Thursday, October 27, 2005

News Stories?

I would like to contrast four news stories: two that should be footnotes but are dominating our national conversation, and two that should be all over the front pages, screaming on the radio, and pouring off the television into every home, but are all but ignored.

Stories one and two: Two administration officials MAY be indicted – after which they will still be innocent until proven guilty – for some non-crime sharked up by the media and their party. This has been the tag line and the front page story in all the media for days now. Any further listening or further reading of these “news stories” always shows this to be a tiny tempest in a tiny tea pot. Meanwhile thousands of companies joined the roles of shame. Paul Volcher’s report reveals that not only did UN big bugs, French, German, Russian political leaders, and British MPs profit from the bribes of Saddam, but that 2,200 of the companies we support with our purchases were paying Saddam for illegal privileges; thus financing Saddam’s abuses of his own people and his dreams of world conquest and domination.

Stories three and four: The 2,000th American was killed in the war in Iraq. Now don’t take me wrong here, every American, EVERY AMERICAN, that dies in the war for our freedom should be reported and recognized, and honored as the heroes they are. But to ghoulishly wait for some number, to set off protests and TV commercials and a flood of news stories and talking heads yammering, is exploitation. These great men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice that we might live in peace and safety, while enjoying our freedoms and sharing those freedoms with the future and the world. Meanwhile close to 3,000 Americans a day are being killed for convenience sake. And their deaths are not even mentioned. 2,740 AMERICANS WERE KILLED TODAY IN AMERICA. If you divide the million babies that will be aborted this year by 365 you get that number. These murdered children are not mentioned in newspapers, on radio, on TV, or in the churches, schools, or web logs of the nation.

Am I the only one that sees injustice here?


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

Am I then to assume that the post removed was once again a solicitation of some sort like the last one?

Perhaps my aside at the end of the last post was a little misguided. I was more asking a question as to the jusitfications of a pre-emptive war of any kind. But be that as it may, I am grateful that you set me straight.

I for one am tired of being told that things such as abortions are among those new things in our society that I must simply "get used to because it will be here for a long time." It is of the utmost importance that we speak out against these injustices being acted upon babies because they have no voice to speak for themselves.
Your post, Lysis, seems to remind me of another of your posts, something about sharks turning on each other. Perhaps that post has some meaning here as well.


lysis_verus said...


You are not alone in your outrage. The Holocaust of the unborn through abortion is national disgrace. Roe v. Wade should be overturned tomorrow.

You're right again Lysis, the ghoulish exploitation of the fallen US military personnel detracts from thoughtful discourse on our Foreign Policy or lack thereof. But I think it's carried out by the right as well, by cynically honoring their sacrifice whist sending more into the breech without planning aforethought.
1. How many funerals of the fallen has Bush attended?
2. Don Rumsfeld 'signs' condolence letters by auto-pen.
3. The Bush administration cuts Veterans benefits directly affecting permanently disabled Iraq/Afghan War vets.
4. Stop-Loss orders (the back-door draft) are in effect as a 'thank you' to personnel have already done their bit for the Neo-Con PNAC cabal (or their Country depending upon hoe you view it :))

We saber-rattle to Syria and Iran without a plan to 'win the peace' as we have thus far failed to 'win the peace' in Iraq. Obviously the Anti-War Left shamefully exploits the dead through their tactics. But the right also shoves their memory in our faces whenever policy, planning, objectives, methods or deployment are questioned in this big brotherish eternal War on A Tactic (The 'War of Terror'will prove to be as successful as the laughable 'War on Poverty' or 'War on Drugs').

Yep the UN Oil-for-Food program was riddled with corruption but you left out an accused group: US companies including some Texas Oil Men. Oops Lysis, get it all in there. Don't leave out American entities just because you want to slam the horrible French and Russians (though they deserve it too).

Lewis 'Scooter' Libby was indicted today (Friday 10/28/05) on five counts:
1. Obstruction of Justice
2. False Statement
3. False Statement
4. Perjury
5. Perjury
you can find the full text of the indictment in pdf here:

Now I fully concur with Lysis that Libby is innocent until proved guilty. At least he did the right thing by resigning. But sorry Lysis, Perjury and Obstruction, etc. ARE REAL CRIMES yes, yes even when Republicans are alleged to have done them. If they are real crimes worthy of impeachment (which amounts to indictment) when Clinton is alleged to have done them then they are real crimes when Rove or Libby are alleged to have done them.

On this issue, which IS important, many Republicans are proving to be shockingly hypocritical. All this proves to undermine their credibility in the long run. Where's your vaunted consistency and absolute truths and standards on this one?

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

I just feel like spreading the argument a little bit.

What does the fact that the Secretary of Defense signs letters with a machine have to do with anything. Would it be better if he is right handed to sign them himself and with his left hand? Does this make his letter more ok?

So what President had attended the funerals of our country's fallen? I need dates times etc..

Ok, I feel better now.

Some ramblings that may or may not be related.

Today I spoke with one of our vendors. His son voluenteered (sorry for spelling) for a 120 day stay in Iraq. He is 20 years old. He is in the Air Force reserve but serving with the Army providing security to contractors rebuilding the buildings that have been destroyed in southern Iraq.

His dad said that he loves it there. "Dad, I finally feel like I am accomplishing something that is really important." His dad said (with pride in his voice) that he is trying to extend his 120 day tour.

Dad of course had some pictures with his son and some of the weapons that he and his troops had "found". Among the weapons were 10 GOLD PLATED AK-47's.

Interesting........I wonder who that belonged to and how much oil for food money it took to pay for them and how many children died for the lack of food and medicine that they should have received by didn't because of the corrupt UN.

We like to talk about the war and banter back and forth about justice and injustice.

Here is a young man, 20 years old who is making a difference. What are we accomplishing with our banter?

Lysis Versus, how many funerals of fallen soldiers have you attended? How many letters to grieving families have you written? Did you use your automatic signer?

I hope that stings a little. It stings me. I look at what I have done. One letter to my Congressman. And I fly my flag. That's it. That really is not enough.

So Lysis where is the injustice? It lies with each of us. What are we doing besides whining?

I heard Cindy Sheehan today on the radio. She was speaking at the National Press Club. It was her and 4 to 7 foreign journalists. She was asked for her analysis about Scooter Libby and his role in the "Lies that let the US to War." Her response was,"I have been so busy that I have not done any analysis." The airwaves were dead. Finally another question was asked to break the silence. The entire "interview" went downhill from there.

I didn't know if it were time to laugh because of what a fool she was making of herself. I didn't know if I should laugh because, nobody showed up.

I ended up feeling sorry for her. Her usefulness is over for the Left and she is sitting there still wanting her son back, and not knowing what to do about it.

One more ramble and then I will shut up for a while.

I was listening to James Carville on the Tony Snow show today. His take on the "Plamegate" matter was this. "Nobody cares about it outside of the beltway. It doesn't really matter polically. What is going to help the Democrats this year is the price of gas and the profits that Exxon and other companies are making, now that matters to people."

The injustices are there. They are everywhere.

From my vista you can either do something to help eliminate them, or use them to give you a polical advantage in an argument.

Either way, it is up to us to choose which way we will go. Then we will see the outcome of our philosphies in action. After all, that is what matters to both the abosultist and the relativist.

Have a great day!

lysis_verus said...

Vocabulary lesson time:"selfishly or callously calculating"
Cynical exploitation abounds:
Bush hasn't attended a single funeral for the Fallen Iraq soldiers. Rumsfeld doesn't even take the time to sign a letter to the family of the deceased with his own hand. He should at least sign the thing with his actual hand! Bush 41 had the class and humanity to hand-write a note to the families of each of the fallen in the Gulf War. Don't you get it? It speaks to motive and attitude. BTW I didn't send these kids to war, I'm not Sec Def nor CinC! duh!? (In fact I have opposed this war from the beginning.)
They (Bushco), of all people should give damn (since they say they do) but they act like they don't. Cynicism.

Re Libby:A crime is a crime even if it's only interesting to the Beltway crowd. Do you think a crime is any less illegal because you don't care about it? Is a rape not a rape because only the victim and her family care about it? Is fraud not fraud because *you* weren't ripped off? And another thing, Carville is your opinion leader on this? The dude's a fixer... Pish tosh, Clinton's Political War Leader?! Well, he should know a thing or two about government corruption and perjury/obstruction by the powerful. Perhaps Bushco could hire him for a few Mil. That would complete the circuit.

I do hope you feel better But your questions/comments are really quite mindless. Hence, they didn't sting at all. Try again when you have something worthy young grasshopper ~LV

Anonymous said...


Don't you get it young grasshopper?

I am questioning your motives. All of your pontificating in the world does nothing but show your arrogance.

What are you doing. What are your motives. It's not mindless.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic again sorry I hit the button too fast.

Please go beyond the talking points we have all heard.

Lysis_verus said...

What? Pray, clarify your meaning young grasshopper. I'm presuming you have a meaning.

lysis_verus said...

Oh yes and please tell 'us' which 'talking points we've all heard before' I carry no brief for the Dems. My points are all my own. Therefore, I'm curious what point(s) specifically you are referring. ~LV

Anonymous said...

Was that a flash of brilliance I saw in the murky darkness????

Nah . . . it was just Vegimatic waving a white flag!!!!

Anonymous said...

Meaningful Vegimatic here:

Since you now call me "Grasshopper"

I will call you "Cockroach"

So Cockroach, did I mention the Democratic party?


The talking points are yours and yours alone.

You assumption was wrong.

Let me make this a bit more clear.

You are judging the motivation of people whom you don't know.

Or are you personally aquainted with GW and Rummy? You speak with such certainty in your tone.

I realize that you will think that this is "below" your intellectual level.

Have you ever held elected office?

Not were you on the student council, but have you had responsibility for taxpayers dollars and how they are spent.

Have you ever been to a city or county or State legislative body meeting when they are in session?

If so, I apologize. But you don't have a clue of what it takes to "govern". At least thats what it sounds like.

So you never answered my questions, you avoided them.

How many letters have you written and how many funerals have you attended for our fallen heros?

Put more bluntly for my Friend "Senator" Cockroach why the personal attacks when you don't know what you are talking about.

Policy discussions are one thing but the personal attacks about the motivation of people who have the GUTS to run for an office, any office really shows your ignorance.

Case In Point:

But I think it's carried out by the right as well, by cynically honoring their sacrifice whist sending more into the breech without planning aforethought.
(How do you know this oh yea you are assuming)

1. How many funerals of the fallen has Bush attended?
2. Don Rumsfeld 'signs' condolence letters by auto-pen.
3. The Bush administration cuts Veterans benefits directly affecting permanently disabled Iraq/Afghan War vets.
4. Stop-Loss orders (the back-door draft) are in effect as a 'thank you' to personnel have already done their bit for the Neo-Con PNAC cabal (or their Country depending upon hoe you view it :))

This last comment prompted my story about the young man wanting to stay in Iraq.

First person. Where is your first person example?

Then I told the Cindy story to let you know that there is an outlet for your hate of the war.

For heaven sakes, go help Cindy, she needs it. A smart guy like you could really help her cause.

My point is, and always has been if you don't like the way things are, get off your butt roll up your sleves and dig in. There is enough work for everyone.

Then, and only then will you know what you are speaking about. It's not learned in the classroom.

It's not learned from the media.

It's learned when you are in it.

(I picked you because you seem to be a good sport. The right wingers need to do the same thing)

So to answer your question Cockroach, I have been an elected official, I have sat on community boards, I have been a delegate at my party's convention and I have gone door to door with issues to try and make my community a better place.

All politics are local!

We are all guilty of sitting back and saying:

"Somebody should do something about that"

Then we go on our merry way.

So maybe I have assumed some things.

The grasshopper awaits the cockroaches wisdom. :-)))

(and the answers to his questions)

lysis_verus said...

Vegimatic Grasshopper,
The grasshopper thing was tongue-in-cheek high-handedness on my part. So I'll still be the Cockroach if you need that. However, let me remind you that we cockroaches are highly adaptive, resilient and resourceful. We may not be glamorous but we preceded the Donkeys and the Elephants and we will outlive them too ;)

To cases:
I can only judge W and Rummy based upon their actions. Their actions display a cynical attitude. And you didn't touch my #3 cynical example. But in fairness (which you ignored) I criticized the Moorean Left for their cynical use of 'Mother Sheehan' do you disagree with *that* criticism as well? Will you say so? Or is it bad for the Left to be shallow/cynical/disingenuous but OK for the right? Are you personally acquainted with Sheehan or Moore? Do you know their motives?

I have never been elected to or sought public office. I have worked on Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and independent (no-party) campaigns. You seem to imply that since I have never held office I have no right to an opinion or at the very least my opinion doesn't matter. Because I don't 'have a clue' How very sad if only the politicians can have an opinion.

Did you hear that everyone?

Vegimatic says that if you haven't held public office you 'don't have a clue' about policy or politics. Or are you only using that rhetorical bludgeon against me because I disagree with you? If so, that's terribly inconsistent and quite unfair of you. But we pass on...

Let me ask you Vegimatic: Have you ever served in the armed forces? If not you can't comment on the war! Have you ever been a teacher? No? You'd better keep your mouth shut about Education too! Have you ever been to the Middle East, No? Can't comment on policy there, because 'you don't have clue' Ever been a farmer? No? You can't comment on agriculture policy OR the nutritional quality of food!

Also, your argument is a non-sequitur when you attack me for not doing someone else's duty:
Should I question a Christian's devotion because he's never made the Muslim Hajj (Pilgrimage) to Mecca?
Should I be blamed when the city won't fix the pothole in my street? After all, I DO live there and COULD fix it!


I didn't avoid your governing questions Vegimatic. Your questions are meaningless accusations because you're barking up the wrong tree. No, I've never sent a condolence letter to a fallen soldier's family (unless you count a sympathy card) because I'm not The President or SecDef. I have no authority to speak for the United States. I've only been to one funeral because I know the family. I am not, as you are fond of pointing out, in a position of public trust. Rummy and W and Bushco ARE. DO you get that? I have NOT put myself forth are the one with all the answers. I have not put myself forth are the Maximum Leader, Conversant with Deity. Bush has.

Your personal story is anecdotal. One-off. Even so, I'll bite... Does EVERY soldier feel the same way as the young man in you story? He *volunteered* to stay. In my point I'm referencing people whose term is up but are being forced to stay whether they want to or not. Are you OK with *that*?

First Person Example?! There you go again! If I don't personally know someone (do you know this young man?) then I can't comment. So basically, If I'm not *you* or haven't had your same life-experiences I am not permitted to disagree with you? Nice rule. I should adopt it too.

How do you know I *HATE* the war I only said I was opposed to it. Aren't you judging the motives and emotional state of someone you don't know? Namely Me!? I thought you implied it was unfair when I did it. So are you being unfair or inconsistent, or some other third thing? Are you trying to associate me with Sheehan to discredit me? What's your point? Or is it just the good old Agora-Ad-Hominem?

Thanks for the civic-involvement sermonette but how do you know I'm not involved? Oh wait, something just occurred to me. Vegimatic Grasshopper, If you've never been elected to Federal Office *you'd* better not comment on National Policy either. That leaves us with potholes and zoning (which ARE important issues) but it will have to be a one-sided conversation because I've never been an elected official, not even a local one. You talk, I'll listen silently like the good little insect I am.

~Lysis Verus (Happy Cockroach)

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

Aren’t we having fun! I hope everyone enjoys the sharp clash of ideas and genuine feeling as much as I do. I realize the courage and intellect it takes to expose your thoughts even in this little forum. Thank you all for letting me watch the fire works.

Ares: I hope to get into a discussion on pre-emptive war. I want to think about it. Every war fought to victory has been a war pre-emptive of defeat. At the moment I feel that justice could allow pre-emptive war if, like Saddam, the target of the action has committed and continues to commit crimes against humanity and to demonstrated intention of doing greater evils when given the opportunity; and if, like to Saddam, alternatives to war have been offered and refused. Saddam was not only a murderer but a treaty breaker. He knew the consequences of breaking his word – he is to blame for his own demise.

Lysis Verus: Thank you for your comments on abortion. I strongly support you position. It amazes me that week after week my religious leaders viciously condemn smoking, and R rated movies, but never mention the endless flood of butchered baby bodies that surly would offend any just and loving god.

To your arguments: You say Bush has never attended the funeral of a fallen solider; I will take your word on it. Though I could benefit from some documentation, I will not doubt you since I have no knowledge one way or the other. I have seen President Bush meet with the families of those who have fallen. We are all aware that he constantly visits the wounded in the hospitals. I suggest that a private meeting with a family might be more appropriate than the “media” event of the President attending a funeral. I don’t think you can seriously suggest that President Bush doesn’t support or appreciate the families of those killed in the defense of our nation.

As for Rumsfeld’s callous use of a signing machine – This was an embarrassing mistake he made early on in the conflict, which he has since corrected. I am surprised you are not aware of the flack he took, the apology he made, or the new protocol he has adopted.

There are many reasons for realigning Veteran’s Hospitals and the “cuts” you claim are not rally cuts at all. They are rather decreases in projected levels of increase. You should know better than to buy into this misnomer. I think this is what Vegimatic means by his mention of talking points.

As for stop loss orders – Every member of our military agreed to this possibility when he or she took their oath. We put many heavy burdens on our heroes. I thank them for serving all our needs..

As for saber rattling: It is Syria that is using “sabers” and bombs to murder the leaders of other countries in an attempt to derail democracy in Lebanon and Iraq. These are the acts of unjust and world threatening aggression. Even the UN agrees with this! And the president of Iran’s pledge to irradicate Israel sounds like a pretty big saber rattle to me. Do you suggest we run away and allow genocide and nuclear war?

On the oil for food scandal: Please check my original post. I condemned all 2200 companies, many of which WE USE. I condemn them all no matter what country they are in.

Lysis Verus: I agree with you completely. Libby – who by the way had not been indicted when I posted above – should have and did resign. If found guilty he should go to jail, and let’s put Bill Clinton in the same cell with him. I am extremely angry with Libby. If he did lie he has intentionally damaged our nation, has weakened President Bush. He has both endangered our nation by giving fodder to the Anti American enemies, foreign and domestic, and undermined the rule of Law. This law is what our heroes in the Cost Guard, CIA, FBI, and Military fight for. If Libby lied he is the same as those misguided soldiers who photographed naked terrorists or burned bodies for the TV cameras. If guilty Libby and Clinton _ who we know is guilty of the very crimes for which Libby has been indicted – should share a prison cell for the next thirty years. If Libby is innocent then Clinton should share his cell with the liars who whipped up this tea pot tempest to damage our nation for political gain.

Vegimatic: Thank you for the news on the wonderful airman and his father. They are typical of the many I know who have or are now serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and in Louisiana and the other parts of our own nation devastated by nature.

Your words seem brilliant to me – and you service, civic and other, have always been an inspiration to me. Perhaps you ought to enter national politics.

I also heard Sheehan’s ramblings today. She sounds like the perfect spokeswoman for the anti war movement. She exemplifies the uninformed intellect of those who believe terrorist will play nice if we run out on Iraq.

A point: Many wonder why the “Right” does not hire Carvellinan mouths to trash the prosecutor and spin the story in the media. May I propose two possible explanations?
1) Libby is innocent and the trial will vindicate him and show the folly of the enemies of the administration. 2) Bush and company are interested in the truth as much as you and I.

Lysis Verus said...

Nice to see we have some common groud, Lysis. e.g Prosecuting the Accused and the Abortion tragedy.

I do not suggest we run from genocide, assassinations or any other human tragedy within our power to rectify or at least influence. I suppose that's where you an I differ so much. Though some migth peg me for an 'isolationist' or 'America First-er' meant as a pejorative, I do consider myself an Non-Interventionist in the model of Washington and Jefferson. As you know, Jefferson, agruably, prosecuted America's first 'War on Terrorism' againt North African pirates operating out if Tripoli and Tunisia. But he had definable objectives, limted budgets, timetables for ending the struggle and no imperial (hegemonic) abitions: benign or otherwise.
Flawed as the UN is , and I find it deeply flawed. What other alternative do we have?

The 'Coalition of the Willing' was dandy but served to undermine our alliances with the other great democracies, our natural allies: Germany, France, Canada etc. The US provides leaderhsip to these powers. FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41 & Clintoon could all get some level of their cooperation and support. Even W got coperation with these allies in Afgahnistan. I know Bushco want us to dislike them for not joining our foray in Iraq but isnt that telling? DO you honestly think France, Germany et al wish to be wiped off the map by terrorists?

Iraq has been a detour from the objective of pursuing Al-Queda and its networks, franchises and copycats. Other governments and many Americans (including me) recognize this. Yep AlQueda is in Iraq, because WE are in Iraq. But that whole 'fight em there(Iraq) so we don't fight em here' doesn't wash. How well did that strategy work out for Spain? the UK?

You probably read Tom Clancy as I used to do. He had some great commentary in the novel 'Patriot Games' about defeating IRA terror by NOT giving them the legitimacy of 'great-cause' status. And I think the UK government got this right. They treated the IRA like the criminal thugs they were. No romance, no glory just criminal prosecutions. Terrorists are criminals, not heroic warriors. Do we fight the Mob by bombing New Jersey? Did the Brits fight the IRA by bombing Ulster and Derry? Just something to think about.

On Rummy, I concede that I should have noted that it was a PAST act of cynicism, not ongoing. But you concede that it did happen and it was callous.

I think that W's private meetings with families of the fallen are appropriate as are his visits to the disabled veterans. But wouldn't it send a strong and inspiring message to the nation to attend at least SOME of these services?

So the VA 'cuts' were decreases in proposed budget growth. OK. Conceded. Semantic Trickery on both our parts? It does happen in Rhetoric, Lysis.(Perhaps Anon would condemn us both as Sophists!) BUT back to the VA issue: If there's ONE area the national government could increase spending and have the support of *this* fiscal conservative it would be Veterans Benefits. These men and women do risk and sometimes lose life and limb fore the State. The State owes them and their survivors bigtime. All semantics aside.

I find Carville and his ilk to be a slimy and unfortunate component of the modern political scene. I was being facetous in my suggestion of the right hiring him.

Topic suggestion for Lysis: Bushco's next move on the Supreme Court. Having botched it so terribyl with Miers. DO you think ther's another Roberts out there? Tough bill to fill but c'mon. George Will certainly thinks there are many worthy candidates in the Appelate and District courts. Thoughts? ~LV

lysis_verus said...

Update: Bush nominted Alito today. Shall we have a topic on this one Lysis? Reportedly, Alito's views are so similar to Antonin Scalia's that his nick-name is Scalito. ~LV

Reach Upward said...

I think the reason that many moral conservatives do not frequently discuss the abortion travesty is that they feel like they have been beating their heads against the wall for three decades. The ones that do openly discuss it often come across as so extreme (with help from MSM) that many look at them like boorish nutcases.

Instead, conservatives have been doing the hard work in the trenches for these decades to achieve a political leadership mix that could result in a constructionist Supreme Court. They thought they had done that by getting Republican majorities in both houses of Congress and a Republican in the White House. The Roberts nomination made it look like everything was on track. Then our inimitable president (whom I have frequently argued is not terribly conservative) made the horrid mistake of nominating Harriet Miers.

Conservatives had quietly lived with (and even promoted) much of Bush's non-conservative agenda for the trade off of his tough stand on defense, his tax cuts, and his judicial nominees (many of whom at the district and appellate levels have been strong conservatives). Of course, they were expecting the holy grail of verifiably conservative Supreme Court nominees. Roberts was OK, but Miers was a huge disappointment for those that had spent years angling for this moment in history.

The fury with which conservatives attacked the Miers nomination included all of their pent up frustrations with all of the other stuff they had put up with. The reason Bush's poll numbers are in the tank has nothing to do with anti-Bush people. They haven't increased at all. Instead, many Bush supporters have withdrawn support. They aren't going to the other side; they are just pulling away from the president.

I think Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito will go a long way to repair the strained relationship between Bush and conservatives. Alito has often been mentioned by conservative pundits as a mild-mannered Scalia, and therefore, a good possible choice. But Bush will have to do a lot more if he wants to get these people to do the heavy lifting needed to get a good result in next year's mid-term elections.

Many conservatives want more attention paid to our porous southern border. They want social programs reigned in rather than expanded. They want some fiscal responsibility in Washington. They want to see the jihadists in Iraq annihilated instead of finessed. Will they get their wishes fulfilled? I think that’s doubtful. Bush is who he is. Unlike some of the more complicated personalities in politics, with Bush you get what you see. You might see some posturing toward the conservative agenda, but don’t expect Bush to become something he is not.

lysis_verus said...

You nailed it Reach. Just what I've been thinking. The left is prematurely rubbing its hands in glee over Bushco's sinking poll numbers, licking theur chops for 06 & 08 but as you say, its more of a wobbly base than genuine shift. Thanks for the real conservative as opposed to neo-con insight, I always enjoy your posts (and blog). ~LV

Lysis said...

LV: thanks for the suggestions on future topics of discussion. I will do my best – I think we have a good platform and some very careful readers. As was the case with Harriet Myers, I hesitate to say too much about Samuel Alito until I know something to say. That Kennedy was so quick to condemn him, speaks much to his character. So does the fact that he has already taken a courageous stand on abortion, by supporting a father’s right to know that his child is about to be killed. It has always amazed me that those who have rightly demanded that fathers take responsibility for the children they have co-created, are among those who would restrict the father from even knowing that his child is going to be killed. If rights bring responsibilities, do responsibilities bring rights?

REACH: your comments have pointed out a great weakness in the conservative majority in this country – they have no STICK TOO! Because fighting abortion is difficulty and discouraging they sweep the battle under the rug and choose easier topics for pulpit preaching and editorializing. Meanwhile millions of innocents are murdered in silence. Now, claiming that Bush has not deliver on all their demands, they take their balls and go home. This is what they did in 93 when they deserted Bush I to follow Ross Perot and turn America, the Supreme Court, and the world over to Bill Clinton. If grass roots conservatives desert the trenches in the 2006 election because they don’t get what they think they want along the Mexican border, they will reap the whirlwind. Are liberals really so much more dedicated to their causes? The pro-death legions seem willing to fight on after decades of setbacks and from the minority position in Congress and while they are out of the White House. Conservatives, on the other hand – not receiving everything they want – run from the fight? This is as stupid in the fight for the rights of the unborn as it would be in the fight for freedom in Iraq. But this is what Conservatives did in 1993. If this is what they do in 2006 they will once again be the main cause for the failure of the causes they claim to support and they will share in the blame for the continuing slaughter of innocence.

We need to get the message out. First there are defensible lines that can be drawn concerning abortion. A mother whose life is in danger has a right of self defense; otherwise the choice has already been made. Fathers should know if their children are going to be killed, partial birth abortions are never necessary, and women who break laws instituted to protect the lives of children and the doctors who murder those children can and should be held responsible to those law. We must not allow extremists, who would not allow any abortion, to dominate the position from the “right”. Human beings are capable of drawing difficult lines to preserve life, of contrasting the value of one right against another, and of weighing one person’s rights against another’s. The “all or nothing” tactic is the weapon of the “left”, if those who recognize the absolute values of freedom, self government, and life refuse to operate with the judgment that the existence of truth allows, they adopt the position - if not the tactics - of the enemies of Freedom and Life.

Reach Upward said...

Lysis, I agree that conservatives hurt their cause when they get in a snit and leave the game. I didn't say it was right for them to get upset and stay home when all of their demands aren't met; I was only reporting the facts. I am continually surprised by some of my friends and neighbors who consider themselves conservatives and who fly the flag on holidays, but who can't be bothered to find out about the issues or to vote. They figure that people that are interested in politics will take care of it for them. But when we shirk our responsibilities we lose our rights.

I think it's great that many conservatives have worked behind the lines to promote the pro-life cause by creating a political climate that fosters selection of conservative judges. But I agree that this effort does not excuse conservatives from regluarly articulating the daily murder of unborn babies.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"The all or nothing tactic is the tactic of the left."

. . .and if Lysis wraps moral inconsistency and opportunism up in some thinly disguised vestige of "truth and justice" it will become MORAL ABSOLUTISM? -- since when did moral sleazinss become an absolute?

So this time the Agora moral "chest thumpers" and "back slappers" are out in force against abortion. Well, let me interrupt the self-congratulation with pointing out that 95% of those espousing "choice" also oppose abortion!

The form of abortion dejour (politically right or left) tends to be the focus of disagreement. But, I don't think it should be.

A rich playboy of questionable morals propositioned a young woman with an offer of $1,000,000 if she would "bed" with him.
She thought the proposal over and questioned the seriousness of the offer. Finding it to be sincere she said. "1 MILLION GUARANTEED I would not turn down!"
The playboy smiled and asked if she would do the same for one dollar.

"What do you think I am?" responded the girl.

"What you are has already been established -- now,we're just negotiating a price!" countered the playboy.

If abortion is murder, as Lysis claims, then what level of absolute moral equivalency is achieved when he also claims soon after "that those who would not allow ANY abortion," are extremists.
Let's have some COURAGE Agorites --Which forms of abortion do YOU personally morally sanction? If none -- SAY SO! (Remember, NONE means NOT ONE.)

Remember also that there is no difference between one dollar and a million dollars when it comes to deleteriously compromising moral absolutes -- because to do so makes it clear what you REALLY ARE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Reach Upward posts:
" . . . daily murder of unborn babies . . ."

I especially shall attend to your answer RU!!!!

Lysis said...

I claimed that: “The all-or-nothing tactic is a tool of the left.” Thanks for proving my point, Anonymous!

What if you millionaire had offered honorable marriage in return for sex? Would the young lady still be a whore for accepting? We can draw lines based on universally recognized truths. To quote Antigone, “They are not written down, and no one knows were they come from, but everyone recognizes them.”

Consider this: Your child (age 16) puts great pressure on your nerves; can you kill him? Can you kill your 16 year old son because he is sickly or mentally retarded? Can you kill your 16 daughter because she is a strain on you career or your marriage? Can you kill you 16 year old son because razing him puts stress on you health or your looks? Now consider a 16 year old son who is trying to kill you; you have a right to defend yourself, and if lethal force is the ONLY WAY to save one’s life, one would be justified in resorting to it. One should try every other possibility, but if killing another is the only escape from their killing you, don’t you have a right or self defense?

Consider this: A mother in a burning room can save herself or her child. Her decision is her own to make; we would not judge her as evil nor seek her punishment if she did not have the courage to give up her life for another. We would honor her for self-sacrifice if she tried to save her child, but could not justly condemn her for not killing herself.

We can draw these lines weather the child is born or unborn.

Perhaps Anonymous would have killed all the children above, the sickly and difficult as well as those about to commit murder themselves. But thinking people can see that, as in having sex in marriages as apposed to sex for money, there are discernable differences in the situations around which an abortion might or must be committed.

The ploy of the left is to compound self defense with murder and say we cannot draw a line. But we can, and we can do it justly because natural laws are easily recognizable. This is why the left must shout down those who present these alternatives to Abortion on Demand. But reason cannot be shouted down by lies if we raise our voices in defense of life and truth.

Anonymous said...

Well, for all Lysis' talk about moral absolutes it's plain to see he likes to talk the talk, but just won't walk the walk!

MORAL ABSOLUTES do not allow for inconsistency, opportunism and sleazy "moral cost benefit analysis". Moral absolutes require you to take a stand NOW, Lysis, not equivocate a QUASI moral position after the fact, ala Bill Clinton.

If Lysis wants to accept the popular "make it up as you go along" "spin" moral relativism that is so popular amongst those on the left AND right, be my guest. However, let's not smugly pretend "cost benefit" morality has ANYTHING to do with absolutes!

Pragmatism has all the MORAL enlightenment of the hedonistic "If it feels good do it."

I'm using the tactics of the left?

Cost benetit analysis, opportunism, inconsistency and Pragmatism, immorally use the tactics of, "The end justifies the means." These are the "tactics" of moral relativism, and are easily ascribed to the left OR the right.

If "abortion is murdering babies" then explain why a form or justification for an abortion would make any difference? If you have to equivocate on this point, then you have no ABSOLUTE MORALITY!
If an aborted baby is a murdered baby then all of Lysis' dissembling and rationalizing can not make it less true.

Lysis posts:

"Perhaps Anon would have killed all the children above . . ."
"The ploy of the left is to compound self defense with murder . . ."

I have made plenty of arguments you brazenly disregard.

Instead you create weak "straw-man" arguments only an idiot would make, REPRESENT them as mine and bash those -- find the words "self-defense" in my previous post!

Well, with the "tactics" of opportunism being Lysis moral guide, I should not be surprised!!!!

lysis_verus said...

I must weigh in to clarify my stance on abortion. Anon: I am NOT one of your Agora 'chest thumpers', smugly claiming moral superiority or absolutism. Personal Example (for Vegimatic!): I used to be "Pro-Choice" until I became a father. Even though I have always been opposed to the idea of abortion (as Anon correctly states about many Pro-Choice types), it was then that I began to think it should be illegal as well. Very RELATIVIST! Just like ALL people TRULY ARE!!! So let's cut the bull shall we? (and leave out the Old Agora Ad-Hominem for once)

In sum, from a Governmental standpoint: I think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. This would return us to the status quo ante 1973: Each state has the right to make its own laws on the issue. FEDERALISM, strict construction! The wisdom is already there from the founding folks! Let the people decide! Making abortion a "federal issue" as been an unmitigated disaster by any measure. Lets the states and pressure groups slog it out.

I will be accused of venue shift of the fundamental question but I say we start THERE. Return the issue to the several states where it belongs and each legislature CAN and MAY make appropriate law. Hopefully (*my opinion*) they will adopt the very RELATIVIST 'Rape, Incest, Health of the Mother' abortion standard. ~LV

Reach Upward said...

LV makes a very good point about repealing Roe v. Wade. James Taranto has frequently pointed out that it has caused abortion rights proponents to take increasingly extreme stands, while allowing conservatives to have it both ways -- they often point out the ridiculousless of the "pro-choicers" without having to make serious efforts at taking a reasonable stand simply because the option is unavailable. Going back to pre-73 would force everyone to really think about the issue and debate it in public fora that would lead to reasoned public policy.

On the relativism thing - Anonymous does exactly what he/she accuses Lysis of doing -- setting up a straw man and shooting it down. No where does Lysis suggest that moral absolutists are robots that do not think and that must stand exactly the same on every bit of minutea regardless of extenuating circumstances. Lysis has gone to great lengths to show that absolutists operate on the basis of principles that they believe to be true. Application of those principles requires action based upon the circumstances, but the principles remain static.

Are any of us pure absolutists? Probably not, as LV points out. But I would also argue that there are few pure relativists as well. At some point all relativism breaks down to some kind of operating principle that somehow cannot or should not be violated.

Lysis said...

Anonymous: Where is my inconsistency? I say that in EVERY case of self defense one can defend oneself to prevent lose of innocent life by the use of lethal force. I apply this position to terrorists attempting to murder Americans at home or abroad; I apply it to “insurgents” attempting to murder people trying to vote, Dr. and nurses attempting to serve the ill, or teachers attempting to teach children to think. I apply the standard to drug lords attempting to murder the prosecutors who are set on convict them; and I claim that the defense of the life of a mother is a justifiable line to draw in allowing an abortion. Neither Lysis Verus nor Anonymous can honestly call this consistency, relativism. Reach explains this, and I thank him for his clarity. To maintain otherwise is an attempt to muddy the water and avoid legitimate discussion on restricting the murder of the unborn.

Anonymous: I agree with you that Moral Absolutes do not allow for inconsistency; so once gain I beg you to show me how my stand on the preservation of life is inconsistent. I exclude rape and incest from my “justification” for abortion, simply because the child in danger has not threatened anyone’s life and therefore cannot be justly killed! Where is my Clintonism? Where do I spin?

My position is not based on cost benefit analysis, but on the absolute and sacred value of human life. It is abortion on demand that is enabled the “if it feels good do it” mentality.

I agree with you that cost benefit analysis, opportunism, inconsistency, pragmatism, and immoral “ends justifies the means” rationalization are easily ascribed to left or right. In the case of the unfettered murder of unborn humans it is the left that marshals them all. Truth is not the province of either political slant, and the ability to differentiate between murder and self defense is neither dissembling nor rationalizing.

Anonymous: If I disregarded some arguments, I apologize, but defend your positions that I do deconstruct with something more convincing than name calling.

Lysis Verus: I don‘t consider any of our posters “chest thumpers” nor smug. If some of us insist that truth is eternal; it is not a claim to personal moral superiority. All who post here are given the chance to challenge anyone else. This is entering the court of reasoned discourse, not an assertion of any kind of superiority.

Lysis Verus: I don’t see how appealing to the universal sanctity of human life is either relativist or bull.

I disagree with you and Reach on turning the rights of unborn humans over to the states. They are and should be protected by the Constitution. I disagree with this Balkanization of human dignity as I would abject to turning the rights of black humans over to the states. The federal Constitution demands uniform and equal justice under law. States don’t get to pick and choose what unalienable rights they will defend and which they can suppress. I have already agree with you that adding rape, incest, and health of the mother to an abortion standard would make such a line relativist.

Reach: We do need real debate on this topic, but allowing a state by state interpretation of the value of human rights pushes us back to 1860 not 1973. Thank you again for helping to clarify the Relativist / Absolutist argument. Please consider this, that if no one can be a “pure “absolutist, one can always try! Would you council us to base our laws on shifting opinions?

Anonymous said...

This is Rumpole, I'm having trouble with my password.


Some of your comments stir me to respond. They are arguments from the left that I have heard quite often over the years, and they are very troublesome to me. If I take them out of context, please correct me; if not, enlighten me as to where I error.

Firstly, “espousing ‘choice’ to abortion”. Where did the notion come from that one’s “choices” are taken by those who oppose abortion? I would suggest to you that no choices are limited. The choice is made when consensual sex occurs. Why does the left not acknowledge that choice? Why does it not occur to willing participants that sex leads to babies, and if you want to participate you had better understand the ramifications?

Sorry for the sports analogy, but when a quarterback throws a pass, once the ball leaves his fingers he can’t bring the ball back. If he spots a hiding defense back after he throws the ball that will step in and intercept the pass he can’t say “stop the play, that is not what I choose”. He made his choice when he let go of the ball. Afterwards, he has to accept the result.

Have I made clear who I really am? Perhaps not. Indulge me further.

Secondly, we all (even the conceived, yet unborn) have the right to life (see the Declaration of Independence). No one, not even the conceived, yet unborn, has the right to take away that life. Here now is one conflict that I don’t think the law can resolve. If the mother’s life is in grave (is there any other kind? Sorry Jack Nickelson fans) danger as the birth of the child approaches, who’s life is more valuable? Is it the mother’s? Is it the unborn child’s? Please avoid using a cost-benefit analysis in your answer! Perhaps we ought to stay out of the haggling while the consequences of the “price” are personally weighed.

I have to tell you, Anonymous, that I really tire of listening to anyone on either side who generalizes and labels. Though I recognize my opinion probably doesn’t matter, you immediately lose credibility with me when you refer to those who respond at the Agora as “chest thumpers, smugly claiming moral superiority”. I claim no moral superiority. But I do claim to seek truth, and to try implement it. The tact to intimidate an individual by trying to point out his perceived self-righteousness gets no where with me. My wish in not to condemn those who support abortion, but to save the unborn.

Finally, I saw an article in the Tribune a couple of months ago. It talked about a family that had used a geneticist to identify a gene that was at the cause of a genetically inherited disease (I forget specifically which one). The family chose an embryo that didn’t have the defect.

I wonder where it will stop. Maybe it won’t. Maybe we ought to eventually be able to genetically engineer all of our children. What a huge travesty if we do!

I have four children. Two of them (yes two, its not a typo) are Down Syndrome. After my first was born, I would say that I loved her, but that if allowed the choice I would of course chose her to not be Down Syndrome. Can I tell you how wrong I was, and how ashamed I am to have thought that? I love her for who she is, not who she could be engineered to be.

When we had our second Down Syndrome child we were completely aware of our “choices”. Now he is here, a valuable asset to the community he lives in, because we made our choice when he was conceived. I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

Anonymous, even though I think the experiences I have listed might differentiate us, I also unpiously (if there is such a word) think you can understand. If not, then we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Reach Upward said...

Lysis, I agree that those striving to find and live according to truth can and should be striving for absolutism, even if it is not fully achieved. I find chinks in my armor all of the time.

I did not mean to denegrate the value of human life by suggesting that its definition be relegated to the states. I was simply stating what will happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Statutes on abortion will be relegated to the states, as was the case prior to RvW.

I would prefer to get a human life amendment to the Constitution passed, but as was seen a couple of years ago, our country sadly lacks the political will to do so. Still, if RvW is overturned, it is highly possible that federal legislation will come soon thereafter, negating the need for a constitutional amendment.

I feel that governmental matters should be handled at the most appropriate level. For many issues (even some currently handled federally), that means states, counties, and municipalities. However, your comment on going back to 1860 has made me realize that human life is an issue where the appropriate governmental level to set a standard is at the federal level. But I still argue that it should be established through the normal political process rather than by judicial fiat, which would simply put us in the same boat as RvW but with the boat pointing the other direction.

Lysis said...

It is sad that we should need a Constitutional amendment to specifically protect human life. But then, we have amendments to protect free speech, and assembly, and the freedom of worship, and we needed an amendment to end slavery. Perhaps, in a nation of law, the highest law of the nation must place an unambiguous protection on the lives of defenseless children.

We should call for federal legislation to draw lines that protect women and unborn children. Any step that reduces millions of murders to dozens of deaths must be supported. The unborn must be recognized for what they are – humans! There is a “bright line”, a just and universally applicable way by which to judge justly.

REACH has pointed out the dangers of: “Just ending” the lunacy of R v W without filling the void with some protection for women and unborn children. We must carefully craft our “man made laws” to match the Natural Laws that dictate justice. I agree with Reach that laws are best administered at the level closest to the people, but I thank him for seeing that this situation is extraordinary.

Now that this most important topic of national discourse is at last been brought forward, watch those set on maintaining the statuesque, (a state of daily mass murder), resort to any tactics to change the subject. Harry Reed’s stunt in the Senate yesterday is a perfect example of this. Democrat spawned lies, and Wilson driven drivel are the only check that the left can through in the path of the inexorable progression of justice for the unborn. In spite of the disaster that misleading America away from its commitment to victory could bring down on our country and the world, the Democrat minority turns to this “Straw Man” in a desperate attempt to weaken Bush and change the subject.

Let’s get back on topic. Unborn babies are human beings, they have rights, and all who hold power have an obligation to protect those rights. Rumpole has spoken for his two precious children, human beings who will never be able to argue with the clever dissemblers of the pro-death crowd, for their right to live. All just people have an obligation to speak out for those who have neither voices nor loving parents to defend them. We cannot allow the “all or nothing” cries from abortion advocates to prevent the vast majority of Americans, who want to see abortion reduced, from acting.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"In the case of UNFETTERED murder of unborn humans it is the left that marshals them all."

Those who argue for "Abortion on demand."

Sir, *I* have never argued for "unfettered murder of unborn humans" nor for "abortion on demand" nor for any of the other "straw men" you have concocted to be my assertions. (nor have I ever talked to a soul who has)

Lysis, the arguments of mine that you choose to "deconstruct" are arguments I have never made! (I know it's easier that way, but hey, it's the Agora, let's have a DIALOGUE!)

My fetters are better than your fetters!
(sounds like an argument between Big Bird and Daffy Duck)

But, this is one of MY arguments Lysis -- The abortion question is not between NO fetters and ALL fetters, it is between which KIND/JUSTIFICATION of "baby murder" (your language not mine), you prefer!
Lysis "spins" the wheel of fate and chooses (guided by the standard truth justice and the American way) which of the following kinds/justifications for abortion, or baby death, or baby killing, or baby euthanasia, or baby murder or genetically damaged, or fetus reduction, or partial birth, or Ru486, or birth control pill, or still birth, or rhythm method, or first,second, third trimester,or teen parental consent, or rape, or mother's health, or incest, or back alley, or even auto eroticism! Etalia, etalia, etalia.

Lysis finally equivocates "baby murder" to all but the three standards -- incest, mother's health, and rape. He spins these choices to ONLY represent "truth" and ALL others are simply "baby murder"! and "leftist".

Which is your ABSOLUTE MORAL position on abortion Lysis
1- ALL abortion is baby murder
2- Most abortions are baby murder
3- Many abortions are baby murder
4- Some abortions are baby murder
5- Few abortions are baby murder
6- No abortions are baby murder
7- Only I and politicians/judges I admire for our veracity will decide in a Federal or State court what is baby murder -- right now baby murder is not the three standards, but ABSOLUTE standards for baby murder are not inconsistent with MY CHOICES because Antigone says "they don't need to be written down because everyone recognizes them." And if you don't recognize them and agree, then you are just being spiteful and dishonest and a pinko left leaning liberal.
Oh, and it's NOT smug!

Absolute Morality means Absolutely no abortion Lysis -- All other choices are RELATIVISTIC and SITUATIONAL! (except maybe six and no one HERE wants to go THERE)

I agree with you about the ever changing role that technology, bio genetics,and bio ethics will play with abortion questions in the future.
And, where do you read in my posts that I am pro choice.
(sorry my question mark key has failed -- and that for me means I had better stop)

Lysis must have sabotaged my keyboard too because he knows my favorite key!!!!

If I had to decide "to abort or not to abort" I would make Doctors and Safety the primary deciding factors --over courts, Federal/State poiticians, and Lysis.

Lysis said...

Anonymous: Your argument, which I did deconstruct, is the one you persist in. So I guess you missed my answer above. Here it is again. Your position that “absolute morality means absolutely no abortions” is a silly as claiming that not being a prostitute means you must be celibate. Please read above where made this clear by demonstrating the inapplicableness of you millionaire and girl analogy.

Also, please read my position on baby murder in the case of incest, mother’s health, and rape. I said permitting abortions in these cases would be relativist. Therefore, I am against them, such abortions would not come under the justification of SLEF DEFENCE. I do not defend abortion in cases of incest, rape, or protecting health.

Once again I will present my ABSOLUTE MORAL position on abortion: no abortions except to save the LIFE of the mother, in other words, no abortions except in self defense.

How dose pointing out the folly of those who refuse to recognize truth make me smug????

As for doctors making the final decision on whether “to abort or not abort”. Realize that everyday, thousands of doctors murder and dismember thousands of perfectly healthy babies in the wombs of thousands of perfectly healthy women. It seems that a college degree and some years of internship do not guarantee moral rectitude, nor prevent moral smugness. How Apollo must weep!

Rumpole said...


Unless I am mistaken, I don’t think I ever stated I think you are pro-choice. What I do see in some of your writing are strategies from the left.

For example, while I do not completely understand your use of the word “choice” (i.e. well, let me interrupt the self congratulation with pointing out that 95% of those espousing “choice” also oppose abortion) it appears to me the packaging of that word is a signal of your left-leaning.

Allow me to venture clearly into the realm of my own opinion. I emphasize I have nothing to back this up, only my own observation. When the abortion debate began, it was a losing proposition for the left. No one wanted the label “pro-abortion”, which was the initial term coined by those who supported abortion. It had to be marketed and packaged differently in order to be successful.

Hence the term “pro-choice” was born. Frankly, from a marketing standpoint it was brilliant. It moved the discussion from one of “is it murder?” to one of “it is my freedom, my right, and my choice.” I don’t believe any of those things to be true about abortion, but many have fallen for the ploy.

From my personal observation it appears to me that the left does not care about truth. It only cares about self-indulgence. Point out to me where I am wrong and I will change my view.

Another example, your view that moral absolutes are based on an all or nothing approach. I consider myself an absolutist. I will give you my definition of what that means. It may or may not be right, but when I call myself an absolutist it is what I mean.

As to moral questions, there is always a right and a wrong answer. Actions are not “relative” to the individual. If it is wrong for Lysis to commit perjury, if it is wrong for me to commit perjury, then it is wrong for Bill Clinton to commit perjury. It does not depend upon what “is” is.

Can there be different situations presented in the application of a specific topic? Of course. Does one size fit all? Of course not. But there is a right and a wrong to every individual moral question, and it exists independently of the word “is”. As so often occurs with the left, everything is attempted to be packaged and generalized into one great whole. I don’t buy it.

Note that I said that there is a right and a wrong answer to moral questions. It would be okay if you painted your house pink. I might not like it, but it wouldn’t be wrong. It would only be ugly in my eyes. You might consider it beautiful. Most people might agree with you. But neither of us is right. It is not a moral question.

Ultimately, what I am trying to say is that the truth does not change; however, situations that require its application do. I believe that is why we have all been blessed with the ability to use judgment. The elimination of that judgment in a “one size fits all” approach appears to me to be a huge mistake.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

If I dare step back into the Agora for a moment.

After giving Lysis Versus a hard time about being a participant not just a 3rd party observer to the areas of discussion I was feeling guilty about my lack of participation.

An issue that raised to the level of anger due to the apparent stupidity of a government agency was the Able Danger situation.

There are currently 7 members of that team that want to testify to the Senate about what happened. If the information they had was shared, 911 would have either not happed or been delayed.

The Department of Defense has put a gag order on all 7, taken away several members security clearance and is threatening to take away their pensions etc. if they testify.

I wrote a letter to my Congressman, Rob Bishop, (probably many of yours as well) expressing displeasure and asking for feedback from an aid on what was happening.

Imagine the shock I felt when I checked my voice mail this morning and heard... "Hi, this is Rob Bishop, I am sitting here reading your mail.....blah blah blah...I am on the commitee with Curt Weldon blah blah we are working this issue with others trying to get it resolved.

Thank you for writing etc."

I just wanted to share my experience with getting involved. It has now energized me to continue and become for involved.

Next issue could be, lets say abortion?

Anonymous said...

My apologies for mis-attributing others' positions to Lysis' -- thanks for the clarification!

However, Lysis' *clarified* position, I think is even worse than before!

Consider Lysis' "deconstruct" of the millionaire playboy analogy/hypothetical. I used the analogy to make a point DIRECTLY AFTERWARDS about absolute morality . . . that being absolutely a "whore" was not ameliorated by a sum of money( be it a dollar or a million $). Like, if abortion is "baby murder" there cannot be an exception, be it ONE or twenty, and still keep to the ABSOLUTE moral standard of life not "murder".

Lysis "deconstructed" with this response:
"What if a millionaire had offered honorable marriage in return for sex? Would the young lady still be a whore for accepting? Then Lysis concludes: "We can draw lines on universally recognized truths."

My problem with this response Lysis is that I find it to be just one long non-sequitur. You ask two rhetorical questions about the analogy (neither of which addresses the point I was making with it) Then, not waiting for MY response, you conclude with something neither of us had argued!?!? And you call this a deconstruct?

MY answer to the rhetoical questions.

In what part of "HONORABLE marriage" does Lysis find "in return for sex." ??
Either the marriage proposal is HONORABLE or it's NOT. "Return for sex" makes it NOT.
Therefore, non sequitur.

Second question; "Would the young lady still be a whore for accepting?"
Oh, unequivocally YES!!!!
If Lysis contends No, then I contend non-sequitur(see above).

Now, for Lysis' analogy justifying abortion for purposes of "self defense'. "If killing another is the only escape from their killing you, don't you have a right of self defense?"
This rhetorical question comes after the analogy/hypothetical of a 16 year old who is a "lethal" threat to his parent/parents.

Well, applying this analogy as Lysis' LONE justification for abortion is tricky.
Are "we" to conclude that the lethal threat of a 16 year old is equal and comparable to a hypothetical "life or death" threat of a FETUS to its mother? That she may, before she dies, abort that THREAT and call it self defense? How much volition can a fetus have in order to be considered a THREAT?

Well, besides being SILLY (your words not mine) this analogy/ justification opens up a whole pandora's box of abortion justifications -- the devil is in the details, Lysis (to mix metaphores).
If the mother aborts before she dies for reasons of self defense, and she then survives; how can she credibly contend it was truly life or death and not some other justification of which Lysis does NOT approve? Lysis might respond DOCTORS and I will respond, see Lysis "faith" in doctors in his last post.
Also, "life or death" scenarios introduce abortion for the "health of the mother" which is really a distinction without a difference and offers up ANOTHER potential abortion justification -- now one has turned into many (perhaps twenty) and Lysis is left with only the ashes of absolutism -- relativism. Just like everyone else.

Lysis Posts:
"How does pointing out the folly of those who refuse to recognize truth make me smug?"
Because, "pointing out the folly of those who refuse to recognize truth" is almost exclusively what SMUG PEOPLE DO!!!!

Anonymous said...

To use the word "choice" is "left leaning"????
Whoa, is that convoluted . . . .

And why might that be true?

Rumpole said...


Convoluted? Wow, are you just trying to get me to react?

Take a little time and read again what I have written. I never wrote “to use the word choice” was left-leaning. I wrote that your “USE (caps added) of the word choice and its packaging is a signal” of your left-leaning. I am certain that you are bright enough to understand the difference.

I further continued by explaining to you how I believe the Democrats have packaged their beliefs to convince people of their position. I don’t think those marketing ploys are limited just to abortion. The Democrats developed a successful model. They follow it.

Another football analogy – San Francisco’s “West Coast Offense”. After San Francisco ran the West Coast Offense to several Super Bowl titles, most of the teams in the NFL followed suit and ran their own version of the same offense. Follow the model that brings the desired result.

The problem for the Democrats today is that the “alternative media” didn’t exist when their “West Coast Offense” was initially developed. The extra defensive back and blitzing linebacker provided by the alternative media are giving Democrats fits.

But I digress. If you would indulge me for a moment longer I’ll give you a third example of why I think you lean to the left. It’s your desire to play these word games. This approach existed long before Clinton, but he perfected it and passed it on to the party that elected him. In my estimation, there isn’t much of anything that has to do with what the meaning of the word “is” is.

Make no mistake, I don’t think these games are limited to Democrats. I think anyone who has a weak position, or simply wants to find a way to get gain is willing to play them. They bore me. I am rather more interested in your position and the rationale behind it rather than in a competition to see who knows more about the use of Latin phrases.

So, Anonymous, if you would allow me the license to borrow from you, with your own caps included, “Let’s have some COURAGE Anonymous”, are you Pro-Choice? “Tell us who you REALLY ARE!!!!”

Lysis said...

Anonymous: Thanks for the re-read; now I ask you to do a re-think. I WILL TRY TO MAKE IT AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND: Some times giving sex makes one a whore, some times it makes one a lover. Sometimes killing makes one a murderer, sometimes killing makes one a hero. What changes are the motivations which drive one’s actions. While the results of actions may vary, the justice or injustice of these motivating factors never changes. Therefore, to have sex for money is prostitution, to have sex for love is a sacred union. To kill an unborn child for convenience sake is murder, to kill one to save the life of a mother is self defense.

As for doctors making the decisions on their own – they need the guidance of law, just man made law, which by definition will be based on natural Law. Doctors can tell when there is a real danger to a mother and act accordingly – if they kill a baby at any other time they should be treated as murderers. Thinking human beings can tell the difference between a police man who fires his weapon in self defense and a murderer who fires one for selfish motivation. In the same way thinking human beings can draw the line between abortion which is murder and abortion which is self defense. The wonderful thing is that with continuing advances in medicine, the number of life threatening conditions resulting from pregnancy will continue to decrease. We can look with real hope to the day when every child can be safely carried to term and delivered. That is what we should be working toward.

I invite anyone to point out where the above arguments falls short of truth. Don’t worry, if your right, I will consider you honest, not smug.

Lysis said...


Fire cook food – good!

Fire burn hand – bad!

Fire not “Good” “Bad”! How use “Good” “Bad”!

Was that smug:)???????(:

Anonymous said...

To some I definitely am "pro-choice(like yourself) to others I am definitely "pro-life" -- I imagine that to you "pro-life" or "pro-choice" are meaningful terms because they are simplistic and avoid "word games"!

Whatever you choose to label a person says more about *you* than the person you've labeled. I like being Anonymous for that reason -- I come without prejudice or even the necessity of being civil; FROM me or TO me. How you respond in a Blog posting to a *phantom* reveals, without a filter of preconceptions, who YOU are. For example, if you were to find out that I were really Congressman Bishop of Utah, how might that influence what you then posted? A derelict looking for a job? A Congressional Medal of Honor winner? A prisoner in the Utah State Prison? A Sophomore co-ed at Provo High School? An American soldier in Iraq?
I would like the value of what I post to NOT be *ex cathedra* but rather be unburdened of illusions or delusions. (I like Latin phrases too!)

"You see ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself!" -Rick Nelson

I bore you; you don't like me; you think I am stupid or uneducated?

It is a phantom of your OWN device Sir!!!!

Anonymous said...

Posted a little soon -- sorry

Still to Rumpole:

How boring is it to go far out of your way to tell someone they're boring?
I guess, if you're into being smug there are always CHEAP thrills.

Rumpole said...

Unhinged Anonymous - alias Congressman Rob Bishop,

Wow (I know that’s the second time I’ve started this way)! Where did all this come from? You make it so easy for me. I truly dislike using blog time that could be spent discussing the issues, but it pleases me (apologies to your Rick Nelson reference, you have certainly pleased me) to do so. I fear I am about to be guilty of what I abhor in the Democrats, that of being a little self-indulgent.

I have to disagree with you on your characterization as simplistic the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice.” As I have already written, there has been a great evolution to the current-day meaning of those terms, and as I have implied, and will now spell-out again to you, those terms do not avoid word games.

In my estimation the term pro-choice was invented to package a proposition that was losing in a way that would help it move forward. I think it succeeded beyond its framers wildest expectations. Case in point, Roe v Wade.

Specifically as to my comment to you about word games, allow me to elaborate further so that their can be no misunderstanding. It seems to me that when someone as “educated” as yourself (don’t worry, I’ll get to that later) is on that slippery slope of losing an argument they turn to debating about the rules of the argument rather than the argument itself.

In addition, I have never written that you bore me. In fact you are quite entertaining. If you will reread my post, the specific reference made was that the GAMES bore me. If I could borrow from talk radio, it is “symbolism over substance”. No one is keeping score as to who is winning an argument at the Agora. I certainly could be mistaken, but it seems to me that the majority of its readers want to explore the topics of the day in the personal quest to be more involved and informed about their own opinions.

I honestly can’t tell you if I like you. My opinion about you is not “ex cathedra”. I know nothing about you. I respond to authors at the Agora who move me to respond. Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that it even occurs to you that I may or may not like you. What does it matter?

You accusation that I have labeled you is troubling to me. I have placed no label upon you. I have pointed to some of your tactics that suggest you may lean to the left. I have asked, and you still have every opportunity to “tell us who you REALLY ARE!!!!”

You really crack me up because you are still unwilling to state if you are “pro-life” or “pro-choice”. You demand that others clearly state their position but you are unwilling to do so yourself. It seems a little comical and very inconsistent to me.

I hope, Mr. Bishop, that I have revealed through my posts who I really am. I must tell you that it doesn’t take a fake blog identity for me to show who I am. You can tell me that you are the Pope and I would still post the same blog. The trait of being who one is no matter the circumstance is one of the greatest traits that I see in Lysis. I can only hope to posess it myself one day.

Finally, as to your being “stupid or uneducated”, my point, as follows: First, let’s define education. Does one have to go to school for years and have several letters after their name to be educated? I don’t think so. I don’t necessarily believe education and school to be mutually exclusive, but I don’t believe they have to be intrinsically inclusive either.

The educated man has great wisdom and judgment. He could have gained it in school, or he could have gained it elsewhere. I do not consider myself an educated man. I haven’t learned enough outside of school, and I didn’t go to school for years on end. The only letters that appear near my name come before it as Mr. and represent the civility and respect that everyone desires.

Apparently you are not bound to give nor do you desire in return that civility. So be it. Hopefully that framework will remain only in your anonymous blog comments and not in your every day dealings.

Isn’t it time to move on to the next topic of the day?

Dr. Health said...

These great men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice that we might live in peace and safety, while enjoying our freedoms and sharing those freedoms with the future and the world.