Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Necessity to Read Alinsky

We have heard much in the last few months about Saul Alinsky and his book Rules for Radicals. Mostly we've heard how important the book and rules have been in shaping the lives of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama into radical Communists hell bent on destroying America.

The fact is, even though Alinsky wrote Rules for Radicals as a primer for social and governmental overthrow through non-violent means, the rules themselves are neutral and can be used by any polical stripe. The radical rules are the equivalent of Chinese 6th Century Art of War by Sun Tzu, and The Prince by Machiavelli of 16th Century Italy.

Rules for Radicals are the rules with which the Democrats are playing 21st Century politics. Democrat radicals have chosen the battlefield, they have the high ground, the opponent is confused and in disarray; the advantage is theirs. We, Conservatives and Republicans, must play catch-up and to do so we must understand the rules of the game.

As a quick intro, this review from a radical Canadian organization may help.

Rules for Radicals

In 1971, Saul Alinsky wrote an entertaining classic on grassroots organizing titled Rules for Radicals. Those who prefer cooperative tactics describe the book as out-of-date. Nevertheless, it provides some of the best advice on confrontational tactics. Alinsky begins this way:

What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.
His “rules” derive from many successful campaigns where he helped poor people fighting power and privilege

For Alinsky, organizing is the process of highlighting what is wrong and convincing people they can actually do something about it. The two are linked. If people feel they don’t have the power to change a bad situation, they stop thinking about it.

According to Alinsky, the organizer — especially a paid organizer from outside — must first overcome suspicion and establish credibility. Next the organizer must begin the task of agitating: rubbing resentments, fanning hostilities, and searching out controversy. This is necessary to get people to participate. An organizer has to attack apathy and disturb the prevailing patterns of complacent community life where people have simply come to accept a bad situation. Alinsky would say, “The first step in community organization is community disorganization.”

Through a process combining hope and resentment, the organizer tries to create a “mass army” that brings in as many recruits as possible from local organizations, churches, services groups, labor unions, corner gangs, and individuals.

Alinsky provides a collection of rules to guide the process. But he emphasizes these rules must be translated into real-life tactics that are fluid and responsive to the situation at hand.

Rule 1: Power is not only what you have, but what an opponent thinks you have. If your organization is small, hide your numbers in the dark and raise a din that will make everyone think you have many more people than you do.

Rule 2: Never go outside the experience of your people. The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.

Rule 3: Whenever possible, go outside the experience of an opponent. Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.

Rule 4: Make opponents live up to their own book of rules. “You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”

Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. “If your people aren’t having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.”

Rule 7: A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues.

Rule 8: Keep the pressure on. Use different tactics and actions and use all events of the period for your purpose. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this that will cause the opposition to react to your advantage.”

Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

Rule 10: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Avoid being trapped by an opponent or an interviewer who says, “Okay, what would you do?”

Rule 11: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, polarize it. Don’t try to attack abstract corporations or bureaucracies. Identify a responsible individual. Ignore attempts to shift or spread the blame.

According to Alinsky, the main job of the organizer is to bait an opponent into reacting. “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.”
I have ordered a copy of the out of print Rules for Radicals from Alibris Books which has copies used and like new for as little as $8.77. Everyone should have a copy and read it. The reviewer above says it is "entertaining." Sean Hannity recommends it.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The More Things Change, the More Things Remain the Same

Proving once again there is nothing new under the Sun, P.J. O'Rourke delivered the following remarks in 1993. Substitute the appropriate 2009 names of people and places, and the story remains the same.

The Liberty Manifesto
by P.J. O'Rourke

The Cato Institute has an unusual political cause -- which is no political cause whatsoever. We are here tonight to dedicate ourselves to that cause, to dedicate ourselves, in other words, to . . . nothing.

We have no ideology, no agenda, no catechism, no dialectic, no plan for humanity. We have no "vision thing," as our ex-president would say, or, as our current president would say, we have no Hillary.

All we have is the belief that people should do what people want to do, unless it causes harm to other people. And that had better be clear and provable harm. No nonsense about second-hand smoke or hurtful, insensitive language, please.

I don't know what's good for you. You don't know what's good for me. We don't know what's good for mankind. And it sometimes seems as though we're the only people who don't. It may well be that, gathered right here in this room tonight,are all the people in the world who don't want to tell all the people in the world what to do.

This is because we believe in freedom. Freedom -- what this country was established upon, what the Constitution was written to defend, what the Civil War was fought to perfect.

Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It's not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights -- the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery -- hay and a barn for human cattle.

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.

So we are here tonight in a kind of anti-matter protest -- an unpolitical undemonstration by deeply uncommitted inactivists. We are part of a huge invisible picket line that circles the White House twenty-four hours a day. We are participants in an enormous non-march on Washington -- millions and millions of Americans not descending upon the nation's capital in order to demand nothing from the United States government. To demand nothing, that is, except the one thing which no government in history has been able to do -- leave us alone.

There are just two rules of governance in a free society:

* Mind your own business.
* Keep your hands to yourself.

Bill, keep your hands to yourself. Hillary, mind your own business.

We have a group of incredibly silly people in the White House right now, people who think government works. Or that government would work, if you got some real bright young kids from Yale to run it.

We're being governed by dorm room bull session. The Clinton administration is over there right now pulling an all-nighter in the West Wing. They think that, if they can just stay up late enough, they can create a healthy economy and bring peace to former Yugoslavia.

The Clinton administration is going to decrease government spending by increasing the amount of money we give to the government to spend.

Health care is too expensive, so the Clinton administration is putting a high-powered corporate lawyer in charge of making it cheaper. (This is what I always do when I want to spend less money -- hire a lawyer from Yale.) If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.

The Clinton administration is putting together a program so that college graduates can work to pay off their school tuition. As if this were some genius idea. It's called getting a job. Most folks do that when they get out of college, unless, of course, they happen to become governor of Arkansas.

And the Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns. Hell, this country was founded by religious nuts with guns. Who does Bill Clinton think stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock? Peace Corps volunteers? Or maybe the people in Texas were attacked because of child abuse. But, if child abuse was the issue, why didn't Janet Reno tear-gas Woody Allen?

You know, if government were a product, selling it would be illegal.

Government is a health hazard. Governments have killed many more people than cigarettes or unbuckled seat belts ever have.

Government contains impure ingredients -- as anybody who's looked at Congress can tell you.

On the basis of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign promises, I think we can say government practices deceptive advertising.

And the merest glance at the federal budget is enough to convict the government of perjury, extortion, and fraud.

There, ladies and gentlemen, you have the Cato Institute's program in a nutshell: government should be against the law.

Term limits aren't enough. We need jail.
Once in awhile, we need to be reminded that hope, change, and lots of other b.s. happen all the time. We needn't be surprised by old stuff presented by a different face.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

DCCC Petition to Silence Limbaugh Removed

A petition to silence radio host Rush Limbaugh last Jan 29, 2009 has been removed from the DCCC website possibly because of the overwhelming support for Limbaugh expressed in the comments. Many of the commenters signed the petition also expressing support for the radio talker thus nullifying the purpose.

Brandon English of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) blog The Stakeholder, posted Limbaugh Attacked—You Responded. He wrote,
It's not too late to make your voice heard: Sign our petition and we'll send your comments to Rush >>.
That last part in red was a link to the petition, but apparently it's too late to make your voice heard. The link is no longer available to the Silence Rush petition and the petition is no longer anywhere to be found even for just reading. The Petitions page (found under the Action Center tab) no longer lists the petition as one of the 'Past Petitions'.

However, the DCCC did leave the comments section, at least for now. The comments are actually more interesting and important than the foolish attempt to silence Mr. Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. Right from the get-go, Democrats lost control of the comment thread.

Comments started January 29, 2009 with Garfield,
Rush!!! You are not the light in the night.....You are a BRIGHT and burning SUN illuminating all the darkness and revealing the pitfalls along the way. God Bless you mightily Rush.
and was closed February 27, 2009 after Eric Bystrom wrote,

#637. You’re forgiven for your typos, Mr. Heath. I hope I don’t have to apologize for mine now, too. I could have sworn this discussion was finished. Is this group hug time, now? ;)
The discussion was dominated by Republican and Conservative writers making points, counter-points and, in general, just blowing away the few Democrats and Liberals who attempted to make their case usually with name calling, ad homonym attacks, and odd non sequitur. It's no wonder the DCCC pulled the petition and closed the comments after a month of drubbing.

All comments can be found at Indigo Continuum. Currently, the comments can still be read at the DCCC link above, but I don't trust Democrats to honor history.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Incredible Shrinking Obama

Think back to January a long time ago. The newly sworn Resident Obama told the nation his stimulus package would create 4 million jobs. By February of the not too distant past, the current White House occupant was saying the same stimulus package would create or save those jobs. It is March of the right now, and the Obama stimulus package will save jobs.

Hope and change, like Obama, just keep getting smaller and smaller.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Democrat Email: Republican Apology Machine

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) put out this Rapid Response email today. Exactly what it is rapidly responding to isn't clear as it seems to be an attack ad. But, it's something the Liberal twits eat up with silver spoons.

The DCCC (similar to CCCP) calls the missive, "Republican Apology Machine."

Dear [Indigo],

Picture this. You're a Republican who just accidentally offended your leader Rush Limbaugh. You know that your only option is to bow down to King Rush and offer a groveling apology. But you have to do it fast before Leader Rush calls you out. What can you do?

Luckily, we've uncovered the secret
Republican Apology Machine. As a member of the DCCC's Rapid Response, we want to give you the chance to give it a try.

Check out
I'm Sorry Rush, the fastest and easiest way for a Limbaugh-Loving Republican to express the error of their ways to the king himself.

Now you can draft your own "apology" to Rush just like the pros do it. Best of all, we'll share your "apologies" with Rush personally.

Check it out.

Brian Wolff
Executive Director, DCCC
"Brian Wolff, DCCC"

The dumb Dems think that Rush Limbaugh is the head of the Republican Party again. They haven't claimed that since the last time Rahm Emanuel worked in the White House under Clinton. The Democrats are back to the politics of personal destruction of private citizens. It's not Joe the Plumber this time and apparently Emanuel didn't learn anything from his attacks on Limbaugh the last time.


The dumb Dems send me these emails even though I haven't been stupid for about eight years now. I guess they just can't believe anyone would voluntarily leave the nuthouse for the intellectual freedom and honesty of some other political philosophy. It's sort of like Islam and apostates. Any day now, a Democrat may try to saw off my head with a Ginsu knife.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

New York Times Investigates Obama

The NYT, in a hard hitting investigative report today, has found that after only 44 days in office, Barack Obama has graying hair.

Quoting the Gray Lady,
Well, that didn’t take long. Just 44 days into the job, and President Obama is going gray.
Read the entire story written by NYT crack investigative reporter Helene Cooper with photographs from Stephen Crowley and Doug Mills of The New York Times.

Can you say Pulitzer?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

One President, One Resident, Same Corps

It's called "Different Presidents, A Different Corps."

What a difference a vote makes.

From Real Revo via Atlas Shrugs.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

WooHoo!! 50,000 visitors!

The lucky buckaroo is from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their query was to see this bubonic plague victim photo -

I couldn't have done it without all the little people inside my computer painting the letters on the monitor screen. And backwards, too!

Thanks, folks!

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Gates Stops Invasion of the iPod People

Finally, I have something in common with Bill Gates. After years of trying, I am not insanely rich, no beautiful wife, no adorable, but ultimately, annoying children begging for handouts and running up the Texting bill. What we do have in common is a total ban on Apple products in our homes, my pitifully small apartment that is, in fact, be smaller than Cher's shoe closet, and Bill's mansion on his private island.

His is a very fine house. With three kids in the yard, life used to be so hard. Now everything is easy cuz of... hmmm, that's sounds very familiar. Anyway, apparently fearful of iPod people, Bill has barred his wife and children from owning iPods, iPhones, iTunes, iBalls, iNosethroat, iBrowes, and YesiCans. His wife in envious of her friends who have iPhones and the kids have to make do with Zunes or just hum quietly to themselves.

There was no comment as to whether Apple pie, Apple strudel, or Apple cider is allowed in the home. My guess is, no. That Jobs fella can be sneaky, he can put product into anything.

I wonder if Christina Applegate would make Bill's head explode?

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Compelled Death is not Death with Dignity

The uncle of my brother-in-law was told by his physician that he had only six months to live. That was six years ago. His mother went to visit her brother, who "didn't have long to live," in Washington. While there, her husband, my brother-in-law's stepfather, suddenly lapsed into a coma and died that night in California.

My own father suffered a heart attack and was outfitted with a pacemaker. It should have lasted many years, but the little machine was doing 96% of the work. Another was implanted after less than two years. He didn't want it. He wanted to die, but the doctors wouldn't allow it. He died less than a year later from a bleeding ulcer totally unrelated to his heart condition.

The uncle died in January 2008, after having a pacemaker implanted and several subsequent very painful heart attacks. He died over a period of a week that must have seemed an eternity.

My little sister, Indigo Rose, the wife of that brother-in-law, sent me an AP news article Washington state to allow `dignity' deaths -

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Terminally ill patients with less than six months to live will soon be able to ask their doctors to prescribe them lethal medication in Washington state.

But even though the "Death with Dignity" law takes effect Thursday, people who might seek the life-ending prescriptions could find their doctors conflicted or not willing to write them.
My sister asks,

"How can a doctor be so certain of time left? But why shouldn't a terminally ill person be allowed to choose to die with dignity?"
Doctors can't know when a person's time is up any more than you or I can. Death with Dignity is just another way of saying, 'you're too old or too infirm and costing too much money and now you have to go.' And there is a vast difference between choosing to die with dignity and being compelled to die with dignity. One is respectful, the other is not.

Dr. Helen wrote in her blog last week that the Obama administration wants to pay Doctors and Hospitals less money for each time a patient returns to the hospital for the same illness.

The budget figures also represent significant shifts in how the United States will pay for medical care.

For example, experts have identified hospital readmissions -- especially for elderly patients -- as a sign of poor care and unnecessary expense. About 18 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of an original visit. The new approach would establish flat fees for the first hospitalization and 30 days of follow-up, sometimes done by separate facilities. Hospitals or clinics with high readmission rates could be paid less.
That would be mostly elderly people who often have serial 'complications'. It's another way of euthanizing the old and the infirm. Cripples, too.

Any dictionary can tell us what 'dignity' means,

1. serious, calm, and controlled behavior or manner
2. the quality of being worthy of honor
3. sense of self-importance
4. The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect
5. Inherent nobility and worth: the dignity of honest labor
6. Poise and self-respect
7. Stateliness and formality in manner and appearance.
Only our conscience can tell us what dignity is. Financially forced euthanasia is not death with dignity. It is murder. And the worst kind, murder for money.

The Obama administration is also seeking this week to rescind the 'Conscience Rule' that protected doctors and nurses who objected to performing abortions on moral principle. Obama's law will compel treatment or retirement. Physicians are being compelled by law to perform proceedures to which they have objections and will be denied payments for patients who need extra care. This is called Hope. This is called Change.

First, they kill the babies who give no immediate tithe to society. Then they kill the old and disabled because they drain the nation's wealth. People, we've seen this all before. It was called the Holocaust. We swore "Never Again." Yet, here it is again. But, this time 'they' are not the secret police in snappy uniforms or death camp doctors performing horrendous experiments on the helpless and hapless. Not yet. Right now 'they' are Liberal do-gooders who only want to help because they love us so much and know what is best for everyone. Besides, we must first pay the mortgages of those who never could afford the houses they sought to purchase.

When we are born into this nation, we are handed a promissory note that guarantees us "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Now, Liberals are saying not all of us can collect on that promissory note because the check has come back marked "Insufficient funds." I do not believe that. I do not believe that this nation is so bankrupt, either financially or morally, that some of our brethren must be compelled to choose death for the financial health of the body politik. I cannot and will not accept this.

Death, and Life, with dignity should be something we are taught throughout our lives. Accepting our ultimate and imminent end with grace, understanding, courage, and goodwill without compulsion is dignified. A death with dignity shouldn't be foisted upon anyone as their national duty to get out of the way. No financial crisis is bad enough that we must sacrifice the one for the good of the many. Except, perhaps, if we are talking about The One.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.