02 July 2010


CIVIL RIGHTS. Forty-six years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With the stroke of a pen, it became illegal to compel racial segregation in schools, housing, or employment, invalidating the Jim Crow laws of the American South. The original bill was introduced by President John F. Kennedy, who did not live to see its passage into law -- he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. The Civil Rights Act remains one of the most important and far-reaching laws in the nation's history. (How many faces from the photo below can you identify? Click on the image to enlarge.)

TERRORISTS. A thoughtful article by Scott Atran and Robert Axelrod points out the utter necessity for maintaining dialogue with all political entities, including those with whom we may be at odds. Only through ongoing contact can we learn to understand (and be understood by) those of different ideologies or cultural backgrounds. Understanding will, in the best instance, lead to a lessening of tensions and avoidance of war. In the worst instance, understanding provides us with the tools for waging conflict most effectively. Let us always hope for the best instance in this troubled world.

WANDERING. Bumper sticker -- "Don't let your mind wander. It's too small to be left alone." In Discovering the Virtues of a Wandering Mind, John Tierney reminds us of the benefits, even the evolutionary survival value, of daydreaming. Where does the mind go during those flights of fancy? I think Ill find out right now ..................

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