Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Trial of the Generals: Poison Politics

After long years of war between Athens and Sparta, the Athenian Navy won a battle on stormy seas. The ten generals who had commanded the victory returned to Athens expecting a hero’s welcome. Instead they were thrown into prison and put on trial for their lives. Because of the terrible storm the fleet had been forced to withdraw before it could pick up soldiers who had fallen overboard during the battle.

For political reasons, enemies of the generals accused them of murder, delivered stirring speeches in the assembly; played on the sorrows of those who lost loved ones; stirred the ignorant and angry masses and demanded death by hemlock for the saviors of the city.

Not only did they sway the masses in this outrage, they convinced the people to set aside the Constitution of the City and try the Generals all together and in one day, lest reason return and thwart their scheme.

We know of only one man who spoke out against this idiocy, one voice raised in defense of justice and of the city, Socrates. He warned the assembly of the immorality of their vengeance driven attack and warned of the dire nature of the precedent they would set. But he was only one voice in a maddened multitude. The generals were poisoned, Athens’ war effort decimated, and the deadly precedent of mass trial and summery execution established.

These political poisonings precipitated Athenian defeat. Their armies killed, their empire destroyed, their long wall of defense pulled down, their citizens enslaved, their children murdered, their freedom taken; the people paid the price for political pollution.

Under the oligarchy established by the Spartans; mass trials and summery executions, legitimized by the murder of the generals, took the lives of over 4,000 innocent Athenians. Now to the present:

Week after week the political enemies of President Bush plot to poison and pollute. The dangers of partisan injustice can only be averted by wisdom. As wisdom is knowledge of truth let me present some truths for your consideration:

1. The present problems with Iran and much of Islamic terrorism can be traced to Jimmy Carter’s naive or pernicious politics. Finding the Shah of Iran’s methods of governance unacceptable to his politically popular “rose colored glasses” pacifism, Carter allowed the monster Khomeini to seize Iran and establish the “Islamic” dictatorship that spawns and supports terrorism throughout the world and seeks nuclear weapons and world domination. For over a year Carter broadcast American impotency by allowing Islamic fanatics to hold American hostages and humiliate our nation on a continuing basis. The election of Ronald Reagan cowed Khomeini, but fanatic Islamic-fascism found its home in a former American ally. The consequence of Carter’s cowardice is the Long War we must now fight. For political gain, Carter played to the mob; his lack of leadership has murdered millions.

2. Bill Clinton’s bungling gave hope to al Qaeda and purpose to bin Laden’s quest to become the new Caliph of an Islamic Terror State.

The fruits of George Bush I’s world-wide coalition against aggression were realized when American Marines ended years of Islamic Warlord imposed famine in Somalia. Twenty thousand U.S. Marines brought hope to a brutalized people and the world after tens of thousands of deaths by starvation and terror. But Bill Clinton came to office through the insane politics of Ross Perot. To appease his anti-military political base and perhaps in fruition of the anti-war infatuation of his youth, Clinton began the destruction of U.S. military might. Pillaging the Pentagon provided the “Peace Dividend” Clinton needed to purchase political power.

His anti-military pension led Clinton to withdraw the Marines from Somalia. It was his plan to conduct a low key “unnoticed” action through a few Special Forces troops (Rangers and the hither to secret Delta Force). As conditions on the ground got worse, commanders pled for armor and the force necessary to fulfill their mission. Clinton ignored the requests; choosing to play the role of American pacifism and rely on Pakistani troops from the U.N.

Clinton, having hamstrung U.S. forces in Mogadishu, then demanded a super human task of capturing a group of warlords in the city center. When helicopters went down and U.S. forces were pinned down, there was nothing to do but work the miracle. U.S. forces brought the captured warlords out and the wounded to safety; but not before the naked bodies of American soldiers were dragged and mutilated through the streets of Mogadishu and before the cameras of CNN.

Clinton rewarded the sacrifice of American heroes by releasing the terrorists our troops had died to capture and deserting the people of Somalia to starvation and tyranny. America watched in shame; others were watching too!

Osama bin Laden marked American weakness and postulated that faced with even minimal losses America would turn and run. The remaining years of the Clinton Administration validated Osama’s belief.

Clinton did nothing as the Taliban devoured Afghanistan.

Clinton did nothing as Rwanda drowned in blood, 500,000 to a million people hacked to death by machetes.

Clinton sat back until 250,000 Yugoslavs were slaughtered in a religious genocide. When at last Clinton did act, it was with high altitude bombing and casualty “free” confrontation.

Osama watched as a mob of thugs drove the U.S. Navy out of Haiti.

Osama watched as Saddam murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people in his bid to reestablish his despotic control of Iraq.

Osama watched as Saddam ignored Clinton’s hollow threats and bribed his way into control of the U.N.

Then Osama went on the offensive – to test his hypothesis: U.S. embassies across Africa were destroyed and nothing but ineffectual cruise missiles and cowardice from Clinton, from America.

A direct attack on a U.S. warship and Clinton called the Yemeni Police for help.

Now Osama “knew” the kind of enemy he faced. What could an American election have meant to Al Qaeda? Osama thought that when he took the measure of Bill Clinton, he understood America. So he crafted and carried out the 9/11 attack, confident that America would abandon Israel and the Islamic world to Osama’s rule.

How telling that within days after 9/11 Bill Clinton delivered a speech blaming the attack on America!

But Bill Clinton was gone, and Al Gore never came, and Osama soon learned the difference!

3. Under George Bush II, America’s response was swift, successful, and decisive. Within months Afghanistan was free, al Qaeda on the run and freedom on the march in West Asia. The WMDs that would have been bin Laden’s only hope were denied him in the four week removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq. Mission accomplished!

Saddam is gone, bin Laden in hiding, constitutional governments allied with the United States surround Iran, but the Long War is not over. The infection of Islamic Fascism and terrorism still threatens the world. However, in the four plus years since Osama’s big mistake, the American homeland has remained secure. Osama’s threats come out on scratchy audio tapes crafted in caves, and have never yet come true.

But in the face of so much success, in the very hour of victory, a new enemy appears. President Bush’s success itself makes him vulnerable. As Americans who no longer live under the threat of attack, they open their ears to the political poison of those seeking power at the expense of their country. The very enemy that aided Sparta in its struggle with Athens now threatens America. Determined to gain power at any cost, politicians motivated by self-serving ambition launch unfounded attacks on America’s war effort. Counting on ignorance, prejudice, fear, and hate to propel them to power. Americans are not as foolish or as uninformed as the Athenian mob, but aided by their powerful allies in the “antique” media, power seekers spread their poison:

1. In a painful parallel to past perversion, Cindy Sheehan and her crowd count corpses and chant blame. Appealing to sorrow and loss they seek Senate seats and presidential power.

2. Seeking gain in the 2006 election, Democrats and their media masters shark up a “disaster” a week to attack the President and those who serve the nation.
1) Misrepresented photos of criminal conduct at Abu Grab are blamed on the President and the military, though the discovery and prosecution of these crimes was by the very military that the media and the terrorists try to blame for the actions of fools. 2) Lies about torture chambers and secrets prisons fill the press, though not a fact is to be found, nor a reason for anger articulated. 3) Crooked lobbyists are dug up to scandalize until the search uncovered Harry Reid. 4) Deception and misreporting over NSA surveillance endangers the nation and sows confusion, and then is proven unfounded. 5) Dick Cheney’s hunting accident is called a metaphor for Administration failures though all that happened was an accident, properly reported to the authorities, but not taken to the press. 6) And now, relying on racist fears and ignorance a phony attack against the Administration is concocted over the sale of a company to a valuable U.S. ally in the war on terror.

Week after week, the Democrat office seekers concoct a tissue of events that exist no where but in their lies, and lacing the poison of half truths about hurricane relief and economic trends they poison the nation.

Some would say that President Bush needs to get ahead of these attacks. construct a “bullet proof” policy for every action taken. Such a process would endanger America. That was Clinton’s way; finger in the air, Billy was always dancing ahead of every issue; carefully polling his way to nowhere.

Bush’s method is more direct and is the only real option he has; the only real course to lead America. He goes forward and waits for his enemies within to take their shot of the week. His time is better spent continuing to combat terrorists rather than spinning and researching every possible lie that might attack him. When the lies come, he deals with them by showing the truth. So far he has been able to rely on the wisdom of the American people to comprehend the truth and recognize the folly.

Wouldn’t it be tragic if America, like Athens, could defeat its enemies in battle only to be poisoned by politics at home?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Your Mother Wears Army Boots

The Nunaka Valley Gang wars (Nunaka Valley, Alaska) began with the discovery of the paint. When I was a boy, our gang of friends was led by Linda Templeton. Linda was two years older than I and my best friend, Linda’s sister, Gladeen. The Templeton’s dad was in the Air Force, their mom was from Korea. Linda was the oldest and strongest in our group, and no one questioned her authority. When my dad gave us the scraps of wood from the garage he was building, Linda directed us to take them to the “little woods”, and we built a fort house. The little woods ran down the middle of our housing project and joined the creek woods a mile or so down the hill.

One day we found two buckets of paint in the Little Woods; a gallon of white and a gallon of orange. Not the best colors – but it was paint, and we painted our fort. Days later we found our hideout missing. We searched down the hill toward the creek, and there was our lumber rebuilt into anther fort and a gang of kids – Ian’s gang – playing in it. When challenged they explained that the paint was theirs, as our boards were covered with their paint, they were now theirs too.

There was no great battle for a while. We simply waited until Ian and his crew were else where and took OUR wood back. Then they came to get it, there were fights and some of the littleuns got hurt.

Ian Nishimoto’s Parents were from Japan. He was the same age as Linda, and had the advantage of being a boy. He was also rumored to know judo, a then mysterious fighting technique that rendered resistance futile.

The great battle took place in the clearing just before the hill, not the big hill, but the little wood’s hill. Ian’s gang had come to get “their wood” back and we were ready for them. Each gang stood behind their leader. There was yelling and threats, and Linda kicked off her flip flops. I picked one up, darted out from behind Linda, ran straight up to Ian and slapped him across the face. I ran back behind Linda. Ian lunged after me, but Linda stepped forward, fists clenched. “Leave him alone,” she snarled. A member of the other gang yelled, “Ian, show um the “Ha, Ha” stuff.” Ian struck a few karate stances. “Ha, Ha,” he yelled at each pause. With palpable scorn – and not a breath of fear – Linda intoned. “You use all the Ha Ha you want; I’ll use the good old American “One Two.”" Her fist shot out from the shoulder. She caught Ian square in the nose. The blood gushed. His supporters fled. Choking back the tears, his nose blowing red bubbles, Ian croaked, “Your mother wears army boots.” Linda drew back her fist and Ian followed his gang into the underbrush.

Taunted by the truth and beaten and humiliated by the successes of the Bush Administration; the Democrats are left with nothing but hollow words and nothing to do but blubber out, “Your mother wears army boots.”


1. After years of digging for scandals, the “Antique Media” and the Democrats gush and blubber for seven days over V.P. Cheney’s accident in Texas. I even hear an ABC Special Report entitled, “The Shooting of the Vice President, Hunting for the Truth”. I listened as Nancy Pelosi intoned the Ha Ha line of the Democrat’s and their media spin machine. Her hollow claim is that Cheney’s shooting accident and the fact that he reported it to law enforcement instead of the New York Times, is a Metaphor of the Bush administration “failures”. She then choked back the tears of defeat; she sniveled out the tired and discredited taunts of the past. Bush lied about saving Social Security, Bush lied about WMD, Bush lied about the successes of the Iraq War, Bush lied about domestic spying, and Bush’s mother wears army boots.

2. At the Alito hearings, red bubbles blowing, Schumer, Boxer, Kennedy and crew misrepresented Judge Alito’s support of a conservative alumni group and falsely accused him of a conflict of interest, lying to the Judiciary Committee, and of having a mother in army boots.

3. In a treasonous speech in Saudi Arabia, Al Gore falsely accused Americans of ““terrible abuses” against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks” and said Arabs had been “indiscriminately rounded up” and held in “unforgivable” conditions, and whined that “The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake,” and – by the way – America’s mother wears army boots.

4. The New York times and the Democrat spin machine have called the President’s Constitutional use of the NSA to observe al Qaeda terrorists, Domestic surveillance, warning it would lead to the FBI listening to innocent American’s embarrassing conversations with their Grandmothers, and said the NSA’s mother wears army boots.

5. John Murtha has accused the American heroes fighting in Iraq of being cowards and liars, and insinuated that their mothers wear army boots.

6. Mrs. Bill Clinton stood and applauded her party’s failure to rescue Social Security and accused those who sought to implement the programs suggested by her successor as New York Senator, Patrick Moynihan, of trying to destroy the system. She also said Moynihan’s mother wore army boots.

7. The Democrats and their masters in the media have held up the Patriot Act for months by claiming that the Justice Department’s mother wears army boots.

8. Pseudo evolutionists concoct words to stuff in Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, and when his own words disprove their lies, they say his mother wore army boots.

9. Anti-Bush fanatics, sniffling at the fact that Katrina did not cause the 25,000 deaths they were hoping for, cover their disappointment by blurting out hollow accusations that the response was raciest and that the FEMA’s "mother Brown" wears army boots.

Let um use all the Ha, Ha stuff they want, I’ll stick with the good old American One Two!

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Story of Roman Love

The Sweethearts Assembly brought an opportunity to present another story from our Ancient Roman Heritage to the student body. I was told to make it Romantic. It is rather ironic that Roman History is not the most promising field to plow for stories of tenderness. My first thought was to relate the story of Romulus and the Rape of the Sabine women. I even worked out several ways of finessing in those lines from the Musical, *Seven Brides for Seven Brothers*; “They acted angry and annoyed, but secretly they was overjoyed.” But I decided that encouraging kidnapping and holding girls hostage until they fall in love and produce babies is not something to be advocated to 800 high school men in the “season of the rising sap”. I settled instead on the story of Collatinus and Lucretia. I didn't go into the rape there either; I tried instead to model the virtue of a devoted wife serving her husband, the faith of a husband in his wife, and the mutual loyalty of a truly loving couple that is often missing in today’s “Romantic” relationships.

Story of Roman Love – Collatinus and Lucretia

As we review our Lancer Heritage, we discover that Valentines Day traces its roots to a Roman holiday. The Lupercalia was held on February 15th to ensure protection from wolves. Not a bad precaution to consider as the Sweethearts dance approaches. However, I would like to relate a more important Roman lesson on love.

In the days when Rome was ruled by a king, the young lancers found themselves at war. The armies of Rome had surrounded the City of Ardea and settled down to a long siege. One night, the royal princes were entertaining their friends at their tent. When ever boys get together the conversation turns to girls and the young men began to compare the virtues of their Sweethearts. Each praised the beauty and goodness of his love, until Collatinus called, “Stop! What need is there of words, when in a few hours we can prove beyond doubt the incomparable superiority of my Lucretia? We are all young and strong: why shouldn’t we ride to Rome and see with our own eyes what kind of women our wives are.” The young men rode off to the city.

When they arrived at the royal palace the troop of heroes found the princesses enjoying themselves at a wild party. While their husbands were away at war defending Rome, their girls were making marry in great luxury.

Collatinus lead his dejected friends to his home. It was late in the evening when they arrived. But there they found the beautiful Lucretia in the hall of her house, surrounded by her busy maid-servants. She was still hard at work by lamplight spinning thread from which to weave her husband a warm cloak. Although her love was far away, her heart was true, and her thoughts on him. Lucretia won the contest of virtue by proving her love through service.

Lancers should follow the examples of Collatinus and Lucretia and define our Sweethearts not in boastful words and party times, but in act of faith, service, loyalty and love.

Good luck in finding the perfect Sweetheart, and let’s do our best to keep the wolves away!

We hear so much about the decadence of the Romans that we have come to accept that image out of hand. We have even come to judge Rome by a pretended morality. I believe that, to a great extent, it was the pervasive force of ethnic nationalism that pushed the vilification of Rome. In a culture were we are considering the vertues of "Broke Back Mountain", giving consideration to the positive aspects of Roman character could be of lasting value in shaping and bringing power to a meaningful education.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Bush Speech Brings Hope: A "High Point" Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There is no peace in retreat.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President Bush called for action on energy:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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