October 30, 2008

Should Barack Obama be giving handouts to his impoverished African relatives?

Glenn Reynolds writes:
MAYBE SOMEBODY SHOULD SPREAD SOME WEALTH AROUND IN HIS OWN FAMILY: Obama Aunt Found in Rundown Boston Slum.
Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 (£1,488) arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court.
Funny how you have to go to the British papers -- in this case the London Times -- for this kind of story.
Has Obama mistreated these relatives? They contributed nothing to his life when he was growing up. How much of your money do you hand over to relatives who make less than you? Is that a moral obligation? Is it even a kindness? Shouldn't they have the incentive to take responsibility and work for themselves? In fact, we are not hearing them complain that Obama hasn't helped them enough. They could bad-mouth him like mad right now, and they don't. That means something.

And how do we even know that Obama hasn't given them money or other assistance? I think it's common courtesy, when you help your adult relatives financially, to keep it quiet.

Could it be that Obama practices Christian values? Jesus said:
Matthew 6

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Now, you might think, how could Obama have helped these people, they live in "a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston"?

First, I don't know what "a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston" really is and what it costs, nor do I know how much money these 2 adults have squandered or given to other friends and relations over the years. I seem to remember from "Dreams From My Father" that Obama's hugely numerous African relatives -- some of them anyway -- would shamelessly hit him up for money. I'd be happy to know he's not a soft touch. I'd be happy to know that he expects individuals to work and look after themselves. Yes, he said "spread the wealth around," but how does he mean to do it? It should cheer us to learn that he loathes handouts.

Second, I would highlight the fact that this aunt and uncle are living in Boston. The building may look "rundown" to the British journalist who wrote the above-linked article, but these people managed to immigrate from Kenya to the United States. How was that accomplished? I would love to know that Obama's attitude is: You made it to America, the land of opportunity, now prove that you deserved to be one of the lucky ones who were able to immigrate, by taking advantage of that opportunity.

134 comments:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama wants to take money from ME to give to complete strangers. Why shouldn't he feel some obligation to take money from himself and give to relatives, no matter how distant?

Fair is fair. Obama should put up or shut up. If it isn't good enough for him to voluntarily give....why is it good to steal from me to give to his relatives (the most probably recipients of his spread the wealth scheme).

Kristo Miettinen said...

I don't know what Obama's actions have been; that is his family's private business. But his obligations are subject to public debate.

Family comes with obligations, whether we like it or not. How many of us have been involved in family discussions about who will do what to support Aunt X or Grandma Y through episode Z? These are common experiences in family life. We do these things not out of the goodness of our heart (as we would for needy strangers), we do these things out of obligation. And, of course, we do these things collectively - it's not for Obama to do alone, but rather in conjunction with other relatives, each according to his/her ability.

The family is the proper locus of socialist values, not the state.

SteveR said...

"Should Barack Obama be giving handouts to his impoverished African relatives?"

Although it really can't be called "change" I think his plan is for us to be giving them handouts, not out of Christian Love but as a patriotic duty.

Duncan said...

I do recall, however, thinking that when McCain was being abused for not knowing how many "houses" he owned (answer = none), that someone should have asked Barry how many brothers and sisters he has. Not that he takes questions from the press.

Not knowing the answer to that question is stranger than not knowing the answer to how many "homes" not "houses" your wife and kids own.

SteveR said...

And as noted in Glenn's post, his relatives played no small part of his books which made him a millionaire. Imagine "Dreams of Some Dude" wouldn't have been a very compelling narrative.

Palladian said...

But Althouse, we're not talking about a normal average person here. Most normal people aren't campaigning to be President of the United States on a platform based on redistribution of our wealth to people we don't even know. Obama wants to force many of us to hand over money to strangers, yet he can't seem to spread some of his considerable wealth around to his own family? I agree with you that he has no moral obligation to do so, and that if he does hand out money to relatives, he shouldn't talk about it. But political campaigns are about appearances. We heard the story of his largess to some stranger at an airport, who could have easily been a con artist for all he knew. Don't you think if he was giving money to impoverished relatives, we'd have heard about it by now?

Jim said...

The "Land of opportunity" Ann?

You haven't been paying attention. America is the land of heartache, unfairness, and economic devastation. Only the rich get health care, and poverty is everywhere.

Anyone paying mind of The One's ads would gladly remain in Kenya. Luckily, this will all change soon, when the wealth is shared, the sun comes out, and litle birds start singing.

The transformation to a workers paradise is closer by the moment.

BJK said...

How many times did Obama spout the phrase

"I am my brother's keeper."

to make himself sound religious....only to find out it doesn't apply to half-brothers living in a decrepit hut, or impoverished uncles and aunts.

(Ironically, if he were to proclaim himself to be something other than his brother's keeper - as Cain did after murdering Abel - he'd be closer to the truth.)

peter hoh said...

DBQ, as if McCain being elected means that the federal government would not be spending your money, with one of the largest chunks being entitlement spending (money going to strangers) and another being farm subsidies (more strangers). And how many investment bankers do you know?

The "redistributionist" charge is just an update on the welfare queen scare.

The distant relatives are yet another manufactured scandal. I wonder if Glenn Reynolds is all "Let me give you some money" whenever one of his distant relatives contacts him.

AllenS said...

I just sent $50 to the Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul, MN, and I don't even know anybody there. Don't worry about his poor relatives, they'll be getting plenty of money when the O becomes president. It just won't be any of his.

Ctmom said...

But he doesn't loathe handouts - his whole economic plan consists of handouts, of our money. Liberals like the Obamas, Bidens, Gores, give next to nothing to charity, but they are generous with our tax dollars.

Jeff said...

Your right. Why should Barack Obama bother helping out his impoverished relatives with money out of his pocket when he can just take it out of yours and mine?

I'm pretty sure that's in the bible somewhere isn't it? "Taketh from the suckers..." or something like that.

Doyle said...

I'm touched by Glenn Reynolds' concern for Obama's distant relatives.

Ron said...

Ann, I see your "cruel nuetrality" remains in place. The criticism here as it was in the 2001 interview involves Obama's vision for America. He wants to use taxes and government programs to promote "fairness of outcome" instead of "fairness of opportunity." This formulation has failed over and over again, but some people think it fails only because it hasn't been done right yet rather than because its an unsustainable approach.

His poor relatives meme when Obama is personally successful underscores that he has succeeded in using "opportunity" to achieve "outcome" but still wants others to give up some increment of opportunity (relative wealth) to ensure opportunity for his relatives and others similarly situated. And whether or not his 2001 interview indicates that he thinks the courts should be used in this process, he still believes that it should be done.

Ann Althouse said...

DBQ: "Obama wants to take money from ME to give to complete strangers. Why shouldn't he feel some obligation to take money from himself and give to relatives, no matter how distant?"

Obama pays and expects us to pay taxes and he supports progressive tax rates. He also supports certain kinds of government programs to help the some people and various policies to promote economic development. So do mainstream conservatives. Handouts to people with special connections are less, not more compelling.

By the way, that aunt is 56 years old. She should work for a living.

bjk said... "How many times did Obama spout the phrase "I am my brother's keeper" to make himself sound religious....only to find out it doesn't apply to half-brothers living in a decrepit hut, or impoverished uncles and aunts."

If you have a brother who sits around, not earning money, and demanding handouts, the right way to be his "keeper" is to get him to take responsibility for himself.

I have never heard Obama translate "I am my brother's keeper" into soft-hearted handouts. He talks about getting people to work, helping them get the health insurance coverage, improving access to education, and so forth. It's sophistry to say he's just taking your money and giving it to someone else.

AllenS said...

Doyle, I'm touched that you're touched.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Has Obama mistreated these relatives? They contributed nothing to his life when he was growing up. How much of your money do you hand over to relatives who make less than you? Is that a moral obligation? Is it even a kindness? Shouldn't they have the incentive to take responsibility and work for themselves?

Whoa! Wait a Madison Minute there. How much of my money is going to be taken to give to total strangers who contributed nothing to my life? It's conservatives who stress taking responsibility and work for themselves. Obama keeps talking about 'economic justice' whatever the hell that is.

Seriously how the hell do you rationalize Obama loathes handouts when he has repeatedly talked about redistribution of wealth? If taking from one group and giving to another isn't a handout please enlighten me.

EDH said...

Notice how Obama totally confuses charity with socialism in the quote below. Astoundingly, it's as if he doesn't understand the coecive power of the state.

Obama ridicules McCain charge he's socialist

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Barack Obama accused Republican rival John McCain on Wednesday of stooping to low tactics by labeling the Democrat a socialist. "I don't know what's next," Obama, the presidential candidate, said at an outdoor rally in North Carolina. "By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten. I shared my peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

Obama isn't a socialist because on occasion he shared his own toys or PBJ with others, but because he wants to use the power of the state to "share" other people's stuff.

ennuipundit said...

Prof. Althouse:
Please allow me a rejoinder. Senator Obama speaks in platitudes about both the conditions of people such as these relatives, as well as his hope that we as a nation can, pardon the cribbing from another fine speechmaker, bind up wounds stemming from such impoverished conditions. Yet we learn of their current predicament via foreign press. Further, Senator Obama is living a comfortable lifestyle, and while we applaud his success, does his success preclude him from the basic charity towards them. While Christ admonishes to forgo the earthly reward of boasting about your generosity, Senator Obama would like to boast of our compulsory generosity, which would compelled at his hand. Should we continue on our path into Christ's teachings we would find the tale of the young man, Matthew 19:21-2 which reads:

21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

These, while obviously not mutually exclusive, are the crux of the matter. Obama was right in not using his aunt as a campaign prob, however, if he is keen on providing all with opportunities, perhaps conditions better than public housing (which while better than East Africa are the sorts of places where one gets trapped in the cycle of poverty that we have heard about for many years) would facilitate such opportunities for self improvement. The larger point is not what Obama should have done, as we have no idea how much he did do, but that this suggests he would prefer compulsory wealth transfer. Perhaps my biases are read more into what I take away from it, but such is all political observation.

Dark Eden said...

As usual its the hypocrisy. Obama wants to massively overhaul the US government and create huge new programs to take care of the less fortunate... with OTHER people's money. With his own money, he's not even willing to help out his own family. Its very easy to be generous with other people's cash but he doesn't live his generous ideals.

Pogo said...

"I have never heard Obama translate "I am my brother's keeper" into soft-hearted handouts."

That's the point of the plan to redistribute wealth via income tax "credits", i.e. cutting checks to people who don't pay any income tax at all, paid for by taxes on people making over $250K, or $150K or $75K or something.

Soft-hearted.
Handouts.

Jack said...

Dust Bunny Queen,
John McCain also "wants to take money from" you and "give it to complete strangers."

The differences between the two candidates on taxes are (a) McCain wants more money than Obama from those making less than $200,000 per year. And (b) Obama would tax people making over $250,000 at 39.6% instead of 36%.

You make it sound like the difference between McCain and Obama is the difference between freedom and slavery, or capitalism and communism. It's not. It's 3.6% on the wealthiest 5% of the country.

Jack said...

I don't know why this is so hard for the DBQ's and others (like McCain to grasp), but we've been running massive deficits for the duration of the Bush years. We can't keep doing that. Republican voters love war and love military spending. Well, taxes pay for those things. There are a lot of other government functions that conservatives defend and appreciate, and those take taxes, too. Sure, conservatives would slash/slash/slash, but in 2008 (if ever) there doesn't appear to be significant political will for that program. You may no like Obama's platform, but we live in a democracy, and you do have to live with it -- or move to some other country.

Jack said...

Palladian said, "Obama wants to force many of us to hand over money to strangers"

So does McCain, Palladian. So does McCain.

The thing that confuses me is that you're obviously smart enough to know this. Why are you using such weak arguments that are so beneath you?

Meade said...

Althouse has a good point here. Judge Obama's redistributionist proposals on their own merits, or lack of, but remember: unless you are willing to have the moral choices in your own personal life and family relationships judged, you would be wise to judge his not.

Also, there is more-than-subtle scent of desperation in these unsubstantiated attacks on Obama's family relationships that I can't help think ill serve the McCain campaign - an unbecoming overreaching that can invite harmful backlash.

I would suspect McCain himself would not approve.

mjsharon said...

Jack,

The One will certainly be no deficit-cutter.

Windbag said...

How much of your money do you hand over to relatives who make less than you? Is that a moral obligation? Is it even a kindness? Shouldn't they have the incentive to take responsibility and work for themselves?

Good point. How much less should I have to fork over my hard-earned money to total strangers, for whom I have even less obligation?

George said...

Sen. Obama has stated in his stump speech that "I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper." Should he not be held to this standard? It is one thing not to assist his aunt, who although living in a housing project is apparently not impoverished, but how about his not helping his brother, who lives in a hut in Kenya on $1 per month? Sen Obama is just another of a long line of liberals who like to give away other people's money, but not their own. See, e.g., the charitable donations of Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards.

nrn312 said...

I don't know why this is so hard for the DBQ's and others (like McCain to grasp), but we've been running massive deficits for the duration of the Bush years.

Hey, she's a financial adviser!

Windbag said...

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and youre okay.
Money, its a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think Ill buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
Im all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, its a hit.
Dont give me that do goody good bullshit.
Im in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a lear jet.

Money, its a crime.
Share it fairly but dont take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise its no surprise that theyre
Giving none away.

Jack said...

Hey, she's a financial adviser!
Heh, good point. Which just underscores she knows perfectly well that her hot rhetoric could equally be applied to both candidates. But DBQ is, and I mean this will all respect, a far right extremist, and she's not interested, IMO, in honest discourse, but in delivering body blows to her enemy, Barack Obama. If she has to stretch the truth and throw around inflammatory, self-discrediting rhetoric in the process, she will.

EDH said...

Obama pays and expects us to pay taxes and he supports progressive tax rates.

That's like arguing an oilman must also pay for gasoline.

Notice Obama pretty much made his "nut" (the ability to live comfortably for life) pretty much in a single tax year under what he considers "low" tax rates, while incurring no risk to capital. And after this campaign, clearly, he'll never want for income.

Compare that to the people he will nail who must earn their nut over a lifetime with much of their life savings invested and at risk.

The issue is the destruction of economic opportunity as much as it it is about the equity of spead'n the wealth.

Original George said...

You ask the key question, Professor: "Has Obama mistreated these relatives? They contributed nothing to his life when he was growing up."

First, it's clear he has no extended family. Unlike the Kennedys, Carters, Gores or Bushes, he has no one to fall back on, except his wife.

He grew up among a ever-changing series of relatives who appear to have contributed nothing to his moral upbringing. He was treated like dirt by his father and by the time he was a teen, his atheist, alienated mother either no longer wanted him in her household, or he wanted to get away from her and possibly her second husband, preferring to live thousands of miles away with her parents in an arms-length relationship. It's all too sad.

Second, it's not just this one thing (his non-relationship with his aunt), it's that there are so many, many bizarre aspects to almost every aspect of Sen. Obama life:

Consider:

When you were 11-years-old and in elementary school did your grandfather regularly take you to the "red light district" of town where the streetwalkers hung out and then take you into his "favorite bar" where he would teach you to play pool? When he was otherwise occupied in this seedy dive, did you sit at the bar "legs dangling from the high stool, blowing bubbles into [your] drink and looking at the pornographic art on the walls-the phosphorescent women on animal skins, the Disney characters in compromising positions"? Did [your] presence there [feel] forced"? And "by the time [you] reached junior high school had [you] learned to beg off from Gramps's invitations?"

This was before he was in 6th grade! Imagine thinking your grandfather is so creepy...and you're living with him, not your mother!

(The sections above in quotation marks are from Sen. Obama's autobiography.)

And when you were about the same age did your same grandfather take you to hang with a "bohemian libertine who drank heavily" and was a Communist and who was so obsessed with sex, he later wrote a book about having sex with a minor runaway? Among other things. Of course, you were there when they drank and composed dirty limericks, and were you also there when they smoked pot together?

(Sen. Obama's grandfather regularly got high with Marshall, according to the above linked UK newspaper article.)

The response to the above is "Sen. Obama is a self-made man. He's risen above all that, just as Reagan rose above having an alcoholic father." Point taken, but all this stuff added together creates such a disturbing portrait it's not surprising that Sen. Obama doesn't care about his Boston aunt. Empathy? Love? Where was that in his childhood? It doesn't surprise me that he thinks unwed teen pregnancy is a "punishment" or that he finds solace in the church of an angry minister. So sad.

Xanthippas said...

And as noted in Glenn's post, his relatives played no small part of his books which made him a millionaire. Imagine "Dreams of Some Dude" wouldn't have been a very compelling narrative.

So he owes them royalties because they existed?

Fair is fair. Obama should put up or shut up. If it isn't good enough for him to voluntarily give....why is it good to steal from me to give to his relatives (the most probably recipients of his spread the wealth scheme).

Do you give money to all of your relatives who need it? You are morally superior than because you don't help out your family and prefer not to pay your taxes to "help strangers"? Fortunately for our nation, most Americans do not seem to feel the same.

See, e.g., the charitable donations of Joe Biden, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards.

I bet you would be surprised to find that these men have donated more money to charity than you have, both in real terms and per capita.

If you people truly represent the right of the Republican party (essentially the only part of the party still remaining since you're all busy driving out dissenters) then Americans are right to elect a Democrat. If you're only response in the face of income inequality, lack of health care and a global financial crisis is "redistribution is wrong!" then your party most certainly does not deserve to be in charge of the country.

Jim Hu said...

Note that the aunt had enough money to donate to her nephew's campaign.

Smilin' Jack said...

He talks about getting people to work, helping them get the health insurance coverage, improving access to education, and so forth. It's sophistry to say he's just taking your money and giving it to someone else.

That's right. He's not just going to take your money and give it to someone else. He's also going to make you listen to tiresome long-winded speeches about why it's the right thing to do, and, by extension, how righteous he is in doing it.

I prefer getting mugged; at least a mugger just takes your money and doesn't waste your time with a lot of BS.

AntonK said...

African relatives? I didn't know South Boston was in Africa

Arturius said...

I would like to share a personal example of why spreading the wealth is a failure. My brother who is a year older, made the decision to forego higher education and continue working at the manufacturing plant he got a job at after high school. After 12 years of well paid work he was laid off with a stay at home wife and three kids. He found new employment, making about two thirds of what he was then. Fast forward. Two years ago the transmission in his truck tanked and he needed a new car. Money is tight and Mom pressures me to lend a hand cause ‘John’ is struggling with bills and has three kids and ‘Sally’ doesn’t work. So I gave him $7000 to put down on a new car figuring he’d get something economical and with a sizable down payment have an affordable monthly payment. Nope, he ends up buying a $27,000 SUV. The kicker is when he tells me he wanted the roomy SUV to make their road trip to Savannah for summer vacation more comfortable. Needless to say I made it quite clear that until his kids are starving, complete with distended bellies and living under an overpass I won’t give the man a red cent. And even then I’ll have to ponder it.

Now my brother is a not a deadbeat but a hard working guy. He’ll work any overtime he can. His problem is he has no sense of financial priorities whose outlook is that somehow he’ll muddle through. He saw absolutely no problem in using money I gave him to buy an automobile he really can’t afford and then go on a vacation he really can’t afford. Now of course this is a personal anecdote but I’m willing to wager that every family in the country has one of their own.

Just a side note: Senator Obama’s commentary to ‘Joe the Plumber’ about spreading the wealth around would come back to Joe in the form of customers who would have the money to afford his services sounds an awful lot like trickledown economics. Funny, Senator Obama and his supporters never struck me as the types who thought Reagan’s economic theories had any credibility.

Mark said...

Has anyone else noticed that since Ms. Althouse came out for Obama, that her posts related to criticisms of him are mainly defences of him that interpret his words and choices in the most favorable light? That's just human nature of course, since people want to justify their decisions.

I predict we're going to have a certain number of months of this until at some point his outrages and contradictions and blatant socialist choices pile up high enough that, as happened with many Clinton supporters in the 90's, she just can't go on defending him.

MadisonMan said...

Disaster at my house this morning! I'm making an apple pie and I don't have any lemons! Now how can I make the flavors in the pie pop!

I also ran out of cinnamon. Disaster. This will be one interesting-tasting pie.

Now how am I supposed to worry about someone's relatives with all this going on chez moi? But let's talk about Cindy McCain's half-sister and how well she and her family are treated.

Skeletons exist in the closets of everyone's family.

Bob said...

Jack, we've been running deficits since WWII. Just they have been gradually getting progressively bigger. The populace is beginning to understand that they can now raid the treasury for bread and circus.

BJK said...

I have never heard Obama translate "I am my brother's keeper" into soft-hearted handouts.

Nah, he just wants to "spread the wealth around" by raising tax rates, and give refundable, regressive tax credits (assuming that part of the plan actually goes through).

I'm fine with holding people accountable for their own actions; OTOH, I think that if Obama wants to help people like his uncle and aunt, he shouldn't expect taxpaymers making more than $150,000-250,000 (a number that keeps sliding downward) to do what he won't do personally. Liberals love spending other people's money.

You also skipped over my noting that Obama's line "I am my brother's keeper" when the biblical passage is "Am I my brother's keeper?" when God asks Cain about Abel. People recognize the latter part of the quote from the Bible, but I have not heard one pundit comment on how transposing the beginning of the quote implies religious justification for collectivist liberalism. Or am I just supposed to believe that's unintentional?

Jeff said...

"Obama pays and expects us to pay taxes and he supports progressive tax rates."

Ah, I see... taxes = charity. Oh and taxes = patriotism. This is going to be great! Think of all the virtues we'll exhibit under the Obama administration just by writing a check! My artificial self-esteem is going thru the roof! :-D

Darcy said...

"Should Barack Obama be giving handouts to his impoverished African relatives?"

No. Apparently, he should be giving other people's money to them. How this is even a question is disturbing. He's used them all for his "story" - the one that everybody is buying, remember? How much he cares?

And beyond that, no one finds it offensive that the campaign asked her to stay out of the limelight?

Good heavens.

JAL said...

Since we're into the Bible here:

"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

1 Timothy 5:8

Since he made mention of the relative positively in his book, there seems to be some degee of relationship here besides blood.

MadisonMan said...

I love double-edged headlines in the paper, like the one this morning: Palin: I'm not going anywhere. Now, the story is about her staying on the National Scene regardless of the election results, but the headline can certainly be read a different way!

I agree that there is no evidence that Obama has not helped his relatives. Sorry about the double negative. I also think a story Obama's African Aunt lives comfortably in Boston would not sell papers like other headline. Would it have been so hard for the Times to get a freelance to take a picture of the rundown hovel so we can judge for ourselves?

Barry said...

1) Any discussion of Obama's desire to "spread the wealth" around without acknowledgment that both parties have accepted the progressive tax system as a proper method for governance is disingenuous. The real debate over redistributive taxation only comes from outside the two party system. Republicans and Democrats alike have accepted the current state of taxation for at least the past 28 years. They only quibble over how much to tax wealth and how to spend it.

2) The Obama family financial affairs are their own business. In spite of what this reporter sees, we cannot know what the actual relationship between these people and Obama are, nor what may have transpired in the past, nor what the true feelings involved are. They may have well already hit up Obama for money, or may have not done so on the grounds that they don't really know him, regardless of supposed familial ties. I haven't seen or spoke to my own Aunt and Uncle from one side of my family in over three years. We live hundreds of miles apart. I wouldn't ask them for money if I needed it. There just isn't that kind of relationship there.

Justin said...

MadisonMan said...

I don't have any lemons! I also ran out of cinnamon.

Did you learn nothing from the Boy Scouts? Be prepared.

I'm starting to think you're not really serious about this pie.

Cedarford said...

I wonder how those two old black African parasites got into the US and now subsist off sponging up taxpayer dollars.

If Obama sponsored them and other relatives of his shiftless Kenyan clan to get in - then yes, he has a moral responsibility to live up to his immigration sponsorship pledge that he will work to ensure his "reunified family members" do not become public charges.

If Obama is uninvolved, well, then he is in Cindy McCain's situation. Not supporting other family members, not a soft touch. Cindy McCains two exceptions are her trophy hero husband and an elderly aunt she got a condo, living assistants, and a generous stipend for. But basically nothing for her sisters.

Lots of money and no support for various relatives does not mean heartlessness - just a sense what's mine is not yours - and blood relation is no compelling claim.

(Cindy got Daddys money while two other half sisters he sired were basically stiffed and given nothing in his will).

As for not funding such people as the African parasites Obama as from taxpayer funds and claiming Obama should have the obligation? Well, is there anyone that wishes a law passed so that anyone in financial straits or destitute should be able to go to court and force other family members to pay rather than state services?
That, to me, would be an unacceptable law.

And it irks me to no end that we permit parasites to immigrate directly here, that family reunification can mean some 1st Gen American can bring in 25 relatives or so - 7 productive people and not public charges - but 18 that end up sponging off regular Americans. And it irks me that illegals can collect welfare and get free health care.

JAL said...

I read elsewhere that auntie is illegal.

If so (who knows?)

1. How did she get here?
2. Isn't her donation illegal?

And then there is this:

He is responsible for every relative? Of course not.

Shouldn't the wealth and influence of he and Michelle have trickle down for relatives he has identified for his benefit?

Helping auntie find job in her field (computer stuff?) would have been good. Perhaps Harvard would have had a place for her? (Where does she work? She's younger than I am!)

If her income was higher of course she would probably no longer qualify for her place in the housing authority in Boston. She is the recipient of the largesse of the people of Massachusetts, the Feds and America's "rich." (anyone paying taxes).

Helping auntie would then be harming Obama and his plan for our lives.

Joan said...

MadisonMan, use cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar, and you'll be fine. I also recommend nutmeg and/or allspice. They are both quite nice with apples, but be sparing with their use. Finally, a belated congratulations to your mother on her bridge accomplishments. My family's game is whist (similar to bridge but with much less complicated bidding), and playing such games sharpens the mind while allowing you to spend many happy hours with close relatives. More people should play!

Re the topic at hand, Obama is big on quoting that "brother's keeper" line (incorrectly), but he never gets to "charity begins at home." And there's a huge difference between money freely given and money compelled by the government.

It's absurd to say "McCain is just as bad" because he supports progressive taxation. McCain is not talking about cutting checks for the 40% of Americans who pay no taxes. Like most people, I don't have a problem with lower income people paying a smaller percentage of, or no, taxes. I do have a problem with them collecting (my) money from the government.

Wendy said...

Another question that interests me is, in the event that he wins, what's the Secret Service evaluation of Obama's relatives (his half-brother in Kenya is another good example; they've met once) who are close to him genetically but not personally, as potential targets?

Will this half-brother (I'm sorry, I don't remember his name) receive Secret Service protection as he lives in poverty in Africa? And if not, do we risk the easy acquisition of such a symbolically powerful target? Surely it would cost the Service less to bring him to the United States and subsidize his life here... and then we've arrived at the national-security version of the same question.

Skyler said...

Ann commented,

"Handouts to people with special connections are less, not more compelling."

Ann, your comment was incredibly disingenuous, dissembling, and could only be made based on the assumption that we are all stupid.

Not many people object to charity for those that are unable to work. This is not disputed by the public at large.

What Obama wants to do is expand that charity, not to those unable to work, but to those he deems worthy by some measure of their failure to achieve.

Obama wants to take my money from me, and I make a lot less money than he makes, and redistribute (or spread around) the wealth of those who do work and give it to those who can work but haven't succeeded to a level that he wants.

We are on Hayek's road to serfdom. Socialism often starts with benevolent intentions by the voters, but the adoption of socialism means that someone has to choose whom to take the money from and whom to give the money to. This is a guarantee of corruption, because the corrupt understand the power that this gives them.

Obama wants to redistribute our wealth, those of us who have worked and earned our money. Yet he has never really had a job in his life and has been the beneficiary of incredible largess of others. Yet he doesn't help his own brother in Africa, his Aunt in Boston, or others in his family.

This is not a case of hiding his Christian charity. It's a case of him having a log in his eye.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'd be happy to know he's not a soft touch.

Your use of the conditional rather than the indicative is noted and appreciated.

LutherM said...

Matthew 25:41-45

41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Obama pays and expects us to pay taxes and he supports progressive tax rates. He also supports certain kinds of government programs to help the some people and various policies to promote economic development. So do mainstream conservatives.

There is nothing wrong with progressive tax rates either. Those who make more should be expected to pay a fair proportion. Who decides what is fair and what the taxes are being used for is the issue. I have stated many times that I do not object to paying taxes when they are used for the "purposes of government".

The fundamental purpose of government is the maintenance of basic security and public order

The purpose of government isn't to take money from one segement of society and literally GIVE it in the form of cash to another segment.

This is why I object to the form of the 'bail out bill'. Giving money to failing businesses. Taking money from the responsible tax payers and giving money to people who made bad decisions. To the extent that the bail out might, maybe, possibly prevent a national recession or world wide depression it could qualify as a purpose of government. Preserving the common welfare and maintaining order.

The purpose of government isn't (or shouldn't be) to create a permanent welfare class subsidized by the working class.

Charity is not the purpose of government. If Obama wants to give money to those he considers less fortunate, he is perfectly capable of doing so. If I want to support the battered women's and children's shelter (which I do) or donate for interview and work clothing for those trying to enter the workforce (which I do) then it is my choice.

Charity is voluntary. So is community service. If it isn't done voluntary it is either robbery or forced servitude.

Justin said...

This really doesn't surprise. Maybe he hasn't given money to his relatives (and we really don't know if he has or hasn't) because he believes it's the government's responsibility.

I read somewhere (I'm too lazy to look it up) that conservatives give more to charity than liberals. The reason speculated was that liberals think the government should be doing it through redistributive tax plans. Whereas conservatives thought it should be left up to the individual.

A personal example: I think the government should spend more money on schools. My wife used to be a public school teacher (in Texas). I often encouraged her not to spend her (our) money on teaching supplies. It wasn't because I didn't think the schools deserved the money, I just thought it was the responsibility of the government to pay for education, not individual teachers. Besides, if the schools get what they need from teachers spending their own money for supplies, then why should the government step in a do its job?

Mark said...

"Yes, he said "spread the wealth around," but how does he mean to do it? It should cheer us to learn that he loathes handouts."

Well, here's the rub, Professor: we don't know how he means to do it. And the only thing we're really sure of is that he loathes handouts when the hand comes from his own pocket.

Your desire to think the best of Obama is getting in the way of your objectivity, I think. Stop projecting your best hopes and instead look at how the man has run his campaign.

SteveR said...

So he owes them royalties because they existed?

I looked back at my post and never saw the word "royalties". My admittely subtle point is I don't "owe" them anything either.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Madison Man......What Joan said.

use cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar, and you'll be fine. I also recommend nutmeg and/or allspice. They are both quite nice with apples, but be sparing with their use.

Throw in some raisins if you think the lack of spices might make your pie bland. Put an egg wash on your crust before cooking. It will cook up nicly brown and shiny.

Sorry for the digression.

Justin said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Throw in some raisins...

Nothing will ruin a pie faster than raisins. That is the ultimate crime. The same goes for nuts in cookies and brownies.

Daryl said...

He wants to give handouts to everyone else (tax "credits" for people who don't even pay federal income taxes)

If his family members had moved to Chicago, I'm sure he could have found them jobs, and maybe sent an earmark in their direction.

C or J said...

It appears that Genesis 5:19 is rapidly turning into the least understood passage in the Bible.

The question, "am I my brother's keeper?" is a smart-alecky response to God concerning the whereabouts of Abel.

Words have meaning and these are being abused by most, including Obama. Animals have keepers, felons have keepers, and the word implies restraint and the abridgement of normal liberty. I guess they don't have dictionaries at Harvard--or Madison, for that matter.

Mary said...

I have never heard Obama translate "I am my brother's keeper" into soft-hearted handouts. He talks about getting people to work, helping them get the health insurance coverage, improving access to education, and so forth.

So where's the record of him actually accomplishing this within his own family?

Or even trying to get them to work, helping them with insurance premiums or loaning them $$ for education? Oh right ... it's the public who should be helping his family, not himself.

He's too busy telling the country how he's going to help people get work, pay for insurance premiums, and improve public education via more fund for early childhood education.

He can organize the South Side Chicago, yet his own family members are on their own after the book is published and they are no longer props.

My mother taught me ... Charity begins at Home. I think she meant it too.

Wendy said...

I'm going to copy the article on George Obama below. Note how George Obama denies the relationship to Barack because George is "ashamed" of himself for his poverty. Note also the last paragraph of the article, about the routine violence of the area in which he lives.

This man has not asked for anything from his brother, but is now likely to become a target for kidnappers, extortionists and terrorists.

***



By Nick Pisa in Rome

Thursday August 21 2008

A brother of Senator Barack Obama has been tracked down for the first time living in a shanty town in Kenya.

The Italian edition of 'Vanity Fair' magazine said that it had found George Hussein Onyango Obama living in a 10ft by 6ft hut -- decorated with football posters of the Italian football giants AC Milan and Inter, as well as a calendar showing exotic beaches of the world -- in the town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Mr Obama (26), the youngest of the US Democratic presidential candidate's half-brothers, spoke for the first time about his life. "No one knows who I am," he said.

Embarrassed by his penury, he said that he does not mention his famous half-brother in conversation. "I live like a recluse, no one knows I exist. I live on less than a dollar a month. If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed."

For 10 years, George Obama lived rough. However, he now hopes to sort his life out by starting a course at a local technical college.

Mr Obama has the same father, Barack Hussein Obama, but a different mother, named only as Jael.

He has a newspaper photograph of the senator but they have met only twice -- once when he was just five and in 2006 when Senator Obama was on a tour of East Africa.

The Illinois senator mentions his brother in his autobiography, describing him in just one passing paragraph as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head".

Of their second meeting, George Obama said: "It was very brief, we spoke for just a few minutes. It was like meeting a complete stranger." He added he was no longer in contact with his mother and said: "I have had to learn to live and take what I need.

"Huruma is a tough place. Last January, during the elections there was rioting and six people were hacked to death. The police don't even arrest you; they just shoot you. I have seen two of my friends killed. I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists.'' (© Daily Telegraph, London)

peter hoh said...

Remember that McCain wants to take my money (and yours) to help strangers who have not been keeping up with their mortgage payments.

adogzilla2 said...

I should be willing to support Obama's family and others with my tax money? He says he is his brother's keeper, let him put his money where his mouth is.

By their own admission the Obamas are wealthy. And he is where he is partly by using his family in his books. Let them share in his prosperity, then. Or are they just props for his use on his climb to success?

Meanwhile, I have my own family to look after, which I am doing without the government's help, thank you.

This is a perfect examply of why his Marxist vision is BS and won't work in America.

Arturius said...

He talks about getting people to work, helping them get the health insurance coverage, improving access to education, and so forth. It's sophistry to say he's just taking your money and giving it to someone else.

I’d like to hear a bit more on how he’s going to get people to work because honestly, I’ve heard more about tax cuts for 95% of working families which doesn’t do much for job creation. Health insurance can be solved tomorrow. Expand Medicare to everyone and raise the Part B premium everyone has to pay say, 10% and participation is mandatory unless you provide proof of alternate coverage. No excuses from the twenty something crowd who think they’re invincible up to their first visit to the emergency room. Education is already easily accessible. Graduate high school and get an acceptable score on the SAT. I can’t imagine making it any easier unless you simply open it to everyone regardless of academic achievment. College also doesn’t have to be four years and out. Loans and working is how I and many others did it (Almost six years). Rather than funnel more tax dollars into already bloated university coffers, perhaps insist on some accountability as to why tuition rates seem to unreasonably increase 4%-5% per annum. If private enterprise can be hauled in front of congressional hearings to justify exhorbiant price increases, it’s good enough for university deans as well.

Quickest way to increase job growth is expand Medicare universially which would remove a monstrous financial burden on US employers and also reduce the corporate tax rate which is the second highest in the world.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I don't know why this is so hard for the DBQ's and others (like McCain to grasp), but we've been running massive deficits for the duration of the Bush years."

Hey, she's a financial adviser!

Yes, and as a financial advisor, I counsel people to make a budget, stick with it. Don't spend more than you are making, don't buy things you can't afford, make priorities and stick to them, sell things you don't need if you are in dire circumstances, downsize your life style. AND start putting 10% of your income aside for yourself.

This is why conservatives are disgusted with the Bush administration which spent us into a huge deficit and why we are appalled at the upcoming even larger spending spree that Obama is proposing. How is he going to fund this? He is going to tax us all to death.

We need to cut programs, cut government waste, cut government employees, cut government wages. Not create grandiose new programs that are basically social engineering wet dreams (community service corps, universal pre school, universal health insurance, give away's and cash rebates for people who don't even pay taxes.)

When you have dug yourself into a hole, it's time to put down the shovel.

I don't know why it is so hard for liberals like nrn312 to get over their BDS and realize that conservative doesn't = Bush approval

laura said...

So MM, I'm reading a lot about the contents of the pie...what about the crust? You're using lard, right? If not, well, my husband and mother-in-law would be greatly disappointed.

mrs whatsit said...

Goodness, Ann. The problem is not whether he is a bad person for failing to give his needy relatives undeserved handouts. The problem is that he is proposing to use the power of government to make ME give undeserved handouts to other people's relatives and to remove from me the choice that he feels free to exercise. This makes him, in some measure, hypocritical. It also gives us useful information about what he thinks about government's entitlement, not only to my money, but to my freedom of choice. The money that will be taken from me in taxes to be given to his poor relatives will no longer be available to ME to help my own. You may not see that as a problem. I do.

In addition, he has USED these people as supporting characters in his books to help create his political image and propel himself to where he is. Having climbed on them to get to the top, is it really so dreadful to suggest that, knowing that some of them are in need, he might have considered giving them some help?

You wrote: "By the way, that aunt is 56 years old. She should work for a living." I somehow missed the part in Obama's tax plan that excluded people of working age from the tax-credit handouts he has proposed.

I don't remember another post of yours that relies as much as this one does on rationalization rather than reason. You are reaching awfully hard to find a way not to see this as a problem. It seems to be blinding you.

MadisonMan said...

FWIW, I completely agree, 100%, with Justin's comment at 10:28. I will add that raisins in cookies are deal-breaker too. The pie is out of the oven and cooling. It smells of apples nutmeg and ginger. It's nice and warm in the kitchen now (the best reason to cook a pie in the fall: Heat up the house!).

If Obama's aunt was here, I would gladly give her a slice with some nice sharp cheddar cheese. I would say that Barack and Michelle would do the same if she visited them in Chicago. But she better get here fast: my daughter and my son's friend are pie vacuums and there's no school today.

Sorry to be so off-topic today. This is such a non-story to me though. Does the Times think it is easy to get from Chicago to Boston to check on relatives when one is raising a family? I think Obama's early life molded him into someone who looks out for himself first -- given his upbringing, that would be a key to survival. It looks like he broadened that outlook when he married and had kids. Should we criticize him when it appears (and again, is there evidence this aunt is actually neglected?) that he has not again broadened his life at a time when so many family demands are already there (I'm talking about raising two kids). One of the many things having kids has taught me is that it is impossible to know the circumstances behind another family's choices.

TosaGuy said...

A society can be judged compassionate when it provides for those in need within that society.

Unfortunately, too many people derive their personal sense of compassion from this societal arrangement. They judge themselves to be compassionate when they demand that the tax dollars of others be collected and spent. Taking from others in order to give to someone else does not make a person compassionate. Giving from only yourself makes you compassionate.

There are people who think they are compassionate simply because they vote for certain people and don't lift a finger otherwise to help those in need. Compassion can only come from personal, voluntary sacrifice. Paying taxes and demanding that others pay higher taxes does not fit that definition.

Buford Gooch said...

This is perfect. This demonstrates Mr. Obama's mind set. "Since the government is supposed to take money from the rich to give to the poor, there is no further obligation for the rich to give money to anyone directly not even their own close relatives."

Obama almost certainly believes he is supporting these close relatives through his income tax.

Smilin' Jack said...

Should Barack Obama be giving handouts to his impoverished African relatives?

That would be a dangerous precedent for him. "Spreading the wealth" only seems morally right to people if they think they will get more from it...i.e. some rich American will have to pay for their education, mortgage, health care, etc. But redistribution on a global scale--i.e sending most of America's wealth to Africa--would mean even Obama supporters here would have less. Suddenly redistribution would be seen as morally wrong, and Obama's support would vanish.

Obama can't do anything that might make his supporters suspect that "spreading the wealth" is anything more than code words for giving them something for nothing.

MadisonMan said...

Laura, my wife made a pie last week and used up the lard, so my crust is half butter, half crisco. I just had the last spiced rollup that I made with the leftover dough. Nice and flaky!

The grocery list is long this week.

I don't think the government is asking mrs. whatsit to support others' families forever, by the way: the govt is trying to teach them to fish, to continue the biblical theme, along the lines of welfare to work here in WI.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dualdiagnosis said...

TosaGuy-

Well Done.

"There are people who think they are compassionate simply because they vote for certain people and don't lift a finger otherwise to help those in need. Compassion can only come from personal, voluntary sacrifice. Paying taxes and demanding that others pay higher taxes does not fit that definition."

Paying no taxes, and demanding that others pay more to spread the wealth around and solve all problems.


The Liberal Catechism.

downtownlad said...

The wingnuts believe their own propaganda, which is that Obama is a socialist.

Because Fox News told them this, then it must be true.

Obama favors letting the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010- as they are already set to do according to the current law. And by the way, these are the same tax cuts that John McCain initially voted against.

And Obama also favors a tax cut for 95% of Americans.

And somehow this is "socialism". Only according to people who have absolutely no idea what the word "socialism" is.

I'll told you about socialism. Socialism is when the government starts buying private companies, such as banks, as happened two weeks ago under the Bush administration.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't think the government is asking mrs. whatsit to support others' families forever, by the way: the govt is trying to teach them to fish, to continue the biblical theme, along the lines of welfare to work here in WI.

Giving people money for nothing isn't teaching them anything. I'm all for the welfare to work program. I personally donate, my clothing to a group that helps women and men who want to get a job but don't have the proper clothing. I also donate my time to help them learn interview skills.

If you want to teach someone how to .....oh....say make a pie, then they will become self sufficient. However, if you just give them a piece of the pie you just made they will be at your door every day asking for pie.

Speaking of which....raisins do not ruin the pie. I'm eating a slice right now and it's delicious.

dualdiagnosis said...

downtownlad-

"Obama favors..., Obama favors..."

Policy positions and campaign rhetoric are worthless without adding in to the mix character, track record of following through on past promises, etc..

Liberals tend to fall in love with the words of their politicians, look no further than the diehards who believe that Kucinich would be a perfect President because of his rhetoric.

WJ Clinton ran hard on a middle class tax cut, what happened to that one?

William said...

When younger, I caddied at a golf course that had the occasional celebrity or political bigshot play through. We all wanted those loops, not because of the glamour of those personages but because of the largesse of their tips. When you are a public figure, you cannot leave a 20% tip. You play by a different set of rules. On the plus side you get to jump the tee off line, but you have to leave a bigger tip to the mortals who lug your bags around the course. The President has a different set of familial obligations than we do.....I have several relatives who have come to me in time of need. I did not feel any sense of obligation to them, but I anted up. It's a no win situation. If you give them money, you feel like a chump. If you deny them help, you feel like a prick. I dislike pricks more than I dislike chumps, so generally I give. There are things you have to do not because they are wise or in your self interest, but because you have to do them. Maybe this shows Obama is not a chump; maybe this shows that Obama's highest principle is self interest.....I admire the generosity of your interpretation that Obama may have given to his relatives but is too noble to make a big deal of it. You entered the tank at the shallow end and have now learned to swim in it.

Justin said...

DBQ,

Fox News told me that raisins do ruin a pie. Therefore it must be true. The debate is over.

You must be watching that liberal CNN. I hear they put raisins in their coffee.

Bob said...

Perhaps a more appropriate Bible reference for this discussion is from 1 Timothy 5:8: " If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. My opinion is that Sen. Obama has a completely post-modern world view in which all truth, including notions of obligation or responsibility, is completely situational. Those of us with a 'modern' world view that includes judgments about right / wrong, good / evil, morality and obligation and so on, don't understand Sen. Obama's world view. What I see as a 'flip-flop' or a 'lie' will be viewed as a 'nuanced response to a complex situation' by someone with a post-modern world view. So, is Sen. Obama 'worse than an unbeliever'? In his world view, no. It is up to the government (or some other entity) to take care of his relatives, because that's what those institutions exist to do. Should he take care of them? No, because (I suspect) in his world view that is not what he exists to do.

Justin said...

I think I voted too early. This morning, on the way to work, I heard a campaign commercial for a politician. It was, by far, the most obnoxious campaign jingle I've ever heard. If I had heard it before I voted, I would not have voted for this politician.

Also, all this talk of pie reminds me of this. Now I wish I had voted for Obama.

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.


But what does the Talmud say? Unless Obama bragged in one of his books that he gave them all pink Cadillacs, I think he could have slipped them more than a couple of C notes and still not expect to fall under Jesus' criticism.

Rich B said...

Ann-

Rush is talking about this right now, using some Obama soundbites to compare and contrast his actions and words.

Obama's big on words, don'tcha know.

wind.rider said...

Wow. The mental gymnastics necessary to reconcile Obama's blatantly hypocritical 'brother's keeper' lines with the reality of how he's treated his own blood relatives is impressive.

That he hasn't given his half-aunt or half-brother direct handouts isn't really the point, what I found more revealing was giving his word to his extended family to try and set up an OPM (other people's money) way to get them funding for schools and other public works items to generally improve their lot in life - but when the OPM fell through, so did his interest in helping them out.

This man looked his own relatives in the eye, made them promises, then when the plan fell apart, he shrugged and moved on.

It's not so much that he didn't hand them a fish, it's that he didn't follow through on his promises to teach them to fish, to apply the concept of the old saying.

And we, people not even related to him, are supposed to believe his fishing stories now?

I think not.

Trooper York said...

If Mort were awake he would tell you it is racist to bake four and twenty blackbirds in a pie.

But rasins are ok.

Daniel in Brookline said...

Has anyone noticed that we've been discussing actual news-gathering journalism from a British newspaper, scooping every American newspaper in the process?

And has anyone noticed that we've been complaining like children about additional details the London Times could have provided?

Do some legwork, people. I was able to find Ms. Onyango's street address with a few minutes of online searching. (And yes, it's in a pretty run-down Boston neighborhood.)

I will not publish it... and I hope nobody else does, either. But if you want to know more about how Sen. Obama's aunt lives, look her up. It ain't hard.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

X said...

in fairness he did help his wife get a fat raise by giving her hospital a million taxpayer bucks, so it's not like he never ever helps a relative.

Arturius said...

Yes, and as a financial advisor, I counsel people ....AND start putting 10% of your income aside for yourself.

At a minimum. I also strongly suggest that if you are not maximizing your 401K (assuming you have one) then reduce whatever discretionary expenses until you can.

The most important function of financial advisors is keeping their clients from doing something stupid.

SFC B said...

I lived in South Boston for two years. If she's living in the housing project I'm thinking of, it is a pretty run-down location. It's not like it's a violent slum, but it's not someplace one aspires to live when they come to the USA.

Back when I lived there South Boston wasn't a bad place at all. Not a whole lot of violence (fights outside of bars were about the worst of it), however the streets were in terrible condition and parking is HORRIBLE. The city made it even worse when they banned parking on the streets after a girl died in a fire because a fire truck couldn't get there quickly due to cars parked on the street.

Terry said...

Obama: “Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

Obama cravenly bashes the entire nation (and we know he really means the white people of this nation) in an ideological appeal to America-hating leftists, and in so doing leaves himself fully and justifiably vulnerable to exactly the criticisms he's receiving today.

If he were anywhere near as smart as he is made out to be, he would not have allowed his ideology to overcome political common sense.

And imagine if it was Sarah Palin's poor aunt making the news...

mrs whatsit said...

I don't think the government is asking mrs. whatsit to support others' families forever, by the way: the govt is trying to teach them to fish, to continue the biblical theme, along the lines of welfare to work here in WI.

Madisonman, I don't think I said I was being asked to do anything forever. At worst, Mr. Obama will be in power only eight years. Also, I have no problem at all with welfare to work plans -- contrariwise, I'm a fan -- and I don't even happen to know what Obama's position is on such programs. It's not just his general liberality about government spending but the handouts in his TAX PLAN I have the most trouble with, as contrasted with the ways he chooses to use his own money. I'm not aware of a link between his proposed tax credits and any metaphorical teaching people to fish, but if it's in there, please tell me about it.

MayBee said...

the govt is trying to teach them to fish, to continue the biblical theme, along the lines of welfare to work here in WI.

Do you have any guess as to why, at this point in time, these people don't know how to fish?

Is there a cutoff date at which we should assume people should have already learned to fish? Or do we just keep teaching until everybody decides to fish?

Trooper York said...

I think Obama should set up a program to teach a man how to properly eat the fish taco.

With a filmstrip and the overhead projector slides please.

Thank you.

Smilin' Jack said...

MadisonMan said...
Laura, my wife made a pie last week and used up the lard, so my crust is half butter, half crisco. I just had the last spiced rollup that I made with the leftover dough. Nice and flaky!


Enjoy your saturated fats while you still can, commie. Once O gets in you'll be sent to the Gulag if you're caught with that stuff.

knox said...

let's talk about Cindy McCain's half-sister and how well she and her family are treated.

But... McCain's not asking other people to give $$$ to his sister-in-law. Obama is. That is the material point.

Stephen said...

My Father-In-Law is the most generous person I know. He has basically taken care of every person in my mother-in-law's family either financially or by providing employment. That includes his brother-in-law who was a convicted drug dealer and who subsequently sued my dad in law for back problem due to work related injures (they manufacture oilfield equipment). He gives excessively to charity and has even helped out his kids a time or two. If I use my dad in law as a model, I'd say there's plenty Obama could be doing to help his family out. He doesn't have to send money--why aren't these family members employed by his campaign? The fact that he doesn't do more undermines his credibility that he actually cares about anything other than his own ambitions.

steambadger said...

But... McCain's not asking other people to give $$$ to his sister-in-law.

He's not? You mean to say John McCain has promised to abolish all taxes and set up a libertarian paradise?

Whoo-hoo!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think Obama should set up a program to teach a man how to properly eat the fish taco.

Now you're talking. A skill every man should master.

Enjoy your saturated fats while you still can, commie. Once O gets in you'll be sent to the Gulag if you're caught with that stuff.

"despite its reputation, lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight"

They came for the Crisco and I didn't speak up because I don't use Crisco** They came for the Lard and again I didn't complain. They came for the butter and only Betty Crocker was left to complain.....and she isn't even real.

**Actually, I complained loud and long and stockpiled the bad Crisco. The new Crisco sucks.

TMink said...

Outstanding use of Scripture. And I think that his poor relations are not our business. But here are some Biblical and FF quotes on poverty and redistribution of wealth that people might enjoy reading.

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816

"If anyone isn't willing to work, he should not eat. For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work of others. Now we command and exhort such people, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that quietly working, they may eat their own bread. Brothers, do not grow weary doing good" — 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13

For me there is a HUGE distinction between the truly disabled and the lazy. I think that your quote and mine show this distinction quite well. We are to help the truly needy by giving and help the dependent by "making them uncomfortable in their poverty" as Ben Franklin said.

Trey

Darcy said...

Smilin' Jack said:
Enjoy your saturated fats while you still can, commie. Once O gets in you'll be sent to the Gulag if you're caught with that stuff.


Geez. Umm...his posts happen to be very thoughtful - I appreciate especially the fact that while he doesn't mind some of the "wealth redistribution", he doesn't appear to be resentful of the rich and wanting to stick it to them, either.

Anyway, enjoyed your pie posts, MadisonMan. May you always have lard. Ok...that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean. :)

TMink said...

The new Crisco sucks as bad as new coke did! Lard is an excellent fat with a bad rap. Like most fats, it is important to watch how much of it you consume, but those great Belgian pommes frites are cooked in beef tallow! And you cannot make a great pie crust (or biscuit) without the old crisco or some lard.

Trey

John Harper said...

I spent two years living and working in Africa, and I think something needs to be explained regarding Obama's poverty-stricken African relatives. African cultures in general take family relationships very seriously and it is widely assumed that if a member of the family becomes wealthy, especially millionaires like Barak and Michelle Obama, that they have an obligation to significantly improve the standard of living of their relatives.

The reason that Obama's relatives shamelessly ask him for money is that they see no shame whatsoever in doing so, in fact they see it as their right as a relative to share in the prosperity of their family member. They see the wealth as belonging to their family and not to the individuals. In their eyes, the true shame would lie in amassing millions of dollars and not spreading the wealth around inside the family group.

Kirby Olson said...

If Obama's relatives were to speak up, who would listen? All the news stations and newspapers are in the tank for Obama. It would be easier to say something against Stalin in Pravda than for anyone to say anything against Obama in any of the mainstream media (except Fox).

If someone were to go to any of these relatives and ask for their story, they would probably sing all day long about how much they hate Obama. But it's not allowed to happen.

If it did happen, no one would listen.

If anyone did listen, they would immediately dismiss it.

thirdleg said...

What is the point of the Bible passage? It doesn't say not to give alms. It says not to give alms in order to make yourself look good.

Synova said...

How much of your money do you hand over to relatives who make less than you? Is that a moral obligation? Is it even a kindness? Shouldn't they have the incentive to take responsibility and work for themselves?


How much of your money should the government had over to people who make less than you? Is that a moral obligation? Is it even a kindness? Shouldn't they have the incentive to take responsibility and work for themselves?

Why yes, Ann.

They should.

The benefit of helping family, besides being a moral obligation, is that you know family and you know what they need, and you know better than anyone when to say "no."

As for wanting to give away "government" money to help your relatives but not your own...

It's the hypocrisy.

Christy said...

Don't you think he could reach out and arrange a job for her at the very least? How hard would that be? Plenty of pretend jobs to be had for those with the right connections. Doesn't ACORN have a Boston office?

Oh, and what Synova said.

Synova said...

Handouts to people with special connections are less, not more compelling.

Ann, have you ever read Ayn Rand?

I read Atlas Shrugged a very long time ago, and I'll admit that I skimmed a whole lot of it. One of the ideas I noticed, though, was that taking care of one's own family was considered morally questionable. You only really counted as a good person if you took care of people you didn't know and had no emotional connection to.

And I scoffed because I was certain no one actually thought that way.

mccullough said...

Obama doesn't need to be helping his relatives other than the grandma who raised him.

He also doesn't need to raise taxes on working Americans to give the money to other working Americans who aren't as smart and don't work as hard.

Obama's wealthy (and will get wealthier) so he can live off capital gains. If he wants, then he can whack the very wealthy with net worth taxes, put he shouldn't punish people who work for a living.

laura said...

A couple years ago, we (my husband and I) were in a situation with a close family member - a family member living below the poverty line, a learning disability and an addiction. She was living with us for a short while, as she tried to get her life together. She disappeared on us a few times, with some of those being to the local detox center.

There was an ongoing discussion within the larger family as to what to do to try and help her. Money and emotional support were suggested. Both were given with boundaries clearly drawn. Eventually, she got back up on her feet.

You just don't know what's going on within a family and why decisions are made the way they are. Families do the best that they can. Perhaps material goods/money were offered, but refused. For some, the offer of money is a slap in the face. We don't know. We don't need to know. It's none of our damn business even if he is running for President.

Beldar said...

Sorry, Prof. A, but this is the single least persuasive post I've ever read from you.

If you were court-appointed counsel for Obama on this charge, this would meet the constitutional standard of effective assistance -- but you'd still lose every time with these arguments.

Your main problem is that your client has already acted in a manner inconsistent with your justifications for him, i.e., by trying (via his staff) to cover up the aunt.

If he's the tough-but-fair moralist you posit -- ha! ha! ahhhh-ha-ha! sorry, had to get that out -- then he ought to have used her as a national example and brought affirmative press attention to her situation.

As is, your defense is altogether too much like the "he took all that money from the open bank vault because he was concerned that someone else might steal it" defense -- logically possible, but utterly contrary to common sense.

blake said...

If you have a brother who sits around, not earning money, and demanding handouts, the right way to be his "keeper" is to get him to take responsibility for himself.

Althouse, you're so hard-hearted.

blake said...

I kind of like the idea that redistributionists are "soft-hearted" or "bleeding-heart liberals". Yeah, Mao and Stalin were soft touches, weren't they?

ireign22 said...

Ann, your post was foolish. There are many politicians who are particularly stingy or frugal (depending on your disposition) with their own money and magnamous with the public's money. And the reverse is also true. I would much rather have the latter than the former.

The fact that Obama is stingy with his own purse strings tells us nothing about his committment to fiscal discipline. However, his public record tells us a lot.

I would much rather that Obama toss his relatives a few dollars than having Massachusetts taxpayers subsidize them.

Potter said...

I fail to see how Jesus' words in Matthew 6 apply. That passage is talking about the manner is which someone gives alms to the needy. It isn't referring to whether it is a good idea to give alms to the needy. There are those that do it to receive temporary accolades from mankind, and those that do it privately for a more Eternal reward.

It would have still been possible to help them out without it being a media circus. Sen. Obama seems to be able to kept his campaign tight-lipped about many other things. Even if it did become so, because the Media were praising Sen. Obama's actions, it would not happen because he wanted the Media to spotlight those actions.

bleeper said...

Poor deluded liberals - they just don't understand that one helps one's family. It's real simple - no need to trot out theoretical discussions or Bible verses - just do what you can. It's just that easy. And it's the right thing to do.

former law student said...

That's the point of the plan to redistribute wealth via income tax "credits", i.e. cutting checks to people who don't pay any income tax at all, paid for by taxes on people making over $250K, or $150K or $75K or something.

Soft-hearted.
Handouts.


The earned income tax credit was initiated by that noted communist, Gerald Ford, and greatly expanded by that revered socialist, Ronald Reagan, who at the time of signing the expansion bill, declared it was “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”

What a couple of saps Ford and Reagan were!

Cindy's moral obligation to share their father's wealth with her older sisters is far greater than Barack's moral obligation to share the wealth he earned himself with his father's "by-blows of a travelling man," correct? Cindy's sisters should have contested the will, asking to receive their intestate shares. Besides, George probably can live quite decently on a small amount of money in Kenya, while the cost of living in Phoenix is much higher.

Moneyrunner said...

Ann Althouse defends Barack Obama for not helping out his impoverished relatives and I have to agree with her. First of all, Barack comes from a very large family in which the men had multiple wives and an even large number of children, I’m sure it takes a village rather than a mere multi-millionaire who has raised nearly a billion dollars in contributions to help out all the assorted aunt, uncles, brothers sisters, half brothers, half sisters, half aunts and half uncles and other even less related relatives all of whom may be in need either in Boston or Kenya.

Second, as Ann points out, it is not his fault that his relatives are living is squalor. He has not mistreated them, in fact he remarks on some of them in his autobiographies. And being mentioned in one’s autobiography does not obligate one to send a buck or two to keep up anyone’s shack in Nairobi or cold water flat in Boston. As Ann points out, handouts can keep these ner-do-wells from finding gainful employment and earning a living for themselves. As Ann has pointed out many times before, welfare of this kind is bad for society, especially if the welfare is administered by relatives. They are apt to keep coming back and making pests of themselves. Once this kind of thing begins, who knows, in the end Barack could end up supporting generations of lazy relatives and then where would he be?

I do have a rather major objection to Ann’s gratuitous reference to religion, specifically Christianity in her remarks. Religion has no place in discussions of public policy or private philanthropy in America. We must observe the injunction that we have separation of church and state and appeals to Christianity are no more than veiled attempts to impose a not-so-veiled attempt to impose a theocracy on America. No sooner has Jerry Farwell died than Ann in invoking the bible as a talking point. I am always surprised by the hidden theocrats that are found on college campuses.

It does little to advance the conversation to refer to Barack’s references to being his brother’s and sister’s keepers. We all know that in that Bible fable he was referring to the story of Cain and Abel. The one in which one bother murdered the other. What Barack meant to say was that he wanted to help his brothers and sisters out, but there was absolutely no reference to half-brothers or half-sisters and certainly no reference to half-aunts living in a slum in Boston.

So Ann, I’m on your side. No matter what anyone says charity is not an individual responsibility. If you can’t get congress to pass a welfare law, the hell with the relatives.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's easy to be generous in the abstract. With other people's money.

But.....with liberals,just like Joe and Obama, stingy with their own money on a personal level.

Easy to be hard
Easy to say no.

Do you only care about the bleeding crowd.

Even when I saw this show live in the 60's I knew it was all about the liberals who care about people in the abstract, but who step over you in the personal level.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

even better rendition

God I wish the 60's and 70's would just go away.

Moneyrunner said...

Ann,

Here's a corrected version of my support for you.

Is Ann Althouse a Religious Fanatic?

I don't think you really are. I'm reliably told even the Devil can quote scripture.

Baron Zemo said...

It could be very much worse for Zeituni Onyango.

She could be related to Jennifer Hudson.

chfranco said...

Ann,

What you are saying is simply wrong. We all have an obligation to take care of our family. I help out my relatives even though I make way less than Obama.

Your comment that hey "she's 56 shouldn't see be working. That is the exact attitude most of us take when you liberals try to foist these programs on us.

While, I think Obama was/is wrong, you have missed the point. The point is that it's his money and his choice. You liberals seem to say we'll help out (through tax) but only with everyone's money.

This is clear when you look at giving. Obama and Biden have given virtually nothing to charity, which seems to undermine their belief that others need a handout. The Palins on the oter hand have been very generous (when they in fact make much less than the Obamas or the Bidens.

Karen said...

Um...you're kidding, right?

Have you read his book, Dreams From My Father? Because if you had, you would have read that he thinks it's important to take care of FAMILY. Looks like ANOTHER Obama lie has floated to the surface.

Obama has LOADS of money and it wouldn't take LOADS of money to help his Aunt or his BROTHER to live a very different life from what they are living now. But he chooses NOT to help.

Obama wants hard working people like myself to go out to work, provide for my family, and THEN provide for HIS FAMILY.

I call BULLSHIT!

wave42 said...

My goodness. Barack Obama is a multi millionaire who hasn't lifted a finger to help his Aunt but I'm the selfish one?

Uh-huh.

And to answer the question, yes he should be providing for his relatives. If he expects me to cough up my income to "level the playing field" he needs to divest himself of his "excess money" first.

Chairman Meow said...

Let me repeat what the, seemingly, several hundred other people have already said.
Obama is just a hypocrite of the highest order if he can't be bothered to reach into his own pocket to help the poor, who are after all, his own relatives in some cases, but wants government to reach into your pockets instead.

Using the scripture of Jesus to give cover to Obama is a new low and you don't seem to have any shame but you should be ashamed, all the same. Judging by the figures released showing his charitable donations, he isn't hiding his "good deeds" out of any Christian sense of modesty.
They simply don't exist, to any large degree.

Estragon said...

Personally, I don't give a rat's patootie whether Obama takes care of his poor relations or not.

But when this wealthy man proposes to raise MY taxes in the name of "fairness" to provide for them, well, that's another kettle of fish.

Now, if some high earners like Warren Buffett, Babs Streisand, Ann Althouse, and Matt Damon truly feel they don't pay enough, they are perfectly free to write a check to the Treasury for any amount. Typically, though, the Treasury receives less than $30,000 per year in such donations. Can you say, "hypocrisy?"

I knew that you could!

Someone should slap both faces of these poseurs. Their vaunted "compassion" apparently only applies to MY money.

blake said...

"Should Barack Obama be giving handouts to his impoverished African relatives?"

This should probably be amended to say "illegal immigrant, hiding from deportation, impoverished African relatives".

You'd think he'd be able to help 'em out with that much.

mrs whatsit said...

This thread is long dead but it has belatedly occurred to me what I should have said in the first place. (Don't you hate that?) Ann's arguments and those of others who have pointed out that handouts to the needy are not necessarily a good idea are sound, well-grounded in human nature, wise, sensible -- and absolutely damning indictments of Barack Obama's entire conception of government.

pst314 said...

[Obama] talks about getting people to work, helping them get the health insurance coverage, improving access to education, and so forth."

Just for one example, the "education reform" he actually had anything to do with amounted to (1) political indoctrination, and (2) zero improvement in actual learning.

Funny how some people seem to see every problem as an opportunity for government to raise taxes on the productive and spend the money on useless programs while increasing the number of bureaucratic parasites and leftists with an ideology to promulgate. Meanwhile ever more people will be trained into dependency.

truth is the fire that burns away the lies said...

Charity can never be legislated as God blesses a cheerful giver. A cheerful giver, gives out of the kindness of their hearts. A wise giver doesn't give to receive applause and for trumpets to be blown. Take a look at the healthcare bill, how they puffed their chest, made a big spectacle about it. Such actions are pagan not Christian. There is nothing authentic about mandating giving. The healthcare bill, socialism is designed to encourage dependent supporters. Its a bribe! Obama is leading people to hell in a handout basket. There's nothing Christian about Obama or his policies. There's nothing Christian about sanctifying sin.

Romans 1:26-32
That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.