Saturday, November 12, 2005

Two Talks Tell Total Tale

On Veterans Day 2005, two men gave two speeches. The contrasts of these two agenda driven talks could not be more telling of the character of the two speakers and the causes they represent.

In a speech before a group of academics in Hempstead New York, Bill Clinton defended his presidency.

In a speech before assembled servicemen and the families of warriors and veterans at Tobyhanna Army Depot, President George Bush defended the fight for freedom.

Clinton’s speech centered around his impeachment, which he called an ‘egregious’ abuse of the Constitution and he challenged those who claim history will consider him a poor president because of his White House sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

President Bush’s speech centered on the service of America’s military in the creation and preservation of freedom for America and the world and the danger presented by those who would rewrite history to serve political ends.

Clinton, whose presidency saw neither, claimed an economic turn around and Middle East peace initiatives as his accomplishments.

Bush, whose presidency has seen the turn around of the Clinton Recession and the establishment of a new Palestinian government and the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territory, outlined the five difficult steps he is leading America through the global war on Terror. 1) Preventing attacks of terrorist networks before they occur. 2) Denying weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes. 3) Denying radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes. 4) Denying militants control of any nation. 5) Denying the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope.

Clinton challenged his critics by using deceit; arguing that his impeachment was not about what he called his “misconduct.”

Bush challenged his critics by speaking the truth; “While it’s perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons program.”

Bush continues: “they also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. And many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: “When I voted to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.” [John Kerry] That’s why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate – who had access to the same intelligence – voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.”

Bush adds: “The stakes in this global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will.”

Thus we have two men giving speeches which reveal the goals and interests that drive them.

Clinton’s goal, as was the goal of his entire presidency, his own self aggrandizement. Thus he sets out to rewrite history to fit his ends. Clinton’s claims of greatness are laughable to the informed and are plausible only to the ignorant.

President Bush’s goal, as has been the goal of his entire presidency, to spread freedom and peace. He seeks to set the slanted record straight and does so by presenting the facts and asking thinking people to come to a just conclusion.


Thad Enouf said...

Maybe if Bush would let the people know when he is actually using facts and then the country will come to a just conclusion. But he hasn't been totally honest with the people - either due to distrust of the public or just plain incompetence - and probably won't anytime soon.

Bush wrapped his failing, inept presidency in the flag and was plainly wrong on not one but two main points in the global response to his unpopular policies. For all intents and purposes, Bush's presidency is over.

As the head executive of the United States, the buck stops with him. The responsibility has been alloted to the one person who can't own up to it.

And say what you want about Clinton, his approval rating was never as low as Bush's, even during his impeachment proceedings. All the Democrats have to do now is sit and watch the GOP implode into obscurity.

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

Dear Thad,

I tried to post on your web-log. But it only accepts e-mails and only 300 characters. So I will answer you here in the Agora, were we have no such restrictions on the exchange of ideas. I encourage anyone in the Agora to go to your web page and judge for themselves the rectitude of my critique.

It amazed me that you and your sources would be so blatantly political in your plot to damage President Bush for political gain. I had hoped to find some reason for the impeachment you call for beyond a political tool for grabbing power. Here I dissect your silly “Reasons for Impeachment” and revel them for what they are – pure politics. Don’t doubt that anyone, not blinded by partisan hatred and ambition, will see them as anything else.

I. Impeachment as a tool of realignment = complete politics. Clinton was guilty of lies to a grad jury and sexually harassing women. These are real crimes not the politically motivated accusations you promote as a means to power.

II. Restrain Executive = pure politics. Your goal is to weaken the President; exactly the goal of all the other enemies of America.

III. Removing legitimacy = pure politics. Only President Bush’s own actions should question his legitimacy. He has done nothing to warrant such accusations. Your position is a dog and pony (jackass – think Democrat mascot) show.

IV. Exposing weakness = pure politics. Your undisclosed and unsubstantiated polls are – like your arguments base on political bombast not on facts. If President Bush is not to be trusted you must show me where he lied!

V. Setting right Democratic Party = pure politics. A worthy goal (Sarcasm – incase your too young to recognize it.) Get your party in order while you destroy America and Iraq!

VI. Impeachment as an agenda = pure politics. An agenda is exactly what it is. You create a phony agenda based on phony impeachment – perfect for a phony Political Party.

VII. Impeachment as basis for campaign = pure politics. You tip your hand; no interest in justice or truth, just bluff in the name of politics.

The one thing you did not mention in your entire scheme to grab power is the one I would be interested in; a high crime or misdemeanor committed by President Bush.

My suggestions to you and your ilk – go destroy someone else country!

Rumpole said...

Thad Enouf,

I am genuinely interested in your view. However, in order to convince me, more is required than unsubstantiated accusations. For example, when is it that you perceive President Bush deceived the American People? Please, give specifics.

Was it with the intelligence he received that precluded the War in Iraq? You mean the same intelligence that over 100 Democrat House Members had access to and believed when they voted in support of the War? Was it that same intelligence that John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Hilary Clinton and the rest are on tape supporting and suggesting that we act because of the “imminent threat” (their words, not mine) that Sadaam posed?

Why do you perceive the Bush Presidency to be a failure? Do you mean it wasn’t Bush that pulled the economy out of the Clinton-Gore recession? Perhaps I wasn’t paying proper attention when Roberts was confirmed to the Supreme Court. Maybe Bush’s revision of the tax code didn’t ever really happen.

I might not understand the magnitude of Bush’s unpopularity. The fact that he won re-election with not only millions more votes than Cliton, but also more than 50% of the vote (something Clinton never did) must have been some sort of hoax.

The Democrats have three plays out of their playbook they use over and over. First, wait and rewrite. The Democrats count on the short memory of the American people. If you wait long enough then re-tell a story with your own changes, it will be believed because the people have forgotten it. It used to be pretty effective. It isn’t as effective any more because there are enough alternate media outlets to “play the tape” and revisit the truth.

Second, twist the truth with the same approach that worked for the opponent. It appears to me that the Democrats don’t believe in truth. For example, the fact that Clinton was guilty of “high crimes” escapes them. I believe the Democrats simply thought the Republicans out-maneuvered them in the Clinton impeachment proceedings. I don’t think it ever occurred to the Democrats that Clinton could actually be guilty. So in their view now would be the time to use the same approach to get rid of Bush. The only way it will work, in my humble view, is if the truth backs up the claims. Maybe the Democrats ought to concentrate on finding a real offense rather than just slinging enough mud in the hope that it will stick.

Third, popularity polls. Clinton lived and died by the poll. Clinton was driven by polls. He sent out the trial balloon, watched the reaction, then instituted policy. Bush has never bent to popularity polls. He has stated his intentions, then he has moved to action with no deviation from the intentions. That is my favorite thing about the man. You can actually believe that he will do what he says.

Finally, there is one other comment you make that is very troubling to me. “As the head executive of the United States, the buck stops with him.” What ever happened to three “separate but equal” branches of government? If he bears all the responsibility for the government as you suggest, why does anyone else have a vote? How is it that law can be passed, then reversed by courts?

Give me some specifics so that I can change my view.

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

Clinton's speech simply reiterates his never ending "it's all about me" attitude. Bush is correct in pointing out that many Democrats that had the same intelligence reports that he did voted in favor of toppling Saddam. (Don't try to suggest that they were voting for anything less than that.) Are they now claiming they did so in a fit of stupidity? That doesn't sound like a way to inspire voter confidence.

To be sure, Bush's poll ratings are in the tank right now. But what do opinion polls mean? Ballot box results mean something. Opinion polls are easily manipulated and change rapidly. I believe that the fact that Clinton's poll numbers were never as low as Bush's says more about the American public than it says about the two men as presidents.

The empty strategy of watching (and adding to) one's political opponent's problems, gleefully hoping that it translates into a win for your side does nothing to address the real issues or properly manage the affairs of government. A true winning political strategy requires actual ideas that have deep appeal to the majority of voters.

P. Maclean said...

Well, from the looks of it Bill Clinton did not give much of a speech, just a couple of petty sentences compared to George Bush's grand oration on freedom and peace on Veteran's day. Still, I just could not believe Bill could be that succinct, especially not when talking about himself. Remember his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1988? This had to be looked into further because it was sure to end in a good hoot...

Now, it turns out Bill Clinton wasn't even in the country on Veteran's day, traitor. He was actually in Prague (that's the Czech Republic) speaking to the Club of Madrid. That is a club that is made up of 67 heads of state dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world - I had to look it up. Bill did not miss the opportunity for self aggrandizement though. He talked about emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and programs his administration and the current one were pursuing there to open a two day meeting on the subject. Yeah, right, strengthening democracy in the world. He sure is slick.

I did find that speech in New York that you wrote about Lysis. He didn't give it on Veteran's day, though, it was just a day before on Nov. 10. You were right about him giving it to a group of academics too - I've personally never had a high regard for them folks either, of course, present blogging company is excepted Professor Lysis. You know, to be fair, he could hardly be blamed for talking about himself in that Nov. 10 speech though. You see, he had been invited there to give the opening speech for a three day conference of historians that was examining his presidency. And I was right, he went on and on. He talked about everything from the first 100 days, N.A.F.T.A., Rwanda, the Dayton Peace Accords, Barak and Arafat at Camp David, the 90's economy, to Lewinsky - by far the most interesting part. He can be dang long winded when he talks about himself, the former President of the United States for eight years, who, it was funny, Leon Panetta said, speaking before Bill at the conference - and this is punchline - is looked back on by some now as being the President in the good old days. Can you imagine that?

Well, there was more to that total tale of Veteran's day after all, or actually, that tale of what happened in front of all them high falutin' academics - present company excepted - the day before Veteran's day in New York. The Veteran's day speeches the two Presidents gave were less of a contrast but you probably knew that and just wanted to use a little creative embellishment to keep your tale interesting. I understand and I don't blame you. I'll sit and watch the bulls fight all day sometimes in the fall. I mean, who really wants to hear about peace and democracy and getting along and such anymore when there is a good war on and a good tale to tell about it?

Anonymous said...

A score of 19 on the ASVAB test will now qualify a person to be in the U.S. Army -- that's down from 32 out of 100. (How effective a soldier will such a person be in the "high tech" U.S. military?)

The age limitation of recruits has been raised to 42!

Now there are very LIBERAL health disabilities limitations that would preclude recruitment into the U.S. Army.

But the Army's recruiting numbers are still WAY DOWN!

The Air Force and Navy are not experiencing similar recruitment number emergencies.

The numbers of amputated limbs and head trauma injuries to Army casualties is TWICE what it was in Viet Nam! -- horrible long term/EXPENSIVE disabilities that the VA has not been funded properly to handle. (Guess Lysis doesn't talk or listen to many disabled vets)

Even a $40,000 bonus to some recruits has not increased numbers. (It takes a lower score than 19 to spin that one)

If it keeps getting this desperate, perhaps even Lysis and I can up and re-up!

What about the more youthful Agorites who favor wars fought by other people? -- wanna play?

Want to know how to INSTANTLY end the war? -- Bush should start a DRAFT into the Army!!!

Bush' poor planing has used up the "All Volunteer Army" but he still wants to create NEW FRONTS in Iran and Syria. How is he going to do that with a dwindling "All Voluteer Army"?

Yep,that means YOU. As in I NEED YOU! -- And ol' Uncle is telling not asking!

And you don't think this looks like Viet Nam deja vous? -- with no end in sight????

"We will kill,"
said the blood-thirster,
"and after the killing
there will be peace."

But after the killing
their sons
killed his sons,
and his sons
killed their sons,
and their sons
killed his sons



a blood-thirster said,
"We will kill.
And after the killing
there will be Peace."

Lysis said...

Rumpole – Thanks for elaborating. The play book exposition was particularly helpful. I have often been concerned by the minority party’s (think Democrats) tactic of obstruction. Rather than doing their best to insure American success, they are constantly scraping up mole hills to make barricades. They, like Thad above – hope for our nations failure to give them the chance at power they are unable to earn by effort or ideas.

P. Maclean - thanks for posting, and from Amsterdam no less!!! How exciting! You are right in pointing to the short shrift I gave to Clinton’s speech. I was confident that further discussion would bring out more points, and I am glad you looked into it further and concurred with my assessment. I apologize for getting the date of Clinton’s speech wrong. Thanks for setting me strait. I guess I could slip by on poetic license – but that would be fudging.

I was excited to check out Clinton’s true Veterans Day Speech on “strengthening democracy in the world”. I was eager to meet the 67 Heads of State in attendance. You might imagine my disappointment when I read the list. Counting on seeing the names Presidents if not Kings and Queens – I was brought up rather short. For others interested, I will list the Members of the Club of Madrid: the Former Prime Minister of Sudan, the Former Prime Minister of Colombia, the Former P M of Canada, the Former Pres. of Brazil, the Former Pres. of the United States, (Clinton himself) The former P M of Bulgaria, the Former P M of Costa Rica, the Former Pres. of Colombia, the Former P M of Spain, the Ex P M of Portugal, (not too former I guess) the Former Pres. of Czech Republic, the Former Pres. of Ecuador, the Former P M of France, the Former Pres. of Slovenia, the Former Pres. of (and this one really impressed me) Cape Verde, the Former Pres. of Albania, the Former P M of Peru, the Former P M of Denmark, the Former Pres. of Ireland, and the Former P M of Romania, and the Former P M of New Zealand. I was hoping Gorbachev would be a member, and then we could have had the Former Dictator of the Former Soviet Union. But I guess he wasn’t up to standards. Come on P. Maclean, what does this group of has-beens have in common? - Their desire to relive old glories, like ghosts sniffing at the fumes of spilt liquor which they can never experience again.

I hope Clinton’s speech was a good one. President Bush seems to have some faith in him, sending him off to raise money for tsunamis and floods. Money razing was always Bill’s long suit. I noted with some interest that Clinton was in Jordan – giving support to King Abdullah. Or was Abdullah lending support to Hillary’s image. Hard to tell with the Clintons; maybe they were looking for contributions to the Clinton Library. I’ll give Bill the benefit of the doubt.

As for your list of Clinton “successes”:

N.A.F.T.A. – that was Bush I’s doing.

Rwanda (a great Clinton success) speaks for itself.

What ever happened to the Daton Peace Accords? – Oh Ya – after 250,000 dead Yugoslavs came the slaughter in Bosnia, and Kosovo, the bombing of Serbia, (not to mention the Chinese embassy). Thousands of U.S. troops are still keeping the “enlightened” Europeans from murdering each other and Milosevic is still on trial in The Hague.

As for Barak and Arafat at Camp David; that Clinton grab for a legacy is as dead as the great Nobel Laurent – Yasser himself.

And then there is Lewinsky – well, I guess Bill did get something out of that -- Impeached!

Good old days – Ha Ha Leon!

As for Bush: he is willing to do the heavy lifting for freedom in the world in spite of politically motivated criticism. I did put in more of his speech than I did of Clinton’s Nov. 10 speech, because he had more to explain, and he did it well.

As for the talks of Bush and Clinton no Veterans Day, I have not changed my stance – only the Clinton speech I am criticizing. As for my being an academic; perhaps teachers are of little or no use in the world where doers not talkers count. At any rate, all I do is talk, but I have not yet come to the point were I have to recast my past to craft a legacy or to concoct my relevance in the world.

Reach – I agree with your sad assessment of many Americans – but history will show that many wonderful Americans did what was right in spite of the political consequences.

Anonymous – nice song – go sing it to the millions murdered from Rwanda to Yugoslavia from Hitler’s Germany to Mao’s China, to those murdered in Jordan and Iraq. It is a sad world indeed when those who live in fear can count on nothing from the strong but foul air and a turned back. You’re right, you and I ought to find some way to serve our country. I’ve got it – let’s tell the truth.

TaZa said...

The truth? But why would we do a thing like that...
If we told the truth, then all the Americans who get drunk to num life, because they cant handle it as is, would all have to commit suicide.... or, just maybe, do something like think!!

...If only people would stop trying to live a life of ignorance and ecstasy... and if other people (insert political party here) would stop supporting this life style of “toleration”, where countless unborn are killed each day, and where marriage has become less than even a purchased title...

Now that would be a world I would like to see!


Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"You and I ought to find some way to serve our country. I've got it -- Let's tell the truth."

I FOUND a way to serve my country -- I did it the "usual" way.

Curious that you're STILL looking though!!!!

However, I don't call posting idealogical mutterings "truth" and broadcasting them on a blog, service to my country.

Anonymous said...

No more than I call tearing down these idiological ideas serving my country as well.

When will you tell us of your service. Since the "truth" is not of service what is yours?

Reach Upward said...

Apparently I was not completely correct when I mentioned President Bush’s polling numbers earlier. John Hinderaker shows here that all presidents from Lyndon Johnson to the present (yes, even Clinton) have polled out as bad or worse at one point or another during their presidency. Bush’s polling numbers bottomed out about four weeks ago and have been on the upswing since then. Also, the poll suggesting that Bush has a lower trust rating than Clinton did during impeachment has now been discredited. So maybe the state of the American public is not so lamentable after all.

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

Anonymous (who quotes then comments) I imagine I HAVE been of some small service in the past. But I hope to be of greater service in the future; maybe even find some new way to serve. Perhaps my service is to get others to think. I have little reach – a couple hundred students each year, my friends and family, a few thousand Boy Scouts, some kids who work for me, you and some other kind readers who think as you correct my ramblings. But we can’t really fall back on our laurels can we. I accept that you “have DONE your service in the usual way.” I’d like to hear about it. I hope you won’t give up looking for more ways to serve. You serve me as a great motivator of thoughts. I hope you will continue to do so in future. I guess I write here because I aspire to such service as well.

Anonymous (who I think is a different Anonymous) I agree with you that pulling down America is a great DISSERVICE not only to Americans, but to the world.

Reach – Thanks for the truths, they were of great service to me. I believe that the Truth will make us free – here you provide a powerful example!

RealFruitBeverage said...

Just a note, while the GT scores for military enterance has been lowered, the average score of current enlisted has increased. But one shouldn't look to scores for signs of them good old smarts, just look a me, I'm a twit, but I test well.

And one doesn't need military service to serve this country, so for those that think that's the case shut it.

BTW Bush II looks less impy in real life. Also his father was cooler. Overall his speach was neck breakingly boring.

Anonymous said...

"And one doesn't need Military service to serve this country . . ."

Well, to serve this country *Militarily* you do! (I guess you could work for Haliburton in Iraq, but that's not what I mean.)

The President disapproves of vigilantism even if a few militarists would like to "help serve" the country down on the border by bust'n a few wet-backs.

However,I agree perfectly if you insert "only" in front of Military!

"They also serve who stay and wait" is also great service to country.

Graciousness -- emulating the greatest of Greek virtue!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

The following passage is something that I hold to be "Truth".

And being truth if we were to adhere to these principles we would be giving service to our country and fellow man and woman.

What do you Bloggers Think?

As A Man Thinketh
by James Allen

Chapter Five
The Thought-Factor in Achievement

All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man's. They are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own, and not another man's. His suffering and his happiness are evolved from within. As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.

A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself. He must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.

It has been usual for men to think and to say, "Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor." Now, however, there is among an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment, and to say, "One man is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves." The truth is that oppressor and slave are cooperators in ignorance, and, while seeming to afflict each other, are in reality afflicting themselves. A perfect Knowledge perceives the action of law in the weakness of the oppressed and the misapplied power of the oppressor. A perfect Love, seeing the suffering which both states entail, condemns neither. A perfect Compassion embraces both oppressor and oppressed.

He who has conquered weakness, and has put away all selfish thoughts, belongs neither to oppressor nor oppressed. He is free.

A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, and abject, and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts.

Before a man can achieve anything, even in worldly things, he must lift his thoughts above slavish animal indulgence. He may not, in order to succeed, give up all animality and selfishness, by any means; but a portion of it must, at least, be sacrificed. A man whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically. He could not find and develop his latent resources, and would fail in any undertaking. Not having commenced manfully to control his thoughts, he is not in a position to control affairs and to adopt serious responsibilities. He is not fit to act independently and stand alone, but he is limited only by the thoughts which he chooses.

There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice. A man's worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self reliance. And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more manly, upright, and righteous he becomes, the greater will be his success, the more blessed an enduring will be his achievements.

The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, the vicious, although on the mere surface it may sometimes appear to do so; it helps the honest, the magnanimous, the virtuous. All the great Teachers of the ages have declared this in varying forms, and to prove and know it a man has but to persist in making himself more and more virtuous by lifting up his thoughts.

Intellectual achievements are the result of thought consecrated to the search for knowledge, or for the beautiful and true in life and nature. Such achievements may be sometimes connected with vanity and ambition but they are not the outcome of those characteristics. They are the natural outgrowth of long an arduous effort, and of pure and unselfish thoughts.

Spiritual achievements are the consummation of holy aspirations. He who lives constantly in the conception of noble and lofty thoughts, who dwells upon all that is pure and unselfish, will, as surely as the sun reaches its zenith and the moon its full, become wise and noble in character, and rise into a position of influence and blessedness.

Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought. By the aid of self-control, resolution, purity, righteousness, and well-directed thought a man ascends. By the aid of animality, indolence, impurity, corruption, and confusion of thought a man descends.

A man may rise to high success in the world, and even to lofty altitudes in the spiritual realm, and again descend into weakness and wretchedness by allowing arrogant, selfish, and corrupt thoughts to take possession of him.

Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fall back into failure.

All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought, are governed by the same law and are of the same method; the only difference lies in the object of attainment.

He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little. He who would achieve much must sacrifice much. He who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.

Rumpole said...


Your earlier post was excellent, informative, and insightful! Your position seems well thought out and compelling! It required me to search deeper. Unfortunately, after my search I must confess that my earlier view on the subject at hand has been re-enforced rather than altered. Here is why.

Real Fruit Beverage pointed out that while the “GT scores for military entrance has been lowered, the average score of the current enlisted has increased.” Assuming that RFB is correct, did your comment about those scores convey the whole story? I don’t know how “effective” our “high tech” soldiers are, but based on your measure they are more qualified than you attempted to point out.

Further, I did some of my own research that confirmed some of your statistics. According to the Boston Globe (my source, December 9, 2004), the amputation rate in Iraq (6%) is twice that of past wars (3%). The Globe did not compare/contrast head and neck injuries. It only suggested that “20% have suffered head and neck injuries that may require a lifetime of care.”

I suppose that your resource ended there. The Globe, however, continued . . . “Only 1 in 10 US troops injured in Iraq has died, the lowest rate of any war in US history.” An interesting twist! Something must have happened to your source’s word processor after the amputation statistic. I’m certain the other pertinent information would never have been purposely omitted!

The article continues, “The death rate isn’t great compared to Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. But these soldiers are coming back to their communities and people are seeing just how high the price is that these young people are paying.”

What great men and women we have that represent us! We owe a debt of gratitude to them that can never be fully repaid! How fortunate we are that those who serve have done so voluntarily! I think you are right. Those volunteers shouldn’t have to carry the torch of freedom on their own. In fact, as part of our “dues” for citizenship in this great land compulsory military service might benefit us all!

John F. Kennedy made his view clear on personal sacrifice for the nation. “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country!” I’m not sure, but I don’t think he ever asked “wanna play?”

An open question – Is the decline in recruiting a reflection of America’s distaste for the war, or is it a reflection of a generation that does not understand sacrifice?

At this point, we have not entered another Viet Nam with our actions in Iraq. Those on the left are hoping for it. They would “cut and run” now rather than finishing what was started.

It is most interesting that JFK was the President who got us into Viet Nam. Why don’t the Liberals point out that fact when bemoaning the tragedy in Viet Nam? I guess that must have been another instance where the word processor went on the fritz at the most inopportune time!

Lysis said...


Quit a bit of information from James Allen; I agree with some ideas – disagree with others. Since you asked my thoughts, paragraph by paragraph I suggest:

#1 – I believe there are eternal forces which influence a man’s success and happiness. While our thoughts are necessary for success, the actions of other can derail our dreams. Consider the dreamers on Tiananmen Square. Those who suffered and died in the Gulags and the Killing Fields were given no chance to evolve happiness.

#2 – Without internal motivation one cannot permanently improve, however external support from parent, teacher, lover, etc. can provide a place for the spark to burn.

#3 – We should despise oppression and slavery but never slaves. The slave does not choose his master. There can be compassion for oppressors, but only after they have been prevented from oppressing!

#4 Many slaves may be free in their minds, but when your children are taken from you and your rights denied by force, you are NOT free.

#5 – Weaknesses is a physical state as well as a spiritual one. In a nation where law and power defend opportunity, Mr. Allen’s words seem to ring true. But how can they apply to a woman buried alive by the Taliban for trying to learn or work?

#6 – I agree - all things of value are made valuable by the sacrifice which they are either obtained or given.

#7 – Ditto above.

#8 – Wicked never was happiness – I agree – but wickedness can spread misery to the innocent.

#9 – see #6

#10 – There are many words here that need defining if we are to agree or disagree. But I believe that the good, the noble, the just, and the true are one.

#11 – see #6

#12 Agreed – the past is never safe from the present. Call no man happy till he is dead. (Solon)

#13 Ditto above.

#14 – see #6

#15 – see #6

#15 - see #6

The truth is that, the noble need the protection of the strong, or to be strong enough to protect themselves.

Rumpole – Thank you for doing the leg work to bring us closer to truth. Thoughts must be based on knowledge, wisdom on knowledge of truth.

Anonymous said...


Your CREDULITY is a done deal -- why all the pretense about a "search for the truth"?

The "search" you are on is ONLY a "SEARCH AND DESTROY" mission against whatever YOU think for the moment the "L" word means.

For example, you post:
I suppose that your source ended there . . .
I'm certain the other pertinent information would never have been purposely omitted.
I guess that must have been another instance . . . .
I suppose your resource ended there . . .

You did not contradict ANYTHING that had been evidenced, but chose to be (in your sarcasam) dissatified with what HADN'T been cited.

Well, significant "cherry picking" could/would fault my conclusions if you could/would MAKE the argument of HOW what was omitted made a difference and then HOW those differences falsified my theses.

However, no such argument was made. INSTEAD you make snide references suggesting my DISHONESTY!

On the other hand you "ASSUME RFB' statistics correct" without explaining its/their relevance or signigicance (no real surprise, RFB doesn't either).

Why even go on a search for TRUTH when you want to ASSUME only SOME statistics are correct -- the ones that already support (or seem to) your PRECONCEPTIONS?

I know, "deconstructing" of this kind must fall into ANOTHER of the devious "strategies of liberalism" that you find so dastardly is such a self serving "search" for the TRUTH?!?!

Anonymous said...

Liberals Lie-

Liberals Distort-


The word nonpartisan, what does it mean:

# a person who is nonpartisan
# free from party affiliation or bias

What does it mean to the Center for American Progress?


Please read for yourself. The following is a copy paste from their website. (just google it)

"The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure our national policies reflect these values. Our policy and communications efforts are organized around four major objectives:

• developing a long term vision of a progressive America,
• providing a forum to generate new progressive ideas and policy proposals,
• responding effectively and rapidly to conservative proposals and rhetoric with a thoughtful critique and clear alternatives, and
• communicating progressive messages to the American public.

So does this mean I am a "kool-aid" drinker or I am an independent thinker?

My next question is Please define for me what it is to be a "progressive"?

I am trying to not drink of the kool-aid cup. Please give me specifics.

I am getting tired of reading attacks on "conservative" Kool-Aid drinkers when you can't tell me what you stand for other than "independent" thinking.

"You've got to stand for something or you are going to fall for anything"

John Cougar Mellencamp

If you can't deliniate what "Progressives" stand for, then I guess you will fall for anything.

Come on! Attack me as a KA Drinker!

Rumpole said...


Please allow me to apologize. You are absolutely correct! I should never have assumed RFB’s retort to your statistics to be accurate. I should also have also completed research on those claims. You apparently missed, however, where I pointed out their relevance. Take a minute to reread the second paragraph of my last post. Maybe you missed it because you were just in a hurry. I’ve been guilty of that too. In my rush to complete the more mundane tasks of life I attend to (where the most beautiful truths are found), I didn’t finish. I can assure you that it was not due to any preconceived “search and destroy” mission.

In order to right that wrong I have taken a little time to attempt to verify those statistics. Unfortunately, I have not been able to either confirm or refute RFB’s claim that the “average score of the current enlisted has increased.” Perhaps RFB will let us know where he got his statistics. I’d like to see them. However, in my search I did discover some interesting facts along the way. Can I share them with you?

You stated “A score of 19 on the ASVAB test will now qualify a person to be in the U.S. Army.” According to the U.S. Military ( asvabminimum.htm) the minimum is 31. The article comments that the army has been approving more and more waivers for those with scores as low as 26. What is my point? According to my source your statistics weren’t close to reality! But hey, anyone can make a mistake without disproving a theses, right?

You stated “the Army’s recruiting numbers are still WAY DOWN!” According to the U.S. Military ( the Army was at 92% for fiscal 2005 (Oct. 1, 2004 to Sept. 30, 2005). I guess 92% (6,637 troops short) being WAY DOWN is subject to interpretation. However, the U.S. Military points out in the same article (without specific figures) that the Army’s retention goal for 2005 was exceeded. Amazing how one’s view on a specific subject can change with complete information!

Not only are the inaccuracies critical, what “HADN’T” been cited is also critical. I am deeply sorry and sympathetic for every single one of those who have returned home wounded. I am infinitely grateful to them for their sacrifice.

Nevertheless, to inflate and distort figures, to only give half a story , and eliminate its context as an emotional plea does not work to convince me in a difference of opinion. It only serves to polarize me further from the differing view.

Further, to imply that an action is wrong because it is not popular is the weakest of weak. We live in a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. We all have the right to the debate, but the elected government makes the final decision. If we don’t like the decision, we vote to replace the government. As I said before, what I most admire about George Bush is the lack of attention he pays to opinion polls. He says what he is going to do, then he does it. The current President DOES NOT answer to a poll. He DOES answer to the electorate.

I suggested nothing in my last post about “strategies of liberalism”. But, since you ask, let me add to those strategies with a great run-on sentence. Half a story, taken out of context, with inaccurate information, in an attempt at an emotional plea, is right out of the playbook. You seem to be very familiar with the book.

Anonymous Cougar Mellencamp described what I think about your views much better than I have. “I’m getting tired of reading attacks on ‘conservative’ Kool-Aid drinkers when you can’t tell me what you stand for other than ‘independent’ thinking.”

But I am grateful to you for my lesson. From now on I won’t assume anything! I can only eagerly await the time when you consider me worthy to know WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

Anonymous said...

"Recrutment for the U.S. military is at a 26-year low, and the standards for who gets in and who doesn't may shortly follow.
After missing its recruitment goal this year by nearly 7,000 troops the widest margin since 1979, the Army has announced a revision of recruitment tactics. It is now accepting a greater number of less qualified applicants, doubling the amount of so-called Category 4 troops, those men and women who score low in the aptitude tests from 2 percent of the class to 4 percent."

"We're short 7,000 troops this year. This is a tremendous shortfall. And it is even more significant and severe in the National Guard, which I think is starting to melt down.
-Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey

You know, going to a U.S. Army web site to get "valid" recruitment informantion is like going to Fox news to get "valid" facts on Rush Limbaugh's Oxy-contin habit.

So, I guess you will have to do a "Swift boat" job on ol' Gen. Barry in a vain effort to spin the facts your way.

Simply it comes down to a problem of credulity (as I pointed out to begin the last posting). Either you own up to there being current, very damaging, problems with recruitment in the Army or you'll want to continue to debate "evidence cards" -- either way you lose!

I was using "my evidence" to point out that:
1. "Soutions" to the Army's problem were not solving. and/or
2. The "solutions" were making the Army itself less effective.

I have heard, just over the last 3 or 4 days, an increasing call for the reinstitution of the Draft by many COMSERVATIVE sources, to address problems Rumpole believes does not exist.

In the original posting I EXTEND the issue to questions about the feasibility and logistics of renewing the draft.
I think for GWB et al to consider, or even discuss, having a draft again would quickly bring an end to the Iraqi war. Politically, he can't do it now -- what is more, he no longer has the "chops" to do it.(my analysis).

It is obliviously naive to believe that GWB does not respond to opinion polls -- is the Pope Catholic? Is GWB a politician? Is Harriet Meyers still a U.S. Supreme Court nominee?

Hey, *The Liberal Playbook*? Who wrote that piece of trash -- Carl Rove? Bring it by sometime and we'll discuss it over coffee!!!!

Silver Lining said...

Correct me if I am wrong. You, anonymous, believe even talking about reinstating the draft would bring about a quick end to the war right? I suppose the talk about it during the election last year in which only one or two congressmen approved it was such an obvious stunt that it didn't work right? Like Bush or not, I don't think it is his strength or guts that prevents him, he simply might not feel that it is the right thing to do. I profer that up because no one else is discussing it seriously either.

Rumpole said...


Thank you so very much for providing valid statistics from Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey and verifying the research in my last post! I am certain the Retired General derived those statistics on his own! He probably traveled extensively to poll every recruiting office and military base in the country to gather his statistics! Surely he was wise enough to not make the same mistake I have and get the statistics from the U.S. Military themselves! I can only consider myself fortunate that my source turned out to be so accurate!

Thank you also for pointing out that the Honorable General also validated that the Army is “accepting a greater number of less qualified applicants.” I guess the recruiting office was just lucky when they implicated that same thing. I must say that I don’t think the recruiters should waste their time gathering all those statistics. All they need to do is consult General McCaffrey!

I’m not sure what you mean by a “swift boat” job on the General, but if that means having individuals who served with the General come forward with an accurate depiction of what it was like to serve with “ol’Gen. Barry” I’m all for it!

Now that we’ve agreed on all the statistics and the “swift boat” job, I guess that makes you the Big Winner!

I also need to thank you for finding me worthy enough to clearly state you position! I know how undeserving I am! You statement was much better than asking the young Agorites if they “wanna play.” I don’t think you came completely clean though. I think you missed the crux of your position. It seems to me that your #3 should read something like this:

3. We should not be in Iraq. (i.e. “And you don’t think this looks like Viet Nam deja vous – with no end in sight????”)

I do think, however, that you implied within your posts that our nation is fighting a war when most of its citizenry does not want to be actual combatants. I hate having to mention it again, but can you reread my previous posts? Here, I’ll add the important points so that you don’t have to scroll around:

“Those volunteers shouldn’t have to carry the touch of freedom on their own. In fact, as part of our “dues” for citizenship in this great land compulsory military service might benefit us all!”

I might add here that I independently believe that irregardless of the War in Iraq.

Also, “An open question – Is the decline in recruiting a reflection of America’s distaste for the war, or is it a reflection of a generation that does not understand sacrifice?”

We ought to have a draft! Not for the purpose of putting bodies on a beachhead to work out a calculation for collateral damage, but rather to instill in a generation the meaning of service and sacrifice. If we free nations of the oppressed along the way so much the better!

All that being said, let me clearly restate my issues with your position with another great run-on sentence: Half a story, taken out of context, with inaccurate information, in an emotional plea, without a completely stated position (I just added that one, do you like it?) is right out of the PLAYBOOK.

Incidentally, I don’t think I’ve seen a poll out on whether or not the Pope is Catholic. I don’t think George W. Bush is a politician (we can debate that later, I’m sure we’ll have ample opportunity), and Harriet Meyers is no longer a Supreme Court Nominee. SHE TOOK HER OWN NAME OUT OF CONSIDERATION!

Sorry, but I think I'm going to have to go backwards on you for a moment. I don’t think I can accept your being the Big Winner. I’m sure the Agora readers will independently judge that for themselves. But I do accept your invitation to meet over coffee! Work out the details!

Dr. Health said...

Clinton, whose presidency saw neither,
claimed an economic turn around and Middle
East peace initiatives as his accomplishments.