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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.
In response to:

The July Crisis of 1914

Carl31 Wrote: Jul 30, 2014 9:15 PM
Good points. I once followed the "everyone is equally guilty" thesis, but came to see things differently with more study. Are you familiar with Fritz Fischer? German historian who infuriated a lot of other Germans 50 years ago by concluding that Germany had the greater guilt. I give much blame to the Tsar Nicholas also, although his mobilization order was a blunder of incompetence rather than a calculated policy.
In response to:

The Armpit of Academia

Carl31 Wrote: Jul 26, 2014 7:57 PM
This may sound weird, but I am continuously baffled at why unshaven armpits are such a sign of liberation. I am a 51 year old man, and I have been shaving mine since age 17. I have enough hair already, and doing my armpits cuts down body odor tremendously. That's why I started doing it in the first place.
? ? ? Progressives caused the Great War ('14-'18)? No, it was reactionary monarchies in Eastern Europe that started a local war, which became a World War when they drew Britain and France into it. The war was going on three years when the US entered it. It was pure chance that progressive Woodrow Wilson was president at the time. American politics had NOTHING to do with the war's outbreak.
Yes, I fully agree. There has been far too large a growth in "this studies" and "that studies."
I take exception to the expression of having "lost" China, Iran etc. How were they "ours" to lose in the first place? Yes, many of you may deride me as a hopeless liberal (I am not!), but we can't solve all the world's problems. We might say we "lost" if we define "loss" in terms of failed policies and failure to support governments friendly to the US. But many of these countries are simply incapable of creating the kind of democracy we'd like them to have. Ideals like inalienable human rights, equality before the law. . . however imperfectly we protect them at times. . . are concepts that simply do not exist in many of these societies. Until then, we will often be stuck with the choice of supporting a dictator who is friendly to us, or passively allowing another dictator to come in and become our enemy.
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