The schooling of Barry Obama

Jan 19, 2007 6:03pm

There have been some developments today in stories about the education of Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois.

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1) CHOOM GATE

A blogger who attended the same high school as Obama, the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, HAS POSTED HERE the page of "Barry Obama" from his senior class yearbook.

Obama’s senior class note includes a reference to the "Choom Gang," which the blogger claims was a reference to marijuana, though his office demurs from exlpaining what it meant. (Obama has admitted marijuana and cocaine use during his teenage years.)

URBAN DICTIONARY.COM has its own definitions, which you are welcome to check out for yourself.

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2) OBAMA AND ISLAM

Obama’s office did have a little to say about the discussion on morning television’s version of the Algonquin Round Table — by which I am of course referring to "Fox & Friends" — where this morning it was said that as a child in Indonesia Obama "spent the first decade of his life raised by his Muslim father as a Muslim and was educated in a madrassa" (which then is helpfully defined as "financed by Saudis, they teach the religion that pretty much hates us. The big question: was that on the curriculum back then?" )

The Fox & Friends crew was discussing A STORY in Insight Magazine which claims allies of Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, were investigating this issue, which the Clinton camp needless to say denies.

Obama’s parents, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham, who lived in Hawaii, divorced when Obama was two.

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When Obama was six, his mother remarried Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian oil company manager, and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, where Obama’s sister was born. His office says that from ages six to eight Obama went to a Muslim school in Jakarta — though "absolutely not a radical Islamic school" — after which he went to a Catholic school.

When he was 10, Obama moved back to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents and attend the Punahou School. Both his father and stepfather were born Muslim, as Obama noted in his heralded June 28, 2006 SPEECH ABOUT FAITH AND POLITICS:

"I was not raised in a particularly religious household, as undoubtedly many in the audience were. My father, who returned to Kenya when I was just two, was born Muslim but as an adult became an atheist. My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, was probably one of the most spiritual and kindest people I’ve ever known, but grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion herself. As a consequence, so did I."

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But Obama eventually became a devout Christian and member of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street in the Southside of Chicago.

– jt

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