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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Racism and the 2008 Elections

Note: Yahoo has been a purveyor of racist hate and bigotry along with anti-Semitism and anti-communism. Yahoo has a business relationship with Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck which is the lobbyist of choice for most of the industries comprising the military-financial-industrial complex. First Yahoo publishes "news" articles claiming Reverend Wright is "un-American;" as if vigorously speaking out against racial injustice is unpatriotic--- which raises the question, does Yahoo and Brownstein/Hyatt/Farber/Schreck even think it legitimate to speak out against racism and injustice in this country? Apparently not.

This is the letter I sent to a "reporter" writing about Obama's problems with white voters; when the reporter should have been writing about this country's problems with racism and bigotry because that is the real issue.

Both Yahoo and Google are purveyors of racist hate and every form of bigotry.

Ms. Przybyla;

I read your article, printed below, on Yahoo.

I am not interested in defending Obama. In fact, I wouldn’t bother walking across the street to vote for the guy.

However, there is a much larger issue of racism emanating from someplace around these 2008 Elections, and the problem, in my opinion, is not with Reverend Wright. The problem is with you and other reporters ignoring where the real racism is coming from, and the reason for what appears to be this well orchestrated, intense campaign of racist hate. Historically in America racism has always raised its ugly head when the economy is in recession.

But, what I really don’t understand is how you reporters have not mentioned those like the racist rocker Ted Nugent who is spewing his racist hate on the airwaves and even on University Campuses as he claims to be on a campaign to support John McCain for President.

Now, anyone that is halfway intelligent with a modicum of common sense who first listens to Reverend Wright, and than listens to Ted Nugent can tell that Reverend Wright is attacking injustice while Ted Nugent is promoting injustice and racial hate; yet you ignore all of this.

I listened as Ted Nugent spewed his racist filth packaged with the worst obscenities on a Traverse City, Michigan radio station promoting his talk at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Now, if this is what students in America are learning in universities I think there is good reason for many of us to join Reverend Wright and say, “God damn America.”

There is a very important issue here which goes well beyond who one supports for President.

If you and other reporters cannot discern the problem, maybe more of us should start shouting: God damn America; God damn America is filled with a bunch of racists and bigots and the God damn country is going to hell in a hand basket real quick as this racist and fascist poison is spread by the likes of Ted Nugent.

There is real reason for unease in this country.

One reason I would never consider voting for Obama is because he lacks the courage to stand up to present day racists, bigots and hate-mongers like Ted Nugent and insist that John McCain renounce Nugent’s support and endorsement.

Besides, what kind of nut gets on the radio talking about how he keeps a guitar and a machine gun in every room in his home, as Ted Nugent does? More to the point, what kind of Presidential candidate would remain silent and accept this kind of support?

I noticed the Associated Press went so far as to characterize Reverend Wright’s remarks as “anti-American;” I might ask what has happened to free speech? On the other hand, because Ted Nugent wraps his bigoted, fascist and racist diatribe in the American flag in the guise of some kind of super-patriotism, does this make him pro-American? I find Nugent’s disgusting message of hate very unpatriotic and completely out of sync with anything remotely patriotic. I know my dad and my uncles who fought Hitler would think, listening to racist rocker Ted Nugent supporting John McCain, that Hitler had won the war.

Perhaps it takes the reactionary, right-wing rocker Ted Nugent wearing American flag regalia to “assuage” white voters? If so, maybe we should pause, lower the flag, and say “shame on America.”

Speaking of Indiana… I saw a KKK’er being interviewed on television in Indiana not long ago, and he said there was a bullet waiting for Obama. He, too, was supporting John McCain.

Alan L. Maki

Heidi Przybyla Tue Apr 1, 10:00 AM ET

April 1 (Bloomberg) -- Andrea Helmer was interested in Barack Obama until she heard sound bites of his fiery pastor's sermons. Last week, she volunteered for Hillary Clinton's campaign in Indiana.

``As things came out regarding some of the things his pastor has said, I got concerned,'' said Helmer, a 36-year-old respiratory therapist and mother of two in Evansville, Indiana.

Interviews with dozens of Democrats in this overwhelmingly white region -- where voters will go to the polls in the May 6 primary -- suggest residual concerns over the controversy involving Obama's former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

To be sure, this flies in the face of most polls taken after Obama's widely praised March 18 speech on race and the Wright controversy. In a March 30 Gallup survey, he had widened his lead over Clinton among Democratic voters to 10 points. A week earlier, he was also up 10 points in a Pew Research poll.

In an NBC/Wall Street Journal national survey last week, he ran slightly ahead of Republican John McCain in a general- election match-up, while Clinton ran slightly behind.

The polls are ``good news'' for Obama, said Jenny Backus, an unaligned Democratic strategist. ``He was able to use what was a pretty potentially dangerous issue for his campaign as a way to reinforce his campaign message.''

Unease Among Whites

Still, there are stirrings of unease among white voters, including those who fear the issue will hurt Obama in a general election. Pew also found that 39 percent of all white voters who had heard of the controversy, including Republicans and independents, said it made them less favorable toward Obama.

John Friend, an uncommitted Democrat and Evansville city councilman, said Republicans may use Obama's ties to the pastor much in the same way they attacked Democratic candidate John Kerry's patriotism in 2004.

``It's going to be like the Swift Boat thing,'' Friend said.

Last month, excerpts of sermons in which Wright is heard saying ``God damn America'' and ``U.S. of KKKA'' were broadcast on television and distributed over the Internet. In response, Obama delivered what his aides billed as a major address on race on March 18 in which he condemned the remarks.

That didn't repair the damage for some white voters, said Trent Van Haaften, an Indiana state representative from Mount Vernon who is backing Obama.

One Visit

``The 10-second sound bite'' is all that many voters know about the Illinois senator, who so far has visited Indiana just once this year, Van Haaften said.

While Obama, 46, is far behind Clinton, 60, in the April 22 Pennsylvania primary, the Indiana contest is competitive. Even if he loses in Pennsylvania, winning in Indiana and North Carolina two weeks later could allow him to wrap up the nomination.

The Obama campaign had long seen friendly territory in Indiana and Helmer's majority white and rural eighth district, which borders the candidate's home state of Illinois.

The recent intense focus on Wright is complicating Obama's efforts to appeal to some in culturally conservative southwest Indiana, which has a record of electing Republicans and conservative Democrats. Evansville is 86 percent white and 11 percent black.

For Helmer, who said she is worried about the slumping economy and rising health-care costs, Clinton, a New York senator, is a familiar figure she associates with the better times of the administration of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

More Overtime

``Back when Clinton was in office our money was more stable, jobs were coming in, my husband had a lot more overtime,'' Helmer said.

That familiarity, along with media coverage of the pastor controversy, is pushing voters toward Clinton, said Democrat Justin Jarvis, a 34-year-old Evansville health-care worker.

``I know people who were previously Obama supporters who view it as reverse racism at its worst,'' he said.

Michael Rivera, a 33-year-old computer programmer from Evansville, said he had donated to the Obama campaign and now believes his electability is damaged.

``I understood where he was coming from, but I don't think anyone else will,'' said Rivera, who currently is backing Clinton.

Obama Response

Obama has spent the past two weeks responding to questions about the issue and last week said he would have left the church if Wright hadn't announced plans to retire and acknowledged his comments were offensive.

On March 25, Clinton fanned the flames by saying Wright ``would not have been my pastor.''

Phil Hoy, a 71-year-old retired minister who represents Evansville in the General Assembly and supports Obama, said the episode is hard to overcome in his community.

``We are not the most progressive state,'' said Hoy, who belongs to the same denomination as Obama, the United Church of Christ.

In addition, Clinton visited Evansville last month.

Obama may be able to turn Indiana around. He is stepping up efforts to court white rural voters in Pennsylvania, where he is on a six-day bus tour with Senator Bob Casey.

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, who hasn't endorsed a candidate, said he expects the picture to change if Obama makes a similar effort in his area.

``Before Senator Clinton announced her visit the only real enthusiasm I heard was for Senator Obama,'' he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heidi Przybyla in Washington at hprzybyla@bloomberg.net

Alan L. Maki

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Phone: 218-386-2432

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