Well, unless your camping, it’s kinda gross.
Adam Braverman to his dad in regard to wearing his shirt two days in a row.
Perfectly delivered, excellent writing.
We gather our pennies and reach into the deepest realms of our pockets and purses to help those in Haiti and our generous spirit also reaches out to disaster victims here at home in such profound ways. We even go out of our way to help our neighbors when they are suffering, yet we refuse to provide even the most basic of health care for those that struggle among our own people and see educating our children as somebody else’s problem.
Caring for one another doesn’t just mean coming to the rescue when disaster strikes. It means supporting one another, being tolerant of each other and lifting each other up so that we can all succeed and thrive.
I wish I shared the presidents hopefulness for our future, especially since I was so hopeful when he was elected. I wish I saw more of this decency and resilience and care for one another that he sees. This is a risky thing to say and please don’t bash me or call me names. I do believe we are strong and the wheel of time will continue to turn and we will keep fighting and prevailing. It simply pains me to see the state we are in right now, that’s all.
I wrote the following as notes to remind myself of what was going on during the speech so I would have talking points when writing this, but really with a little editing the running commentary was entertaining and compelling in it’s own right, so I left it like that.
Here we go…
Jobs gets everyone to their feet. Obviously we can all agree that creating jobs is a huge issue for the upcoming year. Of course the differing ideas of how to accomplish that become painfully obvious when the most innovative, creative and I think best ideas are presented, the whole republican side of the room just sat there shaking their heads.
I like the idea of providing community banks funds to loan to small businesses. This not only helps small businesses, but community banks are moderately small businesses too and this lifts them up in this economy as well.
And please please please can we please take away tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas. Granted it might make things slightly more expensive, but it will provide jobs here and really, it is about time for all of us to get real with what things cost and what we can afford.
They need to find a better color of makeup for him. He looks jaundiced. His hands are this lovely caramel color and his face is the color of bile. Get on it folks.
Nuclear power plants huh? Off shore drilling? bio-fuels and clean coal. Who said he doesn’t listen to ideas from across the aisle?
Love the dig on climate change. ”Those that disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change”. If we want to be the global power we see ourselves as we need to lead on a global level. Set a good example on clean exports. Increase exports.
Now I am going to go off here for a minute and I understand that many will disagree with me and even get angry and want to say something nasty just to mix it up, but you aren’t going to change my mind about this so really, why bother?
Funny how the republicans want the “average American” to think that they are in their corner, yet any time something comes up that would help the “average American” or “hurt” big business, the republicans sit shaking their heads in disgust that the needs of the American people would come ahead of the greed of corporate America.
How so many are fooled by their retoric just blows my mind. They aren’t interested in helping you keep your job or earn more money or put your kids through college or pay your medical bills. They just aren’t. What they say and what they do doesn’t mesh up and you all need to open your eyes. Their only interests lie in discrediting democrats, getting reelected and lining the pockets of their monetary supporters.
Ok, I’m done. Let’s get on with it.
“The best anti-poverty plan around is a world class education”. Revitalize community colleges – Awesome! Wow, big tax credit. No more than 10% of income on student loans with forgiveness after 20 years or 10 if public servant. Seems like a decent start, but doesn’t even put a dent in it. I also think that continuing to throw money at this problem rather than reforming from the bottom up isn’t going to solve anything long term. But that is a whole different discussion.
Health care reform must happen. Duh. Did her really wait this long to discuss this?
Hey! There’s Gary Locke.
Side Rant Begin…
Small government you want? Why then did the surplus turn into the biggest deficit ever? Fact.
Don’t tell me what to do, you say? But making choices about who I love, what I do with my body and whether my kids learn legitimate science in school is OK?
Let the states make these choices. In my opinion fundamental rights are a place where the federal government should step in so that all of our citizens can depend on quality and affordable health care and an education that will further them in their lives.
Social security. Why can’t we just lift the limit on social security tax. It has been said that this would totally fix the problem and that a huge majority of Americans agree that this is what we should do, but yet it isn’t even on the table?
Side Rant End…
Hey! There’s Patty Murray.
“It’s time to try something new”. Common sense, a novel concept. Invest in our people, imagine that. The old way is no longer working. Like a wise man once said, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.
I appreciated that he spoke boldly and directly to both democrats and republicans. To democrats, we have the largest majority in decades and the people expect us to govern, not run for the hills. Come on you guys, get some work done and quit being a bunch of pansies (my words not his). And to republicans, quit acting like children (my words not his). Saying no to everything may be good short term politics, but it isn’t leadership. It is time to govern and stop the petty political nonsense.
After listening to the speech I feel it was very good as his speeches usually are and I even found myself buying into this hope he spoke of at the beginning. The hope that politicians will somehow overcome the status quo and see things reasonably. That the lies will end and the republicans will see governing the people as a higher priority than destroying the democrats. That the democrats will stand strong in their convictions.
And then I came back to the real world as I discussed the commentary with my husband. Seems they both think that a week from now nobody will remember a word he said and that the hope that anything will change any time soon is naive and fool hearty.
What will it take to pull us out of this mess we are in? What will it take to put the American people first?
This American citizen is cynical and angry, but like President Obama I have the slightest glimmer of hope that the strength and love of the American people will somehow prevail. My heart is heavy and my mind cluttered.
- I have taken the first two Landmark curriculum classes. The Forum and The Advanced Course. I also signed up for and completed the first work day of the third and final course (Self Expression and Leadership Program – SELP) before ending my relationship with Landmark.
- I got it. Landmark transformed me just as promised.
- I think that Landmark has a lot to offer just about everyone.
Ok, now that that is out of the way I also have to say that I strongly disagree with many of their practices.
The teachings are incredible and if you can give yourself over to the process then amazing things can happen in your life.
- I have found and asked for forgiveness
- I have released a ton of my baggage and see my past for what it was and not what I made it into.
- I have new clarity on why I have acted the way I have, chosen the relationships I have chosen and made the choices I have made.
- I can see what is holding me back and where my failures have come from.
- I have learned how to express gratitude and ask for help.
- I am more comfortable with discomfort.
- My fear is subsiding.
- I have joy in my life.
- I have a new level of confidence and know that I am fully prepared for whatever lies ahead and that what lies ahead is whatever I dream it could be.
- So so much more.
You would think with all that and more I would be shouting from the rooftops that everyone should absolutely stop whatever they are doing right now and sign up to take these courses. Unfortunately every time I speak of Landmark I have to add a ton of caveats about the downsides of this company.
Along side a very good curriculum is a very poor marketing plan. They are constantly pushing you to bring people to the program. And the further you get in the better the curriculum gets and the more they push bringing people in. It is distracting and unnecessary and I have told them so.
I spent a lot of time during the Advanced course being angry about this, but I also try to remind myself that everything they do is orchestrated to bring up certain emotions and help you face your fears. And the expectation of bringing people to the program definitely did that for me, ultimately helping me break my cycle with expectation and failure. So, it’s not all bad.
But, I think all that could be accomplished without pressuring me to market the program for them. I had serious work to do and all that bullshit was distracting from that.
The thing I don’t think they realize is that our stories are their best marketing tool and if they just gave us room to tell our stories to those we think might benefit from their program without any pressure or deception they might open up new space for themselves and be able to take their company to the next level. Seems like they need to take some of their own advice.
If you are considering taking these classes please be aware of these tactics and just put them aside. If you just let it go, give yourself over to the process and don’t take it too seriously there are tremendous benefits to be gained from taking this challenge on.
Always best to know what your getting into, I think.
I simply don’t understand why people find it so difficult to follow the simple rules and courtesies of the road. It’s really not that difficult.
- When you come to a yield sign, that means you have to slow down and look both ways to see if there is a car coming. If there are no cars and only if there are no cars it is OK to proceed. If there are cars present then you need to STOP and wait for the appropriate opening.
- On the same theme, if you are taking a right turn on a red light this acts in a similar way to a yield sign. Everyone moving has the right of way before you, even the people taking a U-turn at a designated U-turn light (yes that means you, you rude Genesee oil truck driver who nearly ran into me this morning).
- If you are a slow driver DO NOT cut someone off when pulling out into traffic from a driveway or yield sign. We all know what kind of driver we are, act appropriately and with thought to those driving around you. Much like life, a little common sense and courtesy can take you a long way.
- When merging onto the freeway, you are suppose to enter traffic going the freeway speed limit. Pay attention and plan your speed ahead to make sure that you can enter traffic without disturbing the flow. And for God’s sake, do not stop in the middle of the on ramp. If you plan ahead and use your brain this will very rarely be necessary. With that said, if you are in the slow lane and someone is trying to merge, get out of the way. If you slow down or speed up just a little or change lanes if the next one is open this makes merging, which can be a scary undertaking sometimes, a lot easier for everyone.
- If you are sitting in traffic, let a car in and if you are in that lane that is still zipping along, get in when the opportunity presents itself. Don’t be a greedy ass hole.
- Please use your hands free devices. Even months after the law was passed here, people are still talking on their phones while driving. I swear every third car has some oblivious jerk chatting away. This would also include, I would hope without saying, reading the paper, texting, putting on makeup and other generally non-driving related activities.
I could just go on and on and am kind of glad I started this list, because now when someone does something that drives my blood pressure through the roof while driving I can come here and add it to the list. I would encourage you to do so as well. I sure feel better.
Vent away my blogoshere friends. This is a safe and non-judgemental environment.
By the way, it’s really encouraging to hear that they are using their status on twitter to do some serious good. Ashton Kutcher challenged Larry King to a race to 1 million twitter followers. The winner had to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to the malaria cause and the loser had to donate 1,000. Ashton Kutcher won. Other celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon as well to help with awareness for World Malaria Day.
Although words are not coming easily to me at this point, I am full. Full of hope for the future. Full of pride in my country. Full of love for everyone and everything.
I know I am not alone in my deep reflection on this moving experience. It amazes me and fills me with joy that such an inspirational and capable man has come to power at a time when we need it so badly. All things happen for a reason at the time it is most needed and I think that is the case here.
I was impressed with the strength of his speech, the message he sent to the world and most importantly his message to us, the American people. These are tough times for this country and we must all stand together and get ready to work hard beside each other building a new America.
You can’t help but feel there was a fundamental shift that occurred this morning and I can’t help but notice that I feel fundamentally different because of it.
Dear Mr. President: Be strong and follow your heart. Your judgement is sound and good and should be trusted as well as critically questioned. Surround yourself with smart and experienced people you trust and listen heartfully to them, but don’t let them sway you from the task at hand. We need you now to show us the way. Tell us what you need from us and we will be there, standing next to you. We need change, need to take responsibility for our actions and contributions to both the good and bad that is this time in this country, need to be inspired and led by you. You will be great and my hopeful and positive thoughts will be with you every step of the way.
For my own selfish reasons and for my personal purpose of always wanting to remember this day, I have quoted the text of President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech below.
Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
Following is the prepared text of President-elect Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, as provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee:
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 Sanh.
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.
There weren’t any lines or crowds as we live in a small town (well actually a very small incorporated seattle suburb) with adequate polling locations and the majority of folks in our county vote absentee. In fact, they are making us all vote absentee as soon as they can get the system in place.
I have probably said this before, but I think this is really unfortunate. There is something empowering and inspiring about going to polls and making your voice heard along with others in your community. It just seems more impactful in some way.
But today is about anticipation and excitement and hopefully celebration. This is going to be a day that will be remembered in our history and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.