March 25, 2008

Thomas Sowell puts Barack Obama's association with Jeremiah Wright into a larger context.

He writes:
In college, "I chose my friends carefully," he said in his first book, "Dreams From My Father."

These friends included "Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets" -- in Obama's own words -- as well as the "more politically active black students." He later visited a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground, who endorsed him when he ran for state senator.

Obama didn't just happen to encounter Jeremiah Wright, who just happened to say some way out things. Jeremiah Wright is in the same mold as the kinds of people Barack Obama began seeking out in college -- members of the left, anti-American counter-culture.

... Obama was one of those people seeking a racial identity that he had never really experienced in growing up in a white world. He was trying to become a convert to blackness, as it were -- and, like many converts, he went overboard....

The irony is that Obama's sudden rise politically to the level of being the leading contender for his party's presidential nomination has required him to project an entirely different persona, that of a post-racial leader who can heal divisiveness and bring us all together.

The ease with which he has accomplished this chameleon-like change, and entranced both white and black Democrats, is a tribute to the man's talent and a warning about his reliability.
Read the whole thing.

144 comments:

Fen said...

/related


Obama's Pastor Raised In Privilege, Not Poverty

"...I attended Central a few years after Rev. Wright, so I did not know him personally. But I knew of him and I know where he used to live – in a tree-lined neighborhood of large stone houses in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. This is a lovely neighborhood to this day. Moreover, Rev. Wright's father was a prominent pastor and his mother was a teacher and later vice-principal and disciplinarian of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, also a distinguished academic high school. Two of my acquaintances remember her as an intimidating and strict disciplinarian and excellent math teacher. In short, Rev. Wright had a comfortable upper-middle class upbringing. It was hardly the scene of poverty and indignity suggested by Senator Obama to explain what he calls Wright's anger and what I describe as his hatred."

/via Instapundit

Middle Class Guy said...

How soon we forget. Hillary Clinton sought out the same types of people in college as Obama- far leftists, radicals, and members of the undeerground. She was lso peripherly involved with the Black Panthers; not as a participant but as a supporter and defender, even in Law School.

These two remind me of those identical Black and White Scottie magnets that used to be popular.

There is absolutely no difference between the two. Zero, zip, nada.

Middle Class Guy said...

I just heard a great line regarding Hillary's being put into harms way while First Lady; you know, takig Pork Chop Hill single handedly, secret combat missions and ll that?

Bob Beckel, the Democratic analyst, stated:
I was put in more danger going to sign my divorce decree than she was as First Lady.

Windbag said...

All politicians are liars. We reward the best with the office. The difference between Hillary and Obama is that the Clintons have twenty years of fence-sitting to obscure their record. Obama's record is much more defined and fragile, and he lacks the Clintons' twenty+ years of favors that they'll be calling in to try to salvage this thing. As this nomination gets tighter and closer, I expect the Clinton Carvilles and their ilk to point out just how radical, racial, and anti-American Obama is.

George said...

Then there's Sen. Obama's new (?) friend John O. Brennan.

Who's he? Oh, a 25-year top-level CIA veteran.

Now CEO of The Analysis Corp.

Who does it do plumbing, er, consulting for? DIA, Homeland Security, INR, FBI, NSA.

What am I talking about? TAC is a State Dept. consultant, too. One of its employees who has "extensive" experience rifled the passport files of the Presidential candidates.

What did the press not know and when did the press stop knowing it?

I look forward to the new modified limited hang-out.

Middle Class Guy said...

fen...
..explain what he calls Wright's anger and what I describe as his hatred."


fen...
As a cop, one thing I learned about this type of Black preacher is they preach to their constituency. They basically tell people what they want to hear. Everytime the police were accused of some alleged brutality, killing, or other perceived racial impropriety, these ministers would fire up their conregations. Why? Because that is what the congregation wanted to hear. That is how Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton rose to prominence. No one dares go back and repeat some of the outrageous things they have said. It is all a tactic. We even have a White Catholic priest here in a Black parish; Father Phleger. He practices the same type of sermonizing- you can look him up on Youtube. It is called preaching to the choir. It works and is effective. It keeps those collection baskets full too.

They are the politicians of the cloth and very good at what they do.

BTW, I have met a few of these preachers. They are warm, engaging, and gentelmanly. If they were true haters, they would never talk to guys like me.

George said...

Here we go again...

Barack Obama reading the audiobook version of his autobiography...and there is lots and lots of profanity and rampant stupidity, as in recalling for all eternity his teenage antics.

Lengthy audio clips at Hugh Hewitt.

rhhardin said...

I'd go with having to say stuff to please the moron soap opera voters, and I really believe sensible things like you other people.

You can always step back and frame it all again with a new round of sincerity.

rhhardin said...

Goffman : if somebody says he's discarding his prepared remarks to talk to you extemporaneously, he has torn up the wrong speech.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Sowell has a less jaundiced view of the academy than a lot of conservatives. A David Horowitz would assume that a college kid is going to end up hanging around with Marxist professors, structural feminists, and punk rock performance poets whether he chooses his friends carefully or not.

Fen said...

"The ease with which he has accomplished this chameleon-like change..."

Chameleon. That tag may stick.

vet66 said...

If we tire of listening to Hillary and BHO, listen to what their spouses are saying. Michelle gave it up when she admitted for the first time in her adult life she was proud of America. Presumably because her left-wing, black marxist agenda was on the national table.

And then there is the Bill in Billary. In case we forget, he was the first "Black" president so we should not be having the Barack Hussein Obama discussion at all.

Is this the best Harvard, Yale, and the various left-wing institutions can produce for the nation?

Sloanasaurus said...

I can imagine having a beer with Obama....we could talk about race, listening to black power speeches, voting against partial birth abortion, how much we despise military types, and running with anti-war leftists from the 1960s. It would be exhilarating....Exactly the kind of stuff white middle class people talk about in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Tim said...

We should be careful of people for whom political ideology is central to their own perceived sense of identity, as politics, in the end, distorts.

It helps to know in the emerging post "the personal is political" era, most (but not all) of these folks lie on the Left. That Obama sought to have defined himself through politics, and gravitated to the Left on this basis, is unsurprising given his family history and ethnic composition.

What would have been surprising is if he had turned toward conservatism as Sowell, Thomas, Steele and others similar to him had. The African-American community has hardly been helped by embracing Democrat and Left politics, lest one somehow mistakenly believes the Davis-Bacon Act was a nascent form of affirmative action for African-Americans....

Anthony said...

What I do not understand is why is it that so many people who come from privileged and semi-privileged backgrounds seem to end up on the left? I can sort of understand Wright -- despite a semi-privileged background, he was still a black man at a time when he was clearly a second class citizen.

My parents came from poverty (my mother was a high school drop out whose father could not speak English). Yet they ended up on the right.

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

>Paul Zrimsek said...
Sowell has a less jaundiced view of the academy than a lot of conservatives. A David Horowitz would assume that a college kid is going to end up hanging around with Marxist professors, structural feminists, and punk rock performance poets whether he chooses his friends carefully or not.


Funny you should say that. My parents' biigest fear when I left for college was that I would return home a communist.

Sloanasaurus said...

What I do not understand is why is it that so many people who come from privileged and semi-privileged backgrounds seem to end up on the left?

It is both guilt and arrogence.

The guilt comes in feeling guilty for what you have.

The arrogence comes in believing that you know better than other people who may not be as educated or wealthy.

Liberal elites believe that poorer people would rather have goods and services than freedom.

Roost on the Moon said...

Ah, sweet cruel neutrality.

Obama has clearly hated America for a long time. What a bad bad man.

Charles Murray is right on about this entire little flap.

Mark Kleiman wrote a clever post on the caviling tone of the Kaus/Althouse take.

Chip Ahoy said...

Friends. I suppose you're known by the friends you keep. And discard. Or at least disregard.

Sufficiently maniacal to suit you for POUS and CIC? It's a vicious crazy-ass competitive lying world out there and the world need know the US is capable of putting up a perfect fiend capable of mixing it up with the most hard bitten out there. The world does after all view our president as a global position -- it pisses them off they don't have a say in it. As far as domestic policies goes, the position closer to irrelevant. (although, I'd like to interject, thanks for the 600 bucks, it's totally extra, so thank you somebody rich person, I know exactly where I'll invest it) Otherwise we end up with the likes of Ban Ki-moon, a guy so bland who best as I can tell managed to rise by melding into the bureaucratic background and never ever making any waves whatever. Would you want that? Any three of these candidates suit me just fine, chameleons all, and that's actually among the most adorable of creatures I'd use to describe all three. None of them represent me, identity-politics wise.

PatCA said...

Sowell is right on. Obama is just another garden variety elite, seduced willingly or not, by the left. It's very interesting, and kind of sad, to watch as his little bubble of comfort meets America head on. Now the American voters will decide how much they despise present day America, and how much freedom they are willing to give up to achieve the progressive Eden Obama promises, and I believe the workers of the world will choose again not to unite in his bitter vision.

Justice said...

I still cannot believe u all think Wright's comments were terrible... have you all actually heard the whole sermon and the context behind it?

Here it is
http://youtube.com/watch?v=RvMbeVQj6Lw

and garden variety elite? hillary was born into what Family? and how much did she loan herself? c'mon...

John K. said...

I'm still struck by the fact that when I met Obama back when he was an Illinois state senator the Concerned Woman of America (i.e., an activist from the pro-life, right-wing organization) who introduced me to him spoke quite highly of him as we approached him in the hallway of the statehouse, despite the fact that as she told me he was obviously pro-choice and a liberal. Apparently the man is capable of making friends of all political stripes, which strikes me as a good thing.

Fen said...

I still cannot believe u all think Wright's comments were terrible...

"America deserved 9-11 because it granted rights to mud people..."

"Blacks used the drug trade to infect whites with HIV..."

Yah, you're right. Wright's comments are no more terrible than what we would hear at a Saudi madrassa.

former law student said...

What do Obama's critics tell us by their sins of omission? Start with the near-octogenarian Thomas Sowell. Sowell mentions that Obama visited a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground, who endorsed him when he ran for state senator. But there are two former Weathermen in Obama's life, one a fellow law teacher, Bernardine Dohrn, a tenured associate professor at Northwestern and founder of their children's justice center. The other is her husband, Bill Ayers, a full professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who has been honored by Vassar and the University of South Carolina.

But these earmarks of respectability obtained by their efforts to serve America's children, which resulted in acceptance by the scholarly community, are not useful to Sowell, whose purpose here is to smear Obama.

Closer to home, vet66 said...

If we tire of listening to Hillary and BHO, listen to what their spouses are saying. Michelle gave it up when she admitted for the first time in her adult life she was proud of America.

Like Sowell, vet66 leaves out some key information. Michelle said she was really proud. "Really" is an intensifier. Michelle was exceptionally proud of her country at that moment and wanted us all to know it. Those who, like vet66, want us to listen to the words of others should not selectively edit those words.

(Vet66 reminds me of a woman I know who is unused to compliments. When I told her one day she looked really nice, she snapped "I guess I looked like crap all the other days.")

Further, when analyzing the words of the candidates' spouses, why leave out Cindy McCain? Actions speak louder than words, so consider this passage from a former Phoenix New Times reporter on Salon.com:

In the early 1990s, Tom Gosinski was the director of government and international affairs for the American Voluntary Medical Team, which did relief and medical volunteer work in third world countries.

Hired by Cindy McCain in 1991, Gosinski enjoyed his job, but he began to notice McCain's erratic behavior in the summer of 1992. In his journal, he wrote that he and others suspected the boss was addicted to painkillers and might have been stealing them from the organization.

From Gosinski's journal, July 27, 1992:

I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem. He must either not see that a problem exists or ... not choose to do anything about it. It would seem that it would be in everyone's best interest to come to terms with the situation. And do whatever is necessary to fix it. There is so much at risk: The welfare of the children; John's political career; the integrity of Hensley & Company [Cindy's parents' business]; the welfare of Jim and Smitty Hensley [Cindy's parents]; and the health and happiness of Cindy McCain.

The aforementioned matters are of great concern to those directly involved but my main concern is the ability of AVMT to survive a major shake-up. If the DEA were to ever conduct an audit of AVMT's inventory, I am afraid of what the results might be ... It is because of [Cindy McCain's] willingness to jeopardize the credibility of those who work for her that I truly worry.

During my short tenure at AVMT I have been surrounded by what on the surface appears to be the ultimate all-American family. In reality, I am working for a very sad, lonely woman whose marriage of convenience to a U.S. Senator has driven her to: distance herself from friends; cover feelings of despair with drugs; and replace lonely moments with self-indulgences.

In his journal-writing over the next few months, Gosinski would alternately complain about Cindy McCain and express concern for her well-being.

In January 1993, McCain fired Gosinski. She told him that AVMT was having financial problems and couldn't afford him.


The rest of the story, about how McCain's attempts to cover up Cindy's drug addiction and drug theft blew up in his face, can be found here:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/10/18/drugs/

Simon said...

John K. said...
"Apparently the man is capable of making friends of all political stripes, which strikes me as a good thing."

It's nice, but we're not choosing friends. We're choosing a decision-maker. And that puts us in the business of asking what decisions he'd make, not whether he respects that we'd make different decisions, or whether he'll listen to our contrary views before going ahead and doing what he was going to do anyway.

ustice said...
"I still cannot believe [yo]u all think Wright's comments were terrible... have you all actually heard the whole sermon and the context behind it?"

Yeah. It makes no difference. What difference do you think it makes?

Fen said...

Michelle said she was really proud. "Really" is an intensifier.

*pauses to wipe coffee off computer screen*

Michelle was exceptionally proud of her country at that moment and wanted us all to know it. Those who, like vet66, want us to listen to the words of others should not selectively edit those words.

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country."

Freder Frederson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZPS said...

Good Morning Ann!

I see things are going well here as you entertain your readers with plenty of posts bashing Obama, Clinton, and whatever Democrat you can think of.

It must feel so good to be such a malcontent. Oh, and don't forget cyncial and REDUNDANT. All the things going on in the world, and every post is either about Obama's pastor or how crazy Hillary is.

Honestly, this place has just become a bleak forum for cranky and/or smug Republicans.

Not my cup of tea...but if this is what you enjoy...well, enjoy!

Simon said...

ZPS - let me be the first to say "don't let the door hit your ass on your way out."

reader_iam said...

A book I have regularly recommended since buying and reading it right after it came out.

former law student said...

fen: in the past twenty years, when were you really proud of our country?

When Billy Jeff was elected President, not once, but twice? When the Brady Bill was signed into law? When 9-11 revealed that our coastal air defense for the Northeast corridor consisted of two off-duty airline pilots? When Clinton spent his last day in office signing pardons in the back of the limo? The years it has taken for New Orleans to recover after Katrina? How about the cheese-paring government mentality that for years and years denied the Corps of Engineers the funds they requested to shore up New Orleans' flood defense.

The response to September 11 made me proud of my fellow Americans -- my country: not so much.

ZPS said...

"My parents came from poverty (my mother was a high school drop out whose father could not speak English). Yet they ended up on the right."

No offense, but in general...it's always the poor people without a proper education who end up on the right because they'll believe anything the dumbed-down politicians will tell them. They don't do nuance. They enjoy being spoken to like idiots. Look at all the poor white trash who voted for Bush.

This is not to say that people on the left can't be poor and stupid, either. But like I said, in general, most people who are poor and uneducated go to the Republicans because they actually believe in empty promises. I'm not talking about poor, homeless, realy messed up people, either. I'm talking about those who are just above or on the poverty line. Those who still need to cling to wide-eyed dreams. They think they can make it! Really sad.

Also, if you're poor, you're more likely to turn to religion (hey, if you can't get a good job or an education)...and those freaks on the right love to bait people with their born again crap.

On the other side of things...

there are plenty of rich, well educated Republicans. They go to the party because they don't want to give any of their money away to the poor people.

Some of you will argue that there are also plenty of middle-class Republicans who go to the party because of the ideas and fundamental principles. These people, while fundamentally stupid, are the least offensive of to me.

Have a great day!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Cut FLS some slack, guys. He's been spending a lot of nights on the sofa ever since telling the missus, "for the first time in your adult lifetime, you look really nice".

reader_iam said...

His "Conflict of Visions" is one of my favorite books of its type, by the way. I dip back into my well-thumbed copy of it regularly, and almost always experience an "a-ha" moment, even after all this time.

Fen said...

fen: in the past twenty years, when were you really proud of our country?

Too many times to have noted it.

The years it has taken for New Orleans to recover after Katrina? How about the cheese-paring government mentality that for years and years denied the Corps of Engineers the funds they requested to shore up New Orleans' flood defense.

New Orleans fell to its own corruption. Blanco and Nagin had an after action report from a hurricane a year prior that detailed the same problems they would face with Katrina. They ignored it. The Big Easy. Party On Dude!

Middle Class Guy said...

ZPS...
It must feel so good to be such a malcontent. Oh, and don't forget cyncial and REDUNDANT. All the things going on in the world, and every post is either about Obama's pastor or how crazy Hillary is.



All the things going on in the world and we are trying to decide who will be President. We have two totally unqualified people on the Left and a semi-qualified person on the right.

So, ZPS, it is important to criticize and/or bash these incompetent candidates.

So, sayonara, adios, ciao, au revoir, and getta.





Getta eff outta here.

former law student said...

reader: I enjoyed this book, which covers our proud redneck heritage:
http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?qwork=5606351&matches=13&author=Bultman%2C+Bethany&browse=1&cm_sp=works*listing*title

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The response to September 11 made me proud of my fellow Americans -- my country: not so much.

And there is the big big difference between elites like the Obamas and yourself and the "typical American" person.

You don't consider yourself a part of your own country. You disdain and disparage America and there is no way to divorce that disdain from the "typical American" either. Deny it if you want to. You don't like your country and you don't like the people who comprise America.

The Obama's don't consider themselves American either. They choose to affiliate themselves by ethnic identity "Black" and American last if at all. Fine for a private person. For the President of the United States. Not so much.

reader_iam said...

My personal definition of "fundamentally stupid" involves, among other things, sweeping generalizations, and it transcends partisan bounds.

former law student said...

Too many times to have noted it.

in other words, fen could not recall a single instant in the past twenty years when he was really proud of our country, making Michelle Obama infinitely prouder of our country than he.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But like I said, in general, most people who are poor and uneducated go to the Republicans because they actually believe in empty promises.

Of course because its been the Republican party who promises all the welfare benefits for those poor dumbasses rather than the Democratic party which insists they should have to get a job and work for a living rather than live off the government teat.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled alternate universe.

ZPS said...

"So, sayonara, adios, ciao, au revoir, and getta."

Oh, no! I didn't mean to lead you to believe that I was leaving. What kind of Democrat would I be if I moved on from something that disappointed me over and over again?

reader_iam said...

But like I said, in general, most people who are poor and uneducated go to the Republicans

What's blindingly, obviously wrong with this statement? I'd prefer ZPS look again and experience an "Oh. Yeah. Sheesh." moment, but absent that, perhaps someone else would like to do the honors.

Fen said...

You don't consider yourself a part of your own country. You disdain and disparage America and there is no way to divorce that disdain from the "typical American" either. Deny it if you want to. You don't like your country and you don't like the people who comprise America.

This is the Democratic paradox: You want so much to run America and yet you seem not so fond of Americans.

reader_iam said...

I have been proud of my son too many times to have noted it.

Therefore, I must not be proud of my son.

former law student said...

dbq: take my "real pride" challenge. To beat Michelle Obama's standard, you have to cite two moments in the past twenty years when you were really proud of our country. Extra bonus points if you can explain your reasons. I'm calling it:

Are You Prouder (of America) than an Ivy-Leaguer/Afrocentric Church Member/Corporate Lawyer?

reader_iam said...

I have been proud of my best girlfriend too many times since 1972 to make note of it.

Therefore, I must not be proud of best friend.

former law student said...

This is the Democratic paradox: You want so much to run America and yet you seem not so fond of Americans.

I like Americans but I'm not so crazy about our country. I guess that's why I'm a Republican.

reader_iam said...

Have some pride, FLS! You can do better than this.

Hoosier Daddy said...

FLS said fen: in the past twenty years, when were you really proud of our country?

Well I'll bite: Lets see, every time I see some poor Cubans braving a 90 mile boat ride to taste freedom because they don't have it at home. Everytime I see Mexicans scrambling across our border because they know they can get a better life here. Everytime I see Alec Baldwin who promised to leave the country but knows better. Everytime there is natural disaster somewhere in the world and we're there helping even when they hate us. Everytime I see a soldier. Seeing a contested presidential election resolved in the courts rather than by gunfire in the streets. Seeing the myriad of ethnic groups living and working alongside each other and not resorting to Rwanda, Liberia, Darfur, Iraq.

But that's just my opinion. I'm certain for you and others it was probably 1975 or thereabouts.

reader_iam said...

I like Americans but I'm not so crazy about our country.

I like my husband and son, but I'm not so crazy about our family.

I guess that's why I'm married.

Fen said...

"Too many times to have noted it."

former law student: in other words, fen could not recall a single instant in the past twenty years when he was really proud of our country, making Michelle Obama infinitely prouder of our country than he.

That contortion looked painful, but it was entertaining. Thanks.

Please tell me you're having an off day. I expect more from your mind.

former law student said...

Same to you, r-ia. You're too thoughtful not to recall when your son and friend made you feel really proud -- above your base level of pride. A moment when they showed character or wisdom? When they volunteered to take on a thankless task?

reader_iam said...

("I'm not so crazy about our family."--this, of course, is not true.)

former law student said...

Hoosier Daddy wins the prize. Congratulations, I am proud of you.

It is a travelling trophy, however -- any of you are eligible to take it away from him, once his name is engraved on the base.

reader_iam said...

FLS: I was making a point. It's a silly question that means nothing.

Of course I can make those lists. Big deal!

John K. said...

Simon says: "It's nice, but we're not choosing friends. We're choosing a decision-maker. And that puts us in the business of asking what decisions he'd make, not whether he respects that we'd make different decisions, or whether he'll listen to our contrary views before going ahead and doing what he was going to do anyway."

Yes, but my point was to respond to what Sowell insinuates about what Obama would decide based upon the alleged "type" of friends that Obama has made. This guilt-by-association thing has been carried to ridiculous extremes. In my book, the fact that Obama has been known to associate with politicians is the biggest strike against him.

[I must be the most predictable of all Althouse commenters, but since I seem to be the only anarchist on here, I think it's worthwhile to still pipe up from time to time. My radicalism -- which I view as merely carrying the principles of the Declaration of Independence to its logical conclusion -- does not preclude a certain conservatism, a realization that we should be wary of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It's a belief about the direction we should be heading. I think it'd be preferable to have a President who has shown a willingness to listen to and take seriously radical views, while it is also obviously a requirement for the job of President to exhibit a measure of conservatism.]

Fen said...

ZPS: it's always the poor people without a proper education who end up on the right because they'll believe anything the dumbed-down politicians will tell them.

And you are the exception to your own rule. Too funny. Do it again please.

reader_iam said...

If I say I'm proud of something in general--despite any warts and failings--because I'm proud of something in general, that pretty much says it. What's the point of making lists? What benefit is that to you?

former law student said...

Hoosier jogs my memory. I am proud that America survived two bloodless coup attempts: the orderly replacement of Nixon by Ford (After the ouster of Agnew), and the impeachment of Clinton (which the Republicans inexplicably based on lies about sex instead of his malfeasance in office.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy wins the prize. Congratulations, I am proud of you.

Thank you. I'm on the phone with Obama now getting some tips on drafting my victory speech.

It was nice of him to accept the collect call from the Virgin Islands.

Simon said...

former law student said...
"in the past twenty years, when were you really proud of our country?"

Some low-hanging fruit that jump to mind: The response (at least initially) to 9/11. When we decided to liberate Iraq. The reaction of ordinary Americans to Katrina. The collapse of the Miers nomination. When Parents Involved came out 5/4 the right way rather than 5/4 the wrong way (although I was somewhat ashamed that there are four votes in the country, let alone on the Supreme Court, to reverse Brown v. Board, which was what the dissenters advocated). I'm sure there's more, but they spring immediately to mind.

former law student said...

If I say I'm proud of something in general--despite any warts and failings--because I'm proud of something in general, that pretty much says it. What's the point of making lists? What benefit is that to you?

Because people are construing Michelle's heartfelt exclamation of pride to mean she has never been proud of our country. You guys say you are proud, but cannot cite any instances. Why assume Michelle's baseline level of pride in America is any different from yours?

Simon said...

(and that's just in the last handful of years, I meant to say)

reader_iam said...

I am much more interested in whether someone wishes well for the United States, the great experiment it represents, and its people than whether he or she is proud, per se, of any one particular thing or another.

former law student said...

Simon, I am proud of you. Good job!

reader_iam said...

That should be, "wishes well and the best"

reader_iam said...

You guys say you are proud, but cannot cite any instances. Why assume Michelle's baseline level of pride in America is any different from yours?

Not cannot, won't, and I just pointed to why. And I DON'T assume that of Michelle Obama.

reader_iam said...

In my book, the fact that Obama has been known to associate with politicians is the biggest strike against him

I love that, and I believe that you'd apply it to any politician.

rhhardin said...

proud

Flaubert Temptation of St Anthony via Kenneth Burke

...those were his days of pride when, by the resonances of his release, the whole attentive world learned that Caesar had dined well.

former law student said...

reader: I encourage you to read this, then.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/barack-obama-my-america-777620.html

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Those simple words are our starting point as Americans; they describe not only the foundation of our government but the substance of our common creed. Not every American may be able to recite them; few, if asked, could trace the genesis of the Declaration of Independence to its roots in 18th-century liberal and republican thought. But the essential idea behind the Declaration – that we are born into this world free, all of us; that each of us arrives with a bundle of rights that can't be taken away by any person or any state without just cause; that through our own agency we can, and must, make of our lives what we will – is one that every American understands. It orients us, sets our course, each and every day.

Much of my appreciation of our Bill of Rights comes from having spent part of my childhood in Indonesia and from still having family in Kenya, countries where individual rights are almost entirely subject to the self-restraint of army generals or the whims of corrupt bureaucrats. I remember the first time I took Michelle to Kenya, shortly before we were married. As an African American, Michelle was bursting with excitement about the idea of visiting the continent of her ancestors, and we had a wonderful time, visiting my grandmother up-country, wandering through the streets of Nairobi, camping in the Serengeti, fishing off the island of Lamu.

But during our travels Michelle also heard – as I had heard during my first trip to Africa – the terrible sense on the part of most Kenyans that their fates were not their own. My cousins told her how difficult it was to find a job or start their own businesses without paying bribes. Activists told us about being jailed for expressing their opposition to government policies. Even within my own family, Michelle saw how suffocating the demands of family ties and tribal loyalties could be, with distant cousins constantly asking for favours, uncles and aunts showing up unannounced.

On the flight back to Chicago, Michelle admitted she was looking forward to getting home. "I never realised just how American I was," she said. She hadn't realised just how free she was – or how much she cherished that freedom.

John K. said...

I am "proud" of (or more precisely, I "admire") John Woolman, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, Henry David Thoreau, Henry George, Albert Jay Nock, and their spiritual and political heirs up through the modern day. I can't think of anything the government qua government has done that I'm really proud of.

Trooper York said...

I am "proud" of (or more precisely, I "admire") John Wayne,
Tom Carvel, Ray Kroc, Red Skeleton, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Wellington Mara, Ann Margaret, Traci Lords, Otis Redding, James Brown, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Walker,James Cagney, George Raft, and their spiritual and political heirs up through the modern day. I can't think of anything the government qua government has done that I'm really proud of.

Except for the cheese. The cheese is pretty good.

reader_iam said...

I've already read it.

***

I think the Michelle thing is a sideshow. I didn't hear what she said as indicating she wasn't proud of America at the time I watched the speech. And that's pretty much that, for me, in terms of the meme about what she said in that speech.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ok FLS:

My best friend in high school. Her older sister was born in a Japanese internment camp in California when her parents were swept up in the hysteria of WWII. Is that the part that makes me proud? No. That part is shameful. What makes me proud is that during the war, their neighbors, employer and friends bought their home and gave it back to them as a gift when the War was over. I'm proud that they can have as much success or more than anyone else in this country who is willing to try. I'm proud that their "ethnicity" as Japanese was considered last and that their worth as humans and friends was more important to the people who knew them. I'm also proud that they had never made a big whiny deal out of their ordeal and went on with life, not dwelling on past grievances.

I'm proud of the people who privately gave unselfishly of their money and their time and of the many who could barely afford it to help the victims of the tsunami flooding. They did it because the "typical American" has the ability to put themselves in the place of the other. It's called empathy. The charitable impulses of Americans is well known.

I'm proud of what we are trying to accomplish in Iraq right now and of the young men and women who are volunteering to sacrifice for a cause that they feel is bigger than themselves. It would have been easy to sit on our hands and stay out of Iraq and the Middle East and turn a blind eye to the torture and oppression that is the standard of living in that area. After all, we had been doing it for decades. I'm not about to argue the pros or cons of the Iraq war. You can shout into the echo chamber all you want to on that topic.

I am proud of the responses to Katrina. The people who opened their homes up to those who had lost theirs. The people who stoically went on with getting on. Cleaning up and being self resourceful and didn't demand that they be handed a new life on a silver platter. I'm proud of the people who cared enough for the smallest of us to go and rescue those helpless ones. The cruelly abandoned chained up dogs left to drown. The thoughtlessly tossed aside cats left to starve. I'm proud that America cares not only about it's people but also feels for the helpless.

Those are just a few examples on a national scale. I have many many more that happen locally. The young soldier who mentioned to his family that the children in Iraq where he was stationed had no shoes and were living in poverty. Within a week, we had hundreds of pairs to send to him along clothing, blankets and toys.

reader_iam said...

I don't really care about First Ladies or what they think, or potential ones, either. Sorry. So shoot me.

reader_iam said...

Bill Clinton is an exception--but not because he would First Gentleman, or whatever, but because he's actually been president.

Other than that, I stand by what I just said. And I it's likely I'll continue to have that attitude going forward into the future.

Kirby Olson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoosier Daddy said...

Trooper, come on, Traci Lords? Jenna Jameson dude. The debate, if there would ever be one, is over.

Good call on Jackie Gleason though. He was the great one.

While I'm at it, I should amend my initial proud list:

Indianapolis Colts; George S. Patton; Sam Adams; Jack Daniels; Fat Man and Little Boy; Ronald Reagan; Indy 500; Lance Armstrong; Bruce Willis and all the Die Hard movies; Marshall Plan; Marianas Turkey Shoot; fried chicken; freedom; 2nd Amendment.

Sloanasaurus said...

ZPS said But like I said, in general, most people who are poor and uneducated go to the Republicans because they actually believe in empty promises

This is wonderful material! I wish Obama would be so honest.

The problem is that in general Republicans don't promise that the government is going to help these people. And that suits them fine. These people want the government to leave them alone, which is why they vote Republican. (The state of California telling them they can't educate their own chidren is a great example.) The desire to be left alone is something arrogent people like ZPS, Obama, and Former Law Student don't understand.

Kirby Olson said...

I'm not Obama's biggest fan, but he's probably ok. Just because he took up with communists and anarchists at college and sought out Marxist professors doesn't mean that he hasn't seen through all that. I myself used to have anarchist and Marxist professors. I liked them. On the other hand, that's pretty much all there was in the colleges and universities I went to. That's pretty much all there is in just about any college. You can't get hired in most colleges unless you're pretty far to the left.

But as you get older, you realize that most anarchists and Marxists are just mass murderers.

I think when Michelle O. made the crazy statement about not being proud of America she was talking on a campus, and on campuses, that's the lingua franca.

It's sort of like saying you hate your parents when you're a teenager to gain acceptance.

Most teenagers actually love their parents.

Most everyone actually loves their country, too.

I like what Middle Class Man said at the beginning of the thread. Wright was just preaching to the choir to get a few extra contributions in the plate. Down deep, he likes everybody. He was just doing his job by scapegoating white people in order to create a nice feeling of unity.

The Democrats have such a weird far left to deal with (young people with murderous ideals) that who knows what anybody in that party really thinks about anything. They have to mouth the party line of division according to race and gender.

I wish the whole thing was over.

Just speed up the algorithm and see how it plays out for Christ's sake.

garage mahal said...

Bill Ayers referred to as "earmarks of respectability"....?

Oy.

Pogo said...

Sowell has distilled the core problem with Obama. he is aman of the Left ...the far left. He has the most liberal voting record of the Senate. And he deliberately sought the vision and influence of the left. This was no temporary college sojourn, but a path that he remains on, unwavering:
"I chose my friends carefully," he wrote, including:
Marxist professors
* structural feminists
* punk rock performance poets
* more politically active black students
* a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground
* Rev. Wright, who thinks we deserved 9/11, that "middleclassness" oppresses blacks, and follows black liberation theology


He doesn't need Michelle to demonmstrate how Chomskyesque he is.

reader_iam said...

Bill Ayers. Ugh. Zero respect for that particular individual. IMO, he has been fundamentally dishonest about some of the fundamental, defining experiences in his life, and continues to be so.

reader_iam said...

He's lucky he didn't end up with a long prison term, which he would have deserved.

reader_iam said...

A real piece of shit.

Trooper York said...

Reader I thought we agreed that profanity must only be in foriegn tongues.

Strunz.

reader_iam said...

No. I merely said I hated a particular word (but hastened to say, in effect, too bad for me). You then--brilliantly, I might add--started a new meme.

Which reminds me: I still haven't gotten my Amazon or iTunes credit yet.

Hmmm??????

Pogo said...

*"Like many of the most extreme figures from the 1960s Ayers and Dohrn are ambiguous figures in American life.

They disappeared in 1970, after a bomb — designed to kill army officers in New Jersey — accidentally destroyed a Greenwich Village townhouse, and turned themselves into authorities in 1980. They were never prosecuted for their involvement with the 25 bombings the Weather Underground claimed; charges were dropped because of improper FBI surveillance.

But — unlike some other fringe figures of the era — they’re also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.

Dohrn, however, was jailed for less than a year for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members’ robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed.

“I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough,” Ayers told the New York Times in 2001.

... In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

...In 1997, Obama cited Ayers’ critique of the juvenile justice system in a Chicago Tribune article on what prominent Chicagoans were reading. He and Ayers served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago for three years starting in 1999. In 2001, Ayers also gave $200 to Obama’s state Senate reelection campaign."

nansealinks said...

I am proud that I can identify with a hobo on the street if i choose to or a member of a state medical board if I had to. And I've gotten the chance to do both.

I am proud of the fact that in a country of plastic surgery and infinite beauty products to make women over 40 look young I can go to the grocery store without makeup and my brown & grey hair pulled back in a pony tail and not care or worry what will be said on the campaign trail about my looks and sex. I am proud when one person tells me I look like a million bucks wearing my cheap grocerystore eyeliner, mascara and blush and my Goodwill $7 dress.

I am proud that I live in a country enthralled with big time celebrity and big time idolness, and I don't have to act or imitate, can be myself and thank the powers that be that I will never be president or the wife of one and have to put on airs or act otherwise..





Most of the things I am proud of are totally narcissistic.

Trooper York said...

Testa di minchia, ciao bella.

reader_iam said...

It's the capitalist way, Trooper. No need to refer to me as a dickhead for it.

; )

reader_iam said...

nansealinks makes an excellent point, by the way.

Trooper York said...

That's not what it means. It means
"stop breaking my dick." You know you are my favorite reader. Don't get all girly on me now.

Middle Class Guy said...

reader_iam said...
He's lucky he didn't end up with a long prison term, which he would have deserved.


Bill Ayers father was a politically powerful CEO- Commonwealth Edison- in Chicago and had connections with the Federal Government. The Chicago Democratic way.

exhelodrvr1 said...

ZPS,
"it's always the poor people without a proper education who end up on the right because they'll believe anything the dumbed-down politicians will tell them."

LOL!! You really ought to take a look at the demographics from recent elections before making foolish statements like that.

reader_iam said...

MCG: It's called "power to the people"!

reader_iam said...

Trooper: I myself prefer to think of it as busti--oh, never mind.

Middle Class Guy said...

ZPS,
"it's always the poor people without a proper education who end up on the right because they'll believe anything the dumbed-down politicians will tell them."


Define proper education. Does it involve critical thinking or political indoctrination.

So, all those highly educated successful people who vote Republican are really nothing more than the great unwashed masses.

You are really deluded.

Lawgiver said...

I'm proud of Rod "He Hate Me" Smart, Wilt "The Tripod" Chamberlain, and Sam "The father of Texas" Houston.

I base my life and personal philosophy on the examples of these fine Americans.

John K. said...

I am also proud of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, The Onion, and Mel Gibson.

John K. said...

And South Park and The Simpsons, of course.

John K. said...

I.E. While our prophets have failed us, our jesters haven't.

John K. said...

P.S. Contrary to the impression I might have given by including Mel Gibson with the rest of those clowns, I seriously admire him as a courageous and self-effacing artist.

Pogo said...

"At a three day "war council" in December 1969, the Weathermen decided to continue the armed struggle against corporate "Amerika". Dohrn exhorted the members present to be less wimpy and to move like heroic Black Panthers. She also commended the example of Charles Manson and his women groupies for the gruesome blood orgies in the Tate-ianca slayings. In a particularly vile comment, Dohrn said: Dig it! Manson killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they shoved a fork into a victim's stomach. Wild!" She held up three fingers in a Manson "fork salute." The group later went to the nave of a Catholic church for group sex or "wargasms".

America in White, Black, and Gray: The Stormy 1960s
by Klaus P. Fischer
p.280

Pogo said...

Tate-Labianca

From Inwood said...

Sowell goes on to say:

There is no evidence that Obama ever sought to educate himself on the views of people on the other end of the political spectrum, much less reach out to them… That's bringing us all together?

I would add that there's no evidence that Obama ever sought to make friends with the people on the other end. (I don’t mean the necessary dealing with people as a pol must as given in one example on this thread.)

Some here (Kirby Olson, for one) have tried to excuse Obama’s college romances with loony leftists as, well, sophomoric, I guess & they try to argue that anyway everybody in college who's anybody in college these days & those days as well is far leftist.

OK, when I was a child.... But Obama is an adult & adult infantilism or political opportunism are the only explanations I can give for his staying in the ooze after college.

Ernst Blofeld said...

Obama's speech was a sleight of hand. He conflated his association with Wright and race in America. He wants us to dismiss his association with Wright because he said some nice words about race.

After it was all said and done I still don't know why he associated with Wright for 20 years. I suspect it was because he wanted the votes of the church while running for state office, but I can't be very sure about that. The question of whether he has some sympathy for Wright's views is still an open one.

AJ Lynch said...

Fen:

Thanks for the link to the Noonan column. I enjoyed it especially since I too am a longtime but now former Dem. And my parents and their familes were also strong Dem voters.

Trooper York said...

I am proud of Kermit the Frog, Steamboat Willie, Willie Stargell, Robert Frost, David Patterson and Elvis Presley.

From Inwood said...

fen

You note the TNR article:

Obama's Pastor Raised In Privilege, Not Poverty

Spot on. And, of course, so was Obama.

He had to go to college & close his mind to the Center & the Right to pick up such ridiculous ideas & he had to continue associating with like-minded people to keep such ideas. He is "your typical far Leftist person", we could say.

Some '60s loony leftist, long forgotten except by other aging loony leftists wrote a piece of nonsense called Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me.

And Obama? "Been Down In '60s Unthought So Long It Looks Like Thought To Me".

John K. said...

I am proud of Robert Service (who lived a vagabond life and whose nationality was ambiguous).

Middle Class Guy said...

I'm proud of Mae Wes, WC Fields, the Three Stooges, the Bowery Boys, Our Gang, Frank Rizzo,Hinky Dink and Bath House, Trigger and Buttermilk, and Trooper York.

Kirby Olson said...

To From Inwood,

I was paying him a backhanded compliment, of sorts, and also implicating the leftist gauntlet that colleges have become.

But I was also saying that most of us have recovered from this groupthink era of our lives.

I don't really know if Obama has or not. Or if Michelle has or not. Or if Wright has or not.

The Democratic party is now more or less like the Soviet Union. Everyone in it has to go along to get along, but you sense that all it will take is one strong person to stand up and say, "Evil Empire!" and the whole thing will collapse.

Race and gender is just a house of cards waiting to tumble.

There are other principles, like the Ten Commandments, and those are the better principles, and aren't built on sand. So I won't be voting for a Democrat, but I wonder if deep down any of them believe anything that they're saying.

You'd have to be an idiot to believe almost anything that the Democrats believe, and I just can't believe that there are that many drooling idiots who believe in the left.

I'd rather believe that those are good people who are trapped by political correctness, as it's the only meal ticket that they have at this point.

Michael said...

ZPS: I see things are going well here as you entertain your readers with plenty of posts bashing Obama, Clinton, and whatever Democrat you can think of.

Speak truth to power! Question authority! Don't trust anyone over 30!

Unless we're talking about a leftist. Then, fall in line and shut your pile hole. Only haters would do otherwise.

Trooper York said...

"Trooper, come on, Traci Lords? Jenna Jameson dude. The debate, if there would ever be one, is over."

Hooiser, obviously you are not familar with Traci's work before all of her films were taken off the market because she was underage. Her performance in the Graffenberg Spot was seminal, so to speak.

John K. said...

From Inwood:

Maybe you're right about Obama, though what Obama had to say about the Declaration of Independence that someone cited upthread suggests another side of him. I'm not voting so I'm not invested enough in the election to look closely at his proposed domestic policies. If we're going to continue to have some form of socialism no matter who's elected, what's he's said about mitigating the debt associated with higher education seems reasonable. Since I don't see McCain trying to cut taxes in any meaningful way for the poor or middle class or trying to cut corporate-welfare, I'd just as soon have a president who appears anti-war relative to the other candidates and who seems to have exhibited more "family values" in his personal life than either of the other candidates.

Pogo said...

Can you imagine the Democrat Party repsonse were it uncovered that McCain had met with two American terrorists who admitted to and were proud of their bombings? And who were thrilled that Manson killed a woman and stuck a fork in her pregnant belly? And he took moiney from them and cited their work as a 'favored reading'?

Of course, their heads nearly exploded because of Haliburton connections to Cheney.

But Obama will get (another) pass. Wargasm indeed.

Revenant said...

No offense, but in general...it's always the poor people without a proper education who end up on the right because they'll believe anything the dumbed-down politicians will tell them.

In the 2004 elections, Kerry won the majority of high school dropouts and people with incomes under $15,000. Bush won the majority of people with high school diplomas and college degrees.

In terms of party affiliation, Republicans are more popular with the upper three income quintiles, and Democrats with the lower two. Democrats are more popular among high school dropouts and among people with post-grad degrees, i.e. among people at the upper and lower extremes of the educational spectrum. Republicans are more popular among those in the middle.

So sorry, ZPS, but your bigotry simply has no basis in reality. Poor, uneducated people vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Why wouldn't they -- the Democrats promise them handouts paid for by "the rich".

Fen said...

More hatemongering coming out of Obama's madrassa:

Israel and South Africa worked on "ethnic bombs" to kill blacks and Arabs You'll note that this was published on Trinity's "Youth Day," as part of "Family Month" according to the note at the bottom left of the page.

Pogo said...

November 4, 1997
University of Chicago
A panel at the University of Chicago debates the merits of the juvenile justice system

Panelists:
William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court(Beacon Press, 1997)

"Ayers will be joined by Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the University of Chicago Law School, who is working to block proposed legislation that would throw more juvenile offenders into the adult system..."

knoxwhirled said...

The response to September 11 made me proud of my fellow Americans -- my country: not so much.

The symbolic (and the imaginary) ideal is always more important to liberals than the concrete, after all. Lots of Americans do great things all the time, but "America" sucks. Never mind what the actual results are, it's the intention that matters. This is the tired refrain we get from cynical liberals ad nauseum. As a sad result, nothing good that happpens in Iraq will ever be acknowledged, and we'll get pointless social programs shoved down our throats into infinity.

George said...

Fen--

I tracked that "ethnic bomb" quote back, and, yes, indeed it was published in Wright's church bulletin in June 2007.

And we're fighting a war against cave dwellers who kill people over cartoons.

Which Philip K. Dick novel are we in?

Windbag said...

Trooper said: I am "proud" of (or more precisely, I "admire") John Wayne,
Tom Carvel, Ray Kroc, Red Skeleton, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, George Steinbrenner, Wellington Mara, Ann Margaret, Traci Lords, Otis Redding, James Brown, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Walker,James Cagney, George Raft...


Don't forget Natalie Wood.

Fen said...

Or the Miracle on Ice.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

I'm proud that we have moral hazards and cooperation that helps us be better people, and can discuss things on our U.S. initiated Internet.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hooiser, obviously you are not familar with Traci's work before all of her films were taken off the market because she was underage. Her performance in the Graffenberg Spot was seminal, so to speak.

Really? I feel cheated.

Trooper York said...

You really did dude. But you have to get the unedited version which has Traci's best work in it. Plus Long John Holmes in one of his last appearances before he got involved in that murder. Traci shows a lot of talent in her big scene let me tell you. Doubles down the line if you know what I mean. Fore and aft.

Meade said...

Pogo said...
Sowell has distilled the core problem with Obama. he is aman of the Left ...the far left. He has the most liberal voting record of the Senate. And he deliberately sought the vision and influence of the left. This was no temporary college sojourn, but a path that he remains on, unwavering:
"I chose my friends carefully," he wrote, including:
Marxist professors
* structural feminists
* punk rock performance poets
* more politically active black students
* a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground
* Rev. Wright, who thinks we deserved 9/11, that "middleclassness" oppresses blacks, and follows black liberation theology


He doesn't need Michelle to demonmstrate how Chomskyesque he is.

1:23 PM
reader_iam said...
Bill Ayers. Ugh. Zero respect for that particular individual. IMO, he has been fundamentally dishonest about some of the fundamental, defining experiences in his life, and continues to be so.

1:33 PM
reader_iam said...
He's lucky he didn't end up with a long prison term, which he would have deserved.

1:35 PM
reader_iam said...
A real piece of shit.


This really does deserve more attention.

Cedarford said...

Former Law Student - there are two former Weathermen in Obama's life, one a fellow law teacher, Bernardine Dohrn, a tenured associate professor at Northwestern and founder of their children's justice center. The other is her husband, Bill Ayers, a full professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who has been honored by Vassar and the University of South Carolina.

But these earmarks of respectability obtained by their efforts to serve America's children, which resulted in acceptance by the scholarly community, are not useful to Sowell, whose purpose here is to smear Obama.


But Hitler loved, loved children and puppy dogs and passed Europes most progressive legislation on child labor law and animal cruelty law.

What's your point, Former Law Student?

You sound like Patty Murray saying Binnie did a world of good with his free madrassahs and school lunch programs for disadvantaged kids.

Caring for kids and puppies excuses the other stuff - bombs, kinapping, killing people - and bringing it up is "smears"?????

Hoo boy, FLS! You appear to lack a considerable cluster of brain cells needed for "critical thinking skills".

******************
Hooiser, obviously you are not familar with Traci's work before all of her films were taken off the market because she was underage. Her performance in the Graffenberg Spot was seminal, so to speak.

Really? I feel cheated.


The destruction of most of Traci Lords "body of work", performed when she was underaged, has been described by porn afficionados as their equivalent to the Muslims burning the Library of Alexandria.

Middle Class Guy said...

as their equivalent to the Muslims burning the Library of Alexandria.


I thought Moslems burned that library. That is what I rememebr reading in history when I was young.

former law student said...

cedarford: what's your point? Did Hitler survive the war? Did the Republic of Israel hire him to teach their teachers, instead of prosecuting him for war crimes? Did Israel let him and Eva live near Beer Sheva University, where they could meet young scholars, invite them to dinner, and give them a few shekels when the scholars decide to run for the Knesset?

TMink said...

I am proud of Thomas Sowell, Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters (but not their racist father,) William F. Buckley, Abstract Expressionism, The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, the Constitution, Ronald Reagan (except for that amnesty thing) and much more.

Trey

Beth said...

New Orleans fell to its own corruption.

Fen, you're a complete idiot, and entirely comfortable with your ignorance. Thinking any further than "those fuckers in New Orleans flooded themselves" would give you a brain aneurysm. Fuck you. I mean that most sincerely. At least you come out with brain-dead shit like this often enough to remind everyone never to take a word you say seriously.

I'm Against It said...

Barack Obama’s recent March 18 speech on race relations in America was one of the boldest and most relevant things to come from an American politician in years. Take a listen to my satire, in which I condensed a 40 minute speech down to 2. Mr. Obama urges a revolution on Washington and says the current administration should be taken to prison. Check it out
http://www.associatedcontent.com/audio/2689/barack_obamas_race_in_america_speech.html. Ah, the magic of simple audio editing software!

Fen said...

"New Orleans fell to its own corruption."

Beth: Fen, you're a complete idiot, and entirely comfortable with your ignorance.

Fact: Blanco and Nagin ignored After Action reports from a hurricane a year prior that predicted all the problems the would encounter with Katrina.

Thinking any further than "those fuckers in New Orleans flooded themselves" would give you a brain aneurysm.

Those are your words, not mine. I don't blame the people of NO, I blame the incompetent corrupt local government that they elected.

Fuck you. I mean that most sincerely.

Reason is the first victim of emotion [Herbert].

At least you come out with brain-dead shit like this often enough to remind everyone never to take a word you say seriously.

"... Thirteen months before Katrina, the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness exercised such a scenario featuring a hurricane as catastrophic as Katrina. State officials reconvened five months later to plan on how to evacuate the anticipated thousands left homeless. Not a single lesson from the exercise was ever put into effect.

The Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Planning Project was designed to bring together responders and decision makers from all levels of government and the American Red Cross to begin analyzing and addressing the overwhelming operational complexities that would be involved in responding to a catastrophic hurricane striking southeast Louisiana. Accepting the fact that only limited funding and time were available, topic specific "planning workshops" using a catastrophic hurricane scenario (Hurricane Pam) to frame the discussions were selected as the best approach for identifying and qualifying the scale of requirements needed to build a plan for responding to a catastrophic hurricane. The results were intended to reveal to the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOHSEP) and FEMA the shortfalls in existing plans and to begin developing additional plans for catastrophic hurricane response."

More here:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/15feb20061230/www.gpoaccess.gov/katrinareport/hurricanepam.pdf

Fen said...

link didn't paste properly.

Here it is again.

Come back when you're done screaming at the wind.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Since you're still too emotional to follow the link, here:

"The Hurricane Pam exercise scenario was prescient. The virtual storm brought sustained winds of 120 mph, up to 20 inches of rain in parts of Southeast Louisiana, and storm surges that topped the levees and flooded the New Orleans area.


The exercise assumed that:

■ 300,000 people would not evacuate in advance;

Beth: Fuck you

■ 500,000 to 600,000 buildings would be destroyed;

Beth: Fuck you

■ Phone and sewer services would be knocked out and chemical plants would be flooded;

Beth: Fuck you

■ 97 percent of all communications would be down;

Beth: Fuck you

■ About 175,000 people would be injured, 200,000 would become sick, and more than 60,000 would be
killed;

Beth: Fuck you

■ About 1,000 shelters would be needed for evacuees;

Beth: Fuck you

■ Boats and helicopters would be needed for thousands of rescues because many residents would be stranded by floodwaters;

Beth: Fuck you

■ A catastrophic flood would leave swaths of southeast Louisiana uninhabitable for more than a year.

Beth: Fuck you

Have a lovely day hyper-ventilating. Ignorant wretch.

Trooper York said...

"The destruction of most of Traci Lords "body of work", performed when she was underaged, has been described by porn afficionados as their equivalent to the Muslims burning the Library of Alexandria."

That is with out a doubt the truest words ever written on this blog.

Beth said...

Fen,

Thanks for the link -- to the document, but no source. Typical of you.

What's also typical of you is to focus on your narrow assumptions, first, that the damage from Katrina is all based on local corruption and failure, and second, that my calling you on that idiocy is a defense of the local failures.

The failures of Blanco and Nagin, as outlined in the unsourced document you link to, center largely on evacuation. They failed to evacuate the weakest and poorest, the elderly who couldn't drive themselves out of town and the poor who had no means to do so. I'd like to see both Nagin and Blanco run out of town on a rail, but more for their inadequate leadership post-Katrina than for the pre-storm preparation. They followed the best course: get people out of the city.

They learned from the previous year's evacuation from Ivan that highway contraflow had to be improved, and the state did so, allowing 90 percent of the people from the area to successfully evacuate quickly, without the 12-hour delays of the previous year. Both Nagin and Blanco repeatedly urged people to leave, and were clear that there would be no shelter below I-12, as is sensible. There's no point in having shelters open within the storm area. The Superdome was the shelter of last resort, and during the storm itself housed mostly the ill and elderly who could not evacuate. During that time, it worked well as a shelter, with the Guard in place, and food and water in good supply. Only after the federal levees failed did the Dome fill up and the supplies run out. It was not intended to house 20,000 people for days after the storm passed.

Blanco and Nagin didn't flood the city. The failure of the federally designed, built and maintained levee system did that. And you better believe that's an important detail for everyone in the U.S. who lives within any sort of protection designed, built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers -- that includes levees, dams, resevoirs, canals and more. Any blowhard fuckwit who tosses off what happened in New Orleans as "local corruption" is just writing a comfortable little story for himself where nothing bad can happen to him.

FEMA has had to improve as a result of its manifest failures during the immediate aftermath of the storm. We've seen that in subsequent disasters in Oklahoma and California. But the ACOE is still foundering, and corruption -- not just state, but federal -- is hampering our recovery. The Corps aims to improve the ability to pump water out of the canals whose levees failed as one part of their plan to shore up our protection. Sadly, they bought faulty pumps that had to be re-engineered over the course of a year, setting back the process significantly. The company selling the pumps? One that a Bush brother used to work for. Coincidence? Sure. Must be.

The American Society of Civil Engineers is now on the hot seat for skewing its post-storm reports on what caused the flood. The feds paid them to do the report. Guess what happens when the government hands over a few hundred thousand bucks and asks the Society to find out if the gov't levees were at fault? They get what they pay for. Engineers around the country are now suing the ASCE to make them act as a truly independent review board, not a bought-and-paid-for rubber stamp.

I say Fuck you, Fen, because you oversimplify and ignore a vast story that includes every level of government in failing to prepare for and respond to the storm.

Fen said...

Beth: I say Fuck you, Fen, because you oversimplify and ignore a vast story that includes every level of government in failing to prepare for and respond to the storm.

No, go back and read your rant. You said "Fuck you Fen" because you kneejerked an assumption that I am a complete idiot, and entirely comfortable with ignorance, despite my obvious knowledge of the Hurricane Pam scenario that LA officials ignored.

You said "Fuck you Fen" because you wrongly atrribute those fuckers in New Orleans flooded themselves to me.

You said "Fuck you Fen" because you think the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina report I linked to is brain-dead shit that reminds you to never to take a word [I] say seriously.

you oversimplify and ignore a vast story

No. In fact, the report I linked to covers all of your own points in the prior post. I was responding to a comment that laid all the blame on Bush. I don't excuse him or FEMA, but the corrupt and incompetent leadership of New Orleans is primarily responsible.

Beth: Fuck you, Fen

Again, reason is the first victim of strong emotion. I understand you are heavily invested in defending the reputation of your city, but throwing a juvenille temper tantrum merely because you disagree with me is ridiculous.

Take a valium and reflect on how silly you've behaved.

Beth said...

Fen, the Congressional findings you link to and cherry-pick from found fault at the local, state and federal levels, and singled out the Department of Homeland Security and Michael Chertoff for severe criticism. Their findings on the local level were most fixed on failure to evacuate the sick, old and poor. Your idiotic insistance that corruption is at the heart of that failure has no basis in the report you cite, nor in reality. You keep using the terms "responsible" but don't add "for what" in particular. The local incompetence centered on responsibility for evacuating. The federal responsibility goes much further, and back many years through both GOP and Democrat administrations and congresses, for their failures to fund and supervise adequate levee protection, and for their turning FEMA over to a bunch of campaign lackeys. It continues today in the failure of the ACOE to deliver an effective flood protection plan, and in the failure of the Bush adminstration to keep the promises Bush made, standing in Jackson Square shortly after the flood, to rebuild this city and improve the levee system.

No, the flooding of New Orleans was not due to local incompetence. The report you cite never makes that argument. And the flooding of New Orleans is what created the damage from which New Orleans is now in recovery. Had the levees not broken, this wouldn't even be worth talking about.

You have an odd fixation on emotion. That's a cheap way to try to spin this argument, but wholly consistent with the kind of shit for brains approach you favor.