Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Barack Obama: The Future Is the Past


Despite her maternal solicitude for him, Oprah Winfrey is not Barack Obama's mama. A recent PBS documentary on genomes revealed that Oprah's lineage is 100% African, which is almost unheard of in this country. No white man ever defiled her black ancestors. She has that much in common with Barack Obama, who is the product of a biracial union. His late mother was from Kansas (like Dorothy) and his father from Kenya. Barack is descended on his mother's side from the family of Jefferson Davis, president of the CSA. His father's family were never slaves, though as Muslims (or philomuslims) they may have supplied the slavers. Obama Sr. resided in the U.S. long enough to acquire a doctorate from Harvard and beget Obama Jr. Barack Obama, therefore, is a first generation African-American. His "middle passage" consisted of relocating from Honolulu to Chicago via Jakarta. If reparations were ever paid to African-Americans, he wouldn't be on the receiving end. In fact, with his ties to Jefferson Davis, he might well be on the dispersing end, although. of course, he won't be dispensing his own money.

Barack(a) Hussein Obama's parents met at the University of Honolulu and were married shortly thereafter. It was a bigamous marriage because Obama's father never divorced his first wife in Kenya. His mother, named Stanley after her father — who had always wanted a son — was an early hippie and militant atheist. She may also have been a communist, though her friends from high school and college avoid that word, preferring instead "contrarian," "iconoclast," "off-center," "not standard issue," "liberal" and "fellow traveller" (the last probably being the most accurate description). Barack's father was a foreign exchange student from Kenya, who had dreams of becoming the next Jomo Kenyatta (he would have been better off studying at Moscow U. if that was his goal and so would we). The marriage of Barack's parents was opposed by both their families, but more stridently by his Kenyan relations than by Jefferson Davis' heirs. The patriarch of the Obama clan wrote to Stanley's parents accusing her of being a harridan who wanted to destroy his son's future prospects in Kenya. Although Obama Sr. decamped without his wife or son to Harvard and thence to Kenya, the "taint" of intermarriage (to a white, an American and a non-Muslim) did indeed make Obama Sr. a pariah at home. Many years later, a friend from his college days, Congressman Neil Abercrombie (D-Hw), visited Obama pere there and noted that he had become an alcoholic who talked only about his missed opportunities and never even asked about his ex-wife or son.

Barack was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents in Hawaii. He was in the fifth grade before he saw another black man. It was his father. He saw him at an airport stopover and never again. His mother, who had a penchant for exotic men, next married another foreign exchange student, this one an Indonesian Muslim named Lolo Soetoro, who was the father of Obama's half-sister Maya. Stanley femme followed her new husband to Jakarta, where Obama, now known as "Barry Soetoro," attended first a Catholic and then a Muslim school. He was listed as a Muslim on the registration form of the Strada Asisia Catholic School. He later transferred to Menteng School #1, ostensibly a "public school" but one with a mosque in its courtyard. Some have described it as a fundamentalist Islamic madrassa, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it taught the official religion like all state schools in Indonesia. "Barry" also accompanied his stepfather to mosque for Friday prayers. Barack once denied all this, but now merely claims never to have followed the Muslim religion. In his autobiography, he wrote that his father had been raised a Muslim but became a "confirmed atheist" like his mother. He cited his mother's atheism to insinuate that she would not have approved of a religious upbringing and also claimed that his stepfather was "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful" and supposedly incorporated elements of ancient animism (spirit worship) and Hinduism into his practice of Islam. It may have been Obama, however, who found it convenient to dilute his late stepfather's observance of Islamic practices with tales of his eating snakes "for their power" and other enormities. All this is a moot point: according to Islamic law, if your father is a Muslim, you are a Muslim; if you were born a Muslim, you will always be a Muslim. Of course, it would be the worst kind of religious bigotry to suggest that being a Muslim is inherently evil or outside the pale of civilization. This, however, is exactly what Obama suggests every time that he denies his religious upbringing or disassociates himself from the Muslim faith of his youth. At his madrassa nearly 40 years ago he was not taught to be a suicide bomber. That much should be obvious. But Obama won't credit his countrymen with enough sense to see that. Maybe he's right not to credit them.

"Barry" attended high school at an elite prep in Hawaii, whose students included the descendents of the Doles of canned pineapple fame. At school, he was on the basketball team and was known as "Barry O'Bomber," not because he was a Muslim suicide terrorist but because of his wicked long shots. His best friend and confidante was an older boy named Keith Kakugawa, who was also of mixed ancestry (Japanese/African). He joked in his autobiography that between them they comprised the only black at their high school. This friend would resurface 30 years later as a convicted cocaine dealer who allegedly attempted to blackmail Obama with damaging information from their youth. Since Obama has admitted his own alcohol and drug abuse in high school, it would really not be much of a stretch to suppose what it is that his friend has on him. No one confesses to have been a cokehead in high school unless he was actually much more than that.

At college, where he proudly proclaims he took a class on international relations, which comprises his sole expertise in that area, Obama was a mediocre student, much like George Bush, and, by his own admission, did not make the best of his educational opportunities but did have a good time. He continued his laid back approach in the Senate, where he officiously avoided taking a stand on any controversial issue or casting a vote that would define him as anything in particular. Obama has missed nearly 40% of votes in the Senate and has the worst record of any Democrat. The few times that he did deign to vote were enough to class him with the senate's most backward-looking liberals. It doesn't really seem that he has many principles which he is willing to display (much less defend) and his mantra of "change" conceals the fact that he is not prone to change himself. Perhaps the "change" he means is not doctrinal or institutional as much as pigmentational. Electing a president because he is black (or the closest electable alternative) is just as reprehensible as denying a qualified candidate the presidency because he is black. Hopefully Americans will not make either mistake.

39 comments:

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

Manuel, most of this seems irrelevant to me and a little unfair. It's curious that you say; "Some have described it as a fundamentalist Islamic madrassa, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it taught the official religion like all state schools in Indonesia." and then go on to use "madrassa" with all its bad connotations later in the post.

Obama's record is very thin. The only good piece of legislation he's responsible for that I'm aware of is the database for pork projects (otherwise known as earmarks). He is an amazing politician and on the surface just the kind of thing the country needs.

BUT

I don't trust him. I know what McCains virtues and faults are and pretty much what his policies will be and what his character is, same with Clinton. Since Obama gives wonderful, inspirational speeches that are almost totally devoid of content, I have no idea where he really stands on anything. Since the press wont press him, I get nothing there either. Since his track record is so short, I can't judge him on that. I don't think I like his Kumbaya approach to dealing with our enemies, but once again, I really don't know what he means. I don't think there's any way I could vote for the guy this time around. Maybe in eight years, depending on what he turns out to be.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Rene:

It is Obama who seems obsessed with being mistaken for a Muslim because of his names (both "Barack" and "Hussein," of course, are Arab names), his education (whatever madrassas are today they weren't that 40 years ago, as I point out), and his having attended mosque as a boy with his Muslim stepfather. I point out in the article that none of this is relevant since he is not a Muslim (or even an Arabist) or much of anything except an exploiter of (half) his race for his own political benefit.

Barack was raised by whites in places where he was practically the only black. Perhaps therein lies his ability to connect with whites even as he identifies himself as an African-American. In his autobiography, entitled, curiously, "Dreams from My Father" (he never got anything but dreams from his father), he makes race the central conflict of his life. His friends — all his friends from childhood — deny it, but consider his abandonment by his father to be the catalyst of his life and career as what used to be called a "tragic mulatto." The irony, of course, is that whites (whether in his family or society) have never rejected him.

Since, as you say, there is so little substance to him beyond the platitudes (which are not casual but rather calculated), we must look for the truth about him elsewhere.

All we know about him now is that he has admitted to using cocaine in the past. Perhaps presidential candidates should all be tested for drugs as athletes are. Certainly the presidency is not a trivial pursuit.

nonee moose said...

No one confesses to have been a cokehead in high school unless he was actually much more than that.

That's a little irresponsible of you, don't you think? And unnecessary, too. You did a helluva job tarring him with innuendo behind facts. Why turn to outright speculation now?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I've learned more about him in this post, than in months of press coverage.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

His drug use in school was so notorious that there was no denying it. His friend could not have threatened him with exposing something that Obama himself had already admitted. So what else could he have on him? The only possible answer is that Obama, like his friend, also dealt drugs in high school. I don't really see much of a difference between a cokehead (or crackhead) and a dealer, but if it offends you I will retract the implication. Let's all just agree with Obama that he was a cokehead.

Now, let's all sing "Amazing Grace."

nonee moose said...

Define cokehead, MAT. You know how hard it is for me to agree with you, sometimes. :)

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Define "cokehead?"

George Bush.

Barack Obama.

All of Hollywood.

Oh, but those are illustrations.

Let me try a definition:

Anyone who has used cocaine as a recreational drug or claims to have used it for any other purpose.

nonee moose said...

You mean like anyone who ever partook of the grape is an alcoholic?

There's alot of black and white with you, MAT. Like America in the 40's.

The 1840's.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

You admit that there is such a creature as an alcoholic, why then can't you accept his homologue — the cokehead?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

P.S.:

By the way, I didn't say anything about punishing alcoholics or cokeheads. I just feel uncomfortable with a cokehead or alcoholic as president of the United States. You wouldn't let them babysit your kids, would you? Why, then, the country and the world?

Agustin Farinas said...

Comparing anyone who ever drank a glass of wine with a cokehead is stretching the truth a little far, isn't it? By this definition, Jesus was an alcoholic because he drank wine at the Last supper!
We don't want an alcoholic as President but if the President drank a glass of wine at a diplomatic reception for example, reception that does not make him an alcoholic in my book.
Now, if Mr. Obama used cocaine in high school, that would make him suspect in my book.
One cannot compare cocaine addiction with drinking an occasional glass of wine or beer. This is like comparing apples with oranges.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Agustín:

You are absolutely right. In fact, I would go one step farther — it would be like comparing apples and oranges to alkaloids and acidifiers.

Vana said...

Well Manuel, you took a scalpel and performed surgery on Obama, thank you it helped me to learn more about the guy, a "ex" cokehead as president, scary indeed!!

nonee moose said...

Ok, you two amateur chemists, settle down.

Agustin, you seem unconcerned with MAT's leap from cocaine use to addiction. I can only hope you took a running start like he did.

MAT, I agree that good judgement is a necessity for stewardship, whether of my country or my children. But, to demand perfect judgement, or rather to disqualify for anything less, is so fraught with moral certitude that it resembles some of our latter day prophets. Perhaps we can all move into the White House and we can call him Father. And then we'll help him board up the windows and mix up some grape kool-aid. And pray he was right after all.

Homologue??? So now your against gay people too?

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Having a history of cocaine use is like having a history of pedophilia — a little bit is enough. Addiction is better presumed than ignored especially when the lives of billions hang in the balance.

Anonymous said...

Manuel,
if you were in your twenties or thirties in the 1980's in So. Florida there is a fair to midlin' chance that you tried coke one or twice. Does that make you a cokehead? I think not. Rumors abound about Bill Clinton and his history of cocaine. Winston Churchill would probably be classified an alcoholic today. Don't you think you're being unfair to Obama. What if they guy cleaned up his act and is now the classic "family guy". Does his past as a partier have anything to do with what he is able to accomplish now?

By the way, he is not my candidate.

jane

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Jane:

Do not be misled by Scarface. That is as fair a portrayal of Miami's Cubans as the Godfather II is of pre-Castro Cuba.

I don't think that there are many people who have "tried" cocaine just once or twice. If that had been the extent of Barack's experience with it I doubt he would have felt compelled to admit it.

nonee moose said...

So, now the casinos in Havana weren't mobbed up? I've seen the fabled gold telephone up close, you know.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Are you the real nonee? Because the real nonee would know that the gold phone was publicly presented to President Batista by U.S. ambassador Spruille Braiden as a gift from the American Telephone Company, not U.S. mobsters.

The U.S. mob never controlled the Cuban government, which is the premise of the mendacious Godfather II. At one time its power was absolute in Las Vegas and extended to most major American cities. In Cuba, however, its influence was minimal. When Cubans spoke of "gangsters" they didn't mean the mafia. But you know that, of course.

nonee moose said...

Ask Rene if American Telephone isn't a mobster...

If you recall the movie, which you will promptly respond that you have never seen, the telephone was in fact presented to "Batista" by "ITT" who among others (United Fruit included) were at a private meeting with the Cuban dictator. The representation of organized crime was at the table as well. This is a movie scene, of course, but representative of the way business was done by the prior regime. At no time is there the implication that organized crime "controlled" the Cuban government. Rather, they had a seat at the table. Without a particular way of doing business, the private fortune amassed by the prior regime (which of course pales in comparison to the private fortune of the current one) would have been impossible. Likewise the stage could not have been set for the trojan horse of la revolucion. This is not speculation.

When it comes to career sargeants worth $50 mil, some things are better presumed than ignored, especially when the lives of millions hung in the balance.

P.S.- I'm not Carlos Miller, the Wackenhut Killer.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Before the Revolution, Cuba's GNP was the third-highest in the Western Hemisphere. It neither solicited, needed nor received U.S. aid. Its workers earned the highest income per capita in Latin American; the Cuban peso traded higher than the American dollar and was covertible into gold; Cuba's inflation rate was the lowest in the Americas and there was no national debt.

Whatever Batista was doing, he was doing right.

The implication that Batista sat at a table with American investors, who controlled the island and him, is a canard. Yet such is the implication which its producer/director intended.

nonee moose said...

I didn't see it that way. I saw Batista more in the role of the Mayor Carmine DePasto, of Animal House fame, "If you want to have the parade in my town, you have to pay."

Whatever Batista was doing, he was doing right.

So where is the moral rigidity now? Maybe you should think of something else. Like sports. It could help.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Why should outsiders have a "parade" in Cuba (or anywhere else) without paying?

One difference between Batista and Castro is that in Batista's Cuba everybody got "paid" but in Castro's Cuba none but the Castro brothers and their capos receives any benefit from his criminal regime.

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

That dictator Fulgencio Batista was infinitely better than the monster that followed is beyond dispute. He was however, a despicable piece of s*** nevertheless. He was not detrimental to the economy and his economic policies may even have been good. However, Cuba's prosperity had much more to do with the price of sugar (specially after world war two) than with any president.

I hold Fidel Castro, et al., responsible for the disaster that is Cuba today as well as for all the crimes against Cubans and humanity itself, but I hold Batista greatly responsible for our tragedy as well. He betrayed our country pure and simple. Just because he was satisfied with subverting only part of our constitution and would not bother you as long as you didn't object to that and his vast corruption and stealing, does not absolve him of his high crimes against the Cuban people.

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

As far as drug use in leaders goes, it's a non issue with me. I despise GW, but it does not bother me in the least that he used to be a drunk in his adult life, I could care less if Bill Clinton inhaled or not in his college days and I certainly could care less what any of them did in their high school days.

Winston Churchill was not only a drunk by today's standards, he was a drunk by any standards. I think he could have drunk anyone under the table, except maybe for Socrates. Obviously cocaine is a more serious matter, but it should be as obvious as something like this can ever be, that Obama is not now and has not been for a very long time anything resembling a coke head, if he ever was.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

René:

I have always said that I should prefer 1000 years of Batista's rule to a single day of Castro's. One thousand years would not have sufficed Batista to destroy Cuba; a single day would have been enough for Castro.

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

Manuel:

I have no quarrel with that.

nonee moose said...

And neither do I.

However, I do find it humorous. MAT will lynch soemone for lapses in judgement- presumably recalibrated- which are, arguably, marginally relevant to running a country. And yet, he will turn positively flaccid at the mention of a verified Cuban dictator and his complicity (unwitting, perhaps, but still) in a disaster so abject as la revolucion, preferring to engage in a rousing game of "Who Was Worse?", as if that has ever been the point.

Geese and ganders, con rosario al cuello...

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

nonee:

Life rarely offers us a choice between absolute good and absolute evil. The choice offered to Cubans 50 years ago came pretty close, though. It was between absolute evil and moderate good. Cubans did not choose wisely.

nonee moose said...

Glad you see the shades of grey, MAT. I had every faith in you.

It was not a wise choice. But as with most mistakes, the moment you realize it is already too late.

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

It was absolute evil vs. typical pedestrian evil, not moderate good. Look, I was only 12 when I left Cuba and I'm sure some of my "memory" of what happened was actually acquired later, but unless you can point me to some reputable study that contradicts it, just about every body and his brother was fighting against or collaborating with those who were fighting against the Batistianos.
Not all were Fidelistas, but most were. Then, people started to see what he was fairly early and they started to disappear (Camilo), be jailed (Matos), or hunted down when they tried to do a counter revolution in the Escambray.
One thousand years of Batista would have been better than that monster, but also impossible, since the Cuban people were not going to put up with him anyway.
Was life under Batista much better than what followed? Sure, just like cutting off my four limbs would be better than cutting off my head, no contest.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

René:

Not quite four limbs. Perhaps a thumbnail, or at most a pinkie.

Do you know how many rebels were killed in the "war" against Batista? 126.

Fidel Castro executed 15,000 Cubans without any semblance of due process in his first year in power.

Let's be fair, René. That's not impossible even if you were 12 in 1959.

Agustin Farinas said...

On a lighter humorous note in reference to the Democratic candidates:
Chelsea Clinton went to Irak on assignment to interview US soldiers for her project.
When she found a foot soldier she chose at ramdom ,she asked him the following question.
"Tell me young man, do your fear anything, now that you are in the middle of a war?"
"yes, the soldier said. I fear three things".
"well, which ones are they, can you tell me?"
"Sure, the soldier said.
Osama, Obama and your mama"

Rene M. Grave de Peralta said...

O.K., four limbs was an exaggeration, but a pinkie minimizes the seriousness of Batista's abuses.

Of course, if your point is that under Batista's repression tactics there was room for change, either of the violent or evolutionary type, you are right. Because he refrained (or did not dare) to implement the total oppression that the communists were more that willing to employ, democracy and freedom were not totally dead.

He was still a dictator, an usurper, a cruel tyrant and he opened Pandora's box and let out Hell itself.

Jay said...

This is a very biased account of Obama's life. One of the statements made really reveals the authors lack of knowledge or willful disregard for facts:

"Obama was a mediocre student, much like George Bush"

Wikipedia 2008 reads:
In 1990, The New York Times reported his election as the Harvard Law Review's "first black president in its 104-year history".[27] He completed his J.D. degree magna cum laude in 1991

Anyone with integrity would have included this fact about Obama if they were well informed or honest. So which is it? Is this article just meant to dirty the water or just poorly researched. Either way its effect is corrosive and I find it's entire tone to be sickeningly slanted.

Gone said...

Expatriate Cubans, ever the fascists, I see. Oh how I wish I could see your face on the morning of November 05, 2008. It's coming, and like Fidel's revolution, there's not a damn thing you can do to stop it. lol

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Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...

Gone:

I wish I could see your face now.