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Today is George W. Bush’s last day as president of the United States of America. *sigh of relief*

Not only that, be we’re getting a U.S. president that actually promotes things like hope and volunteerism. Some sceptical people have said things like “he’s just a politician, he’ll say anything that will get him into office!”. Even if that was the case, I can’t remember when last I heard a politician talk that could even pretend to care as much as he does. I’m really happy about his inauguration.

Barack Obama

Aparently you’ll need Silverlight to view the inauguration online, although Paul Sladen has posted what could be used as a possible workaround for Linux users. I think I’ll just stick to good old T.V.

UPATE: You can now watch it using Moonlight

Apparently there are already bets going around on which words Obama might be using during the inauguration.

I’m a bit bet-shy at the moment, I lost a bet to Morgan Collett last month, I said Debian Lenny would be released before the end of December 2008. I knew it was a bit of a risky bet though :)

Today also happens to be Martin Luther King Jr Day, a public holiday in the US. In about 20 minutes from now (17:00 UTC), CNN will be broadcasting his famous “I have a Dream” speach.

(Images from Wikipedia)

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15 Responses to “Hope”

  1. Steve Says:

    The Obama image is CC-BY-3.0, and the Martin Luther King Jr image is apparently Public Domain.

    Neither are GFDL.


  2. Key Says:

    You are putty in the hands of the media. Obama has not accomplished anything of note in his career. He was editor of the Harvard Law Review and yet never wrote an article. His college transcripts, SAT scores, LSAT scores, etc. are all unreleased, as is his birth certificate.

    He has spoken for and against nuclear power, tax cuts, single-payer healthcare, etc., was wrong on the surge in Iraq, refused to admit its success, told many lies about John McCain, his past, broke his word on campaign finance, etc.

    Obama is a slick snake-oil salesman, the most liberal and inexperienced candidate for US prez in 100 years. If he were white, he’d be just another liberal candidate. Did you watch any of the primary debates? He was unexceptional. Obama won because of the color of his skin, and because of the media’s relentless cheerleading. (He was on the cover of Time magazine 17 times in one year.)

    If John McCain had terrorist friends, a racist pastor, and outspend Obama 3-1 in battleground states by breaking his word on campaign finance, he would have been gutted by the media!

    He may turn out to be a great president. But his actual voting record, and lack of accomplishments, in the US Senate, don’t give me any hope!

    He is just an empty vessel for people’s dreams. I am a practical person — let’s see what he does.

  3. Tim Jensen Says:

    Maybe I am the only person in the world who thinks this, but how can you possibly say that George W. Bush is anti-hope and anti-volunteerism? Is he also anti-charity, anti-love, and anti-friendship? I am no fan-boy of W., but he funded government-backed volunteer organizations. What is it that everyone is hoping for that wasn’t possible under W.’s administration? I just couldn’t read another silly dehumanizing blog post without answering.

  4. marku Says:

    chicago,chicago, that toddlin’ town

    chicago,chicago, they sent us a clown

  5. Key Says:

    Bush’s freedom agenda is ultimately about bringing hope to dark places in the world. In Iraq, he is seen as a liberator, and they will build a statue of him one day. Also bringing hope is Bush’s AIDS and malaria work, his fight for nuclear power for India, promotion of the free market and free trade, his pro-life stance (that government shouldn’t be paying money to destroy life), etc.

    The Left is now willing to assume that FISA, Iraq, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act, missile defense are “complex” and “problematic” rather than a product of someone who wants to shred the constitution. The change is Orwellian.

    Obama, who is brave because he stands for Hope and Change.

  6. Kevin Says:

    He doesnt bring hope, he does bring a drastic and devastating lurch towards socialism though. At least he has 50% of his promises correct….

  7. Pete Says:

    Hi from a fellow Capetonian blogger. I see Obama’s taking a pounding in your comments today. I can see why people might be sceptical of any politician (especially a US president) but personally I think he’s inspirational and a catalyst for a huge dose of optimism that we (as individuals, societies, countries etc.) can change for the better.

  8. Key Says:

    Of course you think he’s inspirational. The media tell you that over and over again.

    His speeches are carefully scripted, the imagery and symbolism are cranked up like a Hollywood movie. We are told he is smart and special, even though his resume would fit on the back of his drivers license, and his college transcripts have not been released. No one can even say what of note has he accomplished in public service as of yet. In Illinois, on difficult votes, he would just vote “present” — neither aye or nay.

    Heard of George Orwell?

  9. Pete Says:

    Key, there’s no point in arguing this point with you. But I’d be interested to see you set up your own blog in which you make a sustained case against Obama. I’ve listened to his speeches and read Dreams from my Father and I was impressed. I’m reluctant to join the hysteria about how great he is because I know (as you point out) that his actual achievements are limited. But move away from the CV and see what he has achieved in terms of public relations. Of course Obama is partly a social construction of the media but he’s the best thing we’ve got. What would you have in his place - McCain? Bush? The Republicans will have their time (in 8 years’s time).

  10. Key Says:

    If you want to read a sustained case against Obama, check out “The Case Against Barack Obama”. I haven’t read it because I’ve lived through the campaign, but if you want to learn a whole lot about his background, it is all in there.

    I don’t believe Obama wrote Dreams From My Father: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=86138. (The article, and the links below it detail all kinds of computer analysis, metaphor comparisons, etc.) Of course, proving this is like proving illicit sex — only 2 people know the truth and everyone else is just guessing. But the evidence is very strong that Ayers wrote it. For example, “Dreams” includes nautical terms like “ballast”, which Ayers who spent a year on a boat would know, but Obama would not.

    I voted for McCain. He has a great record of working with Dems on many issues. He has a more centrist voting record than Obama. McCain has lots of experience, was a leader in the Senate, understands the world we live in, and is an honorable man. Obama is a Chicago machine politician who told countless lies during the campaign. Of course, the media don’t report that.

    Likewise, Tthe media only covered Sarah Palin, not Joe Biden who is a fool: he was wrong during the Cold War, voted against the First Gulf War, told countless factually inaccurate things during his debate (but the media told us he won!), etc. If Biden was such a great candidate, why did Sarah Palin get more votes for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Biden got running for President of the US in 2008?!

    The dishonesty of the media is one of the great scandals or our age.

  11. Key Says:

    Oh, one little example: Reverend Wright is a name no one heard of until Obama had been running for President for about 14 months! But we all knew about Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter within days of her becoming the VP choice. The media are wolves towards the GOP and lapdogs of the Dems.

    Every Republican is a war-monger, out of touch, stupid and/or crazy. Bush was the village idiot who was also the evil genius that tricked the Dems into voting for the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, etc.

    I realize that much of this might be new to you, and that is because the media aren’t doing their job.

    Check out this video:

  12. Pete Says:

    Yeah I read that bit about Ayers being the author. Having worked in the publishing industry I know that a lot of editing and rewriting is actually done in-house. So “ballast” would fall in that category. I’m also very familiar with the ins and outs of the campaign and while no fan of Sarah Palin I have a grudging respect for John McCain. I think he would have made a good president. As for the trashing of that hero George Bush, it’s natural that people will exaggerate his mistakes. But there are just too many points of disagreement here and I think Jonathan has been tolerant enough of this discussion. Let’s agree to disagree. And Viva Democracy. I’m looking forward to Obama being left to get on with the job so that we can criticise him and praise him as we see fit. As for the media being soft on the Dems, you’re obviously familiar with Fox and the rightwing media in the US. But my impression is that the media reflect what the people want (and what will make them money). If Obama’s the flavour of the moment then they’ll play that like crazy.

  13. Key Says:

    Well, the investigative writer wrote about 7 articles, and the extensive use of nautical metaphors is just one aspect of this. Note in many cases, editors merely clean things up rather than adding things.

    Note the media have never asked this question of Obama, just like they’ve never asked him for his birth certificate.

    Yes, there is Fox News which has more ratings than CNN and MSNBC combined, but NBC, CBS and ABC have 10 times as many viewers! And the resources of the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, etc. are enormous. And they are dominated by liberal Democrats. And that is where a lot of the reporting takes place. The reporting is where the real work takes place. Fox News didn’t report on the Wright scandal till everyone else did.

    The media reflect on what people want, but they also use their personal opinions to shape the news, like Hollywood. They want a star, they create one. They whitewash the background whenever necessary. That is why no one can name what Obama has actually accomplished in the US Senate or the Illinois Senate. That is why no one asks: if he is so smart, where are his college transcripts? You can find videos of Obama stumbling his way around, and that is why he has a teleprompter everywhere he goes today. Nothing to threaten the image that he is brilliant.

    I’m actually interested to see what he does as well. i think he will be a lot more like Bush than he campaigned or voted as Senator. (His voting record in the Senate was extremely left-wing.) Bush might be a conservative, but he fought for progress: nuclear power, drilling for oil, draining the swamp of terrorism in the middle east, trying to reform social security, etc.

  14. jonathan Says:

    @Steve, thanks I removed the reference to those licenses

    The rest, I’m more than happy to hear about views that aren’t the same as mine. The first time I heard Obama talk was when he was on Oprah before he was even senator. I myself have my doubts about Obama now and again, but I think he’s what the world needs right now.

  15. Key Says:

    His speech was good, but I checked out his agenda on whitehouse.gov and found that:

    He says nothing about nuclear power. He says nothing about reforming social security. He says nothing about fixing the lawsuits which are destroying medicine. (My dad is a doctor and paid $100k per year for liability insurance because junk lawsuits are so common — and he passed those costs on to his patients. People wonder why medicine is so expensive? There is one big way to fix it that Obama doesn’t discuss.)

    His speech talks about making the tough choices, but his agenda doesn’t. We’ll see. That is my biggest concern — he is basically a blank slate. Reagan and Bush 43 both campaigned on what they wanted to do. Obama just promised hope and change and no clear agenda.

    It is like going to the store and buying a box of cereal in a blank cardboard box. I can hope it will taste good, but I can’t have confidence that it will! And the Dems who run Congress now are committed left-wingers. Between them, and his base, he will feel strong pressure to not govern like the center-right country we live in.

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