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thanks for the homework help, saddam!

I'm helping Natalie study for a test on The Giver.

We are discussing how Jonas is disturbed to find out his allowed to lie. Now he will wonder who else has the ability to lie and who has been lying to him all along. His friends? His parents?

We have been watching the news while we study and Natalie says, "Saddam must feel a bit like Jonas right now."

She explains, "He doesn't know if his people have been lying to him, if they are going to surrender or give him away. If he thinks that even if one of them is lying, then they could all be lying. He must be going nuts because he doesn't know who he can trust. Like Jonas."

English lit understood through war. Lesson over.


Your daughter has, by far, a much better grasp on things than people years older (and supposedly wiser). You done good with that one, Michele

Heh heh. It's not good to be king after all... Incidentally she's right -- by all reports his followers regularly lie to him, mostly because he is already seriously delusional and doesn't take bad news very well. Sounds like some relationships I've had...

Kenneth Pollack reported in his book on Arab armies at war that the Egyptians had a special intel unit in 1973 to track clear radio chatter by Israeli units. The purpose wasn't so much to find out what the Israelis were doing as to find out where Egyptian units were. Seems the Egyptian army commanders would not give their superiors accurate information what was going on, especailly if it reflected badly on the reporting officer. When the Israelis destroyed that unit by a commando raid the Egyptian high command lost its only source of truthful information about its own army units.

Did you explain to your daughter about theUN and that most of those diplomats lie most of the time. There's a few, like China's ambassasor who's never said a true word in public in his life, except by coincidence.

You could also explain that politicians like Chirac, who base their main support on a lie get short term benefits but eventually lose big because of this.

In work relationships I've noticed that if you work for an idiot, then liars end up taking over, because they can always claim to be able to do things they can't, they can claim to be sure when they aren't and they can lay blame on others. This explains how much of humanity fucks up, and has a moral. Never work for an idiot.

That has got to be one of my most favorite books of all time.

And Natalie amazes me. You've got an incredible daughter.