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Copyright © 2008-2011 by Shawn H. Smith. Backward State is a trademark of Shawn H. Smith. All rights reserved.

Brackets [ ] indicate where the reversal occurs. Click on the reversals to hear the mp3 file.


WBEZ Radio Interview 2001


“…If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so [that now I would have the right] to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be OK.

But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in this society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf…”

They were behind the weapon.

(He is referring to “they” as being the Warren Court which stood “behind” the Constitution in their decisions, and the Constitution of the U.S. is a “weapon”! Weapon: As in an instrument to be used against someone.)



Nomination Victory Speech 6-3-08


We will be able to look back and tell our children, that this was the moment, when we began to provide care for the sick.

Death to the first doubters, when I give you hope.


This was the moment when the rise of oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.

Then I'm gonna waltz among you.


This was the moment, when we ended a war. And secured our nation. And restored our image as the last best hope on earth.

You're not upset. Celebrate.


This was the moment. This was the time, when we came together.

I can be a hero.

CNN 7-8-08

They want to pass all a law. We want just, we want English only. Now I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that...

Say the answer not now. (He doesn't appear to be congurent.He doesn't believe immigrants should have to learn English.)


It's embarrassing when Europeans come over here. They all speak English, they speak Fench, they speak German...

They tell me to keep quiet.



Speech From Service Employees International Union Days Before The Election


Original Post Date: 10-25-09 




Prior to becoming a senator Barack Obama had a history of promoting legislation favorable to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). SEIU is the largest union for health care workers in the U.S.. Barack Obama had said in other speeches prior to the election he would consult with organizations like SEIU before making policies. The SEIU stands to profit immensely from Barack Obama’s health care legislation.

Brackets [ ] indicate where the reversal occurs.

Fox News

[They all say oh we love, we love SEIU].

Realize have all the power before I start.


[But the question you gotta ask yourself i]s,

They often fail and you stomp them down.


Do they have it in their gut? Do they have a track record [of standing alongside you on picket line]s? Do they have a track record of going after the companies that aren't letting you organize? Do they have a track record of voting the right way, but also helping you organize to help you build more and more power?

I'll make apologize for wrong answer.


Public Meeting

Original Post Date: 4-29-10


Is Barack Obama a Marxist?

April 28, 2010

We're not trying to push financial reform, because [we begrudge success that's fairly earned]. I mean I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.

When you have successes share the view.

(Notice this reversal occurs when he says "we begrudge success that's fairly earned"!"Begrudge": to envy or resent the pleasure or good fortune of (someone))


But you know, part of the American way is you know you can just keep on making it if you're providing a good product or you're providing a good service. [We don't want people to stop] fulfilling the core responsibilities, the financial system, to help grow the economy.

Absolutely, I warn you.

(Is it me, or does that have an ominous ring to it?)



Commencement Speech U.S. Military Academy at West Point

Original Post Date: 5-23-10


Barack Obama seems to know President Bush's policies are right on the war on terror. President Obama knows he does not have the right policies on the war on terror.

May 22, 2010

Our campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and to defeat Al Qaeda is part of an international effort that is necessary and just. But this is a different kind of war. There will be no simple moment of surrender to mark the journey's end. No armistice. No banner headline. Though we have had more success in eliminating Al Qaeda leaders in recent months, than recent years, they will continue to recruit and plot and exploit our open society. We see that in bombs that go off in Kabul, and Karachi. We see it in attempts to blow up an airliner over Detroit, or an SUV in Times Square. [Even as these failed attacks show]...

Bush cast the light. Sees enemy.


...that pressure on networks like Al Qaeda is forcing them [to rely on terrorists with less ti]me and space to train.

I sound absurd. My owl.

(Owl: is knowledge from conscious mind; knowledge that one has reasoned with the intellect; earthly "wisdom"; the part that intellectually reasons and understands. Source David J. Oates’ Metaphors in Reverse Speech Dictionary.)



Press Conference 11-29-10


Earlier this year I created a bi-partisan deficit commission that is poised to report back later this week with ideas I hope will spark a serious and long overdue conversation in this town. Those of us, who have been charged to lead, will have to confront some very difficult decisions. Cutting spending we don't need, in order [to invest in the things that we do].

Would be what's an infinite sadness.


My hope is starting to day we can begin a bi-partisan conversation about our future. Because we face challenges that will require the cooperation of Democrats, Republicans and Independents everybody is going to have to cooperate. [We can't afford to fall ba]ck on the same old ideologies or the same stale sound bites.

I offer no value.


We're going to have to budge on some deeply held positions, and compromise for the good of the country. We're going to have to set aside the politics of the moment to make progress for the long term. And as I've ofte[n said we're going to have to think not just about the next election], but about the next generation.

Michelle will stand above decision. Give valuable lesson.


Barack Obama
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