Home > Uncategorized > Excerpts from President Obama’s speech last night

Excerpts from President Obama’s speech last night

Really, I think he says it all:

“I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or — or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

“You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. (Cheers, applause.) You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. (Cheers, applause.)

“You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. (Cheers, applause.)

“That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter — (cheers, applause) — the chance to cast their ballots like we did today…

“But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future.

“We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers — (cheers, applause) — a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation — (scattered cheers, applause) — with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow.

“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. (Cheers, applause.)

“We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this — this world has ever known — (cheers, applause) — but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.

“We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag — (cheers, applause) — to the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner — (cheers, applause) — to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.

“That’s the — (cheers, applause) — that’s the future we hope for.

“(Cheers, applause.) That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go — forward. (Cheers, applause.) That’s where we need to go. (Cheers, applause.)But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us; it’s about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self- government. (Cheers, applause.) That’s the principle we were founded on.

“This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared — (cheers, applause) — that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)…

“…I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Cheers, applause.)

“America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.

(Cheers, applause.)

“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. (Cheers, applause.)

“And together, with your help and God’s grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, America. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you. God bless these United States. (Cheers, applause.)

  1. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I am happy we have elected a President who inspires me. The only thing the other guy had was promises of tax cuts and, at the same time, smaller deficits. His dismissal of “47%” of Americans may have been a fatal self-inflicted wound. I have much more hope for the future with President Obama at the helm than I ever did under W Bush or ever had while listening to Mitt Romney.

  2. November 7, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but words are meaningless. Only actions count, and what is going to DO? Probably keep playing the same ol’ “Good-cop/Bad-cop” theater while serving his real masters, that being Wall-Street.

  3. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

    In an age of doublespeak and Dadaism, one could assume “words are meaningless”. Perhaps in reality, words “can” be meaningless. After all, every action is preceded by some type of thought and likely some kind of speaking among those initiating the action.

  4. November 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

    moviedad :
    I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but words are meaningless. Only actions count, and what is going to DO? Probably keep playing the same ol’ “Good-cop/Bad-cop” theater while serving his real masters, that being Wall-Street.

    Yep, just words! it takes more than words to create action, right or wrong.

  5. November 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Yeah, things like the “Kill List” and the murder of American citizens based upon nothing more than an unproven accusation. Or the complete trashing of the US Constitution for self-serving morally repugnant reasons. Just words…

  6. 69er
    November 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I stil haven’t forgotten Solyndra and all the other BS spewed by BO.

  7. November 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

    You know, I recall contributing regularly decades ago to a group called the “Victory Fund,” which assisted LGBT candidates in local races. The idea was built on womens’ groups’ victories in building “farm teams” of women who could climb the ladder. They sent out pamphlets every month or four times a year, presenting background information on small race LGBT politicians across the country, and you promised to choose four LGBT politicians per year to send a significant contribution to, via the Victory Fund so they knew where it came from.

    Now, America has elected its first gay Senator, and has a President who has come out for gay marriage. It’s not that politicians suddenly figured out that gay people matter, it’s that there’s been decades of work towards a long term goal. It’s also that there’s been recognition that you build political power by actually speaking up, contributing, and electing people, not by ranting that every politician’s a crook.

    Yes, people like Greenwald and Mr. Blow will resume their ranting against the President, for his supposed crime of seeking to find majorities. The ranting is fine, if completely pointless. But what is needed for progressive victories is another few decades of hard work by people with progressive values, the strengthening of coalitions, and support for politicians who share our values but are still respectful enough of everyone’s opinions that they can get elected.

  8. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Yes Charlie, in an age of Dadaism, one can always dismiss the speaker with “just words”. Humans seem to cling to their own beliefs like a lifeboat in a storm and dismiss other beliefs with a wave of the tongue. We still have one foot in the present and one foot in the cave.

  9. November 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Before you start spewing your bile, Mitch, you might want to read the article. He’s talking about people like you. The President is what he is, no thanks to people like you. In my book that make the both of you morally repugnant and ultimately lawless. All the BS in the world won’t change what you are.

  10. November 7, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Thanks, Joe!

    I’m glad you’re happy for all the women who won’t be forced to go into back alleys to terminate their pregnancies, all the young immigrant kids who won’t have to self-deport to countries they haven’t lived in since they were toddlers, all those who are going to be helped by the continued existence of Obamacare, and all the rest of us who don’t have to worry about another Neanderthal being appointed to the SCOTUS. I sure am!

  11. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Joe. Might I suggest a pint of Extra Bitter Ale to go with your Sour Grapes?

  12. November 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Rather insignificant drivel when you consider the “Lesser Evil” you hitched your wagon to. Greenwald had it right when he identified people like you as: “inebriated with love and gratitude for Obama for having vanquished the evil Republican villains, they will follow their beloved superhero wherever he goes with even more loyalty than before.” Right into the pits of hell. His record belies most everything you believe will happen. In that way, what you “believe” you are as “neanderthal a being” as your Republican “Conservative” counterparts. That is a fact that I clearly established with you.

  13. November 7, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Love ya, Joe. [Fifteen minutes later: I should clarify, although I initially posted this as a bit of a chain-yank, I really do love and admire Joe’s passion for justice. I say that fully understanding that it’s what leads him to not respect me (or whatever phrase he likes; I don’t mean to put words in his mouth). I’d take someone like Joe over someone like Mittens in a flash, even if Mittens might be a more pleasant person to hang out with, as long as we didn’t talk politics or religion or values or sex or…]

  14. November 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Personally, I was pleased to Obama win another term. Not that I think it will make any difference in the long run. No “Sour Grapes” here. From my point of view, Barack Obama has a five year history to draw from. Mitt Romney had the same thing going for him Barack Obama did 5 years ago, and everyone bought into their empty words of hope and faith. Both are going to the same place, only Mitt Romney a bit faster. Personally the American voter got exactly what they deserved – the Slow Boat to oblivion.

    Smart 5th Grader :
    Joe. Might I suggest a pint of Extra Bitter Ale to go with your Sour Grapes?

  15. tra
    November 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    For me, it’s not about blind loyalty, or team spirit or whatever, it’s about Better vs. Worse. Better often isn’t good enough, and may in some ways be very bad. But Better is still better than Worse, and keeps us closer to Better Yet, instead of bordering on Even Worse.

  16. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Okay Joe. How about Lilac Wine?

  17. tra
    November 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    “The Slow Boat to oblivion.”

    If your sailing toward Port Oblivion, speed isn’t a virtue. At least the Slow Boat allows more time for the possibility of reversing course. This may require a good deal of tacking into the winds.

  18. Just Watchin
    November 7, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    When Barry blames the “previous administration” in the future, does he mean his first four years??

  19. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Just Whinin is already speculating about what President Barack Obama will be saying in the future. Can’t wait to hate our President, eh?

  20. Just Watchin
    November 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Just callin a spade a spade.

  21. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    JW you nasty little troll, I feel sorry for people unfortunate enough to be your family or co-workers. Mitch. I have never asked you to delete a comment but this last one from JW crosses the line (in my opinion).

  22. Mitch
    November 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Well, SFG, I enjoy putting crossouts over the racism, but don’t you think people are entitled to know that the crackpot claiming to be a retired guy in Florida (Just Watchin) is either portraying a racist or is a racist? Seems like it would be helpful in understanding the rest of what he has to say.

    I’d really like to delete it, but that opens a can of worms I just don’t want to open. So Just Watchin’s pathetic hobby can continue. Try to ignore the smell.

  23. Smart 5th Grader
    November 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    You are correct. Free Speech allows the Haters to out themselves and prove Haters exist, that some some run for office, and some finance election campaigns. Thank you.

  24. November 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    The “Slow Boat” simply means it’s going to hurt more – you know, like torture?

    tra :
    “The Slow Boat to oblivion.”
    If your sailing toward Port Oblivion, speed isn’t a virtue. At least the Slow Boat allows more time for the possibility of reversing course. This may require a good deal of tacking into the winds.

  25. Anonymous
    November 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    The preacher and chief. OMFG! I can’t stand hearing his BS, A superb job of getting elected. But!, as last time there is only Obama the empty vessel left. Sad for America.

  26. Plain Jane
    November 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Good tactic, Mitch. Deleting the evidence of their racism just allows them to go on pretending to be decent people. I’m chuckling over JW’s inability to control himself this morning and I’m betting he wasn’t thinking “spade” when he typed that.

  27. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 5:34 am

    According to an associate editor at Merriam Webster: “Some folks may interpret the phrase to be racist only due to their not knowing which sense of “spade” it originally referenced. We do not have any valid evidence of anyone using the phrase with deliberate racial allusion, and its contemporary meanings—“to call a thing by its right name however coarse” and “to speak frankly”—make no racial allusion.

    Why does everything have to be turned into a racial thing?

  28. Dick Cheney
    November 8, 2012 at 6:55 am

    “. . .you know, like torture?”
    You mean “enhanced interrogation” don’t you, JB?

    Don’t you love farce?
    My fault I fear.
    I thought that you’d want what I want.
    Sorry, my dear.
    But where are the drones?
    Quick, send in the drones.
    Don’t bother, they’re here.

    –S. Sondheim

  29. notafan
    November 8, 2012 at 7:55 am

    The stupidity continues, lets just keep putting it on the credit card. I know, we will tax those nasty rich. Dumb fucks,.

  30. anoni-truth-seeker
    November 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Yeh JW……you had no idea that your use of “spade” might be misconstrued. Especially after referring to The President disrespectfully as Barry a few posts back. What were we thinking?
    Since you’re so good at using dictionaries, why don’t you hit the Urban Dictionary and look up “spade.” I’m sure you’ll be shocked and awed. And then I’m sure you’ll want to apologize for your racist comment that we all can see. It ain’t going away.
    Also, next time you might want to think before you hit that “post comment” button. Any chance you have of having any of your positions considered by the other side, well that just goes out the window with your public vileness.

  31. Anonymous
    November 8, 2012 at 9:08 am

    JW – if you really didn’t understand the racial overtones of your statement (especially in this context), then you’re even more clueless and out of touch with society than I imagined. It explains a lot about your “head in the sand” comments in previous posts.

  32. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

    He went by “Barry” for a large part of his life. I don’t recall you posting your indignation when George Bush was being called names on this blog that would make a hooker blush?
    And btw, good word, “vileness”……it’s worth eleven points in the game of scrabble!

  33. Plain Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

    JW has probably been a racist for his entire life and isn’t going to change in the few years he has left. Racism is dying out, but won’t be forgotten by historians who will report how ugly and harmful it was to our society.

  34. November 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

    @JW – your comment is no more racist than my statement you must be one dumb cracker…….MW does not acknowledge racial overtones in this use either.

  35. November 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

    No. I mean “torture” – No need to parse words here. Its going to hurt either way, so get ready.

    Dick Cheney :
    “. . .you know, like torture?”
    You mean “enhanced interrogation” don’t you, JB?

  36. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Felix :@JW – your comment is no more racist than my statement you must be one dumb cracker…….MW does not acknowledge racial overtones in this use either.

    MW does define cracker as: ” a native of Georgia or Florida”, which I am neither. However….the Urban dictionary does define it as “a white slave driver”, which also doesn’t fit. I drive a Cadillac.

  37. anoni-truth-seeker
    November 8, 2012 at 10:22 am

    Oh, so you do use the Urban Dictionary!. So you did know what a racially charged comment you were making. No pawning it off to stupidity now.

    And thanks for the 11 Scrabble points. However, when using it on you, I feel that I deserve the Triple Word Bonus.

  38. Plain Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 11:09 am

    All the right wing chatter about the “changing demographic” being the reason they lost is a subtle admission of their motive for attempting to suppress the votes of the “changing demographic.” It’s not like they didn’t know about this “changing demographic” before Tuesday. If not for the courts blocking their transparent attempts at election fraud, we would likely be looking at a very different future.

  39. Plain Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

    That should have said, “suppress the votes of “those who are changing the demographic.”

  40. November 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    @JW – you’re still a dumb cracker. A Caddy drivin’ cracker – LOL!

  41. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you. Glad I could give you a chuckle.

  42. Plain Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    This really takes the cake. Rove is now accusing President Obama of winning by suppressing the vote! SERIOUSLY! Apparently now saying mean (but truthful) things about your opponent is voter suppression but trying to keep “those likely to vote D” from voting is fair play. Do you think he really believes the shit that comes out of his mouth?

  43. November 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm


    I’ve noticed that a large part of Rove/GOP strategy in recent years has been to take the topics they are most vulnerable on and launch attacks on those topics against their opponents. It’s an interesting approach, because when your opponent then correctly points out that you are the real guilty party, the “objective” press is emboldened to point out how both sides are accusing the other of blah blah blah.

    No point in getting your blood pressure up on it. The good guys seem to have won this one nearly completely across the board. Let the bad guys say what they please.

    Personally, I suspect Rove may lose an arm, an eye, and/or a leg over this election. He cost his bosses hundreds of millions of dollars and couldn’t properly steal even a single state. They won’t be happy.

  44. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    I have a somewhat off subject question. I read that both houses of the California legislature will now have super majorities, allowing them to do pretty much anything they want to do. Even when it’s your party of choice, isn’t that cause for concern? It just strikes me as an awful lot of power in very few hands.

  45. tra
    November 8, 2012 at 1:46 pm


    Karl Rove, in particular, has often employed a strategy of aggressively attacking from his candidate’s own weaknesses, toward his opponents’ strength. For example, attacking John Kerry’s military service in Vietnam, even though during Vietnam Bush himself was hiding out in the “champagne squadron” of the Texas Air National Guard.

    At the time Rove’s strategy of going after Kerry’s war record was seen as an unexpected and bold new approach, which it kind of was. And in that the strategy involved both the Bush campaign, and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth “independent expenditure” group, it was also a foreshadowing of the SuperPAC era that was coming.

    But the attack-from-your-weaknesses-towards-your-opponent’s-strengths gambit isn’t quite so novel any more, the other side is aware of the strategy, and thus the element of surprise is lost. Rove will probably keep it in the mix, because he’s had some luck with it in the past, and because he doesn’t seem to have any new ideas. Meanwhile, it’s amusing to see Rove (and so many others) floundering around at the moment, floating up various trial balloons of different justifications and excuses and new spins to keep the True Believers on the hook.

  46. Smart 5th Grader
    November 8, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    jw, Yeah you gotta be concerned when the voters throw out the bums who bankrupted America and vote in the people who care about American workers and the middle class. This is of very grave concern. What about that asylum in the South East, Florida? Now THAT’S something of concern!

  47. Just Watchin
    November 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    SFG……did you even understand my question? Put down the pipe for a while……geeeez

  48. Smart 5th Grader
    November 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    I did address your semi-literate question about “concern”. Apparently your reading comprehension skills are even worse than your writing skills.

  49. Plain Jane
    November 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    It’s same number of hands, JW. Now that a minority can no longer obstruct progress we might be able to fix our problems.

  50. November 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    I forget the name, but there was this senatorial candidate a couple of years ago on LinkTV, talking about how the Rove machine, was able to paint him as not sufficiently patriotic, being a “liberal”, the guy had won the bronze star in Viet Nam, and his opponent had a college deferment during the war. Rove was able to make his candidate a “Hero” while disparaging the real hero as a bleeding heart. The same kind of discrediting has been done against Scott Ridder. The Marine captain who was the weapons inspector in Iraq before the war began in 2003. He is one of my heroes. An American Marine who would not go along with dishonesty, and it cost him his career. Contrast him with someone like Oliver North, who was willing to betray our country at any time on behalf of a president who himself was a traitor by dealing with Iran behind Carter’s back so as to assure his defeat in the 1980 election. It still bugs me they glorify this guy who was willing to use, exploit and sacrifice anyone to promote himself.

  51. November 8, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    It’s the way America is, moviedad. It’s part of what we have to deal with.


  52. Erasmus
    November 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Ritter has done some admirable things, but before I elevate him to hero status I would have to come to terms with his criminal record —- his arrests, and ultimate conviction, for pedophilia. His activities in that cesspool are not pretty.

  53. November 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Dream on… Good Guys my …

    Mitch :
    No point in getting your blood pressure up on it. The good guys seem to have won this one nearly completely across the board. Let the bad guys say what they please.

  54. November 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    It’s the way “your” America is. You need to learn to speak for yourself before you choke on your own vomit.

    Mitch :
    It’s the way America is, moviedad. It’s part of what we have to deal with.

  55. November 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm


    Acceptance of reality is not approval of it.

  56. Thirdeye
    November 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Mitch :
    It’s the way America is, moviedad. It’s part of what we have to deal with.

    Chambliss is up for re-election in 14 and Georgia is one of the red states getting a demographic purple tinge. Payback is a bitch.

  57. November 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Maybe so, but it is still “your” reality and NOT the “reality” that IS or for that matter, my reality. Your strongly held beliefs do not make reality. I know you can’t understand that, but then neither does a majority of people. And that’s why we have gridlock and wars among other things.

    Mitch :
    Acceptance of reality is not approval of it.

  58. Thorstein Veblen
    November 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Talk about ‘reality’. I watched Fox for a while on Tuesday, long enough to see Rove throw his Ohio tantrum. And have checked in a few times since. Saw a story about voter fraud, apparently somebody got caught voting twice. They imply that Obama may have won due to cheating. Also, they are even more strident in defending against any increase in taxes on the rich, you’d have thought that they had won!! Nobody talking about rape or abortion or gays, though, awfully quiet on that front. Interesting to peer into a bizzaro world sometimes, it was fun to watch for a few minutes. Now back to the real world.

  59. Just Watchin
    November 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Thorstein Veblen :Talk about ‘reality’. I watched Fox for a while on Tuesday, long enough to see Rove throw his Ohio tantrum. And have checked in a few times since. Saw a story about voter fraud, apparently somebody got caught voting twice. They imply that Obama may have won due to cheating. Also, they are even more strident in defending against any increase in taxes on the rich, you’d have thought that they had won!! Nobody talking about rape or abortion or gays, though, awfully quiet on that front. Interesting to peer into a bizzaro world sometimes, it was fun to watch for a few minutes. Now back to the real world.

    If you had listened closely, FOX identified that woman as a registered Republican.

  60. Plain Jane
    November 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Is your admiration of the authors of the constitution and their ideas of liberty and god given rights tempered by their owning of slaves, even sexually exploiting them, Joe? And then there is their complete disregard of women’s or Native American rights.

  61. Thorstein Veblen
    November 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    A republican woman voted for Obama, TWICE????? Wow, I wouldn’t have suspected that.

  62. jimeejohnson
    November 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    What an interesting and entertaining blog. It beats any on the mainstream media sites. Thanks.

  63. November 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    First I ever heard about those charges, does seem to be a convenient assassination. But what do I know. He took on the two most vindictive and powerful men in the world, and now he’s a convicted “sex offender.” curious. but who knows, lots of people are closet weirdos. I’m kind of shocked. I guess I don’t get out much in the main stream media, because this happened in 2010. Anyway, any accomplishment he made in life is forever foreshadowed and dismissed by this charge. Those who plea to such things are the modern equivalent to “Lepers,” and just like with lepers, I’d better shut up, before I be found to not be sufficiently condemning.

  64. Plain Jane
    November 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Heroes are seldom saints, MD. Ritter may be a pedophile, but he also sacrificed his career to try to stop an insane and entirely unnecessary war. If people had listened to him there would be thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis still alive.

  65. November 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

    We wouldn’t want people to believe I’m “unnecessarily biased,” now would we Jane? So do everyone a favor and STOP trying to bias people’s thinking by putting words in my mouth. The US Constitution is what it is despite the modern conceptions engendered by biased beliefs expounded be moralizing people. Whatever those men were, does not delegitimization that document and what its complete enforcement or non-enforcement means for America. In that regard you can whine all you want, but ultimately you’ve got no choice. A lesson you may live long enough to learn.

    By the way, I wonder if you see the common thread between women or Native American “rights”? Throw “slavery” into the mix too, if you want.

    Plain Jane :
    Is your admiration of the authors of the constitution and their ideas of liberty and god given rights tempered by their owning of slaves, even sexually exploiting them, Joe? And then there is their complete disregard of women’s or Native American rights.

  66. Anonymous
    November 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Joe, I think that what you do, when you see change is needed, is to show what is no longer legitimate as individual humans grow — and then make a change itself legitimate.

    That’s been done more than a few times to that original Constitution, hasn’t it? Both slavery and women’s suffrage would be prime examples.

    I guess I’d agree that the US Constitution ‘is what it is’, but woult think that’s mainly because it has been a living document, one provided its own means to learn with persons of a country. Delegitimization of what no longer fits, surely a definite part of that learning?

  67. November 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    The above comment (#66) is the classic definition of the Rule of Men. How the Rule of Law was perverted into basic mob rule and anarchy – one person, one vote, majority rule. The two-tiered justice system is all the proof necessary.

  68. November 12, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Joe, you don’t have to answer of course, but I wonder if you might have been raised at least in part as a Catholic. My reason to consider this is that your answer seems to be very much like the law in Europe that I became familiar with, which is very different from the Anglo-Saxon or Common law that in their different way British and Americans follow.

    That Anonymous, by the way, was me — some thing the great WordPress did for no reason I can think of; I wasn’t trying to hide identity.

    Here’s a very long article from a law review about intent and history of Article Five of the constitution, which governs and guarantees the right of amendment. I read into it a ways; as the subject turns out to be interesting. The one thing you are explicitly not allowed to do amend would be the equality of states’ rights. As the article closes, it mentions the other thing you are implicitly not allowed to amend, which is Article Five itself.


    How does this foundation stone of the Constitution avoid mob rule, which certainly was very much on the minds of Locke, Hobbs, and Rousseau, the relevant political philosophers of the time, and certainly the men (it was) of the long Constitutional Convention, some of whose more abject concerns are in the Article Five’s word? For they would never have thought in any way not to protect against it.

    This is where you surprised me a bit, so I will say where I think the avoidance comes. It is the same place where I’ve often gotten questioned about America overseas, and not least by the British, who will say they can’t see how government here can ever get things done. Their own by the way is pretty much set up to have one party at a time have all the power, and for some years so that they can do something; then they throw those out and try another.

    It’s easy to reply to them how the interlocking gating of power is so intentional across the Atlantic, so that no-one can take over, but that in due times and places changes con come to be made.

    The situation America’s just dealt with for four years is as exceptional as likely could ever be in the way it intentionally subverted this. But I would argue from language of mechanical things that the friction the structure makes is exactly what keeps its response slowed down to a reasonable speed and able to consider, to avoid your mob rule.

    With this in mind, the controlled (very controlled) ability to change the law when it becomes visibly outdated or otherwise unfair seems to be the deepest principle of law itself, Constitution leading, in the US. No one gets to have just their own way, by intention, and yet with enough recognition, and over enough sensible time, the law does change. We change it, out of best consideration, or at least of all the chance to have that.

    You might have mistaken me on matters this far, Joe, or just wanted to reply that the ‘deligitimization’ concept felt uncomfortable. I kind of deliberately made it front and center in the Anonymoused statement, because I do think its part of the principles by which people change their minds. About slavery, about suppression of gender or race, any of the uncomfortable things that go agaist how homes have been set up, and where people fear losing their authority or rice-bowl if we turn to another way.

    All kinds of things help us see when we need to, though — the actual truths that surface in such a circus as our political proceess being one. suzy’s ever-spoken-for spontaneity in art is another. Even tamer ways like the discussions here come to have a lot of weight, more than they have at the moments of speaking. We are all very complicated and needful individuals, and I think require all the things that what we know as our better instincts, on proper occasions, enjoy.

    How I think, anyway, Joe, and didn’t mean really to go on so long. At least I’m not anonymous this time, at least I hope…

  69. November 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Narration, normally I try to stay away from “Anonymous” responders. Your comment, as it turns out, was a classic definition of how most American’s think. The consequence of that way of thinking today are illustrated in the FACT that nobody (with very minor exceptions) stops at stop signs anymore. Couple that with the FACT that this country enforces its right to enter or invade every other sovereign nation and murder anyone it chooses simply on the authority of one man based upon a filthy accusation – including American citizens. Both violate the law. One act, however, violates the US Constitution, the legal document provided in the beginning of this country to establish before all other sovereign nations and peoples this country’s legitimate right to exist, and as a co-equal. The original Constitution with its Bill of Rights was constructed so as to meet that test; provide the legal right to exist as a sovereign nation and as a people. Subsequent Amendments perverted that protection as this country moved away from the Rule of Law to the Rule of Men. Consistent violations of the Constitution by those sworn to enforce and protect does not invalidate the document, such violations invalidate what the document stands for and does, such violations make the people and their country illegitimate – without any legal standing.

    I hope that helps, since I really don’t think you get what’s really going on. A similar experience I encounter with my wife on occasion. The problem is, we all want to “believe” whatever is convenient, do what we want and NOT be held accountable. Mitch is a good example. No one wants to face the fact that their home is on fire and they have lost everything, or that the rapist is in your bedroom, or that your neighbor that’s been terrorizing you for years while the police look the other way just murdered your husband.

    By the way, I don’t mind, I was not raised a Catholic. Being raised by any religion would indicate a certain propensity for bias. Fortunately, for me at an early age I was freed from such constraints.

    You do touch on an interesting point when considering the root causes that has brought this country to this nearly total state of anarchy, while still believing everyone is still law-abiding and that the US Constitution is still valid. I’m referring to your final three paragraphs, in particular: “… because I do think its part of the principles by which people change their minds.” If people’s “mind changing” was based upon sound Constitutional “principles” that would be one thing, but they are not. And religion is responsible for perverting Law for some kind of Christ’s Love that forgives all things and is merciful to all imperfect lawbreakers. Unfortunately, the Universe doesn’t dance to American’s Way of believing.

  70. November 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Joe, I really had to think about this. Meaning the method of letting ideas and memories crop up on their own, as well as re-reading your post to remind pasts and presents to speak.

    I think you want something I can understand, which is dignity, for yourself as well as those others who you perceive as acting without it. Well, you are right about some of that. Where I think it goes wrong is in comparison to other times. Touching a moment on some of the philosophical ideas you’ve batted around in other posts, I would feel that the progress of dignity in thought and act is as one of those Russian dolls, one layer needing to be discovered after the other.

    I think that’s true in individuals, and in the growth of consciousness in cultures, a few of which I’ve been around actually more than here.

    In the last post, I tried to hew pretty clearly to the question of whether the Constitution strongly supports its own modification. I believe that it does — at the same time as trying to assure that the indignities you concern about, and that the original writiers concerned out of their English background as the ‘mob’, are slowed down and filtered out, through processes which make responsible those who are supposed to be the most educated, or by other means thought to be the best at understanding what’s needed, either by representation of several kinds, or of judgment. It’s not my subject, personally, but it is interesting to look at for a moment again.

    That house we want to live in, whether we are me, you, Mitch, or suzy to take some examples, is an unusual one; in each case of us, an ideal one I believe. Yet if you look at a previous generation, the last to believe that ideals are the way to have a better life, you have to see how much this led to blindness and violence. It’s a paradox, yet; and it is some explanation for why a decade of intellectuals in particular tried to cut it down in the 1970s, with echos coming to this day.

    We, each of my examples, ‘know’ we are on some right track — which has to be towards development, and thus change, doesn’t it? We or ‘everyone’ are unlikely to be as deserving as those paragons of ideal who Deepak Chopra wants to speak in, I think. Though there is something individuals can learn to put on their shoulders like a judge’s robes, and in that countenance speak more freely and more fairly, and with broader, deeper awareness. That’s one of the things persons can do, evidently (by evidence), and there comes art in many forms which gives new signposts, new experiences, new legal structures even, and so the chance to bring more meaning and satisfaction into lives.

    Does this help me or you, as we are nearly run down crossing the street by rampant children in their tri-high trucks, or too-well-off young housewives with the cellphone glued to their ear and blanking out even visual perception?

    Not, of course. We have to get their attention, and otherwise stand and move in our own dignity. I think those houses and towns we would like to live in for very much from that dignity, the same as the painting artist for example, which speaks itself in manners of attention and expression.

    We aren’t going to find them in political circles, which after all are mainly about ricebowls and other aspects of assuring no one else gets a better distribution. Here I think, if kindly, towards those monkeys recently noticed to have more attention about equal distribution than most other things, and who go wild immediately as they see any infraction.

    Yet we need the political surely, and the law which grows as the better side of the politics grows. That no one is so sure that ‘other races’ are less than themselves is a complicated driver, and far from resolved, but at least it is in consciousness, and driving our attention to do well with it, as just one example of what consciousness and law have had to recognize together, and become unavoidably engaged indeed in doing better.

    Here I would turn to the tale of Thomas Jefferson, who was clearly unable to really believe in his own fine words, and almost as the Constitution was validated turned deliberately back to raising slaves — because in that English way he had discovered a constant and dependable profit in it. Of the slaves themselves, much less what they produced. Washington, the military adminstrator, instead held his honor, and freed his slaves.

    That’s the underlying truth of the US ways of doing better. They soon enough resulted in a Civil War, then amendment of the Constitution, then another 100 years of growth before that meaning was legally insisted upon, then a few generations more to where I could come back from many years overseas, and be quite taken with how the young of colors including white now tend to treat each other, in this very mixed San Diego area where I live.

    Growth had to occur, and alteration of law including the grounding framework had to occur. Most of all, what has had to occur, and must still progress, is that internal sense for sorting out our crocodile-to-heaven’s dream internal impulses and emotions, choosing what is best, and falling into the whole act of those.

    Then we are living in that house of dignity our memory and imagination proposes. I think as we grow older, we gain more ability to see how this works, just a personal observation. It’s interesting, makes progresses, and is an essential part of days where I actually have more of the freedom I ever and always and with instinctive completeness insisted upon.

    Around the barriers and mixed intentions of others that suzy — and you and Mitch too — are so attentive to, this is the way I think each of us and everyone has their real freedom to rescue and amplify the dignity. No doubt every time’s need.

    Best, Joe — written of a piece, so in hoping it better speaks to you. I don’t think I am any kind of normative American, and mused a bit that you might suggest so. But in hard thought and among really different experiences, something of America’s own value does come to me. Childhood and forms of return to Humboldt bring not the least of this. With all its thumps and banging, this is a pretty unusual conversation across the communities here.

  71. November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Narration, Interesting analysis of my comment. It seems you still parody the dream you hold today as you judge those of yesteryear. Sometimes, to understand the truth or what someone is saying, you have to get yourself out of the way. Take your rose-colored glasses off. Your implication that because the Originator’s of the US Constitution were flawed regarding matters of race relations somehow validates or justifies each US citizens right to take it or leave it, is irrelevant to the issue of legitimacy.

    American’s believe, as a majority, based upon their de facto conduct, that violating the law is their inherent right that somehow makes them a free people. Hence, the US Constitution holds no sanctions for them, clearly exemplified by the current President and his government. This Lie, of course, was promoted and enforced as far back in time as the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, it is the paradox of complying with the Law that validates each individual’s right to be free. People either by compliance or non-compliance do NOT make the US Constitution legitimate. On the other hand, it is the US Constitution that makes the people or the individual US citizen legitimate.

    Chopra, while not claiming to be a saint or some equivalent individual, certainly understood what it took to be such a person. As such, their understandings of God and Law, while evolving over the centuries, were always rooted to one established and consistent truth. What was gratifying to me, is that he gets it. You’ll have to read his book to find out what that is, if you haven’t already. I appreciate the thoughtful considerations.

  72. November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Well, Joe. ‘Thoughtful considerations’ aside for a moment, you are giving me a better idea why evidently quite intelligent persons writing in these parts often reply with a sharp dismissal, or at best a flip return on some kind of tightly enclosed logic.

    Putting two and two together once or twice, I can probably appreciate some reasons you may be interested in Chopra, and fine enough. I am sure his views are useful to the right persons. For me, I’d probably prefer the guru I first read in my twenties, J. Krishnamurti, who was very interested in awareness, compared to what I am dipping into at the moment of Chopra, ‘wealth consciousness’. In all bold type.

    There are great shadows of ancient Brahminism (i.e. superior-acting caste mores) in that one, and this touches on more than one direct memory out of Indian families I’ve known. Enough to say, though I could say a lot more, particularly if we bring Taoism into the picture.

    How this attaches to your idea that somehow obedience to the Constitution (which one of it, which years??) ‘makes [human persons] legitimate’, one can only guess. You think the American Constitution _is_ the order of the universe, rather than some moment’s expression of some part of it that was noticed at a time of history?

    I get that you want to feel superior to those you see as plebians; that’s been clear for a while. Feeling so at best can be a moment on a road in means of gaining personal freedom, just as the distancing of an artist accomplishes, and so we can smile and tolerate it when not too overt.

    If you stick with distancing only, though, you miss out. This ‘universe’ that Indian as well as other idealists imagine is filled with life, which is a considerably greater mystery than physics waves and particles such as Chopra handwaves about. He’s intelligent enough not to do it badly, but it is still handwaving, targeted at his business and his cause.

    Back to the American question. If you hadn’t noticed, the entire history of this place is filled with thumb-in-eye attitude toward received (put in place by prior circumstance) authority — with action taken so. The revolutionists did it, the frontier people did it, Teddy Roosevelt, America’s Winston Churchill who stayed at home did it, certainly men in the military of WW2 did it — just look at any wise-cracking GI movie to see it, and their children thrown into Vietnam did it. These are all persons who at some level agreed to the rights and responsibilities which became or were the US Constitution at their time, putting their lives at stake on it, but with their own sense of individual judgement justly held superior. The way ‘lower class attitudes’ and their strong part in success is particularly celebrated over and again for those soldiers — again I refer you to all the popular stories of the times.

    That personal judgement is at one level encapsulated in the ‘right or responsibility of revolution’, whose ancient thoughts you can become reminded of here. Even Islamic tradition, which is perhaps the most authority-bound of many, has this concept of right rather than rule embedded, but there are many interesting cases:


    Ideas aside, you can’t find anything more deeply buries in Americanism than the sense that _everyone_ deserves their personal freedom — which ends, as we use to discuss it as children, where you are about to connect with some other person’s nose.

    Joe, I’m going to stop here, and not try to explain again about the relations of personal dignity, of where your own influence can help that regain its presence in others who have lost good sense of it. That’s an important topic, to be sure, and has nothing of present American definitions of ‘liberalism’, ‘progressive’, or ‘softness’, with all their misplaced anger, in it.

    The gentleman-scholar has always been just their own self. Most particularly, any wisdom s/he possessed was recognized in how the scholar could walk the same paths with others, interpreting them for the better where there was a need, appreciating what their own ways could offer. I think you have a few historical examples of those also.

    And yes, there are some women. Korean culture for example invited its mudang to be enjoyed as well as valued, as they still are, and its women poets to be storied and appreciated.

  73. November 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Well, Narration, actually you do get it.

    You say, “I get that you want to feel superior to those you see as plebians; that’s been clear for a while.” Is that because I took time to talk to you? The people Chopra wrote about stood apart from all other humans – so you tell me, were they “trying to feel superior”? I’ve spent a lifetime looking for such people, to no avail. As you can see, the world is in desperate need of such people. Anyway, when all else fails, it’s always the wannabe gods that can read minds, and judge motives that attack the person with some self-serving accusation. In that I can take the lesson about “personal dignity.”

  74. November 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

    p.s. I hadn’t realized when remembering him how much Krishnamurti would be relevant to the larger discussion. Or that he also was a Brahmin of birth, though quite evidently taking that group’s better path. There are good persons in upper classes also…as anywhere.

    Anyway, he was of an age in the writing I read, and interestingly so, it certainly felt. Here there’s a little more background on where that may have come from.


  75. November 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Joe, we’re crossposting here. I would suggest to you that there may be a lesson, in spending a lifetime looking for such people.

    I would suggest that ‘such people’ are a part of each of us, and that this is how you do meet them.

    I don’t feel that’s in any way an idealistic thing to say; rather, it bears on the sort of observation and attentiveness that artists show as example, and in the communications they make by their work.

    With a smile, I think you yourself are indeed ‘getting it’ about dignity in the face of what may or may not be intended attack. It parts the waters, doesn’t it?

    Cheers, Joe. Let me just add a statement from that bio of Krishnamurti, where he said what he was about, in leaving those who would otherwise have made him their authority figure. Some things in it to think about, anyway, and we can both do that.

    “I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path. … This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies.”

  76. November 16, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Narration says without an iota of proof: “I would suggest that ‘such people’ are a part of each of us, and that this is how you do meet them.”

    For those of you that live in your little minds, let me suggest to you that this guy(?) is full of crap. The simple truth is, there aren’t any of those kinds of people to find. What you write about Krishnamurti, an apparent authority – at least for you, flies directly in the face of the teachings of Jesus Christ. There is an authority in this Universe and you clearly stand against it. Good luck on that. Your way, the way of lawless, rot and putrid corrupt human nature may win out in the end, The jury is still out on that issue. Either way, people like you won’t have any say in the decision. By the way, the above quote, you’re talking to someone who’s life is totally tied up in that reality. So, what’s your problem Narration?

  77. November 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Joe, I think we have to draw a line between appreciating a person, and considering them an authority.

    You’re angry now — not my intention to make you so. You cloak so many of your foundations in obscure language that until now, so it has been difficult to avoid the possibility of stepping on one.

    Theologies are probably something we should stay away from, but I think to remember that many of them suggest to look for parts of a larger righteousness within the natures of individuals. That’s both inside and outside of Christianity.

    Krishnamurti was not a Christian, and walked away from people who tried to make him a kind of one, stating as above quoted when he did so.

    He was a sincere person, with good efforts evidently, and I can’t think he would be ‘judged’ any less worthy than any other human.

    Maybe I think this way because from earliest childhood, I had to encounter that there are many peoples and beliefs in this world. Later I kind of thought a God would quite possibly show his face in different ways suitable to each of them. And that this would be fair.

    Fairness counts a lot with me, and that’s why I entered into this longer conversation with you, for what that may be worth.

    Let’s leave it for now.

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