Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bush Speech Brings Hope: A "High Point" Review

Last Tuesday’s State of the Union Address by President Bush was a real pleasure to watch. I particularly enjoyed how much fun he was having. His own hopefulness set the theme for his speech, and for the nation he leads. I’m sure most at the Agora have listened to the President; his speech is available at, www.whitehouse.gov . Here is my “high point review”. I will try to “bold the President’s own words; mine will be in common script.

President Bush began the speech by reaching out to all America. His tribute to Coretta King was powerful. He praised the “TWO PARTY” system and call for tough but civil debates, but “. . . our differences cannot be allowed to harder into anger”, he warned.

He talked about his important role as “choice maker” and promised to lead our nation in its leadership of the world.

He laid out the direction in which he would lead us:

“. . . our nation is committed to a historic , long-term goal – we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future of American depends on it. . . . Dictatorships shelter terrorists, and feed resentment and radicalism, and seek weapons of mass destruction. Democracies replace resentment with hope, respect the rights of their citizens and at their neighbors, and join the fight against terror. . . In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies in the world. Today there are 122.”

Bush then spoke of the common enemy of free peoples, the terrorists. “They seek to impose a heartless system of totalitarian control throughout the Middle East, and arm themselves with weapons of mass murder. . . the terrorists have chosen the weapon of fear. When they murder children at a school in Besian, or blow up commuters in London, or behead a bound captive, the terrorists hope these horrors will break our will, allowing the violent to inherit the Earth.”

But they have miscalculated: We love our freedom, and we will fight to keep it. In a time of testing, we cannot find security by abandoning our commitments and retreating within our borders. If we were to leave these vicious attackers alone, they would not leave us alone. They would simply move the battlefield to our own shores. “

“There is no peace in retreat.”

Bush then laid out the “clear path to victory” that America and its allies are on.:

1. “Helping Iraqis build an inclusive government, so that old resentments will be ease and the insurgency will be marginalized.”

2. “. . . reconstruction efforts. . .”

3. “striking terrorists targets while we train Iraqi forces that are increasingly capable of defeating the enemy.”

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home.”

“. . . decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.”

Bush spoke of lessons learned and beneficial critique but then he reminded us of an important truth. “Yet, there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure.”

“Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy.”

The highlight of the evening was when President Bush quoted Dan Clay, a fallen hero. The contrast between Clay’s words and the lies of those who deprecate our troops sacrifice was deeply touching.


“. . . Dan wrote: “I know what honor is. . . . It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. . . . “

Bush went on to challenge those who maintain that *freedom is only for the few*.

“Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.”

Bush talked about security at home and called for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. He also spoke boldly about the NSA surveillance program: “I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous President have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of American. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.”

“The only alternative to American leadership is a dramatically more dangerous and anxious would . Yet we also choose to lead because it is a privilege to serve the values that gave us birth. American leaders, -- from Roosevelt to Truman to Kennedy to Reagan – rejected isolation and retreat, because they knew that America is always more secure when freedom is on the march.”

Bush then went on to discuss the hopeful condition and successes of America’s domestic efforts.

“Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, American has created 4.6 million new jobs – more that Japan and the European Union combined.”

Bush warned of forms of economic retreat: “. . . walling off our economy. . . . government . . . directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy – even thought this economy could not function without them.”

“Our economy grows when Americans have more of their own money to spend, save, and invest. In the last five years, the tax relief you passed has left $880 billion in the hands of American workers, investors, small businesses, and families – and they have used it to help produce more than four years of uninterrupted economic growth.”

“Keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars. Every year of my presidency, we’ve reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending, and last year you passed bills that cut this spending.”

I was delighted at the grace with which President Bush referenced his two predecessors. “This year, the first of about 78 million baby boomers turn 69, including two of my Dad’s favorite people – me and President Clinton.” It was even more fun to see the look on Hillary’s face. Thanks CNN!

“Our nation needs orderly and secure borders, To meet this goal we must have stronger immigration enforcement and border protection. And we must have a rational, humane guest worker program that rejects amnesty, allows temporary jobs for people who seek them legally, and reduces smuggling and crime at the border.”

Under health care, the President called for better recording procedures, “strengthening
Health saving accounts – making sure individuals and small business employees can buy insurance with the same advantages that people working for big business now get. . . . [and] make this coverage portable. . . And because lawsuits are driving may good doctors out of practice. . . I ask the Congress to pass medical liability reform this year.”

President Bush called for action on energy:

Breakthroughs on . . . new technologies will help us reach another great goal, to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.”

President Bush called for better education through his AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS INITIATIVE: “We must continue to lead the world in human talent and creativity. Our greatest advantage in the world has always been our educated, hardworking, ambitious people. . . . to give our nation’s children a firm grounding in math and science”

President Bush then explained why America is a HOPEFUL SOCIETY. He began by touting some statistics we don’t hear much from a media seeking only bad news.

1. "Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970’s”

2. “Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade.”

3. “Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001.”

4. “There are fewer abortions in American than at any point in the last three decades,”

5. “the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row.”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY depends on courts that deliver equal justice under the law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members. . . Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. . . . I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY [does] not cut ethical corners. . . Human life is a gift from our Creator – and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY expects elected officials to uphold the public trust. . . both parties are working on reforms to strengthen the ethical standards of Washington . . .”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY gives special attention to children who lack direction and love. Through the Helping American’s Youth Initiative, we are encouraging caring adults to get involved in the life of a child – and this good work is being led by our First Lady, Laura Bush.”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY comes to the aid of fellow citizens in times of suffering and emergency – and stays at it until they’re back on their feet. SO far the federal government has committed $85 billion to the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.”

“A HOPEFUL SOCIETY acts boldly to fight diseases like HIV/AIDS, which can be prevented, and treated, and defeated.. . . I ask Congress to reform and reauthorize the Ryan White Act, and provide new funding to states, so we end the waiting lists for AIDS medicines in America. We will also lead a nation-wide effort, working closely with African American churches and faith-based groups, to deliver rapid HIV tests to millions, end the stigma of AIDS, and come closer to the day when there are no new infections in America.”

It was interesting to me to hear the almost immediate criticism of the speech in the media. Attempts to “SPING DOWN “ the power of the president’s message. Those whose only hope for power is America’s failure, fear the truth, and attempt to corrupt the message with cynicism; confident that most will never hear or carefully consider the President’s actual words. I hope this “high point review” will help refocus on the good news to be found in our HOPEFUL SOCIETY of America.

54 comments:

Aeneas said...

I too liked the President's State of the Union speech.

Lysis, you did seem to leave out of your speech review, the President's message to Iran, i.e., one of solidarity with the people. On that front, the President can claim another diplomatic victory. Iran was just referred to the U.N. Security Counsel. Well done George, Condie, and John!

One point on Social Security -

Some of the Democrats thought they were being cute when they cheered when the President reminded Congress that they did not vote for his Social Security Reform proposals. This behavior exposed the Democrates as petty and weak, petty because their behavior was childish, and weak, because the Democrats were unable to offer a better idea to fix the problem, a problem getting worse every year.

a quiet listener said...

One point I wish the President would have elaborated on was the energy crisis. Pointing out the painful truth about our dependance or addiction as he put it on oil was necessary since the first step to changing problems is recognizing them. However; I would have rather he'd layed down a specific plan of action to achieve his goal to "to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.”

Since I work on solid oxide fuel cells day in and day out I agree that new technologies will be a large part of the answer, but still I am very interested in seeing an actual plan layed out to help along the research already being carried out. Has he mentioned additional funding for alternative energy sources? Has he layed detailed plans to encourage people to reduce their oil consumption on a day to day basis? Have I simply not heard his plans yet?

Reach Upward said...

There were both good points and less-than-good points in the President's speech. He did well in talking about national security. I'm glad he called the defeatists on the carpet.

When the President claimed to have reduced domestic spending, he was using different figures than economists (even those in his camp) generally use. Domestic spending has increased dramatically each year of his presidency. The President's current budget request to cut $14 Billion in domestic spending amounts to chump change -- and he won't even get that much when Congress gets through messing with it. Frankly, the President has never seen a spending proposal he couldn't sign. It would be great if Congress exercised some fiscal restraint, but they seem completely incapable of it at the moment (see here under the heading "Congress Needs a Sharp Slap in the Face").

On the oil dependence issue, I'm not sure what the big deal is. If we're going to have U.S.-friendly democracies throughout the Middle East, we're going to have cheap oil. We would want to encourage economic trade with those countries rather than discouraging it. Of course, if those democracies are going to be run by the likes of Hamas (who'd rather have us dead than have our money), I'm not sure how trade friendly they will be.

I'm not arguing that we shouldn't develop alternative fuels; I'm merely pointing out what appears to be a paradox in the President's speech.

You correctly note Democratic weakness. But lack of adequate tension from that side makes the GOP get sloppy and lazy, hence, the problem with Congress that I noted above. The President is correct when he talks about a two-party system. Having two strong parties would be better for our country, but we're not going to get there as long as the Dem's get a majority of their funding from the angry Left. This addiction causes them to become increasingly irrelevant. The GOP gets funding from the far Right all right, but it is not nearly as addicted to that money as the Dem's are to the far Left money.

Aeneas said...

reach_upward,

Good points.

Anonymous said...

A lesson to classes of deserving students who have never had the important terms FACT and OPINION explained to them: (This means you Lysis. I assume it's true because you don't know the difference YOURSELF!!!!)

The difference between Fact and Opinion

FACT:
Facts must be verifiable by direct observation!

The fact must be reliable? How did the author come to the facts?

Facts must be presented in an OBJECTIVE manner?(any bias evident or suspected?)

Evidence which generates the facts must be duplicable and empirical!

OPINION:
The author uses words that interpret or LABEL, such as: pretty, ugly, safe dangerous, evil, murder/ous. good, truth and so on -- emotive propaganda.

Do the "facts" prove the claim being made or do they merely suggest that the claim is reasonable?

The opinion argument depends on accepting a certain definition of key words or concepts. Has the author defined the conditions for using the concepts?


Now, (To any 9/12th grader whose life has not been filled with Lysis' opinionated flatulence) statement/arguments like, "Power to fight terrorists and stop mass murder is good." and "John Kerry lied about the actions of our troops in Vietnam." are OBVIOUSLY OPINIONS not FACTS!

Also, because these statement/arguments make ASSUMPTIONS that need empicical evidence that is not provided nor argued, they become "begging the question".

Lyis, you ask if I think 283 "not so swifties" have lied about John Kerry.

Well, do YOU think that the United States Government, Admirals -- Secretary of the Navy and Senators and other decorated heroes have ALL lied about John Kerry? -- ALL who have sworn INDIVIDUAL affidavits to his heroism have lied????!You think the statements you regard as "fact" about "eye witness" traiterous negotiations with Communits are true, but the government has never charged him???? Doesn't that that make the Government of The United States, including George Herber Walker Bush, and its sworn agents complicit in the alleged Kerry lies????

Your answers to these questions will look a lot like my answers to yours!!!!

Yes, there are many "logic" texts in MY library and I
frequently refer to them -- I assume by your denegrations that YOU don't have a library or "logic" texts to refer to, requiring much "make it up as you go along" flatulence -- I don't like the SOUND of it, but it IS your most enduring (not endearing) quality!!!!

Lysis said...

Aeneas;
I was also puzzled by the behavior of the Democrats at the speech. What can American think, but that they are pleased that there is no solution to the Social Security Disaster that Democrat irresponsibility has created? I wonder if they even know why they are angry. I see similar shocking self-destructive behavior through out the Islamic world. I have been watching with interest the attacks on the Europeans by those Muslims who are angry over free the free press in Europe. It seems that giving into terrorists doesn’t make you safe after all. I wonder if they think the Europeans will continue to support them now that they are calling for their destruction. I guess they are Europeans!

Quiet Listener;
Let me quote you two more paragraphs from the President’s speech.

So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative – a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research – at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy.

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution0free cars that run on hydrogen. We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.

Reach Upward;
Please suggest some spending proposals you think the President should have refused to sigh. I can’t help but think there is some responsibility in the Legislative Branch. Isn’t that their job? – To hold the purse strings? If the Congress doesn’t cut spending the way the President recommends, or come up with a better way to do it, let’s put the blame where it belongs. Give the President the line item veto he has requested or give Congress the blame.


Flaccid;
Is your tirade on “The difference between Fact and Opinion” a fact or an Opinion? If you claim it is a fact: 1. How reliable is the author? – He’s a joke! 2. How objective is the presentation? We’re still laughing. 3. You generate no evidence so it cannot be either duplicated or empirical.

As for being an opinion: There is emotion - a good laugh.

You give no facts so you neither prove nor suggest anything.

I guess your “opinion” above depends on your opinion of the words FACT and OPINION. It is obvious that the only condition under which one would use these laughable concepts is if they had run out of arguments on the topic under discussion and wanted an excuse to brag about their Library privileges.

Nothing you said about Kerry met your own standards of fact, let alone mine!

Reach Upward said...

I think I did call the legislative branch on the carpet for its profligate spending. Congress should bear its share of responsibility for this mess.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the President accepted Congressional budgetary inflation as the cost of obtaining legislation necessary to our national defense. I can understand that. But since 2002, he has proposed budgets that would have made Jimmy Carter blush. Congress, not content with the President's increased spending proposals, added a lot more fat.

For all of this, the President never tried to put Congress in its place by vetoing spending. He has rarely even issued mild, toothless threats of a veto. He did threaten to veto the recent transportation bill -- the most pork-laden piece of legislation in our nation's history -- if it exceeded a certain level. Not only did Congress refuse to reduce to the President's threatened cap, it far exceeded that amount. The President signed it anyway.

One of the major functions of the executive branch is to provide adequate tension against the other two branches -- to provide checks and balances. The President does well in this regard on many issues. But when it comes to spending, the President has failed to provide that type of tension. His administration seems incapable of finding any excesses or fat in the programs it administers.

After enduring the wrath of constituent groups during the fall and early winter, the administration yesterday proposed a budget that actually cuts spending for the first time in its history. But the cuts are small and are not meaningful. They are unlikely to be sustained in the budget process. The President already knows this, but exercises little leadership in this vein.

The real problem is that the electorate is asleep at the switch when it comes to government spending. We should hold Congress responsible for its spending habits, but instead we clamor for more government programs and government solutions. We punish representatives that don't send home more federal funding. We have allowed Congress to create automatically renewable funding for 84% of the budget, so that it continues to grow unabated (they only squabble over the remaining 16%). We have allowed partisans to gerrymander Congressional districts to the point that fewer than 10% are competitive. We have allowed the creation of an incumbency protection program that prevents Reps from actually being accountable.

The result is that the current rate of government growth will move us in 15 years from the traditional 20% of GDP closer to the EU's socialistic rate of 36% GDP that kills job creation and economic development -- the life blood of our economy.

Ultimately, the electorate is to blame. However, a President is in a unique position to martial his party's members in Congress to pass legislation that he truly signals as important. Many presidents have done this. Pres. Bush has done it on matters that really matter to him. Simply put, limited government is not important to him.

I'm complaining, but I'm not surprised. The President made his fiscal position clear during the 2000 primaries. I didn't like it then. Still, I am grateful that he has been there to deal with the post-9/11 national security scene instead of some of his challengers. Without national security, the economy is unimportant.

Lysis said...

Reach:

I appreciate your analysis, I also wish there was a way to spend less and save more. I wish that for my family as well as the country. But you have not answered my sincere question; which programs would you cut? I listen with some amusement, some sorrow, as the various factions attack the President’s new budget, declaring it dead on arrival to the Congress. Why? Because ever entitlement, every expense has a constituency, and in an electorate were margins of victory are often very slim it is hard to “tick off” any one entire group of voters. The President has applied the knife up front; he may later on; if you will give him some good suggestions on where to do it.

I still think that the “line item veto” is a valuable tool if we are sincerer in holding the President responsible for controlling spending. He cannot craft the legislation and must support what he abhors in order to get what the country needs.

As for the “untouchable part of the budget.” here again I think the President needs some suggestions. He called for Social Security reform, and the Congress blocked it; pandering for votes. When he mentioned this failure, as Aeneas points out above, the Democrats gave themselves a standing ovation for failure.

The Presidents bold tax cuts have greatly increased Federal Revenue, the wars and disasters we now face seem to me to justify deficit spending. If we are set on giving money to all over 65 who demand it, and we are unwilling to require that people save and invest for their own future, we will eventually destroy our economy. The media always casts reductions in growth as cuts; what would they do with real cuts? And how can the President convince people to pay for their future, when he has trouble getting them to defend their present?

These are grave problems. I wish there were some solutions. There should be a little less criticism until there have been some suggestions.

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

Lysis Posted:

"I did say: "Of course Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power: But once again this is a FACT."
And
"Is your tirade on the difference between Fact and Opinion a fact or opinion?" ("All men are ceated equal" Is this a fact or opinion?)(Water boils at 100 C at sea level) And Lysis STILL can't tell the difference????
And
"You give no facts so you neither prove nor suggest anything." (This comment is absurd)

Lyis, from the first statement (above)it is clear that you don't have a clue what the word FACT means, nor the difference between statements of FACT and statements of OPINION. Not only that, but, you attack scholarly definitions as "laughable" without offering a single scholarly (not making it up as you go along) definition of your own. This is comparable to flatulating in public, giggling, and then blaming someone else for the rancid smell!!!! How about some CREDIBLE scholarly definitions DIFFERING from the ones I offered, oh odiferous one? None will be forthcoming, because you think the word "scholarly" is somehow politically suspect -- I've read what you've posted on "liberal professors" -- you've made shameful arguments for the causes of IGNORANCE no matter your politics or mine!!!! Your specious dismissal of statements of opinion and statements of fact, I hold in evidence.

"Each of the following statements is based on the selection you just read. If the statement is a FACT, put an F in front of it. If the statement is an OPINION, put an 0 in front of it. It is important to remember the meaning of fact and opinion. Not everything you read is a fact."

1. No colony was strong enough by itself to fight the French and their Indian allies.

2. Representatives from 7 of the 13 colonies met in Albany, New York to plan for a common defense against the French.

3. Benjamin Franklin's Albany Plan of Union was a good plan.

4. The colonial assemblies rejected the Albany Plan of Union.

(and 11 more statements to be analyzed by students)

Now,THIS unnamed Advanced Placement U.S. History teacher/professor understands how important knowing the difference between *statements of fact* and *statements of opinion* is for analysis of the DBQ questions on the AP test by his students. You see, he wants to make his students STRONGER by teaching an ANALYTIC TECHNIQUE that will help them pass the test, but also, make the subject of history itself more valid and meaningful when his students can become more and do more than be propagandized sponges.
Also it IS a "Core" requirement.

You suggest that I believe facts are better than opinions. Hardly! -- I inherently do not see one being better than another -- that's YOUR fiction.

I point out that the statement (yours) that heads this post IS NOT A STATEMENT OF FACT !!!!
You have the memory of a "Gypsy Moth" when it comes to owning up to your noxious overgeneralizations and propaganda -- time to be "THE MAN"!!!!

Reach Upward said...

Deficit spending is often necessary to support a war effort. We're not talking about the war effort, though. We're talking about domestic spending. The President did ask Congress to cut over 140 worthless programs (that amount to chump change anyway). But so has every president since Reagan. He knows Congress won't go along because, as you note, there is a constituency for every program.

Your points about social spending are excellent. It lends to my point about the electorate being ultimately to blame for the spending situation.

This isn't really about specific programs. It's an entire culture of spending and federal expansion. But if you want specific programs, let's start with the recent transportation and farming bills. The President should have vetoed both bills and told Congress to send them back fat free. But that costs political capital, and the President is not willing to spend his political capital in this way.

As for Social Security reform, the President started out on the right path, but his administration bungled it big time. They did not do the behind-the-scenes legwork to get enough people on board before the public push. The public push came first, followed many months later by details. Even leading members of Congress who were allies (whose support was imparative) were left in the dark. The President's political capital was poorly spent. That was just one of the administration's 2005 gaffes.

One off year doesn't mean that the next three years have to be bad, but I'm not going to hold my breath and wait for the President to attempt to administer any real fiscal responsibility.

Frankly, I don't see much of an opportunity for improvement unless the electorate thinks spending is a problem. My fear is that by the time folks wake up to the problem (after it has already bitten us in the tail and ruined the economy), it will be much more difficult to fix than it would be to do something about it now. The economy is good today, but history shows that it cannot remain good and cannot recover when government spending reaches 30+% of GDP.

Lysis said...

Flaccid,

I quote your “scholarly” rant above: “The opinion argument depends on accepting a certain definition of key words or concepts. Has the author defined the conditions for using the concepts?”

All I can say is that you have defined your words and stated your opinions. I disagree. Right opinion is the same as truth, but wrong opinion is not a good thing to live by, or conduct discussions. Our goal should be to attempt to align our opinions with the facts.

In reference to the examples of the facts I gave above. If your definition of fact is something different than mine, that’s your opinion. Kerry lied! That is either a fact or it isn’t – it’s either true or it isn’t. Murdering innocent people is bad! That is either a fact or it isn’t – it’s either true or it isn’t. Opinion is not the determining factor.

I asked you to explain why you believe that certain claims of mine about Kerry, and Hitler, and terrorists were not truths, were not facts. Incapable of giving arguments to assail my claims or to support your own; you launch on this silly definition fest. Attempting to impose your definitions on the discussion rather than engaging in it.

I am impressed with the drill your AP American History Professor friend puts his students through. I am sure he also spends plenty of time helping his students seek the truth and make just decisions based on their ability to recognize right from wrong. If he does not, he is stopping far too soon in his efforts to develop the good citizens and responsible human beings which is his real purpose as a teacher. Indeed avoiding propaganda pumped out by teachers, particularly in our nation’s liberal leaning Universities, is one of the most important college prep activities I pursue. I find it far more important to teach my students how to think than what to think.

I suggest that truth is better than wrong opinion, and I maintain that thinking human beings are capable of seeking the difference by reason and faith.

The questions are still before you – demonstrate to us all the superiority of your analytical style by answering any of them. An academic discipline that leaves you incapable of discussing history, events, or actions because you cannot get past the definition of “fact” and “opinion” is of no value to students or to this discussion.


Reach Upward;

How could the Presidents political capital have bought one vote in the House? You are far closer to the truth when you state that Americans will not act until they are in crisis, and sadly, by then, they may not be able to act. When Democrats are willing to give aid and support to terrorists and tyrants in order to get votes; we can have no faith they will support any sacrifice of the immediate gratification they promise to gain power.

I still ask what programs you feel could be cut with Presidential support. The Highway bill, perhaps, The Farm bill, perhaps, but I don’ know if I want the President to spend the political capital he needs to defend our nation and do his job so he can do the job of Congress for them. What’s Rob Bishop up to?

All:

Did any of you hear the shameful exploitation of the King funeral today by the democrats. Thank goodness President Bush was there to lend some dignity to the occasion. I can’t imagine how Carter can bear to show his face after all the harm his has done to this nation and the world. He ought to move to Bahrain and tent with Michael Jackson.

Lysis said...

I realized last night that Flaccid does not recognize the impotent condition he assumes because he is suffering from a disease; one called ‘Absolutophobia’. This ailment is described in a *U.S. News* editorial by John Leo, back in July of 1997. Inoculating my students against this pervasive ailment has become one of my most important duties as a teacher. I thought it might be worth while to present some of Leo’s observations in the Agora. My students leave my classes with a copy of it in the first pages of their notebooks. And long discussions on the dangers of this condition protecting their minds.

*A No-fault Holocaust*

“In, 20 years of college teaching, Prof. Robert Simon has never met a student who denied that the Holocaust happened. What he sees quite often, though, is worse: students who acknowledge the fact of the Holocaust but can’t bring themselves to say that killing millions of people is wrong. Simon reports that 10 to 20 percent of his students think this way. Usually they deplore what the Nazis did, but their disapproval is expressed as a matter of taste or personal preference, not moral judgment. “Of course I dislike the Nazis,” one student told Simon, “but who is to say they are morally wrong?””

The “who is to say” argument is one drilled into student’s heads, often by well meaning A.P. American History teachers and their ilk, but it leaves students; to continue my quote from Leo:

“unwilling to oppose large moral horrors, including human sacrifice, ethnic cleansing, and slavery, because they think that no one has the right to criticize the moral views of another group or culture.”

Leo goes on to quote from an article by Kay Haugaard of Pasadena City College. Haugaard has used the story of Shirley Jackson’s *The Lottery* for years to “’speak to her students sense of right and wrong.’ but more and more she finds students unwilling or unable to make moral judgments. One male said the ritual killing in *The Lottery* ‘almost seems a need.’ Asked if she believed in human sacrifice, a woman said, ‘I really don’t know. If it was a religion of long standing’ . . . Haugaard quotes a women in her class, a ‘50-something red-headed nurse,’ who says, ‘I teach a course for our hospital personnel in multicultural understanding, and if it is part of a person’s culture, we are taught not to judge’ . . . Students often thing they are so locked into their own group perspective of ethnicity, race, and gender that moral judgment is impossible, even in the face of great evils.”

This is similar to the position Flaccid finds himself in. Unable to discuss events and actions in history or current events; he is relegated to defending his diseased condition with quotes from “professors” with terminal manifestations of his own illness.

I actually heard an A. P. American History teacher speaking in a WSU seminar class say that before the Constitution was amended to preclude it, slavery was just. Her chronic condition of ‘Absolutophobia’ made it impossible for her to see the sickness of her stance.

Leo goes on to point out the inconsistency of “relativists” in their delirium. “In the new multicultural canon, human sacrifice is hard to condemn, because the Aztecs practiced it, In fact, however, this nonjudgmental stance is not held consistently. Japanese whaling and the genital cutting of girls in African are criticized all the time by white multiculturalists. [Her in the Agora, Flaccid and his Child refuse to allow anyone to condemn John Kerry, Hitler, or the terrorists; but have not trouble condemning George Bush or Lysis] Christina Hoff Sommers, author and professor of philosophy at Clark University in Massachusetts, says that student who can’t bring themselves to condemn the Holocaust will often say flatly that treating humans as superior to dogs and rodents is immoral. . . . Sommers points beyond multiculturalism to a general problem of so many students coming to college ‘dogmatically committed to a moral relativism that offers them no grounds to think’ about cheating, stealing, and other moral issues. Simon calls this “Absolutophobia” – the unwillingness to say that some behavior is just plain wrong. Many trends feed this fashionable phobia. Postmodern theory on campuses denies the existence of any objective truth: All we can have are clashing perspectives, not true moral knowledge. [Such thing can even be taught in wrought drills in A. P. American History Class were students are asked to go no deeper into analysis of historic events than to classify them F or O] The pop-therapeutic culture has pushed nonjudgmentalism very hard. Intellectual laziness and the simple fear of unpleasantness [and boy, have we seen that here at the Agora] are also factors. By saying that one opinion or moral stance is as good as another, we can draw attention to our own tolerance, avoid antagonizing others, and get on with our careers. [Sound familiar?]

The position that Flaccid and his A.P idol maintain is a dangerous one. They infect students with their own impotency so as not to have to heal themselves. To quote Leo one last time, “Based on the principle that teachers should not indoctrinate other people’s children, they leave the creation of values up to each student. Values emerge as personal preferences, equally as unsuited for criticism or argument as personal decision on pop music or clothes.”

Thus Flaccid and his academically diseased cohort set about infecting young minds and thus the need to inoculate them against this infection by teaching them how to think, how to seek for truth, and how to recognize facts and truths with tools beyond the limp empiricism of the relativists.

Dan Simpson said...

You are making a good point about 'Cultural Relativism'. But you ruin it when you lay at the feet of anonomy something they have never said.

You claim they refuse to let anyone condem Hitler. This is really bad debate tactic. If it were true it would almost immediately end the argument as no one can support such a position.

I have been reading the argument, there are plenty of things for both of you to argue that you needn't go to made up stances the other does not hold. (anonomy is also guilty of this flaw, but I am just responding to this specific example as it is fairly egregious).

While getting my degree in Anthropology (a field of study I dearly love) I was often disgusted by the the scholarly theory of 'cultural relativism' (the actual published name of this theory).

When we cannot condemn what is wrong because we don't want to 'judge' we support that which is wrong.

Lysis said...

Danny Boy;

It seems clear that the Anonomy have said “something”. Flaccid quotes me above, (in his 4:48PM post) He points out that I, Lysis, said “Of course Hitler was unjust in his grab for totalitarian power: But once again this is a FACT.” Anonymous then goes on to claim that Hitler’s “being unjust” is “just my opinion” because I can’t measure it with a thermometer. Danny Boy, Please explain to me how pointing out the sickly nature of this claim by the Anonomy is to “lay at the feet of Anonomy something never said”. Flaccid’s entire position is to say and maintain this “something”.

Reach Upward said...

DannyBoy2's final statement is very cogent. I loved Leo's article when it came out nine years ago because it rang (and still does ring) true. Thanks, Lysis for highlighting it.

Lysis, you seem to agree that runaway spending is a problem, but it almost seems as if you would absolve the President of any responsibility in this regard. On the other hand, it seems that you might be admitting that he shares part of the burden, but has chosen not to waste political capital on it because it because he needs that capital to gain support for more important national security matters.

This last argument is certainly a valid point, since economic issues become moot without national security. If this is what the President is doing, it is certainly his prerogative to do so. One might argue that he could actually gain additional capital by standing firm on spending, but that becomes a risk-benefit analysis for which we must allow the person we elected to take full responsibility.

As far as what Rob Bishop is doing, it would seem that he's building his private empire much as most of his colleagues are. I discussed my concerns with the legislative branch above. Bishop admits that he really enjoys the political game, and that's why he's there. The political wrangling and king-making really turn his crank. Is this the best type of individual to serve in the legislative branch? Well, it's the type that most voters in the U.S. elect, so I guess the voters think it is. Perhaps they're right.

The Founders knew that government was an awful, but necessary tool to preserve civilized society. They knew it was imperfect, but tried to design a system that would make it as least bad as possible. Citizens have a responsibility to provide constructive criticism and to attempt to prevent the system from running too far afield. Ultimately, we get the government we deserve.

Lysis said...

Reach Upward,

I absolutely agree that runaway spending is a problem. I do believe the President has already done a wonderful thing – taking much abuse and disingenuous criticism- he pushed through the TAX CUTS that revitalized our economy and increased the federal revenue by 22%. I was amused to hear an NPR commentator suggest yesterday that President Bush was asking Congress to take a “hit for him” when he sent up the budget. That Congress might take responsibility for its Constitutional function and properly spend the nation’s funds, seems to be beyond the contemplation of many. Therefore all calls for frugality are considered intentionally incendiary. Bush did spend his political capital on an attempt to reform Social Security for the good of the nation. He “took a hit for us all” but Congress was not willing to support him in his efforts, and the Democrats actually used his sacrifice as a source of attack against him. It is so much easier to stir up the ignorant than it is to educate them.

I am sorry to hear about Rob Bishop’s demise. I wish there was something we could do to stir him to action, but perhaps his cynicism is born of practical experience, in a world where empirical proof is required for FACTS to be recognized, we will probably have to wait till the economy is collapsing or the A bombs are falling, before Americans will support the necessary actions. By then it may well be too late. President Bush does what he can, he sits with dignity and grace while rude and thoughtless fools deride and ridicule him for the very acts of service he has rendered to make their tirades possible. And those who “value opinion the same as truth” choose to believe this mindless maliciousness because it suits their fancy.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

Lysis ‘Absolutophobia’is very much alive and well here in River City.

I have been teaching Business Law as of late and we begin the discussion with where does law come from.

During the discussion the question "Is there right and wrong?" always comes up.

The answer that over 90% of my classes gives is "It depends".

"Murder?" "It depends." "Rape?" "It depends."

What if it is someone you know?

"It depends".

The sample of the popluation where I teach says that "Opinion" is more valuable than "values".

So they along with our anonymous liberal visitors answer the question:

"If your friends jump off a cliff, does that mean that you have to as well?"

"YES"

My term is not ‘Absolutophobia’. It is "Whateverispopularism".

Based on???????

I asked the most agressive students on another day questions about their own beliefs privately, and in private they to a person, described "rightness" and "Wrongness" in the traditional Judeo Christian way that our laws describe them with a few morals thrown in for good measure.

I then asked the question at the end of the class, and as a group ‘Absolutophobia’ took over again.

Just some random thoughts about some events that I would call facts. I was there, I asked the questions, I listened to the answers. All facts.

The conclusion (opinion) is up to you to come up with.

Great Post, Thanks Lysis

Anonymous said...

Paul Craig Roberts -- http:www.rense.com

When I saw that the neconservative response to 9/11 was to turn a war against stateless terrorism into military attacks of Muslim states, I realized that the Bush administration was committing a strategic blunder with open-ended disastrous consequences for the US that, in the end, would destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.
Americans have forgotten what it takes to remain free. Instead, every ideology, every group is determined to use government to advance its agenda. As the government's power grows, the people are eclipsed.

We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush adm. and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives.

Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that adminstrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason the the Bush administration has to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties and democracy itself. The "liberal press" has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush adminstration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens.

The TV networks mimic Fox News' faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.

Homeland Security and the Patriot Act are not our protectors. They undermine our protection by trashing the Constitution and the civil liberties it guarantees. Those with a tyrannical turn of mind have always used FEAR AND HYSTERIA TO OVERCOME OBSTACLES TO THEIR POWER AND TO GAIN NEW MEANS OF SILENCING OPPOSITION.

Consider the no-fly list. This list has no purpose whatsoever but to harass and disrupt the livelihoods of Bush's critics. If a known terrorist were to show up at check-in, he would be arrested and taken into custordy, not told that he could not fly. What sense does it make to tell someone who is not subject to arrest and who has cleared screening that he or she cannot fly? How is this person any more dangerous than any other passenger?

If Senator Ted Kennedy can be put on a no-fly list, as he was for several weeks, anyone can be put on the list. The list has no accountability. People on the list cannot even find out why they are on the list. Thre is no recourse, no procedure for correcting mistakes.

I am cerain that there are more Bush critics on the list than there are terrorists. According to reports, the list now comprises 80,000 names! This number must greatly dwarf the total number of terrorists in the world and certainly the number of known terrorists.

How long before members of he opposition party, should there be one, find that they cannot return to Washington for important votes, because they have been placed on the no-fly list? What oversight does Congress or a panel of federal judges exercise over the list to make sure there are valid reasons for placing people on the list?

If the government can have a no-fly list, it can have a no-drive list. The Iraqi resistance has demonstrated the destructive potential of car bombs -- what is to prevent the government from having a list of people who are not allowed to leave their homes? If the Bush administration can continue its policy of picking up people anywhere in the world and detaining them indefinitely without having to show any evidence for their detention, it can do whatever it wishes.

It is just a matter of time. Unchecked, unaccountable power grows more audacious by the day, . . . when the president of the United States can openly brag about being a felon, without fear of the consequences, the game is all but over.

Americans need to understand that many interests are using the "war on terror" to achieve their agendas. The Federalist Society is using the "war on terror" to achieve its agenda of concentrating powere in the executive and packing the Supreme Court to this effect. The neocons are using the war to achieve their agenda of Israeli hegemony in the Middle East. Police agencies are using the war to remove constraints on their powers and to make themselves less accountable. Republicans are using the war to achieve one-party rule--theirs. The Bush administration is using the war to avoid accountability and evade constraints on executive powers. Arms industries, or what President Eisenhower called the "militar-industrial complex" are using the war to fatten profits. Terrorism experts are using the war to gain visibility. Security firms are using it to gain customers.

Anonymous said...

Veg:
While you're busy taking informal polls of your Business classes, also ask these questions.

1. How many of you consider yourself politically Conservative? -- Liberal?

2. How many of you consider yourself religious? -- Christian? -- Latter Day Saint?

Now, get back to me with the results --'Pop' went THAT baloon!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

Just so happens I did ask those very questions.

Oops pop goes that ballon... (Whatever that means)

1. How many of you consider yourself politically Conservative? -- Liberal?

Rough Numbers over 4 classes

75% Liberal
20% Conservative
5% Didn't Care

2. How many of you consider yourself religious? -- Christian? -- Latter Day Saint

30%- non-religious
10%- LDS
30%- Christian
30% - Spiritual (hodgepodge of new age, Wiccans, Pagans etc.)

Now, get back to me with the results --'Pop' went THAT baloon!!!!

So "Pop" back at ya.

4 classes at 30 per class a population of aprox 120 "adults" living in northern utah.

Interesting demographics huh......

so what does that prove?

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
I have never personally talked to ONE STUDENT or TEACHER who didn't think the holocaust was wrong -- are things THAT bad at Layton HS? While on the subject of polls, why not ask all YOUR students Lysis, better yet all the students at LHS, if they think that the holocaust was wrong?

You will not do this, of course, because you would rather BELIEVE that Sommers' OPINIONS are FACTS than be falsified by the FACTS in front of you.

If Lysis finds "moral equivocation" in some student answers it is not because of "absolutiphobia" it is because of the im/moral equivocation of PSEUDO OPPORTUNISTIC ABSOLUTISM that is so pervasive in "the conservative culture".

I can disagree that the statement "Hitler was immoral" is a STATEMENT OF FACT while having an OPINION that perfectly concurs.

Lysis, on the other hand, wants to take out empirical reliability and verifiability that is implicit in EVERY definition of the word FACT -- and end up with what? "If it's Lysis' OPINION then it is FACT"????

Well, that condition has a name also, it is called SOLIPSISM,: ie, "That the SELF is the only existent thing" (another word for which LYSIS will "create" a definition no doubt)--SOLIPSISTS are very lonely people, because they are the only people in their world -- along with FACTS, WE don't exist unless Lysis wants.

Great way to win arguments . . . but kind of pathetic!!!!

Anonymous said...

Veg:
Yah . . . interesting!
75%?
Northern Utah?
Adults?
Liberal????

Something doesn't compute

What are you doing teaching a Business ethics class at the Drug Rehab Center? Just joking

Something is not computing here, but for NOW I guess I got the fuzzy end of that "POP"sicle.

Lysis said...

Vegimatic; Great info! Odd isn’t it -- Flaccid demands empirical evidence, you show up with thermometer in hand, and he attacks you and your students; your FACTS. It seems that even empirical evidence has no impact on Flaccid; if it doesn’t agree with his opinion. Prove one of his opinions false and his desperate gust is to ignore your data.

Paul Craig Roberts, welcome to the Agora. Glad to comment on your points paragraph by paragraph:

1. Calling the liberation of Afghanistan and Iraq attacks is as silly as calling the D Day invasion and assault on France.

2. Please give us one example of Bush and the Republican Party aligning themselves against the American People. As our Anonymous friend Flaccid often demonstrates, saying “mean things” about people doesn’t amount to argument.

3 – 4. Why President Bush legally and Constitutionally used the FSA to gather information on known al Qaeda committing acts of war against America is clearly and completely explained in the Web Posting here in the Agora called *The Questions in Question*. If you want legitimate reasons for the legal surveillance of foreign enemies during time of war, please check out the threats issued by Al Zarqawi and bin Laden in the last few weeks.

5. Your assertion, presented without evidence or reason, that some type of coup against the Constitution ect. is answered in the references given above.

6. The propaganda out there comes form the “antique” media. They are still available for you, Paul, if you need your does of misinformation. I listen for a good laugh and to attempt to understand why you and yours are so misdirected.

7. Paul – check out the appeasement arguments of Neville Chamberlain. Complacency and stupidity are inviting death and the destruction of all you pretend to honor.

8 - 9. Why would they remove Ted Kennedy from the no-fly list? I look forward it takes to geting the rest of the Democrats on the list too. (Paul – that’s called sarcasm. WE use it when dealing with truly silly assertions.)

10. a) Federalist Society’s agenda = fix the supreme court? Sound’s good to me.
b) neocons attempting to defend Israel, also a good thing. C) Republicans using the war to maintain and increase their role in government; sounds like a great thing. I hope it works. d) The Bush administration is using it’s Constitutional power to do what We the People want Presidents to do. No danger to the Constitution there. e) Improving the weapons and tools our soldiers use to defend us – sounds great to me. Don’t you remember the unprepared state Clinton left our country in; emboldening terrorists to attack and murder? f) American isn’t attempting to force their radical and totalitarian ideas on the world. g) And finally I hope the security firms are getting better for the sake of their customers.

You see Paul Craig Roberts; WE have heard all your canned spin and talking points before. They do not stand up to the most elementary scrutiny. Spend less time with Mike More and more time with FOX NEWS and you’ll be more rational.

Flaccid;

You say, “I have never personally talked to ONE STUDENT or TEACHER who didn’t think the holocaust was wrong.” Was it wrong, or is this just a widely held opinion? All thinking people, which includes the students at Layton High, recognize the Holocaust as wrong; it’s a self evident FACT. Tell me how that statement is falsified.


Once again you are jabbering philo-speak rather than talking about the topic of discussion.

You can’t handle my logic or Vegimatic’s empirical evidence. It becomes obvious to all of us that “you can’t handle the truth.”

You claim that, “If it’s Lysis’ OPINION then it is FACT”???? – I claim that while one’s opinion, yours or mine, may coincide with FACT, called right opinion, no one’s opinion make FACTS; facts are true things, they just are. The truth exists in spite of opinion. I agree with you that the position “that the SELF is the only existent thing” is worthy of ridicule. Nothing exists because I, or anyone else, wants it to. The truth exists because it does.

We haven’t had an argument, Flaccid. You limp flipping, flopping, and blow has done nothing but avoid the search for truth.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

As I read your latest posts I am truly astounded! Do you really believe what you write? If you do, you have spent way too much time in the classroom rather than in reality. Can I share with you some of my day-to-day reality? I recognize my “analogy” skills may not be as honed as yours; but,as you have said, "there are no COMPLETELY false nor COMPLETELY true analogies." Thanks for humoring me.

The company I work for quotes the same bill-of-material (BOM) for projects to many different customers. Recently we knew we had the best price on BOM “A” based on feedback from Contractor “A” after the bid. Contractor “A” did not show us any other BOM’s from competitors. It is important to note Contractor “A” was not unethical in providing feedback AFTER the bid, as he did not win the project.

You have asserted in previous posts that you would not lie (which is most ironic given your current definition of FACT). I feel great confidence in the word of Contractor “A”, the same confidence that you hoped to illicit when you suggested you would not lie.

In the real world if we acted as you suggest, moving forward only on “fact” as you have defined it, the story would end here. Further, we would risk “begging the question”, as you have defined it, if we were to assert to Contractor “B” that we knew we had the low number on that same order, the order that Contractor “B” secured and awarded to another seller.

Fortunately, that is not where the story ends. We continue to succeed as a business because we ACT on FACTUAL (as defined in reality rather than in your world of intelligentsia) information and we BEG QUESTIONS that require NO ASSUMPTION AS TO THE ASSERTION OF WHAT ONE IS ATTEMPTING TO PROVE.

Your descriptions of argument are illustrative of where liberalism has gone to today. Liberals have not been able to succeed based on reason, so they attempt to “frame” the debate to skew that reason. Paul Craig Roberts is a great example. I hope he takes Lysis’ advice and reads previous topics here at the Agora. What he really ought to do is read the Constitution in conjunction with “The Federalist Papers”. When I find my copy, the Republican-who-must-be-obeyed would probably even let me lend it out!

Anonymy, you confuse “scholarly” and “educated”. Scholarly may not be a quality I want to possess. I do want to be “educated”. But, as I have asked before, what is “education”? Can I gain a complete education at an accredited University? I don’t think so! I may earn some letters after my name to make me look “scholarly”, but if I can not think, then I am not “educated”. Accredited Universities have neither corned the ability to teach to think, nor patented the quality of independent thought! They currently appear to be devoid of both!

I found my copy of “The Federalist Papers”! The Littlest Republican buried it in her toybox! Fortunately for the many readers at the Agora I had enough FACTUAL information to proceed even while risking BEGGING THE QUESTION! Now I look forward to many more happy days quoting Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison and the boys at the Agora!

Anonomy, you ought to suggest to Paul Craig Roberts to head to the library rather than waiting for my copy of “The Federalist Papers”! According to your student it’s open late!

Reach Upward said...

I heard from an unnamed source that Ted Kennedy is on the no fly list because the alcohol content of his corpus has become high enough to make him combustible at high altitudes. :)

Anonymous said...

Lysis posted
". . . and how to recognize facts with tools beyond the empiricism of the relativists
Then
"It seems as though even empirical evidence has no impact . . ."

Let's see, Lysis wants his students to learn to "think" and recognize facts WITHOUT empirical validity, reliability and verifiability. That means no inductive logic for HIS students --(the MOST important part of what is meant by THINKING). Just how are students taught to "think" without thinking?

Have faith in Lysis!!!!

Acceding to bias and propaganda is what people do who do not have "empirical" accountability Lysis.-- doing so fills many chapters of history books with TERROR, and Star Chambers, and Inquisitions and the dogmatic IGNORANCE that ALWAYS prevails -- TERRORISM began when KNOWLEDGE was burned at the stake and it is no less true now.

Facts (right opinion) equals Truth and Lysis' opinions are ALWAYS right and therefore TRUE and Science is the scheme of the devil.

This kind of argumentation, however, is not unique in the world today, in fact the MONO maniacs, of whom Lysis is merely one, ALL share a zealous hatred of Rationality and Empirical knowledge! Their "ONENESS" Truth (solipsism) cannot be contadicted because they pretend it doesn't need to be verified by inductive rational processes. (solipsists can't/don't talk to each other because there is ONLY ONE truth and anything else is lies.

Welcome to the MULLAH from Layton, preaching, who knows what, but, always "TRUTH" (self serving flatulence) You've heard of Baghdad Bob? -- say hello to Layton Lysis!!!!(he is blind to empirical evidence too)

Al Queda and the Mulahs have EXACTLY the same kind of irresponsible, anti-intellectualism, anti-pluralism, anti-multiculturalism as their medeival predecessors -- NO, the world has always had too much of YOUR truth, Lysis!!!!

Veg's "informal straw poll" has ZERO empirical reliability and validity. Conclusions based on what "an agressive student" and "90% of my classes say" are meaningless and absurd not to mention mean spirited and unprofessional.

"Where does the law come from?"

Answer your own question Veg, (join up with the Mullah's) or have a little prayer and open it up to "Fast and Testimony meeting".
But, don't patronize your students by bashing their answers to your misleading stupid questions!!!!.

Anonymous said...

Veg here

Anonymous you are an arrogant pompus ass.

Fact or opinion?

Anonymous said...

Veg again,

Much of our law comes from English Common Law based on social mores that have their foundation in judeo christian religion.

Sorry, that is where it comes from...

I NEVER patronize a student and "bash" their answer. I create a "safe" place for discussion. We agree and disagree look at all sides of issues and let the student decide.

The one thing that I do not tolerate is disrespect.

Do you understand why I have no tolerance for your postings? You disrespect all of us including yourself.

My emperical evidence says that in fact (due to your postings) you are an arrogant, pompus ass.

Please prove me wrong.

Lysis said...

Flaccid; thank you for continuing to post. My students and I read several of your posts above. They were an excellent introduction to the discussion on ‘Absolutophobia’ I try to have with all my students every Semester. After reading you “potty mouthed” attacks on rational thinking, we read through my post on the Leo article, I couldn’t have come up with better examples with the help you you’re A.P. “teaching” buddy.

My students are not only capable of recognizing truth, they pointed out some very sizable holes in your argumentation. Some noted that while you demanded scholarly references “other than those made up on the spot”, you never provided any. You left us to guess which book from the lending library you were quoting. They were particularly amused by your inability to discuss issues. They were instructed by the F/ O quiz. Of course all of them could intuitively play that game without the training course. Your hang up on definitions and lack of any evidence to support positions was amazing. But it was very rewarding to see my students grasp the limp nature of your position. The more people who learn to think for themselves the less dangerous your disease will be.

Vegimatic, don’t be too hard on Flaccid; no one is so bad that they can’t at least serve as an example of what to avoid.

Flaccid, you accurately quote me, “and how to recognize facts with tools beyond the empiricism of he relativists.” So you can rest easy, let me assure you that, while going beyond the limits of empirical evidence; we still know how to use it.

One good example would be to point out how your are trying to win a point by misrepresenting what I said in the second quote, “It seems as though even empirical evidence has no impact . . .” What you left out is that I said empirical evidence has no impact on you. I will point this sophistry out to my students the next time we are in the Agora. They will get both a good laugh and a good lesson.

Of course I want my students to learn to think and recognize facts WITH empirical validity, reliability and verifiability – I also want them to go far beyond that level. Fortunately your examples of “academic” dishonesty and argumentative trickery will serve as a wonderful lesson. Oh by the way, using philo-speak doesn’t impress my tenth graders anymore than it impresses the rest of us. If you were to answer a question or present a position, we would all be impressed!

The people who are accepting propaganda are Flaccid, the Child, and our new friend Paul Craig Roberts – the Mullahs we need to learn how to handle are those who pay homage to Mike Moore and the neo-lib “news” pushers. I do remember Baghdad Bob (or Bill) well, and he was spouting the same stuff then, that Paul Craig and company are now. I would use the words “irresponsible, anti-intellectualism, anti pluralism, anti-multicultural to describe Flaccid’s rant. I’ll let my students judge for themselves.

As for my preaching, it is limited to how, not what to think. The only miracle I hope for is to protect young minds from those who would deny the existence of truth.

Anonymous said...

Mullah Omar Liesis,

Do your lessons on how to think include such instructions as "pray for guidance?" I am sure you do. But do you ever counsel youth that perhaps it would be better for them if they did not believe in God? Do ever counsel anyone that they should never pray for guidance, in any situation? I am sure you do not. You have a faith based vision of the world. You take many things as fact which are based on nothing more than your opinion. When you "teach" your students "how to think" I am sure that you try to teach them to think just like you. That is, they are correct about many things in or out of the universe only if you think so.

Anonymous has made a sound point about you and your fatwa style of teaching Liesis. The Ministry of Truth you oversee is, as always, misnamed. You attempt to head something more potentially dangerous, "The Ministry of Right Thinking."

Lysis said...

New Anonymous;

You ask a question, a good way to search for truth, but then you answer it your self without any knowledge of the truth. You ask if my lessons on how to think include such instructions as “pray for guidance?” I’m sure you do.” You claim. You can’t be sure of that – especially because I never do. You have unwittingly provided a perfect example of a “wrong opinion”. You choose to believe something false because it supports your position, but you belief is not true.

You then ask if I, “ever counsel anyone that they should never pray for guidance, in any situation? I am sure you do not.” You say this and it a right opinion. But of course you just happened onto it. If you would have just asked the question and then waited for the question, then you would have known that your opinion was a “right one”. And now you do. We both act on faith; in this case you were wrong half the time. I also act on faith, but, unlike you, I am eager to ask for, and consider the answers to my questions before I make my leap in the dark.

I do try to teach my students how to think in the right way, but not what to think. This is the great difference between an asker of question (like me) who seeks for the answers, and an asker of “rhetorical” questions (like you) who makes up your answers to match your opinion.

You have obviously never attended one of my classes – nor have you taken the time to read my comments here at the Agora. You came in with an opinion, expressed it, and now exult in your beliefs – as if they were true. In truth they are wrong opinion.

What was Flaccid’s “sound point”? Was it the one where he lied about what I had said to misconstruct an argument in support of his wrong opinion? That seems to be your style of thinking. It might have impressed you, the thinking students just laughed. I will use you as an example of “wrong thinking” as well; to lead my students in doing their own thinking.

By the way, “New Anonymous”, do you have anything to say about the points presented by the President in his State of the Union address, or do you also find is easier to confine your opinions to stylistics and vocabulary?

Anonymous said...

I know you Lysis. We have often spoken and you have often counseled me to pray for guidance when looking for the truth in my life. It has not happened in this forum but in person and over the phone. You have pointed out the scriptures to read to pray for guidance, to soften my heart, to gain wisdom. I thought it very kind everytime. Now, my respect for someone I have thought very, very much of diminishes when I read you lying here just to be spiteful to someone who points out your reliance on faith. You should do better to remember your duty to be honest.

Lysis said...

New Anonymous;

First of all; what I might council a “friend” to do over the phone and what I teach to my students when presenting lessons on how to think in my classes are two very different things. To accuse me of presenting lessons in the context of teaching my students, as you do in your first post above, and then call me a liar by asserting that how I have counseled you in private, is the same sort of misrepresentation and distortion of fact that Flaccid attempted yesterday. I do not council my students to pray in the forum of my class anymore than I council any to do so in this forum.

You have me at a disadvantage. You claim to know who I am and I have no idea who you are. I probably have counseled “friends, my own children, and investigators into religion to pray.” I even pray myself, constantly, but that is not what you claim above. In your first post you accuse me of urging prayer as a way to find truth in my classroom. Fortunately the records are here. Out of the books let us both be judged.

As for my reliance on faith; let me point out that, in your rush to make a point, you have once again misrepresented my position in an attempt to support your own. Above I clearly states that, “we both act on faith. . . and that I also act on faith” and in the “ABOUT ME” flag at the top of every post I make at the Agora; I clearly state that we “must live by reason and FAITH!” I have pointed out my reliance on faith again and again. The problem with your argument was your claim that I “take many things as fact which are based on nothing more than [my] opinion” and that I teach my students to do likewise.

Your rather spiteful accusation that I am a liar is what is disrespectful. I now council you to make a more careful reading of the documents before you leap to accusations based, not on anything I have written or said to my students, but on your opinions. We all have a duty to be honest; my words are as open to criticism as your own. Examining which one of us has written with rectitude is the best way for all reading to judge my fulfillment of my duty to be honest, and your duty to be so as well.

Anonymous said...

Ayatolla Liesis,

I am the one you called "New Anonymous" and I certainly do not know you. If I did I would renounce you before the cock could crow thrice.

Anonymous soundly pointed out exactly what my post says: you take many things for fact that are nothing more than your opinion. And I did not call you a liar. It looks like your own friends are doing that!

You say "I do not council my students to pray in the forum of my class anymore than I council any to do so in this forum." And then you site your own words at the top of every forum posting that say you must live by faith. Do you see even the slightest incongruity here? I ABSOLUTELY do.

But I did take up your challenge to go back and look at the record of your other posted words on what you have counciled. I did not have to go far to find more inconsistencies...

"We can only pray that we will continue to reap the benefits of freedom" - Lysis; "Darwin Was For Intelligent Design." (Of course, we could elect competent and honest political leadership instead of just praying and hoping for it.) Is this the way you teach your students to think? Sit back, pray, hope for the best.

What do you tell one of your students in the classroom when they ask about God? You don't suggest that they go home and pray about it? Be careful. It seems that someone who knows you is truthful and may speak up to refute your version of history again.

Your own words show you to be a liar. I think one of your own friends has called you inconsistent as well. (By the way, I can understand why they want to be anonymous.)

Your teaching, here or in the classroom or anywhere else, is a crock! You only eschew beliefs, commandments, fatwas. And low unto any that believe otherwise in your premises. They are Thought-Criminals, easily spotted in their pondering by their Face-Crime; also coming to be known in "New Speak" as Not-Republicans, not friends of Liesis.

(Thanks for having the courage to speak up Anomymous)

Anonymous said...

Starting when he was a presidential candidate in 2000, George W. Bush has often assured voters that his policymaking would be guided by "sound science". Last week, IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS (as per request) the President pointed to scientific research as the way to "lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come."

Yet growing numbers of researchers, both in and out of government, say their findings -- on pollution, climate change, reproductive health, stem cell research and other areas in which SCIENCE often finds itself at odds with RELIGIOUS, IDEOLIGICAL or CORPORATE interests -- are being discounted, distorted or quashed by Bush Administration appointees and apologists.

In the last two years, the Union of Concerned Scientists has collected the signatures of more than 8,000 scientists -- including 49 Nobel laureates, 63 National Medal of Science recipients and 171 members of the National Academies (Lysis prefers to believe Limbaugh)-- who accuse the Administration of an UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF POLITICAL INTRUSION INTO THEIR WORLD. "What's new is the PERVASIVE AND SYSTEMATIC nature of these intrusions. We get calls every week from federal scientists reporting stuff to us."

James Hansen,(not the brain-dead polital hack) is Director of the government's Goddard Intitute for Space Studies and one of the leading experts on CLIMATE CHANGE whose more recent research suggests that GLOBAL WARMING is ACCELERATING, and that time is running out to find a solution. (Lysis fancies his "boy scout observations" at "mystery" lake better science than Hansen's) Last week Robert Boehlert wrote NASA Administrator Michael Griffin to demand an explanation of why "GOOD" science cannot long persist in an atmosphere of intimidation. Hansen says, THIS IS AN (ADMINISTRATION) WHERE PEOPLE LIKE TO SAY THEY'RE FOR SCIENCE-BASED DECISION MAKING, UNTIL THE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS LEADS TO A POLITACALLY INCONVENIENT CONCLUSION -- THEN THEY WANT TO GO TO PLAN "B".-Karen Tumulty and Mark Thompson

And THIS kind of ideological OPPORTUNISM sound like which Mullahs????

Mullah Lysis has posted:
"Of course I want my students to learn to think and recognize facts WITH empirical validity, reliability and verifiability -- I ALSO WANT THEM TO GO FAR BEYOND THAT LEVEL.

But then:

". . . And how to recognize facts and truths with TOOLS *BEYOND* THE *LIMP EMPIRICISM* OF THE RELATIVISTS."

In the second quote from my previous posting, Lysis' comments that "It seems as though even empirical evidence has no impact . . . This was chosen to exemplify (sorry sophs) Lysis' HYPOCRISY and OPPORTUNISM by his BOTH condemning empiricism(first quote) then celebrating empiricism(second quote) when he thinks it can bash me.

(a homily for the Sophs)
A neighbor who Mullah Lysis didn't like very much came over to his compound one day. The neighbor asked ML if he could borrow his donkey. ML not wanting to lend his donkey to the neighbor he didn't like told him, "I would love to loan you my donkey but only yesterday my brother came from the next town to use it to carry his wheat to the mill to be ground -- The donkey sadly is not here."
The neighbor was disappointed. But he thanked ML and began to walk away.
Just as he got a few steps away, ML's donkey, which was in the back of his compound all this time, let out a big bray.
The neighbor turned to ML and said, "Mullah Lysis, I thought you told me that your donkey was not here????
Mullar Lysis turned to the neighbor and said, "My friend, who are you going to believe? Me or the donkey????"

-Anon, I feel your disappointment!

Sometimes Mullahs have a problem with both the "truth" AND the empircal evidence that contradicts their mon.iacal (rhymes with maniacal) ideologies.

Now a few rebuttals:
It is true that I did not reference the definitions for *Fact* and *Opinion* and "Statement of Fact" and "Statement of Opinion". Did Lysis EVER present credible definitions to the CONTRARY. Or did he just make up some definitions.(didn't see his references either)

Defintions of FACT always were coupled with "empirical evidence" and "reliability" in EVERY resource I consulted, and I consulted plenty. I was really hoping that the Agorites and ML students would consult a few dictionary/resources on their OWN to see who was right -- maybe someone did.

Finally,
Mulah Lysis uses the term "Philo-Speak" to frighten people -- I don't know what it means either. I suspect it is an "anti-intellectual" term used to talk down to people and to encourage his charges to be ignorant/weak and dependent only on his "wisdom"!!!!

Today's caveat:
When Lysis says "TRUTH" he means "OPPORTUNISM"

Note to Veg:
Did you tell your students how you would use their poll responses to make a point about their moral degeneration when it suited you?
. . . and you call me names.

Potty mouth????
Let's have a contest, oh offended one! You point out the noxious words I've used (and the number of times I've used them) and I will do the same with "flaccid and impotent" et al, et al, et al -- YOU win the "potty mouth award going away Mr. Mullah!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic here,

Anonymous 1 2 3 4 or maybe even more......

Such anger, such disrespect. For such a "Mullah" or Rabbi or Teacher or whatever you want to call yourself.

Where is the evidence my friend who esteems me to be your enemy.

You are the one who has made judgement of my students, not me.

When you asked about "why I am teaching ethics in drug rehab?.

You are the one making a moral judgement. I made an observation that when asked individually the answer was different than when asked the same question in a group setting.

The only moral judgement that I made was that it showed groupthink.

I make no judgement of them as people, their goodness or badness from that observation.

I tried to call you names (arrogant pompus ass) to try to get you to understand that your method of sending your message was speaking so much louder than your message that whatever you had to say was lost in the "shock" words.

The name must be true, I asked you to prove me wrong and the only response was another attack on Lysis and myself.

Hummmmmmm

I can't get Lysis to ignore you, he is much to kind for that.

The level of anger you are all showing "do I pray, do I not pray"

Shows that you feel guilty about something.

Aristole said "We cannot learn without pain".

Usually that pain comes though cause and effect. We make a decision and the consequence of that decision happens.

The consequence is not fair or unfair, it just is. It is not good or bad, it just is.

If you take religion out of the equation, the cause and effect is still the same.

True example from another student (not in the ethics class).

Student has sex with multiple partners. Student gets pregnant. Student does not want her husband to find out she has been having sex with multiple partners. Student gets abortion.

Problem solved right.....

Student comes to me after the abortion and says she feels guilty about the abortion and wants help to make it all better.

I forward her to a professional counselor for help.

Student begins "cutting" because she feels bad.

Student comes to me and shows me her scars. So once again send her to a professional.

Student becomes sexually active with multiple partners again.

So anonymi. is there a cause and effect relationship with the behavior of the student?

Would this of happened with religion? how would it have been different.

Religion is preventative. What Lysis is teaching when he teaches the "Right way to think" and not "How to think" is cause and effect.

If we can anticipate the pain through "thinking right" then we can prove Aristole wrong by avoiding the pain.

Here is my opinion "If I avoid pain, that would be a good thing"

If not you would be like my student who ended up with a second abortion and is still cutting to this day.

I tried to show her in different ways what cause and effect is and the frequency of the cause increases the probablilty of the effect weather desired or undesired.

She made her choice. She desired pain.

Now does this make me a "Mullah". I have not mentioned religion once in that explaination or made a moral judgement. She was still my student and I respected her decisions.

All Lysis is showing you is cause and effect relationships over and over. You keep attacking Bush or conservatives or absolutists saying they are the cause of all ill.

Sometimes it lines up, sometimes it doesn't.

Example again, the straw poll I took in my classes suprised me greatly.

Northern Utah 70% liberal, wow. If I would have looked at each of the individuals lives I am positive there would be a cause and effect trail that made them choose to be labeled as a "liberal"

Most liberals that I know demonstrate a "victim" mentality which by my definition is that when a decision is made "the cause" the individual cannot or refuses to take responsibility for "the effect" so they have to be a victim because it has got to be somebody else's fault.

So my analysis is that you are so angry at Lysis and the world because you are a victim.

The sad part of that is that you will always be a victim until you can accept cause and effect.

Religion is a whole different issue. So......

Anonymous the disappointed, grow up and accept the cause and effect. Speak with Lysis when he knows your identity, you will get one answer because he knows you and where you are at.

Speak to him hidden, you will get a different answer, why because he does not know where you are at.

This is a forum of ideas and discussions that looks for "Truth".

The Anonymous people who post here hide behind their cloak of secrecy and attack. Lysis tries to teach simple cause and effect to them and they attack. Would it be wise for him to "cast his pearls" before those who would make fun of and attack that which he holds most precious.

Well this went way longer than I started, but I will close with this.

Freedom never will mean freedom from consequenses of our decisions.

Freedom will always mean freedom to choose which consequenses will be experience from our decisions.

Lysis said...

I am sorry I can’t tell one Anonymous from another; I enjoy all your comments. They serve as great examples in all my teaching.

Let me go to the Anonymous who calls me Ayatollah. In your third paragraph you make a serious mistake. You equate FAITH with religious believe. Once again you have an opinion of what the word FAITH means, you have not thought it through, and now you are stuck trying to support it by misrepresentation and subterfuge

I am glad you took up the challenge to review my past posts. I am particularly pleased that your observations provide examples of two things my students a need to see to protect them for the disease that infects the Anonymous crowd.

First; the first quote you dug up – “We can only pray that we will continue to reap the benefits of freedom” This is clearly not a call for anyone to pray for guidance in finding truth. You see the word “pray”, and - since it is in your argument – you think it will support your unfounded claim that I instruct my students to pray to learn the truth. Your example proves my point that I never do what you claimed I did. Your misrepresentation (lying use) of my words proves that you do exactly as I say you do.

I have never suggested to a student that they seek truth by praying for it. I have thought a lot about the “other Anonymous” above who claims I gave them such personal advice – and I don’t believe they are telling the truth. I don’t know who that person is, and don’t believe they have ever talked to me on the phone. They can call me privately, since they claim to know me, and I will retract my words if I have ever spoken to them or told them the things they claim I have. But, I flatly don’t believe they are telling the truth.

But, let’s say I was to tell a student to pray to find the truth – would that hurt them, Anonymous Ayatollah?

Show me where my own words show me a liar. You have given no example of an inconsistent or dishonest statement made by me. To claim you have with out producing them for everyone to see is to continue to demonstrate your dishonesty. I showed everyone where you mislead – you have not even attempted to explain or justify your sloppy attempts to mislead. The one above is an excellent one, do your best – silence will be an admission that I am right. Show some courage of your own and speak up for yourself!!!

Flaccid; Thanks for having the courage to speak to some topic, but once again you are only chopping points from web pages and not giving anything for us to discuss. You don’t take about the “facts” of global warming or NASA or anything else. You just quote people who are saying nasty things about George Bush.

I was interested in the complaints of the National Union of Concerned Scientists about government intrusions. What are these intrusions? Why doesn’t the NUCS want the government to find out?

On James Hansen’s concerns on Global warming; what is causing the Acceleration Global Warming he wants to tar the Bush Administration with? What was the Administration doing to make Hansen so mad? Who are Karen Tumulty and Mark Thompson?

I wish you could have sustained your discussion on environment past four paragraphs of unsupported gibberish. But no you have to go back to name calling and misrepresenting my postings.

The EMPIRICISM OF THE RELATIVISTS is limp!!! And I mock it. On the other hand, I extol the empiricism of the scientists and of all who use sense experience to find truth not to limit it. I don’t contradict myself, only your silly relativist notions. You prove this by your refusal to take advantage of empirical evidence that contradicts your opinion.

Thanks for your “parable”. I will use it to show my students a poetic example of YOUR actually lies you continue to post.

As for Anonymous disappointment – I’m quite sure you’re both making it up.

As for supporting arguments with “creditable references” my students found the university professors quoted by Leo in the U.S. News article quite impressive, they found yours nonexistent.

Please tell us what is potty mouthed about the words flaccid or impotent. Consult your trusty dictionary and you is find flaccid means limp – like the sputtering balloon of your arguments. Impotent means ineffectual, as are all your arguments, including this one!

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

Vegimatic, thanks for the post, it is nice to hear from someone who really knows me. Such openness leaves you vulnerable, but such courage adds credibility to all your say. Don’t count on the Anonomy valuing your empirical evidence. It does not match their opinions.

No one is as blind as he who will not see, none so deaf as those who choose not to listen.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

Lysis gives you far too much latitude when he attempts to differentiate who is who among you. Your refusal to take personal responsibility for you comments while hiding under the broad cloak of “Anonymous” is weak, and has been exposed. When you are challenged and are proven in error you simply respond with “it wasn’t me!”

The FACT that you are afraid to attach responsibility to your ideas is quite telling. That fear is the great revelator as to the strength of your position!

May I propose some questions for those at the Agora? I would pose them to the Anonymy, but the empirical evidence suggests that the likelihood of direct and truthful answers is minimal.

You post “Thanks for having the courage to speak up, Anonymous”. What courage is exercised when one speaks anonymously?

You post “I am the one you called “New Anonymous” and I certainly do not know you. If I did I would renounce you before the cock could crow thrice.” Based on your definitions of analogies, can we carry this one through to its natural end? Many now at the Agora anxiously await your return to the feet of Lysis, with a lifetime of servitude as your ultimate goal! Since you are so concerned with religion, let me add more biblical references. Welcome home, prodigal son! Lyis, shall we prepare the fatted calf?

You post “And low unto any that believe otherwise in your premises.” I’m still wondering what those other beliefs are. How about some substance?

Anonymy, I am not “scholarly” in University level logics. That, however, does not disqualify me from the debate. The greatness of our Republic is that salesman like myself are counted equally against those who consider themselves the “educated elite”. It has got to drive you crazy! Sophist definitions of FACT, OPINION, BEGGING THE QUESTION, etc. do not impress me, and your sophist attempt to “frame” the discussion with them do not persuade. If I could go back to an “oldie but a goodie”, it’s right out of the PLAYBOOK.

Your focus is SYMBOLISM OVER SUBSTANCE. Provide some SUBSTANCE OVER SYMBOLISM in your attempt to persuade. Then we could all benefit!

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

Rumpole; be careful. If you call Flaccid, Lysis' Peter, he will accuse you of being a potty mouth.

Justin said...

Your delusion is only as grand as your ego. Bush brings hope? Hope to the middle class and the poor? Hope for a balanced budget? Hope for a strong economy? Hope to the middle east? Hope for alternate energy?

Check out the increasing gap between the middle class and the upper class.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34235-2004Sep19.html

Every year Bush is in office, we see the deficit grow.

We've seen the trade deficit hit record numbers several times over the last couple of years, including a new record from last quarter.

The middle east is in turmoil. Iraq is on the verge of civil war. Iran is ignoring the world and developing enriched uranium. Palestinians just elected a parliment with a majority from Hamas. Suicide bombings are increasing in Afganistan. But there's hope right? Bush has led us into a war with no exit strategy. But there's hope because he says there is. Grow up.

It's nice to see that Bush is on the alternate energy band wagon. Especially since one of his first items of business when he took office in 2001 was to cut funding for alternate energy almost in half. http://www.rff.org/rff/Publications/weathervane/Features/2001/Proposed-Bush-Budget-Cuts-Renewables-and-Energy-Efficiency-Programs.cfm

You amaze me that you can ignore years of lies, corruption, and half truths in support of a President that has led our country from a world leader, to a world pariah.

Lysis said...

Justin, welcome to the Agora, your comments give us much “food for thought”.

Bush brings hope?

Bush brought hope to the middle class by stopping the Clinton recession and continues to do so by expanding home ownership to record levels. Bush bring hope to the poor by creating more jobs that any economy in American history.

Bush brings hope of a balanced budget? Bush has outlined a plan to cut the deficit by 50% in ten years. For more TRUTH about the defect and how it should be handled, check out Rumpole’s posting on the next threat. “Roman Love”.

Bush brings hope for a strong economy? Please check out the Worlds Leading Economy as truthful describe in the string just before this one; the one on Cincinnatus. You see Justin, if you stick with the Agora, we can bring hope back into your life.

Bush brings hope to the Middle East? Two new democracies, the only ones in Muslim West Asia, and yes elections in “Palestine”; a country that didn’t even exist under any other American administrations efforts. I wasn’t to happy with two Clinton Administrations, they were too much like Hamas, but I made it through and so will Palestine.

Bush brings hope for Alternate energy? Once again President Bush has brought the plan to Congress; let’s hope the Democrats don’t block it for Political reasons.

As for gaps between the middle class and the super rich. Yes there is a growing gap, but middle class wealth is still growing. The fact that Americans are all getting richer should be bring hope to everyone except Democrats that are banking on American failure to get power,

If you are worried about the deficit; check out the next thread – if you are upset about trade imbalance, buy American.

Iraq is not on the verge of Civil war. The new Prim Mminister was selected today, the government chosen by the people will form, and the Iraqi military continues to take over the war on terror in Iraq. Two new strong, democratic allies have appeared in a world were everyone was bent on American destruction when Clinton was in office. Iran is no less belligerent now than ever, remember Carter and the Hostage CRISIS?!!

Oh for the good old days when American was universally loved, when our troops were slaughtered and dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, when our Navy was driven from Haiti by thugs on the peer, when four of our embassies were blow to bits in Africa, when our ships were attacked off Yemen, when our President was tricked by North Korean lies and Jimmy Carters pretences. (IN case you are young – that is called sarcasm.) Justin, you have no memory beyond the latest episode of the “Daily Show”, no understanding of truth that has not been run through the blender of Democrats invested in American failure.

Your eagerness to post “neo-lib web links” is understandable, that you are reading here in the Agora, is hopeful.

Justin said...

Bush brought hope to the middle class by stopping the Clinton recession
and continues to do so by expanding home ownership to record levels.
Bush bring hope to the poor by creating more jobs that any economy in
American history.


That's right, as you acknowledge, hope to the middle class as it's pushed into obscurity. In case you're old, that's called sarcasm. It's nice to know that we have so many home owners. And the largest amount of personal debt in America's history. This is exciting news since Bush now wants to remove the Mortgage Interest deduction from the tax code. He really cares for us. I'd really like you to cite your sources for stating that we have seen more jobs created than any economy in American history. That's a lie. It's an even more compelling lie when you consider this issue solely in the private sector. "The Bush Administration is the first in over 70 years to experience no net private sector job creation. (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)" In other words, since you guys are the party of small government, you're really happy to know that all the new jobs Bush has created has been in the Government. Are you hopeful yet?

Bush brings hope of a balanced budget? Bush has outlined a plan to cut
the deficit by 50% in ten years.

Oh please. You set him up to be a hero because he created an enormous deficit and now has a "plan" to cut it in half in 10 years? Are you for real? There was ZERO deficit when he took office. In fact, there was a surplus. But our hero says that 8 years after he is out of office, his plan will leave us with only half of the mess he created. Oh goody, I'm jumping for joy.

Bush brings hope for a strong economy? No he doesn't. As I said before.

Two new democracies, the only ones
in Muslim West Asia, and yes elections in “Palestine”; a country that
didn’t even exist under any other American administrations efforts. I
wasn’t to happy with two Clinton Administrations, they were too much
like Hamas, but I made it through and so will Palestine.

Palestine still doesn't exist. They are moving toward there own state, but they're not there yet. I hope you teach your students the truth instead of your own wishes. Those two new "democracies" in Muslim West Asia exist solely on the back of American Imperialism. Or do you have another word for invading a soveriegn nation and building it as you see fit? I happen to agree with Bush's initial military reaction to Afghanistan, but I don't agree with the occupation. Fortunately, neither does Bush, as he said in the 2000 debates speaking of Somalia, "Started off as a humanitarian mission and it changed into a nation-building mission, and that's where the mission went wrong. The mission was changed. And as a result, our nation paid a price. And so I don't think our troops ought to be used for what's called nation-building. I think our troops ought to be used to fight and win war. I think our troops ought to be used to help overthrow the dictator when it's in our best interests. But in this case it was a nation-building exercise, and same with Haiti. I wouldn't have supported either."

Bush brings hope for Alternate energy? Once again President Bush has
brought the plan to Congress; let’s hope the Democrats don’t block it
for Political reasons.
Of course it's the Dem's fault. You never addressed my assertion about Bush's cutting alternate energy research. The facts are against you here. I would just drop it if I were you.

As for gaps between the middle class and the super rich. Yes there is a
growing gap, but middle class wealth is still growing. The fact that
Americans are all getting richer should be bring hope to everyone except
Democrats that are banking on American failure to get power,

Let's not try and distort this, ok? You can say super rich, but that is just a tactic. In order to avoid posting "neo-lib" references (by the way, Hannity has trade marked all of your rhetoric so you owe him some royalties) go and look up how the middle class wealth is not keeping pace with middle class costs. Nice rope a dope there. In case you're old, that's an Ali reference.

If you are worried about the deficit; check out the next thread – if you
are upset about trade imbalance, buy American.

That is a great argument. Deficit's are fine, and buy American. Yep, that's hope right there. If you were judging a debate competition and someone said that the trade imbalance is way too big, and the response was "buy American then" I'm sure you'd give them full points.

Iraq is not on the verge of Civil war. The new Prim Mminister was
selected today, the government chosen by the people will form, and the
Iraqi military continues to take over the war on terror in Iraq. Two new
strong, democratic allies have appeared in a world were everyone was
bent on American destruction when Clinton was in office. Iran is no less
belligerent now than ever, remember Carter and the Hostage CRISIS?!!

I would agree with you that Iraq is not on the verge. It's in a civil war. How else do you explain the continued violence between the Sunni and Shiite? How many civilians have died because of this violence? Two new strong democratic allies?? Are you delusional? 46% of Iraqis think it is ok to kill Americans. Wow with allies like that, who needs terrorists? But that's right, the whole world was bent on American destruction during the Clinton administration. Now the whole world loves us, which is why the only significant country to join the "Coalition of the Willing" was England, while the rest of our allies condemned us then and condemn us now. BTW, I do remember Carter and the hostage crisis. Did Iran have ballistic missles then? Did they have nearly 30 years of hard line Theocracy? Did they have facilities to advance their nuclear weapons research? Did they have China and India relying on them as allies for their oil production? That's right, the students and mullahs that were taking American hostages were as great a threat to our national security back in '79 as Iran is today.

Oh for the good old days when American was universally loved, when our
troops were slaughtered and dragged through the streets of Mogadishu,
when our Navy was driven from Haiti by thugs on the peer, when four of
our embassies were blow to bits in Africa, when our ships were attacked
off Yemen, when our President was tricked by North Korean lies and Jimmy
Carters pretences. (IN case you are young – that is called sarcasm.)
Justin, you have no memory beyond the latest episode of the “Daily
Show”, no understanding of truth that has not been run through the
blender of Democrats invested in American failure.

Let me just say this. In everything that you've mentioned, how many Americans were killed? How many wounded? You forgot to mention the good old days when Bush was off vacationing and ignoring warnings that Al Qaeda was planning a strike inside the US. If those attacks on Americans were the fault of Clinton, then 9/11 is the fault of Bush. I love how you can recall Mogadishu, but you can't recall New York. As of today, 2270 American soldiers killed in Iraq, 16,549 wounded.

You have no argument unless you are force fed it from Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly.

Lysis said...

Justin, the Agora is not a high school debate meet, although young folk are always welcome. Ask Coach Hansen to explain to you why “reading a card” does not equal winning an argument.

The successes of the Bush economy are outlined in the threads on either side of this one. If you refuse to read them – you miss out. If you refuse to acknowledge them, shouting about it will not make your spew anymore true.

The reasons for the deficit have been rationally explained under Rumpole’s post in the next string. Perhaps you could go there to read them; even if you don’t care to argue them. Bush has offered a plan to reduce the deficit while maintaining the growth of our economy and our national security. If you or yours have a better one; let’s hear it. If all you can do is gripe; you get no credibility. If the Democrats could realize this, they might get some traction. As it is, their “hate Bush rambling” gains them as much ground as it does you, Justin - which is none.

The zero deficit under Clinton has also been explained truthfully in the next thread. Your refusal to recognize the truth or at least address the arguments is revealing of the weakness of your position.

Your denial of the existence of the Two New Democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq shows how deep in the sand your head is buried. Pretending that historical events didn’t happen might work in prep-debate, but it’s not the way to find the truth or to argue for a real position in a forum where people think as well as talk.

As for the Palestinian state – they have territory, they have their own government; you define it. They ask the Palestinian people if they agree with you are not.

“American Imperialism” will have the same effect in Iraq and Afghanistan as it did in France, Norway, Germany, and Japan. Well done, once again, American Imperialism!

I remember Somalia, a successful humanitarian mission under Bush I that turned into the failed Clinton effort at "nation building". It failed, not because our troops couldn’t reach their objectives, but because after they did; at great loss do to Clintons direct refusal to give them adequate support; Clinton then tucked his dog's tail between his legs and deserted Somalia. His cowardice was the real cause for bin Laden’s attack on New York. Bin Laden has said so himself, and continues to support Democrat candidates for the U. S. Presidency in hopes of getting another quitter at the helm.

As for the Middle Class costs not being kept up with; which costs are those? Health Care? What would you do about those? Are they Bush’s fault? Are you ready to join Canada in socialism? How about inflation? Under Carter it was double digit. I guess no matter how bad things get you can always find worse – usually during a Democratic administration. Imagine what a mess our economy and our middle class would be in without the Bush tax cuts and economic programs. I’m so glad we’ll never know were Gore would have brought us.

By the way, I am glad to know Hannity is using “neo-lib”, I was hoping the phrase would go far when I coined it.

As for Iran and Hostages, no Justin, before Jimmy Carter, Iran was our ally. Goes to show where that fool can lead America and the disasters Carter brought on the world.

As for clean energy; Justin, you don’t even need to go to another thread. Scroll up in this one and you will see that President Bush has called for a 22% increase in clean-energy research under his Advanced Energy Initiative. Once again Bush calls for action and delivers real progress, all Justin and the Democrats supply is “hate Bush” propaganda, unfounded in fact.

As for who is to blame for 9/11 – I say - al Qaeda, but I have already referenced bin Ladan’s own reasons for attacking New York and Washington; and for trying to do so ten more times since. Bill Clinton’s cowardice had convinced Osama that he could intimidate America and take over the world with acts of terror. If Gore would have been in the White House we might all well be in the Madrasa (sp) or the grave.

Justin, I’m glad you’re such a fan of Rush/Hannity/and O’Reilly. Perhaps you could give us one example of anything any of them have said that isn’t true. You have failed to do so with any of my claims here in the Agora.

Once again, go to Coach and let him explain the difference between spewing baseless “cards” and making real and convincing arguments.

Justin said...

Justin, the Agora is not a high school debate meet, although young folk
are always welcome. Ask Coach Hansen to explain to you why “reading a
card” does not equal winning an argument.

Are you saying that facts don't matter? That you will stay the course even in the face of overwhelming evidence? Well that's a very enlightened approach Ahab.

The successes of the Bush economy are outlined in the threads on either
side of this one. If you refuse to read them – you miss out. If you
refuse to acknowledge them, shouting about it will not make your spew
anymore true.
You assume I didn't read the threads. Just because you buy into the blather about the successes doesn't make it true. I can cite countless examples of failures. You don't seem to want to read them, so I won't bother.

The reasons for the deficit have been rationally explained under
Rumpole’s post in the next string. Perhaps you could go there to read
them; even if you don’t care to argue them. Bush has offered a plan to
reduce the deficit while maintaining the growth of our economy and our
national security. If you or yours have a better one; let’s hear it.

The reasons for the deficit have not been rationally explained. Can you rationally explain to me how our deficit is creating jobs and economic growth when we're sending billions and billions of dollars to Iraq? But again, you fail to respond to my point that Bush created the deficit and you hold him up as a savior for having a "plan" to cut his mess in half. If a deficit is a good thing, why does he want to cut it in half? You wanted my suggestion for cutting the deficit? How about ending our occupation in the middle east? There we can cut billions and billions out immediately. I believe that this has been mentioned ad nauseum by Dems, but they're labeled as cowards (the irony of anyone calling Murtha a coward slays me.) Are you saying that the zero deficit under Clinton was a bad thing? You are pretty stuck there, because it was a joint effort between the Republican controlled Congress, Democratic Senate, and Clinton. Were the Republicans wrong then, or are they wrong now? I would also like to know since we've had years of tax cuts, where is the massive amounts of tax revenue we were promised? If it's all being eaten up by Iraq, why are we still there? Never mind. I know your answer will be national security. We need to be killing and being killed so that we can kill al Qaeda. Even though they had no connection to Iraq at all. I'm sure God is very proud.

Your denial of the existence of the Two New Democracies in Afghanistan
and Iraq shows how deep in the sand your head is buried.

Explain to me how I denied their existence. What I said was that your assertion that they are strong allies of ours was folly. Not answering to the fact that a recent poll shows that 46% of Iraqis think it's ok to kill Americans may work in prep debate, but it won't make anyone assume you think. You made a statement about them being strong democratic allies, I responded to your statement and you completely made up a response about my denying them existence.

As for the Palestinian state – they have territory, they have their own
government; you define it. They ask the Palestinian people if they agree
with you are not.
It has been defined, and they are not an autonomous state. They are not there, and you misrepresented them. By the way, are you speaking for the Palestinian people who are still refugees in other countries and are not allowed access to their "State." I think if you were to ask them, they would tell you that they really aren't a free country yet. Why don't you admit that you're wrong?

“American Imperialism” will have the same effect in Iraq and Afghanistan
as it did in France, Norway, Germany, and Japan. Well done, once again,
American Imperialism!
And Chile, Viet Nam, North Korea, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, etc. Hooray for American Imperialism. BTW denying historical events may work in prep debate...I would like to compare the infrastructure successes in post WWII Japan and Germany, with the lack of success in Iraq and Afghanistan, but alas I'm getting bored of you.

I remember Somalia, a successful humanitarian mission under Bush I that
turned into the failed Clinton effort at "nation building". It failed,
not because our troops couldn’t reach their objectives, but because
after they did; at great loss do to Clintons direct refusal to give them
adequate support; Clinton then tucked his dog's tail between his legs
and deserted Somalia. His cowardice was the real cause for bin Laden’s
attack on New York. Bin Laden has said so himself, and continues to
support Democrat candidates for the U. S. Presidency in hopes of getting
another quitter at the helm.

Gee and I remember Somalia being a UN mission. I also remember the "nation building" being a UN resolution, but since you can pass off the humanitarian effort as a Bush success and nation building as a Clinton failure, your facts are already skewed so I doubt you care. I would like to read your source on bin Laden. I recall him saying that America's presence in the middle east is his sticking point.


As for clean energy; Justin, you don’t even need to go to another
thread. Scroll up in this one and you will see that President Bush has
called for a 22% increase in clean-energy research under his Advanced
Energy Initiative. Once again Bush calls for action and delivers real
progress, all Justin and the Democrats supply is “hate Bush” propaganda,
unfounded in fact.

That's nice since his very first budget cut funds by 37%, those pesky facts are just another "hate Bush" propaganda.

I really am bored now. I would think that rule one of debate is to acknowledge an argument and refute it.

Lysis said...

On the threads about the Bush economy – I assume you don’t read them because you still don’t understand. Those who have – do.

On the deficit – As long as you insist that Bush; not 9/11, the War on Terror, the Liberation of Iraq, the hurricanes, the collapse of the economy under Clinton, and the world wide recession caused the defecate; I cannot reason with you. You’re wrong and you know it, not admitting it only make you look foolish.

I never called Murtha a coward. Clinton is the coward. I merely point out that Murtha continually calls our heroes in Iraq both cowards and liars. For this I condemn him along with Kerry, Kennedy, Gore, and the other liars who choose their own power over their country.

On the Democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan; I’m glad to see you admit they exist. On their being our allies; more Iraqi and Afghan soldiers are dieing fighting the war on terror that NATO or Coalition forces. Indeed they are strong allies. (As for Iraqis who want to kill Americans, it seems Al Gore has joined that crowd – does that make America our enemy?)

Palestine is a state – not yet autonomous – your own words; they sound like mine.

American Imperialism – You site Chile, just elected a woman President in free and fair democratic elections. Seems like American imperialism worked there. Viet Nam – American Imperialism failed there, thanks to Kerry and Company. Millions died who might have been saved with the blessing of American Imperialism. North Korea, still in the hands of Communists, no American imperialism there; only death, slavery, and despair. In South Korea, on the other hand, American imperialism at work – freedom and prosperity. You got to love that American Imperialism. Costa Rica – Free and independent, no Communists, just “more teachers than soldiers.” I’m sure the are very grateful for American Imperialism. Nicaragua – free of the murdering Sandinista Communists, they are a democracy with growing prosperity and peace after decades of civil war. Go American Imperialism go!! Compare the infrastructure of Japan and Germany two years after WWII to the condition in Afghanistan and Iraq now. Chalk up four more to American Imperialism!!


You don’t remember Somalia very well. The U.N. mission was only successful after Bush I sent in 20 thousand marines. The Nation building only failed after Clinton pulled them out. I’m glad to see you weren’t foolish enough to tackle Clinton’s motivation of bin Laden. Facts are Facts aren’t they!!

You say you’re bored. Losing arguments to the truth must be boring – you should know, Justin.

Justin said...

I asked you to cite your sources. I asked you to respond to the facts I cite. You make the assumption, like your Republican pundit idols, that as long as you're talking you're winning the argument.

What a waste of time.

Lysis said...

Dear Justin,

I answered you referenced claims on the economy. The only arguments in your along stream of baseless claims, by referring you to Rumpole’s post on the next string. Here Rumpole referenced 1) The Federalist Papers, 2) the Washington Post February 7, 2006, 3) The A. P. Feb. 2, 2006 and 4) The OMB. Rumpole even told you what to Google – “budget surplus”. You claim to have read the post before presenting your next, un-referenced comments. You seem to have misread, ignored, or lied.

I have responded to each of your claims. You have responded to none of mine. What happened to your claims on American Imperialism? Shot down – you give no response to the list of fact I related on the freedom and prosperity of Chili, Nicaragua, South Korea, or Costa Rica. You have neither the courage to respond nor the curtsey to acknowledge your misstatements. What became of your silly claim that Iraq and Afghanistan were not allies in the war on terror, blown to pieces by demonstrable facts – from you? No response. What happened to your unreferenced and unsupported claim that I called Murtha a coward? - Proven a lie – your response, silence. What became of your silly argument that Palestine was not a state? Refuted by your own words; your response? – Nothing but silence. What about your uninformed claims about Somalia – proven les by facts. Your response - to drop the argument and call me names.

It seems you’re not only bored; you’re dishonest. Go to Coach; maybe he can give you some pointers.

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