Yesterday I was tagged by caroline with the following exercise. I was really busy, and didn't want to take time to do it then. I have a limited selection of books now because most are packed and stored, except for my professional library which is being donated to an agency, and a handful of other books. Since the instructions say to not look for "intellectual" books I avoided the professional set. I picked up 3 different books and all of them had a chapter change on page 123. Finally I found one which fit the requirement.
Before we go to the exercise, I want to do just a bit of editorializing. I get quite a lot of emails that say "Republicans are bad," or "Democrats stink." OK, I have opinions, too, but one thing that really bugs me is when people send those without any concern for the validity. That really, really burns me. I believe I am fairly close to the middle of the partisan wars (although most of my acquaintences who have a party preference think I am on "the other side"); I vote according to the issue or the platform of the candidate rather than party affiliation. And I actually try to research the aforesaid and make an informed decision.
I'm aware that many of my friends and relatives consider me a liberal. I probably lean that direction (keep in mind that I am a social worker, the education of which just helped to solidify what I believed before I started college at age 36), but I'm not blindly following the herd. However, if I express disagreement with someone, they assume I am "on the other side." Drives me crazy!
A while back I received an email from someone very dear to me. The interesting thing was that I had received four (4) prior to that, 2 which had the flavor of "Democrats eat babies for a midnight snack," (I'm jesting with these examples) and the other 2 whispered that "Republicans are evil." All 5 of them were identical except that people (I don't know what people or where) were changing the party name to suit their own purpose. Well, I went over the edge. I wrote back to the Very Dear person and said that I had received 5, yadda-yadda-yadda, all that stuff above. I asked that Very Dear remove me from that forwarding list unless Very Dear has checked out the facts therein, in which case I welcome the informational input. Well, of course, this created an awkward space between Very Dear and myself for a while.
I didn't research the information, either, but there were a couple glaring errors for each party. One was this: The mailing listed a bunch of Democrat presidents and the bad situations that each got us into. One of the "points" was that Kennedy(1960-1963) got us into the Vietnam War and that Johnson (1963-??[I don't know this date, and haven't looked it up, sorry]) carried it out. I'm a bit of a history buff; I don't know it all, but I have read enough to know that point is just wrong. We were in Vietnam from at least the early 1950s. Most of it at that time was in an advisory role, but we were covertly there, simultaneous to our involvement in Korea, and assessing what was going on. Good or bad, it makes sense; our presence in Korea and the French involvement in Vietnam could easily become "front door" and "back door" to each other. We probably did need to keep an eye on VN as part of assuring that it stayed separate from our situation in Korea. And don't for a minute think that the persons who were "observing" and "assessing" were unarmed! They weren't nuts!
That decade (1952-1960) was the Eisenhower administration. Now, were there US troops there (VN) before that? I've not read or heard of it, but that doesn't rule it out. Truman's administration might well have had "observers" there. Bottom line is that it didn't start with Kennedy. We were involved long before he came to office. Thus, the random finger pointing without evidence is inflaming and destructive to our political system.
So why am I telling you all this? Because of the irony of the book and the lines of the book which fit into this little nonsensical exercise. Below is the challenge, if you should chose to take it. But whether you do or not, be sure to read the random three lines and note the author and title of a book on my shelf that follows.
Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence (grab next nearest book if fewer than seven sentences found).
4. Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag three people.
From Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence, by Admiral Stansfield Turner, Director of Central Intelligence 1977-1981.
“One of the CIA’s earliest services to Eisenhower was to give him an accurate picture of the rapidly deteriorating French military situation in Vietnam. Eisenhower’s thinking on the situation was closer to the CIA’s than to that of his vice president. So it appeared that the CIA helped to sabotage Nixon’s first attempt to influence foreign policy.”
Now, I'll bet I've opened a real can of worms, haven't I? i'll blame it on Caroline!! :-))