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From a reader responding to my piece about the impossibility of having a civil discussion with many antiwar types, who have descended into irrationality and emotionalism:

“As a Catholic conservative ( who also happens to be Black), I agree with your observations. My mother hung up the phone on me after I challenged her assertion that George W. Bush was engaged in Satanic rituals. She also denied that Saddam was guilty of any atrocities. She told me that the accusations were only made up by the white man. It is almost impossible to have an intelligent conversation with many of my family due to kooky conspiracy theories. Another trick that I have noticed among my friends is to be ultra-skeptical when confronted with the atrocities of Saddam or Castro; but then to expect me to accept their assertions about continued slavery in America or CIA infecting people with AIDS as obviously true. Among several of my Catholic friends, they seem ready to believe anything bad about Israel. I think that this emotionalism which has corrupted many liberal minds and now has infected many conservatives. Now I know how Socrates must have felt. Pass the hemlock!”



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