Friday, September 26, 2008

Anti-Irish racism from Obama?

Barack Obama's campaign has rejected claims by a leading campaigner for undocumented Irish immigrants that the Democratic presidential candidate is giving a cold shoulder to Irish-American activists and has shown little interest in issues of concern to the community.

Ciaran Staunton, deputy chairman of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform, told RTE Radio yesterday that Mr Obama's attitude was in marked contrast to that of Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who addressed an Irish American Forum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, this week. "We've had great access to Senator McCain. Every event we've invited him to over the past two years, both in Washington and in the Bronx, he has shown up to," he said. "I spent half an hour talking with him about the issue and other Irish-American issues and he didn't need notes or staff. He gets the issue. This is in contrast to his opponent. We have as yet been unable to get a hold of Barack Obama to turn up to any campaigns," Mr Staunton said.

Denis McDonough, senior foreign policy adviser to Mr Obama, told The Irish Times yesterday that the campaign has been in touch with the Irish American Forum and he hopes to find a suitable date for Mr Obama to address it. "Senator Obama has long made clear the importance he attaches to peace in Northern Ireland, affirming his support for a special envoy and appointing and consulting with an Irish-American 'dream team' whose members have a far more credible record on Irish issues than John McCain, who opposed President Clinton's efforts to launch the peace process and has sadly backed away from his earlier immigration proposals," Mr McDonough said.

Mr Staunton said that, during a meeting with the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform before this week's forum, Mr McCain had reiterated his interest in resolving the issue of the undocumented and said the number one priority during his first year would be to get immigration reform. Mr Staunton complained that the Obama campaign had originally cast doubt on the future of the role of US special envoy for Northern Ireland, and noted that in Pennsylvania, where the race is tied, 20 per cent of the population claims Irish heritage.

"The Obama campaign originally said they wouldn't reappoint an envoy on the North and we've had great difficulty in reaching out and getting a response out of them and I think the McCain campaign has seen this," Mr Staunton said. "We don't endorse candidates but we certainly thank them and as of now there's certainly only one who's shown an interest." Mr McDonough said that Irish-Americans had a high-profile representative at the heart of the Obama team in the person of vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden. "It should be noted that John McCain paid a visit to Scranton, while Senator Obama chose as his running mate an Irish-American from Scranton."


Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuehrer

I must confess I did not like Senator Barack Hussein Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident - a good package. It is so instinctive for most peole to want to see blacks succeed. It is as if all humanity is carrying a collective guilt for what the ancestors of blacks endured. However, I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were loader than his empty words.

It is surreal to see the level of hysteria in his admirers. This phenomenon is unprecedented in American politics. Women scream and swoon during his speeches. They yell and shout to Obama, "I love you." Never George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Martin Luther King Jr. or Ronald Reagan aroused so much raw emotions. Despite their achievements, none of them was raised to the rank of Messiah. The Illinois senator has no history of service to the country. He has done nothing outstanding except giving promises of change and hyping his audience with hope. It's only his words, not his achievements that is causing this much uproar.

When cheering for someone turns into adulation, something is wrong. Eexcessive adulation is indicative of personality cult. The cult of personality is often created when the general population is discontent. A charismatic leader can seize the opportunity and project himself as an agent of change and a revolutionary leader. Often, people, tired of the status quo, do not have the patience to examine the nature of the proposed change. All they want is change. During 1979, when the Iranians were tired of the dictatorial regime of the late Shah, they embraced Khomeini, not because they wanted Islam, but because he promised them change. The word in the street was, "anything is better than the Shah." They found their error when it was too late.

Khomeini promised there would be separation between religion and state. He lied and they did not care to look into his past to see whether he actually meant what he said. Had they done that they would have seen that he always believed in caliphate and the rule of Islam. People gobbled everything he told them uncritically. They wanted to believe and therefore closed their eyes so they don't see what they did not want to see. Eyes welled when he spoke. Masses poured into the streets by the millions, screamed and shouted to greet him. People kissed his pictures. Some saw his portrait reflected on the Moon.

Listening to Obama ... it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch Khomeini, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell.

I was amused to hear a listener calling Fox News Radio's Tom Sullivan Show, (Feb 11) and saying: "Listening to Obama ... it harkens back to when I was younger and I used to watch those deals with Hitler, how he would excite the crowd and they'd come to their feet and scream and yell." ( Videos of Hitler's speeches are available on Youtube. They are worth a look.)

Equating anyone to Hitler by highlighting the similarities between the two is a logical fallacy. This fallacy, known as reductio ad Hitlerum is a variety of both questionable cause and association fallacy. I believe it is wrong to trivialize the holocaust and the horrors of Nazism by comparing our opponents to Hitler.

However, Hitler, prior to coming to power had not killed anyone. He was insane, but few could see that. Far from it, he was seen as a gifted man and hailed as the savior of Germany. He was admired throughout the world. He appealed to the masses of people - the working class and particularly to women, and did not just inspire them, he "elevated" them. Thousands rallied to listen to his passionate speeches. He gave them promises of change and instilled in them hope. They shed tears when he spoke. Women fainted during his speeches. To Germans, he was not a politician, but a demigod, a messiah. They envisioned him as truly a magical figure of majestic wisdom and glory. They worshiped him. They surrendered their wills to him. He restored their national pride. He projected himself as their savior. He ran on the platform of change and hope. Change he delivered all right, but hopes he shattered.

I think it is fair to say that the Illinois senator puts the same passion in his speeches that Hitler used to put in his, and he evokes similar raw emotions in his audience. This much we can agree. Okay, we can also agree that both Hitler and Charlie Chaplin wore square moustaches. So what?

Much more here

Typical Democrat elitist behavior: Someone else will pay

Barack Obama's Wisconsin Campaign for Change left no change in Waupun last week. The presidential candidate's campaign staff arrived at the Chit Chat Cafe at 324 E. Main St., last Tuesday to hold a round table discussion about Obama and his positions. More than 40 people crowded the family restaurant.

But when it came time to leave, the campaign staff got up and left, refusing to pay the tab for coffee. "When they came the place was full and they started talking," said the waitress Amanda, who didn't want to use her last name. "Then some people said they couldn't hear, and so they stood up and started giving a speech, talking loud enough for everyone to hear. "We didn't even know they were having a meeting here."

Amanda said it started last week when two men came in to eat. "After they ate they asked if we could reserve a table for 10 people for next week. We said sure. We didn't know it was for a meeting. "We didn't know what was going on Tuesday. I didn't know anything about this. They never told us, but they had press releases, and were on the radio, and called people to come."

As the campaign staff started walking out, a startled Amanda stopped them at the door and asked who was going to pay for the coffee. "One man said he only had $10, and another said they had to hurry on to the next meeting in Watertown," Amanda said. About 20 cups of coffee weren't paid for but that small amount didn't concern Chit Chat owner Debbie Vanden Boom.

"It's the principle of the matter. Had they said they were having a meeting and many people would be coming and could the coffee be complimentary, it wouldn't have been a problem," she said. "On top of that, Amanda never even got a tip."


Fact-Checking FactCheck.Org on Obama and Guns doesn't think much of the NRA's ads criticizing Obama. They are, sadly, way off base. This is, presumably,one of the reasons why Stuart Taylor Jr. of the National Journal declared he "no longer trust the major newspapers or television networks to provide consistently accurate and fair reporting and analysis of all the charges and countercharges." He's got good reason.

For starters, takes Obama at his word that he "believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms." Many gun owners are not so willing to give the benefit of the doubt, as Obama spent most of his adult life in a city with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, and, according to every record of the past 20 years, never uttered a word of objection. If a candidate claimed that he strongly opposed legal gambling, and yet lived in Las Vegas for 20 years, voters would be understandably skeptical.

Obama voted against a bill that declared that "in any Illinois municipality where gun registration is required it shall be an "affirmative defense" if the person accused of violating the registration requirement can show that the weapon was used "in an act of self-defense or defense of another ... when on his or her land or in his or her abode or fixed place of business." FactCheck says, "Letting the owner of an unregistered firearm escape the penalty for failing to register is one thing, but it's another thing entirely to make it a crime to use any firearm - registered or not - in self-defense."

No, that's precisely it - local law had already made it illegal for Hale DeMar to own and use the handgun that he used to protect himself from a burglar. State lawmakers sought to change that; Obama opposed them. If you see that vote as supporting "a right to own a handgun in self-defense", then you can see any position in any vote.

FactCheck is particularly sloppy by taking Kennedy at his word that an amendment offered in 2005 that would ban "armor piercing" bullets, but was not meant to ban hunting ammunition. As Dave Kopel laid out in detail, the amendment changed an existing ban on "armor piercing bullets" measured by the content of the bullet to a penetration standard.
Instead of a penetration standard (which would ban most rifle ammunition), a content standard was adopted. The sale or import of handgun ammunition with a significant amount of steel, titanium, or other metal core was outlawed. The Kennedy amendment refers to rifle ammunition that has more penetrating capability than "standard" ammunition of the same caliber. In other words, a bureaucrat could decide that "standard" ammunition in a certain caliber has a certain weight and velocity, and any round with a greater weight or velocity could be administratively prohibited.

Existing law is designed to ban armor-piercing bullets while ensuring that hunting ammunition was kept legal; Kennedy's amendment, despite his claims of what he meant to do, would have opened the door, and perhaps even required banning most rifle ammunition.

On the third charge, that Obama supports a ban on handguns, FactCheck writes:
The NRA bases its claim on a disputed 1996 questionnaire that Obama's Illinois state Senate campaign filled out for the nonprofit voting group, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization. On it, somebody filled in the word "yes" in response to the question, "Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?" But the Obama campaign said that the survey was actually filled out by his then-campaign manager who "unintentionally mischaracterized his position," adding that Obama never saw the survey.

As we wrote previously, an amended version of the questionnaire was later submitted to the group, with Obama's handwritten notes on it providing more detail on some of the answers. Obama clearly saw and handled this version personally and did not alter the question about banning the sale and manufacturing of guns. Nevertheless, his aides maintain that the gun-ban answer was a mistake and didn't reflect Obama's true position.

Nonetheless, deems the charge that Obama supports a ban on handguns false. Apparently like the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in their fact-checking features, has decided that their own previous research is no longer reliable.

FactCheck says that the NRA is "misleading" when they state that Obama would "mandate a government-issued license to purchase a firearm." They say that he has only called for licensing handguns, and because he said a national gun registration law isn't politically possible: "I just don't think we can get that done." That's a thin reed to argue that Obama opposes the idea, or wouldn't push for it if it were politically possible (in a Congress that is likely to be significantly more Democratic next year). Finally, concludes:
At a campaign stop in Duryea, Pa., in early September, Obama again attempted to reassure gun owners that he doesn't intend to take away their guns, and couldn't even if he wanted to:

Obama (Sept. 5): The bottom line is this. If you've got a rifle, you've got a shotgun, you've got a gun in your house, I'm not taking it away. Alright? So they can keep on talking about it but this is just not true. And by the way, here's another thing you've got to understand. Even if I wanted to take it away, I couldn't get it done. I don't have the votes in Congress.

The fact that FactCheck thinks this reinforces the argument that Obama respects the Second Amendment speak volumes. Pro-Second Amendment lawmakers just don't talk this way.

By the way, since 1980, the ratio of NRA endorsed-Republican presidential candidates to winning Republican presidential candidates has been 1:1 - Reagan twice, Bush in 1988 but not 1992, Bush twice. So far, they have not officially endorsed a candidate, even though. I know the NRA is generally positive on McCain, but had some major beefs with him in the past (campaign finance reform and restrictions on sales at gun shows). Will the addition of lifetime NRA member Sarah Palin be enough to get the organization to make an official endorsement?

UPDATE: Bob Owens is similarly unimpressed with FactCheck. And the Washington Post looks at the NRA ad and, to the surprise of no one, makes all of the same errors as FactCheck - i.e., because Obama hasn't said since 1999 that he supports increasing taxes on guns and ammunition by 500 percent, he must not support it now. One of the really surprising developments in this election has been how the "fact-checking" features of major news organizations have been sloppy and vague with large omissions... just about always to the benefit of of Obama.


Why Obama is evasive about his anti-gun attitudes

Our Monday item on the so-called Bradley effect prompted an email from reader Bill Saracino, who fills in some of the details lost in the standard liberal narrative of the 1982 California governor's campaign:
In 1982, I was executive director of Gun Owners of California, which at the time was one of the five largest non-party-controlled political action committees in California.

The gun-phobics qualified an initiative for the '82 fall ballot that would have essentially banned all handguns. It became Proposition 15. Gun Owners of California, in partnership with the National Rifle Association, assembled a broad coalition of gun, hunting and outdoor sport groups to oppose Proposition 15. I was chosen to be the chairman of the official No on 15 committee. After being far ahead in surveys in the spring and early summer, Proposition 15 failed in November by about 65% to 35%. George Deukmejian opposed Proposition 15; Tom Bradley supported it. With that background, I make the following points:

* Proposition 15 was enormously unpopular with Reagan Democrats and rural voters of all stripes.

* We tried to include Bradley vs. Deukmejian comparisons in as much of our anti-15 advertising as possible, and we outspent Yes on 15 by about 5 to 1 in the fall campaign (largely on the NRA's money).

* Because of Proposition 15, turnout in our rural areas was unprecedented, reaching 85% to 90% in some Central Valley and Sierra foothill counties.

* Deukmejian ran ahead of even Reagan (and usually even or just slightly behind "No on 15") in some rural, usually Democratic counties. The one county I remember off the top of my head is Modoc, a small county in the northeast corner of the state, bordering Nevada and Oregon. "No on 15" got 88%, Deukmejian in the low 70s. This trend was repeated--basically without exception--in large and small rural counties throughout the state.

* At a think-tank sponsored event a month or so after the election, Bradley's manager stated he thought that the presence of Proposition 15 on the ballot had cost his guy the election.

* The absentee-ballot factor is totally overlooked by folks trying to ascribe a racial component to Bradley's defeat and the surveys missing the final outcome. The final pre-election surveys weren't all that far off the mark. They showed a small to middling Bradley lead--which in fact materialized at the polls on election day. Bradley won the vote cast at the ballot boxes, but because of an aggressive absentee-ballot effort by the Deukmejian campaign (and our separate effort for No on 15), an unprecedented percentage of total turnout was represented by absentees. Deukmajian won a large majority of the absentee ballots

The pollsters totally missed this factor leading up to election day, as did the exit polls. In a still-memorable tableau Mervin Field, director of the almost-always-liberal-slanted Field poll, was on television at midnight insisting that Bradley was going to win as the tote boards showed a 50,000 vote Deukmejian lead with 99% of the vote counted.

That's a long way of saying what I wanted to, which is not that there wasn't anybody in California in 1982 who lied to pollsters about voting for Bradley and then voted against him because he was black. I suspect there were. But my firsthand experience tells me that the "No on 15"-driven turnout among pro-gun conservative Democrats, combined with the very wily absentee ballot campaigns conducted by Deukmejian and No on 15, had much more to do with Bradley losing than did any hidden racial factor.

To confirm this, we went in search of contemporaneous press accounts. We found a February 1983 column by Tom Wicker, a liberal New York Times columnist. Wicker's column--based on an analysis by Mervin Field, the pollster Saracino cites in his email to us--acknowledges the role of absentee ballots (California had just passed a law allowing anyone to vote absentee) and of Proposition 15:
Another major factor was the overwhelming defeat of Proposition 15, a strong handgun-control initiative. A $6 million opposition campaign reversed a majority originally favoring the initiative, to a 63-to-37-percent defeat. Mr. Field measured a 32-point turnaround in the last month alone. Since Mr. Bradley favored Proposition 15, the late tide against it obviously hurt him, too; 60 percent of ''no'' voters said in exit polls that they voted for Mr. Deukmejian.

But it wasn't just that $6 million campaign that defeated Proposition 15 and maybe Tom Bradley too. Mervin Field's exit polls showed that 48 percent of all voters said they kept a gun in their households; factoring in the absentees, that means that more than half of California's voters had a gun in their households on Election Day.

It should be noted that none of this implicates the Bradley effect, which posits a discrepancy between what people tell pollsters and how they actually vote. Field's analysis deals entirely with what people did tell pollsters.

More here

Vicious coverup of Obama's bisexuality?

This story has been around for a while. Let's see the media treat it the way they treat any story about Sarah Palin

Is a Barack Obama bombshell lurking in the shadows, waiting to derail one of the biggest Cinderella stories in recent history? The bombshell may involve the murder of Donald Young, a 47-year-old choir master at former Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ-the same congregation that Obama has attended for the past 20 years. Two other young black men that attended the same church-Larry Bland and Nate Spencer-were also murdered execution style with bullets to the backs of their heads-all within 40 days of each other, beginning in November 2007. All three were openly homosexual.

What links this story to Barack Obama is that, according to an acquaintance of Obama, Larry Sinclair, Obama is a closet bisexual with whom he had sexual and drug-related encounters in November 1999. Further, Sinclair claims that Obama was friendly with at least two of these deceased parishioners, and that choir director Donald had contacted him shortly before being murdered from multiple gunshot wounds on December 23, 2007.

These killings are receiving a number of different reactions. Mike Parker, reporting for CBS in Chicago, wrote, "Activists fear gay African-Americans are being targeted for murder," while Marc Loveless of the Coalition for Justice and Respect queries, "Are we under attack? Is this a serial killer?"

An even more sinister aspect of this case is being investigated. According to Sinclair in an affidavit to the Chicago Police Department, Donald Young had informed him that he and Barack Obama were "intimate" with each other. Sinclair, it should be noted, declared on a January 18, 2008, YouTube video that on two separate occasions in November 1999, he engaged in sexual acts with Obama, and that Obama smoked crack cocaine-once in a limousine and the other time at a hotel in Gurnee, Ill.

Sinclair has also asked: why would Young-whom he had never met-initiate these calls by contacting him on cell phone numbers known only in the Obama camp? Further, a private investigator connected to the Chicago Police Department told the Globe, "Donald Young was silenced because of something he knew about Obama. Donald was in a position where he heard a lot of things and saw a lot of things concerning Barack."

Another questionable Obama associate is openly homosexual. That person is Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, who was listed during the 2008 campaign as being part of Obama's "technology initiative."

In April, Lessig showed a video at a Google seminar entitled Jesus Christ: The Musical where "Jesus Christ lip-syncs Gloria Gaynor's late 1970s disco hit I Will Survive during which he strips down to just a diaper, effeminately struts along a city street, and finally gets run over by a speeding bus."

Are three murders within the span of 40 days among members of America's most discussed church-one run by the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright-enough to arouse the suspicions of Chicago law enforcement officials and members of the national media? Or, as Sinclair wrote in a May 18 email, was the murder of Young "made to look similar to other recent murders as to make it look as if it were a hate crime" because he had become a political liability?

One can only hope that this isn't the beginning of another body count eerily reminiscent of that associated with Bill and Hillary Clinton.


(For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . For readers in China or for when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

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