June 29, 2009

Both William Ayers and Barack Obama "use the phrase 'beneath the surface' repeatedly."

"And what they find beneath the surface, of course, is the disturbing truth about power disparities in the real America, which each refers to as an 'imperial culture.' Speaking of which, both insist that 'knowledge' is 'power' and seem consumed by the uses or misuses of power. Ayers, in fact, evokes the word 'power' and its derivatives 75 times in Fugitive Days, Obama 83 times in Dreams."

Jack Cashill is back, marshalling the evidence that Bill Ayers helped Barack Obama write "Dreams From My Father."

Are these things really that striking? It's thoroughly pedestrian for a political writer to talk about power, and "Knowledge is power" is a big cliché.

Cashill makes much of the 2 authors' references to eyes, eyebrows, and faces.
There are six references to "eyebrows" in Fugitive Days -- bushy ones, flaring ones, arched ones, black ones and, stunningly, seven references in Dreams -- heavy ones, bushy ones, wispy ones. It is the rare memoirist who talks about eyebrows at all.
Etc. etc. Note that the one adjective they have in common is "bushy" — bushy eyebrows.

If we were playing "The Match Game" and Gene Rayburn asked the question name an adjective that is frequently used with "eyebrows," they'd all match with "bushy" — unless some ditz, say, Betty White, wrote "arched," in which case she'd crouch behind her card and attempt to waggle her eyebrows until, say, Bennett Cerf, clobbered her with his own card.

104 comments:

Awesome said...

Matchgame!

traditionalguy said...

Ayres and Pelossi and Soros and Huffington and the rest of the late 1960's cabal of Jacobin new agers finally found the perfect vessel to pour all their work into and win power in an American election. I wonder if the recent Honduran experience will replay itself here when we reach the time that free elections no longer gurantee these operators their ruling powers?

Randy said...

Someone has way too much free time on his hands.

Fred4Pres said...

I suppose anything is possible, but my guess if Ayers had any involvement in Obama's books it may have been in editing and reviewing than actually writing them.

Salamandyr said...

I think it is a big deal if Ayer's ghost-wrote Obama's books. It's not that big a deal if Obama had a ghost-writer, though it undermines the marketing drek we've been shoveled about his singular talent.

But if that ghost-writer was Ayers, then that means he's much closer to the old terrorist than either have admitted to, and it indicates Obama is much more leftist, in the scary way, than we knew already.

Jim said...

If all there was to go on was the references to eyebrows, Cashill would be trying to make a seven-course meal out of extremely thin gruel. However, that's pretty much the least of the evidence that Obama had very little to do with writing his "autobiography."

From reading levels and sentence lengths to the natuical references to metaphor choices to thematic choices and right down to even the names of composite characters, the "similarities" point to much more than coincidence. Each one taken by itself could be meaningless, but when taken as a whole they present damning evidence that Barack Obama's much ballyhooed skills as a writer are just so much more smoke and mirrors.

When placed alongside the pedestrian and - quite frankly, at times - painful to read, contemporaneous writing samples produced by Obama, only a starry-eyed true believer could still believe that Obama had anything more than a cursory role in writing his signature work.

He's a fraud. He's always been a fraud. And his claims to have merely been a neighbor of Bill Ayers were never any more credible than the claims to have never heard any of the racist and bigoted sermons of Jeremiah Wright.

Robin said...

I grew up in a home teeming with 60s radicals, and believe me they all talk like this all the time. The sinking feeling of being trapped into listening to a lecture on the bourgeois power structure beneath the surface of Aesop's Fables is just too tedious for an 8 year old. I fully credit the experiences with turning both me and my brother into conservatives.

Matchgame 75!

NKVD said...

Everything Obama has done in office indicates he is a leftist and terrorist sympathizer. Supports Iranian leaders against protesters? Yep. Supports the Chavez stooge in Nicaruagua? Yep.

Speaks out against the US when abroad - you betcha. He hates this place and once he taxes us into oblivion, his work here will be complete.

Hunter McDaniel said...

Without a lot better evidence than has been presented so far, this kind of speculation tends to help Obama rather than hurt him. Much like all of the speculation as to what the Clintons may have done to Vince Foster.

With so many GOOD reasons to oppose Obama (or the Clintons), it is foolish to waste time on these theories.

The Crack Emcee said...

Traditionalguy,

You made the cut, dude.

garage mahal said...

Aw such pretty words. But don't be fooled America, they're fake! Written by a terrorist. LOL

MadisonMan said...

Match Game in the mid-70s was the perfect show for a teenaged boy to watch after school while eating a couple bowls of cereal.

I don't recall Bennett Cerf ever being on Match Game in the incarnation I watched in the mid 70s. I wonder how many people were on both besides Betty White (and Gene Rayburn, of course)

Crimso said...

"But if that ghost-writer was Ayers, then that means he's much closer to the old terrorist than either have admitted to, and it indicates Obama is much more leftist, in the scary way, than we knew already."

Assume that there is no connection between Ayers and Obama's book(s). There is still ample evidence that the last part of your statement is true.

"Written by a terrorist. LOL"

In spite of your sarcasm, you are quite correct in using the word "terrorist." If it's okay for Ayers to be rehabilitated and then become a professor, then there's hope for Eric Rudolph. I'm sure none of you would have any problem with Dr. Eric Rudolph teaching education classes.

traditionalguy said...

Thank you Crack. You are a bold commenter with a point of view from your experiences and are missed around here. The intellectual tone here is great and hard to find elsewhwere, but a little salt in the comments by someone with actual experience flavors the gruel of the pure thinkers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Who cares if Ayres wrote it or not? They could show Obama in a three-way with him and Dohrn and it wouldn’t make one difference in my opinion of the fraud in any case. I was convinced he was a Marxist long before Ayres was an issue. The fact that he’s got a raging hard on to pass a economy destroying cap and trade bill and ‘health care reform’ should be obvious to only the most dimwitted liberal (but I repeat myself) that the man is determined to destroy the country. Let’s drive out more industry to China. Let’s support nuclear power in Dubai while we build windmills in Kansas. To the 80% of Americans satisfied with their health care, fuck you, we won and single payer is on the way. You’re going to reduce your carbon footprint while I keep my office toasty warm in the winter and balmy in the summer. You’re going to drive a cup holder on wheels while I take AF1 on a 15 minute joyride.

Yeah baby, it’s good to be the premier.

Eli Blake said...

traditional guy:

First Scalia, now you.

Is 'Jacobin' the new 'nazi?'

Is it an erudite way for the right to tie the left to cold blooded fanatics without using 'nazi' or 'fascist' (both generally associated with right, not left extremism) or 'communist' (which can be responded to with 'McCarthyism.')

AllenS said...

Hard to say if Bark Obama is a Marxist, or not. I think he simply doesn't know what he's doing. I can imagine him going through school, and no matter what answer he gave to any question, he was given an A.

AJ Lynch said...

I thought "beneath the surface" was an odd phrase. I thought "below the surface" was more common and more apt.

But google proved I was wrong by about 3 to 1.

rhhardin said...

Dorothy Kilgallen checks in with supercillious.

John said...

Isn't there a very scientific way to analyze word choice and link a piece of writing to an author? If I recall correctly, they used such analysis to figure out that the liar Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors and to link the writing samples the unibomber's brother provided to the FBI to the manifesto. Why don't they just do this kind of analysis on Dreams of my Father and put this to bed.

rhhardin said...

Obama is a community organizer.

Normally they're limited in the damage they can do by their local operating mode. A housing project destroyed here, a neighborhood blighted there. That sort of thing.

Now he has all the money in the country to work with.

Darcy said...

That's right, Hoosier Daddy. I couldn't care less about that damned book now. So many alarming actual Obama dreams (nightmares?) are coming true right now, and with the American public sleeping.

But let's talk about Michael Jackson, shall we? That's directed at our media, not Althouse, by the way.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hard to say if Bark Obama is a Marxist, or not. I think he simply doesn't know what he's doing.

Oh I think when it comes to the domestic side of the game, he knows exactly what he's doing. His old man was a Marxist as well as his mother. He admits those were the kind of people he was drawn to in college.

When I was a young childrens, my folks taught me you're judged by the kind of company you keep. That has pretty much stood the test of time though my whole life and I don't see Obama being any exception to the rule.

garage mahal said...

If it's okay for Ayers to be rehabilitated and then become a professor, then there's hope for Eric Rudolph..

G Gordon Liddy is welcome in conservative circles after spending 5 yrs in prison (after being sentenced to 20 yrs) for conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping -- and also plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution among other things - the reward was best selling books, roles in movies, a radio show and high paying lecture gigs.

EDH said...

Ditz?

Betty White is hip! Playing the wholesome ditz only makes her outrageous comedy even funnier.

Her preformance at the William Shatner Comedy Central Roast was one of the funniest I've ever seen, especially given her ties to the old-style TV roasts of the past. I might have posted exerpts before, here and here.

Notice Farrah in the background.

traditionalguy said...

Eli...The Jacobin adjective means the historical cabal of Catholic Momarchs in France and Spain subverting the Protestant Reformation Kings in the British Isles in the 1600s. The word is french for James, who was their candidate for a restoration of a Catholic monarch under Papal authority. The Scottish King's successor had fled to France. Eventually he was landed with military forces in Ireland and came close to winning until the Scots-Irish withstood a long siege and defeated that cabal for good at the Battle of the Boyne. If the French Revolution 130 years later also claims the word, I am not familiar with that usage. The sophisticated secret factions and double agents surrounding the Protestant English Kings for 80 years is what resembles to me the late 1960 radicals such as Ayers. The Nazi political experience was another level of evil altogether not describrd by anything except occult insanity with a willing use of Satanic powers. Only a communist propagandist can say that he sees a Nazi as a right wing traditionalist. Facist simply means state control of the corpoate business structure and their markets, like GM is today.

Meade said...

Evil eye bros.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Facist simply means state control of the corpoate business structure and their markets, like GM is today.

Well yes that's the traditional definition but liberals are quite good at rewriting the dictionary to serve their purposes. Liberals don't like to admit that the nazis were socialists so they're big on portraying them as conservative or right wing. Nazi was short for National Socialist German Workers Party. Hardly sounds conservative.

traditionalguy said...

Eli...Sorry for my confusion. I just Googled the Jacobins and they are not the Jacobites thay I was speaking so much about Apparently the Jacobins are radicals dedicated to eliminating the old regime after a revolution, by any means necessary. While my poor Jacobites only wanted to replace the King of England with a Catholic King. 90 years earlier.

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's next stop is to destroy the insurance industry and about one Million jobs in it.

The state of Connecticut will have a budget deficit like Caleefornya!

garage mahal said...

Characteristics of a facist state can include:
Disdain for intellectuals and the arts. Disdain for human rights. Corporatism protected and labor suppressed or eliminated. Supremacy of the military. Constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, and flags. Police given almost limitless power to enforce laws. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a Unifying Cause.

Sounds just like Libtards!

1990bluejay said...

Strikes me that a rather dated form of qualitative analysis is being done by Cashill - content analysis. This is used by many in political science (especially American politics and survey methods), linguistics, rhetoric, etc. Can be powerful if used well and rigorously within set guidelines/practices. But you have to know what those guidelines are and how they were implemented and observed.

Jim said...

Hunter -

"With so many GOOD reasons to oppose Obama (or the Clintons), it is foolish to waste time on these theories."

There's a difference between running a campaign ad on this sort of thing, and setting the historical record aright.

Obama's thin to non-existent paper trail meant that his books were a large part of the mythology upon which his candidacy stood. If those books weren't written by him, then when people look back upon this election there will be a far different historical judgment passed on the election of 2008 than the one his supporters would like to write.

The truth always matters. That:

a) Obama's biography is a lie matters. How many people formed their opinions of Obama based on his writing skill and the content of his books? How many people would hold different opinions of him if they knew that he was no more honest than Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass? How would that have changed the dynamics of both the Democratic primary and the 2008 general election?

b) If, as the evidence pretty much proves, Bill Ayers wrote the book, then doesn't that give him a powerful voice in the White House? Doesn't that mean that Obama is pretty much Ayers' puppet? Think about the overt or cover blackmail possibilities and probabilities. Threat of going public with proof of Obama's fraud is the Ace up Ayers' sleeve, and if you think a guy who thought nothing of planting bombs isn't capable of a little blackmail to pull some strings then you're just not paying attention.

The truth always matters, and the public has a right to know that it's been had.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Characteristics of a facist state can include:....

All these things which I have listed which prove my point. I have nothing to back it up other than my own bias and what I think it means.

Jim said...

garage -

"Disdain for intellectuals and the arts."

- Unless those intellectuals and artists can be subverted to serve the state. Check.

"Disdain for human rights."

- You mean like protesters taking to the streets of Iran for a fair election? You mean like enlisting a criminal organization like ACORN to register Daffy Duck to vote for you? You mean like meddling in Honduras by demanding that a Leftist be restored to power in violation of that country's constitution? Check. Check. Check.

"Corporatism protected and labor suppressed or eliminated."

- Or co-opting labor corporatists and handing them control of their employers. Check.

"Constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, and flags."

- Substitute radical environmentalism, political correctness or any other liberal cause as the moral imperatives which require Leftist supremacy and you're absolutely right on the money. Check.

"Police given almost limitless power to enforce laws."

- Or government being given almost limitless power over people's lives. Check.

"Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a Unifying Cause. "

- You mean like Obama coming out and claiming that House Democrats who voted against cap-and-tax were responding to their constituents, but Republicans were just obstructionists? You mean like pretty much blaming every ill on the planet on Bush and the Republican Party. Check and check.

"Sounds just like Libtards!"

Yep. Thanks for clarifying.

Jim said...

garage -

""Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a Unifying Cause. "

- Does the name Rush Limbaugh mean anything to you?
- How about FoxNews?

I mean, it's not like Obama himself hasn't specifically named names to identify enemies/scapegoats...other than Bush...and Cheney...and Limbaugh...and FoxNews...and...

Whoops!

Synova said...

I don't care if Ayers wrote, helped-with, or copy-edited or critiqued Obama's book... mostly because autobiographies are generally written by people who don't *write* and I expect them to have a whole lot of help to produce something publishable. The only real difference between an autobiography and a biography is that in an autobiography the person the book is about gets to tell the ghost-author what to leave out of it.

I don't get the "oooo... aahhh..." over the fact that Obama (in one of his only claims to accomplishment) "wrote a book."

Big honking hairy deal.

Jeremy said...

Ever notice hoe many time Pogo, Hoosier, Jim, Fen, Traditionalguy, Lem, NKVD, Darcy, Shanna, and others here use the terms:

Liberal
Leftist
Socialism
And of course, Jeremy?

I think they're all lying a bed somewhere, stroking each other while they take turns typing.

Jeremy said...

"hoe" was a typo, but for some reason it actually fits.

Jeremy said...

I realize the wingnut crowd loves this type of insanity, but anybody who actually thinks Ayers could handle this...without SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE...being there, knowing about it as it occurred...leaking it to the press, etc...needs their head examined.

But of course, we already know that about this crowd.

Pogo said...

Huh. Where's "Voltare" to pat Jeremy on the back for posting 3 comments in a row?

Although I do think love of self is necessary, you really ought to get a room.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I think they're all lying a bed somewhere, stroking each other while they take turns typing.



Gee...lying in bed with Darcy and Shanna. You make that sound like that's a bad thing Jeremy.

traditionalguy said...

Say good night Jeremy. No one is biting this morning.

AJ Lynch said...

I thought Pogo was Fen was Hoosier was Lem etc etc.

Althouse only has 4-5 real commenters. Heh.

Beth said...

I noted that there are also a number of pronouns and articles that turn up frequently in both manuscripts.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I thought Pogo was Fen was Hoosier was Lem etc etc.

I'm on first, Pogo's on second and Lem is on third.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."I thought Pogo was Fen was Hoosier was Lem etc etc. Althouse only has 4-5 real commenters. Heh."

Actually, you're right.

She could have about 3-4 of these people (unless of course THEY'RE REALLY THE SAME PEOPLE) do all of the posting...since damn near everything is the same anyway.

She could use her usual strategy of opening the thread with a blaring HEADLINE: "OBAMA BAD...what does everybody here think??"

And away we GO!!!

Jeremy said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."I'm on first, Pogo's on second and Lem is on third."

Oh, so you're taking turns, huh?

I always wondered...

Jeremy said...

Pogo said..."Huh. Where's "Voltare" to pat Jeremy on the back for posting 3 comments in a row?"

But I thought Voltare was...Jeremy?

Haven't ingested the meds yet?

Jeremy said...

Synova - How many books have YOU written?

How many have you ever even read?

Pogo said...

Anyways, we'll know the real author of the Obama book as soon as we can prove who wrote Shakespeare's works.


I mean, it's a fun fact, but unless you waterboard Ayers, he'll never admit it.

Waaaaaaaait a minute ......that could be some serious fun, even if we don't ask him anything at all.

former law student said...

First, why link to a page featuring an image of Uncle Sam apparently straining at stool? Besides exciting our disgust, Sam's plus-fours should trigger the "men in shorts" prohibition.

Next, shouldn't a literary style analyst like Jack Cashill be familiar with terms like "baleful" or "bill of particulars"? Cliches like smiling/grinning "like a Cheshire cat"? Cashill seems completely ignorant of what cliches are.

And both Ayers and Obama lived in Chicago for years, where we all say "Soldiers Field" even though we know it's Soldier Field. Sandburg's "Chicago" ends "Hog Butcher... to the Nation." "To" sticks in our minds rather than the "for" in the first line.

Here's the biggest "howler": Returning to the exotic, in his Indonesian backyard Obama discovered two "birds of paradise" running wild as well as chickens, ducks, and a "yellow dog with a baleful howl."

In Fugitive Days, there is even more "howling" than there is in Dreams. Ayers places his "birds of paradise" in Guatemala.

In Indonesia, birds of paradise are birds. In Guatemala, birds of paradise are flowers. The term refers to quite distinct beings in each setting.

AJ Lynch said...

I agree cause it is so obvious to an Abbott & Costello fan ......Hoosier is on first. :)

traditionalguy said...

Pogo ...Will Shakesphere wrote Shakespeare. But the rumor that he invented the fishing reel is only speculation by Phd's here and can safely be given no respect. Not that everyone is not entitled to their own opinion, stubbornly held.

AJ Lynch said...

I bet you The Bard of Staten Island aka William Shakespeare never wrote a book. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare_(football)

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy Gene Olson- don't ever agree with me again you German Valise douchebag.

AllenS said...

Hoosier Daddy said...

"I'm on first, Pogo's on second and Lem is on third."

And AlgonquinS is on my foot.

AJ Lynch said...

AllenS:

And you a sock puppet!

elHombre said...

garage wrote: Characteristics of a facist state can include:
Disdain for intellectuals and the arts. Disdain for human rights. Corporatism protected and labor suppressed or eliminated....

This is representative of the simplistic pap churned out by Marcusian dweebs from academia who think "fascist" is a pejorative describing Republicans and corporate CEOs.

Broaden your horizons, garage, by reading Mussolini, Bottai, or maybe something written or edited by the undweebish Roger Griffin, or even the sometimes controversial Ernst Nolte.

Alternatively, spend a moment reflecting on the content of the term "National Socialism."

elHombre said...

fls wrote: First, why link to a page featuring an image of Uncle Sam apparently straining at stool? Besides exciting our disgust....

According to garage, disdain for the arts is characteristic of fascists.

Can it be ...?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh don't forget garage thinks another characteristic of fascism is the use of symbols.

Shanna said...

Ever notice hoe many time Pogo, Hoosier, Jim, Fen, Traditionalguy, Lem, NKVD, Darcy, Shanna, and others here use the terms:

Liberal
Leftist
Socialism


I love how Jeremy acts like everyone who disagrees with him does so in the same way. Doesnt't matter what has actually is said or what the thread is about.

On topic, It would be mildly interesting to find out that Ayers wrote Obama's book, but not terribly relevant at this point. This is just a distraction at this point. Obama has a record now, let's talk about that.

Chip Ahoy said...

John,

If I recall correctly, they used such analysis to figure out that the liar Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors and to link the writing samples the unibomber's brother provided to the FBI to the manifesto.

Unabomber.

Smithsonian, Don Foster Has a Way With Words. Literary forensics expert confirmed Ted Kaczynski wrote the Unabomb Manifesto and, with the FBI, identified Eric Rudolph as a suspect in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing.

Teacher at Vassar, uncovered a Shakespeare elegy.

I reject the "too much time on his hands" -- posted by who? somebody idly reading a blog? -- and the other dismissive comments that deride this activity as unimportant. It's important because it picks up where our lauded "watchdog" press has left off, that is to say, from their slavering panting obsequiously servilely compliant heel position. <-- See what I did there? Most likely not. But a literary or linguistic forensic expert would note my re-use of that strange atypical phrase posted on another site.

It's not a matter of counting words in one text and comparing them with a word-counts drawn from other texts, nor does it hinge upon the number of Google hits a word or phrase search gets, although those things are useful. It has to do with understanding how people use language generally and how an individual writer identifies him/herself from the norm.

Yes, you'll notice repeated pronouns and articles too. Har dee har har.

AJ Lynch said...

Chip wrote:
"I reject the "too much time on his hands" -- posted by who? somebody idly reading a blog?"

LOL!

Penny said...

I care much less about Obama's writing than I do about his righting.

peter hoh said...

If I had the time, I'd apply a similar scrutiny to a couple William F. Buckley's books to see if I could find any "proof" that he wrote Obama's books. Think about it: Obama hasn't "written" any books since WFB passed away.

PatCA said...

Who cares if Ayers wrote it or ghosted it or what? It's obvious they both are of the left and I'm sure share many of the same values. His non-support of the people of Iran versus his support of the Honduran Chavez wannabe illustrates one such value: the US "causes" otherwise wonderful leaders to act badly. Be nice and they will turn into a culturally authentic version of Thomas Jefferson.

John Lynch said...

Confirmation bias.

Pogo said...

Chip, I think this is terribly important, but will never ever be permitted rational discussion because the left runs everything now, including the banks, ABC, NPR, and GM, and pretty soon all f health care, so what's the point?

Well it would have been important, pre-election, if the liberal media weren't effectively a statist propaganda machine.

former law student said...

disdain for the arts is characteristic of fascists.

Can it be ...?

No, I respect the arts. Here, though, the American Thinker's image is as close to Rodin's the Thinker as this pic is:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/lifestyle/adults/4594888-frustrated-man-on-toilet-seat.php?id=4594888

Synova said...

"Synova - How many books have YOU written?"

Enough to know what it is and what it isn't and the difference between writing non-fiction, fiction and a memoir. I don't write autobiographies so my own direct experience isn't any more or less valid than anyone else who has a clue. I generally admire anyone who can get a novel length manuscript written, but that comes with a number of caveats and one is that no one really expects an autobiography to be wholly written by the author. There is a certain social class that is enormously impressed with that sort of thing, obviously, but it's generally the "writing is hard, watch me suffer for my art and love me" social class that will sniff in disdain at the thought of rubbing elbows with a *commercial* novelist.

"How many have you ever even read?"

I'm sure you forgot to end that question with "this week."

In any case, it doesn't matter and you shouldn't distress yourself. They weren't the right sort of books anyway.

(If anyone is genuinely curious what I read this week... _Off Armageddon Reef_ and _By Schism Rent Asunder_ by David Weber. I recommend them highly. He makes the technical details of the evolution of Naval warfare interesting and does an excellent job of addressing matters of faith and theology. Also, this week, I recommend _Storm Front_ by Jim Butcher... just for fun.)

blaine said...

It's not a matter of counting words in one text and comparing them with a word-counts drawn from other texts, nor does it hinge upon the number of Google hits a word or phrase search gets, although those things are useful. It has to do with understanding how people use language generally and how an individual writer identifies him/herself from the norm.

And that analysis has been done, by someone trained to do so, and Cashill's argument has been found lacking.

AJ Lynch said...

Blaine:

The blog you referenced was a far left wing blog. Hence it was a 2005 Koufax Award finalist.

So I ain't buying what you are selling but I remain kinda open minded.

Beth said...

It has to do with understanding how people use language generally and how an individual writer identifies him/herself from the norm.

Writing "beneath the surface" and noting "bushy eyebrows" doesn't really rise to the level of individual distinction, Chip. Neither is certainly nothing so distinct as the phrase you repeat, for example. Saying Cahill hasn't made his case here is in no way rejecting the importance of linguistic analysis.

Yes, you'll notice repeated pronouns and articles too. Har dee har har.

For a jester, you sure don't like it when someone else plays that role.

JAL said...

I'm with Chip.

I am not sure who actually wrote Obama's books, but there is some strange stuff even in the forward.

Language, vocabulary, metaphors, allusions, sentence construction, etc. (<--- Latin alert ;-)) is like a map. And a signature.

I spent some time of Cashill's website for a while several months ago. Not convinced (it seems like a bizarre stretch), but I found it odd that President Obama and his wife, Michelle, moved to BALI (!) for 5 months so he could work undistracted (double !!) on his book.

Recently heard about Bruce Heiden (prof - classics, large midwest university, I think) and looked up his blog. He's the guy who noticed that Obama never says he wrote Dreams. Things like that are very significant.

http://thepostliberal.com/2008/10/obama-in-plain-sight-intro-to-dreams.html

I have had some expereince with someone significant who parsed his words very carefully. Talented narcissists are good at it. One has to listen to what they do not say to get a better picture of what the issues really are. (I think Pres. Obama tends to do that well ...)

Anyone open to the idea that Michelle Obama wrote the book?

Jeremy said...

JAL said..."I'm with Chip. I am not sure who actually wrote Obama's books, but there is some strange stuff even in the forward."

Really?

You're with the "Chipper," huh?

Can either of you literary experts provide a shred of real or objective evidence Obama didn't write the books...other than the usual wingnuttery?

If so...let's see it.

AJ Lynch said...

No way Michelle wrote the book. She lacks the doggedness required to complete such a project.

AJ Lynch said...

Has anyone else (besides Prez Obama) ever written two books after having virtually no previous record as an author or a writer?

[and I mean written without a ghostwriter.]

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."No way Michelle wrote the book. She lacks the doggedness required to complete such a project."

Yeah, if there's anything you can say about people who graduate from Princeton University and Harvard Law School is that they're pretty much laid back and certainly not the least bit tenacious.

Duh.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."Has anyone else (besides Prez Obama) ever written two books after having virtually no previous record as an author or a writer?"

No, this is the very first time in the history of mankind.

CharlesVegas said...

And who ever read a memoir that didn't have a boy riding a water buffalo and prodding it with a bamboo stick. Talk about cliches.

avwh said...

"Obama is a community organizer.

Normally they're limited in the damage they can do by their local operating mode. A housing project destroyed here, a neighborhood blighted there. That sort of thing.

Now he has all the money in the country to work with."


Correction: all the money in the country AND whatever China will lend him, until he devalues the dollar so much China won't even touch T-bills any longer - which may be sooner than later.

Synova said...

"And who ever read a memoir that didn't have a boy riding a water buffalo and prodding it with a bamboo stick. Talk about cliches."

If I ever wrote a memoir I'd have to include a child riding a water buffalo... I couldn't say that the child had a *bamboo* stick. How would I know it was bamboo? In fact, I suspect that it would be some other sort of stick since I get the idea that bamboo sort of splinters rather than breaks off and wouldn't a child on a water buffalo simply break off a stick?

Bamboo is an interesting grass. I used some for garden stakes once and it started to grow.

Actually... I'd probably skip the cliche of the child riding the water buffalo and include a story about the neighbor girl who explained that it was important not to stand under coconut trees because the coconuts might fall on you.

They were very tall coconut trees, too.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy Gene Olson, can you name one other example? These are the criteria:

1- Very very little previous written record (maybe it was a secret hobby?)
2- Writes two books.
3- Does not acknowledge the help of a co-writer or ghostwriter assistance.

former law student said...

I found it odd that President Obama and his wife, Michelle, moved to BALI (!) for 5 months so he could work undistracted (double !!) on his book.

What is the odd part?

That Obama would go to the land of his youth, a tropical paradise, to work on his book? (The distance from Jakarta to Bali is about the same as Portland to San Francisco.)

Or that Obama would take his bride with him to a tropical paradise, to work on his book?

Or that if Obama could not work on his book in Hyde Park, how could he work on it in Indonesia?

In fact, wouldn't it be harder for Ayers to ghostwrite the book if its subject was in Indonesia rather than right down the street?

former law student said...

1- Very very little previous written record (maybe it was a secret hobby?)
2- Writes two books.

Uh... Anne Frank? Or did her dad write it?

I assume, had she survived, she would have written a follow-up story.

AJ Lynch said...

It was a diary. That is the evidence of a significant previous written record.

Nice try I will give you that.

Synova said...

"What is the odd part?

That Obama would go to the land of his youth, a tropical paradise, to work on his book?
"

I don't know that it's "odd" so that it matters but, dang, who actually has the combination of... adequate funds and lack of responsibilities... that make it possible to go off to a tropical paradise to write a book?

I'm well aware that it's possible to live very cheaply in some places but I really can't see Michelle living on the local economy or in a bungalow with geckos and bugs. And while it can be *cheap* it's not free, even if you *are* comfortable with geckos and bugs.

Penny said...

"No, this is the very first time in the history of mankind."

Jeremy, the beauty of connecting dots to form a coherent and cohesive picture is that it only matters when enough people SAY that it matters.

But of course...you knew that.

neo-neocon said...

For those who are looking for a closer analysis of the text of the two books, Cashill has posted one here.

Crimso said...

"without SOMEBODY, SOMEWHERE...being there, knowing about it as it occurred...leaking it to the press, etc...needs their head examined."

For somebody who goes on about how others don't read, you'd think you'd have read something or other about the Manhattan Project. ANd there were one whole Hell of a lot more people involved in that than Ayers' supposed ghostwriting. I tend to think he didn't, but I don't need to think he did to see Obama for exactly what he is.

Frodo Potter said...

First, let me stipulate for the record that I loathe Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn and that the world would be a better place if they exited it. Having said that, I have to quibble with the notion that Barack Obama did not write his two memoirs. Nor do I think Michelle Obama wrote them. I have read part of her Princeton thesis and I don’t think she is that good a writer. Hashing out all the details of why I think he actually wrote it would take too much time, but let me offer one salient example.

In “Dreams of My Father,” on pages 302-303 in the paperback version, Obama tells the story of meeting an African man somewhere between Madrid and Barcelona and feeling an intimate connection between them. This bears a striking resemblance to George Orwell’s opening to “Homage to Catalonia.” Perhaps Obama made it up out of whole cloth, or perhaps Obama merely emphasized the similarities to Orwell. In either case, a dedicated Marxist like Ayers would not likely put an homage to an ideological traitor like Orwell (in Ayers’ mind), a man who lampooned Communists, hated totalitarians, and in any event, hated trust fund socialists like Ayers and Dohrn—and made sure the trust fund socialists knew it.

Some of the scenes from Africa also seem less like ideological pronouncements than musings out loud about possible solutions, again not likely to be a tactic of an ideologue like Ayers.

As Hunter McDaniel said, there are a lot of good reasons to criticize Obama. I think he needs to up his game on Iran and I am not happy about his stance on Honduras, which is just encouraging Hugo Chavez. But face it folks: this issue of authorship is not worth it. Both his parents were PhDs; the man has some serious smarts. It doesn’t mean he can’t pursue seemingly good things for the wrong reasons, or even that he can always read people well. But Obama is more than capable of writing those two memoirs.

Remember, his first book was published in 1995—nine years before his keynote address. Sure he was a black graduate of Harvard Law School, but they are more common than you think. So, a publishing house is not going to spend money for a ghost writer. I think you are giving too much credit to Ayers, like Ayers is some kind of Machiavelli, rather than a cocksure, self-righteous leftist.

Crimso said...

"That Obama would go to the land of his youth, a tropical paradise, to work on his book?"

Kind of like taking a hike on the Appalachian Trail to clear your head...

Crimso said...

"Both his parents were PhDs; the man has some serious smarts."

The one does not remotely follow the other. I wouldn't classify his "smarts" as serious, merely above average (or average for POTUS). Whether he wrote the books or not to me is simply an interesting tidbit. The fact that he has written TWO memoirs at the age that he did says a lot about him, and none of it particularly flattering. Guess he figures not enough people paid attention to him after the first one. I'll be FAR more interested in any memoirs he writes after he leaves office.

Penny said...

"I am less concerned about Obama's writing than I am about his righting."

Sticks and stones can break your bones, and words can never harm you.

Legislation, on the other hand...?

AJ Lynch said...

Obama's mother was a bit of a flake.

After drifting here and there, back and forth to other continents for many years, she returned to Hawaii and got her Phd at age 50 in anthropology. To me, that is not overwhelming evidence she had exceptional brain power.

The Crack Emcee said...

Jesus, you guys, Barack Obama has written his own stuff before:

How dare anyone doubt his abilities after reading this.

The Macho Response

AlphaLiberal said...

Conservatives double down on the crazy. Cool.

G said...

John,

Yes, it’s possible to analyze a variety of linguistic features to ascribe authorship. Useful feature sets include words, function words, parts-of-speech, punctuation, and syntax. There are also a number of statistical or machine learning methods to carry out the authorship ascription. Perhaps the best currently available is support vector machine.

I tried this all a while ago, to test the Ayers authorship canard. The author of Dreams is also the author of Audacity (=Obama). Dreams did not match Ayers’ writing, or anyone else in a large set of random authors.

I might not like the guy, but he essentially wrote his own books (though he’s not above pilfering a nice turn of phrase).

AlphaLiberal said...

This is pretty funny.

So both Ayers and Obama misquote the opening line of Carl Sandburg's "Chicago," substituting "hog butcher to the world" for "hog butcher for the world." This mutual error would be significant (an "A-level match") if Ayers and Obama were the only two people who ever made it, but according to Google Book Search—a secret search engine to which only I have access—the same mistake has been made by Nelson Algren, Alan Lomax, Andrei Codrescu, H.L. Mencken, Paul Krugman, Perry Miller, Donald Hall, Ed McBain, Saul Bellow, S.J. Perelman, Nathanaël West, Ezra Pound, Wright Morris, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress. (To name but a few.) According to Cashill, I have now proven that Dreams From My Father was written by many a dead man of American letters, a living mystery writer, a New York Times columnist and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress.

traditionalguy said...

What worries me is that Obama now uses the words and the political instincts matching up eactly with the words and political instincts of Fidel Castro and Cesar Chavez about the Honduran guys opposing Marxist rule in Central America. Honduras is right on Mexico's doorstep leading to our undefended border at a coming Red Dawn. Of course Michael Jackson's death must remain 100% of what we are learning about in breathless detail in all media today. Am I right about this?

former law student said...

The fact that he has written TWO memoirs at the age that he did says a lot about him, and none of it particularly flattering.

The second "memoir" was written after Obama became a politician, and as NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani put it, "Mr. Obama’s new book, “The Audacity of Hope” — the phrase comes from his 2004 Democratic Convention keynote address, which made him the party’s rising young hope — is much more of a political document. Portions of the volume read like outtakes from a stump speech, and the bulk of it is devoted to laying out Mr. Obama’s policy positions on a host of issues, from education to health care to the war in Iraq."

So, yeah, being called a politician is not flattering.

scinfinity said...

'communist' (which can be responded to with 'McCarthyism.')

I guess it'd require one to not know that McCarthy was actually correct in his claims (Venona is death to the "McCarthy just smeared people randomly" crowd) and to not actually read primary documents involving him rather than newspaper stories.

Hint: He had no desire to name names in public session out of concern that some of the people might not be Communist at all, but he was forced to do so by the Dem majority.

I think his post-Presidency memoir will go a long way to demonstrate if he wrote the original ones.

Kansas City said...

I have talked with Cashill a few times (not about this) and he is a very bright and interesting guy. I think there is some chance that he is correct about this - maybe 20%.

Obama clearly has lied about his association with Ayers. The media and the public did not care.