Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guns, Germs, and other things

Last night I was over on another boat and we got into a most interesting conversation, that I would like to share some of the things I learned... Unfortunately it is of a political nature. I must be growing more conservative in my old age, so here I am writing about politics.
Its about guns.
Some of the fellow sailors down here are Canadian, so they come from a land with different rules, and the whole "right to bear arms" leads to contention. But I am beginning to understand why the USA started up that amendment, and why it was near the top of the list. It is important. In a society there are many things that drive the balances of power, such as money, or food, or strength of arm (like a big dude at school), or strength of arms (the guns). In a place such as China, where the general public is not allowed to have guns, then that kind of power is very highly concentrated in the military, which is controlled by the leaders. Supposing the leaders are unpopular, they have the upper hand, whereas in another country (say that this country exists, just pretend) where the power of armament is more spread out, if the leaders are unpopular, they can be replaced.
But at the same time, I think that there are many things that can force the balance of power, and in the USA only the guns have a nice amendment to try and diversify. There isn't much about spreading money around, (Socialist!!) and for certain, money is effective in keeping the leaders in office, with the whole lobby thing.
So I am more understanding about the second amendment, but I don't think I agree to it that much anymore, since the "powers that be" are still much stronger than me no matter how many guns I have.
As for life on an island, having a gun is a tremendous balance shifter. If I were to have a gun on my boat and a pirate comes along without one, I have the huge upper hand.
Actually, a lot of this thinking came about when I was watching "Lost" the TV series, over the last few weeks. Its a dumb part of the show that comes up quite often, that someone has a gun and the other does not, and you get to watch the drama that comes from a power shift.
If you look at the picture very carefully, you will see a joke.
I also am starting another course of antibiotics, in order to try and cure the infection in my toe, where I kicked a sea urchin a long time ago. This is the third try, and it is tenacious. So watch out for urchins. I got a double course of antibiotics, so I can have an extra set if something happens while on the way to Hawaii.
And lastly, I plotted out the course of the sun through the year in Longitude shift. So if you look out every day at the same time (say noon) and watch the sun, it should move west and east over the year in this pattern...

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