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In response to:

No Superheroes In 'The Interview' Capitulation

Carl31 Wrote: 13 hours ago (12:23 AM)
Thank you for the intelligent remarks. While I detest the politically-correct left, many on the right often don't make much more sense. I was in Korea in 2013 during the tensions which arose from the annual ROK-US military maneuvers. At the time it struck me that we could probably force a collapse of the North just by keeping them on a prolonged military alert. Fuel expenditure, lack of maintenance for their obsolete equipment, strain on their supply systems, troops mobilized for war when they're needed for farm work, etc. They simply wouldn't be able to keep it up.
I am a bit divided on this issue. While I don't like the idea of giving in to North Korean threats, there is genuine danger. Too many people forget that the North does have nuclear weapons, and they are working on missiles capable of carrying them. They are unpredictable and will shoot with little hesitation. I lived in South Korea for six years (two of my students were on Yeonpyeong during the 2010 shooting), and there are many incidents which do not make the news in the US. Seoul is only 30 miles from the DMZ. If the North resumed the war, yes, they would lose, but much of Seoul would be destroyed (9,000,000 live in and around it). The North is particularly dangerous now due to its instability. Again, largely unreported in the US media is the factionalism within its power structures. Many high-ranking army officers have been purged, and shooting has actually broken out on North Korean army bases. Even Kim Jeongeun's aunt, a daughter of DPRK founder Kim Ilsung, has been purged. Kim Jeongeun's power is not so secure, and one great danger is that he probably doesn't know it. Our best approach is to maintain readiness in our forces, continue to support the ROK military (which has strengthened dramatically since 1953), and wait for the North to implode. Once it begins, it will happen faster than most believe.
In response to:

Muslim go BOOM!

Carl31 Wrote: Dec 15, 2014 8:30 AM
One query to which I have never found an answer is why there are no Muslim pacifists. Amish, Mennonite and Quakers as the best known amongst Christians. Where is the Muslim Francis of Assisi? Mahatma Gandhi? Dalai Lama? The Hindu-derived Jains? Whether or not we agree with these faiths (or their political ramifications), it is evident that none of them could have produced the equivalent of the Muslim terrorist.
In response to:

Termites At Work on American History

Carl31 Wrote: Dec 12, 2014 2:46 PM
I have taught plenty of college history and I am appalled at the stories I hear from students' high school courses... essential things that they have never heard, like constitutional concepts etc. One time when I was describing the Bataan Death March a student remarked "but didn't we imprison Americans of Japanese descent. . . " Not quite the same. The textbook made no mention of Japanese atrocities, though I remedy this during lecture. And, I have long noticed the lower caliber of students that major in Education. Many times the students who don't qualify for anything else do Education as the last resort.
In response to:

How To Not Get Shot By The Police

Carl31 Wrote: Dec 02, 2014 9:18 AM
Imagine this. . . two kids walking in the street rather than the sidewalk. Cop tells them to get off the street. Many of us have experienced something similar (I have). Most of us get off the street, though a bit embarrassed. But if your subculture demands that you look tough at all times, you can't let some cop "dis" you, you can't risk losing status amongst the other "ganstas," so you respond with verbal abuse (all while refusing to get off the street). Cop issues his order a bit more forcefully, tensions escalate, the confrontation gets physical, someone reaches for a weapon. . . So easy to avoid this simply by not confronting the cop in the first place. But no, can't let anyone "dis" you.
Thank you! I was one such "paper pusher" (Navy Supply Corps). Supply is pretty mundane, but nothing happens without it.
In response to:

School Accused of 'Purging' Christian books

Carl31 Wrote: Sep 25, 2014 12:40 AM
When I was 15 I discovered Dante. . . via my school library's copy of Inferno. I went on the read the entire Divine Comedy (Inferno is only 1/3 of it). This is probably the greatest piece of literature of the past 1000 years. But it was written by a white male Christian, so it must not be worth much these days.
In response to:

Student Bullies Trump 1st Amendment

Carl31 Wrote: Sep 23, 2014 1:48 PM
While watching the recent documentary about the Roosevelt family, I was struck by FDR's exhortation during the war that they were fighting for the future of our civilization. That is a great difference between his era and today's. . . too many young people are indoctrinated to believe that our civilization is not worth defending, that it would be a good thing for it to collapse. Few leaders dare say such things today, after all, "who are we to say that our culture is better than another. . . "
An interesting point, which is sometimes mentioned. When Jan Sobieski defeated the last serious Muslim invasion of Europe, the battle began on September 11, 1683. Could well be coincidental, but a curious parallel nonetheless.
Yes, the Bible (mostly Old Testament) reports many such events, but there are some significant differences. Most importantly, these deeds are presented as historic facts. Very few churches today hold them as exemplars of behavior. And those who do are justly criticized and condemned. In contrast, anything Muhammad did is taught to be the best kind of behavior. As he was allegedly the best man who ever lived (the Muslim perspective, that is), everything he did must have been done with Allah's blessing. As such, if Muhammad did it, Muslims feel that they can do it also, along with Allah's blessing. For example, when a country like Yemen tries to establish a set age for marriage, the perpetual response is that "Allah never set a minimum age for marriage, Muhammad married a 9 year old girl, so who are we to ban what Allah has permitted?" Such things are held as examples for today. That is the problem.
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