going to continue to express myself and espouse (mainly) the love of God.  Sorry if you don’t like that kind of preaching, it may be just a phase I’m going through.  We’ll get back to fun and merriment soon.  Wait.  Nevermind, this blog was never about fun and merriment.  Fun and merriment in my thoughts is only an entirely random event and not guaranteed to occur.  But it’s possible.

Note to field mice and other vermin of all stripes everywhere:  God is loving and merciful and gracious, but I am not.  Don’t be a pest.  I don’t care as long as you’re in the field, but avoid my house at your life’s peril.  

::As Elmer Fudd::  Note to wabbits:  Stay away fwom my pwants.  Owe I might bwast ya!  

Who am I kidding?  If they’ve read this blog, they know I don’t have a gun!  You say rabbits can’t read?  

 

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