Archive for April, 2009

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Gamaliel Obama Connection

April 26, 2009

Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection

Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection
by Gregory A. Galluzzo

President elect Barack Obama has throughout his political career made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It is important that we all understand the connection between Barack and Gamaliel. In l980 Mary Gonzales and I created the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago.

In l982 we decided that we needed some expertise from someone who had done faith based community organizing. A person who had worked as such an organizer in Illinois and in Pennsylvania approached me about joining our organizing team. His name was Jerry Kellman. Jerry helped Mary and myself become better organizers. While he was working for us, he connected with a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) operating on the South Side in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and in Indiana. CCRC had been formed in response to the massive shut down of major industry and the resulting job loss and all of the concomitant social tragedies.

Jerry and I reached an understanding that we would support his work in the South Suburbs so that he could become director of his own project. It was Jerry Kellman who put an ad in the New York Times about an organizing position in the Chicago area. Barack responded; Jerry interviewed him and offered him a position. Barack accepted. Almost at this very time, Jerry propositioned an old friend of his to return to Chicago from Texas and work with him in this new organizing venture. His friend was Mike Kruglik. Mike and Jerry were the first mentors of Barack in organizing.

CCRC, which spanned communities in Northwest Indiana, the South Suburbs and parts of the City of Chicago proved to be unwieldy. Jerry and I decided to split it into three parts. Barack would work to found a new independent project in the South side of Chicago, Mike Kruglik would be the director of the South Suburban Action Conference and Jerry Kellman would develop organizing in Northwest Indiana. At that point Jerry asked me to become Barack’s consultant.

And at this time we were just creating the Gamaliel Foundation. I met with Barack on a regular basis as he incorporated the Developing Communities Project, as he moved the organization into action and as he developed the leadership structure for the organization. He would write beautiful and brilliant weekly reports about his work and the people he was engaging.

When Barack decided to go to Harvard Law School, he approached John McKnight, a professor at Northwestern and a Gamaliel Board member for a letter of recommendation. When Barack was leaving he made sure that Gamaliel was the formal consultant to the organization that he had created and to the staff that he had hired.

Barack has acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years by conducting training both at the National Leadership Training events and at the African American Leadership Commission. He has also attended our public meetings.

We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel.

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Creation Myth

April 26, 2009

Creation Myth

The New Republic
Creation Myth by John B. Judis
What Barack Obama won’t tell you about his community organizing past.
Post Date Wednesday, September 10, 2008
DISCUSS ARTICLE [70] | PRINT | EMAIL ARTICLE

In late October 1987, Barack Obama and Jerry Kellman took a weekend off from their jobs as community organizers in Chicago and traveled to a conference on social justice and the black church at Harvard. During an evening break in the schedule, they strolled around campus in their shirtsleeves, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. Two-and-a-half years earlier, Kellman had hired Obama to organize residents of Chicago’s South Side. Now, Obama had something to tell his friend and mentor.
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It had to do, in part, with his father. At the time, Obama had just learned from his African half-sister what had happened to Barack Obama Sr., who abandoned him when he was two years old. After receiving his master’s degree in economics from Harvard, the elder Obama had returned to Kenya, where he became a high-ranking government official. But, when he criticized Kenya’s increasingly corrupt and authoritarian government, he lost his job and had to live from hand to mouth, depending on the goodwill of relatives while drinking heavily. Obama told Kellman that he feared ending up destitute and unhappy like his dad. “He wanted to marry and have children, and to have a stable income,” Kellman recalls.

But Obama was also worried about something else. He told Kellman that he feared community organizing would never allow him “to make major changes in poverty or discrimination.” To do that, he said, “you either had to be an elected official or be influential with elected officials.” In other words, Obama believed that his chosen profession was getting him nowhere, or at least not far enough. Personally, he might end up like his father; politically, he would fail to improve the lot of those he was trying to help.

And so, Obama told Kellman, he had decided to leave community organizing and go to law school. Kellman, who was already thinking of leaving organizing himself, found no reason to argue with him. “Organizing,” Kellman tells me, as we sit in a Chicago restaurant down the street from the Catholic church where he now works as a lay minister, “is always a lost cause.” Obama, circa late 1987, might or might not have put it quite that strongly. But he had clearly developed serious doubts about the career he was pursuing.

Yet, two decades later, to hear Obama the presidential candidate tell it, those years in Chicago as a community organizer shaped the person–and the politician–he has become. Campaigning in Iowa last year, he declared that community organizing was “the best education I ever had, better than anything I got at Harvard Law School.” In a video this spring, Obama stated that community organizing is “something I carry with me when I think about politics today–obviously at a different level and in a different place, but the same principles still apply.” “Barack is not a politician first and foremost,” Michelle Obama has said. “He’s a community activist exploring the viability of politics to make change.”

Certainly, Obama has good reason to tout his community organizing experience. After graduating from an Ivy League college, Obama passed up more lucrative jobs to devote three years to organizing low-income African Americans in Chicago. That choice tells us something about his values, and his pride in it is understandable.

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But his campaign has taken the point a step further, implying that Obama the politician is a direct descendant of Obama the organizer–that he has carried the practices and principles of community organizing into his campaign, and would carry them into the White House as well. This is the version of Obama’s biography that most journalists have accepted.

In truth, however, if you examine carefully how Obama conducted himself as an organizer and how he has conducted himself as a politician, if you consider what he said about organizing to his fellow organizers, and if you look at the reasons he gave friends and colleagues for abandoning organizing, then a very different picture emerges: that of a disillusioned activist who fashioned his political identity not as an extension of community organizing but as a wholesale rejection of it. Indeed, the most important thing to know about Barack Obama’s time as a community organizer in Chicago may not be what he gained from the experience–but rather why, in late 1987, he decided to quit.

Obama arrived in South Chicago in 1985 to find a bleak scene. Roseland and the northern edge of Riverdale, the neighborhoods to which he was assigned, had been decimated by the collapse of the steel industry. In Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote of “the boarded-up homes, the decaying storefronts, the aging church rolls, [and the] kids from unknown families who swaggered down the streets.” Most middle-class whites had moved out, and, while the area was home to a few middleclass blacks, “[t]he stores and banks had left with their white customers, causing main thoroughfares to decompose.” Many of the area’s residents lived in the 2,000-unit Altgeld Gardens, public housing that was bounded by the fetid Calumet River, an expressway, and a sewage treatment plant that emitted, Obama wrote, a “heavy, putrid odor.”

The election in 1983 of Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington, had given blacks in South Chicago “a new idea of themselves,” Obama observed. Yet the mayor’s efforts to revive the city’s worst neighborhoods were stymied by the conservative white majority on the city council.

Obama had moved to Chicago to work for Kellman, a transplanted New Yorker eleven years his senior, and his partner, Mike Kruglik. The pair was trying to build a regional community organization that spanned South Chicago, Chicago’s southern suburbs, and Northwest Indiana. Kellman and Kruglik wanted their new recruit to establish a branch centered in Roseland. It was to be called the Developing Communities Project.

Obama had worked briefly as an organizer in Harlem, but, in Chicago, he learned the principles of community organizing from Kellman, Kruglik, and other disciples of Saul Alinsky, a hardscrabble, profane Chicagoan who, in the late 1930s, had organized white ethnic meatpacking workers in the area around the old Chicago Stockyards. Alinsky was heavily influenced by John L. Lewis, the president of the United Mine Workers and founder of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). He wanted to do for working-class communities what Lewis and the CIO had done for workplaces: unite people of different backgrounds around common goals and use their collective strength to wring concessions from the powers that be.

Alinsky had died in 1972, but not before achieving considerable success in Chicago and other cities. And, while some of his opinions–like his derogation of Martin Luther King’s abilities as an organizer–were not shared by Kellman and other followers, his general principles would guide groups like the Gamaliel Foundation, which trained people who went on to work for the Developing Communities Project and similar organizations. They became the underpinning of Obama’s approach. “His assignment was to operate in the classic style,” Kruglik, a stubby, scruffy, intense man who now works for Gamaliel, tells me.

These rules can be reduced, more or less, to a few central ideas. Alinsky believed that humans respond to their own selfinterest rather than conscience or morality. (People are “moved primarily by perceived immediate self-interests, ” he argued, while morality is a “rhetorical rationale for expedient action and self-interest.”) As a result, the job of an organizer is to discover what citizens think is in their self-interest and then help them fight for it. Alinsky also instructed that the organizer himself should not become a public leader, but should operate behind the scenes to encourage “natural” or “native” leaders among the people he is organizing. That is, the goal of an organizer is never to create a movement based on his own charisma. (“We’re trying to build an organization with staying power, not a movement based on instant power and charisma,” Ernesto Cortes Jr., a prominent Alinsky disciple, explained in 1988. ) Finally, Alinsky felt that organizers should draw a clear line between their work and the political world. An organization should forge “no permanent political ties,” declared a guide put out by the Industrial Areas Foundation, which Alinsky created. When I asked former community organizer John Kretzmann–who teaches at Northwestern and writes about organizing–whether organizers saw all politicians as “whores,” he replied, “Even if you found one that wasn’t, it makes no sense to get close to them.”

Obama attempted to put these principles into practice in South Chicago. Kellman and Kruglik’s initial objective was to revive the region’s manufacturing base–and preserve what remained of its steel industry–by working with unions and church groups to pressure companies and the city; but those hopes were quickly dashed. Indeed, during his three years in South Chicago, Obama was constantly having to scale back his objectives as one project after another faltered. First, he got community members to demand a job center that would provide job referrals, but there were few jobs to distribute. Then, he tried to create what he called a “second-level consumer economy” in Roseland consisting of shops, restaurants, and theaters. This, too, went nowhere. At that point, Kellman advised Obama to move elsewhere. “Stay here, and you are bound to fail,” he told him.

But Obama remained. Next, he began to focus on providing social services for Altgeld Gardens. “We didn’t yet have the power to change state welfare policy, or create local jobs, or bring substantially more money into the schools,” he wrote. “But what we could do was begin to improve basic services at Altgeld–get the toilets fixed, the heaters working, the windows repaired.” Obama helped the residents wage a successful campaign to get the Chicago Housing Authority to promise to remove asbestos from the units; but, after an initial burst of activity, the city failed to keep its promise. (As of last year, some residences still had not been cleared of asbestos.) In waging these campaigns, Obama’s organization added staff, gained adherents, and won church support, including from the congregation of Reverend Jeremiah Wright. But it failed to stem the area’s overall decline. “Ain’t nothing gonna change, Mr. Obama,” says one resident quoted in Dreams from My Father who grows disillusioned with the Developing Communities Project. “We just gonna concentrate on saving our money so we can move outta here as fast as we can.”

Publicly, however, Obama did not appear discouraged. He continued to train other organizers for the Gamaliel Foundation. “It was the same traditional organizing leadership training,” recalls Obama trainee David Kindler. Obama also put the best face on what he was doing. Sometime before he left Chicago, he wrote an article for a magazine called Illinois Issues that would eventually appear in an anthology titled After Alinsky: Community Organizing in Illinois. In the article, he insisted that his project had achieved “impressive results” in South Chicago. While acknowledging that the “exodus from the inner city of financial resources, institutions, role models and jobs” posed difficulties for organizers, he insisted that “none of these problems is insurmountable.”

Reflecting organizers’ general attitude toward politicians, he downplayed the importance of Mayor Washington. “The election of Harold Washington in Chicago or of Richard Hatcher in Gary were not enough to bring jobs to inner-city neighborhoods or cut a 50 percent drop-out rate in the schools, although they did achieve an important symbolic effect,” he wrote. “In fact, much-needed black achievement in prominent city positions has put us in the awkward position of administering underfunded systems neither equipped nor eager to address the needs of the urban poor and being forced to compromise their interests to more powerful demands from other sectors.” To be successful, Obama argued, the efforts of politicians had to be “undergirded by a systematic approach to community organization.” Obama also criticized the role of charismatic leadership, writing that “a viable organization can only be achieved if a broadly based indigenous leadership–and not one or two charismatic leaders–can knit together the diverse interests of their local institutions.”

Yet there is considerable evidence that, even as he was writing these words, Obama was having doubts about community organizing. By the early fall of 1987–a little more than two years after he had come to Chicago–Obama had decided to apply to Harvard Law School. At some point thereafter, he began to explain his decision to friends and colleagues. The most revealing of these discussions are not reported in Dreams from My Father.

It was not just the walk he took with Kellman through Harvard’s campus. Obama also talked to Kruglik about his reasons for leaving Chicago. In their conversations, he described politics–and winning political office–as the most important step toward achieving change. And, instead of seeing Harold Washington as buffeted by forces beyond his control, he now aspired to be Washington. “He was fascinated by Mayor Washington,” says Kruglik. “Harold Washington inspired him to think about becoming a politician.” Kruglik says that Obama wanted to follow in the mayor’s footsteps: Washington had gone to law school, later becoming a state senator, then a congressman, and finally Chicago’s mayor. “He told me that he was thinking of running for mayor some day, ” Kruglik says.

Obama also talked to Northwestern professor John McKnight, a former community organizer who is a member of the Gamaliel Foundation’s board of directors and had helped to train Obama. He asked McKnight for a law school recommendation and told him that he eventually wanted to go into politics. McKnight warned him that politics, unlike community organizing, would inevitably require compromising his values and ideals. “The average legislator is surrounded by competing interests,” McKnight told him. “Most of the time what they are doing is trying to balance interests.” Obama, however, was not to be dissuaded. Recalls McKnight, “At the time, neighborhood organizing was very parochial. … He could see that the impact wouldn’t reach beyond the neighborhood. The change he was seeking was bigger.”

But it wasn’t simply that Obama dreamed of pursuing change on a grander scale. By late 1987, he seems to have grown disillusioned with the underlying principles of community organizing. In September 1989, the editors of Illinois Issues organized a symposium featuring, among others, the contributors to After Alinsky. It took place around a circular table in a conference room at the Woods Charitable Fund (a backer of the Gamaliel Foundation) in downtown Chicago. Kretzmann was the moderator, and participants included political scientist Paul Green, author Ben Joravsky, and Obama, who was then entering his second year of law school.

Joravsky kicked off the discussion by recounting Alinsky’s core principles. Green then brought up a controversial organization, Save our Neighborhoods/Save our City (SON/SOC), that had launched in February 1984 in response to fears that Harold Washington would promote public housing in certain white neighborhoods–leading to an influx of black residents. As Green noted, SON/SOC was organized by Alinsky disciples who were following their mentor’s principle of basing demands on self-interest.

Green insisted that there was an anti-establishment core to son/soc’s agenda. “Here are a bunch of blue-collar people … working to help their neighborhood, ” he said. He also pointed out that the group had carefully directed its ire against unscrupulous realtors rather than blacks and had tried to reach an accommodation with Mayor Washington. Joravsky responded by criticizing SON/SOC for using racial appeals to build its organization. As others joined and the argument threatened to grow heated, Kretzmann called on Obama to discuss organizing in low-income black communities. But Obama had been provoked by the discussion of SON/SOC. And, a year removed from South Chicago, he wanted to say something about community organizing in general.

Obama–sporting a white shirt, tie, and incipient Afro–was clearly troubled by the example of SON/SOC, which suggested that an organization, acting on Alinsky’s principles, could become racist. (Indeed, Alinsky’s first group, the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, had become a bastion of support for segregationist George Wallace in the 1960s.) Obama was also troubled by his own experience in South Chicago, where he had failed to make any headway on the community’s central problem–the absence of jobs–and had been reduced to demanding repairs in public housing. That, too, had derived from acting according to Alinsky’s principle of trying to win victories against the powers that be based on immediate self-interest.

But Obama was not ready to state his case forthrightly. (“We were all on our best behavior,” Joravsky recalls.) Instead, he expressed his doubts obliquely by drawing a distinction between the “two roles that an organizer was supposed to play … getting power, getting the stop sign, making things work” and “the educative function of organizing.” By the latter, Obama meant an organizer’s duty to frame citizens’ efforts in terms of a larger objective and a greater good: something more noble than dissuading realtors from selling homes to blacks in white neighborhoods or more substantial than getting a stop sign installed.

Obama put it this way: “The process whereby people in communities, like the community SON/SOC was organizing or the community where I was organizing, start to get bigger horizons, start to understand how they connect up with other people, how their power is involved with the power of other people–it seems to me that that strain gets lost. … At some point, you have to link up winning that stop sign or getting that home equity with the larger trends, larger movements in the city or the country.” He quoted an Alinsky disciple as saying, “I am not trying to build some grand utopian organization. I would just like to win it.” “That’s problematic,” Obama noted. In other words, winning wasn’t important if what was won was harmful or insignificant.

But Obama didn’t stop there. He had a litany of criticisms of Alinsky-style organizing that he wanted to put forward. He objected to community organizers’ dismissal of charismatic leadership and of movements. Instead of making the point directly, he recalled a friend telling him of an IAF trainer who complained that “movements are rotten with charismatic leaders.” Obama said his friend had responded, “That’s nonsense. We want a movement. I would love to have Martin Luther King here right now.” Obama argued that charismatic leaders and movements bring “long-term vision,” and that community organizers cannot be effective without such vision.

Obama also criticized community organizers’ “suspicion of politics.” “The problem we face now in terms of organizing is that politics is a major arena of power,” Obama said. “That’s where your major dialogue, discussion, is taking place. To marginalize yourself from that process is a damaging thing, and one that needs to be rethought.”

Before he was done, Obama had rejected the guiding principles of community organizing: the elevation of self-interest over moral vision; the disdain for charismatic leaders and their movements; and the suspicion of politics itself. But he did so in a way that seemed to elude the other participants. Two decades later, Green couldn’t recall any disagreement over his more positive take on SON/SOC. Joravsky also didn’t remember Obama’s criticisms of organizing. Instead, he recalled thinking how “cool” and “well-spoken” Obama was.

Obama, too, seemed initially oblivious to the harsh implications of his own words. While he was at Harvard, he would return to Chicago to train organizers at Gamaliel, and, after graduating and moving back to Chicago, he would retain ties to the city’s community organizing network–serving on the boards of the Woods fund and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center, which promotes organizing among African Americans on the city’s South Side. But he would never again practice community organizing, as he did in the 1980s. And he would begin to construct a political identity for himself that was not simply different from his identity as a community organizer–but was, in fact, its very opposite.

Based purely on his organizing background, one would have expected Obama to become a bread-and-butter politician, a spokesman for his constituents’ immediate needs. Instead, Obama became a politician of vision, not issues–one who appealed to voters’ values rather than their immediate self-interest. As a state senator in Illinois, he was best known for his advocacy of government reform. Asked in September 1999 to explain why someone should vote for him for Congress against incumbent Bobby Rush, Obama told the Hyde Park Citizen that, unlike Rush, he had “a vision.” And, as a Democratic presidential candidate, he has run on an abstract platform of “change” that appeals to many young and upscale voters, but has fallen flat among the white working-class voters whom Alinsky once courted.

Obama has also eschewed the retiring persona of the organizer. Initially awkward as a speaker, he became a charismatic politician whose run for president has produced something very much like a movement. And, while his campaign has used some techniques from community organizing to rally state-by-state support, it is the antithesis of the ground-up, locally dominated, naturally led network of community groups that Alinsky envisioned. Obama, in short, has become exactly the kind of politician his mentors might have warned against.

None of this is to say that Obama was wrong to abandon community organizing for politics. Or that his critique of organizing was incorrect. In fact, many of today’s community organizers would acknowledge that Obama was absolutely right to question the limitations of Alinskystyle organizing. The elevation of self-interest at the expense of higher ideals can clearly be an ugly thing. Improving people’s lives has to be about more than installing stop signs. And no one who hopes to truly change urban communities can stay out of politics altogether. Indeed, in contrast to what Alinsky advised, many community organizations now participate in political campaigns.

Still, one has to wonder: In making the transition from organizer to politician, did Obama go too far in rejecting one of the cardinal principles of community organizing? True, appeals to selfinterest can sometimes lead organizations astray. But such appeals are also a necessary part of community organizing–and politics as well. Few candidates could hope to win an election at any level without convincing their constituents that they understand their immediate hopes and fears. And presidential candidates are no exception. Bill “I feel your pain” Clinton certainly had the ability to persuade voters that he identified with their interests. So did Ronald Reagan. Al Gore and John Kerry did not.

In this election, Obama can count on the votes of African Americans in Roseland as well as many upscale voters attracted by his message of change. But he also needs to win support from the descendants of Back of the Yards and SON/SOC–working-class voters who, today, are more worried about high gas prices and rising heath care costs than about the prospect of blacks moving in next door. To win their votes, Obama needs to do precisely what he once taught organizers to do: speak to the self-interest of ordinary people.

So far, this has not been Obama’s strong suit as a presidential candidate. To his credit, he has certainly talked about gas prices and health insurance. But, as Obama would have told his trainees 20 years ago, conveying concern requires more than saying the right thing; it involves seeing the world from the vantage of those you are trying to win over–and convincing them that your empathy is sincere.

When Obama came to South Chicago, he believed in community organizing; within two-and-a-half years–by the time he and Jerry Kellman went for their late October walk around Harvard’s campus–he was clearly growing disillusioned. Now, having fashioned a political identity in near-total opposition to the core principles of his one-time profession, Obama’s bid for the presidency may come down to this: Is he willing to rediscover–and put into practice–one of the main principles he followed as a twentysomething activist all those years ago?

John B. Judis is a senior editor at The New Republic and a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Co

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Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection
by Gregory A. Galluzzo

President elect Barack Obama has throughout his political career made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It is important that we all understand the connection between Barack and Gamaliel. In l980 Mary Gonzales and I created the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago.

In l982 we decided that we needed some expertise from someone who had done faith based community organizing. A person who had worked as such an organizer in Illinois and in Pennsylvania approached me about joining our organizing team. His name was Jerry Kellman. Jerry helped Mary and myself become better organizers. While he was working for us, he connected with a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) operating on the South Side in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and in Indiana. CCRC had been formed in response to the massive shut down of major industry and the resulting job loss and all of the concomitant social tragedies.

Jerry and I reached an understanding that we would support his work in the South Suburbs so that he could become director of his own project. It was Jerry Kellman who put an ad in the New York Times about an organizing position in the Chicago area. Barack responded; Jerry interviewed him and offered him a position. Barack accepted. Almost at this very time, Jerry propositioned an old friend of his to return to Chicago from Texas and work with him in this new organizing venture. His friend was Mike Kruglik. Mike and Jerry were the first mentors of Barack in organizing.

CCRC, which spanned communities in Northwest Indiana, the South Suburbs and parts of the City of Chicago proved to be unwieldy. Jerry and I decided to split it into three parts. Barack would work to found a new independent project in the South side of Chicago, Mike Kruglik would be the director of the South Suburban Action Conference and Jerry Kellman would develop organizing in Northwest Indiana. At that point Jerry asked me to become Barack’s consultant.

And at this time we were just creating the Gamaliel Foundation. I met with Barack on a regular basis as he incorporated the Developing Communities Project, as he moved the organization into action and as he developed the leadership structure for the organization. He would write beautiful and brilliant weekly reports about his work and the people he was engaging.

When Barack decided to go to Harvard Law School, he approached John McKnight, a professor at Northwestern and a Gamaliel Board member for a letter of recommendation. When Barack was leaving he made sure that Gamaliel was the formal consultant to the organization that he had created and to the staff that he had hired.

Barack has acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years by conducting training both at the National Leadership Training events and at the African American Leadership Commission. He has also attended our public meetings.

We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel.

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FEMA

April 26, 2009

“San Francisco Chronicle. By Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg. Monday, February 4, 2008

“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of “an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs.”Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.”Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of “new programs” require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure “continuity of government” in the event of what the document vaguely calls a “catastrophic emergency.” Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure “continuity of government.” This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic “war on terror.” Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to “examine and report upon the facts and causes” of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.A clue as to where Harman’s commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who “engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights” as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters … the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 “terror suspects” with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.”

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US to Admit Chinese Muslims from Guantanamo

April 26, 2009

US to Admit Chinese Muslims from Guantanamo

By VOA News
25 April 2009

U.S. officials said the Obama administration is planning to admit some of the Chinese Muslims being held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into the United States.

News reports quoted unnamed officials as saying up to seven of the 17 ethnic Uighurs at Guantanamo could be resettled in the U.S.

But the reports indicated the decision to release them is not final and faces opposition from within the U.S. government and from the public.

The move is also likely to anger Chinese officials, who consider the Uighurs terrorists and want them handed over.

The Uighurs were cleared for release from Guantanamo as early as 2003, but the U.S. will not send them home to China for fear they will be tortured. The government has been unable to find a third country to accept them.

The Uighurs have been going through the U.S. court system in an attempt to leave Guantanamo, where they are being held without charge.

Last October, a federal judge ruled the men should be transferred to U.S. soil since Washington no longer considers them “enemy combatants.” But the administration of then-President George W. Bush argued the judge did not have the authority to free them and an appeals court overturned the decision.

China says the Uighurs belong to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a separatist organization considered a terrorist group by China, the U.S. and the United Nations. The Chinese government has warned other countries not to accept them.

In 2006, the U.S. released five ethnic Uighurs from Guantanamo, sending them to Albania, which was the only country that would take them.

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Mommy, why are democrats so evil? (and scary…)

April 25, 2009

Mommy, why are democrats so evil? (and scary…)

Mommy, why ar
democrats so evil? (and scary…)?
(my husband emailed this to me, I pretty much agree) Well darling,

Democrats are into politics for the sole purpose of obscuring the definition
of morality, and passing subsequent laws that … (my husband emailed this to me, I pretty much agree)
Well darling,

Democrats are into politics for the sole purpose of obscuring the definition
of morality, and passing subsequent laws that make morality illegal in the
United States.

Because of the type of person who becomes a democrat is someone with an
irresponsible and inconsiderate lifestyle of absolute freedom, their cause
and their party, in effect, dismisses the Constitution.

The Constitution
was constructed to prevent the chaos that the democrats believe so strongly
in.

Justice is freedom that is governed by restrictions. The restrictions that
make the freedoms of everyone respect the rights of others.

Every other issue a democrat brings-up against Republicans is a red-herring
that he neither cares about or believes himself.

For over a decade the democrats warned America and the world of Iraq’s WMDs
and nuclear capability. In 1998 President Clinton, in a nationwide address,
advised the taking of Iraq to remove WMDs, nuclear weapons, Saddam, and
install a democracy. Democrats cheered.

After the Republicans came into power, the democrats reversed their position
and demonized the idea of WMDs in Iraq and Clinton’s war plan, and have been
using the war in any way they can imagine to somehow regain power. The
democrats deny any involvement in the Iraq war, and have wickedly imagined
the attacks on us in Iraq as a profit to themselves.

At our nation’s greatest crisis, the Civil War, these same democrats wanted
to destroy the United States rather than being considered equal to the black
man; today, these democrats want to destroy the United States rather than
being considered equal to unborn Americans—what a legacy.

Young or foolish minds are easily taken-in by the grandiose claims for the
wonder of the democrat party’s humanitarianism, a claim that fills in the
chasm of the real deficit of their nefarious and unconscionable selfishness,
making adolescent immaturity a welcomed and enabled asset.

Democrats want other people’s money, other people’s reputation of good,
other people’s lives, and take the pursuit of happiness away to fritter upon
themselves from other deserving Americans.

But you must be sure: They find themselves superior in every possible way to
Americans who are contrary and other than their dysfunctional and
destructive disposition.

The Bible calls them “SINNERS”, as the entire platform of the democrat party
is precisely what Jesus Christ said he would condemn people to hell for.

This explains the democrat’s particular distaste for anything of
Christianity, and of late have openly shown hate crime against Christians,
creating spectacular lies against them in the hope to create a
misunderstanding of what Christianity stands for, to protect themselves and
their evil purposes.

(see Gamaliel Brochure page 4 of 4 “Alinski Legacy” a tax exempt arm of the Contract Buyers League [housing crisis])

The First Amendment assures and guara
tees that people of all faiths will
have equal participation in the United States; that the origins of the
convictions of every American will be no one’s business.

But democrats seek to make the First Amendment say that they can exclude the
Christian’s participation in the United States.

Destroying the Constitution in this way is the only chance the democrats
could have in their evil quest. History itself has always had a name for the kind of people who wish to
obscure decency and avoid moral law for the purpose of their unconscionable
selfishness: “CRIMINAL”.

The criminality of democrats, once you understand it, is easily defeated.

Remember to check out: Gamaliel Brochure page 4 of 4 “Alinski Legacy” a tax exempt arm of the Contract Buyers League [housing crisis].

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What do these MN Churches have in common?

April 23, 2009

MN Churches subscribe to Alinski Legacy – The Patriotic Resistance

What do these MN Churches have in common?

GRIP St. Cloud Region Caucus:
Atonement Lutheran, St. Cloud
Bethlehem Lutheran, St. Cloud
Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud
Catholic Charities, Diocese of St. Cloud
Celebration Lutheran, Sartell
First Presbyterian, St. Cloud
First United Methodist, St. Cloud
Newman Center Christ Church, St. Cloud
Nu Way Missionary Baptist, St. Cloud
Resurrection Lutheran, St. Joseph
Salem Evangelical Lutheran, St. Cloud
Spirit of Life Unitarian, St. Cloud
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic, St. Cloud
St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph
St. Paul Catholic, St. Cloud
St. Peter Catholic, St. Cloud
The Antioch Company/Creative Memories
Fund of the Central Minnesota Community
Foundation, St. Cloud
Tri-County Action Program Inc., St. Cloud
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, St. Cloud
University Lutheran Church of
the Epiphany, St. Cloud

Minneapolis Caucus:
Ascension Catholic
Calvary Baptist
Faith Mennonite
First Universalist
Grace University Lutheran
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran
Luther Memorial Lutheran
Mayflower Congregational UCC
Oakland Avenue United Methodist
Our Saviour’s Lutheran
Prospect Park United Methodist
Redeemer Lutheran
Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Catholic
Salem English Lutheran
Santo Rosario Catholic
Spirit United Interfaith
St. Bridget Catholic
St. Joan of Arc Catholic
St. John the Baptist Episcopal
St. Olaf Lutheran
Trinity Lutheran – Riverside
University Lutheran Church of Hope
Northeast Metro Caucus
Atonement Lutheran, New Brighton
Galilee Evangelical Lutheran, Roseville
Lakeview Lutheran, Maplewood
Redeemer Lutheran, White Bear Lake
St. John the Baptist Catholic, New Brighton
St. Odilia Catholic, Shoreview

Northwest Metro Caucus
Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran, Robbinsdale
New Creation, Brooklyn Park
St. Alphonsus Catholic, Brooklyn Center
St. Gerard Majella Catholic, Brooklyn Park
St. James Lutheran, Crystal
St. Joseph Catholic, New Hope
St. Joseph the Worker Catholic, Maple Grove
St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Golden Valley

Richfield/Bloomington Caucus
Assumption Catholic, Richfield
Christ the King Lutheran, Bloomington
Oak Grove Lutheran, Richfield
St. Peter Catholic, Richfield
St. Richard Catholic, Richfield
Woodlake Lutheran, Richfield

Southeast Metro Caucus
Amazing Grace Lutheran, Inver Grove Heights
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran,
Apple Valley
St. Patrick Catholic, Inver Grove Heights
St. Peter’s Catholic, Mendota Heights

Southwest Metro Caucus
Immanuel Lutheran, Eden Prairie
Mount Calvary Lutheran, Excelsior
Pax Christi Catholic, Eden Prairie
St. George Episcopal, St. Louis Park
Westwood Lutheran, St. Louis Park

St. Paul Caucus
Cathedral of Saint Paul
Christ Lutheran
First Lutheran
Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran
Hope Lutheran
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic
Sacred Heart Catholic
St. James Catholic
St. Matthew Catholic
St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran
St. Paul Reformation Lutheran
St. Thomas More Catholic
Santo Niño Jesus Episcopal

http://www.gamaliel.org/Printshop/NewGamalielBrochure.pdf (last para left side page 4 of 4 “Alinski Legacy”)

Now I know why the Cathedral wouldn’t let us march from the Cathedral to the Capitol at the St. Paul Tea Party!

Gamaliel does not lobby for life! This is the tax exempt arm of an organization that helped create the housing crisis!

I was seriously considering one of the churches until I stumbled on “ISAIAH MEMBER” then I did further research to reveal that these churches are working with other churches nationally to further Obama’s agenda (whatever that is).

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Perez Hilton is a self made over-rated gossip QUEEN

April 21, 2009

Another airhead speaks! In her Country, people can choose opposite marriage! You mean I can marry someone opposite of her…somebody with a clue?? Thank gawd! It may be time to end this silly contest, and instead, send these ladies to Remedial Ed Class

So funny that you can deny anyone else their freedom of choice at the cost of your freedom of choice.

Marry whoever you want! You will never win the conception war! You will never learn what it is like to conceive a child because you loved the opposite sex. You will never change nature! Hah! Even the animals know this, they have sex with each other, but when it is time to multiply, they have sex with the opposite sex.

Put that in your Perez pipe and smoke it!

If I cannot have an opinion, it will be because of control freaks and gossip QUEENS!