I started off the morning with a little research on adoption in the U.S. - honestly nothing too interesting, mostly just how adoption agencies receive their licenses (still no idea, really). Somehow that led me to foster homes in the U.S., and then to the recent FLDS case in Texas (some of you will know of my ongoing fascination with this, I can't even explain why). Then I jumped to the Southern Poverty Law Center, because apparently they list FLDS as a "hate group," which struck me as sort of odd, not because I am any sort of fan of the FLDS and the underage marriage of vulnerable girls, but they always seem like the sort of folks who keep to themselves, and in my mind, a hate group implies at least some interaction with the hated groups in question.
So then there is a map on the center's page where you can see where the groups they list are located, and of course I have to check out both Texas and Virginia. I get most of the categories, but was baffled by a few before reading (Christian identity? Radical traditionalist Catholic?). I'm also a little surprised by the apparent ideological differentiation in skinhead groups, although sadly not too shocked at the number of them.
Then I had a meeting, in which I found out that in Hot Springs, Arkansas, there's not only a gangster museum, but also a Mid-America Science Museum - a title which also puzzles me a bit. Because they're in the middle (sort of)? Because they present science in a manner to be understood by "middle" Americans?
To round out the day, I read this article, which then led me here, to look at the idea of "feral" children.
Then I got an email from my boss that included a link to a Congressional testimony in which the organization I work for is repeatedly mentioned, and not in a happy way. It's not a big thing really, but it's still a bit odd to be singled out, when normally we just lay low, do the work we do, and generally receive some occasional praise for the attempt to create better understanding between different cultures. We've also apparently been featured in a Robert Ludlum novel that alleges we train spies here along with other illicit activities and clandestine meetings, which while it would be cool, is unfortunately not at all true.
Such an odd day.
**Edit: It occurred to me later that the above wasn't terribly clear in a way: I think the SPLC is pretty awesome and does good work - I even heard one of their people give a speech when I was at a work conference in Huntsville, AL. So any of the confusion related to what exactly denotes a hate group would be my issues, not theirs :).