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Just where did I say anything about us collapsing? I was commenting on the many people of the 1970s who saw a long future for the Soviet Union, despite the clear signs that it could not continue. If you are going to disagree with me please make it about something that you can be sure of, such as in the things I actually wrote. You know nothing else about me, and have no basis for the "Obozo" insult.
In response to:

Enforcing Islamic Law at Brandeis

Carl31 Wrote: Apr 11, 2014 9:46 PM
Yes, and that raises another aspect of the "honor" society that these people live by (hate to use that word in reference to such practices but can't find a substitute). No one mentions the fear that motivates such men. If their women do something "dishonorable," and the men DON'T suppress it, everyone will see these men as weak, "what kind of man can't control his women, etc." Fear of looking weak is a much a motive as preserving their alleged "honor." Same thing for the irrational rage when any of us infidels so much as sneeze in the general direction of a Koran. . . NOT showing anger will make them look weak. Much of their exaggerated rage is a show for others to demonstrate their fervor.
In response to:

Enforcing Islamic Law at Brandeis

Carl31 Wrote: Apr 11, 2014 8:01 AM
Actually, I can accept the Muslim apologists' retort that FGM is a survivor of the pre-Islam era, as examples can be found outside the Islamic world. But no one ever considers that if Islam is so respectful of women, how is it that after 1400 years Islam hasn't managed to eliminate it? Even if it's not originally Islamic, Islamic belief certainly doesn't seem to have much problem with it.
The fall of the Soviet Union should have been no surprise to anyone. In 1983 I was in a Russian History class at a typical state university (albeit with an outstanding professor). Class discussions kept returning to the thought that it couldn't possibly continue. The last question on the final examination was "Describe the Soviet Union a Decade From Now." Everyone I spoke to afterwards had it collapsing. Less than ten years later it did.
This spring's policies are a welcome change from a year ago. I have lived in Korea for several years, and last year's ROK-US maneuvers were quite tense, we actually had prepared emergency supplies should things have gotten bad. But, we were far too bold with last year's exercise, such as flying stealth bombers all the way from the US to strike practice targets in the South. Goading the North into possible retaliation is not necessary. As the ROK demonstrated, we can maintain readiness without being overly provocative. And, the can't afford to maintain extended mobilizations, the wear on equipment, the simple expenditure of fuel and the fact that much of the North's army is needed for the spring planting season (about a month from now) makes such actions prohibitively costly. We might force a collapse simply by keeping their military on prolonged alert. But then there it is the great fear that the North could make a final strike in the midst of collapse, which would result in much destruction and death in Seoul, just a few dozen miles from the DMZ.
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The Axe vs. The Icon

Carl31 Wrote: Mar 25, 2014 10:27 AM
Interesting title to this article. Paul Greenberg seems to be referring to a classic study of Russia, "The Icon and the Axe," written by longtime Librarian of Congress James Billington. Anyone interested in Russia would learn a lot from this book, even though it's over 40 years old.
You sound like one of the "non-traditional" students I love having in my classes. I am now a career academic (history, which I dearly love), but I very much agree with the criticisms of our allegedly "best" institutions. I first went off to college over 30 years ago, and was lucky to have the faculty's last WWII veterans as my best professors (had never heard of "women's studies" in those days). Yes, most faculty need to have more experience that just academia, their perspectives can be very limited. I am quite proud to say that, like you, I have had many industrial and temporary jobs in my time, did 4 years in the Navy before beginning graduate school, and even held a number of part time jobs while an adjunct instructor after finishing PhD. Despite America's collegiate idiocy I do love my job (they actually pay me to talk about history!) I do encounter prejudice at times though, I have often received blank stares when I refer to my military experience. I am not despairing of our higher education though. Our alleged elite institutions are strange even at their best (I have never met a Harvard graduate who wasn't bizarre in some way), but lately more and more people are attending local community colleges and small branch campuses of the big state universities, where things make a bit more sense. Also, the students at these places are overwhelming ordinary people, not the "cultural elites" who have never done anything but go to school. This, I hope, will be the salvation of American higher education.
But marijuana is just a plant, it's no worse that alcohol or tobacco. . . no, it's not as bad as alcohol and tobacco, wait, it's harmless, this poor innocent plant, it's so harmless it hurts. . . wait again, it's good for you, it cures cancer, it restores amputated legs. . . haven't you heard?
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5 Reasons Marijuana Should Remain Illegal

Carl31 Wrote: Jan 21, 2014 8:18 AM
I have never used it, I don't think much of people who do, but as so many commenters have noted, I too have to concede that the 40 year old War on Drugs has not succeeded. Still the fact remains that marijuana is quite harmful, which its advocate routinely dismiss. For some time there has been a curious narrative evolving amongst devout potheads: First, "it's no worse than tobacco or alcohol," then "it's not as bad," followed by "it's harmless, this poor maligned plant, it's so harmless it hurts," to finally "it's good for you!" It is refreshing to see someone addressing its many negative qualities.
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Most Jews Wish You a Merry Christmas

Carl31 Wrote: Dec 24, 2013 8:34 AM
Well said! I live in Korea (the good one), and my Buddhist friends are happy to receive Christmas gifts. Although Christianity is quite strong here, they don't feel threatened by Christmas (a national holiday here), nor do the Korean Christians get upset about Buddha's Birthday (another national holiday).
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