As new member of this list a question is on my mind. If the Christian and philosophical underpinnings of the west are built upon the thoughts of Aristotle, and these thoughts were preserved by Islamic scholars while Europe was wallowing in the Platonic Dark Ages, why this disengagement by westerners from recognizing Islam as a major contributor to what the west has become? Rather than comparing the US to Rome would it not be more helpful to compare it to Islam? After all Islam is a scientific, philosophical, religious and warrior empire that survived, not to mention that it is an empire that cannot be defined geographically not unlike the spread of unrestrained global capitalism. It may be that the west?s thought processes run along the same lines as Islam but denial is a strong force. J.S. The one thing we lack is a handy utopia. --------------------------------- Stay in the know. Pulse on the new Yahoo.com. Check it out.