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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Friday, March 14, 2008

Secret #4: The Five MInute Miracle

So...Geraldine Ferraro considers Obama an Affirmative Action poster child. Note that Obama's surrogates had the class not to fire back the obvious answer to her jab. She said: "if Obama were a white man, he wouldn't be where he is today." I won't even have fun asking Geraldine what planet she lives on to think being black in America confers substantive advantage (yes, I'm quite sure he gained some black votes thereby. But unless one believes whites have only 10% of the racism blacks have, that votes he gained would balance out with votes lost from bigots and those just "uncomfortable" with his ethnicity or name.) But let's take the core statement and turn it back. Does anyone believe that Clinton would be where SHE is if she had been "a white man"? Really? First, her name wouldn't have been Clinton. I don't THINK she would have married Bill (he doesn't seem to swing that way). So that means she wouldn't have been First Lady of Arkansas or the U.S. kindly remove everything from her C.V. to do with anything she did for either administration. She didn't divorce Bill and run for Senate under her own steam, as Hillary Rodham, so we can conclude that name recognition may have been a factor in the Senate Race. Would she have won it without the White House/Arkansas experience? No one can say: let's cut her some slack and say "yes." So she would have won her Senate seat in 2000, which would give her less elected experience than Obama, who was elected to his seat in 1996. I'd say their experience sounds almost exactly the same, actually--absent the advantage of being married to Bill. Sauce for the Goose, Ms. Ferraro.
##
I'm in Cincinnati for the Millinicon convention right now. A little sore from a workout yesterday, but very satisfied. I did a Bruiser Century at 7/per minute, followed by the 15 minute Ashtanga routine. It seems to have been damned near as effective in relieving muscle soreness as 90 minutes of the Bikram. If that's true, I'm happy as a clam.
##
SECRET #4 is the Five Minute Miracle. More pointedly, it is the concept of Synaptic Facilitation applied to the "Body as Bellows" breathing technique from Coach Sonnon's "Be Breathed" methodology. Synaptic Facilitation basically says that many skills are best learned with short practice sessions throughout the day, rather than one long one. Skills that demand coordination like piano playing work perfectly for this: you'll get more out of practicing ten minutes five times during the day than 50 minutes once. Martial arts can work this way. Several instructors, including Guru Stevan Plinck, consider that short breaks multiple times during the day are EXACTLY the way they developed their astounding skills. Maximum strength development is a good one. Several "Max" lifts while you are fresh, as opposed to practicing after you are fatigued. Note that endurance exercise probably isn't a good fit here--the "second wind" threshold is up around 14-17 minutes. Scott's "Perpetual Exercise" idea is basically to change the entire way you relate to breath, structure, and motion by re-training your breathing so that exhalations are created by motion, and inhalations are passive. I looked at this, wondered what would happen if you combined it with Synapic Facilitation, and bang, the Five Minute Miracle was born. Once you've learned the basic, you can piggy-back tougher exercise, more complex exercise, onto the pattern, and it's way efficient for a nice variety of characteristics and results. Not a universal problem solver: some movement shouldn't be practiced until you have warmed up, or aren't efficiently practiced until done in the midst of serious fatigue. But it is very, very interesting stuff.

What questions might help you or others understand this methodology?

60 comments:

Mike Ralls said...

>So...Geraldine Ferraro considers Obama an Affirmative Action poster child.<

You know, Obama himself claimed that he didn't know if he was a beneficiary of AA or not, at least in his start in life;

"I have no way of knowing whether I was a beneficiary of affirmative action either in my admission to Harvard or my initial election to the Review. ... If I was, then I certainly am not ashamed of the fact, for I would argue that affirmative action is important precisely because those who benefit typically rise to the challenge when given an opportunity."

The affirmative action program at the Law Review is discussed here;
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=513672

I do wonder, has anyone actually asked the Harvard admissions department or the editors of the law review who picked him after his first year if he was a beneficiary of AA or not? It seems like an obvious question for reporters to dig into. Strange that, as far as I can tell, they haven't.

Mike Ralls said...

>Sauce for the Goose, Ms. Ferraro.<

If John McCain had not been captured and tortured by the Vietnamese, would he be in the running for President today?

His life would have followed such a different path, and getting one of the two major parties nomination for POTUS is such an improbable outcome for any one individual, that him arriving at the same place in a different timeline is an exceedingly unlikely event.

So was he "lucky" to get captured by the Vietnamese? The question is ridiculous and a bit ghastly, but I think it illustrates my point that such what-ifs miss a crucial point of reality: a human is their genetics and their experiences - if either of those were different they would not be them, they would be a different being.

Mike Ralls said...

>What questions might help you or others understand this methodology?<

I just have had a real hard time making it become a regular habit. Work just keeps seeming to present me with excuses. What is the best way to overcome that?

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the latest furor over Obama's pastor, Steve?

"Skills that demand coordination like piano playing work perfectly for this: you'll get more out of practicing ten minutes five times during the day than 50 minutes once."

As someone mentioned in another post, how do we know this is true? Any tests or evidence to back this up?

Kukulkan said...

"Obama's surrogates had the class not to fire back the obvious answer to her jab."

Sadly, you did not show the same restraint as demonstrated by Sen. Obama or his surrogates.

I'm a Republican, so my party stands to gain by your comments. But look at it critically. Either Sen. Obama will be nominated or Sen. Clinton. The more the two of them and their supporters (i.e. you Mr. Barnes) rip into each other, the less likely it is that the winner will gain the allegiance of the loser's supporters. This is why the Democratic Party has superdelegates -- but they don't have the testicular fortitude to save the party.

Sen. Clinton had the good sense to ask Feraro to leave the campaign (please note that I don't think that Sen. Clinton has been playing nicely in the sandbox). Why didn't Sen. Obama have the good sense to leave his congregation? God damn America indeed. I cannot imagine how Sen. Obama can be elected the next President of the United States with that albatross hanging on him. And I've got a pre-existing bet that the next President will be a Democrat. It looks like the Democrats are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

mjholt said...

In a way Ferraro is right...
Were Obama a white man he would have 2500 delegates and Hil would have been thrown under the bus weeks ago. I am so tired of her and her crew trotting out people like Ferraro to make statements that are disgusting. She tepidly refutes them. I have been a supporter of Hil, but since Bill started poking at the race issue with a stick, I'm done with them both. If she wins the nomination, I'll vote for her because I do not want more Repubs, but I do not want to hold my nose when I vote.

Lester Spence said...

Sen. Clinton had the good sense to ask Feraro to leave the campaign (please note that I don't think that Sen. Clinton has been playing nicely in the sandbox). Why didn't Sen. Obama have the good sense to leave his congregation?
Ferraro was not asked to leave. She resigned. It took Clinton some time to repudiate her comments.

When you refer to Obama's congregation what are you referring to exactly?

Kukulkan said...

Lester:

Ferraro would not have resigned unless she had been asked to do so. There are two broad scenarios how this played out. One. Sen. Clinton and her staff planned for Ferraro to make the comment about Sen. Obama's race giving him a lift. If this is true, everyone would know that Ferraro would be asked to resign if it became controversial. Two. Ferraro made the comment without discussing it with Sen. Clinton and staff. In this situation, she was either asked to resign or offered to resign and the offer was accepted.

If you want to know what I mean about Sen. Obama and his congregation, just google: Obama, congregation, pastor, "god damn america." Essentially, Sen. Obama's been going to the same church since law school. The pastor at the church (who just retired) has given a number of controversial sermons. In one sermon contemporaneous with 9/11, he blamed America and said that we nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki without blinking an eyelash. In another one last fall, he said that Sen. Clinton had it easy and had never known the discrimination that Sen. Obama has experienced. Until very recently, Sen. Obama described his relationship with this pastor as like the uncle with whom you don't always agree. Sen. Obama has now come out and stated his profound disagreement with some of the sermons. If he profoundly disagreed with some of the sermons (e.g., where the pastor asked God to damn the U.S.), why would he have stayed at the church?

Anonymous said...

Sen. Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2005. Prior to that he was he was at state level.

Sen. Clinton was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2001.

I don't know if having more time at state level makes up for having less time at national level.

John M.

Lester Spence said...

kukulkan, there is a difference between ferraro's treatment in the clinton campaign and samantha power's treatment in the obama campaign. when power referred to clinton as a monster she was asked to resign clearly. every media entity that covered the event noted this.

in contrast not only are there no media entities that posit that ferraro was asked to resign/was fired...ferraro herself says she was not.

do you have clear data that suggests otherwise, data based on sources i can see?
....
you're referring to obama's former pastor, who recently retired. i would have really liked to see a discussion about pastor wright's comments in comparison to those of john hagee, who argued (among other things) that katrina was an act of god caused by New Orleans' stance on gay rights.

Kukulkan said...

Lester:

I had seen several news stories re Ferraro's resignation without seeing anything regarding a request for her resignation. My comments regarding Ferraro being asked to resign were based on my knowledge of how campaigns normally work. I have now seen comments attributed to her indicating that she was not asked to resign. Although I harbor some doubts, I am willing to accept that she unilaterally resigned. Although Sen. Clinton has repudiated Ferraro's remarks, the repudiation was not particularly forceful.

What does John Hagee have to do with Sen. Obama being a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's congregation for twenty years? Two malcontents don't make a patriot. Is Hillary Clinton or John McCain associated with Hagee? What's your point? My point is that a candidate who listened to sermons for twenty years from a pastsor who says we shouldn't sing "God Bless America," but rather "God Damn America," is not a candidate who can be elected in this country. I'm very interested in whether such comments were regular parts of Rev. Wright's sermons. We will learn more about this -- and it does not look good for Sen. Obama.

Given the disparity in fundraising between Democrats and Republicans, I was sure that a Democrat would be the next President. Now that Sen. Clinton's side has belittled Sen. Obama's perceived race, she can no longer count on the Black vote. If Rev. Wright's comments were fairly routine for his sermons, Sen. Obama will be unelectable. And, since Sen. McCain doesn't understand one jot about economics, we're looking at four years of economic downturns.

Algonquin J. Calhoun said...

"I do wonder, has anyone actually asked the Harvard admissions department or the editors of the law review who picked him after his first year if he was a beneficiary of AA or not? It seems like an obvious question for reporters to dig into".

Indeed it does seem like an obvious question for reporters to dig into. White reporters. I surmise why it either hasn't been broached, or has and not reported, is that neither Harvard nor his law school would have the cojones to dignify the question with an answer worth revealing to the general public less they be thought of supporting one extreme or the other, or being charged with felonious political-correctness that would change the way we look at the word vague.

I sure hope the USA is getting a GOOD look at itself via this election and realizes what black people have known for quite sometime now. Nobody on TV is going to call it what it truly is, but the sound of silence to me is an ear drum decibel busting or high altitude pressure bitch that perhaps has other black people like me holding our hands to our ears with our mouths open to equalize the pressure that's associated with barotrauma.

Lester Spence said...

i brought up hagee because he's been directly connected not only with mccain but a host of conservative candidates at the national and local level. and of course he's not alone.

what pastor wright has said will likely serve as an unfortunate litmus test for obama. however even though my support for obama has dimmed SIGNIFICANTLY over the past few months (too DLC-like for me), i think that if wright becomes an issue, hagee and others like him probably become issues.

when asked about the patriotism charge in relation to comments his wife made, obama said that given that the leader of mccain's party had soldiers purchase their own body armor in a time of war, the patriotism discussion was one that he'd delight in addressing.



kukulkan i asked about the data regarding ferraro because while i know how campaigns normally work i threw "normal" out in clinton's case because her campaign represents the first time in the modern era where racial appeals were made in INTRA-party politics at the national level.

Anonymous said...

Lester:
lets see if I have your logic right. I move into an area and I am looking for a doctor for my family. Someone recommends Dr. A. I say to this person, but I understand Dr. A has a number of malpractice suits against him. The person now responds that Dr. B also in the area also has a number of malpractice suits against him. I am now supposed to feel good about having my family under Dr. A's care. I don't think so.
One resorts to defending one person by pointing their finger at another only when they have no better defense.

Marty S

Frank said...

Lester Spence

what pastor wright has said will likely serve as an unfortunate litmus test for obama...i think that if wright becomes an issue, hagee and others like him probably become issues.

No, and here's why:

a) Obama's participation in Wright's congregation was clearly voluntary and enthusiastic. Wright performed a number of milestone rituals with regards to the family. Obama donated tens of thousands of dollars to Wright's ministry.

b) People wrote off the endorsement of Farrakhan because of how deftly it was handled by the candidate. But after seeing Wright and finding out that Farrakhan and Wright were close associates, people will now recall and reevaluate that endorsement.

c) People wrote off the "I'm proud of America for the first time" comment by Michele Obama, figuring it was an innocent misspeak. But now after hearing what Michele and her family have been hearing from Rev Wright for twenty years they will recall and reevaluate whether or not she meant it.

None of these things are going to taint either McCain or Clinton an even remotely the same way.

Most people who are not in agreement with the Rev Wright will rightly say "If my pastor said those things, he would not be my pastor for very long".

And most people are going to wonder why that was not true for Obama.

I'm sorry, but I believe that this is very likely a fatal wound for the Obama campaign

Lester Spence said...

This is going to be hard for Obama to deal with, but only because he sidestepped it rather than dealing with it head on. Making the claim that he never heard Wright say these things when he was in the pulpit doesn't make any kind of sense to me.

Saying on the other hand that Pastor Wright's comments are understandable EVEN THOUGH HE DISAGREED WITH THEM represents another thing entirely.

Whatever you think about Pastor Wright's comments, it seems to me that any American older than 60 coming from the south has to have a notion of "American pride" that is conditioned by this. This is what democracy looked like (elected officials at every level supported lynching explicitly or implicitly). This is what capitalism looked like (trains often ran special deals on the day of potential lynchings...blacks were often lynched because they tried to start their own businesses).

If this was your reality, the reality of your cousins, the reality of your loved ones, how would you think about the state that allowed it...even after it was changed through the equivalent of a revolution? Can you at least understand why someone would say this type of thing?

Now I can understand fully why someone like Haggee would claim that Katrina was brought on because God doesn't like homosexuality. But making the claim that God doesn't like homosexuality and as a result God called a hurricane down on a major American city is a qualitatively different claim than making the claim that America is or should be damned because of its long and tragic history of white supremacy.

Placing the two alongside each other would allow for an interesting conversation about racism, about homophobia, about black nationalism, and about patriotism. I believe enough in the American people to say that if that conversation were held...as opposed to soundbites...Obama wouldn't be in nearly as much trouble as McCain.

But I believe that Obama foreclosed that option.

(as an aside i think this conversation would benefit from a bit more specificity. frank when you say "people" do you mean "white people"? i know exactly what michelle obama meant when she talked about finally becoming proud of america. i don't know any non-white person who doesn't understand this. why do you think whites have this problem?)

Anonymous said...

Lester:
This time I think you got it pretty much right. All of Obama's pastor's beliefs aren't necessarily Obama's beliefs. If he said something along the lines you indicated that reverend was a good man some of who's beliefs He,Obama didn't agree with it should have been a non issue, but instead he claimed to be unaware of these sermons/beliefs. This makes him either too naive to be president or a liar. Of course, you could say the latter trait hasn't stopped a number of other presidents.

Marty S

Frank said...

Lester Spence

I think you are being selective. You said

But making the claim that God doesn't like homosexuality and as a result God called a hurricane down on a major American city is a qualitatively different claim than making the claim that America is or should be damned because of its long and tragic history of white supremacy.

Let's grant the Reverend this point. The question remains, how do you justify this comment regarding how we deserved to be attacked on 9/11

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and the black South Africans, and now we are indignant. Because the stuff we have done overseas has now been brought back into our own front yard. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

He wants to equate the waging of a war against Japan with the attacks on the World Trade Center?

State terrorism against Palestinians? Not a single mention of terrorism against Israel?

How does anyone justify:

“The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”

Gee, I thought the government invented HIV to eliminate Gays. Obviously I'm being sarcastic here because I never heard this line of "reasoning" before. But it is still lunatic conspiracy talk.

Or this

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Does he really think that the US Government gives drugs to African-Americans just to throw them in jail?

The problem is that Rev Wright's views on these matters are simply lunacy. And the question people will have is "is Obama a lunatic too?"

as an aside i think this conversation would benefit from a bit more specificity. frank when you say "people" do you mean "white people"?

Perhaps. But what I really mean is that people who are not glassy-eyed members of the church-of-Obama are going to look at all of this and take another, deeper look at his candidacy.

Certainly Jews, a mainstay of the Democratic Party are not going to like the Reverend taking the side of the Palestinians.

But I hope you are not suggesting that this type of rhetoric is typical of the majority of black churches. That would be truly disturbing.

Lester Spence said...

I'm going to start backwards.

I don't support Obama. I support him more than I do Clinton, but even with Obama's historic candidacy I am no longer convinced.

So when I ask you to be specific, I am asking you as an African American who HASN'T imbibed the Obama koolaid, but understands the context of Wright's comments, and the comparative difference between them and someone like Haggee.

In reference to my comments about white supremacy you--for the sake of argument--grant Wright the point. But while again I'm not asking you to agree--I'm not sure that you are going far enough.

The reason I say that is because every statement that you attributed to Wright not only makes sense if you think about growing up under what was from the perspective of many African Americans a racist STATE (as opposed to simply a state with racist individuals living within it). In fact, not only do they make sense--WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH THEM OR NOT--there is objective data that can make it clear why Wright feels this way. Whether we're talking about the most far out claim (that the government created HIV--see the Tuskegee experiment), to the criticism of Israel, to the criticism of the war on drugs.

I am not familiar with similar data that can be brought to bear on the homophobic (and anti-catholic) statements of someone like Haggee.

Now Obama's membership in Wright's church becomes a fatal flaw for Obama (going back in time before Obama decided to play the fool) only if we work under the assumption that whites do not have the capacity to understand the history of their own country. If whites cannot understand for example that the very country that gives us the right to say what we want was also the country that within our lifetimes used every aspect of public and private power to terrorize black people...then it makes sense that Wright's comments would alienate them. Even if context is provided.

Now this very well may be the case, but that isn't a flaw of Obama's, but rather of a very specific component of the vote--the white vote--that he's going after.

I actually have more faith in white American voters you seem to if this is the case you are making....particularly now. If you'd have asked me five years ago I would have had a different answer, but both Harold Ford and Obama's support among white voters has changed my mind here.

Lester Spence said...

onto the secret.

a couple of other posters have referred to your data claims. i agree with them. you can use anecdotal evidence to refer to how well they work, but as soon as you talk about "research" without providing citations, red flags are going to go up for some people...justifiably so. Not because of YOU, but because of a long history of folks using "research" to justify all sorts of exercise regiments.

also, you deal with a number of concepts here that bear further development. are you assuming that your average reader has some understanding of these concepts or are you just using shorthand here for your readers--who are likely more knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone consider Haggee's statements to be particularly relevant here? Have either Hillary Clinton or John McCain been enthusiastic members of Haggee's congregation for decades? Has either been been wed by him, had their children baptized by him and held him close as a spiritual and political advisor? Did either one credit Haggee for bringing them to Christ and showing them what Christianity is all about?

You might as well condemn John McCain for the Mi Lai Massacre - after all, McCain was in the military during Vietnam, so even though he was never at Mi Lai, he had a tenuous, indirect connection because he wore his country's uniform. Haggee or Mi Lai - you could call it "guilt by lack of association." The situation with Wright and Obama is totally different.

Marco

Kukulkan said...

Lester:

"i brought up hagee because he's been directly connected not only with mccain but a host of conservative candidates at the national and local level."

I haven't spent a lot of time researching the connection between Rev. Hagee and Sen. McCain, but this is what I've found. Sen. McCain sought Rev. Hagee's endorsement. Rev. Hagee endorsed Sen. McCain, who stated he was proud of the endorsement. Sen. McCain has repudiated Rev. Hagee's wacky comments. I found no evidence that Sen. McCain is a member of Rev. Hagee's congregation, that he donated money to Rev. Hagee's church, that Sen. McCain was married by Rev. Hagee, or that Sen. McCain has compared Rev. Hagee to Sen. McCain's weird uncle.

For me (and I believe most Americans) there is a huge qualitative difference between someone seeking the endorsement of an influential wackjob for political gain, and someone who chooses to be part of a wackjob's congregation for twenty years, chooses to be married by a wackjob, chooses to donate money and time to the wackjob's church, and chooses to have his children baptized by the same wackjob. I do not respect Sen. McCain's choice to seek Rev. Hagee's endorsement, but I do not condone it. I do condone Sen. Obama's demonstrated, enthusiastic commitment and dedication to a wackjob that wants God to damn America (or, as he would call it, the KKKA).

"Placing the two alongside each other would allow for an interesting conversation about racism, about homophobia, about black nationalism, and about patriotism. I believe enough in the American people to say that if that conversation were held...as opposed to soundbites...Obama wouldn't be in nearly as much trouble as McCain."

I completely disagree with your conclusion that Sen. McCain would be in greater trouble than Sen. Obama for the reasons I set forth above. Comparing the two pastors might indeed be an intellectually interesting and rewarding conversation.

"every statement that you attributed to Wright . . . makes sense if you think about growing up under what was from the perspective of many African Americans a racist STATE"

This is why the Tuskegee airmen fought tooth and nail in order to be allowed to fight for our country? These men are profound patriots who love our country at the same time they vehemently rejected the racism of the day. However, instead of asking God to damn America, they fought for the opportunity to die in defense of our country. I cannot agree that Rev. Wright's comments make any sense (by the way, I'm not referring to all of his comments; I'm sure he's said something reasonable at some point).

"In fact, not only do they make sense--WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH THEM OR NOT--there is objective data that can make it clear why Wright feels this way. Whether we're talking about the most far out claim (that the government created HIV--see the Tuskegee experiment)"

Wow, the fact that Americans committed horrible experiments on Blacks suffering from STDs makes it objectively reasonable for Rev. Wright to believe that the U.S. Government created HIV? Despite the evidence that indicates that HIV originated in Africa? I'm sorry, but I cannot agree that Rev. Wright's belief regarding HIV is anything resembling reasonable. To my mind, it betrays a deep and abiding disgust for the country that guarantees his freedom to say the U.S. created HIV.

Kukulkan said...

"I do not respect Sen. McCain's choice to seek Rev. Hagee's endorsement, but I do not condone it. I do condone Sen. Obama's demonstrated, enthusiastic commitment and dedication to a wackjob that wants God to damn America (or, as he would call it, the KKKA)."

Replace condone with condemn. Oops.

Josh Jasper said...

And so the Swift Boating begins.

Steve, take a good look at what they're doing to bring Obama down.

Anonymous said...

While a lot of the Reverend's statements are over the top, I do agree with Lester that they must viewed in context of the world he grew up in. As a Jew the same age as Rev. Wright, I know

1) How I was impacted by growing up with neighbors with numbers tattooed on their arms.

2) The antisemitism and job discrimination suffered by Jews, which was much less than that suffered by blacks.

3) The insights into what it meant to be black in the fifties in the Bronx,which I obtained from discussions with black kids in the neighborhood. And I am sure their experience was better than that of blacks down south.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

"And so the Swift Boating begins."

How is this Swift Boating?

"Steve, take a good look at what they're doing to bring Obama down."

Bringing up relevant facts about a candidate?

Marco

AF1 said...

Quite frankly, I agree with some of Wright's statements.

Such as 9/11 being a case of America's "foreign policy chickens" coming home to roost.

The stuff about the US inventing the AIDS virus, though, is the stuff of nutjobs.

Frank said...

Lester Spence

...that isn't a flaw of Obama's, but rather of a very specific component of the vote--the white vote--that he's going after.

Yes, but this is important. The Myth of Obama has been that he is "Post-Racial", that he is a person who can bring people together to get things done.

Now the fact that there was no evidence to support these claims didn't seem to deflect this impression.

But his close association with Wright does. And that ultimately is his problem.

Yes, there will be those who can overlook any contrary evidence and they will stay with him. There are those who will agree with Wright and stay with him. But the question going forward is: Will the people who bought the Myth be able to still believe the Myth.

And yes that speaks to White voters, and Hispanic voters, and Jewish Voters, and all of those Black voters who were hoping for a post-racial candidate.

but both Harold Ford and Obama's support among white voters has changed my mind here.

Oh but you neglect to mention Michael Steele. His problem wasn't with White voters....

Anonymous said...

One can question the relevance of the over the top comments by the pastor by themselves, but together with the area of expertise of his former foreign policy adviser( hunger and genocide in Africa), his solution to the Mideast problem his lack of focus on other problems like N. Korea and Venezuela and one begins to form a picture of what our foreign policy would be like under Obama and that scares me. His belief that he is going to solve our Mideast problems by talking with our enemies and setting up a Palestinian state on the west bank reminds me too much of Neville Chamberlain's solution to Europe's problem with Germany, talk to Adolph and force Czechoslovakia to cede him the Sudetenland.
Oh and if I'm constantly comparing the current situation to that just preceding WWII just put it context of my age and heritage.

Marty S

Frank said...

Marty S

One can question the relevance of the over the top comments by the pastor by themselves, but together with the area of expertise of his former foreign policy adviser( hunger and genocide in Africa), his solution to the Mideast problem his lack of focus on other problems like N. Korea and Venezuela and one begins to form a picture of what our foreign policy would be like under Obama and that scares me. His belief that he is going to solve our Mideast problems by talking with our enemies and setting up a Palestinian state on the west bank reminds me too much of Neville Chamberlain's solution to Europe's problem with Germany, talk to Adolph and force Czechoslovakia to cede him the Sudetenland.

Well, there's that.

And it is my biggest complaint about his candidacy as well.

But to be fair, none of this seems to matter much to those who vote in Democratic Primaries. If it did, someone like Joe Biden or Bill Richardson would have risen to the top instead of the two they are stuck with now.

But it is my impression that this will be a bigger deal in the General election and it is why my feeling is that the Presidential race will be McCain's to lose.

The population that is all Democratic voters and the population that is all Democratic Primary voters all almost to different universes. And when you throw in independents and the fact that in the General Election the Democratic candidate's position will be attacked from the Right (something not done during the Democratic primary and we only have a small foretaste of is so far), Democrats will be struggling on Foreign Policy issues.

Lester Spence said...

Frank we agree that Obama's post-racial rhetoric has created a problem for him here. And of course what is done is done. We disagree in that I think he missed an opportunity to actually LEAD people towards the types of discussions that we really need to become a "post-racial" society. (Whatever that is.)

You bring up Steele...and black voters (is this right)? Given that blacks routinely give democratic candidates (of whatever race) 90% of the vote, I'm not quite sure why we would expect anything different here. On the other hand when Ford ran for Senate in the south and only lost--even when implicit racial appeals are used against him--by only a couple of percentage points? That opened my eyes.

Josh Jasper said...


Bringing up relevant facts about a candidate?


Actually, it's ringing up a selection of carefully tailored negative statements made by a retired pastor at Obama's church, and trying your damnedest to see if you can tie them to the Obama in order to torpedo his candidacy. To make it look like he's a secret American hater, to tie him to Louis Farakhan, and to make it look like he's involved in some sort of black separatist movement.

The lies about Obama being a Muslim were an early foray into this sort of campaign trick.

It's turning a small, minor detail of his personal life into something huge, and trying to make that the entire reason to ignore all Obama has said and done, and fall victim to the politics of fear.

And of course, the subltle hinting that, as a black man, Obama might share a grudge against whites is noted. If you know what you're looking for, that "dog whistle" is there in the anti-Obama rhetoric that's showing up. I know that worried, white conservatives can hear it. It's like the words family vlues being used in earshot of ant-gay people. When they hear those words, they know that the candidate is opposed to gay rights. When you hear people talking about Obama's ex minister, and this guys racial politics, you can be sure that they're trying to spread fear that Obama shares those views.

Steve, it's starting to get ugly, and it'll only get uglier.

Lester Spence said...

"every statement that you attributed to Wright . . . makes sense if you think about growing up under what was from the perspective of many African Americans a racist STATE"

This is why the Tuskegee airmen fought tooth and nail in order to be allowed to fight for our country? These men are profound patriots who love our country at the same time they vehemently rejected the racism of the day. However, instead of asking God to damn America, they fought for the opportunity to die in defense of our country. I cannot agree that Rev. Wright's comments make any sense (by the way, I'm not referring to all of his comments; I'm sure he's said something reasonable at some point).

Read What the Fourth of July Means to the Negro?

Frank said...

Lester Spence

Frank we agree that Obama's post-racial rhetoric has created a problem for him here. And of course what is done is done. We disagree in that I think he missed an opportunity to actually LEAD people towards the types of discussions that we really need to become a "post-racial" society.

I don't think we disagree on that.

And frankly, what I think happened is that he joined the church for political reasons that served him well in Chicago, but then became a liability when he went National.

Unfortunately, this doesn't help him much given his rhetoric. It makes him look like just another politician which contradicts the Obama "brand".

And the real problem isn't even in the Primary: He's probably still going to go to the Convention with more delegates and, likely, more of the popular vote. But now it makes his case for getting the Superdelegates much harder to make.

And the worst thing about that is that if these delegates wind up going with Hillary as a result, and she wins, a good part of the Obama electorate may just decide that he was betrayed.

That will be a problem in the general given that McCain is attractive to moderates of all parties.

Lester Spence said...

And the worst thing about that is that if these delegates wind up going with Hillary as a result, and she wins, a good part of the Obama electorate may just decide that he was betrayed.

Yep. I'm not part of the Obama electorate, but I've decided not to give my support to Clinton under any circumstances because of her campaign tactics.

Dan Moran said...

Well, one real benefit to this -- all the people who've been upset at how horribly Hillary's treated Obama will get to see what horrible really looks like, over the next few months.

BTW, Steve, your resentment about Hillary saying Obama hadn't been vetted -- this is the sort of stuff I was talking about. They can't find anything new on Hillary, after all these years; they can and will find stuff to use against Obama. Whether it's true or relevant won't matter; only whether it'll stick ...

Lester Spence said...

Well, one real benefit to this -- all the people who've been upset at how horribly Hillary's treated Obama will get to see what horrible really looks like, over the next few months.
Dan I think this is another instance where specificity is needed. Because as far as political appeals go African Americans born say before 1975 or so already know what "bad" looks like. What population of supporters do you imagine might not be prepared or ready for "horrible"?

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

"Skills that demand coordination like piano playing work perfectly for this: you'll get more out of practicing ten minutes five times during the day than 50 minutes once. "

Well, that's reassuring. I'm practicing on a piano keyboard now, so I can eventually accompany myself singing, and practicing for short periods several times a day is exactly what I find myself wanting to do. I was seeing that as just me being lazy.

Anonymous said...

Lester: funny you should mention 1975. I was the year that I joined Chase Manhattan Bank at their corporate headquarters in a brand new group headed up by a Black VP. Eric had an MBA from Wharton and he and I were enthusiastic about what I could do for the group and the corporation. After six months those of us in the group realized that every recommendation we made was going into the circular file. They had hired Eric as a VP and created a group to report to him to fulfill a court ordered quota of black executives. After eighteen months they promoted him to Sr. VP of another group, disbanded our group, transfered the four females in our group and laid off all the male members of the group. So I think I can understand why some people might have responded favorably to the Jesse Helms ad and why I oppose affirmative action as something which leads to dividing the races rather than promoting a post racial society.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

Lester, I wrote:

Well, one real benefit to this -- all the people who've been upset at how horribly Hillary's treated Obama will get to see what horrible really looks like

And you said,

What population of supporters do you imagine might not be prepared or ready for "horrible"?

I think I defined them pretty clearly in the previous post. Those who think what the Clinton campaign has thrown at Obama is "horrible," will be appalled to see what conservatives are going to throw at him. If you're not in that camp, no problem on my end ... but I think a fair number of Obama's supporters are in that camp.

Lester Spence said...

Black middle class voters have long been familiar with the use of explicit and implicit racial appeals in political campaigns. But what distinguishes the Clinton case from the willie horton/jesse helm ads is that Clinton is a democrat. To the extent I expect these types of ads I expect them to be used by the GOP, NOT by the DNC. What Clinton did was horrible because the DNC purportedly represents the party of racial "sensitivity".

Keith Olbermann's commentary on this hits the nail on the head perfectly. There is nothing the Swift Boat folks can hit Sen. Obama with that will "hurt" as much as what Clinton did.

Marty, thanks for the anecdote. That Helms ad touched on a number of fears that really struck a chord with white middle and working class voters, people who in many cases felt their "rights" slowly slipping away.

Dan Moran said...

OK, so Clinton's acts w/Obama aren't worse because they're worse, but worse because you expect better? Fair enough.

I'll check back in September. I'm guessing a lot of people will have a new definition of worse, by then.

Anonymous said...

A Though Experiment

Let’s say that it was discovered that John McCain had, for decades, regularly attended a church that proclaimed itself white-centric, one which emphasizes a “white values system.” Let us further suppose that, in addition to delivering racially-charged sermons which expressed hostility to blacks, the pastor had a history of openly expressing racial animus towards some other ethnic group – Jews or Koreans for example. For good measure, assume that this cleric had also made angry statements which clearly led one to believe that the pastor passionately hated the United States. Let’s suppose that these hateful sermons had been delivered, among other times, on Christmas Day, a time when Christians often believe that focusing on Christ’s message of love and forgiveness is a good thing.

Furthermore, let’s say that it was revealed that the preacher who headed this church, in addition to presiding at Senator’s McCain’s wedding and baptizing his children, had long been his spiritual advisor, and that he had also been chosen by the Republican candidate as a close political advisor during his presidential campaign. Would this be a controversial situation? Would anyone be at all critical of McCain? And what if this spiritual mentor had given a lifetime achievement award to a white supremacist religious leader who was equivalent to Louis Farrakhan? What if the minister was conspiracy theory believer who, for example, told people in his sermons that blacks had deliberately brought AIDS from Africa in order to kill whites? If McCain’s very close association with this minister was called into question, how legitimate an argument would it be to say, “Well, the minister who had delivered numerous racially-charged inflammatory and appalling sermons has recently retired from the pulpit anyway, so it doesn’t really matter anymore”?

Republicans rightly repudiated David Duke and Pat Buchanan and drove them out of the GOP because of charges of racism and anti-Semitism. Would McCain’s political opponents argue that, whatever other criticism they may have of the Senator, it would be unfair to bring up his extremely close, voluntary, decades-long relationship with a hate-spewing preacher? Would they loudly defend McCain, asserting that it was irrelevant who his spiritual and political advisor was or what he said? If such a connection was revealed, isn’t it reasonable to think that a great many Republicans would be rightfully critical of McCain, just as they were in the case of David Duke and Pat Buchanan? Especially since many Republicans have been critical of McCain? And if McCain came out and stated that he didn’t agree with many of the things that this controversial preacher had said, would it really make sense to give McCain a free pass or make excuses for him?

And if John McCain’s main message involved creating a climate of change and bringing Americans together, wouldn’t such a revelation of decades-long, close association with an intensely racist religious leader cause a reasonable person to question the candidate’s belief in his own his message? Wouldn’t such an association cause people to question the candidate’s integrity and good judgement?

Josh Jasper said...

Let’s say that it was discovered that John McCain had, for decades, regularly attended a church that proclaimed itself white-centric, one which emphasizes a “white values system.”

Yeah, because whites, as an oppressed minority, have a real reason to create communities that affirm the values and community they have, because those horrible black people have, for centuries, told white people that white communities are criminal, sub human, and immoral.

Look, I don't agree with the thing s he's said either, but he has a damn good reason to be really angry at white people. White people do NOT have the same reason to be angry at black people.

For Barak Obama, having ties to the black community means a strong chance at having ties with people who're really really angry at white people. It's in no way "post racial" to expect that not to be true. Expecting Barak Obama to miraculously have ties only to non-angry people in the black community is just plain stupid.

Seeing this as hurting him, or wanting this to hurt him, and fake indignant words over how McCain doing "the same thing" with a white person just displays an ignorance of any reasonable concepts of racial justice.

Anonymous said...

Josh:
Let me get this straight. Geraldine Ferraro says that being Black has benefited Obama and she is chastised for playing the race card, but any white person/group who makes public information that might be unfavorable to Obama or who otherwise has anything critical to say about Obama is either racist bigot or at the least

displays an ignorance of any reasonable concepts of racial justice.

Those two positions sound a lot like wanting to have your cake and eat it.

Marty S

Anonymous said...

A disabled black liberal democrat was sworn in today as a governor of New York and Republicans were praising him. Will wonders never cease.

Marty S

Josh Jasper said...

Marty:


Let me get this straight. Geraldine Ferraro says that being Black has benefited Obama and she is chastised for playing the race card, but any white person/group who makes public information that might be unfavorable to Obama or who otherwise has anything critical to say about Obama is either racist bigot or at the least


That's about as tangled and misconstrued an interpretation of what I had to say you could of managed. I said *nothing* about Ferraro.

Here's the divide you're missing: Obama's minister has a good reason to be angry at white America, given his background. A white person mirroring his words? Would he have the same reason? Is seeing one as different from another wanting to have my cake and eat it too?

One of my friends blogs as Angry Black Woman. She says things like “Angry At White People” on occasion. I don't take it personally, and don't tell her she's being racist. A white person (me) telling a black person (her) she's a racist for being angry is just insecure.

A disabled black liberal democrat was sworn in today as a governor of New York and Republicans were praising him. Will wonders never cease.

Wait until Republicans start gunning for him if he's ever been friends with any black person who's been publicly angry.

Perhaps he'll be safe if he doesn't do something like run for president.

Algonquin J. Calhoun said...

Reading a few of the posts. Listening and watching the news. Watching the Clinton campaign roll along, and with the deafening silence of those black politicians that support her. Wow. I can't help but think of Groucho Marx's joke about about shooting an elephant in his underwear, but also said elephant sitting on the couch in the living-room, and smoking a cigarette at that, while all the time doing a perfect impression of the Invisible Man.

Scoot over Groucho. Make some room for H.G. Wells, and Ralph Ellison.

Anonymous said...

Okay Josh if you agree that Ferarro was right and Obama owes much of his success to being black then I apologize. Its just seems like most Obama supporters seem see any criticism of Obama as playing the race card or racist.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

You're going to have a hard time finding anyone on the left who thinks that Obama "owes much of his success to being black" -- probably the best you could come up with is saying that, in this election cycle, dealing with Democraic primary voters, it hasn't been an actual drawback.

Frank said...

Dan Moran

You're going to have a hard time finding anyone on the left who thinks that Obama "owes much of his success to being black"

Oh I don't know. Obama is a rookie on the national scene and hasn't even completed his first term as Senator.

His campaign has mostly been about his ability to be and agent of change and he is viewed as a "post-racial" candidate: Someone who can heal the racial wounds by being beyond race. And I think this is much of his appeal to voters and it negates his lack of experience; something that would under ordinary conditions have knocked him out of the race by now.

He is not an "Affirmative Action" candidate but I do not think a White person can be "post-racial".

At this moment in time, I think only an African-American can be a post-racial candidate.

suzanne said...

andrew sullivan has done a good job
of putting wright's comments in context
quoting both George Washington and Fredric Douglas,
who said similar things
and talking about his own reaction to various Catholic priests and the Pope who denounce homosexuality

it's sort of a
"brother's keeper" syndrome
that one person - a candidate -
is responsible for everything said
and believed by those who support him

I look forward to hearing
Obama's speech tonight
abot wright and about
race in the race

the rhetorical devices employed
in some of these comments
would be amusing if they weren't
so destructive
and demeaning

e.g.
implying that obama suprts
have imbibed "obama kool-aid"
a reference to that wacko Jim Jones
and his cult

reminds me of how
Hillary has denigrated
supporters of obama
and dismissed so many states
(the ones that preferred obama)
as "un-important"

I'm so sick of this
negative feeding frenzy

Anonymous said...

Suzanne: Hilary actually has a very valid point about the states. Some states are historically very likely to go Republican and others Democratic, in these states it really doesn't matter who is the Democratic candidate. There is another set of states which I call the tossup states,which are the key to winning the election in the electoral college. Here's my personal list of tossup states(Colorado,Florida,Iowa,
Michigan,Minnesota,Missouri,Nevada,
NewHampshire,Ohio,Oregon,
Pennsylvania,Wisconsin). If one considers just these states,their electoral votes and the candidates performance in the state, then one can make the case that Hilary is more likely to win more electoral votes than Obama and therefore more likely to win the election. Of course since Florida has the most electoral votes of these states one can argue the point forever.

Marty S

Lester Spence said...

he's just delivered the most important political campaign speech of the 21st century. absolutely excellent.

Josh Jasper said...

Okay Josh if you agree that Ferarro was right and Obama owes much of his success to being black then I apologize.

I said NOTHING in this about Ferraro here. Sheesh!

Are you mistaking me for someone else?

If you want to know my opinion on the issue, I think we can't tell how much success from being black versus how much negatives has suffered from being black. Quantifying it is a divisive issue.

Obama is getting support from the black community, which he's in large part earned by being an active contributor to that community throughout his life. Is that "much" of his success? Depends on how you define it.

Its just seems like most Obama supporters seem see any criticism of Obama as playing the race card or racist.

I see criticism of him via the words of a minister he clearly disagrees with as a hatchet job, using an ignorance of racial issues to tarnish him unfairly. I think that's ignorant of issues of racial justice, and that it's playing the race card.

Steven Barnes said...

Synaptic Facilitation does indeed have a theoretical framework and laboratory research behind it. I can get my hands on the source material).

Steven Barnes said...

Fear Removal, on the other hand, was never presented to me as a clinical product, but rather a practical one that had worked for a variety of competitive athletes. I tried it myself, and was blown away. I suggested it to others, and kept getting positive feedback. Multiple cases conferred with therapists, used it in cases that had plagued them for years, and still got great results. At this point, I'm less interested in clinical research than in letting people try it for themselves. It costs nothing, and every expert I've spoken to says "that would work." Time to let people check it out for themselves.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

Five Minute Miracle first-- I've tried working with it (or at least what I understood of it), and found that my mind pretty much shut down if I tried to focus on big goals.

And it looks as though what I understood (from Sonnon's book and from Let Every Breath) was incomplete-- I thought it was a thorough exhale, but one made voluntarily rather than through movement. So my first question is, what sort of movement should drive the exhale?

My second question is-- I seem to be sort of before-the-beginning for some of your advice. Injecting goals from the outside doesn't seem to work terribly well for me. Any recommendations for starting from scratch?

Even so, I found that doing some deliberate thorough exhale/spontaneous inhale breathing tended to break up depressive inertia and was handy for charging up subway stairs. What's more, last week, I chose a medium-sized goal (completely topping off my button trays in time for a convention-- about 30 hours of work-- maybe it's a medium-small goal), and used that breathing while thinking about it. It was somewhat stressful, but I did get the trays done. This is the first time in some 25 years of doing conventions that I've had the trays completely filled, and I do count this as a miracle.

As for politics, I'm not at all happy about Obama liking Wright so much. On the other hand, there doesn't seem to be anything anti-white in Obama's actual record, and I rate his good sense about Iraq and his emphasis on civil liberties very highly. And I don't see any way he could get an anti-white program into effect.

The idea of the US government inventing AIDS seems like utter nonsense. The tech level simply wasn't there, and I don't think that level of biological knowledge would stay limited to one piece of bio-warfare. If the US government could do such stuff, I think there'd be rich people living much longer healthier lives, and there'd be bio-attacks on other countries. Do you have to be a science fiction reader to think that way?

As for Obama and affirmative action, I believe he's a likely candidate mostly because of his intelligence, people skills, and good sense, but there's also been a long campaign to portray white men in power as intrinsically yucky (the pretty way of saying this is that it'd be great to have a black president, and Hillary gets as much of a boost from being a woman), and that's been doing him some good.

Anonymous said...

Josh: In my book you keep you keep making my case for me.

I see criticism of him via the words of a minister he clearly disagrees with as a hatchet job, using an ignorance of racial issues to tarnish him unfairly. I think that's ignorant of issues of racial justice, and that it's playing the race card

Obama is running for president of the United States and its citizens are entitled to know everything about him that reflects on his judgment and decision making. I think his being comfortable with not just himself but his whole family attending a church where not only were these sermons given, but which was proud enough of these sermons to record them says something about the man that the public is entitled to know. I think the fact that even though he was warned that the pastor could hurt him he kept him in his campaign says something about the man.
It is each up to each person to decide what this information tells that person about Obama, but the voters are entitled to the information.
As an example, the latter fact suggests to me that Obama has a higher degree of personal loyalty than most politicians.

Marty S

Josh Jasper said...

I think the fact that even though he was warned that the pastor could hurt him he kept him in his campaign says something about the man.
It is each up to each person to decide what this information tells that person about Obama, but the voters are entitled to the information.


You keep talking as if "the information" was neutral, and the conservative intent of making white people worry that Obama wasn't first a Muslim, and now a black separatist was nonexistent.

All I can say is that I see what the conservative talking heads are doing. I'm not accusing you of doing it, but you've either participating, or willfully ignorant.

In case you missed it, or intentionally ignored it, Obama addressed the concerns you raised. If his personal word is not enough, or if somehow you've got some criticism of is continued friendship with Wright despite his disagreeing on the issues in question, I'd suggest that you apply the same criterion to Republican candidates.

From my perspective, McCain has never denounced Hagee's anti-gay bigotry, or any of the other countless acts of anti-gay bigotry from his supporters.

I don't think Obama is a racist, or that he coddles racists, but I know for a fact that John McCain is coddling anti gay bigots, and he personally may not have any animus against gay people, but he's certainly no friend, and his voting record is what the gay community considers hostile.