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On all those other sides to the story

When I worked as a planner I saw more than two sides to just about every story. Hardly any decision is a clearcut "good" or "bad" one. Usually there are elements of both in all decisions, however great or terrible they appear on the surface.

Because I know this from long experience I sometimes appear wishy-washy or undecided. I like to know more before I jump onto any bandwagons with both feet. Unfortunately, this isn't how this country works. Everything is in 30-second sound bites - or less. Yes, one can get a greater response from the public by framing a situation in simple terms and defining it as purely good or evil. But one doesn't get informed action. I like informed.

When Dianne Feinstein voted in favor of Mukasey I was angry. I went to her website and read her letter explaining her action. She believes that his whole testimony indicates he would make a good attorney general, in spite of his comments on waterboarding. On balance she felt he was a good candidate and there was likely to be no better one. I may not agree with her but I didn't hear all that she heard. Neither did most of America. I can't say that he's going to make a terrible attorney general. I haven't done enough reading or listening to form a good opinion.

What disappoints me is that I feel I can't trust any of the groups that represent my interests, not all the time. All of them have tendencies to skew the facts to make things simple. And I am not interested in simple. I want as much information as I need to get a clear picture. When I got an email from the Courage Campaign, the goals of which I wholeheartedly support, asking me to censure Feinstein for voting the way she did, I was really pissed. Why can't we put our efforts into bringing down this corrupt administration instead of taking little pricks at people who at least act legally?


Judith Lautner
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January 2012


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