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I give up understanding American politics

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Abut a week ago today I climbed off a plane in Philadelphia, and took the little train to 30th street station where I was going to catch a larger train to New York. Somewhere in 30th Station I passed a news stand; outsde it stood three soldiers, looking ridiculously young and gawky: a blonde girl, a white guy and a hispanic. They had baggy green uniforms, the usual guns and so forth. I don’t know what they were doing there, and they didn’t seem to, either. So far as I know, they were about 6,000 miles from anyone who might seriously be trying to kill them. As I walked towards them, a middle-aged couple ahead of me walked right up to the soldiers, shook their hands, all three of them, and said something about how proud they were.

This confused Andrew Brown, and it also confuses me. It just seems such a strange thing for someone to do. Maybe it’s seen as polite and proper to thank every member of the army you come across for their service – but why do it when they’re on duty? Maybe it’s a strange sign of respect? I certainly don’t get it.

This 368th post was filed under: Headliner.

Some recently published posts

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Californian taxis, gun ownership and democracy / May 2019, 9 minutes long

The assassination of JFK / May 2019, 6 minutes long

Crossing the US-Mexico border / May 2019, 10 minutes long

Some random old posts

Swing Update / April 2005, 1 minute long

It’s my birthday / April 2005, Less than a minute long

Hilarious investigative journalism / March 2006, Less than a minute long

The Blairs’ Christmas card / November 2006, 1 minute long

The brilliant user interface of regular TVs / February 2014, Less than a minute long

How can religious people explain this? / December 2004, 1 minute long


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