Monthly Archives: May 2006

Sophie, Killer of Socks

This is Sophie, Killer of Socks. click for full gallery shot

She has just bravely killed not one, not two, but four pairs of socks. Not only did she kill them, but she dragged them out of the basket, from the nightstand to the bed, down to the floor, then down the hall to the top of the stairs, where she did the low “mroouw?” that says “I’ve killed something, come and see!!!1”

Note that she did this, and was praised four times, and given snacky treats two of those times. Three of the killed prey were displayed and mrouw’d over at the top of the stairs… the fourth one was dragged all the way down the stairs too!! I think she would have kept right on going, only four was the limit of the socks in the nest laundry basket at the time.*

At this time we are not sure why Sophie got the urge to be a brave killer. She is 17, has some minor mobility issues and can’t jump up on the bed, so we have a little step-stool that she climbs to get to the bed in three steps. The only thing we can figure is that there was a notable lack of food in the bowl at one location (to wit: downstairs, but not in the bowl she walked by at least 4 times to get to the bed :) and that she figured it was her turn (comma damnit) to hunt and provide for the family.

* (Somehow at least three of the killed socks made it back to the laundry basket on the nightstand the next day, and two of these needed killing. Again. Their freshly-killed-again corpses were found on the stairs in various states of brought-down.)

Empathy 101

I was talking with a friend recently about empathy. I think a lot of people are “naturally” empathic, but I also think it’s a learned response, meaning that it’s a skill one can improve with thought and practice.

Before talking about practice, let me share my theory of how empathy works. Sometimes, clues can be obvious and you can pick up how someone else feels by watching body language, tone of voice, facial expression, etc. But, other times you may not consciously be aware of the clues, and your mind may pick up on them subconsciously anyway. In that case, you may not be aware of *how* the feelings are being “broadcast” at you or around you, but usually you can pick up on them anyway. Continue reading

Liberty vs. Safety

I believe that one of the things that makes the USA great is the Bill of Rights. More to the point, I think the Bill of Rights is one of a very few things that makes the United States *worth* protecting. Freedom from unreasonable search (4th amendment) is one of those rights which I consider important.

I believe that finding and catching terrorists is important, but not as important as preserving the fundamental character of our nation. I agree with Ben Franklin: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Would we seek to root out terrorists at the expense of who we are? I believe that the ends do *not* justify the means. However strong my fear might be, my hope and pride for my nation is greater.

If you share this belief, feel free to copy this, or post something of your own. If you feel strongly about it, call your congressmen and tell them, or send a postcard.