Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Barack Obama versus John McCain--History in the Making in America the Corrigible

Ethan Zuckerman (My Heart's in Accra) points to a really cool map of the Political Blogosphere. I'm gonna be using it extensively to monitor the upcoming US Presidential Election, which promises to be a humdinger.

Click on the image to go to the map website live. It helps to read the Hints Notice.

RICHARD FERNANDEZ ("Wretchard") of the Belmont Club has moved into Pajamas Media. Update your blogrolls y'all!
I'm glad the race has settled down to a clear choice between the two strongest candidates from both parties. Hang on to your hats, folks!
SMART Telecommunications has won an award: Mobile Operator of the Year. You bet. They are also the biggest covert contributor to the See Pee Pee En Pee Ay, which extorts ransom money from it by holding its cell sites hostage. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan has learned how to make this "livelihood project" work.

GOOSH! How I miss my LSI 11/23 Digital Equipment Corp. and its VT100 dumb terminal. After 30 years, my fingers still have a latent memory of the ole KED keypad editor. (If you understand and empathize with this, you gotta be old like me!)


Equalizer said...

I hope the American voter will disregard age and race differences of the two candidates and instead concentrate on the policy differences on key issues (Iraq,economy,health care,etc.)

DJB Rizalist said...

John McCain has challenged Barack Obama to TEN debates between now and the election. I'd love for that to happen though most pundits are predicting three or four. I'm looking forward to that. Plus with the blogosphere this could be the first "global" election, if you know what I mean. Seems like every human being on the planet has a stake in the outcome. It's that historic and crucial IMO.

Bren said...

...one of the biggest names in USA Christian evangelical movement, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

"... He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

Dobson reserved some of his harshest criticism for Obama's argument that the religiously motivated must frame debates over issues like abortion not just in their own religion's terms but in arguments accessible to all people.

He said Obama, who supports abortion rights, is trying to govern by the "lowest common denominator of morality," labeling it "a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

"Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies?" Dobson said. "What he's trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe."

blackshama said...

If Benedict XVI is Gloria Olivae before the last pope Petrus Romanus and the End of the Papacy, is Barack Obama be the Gloria Olivae of the United States of America, in which you DJB was born into? Who will be your Petrus Washingtonianus and the End of your Imperial Presidency? Hillary on her second wind?

Based on the comments of some of the readers, it seems Obama has become a sort of Gloria Olivae,trying to bring back a sort of Camelot, like Benedict is doing to the Roman Church.

Nonetheless, it is CPP-NPA, DJB and if you were an alumnus of the great National University of the Philippines and had attended the centennial homecoming at the Big Dome you may have been treated to the best joke of the gig.

Winnie Monsod, the emcee of the festivities revealed that Jose Ma Sison was an active member of the UP Drama Club.

Her co-host Orly Mercado replied "so what?"

Monsod riposted "He should have remained there [the Drama Club]"

That brought down the Big Dome! It is an Iskolar ng Bayan private joke if the our non UP alum friends can't get it.

So you know why the Utrecht Revolutionist is limited to knocking down Capitalist cell sites.

DJB could lead the charge to knock down Communist cell sites!

First invade Utrecht!

DJB Rizalist said...


We are a Christian nation with a secular Constitution. Everyone has a right to fight for what he or she believes. That must never change. Yet America has always changed, grown and evolved. She could not have survived her own greatest faults otherwise, nor gained her supernal strength. IMO, her greatest strength is her corrigibiity. Whether "change we can believe in" or "the right change", change we must! Now more than ever.

DJB Rizalist said...

I'm staying put. Things are getting rough out there in the real world! Let Youth be wasted on the young. Benedict has his work cut out for him. So does Obama. So does McCain. it's gonna be a battle of the Titans. Bring it on!

Marcus Aurelius said...


Too late. Obama is pre-emptively accusing the GOP and its supporters of attacking him based on race. In fact, there is a fear if Obama gets into office that any opposition to any of his initiatives will axiomatically and reflexively be labeled as based in racism rather than in principal.

If Barak loses, then the only possible reason the left will come up with is going to be because the voters are racist. I think it silly but reflexes are hard to control. This nation is ready to vote for the right minority, heck early on I was hoping Condeleeza Rice would run (John Marzan are you reading this?) and back in 2000 I voted for Alan Keyes in our primary.

I have seen this sort of thing close up. My father refers to Barak as Baclava and a buddy who is a Dem informs my Dad the nickname is racist.

DJB Rizalist said...

marcus aurelius,

fortunately the race is between obama and mccain, not your father and his friend. but what any pair of voters are saying, doing and thinking is indirectly indicative of the main race. Now of course a "baclava" is a very sweet but airy and hollow Middle Eastern confection that looks brown on the outside but is white on the inside. I guess it's an interesting continuation of various such comparisons. I remember "banana" used to describe Chinese who are yellow on the outside, white inside, apples are for American indios who are red on the outside and white on the inside, coconuts for Pinoy-Americans similarly double shaded, etc. the context in which these comparisons were usually made were not however "racist" as such, but political. Left-leaning activists in the sixties usually applied it to former comrades who refused to play into racial stereotypes or seemed to be rejecting the "party line", which did often turn out to be "reverse racist".

What makes Barack Obama a most interesting case of course is that he is strictly speaking a mestizo as everyone knows being the son of black man and a white woman.

How this might inform the debate between your father and his friend would be interesting to hear about further as the uhmm, race develops.

Words cannot in and of themselves be racist, but no doubt "baclava" is a loaded term, expressing perhaps an honest and rather sophisticated criticism of Obama.

Amadeo said...

When 90% and better of your default constituency (based on ethnicity) will in cadence and certainty vote for you every time, then race is a big factor in those races (contests). Thus, like it or not, race will be a factor in the coming fall election.

At least with Asians overall, voting is typically 50-50 between the two opposing sides.

And to get more acquainted with an otherwise unknown Barack Obama, it is suggested to visit regularly the trio at Powerline.com, who with very little reservations have made it their mission to scrutinize Barack, not based on race but on issues and public pronouncements, and records that can be ascertained and verified.

DJB Rizalist said...

they are both fascinating men, both patriotic Americans. (Of that I have no doubt.) For the first time in a long time i feel like participating in a US election because it will definitely be a race of policy and ideas in which the future course of the whole country will hang.

Amadeo said...


Consider me very jaded and very cynical, when I declare that it will take more than honeyed or angry words and ideas to convince me not only of the patriotism, but the overall character of a politician, any politician.

What they have done in their recent past, however big or little, counts more compared to all the rhetoric that is being thrown around during these campaigns. Remember most of the current rhetoric is now coming from the formidable cadre of supposedly astute people advising the candidates, collectively called the campaign. Not necessarily reflective of the acquired beliefs and core values of the candidates themselves.

Amadeo said...

BTW, as late as the late 80's, we were still using mini-computers with perpetually rotating circular disks to which were attached dumb terminals.

So tech age has no direct correlation with human age, except that the former ages exponentially.

DJB Rizalist said...

well obama's young and mccain is old. there is a natural difference that is neither man's fault or failing. of course record counts, but for me ideas, intentions and comprehension of the problems facing America are gonna count more in deciding who the best man is for that job. Many have already decided, but I think the race in some ways has not yet begun. They must go toe to toe and eye to eye. I want to see who is both stronger and wiser in that confrontation.

Amadeo said...

Dean, you make some charitable assumptions in this forthcoming election.

You assume that debates, regardless how free-wheeling or extemporaneous as promoted, can be had without the participants already fully armed with talking points devised and perfected by a cadre of high-powered advisers on any possible topics under the sun. Gone are the days of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, or maybe even the Kennedy-Nixon encounters.

We learned from the recently concluded but much lamented protracted Democratic primaries how even the best scripted and well rehearsed positions coming from say, the well-oiled Clinton campaign will at times invariably and unwittingly reveal unintended or overlooked chinks during unguarded moments. Obama was and is no exception. Thus, it serves everyone better to turn to other sources when trying to discern truly the candidates who offer themselves for public office.

And thus, too, it becomes necessary to look back at their records and associations to discern the real personalities behind each candidate, stripped of the blessed aura now invested by the media and other partial sources to their favorite candidates.

DJB Rizalist said...


I agree with examining the record and past statements and positions. But we must remember neither man has held this office before, nor has a moment in history like this arrived in our lifetimes, nor in the lifetime of the nation. When we look at the long history of America it begins in a past state of affairs that would be completely unacceptable to us in the present day, yet its founding conceptions were strong and dynamic and endowed her with evolutionary powers unseen in any other polity. Corrigibility has been America's saving grace.

Thus, call me a racist or what, but someday, someday, America must evolve even further and have a leader that IS black, that IS from a race enslaved and oppressed, then liberated and made equal, fulfilling the great promise of the Declaration of Independence. For though we have emancipation for blacks, America itself, and thus humanity must emancipate itself from the mental illness that is racism.

All I am trying to do now is to determine if that day has arrived in the man called Barack Obama.

Issues like the economy and national security are also crucial, but in that "patriotism" is the essential threshold. beyond that the two men must grapple with factors that are beyond character and ideology.

The matter of race is a matter of the character of the American people itself.

Amadeo said...

Sorry, Dean, that I do not see this coming election as profoundly and prophetically as you do. I see it as nothing more than another transition from one administration to another. Though I grant that the overall global situation is one of upheavals – politically, economically, socially, religiously, etc.

But does it require a Messiah, or one of Messianic proportions, to right things up?

Though I would declare it significant because of my seeing how easily the American electorate, a significant portion of it anyway, has now latched on mesmerized by an almost messianic candidacy of a virtual unknown, drummed up by well-chosen rhetoric and grand displays of shallow virtues.

I see this in the streaming results of incessant polling and the overall temperature of the US blogosphere.

And this is where my fears lie. Is the electorate collectively being assiduously lolled and led to some kind of promised land envisioned by this oratorically-gifted candidate? With no specific details or programs provided, or if vaguely provided, with no real bases in history and fact?

And unfortunately, one is now seeing that they US electorate is as pliable as any in the world.

DJB Rizalist said...

I must admit, I'm a sucker for oratory and rhetoric. But my standards, (I sometimes delude myself into thinking) are pretty darn high, and my personal situation is too comfortable, too secure in how I've led my life and ordered my mind, to be easily swayed by the shallow or the mediocre. However, there is enough humility left in me, or not yet enough hubris, to know when I encounter personalities, hearts, minds that are superior to mine own. I guess it was the experience of John F. Kennedy, and the great thoughts of the greatest minds in history that's bred a kind of connoisseurship ever searching for the arrival, not of Messiah, for I can save myself, but of genius, whether political, or mathematical or scientific to inspire men, including myself to greater heights and deeper insights. It's the love of rare wine only infrequently tasted that preps my palate. I must admit, I am intrigued by the complex palette of smells, colors, thoughts that Barack Obama awakens in me and many. I'm rolling him around my tongue and trying to wrap my mind around his stated thoughts. We shall see...we shall see, I'm a careful and thorough taster...

Richard said...

"I must admit, I am intrigued by the complex palette of smells, colors, thoughts that Barack Obama awakens in me and many. I'm rolling him around my tongue and trying to wrap my mind around his stated thoughts. We shall see...we shall see, I'm a careful and thorough taster..."

That was a very emotional paragraph, DJB. Well, as I've said before, the reality is there to see, for those who want to look at it...I think your eyes are distracted by the many beautiful colors though...as have so many others in the sad history of the human race...amadeo is right.

Marcus Aurelius said...


The name as you see it would be used by the likes of the LA Times or Sharpton, those with a crab mentality those who believe Barak not an authentic African American, which does not apply to my father.

FWIW, I refer to Barak as the JFK Lama as the left views him as the reincarnation of JFK and it appears you do too. However, compare the policy ideals of JFK with Barak and the modern Democratic party and one will not the reincarnation is based solely on the Camelot myth – only on wafer thin appearances.

DJB Rizalist said...

I think it's okay for people to use names and epithets that describe what they don't like about a given candidate, and we see the phenomenon on both sides. I'm sure each man is a big boy and can easily take anything. I found "baclava" to be creative and expressive if one honestly thinks Obama to be sweet but hollow, airy and crumbly. As a politician he is fair game for such name-calling, so that if they don't really mind it, neither should I. Moreover, both men are not perfect, both have flaws that both their supporters and detractors rightly perceive along with their strengths.

However as a voter I will judge both men primarily on their own merits and demerits, not necessarily what others say about them in a few syllables.

I've also decided that BOTH men love America and both are patriotic enough that I cannot disqualify either one on this metric alone. I decided much earlier, that John McCain already qualified on that score, and only recently decided that Barack Obama also qualifies on this criterion after carefully listening to several of his speeches as well as books, looking at his record. Like many voters I did not know anything about Barack Obama before he came to this historic enterprise.

I'm excited about the election because it is the first one in a long time when the two choices are so close together on my private score sheet that it is coming down to an intellectual rather than an emotional or gut feel choice.

All these factors will go into deciding who will make the better leader for the American people for the next four years.

I don't think the comparison can fairly be made until they come toe to toe and eye to eye in those upcoming debates.

As for the comparison to JFK, I don't believe in reincarnation. But like JFK it cannot be denied that Barack Obama has inspired a new generation of Americans to get involved in politics, because of his charisma and rhetorical skills, as well as the substance of his ideas. That is leadership too and cannot be ignored when one confronts the question of Can he actually lead the nation going forward?| It is a question I will certainly ask of John McCain too.

Marcus Aurelius said...


Actually, your last interpretation of baclava is probably a lot closer, but even that I don't credit my father for. Just a play on the first name.

Willy Galang wrote about the rise of the JFK Lama some months ago and he relates a story of a friend living in Chicago who was unaware of Barak and what at the time when the nomination was still a truly open question. She got wise quick and hissed American would never elect that man.

Willy was astonished and attributed racist motives to his friend (http://williegalang.com/2008/02/21/someone_once_told_me), but I said no, its most likely his friend holds America is irredeemably racist.

Quite frankly, DJB, I am rather surprised this is close for you. I generally ascribe conservative believes and positions to you and your writings here, I am quite surprised you have not already made up your mind about Obama.

I don't doubt Obama's dedication to the nation, I doubt though the dedication of those around him, those who are going to be the ones he gets his advice from. A guy I knew was going to vote for "none of the above" in the last election (i.e. Libertarians or Green or some such), but our boss convinced him to vote GOP by reminding him of the likely make up of the cabinet under Kerry.

As far as the JFK thing goes, I find it an incredible thing to behold. Its rather ironic how the JFK Profiles award is now often handed out to those who are in opposition to the actual policies JFK pursued, but he is – their pretty boy.

DJB Rizalist said...

As I said before, it is Barack Obama and John McCain who are running for office. Neither can run that office alone as you point out, but I don't accept the suggestion that they are puppets of those who surround them, or to put it more kindly, that they are somehow defined by such company. Certainly not these two men.

Frankly John McCain comes off to me as more "liberal" than Obama in certain respects, though I suspect they share more things in common than is apparent at this stage of the race.

On the "JFK thing" I guess you did not live through the JFK era?

Marcus Aurelius said...

WRT to Obama being or not being a puppet. I make no such claim.

You know, Obama was in Ohio telling voters we were going to pull out of NAFTA or at least renegotiate it because Canada was getting a real sweet deal at the expense of the American worker. He was hammering on that theme. Then what happens?

One of his advisers gets caught delivering a "sly wink" to the Canadians re the NAFTA talk. So what to believe? The rhetoric from Obama or the sly-wink a top adviser? Obama may be (I certainly hope note) the president in the future, and the black ink on white paper gives him the authority to direct many things in our Federal government but that does not mean his directives are heeded.

As far as your comments on McCain, alas, that is true. The American Conservative is not at all happy voting for McCain, fortunately for McCain some recent supreme court decisions remind us why getting him into office is very important.

As far as the JFK era, nope missed it by like five-six years or so. Still, it seems to me in today's Democratic party he would be treated roughly the same as Joe Lieberman.

Did you get the news about all the rain and flooding we have had? Pewaukee was one of those localities hit hard by it. Up here in Appleton it was not too bad, Oshkosh seemed to form the north border of the real bad rain. There is some YouTube videos of Lake Delton in Wisconsin Dells draining into the Wisconsin River through a breach in a land bank, took some real huge homes away like they were twigs.