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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Still More Thoughts: I had a pretty heavy week apparently, huh? The computer message board can turn in a sort of online thoughts journal that (ideally) leads to some feedback and discussion. It also can be useful to determine how your words are being interpreted. For instance, I cited what others thought about the Pledge of Allegiance's use of "under God" (added in the 1950s to show we were a religious people, not atheistic communists) and was a bit taken aback when a reply mentioned my "prejudices." (The post concerned Roy Moore, see below, but this is what the person was responding to, as I later learned). It turned out that it was thought that I was discussing my own views. Others can result in additional information, as seen by an article referred to me by someone who read my post on Daniel Pipes. I appreciated this because though I discussed his nomination to the Institute of Peace, I really know very little about him per se. I hoped my post would add to my knowledge.

Some posts lead to predictable replies, as this one on Attorney General's Patriot Act Roadshow. I reeled back some of my rhetoric, as I try to do, because things tend to be more complex than either side thinks. It is hard to tell if I changed any in the last ten years, but I think I have become a bit more restrained ... except when watching sports ... and reflective. I hope so at least. Other replies are interesting in that they give me an opposing viewpoint, hopefully in a respectable and intelligent fashion. See, for instance, this post on Prop 54 (Racial Privacy Initiative), which was inspired not only by a Findlaw article (often an interesting piece leads me to contemplate some and feel a need to post), but an earlier post that supported the effort. Since I have mixed feelings about such things, and the original post got basically negative replies, I posted something. The responses were per usual appreciated.

A couple books. Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith (author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) was an enjoyable story of young love that takes place in a college town in the 1920s. Not only is the primary character (a young newlywed named Anne) a charming character, it was unusual to have so many matter-of-fact mentions of sex. It was written in the early 1960s, but I bet it was somewhat controversial, especially since it clearly is partly geered to young adults (the husband and wife are twenty and eighteen, respectively). It was a nice find, since I have trouble finding fiction that I enjoy. The other was a good little book entitled Torn Between Two Cultures: An Afghan-American Speaks Out by Maryam Qudrat Aseel. The title is self-explanatory, but it was notable for putting a human face on a religious but modern first generation Afghan-American [I thought perhaps the term was "Afghani," but she doesn't mention any controversy regarding the matter]. I read stories like this and I can simply can not stereotype. We are not just dealing with "them" but people just like "us." This tends to compel one to look at things differently, or so I think anyway.