Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama v. Palin: by their fruits and their friends ye shall know them

I certainly enjoy reading my favorite blogs, as they cover the swirl of current events more closely than I would ever want to, and they are usually written by people much smarter (or at least much funnier) than I ever will be. Before I know it, I've spent way too much time each day surfing the internet enjoying other folks' smart takes on important and not-so-important stuff. Then I have a numb mouse-arm or a sore back and I have to go away, not least since I still have the laundry and yardwork to do.

For those of my friends and readers who are not into blogs, here are just a few posts I've enjoyed lately:

Power Line - This blog's the home of some of the smartest guys writing today from the conservative viewpoint. They are, with integrity and intelligence, on top of the latest political backstories and commentary before you'll hear them (if ever) on the TV news. Today, for example, they point to Stanley Kurtz's examination of the true extent of the ties between Obama's Chicago community organizer days and radial William Ayers -- doing the work the American mainstream media won't do:

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement....

Read that whole thing. Wonder why we don't see these kind of hard-hitting, factual investigative summaries in the New York Times and on ABC World News Tonight? You could spend an hour reading Powerline posts backwards in time and get a real education.

Michelle Malkin often breaks ground with original below-the-radar stories too. Here she sums up a recent canny forensic internet investigation by Ace of Spades and The Jawa Report into how a smear campaign against Sarah Palin was developed and exposed. (Content warming: Ace of Spades HQ blog is not suitable reading for children.) Spend a while reading this foray into the dark side of politics and learn the new vocabulary and people of the current Presidential campaign: David Axelrod, Barack Obama's chief media strategist and the Master of Astroturfing (faux grassroots efforts), sockpuppets (as in, "legions of CCC's (Concerned Christian Conservatives) have suddenly sprung up all over the internet to attack Palin and repeat Obama talking points"), etc. It is a strange new world of digitized politics operating at the speed of light with some pretty rotten people in it (as well as some pretty decent ones to counter them). You can see Obama Astroturfing everywhere.

Then there is the story of the hacker who hijacked Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account. Also see Michelle Malkin's post. As Ace summed up:

Obama is still a dedicated disciple of Saul Alinksy. He still admits he learned much from Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, the Bible of community organizing.

One of Alinsky's key precepts i[s] to agitate, agitate, agitate, and stoke so much anger in the community to be "organized" that the agitator does not need to be a "leader" -- that members of the community will step forward to be "leaders" themselves, and take whatever action is necessary. If the "community organizer" radical has actually assumed a position of leadership, he's failed.

Success is defined as getting "the community" to do all the dirty work the agitator wishes to be done.

I have been stunned by the media response to Sarah Palin's emergence as McCain's pick for VP. I watched and liked her acceptance speech--she seemed like a nice woman and an effective governor, about whom I wanted to learn more--and then I have since been knocked slack-jawed at the negative, non-serious responses and over-the-top mean lunacy that reached tidal wave proportions trying to knock her (and her family) down (and still the abuse continues, with email hackers, etc.). If all this pro-Obama hot air, spewing of talking points without answering real questions, and guerilla warfare is meant to change people's minds--is meant to make me rethink, question, or doubt my own eyes and ears and my own reactions to Sarah Palin--it's not working. It's merely unserious and beyond sleazy. All that's working is I've got a new idea of how low some "people" will go in politics. The people working on behalf of Barack Obama.

I haven't seen these kind of bald and stupid antics since I lived in Chicago. And it's funny, but I don't think that's a coincidence.

It energizes me all the more to work against Obama becoming our nation's President. And I don't care how many ill-informed or self-interested Europeans love him. (In fact, I'm pretty sure that meme is all just media hype too.)

Further: Victor Davis Hanson: "Palin and Obama--What Really is Wisdom?"

"Obama's Margin of Victory: The Media" (via American Digest)

UPDATE: "Dissecting the Palin Rumor Mill" (via Instapundit)

UPDATE: More Obama v. Palin at Bookworm Room.

UPDATE: Tony Blankley via Powerline:

[W]orse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting are the shocking gaps in Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply have not reported on Obama's two years at New York's Columbia University, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter-mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers. Later, they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks, the media have focused on all the colleges Gov. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago, and the close criticism of the political opponents Gov. Palin had when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

But in two years, they haven't bothered to see how close Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Obama's rise in Chicago politics. How did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great -- and unflattering -- details on Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book on Obama, the mainstream media continue to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, The Economist, to give Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Obama, his publicist (David Axelrod) and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

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