New Civilization News: Is Obama The Answer?    
 Is Obama The Answer?97 comments
picture18 Feb 2008 @ 10:26, by Richard Carlson

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.


Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.

---Izumi Shikibu

Ultimately, let’s hope that the nation turns back to the task it abandoned — that of ending the poverty that still poisons so many American lives.

---Paul Krugman, in his column this morning, entitled Poverty Is Poison

It's so easy to not want the Clintons back in the White House. It's like that temptation to get with your old girl friend again from a few years back. It should have worked out, it could have worked out...but... There was all that nastiness, and stuff going on behind your back. The trust factor. Has she changed? Did she really do anything wrong? Yeah, ultimately everything got ruined. My whole life got ruined! Eight long years of hell while I tried to get over it. I want to risk going back to that?

We're a forgiving people. But worse, we're a forgetting people! We don't seem to learn from history. And we've become even more loud, pushy and obnoxious than we were accused of when we were only tourists. Now we insist of owning and controlling everything---and we dare to call that condition for others democracy and freedom. We only are interested in getting our own little piece of the pie...and then, shotgun in hand, bragging that America means no one can tell me what to do. The Clintons again? Isn't there another woman somewhere to run for this office?

And so we find ourselves turning around to see what Barack Obama is about. People ask and write What are his programs? Is this happening to you too? I've been replying that I'll wait to see if he wins the nomination and then get after the details. But how many presidents actually do what they say in their campaigns anyway? So what difference does it make? Well, we're having this primary in Ohio in a couple weeks. I've got to vote for one of them. Both families are running all over the state at the moment...but nobody's come down here yet. Bill Clinton was in Marietta last night, but we couldn't get up the stomach to go see him. They've got to get to Athens sooner or later.

And so it's with this kind of anticipation and disenchantment that I came upon a new website for me. It's called the Black Agenda Report, and it looks as if I'll be visiting there everyday from now on. The insolent montage illustrating this introduction comes from there. At the moment it's a place to go where people have had some history with Mr. Obama. The managing editor of the site, Bruce Dixon, has other issues to discuss, but right now he wants to share some concerns he has about this candidate. It think we may be hearing a lot about this site in coming days...and about these concerns. Here's Bruce Dixon last Thursday~~~

The presidential campaign of Barack Obama has become a media parade on its way to a coronation. Journalists and leading Democrats have done shockingly little to pin Obama down, to hold him specifically responsible for anything beyond his slogans of "yes we can" and "change we can believe in". Prominent Black Democrats, many ministers and the traditional Black leadership class are doing less than anybody to hold Obama accountable, peddling instead a supposed racial obligation among African Americans to support this second coming of Joshua and his campaign as "the movement" itself. What would holding Barack Obama accountable on war and peace, on social security, health care and other issues look like, and is it possible to hold a political "rock star" accountable at all?

Holding Barack Obama Accountable
by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

Whether it is truly possible to hold elected officials accountable in a political system where big money, big media, big corporations and the very rich call all the shots is uncertain. But we have tried and will keep trying. So will others. The stakes are too high not to.

How We Held Obama's Feet to the Fire in 2003

Although close friends and confidants had been talking up a run for national office since the early 1990s, Barack Obama in 2003 was still an Illinois state senator running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. This reporter, a longtime and former Chicago community and political organizer, had worked with Obama in 1992's highly successful Project VOTE Illinois registration drive. After moving to Georgia in 2000, I managed to keep in touch with events at home, and was well aware of Obama's run for the US Senate.

While researching a story on the Democratic Leadership Council for the internet magazine Black Commentator in April and May of 2003, I ran across the DLC's “100 to Watch” list for 2003, in which Barack Obama was prominently featured as one of the DLC's favorite “rising stars”. This was ominous news because the DLC was and still is the right wing's Trojan Horse inside the Democratic party.

Read the rest here~~~

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18 Feb 2008 @ 17:45 by Elle @ : Obama or Hillary
Hi Richard - I offer you the following article on Hillary by Stephen Schlesinger
and did you know that Obama missed 182 votes in Congress - far more than Hillary has. Here's his record: Obama.  

18 Feb 2008 @ 18:35 by jazzolog : Elle Or Vibe
Thanks Elle very much for the links. I've got to decide something soon for this Ohio primary. How did things go in California? One of my friends in LA was barred from voting, as somehow her registration showed up Independent. She's been a registered Democrat for 30 years.

Google Elle's machine up there and lo, eventually you'll be led to her fascinating website. Hope all going well for you and family, Elle.  

18 Feb 2008 @ 18:54 by Elle @ : more
Thanks, Jazzy. California had few minor issues - some people thought they were registered under a party but they never updated it, moved, so they were unable to vote. I mail in my vote ahead of time (the past few elections) so I had no problems lol. As you know, Hillary won California, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I don't trust Obama and I don't think he has the experience. I just don't see him as a president at this time. I think Oprah is responsible for his success. Without her, he'd be far behind and people might not be in a hypnotic trance about him. Good luck in making your decision.  

18 Feb 2008 @ 19:28 by jazzolog : Here They Are
I really was looking for an excuse to post this, so thanks especially Elle~~~

BAR calls them the 2 best marketers in America. I hope there are some rebuttals to all this.  

18 Feb 2008 @ 20:28 by quinty : Oprah?
That is just silly.

And crediting Oprah for Obama's success misses out on the nature and character of his success. Sure, we should keep our guard up. Who is this guy nobody heard of three months ago anyway? A mountebank or the real deal? But to credit Oprah is to miss out on how his charisma works.

What makes the Obamaphenomenon more interesting is that at this moment he is offering the country the medicine it needs with his message of hope. But he is doing it in such a contagious way that even Republicans see their dreams and desires expressed by it. Though Obama often invokes past progressive movements in his talks: civil rights, woman's rights, labor rights, even echoing back to the Progressive Movement. How many politicians in recent times have invoked Bob La Follete?

Let me transport from another site my reply to Richard's entry above, if I may? (I should be doing something else at this time but this is interesting. At least for me it is. Will Barack be the real deal? He's got all the moves. But is he just a super mountebank? Or a guy biting off more than he can chew? Though I think there is, in fact, a great deal of substance there, and though Joe Sixpack is often credited for giving us the likes of George Bush - the great American moron - perhaps this time quality and class are actually wining out?)

Crude and unedited, here it is for whatever it’s worth.....

Actually, the defense budget went down slightly under Bill Clinton, from approx 398 or 9 to approx 397 billion. Remember the “peace dividend?” Under Bush the defense budget has blown its top. Are we preparing for an intergalactic war or arms race with Mars and several distant planets?

Can anyone explain why we need such an immense military, except to prop up our empire, keep the defense contractors happy, and create a national climate of fear in the face of an enormous unseen enemy?

Obama ran for the US Senate in Illinois as a progressive. Once in the Senate he veered closer to the center.

The thing about promising change and a new beginning in an an inspiring way - without being too specific - is that the listener can fill in the blanks, believing the eloquent orator up on the stage will provide him with what he hopes for. Several Republicans have become “Obamicrans.” And have joined the parade. But don’t they know that Obama is a liberal? And once Obama has “brought us together” - how very nice that is - will he bring us a Republican paradise or a Progressive paradise? He often compares his “movement” to progressive movements in the past, regarding civil rights, women’s rights, etc. This shouldn’t be the kind of music Republicans want to hear. But if he, Obama, is playing such a sweet melodious tune then perhaps any dreamer can interpret it however he wishes.

Here some sites.......

Obama’s “specifics” on his webpage:

Project Vote Smart , for votes on bills.....

ADA gives both Clinton and Obama %75 ratings. At least that is what appears on this chart -

Though some columnists and pundits have claimed Obama came in at the top. (This will be a rightwing talking point in the general election: that Obama is “the most liberal” senator in the Senate.) Those receiving %100 from ADA are Stabenow, Klobuchar, and Casey. Dick Durbin (from Illinois) gets a higher ranking too - %95.

The National Journal places Obama at number 1.

I don’t know who these people are. But Common Dreams seems to think they are reputable. The right, let’s not forget, will try to make Obama appear further to the left than Lenin.

Either the DLC has gone further to the right in recent years or they are relatively moderate, like old fashioned liberal Republicans. (That’s moderate?) I associate the Clintons entirely with the DLC. Didn’t Bill help found it? Gov. Richardson of New Mexico is DLC by the way. I doubt they are quite as rightwing as Dixon describes it.
1:04 PM
 Quinty said...


That may be 297 billion rather than 398...

But what Bush has done is astronomical! Even 398 seems modest by comparison....
1:06 PM
 Quinty said...

One of the reasons why I oppose Hillary is because of her husband’s links to the DLC.

Perhaps she’s further to the left and will break away from all this. But judging by how she has danced around, “triangulating,” offering at least her moral support to the Christian right (the Clintons are great at feeling other people’s pain, but rarely do anything about it - look at welfare “reform.”) there’s not much of a visible cause for encouragement.

Yes, I’m tired of the Clintons, and their “third way.” Is Hillary DLC? Does anyone know?


Yes, actually she is. There she is in living color....

She's a Director of the DLC......  

18 Feb 2008 @ 22:09 by Elle @ : really?
It's not at all silly. Obama was not doing so well until Oprah opened her mouth, then she got flack from her viewers and stayed quiet for a while. He was doing so-so. Then she came that Sunday with Caroline Kennedy and the other women to help him out and it boosted him a lot. Don't tell me it had no influence. She has millions of viewers, many of whom will do anything she says because they don't think for themselves.  

18 Feb 2008 @ 22:15 by Elle @ : Jazz
Good article - Oprah is a huge machine backing Obama. Absolutely so. Unfortunately, it comes down to candidates needing something like that to keep them afloat financially. But what Oprah did is just abusing her position to influence voters.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 01:01 by quinty : If Oprah
has that much influence on who we pick for a candidate then we really are sunk. And probably deserve to be for we are truly quite dumb. (Well, some would argue that the innocents should be spared. But that’s another discussion.) When Obama’s bandwagon came along and she hopped aboard it was already picking up momentum and speed. Let’s give the guy at least a little credit. Even a mountebank has to have some presence of his own on the stage. And Oprah might simply say she saw the same thing the crowd below did.

The iraq war was a PNAC thing, it seems to me. Nobody else was too interested in it. And I believe Bill Clinton when he tells us he always opposed it. (After all, he told PNAC to take a walk when he was in the White House.) But he didn’t say anything. He didn’t openly oppose it when it became dangerous to. Nor did he embarrass his wife.

Yes, Obama was fairly safe when it came along. There were hundreds of thousands of us marching on the streets against it and he wasn’t in the national spotlight. What’s more, it was all so obvious. Bush’s lies were so lurid and transparent anyone with a reasonable allotment of intelligence should have seen. No one needed CIA secret intelligence reports to grasp Bush’s urgent need.

Stephen Zunes teaches at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit school. Though I doubt very much he is a Jesuit himself. He opposed the war in 2002 and has for many years been a sound and authoritative voice on the Middle East. I used to listen to him from time to time on KPFA when I lived in Berkeley and Oakland. Oh yes, he’s a full fledged member of the “looney left.” Which doesn’t make him too popular among the mainstream.

Is it too much to ask for someone with some common sense and decency to run for president? Are we as a nation so daffy that we need to always have a carnie double dealer in the White House? Obama is certainly a mystery man. As for Hillary - well, if she weren't married to Bill she would carry less baggage. But then she wouldn't be where she is today. She may have climbed to the top, but, obviously, quite differently. She may not appear so shopworn.

Discovering today that's she's actually a Director of the DLC has been even more disheartening. (See the bottom of my entry above if interested in that.) No, I’ve had enough of the Clintons. And this is a twofer.

Published on Monday, February 18, 2008 by The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin)

Clinton Bought Bush’s War Talk, Obama Didn’t
by Stephen Zunes

In determining which of the two leading Democratic candidates would make the most competent and credible commander in chief, it is revealing to compare the public statements of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during October 2002, when Congress voted to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Former President Bill Clinton insisted recently that Clinton and Obama had had virtually identical records on the Iraq war and that Obama’s claim that he “had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning” was “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”

The record from that month, however, shows that there were indeed major differences between the two future presidential contenders, with Clinton supporting the Bush administration’s push for war and its exaggerated claims about Iraq’s alleged military prowess while Obama was opposing a U.S. invasion of that oil-rich country and openly challenging the administration’s exaggerated claims of an Iraqi threat so urgent it required a march to war.

Though under no obligation as an Illinois state senator to make any public statements on foreign policy, Obama spoke out against the prospects of war at an anti-war rally in Chicago.

Obama certainly carried no pretense about the nature of Saddam Hussein’s regime, referring to the late Iraqi dictator as “brutal” and “ruthless” and acknowledging that “the world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.” At the same time, he recognized that “Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors.” Furthermore, Obama recognized “that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military is a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained.”

That same month in Washington, Clinton was insisting incorrectly that Iraq had ties to al-Qaida, was “trying to develop nuclear weapons,” and that Iraq’s possession of biological and chemical weapons was “not in doubt.”

Clinton then went on record insisting that the risk that Saddam would “employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States” was enough to “justify action by the United States to defend itself,” specifically by authorizing President Bush to launch an invasion of Iraq at the time and circumstances of his choosing.

Whether Iraq constituted such a threat to U.S. national security was not the only thing that separated Clinton and Obama back in October 2002. In the months leading up to the Senate vote, former State Department and intelligence officials, representatives of European and Mideast allies, scholars specializing in the region, and other experts advised Clinton that a U.S. invasion would likely result in a bloody insurgency, a rise in Islamist extremism and terrorism, increased sectarian and ethnic conflict, and related problems. So did thousands of ordinary citizens.

Despite this, Clinton insisted that her voting to authorize the invasion was “in the best interests of our nation.”

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Obama was observing how “even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” He also recognized that “an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida.”

On one of the most critical policy questions of a generation, a state senator from Illinois was able to figure out what an experienced member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee could not — that Saddam was no longer a threat and that an invasion of Iraq would harm America’s national security interests.

That kind of judgment shows itself today in their respective choices as senior foreign policy advisers, many of whom would likely take top policy-making positions if the candidate does become president. Obama has assembled a foreign policy team whose members overwhelmingly opposed the war, in contrast to Clinton’s, whose members overwhelmingly supported it.

Wisconsin voters should keep this in mind in choosing which of these two Democratic candidates has the best judgment to lead this country during this next critical period.

Stephen Zunes, of Santa Cruz, Calif., is a former Madison resident and a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of “Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism.”  

19 Feb 2008 @ 01:22 by Elle @ : on-going
It's terribly tacky to hold something against a person because of their spouse - and that's what you are doing, Quinty. Everybody has baggage, and everybody running for president is married. Why do you single out Hillary? What about Romney's baggage of a wife (that's of course fictional on my part as I don't know anything about her), but why won't you pick on the other candidates because of their spouses? Don't you see how you are biased? You are faulting her for what you see as her husband's junk. Hillary is a strong smart lady on her own - why can't you give her credit for that, as you ask us to give Obama a break?  

19 Feb 2008 @ 02:32 by quinty : Because
Hillary and Bill are *one.* Though I actually believe she will be her own person in the White House , that she will indeed have the final say. And her ego is very strong.

But she has demonstrated that she and Bill see pretty much eye to eye on many issues. Their approach to politics is similar. They are both DLC. They have always worked as a team. And Bill has been campaigning for her on that basis. As a *twofer.* You don't see the Clintons as "the Clintons?"

What’s more, if Bill is “baggage,” then why doesn’t she do the honorable thing and dump the baggage? Is Bill an embarrassment to her? I don’t think so: at least not ideally. Though his behavior has been somewhat gross and has probably lost Hillary some votes.

If I fault Hillary for having Bill as baggage it’s because she’s carrying it around.

And no, I don't say give Obama a break. He deserves the utmost scrutiny and if he is a fake we should know about it. Leaving us, alas, little choice in this most important election.

Haven’t I made my doubts about Obama clear? Yes, he has personal qualities which can’t be faked. And they are very powerful. That’s on the plus side. But how much of a politician is he? Ah, that’s the question. Will he sell out? Has he? There’s not enough of a record there to know the answers to these questions. Though McCain has already sold out - look at his new position on torture. And Hillary is very, very wobbly in that regard.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 04:09 by Elle @ : Billary
I didn't say Bill was her baggage...I was referring to the article you posted that says, "As for Hillary - well, if she weren't married to Bill she would carry less baggage" but yeah, without some of that she might not be who she is today. It's not all bad. And I do think they are a great team, but she has made it more than clear that she is the one running and the one who would be the president, not Bill. Just as in his term, and I think in the term of most presidents, he might have asked Hillary for her thoughts but he made the final decision. She would be the same. I don't have any problem with that. That's why there are councils and advisors and a whole slew of people with whom a leader can toss around ideas. I don't see why she should have to dump Bill. She could have done that long ago had she wanted to. And I do not fault her for that at all. It's their private business and it's obvious they do really care about each other. And you are right and posing the same questions I have - there's not enough information about Obama to say how he will be...but again, he has missed a heap o' votes in Congress.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 10:56 by jazzolog : More On Obama And Clinton
There's been great response to the post yesterday about Barack Obama. Almost all of it has been private emails expressing concerns similar to mine. Thank you for them. Some of us, as usual, have seen the candidates to whom we could relate most knocked and dropped out by now. I had hoped so-called Progressives would produce somebody who could go the distance...but that's a pipe dream compared to the apparent purchase price of the office. So with old, belligerent McCain the obvious Repub nominee, we're left with him or these 2 still standing for the Dems. The replies I got don't show enthusiastic cheering for anybody.

At this point I haven't seen rebuttal to the remarks about Obama at the Black Agenda Report . A couple comments have been left at the article by his supporters and perhaps they will inspire more debate at the site. I imagine there are blogs and message boards all over the Internet where similar discussion is going on and I'd love links to them if you're tuned in.

The picture is of Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz both of whom have progressive talk shows carried in the Athens area on 770 AM WAIS. The station has no website---and so doesn't stream---nor email address and is largely in the hands of Libertarians, but fair-minded enough (so far) to carry all of Ed Schultz (3 until 6 our time) and an hour of Stephanie Miller (10:00 AM, although there are rumblings to get rid of it).

Yesterday Obama was a phone guest on Ed Schultz. I thought the host asked him a series of tough and objective questions. Chief among them was asking his response to the big news item yesterday about plagiarized sections of his stump speeches. {link:,1,7458699.story} I thought Obama's response was condescending, showing the brush-off style we're unfortunately used to in our politicians. He said he was just "riffing" on a theme developed by his buddy Deval Patrick in Massachusetts, and they do that all the time. Ed let it go, but callers to the show spent the next 2 hours talking about it.

I suppose the concern is a trust issue. This country has been burned bad by lies and spin and justifications. I'd hope somebody like Barack Obama---or at least how he's supposed to be---would understand that and be more gentle with such a concern. Apparently later in the day, as the whole story got bigger, he did announce he should have credited his friend with the line.

Ed Schultz had great interest, as probably many of us did, in the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich. He invited all candidates to come to his studio for the full 3 hours, to take questions from callers. Only Kucinich took him up on it, and it was a brilliant show. Today on the program, there is the promise (at last) that the Hillary Clinton campaign will be represented officially. It's possible she's talked with the show once or twice but I'm not sure. Obama has been on a lot. That tells me something...and it's a difference between these 2 similar candidates.

Kucinich, by the way, has his hands full campaigning for re-election. When his people called us for money the other day, I asked where all these rivals came from. I asked if his own party was trying to get rid of him. The caller confessed she wondered that too. I find it tragic that political philosophies such as his have become so radical in this country. They used to be commonplace.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 14:10 by jerryvest : I think people are looking for ways to
vote for someone like Hillary or the old guy. What difference does it make if he uses his friend's comments to make a point. The point is that his friend was using these great quotes to respond to the Clinton's message that Obama's message is just words. What better words could one use to counteract such a negativity. Yes, Obama would be wise to have said that his friend stated these comments.

Who do you think writes Hillary's speeches? Who writes for our ignorant president--surely, he isn't bright enough to have any inspiring words of his own.

Come on, let's not go down this path unless we take it all the way to the source of these concepts coming out of the mouths of every politician and most human beings. Have we not heard these stories and these phrases over and over again. What else is new?  

19 Feb 2008 @ 15:26 by Elle @ : words
I think the plagiarism accusation is too much and can hurt Clinton. I think Clinton's speeches have been brilliant, Jerry. I have no idea who writes for Bush, though. However, I actually heard him wing a good speech a couple of months ago when he was in Israel. I had no idea he knew big words and could make coherent, intelligent sentences on his own! lol  

19 Feb 2008 @ 15:46 by quinty : Well,
there I agree with Elle. The "plagiarism" charge is much to-do over nothing, like the flap over Hillary's comments on LBJ signing the civil rights act into law. In the latter the hairline divide required a magnifying glass to make out any significance. The former reveals either the ignorance or desperation of the critic. When Pablo Casals remarked upon Bach employing Vivaldi's style he chalked it up to humility. Nobody at that time cared. Of course people take ideas and phrases from others. It shows some mental life.

Now, can we (rhetorically that is) move onto something serious?  

19 Feb 2008 @ 15:56 by Elle @ : one more thing
Just one more:
Cons eventually catch up with you. Obama's played his supporters for suckers. They bought into the hope hype, sucking up this stuff with a straw, only to find out Obama's not an original, he's a knock off, of a governor, no less. Siphoning off of a winning campaign to try to win the presidency with a formula. Hey, it's politics. One campaign model fits 'em all. Put your twenty bucks in the bucket and shut the hell up!

The traditional media, cable talking heads, and quite a few large progressive blogs have regurgitated the Obama story like a pack of nomads wandering in the political desert in search of sustenance; people bankrupt of political or factual integrity looking for the answer and refusing to see what was in front of their faces all along. The question is whether the journalists who bought into the Obama hype, along with the cable talking heads who propped his campaign up, and the Obama blogs who didn't care one whit about the facts or his record but were only interested in spreading their Hillary hatred, have got so much invested they won't have the honesty, the integrity, and the moral courage to back peddle on their craven cave in before it's not only too late for them, but too late for the Democratic party.

Barack Obama isn't an original. He's the first 21st century L. Ron Hubbard of politics, Elmer Gantry, name your huckster.

"I have a dream" just became "I have a con."

from Taylor Marsh on Obama and plagiarism:  

19 Feb 2008 @ 16:14 by Elle @ : not alone
He's not the only one, however. Huckabee actually quoted Larry The Cable Guy's words, "Let's get her done" much to the surprise of Larry, who said (when he saw the video of it) on Leno's show , "Well, good luck to him, and he owes me $72,000" for using his original material hahaha  

19 Feb 2008 @ 17:02 by jazzolog : Who Writes The Song?
Through the most infamous period of the Bush junta, Michael Gerson was chief writer. Evangelical Christian AND an op-ed writer at the Washington Post, he also was Bush's senior policy advisor through the same time (2000-2006). Now of course people probably write speeches for Obama, and maybe the one in question was among them. I don't think I've ever heard a candidate blame a speechwriter for a problem.

Regarding Bush's coherency, I believe it was Krugman who quoted some kind of psychological analysis of the President's bumbling. The idea is that Bush only muffs stuff up when he's talking about charity and benevolence toward others. When he's pushing for more aggression and money, he's lucid.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 17:54 by quinty : Obama
writes his own. At least last night he claimed he did. Which, by the way, is a good sign. And I believe him because his speeches reflect his style, which is extremely unique. Though one is forced to wonder at how a "feeling" can be revived, yet once again, in a stump speech? How the words never become stale.

Yes, Obama appears too good to be true. But if so he has faked qualities that can't be faked. Such as great intelligence. (He's got good bona fides in that regard.) Eloquence and dignity? Well, I suppose that can always be contrived. And if he has he has had the malevolent genius to choose a new posture which is unique for a politician, since, in most cases, it's the guy "you would want to have a beer with" who attracts the popular vote.

Some observers were commenting some time ago that Bush would never have spoken the way he routinely does to the American people when he was at Yale. An interesting and troubling observation. We do know, though, that Bush became quite the folksy Texan when he ran for office. But at least to me the malapropisms appear real enough. And, yes, his speech writer was quite talented, in that he created a convincing framework for Bush to strut his stuff. So good in fact his speech writer could have ghosted another episode of The Insidious Dr. Fu Man Chu. Bush's delivery was certainly lurid enough.

There many foolish reasons for choosing a candidate. The feminist who votes for Hillary because she's a woman is foolish. The African American who choses Obama because he's black is quite foolish. The voter who choses a candidate who appears "presidential" is extremely foolish. The pundits constantly harp on irrelevant appearances. And then there are extremely base reasons, such as nativism, religious fanaticism, fear, hatred of the other. Phantom enemies. And let's not leave out greed and the belief Americans are somehow the chosen people, superior to everyone else in the world.

As for the great "plagiarism" issue.... aren't we scraping the bottom of the barrel?  

19 Feb 2008 @ 18:29 by jazzolog : There Is One Though
A number of sources identify a guy named Jon Favreau as Obama's writer~~~

Yeah, it did seem awfully petty to me, but as I say Trust is a big deal this time round. It's possible a Clinton aide mentioned the "coincidence" to a reporter who ran with it. I believe there's a YouTube of the two speeches side by side.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 19:04 by quinty : Taylor Marsh
brings up several interesting issues....

As an old Berkeley leftie though I'm not shocked at all that Obama is friendly with Rashid Khalidi. Woe be to anyone who bucks the Lobby though. Or displays some concern for the sufferings of the Palestinians. As for the two genuine crooks in Obama's life the sooner that's brought up the better.

The "plagiarized" line was a toss off, something a friend said. I've done that any number of times myself. Use the line, that is. So what? (Dumping on Hillary for her LBJ remark was pretty petty too, I thought.) All this flap proves is that there are those out there who don't know the meaning of plagiarism.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 19:25 by jazzolog : Come To Think Of It
I used to say "Caramba!" all the time, and rarely credited Quinty for the exclamation.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 19:56 by quinty : Obama's speeches
Well, it appears Favreau is more an editor than a writer of original material shaping Obama's message. There is something very original about both Obama's message and his manner. Favreau seems to be able to work in that mold putting it into shape. The basic stuff, though, according to the Newsweek piece, belongs to Obama.

In Bush's case there is a huge disconnect between his ordinary spontaneous (contrived?) speech and what he says at a podium. He had good speech writers, though, real pros. People who knew how to elegantly grease his lies.

Hillary is flat, artificial in appearance. Her message always comes across as contrived. And unfortunately for her she lacks the charisma of her husband Bill. As well as any convincing substance. (Unless you're a doctrinaire feminist, of course. Putting that value first.)

We all know charisma can be deceiving. In fact, it often conceals rot. Some very dirty people can be very charismatic. There’s no need to hysterically clobber us over the head with this simple fact.

What was it like to watch Lincoln deliver the Gettysburg address or the Second Inaugural? Words of genius? Was there something in the air?

Having been close from time to time in my life to men of genius I know that you can indeed feel something in their presence. That there’s something there you can sense which, of course, isn’t faked, since such men may not even be aware of it in themselves. Archibald MacLeish once famously said Hemingway “could exhaust the oxygen in a room just by coming into it.”

Now does any ot this apply to Obama? Is he a super mountebank or does he have the charisma of an original visionary? We really don’t know, do we?

That’s why I’m backing him. His program is lousy. (Just as lousy as Hillary’s) He’s not for single payer and, yes, he has hedged occasionally on Iraq. I can still recall the “debate” where, with the exception of Kucinich, they all bocked at promising to withdraw from Iraq? What changed all their minds? The polls?

So far as I’m concerned anyone with an ordinary intelligence would want to get out of Iraq, empire or no empire. I can’t believe Barack would have us stay there. But who knows? McCain is talking about a hundred years, fer Christ’s sakes.

I’m for Obama out of sheer curiosity. Yes, not much of a reason, I’ll admit that. For me it’s a basic existential question, going very deep. Is the guy for real? it's a question which reaches into our deepest humanity. And one of fate, since we are at a point in our history where a great leader is needed. Are the gods merely laughing at us once again? Are folly and bumbling our only destiny? The Earth's destruction, war?

Okay, enough, back to reality. We can all use a good editor, right?  

19 Feb 2008 @ 19:57 by quinty : But Richard!
I never said "caramba!"  

19 Feb 2008 @ 21:08 by Elle @ : Spanish
Is't it "aye, caramba!"...Bart Simpson. (Victor Hugo had a character use it, too.)  

19 Feb 2008 @ 21:10 by Elle @ : ballots counted
The Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution Tuesday supporting any action by the county Board of Supervisors to count thousands of improperly marked ballots from the Feb. 5 primary election.

An estimated 49,500 nonpartisan ballots from the election were not counted. Nonpartisan voters were allowed to vote for either an American Independent of Democratic presidential primary candidate, but they were also required to mark on the ballot which party they were voting for, and thousands did not.  

19 Feb 2008 @ 21:16 by weneedadream : How bout reinventing our whole system?
I attended a rally in Madison, WI with Obama (and 40,000 others). While I don't see him as the savior many hope for, I did sense some possibilities. My own desire is reinvent the whole system (vs. just electing a new leader). Below are some ideas I wrote to Obama (and all the other candidates). I'll post an entry in my newslog that has hyperlinks for the ideas.

Senator Obama,

Are you willing to take a leap of courage, faith, and vision?
Are you willing to challenge Americans to reach higher?
Are you willing to lead America to a higher purpose?

If so...
a few ideas:

1) Mission/Vision/Values for America
If co-created by "We The People", this could inspire, unite, and empower ALL Americans like never before.

Offers many ideas to unite and inspire enemies on a shared vision, a higher purpose, a new American Dream... towards Heaven on Earth.

3) Nonviolent Communication
I've seen this process transmute "impossible" conflicts into win-win harmony.

4) America's Higher Purpose
Few Americans are aware of the higher (and spiritual) purpose behind the founding of this nation. You could champion a return to this purpose. More info in the attached paper.

5) Soul of America
A deeper perspective of who we are

6) Partnership Way
Possibilities for shifting our exhausted dominator paradigm to an energized partnership paradigm

7) Conscious Evolution
A higher perspective of what's happening

Yes, we can...
Carl Landsness
Madison, WI

"And so, my fellow Americans:
ask not what your country can do for you,
ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world:
ask not what America will do for you,
but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

19 Feb 2008 @ 21:55 by Quinty @ : Regarding "More on Obama and Clinton"
way above..... Here's After Downing Street on Kucinich's race.... (Swanson has appeared here, hasn't he? Or was that Buddy's site?)

Kucinich: "The Incident Did Not Happen"
Submitted by davidswanson on Mon, 2008-02-11 14:45. Congress | Elections | Impeachment
By David Swanson

I spoke with Congressman Dennis Kucinich because a rumor was gaining traction that:

"Before the Nevada primary, Dennis was visited by representatives of Nancy Pelosi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — AIPAC. They told Dennis that if he would drop his campaigns to impeach Cheney and Bush, they would guarantee his re-election to the House of Representatives. Kucinich threw them out of his office."

According to Kucinich, "The incident did not happen."

I find the Congressman's denial of the incident entirely credible. The rumor was supposedly based on the word of someone high up in his presidential campaign. But there is nobody who fits that description other than the Congressman or his wife. And campaign staff are not typically in congressional offices where congress members are forbidden to work on campaigns. It is doubtful that if such an incident had occurred, any campaign staff would have seen it or been told about it. It is also doubtful it would have occured. Pelosi's office would not bring AIPAC along or vice versa. And AIPAC has long known that Kucinich doesn't give a damn what they think. Also, Kucinich would never throw Pelosi or her "representative" out of his office.

The rumor caught on, I think, because Kucinich had planned to introduce articles of impeachment against Bush on the day of the State of the Union and then changed his mind. He did so because of the attacks he is under in his primary election in Cleveland, where the corporate media that has long opposed him paints national issues as in conflict with providing services to constituents. The election will consume Kucinich's time for the next few weeks, but he has not dropped his plans to eventually introduce the articles of impeachment. He has not withdrawn his resolution to impeach the Vice President. He has not dropped his opposition to the occupation of Iraq.

Of course, Pelosi opposes impeachment. But she usually delegates her thuggery to members of her leadership team. She and her team would no doubt prefer to replace Kucinich with a DLC-style corporate Democrat, even though such a candidate might lose the general election. And there is every reason to believe that AIPAC feels the same way. I would not be at all surprised if a list of AIPAC's biggest donors and a list of donors to the campaign of Kucinich's most heavily funded challenger, Joe Cimperman, had some names in common. AIPAC would never be satisfied with a mere 400 or so loyal congress members. It would want to shutdown any opposition to the current U.S. policy in the Middle East, and it would want to protect Dick Cheney.

But I believe Kucinich's denial that the rumored incident took place.

I also believe that the U.S. Congress would be a much worse place without Kucinich in it, and I encourage everyone to support his reelection campaign right away at  

20 Feb 2008 @ 10:57 by jazzolog : David Swanson, Hilary Bok & Obama
Quinty's memory is selective (notice how kind my diagnosis) and as another ancient myself, I empathize entirely. "Caramba" (minus the "aye" Elle) was his favorite saying against the ice and absurdity in Maine, where we were attempting our studies...along with his version of the lovely spiritual he renamed "Bringing In The Sheep." He is correct however about the generosity of David Swanson, who has encouraged jazzoLOG to "keep up the good work."

This we do despite the dim-witted jeers of typical Ron Paul advocates, both here and all over the place in Southeast Ohio. The sad and belligerent bitterness of these people was never more in evidence than yesterday when a co-worker advised me "we conservatives have to keep an eye on you liberals." As he typically again laughed alone at his own little joke, I replied, "We couldn't be more aware of it given the governing tactics of your President." He said, "Oh, we just like to rib ya, Richard," and I said, "I've decided to dish it right back...although I may aim at another area of anatomy." This ticked him off finally, and he said---now with a grimace in place of his grin---"I never take you seriously anyway." I replied, "That's obvious, or you wouldn't continue broadcasting your silly ideas." That shut him up at least, but maybe someday one of these characters will learn how to attempt even a vague dialogue with someone. No more Mr. NiceGuy.

Anyway, I got a most interesting email yesterday from a friend who's taking a year away from OU to teach government courses elsewhere. She recommends a blog called ObsidianWings, one of whose main contributors is Hilzoy. My friend tells me this actually is Hilary Bok, Henry R. Luce Professor of Bioethics and Moral & Political Theory at Johns Hopkins University, and granddaughter of Gunnar Myrdal. She sent Dr. Bok the link to Black Agenda Report and got this reply, which Hilzoy has OK'd for posting here~~~

Hilary Bok says: "I'm for Obama. Originally I thought: hey, two great candidates, but one is totally stellar and the other is merely great. More recently, the way Clinton has run her campaign has made me more wary of her; I think her decision-making and management has been awful, and I worry that that would not change were she to run the federal government. I'd vote for her in a heartbeat over any Republican, but less enthusiastically than I would have a couple of months ago. It's kind of odd for me: I came to Obama via policy, and so the 'oh, he has no substance' thing is just bizarre to me, as is the 'his supporters are just airy kids easily swayed by rhetoric.'"
Here is a link to a piece by Hilary Bok at ObsidianWings about why she supports Obama:  

20 Feb 2008 @ 16:10 by quinty : So called Truth Seekers
can be self deluded too. In fact clinging to irrational delusions and fantasies is one of the most common traits of human nature. You caught me out on one of mine. (But most gently, I must say.)

Since I have no connection, relationship, contact, or intercourse of any kind with your colleague in your school I can simply say - What a complete jerk!

If I may comment on some of your friend’s observations......

One thing about Hillary we should never forget: she’s a Director of the DLC. (When all this began to roll about a year ago I immediately eliminated Richardson simply because he belonged to the DLC. Do we want a moderate Republican, a “triangulator,” in the White House?)

On Barrack opposing the war. Well, several millions of us did during the run up. I remember all that clearly, the sense of urgency so many of us felt, for it appeared there would be no stopping Bush. He wouldn’t “take yes for an answer,” as we joked back then, each time he made an increasingly difficult demand on Saddam. (Vax is right about one thing: the sanctions killed an enourmous number of Iraqi children. They were inhuman, useless, and expressive of the third world bullying the United States has often engaged in over the years.) To get back to Barrack, yes, it was easy to oppose the war if you were not particularly prominent at the time. The question becoming, would he have stood up with Senator Robert Byrd in the empty Senate to speak out against it in 2002? Hillary, we know, sought cover. (More guile and cynicism on her part.) As did just about everyone in the public eye. My point being, there was far less pressure on Barack at the time than on Hillary, so, to give her her due, there may not be an even balance in the comparison. Though Barack’s friendship with Rashid Khalidi in Chicago is very encouraging. I wonder what the Israel Firsters will do with that? And how Barack, if it becomes an issue, will reply.

Did anyone catch the “endorsement” a Texas state senator gave Obama on MSNBC last night? Chris Matthews asked him what Obama had accomplished in the US Senate. His spokesman couldn’t name one thing. He didn’t know. No one on the panel thought to direct the viewer to Obama’s web site. That terribly humiliating gaff may endure(???) in the ads against Obama. Michelle’s recent gaff has outdone the plagiarism charge among the right as proof Obama is an America hater. Probably French.

I think - like every great president - Obama is fundamentally about process. Roosevelt and Lincoln started with only vague goals and ideas. And some definite objectives: such as to save the Union and to end the Depression. But neither had a fixed plan when he started out. Obama - it seems to me - is revealing the same approach. And Lincoln eventually redefined democracy in a transcendent manner. While Roosevelt attempted any practical means he could to end the Depression. (Saving capitalism too, perhaps.) In other words, they developed along with their presidencies in a creative way.

Of course our hopes have been elevated. And we expect much. What’s more, his lack of precision permits his listeners to interject their own personal desires into his words. And this is, naturally enough, unsettling. For the question becomes will Obama bring each one of us the program he hopes for once he becomes president? There are even Republicans projecting their desires onto Obama too. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it, that Obama will offer them Republican solutions, unless he’s a triangulator too. That, triangulation, being the last thing in the world we need now. But how can he obtain his coalition, the one he constantly promises us in his speeches, without accommodating? That’s what politics is all about, after all. But if he gets this huge surge, popular movement (“Yes we can”) behind him then he may obtain a sufficient amount of political clout to actually impose his progressive policies in the name of common sense. Practicality. And as the voice and will of the people.

Is that what will happen? What he hopes for? To go into the White House with enough public support to truly shake things up?  

20 Feb 2008 @ 17:04 by vaxen : It is obvious...
that jazzy jazzopup isn't at all familiar with Ron Pauls' platform but, then, why should he be? Ensconced as he is in delusions. Then there is quinty with his, ah, truthseekers. Are either of you delegates? Are either of you super delegates? How about you Elle?

And just what do you think the upstart is going to shake up? For Christs sake have you even stopped for a moment to examine just who his advisors are? And you mention PNAC?

Here is an item 'of interest' from Reuters, over there, which sorely reminds me of the kind of vain dialogue you perpetrate...and where you can also get your daily Hillary versus Obama orientation and fix. Ever hear of MILDEC? Heh, I doubt that, you sure eat it up though.

"Sally Moon, Sally Moon, she's a vegetarian. She don't eat meat but she sho like de bone!" - Guess who?

LONDON (Reuters) - A chef accused of murdering teenage model Sally Anne Bowman said on Tuesday he had sex with her corpse while high on drink and drugs but did not murder her.

Mark Dixie, 37, said he stumbled across the teenager's body lying between a van and a skip in the street after he went out to buy cocaine in the early hours.

Giving evidence at his Old Bailey trial, Dixie said he felt "worse for wear" after a drug and alcohol binge and did not immediately realise she was dead.

"I took full advantage of someone and I shouldn't have," he told the jury. "I thought she had passed out through drink or fallen over."

He told defence barrister Anthony Glass that he had not noticed the pool of blood around the 18-year-old's body.

Dixie said he had just been on a four-day drugs and alcohol binge during which he took cocaine and cannabis and drank wine, beer and whisky.

He described himself as the "life and soul of the party" with a large appetite for drugs.

"I am like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to cocaine. I always need more," he said.

After realising that Bowman was dead, Dixie said he panicked and ran to his flat. He smoked cannabis to try to calm down, slept for a few hours and went out drinking. Continued...


And here is a link which might put you into orbit, agit prop not withstanding.  

20 Feb 2008 @ 20:37 by jazzolog : A Passing Observation
Vaxen san-gfroid, there's nothing "obvious" at jazzoLOG as to whether I am expert on Ron Paul's agenda or not. Your insults are built upon aloof presumption, and that technique is what makes you the intolerable blow-hard of NCN. You have ridiculed the few guests huddled here in my living room, as you have done almost every other person who has offered comment at my articles during the last year or so. For a while no one would venture in here at all. Sometimes I'd get emails from friends who'd tell me they'd offer a message here, except for the ugly, besotted druggie who seems to insist on holding forth at my Log. Isn't it obvious there is nothing for you at jazzoLOG? Why not gather yourself together with the myriad of friends you have made at NCN and shower upon them the flotsam of your fevered brain? We might struggle along without your divine pronouncements. I'm almost positive we can.  

20 Feb 2008 @ 20:39 by Quinty @ : Obama and PNAC

It’s a little hard to believe that while Obama was in Chicago he was hanging out with Leo Strauss’s crowd. Especially if he was hanging with Rashid Khalidi and William Ayers, a former member of the Weather Underground. (I wonder how he’s going to deal with that?) What’s more, PNAC is primarily concerned with foreign policy: their number one project being (or was) US hegemony in the Middle East.

Barack opposed the war. He’s threatening to pull out. So is Hillary. Why should they want to back anyone else but John McCain, who’s talking about staying a hundred years or “until the job is done.”

I did a Google search wondering if something substantive would come up. Yes, some blogs linked the Neocons with Obama. Having an aversion to remaining too long in a swamp, stinking or not, I only did some limited background checking and discovered that my test site had distorted the quotes it based its case on. Most of the hits offered a similar theme.

There does seem to be a basic contradiction between foreign policies. Bill Kristol, as one blog claimed, actually backs Barack? It was a simple search: obama pnac - maybe there's something there which isn't trash?  

20 Feb 2008 @ 23:02 by vaxen : Chattel...
by presumption, too, jazzangofroid. Maybe you should go to the floor of the Senate sometime and see how real people talk to one another? Real people? Legal fictions all...just like the 'president.' that's why it's so hard to choose between one legal fiction and another...they don't exist in reality!

Trouble must tell them that! Once you tell them that you are a real flesh and blood human being living on the're no longer a legal fiction, person, holding office in the fictional Corporate State!

Of course that, like politics and frying fish, is a process too. Matrices within matrices a UNIX doesn't make. That's why we have Multics. didn't answer my question. Are you a delegate? Are you a super delegate? Do you matter at all? Who are you? ;) Thin skinned bunch of buggers, jazzo, which is probably why the Corporate State has advanced so far into the fictional lives of its' fictitious citizens!

Very good point quinty. I, of course, have nothing against the wise Mr. Brzezinsky whatsoever and agree most heartily with his assumptions concerning the New American Century. A new Great War, Long War...Europa, breadbasket of the world, must be conquered at all costs!

I remember only too well the jihadis glaring drools and promises whilst I was there amongst them so...

There is much at stake and neither Obama nor Hillary can really speak for themselves as human beings for that would show them up for what, in fact, they are...stooges for the Corporate State - which - does not exist! Thus they must keep their front up because if they were to be pinched their delusionary existences as office holders in the illusion/delusion called Government would pop like a needled baloon along with their fancies of climbing up the ladder even further to finally sit on the penultimate, the zenith point, the Keter/crown of their insane lives.

I'll maybe post some stuff on the Obama Rama and his guff that might shake the timbers of the pie eyed ship called the ship of state. But...why rock the boat when there is a JIOC Global Harvest to be had on all the candied apples in the race. Problem, Reaction, Solution...

A little Blue Sky anyone? Major Jack Downing's your man. Your infinite Semiotic Particles are showing jazzoslipper... ;)

Know about the secret treaty of Fort Hunt and what affect it is having on this silly facade called an election? Can you define:public sector? Got your Frankenbox ready? High weirdness is a high wire act. Like Obama, like Hillary. Oh, and lets not forget the Israel Corporation, shall we, while we're at it.  

20 Feb 2008 @ 23:23 by quinty : Oh Vax
you do owe Jazzo an apology, you know?

I sometimes hear a psa which runs on the local radio here in which a girl viciously goes off on another girl's zits, how ugly she is, how dumb etc. Ugly stuff. An adult voice comes on after this and says something along the lines of: "You would never talk to anyone face to face in that manner. Why do it on the web?"

Vax, you may not be able to accept that your behavior is the same as that immature and nasty girl's. That your speech is needlessly ugly and vicious. But that is the impression you make with your haughty "pronouncements." Rather than appear elevated you come across as quite the opposite. Not at all superior.

Why not apologize and move on?


21 Feb 2008 @ 07:38 by Elle @ : Brzezinski
Vax, you're not exactly factual about Zbigniew Brzezinski.Brzezinski was criticized for his role in the formation of the Afghan mujaheddin network, some of which would later form the Taliban and would shelter Al Qaeda camps. He asserted that blame rightfully ought to be laid at the feet of the Soviet Union, whose invasion he claimed radicalized the relatively stable Muslim society. He opposed the Gulf War. He also criticized Bush's war on terror. One of his sons is a foreign policy advisor to Obama. There's a lot to this man, and it's trite of you to minimalize him to your biased and unfactual comments, I think. But, what else is new? You have always had your own fearful spin on things - seeing everybody as the enemy. (Somehow I don't know why you don't see how close you are to Bush in that enemy thinking....) Nothing new at all lol.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 08:57 by Elle @ : Wuhu to you, too
Nope, you posted the piece, therefore it reflects your views, Vax. As to the quote (which I can't prove came from him, but let's say it did), it proved to be a good warning, deeply disturbing, and not an approval of such technology.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 08:59 by jazzolog : The Vaxen Problem
Thanks Elle and Quinty for attempting to bring what has been an interesting and productive thread back on track and topic. Vaxen's egomania however must become our focus. That's his game. With this personality type you either humor him (he loves to be tickled under his ear), ignore him (he doesn't like that, but as long as he can publish his tongue-lashings he remains somewhat content) or you finally take him on. Now he's the center of attention, he has trained all his life to treat people as objects for confrontation and conquest (see There Will Be Blood for a study of this type) and he is in his realm.

Quinty, he never has and never will (and possibly never can) apologize for his rudeness. Instead there are things wrong with us and all the world. Occasionally, when someone weeps under the onslaught of his bullying blows, he takes pity and writes he never meant really to hurt anyone. But in a matter of moments he will be back at it, not modifying his behavior one iota. Changing his own behavior is out of the question. We must change ours to suit him. Would anyone ever accomplish such a goal? Is it humanly possible? Or do we have a personality disorder here that in many ways the Internet unfortunately encourages?

When Elle left NCN a while back, Vax would go in the Chat Rooms and lament to the 1 or 2 people who still bothered to brave those storms that nobody was around...and of course he'd curse the Network for it. When Quinty left, naming Vax particularly for making NCN and his own Log intolerable, Vax wrote me private emails tenderly asking after Paul's well-being and whereabouts. No one to play with. Boo hoo.

In many jazzoLOG entries, a comment like this would stop the action and detour us into discussions of bullying, blocking people, conflict resolution, the Webmaster's negligence. In this case however it is not a detour. We are discussing politics and civil gatherings. Let's be clear: Vaxen's opinions, evidence and tracts are welcome here. His manner of insult is not. The nature of what he says about the topics I publish and the people who are kind enough to comment indicates he likes neither jazzoLOG nor my friends...some of them close personal friends of many years. The logical conclusion which we have suggested is that he not come around this Log anymore. Why would any sane person do otherwise? It's a free country. Ah, but there's the rub.

So what do we do at the town meeting with such a person? Is this not what democracy is about partly? Vaxen represents a conservative stand and offers the platform of Republican candidate Ron Paul for consideration. Fine. Mr. Paul represents well the removal of various government institutions that Vaxen dislikes too. But Vaxen, in many of his comments, goes beyond Ron Paul. Vaxen calls for armed insurrection, revolution. He finds anyone in disagreement with him despicable and beneath contempt. It is here that he disrupts our gathering.

What does a civilization do with a person like this? He will not change his behavior at the meeting. He advocates violent overthrow and speaks to us all similarly. He pushes and then he shoves, and finally he beats upon us. There is no pleasing him, but there are guidelines for conduct in this forum. He spits upon them. We have no sergeant at arms upon whom the chairperson could call finally to remove the disturbance, tasers in hand.

I insist upon civil decorum at this Log. At the Communicate page we have a couple of options available for dealing as fairly as possible with harassment, and I'm at the point of declaring that's what Vaxen is doing. Vaxen, if you persist with your conduct of insult rather than intelligent argument, I shall file a formal complaint against you with the Webmaster.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 09:13 by vaxen : I am...
shaking in my proverbials. Your ad hominems do you no justice either. As for advocating violent overthrow? ;) Of what? Your many ensconcements? The partitions, largely in your own mind, which seperate right from left? It would seem to me that it is, also, mostly your own compatriots which are on the never ending, long war, agenda of 'violent overthrow' of anything which doesn't cater to their every whim...democracy? Unfortunately, yes.

I advocate a return to the republic guaranteed unto us by a flawed constitution never signed by me or anyone living. I advocate not turning the other cheek. I often post a view I find to be of interest somewhere on the net that it might be open for discussion. Not analeptic disenchantment and pandering but...real discussion. But in the namby pamby world of 'we are all equal' that isn't allowed. Getting emotional is frowned upon and let us certainly , all of us, be politically correct! In short...non dialoguing but lots of diatribing. Be it reiderate:

A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

— James Madison, Federalist No. 10 [November 22, 1787]

Sure, call the, ah, webmaster in. Do you know what the term 'projecting' means? What's in it for you is in it for you.

Carry wayward son. May your catalepsy be long enduring as well as cathartic.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 15:47 by Elle @ : right
As we all know, the "webmaster" really doesn't care, Jazz. He sometimes has encouraged the bad behavior for his own amusement and sexist views. That was a major reason why I left NCN. The power you have is to set up your own log anyway you like and reinforce it, yourself.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 16:37 by quinty : Rather than the town meeting
Vax's comments appear like the scene in a horror movie where the big hairy monster finally stands in the open door smiling, dripping foam, laughing at the little children who give him the importance of taking his huge oathish overbearing self seriously. For, after all, he can burp, slap his hairy palms around, fart, do whatever he likes. And these foolish weak little children just keep eyeing him, focusing on him, wondering what he will do next? Dump more night soil on the rug? "Whoooeeeee! Look at all the attention I'm getting? Let me splatter a little more all over you. Stupid swine....."

You’re right Richard. He simply becomes more arrogant and beligerent.

Why not just cut this guy off? There's that option on your own site, I believe.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 17:27 by Elle @ : what it is
Negative attention, ain't it grand? Blame the insecure, primally fearful repitilian brain, because it always feels it's lacking something and under attack - therefore it attacks to survive and feel superior. Not my problem. All is well.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 19:02 by vaxen : Heh, heh...
You ought to know V...
Y'all deserve one another...
Have fun with your delusions.

"Comin into Los Angeles, bringin in a coupl'a ki's...
Don't touch my bags, if you please, Mr. customs man..."

"Two roads diverged in a wood... I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference." - Robert Frost  

21 Feb 2008 @ 19:27 by Elle @ : Yeppers
Thank you vaxele, and you have a marvy-poo time, yo'self.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 21:39 by Quinty @ : Here's
an interesting feminist perspective on the race. In my opinion it comes pretty close to why I'm not too happy with the thought of Hillary as the pres. And a lot more could be added to this. I thought her description of Bill was especially apt. Identity politics really shouldn't be a consideration in all this.... Anyway, maybe this will interest you....

Published on Thursday, February 21, 2008 by

Hillary Clinton: Bridge Woman
by Joyce Marcel

Out there in America - yes, still - is a generation of women who were born in the 1940s, raised in the 1950s, and who came to radical consciousness in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I am one of them. Hillary Clinton is one of them.

We were raised to be respectful daughters, dutiful wives and doting mothers. We were not to rock the boat. We were to marry doctors, not become them. Most of all, we were cursed with the need to be “nice.”

Then in fast order came the pill, Betty Friedan, Robin Morgan and second wave feminism. Suddenly we were free to enjoy sex and athletics, have adventures, enjoy careers and lead authentic lives.

Unfortunately, we had to build this freedom on the foundation of conventional behavior instilled in us in our youth. I call us “bridge women.”

We have one foot in the past and one foot in the brave new liberated world we invented for our brave new liberated selves. Over this bridge skipped our daughters and granddaughters, delighting in a freedom that we, ourselves, could never completely enjoy. For them, a career is a birthright and a wire hanger is one way to hang a blouse.

As Clinton said in her famous 1969 Wellesley graduation speech, “But we also know that to be educated, the goal of it must be human liberation. A liberation enabling each of us to fulfill our capacity so as to be free to create within and around ourselves.”

In a profile of Clinton that appeared last year in Mother Jones magazine, Jack Hitt wrote, “Hillary is the real revolutionary: She had a career. She had a family. She had a husband with a career. They were both ambitious boomers - perhaps the most ambitious. They wanted not just good jobs but the very best of all possible jobs.”

And we know how that played out.

Now Obama-mania appears to be sweeping the country, and Clinton, our first serious female presidential candidate, is poised to lose the Democratic nomination. (And if she and her husband play dirty politics with superdelegates at the convention, they will destroy the Democratic Party and John “Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomba-Iran” McCain, the man whom, when Chelsea Clinton was still in high school, got laughs by joking, “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno,” will be our next president.)

Morgan, a brilliant philosopher, has written a polemic in favor of Clinton ( In it she rails against the sexism that has done so much damage to this candidate: the discussions of her likability, her ambition, her lust for power, her sexuality, her pants suits and hair styles, the microscopic examination of her marriage, the questions of whether she’s “strong enough,” the t-shirts that say “If only Hillary had married OJ instead,” the unbelievable “South Park” episode that had terrorists secreting a bomb in Clinton’s vagina.

“This is sociopathic woman-hating,” Morgan writes, truthfully. If it were about Jews or African-Americans, we would call it for what it is - hate speech. “Hell, PETA would go ballistic if such vomitous spew were directed at animals,” she says.
Yet Clinton is, and always will be, a bridge woman. Her roots are in her dutiful, conventional upbringing. Her tragedy is that she never really rebelled. She never really changed.

She has trotted out her husband to campaign for her until it looks like she is riding on his coattails. Worse, it reminds us of his terrible arrogance and sense of entitlement, and makes us realize that we cannot endure another round of him being in the spotlight.

She has surrounded herself with the worst power-players in the Democratic Party. Among them, lobbyist and Karl Rove-wannabe Mark Penn and Terry McAuliffe, who has been the Clinton’s bagman for the past decade or so.

She has burned through $120 million.

She started by having the most money, the best organization and the most clout. But she blew her advantages in the traditional old-fashioned Democratic way: lots of network TV ads when the networks are rapidly losing viewers; campaigning only in big states; spending no money on grassroots organizing; and counting on her connections and her friends’ deep pockets to carry her through. These are the same inept strategies that cost the Democrats elections in 1980, 1984, 1988, 2000 and 2004.

Barack Obama chose the Howard Dean-Deval Patrick strategy (the Clintons hate Dean): pay attention to all the states, even the so-called “red” ones; knock on doors; enlist and inspire young people to work their butts off; do a lot of grassroots organizing.

If Clinton’s old-fashioned strategy hasn’t killed her, certainly her record has. She was on the board at Wal-Mart. Even though her Senate resume is as thin as Obama’s, she voted for the war in Iraq. She voted to give the president the power to bomb Iran. She voted for the bankruptcy bill. She refused to support a ban on cluster bombs.

“Does sisterhood have such a thin veneer that all of those Iraqi lives are forgotten in order to have a woman in the White House,” wrote a commentator, Kathleen Barry, in response to Morgan’s piece. “Then why not Condoleezza Rice? Is there that much difference between them?”

Clinton’s life resonates deeply with me. I like her. I admire her intelligence and accomplishments. I have taken many of the same hits that she has.

Yet her inability to change, admit failure and grow - coupled with her need to be the good girl, dutiful and obedient to the conventional realities, strategies and wisdom that have always surrounded her - make it impossible for me to vote for her.

Mindful, as Morgan says, of the danger of electing “a handsome, cocky president who feels he can learn on the job,” I will reluctantly vote for Obama.

Joyce Marcel is a columnist and journalist in Vermont. A collection of her columns, “A Thousand Words or Less,” is available through And write her at  

21 Feb 2008 @ 21:41 by quinty @ : Of course
my opinion may be seen as a thought. Though some may dispute that....  

21 Feb 2008 @ 22:31 by Elle @ : Hillary
Well, Quinty, I read the article you posted with an open mind. I can relate to it - Hillary is about 5 or 6 years older than I. Yes, there is still a lot of hatred of women (I mentioned the sexism thing before). But, let's get real about this: A lot of America is conservative and there are a lot of Christians with their own set of values that Hillary has to consider. She has to play to all kinds of folks, and it's harder because she's a woman and under more scrutiny just for that. No, it's not right, it's not fair, but it is how it is. Just what change did the author, Joyce Marcel, expect to see in Hillary? I didn't see any solutions offered. Just what do people expect from Hillary? I think that depends on where you're coming from.

Remember Geraldine Ferraro? I wanted her to be president so badly. She is brilliant, she is her own person, but America wasn't ready for her. What has changed at all since then in terms of a woman running for president? Nothing that I can see, except that there is a woman Speaker of the House, and there have been women like Reno, Albright, and Rice...but they were not presidents.

Therefore, I think it's idiotic to think that a cocky guy who can learn on the job is a better idea. It makes no sense to me at all, Quinty.  

21 Feb 2008 @ 22:37 by Elle @ : More
In a way, it's like saying Obama had it easier than Hillary, therefore he is change or will bring change. I don't know - but that doesn't make sense to me, either. He's not a woman and never had to deal with issues women have to deal with. I think Hillary has done pretty darn well for herself but a campaign involves a party, it involves so much more than just the person running. If she were a black woman, how do you think that would have played?  

22 Feb 2008 @ 01:34 by Elle @ : debate
The debate is on now with Hillary and Barak.  

22 Feb 2008 @ 06:58 by Elle @ : Obama
You might all find this article on Obama and his staff of interest. (Yes, Vax, including Brzezinski)  

22 Feb 2008 @ 09:19 by jazzolog : The Winter Storm
Thanks for carrying on at jazzoLOG. We've had severe weather here with a few days of snow. Schools closed, but I've had my hands full---with armloads of wood---keeping the woodstoves going and the driveway open. The problems may be continuing today.

Let me say, regarding the storm here at jazzoLOG, that I prefer to use the system that's in place at NCN for harassment, rather than blocking or taking time to edit out and delete offensive material. We worked long and hard to cobble together some kind of conflict resolution in here a few years ago and, if need be, I'll use that.

Vax has written me privately and said he'll stay away. I replied he needn't do that, but instead just behave himself---which he knows how to do as evidenced at his own Log. He can introduce topics without condescension and insult, which attitude makes people mad and wastes time and space. Let the politicians do that---and even they seem to be trying to stop.  

22 Feb 2008 @ 16:49 by jmarc : No you can't
If wishes were dishes, my sink would be full.

Here's a good one for you guys.

{LINK:|No You Can't}  

22 Feb 2008 @ 17:20 by quinty : No hard
feelings. But at times he comes across as if he hasn’t taken his meds.

A black woman president? Does it at all matter? If one were elected it would show a giant leap forward for the human race.

If Barbara Lee - my former Congress rep in Oakland and Berkeley - ran I would gladly back her if she showed she has the stuff for such a high office. In fact, hers was the only dissenting vote in the Congress on authorizing the use of unlimited force following 9/11. That was a prescient vote, a vote which counts. That’s all that matters. And that’s the sort of thing we should look for.

If I were going into the hospital for brain surgery i would not be interested in the race or gender of the surgeon. I wouldn’t think about that. I would simply want the best one available.

Nor do I think that in a presidential race identity politics should be involved, even if blacks and women have been historically cheated of their birthright. What’s more, comparing the two, race and gender, in this presidential race is an artificiality which misses what should be the focus of this race. Selecting the best president. So I don’t see Hillary as a woman.

For me she is too tainted. If she had separated herself from her husband and his DLC policies I would be more inclined to back her. But she’s a Director of the DLC. And her constant slipping and sliding to further her ambitions has for me been rather nauseating. Especially when she appeals to the Christian right who want to bring the most debased values into the overall fabric of our culture.

Who is Barack Obama? A young guy with enormous intelligence and a natural charisma. What’s more his is the charisma of a superior man. Not that historically that always means much of anything. Among my father’s friends in the Spanish Republic there were some extraordinary men who were complete busts. Nor do we really know how Obama will do.

Is there any true preparation for becoming president? Probably not. Lincoln only had one two year term in Congress. LBJ was the “master of the Senate.” Nixon had 8 years as VP and was a Senator and House member before that. Little did their “preparations” serve them.

Yes, I like Obama. And am curious to see what he will do. After 8 years of the “smirking chimp,” lying, snickering, embarrassing the nation I would like to see a man who offers dignity, grace, humor and intelligence as virtues in themselves. His enemies and his friends have noted a certain “transcendence.” I’m curious about that too. Will he raise this nation up or has it all merely been show? Will something else block him?

Admittedly, these aren’t much so far as reasons go for choosing a candidate. For, after all, the presidency is not merely some sort of spiritual or intellectual exploration or spectator sport. But Hillary is too tainted. Let’s give the country a fresh start. What’s more, it’s what we need now after 8 years of giddiness and lies.  

22 Feb 2008 @ 18:54 by Loopy @ : hahaha Jmarc
Great link jmarc...thanks for the laughs

As to the other stuff, to quote Bart "Been there, done that!"

Nothing has changed at NCN except that some of us have left and on rare occassion check back just to make sure everything is still the same...LOL...To remind us why we left and are not coming back. That includes my name showing up on this log, against NCN gudielines but at least Jazz was wise enough to get rid of the comment with my name in it and I hadn't even commented on this thread!!!!! (not interested in excuses, thank you very much!)  

22 Feb 2008 @ 19:11 by Quinty @ : Huh?

Spooks? Incongito bloggers emerging out of the shadows?

Has this been FISA approved?  

23 Feb 2008 @ 00:20 by jazzolog : Errata
A quick comment on a very busy day. At no time did I reveal Loopy's name at an entry, but I did play around with clues as to her name. If anyone wants a clue as to who Loopy is, just click her nickname up above and you'll have her email addy. I didn't create that. Nor did I delete any comments of mine or hers. I try never to delete a comment unless I negotiate with the writer first. That's just my policy. As to the guidelines, I feel very badly about mentioning Vaxen's name in a critical comment...even though Vaxen is not his real name. However, at least some of the reason Loopy left NCN and abandoned a truly wonderful Log she had created is the friction caused by comments such as he has made here and elsewhere. I insist upon politeness and a tradition of hospitality at jazzoLOG. In this case that meant finally a calling out.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 01:07 by Elle @ : Jazz
Well, Jazz, you also talked about me and had I really wanted to promote myself at that time, I could have, but I didn't want to. If you know who I am, that's fine, but you don't have to publicize it without even asking me about it. So you told people to trace my number. That's not very cool, Jazz.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 02:30 by Loopy @ : FYI
Jazz, I have no complaint with you. My name appeared in the following comment and then disappeared sometime later. I assumed you had removed it. Guess one should not assume!

20 Feb 2008 @ 23:23 by quinty : Oh Vax
you do owe Jazzo an apology, you know?

I sometimes hear a psa which runs on the local radio here in which a girl viciously goes off on another girl's zits, how ugly she is, how dumb etc. Ugly stuff. An adult voice comes on after this and says something along the lines of: "You would never talk to anyone face to face in that manner. Why do it on the web?"

Vax, you may not be able to accept that your behavior is the same as that immature and nasty girl's. That your speech is needlessly ugly and vicious. But that is the impression you make with your haughty "pronouncements." Rather than appear elevated you come across as quite the opposite. Not at all superior.

Why not apologize and move on?


And for the record Paul I have NEVER in my life commented about another girl's complexion. I learned as a very young child that it was very disrespectful and hurtful to behave in such an insensitive manner so I don't appreciate my name appearing in that comment regardless of the fact it didn't stay there long. I know you were not trying to be mean or hurtful towards me. But you really need to be careful with examples sometimes. Most of the time though I completely agree with you...LOL

As to you -know- who's hibernating....dream on! hahaha His hibernations are short naps, or at least that is what Mr. Morris Bear tells me though it's hard to hear the bear since he is sitting in a shipping box in NC.

So Jazz you did jump to the wrong conclusion and IF I got your feathers up...sorry! You need to read The Four Agreements and obviously I need to reread it! No assumptions!!!!

Cheers, The loopster

PS. Hey there Elle, right with you on your comments.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 03:54 by Quinty @ : I'm begining
to feel as if I have wandered into an asylum.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 05:30 by Elle @ : Yup
That just confirms what we've already said, Quinty, things are as usual here lol.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 05:32 by Elle @ : female presidential candidate
By the way, Quinty, Shirley Chisholm, on January 23, 1972, became the first major party African American candidate for President of the United States. How quickly people forget, eh?  

23 Feb 2008 @ 08:34 by jazzolog : If I Were To Count
the number of hours and days I have wasted on the complaints of NCN members, past and present, the result probably would account for a huge percentage of all my time in computering. I say "waste" because not one of the complainers has remained at this site or done anything to build the reputation and membership of NCN. In this case I categorically deny having deleted a single word of this or any other recent thread, nor have I written out the presumed name of anybody in here, except Quinty, at least within the past couple of years. Anyway, all the secrecy about who's who simply is ludicrous to me in this day and age of telecom immunity. If someone ventures into jazzoLOG, here or at other sites where it appears, I'm naturally and healthily curious as to who it is and what brought them here. It is my nature to want to be a good host and maybe make a new friend...or reconnect with an old one. People who come in under some cute name amd leave coy, provocative remarks can expect to be exposed if I feel like it and can figure it out. There's no chicanery involved either in clicking a hyperlinked nickname to see where it goes or Googling somebody up. Anybody can do it. I will cater to special sensitivities if the guest makes valuable contribution to the topic, is straight with me, and not so neurotic as to require admission to a recovery unit of some kind.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 09:01 by Elle @ : Cop out
Then count me out of here, Jazz. I didn't use some cute name that wasn't my own, so no pretense there. You chose to make a deal out of it and call attention to it, which you can do, but I would have appreciated it if you would have done so privately with me, first. There is a reason people use nicknames, and I see you still haven't learned.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 09:42 by jazzolog : An Email
I have sent the following email to Elle at the addy you get when you click her name~~~

Dear Elle,

Sorry not to have checked with you first. I presumed this addy wasn't real. Shouldn't have without trying it out first.

(jazzolog is not my real name)

As I say it is possible to Google a person's machine number, if they're commenting from outside, and find where other comments have been made...and under what nickname. It may be supplying that number onto a public Log is a violation of privacy that might be explored. But I'd rather discuss America's political I think I'll get back to that, and try harder not to step on personal toes.  

23 Feb 2008 @ 09:48 by jazzolog : Ooops

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
SMTP error from remote mailer after RCPT TO::
host []: 550 unknown user

------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------

Received: from (helo=CarlsonFamily)
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24 Feb 2008 @ 05:24 by a-d : here's a thought for you guys!...
ALL humans on Earth are run/RULED by their own Psyche/Psychology! Some of us are a little more healthy, some are not so healthy, yet all are ARCHETYPAL in nature & (THAT is what makes a thief a thief, whether Green, Black, White, Jew or Buddhist etc!... bla bla bla... ) What makes a thief a thief is the fact that the person STEALS!... In other words; a GIVEN BEHAVIOUR!!!

...and WHO/What person/ality need to be in most control of everything and everyone around them???... I would say the most insecure, unsure of him/herself-personality. Such a personality in its mildest form we all have run into a thousand times: The narcissist! .... [ ] and from there on t all goes downhill to ever worse!.... : PSYCHOPATH with a POSITION to kill, which ALL (true) Psychopaths LOOOVE to do... by proxy, of course.... they are all very keen on keeping their own physical hands clean at any time, in any issue; that's why a true 'Psycho' always makes SOMEONE else do their dirty jobs; including the MURDER-thing... but it IS there. ALWAYS!
And what better PLACE for POWER and CONTROL, than the Political higher Echelons.... where murdering ( a MINIMUM of ) a thousand, makes you a HERO, (any LESS than that, only makes you a Criminal!... and THAT is something a Narcissist nor a Psychopath are interested in being seen as! )

But let's just take a look at the mildest form of SICK PSYCHOLOGY; Narcissism, and HOW HARD THAT ALONE can --and IS -- disturbing our entire World Society:

In our Every-day-life we call the Narcissist "BULLY" I am sure you all met a few!...

You think there is hope in these -political guys,that you are talking about; be they him, her, him or him.... They are ALL from the SAME ARCHETYPE-ASSYLUM!!!... for crying out loud!

Before the rest of Humanity is willing to get on with ITS (own) growth to emotionally ( = spiritually ) MATURE to responsible non-afraid GROWN UPS, there is very little hope; very little that we --as One United Entity-- can do.
ONCE we have grown up, then WE can and MUST FORCE ALL the Bullies/Cry Wolf Boys & gals to get a grip of themselves and grow up!
But as long as we are afraid of THEM (or look up at them as Something REAL and let them RULE ( US) they WILL!... just as their ILLNESS of the/ir Soul is ruling them! These people don't have anything real of LIFE supportive Character inside of them, that they can utilize to benefit neither themselves in their own lives, and let alone to be Leaders of others! THEY ARE ALL TAKERS!!!! ...and they take (away from you, me and Nature .... and then they take a little more away from you, me and Nature and then a little more!... THAT IS WHAT BULLIES DO!

IF we , Humanity don't get to SUSTAINABLE life style fast enough now, we will all be blown up into our smallest pieces possible: "Human "Molecules" (hehehe...) sad, but true!....
So.... WHAT is your suggestions we do in order to mature ourselves till the point where we stop being ruled by our fear of the Bully and instead ask/demand the Bully to grow up too????...

Jazzo, I hope I'm not being the Party Pooper here, but this IS the Sad Truth about our Human Condition and Social , Political, Socio political and most of all Spiritual Situation still today... Since "Spiritual" in MODERN lingo could be replace with the word "CREATIVE" means WITHIN the CONFINES of COSMIC Laws of Physics and of/for ETHICAL behaviour; ("Do Unto Others as..." )

I hope this will spread some New fresh light on how Things can be seen, analyzed & understood.  

24 Feb 2008 @ 08:48 by jazzolog : Very Interesting Post, A-D
and thank you for it. The links are great too, but I didn't want to read the the articles too intently lest they increase my own narcissistic tendencies. At first I thought you were going to address the topic of bullies at NCN, which has been a topic of discussion here for years---and often designated as the real cause of our site's problems. But you're going to the heart of the political matter itself.

I heard Chogyam Trungpa say something like this 30 years ago, and I believe the Alex Jones Infowars/PrisonPlanet people are picking up on it these days. Of course the rinpoche was interested in removing other allegiances his followers might have to anyone but a living buddha. The Dalai Lama is both a political and religious leader you know, and the rightwing always seems to want to move in that direction. Mr. Jones sees a world government as the worst thing that ever could happen, because of the brainwashing trillionaires behind it.

We paid off our mortgage recently and so I can feel that I "own" some acres of woodland and meadow out here and a spacious house to live in. We're on top of a hill and there's a well down below that pumps our own water to us. A dream come true, what could be better? I have my piece of the pie. We worked hard for it, in a marriage and family that's held together somehow for over 25 years. That work is the only excuse I can give for feeling I have a "right" to all this. I want to be the human that controls what happens on this land. A kid who drives a 4-wheeler through here is going to feel my wrath if I catch him---and I'll go see his dad if I can track him.

That confrontation---me and the dad---is the very nature of politics. If he and I cannot see eye to eye on the matter, what do we do? To whom do we turn? Do I just get my guys and he gets his and we meet on the border? At what point do I invade Kurdistan? You get what I mean? I don't want to poop on your party either, but I feel my inner journey can be interrupted at any moment by a passing stranger...or a mosquito. He can be a messiah or a psychopath, but my inner journey is nothing if I have no Way to be with the arrival of that other being.

I used to write jazzoLOG about nature and art and old times, and people responded happily about that stuff. I still like doing it too...and I want to go back to it. But the arrival of these strange and tragic times made it impossible for me to continue, and this Log became political. I've become that way in person too, and I've lost some casual friends...but the people around my town who understand what I'm doing are treasures to me in this life. I still like to party, and I want jazzoLOG to be fun---but I can't tolerate anyone riding roughshod over the terrain or one of the guests. That's why I need the well as a healthy creative and spiritual life. Thanks again.  

24 Feb 2008 @ 20:51 by a-d : Of course,Jazzo!
..of course!. I totally sympatize/AGREE with you and I feel so happy that at least to some extent you have had the chance to get your most compelling Dreams to come true! Isn't that how it should be/should have been for all of Humanity from the very getgo?! Of course! I know you agree with me on that one! : )

I feel so sorry for Humanity!.... and trust me, there was time when I did feel sorry for the crooks and thought they were just "getting even with a world that had faulted them." ..but today I KNOW the REAL TRUTH and I do NOT feel sorry for them any longer! All I want is the rest of Humanity to grow up and to understand to ASK for DIVINE JUSTICE! Universe doesn't give us nor push on us anything we don't ASK for consciously with 100% 'here & now presence of Awareness' ( that IS what we call:(the) Free Will (Zone in Universe, where supposedly not all planets' Inhabitants have Free Will granted. We do!... which, of course is great, but also has been part of the problem: EVERYTHING we WANT MUST BE very, very VERRYYY consciously ASKED for!...

There are a lot of us who do have serious problems with Humantiy learning to understand this one and even more problems with us understanding that DIVINE JUSTICE is always just a Heart beat away: till we learn to start asking for it!...

NOT All of us want Divine Justice to be The Order Of The Day!.... THAT will soon be the MOST TELLING thing... of WHAT really has gone on in Someone's Mind; about their Hidden Agendas, Covert Activities etc!...
Like Baby Bush said one time when asked if he was willing to face the consequences of his own actions: "Well, I dictate my own consequences" he said -or words to that effect! Yeaahhh, right, Mr Bush!... DREAM ON!!! Always so ---- cocky!... but I think, that secretly the whole idea made him shit in his pants....  

24 Feb 2008 @ 22:10 by Elle @ : Ha!
"And finally, the most important women's news item, we have our first serious female presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton. And yet, women have come so far as feminists that they don't feel obligated to vote for a candidate just
because she's a woman. Women today feel perfectly free to make whatever choice Oprah tells them to. Which raises the question: why are people abandoning Hillary for Obama? Some say that they are put of by the fact that Hillary can't control her husband and that we would end up with co-presidents. Because that would be terrible. Having two intelligent, qualified people working together to solve problems. Ach. Why would you let Starsky talk to Hutch? I want to watch that show "Starsky." [snip]

"Then there is the physical scrutiny of her physical appearance. Rush Limbaugh (the Jeff Conaway of right wing radio)said that he doesn't think America is ready to watch their president "turn into an old lady in front of them".
Really? They didn't seem to mind when Ronald Reagan did that. What bothers me the most is that people think that Hillary is a bitch. Let me say something about that, because you know she is. So am I. And so is this one (points to
Amy and Amy agrees). Bitches get stuff done, that is why Catholic schools use nuns as teachers and not priests. Those nuns are mean old clams, and they sleep on cots and they're allowed to hit you. At the end of the school year you hated those bitches, but you knew the capital of Vermont. I'm saying it's not too late. Texas and Ohio get on board bitch is the new black!" Tina Fey, SNL  

25 Feb 2008 @ 10:19 by jazzolog : Bitches Get Stuff Done
A compelling argument, Elle. Especially about the capital of Vermont. Is it Burlington or Montpelier? Clearly I haven't been slapped around enough. Bush got things done too...and we got to watch him age, although many hoped it would go further---like toppling into a grave. I like the implication that Reagan turned into "an old lady." Nice shot. Best comment I ever heard about Bush: "Obviously a C minus average isn't good enough to be President of the United States." Don't know who said it though.  

25 Feb 2008 @ 20:26 by a-d : Ive spent some time on the Net
looking up as much as I have had time to read websites about Narcissism/FALSE SELF ="Ego" or Bully or Psycho-personalities -depending on social position and hence seriousness of atrocities by these people...which then gives them the descriptive label.
Ive read a lot about BOOKS out there today on this subject as well. Here is one good book, I think, that fits right in here what we all should be getting involved with and find the right Solution for instead of continuing supporting the age old illness of the Human Soul; the Original Sin: Narcissim; the blatant selfishness at the expense of ALL around the person/carrier of this disease; all the CROOK Politicians!
[ ]
There's a whole barrage of good books & overall info on this subject, out there today, info/descriptions that you couldn't find anywhere in the world up till just ten fifteen years ago, when it slowly started to show up -and be banned and show up again...the Crooks have done a lot of effort to keep it away , to not show up again... but THANK GOD, The Genie is out of the bottle and it will very likely turn out to be an impossible task to ever squeeze it back in there again! : )Like I said: THANK GOD! : )

It is time to stop hoping that symptomatic politics will CHANCE =HEAL the Society, anymore than symptomatic treatment of i.e. diabetes would heal diabetes!.... We HAVE to get down to the CAUSE...and the Cause is in the psychology of each person; the crooks as well as ourselves! Forget the Flags and other God-decreed Wrappings in which these sick people hide their Naked --ever so DARK- truth about them!

OK, so I decided not to "wait an' see" if anyone would be interested. I will give you a few links here right now. (And I will also post more on my blog.) All you need to do is klick on them and read ...even just ten lines from each...and the way you see /understand your fellow Humans and the World at large will have been changed for ever!
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ]
[ ] This is an exceptionally good site about Narcissism!  

26 Feb 2008 @ 23:12 by Elle @ : What Hillary should have done
I agree with the points in this article.
What Hillary Should Have Done

by Cenk Uygur

Here are the slogans Hillary Clinton should have based her campaign on:

* Hillary Clinton: Battle-tested
* I have scars because I've been in the fight
* We've got a fight on our hands and I'm the fighter you need in your corner
* Actions speak louder than words (she has briefly used this one)
* I've been taking the fight to the bad guys for the last 35 years
* I have hope born of experience, a hope we can achieve

One of Hillary Clinton's main problems was that Barack Obama was so damn likable. They should have Karl Roved him by turning his biggest asset into his biggest disadvantage (as they did to John Kerry's service in Vietnam).

They should have said that everyone liked him because he never got into the ring, never fought hard for his side, never took a swing at the opposition, never got his uniform dirty and never got tested in the heat of battle. This isn't Pop Warner; this is the majors. And in the majors you have to fight hard enough for your side to get the other team's attention. If they like you, you must not have done anything to upset them.

Does Barack Obama want to hold hands with Karl Rove and Dick Cheney and sing kumbaya? Are those the guys he wants to get along with? The last thing we need is someone who is going to play patty-cakes with these Republicans. We need someone who is going to roll up their sleeves and clean house -- the White House!

Instead she has gone on this strange negative campaigning binge over the last couple of days because they saw they couldn't catch up to Obama by playing nice. But if you're going to play dirty, you have to play it just right. Any misstep and you're going to turn everyone off. And that's exactly what it looks they've done now.

The random angry diatribe about a campaign mailer that's been around forever and now mocking Obama's message of hope looks as desperate as it clearly is. You don't attack hope; that makes you look like you are wishing against people's dreams and aspirations. It makes you seem like a grumpy old man telling people they'll never get the government they want. No one wants to vote for someone who tells them, "Stop dreaming, young man."

There is a way to attack Obama and not attack his followers. Tell them you want the same things for our government and our country, but you know how to fight for them. If Barack had fought for any of these changes, wouldn't he have gotten his nose bloodied at least once by now? Why haven't the Republicans attacked him? Because he poses no real challenge to them and the way they do business!

The Republicans can't stand Hillary Clinton because the Clintons have been kicking their ass up and down Capitol Hill for the last 15 years. They don't mind Barack because he is not a threat to them.

If you're going to go negative, that's the way to do it. But luckily, it appears to be too late for that. I say "luckily" because I don't believe what I've written above. I don't believe Hillary Clinton has fought the Republicans at all since she's been a senator. And she certainly hasn't won any battles against the Bush administration. I think she's been afraid to really challenge Bush because they would have called her a liberal. I think she has no right to stake a claim to being a real fighter. But politics isn't about reality, it's about perception.

I don't want her to win because I think she has learned all the wrong lessons since the one time she did fight -- for health care reform in the early '90s. She lost that fight, but I didn't mind. At least, she fought. The lesson to learn was not to accommodate the special interests, the lobbyists and the Republicans. It was to come back at them with a smarter and tougher plan next time. But for Hillary, there was no next time. She hasn't taken on a real fight since.

But since Obama's image is that everyone loves him, she should have used that against him. That would have been smart politics. What's decidedly not smart are these last minute desperation thrusts at Obama and his supporters. This is not the way to go out. Now that she has finally decided to fight, she's picked the wrong fight.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 01:02 by quinty : I see it
slightly differently.

Hillary actually used all those arguments above. If there are any Americans who are unaware that she has been "battle tested" by the rightwing smear machine they must have been either too young or yet unborn during the Clinton presidency. Kevin Starr and the far right were dirty, unrelenting, vicious, nor could they pull up one thing, except a "third rate" blow job. One which they had to entrap Bill Clinton in to make their case.


Oh my god, the president lied about having sex. What a disgrace! If Bill could have run again in 2000 he would have won by a landslide. There are still many sane Americans who are not straight jacketed by rightwing "moral" values.

But the super structure of Machine Hillary is falling apart. Which is why such an obvious misinterpretation of her words can freely slip and slide. Nobody cares anymore. The edifice is collapsing. The pundits, prompted by Obama, interpret Hillary's dismay as an expression of opposition to hope. Not at all. She is simply attempting to remind the voters- ineffectually - that experience and know-how are required to actually get anything accomplished. That she doesn't dismiss hope. But Barack would have us look at it that way. And since Hillary’s campaign is in disarray he’s succeeding.

He's a cool dude, Barack. There some questions about his ties to PACs, too,. Since he has been going about claiming he's clean. Here's a link...

I'm still voting for Barack. There's a lot there and Hillary is hopelessly tarnished. Nor do I want NAFTA Bill anywhere near the White House. Even as the cordial stud who can lead foreign dignitaries about while fixing a few drinks.

About Obama being the great uniter. One has to wonder what will happen when the Republicans who jumped onto his bandwagon wake up and realize they are riding with a liberal? Or will Obama be the new “triangulator?” As I’ve said before on these sites (remember? remember?) I think he may be attempting to create an enormous popular movement which may force change in a progressive direction. But they don’t call our Republic a democracy for nothing. Wait until he runs head on into the bulwarks of rightwing ideology. Though I’m sure he’s already met them there in the Senate. What does he think of Senator Inhoffe?

Yes, my sense is that Hillary hasn’t really fought with anyone since she became a senator. Cozying up to the Christian right? Yet again? The paragraph in which Uygar discusses that is very good.

In haste.... Gottagarunoff..... besides at the mouth.....  

27 Feb 2008 @ 02:10 by Elle @ : geesh
Oh grow up, Quinty. Bill lied about having sex. Come on - of course he would do that to protect himself and Hillary and Monica. It was nobody's business! And yet, Starr had a witch hunt that cost Americans something like $40 million dollars to prove Bill had a blow job. How insane and such a waste of time and money and heartache, just to try to take Bill out of office. Completely government stupidity.

I'm not sure who I'm voting for - maybe there will be more surprises coming? I'm definitely not voting for Obama, that is certain.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 06:39 by Elle @ : people are switching
Seems like some people are finally paying attention. There was a group of people who were filmed by Fox watching the debate tonight. They polled them before and after the debate. Before the debate there were only a couple of people planning to vote for Clinton. Most were for Obama. By the end of the debate, almost everybody switched to Clinton. They were grilled on why they changed their views and they all said that Hillary answered clearly, intelligently, and Obama was vague. They felt Hillary had more experience and ability. Even when the press tried to manipulate them, they didn't fall for it. One lady said, "Since when is experience a bad word?" in support of Clinton. People there heard, for the first time (shame on them) that Obama is friends with Farrakan and that bothered them. And it should. Why aren't you bothered by that, Quinty, is what I've wanted to know since I posted that info for you. So, it was a very interesting evening to see all these people who have decided to vote for Clinton after really hearing her and Obama.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 07:50 by Elle @ : the focus group
A woman in the focus group said she had a better command of the issues and she was specific. All she saw was Obama saying he agreed with Hillary...but nothing else. A man agreed and said Hillary is more specific on issues. An older man said he was impressed with Obama but he doesn't have the experience. Another woman said Hillary knows what she's talking about and is passionate.
Obama is just not giving any specifics - Hillary is. They were asked if they found Obama was more expressive, more emotional, more electable and they said no. When did experience become a dirty word? If there were to be a combined ticket - Clinton-Obama, people felt it would be great and win. Hillary would be on top according to this focus group. Only 4 Clinton supporters were in the group to begin with, and now there were a whole bunch more. If that is a sample of what the general public is feeling after the debate tonight, then Obama could be in trouble. If there was any one specific thing they could point to as an Obama accomplishment, AND ONLY ONE PERSON COULD COME UP WITH ANYTHING. Would any of them consider voting for McCain? Only two because of his military background and the war on terror, and NAFTA.

The illusion is that since Obama transcends race that means he would therefore he'll transcend idology and politics and partisanship. His record in the Senate shows no evidence of that.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 10:04 by jazzolog : Thank For The Help
because I'm trying not to lean yet toward either major Democratic candidate until next Tuesday itself. Your contributions here give me more to think about...but please be gentle with each other if you feel impatience or anger flaring. I know it's hard in election season. I think I've nearly provoked a poke in my nose a couple of times from various rednecks around here.

Hillary Clinton touts her experience. Well, she had experience as First Lady...but is that really preparation? Does anybody think Laura Bush could do anything? Or Barbara Bush? Yuck. She's been a senator---from New York. That's my home state. I'm not sure there's anything about her representative of New York, but we're used to people coming in and taking office in that state. I don't think her senatorial experience is so tremendously greater than Obama's.

I wrote about Bill Clinton's barnstorming through Southern Ohio at the more recent entry on Hillary's candidacy at jazzoLOG. Yesterday's Toledo paper gave us a fine synopsis of his Monday tour. I have not forgiven Mr. Clinton's indiscretion. In fact from the standpoint of realpolitik, he ruined everything. He weakened Al Gore considerably, couldn't even campaign for him, and in many ways must bear responsibility for handing us Bush on a silver and stained platter. Southern Ohio is a red area and we have suffered mightily under the Bushies...but as The Blade's article points out, the people here really turned out for Bill Clinton. Notice the photo, and the comment about wishing to vote for him again. Hmmm, just got an idea: how about a ticket of Obama, with Bill Clinton for vice president? Maybe not.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 15:06 by Quinty @ : Uh
Elle, if you had read what I said you would have seen, I hope, that I agree on the "perjury" thing.

But never mind....  

27 Feb 2008 @ 15:25 by quinty : Can anyone
truly have the necessary experience to become President of the United States?

Look at Nixon. 8 years VP and a Senator and House member before that. Look what happened there.

Look at LBJ. VP for three years and "master of the Senate" before that. Then there was Vietnam.

Look at Ronald Reagan. Governor of California for several years. He was a great "success," if you believe in rolling back the New Deal and that Ollie North was right.

Then look at Lincoln. Who only had one two year term in the Congress and lost to Douglas for the Senate, before becoming president. (Did he hold any local elective office? I'm not certain of that.)

Look at Bush’s failure. He was governor of Texas - some would call that a part time job. And came into the White House with a string of unrelated failures behind him. Did Bush fail as a president because he was unprepared? Or was it more a matter of character, temperament, the kind of man he is? And because his Neocon tutors followed him into the White House?

I think it has been truly said that the presidency is so unique and unusual an office that there can be no true training for it.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 17:16 by quinty : Obama
the anti Semite?

National polls have Obama ahead of Hillary. Not that that really means anything except that at this moment Democrats seem to favor him over Hillary.

Never say never, though, in politics, right?

An Obama Bill Clinton ticket? (It can't happen because it would be unconstitutional.) Yikes!

As for Obama the anti Semite we better get used to the "Hussein" monicker. A Christian right talk host out of Oklahoma was giving all the reasons why he should be called "Hussein" this morning. (I know, it's a down and dirty way to start the day listening to that crap. And though admittedly self-serving I must tell you I put on a CD of Gliere's First Symphony to "cleanse" myself of all that filth after listening only five minutes.) In a nut shell the reason why is because Obama opposed the war. Our Oklahoman (land of James Inhoffe) also reminded us that if either Hillary or Obama wins the election we will soon have a "Marxist" state. Though under Obama it would be far worse. It appears that National Journal ranking has found a wall to stick on.

Sweetness and light, huh?  

27 Feb 2008 @ 20:22 by quinty : Osama Obama Husseinarama

This came in serendipitously yesterday from an activist friend back in Berkeleyland. Oy vey, you can imagine what such types do to the underpants of the Oklahoma Christian right? Listen to Quinn and Rose sometime if you should wonder? (In their world Democrats are confirmed Marxists who need to be exterminated. No prisoners taken.)

"A statement by Rabbi Lerner and notes of Obama's remarks to Jewish leaders Feb. 24 2008 in Cleveland.

"Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine, issued the following statement today (February 26, 2007):

"Presidential candidate Barack Obama has been very successful today in reassuring the bulk of American Jews that the innuendoes and overt attacks on his alleged hostility to or indifference to the well-being of Israel are false or that he has other commitments that might be deemed dangerous to Jews. Obama has shown himself to be a "spiritual progressive" supporting a "progressive Middle Path" that is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. While some Jews, particularly those affiliated with the Republican party or the neo-con-influence wing of the Democratic Party, and those who support the policies of the Likud Party in Israel, are likely to continue to critique Obama and spread rumors and distortions, the vast majority of American Jews are far more likely to consider him a friend of Israel just as they consider Hillary Clinton and John McCain to be, and hence are unlikely to have the issue of Israel-support be the one that decides for them how to vote in either the primaries or the general election of 2008."

And if you are interested in pursuing this further, here's the item from the Telegraph..... a link can be found below.

Obama addresses Jewish concerns
Author: Ben Harris
Filed under: 2008 Election, Podcast
MondayJan 28,2008

Barack Obama just finished a conference call with Jewish reporters. He took four questions, the first from JTA’s own Ron Kampeas. But while questions dealt with the Middle East, and the recent controversy about Obama’s church, what the candidate really wanted to talk about was the smear campaign that has circulated by email among Jewish leaders in recent weeks.

The allegations — that Obama is a Muslim and took his oath of office on a Koran — have been thoroughly, and repeatedly, refuted. Still, Obama said he wanted folks to hear the refutation from the “horse’s mouth.”

Before the call broke up, Obama urged reporters to use their “megaphone” to let readers know “that there’s no substance there and that my strong and deep commitment and connection to the Jewish community should not be questioned.”

Asked why it was sufficient for him to denounce his church’s recent praise for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan but not resign from the church itself, Obama repeated his condemnation of Farrakhan’s “reprehensible” anti-Semitic views. Then he added what sounds like a promise: “My church has never issued anti-Semitic statements, nor have I heard my pastor utter anything anti-Semitic. If I have, I would have left the church.”

Obama also took questions on the peace process, the situation in Gaza, and how he would deal with Iranian nukes.

(This link will take you to the play button toward the bottom.)  

27 Feb 2008 @ 20:58 by Elle @ : compare
I don't know why you jumped on the anti-semetic bandwagon. By the way, polls in Israel show that Hillary would be the candidate of choice.

Jazz - Laura Bush did not graduate Wellesley College and Yale Law School as Clinton has. Clinton has been a lawyer for a long time. Bush was a librarian. Clinton is an author of many books. She began her career as a lawyer after graduating from Yale Law School in 1973, moving to Arkansas and marrying Bill Clinton in 1975, following her career as a Congressional legal counsel; she was named the first female partner at Rose Law Firm in 1979 and was listed as one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America in 1988 and 1991. She was the First Lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992, was active in a number of organizations concerned with the welfare of children, and was on the board of Wal-Mart and several other corporate boards. She knows business as well as law.

As First Lady of the United States, she took a prominent position in policy matters. Her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan, failed to gain approval by the U.S. Congress in 1994, but in 1997 she helped establish the State Children's Health Insurance Program and the Adoption and Safe Families Act. She became the only First Lady to be subpoenaed, testifying before a federal grand jury as a consequence of the Whitewater scandal in 1996. She was never charged with any wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband's administration.  

27 Feb 2008 @ 21:14 by Quinty @ : Sorry,
just responding, Elle, to your raising Farakan (sp?) as tied to Obama. And since F however you spell his name casts the aura of anti Semitism - that has been the issue after all - I just thought to approach it from that angle. What's more, anti Semitism came up in the debate last night.....  

27 Feb 2008 @ 21:47 by Elle @ : ok
Thanks, Quinty. Well, I think an association with Farrakhan is not a good thing and just because of the concern from voters, Obama has been trying to distance himself from him. That is problematic for me.  

28 Feb 2008 @ 03:50 by Elle @ : This is pretty cool
Hillary was on tv today and she said that in the debates she always gets the first question (and I think she gets the tough questions while Obama gets off easy), but she's willing to answer them. But, if anyone saw Saturday Night Live last weekend...hahaha I'm glad she saw it. Hillary said that maybe they should ask if Obama is okay, if he needs a pillow LOLOL Right on, Hillary. It's not over. She could still win this.  

28 Feb 2008 @ 11:06 by jazzolog : Kucinich In Major Struggle
You know how it is when you've gone out and made something of a name for yourself---and then come back home? Thomas Wolfe had something to say about that...and so did Jesus. I thought Kucinich really jazzed up the campaign, quite frankly---a campaign on the Democratic side that now bickers about old photos, pillows and unsolicited endorsements. Hello? Is there a war on? Is there climate change? Will we be bailing out the banks again? Dennis Kucinich talked about that stuff...and so did John Edwards. Now Kucinich is back in Cleveland facing the political battle of his life---and he's been in a bunch. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has been hitting him with both feet...and he's facing other candidates on all sides. Here's a taste of it...and watch the comments coming in~~~

Cimperman Is Doing Corporate Work
Submitted by Roldo Bartimole on February 26, 2008 - 8:56pm.

Boy, they really want to kill him off this time.

It’s like “stick the silver dagger” in the little guy’s heart. Let’s get him once and for all, cry the corporate thugs, the Pee Dee and Brent Larkin.

Some big bucks are out on the street to finally ice the little bugger.

How can one tell? Just take a gander at the money flowing from downtown developers and Cleveland’s elite to Joe Cimperman, the main opponent to incumbent Congressman Dennis Kucinich. They can’t stuff his pockets with enough, as this look at his end of 2007 financial report shows.

There’s really only one reason they want to get Dennis. He doesn’t do their bidding. Never did. Never will.

Isn’t there room for one alternative voice in politics here? Do all Congress members have to be sell-outs like Stephanie Tubbs Jones?

Downtown Councilman Joe Cimperman, imbued with raw ambition, has made himself the tool developers and corporate biggies. For them, he’s a chance to retire Kucinich permanently.

It’s too bad because Cimperman is one of the brightest Council members in years, and has some progressive political instincts. If he doesn’t win, he may have hurt his future with this election try.

Cimperman might have been saved from this fate if he had been elected from a non-downtown Council ward. The vibes he gave off as a new member in 1997 suggested he was a man of the people.

He started as a former social worker but by 1999 he was representing downtown interests in a crackdown on panhandlers, never getting around to the real downtown panhandlers – the developers, abatement and property tax reduction seekers.

As the downtown Councilman, he faced the invariable task of satisfying development needs and desires. He thus became an agent of Power, a puppet of the downtown string-pullers.

I wrote back as early 2000, “Joe Cimperman is a political charmer. Popular and ubiquitous, the young politician also can claim to be City Council’s foremost money-grubber.”

Cimperman got one of his first tastes of the downtown crowd after taking office. At a holiday party, someone poked him in the back. It was the legendary Forest City’s Sam Miller. As I wrote in January 1998, “Cimperman, young, idealistic and exuberant, introduced himself and said that he hoped the two could work together. The kind of chatter one might expect at a first meeting. The gruff Miller wasn’t having much of the ‘can’t we get along’ line and wanted to know why Cimperman had voted against his (and Mayor Michael White’s) candidate for City Council President.”

I guess Cimperman was beginning to understand how the game was played. He became a favorite benefactor of Sam and the Forest City gang.

His zestful pursuit of campaign funds made him the all-time City Council money raiser. In 2002, he raised $62,210 to bring his bank account to $150,004, a very sizeable sum for a mere councilman. He held one fund-raiser at fashionable and expensive Johnny’s, the favorite restaurant of downtown developer Dick Jacobs (who, by the way, gave two $1,000 checks at the time) and many other elites. The restaurant location was via an in-kind contribution. They love Joe.

Once on the “take list,” it’s hard to get off. Now Cimperman lives on the pay-as-you-play dole.

Let’s lead off with the 10 donors for this Congressional run from Forest City Enterprises, the chief buyers of politicians: The Ratners: Al, $2,000, Brian, $1,000, Mark, $1,000, Ronald, $1,000, James, $1,000, Kevin, $1,000, Audrey, $2,000, Charles, $1,000, Deborah Ratner Salberg, $1,000 and Alan Krulak, $1,500. That’s $10,500 from Forest City people in the first financial report to the Federal Election Commission. (On a single day in the early 2000, Cimperman got $4,000 from some of the same Ratners, always seeking favors at City Hall)

When Tower City’s Al Ratner made his pitch to the Convention Facilities Commission, guess the only Councilman on hand to speak out strongly for Forest City’s location grab for the new convention center.

Did you guess Joe Cimperman? Go to the head of the class.

He was from the beginning an exuberant supporter of a publicly subsidized convention center on Ratner property, attached to its heavily subsidized downtown shopping area, Tower City. Whatever, you guys want, says Joe.

There are plenty of ways a public official can be helpful to the money people.

As the downtown Councilman, one is in a position to be of use quite often. The unwritten law among legislative members is that legislation favored by a councilman in his or her ward takes precedent over the reasoning of the other 20 members. Rare are the exceptions.

So it’s no surprise to see two $2,300 contributions from developer Scott Wolstein. Wolstein took the public for a vast sum of subsidies for his Flats development. Or $1,000 from the Steve Strnisha and his wife, consultants for Wolstein’s project.

After all, the city and other public agencies have committed some $50 million in subsidies and loans to the Flats project. Government provided the power of eminent domain and all kinds of other promised goodies (See May 3, 2006).

Cimperman also worked a deal for Wolstein to pay off a city loan to Wolstein for about 40 percent of the $7.7 million at a zero interest rate. However, in working the deal he angered some council members by uneven division of the revenue. I wrote at the time, late 1989, “Cimperman took much too personally opposition to his plan.” He became “overly huffy” and made several colleagues unhappy.

The payoff for some measly $1,000 or $2,000 contributions could represent tens thousands of dollars to a developer. Having this quality of help can aid their bottom lines.

Cimperman has been a go-to guy for the downtown developers.

That’s why it isn’t unusual to see the Goldbergs of Ohio Savings Bank give donations as follows: Gerald, $1,250, Robert, $2,300, David, $2,300, Brenda, $2,300, Nancy, $1,150. And the Marons, Jori and Ari, MRN Ltd., giving $2,300 each.

After all, Cimperman has been going to bat for them

Ohio Savings (now Amtrust bank) and the Maron family have made investments in the lower Euclid Avenue area around E. 4th and E. 6th Streets. It’s become a hot area of development and a sponge for public subsidies.

Back a while, they engineered with the help of THEIR councilman quite a deal. To upgrade E. 4th, the city gave a $9.2 million bond, financed by a TIF, meaning the property taxes from the development didn’t go to the city, county and city libraries or especially to the declining Cleveland schools, but got diverted to pay off the $9.2 million, plus interest of several million dollars.

Because of the financial needs of paying off the bondholders, another maneuver was required to aid the deal by lowering the value of the improved properties in that area. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

“The developer, MRN, Inc., petitioned the Board of Revision to revise down the property value retroactive to 2000. MRN asked for a $5.5 million value on property now assessed for $22.3 million, according to the County.

“By lowering the property value, the developer also pays less tax and the schools, in particular, lose that revenue.”

Legislation for the $9.2 million bond issue was brought before the Council at the last minute at the final meeting before summer recess. Only Cimperman could have objected successfully to the quick action. It was his call to bring the legislation forward. One Councilman summed up the problem and Cimperman’s effective role in passage, “After 14 hours here, I can’t comprehend this information,” he said. He wasn’t supposed to understand. That was the point of the last minute strategy. A councilman can do this. Joe did.

So the property owners in the area should and have rewarded Cimperman for his efforts.

Later, the Marons got another $1.5 million subsidy. With all the city’s needs, the purpose for this subsidy was shameful - a downtown bowling alley. The $1.5 million was taken from Core City Fund, which many wanted to be used for neighborhood projects.

Cimperman, in the recent debate, claimed to have added numerous jobs as a result such developments and his work. He cited as one example the renovation of The Arcade, a historic structure between Euclid and Superior Avenues.

The Arcade project was larded with public subsidies, including a $1 million, 30-year loan at zero interest for the first 20 years and 2 percent interest thereafter; a $2 million, 20-year loan at 2.5 percent interest from Cuyahoga County; a $6.45 million tax incremental financing gift from the city, a $8.26 million federal historic tax credit and $9.6 million in tax benefits via a conservation entitlement.

How many jobs did it produce? Not likely any since the owners of the Arcade and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the prime tenant, soon after the subsidies, asked for a decrease in the value of the property from $25 million to $l6.2 million for 2001 and then down to $12.1 million in 2002. Reason: Lack of business. Indeed, the original deal only promised 150 low pay jobs at some $7.50 an hour despite the heavy public investment.

Cleveland has lost some 48,000 jobs in this decade. How anyone can distinguish job creation in the mess we are in, I don’t know.

There are more questionable donors.

Here’s a smattering of potential conflicts in these donations:

Mitch and Karen Schneider, Steelyard Commons,$2,300 each; Joel Cole, $2,000, downtown parking business; Richard Pogue, wheeler and dealer on many levels, $2,000;Terry Stewart, director Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, $500; Paul Volpe, architect with his hands in nearly everything, $1,150; John Zayac, Council consultant, $1,000; Jeff Jacobs, who wants gambling downtown, $2,300; Dominic Visconsi, $2,000, and Anthony Visconsi, $1,500, developers; Michael Wager, Port Authority member, $1,000; Dennis (Jones-Day law firm) & Laura Lafferty, $250, convention center; Nancy Lesic, $750, public relations (for convention center principals and others); and Victor and Cheryl Shaia, $500 each, downtown parking; Adam & Pamela Fishman, $500 each, Shaker Square renovators.

Cimperman also fought to keep tax abatements at the highest level, rewarding downtown interests and luxury condo buyers. A gift that keeps giving.

The ambitious Cimperman felt he couldn’t pass up this chance of a wounded Kucinich in his gun sights. He has been getting fat checks from all those who know that he would be a much more pliable legislator that Dennis. It also would solve a Republican problem because Cimperman doesn’t have the intestinal qualities of a Kucinich when it comes fighting for the underdog or confronting thorny issues.

Cimperman has shown his inexperience with juvenile moves – delivering a food basket to Kucinich’s home and showing up with cameras with a “Where’s Dennis?” request at the Congressman’s office to signify Kucinich’s absence on the Presidential campaign.

Dennis shot himself in the foot by calling for a federal investigation of the intrusion. That’s the Dennis many don’t appreciate.

Kucinich, of course, gave his opponent the opportunity with his foolhardy second run for President. Cleveland needs a full-time Congressman of his stature, particularly as the Democrats now control the Congress.

He should have taken the advice I once before offered him with this tidbit:

Back in 1895, Lincoln Steffens asked Teddy Roosevelt about running for President, six years before he did ascend to Presidency following McKinley’s assassination. Roosevelt scolded Steffens:

“Never, never, you must never remind a man at work on a political job that he may be president. It almost always kills him politically. He loses his nerve, he can’t do his work, he gives up the very traits that are making him a possibility. Go on away now and don’t you ever mention – don’t you ever mention that to me again,” Roosevelt scolded Steffens.

Hopefully, Dennis can escape the fate envisioned by Roosevelt. If he does, Dennis should concentrate on being a working class Congressman from Cleveland and avoid the lure of the White House and Hollywood.


NOTE: The above article was written before the latest filings by candidates in the 10th
District. Kucinich outdrew his competitors by raising $738,801 in the first six weeks of 2007., though
his donations don't come primarily from corporate sources, as do Cimperman's. He has raised $485,869 in total.

© 2006-2008 Cleveland Media Group

If he loses the primary next week, he may still be of value on the national scene this summer and fall during the campaigns. But if nobody wants him, I'd tell him to let his wife take him to England, buy a cottage on the heath, and live happily ever after.  

28 Feb 2008 @ 16:37 by quinty : I know nothing
about Dennis's district. And just took it for granted the voters would back him the way East Bay voters back Barbara Lee. (Our two reps here in Rhode Island are fairly worthless.)

I always liked Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Is she a sellout? ('az matter of fact politically I tend to go with the Congressional Black Caucus. And with the Progressive Caucus. If there is a Democratic landslide this November it will probably be mostly Blue Dog since the progressives have been mined out. Creating more resistence if Obama is as "liberal" as the right claims he is. Of course, to them "liberal" is a smear intended to drive voters away. Kucinich's backers though must be hoping Obama will be more liberal than expediency permits.)

Some time back there was a news item that Pelosi and AIPAC were after Kucinich. In some progressive disctricts this wouldn’t matter. Berkeley, Madison, Cambridge all the usual suspects.

A few months ago I discovered Jose Serrano from the Bronx. His district, a very poor one, is taking Chavez heating oil and he, Serrano, is an eloquent voice for Latin American dignity and rights. The US seems to see this part of the world as a "protectorate" of some kind. Though most of the protecting is of American corporate interests. A long, sorry history there.  

28 Feb 2008 @ 17:24 by jazzolog : Every Tub On Its Own Bottom
Afraid so:

February 26, 2008
Read More: Hillary Clinton

Not quite the talking point

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Clinton surrogate, says on MSNBC, "I have no shame, or no problem, with people looking at Barack Obama in his native clothing -- in the clothing of his country."

This, er, overstates the Clinton campaign line that there was no smear involved because there's nothing wrong with the photo. Though if you want to be generous, you could say she meant his ancestral, rather than native, country. (If you're really splitting hairs, it was apparently more Somali than Kenyan clothing.)

But in any case, it's another incident where -- judging from early blog and email reaction -- the dynamic of offense and outrage has, so far, very much favored Obama. I'm not sure that will work with a less liberal general election audience, but even the GOP leadership seems to think it's likely to.

Guess the clip can be seen on YouTube somewhere. Sombeody with more time might search it. The thing is Obama was born in Hawaii...and that makes his "native" country the USA.  

28 Feb 2008 @ 20:38 by quinty : That "pride"
of background argument is totally intellectually dishonest.

I can understand how some right-wingers would cling to it, as well as interjecting "Hussein" into his full name. As if innocently not implying anything since doing so only expresses how they feel about him. But among those who dwell in the light the smear should be apparent.

One of the things I like about Obama, which gives me hope, is that he's fast to absorb and understand things. To mentally grasp what's going on. And he seems to be able to do this completely. Look at how he has changed as a debater. Awkward at first he rides high on the rhetoric now. Though this may not impress those who don't like him since they will be looking for something else. But it shows he can grow: and hopefully he will do so in a positive direction.

I just received an email from a Jewish activist friend in Berkeley who believes Obama will be even handed between the Israelis and the Palestinians: the kiss of death among the Israel Firsters. But extremely important if we want to retrieve our good name in the Middle East. To begin to repair relations there. If interested I can pass the article she sent me along - though it is quite long.

Oh. And that's a good point, too, Obama has to have been born in the USA in order to run. Though Stephanie Tubbs must have an African ancestry in her background too. The dishonesty of her remark eluded her.  

29 Feb 2008 @ 20:34 by quinty @ : Naomi Klein on the "Muslim smear"

Published on Friday, February 29, 2008 by The Nation
Obama, Being Called a Muslim Is Not a Smear
by Naomi Klein

Hillary Clinton denied leaking the photo of Barack Obama wearing a turban, but her campaign manager says that even if she had, it would be no big deal. “Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

Sure she did. And George W. Bush put on a fetching Chamato poncho in Santiago, while Paul Wolfowitz burned up YouTube with his antimalarial African dance routines when he was World Bank prez. The obvious difference is this: when white politicians go ethnic, they just look funny. When a black presidential contender does it, he looks foreign. And when the ethnic apparel in question is vaguely reminiscent of the clothing worn by Iraqi and Afghan fighters (at least to many Fox viewers, who think any headdress other than a baseball cap is a declaration of war on America), the image is downright frightening.

The turban “scandal” is all part of what is being referred to as “the Muslim smear.” It includes everything from exaggerated enunciations of Obama’s middle name to the online whisper campaign that Obama attended a fundamentalist madrassa in Indonesia (a lie), was sworn in on a Koran (another lie) and if elected would attach RadioShack speakers to the White House to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer (I made that one up).

So far, Obama’s campaign has responded with aggressive corrections that tout his Christian faith, attack the attackers and channel a cooperative witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee. “Barack has never been a Muslim or practiced any other faith besides Christianity,” states one fact sheet. “I’m not and never have been of the Muslim faith,” Obama told a Christian News reporter.

Of course Obama must correct the record, but he doesn’t have to stop there. What is disturbing about the campaign’s response is that it leaves unchallenged the disgraceful and racist premise behind the entire “Muslim smear”: that being Muslim is de facto a source of shame. Obama’s supporters often say they are being “Swiftboated,” casually accepting the idea that being accused of Muslimhood is tantamount to being accused of treason.

Substitute another faith or ethnicity, and you’d expect a very different response. Consider a report from the archives of this magazine. Thirteen years ago, Daniel Singer, The Nation’s late, much-missed Europe correspondent, went to Poland to cover a hotly contested presidential election. He reported that the race had descended into an ugly debate over whether one of the candidates, Aleksander Kwasniewski, was a closet Jew. The press claimed his mother had been buried in a Jewish cemetery (she was still alive), and a popular TV show aired a skit featuring the Christian candidate dressed as a Hasidic Jew. “What perturbed me,” Singer wryly observed, “was that Kwasniewski’s lawyers threatened to sue for slander rather than press for an indictment under the law condemning racist propaganda.”

We should expect no less of the Obama campaign. When asked during the Ohio debate about Louis Farrakhan’s support for his candidacy, Obama did not hesitate to call Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic comments “unacceptable and reprehensible.” When the turban photo flap came up in the same debate, he used the occasion to say nothing at all.

Farrakhan’s infamous comments about Jews took place twenty-four years ago. The orgy of hate that is “the Muslim smear” is unfolding in real time, and it promises to greatly intensify in a general election. These attacks do not simply “smear Barack’s Christian faith,” as John Kerry claimed in a campaign mailing. They are an attack on all Muslims, some of whom actually do exercise their rights to cover their heads and send their kids to religious school. Thousands even have the very common name Hussein. All are watching their culture used as a crude bludgeon against Obama, while the candidate who is the symbol of racial harmony fails to defend them. This at a time when US Muslims are bearing the brunt of the Bush Administration’s assaults on civil liberties, including dragnet wiretapping, and are facing a documented spike in hate crimes.

Occasionally, though not nearly enough, Obama says that Muslims are “deserving of respect and dignity.” What he has never done is what Singer called for in Poland: denounce the attacks themselves as racist propaganda, in this case against Muslims.

The core of Obama’s candidacy is that he alone–who lived in Indonesia as a boy and has an African grandmother–can “repair the world” after the Bush wrecking ball. That repair job begins with the 1.4 billion Muslims around the world, many of whom are convinced that the United States has been waging a war against their faith. This perception is based on facts, among them the fact that Muslim civilians are not counted among the dead in Iraq and Afghanistan; that Islam has been desecrated in US-run prisons; that voting for an Islamic party resulted in collective punishment in Gaza. It is also fueled by the rise of a virulent strain of Islamophobia in Europe and North America.

As the most visible target of this rising racism, Obama has the power to be more than its victim. He can use the attacks to begin the very process of global repair that is the most seductive promise of his campaign. The next time he’s asked about his alleged Muslimness, Obama can respond not just by clarifying the facts but by turning the tables. He can state clearly that while a liaison with a pharmaceutical lobbyist may be worthy of scandalized exposure, being a Muslim is not. Changing the terms of the debate this way is not only morally just but tactically smart–it’s the one response that could defuse these hateful attacks. The best part is this: unlike ending the Iraq War and closing Guantánamo, standing up to Islamophobia doesn’t need to wait until after the election. Obama can use his campaign to start now. Let the repairing begin.

Naomi Klein is the author of many books, including her most recent, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Visit Naomi’s website at, or to learn more about her new book, visit .

© 2008 The Nation  

1 Mar 2008 @ 14:13 by jazzolog : Wonderful Stuff Quinty!
Thanks so much for this. Also get into hilzoy's take on the same topic~~~  

2 Mar 2008 @ 00:04 by Quinty @ : Here's a
rebuttal to Klein's piece. The nutshell, which I extracted, comes first in case you want to skip reading the full piece:

"True, they have aggressively corrected the record. But as the above links demonstrate, from the candidate on down, this campaign has also emphasized that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim." And they further analyze the "smear."

The following is the complete rebuttal..... (I did a quick Google search on 'Islamophobia' and one of the first hits argued that there is no such thing as Islamophobia. Oh yeah?)

Published on Saturday, March 1, 2008 by The Nation

Why the Muslim Smear is Bigger than Islam
by Ari Berman

The right wing smear campaign against Barack Obama is intensifying, with false claims that the Christian, patriotic Senator actually harbors a secret Muslim history and hates America so much he won’t even say the pledge of allegiance. The effort has morphed from Internet rumblings and chain emails, as The Nation reported in October, to high profile attacks from the G.O.P. this month — before Obama has even locked up the nomination.

In the past week, a state Republican Party used the smear in a press release titled “Anti-Semites for Obama” - which it later revised; a radio host raised the innuendo while speaking at a John McCain rally — McCain swiftly apologized for the remark; and Republican Congressman Jack Kingston went on national television to falsely claim that Obama “would not say the pledge of allegiance.” Kingston also whined that Obama does not wear an American flag pin, drawing an MSNBC anchor to note Kingston was also pin-less. “I will wear one and I have worn one!” Kingston retorted.

So far, the Obama Campaign has effectively battled the multi-pronged smear with several tacks. Obama often prebuts the charges in campaign speeches; his aides circulate fact sheets and ply voters with letters from clergy and generals; and his Internet team bought Google ads targeting smear searches, in order to draw the curious to a fact page with videos of Obama reciting the pledge on the Senate floor. The campaign’s anti-propaganda ranges from the comically blunt, like a November announcement that “Obama Is a Patriot Who Loves His Flag and His Country,” to fairly thoughtful offerings, like a video message from a minister at Obama’s church, sharing her experience with confusion about his faith. The minister, Jane Fisler Hoffman, explains how she truth-squaded a woman who told a Muslim man that Obama was also Muslim:

“We overheard it and jumped in and said two things: First of all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being Muslim. But second of all, Senator Obama does not happen to be Muslim. He’s a Christian and he’s a member of our church.”

The “Fact Check” video drew over 55,000 views on YouTube, since the campaign promoted it last month. Hoffman closes by noting one predicament of rebutting the lies about Obama’s religion: “We don’t want to go around saying, ‘heck no he’s not a Muslim!’ — as if that was a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing. There are great Muslim people, but he doesn’t happen to be - he’s a Christian.” And apart from the smear, Obama also speaks out on bigotry against a range of groups, including Muslims and immigrants. In a major speech this month, for example, Obama criticized the exploitation of fear to “turn” people against each other. “Fear can cloud our judgment. And suddenly we start scapegoating gay people, or immigrants, or people who don’t look like us, or Muslims — because our own lives aren’t going well,” he said, urging the audience to change that climate by standing up for higher principles.

Thus it was surprising to read Naomi Klein’s argument in the new Nation:

So far, Obama’s campaign has responded with aggressive corrections that tout his Christian faith, attack the attackers and channel a cooperative witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee. “Barack has never been a Muslim or practiced any other faith besides Christianity,” states one fact sheet. “I’m not and never have been of the Muslim faith,” Obama told a Christian News reporter. Of course Obama must correct the record, but he doesn’t have to stop there. What is disturbing about the campaign’s response is that it leaves unchallenged the disgraceful and racist premise behind the entire “Muslim smear”: that being Muslim is de facto a source of shame. Obama’s supporters often say they are being “Swiftboated,” casually accepting the idea that being accused of Muslimhood is tantamount to being accused of treason.

True, they have aggressively corrected the record. But as the above links demonstrate, from the candidate on down, this campaign has also emphasized that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim.

Yet Klein believes Obama must go further. “What he has never done,” she writes, is “denounce the attacks themselves as racist propaganda, in this case against Muslims.” The smears are clearly bigoted and offensive, to Muslims and others, and I think the campaign has denounced them as racist propaganda. But even if people expect more, in good faith outrage, let’s remember that this is also bigger than Islam.

Like other right wing character assassination, the smear campaign is not simply aimed at the portion of the public exercised about Islam or the pledge of allegiance, anymore than swiftboating was only for the Vietnam generation. (About half of Americans do say they would be “less likely” to back a Muslim for president — a summer poll showed 7% think Obama is Muslim — while half say the same about a candidate over 70.) But the larger imperative is to undermine the character, credibility and honesty of the candidate, developing a resilient narrative to poison media coverage and stoke fundamental doubts about anything the candidate says. Just as Gore was attacked as a “serial exaggerator” and Kerry was presented as a man who “misrepresents” his record, this smear suggests that Obama has something to hide. Just listen to the smear operatives. Long after CNN debunked a false story about Obama attending a Muslim school from, a right wing website, its editor told The Washington Post that “Muslim heritage” was “not so much” the issue. The real issue, he claimed, was Obama’s supposed “concealment and deception” about his youth. Obviously the editor, Jeffrey Kuhner, has no credibility, but the response previews the playbook here. In this context, it is understandable that the Obama Campaign is focused on responding as bluntly and unambiguously as possible.

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation, covering national politics and the 2008 election, and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation Institute.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation  

2 Mar 2008 @ 09:51 by jazzolog : Thinking This Thread Unwieldy
I started a new Obama post the other day. As 100 comments is a ton to read if you haven't been in on this conversation from the start, maybe we should move the dialogue to the new one.

Quinty, I heard Barack was in Rhode Island yesterday, and figured it had to be your town. You didn't drag the old bones out to see him?  

2 Mar 2008 @ 17:31 by quinty @ : No,
ten thousand showed up at the auditorium of a state u which could only hold five thousand. I don't know where the rest went. What's more he was three hours late and gave his stump speech, which I'm well familiar with. So I allowed the "moment in history" to pass.

I'll be voting this Tuesday for Obama.  

2 Mar 2008 @ 19:20 by Elle @ : an opinion


3 Mar 2008 @ 03:51 by Elle @ : it's happening already here - wake up!
And if you think that's far-fetched - check this out.
In response to a request by female Muslim students, Harvard University has created women-only workout hours at one of its campus gyms. The decision has angered some students at the Ivy League university.

Since Jan. 28, the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center has been open only to women from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.

The change was prompted by a request from the Harvard College Women's Center, which was approached by six female Muslim students, said Robert Mitchell, communications director of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

"It was done for religious purposes, but it's not closed to other women who may want to participate," he said.

Ola Aljawhary, a student and a member of the Harvard Islamic Society, said the women-only gym is needed.

"These hours are necessary because there is a segment of the Harvard female population that is not found in gyms, not because they don't want to work out, but because for them working out in a co-ed gym is uncomfortable, awkward or problematic in some way," she told Boston University's Daily Free Press.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in Washington D.C., said modesty may prevent some Muslim women from exercising in a co-ed environment.

"If the women are dressed in a manner that makes it more comfortable to exercise, they may not feel it’s appropriate for them to be viewed by men in that particular attire," he said.

But the change has angered students like Nicholas Wells, a junior who called the change a "lose-lose" situation in an opinion article he wrote for the Harvard Crimson newspaper.

"It is an unreasonable policy that is unjust to men and useless to women," he wrote.

"Rather than a genuine attempt to provide comfortable workout hours for women and religious observers who might be uncomfortable working out around men, this policy beats around the bush by offering the least utilized and the most inconvenient hours and gym space," he said. "No one benefits from women’s only hours."

The Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center is one of three large recreational facilities on the Cambridge, Mass., campus, though most of the 12 residential houses also have workout facilities, Mitchell said. A large Harvard athletic center is also available for use on the Boston side of the St. Charles River.

Harvard has made many accommodations for students' religious needs, Mitchell said. Those include prayer areas for Hindu and Muslim students as well as the rescheduling of exams to accommodate religious holidays.

"This is just yet another of what we thought was a reasonable request for some special times because of religion, not because of gender," Mitchell said.

The women-only hours are being tested on a trial basis and will be evaluated at the end of the semester, he said.

Reports of the Harvard decision have sparked discussion in student publications across the country, including the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where an athletics department spokesman said such a measure would be "hard to pull off" in the campus' primary gym.  

29 Apr 2016 @ 05:59 by Bandar Togel @ : brilliant! I would like to share this ar

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