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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:06 AM
AustinTatious
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Hurst, Texas, United States
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friend sent this, thought yall may/may not like it

John Kerry: Sophist for the 21st Century
October 18th, 2004


Sophistry: (n): a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone.

“The juggle of sophistry consists, for the most part, in using a word in one sense, and in another sense in the conclusion.” ----Coleridge

As a Social Sciences teacher and student of American politics, I find myself in agreement with Senator John Kerry on one of his assertions: that this is perhaps the most important Presidential election in modern American history. The decision that the voters make on November 2nd will mold the future of America at home and abroad for years come. Our President needs to be firm, decisive and strong in the direction that America pursues over the next four years; it is for this reason that I believe [as many others do] that John Kerry is unfit for command. As David Freddoso has written in Human Events, Kerry’s “constantly shifting position…, though enigmatic to some, is easily explained in three words: transparent political opportunism.”

Senator Kerry is guilty of engaging in the ancient Greek ‘art’ of sophistry. “According to Plato, sophists were solely concerned in the acquisition of wealth and power, and solely responsible for the death of his master [Socrates] and the downfall of Athenian Democracy. Different kinds of truth relativity, brute force and rhetorical tricks were used by the Sophists in their teachings.” The Sophists believed that knowledge is relative to each person; it is impossible to discover the true nature of anything. A thing has as many characteristics as there are people perceiving it. As such, ABSOLUTE truth cannot exist.

It is with this mindset that Senator Kerry can claim to have “voted for the $87 billion dollars before voting against it”, or to call the military operations in Iraq [that he authorized with his vote] the “War of Mass Deception”. He refuses to characterize himself as a ‘flip-flopper’. From his perspective these divergent views can co-exist because there is not an absolute position on the issue(s).

When asked by ABC Journalist Diane Sawyer if the operation in Iraq was worthwhile, Kerry’s response was that it ‘depends on the outcome.’ This type of relativism may serve a Senator in devising a multifaceted argument on an issue, but a commander-in-chief cannot function within this way of thinking. To put it bluntly, we’d all love to call the plays on Monday morning; unfortunately the game is played on Sunday afternoon. President Bush is correct to keep reminding Americans that Senator Kerry was privy to the same exact intelligence information as the Administration in deciding whether or not military force was justifiable in Iraq.

Kerry has attempted to portray himself as a strong leader, resolute in his commitment to defending America and not allowing the interests of other nations to dictate our foreign policy or national defense strategy. Yet in 1985 he opposed the Reagan Administration’s approach to the Soviet Union when he argued that

“it is time that we accept the idea that the Soviet Union is not going to bargain with the United States from a position in which we have grabbed the upper hand through the development of some new technology. They are only going to agree with the United States on arms limitations if they have parity, in overall force capacity.”

It can easily be inferred from Kerry’s orations on the floor of the Senate in the 1980’s that the Soviet Union should still exist in a dynamic based on nuclear parity. History has proven that Reagan was correct, and now Kerry evokes Reagan’s name and his selective support for the late President to lend credibility to his own Senatorial career. But the truth is that John Kerry’s Senate Record clearly shows his commitment to disarmament, nuclear freezes, and supporting an American Foreign Policy that is in compliance with the directives of the United Nations.

In a free society, it is perfectly acceptable to run for the Presidency on a record such as Kerry’s and let the electorate decide if this is in the best interests of the nation. Barry Goldwater wore his conservatism on his sleeve in the 1964 campaign while George McGovern ran on a very liberal platform in 1972. Kerry should stand by his record if he is truly proud of it; but that is not what we are witnessing.

America is watching a man try to reinvent himself in a run for the most powerful and important office in the world. Can America, the beacon of democracy, be led by a man who fallaciously testified against the conduct of his brothers-in-arms in Vietnam, thereby giving the enemy justification to torture and brutalize American prisoners-of war? Kerry claims to be a man of faith; yet by bearing false witness he may have indirectly caused the death of his fellow soldiers.

Furthermore, “John Kerry's photograph hangs in the War Protestors Hall of the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City -- an indication of the value the Vietnamese communists place on Kerry's support of their efforts during the Vietnam War.” This is not something most Americans wish to see on their President’s curriculum vita.

Can Kerry be believed in his commitment to liberty when he and Iowa Senator Tom Harkin organized a group of left-leaning Democrats to meet with Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas at a time in which America was backing the Contra rebels in an effort to eliminate the communist threat posed in Nicaragua? This is not the work of an individual desirous of spreading the natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to those who remain oppressed across the globe.

The President is right to remind Americans that a President Kerry in 2001 would have conducted operations in Afghanistan limited in scope to the hunt for bin Laden and the Afghani peoples would still be under the thumb of the terrorist-sponsoring Taliban; that Saddam would still be in power, defying UN resolutions and colluding with our supposed allies in the oil-for food program. Senator Kerry has been on the wrong side of history in every crucial foreign policy crisis of his adult life; this simply disqualifies him as a credible alternative to President Bush at this point in our history.

The campaign has focused mostly on Iraq and the War on Terror, but Kerry has been a sophist on domestic issues as well. “Kerry has also flipped on education. Originally, the presidential hopeful was in full support of the President’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) package. He was one of many Senators who voted for the measure. Now, however, Kerry is criticizing the very bill he voted into law, calling it “ideological” and “laughable.”

He has waffled on the issues of abortion and same sex-marriages as well. In the third debate he played the ‘faith card’ three times, aware of the fact that most Americans respect President Bush’s commitment to his religious beliefs. At one point he stated his agreement with the Biblical passage that ‘faith without good deeds is dead.’ This is fine if you are a Roman Catholic, but insulting to any and all who take a different view on their path to salvation.

The exchange between the two candidates on their faith showed Americans that while Bush draws strength from his faith and relies on it as his moral compass, Kerry is prepared to use faith to suit his political purposes. The Senator has portrayed the sitting President as a religious zealot on more than one occasion, but is now prepared to say that everything is the product of our Creator.

It is safe to say that the stakes are too high to explore the possibilities of a new administration that is neither focused nor steadfast on its own political platform. Domestic reforms are not the top priority in the immediate future; they are important but irrelevant if we are not safe at home. Former Democrat Mayor of New York City Ed Koch believes that

“one issue overwhelms all others: the President's strong commitment to fight the forces of international terrorism regardless of the cost or how long it takes to achieve victory.”

We are engaged in one of the greatest struggles in world history and only President Bush has the personal conviction and moral clarity to put us on the path to achieving our objective of eliminating transnational terrorism through the promotion of liberty and justice for all. Senator Kerry would probably accuse me of taking his statements and positions ‘out of context’ like the master Sophist that he is. We must all remember the teachings of Protagoras, who wrote that all moral judgments are relative. This may be true if you are the junior Senator from Massachusetts, but it cannot be true when you are the leader of the free world.

Dr. Mark S. Malaszczyk is a veteran Social Studies Teacher in the Babylon Union Free School District (Babylon, NY) and a Part-Time Associate Professor of Social Science at Saint John’s University (Jamaica, NY).
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:58 AM
sensitive artsy type
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Tucker, Georgia, United States
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The use of any means necessary is not new nor is a fancy label needed. Many who are in politics are true believers in their candidate, and internally believe it is ok to lie, as the ends justify the means. This is certainly true of Bush as well, if not more so. tt
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 08:11 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
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Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
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TT, First, for a clear un biased check of the facts as to who said what when please check this site
http://www.factcheck.org/

I wholeheartedly disagree with you statement. There is significant difference between the President getting a poorly researched fact wrong in public, vs. Mr. Kerry's open pandering to the audience he's in front of.
Tom
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 08:27 AM
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John Kerry - Wrong candidate, Wrong message, Wrong millennium!
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 09:21 AM
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COMMENT: Milliken: Why I'll vote for Kerry

October 19, 2004






BY WILLIAM MILLIKEN


As a lifelong Republican, I have had mounting concern watching this year's presidential campaign.

I have always been proud to be a Republican. My Republican Party is a broad-based party that seeks to bring a wide spectrum of people under its umbrella and to protect and provide opportunity for the most vulnerable among us.

Sadly, that is not the Republican Party I see at the national level today.

My Republican Party has always been a party that stood for fiscal responsibility. Today, under President George W. Bush, we have the largest deficit in the history of our country -- a deficit that jeopardizes economic growth that is so desperately needed in a nation that has lost 2.6 million jobs since he took office.

To make matters even worse, this president inherited a surplus but squandered it with huge tax cuts structured primarily to benefit the wealthy and powerful.

My Republican Party is the party of Michigan Sen. Arthur H. Vandenberg, who helped forge a bipartisan foreign policy that served this nation well and produced strong alliances across the globe. This president has, in a highly partisan, unilateral way, rushed us into a tragic and unnecessary war that has cost the lives of more than 1,000 of our young men and women. In this arrogant rush to war, he has alienated this nation from much of the world.

What's worse, the basic premises upon which we were taken to war proved to be false. Now we find ourselves in the midst of an occupation that was largely unplanned and has become a disaster from which we cannot easily extricate ourselves.

My Republican Party is the party of Theodore Roosevelt, who fought to preserve our natural resources and environment. This president has pursued policies that will cause irreparable damage to our environmental laws that protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the public lands we share with future generations.

My Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, who freed an enslaved people. This president fought in the courts to strike down policies designed to provide opportunity and access to our own University of Michigan for minority students.

My Republican Party is the party of Eisenhower, who warned us to beware of the dangers of a military-industrial complex. This president has pursued policies skewed to favor large corporations in the defense and oil industry and has gone so far as to let those industries help write government policies.

My Republican Party is a party that respects and works with the men and women of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line for us every day. This president ignored the pleas of law enforcement agencies across America and failed to lift a finger to renew the assault weapons ban that they strongly supported.

My Republican Party is a party that values the pursuit of knowledge. But this president stands in the way of meaningful embryonic stem-cell research that holds so much promise for those who suffer from diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and other conditions.

My Republican Party is the party of Gerald Ford, Michigan's only president, who reached across partisan lines to become a unifying force during a time of great turmoil in our nation's history. This president has pursued policies pandering to the extreme right wing across a wide variety of issues and has exacerbated the polarization and the strident, uncivil tone of much of what passes for political discourse in this country today.

Women's rights, civil liberties, the separation of church and state, the funding of family planning efforts worldwide -- all have suffered grievously under this president and his administration.

The truth is that Bush does not speak for me or for many other moderate Republicans on a very broad cross-section of issues.

Sen. John Kerry, on the other hand, has put forth a coherent, responsible platform of progressive initiatives that I believe would serve this country well. He wants to balance the budget, step up environmental protection efforts, rebuild our international relationships, support stem-cell research, protect choice and pursue a number of other progressive initiatives that moderates from both parties can support.

As a result, despite my long record of active involvement in the Republican Party, and my intention still to stay in the Republican Party, when I cast my ballot Nov. 2, I will be voting for John Kerry for president.




WILLIAM MILLIKEN was the Republican governor of Michigan from 1969 to 1983. Write to him in care of the Free Press Editorial Page, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 09:39 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
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I always find in amusing that the lefties forget that the Newt Gingrich lead congress under the Contract with America brought the Dems, kicking and screaming to the balanced budget. Then Clinton repeatedly said the plan was undoable. Yet now, the Dems take credit for the CwA balance and surplus.

Then the surplus/ deficit issue; There NEVER WAS A SURPLUS! It was and always will be a PROJECTION based on projected income and expenses. The complaints that we’ve gone from projected surplus to projected deficit would be significant IF President Bush and the Reps were guilty of unconscionable pork barrel spending but there is one PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT that is also completely, repeatedly ignored by the lefties that want to play this card

WE ARE AT WAR!


And the United States has NEVER fought a war with out going in to debt over it, then recovering from it with an even stronger, economy.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 09:45 AM
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I once read a statistic that said the older we get the moer liberal we become. Apperently, Mr. Milliken falls into that catagory.

That said, he makes some good points about this administration. I have on more than one occation been upset with the decisions comming out of the White House. But then that's always the case no matter who is in office. Unfortunately, the Democratic party didn't provide us with an alternative with leadership qualities.

It looks like old Hillary is going to get her chance in 2008. Even though I don't like her she probably more of a leader than Kerry could ever hope to be.

Wiz
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 09:53 AM
Out of Time
United States, TX
Joined Jul 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badaltitude
COMMENT: Milliken: Why I'll vote for Kerry

October 19, 2004

BY WILLIAM MILLIKEN

Sen. John Kerry, on the other hand, has put forth a coherent, responsible platform of progressive initiatives that I believe would serve this country well. He wants to balance the budget, step up environmental protection efforts, rebuild our international relationships, support stem-cell research, protect choice and pursue a number of other progressive initiatives that moderates from both parties can support.

As a result, despite my long record of active involvement in the Republican Party, and my intention still to stay in the Republican Party, when I cast my ballot Nov. 2, I will be voting for John Kerry for president.

WILLIAM MILLIKEN was the Republican governor of Michigan from 1969 to 1983. Write to him in care of the Free Press Editorial Page, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226.
In Milliken's own words, he tells us that he is exactly the same kind of "sophist" that Kerry is.
So his endorsment of Kerry is supposed to carry more weight than the sophistry put forth by his chosen "hero"??

I know it's not yet Halloween even, but I think we're close enough to Christmas to use the term "bah, humbug".

Highflight
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 09:57 AM
Useful Idiot
Asturias, Spain
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I wonder what word the greeks would have invented to describe Bush's rhetoric
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 11:58 AM
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kentucky
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Quote:
I wonder what word the greeks would have invented to describe Bush's rhetoric
I'm not sure what the Greeks would have called it, but there's a latin phrase which describes bush and his disciples to a tee-

Ignotum per ignotius
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 12:21 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
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Oklahoma City OK USA Where fakts still exist even if they are ignored
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BA, it's

Ignotum per ignotus
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majortomski
I always find in amusing that the lefties forget that the Newt Gingrich lead congress under the Contract with America brought the Dems, kicking and screaming to the balanced budget. Then Clinton repeatedly said the plan was undoable. Yet now, the Dems take credit for the CwA balance and surplus.

Then the surplus/ deficit issue; There NEVER WAS A SURPLUS! It was and always will be a PROJECTION based on projected income and expenses. The complaints that we’ve gone from projected surplus to projected deficit would be significant IF President Bush and the Reps were guilty of unconscionable pork barrel spending but there is one PLAIN AND SIMPLE FACT that is also completely, repeatedly ignored by the lefties that want to play this card

WE ARE AT WAR!


And the United States has NEVER fought a war with out going in to debt over it, then recovering from it with an even stronger, economy.
I love this argument, it totally overlooks the process pursued by our dear Dubya, the circumventions of law and outright lies about the threat. There is no plain and simple fact in this case, Bush set a precedence for rushing this war through to an actual invasion without any clear cut plan, or even explaining the reason for it's true intent. What about Bush's statement that we will never have an end to this war?? And Kerry is the Sophist? You do live in a high contrast vision.

I also like the suggestion that ol' Newt took the bull by the horns and saved our economy. Singlehandedly no less I suppose?

I have to ask Austin, did you just discover ancient Greek philosophers or was this a website search hit that struck you as cogent?
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Clear Lake City Metroport, Texas, United States
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Yep, Kerry is the sophist. There is only one in this race. The one with NO moral underpinnings is the most likely.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Joined Apr 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majortomski
Then the surplus/ deficit issue; There NEVER WAS A SURPLUS!
Apparently the Congressional Budget office disagrees with you.
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index...uence=0#table1

Hey, even gwb disagrees with you.
He acknowleged a surplus a number of times at his speech at the RNC 2000:
Quote:
America has a strong economy and a surplus. We have the public resources and the public will, even the bipartisan opportunities to strengthen Social Security and repair Medicare.
Yep, acknowledges a surplus. Never got around to the rest.
Quote:
The last time taxes were this high as a percentage of our economy, there was a good reason; we were fighting World War II. Today our high taxes fund a surplus. Some say that growing federal surplus means Washington has more money to spend.

But they've got it backwards. The surplus is not the government's money; the surplus is the people's money.
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2000/con...ipts/bush.html
He took care of that surplus!!
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
BA, it's

Ignotum per ignotus
Or perhaps it's 'ignotus per ignotium'....

I think they all fit when applied to bush and his fellow lemmings...don't you?
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