Judgment AND values *UPDATED*

The following video draws heavily from a documentary KQED did about the Weather Undergroundbefore anybody really cared about Barack Obama.  (I remember watching, and being revolted by, the documentary back when it first came out.)  Then, the video neatly ties together the package of these very, very bad people and Barack Obama.

At the end, the video asks whether Obama has the judgment to be President, a question that allows one to pretend that it was all just a mistake on Obama’s part to hang with nice middle-aged people who happen to have a history.  (Although most wouldn’t make that pretense if these people had a Nazi history, would they?)  I think that question is too generous, because this is about values, not just judgment.  Obama happily hung with these people, knowing what they are, because their values are his values.  The only difference is that, unlike them, he’s a Fifth Columnist, not an external terrorist.

Anyway, here’s the video:

Hat tip:  Cheat-Seeking Missiles

UPDATETD Blog has is examining just how far back Obama’s ties to Ayers really go.  She’s also reminded me of something that bugs me tremendously about Obama:  no one, absolutely no one from his past exists.  One sometimes gets the feeling that he didn’t exist.  That he was created by the Soviets with a false history and simply dropped into America as an adult, like some old spy movie or Helen MacInnes plot.

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  1. BrianE says

    Sweetness and Light has several good posts about Ayers and Dorhn.

    Here’s an excerpt from an interview with the magazine “Revolution” from 2006:

    Reggie Dylan: And there’s a connection. Because you have kids coming to college now who have been fed a very narrow understanding of reality, including rooted in fundamentalist religion, rooted in the notion of evolution being a theory and not a fact. And they come to the university and they get challenged with ideas they’ve never heard before. They’re being encouraged to question things in a way they never have before. And to overturn that seems to be the goal of what Horowitz is doing. And you know we were talking about this, Ward Churchill has become a concentration point of that.

    Bill Ayers: Well, Ward Churchill is a great example because what I think people, leftists are continually doing with the Ward Churchill case is missing this larger context you and I are talking about and instead kind of parsing, “Well, what did he say and do I agree with it.” What the hell do I care? First of all, there was a thorough study done by a university committee that never should have been set up, and they found a few, a tiny, a handful of instances where he might have borrowed a phrase, but nothing like Doris Kearns-Goodwin [a widely published historian who was found to have plagiarized extensively in one of her books] did, nothing like, you know, the big academics at Harvard have done, like Dershowitz [who has been accused of plagiarism]. And yet somehow he’s held to the standard. And then people on the left again feel like they have to say, well this is part of what Ward says I don’t agree with. What has that got to do with it? He’s being pilloried for his politics, for being a leftist, for being a critic of U.S. imperialism as it relates to Native Americans. How can we as socialists or as communists or as leftists, how can we leave him in the cold and say, well I’m a good leftist because I don’t talk the way Ward talks. I find that appalling. And I would hope that when they come to get Ward, we all link arms and don’t allow it.


  2. says

    RE: “One sometimes gets the feeling that he didn’t exist. That he was created by the Soviets with a false history and simply dropped into America as an adult, like some old spy movie or Helen MacInnes plot.”

    This is a prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are “evil.”

  3. says

    Helen, what I said was a little joking and a lot true. Obama has no background. No one from his past comes forward and speaks for him. Or at least, I don’t think anyone does. Perhaps you can refresh my recollection. Has anyone from Obama’s school in Hawaii, from Occidental, from Columbia or from Harvard stepped forward to share warm and fuzzy stories about the man?

  4. BrianE says

    Here’s what the Weather Underground was doing, and it’s association with Cuba.

    From June 2, 1978
    Terrorism in America: The Developing Internal Security Crisis

    …The political statement of WUO in Prairie Fire praises the SLA and the Black Liberation Army (see below) as “leading forces in the development of the armed struggle and political con sciousqess Weathermen ideology has emphasized the solidarity of the organization with revolutionary goals of the Third World and with “colonized” ethnic and racial minorities within the United States. Cuba has given aid and support to the Weathermen; specifi cally, to Bernardine Dohrn, Mark Rudd, Ted Gold, and Diane Oughton the last two killed in an explosion at their own bomb factory in New York on March 6, 1970) as well as others. Cuba has also provided transportation of members of WUO to Czechoslovakia, where they received false passports for the purpose of re-entering the US.

    …The NWLF has Jacques Rogier as its public spokesman. The Weather men have the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee. The Black Panther Party had the Revolutionary Peoples Communications Network (RPCN American terrorists of all kinds have received much legal assis tance from the National Lawyers Guild. It would be very difficult if not impossible for terrorists to operate in the absence of this kind of aboveground support 5 1 International Support and some have received training there or from Algeria, North Korea Czechoslovakia, Yemen, and Aden.
    Cuban intelligence agents in the Cuban mission in New York and in the Cuban embassy in Canada kept in contact with members of the Weathermen after they went underground in 1970, and according to an FBI informant in the Weathermen, Larry Grathwohl, there existed a code by which Weathermen could contact Cuban intelligence agents in Canada. Cuba also provided at least some training in guerrilla e warfare for some members of the Venceremos Brigade, which posed as a volunteer group of young Americans working in Cuba.

  5. suek says

    Here’s a link to another article on the SL page…I strongly recommend you go to the main page…he’s really on a tear! Good stuff.


    >>This is a prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are “evil.”?|>>

    Why “evil”? Crazy, paranoid, schizo, conspiracy minded…all sorts of things…but “evil”?

    has an interesting post on the Berg-Obama suit today…

  6. BrianE says

    Bill Ayers was more than a misguided liberal opposing the Vietnam war.
    Excerpt from this archived document from Heritage:
    November 9, 1979
    Latin American Terrorism: The Cuban Connection
    by Francis, Samuel T.

    Brigade (VB) trips to Cuba was handled by leaders of the SDS who became Weathermen. According to Julie Nichamin, a principal organizer of the VB trips to Cuba and a member of SDS as well as of the WO, interviewed in Grama, December 10, 1969 We want people to understand that the battle of the Cuban people, like the battle of the Vietnamese people is the same battle to which to which we are committed, a battle against American imperialism.

    According to a declassified FBI report on foreign contacts of the Weathermen The ultimate objective in the DGI’s participation with the VB is the recruitment of individuals who are politically oriented and who someday may obtain a position elective or appointive, somewhere in tne U.S. government The initiation of the Venceremos 11 24 22. Alfonso L. Tarabochia, Cuba: The Technocracy of Subversion, Espionage and Terrorism (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 1976 pp 30-33 (hereafter cited as Tarabochia Cuba).

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Influence Weather Underground Organization (WUO August 20, 1976, p. 121 23. Ibid pp. 15-19. 24 G 17 which would provide the Cuban government with acess to political, economic and military intelligence.
    91. Grawthwohl also knew of several individuals who had received training in the use of the AK-47, grenades, or infra-red scopes (used for sniper shooting in darkness). Naomi Jaffe Dionne Donghi, and Corky Benedict were members of the WUO who had received guerrilla training in Cuba. WUO leader Bill Ayers told Grathwohl in February, 1970, that contact with other WUO members could be made through the Cuban Embassy in Canada and that a sgde system for communications had been established by the Cubans. The FBI Report also quoted a column by Georgie Anne Geyer and Keyes Beach of October, 1970, which discussed contacts between SDS and the Cuban UN Mission in New York in 19??

  7. Tiresias says

    A whole lot more folks than just you have noticed, BW: there are hundreds of people who have stories of growing up with, going to school with, playing basketball, etc. with Sarah Palin. Being in a largely naval town I have encountered a plethora of old McCain stories. But nobody seems yet to have encountered one solitary human being with Obama stories. Potemkin Man.

    You’re absolutely right, though it isn’t in the least surprising that Helen doesn’t get it: On what planet did this guy grow up? This is not how human beings normally behave, we are garrulous creatures. Except, apparently, for those who grew up with, or were educated with, or worked around Obama.

    Regarding Ayers and Dorhn, I met them a couple of times in a casual way at my fairly radical university. Had a loose acquaintance – owing to proximity – with a hard-core SDS member. (In those days, in that place, it was, somehow or other, okay to be a violence-advocating revolutionary and also a sports nut. In two of my four undergrad years our hockey team was national champions, and even if you were a committed revolutiuonary it was OK to go the games with non-revolutuionary friends. It was OK to loll around the bleachers in Fenway Park with them – and some beer – too. In between phoning in bomb threats. Life was not all politics.)

    Anyway, Ayers was one of those people best described in a way you possibly won’t get, but perhaps some of your other male readers will relate to: he was a scrawny little weed with one of those faces that said: “I’m an a**hole; hit me.” I always figured 90% of his issues were probably because when he was young his male classmates routinely did.

    Dorhn was one of those who seemed to figure that the way to set herself apart was to abandon all societal norms. I think personal hygiene went overboard first, and you generally knew she was in the room well before you saw or heard her. (Sadly, she was not unique in this, it seemed especially to affect young female revolutionaries, who for reasons of their own worked desperately hard to render themselves unattractive. Often this was not much of a stretch.)

    Of all these jerks, I think the one I most enjoyed was Mark Rudd, who always modestly attributed his success to having the loudest voice – a revolutionary with a sense of humor.

    Imagine how many million more people’s descendants would be here had Lenin, Stalin, or Mao possessed the slightest flicker of a sense of humor.

  8. Ozzie says

    This is a prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are “evil.”- Helen

    Someone shouted “Kill Him!” regarding Obama during a Palin campaign stop today, and the same thing happened during a McCain rally.

  9. Allen says

    Bookworm, it might simply be that no one remembers much about him because he was so unremarkable. Much was written about the Roman Legions; the camp followers weren’t noted so well.

  10. Quisp says


    How long before we get a “This isn’t the Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dorhn I knew” speech from Obama?

    Ask, and ye shall, all that:


    Is anyone following this Educators for Ayers petition? http://www.supportbillayers.org/
    Mark Steyn and Jonah Goldberg have great posts on the topic up at The Corner. I’m fascinated by how WE are the ones guilty of “assaults designed to intimidate free thinking and stifle critical dialogue.” That business at WGN, well, that was just “a way to weigh in against fear and intimidation.”

    Honestly, if we can’t make people care that Ayers is considered to have made “exemplary contribution—including publishing 16 books— to the field of education,” if we can’t make them see the folly of letting this man influence our children, then we’ll never make them care that he helped groom a presidential candidate.

  11. BrianE says

    In spite of my age, I remain a naive person, I guess.
    It just dawned on me that Bill Ayer and Bernadette Dorhn, respected educators, are ENEMIES of America.
    Part of the problem, I think, is that I like millions of other naive students protested the Vietnam war, being fed the official propaganda of CBS news. The difference between myself and Ayers though, is I have remorse when I discovered the extent that we had been manipulated by ENEMIES of America.
    Ayers makes it abundantly clear, so clear that even a Barack Obama couldn’t misunderstand, that his core impulses of radicalizing America haven’t changed, just his methods. One can only draw the conclusion that Barack knew this, sympathized at the least, but more likely shared these goals, given his autobiography, his comfort with 20 years of Black Liberation Theology and his community organizing.
    Helen, it’s going to take more than a “gee, golly wiz, I didn’t know he was such a bad man” response.

  12. Tiresias says

    Brian, you make an interesting point, and it’s one that doesn’t get remotely enough attention.


    Did not know Ayers was a serious Weather Underground terrorist bomber, who avoided killing people only by dumb luck;

    Did not know, despite being there twice a month (by his own admission) for twenty years and despite DVDs being for sale in the vestibule, that his pastor is a vile racist;

    Did not have any familiarity with the teachings of Saul Alinsky, who is an out-and-out far left (I know it’s unfashionable these days to say “communist”) and often criminal agitator;

    Did not know ACORN (currently under investigation in half a dozen states for voter fraud, today added Nevada to the list of state sin which their offices have been raided and their files seized by thge authorities), for which he worked as “community organizer,” has a long history of registering people to vote eight or ten times;

    etc., etc., etc. That is, as you are all aware, merely the topmost tip of scratching the surface of things he apparently didn’t know, including how many states there are. But: that is his most usual explanation; “I didn’t know.”

    You know what? Above and beyond anything else about him: if he’s this slow a study; if he’s this ignorant; if he’s this easily fooled; if he’s (not to put to fine a point upon it) this damn dumb: I don’t want him anywhere near making decisions about the future of my country.

  13. suek says

    “didn’t know” in a court of law translates as “you can’t prove that I know”. Reasonable assumptions are not enough – he’s innocent until proven guilty and you can’t _prove_ that he knew anything you mentioned. It doesn’t mean he _didn’t_ know it, just that you can’t prove that he _did_.

  14. Ymarsakar says

    Has anyone from Obama’s school in Hawaii, from Occidental, from Columbia or from Harvard stepped forward to share warm and fuzzy stories about the man?

    they are still cloning those folks. Just wait Book and be patient. You’ll hear them soon enough. You will hear all of them soon enough.

    This is a prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are “evil.”

    The prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are evil is the same as when women who get raped in Saudi Arabia and Iran are seen as the source of evil and thus, like all evil, must be destroyed to restore Goodness and Wholeness to greater society.

    The existence of the victims that are created by evil methods and goals cannot be allowed to spread and lay claim to justice: for then the Democrats would fall and so endeth the dream of a perfect world. You have to be able to exploit people and then say that the people being exploited are to blame for everyone’s problems in order to maintain Democrat power and purity.

    How can we as socialists or as communists or as leftists

    I mentioned before in the Republicans are Evl Thread that there is no such thing as a “liberal” that can be arbitrarily stretched to fit any random group of people. There are no such things as liberals. There are only fake liberals, communists, socialists, Leftists, and classical liberals. You can add some more, but those are the basic ones in contention between Democrats and Republicans.

    THe overlap between them does exist but they differ depending on the individuals in question and the strength of the movement. For example, many socialists refuse to call themselves communists, instead they want to call themselves “Social Democrats” because obviously democracy combined with socialism is so much better than communism. It’ll work this time, instead of communism. But communism is no different from socialism on a fundamental level and yet on the surface they have many things that separate them.

    It is the same relationship between the aristocracy and the socialist revolutionaries. You would think that they would be on opposite sides since aristocrats want to conserve power and revolutonaries want to shake things up. However, in reality, both of those categories are just two sides of the same coin. Both want power to accumulate all at a certain point rather than being diffused downwards towards the people. The revolutionaries just want to accumulate power in their pre-chosen location rather than the aristos’.

  15. BrianE says

    This is a prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are “evil.”

    The prime example of why Democrats think Republicans are evil is the same as when women who get raped in Saudi Arabia and Iran are seen as the source of evil and thus, like all evil, must be destroyed to restore Goodness and Wholeness to greater society.

    The existence of the victims that are created by evil methods and goals cannot be allowed to spread and lay claim to justice: for then the Democrats would fall and so endeth the dream of a perfect world. You have to be able to exploit people and then say that the people being exploited are to blame for everyone’s problems in order to maintain Democrat power and purity.


    Direct hit!

  16. BrianE says

    Excerpt from Stanley Kurtz’s Barack Obama’s Missing Years

    Obama’s strong liberalism is nowhere more evident than on the subject of crime. Throughout his Illinois State Senate career, crime was a top Obama concern. Crime is also a key contact-point between Obama and his most celebrated radical associate, William Ayers. We’ve heard a good deal of late about Ayers’s Weatherman terrorism back in the 1960s and his lack of repentance. Ayers refuses to answer questions about his relationship with Obama, while Obama has dismissed Ayers as just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” Yet several Obama-Ayers connections are known: Obama’s 1995 political debut at the home of Ayers and his wife (and fellow former terrorist) Bernardine Dohrn, Obama’s joint service with Ayers on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a couple of appearances with Ayers on academic panels, and what the New York Times called Obama’s “rave review” (not actually a full review, but a warm endorsement) of Ayers’s book on juvenile justice, which Obama dubbed “a searing and timely account” in the Chicago Tribune.

    For all the attention, the actual content of Ayers’s 1997 book, A Kind and Just Parent, as well as the political context of Obama’s interest in it, have so far passed unremarked. Obama supporters paint Ayers as having mellowed since his radical days, pointing to his wonkish interests. Yet Ayers’s radicalism pervades his book on Chicago’s juvenile court system. Founded in 1899 (long before juvenile murder rates shot off the charts), Chicago’s juvenile court was the first in the world, intended to serve as “a kind and just parent” to offenders. Ayers’s title, he explained in the book, is meant to “bristle with irony” as a commentary on an American “society out of control.” Ayers expressed the same sentiment more bluntly in an interview published in the New York Times shortly after 9/11, when he not only dismissed the notion of the United States as a “just and fair and decent place,” but said the claim “makes me want to puke.” A Kind and Just Parent is a thoughtful, well-informed, and beautifully written book, which provides revealing and sometimes disturbing glimpses of life at a Chicago juvenile detention facility. The book also virtually defines the phrases “liberal guilt” and “soft on crime.” Ayers agon-izes over a high school field trip years ago, on which he and other white students toured a juvenile court system largely populated by black boys. When recounting horrific crimes-and even his own mugging-Ayers focuses on the terrified insecurity of the perpetrators, rather than the harm they inflict. Testifying at the trial of a young felon he’d been tutoring, Ayers calls him “nervous, a little shy  .  .  .  eager to please.” The prosecutor responds: “Would you call shooting someone eight times at close range ‘eager to please?'” Actually, Ayers effectively does do this, opening his book with the claim that a young murderer had “slavishly followed the orders” of his gang leader, rather than acting of his own free will.

    Ayers opposes trying even the most vicious juvenile murderers as adults. Beyond that, he’d like to see the prison system itself essentially abolished. Unsatisfied with mere reform, Ayers wants to address the deeper “structural problems of the system.” Drawing explicitly on Michel Foucault, a French philosopher beloved of radical academics, Ayers argues that prisons artificially impose obedience and conformity on society, thereby creating a questionable distinction between the “normal” and the “deviant.” The unfortunate result, says Ayers, is to leave the bulk of us feeling smugly superior to society’s prisoners. Home detention, Ayers believes, might someday be able to replace the prison. Ayers also makes a point of comparing America’s prison system to the mass-detention of a generation of young blacks under South African Apartheid. Ayers’s tone may be different, but the echoes of Jeremiah Wright’s anti-prison rants are plain.

    Given his decision to recommend Ayers’s book in the Tribune, it’s fair to say that Obama is at least broadly sympathetic to this perspective. When Obama offers examples of ill-conceived legislation, he often points to building prisons: Instead of building another prison, why not expand health care entitlements? Biographer David Mendell cites Obama’s irritation with fellow legislators who “grandstand” by passing tough-on-crime legislation, while letting bills designed to bring “structural change” languish. Debating Bobby Rush in 2000, Obama bragged that he had “consistently fought against the industrial prison complex.” Obama’s Hyde Park Herald column echoes these points.


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