Tag Archives: obama

D’Souza is a Travesty of an Analyst… and I have to let go of that…

Dinesh D’souza is speaking in a week here.  A student club is bringing him.  He is a travesty to literary analysis as he bases his whole “Obama wants to destroy America” on a wacky reading of Obama’s book.  I would get nothing out of going and challenging him.  But it irks me no one else might not.

Link to talk: http://susquehannavalleyconservatives.com/community-corner/

Stanley Fish says what I would like to: “This is disappointing. While a viewer could certainly disagree with D’Souza’s analysis of the genesis and emergence of Obama’s views, it is nevertheless an analysis to which one could respond in the usual spirit of intellectual debate by saying things like “you’ve left something out” or “you draw your conclusion too quickly.” But as the movie picks up polemical speed, philosophy, political theory and psychology are left behind and replaced by name-calling, and by a name-calling that brings D’Souza close to positions he rejects. For instance, he rejects birtherism, the contention that Obama was born in Kenya and is hence not an American citizen; but he replaces it with a back-door, or metaphorical, birtherism when he characterizes Obama as an alien being, as a fifth-column party of one who has pretended to be an American, and technically is one, but really is something else.”  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/obama-dsouza-and-anti-colonialism/

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Useful Graphic of Stimulus Bill

This is a useful graphic of the elements of the stimulus bill.

To see better, make your view larger by hitting ctrl + in Firefox.  Or, click on link above.

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Filed under Government, policy, Politics, Power, Activism

In Defense of White Americans- Finally!

Frank Rich of the NY Time has said what i have been arguing with friends and family for awhile.  Race is a complicated matter in America. 

Op-Ed Columnist – In Defense of White Americans – NYTimes.com
When Obama cited her in his speech on race last spring, the right immediately accused him of “throwing his grandmother under the bus.” But Obama’s critics were merely projecting their own racial hang-ups. He still loves his grandmother. He was merely speaking candidly and generously — like an adult — about the strange, complex and ever-changing racial dynamics of America. He hit a chord because many of us have had white relatives of our own like his, and we, too, see them in full and often love them anyway.

Many of my white, educated friends (just the people supposedly immune to racial stereotyping or prejudice) openly acknowledge our shock at the amount of subtle racist thinking that shows up in tests like the implicit racial bias test. Unions, pop culture (Eminem anyone?  Or Hootie and the Blowfish?), sports teams, public school, and, of course, the original integrator, the US military have done a lot to create millions of moments for people to know each other as individuals and forge some sense of solidarity.  My point is that racial bias, in its subtle form, extends everywhere (ask Hispanics or Koreans about Blacks, for example, or vice verse) and that social fact CAN and DOES exist in quirky disharmony with the human capacity to interact and relate across a myriad divides and misunderstandings.

Racism in the face of the yawning maw of economic collapse is a luxury only zealous ideologues can afford.  And most Americans are pretty pragmatic.


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Last Chance to Apply to Be an Obama Organizing Fellow!

Maybe some current or former students check in…

Maybe this campaign is going to be a case study in managerialism in politics married to netroots.  Centrally controlled message and tight finances (managerialism) with people2peole tools and emergent organizing on the ground (netroots).  so, this counts as an OT post also.  :<)

Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Sam Graham-Felsen’s Blog: Last Chance to Apply to Be an Obama Organizing Fellow!
Today is your last chance to apply to be an Obama Organizing Fellow this summer. This is your opportunity to be on the frontlines of this movement for change, bringing Obama’s message to voters across America, precinct by precinct, block by block…

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Filed under activism, management, Org Design, Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), Politics, Power, Activism, Social Networks

Obama’s opiate and bitter pills to swallow

So , Obama has been attacked for his “bitter”comments.

As if you didn’t know, the snippet that has most drawn sharks like blood in the water:

“And they fell through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not,” he went on. “And it’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

“Cling”, “guns,” and “religion” seem to have been the trifecta that sprung the “elitist” trap on him (Well, he trapped himself and has admitted it was not well said). Memories of Gore and Kerry, two fine leaders and VETERANS who were easily fitted with the mantle of “king of the elitists,” came surging back, stoking Obama’s enemies (Clinton AND McCain) and the media alike. One example. The elitist charge seems like it dates back to the post-Goldwater rise of the conservative movement. I sense darker undertones…elitist is not only arrogant or snobbish, but more sinister. It echoes fears of fifth column traitors, communists, or jews lurking amongst us “normal” folk. Like ghouls or demons, they pose as normal and can only be caught when their mask slips.

Ah… cue William Kristol, in an op-ed where he places Obama’s comments next to Marx’s “religion is the opiate of the masses.”

What does this mean for Obama’s presidential prospects? He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America. He’s usually good at disguising this. But in San Francisco the mask slipped. And it’s not so easy to get elected by a citizenry you patronize. [My emphasis].

And, as the irony sirens scream, let me also point out that the modus operandi of this adherent of conservative ideology, which surely critiques the idea of the subconscious and psychology, relies on a the technique of a Freudian slip to show how Obama actually disdains America and Americans (assumed to be a monolithic entity). I guess misleading us into war with laundered propaganda, since conscious and not a Freudian Slip, is not disdainful or elitist. Just what then…? Nietzschean? Leo Straussian?

Oh Vay. Now Lieberman piles on.

Did Obama claim that economic frustration causes religiosity and extremism about the 2nd amendment? Probably. The full context of the quotation and his subsequent remarks (clip or transcript) clarify his more nuanced understanding that economic frustration can lead to greater feeling or using religion or culture to understand economic changes. More to the point, the bitterness is because the elites have forgotten middle America , the place, and the people. Obama:

“Nobody is looking out for you. Nobody is thinking about you. And so people end up- they don’t vote on economic issues because they don’t expect anybody’s going to help them. So people end up, you know, voting on issues like guns, and are they going to have the right to bear arms. They vote on issues like gay marriage. And they take refuge in their faith and their community and their families and things they can count on. But they don’t believe they can count on Washington.”

Ok, on a more humorous note. If religion is the opiate of the masses, what are guns? The crank? The drags?

“Die Religion … ist das Opium des Volkes.” Karl Marx.

Recruits: [chanting] This is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.” Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

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Obama Everywhere in PA (song)

Lewisburg, thanks to Earl Pickens, punches above its weight…

And, yes, they are all real towns in PA.

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Catching up

Just kvetching.  Snow caused two and a half days of lost work over the last week.  But it was fun to be with kids.  On Saturday, after being cooped all day Friday due to awful slushy weather (no good for sledding), the lil’ ones went outside to wait for me and I came out and saw them pulling each other down a muddy, slushy slope laughing their heads off.  The kids are all right.

Then, yesterday, my work computer broke.  That is like the fifth HD and third machine in two years.  Ridiculous.   I have been a VAP at BU [Visiting assistant Prof] which is part of reason I get hand-me-downs.  We’ll see about data recovery.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

Super duper duper Tuesday is   tomorrow, and that is just distracting.

Especially since I found this video inspiring:

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Filed under Computer add ins, life, Politics, Power, Activism