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The Inauguration
Posted: 20 January 2009 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The President just finished his Inaugural Address. What do you think about it?

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Posted: 20 January 2009 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Although his 20-minute speech had a lot of the crowd-pleasing meaningless platitudes, there were some excellent points made. Its foreign policy statements were excellent. It took a constructive approach towards Islamic nations, promising to work with them to find peace. It promised a more cooperative approach to foreign policy. It promised opposition to but not confrontation with authoritarian regimes.

I liked its statement of moral responsibility to the poor. I liked its acknowledgement that global warming is a problem that must be tackled. I liked its “third way” style, stating that the problem was not whether government was too big or too small, but whether it worked. Hey, it even acknowledged us—“unbelievers”!

I didn’t like the crowd-pleasing platitudes. I think that there was too much of that. But then, I’m a pretty unromantic guy, and I suppose that anyone who will lead Americans out of their mistakes will have to speak the language that they like to hear.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In some ways, it seemed more like a campaign speech than an inaugural speech. It seemed like he was explaining his “vision” as he did during the campaign. He did it well, of course, as he always does. There were a few moments of more “historic oratory,” which I enjoy, but it didn’t seem to me to have quite the timeless ringing quality of Kenedy’s or FDR’s first. And I agree there were a surprising number of cliches. At “Pick ourselves, dust ourselves off” I almost started to sing “and start all over again” in Disney fashion. wink

The reference to “non-believers” was welcome, and brave in today’s political climate, so it did help a little to wash away the tast of Rick Warren’s nonsense. And the reference to science taking its rightful place was another hopeful sign. All-in-all, strong but not as much so as I had hoped.

[ Edited: 20 January 2009 11:03 AM by mckenzievmd ]
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Posted: 20 January 2009 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I thought the speech was okay, but the following poem was horrible.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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George - 20 January 2009 11:00 AM

I thought the speech was okay, but the following poem was horrible.

The poem was horrible and the cadence of her speech was irritating.
But, I’m really sick of all of the prayers! shut eye It looks like every minister in American has to have his say and every step of Obama’s route.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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asanta - 20 January 2009 11:38 AM

But, I’m really sick of all of the prayers! shut eye It looks like every minister in American has to have his say and every step of Obama’s route.

At least Warren said that what brings us (you) together is freedom, not religion. I give him a credit for that.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My stance is optimistic, and I picked out the same favorable issues that DJ did in his recent blog post. Unlike Tom Flynn’s post, I didn’t think that Obama’s mention of nonbelievers fell flat. It sounded to me like he actually wanted to give it special emphasis, knowing that it was important but likely to be controversial and so not heard clearly. And the focus on science was great.

Of course, there is plenty to pick apart in the religious aspects to the day, although the latter pastor’s speech was at least humorous and for that, well-phrased. But I am no perfectionist when it comes to politics. Taking it all together, I’m pleased.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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He mentioned a number of internal to the U.S. items I believe are important.  I hope he can live by or accomplish these.  Do you have any comments on any of them?
===
“Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices.  Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

. . .our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions—that time has surely passed.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its costs.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. 

. . .this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control.  The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. 

. . . we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

. . . our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.  [underline added]

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility—a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world. . .”
===
Occam
since underline didn’t work, I changed it to bold.

[ Edited: 20 January 2009 03:20 PM by Occam ]
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Posted: 20 January 2009 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I thought he did a decent job. At least there is real hope in that speech that the damage of the last 8 years will be undone.

As I watched the TV reporters interview citizens I heard over and over again the same comment “I never thought I would see a black man elected president in my lifetime”.

I couldn’t help wondering about something I would like to see in my lifetime - A president who is sworn in without having one hand on the bible? There is nothing in law that requires the president to follow this tradition. I think it would be far more inclusive and meaningful if the president were to be sworn in with his hand on the one sacred document he has actually been elected to protect and uphold - The US Constitution.

I have a dream…

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Posted: 20 January 2009 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m certainly with you there, but since I don’t expect to live to 100, I don’t think I’ll see it.

Occam

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Posted: 20 January 2009 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Yes, I’d like to see the God Factor turned down a few notches at such events too. I doubt it will happen, but I’m one of those who doubted I’d live to see a black president too, so who knows?

As far as the specific points you mention Occam, I was pleased to hear eahc of them and hope they turn into real change.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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All in all, I was pleased by the speech, but he didn’t live up to my high expectations. I was hoping for a ringing challenge to Americans to roll up their sleeves and rise to the challenges of the day, something challenging America to greatness. Instead, it seemed a bit lower in tone, more pragmatic than inspirational. I suppose that’s appropriate for a pragmatic problem-solver.

The only thing that puzzled me was his reference to harnessing the soil for our energy. It gave me visions of “Mr. Fusion” from “Back to the Future”. It took me a minute to realize that he was talking about agricultural energy—which disappoints me. That stuff is a crock.

Still, it was glorious to see two million people celebrating the Inauguration. I read somewhere that the number of people at the Inauguration exceeded the populations of many countries.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Chris Crawford - 20 January 2009 05:09 PM

The only thing that puzzled me was his reference to harnessing the soil for our energy. It gave me visions of “Mr. Fusion” from “Back to the Future”. It took me a minute to realize that he was talking about agricultural energy—which disappoints me. That stuff is a crock.

In its current form it is not a solution to the problem. The production of biofuels consumes more energy than it produces. That may not always be the case though. There are possible alternatives to corn and sugar cane as sources for biofuels. Maybe he was referring to basic research for other biofuel technologies that are further down the road like genetically engineered switchgrass or algae. Who knows. If he gives science its proper place at the table then at least there’s a chance these decisions will be made based on what makes logical sense.

Ultimately politics will affect these decisions, and the corn lobby will certainly have an influence.

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Warren got on my nerves and I would have prefered Bishop Robinson in his place.  Then again, Warren had already got on my last nerve with all the hate he has spewed before all of this.  Obama’s speech was good, could have been better, but it was good.  Now that one minister, who rhymed the colours (yellow become mellow, or something like that) I have to admit, he has some talent and he made me laugh.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 20 January 2009 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Mriana - 20 January 2009 05:33 PM

Warren got on my nerves and I would have prefered Bishop Robinson in his place.  Then again, Warren had already got on my last nerve with all the hate he has spewed before all of this.  Obama’s speech was good, could have been better, but it was good.  Now that one minister, who rhymed the colours (yellow become mellow, or something like that) I have to admit, he has some talent and he made me laugh.

That rhyme was a take on an old ditty that every black child from the 60s has heard over and over again in regards with relationships with the whites of the day. If I remember correctly, it went something like: If you’re black get back (i.e. have no opportunity for advancement), if you’re brown stick around (and you may get thrown a scrap), if you’re yellow (fair skinned) you’re mellow (you get the job with some opportunities), if you’re white alright(you’re in control)!
The times—they are a-changin’!

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Posted: 20 January 2009 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Well, I liked his version.  It was funny, but I had no idea where it originated.  But tell me something, as a woman, what have I been in control of?  In all honesty, it has, as a rule been WASPs, rich male WASPs.

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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