Saturday, September 06, 2008

And there you have it ...


ROBERTA said...


Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Rev. Russell:

Here in Michigan (a so-called battleground state) we are being bombarded by McCain and Obama commercials. Not one of the commercials on either side give one reason why we should vote FOR the candidate.
It is all on the negative.
Ralph Nader is on our ballot, he is currently my choice because he is the only one offering reasons why someone should vote FOR him.

A sinner saved by God's Grace

Jim of Michigan

susan s. said...

Love the MLK picture. As Roberta says, it's perfect.

Jim, I have a friend who says "vote for the consequences." Nader will never get elected.
Don't throw away your vote.

Peter Carey said...

I really respect Ralph Nader, and I am so appreciative of the work that he has done to raise issues, however, I would have to quibble with the assertion that he is "always positive"...if that is the reason you're voting for him, it seems a bit of a reach...

...if you are in support of his views, his experience, and how you believe he would be as president, I applaud your vote! (even if he may have no chance...)...


Kay & Sarah said...

I love it!!

RonF said...

Here is another view of community organizer, from a well-known science fiction writer:

Will someone please correct me if I am wrong? Is not a community organizer a person who teaches others how to be victims and get on the dole or otherwise claim public benefits? Is not his clientele the people most of us wish would organize to strike and withhold their services to the community including taking welfare? And was not much of that potential clientele affected by the Welfare Reform Act?

I don't mean to be overly harsh. I grew up in an era in which it was considered shameful to go on the dole, and anyone you would invite into your house would have to be thoroughly disabled before taking public money. People who truly ought to have applied for welfare did not do so because of the deep shame of it all. The notion that a person might be paid -- and I am still unclear as to who pays community organizers -- to go out and talk people into going on the dole -- is a bit bizarre to me. In my time such people were called precinct workers, and their goal was to get you to join their party, vote for them as precinct captain, and vote for the candidates they designated -- and to do that by getting you public money if possible, a political favor if need be.

Have things changed in Chicago so that Obama was doing something different from that? I know his supporters are indignant over the disdain with which "community organizer" seems to be held. Is their indignation justified? What I find on line seems to confirm my impression of what Obama did; but I certainly haven't spent a lot of time looking for it.

I offer this not because I agree with it 100% but to give you an idea of what you're up against. A large number of people in this country (especially those living in rural or suburban areas) have never spoken to a community organizer or seen what they do first-hand and their impression of what they do and who they work with is similar to the description in the first paragraph. "Community organizer" is not a term of respect or endearment to a lot of people in the U.S. and gives them a negative impression of the person who it describes.

uffda51 said...

Community organizers are American heroes. They work in church basements, synagogues and mosques to empower their communities and make life better for millions of working people across the country.

Because community organizers have taken on these "actual responsibilities," we have them to thank for the 8-hour workday, integrated swimming pools, public transportation, health care for children and safe neighborhoods.

Perhaps if you live in a gated community in California, and your only concern is the tax break for yacht purchasers, you don't need community organizers. Most Americans, however, don't live in McCain's $5 million annual income neighborhoods.

If you want to talk about deep shame, let's talk about the Bush/Cheney administration. How much time do you have?

RonF said...

Well, from my own experience; I do not live in a gated community with $5,000,000 annual incomes. I live in a 1700 square foot split-level home in a Chicago suburb next to some high-tension lines and near a river that floods every so often. I make less than $100,000 a year. But I have never run into a community organizer, nor have I heard about one operating in my area.

At least, not one paid for by the government. OTOH, there are plenty of people who help organize our community. School board members, park district board members, youth coaches of all types, church leaders (such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King), Scout leaders, etc., etc. These are the people who help organize our community and serve the people in it.

So if you think that only the wealthy have never encountered or worked with community organizers, you need to do some research. The reality throughout the country is different that you apparently imagine.

susan s. said...

Please, RonF,

I admit I don't read science fiction very much, so who is this well known scifi writer you quote and how much of your entry belongs in quotes?


pam said...

I think maybe we have to show that community organizers are everywhere and sometimes you are one and don't even know it. The PTA group who organizes support for their local school to get funding for X program, the local group who organizes to get a park or a dog park in their community, etc. etc.

uffda51 said...

Ronf, I guess your cryptic remarks are commenting on my remarks, so thanks for enlightening me about reality. Your expertise in all matters theological and political is beyond compare.

An income of $75,000 a year falls into the top 0.82% of incomes worldwide. A 1700 square-foot dwelling in a suburb is a castle to most of the world’s (and America’s) population. If you have never met a community organizer, count your blessings. Despite what Phil Gramm said about us being a nation of whiners, most people are having a rough time these days. Making the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans permanent may be the best course for the conservative base but perhaps not for the country.

I’m not sure I understand where you are coming from. You seem angry but I don’t know why. Do you resent the fact that you’ve never seen or been helped by a community organizer? Do you resent the help that people less fortunate than you are getting? Do you resent that these people didn’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, like George W. Bush? Or do you just not like the people?

In 1985, freshly graduated from Columbia University and working for a New York business consultant, Barack Obama met Jerry Kellman, an organizer working on Chicago's far South Side. He worked for a community group based in the Catholic churches of the region, an expanse of white, black and Latino blue-collar neighborhoods that were reeling from the steel-mill closings. Kellman was looking for an organizer for the new Developing Communities Project (DCP), which would focus on black city neighborhoods.

“Based in the Catholic churches of the region.” Just like our congregation, and others in our town, help out with the local food bank, battered women’s shelter, AIDS service center, etc. Not exactly sinister stuff.

Obama, only 24, was hired at $13,000 a year, plus $2,000 for a car--a beat-up blue Honda Civic, which Obama drove for the next three years, organizing more than twenty congregations to change their neighborhoods. I thought his story was well known, especially by those in Chicago. It’s beyond me what there is to criticize about it. It’s pretty simple, really. People of faith are called to help one another.

As Susan preached last Sunday,

“And may the God of grace, mercy and empowerment give us the grace to be not just hearers but doers of these words as we live lives set free by the power of love -- by the Holy Spirit -- to be agents of change, messengers of hope and -- most importantly -- bearers of God's love into the world.”

IT said...

I've met a lot of community organizers in my Southern CA suburb.

People who work tirelessly to help raise funds to build a park or a playground.

People who work to prevent needless development, and who promote the neighborhood and its values.

People who volunteer for school foundations and raise money for things that schools can't otherwise afford, like music classes or band uniforms or books, even.

People who help coordinate a regular event for homeless vets.

people who help with feeding the hungry and making sure children might have some bit of cheer for Christmas.

but all ronf sees is people trying to "stick it to the man" and make him pay for their welfare-queen unwed mother lifestyles.

Yup, libertarians are not fond of community organizers. "I got mine, get your own". Real Christian attitude there, ronf.