A Little About Curiosity and Snooping

By Janet Walgren
My how things change as we get older. At least they have changed for me. For one thing, my curiosity has been harnessed into useful areas of inquiry – more like the broken horse I posted about earlier. And yet, I wonder, what is it that causes our curiosity or lack thereof to kick into high gear?

The following is an excerpt from my journal when I was 31, divorced and dating a certain man of interest. Unfortunately, I had snooped in his journal and had some repenting to do:

With the easy obstacles of the day out of the way, I was free to concentrate on the “big one.” Rick is a super terrific, dynamite guy that I really like a lot. I was up at his house last Saturday and I read some pages in his journal, unlike my text books, and tonight was the night to repent. Talk about courage, it really took a lot. Thoughts kept popping into my mind all day. Thoughts like, I hope he doesn’t get angry; He will hate me forever; I hope he keeps his sense of humor… most of all I just wished that I hadn’t read his journal.

Rick was such a sweetheart about the whole thing. When I told him that I had done something I shouldn’t have done, he said, “You’re not going to bring me any more food?”

I said “No it’s worse than that, and I hope you will forgive me. I read some pages in your journal.”

Rick grinned with amusement and exclaimed, “Alright! You finally got curious enough to read my journal! See, you’re human and you’re a snoop just like the rest of us!”

I had been fasting and praying for two days for him to take it well and he did. He was so neat, I just couldn’t believe it. He did; however, go get a front page which had been separated from his journal and show it to me. The page said something like, “This is personal; It is none of your business. Keep Out!”

Anyway, this is a season of political campaigning including lies, slander, oppression and suppression of truth. It seems that I get spammed with a deluge of political hate emails on a daily, even hourly basis. One defamatory email that was delivered to two of my in-boxes had been sent to me by several individuals. It was marked “URGENT!!!!!” The email started:

This is very interesting – please take a few moments and read it.

Who is Barack Obama? Something that should be considered when you make your choice. If you do not ever forward anything else, please forward this to all your contacts… it is very scary to think of what could lie ahead for us here in our own United States… better heed this and pray about it and share it. We checked this out on snopes.com. It is factual. Check for yourself.

Well, I think that the person that created this email was not counting on anyone actually checking out snopes for themselves. It’s a well known fact that we are a bunch of lazy snoops who delight in gossip and slander, otherwise how could the “entertainment” rags survive? Well, I did check it out and found that the slanderous email was not factual. I did a “Reply All” to the persons who sent me the email:

Apparently the person who sent this to you didn’t click the link to snopes and check this out. All you have to do is click the link and put “Barack Obama” in the search box. The truth of the matter is that the allegations in this email are FALSE.
Although I am not for Obama, I believe that the hysteria and disinformation that unfortunately surrounds all political campaigns is a disservice to our country and a danger to our freedom. Americans need the best candidates on both sides of the isle that the  U.S. has to offer and lies won’t get us that.
I also believe that we need to carefully evaluate party platforms and pertinent issues to make a wise informed decision on election day. Perhaps we would do well to talk about platforms and issues in a non-partisan manner to arrive at the best solutions.



And now I ask you, what is it that causes our natural human tendency toward curiosity to shut down and morph into a brainless frenzy of mass hysteria at election time? This is the time that we should be becoming Super Snoops! It seems to me that we should be investigating every facet of every candidate to determine who is best qualified for the job. What is their background? What is their experience? What is their track record? Do they understand the job description? Will they uphold the Constitution? Are they honorable? Will they appoint wise, honorable, experienced, good individuals to rule over us?

Now is the time to be extremely curious! NOW is the time to SNOOP!!!

I personally believe that anyone who knowingly, and deliberately puts forth slander and campaigns with lies should be guilty of treason. America deserves better.


13 Responses to A Little About Curiosity and Snooping

  1. senthil says:

    Indeed, your last paragraph are good questions for selecting a candidate.. But, how do we find answers for those? Since reading minds has not been invented, we need to check on the background history of the candidate..

    In India, we are watching US election, with great interest.. Because, it directly influences us.. and remembering history, the US has been hostile to India for a long time, as evident from Henry kissinger calling our ex-PM Indira Gandhi a witch. Three is so much hatredness of India, which is so unjustified.

    I think, this trend was reversed by Bill Clinton, who hosted a grand function for our PM Vajpayee..

    It seems, there are so many forces involved behind both Obama and Hillary.. I heard from some of the media’s that Obama is backed by Saudi money.. and Hillary by Chinese and Indians, and more by American women.. she has certainly inherited the popularity of Bill Clinton, which is working on her side.

  2. senthil says:

    Thank you for providing me this opportunity to comment at your blog.

  3. Senthil, Thank you for commenting on my blog. It is very interesting to learn what you have heard in India about the U.S. elections. Your concern about U.S./India relations is very interesting. You mention Americans “hatred of India.” Please be assured that the American people DO NOT hate India or Indians. Here are some truths about what Americans know/think/feel about India and Indians:

    ~Your country is poor – The company that I work for sponsors fundraisers for charities. Our highlighted charity for the last three years has been Unitus – a micro-finance entity. The owner of EWI has traveled to India to personally take hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars to Unitus.

    ~Many of your countrymen are very well educated – The doctor who delivered my fourth child was from India. (Her name was Saraswathi Sathyanarayana. Because Americans have trouble pronouncing Indian names, we just called her Dr. Sara.) Many of the medical students in America are from India. We know that they are skilled and competent individuals. Proof of that reality is that Americans are now going to India to have surgeries performed because the cost is too high for many people to afford in the U.S.

    ~Your country produces good workers – Many companies have located call centers and factories in India to cut operating costs. They couldn’t do that if you didn’t have a skilled, bilingual workforce.

    ~ On a side note: Unfortunately, due to the greed of Wall Street and corporate moguls, many communities have lost their livelihoods. Americans can not afford to accept the same wage that people can in other parts of the world. If Americans did, they could not afford housing and food.

    ~Some outsourcing is also dangerous to the freedom and Independence of any nation. If a country can not independently produce the necessities to protect life and liberty, they are at the mercy of the countries that can.

    Now about my blog post ~

    I believe that most of the world’s population are wonderful, good, decent, compassionate human beings. We love and respect mankind. Then there are the other 5% of the world’s population who are selfish, hateful, greedy, immoral power hungry individuals who seek for power and use it to oppress others to feed upon their lusts. These individuals populate every country in the world. When these people gain control, there is war and oppression. These people gain control by spreading slander, lies, false rumors, fear, hatred and distrust. They own the majority of the world’s mass media and have their fingers in the pockets of corrupt politicians throughout the world. When good men oppose them, they are slandered and oppressed.

    Al Gore was one such man. When he mis-spoke and said that he invented the Internet, what he was referring to was the major funding bills he introduced or supported in the U.S. Congress to fund the development of the Arpanet. He was one of a handful of individuals who understood and had the vision to recognize the potential of what would later become the Internet. Our media, which consistently overlooks the ignorance of our current president, had no such mercy for Al Gore. Consequently, we are at war in Iraq and bankrupt as a nation while we passively sit and watch the carnage our president and his handlers have created in the middle east. Many of our citizens even support it because of fear that has been carefully cultivated by the spreading of lies and the oppression of those who would dare to oppose those in power.

    Most Americans are good people. Most are honest, peace loving and compassionate. Some of them are running for the office of President of the United States. Some of the candidates are better suited than others. Some of them understand the scope of the job description, others do not. Some understand the limitations of the supreme law of our land, the U.S. Constitution, some either don’t understand the law or disregard it and hold themselves above it. I view this distasteful and dangerous.

    We owe it to ourselves and to the world to seek truth. Anyone who blindly believes everything they hear or read then repeats it without verifying the facts to the best of their ability, is an fool and an enemy to the freedom and good of mankind.

    As for the forces involved behind both Obama and Hillary… many are the same forces behind ALL the other candidates for office. Special interest groups always hedge their bets. The dangerous ones lurk in the background, not wanting to be known. How do you track them? Follow the money. Our congress has become a house of whores who are for sale to the highest bidder and America is now paying the price. I am afraid that it will only get worse.

    There are some commonalities among the people in all nations on the earth. My post was a plea to awake and realize truth. A plea to cease spreading gossip, slander, and falsehoods with every click of a mouse that forwards them on the Internet. A plea to be responsible. A plea for understanding and compassion.

  4. senthil says:

    I wholeheartedly thank you for your detailed explanation for my comment. I completely agree with all your comments, and I too feel the same. As you have said, I too want the world without gossip, slander, falsehoods and propogating hatred. In Hinduism, we believe in “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah” .. ie Dharma (rightousness or truth) protects those who protect it.

    Yes.. the whole Iraq war appears to be Bush’s personal vendetta..

    And, to my personal opinion, outsourcing should be conducted where both countries benefit each other. In the present trend, American companies are only obsessed with their profits, ignoring their employees welfare. I feel, UK’s type of outsourcing is better, where the local economy is also gauranteed.

    Your information on Al Gore is interesting. I felt, that he is more capable than Bush, but unlucky.

    I have one clarification on your comment “Your country is Poor”. This is partially true, but, many of the charities that work here are manipulating the data and mis-representing the situation here. (you could sense from how far they have been successful in portraying India as land of snake charmers) Since general American citizens are innocent and kind hearted, they are easily cheated by people working here.

    (I am surprised, why the general public and political class are so separated from one another, except at times of election..)

    Also, the funding that US provides is used mostly for religious conversion, rather than social services. I dont know, if you would be aware of that. But, here, many of our people are converted and brainwashed to abuse their own culture and god, so that it creates riddles among us. My own relation was converted and whenever he comes, he abuses our culture.. but since he is our relation, we tend to ignore this.

    Secondly, the conversion has been a flourishing business here. For every convert, there is commission.. and some few people, here amass lot of wealth, by this. The true spirit of christianity, where society was served without discrimination, has degraded so much now, where even admission to christian run institutions are given only if one is a christian.

    I am again not sure, if you are aware of the joshua project, as listed in the below website.

    I heard, this was sponsored by the White House, particularly in Bush’s regime, where they aim to convert the whole world to christianity. I just downloaded that excel sheet, and was surprised to see that they have listed out the population in my community, and the percentage of christians in it. (We never cared for such data.)

    So, what their mission means to us? We are targetted, and our culture is at assault. We are at stress here, because the funding from US is misused here. Hence, we request every American to make sure, that their funding is really meant for social service and not for forcible conversion, through money power.

    Red Cross has earlier condemned conversion during tsunami.. World vision is one organization, which is involved in such secret conversion agenda.

    India is the only country, where the Syrian christians, who fled Roman persecution, lived safely. and India is the only country, where jews and parsees, were accepted without discrimination (Israel acknowledges this). This is because of its inherent culture. And if the present unfair conversion happens, then the world will lose a peaceful culture, which will get added to the list of Greece and Egyptian civilizations.

    I thank you for providing me this wonderful opportunity to express my thought.

  5. Priya Raju says:

    Interesting post, Janet. I think there’s too much emphasis on race & gender in the primaries & come November, the democrats will regret polarising their vote bank so much.

    Now about what Senthil says.

    There is grief in India that US has been supporting Pakistan, instead of supporting India, a secular country & a democracy.

    But the Americans are seen as friendly, kind people, who are open minded about trying new things. US is also seen as a model for Indian businesses.

    How wonderful of your company to involve in fund-raising for charities. That’s a laudable cause. Be it for India. Or other countries that need help. Thanks for helping India.

    BTW, per the latest GDP rankings, India is no longer a poor country. Its a middle income country. The good news is, the % of people below the poverty line has been coming down. But since we are a nation of 1.2 Billion people, even a small % translates to massive numbers.

  6. Hi Priya,

    Polarising in campaigning or in politics is an important issue to be aware of. People who sow seed of division, discontent and hatred are dangerous to the peace of a nation and the world. Often the same special interest groups are behind the divide and conquer tactics on all sides of campaigns. They hedge their bets so it really doesn’t matter who wins, they have the ear, the vote, the power and the pockets of the winner. Their motives are power and money and they steal the liberty of the people.

    One problem with polarizing divisions is that it places focus on irrelevant issues and detracts attention from the substance of issues that are important to consider. Many of the issues that are discussed in federal campaigns belong to the states or are reserved to the people by the U.S. Constitution. They are not issues that belong to the federal government. Also, the issues that are the most divisive will never be resolved because those issues are powerful tools in polarizing the voters during the elections.

    Several of the posts and comments by Indians that I have read express concerns about Americans feelings towards India and its citizens. I would like to address that issue.

    Americans, like most people in the world are loving, compassionate, generous, peace loving people. When we see a disaster or an injustice towards the citizens of other countries, we want to help. We are not prone to hatred towards any people, race, culture, religion or country including your own. But like all countries of the world, there are a few people who lust for money and power then maintain it by spreading fear and hatred by their lies. I call these people wolves in sheep’s clothing because they usually wear a disguise.

    There are dangerous, evil people who dwell amongst all nations of the earth. It takes knowledge, intelligence, courage and faith to confront evil. It isn’t easy to gain or maintain liberty as your own people well know. India’s Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is one of my heroes in history. The world needs more courageous peaceful statesmen like him.

    When you say that there is grief in India that the U.S. has been supporting Pakistan instead of supporting India, a secular country and a democracy, it is an interesting statement to me. I’m sorry but I am not informed about the subject. Perhaps you would like to enlighten me? I would like to research the subject.

  7. Priya Raju says:

    Janet – Thanks for your response.

    I’d like to make a distinction here between the US government & the American citizens. The US government has been historically supporting Pakistan. Indians are unhappy about that. But, we think American citizens are kind, resourceful, friendly people – we’ve learnt a lot about professionalism by interacting with them. I lived in the US for 10 years, so speaking from personal experience I know how compassionate, warm & open-minded most Americans are.

    Now, India – perhaps for the past 25 years – is clearly capitalistic. And our Prime Ministers now have much stronger ties with the US.

    When we became independent in 1947, Nehru was our Prime Minister. A great man with a sweeping vision. But like most intellectuals of that period, he thought socialism was the horse to bet on. That was a mistake that we made. The US sided with Pakistan, a country that is unable to sustain democracy, a country that supported terrorists that killed our diplomats.

    To this day, the North West Frontier province of Pakistan has no borders or fences. Afghans come & go freely as they please. And they enter India, spreading violence & terror in the border areas. We think that the money US gives to Pakistan to fight terrorists – is actually used by them to make the life of India miserable in Kashmir (a territory that both countries claim to be their own, but it is part of India now).

    Hence our concern. We wish the US would monitor the $$$ it pumps into Pakistan, so that it is used for the purpose it was intended for.

  8. Hi Janet,
    Great post. I have been closely following the US election campaign on CNN. I started liking Obama ever since I watched the YouTube democratic debate. Obama comes across as refreshingly honest and intelligent. In contrast, Hillary lacks spontaneity and appears so coached.
    I have heard so many conflicting things about Obama. His middle name is Husain. His initial education was at a Madarsa. His real name is Mubarak etc. I feel, if all these turn out to be true, it will have a major impact on his electability. Whether we like it or lot, there is lot of mistrust towards Muslims. However, what worries me about Obama is his inexperience. I am reminded about another young Indian PM, who was very inspirational when he came into office, but did a pretty bad job because of his inexperience. I do feel there is some substance to what Hillary says – she is more likely to be productive from day 1. Her learning curve is likely to be far less. My cousin reminds me often – “vote Hillary and get Bill”. That is a very enticing slogan. I personally feel Bill Clinton was a great president.
    Would love to know your opinion on this.

  9. About your question on why we don’t ask questions. Even if we do, I think it is very hard to cut through all the clutter. From whatever I have seen of elections, an intellectual campaign in not winnable. Even best friends differ at an intellectual level. However if you appeal to peoples emotions, especially the negative ones, like fear, hatred, mistrust, it is far easier to unite them.
    I think people resort to slander campaigns because it is the easiest and the most effective way to polarize people.

  10. Thank you for your comments Archana. I am not sure who I will be voting for at this time. I have some preferences and some very strong reservations about the candidates at this time. The interesting thing to remember as you watch CNN or other media coverage is that the media also has preferences and therefore doesn’t always cover the campaign fairly. What may appear to be the case may be far from the truth of the matter.

    The thing to remember is that America was founded as a Constitutional Republic not a democracy. The difference is that in a democracy, the majority rules over the minority and the government is free to do what ever the majority deems right. In a Constitutional Republic, the government is limited by the supreme law of the land which protects the liberty of all the citizens of the land. Unfortunately too many Americans have overlooked this or do not understand this. So, in their selfishness, they follow the leader who will promise to give them what they want instead of protecting their liberty and in the process we are loosing our liberty. Our Constitution is hanging by a thread.

    I have strong reservations about all the candidates in this election and I have not made up my mind who I will vote for. I think that many Americans are in the same situation. We could do better.

  11. Thanks Janet. CNN is the only American News channel that is broadcast here. Can you point me to some good online sources which give a more balanced view?

  12. Senthil, I am sorry that your comment of January 17 was caught in my spam filter. I will comment on it later today when I have more time.

  13. Archana,

    I’m sorry that I am just getting to your comment. By saying don’t believe everything you hear, I am not saying that the news that you get on CNN is necessarily bad. I listen to CNN for some news, but I balance it with other sources. One of the things that I make a habit of is listening to sources outside of the US. I like the BBC and I read blogs from around the world to find out how others view the world. I have learned much from your blog that I never would have supposed.

    As for our elections, America definitely has better to offer than those who are on our ballots at this time.

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