Archive for Jeremiah Wright

Here They Come…

I don’t want to alarm you, but I think you should be alarmed. In times of conflict past, Jews have been a consistent scapegoat. What with the Arab “Spring”, a belligerent Iran, a blustering Russia, Europe splintering, China flexing, and a close US election (just to name a few sources of friction), this could safely called a time of conflict.

That’s the only safe thing about it.

As South Africa, Denmark, and other countries unilaterally determine which products for sale in their stores may be labeled as Israeli, so some churches want to get in on the boycotting and ghettoizing act.

You may be interested in one particular church:

The United Church of Christ just called for a boycott of goods produced in Israeli settlements, including eastern Jerusalem. In a new report released a few days ago in Canada, which will have severe consequences for the congregation in North America, the Church calls for an economic divestment against the Jewish State.

The “Report of the Working Group on Israel/Palestine Policy” will be considered by the Church’s General Council, which meets in August (another major Christian denomination, the Presbyterian Church, is considering approving a similar resolution at its General Assembly scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh in July).

“Throughout the Middle East there are millions of Christians in grave danger from repressive regimes, but there are no calls for boycotts of those countries, this is idiocy”, said Shimon Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Now, hang on, BTL, I hear you thinking. Trinity United is just one church, and Jeremiah Wright is just one pastor—and he’s retired.

You just go on thinking that:

The boycott will have political consequences in the United States, since the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago is the congregation where Barack Obama has worshipped for two decades and he and his children were baptized.

According to Ed Klein, author of a new book titled “The Amateur”, “Jeremiah Wright was like a second father to Barack Obama and helped shape his political philosophy” (even “The Audacity of Hope” was derived from a sermon by Obama’s former pastor). Wright, who is a leader in the United Church, compared Israel to Nazi Germany and called the Jewish State a “deformed modern apartheid”.

The new United Church’s report also brands Christian Zionism as “a false doctrine” and depicts Zionism as a modern form of faithlessness and rejection of God.

Elsewhere, Geoffrey Black, President of the United Church, issued a statement endorsing the Palestinian U.N. bid for statehood.

Wright has endorsed the recent Islamist “March to Jerusalem” planned in Qatar.

The United Church also embraced the “Kairos Document”, the important Palestinian Christian document which rejects the Jewish State, says that its security policies are “a sin against God” and promotes the boycott.

Lord knows we’ve tried reason and outrage over the years to make our point, but I think Prime Minister Netanyahu may have the correct approach. By forming an alliance with Kadima, he’s circled the wagons. If they’re coming for the Jews again, they’re going to pay. Before, the only stain on the pogromists was moral; this time, it will be of a more organic nature.

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The Wright Stuff

We don’t trade in the nasty innuendo and racist demagoguery surrounding the Reverend Jeremiah Wright here, no sir, not us, uh-uh, no way.

BUT, we allow that others do:

Our friend Doug Schoen, the Democratic pollster, is a political centrist, ideologically much closer to the post-1994 Bill Clinton than to Barack Obama. That makes all the more troubling his advocacy of government censorship of political speech, the kind of expression that is at the core of First Amendment protection.

Schoen finds it “more than just disquieting” but “shameful and embarrassing” that, as the New York Times reported (and we noted) last week, Chicago Cubs part-owner Joe Ricketts considered funding an anti-Obama super PAC ad that would have reminded voters about the president’s “spiritual mentor,” Jeremiah Wright. Under political pressure, Obama in 2008 repudiated the America-hating pastor, whose views even the New York Times concedes are “clearly racist.”

“Speaking frankly,” Schoen writes, “racially divisive negative advertisements of this sort do not belong in a presidential election. Whether one supports the president or not, he should be judged on his record, and an ad hominem attack of any sort should have no home in the public arena.”

He would like to use the power of the government to suppress this speech of which he disapproves, as he has made clear in other columns. His complaint about the Ricketts ad that wasn’t shows just what a pernicious idea this is and why the Supreme Court was right to uphold free speech in the celebrated case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Schoen and the rest of the press are discovering that the marketplace of ideas functions like any other market: there is supply and demand, and no amount of manipulation or regulation can succeed in stifling the natural direction of information toward wider dissemination. In the old days, sure—even among the mainstream media today—information unflattering to the press’s preferred candidate (and boy do they have their preferences) was buried, ignored, or locked in a broom closet (literally). JFK’s sexual dalliances, to choose the most obvious example, would make Bill Clinton look like the before picture for a Cialis ad.

Jeremiah Wright would not be an issue today if the press in 2008 had fully explored his beliefs and his significance in Obama’s life and personal development. I still don’t know what Obama knew about Wright and when he knew it—but I know he lied and is lying today. He lied about Ayers and Dohrn, stonewalled on his birth certificate, and still refuses to release some of the most basic background material that other candidates routinely release.

But all of this stuff has been smuggled as it if were pornography from under the counter, or samizdat publications from behind the Iron Curtain. We are made to feel dirty just for asking WTF about “God damn America” and “US of KKKA” and “America’s chickens… [can't forget the pause] are coming home to roost!”

Politicians since Nixon (and certainly before) have learned the hard way that it’s not the crime, but the cover-up, that does them in. Obama committed no crime in befriending a racist minister and two former members of the Weathermen. But the press has committed the highest crime of all in suppressing the truth—often with such determination and contempt as would have made Stalin nod in appreciation.

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Bloodthirstan is Jeremiah Wright-Free!

We will not join with those small-minded bigots who try to portray the President—our President—as “The Other” because of his funny name (Barry) or the way he chooses to honor his God. No, siree, not us.

If the New York Times can pick and choose when to mention Reverend Wright’s name, so can we:

A report in The New York Times on Thursday exposed a secret plan by Republican strategists and financiers to rekindle questions about the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Mr. Obama’s onetime pastor, and his angry black-power sermons.

Perhaps this news story might justify a three day roll out if, in fact, that narrative were accurate. Sadly, for the New York Times and Barack Obama’s campaign, it is not.

Despite what the Times claims, the undisputed facts are these:

1. There was no “secret plan” by “strategists” or “financiers” to push the Wright story,

2. The super pac in question asked advertisers to bring them ad ideas focused on the federal debt,

3. The ad man who pitched the idea to the super pac conceded that the group did not want proposals that dealt with anything other than fiscal issues,

4. Mitt Romney and his campaign had nothing to do with anything involving this ad.

5. The Republican Party had nothing to do with anything involving this pitch.

If the Republican Party thinks it can outsource its attack ads on the President’s —our President’s—beloved family pastor, they are sorely mistaken.

Reverend Wright’s “black power” sermons have no place here.

Wright’s love of humankind is evident to all who bring an open heart:

You’ll have to go elsewhere to indulge your twisted fantasies in any purported or alleged antisemitic diatribes.

One thing we can all agree on: there is no place for this sort of thing in the nation’s body politic. If there is a separation of church and state, let’s get this kind of theology out of the White House now and forever.

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Reverend Wright Claims Obama A Muslim

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Evidently Obama Did Listen To Reverand Wright’s Sermons

And somehow Wright was offered $150,000 shut up money

An ally of then-Senator Barack Obama offered Rev. Jeremiah Wright $150,000 to keep his mouth shut until after the 2008 election, according to excerpts released today from the upcoming book “The Amateur” by Edward Klein.

Wright, Obama’s former Chicago pastor, had become a significant political liability in the 2008 presidential campaign because of his anti-American rhetoric. Just months before the election, networks were poring over months of Wright’s sermons, which suggested that the United States deserved the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Wright has also encouraged blacks to sing “God Damn America” instead of “God Bless America.”

Twenty years in that church, guys. Sat front and center with his wife and kids.

“After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election,” Wright told Klein, according to the New York Post, which obtained the excerpts.

That’s when Obama himself got involved, Wright said, and made a personal plea to keep Wright out of the spotlight.

“Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.”

Wright added that Obama seemed more concern about his political circumstances than Wright’s personal well-being.

“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’ … I said, ‘I don’t see it that way. And anyway, how am I supposed to support my family?’ And he said, ‘Well, I wish you wouldn’t speak in public. The press is gonna eat you alive.’”

I realize that it is Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day everyone!), but I sure do hope that American Jews are reading this.

According to Wright, he also received a short lecture from Obama on the necessity of sometimes stretching the truth.

“Barack said, ‘I’m sorry you don’t see it the way I do. Do you know what your problem is?’ And I said, ‘No, what’s my problem?’ And he said, ‘You have to tell the truth.’ I said, ‘That’s a good problem to have. That’s a good problem for all preachers to have. That’s why I could never be a politician.’”

Well, Obama certainly has no problem stretching the truth, does he?

- Aggie

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Biden Making Pitch For Jewish Votes

So cynical.

US Vice President Joe Biden declared Tuesday that the window had not yet closed on an Israeli military strike against Iran, but that the window for sanctions and diplomatic efforts to halt Tehran’s nuclear program would soon shut.

Biden also stressed Israel’s right to take the action it sees necessary and that Israel’s security is a “fundamental national interest” of the United States, criticizing some in the American Jewish community for questioning the Obama administration’s commitment to the Jewish state.

“The window has not closed in terms of the ability of the Israelis if they choose on their own to act militarily,” he said. “But diplomacy backed by serious, serious sanctions and pressure – on that score the window is closing in the near term.”

Speaking to the Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative Movement during the group’s 2012 convention in Atlanta, Biden related a conversation he had had with Defense Minister Ehud Barak in which the vice president told him, “Were I an Israeli, were I a Jew, I would not contract out my security to anyone, even a loyal, loyal, loyal friend like the United States.”

The Conservative Movement of Jews is not a political movement; it is a group of Jews that are not Orthodox and not Reform. Politically, they tend to be democrats, but can be swayed sometimes to vote for a Republican. The Obama administration is probably worried about this group. They have the Reform Jews in the bag and they won’t be able to persuade the Orthodox Jews. The Conservative Jews are swing voters. In certain states, especially Florida, Obama needs their votes. They bought into Hope ‘n Change, despite Reverend Wright, in 2008. Will they buy it again? That’s my reading of this. If I am wrong, I’d love to hear alternative explanations.

- Aggie

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Update On French Terrorist

He escaped from prison in Afghanistan

By Ahmad Masood / Reuters

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – French school shooting suspect Mohamed Merah was jailed for bombings in Afghanistan in 2007, but escaped months later in a mass prison break organized by Taliban insurgents, a top Afghan prison official said on Wednesday.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, is suspected of killing seven people in the name of the al-Qaida militant network, including three children at a Jewish school in southwestern France.

Also, early reports that he’s been arrested were incorrect.

There was no way French security forces could have arrested the man believed to have carried out the fatal shooting at the Jewish school in Toulouse prior to the attack, said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe during a visit to Israel on Wednesday.

“It’s true that there are all sorts of lists of people who may be suspect in this or that event because of their ties to terror groups,” Juppe said through a translator. “However, the link between this man – who was indeed on the list – and the attacks… that link was made only on Monday night and could have been made only after the attack.”

Speaking to press at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Jaffa, the minister praised French security forces saying they did everything they could to speedily arrest the suspect believed to have committed the “acts of barbarism” at Ozar Hatorah which left four people – a teacher, his two children and another child – dead.

“The minute after the attack the government gave immediate orders to act,” he was quoted as saying by his translator. “There was a maximum security alert. The aim of the investigation was clear: to reach the suspect as soon as possible and we see its success because this morning the man was found -if my information is correct- and has barricaded himself in an apartment in Toulouse.”

The French Foreign Minister said he was dispatched to Israel at the behest of French President Nicolas Sarkozy on a mission of solidarity with the Jewish people and Israel.

“France is determined to fight terrorism using all of its resources and I would like to express solidarity with Israel which has dealt with, is dealing with and will probably continue to deal with the horrors of terrorism,” he said.

The suspected gunman was still holed up in a residential building after a 12-hour police siege in the city of Toulouse, France 24 reported Wednesday. The television station cited the French Interior Ministry denying reports that the gunman had been arrested.

What are the chances they fail to make the arrest? I’d say 50-50.

- Aggie

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Good Reason to be Humble

So, Obama has been talking about his faith recently (when you’re losing on issues, b.s. people with your sincerity). His Christian faith, I hasten to clarify.

With a recent survey showing that only a third of Americans can correctly identify Obama as a Christian, the president gave a personal account of his conversion as an adult and how his public service is part of his faith.

“I am a Christian by choice,” Obama began, standing beneath a blazing sun, when asked why he is a Christian.

“I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. Treating others as they would treat me. And I think also understanding that, you know, that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility that we all have to have as human beings.”

Got a minute for a little exegesis?

Treating others as they would treat you (a restatement of the so-called Golden Rule) is classic conservatism. I might put it this way: I ask little of others so that they might ask little of me (not that that’s been working out so well lately, eh Auntie Zeituni?). I would have others do unto other others as little as possible, so that the other others can get on with doing what it is they want or need to do. Only if I were an inveterate moocher would I take that philosophy to mean I should open up my wallet to others in the vain and self-defeating hope that Bill Gates would open his to me.

Second, being one’s brother’s keeper has a terrible derivation: Cain uses the line to lie to God about having murdered his brother.

That’s his model?

Maybe so:

Anyway, the church’s appeal to Obama has had different tellings:

The title of Reverend Wright’s sermon that morning was “The Audacity of Hope.” He began with a passage from the Book of Samuel—the story of Hannah, who, barren and taunted by her rivals, had wept and shaken in prayer before her God. The story reminded him, he said, of a sermon a fellow pastor had preached at a conference some years before, in which the pastor described going to a museum and being confronted by a painting title Hope.

“It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!”

And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpsville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. As the sermon unfolded, though, the stories of strife became more prosaic, the pain more immediate. The reverend spoke of the hardship that the congregation would face tomorrow, the pain of those far from the mountaintop, worrying about paying the light bill…

“White folks’ greed runs a world in need.” That’s what appealed to Obama, that’s why he sat there for over a thousand Sundays, why Wright married him and and Michelle, baptized his children.

As for humility, there’s an old saying: Obama goeth before a fall.

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Wright Wronged

As long as he wasn’t thrown under the back of the bus, nobody cares:

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is “toxic” to the Obama administration and that the president “threw me under the bus.”

In his strongest language to date about the administration’s 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.

“No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am ‘toxic’ in terms of the Obama administration,” Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.

“I am ‘radioactive,’ Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!” he wrote. “Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!”

“Literally”? In Greyhound One?

I can’t complain: Wright is toxic, and he belongs under a bus (figuratively).

But what about all the defenders of the president and Wright? We were told every cover story: that Wright wasn’t wrong (at least all wrong); that Omoeba (sorry, Obama) didn’t share every view (not that he even heard them), and so on. Now, we learn that Oamba finds Wright “radioactive”.

Which is it, and which is worse? Tolerating Wright’s race-baiting, anti-Semitic hate for 20 years, or selling his self-acknowledged dear friend down the river the first moment that friendship (and mentorship) became politically difficult?

Wea-sel.

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The Rat Pack

With Sammy Davis, Jr. as Jeremiah Wright, Dean Martin as Michael Pfleger, and, of course, Joey Bishop as Louis Farrakhan:

An unbelievable show this Friday night in Chicago. Together on one stage: Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright and radical priest Michael Pfleger.

They will all be receiving an award called “Living Legends,” and you can see it as a VIP if you have a hundred bucks.

The spectacle is being driven by Rev. Wright, who is actually giving himself the “Living Legend” award, as well as the other two guys. There’s no third party involved.

The serious part of the story is Father Pfleger, a radical-left Catholic priest who runs St. Sabina parish on Chicago’s South Side. Pardon the pun, but what in God’s name is Pfleger doing on the same stage as Farrakhan, a race-baiting anti-Semite? Why is the archdiocese of Chicago permitting that?

I covered Farrakhan’s recent speech and wondered why he didn’t throw the Jews under the bus.

I should have kept reading:

Just in case you missed “The Factor” Tuesday night, here’s a taste of what Farrakhan said just last Sunday:

LOUIS FARRAKHAN, NATION OF ISLAM LEADER: The white right is trying to set Barack up to be assassinated. There are Christians…

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, yes, sir.

FARRAKHAN: …praying for God to kill Barack Obama. He wants to write a new page with the Muslim world, but the Zionists won’t let him. Now they got him with a mustache like Hitler.

Atta boy! Uh, sorry, just an expression. Anyway, I knew you had it in you.

Wright, Pfleger, and Farrakhan together on one stage. How I envy Chicago (this once).

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