Wednesday, August 17, 2011

'Cheryl' wants to Expel me...

Commentors on atheist blogs often provide the clearest insight into atheist nastiness. Here's a snippet from one "Cheryl", a dyspeptic materialist commenting on my observation that materialist theories of the mind are gibberish and not the least consistent with neuroscience.

Cheryl:

If [Egnor] weren’t a practicing neurosurgeon, I’d have compassion for him. But as it is, I’m appalled he’s still licensed to practice medicine.

Now please understand that all I've done to incur Cheryl's compassionless wrath is to disagree with her. I present evidence that materialism is an inadequate theory of the mind. That has enraged Cheryl so much that she objects to the fact that I'm licensed to practice medicine.

She presents no evidence that I'm unqualified to practice, or that I'm an incompetent surgeon, or that my patient outcomes are anything but good. Actually, I'm a tenured professor of neurosurgery and vice-chairman of my department. I'm an active scientist and educator, and have a good surgical practice.

Nothing objective about my qualifications would lead Cheryl to be 'appalled' that I'm still licensed to practice medicine. She just despises me, apparently, because I question her ideology. That is, she's appalled that I haven't lost my livelihood merely because I don't accept materialism.

Is the practice of medicine dependent on acceptance of doctrinaire materialism? Does science presuppose hard materialism?

Well, I'm in no danger of losing my career, despite the fact that I piss off materialists. But imagine if I were a graduate student in biology, or a young post-doc, or an assistant professor and didn't have tenure or seniority or a long track record of accomplishment to protect my livelihood. I would be in  significant professional peril for not towing the materialist line.

The scientific world is full of little brownshirts like Cheryl. If you tow the line-- if you pay lip service to materialism-- you have a job. I have friends who are biologists-- several quite accomplished scientists-- who don't believe the materialist cr*p for a minute. But they stay silent. As one told me: "I gotta feed my family, Mike, and if I spoke out, I'd never get a job or a grant again"

Unless you're bullet-proof, you've got to be careful in science, especially in biology. There are a lot of Cheryls out there. A lot of them have titles like 'chairman' or 'grant reviewer' or 'journal editor' or are just colleagues who can make your life hell. There is an ideological ticket that you gotta get punched, and if you don't get in line, well... they'll find a way to.. um... Expel you.

Thanks, Cheryl, for making it so clear.




36 comments:

  1. Michael,

    What makes you think that Cheryl despises you. I've read her entire comment and it doesn't come over to me like that. She's actually just accusing of doing what you're claiming Steve Novella is doing, that is lying, and suggesting that you're in denial. She starts off by sating that she's a lay person, so apparently she doesn't have any say in tenure or employment decisions. It's rather mild compared to you calling atheists 'bastards' as you did in a previous thread.

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  2. Bach,
    Getting frustrated and name calling are not the equivalent of this attempt to discredit the PERSON and his career.
    Cheryl cannot censure or stonewall Dr Egnor - he knows that. That is not the thrust of this post.
    Look: Questioning a persons professional credentials is a different approach than calling some group of anti-Christian bigots (GNU Atheists) 'bastards'. There are plenty of old school atheists who seem to agree. I have heard and read PLENTY of 'cretin', 'idiots' / 'IDiots', 'retards', 'throwbacks', 'flat earthers' etc etc about MY position from your side of the debate....no skin off my back. Sticks and stones.
    NONE has questioned my ability to command a military unit or educate our men and women. If they did, it would be tantamount to/at attempted SILENCE me, not insult.
    Sure she is a nobody (Cheryl?) in the academic world and she cannot censure him or silence him, but it is the SENTIMENT that Dr Egnor has illustrated here.
    When senior fellows and 'administrators' share Cheryl's monism, they have great potential to limit the talent to ONLY adherents of their own dogma. Can you imagine a university or hospital that ONLY allowed Jewish, Catholic, or Protestant researchers and doctors, researchers, or administrators? I think NOT. So why should materialists be put into a position of such elitism? Pretensions. That is the answer isn;t it?
    'Because we have science - we are RIGHT!' is the canned response, no?
    Pretensions. That is the answer isn't it? Well, it's the one that has worked so far...
    But it wont work for too much longer.
    The Western world is moving to the right, and the people are sick of promissory materialism, it's phoney predictions, and lack of results. They want REAL results. In politics, science, and war. They want to be 'souls' again, not 'meatbags'. Futility is out of style. Hope is in fashion. Hence these conversations and your (side's) quixotic war against windmills...and straw men.
    Pragmatism will fix this.
    You're a smart guy, Bach. You'll see it too, eventually and when it is safe for you to (professionally). Atheism is just a coincidental symptom of this Materialism. Whether or not you end up a theist or agnostic, or stay an Atheist - materialism will lose it's lustre for you too!

    Besides, what is a 'bastard'? Why would that offend a moral relativist and materialist who sees no value in silly religious ritual...like marriage? I've known some really brave and intelligent bastards in my time. Their parents carry the shame, not them.

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  3. Sorry typos...damn tablet is TINY.

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  4. I guess it is just the typical blog wars XD.

    I think we as human beings, just feel the necessity to fit in or make other fit to us XD.

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  5. CrusadeRex,

    Settle down. Have I ever called anyone names?

    Read what I wrote. Michael states that Cheryl despises him. Read her comment. I think it's number 5 in about 173 comments.

    Michael is completely safe. I'm a retired medical practitioner in Australia (a pathologist) and I can assure you that America has a similar system where you can't be decertified unless for professional incompetence, serious crimes, moral indiscretions (such as sleeping with your patients)... The list is commonsense.

    The humanist position (and there are theistic ones too) is that all humans have value, regardless of whether there's souls or not.

    Humans have evolved as social animals to look out for each other. Religion evolved to strengthen group cohesion, and unfortunately has also caused intergroup hostility.

    I regard all religions as being equally wrong, and think that it would be better if they all disappeared and there was just one group, humans. Of course it never will happen.

    I also think that you're actually on the losing side. America isn't the western world. It's very much an outlier. If Americans continue their anti science stance in education, the Chinese and Indian centuries will come faster than they should. As an Australian I feel some anxiety as to what will happen if America becomes weaker, after knowing American power all my life.

    Agreed about small tablets, but my problem is that on an iPad, the box for comments is so small and I also are not allowed to reread everything before submission.

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  6. Bach,
    I am quite calm, I assure you :P
    I spent a good deal of time on the range this morning, and that ALWAYS calms me down.
    Also, I am not in America. I am in the Americas, but not the USA. I was an academic, and an educator. Now, I am a Captain Serving in the Canadian Forces. So, when I refer to the west, I don't mean Alberta or Texas, I mean Christendom. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Holland, Denmark, etc. Many of the modern NATO nation. The slide to the right is a reality.
    Your position on religion is fine by me. I am not attempting to convert you or preach. I am simply stating what I see as political fact.
    Old fashioned Atheism is not my gripe, NEW Atheism, evangelical Atheism IS my gripe.
    One of my OLDEST pals is an Atheist, and he and I agree on this.
    On the anxiety, I agree. The Pax Americana was a desirable state. I would only say I would have preferred a strong Empire... but alas Hitler and his cronies saw an end to that. The Yanks are the second best thing.
    As far as China and India goes, again: I agree. But as fast as they come, they will go... and we'll be waiting in the wings ;)
    So... I guess we both actually AGREE on some things?! Stop the presses! :P
    Your position is well stated, and your points well taken.

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  7. PS you're up EARLY for an OAP! JK

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  8. CrusadeRex,

    I'm not an old age pensioner. I took early retirement when I decided I could afford it. I've always been an early riser.

    We disagree about the British Empire. Colonialism had to go.

    Do you mean 'Right' or 'right' (ie 'true'). As a liberal, I loathe the 'Right'.

    I think that the evidence supports me when I say that strength of religious beliefs falls on a bell curve. A few rabid atheists at one end, a few equally rabid believers at the other, but most of the population on a curve with the majority in the middle, either believers or not but not particularly active. The curve naturally tilted to your side.

    I regard the public ally open atheists (I reject the term 'militant', when was the last time Richard Dawkins shot anyone?) as useful as they offset the rabid believers and publicize the fact that we atheists do exist.

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  9. @bachfiend:

    [Michael is completely safe...you can't be decertified unless for professional incompetence, serious crimes, moral indiscretions (such as sleeping with your patients)... The list is commonsense.]

    Of course I'm safe. My point (which you have ignored) is that many people aren't safe. They are junior, untenured, and very vulnerable. They dare not disagree with the materialist zeitgeist.

    [The humanist position (and there are theistic ones too) is that all humans have value, regardless of whether there's souls or not.]

    Bullshit. Humanists (atheists) in power are the most divisive ideologues ever. Class warfare, dictatorship of the proletariat, etc. If you want a good example of humanist respect for differences and 'souls', start with the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks and Pol Pot. Get real.

    [Humans have evolved as social animals to look out for each other.]

    I thought evolution was driven by competition. Silly me. I guess evolution can mean anything.

    [Religion evolved to strengthen group cohesion, and unfortunately has also caused intergroup hostility.]

    Humans can be bad. Religion generally limits intergroup hostility, at least compared with the anarchy of irreligion. Read Rene Girard for a nice explanation of religion's role in culture.

    [I regard all religions as being equally wrong, and think that it would be better if they all disappeared and there was just one group, humans.]

    Move to North Korea.

    [Of course it never will happen.]

    It has happened. Religion has been suppressed in many places. The result is unbridled tyranny (Communism), or cultural hara-kiri (Europe).

    [I also think that you're actually on the losing side.]

    Perhaps. The winners will speak arabic and recite the Koran.

    [America isn't the western world. It's very much an outlier. If Americans continue their anti science stance in education, the Chinese and Indian centuries will come faster than they should.]

    'Anti-science stand'? Are you kidding? Anti-materialist is not anti-science. How dare you link your idiot ideology to science, as if to oppose one is to oppose the other.

    American is the world's scientific powerhouse and a deeply Christian country. They go together. Atheism produces no science. 'Shit happens' inspires no one, and denies the very basis for rational study of nature.


    [As an Australian I feel some anxiety as to what will happen if America becomes weaker, after knowing American power all my life.]

    I think that America should cut all you guys loose. You don't have the balls to defend your Christian heritage, and you go to bed ideologically with the worst mass murderers in human history. You mock our Christianity, you mock our morals. Fend for yourself.

    We Americans should take care of ourselves, period. Enjoy your secular/atheist culture, for the short time it will last.

    My advice: learn arabic.

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  10. Bach,
    Right, as in right-wing. Again, apologies for text. As an apolitical, I LOATHE the left.
    True liberalism is great. It is unfortunately dead as a door nail in this hemisphere. It has been replaced with 'secular progressivism', a nasty Orwellian creed of egalitarianism and political, cultural repression.
    On the Empire, I am not talking about the 18th or 19th century, I am talking about the last century. Colonialism was already gone or going. Had she been solvent and able, the Empire would have been a force for progress and security, much as the USA has been.
    Did not mean to offend with the OAP joke. I was just being friendly. I too am an early riser and even have a few (hundred) greys.
    Early retirement eh? Nice. Enjoy!
    Wish I could say the same. Still years of duty for me.
    On the 'bell curve', I can agree on that.
    On the useful idiots stuff, I am in complete disagreement. I think both fringe groups do a disservice to their 'side' and offer nothing meaningful to the conversation.
    Finally, as for Dawkins et al, militant is not a word I would use either...but then I am military, and such words intone a respect I do not have for them.

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  11. CrusadeRex,

    I don't like left or right wing. I prefer liberal or conservative. Other terms I prefer are socialist/libertarian, communist/capitalist, democratic/dictatorial, atheist/theist.

    I don't like the assumption that if you're on end of the extreme on one measure, you're going to be at the end of all others.

    With regard to the British Empire, I mean the 20th century too. Britain had lost the right to rule India in the '30s when it allowed the famine to run unmitigated.

    I wasn't in the least offended by the OAP joke. Was it a joke? It went over my head I'm afraid.

    Michael,

    I disagree with EVERYTHING you write, so there's no point in taking your assertions to pieces one after the other. There's only one thing I disagree more with than your views, is Islam. I regard Islam even in its most moderate forms as an abomination. But fortunately when the oil runs out Islam will become increasingly irrelevant, hopefully.

    Which Girard do you recommend?

    You're not a very nice Christian using swear words ...

    Are you going to continue you argument about how hylemorphic dualism provides such great benefit to science?

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  12. I regard the public ally open atheists (I reject the term 'militant', when was the last time Richard Dawkins shot anyone?) as useful as they offset the rabid believers and publicize the fact that we atheists do exist.

    Oh, and just when is the last time you saw a believer foaming at the mouth and trying to bite someone?

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  13. Matteo,

    'just when is the last time you saw a believer foaming at the mouth and trying to bite someone?' ... Just a few weeks ago, when I went to the gym at my local aquatic centre to do my workout and a 'born again' insisted at length to proselytize at length at me for no apparent reason. And no, I don't wear atheist t-shirts, or t-shorts with any kind of slogan. It took a lot of patience and effort to gently request him to go elsewhere because I just was not interested.

    'Rabid' is metaphorical, like 'militant'.

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  14. Am I the only 22 yo person around here XD. I feel like u_u I am too young or something like that.

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  15. Edward,

    It's OK. Youth is a disease of which you're eventually cured, provided you don't die of it first ...

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  16. hahahahaha XD. Nice one man. No worries on my end ... I am like a old man on a young over weight body.

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  17. @bachfiend:

    [I disagree with EVERYTHING you write, so there's no point in taking your assertions to pieces one after the other.]

    Whew! I was worried that you were going to refute me with all of the examples of explicitly atheist governance that has been democratic and humane.

    [There's only one thing I disagree more with than your views, is Islam. I regard Islam even in its most moderate forms as an abomination. But fortunately when the oil runs out Islam will become increasingly irrelevant, hopefully.]

    By the time oil runs out and Islam is irrelevant, you (or your descendants) will be speaking arabic. Islam is a hideous ideology, as much a political system as a religion, and is second only to atheism as a murderous totalitarian system.

    The only force that has stopped Islam is Christianity (Tours, Lepanto, Vienna). Atheism in Europe has opened its doors (or spread its legs, if you prefer that metaphor) to Islam, and the Muslim population of Europe is exploding, and along with it the tyranny and violence that are its hallmark.

    Atheism is a fringe ideology capable only of destruction, not creation. It is destroying European Christian culture, but it will not ultimately prevail. It will merely leave the husk of Europe open to Islam and paganism (Neo-Nazis), who will be the real heirs of godlessness.

    [Which Girard do you recommend?]

    Rene Girard is the only Girard who has written about religion and culture. Google works well. Try it.

    [You're not a very nice Christian using swear words ...]

    When describing atheism, I'm constrained by the Ninth Commandment. To describe atheism in any way but scatolotgically would be a lie.

    Are you going to continue you argument about how hylemorphic dualism provides such great benefit to science?

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  18. Dr... you sure wake up early... no way it's more than 6 AM in USA.

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  19. Michael,

    I expect the oil in the Middle East to run out in 20 years. Muslims aren't a big proportion in my country, less than about 2%, and most are fairly moderate, so they aren't a big problem at the moment. Any trouble so far has come from our yobs who have been fired up with too much alcohol when bored and have gone on a mindless rampage.

    We're pretty safe from Arabic Islam, so I don't think that there's any chance we will be speaking Arabic in future generation.

    I know of Girard. I was just asking which of his books you recommend. There are so many, including ones he just edited or coauthored.

    And when are you going to reveal what practical use hylemorphic dualism is in science?

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  20. @bachfiend:

    Girard's best introduction is "I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning".

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  21. @Ed:

    [Dr... you sure wake up early... no way it's more than 6 AM in USA.]

    I couldn't sleep.

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  22. Wow ... in a Thursday ??? that doesn't sound all that good n_n!

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  23. Bach,
    You wrote:
    "But fortunately when the oil runs out Islam will become increasingly irrelevant, hopefully."

    Hope is all you have.
    This is a common misconception: When people get hungry and desperate, they calm down and become passive and have no means to attack. Obviously this is not true. All we have to do is think of Gaza or Afghanistan to see these peoples are an extremely determined foe. They have a motivation you cannot begin to fathom, Bach. I mean no disrespect when I write that. They are simply not of your world at all, and mean to purge people like you from theirs.
    You may know your biology, Bach - but I know my war, and I know my enemy. I love my enemy, and understand him intimately.
    They are coming, and you better be ready down under. I pray that you are, and that you're still Australian enough to stop them.
    When the oil runs out, and their potentates can non longer afford the new Rolls Royce, they will send their Mujahideen to take it from you(me). Besides, the wealth of the Muslim world is not just generated by oil; but also by slavery, poppies, contraband, and conquest. When will they run out of Africa and Asia? What happens when communism finally implodes in China? Islam.
    That is when the hope runs dry for those nearby. Europe will be next, and they have already started to colonize. Australia is isolated, geographically and provides an excellent target.
    Colonialism 'had to go', you say? Maybe you mean British, Christian, or European colonialism? Islamic colonialism is alive and well.
    It has to go - Present tense.
    I hope this makes some sense, I am typing on my microscopic rim thing again.

    Yes the OAP bit was a joke. Sorry if too subtle/dry. I am Scouse by birth, and I laugh with a straight face much of the time. I am glad it did not offend.


    On the Empire, I will not quibble over the errors and excesses of the Empire (famines, wars etc). No great power can exist without force and error. Any such power will be abused by the ruling classes. Britain, and by extension the USA, have by far been the most magnanimous powers in recorded history.
    I will say that most of the Australian I have met and worked with (military and support) are very proud/pro Empire/Commonwealth, if a bit cynical in general (stereotype, I am sure).
    I have only ever met one Aussie leftist (ie republican/pro Chinese). He was in a nice pub in Old Quebec City, and he was with a Quebec separatist at the time. Fellow travellers. Both young academics with (red) stars in their eyes. Both gave me the impression their rage (angst?) was actually about 'daddy' more than Crown, Country, or Commonwealth.
    Daddy was conservative. Daddy was traditional. Daddy was RICH. I have no sympathy for such people. They sure seemed to despise the Americans too! Just my experience. I am sure there are folks out there who take their sedition seriously; but these kids came off as simple ingrates.

    Of the Indians I know (MANY), I do not know a single one that is anti British. probably even more so. They all seem to think the Raj was a Golden age. Their problem with Empire was PARTITION.
    I tend to agree with them.
    The Pakistanis, on the other hand, tend to be VERY anti-British and commonwealth. I know of only two fellows that were not, both Christians.

    In the same vein, my own biggest criticism of the dying Empire (and modern USA) is the Islamophilia of the insulated political classes.
    Bach, you note in a response to Dr Egnor that you despise Islam. Why? As an Atheist do they not 'fit the bill' for a power?
    I mean, if Islam is powerful, dedicated, and strong, why should it NOT rule? That is Darwin's theory, no? Natural selection. The weak (secularists)give way to the strong (Islam). Or, another way of looking at it would be the vacuum created by materialism is filled with the substance of Islam. Is this not the natural order?

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  24. Dr Egnor,
    You wrote:
    "I think that America should cut all you guys loose. You don't have the balls to defend your Christian heritage, and you go to bed ideologically with the worst mass murderers in human history. You mock our Christianity, you mock our morals. Fend for yourself."

    First off, isolationism is not the answer. That is EXACTLY what the enemy wants: The NATO/USA to disengage. We need to stand together despite our differences. If we do not, we ALL fall. Australia is extremely strategically important. We need it, and we need the Australians too!
    Secondly, I was in NYC on Sep 13, 2001. I was part of a team of 200 responders from Canada, sent immediately after the attack. Living in Ontario I was quite familiar with the Rotten Apple, but had NO IDEA what I was about to see that week.
    The sights I saw there prompted me to return to active duty and the field, after already 'doing my bit'. Tens of thousands of Canadians have rallied to the call. Further, we have a Conservative and Monarchist (ie extremely Christian) PM and majority government. We voted them in with a landslide after a decade of Liberal rule.
    Sure there are pinko idiots here who say/do stupid things, and sure we seem 'liberal' in some areas to you folks, but we could say the same (and do so frequently). We defend our heritage and faith fiercely. We are also an innovative nation. We are ALSO mocked continuously by everyone. We are stereotyped to death as rednecks, igloo living Eskimos, Mounties etc etc. Lampooned at every chance.
    America is not, and CANNOT be alone in this.
    Do not take these extreme positions as normal for citizens of the Commonwealth, Dr Egnor.
    They reflect only the position of the chattering classes reflected by a leftist media.
    Normal folks admire much of what America has done, and are rightly critical when their interests conflict.
    It would be like basing your opinion of American grass roots politics by watching MSNBC or the Huffington Post.
    Finally as for 'going to bed' with mass murderers our nations are ALL guilty of that, and worse: Enabling and ignoring the worst mass murderers in history.
    I hope that makes sense, Dr Egnor.
    I do not wish to contradict you points regarding Islam and culture, as I agree entirely. But this section of what you have written leaves me with a bad taste.
    Isolationism is poison to a superpower. Don't allow that mirage to blind you to the fact America has allies and partners.

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  25. CrusadeRex,

    I do feel safe. We're a long way from anywhere.

    I loathe Islam, as a religion and as a political system (I firmly believe that religion and politics-government don't mix) but I don't hate Muslims individually. Australia's experience with immigration so far has been that the 1st generation doesn't assimillate well, the 2nd generation better and the 3rd is hardly noticed.

    Muslims according to the last census make up just 1.7% of the population, of which about half were born here.

    I'm actually an optimist. I think technology will solve our problems of energy supply.

    The problem of the Middle East is largely one caused by America, with its insatiable thirst for oil and its support of corrupt oil sheiks who then supported Islamic fundamentalists to prop up their support. Why couldn't America mandate fuel economy in their cars decades ago?

    The Commonwealth is largely irrelevant. The empire could not have survived, because independence movements were present decades before WWII. The unfortunate fact is that the handover of power was botched and rushed because Britain had lost the power to do it properly. But at least the British realized that they couldn't hang on to their empire, unlike the French, who tried to hang on to Vietnam, amongst other possessions, till 1954, and set up of course the tragedy of the Vietnam war (although America shares a lot of responsibility for that fiasco).

    I don't expect China to implode. Islam is a minority there too, tens of millions aren't going to take over 1 billion.

    And natural selection is describing what 'is' in nature not what 'ought' to be in human affairs. Atheists think that humans have the ability to do better than our innate nature, that nurture is just as important as nature.

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  26. Cheryl is a noxious mediocrity. As for Islam, I agree with the Medieval Spanish cleric who wrote that Muhammad turned heaven into a lupanar in his religion. And, of course, he was a violent thug.

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  27. bachfriend,

    "I do feel safe. We're a long way from anywhere."

    Wow, is 1942 that far in the past? I'm getting close to voting for turning the rest of world loose. Let the bachfriend's of the world enjoy living under their atheists brothers from China. Have at it in the new enlightened world.

    CrusadeRex,

    Glad to know their are some brothers in the Great White North. Whenever I visit my relatives in Kingston (about every other year), I have to listen to the whiny anti-Americanism. I love the country but, boy are they ever naive about the world. I have tried to explain to them about what it is like to be in the U.S. military, about American intentions in the world, and our view of Canada (almost all positive)--all to no avail. They do have their myths are sticking to them regardless.

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  28. Gimli,

    I should rephrase that, I feel safe from Arab Islamists. The Indonesians aren't much of a worry, because they're so disorganized. Michael was adamant that the Muslims are going to take over the world, with considerable hyperbole, and that's what i was addressing.

    China might be a problem, but I doubt it. They can buy our resources cheaper than by attempting to invade and gain it by conquest. Anyway, who would want Australia except for the mineral resources. There's a lot of land, but it's mostly too hot, too dry and too infertile.

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  29. Gimli,
    Cheers, Bro! It is likewise pleasant to chat with some reasonable Americans.
    Funny that, I feel the same way when I travel to the States. My relatives (in-laws) down state-side are all hopelessly 'liberal'. While here in Ontario, we are a very conservative.Part of my education and instruction was at RMC Kingston. It is a pretty conservative town. Funny your folks are like that? bet they vote Liberal:P
    But if you mean they think Canada is better, I agree with them - OF COURSE! I am Canadian.
    'Anti-Americanism' is currently/frequently trendy with the left here. Their social programs busted out 8 years back, big gov't is being stripped, and their cultural/social engineering programs backfired...so who else to blame but the evil Americans. Internationalist idiots.
    That's real stuff, anyway.
    There is a kind of soft distrust of the US here, but that is only natural. Your federal government is very powerful and have the potential to be very arrogant and careless with that power, and have done so in the past...so folks can be a little cynical. That is only rational. Some semi-educated folks take that too far. But, most of us like the USA and Americans just fine. This area is FULL of American tourists this time of year, and they are 90% good folks - just like anyone else.
    Good neighbours and a decent fence.
    But this anti-American nonsense also seems quite popular in the States themselves (IE Self hate). I find myself most often defending US policy from US CITIZENS these days, not Montreal Liberals. That is scary to me.
    All that said: In all the towns and cities I frequent in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia there is yellow ribbons on the trees, flags, and welcome home banners everywhere.
    Our lads our coming home in droves now, and I am glad of it. I am sure their will be more fights, but we did our bit for this one (SWA), and we did it extremely well.
    Re our Military, we are one of the toughest fighting forces in the world. Every American I have served with agrees 100%. They LOVE us. As do the Brits. I am extremely proud of our contributions to the conflicts of the last century and this one, the only exception being Kosovo - which I disagreed with altogether.
    The only other force I can think of that has done so much with so little is the IDF.

    As for the isolationist sentiment:: It is Hubris, plain and simple. No nation is THAT good or powerful that it can stand alone. I say this as a FRIEND of America. I understand the WANT to say 'get lost', especially to the EU - but it is SUICIDE. We need (Canada and USA) to extend ourselves here and there; even at the risk of harm. God will keep us both, I pray.

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  30. Bach,
    That is pronoia not optimism.

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  31. bachfriend (J.S. Bach?),

    I believe you are right. You will likely die safe in an old-folk’s home free from invasion and secure in your own country, especially since the U.S. Navy is out there not many miles to your North (Speaking of which, my grandfather’s brother was on the U.S.S Hornet when she was sunk during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, which was fought mainly to protect Australia…your welcome).

    As you, I doubt that China will invade. However, there other ways countries dominate smaller, weaker nations than outright invasion. China isn’t expanding into space and making massive technical upgrades in their military technology so that they can get cheap prices on minerals. They aren’t building a first-class blue water navy so that they can assure Australia will be protected evil American domination. Give some thought to their motivation and ambitions. You share their atheism. Perhaps you can understand them better than I.

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  32. CrusadeR,

    I am glad you are proud of the toughness and accomplishments of the Canadian military—you ought to be. I’m also glad to hear you think Canada is better—cheers! My mother is Canadian. She came to the States in the 1950’s married my father, raised her kids, and remained a Canadian citizen. She moved back to Kingston in 2006 after my father passed away. She’s Canadian through and through. Since my mom is Canadian I was offered dual citizenship. I decided against it. I am American and I can’t imagine myself as anything else.

    My military is experience was less on the “tough” side. My mission was more technical, so to speak. This was somewhat irksome to my father who was a tank commander. My service enabled me to see much of the world and to experience missions demonstrating American motivations for protecting our interests and security as well as those of our allies. It also left me knowing that anti-Americanism is a childish pathology.

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  33. Gimli,
    Well stated and well met.
    Salutations from the North.

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  34. Gimli,

    Australia was threatened in WWIi because the theistic nation of Japan had decided that it wanted hegemony over eastern Asia. America was a barrier to these plans because it and the rest of the world were revolted by the Rape of Nanking in 1937, allowed by Japan's peculiar form of religion (although all religions are peculiar to a greater or lesser extent), so Japan decided to take America out.

    Australia wouldn't have been threatened if that great military genius Douglas McArthur had decided to leave all his planes parked together in the middle of his airfield in the Phillipines 9 hours after Pearl Harbour and then after he was defeated there decided that he wanted to continue the fight against Japan from Brisbane. Heck, even that was too close, he wanted to go to Melbourne.

    If the Americans had been sensible, they could have retained the Phillipines, in which case Australia would have been irrelevant.

    But still, you're missing the point. Michael was engaging in his usual over the top hyperbole and asserting that Islam was going to take over the world and I'd better learn Arabic. That it's only Christianity that's stopping that from happening.

    Absolute nonsense. It was America supporting despotic Arab oil sheiks that has got us in to this mess anyway.

    Whether I need to worry about China is another matter.

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  35. Bachfiend,

    You have thrown out a lot of topics that would be great to discuss: Whether Japanese Shinto Buddhism is theistic. What lead to America's conflict with Japan in the late 1930's. McArthur's strategic military abilities. Whether the U.S. could have held the Philippines in early 1942. What America's relationship is to despots around the world.

    I wish you were my neighbor and would could have meal and sit around and discuss these topics. But, alas, this is only the internet.

    To your point. I can imagine (granted, it is only my imagination) a scenario in which Micheal's hyperbole could become Australia's reality. Suppose there was great unrest in Indonesia and Australia, in the great Western/Christian tradition, decided to take in a massive amount of Muslim refugees. Muslims, for the most part have very high birth rates while secularist have very low birth rates. Can you see where I am headed?

    Thanks for your thoughtful and polite responses.

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  36. Gimli,

    Shintoism is religion. It has temples and worship, and used to have emperor adulation and worship too.

    Douglas McArthur was a great self publiciser. Whether America could have retained the Philippines is a moot point. Losing its air force on the first day didn't help.

    Australia agreeing to take a lot of refugees from Indonesia is extremely doubtful, assuming that Indonesia suffered a breakdown in civil order.

    Australians, not in the great Christian/Western tradition, are extremely reluctant to accept boat people, of which there are 1 or 2 thousand a year, as refugees, usually referring to them as illegal immigrants or potential terrorists.

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