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In response to:

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).
In response to:

Caveat on Nelson Mandela

Carl31 Wrote: Dec 08, 2013 10:47 AM
I am SO glad to learn this! How did I ever stand life before I knew this? Clearly these men were no good at all and contributed nothing but evil to the world. There's nothing else we need to know about them.
I have seen many of these things in history textbooks, but as a college instructor I have a lot more flexibility in what I teach. The American history textbook I use doesn't have a single word about Japanese atrocities, but I fill that omission myself. I do see evidence of indoctrination from high school though. Once, when I mentioned Nanking and the Bataan Death March, a student replied "but didn't we send Japanese-Americans to internment camps?" True, but hardly a comparison. We did not slaughter them by the thousands, and despite the injustice many of them proved to be amongst the best of Americans, such as the 442 Regimental Combat Team. I am currently teaching at a university in Korea, and it is refreshing that when I mention Japanese atrocities, my students reply with more atrocities that I never heard of, as Japan had occupied Korea for 30 years before Pearl Harbor.
In response to:

Veterans Aren’t Losers, Liberals

Carl31 Wrote: Nov 11, 2013 9:31 AM
Thank You! I could only wish that more academics could come to this realization. I served in the Navy after completing my BA, then after return to civilian life I completed MA and PhD. When I refer to my military service to many academics one of the better responses I get is surprise and the somewhat insulting "why did you do that?" More insulting, and more common, is when I mention it and receive nothing but silence.
In response to:

Religious Tolerance Is Not Hate

Carl31 Wrote: Nov 01, 2013 12:34 AM
Nicely said! I'd like to add (before anyone complains!) that the Shintoism you are referring to is the original Japanese animistic/nature religion, very similar to the Taoism you compare it to. It is very different from the State Shintoism/Emperor Worship that the Japanese warlords used to justify their aggressions some 70-80 years ago.
In response to:

Religious Tolerance Is Not Hate

Carl31 Wrote: Oct 31, 2013 8:38 PM
Christianity has had an enormous social and cultural influence, and the Constitution certainly bears signs of the society that created it. One important example is the concept of human rights as natural and inherent, rather than granted by a government. Yet its only references to religion are the "Religious test clause" and the First Amendment. Claims that the words "anno Domini" make it a Christian document are thinly stretched. The Federalist Papers make few references to religion, and those few maintain the importance of government neutrality toward it. Madison himself, after retiring from the presidency, emphasized the need for the separation of religion from government. Yet today we frequently see weak enforcement of the "free exercise" of religion clause, when Christianity is often demonized as an enemy of freedom while other beliefs antithetical to the concept are hailed as great religions of peace. Certainly the phrase "separation of church and state" is misused to stifle statements of personal faith. Yet I question the value of adding words like "God" and "faith" to our public discourse. Religious faith must originate from deep within or it has no value. Merely including the word "God" is not a magic formula which will solve our nation's ills.
In response to:

Goodbye OPEC, Hello Independence

Carl31 Wrote: Oct 20, 2013 7:32 AM
Good article. I have seen similar reports in other articles, and many readers fall into a consistent misconception: whenever there is a report about the rise in American oil production, someone inevitably retorts "then why haven't the gas prices gone down?" That's the part they don't get. It's the higher prices that has made American oil production profitable. We never ran out of oil, it just became more expensive to extract.
In response to:

Muslims Need to Confront Muslim Evil

Carl31 Wrote: Sep 26, 2013 7:52 AM
NIcely said, Mr. Prager. It is good to see people step away from the "Catholics are just as guilty as the Nazis" theme, while acknowledging that the Pope could have done much more. But today's challenges for Muslim clerics will be greater than those which many Catholic clergy faced 75 years ago. In the 1930s and '40s it would have certainly been dangerous to speak against Nazi ideology in the facist ruled and occupied countries. And even then there were some courageous examples. But, at that time there would have been no danger at all for clergy in the US or unoccupied countries. Today, Muslim clerics in the US, Canada, and Western Europe would run many risks for such acts. I hope the can do it anyway, but the challenges are greater now.
In response to:

The Forgotten War

Carl31 Wrote: Jul 31, 2013 1:56 PM
Kamsahamnida! (Thank You!) I have lived in the Republic of Korea for the past several years, teaching at a Korean university. I am also a veteran myself (late cold war, routine service, nothing notable personally). I think of you men any time I am hiking around the Korean mountains (hard enough without carrying any extra weight!), or looking across those mud flats at Inchon and wondering how they managed to do it. The Korean War was not the success it might have been, but from experiencing life in the ROK it is clear that your efforts were far from failure. The South Koreans have built a great country, and you men made it possible.
In response to:

The Unraveling of Sykes-Picot

Carl31 Wrote: May 29, 2013 7:47 AM
Yes, there is a good argument for that. Where one war ended and the next began is not so clear. . . in Europe, fighting continued past 1918 and in Asia it began before 1937. One Japanese historian, Saburo Ienaga, dated the Pacific War (WW II, Pacific Theater) from the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Ienaga is very good, gives an honest account of Japanese policies.
In response to:

The Unraveling of Sykes-Picot

Carl31 Wrote: May 28, 2013 7:43 AM
Fascinating to see how the impact of World War I is still visible today, almost exactly 99 years after it started (or 101 years, if we count the Balkan Wars). I have long argued that the World War (as it was called until 1939) was the defining moment of the past century.
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