Saul Alinsky died in 1972; Barack Obama was 10 years old and living in Hawaii. A recent letter writer would have us believe that they were "good friends."
The so-called "eight levels of control to create a social state" do not appear in Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Mr. Alinsky was neither socialist nor communist. He was a community organizer who organized Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood in the1940s. He believed immigrants and other minorities had the right to self-determination. His tactics relied on direct confrontation and non-violence.
Playboy interviewed him in 1972. When asked if he belonged to the communist party, Alinsky said, "I've never joined any organization -- not even the ones I've organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it's Christianity or Marxism. ... The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide. ... My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they'll generally reach the right decisions."
Alinsky's tactics were unusual, humorous, and provocative. In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky describes the role of the organizer "to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a dangerous enemy." It seems he is still effective for being dead over 40 years.
Today is Thursday, Oct. 2, the 275th day of 2014. There are 90 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The ladies have adopted the fashion of wearing representations of insects in the flowers on their bonnets. Some look very natural. 1889 -- 125 years ago: T.F. Cary, former Rock Island alderman, has accepted a position as salesman for a Chicago wallpaper house and plans to move to that city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Work on the new telephone building on 18th Street between 6th and 7th avenues is progressing rapidly. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater at 3rd Avenue and 19th Street will have a name significant of its location. The "Rocket" is scheduled to open Thanksgiving Day. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Two of Rock Island's newest water towers were vandalized last night, including the one at 38th Street and 31st Avenue, where police took five Moline boys into custody about 9 p.m.. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some of us who live in the Quad-Cities take the Mississippi River for granted, or at least we used to. But the river is not taken for granted by our visitors. And most Quad-Citians are realizing the importance of the river to this area as increased emphasis is placed on tourism.