Quote from: hono on February 13, 2007, 11:01:55 PMAt Punahou (high school) obama tried drugs and let his grades slip in his final years of high school. Teachers and fellow students at Punahou say that Obama wasn't a straight-A student, but they had high expectations for him. One of his teachers, Kusunoki, who has taught at Punahou for 33 years, adds that "[he] was very gifted, and I knew he'd do great things. But this well? On this stage? I never expected that."And to think this high school is not in the mainland USA but in Hawaii!!
At Punahou (high school) obama tried drugs and let his grades slip in his final years of high school. Teachers and fellow students at Punahou say that Obama wasn't a straight-A student, but they had high expectations for him. One of his teachers, Kusunoki, who has taught at Punahou for 33 years, adds that "[he] was very gifted, and I knew he'd do great things. But this well? On this stage? I never expected that."
Calm down people! Even if Obama becomes President it does not mean America will stop to be the stinky female dog we are used to! The person of the US president is an irrelevance. The totalitarianism prevailing in America and taking hold in its satellites around the world has learned important lessons from the failed experiments of the past. The first of these lessons is that the greatest liability to the survival of a regime is a strong and erratic leader. A point often made in history classes is that Hitler should have stopped at Kiev instead of thinning out his eastern front to move on toward Moscow. Thus without Hitler's deranged ambitions, the Third Reich might really have lasted a thousand years. Similarly, if Stalin had kept his genocidal ambitions in check, the Soviet Union might have continued to enjoy its initial popularity among sections of the West and at home. With these examples in mind, the leader has been eliminated as a factor in US politics. The US has long been governed, not by its people, but by interests that are happy to remain largely anonymous, do not rely on individuals for their hold on power, and are recognizable in public mainly by a soothing corporate blue. Americans often seem baffled that others fail to admire their system of government. They know after all that in the US there exists a lively culture of debate, where the whole lunatic spectrum of opinion can find a platform of one kind or another (though at the same time the difference between the political parties it is actually possible to elect is vanishingly small).We have a vibrant and largely unchecked artistic community. We have the First Amendment. Even Greg Palast, at the end of his expose of corporate power "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy," found himself heartened by the American culture of customer complaint, the notion that you have enforceable rights and can sue for them in a court of law. This is, after all, the nation that gave us the concept of "animal rights." Hollywood is happy to feed this perception by producing blockbusters like "Erin Brockovitch" and "The Insider," where ordinary people take on corporations and win, in other words, films which, by seeming to challenge, actually affirm the existing order.The reason for all this is that the new totalitarianism has learned a second lesson from its heavy-handed predecessors. If artists and intellectuals were able to do precisely nothing about Hitler or Stalin or any of the legion of tin-pot dictators around the world, it follows that you might as well have freedom of expression. In the new totalitarian system, people can say whatever they like, and it makes absolutely no difference. The war on Iraq is only one example among many of a supposedly sovereign public completely powerless in the face of a government bent on a course of action. That this should suprise some people outside America is odd. Proponents of the enlightened self-interest of nations like the late Alan Clark MP -- who argued that it would have been better for Britain's imperial status if it had signed a peace with Hitler in 1941 -- have long held that nations do not have morals. They have interests. Thus the idea clogging up the editorial pages of American papers that people ought to be grateful to the U.S. is childish. Alliances are formed where the interests of nations coincide or where one nation expects to take advantage of another. In other words, America has never been a moral guardian to the rest of the world, and it would be peculiar to expect it to be. It has simply more astutely safeguarded its interests, except where it has allowed its interests to become distorted in countries like Vietnam. But these blunders have long been rectified.The neo-conservative writer P.J.O'Rourke some years ago said the Americans had won the Vietnam war, and so they have -- if not the one they were fighting. Vietnam is now in all but name a busy capitalist country, and no doubt the better for it as far as its long-suffering people are concerned. On the whole, however, annexation by mostly carrot an a little stick has worked best, and the U.S. has avoided the limitless aggression that proved the downfall of old-style regimes. Many more obvious U.S. satellites in Southeast Asia and elsewhere have benefited from the ties that bind them and are evolving comparable pseudodemocratic systems. The middle class subjects of these satellites would be foolish to prefer their country to be differently aligned, and to the slum-dwellers it doesn't matter either way. This practically guarantees a stable dependency on the motherland, which an invasion could never have achieved.The most important lesson to the new totalitarianism, then, comes from ancient Rome, and is simply that people sufficiently supplied with bread and games will put up with anything. It may seem strange that a system that has been working so well both at home and abroad should so blatantly rattle and saber and polish the jackboot, but for this we may have to thank Al-Qaeda. In "Blowback", his study of American imperialism, Chalmers Johnson points out that the invention of terrorists is among other things to provoke a disproportionate reaction in the enemy and goad it into revealing itself as the brute it is, thereby forfeiting public sympathy.Alternatively, it could be that the fruits of a takeover of Iraq are too juicy to pass up and difficult to get hold of by any other means. In either case, this will be a passing phase, and the current preponderance of stick in U.S. international policy will in good time make way for more ample carrot. The question remains whether overall there is anything wrong with an endlessly adaptable, stable system of world government that keeps the majority of its subjects happy or at least comfortable. And once the technology has solved the problem of cheap labor, ther will be nothing wrong with it. Only we mustn't call it democracy.
I can agree with this! The military and intelligence apparatus has taken over the reigns of domestic and foreign policy in close consultation with Wall Street, the Texas oil conglomerates and the military industrial complex. With key decisions taken behind closed doors at the CIA and the Pentagon, civilian political institutions including the President and the US Congress increasingly play the role of a fašade.In other words, US policies do not emanate from the institutions of civilian government (i.e. the Legislature and Executive). They exist because the US military-intelligence apparatus -- and the various powers behind it -- tend to override the institutions of civilian government in setting agendas. In this process, the Commander-in-Chief, largely responds to the instructions of key advisers. While the illusion of a functioning democracy prevails in the eyes of public opinion, the US president has become a mere public relations figurehead, visibly with little understanding of key policy issues.
Quote from: Mr. Reality on February 22, 2007, 01:39:11 AMWhat do you expect him to do? Support gay marrige?! He's already being called a "n-word" -- is it not enough?! Do you really think he could be called a "n-word fag" and still win?! We expect him to either be consistent or drop out of the race.
What do you expect him to do? Support gay marrige?! He's already being called a "n-word" -- is it not enough?! Do you really think he could be called a "n-word fag" and still win?!
In his first autobiographical book, "Dreams From My Father," Obama talks of growing up happily racially unaware. "That my father looked nothing like the people around me barely registered in my mind," he wrote.
Quote from: doremi on December 13, 2006, 12:32:04 AM[...] And if the high didn't solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world's ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bull and cheap moralism. [...]Well, looks like the highs solved some issues that were getting him down
[...] And if the high didn't solve whatever it was that was getting you down, it could at least help you laugh at the world's ongoing folly and see through all the hypocrisy and bull and cheap moralism. [...]