Sunday, January 01, 2006

Darwin Was for Intelligent Design

Federal Judge John Jones ruled on December 20th ’05 that the 9th grade Biology Teachers of a Dover, Pennsylvania School District cannot read a one “minuet disclaimer” at the beginning of their class’s study of evolution. The “recitation” concluded that there are “gaps in the theory” of evolution and that intelligent design was another explanation they [the students] should consider.

I tend to agree with Jones’ ruling. I am against teachers being required to read anything to students. On the other hand, I am against teachers being prohibited from reading anything to their students. Where I disagree with Jones is that he does not stop with preventing the reading of a mandatory disclaimer. He goes on, in his lengthy opinion, to condemn involving God in the creation process as illegal, even unconstitutional. He argues that those who teach the possibility of divine involvement in creation are using the government [read school] to establishing a specific religion; in his opinion Christianity. All those of other religions who also hold that God or the Gods created the universe, or at least organized Cosmos out of Chaos, might find his judicial stretch troubling. What Jones has done, in the infinite wisdom only granted to members of the judiciary, is rule that one part of the Constitution cancels out another; in fact that one part of the Bill of Rights cancels out another; in fact that one end of the First Amendment cancels out the other end of the First Amendment.

I wonder if the judge, having cooked his brain for weeks in the arguments of fanatics on one side and the other, realized his ruling will ban Charles Darwin from the classroom. Once you throw out free speech to protect any position, you are in trouble!

It is obvious to anyone who has read Darwin’s Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection; obviously not a pre-requisite to those who develop theories to explain it, disclaimers to condemn it, or court rulings to impose it; that Darwin believed in Intelligent Design.

I quote from The Origin of the Species:

“ To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter BY THE CREATOR, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes like those determining the birth and death of the individual. . . It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different form each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life, and from use and disuse: a Ration of Increase so high as to led to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed BY THE CREATOR into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” (From the sixth edition published in 1872, my copy by The Easton Press, 1976, pgs 444 – 445) (Capitals added for emphasis and clarification)

What Darwin does not do, what Science cannot do, and what the book of Genesis refuses to do, is answer the question on HOW God created anything. I believe, along with Darwin, that God laid down the laws that made evolution possible. The fossil record and the study of genetics can trace the wondrous progress of His hand; but no authority, theological, scientific, or judicial can explain how the laws came into being.

We come back to what ought, under the Constitution, to be taught in the classroom. Neither the religion of the Christians nor the Atheists should be imposed on anyone; either by forcing the reading of disclaimers or by excluding the opinions of Charles Darwin from the classroom. Nor should students be kept in a hothouse of scientific design which denies the beliefs of the vast majority of Americans; which denies the beliefs of the students and teachers themselves.


Strategos said...

As a student I should report that I have heard view on Evolution, God, and Religion, in nearly every class I have taken since kindergarten and this Judges rulling doesn't promise to make any difference. He's just a Judge trying to use the government[read courtroom] to impress one theological view over another. As Lysis points out his attempt is self-defeacting you cannot teach Darwin without inteligent disighn nor teach History without teaching about religion, nor teach Literature without teaching about religious themes, symbols, and Ideas, nor political science, civics, anthropology, Philosphy, psychology, even atheism cannot be taght without first teaching the religious laws, theoreis, and priciples that these sciences were founded on. Perhaps calculus could be taught without mentioning God specifically, I haven't taken that class in a while but I do remember having to take alot of it on faith.

One part of the post that I found interesting is this
"What Jones has done, in the infinite wisdom only granted to members of the judiciary, is rule that one part of the Constitution cancels out another; in fact that one part of the Bill of Rights cancels out another; in fact that one end of the First Amendment cancels out the other end of the First Amendment."
My question is don't some parts of the law override others at times. I can think of a few examples
1. Public saftey prohibits inciting riots, or shouting fire in a crouded theater where there is no fire.
2. A judge can wave a persons right to privacy if he or she is suspected of a crime by issueing a search warant.
3. The judical system removes a persons right to Bare arms, to travel from state to state, even to vote, if another part of the law is threatened or infringed upon.
My knowledge of the constitution is not extensive so I would like to appeal to the members of the agora and ask, does the constitution or bill of rights out-line a pattern for determining which law or right takes presidence over another, or is that job left completely to the Judges themselves?

Thank you for your time

Reach Upward said...

While Darwin deferred to the Creator, the current institutionalized version of his theory does not. Darwin has become the poster child for atheism. Some atheist organizations even sell coffee mugs and T-shirts with Darwin's picture along with the org's logo and some kind of clever elitist comment. There is an interesting article here that disucsses the history of how Darwin was hijacked by atheism.

I recently heard a pleasant conversation between a devout Christian and a devout atheist. The atheist said, "You have your religion, and I have mine." At least he was honest enough to classify atheism as a system of religious beliefs.

While laws often take precedence over other laws in certain circumstances, the judiciary is not free to disallow the teaching of one belief system while allowing another. Lysis is correct in stating that the good judge essentially disallows Darwin by disallowing the reading of a marginally important paragraph that is so nondescriptive that many students wouldn't know or wouldn't care what it means.

Lysis said...

Reach, thanks for the very interesting article. How often have words or philosophies been taken out of context and used for purposes foreign to their intent? What is sad is that many, who have not read Darwin’s book, let alone Bishop Wilberforce’s positive review of it, play into the hands of the atheists by insisting that one cannot believe in God and evolution.

I suppose one could consider the hijacking of Darwin’s “theory” by atheists as similar to the hijacking of Islam by terrorits President Bush has referenced, or in light of the multiple genocides and mass murders carried out in the name of God or country from Canaan to Mountain Meadows to Auschwitz.

Why should the truth in religion or science be discouraged by the truth’s victory over “dogmatism and duplicity”? I am confident that the dogma of Atheism will fair no better in the court of reason than the pompous pronouncements accredited to Bishop Wilberforce. I think it supremely ironic that even those seem to have been manufactured by the “media” in an effort to do with misrepresentation what they could not do in the heat of debate. It is a common neo-lib tactic, often to be witnessed on Sunday morning talk shows and MSNBC, to put up buffoons to debate for conservative positions.

I am confident that Darwin would join with us in arguing that he never pretended to present an eternal truth of atheism – a creation without God. These are not even Darwin’s words, let alone his aim.

Lysis said...

Strategos, thanks for joining us again in the Agora. As Reach has presented above, there are many who are attempting to enforce their views through misrepresentation. Judges can by guilty of it as well as teachers and blog comenters. I feel the best way to deal with such problems, whether in the court room or in the classroom, or the media, is to train students to think and teachers to give students real issues to think about. There are those who would carefully grind and shift the meal presented to our students and citizens. I say, sharpen their teeth and their wits and they will be able to deal with the toughest problems.

Rumpole suggested earlier that the best way to insure good judges was to insure that the people elect executive authorities that will appoint just and wise men and women to entrust with so sacred and unchallengeable force. I join with both of you in searching for some other way of putting a check or standard on judicial authority, but have found no other yet.

Reach Upward said...

The Founders understood that all three branches of government would continually attempt to grab power, but they hoped that the constant tension between the three would prevent any branch from exceeding its intended limits. To return to a system where the judiciary acts as a referee rather than a super legislature, the legislative branch must exercise its constitutionally mandated power to excercise judicial oversight. Over the past century they have largely maintained a hands-off policy once an appointment is complete. Vigilant judicial oversight is a messy business that isn't nearly as fun as creating new government bureaucracies to rescue the people from themselves, but it is an essential function if we are to maintain proper tension between the branches. It would be nice if we had justices and judges that felt that the judiciary should necessarily be the weakest branch and that it should only step into the fray when absolutely necessary, but experience shows that the longer one sits on the bench, the more one sees the judiciary as the appropriate tool to manage almost everything. It is up to the legislative branch to keep the judiciary within its proper bounds.

Anonymous said...

"Who's on first. What's on second. I don't know is on third -- and I don't give a damn is at shortstop." -Abbot and Costello

(What's on second)
Lysis posts:
"I am against teachers being prohibited from reading ANYTHING to their students."
Would Lysis like to withdraw this "over-reaching" and "over-cooked" generalization now, or force a very inappropriate list of texts teachers COULD read to their students of which Lysis might not approve? -- I am getting the impression "anything" doesn't mean to Lysis what the word "anything" really means.
In his account of judge Jones' decision Lysis fails to acknowledge that the decision was proscribed to "science classes" -- one would expect that Science WOULD be taught in science class and not attacks or apologetics upon science itself.

(I don't know is on third)
As an alternative, perhaps a study of Galileo/Catholic Dogma and Capernicus/Ptolemy in Lysis' HISTORY class would provide an appropriate forum for Intelligent Design discussions -- of course, without the threats of recanting and burning at the stake if complete religious compliance were not attained!

I find that Darwin's intellectual ambitions began with a study for the ministry, but that his "belief" in God EVOLVED throughout his life and in his later years he acknowledged himself an Agnostic -- Whether Darwin has been co-opted by Atheistic T shirts or not is just dumb.

(Who's on first)
Every discussion of Rights is a discussion of Rights in conflict and how to maximize justice in the face of *competing* rights from issue to issue. The "zero sum game" that Lysis characterizes as "the beginning of the First Amendment canceling out the end of the First Amendment" is specious and faulty analysis of Judge Jones' ruling.

(I don't give a damn is at shortstop)
Should Public School Patrons have a problem with an Intelligent Design discussion being held in a Literature, Philosophy, History, Debate or Seminary class? What about a Welding, Music, Calculus Woodshop, or Programming class? I think there ARE appropriate forums in high school for such a discussion, and I think there are NOT appropriate forums for such a discussion -- the Law agrees. Anyway, Intelligent Design isn't on the UBSCT test or part of NCLB, so it's just not important!!!!

Lysis said...

Welcome back Anonymous!!!

Once the audience at the “stand up comedy act” figured out what Abbot never did, that Costello was talking about three players named; Who, What, and I don’t know; it was terribly funny for everyone but Abbot. All the rest of us have figured out “who is who” and now we can all laugh at Anonymous and Judge Jones. Ha Ha Ha ! That’s the power of truth.

I would be interested in Anonymous list of things I wouldn’t want discuss in my class room. Whatever Anonymous might imagine; be assured that the nature of Science and the existence of God are not among the topics I would draw the line at. I see no reason that some under informed judge from Pennsylvania should make that decision for my or any other classroom.

As for where one should discuss and debate; I would not find it necessary to restrain curiosity by the confines of location or the confines of the UBSCT test.

It seems Anonymous curiosity has been satisfied by the parameters of the UBSCT, that he or she “just doesn’t give a damn”. Thank GOD that neither my students nor I are so easily satisfied.

supersonic said...

Anonymous, its nice to finally talk to you. I've read much from you but never gotten a chance to ever talk to you.

As long as we get what we need to pass the test everything is okay right? I mean, thats what I take classes for isn't it? so I can pass the tests to get out of school?

Okay, Debate teachers... its okay... teach about darwin and all those other things that you might debate about.

English teachers... STOP! you can't talk about any of those things even if it deals with your subject.

math teachers... STOP! you can't talk about it even if the same person that came up with that theorm had some policial influence in him as well.

So at the staff meeting the principal says this. Some of you... its okay to talk about whatever you want. The rest of you. Look at the list and don't move from it. Those kids are here to pass that test.

I being a student will stand by the side of hearing every point of view. Hearing the good and the bad and the debated.

Anonymous said...

Rumors of my departure have been greatly exagerated.

Anonymous I could not agree more! Your post was right on point and your joke about "NCLB" - and other asinine recommendations by the Bushies to fix education in America - were amusing, even if the other dullards didn't get it. To be fair, one of them seems to be a student and is probably afflicted by the current asinine recommendations of his/her Bushie preacher, I mean teacher. Don't let them tell you that sarcasm makes you lonely. You are my favorite poster here!

Lysis your post and your responses are plagued with confusion, and regretably again, irrelevance. Natural Selection has absolutely nothing to do with God, a creator, or a religion. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a dunderhead and any conversation that entertains it is seriously misinformed, including this one.

Unlike you Lysis I do think that teachers should be required to read some things in class and they should be required to teach some things as well. (In your case it might help to know some things first.) Your admonition to Anonymous that "absolutely anything" should be taught in the classroom is extremely reckless as it pertains to anyone in a position of authority over youth and demonstrates a real lack of pedagogical skill. I can only assume that in your persistent state of confusion that strikes you whenever you write here - though probably everywhelse in your life as well - you are conflating the concepts of "anything" with "everything." You may mistakenly think teaching "anything" bogus as truth is permissable because it leads to counter thought to test the truth of the bogus assertion, which in turn leads to actual truth. As in, it is permissable for educators to teach that there was no Jewish Holocaust because in doing so you will provoke the discussion of whether there was a holocaust and this will lead to the truth and the teaching that there was one; or, that HIV does not cause AIDS or that educators impress on their charges that God created man in his own image and gave him paradise until woman ruined it because this will provoke a discussion of just how much blame women deserve today for ruining eternal paradise; or, citing popular American beliefs as you are so happy to do, it is permissable for educators to teach that blacks are an inferior and mongrel race and that is why we have to have affirmative action programs or that God hates gay people and that is why HIV was created or that Joseph Smith's word is that of God and that Mormons possess the only true gospel or that using birth control is a sin against God or that the dark side of the moon is home to an advanced underground civilization, because doing so will lead to challenges and a discovery of the truth. Your simplistic approach is erroneous on its face. Teaching "anything" is not the same as teaching "everything." Many educators stop well short of teaching "everything" about a subject, out of deliberate or unintentional bias, and so would stop well short of teaching the actual truth. Further, no matter how much you teach about an untruth you will not make it true.

Doubly, even if teaching "anything" did mean the same as teaching "everything" this does not always lead to a discovery of truth in a young mind. It is perfectly possible to teach a young class that the Jewish Holocaust never happened but to teach that a lot of people still insist that it did, that a lot of evidence that a lot of people think is authentic has been faked to support this popular myth that some take for truth, that people who do not accept this are persecuted and even thrown into jail in countries like Austria, and that we are lucky that we live in a country where we are free to know the truth and have a class that believes only lies. Even if you don't accept this example you must accept that it is possible to teach everything about a subject and find that your students are persuaded more by untruths and choose to believe them, as our own country's history sadly illustrates. This is why it is reckless to teach "just absolutely anything."

If I told you that Levi Parson Morton was the 22nd Vice President of the United States would you belive me? If you were a 13 year old student in a history class and I was your teacher would you believe me? What if it was a health class for young mothers and as a teacher I told the girls that you cannot contract certain common STD's if you have Cycle Cell Anemia? Of course, they would believe me, without challenge, because students expect teachers to teach them the truth and not lies. "Just anything" should not be taught in a classroom as though it were true. As a "teacher" yourself Lysis, you should be far more careful about how you present information to your young students.

That goes just as much for teaching anyone that God, a creator, or a religion have ANYTHING to do with the process of natural selection. Blog about something a little more important next time Lysis.

Now let's get to what I really wanted to talk about. A new year has come and I wanted to make some predictions for it. I thought you Lysis would make some as well, for the record, and then at the end of this one we could look back to see who indeed is more in touch with reality today.

1. Facing political pressure from Republicans before this Fall's elections Bush will ignore the advice of the military and schedule large reductions of force in Iraq. I will say as high as 50,000 in addition to the current 5,000 announced at the beginning of last week when Bush's poll numbers were still in the low forties.

2. There will be significantly more Republicans criminally indicted this year than Democrats, most for bribery. Lysis will still insist that Republicans are the champions of democracy everywhere.

3. Bush will end this year with his poll numbers no higher than they were when he started it. Most Americans will still disapprove of him as a President and doubt his honesty.

4. Iran will begin enriching weapons grade uranium, most likely for the development of a nuclear weapon. America, made impotent by the continuing conflict in Iraq, will do nothing to stop the "Axis" except threaten U.N. sanctions. These will inevetibly be blocked by Russia and China. Because of record defecits from the Bush tax cut and our reliance on China to support the deficits America will not be able to stop the veto at the U.N. Iran will have made enough progress by year's end to assemble one bomb.

(Ironically, and this is way out I know but I can't resist, to neutralize the emerging Iranian nuclear hegemon in the Gulf, the U.S., if - gigantic "if" - Iraq does become a stable government, will equip Iraq with tactical nuclear weapons thus finally putting the WMD's in Iraq as promised! Ha!)

5. North Korea will continue to make nuclear weapons. (Remember before Bush became President and they had none?)

6. The Gaza Strip will descend into chaos, Hamas will win seats in East Jerusalem, the secular Fatah will split into civil war, and the democratization of Palestine will be postponed. If only Bush had engaged from the beginning instead of talking tough and retreating to negotiations in Egypt 2003 after things got much, much worse.

7. In the elections this Fall more people will vote for Democratic candidates than will vote for Republican candidates AGAIN, but because of the absurdly exaggerated importance of Western states like Utah and Wyoming the Republicans will retain power of the House and the Senate. Despite having had control of all three branches of federal government Bush will still not be able to make the economy run as good as did before he came to office, raise more families out of poverty, create as many jobs in America as there were before he came into office, overhaul Social Security, revise and simplify the tax code, balance the budget or pay for a drug benefit program for seniors. Lysis will be delighted.

8. Congressional hearings will confirm Alito and find that Bush did abuse Executive power in ordering illegal NSA surveillance of average Americans and that it was far reaching and more alarming than was supposed. The Supreme Court, with Alito, will refuse to rule against the Executive to order them to turn over evidence of the illegal snooping. Republican majorities will order no impeachment. You have to get a blowjob for that to happen.

9. The timber dispute with Canada will devlop into broader trade war following Bush's approval of the U.S. Ambassador's public comments about how the party candidates should campaign about the U.S. (Canada! Why has he got us in a fight with Canda!? Couldn't this relatively minor issue have been handled better, like say, by a 10 year old? How did we go from 9/11, an act of hate, us a victim, to more countries hating America today than did then!? Incompetence.) Bush's incompetence in the international realm will further isolate the U.S. in the debate about climate change and the U.S.'s responsibility in addressing the issues maturely with other nations.

10. Violence will continue in Iraq, Sunni's will continue to fund insurgents, conservative religous parties will take power in the parliment and start taking orders from Iran, Osama Bin Laden will go on plotting, financing, inspiring, reading his poetry because we did not execute his capture when we could; Lysis will continue to sing the praises of our wonderful President and the "heckuva job" he's doing, and DICK cheney will continue to insist that Iraq was responsible for 9/11.

At least we will be one year closer to being rid of one of the worst Presidents in American history, one of the most hated men in the world. You know, when you go to foreign countries you often see President Kennedy Train Line, a statue of Lincoln at Westminster Abbey, Roosevelt in Panama, Jefferson by the Petite Statue of Liberty. Do you think the Iraqi's will build one to Bush? Maybe in the roundabout where they tore down the old one of Saddam. Do you think any country will?

That brings me to my last prediction, for this blog, in 2008: We will all have endure Lysis' topic of whether there is enough room on Rushmore to fit Bush Jr.'s face!

I look forward to any confused predictions for the year ahead that you make Lysis.

Anonymous said...

Lysis Posts:
"I am interested in Anonymous' list of things I wouldn't want to DISCUSS in my classroom."

Well, I know a "moving" target is harder to hit Lysis, and I would indeed be without list if the above is what I had said or what YOU had originally proclaimed. However, the noxious generalization that you now seem to want to run away from was, "I am against teachers being prohibited from READING ANYTHING to their students." -- the "truth" becomes distorted so quickly in 'Lysisworld'.

So, Lysis would not have 'teachers' prohibited from *READING* a publication from NAMBLA on strategies for seducing male children?!?! (That is just one in what could be a very long list -- also, Lysis' generalization contended nothing about DISCUSSIONS.)

Lysis seems to have become so enamoured of the Abbot and Costello metaphor that he did not respond to the rebuttals that EACH position expressed -- Is "HA HA HA" Lysis best response and a proper defense of "truth", or just another 'Lysisworld' distraction?
Call the arguments laughable but at least muster a defense . . . or withdrawl!!!!

The UBSCT and NCLB comments were toungue in cheek, mocking a previous stance of Lysis.

There are MANY who post as Anonymous -- I am Anonymous and communal

Lysis said...

Dear Anonymy, or Anonytachi as we say in the Japanese:

To the Anonymous whose departure were exaggerated. I’m glad they were and glad to have you back. Let me answer you on some of your points.

1. On NCLB – Please give me some example of the failure of the Presidents program beyond your own opinion. I’m sure holding schools accountable and requiring students to meet standards run against your grain, but then, improving education in general seems to be a threat to you. The more people who learn to think the fewer will buy your propaganda. Let’s have some facts before we start the name calling.

2. If God created the laws of Nature or organized the Cosmos to produce the higher animals, including man, as Darwin writes, then I would argue that God, a creator, and religion have every relevance. Perhaps you have some scientifically verifiable empirical evidence to the contrary. If so, once more I implore, let’s have the facts before we get the name calling.

3. I agree with you Anonymous, there are things that I should read to my classes, but I don’t think they are to from the dictates of biased school boards or biased Judges. The search for truth, with our the bully boys from the head office are adequate to direct my teaching and my students. Were some one to teach lies such as you suggest, the non occurrence of the Jewish Holocaust or misinformation about AIDS, I am confident that thinking students and teachers could destroy such false hoods with reason and logic with out the need of inserting a thought policeman in the classroom. (The illogical ramblings of several of the Anonymous posters here in the Agora demonstrate that there would be plenty of volunteers for that Orwellian post.) Why should you fear that students presented with the full and uncensored range of thought would be so foolish as to accept that women are the source of evil, blacks are inferior, the teachings of Joseph Smith, God’s opinion on birth control, or bologna about the moon. Again you reveal you sad opinion of students; perhaps a flaw in your education or a lack of interaction with them has dulled your ability to recognize their abilities. All of the “unmentionable” things you list above are easily available in the world in which students live most of their lives. To banish them from the classroom in some naive hope they will disappear is the type of timidity that comes from ignorance. You seem to have the idea that teaching is some sort of engraving process. If you think students believe “what there teachers tell them with out question,” you don’t know any students. If you told me Levi Parson Morton was the 22nd Vic President and I was interested in knowing the truth of it, I would ask for your verification, demand your proof. As I have done above with your absurd claims about God and Creation. Teaching as stimulation is my pedagogical goal.

Your statement above about the role of the creator is a perfect example of the fact that reciting an opinion has no effect on those who have learned to question all opinions. If you are right, your facts will bear you our, weather preaching about God or Science. If you have no facts, no logic, no reason, you cannot help or harm the conversation with the redundant repetition of you opinion.

If you think that by saying I should be allowed to read to (tell, discuss, make mention of, debate, consider, entertain, listen to ect. ect. ect.) my students anything, that I am saying I will intentionally lie them, you’re not thinking. However, as you point out, many teachers do lie to their students, the best thing to do is not to pass a law or issue some court ruling. The best thing to do is to teach them to be skeptical of all they are told. Teaching students to challenge is the important goal. Your statement that your students would believe you if you taught them a deliberate lie “just because”; shows that either you don’t know any students or you don’t understand the ones you do.

I might suggest that federal judges have better things to rule on than God, science and religion. I doubt that will stop them from doing it or me from bloging on it.

Now to the things Anonymous thinks more important than the origin of life and the workings of the universe:

Thanks for your predictions; I will eagerly assess them with you now, and at years end.

1. Bush has already stated the conditions for the pull out of U.S. troops. “As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down.” I am sure he is as hopeful as Anonymous or I that 50,000 or more troops will be withdrawn. What I will predict is that Bush will do the right thing in spite of his poll numbers. This is a political style, reminiscent of Lincoln, unfamiliar to those who still think that a finger in the wind is the way to lead the world.

2. I hope all criminals of either party are caught, and you are right, it will have nothing to do with were Republicans champion democracy.

3. We will see. But since poll numbers neither influence President Bush or my opinion of him, the prediction seems pointless.

4. Since Iran has already begun the process necessary to enrich weapons grade uranium anyone could make this prediction. As to how President Bush will deal with it, I don’t imagine the coming of New Years Day 2007 will be a goal toward which he works. I will only continue to be grateful that Bush, and not some poll driven Democrat is at the helm.

5. I do remember that it was Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter that made it possible for North Korea to make nuclear weapons, and Bush that caught them at it. Once again, I can only be grateful that Bush, and not one of them, is dealing with the problem.

6. Predicting disaster in the Gaza is about a prophetic as predicting wind in a hurricane. I credit Bush with the success the world has seen in the Middle East, and remember that Clinton did nothing but photo ops for eight years. Anonymous’ way – if it’s hard run away!!

7. I hope you are right about the elections. I agree with you on the outcome, but think the motivation of the American voters will be their recognition of Bush’s foreign policy, war on terror, and economic successes. I point out to Anonymous that America’s economy is already better off than it was before President Bush took office; this despite war, and disaster that would have collapsed the economy under the already faltering Clinton model. As for domestic program Anonymous mentions. Many are already being pushed by the President and blocked by Democrats who are more interested in creating an appearance of failure than in achieving success.

8. I don’t think anyone will find an abuse of power by the President, if such is alleged it will be most rewarding to see the Constitution at work as Anonymous predicts. Go Alito!!!!

9. As for Canadian animus toward the U.S. It is a lot like Democrat animus toward the U.S. Benefiting from the good stuff both Democrats and Canadians can enjoy hating America. I believe most Canadians do not hate America as much as their media pretends, I also believe there are far fewer Democrats than our media believes.

10. I also missed the chance we had to capture Osama. Please drop that little factoid on us Anonymous. Once again you predict just what I would about Iraq. And for that reason I continue in my praise for George and Dick, knowing what a horrible state the world would be in without them.

11. I do think the Iraqis will put up a statue of Bush, and the Afghans will too.

As for your final (Mount Rushmore) prediction, let’s make it true right now. I suggest we place George Bush II right next to Lincoln. That’s where President Bush will rank in history; it is a fitting place to fit him in on to the national monument. By the way, it think Reagan, who was once called one of the worst Presidents in American history, and one of the worlds most hated men; should be place supporting Washington and Jefferson on Rushmore. This is a fitting representation of the fact that Reagan’s efforts have carried forward the freedoms of which our founders dreamed.

Most Specifically to Anonymous the other: Why I should want to read anything by NAMBLA to my students is beyond me at this time, but if a reason came about to do so I would prefer to let the situation dictate my actions and not some judge in Pennsylvania. Give me something worth commenting on and I promise you I will do my best to satisfy your challenge.

Anonymous said...

Lysis' generalization claiming "I am against teachers being prohibited from reading ANTHING to their students." is obviously something Lysis now feels is "not worth commenting on" -- I have placed HIS direct quote plus rebuttals directly in his face three times and he "cuts and runs" with "Give me something worth commenting on . . . Hardly a courageous defense of the "truth" Lysis!

You know, it is YOUR direct quote that you NOW find unworthy of comment . . . I'll count that as a humiliated Lysis' concession.

I'm the one arguing the example that ANY TEACHER SHOULD *NOT* read NAMBLA statements to students and Lysis has become so muddled and befudddled that he accuses ME of advocating that teachers should read such junk!?!?

Perhaps Lysis is having a bad hair day, but I know that he has as few left as I -- and blogging during school would make anyone rash!!!!

Anonymous said...

After Mount Rushmore can Olympus be far behind? -- I've always thought inclement Olympus a better place for Gods, demigods, and wannabe gods.

Anonymous said...

What about a Bush statue in downtown Baghdad paid for with some of the $100,000 Abramoff graft campaign donation?

Anonymous said...

What about a Bush statue in downtown Baghdad paid for with some of the $100,000 Abramoff graft campaign donation?

Lysis said...

To the Anonymous with a knot in his/her knickers, I did try to answer you comment on teachers “reading ANYTHING to their students. I tried to do is above. Please read my seventh paragraph down on my last post. I’ll quote if for you here. “If you think that by saying I should be allowed to read to (Tell, discuss, make mention of, debate, consider, entertain, listen to ext. ect. ect)... That was my subtle attempt to point out what every one by you and Abbott had already figured out; that when I said “discuss” I meant read to, talk about, present, however you want to say it. Please interject the words “read to” into any of my claims about discussing above and I will stand behind them just as firmly. I don’t see how your fixation on these two words lends to the conversation. Seems like you’re grasping at straws, but I hope I’ve made it so you can sleep tonight. Perhaps you didn’t READ what I had to say. Now we have discussed it, given you a whole bunch of time on it, I hope you understand. I wonder if it worked for Abbott?

Anonymous knotty knickers, you can count anything you like as a Lysis concession. I suggest that winning an argument with some facts might go farther in establishing your credibility and prowess here in the Agora.

As for accusing you of advocating NAMBLA article reading; I have re-read my paragraph on the subject and, although I used the words (I, me, or my ) nine times I only referred to you once, and that in pointing out “your” failure to give any arguments of importance to the discussion. I never implied that you were advocating anything – in fact I stressed that you haven’t put anything forth but an empty challenge.

To the Anonymous who is suggesting ways of paying for President Bush’s statue in Baghdad and Afghanistan: if Abramoff wants to chip in – I’ve no complaint. What won’t be happening is stealing money from sick and starving Iraqis children with the help of the UN’s corrupt oil for food program. Thank goodness Saddam is gone so people can spend their monies on what they choose. I think they will choose to recognizing GW in the time to come. It took us till 1844 to get to a monument to George Washington. I’ll give the world a few decades to get around to recognizing Gorge Bush.

Lysis said...

Oh, Anonymous, I’ve got an idea. Bill Clinton could get Buddhist nuns from California to donate to the Bush statue. He seems to have a lot of pull with them.

Lysis said...

Oh, Anonymous, I just remembered; Clinton has contribution connections with the Communist Chinese. They have all that money they steal from their people, and they seem eager to give it to Clinton’s political campaigns. What better way to help Bill Clinton finally build a legacy than for his supporters in Peeking to chip in on a project (finally) of lasting value!

Rumpole said...


May I quote? “Natural Selection has absolutely nothing to do with God, a creator, or religion. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a dunderhead and any conversation that seriously entertains it is seriously misinformed.” This statement comes from one (or a group) who claims to argue with an open mind, and one (or a group) who claims to not generalize? I guess I’ll have to redefine open-mindedness and generalization.

Now, I know this may be boring to you, but I’ve tried to form an opinion on Lysis’ post based on a quick study of history. If it’s not boring, feel free to join in.


I’ve been doing a little research on the “separation between church and state.” The “establishment clause” in the First Amendment (and the Constitution in general) uses no such language. It apparently was first used by the Supreme Court in 1878 (see Reynolds vs. United States) It reappeared in 1947 and in 1948, specifically used by Justice Hugo Black’s majority opinion on Everson vs. Board of Education.

In that decision Ewing Towship (New Jersey) relied on public busses for student transportation, then reimbursed parents for the children’s fares. A portion of the reimbursement was given to parents who enrolled their children in Catholic parochial schools.

In his opinion on Everson, Black pulled this phrase from a statement out of a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists.

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," THUS BUILDING A WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH & STATE (CAPS ADDED) Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

The original handwritten draft of the letter had several lines deleted. The letter was submitted to the FBI laboratory for analysis to determine what was changed (see Among the more important lines deleted:

“Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorized only to execute their acts . . .”

“confining myself therefore to the duties of my station, which are merely temporal, be assured that your religious rights shall never be infringed by any act of mine . . .”

Interestingly, Jefferson was in France when the Bill of Rights was written. Let me clearly state here that I am now entering into the realm of my own opinion. Why would Jefferson be looked to as the authority as to its intention and meaning? He wasn’t there when it was written.

Further, the Danbury letter was written on Jan. 1, 1802. This was more than a year before Marshall delivered Marbury vs. Madison. That is important to me because when the letter was written, “Judicial Review” did not even exist. Jefferson never even thought about the Supreme Court. Until “Judicial Review”, he considered the Supreme Court an afterthought, and the weakest of the three “branches”. Hence, in the deleted portions of his letter he only refers to the Legislative and the Executive.

Again I speculate, but the deleted lines of the letter indicate to me that Jefferson’s interpretation of the “establishment clause” was one of preventing government interference upon religion. “Be assured that your religious rights shall never be infringed.”
Certainly there are those who will disagree with that analysis. All one can do is to look at the information and then decide for himself.

What is my ultimate conclusion? It is amazing that a phrase that has never been in the Constitution could be used to have such large impact on that Document’s interpretation. It is another example to me of the Supreme Court’s misuse of the implied powers of “Judical Review”. That misuse will only cease by new appointment or Constitutional Amendment.

Interestingly, Black’s majority opinion was written in favor of the subsidies:

“The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. New Jersey has not breached it here.”

New Jersey didn’t “breach” the wall. But later the Everson decision has been used to declare innumerable “breaches”. Will Roberts and Alito be the beginning of a “originalist” dam that will stem the flood?

Lysis said...

Rumpole, be careful, taking us back on topic might force one of the Anonomy to ring a concession out of you!!!

I am grateful for your information relating to the Genesis for the “wall of separation” argument. What interests me most was that the Court’s decision was for protecting the “free exercise of religion” by allowing the use of public funds to facilitate Catholic parochial education. This seems to be a very strong statement that religious ideas are protected in the public square from the doctrines of Atheism. As we get more and more Justices on the bench who are capable of divorcing themselves from an agenda of attack on the free exercise clause, we may be able to see religious freedom once more protected with the same enthusiasm as ANY THING else Constitutionally defended from the caprice of political ambition.

I would give Jefferson “founding father” credentials, though he was in France writing The Declaration of the Rights of Man” at the time the constitution was crafted. That Jefferson, like Darwin, was willing to credit “The Creator” with the creation of the Laws and Rights upon which government is justly founded is another interesting point to consider. While speculating on Jefferson’s inner thoughts, it might be worth some time to contemplate how he would feel about ACLU lawyers editing the Declaration of Independents to fit a politically correct agenda.

Silver Lining said...


Another reason Jefferson was likely appealed to though in France was because the First Amendment was largely modeled after his writing of a similar vein for the State of Virginia. (Bill for Virginia regarding Religious Freedom or something like that it is called. The exact name of the document escapes me at the moment.) Anyhow, in that document, Jefferson sets forth that no person (being that our nation was governed by and for the people) should be exempted from or punished by the government because of his or her religious beliefs. In otherwords, the state could not establish a state religion that would thus exempt participation in government by citizens of said state who were not members of the established religion. The document also provides for the free practice of religion. You can easily google and read it if you desire.

On the Darwin thing, I guess I don't see why Intelligent Design should be a topic of any lengthy discussion in science class. However, it seems silly to strike out any quotes by Darwin etc., that suggest the Universe may have been created by a greater being. We are becoming so fussed about things in this day and age. To suggest Darwin believed in a greater power does not prove nor disprove the existence of such power, and the nitpicking of information such as this is an insult to the intelligence of young people. Next thing you know, we won't be able to read the Declaration of Independence or Robert Frost's poetry.

Reach Upward said...

Silver Lining, some schools in the country (you guessed it -- in California) have already reached the point where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are considered unsuitable marterial. An the 9th Circus Court of Fools has ruled in the schools' favor.

Silver Lining said...

There is little but very little hope Reach. I live in California and though what you say is true, the teaching of those documents still occurs in some classrooms. Who knows for how long?

Anonymous said...

So they have finally outlawed the Constitution. Is that even legal? I knew they would finally find a way to do it. It is only a matter of time I suppose before the unAmerican-communist-atheists of California will be trying to taint our precious bodily fluids as well. Well it will have to be over my dead body!

You two live in a very miserable world. It's sad. Really.

Let me add to the record that along with philosophical speculation about whether there is a God, that I do not think the U.S. Constitution, the poems of Robert Frost or the work of Robert Faggen are proper subjects of study in a Science Class. This seems self evident to me.

And to Rumpole, if my position in this blog on the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring were anything like what you mistakenly believe it to be then it would only make me as open-minded as yourself. No need to change your definition of the term in either case. If you did not understand the point I made then you are certainly familiar with the opposite one that you presumed of me and I can live with both. God, a creator, or a religion have absolutely nothing to do with natural selection and until any of those phantoms can be observed, predicted or measured by science they have no place in a public science classroom.

Lysis, your experience with students and the NCLB must be exemplary. You must not teach at one of half of the schools in Utah deemed failing by NCLB standards just a short time ago! Why, it was the Republican governor of your state who headed up the National State Legislature study of the NCLB less than a year ago and said then that "it does not allow students to reach their full potential." The failings of NCLB are legion and the children that are being left behind by it could fill hundreds. But I digress, and so do you. Young students do believe a many great thing they are told, do not question things even as minutely as you do and do not make the wisest decisions. We acknowledge this in the law by having special that protect them from such events. If you deny that a lot of eight year olds who have been told to be good for goodness sake as Santa Claus is coming to town believe this myth, or that ten year olds who have been told equally false myths, or fifteen year olds then it is your experience with youth that is questionable. More than that though, you deny that even if a child had all of the information before them that they could still make an erroneous decision! Adults, with all of the information before them make eroneous decisions, what makes a child different!? The question is not whether they could find the truth but whether they will find the truth. Wouldn't you at least agree that finding the truth would be a lot easier if it was given to you to begin with, or if the person who was supposed to guide to it did not lie to you? Instead of insisting that educators just teach absolutely anything, including lies, it would be better if they did not. You must see this. In fact, educators should not teach lies. Educators should not teach just absolutely anything. I don't think it is too much to ask and I don't mind having what you call "thought police" to stress this obligation of a public education. Even though I have my doubts about its possibility, you will look even more foolish to disagree here.

Now, let me see if I got your predictions for 2005 correct: I, Anonymous, am wrong on everything and Bush is the second greatest President behind Lincoln. Great prognostication there Lysis. I know it was probably done at the limits of your ability so thanks for taking the time to really go out on a limb and say something that could be measured later. The lack of substance in your statements here is comical. At least I laugh a lot and I cannot think that anyone else reading sees any credibility in what you say anymore either, from "show me any failures of NCLB" to "Iraqis love President Bush." It would have been a waste of time for you to make any real predictions after all.

Lastly, Anonmymous, of course, Lysis shifts his argument like a horse shifts its feet. But like his hero King George his hubris is too great to allow him to admit when he is wrong. Let's not stop pointing it out to him though, it is too much fun.

Lysis said...

Anonymous, no NCLB; if one is interested in learning not just a grade, then failure is a process which encourages harder work and grater learning and success. NCLB does not make schools failures; they are quite capable of doing that on their own. I suppose you are satisfied if schools receive A’s for doing nothing, and all difficult things are sugar coasted away until failure is deemed success. I can see this sort of thinking often reflected in your arguments. Since saying it makes it so, you say what ever you please and are content. If my school is failing; I think I can handle the humiliation and the challenge if they make for a more productive environment and a better education for students.

The way you argue Anonymous, why don’t you just declare all the students in America A+ successes, that would save so much work and tax money. Maybe if we could just find some more of those students who believe what ever you tell them, you could tell them they were capable of competing in the world wide technology and economic battle for which, without your benevolent pronouncements from on high, they will remain totally unprepared. You don’t seem too determined to fight for American survival on any level Anonymous! I guess it’s just too hard. Please tell us every thing will be OK!

I agree with you Anonymous, children and adults all make mistakes in judgment. Thus, teaching them how to judge seems to be of paramount importance. Of course that is difficult and would not fit into your curriculum. Perhaps, if you could just publish your opinions on the internet, they could pick them up subliminally while playing video games and save themselves the trouble of ever facing the real world.

As for Bush’s place in history, and on Mt. Rushmore; I said next to Lincoln, meaning side by side, not second best. Thanks for giving me a chance to clarify. Believe me, Anonymous, everyone is laughing, except Abbot. Please keep on pointing out my mistakes, and I’ll keep galloping forward.

Anonymous said...

Sure, here is one for you: It is a mistake to allow educators to teach pure lies as a policy for public education. Don't you agree, or do you still think educators should be able to teach absolutely anything they like? It is a simple question Lysis, just give a simple answer, yes or no.

As for the failures of NCLB I am against any policy that does not "allow students to reach their full potential." Let's create a policy, as the Republican party of your state dreams of, one that will allow students to realize their potential and will not hold them back. I can see, from your repeated insistance that educators be allowed to spread lies in the classroom, that you are firmly on the otherside of the battle for knowledge and the progress of youth.

Again, thankyou or clarifying that you are so removed from American reality today that you have no idea what will happen tomorrow. Keep galloping forward blindly Lysis, but remember where we started the year so that we will know how nice things were even today, before your Rushmore Elect King George bungled the whole thing up even more and we lose even more lives, young minds, jobs, affordable health care, wilderness, and respect as a nation. Of course, you will be delighted. I called it already.

Silver Lining said...

For all your claims of not being read carefully Anonymous, you can be thick sometimes. I said I don't think intelligent design is a topic that should be taught at any great length in science class. I don't think it should be outlawed, but I am naively perhaps of the vein that subject matters. My comment about Robert Frost was simply to show how silly it would be to outlaw such things because they referenced anything religious no matter how vague. ("So leaf subsides to leaf, so Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.")

Obviously one would read Robert Frost in English not in Science class.

Lysis said...

YES! (That’s the answer to the second half of your two part question, I guess that’s “one”, but a little sloppy.) By the way, this is not the first time I’ve given it. I think even Abbot has “heard” it before.

Teachers should be able to present and students should be able to hear, read, discuss, criticize, etc. etc. etc. ANY THING. Realize that teachers teach lies all the time. I don’t think they should do it maliciously, as I have said above, if you were paying attention; but surely teachers can read, put forward, argue, debate, propose . . . anything they want. Anonymous, you’re spreading lies here in the Agora all the time. Your efforts are much appreciated. We wouldn’t exclude your opinions from the Agora or the classroom, just because they are wrong. In a way we are all your students, Anonymous. We are not harmed by your misrepresentations or mistakes; we sharpen our wits and discover the truth by dealing with them.

Anonymous, you seem interested in prophesying the future; and I have agreed with many of your speculations. Now here’s a new mind game for you to play with us – tell us what the world would be have been like without George Bush. Speculate on the wonders of the American economy and world peace under Al Gore and John Kerry. Or you might speculate on the state of mankind had we failed to evolve opposing thumbs. Either way, you will provide us with more “chances to sharpen our wits and discover the truth”.

Anonymous said...

All from Lysis' postings throughout:

"Federal judge John Jones ruled on December 20th '05 that the 9th grade Biology teacher of a Dover Pennsylvania school district cannot *READ* a ONE MINUTE DISCLAIMER at the beginning of their classes' study of evolution and that intelligent design was another explanation they the students should consider."

"I (Lysis) tend to agreee with Jones' ruling. I am against teachers being required to *READ* anything to students.

"I (Lysis) am against teachers being prohibited from reading anything to their students.

"I (Lysis) am interested in Anonymous' list of things I wouldn't want to "DISCUSS" in my classroom." (note how the topic has moved from a one minute READING introducing Intelligent design into a science class, to how Lysis piously claims the freedom to discuss ANYTHING in his classroom. Also, I had challenged another claim of Lysis' about his freedom to READ ANYTHING to a class with the rebuttal of ANYTHING could include a NAMBLA statement)

"If you think that by saying I should be allowed to read to (Tell, discuss, make mention of, debate, consider, entertain, listen to (sic) ect. ect. ect. . . . that when I said discuss I meant READ to, talk about, present, however you want to say it. Please interject the words "read to" into any of my claims about discussing above and I will stand behind them just as firmly."

"Rumpole, be careful, taking us back on topic might force one of the Anonomy to ring a concession out of you."

Well, It does appear, that if Lysis' original topic posting has any CREDIBILITY or PROWESS (new Agora posting standards) he should pay attention to it himself.

READING, READING, READING a one minute disclaimer about Intelligent design in a science class was what Judge Jones' decision prevented!!!!
SOOOO, a one minute READING (not discussion, debate, consideration, entertainment, or presentation, Lysis) is the REAL topic of debate at the Agora that it seems Lysis has been obfuscating in order to regale everyone with more Lysisworld disinformation.

Talk about "wild eyed" Academic freedom Lysis -- a teacher should not be prevented a *READING* of ANYTHING? This is willful Political "Incorrectness" that has as much potential to make students' weaker as stronger, because so much depends on teacher integrity -- even in the face of current student "savy and sophistication", a Bin Laudin like master dissembler could create absolute havoc in a classroom!!!!

Also, to answer every challenge of Bush' integrity and leadership with, "Clinton did worse" or "Clinton did it first" or "Clinton wouldn't have", or "Clinton would have" is Sophomoric and does not uphold the high standards of "Credibility and Prowess" that a Blogmeister should emulate!!!!
However, I know what the TRUE Agora STANDARDS are.

Lysis said...

Silver Lining, great poem. I hope it would be read in every English Class, but I wouldn't want a judge requiring it. I might use it in a science class were I was teaching plant taxonomy or about how leaves work or maybe how one season passes to another. I guess it’s all this “cross curricular” stuff the NCLB people are pushing.

Abbot, I mean, Anonymous; the topic of the original posting was judicial power; an example of a judge excluding a reading on intelligent design was used to illustrate a miss application of judicial power. This attempt by a Pennsylvania court to impose one religious doctrine (Atheism) on people at the expense of another was questioned. I suggested that imposing or excluding ANY THING from the classroom by judicial fiat seems inappropriate. That you have become obsessed with how ideas are presented to students; by reading or any other process; is fascinating and you recitation of some of my points was amusing. In remember Abbot repeating all of Costello’s lines in their skit too. Ha Ha. Abbot never got it, and neither have you.

Lysis said...

Oh Abbot – I don’t recall ever answering a challenge to Bush’s integrity and leadership with a “Clinton did worse” statement. Anonymous “the other” was looking for ways to find money for a statue of President Bush; I merely suggested that Bill might want to help out. Supplying money for GW’s monument would finally give Clinton a lasting accomplishment to be proud of. Do you get it now?

Anonymous said...

Silver LIning, I don't see where our agreement resides. You have continued to say that you not think that "Intelligent Design" should be taught at great length in the science classes. I do not think that it should be taught at all! The curriculum for science is thick enough without compounding it with philosophy or seminary. Unless you agree that it should not be taught at all, including the reading of a "disclaimer", then we are not on the same page at all and my last post applies. Science class is no place for mystic disclaimers about measurable, predictable and observable phenomena that is the foundation for almost all medicine we live by today.

Confusion must be your other first name Lysis because that is the only way you could interpret the Pensylvania ruling as establishing a religion. The ruling was disallow any religion being taught. Stick to the observable facts, the measurable facts, the predictable facts; stay away from the mysticism, the philosophic, the religious in a science class. That was the ruling and that you cannot see is only to be expected. The opinion was written by someone with a post graduate degree after all and not a self-important high-school teacher riding his trusty steed over the civil rights of the Constitution to battle the Giant windmills.

Still you have nothing worthwhile to say about the future direction of America. Your current political party has nothing to give to it either but death and corruption. I have another prediction to make: if the parents of your students knew that you fully endorse educators teaching pure lies to the young students they are responsible for they would begin to question whether the failure of your school to meet NCLB standards were the mark of shame that their biased preachers, I mean teachers, like you should have branded on them. What do you think Lysis? You did say earlier that you thought some do stop short of teaching the truth because of their bias. Admit it, you are definitely one of them aren't you!- And your school is one of the half of Utah schools that was not meeting NCLB standards too! It is more apparent where the fault rests with your every post and where your school can do better by its youthful minds.

The question was, should educators be allowed to teach pure lies, and your answer was an emphatic YES! What harm could it do, you asked? Surely all will be able to see a lie for an untruth, and yet our history is repleat with good people who could not. You too cannot see through the lies that are spread before us by a corrupt and death eating administration and so you have become an unwitting and biased participant in their diabolical scheme Lysis. I submit that a court fiat that is the obligation of public schooling to not teach pure lies and you stubbornly, recklessly, and wantonly disagree. You are way beyond the bounds of what anyone responsible for the education of minors should embrace. There have been too many who have taught only lies in the past with devastating consequences, not the least of which was truth. Your position is as ridiculous as it is indefensible and you should immediately withdraw it if you are worth your salt at all as someone whose profession it is to educate.

I begin to think your misleading of your students is not based on the unintentional bias of your position in life but a more sinister and deliberate agenda for shaping the future acording to your all to acknowledged prejudice. I desperately hope those afflicted by your preaching question half as much as you say. But how can we trust anything you say when you adamantly insist on your right to lie to everyone as an educator.

Anonymous said...

It is really hard to debate someone who keeps changing her position on what you can and can't do all the time. Read/not read have/have closed discussions/ have open ones.

Reach upward to a nice place where all 3 branches of the government are equal in power the way the united states is supposed to be why don't you goof ball? Didn't lysis make a prediction when she said that you were wrong? it was a weak prediction but it was a prediction. I want to make a prediction for 2006 = lysis is wrong. And the only statue that anyone in Iraq will build about Bush will be by Ahmed chalabi and other rotten Iraqis that could were kept out of oil for food but are making millions on Kellog-brownie-vp. gate since their former partner made the hostile take over of Iraqs oil fields.

And I think the courts should keep religion out of the science classes too. Everything you said before about inteligent design being for an ethics class and not science is right. Thanx.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...
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Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Anonymous, it is a pity that we are all not blessed with your positive knowledge of what is mystic and what is fact. Please excuse the rest of us for seeking truth in the best way we can. Regrettably we have not yet bought in to the student accepts everything the “master says” paradigm of learning.

I would protest that you make quite a stretch of the truth (yes I know that’s another way of calling you a liar), when you equate my saying that teachers should be able to read ANY THING to their students to, in your words –teach them “pure lies”. As you are determined to believe what you want, I guess I can’t do much more than present my position and hope you can think about it on your own.

I’m sure one of our Anonymous posters will soon inform you that I am lucky enough not to “have to” teach the things tested for NCLB, but I own up to a responsibility of teaching students how to learn. That is my job, and can best be done by presenting them with as many positions and points of view as I can. To you that might seem like teaching “pure lies”, to me it seems like teaching. Had many in the past who were mislead by devastating lies been prepared by teachers who were not afraid to stretch and encourage them, many of the deceived peoples you allude to would have been safe form the brain washers you sight. I cannot accept your apparent position that students can be given too much to consider. You seem to think that education is programming machines. That is probably why my methods so affront and frighten you. Believe me; I teach human beings. They are perfectly capable of using their God given reason to discern the truth once they are taught how to think. If that seems sinister to you, go figure!

Since you seem to need to know the future here are some predictions:

1. President Bush will continue to do his best for America and the Democrats will continue to find fault with everything he does.

2. The Democrats will not come up with any positive action steps on fighting the War on Terror, solving the national debt, improving education, securing Social Security, providing for energy supplies, improving the environment, stimulating the economy, or ending abortion on demand.

3. The Democrats will obstruct all efforts by the President and the Republican’s in congress to win the war in Iraq, win the War on Terror, solve the national debt, stimulate the economy, improve education, secure Social Security, provide energy for America, improve the environment, and end abortion on demand. They must obstruct because they are invested in failure.

4. Teachers will continue to preach their opinions as the truth in all their classes and students will continue to learn to think for themselves.

5. Terrorist will continue to try and destroy the West and stop the spread of Democracy by brutal murder. Democrats will continue to support terrorists by suggesting the U.S. “cut and run” in Iraq and abandon the War on Terror being waged by the Administration though the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI.

6. The Media will continue to blame everything from hurricanes to mine explosions on President Bush, and he will continue to do his job and refuse to give in to their pressure.

7. Bill and Hillary Clinton will flip flop back and forth on everything until they get enough poll numbers to feel they can get back into the White House.

8. Al Gore will deliver stupid, half baked, attack speeches against America.

9. Teddy Kennedy will get fatter and dumber as he gets older and the people of Massachusetts will continue to elect him to the Senate.

10. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will continue its war on American values and continue to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

11. Japanese students will continue to get better scores on standardized tests and Americans students will continue to lead the world in innovation and creative experience.

12. The economy will either go up or down. If it continues to improve, President Bush will get no credit in the media, if it stumbles, President Bush will get all the blame.

13. The politicians and money muckers in Louisiana will demand more and more money to rebuild New Orleans and then steal most of it.

14. “Hollywood” will try to influence American culture and politics with a bunch of poor quality movies and have no measurable impact at all on anything.

15. NPR, CNN and MSNBC will continue to broadcast biased anti-Bush propaganda and continue to be ignored by the vast majority of Americans.

16. Fox News will continue to be the most listened to News Network and this will make the “Major Networks” fighting mad. The networks and major news papers will continue to lose listeners and readers.

17. Environazis will block drilling of oil on the artic slope and American will pay too much for fuel and become more dependent of foreign oil.

18. South American, Canadian, Asian, and European politicians will get elected on Hate American platforms and continue to ruin their countries.

19. If anyone gets in trouble in the world they will come screaming to the U.S. for help and then spit in America’s face after they have been rescued.

20. “Liberal” activists in the judiciary will continue to misapply the Constitution and thinking Americans will continue to point it out.

There you go Anonymous, I think my predictions are every bit as relative to our discussion as yours. I hope you’re happy now.

Rumpole said...

Abbott Anonymy,

I’m interested to know what I “mistakenly” believe about organisms and the environment (see the post at 11:46 AM). Please tell me! I’ve never remotely approached discussing such a position with all ya’ all (that is the southern plural, equivalent to the Agora “Anonymy”). Wouldn’t a better definition than the one you have of “dunderhead” be someone who “presumes”?

Please also do tell what there is to “presume” in the statement “Natural Selection has absolutely nothing to do with God, a Creator, or religion. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a dunderhead and any conversation that seriously entertains it is seriously misinformed.” I don’t think I missed your point here! It’s not always the case, but here there is no question about your clarity. Quit presuming! Open your mind!

Further, “Science class is no place for mystic disclaimers about measurable, predictable and observable phenomena that is the foundation of the medicine we live by today.” Is this the same science that changes daily? Remember the ice age we were told we were entering into in the 70’s? Oh, I remember, that was before global warming. What about the hole in the ozone? Oh, I remember, it’s closing. Oh, and medicine! Is this the same medicine that is based on the mega-pharmaceuticals that are in the President’s back pocket? Surely there is a conspiracy! Where is Hilary? She will save us and make it all affordable!

Silver Lining,

I read the document you suggested to read that Jefferson wrote. What was even greater interest to me was the background for that document. Jefferson and Madison were attempting to disenfranchise a state-sponsored religion in Virginia. What I have read leads me to believe that Jefferson’s motives were not anti-religion, but were wrested in the intention to prevent Virginia from dictating, excluding, etc. on the basis of an established religion, just as you suggested.

Benjamin Hart, (Faith and Freedom) had this to say on the subject. “The clear intent of the First Amendment was to protect a religious people from government, not to protect government from a religious people.” Based on what I have read I believe more than ever that Jefferson’s “separation” quote has been misinterpreted and misused.


Based on the reading of Silver Lining’s document, I must at this point agree that Jefferson does deserve “founding father” status as to the Bill of Rights. It appears that his views have been quite distorted as to the First Amendment. I wonder if it was a little too much “presumption”!

I also enjoyed your predictions! I think you missed one!

21. The Abbott Anonymy will continue their wild and ceaseless filibuster in an attempt to once and for all define exactly what “is” is. The debate will not end, but be sent to committee with the imposing question “Is that what it is?” Is it?

Strategos said...

I started my first response saying that I would offer a student’s perspective; I am a student after all. I had no idea members of the agora though so little of students. (They've probably never been students.)

Anonymous: To be fair, one of them seems to be a student and is probably afflicted by the current asinine recommendations of his/her Bushie preacher, I mean teacher.
I would mention that I am currently a student of several teachers none of which post on this blog, and all of which have widely different political views. If I seem to follow any of my teachers’ philosophy it is coincidence. I assure you I have heard many different views and used my own reason and study to decide who is right. (Students are capable of that.)
From a students point of view I present
1. No student thinks teachers are the absolute authority on truth, if fact it would be impossible because from one year to the next or one class to the next teachers are constantly contradicting each other. If anything students are prone to disbelieve their teachers.
2. It is impossible to mandate to teachers that they must teach only truth; after all we live in a world where absolute truth cannot be known. Teachers, philosophers, even scientists are constantly contradicting and changing each other. I had a professor a few semesters ago that was in direct conflict with our textbook on the EVOLUTION of the first forms of life on our planet. Even if a court mandated that only the absolute truth “according to scientists” could be taught in a classroom the absolute scientific truth could never be agreed upon, even science teachers teach their opinions. Students will be faced with conflicting ideas threw out their academic careers. Who is to decide what the truth is hopefully note a Judge Let we the students decide.
3. Atheism is a religious belief. There is no physical empirical evidence to support the idea that there is no God, or that the creation of the world was not by design. An atheist must hold these beliefs by faith.
4. Science is not synonymous with truth. Scientist pride themselves on using infallible logic and irrefutable facts to form their opinions but it is obvious from the wide ranging constantly changing schools of scientific thought that they are all taking a leap of faith somewhere along the line. If we ban religious ideas from our schools most of science would have to go with it.
5. Above all is the point I mentioned in the first response to this post that has not been challenged, the point that renders this judges ruling and many of the arguments on this blog irrelevant:
It is impossible to teach any subject without referencing god or appealing to a faith based belief since nature, is synonymous with God, and all knowledge is faith based. I challenge anyone to name any subject that can be taught otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole and Slowtego, I am not talking about religion and I do not want to talk about religion. I am not talking about Morminism, Catholocism, or atheism (not a religion in fact but only a with holding of belief). I am talking about the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. Religion has no place in this topic whatsoever. Slowtego, your claim that all nature is God and so we cannot escape talking about God begs the question, why don't preface every class in school with a talk on God, a creator, or religion? What makes the science class special? Why don't we start every geometry class with a study of Genesis or a talk about whether there is a God? The answer is because we can see that religion has no part of teaching the Pythagorean Thereom. Likewise, religion has no part of teaching the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. Anyone who thinks otherwise IS a dunderhead and any conversaition, including the one in this blog, that entertains the notion is seriously missinformed.

Your predictions were thrilling Lysis. I admit being able to guess a few of them. May I make another prediction as well? I was inspired by your own. If Iraq becomes a stable government it will be the glory of Bush, if it tears itself apart in civil war or bloody impression it will be the fault of those terrorist assisting Democrats that are allowed to run around this country free everywhere instead of being locked up in prison the way you would have them. No matter what happens, it will never be the fault of Bush's handling of the situation. I'll put money on your reaction now. Any takers?

Everyone seems so willing for teachers to be allowed to teach absolutely anything they like even if what they like is to teach pure lies. I do not. Shame on everyone for wanting to let educators decieve children who expect to be taught the truth. Especially shame on those here who are teachers. You should have been taught better!

You have an obligation not to deceive your students Lysis and the longer you refuse to acknowledge it the more damage you do your flagging reputation as an honest person.

Suspicions of the root cause of your school's failure grow.

Lysis said...

Strategos, you hit a lot of nails on their heads here. It is hard for some of our Anonymy to see past their own experience and recognize what really goes on in education. I am particularly impressed by the fact that you have been able to survive so many varying opinions and still think for yourself. I am well aware that of the level of credulity students grant their teachers. I am pleased to see you give the scientists Anonymous puts his FAITH in the same level of skepticism you give your teachers. Both deserve careful scrutiny and careful consideration.

I agree with Strategos assessment of Atheism as a religion. It has tenants, dogmas, saints, scriptures, and obviously fanatic adherents.

Anonymous, I am surprised, and a little disappointed, that you are not as broad thinking in your skepticism as Strategos. You are very critical of teachers’ ability to honestly teach without supervision, but you seem perfectly willing to unquestionably accept the dictates of scientists and judges. This demonstrates to me that Strategos’ unfinished education has been more successful than your completed one, and is likewise superior to some the Graduate degree holders you hold in such sacred esteem. I only wish Strategos were my student.

Strategos said...

Anonymous: “Slowtego” (Clever.) Dunderhead(petty name calling)

For someone who was never a student you sure have the playground debate techniques down, I hope you never resort to the “my Judge could beat up your Judge” argument. I wont call you any names since I don’t even know you but in reference to your argument I will reiterate that they are completely self-defeating.
No one, not even scientists can dictate what the truth about God, evolution, philosophy, or even mathematics, is. How can anyone claim that a judge or a Government can mandate to teachers and students what truth is. How can anyone propose a mandated uniform curriculum based on his or her own beliefs? I believe a society that does so is called a theocracy. No scientist would dare to make the assertion that his or her theories, findings, or beliefs are infallible truth. Even the Pythagorean theorem cannot be proved absolute, only consistent.
Your err in logic is that you try to draw a line between good beliefs and bad beliefs, saying a teacher’s can’t teach about God is exactly like mandating that they can’t teach evolution, surprising how few years ago this argument was reversed.
The point of this post is that there is no difference or any conflict between religion and science. Your question about teaching Genesis in Geometry is as self-defeating as your logic because Geometry itself speaks of God and the creation of the world. God is the essence of all truth. All truth is part of a great whole. Whether a person believes the universe is run by a physical being or by physics itself it’s all belief is based on evidence, reason, and faith. You can call God the great scientist or science the great God, all ideas should be equal before the law if not we’d have a theocracy.
I agree that teachers should teach the truth I believe in truth, I am all for studying the truth, defending the truth, searching for the truth, but I do not presume to dictate by court mandate to others what that truth is. No one can presume that nor do they need to the truth can stick up for its self.

Lysis said...

Well Anonymous, Strategos, has got you their. Just like Dannyboy could not maintain his condemnation of the President's traditional powers while demanding respect for Judicial ones, you are painted into a corned where you can either accept the teachers teaching their opinions or through out the judges and scientists along with them for dictating theirs. I think Strategos has lived up to his name and you, Anonymous – to your batting average.

Anonymous said...

All ideas are not equal. Some are mere opinions, others are true in every instance. Those that can be observed, measured, predicted belong in a science class. The belief that there is a god, a creator, or a true religion along with whether all Mormons will go to heaven and gay people will not should not be taught in a public science class. I cannot believe that your Red brick monolith of an intellect is impervious to such common reason.

Slowtego, your saying only that everything is God and thus you cannot speak without speaking of God ranks among the most uninteresting and faith based of claims ever made here in the Agora. If it makes you feel better to call the floor mat I wipe my feet on God then fine. I wipe my hands of your belief system as it concerns everything and nothing at the same time. You see, God in your view is both everything and nothing, and even you with your varied and intensive schooling should be able to see how beneficial it is to study and discuss absolutely nothing.

I can't believe you accuse of me of trying to establish a Theocracy Mullah Omar Slowtego and Sheik Lysis.

It is very disheartening to see Lysis that you stand in your corner, defending all educator's "God given right" to disseminate lies, poison minds, decieve students and otherwise never speak a word of truth in their career, all just if they like. There are limits to what an educator is allowed to do. Minors do not possess all of the wondrous faculties that you claim, it is why we have special protections for them in the law. It is why special protections exist over what can be taught as science.

Lysis said...

Anonymous, your graceless concession was as petty as it was predictable:

Anything beyond your “post graduate” comprehension is uninteresting.

You hold your beliefs immutable truths because your senses apprehend them and demand acceptance of your perspective; incapable of comprehending your own blindness.

Devoid of argument or evidence, you resort to name calling; confusing your attempt to hurt feeling for an ability to assail arguments beyond your lecture room crafted philosophy.

You impose limits on teacher’s teaching and on student’s minds in a futile effort to maintain a peevish position; abandoned by reason; maintained only by pride.

You scorn dreamers for tilting with windmills while you concoct monsters of classroom conspiracy and call on “post graduated” judges to pull the covers over your face.

Thank you Anonymous for providing such a scientifically observable and empirically measurable example of a mind engraved with narrow opinions and sheltered from the expanding stress of intellectual challenge.

Anonymous said...

Can your mind expand from your ridiculously engraved position to say that educators should at least not deliberately teach lies, Liesis? Just a yes or no.

Lysis said...

Should a teacher read, (present, debate, discuss, study, examine, add infinitem) deliberate lies such as the Communist Manifesto or Louis Farican’s(sp) invectives against the Jews, or Cindy Sheehan’s attacks on President Bush? Yes!

Should teachers be allowed to present their students their opinions such as the possibility of Intelligent Design or completely random evolution of bio-systems? Yes!

Should a teacher deliberately lie to his students? NO! All teachers should seek to teach their students to discover the truth.

Anonymous, can you expand your mind from your position to one were you can admit that a teacher can choose to read or not to read a statement to a science class or any other class on Intelligent Design or ANY THING else and not be deliberately lying to his students?”

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lysis for finally admitting that an educator should not be allowed to teach just absolutely anything that they like, such as pure lies, to their students. It sure took you long enough, and - as has been dilligently pointed out - enough sidstepping, shifting of your position, and rationalizing to finally back away from your plainly absurd statement you made in the beginning of this blog. Indeed public educators do have a duty to present the truth in their classrooms. At this glacial pace, and now FINALLY footed on the reasonable side of the debate, you may catch up with the rest of the class in a few thousands years.

By the way, over sixty people were murdered in Iraq on Wednesday, the deadliest day since the December elections until Thursday when over 160 were murdered by insurgents, more by errant U.S. bombing of civilian homs, job growth slowed to record lows last months and record deficits were projected for the new year sending the dollar tumbling in world finance . . . and you are blogging about the Judiciary branch not allowing you to preach the Book of Mormon to your students? I realize it means eternal salvation to you but perhaps you could blog about something a little more down to Earth next time, something rooted in reality and that really matters.

I do not want to seem too negative. Your progress in this blog is to be applauded!

Strategos said...

Anonymous: Mullah Omar Slowtego and Sheik Lysis.

Again with the name calling how about offering evidence or argumentation that you are not a theogog to debase my claim that you are one.

Anonymous: All ideas are not equal…

I agree but I do not presume to mandate to others which ideas are better than others. I prefer to bring all ideas to the table and debunk the false ones with logic, evidence, and reason rather than with a court order. All ideas must be equal before the law. I reiterate a Government that mandates to it’s people which ideas, which theories, are true and which are false is by definition a theocracy.

Anonymous …Some (ideas) are mere opinions, others are true in every instance.

Show us. Show us one scientific theory or claim that can be proved to be true in every instance, that doesn’t have to be accepted at some point by faith. Show us two scientists, or science text books that do not at some point contradict each other.(Who will decide whose right? You? A judge?) Show me one scientist who has the gumption to mandate to all students and teachers in the U.S. that his theories and his theories alone should be taught as truth. On the other hand show me one theogen that does not base his beliefs on evidence, reason, and faith. All ideas have to be accepted based on evidence, reason, and faith.

Science is a religion, religion is a science they are senonomous terms. They are both sets of theories and ideas that seek to explain the universe.

Anonymous: You see, God in your view is both everything and nothing

Funny I never mentioned what my view of God is. My argument was that some people see God as a being other’s see God as laws of physics, I never said which belief I subscribe to. I mearly pointed out that both views are beliefs. Be careful about giving judges the power to mandate which beliefs are valid you might find some judge who believes differently than you and then we’d be back to the “My judge can beat up your judge” argument.

Anonymous: There are limits to what an educator is allowed to do.

Who will set those limits? Anyone who believes that only his ideas should be taught in classrooms is either proud theogog, or a coward.

Anonymous: Minors do not possess all of the wondrous faculties that you claim.

I claim that students have the ability and the right to think. Protect students from physical harm yes; try to protect students from ideas that they will be bombarded with every day for the rest of their lives and you will create a weak minded generation, easily led by anyone with a title. But perhaps that’s what you want. I demand that students be challenged to think, that they have the opportunity to debunk false ideas. I demand that students be given the same rights as a sponge.

Anonymous: and even you with your varied and intensive schooling should be able to see how beneficial it is to study and discuss absolutely nothing.

I agree I think we should study anything and everything.

Strategos said...

Anonymous: How prideful of you. Now you are not only trying to mandate what should be discussed in classrooms but also what other people should discuss on their own Blogs.

Lysis said...


Thanks for clarifying this entire side argument. Nothing more need be said. Don’t count on Anonymous answering any of your challenges. He will be too busy making up things “you said” and then demanding that you retract them.




I have not changed my position one bit. This “teachers TEACHING ONLY lies to their students” thing was a position you created and tried to equate to mine. It has been proven otherwise. Your pretending that you have somehow changed my mind or position because I agreed with you on some point that was completely separate from it, is nothing more than another example of your “I say it so it’s so” philosophy. I hope you will sleep better tonight, but you haven’t fooled anyone but yourself.

Your claim that I want to preach the Book of Mormon to my students is exactly this same sort of spurious argument. You say, I say then some stupid thing, like I want to preach lies or the Book of Mormon to my students, and they when I say I don’t, you claim you have changed my position.

I have read sections of the Book of Mormon to my students; I have read them the lies of Marx, and the lies of Anonymous. That doesn’t mean that I am attempting to convert them to Joseph Smith’s Mormon religion, Carl Marx’ Communist religion, or Anonymous’ Hate American religion.

Back to the topic in discussion:

Silver Lining and Rumpole: I was interested in your careful reading of Jefferson’s positions. I admit I had not considered Jefferson’s efforts in crafting State Constitutions, nor the roll that State Constitutions played in the development of the Federal one.

The arguments above, with some of our Anonymous friends, show how there are indeed many who would use the courts to impose their religion, (in this case Atheism) on the people. It is heartening to comprehend the role of the Constitution in "protection a religious people from government, not to protect government from a religious people." It is sad that, in some cases, we have a government that feels it needs protecting from religious people. What is that portion of government doing that religious people would want to stop? Supporting the murder thousands of babies each day comes most immediately to mind.

The idea that the purpose of the First Amendment is to give Americans freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion is very comforting when you consider that there are those, like Anonymous here, who would proscribe what can and cannot be taught in an effort to insure that their ideas alone can be considered; that students be kept ever in a blank slate mode for inscribing by those who determine the truth by their opinions.

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

Still shifting your feet Liesis. No matter, we know that even someone so apparently irrational as yourself still believes that educators should not teach lies to their students. You said so above. That is a change from your earlier chest thumping that absolutely ANYTHING should be taught in the classroom. But do go on thumping, it runs in your genes after all.

Slowtego you had better run to get any money back you may have been duped out of in acquiring your "education" if you cannot see the differences between the process of science and religion. It may also move the gound beneath your feet to hear of things such as the law of conservation of energy, tautologies and laws of thermo dynamics among many, many others. Of course, this doesn't conflict with your spelled out notion that God is all of nature in your previous post. Nothing could conflict with such a nondescriptive notion. And don't be too upset with my name calling and cleverness. They are things you could use both of in abundance: name calling and cleverness.

Hopefully you and Liesis will excoriate those educators of yours that have left you both so bereft of knowledge of the difference between what is a lie and what is the truth.

Strategos said...

You were right Lysis he didn't respond to any of my challenges. Oh well

Anonymous thank you for my part but I think I can do fine without your name calling or "cleverness" and without your narrowminded views of what truth and lies are worthy of attention. I'm happy my schooling consited of more than redendant tautologies and theories of thermo dynamics.

Just a note, trying not to be redundant, but laws of conservation of momentum, gravity, thermodynamics ect. are assements, explinations of observable behavior. One cannot prove completely that any of these laws are eternal or even accurately describe the behavior. Or that the behavior is accurately observed by the observer. All ideas must be accepted at somepoint on faith.

Anonymous said...


Your saying it again won’t make it so.

That Lysis feet stood firm is a truth we all know.

Anonymous said...

Who's Abbot's on first?:

To the outside observer, President Bush may have appeared to have handled his meetings in his recent trip to Japan, South Korea and China flawlessly. However, it can now be said: A great deal of preparation was necessary to pull this off. For one thing, the President had some difficulties focusing on all the strange names he would be encountering.

Here's a blow-by-blow of the first briefing between him and Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor, to prepare for the trip:

Rice: Mr. Presideent, I need to brief you on some of the key meetings on the trip. I thought we would start by identifying the names of the principal people you will be meeting.

Bush: Good, Condi. Just be easy on me. You know how I struggle with foreign names.

Rice: Yes sir. In the meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, you will be hearing a briefing from their Minister Inouye about the American troops stationing issues. Two days later our main focus will be on the meeting with South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and their military chief, General Doh Noh. In China, you will be hearing a briefing from their Vice Chairman Hu on trade balance and World Trade Organization issues.

Bush: I'm sorry, Condi, Those names just flashed right by. I'm not even sure I heard the names in fact.

Rice (thinking): Mr. president, maybe there's an easy way to remember the order in which you'll meet them. Inouye will be first, Doh Noh second and Hu will be up third.

Bush: Wait. Who's first?

Rice: No sir. Hu's up third.

Bush: That's what I want to find out. And who's up second?

Rice (patiently): No, Hu's up third.

Bush: I mean the fellow's name!

Rice: Yes

Bush: The guy I meet second!

Rice: Doh Noh.

Bush: Why don't you? I thought you were trying to tell me who was up first.

Rice: No I wasn't. Hu is third.

Bush: I certainly don't know!!

Rice: He is up second!

Bush Who?

Rice: The other guy.

Bush: What other guy? The guy who's up first?

Rice: No, Hu's on third.

Bush; Now, supponse that I'm in this meeting. I've got to address him by his name of course. But I don't know who's the South Korean Military Chief of Staff.

Rice: You've almost got it, Mr President. Doh Noh is the military chief. Hu is the Chinese Vice Chairman.

Bush: "Don't know," you say, is the military chief?

Rice: Now you understand.

Bush: I don't even know what I'm talkin' about!!!!

Rice: Well, that's all you have to do.

Bush: Is to meet I don't know who?

Rice: Not Hu. Doh Noh.

Bush: Don't know?

Rice: Naturally!

Bush: Who's the one?

Rice: No, Hu's not the one. You've got to say, "Doh Noh."

Bush: I just go up to the top general of the South Korean Military, who looks up to us for their very survival. You want me to say, "Minister, don't know I'm pleased to meeet you?"

Rice: Naturally!

Bush: He won't be offended? He won't think I'm a few bamboo shoots shy of a thatched roof?

Rice: Not at all. He'll be flattered, just like you sometimes are.

Bush(retaining control): Condi, are you taping this conversation for some reason?

Rice: No, sir. It may not be something we want to keep for your Presidential Library. -Bob Payne

To the other Anonymous:
My hearty congratulations for doing eight rounds of "Rope a Dope" with Lysis and company! -- a masterful job!!!!

At the Agora, you can always tell you're winning when Lysis' whining and reckless name-calling turn to his "MOAB" terms of "Terrorist" or "Traitor" or "Atheist" or "Baby killer" or that you were "disappointed" that 25,000 didn't die in the Katrina devastation. Or that you are "Un" American, "Un" Patriotic and an Al Queda tool/sympathizer/stooge! -- or whatever "swiftboating" opportunism he thinks will distract from his losing argumentation!!!! The wannabe's fall for it every time.

Science is Religion and Religion is Science?

And . . . Peace is War and War is Peace . . . and Good is Bad and Bad is Good . . . and True is False and False is True . . . and God is the devil and the devil is God . . . And we are all God's dream and He is ours!

. . . Take a deep breath, put your head in a sack and put it between your legs!!!!

Lysis wants students like Strat.
I see why.

Lysis said...

To the Anonymous who posts poetry on Anonymous. Poetic Justice!!!

To the Anonymous who posts stand up comedy routines. It seems you can follow Bush and Rice, why can’t you follow the arguments in the Agora? I guess you can’t get it when the jokes on you.

To the Anonymous who claims I’m shifting my feet. Here’s another example of your propensity to misinform. Somewhere above you claim that “job growth slowed to record lows last month.” The truth is that under Clinton and many others, jobs weren’t growing at all, American was losing jobs. Check out the Great Depression! I know that would require you to seek truth through reason, something you’re not trained at, but it would save you embarrassment.

The facts on the economy are these:

4.9% unemployment; which equals full employment.

2,000,000 new jobs created in 2005.

305,000 new jobs created in November alone.

100,000 new jobs created in December. (And I will predict that number will be revised upward next month.)

I guess now that our nation has reached 4.9% unemployment, which is technically full employment, it becomes a little harder to grow some more jobs, but Bush has done it anyway. Try the truth sometime Anonymous. Saying your point over and over again won’t make it true, but feel free to do so, we can handle it; most of us have been taught to handle ANY THING.

Strategos said...

I find it interesting that the anonymous who claimes to be the master of truth listed tautologies as an example of an absolute truth, a toutology is only true because it presents all possible answers to a question and anmits that dertermining which answer is correct is impossible.

Rumpole said...


Your posts have been excellent and well thought out. I certainly hope you continue. You are certainly a positive addition to the Agora.

As you can see the Anonymy certainly like to filibuster; however, I am glad for their posts. It gives opportunity to see a differing view and opportunity to see if that view will survive in the marketplace of ideas.


Your rapier wit is only exceeded by your knowledge! You make a statement and threaten all those who disagree with the “dunderhead” moniker? Wow, a “dunderhead”! I’d have been scared to death to get in a playground brawl with you!

You also make blanket assumptions as to individuals and their views then turn and run when challenged to back those assertions with fact! Please, remind me again what my position is on evolution. I haven’t stated a position!

As to your comment that “Religion has no place in this topic whatsoever”, what is the entire First Amendment about? As Lyis suggested, there are two apparent positions to take on the topic. You either want to have freedom OF religion or you want freedom FROM religion. I know you have never said this, but your posts seem to clearly indicate that you want freedom FROM religion.

I am certainly not a linguist, but I am always amazed at the power of words. Particularly prepositions. Who would have thought that the generally smallest words in the English language could evoke such raw emotion. But as you have so aptly demonstrated, the divide between OF and FROM is light years.

You have offered nothing to refute the evidence provided from its founders that the Constitution was designed to protect freedom OF religion rather than to provide freedom FROM religion. I respect your opinion. If I may borrow from the Anonymy quote at 11:42 PM, at this point, viewing the “equity” of your “ideas” vs. mere “opinions” I would label your comments as just that, mere opinions.

As to your knowledge exceeding your wit, it really has! If Iraq becomes a stable government it WILL be the glory of Bush! If it falls it WILL be the fault of those terrorist assisting Democrats! It is your progress on this blog that is to be applauded!

Strategos said...

Don’t count on Anonymous answering any of your challenges. He will be too busy making up things “you said” and then demanding that you retract them.

Science is Religion and Religion is Science?

And . . . Peace is War and War is Peace . . . and Good is Bad and Bad is Good . . . and True is False and False is True . . . and God is the devil and the devil is God . . . And we are all God's dream and He is ours!
. . . Take a deep breath, put your head in a sack and put it between your legs!!!!
Lysis wants students like Strat.
I see why.

Wow Lysis you realy nailed it.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that is pretty good. I laughed out loud when I read the "put your head in a sack" part. Shows just how silly that posisition is.

Anonymous said...

Say it again Sam, I mean Anonymous.

Dan Simpson said...

The only point I wish to make is to the false assumptions made about the economy here.

The Dow and the NASDAQ both closed on record highs today. The economy is actually projected to be incredibly strong this year. Economists are trying to temper the great news with those things that may be slightly weaker in order to keep the economic growth stable and sustainable rather than haphazardly motivated by optimism.

It is true that the housing market has softened, and that it may get weaker this year, but then weaker from a record four years in a row is not really a bad thing, as it has to go in cycles. The fed is not expected to raise the interest rates again any time soon, and this effects a multitude of things as well.

It does amaze me that it seems impossible for liberals to see that the economy is very strong right now, even though nearly every economist in the country has said so, spending shows it, job growth shows it, almost every economic indicator shows it.

I think it stems from a basic misunderstanding of the economy. While it is true that presidential action can affect the economy, no president deserves either all of the credit or all of the blame with a good, or a bad economy. In order to blame Bush for any problem in the economy, however, one must inextricably tie them together, so then one cannot admit when the economy does well because their own logic would make that a compliment to the President.

One question for any anonymous who wants to field it. How does the killing of Iraqis by terrorists prove that what the U.S. is doing is wrong? I don't see the connection.

Anonymous said...

Talk about head in the sand denials, blind optimism and haphazard predictions, just read your disinformation on the economy.

December job slowed to the lowest levels of the year!Growth of about 100,000 jobs was alarmingly less than half of what all economists were expecting. (The U.S. economy has to create just over 200,000 jobs every month just to keep up with birth rates.) You can even read it that in the Fox News article on the report - near the very bottom of the article - so I can't see how you could have missed it unless you are trying to deliberately mislead. Also the housing market IS falling off - at least some are cognizent of this fact, the dollar continues its fall, record deficits ARE projected and record economic growth is something the Bush administration has never seen for a year! What you said is a lie. Also, the Bush administration did create 2,000,000 jobs last year - still below what should be expected, he has seen a net loss of jobs for his President of 7,000,000 jobs. He is only the second President in history besides his true idol Herbert Hoover during the great depression to have this happen. The unemployment rate did dip by .1 percent but that is just as likely due to people giving up on the job market and leaving it then it is on people finding employment, and the December's total employment numbers suggest strongly it is the former. Nothing posted changes the fact that December was a huge slowdown and some of the slowest job growth seen in Bush's Presidency.

Dannyboy2 the growing insurgency in Iraq with its bloody death counts and real potential for igniting civil war is a clue to what we SHOULD be talking about, what is really important for the U.S. to be considering, and a big sign that despite the "see no evil" Liesis followers, the U.S. could be doing a lot better there. Just read the leaked Pentagon Study in the Times this morning that "Links Fatalities to Body Armor" By MICHAEL MOSS; extra body armor has been available since 2003, but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops. If it means saving lives then you should swallow your pride, quit saying that speaking about the evil only adds to it, and LET'S FIX THE PROBLEM!

Lysis said...

Dannyboy: great stuff, as usual. I agree with you that Presidents mostly ride the rise and fall of the circular waves of the economy, but I do believe that the courageous tax cuts launched at the bottom of the last recession; the one that started before Bush came to office; did turn the economy around.

As for the Anonymous ravings from the middle of the night, I quote, “he [President Bush] has seen a net loss on jobs for his President(cy) of 7,000,000.” The truth, which must be constantly supplied whenever Anonymous is posting, is that there has been an increase from 6 million unemployed to 7.6 million unemployed during the Bush Presidency. (I got my figures from Scripps Howard news service, and article by Bill Strumb.) That means a 1.6 million net increase. Growth in population, the recession still in recovery, the devastating effect of 9/11, and other mitigating factors would just be so many excuses to Anonymous. The fact that 4.9% is considered full employment by reputable economists, many with post graduate degrees, likewise means nothing to our agenda driven Anonymy. Consider the facts if you like, but my point here is that Anonymous is concocting things to “engrave on the minds of his students” but they (read us) have been trained to deal with his lies.

By way of an explanation of the Anonymous comments on the murders in Iraq. I have attended many high school competitive events. The teams are on the field or on the court, and in the bleachers and along the sidelines, the fans of the contenders congregate. You can always tell whose fans are whose by whom is cheering for whom. Here we have a fan counting up murdered innocents like points on a score board; it is pretty easy to tell for whom they are rooting.

Let me tell you another thing many years of observing competition has taught me. When a team can’t win on the court they redefine victory. Thus we will have an Anonymous or two who will take the obvious truth of what I have just said and twist it into some sort of claim of victory. Not as obvious a ploy as making up points, but just as desperate.

Let me quote from a “TRUE” Anonymous above. . . “when Lysis’ whining and reckless name-calling turn to his “MOAB” terms of “Terrorist” or “Traitor” or “Atheist” or “Baby killer” or that you were “disappointed” the 25,0000 didn’t die in the Katrina devastation . . . or whatever “swiftboating” opportunism he thinks will distract from his losing argumentation!!!” Thus you see Dannyboy; years of experience with children playing games has taught me how to recognize losers and their fans. Anonymy, it’s the truth that hurts. Start twisting!

Anonymous said...

I did say Bush has created a net loss of 7,000,000 U.S. jobs. You give numbers that say I am exagerating. There were only 1,600,000. Let's not dwell on our differences but where we both agree: Bush has put millions of Americans out of work.

Do you consider that twisting the truth? You did say "that means a 1.6 million net increase" in unemploymed Americans since Bush took office. Funny, Bush in Chicago on Friday accused Congress of trying to derail his "economic plan" (my quotation marks) "just as the economy is getting going" (the President's words). It has been six years of those miraculous tax cuts, how long will it take for the economy to finally "get going!?" I suppose Liesis and the President would rather have us wait for millions more to lose their jobs too.

Your playing with the percentage for full employment is no answer that people giving up looking for a job was just as likely to send the numbers lower. Further, it still does not address the fact that job growth in December was some of the slowest Bush has seen, half of what was needed per month, and half of what was expected. Bush poured out his economic results and they were half empty. If you still want to stick to the percentage number as a hard measure of the President's economic leadership then think back to when the unemployment rate was 4.0%. Bill Clinton led that economy. His economic chalice runneth over.

As for Iraq, I call for better leadership than a President and his staff who do not call for the best armor for our troops, to save lives and prosecute our national interest their justly and with every resource we have. Your calling your fellow Americans terrorists who only want us to do the best job in Iraq that we can, with honor and efficacy and justice, is demeaning to every kind of open debate for truth you have called for in this blog topic Lysis. Your behavior illustrates just the kind of "open search for truth" you must conduct in your classroom. I fear for the ungaurded hand of YOUR kind of teaching and cheer the reasonable decision of the court in trying to curb it and keep you to the facts.

Besides, you live in Utah. Don't the kids get enough Mormon scripture in every other part of their life? They don't really need you invading their public school time with it as well.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

It is impossible to compare averages of “presidential” economic performance while one is in mid-term and the other has finished; and as Dannyboy has suggested, probably pointless to do so. But here are some numbers for you to crunch. Unemployment average in Clinton’s first term was 5.96%, Bush’s was 5.53%. Clinton “pulled off” an average of 4.38% during his second term; it remains to see how Bush’s numbers stack up over the full four years now in progress, but it is encouraging that they are continuing to improve. What is more important to realize is that Clinton inherited an economy on its way to up, shooting towards success. Bush took over an economy in a tail spin, spiraling down into recession. President Bush righted it. History will record Bush’s success; 9/11 did not topple it, two wars have not defeated it, hurricanes have failed to blow it down, or floods to wash it away. For all the doom saying, the American economy is once again the envy of the world. To nit-pick it otherwise is like searching through the history of two unprecedented military successes, the liberations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and grouse about lack of body armor.

The anti-Bush brigade ignores the facts that casualty rates have been lower under Bush’s leadership than under that of any other Commander-in-Chief. Ask the survivors of Mogadishu how much support Clinton gave the troops! I will point out that, in spit of Anonymous’ dated complaints against the outfitting of our troops, the Administration has been using the money Kerry and other Democrats voted to deny the military, to deal with the problems sighted. How about giving some credit where credit is do, Anonymous. You are too busy looking, even hoping for failure. Democrats called for 20,000 America dead before the walls of Baghdad, and an American bleed to death in the hills of Torah Bora. Their continued rooting for the “other team” is as telling of their loyalty as Anonymous has indicated. I have not called them traitors; just described their actions. I guess Anonymous took my advice, for once, when I told him to “go figure!”

Once again, Anonymous, you were counting on engraving your opinions on folk who were never taught to think for themselves and once again we have dealt with your twisting and turning. By the way, it seems you know no more about people in Utah than you do about economics or the war in Iraq. Take it from someone who has the facts.

RealFruitBeverage said...

All this talk about Iraq and the original topic was what is acceptable material in a classroom.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lyis how LIE-sys! - when you say that Bush has had the lowest figures of casualities than any other comander in chief, some of the highest per engagement for sure! (See my post of some weeks ago answering the call of one of your BUSIE-ZOMBIES to compare Iraq to Vietnam.) There are surely presidents who are responsible for spilling much less American blood than Bush has on his hands. We can go back through two hundred plus years of history or we can stop and at the last four U.S. Presidents, all of whom killed fewer Americans through sheer incompetence than the present one. Do you feel any responsibility in that? You are so close to the youth. How many have you signed up to die under an inept and misled cause? How many lives have been laid down for your right to teach that it was right for Joseph Smith to marry multiple 16 year olds was what God wanted while keeping a loving wife? It is nice to have a curtain of "freedom" to hide behind while accusing all else who disagree with your ideas as "terrorists."

Bush's second term is not finished and he may yet pull it out but it will take a miracle the size of what saved the Mormons from the plague of crickets (metaphor for bad problems the Republicans face now) when they first settled Utah. Regale us with that myth in your next blog why don't you.

In the meantime, keep refusing to deny the facts. Keep calling names. Continue to refuse to do anything to help make the flagging situation in Iraq better. It is what we have come to expect of lesser men.

History WILL record Bush's successes if it has enough time after recording his failures.

Lysis said...

RFB, it seems you were never hurt by what you learned in school or what you learned in Utah either.

Anonymous, I know you know that Presidents who are required to fight wars lose more soldiers than those that aren’t; just like I know you know that Presidents don’t kill soldiers. Neither of these truths have anything to do with casualty rates of wars. You know that too.

I have many students who are proudly serving their country in the military. I am afraid I cannot take credit for their heroic service. I can only hope that I helped them learn to think along the way. Many thousands of heroes have died for my right to teach my students ANYTHING they want to learn, and many thousands have died for your right to mock their sacrifice. I will continue to honor them by my efforts; you continue to do what you do too.

For the record I have never approved of polygamy.

I will continue to “refuse to deny the facts”! I ask you to please discontinue denying them. I will ask you to give an example of my calling any names.

I do my best to support the efforts of my heroes in Iraq every day. I agree, that compared to them, I am a lesser man. How do our compare Anonymous? History will record and I will teach.

Rumpole said...


There are a couple of inconsistencies through your posts that need to be pointed out to you, as follows:

1. As someone who doesn’t want to talk about religion (“Religion has no place in this topic whatsoever”) you sure seem to bring it up quite often.
2. You start your post by name calling (Oh Lysis how LIE-sys) then you try to call out someone else for calling names? Seems incredibly consistent!
3. You misquote statistics (just like our old friend Verus), then you respond with the old Agora “nu-uh”! How do you expect to have credibility with that kind of response?
4. You really have a hard time staying on a single topic!

Finally, if I may quote you latest post:

“How many have you signed up to die under an inept and misled cause?” I can only draw two conclusions from that statement. Either (with my apologies to Lyis), you greatly exaggerate his impact on his students, or you hugely overestimate the impact that you have on yours.

Anonomy, such a statement is a slap to everyone (drafted or undrafted) who has ever served this country. Are you next going to tell us that you support the troops but you don’t support the war? Don’t bother. It’s clear you think that they are all “dunderheads” for supporting such a cause. You are NOT a patriot! This is the very reason why I think you are, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, a “terrorist”!

What amazes me most is your ingratitude. Those who have died did so with the conviction they were doing so to protect your right to argue your position against protecting YOUR freedom, and even your aim to create freedom FROM religion. Is that enough to get you back to the topic?

Want to talk about inept? Have you forgotten that your man Clinton had Bin Laden and then let him go? Want to talk about 3,000 needless deaths? Don’t bother with the “no connection” in Iraq argument then go on to claim our action has acted as a magnet. The terrorist are all in Iraq now by that very argument. Great! Let’s finish the job.

Anonymy, if I may, you are a fool. I think you have watched one too many episodes of M*A*S*H. What will be your response? Do you think I’ve seen “Follow Me, Boys”, once too often?

Lincoln’s detractors said the same kind of things about him that you have said about President Bush. Take a lesson from Lincoln on what you ought to be teaching to your class! I added the caps to help you focus where it appears you are lacking. Have you ever read it?

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place FOR THOSE WHO DIED HERE, THAT THE NATION MIGHT LIVE. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, WE CANNOT DEDICATE, WE CANNOT CONSECRATE, WE CANNOT HALLOW, THIS GROUND. THE BRAVE MEN, LIVING AND DEAD, WHO STRUGGLED HERE, HAVE HALLOWED IT, FAR ABOVE OUR POOR POWER TO ADD OR DETRACT. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—THAT FROM THESE HONORED DEAD WE TAKE INCREASED DEVOTION TO THAT CAUSE FOR WHICH THEY HERE GAVE THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION—THAT WE HERE HIGHLY RESOLVE THAT THESE DEAD SHALL NOT HAVE DIED IN VAIN, THAT THIS NATION SHALL HAVE A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, if you seriously believe, after everything that has been revealed, that Iraq posed any threat to this nation concieved in liberty, or that the fighting that is going on there now does, then get perspective man! The real terrorists that threaten the U.S. are still issuing fatwas and videos from their Winter homes in Pakistan. We are not putting the resources into that fight because we are mishandling another war that posed no threat to Americans at home in another part of the world.

Lysis, I don't know why we are arguing so bitterly here when we already agree on so much. Let's take note.

We both agree that educators should not be allowed to teach absolutely anything they like in the classroom, such as pure and deliberate lies. You said so yourself, though it took a healthy does of pride swallowing to do so, and it is good that you did. Teaching pure lies is a terrible position to have to defend. Good you gave it up.

And we are arguing on the economy when we also agree on so many points.

We both agree that more Americans have lost jobs under Bush than have gone to work. I MILLIONS, you say its not that bad, just 1.6 MILLION - lets both demand better.

We both agree that Clinton enjoyed better economic performance than Bush has despite having control of all three branches of the government for six years! Bush has never vetoed a single piece of legislation getting exactly what he wants including a war, and still, six years later, his economy is "just getting going." And what does he have to show for it? (See above.)

We both agree that fewer U.S. soldiers died under the numerous NATO and other non NATO campaigns that Clinton sent our forces on.

The Pentagon says, in a report that became public Friday, that civilian leadership has prevented it from sending available armor to U.S. troops in Iraq that would have decreased fatal injuries by as much as 30%. I say better leadership would have not made such a military blunder. You accuse me of being unAmerican and hoping for U.S. failure in Iraq. You may not accept the Pentagon's findings but I do and I think if you stopped for a minute to THINK as well, you would call for better civilian leadership on this point as well.

One point we do not agree on is that calling for better leadership in the fight on terror is equal to helping the terrorists. Recognizing our failures and fixing the issues that led to them is not helping the terrorists, it is helping ourselves to win the fight.

My patriotism is not the issue, Bush's incompetence is and It is likely to be the only legacy he leaves behind despite the blowhards of the Agora. Think about it. You'll see we have already agreed.

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Rumpole, Well said. I may try to expand on our arguments, but I could not improve.

Anonymous, we are arguing in order to find the truth. That is the purpose of argumentation. I am not bitter but you are desperate.

In my fourth posting (2nd after you came on) and twelfth over all of the 73 on this string, I said, “If you [Anonymous] think that by saying I should be allowed to read to (tell, discuss, make mention of, debate, consider, entertain, listen to, ect. ect. ect.) my students anything, that I am saying I will intentionally lie to them, you’re not thinking. YOU’RE STILL NOT THINKNG! -- The position I defend has never changed! –

On your claim that “we both agree that more Americans have lost jobs more jobs under Bush then have gone to work.” 2,000,000 new jobs were created under Bush just in 2005. That is against 1.6 million increase in unemployment over the five years of the Bush Presidency. Therefore we do not agree. It is obvious to anyone who will think, and is not trying to use made up numbers to win arguments, that we do not agree.

As far as the economy under Clinton and Bush: what we have agreed on is the fact that Clinton broke the Reagan Economy he inherited, Bush fixed it.

As for combat casualties; I truthfully reference the fewer casualties in Bush’s military compared to that in any previous conflict. Sighting Clinton’s “no war performance” is irrelevant. Why not deal with Rumpole’s 3,000 Americans that died on 9/11 due to Clinton’s refusal to take out Bin Laden because he was afraid to use his military point? You don’t argue you cut and run!!

I disagree with your claim that the leadership has not done everything possible to protect our troops. I refer you to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s famous answers to that media primed solider last year. His words are on the record and they explain the truth very well. We have an excellent civilian leadership. Does that make them perfect? No, but compared to Clinton’s clowns, and the projected follies of Gore and Kerry they are wonderful! I am heartened that the Pentagon seeks to find out weakness and make them right. Ask yourself this, Anonymous, “Were could the Pentagon have turned had Kerry got his way and blocked the money they needed for the very tools you now condemn them over?

You claim we do not agree on calling for better leadership in the fight on terror. I point out that I have always been for improving American efforts in the Wars America must fight. Our President points out that we learn and change. I do disagree with you in that I do not want us to cut and run.

As for your patriotism; patriotism can be measured empirically. You words speak clearly on that subject. Go figure!

For myself, I am far more interested in the things you disagree with me on than those you do. Most strikingly we disagree in our assessment of students and soldiers. You think them mindless sheep, needing the protection of liberal judges and anti-war activists. I do not. Students are not programmed by teachers who teach anything, “even pure lies”. They are human beings with divine reason to shield them and natural ability to discern the truth if they are given the chance to learn to think. Soldiers are not sent to war by parents or teachers, or dispatched by wives or husbands or sons or daughters; they make mature and reasoned decisions to risk their precious all for the protection of others; even those who mock and belittle them. “Greater love hath no man than this!” Their actions are made sacred by their ability to choose to sacrifice of their own freewill; the gift of their minds, minds that can handle ANYTHING.

Your way is to strain the truth through the sieve of your opinions. My way is to prepare all to deal with ANYTHING. These views can never agree.

Rumpole said...


You are right. Why are we arguing so bitterly here when we agree on so much? Let’s take note.

We both agree that we have had success in Iraq! As you just noted, many of the terrorists have gone into deep hiding. Certainly we will be wise enough not to cut and run so that the Iraqi people will not be left in a leadership vacuum before they have their opportunity to fight for freedom FROM religion.

We both agree that Clinton bumbled his opportunity with Bin Laden! It is unfortunate Bin Laden still has opportunity to issue fatwas and videos. However, we are fortunate that the current administration recognized Clinton’s errors in judgment and is willing to address the problems left behind.

We both agree that your statistics do not match your rhetoric! I’m glad you acknowledge a well presented argument ought to be backed with accurate data. Otherwise there is no argument to be made!

Finally, we both agree that your rhetoric has reached emotional levels that are not based in fact. We ought to put all this “bitterness”, as you have said, behind us. Thanks for swallowing YOUR pride, Anonymy. In doing so you have clearly demonstrated your patriotism!

Anonymous said...

First Liesis, give up the "educators should be allowed to teach absoluetly anything they like" crap. You have already said that educators should not be allowed to deliberately teach lies but should only teach the truth. ("Should a teacher deliberately lie to his students? NO! All teachers should seek to teach their students to discover the truth." Your words here.) All reasonable people do believe that there is a limit to what an educator should be allowed to teach in the classroom, even on religious ideas. How about it Rumpole? Do you support educators in your schools teaching the Mormon religion and polygamy in your public school's "Ancient History" classes? How about the Mormon perception of God and his history in your public school's science classes? How about Scientologist's view of medicine in Chemistry class as the truth? Perhaps protection FROM religion in the public classroom has its points after all.

You both speak in such hushed tones of the soldiers and their love for their fellow men (except the ones they are killing of course) and of Bush's love for them as well. You say "patriotism can be measured emperically," I wonder if Bush's love for our fighting soldiers can be measured empirically also.... Consider the following.

With 155,000 soldiers still in the heat of battle in Iraq and more fighting and dying in Afghanistan, the Bush administration sought this year to cut $75 a month from the “imminent danger” pay added to soldiers’ paychecks when in battle zones. The administration sought to cut by $150 a month the family separation allowance offered to those same soldiers and others who serve overseas away from their families. Although they were termed “wasteful and unnecessary” by the White House, Congress blocked those cuts this year, largely because of Democratic votes.

The White House budget for Veterans Affairs cut $3 billion from VA hospitals in the last two budget years—despite 11,000 casualties in Iraq and as aging Vietnam veterans demand more care. VA spending today averages $2,800 less per patient than nine years ago.

The administration also proposed levying a $250 annual charge on all Priority 8 veterans—those with “non-service-related illnesses”—who seek treatment at VA facilities, and seeks to close VA hospitals to Priority 8 veterans who earn more than $26,000 a year.

Until protests led to a policy change, the Bush administration also was charging injured GIs from Iraq $8 a day for food when they arrived for medical treatment at the Fort Stewart, Georgia, base where most injured are treated.

In mid-October 2003, just after the Iraq invasion!, the Pentagon, at the request of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, announced plans to shutter 19 commissaries—military-run stores that offer discounted food and merchandise that helps low-paid enlisted troops and their families get by—along with the possiblility of closing 19 more.

At the same time, the Pentagon also announced it was trying to determine whether to shutter 58 military-run schools for soldiers’ children at 14 military installations.

The White House sought to block a federal judge’s award of damages to a group of servicemen who sued the Iraqi government for torture during the 1991 Gulf War. The White House claims the money, to come from Iraqi assets confiscated by the United States, is needed for that country’s reconstruction.

The administration beat back a bipartisan attempt in Congress to add $1.3 billion for VA hospitals to Bush’s request of $87 billion for war and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In perhaps its most dangerous policy, the White House is refusing to provide more than 40,000 active-duty troops in Iraq with Kevlar body armor, leaving it up to them and their families to buy this life-saving equipment. This last bit of penny-pinching prompted Pentagon critic and Vietnam veteran Col. David Hackworth to point to “the cost of the extraordinary security” during Bush’s recent trip to Asia, which he noted grimly “would cover a vest for every soldier” in Iraq.

I think Bush's love for the working man, the soldiers that you hold in such sacred reverance Liesis, can be measured empirically and it is evident that he does not love them very much. You should also know that President Bush has yet to attend a single burial for U.S. soldiers at Arlington. How is that for appreciation! "I think you are overpaid for the job you do and I don't care enough to visit you when you die doing it!" Thanks Mr. President. We deserve something better from the person who is ultimately responsible for sending everyone of the 2,000 plus to their deaths and the "more less thirty-thousand" Iraqis to their oblivion as well. Do try to understand me Liesis and Rumpole, when I say that soldiers deserve better health care, access to the best equipment that is available and approved for action, at least the pay they were promised when they signed up, and just rules of engagement and interrogation that does not demean their humanity, I am not calling for aid to the terrorists. I'm just saying that I think we could do a lot better. I cannot see why you refuse this. Probably too caught up burning in the religious ecstasy of patriotism, farsically comparing Bush to Lincoln and insisting on being able to teach the Book of Mormon in science class to question why we are not doing better by our troops. You know, the important stuff. How many innocent Iraqis and U.S. soldiers died today while you were busy blogging about the important stuff?

Pointing out that our troops deserve the best armor our military has, that they deserve competent leadership, diplomacy, and will not be undercut by economic plans that only favor the rich at home does not make me an "American hater" or equal preaching "hate America" rhetoric. Some one has to ask the important questions, demand accountability, point out the obvious failures. I am sure that there is no room for such challenges in your ideas of an "open" classroom Biased Liesis.

Lysis said...

Anonymous debunking all your misrepresentations can become a full time job. I will simply give some examples for the sea of tripe you have just released as proof or your general determination to deceive. Once again this is particularly frightening considering you are for dictating information based on your opinion alone. I hope judicial reform will save us and the Constitution from your Orwellian scheme.

Your information on imminent danger pay, as I’m sure you know, came fro the budget battle of 2003. The facts for now are that the Bush administration requested as of February 2005 a 3.2% across the board increase in all military pay. As for Hostile Fire and Imminent Danger Pay it has been increased under the present Bush budget from $100.00 per month to up to $750.00 per month. And family separation allowance is at $250.00 per month. Please feel free to check my stats on CRS Issue Brief for Congress, updated June 15, 2005.

I know many of the folks who read here at the Agora are in the various services. I will take instruction from you as to the President’s support of the military and his popularity amongst its members. Anonymous and I are restricted to hearsay.

As for your supposed cuts to the VBA facilities, you also know that these are reductions in projected increase, not cuts; you are misleading again in an attempt to deceive. The President has increased his requests for the Veterans and for the Veterans Hospitals. I am forced to believe that you, Anonymous, know this, and are therefore using the disinformation of misrepresentation to win a point.

I would reiterate the empirical evidence of Americans sustained economic growth as proof of the President’s “love for the working man.” Your way is to control his mind with disinformation and destroy his hope with dependency. We can only pray that we will continue to reap the benefits of freedom on both scores.

I am glad to see you NEW FOUND interest in getting the best for our troops, I am glad you have finally joined with the President, myself, and many of the rest of us, in their support. I assume we will soon find you support their vital mission and sacrifice as well. Calling the liberation of Iraq and its vital part in the War on Terror does not lend support to the troops, but rather to those who seek to harm them. Your flip-flopping on these issues is as spectacular as that of any of you neo-lib masters.

I would be delighted to have you point out some failures, but I am tired of you making them up for points.

Anonymous said...

In my last post I clearly cited Bush's proposed cuts to soldier pay and medical care as being from the 2003 budget. The only thing NEW FOUND is Bush's support for the soldiers he asks so much of. The increase in Hostile Fire pay comes as the first after three years and two Whitehouse proposals to cut it. I think I have given ample emperical evidence of Bush's love for the troops.

As for your claim that I have never supported the troops you are mistaken. It is not the first time. I have always called for one thing and one thing only in the U.S. effort in Iraq and that is that we do it better, that we can do it better; also that Bush is failing the U.S. people in the fight on terror more broadly where drastic improvement can be made. In your hazy world where educators ought to be allowed to teach pure lies - though I know you only say it to win points - I can see how you would confuse my saying that Bush is doing a horrible job with campaigning against doing a better one.

No, actually I cannot understand. Surely, you must be smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

In fact, I see that I did mention that the cuts were for the 2003 budget until the middle of my post and that it was vague. I appologize however, my point remains: a President who proposes to cut salary and benefits from soldiers as he sends them to fight a war of choice shows utter disrespect for their sacrifice.

Lysis said...

Anonymous, thanks for admitting your mistake. You see it didn’t hurt. Now just start putting your facts together from the start and you will be on the way to avoiding diseving others.

Two facts bring your final posting into question. President Bush has raised the salary and benefits for soldiers as he sends them to fight a war for the preservation of Freedom, and the survival of Western Civilization. If you doubt the President respects the troops, you have not witnessed him in action or listened to his words. Think about it, do some study of the facts and you will come to understand. It worked before, I have every hope you can do it again.

I am glad that you have become a supporter of America’s troops. I am proud of you for your progress. It was a long journey for you, but one of the purposes of the Agora is to help us recognize the truth. And see, facing up to things that are new and strange to you – like thinking for yourself – doesn’t hurt; it helps one think more clearly. As I have said, I have hope for your further education.

If I had time I’d help you get strait on Mormonism too, but there are people out there who would be better at that than I could be.

Rumpole said...


You posed the question “Do you support educators in your schools teaching the Mormon religion and polygamy in your public schools “Ancient History” classes . . .

Let me begin with another quote from Jefferson. Please also note Jefferson’s discussion of Judges. Your question was about religion, but we have been discussing the role of the Judiciary. I will limit my comments to your question. If you want to discuss the Judiciary again later, that would be excellent. This is from “The life and selected writings from Jefferson.” (Random House, 1993, pp. 78-79)

“It is not enough that honest men are appointed Judges. All know the influence of interest on the mind of man, and how unconsciously his judgement is warped by that influence. To this bias add that of the esprit de corps, of their peculiar maxim and creed, that ‘it is the office of a good Judge to enlarge his jurisdiction,’ and the absence of responsibility; and how can we expect impartial decision between the General government, of which they are themselves so eminent a part, and an individual State, from which they have nothing to hope or fear? WE HAVE SEEN, TOO, THAT CONTRARY TO ALL CORRECT EXAMPLE, THEY ARE IN THE HABIT OF GOING OUT OF THE QUESTION BEFORE THEM, TO THROW AN ANCHOR AHEAD, AND GRAPPLE FURTHER HOLD FOR FUTURE ADVANCES OF POWER. They are then, in fact, the corps of sappers and miners, steadily working to undermine the independent rights of the States, and to consolidate all power in the hands of that government in which they have so important a freehold estate. BUT IT IS NOT BY THE CONSOLIDATION, OR CONCENTRATION OF POWERS, BUT BY THEIR DISTRIBUTION, THAT GOOD GOVERNMENT IS EFFECTED. Were not this great country already divided into States, that division must be made, that each might do for itself what concerns itself directly, and what it can so much better do than a distant authority. Every State again is divided into counties, each to take care of what lies within its local bounds; each county again into townships or wards, to manage minuter details; and every ward into farms, to be governed each by its individual proprietor. WERE WE DIRECTED FROM WASHINGTON WHEN TO SOW, AND WHEN TO REAP, WE SHOULD SOON WANT BREAD. It is by this partition of cares, descending in gradation from general to particular, that the mass of human affairs may be best managed, for the good and prosperity of all. I repeat, that I do not charge the Judges with wilful and ill-intentioned error; but honest error must be arrested, where its toleration leads to public ruin. As for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam, so judges should be withdrawn from their bench, whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may indeed, injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the Republic, which is the first and supreme law.” (end of quote)

A District Judge in Pennsylvania has no business controlling what happens in rural Utah. To me that is the FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE at hand in this post. What is the risk of a decentralized authority? You may not get the answer you want. Then as has been done, a “distant authority” is called upon to impose your will.

You may think that local authority is NOT capable of rendering the proper decision in your own eyes. Maybe the authority doesn’t have enough post-graduate degrees. Shoot, maybe he does, but they have been awarded him from a private religious institution that doesn’t please you.

If that is your position, I can respect it but I will not accept it. These decisions are better made at a local level.

And so there can be no misunderstanding, of course I believe there ought to be limits to the curriculum. I don’t think Lysis disagrees. If he does, then I disagree with him. But as Jefferson has articulated, those standards are for a local authority to decide. As was quoted above, “But it is not by the consolidation, or concentration of powers, but by their distribution, that good government is effected.”

Specifically, do I want an educator to teach that polygamy is O.K., or that we all must be “born again”? Of course not. But I do expect that educator, in the course of his specific discipline, to lay out what is out there. When we teach Ancient History, isn’t it important to know the differences between Judaism and Islam? Isn’t that at the core of the issues in the Middle East? I’m certain that members of the media couldn’t teach that without bias, but couldn’t you? You are a professional! I am certain Lysis makes every effort to teach without that bias!

When we teach evolution in the course of the educator’s specific discipline, isn’t it possible to include a dissenting view? I don’t care which view you accept. Isn’t the fundamental premise of “education” to explore all the possibilities with your students in an effort to aid them in well-informed decisions? Throw it out there for discussion! Maybe your students will surprise you with their maturity!

There is inherint risk in that kind of a discussion. Someone may disagree with you. Their disagreement may be legitimate. Could you deal with that? After all, you are a professional!

Sorry, I went on too long again. I’ll try to concentrate on articulating my ideas in brevity. My wife says I talk too much!

Anonymous said...

Rumple you say "so there can be no misunderstanding, of course I believe there ought to be limits to the curriculum." If you are willing accept that basic notion then we can debate. Looks like we are all on the same page!

Achilles the Great said...

Lysis I have been reading your blogs for a very long time and I have come to realize you're very intelligent, and a very good debater. I have not read this paticular Blog because I am not interested in Darwin. I just had to tell you those things though

You're my favorite techer GO LANCERS

Achilles the Great said...

I ment teacher. Sorry

Medical Blog said...

All those of other religions who also hold that God or the Gods created the universe, or at least organized Cosmos out of Chaos, might find his judicial stretch troubling.