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Why Islam is in as much trouble as the West
MercatorNet ^ | Monday, 24 October 2011 | Denyse O’Leary

Posted on 10/25/2011 7:52:01 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM

Why Islam is in as much trouble as the West

Denyse O’Leary

Monday, 24 October 2011


David P. Goldman, who blogs at the Asia Times as “Spengler,” has written an insightful book challenging the truisms of the commentariat on both the rise of Islam and the decline of the West: How Civilizations Die: (and why Islam is dying too)

History buffs will recognize that the pen name Spengler honours Oswald Spengler (1880-1936), author of Decline of the West. Goldman’s initial observations about the decline are most helpful but not unprecedented. From a much less religion-friendly perspective, American demographer Phillip Longman has been saying the same thing, and so has Canadian demographer David Foot.

It is what Goldman says about Islam that will surprise many readers: Islam is dying too because the Muslim birth rate - according to reliable statistics - has crashed. How badly?

Across the entire Muslim world, university-educated Muslim women bear children at the same rate as their infecund European counterparts.

Whatever they believe about Islam, they have one or two children, but rarely three or four. Not enough to deliver their societies from demographic collapse, given the size of the families they came from. For example,

The average young Tunisian woman - like her Iranian or Turkish counterpart - grew up in a family of seven children, but will bear only one or two herself.

Education for women doesn’t in itself cause birth dearth, but abandonment of the land does. Muslims are not immune from the urbanization that turns children who were once a source of wealth into a major cost centre. Increasing numbers of people, there as here, hope that others will undertake the trouble.

But surely some Muslims have large families? Those who do live in areas that are considered backward, and they cannot indefinitely prop up an unsustainably low urban birth rate. But because demographic decline happened so quickly in Muslim societies, the Western problem of too few young people supporting too many seniors will be much more severe, especially in countries with few natural resources, like Turkey.

One might ask, why can’t Islamism reverse the decline by demanding that urban women do their duty? A look at Iran, Goldman says, reveals a related crisis of effective faith. For example, according to a suppressed report, more than 90 percent of Tehran prostitutes are said to have passed the university entrance exam, and 30 percent of them are studying. Their career choice is, they say, voluntary. Drug abuse among students is rampant, fuelled by cheap opium from neighbouring Afghanistan. The Islamist could exemplarily punish a few prostitutes or drug addicts - but thousands?

More generally, when modernization comes quickly, without warning, and from elsewhere, a declining birth rate can be accompanied by worse, not better, conditions for modern women. In Turkey, for example, only 22 percent of women sought employment outside the home in 2009, down from 34 percent in 1988 - despite their intervening fertility crash. About this, Goldman observes, “If we are surprised by Muslim demographics, it is because we have not listened carefully enough to what Muslims themselves have been trying to tell us.” Islamism is more of a last stand for many than a resurgent force, hence the glamour of suicide. If all this is correct, demographic collapse will increase rather than decrease the risk of terrorism, because “there is no such thing as rational self-interest for people who believe they have nothing to lose.”

Those inclined to dismiss Goldman’s contrarian analysis might point out that if there are few young people for the Islamist to recruit, there will be few suicide terrorists. Not necessarily; a culture’s suicidal resistance often increases at precisely the point where a huge conflict is irretrievably lost. This was true of the South in the closing days of the Civil War, and of Germany and Japan in World War II, for example. Many won’t be trying to win, only to inflict damage on the victor.

Compounding the problem is that Islam is - at present - much less well-adapted to political systems that produce stability in a modern environment. The rule of life among Islamists is authoritarianism in every facet of life. Authoritarianism results in either accepted oppression or revolt, but not the consensual stability that a modern society needs. And imams provide little guidance as to how to get there, because many see the very behaviours that hamper progress as ordained by Allah. For these reasons, Goldman thinks, the threat to the West from Islamism is generally overrated; internal demographic collapse is a much more serious threat. No civilization has ever survived a situation in which a small number of young adults must support a large number of retirees as well as raise children to support them.

Interestingly, he think that the United States has a much better chance of surviving the collapse than Europe or the Muslim world, for reasons we will explore in Part II next week.

Denyse O'Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: birthrate; islam; mohammedanism; mohammedans; moslem; moslems
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1 posted on 10/25/2011 7:52:05 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
How Civilizations Die

The islamic world is civilized?
2 posted on 10/25/2011 7:56:01 PM PDT by yup2394871293
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I have the book and would recommend it to others.


3 posted on 10/25/2011 8:05:06 PM PDT by rob777
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To: rob777

Good, thanks. I’m going to download it to my Nook. I’ve been a fan of “Spengler’s” columns on Demographics at the Asia Times for quite a while.


4 posted on 10/25/2011 8:08:26 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

As I see it... Islam is currently dependant on Western (non-Islamic) countries to grow their food. If Western civilization collapses, Islam, women, and children will be hardest hit. Islamic countries simply do not have the capability to support the hungry Muslim masses.

Insh’Allah


5 posted on 10/25/2011 8:08:32 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I’m glad you posted this. It was previously posted but I couldn’t remember the title for a search.

With all the recent blah, blah, blah about how the world will be so overpopulated we will all be eating only one small ration of soylent green a day this article postulates quite the opposite that we may experience a population crash.


6 posted on 10/25/2011 8:10:05 PM PDT by A message
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Across the entire Muslim world, university-educated Muslim women bear children at the same rate as their infecund European counterparts.

Interesting statement. What percentage of Muslim women are university-educated? How does that number compare to non-Muslim European women?

7 posted on 10/25/2011 8:11:07 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Thanks for posting. I just now ordered this book from Amazon.


8 posted on 10/25/2011 8:16:57 PM PDT by Huntress ("Politicians exploit economic illiteracy." --Walter Williams)
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To: A message
this article postulates quite the opposite that we may experience a population crash.

An impending population inversion and crash (more elderly than young, then rapidly decreasing total population) is the single greatest threat facing humanity, but no one knows or cares.

9 posted on 10/25/2011 8:17:34 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
(more elderly than young, then rapidly decreasing total population) is the single greatest threat facing humanity

It is.

This is where the left is so flawed in their philosophy. For all their posturing about preserving natural resources they fail to understand the single greatest natural resource on this planet is human beings.

10 posted on 10/25/2011 8:27:32 PM PDT by A message
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Even though Islam is “dying” Goldman is still positing that this dying people will lash out to make their enemies in the West suffer.

So buckle your seatbelts, folks.


11 posted on 10/25/2011 8:35:01 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Interesting article Dr., thanks for posting it.


12 posted on 10/25/2011 8:46:33 PM PDT by diamond6 (Check out: http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/home.php and learn about the faith.)
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To: expat1000

read later


13 posted on 10/25/2011 8:52:00 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

bttt


14 posted on 10/25/2011 9:09:17 PM PDT by txhurl (Did you want to talk or fish? Or feed the fish?)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
A quote from Spengler before the 08 election seared my mind:

"Spengler of the Asia Times believes that he has discovered the ruling passion of both Ann Dunham and her son Barack Obama, and that this ruling passion is radical anti-Americanism."

15 posted on 10/25/2011 9:14:31 PM PDT by Art in Idaho (Conservatism is the only hope for Western Civilization.)
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To: A message
(more elderly than young, then rapidly decreasing total population) is the single greatest threat facing humanity

What, even more than Global Warming??

lol, yeah I'm kidding
16 posted on 10/25/2011 9:15:48 PM PDT by Da Mav
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Spengler

BTTT


17 posted on 10/25/2011 9:19:37 PM PDT by knews_hound (Credo Quia Absurdium--take nothing seriously unless it is absurd. E. Clampus Vitus)
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To: Tailback
´women...children, hardest hit.´

Now, where have we heard that before?

18 posted on 10/25/2011 9:58:03 PM PDT by onedoug (lf)
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To: knews_hound

Hope?


19 posted on 10/25/2011 9:58:18 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade, There are only two sides. Pick one.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I don’t find the ‘for example’ countries of Iran and Turkey convincing when it comes to Muslim demographics. How about Indonesia and Pakistan?

What is the average family size for Muslims worldwide - that is the question.


20 posted on 10/25/2011 10:57:45 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I’d like to hear what Mark Steyn, the self-described “demography bore,” says about this book.


21 posted on 10/25/2011 11:10:56 PM PDT by TChad
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
I’ve been a fan of “Spengler’s” columns on Demographics at the Asia Times for quite a while.

Me too. I've always found him insightful, and oftentimes brilliant.

22 posted on 10/26/2011 1:09:06 AM PDT by Talisker (History will show the Illuminati won the ultimate Darwin Award.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Just requested from the library. I just read (well, partly read and partly paged through) Pat Buchanan’s latest, and wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was with Mark Steyn’s “After America.”

I think Pat’s getting too old. He’s forgotten how to vary page after page of facts he thinks are just too, too dreadful with some *interesting* writing.


23 posted on 10/26/2011 3:30:22 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You can tell them I just sailed away.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; All

.

The best Obama exposure site on the net:

http://theobamafile.com/_Islam/ObamaIslamIndex.htm

http://theobamafile.com/_Islam/ObamasMuslims.htm

http://theobamafile.com/_Islam/ObamaIslamWhiteHouse.htm

http://theobamafile.com/_Islam/ObamaIslamEarlyYears.htm

The United States Library of Congress has selected
TheObamaFile.com for inclusion in its historic collection
of Internet materials
http://theobamafile.com/LibraryOfCongress.html

.


24 posted on 10/26/2011 3:42:36 AM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: Spengler; Judith Anne; Cronos; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; Mad Dawg; ArrogantBustard; ...
Dear Mr. Goldman,

I did not realize you were a FReeper. God bless you and keep up the good work. Its vitally important the world understands these demographic issues that so few are reporting. I'll be reading your book on my Nook this evening.

25 posted on 10/26/2011 6:15:37 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I have ten children. I’ll wait to get it free from the People’s Republic of Mecklenburg County library, which has two copies.


26 posted on 10/26/2011 6:41:22 AM PDT by Tax-chick (You can tell them I just sailed away.)
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To: A message

Natural behavior shifts back to equilibrium. High rates of population growth fall, overshoot equilibrium for a while, then reapproach it from the other direction. Eventually, everything settled down at a stable balance, and the doomday criers (on both sides) end up with egg on their faces.


27 posted on 10/26/2011 7:11:14 AM PDT by trollop
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
An impending population inversion and crash (more elderly than young, then rapidly decreasing total population) is the single greatest threat facing humanity

This so-called "threat" is as bogus as the "population bomb" from a few decades back. A doctor who used this sort of logic would expect a patient with a rising fever to spontaneously combust in a few days, and then when the fever broke he would issue a new prediction of how soon the patient would die of hypothermia.

28 posted on 10/26/2011 7:11:27 AM PDT by trollop
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To: yup2394871293
The islamic world is civilized?

Yes.

So were the Carthaginians and the Aztecs.

That we find aspects of their civilisation abhorrent does not negate that they are civilisations.

Furthermore, a civilisation which upholds a "sacred, fundamental, constitutional right" to slaughter unborn children has little room for pointing fingers at the murderous tendencies of other civilisations.

Log.

Splinter.

Eye.

29 posted on 10/26/2011 7:19:17 AM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Charles Martel

So the Germans and the Turks are in a race to extinction? Having got a generation’s head-start, I think the Germans will win.


30 posted on 10/26/2011 7:20:04 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Add to that the emergence of the Nazi movement in the most educated western state with the full support of its leading intellectuals. Those that did not support the Nazis supported the Reds.


31 posted on 10/26/2011 7:24:30 AM PDT by RobbyS (Pray with the suffering souls.)
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To: sageb1

Spengler actually is a member and posts here. I have had several conversations with him over the years.....


32 posted on 10/26/2011 7:39:11 AM PDT by knews_hound (Credo Quia Absurdium--take nothing seriously unless it is absurd. E. Clampus Vitus)
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To: onedoug

I thought it was a nice touch.


33 posted on 10/26/2011 8:41:32 AM PDT by Tailback
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To: expat1000

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_pop_grow&idim=country:CUB&dl=en&hl=en&q=population+growth+in+cuba#ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_pop_grow&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:CUB:PAK:IDN&ifdim=country&hl=en&dl=en


34 posted on 10/26/2011 12:35:09 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: expat1000

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_pop_grow&idim=country:CUB&dl=en&hl=en&q=population+growth+in+cuba#ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_pop_grow&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:CUB:PAK:IDN:TUR:IRN&ifdim=country&hl=en&dl=en


35 posted on 10/26/2011 12:37:26 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Very interesting. And follows what I have seen.


36 posted on 10/26/2011 1:17:24 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Coconuts.


37 posted on 10/26/2011 3:01:20 PM PDT by yup2394871293
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To: trollop

Uh huh...

Get back to me when you’ve done a bit of reading and research on demographic trends.


38 posted on 10/26/2011 3:24:17 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: trollop

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics ... and Population Graphs

In the run up to its ominously entitled “Day of Seven Billion,” the United Nations Population Fund has released a preview of its State of World Population Report 2011.

The preview opens with a graph of population over time that seems to show the world’s population climbing ever higher in the decades to come. In fact, the scaling suggests to the eye that the number of people will more than double by century’s end.

UNFPA graph from State of World Population Report 2011

The trouble with this graph is that it is, to put it bluntly, an absolute fabrication. It is designed, I believe, to create the impression that human numbers are spinning out of control. It is a population bomb graph, if you will.

No demographer that I know of believes that our numbers will ever double again.

In fact, not even the demographers at the UNFPA’s sister agency, the U.N. Population Division, believe it. Their favored graph looks like this:

UN Population Division Medium Variant Projection

This projection shows the world’s population peaking at 10 billion by the last decades of the 21st century, not steadily climbing to 13 billion and beyond.

While this is an improvement over the UNFPA’s population bomb graph, even this graph significantly overstates future numbers. It does so because the people counters at the UN Population Division assume that fertility rates in dying countries will somehow surge to 2.1 children per woman.

Now why would aging and dying populations (e.g., the Russians, the Italians, the Japanese, etc.) suddenly start having exactly the number of children necessary to replace themselves. The UN Population Division does not say.

Perhaps — I can only speculate — its demographers assume that governments will put in place generous child allowances. But many countries already have such allowances, and these have had only a modest effect on fertility. Russia’s $13,500 baby bonus, for example, has only increased the birth rate by 8 percent, too small a percentage to offset Russia’s population decline.

In all probability, the future of humanity looks more like the UN Population Division’s “low variant” projection.

UN Population Division Low Variant Projection

This shows population peaking around 2040 at 8 and a half billion or so, and then beginning to decline. It assumes that birthrates, which have been steadily falling for a century now, will continue to fall. What could be more reasonable?

The UNFPA can draw all the scary graphs it wants, but our long-term problem is not going to be too many people, it is going to be too few people: Too few people to start businesses and families, too few people to drive the economy forward, too few people to provide for the future.

Our current economic chill is just the beginning of a long demographic winter that will soon have much of the world in its deadly grip.


39 posted on 10/26/2011 3:31:40 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Nonsense. The number of people resulting from aggregate individual choices about reproduction is, by definition, neither "too many" nor "too few".

Unless you reject the principle of individualism, of course, in which case you might be more at home elsewhere.

40 posted on 10/26/2011 4:00:59 PM PDT by trollop
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Too few people to start businesses and families, too few people to drive the economy forward, too few people to provide for the future.

The world only had half as many people a generation ago. I guess that explains why there were no businesses, no families, and no future back then.

41 posted on 10/26/2011 4:01:06 PM PDT by trollop
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To: trollop

Lucifer was the first rugged individualist ;-)

There’s a difference between freedom and licentiousness. Man has certain obligations, the first of which was outlined in the first commandment in scripture, “Be fruitful and multiply.” That command has never been rescinded. For good reason.


42 posted on 10/26/2011 4:04:29 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: trollop

The problem isn’t the absolute population, but the structure of the population. By structure I mean the proportion of productive versus non-productive and the costs of caring for the non-productive portion. Elderly have much greater needs and expectations in their care, compared to children, and their needs grow with age rather than decrease. At the end of the elderlys’ dependence they aren’t productive members, but deceased so their is literally no future for society in them.


43 posted on 10/26/2011 6:35:22 PM PDT by Flying Circus
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To: Paladin2

Cool! Thanks.


44 posted on 10/26/2011 6:55:48 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: trollop
The number of people resulting from aggregate individual choices about reproduction is, by definition, neither "too many" nor "too few".

10,000 lemmings can't be wrong, hmmm?

You can worship at the idol of individualism all you want, but it won't change the mathematical fact that stable population numbers require an average of 2.1-2.2 children per woman.

Sustained fertility rates below that amount to a culture or nation voting for its own suicide.

45 posted on 10/27/2011 5:05:56 AM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: Campion
You can worship at the idol of individualism all you want

This is a site for pro-freedom people. There are plenty of alternatives for people who see through vision-of-the-anointed goggles.

46 posted on 10/27/2011 7:17:24 AM PDT by trollop
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To: Flying Circus
The problem isn’t the absolute population, but the structure of the population. By structure I mean the proportion of productive versus non-productive and the costs of caring for the non-productive portion.

These things take care of themselves -- for example, we used to need 90% of the population working the land to grow enough food to feed everybody, now, it's more like 0.9%.

I swear, I could make a fortune selling sky-proof umbrellas to all the Chicken Littles out there.

47 posted on 10/27/2011 7:17:34 AM PDT by trollop
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Many thanks to Salamander and Odhinn

Click the pic and donate
or the Doberman gets it!

48 posted on 10/27/2011 8:10:07 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: trollop

“There are plenty of alternatives for people who see through vision-of-the-anointed goggles.”

Nice Thomas Sowell reference.


49 posted on 10/27/2011 9:45:09 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

“Furthermore, a civilisation which upholds a “sacred, fundamental, constitutional right” to slaughter unborn children has little room for pointing fingers at the murderous tendencies of other civilisations.”

I agree completely on the subject of baby-killing, but even a murderer has a moral right to say, “Murder is wrong.”


50 posted on 10/27/2011 9:50:25 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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