Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Obama. Show all posts

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Ray McGovern Pays Tribute to Obama's Heroic Personal Cowardice


"Now, after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets. This would not be an open-ended intervention. We would not put boots on the ground. Instead, our action would be designed to be limited in duration and scope. But I’m confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.

Our military has positioned assets in the region. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the Chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.

But having made my decision as Commander-in-Chief based on what I am convinced is our national security interests, I’m also mindful that I’m the President of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. I’ve long believed that our power is rooted not just in our military might, but in our example as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And that’s why I’ve made a second decision: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.

Over the last several days, we’ve heard from members of Congress who want their voices to be heard. I absolutely agree. So this morning, I spoke with all four congressional leaders, and they’ve agreed to schedule a debate and then a vote as soon as Congress comes back into session.

In the coming days, my administration stands ready to provide every member with the information they need to understand what happened in Syria and why it has such profound implications for America’s national security. And all of us should be accountable as we move forward, and that can only be accomplished with a vote.

I’m confident in the case our government has made without waiting for U.N. inspectors. I’m comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that, so far, has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable. As a consequence, many people have advised against taking this decision to Congress, and undoubtedly, they were impacted by what we saw happen in the United Kingdom this week when the Parliament of our closest ally failed to pass a resolution with a similar goal, even as the Prime Minister supported taking action.

Yet, while I believe I have the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective. We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual. And this morning, John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy."


- Obama Practices War Avoidance,
(and/or Personal Cowardice, I don't really care which),
August 31st 2013

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The End of White America : It's Comin' Down Fast....





"CIVILIZATION’S GOING TO PIECES,” he remarks. He is in polite company, gathered with friends around a bottle of wine in the late-afternoon sun, chatting and gossiping. “I’ve gotten to be a terrible pessimist about things. Have you read The Rise of the Colored Empires by this man Goddard?” They hadn’t. “Well, it’s a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don’t look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It’s all scientific stuff; it’s been proved.”
Also see:



State of the Union: Race

Hua Hsu and Ta-Nehisi Coates discuss Obama, football, hip-hop, and the elusive notion of a "post-racial" society.
He is Tom Buchanan, a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, a book that nearly everyone who passes through the American education system is compelled to read at least once. Although Gatsby doesn’t gloss as a book on racial anxiety—it’s too busy exploring a different set of anxieties entirely—Buchanan was hardly alone in feeling besieged. The book by “this man Goddard” had a real-world analogue: Lothrop Stoddard’s The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, published in 1920, five years before Gatsby. Nine decades later, Stoddard’s polemic remains oddly engrossing. He refers to World War I as the “White Civil War” and laments the “cycle of ruin” that may result if the “white world” continues its infighting. The book features a series of foldout maps depicting the distribution of “color” throughout the world and warns, “Colored migration is a universal peril, menacing every part of the white world.”
As briefs for racial supremacy go, The Rising Tide of Color is eerily serene. Its tone is scholarly and gentlemanly, its hatred rationalized and, in Buchanan’s term, “scientific.” And the book was hardly a fringe phenomenon. It was published by Scribner, also Fitzgerald’s publisher, and Stoddard, who received a doctorate in history from Harvard, was a member of many professional academic associations. It was precisely the kind of book that a 1920s man of Buchanan’s profile—wealthy, Ivy League–educated, at once pretentious and intellectually insecure—might have been expected to bring up in casual conversation.
As white men of comfort and privilege living in an age of limited social mobility, of course, Stoddard and the Buchanans in his audience had nothing literal to fear. Their sense of dread hovered somewhere above the concerns of everyday life. It was linked less to any immediate danger to their class’s political and cultural power than to the perceived fraying of the fixed, monolithic identity of whiteness that sewed together the fortunes of the fair-skinned.
From the hysteria over Eastern European immigration to the vibrant cultural miscegenation of the Harlem Renaissance, it is easy to see how this imagined worldwide white kinship might have seemed imperiled in the 1920s. There’s no better example of the era’s insecurities than the 1923 Supreme Court case United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, in which an Indian American veteran of World War I sought to become a naturalized citizen by proving that he was Caucasian. The Court considered new anthropological studies that expanded the definition of the Caucasian race to include Indians, and the justices even agreed that traces of “Aryan blood” coursed through Thind’s body. But these technicalities availed him little. The Court determined that Thind was not white “in accordance with the understanding of the common man” and therefore could be excluded from the “statutory category” of whiteness. Put another way: Thind was white, in that he was Caucasian and even Aryan. But he was notwhite in the way Stoddard or Buchanan were white.
The ’20s debate over the definition of whiteness—a legal category? a commonsense understanding? a worldwide civilization?—took place in a society gripped by an acute sense of racial paranoia, and it is easy to regard these episodes as evidence of how far we have come. But consider that these anxieties surfaced when whiteness was synonymous with the American mainstream, when threats to its status were largely imaginary. What happens once this is no longer the case—when the fears of Lothrop Stoddard and Tom Buchanan are realized, and white people actually become an American minority?
Whether you describe it as the dawning of a post-racial age or just the end of white America, we’re approaching a profound demographic tipping point. According to an August 2008 report by the U.S. Census Bureau, those groups currently categorized as racial minorities—blacks and Hispanics, East Asians and South Asians—will account for a majority of the U.S. population by the year 2042. Among Americans under the age of 18, this shift is projected to take place in 2023, which means that every child born in the United States from here on out will belong to the first post-white generation.
Obviously, steadily ascending rates of interracial marriage complicate this picture, pointing toward what Michael Lind has described as the “beiging” of America. And it’s possible that “beige Americans” will self-identify as “white” in sufficient numbers to push the tipping point further into the future than the Census Bureau projects. But even if they do, whiteness will be a label adopted out of convenience and even indifference, rather than aspiration and necessity. For an earlier generation of minorities and immigrants, to be recognized as a “white American,” whether you were an Italian or a Pole or a Hungarian, was to enter the mainstream of American life; to be recognized as something else, as theThind case suggests, was to be permanently excluded. As Bill Imada, head of the IW Group, a prominent Asian American communications and marketing company, puts it: “I think in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, [for] anyone who immigrated, the aspiration was to blend in and be as American as possible so that white America wouldn’t be intimidated by them. They wanted to imitate white America as much as possible: learn English, go to church, go to the same schools.”
Today, the picture is far more complex. To take the most obvious example, whiteness is no longer a precondition for entry into the highest levels of public office. The son of Indian immigrants doesn’t have to become “white” in order to be elected governor of Louisiana. A half-Kenyan, half-Kansan politician can self-identify as black and be elected president of the United States.
As a purely demographic matter, then, the “white America” that Lothrop Stoddard believed in so fervently may cease to exist in 2040, 2050, or 2060, or later still. But where the culture is concerned, it’s already all but finished. Instead of the long-standing model of assimilation toward a common center, the culture is being remade in the image of white America’s multiethnic, multicolored heirs.
For some, the disappearance of this centrifugal core heralds a future rich with promise. In 1998, President Bill Clinton, in a now-famous address to students at Portland State University, remarked:
 Today, largely because of immigration, there is no majority race in Hawaii or Houston or New York City. Within five years, there will be no majority race in our largest state, California. In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the United States. No other nation in history has gone through demographic change of this magnitude in so short a time ... [These immigrants] are energizing our culture and broadening our vision of the world. They are renewing our most basic values and reminding us all of what it truly means to be American.
Not everyone was so enthused. Clinton’s remarks caught the attention of another anxious Buchanan—Pat Buchanan, the conservative thinker. Revisiting the president’s speech in his 2001 book, The Death of the West, Buchanan wrote: “Mr. Clinton assured us that it will be a better America when we are all minorities and realize true ‘diversity.’ Well, those students [at Portland State] are going to find out, for they will spend their golden years in a Third World America.”
Today, the arrival of what Buchanan derided as “Third World America” is all but inevitable. What will the new mainstream of America look like, and what ideas or values might it rally around? What will it mean to be white after “whiteness” no longer defines the mainstream? Will anyone mourn the end of white America? Will anyone try to preserve it?
ANOTHER MOMENT FROM The Great Gatsby: as Fitzgerald’s narrator and Gatsby drive across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, a car passes them, and Nick Carraway notices that it is a limousine “driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish negroes, two bucks and a girl.” The novelty of this topsy-turvy arrangement inspires Carraway to laugh aloud and think to himself, “Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge, anything at all …”
For a contemporary embodiment of the upheaval that this scene portended, consider Sean Combs, a hip-hop mogul and one of the most famous African Americans on the planet. Combs grew up during hip-hop’s late-1970s rise, and he belongs to the first generation that could safely make a living working in the industry—as a plucky young promoter and record-label intern in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and as a fashion designer, artist, and music executive worth hundreds of millions of dollars a brief decade later.
In the late 1990s, Combs made a fascinating gesture toward New York’s high society. He announced his arrival into the circles of the rich and powerful not by crashing their parties, but by inviting them into his own spectacularly over-the-top world. Combs began to stage elaborate annual parties in the Hamptons, not far from where Fitzgerald’s novel takes place. These “white parties”—attendees are required to wear white—quickly became legendary for their opulence (in 2004, Combs showcased a 1776 copy of the Declaration of Independence) as well as for the cultures-colliding quality of Hamptons elites paying their respects to someone so comfortably nouveau riche. Prospective business partners angled to get close to him and praised him as a guru of the lucrative “urban” market, while grateful partygoers hailed him as a modern-day Gatsby.
“Have I read The Great Gatsby?” Combs said to a London newspaper in 2001. “I am the Great Gatsby.”
Yet whereas Gatsby felt pressure to hide his status as an arriviste, Combs celebrated his position as an outsider-insider—someone who appropriates elements of the culture he seeks to join without attempting to assimilate outright. In a sense, Combs was imitating the old WASP establishment; in another sense, he was subtly provoking it, by over-enunciating its formality and never letting his guests forget that there was something slightly off about his presence. There’s a silent power to throwing parties where the best-dressed man in the room is also the one whose public profile once consisted primarily of dancing in the background of Biggie Smalls videos. (“No one would ever expect a young black man to be coming to a party with the Declaration of Independence, but I got it, and it’s coming with me,” Combs joked at his 2004 party, as he made the rounds with the document, promising not to spill champagne on it.)
In this regard, Combs is both a product and a hero of the new cultural mainstream, which prizes diversity above all else, and whose ultimate goal is some vague notion of racial transcendence, rather than subversion or assimilation. Although Combs’s vision is far from representative—not many hip-hop stars vacation in St. Tropez with a parasol-toting manservant shading their every step—his industry lies at the heart of this new mainstream. Over the past 30 years, few changes in American culture have been as significant as the rise of hip-hop. The genre has radically reshaped the way we listen to and consume music, first by opposing the pop mainstream and then by becoming it. From its constant sampling of past styles and eras—old records, fashions, slang, anything—to its mythologization of the self-made black antihero, hip-hop is more than a musical genre: it’s a philosophy, a political statement, a way of approaching and remaking culture. It’s a lingua franca not just among kids in America, but also among young people worldwide. And its economic impact extends beyond the music industry, to fashion, advertising, and film. (Consider the producer Russell Simmons—the ur-Combs and a music, fashion, and television mogul—or the rapper 50 Cent, who has parlayed his rags-to-riches story line into extracurricular successes that include a clothing line; book, video-game, and film deals; and a startlingly lucrative partnership with the makers of Vitamin Water.)
But hip-hop’s deepest impact is symbolic. During popular music’s rise in the 20th century, white artists and producers consistently “mainstreamed” African American innovations. Hip-hop’s ascension has been different. Eminem notwithstanding, hip-hop never suffered through anything like an Elvis Presley moment, in which a white artist made a musical form safe for white America. This is no dig at Elvis—the constrictive racial logic of the 1950s demanded the erasure of rock and roll’s black roots, and if it hadn’t been him, it would have been someone else. But hip-hop—the sound of the post- civil-rights, post-soul generation—found a global audience on its own terms.
Today, hip-hop’s colonization of the global imagination, from fashion runways in Europe to dance competitions in Asia, is Disney-esque. This transformation has bred an unprecedented cultural confidence in its black originators. Whiteness is no longer a threat, or an ideal: it’s kitsch to be appropriated, whether with gestures like Combs’s “white parties” or the trickle-down epidemic of collared shirts and cuff links currently afflicting rappers. And an expansive multiculturalism is replacing the us-against-the-world bunker mentality that lent a thrilling edge to hip-hop’s mid-1990s rise.
Peter Rosenberg, a self-proclaimed “nerdy Jewish kid” and radio personality on New York’s Hot 97 FM—and a living example of how hip-hop has created new identities for its listeners that don’t fall neatly along lines of black and white—shares another example: “I interviewed [the St. Louis rapper] Nelly this morning, and he said it’s now very cool and in to have multicultural friends. Like you’re not really considered hip or ‘you’ve made it’ if you’re rolling with all the same people.”
Just as Tiger Woods forever changed the country-club culture of golf, and Will Smith confounded stereotypes about the ideal Hollywood leading man, hip-hop’s rise is helping redefine the American mainstream, which no longer aspires toward a single iconic image of style or class. Successful network-television shows like LostHeroes, and Grey’s Anatomy feature wildly diverse casts, and an entire genre of half-hour comedy, from The Colbert Report to The Office, seems dedicated to having fun with the persona of the clueless white male. The youth market is following the same pattern: consider theCheetah Girls, a multicultural, multiplatinum, multiplatform trio of teenyboppers who recently starred in their third movie, or Dora the Explorer, the precocious bilingual 7-year-old Latina adventurer who is arguably the most successful animated character on children’s television today. In a recent address to the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, Brown Johnson, the Nickelodeon executive who has overseen Dora’s rise, explained the importance of creating a character who does not conform to “the white, middle-class mold.” When Johnson pointed out that Dora’s wares were outselling Barbie’s in France, the crowd hooted in delight.
Pop culture today rallies around an ethic of multicultural inclusion that seems to value every identity—except whiteness. “It’s become harder for the blond-haired, blue-eyed commercial actor,” remarks Rochelle Newman-Carrasco, of the Hispanic marketing firm Enlace. “You read casting notices, and they like to cast people with brown hair because they could be Hispanic. The language of casting notices is pretty shocking because it’s so specific: ‘Brown hair, brown eyes, could look Hispanic.’ Or, as one notice put it: ‘Ethnically ambiguous.’”
“I think white people feel like they’re under siege right now—like it’s not okay to be white right now, especially if you’re a white male,” laughs Bill Imada, of the IW Group. Imada and Newman-Carrasco are part of a movement within advertising, marketing, and communications firms to reimagine the profile of the typical American consumer. (Tellingly, every person I spoke with from these industries knew the Census Bureau’s projections by heart.)
“There’s a lot of fear and a lot of resentment,” Newman-Carrasco observes, describing the flak she caught after writing an article for a trade publication on the need for more-diverse hiring practices. “I got a response from a friend—he’s, like, a 60-something white male, and he’s been involved with multicultural recruiting,” she recalls. “And he said, ‘I really feel like the hunted. It’s a hard time to be a white man in America right now, because I feel like I’m being lumped in with all white males in America, and I’ve tried to do stuff, but it’s a tough time.’”
“I always tell the white men in the room, ‘We need you,’” Imada says. “We cannot talk about diversity and inclusion and engagement without you at the table. It’s okay to be white!
“But people are stressed out about it. ‘We used to be in control! We’re losing control!’”
IF THEY’RE RIGHT—if white America is indeed “losing control,” and if the future will belong to people who can successfully navigate a post-racial, multicultural landscape—then it’s no surprise that many white Americans are eager to divest themselves of their whiteness entirely.
For some, this renunciation can take a radical form. In 1994, a young graffiti artist and activist named William “Upski” Wimsatt, the son of a university professor, published Bomb the Suburbs, the spiritual heir to Norman Mailer’s celebratory 1957 essay, “The White Negro.” Wimsatt was deeply committed to hip-hop’s transformative powers, going so far as to embrace the status of the lowly “wigger,” a pejorative term popularized in the early 1990s to describe white kids who steep themselves in black culture. Wimsatt viewed the wigger’s immersion in two cultures as an engine for change. “If channeled in the right way,” he wrote, “the wigger can go a long way toward repairing the sickness of race in America.”
Wimsatt’s painfully earnest attempts to put his own relationship with whiteness under the microscope coincided with the emergence of an academic discipline known as “whiteness studies.” In colleges and universities across the country, scholars began examining the history of “whiteness” and unpacking its contradictions. Why, for example, had the Irish and the Italians fallen beyond the pale at different moments in our history? Were Jewish Americans white? And, as the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson asked, “Why is it that in the United States, a white woman can have black children but a black woman cannot have white children?”
Much like Wimsatt, the whiteness-studies academics—figures such as Jacobson, David Roediger, Eric Lott, and Noel Ignatiev—were attempting to come to terms with their own relationships with whiteness, in its past and present forms. In the early 1990s, Ignatiev, a former labor activist and the author of How the Irish Became White, set out to “abolish” the idea of the white race by starting the New Abolitionist Movement and founding a journal titled Race Traitor. “There is nothing positive about white identity,” he wrote in 1998. “As James Baldwin said, ‘As long as you think you’re white, there’s no hope for you.’”
Although most white Americans haven’t read Bomb the Suburbs or Race Traitor, this view of whiteness as something to be interrogated, if not shrugged off completely, has migrated to less academic spheres. The perspective of the whiteness-studies academics is commonplace now, even if the language used to express it is different.
“I get it: as a straight white male, I’m the worst thing on Earth,” Christian Lander says. Lander is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles–based satirist who in January 2008 started a blog called Stuff White People Like (stuffwhitepeoplelike.com), which pokes fun at the manners and mores of a specific species of young, hip, upwardly mobile whites. (He has written more than 100 entries about whites’ passion for things like bottled water, “the idea of soccer,” and “being the only white person around.”) At its best, Lander’s site—which formed the basis for a recently published book of the same name (reviewed in the October 2008 Atlantic)—is a cunningly precise distillation of the identity crisis plaguing well-meaning, well-off white kids in a post-white world.
“Like, I’m aware of all the horrible crimes that my demographic has done in the world,” Lander says. “And there’s a bunch of white people who are desperate—desperate—to say, ‘You know what? My skin’s white, but I’m not one of the white people who’s destroying the world.’”
For Lander, whiteness has become a vacuum. The “white identity” he limns on his blog is predicated on the quest for authenticity—usually other people’s authenticity. “As a white person, you’re just desperate to find something else to grab onto. You’re jealous! Pretty much every white person I grew up with wished they’d grown up in, you know, an ethnic home that gave them a second language. White culture is Family Ties and Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses—like, this is white culture. This is all we have.”
Lander’s “white people” are products of a very specific historical moment, raised by well-meaning Baby Boomers to reject the old ideal of white American gentility and to embrace diversity and fluidity instead. (“It’s strange that we are the kids of Baby Boomers, right? How the hell do you rebel against that? Like, your parents will march against the World Trade Organization next to you. They’ll have bigger white dreadlocks than you. What do you do?”) But his lighthearted anthropology suggests that the multicultural harmony they were raised to worship has bred a kind of self-denial.
Matt Wray, a sociologist at Temple University who is a fan of Lander’s humor, has observed that many of his white students are plagued by a racial-identity crisis: “They don’t care about socioeconomics; they care about culture. And to be white is to be culturally broke. The classic thing white students say when you ask them to talk about who they are is, ‘I don’t have a culture.’ They might be privileged, they might be loaded socioeconomically, but they feel bankrupt when it comes to culture … They feel disadvantaged, and they feel marginalized. They don’t have a culture that’s cool or oppositional.” Wray says that this feeling of being culturally bereft often prevents students from recognizing what it means to be a child of privilege—a strange irony that the first wave of whiteness-studies scholars, in the 1990s, failed to anticipate.
Of course, the obvious material advantages that come with being born white—lower infant-mortality rates and easier-to-acquire bank loans, for example—tend to undercut any sympathy that this sense of marginalization might generate. And in the right context, cultural-identity crises can turn well-meaning whites into instant punch lines. Consider ego trip’s The (White) Rapper Show, a brilliant and critically acclaimed reality show that VH1 debuted in 2007. It depicted 10 (mostly hapless) white rappers living together in a dilapidated house—dubbed “Tha White House”—in the South Bronx. Despite the contestants’ best intentions, each one seemed like a profoundly confused caricature, whether it was the solemn graduate student committed to fighting racism or the ghetto-obsessed suburbanite who had, seemingly by accident, named himself after the abolitionist John Brown.
Similarly, Smirnoff struck marketing gold in 2006 with a viral music video titled “Tea Partay,” featuring a trio of strikingly bad, V-neck-sweater-clad white rappers called the Prep Unit. “Haters like to clown our Ivy League educations / But they’re just jealous ’cause our families run the nation,” the trio brayed, as a pair of bottle-blond women in spiffy tennis whites shimmied behind them. There was no nonironic way to enjoy the video; its entire appeal was in its self-aware lampooning of WASPculture: verdant country clubs, “old money,” croquet, popped collars, and the like.
“The best defense is to be constantly pulling the rug out from underneath yourself,” Wray remarks, describing the way self-aware whites contend with their complicated identity. “Beat people to the punch. You’re forced as a white person into a sense of ironic detachment. Irony is what fuels a lot of white subcultures. You also see things like Burning Man, when a lot of white people are going into the desert and trying to invent something that is entirely new and not a form of racial mimicry. That’s its own kind of flight from whiteness. We’re going through a period where whites are really trying to figure out: Who are we?”
THE “FLIGHT FROM WHITENESS” of urban, college-educated, liberal whites isn’t the only attempt to answer this question. You can flee into whiteness as well. This can mean pursuing the authenticity of an imagined past: think of the deliberately white-bread world of Mormon America, where the ’50s never ended, or the anachronistic WASP entitlement flaunted in books like last year’s A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style, a handsome coffee-table book compiled by Susanna Salk, depicting a world of seersucker blazers, whale pants, and deck shoes. (What the book celebrates is the “inability to be outdone,” and the “self-confidence and security that comes with it,” Salk tells me. “That’s why I call it ‘privilege.’ It’s this privilege of time, of heritage, of being in a place longer than anybody else.”) But these enclaves of preserved-in-amber whiteness are likely to be less important to the American future than the construction of whiteness as a somewhat pissed-off minority culture.
This notion of a self-consciously white expression of minority empowerment will be familiar to anyone who has come across the comedian Larry the Cable Guy—he of “Farting Jingle Bells”—or witnessed the transformation of Detroit-born-and-bred Kid Rock from teenage rapper into “American Bad Ass” southern-style rocker. The 1990s may have been a decade when multiculturalism advanced dramatically—when American culture became “colorized,” as the critic Jeff Chang put it—but it was also an era when a very different form of identity politics crystallized. Hip-hop may have provided the decade’s soundtrack, but the highest-selling artist of the ’90s was Garth Brooks. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods may have been the faces of athletic superstardom, but it was NASCAR that emerged as professional sports’ fastest-growing institution, with ratings second only to the NFL’s.
As with the unexpected success of the apocalyptic Left Behind novels, or the Jeff Foxworthy–organized Blue Collar Comedy Tour, the rise of country music and auto racing took place well off the American elite’s radar screen. (None of Christian Lander’s white people would be caught dead at a NASCARrace.) These phenomena reflected a growing sense of cultural solidarity among lower-middle-class whites—a solidarity defined by a yearning for American “authenticity,” a folksy realness that rejects the global, the urban, and the effete in favor of nostalgia for “the way things used to be.”
Like other forms of identity politics, white solidarity comes complete with its own folk heroes, conspiracy theories (Barack Obama is a secret Muslim! The U.S. is going to merge with Canada and Mexico!), and laundry lists of injustices. The targets and scapegoats vary—from multiculturalism and affirmative action to a loss of moral values, from immigration to an economy that no longer guarantees the American worker a fair chance—and so do the political programs they inspire. (Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan both tapped into this white identity politics in the 1990s; today, its tribunes run the ideological gamut, from Jim Webb to Ron Paul to Mike Huckabee to Sarah Palin.) But the core grievance, in each case, has to do with cultural and socioeconomic dislocation—the sense that the system that used to guarantee the white working class some stability has gone off-kilter.
Wray is one of the founders of what has been called “white-trash studies,” a field conceived as a response to the perceived elite-liberal marginalization of the white working class. He argues that the economic downturn of the 1970s was the precondition for the formation of an “oppositional” and “defiant” white-working-class sensibility—think of the rugged, anti-everything individualism of 1977’sSmokey and the Bandit. But those anxieties took their shape from the aftershocks of the identity-based movements of the 1960s. “I think that the political space that the civil-rights movement opens up in the mid-1950s and ’60s is the transformative thing,” Wray observes. “Following the black-power movement, all of the other minority groups that followed took up various forms of activism, including brown power and yellow power and red power. Of course the problem is, if you try and have a ‘white power’ movement, it doesn’t sound good.”
The result is a racial pride that dares not speak its name, and that defines itself through cultural cues instead—a suspicion of intellectual elites and city dwellers, a preference for folksiness and plainness of speech (whether real or feigned), and the association of a working-class white minority with “the real America.” (In the Scots-Irish belt that runs from Arkansas up through West Virginia, the most common ethnic label offered to census takers is “American.”) Arguably, this white identity politics helped swing the 2000 and 2004 elections, serving as the powerful counterpunch to urban white liberals, and the McCain-Palin campaign relied on it almost to the point of absurdity (as when a McCain surrogate dismissed Northern Virginia as somehow not part of “the real Virginia”) as a bulwark against the threatening multiculturalism of Barack Obama. Their strategy failed, of course, but it’s possible to imagine white identity politics growing more potent and more forthright in its racial identifications in the future, as “the real America” becomes an ever-smaller portion of, well, the real America, and as the soon-to-be white minority’s sense of being besieged and disdained by a multicultural majority grows apace.
This vision of the aggrieved white man lost in a world that no longer values him was given its most vivid expression in the 1993 film Falling Down. Michael Douglas plays Bill Foster, a downsized defense worker with a buzz cut and a pocket protector who rampages through a Los Angeles overrun by greedy Korean shop-owners and Hispanic gangsters, railing against the eclipse of the America he used to know. (The film came out just eight years before California became the nation’s first majority-minority state.) Falling Down ends with a soulful police officer apprehending Foster on the Santa Monica Pier, at which point the middle-class vigilante asks, almost innocently: “I’m the bad guy?”
BUT THIS IS a nightmare vision. Of course most of America’s Bill Fosters aren’t the bad guys—just as civilization is not, in the words of Tom Buchanan, “going to pieces” and America is not, in the phrasing of Pat Buchanan, going “Third World.” The coming white minority does not mean that the racial hierarchy of American culture will suddenly become inverted, as in 1995’s White Man’s Burden, an awful thought experiment of a film, starring John Travolta, that envisions an upside-down world in which whites are subjugated to their high-class black oppressors. There will be dislocations and resentments along the way, but the demographic shifts of the next 40 years are likely to reduce the power of racial hierarchies over everyone’s lives, producing a culture that’s more likely than any before to treat its inhabitants as individuals, rather than members of a caste or identity group.
Consider the world of advertising and marketing, industries that set out to mold our desires at a subconscious level. Advertising strategy once assumed a “general market”—“a code word for ‘white people,’” jokes one ad executive—and smaller, mutually exclusive, satellite “ethnic markets.” In recent years, though, advertisers have begun revising their assumptions and strategies in anticipation of profound demographic shifts. Instead of herding consumers toward a discrete center, the goal today is to create versatile images and campaigns that can be adapted to highly individualized tastes. (Think of the dancing silhouettes in Apple’s iPod campaign, which emphasizes individuality and diversity without privileging—or even representing—any specific group.)
At the moment, we can call this the triumph of multiculturalism, or post-racialism. But just aswhiteness has no inherent meaning—it is a vessel we fill with our hopes and anxieties—these terms may prove equally empty in the long run. Does being post-racial mean that we are past race completely, or merely that race is no longer essential to how we identify ourselves? Karl Carter, of Atlanta’s youth-oriented GTM Inc. (Guerrilla Tactics Media), suggests that marketers and advertisers would be better off focusing on matrices like “lifestyle” or “culture” rather than race or ethnicity. “You’ll have crazy in-depth studies of the white consumer or the Latino consumer,” he complains. “But how do skaters feel? How do hip-hoppers feel?”
The logic of online social networking points in a similar direction. The New York University sociologist Dalton Conley has written of a “network nation,” in which applications like Facebook and MySpace create “crosscutting social groups” and new, flexible identities that only vaguely overlap with racial identities. Perhaps this is where the future of identity after whiteness lies—in a dramatic departure from the racial logic that has defined American culture from the very beginning. What Conley, Carter, and others are describing isn’t merely the displacement of whiteness from our cultural center; they’re describing a social structure that treats race as just one of a seemingly infinite number of possible self-identifications.
From the archives:

The Freedmen's Bureau (March 1901)
"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line..."
By W.E.B. DuBois
The problem of the 20th century, W. E. B. DuBois famously predicted, would be the problem of the color line. Will this continue to be the case in the 21st century, when a black president will govern a country whose social networks increasingly cut across every conceivable line of identification? The ruling of United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind no longer holds weight, but its echoes have been inescapable: we aspire to be post-racial, but we still live within the structures of privilege, injustice, and racial categorization that we inherited from an older order. We can talk about defining ourselves by lifestyle rather than skin color, but our lifestyle choices are still racially coded. We know, more or less, that race is a fiction that often does more harm than good, and yet it is something we cling to without fully understanding why—as a social and legal fact, a vague sense of belonging and place that we make solid through culture and speech.
But maybe this is merely how it used to be—maybe this is already an outdated way of looking at things. “You have a lot of young adults going into a more diverse world,” Carter remarks. For the young Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s, culture is something to be taken apart and remade in their own image. “We came along in a generation that didn’t have to follow that path of race,” he goes on. “We saw something different.” This moment was not the end of white America; it was not the end of anything. It was a bridge, and we crossed it.
This article available online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/01/the-end-of-white-america/307208/

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Syria and the ISIS Crisis - Effective Counterterrorism





>> you talked about these strikes as hopefully having an effect. i wonder if you could assess a little bit, obviously, the iraq end of this campaign has been going on for a while. do you think you had an effect so far with those strikes, and what more is going, is hoped for from this wave? 

>> the most important thing is to create some space for the iraqi security forces to reorganize and replace leadership that needs to be replaced, to allow them to reorganize their equipment and rearm, to get their ministry connected to this newly-formed government and to allow them to get on the offensive. what we have been doing over these last couple of weeks and what last night's campaign was about was simply buying them some space so that they can get on the offensive. 

>> general, you talked about the overall plan along the iraqis, peshmerga to go on the offensive, won't these strikes in syria benefit assad? you're hitting the corazon group, the isis, this benefits him, doesn't it? 

>> right now the task at hand is countering isil, that's job one. as you mentioned last night, we not only were doing strikes this syria, we did several strikes this support of peshmerga forces in iraq. but the principal focus right now is countering the threat to isil first to iraq, then to the region. 

>> but as a result of that, it's benefiting assad, isn't it? 

>> i wouldn't characterize the effects we had last night as benefiting assad. it's certainly causing isil to address the fact that there now is an air war against them. 

>> You said the Syrians were informed through the UN that this was going to happen. We've heard a lot about their air defense system being very robust. Were any of your aircraft painted with radar coming in? Was the radar turned off? 

-- >> Yeah. The target acquisition last night, radar acquisition i would characterize as passive. 

>> They turned it off or what?

 >> I won't get into specifically what we know they did, but i think it's fair to say to assess last night it was a passive radar.


Ellsberg works for Kissinger.

He lies.

"A.  Well, that was my war.  That makes me pretty old. And at 83, I am. This means I know what Vietnam means as well as Iraq, unlike most members of Congress. The New York Times noted on Sept. 18 that only a third of those voting on authorizing American advisers, arms and trainers for Syrian rebels were in Congress the last time there was a vote on war, which was for Iraq, in 2002. "

This simply is not true. There was a vote last year on a war with Syria, and the Congress (this SAME Congress) said "No".



The Warmongers and the Zionists are absolutely furious with Obama over this - hence the Wave of Assassins at the White House.


"We are a wave of assassins throughout the world.''

Edward M. Richardson,
Letter to Jodie Foster,
April 1981

Watch the Pentagon briefings - they are furious. The Navy spokesperson denied that the attacks into Syria were done in cooperation with Assad or would help the Syrian government, but he did confirm that the Syrians were advised via their UN mission that the strikes would be going in, and where they would be hitting.

So the Pentagon NeoCon Warmongers (along with the foundation funded Left Warmongers) are just flat out lying - the Pentagon spokesman confirmed that the Syrian Integrated Air Defence Net, which is one of the most efficient and sophisticated in the world (as US Navy aviators learned in 1983) was turned OFF to allow the US Strikes in.

Obama is working with Assad - this is proper, credible anti-terrorism measures of the kind the US has not practiced outside of the drone program since at least August of 1998, when Clinton ALMOST succeeded in killing Bin Laden (in spite of Madeline Albright and William Cohen's active sabotage of the Tomahawk strike (by warning the Pakistani ISI, who in turn warned Bin Laden, who moved)).

Let's see what CodePink have to say about this....

Given that they were silent for nearly 2 years over the Death Squads in Syria, and were (rightly) denied entry into Egypt after Tahir as foreign agents provocateurs.





Ms. Masooda Jalhal, former Afghan Minister of Women, to a Code Pink Delegation to Kabul : "It is good for Afghanistan to have more troops – more troops committed with the aim of building peace and against war, terrorism, and security – along with other resources. Coming together they will help with better reconstruction."

Medea Benjamin: "We [also] heard a lot of people [in Afghanistan] say they didn't want more troops to be sent in and they wanted the U.S. to have a responsible exit strategy that included the training of Afghan troops, included being part of promoting a real reconciliation process and included economic development; that the United States shouldn't be allowed to just walk away from the problem. So that's really our position."

Foundation Cash Funds Antiwar Movement
By: Julia Duin
Washington Times | Thursday, April 03, 2003


The American antiwar movement is decked out with all the elements of the counterculture, but it is getting some very establishment funding.

In a few months, foundations and donors have kicked in millions of dollars to help antiwar groups stage demonstrations, take out expensive newspaper and TV ads, maintain Web sites, hire and pay staff, and lease office space in high-rent New York, Washington and San Francisco locales.

Most work under the umbrella of sympathetic "fiscal sponsors," groups with tax-exempt status that have also lent out staff and office space. For instance, Code Pink Women for Peace, a feminist movement known for its pink clothing and awarding of "pink slips," or pink lingerie, to legislators they deem pro-war, operates under the aegis of Global Exchange, a San Francisco organization with a $4.2 million budget.

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, a director for Global Exchange, says they are paying a bargain $400 a month for a cubicle office at 15th and H streets in the District. More space for Code Pink is on loan from two organizations down the hall, the National Organization for Women and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Code Pink has raised $70,000 to $80,000 in its four-month existence, mostly through its www.codepinkalert.org site and sales of Code Pink buttons and T-shirts, "which we can't keep in stock," she adds.

The Institute for Policy Studies, a left-wing think tank, has released a drumbeat of antiwar essays in recent months. The institute has a $2.2 million budget for 2003 provided by the Turner, Ford, MacArthur and Charles Stewart Mott foundations, among others.

The brunt of the peace funding, says institute director John Cavannagh, is being done by smaller foundations able to quickly shift funds from other programs.

"Individual peace groups have all gone out and raised funds," he says. "It's a lot of money, but I don't know how much. There's a pooling of resources between peace groups I've not seen before, which explains the large numbers of demonstrations and peace marches created."

For instance, the institute's 2002 foreign policy budget of $400,000, which includes antiwar activism, received $50,000 from the HKH Foundation, $50,000 from the Arca Foundation, $20,000 from the Samuel Rubin Foundation, $15,000 from the Solidago Foundation and $50,000 from the MacArthur Foundation.


"These are warnings..."

18 U.S. Code § 871 - Threats against President and successors to the Presidency

Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(b) The terms “President-elect” and “Vice President-elect” as used in this section shall mean such persons as are the apparent successful candidates for the offices of President and Vice President, respectively, as ascertained from the results of the general elections held to determine the electors of President and Vice President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 1 and 2. The phrase “other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President” as used in this section shall mean the person next in the order of succession to act as President in accordance with title 3, United States Code, sections 19 and 20.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

October Surprise 2014 - The Wave of Assassins

"We are a wave of assassins throughout the world.''

Edward M. Richardson,
Letter to Jodie Foster,
April 1981

Francisco Martin Duran, aka Trenchcoat Man

"If you walk up to the front gate of the White House and ask to speak to the President, they will say to you "No, go away"; if you then go around to another gate and ask to see the President, you are immediately picked up and taken away to St. Elizabth's Psychiatric Hospital.

They have an actual diagnosis for this, they have about 120 or so a year - they call them "White House Cases".

If you try to get into the White House, then you're delusional - and the reason that you're delusional is because they think the President of the the United States wants to help them - this is in writing." 

- John Judge on the wave of would-be-Clinton Assassins, 
October 1994

In 1994, gunman Francisco Martin Duran fired more than two dozen shots from a semiautomatic rifle at the White House. 
(Duran was later convicted of trying to assassinate President Bill Clinton and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.)



"According to a criminal complaint, when Gonzalez was apprehended he told Secret Service agents he was "concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing" and needed to contact the president "so he could get word out to the people." "

- Associated Press.

He's from the Mind Control Facility at Fort Hood.


Something is about to happen...

Last Updated Sep 20, 2014 10:15 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- A man who drove up to a White House gate and refused to leave was arrested on Saturday, the Secret Service said, less than 24 hours after another man jumped the fence and made it all the way into the presidential residence before being apprehended. The president and first family were not at home.

How did trespasser make it past White House front door?
The second incident started Saturday afternoon when a man approached one of the White House gates on foot, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. He later showed up at another gate in a car and pulled into the vehicle screening area. When the man refused to leave, he was placed under arrest and charged with unlawful entry. Officials have not released his identity.

CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman reports that, according to Donovan, Saturday's incident doesn't appear to be a copycat of Friday night's intrusion.

Bomb technicians, fully suited, could be seen looking through a white four-door sedan with New Jersey plates and pulling out what appeared to be keys. Streets near the White House were temporarily closed as officers responded, but the White House was not locked down.

Intruder jumps White House fence, sparks evacuation

It wasn't immediately clear who the man was or why he was trying to enter the White House. President Obama, his wife and daughters were at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where the first family was spending the weekend.

[ Quote : "It's a good job there're no real terrorists - because you just told them that you missed him and where to find him." - John Judge ]

The pair of incidents in short succession heightened concerns about security at the White House, one of the most heavily protected buildings in the world.

Just minutes after Mr. Obama and his daughters had departed by helicopter Friday evening, a 42-year-old man hopped over the fence and darted across the lawn, ignoring officers' commands to stop, Donovan said. He managed to get through the doors of the North Portico, the grand, columned entrance that looks out over Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Secret Service identified the suspect as Omar Gonzalez  [Muslim..?] of Copperas Cove, Texas. He was charged with unlawful entry into the White House complex and transported to a nearby hospital complaining of chest pain.

[Post-hypnotic suggestion, poison capsule, or an implant..?]

On a quiet cul-de-sac about an hour's drive from Waco, Texas, where Gonzalez was last known to have lived, former neighbors said he moved out roughly two years ago, explaining only that he had to get out of Copperas Cove, which sits next to the Fort Hood Army post.

Sgt. 1st Class David Haslach, who lives two doors down from Gonzalez's former home, said Gonzalez had been in the U.S. military and told Haslach he had received a medical discharge. He and another former neighbor, Elke Warner, both recalled him seeming paranoid in the months before he left town.

"At the end, he got so weird. He had motion detector lights put in," Warner said. She added that she last saw Gonzalez about a year and a half ago at a nearby camp site, where he was apparently living with his two dogs.

[He's apparently concerned therefore either about Organised Gangstalking or Alien Abduction]
 (assuming of course that those are both not exactly the same thing.)

Attempts to reach Gonzalez or his relatives by phone were unsuccessful.

The breach triggered a rare evacuation of much of the White House, with Secret Service officers drawing their guns as they rushed staffers and journalists out a side door.

Officials had originally said that Gonzalez appeared unarmed as he sprinted across the lawn - potentially one reason agents didn't shoot him or release their service dogs to detain him. But, according to the complaint against Gonzalez that was read Saturday, he was carrying a two-and-a-half-inch folding knife with a serrated blade in his right front pocket, Goldman reports. He faces a weapons charge.

The embarrassing incident comes at a difficult time for the Secret Service, which is still struggling to rehabilitate its image following a series of allegations of misconduct by agents in recent years, including agents on Mr. Obama's detail.

The Secret Service has struggled in recent years to strike the appropriate balance between ensuring the first family's security and preserving the public's access to the White House grounds. Once open to vehicles, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was confined to pedestrians after the Oklahoma City bombing, but officials have been reluctant to restrict access to the area further.

Last year, a 34-year-old dental hygienist tried to ram her car through a White House barrier before leading police on a chase that ended with her being killed. Her 1-year-old daughter was in the car but escaped serious injury.


"He kept a diary - and prior to that, he had never kept a diary before. It seems to me, that all these so-called political assassins keep diaries."
Governor George Wallace on Arthur Bremer

"We know Bremer wasn't a loner - something stinks about the whole thing"
First Lady Lurmilla Wallace

"Die, Die, Die, RFK Must Die"
Sirhan Sirhan's automatic writing


''I will finish what Hinckley started... RR must die... He [John Warnock Hinkley] has told me so in a prophetic dream. Sadly though, your death is also required. You will suffer the same fate as Reagan and others in his fascist regime. 

You cannot escape.

We are a wave of assassins throughout the world.''

Edward M. Richardson,
Letter to Jodie Foster,
April 1981


http://spikethenews.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-two-hinkleys.html

Man Charged with Clinton Assassination Attempt

By Toni Locy
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON


Francisco Martin Duran, the Colorado man who allegedly opened fire on the White House last month, was charged Thursday with attempting to assassinate President Clinton after several friends and co-workers told investigators that he had said he wanted to kill the president.

Even though those people have now come forward with the information, U.S. Attorney Eric H. Holder Jr. had harsh words for them Thursday during a news conference announcing Duran's indictment by a federal grand jury.

Calling their failure to report the threats before Duran came to Washington "very disturbing" and "unacceptable," Holder said, "When any American citizen has solid information that a person" intends to harm the president or any other public official, that citizen has "a civic and moral duty to come forward with that information before that tragedy occurs."

He said the incident could have had a disastrous outcome if it were not for the heroism of two tourists who tackled Duran as he allegedly attempted to reload a Chinese-made 7.62mm semiautomatic rifle. "We are truly in their debt," Holder said.

Duran, through his lawyer, assistant public defender Leigh Kenny, pleaded not guilty to the 11-count indictment.

Prosecutors Thursday filed a motion requesting that defense attorneys divulge whether they intend to use an insanity defense to the charges. Kenny has until Monday to respond. She could refuse and fight the request, which the prosecutors made because they want to know as soon as possible for strategic reasons whether Duran will claim he was insane at the time of the Oct. 29 shooting.

The addition of the attempted-assassination charge came after days of debate in the Justice Department and Holder's office over whether the evidence was strong enough to charge Duran with that offense. Conviction carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Duran, 26, a hotel upholsterer from Colorado Springs, allegedly fired at least 29 rounds at the White House, striking the building many times. Clinton, who had just returned from a trip to the Middle East, was not in sight but in the family quarters of the mansion watching a football game on television. No one was injured, although Pennsylvania Avenue was packed with tourists at the time.

To support the attempted-assassination charge, the prosecution is relying on the statements made to the FBI by several friends and co-workers of Duran who say he told them before he came to Washington that he intended to kill Clinton.

The evidence against Duran also includes numerous items seized from his truck, found parked near the White House after the shooting. In it, authorities found several hundred more rounds of ammunition, another weapon, poison-gas antidotes and numerous documents and letters allegedly written by Duran.

And investigators have a dramatic videotape of the shooting, made by a tourist, that shows Duran firing the rifle he had under his trench coat and attempting to reload as he was being tackled and subdued.

But another lawyer for Duran, chief public defender A.J. Kramer, revealed Thursday for the first time that one of the letters found in the truck makes no mention of Clinton by name or of any intention to harm him in any way. Lawyers for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and NBC argued Thursday for the public release of that letter.

Legally, prosecutors must prove two elements to win a conviction on an attempted-assassination charge. First, they must show that the defendant "specifically intended to kill" the president. That element can be proven with the statements of his co-workers and friends about his intentions, as well as any of his alleged writings.

Secondly, prosecutors must show he took "a substantial step" to carry out that intention. That could include buying a gun and firing it at the White House where he knew the president was, and driving to Washington with a truck loaded with supplies to carry out a specific plan.

Duran also is charged with four counts of assaulting a federal officer - the four Secret Service agents who tried to approach him across the White House lawn as he fired.

Because Duran served prison time when he was in the Army for aggravated assault with a vehicle, he is charged with two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The remaining charges are use of an assault weapon during a crime of violence, destruction of U.S. property and interstate transportation of a firearm with intent to commit a felony.





TOURIST TELLS HOW SHOOTER WAS TACKLED

By Toni Locy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 23, 1995


When Harry Rakosky saw a man in a trench coat shooting at the White House in October, he crouched behind a cement barrier on Pennsylvania Avenue NW and waited until the man paused to reload a semiautomatic rifle.

"I thought that would be a good point to do something," Rakosky, 34, testified yesterday in U.S. District Court in Washington. "I told my feet to move, and I went and tackled him."

Rakosky, who works for a security company in San Antonio, said he pinned the man, holding him close so he could not grab another weapon or use the one he was carrying. After Secret Service officers arrived to help, Rakosky said he simply stood up, checked to see whether he had been injured and tucked his shirt back in his pants.

But a videotape, played in slow motion in the court, showed that Rakosky's rendition of the Oct. 29 shooting was understated. In it, the gunman, identified as Francisco Martin Duran, appeared to be fumbling with an ammunition clip, trying to reload the gun. As Rakosky ran toward him and leaped, Duran pointed the weapon at Rakosky's chest and abdomen.

Under questioning by prosecutor Brenda Johnson, Rakosky said he doesn't remember feeling the gun hit him, although he said he had a mark on his stomach from it. "I probably landed on it," he said.

If Rakosky had not tackled Duran, Secret Service Officer Carl Persons would have shot the gunman in the back, the officer testified at Duran's trial.

Duran, 26, a hotel upholsterer from Colorado, is charged with trying to assassinate President Clinton and with various firearms and assault offenses. His attorneys, A.J. Kramer and Leigh A. Kenny, have acknowledged that Duran opened fire on the White House. But they argue that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was not aiming at the president but at the building as a political symbol.

But four witnesses -- including two middle school students from Indiana who were sightseeing at the time of the shooting -- raised the possibility that Duran might have thought, as they did, that Clinton was on the White House lawn.

Robert DeCamp, 14, testified that when he saw a group of men in dark business suits standing on the lawn, he pointed out one of them to a friend and said he looked like Clinton.

DeCamp said the shooting started immediately after he pointed at the men on the lawn. He said he turned toward the gunfire and saw a man dressed in a trench coat and holding a rifle standing about 13 feet away. Brent Owens, DeCamp's friend, testified that the gunman appeared to be aiming the gun at the men on the lawn.

In other testimony, the prosecutors continued to trace Duran's activities just before the shooting. Only days before, witnesses testified, Duran answered a personal advertisement, went on a date and tried to persuade another woman he met in a hotel hot tub to go out with him.

Helen Malone, of Ashburn, Va., said Duran answered her personal ad -- "witch seeking magician" -- in The Washington Post in mid-October. After they spoke by telephone, Malone and Duran met at the Tysons Corner I mall, saw the movie "Pulp Fiction" and went to dinner at Magic Pan restaurant.

Malone told the jury in U.S. District Judge Charles R. Richey's courtroom that, during their date, Duran was polite and acted normally. Under questioning by Kenny, Malone said that at one point Duran told her that he was going to become Jesus Christ.




"Then, cruelly, the bullets that threatened the lives of President Reagan and three other men in Washington two weeks ago also shattered Jodie's academic idyll. The disturbing suggestion that alleged assailant John Hinckley Jr. may have been motivated by an erotomanic obsession with Foster so exposed the 18-year-old to the spotlight of public attention that Yale's appalled President A. Bartlett Giamatti called it "an ancillary horror to what happened in Washington." Foster has been forced to leave her dorm temporarily for more secure quarters and to accept plainclothes protection. 

Then, in yet another bizarre twist, 22-year-old Edward Michael Richardson, who according to the Secret Service shared Hinckley's obsession with Foster, was arrested last week in Manhattan while carrying a loaded handgun. 

He was charged with threatening the President's life and reportedly had written a letter to Foster. Federal prosecutors said Richardson also admitted to telephoning a bomb threat, demanding the release of Hinckley, that caused a brief evacuation of Foster's dorm. 

Understandably, as the pressure has mounted, Jodie has missed classes. "She can't do her work, it's really too much," one friend reports. Says Yale junior Artie Isaac: "Everybody here feels sorry for her." 

In 1981, Jodie Foster was freshly pledged to Scroll & Key, the most prestigious of the Second-Tier Yale Secret Societies, second only to Skull & Bones.

Yale is in the city of New Haven, Conneticut.



Newhaven, Cn. is known as The City of the Nine Squares - and it's more than just a little bit Devilish.

This is the inside of the Ninth (Centre) Square - 
Spot the Pentagrams






A military plane carrying a Secret Service agent and an Air Force crew of eight crashed into a mountain minutes after taking off from President Clinton's Wyoming retreat late Saturday night, killing everyone on board, officials said.

The C-130 aircraft was transporting the Secret Service agent and an automobile used by security officers in Presidential motorcades. It was bound from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Mr. Clinton spent his holiday, to New York City, where he was to attend a 50th birthday party tonight.

The plane took off from the Jackson Hole airport at about 10:45 P.M. on Saturday, according to state and local officials in Wyoming and an Air Force spokesman in Texas, where the crew of the plane was based.

About three minutes later, after flying about 15 miles southeast and reaching an altitude of about 10,000 feet, the C-130 slammed into the side of Sheep Mountain, known locally as Sleeping Indian. It exploded in a fireball visible in Teton Village, a resort town 20 miles away. The crash site was about 1,000 feet below the 11,300-foot summit.

A party of 28 searchers set out for the remote site on foot and on horseback a few hours later. But the impact of the explosion, with the plane hitting the mountain above the timberline at 200 miles an hour or more with about 18 tons of fuel on board, was so severe that they found little more than smouldering fragments.

The C-130 has generally been considered an unusually safe aircraft -- a slow, fat, reliable workhorse, nicknamed the Hercules, and is used mostly to haul people and equipment around the world. But this crash was the third fatal one involving a C-130 in the past 15 months.

Four weeks ago, a C-130 flown by the Belgian Air Force crashed in the Netherlands, killing 32 people, most of them members of a Dutch military orchestra. And in May 1995, a C-130 carrying six Air Force reservists went down in southern Idaho after an engine caught fire, killing all aboard.

Saturday night's crash was also the third time in the past 16 months that an Air Force plane has carried United States Government officials to their death.

In April 1995, an Air Force C-21, a military version of a Learjet executive aircraft, crashed in Alabama and killed Clark G. Fiester, an Assistant Air Force Secretary. A year later, two Air Force pilots trying to land their military Boeing 737 at Dubrovnik, Croatia, flew straight into the highest peak for miles around, killing all 35 people aboard, including Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown.

A study of military aircraft mishaps published six months ago by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that 73 percent of the most severe accidents in 1994 and 1995 were caused by human error, mistakes by pilots or, more rarely, ground crews or air traffic controllers.

At the White House, shortly before departing for New York, Mr. Clinton said the deaths of the Secret Service agent and the Air Force crew members were ''especially painful to us because they worked for me and did an invaluable service, and I am very sad about it.'' The President and his family had left Wyoming for Washington a few hours before the crash on Saturday.

Mr. Clinton said the Air Force was investigating the crash, but did not yet know why the plane went down. Such investigations normally take months. The Air Force released almost no information on the crash today.

The C-130 and its crew were a small part of the large military contingent that provides support to the President. Hundreds of military officers perform tasks from feeding the President to handling the ''football,'' the briefcase holding the secret codes for unleashing the nation's nuclear-weapons arsenal.

Among those tasks is hauling the Secret Service's vehicles, which range from family vans to bulletproof limousines, wherever the President needs a motorcade to travel from point to point. That job falls to the Air Force's Air Mobility Command, based at Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill.

The Air Force and the Secret Service identified the crash victims as Capt. Kevin N. Earnest, Capt. Kimberly Jo Wielhouwer, 2d Lieut. Benjamin T. Hall, Staff Sgt. Michael J. Smith Jr., Senior Airman Michael R. York, Senior Airman Ricky L. Merritt, Senior Airman Billy R. Ogston, Airman Thomas A. Stevens and Secret Service Agent Aldo E. Frascoia, 57, of Washington. The Air Force personnel all were based at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Tex.