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Tim's last word on "No more"

Dear Tim,

I hardly know what to say in response to your last word on our recent 
conversations.  Clearly, I cannot compete with your broad background and 

I speak and write only one language--American English--but a long time ago 
I passed a test in written Russian.

I have not written any books, although I am writing my autobiography which 
I hope will someday be read by my children and grandchildren.  I doubt that 
it will be translated into any foreign language and it will only be found 
on a bookshelf in my house (or perhaps a box in the garage).

I do not have "considerable skill" in public speaking, not even local 
renown, much less "international respect."  In fact, that is one of my 
great weaknesses (along with my inability to think).

I served in the U.S. Army for 2 1/2 years, but spent the entire time in the 
safe confines of Fort Devens, Massachusetts.

I am approaching 68 years of age and have (so far) survived World War II, 
the Korean War, Viet Nam, the Gulf War, and the War on 
Terrorism.  Fortunately, I cannot think of one person I knew who was killed 
in any of these wars so I cannot possibly have the "sense of duty to 
companions lost in war" which you have.

However, I do believe that I understand "plain English" when I see it.  I 
haven't seen it from you.  In two previous messages I have asked you a 
plain, simple question which you have refused to answer in your two 
responses.  Although I understand that you have said your last word on this 
subject, I will ask it once again:

Tim, are you suggesting that any American who believes in what his country 
is doing to prevent terrorism is guilty of "blind unthinking patriotism?"

I don't believe that this question interferes with your freedom of speech 
or the right to your opinions "right or wrong."  I am not arguing with your 
opinions, but only with the debating techniques which you use (i.e., 
denigrate the intelligence of anyone whose opinion differs from your 
own).  By the way, I have looked back at some of your previous messages to 
this group and find that you used the same technique in your tirades 
against Andrew Sinclair in which you labeled him a fool uttering complete 
nonsense.  You may be right--I do not know--but I disagree with this 
technique of making a point.

I don't believe that my question, which can be answered with a simple "yes" 
or "no," (then I would have at least a chance at understanding your 
position) is evidence that my "responses became somewhat heated" as you 

The first time I asked the question you might have said, "No, but we must 
all be careful not to follow our leaders without thinking about and 
understanding the reasons for, and the consequences of, our country's 
actions."  Plain, straightforward English and understandable.  Certainly, 
the right to question any action of our duly elected officials is one of 
the fibers that has made our respective civilizations endure the test of 
time. That would have satisfied me and it would have ended there.  Instead, 
you attacked by stating: "I chose my words with care" and "Make of that 
what you will" and "Reason, Justice and Truth have rarely been able to 
impinge on prejudice, be it racial, religious, nationalistic or class based."

Finally, in the interest of plain language that is devoid of unsaid 
implications and rhetoric (that's definition 2b not 1 or 2a in my 
"Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary"), I would personally prefer that 
you use "President George W. Bush" rather than "political master" and 
"American bombing of Afghanistan" rather than "evil...act of war against a 
largely civilian population."  However, that is only my opinion, which (you 
have implied) can be dismissed by the members of this mailing list because 
I do not have the background and language skills of Tim Wallace-Murphy.

I agree with your closing paragraph to me that time will tell whether the 
present conflict is justifiable.  As human beings, we are all ultimately 
judged more by our actions than by our words. It is my strong belief that 
the terrorism that we witnessed on September 11, or this past week in 
Jerusalem or on the streets of London this past summer, or anywhere else 
that similar tragedies have occurred, must be eliminated at the root from 
which it grows.  The people of the world have a right to exist without the 
fear of barbaric terrorism to further the views of those who choose not to 
use civilized means through which to solve disagreements.  The governments 
of the world have a responsibility to protect their people from this 
terrorism, which may not be analogous to anything history has yet 

Have a great and safe holiday season,

Richard Huseth

At 10:30 PM 12/4/2001 +0000, Tim Wallace-Murphy wrote:
>Dear Richard,
>While I admit that English is only my third chronological language from
>birth, I would respectfully submit that I, nonetheless, use it with some
>clarity and precision. Evidence for that is on the bookshelves in the United
>Kingdom, Ireland, the USA, Australia, South Africa as well as in
>translations into six European langauges. I have also earned international
>respect as a public speaker of considerable skill.
>Therefore, if you persist in mis-understanding plain English whether written
>by myself or others, I cannot usefully persue this debate and will close my
>contribution to it with this final statement...

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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