Town Square

Post a New Topic

Obama’s Real Bill Ayers Problem: The ex-Weatherman is now a radical educator with influence.

Original post made by sara n on Apr 24, 2008


Barack Obama complains that he's been unfairly attacked for a casual political and social relationship with his neighbor, former Weatherman Bill Ayers. Obama has a point. In the ultraliberal Hyde Park community where the presidential candidate first earned his political spurs, Ayers is widely regarded as a member in good standing of the city's civic establishment, not an unrepentant domestic terrorist. But Obama and his critics are arguing about the wrong moral question.

The more pressing issue is not the damage done by the Weather Underground 40 years ago, but the far greater harm inflicted on the nation's schoolchildren by the political and educational movement in which Ayers plays a leading role today.Web Link

Comments (16)

Posted by jr, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Bill Ayers is the Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Ayers's texts on the imperative of social-justice teaching are among the most popular works in the syllabi of the nation's ed schools and teacher-training institutes.

One of Ayers's major themes is that the American public school system is nothing but a reflection of capitalist hegemony.

Thus, the mission of all progressive teachers is to take back the classrooms and turn them into laboratories of revolutionary change.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Bill Ayers is a run-of-the-mill socialist revolutonary. His doctrine is weak, and hackneyed. It is no surprise that some of the educational 'progessive' establishment has swallowed it whole.

The simple question for Barack Obama is: Barack, do you denounce the ideas of Bill Ayers?

John McCain should have an easy time with his answer.


Posted by a long time resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 24, 2008 at 10:49 pm

I know nothing about Bill Ayres, but---

We now have a president who is a front man for Chaney, Carl Rove, The military establishment, the military contractors, big business, Private military co.'s like Blackwater who would like policing the U.S.of A as they did in New Orelens after the hurricane, and on and on. The president is a very close friend of the father of Osoma Ben Laden and is taking all efforts to keep this child alive.
The president and almost all Repubicians believe that the wealthy should not pay any taxes and the big corporations should run the country for their benifit.
McCain can take over his job. ??

So that's my off the cuff response.


Posted by ol' lady, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:59 am

LTR: Given that under Bush the percent of the nation that pays any taxes at all is now only 54%, the lowest ever, and given that the other 46% pay no taxes at all, the myth of greedy capitalist Republicans is gone.

The bottom line is...if you want to work, you let "the rich" keep enough money to hire you. If you want to increase federal coffers, keep taxes low on "the rich" ( anyone who makes more than $40,000 per year if you go through the numbers by Democrats)so that more people work and pay taxes. Every time we raise taxes on "the rich", the federal coffers decrease. Ever wonder why the feds got more money in REAL DOLLARS in 2006 than it had ever gotten before?

If you want to kill the economy, raise taxes on "the rich" ( pretty much every single person around here). We stop hiring people, we stop risking new businesses..unemployment goes up, federal coffers go down.

Socialism has proven destructive to peoples every time it is tried. It is especially harmful to the poor, who suffer the most under it. When are you going to learn that? In places like France, that great socialist bastion of liberal ideology, the "rich-poor gap" is less than ours...meaning the whole country is poorer, including the poor.

Let me be poor here rather than anywhere else in the world. ( and yes, I have been. Have you lived where you hear fights and gunshots in the night?) At least here I could and did work my way out of it.

Or, are you like Obama, who continues to rely on the tired old class warfare of "it isn't fair, the rich need to pay more taxes", without wanting to acknowledge the reality of economics?

This kind of talk is called "populist" because it is "popular" with the uneducated who don't want to be confused with facts.


Posted by ol' lady, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2008 at 7:06 am

BTW, Bill Ayers continues to state that he wishes he had blown up more buildings and people. He says "We didn't do enough". And, he threw a political dinner/fundraiser for ol' Obama, who accepted it.

I despise Ayers, and despise the Education Establishment for working so hard to brainwash our nation into the Marxist theory that Ayers et al propound.

It is because of Ayers and the like that otherwise intelligent people think like LTR. We have destroyed our education system, creating sheep instead of thinkers. The scary thing is, they don't even know they've been brainwashed.

I despise Obama for accepting anything from Ayers at all. I despise Obama for supporting the "theology" of Wright with his physical and financial presence.

I despise the elitists who are pushing Obama on the people, and the people who have swallowed his false image whole, and are now refusing to give it up in the face of evidence to the contrary.

I fear we are edging ever closer to Stalinist times.

Everyone needs to read 1984 by Orwell,..again if you are over 30, for the first time if you are under 30, since such classics have been for the most part banned in the classroom in the last 20 years or so.


Posted by Ray, a resident of another community
on Apr 25, 2008 at 7:19 am

Whew! so much hysteria! You guys really ought to calm down a bit. When you speak with such hyperbole and overzealousness, you give the impression of being kind of unhinged. Right-wing nuts are just as unappealing as left-wing nuts.

Socialism? Class warfare? Fighting capitalism? Obama's economic advisers are a bunch of University of Chicago professors, for crying out loud. These days everyone, including Democrats, knows that 1960s-style left-wing babble is the surest route to losing elections. Don't make wild, baseless accusations just because you'd rather have a Republican president.

Read Obama's first book. It would be nice have a president who understands the complexities of racial and class differences in this country and who urges us to unite as a country. Certainly much better than one from the Republican party, which is held hostage by religious zealots who want to teach creationism and pass constitutional amendments against people who happen to be gay. Certainly much better than George W. Bush, who has pandered to these idiots, and who has forgotten that fiscal conservatism involves holding spending down, not just cutting taxes. And let's not even talk about the Iraq War. How would you like it if it was *your* child who died there......for WHAT?


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm

If Barack is not a socialist, like Ayers, he should easily be able to denounce Ayer's ideas. McCain should ask him to do so.

Barack keeps some interesting company. It is fair to ask him about his ideas versus theirs. He keeps saying "yes we can!". Who is "we"? What is "can"? Complete mystery to me. Barack needs to answer some basic questions. He is mostly image, at this point.


Posted by jr, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm



The very brittleness of Obama makes much of liberaldom want to wrap him all the tighter in swaddling clothes. But cover-ups never work, in scandals or campaigns.

Obama's candidacy depends on a kind of make-believe that can't be sustained.

How is he going to bring the country together around an orthodox left-wing agenda? How is he going to embody bipartisanship when the significant instances of him practicing it in his legislative career are vanishingly few?
How can he heal the nation's divisions when he can't even bridge the Democratic Party's demographic divide?


Posted by ol' lady, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 9:30 am

Ray, umm..you reveal much about yourself. The usual retreat to derisive name calling when faced with anything you can't dispute with intelligence.

Hysteria? Isn't this a little like the pot calling the kettle black? Have you noticed how those staged faintings at Barack's speeches have ended? He and his advisors must have realized that they revealed too much about what he was doing, which was building hysteria in the youth.

Instead of assuming hysteria in others, read some "history", not "hystery" of the left. Learn about economics. Study what has worked and what hasn't throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Then ask yourself, which country in the world has the most well offt off black population? The best off poor population? The best off immigrant of any stripe population? The most mobility from poverty to middle class, from middle class to "wealthy"?

If you don't know the answer, the answer is the USA.

But, if we leave it to the Baracks and the Barack advisors ( or frankly the controlling elite of the Democrat party), we will soon sink to the levels of the wonderful European countries that leftists want to emulate.

Ok, enough of that reality check for ya'

You like Barack because he promises to pull out of Iraq precipitously ( he won't..Congress won't let him, too many intelligent folks there)

And, to say his advisors are University Professors reveals yet more..you haven't a clue what KIND of professors they are. Don't you know that the vast majority of professors profess to being far left, translation..socialists? Why do you think so much has gone wrong in academia?

I prefer advisors who live in the real world and know how things really work. The rest of us don't have cushy tenured jobs with retirement benefits as good as Congress, and have to live and work in the real world.

Gosh, even having a President with advisors who can teach him what a Capital Gains tax is would be nice, but given he has yet to be corrected on that issue I presume he hasn't a single decent advisor.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Much of the tragedy of the Obama campaign is how ever so steadily, incrementally its theme has devolved into a racialist message: the ubiquitous use of "they" who always in some way are to be faulted for an array of sins against the Obamas, from losing Pennsylvania to raising the bar on Michelle to such a degree as not to warrant pride in her country;
the now serial snideness about what Obama called "a typical white person" and amplified with his remarks about Middle America's superstitious clinging to guns and church, its xenophobia and bigotry, and now most lately with the Axelrod dismissal of the need to appeal to the natural constituency of the "white working class" (e.g. 'this is not new that Democratic candidates don't rely solely on those votes.")—
all of that superimposed on a landscape of a Rev. Wright's blanket hatred against "rich white people," Italians, Israelis, et. al.

If this continues, the worry is not that a large portion of the "white working class" will defect to McCain, but that a large portion of Democrats who counted on incorporating the "white working class" will as well.


Posted by steve, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:23 pm




Permit me to propose a new rule:
If your mentor of 20 years has ever declared the United States to be 'the same as al-Qaeda, under a different color flag, calling on the name a different God to sanction and approve our murder and our mayhem!'
you are ineligible for the Presidency.


Posted by ol' lady, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Yup...pity Obama didn't have better judgement of who to pick for his mentor, or who to pick to allow to give him political parties.

Policy-wise there is virtually no difference between him and Clinton, so if he had avoided hangin' with bigots and terrorists, and someone had bothered to teach him how to sound half-way intelligent about economics, and if he had avoided denigrating most Americans, ...he might have gotten the Presidency against Clinton, if for no other reason than Clinton's negatives were so high going into the campaign.

And, I used to think that if a Dem were going to destroy the country I would have preferred it to be Obama to put the "America is racist" crap to bed.

But, now there is no chance Obama will win.


Posted by Jarred, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 7:42 pm

O'l lady, once again you have called it like it is. Keep up the good work!

It's a breath of fresh air to read your comments in this forum, which so often is mired in woolly-minded collectivism based on either ignorance or willful misinterpretation of the last 100 years of Western history.


Posted by Jane, a resident of Professorville
on Apr 27, 2008 at 3:53 pm


Obama said this morning that the Wright connection was a legitimate political issue
McCain responded later today


McCain: "I've stated my position very clearly that I don't like the ad. I was interested that this morning Senator Obama said that it was a legitimate political issue. If he believes that, then it will probably be a political issue.

I saw yesterday some additional comments that have been revealed by Pastor Wright, one of them comparing the United States Marine Corps with Roman legionnaires who were responsible for the death of our Savior. I mean being involved in that — it's beyond belief. And then of course saying that Al Qaeda and the American Flag were the same flags.

"So I can understand — I can understand why the American people are upset about this. I can understand that Americans viewing these kinds of comments are angry and upset, just like they viewed Senator Obama's statements about why people turn to their faith and their values.

He believes that it's out of economic concerns, when we all know that it's out of fundamental belief, fundamental faith in this country and its values and its principles.
Again, Senator Obama is out of touch. I can't control and will not in the future control. I will voice my opinion and I will continue to think and to say that I think that ad should not be run. But I won't continue to try to be the referee here."


Posted by sara n, a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm



Obama's supporters have mounted the classic three part defense of trial lawyers everywhere: It's not my dog. It didn't bite you. And besides, you kicked it first.

First they have argued that Pastor Wright was quoted out of context. That defense is demolished via the playing of the entire sermons which are far more controversial heard whole than in snippets.

Second, they have argued that these are Pastor Wright's words, not Obama's. As a caller to Friday's show wondered: "How could Obama have stayed in that church for 20 years?"

Finally, they assert that Pastor Hagee's endorsement of John McCain nullifies the issue as both men have ties to controversial pastors. This is ludicrous---- Obama is a close friend of Pastor Wright's, his mentee, and as Obama has written, Wright has been a huge influence on Obama.

McCain appears to have met Hagee once.------


Posted by joe, a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 28, 2008 at 3:24 pm


From Washington Post this afternoonWeb Link

'Should it become necessary in the months from now to identify the moment that doomed Obama's presidential aspirations, attention is likely to focus on the hour between nine and ten this morning at the National Press Club.
It was then that Wright, Obama's longtime pastor, reignited a controversy about race from which Obama had only recently recovered - and added lighter fuel.

Speaking before an audience that included Marion Barry, Cornel West, Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam official Jamil Muhammad, Wright praised Louis Farrakhan, defended the view that Zionism is racism, accused the United States of terrorism, repeated his view that the government created the AIDS virus to cause the genocide of racial minorities, stood by other past remarks ("God damn America") and held himself out as a spokesman for the black church in America.

In front of 30 television cameras, Wright's audience cheered him on as the minister mocked the media and, at one point, did a little victory dance on the podium.
It seemed as if Wright, jokingly offering himself as Obama's vice president, was actually trying to doom Obama;
a member of the head table, American Urban Radio's April Ryan, confirmed that Wright's security was provided by bodyguards from Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Handmade truffle shop now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,407 views

Why is doing nothing so difficult?
By Sally Torbey | 7 comments | 1,107 views

Breastfeeding Tips
By Jessica T | 6 comments | 970 views

Weekly Update
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 734 views

Call it a novel: Dirty Love by Andre Dubus III
By Nick Taylor | 1 comment | 265 views