organizer in chief

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organizer in chief

Postby pennsyltucky » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:29 am

http://www.nypost.com/seven/09082008/po ... htm?page=0

Barack Obama represents the first appearance in a presidential race of a rela tively new political type: the community organizer.

His past as a local activist in Chicago has provoked sneers from Republicans and questions from most voters. What the heck is a community organizer, where do these folks get their money - and why are they so controversial?

The roots of community organizing stretch back to the 1930s and the efforts of organizer Saul Alinsky, founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation and author of "Rules for Radicals," to organize people in low-income areas into a political force to combat the political machine that ran Chicago.

Alinsky won many admirers on the Left, but it took President Lyndon Johnson's War On Poverty to supercharge community organizing by directing billions of federal dollars to neighborhood groups with the naive and ambiguous goal of "empowering" communities.

The federal cash, eventually supplemented by state and local tax funds, helped create a universe of government-funded groups headed by local activists running everything from job-training efforts to recreation programs to voter-registration drives - far beyond anything Alinsky could've imagined.

Thousands of groups - eventually, 3,000 in New York City alone - arose to snatch government money. One startling sign of the growth: Today, New York now has more jobs at social-service agencies, most funded with government money, than on Wall Street.

Yet those who designed Johnson's programs endowed them with vague goals such as "community empowerment" and often failed to demand specific, achievable results from those they funded. Thus, money went to inexperienced local activists to run job-training programs that failed to find people jobs. Other grants went to local groups to help businesses in poor neighborhoods get loans - with little sense of whether their clients could actually ever pay back the money.

Nothing symbolizes the failure and waste better than a federal boondoggle known as the Community Development Block Grant program. Obama calls it "an important program that provides housing and creating [sic] jobs for low- and moderate-income people and places" - yet, over the last 40 years, the CDGB has funneled some $110 billion through community groups with little sense that it has done much good.

One visible sign of failure: Buffalo, the city that's gotten the most CDGB funding (per capita), is worse off today than it was 40 years ago. An investigation by The Buffalo News several years ago found that much of the money had been wasted in grants to organizations run by politically connected activists.

New York City has seen it, too. Earlier this year, several City Council aides were indicted for sending grants to a community nonprofit they controlled. Several years ago, investigators looking into illegal loans by a well-connected Bronx nonprofit found that it was paying its top executives hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to run such programs as "homework empowerment" for teens - with no notion of what these programs achieved or how they worked.

Despite such ongoing boondoggles, the funding keeps on flowing, largely because the activists who head these groups moved into politics, wielding the power that tax dollars had bought them to build a base of neighborhood supporters.

In New York City, operators of huge social-services groups like Pedro Espada in The Bronx and Albert Vann in Brooklyn won election to state and federal posts after heading up large, powerful nonprofits. By the late '80s, nearly a fifth of City Council members were products of the tax-funded nonprofit sector - and they were among the council's most strident advocates for higher taxes and more government spending. In cities from Chicago to Cleveland to Los Angeles, the road to electoral success increasingly runs through tax-funded social services.

Meanwhile, groups like the radical ACORN have used government funding to run voter-registration drives that are supposed to be nonpartisan efforts but that have concentrated in signing up voters in heavily Democratic districts to elect politicians who advance ACORN's political goals and protect funding for community activists.

As a result, spending to these groups has boomed while the sector has staved off reform. "The nonprofit service sector has never been richer, more powerful," former welfare recipient Theresa Funiciello wrote in her book "Tyranny of Kindness." "Except to the poor, poverty is a mega-business."

Obama began his organizing life in the mid-'80s in a community group whose progress mirrored the industry's: the Developing Communities Project, formed on Chicago's South Side as a "faith-based grass-roots organization organizing and advocating for social change." Though founded with resources from a coalition of churches, over time the DCP evolved into a government contractor, with nearly 80 percent of its revenues deriving from public contracts and grants.

Obama adopted the big-government ethos that prevails among neighborhood organizers, who view attempts to reform poverty programs as attacks on the poor. Speaking in 1995 to The Chicago Reader, an alternative weekly, Obama said, "These are mean, cruel times, exemplified by a 'lock 'em up, take no prisoners' mentality that dominates the Republican-led Congress."

He also derided the "old individualistic bootstrap myth" of achievement that conservatives were touting and called self-help strategies for the poor "thinly veiled excuses for cutting back on social programs."

Obama stuck by those ideas as a state senator. His supporters count among his biggest victories his work to expand subsidized health care in Illinois with social-justice groups like United Power for Action and Justice (an offshoot of Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation). Meeting last November with the leaders of ACORN, he declared: "I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career," including representing the group in a court case in Illinois. ACORN's affiliated political-action committee soon endorsed Obama for president.

An Obama presidency is likely to be a huge boost to tax-funded nonprofits - because his antipoverty agenda is right out of the 1960s. His platform ranges from a commitment to boost funding for CDGB to a plan for providing "a full network of services, including early-childhood education, youth-violence prevention efforts and after-school activities . . . from birth to college" to low-income neighborhoods.

The activist community knows he's one of them. As an organ of the National Housing Institute, a social-justice group, has observed: "Barack Obama carries lessons he learned as a community organizer to the political arena. Both organizers and politicians would be wise to study them closely."
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Postby La. Hunter » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:44 am

In Alinskys teachings, "change" is a code word for "the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots". Socialism at its best. :mad:
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Postby dudejcb » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:14 pm

I think community organizing first ocurred with that advent of "organized" religion sometime in pre-history. Our founders were community organizers. Granges were community organizations.

McCain and Bush have extolled the virtues of "giving Back to the community" and have even extended public funds to faith-based community help organizations. since when did doing community service become an evil?

Must everythign be misinterpreted and cast it as some evil strategy?

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Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:37 pm

The title of Community Organizer doesn't mean he was a little league coach. This is the first rung on the corrupt political machine ladder. It is a paid position where you do the political bidding of the hack on the next rung of the political machine ladder. Obama started out on the first rung of the corrupt Chicago political machine as a "community organizer" and moved up from their. It's hard to get elected if you put political hack on your resume, so you make up a vague title like "community organizer" which sounds good, but is basically completely nondescript just like most of what he says.

If you believe that Obama believes what you believe, you should vote for Obama. :no:

Everything in his resume was part of the political machine in Chicago. Even his "professor" job sounds to me like a hack job to keep him in the money, but maybe this prestigeous school just likes his Harvard credentials.

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media/index.html
From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.
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Postby Rat Creek » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:28 pm

There is so much of that going on it is crazy. In the field of education, there are so many "professors” who don’t teach that it seems inaccurate to call them professors. They are on the receiving end of a nice salary and grants, all of which come from the taxpayers, but they do “research” and have lots of free time for side projects.

Even Mrs. Obama works for the University of Chicago-Hospital System (tax payer funded) as the Vice President of Community and External Affairs. I really don’t know what this means and what she does for her $310K per year, but somehow I am guessing it is like being a community organizer.
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Postby Admin2 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:01 pm

La. Hunter wrote:In Alinskys teachings, "change" is a code word for "the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots". Socialism at its best. :mad:


Perhaps communism is a word suited too to desribe that quote?


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Postby seastreet » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:14 pm

Admin2 wrote:
La. Hunter wrote:In Alinskys teachings, "change" is a code word for "the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots". Socialism at its best. :mad:


Perhaps communism is a word suited too to desribe that quote?


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Postby pennsyltucky » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:10 pm

both will work. socialism focuses more on the re-distribution of wealth.
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Postby La. Hunter » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:07 am

Admin2 wrote:
La. Hunter wrote:In Alinskys teachings, "change" is a code word for "the redistribution of wealth from the haves to the have nots". Socialism at its best. :mad:


Perhaps communism is a word suited too to desribe that quote?


The following was found by seaching for "differences between communism and socialism.


http://www.etext.org/Politics/MIM/faq/commievssoc.html

["What is the difference between communism and socialism?"

According to Marx, socialism is a stage on the way to communism, which is the more advanced stage of humyn organization not yet achieved in China or the Soviet Union, even according to Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

According to Marx, under socialism we have a dictatorship of the proletariat which is a government organized for the defense of survival "rights." Also, distribution goes by the principle "from each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her work."

Under communism, according to Marx, the government disappears and there is economic cooperation as well. The principle of distribution becomes "from each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need."

Socialists and communists existed before Marx. Marx is the single most-respected authority and reference point, but the words "socialism" and "communism" still have various shades and applications, because of the diversity amongst those calling themselves "communist" and "socialist."

Many calling themselves socialist would like to stop with the nationalization of the means of production and not move on to communism. They also often oppose the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in the name of democracy. For example, they supported the imperialist World War I, because the majorities of their countries supported it, while we Marxist-Leninists found World War I anathema to the proletariat, against survival "rights."

Since World War I, there has been a very large split between many calling themselves "socialist" and those calling themselves "communist;" however, to make matters more complicated there are socialists found who would not support World War I today and there are "communists" who would favor doing whatever the majority wants. There are also "social-democrats" who want reforms to imitate the results of socialism while keeping capitalism.

When MIM uses the terms, we use them this way: 1) "Communism"--the classless society with no state of the distant future. "Communist"--someone who wants to get to communism or the adjective for "communism." Examples include many tribal societies of the past and in remote areas still living today.
2) "Socialism" refers to that period/stage between capitalism of today and the communist goal. During that stage there is "dictatorship of the proletariat." Examples are the USSR under Lenin and Stalin or China under Mao.
3) "Social-democrats"--whether they call themselves "socialist" or not, people opposing the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in practice and hence socialism itself. Examples would be Sweden today.
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