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[xmca] Just old Russians? Haydi and the Perfidy of Nations

Dear Haydi --

I can well understand your anger at American actions in the world. I
remember a time when it seemed easy to tell the good guys from the bad
guys, growing up during the Second World War. I am deeply disturbed not
only by the foreign, but the domestic policies of my government. Unhappily,
I am not encouraged at all by the domestic and foreign policies of any of
the major world powers. The world is a very scarey place, a place in which
international cooperation among
nations in conflict is extraordinarily difficult.

You are absolutely correct that when my wife and I went to the USSR in 1962
we lived among the elite, not the common people (even the students who
gained access to Moscow State University were, in their many ways, elite).
So the American rockets of October 1962, which ringed the USSR, were aimed
at my family. Some of the people I met
became life long friends and models. As Karl Levitin said of Luria, he was
a man who sought to be a decent person
in indecent times. Those times are back, and with them, all of the
indecencies humans can perpetrate on each

As I commented in my response to Helena's message, the rich grow richer,
the poor destitute and desperate.

Andy commented with respect to Yrjo's work that it was all well and good to
be called in to help a group of people
in an institution try to figure out how to stay afloat and do more
effective work, but that does not solve the mega
problems of humanity. You upbraid me for the pefidy of my government and,
it seems, appear to believe that I have spent my lifetime glorifying
Russians who turned out to be not so glorious.

No apologies for continuing my interest in Russian intellectual thought and
its expression in areas of my professional
competence. Time well spent. At least the Russians introduced me to Dewey
properly! But you might take a little
time to see what else I have done in life. There is a web page at
lchc.ucsd.edu that contains some of that informaiton.
Or, you could check out uclinks.ucsd.edu. Insufficent? For sure.
Inadequate? Equally certain. But indifferent and
inactive, I believe not. Check it out. Criticism always welcome.

Meantime, at the attached link, if you have access to it, is a form of
international collaboration across conflicting
nations some 30 years ago. At the very least it might prove interesting to
test out the shakey state of my
Russian and my unbelievable youth!!


And for you and the others following this conversation another Bob Dylan
song that seemed to resonate strongly
with me this afternoon after the stimulating messages of this morning on

*"With God On Our Side"*

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And the land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns on their hands
And God on their side.

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

With greatest respect, as the Russians say,
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