Inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States

US CapitolOPEN THREAD

Our weekly meeting was canceled tomorrow because half the agents want to stay home to see Barack Obama take the oath of office as the President of the U.S.   I’ll be watching.

Please feel welcome to share your thoughts about the historical day. It’s a big moment in history.

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16 Responses

  1. I thought it was a wonderful speech

  2. (I’ve dropped this in other places, as well as my lj, but here’s my thoughts..)

    It hurts that I thought I had lost years ago the idea of the America I believed in as a child, the land of hope, and love, and freedom that was gone, and had never existed. It was wonderful to be able to reach out to others as they listened, to realize that so many share my dreams of a place where love, honor, respect, and true freedom are paramount.

    I cried as I realized that it might still happen at some point in the future.

    There are things that you can nitpick about, there are things that I wish were a little better, but I never knew what I had missed, never had someone that I could believe wanted to do something positive, to draw us forward in a sense of community, love, and hope.

    I’m fairly sure that Mr. Obama will do things I don’t like at some point, probably many things. It’s the nature of politicians. I know his policies are not what I would hold myself, but for once I’m ok with that, because my policies would not happen at all.

    Here is to 4 years, and hopefully they are good ones.

  3. Even though I didn’t vote for the guy I still found myself having tears in my eyes. This is history. Something I’ll never forget. Seeing Obama in front of a sea of people and watching him dance the first dance with the new first lady. How cool to tell my children and grandchildren one day. We need to stand behind our new president and pray for him. Even if we don’t see eye to eye with him, we still need to respect him. God bless America!

  4. Polerin, I’m not sure where you are from, but I can personally speak for La Vergne. I am assuming your reference to America not being a land of hope, love, and peace are prior to 1/20/2009, right? After all, Bush hated black people, right?

    I am here to tell you that the land of opportunity has been alive and well even when President Bush was in the Oval office. I serve on the local Beer Board, so when someone opens a new restuarant or convinence store I get to see the owners. Let me tell you that outside of the major corporations (Kroger, Exxon, etc), 99% of our applicants are are immigrants. If this were not still the land of opportunity, why were so many immigrants still coming here (legally) and opening businesses when Bush was still President?

    In regards to freedom, did you feel this freedom on 9/11/2001? President Bush has kept this nation safe since that fateful day. I too hope and pray Obama is able to do the same, but unfortunately that story is not written yet, so I do not feel as safe today as I did on monday.

    I personally think President Obama is a good person and showed great class in the way he and President Bush handled the transition. That said, he campaigned on a platform of weakening our military and punishing the successful in this country. Since his election he has turned to the right somewhat on these issues, and I too hold out great hope for our country over the next 4 years.

  5. I was born in Cali, lived for 2 years in Sudan, and have lived in Nashville and surrounding area since 1990. Since you asked.

    Tell me, how does your land of hope and freedom jive with employers that fire people for being gay, won’t hire non-white employees, or go out of their way to keep people on medicare and other social services in order to avoid having to provide adequate pay and health insurance?

    How about how our schools are regularly failing our most vulnerable populations, then we turn around and lock people up when they cannot find or hold legitimate employment that pays a living wage? Where is your hope for people like my wife and I who want to go back to school, but are priced out of it and unable to find assistance that does not involve assuming a crippling debt?

    Speaking of my wife, where is the love for us, when co-workers drive her to depression because of our relationship?

    And no, I don’t think Bush is at fault for all of these things. He certainly did not help, but he is not solely at fault. We all are.

    I do not mean to seem as if I don’t love America, but it is a love tempered by the understanding that so much can change. Just as we are at fault for what is wrong in the US, we are all also responsible for what is good. There is so much that is good about this country, and about it’s people. The good that I see is what makes me care so deeply about it, and want to see it grow and progress, hoping that some day we can actually reach the place where we can listen to everyone around us, and hear happiness, not pain.

    The topic of security is an entirely different discussion, and one that would turn this comment into a novel. I would love to have it with you at some point however.

    Cheers
    -Erin

  6. Erin, I appreciate your thoughtful response. As you can imagine, I have some thoughts too:

    In regards to employers, racial discrimination is illegal as it should be. Do you know anyone who was denied a job due to being black? See, I’m almost 30 years old and I am not old enough to remember racial discrimination. Electing Barack Obama had nothing to do with race. If we simply voted for a race, McCain would be President. In regards to an employer having the right to choose whether or not they hire a homosexual, yes, I support that employers freedom to choose who they hire. Just like the Gold Club should have the right not to hire me because I am a Christian and would talk with their patrons about how pornogrpahy does not fit with God’s will for their life. So my question is should the Gold Club be forced to hire me as a waiter if I am qualified? You lay out quite a bit of blame on the employers of this country. I’m sure most people realize that 99% of business owners are not the demons you portry them as. They want to work hard and reap what they sow

    In regards to our schools, it is not the schools failing, it is the family. I have three family members who are teachers, and they all tell me that the students who struggle the most are the ones who have parents who either aren’t around or don’t care. When their child gets an F, they blame my sister for being a bad teacher. It’s my sisters fault that the student didn’t do their homework last night. Unless this country re-emphasizes the family, public schools will continue to fail. How Does President Obama plan to address this?

    I’m sure you realize there is no such thing as a living wage. If the government mandated that all employers had to pay $15 an hour, you would see immediate massive inflation (the Mickey D’s dollar menu would become the $5 menu), followed by massive unemployment because consumers wouldn’t be able to afford the new higher prices required to support higher wages, and employers would want to conserve as much money as they could, hence unemployment. More importantly, would you agree that the job of spreading mulch is not as valuable as the job of being a doctor? Our free-market system rewards a person based on their value to the workplace.

    I am sorry to hear about your partner and her depression. No one should be mean to you because of your life choice. I disagree with your choice, but it is your right to decide whom you want to cohabitate with and I do not hate you for it.

    What I don’t understand is that now that Obama is president, everyone is saying that we should work together for the sake of the country. Where was this support 8 years ago? All the left could say was Bush stole the election and they were not going to work with him. Even the spirit of cooperation that came after 9/11 was gone within a week when Tom Daschle was complaining that Bush and our military had not yet responded.

    The reason we don’t work together is because we have different views of the country. I believe America is great because we the people are free. You believe America would be great if government had more control over our lives. We both love America, but we have different dreams for America. I believe we had our greatest opportunity for more freedom when Bush was re-elected and wanted to setup a plan where the younger generation could invest some of our social security taxes in a private account. Unfortunately that failed and now I have to trust that the government is one day going to pay me the money they are holding for me.

    America will never be perfect in either of our opinions, because we have different dreams. The idea that we will one day be where you will experience happiness and no pain is called a Utopia, it will never happen. And personally, I don’t want to silence opposing viewpoints. After all, isn’t that communism?

  7. Michael, while I agree with much of what you are saying here, you fail to offer a resolution to the schools failing.

    Saying “it’s the family” is a much-overused cop-out by those on the right side of the aisle and presents no process to resolve the issue in any way or form.

    How would you propose addressing the issue that “it’s the family”?

    Doesn’t asking the question “How Does President Obama plan to address this?” fly in the face of your stance on “no government control in our lives”?

    I mean, if you do not want the governement to have any involvement in our lives, why would you even CARE whether President Obama has any plans to address the “it’s the family” question?

  8. Of course 99% of your applicants are immigrants.Who else do you think gets SBA loans?If they go under in three years,they simply get on their magic carpets and ride home and the American Taxpayer is left holding the bag.I consider myself middle class,so I can tell you,I will NOT be paying any more taxes under this new administration.He did say he was only going to tax the ‘rich’,am I correct?If they do raise my taxes,I will simply get a ministers license,say G.D. America several times,and wait on the idiots in my church to build me a 2 million dollar home.

  9. Although, I won’t suppose that I can speak for Erin, anymore than Michael assumes he speaks for LaVergne. (Because, believe me–he doesn’t). But, I think Erin might feel a renewed sense of hope, tolerance, and united community under Obama’s leadership. Bush did not foster a gov’t that was responsible, transparent, or internationally respected. Obama has the opportunity to encourage those qualities during his leadership.

  10. TheRand: Actually, my wife got a small business loan. We are currently in the process of shuttering the business unfortunately, but we are paying it back none the same. I’m not sure what your actual message is once you take out the racist tripe about “magic carpets” and the swipe at Jeremiah Wright. Try again, please.

    MagMom: Close, but not really just that. I just got a glimmer of hope that he will take us a few steps closer to a world where everyone really does have a shot at a good life, and that I won’t have to be worried about peoples reactions in foodlion or k-rogers if I give my wife a hug.

    Michael: Sorry about how long it took to get back to you… ok here we go.. this might be long :)

    In regards to employers, racial discrimination is illegal as it should be. Do you know anyone who was denied a job due to being black? See, I’m almost 30 years old and I am not old enough to remember racial discrimination.

    I worked at a store for 6 months, and one of the other workers who had been there for 15+ years let me know in no uncertain terms that the owner wouldn’t hire anyone who wasn’t white, and how glad he was because he wouldn’t work around anyone else. Shortly after I got in an after work argument with another employee who felt that black people were naturally more criminal and lazy, and that it was genetics. The next day I got fired. Racial discrimination exists in hiring, education, healthcare, and any number of other venues. The Republic of T has a good post up that covers it.

    In regards to an employer having the right to choose whether or not they hire a homosexual, yes, I support that employers freedom to choose who they hire. Just like the Gold Club should have the right not to hire me because I am a Christian and would talk with their patrons about how pornogrpahy does not fit with God’s will for their life. So my question is should the Gold Club be forced to hire me as a waiter if I am qualified?

    First of all, you can’t be denied a job at the gold club for being Christian. That happens to be a protected class under Title VII which, “Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” Now, if you felt it was your duty as a Christian to preach to the customers, they would be within their rights to fire you for it. You are allowed to bring your religon to work, but it cannot interfere with your ability to perform the duties involved in the job.

    My being a lesbian has nothing to do with my ability to do any of the jobs I have ever held, nor would I apply to a church where I’m not wanted. I really have better things to do with my life then spend working for an organization who thinks I am going to hell for who I love. So why should I have to live every day in fear that a manager who doesn’t like me for whatever reason could fire me for being gay and have no backlash? It’s not like I’m handing out fliers to Pride, or doing anything more than at most wearing a necklace. I know any number of Christians who do far more than that, I’ve been asked repeatedly by coworkers to go to church with them, and had prayer sessions right next to me.

    You lay out quite a bit of blame on the employers of this country. I’m sure most people realize that 99% of business owners are not the demons you portry them as. They want to work hard and reap what they sow

    Of course they do. They just don’t want to do it around gay people. It makes it really difficult for me to feel comfortable and safe in any work environment.

    In regards to our schools, it is not the schools failing, it is the family. I have three family members who are teachers, and they all tell me that the students who struggle the most are the ones who have parents who either aren’t around or don’t care. When their child gets an F, they blame my sister for being a bad teacher. It’s my sisters fault that the student didn’t do their homework last night. Unless this country re-emphasizes the family, public schools will continue to fail. How Does President Obama plan to address this?

    While you’re right about families being absent having a significant detrimental effect on children’s grades and overall learning, you are looking at why so many of the parents are not around. A fair bit of that ties in with the concept of a living wage. Our current State minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. At 40 hours a week that works out to $206 a week, $893 a month, or $10,712 a year. Considering that the average apartment in Nashville runs around $753 a month, that doesn’t leave much. Even if you assume a much lower apartment, say $500, that only leaves about $400 a month to live on. I don’t have any kids, but existing long term with that income level would be a challenge. Even with two parents working, it would still be difficult. This is compounded by the fact that many minimum wage jobs aren’t full time, so there is no health insurance, and people end up working two jobs to pick up the slack in income.

    This results in kids staying home for long periods of time alone after school, with all the resultant problems and lack of parental involvement. Granted, this is only one reason, but it’s a powerful one.

    As to what Obama’s plan? He’s only been talking about it for 20 months or so. Here, let me link you :)

    The reason we don’t work together is because we have different views of the country. I believe America is great because we the people are free. You believe America would be great if government had more control over our lives. We both love America, but we have different dreams for America. I believe we had our greatest opportunity for more freedom when Bush was re-elected and wanted to setup a plan where the younger generation could invest some of our social security taxes in a private account. Unfortunately that failed and now I have to trust that the government is one day going to pay me the money they are holding for me.

    A private account. You mean, like in the stock market, which is in the toilet because of deregulation that started in the Clinton era and was only increased during the Bush years? Great. Awesome. Let me get right on that ;) I have no more trust that my Social Security check will be there for me when I retire than you do, and I am attempting to save and plan as if I won’t get a penny.

    You are right, and I never said that everyone should agree with me or work with Obama. Heck I don’t agree with him on a great number of things. I am also a bit tired of Conservatives tell me what I believe… especially when it comes to what I think the role of government is. The past 8 years have seen a steady encroachment of the government into our daily lives, everything from warrentless wiretapping to states banning adoption by unmarried people in an attempt to keep gay people from adopting. So please, spare me the “liberals don’t want freedom” routine… it’s not true. We have differing ideas about the role of the government in our lives, and we could probably swap examples of it until the cows figure out GPS.

    Please don’t take my tone to be harsh, I know I can come off that way at times, but it’s really not how it is intended. It’s a result of growing up as a very very very left leaning person in a fairly conservative state.

  11. Wow, Ok that post was huge. Michael, if you want to reduce the discussion to one basic topic feel free. Alternately we can move to another venue for the discussion as well :)

  12. I am sorry to hear about your partner and her depression. No one should be mean to you because of your life choice. I disagree with your choice, but it is your right to decide whom you want to cohabitate with and I do not hate you for it.

    Shes my wife by the way. After 10 years, a white dress, and a marriage certificate, she’s my wife. And as to the “be mean.” What exactly do you think firing someone for being gay is?

  13. I am posting this link in honor of Polerin as a tribute to her and our rights as citizens in the good ole US of A.
    The place where Grace Church can screw the Bamboo restaurant out of a beer permit from Michael’s beer board by subleasing to a hispanic church and move in to their new building before they get approval from Codes – thereby keeping the old building an active church so that Bamboo is too close for a permit. Certainly the Christian way.

    Oh yeah, here is the link to copy into your browsers:

    Fly high, Polerin. I am just kidding, good naturedly and all. You sound very intelligent, and nobody should discriminate against you for your beliefs or orientation…or whatever. I just hope you would make fun of me back for being a big old Hetero.

  14. Oh, Polerin, I love you, love you, love you. I’m so glad to see someone else try to explain things to Michael. I got tired of it a long time ago.

  15. Well done, Erin!

    I had given serious pause to bringing a child into this world in the last six years because I felt like the world was going to hell in a hand basket. I felt pretty hopeless embarking on the adoption process as I’m more spiritual than religious and thought that hurdle would be too cumbersome to explain. Another form of discrimination, if you will. As an aside, I always get a kick out of pro-lifers that offer up adoption as a cure-all with no changes to make the adoption process affordable or easy.

    Back on point: Living in a mainly conservative state with more liberal views has made life uncomfortable for me. I find it difficult to stand up for my beliefs because the support isn’t readily available (in social settings, work, church). Erin, I’m impressed with your conviction and tenacity.

    Michael: I’m 35 years old and have lived in the South my whole life. I have a hard time believing that you’re “not old enough to remember racial discrimination”. I smell some B. S. here.

  16. michaelinlv:

    “See, I’m almost 30 years old and I am not old enough to remember racial discrimination.”

    If that’s the case, then (a) you’ve been happy living in the cotton-candy womb your parents constructed, and (b) haven’t been contronted by any indications of reality strong enough to jar your sensibilities. Why do I say this? Because I am a mod-40s white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male (WASP, to the demographic-gathering types) who has seen multiple EEO violations throughout my past experiences in the Southern workplace, down to and including separate “White” and “Colored” labeled water fountains in public places (which were still prevalent in the 70s, whether you choose to acknowledge them or not). Did I complain about these? In my early years, no; I was enough of a pragmatist to recognize one did not defecate upon that which one intended to consume, and I had as healthy an appetite as anyone else. I knew – and acknowledged – that I was benefiting from the injustice evidenced. I was not blind to it, however, and I expect I’ll face my Maker’s justification on that score at the appropriate time. For you to deny its existence, however, I consider an intolerable affront. If you benefit trom injustice, fine – but don’t EVEN try to pretend the injustice didn’t happen. To do so puts you on the same level as the German skinhead punks who deny the Holocaust ever occurred. Is the the ilk with whom you choose to associate yourself? I hope not.

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