Wednesday, August 15, 2007

“All we are is dust in the wind, Dude.” Ted to Socrates in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

I wonder if one can be bemused and saddened at the same time. Socrates claimed that sensation at his trial; the day he left the Agora for what he hoped would be a better world.

My last post before the summer break was a rather hurried and terse pictorial observation on the differing fates of Congressman Jefferson of Louisiana and Paris Hilton of inherited millions. My point was that Jefferson's “sins” were eagerly set aside by a Democratic controlled Congress and media while Paris got a taste of what she deserved; despite her parent’s money.

I return from a paradisiacal summer to find that my message had been read and commented on by two blogers who claimed to have known me in their youth. I am forced to ponder who they really are. I will quote them here:

“Steve said...

Lysis,I'm assuming your initials are D.C. I worked at Camp Bartlett for seven summers, including one summer when you were the Camp Director. I quickly grew to love and admire you. That was one of my favorite summers.Luckily, we didn't talk about politics at camp.What a shock to look you up years later, only to find your blog filled with such vitriolic nonsense, cloaked in a veneer of nationalism and self-righteousness. I would have thought that of all the figures of my youth, you would be the one to show a little compassion toward humankind.To say I am extremely disappointed is putting it mildly.
1:48 PM”

I have known several Steves in my years as Camp Director. But since this one gives no real information as to his identity, I am afraid I cannot even guess who he is. I am inclined to think that the post is a fraud . It is a sad truth about the blogger’s world that most anyone can claim most anything and then watch the effect of their mischief from the shadows. Anyway – Steve uses the term “vitriolic” to describe my questions and comments here in the Agora. If he really is a “former” friend, perhaps he could consider that the purpose of this forum has been to stir debate and that the taking of controversial stances in a method of stimulating thought. Argument leads us to truth; the gadfly stirs us to thought. On the other hand, I can only smile at one to whom the truth is bitter. That is the hallmark of the relativists; devoid of substantive positions; they are forced to deal in half truths, innuendo, name calling, and outright deception.

For tens of thousands of words I have presented arguments and facts; Steve neither cites nor challenges any of these; he simply spits bitterness from the dark recesses of cyberspace.

As for the poster who calls himself, “Enlightened Former Saint”; his post reads:

“Enlightened former saint said...

I echo what Steve said,In my youth I looked upon you Lysis as someone thoughtful and free. I was surprised to stumble upon this festering pile of ultra right wing nonsense. Indeed you have sucked down the kool-ade of those you seemed to ridicule. I don't know where the change came from. Perhaps you were just this loopy anyhow and adolescent passion, or as you termed it "romance" clouded my youthful mind. When did you abandon reason and inquiry for obstinate proclamations of fear and hate.
2:20 AM”
Once more the poster gives no clue to his real identity – sad indeed – and once more he also fails to provide a single example of the nonsense or proclamations of fear and hate he claims to find here in the Agora. I am forced to ask him if it is the truth that is “Right Wing”? As he calls himself a “Former Saint” I must assume that he abandoned his “romantic” faith in God along with his adolescent passion for me. He and Steve should have a good time echoing each other’s empty accusations.

Should either of them care to give examples from the materials posted here in the Agora of the “nonsense” they claim exists, I would be willing to attempt to explain or defend my positions. I have little hope of such a reasoned exchange, but I invite it in all optimism.

Now on to things more important, at least to me.

The end of my thirty-sixth summer at Scout Camp – my thirty-first as a director - has put me in a mind for ending things. I began this web-log as a kind of lark, a dabbling in the computer world of a friend. I had no idea I would spend so many pleasant and thought provoking hours at the Agora. In the past years I have learned much from many who have taken the time and trouble to post here. I have honed my own writing skills, and even improved my spelling – though I must admit that it takes a caring eye to detect that refinement.

I have spent the entire summer at camp,“cold turkey”, without news; no papers, no Fox , nor CNN, no internet, no hours following CSPAN, nor listening to Carl Castle and gang on the NPR. Monday, I came “down from my mountain” to find that the world had gone on the same without my tending to its problems. President Bush has continued to defend our nation and the West, - for this I thank God continually - the Democrats continue to choose party and personal power over county, over reason itself. Murder and lies are still the tools of the enemies of humanity, and salvation is still bought with the precious blood of loving heroes.

I am inclined to leave the Agora, to take a dose of symbolic hemlock, and pass into the unknown, seeking the reasoned company of whatever gods and heroes I find populating my next fields of endeavor.

For those who might be interested, I am planning to open a Web Page for the Camp Loll Alumni Association. There I will confine my efforts to happy memories of days without bitterness, and to dreams of future service in the Elysian Fields of Yellowstone. Perhaps some of you will join me there. I will post information on this string, should this dream come true.

Friday, June 08, 2007


If Paris Hilton wanted to “get away with it” –

she should have been a black Democrat Congressman!

This will be the end at the Agora until August. I am most grateful to all who have read and especially commented here this past year. I will occasionally think of you all as I spend my summer in paradise.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Two Thousand and Nine Words on Michael Moore

Michael Moore brought down by young Republican in Alabama.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Jimmy Carter is unbelievable – literally. The only people stupider than those who voted for him for President are the ones who now believe his lies about President Bush.

This past weekend Carter claimed that President Bush’s administration is “the worst in history”. It is particularly shameful that this unfounded and ridiculous claim comes from the mouth of the man who truly did preside over the worst American administration in History. Admittedly Clinton set out to give Carter a run for his money – but Billy’s blunders prevented him from doing the same degree of harm that four years of Carter brought on the world.

Carter is among the most subtle and consistent liars in history. This particular calculated lie by Jimmy Carter is on a par with Adolph Hitler, the only other democratically elected leader of the twentieth century to be responsible for as much death and misery as Carter.

Americans of the twenty-first century are venerable to Carter’s lies because they are abominably ignorant of history. A partial list of the foreign policy disasters precipitated by Carter includes:

Communist expansion in Africa, Asia, and America:

Nicaragua was handed over to the Communists and Guatemala and El Salvador placed on a slippery slide to disaster from which only Ronald Reagan could save them.

The USSR invaded Afghanistan and established a Communist dictatorship.

Panama Canal handed over to Manuel Noriega.

The Shah of Iran was deserted and overthrown by Khomeini – and the world’s greatest terrorist exporter nation was born.

The Killing Fields of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot reached full effect.

Iraq / Iran War

Terrorists hijacked airplanes and even ships at will.

Carter tries to this day to take credit for Anwar Sadat’s courageous efforts to end war in the Middle East, but stood by and did nothing as Islamic terror reached out to control the Levant.
Oil embargos crippled the American economy and put enormous power in the hands of Islamic fanatics.

Carter’s entire Presidency was a deception. On the domestic front he presided over double digit inflation, double digit interest rates, and coined the word stagflation and dragged America into malaise. In other words Carter made America sick and the world almost died.

By the time Carter was done with America the world was looking to the USSR for leadership and his administration was ready to announce that America was through.

Because of the obvious and utter failure of Carter's Presidency he has spent years trying to redeem himself. He has the blood of millions on his hands, and he can do nothing about it but lie. The farce that is a type of the entire Carter phenomena is the “agreement” he worked out with North Korea to end their development of nuclear weapons. Kim must have felt he had found a kindred spirit as he spun the lies that would allow him to develop an A bomb. It is easy to see them in one's mind, sitting around one of Kim Ill’s pleasure palaces; (Carter allowing himself to be tempted) as he spins the lies he hopes will buy his redemption. It does not matter, to him, whose or how much blood it will take. Had it not been for the vigilance of the Bush administration the nuclear ambitions of North Korea would have remained unchecked. What is particularly telling is that Carter was nominated (even received) a Nobel Peace prize for this tissue of lies. This is an honor he shares with Yasir Arafat - who likewise lied to get a Nobel Prize for Peace while his hands dripped with the blood of the innocent. Carter and Arafat share the dubious distinction of being nominated for the Noble Peace Prize with Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, North Vietnamese liar murderer Le Duc Tho (actual winner) Henry Kissinger (also a winner), Criminal General of the Oil for Food scandal – Kofi Annan (who also won) and Al Gore!!!!

Now Carter plays into the hands of the American enemies and the terrorists by attempting to paper over his own failures by savaging the reputation of President Bush. It is outrageous

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I can’t motivate you – other than perhaps make you angry. I have long realized that one can no more motivate people to do things they do not want to do than one can get a movie star to be your lover. So when asked to speak to my colleagues on their “attitude” for the new Advisory Program at our school I found myself facing a rather dismal prospect. Still, it mattered to me, and I thought perhaps I could get my fellow teachers to at least think a new thought; reaching into their own experience to find the desire to do this new and difficult thing.

The speech outline that follows attempted to use my experiences to remind them of their own, my reasons for wanting to succeed to help them find their own.

I. I began by admitting that I would probably get emotional because, I explained, I can remember when I didn’t have a job. I remember when being a teacher was a dream. There are 2 and ½ accredited Social Studies teachers for every open position in Utah, and prospects are better now than they were years ago; and for all these years I have lived my dream come true. (Earlier in the morning a gentleman from Ken Garff Auto Dealership had given us all a nice coupon for auto service and a discount on a car – but, I pointed, out that I did not become a teacher to get a new car.)

II. I asked them all to remember why they became teachers. How wonderful it is to be paid – and quite well - to study, to actually live, in the field one is interested in. But that is not my motivation. I want to share my love for history with others. There is a universal truth, we get greater joy from giving to others the things we love than in keeping them to ourselves. How many times I have reminded myself of the pleasure of looking at Union Falls for the first time – and how soon the sixteen mile hike to that place became more of a price than I wanted to pay for that pleasure. But the joy of seeing someone I love see the falls for the first time – that is worth hikes and much more.

III. I pointed out that I remembered when one of my colleagues didn’t have a job. How he was willing to take over the supervision of the auditorium and the sound and light crew in order to get into the school.

IV. I told them I first taught at a Jr. High. There, my Principal required a faculty meeting every week and a mandatory after school party once a month. I taught the same forty-five minute lecture six times a day. Then one day the choir from the very high school I now work at came to sing Christmas carols at my school. I was so impressed with the beauty and talent of the young men and women who performed that I turned in a transfer request at the district office – asking for a high school – any high school. Some weeks later I got a note in my box to call Paul Smith. I had never heard of Paul Smith, I assumed he was an angry parent. I failed 49 of my 200 students my first quarter as a teacher – I was accustomed to calls from angry parents. Of course, Mr. Smith is still the principal at the high school at which I work. In my interview he asked if I would be the debate coach. “I’ll be the best debate coach you’ve ever had.” I confidently replied. The truth is I knew nothing about debate. The interview was in late February, and I was promised a response within two weeks. It was May before I got the call. During that time I am sure many far more impressive applicants to the job were interviewed. After making every effort to do better – the boss settled for me, perhaps because I was the only one who said yes to the debate coach job.

The previous debate coach is still at our high school. I would never have made it that first year had it not been for him. He is my hero forever. I remember when I first found out about the job, I told it to one of my staffers who had worked for me for several years, a beautiful, brilliant student from Davis High. When I had told him how I hoped to make our team a winning team, he laughed at me. There was no way Davis could ever be beaten in Debate. It took a couple of years to get there but I took great pleasure in beating Davis High nine times at the region and NFL district level.

I pointed out to my colleagues that only the other former debate coaches in the room (and there were five – including my mentor) could understand the difficulty of that task.

V. I really enjoy attending our school musicals – they are nothing short of marvelous. But I must confess I often sit in the audience burning with jealously for our school Drama Coach. To be able to make such an important and lasting impact on all those students – to bring out so much excellence in all of them. That is truly something I want – MY ADVISORY will give me such an opportunity.

VI. I have had five of my own children pass through my high school. I am grateful to all the teachers who have made them better people. My second son came to the school a rather chubby child looking for himself. He joined the wrestling team. Our wrestling coach changed his life for the better, and pretty quickly too. Coach didn’t keep my son long – because my boy is such a pacifist that he didn’t like fighting, and especially not beating other kids. Still the awareness of health and the fitness inspired by those few weeks on the wrestling team are manifest today in his healthy life style. I am amazed at what coaches have, that bring students to sweat and struggle through the long summer months – through the year - in a myriad of sports and activities. I use the coaches and the sports at our school as examples of how to suffer for success to my students all the time. I pointed out that my son had written a paper for one of the English teachers in the audience entitled – My Father Never Played Catch with Me – What is catch- too complicated a sport for me. But coaches do this all the time for so many kids. I want to use my advisory to touch lives like that, but in my own way and with my own talents.

VII. I held up a newspaper with a picture of a derailed train on it; a train carrying the components to the Space Shuttle; I pointed out that none of the assembly parts had been damaged and that the protective structures on the railroad cars were my son’s job to inspect. How he had become a mechanical engineer and a mathematics master. In Jr. High he had been tested and assigned to a basic math class – he wanted to take Algebra so he could get on the “math track” at high school. One of my fellow teachers had actually called the Jr. High and promised to help my son if they would let him into the Algebra class. He went on to take the most demanding math classes. It was not always easy. I remember nights of intense homework frustration. But he went on to master. Another teacher in the room had inspired my daughter in her Chemistry class – had taught her that she could do the most difficult things if she worked very hard at it. That same daughter has gone on to study sign language – has built her life goals around the inspiration given her by the sign language teacher at our school.

There were so many other teachers I could have mentioned – the great English teachers, the history, the LITE team advisors, the internship director that sent my one son to work with camels and yaks, a daughter, now working in the University Special Collections, to her first experience in a bookstore, and my other daughter to help with sign language interpretation in another high school working with a deaf student.

Time was more than up. I pointed to the two “handouts” I had prepared:

The first was given to us years ago by a Vice Principal, who left our school to become an LDS mission president, and later a principal at another school

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make a life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a person humanized or de-humanized.

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”


I read the first line. Then asked them to read and consider the rest.

On the back was Edward Sill’s poem “Opportunity”. As a teacher I must always explain poetry before I recite. In this story a man sees a battle field – either in a dream or for real. Along one side of the battlefield the banner of the king’s son is going down, collapsing in defeat. On the other side of the battle field there was a craven, that’s a coward or a quitter. He wants to help his prince – but he looks at his sword, and thinks what a piece of junk. If I only had a better sword, [if I was only drama director, the football coach], but this piece of junk! He breaks his sword and sneaks off the battle field leaving his prince to die. Now let me give you the poem.

Opportunity by Edward R. Sill

“This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream.
There spread a cloud of dust across a plain,
And underneath the cloud, or in it,
A furious battle raged; swords shocked upon swords and shields.
A prince’s banner wavered then staggered backward,
Hemmed by foes.

A craven hung along the battle’s edge and thought,
Had I a sword of keener steel, that blue blade the king’s son bears,
But this blunt thing, he snapped; and throwing it from his hand,
He loweringly crept away and left the field.

Then came the kings son, wounded, sore bested and weaponless,
And saw the broken sword, lying hilt buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran; and snatched it up.
And with battle shout lifted afresh, he hued his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

Right now this Advisory Program is indeed a broken sword lying buried in the dry and trodden sand. Which will we be; a craven or a king?

Two other presenters followed my efforts. One presented the what an advisory is and what it is not material, and the other introduced the actual mechanics of our program. They did a wonderful job, but the young teacher who spoke of structure did preface his remarks by what must have been a sentiment in the room. He pointed out how he had been brought up on a farm and that my speech had reminded him of a spreading manure. That got a laugh. But the first liar never has a chance you know – he soon had to turn the time back to me for a short presentation on Rituals and Routines and I was able to point out that as a historian I would like to remind him that before the farmers started spreading the manure THE WORLD STARVED.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Stooges and Patsies

Some villain murdered 32 people last week. This evil aberration deserves no more notoriety than a gas leak – no more to be named in the news or in the history books than the Crimean rat that carried flees into Medieval Europe.

But our media stooges – the idiots of NBC and all the parroting patsies of the press - have splashed his name and face, like an obscene smear all over our national consciousness. Whose goal was this? Who wanted to make this nothing – this passing stink – famous? He did. That was his only goal. He dressed in costume, recited his lines, performed in his own farce, and T.V. made him a superstar. How dumb can they get?

The mass murdering terrorist thugs, the 21st century plague, oozing like vermin out of the Muslim Middle East; seek to infect the West and defeat civilization. They are no more capable of defeating the American Military than they are of being loved for eternity by 72 virgins, but the patsies and stooges in American Politics have declared them winners. Whose goal was this? Who wanted to make this gust of bad air the wind of history? They did. That was their only goal. They murder like cowardly rats and sucking flees, and Harry Reid proclaims them victorious.

General Petraeus is forced to come before Congress to explain to the fools in the Democrat party, and some galactically stupid Republicans, how the United States of America is actually defeating the Islamo-thugs, and Nancy Pelosi – the pretending leader of the House of Representatives of the People of this nation - claims she doesn’t have time to listen to the truth. How dumb can they get?

But NBC – may its peacock die like the vermin infested pigeon it has become - and the Democratic Leadership have been witless accomplices of evil. Their blind appetite for ratings and votes has played into the hands of the infections that would kill and conquer.

I was blessed to spend some time this past week with some real heroes. Monday afternoon – before the mindless media had made a Darth Vader out of a slime mold, a real American Hero came to visit my classroom and my home. This Sergeant in the U.S. Army holds a Law degree, is a medic and trained in dealing with the horrific explosives and terror weapons to which Reid and Pelosi are ready to abandon civilization. He spoke with reasoned optimism of the growing effectiveness of the Iraqi Army and of the inevitability of victory against the terrorists; if our troops and their Iraqi allies are just left to do the job. I asked if Reid’s words had a negative effect on our soldiers. He said the main effect was the support they gave to our enemies. He told me that many people have asked why he joined the Army rather than pursue a career at law; his reply is that he wants to serve his country. Many who read here at the Agora know this great man. It is not the practice of this forum to use names, but his life is truly a celebration of what is right with America.

On Thursday evening I had the privilege to pick up another American Hero at the airport. A lawyer serving in the U. S. Coast Guard who has chosen to invest his infinite talents in the daily service of those of us who take for granted the prosperity and safety in which we live. He had traveled from his home to help coordinate state and federal efforts in improving the safety and operation of inland interstate waters. Many of us who read at the Agora know this great man; whose achievements and dedication to the service to his country are the real story of what makes American Victory against evil inevitable.

Friday morning, in the last moments before the first bell rang; I looked up to see two beautiful U. S. Marines in full uniform walk through my door. They too were former students whom I had had the privilege of teaching. Their faces and forms could justly fill our T. V. screens, the front pages and the magazine covers. They stayed for the first forty minutes of my Civics class to tell my students of their struggles and successes. I was so proud of my students, and the respect and honor they paid these heroes. During the course of the discussion the young PFC told how he was studying electronics and communication. He humbly implied that he was not always at the forefront of the battle. I was able to remind my students of that terrible storm that struck our forces as they fought their way up the Euphrates River Valley. How the media and the Democrats had predicted that the dust clouds and the wind would cripple and defeat the American Military; while Saddam’s hardened and desert savvy warriors would soon be picking the bones of America’s finest. Then I reminded them that it was the electronic communication and positioning ability of our military that made it more than a match for the dust that blinded and engulfed the vaunted terror troops of Saddam.

The young corporal spoke of the "endless" hours, days, weeks of training and the countless challenges he had endured to prepare him to be our defender. He was asked if he ever felt that the American people didn’t support his efforts. He recounted how one time, as he left his base in uniform, he was confronted by a crowd of sign wielding “protesters”. One of them actually spit on him. His wonderful response -- “Well, I’m glad you have the freedom to express your opinion.” As he recounted his heroism, he said that he was just a rifle man, that he wasn’t learning “anything” applicable in the real world. I was blessed with this opportunity to point out to my students that the lives of comfort we have in our world, our dreams and aspirations, are all the gift of those who serve in the real world. It is that line of rifles that defends America in the real world which makes our dream world possible.

As these young men stood before my class, my Principal came to give me some information. He is a Marine, and for a few minutes my great boss talked with our heroes and explained some facts about them to my students. I was and remain in awe of their service and excellence.

What a contrast these five; Solider, Coastguardsman, and three Marines present to the nothings made powerful by the stooges and patsies in the media and in the very halls of Congress.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Not Nice News

In the many events of the past week and the “News” stories about them – the one which seems most typical is the collapse of the “Duke Rape Case”. After over a year of slanderous attack by racists and media profiteers and a brutal political assault by one of the most dangerous anomalies in American Jurisprudence, a rogue prosecutor, three innocent men are left to pick up the savaged pieces of their lives. I hear there will be a 60 Minutes appearance, and no doubt there will be much talk generated among talking heads and blogers, but most will miss the point. An agenda driven politician can do great harm to a nation by overt lies and only the truth can stand against such tactics.

It is now obvious that Mike Nifong knew almost from the start that the three student athletes accused by the real criminal in this case, Crystal Gail Mangum, were innocent. It made no difference. Guilt or innocence, rape or racism were never the real motivators in this case. What was really at stake was political power. A multitude of power grubbers jumped in to feed on the carcass of Justice that Nifong’s slaughter of innocence had created. Professional racists like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton scrambled to be identified with Nifong’s lies. The membership challenged hate group – The Black Panthers – swore violence and mayhem in an attempt to garner gore, and even the professors at Duke University sought to rip off a chunk to bolster their “liberal” credentials, by canonizing with their signatures the lie that casts “white males” as the rapists of the universe.
Panthers, Politicians, Pundants, and Professors all refuse to apologize for their feeding frenzy.

Like a pack of hyenas the media turns to devour its own internals in an attack on Don I’m Ass, the so apply named, most recent victim of racial bias in America, and the lesson of the liars is lost on the witless American masses

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Thought for Easter

It is always interesting to hear the chorus of voices raised to claim that Mormons are NOT Christians. Last weekend I spent a good deal of time listening to LDS General Conference. Many of the speakers marshaled reason and faith to dispel this ludicrous claim, but several others seemed to go out of their way to support it.

I was dismayed that several of the speakers found it necessary to disparage the Nicene Creed. They talked very authoritatively about its “misbegotten” origin and its “errors”, but I was forced to wonder if the good brethren, who were so busy attacking this foundational doctrine of Christianity, had ever read it. That Mormons would try so hard to be accepted as “Christian” and then spend a good deal of the conference insisting that all other Christians are wrong in their understanding of God seems to be painfully self defeating.

Here is the Nicene Creed. Repeated readings have failed to reveal anything that contradicts Mormon Doctrine. If anyone can see a contradiction to the LDS articles of faith – which seem to be patterned to some extent after the creed – or to Scripture, please explain it to me.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son*) who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Change proposed 6/1999

In my salad days – The LDS Church used to present a parody of a sectarian minister teaching something about a God without body parts or passions, whose circumference is no were and center was everywhere, who was so large He filled the universe and yet was so small he can dwell in one’s heart. I have never found a religion which teaches that version of God, in fact, that Mormons no longer present the parody seems to indicate that Church leaders have also abandoned the notion.

As food for thought, in comparing Mormon beliefs to those outlined in the Nicene Creed consider these Scriptures from the “Standard Works”.

1st Nephi 13:41 [On God and Jesus being ONE God]

41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

From Mosiah 15: 1 – 5

AND now Abinadi said unto them; I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the SON—

3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—

4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.

5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

2nd Nephi 31: 21

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen

3rd Nephi 9: 15

15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God, I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

D&C 130: 22 [On the nature of the three manifestations of God – and His ability to live in our heart]

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

Please also consider that the most sacred of all prayers and oaths– the ones that have truly saving power are offered in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. In this name of God were all Mormons baptized and promised all their eternal blessings.

It seems to me that the Mormon Church could make more headway in its effort to be an accepted Christian faith by carefully considering the Nicene Creed and pointing out to all who will listen that it is the very doctrine of the LDS faith. What stronger bona fideies could the Church display?

Sunday, April 01, 2007


I went to 300 for a second time this week. There is an image in the graphic novel showing Leonidas keeping watch over his people by moon light. It seemed a fitting form for the heavy burden our President must bear as champion of Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Iran: Appeasement not Peace - Carter's Call

Jimmy Carter has recently written a book called Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. But long ago Jimmy Carter wrote the book on failure in Iran. His example should be a warning to the world. Saturday night I was at a Missionary farewell party. The kids, teens, and tweens went outside with the ice cream mixer and I was left in the family room with my grandson and the toy trucks. I met the missionary’s grandparents and was interested to find out that they had spent six years in Iran. As an expert in the fighter jets, he was sent to Iran to assist the Shah’s forces in building an Air Force. The couple told of the wonders that the Shah had struggled to bring to the people of Iran, of the amazing progress they made and of that people’s horrific fall into the hands of Islamic extremism. I told them of my friend at the High School, Kazz; a former Iranian Air Force officer who taught welding. They knew him and we exchanged stories. I told how during the build up to the First Gulf War Kazz had met me in the hall and told me Saddam would win the war. He didn’t like Saddam, but he said quite simply that the U. S. could not win. Why, I asked? “Because Bush has no balls,” Kazz replied. Those were the days when I taught Debate, and I invited him to come up to my varsity Debate Class to debate the point. I pointed out that I would be busy for the following few days, as we were holding the NFL District, tournament over the weekend at Woods Cross High. “Come up on Monday,” I suggested. “It will be great fun.” Over the weekend the Gulf War took place. Interestingly enough it coincided almost exactly with the District tournament. The only thing more decisive than Bush’s defeat of Saddam was Layton’s victory over the rest of the District. Come Monday, I waited Kazz’s arrival. After ten minutes it appeared he was not coming. I sent one of my students down to the welding shop. “Tell Kazz he’s got no balls.” Kazz was in the class two minutes after the delivery of the message. He literally ran. We spent the hour talking about the greatness of George Bush . . .

Who had taught Iran and Iraq to believe that America lacked the courage to defend itself? It was Jimmy Carter. Carter deserted the Shah and facilitated the take over of Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini. And how did the religious fanatics Carter put in power reward his acquiescence? They took the embassy, abused Americans and dragged the West through the mud for a year. World Oil prices shot up and our military – forced to pussy foot its way around in the desert – was made the laughing stock of the world.

Now that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sees Carter and his ilk rising in influence in America, again the terror state, the hub of the Axis of Evil, is emboldened once again. Now they have taken hostages in an attempt to relive their glory days with fifteen British Hostages. The monsters that have held the people of Iran hostage since the ouster of the Shah now seeks to hold the world hostage once again.

And the party of Jimmy Carter rushes to their support. There are even those who are recomending Jimmy Carter to bargain for the Hostages. What do the Democrats expect? That once they have again placed power in the hands of the Mullahs they will be rewarded with peace. Peace never comes from appeasement, all the cut and run contingent will earn for their submission to the Iranian funded terrorist in Iraq and the hostage holders in Tehran is a repeat of the failures of the Carter Administration’s dastardly defeat.

Monday, March 19, 2007

It's No Double Standard; It's No Standard At All

Thinking people cannot help but be frustrated at the apparent and obscene “double standard” in judgment.

The most recent and ridiculous is the media generated hysteria over the firing of eight federal prosecutors. When the Clinton administration fired 93 federal prosecutors for declared political reasons, it was jubilation.

When General Gonzalez is “linked” to the firing of these substandard lawyers; which by the way is his job; his resignation is demanded in the median and on the floor of Congress. When Janet Reno grandstands her power and orders the murder of a bunch of kids in Waco and openly refuses to pursue needed investigations, the Clintonists in the Media and the Congress, circle the wagons to defend her and her boss.

When a Republican Senator checks with a prosecutor on the progress of a prosecution it is a “dangerous” violation of the separation of power. When Chuck Schummer, a Democrat, demands prosecution and demands action, it is considered his job.

When General Pace expresses his opinion of homosexual activity as immoral, the media and the Democrat jabbermouths insist that he has insulted American values and must resign. When Democrat Candidate John Edwards expresses his repugnance at being called a homosexual in a joke he is presented as the injured party.

When big budget Hollywood movies (Syriana) portray America, it's President, and the CIA as evil, they are touted with Oscar Nominations and praised as examples of open minded realism. When a low budget movie (300) tells the truth about the need to stand against tyranny, Hollywood and it's critic legions go bananas and rush to condemn the movie, those who made it, President Bush, and America. The present mass murdering Dictator of Iran takes offense at the portrayal of the ancient mass murdering Dictator of Iran being revealed in all his obscene arrogance and perversion, and the critics in Hollywood make him out as an offended hero, who needs our sympathy and support. This while the monster is killing any free thinking minds in his own country and making WMD designs on the freedom of the rest of the world.

The following clips are from Ruthless Review, posted by Matt Cale. They are typical of the rage of the left at facing the fact that the American movie going public actually can think for itself. This is a continuing disappointment to them.

Clip one: “While I have no direct evidence linking either director Zack Snyder or graphic novelist Frank Miller with the Bush administration, their booming, fascistic, searing flesh feast, 300, achieves what many had thought impossible: making a case for Bush’s war in Iraq so clear, distinct, and fanatical that I half expected an Army recruiting station to be erected at the theater’s exits. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a battleground orgasm; a homoerotic parade of tight abs, facial hair, oiled chests, leather, steel, gritting teeth, and phallic weaponry so overpowering that it’s just about the best movie ever made with jingoistic intent."

Clip two: "That Leonidas is a stand-in for Bush is clear from the first scenes, as this man refuses to accept an emissary from Persia, which is obviously itself Bush’s very defiance of the United Nations. Leonidas is a “go it alone” sort, and he hits back at the messenger, which he knows will bring about a great battle. Still, Spartan law requires that the king must secure the approval of a group of mystics (called Ephors) before waging war, which frustrates his manly sense of honor. Yes, folks, the mystics are the U.S. Congress, and once Leonidas screams, “Why must the very law I am sworn to protect prevent me from doing my duty?” the table has been set: Bush will go around Congress (using lies and tricks, brilliantly redefined as “tough choices”), never secure a declaration of war, and send his men to battle, the law be damned. Needless to say, the mystics/Congressmen are ugly, repellant, and literally isolated (they live on a hill, for chrissakes, as in Capitol Hill -- come on guys, don’t make this so easy), which further demonstrates that the king/president is the true guardian of the people. Congress is simpering and weak; Bush is muscle-bound and bold, dashing about with flight suit and codpiece, all in service of the greater good."

Clip three: "And if Bush’s gamble mirrors Leonidas’ own example, future generations will hail Bush as a hardened genius not quite suited for his own flaccid times. Such men as Bush will at last be appreciated in the world to come, which could only be the motivation of one who conceives of himself as a savior. Did not Bush claim to seek God’s guidance? Has he not been quite forthright about his conversations with the Almighty? Bush’s historically low popularity rating is a heavy burden, to be sure, but one worth bearing if Iraq is to be the 21st century equivalent of Jeffersonian America. I’ll be damned if Leonidas didn’t also look skyward as his death approached, knowing full well that though his earthly body would be riddled with arrows (leaving a glorious crucifixion pose; you know, to erase any lingering doubt about the film’s message), his soul would live on in the spirit of his people. “Tell others what happened here,” Leonidas instructs the one-eyed messenger (and narrator), and so he does, producing an eternal legend that blurs history into myth, recast as ultimate truth. The ambitions of our current commander in chief are no less grandiose." (end quote)

Add to all this the most ridiculous howler of them all; when a host of scientists with no conclusive proof launch a speculative - human caused global warming claim - they are hailed as heroes set on saving the world, with motives above question let alone reproach. When a number of qualified scientists raise objections to the aims, methods, and conclusions of this Chicken Little school of science, their arguments are called ridiculous and shouted down, they even face death threats.

For those who seek the truth, the process is baffling; some wonder why the double standard? The answer is simple. To those who preach these claims there is NO STANDARD, there is no truth, there is only the goal.

One could be at a loss as how to react but the way is to realize that the debate is not between two rational camps seeking to apply a reasonable standard in the search for truth. Thinking people face a people who will say anything in the confidence that no one will ever dare challenge them while they challenge the existence of truth itself.

It is difficult for minds that seek to find the right to deal with those who do not acknowledge the existence of right. It does no good to decry the “double standards” of those who have no standards at all. The only answer is to expose them to the light.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

300 - A Movie Review

All right, I went to the movie 300 and I liked it. Yes it is violent, how could it not be; it is the story of 300 men killing 10,000 other men in hand to hand combat, cut and thrust. No, it is not accurate history, Herodotus is spinning, but Leonidas and his band, where four thousand against three million once did stand, have surely not been forgotten. Herodotus is pleased with that.

A gigantic and determined enemy, sworn to their god, to acomplish the utter destruction of all freedom; their greatest weapon, terror. Against this seemingly insurmounterable power, a determined leader, willing to risk the anger of the masses, the ridicule of those who should share his burden, and danger to his life; for the preservation of liberty. Power grubbing politicians grasping for their devious agendas at the expense of their country’s very existence. It is America today. It is the story of the 300 Spartans.

It is impossible to present the story of Thermopylae without drawing comparisons to America’s fight for survival against the fanatic devotees, the mindless slaves of fear, who are the terror warriors of deviant religion; the monsters determined to steal the freedom of the people of Iraq and dominate the world.

I have heard that the director of the film (Zack Snyder) was actually asked if George Bush is Leonidas or Xerxes? He reportedly replied, he just wanted to make a movie. He did – but in spite of the liberties taken with history, that George Bush is our Leonidas is obvious to any rational observer.

The Ephors were misportrayed in the film, but the fact that these ancient ghouls look and act like mystic versions of Ted Kenney and Robert Byrd got right to the point.

I also felt the Athenians could have come off a little better – although it is quite clear Athens’s refusal to submit in part inspired Leonidas defiance, he goes on to call them faggots. In the epilogue, which takes place at Plateia, there is no mention of Salamis, without which the “wall of men” could not have stood.

It also irked me that the young king, and other Spartan youths, were presented with shaven heads. The Spartans never cut their hair.

Still, the film catches the essence of the epic struggle of freedom against tyranny. Where it best catches the essence of today's struggle is in the debate before the Council of Elders, the ruling representatives of the people of Sparta. Actually chosen from among warriors who have lived past sixty, they are also misrepresented in the film; presented as the US congress of 2007. It is as if the writer (Frank Miller) set aside his Herodotus and took his script from the rantings of John Murtha, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi.

300 does not pretend to be history, it is a comic book brought to the screen, but it is powerful. Unlike Troy, and Alexander the Great, both of which bit off more than they could chew in three hours running time, this movie sticks to a simple story and tells it very visually and very well. I thought it better than Gladiator – the violence is less gratuitous and although comic book graphic, more believable.

Those who find fighting for freedom become passé, who would rather live as slaves than die free men, who believe that world consuming evil can be stopped by appeasement, surrender, and flight; will find all sorts of things to be offended about in 300.

Those who agree with Queen Gorgo, “that freedom isn’t free” will find hope and motive in the actions of three hundred men and their great leader, who stood their ground although betrayed at home and beset by seemingly insurmountable odds upon the field.

We are left to wonder, will the free peoples of the world have the wisdom to unite once more in the face of Persian perfidy, or will we give up the “earth and water”, and at last allow the 300 to have died in vain.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It All Comes Down to Rocks!

I have been interested in all the revelations about linage, genealogy, and ancestry that have popped up in the news this past week. It seems that Mitt Romney’s ancestors were polygamists; that Strom Thurmond’s ancestors owned the ancestors of Al Sharpton, and most recently that Barack Obama’s white ancestors owned black slaves.

If we are to cast stones at others for the behavior of their ancestors we would indeed be presented with some interesting ironies. First, note that Al Sharpton’s last name is the name of the slave master who owned his enslaved ancestors. Check out Alex Haley’s account of the conception of his ancestor Chicken George and it becomes perfectly logical to assume that Al Sharpton’s own ancestors owned Al Sharpton’s ancestors.

Even if that is not the case – realize that many black Africans were eagerly involved in rounding up other black Africans for the slave market. Europeans – even Arab slave traders very seldom dared or needed to go into “Black Africa” to get slaves, black slavers delivered them conveniently to the cost. As terrible as the Middle passage of the Triangular Trade must have been, try to imagine the atrocities committed by those black slavers as they rounded up their neighbors to trade for pots and pans, muskets and shot, and strips of calico cloth and jugs of rum. It is particularly ironic when we consider that the cotton in that cloth and the sugar in that rum were produced by the labor of slaves. Dare I demand that the people of modern Africa apologized for Slavery! I mean, look at all the evil it caused to my country!

It is the same with blaming the white man of today for the destruction of the Indian nation of yesterday, or to insist on punishing the Germans and Japanese of today for the war crimes of their fathers. It amazes me that the Chinese demand apologizes from today’s Japanese for the crimes of last century while conveniently overlooking the far greater murder of Chinese committed by Chinese in the twentieth century.

Last week the State of Virginia apologized for supporting slavery. I’m sure that made the hundreds of thousands of boys from Pennsylvania and Vermont who died to end slavery feel better.

We need to get over this “punish the children for the sins of their fathers” mentality, and the just as foolish “I inherit special privileges or blessings from God because of my fathers’ righteousness” mindset. How quickly the murder and mayhem in the Middle East could come to an end if people would just require justice of those who have done evil and quit blaming their children, and the folks who speak the same language or live on the same piece of dirt. Today’s paper reports the execution of a group of men in revenge for the alleged rape of a woman. That these men were not the rapists did not matter to the unjust lunatics who murdered them; they were related.

Before Athena taught the Greeks justice, the blood feud ruled. The Furies demanded the blood of children to cover the crimes of their fathers. But reason came, and Law, and the Furies were contained.

"When the young sons of a man who had betrayed his city to the Persians were brought to the general commanding Spartan forces after Leonidas fell at Thermopylae, he dismissed them. “They are boys,” Herodotus reports him as saying. “What part could boys have in the guilt of siding with the Persians?”" (Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way, W. W, Norton & Company, Inc, New York, 1930, pg 173)

How foolish to believe that either virtue or vice can be passed over the genes from one generation to another. It is as foolish as believing that one can inherit the blood royal and the divine right to rule. We applied some “Common Sense” to that silliness and life has been all the better for it.

The Jews of Jesus’ time operated under a similar delusion. They claimed that their ancestor had made a deal with God and that the blessings of that covenant were mystically passed by blood from one generation to the next. Jesus shot that down”

“ . . . begin not to say within yourselves. We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” (St. Matt. 9:3) also (St Luke 3:8)

Let’s start judging men for their own sins and not for any ancestor’s transgression. Let’s stop casting the stones of blame and realize the only stone to consider in the culpability of a child for the sins of his father is a clean slate.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Amazing Grace – A Movie Review

Last Night my wife and I went to Michael Apted’s movie Amazing Grace, staring Ioan Gruffudd. Many will recognize Gruffudd as Horatio Hornblower from the A & E series.

It was a wonderful film, sparking in me a great interest in the conflicts and struggles surrounding the end of slavery in the British Empire. Like all good literature, the film is full of lessons and the lessons of Amazing Grace are particularly important because they instruct those who seek to end today’s evils.

The Hero, William Wilberforce, was revealed as one of the truly great men of history. The genesis of the song “Amazing Grace” presents one of the truly master poems of human inspiration.

Here are some informational clips from the movies web site for your consideration:

“William Wilberforce

“Harriet Beecher Stowe praised him in the pages of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Novelist E. M. Forester compared him to Gandhi. Abraham Lincoln invoked his memory in a celebrated speech. In the houses of Parliament, Nelson Mandela recalled his tireless labors on behalf of the sons and daughters of Africa, calling Britain "the land of William Wilberforce—who dared to stand up to demand that the slaves in our country should be freed."

“William Wilberforce (1759-1833) led the twenty-year fight to end the British slave trade, a victory now regarded as He finally succeeded in March 1807 and continued to fight for abolition until, days before his death in 1833, he saw the institution of slavery abolished throughout the British colonies. Not limiting himself to just abolitionist work, he dedicated his life to what he called his "two great objects:" abolishing slavery in the British Empire and what he called "the reformation of manners [society]." To this end, he advocated for child labor laws, campaigned for education of the blind and deaf, and founded organizations as diverse as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the National Gallery (of Art). "Good causes," it has been said, "stuck to him like pins to a magnet."

John Newton

The legacy of William Wilberforce is tied to his relationship with John Newton. John Newton, an ex-slave trader turned minister and abolitionist, wrote the lyrics for the hymn Amazing Grace and became Wilberforce's spiritual counselor. He set his young protégé on the path of service to humanity. It was only after Wilberforce underwent what he later described as his "great change" or embrace of Christianity, that he became a reformer. Newton knew this to be true, and invoking the deliverance language of the Old Testament Book of Esther, told Wilberforce that it was "for such a time as this" that he had been placed in a position as a powerful Member of Parliament to secure the abolition of the slave trade. It was in the House of Commons, Newton stated, that Wilberforce could best serve God. (Wilberforce biographer and Amazing Grace lead historical consultant, Kevin Belmonte)”

The Lyrics of the Song

Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)

That sav'd a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found,

Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears reliev'd;

How precious did that grace appear,

The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils and snare,

I have already come;'

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease;

I shall profess, within the vail,

A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,

The sun forbear to shine;

But God, who call'd me here below,

Will be for ever mine.

The film begins with an intense Parliamentary debate over the American Revolution. A young Wilberforce was for abandoning the war and giving America independence. He was challenged by another MP who demanded he tell the difference between surrender and appeasement. “Time” was Wilberforce answer, but then he went on to explain the real reason that Britain must give the colonies their independence – JUSTICE. This is the thinking of a rational mind. It is not the difficulty or the cost of the cause that commends it – it is its justice. As we examine the causes for which America goes to war, or good men take up cauases, justice - not cost - must always be the deciding factor. As we consider the causes for which we will dedicate our resources, our determination or political support, it must not be the difficulty of those causes but their justice that we consider.

Two parallel plot lines evolved in the movie which enabled the audience to follow Wilberforce and his associates’ decades long struggle against slavery while becoming invested in his life at the time of his great and life threatening struggle to pass the just laws that would end slavery.

What is most instructive in the story of William Wilberforce is his perseverance. Although he faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles he never gave up the struggle for what was right. All of the excuses for maintaining slavery: economic, political, social, and even scientific and religious arguments could not dissuade him from the course of rectitude; nor did the fact that the struggle would be long, and for long futile, deter Wilberforce and his associates from doing the right thing.

This is the great message the struggle against the millennia old abomination of slavery teaches us today. Evil must be endlessly resisted. Whether that evil is a religious fanaticism which, with blood and terror, would establish tyranny upon the earth or an insidious choice that reduces the most helpless of humans to chunks of meat to be discarded or employed in the tinkering experiments of “scientists”; those who recognize evil must stand forever for the right.

Amazing Grace receives my highest rating as a movie because when you come out of the theater you are different than when you went in; because it tells a story, a true story, that all men need to know and consider.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

It Has Already Started

It is with no small regret that I turn my attention to presidential politics. Are we not to have peace from the incessant quest for power, will we never be able to set aside politics long enough to save and run our country? NO.

With this understanding in mind it must be worth our time to consider the agenda and motives of the political parties involved and assess the candidates.

Democrat Party, the pro-Slavery, pro- Abortion party, pro-Tax party.


1. The killing of the unborn. This is still the overriding Democrat goal. Angry women are the largest single constituency of the Democrat party, and they must be coddled at any cost.

2. Appeasement. Anti-war affectations are more a political tactic than a core conviction. Since a strong national defense is an item on the Republican agenda, Democrats must be for the opposite position. Contempt for the Military and a blame America first attitude e form the basis for Democrat talking points in this. The fate of Joe Lieberman is instructive when considering this aspect of the Democrat agenda.

3. Environmental stagnation. Again this issue is forced upon the Democrat party by the size and power of this special interest group. The fiction of Global Warming – made laughable by this winter’s record cold snap, has formed a rallying point for socialists, Luddites, and human haters.

4. Racism. Maintaining a division of America along racial lines is also a source of votes for Democrats. Blacks are kept on the plantation by the exploitation and creation of victim hood. The Duke “rape” accusations are instructive here. Ginning up divisions between Hispanics and other whites is also a key strategy in maintaining racism as a source of Democrat power. Thus the media push to redefine illegal alien as representative of the American Spanish speaking population has become an incessant drum beat.

5. Socialism. As people become wealthier and more independent, they become less susceptible to the Democrat political machine. Thus maintaining as many poor and uneducated people as possible is an overriding Democrat goal. This is best achieved by redistributing wealth from those who work to those who don’t. When there are more welfare recipients than taxpayers in America, the indigent will form the permanent entitlement driven majority the Democrats need to maintain their power.

6. Maintain control of the mainstream media. This is the source of power for both the media and the Democrats in America. The manipulation of the mindless mob is the key to getting the votes of the masses. Thus we have the Democrats pushing a “fairness” doctrine that would give lies equal play with the truth.

By the way – I would like to go on record – I do doubt the patriotism of many Democrats.

Now a look at the major Democrat Candidates. The first thing to note is that there are no Major Democrat Candidates. This is an assembly of character mites. But these are the ideal figure heads for the agenda above.

1. Hillary Clinton – Who in some years in the U.S. Senate has done exactly nothing. She is proclaimed the world’s smartest woman by the left wing media machine but the only demonstrated measure of her intelligence is that she lived with a cheating husband for years and had no idea of how abused she was. Her constant vacillation on the war in Iraq and the War on Terror show her total lack of conviction on this issue. She stands for abortion and racism. Having never done anything Hillary is safe from any criticism of her record and indeed the perfect Democrat to head their ticket.

2. Barack Obama – As a complete political unknown Obama has the only resume more appealing to Democrats than having a do nothing record. Let me repeat - no record at all is the only superior position from a do nothing record. Democrats love the blank slate. They can then write Obama to be whatever the moment requires. Here is an interesting aside on Obama from Key Black S. C. leaders back Clinton. They say Obama would ‘doom’ Democrats if he were to win nominating.” State Senator Robert Ford said, “Then everybody else on the ballot is doomed. Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket – we’d lose the House, the Senate and the governors and everything.” If a white republican would have said something like this he would be politically destroyed. (See Senator Trent Lott) Democrats here demonstrate a trait that Republicans lack, they are willing to abandon almost every core belief in order to gain political power. (Recall their attacks on the last woman nominated to the Supreme Court) By the way the Democrats’ willingness to lose a war to terrorists is the ultimate proof that anything but abortion is on the table if it gets them power.

3. John Edwards – Don’t make me laugh, again.

4. Al Gore – He will soon have an Oscar and a Noble Peace prize. The nomination as the Democrat Presidential Candidate would give him the triple crown of vacuous acclaim. The fact that he is a proven loser only heightens his victim status. Watch out for this one.

Republican Party – The pro-war on terror. Pro-liberation of Iraq, pro-life, pro-conservation of recourses party.

1. Victory in War – It is a difficult task to support war, everyone hates war. With terrorism checked in the U.S. and on the run in the rest of the world America is wondering why we have to keep fighting.

2. Cutting taxes. The tax cuts were the salvation of the American economy seven years ago. The Republicans have literally built a golden egg laying goose. It is now tempting to cut that goose open. Republicans will find it increasingly difficult to deny the growing demands of the “want mores” in the American electorate. I myself am looking at retirement and free health care for my hopefully long and golden years. As I consider having it paid for by young folks who work but don’t vote; four years without Republican restraints on entitlement spending begins to look pretty promising.

3. Racism. Republicans refuse to recognize the important racial divisions in America. They disagree with the “affirmative action” programs put in place to exploit race and challenge the stereotypes that provide identity for large sections of the American population. Some are foolish enough to confuse language with national identity. Republicans must learn that it is our ideas not the words that express them that make us a nation.
4. Exploitation of natural resources. Republicans are for opening up domestic oil reserves and for the managed use of natural resources. That the media and the well funded enviro Nazis are geared up to defend “wilderness” at any cost will surely provide plenty of mud to fling at the greedy Republicans who seek to reduce our dependency on foreign oil at the pretended expense of caribou and spotted owls.

5. Capitalism. The Republicans are locked into a philosophy that requires hard work to produce wealth. This policy leaves out the growing number of Americans who have been taught that they don’t have to work. The Republicans will soon find themselves in trouble with a growing population of entitlement dependent voters. “Tax the rich” sounds very good to the poor who hate the owners of the business for which they work just like they hate the teachers who forced them to study to get passing grades in school.

6. The New Media is increasingly pulling away from left wing control. But even as people listen to right wing talk radio, the radical antics of some on that front damage the causes they claim to support. As right wing radio grows in influence it too will be tempted to pander to the more radical elements of its listener base. Becoming a mirror image of the left will not advance the ideas that are needed to strengthen America. Fox NEWS is a promising bastion of fair and balanced information but it too must beware of pandering either to rightwing kooks or to the establishment for acceptance.

By the way I would like to go on record that turning on the President and the war by Republicans in order to garner the support of the left wing media or to attempt to soften the anger of the anti-war constituents will help neither their country nor their political aspirations.

Now a look at the Major Republican candidates. The biggest problem facing the Republican candidates is that the Democrat controlled, and controlling media, will be defining them. Watch to see how this insidious process has already started to divide Republicans. Republicans are made weak by the very dedication to principles that are also their strength. They will shoot themselves in the foot in order to hold a perceived moral line. They are more that willing to throw the baby out with the bath water, if that water makes them mad enough. The Democrats on the other hand will swallow almost, ALMOST any bitter pill in order to gain power.

1. Rudy Giuliani. He has done great things. He saved New York when it was in debt and crime ridden to the point of decay. He was there to strengthen his city and his nation when both needed him most. His weakness is that he is being defined by the liberal press by his failed marriages and his stance on abortion. These are the very bitter pills that some conservatives will hesitate to swallow. They will not listen to Giuliani’s words but to the slogans of his enemies magnified through the media and allow the election of a Democrat who will actively scuttle all the things they are seeking. I myself wish Giuliani were more clearly anti-abortion, but I can wait and realize that the judges he will appoint are the key, not his personal opinions. Does this mean that I am willing to abandon my most cherished cause to prevent the election of Hillary Clinton? It means that I know that a Hillary presidency would lead to far more infanticide than the election of a pro-choice Republican.

2. Mitt Romney – Promising; he has been a most successful governor, he is NOW strongly pro-life, and he looks good. The challenge that faces him is again that the Media will convince conservatives that Romney’s Mormon religion disqualifies him from their support. Thus the lie that Mormons aren’t Christians will be turned against Christians. The will eat each other like dogs while the wolves devour the flock.

3. John McCain. Don’t make me cry, again. McCain is a do nothing bomb thrower, who was invented as a candidate by the left wing media. He was the media’s attempt to create another Ross Perot to divide the Republican vote and sop up President Bush campaign war chest. He did.

I am now left to lament that the man I would most like to see running for President has no chance. I am for Joe Lieberman. How I would love to vote for a Giuliani/Lieberman
Ticket?. Wouldn’t it be great if America could come up with a sort of unity presidency ticket? But wanting what’s best for America as long ceased to be the dominate issue in politics. And in a nation full of people who are taught not to think there seems to be less and less hope as time goes by.

I am hopeful for a nation that has the courage and wisdom to elect men like George Bushes one and two and Ronald Reagan But then I remember that the same people elected Bill Clinton twice and Jimmy Carter.

Jimmy Carter was the Barack Obama of his day. A pig in a poke that America, weary of war and driven mad by years of Anti-American, anti president media blitz. America bought Jimmy Carter hook line and sinker. Carter went on to preside over double digit inflation and interest rates, to see the spread of Communism across nations in Africa and Latin America, the rise of Islamic fanaticism in Iran, now the world’s worst terrorist state, the lynch pin in the axis of evil, and America tumble into Malaise and long for a painless suicide. I am afraid that course opens for us once again. I wonder if we will survive this time, or will the ignorance induced stupor get us to drift off before someone shows up to open the windows.

Oh, and by the way – Carter got the Nobel Peace Prize. He is still “alive”, can an Oscar nomination be far away?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rooting for Ahab

With its propensity to get everything wrong, Postmodern Relativism has inverted Ahab and Moby Dick; has made the hero a fiend, the monster majestic. That this fraud could be so easily and completely perpetrated on America’s “educated elites” is only understandable when one realizes that, of the thousands of professors and students dissecting Moby Dick, almost none have actually read the book. Of those who have, few are capable of placing the story in proper context. Couple the Relativist drive to call evil good and good evil with the new environmentalism which imagines any thing wild, from forest fires to malaria viruses, praiseworthy while despising all the works of man, and the elevation of Melville embodiment of evil, the white whale, into some kind of nature fetish was inevitable.

What a pity, we lose the power of the book, the magic of the poetry, and meanwhile Ahab, the personification of man’s nobility, is labeled depraved in the lectures that program lit students in the “blame the West, blame the man,” cultural of guilt. It is not my intention here to present all the proofs of my position. I admit that the references I will sight will be pulled out of context but I am confident that further discussion and deeper readings that revel the background to these quotes will only strengthen my claims.

As a quick aside, I want to mention how pleasant it is to read Herman Melville, a man who wrote outside the influence of Ernest Hemingway and the high school English teachers who exalted him. It is so pleasant to share an idea with an author who credits you with the ability of following a thought through a sentence of more than eight words.

Proposition One, The Whale is Evil:

Moby Dick – Malignant – “It was hardly to be doubted, that several vessels reported to have encountered, at such or such a time, or on such or such a meridian, a Sperm Whale of uncommon magnitude and malignity, which whale, after doing great mischief to his assailants, had completely escaped them,. To some minds it was not an unfair presumption I say, that the whale in question must have been no other than Moby Dick.” (Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1994, pg 176) Moby Dick representative of the gliding demon in the seas of all life – “How it was that they so aboundingly responded to the old man’s ire – by what evil magic their souls were possessed, that at times his hate seemed almost theirs; the White Whale as much their insufferable foe as his; how all this came to be -- what the White Whale was to them, or how to their unconscious understandings, also, in some dim, unsuspected way, he might have seemed the gliding great demon of the seas of life, -- all this to explain, would be to dive deeper than Ishmael can go.” (pg 185)

Evil embodied in the hue, white – “. . . there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood. “This elusive quality it is, which cause the thought of whiteness, when divorced from more kindly associations, and coupled with any object terrible in itself, to heighten that terror to the furthest bounds. Witness the white bear of the poles, and the white shark of the tropics; what but their smooth, flaky whiteness makes them the transcendent horrors they are? That ghastly whiteness it is which imparts such an abhorrent mildness, even more loathsome than terrific, the dumb gloating of their aspect. So that not the fierce-fanged tiger in his heraldic coat can so stagger courage as the white-shrouded bear or shark.” (pg187) “What is it that in the Albino man so peculiarly repels and often shocks the eye, as that sometimes he is loathed by his own kith and kin? It is that whiteness which invests him, a thing expressed by the name he bears, The Albino is as well made as other men – has no substantive deformity – and yet this mere aspect of all-pervading whiteness makes him more strangely hideous than the ugliest abortion. Why should this be so?” (pg 189)

Moby Dick maims Ahab, murders whale-men again and again, and kills the son of the Captain of the Rachel. Moby Dick is the unthinking force of nature which man must tame in order to become God’s steward on earth. Moby Dick is the fear that must be faced; the evil that must be mastered for man to manage his own soul.

Proposition Two – Ahab is the Hero:

Ahab is the Master - “What will the owners say, sir?’ Let the owners stand on Nantucket beach and out yell the Typhoons. What cares Ahab? Owners, owners? Thou are always prating to me, Starbuck, about those miserly owners, as if the owners were my conscience. But look ye, the only real owner of anything is its commander; and hark ye, my conscience is in the ship’s keel. – On deck!” “Captain Ahab.” Said the reddening mate, moving further into the cabin, with a daring so strangely respectful and cautious that it almost seemed not only every way seeking to avoid the slightest outward manifestation of itself, but within also seemed more than half distrustful of itself; “A better man than I might well pas over in thee what he would quickly enough resent in a younger man; aye and in a happier, Captain Ahab.” “Devils! Dost thou then so much as dare to critically think of me? __ On deck!” “Nay, sir, not yet: I do entreat. And I do dare, sir – to be forbearing! Shall we not understand each other better than hitherto, Captain Ahab?” Ahab sized a loaded musket from the rack (Forming part of most South-Sea-men’s cabin furniture), and pointing it towards Starbuck, exclaimed; “Therein one God that is Lord over the earth, and one Captain that is lord over the Pequot. __ On deck!” (pg 473)

Ahab “defeats” the St. Elmo’s fire, and the fears of his crew - “The boat! the boat! cried Starbuck, “look at the boat, old man!” Ahab’s harpoon, the one forged at Perth’s fire, remained firmly lashed in its conspicuous crotch, so that it projected beyond his whale-boat’s bow; but the sea that had stove its bottom had caused the loose leather sheath to droop off; and from the keen steel barb there now came a leveled flame of pale, forked fire. AS the silent harpoon burned there like a serpent’s tongue, Starbuck rasped Ahab by the arm –“God, God is against thee, old man; forbear! t’is an ill voyage! Ill began, ill continued; let me square the yards, while we may, old man, and make a fair wind of it homewards, to go on a better voyage than this.” “Over hearing Starbuck, the panic-stricken crew instantly ran to the braces – though not a sail was left aloft. For the moment all the aghast mate’s thoughts seemed theirs; they raised a half mutinous cry. But dashing the rattling lightning links to the deck, and snatching the burning harpoon, Ahab waved it like a torch among them; swearing to transfix with it the first sailor that but cast loose a rope’s end. Petrified the men fell back in dismay, and Ahab again spoke: -- “All your oaths to hunt the White Whale are as binding as mine; and heart, soul, and body, lungs ad life, old Ahab is bound. And that ye may now to what tune this heart beats; look ye here; thus I blow out the last fear!” And with one blast of his breath he extinguished the flame.” (pgs 503 – 504)

Ahab fixes the broken compass of the Pequot – “Men,” said he, steadily turning upon the crew, as the mate handed him the things he had demanded, “My men, the thunder turned old Ahab’s needles; but out of this bit of steel Ahab can make one of his own, that will point as true as any.” “Abashed glances of servile wonder were exchanged by the sailors, as this was said; and with fascinated eyes they awaited whatever magic might follow. But Starbuck looked away. With a blow fro the top-mal Ahab knocked off the steel head of the lance, and then handing to the mate the long iron rod remaining, bade him hold it upright, without its touching the deck. Then, with the maul, after repeatedly smiting the upper end of this iron rod, he hammered that, several times, the mate still holding the rod as before. Then going through some small strange motions with it – whether indispensable to the magnetizing of the steel, or merely intended to augment the awe of the crew, is uncertain – he called for linen thread; and moving to the binnacle, slipped out the two reversed needles there, and horizontally suspended the sail-needle by its middle, over one of the compass-cards. At first, the steel went round and round, quivering and vibrating at either end; but at last it settled to its place, when Ahab, who had been intently watching for this result, stepped frankly back from the binnacle, and pointing his stretched arm towards it, exclaimed, --“Look ye, for yourselves, if Ahab be not lord of the level loadstone! The sun is East, and the compass swears it!” (pgs 512-513)

Ahab speaks before he finally defeats Moby Dick, albeit at the cost of his own life: “. . . Oh, now I feel my topmost greatness lies in my topmost grief. Ho, ho! From all your furthest bounds, pour ye now in, ye bold billows of my whole foregone life, and top this one piled comber of my death! Towards thee I roll, thou all destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! And since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!”

“The harpoon was darted; the stricken whale flew forward; with igniting velocity the line ran through the groove; --ran foul. Ahab stooped to clear it; he did clear it; but the flying turn caught him round the neck, and voicelessly as Turkish mutes bowstring their victim, he was shout out of the boat, ere the crew knew he was gone. Next instant, the heavy eye-splice in the rope’s final end flew out of the stark-empty tub, knocked down an oarsman, and smiting the sea, disappeared in its depths.” (pgs 566-567)

Whether the stricken whale died or not is open to debate, Melville is, at the last, not clear. But that Ahab was not defeated, although destroyed, remains the powerful lesson of the book. As America faces a “Mission Impossible” we might well ask where we can find a hero like Ahab.

I was so disappointed in the mini-series of Moby Dick staring Patrick Stewart. It seemed that if anyone could fill Gregory Peck's boot – it seemed to me to be Picard. Surly he would portray Ahab as Ahab was meant to be. Instead they reduced Ahab to a cowardly crazy man. What was even more disappointing about the made for T.V. version is the racism that infused the plot line. In strict contrast to the book, where representatives of all races are deliberately given the positions of most importance, the movie made the crew into a mass of gibbering savages and their bigoted Quaker masters. I couldn’t stand to watch the program in one sitting. I did force it down in bites like bitter herbs, hoping for some satisfaction. It never came.

In the book, I also love the relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg, that George Washington of cannibals. I enjoyed their marriage, surly a “merry” one, and how they knelt together to worship the God of the Universe manifest in a bit of burnt wood and their sacred friendship.

There are many manifestations of the Ahab style hero found throughout history. Often there are those who brand them monomaniacal, and mock them; only to find, that, in the end, they were the true heroes. Reagan’s great success by sticking with his attack on the evil empire till it sank and died, is a great example. Especially because many thought he could never win!

To better understand Moby Dick, I recommend you read two other books written by whale-men. The best is called The Cruse of the Cachalot by Frank T. Bullen. It is easer reading than Moby Dick, and just a beautiful, perhaps even more exciting as far as the whaling goes. The second, though not on a par with the other two is Whale Hunt by Nelson Cole Haley.