Thursday, March 13, 2003

I was at a meeting earlier today in which there was discussion on faith based intiatives to strengthen marriage and family. It seems that US dept. of Health and Human services is going to be providing loads of money for marriage strengthening programs among refugee populations and also in ethnic minority communities.

I love the idea.

However, I am in disagreement with the Bush people who see family strengthening as a way to alleviate poverty, it actually seems to be the other way around. Financial hardships put a lot of strain on marriages and do cause far more break ups that we give it credit for. So I think anti-poverty programs are primary. That said, if millions are going to go to marriage strengthening, regardless of motive or intent of such a law, it is hard to see how there can be anything negative said about that.

I get the feeling that President Bush would crinkle his nose if he sat next to an Arab. People who know him personally or have met him make it clear that he is not a right wing prejuidiced type, but in the past year, he has come off looking like someone who reeks of xenophobia. Either that's true or he needs to dump some of his advisors.

I am reading Leaps of Faith from Kat Lively's FIE press. It is an anthology of Catholic sci-fi. On my way to my meeting in downtown DC I read a couple of stories on the train and I was excited. I had gone through the first half of the book, about 6-8 stories, and of them, I only liked 2 and so I had put the whole book down for a few a weeks (besides, I've been extremely busy past few months). Well I was determined to finish the book so I resumed reading today. I read three stories actually and they were very good. Anthologies can be hit or miss and I think this one is a very good start. I think the story arrangement (i.e., which story is placed first and so on) and editing in some of the first stories could be better, but once you hit your stride, especially in the second half of the book, it really is quite interesting. I actually can't wait to resume reading tonite.

My thoughts on the Iraq thing. I am one of those who is not opposed to war in principle. I think the US has no choice but to go to war now, so they should. However, I think that this war was not necessary and they could have waited at the very least, one more year. Iraq and given inspections one last legitimate shot. For a nation that underwent an event like 9-11, for us to have squandered so much good will takes a lot of skill. Bush has not distinguished himself as president and his foreign policy has to mark him as one of the least effective presidents of the last few decades. Of course he may turn things around soon, but for now he is batting below average on so many fronts, foreign policy, economy, etc.


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