Sunday, April 16, 2006

Grunts

I began my carrier as a School Teacher instructing eighth grade American History classes. I taught the same lecture six times a day to large classes of barely pubescent boys and girls with very little light behind the eyes. My lunch break was a chance to escape the “adolescents” and fraternize with my colleagues in the faculty lunch room. There, for 180 plus lunch breaks, I sat and listened to the teachers at our school complain about the administration, the parents, the students, and the School District. Their most pointed attacks were always against the Principal and his Vices; how they did nothing, didn’t know what they were doing, and how our principals were paid too much for doing too little.

At the end of the year I was lucky enough to escape the Jr. High and take up my present position at the High School. The physical and mental changes that occur in students between the ages of thirteen and fifteen are truly miraculous. I will always be thankful to the dedicated Elementary and Jr. High teachers that prepare my students for high school and forever be grateful that I get to work with these students once they have achieved cognition.

That first year at the high school I determined that I would not eat my lunch in the faculty room. In the twenty plus years of lunch alone I have perhaps sacrificed some friendships, but I have also spared myself thousands of bitch sessions

My small but intense administrative experience, I run Boy Scout Camps, has taught me that for all their sincerity, those who are not in charge cannot possibly understand all the challenges faced by those who are. It is so easy from the narrow point of ones own daily experience to fault those who have responsibility for and a grasp of much more. Thus it became too painful for me to listen to the same old, same old attacks on my Principal by those who had no comprehension of what he has to face.

One afternoon I was listening to a local radio talk show, the commentator was complaining about the salaries of administrators in the schools, insisting that they did nothing while getting paid more than the teachers “in the trenches” doing the real work of the school. My phone call actually got through to Mr. “Right”. I told him that it would be impossible for me to do my job as a teacher if it wasn’t for the Vice Principals that deal with all the problems of the school day in day out while I spend my time doing exactly what I want to be doing. The radio guy hung up on me.

I watch as our Vice Principals organize and coordinate all the “programs” placed on the school by National, State, and County officials; while they organize activities, attend all extracurricular activities and then have to deal with gangs, fights, drugs, angry parents, my mistakes, my disruptive students, and on and on and on. And then they get spit on by the students whom they seek to keep in school, the parents whose children the administrators seek to serve, and the teachers whose classes are made possible by these Principal’s service.

Last week, I was in the final session of the class I have been taking at WSU on Colonial America. The lecturer had been assigned to discuss modern manifestations of Colonial thought. While pointing out that the American military was now using military techniques developed to fight Indians in the French and Indian war, he mentioned Robert D. Kaplan’s *Imperial Grunts* claiming that the only way to really know how the military worked was to do as Kaplan has done - as my Professor put it - to talk only to privates, corporals, sergeants, and first lieutenants. I have not read *Imperial Grunts* nor, do I believe, has the Professor. His one reference to “using French and Indian War tactics” was no doubt fished off the internet. Be that as it may, I strongly disagreed with him that only the underlings have a true picture of “The War”. When I voiced my objection, a crusty old fellow who is quite open about his military service, jumped in to scold me. “If I have never been there, I don’t know what I am talking about.” To which I gave the above explanation of the faculty room grumblers. Of “teachers” who know nothing about the general operation of the “plant”, griping continually about things they do not fully understand. Later reference by the Professor to the implementation of the Injun fighting techniques in the War on Terror clearly indicated top down as well as “bottom up” adaptability in our military. But the point was made; those who gripe the loudest are often those who understand the least about “the big picture”. While the concerns of the “privates” must be addressed, as they are indeed the ones in the trenches, doing away with the folks on top just because the grunts don’t see the need for them is extremely short sighted, whether dealing with the operation of a school, an Army, or a Nation.

Of course, when enemies of those “in charge” are seeking allies in supplanting them, they can often find disgruntled, and usually ignorant, underlings ready to complain bitterly about the “management”. Yeas ago, when I was called on to fix a broken Boy Scout Camp in California, those who wanted to seem me fail actually held secret meetings “up canyon” with my employees looking for those who would complain against me in order to get ammunition to call for my removal. Fortunately for me, and I dare say for the camp, there were loyal “grunts” in the crew who were willing to put their faith in my efforts, even though they did not understand them completely. Thus the griping of the dissatisfied was countered by the support of the faithful.

Years ago, at my camp in Wyoming, a boy died of a heart attack. A few weeks later I had a disagreement with one of the young staffers who worked for me. In the week following his reprimand, he told a flood of lies and half truths to the scout master of the troop he had been assigned to as camp friend. That scout master returned home to write a letter to the National Office accusing me of a flood of failures that seemed to indicate that my crew and I had failed the boy who died and had somehow caused his death. The letter was forwarded to my Scout Executive and he brought it to me. Though each of the lies was easily dispelled by the presentation of the truth, the hurt and damage done by such disloyalty and bitterness was great. By the time the letter came to light, I had already sent the staff member home for other reasons; so I was spared any direct confrontation with him on the subject. Years later I received a letter from him. He was on an LDS mission and wrote of how guilty he felt for what he had said and done in a fit of anger and a desire to hurt me. “Would I please forgive him?” The letter is still in my files – it has not been answered.

It is with such experiences, of no real significance in the world, that I watch the attack by those out of power and out of the know on President Bush, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, and others in positions of responsibility. The truth of their successes is manifest in the safety and success of our nation, but the bitter bitching around the lunch room table continues by those who are out of the loop and long for self aggrandizement, a bigger “paycheck”, or to do malicious mischief to those who bear the real burdens of responsibilities. It would be wise for the people of this nation to consider the motivations and the knowledge of those who find fault.

85 comments:

a quiet listener said...

Romans 12:20 - On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.

perhaps the best lesson you could teach to such a staffer at this point is forgiveness, let his own conscience "heap burning coals on his head" for what he's done.

Dan Simpson said...

I doubt this would 'heap burning coals'. That staffer has done what he needed, the only person being hurt by Lysis' refusal to forgive, is Lysis.

Reach Upward said...

As a student of organizational behavior, and having been both on the grunt end and the management end of things, there is almost always a disconnect between the top and bottom of an organization.

In general, grunts have little understanding of the challenges management deals with. Grunts don't understand who all of the stakeholders are, the needs of these parties, or what pressures they exert. But this is a two-way street, where managers often lose sight of what it is like for the grunts. Maintaining proper balance is one of the most difficult challenges of leadership.

It is entirely appropriate to explore the motives of those doing the carping, so as to judge how much weight to give their arguments. The WSJ makes this point in this article, where they suspect the motives of those calling for Donald Rumsfeld's dismissal. They also make some interesting observations about those on the left that now so joyously invoke the anti-Rumsfeldians. The WSJ editors suggest that it would be extraordinarily bad to remove Rummy at present, and assert that, "We suspect the President understands that most of those calling for Mr. Rumsfeld's head are really longing for his." It's a proxy thing.

The beauty of a democratic republic is that it is designed to allow all players at all levels to voice their concerns and to have some say in policy matters and management style. To be sure, the system is imperfect and some get more of a say than others, but it is an improvement over other governmental systems currently in practice.

Ares said...

Somewhat along with what Dannyboy had to say, I'm not so sure that it would "heap burning coals" but not for the reason that Lysis is the only one being hurt. I think that with time and with his confession, the young man has come to terms with what he has done. Forgiveness would certainly end things nicely, but I think that time heals all wounds. But all of this is nicely off the topic.

I would comment solely on the post by Lysis, but Reach has already covered pretty much everything I would like to say. If I come up with anything new, I will certainly post it however.

-Ares

Lysis said...

A Quiet Listener:

Despite Jesus’ advice to the contrary, I have no desire to heap any burning coals on the head of foolish kid whose disloyalty did me no harm. However, let me set Dannyboy at ease, I have not been hurt in the least by my decision not to excuse the guilty conscience of someone who was intentionally dishonest, disloyal, and hurtful. I have long ago forgiven him for any damage he did to me – I am simply not inclined to remove any damage he did to himself by telling him “every thing’s OK” because he got around to confessing. I have born the burden of my share of mistakes and misdeeds in life; that is what men do. It is not my desire to create a false impression for this kid that everything is now OK when it is not. God will cover all sins – so I have no fear for the liar’s soul – but his standing with me cannot be reformed with a plea for forgiveness from me.

Now to the whining generals who may someday be asking for America’s forgiveness for encouraging and supporting the enemies of this country, freedom, and the West. For political reasons this handful of miss-motivated sellouts bolstered the bin Laden attitude that America does not have the sand to stand. Reach Upward has provided some excellent support for this fact. Please read the page and a half article from the Wall Street Journal. If you don’t care to, please examine these excerpts:

1. “Mr. Zinni in particular neither fought the Iraq War nor supported it in the first place. He is a longtime advocate of “realism” in the Middle East, which is fancy-speak for leaving Arab dictators alone in the name of “stability.””

2. “If their complaint is that Mr. Rumsfeld has since fought the insurgents with too few troops, well what about current Centcom Commander John Abizaid? He is by far the most forceful advocate of the “small footprint” strategy - - the idea that fewer U.S. troops mean less Iraqi resentment of occupation.”

3. “. . . Army Colonel Douglas Macregor for the Center for Defense Information details how the U. S. advance on Baghdad in March and April 2003 was slowed against Mr. Rumsfeld’s wishes by overcautious commanders on the scene. That may have allowed Saddam and many of his supporters to escape to fight the insurgency. General Abizaid also resisted the first assault on Fallujah, in April 2004, which sent a signal of U.S. political weakness . . . it is likely that these Rumsfeld critics are trying to write their own first, rough draft of historic blame shifting.”

4. “What matters most now is doing what it takes to prevail in Iraq, setting up a new government and defeating the terrorists. How firing Mr. Rumsfeld will help any of this, none of the critics say. They certainly aren’t offering any better military strategy for victory. More than likely, Mr. Rumsfeld’s departure would create new problems, starting with a crisis of confidence in Iraq about American staying power. . . Sacking the Defense Secretary mid-conflict would only reinforce the Iranian mullah’s belief that they have nothing to worry about because Americans have no stomach for a prolonged engagement in their part of the world.”

5. “. . . there’s a reason the Founders provided a civilian control of the military, and a danger in military men using their presumed authority to push elected Administrations around. As for Democrats and their media allies, we can only admire their sudden new deference to the scenior U.S. officer corps, which follows their strange new respect for the “intelligence community” they also once despised. U. S. military recruiters might not be welcome on Ivy League campuses, but they’re heroes when they trash the Bush Administration.”

The following quotes are from Clinton’s Centcom Commander, Antony Zinni; who now (April 2, 2005 on NBD’s “Meet the Press”) says, “. . . what bothered me . . . [was that] I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn’t fit what I knew. There was no solid proof, that I ever saw, that Saddam had WMD.”

But, in early 2000 Zinni told Congress the “Iraq remains the most significant near term threat to U. S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region . . . Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, [and] retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions . . . Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months. (General Antony Zinni before Senate Committee on Armed Services, Feb 29, 2000.)

There is noting more pleasant when dealing with an adversary in an argument than catching him in a bald face lie. Zinni is a proven liar, why anyone would either give him credibility or forgiveness is beyond me.

Ares;

My former employee’s appeal for forgiveness and Dannyboy’s concern for my “hurt” in recognizing his disloyal lies are based on a misconception concerning repentance and forgiveness. One may repent of wrong doing, and sin no more – but one cannot escape the consequences of one’s actions. The disloyal staffer’s appeal for my forgiveness was simply an attempt to salve his conscience by gaining my acquiescence to his misdeed. I sought no punitive punishment against him, but his attempt to pass the guilt off to me by asking me to excuse his misbehavior and then as Dannyboy implies, condemning me, “calling me hurt,” for not doing so, is an insidious sort of hypocrisy.

Reach Upward said...

The generals now coming forward to say that they held back in giving Mr. Rumsfeld military advice because they thought they would be ignored or attacked failed in their sworn duty according to their own words. Former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, Retired Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said (accurately according to military law) that military commanders that failed to provide Rumsfeld with their best military advice "should be shot" (see here). I guess you have to be careful about admitting that you are a weasel.

On another note, Lysis' insistence that he has forgiven the errant youth while requiring the man to bear the consequenses of his actions reminded me of a 1998 interview LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley had with Larry King (see transcript) where King asked Hinckley about then President Bill Clinton's philandering, which was all the news at the moment. Hinckley said, "Well, I feel very sorry for him in the first place. Here's a man of great talent and capacity who has evidently just hurt himself so seriously that it must be a terrible thing for him. Personally, I forgive him. The Lord has said, I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive. But of you, it's required to forgive all men. And in that sense I forgive him of any offenses committed against me. But he still has accountability. He's accountable to the Congress. He's accountable to the people of the United States who elected him. He's accountable to God. I believe that. And that's what he must face."

This commentary seems to run parallel with Lysis' thinking, so he's not in bad company. We can forgive someone without restoring our trust in them wholesale. Forgiveness is a thing related to the spiritual disposition of a soul. We renounce our claim on an offending person's soul before a heavenly tribunal. Trust, on the other hand, must be earned and is not directly related to spiritual forgiveness. Indeed, we might be very irresponsible indeed were we to restore trust that has not been earned. For example, would it be wise to entrust our children to a known pedophile, though we forgive the person for past mistakes?

Rumpole said...

DannyBoy2,

You post, “That staffer has done what he needed, the only person being hurt by Lysis' refusal to forgive, is Lysis.” Reach and Lysis have both articulated well my thoughts on the subject. Nevertheless, you posts stirs me to comment, even at the risk of redundancy.

First, we must define forgiveness. How often have we heard, “you must forgive and forget.” I don’t buy it. I will give you specific instances as to where I have forgiven, but I will not, no, must not, forget.

From the ranks of Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians, my oldest daughter with Down Syndrome wanted to go to Girl’s Camp. We worked out the details with the leaders of the group. Those leaders (specifically the Camp Director) assured us that arrangements had been made so that my daughter could tent with the other girls. You see, she may have Down Syndrome, but she knows the difference between inclusion and exclusion.

Girl’s Camp arrived and my wife went along to monitor my daughter from a distance. Ironically, my daughter was not “included” in the tent arrangements. After many harsh words and a bitter battle she was added to the girl’s tent. We let it go. We felt like the group had learned what an asset my daughter could be.

The next year for Girl’s Camp rolled around. In an effort to avoid “Harsh Words and Bitter Battle II” we worked out the tent arrangements again, in advance. Camp time arrived and the scenario was repeated. When the “Battle II” began, the same woman that made the exclusionary arrangements the previous year rose up in “defense” of the other girls. Apparently my would-be Olympian “snores.” According to the Camp Director, it is a bit of a distraction to the other girls, who are intent on attending girl’s camp to get their beauty sleep.

Talk about lame! I have many other adjectives I would rather use, but I will refrain.

I have not screamed at this woman. I haven’t gone to the Bishop to tell on her. Those things will accomplish nothing. But she has made clear to me her lack of understanding when it comes to my children. It is very unlikely that I will grant her any kind of trust concerning them.

She has sensed my distance. She wrote a note and put it in our mailbox for my wife to read (bad idea, by the way – if you really want to tick a man off, tell on him to his wife). As Lysis suggested with his staffer, the letter was not an apology (though it was written to be), but rather was an attempt to relieve her own conscience. I have forgiven her. I leave the determination of the “burning coals” to God. I hope he spares her from them, as I hope I am spared. But I will not, I can not, be foolish enough to entrust my daughter to her again. I would suggest to you that if I did, I would be guilty.

Reach posts (from President Gordon B. Hinckley) “The Lord has said, I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive. But of you, it's required to forgive all men. And in that sense I forgive him of any offenses committed against me. But he still has accountability. He's accountable to the Congress. He's accountable to the people of the United States who elected him. He's accountable to God. I believe that. And that's what he must face."

I don’t recall Clinton ever saying he was sorry. But let’s give him the benefit and say that he did. Is that enough? You are a lawyer. Would that make up for perjury? In our nation of law, if once the apology has been uttered, do the guilty walk away and the accusers now bear the responsibility of “making it right?”

The guilty cannot avoid accountability. “You must forgive and forget”, especially when uttered by the guilty, in my estimation, is the attempt to do just that.

Further, who are we accountable to? Certainly I fear God more than man. But I value the views of the Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians. I am also accountable to them. I am willing to take the risk of judging harshly and judging unfairly when I consider their well-being. I believe God wants me to take that risk in the exercise of my agency. I would suggest that Lysis’ actions are similar when considering the growth of his entire staff versus his letter-writer. His responsibility is rooted in the promotion of the general welfare of the group, not in the conscience-salving of a disgruntled letter-writer.

Dan Simpson said...

Well, I am more than happy to go down this interesting side road.

First, to the analogy with the law. This one doesn't really work. As the law doesn't care much if you say you are sorry, yeah, you might get a little leniency on sentencing, but the fact is, your sorrow has little to nothing to do with your punishment.

Religious idea of forgiveness, repentence and getting yourself right with God is a whole nother story. Lysis thinks I misunderstand, but I truly think he does. Lysis says it is not his obligation to calm this offendor's conscience, ans says that he has already forgiven him. The latter may be so, the former, I would disagree with. Some of the analogies used here don't fit, as in the two main ones, Clinton, and the idiot camp leader, there was no apology.

Lysis has claimed that the apology was fake, that it was not sincere and was only used as a topical balm on the conscience of the offendor, seems like a fairly bold claim. It doesn't seem to me that the guy had any reason to apologize other than actual sorrow. It wasn't public, it did him no good, other than spiritual.

I think the way in which Lysis characterizes the apology/forgiveness is what lends me to say it only hurts Lysis. He has decided it was a fake apology, and so he has no responsibility to convey forgiveness. It is not his job to help ease this man's burden. It was his own fault, afterall, so leave him to it.

This is a very human emotion, I don't claim to be above it, there are slights I feel I have suffered through my years that I still struggle with full forgiveness. (an idea that I think is much more involved and in depth than people usually admit to).

I also understand that that hurt and sense of betrayal is much worse from a trusted employer/employee especially in a place like Camp where feelings of closeness, family, and trust run very deep (there are a few of those that I still struggle with (camp, I mean)).

As far as a basic misunderstanding of forgiveness/repentance, I don't think it lies with me. The idea that all men must answer for their own actions and mistakes is true. But I believe, if someone comes to you seeking forgiveness, then to withold that forgiveness, whether or not you claim it in your heart, is not in line with the principle.

My original post was not meant as a denuciation of Lysis, but seeing as others came to the consensus that I was misunderstanding the concept, I felt I needed to elaborate.

Silver Lining said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reach Upward said...

I cannot condemn Lysis for his reasoning on not replying to the repentant young man. I can only guess what I might do in a similar situation.

I see perhaps a parallel with Joseph Smith's reply to a penitant William W. Phelps (HC 4:163–64), "Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, For friends at first, are friends again at last." Of course, Phelps was asking for a formal reply on behalf of the church, and Smith only sent his reply after obtaining a sustaining vote from the church, so it was somewhat of an administratively required act on behalf of the church. However, Smith's reply sounds a personal tone as well. Phelps had already done some groundwork in trying to make things right (although it was an impossible task), and he later proved very loyal.

I have mixed feelings about Rumpole's desire to keep his bishop out of the loop on his daughter's camp situation. Since I have some experience in church lay "management," I think it's wonderful when ward members resolve issues properly among themselves (where possible and appropriate). No leader enjoys whiny people coming to them (usually the same people repeatedly) with nitpicky issues that they should resolve themselves. On the other hand, leaders need to avoid the disconnect I posted about above. They *need* to minister to their flock. If the issue remains unresolved, I think it would be best to inform the bishop or the counselor over youth -- not so as to punish the seemingly-callous leader, but so that a solution can be approached with care and kindness. Still, I don't pretent to know what is best for Rumpole or his family.

Anonymous said...

There are so many in our day who are unwilling to forgive and forget. (Gordon B. Hinkley General Conference 2005)

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:38–44).

The Lysites practically worship you Lysis.

a quiet listener said...

I’m sorry to have so far derailed this blog from its orginal intention but I can’t help but disagree with the position you take on forgiveness lysis. I read the blogs that Reach Upward and others have written and I felt uneasy about the subject all night. Infact I actually had difficulty sleeping as I remember past grievances others had done to me and grievances I had caused others. My pondering has led me to further understand that forgiveness is truly one of the most God-like qualities man can aspire to attain.

The difficulty I had on the matter was the reinstatement of trust on the individual in the wrong. The scriptures, my handbook of precedence, are rife with examples of both. Many in the Old Testament and New alike show scriptures where immediate superlative consequences attend sinful actions. Some like Ananias and Sapphira were killed when they offered a dishonest tithe. Christ on the other hand seemed to prefer another method in teaching forgiveness. In Matthew 18:21-22 KJV it says:

(21) Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? (22) Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

This scripture alone is not as powerful as the story that accompanies it. Peter, one of the most entrusted servants of Christ’s mortal ministry betrayed Christ in the flesh when he was being taken to be crucified to save himself. He denied knowing Christ three times. If any man was no longer worthy of trust by our mortal limited understanding it was Peter. However; instead of condemning Peter, holding it against him or even withholding future leadership positions of trust and confidence Christ openly accepted the penitent soul and reinstated trust in him in the fullest. It was Peter who led the church to the gentiles, you and I.

A modern example would be that of Joseph Smith who having lost the 117 pages of manuscript due to failure to obey the Lord’s strict commandments lost his ability to translate further for a short season. God in his love and wisdom returned confidence in the prophet even though he certainly had sinned.

I myself have many times acted wrongly and betrayed the trust of those who relied and depended on me. As human beings we are not invulnerable to human error. At camp I remember how upset you yourself were when I in my haste flipped the webbing strand off the cliff making our 11 mile overnighter to Survey Peak fruitless since the eager kids were now unable to safely repel the 200 ft cliff. I remember your anger when to my dismay one of my rangers got way ahead of the group despite my warnings. You had put me in charge of the Bechler groups and both years somebody either arrived 30 minutes before the rest of the group at the Ranger Station or ended up at Grassy Lake. Or how about Cody, the pudgy boy who was in my troop the very first summer I worked for you? I saw his friends tease him and did nothing and as a result he ended up getting to meet Harrison Ford and David Letterman. My point in all this is to say that if I thought for a minute that you had taken your trust and confidence in me due to my stupid behavior I couldn’t have continued to even work at camp. You still relied, depended and taught me very much by forgiving even the most foolish of my errors.

Danny is right in saying that when you don’t forgive others you only hurt yourself Lysis. Your unforgiving position and demeanor has already distanced you from one of yours and my own best friends. Your change in attitude and lack in trust make him feel as if he’ll never again be in your “good graces.”

If you feel that you can no longer be trusted then you feel like a lost cause and you become one. Guilt suppresses your desire to excel. What point is there to continue even trying if our debtors continue to hold our past mistakes over our heads?

At one point on my mission I made a terrible mistake and my Mission President told me he had trusted me and that I knew better. It was the most devastating blow I could have received. To think that I had forever lost his confidence in me was unbearable punishment. After a season, much like Joseph Smith, I had the necessary time to right my wrongs and he told me again that he trusted me in the fullest.


I appreciate the comments of others in explaining that we must learn from our mistakes or we’re bound to repeat them. Would I reinstate this staffer if I were in your shoes and the situation were such? No. I most likely would not. But leaving his sincere letter of apology unanswered teaches him nothing. Remove the wound that’s been festering all these years and you’ll see it’s you who’ve injured yourself by not forgiving him.
"Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
"That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death" (D&C 121:41–44).
I hope Lysis, that you and I both can better understand forgiveness through this dialogue. You constantly ask for opposing opinions “so that if wrong you can be taught.” I certainly feel that I’ve learned a great deal by thinking about this all. We truly alienate ourselves by allowing our pride and fears to withhold forgiveness long overdue.



anonymous: do you even read the posts?

truth to power said...

Unlike the inner circle here, I know nothing of these long-past offenses. I just wanted to point out that it seems y'all have misinterpreted Romans 12:20. It's talking about "your enemy", not "your former enemy who repentantly seeks forgiveness". It would be inconsistent indeed for Paul to claim that the repentant would have burning coals heaped on their heads by the unforgiving.

Anonymous said...

Someone is not telling the truth because I remember the incident and it is not the story that Lysis tells. For starters, it was not a child that died in the icy waters of Lake of the Woods that day.

And I am not the one on this blog seeking forgiveness for the things that I have said.

Rumpole said...

DannyBoy2,

Interesting comments! Perhaps I may offer a dissenting view.

You post “First, to the analogy with the law. This one doesn't really work. As the law doesn't care much if you say you are sorry, yeah, you might get a little leniency on sentencing, but the fact is, your sorrow has little to nothing to do with your punishment.”

We will probably have to agree to disagree here. I would suggest that the law analogy works very well. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it appears to me that your definition of forgiveness includes the relieving of accountability. I separate the two. I believe that we must forgive all men, but that forgiveness (as President Hinckley suggested in Reach’s quote) does not relieve men of their accountability, just as an apology before a judge does not relieve accountability before the law.

Further, I would suggest that we are now talking about two different kinds of accountability here. First, there is the direct accountability to law that has been violated. But there is also accountability to those who have been violated. Perhaps this is where the law falls short. I, however, will not. Forgiveness does not require me to unwisely put myself, or the Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians, in the same situation where harm has previously been done. I believe that if I make that error then I become jointly guilty with the perpetrator.

As I have said, it is my responsibility to forgive all men. But that forgiveness does not relieve me of my accountability to myself and to my children. I do not believe that God defines forgiveness as deliberately stepping into harm’s way.

As to the letter from the disgruntled staff member, I haven’t seen it. I can’t say for sure if the apology is sincere. If it is anything like the letter placed in my mail box, then I am confident that it is not. As I have already described, judging that sincerity is where both Lysis and I are at risk. We are forced to make a judgment. I choose to error on the side of my children. Lysis chooses to error on the side of his staff. I can find no fault in his decision. The “needs of the one” do not “outweigh the needs of the many.”

Reach,

I appreciate your comments about not involving the Bishop. Perhaps I am wrong and I should involve him. Of course I don’t believe I am or I would have acted differently. I can only suggest to you that it has been my experience that involving that authority typically makes the problem worse rather than better.

Quiet Listener,

I want to emphasize to you that I believe all men must forgive. Bitterness acts as a canker to on one's soul. I do not, however, believe that in that process we are required to put ours and others well-being at risk. Though certainly it can be, trust is difficult and time-consuming to re-aquire.

I do not believe that forgivness requires me to immediately restore that trust.

a quiet listener said...

not immediately no

Lysis said...

To all of you, thank you for you comments and the thought that went into them and that they have provoked in my mind. I will make some passing comment to each of you – in no way worthy of the pleasure or the challenge that each has provided to all.

Dannyboy:

I imagine there are many criminals who would love to be forgiven for their crimes by confession to the judge or to the victims of their misdeeds. In fact I imagine at the end of many a trial the condemned do turn to the offended and say – “I’m sorry”. But then they are marched off to prison or the execution chamber. And I, for one, would not be so quick to condemn the offended victim of a crime if he or she did not accept the apology of the criminal. An, “I’m sorry for brutally murdering you child, will you please forgive me?” “Would get a stern, “No!” from me. There is to me a vast difference between someone who makes a mistake that causes harm and then goes to those who have suffered and asks forgiveness for that mistake and a criminal who maliciously attacks and only seeks forgiveness when they are brought to justice. The sincerity of the apology does not change the facts of the offence. I did not feel particularly denounced by your comment, nor do I feel in any way hurt by my decision to allow this culprit to swallow his medicine without my sugaring it.


Silver lining;

I am sorry you removed your post. I enjoyed reading it and sharing your thoughts. I had little time to do so this morning and had hoped to re-read your thoughts again tonight. I particularly think Rumpole would have benefited from your comments. The wisdom of your actions in regards to the handicapped child in your care would have been very instructive in Rumpole’s daughter’s case – and would no doubt preempt the confrontation that Rumple feels is inevitable come next summer’s camp. Please reconsider and reinstate your comments.


Reach Upward:

First thank you for the valuable information concerning Rumsfeld. I am heartened by President Bush’s loyalty to our great Secretary of Defense. I am confident that Bush’s stand for what is right and the growing support Rumsfeld is enjoying form the military and the public will be most instructive to the terrorists who were hoping to see a chink in American resolve to defeat terrorism. I am sure the enemies of America hope and pray for the removal of Secretary Rumsfeld. Seems God is on our side in this one.

I am glad that Joseph Smith and the church forgave W. W. Phelps when he sought and properly made reparation for his attacks on the Prophet and the Church. I wonder if the mobsters that murdered Joseph and Hyrum have gotten off so easily?

I am reminded of a story my mother used to tell of a “gossip” that came seeking forgiveness of a priest. The priest gave the gossip the following penance: he told the sinner to go out at midnight and lay a feather at the door of each house in the town and then return in the morning to the priest’s chamber. On his return the following morning the penitent reported that he had done the priests bidding and wondered if he had been absolved of his sin. “Not yet,” replied the Priest, “now go and gather the feather back up.”


To the first Anonymous to post:

Matthew’s advice seems good to me. I will do my best to love my enemies, but I will provide that true and tough love that requires them to bear the responsibilities for their actions.


A Quiet Listener:

I hope you do not have to lose anymore sleep, but your thoughts have been most provocative and as you can see by the hour at which I am posting, are costing me a bit of sleep as well. Actually it is not the first time that friendly discussion on deep and challenging topics have kept friends together into the night. I think Peter understood “up front” that Jesus would not hold his “betrayal” against him; it seems to me that Jesus was almost recommending it as a means of sparing Peter’s life. I am also sure that thought Peter went on to do many great things, and to become the cornerstone of the Christian Church, he never forgave himself for his disloyalty on that terrible night. Nor did he pen a single letter to his beloved friend and then consider his work finished. It was not Peter’s apology to his murdered Lord that put Peter back in the good graces of God, but his subsequent life of service. In fact I do not recall any record of Peter’s ever saying. “I’m sorry.” If Peter takes his seat at the head of his dispensation to rule as Prince of the Church until the end of time – it will not be by any asking of forgiveness nor “obligatory”,-“That’s OK.” from Jesus that puts him on his thrown.

As for the lost pages of the B of M. We all suffer from that wanton act of disobedience on the part of both Sidney and Joseph. Saying, “I’m sorry” did not make it right, but the foreknowledge of God and a lot of extra work on the part of Nephi and Mormon. I am sure God never stopped loving Sidney or Joseph, or Judas, or Stalin for that matter, but a – “I’m sorry, now you have to forgive me or you’re the baddy” – letter is not going to do any of them any good on Judgment day. Only the Cross of Jesus will save them then.

As for your mistakes at Camp - like mine, I pray – they were innocent of malice and through them we learned and grew. Such accidents are not evil. But blatant disloyalty and deception aimed at destroying a Camp Director or a Secretary of Defense for the petty or political ends of a malcontent is a different thing altogether.

As for a mutual “friend” who has fallen from “my grace”. First of all, that is not a very sever fall. And secondly, I imagine that if he came to realize that it was his misbehavior not my change of attitude that cost him my trust, he might well find his way back into my good graces, if that is where he really cares to be. Let him follow the wonderful example you present from your mission and take the necessary time [and the necessary actions] to right his wrongs and he could well be trusted once again. Until he does so, I will not lose any sleep over his feelings. I too appreciate the comments of others at the Agora and in this case especially your open and courageous challenge to my position. I have walked a long time in my shoes and find them quite comfortable – still, perhaps a new pair would do me better service. I will gratefully look forward to further council in the future.


Truth to Power;

Paul is often inconsistent.


To the Anonymous who posts second;

The only one not telling the truth here is you; if you say you have some memory of this incident and then claim I am not telling it as it was. If you think you have some other version it would do you well to present it here so you can be corrected. From what you have posted it appears that you are either a liar or a fool.

If you are Flaccid – it is so hard to tell at this distance – then no one is planning to forgive you anything until you repent and changer your evil ways.


Rumple:

I would agree with you that forgiveness does not relieve anyone of accountability for dealing with the wrong doer. It would be an easy world if all crime was forgiven upon request from the guilty. Such salve – bought without cost – is of little efficacy. If my former employ or your hurtful youth leader really think they can ease their conscience by saying “I’m sorry.” they are fools who are lying to themselves. I do not feel any pain for refusing to buoy this false hope with any hollow words from me. I have long ago forgiven the disloyalty of my staffer – where he needs to seek peace is in his own soul. He will know when he has found it whether I give him affirmation of no.

Anonymous said...

BrainMech says-

A few things...

1-Forgiveness is more than just a condition or requirement. Forgiveness provides the opportunity to heal. Imagine the power to be able to not only heal yourself and relieve your own burdens, but by extending forgivness heal others as well.
How long should a youthful indescretion go punished? Is this justice-or vengeance? Just a thought.

2-As one who has "been there" through 20 years of service I can say that the military is similar to most agencies. Of course the grunt perspective is different-and no less real. There are conepts that are taugh about "how things run" and then there is the stark reality. Who better than the front line to know the reality? To put it in a teachers perspective, there is the public perception given by the school board and then the teachers reality...not always the same thing.

At the same time...it is hard to see the forrest when the tree's are falling on you. Big pictures dont necessariloy mean a whole lot when your face is burning from being hit by a buddy's ejected shell casing, your eyes are full of dust and smoke, and all you hear is chaos amplified to 11.

3-I believe the generals have lost sight of the forrest as well. What is being said today is not being done out of a sense of duty, it is being done in the name of politics.
Many of these generals served under a democrat president and at the time told quite a different tale. Who can blame them...why let the politicians have all the fun?

4-The nation is far too easily led by sound bite news segments. We hear the call for an end to "the war with Iraq." News flash...the war with Iraq was over after about 40 days. The military was defeated and the government ousted. Today we support the Iraqi people, stand for the Iraqi government, and fight alonside the Iraqi military.

Today we dont fight a war with Iraq, any more than we are still at war with Germany (even though we still have hundreds of thousands of troops 'occupying' German soil). How easily we forget-
A-Following the revolutionary war it took the newly formed US some 7 years to fully sign the constitution. There were pockets of resistance and crown loyalists right here in the US.
B-Following WW2 our military stood in place for some 15 years while the newly formed government in West Germany struggled. But who would say that it was not an undeniable success?
C-We still have troops in the Balkans some 10 years following a declared war by a democrat president against a sovereign nation-that never posed a threat to the US or so much as gave us the finger.
D-We are not today fighting 'insurgents' or "freedom fighters"...we are fighting terrorists. We are fighting murderous pigs that think nothing of blowing up schools, markets, or wedding parties. That is not a "war in Iraq", it is a war on terror and it is one that must NEVER stop. Conveniently, the terrorists are cooperating by flocking to Iraq where 1-the battle is fully enjoined...and not on US soil, and 2-The battle is being fought by the brave men and women that volunteered, that know their mission, and with the normal few exceptions, understand their missions and their role.

Reach Upward said...

BrainMech,
There are many different groups fighting in Iraq for many different reasons. These terrorists apparently have little compunction about murdering unarmed teachers in front of their students by beheading them (see here) as punishment for educating children.

Rumpole,
It sounds like you have clearly thought through your options and have made the choice that is best for your family's situation, given the people and the dynamics involved. That's what good parents do.

Lysis,
While I drew a parallel between your staffer and W.W. Phelps, I did point out that Phelps had already taken action to rehabilitate the situation to the extent of his ability and that the chief purpose of Joseph Smith's response was an administrative church policy action. These elements appear to differ from the situation with your former employee. However, it appears to me that Smith was doing when he felt was best for Phelps' soul. You effectively assert that your choice not to respond to the former staffer's letter is what you believe was best for his soul. This seems to be a valid argument. Indeed, true charity means doing what is best for the souls of all involved in any given matter.

Dan Simpson said...

Silver Lining: I agree with Lysis, your post was great, and I wish you had left it up.

Rumpole: I am not sure what words of mine brought you to that conclusion, but I have never meant forgiveness to include a relief of accountability.

a quiet listener: Your post was wonderful, and made me really wonder about who you are, as we obviously worked together at Loll your first year. I remember going out with the other older staffers and searching for Cody until early in the morning.

Lysis: I agree with you that this deliberate act of disloyalty is quite different from acts that AQL speaks of, or the acts that precipitated your laying down the law to me about my future working at camp. Your gentle rebuke was able to turn me to the right path and (I hope) helped me become a much better staffer, and a better man.

You see, Lysis, you have a rare ability. Your dissappointment in one's actions is as condemning as many physical or restrictive punishments that can be placed on an offender. Many a night I have sat in a cabin or tent and discussed that very thing with my fellow staffers. Those who work for you (at least those who catch the vision), want anything but your dissapproval. I don't know if, or how much it matters to the young man you speak of, but your silence on the issue, to me, seems the greatest of punishments.

I have never advocated telling him, everything is forgiven, its all fine. If there is further ammends that need to be made, perhaps that is what the response to him should say. Even if all your response tells him is that he has your forgiveness, but not your trust, with a further explanation of what his actions truly did.

Are you obligated to do such a thing? I don't know, that seems to be the debate here. Would it help a man who is obviously struggling to become better and learn? Probably.

P.S. to a quiet listener, if you desire to maintain anonymity here at the Agora (no problem with me) send me an e-mail dansimp@juno.com, I would be very interested to find out who you are, I know most of the rest of the camp flunkies here (with the exception of the ones who from their comments probably worked for Lysis before '94.

a quiet listener said...

since i don't know the majority of you i'd just as soon keep my anonymity but since i know you danny i'm surprised you can't deduce my identity. i'll give it away though by saying your sister had a crush on me

Dan Simpson said...

I am pretty sure I know now. You looked like 'the toad' sitting on the rock outside of the dining hall?

I only like to find out as my wife has a big curiousity as well (for those who don't know she worked at scout camp more years than I did).

Dan Simpson said...

I had it narrowed down, by the way, I wasn't completely lost.

a quiet listener said...

that's me. one and the same

Lysis said...

BrianMech:

A wonderful thing about the truth is that when its light is turned on the lies they shrivel and die. I think our discussion has benefited greatly from the light you have presented.

On your points:

1. How long should a youthful indiscretion go punished? Until all the feathers are gathered.

2. Thank you for your 20 years of service in the military. In the search for perspective - I think that recent testimony by generals who know Rumsfeld best have attested – our Secretary of Defense has long been taking your advice. I am sure he will continue to do so. How can we ever thank those who face “Chaos” so we can live in order and peace? Surely listening to them is requisite to the respect they are due.

3. On the nay saying Generals loss of sight. Their sights are set on their own political advantage. It is the sad state of this nation that “political advantage” and the welfare of the “body politic” of the nation are not always aligned.

4. I agree with you that only in the light (truth) of history can we put in perspective the challenges America and its leaders face. When we become more interested in fighting among ourselves that against our enemies; those enemies have already won.

Reach Upward:

Thank you for reminding us of the virulence of the enemy we face, and of who that enemy really is. When the politically motivated generals mend their ways and support the truth rather than the lies that get their names before the media – then Rumsfeld can begin to consider their reformation. The number of Americans murdered in the interim will surely come into account on that judgment day.


Dannyboy:

Your assessment of the “impact of my disapproval” gives me some pause. I hope I can maintain the influence you credit me with and use it for the benefit of those who might come into service with me.

As for those whose past actions might continue to require them to struggle; I believe they will continue to benefit from their remorse as long as they continue to feel it. When they have made it right, they will know without my telling them so.

On a side note: Sometimes I feel like I run a dating service.

a quiet listener said...

Lysis you know as well as any one of us here the effect of your disapproval. You’ve used that same weapon for years. Whether it was dragging the one ton anchor to the parade grounds, using refried beans in the wee-scout skit or just forgetting your epleps on your other shirt. Just the sour look on your face inflicts pain on an individual which demands remedy. Unless of course the individual is ben or russ… in which case they make you laugh and all is forgotten. And by the way I have no clue how you spell epleps.

As for grunts not fully understanding the responsibilities that face their leaders… I can relate. I’ve been both to some small degree. I remember being 18 at camp and only caring about getting an exciting new job each week. Bechler, teton, archery director, waterfront, HA assistant, commissioner… it was a new exciting adventure each week. I never put myself in the shoes of my superiors. Not for a minute. I just complained when it was boring and difficult. To me it seemed as if the directors had the easiest lot of all and extra seniority to boot. Upon returning from my mission I found myself HA director and what a shock I was in for. Who knew that there were hours and hours to be spent EACH night logging ropes, hardware, gear, tents, stoves, food, the list could go on and on? Whereas before I gleefully played on the climbing ropes, now I coiled them diligently. The job I had imagined to be so easy turned out to be far more demanding than anything I’d ever faced before. Instead of the constant changes in adventures I was faced with monotony in hiking the same 30 miles each week and a great deal less of the spot light. This is not to say that I got nothing from the experience. That couldn’t be less of an understatement. I gained very much even though my perception of what it was to be a director had changed entirely. When I heard the rangers complain about things I acknowledged their plight, but I could see both sides as well. Those who would insult our president and his decisions do so foolishly for the most part. If there is constructive criticism to be made, let’s hear it. But griping alone does no good.

As for the dating service? I’d say it’s more of arranged marriage. It can’t be helped. There must be something in the water.

Lysis said...

A Quiet Listener:

I always thought the Match Maker at lest got a chicken in payment.

As for scowling – it can’t be helped – it must be in the water. And don't think for a miniut you were witness to all the scowlings you fellows got. We use the tools we have.

Dan Simpson said...

That anchor weighed way more than one ton, I would say at least 3,000 pounds.

Anonymous said...

Publius here

I have to correct you on one point quiet listener. You have to admit were always a bit of a masochist. You claim that you were hurt by "the sour look on your face". But now is the time to confess, it was just for that sour face that you and many others did most of the things you mentioned.

Reach Upward said...

In the stone ages when I worked at Loll the only females on staff were either wed or already betrothed to other staff members. One day a fellow staffer asked Lysis why he didn't hire more females like some of the camps in California. Lysis replied to the rhythm of the "More Rasins" chant that he would then have, "More problems, than you have ever seen before." The days of the nearly all-male staff are long gone (hence, the matchmaking service).

Quiet Listener makes some very good comments on learning about leadership and management and on transitioning from grunt to manager. Great lessons there.

Let's realize that the handful of generals that are publicly criticizing Rumsfeld all have strong motivations for doing so. Rumsfeld has instituted a plan to restructure the traditional military. This goes directly against what these generals belive to be best for the military. Their entire careers were built on the old structure. Rumsfeld's plan totally shook up their world. Is there any surprise that some of these people are upset?

I'm not able to judge whether Rumsfeld is right or wrong in his plan to revamp the military. But he is the guy legally in charge--appointed by a duly elected president and legally approved by the Senate. I think these generals have every right to voice their opinions. One might argue that they have a duty to do so. But the public sniping is unbecoming of their stature. If they have valid concerns, they should raise them to the President and to their Senators. They should not try to give comfort to our enemies in time of war. Their public carping shows more about their character than about Rumsfeld's management style.

Silver Lining said...

I deleted my comment 1)because even after specifically stating that my opinions were personal, it became clear quickly that they would be taken as accusations, and I didn't want to go there. and 2)because though I was only offering my example to Rumpole for consideration, I recognize that I do not walk in his shoes and do not want to presume that I know what to do better than he does. That being said, I will trust that
Rumpole will understand the spirit in which my example is given and do with it what he will.

Rumpole,
I am the Primary President for our two little wards here in Castro Valley. (We have a combined Primary, Young Men and Young Women program) We have in our Primary a little girl who was born with a brain tumor. The removal of that tumor, while saving her life, left her quite disabled. She is far less capable of participating than your daughter is. (She can't speak, she can't sit on her own, so we leave a space in the line where her class sits, and we put her wheel chair there.) However, she has amazing parents. Her mother is, by education, a special education teacher. She remarks that she has taught children with Down Syndrome and is taught to teach children with many special needs. She was given her own special needs with her daughter that fell outside of her educational experience. Still, she is absolutely amazing in helping Cambria and in helping her to participate in every way possible. When our new presidency came into being late last year, we had Cambria's mother join us in our presidency meeting. I will be completely frank in saying it was her idea. I wasn't bright enough to think of it. She informed those of us that didn't know about Cambria what her condition is and what she can and can't do. She very kindly helped us understand in what ways we could include Cambria in our Primary activities. We then had her do a Sharing Time for the children, and to be honest, the other adults in Primary so that they would understand what Cambria's condition was like and what it was like for Cambria to function day to day. For example, we learned that Cambria can't see very well and likes yellow. The kids learned that they have to get close to Cambria for her to see them and remind her who they are. My daughter, who has a natural ability for getting in your face and telling you who she is, gets along quite well with Cambria. Anyhow, we have all benefited from the education, and it is very fulfilling to see the Sundays when Cambria is happy and smiling and laughing and wants to hold a crayon and attempt to color with us and such. It is also very comforting to understand enough to know how to help Cambria have a good experience and to know what to do it she is having a hard day. I don't have the answer about tattling to the Bishop in the case of your daughter, and as she is capable of expressing her own wants and needs. I only suggest that this camp director needs to be educated. She is called to serve, and in her ignorance, is failing to do so. To educate her, if it is possible, would serve more than your daughter.

Lysis,
You didn't exactly shy from or grumble about jumping into the dating sevice with both feet in my experience. In fact, you have been, in more cases than one, a facilitator.

Well, the queen of the pudgets has grown malcontent with entertaining herself, Princess Sunshine Cloud (don't ask) needs help mailing a letter to Grandma, and my son needs an intervention before he overdoses on Diego.

Lysis said...

Silver Lining;

Thanks for all the good stuff. I have a girl in a wheel chair in my Great Books class. She presented her book to the class a week or so ago. Appropriately enough - to the other running topic here – it was *The Scarlet Letter*. I am gratified to see that, although I am inwardly nervous– though I attempt outward ease, most of my teenage students are very capable of interacting with all there peers in a most positive and balanced way. I have noticed their growing tolerance toward race and gender differences as the years have passed. I am comforted by the prospects of the future and commend folks like Rumpole and the mother you tell us of for helping us all grow in this important direction.

As for my Match Making accomplishments – I was not complaining about facilitating; only lamenting the chickens. By-the-Way, I have noticed that some need far less facilitation than others.

Reach Upward;

We have all grown since the days you recall. While my prediction, “musical” or not, may well have boded true, I do not regret those challenges. They have been off set by many blessing – not the least of which has been seeing some very nice your women and some very nice young men become some very nice couples.

Publius;

How I’ve missed you! I think you are right about certain persons’ propensity to taunt me in preparation for late-night brag and bristle sessions, after curfew. So much goes on after I “hit the sack!”

Silver Lining said...

It is and will continue to be my opinion, Lysis, that you have received items in-kind that are much better than a chicken.

a quiet listener said...

i don't know you publius but you seem to have me figured out. if we didn't want to relish in our victory of summoning the sleepy staffers ot breakfast an hour early by ringing the sacred bell we wouldn't have video taped ourselves doing so.

poor lysis. how he even manages to sleep at night at camp i'll never know.

a quiet listener said...

p.s. more to come on the whole forgiveness issue. lysis' philosphy teacher has been giving me new ammo.

Rumpole said...

Silver Lining,

You are obviously worthy of the challenging calling that you have. I certainly hope that the parents of the children under your charge recognize your efforts. Through the course of the Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians lives, we too have been fortunate to have been served by many great leaders that are almost your equal.

My wife (who has been president of the local Down Syndrome Chapter for several years) has, on an ongoing basis, taken the same approach as your good friend with both teachers and leaders at school as well as teachers and leaders at church, including our daughter’s camp director. It has generally been quite effective. Unfortunately there are also those leaders with whom we have struggled from time to time in spite of our attempts to educate.

Amanda’s camp leader was unfortunately an example that fit the topic Lysis wrote about very well, even right down to the letter in the mailbox. I used the story because it fit so well. In doing so I may have left the impression that this has been the typical lot of the Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians.

That certainly is not the case. There are many examples in the lives of my children that are the polar opposite from what I have described.

My son is currently playing baseball in the local city league. The only accommodation I have asked for is that he be allowed to play with the younger boys who are closer to his own skill level. The league president has been terrific about letting my son play. In fact, I suggested to the man last season that my son would probably not play this year because he is getting a little too big for the age group he is participating with. The president chastised me, and told me my son could play as long as he liked.

As Cambria’s mother has demonstrated, in addition to caring for the child with special needs, the parent of that child has the responsibility to educate those who are willing about the needs of his/her child. It seems that Cambria’s mother has been successful in fulfilling that responsibility. Sometimes we have pulled it off too.

My modest hope is that we will continue to be associated with leaders like you and the president of our local baseball league. Then I won’t be able to be so selfish with my children, and all will be able to benefit from them.

RealFruitBeverage said...

The anchor was well over 3000 lbs. I don't know who was in charge of that nonsense but you should be ashamed for being a part of it Danny.

There are worse sins commited against the Camp. For instance you could have brought a soul sucking harpy of doom to camp.

I tend to sort of lightly in a very small way indirectly agree, no agree is to strong of a word, lysis point. Forgivness is not asked for in words but in works. Problem is works take time.

Dan Simpson said...

I would never bring a soul sucking harpy to camp, who would do a stupid thing like that?

Whoever it was would have to do something big to make up for it, like organize a bunch of hooligans into moving an anchor that weighs in excess of 3,000lbs onto the parade ground.

Everyone should congratulate RFB on his shiny new citizenship.

Apollo said...

If I'm taking away from the present arguement I appologize, but I'm just joining and will post upon the original article.

I completely agree with you Lysis on the basis that we seldom take a second to look at the bigger picture. Honestly I cannot understand it. We have an overweight nation which means we have extra time on our hands. Why not use that time to find out the facts before rushing head-first into something we know nothing about? It's like our parents. countless times I have been woken by the sound of my parents leaving my room at 3a.m. Why do they do this? To make sure that my siblings and I are still safe asleep in our beds. We have no idea how much worry we cause them, nor will we ever.

It's likewise with our country. We have no idea, nor would I want to, of how much our president loves us as a nation, as a people. I'm sure we cause him to lose sleep and we don't know all of the behind-the-scenes work he does for us. All we can do is offer our support. Don't undercut him because he isn't overdoing you.

Apollo

Silver Lining said...

RFB, You finally did it eh? I will fly my flag in your honor tomorrow. However, how does this affect your ultimate plan to be the dictator of a small island nation?

Anonymous said...

An overwhelming 70% of the U.S. public thinks this country is heading in the wrong direction. Since RFB has become a citizen add me to that list. Just kidding! No, I'm not. Yes, I am. Not really.

To add needlessly to the masculine-oil-love-fest let me say that I think the anchor really weighed 1 million pounds! It did take a whole ten minutes for our languid, puberty wracked bodies to move it after all. Now come on, who can say that the boss we know and love was displeased with such a fine performance of the fit male specimen? No one who got to know the meaning behind the pouting looks he gave us. Firm guidance, correction when it was necessary, that we would grow into morally straight young men, that was the reason for our scolding. A gentle tongue lashing when it was necessary. Never more than we could handle. Sometimes just what we excitedly wanted and schemed. Ah, to feel the gentle hand of someone who cares again. We were all lucky for the attention and should be grateful, even when it felt like we were being punished it was so good. Thank you. Many of us only wish we could be at your mercy again, for the first time.

Lysis said...

RFB – This is truly great news. I have long been impressed by your service to America; service that went cheerfully and powerfully beyond that of most who were born to the duty. When I consider the good you have done, even in the tiny slice of your life with which I am familiar, I count my country fortunate by your choice.

As for the anchor – it would be luck to make 750 pounds. And if you all think you had fun dragging it onto the parade ground in the middle of the night – try to imagine the fun I had dragging you all out of bed at the crack of dawn to get it back in place before a single scout saw the “fruits” of your late night shenanigans. You might have rejoiced in this momentary monument to midnight disobedience – but you can hardly comprehend the pleasure I took in your contrite submission at sunrise.

Apollo, I am glad to hear your assessment of President Bush’s level of service and love for America. I am sure that the “slings and arrows” of his enemies often sting George Bush’s heart, but such suffering in service only makes it the more significant and the more meaningful to those who understand.

Anonymous; it seems you understand this very well indeed. Thank you for your comments; I will try to live up to their implication. As I consider the terrific crew that will be my privilege to serve and guide this summer – I am humbled and excited at once. It isn’t my love for mosquitoes that keeps me coming back to “Yellowstone”. Wouldn’t it really be a joy to think one actually did make a difference in some tiny bit of the world?

By the way – I am the proud new owner of a find yellow hen – the perfect chicken. I am also happy that its former owner will continue to care for it, oblivious to the shift in property. To those who provided that “late night shenanigan”, thanks.

Dan Simpson said...

Lysis, you may or may not know, but we calculated that early morning smack down in our plannings. We actually took bets in the first commissioner cabin at how early RFB would come knocking on our door after you had roused him (he being the obvious person of suspicion). It was part and parcel of the fun. We laughed and enjoyed the moving, and laughed and enjoyed the moving back. It wasn't for the scouts we moved it anyway. We all desperately wanted to see your face as you came strolling up the road and had to look twice, A GIANT ANCHOR IS IN THE PARADE GROUND. . . JIMMY!

We knew it would be discovered at the crack of dawn, and knew we would be roused. It was worth it, it was a celebration of a small return of a loved mischief maker, before he had to return to the mainland to the soul-sucking harpy of doom.

Dan Simpson said...

It was part of a two-part plan, but no matter how much money was raised, Colby would not say "Like a wedge of Polish sausage."

Apollo said...

Lysis-
I realize that the "arrows" that are shot at the president make the sacrifices more "meaningfull", but we shouldn't have to resort to that. We should help him climb by giving our aid, not make him climb higher to get out of the range of these arrows. You speak of how we need to realize that we are not the leaders because of how they do the background work, but remember:

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
- Ralph Nader

Our leaders should not be worried about pampering us and making life easier, but challenging us. Thomas Monson said:

"The heights by great men reached and kept were not obtained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night."

When we are content we stop and stay where we are. If we are put into the mind set that:

No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.
- unknown

we will never lay idly by. Where would we be if the great inventors and great minds of the past said "I won't worry about it, my mommy will do it all."? We need to take initiative.

In final I just want to say:

Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.
- unknown

We need to get involved. If we don't we will all fall and be perfectly content with being taken over and killed. It starts with us.

Example sheds a genial ray which men are apt to borrow, so first improve yourself today, and then your friends tomorrow.
- unknown

Apollo

Anonymous said...

Where would we be if the "great" inventors and "great" minds of the past said "I won't worry about it, my [daddy] will do it all."?

The White House.

RealFruitBeverage said...

I would first like to say I'm not a citizen yet. I still have time to reconsider; you know I might decide to be a communist or something.

As for the anchor incident, I feel I need to shed some light on what really happened. After reading Lysis' little comment about the joy he recived whipping us so early in the morning I've come to the only conclusion possible; it was Lysis' master plan to move the anchor all along. Let me elaborate.

You see Lysis use to give a talk at SM round table about how he was a troublesome little lad and how he was shiped to Montana as a child. In the story he gives a great account of how children (me being 12 y/o in maturity mind you) can get into quit a bit of mischif when their minds are left to wander. As we all know the person we know as Jimmy was under a diffrent kind of stress that year. So basicly his most challenging part of his job was to deal with mythical bloodsucking wombat with razor iron wings. When said wombat left, what was there to occupy his time and energy, nothing. So Lysis knew Jimmy would do something.

Lysis would also tell another story about how he saved a family's trip in yellowstone by pulling a van from the edge of a cliff back on to the road. The driver said, "you can't move it we are stuck." to which Lysis replied, "heck I got 50 teenagers I can move anything." That statement stayed in my mind from the first time I heard it. It burned in the back of my head, then and today.

So our Jimmy sits at meals in the middle of the chow hall. The middle right infront of the anchor. It calls to him. Remember it was Lysis that gave the final go on the sitting arrangements for chow. He was the one that OKed Jimmy to sit infront of the anchor; to let it taunt him day after day, meal after meal. If you sit a monkey at a typewriter long enough you eventually get Shakesphere right? Well it was just inevitable that Jimmy would think about moving it. Now Lysis at this point knew Jimmy fairly well. As some of us know Jimmy likes to verbalize what he is thinking. So one day Jimmy states "I wounder if we could move the anchor. Come on they had to move it to get it there." To which a kitchen staff member replied, "Jimmy you can't do it, it can't be done." Now everyone knows one of the best ways to get Jimmy to do something is to tell him he can't do it, not that he shouldn't but that he can't. At this point Judy (the dinning hall director) sounds like the master mind, as she is related to one of the most diabolical minds of our times, Todd. But No! It is not! Remember back and how it was always Judy and Lysis who made all the PBJs and how they would talk about what? Nobody knows! Well one of the topics must have been, when Jimmy asks if it's possible to move the anchor, tell your staff to say "HE" can't do it.

If you connect all the dots it is easy to see that Jimmy is not really responsible at all for the anchor moving, infact he would deny it all together if there weren't signifigant photo evidence to the contrary.

A final thought, it is one thing to complain about a plan, another to advise against it, still nother to oppose it; but it is still the obligation of those who execute to try and fulfill the plan to perfection regardless of one's personal feelings about it. A part of leadership is following.

Reach Upward said...

RFB sounds as if he should join DannyBoy in the legal profession.

Anonymous said...

"A final thought, it is one thing to complain about a plan, another to advise against it, still nother to oppose it; but it is still the obligation of those who execute to try and fulfill the plan to perfection regardless of one's personal feelings about it"

What kind of crap is that!? Are you accusing the generals and soldiers who are fighting this war and do not agree with Rumsfeld of not doing their best to win this war!? Why do even say such a thing? What kind of obvious and meaningless observation are you making? No one is accusing the U.S. armed forces in Iraq of not doing their duty, doing their best and giving their lives, their limbs to win a failed strategy dreamt up by a corrupt man.

The only negligence of duty, blatantly on display here, is the duty to have used force only when it was necessary and to support that strategy with everything we have at our disposal to win the goals we set out. Instead, Rumsfeld has hamstrung the forces that are doing their best in this war with crippling second guessing, no planning, under equipping of the soldiers put in harms way, and no clear goals for victory.

Further incompetence on display is word today that 30,000 troops may be sent home by the end of the year, for what? For the assasination of the Iraqi VP's family members yesterday? For the eight car bombs detonated in Baghdad on Monday? For the forty U.S. soldiers killed this month? What has happened these last 100 days that shows the progress that would suggest things are better there for 25% draw down? The progess that has triggered this strategy is the progression of 60% Presidential disapproval ratings. Wonderfully, strategically competent decision making from the Secretary of Defense, if his concern is CYA. But make no mistake, no one is accusing of the troops or the commanders in the field of doing anything but executing their plans to perfection. They will be happy to come home, doing just what they were told, and they will do everything they can until then to keep eachother alive and in once piece. That was never questioned.

Think less RFB. Do more push-ups.

RealFruitBeverage said...

I'm not making that full accusation, but one has a tendancy not to give it everything you got if you dont' belive in the plan, from top to bottom. Are you going to do your best to save your buddies life yeah. Are you going to come up with new and creative ways to fulfill your orders instead of sitting around and wasting energy complaining and feeling sorry for yourself, maybe. That goes for everyone from top to bottom.

Dan Simpson said...

Yeah RFB, how come you don't support the troops?

And reach, RFB graduated from law school the year before I did.

Anonymous said...

I don't think RFB is saying he doesn't support the troops Danny. I think RFB is saying he does not support the troops that do not like Rumsfeld. In an outrageous way he is implying that failure in Iraq rests on the shoulders of commanders and gunts, from top to bottom, that do not agree with this White House! It isn't enought that those men and women who tour in Iraq are asked to give up their arms and legs, their lives, their friends, now they have to give up their right to think! Maybe that is standard. RFB, in his seemingly infinite insesitivity gave his up thinking long ago. Tell us more about your philosophy RFB. Is not agreeing with Rumsfeld why troops in the Anbar province are attacked an average of 30 times per day? Are the troops clinging to life at the burn units in Bethesda there because they voted for John Kerry in the last election? When a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan takes Rumsfeld's name in vain do they deserve to be blown up!? Is it the military's fault that they are being attacked because a lot of commanders and soldiers do not like Donald Rumsfeld!?

I at least, think that they do not deserve what this White House has done to the soldiers. I think the vast majority of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing their best in a challenging situation thrown on them by an incompetent administration. And until I read your golden nuggets of wisdom RFB I thought that everyone else thought so too. Apparently you do not.

Dan Simpson said...

You are ridiculous. Reread that quote. It says it is all fine and good to disagree, but when you need to fulfill a mission, you need to do it with your whole effort. Do it half-heartedly, and you have failed.

I guess, anonymous, you are all for soldiers having their say and contrary opinions, unless that soldier is RFB?

Reach Upward said...

Sorry, RFB, I should have realized from your stated case that you are in the legal profession.

On the original post, Brendan Miniter writes here about the turf battle between some career military people and the civilian leadership. The most outspoken generals feel that they were outflanked by the reformers. They're still upset about it. This article explains why these generals' publicity stunts are wholly inappropriate.

Contrary to what Anon. says, people are accusing some commanders of failing to do the job right. We now know that some slowed down the advance on Bagdhad mainly to stick it in eye of Rumsfeld and his staff. This action allowed Saddam's loyalists to hide armaments, move out WMDs, move out, and hide out. Our soldiers are fighting these people today. Other operations have been delayed or poorly carried out simply due to political issues within the military establishment. Not all of the critics have clean hands.

Silver Lining said...

Dannyboy,

I don't think Anonymous realized that RFB is a soldier. I don't think he picked up on the subtle sarcasm of your question regarding supporting the troops.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I cannot believe the thick headedness of the people who post here. You are so wed to your love of Our Holy Father Bush that Iraq is now the failure of the commanders!? In your eyes we are losing this war because our soldiers let us down? You sure it wasn't a bad strategy to begin with, the one that said we would be greeted as liberators, spend no more than $50 million, and require no more than 30,000 troops to occupy Iraq? Of course you do not. YOU ARE CRAZY. Thank goodness reasonable will write the history books.

You should join RFB: give up thinking, just do what you are told, more push ups. (That was a subtle sarcastic acknowledgment of Jim's position as a soldier that I know you did not pick up on Silver Lining.)

Danny, here you have people posting in black and white that they blame the failure of Iraq on the soldiers. Point your finger at them, ridiculous. Also, you read RFB's quote. It does say, "Are you going to come up with new and creative ways to fulfill your orders instead of sitting around and wasting energy complaining and feeling sorry for yourself, maybe. That goes for everyone from top to bottom." The implication, right there, is that the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are failing because they are probably sitting around feeling sorry for themselves and not agreeing with Donald Rumsfeld. The quote says there is only a chance that soldiers who disagree with Rumsfeld are going to fulfill their orders!

Get real people. The U.S. failings in Iraq are not shared top to bottom. The blame for Iraq rests right at the top, with the Secretary of Defense and his boss. And that goes for the blatantly stupid politicaly motivated strategic decision that still being made by this incompetent administration today (25% draw down in the face of 60% disaproval). Their strategy - and lack there of - has been a complete failure. The dead 2,400 U.S. troops and 20,000 casualties are not the ones to blame.

Silver Lining said...

Anonymous,

I was talking to Dannyboy, not insulting you. I don't presume to know who you are or what you know about anyone else's background.

As far as a subtle comment lost on me, there is a lot that is lost on me. The adhominem snarky jackass behavior above is not

Lysis said...

First – To Flaccid’s foul drizzling spew:

To the 9: 21 AM comments –

1. You would be hard pressed to find soldiers fighting in Iraq that share the opinions of the “has beens” against Rumsfeld. The Commander on the ground supports him and says he has all the troops he needs and has reasons for wanting less. You, Flaccid are only spouting the talking point of Nancy Pelosi – you have not a single original thought in your entire splatter.

2. You are right – no one is accusing the military of not doing their best. That is why we have success in spite of enormous difficulties on the ground in Iraq and the support for the terrorists in the media here in America.

3. You don’t give one iota of support for you disingenuous and rote recited accusations against Rumsfeld. The handling or the war has been masterful – you only show you complete lack of historical perspective in thinking this war has not proceeded with greater success and efficacy than any other we have ever fought. Consider the first years of the Civil War, the defeats on the battle field suffered in Africa in WWII – there is so much that you obviously don’t know. Your silly eagerness to spout the lies of the minority party is as disgusting as it is ill-advised.

4. That 30,000 troops may be able to return to America once our Iraqi Allies are able to stand on their own is a proof of success not a concession to terrorists. Their only victories are in the small minded support of their lies found in the Mainstream Media and in the thoughtless rantings of the uninformed in the blogosphere.

5. You advice to RFB to think less is obviously your answer to every thing. On the other hand I council you Flaccid to do some thinking of your own for once. I am so tire of Tim Russet and Nancy Pelosi and Osama Bin Laden’s lies; it would be so refreshing for you to come up with just one original thought.

On the further weak dripping dribbled out by Flaccid at 11:49.

1. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful application of true thought Flaccid; if you did you would recognize the terrible things happening in Iraq which you describe are the fault of a worldwide terrorist movement, which wants to destroy the west. This is a war not a video game. You can’t just push a button and get things to always go our way. Again, your absolute ignorance of history – your political motivation – your blind devotion to the fools who, like the whiners and complainers mentioned in the original post above, are only interested in what they can gain no matter what the const to our country.

2. The attacks on American soldiers are not the enemies of the United States. Their greatest and most successful enemy is Donald Rumsfeld. Your attacks on him are truly support of those who would benefit most from his resignation – the terrorists and tyrants, the rape room runners, the mass murderers. I notice the Osama has called for Jihad against Darfur. I guess he is looking for easier targets for his super warriors. Can’t deal with the new Iraqi army, so go kill Christian children and starving women in Sudan. Glad to see you two are on the same page Flaccid.

3. You are right the soldiers have done wonders in Afghanistan and Iraq. The challenges are not coming from the White House, but from the terrorists and their supporters here in the US. Feel good about your alliance and allegiance Flaccid? I bet you do!

Reach Upward:

It is important that the US maintain civilian leadership of the military and most or our heroes wouldn’t have it any other way. Most of the snipers against Rumsfeld are disappointed that their pet projects and the old military they grew up with was changed – and for the better – by this administration. I think it not worthy that far more x-generals remain supportive of the administration and the President that the tinny fraction who have come out against it. When one considers their political ambitions and their bruised egos it is easy to understand the reason behind the attacks of these few. What is sad is that they are too stupid or too uncaring to realize the damage they supplying ammunition to the enemy does to the soldiers in the field and the future of freedom.

To the squirt at 4:01 Wow Flaccid, you were able to say the exact same things over again in exactly the same order without adding a single original thought or point worth commenting on. Proof, were any needed, that you have long ago taken your advice to the rest of us and quit thinking.

Silver Lining:

Some of us appreciate the pearls; the rest are programmed to turn and rend. By-the-Way; how about Tony Snow’s new job? As I recall he is a friend of yours. I hope he’ll still take your calls!

Anonymous said...

"1. You would be hard pressed to find soldiers fighting in Iraq that share the opinions of the “has beens” against Rumsfeld."

Yeah, because is against the law. Active duty criticism of civilian military leadership is punishable by prison time. Hence the necessity of the brave generals who have spoken out being retired ones - has beens as you so kindly refer to them Liesis.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for calling those of us who dissent terrorists and supporters of Al Quaeda who want to destroy America. Let's tally the score according to the enlightened posters:

1. Disagreeing with Rumsfeld is the reason U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq.

2. Disagreeing with Rumsfeld is the reason there is an ongoing war in Iraq.

3. Disagreeing with Bush is the same as being a member of Al Queada.

4. Thinking that Bush is not the greatest is the same thing as wanting America to be destroyed.

I can't believe someone who holds the military in such esteem does not reproach the others for saying the soldiers in Iraq are responsible for ongoing conflict there. You should clearly tell Reach and RFB they are wrong Liesis, that the mess in Iraq is not the fault of the soldiers. Tell Reach he is crazy for saying so and RFB of all people should know better. You won't. You're too busy spouting the prayer of Bush. "Our father who art in the White House, hallowed be thy name . . ."

On the contrary to your comment earlier DannyBoy2, RFB, Liesis and others are allowed to have opinions and to voice them often. The sheer lunacy of their statements point out just how crazy they are, and how crazy you have to be to agree with them!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

I have spoken to two active duty military men in the past twenty-four hours, both back from Iraq with in the last month, and both tell me that the stories in the media about the problems in Iraq are wrong. You and Murtha can call our soldiers, liars and cowards if you please (they have provided you that right) – I prefer to believe them, especially when I know them personally and know they are 100% trustworthy.

As for thanking me for calling attention to the damaging roll played by dissenters in the war – you’re welcome, it has been my pleasure.

You must at least be trying to think Flaccid because you have finally said somethings that are true:

1. You say, “Disagreeing with Rumsfeld is a reason U.S. soldiers are dying in Iraq.” Those who disagree with the war with lies and half truths disparage the efforts of freedom encourage the killers with the hope that they might someday drive American out of the Muslim world so they can control it as they once did Afghanistan and now control Iran. So you are right – such disingenuous disagreement does kill soldiers. Stop it!

2. You state that, “Disagreeing with Rumsfeld is the reason there is an ongoing war in Iraq”. You are right again Flaccid. With every terrorist supportive “news” story, with every call for the removal of the man who is their worst nightmare (Rumsfeld), made by your ilk for political gain, the terrorists are given a reason to hang on and keep fighting. Thus you are right again; attacks on the leaders of the U.S. military – especially these unsubstantiated and dishonest ones - do keep the war going.

3. Disagreeing with Bush is NOT the same as being a member of Al Queda, but if you disagree with Bush simply because you hate him; without any substantiated reason and without any cause but that of getting power for yourself, you are hurting America and helping its enemies. I guess you are in league with these enemies of America because they are the enemies of your enemy (Bush). Thus your, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” attitude toward Al Queda does show who your friends are Flaccid.

4. You claim that, “Thinking Bush is not the greatest is the same thing as wanting America to be destroyed.” This is not thinking Flaccid – this is saying a stupid thing that is cut whole cloth out of your imagination as to anything I have ever said. Disagree with the President all you want – but give some truthful reason for your decent. To attack the President with lies does indeed damage America. Every lie you tell about the President hurts this country and gives aid and comfort to its enemies.

You, Flaccid, pretend to respect the military, while calling them liars and cowards. You and Murtha and the Democrats seeking power in November, make up a mess in Iraq that doesn’t even exist, As those of us who think rather than spout Democrat political talking points have tried to explain to you – the painful things going on in Iraq are the fault of Terrorist and fanatics who seek the destruction of America, the West, anyone who does not follow their vision of religious zealotry. To blame the deaths of innocents, whether American solider or Iraqi citizens, on anyone but the terrorists, is thoughtless dishonesty.

I am eager for the world to judge our statements side by side – which of us is the lunatic is obvious. Your spew of lies would be a joke were it not for the real harm it does.

Anonymous said...

"I have spoken" to a now Major -- West Point Graduate, officer going on three Iraqi tours, former student, married to a two time Iraqi tour Captain, West Point
Graduate Officer, not former student, who told me two years ago that Rumsfeld was and is incompetent, and just verified last week that Rumsfeld's incompetence is just getting worse!!!!

Go ahead Lysis, call him a coward and a traitor and liar -- you COULD even tell him to his FACE. Might even show him your old medals for valor and heroism -- not to mention all the purple hearts you've picked up at the Agora.!!!!

Lysis said...

You’re the one who is calling this Major and his Captain Wife cowards and liars. If they really tels you ONE THING in private and say ANOTHER THING in public because they are ARFAID then their actions would speak for themselves. You are the one who has described cowards and liars. What you have said about these soldiers is here for everyone to read. I have never called any serviceman or women who speaks their mind either a coward or a liar. You have done that Flaccid, as has Murtha, and the Democrat spin machine by saying again and again what you have just said; saying that such and such solider knows something about the conduct of the war – but says DIFFERENTLY when asked in public because they are AFRAID. Of course understanding what you are doing Flaccid, would require you to actually think about it and we all know you attitude toward that.

Anonymous said...

Lysis' notion that an American Soldier can hold no private opinions nor express them to friends and family without the sanction or countenance of the Secretary of State is truly grotesque nonsense -- let me get this straight. You think that a soldier who expresses a contrary opinion about Rumsfeld to friends and family is a COWARD? -- or that *I* think he is a coward for doing so????

I am happy that two "militaried" friends and associates can publically avow the "all is well" sentiments that Lysis finds so exhilarating and "true" -- I can honor those feelings too.

Lysis well knows, as Rumsfeld, that it is against the UCMJ for a soldier to PUBLICALLY take a position against the policies of Civilian Leadership. But, Lysis, soldiers DO have opinions against the war that they express to friends and family -- always have, always will. I might add, that's what makes them Americans!-- not an empty headed and empty hearted allegiance to "the Furror"!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are brain dead Liesis. Everything that every Anonymous has said is here. Show us where any Anon has called a soldier a coward? Please. Come on and do it. Or cut and run like the pseudo-intellectual vermin you are. Scurry for the dark since you are unwilling to stand up and tell people like Reach and RFB that failings in Iraq are not the fault of the soldiers there. You are pathetic and transparent. You will say anything for the extreme defense of Bush.

By the way, Condi Rice's state department today released their World Terror Report where they said Iraq has "become a safe haven for terrorists" has drawn terrorists from around the world and is expanding the violence - their example was Jordan. The report acknowledges that the Iraq occupation "continues to enflame Muslims around the world against U.S. interests" and emboldens Islamic extremists. The report also notes that terrorist attacks increased from 11,000 globaly in the previous year to more than 30,000 this year. It says that Al-Queda's traditional power structure has been interupted but is now functioning in ways that are harder to combat and that Osam bin-Laden still excercises sufficient control and is plotting the next attack against the U.S. (The Iraq war being a complete failure in stopping this.)

Now, assuming all of this is true (and you must, it came from Bush's "diplomatic" mouth piece), my question for you and your absurd ideology Liessss-sss-sss-is is, (that is the absurd ideology where you believe that "disagreeing with Rumsfeld is the reason there is an ongoing war in Iraq" - noting Rumsfeld believes the war in Iraq accomplished exactly the opposite of all these points) how many U.S. soldiers has Condi Rice killed in Iraq today with this report?

You're pathetic.

Anonymous said...

About thinking . . .

Think: all men make mistakes,
But a good man yields when he
knows his course is wrong,
And repairs the evil: The only
Crime is pride.
-Antigone

The hope of a Democracy is leadership that can yield when it knows its course is wrong and then endeavors to "repair the evil".

Blind subserviance to leadership has no honor, does no one honor and bids no honor from citizens.

Also subserviance eliminates "repair of evil".

"The best fighting troops are the malcontents." said Gen. Grant. "Mouth honor" by a pack of "loyal followers" is an open invitation for willful abuse to be done by OPPORTUNISTIC and IMMORAL leadership!!!!

(Secretary of State is not the Secretary of Defense that was intended in the last posting)

Anonymous said...

F├╝hrer not furror you idiot

Anonymous said...

The silence is deafening.

RealFruitBeverage said...

Due to the nature of the responses to my little phrase, I decided my comments warranted some clarification. But before I do so I would like to make some observations. First, I normally wouldn’t make a big deal of this except I am terribly bored. Second, RFB, that’s me, is too stupid to warrant such a response from anyone. Three, I dislike posting on this blog as the general tendency of the readership is to not pay careful attention to the post and think about it for lets say at least 4 hours before posting a response. Fourth I rarely, very rarely post how I actually feel about any topic (even in real life only a select few really know what I believe) I think it isn’t good for exploring the truth to only debate the side that you believe 100% of the time. Fifth because I am posting about how I feel about this particular set of issues I may get a little vulgar. Since I know that there are readers out there that might take offense to that you have been warned.

The most important point that can be made here is that Lysis in no way said or implied that he wasn’t the person to mastermind the anchor moving. As such let me move on to the less important issues.

Since most of the responses to my little final thought was by anonymousness it was hard to decipher how many misunderstandings and actual oppositions (vs. mistaken) there were. I’ll do my best by trying to group them into topics and I will try to quote the source of the misunderstanding.

For the topic of “Think less RFB. Do more push-ups.” I don’t think you realize how many push-ups I do. Also when doing a lot of push ups, I’m talking about 15- 40 minutes worth it’s hard not to think about things. If you truly want me to think less you should advise me to read Nancy Drew, People, or watch Good Morning America, Fox News, or go on dates with women from Alaska (not that women from AK are mind sucks it’s just that I tend to not think when doing such activities). However the spirit of your recommendation did resonate with me, so I am resolved to do more pull-ups. Now I went through that whole spill to show a point. The phrase “Think less RFB. Do more push-ups.” has a meaning to it. I took the meaning in a wrong way, got some of it but with just a little twist messed the whole purpose of it up. It was an easy mistake to make and perfectly understandable, especially if I were to just read something once and not carefully parse out all the meaning.

The next issue of misunderstanding, “I don't think RFB is saying he doesn't support the troops Danny. I think RFB is saying he does not support the troops that do not like Rumsfeld.” What I gather from this line and the lines that followed it was the reader/poster is under the impression from my comments that I think if you do not agree with the current administration and you are a solider you are: one responsible for the situation in Iraq as is today, two not worthy of any kind of respect, and three not giving their full effort to the war effort. Let me say none of these statements is correct as to my position. In fact I believe it is every soldier’s obligation to search out what he/she truly feels and believes and make it known to his/her chain of command. Additionally it is important for every soldier to advise the uppers in the chain of command of opposing views and alternatives. For the soldiers that actually do oppose the current administration’s philosophies and carry out their duty as they should I give them an extra amount of respect that few in my eyes have achieved (not that my respect is worth much). It has also been my observation that most soldiers that do oppose the administrations stance on things tend to be the soldiers that fulfill their duty the best. Hopefully that clarifies the narrow issue of support of the troops that oppose the administration.

Another implicated idea in the post is that we are failing in Iraq and Afghanistan. That in it of itself is too complicated a notion for me to discuss on an internet post. I could write a 40 page paper on it and still not evaluate and discuss it in enough detail to give an answer that could be dignified as full. I will say that I believe that we are not failing in Iraq. I have a soft belief that we are succeeding in Iraq in accordance with realistic expectations considering all relevant factors for the area of conflict. Once again that is a soft belief and a lot more has to be seen before I can conclude that firmly. I think since so much more has to be seen and so many different things are associated with what people consider success and failure, I think it is better to discuss this topic in notions of successful and unsuccessful micro events vs. macro events.

Another notion is that it is the casualties are the brunt of any notion of failure that might be perceived by me. If you apply the premises from above there is not need to say the dead man or wounded man is responsible for our failure, because one I don’t believe there is a failure. Also this is a complete misapplication of the original argument. Those of this thinking equate casualties to people who oppose the administration. I have yet to see any evidence to show that would be a significant enough of a trend to say casualties = opposing the administration.

So what was I actually saying? All because somebody is in the armed forces does not mean that they are fulfilling their duties. It also doesn’t mean that they are men of honor. The army is full of them. People in the army refer to some of these people as buddy fuckers, blue falcons, and an assortment of other names. The sad fact is the majority of the army is set to mediocre. Soldiers constantly shirk their duties and look out for only themselves. I’m not saying all or most soldiers are the self interested kind, just enough to piss you off, a lot. So you have an E4 that decides not to PMCI his aid bag before he goes out on a mission because he was just too tired or just didn’t want to. Later that E4’s platoon has a casualty. Oh wait that E4 doesn’t have a 14 gauge needle to do a chest decompression. So the casualty dies. Is it that E4’s fault that that mission failed or that we aren’t having as much success? Fuck yeah it is. You can change the rank and the type of equipment, because shit like that happens all the time. Or better yet how about stealing your buddy’s equipment, I bet that never happens. Yes this kind of behavior happens from top to bottom. Hey I don’t want to do this convoy because I think it is stupid or I don’t see the point. Because I’m pissed I won’t double check the strip map or any of the route’s rally points. I get lost and two transports get hit by IEDs. Part of the failure? Damn right it is. Better yet, I don’t have enough troops to successfully accomplish a mission, but because I don’t want to look bad in front of my Brigade commander I say the battalion will do it. Low and behold we don’t have enough security and somebody dies. Or here’s a whooper, I hate being over in the box, so I don’t do any weapons cleaning. My convoy gets ambushed. My weapon won’t fire so I just curl up in a ball and start crying. Mean while my buddy is shooting like a mad woman and trying to repel the enemy. Low and behold we get captured, nothing happens to me because I was crying like a baby, but my buddy gets her legs broken. At the end of the day I get a new care after we are rescued and my buddy gets nothing. Now that’s a brave American solider! So what’s the point? It is one thing to say hey boss I don’t like this plan, I think it’s stupid (because sometimes it is). It is something completely different to say that go back and pout about it, complain to everyone else about it, and stop taking your full effort to energetically meet the enemy this country. There is also a culture of CYOA in the army. It is especially prevalent in officers. Instead of saying I could have executed my duty better; a common phrase is so and so is fucked up, but not me. Sad thing is CYOA is great way to climb in rank. So when a general that is retired goes and start saying Rummy is all jacked up without stating specific plan changes he would have made or without accepting some notion of responsibility I get a little suspicious.

So go ahead disagree with your leadership. Heck I do it all the time. Heck if you are in a power position make it known so some change might happen. But if you are a solider never let that disagreement cause you to fail your comrades.

Still I have yet to state enough to fully clarify my position. But I have a person who needs her furniture moved, and I’m heading north for some training!

And just for the record you can’t deport me now.

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

Great Post RFB and I am eager to comment on it specifically. But I just got back from the Graduation Party. I have two son’s and a daughter in law graduating from University in May; so we went to Dianne’s Senior Art Show and spent the evening eating Chinese food and playing with the grand kids. I have read your thoughts, appreciated you insight and will spend the night thinking how best to reply.

As for the Anonymy – each have stuck your chins out beautiful and I look forward to smacking them tomorrow. I will be attending CPR training with my staff in the morning. RFB – your “lecture” on the need to be properly prepared really strikes home. I think every minute of the summer on the safety needs of my staff and of all the campers. As you, RFB have so eloquently stated – the time to deal with problems of the future is now. This is a lesson I have learned, and a policy the current Administration has stuck to since 9/11.

By the way – I notice that Ayman al-Zawahri has claimed that the U. S. has been broken in Iraq. “That hundreds of suicide bombings have broken the back of the U.S. in Iraq.” Seems he has been getting his info from the same place the Anonymy have. He goes on to call Egypt, Jordan. Saudi Arabia, and Iraq traitors.” Looks like Baghdad Bob is still putting out the lies. Well at least Flaccid has some support. The enemy of his enemy is his friend.

Anonymous said...

Brainmech says-

The only crisis of support for this entire administration has come from the bitter, angry, hate filled little people that are still stuck on the 2000 election.

We won a decisive victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan. Dems supported then waivered in their support.

We also wona decisive war against Iraq. The war was over less than 45 days after it began.

The 'war' that is ongoing is not with Iraq. It is not against some Polly Pureheart freedom fighters. It is a war against terrorists. It must not EVER be stopped.

Bush cited 17 reasons but 3 primary reasons for attacking Iraq.

1. Genocide-Absolutely proven true as demonstrated by the 750,000 to estimated 1.5 million bodies uncovered.
2. Iraqs sponsorship of terrorism-Proved absolutely true. Iraq supported and paid for Palestinian suicide bombers, provided training camps and safe havens to numerous Al Qaida terrorists.
3. Iraq refused to give an accounting of the WMD aresenal inventoried by the first UN inspection teams following the first Gulf War. Absolutely and undeniably true. What we dont know is what happened to those weapons. We DO know Clinton and the other world leaders repeatedly cited intel reports about those WMDs and we also know that the UN passed 17 resolutions condemning Iraqs action and caling for disclosure and we also know the world leaders, Clinton, the UN all did NOTHING for 8 years. But we DONT know what happened to them. Iraqs possession of those weapons was not challenged. Iraqs refusal to give an accounting of the wherabouts or disposition WAS the problem.

Democrats supported military action and sanctions against Iraq when it was Clinton calling for those actions. Democrats are on record citing Iraqs possession and in fact USE of those weapons. But when it was a republican president they took a 180 turn.

People wonder why this country is so divided. Be honest...review the state of US politics and the media actions since the elections of 2000. Every death and tragedy has been politicized and publicized.

Imagine how much more effectively our troops would have been able to operate had we remained unified as a nation.

Anonymous said...

"Seems he has been getting his info from the same place the Anonymy have." You mean from the White House that says that Iraq has "become a safe haven for terrorists." The same White House that is responding to this by saying they are going to withdraw 30,000 soldiers while Zarqawi is still in Iraq, bombings happen everyday, April was the deadliest month of the year, and Shiite death squads are now moving the fight into Kurdish controlled areas. Withdrawal in the face of those facts doesn't exactly seem like a withdrawal in a position of strength or like the country has been fixed, just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

BrainMech says

And a final note...we are about to deploy the next rotation of troops to Iraq. All have volunteered to fill the required positions. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that serve KNOW their mission and are not wavering. We also have civilian government employees volunteering to fill non-combatant positions.

When those troops leave Iraq they will have accomplished their mission. They will have removed a despotic dictator that thrived on pain and genocide (not unlike Milosovic in Serbia and after all, liberals believe genocide is a just reason for war...right?). They will have fought and killed countless terrorists. They will have provided the people of Iraq the OPPORTUNITY for freedom and democracy. The rest is up to the people of Iraq.

and just so Anonyomous doesnt do something stupid like suggest why 'I' dont volunteer to go instead of earning my purple heart on the blog, let me just say that I think 7 tours of duty (totalling 4 years in a 20 year career)in the middle east is enough for any man. Ive seen enough to know the mission is worth it. I may yet be called up again and if so, I will kiss my wife, hug my children, and go and do the job that I volunteered for.

Anonymous said...

Brainmech says-

Anonyous said
"Withdrawal in the face of those facts doesn't exactly seem like a withdrawal in a position of strength or like the country has been fixed, just the opposite."

Nope. I agree. It sounds like a political response caused by democrats lining up to the microphone and saying we cant win. It sounds like an erosion of support caused by years of top democrats giving terrorists sound bites to use against our own troops. It sounds like years of false claims that Bush lied about the reasons going to war (I have the transcripts if you care to debate the words said-or better yet...look them up...easily found). At no time did he say Iraq was responsible for 9-11, yet thats what dems have claimed. The WMD citation was for Iraqs refusal to give an accounting as demanded by 17 UN resolutions. Genocide remains uncontested). With the media party shills and democrats crying for an end to the 'war' (define BTW the 'war' we are supposed to end...) it should not be surprising that eventual support for the WAR ON TERROR would erode. Politics remains our greatest threat to the peace and security of this nation.

Anonymous said...

RFB,

"Fifth because I am posting about how I feel about this particular set of issues I may get a little vulgar." I stopped reading there. Keep doing push ups.

Liesis,

The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism, showed a doubling from the previous year in both the number of major terrorist attacks in Iraq and the death toll from them. Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, the State Department's top counterterrorism official, in a briefing on major havens for terrorists worldwide, singled out Anbar Province in Iraq. It was striking that a senior American official would list a region in a country where approximately 130,000 American troops are stationed. We're still waiting for your estimate of how many U.S. soldiers were killed because Condi Rice issued this report.

Anon,

Fantastic use of the classics. I am sorry that it was completely ignored by some here who take every opportunity to profess they are great students of those works. I especially like the point that blind obedience demands no honor from the public. Precisely the point Liesis and his cult of personality followers should take to heart.

Needs-A-Brainmech,

"It sounds like an erosion of support caused by years of top democrats giving terrorists sound bites to use against our own troops. . . . . Politics remains our greatest threat to the peace and security of this nation." So you also agree that Bush invaded the wrong country! The marines should have grabbed their rifles and boots and occupied California! (Just kidding, you seem like someone disturbed enough to take that seriously.) By the way, I wouldn't wish anyone to go to Iraq and fight. It's hell there, and it's being made worse by an incompetent, politically motivated administration in Washington. Oh, and that administration that does all of the incompetent "management" is a Republican one, not a Democratic one.

Lysis said...

Realfruitbeverage;

First, I am glad you are occasionally bored – then we get to hear from you.

Second, I have never thought you stupid, I have know you since you were a boy, and have made many considered observations about you – I have never considered you stupid; if anything, TOO smart.

Third, please don’t be to general in your judgment of the readership here “At the Agora”. Lot’s of people read who don’t ever post – that doesn’t mean they, or even those who try in our clumsy way to respond, aren’t’ affected by your thoughts.

Forth, it is always nice to know exactly how you feel about things. All our lives together I have noticed your propensity to always give both sides of every argument, often stopping short of revealing your true feelings. I have often chalked this up to three years of excelling at Value Debate in High School – but I should have know that was too shallow an interpretation. Please continue letting us know exactly how your feel.

Fifth, I – of myself - am not offended by vulgarity. In fact I find it much more painful to deal with dishonesty than the “F” word. And yet as you have seen – I happily deal with dishonest posts here all the time. If a cuss word or two adds energy to your points, go for it. On the other hand, I have always been impressed by the power of your arguments and have, to date, not needed any “shock” treatment to find your words moving.

To the most Important Thing – let’s move on.

Point next – I am glad to see you are still keeping in shape, and I am well aware that you are capable of improving mind and body at once. I hope you do not find it too profane to apply Flaccid’s call for less thinking to the examination of his own thoughtlessness.

Point next – I also think that any solider or citizen, or interested resident alien or . . . who cares about their duty and this country has the obligation to let the “chain of command” know what he is thinking. This applies to schools and scout camps as well as war efforts. It was never my intention to criticize any troops – my criticism was for Congress Person Murtha and his ilk, who claim to know soldiers who tell their superiors one thing and then “in fear” tell the media, or Flaccid, others, other things. (Child finally got that point above; that was a surprise wasn’t it!). What such a statement by Murtha (and any other who make such claims) does is accuse the soldiers of 1 - lying to their superiors or to the press – since they are telling contradictory things, like that one forgotten general that worked for Clinton – and have to be lying in one case or another; and 2 – Murtha etc. are calling them cowards because they say the “Guys in the Field” will not tell the truth because they are afraid of the consequences. Hopefully that clarifies the narrow issue of my support of the troops, period.

Point next – I also hold that the U.S. is successful in Afghanistan and Iraq. Those who are saying otherwise are trying to snatch victory for the jaws of the American Media. To me is an indication of the weakness of al – Qaeda that they must rely on the Western Media to get out their message of America’s broken back in Iraq. It is all to telling that they have far more allies on the “air” in the U.S. than on the ground in Iraq.

Pont next – What you say about soldiers and their efforts and attitudes are applicable to all. There are slackers in every field of my experience, there are rotten camp staff members, even rotten camp staffs, there are rotten school teachers and a lot of rotten students. Thank goodness there are also many great ones.

I have just returned from CPR training with some of the Staff for this summer. It is most encouraging to see such fine people willing to give so much for so little material gain. Most of the young men I met with this morning are giving up very well paying jobs in the booming American economy to spend nine weeks in cold, wet, mosquito infested, hard work. They are literally paying for the chance to suffer for the sake of some little kids whom they have never met and may well never see again. I think these facts speak very highly of the heroes with whom I have the privilege of working, and of many of the heroes I will never have the privilege of meeting.

On point last – I agree with you about disagreeing with ones leadership – I believe that such disagreement is a vital type of support. But as I observed in contrasting the disloyalty of one out of hundreds of staffers in the opening post, and as I have further considered the works and actions of many in years of watching honest mistakes and sincere loyalty in spite of “late night pranks”. I can indeed tell a hawk from a handsaw. There is a difference between those who give their sincere criticism to the Secretary of Defense or the President – and many have said that both these great men welcome such criticism – and those that give vent to their bruised egos and political ambitions to the determent of this country and the aid and comfort of its enemies.

Who would ever have wanted to deport you RFB?

Brainmech;

Thanks for the light. Once again you can tell how effective your flash of truth was by the rate of scurry of the roaches struck by it unawares. Notice that Flaccid and the Child have not produced a single fact or figure to counter the points presented by either you or RFB.

On a separate point – I am truly grateful for the service you have and continue to give to America. As I spend time with my grandsons, as I contemplate the exciting summer in Yellowstone ahead, as I spend each day with my students, trying to learn, and hoping to find the truth; I am constantly aware of those, like you and RFB, the Marines I spoke with this week, and many others who make it all possible. I believe there are many ways to live for America, but I am constantly in debt to those who by their service make it possible for me to do mine.

To Flaccid and the Child;

Flaccid; you missed a lot when you chose not to read RFB’s comments. I find this refusal another example of your style of “learning”, and (as manifest in your Child) your teaching. You obviously avoid anything that doesn’t agree with you, and are thus able to continue in you fantasy world unfettered by the facts.

Thank you both for your points. They have provided some interesting contrasts and shadings to consider. As far as Sec. Rice’s comments; that the “battle goes on” is obvious to all of us, that it will be difficult was understood by most from the first. You and al-Zawahri can continue to call it a failure if you please, as I have said before, thanks to those who serve, especially in this Republican administration – you still have the right to do so. I remember Baghdad Bob screaming loudest of “Saddam’s Victory” just before that loser crawled into his spider whole; keep up the shrill and silly squawks, they are most encouraging to those who see the big picture.

Anonymous said...

Great post Lysis! I loved the way you glossed over the "progress" being made in Iraq - stated in the dim estimation of security in Iraq by the State Department - and highlighted above. Point after point from the report boils down to one thing: 3 years of occupation, thousands upon thousands killed, Iraq is a "safe haven" for terrorists and is uniting, exporting, and inspiring new terrorism against the U.S.

Well here is another inconvenient truth for you to gloss over. The Iraq VP said Friday that 100,000 citizens have been displaced and in refugee status, 20,000 of them this year alone, hundreds more continuing to flow out of their homes as the war spreads. Of course, the U.S. estimate is much lower. The U.S. estimate is that 70,000 people are relocating to accomadate the sectarian lines of war.

Now that's what I call success! With success like that who needs failure? Really, when you define success as the creation of a terrorist safe haven, thousands killed, the creation of 100,000 refugees, and a revitalizing of your enemy then what does failure mean?

(For you it means it is time to start blaming the media! Good one!)

Lysis said...
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Lysis said...

Flaccid:

You always provide such excellent examples for our discussion. The example above is of how silly someone becomes when they have no historic prospective. As a history teacher I am often asked the famous “why study history” questions. My answer is always, “know the truth and the truth will make you free.” In this case knowledge of history frees us from Flaccid’s defeatist accusations and political manipulation.

Some history truth seekers should consider:

1. Present conditions in Iraq are far superior to the evils and disasters under Saddam. Saddam murdered at least 400,000 of his own people, over a million Iranians, drove his own soldiers to death and destruction in devastating wars, invaded Kuwait, and gassed the Kurds. He was bribing his way into power with the lowlifes of the world, disregarding 14 U.N. resolutions, developing WMD, meeting with and supporting al -Qaeda and other terrorist groups, and planning to dominate the world. He practiced ethnic cleansing in the north among the Kurds, forcefully repopulating entire cities with his Arab slaves from the south; he practiced genocide against the March Arabs in at the mouth of the Euphrates and paid the families of suicide bombers. And executed entire villages without trial for his how pride’s sake. He took the money designated to feed his staring people and buy medicine for the sick and built palaces and treasures chambers. He sponsored rape rooms and torture chambers and held 25,000,000 Iraqis in slavery. His followers and allies still murder and displace but their worst efforts are shadows of their previous atrocities.

2. Current Event sidelight – just another reminder that the killings and displacements mentioned by Flaccid and the political spin misters he parrots, are the fault of the “evil doers” not the US, the President, or our Muslim allies.

3. Past displacements during the confrontation with evil and even after its demise are marked by sadness and brutality that make the claims Flaccid describes pale by comparison. They put the fear mongers on MSNBC into perspective. Consider these few recent examples: The destruction of the world economy by the vengeful actions of Britain and especially France after WWI, the Holocaust, the Rape of Nanking, the forced relocation of the German population of East Prussia by the USSR after WWII, the Iron Curtain and the tens of thousands who died trying to escape it, and the millions who died when they couldn’t. The 3,000,000 Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotians who were murdered the last time the U.S. cut and ran, leaving their allies to the hate and fanaticism of monsters, the return of starvation and tyranny to Somalia after Clinton tucked our national tail between his legs, the 12.000,000 Mexicans displaced to the U.S. by the corruption and failure of the Mexican Government today. The thousands who have died in and died trying to escape from Cuba after John Kenney failed to honor U.S. commitments at the Bay of Pigs; I could go on and on – but history has made my point. Flaccid’s misplaced anger against Bush and Rumsfeld is a demonstration of his lack of knowledge of events present and past – and proof of how he misunderstands the situation and misrepresents the facts by his ignorance or for his political purposes.

Once again, Flaccid, I thank you for providing this important object lesson on the danger of ignorance of history; the importance of learning the truth,

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous' comment I think sums it all up.

I don't believe for a second that he didn't read RFB's post. He just finds it impossible, even for him, to say anything against it.

Much easier to hide behind some false standards, continue to misconstrue RFB's real words, and then toss out an insult.

To back up his words, I actually don't know anyone who does more pushups than RFB. Its how he could help move a 3,000 lb anchor.

MindMechanic said...

Anonymous said-

So you also agree that Bush invaded the wrong country! The marines should have grabbed their rifles and boots and occupied California!

Thats it? Thats the best you can do? Seriously?

You find the state of American politics acceptable? Good? Arent you at least a LITTLE tired of the hatred and political bickering that keeps the country divided? Well...no...I guess from your repeated empty headed rhetoric I should think you thrive on it.

And since 'politics' doesnt have a 'home' (funny you chose California...) it is not likely invaded, but I do absolutely believe it could use a good shake-up at the polls.

Lysis said...

News flash to Child; (It is so fun to say, “I told you so!”)

U.S. economy motors ahead in first quarter

JEANNINE AVERSA

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Popping out of a year-end rut, the U.S. economy zipped ahead at the fastest pace in 2½ years during the first quarter of 2006, as consumers picked up spending and businesses regained their footing.
Inflation looked tame, too, though the latest figures didn't include last week's oil-price jump.
"The U.S. economy is cruising along now," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services, after yesterday's latest report by the Commerce Department.
Gross domestic product advanced at a 4.8-per-cent annual pace in the January-to-March quarter. That marked a rebound from the feeble 1.7-per-cent rate in the final quarter of 2005, when fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricanes, including high energy prices, prompted people and companies to tighten their belts. . .

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