Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Fisherman and the Genie

One of my favorite stories from the 1001 Nights Entertainment is the “Fisherman and the Genie”. In the story, a poor fisherman drags a great jug out of the sea. When he opens it, a genie appears and demands the fisherman choose how the poor fisherman wants to die. It seems the genie has been waiting so long to be released that he has grown angry with whoever will eventually release him. He has sworn to give his benefactor death as his reward. Of course the fisherman is taken aback – but he thinks to himself, “I MUST OUTWIT THE GENIE. SURELY I MUST BE SMARTER THAN HE; FOR EVIL SPIRITS WOULD NOT BE EVIL IF THEY WOULD USE THEIR HEADS.”

The behaviors of many evil doers in the world today seem to bear out the Fisherman’s pronouncement:

1. I think of the rioters in Toledo, Ohio a week or so ago. Enraged that a group of Nazis were about to march through a portion of their city, a bunch of “civil rights demonstrators” proceeded to attack their own community. Claiming that the Nazis supported violence, a mob of idiots proceeded to commit the most gratuitous acts of violence. Eager to grab headlines, many Ohio blacks behaved exactly as the Nazi hate mongers predicted they would. Talk about playing into the hand of your enemy in order to prove their point!

2. I think of the “peaceful and sophisticated” citizens of France who for approaching two weeks now have been rioting and burning down their own communities. Overcome by boredom, impotence, and raciest bigotry they have turned upon themselves. We are reminded that these are the descendants of the same people who turned a Revolution for Freedom into a Reign of Terror. Now the French (need I really come up with a pejorative more telling) grope for attention on the world stage by committing national suicide. How like them!

3. Think of protestors in Argentina during the meeting of the leaders of the nations of North and South America. In a ridiculous, if not laughable, attempt to get the attention of the world media, anarchist protestors destroy and burn; providing proof that their way must be avoided by thinking people at all costs.

4. Democrats, seeking to gin up some press for their anti Bush agenda, - the only agenda the Democrats in office in this country seem to possess - burst into flames last week. The obligatory crash which followed was spectacular. Failing to get any significant indictments against the “movers and shakers” in the Bush administration for the non crime of outing the non covert agent wife of a non reliable Joe Wilson, the Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid, proposed to kill the nation that gives him freedom. In a publicity stunt that was all hot air, Reid dragged the U.S. Senate in to an unnecessary closed session to demand things which have already been done be done again. He was forced later to recognize, if not admit, that the “re-do” was already scheduled before his tantrum. Thus the Democrats blocked the business of the nation in order to grandstand for the political points the media rushes provide. Meanwhile the fishermen, and farmers, the workers and owners, the simple minded citizens of American, realize that politicians who thus refuse to use their heads must surely be evil.

The fisherman in Scheherazade’s tale at last convinces the evil genie to go back into his bottle. The Fisherman does this with a simple appeal to the genie’s ego. He asks the “wonderful genie” to prove that someone as great as he could actually fit into the jug. Determined to prove himself possessed of the greatness the fisherman implies, the evil genie turns himself into smoke and reenters the bottle. The fisherman replaces the stopper. The media has given full reign to the monsters of the moment, and their egos are swollen with hot air to the bursting point. I wonder if now the media has pulled the cork, the simple citizens of this nation will be able to get the genie back in the bottle. Perhaps their first step is realizing just how stupid the evil doers really are.


lysis_verus said...

1.I agree with you on the Ohio, rioter/protesters. How silly of them.

2.I recall that you condemned
foreign media outlets for their seeming glee at the troubles in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. So now you do the same thing to the French. You are a relativist and a hypocrite Lysis. So in your hatred of French people you'd like to come up with a fitting epithet (for people you don't know and simply despise for you own reasons~sounds like prejudice) might I suggest 'Frogs' since 'Polock', 'Wop', 'Kike', 'Spic', 'Honky', 'Cracker', 'Raghead' & 'Nigger' are already taken. You are a bigot Lysis. You judge whole groups of people based on YOUR biases and incomplete perceptions. Grow Up!

3.This is typical, though regrettable. Get used to it. You cannot be the economic hegemon without pissing off some peasants.

4.So should we outlaw the Democrat Party Lysis? Yes government would be so much more efficient if men of action were in power and all the naysayers just shut up and went home, or perhaps the gulag. Why are you SO threatened by Democrats asking question Lysis? Stopping the the business of Govt.. please. Stunt? Please all politics are stunts. Republicans do stuff like this too.

4A.Lets talk about something real like Bushco refusal to back the anti-torture amendment. Why does Bushco wan the power to torture people? Is this still America? Not with people like you in charge. I guess I can thank the Gods you are not in charge...

Silver Lining said...

I am going to choose to address only point number 4 if that is o.k. I would agree with Lysis Verus that there is nothing wrong with asking questions. However, I will pose to him/her the same question I have posed to my Senator via e-mail, why did they have to close the session? Why did they not address it in an open manner so that those to whom they want the administration accountable and those to whom they should be accountable can be aware of the questions and the answers. If ever there was an issue that ought to be open, it is issues like this.

Also, correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the Vice President out talking to Republican Congressmen and women this week trying to bolster support for the anti-torture measure. I am not as informed there as I would like so I could be wrong.

Silver Lining said...

ust answered my own question about VP. It is just the opposite.

Reach Upward said...

Chalk it up to human (carnal, hence, evil) nature. I remember when my high school's basketball team went to state many years ago. I don't even like basketball, but I attended some games with friends because it was the "in" thing to do. Our team lost one torturously close game due to some calls by the referees. Rather than being good sports, we acted like snotty, little jerks. We didn't riot or anything as stupid as the protesters noted in 1, 2, &3, but we were the antithesis of sportsmanship.

I suggest that these people are doing much the same, but in different arenas and on different scales. When things haven't gone their way they've turned to acting like jerks. Some will be drawn to their causes through their actions, but those that apply rationality will see them for what they are.

LV, I didn't get the idea that Lysis was asking that the Democrats be outlawed. The way I read his post was as a call for them to act like grown ups and actually work for the good of the nation rather than pitching a fit like toddlers. It would be good if both (indeed, all) parties did that.

Anonymous said...

(This concerns unfinished business off of the last topic)

"*If* you were to find out that I were Congressman Bishop. . . ."

Sometimes I will use an EXAMPLE or HYPOTHETICAL *IF* to help make a point -- you show an inclination to literalize the example and then get "lost" in it. Also you have an inclination to then ignore the point the example was bolstering.

All this is up to you of course, but it makes anything I post sound ridiculous in the interpretation. No, I wasn't claiming to be Congressman Bishop, nor any of the OTHER examples I used -- find my thesis at the end of the examples and it (you) MIGHT make more sense when you respond.

You would like to find shortcomings in my NOT being pro-life or pro-choice. I find great dishonesty in your and some other Agorites CLAIMIMNG to BE pro life, then enumerating exceptions afterwards -- hence the "cowardice" charge. I WAS NOT chastizing people with cowardice for not being one or the other! I was saying BEING pro life, using "baby killer" language, then making exceptions was/is cowardly.

First you claim I am "left leaning" then you challenge me to take a postition. My position is perfectly clear -- it is not in terms of "pro-life" or "pro-choice" but it's been made repeatedly.

Debate is like golf, you constantly need to refer to rules, definitions and positions in order to "play." What stands behind golf and debate are many many rules -- sorry you find them to be boring and a refuge for losers -- why not find another game? One WITHOUT rules -- please!

What I meant by my "civility" comment was that by being Anonymous I would not have to patronize any of my now and former friends/students/devotees with "attaboys", even when they had written something obnoxiously stupid!!!!
Now for the "new" (I don't think so) topic.

Lysis said...

Lysis Versus: Thank you for the thought producing comments. Let me see if I got this right; if you agree with me (cf) your approval of my criticism of Ohio rioters or Argentine peasants then my critique shows some maturity. If you disagree with my criticism (cf) your attack on my criticism of the imploding French or obstructing Democrats, then it is I who need to grow up. I see; the consistency of Relativism.

Just last night I was speaking with a friend who often finds himself defending President Bush. The tactics that the lawyers he jogs and debates with are similar to those employed by Lysis Verus and the Scooter case is much the topic of their discussions. When my friend defends President Bush with facts he is countered by two seemingly contradictory strategies. Such mutually exclusive argumentation is fair play for those who consider their opinion of the moment to be the truth.

Strategy #1. Claim that since many who now defend Bush attacked Clinton they are hypocrites.

Strategy #2. The “Thou Doest Protest Too Much” attack. One who offers reasoned defenses for President Bush demonstrates by their preparedness that Bush is wrong – else why does he need defending.

Both Strategies are meant to stifle debate: In all cases: Clinton, Bush, Louisiana hurricane disaster, or French fortnight of arson; one should examine facts and form arguments based on the truth. The rhetorical tricks above are proof that the opposition cannot handle the truth!

Consider these counters to Lysis Verus very persuasive sounding criticisms of my points above:

1. America suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina was the effect of a catastrophic natural disaster – therefore it would be crude to mock America’s suffering. To show our consistencies as a nation consider America’s response to last year’s tsunami, or last month’s response to the earth quake in Pakistan. We were not critical of the peoples affected by these natural disasters, nor did we take any pleasure in their innocent suffering. Rather we rushed to their aid. On the other hand, the self inflicted damage the French are perpetrating can more reasonably be compared to the riots in South Central L.A. after the first Rodney King verdict or to last months stupidity in Ohio. I join the French and all others in deriding such idiocy in America or France.

An aside to Lysis Verus – if you choose to interpret the term French to equate to “Frog and compare that to Wop, Kike, Spic, Honky, Cracker, Raghead, or Nigger”; you have drawn your own conclusion as to what it means to be French. Your bigotry seems even more egregious than mine. HOWEVE, I will apologize for arbitrarily grouping all French into a term of condemnation. I would more justly point to the French thugs who devastate, the French police who cannot act, the French intellectuals who have rendered their nation impotent, the French government which stands helpless in the face of a bunch of teenaged hoodlums, and the French nation afraid to stand up to evil.

As for LV’s argument that it is OK for the Democrats to pull stunts because Republicans do it too. (Refer to my friend’s struggles above.) We must demand that both parties grow up! Two wrongs do not make a right!

In all cases let’s discuss the merits of the topics not seek excuses for idiocy in the stupidity of others.

I must reserve comment on Lysis Verus second point 4, on torture, until I have looked in to it further. I appreciate Silver Lining’s comments on the VP’s efforts. I hope this is true because I believe our government should prevent torture. That “the terrorists do it”, is no excuse. Having said that, I will add that I don’t think Congress should pass any laws that interfere with an Administration fighting a war. I know that President Bush has said there will be NO TORTURE! I don’t think it helpful for the Democrats and McCain to attempt to make an issue of this subject as an attack on our war effort. Their actions are purely political. It seems to me that it is not in defense torture that Bush disparages such a bill in Congress, but in an attempt to maintain the separation of power, and the ability of a President - once given approval by Congress - to prosecute a war to victory without the politically motivated micromanaging of his avowed enemies in the House and Senate. I fear there are politicals who would willingly see American defeated in the War on Terror if it brings them to power in the end. I need more facts on the torture topic. Talking points on either side could well muddy the water.

Reach – I can’t begin to tell you how many of those games I’ve been to. I think you are perhaps right. And what is sad, such poor sports do far more damage to their own school, their own cause, than ever to their opponents. I am encouraged to see the bankruptcy of the anti-Bush position, but saddened to see them turn on America in their attempt to aggrandize themselves.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"The media has given full reign to the monsters of the moment."

I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, -- is this just the customary Lysis' "con-commentary" and spin on current events or is Lysis advocating a call to action of some kind? Maybe a media POLICE action with SHOCK and AWE?

Let's "cut to the chase."

Should the media "reign in" the "monsters"? -- ignore the monsters? -- humor the monsters? --"silence" the monsters? or show obeisance to the idea of a free press, but spin only "good" or Republican Administration friendly news, ala *Izvestia*?

In a free society I find the "media" responsive primarily to the profit motive -- anything goes as long as there's someone to BUY it. And I think U.S. political elections have been "pre-empted" and hamstrung with media costs and with media marketing its style over substance.

Should people in a free society make such purchases?

Is Lysis going to wear the badge of CENSOR or is he going to affirm an ABSOLUTE freedom of speech? . . . except for a FEW things and those will, of course be according to TRUTH, NATURAL LAW, and *BUSHCO.!!!!

*acknowledgement to LV

Anonymous said...

That was an incredibly disengenuous and smirking apology that CHEAPENS sincere apologies everywhere!!!!

Rumpole said...


With apologies to talk radio listeners everywhere, are you from Rio Linda, California?

I live with no illusion that you are Congressman Rob Bishop. I placed the “alias” by Mr. Bishop’s name at the beginning of the post to demonstrate a clear use of SARCASM. I’m sorry you missed that! I will certainly try to be clearer in my use of sarcasm going forward (for example, I’m really not sorry that you missed the sarcastic tone).

Further, my calling you “Mr. Bishop” was not a “literalization” of your example, but rather a mockery of your point about anonymity. I respect your right to your opinion but I don’t agree. I got your point. I think it is absurd. In fact, I think it is ridiculous! Note that that wasn’t sarcasm, it was more BITING.

Momentarily, I’ll step out of the realm of sarcasm as I continue to respond to your post (Don’t worry, I’ll be back). As to your “pro-life”, “pro-choice” position, I do not understand why it is of such grave concern to you that someone may find shortcomings in your philosophy. A non-sarcastic, legitimate question – Are you that unsure of your own position?

As I have written before, the whole point of my blog postings and participation is to clarify where I am in my own view. I quite enjoy a difference of opinion. If it makes more sense to me, I will adopt it as my own. That, however, does not mean I will not question. To me questioning is the most important component of the education process.

Still in non-sarcastic mode - As to “making exceptions was/is cowardly” I will explain to you where I think our difference lies. The difference is centered in the definition of absolutism. I gave you my definition. I see no conflict within my definition. You apparently do. In a civil (poor choice of words, but intended to be NON-SARCASTIC, though perhaps a little CONDESENDING) discussion, I would respect your view, you would, in turn, respect mine. We then agree to disagree.

Now, back to sarcastic mode, you continually state that I have claimed you are left-leaning. Why are you confused? Are you really from Rio Linda? I have made no such claim! I have “pointed to some of your tactics that suggest that you may lean to the left! I then have asked you to clarify your position. Note also that I asked for that clarification from you after only you had asked Agorites to “tell us who you REALLY ARE!!!!” Is it unfair to hold you to the same standard you hold others to?

For sake of argument, humor me and say that your position is from the left. Why hide it? Why not promote it? I do not understand why liberals (and I am NOT saying you are one) don’t shout from the rooftops who they are. If they come from a sound, reasoned position perhaps others would be convinced and support those positions.

Humor me again and now pretend that your position may be from the right. For the same reasons, why try to conceal it? Maybe you really are on the winning side of the argument (that was SARCASTIC)!!!

So that their can be no misunderstanding, I don't care if you are from the right or the left! I am only interested in a sound, reasoned position.

Sliding out of sarcastic mode, your description of rules is noble. Here, even more clearly and in more detail than before (sorry, I don’t adjust as quickly as I should, but I am really moving to non-sarcastic mode), is my explanation. As I said before, I don’t think anyone is keeping score at the Agora. This is not a high school debate tournament. Typically the people who read and respond here do so because they want to see how their views compare with opposing views.

Years ago I learned an economic term that I think has a universal application. “Barriers to entry.” Those who want to protect what they have erect walls, place limits, or implement rules to dissuade others from entering. They do it for economic gain, job security, perhaps even racial preferences. It could even be to protect an overly inflated ego from someone who sees themselves as a member of the elite intelligentsia.

I see an appeal from any individual to leave and go play a “game WITHOUT rules” as just such a ploy.

I have to thank you, Mr. Bishop (SARCASTIC), you have made this quite enjoyable for me. My views will not be “lost” in the discussion. I like this game! I’m going to play!

Lysis said...

Anonymous: I hesitate to go after you in your wounded condition. Your head must truly be bloodied, if unbowed. Yes, that was a gratuitous back pat to Rumpole. Anonymous, it seems odd that the free thinker you claim to be would be so dogged in your defense of the media; a money driven machine which is bent on molding your mind and manipulate your behavior. Are you really afraid that my questioning their motives and practices will bring them down? I don’t censor. I allow all to speak openly and then point out where I agree or disagree. By the way, all things are defined by Truth – even lies!

I’m sorry you didn’t like my apology to the French. I tried to be as genuine as possible. I truly wished to exempt all the “good French” from my scorn; there just weren’t that many left after I had listed the culprits. At least I wasn’t’ SARCASTIC!

lysis_verus said...

Your Limbaughesque put-down of Anon was telling. You rightie Kool-Aid drinkers are astonishing, you deify a guy who rails against 'Pot-Smoking FM radio types' calls for harsh punishments for druggies whilst all the while he's been slamming copious amounts of illegally gotten Hillbilly Heroine and when he's found out to be a Pious Fraud *you still listen to him* and venerate his ridiculous 'say anything' Pro-Bushco blather!!!


Ditto for Bennett, remember, Mr. Book-of-Values gambling addict who recently stated that aborting black babies would lower the crime rate. There's your Republican view!HA!

The Left is no better but you righties should open your eyes to the dis-ingenuousness of your cartoonish spokespeople.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

I am not enjoying your arguments today. Can you all stop the personal attacks. Being a koolaid drinker is a given for both sides. It is not an argument or a point. It is a given because of what you believe. Now argue points on their merit. If the points have no merit. Move on please.

By the way, how many of you who can are wearing "I Voted Today" stickers?

This act does give you the right to bitch about the government. If you are able to vote and don't. Shut up, sit down, and reevaluate.

Have a great day.

lysis_verus said...

According to Lysis,
if I agree with you on the Ohio thing, I must agree with on *everything else* in order to be consistent. Does 'absolutism' require me to be simple-minded? Is a person incabaple of being correct on one issue and mistaken and foolish on another? What simple creatures we must be. C'mon Lysis you can do better than that.

lysis_verus said...

Being a Kool Aid drinker most emphatically IS a point because it implies that the person in question believes what he believes reflexively without considering the issues, simply buying into a 'party line' Just like you Vegimatic Republican Kool Aid Drinker!

After all his tomfoolery you still listen to Limbaugh! Wow there's one born every minute. I guess WC Fields was right else BOTH parties would be devoid of membership.

But maybe I shouldn't comment on this current topic because I've never been in a Riot in a Paris or Toledo suburb, an Argentine Summit or Protest AND I'm not a Democrat. But even though I've voted, by your standard I STILL better 'Shut up, sit down, and reevaluate'

I do think it interesting that anyone who disagrees with you better 'shut up' I'm glad your not in power. You'd probably put me in the gulag for dissent, how delightfully Stalinesque.

Lysis~ I am pleased you have seen the merits (or at least quality sophistry!) of my arguments :) Don't listen to me too long or I might make an unaffiliated libertarian (no not that lame party) out of you ;)

But I must ask you... What's wrong with your strategy #1? "Claim that since many who now defend Bush attacked Clinton they are hypocrites" Its a factual argument.
I have not employed your strategy #2 because I am always suspicious of those who blindly rabidly defend any administration, Bushco and the Clintonistas are (were) equally undeserving of the Trust of the American people.

Lysis said...

Vegimatic, I am wearing my “I Voted” button. I also delivered six letters to the city council and Mayor this morning. May I have a say now – even if it isn’t fun? Actually, I find Lysis Verus response to Rumpole instructive. Isn’t it interesting that LV, supposedly no Limbaugh fan, recognized immediately Rumpole’s reverence to one of the talk host’s lines. Seems Limbaugh and Bennett aren’t the only ones indulging in “guilty pleasures” they decry! The second thing that instructs from Lysis Verus’ posting is HOW he chooses to debate.

L V accuses Rumpole (and perhaps others) of being rightie Kool-Aid drinkers, but won’t tell us the flavor of the punch.

He condemns those who listen to Rush Limbaugh and accuses Limbaugh of being a pious and fraudulent drug addict. What LV doesn’t do is give us a single example of misinformation presented in Limbaugh’s show. There is nothing presented to disagree with, unless one is inclined to go easy on druggies.

LV attacks Bennett for gambling, a completely legal activity, howbeit apparently immoral in LV’s eyes, but doesn’t give us any immorality advocated by Bennett. Knowing the Republican stand against abortion, L.V. implies that Republicans support abortion to lower crime. This is misinformation (polite for lie). LV knows that Bennett’s comment was to show the absurdity of a claim that abortion reduces violent crime. But in LV’s economy of values truth cannot get in the way of spin!

Vegimatic – I know I have just restated, with examples, your point; but I will now attempt to expand into an argument or point of my own. The anti-Bush, anti-war contingent have no truth to tell. To gain political power they resort to name calling and misrepresentation. In the face of all this bitterness consider:

1. The American economy continues to grow under Bush’s leadership. Rescued from the Clinton Recession by tax cuts and preserved through terrorist attacks, war, and natural disaster. Mean while the economies of France, Russia, Germany, and others throughout the world spiral down and down.

2. The brutal dictatorship of the Taliban has been replaced by a democratically elected government which seems far more capable of dealing with terrorists than France.

3. Twenty-five million Iraqis are free from the brutalizing dictator Saddam Hessian; who, in spite of every effort and intention to do so, will never be able to threaten the world again.

4. In the four years since Clinton’s misguided leadership and inaction inspired al Qaeda to destroy the Trade Center in New York and declare war on all of America, not one successful attack has been launched against our homeland.

5. The judicial system, long in the hands of activist judges bent on imposing their prejudices on America, has been righted and is moving once more toward a constitutionally sound footing.

There are many more great accomplishments to be credited to “Bushco”, which calling names and misrepresenting will never diminish. Even Bush’s allegedly “low poll” numbers are a demonstration of his success and his greatness. His courageous disregard for the adulation of the moment is a tribute he shares with Lincoln and Churchill.

Lysis said...

LV thanks for your post – and good luck in making anything out of me! The reason that those who defend Bush are not the same as those who defend Clinton, and therefore are not hypocrites, is that Bush has done nothing wrong. If he has – please tell me, and support your claims with some facts; not just nasty names!

Anonymous said...


Lysis Verus, congratulations on voting, bitch away!

What is the color of your koolaid? You are a drinker. Just a different color.

And I listen to Tony Snow, I don't care much for Rush or Hanity.

I have tried to listen to leftist radio, but whenever I find a station with a liberal talk show host, they quickly dissapear.(that darn free market system)

Is there one here in beautiful Davis County so that I can become balanced?

Oh I just remembered NPR, which I do listen to. Diane Rheem for example, a great left leaning show!

Thanks Lysis for going into detail and backing away from personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks LV for the 'heads-up' on the "Limbaugh Wannabe" -- I knew there had to be some reason NONE of that made any sense!

Hey kids, stay away from the oxycnotin, it not only makes you deaf, it sucks out your brains!(See, Lysis, media CAN be publicly responsible)

Lysis Posts: "It seeems odd that the free thinker you claim to be would be so dogged in your defense of the media."

Well, I am sure that I clearly did exactly the opposite of "defend the media". I am also sure that any "blood" on my head must have gotten splashed there.
But, I guess "we" are not keeping score now . . . just counting coup!

However, it is GOOD that Lysis does not aspire to advocate censorship! But, if he does not censor, then can *Lysis* be seen as sanctioning media ABUSES and therefore "defending the media"?

But, what if media censorship might help the precious war effort? Should there be censorship of media for that reason? (I think to some degree there already has been and that Lysis has argued for it)-- even when the United States might be perpetually at war against terrorism? You seemed to infer that Congress and the President should make that determination?

The arguments of the"jogging liberal attorneys" should be allowed to fairly "speak" for themselves -- nothing like being rehashed and trashed by Lysis (censored?)without the benefit of even knowing what the REAL arguments were!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
". . . Bush has done *nothing* wrong.
About Rush Limbaugh:
"There is *nothing* presented to disagree with . . . .

I know that Lysis is enamoured of quasi absolutist language, but from the statements above, Lysis' *hero worship* has turned into *deification* -- prepare High Olympus for these NEW "gods" and "demi-gods".

LV . . . FANATICISM is difficult to reason with. No one ever won a point with David Koresh or Jim Jones either!!!!

Rumpole said...

Lysis Verus,

Here are some comments to your original post on this topic. I have also lumped responses from some of your later posts in order to not be redundant.

2. Your condemnation of Lysis is not consistent with your own actions. YOU “judge whole groups of people based on YOUR biases and incomplete perceptions”. Could you please explain to me again what a “Kool-Aid drinker” is? Way to pass judgment on a whole group of people! Frankly, your definition that everyone who listens to “alternative media” and follows reflexively is asinine. It doesn’t even dignify a response.

In addition, your attack on Rush is silly! The guy has flaws! John F. Kennedy slept around! Bill Clinton had oral sex in the Oval office and committed perjury! Joe Biden is a plagiarist! Two wrongs don’t make a right, but if you don’t like Rush because of the flaws you listed and you want to be consistent, condemn everyone with those same flaws! Some of your later comments reflect that perhaps you do. If so, there aren’t very many left to listen to, are there?

4. Here we have some common ground. Republicans are guilty of stunts. Both parties are willing to attempt to manipulate the rules for their own gain. While it is rather idealistic, I wish that elected officials would focus on moving the best interests of the nation forward rather than concentrating on their own agendas.

I will also add that it appears to me that Republicans fold when faced with such tactics, which further encourages the Democrats; for example, the threat of the use of the nuclear option to avoid filibusters for judgeships. I sometimes think that the Republican leadership is afraid to act like the majority party. The Democrats never had that fear as the majority, and they still think and act like they are the majority.

Make no mistake, - I also agree with Lysis in that two wrongs don’t make a right. The problem, in my humble view, is that all too often we reinforce the behavior of the original sin by saying “he did it, so I can do it, too.”


We also have some common ground! I agree with an entire paragraph that you have written! I hope that does not persuade you to change your view because it risks you being lumped in with something “obnoxiously stupid!!!!”

Whether on the right or on the left, media outlets are motivated by the audiences that generate profit. The Deseret News vs. the Salt Lake Tribune is an excellent example of this. Where we apparently depart is in what the media ought to do. How about simply reporting the news without a slant, either way? As Joe Friday would have said, “Just the facts.”

What I really want from the media is more education. For example, I would like the media to report specifically what law Scooter Libby (or any other indicted suspect) has broken. Recite the law out of the law book. Then, with evidence presented, let me decide his guilt or innocence. Here is another example. If a Constitutional question arises, quote the section of the Constitution that is in question.

My point is that the media is in a great position to educate. They don’t. Why? #1, as you have said, it doesn’t sell. #2, a less educated public makes it easier to promote a personal agenda.

I think we also differ on media censorship. I understand you don’t support censorship. Assuming we are both correct and that media outlets are profit driven, the marketplace will determine ultimate censorship. While I certainly could be wrong, that is what is most intimidating to you and Verus about us “Kool-Aid drinkers”. Suddenly there is another voice, and its ratings continue to grow while “traditional” media outlets ratings shrink!

Finally, what is this “Limbaugh Wannabe” tripe? You guys really crack me up. This is way beneath you. In all your writings both you and Verus appear to be the most concerned of being categorized and generalized, but you both are willing to do just that as soon as you are threatened by someone who may have a difference of opinion.

“Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.”

Lysis said...

Anonymous says that, “fanaticism is difficult to reason with”. ANY ISM is difficult to reason with if you give NO REASON.

Anonymous – I stuck my chin out and gave you a list of assertions related to the Bush Presidency; you gave no REASON for any of us to question any of them. I even gave you a shot at Rush Limbaugh – one fact, had you had one, could have brought him down, and brought me down too. You could not produce!

Harry Read has done the same thing. A news “event” full of name calling and innuendo and not one bit of news. Watch him to see how silly it looks to yammer on endlessly about nothing but your anger.

It is not heroic, it is indeed fanatic, for either of you (Read or Anonymous) to ignore the facts and cling to your misinformed talking points. The Cool Aid stains are all over your arguments. You’ve gone down in flames.

My arguments are still above - give me some REASON to question my devotion.

Anonymous said...

By what measure are the five vituperative assertions "above" (REASONS) to be understood as arguments?

There are No, Nada, Zero "reasons" for Lysis to question his DEVOTION.

Lysis' "devotion" is far removed from REASON -- it is preserved by a personal essence unaffected by REASON.
For Lysis to question his OWN single-minded devotion goes beyond MY ability to imagine -- try imagining a round square!!!!

And Lysis will take great joy in again finding no REASONS -- which devotion a YEARS WORTH of Agora postings did not change!!!! -Merry Christmas

lysis_verus said...

Okay Rumpole/Lysis and the DEVOTED~

Being a mindless reflexive Leftie or Rightie is CHOICE at some point. Being born French or Black or Jewish is NOT A CHOICE.
I lump close-minded knee-jerk DEVOTED 'Kool Aid Drinkers' together. In spite of your lame assertions, I am non-partisan and you are. It clouds your ability to consider issues on merit rather than emotion. You react and emote but thinking comes third. I actually don't care what you think my politics are. But I can see that you are enraged by your inability to argue my points. You pull the old Agora 'nuh-uh!' response. Nice.

Limbaugh is a great example. He started off his talk show career in my hometown, Sacramento CA as a conservative libertarian Republican (Reaganish) type poking fun at and criticizing ALL powerful government types including Republicans who deviated from conservative principles (like Gov. Pete Wilson). He was funny, clever and entertaining even when one disagreed with him. Over the years he has morphed into a mindless Republican Party Mouthpiece parroting every Bushco decree like some courtier. Even when these talking points fly in the face of logic or contradict themselves month to month. Many of his slavering fan-base goes right along. The fact that he was exposed as a big fat hypocrite is reason enough to not credit is views, let alone the fact that he has completely sold out any and all independence from the RNC.

Perhaps your response will be 'Nuh-Uh!'

It sad and shameful to see people CHOOSE to NOT THINK things through and reach their own conclusions.

You should try listening to Michael Savage. He's over the top and borderline crazy but a hoot to listen to and really provokes thought. Like Rush used to do.

Yep I condemn hypocrites and political opportunists and Yes that includes MANY in politics and the media. Isn't the point to think for yourself? Perhaps you disagree. ~LV

Lysis said...

I respond out of respect and gratitude to both Lysis Verus and Anonymous. I appreciate their time and enjoy their thoughts. I disagree, but I enjoy; thanks for sharing.

To Anonymous – You are right, you have proposed “No, Nada, Zero reasons” to challenge my assertions. I don’t think my assertions are mean spirited; they are just facts!

To Lysis Verus – I would consider any issue on its own merits. Please give us an issue! If you think my analysis is clouded by emotion; clear things up for me. Since you are unwilling or unable to discuss the comments I have presented above, we can’t comment on any issue until you give us one.

Your attacks on Limbaugh are ad homonym; since you never give a position held by this “big, fat, drug using, mindless mouthpiece of the NRC” nor any of his “master Bushco’s” decrees to comment on. How can we choose when you give us no choices? How can we think when you give us nothing to think about? What do you want us to draw conclusions on? On the economy? On the war? On terrorist attacks? On Judicial choices? Please don’t say on debate tactics – why argue about that?

You did give your opinion on ONE thing (besides your friends here in the Agora) – Mike Savage. I also have an opinion on Mike Savage and will give my reasons for it. I don’t like him. I’ll tell you up front I don’t like to listen to crazy people, and it has been a long time since I listened to Mike. He spends too much time talking about how great his show is instead of being great. He refuses to listen to people with convincing arguments against his claims, cutting them off when every his position begins to crumble and then rants on about how stupid they are without giving them a chance to reply or refute. Mike Savage uses racial jargon just to stir anger, but he doesn’t back up his bigotry with anything but fear mongering. The most painful examples of this are his constant insistence that we are being invaded by Mexicans. He cannot seem to draw a line between legal and illegal immigrants, and demands silly things like driving all Mexicans out of the US. He never gives any support for his incendiary claims. During the early days of the war, Savage attacked Don Rumsfield for allowing the imbedding of reporters; claiming that it weakened the war effort. Later, when getting the facts out proved to be a great support to the war, Mike Savage acted as if he had always supported imbedding reporters. He should have apologized to Rumsfield and admitted his mistake. He keeps talking about something he calls Judo Christian. He thinks our nation was founded on something he calls Judo Christian ethics and claims American law comes from the Ten Commandments. It seems to me that America never reverenced most of the ten. We have long been a nation of Sabbath breaking, other gods before Him holding, idol worshiping, name of God in vain taking people. At most our nation honors four of the ten. Savage ignores our Greco-Roman heritage and demonstrates his ignorance of history with inaccuracies about the past in nearly every show. I don’t find him fun.

I’m eager to think for myself, and wish you would give me something to think about. I would like to go beyond Mike Savage and Rush Limbaugh and talk about the War in Iraq, or the fight to save the unborn, or the specific acts of our elected leaders. Show us some Hypocrisy in our leaders; give some examples of political opportunists. I’ll give one. Last night terrorists murdered over fifty people at a wedding ceremony in Jordan, today Democrats tried to blame the attack on President Bush. I argue that such attacks were common before Bush became president, let alone before he liberated Iraq. Terrorists are the enemy of civilization. Look to France to see what giving into them brings. It is the French President’s polices, very similar to the “be nice” policies put forward by the Democrats, that most encourage terrorists.

There LV, are some issues to discuss the merits of. Find some errors in my position and defend either the democrats or the French, or better yet, support my position with further arguments. You are nonpartisan after all. But say something about things that are happening, not about how to say something about things.

Anonymous said...

Anakin Skywalker:
If you're not with me . . . then you're my enemy.

Obi-Wan Kenobi:
Only a Sith deals in *absolutes*. I will do what I must.
-*Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith*

Well, it isn't *1001 Nights*, but I think it's better known, more popular, and has a better message.

If you're not going to beat up on "The Fisheman and the Genie" then keep your irreverent comments about *Star Wars* to yourself!!!!

But, have you ever noticed how like Darth Sidious is to . . . .

Lysis said...

Anonymous – is that an absolute statement by Obi – Wan? Or are some Sith Lords relativists? Or does making such an absolute statement (“ONLY a Sith deals in absolutes”) prove Obi - Wan has succumbed to the Dark Side?

I supported the “Fisherman” by giving four examples of how stupid evil people are. Obi – Wan isn’t even a good example of his own inference!

Why do you try to preempt debate by telling me what I can and cannot post? I would never do that to you. Why must you exert such control? Anonymous, are you Dath Sidious?

Rumpole said...


With sincerity, I enjoy your posts. It certainly appears that you put thought into them.

I understand your CHOICE argument. On the surface it is compelling. It is, however, not consistent with what you have written. “you judge whole groups of people based on your biases and incomplete perceptions.” As I see it, choosing or having no choice of entry into the group does not enter into the equation.

Allow me to explain. I am a registered Republican. I vote Republican. Does that mean I buy into everything on the Republican platform? Of course it doesn’t. Right now, Republicans spend way too much money. Republicans (both tacitly and overtly) advocate big government. Republicans do not control our borders. I feel these issues are greatly holding our nation back, both socially and economically.

My problem appears to be, however, that there aren’t enough who believe similarly. I could attempt to stand alone, but then NONE of the things I hold dear would move forward. Therefore, in my association with that organization, I give up part of what I hold dear to see the other part moved forward. The alternative (the Democrats) is the greater of the two evils to me.

If you had no knowledge of what I have described, and I simply told you I punch a straight Republican ticket (which I typically do), would you simply infer that I am a card- carrying Republican? Yes, you probably would. Would you be correct? No. But you used your biases and your incomplete perceptions to judge.

Further, your comment that you “pull the old Agora ‘nuh-uh’ response” (I will tell you I thought that was pretty funny) is not accurate! As I have said before, I comment on what moves me. Sometimes it is in agreement (#4 of your response). Sometimes it is in disagreement (#2 of your response). Sometimes I don’t know where I am so I listen to both sides and try to develop a sound position (#4a of your response). Silence conveys neither agreement nor disagreement. Quit Assuming!

The point IS to think for your self! In that process shouldn’t you gather all the information you can? I know it only sounds like a token, but I take the TRIBUNE so that I can see another perspective! I listen to NPR! My family has condemned me for both!

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"Or does making such an absolute statement prove that Obi-Wan has succumbed to the dark side?"


Being able to RECOGNIZE a certain category of absolutes and their prevailing evil attributes, certainly does not make one into an Absolutist in return.

For if such things were true then how could one then DEFEND himself against the insidious mastery of the "Dark Side Of The Force"!

If simply RECOGNIZING AND STATING that "Only a Sith deals in Absolutes" made one into an absolutist, then very quickly everyone would be an absolutist. (maybe that's Sidious' plan?) And if everyone were an absolutist, that would mean that NO ONE WAS -- because to HAVE a category of absolutism there HAS to BE the counter-category of relativism.
Coming to recognize the "real" enemy is what "Revenge of the Sith" is about.

Obi-Wan wasn't a good example? Well, I don't think the "Fisherman" was a good example either.

"Evil spirits would not be evil if they would use their heads" (?)

Humbug! The greatest "EVIL" characters in History and Literature are/were incredibly clever and intelligent -- that's what made their evil so effective -- slavation doesn't come by outwitting the devil, Lysis.

I need to understand how my questions and observations "preempt" debate?!

"Long ago in a universe far away" I might have suggested a few topics for comment, but certainly not recently, and certainly not NOW.

I do not tell you what to post!
How do I exert control?
You are the Sean Hannity at the Agora transmitter with your finger on the mute button.

To my knowledge you have never censored,(thank you, thank you ,thank you) but all IS completely at YOUR control.

Controlling is not why I participate!!!!

The original "Star Wars" posting was toungue in cheek-

Lysis said...

Anonymous, just how clever is the Devil; to choose damnation over the joy of service and the Love of Christ? The Devil would not be evil if he would use his head!

Which evil villain of History do you find so smart? Let’s go down the list of usuals: Cain who murdered his brother to get all Able had, and ended up cursed for eternity? Judas who sold out Jesus to gain perdition? Savonarola who murdered the art of Florence and found himself hung and burned? Benedict Arnold, who sold out his county and made his name a curse? Robespierre, who brought the Reign of Terror to France, just to get a shave at the national razor? The mass murderers of the twentieth century, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Ho, Po, and Mao; what did their cleverness get them but eternal shame? In fiction; what clever villain gained by his wits? At the last, they all follow Melkor into the void.

In the end, the wise and the good are one!

P. Maclean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. Maclean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. Maclean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. Maclean said...

Love your blog! Took me a while to get the hang of it. Searched through the archives, haven't laughed so hard about anything on the internet in a long time. Your comment about the French is hilarious! You know, they are Republicans too?

The Fisherman in your story doesn't seem that smart to me though. Why didn't he choose to die by being romanced to death by 72 beautiful virgins, or to die after living a long and happy life, or only after the thing he loved most in the world passed naturally? Maybe he could have died beside that heavenly Lake of the Woods you described. Or, he should have asked to die when all of the evil doers on Earth had been destroyed? That was a golden opportunity to do good and he settled for putting the genie back in the bottle. It seems he could have thought bigger. Well, the only ones with a monopoly on sense are the horses.

I guess there are as many well intentioned fools in this world as there are evil doers. Wouldn't you agree, Lysis? Or are they the same people in the end also, the reactionary fisherman and the evil-geniuses?

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

P Mclean:

Thanks for joining us here in the Agora. I’m glad you got a laugh. I often thing laughter is a good way to get one thinking. That is our goal here.

I really don’t believe in death. How dose one believe in nothing? You have to understand – I been directing the play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. It’s a bit of a downer, but full of laughs. Like life I guess.

Please stay with us, help us find the truth. That the only thing for fools to do.

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