The significance of Barack Obama being the first black man to be elected to the presidency obscures another significant element of American history: the notion that immigrants must succumb to unabashed Americanization in order to be successful. Only one hundred years ago, many Irish immigrants were axing the “O’s” from the beginning of their last name in hopes that they would better assimilate without their Irish heritage. I had a teacher in high school whose ancestors had changed their names from “O’Brannan” to “Brannan” after arriving in America. In the twenty first century, Barack Obama was successfully able to obtain the highest political office in the land without having to abandon his father’s African namesake.
Ron Paul was asked to respond to a particular passage in President Obama’s inaugural address, as it relates to our constitutional tradition, in which he states that “[w]hat 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.” Obama goes on to qualify this by attempting play both sides of the small vs. big government debate, saying, “Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.
Eighty-four percent of those surveyed say they approve of how Obama is handling the presidential transition. That’s up 2 points from the middle of December and up 5 points from the beginning of December.
The poll also suggests that 68 percent of those questioned are personally “thrilled or happy” that Obama will soon be inaugurated as president, 18 points higher than the way people felt in the days before President Bush’s second inauguration four years ago.
The only thing missing from Fred’s shooting range in North Carolina is John William’s score from The Patriot. You’ve got the rag-tag assortment of American everymen, you’ve got the red coat targets, and you’ll even feel a little of the same sense of urgency the American militiamen must’ve felt in the mid-1770’s.
Spending a weekend at an “Appleseed” rifleman school is not only a wise investment of money and time, it’s a whole lot of fun! Hosted by the Revolutionary War Veteran’s Association (RWVA), the Appleseed program is acutely in touch with the importance marksmanship can have on history, as they refer to April 19, 1775 (the day of the “shot heard ‘round the world”) as the day “marksmanship met history, and heritage was born.”
As one of his last acts as President, George W. Bush has commuted the sentences of Ignacios Ramos and Jose Compean, border guards convicted of the shooting of a Mexican drug dealer. Bush has been busy pardoning and commuting sentences in the last couple of months, but there didn’t seem to be any indication that Ramos and Compean would be included in the list that included several people convicted of drug felonies. Perhaps the groundswell of support for the two border guards convinced Bush to change his mind- no doubt, in the minds of their supporters, this act allows the President to end his term on a more positive note.
We need to get use to the fact that the $700 billion bailout was just the first of many to come. The New York Times reports that banks are now clamoring for more funds.
The Times also has a nifty tracking table you can use to see how the bailout money has been spent. Check out how many banks are being helped on this list and you can get an idea of the magnitude of the problem.
Apparently, there’s not much difference between the way in which a democratic republic (the United States) and an oligarchy (Russia) handle “economic crisis”. According to an article in The Moscow Times:
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accused the government on Friday of bailing out billionaires at taxpayers’ expense in a letter co-signed by four businessmen and economists.
Gorbachev has until now been supportive of the Kremlin, and by speaking out he has joined a small but growing chorus of influential Russians who say the government’s tight control of the economy and politics is making the slowdown worse.
“The Russian authorities have turned their back on structural reform and instead satisfied themselves with inventing a mythical model of an ‘energy superpower,’” said an open letter whose signatories included Gorbachev.
CBS & the NYT released what will probably be their last Presidential Approval poll for George W. Bush as a sitting President. The results were, well, unsurprising at 22% approval.
(CBS) President Bush will leave office as one of the most unpopular departing presidents in history, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll showing Mr. Bush’s final approval rating at 22 percent.
Seventy-three percent say they disapprove of the way Mr. Bush has handled his job as president over the last eight years.
Mr. Bush’s final approval rating is the lowest final rating for an outgoing president since Gallup began asking about presidential approval more than 70 years ago.
The rating is far below the final ratings of recent two-term presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who both ended their terms with a 68 percent approval rating, according to CBS News polling. - CBS
Hopefully this will be seen as a final indictment on the evil ideology that is neoconservativism, though I do readily expect them to work their way back into positions of power after a few years of laying low.
I’ve gotten a bit of hostility for being a libertarian. While I can only think of one person in my experience who really gave me serious crap for it, more than a few have created stereotypes in their head due to my political leanings. I must be a gun owner, a pot smoker or a well-to-do man who doesn’t want to share loot with anyone. I am not even close to being any of those.
I lean with the libertarians because of my philosophy of life, which is strongly rooted in my life experience. Throughout my public school days, I could not understand why I had to take part in activities I didn’t enjoy or succeed at, why nothing was done when kids bullied or harassed me or why some bureaucrat who had never met me decided where I would spend the majority of the day. I tend to get angriest and lash out when people box me in, keep me from choosing my own path or tell me what I cannot do. If allowed a large degree of freedom (within reason, of course) I’m fairly happy.