Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 06:00 AM CDT
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”
Exclusive: Cornel West talks Ferguson, Hillary, MSNBC -- and unloads on the failed promise of Barack Obama
Cornel West is a professor at Union Theological Seminary and one of my favorite public intellectuals, a man who deals in penetrating analyses of current events, expressed in a pithy and highly quotable way.
I first met him nearly six years ago, while the financial crisis and the presidential election were both under way, and I was much impressed by what he had to say. I got back in touch with him last week, to see how he assesses the nation’s progress since then.
The conversation ranged from Washington, D.C., to Ferguson, Missouri, and although the picture of the nation was sometimes bleak, our talk ended on a surprising note.
Last time we talked it was almost six years ago. It was a panel discussion The New Yorker magazine had set up, it was in the fall of 2008, so it was while the financial crisis was happening, while it was actually in progress. The economy was crumbling and everybody was panicking. I remember you speaking about the financial crisis in a way that I thought made sense. There was a lot of confusion at the time. People didn’t know where to turn or what was going on.
I also remember, and this is just me I’m talking about, being impressed by Barack Obama who was running for president at the time. I don’t know if you and I talked about him on that occasion. But at the time, I sometimes thought that he looked like he had what this country needed.
So that’s my first question, it’s a lot of ground to cover but how do you feel things have worked out since then, both with the economy and with this president? That was a huge turning point, that moment in 2008, and my own feeling is that we didn’t turn.
No, the thing is he posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair. And that’s a very sad moment in the history of the nation because we are—we’re an empire in decline. Our culture is in increasing decay. Our school systems are in deep trouble. Our political system is dysfunctional. Our leaders are more and more bought off with legalized bribery and normalized corruption in Congress and too much of our civil life. You would think that we needed somebody—a Lincoln-like figure who could revive some democratic spirit and democratic possibility.
Isn't that what I said in my post? Some people lost their insurance and had to pay more to be reinsured?
pre, are you saying if we like our plan we can keep our plan?
Are you saying that millions of insured didn't lose their plans and had to buy more expensive plans to remain insured?
pre, how uninformed is this? "In 2010, Dowd was ranked #43 on The Daily Telegraph's list of the 100 most influential liberals in America; in 2007, she was ranked #37 on the same list."
Is that liberal enough for you? What else does she need to satisfy you, be a card carrying communist?
Here are the 10,535 pages of Obama Care condensed to four sentences ...
As humorous as this sounds ... every last word of it is absolutely TRUE!
1. In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to uninsure the insured.
2. Next, we require the newly uninsured to be re-insured.
3. To re-insure the newly uninsured, they are required to pay extra charges to be re-insured.
4. The extra charges are required so that the original insured, who became uninsured, and
then became re-insured, can pay enough extra so that the original uninsured can be insured,
which will be free of charge to them.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called “redistribution of wealth” …
or, by its more common name, SOCIALISM.
Remember ... America voted for Hope and Change.
We got it.
pres, let me see if I have this right. If she doesn't agree with you she is "More like the loony immature mainstream media that's not concerned with facts and analyses and instead concerns itself with high school gossip style reporting."
Maureen is a hard core leftist who has finally realized The Living God is a phony.
Salon (Hardly a right wing rag. It's a left wing rag.)
Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 06:00 AM CDT
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency”
ob, none of the predictions from the global warming scam have come true so why do you defend it? Ice caps have grown, not shrank. hurricanes season are milder, not more violent. Doesn't that make you think? Obviously not!
By the responses, I see none of the worshipers are going to get rid of their knee pads.
flop, I didn't say it was like the Gestapo. I said it is the closest thing we have to the Gestapo. And I'll bet you money you have once again posted something without even, to quote The Living God, a "smidgen" of knowledge of the abuses the IRS has perpetrated on our citizens. I do have more than a smidgen of knowledge and the latest outrage of using the IRS as a political weapon is just one of many examples. It is a direct attack on our constitution. I realize that you and the rest of the worshipers blindly don't believe this but it's true. The IRS is there to collect taxes not punish groups for their political beliefs. Worshipers like yourself don't believe it's a crime to punish conservatives.
I believe in the two party system. One party keeps the other party in line. It is a constant, at times, disgusting battle but it holds the ruling party's feet to the fire which should be the duty of all citizens. Unlike you and your socialist pals, I don't believe in worshipers. Worshipers are people who demand to be led, who demand to be told what to think. Frankly that disgusts me but people like you and elk welcome it with open arms.
Any attempt to illegally destroy a party in my view is close to treason. Trying to illegally destroy the opposing party is Gestapo like tactics.
So take you "ignorant" statement and stuff it up your a:s s.
Ladies gentlemen of the jury, this moron is an idiot.
I rest my case!
Illogical, dysfunctional loons want to take guns away from law abiding citizen but had no plan to get the guns out of the hands of gangbangers.
Chicago crime rate drops as concealed carry applications surge
City sees fewer homicides, robberies, burglaries, car thefts as Illinois residents take arms
By Kelly Riddell - The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2014
An 86-year-old Illinois man with a concealed carry permit fired his weapon at an armed robbery suspect fleeing police last month, stopping the man in his tracks and allowing the police to make an arrest.
Law enforcement authorities described the man as “a model citizen” who “helped others avoid being victims” at an AT&T store outside Chicago where he witnessed the holdup. The man, whose identity was withheld from the press, prevented others from entering the store during the theft.
Police said the robber harassed customers and pistol-whipped one.
Since Illinois started granting concealed carry permits this year, the number of robberies that have led to arrests in Chicago has declined 20 percent from last year, according to police department statistics. Reports of burglary and motor vehicle theft are down 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. In the first quarter, the city’s homicide rate was at a 56-year low.
“It isn’t any coincidence crime rates started to go down when concealed carry was permitted. Just the idea that the criminals don’t know who’s armed and who isn’t has a deterrence effect,” said Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. “The police department hasn’t changed a single tactic — they haven’t announced a shift in policy or of course — and yet you have these incredible numbers.”
As of July 29 the state had 83,183 applications for concealed carry and had issued 68,549 licenses. By the end of the year, Mr. Pearson estimates, 100,000 Illinois citizens will be packing. When Illinois began processing requests in January, gun training and shooting classes — which are required for the application — were filling up before the rifle association was able to schedule them, Mr. Pearson said.
“The temperature would be 40 below, and you’d have these guys out on the range, having to crack off the ice from their guns to see the target,” Mr. Pearson said. “But they’d do it, because they were that passionate about getting their license.”
The demand has slowed this summer, but Mr. Pearson expects the state to issue about 300,000 concealed carry permits when all is said and done.
Do any of you worshipers agree with Maureen?
The IRS is the closest thing to the Gestapo that we have.
I am having my lips surgically removed form The Living...I mean The Dear Lead..I mean The Golfer in Chief's rear end and throwing my knee pads away. I am no longer a worshiper...wait a minute! Is that Hillary over there?"
ura, maybe you should sharpen your writing skills before you start calling people morons. In your post it certainly wasn't clear what time frame you were talking about and seeing as the previous posts were talking about current events, You can see where a person could be confused when you were talking the about slavery time period yet you did not make that clear.
ura, you made a nasty remark about me not reading a book on Black history.
Maybe before you get nasty you should do a little research before you accuse someone of being ignorant of a subject.
Experts skeptical of gun buyback programs
Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:14 pm | Updated: 4:47 pm, Thu Jul 10, 2014.
by Patrick McCreless
The city of Anniston recently proposed organizing a gun buyback program to combat street violence, but some gun policy experts and studies question the effectiveness of such initiatives.
Cities and communities across the country have used such programs for decades in an attempt to curb violent crime. While they can have some limited benefits, the programs do little to stifle the use of guns to commit crime, according to recent national studies and gun policy experts.
During its work session Monday, the Anniston City Council gave city manager Brian Johnson approval to potentially create a gun buyback program in conjunction with the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the Calhoun County Commission and other organizations and some local churches. The idea is to pool money, staff and resources for the buyback.
The council must vote in an upcoming session to provide any money for the program.
Local officials must still work out the logistics of buyback, from deciding the time and location of the event, to if gun sellers will be paid in cash or gift cards.
District Attorney Brian McVeigh said his office was waiting for a final plan from the city, and was ready to offer support in terms of staff and funding for the buyback.
"I'm in support of the idea ... the last three capital murders we've tried have involved stolen firearms," McVeigh said. "If we can do something to get one firearm of those off the streets, I think that's a success."
Ladd Everitt, director of communications for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates gun law reform, said buybacks do little to stop violent firearm-related deaths.
"A gun buyback one time is not going to have a substantial impact," Everitt said.
According to a 2004 study on gun buybacks by the National Research Council, a Washington D.C.-based scientific research organization, the guns that are typically surrendered in gun buybacks are those that are least likely to be used in criminal activities. The study also stated that guns turned in for cash can be easily replaced and the ones that are turned in are often old or malfunctioning.
Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said her organization sees no benefits from gun buybacks.
"Across the country, so-called gun buyback programs have proven to be a failure and a waste of taxpayer dollars," Mortensen said. "The average person who voluntarily surrenders a firearm to police is not a criminal and firearms surrendered are not those used by criminals."
Still, Everitt said, gun buybacks have some positive benefits.
"Someone can have a depressed or potentially suicidal family member or a family member some night who is looking to be a criminal ... if you can get a gun out of the home ... I certainly can see a situation where that could help," Everitt said.
ura, you said "buy-backs work very well". On what planet, Mars?
Gun Buy-Back Programs Have Little Impact On Crime
June 15, 2000
Gun buy-back programs are politically popular, and generate little opposition from gun rights groups. But recent studies have called their effectiveness into question.
According to the studies, the programs have no effect on violent crimes or firearms deaths, and the guns and owners that turn out for buy-backs represent neither the types of guns or people involved in gun crimes. Furthermore, some who participate in the buy-backs are cashing in on spare weapons, but keep at least one at home -- or plan to use the proceeds to buy another gun.
•Independent follow-up studies in Seattle, Sacramento, St. Louis and Boston found no evidence buy-back programs reduced gun crime.
•In Seattle, a check of coroner's records and hospital admissions data for the six months after a 1992 buy-back found no evidence of an effect on firearms-related deaths or injuries.
•The number of weapons collected represent a tiny fraction of the nation's arsenal, with 220 million guns now in civilian hands, and another 4.5 million new ones added each year.
•According to Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, "The continuation of buy-back programs is a triumph of wishful thinking over all the available evidence."
Guns used in crimes are typical modern, up-to-date, semi-automatic pistols, while weapons turned in during buy-backs are overwhelmingly older guns, such as revolvers, which in some cases don't even work. According to a study by criminology professor Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri-St. Louis:
•In Sacramento, 59 percent of buy-back participants said they had additional guns at home.
•In St. Louis it was 62 percent, and in Seattle 66 percent.
•In St. Louis, 14 percent of participants said they planned to buy a new gun within the next year, and 13 percent said they might.
Finally, gun owners who turn in weapons tend to be middle-aged or elderly. Street criminals tend to be adolescents and young adults.
Source: Mike Dorning (Chicago Tribune), "Studies Fault Gun Buy-Back Effects," Dallas Morning News, June 11, 2000.
The Golf Address
AUG. 23, 2014
FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.
I know reporters didn’t get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part-owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.
Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that’s why I had a “logistical” issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation’s leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.
We are met on a great field of that battle, not Augusta, not Pebble Beach, not Bethpage Black, not Burning Tree, but Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha’s Vineyard, which we can’t get enough of — me, Alonzo, Ray Allen and Marvin Nicholson, my trip director and favorite golfing partner who has played 134 rounds and counting with me.
We have to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for my presidency, if I keep swinging from behind.
Yet it is altogether fitting and proper that I should get to play as much golf as I want, despite all the lame jokes about how golf is turning into “a real handicap” for my presidency and how I have to “stay the course” with ISIL. I’ve heard all the carping that I should be in the Situation Room droning and plinking the bad folks. I know some people think I should go to Ferguson. Don’t they understand that I’ve delegated the Martin Luther King Jr. thing to Eric Holder? Plus, Valerie Jarrett and Al Sharpton have it under control.
I know it doesn’t look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley’s parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and General Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria.
We’re stuck in the rough, going to war all over again in Iraq and maybe striking Syria, too. Every time Chuck says ISIL is “beyond anything we’ve ever seen,” I sprout seven more gray hairs. But my cool golf caps cover them. If only I could just play through the rest of my presidency.
ISIL brutally killing hostages because we won’t pay ransoms, rumbles of coups with our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan, the racial caldron in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak, the Putin freakout — there’s enough awful stuff going on to give anyone the yips.
So how can you blame me for wanting to unwind on the course or for five hours at dinner with my former assistant chef? He’s a great organic cook, and he’s got a gluten-free backyard putting green.
But, in a larger sense, we can dedicate, we can consecrate, we can hallow this ground where I can get away from my wife, my mother-in-law, Uncle Joe, Congress and all the other hazards in my life.
The brave foursomes, living and dead, who struggled here in the sand, in the trees, in the water, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or subtract a few strokes to improve our score. Bill Clinton was Mr. Mulligan, and he is twice at popular as I am.
The world will little note, nor long remember, what we shot here, or why I haven’t invited a bunch of tiresome congressmen to tee it up. I’m trying to relax, guys. So I’d much rather stay in the bunker with my usual bros.
Why don’t you play 18 with Mitch McConnell? And John Boehner is a lot better than me, so I don’t want to play with him.
It is for us, the duffers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who played here have thus far so nobly advanced to get young folks to stop spurning a game they find slow and boring.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us of getting rid of our slice on the public’s dime — that from this honored green we take increased devotion to that cause for which Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy gave their last full measure of devotion — and divots.
We here highly resolve that these golfing greats shall not have competed in vain, especially poor Tiger, and that this nation, under par, shall have a new birth of freedom to play the game that I have become unnaturally obsessed with, and that golf of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
So help me Golf