Harry S. Truman

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All information should be free, especially to people like me who struggle, really struggle to find new information and interpret it and make people’s lives better.  But instead, people who write this highly structured non-fiction that is scientific research, get it published in difficult (if not impossible) to retrieve places.  Where authors might actually enjoy hearing from fairly enlightened readers such as I.

But some pieces of science are interpreted by university press offices who deliver them back to me.  Sometimes, the message is so strong that I am nevertheless impressed, and need tooooooooooooo tell my beloved followers.  Like an article I just read: “Modern Parenting may hinder brain development.”

As that kid in Peanuts says, “AAUUGGHH!” I had always believed that civilization progressed only forward. I became a history buff when I was a child largely because I believed a dictum (which was once attributed to Harry S. Truman; more recently, I think, to Winston Churchill and now, to George Santayana.)

Read more on Can past traditions be better than present ones?…

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I never professed to understand French politics as more than an observer.  It was one part of the French civilization that seemed a bit overwhelming.  I remember being told there were over fifty political parties.  It seemed as if getting anything done required an amazing amount of compromise. I was impressed by the fact they had elections on Sundays.  How delightful to have an election day when nobody had to work, let alone request an excuse from the same.  No little “I voted” stickers. I remember thinking we never could have pulled off Sunday elections in the states.  Certainly not in the Boston area, where I grew up.  Home of blue laws, those strange laws that said things like you could not dance in certain places on Sunday, the day of the Lord, so people in bars in certain localities where such laws persisted would park their bottoms on bar stools and tap their feet in all manner of ways, so that no church could define such activities as dancing.

People told me I would have troubles in France because it was a “Catholic” country.  I do not think any trouble I can remember came from the few people who actually attended church regularly. But back to politics.  The parties were grouped into “left,” “right,” and “center.”  The left included the commies, whom I had to reassure that even though I was an American I did not hate them.  I found “rightists” fearing change as obsessively as any conservative (read “ultra-republican” American ever could. Read more on Psychology of Politics (and Politicians)…

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