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Posts Tagged ‘obama’

I’m blogging this as I watch it.

Very nice to mix up the audience.  Changing seats changes dynamics.  Some might clap when they wouldn’t.  Others might not yell when they did last time.

“Sets our nation apart” is a tired concept.  From who?  From what?  being different doesn’t matter.  are we better?   better how?

Challenges that are decades in the making…  now that’s a concept!

Globalization… oh, wow.   folks who are now just recognizing this need to catch up!

Rules have been changed in the middle of the game… YES people.  that’s how it is.  There is no ruleset that stays the same… goodness.

Education… MATH BABY.   yeah, how many times have I heard “I don’t do math” in this country. A lot.  Learn it.  you need it.

Discourage vs. Challenge…. bingo.

Founded for the sake of an idea.  hmmm… don’t just memorize equations… what do you think of the world….  how many people watching this REALLY understand this???

Why outbuild the world?  Why?   what about doing it because it’s cool and a great strategy… we don’t need to “win the future”

Nation of Google and Facebook… oy!   that is a stretch…

I wanna see all this talk turn into action.  Sputnik moment?   R and D?   You need more than government to invest.   I just don’t see this generation of people doing R and D.  It’s a generation lacking imagination.   Facebook was not imagination.  it was a Hot or Not picture rating service.   And how has it REALLY changed things like the invention of the internet, the car, the plane, the lightbulb.  Maybe I’m romanticizing these inventions.

nearly half of jobs will require education that goes beyond high school!  yikes!

(was having a side conversation… so missed a lines)

Love focus on EDUCATION.    that’s what I care about.

goodness… border stuff.  get over it people.  yer forebears all jumped the fence.  get over it.

This is definitely a centrist speech.

I do like the Simplify Tax Code.

why promote only American jobs?  I just don’t get that.

concerns about health care law?  ya think!

Does he have this memorized!?

deficit… boring.

safe-havens.   nuclear weapons.  all this is big talk.   we’re not shaping a world that favors peace.  that makes no sense with the above sentiments about “make america the best”…. puhlease.   we defend our turf.  just own up to it.

Overall dynamic was much much better.  Far less “you lie” and standing Os.

only an hour.

good.

i’m kinda bored to be honest.

but that’s ok.

 

yer take?

 

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A strange dialogue takes place in America on a daily basis.  It’s not quite about race, but around it.  The various TV and radio personalities spew their ratings fueled rants.  The White House plops out carefully crafted press statements.  Blogs and the internet spill forth with anonymous dumps of hatred.

All these things have something in common – it’s not really discussion.  It’s broadcating.  It’s monologuing.

Like so many tough issues we don’t discuss this stuff in a real way in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces.  One real problem with that is that it’s hard to shift ones view through consumption of a broadcast… typically one tunes into the broadcast they already agree with.  Through dialogue, real in person dialogue, one has to put ones value statements to the test.  Hear them outloud, mash them with others, rebuke, rebut, reform.

It’s hard for me to decipher if it’s a failing of our new modes of communication or our modes of communication are the result of our lack of desire to connect.  Maybe a bit of both.  Either way, the discussion about racial issues isn’t moving along very quickly.

Sure, I have a view about where we are in tolerance and inclusion as a society.  Rather than dump that here… talk to me sometime so we can share our views.

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At the delayed morning meeting with an attorney that hates attorneys, we got around to talking about the money… yeah, THAT money.

There is the Stimulus Package I & II, the normal government loads to states, the bailout to some banks (but not the ones with a passion for customer loans), the bailout of the car mfgs which seem, now in retrospect to amount to overspill from a Super Bowl game by comparison. But en masse, we’re talkin’ real money here folks.

Does anyone grasp the numbers anymore? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that is slightly rhetorical.

We do need to do some stuff and that is what we are doing but it occurred to me that the numbers are all running together and perhaps even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t have the necessarily grasp on the meaning of those $$$$ trillions. But, maybe I am wrong. He deals in money. We don’t. For all we know he may be more scared than we are… On the other hand, none of them want to have the collapse of the world’s leading economy on their watch.

During the Obama speech Tuesday night the camera’s panned to Hillary in the front row. It’s as if a little cartoon bubble rose above her head during the 2nd third of the speech and it had in it…

“I’m soooooooooo glad you are standing there right now….”

Oh, there is a new item that came out after the address to both Houses and the Judiciary of the government… another $75.5 billion for the two fronts of the war… which seems to have gone to the, “I don’t know why we’re here now; ask the guys from Halliburton” stage and another $663.7 for 2010 defense spending.

So, where are we? We have a $3.5+ trillion plus budget and we are not sure what that will bring or yield. Talk about a ‘faith-based’ initiative! We need the changes but no one said the right ones would be the first ones.

Here’s the deal. The people in 99.5% of the positions in Washington DC got there by doing some things better than their opponents. They won. They learned from those there how it all works. They copied those methods and those rationales. They were re-elected with the promise to continue to do the job like they’d been doing.  (read: status quo) That also is the case for the bankers, the auto executives, and some of the brokers on Wall Street.  You’ve heard it before and it applies here as an example of what went terribly wrong:

to a carpenter, every problem can be solved with a hammer.”

Now we need some new technologies and greater grasp of other ‘tools’ besides a hammer.

Changing individuals is difficult.  Changing cultures is almost infinitely more complex to pull off. You have to change the contingencies, the consequences of behavior to get different results. Not at all easy. The culture there is strong and ideas of what is right and wrong only die when the people holding them die. Any changes that come quicker are difficult to anchor because no one knows how those will work in that culture.


And, just about the time they get a rhythm and some solutions there will be another election. That is why you have to follow what’s going on.  Short of death you can get rid of those that don’t do right by the country’s standards.  Elections!

One component is to follow the money. Another is to follow your representatives in Washington and your state as they get THE MONEY. Things have got to change. No one wants to pay more taxes but everyone wants something more from the government.

You want a bailout? It will cost your kids. You want cheap money? It will cost a lot more? You want something for nothing? Good luck with that… maybe the tooth fairy will entertain that idea but even she require a tooth.

It’s time… lead, follow or get out of the way.

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Here’s the transcript from tonight’s Presidential Address to Congress:

Get it from the WhiteHouse.gov site.

My favorite part:

But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it.  And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.  This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship.  But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.  And dropping out of high school is no longer an option.  It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American.  That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal:  by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

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Reproduced with permission from a private e-mail from Mahesh Johari

Some quick commentary only today.  The stimulus bill that just passed the House contains a “Buy American” clause, which forces materials purchased using funds from the stimulus package to come from American manufacturers.

Intuitively, this sounds both logical and appealing.  If we’re spending our taxpayer dollars, obviously we want those dollars to be spread throughout our economy.  It makes no sense to pass an economic stimulus package that sends our money to China.  So why not mandate that?

Unfortunately it’s not that simple.  The “Buy American” clause has great political appeal but will do nothing but defer job losses and prolong the overall process of adjustment that we are experiencing.

Here’s why: Let’s imagine (for example) a steel manufacturer in the U.S.  The manufacturer is unable to compete globally because their cost structure is too high.  They are facing the prospect of downsizing, of shuttering excess capacity, of laying off workers.  But wait! Here comes the stimulus package to save the day!

Now this uncompetitive sloth of a firm has a new lifeline.  They can sell their overpriced product to the stimulus package.  They can delay downsizing, cost cuts, and layoffs.  So as long as the stimulus package is around, they can keep being inefficient.  Meanwhile their international competitors are becoming ever more efficient, adjusting themselves to true market conditions.  The competitors are getting better.

When the stimulus package expires, the firm will be right back where it began: uncompetitive and burdened with an unsustainable cost structure.  Then what?  Of course the layoffs will come, the downsizing, etc.  Everything that should have happened will happen, just a year or two later.  The part of the stimulus used to overpay for those American materials will essentially have been used for zero long term benefit.  The overall economic adjustment process will be prolonged.

This type of waste why we have to be very careful when it comes to government spending.  Government spending packages tend to waste a lot of money.  Resources that are wasted produce no long term economic benefit.

So what should we do?  We don’t want companies to willy-nilly send our stimulus dollars to China.  Well, at least not when they can get the same stuff in the United States.

As long as we are creating websites and transparency, let’s go all the way!    We could require any purchases of commodity materials from international vendors to be subject to a domestic competitive bid first.  For example, if Caterpillar feels their most economical source for steel is based in Australia, let’s require them to accept competitive bids from American firms BEFORE they are allowed to place the order to the Australian firm.  If we keep the process open and transparent, it will bring the best American firms out to compete at peak efficiency – a very desirable outcome.

We have to be very careful here.  Subsidizing inefficiency is not the path to prosperity.

Related Blog/News Posts (add by Russ not email author, just for further reading):

CNN on Limbaugh and Obama Package

Perfect Storm?

Retailers on the Ropes

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They’re at it again. Yes they are… As part of the Rube Goldberg contingent from Mythinformation Central. From the people that brought you “you’re fat because of your friends” you are now presented with: “your genes influence who will become friends.”

They set up the straw man: that it is an error to suggest people are a function of a “simple model for the metabolic, neural and Internet networks, and the same model is applied to human beings — that all parts of the network are identical and interchangeable”.

They never knock it down but extrapolate beyond the data with innuendo of their own PR. One can only imagine that Christakis and cronies will be doing collaborative work with Steven Pinker soon on the topology of the mind, call it science and write another book on the mind’s influences in support of Pinker’s postulate that the reason the Chief justice misquoted the oath of President Obama was a “blowback from Chief Justice Roberts’s habit of grammatical niggling Or was it a Freudian slip? Hmmm… Science, huh... How very canny for the Language Don Dr. Pinker to point that out as he knows so much about both people’s histories, relevant factors and ‘mindful’ homunculi like those “inherent characteristics that govern where we [as individuals] gravitate to in the social network.”

“A second implication is that the [current] study suggests that if we really want to understand how things [?what ‘things’?] diffuse in social networks, we need to take into account people’s locations in the social networks, which are due in part to their genes,” Christakis pontificated while showing no data or peer reviewed research.

Please see the Baloney Detection Kit submitted for consideration for those reading content from any media channel, including Buzz Creation or Mythinformation efforts by mainstream print media to get more subscribers and kooks to buy their fading printed words.

I am looking forward to more “sharper predictions” from the Christakis Mythinformation crew.

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I am so disappointed.

Mysticism returns to prime time TV with this inane crime stopper series “LIE to ME*” heralding the star (Tim Roth) and his team’s ability to read people’s faces to tell when they are lying about what. Crimes are just the medium for the law enforcement to clean up with all that legal mumbo jumbo.

Forget the advance science of real life CSI groups who offer empirical data as evidence supporting suspicion of involvement or not that is shown or implied in other TV dramas. Too many big words and too much emphasis on logic over folklore. That was wayyyyyy to tough to understand.

So, I guess the Vietnam war injury from a concussion grenade will not get mentioned in the villain’s arraignment. We’ll be able to tell if President Obama really is going to address the issues of the day and, most importantly, whether or not he is embarrassed to have a middle name of “Hussain” after all.

Working with this fantasy, think of where it could all lead: you are successful based on not being able to terse your lips or raise an eyebrow due to Botox.  No more need for matters as suspect as a ‘Twinkie defense.’  It was a facial tick that sealed the doom that the Olympian was using banned substances… Or, your movie is given the green light because you looked the producers in the eye and your nose didn’t flare at the same time…

If only we knew what to look for before Columbine and West Virginia events… And all along those media mongrels were leading down the path of science, contingency management and stem cell hope. But no more…

Enter the latest version of phrenology** and voodoo*** for prime consumption.

I am so disappointed.

* Not the absolute blues-grunt-rock of Jonny Lang’s live version of “Lie to Me”

** Phrenology: a defunct and debunked field of study, once considered a science, in which a person’s personality was first implied and then determined by experts “reading” bumps and fissures in the subjects skull.

*** Voodoo: religion based on mix of Roman Catholic teachings and West African beliefs that there are numerous deities subordinate to a greater god spirit (who does not traffic in matters or events of mere humans). Prayers and incantations to lower gods who show their work by symbolism in everything from tea leafs to smoke – only coincidently related to the smoke from a sacred chimney announcing a new Pope.

Various Blog Coverage:

TV Addict

Chicago Trib

Televisionary


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If you’re looking for Obama’s Inaugration speech transcript ABC news has a decent page with it. CNN does as well.

The BENEDICTION transcript is presented below.

watch the video:

or read the transcript (I found it in the comments posted below [thanks!] and here):

Transcript courtesy Federal News Service

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: Say amen —

AUDIENCE: Amen!

REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

————-

My thoughts:

Good news!  Non believers got some representation!

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.

There’s a particularly elegant quip on power:

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.

I also thought this bit in the benediction was good:

When the tanks are beaten into tractors

Good stuff.

Now back to work.

Share around for others to find it…

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When the inauguration is over will the work really begin?

It is a strange thing to me that while we sink trillions of taxpayer dollars into bailouts and rail against AIG (and others) for spending frivolously, we then throw one of the biggest inaugurations ever.  Who pays for that?

What about the loss of productivity today?  at least 3 hours of corporate time for each person… what about the government work not getting done?

I’m obviously not the first to note this.  And, no, I did not agree with the expense when GWB spent a similar amount last go around.

Let’s celebrate modestly and get on with the real work.

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We are about to go into a “phase” as my mother used to refer to my dependence on a specific set of terms, ideas or behavior. That phase is going to be around for awhile and it’s going to drive us nuttier than a 4 year presidential election campaign. It is a ‘racism’ phase and it will end up giving the neocons apoplexy, the centrists gout, and the make the left wingnuts tongue-tied.

No. racism doesn’t have to be black vs. white. If you think that you haven’t had to be paying attention. It can be British vs. French, Indian vs. Pakistani and a hundred other real or imagined lines of descendence that we think makes a difference. It is all the same racism.

And it is now open verbiage to be applied to uncritical street cred and maniacal approaches to everything imaginable. You are racist if you want secure boarders. You are a racist if you don’t care one way or another. You are racist if you want a strong UN. You are raciest if you want your children to go to public – private – parochial or military school (pick).

As for those that think we have a black President it must be dead, pleassssseeee! Spend some time in the south, in the north, east, west, in prison, on a cruise ship, in a space program…

Know racism is not dead. It is not even sick. It is alive and well and willing to come out with a joke, a glace, a decision to stay home from the blues concert. It is euphemism expressed openly. It is seen in almost any non- SNL skit where “nudge – nudge, wink – wink” says it all. It is at every eatery you drive thru or opulently satiate yourself at as well as every level of management seeking a vision to hide our primitivism. It is convoluted, reverse, covert, overt and illegal. It is in front of you and it is behind you. Worst of all, it will never die any more than fear that generates it will be die.

In the end, it is an abject announcement that ‘my cave is better than your cave’ and that I am more in charge of my future if and only if I can make some entity less so that I will be more. It is yours for use as long as you are willing to accept ‘Diversity training’ for your transgressions. It is yours for use as long as you can point to your involvement in affirmative action pamphleteering or some absurd “Guilt-be-gone!” behavior equivalent to two wrongs make a right.

As complex interacting humans that are endlessly pressured to define who we are, we need to call people on their use of racism, and be called on ours, in communications of all sorts. Just ask, “What do you mean?” Otherwise, its easy use will morph to an all encompassing modifier to give credence to our position or shock value to our voice.

So, now we need to turn our phasers on and be ready to shoot down, stun or punctuate any conversation or ink that rides the coattails of an Obama victory to profess their new slant on bigotry.

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