Saturday, October 08, 2005

Defending the War on Terror

On Thursday, October 6th, President Bush delivered the speech we have all been waiting for. I have it before me and have listened to all forty minuets of it five times. I didn't play it for my Art History Class – but all the rest of my classes got it beginning to end – then commentary.
Here are some highlights. I have divided the speech with my own headings, but the numbered quotes are the President’s words.

Since the founding of The National Endowment for Democracy by President Reagan American sacrifice has spread freedom and peace to much of the world.

1. ". . . all the cost and sacrifice of that struggle has been worth it, because, from Latin America to Europe to Asia, we've gained the peace that freedom brings."

The world now faces a new world wide enemy set on destroying peace and freedom – and we must sacrifice again.

2. ". . . freedom is once again assaulted by enemies determined to roll back generations of democratic progress. Once again, we're responding to a global campaign of fear with a global campaign of freedom."

3. "Recently our country observed the fourth anniversary of a great evil, and looked back on a turning point in our history. We still remember a proud city covered in smoke and ashes, a fire across the Potomac, and passengers who spent their final moments on Earth fighting the enemy. We still remember the men who rejoiced in every death and Americans in uniform rising to duty. . . We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won."

President Bush then listed many other places were terrorists have attacked and the innocent nature of their victims. This is a world wide war, a real war against a real and determined enemy. The President described this enemy which he calls ISLAMIC RADICALISM.

4. 'Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane."

5. "This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent, political vision; the establishment, by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom."

6. "Many . . . are part of global, borderless terrorist organizations like al Qaeda . . . Other militants are found in regional groups, often associated with al Qaeda . . . insurgencies and separatist movements . . . Still others spring up in local cells, inspired by Islamic radicalism. . . Yet . . . [all] . . . share a similar ideology and vision for our world."

President Bush then presents that ideology and vision.

7. "We know the vision of the radicals because they've openly stated it. . . First . . . to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and stand in the way of their ambitions. . . . Osama bin Laden, has called on Muslims to dedicate, quote, their "resources, sons and money to driving the infidels out of their lands." . . . They hit us and expect us to run. They want us to repeat the sad history of Beirut in 1983, and Mogadishu in 1993 – only this time on a larger scale, with greater consequences."

8. "Second, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments. . . . They achieved their goal, for a time, in Afghanistan. Now they've set their sights on Iraq. . . . The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror."

9. Third, the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda; to [1] develop weapons of mass destruction, [2] to destroy Israel, [3] to intimidate Europe, [4] to assault the American people, [5] and to blackmail our government into isolation."

10. ". . . Zarquwi has vowed. "We will either achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life."

The past teaches the clear lesson of why we must fight:

11. ". . . the civilized world knows very well that other fanatics in history, from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot, consumed whole nations in war and genocide . . . Evil men, obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience, must be taken very seriously – and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply."

President Bush then goes on to explain how the radicals plan to and can grow in power.

12. ". . . it thrives, like a parasite, on the suffering and frustration of others. The radicals exploit local conflict to build a culture of victimization, in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution. They exploit resentful and disillusioned young men and women, recruiting them through radical mosques as pawns of terror. . . . Islamic Radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They have been sheltered by authoritarian regimes, allies of convenience like Syria and Iran. That share the goal of hurting American and moderate Muslim governments, and use terrorist propaganda to blame their own failures on the West and American and on the Jews. These radicals depend on front operations, such as corrupted charities, which direct money to terrorist activity.
They're strengthened by those who . . . fund the spread of radical, intolerant . . . Islam . . . aided . . . by elements of the Arab news media that incite hatred and anti-Semitism, that feed conspiracy theories and speak of a so-called American "war on Islam"."

President Bush then deals decisively and brilliantly with those in the blame America crowd, showing the folly of appeasement.

13. "Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the
actions of our coalition in Iraq. . . . I would remind them that we
were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 – and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. . . .
Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence – the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U. S.
military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives; to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers – and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

14. "They target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective
response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory."

President Bush then aptly applies the lessons of History to the War on Terror. The perilous battle we must now win is eerie in its resemblance to the fight against the monster murder mania that was world wide communism.

15. "Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism:

a) . . . is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not."

b) "Like . . . communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life."

c) ". . . in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims. When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder pure and simple – the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just the enemies of America, or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity. We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, and the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields."

d) ". . . our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth they have endless ambitions of imperial domination . . ."

e) "Under their rule, they have banned books, and desecrated historical monuments, and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, and to control every aspect of life, and to rule the soul, itself. While promising a future of justice and holiness, they terrorists are preparing for a future of oppression and misery."

f) our new enemy is dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent. . . . But let us be
clear: It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and d the elderly with car bombs, and cuts the throat of a bound captive, and targets worshipers leaving a mosque. It is courage that liberated more that 50 million people. It is courage that keeps an untiring vigil against the enemies of a rising democracy. And it is courage in the cause of freedom that one again will destroy the enemies of freedom."

g) . . . like the ideology of communism, contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure. By fearing freedom – by distrusting human creativity, and punishing change, and limiting the contributions of half the population - - this ideology undermines the very qualities that make human progress possible and human societies successful."

h) Those who despise freedom and progress have condemned themselves to isolation, decline, and collapse. Because free people believe in the future, free peoples will own the future."

President Bush then sets out three goals and describes five strategies that we are now and must continue to use in the fight against Islamic radicalism.

16. "Defeating a broad and adaptive network requires patience, constant pressure, and strong partners in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia and beyond.

17. "First . . . prevent the attacks of terrorist networks before they occur. . . . Together, we've killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks; . . . the United states and our partners have disrupted at least ten serious al Qaeda terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more al Qaeda efforts to case targets in the United States, or infiltrate operatives into our country."

18. "Second, we're determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes, and to their terrorist alls who would use them without hesitation."

19. "Third, we're determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes. . . The united States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they're equally as guilty of murder."

20. "Forth, we're determined to deny the militants control of any nation . . . and so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq."

President Bush then contrasts the efforts of our troops and our allies with those consumed by pessimism.

21. "Our coalition, along with our Iraqi allies, is moving forward with a comprehensive, specific military plan. [1] Area by area, city by city, we're conducting offensive operations to clear out the enemy forces, [2] and leaving behind Iraqi units to prevent the enemy for returning. . . . [3] we're working for tangible improvements in the lives of Iraqi citizens. [4] And we're aiding the rise of an elected government that unites the Iraqi people against extremism and violence."

22. "Some observers look at the job ahead and adopt a self-defeating pessimism. It is not justified. With every random bombing and with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters – they are murderers at war with the Iraqi people . . ."

23 ". . . elected leaders of Iraq are proving to be strong and steadfast. By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress – from tyranny, to liberation, to national elections, to the writing of a constitution, in the space of two-and-a-half years. . . . the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence with every passing month. . . . no fair minded person should ignore, deny, or dismiss the achievements of the Iraqi people.”

President Bush then goes on to challenge those who doubt the commitment to democracy and freedom of Iraq and its people.

24. “We’ve heard it suggested that Iraq’s democracy must be on shaky ground because Iraqis are arguing with each other. But that’s the essence of democracy. . . “

25. “As Americans, we believe that people -- everywhere – prefer freedom to slavery, and that liberty, once chosen, improves the lives of all.”

President Bush next deals with those who would cut and run!

26. Some observers also claim that America would be better off by cutting our losses and leaving Iraq now. This is a dangerous illusion, refuted with a simple question: Would the Untied Stats and other free nations be more safe, or less safe, with Zarquwi and bin Laden [or Saddam] in control of Iraq, its people and its resources?

27. “There’s always a temptation, in the middle of a long struggle, to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the word, and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder. This would be a pleasant world, but it’s not the world we live in. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday’s brutality. This enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence. In Iraq, there is no peace without victory. We will keep our verve and we will win that victory.

President Bush next describes how free people can deny the militants future recruits; gain the support of the Muslim world. He give evidence that this process is in progress.

28. “The fifth element of our strategy . . . is to deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across the broader Middle East. . . . If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny, and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will b marginalized . . .”

29. “Many Muslim scholars have already publicly condemned terrorism, often citing Chapter 5, Verse 32 of the Koran, which states that killing an innocent human being is like killing all humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all of humanity. After the attacks in London . . . an imam in the United Arab Emirates declared, “Whoever does such a thing is not a Muslim . . .”

30. Many people of the Muslim faith are proving their commitment at great personal risk. . . . Afghan troops are in combat against Taliban remnants. Iraqi soldiers are sacrificing to defeat al Qaeda . . . “

President Bush unites the War on Terror with the “ancient” struggle.

31. “. . . the fight we have joined is also the current expression of an ancient struggle between those who put their faith in dictators, and those who put their faith is the people. Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision – and they end up alienating decent people across the globe. Tyrants . . . have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure – until those societies collapse in corruption and decay. Tyrants . . . have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent – until the day that free men and women defeat them.

**** Well I hope you have read and considered the President’s words. I am eager to add commentary in any discussion on the justice of the war or the importance of the President’s words.


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Harlequin said...

Just a few comments on the post, I believe it to be very well put together as is the case with all your blogs, though I figure I'll throw my two cents in here and unlike anonymous above me I wont stoop to calling you impotent, not yet at least:

"We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won."
-I find it funny that recently in an interview on NBC-TV's The Today show, when asked the simple question of "Can this war be won?" Bush replied with the comment "No I dont think you can win it." Looks like there isn't going to be any resting ever again for the US.

"Bib Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not."
-I know its a typo but I couldnt resist, hehe bib laden thats a good one.

More to come when I've got a little more time on my hands.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

Harlequin – First, I remember well the “trap question” asked President Bush during the campaign. I also remember that the next day, while Kerry screamed that Bush had weakened America by telling out enemies we could not beat them, (talk about hypocrisy) Bush explained that we might never stop all terror, but that we could surly make the world a safer place by fighting it.

Wise men change their minds, fools change their truths.

A second point I’d like you to consider: even if terror will never be defeated – should we give up the fight? We fight crime, though there will always be those who commit it; we fight disease, although we do not hope to defeat death; we struggle to teach the truth, although laziness and ignorance seem to bring all our efforts to nothing. What President Bush is explaining is that we must fight or be destroyed. The Islamic Radicals have already made that decision; they plan to buy their way to heaven with your blood. Shall we role over and die and let the West sink into a Dark Age of enforced ignorance and hate. President Bush says no! I agree!

In the speech above President Bush tells us how we will “win” the war on Terror. We will:

1. Prevent attacks (as many as we can) before they occur.

2. We will deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes and terrorists. (This will make their attacks less potent)

3. We will deny radical groups support and sanctuary in any nation.

4. We will deny militants the control of any nation.

5. We will deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope.

Like fighting cancer, like fighting addiction, the war against terror, by its nature, must be on going. It is hard but when we give up we die.

In Paradise Lost, John Milton describes the “War in Heaven”. Michael the Arch Angle goes forth each day to fight the devil and his host. At the end of each day, Michael has dealt with Satin, but with the beginning of the next, he must go out again to face a yet more powerful foe, and every morning he does; “Until the Savior Comes”.

I had a wise young friend explain this to me. “It means,” he said, “that though evil can never be destroyed, it can always be defeated.”

Let’s live with that hope and keep up the fight!

I’ll go back and fix “bib” Laden; although it was good for a laugh! And thanks for side stepping the obvious from Post #1.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

The “blog administrator” doing the removing was me. Anonymous’ note above was a commercial for buying some product; with links to see his wears etc. I don’t know why we have been suddenly blessed in the Agora (ironically a market place) with people who would rather make sales than points. I promise I will never remove anyone’s comments if they relate to our discussion and will persistently expunge any commercials or other “links” that are irrelevant to our discussion.

Harlequin said...

I wrote this a while ago, and I needed a place to put it, I thought you might enjoy it.

It was 10:30 in the evening and the streets which were at one point so vibrant, thronged with people of every race and creed, now lay almost silent. The only discernable noise rising from this silence was the scurrying of a thousand tiny feet and the crackle of old Frito Lay chip bags as the rats nosed hungrily around the now overturned litter bins, searching for some scrap of food that would prolong their wretched live until the morning came. This sound was the only clue to their whereabouts as they scampered about, invisible in the gloom. Tonight as with every night lately, the street lamps stood, concrete obelisks, blind like polyphemus the cyclops, their one eye extinguished and devoid of life. The city was empty, even the poor, the homeless, the beggars, and the buskers, the pavement artists and every other reflection of lifes least fortunate were nowhere to be seen. Where they had gone, nobody could say, the hostels were empty now, the shop doorways and the park benches all deserted. It was nothing more and nothing less than a ghost town. A pitiful shadow of its former glory, it was a city no more.

But what do you expect after going on 8 years of government under Bush!

Ares said...

I take it by the tone you used before inserting the main body of your post that what you wrote there was fiction unless I am much mistaken. If it is intended to be the truth, please cite your sources. Are you, by this story, attempting to say that because President Bush has been in the White House for eight years that the level of poverty has risen so much that there aren't even beggars any more? I fail to see what your post has to do with anything related to the original post by Lysis. If you wanted to write something about the failures of the Iraq war (or lack thereof) then I will be happy to debate with you, but please try to stay on topic.

lysis_verus said...

Lysis, DO I understand correctly that you required all your Social Studies classes to listen to the entire speech AND your commentary? If that is true, then YOU ARE NO TEACHER SIR! you are merely a preaching propagandist. If you made the students listen to an entire stump/issue speech then indoctrinated them to your lopsided opinion of it you are no different from the Leftist college professors who preach their opinion as fact. You know, the guys the Right loves to hate. Guys like Ward Churchill at Colorado(Except you'd be a right wing opinion bully instead of a left wing opinion bully!) I am surprised and disappointed. Perhaps I assumed that this blog was you out-let for your partisanship and you kept your classes open and fair. Perhaps I assumed too much. I am too taken aback to even dispute the content of your post (Much of which I disagree with). Perhaps I'll address that later after I've settled down from the rancor I feel at your apparent lack of ethical standards. ~VERUS

a quiet listener said...

it would seem verus has never taken a course from lysis... (or 5 or 6 as i have, including one very interesting year of human biology) for if he had then he would not accuse lysis of preaching one point of view and forcing his opinion on them as a bully. i can attest that in the courses taught we listened to many things and the greatest consistency i could find was the lack of consistency. lysis would always change sides just to get us USE our brains and THINK about the issues.
often he would play "devils advocate" and purposely pick to be on the "losing" side of a debate that most of the class of quickly oppose just to make us REACT and begin to analyze the world around us.
i remember at one point when he offered a formal invitation to a seminary teacher to come and debate the subject of evolution. what his actual beliefs on the matter where... i have no idea, but it certainly led many many of us to begin serious critical thinking of everything around us.
until you've sat through his lectures and had the opportunity to DISCUSS and DEBATE the issues don't be too quick to condemn. certainly you can't compare his open forum of debate to fanatics like churchill or other leftists which sadly infest our places or higher learning.

Lysis said...

I am grateful to “a quiet listener” for the comments made above. I have other students who may or may not share “a quiet listener’s” kind evaluation, but I am confident, none have been bludgeoned into holes, square or round, nor indoctrinated into anything but curiosity.

Lysis Verus – I am forced to wonder if you ever associate with young people. What kind of delicate hot house plants do you assume them to be? As for spewing propaganda; there is no more pernicious propaganda than the misrepresentation of history as some kind of middle of the road nonbiased mush. No wonder students dumped into classes where truth and reason is recast as mindless mush, find the study of “social studies” so abhorrent. How can you stir curiosity or kindle thinking in minds lulled by the gentle winds of facts selected to craft some textbook vision of acrimony?

L. V. Don‘t you realize that the job of a history teacher (I don’t really like the term social studies teacher) is to prepare the rulers of America to take their place in the voting booth and in the offices of service and leadership that make freedom possible. Would you keep them in ignorance to the real issues of the day so as not to wilt their delicate sensibilities? We are involved in a terrible war – perhaps for our very survival. We, the people, justly demand an explanation for the expenditure of blood and treasure we are forced to expend. Every American had an obligation to listen to our President’s explanation of that war. None of us are required to accept his explanations at face value – but to ignore them, to pretend they were not uttered, or to have only the Media’s thin and biased drizzle to present them does no service to my students or to this nation.

I am curious – did you listen to the speech? Have you read it? On what do you base your assertion that President Bush’s explanation of the war was a stump/issue speech? Until you explain otherwise, I am forced to conclude that you get your opinions in the same way you suggest my students get theirs, from hearsay and conjecture.

As for Ward Churchill, I would love to be in one of his classes – I would love for my students to have that experience. I would like to see how Mr. Churchill would deal with students who have been taught to think rather that sop up the bland pabulum or bitter bias of their instructors. Students who have actually listened to history and the arguments regarding it, and not been force fed the sanitized and emasculated version you seem to espouse.

My students know clearly my political bias, and why I hold it. We spend ninety minutes together each five days out of ten. I am with them more that most of their parents. They need to know the truth about me. And believe me they can handle it. They are far less likely to suffer from propaganda in a class where they are given all sides of the case, encouraged to take a stand, and forced to defend it than in those classes where bias is hidden and administered with subtle deceit. Show me a teacher who hides his views and I’ll show you a teacher with something to hide.

I am eager to anyone’s critique of the President’s speech or my “commentary” of it. I invite my students to read this web log. I am not worried that they will be overwhelmed by either your arguments or mine. High School students are thinking individuals, not easily manipulated by adults. But if they are never taught how to find the truth they will never be able to form opinions based on it. Let the schools place our students in the free market place of ideas, and let them learn to live in it.

Anyone who is interested might get a little more insight into my teaching philosophy by reading the posting “Rape and Reason” 12/16/2004. For my opinions on Ward Churchill try “Native Son” posted 2/16/2005.

Lysis said...

Oh, Ares – your answer to Harlequin was better than anything I could have come up with - thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the presidents speech. and i would just have to say the way he said some things in that made it sound like he thinks all muslims are bad. And whoever thinks that should be shot. just because 1 group are terrorists doesnt mean they all are!

a quiet listener said...

would you care to cite a specific example of bush saying "some things that make it sound like he thinks all muslims are bad"
perhaps we could examine that EVIDENCE before exacting the sentence of being shot.
your attempt to accuse bush of the illogical fallacy of applying the characteristics or the pars to the whole (or whatever lysis calls it... i never can remember the terminology) is at once laughable when you won't even cite any evidence.
give us a reason to believe that bush believes all muslims are bad.

Silver Lining said...

Bush actually said in the speech that Muslims generally are a peace loving people. He made a specific effort to distinguish between the Muslim community as a whole and Muslim extremists. I think the second or third quote Lysis prints touches on this, though I suppose I could at some point go through the speech myself to find it. I also think, but without re-reading it can't confirm, that the President stated the terrorists aren't actually Muslim according to the tenants of that faith. That I would definately have to check on though, and I have things pressing at the moment, so that will come later.

lysis_verus said...

Lysis (and 'quiet'),
I did listen to most of the speech in question (I watch a lot of C-Span too) and I read the rest by online transcript after you made a post about it. In my view, it was an explanation/pep/stumpish/issue speech on the *current* hows and whys of the Iraq War and the War of Terror. Many of Bush's "facts" assertions and numbers were, by the way, contradicted days later by his own generals in hearings of the Senate Armed Services committee. Fewer Iraqi battalions(gotta love those auxiliary legionaries of the New Empire), less area under control, more insurgent attacks etc.

My point, if you re-read my post, was that I gathered you had your students listen to the speech and then offered your Pro-Bush commentary as though it were *analysis* and then had done with it. I said that IF you did that THEN you were no teacher and a mere propagandist a la Ward Churchill.

You say you disclose your biases, good for you. You say (and 'quiet' confirms) that you play Devil's Advocate and challenge seminary instructors to debate evolution, good for you.

An aside for 'quiet', I thought most seminarians were OK with evolution. Are these seminarians evangelical types? Protestants? Catholics? Though I must say it is heartening that Lysis has (or at least invites) priests/ministers-in-training into your classes for debates and discussions of ethics and moral philosophy. I think that would be a most stimulating class.

Lysis, I don't think HS students are hot-house flowers, ready to wilt under the 'brilliance' of your Neo-Con view. I have found young people to be resilient and actually in possession of a pretty good BS detection system. But realize I have no way of knowing what kind of teacher you are other than what you say.

It still smacks of partisanship to make your students listen to the entire speech. Then unquestioningly support EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT! Tell me, did you force your students to listen to Clinton's map room 'confession' speech? And then unquestioningly support EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT? Har Har Lysis. It still looks like your pushing an agenda. See, by your standard, its OK to be totally biased as long as you disclose the bias and occasionally play devil's advocate. Though I'd hazard a guess that your classes are fun and very interesting. (Gasp, a compliment for Lysis from LV!?!) :)

But come now Lysis, we all know most presidential speeches are mere fodder for the dumb masses. I thought you were a little more sophisticated than to take HIS or any other seedy con-man's foreign war/policy fairy tales at face value. ~VERUS

a quiet listener said...

i don't mean to change the subject of this weeks important blog.. but to answer LV's question i believe that this LDS seminary teacher in particular believed in creationism. i recall him citing one of the chapters of Doctrines of Salvation (vol 2? written by Joseph F Smith) which condemns the notion of evolutionism based on several scriptures. his main argument being the scripture in 1st corinthians 15:21-22 which states that death came to man (and to the earth by his interpretation) through adam's transgression. Therefore before his transgression there was no death ie no survival of the fittest, no evolution before adam fell. so if evolution didn't make adam... god must have.
that was the gist of it, if you're very interested i could look up the specific volume and chapter but i think you get the idea.. sorry for the temporary subject change.

lysis_verus said...

No problem, Quiet. OK that clarifies. I had thought Lysis was inviting Seminarians, people studying for the Catholic (or other) Preisthood or Protestant Minisitry to class. So its high school level religion teachers, that would be interesting as well. Thanks for the clarification. ~LV

Lysis said...

To the anonymous above; I would like to welcome you to the Agora, your comments are always welcome here, but I agree with “listener” that your miss representation of the President’s Speech do not support your claim to have read it. You will not find it as easy here as in many places to claim things are true simply because you want them to be true. Perhaps, in your argument above, you are taking the word of someone who should know what was in the speech – say one of the vast numbers of “news” commentators; even more frightening you might have accepted the assessment of an enemy of America who is trying to perpetrate the lie that American fights against Islam. Most frightening of all is that you are one of these “misinformation mongers”. One way or another you, in my opinion, are not telling the truth; either you did not read the speech, or having read it you misrepresent the President’s words. If you can prove otherwise, go for it!

Consider these clear statements on the part of the President showing the difference between Islam and Islamic radicalism:

1. “These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus – and also against Muslims from other traditions, who they regard as heretics.”

2. “The militants are aided, as well, by elements of the Arab news media that incited hatred and anti-Semitism, that feed conspiracy theories and speak of a so-called American “war on Islam” – with seldom a word about American action to protect Muslims in Afghanistan, and Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq.”

3. When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple – the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion.”

4. “These militants are not just the enemies of America, or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity.”

5. “In fact, democratic federalism is the best hope for unifying a diverse population [in Iraq], because a federal constitutional system respects the rights and religious traditions of all citizens, while giving all minorities, including the Sunnis, a stake and a voice in the future of their country.”

6. “Many Muslim scholars have already publicly condemned terrorism, often citing Chapter 5, Verse 32 of the Koran, which states that killing an innocent human being is like killing all humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all of humanity. After the attacks in London on July the 7th, an imam in the United Arab Emirates declared, “Whoever does such a thing is not a Muslim, nor a religious person.”

7. “Many people of the Muslim faith are proving their commitment at great personal risk. Everywhere we have engaged the fight against extremism; Muslim allies have stood up and joined the fight, becoming partners in a vital cause.”

Understand, One can be against the burning of witches by Puritans, the horrors of the Inquisition, the slaughter of the 30 Years War, the War of the Three Henrys, the religious murders in Ireland and the former Yugoslavia, and NOT BE AGAINST CHRISTISNITY. The world must fight against radical Islam. Islam itself is endangered by this counterfeit, masquerading as religion. Thinking peoples of all faiths understand this. That is why people need to learn to think.

To Silver Lining. My thoughts are with you as you carry your responsibilities for these weeks. Thank you for the sacrifice you and yours are making in the service of our country and the work you do for the future. Do you remember that speech on Cornelia you used to give! Still true!

Lysis Verus - What is wrong with partisanship? Would you rather I picked and choose which WORDS I let my students hear. Then you might have something to worry about. Such a selection could allow me to manipulate both the President and my students. I’m glad you agree with me about high school students. I knew you would. They bring their own ideas into every discussion. And discussion is good - as what is going on above shows.

Anonymous said...

people im not saying he did say that im just saying the way he put some of the words made it seem like this. i never said i wanted it to be true neither. as a matter of fact i think bush is a great president. In fact i think that the reason people dont like bush is because were at war and people dont like it. so they will take it out on who ever is the president at the time.

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"What kind of delicate hot house plants do you assume them to be . . . they bring their own ideas into every discussion, not indoctrinated by anything but curiosity"

Hot house plants would be EXACTLY the description I would use! Students of Layton High School reflect the political bias of their parents -- Lysis knows this AND COUNTS ON IT! That bias is about as "hot house" as it comes; considering that Zero Democrats hold political office in Davis County. "Ideas" that most Layton High students bring to class have been pre pulverized, purified, and placated by the ABSOLUTE political/religious conformity required in Davis County Public Schools -- that is the "MUSH" between the ears that appears in Lysis' classroom.

Lysis also posts:
"My students know clearly my political bias and why I hold it."

Of course they do -- that's what they're there for! History isn't the curriculum; Lysis is the curriculum!!!!

Could some lowly student disagree with the Great Republican standard bearer in his own classroom? Layton High School students aren't stupid!!!!
REAL disagreement doesn't happen! That's why Lysis needs to play "Devil's Advocate" -- and the whole class knows and agrees on the name of the "Devil".

I had a GREAT History teacher tell me the first day of school --"This class isn't about me and what I think. This class is about making whatever YOU think better.

Silverlining posts:
". . . the President stated the terrorists aren't actually Muslim according to the tenants (tenets?) of that faith."

Some Baptist/Pentecostal/Apostolic ministers fervently argue that Mormons are not Christian!

Now, personally I don't think they get to decide that do they? No matter how compelling their arguments! -And neither does George Bush

Lysis said...

So now Anonymous – are you telling us that the Terrorists ARE representative of Islam. I thought that was the thing you were mad at George Bush about. Oops, got caught in the circle of that argument didn’t you. That often happens to those who allow their agenda to out strip their reason.

Anonymous said...

actually lysis that was a dif guy i mean i wouldnt contradict what i have just said.

Lysis said...

So YOU have always thought that the Terrorist’s are representative of Islam? Many Muslims, President Bush, and I disagree.

Lysis said...

I am sorry that am getting the Anonymouses mixed up. I appreciate you all – I just can’t tell which is which.

To the Anonymous who likes “hot house plants” as a description of the students at my school.

I too have often wondered why no Democrats hold office in the County? It could be, as Anonymous implies, that the majority of the people in the county are wrong; too stupid or ill informed to make the right. or should I say “left” choice. I guess that if they were smart and savvy like Anonymous they would vote Democrat. But then it occurs to me that it might be the other way round. If the Democrats were smart and savvy as the people, either in Davis County or the US in general (were the majority of elected officials are Republicans), they might get themselves elected to office.

I wonder at the contempt Anonymous shows for my students and their parents, but it does not surprise me. It is the hallmark of the elites through out history to hold the “masses” in contempt. [You will note that I gave a reason for calling Anonymous an elite.] Odd - that they should choose the title Democrat – and have such a low opinion of the people. It is also a method of elites to call names and belittle positions which they cannot counter with logic. The louder they scream the more certain one can be that they are wrong and know they are.

I believe I have shown why Anonymous and many on the left are elitist, (the contempt they hold for the masses); perhaps Anonymous could show us why such contempt is justified.


Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"the contempt Anonymous shows for my students and parents."

Students of Layton High School reflect the political bias of their parents. Does Lysis dispute this? If so, where are the logical arguments? And where the contempt?

The primary political bias of LHS parents is primarily Republican.(offered with evidence) Does Lysis dispute this? If so where are your arguments? And where the contempt?

A teacher/school/district that caters to the predominant political bias of its parents and students to the extent that it calls a *one-sided* political harangue a History class, is providing a dishonest and non-valid academic curriculum, and is also providing a "hot house" that invariably makes students weaker! (more hot air and manure is not the rigour plants need in a "hot house" NOR that students need in a History class)
Does Lysis dispute this? If so where are YOUR logical arguments? (Or once again are you reduced to feeble smears about elitism, the Democratic party and "the masses"?)
PLENTY of contempt, but none for students or parents. (students are the "tender plants" who deserve more challenges in their education than ELITIST pandering and "preaching to the choir".)
Parents who expect an education in History for their children are equally victims.
Elitism? How elitist is it to ignore a whole history curriculum in order to indulge a high school class in ones own personal political agenda????

*IF* it is true that Baptist, Pentecostal, and Apostolic ministers contend that Mormons are not Christians.
*IF* you agree that these people really do/should not get to decided such things. (I will provide the reasons if you like)

*IF* you agree with the above you must also agree with:

*IF* certain Muslim scholars, George Bush and Lysis contend that "Islamic terrorists" are not Muslim.
Then it is ALSO true
that these people should/do not get to decide these things.

It does not follow, Lysis that *I* think that "the terrorists are followers of Islam."
It DOES follow that I, along with some Muslim ministers, and GWB and Lysis "SHOULD/ DO NOT GET TO DECIDE THESE THINGS!
Also, why GWB might be thought of by some as being anti-Muslim.

Lysis posts:
"I too have wondered why no Democrats hold office in the county?"
A question that you follow IMMEDIATELY with NINE of your own answers!
Is this how the "Devil's Advocacy" works in class? One small question ostensibly pounded into oblivion with Nine Lysis Megaton Bombs? (non of which are relevant by the way -- just another smear on the Democratic Party)
WOW -- I wonder if there is ever enough oxygen left in the room for TWO questions!
Offer up something more substantive than invective and smears this time -- please!!!!

Reach Upward said...

President Bush fulfilled a wish I discussed here, where I asked that he give a clear status report about our war efforts. While one may disagree with Bush's view of the issue and there is some quibbling about the numbers he cited, he was fairly effective in fulfilling part of my wish. The other part of my stated wish was for him to do this on a more regular basis.

We need to hear our leaders effectively discuss these matters. The American people deserve to know how the war effort is enhancing our national security.

We do not have the kind of news corps today that we had 60 years ago when they understood that our national security was at stake. We have a news corps that cannot accept the idea that a president they voted against might do something that might actually be good for the nation. Since the MSM won't help (and will certainly hinder), the President has to be his own spokesman on this issue.

I am no Bush ideologue. I post a fair amount of critical matter about his leadership on my blog. But he has a vision for our national security and he is willing to do what it takes to achieve that vision. One certainly has a right to disagree with his vision, but I shudder to think of what the terrorists might have been able to do since 9/11 had one of Bush's opponents been the Commander in Chief.

Silver Lining said...

Though Anonymous has directed his commentary toward Lysis and understandably looks forward to that debate, I want to make a feeble attempt at response as one of the questions posed was originally posed in response to my earlier posting.

First of all, on a side note, I have to admit a slight chuckle at calling Lysis out about sharing his political ideology in class and perpertuating the local political bias. Why? That would be because of how often he gets in trouble with parents and seminary teachers for things he says that don't perpetuate the local bias. I realize this doesn't further the argument, but I had to say it.

Of course Layton High School students often show the political bias of their parents. So do students in New York. The case in which a teacher in that state had students write to soldiers in Iraq and in which the students told the soldiers how terrible it was that they were there etc. etc. comes to mind. (there are exceptions to this rule as there are to just about every rule). It is called political socialization. I can recommend a few good political science courses and professors or perhaps just books that discuss it We all experience it, and there are many components that contribute to it. Our parents are a huge part of it and that is the stage many of the students are at. Does that mean there is no diversity of opinion in Lysis' classroom? My experience has been the opposite, but is this what you are arguing?

Also, who is ignoring the curriculum. While I believe I understand your argument about sharing the President's speech with comments, I don't see the connection with to the claim that curriculum is being ignored. It is possible that both curriculum and other things are being taught. Again, my own experience with Lysis leans toward the later. I have never known his classes to be short on anything, but it has been several years now since I have attended, observed, or substituted his classes.

Finally, you pose the argument about who gets to decide whether Mormons are Christians and terrorists are Muslims or rather who doesn't get to decide. I am sincerely curious when I ask who does get to decide? When I made my previous (admittedly sketchy) post, I was providing a different viewpoint to the previous statement that Bush came off as anti-Muslim and was giving my reasons for that difference. Lysis later posted the exact quotes from the speech. So, again out of curiosity, I ask, if Pres. Bush does not get to decide and a Muslim Imam does not get to decide, who does and why?

A bit of a post script: I notice that both times you have posed this argument now, you have noted the reasons that some give as to why Mormons aren't Christians. You first note that their arguments are compeling and then note that you can let us know what they are. Why does any of that matter to your argument about who gets to make that call? Are you sharing that information as a subtle indication of how you feel, as a dig toward Lysis, because you are trying to raise any Mormon poster's blood pressure, because you are pointing out that regardless of how compelling the argument none of these people are qualified or for some other reason? It seems superfluous to your otherwise very carefully crafted argument.

Anonymous said...

"Poets priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions. Words that scream for your submission and noone is jamming their transmission."

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

One of the things relativists often do when their arguments run aground, is change their positions and then claim that they have never said the things that got them in trouble in the first place. Fortunately for us, Anonymous attacks on students and parents alike are preserved in the Agora. Anonymous asks “where is the contempt”. I answer a few posts up on the page. Anonymous asks me to refute with facts the claim that my students are the political puppets of their parents. I call anyone who as truly observed a group of high school students to witness their ability to think, question, and decide – often wrongly – for themselves.

Anonymous’ reference above to hot house plants, a term I surly intended as a negative when I asked if that is what Lysis Verus thought my students were, surely sounded condescending. My student are not plants (vegetables), they are think human beings, just like Anonymous. They have not been “pre pulverized, “rendered into mush”; I can assure you from daily experience. They come in as individuals, often in rebellion against their parents, whether those parents are liberal or conservative. To make such inaccurate and biased claims of an entire group, without any effort to see them as individuals or as they really are, smacks of bigotry.

My collogues, the majority of whom are as liberal as Anonymous, would be shocked to hear themselves classified as tools of religious conformity. Once again Anonymous lumps and judges without knowledge or reason, this is contempt of the lowest form, based on Anonymous’ bias not experience.

On to curriculum: If Anonymous can’t see the links between the President’s speech and any period in history, from the Greeks struggle against the Persian empire, the atrocities of the Crusades, the malignant evil of totalitarianism, the danger of ignorance and fear, the specter of fanaticism, and the need for freedom; that punctuate the entire flow of man’s relationship to man; then what use is there in talking about curriculum with Anonymous. If Anonymous cannot see the connection with and between discussion of current issues and relating them to history with the development of critical thinking skills, I doubt I could over come such preformed opinions by explanation.

Silver Lining hit the predominant political bias point well. I will only reiterate with a question: If the majority of parents or voters agreed with you, Anonymous, would that weaken our children’s minds as well?

Silver Lining has also dealt with Anonymous “who gets to define Islam, Mormon, Christian arguments”. I would just add that I agree with Anonymous, no one’s definitions create the truth. The truth is that terrorism is not right and fighting it does not require a War on Islam.

It is interest that Anonymous can’t even quote him/her self accurately. Consistency is not a hallmark of relativists. Luckily, to those who have the facts before them; observing an opponent shifting their position to cover their tail is an obvious sign of catching them with their pants down.

Lysis said...

Reach Upward; Thank you for the excellent information, which, refreshingly, relates to the topic of this post, the Justice of the War against Terror.

Not that I mind the other topics we are discussing.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

Interesting discussion. I taught a course in Public Relations last year and found some interesting websites that may be a good resource for this group.

If my memory serves is it sponsored by a left leaning group, but the techniques are used by both sides of the fence.

Here is an example of the information available:

Propagandists use a variety of propaganda techniques to influence opinions and to avoid the truth. Often these techniques rely on some element of censorship or manipulation, either omitting significant information or distorting it. They are indistinguishable except in degree from the persuasion techniques employed in social, religious and commercial affairs. Recently persuasion technology has come into common use, in all styles from digital image alteration to persuasive presentation and persistent telemarketing based on repetition, making these techniques impossible to avoid.
Table of contents [showhide]
1 Rhetorical techniques
2 Other techniques/terms
3 Logical Fallacies

3.1 References on Logical Fallacies
4 Persuasion technology arms races
5 Recommended Books
6 External links

Rhetorical techniques

During the period between World Wars I and II, the now-defunct Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA) developed a list of common rhetorical techniques used for propaganda purposes. Their list included the following:

* bandwagon
* doublespeak
* euphemisms
* fear
* glittering generalities
* name-calling
* plain folks
* testimonial
* transfer

Other techniques/terms

* ad hominem
* adjectives and adverbs
* agent provocateur
* alliteration
* anger
* anonymous sources
* apologise
* association
* astroturf
* attack ad
* augmentation
* background information
* backgrounder
* bad science
* bait and switch
* big lie
* BIMBO comment
* buzz
* buzzwords
* caricature and stereotyping
* censorship
* codewords
* comic books
* confusopoly
* contrivance
* controlling the noise
* create tension between target groups
* demonizing the opposition
* disinformation
* distraction
* distort risk
* divide and conquer
* doublespeak
* echo chamber
* empty rhetoric
* environmental scares
* extreme metaphor
* flak
* front group
* fundamental attribution error
* greenwashing
* guerrilla marketing
* Historical engineering with novels
* inane blather
* inference
* junk science and false accusations of junk science
* knuckleball
* limiting the choices
* manipulate memes
* manufacture of consent
* misinformation
* motherhood term
* mud slinging
* narrowcasting
* neurolinguistic programming
* omission
* one-time charge
* orwellize
* outing
* passive voice
* pedantry
* photographic manipulation
* policy laundering
* politics of personal destruction
* press conference
* product placement
* prophecies
* providing pictures
* pseudo-journalist
* pseudo-science
* Public Service Announcments
* push poll
* quoting out of context
* raising standard of evidence
* red herring
* reinforcement
* release of forged documents
* repetition
* rephrase an opponent's arguments
* replacing credible with sensational claims
* resonance
* ritual defamation
* sanitizing the facts
* satire
* scapegoating
* scholarly appearance
* shifting burden of proof
* smear
* softballing
* sources said
* spamvertising
* speaking on background
* sponsored survey
* strategic ambiguity
* straw man
* swarming youths
* unwarranted extrapolation
* using celebrities
* talking points
* unnamed sources
* vagueness
* video news releases
* viral marketing (word of mouth)
* white papers

Many of the examples given are left leaning against absoluteism, however both sides are guilty of using the techniques. Name calling for example.

Glittering Generalities are used on both sides.

What I perceive Lysis is doin is to avoid the use of "techniques" like these and get into a cause and effect reality based discussion.

I hope both sides can continue in that vein.

HistoryStudents said...

We would like to defend our positions, as students of Layton High and Lysis. We would like to point out that although we are young, we are not ruled or dictated by the decisions and opinions of adults. The last time we checked we had a bit more then "MUSH" between our ears and that we were certainly not "Warm House Plants!!!"

I would like to ask Anonymous if they had ever met a teenager???

Anonymous said...

historystudents posted:
". . . we are not ruled or dictated (to) by the decisions or opinions of adults" (Apparently, not by many English teachers either.)
Come to school tomorrow and wear green hair -- shape it into a foot long spike. Also, wear a sweatshirt or T shirt with a picture of a marijuana plant stenciled onto it. Try to start a gay club! Pray over the PA at the beginning of every school day for victory over Davis High School.

Now count the number of adults who will choose to "rule" your opinions and decisions.

Yes!!!! I figure about 49,500 and still counting.

Anonymous said...

Provo High just started a Gay club.

Anonymous, do you think that maybe an "adult" like yourself may have "influenced" them the same way you are trying to "influence" the students at Layton High.

You are describing rebellion, not critical thought. Rebellion is EASY. Critical Thought is not as you are proving so well to the bloggers here.

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"It is interest(ing) that Anonymous can't even quote him/herself accurately."

A quote from my original posting that Lysis pretends isn't there . . . "Layton High School students aren't stupid!!!!"(with even the customary four exclamation points)
Lysis is the kind of historian that chooses to ignore evidence in original documentation that does not agree with his biased theses. Very poor History indeed.

Lysis futher posts:
". . . consistency is not a hallmark of relativists."

Only in GWB does Lysis admire flip-flopping inconsistency and political opportunism. It is Relativism everywhere else!

Now, memorize that for the test.

Anonymous said...

Teaching is wonderful -- "influencing" LHS students sounds deceiptful and underhanded to me (And I have NO desire to teach there). Regretably, I have to leave "influencing" to those imminently more experienced.

I have said it before; I take no enjoyment or sense of accomplishment from seeing people in lock-step agreement -- with me or ANYONE else. When everyone thinks the same, no one is doing much thinking!

Anonymous said...

But Anonymous that is what you are doing. Lock step! Example: Start a Gay Club, Spike your hair,Wear Drug Clothing, Pray on the PA.

These are all lock step knee jerk reactions. No thinking needed.

Just like the conservatives are doing right now with the Meyers nomination to the supreme court.

Gut reaction, not a lot of long term thinking. They just want to get rid of abortion just as hard as liberals what sex without responsibility.

By the way, I wasn't quoting Lysis, whomever he is, I was observing and coming to a conclusion of my own that you are influencing. I still say you are because you are playing the victim.

Make the big bad conservatives go away (or GWB) and all will be well.

That is the same argument that the conservatives used when Clinton was in Power. Wasn't true then, Isn't true now.

Perception is the influence of these arguments and the goodness and badness of them.

Results tell the tale of any policy or perception. Millions can now have abortions. From a liberals point of view that is great, personal freedom has been expanded. From a conservatives point of view Millions have and will die needlessly.

So what is the right answer.

Look to history. Look to Rome, Greece, any society that "fell" find out why. Could it be that they "Progressed" themselves to dust?

Then you will know the goodness or badness of your point of view or perception. Why, because of the cause and effect actual results.

Not how smart you think you are or how good of a debator you are or you just like to argue.

What is the absolute truth over time.

As you can tell I am sick to death of both the right and the left and the pride that their way is the right way.

That pride has destroyed civilizations and left unchecked will destroy ours.

Lysis said...

So many Anonymouses, but to the one questioning the “History Student” above – you ask if they can spike their hair or pray over the intercom; can you rob a bank, or beat your spouse, or burn a cross? It looks like there are a “few thousand adults” controlling your life as well. Does that reduce you to a mush headed hot house plant? As the other Anonymous put it – rebellion is not critical thought; nor is crime. They missed that point back in the 60’s too.

So, as you point out, you call students mush headed hothouse plants and claim they are not stupid in the same paragraph. Seems like you got into contradicting yourself right off the bat. Another Relativist trick, cover all the bases then pick you quote to support your position when the time comes. I think your latest post has left you even more “exposed”!!!!

To the Anonymous who doesn't want to teach at Layton High. Believe me; you're going to miss out!

Lysis said...

Vegimatic – thanks for all the info, and for the chance at introspection. I hope that while those of us in the Agora “fire” ideas back and forth we can always seek the truth before any momentary victory in rhetorical jousting.

Demonthenes said...

Anonymous Posted "Hot house plants would be EXACTLY the description I would use! Students of Layton High School reflect the political bias of their parents -- Lysis knows this AND COUNTS ON IT"

Well I very much have to disagree, me being one of his students. My parents don't influence my choices no matter what they believe. I myself have very strong ties to the Democrats, my grandparents being two very prominent democrats, and I pretty much hate them. I have grown up with democratic stuff all around me all my life. My mom being the campaign manager for many canidents and my grandma being a senator. As you can see, from your idea, I should be a strong democrat. I am not, I am neither of those two dim witted one minded parties. Lysis makes a great teacher, sure he says what he believe, but he knows that we know that thats just his opinion, and we don't have to take it into our beliefs or anything. You insult me.-Demonthenes

HistoryStudents said...

anonymous posts...
"Could some lowly student disagree with the Great Republican standard bearer in his own classroom?"

Actually yes we do argue with Lysis! We are encouraged to state our point of veiw and opinions be it in AP. European History or Art History (both of which I take.)We offen have debates over things that have been said during class!!

A_Shadow said...

Remind me to avoid reading all 42 comments on such a topic ever again. But I will try to respond to a general mass of each of your 42 comments, pro's and con's.

I would first like to state that more than ever it has been the last eight years that have convinced me to BE republican if I ever were to choose a side. I haven't ever had the sad experience of a republican screaming down his opponents points as mindless drivle. But maybe I don't hit enough of these blogs and forums.

I would like to re-itterate, if somehow you missed it then or now, that I am not a partied person. I don't follow any partisanship but my own and I will advocate that until the day that I am dead and the threads of space and time unravell. There is no point to picking republican or democrat. The only point is picking the truth, or at least the best answer of those choices that you are given.

I would also like to give a little bit of background that I was priveleged to be taught at LHS for two of my HS years. I avoided Lysis' classes for the second semester of my first year because of my un-informed opinions of him. Fate had it that I would take a history class from him in my last year there and I will cherish it forever.

My parents have always supported the republican side of the fence, but I have never known them to actually choose that side just because it was republican. They are registered to that party to vote, I am not. They will vote for that party and so will I. I am an independent, no party, and that's how I will stay. Not because I shun the "man" or hate conforming, but because I have no need for such stupid labels.

I am also a debater. I have "been around the block" when it comes to seeing some of your arguments and I know plainly the general types. I also see your follies inherent therein.

To actually have someone comment on the speech posted here, I loved it. It quite litterally is one of the best speaches I have read in a long time, if not ever.

I am a supporter of the war, but not because of any of the reasons I will be shouted at by the innumerable anonymouses. I didn't choose Bush because my parents did. I didn't choose Bush because I live in Utah (in fact, I will treasure my Californian birth to the day that I die).

I chose Bush in my first election not even because he was a republican. I chose Bush because Kerry wasn't better. It doesn't matter that Bush is or isn't the best that we could ever get. Kerry in no way would be able to compete with him.

First you say it and then you do it. I had more faith that Bush would do what he said than Kerry would. This was evidenced very well when watching the Vice Presidential debate.

Before I get too off topic.

Only a fool would bluster into a place like this and try to shout down his opponents.

There should, if there isn't already, be some "made-up" rule in a Debate that prevents that. After all, such a rule exists for comparing your opponent to Hitler.

The students of Layton are every bit as varied as the wide world. Only a biased idiot would make a shouting match over a percieved mush brained plant that attends there.

Are there students that fall below expectations? Of course. But I have more friends that are opposition to Bush than are supporting him. And I am full aware that they don't get that from their parents.

Also, I can attest to the fact that, for the most part, Lysis has very little effect on changing opinion. Much the same as any of the shouters that have fallen into this place. He gets you to think, but invariably the mind believes what it wishes.

I know I left that class with new insights on ideas that I already had. Not with a brainwashed fervor because he "made" us listen to a speech.

Such a silly notion that listening to a speech would cause you to be indoctrinated into the "opposition". Such a silly notion that you would get into a fluster for learning about someone. Bush's speech is a welcome addition to anyone's political aresenal, pro or con. You can use it as ammunition just as easily for one side or the other. But one side will be using it as it is, as it was intended for, and the other side will be using it in its perverted forms.

Even the media was not able to maintain composure against this speech. I've seen and read plenty of media based responses that couldn't but help take their hats off in respect. Bush didn't give them any reason to belittle him or attack him based off of his wording, and they were stunned by it.

I join in Reach's comments that I hope there be more of this to come.

In the end I agree with Bush and Lysis the same as always. Not because I have been indoctrinated, brain-washed, or born in Utah to Mormon and republican parents.

But because it is the best fit for me. We are at war not really even for our survival, but for everyone's. Part of the reason Bush should have, should be, doing something in Chechya soon.

I support their ideas because they make the best sense. They don't run around in "left" blogs and forums shouting down their opponents. Their rebuttles are always structured to attack your points, and don't stoop to petty attacks on spelling and structure.

That's the sign of a losing argument, the sign of weakness, when you attack the structure rather than the points. It's a tool that I have used often enough to recognize it when I see it. There are plenty of times that attacking structure is easier than countering points.

And I have yet to see any of the opposition, even in 42 comments of posting, actually counter any of Bush's points on the war.

Who gets to choose if Mormons are Christians or not? First of all? Who cares? Second of all, only you. The definition for a Christian exists. You accept that or not.

Personally, to digress on this point for a moment, I don't find them Christian in the normal sense. And that's why it's easy to argue that they are not. But I must concede it in the essence of the word and that's how it will remain.

Same for Muslims. There is NOTHING MUSLIM about the terrorists that we are fighting. If you have so much as thumbed through the Quran, you would realize this.

ACTUAL believers in the faith realize this, much the same as ACTUAL Mormons believe that their faith is not a mindless cult and actually brings good to the world. Much the same as ACTUAL believers in Protestantism, or Catholocism. If you ACTUALLY know anything about the faiths than you realize that there is nothing in there that tells you to Blow up thy neighbor as thyself or any other perversions of the books written for their faiths.

This response has been too long coming, and I tire from spending so much time reading your emotionally responsive drivel.

I'll take a break for now and attempt to return to read more of it as it comes.

Anonymous said...

Lysis, et al; Post:

"Rebellion is not critical thought."

Well, even a cursory perusal of ANY American History text would reveal . . ."The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a quiet act of REBELLION in protest to the many taxes levied upon the colonies . . ."

The HISTORY of American life reveals MANY examples of REBELLION -- some that evince critical thought -- some that don't.
Lysis/anonymous should not generalize their bias against ALL rebellion because they have a problem with "teenage" rebellion and freedom of speech -- or because Lysis wants to bash 60's protesters (rebels) once more -- I think he is
in denial! Maybe if they had chanted "Heck no we won't go!" . . .

Rebellion is a very AMERICAN tradition and its history should be TAUGHT and represented with more openness and objectivity -- even at LHS.

Evidently, MANY are missing out on opportunities to TEACH at Layton High School.

Anonymous said...

"Then came the conjunction of the transportation bill and Katrina. The transportation bill's cost, honestly calculated, exceeded the threshold that the president had said should trigger his first veto. (He is the first president in 176 years to serve a full term without vetoing ANYTHING. His father cast 44 vetoes. Ronald Reagan's eight year total was 78.) In 1987 Reagan vetoed a transportation bill because it contained 152 earmarks --pork --costing $1.4 billion. The bill President Bush signed contained 6,371 costing 24 billion. The total cost of the bill --$286 billion -- is more, in inflation-adjusted dollars, THAN THE COMBINED COSTS OF THE MARESHALL PLAN AND THE INTERSTATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM.
Since 2000 the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled, from 16,342 to 34,785. They have not been attracted to the seat of government, like flies to honey, for the purpose of limiting government.
The fact that none of those responsible for the postwar planning, or lack thereof, in Iraq have been sacked suggests -- no shouts -- that in Washington today there is no serious penalty for serious failure. Hence the multiplication of failures."

This all came from the *New York Times* -- er, oh, a NO? -- this is ALL from George F. Will. Noted CONSERVATIVE Republican author and columnist!

Mr. Will needs a "woodshed" absolutism indoctrination visit from Lysis -- he needs to back away from the "true" facts and figures Krytonite that GWB did not include in his Iraq speech.

Obviously, the reason that Bush is so much against withdrawl in Iraq is because "serious failure" makes such good business for his cronies!!!!

Demosthenes said...

Just so everbody knows Lysis is a great history teacher, sure he has his own beliefs, but he won't force them on us. We argue from time to time, and I enjoy it.-Demosthenes

Lysis said...

Thanks Shadow; sorry you got tired. You were doing just fine and I was learning. I wish more of this debate could be on the speech by President Bush. But as you said, maybe the opposition can’t challenge the truth and so are forced to obfuscate. I think that was on Vegimatic’s list, if not it should have been.

Anonymous, who likes to quote and then challenge: I appreciate your system. It keeps things straight. Rebellion is not critical thinking. If I said so I was wrong. Rebellion might follow critical thinking; it might not. Examples: If your king oppresses, tyrannically taxes without representation, forces troops into your towns and homes, imprisons without trial, disbands elected legislatures, and behaves in all ways as an enemy to free men – dump him. This is the use of critical thinking to come to Justice. It is Rebellion – but justified, therefore good. Like fire, rebellion is not good or bad, but for what it does.

If a bunch of pot heads and movie stars belittle the heroes who fight the spread of communism, and go about spouting lies about the wonders of Ho and Mao, if they embrace misinformation that supports the political ambitions of those whose only goal is their own power, if they coerce the country into dumping South East Asia into the hands of murderers, their rebellion is not just, therefore not good. Such rebellion does not use critical thinking skills; it is rebellion to be fashionable.

As Anonymous illustrates, there are different kinds of rebellion: Rebellion against injustice; as when M.L. King challenged segregation, is just and therefore good rebellion. Shouting “heck no I won’t go” out of cowardice and deserting millions to death and slavery is bad rebellion.

Calling the police when your parents are abusing you is standing up to evil; that is good rebellion.

Smoking pot, running away to become a call boy, and deserting your health and future because you resent your parents religious faith is stupidity – it is bad rebellion.

Realize this: many are taking the opportunity to teach and to learn and to think together at Layton High.

A_Shadow said...

I think rebellion being touted as an "American" thing is a silly notion.


It comes accross as shouting, if you need to draw attention, that's great, but every other word?

Still a bit grumpy...

"re·bel·lion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (r-blyn)
Open, armed, and organized resistance to a constituted government.
An act or a show of defiance toward an authority or established convention. "

I think in all this talk of Rebellion (again, for whatever reason is this being discussed? But whilst it remains, lets discuss) there needs to be a distinction.

A criterion of sepperation that I will throw out there could be Just and Unjust, or Righteous and Un-righteous rebellion.

As Lysis pointed out, "rebelling" against a tyrant king would fall under the righteous form of rebeling. After all, if Bush so much as hinted at forcing you to quarter U.S. military personel in your house, that wouldn't stand for a moment.

Then there is what has been touted as teenage rebellion. It's the second part of that definition. Rebelling against convention and authority. Most of the time it seems that they do it "just because", and perhaps that's the case.

That would be "un-righteous" rebelling in this case.

Ti-an-anmen square would have been just rebelling. It was crushed by injustice.

And the concept is far older than America, far older than Brittain, so I do hope you were referring to the concept of "teenage" rebellion, and even then I will be skeptical enough.

But again... Why is this pertinent? Did I just miss it?

Lysis said...

To the Anonymous who quotes George Will: I agree with George; we need to cut the pork. I don’t see how Anonymous can stretch Will’s comments into an attack on President Bush. All I can say is thank God and the “thinking majority” in the nation that we have President Bush and a Republican Congress. Just think of the mess we would be in if “tax and spend Democrats” were at the helm!!!

Anonymous said...

Still others spring up in local cells, inspired by Islamic radicalism.

About Medicine Blog said...

This is a world wide war, a real war against a real and determined enemy.