Tag Archives: Obama

Is Obama The Joker Or Is The Joke On Him?

Firas Alkhteebder was a political novice who latched onto the campaign of ultra liberal Dennis Kucinch and in the course of his growing anger at the adoration bestowed by liberals on Barack Obama instead of the only true liberal in the campaign, Firas decided to take action. He placed the image of Barack Obama onto a Joker image and placed under the new portrait of wonder, the word, SOCIALISM. The Joker is many things, he represents our fears, our desire to defeat authority, he is the personification of evil, but there is one thing the Joker will never be and that is a SOCIALIST. Where in the world did this young man make this connection, that is like saying Joseph Stalin believed in free love.

The image created by Mr. Alkhatebder has become the darling of right wing kooks who really hate his beloved Kucinch, but, what the heck, one joker is as good as another. Today, Firas argues, “after Obama was elected, you had all these people who basically saw him as the second coming of Christ. From my perspective, there isn’t much substance to him.”

The Joker is a fascinating character, he depicts the humor of those who hate authority teasing their way through destruction of power. Our Joker is at heart the ultimate anarchist, and if he were allowed to express his opinion, there is no doubt he say the hell with all of you politicians. I think the joke is on Firas. Or, are we to believe that Firas is really Batman and will soon swoop down to destroy all forces of evil?

Palin, O’Reilly, Dobbs On Obama Nazi Ideas!

This intrepid reporter was able to uncover a secret document which offers an insight into the thinking of prominent Republicans on the current crisis facing America concerning President Obama’s Socialist agenda.

Sara: Bill, Lou, I’m so glad you could make this meeting. I took one look at the size of that Obama health thing and knew it was the first step on the road to dictatorship. Imagine, asking ordinary Americans to read such a document!
Bill: Well, Sarah, I thought you really creamed him with the expose of his Death Panels and how they wanted to kill your child.
Sarah: I intend to go across this great nation telling folks about the Obama Death Panel. Just imagine in this great country, having a death panel that decides who lives and dies.
Bill: Absolutely right. It is the responsibility of private enterprise health companies to decide who lives or dies. That is the essence of free enterprise and the American way of death.
Lou: You know, I’m just asking questions, but has anyone noticed that Obama’s grandmother died shortly after he arrived at her home? I mean, is it a coincidence that she died and with her went the only one who knew the truth about the birth certificate we can’t find.
Sarah: Right on, Lou. Obama and his Nazi thug supporters want to halt freedom of speech. That’s why they have these “town hall meetings.” Town hall, my ass-pardon the expression. I have it on good authority that Obama secret agents film loyal Americans who belong to the Tea Party. Just before I came here, I received an email telling me that a Tea Party member who attended one of those sessions, was found dead on the highway. Naturally, they say it was an accident. But, I have two other examples of members of the Tea Party who have died in mysterious ways. One was found dead on his kitchen floor, and a loud speaking woman died while having her hair done
Lou: I’m just asking questions, but wasn’t that hair salon located down the block from the office of a Democratic congressman? Is that a coincidence?
Bill: Let me suggest we begin pounding away on the idea that the survival of the fittest means only individuals or their chosen health insurance company can make life and death decisions. We can’t allow government bureaucrats to decide who lives or dies. By the way, just an hour ago I received an incredible document. We now have conclusive proof that Obama’s grandfather had a child with a German girl who was a member of Hitler’s Youth. That woman went to Africa where she had sex with a man from Kenya. I believe we can now prove that Barack Obama is the grandchild of Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun!!
Lou: Bill, that is fantastic. I finally have documentary evidence there is no birth certificate because we now know Obama was born in Africa and is part Nazi.
Sarah: No wonder his “grandmother” had to die. She knew the secret of his real birth. Wow!

DO INTELLIGENT PEOPLE MAKE STUPID MISTAKES?

The air these days is filled with loud angry statements by those who defend Sgt. Crowley against what is viewed as a slur upon his name. The assumption of these defenders is that President Obama called Sgt. Crowley “stupid.” Actually, he never did, he referred to the arrest as an example of “stupidity.” I am often bemused at the virulent anger displayed by defenders of Crowley. During the initial days of their defense many challenged those attacking the police officer to check his report and tapes. Well, many have checked his report and the tapes. It is now PROVEN that Sgt. Crowley made a “mistake” by saying the eye witness said there were two black men with knapsacks on the porch. Ms. Whalen’s said there were two suitcases and under questioning said one of them might have been “Hispanic.” In other words, the Crowley report is erroneous.

Did Sgt. Crowly lie? Of course not! He was excited, felt stress and heard words never spoken. Anyone reading my words has suffered through many such occurrences in their own lives. In moments of stress we hear what we want to hear. In so doing, WE MAKE A MISTAKE. Wow. Sgt. Crowley is a human. I thought it was regrettable during his meeting with Gates he failed to acknowledge his mistakes in the written report.

The bottom line is that President Obama was perfectly correct in terming the entire incident an example of “stupidity.” Sorry, if this incident happened in a wealthy neighborhood and the man identified himself as the white CEO of a major company, Sgt. Crowley would have said: “sorry for the intrusion. I just wanted to check everything was OK. Have a good one” and gone his merry way.

Every study of police halting people indicates African Americans and Hispanics are halted at least ten times more frequently than white people. Gates belonged to a group who have, historically, been racially profiled and humiliated. He was upset, angry, confused, and ready to strike back at what he thought was another example of racial profiling. Perfectly understandable, and, perhaps, in this case incorrect. No one knows what was going on in the mind of Sgt. Crowley, but certainly when a black elderly man identified himself as the owner of the house, regardless of his tone of voice, the matter should have been dropped.

Those of you who seek to blame Obama as insulting all police might seek to ask Sgt. Crowley whether he unintentionally was insulting all African Americans.

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE

The last Australian troops have left Iraq, the last British troops are leaving Iraq and the result is an American presence alongside Iraqi forces. George Bush I went to great efforts to organize a coalition of many nations in preparation for the invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War, but his son was so intent on having a war, that organization and coalition building were thrown aside. Sorry, he did persuade a few hundred Estonian or Hungarian or Italian troops to hitch their wagons to the American team, but as realization grew in other nations that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld had lied about the infamous WMD, they soon wanted their soldiers back home.

History is always filled with “if” suggesting other course of action could have been pursued in Iraq. The debacle of terrorism being strengthened due to Bush actions might never have occurred if caution and honest coalition building had been the focus of American foreign policy in Iraq. There are signs President Obama is concerned about the importance of getting other nations involved in securing solutions to problems.

VIETNAM REDEUX– MORE TROOPS FOR AFGHANISTAN!

In his effort to rid Democrats of their “whimpy” image, President Obama has made the classical mistake of dealing with guerrilla warfare– he has accepted the military demands for more and more troops. Within days of assuming office, Obama dispatched thousands of troops to Afghanistan and supported calls for another 17,000. General Stanley McChrystal who commands US forces in that nation is now calling for even greater numbers to be sent to quell the Taliban insurgency. Two of his trusted civilian advisers including Stephen Biddle of the Council on Foreign Relations, have indicated there can be no victory unless forces in Afghanistan reach numbers like 300,000 to 600,000. Of course, those are the numbers that eventually wound up in Vietnam.

Obama’s current goal is to send 68,000 troops to Afghanistan which is about double the number there when he assumed office. Lost in this desire to send more and more and more troops is a well planned strategy whose goal would be to create an Afghan army that could handle its own problems. Guerrilla wars are not won by “more” they are won by an effective strategy that wins over support of the people. Perhaps, President Obama can inform the American people exactly how that goal will be achieved!

The end result of the Obama strategy is to have his name go down in history as the second Lyndon Johnson who thought bravado and more troops solved all problems.

AMERICA- 2009 — AMERICA-1912

A hundred years ago the American people in the election of 1912 enjoyed the prospect of four candidates running for president of their nation. Over sixty percent of people voted in the election in numbers far surpassing the percent that votes today. The four candidates were:
William Howard Taft, of the Republican Party
Theodore Roosevelt, former Republican president of the USA, running on the Progressive ticket.
Woodrow Wilson of the Democratic Party
Eugene Debs, running as candidate of the Socialist Party

All four candidates attacked big business for its power and attempt to control the nation. Taft argued for trust busting, Theodore Roosevelt, who earlier had been a trust buster, argued it was impossible to break up trusts so the Federal government had to assume the role of strictly controlling big business. Wilson argued both views in his New Freedom program and Eugene Debs argued the Socialist view that several large industries such as coal, railroads, steel and communication should be owned by government while the remainder of the nation remained under free enterprise.

During the 1912 campaign there were no discussions about birth certificates, no attempts to smear opponents as being un-American because these men discussed issues that confronted the nation. I find it amazing that at a time when only about 15% of Americans were high school graduates and less than 5% of people had gone to college the nation discussed important topics related to the future of the country. This raises the question as to what has happened to America over the past hundred years that allows loud mouth crazies like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Lou Dobbs to assume so much importance?

During the election, Theodore Roosevelt urged juvenile courts for children, strict factory inspection laws, the right of workers to organize, women suffrage and serious efforts to assist immigrants become integral participants in the nation. He urged the right of Negroes to vote and supported their right to education and to work. Wilson was more bigoted due to his Southern heritage and while not a great supporter of immigrants he avoided insulting them. Debs fought for free speech, agreed with his opponents in direct election of Senators rather than having state legislatures select them and was for women suffrage. It probably will come as a shock to Republicans today, but it was Theodore Roosevelt who urged adoption of a Constitutional amendment to allow an income tax and he was specific in saying an income tax was necessary to curb the wealth of the powerful(did you know this Ron Paul supporters?) I might add he was the last president to have office hours for citizens who wanted to talk with him.

Few Republicans like Ron Paul understand their party was the one which supported Negro rights, which wanted to tax the wealthy, and which wanted government supervision of business. It was the Republicans who backed labor’s right to organize. Actually, it was at the nominating convention of the Progressive Party(a high proportion of whom were former Republicans) that for the first time in history had female delegates and Jane Addams was the first women to give a nominating speech.

Compare Republicans in 1912 with current members of the party. Today, every attack on Obama as being a “socialist” is because President Obama is echoing the words of old time Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt and Bob LaFollette. What is more fascinating to me is the serious attitude of Americans in 1912 to political issues. Slander does not enter the political campaign, and, ironically, some Taft supporters accused Theodore Roosevelt of being a “socialist.”

Think about it– four candidates for president all of whom understood that wealthy men must be controlled and that taxation of those with wealth is necessary for the economic health of the nation. Think about it– four candidates for president who wanted an active federal government supervising business.

In the midst of the campaign while Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning in the midwest a man came up to him and fired a shot that hit him in the shoulder. TR’s first words were: “Don’t harm him. Bring him to me.” He chatted with the man for a moment and then sent him on his way. After a few minutes TR gave an hour long speech in which he spoke about his vision for America. Unlike the current conservative Obama administration, Theodore Roosevelt dreamed of a wondrous future, he even wanted the Federal government to take over the Washington D.C. school system and transform it into a model for America. Compare that vision with Obama’s desire to raise test scores and maintain the same curriculum!!

Once upon a time in America we had political campaigns which did not result in glorification of trivia and slander but focused on matters of import for the nation. The 1912 results were:
Wilson with about 35% of the vote, Theodore Roosevelt with about 30%, Taft with about 25% and Debs with about 10%.(rough figures).

I close with a statement by Eugene Debs which will never be spoken by the so-called “liberal” Barack Obama: “I do not wish to rise from the working class, I wish to rise with the working class.”

I voted for Barack Obama because he was the best candidate. I believed in his ideas, at least those he spoke about during the campaign. Today, after watching his waffle on human rights, after his inept handling of Afghanistan and Iraq, and of his refusal to support a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to handle the Bush administration violation of human rights, I can only offer a quote from Theodore Roosevelt about Wilson whom he hated: “he has the backbone of a chocolate eclair.”

P.S. I admire Abraham Lincoln, but President Obama should be reading Theodore Roosevelt and the man’s vision for corporate America.

Americans Display Stupidity On Gates Incident

Ah, the great American debate on racism continues with latest poll results indicating 41 percent of the nation disapprove of the president’s handling of the situation while 29 percent approve. Yes, this is an important milestone in race relations in this country. Sgt. Crowley has encountered hundreds of situations in which people raised their voices to him, and no arrest was made, but for some reason he decided a 58 year-old man weighing about 150 pounds who teaches at Harvard represented a “threat” requiring back up support! Give me a break. Sgt. Crowley over-reacted, made a mistake, and refuses to acknowledge his error. Perhaps, from now on Sgt. Crowley will arrest every 150 pound elderly man who raises his voice, but I doubt if that will ever happen.

America, get your head on straight. There are about 700,000 people in jail for drug offenses, and a high percentage of those individuals are of African American and Hispanic backgrounds. This is the face of REAL RACISM, but for some reason it does not register on the typical American’s anger level. Black and Hispanic individuals are halted at a much higher percentage than whites, that is racism. Live like an African American for a week and see if you don’t come away with a new recognition that racism exists in this nation.

Does what I write suggest there has not been dramatic progress on race issues? Of course, there has been a virtual revolution, but the voyage has begun, not concluded.

P.S. I suspect many who are upset at the word “stupid” do not become upset at the rantings of hate expressed every night by Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly. I wonder why.

Let’s Crowley And Birthrite The Black Dude!

The Republican crazies are out in full force to prove Barack Obama is not a “real American” but some foreign import, you know, someone like Alexander Hamilton who came from Jamaica. Our young men and women are risking their lives to fight battles against those who show no respect for human life while here at home, loonies of the right would be willing to destroy any chance for a decent health care system or restoration of the economy because they still can’t get right with the idea some black dude is president of the nation. The Sgt. Crowley episode is a vivid example that right wingers instinctively come to the defense of anyone accused of racism because in their delusions the concept of racism does not exist in America. Of course, to be honest, they really believe white folk are victims of racism and it is necessary to defend the rights of millionaires before those who are poor or unemployed.

I have taught dozens of police in my course on the history of crime. Most policemen are decent, hard working, underpaid and under appreciated, but they do make mistakes because they are human. Anyone working in the public arena MUST make mistakes because there are too many variables simultaneously assaulting one’s senses. Sgt. Crowley’s account of the incident now conflicts with the one who made the original call, Lucia Whalen. Sg. Crowley is not lying, no one involved in the incident is lying. Each person saw and heard what they wanted to hear and see. Reality is that Sgt. Crowley has ignored Hundreds of incidents in which people raised their voices, he walked away without making an arrest. I have no idea why this decent individual lost his cool and made a “stupid arrest.” I have taught 15,000 students in my life and there have been dozens of examples when I simply lost my cool and did something that I later realized was stupid. As President Obama said, let’s move on from this incident.

As for the birth certificate madness, it is clear Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and the idiot congresswomen from Minnesota are not interested in anything other than destroying the reputation of President Obama. If the nation has to go under, so be it in their view, the important thing is to ensure their voices of ignorance are heard. As Shakespeare put it centuries ago, their comments are “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Obama Works For Peace In Middle East-Termed “Racist”

George Mitchell, the Middle East envoy sent by President Obama in order to work with Palestinians and Israelis for peace, told Palestinians he is still on the task, but has not yet reached the end of the process. He told President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority Israel has yet to agree on the West Bank settlement issue. “We are discussing the issue but we didn’t conclude an agreement yet with the Israelis.” Unfortunately, the former US senator might talk and talk but he is dealing with Benjamin Netanyahu who would run in the opposite direction if given an actual plan that would bring peace to the people of Israel. Mitchell emphasized that President Obama is not backing away from the peace process and intends to work toward resolution of the West Bank settlement problem.

A Rabbi Eliezer Waldman from the West Bank told the press that President Obama was “a racist.” This comment exemplifies the level of intellectual discourse within Israel on the topic of peace. I am perplexed. How can Obama be a “racist” in regard to Israelis? Is the assumption of the good Rabbi that Jews are “a race?” If so, perhaps he can explain to the world to which race do Jews belong.

Israel must compromise in order to achieve its half century goal of peace.

Sgt.Crowley Made A Stupid Mistake-He’s Human!

I have spent over twenty years teaching courses on “The History of Crime” and have been pleased to have many members of the police force as my students. I have the highest respect for those who risk their lives to serve the public, but, one thing has become clear to me after 53 years of teaching over 15,000 students. We all make mistakes. I am certain Sgt. Crowley is an excellent police officer, but he blew it this time by over-reacting. I begin from the premise that anyone who interacts with the public is prone to making errors of judgment. I assume that among my thousands of interactions with students I allow my emotions, my prejudices and experiences to get in the way of my normal sense of objectivity. I am human. This means I must have made at least two hundred mistakes in my life as a teacher.

Yes, those who work with the public, on occasion, allow emotions to get in the way. For example this past semester on nine occasions I contacted a student after class and apologized for being too curt in class, for making a grading mistake or for not grasping the point they made in class. I have worked with over 2,000 student teachers and the first lesson they learn is whenever there is a disturbance, restore order, don’t make threats, and above all, don’t send anyone to the principal’s office until you have had a chance to deal in a calm manner with the situation. I assure those of you who have never taught, that any normal, honest teacher can recount hundreds of times when it was necessary to bite one’s tongue, to be overly pleasant and to ignore rudeness and insults because acting in anger only created more problems.

I contacted a former student and asked for his opinion on the Gates situation.(I can not reveal his name). He responded by saying his initial focus is to restore calm to a situation., He refused to judge Crowley, but said if he had responded to the burglary call, his first comment to Gates would have been: “Sir, we have a report of a burglary. Are you OK? Is there anything I could do for you?” He said when the door is opened by an elderly man, you assume he will be upset and distraught because he is frightened and confused so get him sitting down, get him water to reduce his anxiety. My former student said words to this effect: “professor, I work in St. Louis which is mainly African American. If I entered a home where a black elderly man said he was a professor from Washington University, the first picture in my mind is to get things calm or I will wind up on the front page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. I have a family, I attend night school, I don’t have time for filling out papers and getting into a mess.” He said he next would have asked Gates if he wanted him to contact Harvard or get a neighbor or family member over to the house to help him. Then, he would have apologized for any inconvenience, given his name and told Gates if he needed any further assistance to contact him.

Everyone in the public eye has made the Crowley mistake, we allowed our emotions to get the upper hand and lost sight of what we all desire –peace and calm in our lives and no shouting and screaming. I recently received an email from students I taught in 1959 and one said she could never forget how sometimes when the lesson was going poorly, I would stop, apologize to the class for my failure as a teacher and promise to do better the next day.

An article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch quotes a detective from Queens: “If you locked up everybody that was technically disorderly – you’ve got to know which battles to fight.” Wise words. That is my mantra to new teachers, keep it cool, keep it calm, but know when you have to take a stand. An elderly man who is distraught at an incorrect burglary claim is not the place to take any stand. Just say you are sorry and get on with your life if you have a brain in your policeman’s head.

I find fascinating how many have rushed to the defense of Sgt. Crowley. I assume when they are stopped by the police for not coming to a complete stop at a Stop Sign or pulled over for speeding, the first words out of their mouth is to thank the police. I’m normal. I grit my teeth and mutter curses under by breath. As NY State Senator Eric Adams, a retired New York City policeman, commented: “If it’s their house, they’re allowed to call you all sorts of names. A man’s house is his castle.”

You blew it Sgt. Crowley, but don’t worry, at least you are human.