[FoRK] Finally, someone who can do the job better than I could

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Jan 20 10:49:19 PST 2009


http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/change_has_come_to_whitehouse-gov/

One of the CNN headlines is: "Obama raises hand, lifts a nation".  I 
think they've been saving that.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/20/obama.politics/index.html
>  Obama's inaugural speech
>
> (CNN) -- Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United 
> States and the nation's first African-American president Tuesday. This 
> is a transcript of his prepared speech.
> In his speech Tuesday, President Obama said America must play its role 
> in ushering in a new era of peace.
>
> 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 forebearers, 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 shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path 
> for the fainthearted -- 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 toward 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 
> nonbelievers. 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 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 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.


Elvis has left the Capital. Amen.  Nice how Obama showed him the way. ;-)

Stephen



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