Obama Praises William Ayers’ Book

Politics — By on October 20, 2008 at 7:06 pm

According to Fox News, while he was a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama endorsed William Ayers’ book A Kind and Just Parent: Children of the Juvenile Court . In the endorsement, state senator Obama praised the book as “searing and timely.” I am not aware of any remarks from the McCain camp about this latest link between Ayers and Obama, but I would not be surprised to see this emerge as a talking point. Meanwhile, Obama’s camp is claiming that the endorsement was not a review of the entire book. This seems like a sensible defense of Senator Obama’s endorsement. It seems perfectly reasonable to assume that Senator Obama simple believed the book’s title (for example) to be “searing and timely.”
I believe that the evidence clearly demonstrates that Senator Obama and William Ayers, a self-admitted perpetrator of domestic attacks against the United States, had a friendly relationship and have many areas of ideological agreement. Ideological agreement between the two can be seen most clearly in the area of education. Given Ayers age and position relative to Obama upon their meeting, it further seems reasonable to conclude that Ayers is something of an ideological mentor to Barack Obama. I hold a high view of the power of mentor / mentee relationships and believe that young people (such as myself) owe much of our early understandings / views of the world and personal networking success to such relationships.
My question to the Obama supporters out there: Does Obama’s mentor / mentee relationship with Ayers matter? If not, why not?


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  • ex-preacher

    First, a few questions for you, Dustin. What exactly is your evidence that they ever had a mentor/mentee relationship? What exactly did this relationship involve? Are you so desperate to win an election that you will sacrifice all integrity? Is this how Jsus would campaign? Have you heard of Willie Horton? Are you afraid that McCain can’t actually win on his ideas and character?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Ex-Preacher,
    Obama’s relationship with Professor Ayers has been well documented. Here are the salient facts:
    1) In 1995, Barack Obama chaired the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The purpose of the CAC was to obtain money from the Annenberg foundation to be distributed to schools within the Chicago area. Obama, then a young man fresh out of school, worked closely with William Ayers whose role it was to set the ideological framework for understanding problems within the Chicago school system and help the CAC appropriately direct funds to solve those problems. Mr. Obama also served on several other boards with Mr. Ayers. The two also sat on several panels together including one panel titled “Intellectuals In Times of Crisis” organized by the associate dean Michelle Obama.
    2) Mr. Ayers is on record stating that he did not feel as though he and his friends in the weather underground went far enough in their domestic terrorist attacks. Furthermore, he has gone on record praising himself and the weather underground for showing restraint in not having bombed more than they did. He is also on record stating that the writings of Marx and the ethics of communism still appeal to him.
    3) Mr. Obama is asking Americans to judge his work as a community organizer, primarily with projects like the CAC of which Mr. Ayers played an important role in shaping the agenda, as something which credentials him to lead in highest office in the United States.
    4) Mr. Ayers was one of a handful of Democrats who hosted Mr. Obama, with whom he was well acquainted, at his house for coffee and to help Mr. Obama fund raise for Mr. Obama’s run for the state senate.
    5) Mr. Obama respected Mr. Ayers work on Chicago schools and his ideological perspectives on these issues so much that he gave a glowing endorsement of Mr. Ayers’ book on the subject.
    From these facts, it is reasonable to conclude that:
    1) Mr. Ayers holds views about this country which are, at best, controversial and, at worst, malicious to core American cultural principles.
    2) Mr. Ayers played a formative role in the shaping of Barack’s early “real world” perception of America and the American project, especially on the issue of education. This is one example of how Mr. Ayers was a mentor to Sen. Obama.
    3) Mr. & Ms. Obama thought highly enough of Mr. Ayers to invite him to be an expert speaker on a number of panels.
    4) Mr. & Ms. Obama resonated with Mr. Ayers and his political perspectives to such a degree that they saw no political harm in associating with Mr. Ayers as he hosted one of several of Mr. Obama’s political “coming out” parties.
    I refuse to address your other questions on the grounds that they are leading, distract from the question at hand, and are (frankly) absurd.

  • CaliforniaDad

    Ex preacher mentions integrity. As a Christian, are we not called to be honest in all areas of our lives? As we evaluate our candidates shouldn’t we be concerned about the honesty and integrity of the candidates? Dustin’s blog deals with a development that further questions and appears to again discredit the veracity of Obama’s claims regarding his relationship with Mr. Ayers. One would think that having a long standing personal and professional relationship with an unrepentant terrorist is a legitimate issue that should be closely examined.
    Obama’s lack of candor regarding his relationship with Ayers mirrors his lack of candor regarding his relationship with Rev. Wright. If Obama will so easily toss aside Ayers, Wright and others who are now inconvenient obstacles standing in the way of his personal ambitions and political gain, then no one should be surprised in the future when he chooses to toss aside others, including his promises, that stand in his way.
    I have heard some say that if one wants to know the path a man is taking, then look at his feet and not his mouth. Dustin’s blog addresses a topic dealing with the path Obama has and is taken. If this issue is honestly examined, it shows a lack of veracity in Obama’s rhetoric. This goes to his heart and his character. To me, character is important.

  • Mike Toreno

    “Mr. Ayers is on record stating that he did not feel as though he and his friends in the weather underground went far enough in their domestic terrorist attacks.”
    No he didn’t.
    I have a question. If you have to tell lies to support your views (as you so frequently do) how sound are your views?

  • jill

    Okay, if we are going to play that game, we could talk about McCain’s good buddy, Liddy; or how about Palin’s relationship to those crazy Alaskan successionists. It seems desperate, really. And it is not helping McCain. People are sick of hearing about it, and are more concerned about the economy and other issues that are are effecting their lives now.
    No wonder, so many conservatives are worried about the state of their party.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Mike,
    That Mr. Ayers made the claim about “not going far enough” is undisputed. A cursory Google search will evidence the fact. There is a little dispute about what he meant by the claim, but nobody disputes that he made it.
    Jill,
    Why won’t you answer the question? It is a simple question and I have presented evidence (all of it Google checkable) for my premises. That you are thus far unable to provide a compelling answer to my question and instead choose to employ rhetorical misdirection is troubling.

  • qwertyuiop

    This today from Afro American economist, Thomas Sowell, nails it:
    Telling a friend that the love of his life is a phony and dangerous is not likely to get him to change his mind. But it may cost you a friend.
    It is much the same story with true believers in Barack Obama. They have made up their minds and not only don’t want to be confused by the facts, they resent being told the facts.
    When one thinks of all the men who have put their lives on the line in battle to defend and preserve this country, it is especially painful to think that there are people living in the safety and comfort of civilian life who cannot be bothered to find out the facts about candidates before voting to put the fate of this nation, and of generations yet to come, in the hands of someone chosen because they like his words or style.
    Of the four people running for President and Vice President on the Republican and Democratic tickets, the one we know the least about is the one leading in the polls– Barack Obama.

  • Godbot

    So this particular episode of the Outpost seems to be about Obama’s supposed lack of character. Seriously? And you begin by citing Fox News. Really? We can tell, you seem to be saying, what a persons character is by the company he keeps/once kept (of course, you go even farther than that, asserting that Obama has a mentor/mentee relationship with Ayers). Without going in to all the sordid details, how about talking about the company McCain keeps, starting, say, with his affair then with his now current wife, moving on to the Keating 5, and perhaps ending with his ongoing support for the rediculously incompetent W, or better, the incredibaly unqualified Palin? No? Okay, how about oh, say, Jesus of Nazareth, friend of tax collecters, zealots, prostitutes, and other assorted “sinners?” It is my understanding that Peter, John, James and the rest had a “mentor/mentee” relationship with that man. Not to mention Paul, who actually claimed to have seen said Jesus after he was long dead! Oh, thats right, Steeve finds such questions leading, distracting and absurd.
    To answer ex-preacher’s question:
    “Are you afraid that McCain can’t actually win on his ideas and character?”
    Yes, they are afraid. VERY, VERY afraid.

  • ucfengr

    Is this how Jsus would campaign?
    Jesus is a Monarchist; why would he feel the need to campaign.
    Have you heard of Willie Horton?
    If I recall, he was a convicted murderer in Massachusetts, during the Dukakis years, who was let out of prison on a furlough. While on furlough, he went down to Maryland and killed a couple of people. What does that have to do with Obama. Surely you aren’t trying to connect Obama with Horton, too. Seems a bit of a stretch to me.
    Are you afraid that McCain can’t actually win on his ideas and character?
    I’m more concerned that Obama will win without a thorough vetting of his radical affiliations. If McCain had been connected with Eric Rudolph or Terry Nichols, it’s hard to imagine that McCain would have gotten any less than the full “Joe the Plumber” anal exam, but Obama affiliations with Ayers, Doehrn, Wright and other ner’do wells goes strangely unexplored.

  • jd

    Just for the record–none of you Obama supporters even attempted to answer the question. Well, except for Godbot who compared Obama to–surprise–Jesus Christ.

  • Tony P

    I see no reason to believe there was a “mentor/mentee” relationship between the two. Ayers ideology and actions are despicable and he is clearly unrepentant. But the notion that he and Sen. Obama share so much ideology is at best a little misleading, at worst an attempt to paint Sen. Obama as a like-minded anarchist with designs on violent revolution. The latter is dangerous ground to be on, especially given the ugly tone taken by some at McCain-Palin rallies of late. Debate his policies and his experience, but if you really want to get into character and associations, let’s spread that around and look at Sen. McCain as well.

  • Tony P

    I see no reason to believe there was a “mentor/mentee” relationship between the two. Ayers ideology and actions are despicable and he is clearly unrepentant. But the notion that he and Sen. Obama share so much ideology is at best a little misleading, at worst an attempt to paint Sen. Obama as a like-minded anarchist with designs on violent revolution. The latter is dangerous ground to be on, especially given the ugly tone taken by some at McCain-Palin rallies of late. Debate his policies and his experience, but if you really want to get into character and associations, let’s spread that around and look at Sen. McCain as well.

  • NPLB

    DON’T BITCH
    What worries me is how he wants to have our goverment take over our lives and say what we can and can not do or have.
    you are right people have already made up their minds and they are going to get a change but the kind they are hopeing for.
    Remember when Obama is in do not bitch when Daddy will not let you be your own self in reference to making decessions for your family.
    Do not bitch when you have to wait a month to have surgery cause every body will be waiting to medical help as well. McCain’s life is all america afairs and all. Where is Obama U.S.A. Flag?? What does he have on his Jet? He flyes his own sign. again everything for who? Obama that who and you suckers are it.
    Do not bitch when your taxes go up to pay for the ones that do not have a job and will not get one cause you are paying for them to stay at home. McCaln is not a fancy talker, he is a doer. Obama is a fancy talker. Wait til ACORD get a hold of your lives. Obamam is not doing/satying what he is saying for the people, he is doing all this for Obama.
    You get the point cause I have a lot more do not bitch.
    I hope your boy gets in, so I can tell you (that I told you so

  • NPLF

    DON’T BITCH
    What worries me is how he wants to have our goverment take over our lives and say what we can and can not do or have.
    you are right people have already made up their minds and they are going to get a change but the kind they are hopeing for.
    Remember when Obama is in do not bitch when Daddy will not let you be your own self in reference to making decessions for your family.
    Do not bitch when you have to wait a month to have surgery cause every body will be waiting to medical help as well. McCain’s life is all america afairs and all. Where is Obama U.S.A. Flag?? What does he have on his Jet? He flyes his own sign. again everything for who? Obama that who and you suckers are it.
    Do not bitch when your taxes go up to pay for the ones that do not have a job and will not get one cause you are paying for them to stay at home. McCaln is not a fancy talker, he is a doer. Obama is a fancy talker. Wait til ACORD get a hold of your lives. Obamam is not doing/satying what he is saying for the people, he is doing all this for Obama.
    You get the point cause I have a lot more do not bitch.
    I hope your boy gets in, so I can tell you (that I told you so

  • NPLB

    DON’T BITCH
    What worries me is how he wants to have our goverment take over our lives and say what we can and can not do or have.
    you are right people have already made up their minds and they are going to get a change but not the kind of change they are hopeing for.
    Remember when Obama is in do not bitch when Daddy will not let you be your own self in reference to making decessions for your family.
    Do not bitch when you have to wait a month to have surgery cause every body will be waiting to have medical help as well. (Goverment medical) McCain’s life is all america, afairs and all. Where is Obama U.S.A. Flag?? What does he fly on his Jet? He flyes his own sign. again everything for who? Obama that’s who and you suckers are it.
    Do not bitch when your taxes go up to pay for the ones that do not have a job and will not get one cause you are paying for them to stay at home. McCaln is not a fancy talker, he is a doer. Obama is a fancy talker. Wait til ACORD get a hold of your lives. Obama is not doing/satying what he is saying for the people, he is doing all this for Obama. Do your home work.
    I hope your boy gets in, so I can tell you (that I told you so.

  • Rob Ryan

    NPLB: When you are attempting to talk down to people, immaculate grammar and spelling is crucial. Otherwise, the effect is unintentionally ironic.
    Does the relationship between Obama and Ayers matter? Not in the least. We have no reason to believe that the men agree at all points. Calling the relationship mentor/mentee is a stretch. Frankly, I don’t think Dustin is nearly as concerned about Obama’s relationship with Ayers as he is with the likelihood that he will pick the next couple of Supreme Court justices.

  • http://dariusteichroew.blogspot.com Darius

    Mike Toreno, you may want to do even a basic search before accusing others of lying, since it just shows your own ignorance.

  • http://dariusteichroew.blogspot.com Darius

    “Does the relationship between Obama and Ayers matter? Not in the least.”
    Rob, would you honestly say the same thing if David Duke was a close friend and confidant of McCain? That Obama consistently relies on some of the country’s most hateful, disturbed individuals as his mentors and friends indicates something about his character and possibly his beliefs. His lack of discernment in getting into close friendship with Ayers, Wright, and Rezko is breathtaking.

  • http://comcast ARIANNA HOWARD

    It is starting to feel like we are living in a different country. With the press unwilling to be openminded and fair in the reporting, and voter fraud and the tearing apart and harrassing of Joe the plumber……what happened to freedom of speech and thought. I guess if you parrot all the liberial retoric then all will be well. this is terrible. I am saddened about what is happining in this beloved country

  • ex-preacher

    No, Dustin, being on a board with someone (along with high-profile Republicans), or on a panel, or writing a blurb for their book (with the dangerous line “searing and timely”), or even at a fundraiser in their house does not make them a mentor. By the way, Ayers never killed anybody.
    From one of the few sane conservatives left – George Will:
    “This [that Obama is a bad person], McCain and his female Sancho Panza say, is demonstrated by bad associations Obama had in Chicago, such as with William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. But the McCain-Palin charges have come just as the Obama campaign is benefiting from a mass mailing it is not paying for. Many millions of American households are gingerly opening envelopes containing reports of the third-quarter losses in their 401(k) and other retirement accounts — telling each household its portion of the nearly $2 trillion that Americans’ accounts have recently shed. In this context, the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama’s Chicago associations seem surreal — or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, ‘like being savaged by a dead sheep.'”

  • Rob Ryan

    “Rob, would you honestly say the same thing if David Duke was a close friend and confidant of McCain?”
    If McCain, along with several democrats, had served on an educational board with Duke and had written a favorable comment on a book written by Duke about education and had specifically spoken out against Duke’s racist past, yes, I’d give him a pass. I would not accuse him of palling around with racists.

  • ex-preacher

    pssst – Have you heard about that Jesus? Yeah, he pals around with prostitutes, tax collectors and Re-Publicans. I even heard he pals with a couple unrepentant terrorists (zealots). His lack of discernment in getting into close friendship with these people indicates something about his character and possibly his beliefs.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    So where’s the big post on same sex marriage?

  • Mike Toreno

    Darius, I did do a search, I know all about it and I know, by comparing the real quote to Dustin’s version of it, that Dustin amended the quote to make it say what he wanted it to say, rather than what it actually did say. Of the two of us, someone has shown his ignorance, certainly. What I would ask you is why? It would have been so easy for you to educate yourself, why do you make yourself appear stupid and lazy? Is opposing Obama so important to you that you’re willing to make yourself look as retarded as Dustin in order to create reasons for that opposition?

  • JohnW

    Don’t you worry Dustin, if it’s being reported on Fox News, you can be sure this latest Ayers tidbit will be used by the McCain campaign.
    What about Ms. Palin’s more timely association with the Alaska Independence Party? She has addressed several of their conventions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwvPNXYrIyI). I supposed those people in Alaska don’t think the same way about America, as the rest of us do.
    Ayers did his time and is now a well respected member of the community. I suppose Chicago Mayor Daley palls around with terrorists too? Oh, wait a minute, he is a democrat, so maybe he does pall around with terrorists. These liberals all hate america, you know. Why doesn’t the media start investigating people in the media to see where their allegiances are….
    Dustin, I feel sorry for you.

  • smmtheory

    By the way, Ayers never killed anybody.

    As if the attempt were not considered as bad under the law. If somebody intentionally shot at your house and at your neighbor’s houses, would you be so sanguine about it if nobody was killed? What about if years later he said that he did and wished he had brought more ammunition?

  • ex-preacher

    He never even tried to kill anyone.

  • smmtheory

    Ayers did his time

    No, he did not. Time on the run from the law is not considered debt paid to society by anyone that I know of.

  • ex-preacher

    Letter to the New York Times
    September 15, 2001
    To The Editors—
    In July of this year Dinitia Smith asked my publisher if she might interview me for the New York Times on my forthcoming book, Fugitive Days. From the start she questioned me sharply about bombings, and each time I referred her to my memoir where I discussed the culture of violence we all live with in America, my growing anger in the 1960’s about the structures of racism and the escalating war, and the complex, sometimes extreme and despairing choices I made in those terrible times.
    Smith’s angle is captured in the Times headline: “No regrets for a love of explosives” (September 11, 2001). She and I spoke a lot about regrets, about loss, about attempts to account for one’s life. I never said I had any love for explosives, and anyone who knows me found that headline sensationalistic nonsense. I said I had a thousand regrets, but no regrets for opposing the war with every ounce of my strength. I told her that in light of the indiscriminate murder of millions of Vietnamese, we showed remarkable restraint, and that while we tried to sound a piercing alarm in those years, in fact we didn’t do enough to stop the war.
    Smith writes of me: “Even today, he ‘finds a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance,’ he writes.” This fragment seems to support her “love affair with bombs” thesis, but it is the opposite of what I wrote:
    “We’ll bomb them into the Stone Age, an unhinged American politician had intoned, echoing a gung-ho, shoot-from-the-hip general… each describing an American policy rarely spoken so plainly. Boom. Boom. Boom. Poor Viet Nam. Almost four times the destructive power Florida… How could we understand it? How could we take it in? Most important, what should we do about it? Bombs away. There is a certain eloquence to bombs, a poetry and a pattern from a safe distance. The rhythm of B-52s dropping bombs over Viet Nam, a deceptive calm at 40,000 feet as the doors ease open and millennial eggs are delivered on the green canopy below, the relentless thud of indiscriminate destruction and death without pause on the ground. Nothing subtle or syncopated. Not a happy rhythm. Three million Vietnamese lives were extinguished. Dig up Florida and throw it into the ocean. Annihilate Chicago or London or Bonn. Three million—each with a mother and a father, a distinct name, a mind and a body and a spirit, someone who knew him well or cared for her or counted on her for something or was annoyed or burdened or irritated by him; each knew something of joy or sadness or beauty or pain. Each was ripped out of this world, a little red dampness staining the earth, drying up, fading, and gone. Bodies torn apart, blown away, smudged out, lost forever.”
    I wrote about Vietnamese lives as a personal American responsibility, then, and the hypocrisy of claiming an American innocence as we constructed and stoked an intricate and hideous chamber of death in Asia. Clearly I wrote and spoke about the export of violence and the government’s love affair with bombs. Just as clearly Dinitia Smith was interested in her journalistic angle and not the truth. This is not a question of being misunderstood or “taken out of context,” but of deliberate distortion.
    Some readers apparently responded to her piece, published on the same day as the vicious terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, by associating my book with them. This is absurd. My memoir is from start to finish a condemnation of terrorism, of the indiscriminate murder of human beings, whether driven by fanaticism or official policy. It begins literally in the shadow of Hiroshima and comes of age in the killing fields of Southeast Asia. My book criticizes the American obsession with a clean and distanced violence, and the culture of thoughtlessness and carelessness that results from it. We are now witnessing crimes against humanity in our own land on an unthinkable scale, and I fear that we might soon see innocent people in other parts of the world as well as in the U.S. dying and suffering in response.
    All that we witnessed September 11—the awful carnage and pain, the heroism of ordinary people—may drive us mad with grief and anger, or it may open us to hope in new ways. Perhaps precisely because we have suffered we can embrace the suffering of others and gather the necessary wisdom to resist the impulse to lash out randomly. The lessons of the anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s may be more urgent now than ever.
    Bill Ayers Chicago, IL

  • JohnW

    Dustin,
    It’s obvious that when Ayers said he was “sorry he didn’t do more” that he was saying he was sorry he didn’t do more to stop the Vietnam war. Question-are you saying our involvement in Vietnam was justified. Was the loss of 59,000 American soldiers and 2 million Vietnamese justified. If so, why? Do you even no enough about it to comment? Maybe you could go over to the Fox News website and find some info about the Vietnam war before you answer….

  • Godbot

    To jd:
    Where in my comments did I “compare” Obama to Jesus?
    I did no such thing. I simply pointed out the stupidity of basing ones opinion of someone primarily on ones opinions about the people they have been seen with/worked with/ate with at one time or another. The same sort of mind-set would result in the automatic rejection of Jesus, Obama, or McCain, not to mention just about anyone else I can think of, including myself.
    The truth is, McCain/Palin will never win upon the basis of their non-existent “ideas,” thier supposed record, and certainly not on any look at who they have been aquainted with. McCain is desperate, and his campaign’s attacks are hippocritical AT BEST.
    The HOLIER-THAN-THOU base of the GOP is, indeed, afraid.

  • ucfengr

    Have you heard about that Jesus? Yeah, he pals around with prostitutes, tax collectors and Re-Publicans. I even heard he pals with a couple unrepentant terrorists (zealots).
    If I recall, Jesus called on these people to repent and leave behind there wicked ways. Is there any indication that Obama has done likewise, or that Ayers heeded his call.
    Just as aside, why would you want to compare a rabble rousing, street thug to Our Savior? Surely The Obama deserves better than that.

  • ucfengr

    Question-are you saying our involvement in Vietnam was justified.
    I’ll go on record as saying it was.
    Was the loss of 59,000 American soldiers and 2 million Vietnamese justified. If so, why?
    What is the tipping point between a justified war and an unjustified war? If only 30,000 US soldiers and 1 million Vietnamese had died, would you consider it justified? What about if 3,000 US soldiers had died and 100,000 Vietnamese? What price are you willing to see paid to stop tyranny? Certainly you wouldn’t have a problem with millions of US soldiers dying to overthrow the Bush-Hitler Theocracy, would you?

  • qwertyuiop

    This from the Corner:
    Part of the challenge in devoting so much energy to the William Ayers argument is articulating exactly what’s problematic about it. On its face, the relationship is not worrisome to a big portion of the electorate: the juxtaposition between a hippie bomber and the elegant expositor of American unity is too preposterous for many to make sense of. Voters don’t see the line connecting the Weatherman Underground’s agenda of forty years ago to Barack Obama’s present policies. So, the connection is more easily dismissed as the unfortunate price of political success.
    The case that never gets made is that the consistent political philosophy of Ayers and his associates continued to warp the mission of the Democratic Party long after the Weather Underground has become nostalgia, and that Obama is the philosophical offspring of the movement birthed by radicals such as Ayers.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Dustin Steeve

    Rob Ryan,
    “Does the relationship between Obama and Ayers matter? Not in the least. We have no reason to believe that the men agree at all points. Calling the relationship mentor/mentee is a stretch.”
    I do not believe that the two must agree on all points for their relationship to be seen as significant. For example, clearly Ayers is more radical than Obama – one bombed the capitol and the other is running for President. At minimum, their strategies for resolving America’s problems seem to be different.
    However, 1) that they seem to come to an agreement about the nature of America’s “problems,” 2) that they seem to come to agreement about how those problems ought to be solved, 3) that Barack Obama would chose (and that he chose is important) to work with an individual who, by most people’s perceptions in the press and elsewhere, is an unrepentant terrorist, 4) and that he would play off his associations with that individual as merely incidental when it appears as though the two were at least somewhat closely aligned in Sen. Obama’s early Illinois political life… all of these things seen together are troubling.
    The definition of a “mentor” is a “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher” and “an influential senior sponsor or supporter.” I believe that the evidence clearly shows William Ayers played such a role in Sen. Obama’s early community organization and political work (see the evidence submitted in the post and previous comment). I do not like to guess at people’s motives, but it makes sense to me for the Obama campaign to play down the Ayers connection (especially in light of Obama’s previous troubles with Jeremiah Wright) because they understood that Ayers was something of a mentor to Barack in the ways I have suggested.
    Your response? Where is Ayers not a mentor according to the definition above (from dictionary.com)?
    Ex-Preacher,
    “Dustin, being on a board with someone (along with high-profile Republicans), or on a panel, or writing a blurb for their book (with the dangerous line “searing and timely”), or even at a fundraiser in their house does not make them a mentor. By the way, Ayers never killed anybody.”
    Regarding the “Ayers never killed anybody point,” I simply point you to this article for a different perspective on what Ayers and his friends at the weather underground did and did not do: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0430jm.html.
    Regarding your points about the panel and board: The two served on several panels and boards together and seemed to have mutual admiration for each others’ work. It is significant that Barack Obama was the chair of the CAC, a board in which he listened to Ayers (the resident expert) talk about how we ought to reform our schools. Given the quotes above and Ayers’ radical past, I find it troubling that such a man was the expert for Sen. Obama’s CAC on the issue of education. I think that it is also reasonable to assume that Mr. Ayers has had at least something of an ideological influence on shaping Mr. Obama’s thoughts on the problem of education in America. I, for one, would not want a truly despicable person, such as Professor Ayers, having had any ideological influence on my President as he works at shaping education policy for the next generation of young Americans.
    Regarding the home fund raiser: My point is that Senator Obama did not see it as detrimental to his political career to have an anti-American radical jump start his early launch into politics. If current Obama supporters are any indication, Mr. Obama’s judgment on the matter seems to be correct. This is troubling.
    Thanks for including Ayers’ letter to the editor. I had not seen that letter, only the article written up in the NY Times addressing the Ayers/Obama connection. His line in the letter: “I told her that in light of the indiscriminate murder of millions of Vietnamese, we showed remarkable restraint, and that while we tried to sound a piercing alarm in those years, in fact we didn’t do enough to stop the war.” is deeply troubling to me. He was “guilty as hell” (to use his own words) and got off the hook because this unjust country held such a high view of justice that they punished themselves for acting unjustly toward Mr. Ayers during his trial and released him.
    War is complicated and it can be difficult to discern what is just, unjust, necessary, and unnecessary. Unleashing one’s rage to the demise of one’s fellow citizens and using anger as a justification for undermining the common bonds of the rule of law is not complicated to discern – it is just wrong. Mr. Ayers is proud of the “restraint” that he showed during those angry days. Mr. Ayers should be ashamed; he has nothing to be proud of during his time with the weather underground. The fact that Mr. Ayers now enjoys a government sponsored paycheck from his tenured position at a public university is, in my opinion, the height of arrogance and reveals a total lack of personal integrity in the face of such shamelessness.
    Sen. Obama should be ashamed that he would have such high regard for Mr. Ayers and ashamed that his campaign attempted to play down the relationship. Sen. Obama should not have dismissed Mr. Ayers arrogance and lack of integrity and worked closely with such a character simply because the man was seen as an “expert” in the field of education.
    HERE IS THE TAKEAWAY: I think that William Ayers is a despicable character with malicious views who has influenced Barack Obama in a mentor like fashion, especially on the issue of education. I think that Sen. Obama has much greater sympathies for Mr. Ayers and Mr. Ayers’ “struggle” than I think is permissible for a man running for the highest political office in the land. For the sake of political gain, I think Sen. Obama associated himself with the man William Ayers as well as his expertise. Once the association was politically detrimental, Sen. Obama attempted to deceive the public about the nature of the relationship and kicked Mr. Ayers to the curb. This is very revealing to me about the kind of sympathies Sen. Obama has and I believe says a lot about the character of Sen. Obama (that he would be clever in his statements to the public and act only in order to advance his political career). This is where I stand on the issue and why I believe it to be significant.
    JohnW,
    Please stay on topic. Your claims are not useful because they do not help any of us reach a thoughtful conclusion to the dialog.

  • Rob Ryan

    “HERE IS THE TAKEAWAY”
    Well, good luck selling that, Dustin. If McCain were spotless, that might have some traction. We are not electing a saint here, just a leader. Bill Clinton was a man with deep moral flaws, but he was a good president. Some would say, with some justification, the same about Nixon. The question is how much potential harm could come of the flaws. Bill’s fondness for cigars and young interns didn’t seem to impact his job performance. I don’t think McCain’s betrayal of his first wife would affect his job performance. I don’t think Obama’s performance will be adversely affected by his relationships with a preacher and a college professor who used to be a criminal. I get the impression, though, that McCain would betray anyone, including himself, to become president. That does concern me. The nastiness and dishonesty of his campaign says plenty about his character.
    Of the two men, I see Obama as having the greater character, energy, temperament, and intelligence. Even if I did not, I would support him simply because McCain has clearly stated what kind of judges he would appoint, and I don’t want any more of those.

  • Terry

    Ex-preacher:
    Note that in Ayers’ letter he never takes responsibility for his own actions. He is intent at finding fault with America. His eye never wanders inward to find the fault within himself. Narcissist. He hasn’t changed an iota in thirty-five years. Doubtless if any of his planned bombings had torn apart innocent people he would have blamed America for that as well.
    Twice in this thread you’ve compared Obama’s actions to Christ’s. It is only reasonable that I take it that you consider Ayers to be his baptist.

  • ex-preacher

    Dustin,
    How sad that your “take away” is pure speculation. And rather than assume the best on things of which you know nothing, you assume the worst. I understand why want to believe that as it is what is reverberating through the right-wing echo chamber at the moment. You have also said that you are young, so I can forgive your extremism. I think Palin’s use of this “issue” is understandable since she too is young, impulsive and desperate to win. What is far less excusable to me is McCain’s behavior. He has too much honor to personally accuse Obama of “palling around with terrorists” but has allowed his underlings to do so. I predict that within a few months of his loss, he will apologize to Obama, and hopefully the country, for his uncharateristically dishonorable actions.

  • ucfengr

    Bill Clinton was a man with deep moral flaws, but he was a good president.
    Off topic, but by what standard was Clinton a good president? He didn’t really do anything of significance. In fact, many of the problems we face now are much worse due to his inaction. We can argue about whether Bush’s response has been adequate or appropriate, but there is no argument that Clinton’s unwillingness to deal with these problems made them much worse and much harder to resolve when they finally blew up.
    How sad that your “take away” is pure speculation.
    That’s just silly. Dustin has cited plenty of documentation to support his position, and quite frankly even the letter you cite tends to support it. “No one is blinder than he who will not see”.ex.

  • JohnW

    Dustin,
    My comment at Post 30 is directly related to your comments where condemn Obama for his association with Ayers and mischaracterize Ayer’s statement that he was sorry the “he didn’t do more”.
    Do you think our involvement in Vietnam causing the deaths of 59,000 Americans and 2 million Vietnamese was justfied? What are your feelings about people who organize and speak out against wars they feel are immoral. It’s Ayer’s use of bombs that was wrong, not the protesting, right? It’s ok for Americans to express their opposition to government policies, or is that unamerican?
    Generally, speaking, it’s ok for people to organize and speak out against things that are wrong, right?
    Could you share your thoughts on this?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    We can argue about whether Bush’s response has been adequate or appropriate, but there is no argument that Clinton’s unwillingness to deal with these problems made them much worse and much harder to resolve when they finally blew up.
    Serious examples please?
    During the clinton administration I don’t remember lots of conservatives saying ‘look at all these pressing problems, if Clinton doesn’t start acting serious soon they will blow up in the next ten years’. I kind of remember the conservatives PUSHING lots of non-serious issues that no one really cares about today and in hindsight appear to be trivia compared to the huge issues we have now. Somehow even on the right no one seems to be much motivated anymore to look at cold case files from Arkansas or 30 year old billing records from a law firm. And I don’t blame them considering who they have to defend now on their ticket.
    More interesting is how ucfengr’s statement above illustrates how degraded conservatism has become. Conservatism used to be about the limits of human knowledge and intellectual ability. The argument for small gov’t was based on the fact that even the smartest, most well educated people could not predict the future, could not predict all the unintended consquences of their policies.
    Sometime around Reagan II and Bush I conservatism took a different tone. All in the sudden the answers to all problems were easy, simple and uncomplicated. If they didn’t seem so it was either because the media was biased or you just had to look at the data the right way. Ideology may seem like it can trump reality but at the end of the day reality always, always wins.
    Like I said during the Clinton years I don’t recall many conservatives complaining about the mounting problems that were not being addressed. I remember them trying to say the prosperity we were enjoying was all due to Reagan’s tax cuts from the early 1980’s! (I wonder when we will ever suffer for the tax increases of Reagan II and Bush I or are we just going to jump right to blaming Clinton?) Now not only are all consquences entirely predictable we can forecast them nearly a generation or more into the future! You can pat yourselves on the back and claim credit for good things today based on policies over 20 years old! This is the type of arrogance that lead directly to the Iraq War and to a lot of other nonsense we have all had to endure for the last 8 years.

  • ucfengr

    Serious examples please?
    The easy example is that Clinton took no serious action to combat terrorism, despite numerous attacks on the US during the 1990’s. In fact it is arguable that even the limited and half-hearted actions he did take made combating terrorism harder, such as his downsizing of the military and the “Chinese Wall” erected between foreign and domestic intelligence gathering agencies.
    Another example was his unwillingnees to deal with entitlements. I suspect, given the stomping Bush took for proposing serious Social Security reform, that the next president will prefer to kick this can down the road as well.
    More interesting is how ucfengr’s statement above illustrates how degraded conservatism has become. Conservatism used to be about the limits of human knowledge and intellectual ability.
    It still is. I don’t see how my observations regarding Clinton change that.
    Like I said during the Clinton years I don’t recall many conservatives complaining about the mounting problems that were not being addressed.
    I do. I suspect you are suffering from what my wife might call “selective memory recall”.

  • Mike Toreno

    ucfengr, what distinguishes your “observations” from historical conservatism is that they’re based on lies and stupidity. You base your arguments on what you want to be true, rather than what actually is true. Clinton didn’t “deal with entitlements” because there is no problem with entitlements. Your misstatement here is probably based on your ignorance and stupidity; you have demonstrated earlier that you are too stupid to read and understand a page of statistics; your failure here is another example of that deficiency.
    Your claim that Clinton didn’t take serious action to combat terrorism is a lie. Clinton stopped numerous terrorist plots, including, for example, the Millenium Bomb Plot, which was intended to wreak havoc around the world but which came to nothing because Clinton paid attention to the information he got. Clinton worked assiduously to kill bin Laden, in spite of strong Republican opposition. After the Cole bombing, which occurred in October 2000, Clinton developed a war plan against al Qaeda, which the Bush administration ignored. Bush, by contrast, received word on August 6, 2001, that bin Laden was determined to strike in the U.S., and he went fishing. On September 11, 2001, Bush received word that America was under attack and he sat and did nothing.
    All you care about is group identification. You base your evaluation of people based not on their actions, but on whether they are members of the group with which you identify. Sadly, too many of the people with whom you identify, and whose failures you excuse are, like you, lying idiots.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    The easy example is that Clinton took no serious action to combat terrorism, despite numerous attacks on the US during the 1990’s. In fact it is arguable that even the limited and half-hearted actions he did take made combating terrorism harder, such as his downsizing of the military and the “Chinese Wall” erected between foreign and domestic intelligence gathering agencies.
    Here we have some simple and unavoidable facts:
    1. The right was NOT very supportive of even half-hearted efforts to fight terrorism back then. When Afghanistan was bombed it was derided as ‘wag the dog’ but no one argued for a full scale overthrow of the Taliban.
    2. ‘Nation building’ was derided and the general consensus was that we shouldn’t try to engage in places we don’t understand. Again I remember around the time of the USS Cole bombing members of the right attacked Clinton for having US ships docking in Yeman….not demanding a full scale war in the Middle East to pacify it.
    3. Most damming of all, all available information on the last day of the Clinton administration was available and ready for action on the first day of the Bush administration. The more you paint the picture on Clinton’s watch for obvious action needed the more you damm Bush from day 1. The ‘Chinese Wall’, for example, could have been dismantled on day 1 if it was that obvious it was the problem. Bush, if you reall, though, actually campaigned on a platform that Clinton had unfairly targetted Arab-Americans with racial profiling!
    I do. I suspect you are suffering from what my wife might call “selective memory recall”.
    Perhaps, anyone who thinks their memory is a friend is a fool. Are you so confident you’re not suffering from ‘inventive memory recall’?
    Mike
    Your claim that Clinton didn’t take serious action to combat terrorism is a lie. Clinton stopped numerous terrorist plots, including, for example, the Millenium Bomb Plot, which was intended to wreak havoc around the world but which came to nothing because Clinton paid attention to the information he got.
    You may recall, as I do, three major terrorist incidents in Clinton’s time. The most minor was the first WTC bombing. The two major ones were the Ok city bombing and the subway bombing in Japan. What was distinctive about these were that they done by groups that were about as fringe as you could get (Japan being done by a well organized but singular religious cult and McVeigh seeming to be a loner loosely affiliated with a domestic cultural meme). The narrative in response to these was that Clinton was going overboard in response and threatening civil liberties (you may ‘selectively’ recall the glee the right had in hating Janet Reno of Waco Tx fame). The prime civil liberties criticisms against Clinton reinforced this narrative. You may recall the fiasco with the Olympic City bombing where the wrong guy was unjustly accused, Waco (you tell me, post 9/11 if a Muslim cultish group decided to amass a large number of automatic weapons on a ‘compound’ exactly how long would that go on in today’s environment?), the ‘clipper chip’ and so one.
    The problem with terrorism is that it is a classic example of ‘The Black Swan’ (see the book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb). It’s an event no one expects ahead of time but afterwards everyone suddenly discovers was ‘obviously’ coming. If you made an honest survey of how terrorism was perceived by the political culture during the Clinton years (and it’s not easy to do because Google is a little too good at letting you cherry pick out the things that you *want* your side to have said in the past), you’re not going to find the right very much on the ‘right side’ of today.
    To put it more bluntly, if 9/11 really did ‘change everything’ then what the hell are you talking about Clinton for? If 9/11 didn’t change everything then what the hell was Bush doing for 9 months?

  • ucfengr

    Mike, it is really hard to have a reasoned conversation with someone who is so ignorant of history, and at the same time so offensive, so I won’t try.

  • ucfengr

    The right was NOT very supportive of even half-hearted efforts to fight terrorism back then.
    We are getting pretty far off topic here, but to briefly address you comments, the problem with Clinton’s response to terrorism was that it was half-hearted. It wasn’t serious. It’s hard to garner support, especially from people that aren’t pre-disposed to support you, when it is clear that your heart isn’t in it. God, man, I was in the Army when the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed and when the fiasco in Somalia happened. I wanted Clinton to take charge and try to make the bastards that did it pay, even though I would be putting myself on the line to exact that payment. He didn’t. He failed. No amount of spinning from your side will change that. He had a chance to take charge and show that America is strong, and won’t be attacked without response, but he didn’t.

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  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    ucfengr,
    Since you were overseas when the embassies were attacked maybe you should ask yourself if you had the best seat to view US political culture then. I was stateside and while blogs weren’t around much then I did take time to listen to assorted right wing sources including talk radio & others. There was no consensus among right wingers for any serious effort against Islamic terrorism and especially not against regime change in Afghanistan. The impression I have is that the right was somewhat hopeful then that maybe Muslims could become a GOP supporting minority group in the US (note Bush I’s campaign against ‘racial profiling’ of Muslims supposedly by Clinton as well as some right wing figures flirting with the Taliban as a ‘traditional values’ orientated group) but even that was just a backthought…the topic was not center stage and to the degree it was the meme of the time was to assert Clinton was doing too much….too much nation building, having our forces hang out too much in dangerous Middle Eastern ports and having a Justice Dept. that was using terrorism too much to infringe on civil liberties.

  • Terry

    Boonton-
    1. The right was NOT very supportive of even half-hearted efforts to fight terrorism back then. When Afghanistan was bombed it was derided as ‘wag the dog’ but no one argued for a full scale overthrow of the Taliban.
    Not even Bill Clinton.
    Your complaint about Bush before 9/11 seems to be that he acted for the first 7.5 months of his presidency as Clinton did for the eight years of his presidency.

  • smmtheory

    Your complaint about Bush before 9/11 seems to be that he acted for the first 7.5 months of his presidency as Clinton did for the eight years of his presidency.

    Yes, to Boonton that is egregious because the Republicans spent so much time trying to impeach President Clinton by golly, for some itty bitty fib under oath even!

  • EW

    Of course the people who have influenced Obama matter. i am surprised this isn’t more of a taking point myself. When the liberal illuminati are training up their little drones we should be watching out for the next presidential candidates.
    The influence a mentor can have is extraordinary and it would only make sense to look into this. I do think this is part of the reason so much was made of Omama relationship with his minister early on. That talking point has kinda died out but it was such a big deal because people like that have substantial influences on our lives, the teacher is going to be reflected in the pupil that’s just the way it is.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Terry
    Not even Bill Clinton.
    Your complaint about Bush before 9/11 seems to be that he acted for the first 7.5 months of his presidency as Clinton did for the eight years of his presidency.
    I’m not even saying it’s a complaint in this case, just an observation. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either 9/11 was a Black Swan type of event that ‘changed everything’ or it wasn’t. If it was then talking about what Clintin did is about as relevant as talking about the Opium Wars. If it wasn’t then Bush’s failure to act for 7.5 months or whatever is all the worse.
    Use a simple analogy, someone leaves the stove burner on so gas is filling up the house. If the house sitter is in the house for 3 hours and doesn’t notice this that’s a bad thing. If you then come home and sit there for a half hour before lighting your cigar and blowing the house up then you have a pretty good beef with your house sitter, but if no one smelled the gas it can be chalked up to a regrettable accident that everyone should learn from. But if you smelled gas the moment you walked in the door and continued to lounge around for a half hour doing nothing to address it then you’re a fool who should keep his mouth shut.
    EW
    The influence a mentor can have is extraordinary and it would only make sense to look into this. I
    Yea well Bush claimed to have Jesus Christ as a mentor and look what good it did us. More to the point none of you have presented a single piece of evidence that Ayers was a ‘mentor’.

  • Mike Toreno

    Boonton, your response to Terry is sound but irrelevant. You fail to take into account the fact that Terry is a lying idiot. Clinton fought vigorously against bin Laden, becoming more and more consumed with fighting him as the threat became more and more apparent, and Clinton realized considerable success, saving thousands of lives. Terry’s failure to acknowledge this fact doesn’t make it any less a fact.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    You fail to take into account the fact that Terry is a lying idiot.
    On the contrary, Terry is not a member of the Trinity of Stupidity. It’s a very exclusive club with exceptionally strict membership standards. With hard work, though, anything is possible!

  • Terry

    Clinton fought vigorously against bin Laden, becoming more and more consumed with fighting him as the threat became more and more apparent,
    In this case the word ‘vigorously’ may be replaced with the word ‘vainly’ without changing the meaning of the sentence.
    And Boonton, your analogy is both tiresome and, well, not a very good analogy.

  • smmtheory

    It’s a very exclusive club with exceptionally strict membership standards.

    It’s not that hard. All a person need do is effectively point out the cognitive disonance in one or more of your bloviating comments, and voila! You’ll be calling them stupid in no time.

  • Mike Toreno

    Terry, maybe in Crazytown what you say is true, but here in Realityland, Clinton stopped the Millenium Bomb plot, plots to bomb the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, a plot to kill the Pope, a plot to crash an airliner into the CIA headquarters, and numerous other plots.
    Let’s do an experiment to see exactly how crazy you are. The Cole bombing occurred in October 2000. Whose fault was the failure to respond to the Cole bombing?
    Let’s do another experiment.
    Whose fault was the failure to take any action on the Presidential Daily Brief, dated August 6, 2001, and entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”
    The answers to these questions will give us insight into whether you are the mayor of Crazytown, or just a citizen.

  • The Sarah Palin of CrazyTown

    Well, Mike, clearly it was the Clinton adminstration’s failure to stress the importance of the terrorists threat that caused the Bush administration to minimize the importance of the August 2001 memo re: Bin Ladin determined to strike in the United States. Anybody with half a brain would know that…..I saw that on the Fox News Channel….

  • Godbot

    Oh my god, these comments are hilarious! So many experts . . .

  • jd

    Terry, maybe in Crazytown what you say is true, but here in Realityland, Clinton stopped the Millenium Bomb plot
    Wrong, Toreno. Clinton (as usual) took the credit for it. It was simply an ordinary airline employee who actually stopped it. Is there any chance that you, like Boonton, think that Clinton was too honest?

  • Rob Ryan

    Colin Powell doesn’t seem concerned about the Ayers relationship or Obama’s ability to lead.

  • bill

    Sarah Palin thinks she is a better American than you because she comes from a small town, and a superior human being because she isn’t a journalist and has never lived in Washington and likes to watch her kids play hockey. Although Palin praised John McCain in her acceptance speech as a man who puts the good of his country ahead of partisan politics, McCain pretty much proved the opposite with his selection of a running mate whose main asset is her ability to reignite the culture wars. So maybe Governor Palin does represent everything that is good and fine about America, as she herself maintains. But spare us, please, any talk about how she is a tough fiscal conservative.
    Palin has continued to repeat the already exposed lie that she said “No, thanks” to the famous “bridge to nowhere” (McCain’s favorite example of wasteful federal spending). In fact, she said “Yes, please” until the project became a symbol and political albatross.
    Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 2 1/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska’s government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin, like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.
    Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state’s unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices. Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can’t afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.
    As if it couldn’t support itself, Alaska also ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Wrong, Toreno. Clinton (as usual) took the credit for it. It was simply an ordinary airline employee who actually stopped it.
    Now that someone mentioned it, I remember people complaining during the Clinton years that it was taking too long to get on airplanes because of a lot of silly ‘security’ screens.

  • smmtheory

    The only airport screening I ever saw prior to 9/11/2001 was 4 or 5 questions about whether you packed your bags yourself and have they been out of your sight since packing them.

  • EW

    The conversation continues but there is not real rebuttal for the simple fact that the people in our lives influence us. And especially!!! the people in our lives who give us lots of money. The illuminati can spin it anyway they want and maybe he wasn’t a mentor to Obama but do you honestly think he was in some way influential. he endorsing his book, he’s obviously friends with the guy. INFLUENCE!

  • http://www.witzend.info Mike

    I think most Obama supporters honestly don’t know why they support him. I mean, I question how any Christian can support a politician who holds so many positions contrary to the Word of God. I pastor a church and I cannot believe how many of my congregation are planning on voting for this guy. He seems to attract the young and the old; the two most self-centered demographic groups, I guess. The young because they are ignorant and are falling all over themselves to appear hip in their support of a young (he’s my age…late 40’s is young now)and literate black man; the old because of fear and desire to be taken care of, plus the over 60’s seem to be a generation that actually trusts government, as opposed to members of my generation that do not.
    Mr. Obama is, from my observations, a consummate politician who will say anything and use anybody to his advantage. Which is OK, if he would just own up to what he really is: that is, he is nothing new at all. He is a typical politician whose tired socialist policies have been tried and found wanting in Canada and Europe.
    I don’t know, as an ex-Canadian now living and working in the States, I see in Obama a Canadian-style politician who incites a kind of class warfare and encourages fear by playing on people’s concerns about their health and ability to pay their bills. If you find yourself strapped for cash, a guy that can promise you one less bill to pay sounds pretty good, as long as you don’t think too hard about where the money is coming from.
    Christians and Jews are the most gullible voters in America. And I guess we are about to get the president we deserve.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    I pastor a church and I cannot believe how many of my congregation are planning on voting for this guy.
    I’m not a pastor and I cannot believe your congregation has choosen a man of such contempt for his own people to be their pastor….is this some type of S&M place you’re running?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DF123EF933A25753C1A960958260
    Clinton Signs a Wide-Ranging Measure on Airport Security

    In a move to increase air safety after the crash of TWA Flight 800, President Clinton today signed an aviation bill that includes a range of new baggage-scanning, passenger-screening and counter-terrorism measures as part of a program of stepped-up surveillance at airports.


    smmtheory
    The only airport screening I ever saw prior to 9/11/2001 was 4 or 5 questions about whether you packed your bags yourself and have they been out of your sight since packing them.
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DF123EF933A25753C1A960958260
    Clinton Signs a Wide-Ranging Measure on Airport Security

    It also includes a measure — hotly opposed by Mr. Clinton’s allies in organized labor — that classifies all Federal Express employees as aviation workers, thus barring them from organizing local unions. They can only join national unions.

    ….

    The bill also authorizes augmenting existing airline computer systems with so-called passenger profiling capacity, so that airlines could compare information in their computers — names, addresses, travel histories and the like — with existing Government lists of suspected terrorists or terrorist traits to single out some passengers for extra scrutiny.

    Civil liberties and air travel groups have raised concerns about that plan, but the Administration has defended it as a small and necessary concession to increased security threats. Similar screening methods are already used against possible drug runners, and Franklin Raines, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the new legislation was intended to make the process easier for airlines.

    And
    http://dir.salon.com/story/politics/feature/2002/01/15/clinton/index2.html

    The Clinton administration’s attempts to improve airport security were similarly obstructed in Congress. The Gore commission urged U.S. air carriers to screen all passengers with computerized profiling systems, to upgrade poorly trained private security personnel and to install high-tech baggage-screening equipment. But action on key measures was stalled by lawmakers at the behest of airline lobbyists, and ultimately by the sluggish bureaucracy at the Federal Aviation Administration. Key senators on the Senate Aviation Subcommittee shot down mandated changes recommended by the White House and instead urged “further study.” (Eight of the nine Republicans on the subcommittee had received contributions from the major airlines.)

  • smmtheory

    I flew to Washington DC in July and August of 2001 Boonton, and like I said before – the only airport screening I ever saw prior to 9/11/2001 was 4 or 5 questions about whether you packed your bags yourself and have they been out of your sight since packing them.
    Now perhaps he did sign a bill, and implementation was sluggish, but whatever affect it had never slowed down my travels prior to 9/11/2001. And it certainly didn’t stop 9/11/2001 from happening.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Unfortunately we are backward looking when it comes to ‘Black Swans’. After TWA 700 (which has never been 100% explained and probably never will), the effort was to look for bombs hidden in luggage, not box cutters. Now we look for bombs and nail files.

  • Becky Ford

    Oh, the Obama-Ayers relationship matters, all right. It is the education ideological sameness that is most disturbing, frankly. Ayers’ writings and endorsements of other radical books on the subject prove what his agenda is: to re-educate our children and make them little lemmigs of the secular, illuminati left.

  • ex-preacher

    smmtheory, Are you saying that you didn’t have to put your carry-on bags through an x-ray screener and didn’t walk through a metal detector? That would be very odd since that has been done since 1973. If you’ll check the FAA website, you can find a detailed history of security measures, including those implemented in the Clinton presidency. It’s easy to say in retrospect what should have been done or could have been done, but the fact is that 9-11 did not occur on Clinton’s watch. Prior to 9-11, did Bush or his FAA people or anyone connected with him advocate or try to implement tougher security measures?

  • smmtheory

    Prior to 9/11/2001, anybody could walk through to the gates, without questioning, without having to show ticket or boarding pass. The metal detectors were set so low it took about a pound of metal or more to set them off. You call that screening? And if you didn’t have any carry-on luggage? Guess what, no x-ray! In 1976 I was able to buy a one-way ticket 20 minutes prior to departure, no luggage, nothing but the clothes I was wearing and was on the plane with 5 minutes to spare at Denver (try that nowadays). Does that sound like screening? If it was, there was nobody complaining about long delays from it.
    But since you brought it up, with metal detectors being required though not in wide use in 1973, are you going to claim that was Clinton signing that bill to implement screening? In case you hadn’t noticed, he was not the President in 1973.
    I stand by my claim that I never saw screening that delayed travel the way Boonton was talking about prior to 9/11/2001.

    It’s easy to say in retrospect what should have been done or could have been done, but the fact is that 9-11 did not occur on Clinton’s watch.

    Are you trying to say it wasn’t even planned before Bush came into office? The terrorists flying those jets got trained to fly during Clinton’s watch. You can’t lay the entire blame on President Bush. It just don’t stick. The commission said it was a failure in all areas even as far back as during the Clinton term. For too many years the U.S. government – even back as far as Reagan and the Marines bombed in Beirut – failed to respond appropriately to the threat.

    Prior to 9-11, did Bush or his FAA people or anyone connected with him advocate or try to implement tougher security measures?

    No, but you can’t know that if 9/11/2001 had never happened whether or not he or they would have sooner or later done so. He had only been in office 9 months at that point. Clinton had 8 years in office, and the one time something was done, it wasn’t enough to prevent 9/11/2001. If Gore had been in office, it still would have happened, so who would you have blamed then?

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    who would you have blamed then?
    I didn’t blame anyone in particular for 9/11. If you go back to comment 41 or so you’ll see that this whole tangent started when ucfengr tried to blame 9/11 on Clinton.
    We’ve gone around the world twice since then but the fact remains if Clinton should have done something during 8 years then Bush really should have done something upon taking office. By should I mean action that one should take *given* the available information. If you walk into a house and smell gas you should take immediate action. If you can’t smell gas then you may be excused from responsibility but you’d probably wish you could.

  • smmtheory

    That’s funny, when I go read comment 40 and so forth, I don’t see Ucfengr trying to blame Clinton for 9/11. All I see Ucfengr’s questioning somebody’s judgement that President Clinton was a good President. I see Ucfengr criticising President Clinton for not treating the problem seriously and the ineffective actions whenever he did authorize a response. For that matter, 3 of the 4 Presidents that preceded him could be criticised for the same thing.
    Your gas analogy fails because 1) very few people do NOT recognize the problem with the smell of natural gas and would definitely act accordingly, and 2) nobody foresaw flying planes suicidally into buildings as a result of hijacking. Get it? Nobody had that information but the terrorists! Your unspoken assumption that President Clinton had that kind of information to pass along to President Bush is a non-starter.

  • qwertyuiop

    Forget about Ayers, what about Khalidi?
    Excerpts from a recent editorial:
    The Los Angeles Times is apparently sitting on a videotape showing Obama’s remarks at a farewell dinner that year for Rashid Khalidi, the one-time PLO spokesman who now heads the Middle East Studies Department at Columbia. (Columbia University’s shame is a subject for another column.) Khalidi is not distancing himself from his past. Consistent with what you’d expect from someone who justified PLO attacks on civilians in Israel and Lebanon from 1976 to 1982, Khalidi routinely refers to Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state, and professes to believe in a “one-state” solution to the conflict. Guess which country would have to disappear for that “one” state to come into existence?
    The Khalidis and Obamas were good friends. In his capacity as a director of the Woods Fund, Obama in 2001 and 2002 steered $75,000 to the Arab American Action Network, the brainchild of Rashid and Mona Khalidi. According to an L.A. Times account of the dinner, Obama mentioned that he and Michelle had been frequent dinner guests at the Khalidi home (just another guy in the neighborhood?) and that the Khalidis had even baby-sat for the Obama girls. Like William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the Khalidis held a fundraiser for Obama in their living room when he unsuccessfully sought a House seat. At the farewell dinner, according to the L.A. Times, Obama apparently related fondly his “many talks” with the Khalidis. Perhaps that’s where he learned, as he told the Des Moines Register that “Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people.” Obama told the crowd that those talks with the Khalidis had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table” but around “this entire world.”
    Even less attention has been paid to the man Obama appointed as his emissary to the Muslim community in the U.S., Mazen Asbahi. Asbahi, it turned out, had ties to the Islamic Society of North America, which in turn was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case. The Holy Land Foundation was accused of being a front group for Hamas. When news of these associations became public, Asbahi resigned from the campaign to “avoid distracting from Barack Obama’s message of change.” And don’t forget hope!
    Many American Jews preparing to pull the lever for Obama have never heard of Asbahi. But they surely know about Jeremiah Wright. They know that he gave a “lifetime achievement” award to Louis Farrakhan; that he supported efforts to get U.S. businesses to divest from Israel; that he gave space in the Trinity Church bulletin to Hamas; and that he has accused Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians. They are preparing to vote for a man who tamely tolerated all of that (and more) for 20 years.

  • http://TheEverwiseBoonton.blogspot.com Boonton

    Your gas analogy fails because 1) very few people do NOT recognize the problem with the smell of natural gas and would definitely act accordingly, and 2) nobody foresaw flying planes suicidally into buildings as a result of hijacking.
    I agree with #1, unlike smelling natural gas it was hardly clear that Islamic based terrorism was leading up to 9/11 if you were an intelligent person looking at the available information before 9/11. Sure in retrospect it is easy to ‘connect the dots’ but in retrospect we can filter out the noise that was buzzing around (such as the cult based terrorism of the Japanese subway bombing, Tim McVeigh, the uncertainity over what caused the TWA flight to blow up off of Long Island, China, and all that).
    In regards to #2, the specific tactic wasn’t foreseen but the strategy of using the air system was. Hence the desire to screen passengers against ‘watch lists’ and so on were examples of policies that were designed to address known threats (hijacking, bombings) that could have helped against the novel 9/11 attack.
    I think we have common ground here when it comes to hindsight bias. We react to the past and judge the future as if it was inhibited by the past. Before 9/11 hijackings tended to be somewhat nonviolent affairs that often did not result in a lot of life lost, except maybe when the gov’t jumped the gun and stormed the plane (note how other incidents like Waco and Ruby Ridge come into play here). Bombings were the most deadly form of air based terrorism and as long as it was clear you weren’t sneaking a full force bomb onboad the plane you were considered perfectly safe.

  • http://alexlsilva.blogspot.com Alex

    This is not “evangelical,” this is political hackery. Please change the title of your blog.

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