I came across this clip today on CNN’s website.
It’s a video of Will.i.am sharing his inauguration experience.
It’s called “Will.i.am: A New Day”.
I came across this clip today on CNN’s website.
It’s a video of Will.i.am sharing his inauguration experience.
It’s called “Will.i.am: A New Day”.
Today is a day for hope… and a day to remember that our jobs are not done after simply electing Barack Obama as President of the United States.
He needs our help.
Demi Moore has directed and edited the following star-studded video, in which many people pledge to make a difference in the lives of others.
If we all did this, celebrities and regular citizens alike, just imagine the difference we can make.
It will take all of us, but we can do it.
In perusing the BBC’s website today after the inauguration, I found this video of Dr. Martin Luther King.
In the clip, he’s being interviewed, and asked to comment on President Kennedy’s prediction that the U.S. may see its first black president within the next 40 years… this, back in 1964.
Dr. King agrees with Kennedy, stating that our country may be ready for its first “negro” president even within the next 25 years.
44 years later, in part because of these two men and their dreams, our nation is realizing their vision.
While saddened that Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t live long enough to see their predictions come to fruition, I am nonetheless extremely grateful to have experienced this day.
Today is one of the most important, profound days of my life.
Welcome, President Obama.
I did not have the pleasure of attending the inauguration, but was instead glued to the TV in my company’s breakroom, and got to witness President Barack Obama’s swearing in, as well as his amazing speech.
There is nothing I can say to add to this moment, so I have posted the text of the speech in its entirety below.
Enjoy, and please…
Take these words to heart.
Full transcript as prepared for delivery of President Barack Obama’s inaugural remarks on Jan. 20, 2009, at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. 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 and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many.
They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. 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. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. 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. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.
We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. 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, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
It seems Obama is gearing up to deal with yet another controversial issue that is near and dear to my heart.
Recently, during a YouTube question and answer session with Robert Gibbs (Obama’s incoming White House Press Secretary), a viewer asked if this would be the administration that repeals the country’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military.
A resounding yes.
I never understood why we had to have this ridiculous policy to begin with, but I do realize that there are millions of fearful people in this country… otherwise kind-hearted people who don’t realize that their fear of that which they don’t understand has made them bigots…
… Rather than try to have a little compassion, perhaps educating ourselves a bit… we tend take the easy way out, as a result becoming cowards.
Gay people have always fit neatly into the “we don’t understand” category.
Why is it that to so many people, a simple lack of understanding equals carte blanche permission to hate, judge and discriminate?
Back to the subject at hand…
I’ve heard all the arguments- absolute nonsense- that by allowing gays in the military, their assigned unit’s “cohesion” is in jeopardy… as in, if a gay man falls in love with another man in his unit, he may sacrifice the good of the unit’s mission by putting his lover’s safety higher on the priority list than that of the unit’s…
You know… should they find themselves in that situation.
That argument became moot when the military began allowing men and women to serve in the same unit… would not a straight guy who’s in love with a woman in his unit potentially act in the exact same fashion?
… And yet, nobody’s raising the argument in that particular scenario, now are they?
The bottom line is that lots of straight people feel “icky” that they may be serving- eating, sleeping, soldiering- with a member of the same sex, someone who could potentially develop the hots for them.
That makes all kinds of sense.
It’s ironic how some of the world’s bravest men and women so staunchly support a policy that gives them an excuse to be cowardly.
The good news is that times are changing, and we finally have a leader who is truly and unapologetically against discrimination- in all its ugly forms.
That truly is something to be proud of.
I won’t even lie.
I was very happy- ecstatic, really- to read in today’s news that Obama not only plans to make good on his campaign promise to close down Guantanamo Bay, but will likely implement said plans as early as…
… his first week in office.
This is why Obama is my boy.
Gitmo has been nothing but a horrific, tragic… not mention polarizing… chapter in this country’s history, and it’s about flippin’ time we had a guy in office who possesses the balls to shut the damn thing down.
The presence of Guantanamo Bay, along with the Bush Administration’s blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions not only represent terrible black marks on a country that prides itself on being the melting pot of the world- a nation that “stands for freedom”, but more importantly, places our troops in even more danger than they’re already in.
I know, I know.
War is ugly.
I get it.
However, when the enemy captures our brave men and women on the battle-field… which as we all know has happened more than once… how likely are they to treat our troops with any kind of dignity and respect… or, let’s say, not torture them… if we’re not doing the same for their own people?
Not to mention, torture apparently isn’t terribly effective either…
… Don’t take my word for it- ask top military/intelligence officials.
They’ll tell you the same damn thing.
Even the U.S. Army Field Manual says so.
In fact, the CIA has an interesting view on this type of thing, known as “blowback“. Blowback, simply put, describes “unintended consequences of covert operations”. In short, it’s payback.
Blowback often seems random, and it seems to be without cause to the general public, but that’s usually because the general public was unaware of the “covert operations” that caused the blowback to begin with.
Just something to ponder…
I believe it’s a complicated way of saying, “what goes around comes around…”
Ending torture and closing Gitmo are two great ways that the U.S. can begin the process of ceasing to tempt fate.
People are dying.
They have been dying- for nothing, at this point- for way too long.
Thank you, President Obama, for having the courage to take the first step of many to begin saving lives.
I love Sarah Palin.
She’s so much fun.
First, she pardons a turkey, calling herself a friend to all creatures…
Ok moose hunter.
Next, she gives her post-pardon interview in plain view of her “friends” (turkeys) being slaughtered.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
There have been a lot of rumblings in the last day or so about Barack Obama’s potential plan to overturn Bush’s executive orders.
This possibility has conservatives freakin’ out… and quite frankly, is one of the most idiotic displays of phony outrage I’ve seen in a while.
First of all, what the hell are people so surprised about?
Obama’s a democrat, and by nature of that fact alone, is an opponent of a whole buncha shit Bush has done over the past 8 years.
W’s executive orders are but a single example in a long list of Bush policies that Obama opposes.
Second, Barack Obama’s entire premise is based on change… he’s based his entire career, and certainly his presidential campaign… on exactly that.
So… uh… what kind of sense would it make for him to take office and then… um…
… Not actually change anything?
This is completely elementary… and the GOP’s reaction to it is juvenile…
And it’s stupid.
George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama are- both literally and figuratively- like night and day.
They’re different, y’all.
For Republicans to get their panties in a bunch, acting all shocked, hurt and surprised that the new president-elect would want to shake some shit up when he takes office is absolutely ridiculous.
What the hell else did they expect him to do?
Keep Bush’s policies?
Govern the land as if no change in power had actually occured?
Give me a break.
Throughout his campaign, Obama did state- on more than one occassion- that he looks forward to working with both parties when elected.
That does not translate to, “Upon being sworn in, I will immediately forget the fact that I am a democrat, fundamentally against damn near every single thing George Bush has ever done, and cater- exclusively- to Republicans”.
Note to Conservatives:
This is no longer your game.
I promise that Obama will have at least the same amount of respect for you and your concerns as Bush had for ours.
Going along with the Republican Party’s theme of hate and bigotry, we hear news from Washington that the Secret Service is blaming Sarah Palin for an increase in death threats against Barack Obama.
These threats coincide with Palin’s remarks, beginning in October, centering around her claims that Obama’s been “palling around with terrorists”, her attacks on his patriotism, and her strange obsession with William Ayres’ almost non-existent link to the democratic nominee.
Certainly Sarah Palin is not solely to blame. She did not create this mind-numbing ugliness… though she definitely didn’t hesitate to capitalize on it.
The threats became so common- and credible- that the Secret Service warned the Obama family about them.
Understandably, this news was devastating to Michelle Obama who, like the rest of us, was absolutely dumbfounded by the hatred and threats of violence coming from McCain/Palin supporters.
Thankfully, the nut jobs that wished physical harm on Barack Obama and his family turned out to be the exception- not the rule- though they were quite loud and after a time seemed to be speaking for the masses.
This is the nonsense that needs to stop.
People can make whatever excuses they want to make… that Barack Obama is a radical, that he is unknown, that he is unpatriotic and un-American…
… But the fact remains… this is a country torn by racism- a nation sliced down the center, with half of us looking to move in the direction of progress, while the other half fears change, fears brown skin, fears anything that is different than that which they have become accustomed.
The ignorance this election has exposed is mind-boggling and heartbreaking.
The United States of America made history on November 4, 2008… we can look at our black children now, and tell them there are no limits… they can reach the sky if they want to…
… But we know, secretly in our hearts, that in doing so, it may cost them- our babies, my beautiful black-women-in-training- their lives.
This is not the nation we claim to be, the beacon of hope we represent to the rest of the world.
We are the land of the free, the home of the brave.
We are the melting pot.
We are the land of opportunity, where all things are possible.
How then, could we have allowed this to happen?
Bigots, and murderous white supremacists who feed on hate did not just crop up here, in our country, on the day Barack Obama announced his bid for the presidency.
Too many people turned a blind eye, long before this political season even began… convincing themselves and those around them that this ugliness did not exist… not on their watch, not in their towns, not in their homes…
… and certainly not in their hearts.
Too many people were wrong.
Now that the election is over, we all need to come together- Democrats and Republicans- and get with the job of making this country great again.
I truly believe that.
So why am I struggling like I am?
Key Republicans are doing just what we’ve been saying they need to do- coming out together in support of Obama’s presidency.
Or are they?
When Sarah Palin proclaims her excitement at Obama’s victory, “God bless Barack Obama and his beautiful family”… I can’t help but remember that it was less than a week ago that she would have us think he “pals around with terrorists”.
Congresswoman Bachmann congratulates her state of Minnesota, which went blue this election, for voting for Obama and sending the “right signal”… and yet she was the one, in October, who almost lost her own bid for re-election- for stating that Obama has “Anti-American” values.
Next we have Joe Lieberman… boy was he tough on Obama while campaigning for McCain… accusing Obama of cutting off funding for our troops, and claiming that Obama’s top priorities do not include the U.S.A. (Lieberman should talk- he can’t possibly see anything but shit, with his head up Israel’s ass like it is)…
… Now he wants us to think he is so happy our new president-elect won, he’d like to re-join the democratic caucus.
I mean damn, he wants to switch teams- again- just so he can serve our new guy… he’s THAT supportive of Barack Obama.
Just all of a sudden.
I’d have been cool, had these particular Republicans simply… say… called for a moratorium on all racist/terrorist/anti-American accusations against Obama… it truly isn’t necessary for them to damn near kill themselves to jump on the “I love Barack Obama” bandwagon.
It makes sense that perhaps some wounds need to be licked- or something.
People sound stupid, trying to convince the public-at-large that they have managed to turn 180 degrees in mere days…
Palin has often looked like she wanted to call for Obama’s death- she certainly allowed others to do so at her rallies… and suddenly we’re God-blessing him, his victory and his beautiful family?
No one would have blamed the GOP if they had needed to take a month or two off- say, up until the inauguration- to regroup- and then come out in full support of their new democratic president.
This extra-mushy, super-sweet, super-FAKE sign of support is nauseating.
These are the same people that would cut this man’s balls off with a butter knife, first chance they get… Are they really so arrogant as to think we’re buying into this shit?