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The Teal Integral Revolution Begins With OBAMA

Last post 07-25-2008, 2:41 PM by innerline. 269 replies.
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  •  04-19-2008, 5:00 PM 47384 in reply to 47378

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    Rocco:

    Good questions. And I appreciate the clarification.

    We were talking about Obama and what he will do for the country. I was questioning whether, based on his track record, he will do anything at all. And I asked, what are we waiting for him to do that we cannot already do, given the Constitutional framework we have.

    Let me build toward clarification.

    I am operating under a thesis that one of the greatest ills in America today is the absolute tidal wave of dishonesty and outright balderdash we are struggling to remain afloat of. And the salient feature in the communication of this dishonesty is potent levels of good old-fashioned b.s.

    I have watched over the last 8 years as we have failed to get honest and coherent and accurate explanations of anything our government is doing. There has been a massive and sustained program to feed us with irrelevant information mixed with happy slogans.

    I contend that never in the history of the American republic have we been fed such a rich diet of bullshit over the course of 8 years.

    One indicator of this is in the quality of the Executive appointments we have seen. Position after position, if you look at the qualifications and competency of the people who have been appointed to Executive level positions of enormous responsibility, you will see that they have been shills whose sole function is to fill a seat and occasionally utter inanities that keep us scratching our heads.

    Michael Brown as head of FEMA. Harriet Myers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Etc. Ring a bell?

    So what is b.s.? If you want to read a very compelling book (very digestible and under 100 pages), pick up Professor Harry Frankfurter's book entitled "On Bullshit." Professor Frankfurter points out that the true essence of "bullshit" is an assertion or statement which is designed to create an impression but which is not even a lie so much as it is excreta of a speaker who is fundamentally not even concerned to begin with whether what s/he says is true or false!

    Many people believe that "bullshit" is fancy lying. Professor Frankfurther points out that lying actually contains greater integrity. With a liar, s/he has taken the time to ascertain whether something is true or false and then, unfortunately, chooses to provide information that is false rather than true.

    But, with the bullshitter, s/he is either too lazy or too incapable of determining what is true or false, and so s/he utters statements that are simply designed to create an impression, caring not in the least whether the statements contain truth in any degree at all!

    So, how does this relate to Obama?

    I have listened to him and watched him and considered what he says. And you know what? Over and over I hear him utter loose generalizations that are simply designed to pluck the heartstrings of the group he is speaking to. And so, given my concern about integrity and relevant communication from our highest officials, I am wondering whether "the bullshit that he is uttering may have a different color - that is, it may be green bullshit instead of red bullshit, but, is it still just good old fashioned power politics-based bullshit?"

    And so I asked you - what specifically can we identify as tangible action that needs to be taken by our next President, and what specifically is Obama going to do to cause this action to move forward in a way that no one else has or will? And then I asked, if this action is something that needs to be done and should be done, what is preventing us (and our Congressmen) from doing it now?

    Subsequently, "Anothereye" provided the article by Lerner which makes an absolutely compelling case that the true relevance of the Obama phenomenon is in how he is enticing us to overcome certain poisonous forms of consciousness like "me-first based action." That is to say, Obama is like our benevolent shadow. We are seeing qualities in him that are good and that we have failed to recognize are within us already. And he is catalyzing us to act on our own highest impulses.

    So, at this point, I am thinking, regardless of whether Obama has a plan to do anything himself, and regardless of whether he is simply a green bullshit artist instead of a red one, the fact is that he is catalyzing massive amounts of inspired urges from us that will very possibly translate into tangible action on our part and on the part of our lawmakers. This alone may be the most significant feature of the Obama phenomenon.

    But, I am still not overwhelmed by his candor or the integrity of his message. Again, integrity means that you remain true to something that is integrated, such as the fidelity of the spoken word to something that can in some sense be characterized as true. With Obama, it is as if he is chanting to our chakras He is a smart guy who knows exactly what to say to whom.  

    But the fact is, he is enticing people to do what they themselves should be doing. And I am starting to think that at this point in our nation's historical development, that may be the most salient function of our Executive.

     

     

     

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  •  04-20-2008, 1:20 PM 47511 in reply to 47384

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    schalk,

    you've raised some interesting questions in this thread and have outlined a few things quite well. I agree with you that Obama is a "benevolent shadow," in that he represents (represents even if he is not) a higher potential: to look past me and my biases and work with all for all (or words to that effect). I want to add a few other reasons I find Obama different from McCain/Clinton.

    1. Muslim Outreach --- Our standing in the world is incredibly damaged, especially in many muslim regions of the world. A black man who was raised in a muslim community as a child (and Obama seems to stay in touch with his roots) seems more able to communicate and come to humane compromises than any Bush or Clinton or McCain could even dream of. The average politician "negotiates"; My sense is that Obama would "relate." I do have confidence he will talk to our "enemies" (again, we have to stop with that sort of polarizing thought altogether, another Obama strength) and help them to see that it is in everyone's interest to end political corruption and warring among factions, be they national or regional or ethnic or a mixture. This is part of a larger point that I feel is important (though perhaps not PC): Obama breaks through the white-centric image of American presidents.

    2. Global Obama --- Not only is it important that Obama breaks the precedents of past presidents, in style, appearance, etc., but it is important to remember how focused in on this election the world really is. I may have mentioned before an article out of India talking about how so many people in that region of the world are simply astonished at the fact that new-comer/outsider Obama is winning against a candidate appealing to dynastic rule/insider-status Clinton (or McCain). To me, it is really important that we, as a country, send a message to every third world country around: democracy is meant to oust the rich who don't serve the poor. For too long our country has been asleep, but so are many third world populations. For many around the world, it's unthinkable to vote against the grain like this, even if they wanted to: it's important to show that the collective can create change in a democracy. I will only also say that in my studying poverty in areas like India, political corruption (ie. patronage to the loyalist/well-connected/rich) is the primary cause so many across the world are poor.

    Neither of these are points that have anything to do with who Obama is or has done, persay, but they are real factors. Obama as president of the US will send a new message to the world, new image of America, and a new conception of what democracy can do. I am convinced. If anything, the rest of the world will be more preoccupied with the "first black president" title/image than we as Americans are. To me, it seems just right.

    That said, I do share in the integrity issues, but I feel that is a function of Obama's newness. He really isn't practiced at political mudslinging. He doesn't like having to go on the defensive. When you are a man who decides all voices need to be heard, you must expect to hear some radical voices along the way. But you also see everyone's redeeming qualities (unfortunately, the media doesn't focus on the church outreach or spiritual guidance of Wright, or the impassioned, if radical, patriotism of Ayers). I for one am not a man to disown a person outright on a mistakes of their past or the pecularities of their world-view: we're called to embrace everyone.

    Obama has seemed flustered lately. For all he says of not listening to the media and polls etc, it certainly must get to him. You mention his "loose generalizations" and I want to shout that all politics is loose generalizations. To me, it is almost a comedy to see they arguing over healthcare plans when both of them know it will be a mighty congressional undertaking (not just a presidential planning meeting) to get universal healthcare going, and it's going to be a tough and long road. We know that the oil companies aren't going to give up those profits easily. I will say that Obama's site has quite a bit of specific plans, though most of it, it must be admitted, are moreso goals than plans. It would be hard to knock a candidate for not having a plan before he or she really gets to assess the problem from the oval office chair. There is quite a bit there (as there also is on Hillary's site).

    Perhaps some of my reasonings are a bit oblique.

    tim.

    "identity which is not convulsive ceases to exist" ---breton

    Nine Ways Not to Talk about God
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  •  04-20-2008, 2:38 PM 47521 in reply to 47511

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    I think we're making a big mistake if we think that Obama is Teal and an especially big mistake if we think that Hillary Clinton has a lower kosmic address. A lot of people want to say that Obama is Teal and Hillary is Orange, which is exactly how Green will view the situation if it has learned the word "integral." But look: all the most liberal media organizations, all of them, support Obama with tremendous enthusiasm, if not fanatacism--The Huffington Post, Common Dreams, The Nation, most of MSNBC and CNN, most of the Washington Post, among many, many otherrs. In addition, Obama is drawing support from the most Green element of the democracic party, and I believe he seems to be getting all of the Green vote except for some women. He has all the endorsements of the most Green Democratic politicians--Daschel, Bradley, Kennedy, Kerry, Richardson, Carter, Kucinich (unofficially Pelosi and probably Dean). All this would not be happening if Obama were not sending out some seriously Green vibes, and truly he does.

    Also, Ken Wilber has indicated in his recent talk with the Green Jim Garrison that Hillary is Teal. He also made some sound of approval ("right") when the Garrison alledged that the opposite is true, but he always makes those sounds of approval, so I don't think we should pay attention to that. We have to listen to what he is saying, and Ken, in that interview, said that Hillary is intentionally talking some Orange to appeal to Reagan Democrats (while Garrison thinks she is Orange). Hillary was a chamipion of Green issues for many years and now she is integrating some Orange and Amber; now she is integrating some conservatism, while Green thinks she has regressed or perhaps was never really one of them at all. What Green (those who have learned the word "integral") does not want to admit is that integral politics means integrating some conservatism. It wants to make war with conservatism and pretend as though it's wanting to reach across the aisle, which is what Obama is doing. He would also not have as liberal a voting record as he does if he were truly integral; in fact, if he were integral and standing up for what he believed in he would have pissed off an awful lot of Green Democrats, which the Clintons have certainly done (though I am not saying everything that happened during the Clinton administration was necessarily Teal).  I do think, however, that Obama does show the beginnings of integral, so I am not saying that people who have claimed otherwise are entirely wrong. I think he is on his way to becoming Teal and might move quickly into Teal if the Teal Clintons were leading him in the White House but would have a much more difficult time making that transition as president surrounded by his mostly Green advisors and depending on Green ("the democratic wing of the democratic party") for his support.

    It is not easy to tell during a campaign who is coming from what value sphere because almost every candidate will try to appeal to as many different types of people as possible. Thus, Republicans will end up talking a little liberalism, and Democrats will end up talking a little conservatism. So we have to be careful about taking their words at face value. The Audacity of Hope is a campaign document, a political document, written with the intention of making him a popular politician for all Americans; thus, he included some conservative ideas. This does not make him integral; it just makes him a smart poltician, especially if he can convince people that he means it. But, as I said, the fact that he draws all of the most Green Democrats and journalists tells us that he is sending out some big Green vibes. He is speaking their language, and they know it.

    There are a few things in his platform that we can point to as looking a bit Green: he wants to double foreign aid (the very Green Michael Lerner who wants to increase foreign aid exponentially has given Obama is very enthusiastic endorsement); he wants to talk to Red dictators and try to persuade them with his mostly Green thinking; he has some Green social programs like his neigbhorhood projects--he does talk a little interior causation, but at the end of the day he is exterior. In his speech on race in Philadelphia, for example, he blamed poverty among African Americans on Jim Crow laws that ended decades ago. He said this was the case because men were ashamed of not being able to provide for their families in higher style and therefore left, but in fact there were fewer single family homes among African Americans when Jim Crow laws were in full swing (see this article for more). I don't think his perspective on that is entirely invalid, however. 

    I like Obama, and, as I said, I think you can point to a thing or two and say he is beginning to be integral, that there is hope for him in that regard, but I don't think we can call him Teal, especially when compared to people who are quite thoroughly Teal (and in fact Ken Wilber fans) like the Clintons. Green does not like integral. Green, in fact, dislikes integral almost as much as it dislikes Orange and Amber. Green does not like Orange and Amber, and since Amber and Orange are found in Teal as much as Green, Green will really not like Teal. This is why they go after Teal politicians like Tony Blair, Joe Lieberman, and the Clintons. That the overwhelming majority of Green America (I really don't know of a Green politician supporting Clinton, but there probably are a few supporting her for gender or political reasons) and Green Europe is enthuasiastically, even fanatically supporting Obama is the best evidence that he is indeed Green.

     

    Sorry if this scandalizes anyone,

    mm

     

     

     

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  •  04-20-2008, 7:01 PM 47543 in reply to 47511

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    Tim:

    Excellent observations!

    Let me share a few things that are foremost in my mind right now.

    I am thrilled about the Obama phenomenon and what it is doing to wake up and catalyze the higher consciousness of many of us. It is a reality. It is the best thing that has happened in a long, long time in America.

    The very fact that Obama is a serious contender for the Democratic nomination not only is today sending a message to Muslims around the world that a Muslim (or former Muslim) can be respected and even selected to wield power in the U.S., but more importantly, it is sending a similar message to potential black leaders in the U.S. This is refreshing and long overdue.

    Yes, around the world there are relatively awakened young leaders at this very moment who are seeing that America is seriously considering making Obama its President. And they are going to take from this the inspiration to do the same work in their own countries.

    It is already a net positive.

    But, now I want to focus attention on the election in November.

    I have a very serious suspicious that many people who have cheered for Obama are not going to vote for him when it comes time to break chad in the booth.

    Because here is the reality of America. And I am talking about the reality of the guy who installs my cable TV, and the guy who works at the local gas station, and the lady who has a management job at the local public works department, and the woman whose son is in the Coast Guard, etc. and etc. and etc.

    These people I see everyday. They are fairly quiet. They don't make good interviews. They don't write op-eds. But there is a butt-load of them out there.

    And here is how they see the world.

    Yes, it would be nice to make Muslims around the world respect us more. Yes, it would be nice if people around the world had more respect for our President. Yes, it would be nice if we did not drain the Treasury to operate a police force in Mesopotamia. Yes, it would be nice if we did something about global warming. And yes it would be nice if we could all get along.

    But, we are talking about the President of the United States. This is my country. It is the only country I have. It is not an experiment.

    So, what about the war? Who aided and abetted the plan to fly civil aircraft into two skyscrapers in New York? Whose religion and philosophy was used to fly a civil aircraft into the Pentagon building? In the absence of concrete information, better to err on the side of caution and assume that the 9/11 attacks were the tip of something larger.

    For many Americans, the basic idea is this: there are some things you do not negotiate on. For example, if you hear a scream and find a robber has climbed into your daughter's bedroom and is raping her, do you A. call the police, B. reason with him, or C. stab him in the neck with a butcher knife?

    Stabbing him is illegal! His guilt or innocence should be determined in a court of law. And you know what? We can talk about that after I clean his stains off my carpet. You see, this is the way many Americans look at the current state of affairs.

    I apologize for using such an extreme example. But, I am trying to convey the point that for many Americans, the world we are living in right now is not one where we are free to give full play to our more noble and generous tendencies. No, at this time, the better course is to be old-fashioned and do what we know needs to be done.

    For many, many Americans, the opinions of foreigners are not really that important. Whether the French or the Chinese or the elite liberals in the European Union like us or hate us or are ambivalent is no concern. It was not their daughter who was getting raped.

    For many Americans, there is still a living notion that for the last 100 years, every other country in the world has managed to foul its own nest in a hundred ways, and time and again, America was the only sober country that could be called upon to come in and set things right.

    There are only a handful of countries in the world that have cleaner hands than America over the last hundred years, countries like Norway.

    For many Americans, global warming is still a theory. We are not planting sandbags around Manhattan. We may or may not have to do something drastic tomorrow, let's wait and see.

    For many Americans, there is keen awareness that bad things were done to black people. They were treated like animals, bought and sold, subjugated, defined as inferior, and basically hosed. And for many Americans, they are keenly aware of the notion of payback. A lot of people in America are going to be unwilling to vote for Obama because it raises the very real potential that his Presidency will be one long exercise in payback. Obama had no problem getting his spiritual nourishment from the same Rev. Wright who clearly has not abandoned the notions of payback. In a pinch, when Obama is suffering during a dark night in the White House, and he calls Rev. Wright for guidance, what exactly will be the pointer? Most Americans are not convinced that they will like this.

    And for many Americans, the equation is pretty simple. Let's look at the material reality of our communities. Does your electricity work? Do you have an Internet connection? How long did you have to stand in line to buy food at the store? Etc. Things are not really that bad. Again, this is in the mind of the voters who have to punch chad in November.

    Every single person who voted for Bush last go-round is going to vote McCain in November. So let's not talk about them. When I refer to many Americans above, I am talking about people who voted Kerry.

    At lot of these people are going to vote McCain. Their thinking is that now is not the time to engage in visionary experiments.

    I saw a lot of old white guys in Iowa who came out for Obama in the primary. I am betting that a whole bunch of them are going to quietly vote McCain.

    And you know, I have heard something similar from a number of people of different backgrounds: it goes roughly like this. Remember when John McCain was sitting in a stinky hole getting attacked by rats as he tried to sleep in the jungle of Vietnam? His captors offered him the chance to go home to America. And there seems to be no dispute that what he told them was something to the effect of:

     "I'll accept your offer as soon as everyone of my comrades is given the same offer."

    They told him "no way," and he told them to go "fuck themselves." This earned him another whack with a stick.

    Now, I know this is a stale old chestnut. But for many, many Americans, the election may come down to something as simple as this - "would Hillary or Obama have taken such a straight-forward and principled approach?" Or would they have negotiated, accepted freedom, and then lied about what they did to get out?

    For many Americans, the times we are living in call for election of a guy like McCain who may be a moron. But he is the kind of guy who will act like an American when the rubber hits the road.

    So, I just want to be clear where my head is right now. I am thrilled about the Obama phenomenon. It is awakening potentials across the land that have been dormant too long. And it will likely result in tangible action in thousands of meaningful ways.

    But, I am also chiming in to remind us all that there are a whole bunch of old-fashioned and hard-headed people in America who are pretty dang practical about things. They see the big picture. They know who came to help mend the fence the last time around. They know who has a grudge. And they don't talk a lot. They just vote.

    And as for the foreign impression of America, let me just share this. I just returned to the U.S after living in Italy for four years. And what blew me away was, over and over I was approached by Italians in all kinds of settings who said something to the effect of "you Americans are taking a lot of abuse now, but I want you to know that we thank God for America."

    For many Americans, the real choice comes down to cutting through the bullshit and doing the simple thing that makes sense. That's why Hillary has never had a chance from the beginning. And it is why we are going to be blown away by the mandate that McCain gets in November.

    So, let's be clear, the Obama phenomenon is refreshing and it is awakening good things in the green and teal levels. But at the same time, we will be implementing these visions under a McCain administration.

    And I want to point out also, that I think we will be quite astonished at how bold McCain is in calling for change that neither Hillary or Obama would dare get behind.

    That's what I am seeing outside my door right now.  

     

     

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  •  04-20-2008, 8:05 PM 47550 in reply to 47521

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    MonkMonk:

    Thank you for your refreshing honesty!

    I just responded to Tim who had pointed out some very valid positives of the Obama phenomenon.

    My point was that the Americans I know are probably going to give McCain a huge mandate in November.

    It is not because they are stupid or mean or ignorant. It is just because they are very pragmatic and regard the current state of world affairs as a bad time to engage in a visionary experiment.

    In a sense, Obama is the living embodiment of green vision communicated in a pluralistic way.

    What many Americans know is this: red dictators are red. And to deal with red, you need to come in hard with a red message that has orange insinuations. That is all that they will understand.

    In the eyes of a red dictator, green is simply saying: "I am ready to let you crush me."

    Obama has been winning his whole life with a green message. It got him into the Editorship of Harvard Law Review (which many people may not realize is, for a lawyer, the supreme ultimate in student qualifications). He got into Congress with a green platform mixed with a red line to his core in Chicago. But, Americans know that most of the issues we are dealing with will not be solved with a green message.

    You want to get results from the communist Party of China? Preach a green line and they will laugh their asses off. You better come in with an orange message mixed with deep red follow through.

    I'm sure that Obama will engage China on Tibet. You know what China thinks of Tibet? Tibet is a land and a culture. The land they have managed to bring under control. The culture is still under the sway of the Dalai Lama. They are working on this.

    What is the problem with the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism? Well, for starters, and I am speaking as a "red" leader in China, somewhere around the 17th century the Western world began to insinuate inself into China, and over a period of about 300 or so years, China went from being an integrated and glorious nation to being the butt boy of everyone. The national anthemn of China right now is "Won't Be Fooled Again."

    So, this Chinese leader that Obama is going to talk green to is someone who is confident that the best thing that ever happened to Tibet was for it to be brought under the materialistic leadership of China. Because the reason China was not prepared to deal with the Western onslaught was because its people had become infatuated with spirit and metaphysics and trivia and had forgotten how to "seek real results from reality."

    So, what I am seeing from Obama is having enormously positive domestic ramifications. People are audaciously giving life to their "hope" again.

    This is nice. But most Americans are going to vote in a more realistic way that recognizes that our foreign relations involve dialogue with nations that are not at a level where green "hope" has any meaning.

    And Hillary has the same problem. There is no denying that the specter of a Hillary Presidency is one that will involve sexual politics, pay back for women, and a general green light for a feminist agenda. Most Americans know this and are not ready for that type of domestic distraction.

    So, in 2012, the Democrats need to find someone who owns a gun, will stab a robber in the neck, will not preach to the Chinese about morality, will kick the corporations in the ass without gutting them, and who practices spirituality in a way that translates into American style action. And it will help if that person has done one or two things in their life that reflect some kind of physical courage. It may sound stupid, but that is what drives a lot of American voters.

    As I mentioned to Tim, I am thinking that John McCain won himself the presidency 40 years ago when he told his Vietcong captors to go fuck themselves when they offered him freedom that did not include his comrades in the hole.

    This is the bottom-line tone I am seeing out there today. I will be stunned if I am wrong.

     

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  •  04-20-2008, 11:37 PM 47568 in reply to 47550

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    Schalk, great points! And very nice to meet you!

    Yes, there would be a positive thing or two about an Obama presidency--much of the world would like us more, at least for a few weeks; African Americans would be happier, at least for a few weeks. Then what? Then everyone would begin to see that Obama is as little prepared to be president as he was to be a senator. It was fine that he didn't know what to do when he got to the senate and that he interviewed a full third of the senate to ask their advice--that's wonderful; it's just what he should have done. But there's no time for that when he's president, a job that's a thousand times more complicated, and besides, who would he ask? His mostly Green advisors? Dashel? Richardson? Obama-Richardson is such a frightengly Green ticket it makes me sick just to think about it. Just a horrible time for a Green administration. Do you know that Richardson won't even use Purell hand sanitizer like the other politicians because he thinks it might offend voters?

    You're right: Obama is just about as pure, living embodiment of Green as--only . . . it's not even healthy Green. There's this confusion over his racial identity and heritage. He doesn't know who he is. He's still trying to find himself. So we hear the Georgia accent in this rally; something else on Meet The Press, and when he talks about Jesus does it not sound as though he's taking it on a mythic level? Also there's magenta--he played basketball first thing in the morning the day he won some caucus and he's done so ever since on election day. I don't see what's visionary or experimental about him--it's just your basic stock and trade Green: "And every child, no matter what color skin . . . All Americans, black, white, Latino, Native American . . . " This is what gets the crowd cheering. He could have said most of it in 1968. It's still valid and important, but there are so many big and important issues beyond this. So many complex issues.

    I have been a McCain fan for a long while, and you might well be right: a McCain presidency might well be what we are looking at. And that wouldn't be so bad, especially, as I suspect, he isn't quite as Amber or neocon as he is letting on right now. Maybe he wouldn't maintain all the Bush tax cuts, which I doubt are good for growth; maybe he would appoint Orange judges rather than the Amber ones he is promising. I certainly hope he's been crossing his fingers, anyway. I think it's been proven you can get away with doing the opposite of what you promised during the campagin.  Still, he's not the candidate he was in 2000: he is older, slower, and more comprimised. Still, he's a tough old guy, not to proud to go back on a campaign promise, and not too upset if people get mad at him. So there could be a lot worse things than a McCain presidency, for sure. I've been a big fan. KW has said that integral is often faced with an interesting choice on election day: between Orange and Green. I would probably take Green over Amber, but in this time, in this election, with these candidates--if it is McCain vs. Obama--there's a good argument for McCain. (Also, I am really not happy with the incredible hypocrisies of the Obama campaign. For example: accusing the Clintons of being racially insensitive while at the same time accusing them of injecting race into the campaign. That was a masterstroke, really, and the press loved it: the Clintons were racially insensitive and they were injecting race into the campaign--they had so much to gain from that strategy! Surely they had planned it all along!)

    However, Hillary is awfully tough. She's proven that. Perhaps she would be tough enough in a really tight situation. Of course it's not likely she would be tough as McCain, but Hillary has got at least a couple of stages on McCain cognition wise, and there are some awfully complex problems out there--the debt, global warming, Iraq. I just don't know if McCain is sophisticated enough, while Hillary is as sophisticated a politician as we have--she reads KW! And about 99% of the people on integral forums support Obama. Hmmmm . . . It's very nice to meet you, Schalk!

    With regard to Red dictators, which would you rather have, a Teal woman or a Green man? Isn't Hillary tougher than Obama, Daschel, and co. all put together? That's an interesting point about Obama winning all his life with a Green message. Quite true, but it's looking like that and the African American vote might not be enough to get him the nomination--or I am just hoping outloud? Is there not an immense double standard afoot? Not only would no other politician be able to get away with something like 20 years with Rev. Wright (though it is impossible to find a perfect parralel for that, I realize), but he can't even be asked questions about it without people declaring that there is some sort of racism going on, with the media taking this kind of charge seriously. In many ways this has been a dissapointing primary--we've seen just how much Green hates Teal (Hillary) and how any Teal candidate is going to have to go through the same conservative-liberal meatgrinder, though of course Hillary would have it worse than most.

    One thing I'm not seeing yet is that Hillary will engage in payback for women. I have seen her as an embodiment of feminism rather than a crusader for it. What indication is there that she is a feminist crusader or would engage in payback? One downside for her, of course, is that Amber hates her so much, and the neocons aren't too far behind, but I would be willing to put up with that. There might be some payback in that area, some payback for Whitewater and Ken Starr. But not really; I think she knows she couldn't get away with anything too blatant there. But Nancy Pelosi has got to be saying her prayers . . . :)

    I will say right here, though, that I am no prognisticator, apparently: I thought Gore would win in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. You're quite likely right about McCain in 2008, but Clinton-Obama would be hard to beat.

     

    mm

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  •  04-21-2008, 12:33 PM 47681 in reply to 47568

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    MM:

    It is very uplifting to read the intelligent commentary you provide. Thank you.

    One of my dispositions is a strong emphasis on form over substance. Here is what I see in America today: enormous complexity, richness, sophistication, brilliance, and insight. Operating in a junky way through junky ethics.

    What I see is this: imagine a dinner party. There is every kind of excellent food. Salmon from Alaska. Good wine from California. Lobster from Maine. Etc. But it is prepared and served in a very unskillful way. And the dinner guests are bloated and talking about money and not tasting their food and the kids are in the other room listening to Slayer on their iPods and there is nothing exquisite happening. America is a bloaty nation that needs simple discipline on restoring good form.  

    In almost every facet of our national life, the surface is brilliant but the platform is rotten.

    Here is what I am talking about. Let's take a Hillary Presidency.

    A. She is smart, has great ideas, has great altitude personally, is probably gracious enough to hold out an olive branch to the Neo-Cons, and is a very decent person.

    But, there is no denying the fact that she has been a consummate manipulator and liar.

    Her surface is outstanding, but she represents machination and slipperiness. The American virtue is to speak plainly, be honest, and hold fast to solid principles regardless of self-interest.

    There must be an inner core that holds true regardless of the short-term interests. I want a President who embodies very simple virtues and lives by them consistently through discipline.

    I want a President with a less developed cognitive line and a more developed moral courage line.

    1. I cannot feel good about serving on a ship of state where the captain is a bullshit artist. It hurts the morale of the entire crew.

    B. The President is elected to serve as the Executive. The President is not elected so that her husband can serve as a proxy Executive.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Bill Clinton will play an active role in the Presidency. But we did not elect Bill Clinton.

    The problem is one of form.

    2. I cannot feel good about serving a ship of state whether the captain is secretly getting navigational signals from another officer. Every person who has served at sea knows that there can be only one captain and s/he is responsible for the ship.

    C. For better or for worse, Hillary arouses more ire and passionate venom than any other candidate in the field. There are racists who will probably give Obama a chance before those who hate Hillary will give her a chance.

    A Hillary Presidency will be four years of dogged partisan domestic warfare. The right will raise a shitstorm the likes of which we have never seen in the country. It will make the run on Bill Clinton seem like a friendly game of tag in the park.

    3. I cannot feel good about serving a ship of state where our captain's enemies are already laying mines and programming missiles to blow us to high heaven.

    I will be perfectly honest with you. The day that Hillary Clinton became a "New Yorker" for her Senate run was the day I knew we would be where we are.

    The greatest legacy she could leave this country right now is to say:

    "I have decided to do something for the good of the nation. It is against my personal interests. And honestly, I have never done anything like this in my life. It is hard.

    I am dropping out of the race. I am confident that I would be an excellent President.

    But I know that there are tens of thousands of members of what I like to call the "vast right wing conspiracy" who will devote every resource at their disposal over the next four years to destroy me. Many of you laugh when I call them a conspiracy. But the simple fact is that it is a conspiracy. They are in agreement on a concerted plan of action. And the important point is - it is a vast conspiracy. There are a lot of them. And they have a voice and the money to be heard. And they will, as we used to say in Arkansas, be all over me like you know what. And this internal warfare will harm our country and will weaken our position.

    For the good of the country, I ask you to support Barack Obama. He is a good man. He is inexperienced but there are many experienced and competent persons who are ready to work with him in his administration. He will learn quickly. The country will do well.

    I do not understand why I have attracted so much vitriol. But it is a reality and you as my fellow Americans do not deserve the fallout that will poison our national debates and distract us from important work.

    Please do what is right for the nation in November. I will, in turn, do everything I can as a Senator to further legislation that is just and wise."

    Again, it is the form. Americans need an Executive at this time who will speak plainly to them and in a way that drips with truthfulness. This message will resonate throughout the land and it will become the form that prevails.

    We need principled granularity in our Executive. Nothing fancy. Just simple principle.

    With McCain there is no tomorrow. He has nothing to gain at this point. No one has the kind of freedom he enjoys to do the right thing regardless of political consequence.

     

     

     

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  •  04-21-2008, 2:21 PM 47691 in reply to 47681

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    Glad I checked in on the forum today. Lots of interesting perspectives.  My biggest problem with a McCain presidency is that I'm convinced unless he pulled heavily from among Hillary camp Democrats for cabinet members, policy wonks, ambassadors, etc., the country would continue to be stuck in unhealthy versions of amber and orange.

    McCain's heart might be in the right place, but to me he seems to have the potential to be manipulated by the same folks who have made GWB's presidency a disaster on all fronts. I have great difficulty believing that the "100 years of Republican rule" folks will give McCain any slack in making appointments that don't fit their ideology.

    As is the case with most of us humans, McCain still has an ego (self with a small s) - and where there is an ego, there are ways to manipulate it into thinking there is something to be gained from actions that most of us on this forum would not label the "right thing".  His changing of positions from ones that seemed to be made from the orange/some green altitude back to ones that are more reflective of unhealthy amber give me pause. Which are his "real" positions?  If elected, will the pressure to fulfill the expectations of those whose support he is courting win out over his willingness to be unpopular for violating those expectations?  He seems to want to be seen as Mr. Nice Guy and a Maverick.  It would be interesting to know what drives that. In my opinion, neither are high on the list of qualities that make for a good president . Reminds me too much of what we have now.
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  •  04-21-2008, 4:10 PM 47698 in reply to 47691

    Re: How Only the President Will Solve Our Problems

    Schalk, thank you. I am also enjoying your commentary.

    1) What evidence do you have the Hillary Clinton is a manipulator and a liar? I know this is how the Obama campaign has attempted to paint her from the beginning (in 2007, as they began painting themselves as running a positive campaign that was above negative attacks) and that the Republicans have been portraying her this way for years, but what evidence can you provide and is it appreciably different from the politics of McCain (McCain 2008) and Obama? I don't think the Bosnia remarks are an example of lying at all but misremembring. She wrote about the trip in her book, without mention of snipers, so she would have to be incredibly stupid to then lie about it and think no one would notice. It's a little troubling that she misrembered it that way, but I don't know of any other time that she has done that.

    2) Ethics and honesty are very important to me, the most important things--ethics in government may be the single most important issue of this campaign, in my opinion, because so much else depends on an honest, corruption-free government, but I also wonder whether we sometimes hold politicians to the wrong standards. They didn't make the system; they inherited it, so they have to navigate their way through it, and that will always look a little "slippery" if we don't see it from their perspective. That said, I am sure the Clintons, Obama, and McCain all could have done better in this regard. I've always thought McCain is an honest, straight-forward person and may well be the most purely motivated of the three--it seems to me that this is probably the case--but he's not entirely immune from "slipperiness," and I don't know that his ethics can surpass his cognition. As I understand it, cognition will lead the way there. Ethics depends on perspectives seen to some extent, and Hillary will see many more--Green and Teal--so I think she is likely, all things considered, to do better in that department overall. However, men, as KW writes in Integral Sprituality, tend to care more about ethics, and McCain is certainly no exception and would likely pay more attention to government reform. Obama may also be a little more interested in that than Hillary Clinton, but it does seem that his own ambition leads the way (a number of commentators have noted this since his days as an Illinois politician). But again, without that ambition, someone with ambition would likely have taken his place, so I think we have to be careful about the standards by which we judge politicians. We have to consider the system they are working with in and that it is not of their own making, though of course than can try to modify it.

     

    3) I don't see a problem with having Bill Clinton has an advisor. I think Hillary is her own person, for one thing, and differs with Bill now and then, but every president will have favored advisors that they turn to and who influence them. It may be one or it may be many, but they will be there (some have surely been more independant than others). George Bush has Dick Cheney, Nixon had Kissenger, Carter had Bryzensiki (sp?), Bush had Baker and others, Reagan had many who simply took over when he napped. I don't see that having an advisor with a famous face is in any way wrong. In fact, I think it would be an immense asset to an administration.

    4) It would be ideal to have a candidate that the right wing liked, but it doesn't bother me that much if they hate Hillary and make war on Hillary. They will make war on any democrat, for one thing, and I actually think there is good reason to believe the war on Hillary would be far, far less than some people think it would be and far, far less than it was during thye Clinton administration. Many people have noted how she has made friends across the aisle as a Senator, and her positions have been centrist, not liberal. I heard one conservative commentator, Ann Coulter, say that she would support Hillary over McCain because Hillary is more conservative. I don't like to quote Ann Coulter or anything, but you get the picture: I think they realize she is a different person than they thought she was in the 90s. She said she didn't want to be a housewife baking cookies in 92 or something, and Amber has never forgiven her for it. Well, maybe they can just get over it. I think in terms of what she actually does she would be less galling for conservatives than the Green Obama.

     

    I do generally agree with you, however, that McCain is the one who most wants to "do the right thing" and reform the way things are done; I just don't think Hillary is all that far behind. Obama talks like he is, but I have the feeling that he will be more self-concerned than any of them.

     

    BernadetteM, thank you for your great comments!

     I agree with you, how is McCain going to have a government that is appreciably different from G. W. when he's drawing from basically the same pool of people? Would he appoint any Democrats? He has worked with Democrats like Leiberman and Feingold--and I do believe he is a cut above all other Republicans--but I think it would be another Republican administration. Perhaps more like H. W. Bush than G. W., but still just another Republican administration. I have no doubt that it would be less Amber and less neocon than G. W., but I wonder if it would be that different. Ideologically, McCain is a little different in some respects (not in terms of economic policy, it seems, which is a really big one), but he would have to please his fellow Republicans and appoint some neocon types and some Amber types here or there. I don't think it would be nearly as sophisticated as a Clinton presidency. He seems to be missing the perspective on Iraq that the Democrats see (Clinton, Obama, Edwards): that the U.S. presence in Iraq, at least the way it is now configured, could actually be prolonging the conflict. Still, it's not bad that he's the Republican nominee rather than Huckabee or Romney or anyone else.

     

    mm

     

     

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  •  04-22-2008, 11:19 AM 47781 in reply to 47698

    Hopeful About Hillary?

    MM:

    You make a good point in reminding us that the male perspective tends to give more weight to ethics as rules.

    Female Voice: If there are any women who would care to join this discussion, I would love to hear comments about this issue "from a different voice."  Talk about Hillary vs. McCain using a female voice and values. That would be really valuable right now.

    McNasty: I can crow on about what a courageous and principled guy McCain is but I have heard a number of females remark that they don't like him and they can't put their finger on why. Let's remember that he was known as "McNasty" as a young rabblerouser. I think one never quite loses the traits that earn such a nickname, you know?

    One woman mentioned his jaw and said he looks like a chipmunk!

    Another woman had harsh comments about McCain's spouse - she sort of looks like a ghost.

    The Evidence: OK, you asked me about evidence on Hillary and her lying. I confess, I have not been entrusted with the powers to personally go out and subpoena the evidence and study it myself. It is all hearsay. Based on what I actually know, I would have to acquit her of the charge of being a liar. Not because I believe the charge is invalid, but because there is reasonable doubt based on what I know.

    But I am not ready for the case to go to the jury.

    1. Testimony before Congress: the approximate number of times Hillary has testified under oath before Congress and said "I don't recall or I don't know - 250. I suspect that at the moment she uttered each of those answers under oath, on many occasions she did recall and did know and chose to lie about it.

    2. Birds of a Feather: Number of close business partners of Hillary who have gone to prison for fraudulent activities that related to Hillary's interests: 3. Remember Webster Hubbell? He was Hillary's mentor and ethics counselor in the Rose Law Firm. An aspiring President should be scrupulous about keeping the right company.

    3. Conscience: Mr. and Mrs. Clinton set up a land scam resort known as Whitewater using sleazy financing. Many of the senior citizens who invested ended up losing their property. Shall we look closely at Hillary's explanations of this episode? An aspiring President would stay a mile away from a deal like this.

    4. Insider Trading: Two months after the Whitewater scam began, Hillary invested $1,000 in cattle futures. Days later the futures were worth $5,000 and she ultimately cleared nearly $100,000 on the deal. How does this happen legally using public information? It simply does not happen.

    4. Conspiracy to Manufacture Evidence: Shall we get into the role of Hillary in the creation and "discovery" of 27 torn up scraps of paper found in Vince Foster's briefcase which provide an innocent explanation for his "suicide."

    5. What Is "Is?":Congressional investigators searched for two years to locate Hillary's Rose Law Firm billing records. They were ultimately found in a back room in the White House. Hillary explained that she had "no idea" how they "had gotten there."

    I believe her on this. You see, in Hillary's mind, if she did not have first hand perception of a human being physically placing the records in the specific location they were found, then legally she is justified in saying that she had no idea of how "they got there." Because "how they got there" can be legally construed as "the physical sequence of events that led to their placement in a particular location." Since she was not present when the records "got there," she speaks truthfully when she says she has "no idea how they got there."

    Actually, come to think of it, I think she may have at least "some idea" how they got there. It would involve a human being physically transporting them through space. But, let's not quibble like that, right?

    America is ready for a President who is not interested in sinking to this level. Or to put it another way, American is ready for a non-lawyer to be President.

    This is because American is sinking under monumental layers of bullshit. Our next President needs to brush off our collective memory of what it means to be principled.

    6. Oversights: Hillary held a Hollywood fundraiser in 2000 for her Senate campaign. There seems to be little doubt that she failed to report nearly $1 million in contributions. I believe she called it an oversight or something like that. In the world of election law, this is the equivalent of tax fraud. An aspiring President should not be a person who has 20 different episodes in their life all of which have under similar circumstances and evidence landed others in jail.

    7. Levels Within Levels: Are you aware of the Fellowship, the evangelical Capitol Hill bible study group that has included such "nut-jobs" as Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum? The group believes in a spiritual war on behalf of Christ. There is evidence that Hillary has been an active participant in this club. Has she infiltrated it? What exactly is she doing in there? And is anything she does in there sincere and honest or are those concepts so hopelessly irrelevant to her?

    Again and again, you will find people who are close or were close to Hillary saying something to the effect of "she is absolutely unconcerned with any notion of fidelity to the spoken word or sincerity." These notions to her are simply sophomoric impediments to getting important work done.  

    8. The Emir: Let's talk about the Emir of Dubai. Recently, Hillary was before the cameras condemning DP World, the Dubai government-owned company that was seeking to take over management of some American ports. At the same time, Bill was advising the Emir to hire Bill's former press secretary to push the deal through. When confronted, Hillary said she had "no idea" that Bill had any involvement in the DP world deal.

    OK. And how to explain that in 2003 Hillary owned assets under $4 million, while in 2005 she was claiming assets worth over $10 million. Book sales?

    MM, I know the truth is probably more complicated than we can ever hope to grasp. But the above nuggets are merely examples.

    Hillary would seem to be Dick Cheney's green sister.

    When we say that Hillary is a liar, we may need to be more precise. What we may need to say is this: when an honest and truthful explanation is order, Hillary is perpetually found providing answers that can only be regarded as honest and truthful if you are willing to quibble down to levels of definitional nicety such as was demonstrated in Bill's infamous "it depends on what 'is' is" statement.

    To put it another way, I think America is ready for a non-lawyer President. Someone who abides by both the law and a code that is larger than technical truth.

    You mention that you have no problem with having Bill around as an advisor. You pick your advisors and you live with the baggage they bring. The President's spouse cannot be a criminal if he is also to be a close advisor. That spouse cannot have earth-shattering piles of conflicts of interest. The spouse should represent clean hands, virtue, and exemplary ethical conduct.  

    Integral is the forum. Integral is what we need in leader. The moral line should be lit up as high as the cognitive line. Hillary is just not there. This is not a complex issue in my mind.  

    For all of Obama's faults, at least I can say: I would want all Americans to manifest most of the qualities that he manifests.

    With Hillary, I can say, in our simple personal relationships we already instinctively frown on and dissassociate ourselves from people who act the way she has acted. I can think of very few qualities of Hillary that I would tolerate in my children. And this ultimately may be what the election of a President should be about.   

     

     

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  •  04-22-2008, 3:10 PM 47798 in reply to 47781

    Re: Hopeful About Hillary?

    MM:

    So just to keep talking about principles. Here is another very telling episode that epitomizes the Hillary approach. You may not have a problem with it, I don't know. For me, it is crucial. America should not be led by someone who thinks like this.

    About a month ago, Hillary was asked the following:

    Last question Senator. Some people look at the current state of the delegate counts and say the only way you can win the nomination is at the convention, with a convention where delegates move around perhaps, and you'll make your case side by side. Are you comfortable if that's the way you win the nomination, going all the way to Denver and winning it there? Is that a comfortable outcome for you?

    She said: "You know it's the same thing for Senator Obama. Neither of us will reach the number of delegates needed. So I think that that is, you know, the reality for both of our campaigns. And all delegates have to assess who they think will be the strongest nominee against McCain and who they believe would do the best job in bringing along the down-ballot races and who they think would be the best President. And, from my perspective, those are all very legitimate questions, and as you know so well, Mark, every delegate with very few exceptions is free to make up his or her mind however they choose. We talk a lot about so-called pledged delegates, but every delegate is expected to exercise independent judgment."

    So are there rules set and are they really rules and must or should they be followed?

    At this point Hillary is suggesting that the primary results are optional.

    Specifically, she says "every delegate is free with very few exceptions to make up his or her mind however they choose."

    She is right. The lawyer in her is correct. Delegates are free to do whatever they want. They are free to vote for Mao. They are free to dance wildly in the halls of the convention center. They are free to go to Maui instead of attending the convention. She is using the word "free" in the sense of having the independent ability to act in a certain way.

    But if honor and fidelity mean anything, then ... they are not free to make up their own minds however they choose.

    But this is quibbling with the meaning of what they are free to do. And she knows it. And is doing it because it serves her interests.

    She should never have taken this position. It should have never even occured to her to suggest the notion that a new primary can be held at the Holiday Inn before the Democratic Convention. A person with principal would never have made this statement, period.

    There are some things worse than losing the Democratic nomination. And suggesting that ordinary citizens across the land stop honoring pledges is one of them.

    The principle is this: the primaries are meant to bring forth delegates with a pledge. And a pledge is meant to be be honored. And if she doesn't have a problem with people breaking pledges instead of honoring them, then she needs to find work as a contract attorney instead of as the President.

    Now, if a pledged Obama delegate were presented with overwhelming evidence on the eve of the convention that Obama is actually a spy, or that he runs a child porn shop, or any other absolutely show-stopping facts that were not know at the time of the primary, then yes, common sense would dictate breaking the pledge. But it is nearly impossible to conceive of such compelling facts emerging.

    Consider this discussion about the Democratic primary in PA:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2189568

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  •  04-22-2008, 7:32 PM 47811 in reply to 47798

    Re: Hopeful About Hillary?

    1) Testimony before congress, Hillary saying "no" 250 times--this is quite meaningless without knowing what the questions are. Each person says "I don't know" quite a bit, and Hillary having been questioned a lot would have had occassion to say it a lot. To interpret those "I don't knows" as lies is quite a stretch.

    2) Birds of a feather--really! She's known tens of thousands of people! Maybe there are simply a lot of crooked or somewhat crooked businessmen. The one's closest to the Clintons would get a very close look, right? Way, way closer than everyone else. That a few of them were found to be crooked doesn't mean the Clinton's partners were more crooked than other people's partners because no one looked at other people's partners that closely. And of course it doesn't mean that the Clintons themselves are crooked.

    4) Whitewater!!!! C'mon! They spent tens of millions of dollars on that thing and still couldn't pin anything on the Clintons. In fact, it was a conservative smear job from the beginning.

    5) A good investment  doesn't mean something crooked happened. That's entirely circumstantial, and it does happen to a lot of lucky people, just like a lot of people put money. You need more than that if you are going to declare she's a liar. And if it were a sure thing, why wouldn't she have put $10,000 on it?  

    6) Vince Foster's scraps of paper and Hillary--now Hillary is like one of  Nixon's plumbers or something? She's actually like one of those agents, planting scraps of paper in Foster's briefcase? This is far out stuff.

     

    7) Billing records--they probably played some hide and seek with those, but was there anything in them to incriminate her?

    8) Oversights--I don't know anything about that, but if it is such a big deal why haven't we heard about it in this campaign? They've brought up everything else. I really doubt they were trying to pull off some tax evasion. Wouldn't they have a lot to lose by that? Would it be worth $1 million to them?

     

    9) Rick Santorum's group--this is a wierd allegation. Maybe she's trying to reach across the aisle. You're trying to suggest some nefarious business there? Maybe she was just trying to make friends with a fellow senator with whom she would have to work.

    10) The Emir--the Clintons aren't even living in the same house most of the time, and they have different staffs who often don't communicate and often disagree. Maybe Bill and Hillary simply disagreed on this. Or maybe Bill was trying to help his friend get some business. Or maybe they were trying to play both ends of the field--they would want to stay friends with the Emir, right? But again, this doesn't point out to anything nefarious on the part of Hillary.

    11) Yes, I think book sales and speaking events probably earned her the money from that period. She's earned many millions since then; there's nothing unusual about that.

    12) With regard to the delegates, she wasn't actually breaking the rules by suggesting that. So you may disagree with the rules, but you can't say that Hillary is lying when she says something that is in accord with them.

    You weren't able to name a single instance of lying on the part of Hillary Clinton. Also, I think if you look at Obama's past, including in this election, that he is not exactly a role model, quite far from it. For example, he and his campaign accused b