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Obama Inauguration

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wm pasz
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:26 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
Are you watching? Whatever you may think about it, the Obama inauguration marks a turning point in our social evolution. It's not what he can do, but what we - Internet enabled - citizens now have the opportunity to do.

Obama's unlikely candidacy turned into a phenomenal victory because of the Internet. What else is now possible? Share your thoughts on this historic day.

Image

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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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SharynS
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:19 pm

Joined: 28 Jan 2006
Posts: 3632
Location: the 'puter
The moment was very emotional and moving. To Obama'a credit, not so much any one man, any one comment or the event but the moment in history. The moment was huge.

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Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself. - Salman Rushdie
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Pearson
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:36 pm

Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Sun City AZ
I had a commitment; anyone have a link to the inauguration?

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MichaelTroyMoore
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:36 pm

Joined: 12 Nov 2008
Posts: 277
Location: Behind the Lines in "Loveall Land"
It is almost like a Twilight Zone episode after 8 years of the Dumbest Most Corrupt President ever in US history whos family (Prescot Bush-Banker) can be tired directly to supporting Hilter and the Nazis I am moved by this changed yet still worried that it is to good to be true with Obama.

I can only hope and support President Obama and wait to see what happens?

I did like his speech, the part when he spoke about corruption and those who profit by it.

There was no chance in hell of a Bush administration bringing down corrupt labor union officials due to the fact that Bush wanted the Labor leader to be corrupt and impendent so the labor movement would stagnate and not move forward, now perhaps if Obama's appointments follow and enforced the law some corrupt heads are going to roll and make room for real Union men and women to take over the reigns of the Labor Movement and head forward into the tide President Obama spoke of.

I am not scared time to move forward.
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PhoenixIratus
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:05 pm

Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 51
Location: Canada
Right now I'm watching them prepare for the parade while the President and the rest are having lunch.

I made a point of watching this live. Didn't want to miss it for anything.
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wm pasz
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:59 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
I had the same feeling watching today's event as I did in the early days of our online community - that this internet thing was going to ignite a lot of fires that will eventually burn down the old exploitive institutions and allow us to create community among ourselves. This was going to happen because people would be drawn into engagement with others. Over the years, I've watched a lot of exciting "who the hell would ever think that would happen" moments happen in my own life and the lives of others because of this engagement.

I think this is what is behind the Obama phenomenon. Let's face it, it's absolutely unbelievable what's happened. Before the digital world developed, this would never have happened in million years. But it took only a few short years - the span of the Bush administration basically - for a young, political novice who, of all things, wasn't white to become POTUS. That's so totally unreal I can hardly believe it.

The engagement must continue. This guy isn't going to wave any magic wands or fix all the overwhelming problems that plague our society on his own. It's the people who are going to change things by giving voice to their ideas about how things should be. Really great leaders are the ones who inspire people to do just that, create the conditions where it can happen and then, upon hearing what the people want, help them to make it happen.

This is big, BIG, as big as the Internet - almost.

Twisted Evil

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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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wm pasz
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:11 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1219
Location: Toronto
Here's a video of Obama's speech

Here's the full text of his speech. I've marked my favourite bits.

Quote:
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 co-operation 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.

We have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord

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 thingstime 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 labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled 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 ploughed 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.

The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift

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. 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.

We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals

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 - that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours 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 the 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 defence, 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 we are ready to lead once more.

We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the 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 spectre of a warming planet. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, 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, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honour 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.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility

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 - honesty and hard work, 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 60 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 travelled. 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.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.


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Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. - Malcolm X
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atuuschaaw
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:33 pm

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 781
Location: an ahwangan
I have been skippin' and hoppin' on the cloud tops for the last few days! Last night Whole Wheat Radio had a physical/virtual community get-together for Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech and some freedom songs of the 60s. Then this morning the entire inauguration was also aired over WWR and shared on the collaboration page. It is just so hard to believe! Somebody pinch me! Wink

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rogead
Post Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:32 pm
Guest


I was in Memphis last week, and had my first opportunity to visit The National Civil Rights Museum

http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/home.htm

One of the things I had forgotten about Kingís trip to Memphis, is that he was only there that fateful day in April to support striking municipal sanitation workers.


The museum is built into The Lorraine Motel, and has a predictably large amount of MLK displays. More importantly, however, the point is made to use King as a springboard to the larger discussion of civil rights.


Even though the museum staff was preparing for the upcoming celebration of Kingís birthday, the Obama memorabilia was outselling the MLK merchandise.

I still think Obama is too closely tied to the political status quo, but thatís another discussion.

Today, Iím just happy to see a portion of Kingís dream finally achieved. Iím especially happy for those African-Americans who have first person memories of the lunch counters, the attack dogs, and the idiots in the white robes.

I donít believe in an afterlife; but if Iím wrong, I suspect there may be tears of joy in Martinís eyes.
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UNIONRICK1036
Post Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:59 am

Joined: 27 Aug 2007
Posts: 90
Thanks for posting all the links and the speech. I was able to watch all of the inauguration through the poetry reading before I had to go to work. I actually thought the invocation and the benediction were the best parts of the whole thing. Clearly Rick Warren got a very cool reception, but it seemed to me that he did his part to show he is not some wild eyed demagogue, and the crowd seemed to be more receptive of him when he completed his prayer. The benediction sent me off to work floating.

At work, I got to talk to lots of customers who, with Bakersfield being extremely right wingish, were very upbeat and happy with what they heard and certainly want to join Obama in his hope, even the doubters. Most of us simply don't believe that the rest of those who fit the mold of being greedy or oppressors will respond without prodding. How he wields the stick along with the carrot will be the determining factor, at least as I see it. The willingness to at least discuss our differences is what will pave the way.

While I really liked the whole thing, the best parts of his speech for me were
Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.


And finally,
Quote:
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.


Quote:
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.


All of these quotes had personal significance to me pertinent to our movement along with the whole country. It is time for us to do the work and walk the walk not just spout the talk. All said, I fully agree. The moment was huge.

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catbear955
Post Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:03 pm

Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 136
Location: Upland, Ca.
If I have learned anything after 30+ years in the UFCW in all its forms, it's that the phrase "cautiously optimistic" will keep popping up in the back of my mind whenever I'm handed a victory.

Finally, today, the candidate for whom I toiled is safely in office. We are on the road towards peace, as a nation, having exercised democracy without controversy, and it is such a breath of fresh air---I am not accustomed to the clarity it brings. I'm giddy from all the glorious pomp and circumstance and celebrity and historical significance of THE MOMENT my chosen candidate took office.

We have so much work to do. If we as labor are to produce anything of value to workers in this country, we have to start now---together, with a commonality of purpose, looking to the future.

Having survived a devastating eight years of turmoil, standing on top of the rubble of the Bush Administration legacy and surveying the scene, I don't want to plant my flag in this mess. I want to rebuild,reform,renew and replace whatever has crumbled or decayed with something that will work for all of labor, organized or not.

Yeah, I'm crazy with optimism, with promise, with possibility---what's next?

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Jeff-Hulk-Hemp
Post Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:43 am

Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 448
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjnygQ02aW4
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