Alinskyism (Day 12)

This is another in my sporadic series on the work of Saul Alinsky admired both by our president-elect and Hillary Clinton.   Today’s quote is from “Rules for Radicals” and is from the section entitled “The Ideology of Change” and I believe helps explain why it seems that Obama is a blank slate and why he has everyone on the left and right confused about his recent decisions.

Alinsky begins this section by discussing the ideology of Marxism and Christian ideology, both guided by “basic truths.”    But, the community organizer is different:

An organizer working in and for an open society is in an ideological dilemma.  To begin with, he does not have a fixed truth—truth to him is relative and changing, everything to him is relative and changing.  He is a political relativist. He accepts the late Justice Learned Hand’s statement that “the mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner uncertainty as to whether or not he is right.”  The consequence is that he is ever on the hunt for the causes of man’s plight and the general propositions that help to make some sense out of man’s irrational world.  He must constantly examine life, including his own, to get some idea of what it is all about, and he must challenge and test his own findings.  Irreverence, essential to questioning, is a requisite. Curiosity becomes compulsive. His most frequent word is “why?”

I’m struck here by Alinsky’s definition of  an organizer, someone completely lacking in core beliefs—one could describe such a person as childlike, immature in one’s thinking.    Aren’t children the ones who constantly ask, why?

Maybe that is what Obama the “change agent” is all about—-someone always changing—-so it makes it easy for people to invest all their hopes and dreams in him.  He can never tell them ‘no,’ or ‘yes’ for that matter, because without a core, he can’t judge them.       

Contrast Obama to Sarah Palin for example.   We know where Palin stands, she has core beliefs.  I betcha everything Sarah says she believes and she believes what she says.   And with a set of core beliefs comes judgement, and that appears to be what radicals like Alinsky hate the most—judgement about what is right or wrong, good or evil.   With no judgement there is never any punishment and the fantasies of a child are realized.

See our category community destabilization for more ramblings on Alinsky.

California joins the list of states that have no jobs for Iraqi refugees

This story is from the Los Angeles Times and adds state number 12* to our list of states that have scarce employment for the soon-to-be tens of thousands of Iraqis entering the US.

All of these articles highlight a struggling Iraqi family, some are more grateful then others, and then goes on to explain the Refugee Resettlement Program finally slipping in the bad news that jobs are scarce for highly educated and skilled Iraqis.  When one reads enough of these, one wonders if there is some ‘immigrant/refugee’ template taught in Journalism school.

At least this family is a Christian family so the Los Angeles Times  is giving us a little window into what happens when Muslim majority countries begin pushing Sharia law. This story is about the Kamil family and besides Mr. Kamil having been injured by a bomb blast near his car, his wife was threatened as well.

His wife shuttered her flower shop after an official from a Shia Muslim political party told her she could no longer sell Christmas trees or ornaments as she had every year under Hussein. The official also told her to buy a Koran and wear traditional Muslim clothing, including the head covering, Kamil said.

The LA Times then goes on to review some important numbers about refugees generally and California specifically.  California is the top resettlement state in the nation, one of the reasons it is also probably the most financially shakey state as well.

The Kamil family’s resettlement reflects a major increase this year in the number of Iraqi refugees admitted to the United States. After months of processing delays — and widespread complaints by refugee advocates — the U.S. government dramatically increased the number of Iraqi refugee admissions to more than 13,800 in the last fiscal year compared with 1,600 the previous year. This year’s current target is 17,000.

Refugees are defined as those unwilling or unable to return to their homelands because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The United States admitted 48,217 refugees in 2007, the largest number in the world and an increase from the previous year but still well below the 100,000 admitted annually during the 1990s. California remained the nation’s largest resettlement state, accepting 14% of all refugees, according to U.S. government data.

Here is an interesting little nugget from Homeland Security about those Iraqis turned down for resettlement:

The approval rate averages 70% to 80%, said Lori Scialabba, the services’ associate director for refugee, asylum and international operations.

Wouldn’t you love to know why 20-30% are rejected!

Those who do get here, like the Kamil family, are finding things are tough in America too, safe but not comfortable, with employment difficult to find.

In Los Angeles, she ( Deborah Decker, community resource director of the Interfaith Refugee & Immigration Service in L.A) said, the worsening economy has made it even more difficult for many refugees to find jobs, affordable housing, English classes and job training opportunities.

“A year ago, most of our refugees were employed within six months of arrival,” Decker said. “Now people are in the food line even one year later and literally are hungry.”


Such grim resettlement realities are already worrying Kamil and his family.

Although they are staying at a Panorama City motel, they know they must find their own place. But how to pay for it?

The government gave them a $1,700 “welcome check,” which they plan to use for their initial rent. In addition, they are receiving $800 in monthly welfare payments for eight months, along with food stamps. But Kamil knows he needs to find a job, and soon, to provide the furniture [Edit: furniture is to be provided by the federally contracted resettlement agency], car and other items needed for a stable life.

He speaks English, graduated in electrical engineering from the University of Technology in Baghdad and ran his own construction firm for 13 years. But so far he has not been able to find a job, even though he said he is willing to work entry-level jobs at a gas station or elsewhere. His wife, an experienced florist, is also eager to work.

Inspite of the continuing job shortages, Refugees International, a group that lobbies for the Refugee industry, is calling on the Obama Administration to up the number of Iraqis entering the US this fiscal year to over 100,000.

* We have jobless Iraqis in Arizona, Maryland, New Hampshire,Virginia, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Idaho, Connecticut, New Mexico, and now California—that we have heard about so far!