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But I digress: Even if we disagree, can we talk?

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By John Pawlak

A man I’ve known for many years recently told me that he no longer wants to have anything to do with me. He accused “my kind” of being responsible for the 50 million deaths incurred during WWII, the turmoil we endured from the Cold War, the more than 50,000 deaths during the Vietnam War, the collapse of America’s moral infrastructure, the decline of the nuclear family and finally for the 9/11 attack.

He summarized his explosive outburst by telling me that he was sick of my “anti-American pacifist left wing liberal hippie drivel.”

I found this type-casting very strange indeed. I mean, I don’t even own a tie-dyed shirt.

Granted, this man and I were never drinking buddies but we were always able to civilly discuss any subject, no matter how controversial. In poetic terms of how I was taught to argue, we always agreed to agreeably disagree. Our differences on politics had little to do with our personal feelings toward each other. But when I brought up the subject of bringing our troops home from Iraq, he went nonlinear.

Now, I have a graduate-level education in mathematics, and so when I say nonlinear, trust me – his chaotic dynamics were in complete disorder. Also, I think he bent his asymptote.


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