Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Before Even Thinking About Voting for Obama, Read This: "What Makes Obama Tick?"

"People cannot be free unless they are willing to sacrifice some of their interests to guarantee the freedom of others. The price of democracy is the ongoing pursuit of the common good by all of the people. One hundred and thirty-five years ago Tocqueville gravely warned that unless individual citizens were regularly involved in the action of governing themselves, self-government would pass from the scene. Citizen participation is the animating spirit and force in a society predicated on voluntarism."

--Saul Alinsky, Community Organizer and the Example that Obama is Following.
[color emphasis mine. lw]

Barack Obama is cast in the mold of his "Community Organizing" predecessor Saul Alinsky.

Although Obama passes himself off as being for "the Middle Class," his real interest is to use the power of the Middle Class to advance the cause of the denizens of the black and barrio ghettos of America.

This means that he intends not to benefit the Middle Class but use it to achieve the power to elevate the "poor." after this is accomplished, he can then jettison the Middle Class.

If you are of the "white Middle Class," and are infatuated with Obama, Beware! He will tax you to the limit! Remember, the poor, who do not earn, but live on the dole, pay no taxes. The working poor will not bear the tax burden. The white Middle Class will.

Voter Beware!

"Lenin was a pragmatist; when he returned to what was then Petrograd from exile, he said that the Bolsheviks stood for getting power through the ballot box but would reconsider after they got the guns! "

--Saul Alinsky,

whose path Obama is following (not trying to follow, but now that he is within reach of Power, is following for the good of the "dispossessed.")

Alinsky and the Black Ghetto

Following text is from "Interview with Saul Alinsky" http://www.progress.org/2003/alinsky2.htm

In the Fifties[Alinsky] turned his attention to the black ghetto, and again began in Chicago. His actions quickly earned the enmity of Mayor Richard J. Daley (who, while remaining firmly opposed to Alinsky's methods over the years, recently conceded that "Alinsky loves Chicago the same as I do"). He also redoubled his travel schedule as an "outside agitator." After long but successful struggles in New York State and a dozen different trouble spots around the country, he flew to the West Coast, at the request of the Bay Area Presbyterian Churches, to organize the black ghetto in Oakland, California. Hearing of his plans, the panic-stricken Oakland City Council promptly introduced a resolution banning him from the city, and an amendment by one councilman to send him a 50-foot length of rope with which to hang himself was carried overwhelmingly. (Alinsky responded by mailing the council a box of diapers.)

When Oakland police threatened to arrest him if he entered the city limits, he crossed the Bay Bridge with a small band of reporters and TV cameramen, armed only with a birth certificate and a U.S. passport. "The welcoming committee of Oakland police looked and felt pretty silly," Alinsky fondly recalls. Oakland was forced to back down, and Alinsky established a local all-black organization to fight the establishment.

By the late Sixties, Alinsky was leaving most of the field work to his aides and concentrating on training community organizers through the Industrial Areas Foundation Training Institute, which he calls a "school for professional radicals." Funded principally by a foundation grant from Midas Muffler, the school aims at turning out 25 skilled organizers annually to work in black and white communities across the nation. "Just think of all the hell we've kicked up around the country with only four or five full-time organizers," Alinsky told newsmen at the school's opening session. "Things will really move now."

He was right -- if his subsequent success as a radical organizer can be measured by the degree of opposition and exasperation he aroused among the guardians of the status quo. A conservative church journal wrote that "it is impossible to follow both Jesus Christ and Saul Alinsky." Barron's, the business weekly, took that odd logic a step further and charged that Alinsky "has a record of affiliation with Communist fronts and causes." And a top Office of Economic Opportunity official, Hyman Bookbinder, characterized Alinsky's attacks on the antipoverty program (for "welfare colonialism") as "outrageously false, ignorant, intemperate headline-seeking."

Perhaps the one achievement of his life that has drawn almost universally favorable response was the publication of his new book, "Rules for Radicals," which has received glowing reviews in practically every newspaper and magazine in the country. To show his staff exactly how he felt about all this unaccustomed approbation, he called them in to say, "Don't worry, boys, we'll weather this storm of approval and come out as hated as ever." It provided Alinsky with some consolation that the book provoked a hostile reaction in at least one major city -- his own.

The Chicago Tribune greeted the publication of "Rules for Radicals" with a lead editorial headlined "ALINSKY'S AT IT AGAIN" and concluded:
"Rubbing raw the sores of discontent may be jolly good fun for him, but we are unable to regard it as a contribution to social betterment. The country has enough problems of the insoluble sort as things are without working up new ones for no discernible purpose except Alinsky's amusement." To which Alinsky responded: "The establishment can accept being screwed, but not being laughed at. What bugs them most about me is that unlike humorless radicals, I have a hell of a good time doing what I'm doing."
Next Week -- Alinsky Barges In
Alinsky's biography is available here



One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to Ryan LizzaThe New Republic, about Obama

"He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better.

"The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.Here are the words of Alinsky himself, quoted from Rules for Radicals, highlighted by and commented upon by Gilbert (red highlighting is mine). Read carefully--and consider as you read: THIS--when all the BS is stripped away--is what Obama is touting (and now defending) as his "experience" to be President of the United States:

First, Alinsky himself on "The Process of Power":
From the moment the organizer enters a community he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls the army. Until he has developed that mass power base, he confronts no major issues. He has nothing with which to confront anything. Until he has those means and power instruments, his “tactics” are very different from power tactics. Therefore, every move revolves around one central point: how many recruits will this bring into the organization, whether by means of local organizations, churches, service groups, labor unions, corner gangs, or as individuals. The only issue is, how will this increase the strength of the organization. If by losing in a certain action he can get more members than by winning, then victory lies in losing and he will lose.

Change comes from power, and power comes from organization. In order to act, people must get together.

Power is the reason for being of organizations. When people agree on certain religious ideas and want the power to propagate their faith, they organize and call it a church. When people agree on certain political ideas and want the power to put them into practice, they organize and call it a political party. The same reason holds across the board. Power and organization are one and the same…

The organizer simultaneously carries on many functions as he analyzes, attacks, and disrupts the prevailing power pattern…

Therefore, if your function is to attack apathy and get people to participate it is necessary to attack the prevailing patterns of organized living in the community. The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns that provide the opportunities and means for citizen participation. All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new.

This is why the organizer is immediately confronted with conflict. The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression. He must search out controversy and issues, rather than avoid them, for unless there is controversy people are not concerned enough to act…

An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which the people can angrily pour their frustrations. He must create a mechanism that can drain off the underlying guilt for having accepted the previous situation for so long a time.

Out of this mechanism, a new community organization arises…

The job then is getting the people to move, to act, to participate; in short, to develop and harness the necessary power to effectively conflict with the prevailing patterns and change them. When those prominent in the status quo turn and label you an “agitator” they are completely correct, for that is, in one word, your function—to agitate to the point of conflict…

Enter the labor organizer or the agitator. He begins his “trouble making” by stirring up these angers, frustrations, and resentments, and highlighting specific issues or grievances that heighten controversy…

And so the labor organizer simultaneously breeds conflict and builds a power structure. The war between the trade union and management is resolved either through a strike or a negotiation. Either method involves the use of power; the economic power of the strike or the threat of it, which results in successful negotiations. No one can negotiate without the power to compel negotiation.

This is the function of a community organizer. Anything otherwise is wishful non-thinking. To attempt to operate on a good-will rather than on a power basis would be to attempt something that the world has not yet experienced.

In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems… Even where the perception is that there ARE none... Does this should like a "healer and uniter" to you??

Keep in mind this is who is now in court filing a federal lawsuit against a reporter who dared try to get access to Obama's public records while serving on Ayers' Annenberg Foundation. That is one way to "compel"...Next, from Part III of Gilbert's superb research, we have Obama's own words, from one of his memoirs, plus some additional commentary from Gilbert:
In theory, community organizing provides a way to merge various strategies for neighborhood empowerment. Organizing begins with the premise that (1) the problems facing inner-city communities do not result from a lack of effective solutions, but from a lack of power to implement these solutions; (2) that the only way for communities to build long-term power is by organizing people and money around a common vision; and (3) that a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership — and not one or two charismatic leaders — can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.

This means bringing together churches, block clubs, parent groups and any other institutions in a given community to pay dues, hire organizers, conduct research, develop leadership, hold rallies and education cam­paigns, and begin drawing up plans on a whole range of issues — jobs, education, crime, etc. Once such a vehicle is formed, it holds the power to make politicians, agencies and corporations more responsive to commu­nity needs. Equally important, it enables people to break their crippling isolation from each other, to reshape their mutual values and expectations and rediscover the possibilities of acting collaboratively — the prerequi­sites of any successful self-help initiative.

By using this approach, the Developing Communities Project and other organizations in Chicago’s inner city have achieved some impressive results. Schools have been made more accountable-Job training programs have been established; housing has been renovated and built; city services have been provided; parks have been refurbished; and crime and drug problems have been curtailed. Additionally, plain folk have been able to access the levers of power, and a sophisticated pool of local civic leadership has been developed.

But organizing the black community faces enormous problems as well. One problem is the not entirely undeserved skepticism organizers face in many communities. To a large degree, Chicago was the birthplace of community organizing, and the urban landscape is littered with the skeletons of previous efforts. Many of the best-intentioned members of the community have bitter memories of such failures and are reluctant to muster up renewed faith in the process.

A related problem involves the aforementioned exodus from the inner city of financial resources, institutions, role models and jobs. Even in areas that have not been completely devastated, most households now stay afloat with two incomes. Traditionally, community organizing has drawn support from women, who due to tradition and social discrimination had the time and the inclination to participate in what remains an essentially voluntary activity.

Today the majority of women in the black community work full time, many are the sole parent, and all have to split themselves between work, raising children, running a household and maintaining some semblance of a personal life — all of which makes voluntary activities lower on the priority list.

Additionally, the slow exodus of the black middle class into the suburbs means that people shop in one neighborhood, work in another, send their child to a school across town and go to church someplace other than the place where they live. Such geographical dispersion creates real problems in building a sense of investment and common purpose in any particular neighborhood.
Finally community organizations and organizers are hampered by their own dogmas about the style and substance of organizing. Most still practice what Professor John McKnight of Northwestern University calls a “consumer advocacy” approach, with a focus on wrestling services and resources from the ouside powers that be. Few are thinking of harnessing the internal productive capacities, both in terms of money and people, that already exist in communities.

Our thinking about media and public relations is equally stunted when compared to the high-powered direct mail and video approaches success­fully used by conservative organizations like the Moral Majority. Most importantly, low salaries, the lack of quality training and ill-defined possibilities for advancement discourage the most talented young blacks from viewing organizing as a legitimate career option. As long as our best and brightest youth see more opportunity in climbing the corporate ladder-than in building the communities from which they came, organizing will remain decidedly handicapped.


An INCREDIBLE admission in Obama's own words.

More Obama quotes from Gilbert:

Nowhere is the promise of organizing more apparent than in the traditional black churches. Possessing tremendous financial resources, membership and — most importantly — values and biblical traditions that call for empowerment and liberation, the black church is clearly a slumbering giant in the political and economic landscape of cities like Chicago. A fierce independence among black pastors and a preference for more traditional approaches to social involvement (supporting candidates for office, providing shelters for the homeless) have prevented the black church from bringing its full weight to bear on the political, social and economic arenas of the city.


Over the past few years, however, more and more young and forward-thinking pastors have begun to look at community organizations such as the Developing Communities Project in the far south side and GREAT in the Grand Boulevard area as a powerful tool for living the social gospel, one which can educate and empower entire congregations and not just serve as a platform for a few prophetic leaders. Should a mere 50 prominent black churches, out of the thousands that exist in cities like Chicago, decide to collaborate with a trained organizing staff, enormous positive changes could be wrought in the education, housing, employment and spirit of inner-city black communities, changes that would send powerful ripples throughout the city.[....]
This whole chapter is almost word for word from Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, which could be almost summed up this way:

In theory, community organizing provides a way to merge various strategies for neighborhood empowerment. Organizing begins with the premise that (1) the problems facing inner-city communities do not result from a lack of effective solutions, but from a lack of power to implement these solutions; (2) that the only way for communities to build long-term power is by organizing people and money around a common vision; and (3) that a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership — and not one or two charismatic leaders — can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.

For instance, compare:
In fact, the answer to the original question — why organize? — resides in these people. In helping a group of housewives sit across the negotiating table with the mayor of America’s third largest city and hold their own, or a retired steelworker stand before a TV camera and give voice to the dreams he has for his grandchild’s future, one discovers the most significant and satisfying contribution organizing can make.

To Alinsky:
People hunger for drama and adventure, for a breath of life in a dreary, drab existence…
But it’s more than that. It is a desperate search for personal identity—to let other people know that at least you are alive…

When the organizer approaches him part of what begins to be communicated is that through the organization and its power he will get his birth certificate for life, that he will become known, that things will change from the drabness of a life where all that changes is the calendar. This same man, in a demonstration at City Hall, might find himself confronting the mayor and saying, “Mr. Mayor, we have had it up to here and we are not going to take it any more.” Television cameramen put their microphones in front of him and ask, “What is your name, sir?” “John Smith.” Nobody ever asked him what his name was before. And then, “What do you think about this, Mr. Smith?” Nobody ever asked him what he thought about anything before. Suddenly he’s alive! This is part of the adventure, part of what is so important to people in getting involved in organizational activities and what the organizer has to communicate to him. Not that every member will be giving his name on television—that’s a bonus—but for once, because he is working together with a group, what he works for will mean something…

There is no doubt that Mr. Obama is an acolyte of Saul Alinsky. Even if we still aren’t sure exactly what an organizer is or does.

Though Mr. Alinsky’s book tells us that it means little more than being a street “agitator.”

from "Obama, Community Organizing, and Saul Alinsky"

at http://astuteblogger.blogspot.com/2008/09/must-read-obama-community-organizing.html

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