Saturday, July 05, 2008



March 30, 2008 01:26 PM

For nearly 25 years I have actively promoted conservative principles in public policy, as a journalist, lawyer, public policy expert and political candidate.

I have done so because I believe conservative principles of economics, national defense and social policy are in the best interests of our community, state and nation.

On the front page of today's Arizona Republic Viewpoints section is an article I wrote arguing that conservative interests will best be served by the election of Arizona Sen. John McCain to the presidency this fall.

The article appears alongside two others -- written by a press spokesman and a high school student -- extolling the virtues of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I was not aware the Republic planned to present my column as part of a "point-counterpoint" series on the candidates. My intent was to make the case for why conservatives should support Sen. McCain.

A few lines were edited out of the printed version, including this important point:

For conservatives, supporting John McCain is not a compromise or a sell-out of our principles. He is a presidential candidate who will strengthen national security, appoint conservative judges, support the sanctity of life, keep taxes low and veto pork barrel spending. He will advance the conservative cause in significant ways.

I will be discussing the article on KFYI's Mike Broomhead show tonight at 8 p.m. (550 AM). Here is what I wrote in its entirety:

Although Sen. John McCain has locked up the Republican nomination for President, some conservative leaders continue to snipe at him. While I agree with elements of most conservative critiques of Sen. McCain, I could not possibly disagree more with their conclusions – especially if those conclusions cause conservatives to sit this election out.

Sen. McCain is not the lesser of two evils. In fact, he is worthy of the enthusiastic support of every thinking conservative.

I join many citizens in gratitude that a genuine American hero with core conservative beliefs – who has already given so much for our nation -- is willing to spend his eighth decade on earth serving a cause greater than himself.

If you are an across-the-board conservative like I am – a fiscal, social and foreign policy conservative – it is in your interest and the national interest to elect Sen. McCain.

It’s not just because either of the Democratic alternatives would jeopardize our security, our economy and our values – though they would. It is because the election of John McCain will substantially advance the conservative principles and values we’ve been fighting for.

In the interest of full disclosure, Sen. McCain endorsed me in the Republican primary for Governor in 2006, even making strong television ads on my behalf. I was honored to have his support in a contested primary that I eventually won. But he never asked me for anything in return, then or now.

I write today on my own, without the knowledge or approval of the McCain campaign. And I do so because I am concerned that some conservatives are heading down a path that will result in the destruction of every principle they claim to promote.

Foreign policy conservatives should have the least concern about McCain. He has the experience and determination to carry the battle to the enemy in what he describes as the “transcendent issue” of our time – the fight against radical Islamic extremists. He is committed to victory in Iraq, and was an early proponent of the surge that has turned the tide.

Both Democratic candidates have made promises of withdrawal that will embolden our enemies and put at risk not only our troops but also the free citizens of Iraq who have trusted us with their lives.

Social conservatives have worked for a generation to promote the unique humanity and value of every human life, and are finally winning the battle of public opinion. Sen. McCain not only has voted pro-life for more than two decades – receiving the endorsement of Arizona Right to Life in every election since 1982 – but has pledged to appoint judges who are committed to constitutional fidelity. He has fought for every conservative appointment to the high court, including Robert Bork.

When we are so close to restoring the promise of the Declaration of Independence – the “unalienable” right to life of every human child – why would any sincere pro-lifer sit this election out? Unfortunately, we know what either Democrat would do – the “litmus test” of commitment to the flawed Roe v. Wade decision is alive and well. Aging liberals on the Court will line up to let Clinton or Obama replace them with liberal justices 30 years younger – preserving Roe and other activist decisions for at least another generation.

Sen. McCain supports marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Like Fred Thompson, he opposes amending the U.S. Constitution to protect marriage unless it is absolutely necessary -- which it would be if federal courts overturn state definitions of marriage. For now, he supports state efforts to confirm marriage as the unique bond of male and female.

Economic conservatives should appreciate Sen. McCain’s lifelong quest to reduce the size and scope of government and to end pork barrel spending. He has never voted for a tax increase and is committed to making the Bush tax cuts permanent. He believes in free market solutions to health care, not the government take-over promoted by Democrats.

With a lifetime conservative voting record of 82.3 percent, Sen. McCain’s commitment to our principles stands in stark contrast to his Democratic opponents, both of whom vote conservative less than 10 percent of the time.

The suggestion by one pundit that Hillary Clinton is “more conservative” than McCain is hyperbole on steroids -- so factually wrong that it’s just plain silly.

Talk show pundits have bludgeoned us with the list of McCain’s sins against conservative orthodoxy, beginning with his immigration bill.

But consider this – even in dealing with illegal immigration, Sen. McCain’s concern for national security and his recognition of political reality will cause him to do much more to secure the borders than any Democrat. If that’s the only issue you care about, Sen. McCain is still your best hope for progress – the Democrats can’t even given a straight answer about whether they would give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens.

I first met McCain in 1984, when he came to my office for an interview while I was the editor of ASU’s daily student newspaper. Later, in a debate at ASU, he criticized federal efforts to stop illegal immigration. Consistent with his position today, he expressed concern about rounding up and deporting people who have been here for years. But then he said, “We need to tighten up our border control.”

That’s right – all the way back in 1984, when many of us who are concerned now about illegal immigration were not even aware of the issue – John McCain was on record calling for more border security.

For conservatives, supporting John McCain is not a compromise or a sell-out of our principles. He is a presidential candidate who will strengthen national security, appoint conservative judges, support the sanctity of life, keep taxes low and veto pork barrel spending. He will advance the conservative cause in significant ways.

Every day that conservative leaders grumble and express reservations about McCain increases the likelihood that a liberal Democrat will take office next January.

Then there will be no checks on the liberal tendencies of Nancy Pelosi and a Democratic Congress. The Supreme Court will be gone for a generation. Our right to make medical decisions will be lost. Our economy will be stifled by taxes and regulation. Our border will remain wide open. And we can only pray that our pullback from the war effort does not lead to more attacks in the United States.

For conservatives, that’s an awfully high price to pay because you’re mad about campaign finance reform or a dead and buried immigration bill.

The American Patriot

The American Patriot to me is one who loves their Country and wish America no harm for any reason.

The American Patriot is male, female and children of every nationality, race, ethnic background and religion who wish America no harm for any reason.

The American Patriot are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom who wish America no harm.

The American Patriot ia proud of their flag and the Statue of Liberty which "welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed" and wishes America no harm.

The American Patriot takes pride in the greatest Warriors in the history of man - the American Soldier and wish America no harm.

The American Patriot looks at their sons and daughters in uniform with tears in their hearts and pride on their faces as their children goes off to defend the greatest country ever on this planet and wish America no harm.

The spouse and children of the American Patriot with anxiety in their hearts and faces shining with pride watch as their American Warrior leaves to defend America.

The American Patriot lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.

The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness and the right to self determination and wish America no harm.

The American Patriot does not want to weaken America in dangerous times for political reasons.

The American Patriot does not put ideology first and America second to harm it in hopes it will learn a 'lesson'.

God Bless America and its' Patriots!

The American Warrior

The American Warrior is someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness.

The American Warrior is someone who frightens many people because they live in denial of reality, the American Warrior reminds those people that violence exists in the world.

The American Warrior has the capacity for violence towards those who threaten America and the American way of life.

The American Warrior is a constant reminder that there are terrorists in the land and those that wish to destroy America are already here on American soil.

The American Warrior on September 11, 2001, rushed towards the danger instead of fleeing from it, intent on defending and helping those American citizens in danger. Many American Warriors gave their lives that day and many more were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for America and its citizens.

Most Americans are glad that they were not on the planes that crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon - the American Warrior wished they had been on those planes because they might have made a difference.

American Warriors were on United Airlines Flight 93 and defended unto death America and its citizens with the cry "lets roll".

The American Warrior waits for the day that they have lived for and trained for their entire life - to defend until death, America and its citizens.

"There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men." - Edmund Burke

This 4th of July, I salute the American Warrior, both living and dead. Men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, Police Forces, Fire Departments and ordinary civilians who rush forward to our defense instead of running from danger.

The American Warrior who wishes no harm to America - God Bless You!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Obama's Ultra Liberal Campaign Swing By Amanda Carpenter


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) called opponents of the Senate immigration bill “racist,” strutted picket lines and said universal health care should include abortion in his last week of campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President.

Obama made these controversial remarks at a trio of campaign stops for the National Council of La Raza, the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and Planned Parenthood.

On Sunday, Obama addressed the Hispanic special interest group National Council of La Raza at the Miami Beach Convention Center. There, he said that the debate over the Senate’s failed immigration bill “was both ugly and racist in a way that we haven’t seen since the struggle for civil rights.”

He told participants that both Hispanics and African Americans have struggled to get access to health care and education and quoted a telegram Martin Luther King Jr. sent to Cesar Chavez in 1968: “Our separate struggles are really one. The civil rights movement wasn’t just for African Americans.”

“It doesn't matter if that struggle involves a brown man who is badgered again and again to prove his citizenship or a black man who's pulled over because his car is too nice,” Obama explained.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.), who is also pursuing the nomination for President, headlined the NCLR event as well. Both Democrats spoke of their support for comprehensive immigration reform, universal healthcare and free in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

On July 21, Obama was in Des Moines, Iowa speaking at a rally for Council 61 of the American Federation of State and County and Municipal Employees.

“I stood on the picket line and marched with workers at the Congress Hotel in Chicago last week. I had marched with them four years earlier and I told them when I left that if they were still fighting four years from now, I'd be back on that picket line as President of the United States,” Obama told labor activists.

Obama also said that Washington “has thrown open its doors to the most anti-union, anti-worker forces we've seen in generations.”

The abortion lobby welcomed Obama at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s political organizing conference on July 17. At the Washington, D.C. event, Obama said he believed expanded insurance coverage under his proposed universal health care plan should cover “reproductive services.” Obama campaign staff later confirmed those reproductive services should include abortion.

In his speech, Obama took care to lay out his vision for the Supreme Court and touched on other issues he thought were important to women.

Indirectly referring to the recent 5-4 Supreme Court decision that upheld the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, Obama said, “We know that five men don’t know better than women and their doctors what’s best for women’s health.”

"Justice Kennedy knows many things," Obama said of the Justice who penned the Supreme Court opinion that upheld the ban, "but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor."

"We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges,” Obama explained.

Of his Senate votes against the confirmation of Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, Obama said, “There is nothing wrong in voting against nominees who don't share a broader vision of what the Constitution is about.”

Obama also said it was time for the government to offer “an updated social contract” that would give women paid maternity leave and keep children in school longer, to accommodate working mothers’ schedules.

The Company He Keeps: Meet Obama’s circle: The same old America-hating Left. By Andrew C. McCarthy


April 11, 2008 6:00 AM

Why is Barack Obama so comfortable around people who so despise America and its allies? Maybe it’s because they’re so comfortable around him.

He presents as the transcendent agent of “change.” Sounds platitudinous, but it’s really quite strategically vaporous. Sen. Obama is loath to get into the details of how we should change, and, as the media’s Chosen One, he hasn’t had to.

But he’s not, as some hopefully dismiss him, a charismatic lightweight with a gift for sparkling the same old vapid cant. Judging from the company he chooses to keep, Obama’s change would radically alter this country. He eschews detail because most Americans don’t believe we’re a racist, heartless, imperialist cesspool of exploitation. The details would be disqualifying.

So, instead, we get glimpses. The most profound influence in his life, his wife Michelle, is notoriously less circumspect than her careful husband about where she’s coming from. Her college thesis, which Princeton tried to keep under lock and key, testifies to a race-obsessed worldview. She may have refined it, but she’s never grown out of it.

After four years at one of America’s most esteemed academic institutions, Michelle recoiled at the thought of “further integration and/or assimilation into a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.” That the sky has been the limit for her, that she has managed to ride the “periphery” from Princeton to Harvard Law School, to one of the country’s top law firms, and to a plethora of prestigious institutional positions, has not much altered her perspective. Through the windows of her mansion on Chicago’s south side, American society still appears as a caste system.

The United States, says she, is “just downright mean.” Never, prior to her husband’s presidential run, had she had a reason to feel proud of it, she told a campaign throng. But by last November, with Barack’s pursuit of the brass ring catching momentum, she suddenly got plenty proud. And confident: so much so that she was moved to tell MSNBC, “Black America will wake up and get it” — unite and carry him over the finish line.

Years earlier, the Obamas had gravitated to the baleful Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an unapologetic racist and hard Left firebrand. They were comfortable with him — and he with them.

By the senator’s own account, Wright is the inspiration for his memoir, The Audacity of Hope — the title is cribbed from a Wright sermon (“The Audacity to Hope”). For Michelle, who had written that a racial “separationist” would have a better understanding of American blacks than “an integrationist who is ignorant to their plight,” Wright’s Trinity Church mission statement had to resonate, right from its opening declaration:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain ‘true to our native land,’ the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.

Rev. Wright inspired his congregation — of which the Obamas were 20-year members — with “black liberation theology.” The doctrine is itself the inspiration of James Hal Cone, a professor of “Systematic Theology” at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Cone is also the author of several books, which a tendentious Wright urged Sean Hannity to read during a recent interview.

It’s a useful suggestion. For example, there is Cone’s 1969 opus, Black Theology and Black Power, in which he helpfully explains:

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community.... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.

Black liberation theology, as Wright has elaborated, is closely aligned with the “liberation theology” of Nicaragua during the seventies and eighties: i.e., the doctrine that catalyzed Marxist revolutionaries. It spurred an unabashedly Leftist movement that emphasized, you guessed it, the crying need for “change” — as George Russell aptly described it in a 2001 Time magazine analysis, “social change in the process of spiritual improvement.”

It is this same drive for upheaval, for supplanting a political order which purportedly treats blacks as “less than human,” that impelled Wright’s plea for God to “damn America.” In the oppression narrative, the murder of 3000 Americans on 9/11 isn’t terrorism but social justice. America, after all, had it coming. For Wright, it was “chickens coming home to roost.” Indeed, Wright sometimes prefers to call our country “the U.S. of KKK A” — a grotesque sentiment which, we shall see, is shared by others with whom the Obamas choose to associate themselves.

For their part, the Obamas couldn’t get enough of Wright. Barack and Michelle had him marry them. They chose him to baptize their children, who were routinely exposed to Wright’s race-baiting bombast.

Obama and his supporters brusquely dismiss the drawing of sensible inferences from these gestures of admiration as “guilt by association.” In point of fact, though, the Obamas didn’t just associate with Wright. They subsidized him to the tune of over $20,000 — not exactly chump change from a couple without great means or any history of philanthropy to speak of. And until recent public attention to the pastor’s noxious rants threatened to derail his White House bid, Sen. Obama kept Wright officially on board as part of his campaign’s “African American Religious Leadership Committee.”

With this as background, is it really all that startling that Sen. Obama enjoys a friendly relationship with Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, a pair of terrorists?

I want to be clear here: Not terrorist sympathizers. Terrorists.

The mainstream media, in their zeal to elect a Democrat, are assiduously airbrushing Ayers: “an aging lefty with a foolish past,” as the Chicago Sun-Times has so delicately put it. In fact, it is the press that is rife with foolish, aging lefties. Ayers, by contrast, is an unapologetic terrorist with a savage past — one who beat the system he so reviles when, after his years of fugitivity, terrorism charges were dropped due to government surveillance violations. He’s “guilty as sin,” by his own concession, but “free as a bird.”

Ayers didn’t just carry a sign outside the Pentagon on May 19, 1972. He bombed it. As his memoir gleefully recalled, “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.”

Whether Pentagon bombing day was more or less ideal than other days, when he, Dohrn and their Weathermen comrades bombed the U.S. Capitol, the State Department, and sundry banks, police stations and courthouses, Ayers does not say. But on each occasion, there was surely optimism that the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.

There were lots of bombs. There is no remorse. “I don’t regret setting bombs,” he told the New York Times in 2001, sorry only that he and the others “didn’t do enough.” Like what? We can’t be sure, though National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg recounts Ayers’s sentiments back in the day: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that’s where it’s really at.”

Ayers and Dohrn have done the actual dirty work of terror, while Jeremiah Wright draws the line at waving pom-poms. But the prism through which they assay the dirty work is precisely the same: America has it coming.

For them, that makes all the difference. It’s not terror, just chickens coming home to roost. “Terrorists destroy randomly,” Ayers rationalizes with nauseating arrogance, “while our actions bore ... the precise stamp of a cut diamond. Terrorists intimidate, while we aimed only to educate.” Right. As her companion Discover the Networks profile illustrates, Dohrn now goes even further: insisting their bombings weren’t terrorist acts at all: “We rejected terrorism. We were careful not to hurt anybody.”

Maybe she’s forgotten the “bastards getting what was coming to them” part. Or maybe she’s just lying. She was, we can be confident, something less than a model of compassion back then — like at the Weathermen “War Council” meeting in 1969, when she famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others: “Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!”

Charming. The “War Council,” it should be noted, concluded by first condemning the United States for — what else? — its pervasive racism, then formally declaring war against what the Weathermen called “AmeriKKKa.” Rev. Wright would have understood.

It was at the Chicago home of Ayers and Dohrn that Obama, then an up-and-coming “community organizer,” had his political coming out party in 1995. Not content with this rite of passage in Lefty World — where unrepentant terrorists are regarded as progressive luminaries, still working “only to educate” — both Obamas tended to the relationship with the Ayers.

Barack Obama made a joint appearance with Bill Ayers in 1997 at a University of Chicago panel on the outrage of treating juvenile criminals as if they were, well, criminals. Obama apologists say, “So what? People appear with other people all the time.” Nice try. This panel was orchestrated by none other than Michelle Obama, then an Associate Dean of Student Services. Ayers didn’t happen to be there — he was invited by the Obamas to educate students on the question before the house: “Should a Child Ever Be Called a ‘Super Predator?’”

And here’s how the University’s press release chose to describe this would-be super predator:

William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), says “We should call a child a child. A 13-year-old who picks up a gun isn’t suddenly an adult. We have to ask other questions: How did he get the gun? Where did it come from?”

Ayers, who spent a year observing the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, is one of four panelists who will speak on juvenile justice[.]

The other panelists included “Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama … who is working to block proposed legislation that would throw more juvenile offenders into the adult system.” The goal was to promote change, to actuate the vision of “Chicago reformer” Jane Addams, who’d sought “the establishment of a separate court system for children which would act like a ‘kind and just parent’ for children in crisis.” Never mind the crises they’d caused the victims of their wanton murders and mayhem — the fault for those, surely, was our downright mean society.

The Ayers and Obama, meantime, kept up. There was yet another panel in 2002, Obama and Ayers waxing on “Intellectuals in Times of Crisis.” Dohrn, too, was asked to weigh in, on a panel addressing the question, “Why Do Ideas Matter?” I’m sure it was, er, wild.

In the interim, Ayers and Obama had teamed up for three years on the board of the Woods Fund, a Chicago charitable organization. Together, they voted to donate $75,000 of the largesse they controlled to the Arab American Action Network. The AAAN was co-founded by Rashid Khalidi, a longtime supporter of Palestinian “resistance” attacks against Israel, which he openly regards as a racist, apartheid state. Despite considerable evidence to the contrary, Khalidi peremptorily denies having been a PLO operative or having directed its official press agency for six years (from 1976 to 1982). There can be no gainsaying, though, that he was an influential apologist for Yasser Arafat, the terror master who spawned two Intifadas and ordered the murder of American diplomats.

In the mean, besotted United States, of course, being a terrorist, a terror apologist, or simply raging at the machine qualifies one for a cushy academic soapbox. Thus did Khalidi eventually land on his feet at the University of Chicago, where he ran in the same circles as Associate Dean Michelle Obama, Law Professor Barack Obama, University of Illinois-Chicago Education Professor Bill Ayers, and Northwestern Law Professor Bernadine Dohrn (who prepared for a career in instructing future officers of the court with a stint in federal prison for flouting a judge’s order that she testify in a grand jury investigation into the Weathermen’s infamous Brinks robbery-murders).

For Khalidi, though, greener pastures called: the opportunity to become a professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University. There, he now directs Edward Said’s legacy: Columbia’s notoriously Israel-bashing Middle East Institute — though, much to the University’s chagrin, he was scratched in 2005 from a program designed educate teachers on instructing their young students about the Middle East. New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein concluded Khalidi’s splenetic meanderings mightn’t be the best model.

They didn’t faze Barack Obama, though. He was front and center with Ayers and Dohrn at a farewell bash when Khalidi left Chicago for New York. It was only right. Khalidi, after all, had hosted a fundraiser for Obama in 2000, when the latter launched an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. And so it goes. A few weeks ago, Khalidi told he supports Obama’s presidential run “because he is the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause,” and because Obama has promised negotiations with Iran.

Ayres, too, provided a minor ($200) contribution to Obama, in 2001. That was the year of September 11, just a few days before the Times published its excerpt of Ayres’s remembrances of bombings past. Read the short interview and ask yourself: Could anyone, let alone someone as sophisticated as Barack Obama, chat with Bill Ayers for about 30 seconds and not know exactly where is coming from?

Could they really have been friends? Well, Ayers is virtually channeling Michelle Obama and Jeremiah Wright when he wails that American “society is not a just and fair and decent place.”

“God, what a great country,” he scoffed to the Times. “It makes me want to puke.”

Hey, right back at you there, Professor. At least that’s how most of us are likely to feel. But not Sen. Obama. And that’s why Ayers — like Khalidi and Wright and Michelle Obama, and others who know the senator well while we’ve been told precious little — sees in Barack Obama the change he’s been waiting for.

No thanks.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is author of Willful Blindness: Memoir of the Jihad.

Mrs. Obama Is NO Jane Addams


Hull House 1891-1894

Hull House 1891-1894. (JAMC neg. 146)

Jane Addams

Jane Addams 1885. (JAMC neg. 1363)

Jane Addams

Jane Addams 1896 (JAMC neg. 7. Photograph by Fred Hollyer)

Jane Addams

Jane Addams c.1934 ((JAMC 58)

Photo Credits: University of Illinois at Chicago, University Library, Department of Special Collections, Jane Addams Memorial Collection

Jane Addams Hull House Association is the direct descendent of the settlement house founded by Jane Addams in 1889. In the words of our founder, our purpose is to “Aid in the solutions of life in a great city, to help our neighbors build responsible, self-sufficient lives for themselves and their families.” We carry on this mission today as one of Chicago’s oldest and largest social and human service agencies.

Ms. Addams established her residency in Hull House based upon several basic principles:

Live in the community as an equal participant in the local issues of the day. Unlike the social workers and society matrons who visited the poor and then returned to their middle class homes every evening, Ms. Addams and her colleagues lived where they worked. The settlement concept was central to the success of the Hull House community, and the practice of neighbors helping neighbors became a cornerstone of the Hull House philosophy.

Believe in the fundamental dignity of all individuals and accord every person with equal respect regardless of their ethnic origins, gender, age, etc. Ms. Addams believed that if people –of any age, race, gender, ethnicity - were allowed to develop their skills, that person could not only make a better life for himself but contribute to the community as a whole.

Believe that poverty and the lack of opportunity breed the problems of the ghetto. Ignorance, disease, and crime are the result of economic desperation and not the result of some flaw in moral character. Ms. Addams promoted the idea that access to opportunity was the key to successful participation in a democratic, self governing society. The greatest challenge and achievement of the settlement was to help people help themselves.

We build on the enduring vision of Jane Addams. She foresaw a compassionate, interdependent world revolving around the principles of social justice, fairness, tolerance, respect, equal opportunity, civic responsibility and hope for every individual, family and community. Hull House Association itself is an evolving community where committed staff and volunteers serve, nurture and learn from each other, and those who - at every stage of life - come to our door in need.

Jane Addams Hull House Association is still in the heart of the community. Each year, more than 60,000 people receive help through a variety of programs including foster care, job training, child care, counseling, education and literacy. Our programs continue to be community-based so they can be most responsive to the needs of children, families, and seniors. We continue Jane Addams’ simple mission of neighbors helping neighbors.

Jesse Helms quotes on life and politics

Jesse Helms quotes on life and politics

By The Associated Press
1 hour, 3 minutes ago

Some quotes of Jesse Helms, who died on the Fourth of July at age 86:

"I'm so old-fashioned I believe in horse whipping." — During a debate in 1991 on an AIDS-related amendment.

"Well, there is no joy in Mudville tonight. The mighty ultraliberal establishment, and the liberal politicians and editors and commentators and columnists, have struck out again." — Helms after defeating black Democrat Harvey Gantt for Senate in 1990.

"I came up between the two world wars during the Depression. All the people around me emphasized working and savings and personal responsibility. They spelled out in one way or another the uniqueness of America. This has largely been lost. Nobody would have thought of turning to the government to solve all our problems." — 1984 interview.

"The destruction of this country can be pinpointed in terms of its beginnings to the time that our political leadership turned to socialism. They didn't call it socialism, of course. It was given deceptive names and adorned with fancy slogans. We heard about New Deals, and Fair Deals and New Frontiers and the Great Society." — From a Helms editorial at WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

"I shall always remember the shady streets, the quiet Sundays, the cotton wagons, the Fourth of July parades, the New Year's Eve firecrackers. I shall never forget the stream of school kids marching uptown to place flowers on the Courthouse Square monument on Confederate Memorial Day." — Helms writing in 1956 on life in his hometown of Monroe, N.C.

"If he taught us anything, he taught us that we are personally responsible and accountable. I remember that day, and always will, when he called in several from the senior class. ... He said you can make it in this country. He said it's going to take hard work. ... He said you're going to succeed. He said you'll own your own homes and you'll have two cars and all that. I thought this man had lost his mind." — Helms reflecting on his high school principal.

"Compromise, hell! That's what has happened to us all down the line — and that's the very cause of our woes. If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?" — Helms writing in 1959 on compromise in politics.

"To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing." — Helms responding in 1956 to criticism that a fictional black character in his newspaper column was offensive.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Former Republican N.C. Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86

Former Republican N.C. Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86

BY DAVID ESPO and WHITNEY WOODWARD, Associated Press Writers
17 minutes ago

Former Sen. Jesse Helms, who built a career along the fault lines of racial politics and battled liberals, Communists and the occasional fellow Republican during 30 conservative years in Congress, died on the Fourth of July. He was 86.

Helms died at 1:15 a.m., said the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University in North Carolina. The center's president, John Dodd, said in a statement that funeral arrangements were pending.

"He was very comfortable," said former chief of staff Jimmy Broughton, who added Helms died of natural causes in Raleigh.

Helms, who first became known to North Carolina voters as a newspaper and television commentator, won election to the Senate in 1972 and decided not to run for a sixth term in 2002.

"Compromise, hell! ... If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who believe in freedom treat it as if it were a roll of bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?" Helms wrote in a 1959 editorial that foretold his political style.

As he aged, Helms was slowed by a variety of illnesses, including a bone disorder, prostate cancer and heart problems, and he made his way through the Capitol on a motorized scooter as his career neared an end. In April 2006, his family announced that he had been moved into a convalescent center after being diagnosed with vascular dementia, in which repeated minor strokes damage the brain.

Helms' public appearances had dwindled as his health deteriorated. When his memoirs were published in August 2005, he appeared at a Raleigh book store to sign copies but did not make a speech.

In an e-mail interview with The Associated Press at that time, Helms said he hoped what future generations learn about him "will be based on the truth and not the deliberate inaccuracies those who disagreed with me took such delight in repeating."

"My legacy will be up to others to describe," he added.

Helms served as chairman of the Agriculture Committee and Foreign Relations Committees over the years at times when the GOP held the Senate majority, using his posts to protect his state's tobacco growers and other farmers and place his stamp on foreign policy.

His opposition to Communism defined his foreign policy views. He took a dim view of many arms control treaties, opposed Fidel Castro at every turn, and supported the contras in Nicaragua as well as the right-wing government of El Salvador. He opposed the Panama Canal treaties that President Jimmy Carter pushed through a reluctant Senate in 1977.

Early on, his habit of blocking nominations and legislation won him a nickname of "Senator No." He delighted in forcing roll call votes that required Democrats to take politically difficult votes on federal funding for art he deemed pornographic, school busing, flag-burning and other cultural issues.

In 1993, when then-President Clinton sought confirmation for an openly homosexual assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Helms registered his disgust. "I'm not going to put a lesbian in a position like that," he said in a newspaper interview at the time. "If you want to call me a bigot, fine."

After Democrats killed the appointment of U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle, a former Helms aide, to a federal appeals court post in 1991, Helms blocked all of Clinton's judicial nominations from North Carolina for eight years.

Helms occasionally opted for compromise in later years in the Senate, working with Democrats on legislation to restructure the foreign policy bureaucracy and pay back debts to the United Nations, an organization be disdained for most of his career.

And he softened his views on AIDS after years of clashes with gay activists, advocating greater federal funding to fight the disease in Africa and elsewhere overseas.

But in his memoirs, Helms made clear that his opinions on other issues had hardly moderated since he left office. He compared abortion to both the Holocaust and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"I will never be silent about the death of those who cannot speak for themselves," the former senator wrote in "Here's Where I Stand."

Helms never lost a race for the Senate, but he never won one by much, either, a reflection of his divisive political profile in his native state.

He knew it, too. "Well, there is no joy in Mudville tonight. The mighty ultraliberal establishment, and the liberal politicians and editors and commentators and columnists have struck out again," he said in 1990, after winning his fourth term.

He won the 1972 election after switching parties, and defeated then-Gov. Jim Hunt in an epic battle in 1984 in what was then the costliest Senate race on record.

He defeated former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt in 1990 and 1996 in racially tinged campaigns. In the first race, a Helms commercial showed a white fist crumbling up a job application, these words underneath: "You needed that job ... but they had to give it to a minority."

"The tension that he creates, the fear he creates in people, is how he's won campaigns," Gantt said several years later.

Helms also played a role in national GOP politics — supporting Ronald Reagan in 1976 in a presidential primary challenge to then-President Gerald R. Ford. Reagan's candidacy was near collapse when it came time for the North Carolina primary. Helms was in charge of the effort, and Reagan won a startling upset that resurrected his challenge.

During the 1990s, Helms clashed frequently with President Clinton, whom he deemed unqualified to be commander in chief. Even some Republicans cringed when Helms said Clinton was so unpopular he would need a bodyguard on North Carolina military bases. Helms said he hadn't meant it as a threat.

Asked to gauge Clinton's performance overall, Helms said in 1995: "He's a nice guy. He's very pleasant. But ... (as) Ronald Reagan used to say about another politician, `Deep down, he's shallow.'"

Helms went out of his way to establish good relations with Madeleine Albright, Clinton's second secretary of state. But that didn't stop him from single-handedly blocking Clinton's appointment of William Weld — a Republican — as ambassador to Mexico.

Helms clashed with other Republicans over the years, including fellow Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana in 1987, after Democrats had won a Senate majority. Helms had promised in his 1984 campaign not to take the chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee, but he invoked seniority over Lugar to claim the seat as the panel's ranking Republican.

He was unafraid of inconveniencing his fellow senators — sometimes all of them at once. "I did not come to Washington to win a popularity contest," he once said while holding the Senate in session with a filibuster that delayed the beginning of a Christmas break. And he once objected to a request by phoning in his dissent from home, where he was watching Senate proceedings on television.

Helms was born in Monroe, N.C., on Oct. 18, 1921. He attended Wake Forest College in 1941 but never graduated and was in the Navy during World War II.

In many ways, Helms' values were forged in the small town where his father was police chief.

"I shall always remember the shady streets, the quiet Sundays, the cotton wagons, the Fourth of July parades, the New Year's Eve firecrackers. I shall never forget the stream of school kids marching uptown to place flowers on the Courthouse Square monument on Confederate Memorial Day," Helms wrote in a newspaper column in 1956.

He took an active role in North Carolina politics early on, working to elect a segregationist candidate, Willis Smith, to the Senate in 1950. He worked as Smith's top staff aide for a time, then returned to Raleigh as executive director of the state bankers association.

Helms became a member of the Raleigh city council in 1957 and got his first public platform for espousing his conservative views when he became a television editorialist for WRAL in Raleigh in 1960. He also wrote a column that at one time was carried in 200 newspapers. Helms also was city editor at The Raleigh Times.

Helms and his wife, Dorothy, had two daughters and a son. They adopted the boy in 1962 after the child, 9 years old and suffering from cerebral palsy, said in a newspaper article that he wanted parents.


AP Special Writer David Espo in Washington contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

McCain talks sense, Obama spouts leftist rhetoric by Mark Urbin


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

According to the Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices...

The move is aimed at easing voter anger over rising energy prices by freeing states to open vast stretches of the country's coastline to oil exploration. In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, nearly 80 percent said soaring prices at the pump are causing them financial hardship, the highest in surveys this decade.

"We must embark on a national mission to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil," McCain told reporters yesterday. In a speech today, he plans to add that "we have untapped oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States. But a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. . . . It is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions."

The US used to produce most of its oil need domestically, but the Carter era "windfall profit" taxes put an end to that. A failed government policy that the Second Coming of Jimmy Carter, i.e. Barak H. Obama, wants to repeat.

What Senator McCain is calling for is just common sense. The market price should start to drop once the feds decide that drilling for oil ten miles closer to shore than the Communist Chinese oil platforms (which are currently 60 miles off the coast of Florida) is OK.

Of course, the democrat response, made by Obama, is the typical Fear Mongering that they excel in. They spout the lie that McCain is "trying to drill our way out of the problem."

They know this isn't true, but will push that lie anyway. Drilling is only part of the solution. Proven, industrial scale, domestic energy solutions, such as Nuclear Power, is also needed. Increasing the use of clean, safe, Nuclear energy is something else that democrats oppose out of irrational fear.

The Washington Post article points out that Senator McCain does not share their irrational fear:
McCain backs federal subsidies for building more nuclear power plants, which he considers the best way to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

Let's be honest here, if you buy into the Cult of Algore theory of Carbon Emissions causing widespread Global Warming", and you oppose Nuclear Power, you are either, woefully ignorant, in denial, or a hypocrite of the first order. Probably a combination of all three.

In addition to Nuclear, other alternate sources of energy should be explored, including biofuels (that doesn't use food as a source), solar, hydrogen, and others. What we don't need is the democrat head in the sand solution to our immediate problems. The democrat leadership may not care if their policies (or lack there of) have a serious negative effect on the US economy, but the rest of America should.

Obama Lies Again; He’s no Reagan


March 30, 2008

In recent appearances Obama is trying to win back some moderate voters and the Republicans voting in Rush Limbaugh’s operation Chaos by stating that he would hearken back to the successful foreign policies of Ronald Reagan and Bush 41.

That’s the most politically opportunistic bald-faced lie that Obama’s made so far in a campaign that’s become full of controversy after the Reverend Wright “revelations.”

Somehow I can’t picture Obama putting nuclear missiles forward into Afghanistan and staring steely-eyed at the Communist Party in China until Tibet, North Korea, and Myanmar were freed from vassallage to China’s imperialist drive in the Asian Continent as President Reagan did with the Soviets in Europe.

Rather than supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative, he would instead be tearing it down, as his firm allies Ted Kennedy and John Kerry were at the time. (Indeed, they have ever since, and currently support the initiatives to delay and then defund Ballistic Missile Defense along with Barck Obama and Harry Reid.)  Rather than supporting a firm stance against the communists, he would have been talking about Nuclear winter, as most of his older supporters were at the time.

Rather than aiding the fragile governments of our southern neighbors against communist insurgencies, he’d probably side with the insurgents. After all he has the endorsement of FARC and Danny Ortega already.

Do you really think the anti-war candidate would have gone to war against Saddam in Gulf War I as President Bush 41 did? I don’t think so — rather Obama would stand for non-intervention as President Carter did even while three countries per year were falling to Communist Tyranny and Pol Pot was murdering a million Cambodians on Carter’s watch.

The clear difference between President Reagan and Barack Obama is in vision. Reagan looked ahead at things to come and prepared us for them, Obama’s political allies in the senate and house are playing “death through delay” with the rest of the Ballistic Missile defense program right now.

What’s Barack doing to stop one of the keystones of President Reagan’s defense policy from being pulled? He’s actively trying to tear it out of the arch of our strategic defense program. In February he pledged to cut Ballistic Missile Defenses.

Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending.

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.

I will not weaponize space.

I will slow our development of future combat systems.

And I will institute an independent “Defense Priorities Board” to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

Somehow I don’t think the press is going to call him on this outlandish speech, but it’s clearly a whopper. Barrack’s campaign is smoke and mirrors, it’s time the press asked him what his policy is on Taiwan, Myanmar, Tibet, North Korea, and South America. I mean we can guess a bit on South America since he’s said he would talk to Hugo Chavez and Castro, but what about the rest of the looming world problems?

 Update: Yet another Obama Lie that the press won’t call out.

Update: Other Obama Lies

Why has he sometimes said his first name is Arabic, and other times Swahili? Why did he make up names in his first book, as the introduction acknowledges? Why did he say two years ago that he would “absolutely” serve out his Senate term, which ends in 2011, and that the idea of him running for president this cycle was “silly” and hype “that’s been a little overblown”?

Update: If you want a clear contrast with Obama’s naivete on foreign policy, here’s some good analysis from Lee Cary at American Thinker.

Barack Obama = Karl Marx With a Twist by Mike Volpe


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One of the more insightful analyses of Obama's latest gaffe came from Bill Kristol. Among many things that Kristol pointed out, he quoted this from Karl Marx...

Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

This quote is of course awfully reminiscent of Obama's own gaffe.

I don't want to be overly provocative and make leaps just for the sake of leaps. In fact, Obama's latest gaffe is just one piece of what I will show to be a fairly sophisticated puzzle that makes Obama's domestic agenda really nothing more than Marx updated for the 21st century.
For instance, it has recently come to light that Obama's father wrote some economic theory that was itself quite Marxian. Still, trying to paint Obama with Marxist brush because of an offhanded comment and writings of his father is not only unfairly provocative, but simply unfair. In fact, the most evidence comes from Obama's own policy proposals.

Attacking capitalism comes first and foremost by attacking its roots: capital. Capital is the lifeblood of capitalism because it is the engine that drives the competition necessary to sustain capitalism. Capitalism is founded on the principle that ultimately competition benefits everyone. Competition is spawned by investment. The income that a company sees now is the fruit of years of investment of capital. Thus, in order to stunt capitalism you need to punish capital investment. Of course, in modern times the best way to do that is to tax it. Of course, one of Barack Obama's priorities is to raise the capital gains tax.

Barack Obama yesterday said he'd raise the capital-gains tax as president - but
softened his estimate on how much it would go up.

"I haven't given a firm number," Obama told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo, speaking of how much the levy would rise over the current rate of 15 percent. He "guessed" it would be "significantly lower than" the 28 percent it was under President Bill Clinton.

Another principle of Marxism is the consolidation of power in the hands of government, and by extension, the government creating economic wealth and growth rather than the private sector. So, let's look at his job's plan.

Democrat Barack Obama said Wednesday that as president he would spend $210 billion to create jobs in construction and environmental industries, as he tried to win over economically struggling voters. Obama's investment would be over 10 years as part of two programs. The larger is $150 billion to create 5 million so-called "green collar" jobs to develop more environmentally friendly energy sources.

Sixty billion would go to a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to rebuild highways, bridges, airports and other public projects. Obama estimated that could generate nearly 2 million jobs, many of them in the construction industry that's been hit by the housing crisis.

Keep in mind that this government spending will be paid for by among other things, increasing capital gains taxes. In other words, Barack Obama would punish capital investment in order to create jobs through the consolidation of power in the central government. More government spending is a nice way of saying that a politician wants to consolidate more power in the hands of government.

Obama's consolidation of power in government only begins with his job's plan. His whole economic agenda has a plethora of new government regulations.

To renew our economy — and to ensure that we are not doomed to repeat a cycle of bubble and bust again and again — we need to address not only the immediate crisis in the housing market; we also need to create a 21st century regulatory framework, and pursue a bold opportunity agenda for the American people,” Obamasaid.

“We do American business — and the American people — no favors when we turn a blind eye to excessive leverage and dangerous risks,” he added.

Now, a "21st century regulatory framework" is another euphemism for more government regulations. Keep in mind that inherent in Marxism is a fear of capitalism and the free market. Marx believes that capitalism was doomed to failure and that it was government's job to not only manage it but frankly to control it. Obama also has an inherent fear of the free market because in every proposal he wants to manage and control it as well.

Nowhere is this more clear than in health care. Here, Obama simply wants to throw the free market away entirely in favor of socialized medicine. Clearly, he sees the deficiencies of our health care system being fixed not by the free market but by a health care system run and controlled by the government.

Also, Obama seems to have a knack for rhetoric that shows nothing but contempt for capitalistic principles and affinity for Marxist principles. Here are examples of each.

There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market.


In the interview, for example, he argued that his proposals on health care and the economy, which call for a stronger government role and more regulation, were really about what works.

Now anyone that thinks that stronger government role and more regulations are what works is someone that has roots in Marxism. Furthermore, anyone that sees mergers and acquisitions as inherently bad is someone that has a natural disdain for capitalism.

Then there is the inherent belief of Marxism. Marx believed that capitalism punished the working class while consolidating power in the bourgeoise, the wealthy. Marx envisioned a system in which the wealthy were punished in order to provide for the working class. That is exactly how Obama sees the world.

Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed overhauling the tax code to lower taxes for the poor and middle class, increase them for the rich

These so called targeted tax cuts are nothing more than Marxism updated for the 21st century. (for a great explanation of how targeted tax cuts are Marxist and other principles check out the book Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies) Obama's robin hood economic philosophy is really nothing more than an updated version of Marxist principles.

Finally, there is the twist: free trade. Marx was himself a big free trader.

The Repeal of the Corn Laws in England is the greatest triumph of free trade in the 19th century. In every country where manufacturers talk of free trade, they have in mind chiefly free trade in corn and raw materials in general. To impose protective duties on foreign corn is infamous, it is to speculate on the famine of peoples.

Cheap food, high wages, this is the sole aim for which English free-traders have spent millions, and their enthusiasm has already spread to their brethren on the Continent. Generally speaking, those who wish for free trade desire it in order to alleviate the condition of the working class.

But, strange to say, the people for whom cheap food is to be procured at all costs are very ungrateful. Cheap food is as ill-esteemed in England as cheap government is in France. The people see in these self-sacrificing gentlemen, in Bowring, Bright and Co., their worst enemies and the most shameless hypocrites.

That is an excerpt of a speech Marx gave on free trade. Marx saw free trade as giving to the working class. He saw free trade as providing the workers with cheaper goods.

Obama sees free trade as taking away from the working class. To Obama, free trade is an extension of another capitalistic ill...competition.

Thus, if Obama has his way, we wil have a society that punishes investment. It will be dependent on government. It will be a government that consolidates significant economic power and with it creates new regulations. Furthermore, we will have an economy isolated from the rest of the world. Like I said, Barack Obama is Karl Marx with a twist, a very troubling twist.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Microsoft to stop selling Windows XP on Monday

Microsoft to stop selling Windows XP on Monday

Sun Jun 29, 11:47 PM ET

Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to stop selling its Windows XP operating system to retailers and major computer makers Monday, despite protests from a slice of PC users who don't want to be forced into using XP's successor, Vista.

Once computers loaded with XP have been cleared from the inventory of PC makers such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., consumers who can't live without the old operating system on their new machine will have to buy Vista Ultimate or Vista Business and then legally "downgrade" to XP.

Microsoft will still allow smaller mom-and-pop PC builder shops to buy XP for resale through the end of January. A version of XP will also remain available for ultra-low-cost PCs such as the Asus Eee PC.

A group of vocal computer users who rallied around a "Save XP" petition posted on the industry news site InfoWorld had been clamoring for Microsoft to keep selling XP until its next operating system, Windows 7, is available. The software maker has said it expects to release Windows 7 sometime in 2009.

Last week, Microsoft said it would provide full technical support for six-year-old Windows XP through 2009, and limited support through 2014.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Oil is making millionaires in North Dakota

Oil is making millionaires in North Dakota

By JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jun 30, 5:00 AM ET

Oscar Stohler was raised in a sod house in western North Dakota and ranched there for nearly seven decades. He never gave much thought to what lay below the grass that fattened his cattle.

When oilmen wanted to drill there last year, Stohler, 83, doubted oil would be found two miles underground on his property. He even joked about it.

"I told them if they hit oil, I was going to buy a Cadillac convertible and put those big horns on the front and wear a 10-gallon hat," Stohler recalled.

He still drives his old pickup and wears a mesh farm cap — but it's by choice.

In less than a year, Stohler and his wife, Lorene, 82, have become millionaires from the production of one well on their land near Dunn Center, a mile or so from the sod home where Oscar grew up. A second well has begun producing on their property and another is being drilled — all aimed at the Bakken shale formation, a rich deposit that the U.S. Geological Survey calls the largest continuous oil accumulation it has ever assessed.

Landowners in western North Dakota have a much better chance of striking it rich from oil than they do playing the lottery, say the Stohlers. Some of their neighbors in the town of about 120, from bar tenders to Tupperware salespeople, have become "overnight millionaires" from oil royalty payments.

"It's the easiest money we've ever made," said Lorene Stohler, who worked for decades as a sales clerk at a small department store.

State and industry officials say North Dakota is on pace to set a state oil-production record this year, surpassing the 52.6 million barrels produced in 1984. A record number of drill rigs are piercing the prairie and North Dakota has nearly 4,000 active oil wells.

The drilling frenzy has led companies to search for oil using horizontal drilling beneath Parshall, a town of about 980 in Mountrail County, and under Lake Sakakawea, 180-mile-long reservoir on the Missouri River.

"I have heard, anecdotally, that there is a millionaire a day being created in North Dakota," said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

Kathy Strombeck, a state Tax Department analyst, said the number of "income millionaires" in North Dakota is rising.

The number of taxpayers reporting adjusted gross income of more than $1 million in North Dakota rose from 266 in 2005 to 388 in 2006, Strombeck said. The 2007 numbers won't be known until October, she said.

Bruce Gjovig, director of the University of North Dakota's Center for Innovation, said his informal survey estimates the number of new millionaires in Mountrail County, one of the biggest drilling areas of the Bakken, may be as many as 2,000 — or nearly a third of the county's population — in the next three to five years.

North Dakota's per capita income in 2007 was $36,846, ranking the state 30th in the nation and up from 42nd in 1997, said Richard Rathge, the state Data Center director and North Dakota demographer.

"The two main drivers are energy and agriculture income," Rathge said. The increasing wealth in the state from oil should push the average annual wage in North Dakota, he said.

The oil boom has spurred several "Jed Clampett-like" tales of ordinary folks getting rich, said Tom Rolfstad, the economic development director for the city of Williston.

Rolfstad said he hasn't spotted any Ferraris or Rolls Royces in town, though several people can afford them now.

"I'm seeing a lot more big, shiny gas-guzzling pickups," he said.

Several homes that cost more than a million dollars also are being built in Williston, he said. The community of about 12,500 people is perhaps best known as the hometown of NBA coach Phil Jackson.

Most people "don't want people to know how much money they got and they don't want to be tagged with being wealthy — they want to be themselves," Rolfstad said.

Oscar and Lorene Stohler said their newly found wealth hasn't changed them.

"We still know what tough times are," Oscar said. "We grew up in the Dirty '30s."

"We put our kids through college without that oil money," Lorene said.

The couple moved a few miles east to Beulah and paid cash for their new home, the first one they have owned. They have established trust accounts for their four children.

Lorene said the only thriftless purchase was an automatic sprinkler system for her flowers that surround the couple's new home. And Oscar bought a $1,000 ring for his wife to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

"We got enough now to buy new stuff," Lorene said, "but we like our old stuff."

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

(Sn)Obama: On gas prices, 'I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.'


Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Obama: On gas prices, 'I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.'

At first I thought the RNC was making too much of this Obama statement on gas prices but after furthre review, I think this has potential to be rather damaging to the Illinois senator:

Barack Obama: I think that... we have been slow to move in a better direction when it comes to energy usage. And the president, frankly, hasn't had an energy policy.* And as a consequence we've been consuming energy as if it's infinite. We now know that our demand is badly outstripping supply with China and India growing as rapidly as they are.

CNBC's John Harwood: So could the (high) oil prices help us?

Barack Obama: I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment. The fact that this is such a shock to American pocketbooks is not a good thing. But if we take some steps right now to help people make the adjustment, first of all by putting more money in their pockets, but also by encouraging the market to adapt to these new circumstances more rapidly, particularly U.S. automakers...

The obvious inference is that Obama doesn't object to $4 a gallon gas per se, just how rapidly the price increased. Most Americans hate it and want gas prices to go down as rapidly as possible. Obama wants to "help people to make the adjustment" to "new circumstances."

Is reducing the price of a gallon of gas a policy priority for Obama? Or does he, like Thomas Friedman, believe that the president should "guarantee people a high price of gasoline — forever."

Or perhaps he's like Andrew Sullivan, who regularly laments that "gas prices are too low," periodically forgetting to remind readers that he never learned how to drive (at least as of 2004).

* Says the man who voted for President Bush's energy bill.