Saturday, May 28, 2005

Four Enemies for the Price of One

In the spring of 1971 I found myself at the Naval Training Center in San Diego. I was there for the one week of my military carrier, as the Commander of the NJROT unit from Box Elder High School. My senior year had been an exciting time for me. My dreams of military glory seemed to all be coming true – and now I had a week of training, leading, and fantasizing about a future were I would command "my" ships and save the world from Communism. It had been a year of turmoil as well. That Fall someone had thrown a gallon cider jug full of gasoline through the window of our ROTC building and burned it down. Then there was the May Lie massacre to deal with. For a supporter of the war in Viet Nam, especially one with aspirations of military glory, the humiliation Cowley and crew had brought on our nation was heart breaking. It was also dangerous. There were many in the “pro war” wing of American Politics who supported these murders – but my instructors in our NJROTC program had taught us the truth. At the end of the week in at the Training Center I found myself in an interview with the Base Commander and two other officers. I had been nominated as the outstanding cadet. The last question of the interview was, “What do you think about what happened at May Lie?” I knew the answer. “We are fighting Communism in Vietnam because Communists mass murder defenseless people to force their will upon the world; it is unjust to do the thing we have gone to stop." Achilles would agree! So did the review board. I was awarded the Top Cadet banner that week. In the months and years that followed, John Kerry and others enemies of the United States, used the atrocities at May Lie to give credibility to their fabrications against the entire US led efforts to maintain the freedom of South East Asia. In the end the credibility Cowley gave to Kerry and his ilk legitimized the disaster that was America's retreat from Vietnam.

In America’s “Global War on Terror” and particularly the battle being waged in Iraq, I see the defenders of the Right facing AT LEAST FOUR ENEMIES:

Enemy One: The Terrorists. We must never forget that we are fighting a determined enemy who is bent on our destruction and the total subjugation of humanity to its beliefs. Bin Laden and his cronies have stated their objectives, made their claims, and mapped out their plan of attack. Their “victory” leads directly over the lives and rights of the American people; their dream of power consumes the world. The naive fantasy held by the appeasers and pacifists – that, to use Gollum’s words from the Lord of the Ring, “We be nice to them if they be nice to us,” was and is a lie!

Enemy Two: Those in the American military and its “defense” infrastructure, (yes, our own soldiers and spies), who – like Lt. Cowley – commit atrocities which seem to validate the accusations of Bin Laden, Amnesty International, the ACLU, and News Week. If our own warriors commit the atrocities we are determined to prevent, the justice of our cause can be questioned by those who want that cause to fail. Those "sex perverts" that took pornography photos of defenseless, though criminal, detainees at Abu Grab are partially responsible for the death and suffering that continues in Iraq and the rest of the world. They have given a weapon into the hands of Islamic Terror as surly as those who supply the terrorists with explosives, guns, and bullets.

Enemy Three: The Pacifist and Appeasers. Those who, defended by the “Blanket of Freedom” our heroes provide, turn their hate to the propagation of lies and half truths that tear down and demoralize our efforts at self defense. The truth, including the painful revelations about “Enemy Two” above, should be presented; but to present the traitors at Abu Grab as if they were representative of America or its military is to carry water for Enemy One.

Enemy Four: The ignorant and uninformed. Those in America who are more interested in the “American Idol” TV show than in the Ideal of America. To be driven to and fro by the deceits and half truths of Enemy Three, the people of America must be so ill informed and so lacking in understanding of the nature of this conflict that they can be cowed by Enemy One, shamed by Enemy Two, and misled by Enemy Three. When the American people make the effort to know the truth, they will unite in the just defense of freedom and the rights of all men. If there is dangerous weakness in ignorance; there is power in knowledge of truth.

I have not attempted a complete catalog of examples or justifications for the claims I have made above. I invite all to discussion and discovery. History is full of examples of all the enemies above, of their defeat by great and just forces, and of their triumph over equally just causes that could not marshal the strength to defy them. May our nation be the former and not the latter.

Summer is upon us. In two weeks I will be leaving computer terminals and the internet links behind for over two months. I will also be away for newspapers, radios, and televisions. The world will go on without me, but I like to think that I will be doing my part to make it better. I am grateful that such places as the one to which I am going can still be found. I am humbled by the fact that for nine weeks I will be blessed to spend 24/7 in a place of peace and bliss; Heaven with challenges. My thoughts and prayers will always be with those who defend our precious peace and freedom. As I enjoy the privileges that my heroes purchase at such great cost, I will do my best to give to those I serve the joy that America offers to the world. See you in September!

As always,

Lysis

24 comments:

Dan Simpson said...

I'll miss your posts, and look forward to them again in the fall, but I have to say if you are going to leave, what a way to go.

This was one of the best posts you have had. Concise and incredibly insightful. Especially enemy 4. The rule of the apathetic, to me, is more frightening than the rule of the unjust. The unjust can be overthrown, the apathetic are almost impossible to affect without their consent.

Hopefully, I will have a chance to visit Lysis' heaven. It is perhaps the most beautiful place on earth (I proposed to my wife there), but most of my summer will be spent studying for the bar.

hopster said...

You would have been a great ship's captain. You will always be master and commander in my mind. Given another life, I would serve gladly on a ship under your command.
Your comments on our enemies are spot on. Why is it that so many who oppose this war are unable to see that the US position is right, even if difficult, distasteful, and is a downright nasty job? Why is the judgment of some of our soldiers so impaired that they cannot see how their impropriety has played into the hands of our number one enemy? Our countrymen are going blind.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic here,

Yes you will be missed but not by those of us who understand what you have to say and how you so plainly state it. You will be missed by those who have no foundation in what they say in response to your museings.

They do not understand what you know about cause and effect. They have not observed what happens to people and situations is predictable. That life is about cause and effect. That those who call themselves "absolutists" are tring to "solve" life's issues by avoiding the cause of them. It's a behavior, not a moral issue. Then there are the "relativists" who focus on solving life's issues by trying to change the effect of the cause (their behavior). Again not a moral issue, a behavioral one. Over the long term however elimating pain through cause avoidance is a much more successful way than through the artifical changing of consequenses.

Lysis, what you are doing this summer is once again teaching this in natures most beautiful learning laboratory. I think of that place often when I have a lifechanging "cause and effect" decision in my life. Again, looking at the natural outcome of behavior and then making a decision.

The pattern of behavior that prevents pain, suffering and a myiad of other emotions does resemble traditional "morals, values, and religion". But they are in fact a series of behaviors that either avoid conseqenses by their cause or try to change consequenses by focusing on their effect. This causes those who are on the effect side of the equation to become angry often, because they are "smater" than the natural order of life. They reason it out in their minds that 2+2=1 not 4. Why can't the rest of the world be as smart as I am.

You are one of the luckiest people in the world to be able to do what you do every summer.

opps I mean you are enjoying the effect of the causes you have worked so hard for.

Sorry for the rambling. I want your readers to know that you are not "preaching" but you learned through observation. Simplicity is what happens after one masters complexity.

The relativist live is once based on complexity. But one that will become simple through time and observation of cause and effect.

Have a great summer Lysis, I think of you and Mohonri and Sasquatch and the rest of the group often.

Can't wait to read what you have to say in the fall.

Aeneas said...

Lysis,

Another great post. I certainly agree that apathy can truly destroy this nation, both spiritually and physically. The most dangerous enemy will always be the one already inside the city gates. I look forward to this Fall's postings.

A_Shadow said...

I am tempted to quibble with the Vegimatics definition of events and all, but that's not the reason for my posting. It's just the part of my nature that feels like speaking up right now.

I for one will miss Lysis' input on events, though there have been many in these past months that I wish I had heard a comment from him on. It'll be nice to know that he's out having fun in paradise and then coming back to grace Layton High again.

Indeed, have fun out there. I know I would.

Ares said...

No, Shadow, please quibbile. I only don't for a lack of time to do so. But please, tell him what you think. I am interested to see what you have to say.

Ares said...

Oh, and Lysis, I just want to thank you once again for an amazing year and that I will look forward to your postings and your presence next fall.

TaZa said...

Lysis,
Thanks for a great year. I have learned a lot more over the last few months of my life than I had the previous 15. I have not only learned facts from you, but a new way to view our world and the media. A better view to help decipher out the biased propaganda forced upon us by those who only want to stir things up worse than they already are for their own personal gain. I hope you have a great summer out in nature and come back with some good stories.

Unluckily however I will not be attending Layton next year and most likely will not be able to take a class from you. But I will still try and keep myself updated with the blog and the world so that I don't join the fourth group.

James Wilcox 3rd period


Also on a side note... Before the Agora goes into hibernation for the summer I have a question. Dose a citizen of the US have the right to their death? In the Declaration it list life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that your rights are only voided when you invaded someone else rights. But what if you go against your own rights? Should the government step in?

For Example: Just recently in Utah they have raised the priority of Seat belts. A cop can now pull you over for this with out any other cause. Although I support this, I have heard others say that it should be their right to choose weather or not they should wear a seat belt. That its their life and they can do what they want.

Any comments would be appreciated

TaZa

Silver Lining said...

TaZa,

Two things to ponder in deciding for yourself about the right to death thing as it is not something that is agreed upon,

1. Suicide is against the law. Why is that?

2. Part of the whole abortion debate is that a state does have an interest in life and in the life of the citizens under its jurisdiction/protection.

Just some things to think about.

A_Shadow said...

It's something that I've had to deal with too, TaZa. I don't really mind having to have a seatbelt, thoug the point is taken. The thing that I took issue with the most was mandatory car insurance. You can hardly drive without insurance, it's against the law. But it came from a period of thought on the subject that there might be less than obvious reasons for it. At least it's that way for me.

For instance, my conclusion for insurance was that it is mandatory because of the potential to damage OTHER people's property during an accident, and if you haven't paid off the loan on the car, you have to have insurance because the bank demands it. It is, afterall, theirs until you pay that last red cent. Now, sure, that might have been obvious to some of you (especially those that have actually dealt with these scenarios), but it is something to think about.

I'm not sure what the reason behind legislating seatbelts is. I could definately see it as a way for Utah's government and society to try and pass morality on its citizens. But have you ever been outside of the state? I know for a fact that the states of Oregon and Washington have similar laws, having just returned from a trip to there not long ago. Additionally, the charges are more than double the charges here (posted as $101 dollars, why the 101 beats me).

I doubt that the three states all have the same ideologies and purpose in pushing this law. Meaning that I don't think all three of them are enforcing their religious/moral codes on the populous. I think that there might actually be a reason worth looking into. I would argue against mandating it on the basis that the state values every life. I don't see how the state can legislate something that could be a self-destructive choice. After all, what are they going to do when you decide to skydive without a parachute or clean your loaded gun with the safety off? But in seriousness they shouldn't be able to tell you what to do in those circumstances. That's one of my personal beliefs (don't come down on me with a bunch of self righteous baloney about past arguments. Past arguments have dealt with the right of life of another person. The state shouldn't be able to mandate the life status of an individual anymore than that persons husband, father, mother or child should.)

But there could be reasons that I would allow it like: State officials not wanting to spend so much to clean body parts off of the road, or not wanting that job to be necessary. Kinda sucks to be that person, don't you think? It could lead even into scientific matters (just for fun) of proof that an unbelted person becomes a dangerous weapon and projectile unless bolted in, and could be used in court as such. I really don't know, and many of those reasons are just thrown to the wind. Like I said, something we should research.

A_Shadow said...

Now, at the requested quibbling...

I think that there is too much emphasis put on the aspects of "cause and effect". It's something that's addressed in the Matrix (What? I watch movies, and they teach life stories. It's hardly the place I was introduced to it, nor is it where I recieved my opinion. Afterall, I watched The Terminator series :-p).

Cause and effect is a platform for which to judge aspects of reality. It is not the means by which reality opperates. For instance you won't always choose the same thing twice (unless it's something obvious like a) 1 million dollars or b) damned for eternity... Choices...)

In fact, there are often innumerable and unconsidered factors impacting each and every decision. In some cases you make the decision on a whim. That would be a cause. The problem with that is that the philosophies of cause and effect that I have encountered leave no room for choice. Cause and effect usually is appraoched with having only one cause, and one effect when there are infact many possibilities, even those not immediately seen.

Taking a test for example: You come to a problem that you can't solve/don't know the answer to. Do you: a) mark a random answer or b) skip it and just take the hit on the points. Hopefully the wise choice is obvious. You work down the answers until you find a reasonable guess and go for it. And barring that, just guess (unless it's the AP test, but I digress.) But choice C is that you could also decide that the test or the pressure associated with it isn't worth it and just walk out. I've seen it happen. Never understood it... Each of them have their own unique effects. Some of them are good, some of them are bad. Now if you've paid attention you're probably wondering where choice C came from.

Exactly. That's why I have a problem of cause and effect being the end all be all to how you look at an event. I am the living embodiment of choice C. I know that sounds pretentious, but that's the point of choosing your own path. If you need to, cut your own path. Cause and Effect is limited to the scope of what you did, and what the result is. It says that you chose what you did because it's the only thing that could have happened, and the result is the only thing that could have happened from what you chose to have happen. Lose you?

Probably a good thing. Tackle it another way. It's essentially promoting the prospect of Destiny as I interpret it. Cause stems from effect which stems from cause for Eons back down the line. The ultimate question arises here: What started it all? At some point, there had to be nothing, right? What was the original cause? It's all a variant off of the ultimate question that I pulled from one of my father's religious debates. At some point there had to be nothing, right?

I don't exactly believe in destiny. I don't think anyone who makes their own choices and is intelligent does (I'm not ragging on your intelligence if you do, I'm just saying that those who claim/are put forth as intelligent rarely do). Instead what I believe about it is complicated. Ask away, but I'll save that for a less convoluted and already too long posting.

Another of the points that I had to quibble with was the point that Lysis wouldn't be missed by those that understand. But I believe that the Vegimatic was talking about something other than I interpreted it as.

I will miss him, but that has been the case since I left his class. It's hardly because I need him as my moral/intellectual compass. I had set my own course long before we had met. They just had a similar path for a time. I'll miss him like any friend that is apart from me.

Anyways. It's entirely too early to maintain this now, I'll adress what may need be at a later time.

But one last thing.

I have been thinking of how the Agora might sit fallow for several months and that some of us have come to look for the ongoing periodicity of the posts. It is potential to simply keep posting on this single post, or to find a new forum in which to hold it for the summer. It's an idea, after all. Places like MSN and Yahoo have groups that can be established where all of the members may post and participate in mainstream posts, not merely replying to Lysis'. I by no means wish to replace him, but if you will come, I will make it.

Supply and demand. There is a supply, how strong is the demand?

Dan Simpson said...

Suicide, to my knowledge, has never been a prosecuted crime. And saying we have a need to protect the weak is not the same as protecting you from yourself (abortion).

TaZa, are you sure that the law changed? I know that they have changed procedure so that now the cops won't give out warnings, but will give out citations. However, I do not believe that you can be pulled over ONLY for seat belt.

Just for the rest of you to think about, if the police can have a reason to pull you over, the list of things they are then allowed to do to you is much larger.

A_Shadow said...

Yeah. I actually think they should put "Driving while using a cell phone" as a primary offense, and not a secondary offense.

But I think most of everyone would agree with that...

But yeah, I'm actually not sure that seat belts have changed in priority, either. And I'm even more baffled why they might advertise it. It's the same thing with hospitals in my opinion, why are we wasting the money to advertise that?

TaZa said...

I thought they changed the seat belts to a primary offense but I will have to ask my Uncle, who is a cop, and see.

As for making a new agora...
I sent a few emails to Lysis earlier this year asking him if he wanted to set up a forum instead of just using a blog. He was for it (other than he complained about not being able to stay up to date with multiple threads...) But, somehow he was to busy for the last months of school and he never set it up. :(

This summer I have been thinking about getting a new computer and making this one into a web server which I could use for forums, web sites, and FTP. But until I get that up I wouldn't mind if you set up a free one with somewhere. But if you can I highly prefer a forum over a blog because than anyone can start their own post and you can discuss multiple topics.

TaZa

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic here......

You are forgeting the probability of living a "c" life. Over time the probability drops greatly and "c" becomes "b".

You are correct. Cause and effect are never exact. Variability is found everywhere but over time the bell curve wins.

If you are the incredibly lucky 3.4 per million people that "c" is a reality go to Vegas. As for the rest of us over time cause creates effect.

A_Shadow said...

Ok, I'm going to have to admit that you've completely lost me with the "b"/"c" life thing.

It's life "no bloody 'a', 'b', 'c' or 'd'." I'd actually be surprised if someone other than Lysis could find that reference.

Yes, cause and effect do occur, but it's related to your choices. Very often the choice you make sets a course for what will happen with the rest of your life. But this isn't always in the case. There are very few choices that can't be revoked, suicide being the chief one that I can think of. You can't take that back and make something better of it. There are more, but one should do for now.

But to simply state that the only thing is cause and effect, or that mostly there is only cause and effect is foolish. Just as much as me claiming that there is only choice is foolish. I believe in mind over matter, there are some things that just can't be done, though. In cause and effect, choice is the supreme power that better dictates what will happen. Otherwise there is no reason for life, because all that we are is just random things bumping into each other for no reason.

----------------------------------

As for the forums, I had actually found a way to get free software for a forum some time in the past, and I actually might even have a free host that could do it. I'll look into it. You keep on your computer thing though, my only concern there is the reliability of that (no offense to you, of course, I just have frequent experience and constant problems with another of my acquaintance who's server is bothersome for some reason.)

Hopefully I'll have a definative answer by the end of the week.

And as for the conserns about keeping up with multiple postings, or in multiple places (this covers even those of you that don't wish to carry over should this pan out), in our type of environment, being somewhat limited in our populace, it shouldn't be all that hard to keep track of things. After all, there are probably less than 20 of us that have ever made a comment here, and maybe 10 that do it reasonably often.

The actual issues might stem from someone having to come up with a topic, imagine that.

But that's all from me for now.

A_Shadow said...

Ok, ladies and gents. It looks like I can have an offer for you.

It appears right now, without actually playing with it, that I can put up a forum on geocities. I can make it some appropriate name like www.geocities.com/attheagora baring that it's been taken. The forum should be your average, run of the mill, type complete with optional e-mail notification. I went with one like that because of the concern of keeping up with multiple threads. The e-mails will only come from active threads. The usual problem with that is that it can be disgusting. I've done it a few times where if you get those e-mails, and it's an active forum, it drives you nuts with everyone always saying stuff. That's only going to be a problem if we all the sudden have a population explosion.

So that's option A.

Option B just occured to me while I was writing this. MSN and Yahoo both allow internet groups to be set up. With this, you can set up a forum like atmosphere on the groups page, but you can additionally set up a mailing list if you feel it's necessary. Various restrictions can be enabled like member only posting and the like. And in addition to getting the as posted e-mails, you can opt to have them sent to you as a digest (you get it towards the end of the day as a lump sum, instead of the individual mails).

That's what I have to offer.

Option C is, of course, TaZa and his potential home server.

And then there's option D which is we do nothing. We just wait for Lysis to come back to his blog, or not.

That's how I see it, I think I'm going to go ahead and test the geocities option. Feel free to chime in and give your input. I know that I personally would love to hear of it.

A_Shadow said...

Alright ladies and gents,

Because I'm young and reckless I set up a shanty of a thing for us to share ideas and such with, for now.

Something came up that I think we all could chime in on within the last couple of days and I decided that it wouldn't hurt to set up a forum for us to discuss it. Nothing's rock solid, it's very brand new and basically a satelite until we either set something up as a group, or Lysis does.

But since no one's been coming around, apparently, this is likely falling on deaf ears anyways.

But in case it's not, there will be a post on the Supreme Court's ruling on "imminent domain". I particularly want to see our law students chime in on this one because they will have the most fact/legal opinion to offer. But that by far never bars anyone from having an opinion. C'mon, if they let me have one, they'll let anyone get away with it.

So the URL of the group is:

http://groups.msn.com/Discourses/homepage

Just slam that up into your nav bar on your browser and you should be taken right there. If you don't have a ".Net" password thing from MSN it shouldn't be a problem, I left the thing very open to the public as things are here. We don't discriminate.

So hopefully someone will catch on, until then, I gave it my best shot.

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Anonymous said...

welcome to america, lysis.

however, i think it foolish that you see the ignorant and uninformed as your enemies.
because they are the most patriotic people you will ever meet.

i think its foolish that you see any human being as your enemy, just because they are not like you.

you say "the terrorists" as if they are a deffinate group of people.

i would consider anyone who causes another person to feel TERROR to be a terrorist.

therefore, i feel that anyone who drops a bomb on another person is a terrorist, no matter how just their cause.

the worlds view on what justice is is repulsive.

the common idea of justice is that revenge is an obligation.

revenge is evil.

revenge is not justice.

nothing that is practiced in this country is truly just.

this country has its own idea of what justice is.
and its completely different from christian justice, even though we claim to be overall christian, we think our idea of freedom and justice is better that jesus's, whom we claim is the son of god.

ARROGANCE.

the ignorant and uninformed are as fluent in it as you are.

Lysis said...

Anonymous - Everyone who kills is not a terrorist. That you so believe indicates that you do not recognize the existance of right and wrong beyond you own concoction. This is a turely dangerous form of ignorance. One who cannot discern between medicine and poison has a dangerous form of ignorance; dangerous to themselves if they seek to treat their own ills; foolish if they try to instruct the true physician; and evil if they seek to force their error on others by persuasion or by terror.

Darin Linder (7th period troublemaker) said...

Hey Mr. Conner!!!!!!!!!
I love your blog...... it's just like class:)
funny, funny, funny

see ya tuesday

Medicine said...

In the end the credibility Cowley gave to Kerry and his ilk legitimized the disaster that was America's retreat from Vietnam.

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