Posts Tagged ‘audacity of hope’

Mutual Back-Scratching: State Department Buys More Than $70,000 Of Obama’s Books

October 26, 2011

Now we know who’s buying that crap.

Barack Obama has written three worthless books.  Worthless to everyone but the people he appointed as ambassadors, that is.

State Dept. spends $70K on Obama books
By Jim McElhatton – The Washington Times
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The State Department has bought more than $70,000 worth of books authored by President Obama, sending out copies as Christmas gratuities and stocking “key libraries” around the world with “Dreams From My Father” more than a decade after its release.

The U.S. Embassy in Egypt, for instance, spent $28,636 in August 2009 for copies of Mr. Obama’s best-selling 1995 memoir. Six weeks earlier, the embassy had placed another order for the same book for more than $9,000, federal purchasing records show.

About the same time, halfway around the world, the U.S. Embassy in South Korea had the same idea and spent more than $6,000 for copies of “Dreams From My Father.”

One month later, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, spent more than $3,800 for hardcover copies of the Indonesian version of Mr. Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope,” records show.

A review of the expenditures in a federal database did not reveal any examples of State Department purchases of books by former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The purchases of Mr. Obama’s literary work mostly, but not always, took place in the months after Mr. Obama captured the White House.

Leslie Paige, a spokeswoman for Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group, said if the federal government is looking to cut costs, eliminating purchases of Mr. Obama’s books is a good place to start.

“It’s inappropriate for U.S. taxpayer dollars to be spent on this,” she said. “This sounds like propaganda.”

But State Department spokesman Noel Clay said the book purchases followed regular government procurement rules. He said diplomats have long used books as a way to help broker talks on important foreign-policy matters.

“The structure and the presidency of the United States is an integral component of representing the United States overseas,” Mr. Clay said. “We often use books to engage key audiences in discussions of foreign policy.”

He also said books are purchased to stock the State Department’s “information resource centers,” which he said are located around the world and provide books about U.S. coverage of issues such as culture, history and values.

“We also provide key library collections with books about the United States,” he said.

Pete Sepp, vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, said there could be value in distributing books about American politics and the people who make up political institutions.

“Compared to big-ticket items like embassy construction, buying books may not show up as a huge warning on taxpayers’ radar screens, but there is always room for improvement and making sure programs like this are serving a good, intended purpose,” he said.

There’s no indication the White House knew about the purchases, which overall represent just a fraction of the nearly quarter-million dollars Mr. Obama donated to charities last year and his more than $1.7 million in overall income. Mr. Clay said book orders are normally made directly by embassies based on “their experience and knowledge on the ground of the intended audience.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to email messages.

The records show a mix of English and foreign language purchases of Mr. Obama’s books.

The U.S. Embassy in Indonesia spent more than $4,800 in September 2009 for copies of “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope,” though the title of the latter book is spelled “Authority of Hope” in the federal spending database. The embassy spent $3,885 for additional Indonesian copies of “The Audacity of Hope,” records show.

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey spent more than $3,700 in December 2009 for what purchasing records describe as “Copies of Barack Obama’s book in Turkish.”

In March, the U.S. Embassy in Paris spent more than $8,300 for French language copies of “Dreams From My Father.” The embassy also spent more than $11,600 for French language copies of Mr. Obama’s children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing,” though any royalties he receives for purchases of that children’s book will be donated to charity, according to Mr. Obama’s financial disclosure forms.

Mr. Obama has earned far more writing books than he has earned holding government office. He reported from $1 million to $5 million in royalties in 2010 for “Dreams From My Father,” and between $100,001 and $1 million in royalties for “The Audacity of Hope.”

If he earned 10 percent royalties on roughly $60,000 in purchases of his books by the State Department, excluding the children’s book, he could expect to pocket $6,000. It’s a tiny slice of Mr. Obama’s overall earnings, though still a sizable chunk to most Americans, whose median household income in 2009 was just over $50,000.

According to financial-disclosure forms, Mr. Obama earns royalties of 15 percent of the U.S. price for hardcover sales for “The Audacity of Hope” and 7.5 percent for trade paperback book sales. He reported between $100,001 and $1 million in royalties for “The Audacity of Hope.”

Mr. Obama’s and first lady Michelle Obama’s joint 2010 tax return showed overall income of just under $1.8 million, with more than $240,000 donated to charity. The Obamas reported about $1.5 million from book-related income. Overall, they donated about 14 percent of their income to charity.

Royalties for Mr. Obama’s children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing” are being donated to the Fisher House Foundation for a scholarship fund for children of fallen and disabled soldiers, disclosure forms show.

Mr. Obama also has a deal to write another book after his presidency.

The worst thing about these books is that Obama hadn’t accomplished a dang-blasted thing when he wrote them.  If he wasn’t a dishonest slimeball, the least he could have done was wait until his presidency was over – and people NOT beholden to him could select his book – and he could embellish upon all the things he really didn’t do after the fact.

As it is, this is just one more example of a dishonest crony capitalist mutual back-scratching session, with the people who personally benefitted from Obama returning the favor.

Advertisements

Jeremiah Wright Follows in the Footsteps of Marxist Leaders

April 19, 2008

When you read about “liberation theology,” you swiftly discover that it has deep roots in Marxist thought. When you read about liberation theology, you quickly see that the “redistribution of wealth” is a central pillar of the movement. And, when you read about “black liberation theology,” you find out that the typical class distinction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie is extended to include the race distinction between the blacks and the whites.

The problem with Marxism from the outset has always been that the beatific potrait of a classless society – with the evil bourgeoisie purged from its ranks – has in actual reality never amounted to more than a sick joke. When we looked at how Stalin and his Communist Party hierarchy lived in relation to the poor, simple proletariat in the U.S.S.R., or whether we looked at how Mao Tse Tung and his Communist party hierarchy lived in relation to the poor, simple proletariat in the People’s Republic of China, we saw the same rampant, arrogant, hypocritical corruption and oppression.

And – of course – the oppressor class of rich, wealthy bourgeoisie was immediately replaced by an oppressor class of rich, wealthy Marxists who swiftly employed levels of brutality and control that dwarfed the wildest imaginings of any political system that had come before. In the name of “the people,” a State system whose leaders lived unimaginably more luxurious lives than those in whose names they ruled engaged in campaigns of disinformation and brutal terror to keep “the people” under their abject dominion.

It didn’t matter where you turned – Kim Jung Il’s North Korea or Fidel Castro’s Cuba – it was invariably the same thing. Marxism had a perfect track record. The leaders of Marxism preached an idyllic “Absurdity of Hope”-style message promising “change” as the policies of the redistribution of wealth took root thoughout the society. But all the while, they were in fact hoarding that wealth for themselves even as they demonized economic and political systems that were in fact far superior to Marxism in producing and providing economic benefit for the poor.

So now we turn to Jeremiah Wright, who has been an advocate of black liberation theology throughout his 35 year-plus tenure at Trinity United Church of Christ. For all those years, he railed against white greed, and the oppressive white society that oppressed the poor class of blacks and usurped its wealth for themselves. He implemented a black value system that included a “Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness.”

And now – just like Joseph Stalin, just like Mao Tse Tung, just like Pol Pot, just like Fidel Castro, just like Kim Jung Il and his father before him, just like so many Marxists leaders – Jeremiah Wright gets to enjoy his moment when he lavishly lives just like the people he spent his life demonizing.

Jeremiah Wright gets to live large, just like all the Marxist leaders who came before him.

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is retiring to a 10,000 square foot, $1.6 million home on the fairway of high-class Tinley Park, courtesy of his loving flock. And the same loving flock has provided him with a $10 million line of church credit to live on.
http://www.slate.com/id/2188414/

The gated country club community, by the way, consists an elite population consisting of 98% lilly white rich people.

Now, I am perfectly willing to admit that I may be the only human being on the face of the planet who thinks he sees massive hypocrisy here.  But somehow I just don’t interpret “Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness” to mean, “Bypass middleclassness altogether and go straight for filthy rich.”

Jeremiah Wright spent his career screaming for a massive redistribution of wealth. And he got one: from all the families of the mostly poor black congregation to his own wealthy estate on a nearly all white country club. He railed for black separatism under a black value system. But it appears that his black value system simply doesn’t suit him any more.

Had Reverend Wright NOT embraced black liberation theology, there would have been nothing wrong with his retiring to such wealth. But when you become the very thing you rail against and urge others to abandon, you become the very definition of “hypocrite.”

This doesn’t in any way directly condemn Senator Barack Obama, of course, other than to point out just how flawed his judgment truly was in aligning himself with a man like Jeremiah Wright, and to raise the legitimate question as to whether Obama’s own “Audacity of Hope” message is as hypocritical and self-serving as the man who was the source of that message turned out to be.

Obama’s ‘Cling to Religion’ Remark Reveals Marxist Worldview

April 15, 2008

What should we make of Barack Obama as we evaluate him as a potential president of the United States?

In a previous article (Jeremiah Wright As Barack Obama’s Political Albatross), I explained the profound connection between the “black liberation theology” of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the “liberation theology” that emerged from Latin America in the early 1970s. The former is a branch from the tree of the latter, and the roots of liberation theology are Marxist to the core.

When the Marxist Sandinistas wanted to spread revolution to Nicaragua – which was well over 90% Roman Catholic – they realized that they had to enlist the cooperation of the Catholic clergy if they wanted to have any hope of installing a Marxist regime. To this end, a small group of Marxist-Catholic theologians concocted the combination of carefully selected teachings of Jesus with the teachings of Marx as a way of justifying violent revolution to overthrow capitalism and any government that supported it.

These “liberation theologians” saw every biblical criticism of the rich as a mandate to “expropriate from the expropriators” (in Marx’s words), and viewed every expression of compassion for the poor as a call for an uprising by proletariat peasants and workers against capitalist oppression. Rather than viewing Marxism through the lens of Christianity, they viewed Christianity through the lens of Marxism. As early as 1972 (the same year Jeremiah Wright came to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago), the Catholic Church (at the 1972 Sucre CELAM conference) was officially repudiating this new theology as heresy.

John Paul II criticized liberation theology at the 1979 Puebla CELAM conference, saying, “this conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms.” Former Cardinal Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict XVI – strongly opposed certain elements of liberation theology. Through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Ratzinger, the Vatican twice condemned the liberationist acceptance of Marxism and violence (first in 1984 and again in 1986).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberation_theology

Black liberation theology does little more than particularize the Marxist doctrine of class struggle specifically to blacks.

So from the point of view of orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic teaching, black liberation theology is simply the poisonous fruit from a poisonous tree. Elements of liberation theology are partially true, but as is the case so often, these partial truths amount to complete lies when they are stripped of their context and bundled in a package of Marxist dialectic.

When revelations of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-American remarks first began to surface, Democratic supporters of Barack Obama quickly claimed that these were just a few comments that were taken out of context. But when one considers black liberation theology, and when one listens to the words of numerous other black liberation theology theologians, this defense quickly becomes untenable.

When Jeremiah Wright talked about “white greed” in his now-famous “Audacity of Hope” message, he was perfectly expounding on black liberation thought. When he claimed that white America deliberately created the AIDS virus as a genocide against blacks, he was accurately exegeting black liberation ideology of class based warfare against the oppressed black class. Or, expressed negatively, when he said that anti-crack cocaine penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, how was that in any way contrary to his central theological beliefs? When Wright denounced Israel as a Zionist state that imposed “injustice and … racism” on Palestinians, how was this not in perfect accord with his theology? When Wright railed against “AmeriKKKa” in his sermons, just how was that contrary to black liberation thought? And when Wright lectured American society that it deserved 9/11, was this in any way out of bounds with either the teachings of black liberation theologians or the Marxism from which they derived their message?

John Perazzo put it this way: “When we read the writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright, we quickly notice his unmistakable conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustices that make life very difficult for black people. As he declared in one of his sermons: “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!… We [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.””
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=c19d4d91-618e-40d3-a5d9-c07d7a87a5ba

Given Wright’s profound hostility for both the U.S. and Israel, is it in any way surprising that he so very publicly embraced and acclaimed the virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan? Jeremiah Wright says, “When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens.” I point this out to ask this: why on earth would Rev. Wright even make such a statement unless he thought Black America should listen to Farrakhan, a documented anti-American racist?

For his part, the very recently retired Rev. Jeremiah Wright himself laid to rest any claim that he really didn’t mean what the hateful explosions taken from his sermons seemed to mean. The Reverend came back from a visit to Africa that conveniently removed him from the media spotlight (and demonstrated why Barack Obama probably wishes he’d stayed in Africa) and performed a marriage ceremony at Trinity United Church. He could have just conducted a simple wedding ceremony, but he chose not to. He could have acknowledged how wrong and hurtful his words have been, but he chose not to. He could have attempted to claim that what appeared to be such hateful words had been somehow taken out of context, but he chose not to. Rather, at a sacred ceremony celebrating the union of a man and a wife, the same pastor who had similarly joined in matrimony the hands of Barack and Michelle Obama once again used his pulpit as a platform to angrily blast away at those who had exposed his message.

What does any of this have to do with Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama? Nothing, if you listen to the spin of Obama supporters. Senator Obama always managed to be consistently and conveniently absent whenever these statements – and however many like them – rang through Trinity United Church, and, besides, you can’t convict Barack Obama with guilt by association. Barack Obama hasn’t said anything like this, after all.

Well, not so fast.

It simply stretches credulity to believe that Barack Obama never heard a hateful word come out of Jeremiah Wright’s mouth during his twenty years in the church.

In his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Obama in his own words recalled his first meeting with Wright in 1985 in vivid detail. The pastor warned the young, politically ambitious, up-and-coming community activist that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. In other words, he was warned from the get-go.

John Perazo writes, “American voters ought to have more than a passing interest in the fact that when Barack Obama formally joined TUCC in 1991, he tacitly accepted this same Jeremiah Wright as a spiritual mentor. Moreover, he pledged allegiance to the church’s race-conscious “Black Value System” that encourages blacks to patronize black-only businesses, support black leaders, and avoid becoming “entrapped” by the pursuit of a “black middle-classness” whose ideals presumably would erode their sense of African identity and render them “captive” to white culture.”

Both the title of Obama’s second book, The Audacity of Hope, and the theme for his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 came right out of Wright’s sermons. “If you want to understand where Barack gets his feeling and rhetoric from,” says the Rev. Jim Wallis, a leader of the religious left who knows both men, “just look at Jeremiah Wright.”

But none of his core theology? None of his ideas or beliefs? Preposterous.

It is frankly impossible not to see the profound impact Jeremiah Wright has had on Barack Obama. Their relationship – and Wright’s influence – goes far deeper than the surface realities that Rev. Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their children.

We have already heard Wright’s poison come out of the mouth of Michelle Obama. Her expression of her lack of pride in her country throughout her adult life, and her comment that “America is a mean place in 2008,” could have come right out of her pastor’s mouth. Her feelings are certainly incongruous with her own privileged history as a Princeton University graduate or her high-paying position with a hospital in Chicago, to say the least.

But what about Barack Obama?

A lot of the connections between Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama are carefully camoflaged by Obama’s polished rhetoric to avoid the overt bitterness and racism of his mentor while retaining Wright’s substance. For example, in his “Audacity of Hope” message, Jeremiah Wright railed against “white greed.” Barack Obama’s message is, “The biggest problem facing America is greed.” Now, Senator Obama, are you referring to the greed of poor, oppressed blacks, or to the white greed that your pastor talked about in that sermon that inspired your book? Senator?

But now we’ve got a naked expression of black liberation theology Marxism revealed in all its polished prose.

“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiments as a way to explain their frustrations,” Obama said at an April 6 fundraiser in San Fransisco.

Hillary Clinton immediately pounced on the “elitism and condescension” of Obama’smessage (and c’mon, it’s just not every day someone with $150 million gets to say stuff like this and mean it!). And, yeah, it sure is those things, being that it is a message explaining to wealthy liberal San Fransiscans the uncomprehending stupidity of white working class Pennsylvanians, who can only dully cling to guns and religion the way a frightened child might cling to a teddy bear.

Some analysts picked up on the “bitter” part of the explanation. Others picked up on the “cling” part.

I want to make sure you pick up on the Marxist part.

Karl Marx famously claimed that religion was an opiate of the masses. He was explaining his view that the wealthy bourgeoise cynically used religion as a device to keep the poor, simple proletariat happy in their misery and squalor so they would find it immoral to rise up and overthrow their capitalists oppressors.

Immediatly after the flareup over his remarks, Barack Obama, speaking from Muncie, Indiana on April 12, said, “I said something that everybody knows is true, which is that there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my hometown in Illinois, who are bitter.

“So I said well you know when you’re bitter you turn to what you can count on. So people they vote about guns, or they take comfort from their faith and their family and their community.”

Well, I would agree that everyone who views the world through the Marxist perception of liberation theology, dialectic materialism, and religion-as-opiate, might know that it’s true. But everyone else should frankly have a lot of problems with Obama’s views.

I also noticed that on this second go-around, Senator Obama didn’t add his “antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiments” remarks to his revised list of “what [working class Pennsylvanians] can count on.” Adding those little items to the security provided by religious belief and the right to bear arms somehow just doesn’t sound as good, does it?

At the CNN “Compassion Forum” on April 13, Obama explained that “Religion is a bulwark, a foundation, when other things aren’t going well.” Okay. Just as long as we don’t think that religion actually reflects simple reality, or that people are religious because there is a Creator God who cares about us and has a plan for our lives. Thank God (well, er, thank the liberal equivalent of God, anyway) that Barack Obama isn’t one of those “fundamentalists,” right, San Fransisco? Otherwise, he might oppose abortion and the homosexual social agenda.

Eventually, the crushing impact of the poll numbers – which now have Senator Hillary Clinton up by 20 points in Pennsylvania – will force Senator Obama to do a better job of distancing himself from his formerly expressed views. Just as with the previous firestorm over the Rev. Wright’s hate-speech, the Obama campaign seems to be progressing from a casual dismissal, to a few casual words of dismissive explanation, to a half-hearted apology, and – if all else fails – to a full-blown speech. Only this time, it will be his very own words that are at issue.