Tick, Tick, Tick | 107 Avian Flu Deaths In Indonesia
Chickens - Experts say the danger is the virus may evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, in which case the transmission rate would soar, causing a pandemic in which millions of people could die. Image Credit: FAO
Tick, Tick, Tick 107 Avian Flu Deaths In Indonesia
This morning, two deaths of adolescent Indonesians help to establish the island(s) nation as the most affected nation on Earth due to the bird flu virus.
One boy and one girl bring the total number of deaths to 107, and it is unclear wither these cases can be traced to “Cluster” human-to-human transfer of the virus even though the boy that just passed away had a brother die from the same disease.
There are still other individuals who have tested positive for the Avian Flu but have yet to succumb to the effects of the H5N1 virus of which there remains no cure.
Indonesia - Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting the H5N1 virus, which is endemic in bird populations in most of Indonesia. According to United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data on March 19, bird flu has infected 31 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia. Image Credit: FAO
This excerpted from Reuters -
Two Indonesian youths die of bird flu By Mita Valina Liem; Editing by Ed Davies and Alex Richardson Reuters Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:05am EDT
JAKARTA - Two Indonesian youths have died from bird flu, a health ministry official said on Monday.
A 15-year-old boy from Subang, in West Java, died on Wednesday in an area where chickens had died, said Nyoman Kandun, director general of communicable disease control at the ministry.
An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi, east of Jakarta, who died on Friday also tested positive for the virus, the official said.
"There were dead chickens in the boy's neighbourhood, but in the girl's case it is still unclear," Kandun said via a mobile phone text message. ---- Earlier on Monday, a 22-month-old girl from Sumatra's Bukit Tinggi tested positive for bird flu and the health ministry was checking her neighbourhood for possible backyard farming.
"Her condition is improving, and she is being treated at a Padang hospital," Lily Sulistyowati, a health ministry spokeswoman, said by telephone.
Including the latest deaths, Indonesia has had 132 confirmed cases of the virus.
Contact with sick fowl is the most common way of contracting the H5N1 virus, which is endemic in bird populations in most of Indonesia.
According to United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) data on March 19, bird flu has infected 31 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia.
Experts say the danger is the virus may evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, in which case the transmission rate would soar, causing a pandemic in which millions of people could die. Reference Here>>
2004 - Illinois Democratic US Senate candidate Barack Obama, seated next to his wife, Michelle and daughters Sasha, 3, far left, and Malia, 6, as they wait for election returns in a Chicago hotel. Obama beat Republican Alan Keyes in the nation's first Senate race with two black major-party candidates. Image Credit: AP Photo
Michelle Obama Goes Nuclear With Fear (Michelle Obama's fear based philosophy may actually be perpetuated in the philosophies taught at the church she attends)
To listen to Michelle Obama talk about the America of fear she sees, scares us here at MAXINE.
When we go out to the strip shopping centers or travel on the Metro Rail, get out and walk through where people gather, we do not see the America of fear Michelle Obama describes.
The rhetoric of fear and the perception that we are running around and peaking around every corner as we purchase our “domed” drinks at the local coffee bistro … we don’t see or live what Michelle is talking about.
You know, it strikes us that it is the democratic party that perceives “Two Americas” … there is the America that runs along every day with the confidence and freedom we all have in everyday life and then there is the America (like the one John Edwards and Michelle Obama want us to buy into) democrats can come in and “save” us from.
This from YouTube, Michelle Obama introduces her husband, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, at a campaign stop in western Iowa. posted 8-16-2007 – The day Barack Obama takes office he will run from our enemies ... or have tea with them (leave Iraq ... meet with dictators) and invade our allies (bomb parts of Pakistan without their consultation) in the war on terror … now that really IS something to afraid of!
UPDATED January 28, 2006:
The source of Michelle Obama's fear based philosophy may actually have their roots in the philosophies taught at the church she attends.
UPDATED March 28, 2008:
Drip, Drip, Drip - The beliefs and fears and racism of the Obama family as they had been taught at the knee of Rev. Wright of the TUCC keep showing themselves in the most clear way.
This excerpted from ABC News -
Michelle Obama on Diversity, Comfort Zones, and America By Jake Tapper, ABC News’ Senior National Correspondent - March 26, 2008 6:27 PM
In a January speech at the University of South Carolina, First Lady aspirant Michelle Obama made remarks making the rounds on the internet today.
Talking about her experience at Princeton where she hung with a largely African-American crowd, she said:
"We don’t like being pushed outside of our comfort zones. You know it right here on this campus. You know people sitting at different tables - you all living in different dorms. I was there. You’re not talking to each other, taking advantage that you’re in this diverse community.
Because sometimes it’s easier to hold on to your own stereotypes and misconceptions. It makes you feel justified in your own ignorance. That’s America. So the challenge for us is are we ready for change?" ---- The Obama campaign says that's a mis-interpretation of her comments, that it was the proclivity for "comfort zones" that she thought was so "America."
(As opposed to the ethnic and cultural open minds in Europe, Asia and Africa, I suppose?)
Video showing Michelle Obama's self imposed segregationist attitudes and comments delivered in South Carolina, in context, so that one will not mis-interpret what was said:
This poll would be a better source to become informed from as opposed to the teachings of the church Barack and Michelle Obama have attended regularly for the last twenty years.
The fungal strain was named for its discovery in Uganda in 1999. - The disease spreads by wind-blown fungal spores. Planting highly resistant wheat varieties in the southern United States where stem rust fungus can survive winter could prevent the disease from taking hold in the South and then spreading to the rest of the country.Ug99 has overcome most of the stem rust resistance genes bred into wheat varieties during the past several decades. Last year, ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory (CDL) plant pathologist Yue Jin confirmed a new, even more virulent variant of Ug99 in Kenya. His colleague, geneticist Les Szabo, also at the CDL in St. Paul, Minn., leads the stem rust genome project. Caption & Image Credit: Haber7.com
IRAN & A Weapon Of Mass Destruction
It’s true and can be mentioned in the same breath. The fields in IRAN are producing a weapon of mass destruction and it is not what you think.
This weapon of mass destruction is aimed directly at IRAN itself and will effect countries that are located East, it is biological and it kills wheat crops on a massive basis.
The weapon is a fungal wheat stem “rust” that is carried upon the wind and attacks whole fields of wheat laying them to waste leading to food shortages and greatly increased food prices.
Up to 80 per cent of all Asian and African wheat varieties are susceptible to the fungus, and major wheat-producing nations to Iran’s east – such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan – should be on high alert, FAO warned. Image Credit: NewScientist
The wheat fungus [strain] first emerged in Uganda in 1999 and is therefore called Ug99. The Ug99 strain found in Yemen was already more virulent than the one found in East Africa. Ethiopia and Kenya had serious wheat rust epidemics in 2007 with considerable losses.
Harvesting wheat. Crop yeilds are expected to drop dramatically in Iran due to UG99 - a strain of virulent fungus that attacheds itself to the stems of growing wheat. Image Credit: Getty
This excerpted SeedQuest taken from a statement released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) –
First report of wheat stem rust, strain Ug99, in Iran By SeedQuest – March 5, 2008
Wheat killer detected in Iran - dangerous fungus on the move from East Africa to the Middle East
A new and virulent wheat fungus, previously found in East Africa and Yemen, has moved to major wheat-growing areas in Iran, FAO reported today [5 Mar 2008]. The fungus is capable of wreaking havoc to wheat production by destroying entire fields. Countries east of Iran, like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, all major wheat producers, are most threatened by the fungus and should be on high alert, FAO said.
Wheat is a major food crop in the world and sustains the majority of the world's population. Wheat fields occupy more of the earth's surface than do fields of any other food crop. Stem rust is one of the most important wheat diseases limiting production in many areas of the world. The disease has been important throughout the ages. The Romans, in order to please the rust god, Robigus, held a festival called Robigalia. Image Credit: USDA
It is estimated that as much as 80 percent of all wheat varieties planted in Asia and Africa are susceptible to wheat stem rust (_Puccinia graminis_). The spores of wheat rust are mostly carried by wind over long distances and across continents. "The detection of the wheat rust fungus [strain Ug99] in Iran is very worrisome," said Shivaji Pandey, director of FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division. "The fungus is spreading rapidly and could seriously lower wheat production in countries at direct risk. Affected countries and the international community have to ensure that the spread of the disease gets under control in order to reduce the risk to countries that are already hit by high food prices."
The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has informed FAO that the fungus has been detected in some localities in Broujerd and Hamedan in western Iran. Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the fungus. Iran said it will enhance its research capacity to face the new infection and develop new wheat varieties resistant to the disease. Reference Here>>
We, at MAXINE, are always looking for the upside, so the question that begs to be asked is:
Does, or better, can this fungal "rust" be made to attach itself to Opium/Heroin Poppies like the fields grown in Afghanistan? Huhmmmmmmm!
The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Interfaith Service Celebrating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., February 9, 2007 – Image Credit: Amherst College
The Psycho-Slavery Tactics Of The TUCC
The problem with Reverend Wright isn't an "Attitude" he projects when he preaches in front of the gathered parishioners as some would like to think ... it is a BELIEF, a belief that he preaches to enslave people with, in an effort to make himself more important than the teachings of GOD.
Once one buys into this form of Psycho-Slavery, it becomes impossible to think outside of its construct - Hate breeds Hate and the Reverend Wright is the pied piper!
The sad part in all of this is that the messages of Reverend Wright are designed to take people who are already indoctrinated into a culture of fear and hate and strengthens their conceptual bonds. GOD teaches us that there is a way out of oppression, fear and hate and the right Reverend Wright has seen fit to distort GOD’s teachings and turn them around for harm in our society.
We ARE judged by the company we keep. Reverend Wright's Psycho-Slavery of fear and hate (and others who believe and preach the messages he teaches) has got to stop if our country is ever going to get beyond the identity based divisions the Democrat Party is famous for through its embrace and representations.
The media exposure of what actually goes on during the sermons at the TUCC does not bode well, or speak well, of Barack Obama’s judgment given the twenty year association and support Barack has already shown to his (his word) MENTOR!
This episode will leave a mark on Barack Obama. We, at MAXINE, predict that if he becomes the Democrat Party candidate for President ... he will loose against John McCain due to his (and Michelle's) twenty year association with the Reverend Wright, his teachings, and the TUCC.
Additional Obama Background Links:
Michelle - http://tinyurl.com/37wyjo
Barack & TUCC - http://tinyurl.com/33f545
Barack Demographics - http://tinyurl.com/3aahxf
Palm Sunday UPDATE:
The new pastor (and the current power structure at the TUCC) took a moment during the service on this Palm Sunday to launch a defense of Reverend Wright. A defense of a preaching style and message that ensures this congregation will not look to self-reflection.
This excerpted from the Chicago Sun-Times:
Church: Wright's character 'being assassinated' BY MAUREEN O'DONNELL Staff Reporter - March 16, 2008
During a Sunday evening service, Pastor Otis Moss III spoke of "external forces" that want to "box us in and vilify us."
In a Palm Sunday sermon laden with symbolism, Moss seemed to liken a biblical donkey or colt to the oppressed. To undermine it, "You have to assassinate the colt's character," Moss said to shouts of "Preach."
"....The domesticated donkey says, 'You need to stop talking that social justice stuff" and speak only of Jesus, Moss said.
In the church's prepared statement, Moss criticized basing Wright's legacy on a few comments. After 36 years of preaching, "It is an indictment on Dr. Wright's ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite,'' Moss said.
"It saddens me to see news stories reporting such a caricature of a congregation that has been such a blessing,'' said church president Rev. John J. Thomas in the statement. "It's time for us to say 'No' to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends." Reference Here>>
The only thing narrow about the "attacks" are not the political or ideological ends but the recognition of the insult to truth and fact when Rev. Wright used "Moral Equivalence" and our ending WWII with terrorist acts of planes being flown into buildings.
"The TUCC Plantation" speaks!
UPDATE March 18, 2008 -Barack Obama Speaks And Creates More Questions
This excerpted from The O'Reilly Factor's Talking Poinrs Memo:
Barack Obama replies to the pastor controversy. That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
Ever since he began his dramatic rise last fall, I have admired Senator Obama's campaign style. He has energized politics, and that is good for America. But I do not believe the senator understands how serious this pastor situation is, how angry many Americans are.
As you may know, Obama's friend and spiritual counselor Jeremiah Wright has been exposed as an anti-American hater. He believes the USA is no better than Al Qaeda. He says America brought 9/11 on itself. ---- How can you have a class association with an American-hater for 20 years? Surely Senator Obama knew how Wright felt, even though he might not have heard the exact words. Also, what kind of judgment allows a sitting senator to attend a church that radical?
The latest Rasmussen poll shows Obama losing support across the country. His favorability rating is down 5 points in three days. And the Wright controversy is driving that. The folks don't want leadership that is associated with that kind of hatred.
At this point, the story tells us more about the media than Senator Obama. You'll remember the very liberal New York Times attacked John McCain for associating with a lobbyist nobody ever heard of. The Times put the story on page one and the liberal media ran with it. The McCain story was about association and judgment, was it not? And what's the Obama story about? Association and judgment. But The New York Times buried the pastor's story. The paper must think its readers are stupid.
Likewise, the nightly network programs have downplayed the situation. On Friday, ABC ignored it. NBC News gave it 20 seconds.
Hear me: If we didn't break the story wide last Thursday night, it would have likely died, which is exactly what the leftist media wants.
Finally, Barack Obama says he deplores the racial aspect of the story, but who is really pushing race, senator? I believe that would be your former pastor and far-left zealots like Media Matters and Jesse Jackson. They are the chief race-baiters in America.
So the Wright story is here to stay. Voters aren't going to forget it. Senator Obama should realize that and confront the issues involved on programs like this one, where millions would see him and he would get a fair hearing. Because if he does not fully explain his association with Pastor Wright, he will not be elected president. Period.
AM610 WIP host Angelo Cataldi asked Obama about his March 18, 2008, Tuesday morning speech on race at the National Constitution Center in which he referenced his own white grandmother and her prejudice.
Obama told Cataldi that "The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know (pause) there's a reaction in her that doesn't go away and it comes out in the wrong way.
We, at MAXINE, must ask - Is there such a thing as a "Typical White Person"?
Mitt Romney and John McCain – Image Credit: WXIA-TV Atlanta
Call Him "Big Dog" McCain
John McCain was just tapped with a gift of a nickname by Mitt Romney.
In an exclusive interview with Hannity and Colmes taped earlier today (and verbally recounted on Hugh Hewitt) Mitt Romney had the following comment about the sparring between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on who would be the strongest as President in a war response situation.
Overhead - To Paraphrase:
"Watching Clinton and Obama argue as to who is the stronger Presidential candidate, is a little like watching two Chihuahua's bark at each other trying to show who is bigger.
Well, for my money, in this scenario John McCain isn't a Chihuahua, he IS the Big Dog!"
This clarification and update excerpted from Politico –
Romney says he'd take Veep, calls McCain "Big Dog" By Jonathan Martin 05:20 PM
Mitt Romney said in his first interview since departing the GOP race that he would accept the number two position on the ticket and that there is no lingering bitterness between him and John McCain.
“I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice presidential nominee, myself included," Romney told FOX's Sean Hannity in a broadcast set to air tonight. "Of course this is a nation which needs strong leadership. And if the nominee of our party asked you to serve with him, anybody would be honored to receive that call … and to accept it, of course.” ---- Romney says that he thinks the wounds have healed.
“There are really no hard feelings, I don't think, on either side of this," he said in the interview. "There were no pacts and so forth that make people feel like that we will never come together. Instead these campaigns are all coming together. We are supporting our nominee enthusiastically, aggressively."
Romney said his top fundraisers have already met with McCain's campaign.
"We are laying out ways we can support his campaign.”
Romney also belittled the Democrats, saying that he thought Barack Obama would eventually emerge as their nominee and that such an outcome would play to the GOP's favor.
"I think he is the better match-up for Senator McCain because the public recognizes just how inexperienced he is," Romney said. "With Senator Clinton there is some confusion in perception that somehow being there while her husband was president made her a foreign policy-national security experienced person. She is not. She doesn't have any more experience, really, of a significant nature than Barack Obama does. But in Barack Obama's case, people recognize this guy was a state senator and before that he was a community activist. He has been a United States senator for a short, short period of time. He is in no significant way qualified to lead the country at a time of war, to lead the country out of an economic challenge. This is not a person who can stand up to Senator McCain.”
To make his case, Romney employed a canine metaphor.
Listening to Obama and Clinton discuss their national security credentials, Romney said, is akin to "listening to two chihuahuas argue about which is the biggest dog."
"When it comes to national security, John McCain is the big dog, and they are the chihuahuas," he said. Reference Here>>
Romney delivers and, we at MAXINE believe, that this is still the nickname to remember - Big Dog McCain vs Maverick McCain!
Having a USB memory stick is like carrying a portable hard drive the size of a packet of chewing gum. USB memory sticks are the fastest in the flash memory card industry with transfer rates up to 60MB/s and capacities ranging from 64MB to 4GB. Caption & Image Credit: mediaheaven.co.uk
Cuba's IT Underground - It's On The Stick!
Necessity is the mother of invention – or in this case adaptation. Information technology in Cuba, with its heavy-handed Communist/Socialist oversight of human activity, is in a process of breaking out of the grip of the government sanctions against the freedom of information sharing and publishing.
News, information, and entertainment media in Cuba, is hard to come by unless one is able to afford the time to log on to a computer in one of the few “Cyber Cafés”, have access to a tourist hotel internet portal, is a student, or has access to a smuggled dish and secretly grab the information for later viewing and sharing - OFFLINE!
Dutch made , USB Memory sticks manually selected for their natural beauty, and professionally handmade into unique and personal USB memory sticks. From ooms. Order Online - 256 MB - 45 Euro 1GB - 70 Euro. Caption & Image Credit: oooms.nl
OFFLINE in Cuba is an intranet (an in-country internet) patched together through a “postal service” email communication connection that the government is having trouble shutting down. The “Whack-A-Mole” process the government is left with can not stop the viral sharing aided with the use of USB memory sticks.
At an e-mail center in Havana, customers work under an employee’s watchful eye. Old Havana has only one true Internet cafe, down from three a few years ago. Caption & Image Credit: Jose Goitia - The New York Times
This excerpted from The New York Times -
Cyber-Rebels in Cuba Defy State’s Limits By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr. - New York Times, HAVANA - March 6, 2008
A growing underground network of young people armed with computer memory sticks, digital cameras and clandestine Internet hookups has been mounting some challenges to the Cuban government in recent months, spreading news that the official state media try to suppress.
Last month, students at a prestigious computer science university videotaped an ugly confrontation they had with Ricardo Alarcón, the president of the National Assembly.
Mr. Alarcón seemed flummoxed when students grilled him on why they could not travel abroad, stay at hotels, earn better wages or use search engines like Google. The video spread like wildfire through Havana, passed from person to person, and seriously damaged Mr. Alarcón’s reputation in some circles. ---- “It passes from flash drive to flash drive,” said Ariel, 33, a computer programmer, who, like almost everyone else interviewed for this article, asked that his last name not be used for fear of political persecution. “This is going to get out of the government’s hands because the technology is moving so rapidly.”
Cuban officials have long limited the public’s access to the Internet and digital videos, tearing down unauthorized satellite dishes and keeping down the number of Internet cafes open to Cubans. Only one Internet cafe remains open in Old Havana, down from three a few years ago.
Hidden in a small room in the depths of the Capitol building, the state-owned cafe charges a third of the average Cuban’s monthly salary — about $5 — to use a computer for an hour. The other two former Internet cafes in central Havana have been converted into “postal services” that let Cubans send e-mail messages over a closed network on the island with no links to the Internet. ---- Young people here say there is a thriving black market giving thousands of people an underground connection to the world outside the Communist country.
Swiss army knife with USB memory stick Memory size: 128MB 256MB 512MB 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB. Caption & Image Credit: sz-wholesale.com
People who have smuggled in satellite dishes provide illegal connections to the Internet for a fee or download movies to sell on discs. Others exploit the connections to the Web of foreign businesses and state-run enterprises. Employees with the ability to connect to the Internet often sell their passwords and identification numbers for use in the middle of the night.
Hotels catering to tourists provide Internet services, and Cubans also exploit those conduits to the Web.
Even the country’s top computer science school, the University of Information Sciences, set in a campus once used by Cuba’s spy services, has become a hotbed of cyber-rebels. Students download everything from the latest American television shows to articles and videos criticizing the government, and pass them quickly around the island. ---- The video of Mr. Alarcón’s clash with students was leaked to the BBC and CNN, giving the world a rare glimpse of the discontent among the young with the system. ---- Another event many people witnessed through the digital underground was the arrival in the United States of Carlos Otero, a popular television personality and humorist in Cuba who defected in December while on a trip to Toronto.
Illegal antennas caught signals from Miami television stations, which youths turned into digital videos and shared. Though the event smacked more of celebrity news than politics, it would never have been shown on the official media.
Some young journalists have also started blogs and Internet news sites, using servers in other countries, and their reports are reaching people through the digital underground.
Shortly before Raúl Castro was elected president last week to replace his ailing brother, Fidel, Ms. Sánchez wrote a piece describing what sort of president she wanted. She said the country did not need a soldier, a charismatic leader or a great speaker, but “a pragmatic housewife” who favored freedom of speech and open elections.
Writing later about Raúl Castro’s first speech as president, she criticized his vague promises of change, saying they were as clear as the Rosetta Stone was when it was first found. Both essays would be impossible to publish in Cuba. ---- Because Ms. Sánchez, like most Cubans, can get online for only a few minutes at a time, she writes almost all her essays beforehand, then goes to the one Internet cafe, signs on, updates her Web site, copies some key pages that interest her and walks out with everything on a memory stick. Friends copy the information, and it passes from hand to hand. “It’s a solid underground,” she said. “The government cannot control the information.”
It is spread by readers like Ricardo, 28, a philosophy student at the University of Havana who sells memory sticks to other students. ---- Like many young Cubans, Ricardo plays a game of cat and mouse with the authorities. He doubts that the government will ever let ordinary citizens have access to the Internet in their homes. “That’s far too dangerous,” he said. “Daddy State doesn’t want you to get informed, so it preventively keeps you from surfing.”
Pedro, a midlevel official with a government agency, said he often surfed Web sites like the BBC and The Miami Herald at work, searching for another view of the news besides the ones presented in the state-controlled media. He predicted that the 10,000 students studying the Internet and programming at the University of Information Sciences would transform the country over time, opening up more and more avenues of information.
“We are training an army of information specialists,” he said. Reference Here>>
Barack Obama debating Hillary Clinton in Austin Texas on CNN. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) 2-21-2008
Barack Obama And The Demographics Of Affirmation
This rocket ship ground swell of support for Barack Obama is pretty amazing when one just stands and watches what is actually going on. The press is in the tank for Obama, he never gets questioned on any subject that requires meat to be on the bone to answer … and when he gives only a bare bones response to a difficult question, no follow-up question that would flesh out a real answer is forthcoming.
“Yes We Can”, “Change You Can Believe In”, “Moving Forward Into The Future”, “The Audacity Of Hope”, is all we are fed on the way to the Democrat Party political convention to be held this summer. No real push back on the issues of Gay Marriage, Abortion, the tensions developing in South America, Israel and the rocket attacks of 2008, and the reality of a stronger, more Communist, Russia.
Live Blog Survey - TalkLeft - SUBJECT: IRAQ - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) 2-21-2008
Let’s not bother Barack Obama with questions about the beliefs expoused by the church he and his family as been a member of for the last twenty years, or the worldwide war on terror and other facts that exist, because as we have been able to find out here at MAXINE, to the real left in this country … Facts Don’t Matter!
Then we have this peel-back-the-curtain analysis/opinion from Abe Katsman, an attorney, who has worked on several political campaigns, including Mayor Rudy Giuliani's first successful run for mayor and President Bush's 2004 re-election.
Live Blog Survey - TalkLeft - SUBJECT: IMMIGRATION - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) 2-21-2008
This opinion piece excerpted from the Jerusalem Post -
Obama-mania and cult of self-esteem By ABRAHAM KATSMAN - Jerusalem Post - Mar 3, 2008 9:09 Updated Mar 3, 2008 12:39
The phenomenon of Senator Barack Obama's campaign is astounding. He has packaged policies largely indistinguishable from those of John Edwards or Hillary Clinton in airy platitudes about "change" and "hope," and suddenly he's a rock star - complete with swooning and fainting fans at his huge campaign rallies. He can do no wrong, applauded wildly for everything from interrupting his speeches to give out water bottles to fans overcome by his presence to - no joke - blowing his nose onstage.
His spokesmen on national TV are flummoxed when asked to identify a single accomplishment in Obama's political career, yet it doesn't make the slightest dent in his support. Conventional wisdom says this adulation and intensity level cannot last. But conventional wisdom may be missing something fundamental.
Live Blog Survey - TalkLeft - SUBJECT: ECONOMY - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) 2-21-2008
His evident charisma aside, a clue to the source of Obama-mania may be found in the demographics of his support: he is far and away the favorite of younger voters and college students, routinely winning over 75% of the votes of Democrats under 30. Obama has tapped into is the first generation educated in schools focused on "self-esteem." Now, the products of self-esteem education have come of political age in substantial numbers, perhaps with profound implications for this and future elections.
For the past two decades,America's educational establishment has stressed the inculcation of self-esteem as the supreme educational goal. Self-respect - the product of struggle and achievement - is out; self-esteem - the entitlement tofeel great self-worth regardless of actual accomplishment - is in.
Strict correction of misspelling or of wrong answers to math problems is discouraged. Competition is a big no-no: many youth sports leagues forbid keeping score, lest any child's self-esteem suffer from the indignity of losing. Posting honor rolls is discouraged, as it might injure the self-esteem of those who did not make the grade.
Grade inflation is rampant in schools: according to one recent study, about half of today's college freshman had an "A" average in high school compared to under 20% in the late 1960s, even though SAT scores have tanked over the same period. The focus on self-esteem has, in a sense, been a huge success. ---- Coddled children raised to believe that any dream is not only attainable, but an entitlement granted regardless of actual effort and accomplishment are increasingly growing into depressed and stressed young adults as they rudely discover that the post-school world is not so cooperative and doesn't really care about their dreams or their feelings. In the real world, they keep score.
But not in Obama-world. That is a world of Hope; of Action; of Change You Can Believe In; of Yes We Can; of Coming Together; of Moving Forward Into the Future, and of other banalities that can mean absolutely anything to anyone. "I am asking you to take a chance on your own aspirations." It's all about us and our good feelings of youth and unity. Nothing so difficult as spelling out tough policy choices or arguing about a particular program's merits or ramifications is involved.
Live Blog Survey - TalkLeft - SUBJECT: HEALTH CARE - Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (MAXINE) 2-21-2008
Why, that might instigate analysis, or arguments about right or wrong answers, which would divide us; that would interfere with our focus on how good we feel about ourselves and the restoration of the soft, fuzzy future which once belonged to us. "I intend to lead the party of tomorrow, not the party of yesterday." Unification for "change," "hope," and "the future" is perfect for Obama's young, esteem-fueled supporters: just as their academic self-esteem was divorced from actual achievement, and their competitive self-esteem was insulated from scorekeeping, Obama-supplied political self-esteem is disconnected from any actual opinions, policies or analyses.
Notably, Obama's rhetorical flourishes never involve policy choices or the big, bad, complex world outside the campaign rally. "In the face of change lies hope, and in the face of hope lies change." Brilliant! Dreams are restored! We're all 14 again!
Just close our eyes and hope a perfect future into existence. Problems with the genocidal Iranian neighborhood bully? Simple, we'll use our seventh-grade conflict resolution methods on Ahmedinijad. Those pesky student loans and subprime mortgages we took out? No worries, Obama will make someone else pay for them. Israeli-Arab conflicts and daily missile barrages on civilian populations? No problem, everyone just come together -Obama's very presence will melt hardened hearts and pacify Hamas and Hizbullah. There. Problems solved. No need to think about all that anymore.
Now, let's focus again on us, brimming anew with all the virtue and youthful innocence and self-love in which we were immersed in our school years, as newly bestowed by Obama's incantations. "We are the ones we've been waiting for!" What about actually defining a political course to follow, or weighing the specific national security implications of competing approaches to the Middle East and Islamic terror? How irrelevant to our feelings. How yesterday. How... Republican. We'd much rather just "believe in ourselves to do the things we believe we can do!" We are the future. We can do anything. This feels great. Self-esteem rocks. ---- Which brings us to the question of sustainability - will the movement last? It certainly could. By bolstering voters' sense of self-satisfaction, Obama has unleashed a wave of heady feelings of unity, purpose, and enthusiasm - but all for the man who makes them feel this way, not for any particular policies. No one, after all, is fainting at the thought of Obama's position on health insurance.
Thus, nothing any opponent can say or do will likely get between Obama and his worshipers to undermine those feelings. And if that's not enough to carry him to the White House this year, keep in mind 2012, when America's self-esteem obsessed schools will have churned out four more graduating classes of swooning Obama voters. Reference Here>>
Obama-World - That is a world of Hope; of Action; of Change You Can Believe In; of Yes We Can; of Coming Together; of Moving Forward Into the Future, and of other banalities that can mean absolutely anything to anyone.
"Aim at Heaven ... you get Earth thrown in - Aim at Earth and you get neither" - C.S. Lewis
My mother, MAXINE, was a person who was not shy about meeting people and sharing a little time with them ... so I thought it would be a grand idea to use her name to lend a little spirit to this effort and bless her memory. The neat thing about MAXINE, when she was in an area for awhile, someone, within earshot, in the crowd would inevitably be heard saying, "Hey, there's Maxine!" I don't expect this blog to have that type of play but "MAXINE" will be out there from time to time, meeting people and sharing a little time.