Dwight and Terrorism

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I live in a small town, Dwight, Illinois, about 35 miles southwest of Joliet.  It is a lovely place, about 4400 people, set in the midst of a sea of corn and soybeans.   My wife and I moved here in 1985 and have been very happy.  Soon after we moved to Dwight I joined the local Rotary Club.  There I met Jim Oughton and his brother Richard Oughton.  Both had served in WW2, Jim as a naval officer, and Dick as a marine fighter pilot.  They were also the two richest men in town, the scions of a family that had been the wealthiest family in town for well over a century.

I quickly grew to like Jim and Dick.  They were both intelligent, humorous and unassuming.  I enjoyed bantering with them at the club and working with them on community projects.  One day I was talking to Jim about his kids.  He proudly and fondly recited to me how they were doing, and then a shadow came over his face.  He told me how his daughter Diana had joined the Weather underground and died in an explosion in 1970 while she and two other weathermen were making bombs which they intended to set off at a dance that was to be held at Fort Dix.  Jim attributed Diana’s involvement partially to her radical professors, partially to her own decision to embrace terrorism but mostly to the friend of Senator Obama, William Ayers, who was the boyfriend of Diana, and who got her involved with the weathermen.  Other than feeling sorrow for the loss of Jim, I didn’t think much about it until years later when I read this story in the New York Times on September 11, 2001.  ”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.” Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970’s as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. ”

Since that terrible day I have remembered the name of William Ayers and his connection to Dwight.

17 Responses to Dwight and Terrorism

  • The Obama that welcomed this man’s help is unknown to most voters. Hopefully, they will get to know him as more of his involvement with Ayers comes to light.

  • A couple comments:

    1. The relevant actions of Ayers happened in a decade that began almost 50 years ago. To make an issue of this now is sort of like taking issue with the civil-war actions of a confederate soldier…in 1908. It’s (literally) history. Let’s you were alive in 1908 and overheard some confederate veteran speaking in 1908 of killing yankees, it would not be especially remarkable, or relevant to the present moment – “Oh, that’s just old Mr Smith – he talks like that when he’s in his cups…” or whatever.

    2. Obama is not especially close to Ayers – they both served on the board of some organization whose name escapes me, but my understanding is that Obama has denounced the long-ago actions of Ayers, which took place when Obama was 7 or 8 years old.

  • I am more interested in Obama’s ideological closeness to Mr. Ayers. I’ve just heard passing whiffs of the school project they both worked to implement. The thrust was to use the school setting to enlist students as active participants in their “social/political” movement for radical change in the country’s structure. I’ll like to know more about this aspect but am not a skilled internet researcher. God bless your work on this blog.

  • Matt Talbot,

    I wish you would have presented evidence of this.

    But when you announce your aspirations for higher office in Ayers own home and continually to meet with him AFTER distancing himself from him, what can one believe?

  • Matt Talbot, You missed the statement Ayers made on 9/11 when thousands of Americans were killed iwthout cause (very recent history not decades ago)>>>in the New York Times on September 11, 2001. ”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”. He isn’t young in the picture above where the very flag and those who risk their lives defending that flag and the freedom that allows a bigoted hypocritical traitor, complicit in his girlfriend’s death, to say and do the things he does NOW as well as then. further, Obama’s first presidential eleciton party was thrown by his “not close” friend Ayers. Wake and smell the coffee Mr Talbot. Ayers and Obama are very good friends indeed!

  • This place is liable to turn dangerously close into a lynching site, as are Ms. Palin’s rallies…

    Guilt by association?!!! You better look into Todd Palin’s ties to the AIP, whose founder advocated some “sweet stuff” in regards to the USA.

  • Todd Palin is running for which office again?

  • It’s her husband…and she went to 2 conventions and addressed the group just this year…

    But the point is that this guilt by association should be beneath Catholics of good will…

  • Mark,

    First off, I think you have to be pretty hyperbolic, in a fashion which is neither helpful not wise, to assert that discussing Senator Obama’s ties to left wing radicals is “dangerously close into a lynching”. Lynching is a serious and deeply evil thing, and discussing the fact that Senator Obama chooses to work with some very unsavory people bears no resemblance to lynching at all. It would be the same as saying of a liberal site, “The discussion on this site is dangerously close to the crushing of the skulls of still living newborn children.” It’s just not a reasonable place to go.

    Secondly, there is a real issue here. In addition to his old terrorist ties, Bill Ayers has become a serious force in the left wing educational establishment, and Obama and those in his campaign have generally been supportive of this educational agenda.

    Unfortunately, we don’t get enough into substantive issues in elections such as this, and so there has been very little discussion of the educational philosophy which Ayers is behind, and which the NEA and major organizations have given far too much legitimacy. As someone who cares a lot about education, I find it doubly troubling that Ayers (clearly a seriously misguided individual) is considered “not a big deal” in all this, and that Obama has historically funnelled a lot of money and support to his educational initiatives.

  • You did not get my reference, I guess.

    Peope are yeling “kill him” at Plin rallies, whenever she resorts to such guilt by association,and calling African American reporters “uppity Negroes” and telling them to “sit down, boy.”

  • I had not heard this until you brought it up now — but googling on what you say I find a Huffington Post report that the Secret Service is investigating after this was reported _once_ at _a_ rally by Dana Milbank in one of his columns. The Secret Service had not done so earlier because none of their agents in the crowd had heard the shouting which Milbank claims occurred.

    You make it sound like this is a regular event, which is not what even the Huffington Post suggests.

    Clearly, suggesting that someone kill a presidential candidate is terribly, terribly wrong. (So is suggesting the killing of the current president — though that hasn’t stopped a few people I’ve seen on the roads from sporting “Kill Bush” bumper stickers.)

    I’m sure that you and I agree that suggesting killing a politician is wrong, as is hurling racial epithets.

    Of course, also very wrong (I’m sure you would agree with me) is the open and repeated suggestion of an Obama-supporting commedian that Governor Palin be gang-raped. From which, I think we can conclude, that idiots tend to come out at election time.

  • -the point is that this guilt by association should be beneath Catholics of good will-

    Good grief! What about the guilt by association incurred by supporting a candidate who condones child murder?

  • Mark DeFrancisis,

    Anymore defamatory, ad hominem, or degenerative comments that you post then you will be under moderation and ultimately banned if your behavior persists.

    This is your first and only warning on your unchristian behavior.

  • On Wednesday morning, John McCain’s campaign released a list of 100 former ambassadors endorsing the GOP presidential nominee.

    Second on the list, though her name is misspelled, is Leonore Annenberg, currently the president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation and widow of ambassador and philanthropist Walter Annenberg. Ms. Annenberg was herself the “chief of protocol” at the State Department under President Reagan.

    If the last name sounds familiar, it’s because it also graces the name of the Chicago education board where Barack Obama and William Ayers sat in the room six times together.

    In recent days, the McCain-Palin ticket (and particularly Palin) has faulted Obama for having served on that board with Ayers, who was a founding member of the radical 60’s Weather Underground group when Obama was in grade school.

  • Has McCain returned this money? By your standards, he’s colluding with terrorists…..

  • Uh, no, Mark. Because Leonore Annenberg did not actively plant bombs the way Ayers did. That’s the thing that some people seem a bit unable to understand: Ayers not only did attempt to murder people via terrorism (and get his girlfriend killed in the process) but still says it was a good idea to have done so.

    And Obama didn’t just sit on the same board as him, he launched his political career at an event in Ayers’ house, worked with him on multiple projects, and funneled money to his groups.

    If tu toque (and a false one at that) is the best argument you can make in favor of your guy, it’s because your guy has a problem.

  • Darwin,

    I am not making tu toque argment. I am just revealing the desperation and vileness of the McCain-Palin campaign.

    I love seeing you contribute to the culture of life. So attractive.

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