Friday, January 27, 2006

Cincinnatus, Service, and George W. Bush

This morning I found myself once more delivering a “heritage lecture” to the assembled student body. The theme this time: service. By the end of the “Service Assembly” our students had raised $4,200.00+ for a local homeless shelter and to buy special equipment for handicapped students. There are those who voice some despair about the “youth of today”. I don’t see it. Kids are wise enough to recognize what is really valuable and to act accordingly.

Preparing for my assignment I found myself leafing through Livy. Seeking for an example of selfless service and honorable leadership, I happened across the account of Cincinnatus. An internet search reviled that many others have recognized his greatness. What follows is what I read the students:

Meaningful service requires sacrifice. It can be rendered by anyone willing to give of themselves for the benefit of others, but when that sacrifice is accompanied by a generosity of spirit that seeks no reward or recognition, but only the good of those in need, it bespeaks true greatness. As Lancers, we can look to our Lancer Heritage for inspiration in service. In 458 B. C. two powerful enemies attacked the Roman lands. The Senate sent two Consular armies into the field. The Army commanded by Minucius was trapped on a lonely hill top. Desperate riders fled for Rome; without help the Roman army would be destroyed.

The Senate knew they could not run the rescue by committee, and none dared take the job himself. The Senate looked for a single hero to save Rome. Their emissaries took the symbols of absolute power from the capital to the tiny, three acre farm of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus. The heralds found Cincinnatus plowing his field. The crop he sought to plant would be his family’s only support. The messengers form the city begged Cincinnatus “to put on his toga and hear the Senate’s instructions.” His wife ran to their cottage to fetch his toga; he wiped the grim and sweat from his hands and face and put it on; at once the envoys saluted him, as Dictator, and begged him to save the city. Leaving his plow in the field, Cincinnatus headed for Rome.

Cincinnatus was in the Forum before dawn. He assembled the people, suspended all business, and called all men of military age to bring their weapons, five days’ bread and twelve wooden stakes to Mars field. That night Cincinnatus took his army to war.

They arrived at midnight, surrounded the enemy, dug a trench, and planted their stakes. Cincinnatus ordered his soldiers to raise a shout. At the cry, Rome’s enemy realized they were surrounded, and the trapped Roman troops knew help had come. Caught between two Roman armies the invaders were destroyed.

Cincinnatus returned to Rome. He entered the Senate chamber and gave back the bound rods and ax, symbol of his absolute power. His dictatorship of Rome had lasted sixteen days. He returned to his farm. His plow was still in the field were he had left it. He took off his toga and went back to work.

Cincinnatus teaches selfless service; setting aside his own needs for those who could not help themselves. He thought only of the good of those-in-need. When he had saved his country, he set aside the absolute power Rome had given him and returned to his humble life. His example of greatness in service has not been lost on history. Today, a city in Italy and Cincinnati, Ohio bear his name. And it was Cincinnatus who inspired George Washington; to set aside the power his military service brought him at the end of the Revolutionary War; to return to his farm. Later, after two terms as America’s first President, Washington again set aside supreme authority and returned to private life. Washington’s example has guided the course of America ever since. Washington was himself inspired by a simple Roman farmer, a man who valued service above wealth or power, a Roman Lancer named Cincinnatus.

Here my presentation to the students ended. I was pleased to think that they not only saw the model of Cincinnatus’ selfless service, one of giving without lust for power or glory; but many saw, in his just and necessary application of power, the answer to the neo-lib’s misrepresentations concerning the War on Terror.

I am impressed with how much Cincinnatus’ story is like that of George Bush II. President Bush did not seek the glory of a war-time Presidency. In the rubble of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, the tyranny of a plotting Saddam, the atrocities of the Taliban, and the murderous dreams of al Qaeda; the danger swarmed against American and our country needed him. The “Senate and people” went running to Gorge W. Bush and begged him to take up the mantel of leadership. He “put on his toga and headed for the city”. In strict obedience to the Constitution, Bush climbed down from the ruins the Twin Towers, wiped the sweet from his hands and face and took up the leadership of a nation at war. The years have passed and President Bush continues to lead us day and night. All too soon he will head back to his farm and take up his “plow”.


Anonymous said...

Oh Brother. There are still three years Lysis. If you put in for clearance now you might be able to Bush's boots in person when he gets back to his farm.

Still just wanted to make sure everyone got to see the economic growth figures today. The GDP growth was the slowest in three years and FAR lower than anyone could have possibly predicted, a pithy 1.1 percent. The BBC business report suggests Bush rexamine his claims that the U.S. economy is the "envy of the world." (I suggest Lysis rexamine is terminal case of Hero-worship that prevents him from any kind of critical thinking.) Even Europe, with its really sluggish growth, outpaced the U.S. Nice job Bush! Your tax cuts are really doing to the trick! And they only cost 400 BILLION more dollars than America made last year. "Oh well, call Congress, raise the debt ceiling, AGAIN. (Am I setting a record for the most amount of debt incurred by one President? No, that was that other Great Republican.) Now, let's see how fast we can get more money back into the Armani suit pockets of all those nice people Jack introduced me to last time he was here at the White House."

Too bad the U.S. doesn't have a President that really knows the value of service and would not cut service programs for middle-class and poor Americans in favor of fat-cat tax cuts for the super rich. Too bad we don't have a president that could create responsible economic policies that would plow up some jobs instead of corrupt special interest energy policies - for one example - made in secret meetings. Instead, the only President we get is a toga partying frat boy who can't help but plow the economy under!

Anonymous said...

Oh Brother. There are still three years Lysis. If you put in for clearance now you might be able to lick Bush's boots in person when he gets back to his farm.

Still just wanted to make sure everyone got to see the economic growth figures today. The GDP growth was the slowest in three years and FAR lower than anyone could have possibly predicted, a pithy 1.1 percent. The BBC business report suggests Bush rexamine his claims that the U.S. economy is the "envy of the world." (I suggest Lysis rexamine is terminal case of Hero-worship that prevents him from any kind of critical thinking.) Even Europe, with its really sluggish growth, outpaced the U.S. Nice job Bush! Your tax cuts are really doing to the trick! And they only cost 400 BILLION more dollars than America made last year. "Oh well, call Congress, raise the debt ceiling, AGAIN. (Am I setting a record for the most amount of debt incurred by one President? No, that was that other Great Republican.) Now, let's see how fast we can get more money back into the Armani suit pockets of all those nice people Jack introduced me to last time he was here at the White House."

Too bad the U.S. doesn't have a President that really knows the value of service and would not cut service programs for middle-class and poor Americans in favor of fat-cat tax cuts for the super rich. Too bad we don't have a president that could create responsible economic policies that would plow up some jobs instead of corrupt special interest energy policies - for one example - made in secret meetings. Instead, the only President we get is a toga partying frat boy who can't help but plow the economy under!

Lysis said...

Child – Very “economical”; using the same post on two threads, it doesn’t cut it either time.

Child – Not so economical posting it twice on the same thread. It doesn’t make your position any stronger to shout it twice.

On the economic news of the day; for those who, like our anonymous child here, missed the full story. The U.S. economy had a robust 3.5% growth last year, in spite of disaster and disingenuous media attacks, and still leads the world.

Child, for a quick lesson in economics, ask your parents how much they owe on the house they provide for you. You’ll be surprised to find out that they practice deficit spending as well. Let them explain to you how it works.

Fortunately we have a President who understands the value of providing jobs for people so they can serve themselves. I know that releases them form the dependency of the entitlement society your neo-libs teachers dream of imposing on our country. Maybe your dad has a job, ask him to explain how the “big bad company” he works for makes your computer possible. Your call for Bush to plow up some jobs shows how little you know about the facts. America has been producing millions of jobs throughout the Bush Presidency. You have to go back to the Clinton recession to find negative job growth in our Country. Not so for your friends in France! You can call Bush all the childish names you want, but until you come up with a fact to back them “they will never hurt him”!

Anonymous said...

I didn't call the President any names. Your imagined persecution is just like your over active imaginings of the "greatnes" of this administration. As for facts, 1.1% GDP growth is the slowest in 3 years, 3.5% is the most Bush has seen (it was what Bill Clinton averaged) and Bush is the only President in history who ended a term in the White House with more people out of work than when he entered the White House, besides Herbert Hoover who was President during the great depression era. By the way, that counts EVERY President who was in office during EVERY war the U.S. has EVER fought. What's wrong? Bush can't get it together to defeat a couple of thugs living in caves in a country that has an illeteracy rate higher than 80%? Bush should get out there and learn the meaning of service by serving the average Americans that voted him into office and stop worrying about the pocket books of all his Big Oil buddies from Texas.

Also, my mother has owned her home for longer than you have probably been alive. I use the computers in the public library that our tax dollars pay for. And I did not call the President any names - you did - check my post. Only facts, slowest economic growth in three years, FAR lower than anyone could have predicted. Shows how much you know.

P.S. Boot-Licker-In-Chief, could be you. I'm telling you. Get that application in early!

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

Child, Since the Coach is off today; let me give you some lessons. Lesson 1) Tell the truth. Re-read your own post; I quote your last two lines above –“The only President we get is a toga partying frat boy who can’t help but plow the economy under!” Calling someone a “Toga partying frat boy” is calling them a name. These are your words, therefore you did call the President a name, and therefore you have proven yourself a liar. See, Child, that’s the way it works. In a debate you find some irrefutable evidence and present it. The honest people in the discussion accept the truth and change their stance, the dishonest ones just yell out more lies and hope you don’t check them out.

Lesson 2) If you use statistics to support your point other people will do the same, and if you have misrepresented the truth they will prove it. I don’t know where your statistics came from (you should learn to reference – it adds credibility – something you really need to add). Here are some from

President Bush on January 6, 2006, Addressed The Economic Club Of Chicago On His Agenda To Continue Creating Jobs And Expand Economic Opportunity. The President discussed the policies that must be in place to keep the economy growing in 2006. The economy added 108,000 new jobs in December and has added more than 400,000 jobs in the last two months. More than 4.6 million new jobs have been added since May 2003. The unemployment rate is now down to 4.9 percent - lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

This is why our economy is the envy of the world, and this is why the proof that President Bush is doing exactly what you say you want him to.

Lesson 3) Never underestimate your enemy. If you really think al Qaeda and Islamic Fanaticism that brought down the Twin Towers and now promises to nuke America is just is just a “couple of thugs living in caves you are not only a proven liar, revealed to rely on misrepresentation of statistics, you’re a demonstrated fool.

I think that shows what I know; let’s see if you can learn anything.

Anonymous said...


Saying that President George W. Bush is a "toga partying frat boy" isn't calling names, it is a fact. George Bush is an alumnist member of Yale fraternities Delta Kappe Epsilon and Skull & Bones - the latter's initiation faze requires hazing in a toga. (Funny story, while Bush was a senior member of Delta Kappa Epsilon in 1968 - and former President of the fraternity -the fraternity was investigated for torturing pledges "sadistic and obscene initiation procedures" that involved "hot branding irons." The New York TImes even covered the story and interviewed young toga wearing partier frat boy George Bush who said most of the hazing was done with hot coathangers and the permanent disfiguring wounds were "only a cigarette burn." Busy learning the value of service to his fellow men even then. Oh and building up the habit of appologing for torture! You can read the article "Branding Rite Laid To Yale Fraternity" in the Nov. 8, 1967 New York Times.)

Thanks for giving me the chance to point that out Boot-Licker. And the GDP did fall to 1.1%, the smallest growth in three years, and this President is the only President besides Herbert Hoover to have more people out of work after he was President than were working before he became President. You can read those statistics at the DOL.GOV and BLS.DOL.GOV - the U.S. Department of Labor, the agency charged with providing the raw numbers to the American people before the White House sexes them up. How's that for a refernce!

Lysis said...

Child, don’t you see how pathetic it is, in a discussion about Constitutional Matters and World War, that you are reduced to name calling and rationalizing, (By the way, it seems to me that a “true name” would be the most hurtful than a mad up one, but then you’re the one having the difficulty telling the difference.) and one sorry discredited statistic, (the U.S. 3.5% growth for 2005 led the industrial world no matter how much you whine about the GROWTH of the last quarter!). Here is ANOTHER LESSON for you. When the Opponent, in this case you my Child, are reduced to ad hominem attacks, as in discussing college pranks from the 1960’s, they, in this case you, are admitting they have lost the argument.

I read your “article” from the New York Times. Once again you misrepresent. George Bush was interviewed as a “former” President of the club, and neither participated in nor condoned the coat hanger branding. Child, when you get into college you’ll come understand, that some people there do stupid things; even some of your friends and class mates. I think John Kerry admitted to war crimes in Vietnam; that does not make the rest of the members of the military who served there war criminals. Guilt by association is another loosing argument in the real world of truth seeking.

There you go – two free lessons to you from me, my gifts to you.

Anonymous said...

Hey Boot-Licker! You're wrong.

The U.S. didn't even come close to leading the industrialized world in economic growth last year. Just saying it doesn't make it true, though we all wish it did. Here is just a smattering of numerous industrialized nations from every region of the globe - two of them G8 members - whose economic growth outpaced the U.S.'s last year:

Argentina 8.2%
Chile 5.9%
China 9.2!%
Iceland 5.9%
Iran 4.8%
Ireland 4.9%
Israel 4.3%
Russia 5.9%
South Africa 4.5%
Botswana 4.5%
Cyprus 15.4!%
Czech 4.6%
Norway 3.8%
South Korea 3.7%
Singapore 4.5%
U.A.E. 6.7%
Ukraine 4.4%
Uruguay 6.2%
U.S. 3.5% (A terrifyingly low 1.1% for the fourth quarter, the slowest in three years and FAR lower than anyone could have predicted.)

If you want to check the information on these industrialized economies then go ahead. It was compiled by the CIA and can be found at CIA.GOV. They also made the categoriazation. It's a free website, and everyone can see that you could benefit from a free lesson or two Boot-Licker, what with the fast and loose ways you like to throw facts out the window (but no lessons required in boot licking, of course.)

Now, so I am not accused of misrepresenting the truth, 3.5% is okay but 1.1% is terrifying, and no matter what you say Boot-Licker the 3.5% growth for 2005 DID NOT lead the industrial world no matter how much you whine about the growth. You are lieing.

Back to what I originally said, wouldn't it be nice if we had a President that really knew the meaning of service, that vetoed special interest lobbies like Big Oil instead of giving them a pen to write the nation's energy policy. Wouldn't it be nice to have a President that demanded a balanced budget instead of one that threw away the greatest surplus the country has ever known in tax cuts for the super wealthy and then promised only to be able to cut the deficit HE CREATED by half by 2009. (Won't happen as the deficit is getting BIGGER not smaller.) Wouldn't it be nice if we had competent leadership that AVERAGED 3.5% GDP growth per year like Bill Clinton did for eight. (Incidentally, that puts Bill Clinton at the top of the list for Economic Opportunity Creating Presidents. He is WAY beyond numbers two and three who also happen to be Democrats: Lyndon Johnson and John Kennedy. The Republican Steve Forbes' magazine reported that.)

Another thing, I never misrepresented the story with George Bush torturing terrified young boys in cold dark basements while he was in college. I reported that he had been the president of DKE fraternity and was a senior member when the systematic "obscene and sadistic" torture involving hot irons was investigated. Go back and check for yourself. He was still a member of the fraternity, and he was still making excuses for and minimizing the effects of torturing your fellow man even then. What a great guy.

Now, get over your persecution complex. Also, face up and realize that the only person that has been caught telling a lie in the posts so far is you Boot-Licker! Don't worry though. I am sure it won't hurt your chances for being George Bush's future shine-boy. You've got a real talent for it and he has a real tolerance for dishonest people.

Strategos said...

“O Adam’s sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that would do you good.” (C.S. Lewis)

In relation to the overlying theme of service:
I have long believed that service through self-sacrifice is the way to happiness. In fact the evident truth of this seemingly self-contradictory statement, is the basis of my faith in God, love, and Humanity. I believe that a person, religion, or government, can only be considered just and moral to the extent that it recognizes and practices this principle. Immoral persons, religions, or government, fight against this law of happiness in a variety of ways.
Some say that it is not true, that selfishness is the way to happiness, that one must “live for ones self” in order to find fulfillment. (I include in this group abortionists, pornographers, cigarette and alcohol companies, and most of Hollywood)
Others, especially some religions, teach sacrifice but not in order to serve. They teach their followers that one must sacrifice for the cause or leader who selfishly serves no one, or worse still for a cause or leader who oppresses and enslaves. (I place in this category Islamic fashists, Communists, and Telavangalists, among others.)
The most amazing opposition to service, are those who like The Professor in C.S. Lewis’s "The Magicians Nephew," cleverly and resolutely appose those who would help them or who are trying to help others. (This group consists of rebellious teenagers, obstinate students, the insurgency in Iraq, the antiamerican government Venezuela, and politicians who appose faith based education and welfare projects.)

In relation to Lysis’ claim that Bush’s actions abroad are a great example of self sacrificing service:
The argument cannot be weather or not he is providing service, the liberation of Iraq, and the spreading of democracy is a great service to the world. The question is weather he is doing so through selfless sacrifice or for selfish reasons. I see very little for Bush to personally gain. Among his opponents he has not gained popularity and where he has he largely ignores it. I hear over and over again people claim, Bush is in the war for oil and money, then the same people complain about the supposed lack of oil and money. No if Bush were in it for himself, he would have given in to the rich democrat elitists long ago, accepted their money and praise and returned home to his wife and family.

In answer to anonymous assertion that the economy is failing:
I am a student of anthropology so I know that statistics are often meaningless. If you want to understand something you have to take a more holistic view. Look at the world, look to South America, to Africa, even to Europe, and show us an economic system that is doing a better job.

One final question for anonymous, how were you able to use a computer at the library at 4:39 am on a Sunday?

Strategos said...

Anonymous I see you’ve anticipated my question about our economy compared to the others of the world (see I wrote my post while you were posting yours.) Your numbers illustrate my points perfectly.
First they show that numbers rarely mean anything, as I said I study anthropology not mathematics but here is something I learned in elementary school. Percents can only be compared when they are percents of the same number. 15.4 may be greater that 3.5 but 15.4% 100 is less than 3.5% of 1000, and of coarse 3.5% of 12.77 Trillion (U.S. GNP according to your CIA source.) dwarfs 15.4% of 15.83 Billion (Cyprus’s GNP.)
Second your numbers show that to truly understand a concept you have to look at it from all sides, and understand how it relates to the actual world. Anonymous I invite you to go visit another country, look out side your own U.S. 21st century back yard, go live for a while in Iran. I think you’ll be surprised at how little their 4.8% economic growth affects their actual living conditions.

Lysis said...


You haven’t learned your lessons. Go back to “Lesson 2” above – “If you use statistics to support your point other people will do the same, AND IF YOU HAVE MISREPRESENTED THE TRUTH, THEY WILL PROVE IT!

I’ll make this short; to save you pain. First, Russia is only a courtesy member of the G8 with a GDP of only 740.7 Billion dollars. - (Statistics from the CIA sight the Child used to get his numbers) - Therefore we can only count South Korea as true “Industrial” Nation. South Korea’s GDP was 726.5 billion, (A tiny bit less than Russia’s, to be sure, but when you consider the size difference you can see what is really going on.) If you check out or Reuturs Report for Jan 26, you will see that South Korea’s forth Quarter GDP only grew at 1.7%. A rhetorical Question for you My Child – Are you going to now tell us what a terrible state the South Korean economy is in and blame it on one of their politicians?

Some facts to consider when weighing the Childs rantings:

China’s GDP for 2005 was 1.833 trillion,

Japan’s GDP for 2005 was 4.965 trillion (growth rate – 2.1%)

Russia’s GDP for 2005 was 740.7 billion

Britain’s GDP for 2005 was 2.275 trillion (growth rate – 1.8%)

France’s GDP for 2005 was 1.734 trillion (growth rate – 2.1%)

Germany’s GDP for 2005 was 2.83 trillion (growth rate - .8%)

Botswana’s GDP for 2005 was 9.594 billion

The United States of American’s GDP for 2005 was 12.77 trillion (That’s more than all the rest put together) (growth rate – 3.5%)

So Child, you see I have found a way to TRUTHFULLY say that US economic growth did lead the world in 2005. My Child, you miss represent the truth because, as Strategos points out, you don’t give all the numbers nor put them in their truthful contest. It is therefore your misrepresentations that accuse you, not any of us.

As for your nostalgia for Clinton; the truth of the matter is that the economy of the Clinton years was the result of Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Many of which, Bush has used to rescue us from the Clinton recession and keep America LEADING THE WORLD economically in spite of: 9/11, two major wars, and hurricane Katrina. Much of the deficit our country now faces resulted from Clinton’s under funding of the military, a disaster that had to be made right after Bush was called to save the country. We were so lucky our modern Cincinnatus was down there on the farm!!!!

As for your misrepresentations concerning the names you called President Bush. Are you now willing to admit he was not wearing a toga when the NYT interviewed him? (That’s another rhetorical question)

As for your library privileges, My Child, maybe you could explain them in the light of rectitude and restore some modicum of credibility. Most of us are not familiar with public libraries that are open all night and on Sunday afternoons. As it now stands your claim to unlimited library access seems to emphasize your propensity to say things that aren’t true.

I have no "persecution complex". Teachers; and Presidents too, it seems; often have to deal with the ingratitude of those they serve. I hope to take strategos’ advice and continue to serve you in spite of your “name calling”, deceptions, and failure to pay attention and learn. I’m not sure what you mean by "Boot-Licker"; if it is a figurative reference to my worthiness to clean George Bush’s boots; I thank you for the complement! How worthy are you? (That was another rhetorical question My Child; stick with us, that lesson’s coming.)


Thank you for returning to the theme of the post. I agree with you that Bush has little to gain "materially" form being President. However, there is that great motivation you also reference which only those who have tasted the joy that comes from sacrificing for others can understand. That Bush continues to serve in spite of so much vitriol from the “immature”, indicates his true motives rather well doesn’t it? I recall from my limited C.S. Lewis studies, that the monsters mocked Aslan before they murdered him.

Anonymous said...

Boot-Licker, I'm glad you were able to "find a way" to spin the straw of your lie into fool's gold. ("The U.S. 3.5% growth for 2005 led the industrial world" is at best intellectual dishonesty. I won't accuse you of that since you need to show some intellect first.) Toga wearing partying frat boy is an accurate description of our Delta Kappa Epsilon alumnist Commander in Chief who was full fledged toga partying frat boy member of DKE when "obscene and sadistic" torture was being investigated at his fraternity. Its funny that concentrated boot licker like yourself would keep bringing up such an embarassing story. As you seem to like to eat dung in these constant arguments I think you will be exceptionally suited to orally clean George Bush's boots when he finishes kicking around with special interests in the White House.

Slowtego, don't invite me to go to Iran to see the difference their 4.8% GDP growth makes to their lives. Invite me instead to visit Detroit, or Anacostia in Washington D.C., or Oakland, or East L.A., or Appalachia right home in the heartland of the good ol' U.S. of A. to see the difference the 3.5% of GDP has made to the people that live there. Or invite me to meet with the over million Americans who have lost their jobs since Bush has been letting powerful special interests set the economic policy for the nation. Or invite me to sit down with the 40 million who are uninsured or the millions more that make a minimum wage of 5.15 an hour and have watched cost of living go up at near record rates under this President but haven't got a raise in the minimum wage since 1996. Then let's visit Beverly Hills and Bergen and Westchester Counties, the bedroom communities for Silicon Valley and we can see the difference the Bush tax cuts REALLY made.

As for my library habits I'll explain them now. It was quite simple. I walked in, sat down, logged onto the public computers, laughed till I cried when I read the Boot-Licker's post and posted my own thoughts. For the most part that is how a public library works and suggest strongly that both you and Boot-Licker visit one soon though you may have to wait until Monday. I am fortunate enough to live in a place that is not closed on Sundays and that supports twenty-four hour libraries. It is amazing what a place can provide when it is in fact dedicated to public service and not the super wealthy interests of Big Oil, Big Drugs, Big Dick Cheney.

A_Shadow said...

Alas. I'm glad we've figured it out. Big oil companies are behind libraries closing early on Sundays!

I'm glad to put the conspiracy to rest.

Thank you, Anonymous, from the bottom of my heart for solving that life long mystery.

For ages we'll have to wonder who that anonymous fellow was that saved us!

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

Once again your arguments serve perfectly to illustrate my point. It is obvious from your post that you lack any kind of perspective. Your argumentation, if any thing, shows that you have been spoiled by Americas great economy. How can you be so ego and ethnocentric, to possibly compare American poverty to poverty around the world?
Sure go to these poor places in America, compare them to other countries, see that with our meager 3.5% we feed the poor, care for their needs. See that even the children of the unemployed in Anacostia live better than the child who works 12 hours a day along side her mother in the rice patties of China. Go to the Midwest and see how even uninsured illegal immigrants receive better health care than hard working families in Brazil get from their socialized healthcare system. Compare $5.15 an hour minimum wage to $3 dollar a week salaries in Bolivia. Compare an 80% illiteracy rate in Iraq to a country rich enough to keep libraries full of computers open to the public 24-7.
This self-obsessed attitude is exactly what I was talking about in my original post. Saying we should ignore the catastrophes abroad, the terror in Iraq, and focus on our own petty problems is like a child who refuses to eat his vegetables, didn’t your mom ever tell you there are starving people in China?

Lysis said...


You should let “the Child” make his own arguments. He’ll never learn if you keep doing it for him.

Unfortunately for your limp positions, there are too many holes in the statistics for even your hot air to inflate.

3.5% growth in a 12.77 trillion dollar GDP did lead the world’s economy in 2005, or are you throwing in with the Child and Botswana?!

As for the President’s college fraternity days; I’m sure he did a lot more service than partying, that’s the nature of fraternities at Yale, as well as of President Bush. Be that as it may; you know no more of what goes on in clubs you never got into than you know of economics.

I suggest you take strategos’ advice and ask the people of “most of the world” what they’d’ give to get into “George Bush’s” U.S.A. The countries you rooted for in your college days all had walls to keep their people in, remember?

The two of you may call me Bush’s Bootlicker if you like. Don’t you wish you were worthy of the job? Your not!

I must admit; I get quite a chuckle from the comic, albeit imaginary, picture of you and Child sitting around the public library reading “Mad” magazine and waiting for strategos’ next post “At the Agora”. I have great love and respect for libraries, even the socialist ones you describe, but I have to admit I’m glad I live in a country were even a “mere high school teacher” can afford his own computer.

Flaccid; Maybe you and the Child could pool your funds. Your arguments are already a common flop.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you know there are starving people in America? Or are you too spoiled to be aware that really are people suffering in the U.S. The issue is not the U.S. quality of life but the Boot-Licker's deliberate and persistent lieing in this forum and those like yourself that believe him. The issue is that 1.1% growth was the slowest in three years, more people are now out of work since Bush has been President than before he was President, the largest surplus in history is now the largest deficit in history, 3.5% is Ok, not for a high but as an average as under Bill Clinton's leadership - that was outstanding.

The issue is that we have a toga partying frat boy for a President - and don't get me wrong, I'm all for recovering alcoholics, just competent ones - who's idea of service to his fellow Americans is incompetently passing a corporate tax cut bill so appallingly, calculatingly misnamed as the "American Jobs Creation Act" that it resulted in $250,000 in tax rebates for Ford in 2004 while they simultaneously cut 10,000 jobs the same year and have announced roughly 30,000 more soon. How do you simultaneously cut jobs and benefit from the American Jobs Creation Act? Lots of U.S. companies have found out how. Get Jack Abramof and others to lobby the President with their check books. You know Bush will listen. He lives to serve after all. And to set campaign contribution dollar records.

(Another funny story here, Bush's Treasury Department and his council of economic advisors warned against the act telling him tone it down. Secretary Paul O'Niel finally quit over it. The super conservative American Enterprise Institute's fellow Phillip L. Swagel, who was formerly the chief of staff of Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, told the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman in August of 2005 that "you might as well have taken a helicopter over 90210 and pushed the money out the door." Even Bush's own people, the ones that started out true believers and boot lickers, have come to realize that Bush only knows how to serve the super rich.)

The issue is with $12 trillion economy, a "conservative" President and a "conservative" Congress why people are starving, why we have cities like Detroit, D.C., New Orleans, Oakland, L.A., why we have tax cuts for the super rich that reward them for cutting jobs, why we have a record spending deficit, why we have the slowest growth in three years and why we have 40 million uninsured, why we have more people out of work than before Bush came into office. And the answer is, because we have a conservative President and a conservative Congress who don't know how to serve the people.

Bush likes to apologize and minimize the permanent disfigurment of torturing people. He likes to continuously grab for power. He likes to reward his rich friends. You like to lick his boots for doing it. The good news is that with more people turning against Bush everyday the competition for that lowest of the high positions that you are so profoundly worthy of shouldn't be that tough. Good luck with it Boot-Licker!

Anonymous said...

Make that $250,000 in tax rebates for Ford $250,000,000 (A quarter of a Billion!) in 2004 when they also cut 10,000 jobs and have just announced 30,000 more. (See Ford's earnings media earning report from Jan. 24, 2005, page 2, "repatriation of foreign earnings pursuant to the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 resulted in a permanent tax savings of about $250 million.") Good on ya' Georgie! The act paid off with jobs in spades with well over a million lost since 2001!

Rumpole said...


Your economic analysis of % verses real dollar improvement is right on. Can I give a real world business example to add to the discussion?

Companies in the industry I work in are always trying to find ways to gain market share. Each year many of those manufacturers will come out with “bogey” programs, i.e. increase your purchases from Manufacturer X in a contest forum and win a cruise.

Let’s say Company A already sells Manufacturer X to the tune of $100,000 per year. If A wants to grow 15%, they must sell $15,000 more to win the trip. Even if you factor the 4-6% price increase for the year (which is about what the increases have been this year), I’ve got to sell roughly $10,000 (at this pre-increase level) more just to hit roughly a 15% increase!

Company B, who has never actively promoted Manufacturer X decides he wants to go on a cruise. So he takes his token $1,000 per year sales and turns it into $2,000. He has increased by 100%.

Who is really supporting Manufacturer X? Company A by his 15% increase to $115,000! Who gets rewarded by the incentive? Company B with his paltry $2,000. It happens quite regularly, and it serves more as a disincentive rather than an incentive. When push comes to shove, Company A will end up going on that cruise! Manufacturer X isn’t going to risk the $115 K over a dispute about who really supports them!

I’m also grateful to see the introduction of the “Wal-Mart” concept into the public sector! It is gratifying to know that people the world over (like our own Anonymy) flock to the “Wal-Mart” of libraries to look up economic statistics! We can only hope that such efficiencies will continue to spread throughout our entire government! Perhaps then such disincentives and entitlements like “free computer access to all” could be eliminated!

In turn, those computer “mass purchases” will only serve to strengthen an already burgeoning economy!

Anonymy, do the world a favor and get out of the classroom and into the world for awhile so that you can see how a real economy works!

P.S. Your regular postings lead me to believe that either there isn’t much demand for the computers at the “Wal-Mart” of libraries, or our libraries are apparently quite tolerant of “regular” users!

Have they let you set up a cot? Perhaps next Christmas all the posters at the Agora could pitch in for a hot plate!

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

Child, you’re back; and now I realize I’ve made a mistake. It was better when Flaccid was doing the posting. Your arguments need a lot more honing before they can go it alone. Still, I’m glad the Library is open. Ha, Ha!

Now, I’m sincerely begging you to give me just one documented case of a person (other than Terry Schiavo) who starved to death in America because they couldn’t get food if they asked for it. Give me some empirical evidence for you claim that Americans are starving. I’m not calling you a liar, yet – I just want some proof of what you claim.

As for Ford’s Problems, I’m sure your Democrat buddies would have found a way to tax Ford right out of existence, all I can say is thank goodness we have an Administration that supports the companies that hire Americans. Now let’s just get those companies to make some good product at competitive prices and see how they will grow. Then if the world would follow Bush’s advice and open their markets the whole world will be more like America!

As for lobby money; you well know it was Harry Reid that was on the take from Abramoff, and as Harry has explained, it was perfectly legal.

Your Paul O’Neil/Phillip Swagel stuff makes no sense. Go to Flaccid for polishing!

As for the problems in American Cities; I would suggest we have problems in Detroit, D. C. New Orleans, Oakland, and L.A. because they are run by Democrats.

Anonymous said...


Of course you would say that because you are a Republicn boot licker. But just like your false statements above, saying it does not make it any more true. You were caught red handed telling a lie and have spun and spun until you could "find a way" to make it sound true, but you are still wrong and America is caught in a web of disappointment and broken promises.

Lysis said...


Here’s another lesson for you: Use this as the answer to all arguments; just type in:

“I’m rubber and your glue, what ever you say bounces of me and sticks on you!”

It has every bit as much efficacy as your tirade above, and has the advantage of making sense.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

We know what the goal is of President Bush (the government). Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

What is the goal of the other side?

Is this an argument of what Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Means?

What service Means?

Another deffinition of service that I have heard recently is:

Doing something for someone who can't hurt you and doing something for someone who can't pay you back.

I have been amused at the childish emnity of our anonymous visitors to the Agora. Lysis calls one of them Child. Which puts a picture in my mind of a 2 year old not getting what they want.

Those of you that have children and are honest will agree.

The name calling has fallen from "Kool-Aid" Drinker to "Boot Licker". I personally on this blog have been called "Stupid" and "Incompetent" by our anonymous academics.

Lysis even quoted the "Rubber and Glue"

Yet it continues. Once again, I am calling on the members of the Agora to IGNORE the Anonymous postings until such of time that the maturity level rises to that of at least a 12 year old.

Or in the terms of our Anonymous visitors.....

Nanner Nanner Boo Boo.

Silver Lining said...

Against my better judgement, I am going to post the following as one of the Anonymy suggested going through several U.S. cities and examining the situation. I doubt if Lysis did drive through these cities, his opinion, no statistics researched and added would be worth much to Anonymous. I equally doubt my own observations minus statistics researched (I don't have time today) will account for much. (Hence against my better judgement)

I drive through Oakland at least once a week and usually more often. I don't drive only through Eastern Oakland up in the hills where it is beautiful and houses cost close to a million and more. I cross down through western Oakland to get to the embarcadero area. There are, without a doubt, plenty of problems in Oakland and plenty of poor. However, I will tell you something else I see. I see several new housing developments going up in Western Oakland to improve the area. I see businesses that are obviously family owned that are doing reasonably well and have been there for a lot of years. (I can only account for 3 personally but have access to info. that could account for longer). Also in West Oakland, close to where it borders with San Leandro, there is a whole new shopping development. (It is off the Hegenberger exit if you are interested). It looks nice and is doing very well. Little efforts to be sure, but some effort.

An interesting juxtaposition is to cross the Bay Bridge into San Francisco. Let me tell you now. San Francisco is a beautiful city. It is fun to walk around and just look. That being said, there are areas of beautiful homes. They are no bigger than the home my mother lives in in Layton, but they go for over a million dollars. Even one bedroom condos are half that. There is a lot of money in San Francisco and some huge beautiful old mansions as well. Still, it has one of the highest levels of people below the poverty line and has had for a long time. I believe the percentage is even higher than Oakland, though I would have to check that. I suppose some here would surmise that this is Bush's fault. I argue that there is very little Bush can do to create jobs for these people or change the situation. He is the President not their Congressman (though Nancy Pelosi is) not their Senator (though Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein are) not their mayor (that is Gavin Newsom) and not their governor (Arnold Schwartzenegger). Point summed up: I have driven through at least on the cities Anonymous listed. There is my basic impression. Furthermore, there are people as responsible (actually more so if we are going to be honest about how our differing levels of government are supposed to work) as the President. It is far too easy to the blame the President and far too easy to credit him.

Silver Lining said...

Addition (in case the subtlety is lost) San Francisco is one of the more liberal cities in this nation and yet the stark line of haves and have nots is huge. This seems so telling to me when discussing economics and politics.

P.S. I do know Schwartzenegger is a Republican so don't waste your time making that argument. My point is to question how effective any government official, particularly the President of the United States, can be on a local economic level.

Lysis said...

Silver lining; I think your observations are very telling. It is obvious that there are degrees of economic success, even in America. I wish George Bush could wave his hand and end poverty. I’m sure he would if he could! The truth, as you have demonstrated by empirical observation and reason, is that even the “World’s leading economy” has not yet reached perfection. I also believe that neither President Bush’s power nor even local politics are necessarily the answer to these problems. Service is the answer. People must accept the need to help lift their neighbors to a better life, at the same time, those whose lives are challenged, have an obligation to do their best. The danger from the political “left” is the demonstrated failure of socialism; of turning responsibility for “loving our neighbor” over to “a government” of turning over individual responsibility to “work and achieve” over to the state. Now we see those who, rather than coming up with solutions to the problems our nation faces, use the suffering of the poor as a club bash their way into power. As your list of failed mayors, congresswomen, and senators demonstrates, the game becomes blame to get power and then do nothing.

I hope none of the posters here at the Agora will give up posting just because of the negative mutterings of others. As Socrates has told us; “when men speak ill of you, live so no one will believe them”. All our ideas are openly presented to be read and compared. The truth and quality of comments easily evaluated by all. I have no fears. The inevitable attacks of the Anonomy only elevate the positions of those they revile. Some times it is rather gratifying to be judged by the “enemies you keep”. When the vulgar and shrill realize this, and begin to argue with facts and reason rather than vitriol, they will find themselves valuable contributors to our search for truth. Isn’t it interesting how our Anonomy are miniature manifestations of the Democrats nationally? They offer no answers, only attacks

A_Shadow said...

It's a long held mantra that you judge a man's greatness not by his allies, but by his enemies.

Take it for what you will.

I am glad, though, to see that some of us are returning to somewhat intelligent postings after such displays (unfortunately from both sides) as are detailed here-in.

I hope that those of us throwing around statistics as a cure-all weapon of mass annoyance have at least decided to embark into an entry level Statistics course. I would have said more on the subject, but many of us with any actual points had them well founded in the truth that doesn't need to be shouted from one hundred men to be true, it's as true when the first man says it as the next (or woman, in many cases here).

Once again, I find myself pointing towards Silver Linings observations and to what the numbers are telling us.

What I seek to point out here are several small, but telling points. She raises the point that many are below the poverty rate, but what is that for Oakland and the bay area? I was born there and have family there, I have recently passed through the town where my parents grew up which would be small by Californian standards, and likely not much bigger than Layton (judging by what I observed).

The home that my grandparents sold to move here to Utah is half the size of the one that my family is renting now and worth 6 times as much to their economy (for the record it's something like $600,000 for a home in Northern Cali's suburbia - Livermore to be exact).

So what counts as poverty level? It was already pointed out that $5.15 an hour is something of a boon to someone who normally gets $3 a week, or in some booming places $200 a year.

Think about that when you work next, when your next allowance comes in, or you so much as find a dollar on the side of the road.

The poverty level, as I heard it, not read it, in Utah is somewhere around $50,000 dollars. Rather interesting to me. I make a scant $20k per year as the story goes and do rather fine for myself. Interesting how the numbers mean little compared to the effect.

I'm still much happier living in Utah's poverty range than Iran's, Iraq's, Russia's or anyone else's for that matter.

I've remarked before, and I find it poignant to again, that being the best does not mean you are perfect, and you certainly don't need to be perfect to be the best.

If you end up getting the two confused, you're sure to end up with heartburn and/or become incoherent as I see happening here.

Rumpole said...

Silver Lining,

Your description of the Bay area is very telling. I also lived in the area for a time (Livermore, as did Shadow). I hope my comments will add to what you both have said, rather than detract.

I’m going by memory here, which is always scary. But I will forge ahead. In his 94 campaign, Clinton made a speech with the plea to the American People of “let us take care of you.” I think that this is the topic missing from the current discussion at the Agora and our nation in general.

The greatest single damage (among many) in my humble view that Clinton inflicted upon the minds of many Americans was the “victim” mentality. Clinton tried to convince us that anything difficult, any obstacle in our way, was placed there to stop our success. He put into our everyday lexicon that it was “the government’s responsibility” rather than our own responsibility.

It was the antithesis of President Regan, and even the “rugged individualism” that Herbert Hoover spoke of as being “diametrically opposed” to the European “doctrines of paternalism and state socialism”. (October 22, 1928)

Those ideals of individualism and entrepreneurialism are the ideals that enable people to rise above their circumstances. We desperately need the government to get out of the way so that those ideals can continue to succeed.

I would like to offer one difference to your view. The President CAN make a difference without creating a single entitlement or creating a single job. Compare and Contrast the attitudes that were created by Regan vs. Clinton.

The differentiator for me between conservatism and modern liberalism is this very contrast. I have always yearned for the Regan “entrepreneurial spirit,” rather than the Clintonian “let us take care of you!”

Which is it for you, Anonymy?

Lysis said...

The line in the original posting which I though would stir the most discussion remains unchallenged. So I will broach it again, by way of comment on the points developed by Silver Lining, Shadow, and Rumpole.

“His wife ran to their cottage to fetch his toga; he wiped the grim and sweat from his hands and face and put it on; AT ONCE THE ENVOYS SALUTED HIM, AS DICTATOR, AND BEGGED HIM TO SAVE THE CITY.

The Romans did not want a King, they did not give absolute power to Cincinnatus to encourage trade, gin up jobs, or hand out “bread and circuses” The Aequians were attacking Rome on two fronts, a Roman army was in trouble, the very survival or their city in question, and the Senate knew well the weakness of oligarchy and democracy in the face of such disaster. Therefore they exercised their constitutional option in the face of War and vested all power in one man.

The founders of American were well aware of Roman history. They did not want to deal with the appointment of dictators in times of emergency, but they knew full well that in time of crisis the flaws of the many headed Senate and even more fractioned House would be incapable of doing what was necessary to save the nation. They therefore placed the full power of the Commander-in-Chief, a power the Romans called “imperium”, in the hands of the President.

The President does not have supreme power in things domestic, not even in the day to day things foreign. However in time of war there is a difference by design. The shameful and hurtful politicizing over the NSA surveillance of terrorists is proof of the wisdom of placing such power directly in the hands of the President in time of war. The daily vacillations of Senators and politicos of all stripes show how foolish placing the conduct of war in the hands of the “mob” would have been. The brilliant and successful performance of the American military and their Commander-in-Chief in this conflict is ample justification for the system ordained by the founders.

While the President should be actively involved in the development of economic policies, environmental concerns, and judicial reform; in all these jobs he is bound to work with the Legislative and Judicial branches in coequal accord. But when the enemies threaten the nation he alone is Comander-in-Chief.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

Lysis, as predicted Judge Alito is now Justice Alito.

What a great begining for the State of the Union Address......

The system works. It's not perfect, we learn more every time an issue comes up to this great experiment called America, but we continue.

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"(Anon) give one lie from the swift boat vets."

Strange you should ask:
"One IS the loneliest number."
-Three Dog Nite

How many SBV's does it take to tell a lie?

One to claim he was NOT in Cambodia.

One to claim he was NOT within 50 miles, or so, of Cambodia

One to claim there is NO "water borders" between VietNam and Cambodia

One to claim that there IS a "water border" between VietNam and Cambodia.

One to claim that his swiftboat could NOT have entered Cambodia.

One to claim that his swiftboat DID enter Cambodia.

And ALL of these ONES is/are *Steve Gardner* the ONLY ONE of Kerry's crew members who actually served with Kerry who has proven himself a demonstrated serial liar in detail.

Gardner has conceded NOW that he had NOT actually served with Kerry at the time Kerry won his Purple Hearts, Bronze star and Silver Star -- but, Gardner has lied and FALSLY WITNESSED that he HAD been there! Gardner has previously said "That boat never left the dock that I wasn't aboard it with John Kerry, never."

Steven Hatch and Drew Whitlow (two other members of Kerry's crew) have also disputed Gardner's recollections of Kerry's service. When Gardner described himself as someone who had "No trouble shooting Gooks" in VietNam, he also asserted that Kerry always tried to "park it" (the PFC-44 swiftboat) away from action and hide."

Whitlow said Gardner's claim was "false"; Hatch called it a "falsehood." Hatch told a reporter that he joined the Kerry campaign "because people were saying things about him (Kerry) that we know weren't true. Waggner, Hatch, and Whitlow all appeared on stage to support Kerry when he accepted the Democratic nomination.

Jim Rasmussen is a Republican whose life Kerry saved -- he is setting the record straight by speaking out against the SBV's.

Former U.S. Senator Chic Hecht of Nevada (R)is another. He thanks Kerry to this day for his heroism in saving him.(Look up Hecht's testimony about how he was saved by Kerry and his endorsement for Kerry's Silver Star.

Lysis finds phantom "boat people" whose mouth he can put words into, and the obvious disputed lies of the SVB political malcontents and partisan liars more credible than the United States Government who has acknowledged the honor and bravery in its service of the DECORATED VIETNAM HEROES Murtha, Kerry and McCain. (Lysis' is in denial and mad 'cuz we lost)

I had made a point about the credibility of the language in/on the "Memorial Museum" in VietNam being in English and not Vietnamese.
Lysis responded:
"As for the sign; you bet they (the words) are in English. Communists know where their supporters are and what language they read."

Oh, I agree!
Lysis now becomes a "Communist Sympathizer" by BELIEVING that the "Museum's" commentaries in English are NOT LIES and COMMUNIST PROPAGANDA meant to hurt John Kerry et al, but "TRUTH"!!!!
When did Communist's start telling the truth Lysis???? Just because you credulously choose to believe ANYTHING bad about John Kerry it doesn't make it true -- Yes, Communist Sympathizer or at least dupe!

Also, Lysis' 'eye witness' "I WATCHED Kerry's complicity with the Communists first hand." is as much FALSE WITNESS as every fabrication of Gardner's!!!!

**To "talk about 9-11", or Kerry, is not the SAME as saying, "I watched . . . first hand."

Not EVERYONE at the Agora is a credulous dupe, Lysis.

Anonymous said...

June 1932: Hindenburg, fed up with issuing unpopular decrees on Bruning's behalf, replaces him by von Papen. Papen, reactonary, stupid and arrogant, was however an officer and fine horseman and so the ideal Chancellor in the eyes of the ageing President.

Papen meets Hitler and Hitler hints that the Nazis might support the new government in exchange for lifting of the ban on the SA and new elections. Papen falls for it and the Reichstag is dissolved (4th June).

***20th July Presidential rule is imposed on the Prussian Land - using SA- communist clashes as a pretext. This gives the Chancellor direct control of the police force of 2/3rds of Germany.

***31st July Elections to the Reichstag. Hitler makes sweeping gains. The Nazis, along with the communists have a blocking majority in the Reichstag and as Hitler breaks his promise to support Papen once again GERMANY IS RULED BY EMERGENCY DECREE.

***Now Germany is already a Presidential dictatorship in which any attempt to oppose the EMERGENCY DECREESS by the Reichstag will be met by dissolution. However Papen loses the support of his cabint and Hindenburg reluctantly agrees to Papen's resignantion.

Papen seeks out Hitler and Hitler demands the Chancelorship -- Papen agrees.

Hindenburg appoints Hitler as Chancellor.

23rd March: An enabling act giving dictatorial powers to Hitler's government is put to the Reichstag. A 2/3rds majority is required and 2/3rds of the Riechstag must be present. However, along with the Nationalists, the Peoples Party and the Catholics decided to vote for, on the grounds that Hitler is going to establish a dictatorship anyway, it is better to let him do it legally. Only the Social Democrats who attended (many of them under arrest) have the courage to vote against.

In effect, the German's VOTED for a DICTATORSHIP and dissolution of THEIR DEMOCRACY.

With "emergency military decrees" that promise security, it was easy for a President to become a dictator.

"At Once the envoys saluted him as dictator and begged him to save the city." Seems an all too familiar refrain, Lysis.

Hitler had a higher approval rating than GWB and most thought him a "good guy" too!!!!

A_Shadow said...

Interesting analogy to be sure, but I would like to point out that I would interperet the German governments response as seeing no alternative, something driven by hopeless feelings and fear.

Sense any of that from the current government? From the senate? Does anyone actually fear Bush and his secret police?

Not really. Not that I can see, though we jest more often about big brother, I don't see the thought police or the SP running amok doing away with political dissidents.

I would have to say that's evidenced in that I'm still posting and talkign to my vehemently democrat friends.

Rumpole said...


Your explanation of history is much appreciated. Sadly, I do not know much about what you have written. I really do enjoy postings like this, because they give me an opportunity to search and to learn.

My initial reaction to what you have written, specifically your suggestion that this occurrence is “an all too familiar refrain”, is that your implication is not accurate. I base that statement on my belief that the President, as “Commander-in-Chief”, has no need for any governing body to vote to “define” his acts “legal”. He has acted within the framework of the “dictatorial” powers granted him by both the Constitution and the Congress (i.e. the post 9-11 resolution).

I cite the precedents we have already discussed, i.e. Washington, Lincoln, FDR to Bush II and every President in between, that these same powers have been exercised by those Presidents.

I grant, that as we have discussed, these powers are implied. As we have also discussed, there are many implied powers in the Constitution. We have touched specifically on the subject of “judicial review” as one of those implied powers. I found some interesting information on that very subject in Federalist No. 81. Can I quote?

“That there ought to be one court of supreme and final jurisdiction is a proposition which has not been, and is not likely to be contested.”

Am I capitulating to DannyBoy? This is going to get long, but read on! The next quote is based on Hamiliton arguing against detractors of the proposed judiciary, as follows:

“The arguments or rather suggestions, upon which this charge is founded, are to this effect. ‘The authority of the proposed supreme court of the United States, which is to be a separate and independent body, will be superior to that of the legislature. The power of construing the laws, according to the SPIRIT (caps added) of the constitution, will ENABLE THAT COURT TO MOULD THEM INTO WHATEVER SHAPE IT MAY THINK IT PROPER (caps added); especially as its decisions will not be in any manner subject to the revision or correction of the legislative body. This is as unprecedented as it is dangerous. In Britain, the judicial power in the last resort, resides in the house of lords, which is a branch of the legislature of the several states, can at any time rectify by law, the exceptionable decisions of their respective courts. But the errors and usurpations of the supreme court of the United States will be uncontrollable and remediless.’ This, upon examination, will be found to be altogether made up of false reasoning upon misconceived fact.”(end of quote)

I know it’s quite a long quote! If I may continue, here is the reward:


Per Hamilton, the constitution was framed purposefully with “implied” powers. The Presidents use of “implied”, or more accurately, “understood” powers are no more or no less constitutional than the supreme court’s use of “judicial review” If I may borrow from Lysis, are we going to throw out the “baby” with the “bathwater”?

Enough from me! The Republican-that-must-be obeyed is beckoning. Again, I appreciated your last post! I look forward to delving more into that history!

Lysis said...

Shadow; excellent points. I think that Flaccid has committed one of the most common logical fallacies of the Relativists – False Analogy. To compare a totalitarian dictatorship, which controlled every aspect of life and use terror and mass murder to enslave a nation and launch world wide aggression, to the Just and necessary use of long accepted Presidential power is silly. The historical warring most analogues to the present situation is not Hitler but Neville Chamberlain. It is the neo-libs not the President who endanger our freedom and the world. I am sure even Flaccid is well aware that FDR held and exercised the very same powers that Bush in now putting to use.

I am pleased to see the discussion swing to this very important point. Rumpole has very powerfully explained the difference between Flaccid’s fears and the reality of our long standing and long successful Constitution. No one in the Congress voted Bush dictatorial powers. The powers he implements have been the Presidents from 1789 on down. I think Rumpole’s’ choice of words is particularly accurate. The powers that President Bush is using are UNDERSTOOD in the Constitution. They were clearly understood by the framers, and have served our nation extremely well for over two centuries. That the President has these powers in the narrow scope as Commander-in-Chief only is the telling difference between our Republic and the totalitarian Dictatorships it has long bested in battle and outlasted in history.

I think President Bush’s wonderful speech tonight; which I will listen to twice more tomorrow and twice more on Thursday, with my students; powerfully demonstrated the true nature of our Commander-in-Chief and deepened my faith not only in George Bush, but in the wonder that is our government, but the miracle that is America.

Flaccid. I appreciate your efforts on the Swift Boat front. I believe it was John Kerry who first claimed in his biography that he was in Cambodia and then admitted he was not. I will find the quote and retraction before I accuse you of calling John Kerry a liar. I will look into *Steve Gardner*, and how his claims fit into the Swift Boat Vets evidence against Kerry.

To this point, Flaccid, you have provided nothing but “he said/he said”. There is no way to know if your claims are anything but your own invention. Since you continue to call me a liar, a Communist Sympathizer, and a dupe, I tend to doubt your varsity on face value.

I watched Kerry and his anti-war movement and saw its impact on the world. Since I watched it myself, I did watch it first hand. No one was telling me what Kerry said or did, I watched him say and do it. It seems you missed his despicable actions. I can only assume you were not paying attention.

Anonymous said...

In view of Lysis mis-understandings and mis-characterizations of my previous post, and last nights "State of the Union" *de ja vu* I will continue with this very apt historical analogy (How can we "learn from history" without edifying analogies, Lysis? -- before attacking mine as "false" you had better consider the anemia of your 'Cincinnatus' hokum; et al, et al, et al, et al!!!!

*Hitler's Enabling Act*

On March 23, 1933, the newly elected members of the German Parliament (the Reichstag) met in the Kroll Opera House in Berlin to consider passing Hitler's Enabling Act. (I have SEEN some film footage of this meeting -- according to Lysis that makes me an "eye witness" and now I can say that I also "watched" congress and Bush do EXACTLY THE SAME THING -- but that's just dumb and of course would be "false witnessing".
Anyway, It(the Enabling Act) was officially called the 'LAW FOR THE REMOVING THE DISTRESS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE REICH.! (a kind of "Homeland Security" provision if you will) (even if you wont) If the Enabling Act passed it would effectively mean the end of Democracy in Germany and establish the legal dictatorship of Adolph Hitler.

The 'distress' had been secretly caused by the Nazis themselves in order to create a crisis atmosphere that would make the law seem necessary to restore order. On February 27, 1933, they had burned the Reichstag building, seat of the German government, causing panic and outrage. The Nazis successfully blamed the fire on the Communists and claimed it marked the beginning of a widespread uprising. (Shouts of "terrorism" are just as effective)

On the day of the vote, Nazi storm troopers gathered in a show of force around the opera house chanting "full powers -- or else! We want the bill -- or fire and murder!!" They also stood inside in the hallways, and even lined the aisles where the vote would take place, glaring menacingly at anyone who might oppose Hitler's will. (When is the Next vote on Homeland Security? -- look for the parallels) Just before the vote, Hitler made a speech to the Reichstag in which HE PLEDGED TO USE RESTRAINT. (bingo!)

Hitler's exact words were "The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures . . .The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one."
(Wasn't that a quote from last nights speech? Well, only not verbatum)

Hitler also promised an end to unemplohyment and pledged to promote peace with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union. But in order to do all this, Hitler said he first needed the Enabling Act.

A two thirds majority was needed, since the law would actually alter the German Constitution. Hitler needed 31 non-Nazi votes to pass it. He got those votes from the Center Party after making a false promise to restore SOME BASIC RIGHTS TAKEN AWAY BY DECREE.

Otto Wells, leader of the Social Democrats, courageously stood to speak out against Hitler. "We German Social Democrats pledge ourselves solemnly in this historic hour to the principles of humanity and justice, of freedom and socialism. No enabling act can give you power to destroy ideas which are eternal and indestructible." (He sure had a good idea who the RELATIVISTS were.)

This enraged Hitler and he jumped up to respond.

"You are no longer needed! -- The star of Germany will rise and yours will sink! Your death knell has sounded!"

The vote was taken -- 441 for, only 84, Social Democrats, against. The Nazis leapt to their feet clapping, stamping and shouting, then broke into the Nazi anthem.

The vote for the Enabling Act achieved what Hitler had wanted for years -- to tear down the German Democratic Republic LEGALLY and end democracy,(Got that Rumpole?) thus, paving the way for a complete Nazi takeover of Germany.

From this day on, the Reichstag would be just a sounding board, a cheering section for Hitler's pronouncements.

The STRENGTH of the analogy is chilling isn't it, Lysis????

Lysis said...

Great examples for us Flaccid: two logical fallacies in one flopped argument. Not only is the analogy between Hitler and Bush, between the Third Rich and American false; you have beautifully demonstrated a second logical flaw, “Weak Generalization” Here is a simple example – Hitler was elected to office and abused his power, therefore all who are elected to power misuse power. Here’s an even more pertinent example. Flaccid posts a silly false analogy; therefore all analogies are false and silly. Flaccid, you are a lesson to us all.

Flaccid, your floppier than usual today. Your false analogy and Weak Generalization only sever to emphasize the pitiful nature of your stance. However, I am glad the library is open, and that you can see everything, past, present, and future from you seat by the pop machine.

Now I want to thank you for sending me to review the TRUTH about the Swift Boat Vets. To better expose the holes in you sputtering argument let begin by quoting it:

“How many SUV’s does it take to tell a lie?

One to claim he was NOT in Cambodia.

One to claim he was NOT within 50 miles, or so, of Cambodia

One to claim there is NO “water borders” between VietNam and Cambodia

One to claim that his swiftboat could NOT have entered Cambodia.

One to claim that his swiftboat DID enter Cambodia.

And ALL of these ONES is/are *Steve Gardner* the ONLY ONE of Kerry’s crew members who actually served with Kerry who has present himself a demonstrated serial liar in detail.”

End quote

Flaccid – I wish you had provided the details of Gardner’s serial lying. But now I know why you didn’t – there are no details. I will now present, for careful scrutiny the account of Kerry’s lies concerning his “trip into Cambodia” as published by the Swift Boat Vets in their signed book, *Unfit for Command, Swift Boat Veterans speak Out Against John Kerry* (pgs 45 -49) : [Note that three of the men on Kerry’s boat deny his claims, not just Gardner.] [Note that it is Kerry himself that says he was fighting a battle over fifty miles away from the border on Christmas Eve 1968.]

“Christmas In “Cambodia”
Vietnam, December 1968


“If there is one story told over and over again by John Kerr since his return from Vietnam, it is the Heart-wrenching tale of how he spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day illegally in Cambodia. From the early 1970’s, when he used the tale as part of his proof for war crimes in Cambodia, through the mid-1980s and the 1990s, Kerry has spoken and written again and again of how he was illegally ordered to enter Cambodia.

“On the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 27, 1968, Kerry launched one of his many attacks against President Reagan – this time charging that President Reagan’s actions in Central American were leading the United States into yet another Vietnam, claiming the he could recognize the error of the administration’s ways because he had experienced firsthand the duplicity of the Nixon administration in lying about American incursions into Cambodia during the Vietnam War, Kerry charged that he had been illegally ordered into Cambodia during Christmas 1968:

“I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared – seared – in me

“Kerry also described, for example, for the “Boston Herald” his vivid memories of his Christmas Eve spent in Cambodia:

“I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real.

“As recently as July 7, 2004 Michael Kranish of the “Boston Globe” repeated Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia story on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity& Colmes”, indicating that it was a critical turning point in Kerry’s life. Kranish had no knowledge, even after his extensive study of Kerry, that he was simply repeating a total fabrication by Kerry. And Kranish was right: Study of the Christmas in Cambodia story is central to understanding John Kerry.

“The story is also in the pages of the 2004 biography written by Kranish and other “Boston Globe” reporters. As we have come to expect, the story is twisted at the end to provide justification for yet another of Kerry’s political ruses, this time used to justify what Kerry portrays as his noble and continuing distrust of government pronouncements:

“To top it off, Kerry said later that he had gone into Cambodia despite President Nixon’s assurance to the American public that there was no combat action in the neutral territory. The young sailor began to develop a deep mistrust of the U.S. government pronouncements, he later recalled.

“Even without minimal investigation, a critical press should have been able to spot the story as a total fabrication: Richard Nixon did not become president of the United State until twenty-six days after John Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia.


“Despite the dramatic memories of his Christmas in Cambodia, Kerry’s statements are complete lies. Kerry was never in Cambodia during Christmas 1968, or at all during the Vietnam War. In reality, during Christmas 1968, he was more than fifty miles away from Cambodia. Kerry was never ordered into Cambodia by anyone and would have been court-martialed had he gone there.

“During Christmas 1968, Kerry was stationed at Coastal Division 13 in Cat Lo. Coastal Division 13’s patrol areas extended to Sa Dec, about fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border. Areas closer that fifty-five miles to the Cambodian border in the area of the Mekong Rive were patrolled by PBRs, a small river patrol craft, and not by Swift Boats. Preventing border crossing was considered so important at the time that an LCU (a large, mechanized landing craft) and several PBRs were stationed to ensure that no one could cross the border. A large sign at the border prohibited entry. Tom Anderson, Commander of River Division 531, who was in charge of the PBRs, confirmed that there was no Swifts anywhere in the area and that they would have been stopped had they appeared.

All the living commanders in Kerry’s chain of command – Joe Streuhli (Commander if CosDiv 13), George Elliott (Commander of CosDiv 11), Adrian Lonsdale (Captain, USCG and Commander, Coastal Surveillance Center at An Thoi), Rear Admiral Roy Hoffmann (Commander, Coastal Surveillance Force Vietnam, CTF 115), and Rear Admiral Art Price (Commander of River Patrol Force, CTF 116) – deny that Kerry was ever ordered to Cambodia. They indicate that Kerry would have been seriously disciplined or court-martialed had he gone there. At least three of the five crewmen on Kerry’s PCF 44 boat – Bill Zaldonis, Steven Hatch, and Steve Gardner – deny that they or their boat were ever in Cambodia. The remaining two crew- men declined to be interviewed for his book. Gardner, in particular, will never forget those days in late December when he was wounded on PCF 44, not in Cambodia, but many miles away in Vietnam.

“The Cambodia incursion story is not included in *Tour of Duty*. Instead, Kerry replaces the story with a report about a mortar attack that occurred on Christmas Eve 1968 “near the Cambodia border” in a town called Sa Dec, some fifty-five miles from the Cambodian border. Somehow, Kerry’ secret illegal mission to Cambodia, which he recounted on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1986, is now a firefight at Sa Dec and a Christmas day spent back at the base writing entries in his journal.”

Close Quote

The remainder of the chapter deals with events that do not relate directly to the Cambodia “incident” Feel free to read them on (pgs 48 and 49) of the book.

Thus we see that it was not Steve Gardner alone who claims Kerry was over 50 miles away from Cambodia on Christmas Eve, it was two other veterans and it was Kerry himself. There is a proven and serial liar here – it is John Kerry.

Even the most favorable Pro Kerry propaganda pieces I could turn up do not put Kerry over the Cambodian border. “The Daily Howler”, a left wing blog, can’t get him more than a morning jaunt, “up the Co Chien river to its junction with the My Tho only miles from the Cambodian border.” These are Kerry’s own words, from his diary entry of the day. How many mile away he was, he doesn’t say, but he does record he was miles away from Cambodia, probably fifty.

Bryon York of the National Review Online, August 10, 2004 catalogs Kerry’s flip flopping (Yes – that’s a nice way to say lying)

Kerry, 1986 – in a speech on the Senate floor: “I remember Christmas of 1968 on a gunboat in Cambodia. . . . I have that memory which is seared – seared – in me . . .”

Kerry, 1997 – during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “I first was introduced to Cambodia when I spent Christmas Eve of 1968 in a river in Cambodia during the Vietnam conflict . . . “

Kerry, 2003 - Quoted by the *Washington Post* “My good luck hat,” Kerry told the paper. “Given to me by a CIA guy as we went in for a special mission in Cambodia.”

Kerry, 1994 - *Providence Journal-Bulletin*: Kerry said “Christmas Eve I was up getting shot at somewhere near Cambodia.”

And in 2004, Kerry’s “Campaign Biographer, Douglas Brinkley’s tells the story in *Tour of Duty* (the book that so angered the Swift Vets in the first place) Brinkley writes: Because they were only an hour away from the neighboring country, Kerry began reading up on Cambodia’s history and quotes from Kerry’s Vietnam journal, in which Kerry wrote that he was “patrolling near the Cambodian line.”

As I perused the articles on Kerry’s lies about Cambodia and the Medias attempts to sweep it under the rug or perhaps cast aspersions on the 254 veterans who have sworn to Kerry’s duplicity, I came across a very telling article in the National Review Online, by John O”Sullivan, September 7, 2004. O”Sullivan does not talk about the Cambodian incursion directly but he does refer, prophetically, to Flaccid’s pitifully spinning balloon attempt to explain it.

I quote form *The Song of the Kerry Boatmen*

“Vladimir Bukovsky, the great anti-Soviet dissident, once reproved me for quoting the old joke about the two main official Soviet newspapers” “There’s not truth in Pravda [Truth] and no news in Izvestia [News].]” He pointed out that you could learn a great deal of truthful news from both papers if you read them with proper care.

“In particular, they often denounced “anti-Soviet lies” These lies had never previously been reported by them. Nor were they lies. And their exposure as such was the first that readers had been told of them. By reading the denunciation carefully, however, intelligent readers could decipher what the original story must have been. It’s a roundabout way of getting information – but it worked.

“That is exactly how intelligent readers now have to read the *New York Times* [Flaccid for those of us at the Agora] and most of the establishment media – at least when they are reporting on the ‘anti-Kerry lies’ of the Swift-boat veterans. . .

“. . . it [the attacks on the SBVs] was sustained for exactly one week. Then the Kerry campaign quietly withdrew the senator’s claim – a claim he had made repeatedly in speeches and articles for 20 years – that he had been on an illegal secret mission inside Cambodia on Christmas Eve 1968. Suddenly, however, that claim was – what was the Nixonian term? – “inoperative.”

Well Flaccid; so much for you “evidence” that “even one” of the Swift vets, let alone all two hundred plus of them, was lying. Kerry is a liar either way. Either he lied when he said he was not in Cambodia in his diary written at the time, or he lied when he said he was in Cambodia before the Senate and the people, or he lied when he said he wasn’t during his campaign. The liar your accusations have revealed is the very person you sought to defend, John Kerry.

Once more, Flaccid’s flopping fiction fall flat.

Anonymous said...

Lysis posts:
"Since I did watch it myself, I did watch it first hand." (with reference to "watching" Kerry's "Communst liasons")

Does Lysis believe that the NUMBER of people with whom he watches something affect whether it is FIRST HAND witnessing or not?

Well, that's just absurd!

And what would a second hand observation be? -- third hand?

Something Lysis did NOT watch himself, but other alter ego doppleganger Lysis/i or Lys/i
(just as well join the Anonomy) watched it?

"Firsthand" -- A person with firsthand knowledge of an event is someone who can TESTIFY with veracity in a court of law as to what he or she saw or heard or smelled, etc. -- watching it on television or video or hearing it on the Limbaugh/Hannity shows is OBVIOUSLY NOT a first hand witness account, Lysis. (I KNOW you KNOW this -- stop dissembling and obfuscating!!!!)

If Lysis' "first hand" watching of John Kerry break the law, somehow, with Communists is founded on "truth" why did/do you not stand the scrutiny of your accusations by making a legal challenge with some SPECIFICS, ie; WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW? Do not Lysis' honorable scruples require it????

"First hand" testimony IS A VERY HIGH STANDARD of testimony -- why save it for the Agora -- when you could reveal the "truth" to ALL????

Anonymous said...

"Hitler was elected to office and abused his power, therefore all who are elected to power misuse power."

IS THAT what Lysis claims I wrote in my posting????

What about parallels of the Enabeling Act and Homeland Security?? The dangers of emergency decrees?? And after all the OTHER parallels I took such claims to highlight and call attention to -- honestly I don't think you read my postings -- you don't misquote me, you never come NEAR responding to what was written!!!! You fabricate something moronic, (usually after a couple paragraphs of incidental insults) claim I said it, then make some enfeebled comment about how it is flaccid -- does this kind of argumentation work on high school kids? WOW!

How about doing some rebuttal in detail on parallels between The Enabling Act and Homeland Security and historical lessons about the dangers associated with "special emergency legislation" and suspension of civil rights by executive order and privilege. Focus . . . Focus . . . Focus.

Thank you for the Kerry "Cambodia" responses -- I will deal with those.

One note:
Lysis' flip flopping about Kerry issues began as a Lysis claim about his SOLE belief about the "Musuem" argument. Are we done with that one now or are you going to resurrect it again after I demolish the "Cambodia" arguments????

Lysis said...


Since what Kerry was doing that was despicable, was appearing on television and speaking with the entire nation watching him; since speaking out at mass meetings and Senate hearings so he could be on T.V. was his tactic, seeing his actions was watching him first hand. Kerry has been tried already. He was found wanting in the court of public opinion. You’re not even arguing; you make up definitions and then try to enforce them on others to support your position. Why not defend Kerry’s attacks on American service men, or attempt to explain his lies before the Senate and the People. The truth about John Kerry has been reviled to all. It is one reason why he can only get elected in Mass. where the truth doesn’t much matter if you’re for “abortion on demand”.


You know, you’re right; you didn’t post just two false analogies supported by two weak generalizations. You also posted the howler that equated the Nazi Enabling Act to US Homeland Security. You compare special emergency legislation - what ever that means – with suspension of civil rights and never show a single example of a civil right being suspended. This was a third excellent example of “False Analogy” and “Weak Generalization”. To bad you are incapable of learning from your own mistakes. However, the rest of us benefit enormously from observing your limp positions and deflated claims, and it is fun to watch you fly about and fall flat. Thanks.

I can’t wait for you to “deal with the Kerry “Cambodia” responses”. But I have to wonder why you didn’t just state some facts in the first place; instead of making up unsupportable claims and copying talking points from obviously biases and dishonest sources.

One last thing: please tell me what “my SOLE belief” about the museum argument is. I can’t “be done with it” until you make it up and tell me what it is! I’m sure your efforts will give me a great example of some failure of logic. It will be good for the Child.

I hope the library is still open. I’m sorry for keeping you two waiting. Hopefully the new issue of Mad was on the stand tonight.

Rumpole said...


You post: “The vote for the Enabling Act achieved what Hitler had wanted for years – to tear down the German Democratic Republic LEGALLY and end democracy (Got that Rumpole?) . . ."

I gather, then, that you agree that what President Bush has done is LEGAL.

Based upon that premise, it seems that your complaining about the President and his actions are misplaced. You suggest that the parallel with President Bush and Hitler is that both have acted WITHIN THE LAW. Wouldn’t it then make more sense to direct you energies to changing the law?

For discussion purposes, please allow me the latitude to define legal as constitutional. It is important here because the constitution is the LEGAL AUTHORITY that has granted President Bush the power to act as he has.

If, as you suggest, the President has acted “LEGALLY”, should we dispense with the constitution? Flawed though it may be, the constitution is the envy of the world, and of world history. I would submit that the “great experiment” will fail only when the citizens of this great nation fail to adhere to the principles enumerated in that wonderful document!

Lysis said...

Rumpole, I think you have the Anonomy dead to rights. I also agree with him that Bush’s actions are legal. Now the question, which you cast as their “Constitutionality” comes into play. Acts, such as Hitler’s can be “legal” but unjust. They conform to the concocted statues of legislatures, but they are contrary to Natural Laws. This is where Flaccid’s position becomes a “False Analogy”. Of course Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power; of course President Bush is justified in fighting terrorists who are seeking a re-do on 9/11. That Flaccid can not see the difference is telling; that he did even notice that he was asserting the legality of the Presidents actions is just plane laughable.

Child, so you can understand, let me put it simply. Using power to murder millions of people and launch wars of conquest = bad. Using power to fight terrorists and stop mass murder = good.

Anonymous said...

In logic, begging the question is the term for a type of fallacy occurring in deductive reasoning in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. For an example of this, consider the following argument:

Abortion is the unjustified killing of a human being and as such is murder.
Murder is illegal.
Therefore abortion should be illegal

Such an argument is fallacious, because it relies upon its own proposition (in this case, Abortion is the unjustified killing of a human being)in order to support its conclusion. Essentially, the argument assumes that its central point is alrady proven, and uses this in support of itself.

Begging the question is also known as petitio Principii, and is related to the fallacy known as circular argument, circulus in probando, vicious circe or circular reasoning. As a concept in logic the first known defintion in the West is by Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 B.C. in his book *Prior Analytics*, where he classified it as a material fallacy.

Lysis Posts:
First example
"Using power to murder millions of people and launch wars of conquest = bad. Using power to fight terrorists and stop mass murder = good." (And Bad Logic = Bad argument)
Second example:
"Of course Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power; of course President Bush is justified in fighting terrorists who are seeking a re-do of 9-11. "

Third example:
"Since what Kerry was doing was doing that was despicable, was appearing on television and speaking with the entire nation watching him; since speaking out at mass meetings and Senate hearings, so he could be on t.v. was his tactic, seeing his actions was watching him first hand."

These three examples, and MANY, MANY others,(three or four in every posting) are ALL EGREGIOUS examples of *Begging the Question*!!!! -- a particularly heinous and despicable kind of fallacy that appears often in "low-level" propaganda for gullible, hysterical conservatives.

I think the rabid foam has begun to circumscribe Lysis' head -- his constant references to "Libraries" and "Coke" and "Child", "Mad" and "Flaccidity" are making me worry that all is not well at home -- may he once again abandon his "limp positions" and achieve a "FIRM foundation" while hoping to argue LOGICALLY some other day.
-terminology provided by Lysis

I hope LYSIS college class is in logic.

Whether Bush has acted "Legally" or not is a moot point -- the Supremes have not sung. Hey, would it be ok with you and Lysis if Bush enlarged the court to 15 and appointed 6 more "literalists" -- 25 for the next President?.

That's not verboten in the Constitution either -- FDR thought it would be fine?!?!

You know Lysis, I provided a direct quote of Gardner's in which he contradicts what he had claimed previously in that "not so swifty" book -- that he went EVERYWHERE the swiftboat went and then the DIRECT QUOTE admiting his lie. You asked for ONE I gave you a BIG ONE and you IGNORED it and then downloaded drivel from the swiftboat Bible that I had ALREADY addressed. Let's stick to Gardner's lies -- BALL'S in your court!!!! (sorry to use "sensitive" terminology)

Rumpole said...


I’m glad you agree that YOUR “legal” point was moot. Still, thanks bringing it up in the first place, and for giving me the opportunity to debate it with you anyway!

As to the Supremes singing, that was the point to the earlier posts about constitutionality of the President’s actions. I’ll spare you of that redundancy; I have already given the reasons why I believe the Supreme Court will rule in the President’s favor if the question is ever posed to them. The justification to support his actions is so overwhelmingly in his favor that it will probably never come to that!

The Littlest Republican tells me that it is time for dinner! Got to go!

Lysis said...

Flaccid, I am so disappointed, you promised to “demolish the “Cambodia” arguments?????” and all I get is this a pitiful; “quit picking on me!”

You claim to give me a direct quote from Steve Gardner

You say, “Gardner has conceded NOW that he had NOT actually served with Kerry at the time Kerry won his Purple Hearts . . .” You, Flaccid, have given no reference, not even provided quotation marks around this supposed admission. All you do is quote a “previous” comment by Gardner and provide no quotation that contradicts it. You mention Steven Hatch and Drew Whitlow as “disputing Gardner’s recollections”. Who’s to say whose recollections are right. This is not the proof you promised, this is your choosing to believe the people that support your opinion. I am still hopeful you might be able to prove Gardner a liar, the way I proved Kerry to be one. But as of now, you have not presented a DIRECT QUOTE by Gardner where he admits to any lie.

Please answer these three questions. YES or NO would be nice.

1. Do you believe all 253 other Swift-boat Vets are liars?

2. Do you admit that Kerry lied about being in Cambodia?

3. If, no to (2) are you accusing Kerry of lying when later said he did not go into Cambodia?

Flaccid; let’s talk logic.

Circular Argumentation is begging the question. [ An aside -I hate it (perhaps it annoys you too) when news reporters or others use “begging the question” to mean that actions, statements, or events “beg” one to ask some question.] Anyway, I and your text book agree on the definition of “begging the question”. I even accept your example about abortion, murder and illegality. BUT:

Your quotes from me are not examples of “begging the question”.

I did say: “Using power to murder millions of people and launch wars of conquest = bad.” But this is not a syllogism; it is not an argument of any kind, let alone a circular one. It is a fact. I present no “major premise” no “minor premise” and infer no “conclusion”. I just made a statement. If you disagree you could present an argument, and we could assess its truth and validity. I’m just stating something that is self-evident.

I did say: “Using power to fight terrorists and stop mass murder = good.” Once again; not an argument, circular or straight, just the facts!”

I did say: “Of course Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power:” But once again this is not an argument, just a fact. Do you disagree?

I did say, “. . . of course President Bush is justified in fighting terrorists who are seeking a re-do of 9/11.” I’m not arguing here. Do you want to?

As for Kerry on T.V.; your Child had claimed that I had not experienced Kerry’s despicable behavior first hand. I simply explained how I had. I was not presenting an argument in an attempt to reach any conclusion based on any combination of premises.

Therefore none of the examples you have given are examples of “begging the question” or “circular argumentation” or “?petitio Principii?” And that’s a fact, not an argument.

But thank you once again, Flaccid. You have been most instructive by demonstrating that quoting Latin terms from the text books does not make one a Philosopher. Go back to the stacks and see what you can find.

Way to go Rumpole! What do you bet Flaccid will soon announce these arguments to be “moot” as well.

A_Shadow said...

Since we've seen the arguments about how poorly Bush has dealt with out economy and out job-lessnes...

I thought it only prudent:

Unemployment rate dropes to 4.5 year low.

Anonymous said...

Are George Bushes' new surveilance procedures and Homeland Security illegal?

Has any "authorized" court ruled on their legality/illegality?

No, Not that I know of, why?

Then these new surveilance procedures are "legal" and will continue to be "legal" until the Supreme court (or some other authorized entity) interprets their legality in the negative.

Rumpole/Lysis want to determine an OUGHT from an IS and proclaim that the procedures OUGHT to be legal --I and others would disagree about whether those procedures "should be" legal. However, for practical considerations,(and untill then) (moot) the actions ARE legal.

Just LIKE! LIKE! LIKE! (Analogy) the "Emergency Decrees" and the passing of the Enabling Act were LEGAL LEGAL LEGAL maneuvers by Hitler that, in effect, destroyed civil rights guaranteed by the Republic (unwise and dangerous!)-- all done with the assurances/arguments that "emergency conditions" warranted these EXTREME MEASURES and that the measures would not be permanent!!!! The direct quotes(in English) of Hitler's justification, I thought were a forceful argument for the analogy's strength.

Truly, there are NO COMPLETELY false nor COMPLETELY true analogies. Analogies are best understood as being STRONG or WEAK, because they are inductively derived. An Analogy has strength based on occurences of identity in two basically different things -- the number of points of identity and the Analogy's coherence are factors that argue for its strength. However, AT SOME POINT ALL analogies start to break down because of their inherent differences -- Yes, it is NOT 1939 Weimar Germany just LIKE it's NOT BC Cincinnatus' Rome.
Lysis' argument that it's false analogy because Hitler is not anything like GWB again BEGS THE QUESTION.

Begging the question is not a formal fallacy -- it is a deductive fallacy but it need not be, nor is it commonly, syllogistic. (I can't find ANY Lysis arguments that meet THAT criteria) So when Lysis says, "my arguments were not in syllogistic form, therefore they were not Beging the question." he is making an ILLOGICAL argument.

Begging the question is often referred to as a fallacy of presumption or a fallacy of assumption because THE ERROR IS IN ASSUMING WHAT ONE ASSERTS TO BE PROVING!!!!
"Rumpole: When are you going to stop beating your children." is Begging the question -- because the question is the UNPROVEN and ASSUMED fact that you beat your children. (please do not take offence or "get lost" in the example).
ALL of the previously exemplified statements of Lysis (in a previous post) were Begging the Question because what is asserted and re-asseted as "fact" is really ASSUMED and UNPROVEN.

Facts do NEED to have qualites of RELIABILITY and OBJECTIVITY, over and above YOUR bias and "eyewitness" accounts, Lysis!!!!

I await the Analogy "de jour" for next week. If not strong at least make it clever.

Lysis said...

Flaccid, Thank you for admitting the legality of the President’s defense of America!

I never said the President’s power to defend America OUGHT to be legal, I said it was Constitutional, and since it is also Just, it is Legal already. The court can no more rule away the President’s Constitutional authority, than the Congress can legislate away the courts power to judicial review on Constitutional grounds. This is something most of the rest of us in the Agora figured out weeks ago. Your arguments have always been moot.

Which of the following “arguments” do you consider fallacious:

1. Using power to murder millions of people and launch wars of conquest is bad.

2. Using power to fight terrorists and stop mass murder is good.

3. Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power.

4. President Bush is justified in fighting terrorists who are seeking a re-do of 9/11.

5. John Kerry lied about the actions of our troops in Vietnam, publicly for all to hear.

I don’t attempt to prove any of these statements. Their truth is self-evident. Flaccid, if you disagrees please demonstrate their lack of RELIABILITY and OBJECTIVITY.

As for Analogies; some are false: Hitler = George Bush; the American Patriot Act = the German Enabling Act; all Flaccid’s analogies are false = all analogies are false. Other analogies inform truth: Cincinnatus was a man who sought the benefit of his country at great cost to himself and not for personal power or wealth = George Bush is a great man who is benefiting his country at great sacrifice to himself and not for power or wealth.

No Analogy for you this week, Flaccid; instead, the highlights of President Bush’s State of the Union Speech.

Rumpole said...


Are George Bush’s new surveillance procedures supported by the Constitution, and has the Homeland Security Act been approved by Congress as law?

Yes, until ruled otherwise by the Supreme Court or some other authorized entity, both actions are considered LEGAL.

I love your posts, Anonymy, especially when you write exactly opposite of reality. President Bush’s surveillance procedures have been hotly debated, but only in the COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION! They are legal until contested and deemed inappropriate (which they won’t be because they are legal) in a court of Constitutional law.

The Homeland Security Act has been passed by Congress and is the law of the land. It will remain so until a court of Constitutional law deems it inappropriate or until the Congress repeals the act.

Both are NOT cases of OUGHT! Both are instances of what IS. IF, and I emphasize IF, both actions are found wanting, we can discuss what OUGHT to be. For now, however, it is more than clear what IS IS!

I think the Littlest Republican is in complicity with the Republican-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed! Neither will produce my copy of “The Federalist Papers”. Should I torture the culprits until they give me the information? Perhaps not, it would probably be “begging the question!”

A_Shadow said...

Has any "authorized" court ruled on their legality/illegality?"

QUESTION: Since when does asking a question in answer to another question work?

ANSWER: It doesn't answer anything, in fact, it's quite rude, Anonymous. For shame :-p.

Even more so, I think it's a clear sign that you're irritated and not thinking straight. This sort of arguing always seems to come from those most flustered....

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