“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama Does Not Have a Pastor Problem. Obama is a Problem.

If you had a chance to listen to Michelle Obama at Villanova and have been following the Afro-centric rants of Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright, you will come to the conclusion that Obama is very comfortable with an agenda that many white Americans will find offensive.

Look at the the congregation behind the pastor.

Obama makes the claim that ... "I wasn't in church during the time when the statements were made." By the looks of the congregation, it is obvious that this would hardly be a one time event. They are simply having too much fun and so is the pastor, and I would think, so did Obama over his twenty year attendance.

This is the experience that Barack Obama would bring to the office of the President. This is one of the choices he made when he was not a presidential candidate and no one was looking. This is the real man running for President. Let him just admit it and take his chances. Obama could possibly win if enough people accept him for who he is. He will not win if people do not believe him.


Obama's Pastor Problem

Washington Post
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, March 18, 2008; Page A19
Some questions: Why did Barack Obama take so long to "reject outright" the harshly critical statements about America made by his minister, Jeremiah Wright, not to mention the praise the same minister lavished on Louis Farrakhan just last November?

How is it possible that Obama did not know about these remarks, when he is a member of Wright's congregation and so close to the man that he likens him to "an old uncle"?

How is it possible that a campaign apparatus that sniffed out Geraldine Ferraro's offensive statement to a local California newspaper (the Daily Breeze, 12th paragraph) did not know that Wright's statements condemning America were all over the Internet and had been cited March 6 by the (reputable) anti-Obama columnist Ronald Kessler? The sermon was also available on YouTube.

In other words, how is it possible that a man who has made judgment the centerpiece of his presidential campaign has shown so little of it in this matter?

One possible answer to these questions is that Obama has learned to rely on a sycophantic media that hears any criticism of him as either (1) racist, (2) vaguely racist or (3) doing the bidding of Hillary and Bill Clinton. You only have to turn your attention to the interview Obama granted MSNBC's fawning Keith Olbermann for an example. Obama was asked whether he had known that Wright had suggested substituting the phrase "God damn America" for "God bless America."

"You know, frankly, I didn't," Obama said. "I wasn't in church during the time when the statements were made."

But had you heard about them? Did your crack campaign staff alert you? And what about Wright's honoring Farrakhan? Had you heard about that? Did you feel any obligation to denounce those remarks -- not Farrakhan's, as you had done, but those of Wright himself? Don't you consider yourself a public figure whom others look to for leadership? Do you think you failed them here?

Olbermann asked none of those questions.

In a certain sense, I am sympathetic toward Obama. When he said of Wright, "Because of his life experience, [he] continues to have a lot of anger and frustration, and will express that in ways that are very different from me and my generation," anyone who knows anything about the black experience in America has to nod.

The 66-year-old Wright was born when blacks were still being lynched, when Jim Crow ruled the South -- and when raw bigotry prevailed virtually everywhere else. He knows a different America from the one familiar to most whites. I can also understand why Farrakhan has a following in black America. He may be a gutter anti-Semite, but he stands up to whites, and within parts of the African American community, he is admired for, among other things, rehabilitating criminals.

So for Obama, Wright posed a dilemma. The minister is well known and respected and, clearly, adored by Obama. His language of resentment, even of hate, has a certain context to Obama. It does not shock. I understand, really I do.

But a presidential candidate is not a mere church member, and he operates in a different context. We examine everything about him for the slightest clue about character. On Wright, Obama has shown a worrisome tic. He has done so also with his relationship with Tony Rezko, the shadowy Chicago political figure. Obama last week submitted to a grilling on this matter by the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was given a clean bill of health. I accept it. But that hardly changes the fact that Obama should never have done business with Rezko in the first place. He concedes that now, but it was still a failure of judgment.

After I wrote in January about Wright's praise for Farrakhan, I was pilloried by Obama supporters who accused me of all manner of things, including insanity. But when I asked some of them what they would have done if their minister had extolled David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan official, or Rabbi Meir Kahane, the late anti-Arab racist, they either rejected the question entirely or simply didn't answer. Don't they think that everyone, particularly a public figure, has an obligation to denounce bigotry, as well as those who praise the bigots?

As I wrote in that column, the manifest abilities and stunning political talents of Barack Obama still recommend him to the presidency. But he has been less than forthright or responsible about Wright. This does not disqualify him from the White House, but it does suggest that if the vaunted red phone rings at 3 a.m., there might be times when he will simply not answer.


  1. From
    In the past, Obama has made racial issues, and his own precedent-shattering status, a minor note in his message. But Obama said Monday he recognizes that there is no way he is going to become the Democratic nominee without a forthright statement about the role of race in American life.

    “I think it would have been naive for me to think I could run and end up with quasi-front-runner status in a presidential election as potentially the first African-American president, that issues [of] race wouldn’t come up, any more than Sen. Clinton could expect that gender issues might not come up,” Obama told interviewer Gwen Ifill on PBS’s “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.”

  2. What about the "issue" that you're a profligate, serial f...... LIAR?
    (and Con Man Extraordinare?)

  3. April 30, 2007

    A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith - New York Times

    Still, Mr. Obama was entranced by Mr. Wright, whose sermons fused analysis of the Bible with outrage at what he saw as the racism of everything from daily life in Chicago to American foreign policy. Mr. Obama had never met a minister who made pilgrimages to Africa, welcomed women leaders and gay members and crooned Teddy Pendergrass rhythm and blues from the pulpit. Mr. Wright was making Trinity a social force, initiating day care, drug counseling, legal aid and tutoring. He was also interested in the world beyond his own; in 1984, he traveled to Cuba to teach Christians about the value of nonviolent protest and to Libya to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, along with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Wright said his visits implied no endorsement of their views.

    It also helped give him spiritual bona fides and a new assurance. Services at Trinity were a weekly master class in how to move an audience. When Mr. Obama arrived at Harvard Law School later that year, where he fortified himself with recordings of Mr. Wright’s sermons, he was delivering stirring speeches as a student leader in the classic oratorical style of the black church.

    But he developed a tone very different from his pastor’s. In contrast with Mr. Wright — the kind of speaker who could make a grocery list sound like a jeremiad — Mr. Obama speaks with cool intellect and on-the-one-hand reasoning. He tends to emphasize the reasonableness of all people; Mr. Wright rallies his parishioners against oppressors.

    While Mr. Obama stated his opposition to the Iraq war in conventional terms, Mr. Wright issued a “War on Iraq I.Q. Test,” with questions like, “Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace: Iraq or the U.S.?”

  4. j random said...

    "If you view them from a different perspective, looking at the audience instead of the orator, then perhaps Sen. Obama and Rev. Wright are saying the same thing after all. They are both saying what the crowd needs to hear.

    Sen. Obama is saying what will get him votes in the Democratic Primary.

    Rev. Wright is saying what will put butts in the pews and dollars in the collection plate.

    If you assume that the most important thing about what someone says is its meaning then the disparity between what Obama and Wright say is mysterious.

    But if you think that the most important thing about what someone says is how it motivates the listener to do what the speaker wants them to, then the similarity in their ability as orators is obvious.

    If you assume that the most important things to learn from a spiritual advisor is theology and ideology, then it would seem that Sen. Obama has learned nothing from Rev. Wright.

    But if you think that the most important things to learn from a 'spiritual advisor' are how to read a crowd, then craft and deliver a message that will bend them to your will... then it appears Sen. Obama has learned a great deal from Rev. Wright

  5. The problem is, as others have said, "Obama is a cipher." His rhetoric is wonderful and inspiring to many. But those not swept away by the Obamania, are left wondering what did he say and what does he mean? We've been forced to seek those answers because to date, the candidate has been less than forthcoming. And when we find answers such as the Rev Jeremiah Wright, it reinforces our doubts and misgivings about the young Senator from Illinois.

    Yes, Senator, it would have been naive to think you could be a stealth candidate and get elected. But it is also amazing and dismaying that your campaign has gotten this far without a real Media investigation of every facet of your life.

    Yes, Senator, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry all got passes from a fawning media eager to see a Democrat in the Oval Office. It's reasonable for you to have expected that you would receive the same courtesy, but did you forget about your opponent? Did you really think she would make it that easy for you?

  6. McCain has a pastor who calls the Catholic Church the "Great Whore of Relevations" and the "Apostate Church" and unlike Obama, McCain refuses to distance himself from Hagee. So he doesn't get my vote.

  7. "Obama is a Problem." - the sentence reads in the heading.

    Thank you aenea; let's remove any pastors from the equation whatsoever.

    From Mr. Obama's
    Dreams from My Father -


    “The emotion between the races could never be pure, even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that:
    menacing, alien, and apart.”

    “That hate hadn’t gone away,” he wrote, blaming “WHITE PEOPLE — some CRUEL, some IGNORANT, sometimes a single face, sometimes just a faceless image of a system claiming power over our lives.”

    “There were enough of us on campus to constitute a tribe, and when it came to hanging out many of us chose to function like a tribe, staying close together, traveling in packs,” he wrote. “It remained necessary to prove which side you were on,to show your LOYALTY TO THE BLACK MASSES, TO STRIKE OUT and name names”

    speak up, i can't hear you?

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. I once found solace in drinking a lot, now I do not drink much at all.

    Personal growth, I believe is what it's called.

    Which is not to say I'd ever vote for Obama, because I won't. But then again, I'd never vote for McCain, either.

    Two terrible candidates for President. Each worse than the other, in their own ways.

    As to Iraq, in the last thread, the instructions came from Mr Bush, or at least the final approval did. The letter from Bush43 to Bremer proves that.

    No matter what the underlings were told, or believed, the Decider in Chief, decided.
    The cancellation of the 28Jun03 elections, organized by and for the Iraqis, is all the proof needed that the US planned for a long term Occupation, even if those on the ground or involved in the initial planning were unaware of it.

    Mr McCain calls for another 95 years of US presence in Iraq. Without a clear plan for how that could or should be done.
    Foolish to the point of disqualification, on that point alone.

    Mr Obama, no idea how he could be even be considered qualified to be President, he or Hillary for that matter.

    What a dismal future they all present US. From a Constitutionalist point of view.

  10. John Hagee is a pastor in a church in San Antonio, TEXAS. He is not John McCain's pastor.
    Propagandists are spinning the relationship this way:
    "Hagee's hate speech has no place in public discourse, and McCain's embrace of this figure raises serious questions about John McCain's character and his willingness to do anything to win," said Tom McMahon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee.

    Here is the McCain response:
    McCain was pressed on the issue Friday morning in Round Rock, Texas. Hagee "supports what I stand for and believe in," McCain said.

    "When he endorses me, that does not mean that I endorse everything that he stands for and believes in," McCain said. "I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my campaign."

    Beyond this could venture into religious litmus test grounds.

  11. While I was in the Army, during the time the Obama was attending the University, there were clear cut racial divides, as well as urban and rural divides within the Army culture.

    It was, at times, quite divisive. To report upon those factors, and to admit that even I, both Roman and Warrior Prince that I was, partook in that divisivness does not mean I endorse it, now, even as I participated in it, then.

    Take Obama on over the "War", but he holds the popular position, take him on over Health Care financing and propsoed structure of delivery. Where the majority of voters seem to be in favor of some type of Federalization of the process.

    He wins on the issues, and a campaign of charecter attacks will not benefit Mr McCain, long term.
    His wife's crimianal conduct, drug use and perjury, is proof of his own double standards, between public utterances and private actions.

    A relationship much closer than preacher and church attendee.

    Mr McCain is not morally clean, his past in full of hypocrisy.
    If one is against Obama, and for McCain, listen to McCain's words on the subject. Let it lay, or the tit tat will bloody McCain, worse.

    Play the political issues, or morallity issues will be ceded to the Democrats, in November.

  12. McCain is taking the high road on this issue.


    The Afrocentric viewpoint blames the occurrence of substance abuse on sociocultural and political-economical conditions of the United States. The author believes that Afrocentric social work perceives the dominant group in the United States as trying to preserve power in the hands of a select few by purposely keeping the majority of the population passive. One way of keeping people passive is by making drugs available for substance abuse. This directly affects African Americans who are in some of the worst socioeconomic conditions, and therefore in areas where drugs are prevalent. Social workers that adopt this Afrocentric paradigm try to expose the social inequalities and consequences of policies about drug trafficking, distribution, and control.

  13. The Catholic nuns that wre killed in Salvador, in 1980, preached "Liberation Theology".

    El Salvador in 1980
    The three nuns were killed for the same reason that Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was assassinated a year earlier (Jean Donovan was a pall bearer at the funeral of Archbishop Romero): They were aiding and assisting the Communist insurgents who were fighting a war in El Salvador. This fact has never been denied. Presumably, a denial would have come if this were not true.

    There can be no denial that the killing of the three nuns was a brutal and heinous act. Yet, many people are killed in a war. More than 100,000 people were killed in this War in El Salvador. The only thing which made this particular killing noteworthy was that the three women were American and they were nuns.

    It has always been a mystery why workers of the Catholic Church were involved in assisting leftist insurgencies in Central America and elsewhere during this period. Yet, there is no doubt that this was the case.

    So, does being a member of the Catholic Church during the 1970-1983 period mean one acceptted "Liberation Theology" as correct? It was preached by many of their clergy
    The Pope did not speak out against the preaching of "Liberation Theology" until 1983, even though he became Pontiff in 1978.
    Did John PaulII support Liberation Theology for those five years?

    Or did he just allow it to continue?

  14. "Personal growth, I believe is what it's called"

    or conversely - doublespeak

    or alternatively - political ambition muting personal beliefs

    this individual sees a solution
    the obama bargain

  15. Indeed, Mr McCain is, whit.

    So should those that support him.
    Follow the Leader, or get off the train. Do not derail it.

    But if one is really against Obama, the preacher, the morality play, will backfire in the end.

    Neither Obama nor McCain seem to want to go there, but Billary is forging forward, full steam ahead.

    Having the "conservative" blogsphere playing Billary's game will not strengthen McCain. Billary'll throw the kitchen sink at John, by November, Obama may not.

    This entire Preacher bruhaha is a Billary tactic, that so many are buying into it, bodes ill for the GOP.

  16. Liberation theology, despite the doctrinal codification by GutiƩrrez, Boff, and others, strove to be a bottom-up movement in practice[5] from the wiki article

    Seems to me the rub is here, when the attempt is made to bring the goods through the use of a conspiriatorial elite, which, of course, when once in power, has little inclination to go away. Therefore a valid practice has to include democracy, and a means whereby to insure tranfers of power perioically, with the folks taking part in who the new bosses are going to be. Otherwise you got a bottoms up movement installing a top down clique that can't be got rid of, a devil likely to be more severe than the original devil.

    The devil's in the details.

    And who do you trust? Castro sounded ok in the hills, then, once in the city after winning, pronounced himself a marxist, and stuck with it too. And there they are, stuck with the clique, all these years later.

  17. In 1966, in Korea, the best liked person in my motor pool was black.
    Our lieutenant was black. The only thing he was disliked for was his demand for a serious Army demeanor instead of our default draftee fuck off attitude.

    In college in those days, Blacks and Whites fell over each other to get along.

    Since then forces of exploitation, division, and victimology have taken us backwards from the direction the country had started to take when Blacks came back from WWII and began demanding to be treated like full-fledged citizens.

    Maybe we would be better off to focus on what has taken us BACKWARDS in many areas of race-relations rather than the wrongs from the more distant past.
    Two prime examples of using race in the pursuit of their self interest:
    Obama and Wright.

    Biggest joke so far in this miserable affair:
    His multi-degreed Ivy League wife making 300+ a year, plus her husbands griftings, lecturing to young people not to pursue middle-classness!

  18. Read that from Mr Steele, earlier, or at least the "Bargainer/Challenger" storyline.

    Even plays well here in McCain country, where staunch GOP supporters have told me that it could be "good" to elect a Black, for the Country.

    They see Obama as an acceptable symbol, not a real person.

    Tad scary.

  19. Obama lying all the time about who he is, and Wright preaching hate all the time is someone else's fault.
    No solutions there.

  20. From 1966 to 1978, there was a major shift in Army culture, then, doug.

    Keeping race riots from breaking out was a major preoccupation in the line units I was in, late 70's through mid 80s.

    Lots of animosity.
    Much of it, which I saw as racial at the time, really was an urban/rural divide, but still broke along color lines.

  21. Yup, a hell of a lot happened:
    I never heard a word about controlling race-riots!
    The new left hadn't been preaching their communist line until the 60's either.

  22. Mr. Obama has said of himself, "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views . . ." And so, human visibility is Mr. Obama's Achilles heel. If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen."

    Thus, nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama's political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday -- for 20 years -- in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable. His pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a challenger who goes far past Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in his anti-American outrage ("God damn America").

    How does one "transcend" race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?

    What could he have been thinking? Of course he wasn't thinking. He was driven by insecurity, by a need to "be black" despite his biracial background. And so fellow-traveling with a little race hatred seemed a small price to pay for a more secure racial identity. And anyway, wasn't this hatred more rhetorical than real?

    But now the floodlight of a presidential campaign has trained on this usually hidden corner of contemporary black life: a mindless indulgence in a rhetorical anti-Americanism as a way of bonding and of asserting one's blackness. Yet Jeremiah Wright, splashed across America's television screens, has shown us that there is no real difference between rhetorical hatred and real hatred.

    Well written stuff.

    And it would be good to elect a black president. I think we'
    d all feel pride in that. Then it'd finally be over. My aunt dreamed of the day, "One day we'll have a black President, Bob." But not one that wants to flood the country with illegals, take my guns, defund defense, raise my taxes, on and on.

  23. That speech has some of the elements that I thought Obama should use and emphasize, from the beginning. The mixing, the experience of being both in the middle, and on both sides at once, which is a truly unique, and qualifying, experience. Pastor Wright's thrown a monkeywrench in the machinery.

    Now, if Obama would just get right on some of the issues that matter to me.....

    Good speech.

  24. "1. You weren't going to be able to keep the army after dissolving the political structure of Iraq. And that was the point of Order 1."
    "Please explain:
    Hughes already had them signed up, the USA is paying all the bills, please show what there is in #1 that makes it impossible.
    ...and again, if you can, it's still a Big, F...... Blunder."

    Why was it impossible? Because Order #1 dissolved, among every other Ministry, the leadership of Defense and Interior, and dissolved Intelligence completely. It wasn't simply de-Baathification; it was de-Sunnification. Who led and fed the insurgency?

    Whereas Bremer reversed on the disbanding without pay of the army some three weeks after issuing Order #2, Order #1 would never be reversed, and would only come to be relaxed (sporadically and arbitrarily, at that) more than a year later. It would find its way, as well, into the new constitution.

    The orders together contributed to the rise of the insurgency, but it was the first that was indispensable to the Shiification of Iraq's security forces and new governing order, and their (to put it very charitably) close alliance with the government of Iran. The two decrees have to be seen as of a piece.

    The President approved both orders. They were vetted through Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz and ratfuck/stooge Chalabi were the most vocal proponents of the complete dissolution of the Sunni Baathist civil/military/political structure. But SCIRI and al Dawa supported them as ardently.

    As has been said countless times before, OIF has been one long process of handing Iraq over to the Shiites, not least at the behest of those who refused to recognize, or simply didn't care, just who our clients in exile were.

    That we intended to settle in for the long haul was clear enough to Bremer at least a few months before any official appointment. The "forward-leaning strategy of freedom" was not going to be an in-and-outer, but a lengthy and comprehensive restructuring of both a state and a society, with, it was hoped, favorable consequences for the entire region.

    Who was the source of Executive Orders #1 and #2? One of these days we'll find out.

  25. Semper Fi has limits.

    I'd have killed Lee Harvey Oswald if I'd had the chance and knew what he was up to.

    I'd love to see Rev"God Damn America" Wright's ass fragged.

  26. Garner's comments about Chalabi leave me with serious doubts about him, you'll be glad to know.

    I find Garner to be the most real and believable character in this affair.

    Probly turn out to be a child-molester.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. He seems to speaking to some of youze guys (ddddoug!) in this part of his speech:

    "But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn't make it - those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations - those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings.

    And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

    In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time. "

  29. "That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition..."

    The saddest thing my son discovered in public school back home, ash, was the self-satisfied anti-intellectualism and anti-achievement of (suburban) black and Hispanic students. (The self-segregation seemed a byproduct of these.) Stories, he's got stories. I wish he didn't.

    What causes this? If factory schools (and this was most definitely at the top, factory-wise) do not ameliorate this corrosive and self-defeating state of mind, they are not the cause of it. An attitude like that is formed at home, ash, and is reinforced in a wider social network. And what's to be done about that?

  30. I wish I knew trish, I wish I knew...

    ...maybe we can send the army in to fix it, like in Afghanistan? Better yet, a coalition army!

  31. Barry speaking of his white grandmother:

    "a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."
    I guess he chose his Church on the basis how much it made him cringe?

    "Senator Barack Obama’s political success thus far has been a blow for equality. But equality has its down side.

    Equality means that a black demagogue who has been exposed as a phony deserves exactly the same treatment as a white demagogue who has been exposed as a phony.

    We don’t need a president of the United States who got to the White House by talking one way, voting a very different way in the Senate, and who for 20 years followed a man whose words and deeds contradict Obama’s carefully crafted election-year image

    - Thomas Sowell

  32. "The saddest thing my son discovered in public school back home, ash, was the self-satisfied anti-intellectualism and anti-achievement of (suburban) black and Hispanic students."
    esp sad given all the heroic stories of struggles to suceed through slavery and Jim Crow.

    Back in the bad old days,
    50 years ago, Hawaiian kids attending Public Schools got a first rate education.
    Today, having become enlightened, we compete with Arkansas for the bottem of the barrel.

    Likewise Calif schools.

  33. ...maybe we can send the army in to fix it, like in Afghanistan? Better yet, a coalition army!

    Tue Mar 18, 04:36:00 PM EDT

    It was an honest question, ash. It didn't need a snide answer.

  34. I thot Ash only spoke snide.

  35. How come I just heard Justice Roberts on the Radio?
    I didn't know TV or Radio had been allowed into the Court proceedings.

    Is that new?

  36. I'm sorry trish, wasn't trying to be snide. It was a weak attempt at humor. I really don't have an answer to the self perpetuating problems that abound. I've had, on occasion, had to interact with Native Canadians where similar but different problems are endemic. We also, in defense of my lame humor, have endemic societal problems in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and Somalia, and... the list goes on. I've puzzled a fair bit recently on how one can try to affect positive change. It seems we've thought sending the army into Iraq and Afghanistan might actually help the folk. Seems kind of absurd really. Funny in the context of US racial issues?

  37. "esp sad given all the heroic stories of struggles to suceed through slavery and Jim Crow."

    In Georgia I became friends, through our little Montessori school, with one of the women who broke the color line at Ole Miss, I believe it was. Wife of an AF colonel. Very smart and professionally successful, with two very smart girls, she nevertheless maintained that as a black American, and as an American woman, you really have no rights at all but those that you finagle for yourself, and that are always on the verge of being finagled right back away by white, male society. This is what she taught her daughters. And I guess part of that came from her early experience, but is there not some point at which one feels truly comfortable - un-conspired against - in life?

    Her daughters were being taught that success comes in spite of an irretrievably hostile society.

    For many, the lesson seems to be, "Success is a kind of betrayal."

    Really awful either way.

  38. Habu: I'd have killed Lee Harvey Oswald if I'd had the chance and knew what he was up to.

    No need. If you had a time machine, you just walk into the School Book Suppository Building and shout "HEY ASSHOLE!" at the exact second he was supposed to get off his three rounds. Not even a Marine is that task-oriented that he won't flinch.

  39. "It seems we've thought sending the army into Iraq and Afghanistan might actually help the folk."

    I realize it's counterintuitive for many: We do an awful lot humanitarian work; we also get an awful lot out of that humanitarian work.

    Can it change a culture? Marginally on an out-fucking-standing day. Because although benign, cultures aren't changed in that way.

  40. In 2000, he made an unsuccessful Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by four-term incumbent candidate Bobby Rush. from Wiki
    Rush was born in Albany, Georgia, was educated at Roosevelt University, the University of Illinois and McCormick Theological Seminary (all in Chicago), served in the United States Army from 1963 to 1968, was a co-founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and was an insurance agent and member of the Chicago City Council before entering the House. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    fron Wiki

    Obama got whipped by Rush, cause he wasn't down enough, so he joined this rad church to shore up his bonafides, is one way to look at it.

  41. Who cares if Obama was there, or not. The question is does he agree with what he says?

  42. What do the other area churchs look and sound like?

    Is Mr Wright an aberration or the norm, for that area of Chi-town?

    Dollars to doughnuts, it's the norm.

    Any of the black churchs in the area, you'd hear the same story, or a close variation. Just a hunch.

  43. Though McCain has had notable differences with Bush on a host of security and foreign-policy issues, his hawkish talk on Iran and military pedigree impress many in the Jewish state.

    Israel, believed to have the region's only atomic arsenal, has pledged to prevent Iran from attaining the means to threaten its existence. But some experts believe Israel lacks the means to take on Iran -- which denies seeking the bomb -- alone.

    Israeli media reports speculated that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the Democratic senators vying for their party's presidential nomination, would also visit Israel in the coming weeks.

    Israel Worried

  44. He says he doesn't, yet he kept coming back for more. His speech admitted he been there for some, at least.

    Imagine Ollie attending a NordicCentric church for years. Being married by the druid priest, taking communion, going back again and again. Baptising his kids in the faith. Wouldn't fly, when running for President.
    Sounds like Wright might be on the outer edge. But maybe all the churches in the area are the same way.
    Wroght's taken a three month 'Sabbatical' so I hear. Out of sight, or out of country, out of mind, they hope.

  45. Marion Barry, of D.C., is on in a minute, with the real skinny. Will report.

  46. Church, for most citizens, is a social affair. A time to dress up and see the neighbors. All the more so for a politico.

    Pat Robertson blamed the US for 9-11-01, for turning its' back on God and paying the price. I think it was Roberstson, could have been another of the TV evangelists.

    That the US was paying for its' sins, on 9-11, not a far fetched storyline amongst the religiously motivated. Different sins for different religions, but God's justice, none the less.

    This is a non-issue. China in Tibet, that's an issue.
    China is an issue, in all of its' ramifications, much more so than the rantings of a neighborhood preacher in a popular Chi-town ministry.

    The collapse of the dollar, that's an issue. Dovetails with the China issue, but not discussed.

    The positive aspects of a North American Union, how it benefits all concerned, or does not, that is an issue.

    But the Bar and the MSM are all a in tizzy about a Chi-town preacher.
    One who is just a tad bombastic, even for a Marine.

  47. In all the hubbub, people have ignored Sen. John McCain, the presumed representative of the Party of Racism in America. He too has a whacked-out religious surrogate, talking turkey in his stead.

    McCain's "Wright" is Reverend John Hagee, whose endorsement McCain actively solicited. Hagee is an anti-Semite, who blames Jews for bringing all their troubles on themselves, and he has called Catholicism "the Great Whore" and blamed gays for Hurricane Katrina.

    Good God, where do they find these people?

    Race to the Bottom

  48. Ho,Ho! I'll still be a law abiding citizen, it is thought.

    Supreme Court to back right to bear arms
    By Patti Waldmeir in Washington

    Published: March 18 2008 20:20 | Last updated: March 18 2008 20:20

    The US Supreme Court appears ready to rule that Americans have a constitutional right to keep a gun in their home for self-defence, a ruling that could help Republicans in the upcoming presidential election.

    Hearing the most important gun rights case in nearly 70 years, the justices on Tuesday spent 98 minutes engrossed in a lively debate about British and American legal traditions relating to the right to bear arms, especially in self-defence.

    Business waits on Supreme Court rulings - Feb-18Supreme Court blow to investor lawsuits - Jan-15By the end of Tuesday’s session, it appeared clear that a majority of the court would rule that the US constitution protects the right of individual Americans to “keep and bear arms” – but that federal, state and local governments will retain some powers to regulate firearms.

    At issue in the case is the constitution’s second amendment, which includes ambiguous language about gun rights. It says “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.

    The justices sparred over whether those words guarantee the right of individual citizens to bear arms, or only the collective right to bear arms in a state militia.

    A majority of the nine justices, including the crucial “swing” justice Anthony Kennedy, who often holds the balance of power on the court, appeared to believe the amendment guaranteed an individual right to weapons.

    Justice Kennedy repeatedly insisted that the amendment must have been intended to allow citizens to protect their frontier homes and families against dangers such as attacking Indians or bears, and should provide a similar right to protect the modern home.

    The case before the court involves a Washington DC law making it a crime to have any kind of firearm that is ready to fire, either a handgun or a loaded rifle or shotgun, and is among the strictest gun control laws in the US.

    Dick Anthony Heller, an armed security guard, sued the District after it rejected his application to keep a handgun at his home for protection. The top court is reviewing a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the DC law and broadly interpreted the right of individuals to bear arms.

    The most difficult question for the court is: what kind of laws can governments pass to restrict the constitutional right to keep and bear a gun?

    Chief Justice John Roberts made clear that the DC law would not meet his test as a reasonable regulation of firearms ownership. “What is reasonable about a total ban on possession of handguns?” he asked. But several other justices defended the ban as a reasonable response to the crime problem in America’s capital city.

    Mr Heller’s lawyer said the court could find that Americans have an individual right to own guns but still allow governments to regulate some types of weapons, such as machine guns, and who can own them.

    Political analysts said a ruling in favour of gun rights could help Republicans, especially in a close general election.

  49. Obama was very comfortable in that church for twenty years. Look at the obverse side. Did he sit there for twenty years on his hands or with folded arms? Did he never yell out with a "tell it like it is" or something close? When everyone else was jumping and hollering was he sitting? This is what is normal for many black churches. This is there culture. Is it important? Does it matter? Are words important? Is rhetoric? Are there such things as hate speech?

    Take a transcript and do a word substitute, white for black. Send the transcript to the NYT. Tell them a Republican went there for twenty weeks and see what happens.

  50. Marion Barry interview mostly about guns. He was the guy that introduced the gun ban in D.C. in the first place, he claims.

    He sounds a little washed out, to tell the truth.

  51. How to best stand up an Iraqi government, one we can leave behind US.
    That is a central issue, but never discussed.
    Just a cartoon debate, to leave immediately vs a 100 year committment.

    Both are fools errands, but the real deal, is not even discussed by proxies, let alone the candidates.

    The War, oil and the collapsing dollar, all dovetailed, all ignored in a serious way. The public being played for saps, we buying in.

    Where is Osama and why is he not dead? After six years, a trillion dollars spent on the endevour?

    The Frenchman was right, the magic is gone, won't be recovered any time soon, not by any of the clowns in the center ring, nor the barkers keeping the crowds attention away from the lions cage, where the trainer is being mauled.

  52. But Mr. Obama said he could no more disown his pastor than he could disown the black community or his own white grandmother, a woman guilty of occasional racial insensitivity.

    That is simply ridiculous. We understand that he can retain some affection for a man who has meant so much to him in other ways.

    But if indeed Wright's church embraced "the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang banger," we need only one thing from Barack Obama – the strong message that none of those is well served by the spreading of racial hatreds.

    Speech not Enough

  53. Sure, duece, there is a double standard in the MSM.
    No doubt of that.

    What of it?

    Buy a subscription to the WSJ.
    Watch FOX.
    It's still a cartoon issue.

    The Catholic Church supported Liberation Theology for twenty years, did you object?
    I'm sure you knew of it.
    Did you leave the Church because of it?

    How about those pedophiles, for more than twenty years the Catholics have supported those monsters, systematicly.
    What would Christ have done?

    This entire religion episode is Billary at their best, way out of the limelight, basking in the shadows.
    By far the greater hypocrites of the bunch. Racially, finacially, Constituionally. But being left unscathed by the whole affair.

  54. So where do you think he gets his theatrical style?

    From the preacher.

    He's preaching.

    20 years in training.

  55. "Where is Osama and why is he not dead? After six years, a trillion dollars spent on the endevour?"

    A trillion dollars? Spent on getting Osama? A little hyperbole?

    I thought you agreed with Cedarford that going after Osama was short-sighted at best?

  56. Hard to get Osama if he's in Iran. He may be, too. Some of his many kids, some complicit ones, are, or, were.

  57. But this isn't about Osama, Rat. Nor your love of the Constitution.

  58. One-hundred-year-old Rudolph Gessler of Tarpon Springs loves sports.

    He played tennis until age 94. He also golfed, and enjoyed skiing in Utah and Colorado. And until last year, he was a member of a volleyball team.

    For his 100th birthday, Mr. Gessler recently was treated to dinner at a local Chinese restaurant with friends. Later, back at Freedom Inn in Tarpon Springs, where he has lived for six years, he partied with a group of former tennis buddies, as well as two nephews from New Jersey and Michigan.


    In the fifth year of his father's illness, a young Charles McMahan faced a tough decision. Just two weeks shy of his high school graduation, he could get his diploma or take a job that paid $18 a week.

    He chose the job. It was a decision he never regretted.

    Mr. McMahan, who's made Bayview Gardens Retirement Center in Clearwater his home since 2006, turned 100 on Dec. 31, 2007.

    For 2 Men, 100 is Just a Number

  59. DR. There are 1,100,000,000 Cathoilcs in the world. Just what part of the Church supported liberation theology and pedophilia?

    by comparison there are:
    Sunni Islam- 1,000,000,000
    Anglican Communion* 77,000,000
    Assemblies of God* 50,000,000
    Seventh-day Adventist Church 16,811,519
    Jehovah's Witnesses** 16,500,000
    Southern Baptist Convention* 16,000,000
    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 12,275,822
    United Methodist Church* 11,708,887
    Church of Uganda 8,000,000
    Choge Buddhism 8,000,000
    Church of Sweden 7,143,292
    Church of God in Christ 6,500,000
    Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland 4,400,000
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark 4,350,000
    Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) 4,000,000
    Netherlands Reformed Church (NHK) 2,600,000
    Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod 2,582,440
    Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 2,560,201
    United Pentecostal Church International 2,300,000
    American Muslim Society 2,000,000
    Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) 1,300,000

    The Catholic Church supported Liberation Theology for twenty years, did you object?
    I'm sure you knew of it.
    Did you leave the Church because of it?

    "Even liberal or radical Catholics generally shy away from taking on the pope. In 1979, about 30 theologians gathered on the margins of the Latin American Bishops’ Conference (CELAM) meeting in Puebla, Mexico; they had been expressly excluded by the CELAM administration but were informally invited by some bishops. One of their first decisions was what to do about some of the statements of newly elected Pope John Paul II, which journalists were interpreting as condemnations of liberation theology. In principle, the theologians could have refuted the pope’s arguments. Instead, they carefully went through his many speeches and culled out certain lines of thought, such as his strong words on behalf of the poor, which they used as best they could in the short essays they hurriedly typed up and sent into the meeting through friendly bishops.

    Again, in 1984, when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, with the pope’s approval, issued his critique of liberation theology, most Latin American theologians sidestepped it by saying that what Ratzinger was describing was not liberation theology but a caricature, and hence his criticisms did not apply to them or their colleagues. The only exception was the independent-minded and idiosyncratic Uruguayan Jesuit Juan Luis Segundo, who wrote a short book critiquing the Ratzinger document. Segundo accused Ratzinger of either not having understood Vatican II or wanting to turn back the clock. He said, in effect: If Ratzinger’s right I’m wrong and I’ve been wrong for 25 years, and so have a lot of bishops. His book stood alone, however.

    The papacy as an institution is another matter. Few Catholic biblical scholars would argue today that Jesus instituted the papacy with particular words to Peter. Writers as diverse as Karl Rahner and Andrew Greeley have daydreamed in print of popes taking a very different stance toward the church and the world.

    In the meantime, Vatican positions and disciplinary actions continue to generate controversy, as any reader of the religious press, or even Time, is quite aware. In addition to clashes over liberation theology, Vatican authorities have continued to uphold official teaching on sexual ethics in general (as in a 1986 statement on homosexuality by Cardinal Ratzinger) and have withstood calls even for an open discussion of women’s ordination or of ending celibacy as a requirement for the priesthood. Despite the pope’s statements on the dignity of women, many see his attitude as overtly patriarchal. The Vatican has subjected Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle to a humiliating investigation and at one point took away most of his authority. The firing of moral theologian Charles Curran from the Catholic University of America and the recent announcement of a loyalty oath to be administered to those who teach Catholic theology threaten the academic integrity of Catholic universities and theologians." -Phillip Berryman

    How about those pedophiles, for more than twenty years the Catholics have supported those monsters, systematicly.

    "A Review Essay of Philip Jenkins's Pedophiles and Priests

    By William A. Donohue
    (from Catalyst, May 1996)

    The issue of pedophile priests has been the source of much discussion both in and out of the Catholic community. Like all incendiary issues, it has been the subject of heated analysis, much of it irrationally based. The good news is that there is finally a book that examines the issue in a scholarly and sober manner. The book is Pedophiles and Priests, published this year by Oxford University Press, and written by a veteran Penn State historian, Philip Jenkins. Jenkins is a first rate academic and, given that he is also an ex-Catholic, his book merits special attention.

    The first problem with conventional thinking on this subject is that almost all of those priests who have been charged with pedophilia have been charged with the wrong offense: the term pedophile refers to adult sex with youngsters who haven't reached puberty. Because the vast majority of alleged so-called pedophile priest cases involve teenagers, it is inaccurate to slap the term pedophilia on them. This is not to suggest for one moment that priest sex with anyone is somehow acceptable, it is simply to say that when charges are being bandied about, it is useful to speak truthfully about the nature of the charges.

    Though Jenkins is an historian, he is well versed in sociology, especially the field of social problems. Social problems, he writes, are often the product of "social constructions," which is to say that prevailing ideologies help determine which objective conditions are regarded as socially problematic. What this means is that under new lens, what was once considered mundane or merely troublesome, now appears as a crisis that demands immediate attention.

    To provide my own example, take poverty. It has always existed, but only in the 1960s (when there was less of it than ever before), did it become dubbed a social problem. The same is true of women's rights. The very same people who once resisted an Equal Rights Amendment, e.g., Eleanor Roosevelt, Judge Dorothy Kenyon, the ACLU and the League of Women's Voters, found themselves swept away by the social changes of the 1960s and 1970s and began pressing earnestly for an amendment they previously worked to defeat. It is not that the objective condition of women had seriously deteriorated from previous decades, rather it was that a new construction of reality had emerged.

    Sexual misconduct has always existed among the Catholic clergy, the non-Catholic clergy and in the general populace as a whole. What is new is the way many elites in American society began to socially construct the problem of priest sexual abuse, beginning in the mid-1980s. Again, this is not said to exculpate the guilty, but it is to say that a "moral panic," as Jenkins terms it, did begin to evidence itself by 1985.

    By the mid-1980s, several social currents that had begun in the 1960s had become institutionalized in American society. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, properly associated with the efforts of Martin Luther King, was the trigger for demands that went far beyond the goal of racial equality. In short time, virtually every segment of American society, from women to migrant farm workers, began to assert its rights and make claims against institutions and society in general. And they did so by using the weapon of the law. So, too, did those who pressed charges against priests, except it took two decades for them to do so.

    Feminism took root in the 1960s, and with it came a concern for a newly discovered problem (it had always been there), namely child abuse. In the decades that followed, a whole host of abuse problems would surface, complete with victim and victimizer status. In due course, attention would focus on clergy sexual abuse.

    Factionalism within the Church, as well as an adversarial media, also helped to define the contours of the problem. The disputes among politically divergent elements in the Church antedated the construction of the priest "pedophilia" problem, and when the time came for the problem to surface, both sides were ideologically prepared to weigh in with their own critiques. The media of the 1980s, which had by then become accustomed to drawing blood, also seized the moment.

    Jenkins asks us to consider why there is no such term as "pastor pedophilia"? It is not for lack of pastors involved in sexual abuse, rather it has much to do with the way the issue of pedophilia has been "framed" by our social constructionists. For example, who ever heard of Tony Leyva?

    In the 1980s, Leyva had abused perhaps one hundred boys in several southern states, but few of us ever learned of it. Leyva had the distinction of being a Pentecostal minister and was, therefore, not within the "frame" of those who were busy constructing reality. The same is true of the three brothers, all Baptist ministers, who were charged with child molestation in the 1990s: the public learned little about this highly unusual series of cases because it was not deemed worthy of dissemination by those fixated on Catholic scandals.

    Were it not for the way the problem of clergy sexual abuse has been socially defined, the public would know that the problem is hardly confined to the Catholic community. Indeed, as Jenkins has written, "In reality, Catholic clergy are not necessarily represented in the sexual abuse phenomenon at a rate higher than or even equal to their numbers in the clerical profession as a whole." The biggest difference between the Catholic and Protestant clergy in relation to this problem is due mostly to reporting procedures: there is no counterpart among Protestants to the highly centralized data keeping done by the Catholic Church, hence it is often difficult to make comparisons between the clergy of the two religions.

    Notwithstanding the difficulties that such data comparisons hold, the available information on clergy sexual misconduct shows that the problem is bigger among Protestant clergy. For example, the most cited survey of sexual problems among the Protestant clergy shows that 10 percent have been involved in sexual misconduct and "about two or three percent" are "pedophiles." With regard to the "pedophile" problem, the figure for the Catholic clergy, drawn from the most authoritative studies, ranges between .2 percent to 1.7 percent. Yet we hear precious little about these comparative statistics.

    The reaction of the media to clergy problems has had something to do with the underreporting of this issue among Protestant clergy. Once the media elites focused their attention on framing the issue in terms of the "celibacy" problem, it became difficult for them to assert that the problem was larger among the non-celibate Protestant clergy. Moreover, the prurient interest appeal of the day time television talk shows found better fodder conjuring up images of sexually deprived Catholic priests rather than in reporting the truth.

    Catholics authors contributed to the hysteria. Jenkins names Father Jason Berry, the author of Lead Us Not into Temptation, and Father Andrew Greeley, the sociologist turned sex novelist, as two principal actors in this melodrama. Berry's book, as the title implies, is bent on showing how natural the temptation to "pedophilia" is among celibate clergy. Chapter titles in his book, "The Sacred Secret" and "Clergy Sexual Abuse: Dirty Secrets Come to Light," offer just the kind of hype that is attractive to the likes of Geraldo Rivera, on whose program Berry appeared. Uninterested in the problem of clergy abuse across the board, Berry focuses exclusively on Catholic clergy misconduct.

    Father Greeley, though not sympathetic to the celibacy-causes-pedophilia argument, nonetheless has done much to profile the problem of sexual abuse. For Greeley, it is the structure of the Catholic Church that gives rise to the problem. Closed in secrecy, Greeley charges that the Catholic Church is similar to the Mafia, except that the Mafia does not tolerate deviancy the way the Church does. There is hardly a media outlet that Greeley hasn't used to vent his deep-seated anger at the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, which explains why he receives a receptive audience from those not otherwise disposed to treating Catholicism fairly.

    Jenkins finds that there were Catholics on the right who also made hay with this issue (the reforms of Vatican II were to blame), but he concludes that it was the dissenters on the "Left/liberal" side of the political spectrum "who did most to shape and define the issue during the 1960s." In particular, Jenkins fingers the National Catholic Reporter for its reporting. Not only did this weekly newspaper provide gist for the larger media, it pioneered the term "pedophile priest" in the first place.

    Then there is the book, A Gospel of Shame, written by Elinor Burkett and Frank Bruni. This diatribe attacks the Catholic Church broadside, contending that oppression has always been a staple of Catholicism. The book is loaded with chapter titles such as "While God Wasn't Watching" and "Revelations." Catholic misdeeds are stigmatized in similar language, e.g., "False Idols," "Casting Out Lepers" and "Cardinal Sins." Abusive acts are termed "The Crucifixion of Innocence" or "Suffer the Children," and the phrase, "The Silencing of the Lambs," is used to convey the polarities of good and evil. Unlike Berry, who is capable of doing some objective analysis, these authors are preoccupied with sensationalism, accounting for their popularity with those who want to demonize Catholicism.

    The visuals used in television programs on this subject are, of course, laden with Catholic religious symbols, suggesting once again that there is some real nexus between religion and the problem. When liturgical music is added to the setting, the stigmatizing effect is complete. In the print medium, cartoonists have also had a field day, making the kind of sweeping generalizations that would never be tolerated if the subject were black crime, gay promiscuity, etc.

    Jenkins does not neglect the important role that those in law have played in feeding off of charges of clergy abuse. The litigious nature of our society, promoted largely by changes in law that have made it easier to soak those with alleged "deep pockets," has made the issue of clergy sex abuse a mini-industry for some attorneys. It has gotten to such absurd lengths that attempts to name the Pope as codefendant have been tried.

    In many instances, the alleged abuse occurred so long ago that the statute of limitations has expired, the result being that civil litigation is pursued instead. But civil cases need only to establish guilt on the basis of the preponderance of evidence, a much lower standard than the reasonable doubt criterion used in criminal cases. In addition, civil cases do not require substantial evidence to begin litigation, and that makes it quite easy--and relatively inexpensive--to set a case in motion. Add to this the media attention that such charges garner, and the process of indictment is well under way.

    Cardinal O'Connor of New York has been criticized by some for saying that although harassing countersuits should be avoided, the archdiocese would still fight "excessively punitive measures" or strategies designed "to teach the church a lesson." Jenkins deals with O'Connor fairly by saying that "The extraordinary inflation of damage claims virtually demands a vigorous defense." Indeed it does: only the naive or malevolent would claim otherwise.

    "For purposes of litigation," writes Jenkins, "there is a natural commonality of interest between therapists and child-abuse experts on the one hand and the lawyers who are seeking to prove the extent and harm of clergy abuse on the other." Recall the incredible charges made by the late Steven Cook against Cardinal Bernardin and the attention it received from those in law and in the media. "Recovered memory," surely one of the most contentious and least scientific methods of psychological insight, was used to establish that Cook had had "a seeing and feeling memory" about an incident seventeen years earlier. But Cook later recanted, saying he wasn't sure about his memory. Yet there are many in the therapeutic profession who continue to entertain such discredited concepts.

    In the 1960s and 1970s, therapists generally understood that sexual abuse was treatable, itself a condition of some prior malady. Jenkins is right in asserting that officials in the Catholic Church embraced the reigning orthodoxy, and is he also right in maintaining that when the tide turned in the 1980s--when a more litigious approach gained favor--those same officials were now seen as culprits, men who sought to treat a problem that demanded a more punitive approach. In this instance, when reality was socially reconstructed, it had unfortunate consequences for the Church.

    It would be impossible to appreciate the magnification of this issue into a "moral panic" without addressing anti-Catholicism. Jenkins pulls no punches here, stating that "much of the analysis of the `pedophile crisis' from 1985 onward can legitimately be described as anti-Catholic." In his concluding notes, Jenkins argues that "the pedophile issue has legitimized patterns of rhetoric and prejudice that would have been quite familiar in the era of the Know-Nothings." Jenkins, of course, has no problem with those who report on clergy sexual abuse. But there is a difference between a story that focuses on the alleged wrongdoing of a priest and one that seeks to indict Roman Catholicism. There is a difference between analyzing clergy abuse in the Protestant community by dealing solely with the abuser, and attempting a cause and effect relationship between a wayward priest and the structural and psychodynamic conditions of the Catholic Church. Root causes, it seems, are of selective interest to many who cover this issue.

    The idea of priest as sexual deviant, Jenkins notes, is nothing new, having been a characteristic of medieval Europe, Tudor England, Revolutionary France, Nazi Germany and Republican Spain. Especially Nazi Germany. "The enduring power of the pedophile theme," Jenkins says, "is suggested by the fact that this was the propaganda device utilized by the Nazis in their attempt to break the power of the German Catholic church, especially in the realm of education and social services." Himmler charged that "not one crime is lacking from perjury through incest to sexual murder," offering the sinister comment that no one really knows what is going on "behind the walls of monasteries and in the ranks of the Roman brotherhood."

    There has been quite an evolution in the way Church officials have responded to this problem. Before the mid-1980s, that is before the "moral panic" surfaced, individual cases of clergy sexual abuse were dealt with by the dioceses in varying ways. But in 1992 and 1993, following the lead of the Chicago Archdiocese, dioceses around the country began instituting tight measures, and the National Catholic Conference of Bishops set forth stringent guidelines that also addressed the problem.

    Unfortunately, we now have the predictable problem of overkill. It is not uncommon anymore to hear priests admit that they do not want to take kids in vans, be with altar boys alone, hug schoolchildren (forbidden by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) or even horse around in a school playground. The stigmas and taboos that exist are, quite naturally, the outgrowth of a determined effort to "get the Church." It would have been sociologically incoherent had some other outcome been realized.

    This book by Philip Jenkins deserves a wide audience, but given the way the issue of clergy sexual abuse has been framed, it will not be easy for Jenkins to get a fair hearing. Don't look for the Sally Jesses of this world to invite him to appear on their show. They have made up their minds, and what they have concluded is that there is something terribly awry with the Catholic Church. All the evidence in the world won't convince them that sexual abuse of youths is found in many segments of society, from married men to ministers, and that Catholic priests actually have a lower rate of offense than their non-celibate counterparts.

    To those still interested in the pursuit of truth--and not ideology--the Jenkins volume offers much to digest. It is a tribute to him that he has been able to wade through this politicized forest and emerge with a clear vision. His book is no whitewash, rather it is the product of a scholarly exercise, the kind which used to be the rule, and not the exception, in academia."

  60. Arthur C. Clarke, the last of the old masters from the Golden Age of Science Fiction (1940s), is dead at age 90. He joins Asimov and Heinlein and Hubbard and shit.

  61. Yo!

    You left out a few:

    Church of Koresh
    Hale Bopp

    To name a few.

  62. “It’s an important topic. Issues of race and gender in America have been complicated throughout our history,” Clinton said.

    “But we should remember that this is an historic moment for the Democratic Party and for our country. We will be nominating the first African-American or woman for the presidency of the United States, and that is something that all Americans can and should celebrate.”

    Democratic strategist Tanya Acker, an Obama supporter, said she had no idea whether the speech would put the controversy to rest, but she downplayed the fact that Obama never explicitly disavowed Wright.

    Coverage Loop

  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

  64. So, duece, the Protestants shelter pedophiles, too.
    That the Catholic Church sought to move the abusers from parish to parish, without warning the congregations, is not in dispute. That the Church was found liable, not disputable. That it may not be "fair", I'll grant you. That it may be "anti-Catholic", sure.
    So what?

    Out of the twenty years that Obama attended his Church how many inflamatory sermens were there, 1.7%. There are only a few minutes of tape, from twenty years of preaching. Should it be excused, such a minority of time spent in the practice of inflamed preaching.
    provable, anyway.
    That the inflamatory sermon is used to the benefit of those that are "anti-Obama", I'll grant as well.

    The Rev. Wright believes the System has put the Black folk in a position of disadvatage.
    Poor educational systems, poor job opportunities, abandoned by their plantation owners. Done to by the Democrats like Billary done to Monica Lewinsky. Rode dirty.

    Doug will list the same litney of complaints when commenting upon current society, the Mexican invasion and the schools in CA.
    Both have some elements of rightousness to their litenies.

    John PaulII became Pope in 1979, it was not until 1984 that the Church moved against Liberation Theology. Five years.

    That for a leader of the Church, not a member in the pews. Obama who went for the social commardery. He was not a man responsible for the preaching of the Pastor.
    Not like a Pope. Who took five years to start to take a stand against radicalism in his Church, which was his direct responsibility. Five Years.

    trish, it is not that I love the Constitution, it's that I swore to defend it. One of only three serious oathes I've ever made.

    I have stood by each of them, to the best of my abilities. I'll give the Government a lot of latitude, in its' interpritation of the document. It is adaptable, malable, not written in stone, but on parchment.
    Mr McCain has abandoned it, by his own admission. "Clean Government is more important to him than Constitutional Government.
    I'll not vote for him.

    Mr Obama is, as noted in a bobal post above, a projection screen. His "core" is non-viable, in my opinion. He is for what I am against, against what I am for.

    But the attacks upon his Church are funny, to me. No big deal, in the greater scheme, and not one that will derail his train. Just cause greater division within the Country.

    Playing Billary's game.

  65. Christians, one and all.

    That is the comical part.
    The picking and the choosing.

    What is "right"
    What would Christ do, anyway?

    But turn the other cheek.

  66. Politics. We use our methods. Nothing personal.

  67. There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

    And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care.

    They had to file for bankruptcy, and that's when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

    Obama Speech

  68. I don't what the extent of the 'problem' is, in the Lutheran churches. I've never really heard of it, but then I'm rural, backwoods, peckerwood type. We do have a kind of firewall in that the pastors aren't appointed. We operate on kind of a free market in pastors. A call goes out. People apply for the job. Interviews, resumes, etc. I imagine there is some checking back on how previous employment worked out for all concerned. It's at that point that a problem would be discovered I'd think, and the likelyhood of hiring the person dry up. The committee recommends to the congregation, who then vote, after getting to know the candidate a little. If an error is made, it is by the body as a whole. Nowadays the competition for the post is among both men and women, too.

    The one time I recall a pastor getting the ax in my church was over using some teaching materials not stamped Augsburg Press.

    Here in Lewiston, one pastor I knew got axed for having AA meetings on Saturday in the worship hall. He told me 'I'm glad they axed me, I couldn't stand them, and wanted out anyway.' Direct quote:) He sells real estate with his wife now, started their own company, and seems quite happy.

  69. Politics and religion, when mixed, cause blood to flow, historicly.

    It's not personal with me, nor do I mean to be personal with you.

    It's just a devisive tactic that will come back to bite US in the ass.

  70. Everybody's got to have their imput. New Black Panther Party Endorses Obama

    Reminds me of Ron Paul being dogged by his 'supporters' in the white fringe.

  71. If you axe me, he was doing the right thing trying to help them drunks out.

  72. The privilege of the pulpit provides power to pastors since the Sunday morning congregation is, in many ways, a captive audience. Encouraging congregants to think carefully about an issue is one thing; telling them what to think is another.

    Church bodies hold moral positions on a range of issues from abortion to same-sex marriage—each of which the church considers a moral concern. However, the press usually describes these as “social” issues since they affect society.

    They are, of course, both. The church has a right, indeed an obligation, to weigh in on moral issues.

    Not Standing by his Man

  73. If you axe me, I agree. I knew the guy pretty well. We had some good talks. He'd gone through some stuff in the business world, kinda like me, only he lost everything. We were talking about how you can do everything right and it still doesn't work. 'If I had it to do over again, I'd do everything the same, cause I made the right decisions with what there was to know.' Rings a bell with me. Anyway, he turned to liquour for awhile, ended up in the hospital, wife came in with the divorce papers, but this big black guy wouldn't let her in, and saved the marriage. Said he'd never think ill of any black again. And I don't think he has. Anyway, he sobered up, went through the theology school, got this job here, and got axed cause the self righteous didn't take to the idea of having 'drunks' in the worship hall on Saturday. Once he was gone, the wife and I stopped attending, there.

    Screw 'em, I say.

  74. f it looks like a bail-out, and sound like a bail-out, it is a bail-out. But "Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.

    It doesn't work," warns Carnegie Mellon professor Allan Meltzer. Guarantee lenders against failure and they will again lend and lend and lend, diverting resources to ill-conceived ventures, driving down productivity and living standards.

    Only if the shareholders are first wiped out, or if the taxpayers gain a real opportunity to profit in a recovery, can a government rescue package avoid becoming an invitation to a repeat disaster.

    To Bail or not to Bail

  75. "School Book Suppository Building "
    Man, that's good.
    Wish I were there, but I got company.

  76. Sam,
    Medved, Jew, says that ain't even close to true about Hagee, and he's talked to him one on one.

  77. The market gains accelerated in the afternoon, soon after the Fed announced the interest rate cut, even though many on Wall Street had been expecting a cut of a full percentage point.

    In Jacksonville, Fla., yesterday, Bush continued speaking optimistically about the outlook for the economy. "The key is to recognize problems and to act early, which is what we've done," the president said, adding later: "If there needs to be further action, we'll take it."

    "In the long term," he said, "we're going to be just fine."

    Stocks Soar

  78. Ok, wonder where he got the rap from?

  79. Sam, have you been listening to Coast to Coast lately? From coast to coast, and all across the globe. Only for the prepared.:)

    KGO is on the Obama church deal tonite. All a matter of guilt by association. He's the guy to bring us together.

    One guy calls in and asks the simple question, why didn't he associate with somebody else?

    Arthur C Clarke has died. Given a send off by Richard Hoagland on C to C.

  80. Opportunism Brought Obama To Wright Dick Morris

    An excellent worldly reason for choosing a church.

  81. In Elephant Country, Mike the Moron Isn't Lacking For Courage
    from Maggie's Farm

    Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Don't sell this guy a life insurance policy.

  82. Turns out you were right Trish:
    Laura's been lettin him do it w/the lights on for the past month.

  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Why Bobal never came to Larry's defense is beyond me:
    Turns out that in both Idaho and Washington, three taps means hand over the sports section.

  85. "Out of the twenty years that Obama attended his Church how many inflamatory sermens were there, 1.7%. "
    Where did THAT come from?

  86. What an out of touch with reality concept, the idea that someone that regularly rallies others with lies and hatred, has no afftereffects on those moved by same:

    Lives ruined, lives taken, lives turned into sick jokes like Michelle Obama, making 300k plus, in addition to the con-man's griftings, lecturing those with nothing but their futures in their hands NOT to seek "middle classness."
    (such a favor the sick bitch is doing them, right?)

    ...and wtf is up with that admonition about not yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater.
    Just Rantings, Wright?

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

  89. PS
    Can anyone really contend that those so moved by the Wrights of the World, will, on balance, come anywhere near achieving their dreams and goals as well as that same group would when exposed to the truth of how the world works for those that learn how to persist and succeed, and press on is spite of the inevitable vicissitudes of life?

    ...except, of course, for the small minority like Barack and his wife, that become professional con-artists.

  90. (like their Mentor, the REVEREND Wright)
    ...and Louie, man of the year, Farakahn.

  91. Comment #1
    "It's always bugged me that the focus of his obsession and attention was a man who abandoned him as young child, and not his white grandparents who raised him. But this is just contemptible.

    His grandmother was afraid of a black thug once, so naturally she's tantamount to that race hustling pastor Wright?

  92. and a later contribution:
    annon said...
    "There is nothing more painful to me [...] than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.

    -- the Most Reverend Jesse Jackson, March 10 1996, US News & World Report.

  93. Turns out you were right Trish:
    Laura's been lettin him do it w/the lights on for the past month.

    Wed Mar 19, 05:43:00 AM EDT

    What'd I tell ya. It's the little things in life.

  94. LOL
    LAPD: Jump in killings not due to racial strife

    Dealing with a nearly 35% rise over last year, the department contends no single factor can explain the increase.
    Of 57 Latinos killed this year, 87% are believed to have been struck down by other Latinos, the LAPD data show. (Those statistics do not include several cases in which the race of the suspect is unknown and one case in which the assailant is white.)

    Nearly two-thirds of black homicide victims, meanwhile, are suspected to have been killed by other blacks. In about one of every three cases, the killer is thought to be Latino -- up from 14% over all of 2007.
    But even in instances in which a Latino is believed to have killed a black person or vice versa this year, police insist that there is no evidence that points to race being the primary factor in the homicide.
    Latino on Black murder only up a little more than 100% in one year:
    Taint no big thing.

  95. Rahm Emmanuel:

    "I propose a New Deal for the New Economy -- a plan that helps address Americans' economic anxieties and prepares workers for the future.

    "First, we must reform the way we educate the next generation of workers to ensure that our nation stays competitive. In an era in which you earn what you learn, Americans should no longer be allowed to drop out of school at age 16. We should require all students to receive one year of training and education after high school -- be it at a community college, technical school, or a four year university. And we should make higher education less costly, by expanding the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits to make going to community college affordable again. Previous investments, such as the GI Bill and universal high school education, have proven that investing in human capital yields large dividends."

    More compulsory government schooling! Because if 10-13 years of it doesn't do the trick, 1-3 more surely will!

    That poor and minority students are commonly ill-prepared, beginning in the lower elementary, for higher education, no matter how cheap, no matter how funded; that making more young people captive, longer, to an academic regimen to which they are not receptive is a terrific waste; that work is sometimes, and for a variety of reasons, more valuable than an adolescence extended by government fiat - would ANY of these facts ring a bell with the Rahm Emmanuels?

    I didn't even bother reading the rest of a New Deal for a New Economy. I'm familiar enough with Progressive Policy Institute-kind of thinking that I could write the damn thing myself.

  96. "Despite the new numbers from the LAPD, authorities have said in the past that race-based violence has been a problem in some L.A. neighborhoods. Federal prosecutors last year charged members of a Latino gang with a violent campaign to drive blacks out of the unincorporated Florence-Firestone neighborhood, which allegedly resulted in 20 homicides over several years.

    In the Harbor Gateway district of L.A., police launched a crackdown last year on another Latino gang accused of targeting blacks, including 14-year-old Cheryl Green, whose death became a rallying point. In 2006, members of the Avenues, a Latino gang, were convicted in federal court for a series of assaults and killings in the early 1990s targeting blacks in Highland Park.

  97. You remind me, I heard on the Radio two professors have an op-ed in the LA Times about homeschoolers being elitist and some other perjorative.

  98. What could be worse than "illiberal?" could I have forgotten...

  99. "Moreover, it is apparent from the cries of the far right that there has been a specific policy in home schooling -- to teach only the ideas acceptable to ideologues who fear the contaminating influence of what is commonly known as a liberal education."

  100. End the War on Drugs and the exploding culture of crime it's given us. Hm?

    But no. Big government conservatives and liberals have all the answers.

    We libertarians are going to find us a nice island somewhere.

  101. Starling said...
    Whiskey, you have the proportions reversed. About 90% of black Americans believe strongly in the message articlulated by Martin Luther King, Jr and strive, imperfectly to be sure, to realize The Dream. About 10% are bitter and resentful as you described. Clearly, I count myself among the former group, the 90%.

    By the accident of birth, my normal social intercourse, and my chosen associations, I have regular occasion to cross paths with members of the other 10%.

    They are the most vocal and the most strident and suffer from the delusion that they speak on behalf of all black Americans. They are mislead into believing that their voice is authentic, their experiences typical, their outrage justified.

    Interestingly, the most articulate and well-educated among this group have discovered that they can profit very handsomely from their moth-like attraction to public office, microphones, and the glare of spotlights. A high proportion of the members of the CBC would fall into this camp, along with the likes of JJackson and ASharpton. A not-small proportion of the black glitterati fall into this radical camp, as well.

    Despite his protestations to the contrary, BHO belongs to the latter 10%. He differs from the rest of the 10% in one important way: he is perhaps the most well-educated, articulate, and politically-savvy of his generation.

    And as evidenced by his speech yesterday in the City of Brotherly Love, he is able to convince a sizeable proportion of people (most of whom want to be convinced) that he didn't sip the Hate-o-rade that was served up in the place of wine by Rev. Wright at Communion for 20 years. But I'm not fooled- not for a second.

  102. Trish,
    Miller reported tourism in Tijuna down, 90%, due to the drug wars.
    ...and Iraq is called the long war!

  103. Homeschoolers are elitist? That's a new one.

  104. Worse yet, illiberal.
    I think I called you an elitist homeschooler, if you'll recall!
    The Rev God Damn America sold his sermons on DVD and VHS for nearly twenty years to the point where he lives in a
    mansion and drives a Mercedes.

  105. In a statement released after an investigation of the incident, the LAPD stated that there was no evidence the deceased was dead.