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April 01, 2006

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ajtall

Professor Stone,

How about another (bad) reason for the internment. Economic protectionism, economic envy, or fear that the Japanese/ Japanese Americans were taking jobs from other Americans, were too industrious and hard-working and that other Americans couldn't compete with the Japanese in education, jobs, working hours and so forth. I don't think security was a legitimate concern or the reason for the internment. Perhaps racism is involved in economic protectionism, but I think it was the rapid rise of the Japanese economically that was the underlying reason for their internment.

Do you think something like that could happen today? My feeling is that it couldn't. It's been 60 years, people are more rational today, I think, and there is the overwhelming agreement that this country made a huge mistake interning the Japanese. Plus, we are a nation of immigrants.

Daniel J. Solove

I'm looking forward to read Posner's new book, Not a Suicide Pact, as I'm certain it will give me a lot to disagree with. A few years ago, I critiqued Posner's "pragmatic" theory of liberty and security in his book Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy. My book review essay, co-authored with philosophy professor Michael Sullivan, entitled Can Pragmatism Be Radical? Richard Posner and Legal Pragmatism, 114 Yale L.J. 687 (2003), http://ssrn.com/abstract=485218, discusses and responds to Posner's views on liberty and security at pp. 709-13. Here are some excerpts:

Posner contends that civil libertarians are unpragmatic when they treat “our existing civil liberties—protections of privacy, of the freedom of the press, of the rights of criminal suspects, and the rest—as sacrosanct and insisting therefore that the battle against international terrorism must accommodate itself to them.” . . . .

Echoing Chief Justice Rehnquist, Posner argues that although civil liberties should be “curtailed in time of war or other national emergency,” civil libertarians wrongly fear that this curtailment will serve as a “precedent in time of peace.” Posner writes: “The events of September 11 revealed the United States to be in greater jeopardy from international terrorism than had been believed by most people until then . . . . It stands to reason that such a revelation would lead to our civil liberties being curtailed.”

Posner seems to be suggesting that civil libertarians are unpragmatic because they adhere to rights as absolutes. Posner attacks a caricature of the civil libertarian argument, since many civil libertarians are pragmatists, not absolutists. . . .

Posner then contends that to the extent that the government did overreact by curtailing liberty in times of crisis, we should not be concerned, since “[t]he curtailment of civil liberties in the Civil War, World War I (and the ensuing ‘Red Scare’), World War II, and the Cold War did not outlast the emergencies.” But curtailments of liberties harmed thousands of innocent citizens, sometimes quite severely. Just because the government eventually realizes it overreacted and apologizes doesn’t set everything right. Apologies are meaningful when they guide future action.

In light of a history marred by frequent misguided responses to threats, a pragmatic response would counsel caution. . . . In 1942, in the name of national security, the government rounded up around 120,000 people of Japanese descent living on the West Coast and imprisoned them in internment camps. In a series of cases, including Korematsu v. United States, the Court upheld the internment as constitutional under “most rigid scrutiny.” Few today would defend Korematsu, but Posner, who is candid and unafraid to take controversial positions, appears to support it. He asks: “If the Constitution is not to be treated as a suicide pact, why should military exigencies not influence the scope of the constitutional rights that the Supreme Court has manufactured from the Constitution’s vague provisions?”

The internment, however, has long been acknowledged to be a terrible mistake. Even the United States government has formally apologized. Posner responds that we must be wary of lessons we draw from the 20/20 vision of hindsight; just because the government’s fears that Japanese-Americans were engaged in dangerous acts of espionage later proved to be false does not mean that at the time of the internment the government was unjustified in taking action. But there was not much evidence to support the government’s claims that the internment was necessary or even that there was a significant threat posed by Japanese Americans. Given historical tendencies of racial prejudice and the dangers of making racial distinctions, the decision to carry out the internment should have been viewed with great skepticism, especially considering the fact that German Americans were not subjected to similar treatment. Instead of analyzing the facts, however, the Supreme Court simply deferred to the judgment of the government officials, accepting their claims about the danger posed by Japanese Americans without critical scrutiny and without demanding supporting evidence. Even if Posner is right to worry about the ease with which backward-looking criticism ignores the fears of the moment, this does not imply that we must affirm those fears as legitimate. . . .

The pragmatist seeks to avoid these mistakes from occurring again; she does not view them as inevitable. She studies the past to see if there are better ways to distinguish the true threats from the manufactured ones. In the past, government officials have seized upon fears of national security to pursue their own personal agendas and prejudices.

Daniel J. Solove

For some reason, the SSRN URL I provided above doesn't work. Hopefully this one will not lead to a dead end:

http://ssrn.com/abstract=485218

Kimball J. Corson

Geof's argument is basically sound, I think, with a caveat. While I am a bit unsure of the timing between the attack on Pearle Harbor and the internment, it is reasonably clear that the urgency and perceived threat underlying the internment decision differed radically from those considerations in Hamdi. However, after some time -- less than three years certainly -- I think Geof's position kicks in with strength.

Roach

The threat of any kind of invasion or raid on the West Coast was much higher than the East. Japan was a naval power, in contrast to the Germans.

Japanese adhered to an emperor-worshiping religion that made plausible claims of divided loyalties. Likewise, Japanese culture taught a myth of Japanese racial superiority vis a vis the whole world.

Japanese Americans in Hawaii treacherously assisted a downed Japanese airmen in the first encounter between Nisei Japanese and the Japanese invaders on Niihau Island.

Ethnic minorities cooperated with invading powers in every European and Asian country where they were encountered, i.e., Poland, Russia, Vietnam, etc.

A few relavent differences appear other than racism to explain the exceptional treatment for Japanese in America during WWII. It certainly was regrettable and rash and probably overinclusive (and underinclusive insofar as it excluded Japanese in Hawaii), but losing the war would have been more unfortunate I would wager. And if that is the case, then the decisions used to bring about that salutary result deserve a certain amount of deference or at least perspective.

TJ

Prof. Stone

Let me preface by saying that the most likely explanation for the Japanese interment, in hindsight, is almost certainly racial prejudice. However, I do not see the issue as so manifest as you appear to. You raise two comparisons: (1) the policy between the Japanese and the Germans and Italians in World War II; and (2) the policy between World War II and today. Both are distinguishable, and easily.

As to the first, in Feburary 1942, the Pacific had been recently attacked, the Japanese navy strong, and a West Coast invasion thought possible. Although Germany was still strong in Europe, it was a land power, moreover, it was busy fighting the Soviets. In terms of short-term threats to the American homeland, the Japanese probably came closer (though, of course, it would have made very little sense for the Japanese to attempt a large scale Pacific crossing, and I know of no historical evidence that this was ever contemplated).

As between 1942 and 2006, of course, the distinction is even easier. Not to minimize Afghanistan or Iraq, but they simply do not come close to World War II.

Kimball J. Corson

From the vantage point of my and Roach's observations and even from the vantage point of hindsight, I am not persuaded that the internment decision was a mistake at the time it was made. I suspect it was prudent and sensible then. Had there been an invasion by Japanese on the West Coast thereafter, I am sure the decision would have been viewed as laudable and sensible. As the war in the Pacific progressed and it became clear we would ultimately prevail and there would be no such invasion, then we should have taken action to begin reviewing and releasing American Japanese.

Michael Martin

The thing I wonder about the most with respect to Korematsu is whether it is true that an ethnic minority related in some way to the invader should be considered a threat. As a matter of psychology, it seems at least equally plausible that Japanese immigrants would have been super-patriots, eager to prove their loyalty to their adopted country. Moreover, interning Japanese immigrants seems like a good way to foster their sympathy for invaders, not to mention the costs of implementing an internment system at the same time we were mobilizing for war. Why couldn't their acts of treason be dealt with the same way that anyone else's would have? Roach mentions some historical data, but it's not a lot to support the sweeping scale of the internment of Japanese immigrants, some of whom had lived in the United States for generations.

Besides, even without the benefit of hindsight, there were some involved with the decisionmaking that recognized it for what it was: scapegoating. Why don't Judge Posner or Prof. Stone mention the documents presented during the later coram nobis proceedings? If there is hindsight bias, it wasn't in effect for the people involved at the time, and many of them didn't see any threat.

Kimball Corson

Michael writes:

"The thing I wonder about the most with respect to Korematsu is whether it is true that an ethnic minority related in some way to the invader should be considered a threat."

I respond:

Roach's position here has too much history on its side, most especially if local ethnics sense victory going to the invaders. Going further, that the Louvre remains standing is a testament to what whores many French were on their own soil. At times not even sympathetic ethnicity is required.

Bob

Point 1: Pragmatists do what they believe seems best at the time and that is why they are dangerous. They believe the end justifies the means.

Point 2: FDR wanted to get involved in the war to protect his English bretheren. Before pearl Harbor, FDR had already authorized the Flying Tigers ( American pilots based out of China bombing Japanese targets) and the Naval blockade ( cutting off oil, rubber, and other raw materials) around Japan. FDR's speech where he announced that there was a "unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan" was a partial lie. It was not unprovoked. The USA did more than just provoke Japan. Heck, blockades are an act of war in themselves. So, don't get all righteous the good ole USA and its role in WWII people.

Point 3: Interring anyone without due process is wrong...constitutionally and morally. It doesn't matter if the detainees are citizens or not. Are we not supposed to be America, land of the free and brave? Then, let's act like it. These gestapo methods are beneath us...even if they are legal. American should stand for something. Either we believe in Freedom and our Bill of Rights for ALL people, or we don't. Which is it?

Point 3: Posner lost his moral compass years ago. All he cares about is the legality of the moment. He interprets, or re-interprets, for his own paradigm. He does not have the American people's best interest at heart. He is only interested in legislating from the bench. He has been consumed by his power. Many men have, but that's no excuse.

Kimball Corson

Bob:

1) Why cannot a pragmatist be morally principled? I agree that different systems of morality can impose limitations on pragmatism and we disagree from other posts that morality can be relative and circumstantial (e.g., kill Hitler), but even then cannot pragmatism be substantially moral?

2) We agree here. FDR was looking for it.

3) Even enemy combatants in the heat of battle? Or when the battle is not so heated? Or when the battle is beginning and those interned are likely to become combatants against us? or at least subversives? Should we take the chance? Are not Constitutional rights (1st and 4th Amendments, typically) usually compromised during wartime? I think you are being too absolutist here, don’t you?

4)Judge Posner. Now there is another topic. Being almost as large as life and ahead of most in very many regards, he does indeed forge his own rules like a mini-congress in some ways. And this comes after raiding the intellectual capital and oral tradition of the Chicago Economics Department, which gave him or redoubled his strong positivistic, amoral streak. He is in fact a secret behavioralist at heart and that too make for a positivistic approach. Inasmuch as human endeavor has few necessary limitations on scope and accomplishment, neither does Judge Posner’s effort to pursue it. I am sure he would say he is just following the marble and studying its rolling course, and there is considerable truth to that. If you believe Justice Scalia that judges are not competent to, and should not make moral judgments (which I think is patently absurd), then Posner is moving very close to the mark. If you believe instead that, even in the context of a positivistic approach, some moral judgment must still be brought to bear, then you score a point for your position. That Judge Posner is not as influential as his prodigious and capable productivity should imply relates directly I think to your criticism of him. Useful and interesting, to be sure, but should we trust him with our daughters. . . or ourselves, for that matter? Indeed, should he trust himself? In real life, endeavor is no longer just an intellectual game.

G.E. Moore

Can't one let a decision stand and yet advocate for a different response to new challenges? I see no inconsistency.

Bob

Moore,

You said, "Can't one let a decision stand and yet advocate for a different response to new challenges?"

Do you mean do one thing and say another? Or do you mean don't walk your talk? Yeah, I don't see any inconsistency either. LOL

Bob

Kimball,

1) This point is just a personal observation on my part. I don't claim it to be absolute one way or another. After saying that, let me say this. Pragmatists are morally principled (whatever that may mean) until those morals get in the way. Expediency almost always trumps morality, and that is the danger I am trying to point out. I am only trying to say here, that I find most pragmatists to be two-faced. I do not like pragmatists. They too often sacrifice their own principles (if they actually have any) and they can be too easily bought. Pragmatists in a position of power scare me. I just don't respect pragmatists.

2) LOL, I am glad we agree on something.

3) "Even enemy combatants in the heat of battle? Or when the battle is not so heated?" We have laws (Geneva Convention) for captured enemy combatants during a declared war, whether the battle is heated or not. Once the war is declared over, the Geneva Convention no longer applies as prisoners are supposed to be returned. If we were to violate the Geneva Convention and keep prisoners after a war, then those captured combatants must at the least be given the same rights as our citizens. Otherwise, we are no better than they. And as an American, I would like to be proud of our actions before, during and after any war.

"Or when the battle is beginning and those interned are likely to become combatants against us? or at least subversives? Should we take the chance?"

Are you suggesting here that we imprison people for crimes they MIGHT commit? This is a very dangerous doctrine. See ya in prison.

"Are not Constitutional rights (1st and 4th Amendments, typically) usually compromised during wartime?"

Yes, they may be. And that is a shame and a black mark on the American ideals of honor and fairplay.

"I think you are being too absolutist here, don’t you?"

No, I don't. I am proud that America is a country of law that applies equally to all citizens.

4) As for Posner, it seems we agree again. You comments are well recieved by myself.


Kimball Corson

Bob,

1) I think one can be principled and pragmatic at the same time. I admit that
principles can limit pragmatism, but I do not think they necessarily destroy the mind-set.

2) Agreement.

3) Viewing those interned as putative enemy combatants, the internment decision
was correct under the Geneva Convention. And that is how they were viewed then: as putative enemy combatants or coconspirators, while we quickly put in large gunnery embankments on our West Coast in preparation for a Japanese invasion and had citizen militia patrolling that coast 24 hours a day (often with their own pistols and rifles, I might add). Should we have taken take the chance and not done that then? You say “no” because they had committed no “crime,” but many a young, new soldier has died for just standing up in a trench or having the wrong uniform on when arriving new at a wrong place. The “uniform” those interned wore was a common physiology, culture, race and language with the enemy.
Those in power thought that, for those reasons, they had better be safe than sorry. Was this imprudent?

Constitutional rights (1st and 4th Amendments, typically) are usually compromised during wartime because the heat of battle affords too little time, means or both to protect them and get the war fought well. I too think that is a shame and a black mark on the American ideals of honor and fair play, but only where such rights could be protected within that setting and are not.

I do think you are being too absolutist here.

4) Agreement. Too bad, I could have written more.

Bob

Kimball,

Let's discuss point 3, as we agree on 2 and 4 and point 3 was just my personal observation, i.e. opinion.

You said: "Viewing those interned as putative enemy combatants, the internment decision
was correct under the Geneva Convention. And that is how they were viewed then: as putative enemy combatants or coconspirators..."

I assume here you are referring to the Japanese-Americans that were interred. I disagree that they were putative enemy combatants. If you really believe this to be valid, then why don't we lock up all the muslims in the USA right now? No, they haven't committed any crimes either, but they might!


"while we quickly put in large gunnery embankments on our West Coast in preparation for a Japanese invasion and had citizen militia patrolling that coast 24 hours a day (often with their own pistols and rifles, I might add)."

I don't see the problem with defending our shores from a possible enemy attack. But, this has nothing to do with interring your own citizens because they happen to be of the same race as the attackers.

"Should we have taken take the chance and not done that then? You say “no” because they had committed no “crime,”

I am assuming here that you are again referring to interring the Japanese. And still, I say we were wrong in doing so.

"but many a young, new soldier has died for just standing up in a trench or having the wrong uniform on when arriving new at a wrong place."

So? He is an obvious combatant wearing a military uniform. He is a valid target for the enemy. A civilian is not.

"The “uniform” those interned wore was a common physiology, culture, race and language with the enemy."

I cannot equate my race, language, religion, etc. as a military uniform. Although, if the leadership is looking for a scapegoat and trying to instill fear into the citizenry (in this case, FDR was using this fear of the Yellow Peril to engage Americans in the conflict), then I guess any excuse will do.

"Those in power thought that, for those reasons, they had better be safe than sorry. Was this imprudent?"

We have aleady agreed earlier that FDR was looking for ways to get into the war. The interment of the Japanese was just another fear tactic used by "those in power." You ask, "was this impudent?" Well, I say it was morally and legally wrong, but FDR and those in power were being pragmatic, weren't they? They wanted in the war by whatever means possible and they were successful. FDR was the ultimate pragmatist. For him, the ends absolutley justified the means.

"Constitutional rights (1st and 4th Amendments, typically) are usually compromised during wartime because the heat of battle affords too little time, means or both to protect them and get the war fought well. I too think that is a shame and a black mark on the American ideals of honor and fair play, but only where such rights could be protected within that setting and are not."

I believe that constitutional rights should be protected at all times, even during war. It has been shown that when they are not protected, citizens are abused and hoodwinked.

"I do think you are being too absolutist here."

Well, at least I am not a pragmatist. I would trust an absolutist over a pragmatist anyday.

Kimball Corson

Bob writes,

I disagree that the interred Japanese were putative enemy combatants. If you really believe this to be valid, then why don't we lock up all the Muslims in the USA right now? No, they haven't committed any crimes either, but they might!

I respond:

Locking ALL Muslims up would probably be a mistake, but we are quietly deporting many Muslim radicals and now seriously limiting the immigration of many of the Islamic faith, as well we should. The reason is clear.

We are again at war with Islam, as Europe and Christianity have been in past centuries, except that many of us do not seem to know it. Our war is against Islam, not just Muslim terrorists. Bruce Bawer has written a very interesting new book, “While Europe Slept : How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within.” See too, Claire Berlinski's “Menace in Europe” or Bat Ye’or’s “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis,” or Andrew Bostom’s “The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims,” or finally, Efraim Karsh’s “Islamic Imperialism” (Yale Univ. Press)

Muslims themselves have candidly stated their goal to be an entire world ruled under Sharia law and a single caliph and that the Koran mandates them to jihad against others for that very end. Already there are whole areas of the Netherlands ruled by Sharia law and not Dutch law. Muslims are trying by fraud and other means to break the European welfare and economic system. They fill European prisons. We and the Europeans don’t listen, we don’t pay attention and we don’t understand. We either don’t believe it or we don’t get it. We are awash in liberal multiculturalism at just the wrong time. Many large cities in Europe are already ringed by large Muslim communities. We had better take our gloves off fast, while we have the freedom to do so.

A declaration of Islamic faith and belief in the Koran should be nearly sufficient to label a Muslim a “co-conspirator,” to be treated accordingly. Liberal, moderate Islamists are those who really ignore too much of the Koran, which is itself heretical.

Bob writes:


“I don't see the problem with defending our shores from a possible enemy attack. But, this has nothing to do with interring your own citizens because they happen to be of the same race as the attackers. . . . I say we were wrong in doing so. "The “uniform ‘ those interned wore was a common physiology, culture, race and language with the enemy.’ I cannot equate my race, language, religion, etc. as a military uniform. "[FDR and those in power thought that . . . they had better be safe than sorry. Was this imprudent?” Well, I say it was morally and legally wrong, but FDR and those in power were being pragmatic, weren't they?”

I respond:

First, Bob, as you know better than I, for many Jews, their race, language, religion, etc. can be equated to a military uniform – indeed one of the Israeli Army or a staunch supporter of it. This is not true for all Jews, but it is for too many.

Second, if and when we are foolish enough to make our declared enemies U.S. citizens, we need to take stock of what we are doing and consider the situation. We have had our conversation regarding the interned Japanese and you just might be more right overall than I am in that instance. From the vantage of 20/20 hindsight we tend to agree, although I have argued otherwise to see what I can make of it, but the situation is genuinely different with Islamists. With those professing faith and belief in Islam, who therefore necessarily adopt the declared and mandated religious goals of the Koran, the picture changes I do believe and I stay with that situation because it is (a) more alarming, (b) less well understood and (c) more of a real threat now. Is not a declaration of Islamist faith a declaration of conspirator status against the tenets of these United States and one of allegiance with those warring against us? Are not such Muslims therefore internable?

Kimball J. Corson

A story reported in the press a while ago: two Muslims males owned a successful convenience store in the Midwest. Immediately after 9/11, a beer distributor was making a delivery and heard them cheering the fall of the NY Trade Center towers in New York. With permission from his boss, the distributor terminated their account and refused to sell to them. On learning what occurred, many other distributors followed suit. The store was put out of business. The two Muslims remain in this country today.

Bob


"Locking ALL Muslims up would probably be a mistake, but we are quietly deporting many Muslim radicals and now seriously limiting the immigration of many of the Islamic faith..."

Yes, we are, but why? Of what are we afraid?

"We are again at war with Islam, as Europe and Christianity have been in past centuries, except that many of us do not seem to know it. Our war is against Islam, not just Muslim terrorists."

I don't think that in this day and age that one country can legally declare war against a specific religion without usurping 1st Amendment rights. Also, there are over 40 countries whose majority are Islamists/Muslims. To declare war on Islam is to declare war on the world. Are you suggesting that we, the USA, is starting a World War? Did the Christians not learn anything from the failure of the Crusades? The USA is not just a Christian nation any longer.

"Muslims themselves have candidly stated their goal to be an entire world ruled under ..."

Christians and the Jews have at one time or another said the same (ie. Crusades).

"Muslims are trying by fraud and other means to break the European welfare and economic system."

Then these systems are poorly designed. That is our fault, not theirs.

"We and the Europeans don’t listen, we don’t pay attention and we don’t understand. We either don’t believe it or we don’t get it. We are awash in liberal multiculturalism at just the wrong time. Many large cities in Europe are already ringed by large Muslim communities. We had better take our gloves off fast, while we have the freedom to do so."

This sounds like the latest preaching of my Rabbi, speading fear to cultivate consensus in order to attack Islam with righteousnous. I don't listen much to religious fundamentalists. They are too full of hate and fear.

"A declaration of Islamic faith and belief in the Koran should be nearly sufficient to label a Muslim a “co-conspirator,” to be treated accordingly."

So much for the 1st Amendment. How do we choose who will be the thought police?

"First, Bob, as you know better than I, for many Jews, their race, language, religion, etc. can be equated to a military uniform – indeed one of the Israeli Army or a staunch supporter of it. This is not true for all Jews, but it is for too many."

I disagree with you that differences (ie., race, language, religion) are equivalent to military uniforms. And, although you say this is not true for all Jews, you would condemn them all.

"Second, if and when we are foolish enough to make our declared enemies U.S. citizens..."

Indeed, we would deserve what we get.

"... the situation is genuinely different with Islamists."

Why? Because it is happening now? How is it different? Don't you think that a loyal Japanese could be just as dangerous as a muslim?

"With those professing faith and belief in Islam, who therefore necessarily adopt the declared and mandated religious goals of the Koran, the picture changes I do believe and I stay with that situation because it is (a) more alarming, (b) less well understood and (c) more of a real threat now. Is not a declaration of Islamist faith a declaration of conspirator status against the tenets of these United States and one of allegiance with those warring against us? Are not such Muslims therefore internable?"

Maybe you'd be suprised what you would find in the Bible and the Talamud. Jews consider all others as scum. Jews need not treat non-Jews as men, only as animals. Christians are no less barbaric in their Bible. All religions spout this type of intolerance. It would be a better world without any religion.

"...heard them cheering the fall of the NY Trade Center towers in New York...The two Muslims remain in this country today."

I would hope they are still here. Perhaps you could tell me what law they broke? I don't think there is a law requiring patriotism. As a matter of fact, many Americans have burned US flags, they're still here too. Many Americans are (gasp) communists, they also are still living here. Most Americans are socialists, they're still here. I know for a fact that many Americans were happy to see Kennedy killed. I'm sure many people were happy when Lincoln was killed. This does not make these people un-American, although you and McCarthy may think otherwise.

Kimball J. Corson

As ever, Bob, you bring good arguments to the table and make it hard on me, just as you should. You write:

“Locking ALL Muslims up would probably be a mistake, but we are quietly deporting many Muslim radicals and now seriously limiting the immigration of many of the Islamic faith..." Yes, we are, but why? Of what are we afraid?

I respond:

We should be afraid of the dynamic elements of Islam. It is by creed imperial, mandated to be conquering and the fasting growing major religion in the world, with the most migration as well. We should not want areas of the US to become controlled not by state and federal law, but in practice by shari law.

Bob again:

“’We are again at war with Islam, as Europe and Christianity have been in past centuries, except that many of us do not seem to know it. Our war is against Islam, not just Muslim terrorists.’ I don't think that in this day and age that one country can legally declare war against a specific religion without usurping 1st Amendment rights. Also, there are over 40 countries whose majority are Islamists/Muslims. To declare war on Islam is to declare war on the world. Are you suggesting that we, the USA, is starting a World War? . . .The USA is not just a Christian nation any longer.”

I respond:

No, of course we cannot declare war per se on what is clearly more than a religion. The problem under the First Amendment will become for us, as it already is for Europeans, what non-traditional, preemptive “religious practices” will be tolerated under the First Amendment where they otherwise clearly violate American law. We are going to face that problem in spades. Islam covers everything, not just what we view to be conventional religion and belief. It dictate the political system and the law, which as we have seen is pretty barbaric in too many regards. That over 40 countries are majority Islamic makes my point and redoubles my concern. We are headed for major problem with Islam.

Bob writes, quoting me:

"’Muslims themselves have candidly stated their goal to be an entire world ruled under ...’ Christians and the Jews have at one time or another said the same (ie. Crusades).”

I respond:

That is true, but this is a different age and world, one with nuclear weaponry, and I think we now know better with respect to Christianity and Torahic believe systems (except for a few in the current Administration). We really should, I believe, be concerned about Muslim efforts to populate and dominate, first on micro levels and later, with numbers, on more macro levels. I certainly do not want to live under Sharia law that would clearly destroy our liberties. Some Dutch have had to flee parts of their own country to regain their liberties and get out from under Sharia law.

Bob again:

"’Muslims are trying by fraud and other means to break the European welfare and economic system.’ Then these systems are poorly designed. That is our fault, not theirs.”

I respond:

The systems are design by fair-minded and compassionate people to help similar people in genuine need, and they worked well enough in that context. They were clearly not designed for use by destructive opportunists with hidden agendas and subversion in mind.

Quoting me, Bob writes:

"’We and the Europeans don’t listen, we don’t pay attention and we don’t understand. We either don’t believe it or we don’t get it. We are awash in liberal multiculturalism at just the wrong time. Many large cities in Europe are already ringed by large Muslim communities. We had better take our gloves off fast, while we have the freedom to do so.’"

“This sounds like the latest preaching of my Rabbi, spreading fear to cultivate consensus in order to attack Islam with righteousness. I don't listen much to religious fundamentalists. They are too full of hate and fear.”

I respond:

It is not a question of fundamentalism, listening to your Rabbi, declaring war or even hatred. It is a concern that could rise to fear about protecting and preserving our liberties in the face of those who would clearly deprive us of them if they could just get they means they clearly seek. To turn a blind and unconcerned eye on that is foolish, I think, given the inroads that are being made by Islamists world-wide, and even in the US. We should be hyper selective and seriously limit Islamist immigration, continue deporting vocal, subversive Muslims and watch Muslim communities in the US carefully for problematic elements. Fortunately, we are starting to do this, but not yet well enough.

Bob writes:

"’A declaration of Islamic faith and belief in the Koran should be nearly sufficient to label a Muslim a ‘co-conspirator,’ to be treated accordingly.’" So much for the 1st Amendment. How do we choose who will be the thought police?

I respond:

Bob, I did not say this problem was easy. But if one adopts the full tenets of Islam – which itself does not permit selective belief – then one necessarily rejects our democracy, liberties, government and way of life and adopts instead a mandate to destroy them and substitute a system of Sheria law controlled by a caliph headed theocracy. Islam is all or nothing and if you reject it to become Christian, Sharia law mandates the death penalty, as we have recently seen. In short, a declared belief in Islam and the Koran should be sufficient to preclude citizenship and permit deportation, again because we are not just dealing here with another live and let live religion, but a subversive and dangerous actual program with a concrete agenda. As to whom should be the thought police . . . certainly not the Islamists.

Bob writes:

"’First, Bob, as you know better than I, for many Jews, their race, language, religion, etc. can be equated to a military uniform – indeed one of the Israeli Army or a staunch supporter of it. This is not true for all Jews, but it is for too many.’"
I disagree with you that differences (ie., race, language, religion) are equivalent to military uniforms. And, although you say this is not true for all Jews, you would condemn them all.”
I respond:

I would not condemn them all. I have too many Jewish friends who, while not pro-Arab, are very critical of Israeli and American policy to do that. It clearly is not true for some Jews, but as an excellent first order approximation for too many, it probably is. And that is useful information, although we should always try to suspend full judgment until we know more. The real problem is what do we do in the meantime if there is an exigency to act which is sometimes, though rarely the case.

Bob writes:

"’Second, if and when we are foolish enough to make our declared enemies U.S. citizens...’ Indeed, we would deserve what we get.”

I respond that I agree.

Bob writes:

"’... the situation is genuinely different with Islamists.’
Why? Because it is happening now? How is it different? Don't you think that a loyal Japanese could be just as dangerous as a Muslim?”

I respond:

Islamists have a real and operating programmed agenda built in to their faith that seeks to end all we cherish and us too if we will not convert. Japanese, Christians, Jews and others do not. That makes the Islamists different.

Bob writes:

Maybe you'd be surprised what you would find in the Bible and the Talmud. Jews consider all others as scum. Jews need not treat non-Jews as men, only as animals. Christians are no less barbaric in their Bible. All religions spout this type of intolerance. It would be a better world without any religion.

I respond:

There are chunks and wads of foolishness in all the holy books, to be sure, but sensible, doctrine-selective practitioners of most branches of both Christianity and Judaism know and practice better, a luxury not permitted Islamists, whose holy book, the Koran, is rife and strewn with such foolishness and imperialism. Jews just use their superior intelligence to scamper up the social ladder and Christians busy themselves thumping their Bibles, singing a lot and holding bake sales. Islamists are a whole different kettle of fish. To be sure, ours would be a better world without social or organized religion; no doubt about that in my book either.

Bob writes:

"’...heard them cheering the fall of the NY Trade Center towers in New York...The two Muslims remain in this country today.’ I would hope they are still here. Perhaps you could tell me what law they broke? I don't think there is a law requiring patriotism. As a matter of fact, many Americans have burned US flags, they're still here too. Many Americans are (gasp) communists, they also are still living here. Most Americans are socialists, they're still here. I know for a fact that many Americans were happy to see Kennedy killed. I'm sure many people were happy when Lincoln was killed. This does not make these people un-American, although you and McCarthy may think otherwise.”

I respond:

Any who take strongly believed and professed positions directly against our clear and revered common interests in this country, as true Islamists do, are fairly viewed as un-American and they need to be prepared to be ostracized and shunned. They threatened us to the extent they have a program of subversion and some probability of success with it, as Islamists do, as we see on the current world stage. Communists, Socialists and others of that ilk have been theoretically too discredited to be a real threat. Kennedy was a disaster, in my book, but should not have been shot; the same for Lincoln who was problematic too. McCarthy railed against communism. I did not. Instead, I took a course in economics from Paul Sweezy, the leading Marxists economist in the US. But I say, if we watch carefully what is going on in the world, Islam is a real threat to many democracies, some of which, in a lapse of good sense, actually install Islamic theocracies and sacrifice themselves to their own lapse of good judgment.

Bob

Kimball writes: "We should be afraid of the dynamic elements of Islam."

For that matter, we should be afraid of any religion. All religions have acted barbaric in the name of their God.

"It is by creed imperial..."

As are they all.

"the fasting growing major religion in the world, with the most migration as well."

Popularity of a religion is not an arguement against it.

"We should not want areas of the US to become controlled not by state and federal law, but in practice by shari law."

Of course. We are a democracy, the majority rules. If one day muslims become a majority here, then the US would be more their country than ours. That is democracy. Of course, I believe that democracy is merely rule over the people by the people; not much different than monarchy or oligarchy. That is why we are not actually a democracy, thank goodnes. We are a technically a republic with democratically elected representation. Time will tell if we can withstand the onslaught of welfare recipients. Personally, I think our republic is doomed as our direction has become too socialist (too many welfare type programs).

"The problem under the First Amendment will become for us, as it already is for Europeans, what non-traditional, preemptive “religious practices” will be tolerated under the First Amendment where they otherwise clearly violate American law."

We have already dealt with these types of issues with the Quakers and the Mormons. Our American law, or I should rather say societal moral preferences, won.

"Islam covers everything, not just what we view to be conventional religion and belief. It dictate the political system and the law"

So do all religions, ex. The Ten Commandments.

"...but this is a different age and world, one with nuclear weaponry..."

The age and weapons are irrelevant. Do you not think that every age had these same conversations?

...and I think we now know better with respect to Christianity and Torahic believe systems (except for a few in the current Administration)."

Speaking of the current Christian administration, they are already discussing the use of nukes against Iran. Now, of whom should we be afraid?

" We really should, I believe, be concerned about Muslim efforts to populate and dominate, first on micro levels and later, with numbers, on more macro levels."

And you show no concern for the Catholic efforts to populate? (ex., "do not use birth control".)

"I certainly do not want to live under Sharia law that would clearly destroy our liberties."

You mean what few liberties we have left?

"Some Dutch have had to flee parts of their own country to regain their liberties and get out from under Sharia law."

Yes, the Dutch are fools, as are the French. Maybe we are too.

"The systems are design by fair-minded and compassionate people to help similar people in genuine need, and they worked well enough in that context. They were clearly not designed for use by destructive opportunists with hidden agendas and subversion in mind."

I disagree. These systems were created in order to buy votes for the incumbents. This has already been admitted. Now, we are stuck with them because nobody has the balls to get rid of them. It would mean an end to their political careers.

"We should be hyper selective and seriously limit Islamist immigration, continue deporting vocal, subversive Muslims and watch Muslim communities in the US carefully for problematic elements."

I think we should stop immigration altogether. But that's another topic.

"if one adopts the full tenets of Islam – which itself does not permit selective belief"

No religions do.

"...then one necessarily rejects our democracy, liberties, government and way of life"

Ah, you believe that if you are not with us, then you must be against us.

"... and adopts instead a mandate to destroy them and substitute a system of Sheria law controlled by a caliph headed theocracy."

Or maybe they are just neutral? Besides, they would have to overthrow our government first. I guess that would mean a civil war, as we continue to let them immigrate.

"Islam is all or nothing and if you reject it to become Christian, Sharia law mandates the death penalty, as we have recently seen."

Many religions have something similar. We Jews banish a rejector from the family. Jews will never look at, speak with, or even touch these rejectors again. I wonder which is worse?

"In short, a declared belief in Islam and the Koran should be sufficient to preclude citizenship and permit deportation, again because we are not just dealing here with another live and let live religion, but a subversive and dangerous actual program with a concrete agenda."

I guess you don't believe in our Bill of Rights.

"As to whom should be the thought police . . . certainly not the Islamists."

And certainly not Christians, Jews, Hindis, or any other religious person. Maybe only athiests should be allowed to immigrate, hold political offices, or hold government jobs?

"It clearly is not true for some Jews, but as an excellent first order approximation for too many, it probably is. And that is useful information, although we should always try to suspend full judgment until we know more."

Are you saying that the phrase "too many" is useful information even though it is an unknown quantity? How is it useful?

"Islamists have a real and operating programmed agenda built in to their faith that seeks to end all we cherish and us too if we will not convert. Japanese, Christians, Jews and others do not. That makes the Islamists different."

Well, it makes them dogmatic, yes. But Christians killed all muslims who would not convert during the crusades, sometimes wiping out entire cities. They also killed American natives and Hawians that wouldn't convert. They also killed natives in central snd south America for not converting. Africa too. Now, just how are Christians different from Muslims? Oh, is it because now the shoe is on the other foot? Now, Christians are afraid that they are losing to Muslims? I could care less. I am neither.

"There are chunks and wads of foolishness in all the holy books, to be sure, but sensible, doctrine-selective practitioners of most branches of both Christianity and Judaism know and practice better, a luxury not permitted Islamists, whose holy book, the Koran, is rife and strewn with such foolishness and imperialism."

How can you say that Christians and Jews practice better than their holy books, but Muslims can't? Are they somehow more stupid? Do you even know any muslims. The few that I know say that what you are saying here is only practiced by the extreme fundamentalists. They say that they do not believe, nor do they practice these ideologies you are so afraid of.

"Jews just use their superior intelligence to scamper up the social ladder..."

Actually, we're all about the money.

" and Christians busy themselves thumping their Bibles, singing a lot and holding bake sales."

Thumping Bibles makes good practice for thumping heads.

"Islamists are a whole different kettle of fish."

I think you believe this because you don't know any. You fear the unknown.

"To be sure, ours would be a better world without social or organized religion; no doubt about that in my book either."

Amen. LOL

"Any who take strongly believed and professed positions directly against our clear and revered common interests..."

You mean, money.

"... in this country, as true Islamists do, are fairly viewed as un-American and they need to be prepared to be ostracized and shunned. They threatened us to the extent they have a program of subversion and some probability of success with it, as Islamists do, as we see on the current world stage. Communists, Socialists and others of that ilk have been theoretically too discredited to be a real threat."

Not discredited enough. Many still believe. And the USA is more socialistic every day.

"Islam is a real threat to many democracies, some of which, in a lapse of good sense, actually install Islamic theocracies and sacrifice themselves to their own lapse of good judgment."

If democracies have installed Islamic theocracies, then the majority must have spoken. In this "democratic" country, the majority rules. Why should that change just because YOU are afraid of becoming a minority?

Kimball Corson

Bob,

Before I even read and address your post (which I'll try to do tomorrow), it occurs to me that, in order to be fair, I should mention that, once out from under theocratic rule and Shari law, many Muslims who have immigrated do engage in selective belief, are moderate and sensible, are not threats and contribute positively to our lives. We have to learn to tell the difference, and really tell the difference so that with growing numbers of such immigrants we are not surprised in these regards someday when we are on the short end of it in some areas of our country.

Kimball Corson

Kimball writes: "We should be afraid of the dynamic elements of Islam."
For that matter, we should be afraid of any religion. All religions have acted barbaric in the name of their God.
"It is by creed imperial..."
As are they all.

Bob, we absolutely agree on these points. Most expressed religiosity is anathema. At the very least, it screws up objective thought processes. At worst, it threatens.

"the fasting growing major religion in the world, with the most migration as well."
Popularity of a religion is not an argument against it.

But it is under your and my view above. Popularity emboldens the worst aspects of a religion.

"We should not want areas of the US to become controlled not by state and federal law, but in practice by Shari law."
Of course. We are a democracy, the majority rules. If one day Muslims become a majority here, then the US would be more their country than ours. That is democracy.

But the problem is that Islam and our Bill of Rights are in stark conflict

Of course, I believe that democracy is merely rule over the people by the people; not much different than monarchy or oligarchy. That is why we are not actually a democracy, thank goodness. We are a technically a republic with democratically elected representation.

I agree here, especially as increasingly we are coming to have an imperial President, a patsy, out-to-lunch Congress, and a stuffed, sycophantic Supreme Court.

Time will tell if we can withstand the onslaught of welfare recipients. Personally, I think our republic is doomed as our direction has become too socialist (too many welfare type programs).

I don’t really think welfare is the or a serious problem. Welfare recipients are actually down relative to past years, except for the Katria blip. Workfare programs now abound and few are unemployed.

"The problem under the First Amendment will become for us, as it already is for Europeans, what non-traditional, preemptive “religious practices” will be tolerated under the First Amendment where they otherwise clearly violate American law."
We have already dealt with these types of issues with the Quakers and the Mormons. Our American law, or I should rather say societal moral preferences, won.

Yes, Mormon polygamists moved to Mexico or relatively inaccessible areas of the US and the Quakers got in line too. But Islamists have not in Holland and some other parts of the world. As long as we keep on top of these problems, as I urge, I think you are right. My worry is that as Islamic numbers increase they will try to change the law to Shari law in a democratic fashion. Maybe then our courts will wake up and protect our Bill of Rights, if they have not sold the store to the Administration by then.

"Islam covers everything, not just what we view to be conventional religion and belief. It dictate the political system and the law" So do all religions, ex. The Ten Commandments.

Yes, but the mandates of Islam are much more pervasive and invasive, and are read and taught to be so, than with other religions currently.


"...but this is a different age and world, one with nuclear weaponry..."
The age and weapons are irrelevant. Do you not think that every age had these same conversations?

Yes, but with different stakes involved and less dire prospects. Technology ups the ante. The moral imperative to get along now has more urgency to it, but Islamists disagree here.


...and I think we now know better with respect to Christianity and Torahic believe systems (except for a few in the current Administration)." Speaking of the current Christian administration, they are already discussing the use of nukes against Iran. Now, of whom should we be afraid?

Religiously orientated governments with sizeable budgets. You, me, the rest of us should all be afraid of them. But such is our preemption doctrine. We go to a littler war to prevent a bigger one later. We destroy the village to save it, if you will.
" We really should, I believe, be concerned about Muslim efforts to populate and dominate, first on micro levels and later, with numbers, on more macro levels."
And you show no concern for the Catholic efforts to populate? (ex., "do not use birth control".)

Catholics, Mormons, Muslims all have the view they can increase tithes, wealth, influence and power by excessive procreation. As the Earth groans as they at least partially succeed. Again, the problem is the alarming growth of organized religions and religiosity. Myths of mythic proportions bang us around. I don’t like it.

"I certainly do not want to live under Sharia law that would clearly destroy our liberties."
You mean what few liberties we have left?

Indeed. The scarcer they are the more we need to value what is left of them.

"Some Dutch have had to flee parts of their own country to regain their liberties and get out from under Sharia law."
Yes, the Dutch are fools, as are the French. Maybe we are too.

It is the “maybe we are too” part that I am railing against here. We need to keep our wits about us and our eyes and ears open to protect what we have.

"The systems are design by fair-minded and compassionate people to help similar people in genuine need, and they worked well enough in that context. They were clearly not designed for use by destructive opportunists with hidden agendas and subversion in mind."
I disagree. These systems were created in order to buy votes for the incumbents.

Those are not necessarily inconsistent propositions. It never hurts to give away 40 acres of woods and a mule if you want to increase farm output and get votes.

"We should be hyper selective and seriously limit Islamist immigration, continue deporting vocal, subversive Muslims and watch Muslim communities in the US carefully for problematic elements." I think we should stop immigration altogether. But that's another topic.

Then we don’t really disagree here on my point, except perhaps by degree.

"if one adopts the full tenets of Islam – which itself does not permit selective belief" No religions do.

Yes, but Christianity, Judaism, and others have no teeth in their mandates any more. Islamists like to roll heads and still do. They are hundreds of years behind on loosing their dentures.

"...then one necessarily rejects our democracy, liberties, government and way of life" Ah, you believe that if you are not with us, then you must be against us.
"... and adopts instead a mandate to destroy them and substitute a system of Sheria law controlled by a caliph headed theocracy." Or maybe they are just neutral? Besides, they would have to overthrow our government first. I guess that would mean a civil war, as we continue to let them immigrate.

For us to be in this country, we should all be in support of our Bill of Rights. To that extent, if one is not with us, he is against us, but may be harmless if he has no real capacity to do anything about it. Before he and others of his ilk become enabled by numbers and power, they need to be but in place and disempowered. Otherwise you might be right, we head toward civil war. Been there, done that. Better to act now. The political preemption doctrine.

"Islam is all or nothing and if you reject it to become Christian, Sharia law mandates the death penalty, as we have recently seen." Many religions have something similar. We Jews banish a rejector from the family. Jews will never look at, speak with, or even touch these rejectors again. I wonder which is worse?

Shunning at least keeps you alive. Shunning reinforces guilt, which is a big deal with most religions. Guilt is low-order coercion. All of it is bad behavior and a reason I am sure we both dislike organized religions.

"In short, a declared belief in Islam and the Koran should be sufficient to preclude citizenship and permit deportation, again because we are not just dealing here with another live and let live religion, but a subversive and dangerous actual program with a concrete agenda." I guess you don't believe in our Bill of Rights.

I do, but not for people who by faith do not believe in it and act on their faith.


"As to whom should be the thought police . . . certainly not the Islamists."
And certainly not Christians, Jews, Hindus, or any other religious person. Maybe only atheists should be allowed to immigrate, hold political offices, or hold
government jobs?

Agnostics, too. Not a bad thought, especially with all the formerly closeted Christians now running about in the Administration. We now have Christians coming out of the woodwork. It is almost a job requirement, in and out of government these days. Those who were formerly drunks and became converted are especially dangerous. I just fear another round of this someday, if we can get over this one, but with Muslims.

"It clearly is not true for some Jews, but as an excellent first order approximation for too many, it probably is. And that is useful information, although we should always try to suspend full judgment until we know more."
Are you saying that the phrase "too many" is useful information even though it is an unknown quantity? How is it useful?

For example. if you can identify a person is Jewish, a good first order approximation to having a pleasant conversation with that person is to avoid discussing the problems of US policy toward the Palestinians, the rise of the Arab world and much else that has happened in the Middle East. Except for the likes of you and too few of my Jewish friends, knowing they are Jewish alone tells me where they stand on a whole slew of issues where reasonable people can and should disagree. As with most of religious persuasion, Jews tend to come preprogrammed on a whole host of issues, instead of thinking for themselves, as you do. I’ll bet your Rabbi just shakes his head at the mention of your name and there is much “Temple talk” about that unreconstructable Bob.

"Islamists have a real and operating programmed agenda built in to their faith that seeks to end all we cherish and us too if we will not convert. Japanese, Christians, Jews and others do not. That makes the Islamists different."

They are developing real teeth, migrating and starting to use them. They are the religious scourge de jour.

But Christians killed all Muslims who would not convert during the crusades, sometimes wiping out entire cities. They also killed American natives and Hawaiians that wouldn't convert. They also killed natives in central and south America for not converting. Africa too. Now, just how are Christians different from Muslims? Oh, is it because now the shoe is on the other foot? Now, Christians are afraid that they are losing to Muslims? I could care less. I am neither.

You are most vulnerable, without the Bill of Rights. Both Christians and Muslims and probably a few Jews too would like you dead. Therefore, you should care if you enjoy life. Now, Christians and Jews are different. They are not professedly bent on killing anyone. Islamists are. Yes, Christians have a blood and stinky history, but they now try to curb their worst tendencies. Many Muslims promote theirs.

"There are chunks and wads of foolishness in all the holy books, to be sure, but sensible, doctrine-selective practitioners of most branches of both Christianity and Judaism know and practice better, a luxury not permitted Islamists, whose holy book, the Koran, is rife and strewn with such foolishness and imperialism."
How can you say that Christians and Jews practice better than their holy books, but Muslims can't? Are they somehow more stupid? Do you even know any Muslims. The few that I know say that what you are saying here is only practiced by the extreme fundamentalists. They say that they do not believe, nor do they practice these ideologies you are so afraid of.

It is not that Muslims can’t, it is that too many don’t practice better than the worst of Islamic teaching. The very few Muslims I know are all in the US, are somewhat secular, are all well and western educated, selectively believe what they want of Islam, reject the inane aspects of Islam, have the Bill of Rights to protect them, are sensible and simply want a better life than they or their parents had. Classical immigrants. But if large numbers of other Islamic Muslims came and started to lean on them here, then I am less sure of where they would stand. Serious Islamists are not a minority. I believe they are a near majority. Our friends here are the minority. It is the other way around.

"Jews just use their superior intelligence to scamper up the social ladder..."
Actually, we're all about the money.
" and Christians busy themselves thumping their Bibles, singing a lot and holding bake sales."
Thumping Bibles makes good practice for thumping heads.

Funny you should say Jews are all about money. I know it. I practiced law for ten years with an all Jewish (except me), all Harvard (except me) boutique law firm of about 10 lawyers. From the orthodox to the secular members, all had a real love of money, to the exclusion in only some cases of too much else. We did well. I had a grand time with them until I retired to wind up my practice. But cash and carry it was. Christians DO like to thump both the Bible and heads. That is probably where the expression “knock some sense into his head” came from.


"Islamists are a whole different kettle of fish."
I think you believe this because you don't know any. You fear the unknown.

I don’t personally know any full believers, but I have read a lot, know that the Muslims I know don’t fit into Islam, and know that there are many full Islamists out there. And I have read enough to know how they think and what they believe and what the Koran and related texts say. And it is scary.

"To be sure, ours would be a better world without social or organized religion; no doubt about that in my book either."
Amen. LOL

We really agree here.

"Any who take strongly believed and professed positions directly against our clear and revered common interests..."
You mean, money.

Money can be fun. There is usually more to money grubbers then just money. Many like the Bill of Rights too, especially those who get caught and really need it.
Money is very American.

"... in this country, as true for Islamists, are fairly viewed as un-American and they need to be prepared to be ostracized and shunned. They threatened us to the extent they have a program of subversion and some probability of success with it, as Islamists do, as we see on the current world stage. Communists, Socialists and others of that ilk have been theoretically too discredited to be a real threat."
Not discredited enough. Many still believe. And the USA is more socialistic every day.

We are not really Socialist. We still have private enterprise, few state run businesses, dishonest aspects of Capitalism still running amuck, small business doing OK, big profits for Mobil Exxon, some big companies well run and profitable, Elliot Snitzer as the new SEC, and a decline in business regulation in the last several years. This does look like Pinko territory to me.
"Islam is a real threat to many democracies, some of which, in a lapse of good sense, actually install Islamic theocracies and sacrifice themselves to their own lapse of good judgment."
If democracies have installed Islamic theocracies, then the majority must have spoken. In this "democratic" country, the majority rules. Why should that change just because YOU are afraid of becoming a minority?

To be sure, we can vote ourselves to go under Shari law and scrap our Constitution. I just think we should not. I don’t mind being a minority – which I am also every were I have been – but I don’t want to loose any of my rights and privileges. You really don’t either. I can tell.

Bob

Kimball writes:

"I don’t really think welfare is a serious problem."

I am really referring to the socialistic programs in the US. More than half of the GDP and GNP is money spent by the gov't. That is socialism.

"But Islamists have not in Holland and some other parts of the world."

That may be a flaw of those governments in those places, but in the USA, people who immigrate tend to become Americanized.

"My worry is that as Islamic numbers increase they will try to change the law to Shari law in a democratic fashion."

Well, if they become the majority, then it's their right to try and change laws in a democratic fashion. You cannot be for democracy only when it suits you.

"Maybe then our courts will wake up and protect our Bill of Rights, if they have not sold the store to the Administration by then."

What Bill of Rights? Our own leaders have already dimished them into oblivion anyway.

"Technology ups the ante. The moral imperative to get along now has more urgency to it, but Islamists disagree here."

New technology has always affected outcomes of disputes. The nuke is no different. New war technologies that changed the maps were the scimitar, the longbow, the blitzkreig, the submarine, the airplane,etc. All these technologies at one time were unstoppable. Once a country adopted one of these technologies, they also were not interested in discussion as they had the upper hand. They invaded.

"...and I think we now know better with respect to Christianity and Torahic believe systems (except for a few in the current Administration)."

And I reply to this with a little reflection: "...and I think we now know better with respect to Muslim belief systems (except for a few of the current Muslim Leaders)."

"But such is our preemption doctrine. We go to a littler war to prevent a bigger one later. We destroy the village to save it, if you will."

The preemptive doctrine is morally wrong. That's like jailing people before a crime is committed. This is very convenient for leaders when they need to do something illegal. It's too much power given to the state. Condemned without a trial, just hearsay.

"It never hurts to give away 40 acres of woods and a mule if you want to increase farm output and get votes."

I strongly disagree. Buying votes is un-American, although politicians do it every day. This is the primary reason our government is no longer of the people, for the people, and by the people.

"Yes, but Christianity, Judaism, and others have no teeth in their mandates any more. Islamists like to roll heads and still do. They are hundreds of years behind on loosing their dentures."

They will become Americanized (toothless) after a few years living in our country.

"For us to be in this country, we should all be in support of our Bill of Rights."

Of course, we all should be.

"To that extent, if one is not with us, he is against us, but may be harmless if he has no real capacity to do anything about it."

I think you go too far here. Maybe a person may not believe in the Bill of Rights, but that doesn't make him anti-American. Whatever happened to our Right to our own Thoughts and Beliefs? Actually, it makes that person more American than you think. This person's thinking goes against the grain of mainstream American philosophy. Great Americans often do the same.

"Before he and others of his ilk become enabled by numbers and power, they need to be but in place and disempowered."

Tut, tut. Shame on you.

"Otherwise you might be right, we head toward civil war. Been there, done that. Better to act now. The political preemption doctrine."

As I stated before, preemption is wrong. I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. For example, I would go so far as to say that if any other country attacked US soil, then we have the right, and should, nuke their capital city off the face of the earth. I'll bet nobody would mess with us again if we just made that one example out of some rogue nation. Also, people might think twice before electing extremist leaders again. But like I said, this must be retaliatory, not preemptive.

"I do , but not for people who by faith do not believe in it and act on their faith."

Here, you first say that you believe in the Bill of Rights, but then you say it doesn't apply to everyone. Now, I don't believe that the Bill of Rights can work if not applied to everyone. I think you misspoke here.

"For example. if you can identify a person is Jewish, a good first order approximation to having a pleasant conversation with that person is to avoid discussing the problems of US policy toward the Palestinians, the rise of the Arab world and much else that has happened in the Middle East."

Hmm, I don't pre-judge a person based on his race, religion, etc. I have found too many times that when I did, I looked the fool.

"As with most of religious persuasion, Jews tend to come preprogrammed on a whole host of issues"

It depends on their family experiences and their church leaders.

"I’ll bet your Rabbi just shakes his head at the mention of your name and there is much “Temple talk” about that unreconstructable Bob."

Actually, it is hard for me to find a good synagogue. There are fundamentalist ones, conservative ones, and liberal ones. I have tried them all. Liberal ones are better for me, but I have not been to any in many years because I just don't like the whole shepherd/sheep relationship. I equate religion with faith. Faith is belief without questioning. This is very much against my personal preferences.

"Islamists have a real and operating programmed agenda built in to their faith that seeks to end all we cherish and us too if we will not convert. Japanese, Christians, Jews and others do not. That makes the Islamists different."

They are no different.

"They are developing real teeth, migrating and starting to use them. They are the religious scourge de jour."

All religions are the scourge de jour.

"Both Christians and Muslims and probably a few Jews too would like you dead. Therefore, you should care if you enjoy life."

LOL, there are a few people that I'd like to see dead too. That doesn't make me a scourge.

"Now, Christians and Jews are different. They are not professedly bent on killing anyone."

Yes, they are. Jews are bent on killing Palestinians. I can point you too many quotes from Jewish leaders to support this statement. Christians are also bent on killing others. Just look at our current President Bush.

"The very few Muslims I know are all in the US, are somewhat secular, are all well and western educated, selectively believe what they want of Islam, reject the inane aspects of Islam, have the Bill of Rights to protect them, are sensible and simply want a better life than they or their parents had. Classical immigrants."

You have made my point. When they immigrate here, they become "Americanized."

"Serious Islamists are not a minority."

This depends from country to country.

"I believe they are a near majority."

Maybe overall, but as they migrate, they are changed as the assimilate into their new society.

"I don’t personally know any full believers, but I have read a lot..."

Maybe you're reading the wrong books. and there's a lot of whacky stuff on the internet. Be careful.

"And I have read enough to know how they think and what they believe and what the Koran and related texts say. And it is scary."

So is the Bible and the Torah.

"We are not really Socialist."

Actually, like I said before, we are more socialistic than capitalistic today. Most spending in this country is done by the government. That is socialism.

"To be sure, we can vote ourselves to go under Shari law and scrap our Constitution. I just think we should not."

I just don't think it will come to that.

Kimball Corson

More than half of the GDP and GNP is money spent by the gov't. That is socialism.

That is because the government is buying a lot of war supplies, sending out a lot of social security and medicare payments, earlier largely paid for by their recipients, and doing other things only the government can effectively do. Too be sure, constituency pork is a major problem, e.g., the bridge to no where in Alaska. Between that and sucking up to lobbyists to do them favors for hidden or not so hidden quid pro quo, Congress clearly needs a major overhaul. But this is closer to corruption than it is to Socialism.

“[Non-assimulation] may be a flaw of those governments in those places, but in the USA, people who immigrate tend to become Americanized.

The problem is it usually takes a couple of generations and a lot can happen in the meantime. Further, Muslims are doing anything but integrating in Europe these days. In fact, in Holland one ritualistically murdered Theo van Gogh, a descendant of Vincent van Gogh and a film maker, who to be sure did refer to Muslims as “goat fuc*ers,” but they also are threatening Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a famous member of parliament, with death, along with twenty other prominent and liberal Muslim men and women who are under constant governmental police protection. There are some fifteen to twenty jihadist groups in Holland alone, with a strong internet cheer leading contingents of young Muslim teenagers. This is not integrating; it is a prelude to war.

“If Muslims become the majority, then it's their right to try and change laws in a democratic fashion. You cannot be for democracy only when it suits you.”

To be sure. That is why I am on my horse now, in my own feeble effort to prevent untoward Muslim immigration into the USA.

"Maybe then our courts will wake up and protect our Bill of Rights, if they have not sold the store to the Administration by then." What Bill of Rights? Our own leaders have already diminished them into oblivion anyway.

We differ only by degree in our damage assessments here.

"’Technology ups the ante. The moral imperative to get along now has more urgency to it, but Islamists disagree here.’ New technology has always affected outcomes of disputes. The nuke is no different. New war technologies that changed the maps were the scimitar, the longbow, the blitzkreig, the submarine, the airplane,etc. All these technologies at one time were unstoppable. Once a country adopted one of these technologies, they also were not interested in discussion as they had the upper hand. They invaded.”

Nuclear weapons are a whole other kettle of fish, I submit. That is why we have adopted the preemption doctrine, which unfortunately strikes me as ultimately futile. Islamists won’t listen to words. They want to fight and die. Its their ticket to heaven and a reasonable supply of virgins, if they are male. I hear nothing about a supply of hulky studs for the females fighting by their sides. Note that the females are equal only when it comes to fighting and dying.

"...and I think we now know better with respect to Christianity and Torahic believe systems (except for a few in the current Administration)." And I reply to this with a little reflection: ...and I think we now know better with respect to Muslim belief systems (except for a few of the current Muslim Leaders).

We differ on the ratios. Sensible Muslim immigrants world-wide are a shrinking group, if not a minority, I suspect. There is a lot of in the woodwork support for the radicals among those who seem sensible on first impression. In Holland, for example, it is a relative and sensible few against virtually all the rest. Migrating Muslims world-wide are becoming more radical, not more liberal, I think. This will become more the case in the future as Muslims, under their Islamic beliefs and Imans, refuse to learn the language, customs and integrate, are therefore discriminated against and then react to that discrimination with radical hostility.

"’But such is our preemption doctrine. We go to a littler war to prevent a bigger one later. We destroy the village to save it, if you will.’
The preemptive doctrine is morally wrong. That's like jailing people before a crime is committed. This is very convenient for leaders when they need to do something illegal. It's too much power given to the state. Condemned without a trial, just hearsay.”

I think the preemption doctrine winds up picking the wars it should want to avoid and, in regard to nuclear weaponry, is likely to be ultimately futile in the long run when the world will view us as just asking for it.

"’It never hurts to give away 40 acres of woods and a mule if you want to increase farm output and get votes.’ I strongly disagree. Buying votes is un-American, although politicians do it every day. This is the primary reason our government is no longer of the people, for the people, and by the people.
I cannot argue with that. Big corporate America and the wealth, with their lawyers and lobbyists, clearly run the country. Been there and done and seen that.

"’Yes, but Christianity, Judaism, and others have no teeth in their mandates any more. Islamists like to roll heads and still do. They are hundreds of years behind on loosing their dentures.’ They will become Americanized (toothless) after a few years living in our country.”

I worry that they might not unless we are careful about who we let in. See my comments above. To be sure, the smart escape by education, but only then to be threatened by the radicals and “in the woodwork or closet” contingent. That is the group we need to keep out.

"’For us to be in this country, we should all be in support of our Bill of Rights.’
Of course, we all should be.”

Your implication and my contention is but we all are not. Unfortunately, that is very true.

"’To that extent, if one is not with us, he is against us, but may be harmless if he has no real capacity to do anything about it.’ I think you go too far here. Maybe a person may not believe in the Bill of Rights, but that doesn't make him anti-American. Whatever happened to our Right to our own Thoughts and Beliefs? Actually, it makes that person more American than you think. This person's thinking goes against the grain of mainstream American philosophy. Great Americans often do the same.”

You may be right and me wrong there. My context is radical Muslims, but you have broadened the argument to include thoughtful others. I need to refine my argument to recognize that distinction.

"’Before he and others of his ilk become enabled by numbers and power, they need to be but in place and disempowered.’ Tut, tut. Shame on you.”

So who now sounds like the multicultural, liberal and sniveling Dutch who have put themselves into a box they cannot get out of.

"’Otherwise you might be right, we head toward civil war. Been there, done that. Better to act now. The political preemption doctrine.’ As I stated before, preemption is wrong. I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.”
I am not enamoured of the doctrine either, but for somewhat different reasons or emphases, as I indicate above.

“For example, I would go so far as to say that if any other country attacked US soil, then we have the right, and should, nuke their capital city off the face of the earth. I'll bet nobody would mess with us again if we just made that one example out of some rogue nation. Also, people might think twice before electing extremist leaders again. But like I said, this must be retaliatory, not preemptive.”

That is old school thinking, but I largely agree with you. However, the problem with this line of thought is that before any other country is likely to attack the US, even with conventional armaments, they are likely to have nuks in their hip pockets, and that makes your retaliatory approach really problematic. This thinking caused the birth of the preemption doctrine.

"’I do [believe in the Bill of Rights], but not for people who by faith do not believe in it and act on their faith.’ Here, you first say that you believe in the Bill of Rights, but then you say it doesn't apply to everyone. Now, I don't believe that the Bill of Rights can work if not applied to everyone. I think you misspoke here.”

Not really. Our courts have largely held that enemy combatants, and I would add, those who aid and conspire with them, do not really have protection under the Bill of Rights. That would include my group above, I think.

"’For example. if you can identify a person is Jewish, a good first order approximation to having a pleasant conversation with that person is to avoid discussing the problems of US policy toward the Palestinians, the rise of the Arab world and much else that has happened in the Middle East.’
Hmm, I don't pre-judge a person based on his race, religion, etc. I have found too many times that when I did, I looked the fool.

For too many Jews, I think doing that does not leave one looking foolish. Too many are preprogrammed. Challenge even one American pro-Israel policy and you are automatically dubbed anti-Semitic, even though the Palestinians are a Semitic people too. Now, there’s another preemption doctrine.

"’As with most of religious persuasion, Jews tend to come preprogrammed on a whole host of issues"
It depends on their family experiences and their church leaders.”

Too rarely, I submit. But they do differ in their degree of Zionist zeal.

"’I’ll bet your Rabbi just shakes his head at the mention of your name and there is much “Temple talk” about that unreconstructable Bob.’
Actually, it is hard for me to find a good synagogue. There are fundamentalist ones, conservative ones, and liberal ones. I have tried them all. Liberal ones are better for me, but I have not been to any in many years because I just don't like the whole shepherd/sheep relationship. I equate religion with faith. Faith is belief without questioning. This is very much against my personal preferences.”

Most religions work on the shepherd sheep paradigm and the doctrine of faith is a Band Aid prophylactic designed to shutout troublesome questions and questioners and maintain order in the flock. You obviously slipped past the sheep dogs and ran for your life. In the world of Islam, you would be hunted down and killed.

"’Islamists have a real and operating programmed agenda built in to their faith that seeks to end all we cherish and us too if we will not convert. Japanese, Christians, Jews and others do not. That makes the Islamists different."
They are no different.

I think they are and Islam and its holy texts are too.

"’They are developing real teeth, migrating and starting to use them. They are the religious scourge de jour.’
All religions are the scourge de jour.

Yes, but not in the same degree, or as I use those words here. Islam is a problem for us and the rest of the non-Islamic world and it is going to get worse before it ever gets better, if it does, assuming we are not someday all going to be praying toward Mecca and beating our wives, to save our necks and theirs.

"’Both Christians and Muslims and probably a few Jews too would like you dead. Therefore, you should care if you enjoy life.’
LOL, there are a few people that I'd like to see dead too. That doesn't make me a scourge.”

No, but those that think independently like you are always problems for the faithful and therefore targets.

"’Now, Christians and Jews are different. They are not professedly bent on killing anyone.’
Yes, they are. Jews are bent on killing Palestinians. I can point you too many quotes from Jewish leaders to support this statement. Christians are also bent on killing others. Just look at our current President Bush.”

Jews only want to kill Palestinians to get them first because Palestinians, especially of the Hamas ilk, want to kill Israeli Jews and get the lands back that they lost. God has been speaking out of both sides of his mouth here. According to Islam, Alla – the one and only true God -- gave those land to the Muslims. According to the God of the old Testament – the one and only true God -- he gave those lands to the Jews. Reminds me of some of the land fraud artists in Arizona who sell the same property to different buyers. Too many people hearing voices, I say. With Bush, the preemption doctrine means we only have to kill a few now instead of a lot later. We are economizing on Islamists and that is good.


"’The very few Muslims I know are all in the US, are somewhat secular, are all well and western educated, selectively believe what they want of Islam, reject the inane aspects of Islam, have the Bill of Rights to protect them, are sensible and simply want a better life than they or their parents had. Classical immigrants."
You have made my point. When they immigrate here, they become "Americanized."

You are right in the sense that we have done better than Europe because we are more open and flexible than Europe, but too I think we are quicker to export our mistakes and limit problems from entering the country. Europeans reached en mass toward the Muslim world for cheap labor. We have the Mexicans for that and chose our Muslims much more carefully. We need to keep that up and pay attention.


"’Serious Islamists are not a minority."
This depends from country to country.

True, in the US we have more of the sensible variety, as I explained.

"I believe the radical Muslims are a near majority.’
Maybe overall, but as they migrate, they are changed as the assimilate into their new society.”

But they are not doing well at being assimilated elsewhere for the reasons I have mentioned. We tend to get the best and most adaptable and do the best with them, but we still have isolated Muslim communities and Europe is in awful shape in places.

"’I don’t personally know any full believers, but I have read a lot...’
Maybe you're reading the wrong books. and there's a lot of wacky stuff on the internet. Be careful.

Then there are an awful lot of wrong books, including the ones I have identified. See too, the article in the April 3rd New Yorker on “The Dutch Model” discussing the problems of Islamists in Holland. There is bad stuff being reported.

"’And I have read enough to know how they think and what they believe and what the Koran and related texts say. And it is scary.’
So is the Bible and the Torah.

I agree, but the Koran and its collateral texts are more horrific and oppressive.

"’We are not really Socialist.’
Actually, like I said before, we are more socialistic than capitalistic today. Most spending in this country is done by the government. That is socialism.”

We just disagree here, Bob, as I explained above. We are not even close to pink.

"’To be sure, we can vote ourselves to go under Shari law and scrap our Constitution. I just think we should not.’
I just don't think it will come to that.”

Let’s hope so and watch what we are doing and who we are letting into this country, including Mexicans. (I was sorry to see the bi-partisan agreement Congress reached fall apart. I thought it was serviceable. Maybe it or something close to it can yet be salvaged. )

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