Saturday, October 28, 2006

Zen Superman and Achilles on a Motorcycle

I remembered it this morning while I was in the shower. I must do a lot of thinking in the shower; that’s probably why I can never remember if I washed my hair. In the last web post – the one on Heroes – an Anonymous blogger gave a quote in support of Odysseus’ excellence. I knew when I read it that I knew it – but from where? I looked through Cahill and Hamilton, a friend’s Western Culture anthology; nothing. But this morning in the shower I remembered; Pirsig’s *Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance*, page 341 to be exact.

It is only reasonable that Anonymous, as an A. P. English Teacher and bookstore loiterer, (both honorable occupations) would be familiar with Pirsig. I first heard of *Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance* the second time I went to University. Pirsig was all the buzz in the College of Education, but I was too busy jumping through hoops to read. Besides I wasn’t interested in “Eastern Religions”.

It was not until after I had achieved my life’s dream and become a high school History teacher, that I was reminded of Zen and Motorcycles.

People often ask me why I chose to teach high school; after the “Those who can do, those who can’t teach, and those who can’t teach – teach teachers" joke, (the last “can’t teach, teach teachers” line is my own; crafted the hard way in years of Education classes and in-service training) I quip that I chose an occupation which allows me to get paid for reading and talking, my favorite things. I do not say more to most. Who could understand? It’s like explaining why one spends every summer at Boy Scout Camp.

I digress.

Soon after I began teaching high school, one of my colleagues mentioned that *Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”* was her favorite book. In those days I was in ah of high school teachers with more experienced than myself. I read the book, twice; cover to cover then back and again. I loved it, still do, and was eager to discuss the ideas of Classical and Romantic understanding, the absolute and the relative, with my “peer”. The first opportunity came and I charged in. I began with some pithy point, perhaps on Odysseus and Arête; her face was blank. I tried to broach Pirsig’s masterful analogy on the two types of motorcycle drivers; she had no clue. Then it became clear to me – she had never read her favorite book! What were we paying her for?????

Come to find out that Ms. _____’s experience with Pirsig was limited to an Education Class discussion on his experiment with teaching without standards. She did not even know that Pirsig comes to the conclusion that it doesn’t work. She lamented that we have to “grade our students”.

This was the second time a woman had done this to me. As a boy I had read *All Creatures Great and Small* so I could share the experience with an "aspiring veterinarian" who said she love the book. I soon found out she only loved the cover.

I digress.

Since reading “Zen” (which, by the way, has very little to do with Eastern religion and every thing to do with Western thought), I have often contemplated – played out in my mind as if it were my own memory - the “seed crystal” moment in Pirsig’s book. It reads:


“Sara! Now it comes down! She came trotting by with her watering pot between those two doors, going from the corridor to her office, and she said, “I hope you are teaching Quality to your students.” This in a la-de-da singsong voice of a lady in her final year before retirement about to water her plants. That was the moment it all started. That was the seed crystal.

Seed crystal. A powerful fragment of memory comes back now. The laboratory. Organic chemistry. He [Pirsig’s former self called Phaedurs] was working with an extremely supersaturated solution when something similar had happened.

A supersaturated solution is one in which the saturation point, at which no more material will dissolve, has been exceeded. This can occur because the saturation point becomes higher as the temperature of the solution is increased. When you dissolve the material at a high temperature and then cool the solution, the material sometimes doesn’t crystallize out because the molecules don’t know how. They require something to get them started, a seed crystal, or a grain of dust or even a sudden scratch or tap on the surrounding glass.

He walked to the water tap to cool the solution but never got there. Before his eyes, as he walked, he saw a star on crystalline material in the solution appear and then grow suddenly and radiantly until it filled the entire vessel. He saw it grow. Where before was only clear liquid there was now a mass of solid; he could turn the vessel upside down and nothing would come out.

The one sentence “I hope you are teaching Quality to your students” was said to him, and within a matter of a few months, growing so fast you could almost see it grow, came an enormous, intricate, highly structured mass of thought, formed as if by magic.” (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance, pgs 161-162)

The wonder and the maddness begins here. In a suite of crowed offices in some old Montana college. However, it isn’t until Pirsig's Aristotelian mind and his Romantic heart super saturate his soul; and then touched by Plato’s attack on the Sophists, his championing of Socrates; that Phaedrus has his epiphany. We read on:

“The halo around the heads of Plato and Socrates is now gone. [But only for a moment, only in the supersaturating heat of Pirsig’s mind.] He sees that they consistently are doing exactly that which they accuse the Sophists of doing – using emotionally persuasive language for the ulterior purpose of making the weaker argument, the case for the dialectic, appear the stronger. We always condemn most in others, he thought, that we most fear in ourselves. But why? Phaedurs wondered. Why destroy arête? And no sooner had he asked the question than the answer came to him. Plato hadn’t tried to destroy arête. He had encapsulated it; made a permanent, fixed Idea out of it; had converted it to a rigid, immobile Immortal Truth. He made arête the Good, the highest form, the highest Idea of all. It was subordinate only to Truth itself, in a synthesis of all that had gone before.”

Then came madness!!!!

It is telling that Phaedurs (Pirsig) ignores Achilles in his discussion of Arête. He was looking in the wrong place for Quality.

He looked to the life of Odysseus, the phony all rounder, “seeking the safety of his home”, and missed Achilles, whose rage at injustice and sorrow at the murder of his friend, drove him to a sacred sacrifice.

In the modern myth, we have Superman – who will never lie and gives his “God like power” in the service of man. The choice is clear; will it be the eternal Good or shifting opinion hiding out at home, or is it in the Bat Cave.

70 comments:

MindMechanic said...

Lysis...

I have not read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." My wife has an after reading to her the last discussion thread regarding the works of Homer, I wont be surprised if she starts to pop up here on a regular basis. She is the literary expert in our relationship.

In response, I instead will focus on what I gained from reading your post...that is, the consistent ignorance of the masses. I have heard it said here that the US population in general is educated and intelligent. I think that is being far too generous. To loosely quote a line from "Men in Black," "People are smart. The public is ignorant, blind, careless, frightened, and you know it." Some examples.

The recent debate over stem cell research and the flap between Rush Limbaugh and Michael J Fox. I dont listen to talk radio but this is front page news and M J Fox is all over the television now as some sort of an expert just because he HAS Parkinsons. People I know are quoting him. All last week he was spewing for the 'public.' Now...just yesterday, he admits on camera that he has never actually READ the amendment that he is so strongly supporting. He doesnt even KNOW the provisions of the amendment. And how many people follow him blindly because he is a liberal?

Global warming. We know from this blog that the left spouts rhetoric about global warming but when it comes to facts ABOUT global warming they are clueless. They take their lead from Al Gore and from research that is admittedly skewed. They cite the Kyoto Accord as Clintons crowning accomplish and Bush's failure. They dont even KNOW what is in the accord, they dont know that Clinton never submitted it to congress for a vote, they dont know that democrats proposed and passed legislation ASSURING that the Kyoto Accord could never be signed into law. But they DO love those talking points.

Social Security reform. Liberals APPLAUD he defeat of the social security reform legislation. Yet when asked what it is they objected to, NONE of them know what Bush's plan even proposed. OK...thats a generalization...let me rephrase that. NONE of the ones I have talked to or corresponded with on blogs know.

No Child Left Behind. Liberals HATE NCLB. Thereality is...they dont even know what it comprises. they dont know that the provision for funding education reform fell to congress and the states and they are the ones that didnt fund it. Worse...they dont know the liberal solution to education reform that they support.

2004 election. Democrats picked Kerry as their guy...yet today, none (using the same description I described above) can tell you ANYTHING about what Kerry proposed on ANYTHING other than "dude, he had a plan."

Bill Clinton. nuff said...

And there are countless other examples but I'll close with this one...and it's one you see on EVERY public college campus in America. Liberals parading in their Che Gueverra t-shirts. They think they are being radical...cooooool. Great. Now...ask them who Che was. Ask them what he stood for. Ask them what he did to artists. Ask them what he did to dissidents. Ask them what he did to homosexuals. Ask them...but dont expect too much by way of an answer. Che represents everything liberals profess to HATE, yet in their ignorance, they hold him up as a hero.

MindMechanic said...

Regarding the closing comments about Superman and Batman...

How difficult would it be being Superman? How easy is it to offer all your 'godlike' services? When you ARE bulletproof it is easy to stand at the barrel of a gun. Still...Superman represents the counter to the old quote "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I think the thing people connect with in Batman is that Batman represents many if not most of us. How many of us have faced a dark and horrible tragedy and had to make decisions that are equally dark and potentially tragic? Batman is human. He is flawed. He is mortal. He knows what it is like to suffer and to face personal demons from that suffering daily. He doesnt represent that overcoming those dark evil things is easy and that doing the right things in spite of the excuses to become dark and evil is easy.

I KNOW it is just a comic book idea, but really...both represent ideologies that resonate with readers...thus their longevity. Batman lives on today, in spite of the ridiculous television portrayal. Superman still represents the ultimate warrior battling for good. Even the specter of Nicholas Cage playing the role couldnt keep Superman down (and thank goodness they came to their senses!).

Anonymous said...

Much to disagree with here -- Lysis' overall interpretation of ZAAMM in many places, I think, could use updating and rethinking, but I'll not cavil with anything but the MAIN issues surrounding Pirsig, Phaedrus, Arete, and Heroes.

It is true that Pirsig does not identify Achilles with "the very soul of the Homeric hero".

Though, Pirsig DOES quote H.D.F. Kitto who portrays not Achilles, but Odyseus as such a hero (the source of a previous quotation). however, The PARAGON of Homeric heroes that Pirsig himself DOES celebrate is HECTOR!!!!

I do not know if Pirsig would think Achilles a good example or not -- I DO know that ZAAMM points to Hector and that there are two lengthy quotes from the *Iliad* in support.

Pirsig, however, uses Arete as a "hinge" between Platonic absolutism and Aristotelian relativism in the following way:

"The one thing that doesn't fit what he says and what Plato said about the Sophists is their profession of TEACHING virtue. All accounts indicate THAT was absolutely central to their teaching, but how are you going to teach virtue if you teach the relativity of all ethical ideas? (Absolutists vs. Relativists)

Virtue, if it implies anything at all implies an ETHICAL absolute. A person whose idea of what is proper varies from day to day can be admired for his broadmindedness, but not for his VIRTUE. Not, at least, as Phaedrus understands the word. And how could they get VIRTUE out of rhetoric?"

". . . in H.D.F. Kitto's *The Greeks*, . . . Phaedrus reaches a passage that describes "the very soul of the Homeric hero," the legendary figure of predecadent, pre-Socratic Greece. The flash of illumination that follows these pages is so intense the heroes are never erased and I can see them with little effort of recall."

This 'flash of illumination' is just as IMPORTANT as Pirsig's "seed crystal" epiphany --more important)

"What moves the Greek warrior to deeds of heroism." Kitto comments, "is not a sense of duty as we understand it -- duty towards others: IT IS RATHER DUTY TOWARDS ONESELF: He strives after that which we translate 'virtue' but is in Greek arete, excellence' . . . "

"Then Phaedrus feels a tugging to read the passage again, and he does so and then . . . what's this?! . . . "That which we translate 'virtue' but is in Greek excellence.'"
Lightning hits!!!!

Quality! Virtue! Dharma! That is what the Sophists were teaching! NOT ETHICAL REALATIIVISM. NOT PRISTINE "VIRTUE" BUT ARETE. Excellence. . . . Before substance. Before form. Before mind and matter. Before dialectic itself. Quality had been absolute. Those first TEACHERS of the Western world were TEACHING QUALITY, and the medium they had chosen was that of rhetoric.

Years ago I asked Lysis if he were a "PREACHER" or a "TEACHER".

THIS is what I had in mind!!!!

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

Mindmechanic;

I look forward to learning from your “better half”.

It IS the ignorance of the masses that I am faulting. Not just that they do not know about Homer, but that they pretend to know about Homer. Not just that they are ignorant of world politics, or the actions of our military in Iraq, or so many other things but they pretend to know, and rely on what they are fed by agenda driven folk. That is what concerns me.

I find the manipulation of and by Michael Fox lamentable. Limbaugh was right to call him on his facts. That is the problem our neo-lib friends face. It is not WHAT is said but WHO says it that matters to them. Mike Fox said that so-and-so is against stem cell research; so that so-and-so must be. It was Limbaugh that pointed out Fox’s misrepresentation so Fox must not have misrepresented. It is tiresome.

As for Global warming; it will go the way of the Hurricanes of 2006. It will peter out in the north Atlantic and never be mentioned on the “main Stream Media” again. One wonders why CBS,, NBC, and ABC aren’t proclaiming Bush the great savior of American for holding off the gigantic hurricanes of 2006. Surly if they blamed him for 2005 they must now credit him this year. NOT!!!

Your other points are excellently made. They will also never see the light of the “Main Stream Media”. Hence the need for the American people to learn to think for themselves.

As for the Heroes the neo-libs choose, be it Che Gueverra, Mao, or Odysseus – the only why to protect one’s self from such misinformation is to seek the truth for one’s self; and sadly that is a hard journey.

As to Superman: perhaps he is the God we wish we had. All powerful and yet only interested in doing good. To me, it is the fact that Superman could rule the world, could kill us all, or enslave us to his pleasure, but instead chooses to fight for our survival against the evils that would destroy us, that makes him Godlike. I am so grateful for the many “Supermen and Superwomen” I know. Sadly, they are not faster than builts, but they give their all for truth, justice, and the American way.


Anonymous;

As for Hector; I love much about Hector. The wonderful thing about the Classic nature of the *Iliad* is there doesn’t have to be a villain. We can love Achilles and Hector too. But Hector sinned. He murdered Patroclus when he was helpless, a naked supplicant before him. I would think you should fault him for the very crime you seem so eager to condemn (wrongly) our military for. Had Patroclus died as the recent movie, Troy, portrayed it. In a “fair fight” as an armored unknown, whom Hector, with enormous courage and sacrifice, believed to be Achilles. If that is how it had happened; I do not think Achilles would have come after Hector. But to kill Achille’s beloved, naked and defenseless, pleading for justice, lowers Hector from the Hero’s pedestal, no matter how well he treated his wife. Hector is the Lt. Cowley of the Trojan War.

As for the Sophists – they were only pretending to teach virtue by pretending that what one considers expedient is virtuous. Again I caution you on relying too much on Pirsig or “Phaedrus” for that matter. The Sophists claimed to teach virtue, Socrates never did. What Socrates teaches us is that to know what virtue is we can discover it for our selves. I suggest you read “The Meno” again.


You quote Pirsig:

“What moves the Greek warrior to deeds of heroism." Kitto comments, "is not a sense of duty as we understand it -- duty towards others: IT IS RATHER DUTY TOWARDS ONESELF: He strives after that which we translate 'virtue' but is in Greek arete, excellence' . . . "

I do not agree with Kitto.

The Classic Greek Hero, like the Sacred King he supplants, like the Christ he foreshadows and emulates, cannot strive for self excellence but by sacrifice, in duty towards others.

The Sophists should have stuck to rhetoric and left the search for truth to the poets and the Heroes, and perhaps to the individual.

As you set about judging me, remember the words of Apollo – Know thyself.

Dan Simpson said...

A couple points on that which I am most able to comment, comic books.

As a long time reader/collector and self-proclaimed geek, I am going to have to side with Batman here. And argue with Lysis' characterization of Batman.

First, we have an individual who has, or has the opportunity to have, everything. He is incredibly wealthy and powerful. He could choose to sit out his days doing basically nothing and watching his wealth work for him.

His physical prowess is not a given every morning as the sunlight streams through his window. He must work for it, earn it through sweat and time expended in perfecting his abilities. He is helped by the fact that he has nearly limitless resources for nifty gadgets etc., but honestly, how many of us here if given money for neat trinkets could do a cartwheel, let alone backflips, spinning kicks etc. while being shot at.

But, most importantly. Batman's greatness doesn't have to come at the expense of Superman's. One does not become great by the other being less.

To compare geeky things to worldly, this is something most politicians do not realize. The correctness of ones position is not proven by calling your opposition stupid. It is by striving to excel, and showing the greatness of your own work. One's ideas, stances, and works should stand on their own.

Anyway, Batman and Superman are both DC comics. They pale in comparison to Marvel.

Lysis said...

Dan;

I will defer to you on all things comic book. But please realize that I have never pitted Bat Man against Superman. I think that is pretty much confined to high school “spar” debates and the aisles of secondhand book stores, and I guess this blog. I think that Clark and Bruce are best friends; the Achilles and Patroclus of modern myth.

Below I quote myself, emphasis added:

“First on Batman and Superman; I must admit that I am a Superman fan. I find his dedication to truth, justice and the American way most admirable. Batman on the other hand seems to me to portray a dark and vengeful side. THOUGH THE T. V. SHOW I WATCHE AS A BOY, WITH COMMISSIONER GORDON AND ALL, SEEMED TO CAST BATMAN IN A FAR LESS SINISTER WAY."

And

“Sorry but your plan has a fatal flaw. Superman can fly to the sun and back in the time it would take Batman to bat an eye. To the sun and back – recharged and Batman tied up in his own grappling line, mask ripped off, before he had time to think about it. OF COURSE SUPERMAN WOULD NEVER BE SO MEAN, NOR BATMAN SO STUPID, so your hypothetical is moot. Besides Superman is much better looking!!! And that’s what really counts!!!!”

Your comment: “Batman's greatness doesn't have to come at the expense of Superman's. One does not become great by the other being less... The correctness of ones position is not proven by calling your opposition stupid”, is of course true. I would submit that calling one’s opponent arrogant or Flaccid does not win the argument either. It can be fun!

I am afraid I am not familiar with many of Marvel’s heroes. My eldest son was a Spiderman fan. I, on the other hand, still go for handsome heroes who show their faces. Long black wavy hair, broad shoulders, powerful arms, massive pecks, and a very slender waist are all big pluses too.

Those were the days eh Rumpole.

truth to power said...

"I would submit that calling one’s opponent arrogant or Flaccid does not win the argument either. It can be fun!"

Yes, this can be a lot of fun, as long as it doesn't get out of hand. I think this sort of thing is sometimes lacking in this country's real political debates. The House of Commons in England seems to understand it better. They can do a lot of entertaining name calling without pretending it's real argument, and without anybody getting offended or suing. Too bad our Congress doesn't learn how to do this. The best we can do is Rush Limbaugh and the like. The Hollywood left and their pundits mostly get it wrong.

"I, on the other hand, still go for handsome heroes who show their faces. Long black wavy hair, broad shoulders, powerful arms, massive pecks, and a very slender waist are all big pluses too."

Careful! This is how rumors about Scout camp get started.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

I will be out of town next week for the election. So I went down to the county clerks office and voted.

There was a line in the middle of the day and the machines worked great.

So please go vote.

Lysis said...

Truth to Power;

I really enjoy question time in the House of Commons. What impresses me most is the fact that British politicians seem to actually attend debates. Something CSPAN has reveled is not the case in the American Congress.

As for rumors at Scout Camp; I can only hope that the injunction of Socrates can protect us from “Witch Hunters”. Socrates said when men speak ill of you, live so no one will believe them. But thank you for warning. I must remember the type of world we live in and the way the minds of too many in our society have come to be fouled. I do not intend to cast that aspersion on you TTP; but no doubt someone will soon come along to live up to your fears
.

Vegimatic;

Well done on the voting. I am a little chagrined that there is so much voting before, and counting after Election Day. It was fun when we started with a clean slate in the morning and had it all done by bed time. Thanks to Al Gore, those days are gone forever. Talk about Global Warming!!

Have a good trip.

Anonymous said...

Many notable Greeks to mention a few. Socrates!!!!????

Anonymous said...

"But Hector sinned."

What dreadful anachronism and falsehood exists in THAT statement.

"Thus shamefully did Achilles in his fury DISHONOUR Hector; but the blessed gods looked down in pity from heaven, and urged Mercury, slayer of Argus, to steal the body. All were of this mind save only Juno, Neptune, and Jove's gey-eyed daughter . . .

When therefore, the morning of the twelfth day had now come, Phoebus Apollo spoke among the immortals saying, "You gods ought to be ashamed of yourselves; did not Hector burn your thigh-bones of heifers and of unblemished goats? And now dare you not rescue even his dead body, for his wife to look upon, with his mother and child, his father Priam, and his people, who would forthwith commit him to the flames, and give him his due funeral rites"

SO, THEN, YOU WOULD BE ON THE SIDE OF MAD ACHILLES, *WHO KNOWS NEITHER RIGHT NOR TRUTH*? HE IS SOME SAVAGE LION THAT IN THE PRIDE OF HIS GREAT STRENGTH AND DARING SPRINGS UPON MEN'S FLOCKS AND GORGES ON THEM. EVEN SO HAS ACHILLES FLUNG ASIDE ALL PITY, AND ALL THAT CONSCIENCE WHICH AT ONCE SO GREATLY BANES YET GREATLY BOONS HIM THAT WILL HEED IT.

Certainly, by this account, Achilles is no good example of Arete NOR Virtue(Christian or otherwise)!!!!

Clearly in EVERYONES EYES, God's and mortals, the "SIN" was with Achilles and not Hector. Then said Jove, "Juno, be not so bitter. Their honour shall NOT be equal, but of ALL that dwell in Ilius, HECTOR WAS DEAREST TO THE GODS, AS ALSO TO MYSELF, FOR HIS OFFERINGS NEVER FAILED ME."

Besides, Hector didn't need his mom to protect him from bad guys.
Also
How would it look if Batman or Superman showed up with his mom riding (flying) shotgun -- ewwwwww -- defintely NOT heroic at all!!!!

Lysis said...

Anonymous;

Yes, the mutilation of Hectors body was shameful. But the mutilation of Patroclus corps had been an outrage against justice. Hector meant not only to deface Achilles’ love, but to hang the torn body from the walls of Troy to feed the birds, thus damning Patroclus soul. Hector deserved to be shamed. Note that the Gods who support Achilles actions include “Jove’s gray-eyed daughter”, in other words Athena/Minerva, the Goddess of Justice and Just War.

The punishment of the evil often brings shame to the criminals. Be all this as it may, the important thing is that when Hermes comes with Priam to the tent of Achilles, Achilles relents and in obedience to the will of God not only give back the body of Hector to the King of Troy, but calls a nine day truce to allow Priam to hold a fitting funeral for his son. Hector planed no such justice or mercy for Patroclus or for Achilles for that matter.

Achilles acted in obedience to the Divine will of Jupiter:

“Move me no more, (Achilles thus replies,
While kindling anger sparkled in his eyes,)
Nor seek by tears my steady soul to bend:
To yield thy Hector I myself intend:
For know, from Jove my goddess-mother came,
(Old Ocean’s daughter, silver-footed dame,)
Nor comest thou but by heaven; nor comest alone.
Some god impels with courage not thy own:
No human hand the weighty gates unbarr’d;
Nor could the boldest of our youth have dared
To pass our outworks, or elude the guard.
Cease; lest, neglectful of high Jove’s command
I show thee, king! Thou tread’st on hostile land;
Release my knees, thy suppliant art give o’er,
And shake the purpose of my soul no more.”


As for Apollo, he was always a partisan in the fight. And in the end he guides the arrow that takes the life that Achilles offers up that justice might prevail. Consider that the Trojans caused the war, that the Trojans had broken the truce and violated the oaths they had sworn to end the war, and in the end, the Trojans deceitfully lured Achilles to his death with a promise of peace. No, don’t talk about the justice of Trojans.


What do you mean, “Hector didn’t need his mother”, he needed his Apollo. Without Apollo striking off the armor of Patroclus and rendering him naked and defenseless, Hector would have been no match for Achilles friend. Achilles mother got her son his armor, and bathed him in the river Styx, but she never cheated for him on the battle field.

From the beginning I have held both Hector and Achilles above Odysseus. Both Hector and Achilles did their best to serve others; it was Odysseus who was the profligate. That being said, Kitto is wrong in placing Hector on above Achilles. Hector is the “Breaker of Horses”, but Achilles is “Beloved of Jove”. That title is part of his name; his meter tag given by Homer to match his great name to the *Iliad*.

Lysis said...

It looks like there are plenty of neo-libs that don’t understand heroes.

Yesterday, at a rally for California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, Kerry told a cheering Pasadena City College audience: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and do your homework and you make an effort to be smart you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Kerry’s problem is that he spends his time with people who have nothing but contempt for the American Military. And were taught in school that men who fight for the right are evil narrow and bad. In his miss educated circle the military is made up of stupid, brats who can’t get real jobs. It is the very attitude that disrespects Achilles in the schools and the neo-lib literary circles that spills out of Kerry’s unguarded mouth when he speaks his mind to the mental automatons at his chosen liberal university sounding board.

To John Kerry, our troops in Vietnam were mass murderers, our soldiers in Iraq are terrorists, and anyone dumb enough to join the military is admitting they are a failure at life.

I was nice of John Kerry to contribute to our discussion at the Agora. He seems to have taken the words right out of Anonymous’ mouth.

Once again I stress our need to learn and teach to teach the truth about True Heroes.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

You post: “I, on the other hand, still go for handsome heroes who show their faces. Long black wavy hair, broad shoulders, powerful arms, massive pecks, and a very slender waist are all big pluses too.”

“Those were the days eh Rumpole.”

Apparently neither the bald gene nor the fat gene exists in the Kryptonian pool. I don’t want to put words in Dan’s mouth, but here is another possibility for greater respect for Batman; excluding the introduction of a radio-active foreign substance, Batman faces a challenge that Superman doesn’t, that of his own mortality.

Batman can take solace in that at least he possessed “Long black wavy hair, broad shoulders, powerful arms, massive pecks, and a very slender waist” at some point, in his struggle with his own mortality.

By the way, didn’t the Penguin wear silver, horned-rimmed glasses?

Dan Simpson said...

Not to downplay Batman or Superman, but the superhero that I think is the best one had to be super without the benefit of flowing black hair, rippling pecs, or imposing physical charateristics at all.

Professor X. The quality of the movies aside, I was glad to see Patrick Stewart lend his credibility to the role.

Almost everything makes me long for the days of camp. Though in my mind the pecs and skinny waists have nothing to do with it. As many (if not most) who made camp great for me had neither.

Some of us did it without the benefit of physical beauty.

Lysis said...

Let me ADD my voice to those who are calling for the resignation of John Kerry, the Jr. Senator from Mass. I am confident the Governor of that state could choose an appropriate replacement to fill out what remains of Kerry’s term. The nation will certainly be better off with this embarrassment out of public office.

Over the last few days, John Kerry has proven himself to be, at very least, a liar. His statement clearly claiming that those who are too dumb to go to school end up in the military was not only untrue but an insult to the heroes who risk everything for our freedom and the future of the world.

He now is claiming that he meant it as a joke about President Bush. But President Bush holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Yale University and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard. Hardly the under educated fools Kerry was disrespecting. It is an interesting side note that President Bush got better grades in College than John Kerry did.

My point is this, Kerry was lying about the type of people who enter our military and go to the war in Iraq, or he was lying about President Bush’s educational credentials, and in either case he is now lying as he tries to cover his stupidity with false statements to the news media. Throw the bugger out!

Let me quote from this web log from two weeks ago.

“But there is something more sinister at work here, the effort to discredit the war hero, the hero that replaced the sacred king and gives his life in battle not on the alter stone. Odysseus’ deceit is exalted while Achilles’’ service is debased.”

John Kerry has now provided the perfect example of the very sinister movement in American politics and academia that I referenced over a week before he made his mindless attack on those whose brilliance and service make his freedom possible. Shame on John Kerry; let us ALL join in the call for his humiliating removal from office, drag him down to silence.

Anonymous said...

"Beloved of Jove" yes.

MORE beloved than Hector?
NO!!!!


'Then said Jove (Jupiter, Divine or otherwise) "Juno, be not so bitter. Their HONOR (Achilles' and Hector's) shall NOT be equal, but of all that dwell in Ilius, HECTOR WAS DEAREST to the GODS, as also to MYSELF, (got that Lysis?) for his offerings never failed me. Never was my altar stinted of its dues, nor of the drink-offerings and savour of sacrifice which we claim of right. I, I, I, (Jupiter) shall therefore permit the body of mighty Hector to be stolen: and yet this may hardly be WITHOUT ACHILLES COMING TO KNOW IT, (obviously NOT Achilles decision or moral compunctions) for his MOTHER KEEPS NIGHT AND DAY BESIDE HIM. ("never cheated for him on the battlefield"???? Lysis'needs to stop watching Hollywood and comic-book versions)

"Let some one of you, therefore, send Thetis to me, and I, I, I, (Jupiter) will impart MY counsel to her, namely that Achilles is to accept a ransom from Priam, and give up the body."

Now that Lysis' "expurgated version" of the tale has been been thouroughly debunked, one must ask about the confusion between TRUTH, FACT and MAKE BELIEVE that has been created for his faithful charges!!!!

Divine Jupiter?

Imparting timeless TRUTH?

Or the first Celestial "GOD".FATHER Soprano, divvying out "kick-backs" and "hits" by willful indulgent arrogance????

Lysis said...

Anonymous:

I reiterate again my “love” for Hector; it is Odysseus that is the neo-lib. Having said that; even as I cannot wink at the sins of Nephi; I will not ignore Hector’s.

Achilles obeyed the Gods and after bringing Hector to Justice, returned the body, for justice sake, to Hector’s his father. The fact remains that Hector murdered a helpless prisoner. You need to look at the facts and, quit twisting words to suit your misstatements. Who do you think you are, John Kerry?

Lysis said...

Dan:

“Oh that great leveler time” which, in the end, gives us all the same beauty. Go Professor X. It always pleased me that there is a place in the “heroes’ roll” and role for a bald head or two, as for Achilles, he had red hair!

MindMechanic said...

I dont pretend to be up to the task of joining this debate but am enjoying it immensely! I am on my way in a few moments to meet a client and afterwards will stop by the Bookstop in Ogden to see if I can find copies of Platos Republic and Homers illiad and Odyssy. I dont want to pretend I will read them completely on a given timetable but I AM inspired to explore!

Thanks to you both!

From my VERY limited knowledge, this following statement seems to be a prevalent thread in realtion to the Greek Gods.
"Their HONOR (Achilles' and Hector's) shall NOT be equal, but of all that dwell in Ilius, HECTOR WAS DEAREST to the GODS, as also to MYSELF, (got that Lysis?) for his offerings never failed me. Never was my altar stinted of its dues, nor of the drink-offerings and savour of sacrifice which we claim of right."

So If my previous understanding and current following makes sense, it appears that Hector finds favor because he appropriately honors the Gods, not due to his valor. Which is not to suggest his valor didnt exist...(I have read enough to know that...)but that his valor was not what was valued...rather his willingness to submit to the Gods.

I wonder if that says more about the greek Gods than it does about Hector OR Achilles. And what does it say about us who judge both based on the esteem offered BY the Gods?

Be merciful...just pondering...

MindMechanic said...

Dan...

Its hard to not examine society from a psychosocial perspective based on their offering of status to 'heros' and 'villains'. Its informative, and also kind of fun!

I never trusted Lancelot and the whole white knight concept, and I never gave the assignment of evil to the black knight. It makes sense of my later attraction to the dark knight, in this case, Batman.

As a child of the 60's and 70's growing up without much of what you could call a family or social structure, I read a lot of comic books, studied history books for fun, enjoyed classical music, and disassembled a LOT of electronic components (value of modern society...old electronic equipment had tubes and capicitors that shocked like heck if you werent careful!).

I followed the X-Men but also Iron Man, the Vision (an android with the ability to feel but not a denendence on feeling) and of course, Batman. Again...the psychological examinations are pretty interesting...

But Im better now. Really...I am...

;-)

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

Mindmechanic;

You have no need to apologize. Your pondering is most pointy. You are right, it is not the esteem of the gods we must concern ourselves with in judging the actions of Hector, Achilles, or Odysseus. I’m sure a cherry picker could find a reference to the god beloved nature of Odysseus, after all Calypso was divine; what is important is how did each acquitted himself, for which causes did he strive, and where and for whom or what did he spend his life.

I defer to your most cogent point here. We do not need the opinions of gods. Consider these facts: Hector fought well for his city and his people but could not show mercy when he was given the chance, Odysseus left his crew to die while womanizing, murder the guests of his house, and hung the innocent in a fit of hypocritical peek, Achilles chose to give his life in the defense of justice . Let us judge them on their deeds and hold divine opinion polls with the caution we esteem those of the modern media.

By the way, Plato’s shorter dialogs are often more interesting and powerful than *The Republic*; in my opinion. They are more Socrates and less Plato. “Lysis” and the “Meno” as are all that deal with the trial and death of Socrates are among my favorites. How exciting to think that I have helped to lead you to the joy that you will soon discover in these works. The pleasure of discovering so much truth that I already knew but had never be lead to think of before, which I found my first time through these books, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Anonymous said...

Yes MM read the books -- Lysis could use some help -- I am SURE you'll try.

What a whiney rebuttal . . . "Quit TWISTING WORDS" ????

Why not offer some ANALYSIS and/or EXPLANATION to support your wimpy "twisting" (non-turgid) arguments, or something more than baring TESTIMONY to "Divine Jupiter".

Those in full retreat ALWAYS whine that "twisting" is what accounts for their pathetic arguments' inevitable dimise.

Some of Lysis' abandoned, ASSERTED but never ANAYLYSED nor JUSTIFIEED, arguments were:

"-She never cheated for him (Achilles)on the battlefield". (Direct quote of Jupiter saying exactly the opposite.)

-Achilles acted in obedience to the Divine will of Jupiter. (Direct quote of Jupiter saying exactly the opposite)

-"Pirsig looked to the life of Odysseus and missed Achilles".
Lysis mis-read the text to reach this false conclusion.

-"Hector sinned".
Jupiter characterizes Achilles as the wrong-doer and NOT Hector. Direct Quote of Jupiter.

-"I do not agree with Kitto".
Care to offer any ANALYSIS why Kitto's explanation of Arete vs Virtue is wrong???? Kitto offers arguments -- Lysis offers claims arrogance and testimonials.

-"The Classic Greek hero, like Christ . . . is in Duty towards Others".
Kitto presents an argument that GREEK Arete is "Duty to SELF" with supporting examples and arguments -- Lysis responds by baring his testimony one more time.

"the mutilation of Patroclis corpse was an outrage against Justice."
-Jupiter of the Divine never says so. Jupiter rather saves his "OUTRAGE" for Achilles NOT Hector!

It is impossile to "twist" what exist as impossibly specious and twisted arguments in the first place.

Hurry MM!!!!

Cameron said...

"Those in full retreat ALWAYS whine that "twisting" is what accounts for their pathetic arguments' inevitable dimise."

John Kerry, anyone?

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

1- I dont intend to engage in a battle

and

2- You assume there is a side to come down on.

In picking sides...it really is as silly as "Superman is better than Batman."

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

I did offer analysis: (You are either incapable of recognizing it or unwilling to deal with it.)

1. Hector had the help of Apollo to kill Patroclus. They cheated and killed an unarmed and wounded man. You have never dealt with these weaknesses in Hectors’ character. More later. Achilles does call for and receive the help of the gods, but he does his own fighting. That Zeus sends Thetas to speak to Achilles does not mean she was sent to do his fighting for him. That is a limp argument, and now it has flopped!

2. The term Homer chose to identify, and fit Hector’s name into the poetry, was “Breaker of Horses”, Homer’s meter beat phrase for Achilles is “Beloved of Jove”.

3. I pointed out that Achilles obeyed the Gods in bringing Hector to Justice.

Let me support the claims with quotes you should have known if you have ever read the book:

Jove lifts the golden balances, that show
The fates of mortal men, and things below:
Here each contending hero’s lot he tries;
Low sinks the scale surcharged with Hector’s fate;
Heavy with death it sinks, and hell receives the weight,

Lest you construe this as fate and not justice, note who is sent to deal with Hector, it is Athena, the goddess of Justice.

“Go then (return’d the sire) without delay
Exert thy will [The will of Justice]: I give the Fates their way.”
Swift at the mandate pleased Tritonia [Athena] flies,
And stoops impetuous from the cleaving skies.”

And again, from Achilles to Hector:

“No further subterfuge, no further chance;
Tis Pallas, Pallas [Athena – goddess of Justice] gives thee to my lance.
Each Grecian ghost, by thee deprived of breath,
Now hovers round, and calls thee to thy death.”

Achilles, as I argued, fulfilled the will of Justice and then does return the body of Hector. Hector on the other hand plotted the damnation of Patroclus soul. Not the action of a man of Character – note the fate of Creon in Antigony.

Now as to Hectors Character flaw!!! Surely you don’t need Homer to tell you that killing an unarmed and wounded man is wrong, or that attempting to damn his soul is something unjust.

Hector threatens the dying Patroclus with damnation:

“But thou a prey to vultures shalt be made;
Thy own Achilles cannot lend thee aid;”

To which Patroclus replies:

“Vain boaster! Cease, and know the powers divine!
Jove’s and Apollo’s is this deed, not thine;
To heaven is owed whate’er your own you call
And heaven itself disarm’’d me ere my fall.
Had twenty mortals, each they match in might,
Opposed me fairly, then had sunk in fight;
By fate and Phoebus [Apollo] was I first o’rethrown,
Euphorbus next; the third mean part thy own.”

I have given you plenty of reasons why Kitto was wrong about Odysseus.

1. He (Odysseus) failed to serve and save his crew.

2. He had sex with a goddess, a witch , and a woman while plotting to kill his queen if she so much as looked at another man.

3. He murdered the guests who were under the protection of the hospitality of his own house. He did this by tricking them with lies and deceit while they were unarmed

4. He hung girls who were guilty of no greater crime than the many females he had himself deflowered in his thirty years at war and wander.

5. He does not sacrifice himself for any person or cause. He thinks only of his own wants. Neither you nor Kitto answers any of these indictments against Odysseus character. You twist a comment about Hector – not Odysseus – into an indictment against Achilles. This is not what the meaning Jove or Homer’s words meant to convey. You pull them out of context like the boneless neo-lib you are, and cannot support your position with a single answer to the challenges I have consistently put before you concerning Hector or Odysseus.

You claim that the unrepentant outrages planed and perpetrated against Patroclus corpse were not evil because I cannot give a quote from Jove to support the claim. Reason, the mind of Divine Jupiter, is enough to prove that the actions of Hector were not noble.

I also reiterate that I have never denied Hectors’ hero status. He fought for his howm and family, and died fight, (After he had run away like a coward, by the way.) He is not the same caliber of hero as Achilles. I have given my argument to support this claim and you have not challenged a single one presented in support of Achilles greatness or of Hector’s perfidy. You have not been able to stand up a single defense of Odysseus failure as a Hero. All you do is say Pirsig says Kitto says. Give me a reason for either of their faith in the king of Ithaca other than their revisionist agenda against the greatness of the true Hero, the war Hero, Achilles.

When your arguments are so flaccid they are easy to twist but they can’t stand up!


Cameron;

Well said on Kerry, he is the archetypical phony hero.


Mindmechanic;

Happy reading!

Dan Simpson said...

Just thought some here may be interested in an update on a more real life hero (sorry RFB, you may not like that title, but in the current discussion, I think it fits at least as well as applying it to Achilles, or Hector. Maybe not Batman, but you gotta have goals right)

Just got a update from RFB from Iraq. He is doing fine. Staying busy doing route clearing with a combat engineer company. I guess thats what you get when you are a combat medic.

I guess it is obvious to everyone, however, that he should have just studied harder while he was in school.

Lysis said...

Would you like to read a perfect example of flaccid and twisted words? Here is John Kerry’s “apology” to the American military for calling them stupid. To get a better example of deceit you’d have to go back to Odysseus sneaking, in disguise, into his own house to murder his unarmed guests at dinner.
Kerry:
``I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform and I personally apologize to any service member, family member or American who was offended.''

Like Odysseus; it’s all about him, about Kerry. What Kerry did was let his guard down and spoke as he, and all those who seek their heroes in clever words rather than deeds, really believe. Until he got in trouble for what he said, it never occurred to him that anyone would feel any differently. Now, caught with his britches down by the American people, who are smarter than he thought they were, he is twisting his words. What he cannot realize is such dishonesty is also obvious to all. He his truly trapped by the facts; it will be instructive to watch him twist and bob. Meanwhile the neo-lib media fights desperately to defend him. NPR this morning actually said something to the effect that Kerry was apologizing for Republican misrepresentations. NPR has grabbed on and is twisting like crazy; it won’t add any substance to Kerry’s lie.

What Kerry and his supporters are doing is flopping and twisting to try and dodge the truth. Like Odysseus, the only thing this phony “hero” has going for him is guile.

MindMechanic said...

Interesting facts on todays recruits...They are better educated than at any other time in the past. The have a higher percentage of high school graduates than society at large (something like 97% to 76%). There are less minority recruits than at any time in history. There are more college graduates BY far in the military (percentage wise) than in the civilian community. recruitment is UP despite all the hype and rhetoric of the last 3 years.

A better educated, better prepared, and more economically capable fighting force. An all-volunteer fighting force.

I guess Kerry's c-minus GPA in college didnt help HIM all that much either...

And I would take him at his word when he says "do you really believe that a decorated vietNam veteran would attack our troops?" except of course he has a pretty deep history of doing just that.

And of course...he isnt alone. How many other democrats have compared the US troops to storm troopers, to Nazis, to WORSE than Nazis...

And wasnt he one of the ones WITH a college education that got 'stuck' in VietNam? Oh wait...I forgot...he volunteered. He wasnt 'stuck' in vietNam until a republican was elected president and took over the MESS left by Kennedy and Johnson.

Ah....dont get me started...

MindMechanic said...

Lost in kerry's ranting accusations about republicans and right wing nuts, and the medias attacks on republicans for using this, is the fact that a larghe number of democrats have come out and done the exact same thing.

So...why isnt Kerry accusing Hillary of a preemptive strike on him because of the 2008 elections? Why sint he accusing all of the democrats that are cancelling appearances with him faster than if he was a leper of doing the same thing? Why isnt the media pointing out the vaste number of dems that made the same accusations?

Oh...wait...because the media is in bed with the democrat party and they are a bunch of shills and hacks cut from the same cloth. I forgot for just a second there.

MindMechanic said...

Please...lets not crucify Kerry. All he did was speak what he truly believes and really it was not the worst that he has said about US soldiers. And oh...BTW...he is just one of the many democrats that had done the same thing.

And please...dont apologize. An apology means you actually recognize a mistake and feel sincere sorrow for a behavior. Kerry believes what he said. He always has.

Kerry accused US soldiers of war crimes in VietNam. he gave testimony of witnessing war crimes (BTW...THAT is a UCMJ punishable offense for an officer to witness a war crime and to do nothing). By his own word he too has committed what he calls war crimes. He gave firsthand accounts of witnessing soldiers wearing necklaces made of ears, an accusation that wa slater proven as false as his claim to be in cambodia on secret missions or his purple hearts gained from shrapnel when in reality he got a grain of rice in his a** because he tossed a grenade too close to where he was standing.

He cites his personal act of bravery by 'returning' to combat scene to help rescue others, an action which proves his cowardice by running in the first place (sort of hard to 'return' if you first didnt 'scoot' while your comrades where under fire).

He lies about full disclosure on his records by claiming he HAS given it, yet the reality is he has refused it. His records that we HAVE seen were doctored 20 years after the fact with decoratiosn and notations made by defense secretary's and others that were never privy to his actions and were never in his chain of command.

he claims three purple hearts while never spending a day in the infirmary. he claims he recieved shrapnel from a mine, but ignores the reality that if his boat were to recieve a mine blast surely there would have been some record of repairs or estimates of damage...never happened. He ignores the fact that the tiny grain sized piece of shrapnel would have had to go through the hull, the inner hull, the flooring, the seat deck, and the seat. Cmon you physics wizards...explain how THAT might possibly happen...

Oh yeah...back to the rest of the dems...

Look at the verbage from the liberal left. these people that really love and care for our troops..."Nazi Storm troopers had nothing on our boys," "Women and children frightened out of their beds by US soldiers reminiscent of storm troopers," "war criminals," "more murderous than Saddam"....

And on, and on, and on.

Oh please...Mr Kerry...dont apologize. you are just verbalizing what so MANY on the far left believe.

MindMechanic said...

OK...last jab on this...

I wonder how much traction this will get. The wacky liberal left of the KOS are now impuning that Kerry is an intentional gasbag that purposefully blew the 04 election and has now offered another sacrifice to Bush, all because they are both under the covenant of the Skull and Bones and neither of them is acting independently but BOTH are under orders by the council of the seven.

THAT one will be fun to see hit the media.

Hillary problem cant stop moonwalking...thats one clown down...

MindMechanic said...

Sorry...cant help myself...

Howard Dean...today...
"Let me think carefully about this," Dean said in a political riff reminiscent of his days as governor. "I think George Bush is the most incompetent president we've had in our lifetime. I mean, nobody would accuse President Nixon of being incompetent."

OK...lets examine this...

Ousted the Iraqi regime in under a month. pretty good war plan.

Ousted the Taliban in under a month. Again...good war plan.

Economy BOOMING and thriving. Pretty good economic policies.

Promoted SS reform that congress failed to act on. Presented a plan, something Clinton failed to do and the dems have still failed to offer.

Pushed for education reform. Congress failed to pass budget. Someone did their job...some others did not.

Successfully battled terrorism around the globe. Stopped COUNTLESS attacks in the US. Faced nowhere NEAR the number of terrorist acts against the country than did Clinton because of their proactive behavior. Pretty good job there.

Refused to cave in to threats from a tinhorn dictator ALA Clinton and has now forced Kim Jung Il to accept that he wont bend or bow, ALA Clinton. Forced Kim to accept multination talks. Good job there!

And theres more...but...

Beat Gore...not bad for an incompetant. Beat Kerry. Not bad for an incompetant. helped the GOP maintain a majority in 02 and 04 and has levelled the field for 06.

So apparently, as incompetent as HE is...the dems SUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK far worse...

Lysis said...

Dan:

RFB is a Hero! A real live absolutely true hero who servers others as a medic with a law degree in a battlefield from home. If I were Homer, I’d write a poem. Wouldn’t you like to see that Real Fruit Beverage in an value debate with John Kerry?

Mindmechanic;

There you go; Swift Boating Kerry again. By Swift Boating I mean telling the truth about him in fact supported and clear terms that are understandable to everyone.

Thanks for all the good stuff.

truth to power said...

A combat medic in Iraq with a law degree? What the hey? John Kerry's head asplode!

MindMechanic said...

I really dont think it is about the degree...it is about what he classifies as being 'smart.'

I and my in-laws have numerous degrees between us, both under and graduate. Most of us have served several toursin the middle east.

That we would choose the military for a career is what people like Kerry would deem "not smart" although I suspect he would classify the 8 years under Clinton as honorable.

Now...'smart' would be scratching by with a c- GPA, serve just enough time to fill your political credentials, and then find a rich ketchup heiress sugar mama (OK...so you have to PUT UP WITH HER, you still get a dozen mansions, private planes, yachts, SUVs, and then get to call yourself a "representative of the little man")...and then move to a state like Massachussets where you can repeatedly be rewarded for incompetence and inaction by being sent back as a congressional representative.

And he shouldnt worry...the Massachussets voters have repeatedly sent Mary Joe Kopekne's murderer back to congress...I am sure Kerry is a continued lock.

Anonymous said...

It is awfully desperate "whistling in the dark" guys.

How does beating the Kerry scarecrow scare away the Osama reality that's STILL laughing at US from SOMEWHERE in the dark?

Ha, Ha, Ha, six years, six years, six years, Ha, Ha, Ha. Make more Kerry jokes, Ha, Ha, Ha. They sure are funny -- Ha, Ha, Ha . . .

Osama's a "continued lock", Ha, Ha, Ha.

I wish there were a reason to NOT be so sure. Maybe in a couple days? . . . !!!!

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

We have done the war issue to death...but if you want to get back on track...be my guest!

During the last posting I made SEVERAL arguments re the economy, terror, business growth, etc etc etc...

Since there were NO rebutals I assume you, like all the other democrats ALSO agree, there is but ONE argument to battle on this year.

And so fine...make this a referendum on Iraq. Make it a referendum on Bush.

Maybe you missed it...Bush isnt running for anything.

There is but one argument from the left...ignore the fact you have no clothes...you hate Geroge Bush. Ignore the fact you have no ideas...You hate Geroge Bush. Ignore the fact your only answer is the same, tired, useless, policy of class warfare and raising taxes...you hate Gerorge Bush.

One issue? Please...democrats are MASTERS at it.

We would not BE talking about John Kerry if JOHN KERRY didnt take it upon himself to make himself the topic. BUT...since he did? Hell yes...kick the pig.

Are you any different? Are the democrats? How many democrats WAILED from the rooftops regarding Mark Foley? Only ALL of them?

Where was your biting critique then?

You are a joke.

Damnable hypocricy.

MindMechanic said...

Oh...and BTW...in case you missed it. Unlike the 8 years of Clintons presidency, the only place Osama MAY or MAY NOT be laughing at us is from the midst of a cave. If he IS laughing...he is pretty pathetic, wouldnt you say? Nice that he is too busy hiding to commit any new terror attacks. I'll take it.

During Clintons years he had Osama HANDED TO HIM and he refused to act.

But you just keep right on laughing.

Anonymous said...

I think the REAL slight to "military intelligence" was when GWB failed his LOYALTY test by REFUSING to serve in Viet Nam with the courageouse heroes of HIS time.
He chose to "party harty" with the Cocain and schmooze politicos while he played with daddy's oil wells -- no time for the "smelly swamps" of 'Nam and THOSE dummies.

"taint cool, ya know!

Sniff another line for the commander and chief -- y'all!!!!

Still waiting for the apology on that one . . .

MindMechanic said...

And since we are talking about hypocrisy...

Michael J Fox 'just' cares about saving people. It's NOT about politics. So he now joins the campaign in Maryland.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/23/AR2006102301173.html?nav=rss_politics
Fox's message, though, makes clear that he believes study on adult stem cells is not enough, saying he approves of candidates who "fully" support the research.

"It's why I support Ben Cardin," he says, lifting his hand to his heart. "And with so much at stake, I respectfully ask you to do the same."

Ummmmm...Mike...

Cardin voted AGAINST stem cell research. The republican candidate you oppose SUPPORTS stem cell research.

Were on a roll...

MindMechanic said...

you'll probably get the apology the same day Clinton apologizes for burning his draft card, lying to get into the guard, then sending a letter to the commander of the guard stating his HATRED and contempt for the military.

No...you wont get that either...but then...you didnt WANT it from Clinton.

Anonymous said...

MM sure knows a lot about where Osama IS, without knowing ANYTHING ABOUT where Osama IS!!!!

He's probably one of the conservative posters at the Agora creating foolish distractions from the REAL problems.

Just more whistling in the dark.

Quote of the day:
"Terrorism is a military strategy, not a country or persons.

Having a war on Terrorism is like have a war on Blitzkrieg -- it's just damn dumb"!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ha,Ha Ha, Michael J. Fox Ha, Ha, Ha.
Let's laugh about M.S. laugh laugh laugh -- what a phoney.

Viagra and Oxy-contin are much better material for humor, but Rush knows a phoney when he sees one. Ha, Ha, Ha!!!!

MindMechanic said...

There you go.

It took you long enough but you in one sentence have uttered the idiocy that embodies the left.

Having a war on Terrorism is like have a war on Blitzkrieg -- it's just damn dumb!!!!

Terrorism IS an ideal but it is an ideal embraced and espoused and PRACTICED by muslim extremists around the globe. They have been doing it for DECADES.

I LOVE the left. Your answer...do nothing. Appease. Apologize. Ignore.

THAT will work.

You HONESTLY believe that people that have the ability to take a man (or woman, or 7 year old child...want to see the results?) and slowly and lethodically saw their heads off all the while chanting to their God and glorifying in the bloodshed...you HONESTLY believe that you can love and rationalize with those people.

Thats not a question...you do.

You HONESTLY believe we created them...never mind they have been doing it for decades and around the world.

You HONESTLY believe they are there because of George Bush, never mind they have been doing it for decades and around the globe.

And you HONESTLY havent got an answer to combat them. Because we shouldnt. Because it's too hard. Because we cant.

I only wish you shared the stage with Kerry.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you may not be bright enough to get it.

He is CAMPAIGNING FOR A CANDIDATE THAT IS ON RECORD VOTING AGAINST STEM CELL RESEARCH. He is opposing a candidate ON RECORD SUPPORTING STEM CELL RESEARCH.

He ADMITS he hasnt even BOTHERED TO READ THE AMENDMENTS HE SUPPORTS.

Now...continue your laughter...

You honestly believe you WIN arguments like this???

THATS funny!!!

Anonymous said...

And MM demonstates HIS LOVE FOR THE MILITARY by making vainglorious postings at the Agora and supporting lunatic strategies in Iraq????

MindMechanic said...

No Anon...I demonstrated my love for the military by 20 plus years of service, by 4 years in the middle east, by honorably supporting and sustaining yes, even a democrat as my commander in chief, and yes, I honor and sustain my comrades in the military by supporting the continued action in Iraq.

You REALLY want to compare ACTIONS here?

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

I'm curious...can you even DESCRIBE the strategies currently employed in Iraq?

I will give you one tiny hint...

"Stay the course" is a slogan...not a strategy. A stragey involves actions, engagement, tactics, etc.

So tell me...which tactics are we currently employing that are failing?

Anonymous said...

"Terrorism is an IDEAL???? Joke right?

Please explain how terrorism is NOT a strategy.

Nope, I AM not bright enough to understand the "thrill" you guys obviously get bashing MJ Fox.

Making mistakes like this might IMPROVE his credibility, not make him the laughing-stock you suppose -- such goes politics AND bashing.

The TRUTH is, right now Fox' probably has GREATER credibility than Bush -- 75% Bush No
25% Bush yes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey,
I have an Air Force Surplus desk that has 55+ years of service and is STILL GOING after having served under Truman and Eisenhower!!!!
Though,
I still haven't put in for a DFC yet.

Thank God it doesn't have arms it could break off patting itself on the back with such vainglorious enthusiasm.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

"Nope, I AM not bright enough to understand the "thrill" you guys obviously get bashing MJ Fox.

No...you just arent bright enough period. I suspect you ARENT getting it intentionally...I think you know better but I could be wrong...you COULD be that stupid.

That you obviously dont see beyond the obvious politics IS the JOKE. That MJF is campaigning for ALL democrats and then using the specter of his ailment for PITY is a JOKE. That he is making a commercial TALKING ABOUT stem cell research and then supporting the CANDIDATE OPPOSED TO STEM CELL RESEARCH is the JOKE. That YOU make this about an attack on his
ailment (its not) instead of an attack on his IDIOTIC and DISGUSTING political ploy (it is) is the JOKE.

That he can take his meds and be spot on for his movies and then by his own admission choose NOT to to exacerbate the effects of his illness and that you dont see that as a pure cheap political ploy and WORSE, exploitation in the name of PITY is a JOKE.

And again...just like Kerry...you ignore that HE is the one creating the issue.

but hey...if a democrat brings it up...it shouldnt be responded to...

MindMechanic said...

Anon...I guess you missed the part where YOU brought it up...not me.

Anonymous said...

The spector of his ailment IS pitiful and I don't care WHO Fox campaigns for or what times he seems to be "spot on".

If you find him or his ailment or his opinions offensive, close your eyes and put those hands that have been thumping your OWN back OVER your ears!!!!

If you have some problems with "stem cell research" -- spew forth.

Lysis said...

I like Mike Fox. I enjoy his movies, and I am sorry he faces a disease that I would never like to deal with. I think he has met his challenge with courage and strength. Not all heroes go to war.

However, to misrepresent his hope for a cure – a hope all thinking and reasonable people share – as a campaign issue, especial a dishonest one; where he asks for votes for the guy who voted against research because he is a Democrat, and campaigns against the guy who voted to support research because he is a Republican, is dishonest. Having a disease does not entitle even Mike Fox to be dishonest.

I can see nothing wrong with stem cell research. I see every thing wrong with killing one group of human beings to harvest experimental material for another group. Embryos are human beings – killing them is murder, murder – of those absolutely innocent in this case - is wrong.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

Are you INTENTIONALLY ignorant?

He is USING his ailment AND stem cell research for PITY and then endorsing the candidate that VOTED AGAINST STEM CELL RESEARCH.

He ADMITS he hasnt even bothered to read the amendments he is supporting.

I see why the left admires him so much.

MindMechanic said...

BTW...

1-NO stem cell research is illegal. The battle is not over a ban on embryonic stem cell research, it is over federal FUNDING of embryonic stem cell research.
2-In 1995 Clinton signed the democrat sponsored Dickey Amendment into law, BANNING government funding of embrionic stem cell research. BILL CLINTON...you know...the god of liberalism...THAT Bill Clinton.
3-George Bush has provided the ONL governmental funding into adult and umbilical stem cell research in history.
4-ONLY adult stem cell research has shown ANY signs of promise.
5-States, universitites and private practices are FREE to do whatever research they choose. California recently decided to give the universities 10 BILLION dollars for research.
6-There are in current inventory THOUSANDS of lines of embryo's on which scientists can, do, and will continue to conduct research. There is NO FEDERAL LAW preventing private organizations, states, and universities from harvesting new embryo's for research.

In 2006 democrats AND republicans in congress refused to change the laws allowing for FEDERAL FUNDING of cloning or harvesting new embryo's for research.

But I'm sure you know all this. I'm sure you havent just been listening to John Edwards telling America that if it wasnt for George Bush Christopher Reeves could have flown again.

My personal opinion? Research is great. Continue on. My political opinion? It shouldnt surprise...I'm a libertarian at heart...I dont think the federal government has any business in raising taxes for this. I think in fact the federal government has repeatedly proven they shouldnt be trusted with tax dollars. If the state of Utah wants to fund additional research then the state legislators should put it up for a vote and let the citizens decide as they did in California.

And IF it does come up for a vote I hope the citizens of the state do more than listen to a few sound bites from their favorite celebrities.

MindMechanic said...

Wait...Eureka...we have it!

All George Bush has to do is wheel out some kids with MS who say they believe that their lives will be better if you vote for republicans and stop attacking George Bush...and the democrats would all agree...right? MAybe bring over some kids who lost family members or women who were savaged by the Hussein regime...and dems would then HAVE to stop talking about how bad the war was...right?

Wrong...they would point it out for what it would be...a cynical ploy to play on peoples emotions pain and sympathy.

Sort of like what the dems have done with superman and MJF.

Even if the DEMOCRAT POLITICIANS they support voted AGAINST stem cell research funding.

Lysis said...

Anonymous;

I think your characterization of Kerry as a battered and useless piece of furniture is spot on!!!

Lysis said...

As to the War on Terrorism “word use” controversy; it is so neo-lib typical. If they can’t deal with something they word game it. Calling Terrorism a tactic, a tool or an enemy won’t save American lives or preserve Western Culture. It takes heroes to do that!

Anonymous said...

"It is so neo-lib typical -- if "they" can't deal with something "they" word game it."

Lysis' OWN posting is the prototype for playing word games.

Next try an ARGUMENT rather than an insult and a word game.

How brilliant to point out how you prefer accusations with word games rather than dealing with clear and insightful contentions and arguments about "terrorism.

When you tire of 'mugging' for those in the cheap seats you might get around to making an ARGUMENT about HOW terrorism is NOT a military strategy and how making WAR on a strategy makes any sense at all.

Begin with YOUR defintion of terrorism.

Explain how terrorism is NOT like Blitzkrieg.

Explain how NOT defining terrorism as a strategy saves American lives? and Western Culture?

Hurry -- lives and culture depend on Lysis' Counterdefinition -- why has he withheld it for so long 'till now????

MindMechanic said...

Terrorism is many things. It is an ideology. It is a tactic. It is a strategy.

As an ideology it is the foundation of thought by which extremists (throughout history)have adopted in an attempt to enforce their will upon people.

As a tactic, terrorist strikes are random acts of violence.

As a strategy, extremists use terrorism to cause fear and confusion.

Word play.

There ARE more interesting things to be examined.

A European strategist (I forget the name, but I'll look for it) said back in 1880 that terrorism would NEVER work because far from causing fear in the hearts of society, it would solidify the will of the people against the terrorists and their cause.

Oh how times have changed.

It is an absolute undeniable fact that there are extremists in the world...hate filled, bitter, angry people that care only about hurting as many people as they can. The US isnt immune...we had our own home grown terrorist strike in Oklahoma City.

Terrorists strike around the world. They have for decades...well...centuries, really.

US foreign policies have NOTHING to do with terrorism. Anyone that believes they do is selling something...namely, liberalism. If George Bush caused terrorism, then explain the attacks on the twin towers in 1993, the US embasies in the 90s. Explain The Achille Lauro.
Explain Berlin. Explain the acts of the Red Army Brigade, The KLA, the Tamil Tigers. Explain how George Bush caused muslim extremists to wrap explosive primer chord around the necks of 3,000 school children in Chechnya. Explain how US foreign policy caused Muslim extremists in Tibet to savagely rape a mans wife and 7 and 14 year old daughters, then forced him to watch as they decapitated them one by one in front of him, then finally executing him as well. Explain the US presence in Tibet that caused that.

I can go on. You know I can. I can post pictures of the mass graves in Iraq. I can post pictures of the warehouses of the dead executed by Saddam. I can post pictures of the human shredder created for the amusement of Usey and Qussay. I can post accounts of Iraqi citizens claims that the private army of the Husseins rolled into towns on the days of a wedding, dragged the new bride and the other women of the wedding party into the streets, raped them, and then left them in their shame, laughing all the while. I can post LOTS of pictures of the dead bloated bodies of children and women, victims of chemical gass attacks in Halabjah, killed by the chemical weapons that Hussein apparently never had. I could go on, and on, and on.

But I doubt it would do a bit of good. I doubt the anonymy here will ever accept that this is anything BUT the fault of George Bush.

I am weary. Literally exhausted. Perhaps the liberals will win control of the congress this election. If they do...I PRAY TO GOD (and I dont mean that as just an expression) that they will have the stomach and the will to successfully engage the terrorists that seek to impose Sharia law on the world.

I have yet to hear EVER any anon acknowledge that terrorists must be fought. In point of fact, one of the collective spoke what I believe will be the action of a liberal congress...that you cant fight with terrorists...you cant battle terrorism.

That being the case, dust of your Kuran's kids...

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Well said, as usual, and thanks for the definition of terrorism that Flaccid requested.


Flaccid;

I would NOT say terrorism is NOT like Blitzkrieg. In WWII the Allies made war on Blitzkrieg and won. They began by destroying the tool the Germans used to carry out their lightning war. They destroyed the planes, shooting them out of the air by the thousands over Britain and then over Europe and then bombed them German Air
Force into non existence. Once their air superiority was ended the German Blitzkrieg was in its death throws. Then they Allies took on the Panzer divisions, the brute club with which Hitler’s maniacal minions had fought the Blitz across Europe. The Germans lost all their tanks at Stalingrad, and toothless, their “master war tactic” rendered unusable by Russia’s “General Winter”, the Blitzkrieg died on the steps of Russia, and Germany’s days were numbered. American and British troops swept up the tools of the “Blitz Army” of Rommel’s Africa Corps and smashed into Italy and Normandy. Had the tools and tactics of the Blitzkrieg not have been destroyed by the Allied war against them, the Germans could have stood. At the Bulged they tried on last Blitz, but when the clouds parted, the American planes flew, and Patton’s own lightning crashed into the Nazi lines, the Blitzkrieg died in Belgium and the war was won.

The reason I don’t explain these things to you every time, Flaccid; is I assume you know them. But then I must remind myself that your arguments are always limp and empty, with no knowledge of history to hold them up; only your self-serving definitions.

Define Terrorism as a strategy all you want. My point above is that word gaming is your tactic and I am declaring war on it. The neo-lib talking point lexicon will not stop terrorism, war stops terrorism. President Bush has proven that again and again. That the terrorists carry on is proof of their evil and tenacity and their faith in the inherent weakness of the Relativists in the West. That the left in this country is ready to cut and run is proof that terrorists can win, but that there have been no attack on the U.S. for five plus years, that Iraq and Afghanistan are struggling democracies not despotic terror states, that the terrorists are flocking to their slaughter in Iraq even as we debate, that Osama is most likely dead, and if not dead, is weakened to impotency in some Pakistani cave praying to Allah that the Democrats win the American Midterm elections; shows that we are, at this moment, winning the War on Terror. It is up to the American people if we will win the war on words. But the FACT remains that we are fighting a war on Terrorism, and neo-lib talking points aside, that war is the only chance for the West.

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