October 9, 2008

Building the perfect beast?

The charge of having one’s memoir molded into literary shape by an unrepentant domestic terrorist (now “education reformer” and “former radical,” if you believe the spin doctors and the media sycophants, many of whom likely fantasize about “hitting the streets,” fighting the “Pigs,” and plunging their peckers vicariously into an earthy, hairy-pitted Bernadine Dohrn, circa 1970) is a serious one — and I do not wish to present the accusation lightly.

Nevertheless, we already know that one member of the Obama/Biden ticket has a tendency toward plagiarism; so it would be no great leap to find out that the principal — in addition to having his political coming out launched by Bill Ayers, might have had help, also, shaping the narrative and story that has, since its publication in a pair of memoirs, created the public persona of “Barack Obama.”

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, literary “detectives” recently discovered, was in fact a carefully constructed piece edited and labored over to give it the appearance of a free-flowing bit of extemporaneous observation and insight. And of course, such literary technique is hardly new — or even in any way disreputable: successful stream of consciousness fiction is perhaps the most carefully constructed of all imaginative fiction, relying for its power on giving the perception of the thought process rendered in words, without mimicking the thought process in any but the most conventional and superficial ways (compare its output to, eg., “free writing”). The genre is, in a sense, self-enclosed and self-fulfilling — a celebration of a particular technique that simulates a referent that is, when all is said and done, nothing more than itself.

Which is why when I talk of Obama’s memoirs, I place “Barack Obama” as literary construct in quotation marks: there is, in any verbal recounting, necessary recourse to narrative technique and tropes — so it is hardly controversial to separate Barack Obama from “Barack Obama” as he exists in words alone.

Where the interest lies is at the point of agency and authorship. For if Bill Ayers has indeed ghostwritten at least portions of Barack Obama’s memoirs, as some are alleging, then it is fair to say that the “Barack Obama” of those memoirs is more even than a construct: he is at least partially a fictional character, given that it is “his” words that ostensibly create “him” — making it follow that, if the words creating him are not his own, then “he” is really a kind of living literary portmanteau, a blend of influences, an ontological hybrid insofar as he exists publicly.

To be clear, there is a gradation of difference between the “narrativized” and slightly fictionalized version of “oneself” that is the inevitable product of writing in the genre of memoir or autobiography, and the narrativized and slightly fictionalized version that is the product of a ghostwritten piece. And that difference occurs on the level of the language used to create the “oneself” construct.

If the charges are true, and Obama’s memoirs were in fact written by Bill Ayers, at least in part, than it is clear that at least in part, Barack Obama is a creation of Bill Ayers, not with respect to the historical events of Obama’s life, but with respect to how those events are presented, and how the presentation itself speaks to the “person” doing the presenting.

On that meta level, “Obama,” as we’ve come to know him through his memoirs, is more Ayers than he is Obama. Because from the perspective of “literariness” (if such a thing can be said to exist), the presentation is equally as important as the presented.

Meaning that Obama’s ties to Ayers go even deeper than we’ve previously surmised. Because if true, these revelations over authorship strongly suggest that Ayers is, in a very real sense, “Obama’s” creator.

(h/t urthshu and SarahW)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:32am
125 comments | Trackback

Comments (125)

  1. Ya know, the folks who are going to go the most ballistic over this idea are the ones who, just a few weeks ago, were quite strident in letting us all know that Sarah Palin didn’t write the speech she gave at the convention.

  2. Baracky is only a brand. Nobody but maybe M’chelle seems to know much beyond that.

  3. This shit just gets creepier and creepier. Really, when is someone going to blow the lid off this in a big way? We’ve got ACORN, the Challenge, Fannie/Freddy/CRA, the Joyce Foundation, astroturfing, Phleger/Wright…what in the hell is going on!?

  4. This is not the “Barack Obama” that I knew

    -Barack Obama

  5. This is really different for America, having the media usher into the presidency somebody of which very little is known. It’s not really in the spirit of that democracy thing I don’t think.

  6. Trope a Dope.

  7. I guess that’s why he wrote two autobiographies in the first place. It was like he knew he would need some backfill handy.

  8. then it is fair to say that the “Barack Obama” of those memoirs is more even than a construct: he is at least partially a fictional character, given that it is “his” words that ostensibly create “him”

    This gave me the creeps because it is so true. What will a manufactured entity do with the power of the presidency, especially when contemporary leftist perceptions of reality are heavily dolloped with fantasy to begin with?

  9. “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent”

    thanks for the h/t, Jeff

  10. ooh. html

  11. Yeah, so what if I wrote that first book over a bottle of Linomcello and a quarter bag?

    Guilty as hell, free as a bird, only in America.

    Neener-neener-nah-nah!

  12. What’s really off-putting is you can’t leave the analysis there. Baracky might could just be a stalking horse for McCain. McCain was ushered too. Baracky’s defeat is just as useful as his victory would be to these media people and their narrative.

    Nobody has said anything yet about how the Bradley Effect gives pollsters like Gallup de facto immunity. I haven’t seen it anyway.

    I think I might have toasty raisin bread for breakfast.

  13. I love this stuff. Just sayin’.

    This revelation, if true, that Obama is partially a fictional character, will most likely not be a problem for his avid supporters. They will be able to dismiss it as fake but accurate. As you and many others have said, Obama is an empty vessel onto which his supporters project their hopes and dreams for a perfect world. It wouldn’t matter to them if the Obama character in the books were completely fictional, for the same reason.

    But must of us already know that, I think. Right now the fight is for the “undecideds,” whoever the hell they are. I have my doubts that this will get picked up by anyone other than FauxNewz, but it has to be put out there anyway so at least some will see it and perhaps pass it on.

  14. I hate this stuff. It’s wrong and soul-crushing in its way I think. Americans aren’t supposed to have to ever think stuff like this.

  15. So he’s a character in a political version of Dungeons and Dragons?
    Someone might explain how this dude always makes his saving throws.

  16. If “Dreams of My Father” was ghostwritten, what about “Audacity of Hope”? Does the style of the two suggest different authors, same author?

  17. It reminds me of this for some reason.

    Her typical breakfast consists of toast, fruit and bacon. Indeed, “We’re bacon eaters,” she said of herself and her husband, Barack Obama.*

    What the fuck have we come to when you have to contrive a we loves the bacon nope no muslims here set piece with a bunch of idiot bitches on daytime tv?

  18. What else don’t we know about the would be prez?

  19. I’m reluctant to give credence to this; as I have been burned in the past, by playing the WND and Newsmax cards. Corroboration would be welcome, thanks for that Jack Cashill link.

  20. It might be prudent to look to one of Obama’s letters to Hank Paulson urging him to fix the Fannie/Freddie problem:

    Dear Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson of the Treasury,

    What’s going on with the economy? Is it fine? Or is it not fine? From the looks of how the news is acting all panicky, I’d say not fine. Please fix it ASAP.

    Senatorly,

    B. Obama, Esquirt

    Hmm. Nothing to go on here.

  21. I don’t know what the big deal is. Apparently Bill Ayers is just a fine fellow.

    Sampling:

    Actually, Bill Ayers is not a terrorist. He’s a college professor – a Distinguished Professor, actually – at the University of Chicago and one of the nation’s leading education theorists. He’s also a philanthropist and he has a curriculum vitae that is 49 pages long.

    *****And that whole Weather Underground stuff? I’d say it was more of a misunderstanding ….

    So why is the GOP calling William Ayers an unrepentant terrorist? In the late 60’s and early 70’s he, like so many others, had passionate believes about the Vietnam War (a war that, by the way, Vietnam calls the American War). Ayers made the fundamentally flawed mistake of misguided youth that violence is an appropriate response to violence. It wasn’t always that way but rather a slow progression over the years from simple picket-line activism to his leadership in the group the Weathermen (aka WUO). His acts of violence were intended to make a powerful political point and were not directed at human lives.

    So … they weren’t friends, but if they were, well then – so what? There’s nothing wrong with it anyway. Got it?

  22. I do NOT mention this to threadjack anything to an argument about Objectivism, but more and more this campaign and the construction of the Obama mythos reminds me of a theme recurrent with Ayn Rand. When the Fountainhead character of Ellsworth Toohey drops his mask in moments of victory, he treats us repeatedly to the fact that the realm of ideas has been abandoned to people pushing the concept that there is nothing real or concrete. Things are only what we say they are, and when that happens, the only refuge or anchor left is to join the herd. Yet any collectivism will have its rulers, despite what anyone says. Toohey has banked upon being one of the rulers, the Deciders.

    The people inebriated on the poison of Obama don’t see anything wrong here, because they have been taught their whole lives that you can’t trust your own judgment. You have to accomodate the equally subjective feelings of The Other. If Obama is a fiction, why object? Modern society has spent decades educated to believe “critical thinking” consists of distrusting your own judgment and substituting the narrative of those not like yourself, precisely because it is wrong to discriminate. That is, it’s wrong to use your head and say “this is a good thing” and “that is not good.” That would be, uh, judgmental.

    Why wouldn’t many choose fiction over reality? We have seen increasing numbers of movies produced, declaring themselves “based on a true story,” and we all know simultaneously that the last place to look for truth is in a fucking movie. Yet people gobble this stuff up like cotton candy. Or, we have even “non-fiction” like Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” later revealed to be based upon shoddy assertions or outright falsehoods. But the narrative was “good,” so why get upset about the lie?

    My point is the post-modern goal of devaluing any concept of empirical reality, a goal suffusing our education and literature, may be finally coming to a politicial fruition. This, to put it delicately, scares the entrails out of me.

  23. oh, alp, I was waiting for the “check yes or no” you’ve let me down.

  24. Comment by The Sanity Inspector on 10/9 @ 11:12 am

    Agreed. I’m more inclined to think that Ayers was a primary inspiration/source than ghostwriter.

  25. I’ve heard this allegation before, but never from a source I trust, and never with any evidence behind it.

    So I think I’ll pass until there’s some reason to believe it; though Jeff’s analysis of what it would mean if true, does hold if it’s true.

    Happyfeet: I speak widely of my love for bacon, and I’ve got no political reason behind it. Michelle and Barack, I got their backs on the swine, you know?

  26. could you imagine hitting bernadine dohrn circa 1969?
    think on it.

  27. Of course you love the tripe, Wanker-d, you’re a creepishly deluded savant. Horned pinko Satans! Ohnoes!!! Ayers! Dorhn! Fanged rabbits!

    Yours would be the autobiography of a plastic remote control Right-wing talkshow reptile. Don’t think it’s a life worth a book, frankly.

  28. What the fuck have we come to when you have to contrive a we loves the bacon nope no muslims here set piece with a bunch of idiot bitches on daytime tv?

    I don’t see how this conversation helps Michelle’s kids.

  29. Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”

    Which also can be attributed to however many millions of malaria deaths in African because of the cessation of DDT use. False but accurate again.

  30. I don’t see how this conversation helps Michelle’s kids.

    maybe she was fishing for some free bacon. It’s much tastier than fruit.

  31. oh, alp, I was waiting for the “check yes or no” you’ve let me down.

    Time constraints. I’m flesh and bone maggie!

  32. I love the analysis, happyfeet, not the reason that analysis exists. And it’s necessary for the analysis to exist, because progressives are playing the game with relativism as their rule, which means that there really are no rules for them, only pragmatism.

  33. If the allegation is true, of course.

  34. Bill Ayers, the ghost in the machine. Hilarious.

    It is an odd contrast to see, the contrast between the forthrightness of Ayers and Rev Wright on the one hand, cheerfully, proudly, telling the truth about themselves, openly proclaiming their political ideologies to anyone and everyone concerned to know, and on the other hand, B. Obama, scrambling furiously to escape any and every alliance he’s ever had with these same men, hiding his every thought of agreement with them.

    If our minds are in fact a species of wet difference engines with a particularly acute ability to root out falsehoods and charlatans, how interesting that we can overcome the obvious differences between these men, rejecting the men who will tell the truth about themselves and embracing the clear and clever prevaricator.

  35. The author-character who (is) made (by) Dreams is a preposterous golem mashed together from undigested pop-literary and college-conversational junk — other people’s further banalized already-banalities, among them probably Ayers — so who it was(n’t) doesn’t really matter.

    If he’s not the Barack Obama we know, he’s still the “Barack Obama” we know. And vice versa. Because he’s not there — and not in the Ellison-like way some are pushing. He’s not “invisible.” He’s not anybody.

    And, uh, that’s what the book’s about. Only it’s more so — and if not for its unconcealable powermadness, more pitiably so — than it thinks it is.

    The single-bullet giveaway is in that oft-repeated “structural feminists” quote. No one who’s really, intellectually or socially, a radical (or “radical”) — or who can really participate in, or even properly mock, that social code — would invent such a malapropism. It’s signing wrong, desperately.

    People who are somebody — or even inventors of plausible somebodies (e.g., good writers) — don’t do that.

    Ayers is somebody.

    Obama ghostwrote it himself.

    And himself.

    And he did a terrible job.

  36. Interesting theory, but mere word comparison is far from conclusive. There needs to be far greater actual, you know, proof before I give any credence to this.

    It’s suspicious, and I’d like to see the analysis proposed by peterargus performed.

    It could just be that Obama is a product of the execrable university system that Ayers and his intellectual ilk have been running for the last 30 years.

  37. I’m just surprised Rigoberta Menchu wasn’t Obama’s VP choice.

  38. [test]

    [apologies for which]

  39. It could just be that Obama is a product of the execrable university system that Ayers and his intellectual ilk have been running for the last 30 years.

    Unfortunately, so are vast numbers of the American electorate.

  40. I dunno. He gives some of his analysis techniques, like the QSUM, in his writings on the matter. If the analysis is accurate, might could be brought to a knowledgeable person to validate method.

  41. Certainly, Jeff here is very much familiar with auctorial voices and the differences between them, so I value his input on it.

  42. I agree, I’d need to see much more before I accused Obama of anything. This analysis is based off of another’s conclusions, obviously — though the author is an academic and separate from WND, the venue in which the pieces were published.

    So yes, think of this as an analysis of a hypothetical. One thing that struck me was the discussion of nautical tropes — which failed to redouble back to the poem, where apes were fig stomping under the sea.

    At any rate, we’d need other Obama works to compare the books to, and even then, editors tend to smooth things out a bit.

    Still, if one goes merely by the New Left guidebook, something of this sort is not to be dismissed lightly.

  43. Damn. I lost a windy one. Trying again:

    The author-character who (is) made (by) Dreams is a preposterous golem slapped together from pop-literary and college-conversational junk — other people’s further-banalized already-banalities, among them probably Ayers — so who it really, real-life was(n’t) doesn’t matter.

    If it’s not the Barack Obama we know, it’s still the “Barack Obama” we know. And vice versa. Because he’s not there — and not in the Ellison-like sense some are pushing. He’s not “invisible.” He’s not anybody.

    And that’s, uh, what the book is about. But it’s more so — and if not for its unconcealable powermadness, more pitiably so — than it thinks it is.

    The single-bullet giveaway is in that oft-quoted boast of elaborately sought authenticity: “structural feminists.” No one who’s an academic, an intellectual, or a radical (or a “radical” academic intellectual) — and not even anyone who can meaningfully participate in, or even properly mock, that social code — would invent such a malapropism. It’s “signing wrong,” desperately.

    People who are somebody — or inventors of plausible personae (e.g., decent writers) — never do that. And Ayers is somebody.

    Obama ghostwrote it himself.

    And himself.

    And he did a terrible job.

  44. Damn. I lost a windy one. Too many “junk characters,” maybe?

    Last try:

    The author-character who (is) made (by) Dreams is a preposterous golem slapped together from pop-literary and college-conversational junk — other people’s further-banalized already-banalities, among them probably Ayers — so who it really, real-life was(n’t) doesn’t matter.

    If it’s not the Barack Obama we know, it’s still the “Barack Obama” we know. And vice versa. Because he’s not there — and not in the Ellison-like sense some are pushing. He’s not “invisible.” He’s not anybody.

    And that’s, uh, what the book is about. But it’s more so — and if not for its unconcealable powermadness, more pitiably so — than it thinks it is.

    The single-bullet giveaway is in that oft-quoted boast of elaborately sought authenticity: “structural feminists.” No one who’s an academic, an intellectual, or a radical (or a “radical” academic intellectual) — and not even anyone who can meaningfully participate in, or even properly mock, that social code — would invent such a malapropism. It’s “signing wrong,” desperately.

    People who are somebody — or inventors of plausible personae (e.g., decent writers) — never do that. And Ayers is somebody.

    Obama ghostwrote it himself.

    And himself.

    And he did a terrible job.

  45. I denounce… ghosts… who write…

    and, of course, myself.

  46. BAH!

    I give.

  47. If Ayers is the ghost and Obama the shade, we can only conclude RACIST!

  48. Well played, MC.

  49. psycho —

    You were caught in the Spam filter. Should show up now.

  50. psycho, fwiw, I really enjoyed it the second time even more ;)

    I kid, I kid … I know, spam filter.

  51. At any rate, we’d need other Obama works to compare the books to, and even then, editors tend to smooth things out a bit.

    What else has he written? You know how it is, Jeff. If you’ve got literary chops, you write. And write and write and write. Even if you don’t publish, you write. You fill notebooks with literary “sketches” and jot down this and that. You’ve got stories or essays and whatnot stashed away here and there.

    And with the advent of the WWW, which hit the public consciousness around 1995, you slap stuff up there, even if no one reads it.

    Furthermore, if Obama were given to writing, he’d have used that ability to write newspaper editorials, leaflets, etc.

    As everyone’s been saying, we’ll need more proof to say that it’s Ayers. But as for me, I’m convinced that it was ghostwritten by someone.

    If you’re a writer, you write. This stuff doesn’t emerge fully formed like Athena from the forehead of Zeus.

  52. Did BB say he wrote tons of stuff? It just wasn’t attributed to him?

    So, there’s that. heh.

  53. So, how do you sell a hard lefty to Mr. and Mrs. America without alienating the lefty base? Why it takes years of fakery and two memoirs. The far left easily recognizes the code in both books. Obama only pretended to be a radical in college. His Saul Alinsky community organizing was a journey of self discovery. Wright, Pfleger, Ayers–mere political tools. Now Rezko breaks the narrative, but Rezko was necessary because he brought the money.

    Don’t know, and really don’t need to know if Ayer’s ghost wrote anything for Obama. There seem to be a few fingerprints. What’s clear from what Obama has done and who he chose to associate with is that the good Senator reeks of the far left. Pretend lefty or not, he still stinks. Interestingly enough, a CBS reporter covering Obama complained that his campaign plane stunk.

    And yes I know, I’m a racist.

  54. You have to use his middle name, Old Dad.

    One day after Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott sparked a national controversy by referring to Democratic presidential candidate as Barack Hussein Obama, the federal government is investigating a complaint about his remark and members of the local ACLU and NAACP have called for an apology, saying Scott’s action was racist.

  55. Sdferr,

    Well hell, if I’d have known it was that easy, I could have saved a lot of typing.

  56. It’s like the taboo upon pronouncing God’s name, and having to spell it YHWH. It’s blasphemy to say BHO out loud. You may, however, say “The One,” genuflect and make an O sign upon your chest, in the manner of discredited Christians crossing themselves. Careful, Big Barack is watching.

  57. What’s next from the New Right guidebook, Jeff? That Obama didn’t father his daughters?

  58. That Obama didn’t father his daughters?

    It’s been done

  59. We don’t take sloppy seconds from the New Left Handbook, thorazine.

  60. @28

    Just disabled the hammer to see what you’ve been saying. That comment was pretty funny, but the rhythm was a little off. Keep working at it, bucko!

  61. @61

    I don’t know. I thought it was pretty good….and you can dance to it.

  62. This is really creepy, and not knowing enough about the subject I must defer to those who do.

    The nautical stuff is fairly compelling, but as an O! hater I’m biased…

    I’d really like to see a thorough analysis by an acknowledged expert!

  63. What’s next from the New Right guidebook, Jeff? That Obama didn’t father his daughters?

    Unlike you, thor, I don’t follow a guidebook. I think the reason you go out of your way to so tart up the warmed over toxins you have staked your political identity on is that it embarrasses you that you, in fact, do.

  64. Well, just for that, you earned scored yourself a copy of Death On The Installment Plan. It’s a book, not a threat, you below the belt-hitting rubber-and-glue beigeist.

    I got your guide right here, pal.

  65. What, no “Death of a Salesman”?

  66. He’s got the guide in his diaper. He made a poopy, though, so the guide is a bit stinky.

  67. #27 mcgruder:

    Sure – you just get a good Louisville Slu…

    Oh wait. A different type of hit? Only if you run her through a carwash first, and yes the hot wax is not an option but a necessity.

  68. The other strange thing (which I only occasionally notice to remember in the whirlwind of pretend information blasting past us everyday) is that truly, as per pyscho’s inadvertently repeated [but as per Aristotle, two and three times {say} the good things: dis kai tris ta agatha] analysis above, I had all I needed to know about Obama (and therefore to reject him) back when he first started out campaigning in Iowa, delivering the most perfectly empty speeches I have ever heard, his nothingness was immediately clear to anyone who cared to listen to what he had to say and therein, that HE IS NOT.

    His nothingness has not changed, it is still his most salient characteristic. That his nothingness has since been embellished with his scorn for those who are something is actually of little consequence. Still empty.

  69. Oh, there’s consequence.

    You’ll see.

  70. I merely meant consequence to me, and in particular, my view of him. But if there is some wider consequence to him, oh, well then, good, if it proves a negative to his electability and Boo, if a positive.

  71. But then who among us isn’t at least in part a fictional character?

  72. #72 Charlie (Colorado):

    Do you mean fictional as in ‘what I am’ or fictional as ‘what I aspire to be’?
    As Popeye says “I yam what I yam”, but I strive to be better, you know, like Ivanhoe – to do good even if it is the hard road.

    Just know first what force you bow down to before you do that. And that is so hard.

  73. Mostly I just try to not be part of the problem and that’s hard enough I think. My most fictional part is the part where I’m optimistic today. Baracky’s media scares me. Baracky’s media and Baracky and Harry and Nancy could leverage an economic crisis into an America where I would be like no way this is America. You’re kidding. Be real. But it would be for real and it would go on and on and on.

  74. Barack Obama: Just be the problem, be the problem, be the problem. You’re not being the problem happyfeet.
    happyfeet: It’s hard when you’re talking like that.

  75. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more Frodo.

  76. “then” not “than” in the 7th paragraph, or third from last paragraph?

  77. Do you mean fictional as in ‘what I am’ or fictional as ‘what I aspire to be’?

    I would say that the fiction lies at the very least in the assignment of the boundary between the one and the other. At some level and in some degree we all fool ourselves at least a little bit on the question of how close we are to what we wish we were.

  78. Let’s all settle down. We, as a group of PW persons, are taking our leader’s worries seriously, as we should, but also without enough context.

    America, America.

    That’s our country folks, no matter who takes the controls for 4 years.

    Annie C.’s “Treason” gives many reasons to believe what we’re seeing today (cf. Jeff Goldstein above) isn’t new.

    We’ve faced greater odds, and won.

    How did we win?

    How shall we win now?

    Good spirits and humor, along with a ten inch cock like mine, help.

  79. Citing WorldNetDaily as anything but a prelude merciless taunting isn’t a good sign, Jeff.

    Nor is making “no great leap” from Biden’s actions to Obama’s anything. I mean, I know a guy who spent six years in prison for an armed robbery–does this make it “no great leap” that I, too, committed an armed robbery? Especially when there’s no evidence of it except for a WND hack who finds the presence of sea imagery in both Ayers and Obama evidence of ghost-writing, as opposed, you know, to the plausible explanation hinted at in the hack’s own argument: namely, that both Obama and Ayers were heavily influenced by writers like Richard Wright and James Baldwin, for whom such imagery is commonplace. (He even mentions The Sea Wolf approvingly, as if he’d rather have the Democrats plate London in the election–which tells you how careful a reader he is.)

    The fact that you don’t confront the evidence presented or do the work yourself, but merely prognosticate on what it would mean were it true, borders on embarrassing. You’re fully qualified to do a stylistic analysis of Ayers and Obama’s prose, suss out the shared influence, identify stylistic tics, &c. Why not do that instead of engaging in warmed-over fear-mongering?

  80. (Seriously, all your empty talk of Mordor’s upsetting happy. For shame, Jeff, for shame!)

  81. Isn’t a large part of the problem with the “what am I question” that we simply don’t have good answers to the “how does consciousness work” question yet, McGehee? Or, the brain, yeah, we’re getting there slowly, a bit at a time but we’re not quite there yet?

  82. Nor is making “no great leap” from Biden’s actions to Obama’s anything.

    Words? Just words? Don’t tell me Deval Patrick doesn’t mean anything!

  83. I had a nightmare last night that New Girl and Other Guy cornered me in the conference room what only has one door and they had cards and they just kept saying over and over in deathly calm voices just check the card happy and then we can go get tasty enchiladas if you just check the card and you can get the carnitas ones with the green sauce if you just check the card and then I woke up doing that thing where you try to scream but you can’t and I checked and I didn’t feel greasey but inside, inside I felt greasey as an autoworker what ruined GM.

  84. The fact that you don’t confront the evidence presented or do the work yourself, but merely prognosticate on what it would mean were it true, borders on embarrassing.

    As embarassing as dismissing a writer and his argument because of where it was published?

  85. But ‘feets, did you get lifetime healthcare job security?

  86. The easiest way to quell the anxieties found amongst some READERS OF THIS BLOG today is to find, support, and will to victory representatives that share the currently, at least as it appears, seemingly absent values the READERS OF THIS BLOG want represented.

    This takes years of work.

    Generations, not to mention lifetimes.

    We’re all, to a man, to a woman, nothing short of exceptionally blessed to be at this moment in time, here.

  87. Damn. All they said was about the enchiladas. Guacamole is implied, but I think they knew the part about me keeping my dead end job forever and ever wouldn’t have really sold it. They’re very crafty.

  88. As embarassing as dismissing a writer and his argument because of where it was published?

    You’ll note, of course, that I mocked his actual argument too. Not that that’ll make a difference. (Or unknot happy’s stomach, dreamt or otherwise.) That said, yes, I think there are certain cites out there that if you publish with them, you become a laughingstock. Like, say, Stormfront and WorldNetDaily. I’m sorry, B Moe, but that place is pure, unadulterated insanity. I disagree, vehemently, with the folks at Townhall, but that’s because they’re not insane. I can’t even begin to disagree with the folks at WND any more than I can flat- or young-earthers. So no, I’m not embarrassed by doing source evaluation. Shouldn’t you be for not? (Because if not, you’ll never believe what Batboy’s been up to.)

  89. Because if not, you’ll never believe what Batboy’s been up to…

    Or John Edwards.

    Or that Barracky is the autobiographical incarnation of Harper Lee.

  90. Don’t tell me the National Enquirer doesn’t mean anything!

  91. Obama wrote it
    SEK believes it
    That settles it

  92. 10 will get you 20 that SEK doesn’t consider The New York Times one of these laughing-stock sorts of venues.

  93. Baracky assumed Ayers had been rehabilitated. It has been said. It has been written. So it shall be. Racists.

  94. It is pretty rare that for me to click on WND or that NewsMax one. They’re like Andrew Sullivan or that New York Times one Spies mentioned. The only propaganda I really follow is NPR.

  95. But for real, Scott, vetting sources isn’t even an art anymore, much less a science. More what you do now is you vet the people what link the sources. Jeff has big credibility what he’s earned.

  96. Ayers is just a guy in his neighborhood.

    Who he worked with on charity boards.

    For several years.

    Funded by Ayers’ grant money and chaired by Obama.

    That, oddly, produced no measurable improvement in education, but somehow managed to spend $150 million dollars.

    Who then had a political “coming out party” for Obama in his home.

    But that was at the request of another politician.

    Still near-strangers here, you see.

    Except that the other politician denies asking for the meeting.

    And, anyway, if there was a long-standing and highly-lucrative relationship between them, Obama certainly didn’t know that he was a terrorist.

    Or, if he did, he thought he’d been “rehabilitated”.

    Or something.

    He’s already answered that question, you see.

  97. Spies – That was good. Very good.

  98. Oh, and I forgot:

    Their kids go to school together.

    Really, you all districts don’t have preschool-PhD programs?

    They do in Obama’s neighborhood, by golly!

    It’s a magical kind of neighborhood, where there’s always a rainbow and the sweet smell of roses hangs in the air.

    Twenty-seven year olds go to school with seven year olds, and wet-behind-the-ears lawyers get handed $150 million “education” grants by total strangers.

    Which, oddly enough, don’t seem to produce any measurable effect on education, but do provide handouts to large numbers of senile communist types.

  99. How about this source, SEK? Cashill goes into a bit more detail in this one.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html
    Including this bit:
    “A 1990 New York Times profile on Obama’s election as Harvard’s first black president caught the eye of agent Jane Dystel. She persuaded Poseidon, a small imprint of Simon & Schuster, to authorize a roughly $125,000 advance for Obama’s proposed memoir.

    With advance in hand, Obama repaired to Chicago where he dithered. At one point, in order to finish without interruption, he and wife Michelle decamped to Bali. Obama was supposed to have finished the book within a year. Bali or not, advance or no, he could not. He was surely in way over his head.

    According to a surprisingly harsh 2006 article by liberal publisher Peter Osnos, which detailed the “ruthlessness” of Obama’s literary ascent, Simon & Schuster canceled the contract. Dystel did not give up. She solicited Times Book, the division of Random House at which Osnos was publisher. He met with Obama, took his word that he could finish the book, and authorized a new advance of $40,000.

    Then suddenly, somehow, the muse descended on Obama and transformed him from a struggling, unschooled amateur, with no paper trail beyond an unremarkable legal note and a poem about fig-stomping apes, into a literary superstar.”

    That seems kind of hard for me to believe, how about you? You know how big publishing houses work? You think Simon & Shuster are going to just watch an investment like spin down the drain?

  100. Isn’t a large part of the problem with the “what am I question” that we simply don’t have good answers to the “how does consciousness work” question yet, McGehee?

    You’ll need to lead me through the relevance of the question. I don’t concern myself with the mechanism of consciousness when I ponder the “what am I question,” and I’m not sure most people do unless they’ve got way too much time on their hands to sit around thinking.

    To put it another way, I believe the question can be addressed adequately while assuming that consciousness simply is whatever the hell it is.

    To me it’s very much like evolution — the evidence and theory can be discussed while assuming amicably among all schools of thought that life originated in the universe whatever the hell way it happened to originate.

  101. I don’t source. I don’t rely.

    I just sit and listen to Barack in the last debate (lightly paraphrased):

    “We need to lower the cost of health care. When health care costs too much, these poor businesses’ costs go up and then they have to eliminate jobs. And that hurts the economy. Now what I’d also like to do is hit these nasty rich businesses with my Cap Gains Dong, and more big taxes to get their costs to where they should be so that we can create jobs for the people who lose their jobs when the Cap Gains Dong whacks those jobs right out of the park. So if you work for one of these business, start boning up on the difference between “Slow” and “Stop”.

  102. And stock up on orange clothing.

  103. You’ll need to lead me through the relevance of the question.

    Um, well, to be blunt about it, no. I have no need of the sort. And if you see no relevance in the question, what ever would be the point to my trying to “help” you see it?

    I’m not sure most people do unless they’ve got way too much time on their hands to sit around thinking.

    You’ve got this right, I think, only more so. Most people don’t think about the question I’ve posed at all, or if at all, only enough to dismiss it as ridiculous in the light of what they already “know” (which is the ordinary “Well, I’m ensouled, aren’t I?” sort of handwaving stuff.)

    I’m not sure most people do unless they’ve got way too much time on their hands to sit around thinking.

  104. al is right and I don’t understand why people are so mystical about economics. Baracky seems to have learned all his economics from like Kwanzaa or Jeremiah Wright or Hugo Chavez or something. Harvard fucking lawyer my ass. Poseur. Evil poseur demagogue bitch. My Baracky tolerance is very low today.

  105. Oops, sorry, hit the wrong button there. To get back to my response:

    To put it another way, I believe the question can be addressed adequately while assuming that consciousness simply is whatever the hell it is.

    This is, in a sense, redundant to “…the relevance of the question…”, or stands as another assertion that the question of the mechanism of consciousness in the context or totality of all, any and every brain function is — how would you put it? — moot, useless, unimportant, or “don’t change the subject, sdferr”, without assuming any umbrage either given or taken.

    To me it’s very much like evolution — the evidence and theory can be discussed while assuming amicably among all schools of thought that life originated in the universe whatever the hell way it happened to originate.

    Well, yes, it might be like that if it didn’t happen to fall under the category “evolved” as a branch of possible knowledge, which, as it happens, I believe it does. So if we can discuss (or think about) evolution, then how strange is it that we should be precluded from discussing or thinking about a mere subset of that larger category? Pretty damn strange, if you ask me. But then, you aren’t…..

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  107. There’s another level of corruption and plagiarism at work with the Obamanation. CNN during the primaries when it was still split between Barack and Hillary did an investigative piece that still somehow remains on youtube, about the ONE’s rise to power in the 90s. It reports that after the dems won control of the State Senate (IL), Emil Jones became the head of the Senate. Barack, in his customary humble way, had a meeting with Sen. Jones, at which Barack told him that Emil had the power to make a US Senator. Emil Jones asked whom Barack was talking about. Barack said “ME!”. After that Emil used his grand authority to put Obama’s name on every significant piece of legislation considered by the IL State Senate, whether or not Obama was the drafter, or had anything of substance to do with the legislation, in order to build him a portfolio to run for higher office. That was most clearly seen on the IL Ethics Bill which had been drafted by other legislators who were originally named as Chief Sponsors, but on May 22, the same date it passed the Senate, the original Chief Sponsor’s name was, Soviet Style, eradicated from the bill, Obama’s name was SUBSTITUTED for the original sponsor’s name, and the bill passed.
    Thus, Obama is guilty of taking credit for (and taking credit away from) legislation he had nothing to do with, because of cronyism and ambition in the Illinois State Senate. I believe, if it is possible, this is even worse than Biden’s misappropriation of speeches and plagiarism, because this is a fraud that goes to the heart of Obama’s fitness as a public official. So, we see that Obama and Biden are the perfect pair of fraudsters and empty suits. It is amazing that they have been able to get away with it, but the bill will come due and the hangover from the partying will come at a steep price, if God Forbid, they are elected.

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  109. I am sure glad when I listen to these comments that I live in Australia – even tho’ the fallout from your angst (financial and social) is still affecting us.
    Surely this identity problem is not confined to Obama. And on that point, my middle name is Margaret Anne which doesnt mean I am related to 2 princesses of the English royal family.
    From this distance you all seem drunk on a beer brewed on bile and convoluted arguments. Insecure yet brimming with such confidence,such is America now -indebted to everybody while its elites continue to have a whale of a time.
    From my point of view (and what else is there?)the whole of politics both here and in your country went into total decline after the rise and rise of the spin doctors. It seems to be that way because every dr. must protect his patient from saying anything approaching the truth about any voting clique in case they take negative offence and this particularly goes for offending the markets. I thought they were robust institutions capable of withstanding such criticism but no, we mustn’t say the R word much less the D word or they get a bad case of the “nervous nellies”.
    And this phenomenom is one gigantic feedback loop encircling the globe in an electronic loop which is strangling all our societies, by the lack of choice in our politics (and I include all brands in this.)
    Well fellows keep displaying your philosophical conceits while New York burns. Hello tent city, goodbye my apartment in Manhatten. Lotsa luck, Mindlesley for Peter (the one and only Beatnikcass from U-tube.

  110. Peter, you should probably hang out here a while — at the very least come back a month or so after the election — to see how little you really disagree with most of us here.

  111. I figure we are going to be bitching about McCain almost as much as we would be about Obama, if he were electable.

    It’s a clearly defined conflict, my fellows.

    COURAGE!

  112. Pingback: Who really wrote “Obama”’s Dreams from My Father? « The Edge of the American West

  113. If…if…if…if..

    On the other hand, you could just be blowing smoke out of your backside.

  114. Thanks for that amazon link. I’d believed the Kerouac legend forever. Like so much, the legend more interesting than the man… and, frankly, his books.

    Obama, anyone?

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