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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I am insane 


Because I am insane, the TH Daughter and I are going to catch the 6:46 a.m. Accela from Trenton and go to Washington for the day. My industry's trade association happens to have offices overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue, and it is throwing a reception for executives who want a warm place from which to see the Inaugural parade. Sadly, laptops are too big to get through the impressive security cordon, so blogging (from me, at least) will be sparse today unless I can borrow a machine down there. I will bring my camera, though, and hope to get some pictures of the Hope and Change.

I, for one, can both fear the consequences of Democrats in control of the Congress with a popular president in the White House and recognize that this is a remarkable moment in history that should be enjoyed for its own sake.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Meanwhile, any co-bloggers who pitch in today would be doing their bit for the cause.

UPDATE: We got to Washington in fine fettle, arriving at Union Station a few minutes after 9 am, and went straight for the parade entrances rather than the Mall (it being at that point almost five hours before the parade). Sadly, the security was such that we waited well over two hours at 10th and E without moving more than 20 feet. The crowd was festive, though, and people played the speech over radios and held up PDAs with streaming video so that people could watch the festivities. We saw a certain amount of it on a Blackberry that somebody held up about ten feet from us. Ultimately, the TH Daughter and I decided we were too uncomfortable to persevere, and walked among the joyous crowds -- and they were joyous -- for 45 minutes or so before jumping on a much earlier train back to Trenton. While we were a bit disappointed not to get through, we were far from alone, and agreed that it was a wonderful experience nonetheless. I'll put up a more detailed report with impressions and pictures a bit later.


20 Comments:

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Jan 20, 05:57:00 AM:

We are walking to the Silver Spring Metro now. Welcome to the New World.

Oh and those throngs...throngs... in the streets the past three nights, have been mostly white. I know Hannity deems this some sort of African Mambo jubilee. That's just the SECOND wave...  

By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Tue Jan 20, 07:15:00 AM:

and recognize that this is a remarkable moment in history that should be enjoyed for its own sake.

Hey, good on you, man.

I wish I could've been on American soil for this one -- preferably around lots of African-Americans. But I'm looking forward to a great night out here in Singapore anyway.  

By Blogger TOF, at Tue Jan 20, 09:11:00 AM:

I think that The One, and all of his horse holders should read, and then re-read Amity Shlaes "The Forgotten Man."

They won't, though. They fancy themselves the braintrusters of the new NEW DEAL.  

By Blogger SMGalbraith, at Tue Jan 20, 09:25:00 AM:

this is a remarkable moment in history that should be enjoyed for its own sake.

It is indeed. Remember that Obama, as a young boy in parts of this country, wouldn't be allowed to use the public restroom. Or eat a sandwich. Or go to public school. Separate facilities only for him.

Forty-years later, he's the President.

Good luck, TH. Have fun. DC can be beautiful, especially at night.

As the saying goes, you'll never look back and lament missing some office meeting; you will be sorry, however, for not spending more time with your children and loved ones.  

By Blogger Greg, at Tue Jan 20, 10:41:00 AM:

good for you!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jan 20, 10:44:00 AM:

And to think it was only twenty or so years ago, that the mother of Michelle Obama's college roommate, complained to the Princeton housing board that blacks and whites shouldn't room together. The mother even thought of her pulling her daughter out of school altogether.

God Bless America. You've come a long way, baby.  

By Anonymous JSF, at Tue Jan 20, 11:07:00 AM:

That's ok. We can NOW all be proud of our country*.


*Tongue firmly planted in cheek.  

By Anonymous Locker Room, at Tue Jan 20, 12:36:00 PM:

I did not support Obama; I reached the conclusion he is a hard-left interventionist and ignorant of the mechanics and economics of wealth-creation by my reading and hearing his own words. He also strikes me as highly elitist despite his humble background and insufferably arrogant (WTF was that "the Office of the President-Elect" plaque all about?).
But I have been surprised and impressed by his dignified and adult behavior during the transition on many occasions. He does not strike me - at least not yet - as a brainless partisan who views politics as solely an instrument for getting power to make people do what you what them to while lining your pockets (a la Reid or Pelosi). And above all, I genuinely feel sorry for the guy because so many of his supporters are putting him in a position where he can only fail - not because of the enormity of the tasks facing him, but because of this very disturbing cult of personality that has sprung up around him. More than once have a heard an otherwise sentient, educated adult make a comment along the lines of "Once Obama gets in everything will be better." Somehow, I don't think these people saw the photos of BO being hung and burned in effigy around the globe during the Gaza conflict before he even took office.  

By Anonymous onscrn, at Tue Jan 20, 01:44:00 PM:

Quoting TOF:"Remember that Obama, as a young boy in parts of this country, wouldn't be allowed to use the public restroom. Or eat a sandwich. Or go to public school. Separate facilities only for him.

Forty-years later, he's the President."

I made those points from the perspective of one who grew up White in racially segregated Texas in my post Thoughts of Water on the Eve of Obama’s Inauguration, where I try to convey how it was really worse than many people realize.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jan 20, 01:55:00 PM:

Surprisingly run of the mill speech, I thought, but perhaps my expectations were too high. I wish him well, though; lord knows we all hope for less stinging argument and more common purpose.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jan 20, 02:01:00 PM:

Here's the new media conciousness of the new administration being put to work: the White House blog.

Andrew  

By Anonymous Koolau, at Tue Jan 20, 02:29:00 PM:

I hate those two faced critics who complained about previous inaugurals. They cited extraordinary costs, police statism, inconvenience to the public and the "unfair" issuing of protest permits.

Now look at the recent reports of unprecedented security, most expensive costing inaugural and not a single article about protesters.

It's like there are no protests for That One. Those same critics explain that the costs and security measures are reasonable.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Jan 20, 05:36:00 PM:

"Remember that Obama, as a young boy in parts of this country, wouldn't be allowed to use the public restroom."

Very, very young boy. The Civil Rights Act banning segregation was passed in July, 1964. Obama was born in August, 1961. He was not quite 3, and possibly unable to use public restrooms anywhere, and certainly unable to go to school.

This come-lately attitude of attaching the problems and struggles of contemporary black America to Obama as if he rose up from a hard, segregated past like they did is PR and/or projection, not fact. Don't buy too far into it.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Jan 20, 06:09:00 PM:

Also he lived in Hawaii and Indonesia when he was young, hardly places with segregated washrooms.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Tue Jan 20, 06:11:00 PM:

That last comment sounded harsh. Looked at in isolation from his policies, at least, it is wonderful that an election can make so many people so happy.  

By Blogger SMGalbraith, at Tue Jan 20, 06:51:00 PM:

Very, very young boy. The Civil Rights Act banning segregation was passed in July, 1964

Well, two points.

(1) I was using Obama as a synecdoche, as a member of a larger group. I.e., Obama as representative of young black persons;

(2) Although the act was passed in '64, we know quite well that up through the late sixties that it wasn't always enforced.

Yes, Obama didn't face the hardship that many black Americans in the south did. But he is evidence of the enormous progress we've made in making this a fairer - not always fair - but fairer nation.

Anyway, I'm giving him 6 months and then I'm going to bash the heck out of him. I could do no less.  

By Anonymous onscrn, at Tue Jan 20, 07:17:00 PM:

Koolau: "The Civil Rights Act... was passed in July, 1964. Obama was born in August, 1961. He was not quite 3, and possibly unable to use public restrooms anywhere, and certainly unable to go to school.

This come-lately attitude of attaching the problems and struggles of contemporary black America to Obama as if he rose up from a hard, segregated past like they did is PR and/or projection, not fact."

Dawnfire82: "Also he lived in Hawaii and Indonesia when he was young, hardly places with segregated washrooms."

To quote in reply from my blog post: "Some have maintained that by being the son of a Kenyan and a White American woman and by spending four of his early years in Indonesia, Obama has led a life quite different from and easier than that of many African-Americans born of the descendants of slaves and growing up in the South or in the ghetto; say, for example, that of Condoleeza Rice, who grew up in Birmingham and was friends with one of the little girls killed in the infamous church bombing of 1963. That may be true, but it is also completely beside the point as regards the significance of Obama’s election." See the post for why.  

By Anonymous onscrn, at Tue Jan 20, 07:20:00 PM:

Oops, I evidently got the commenters in my previous comment wrong. First quote was from Dawnfire82 and second was from TigerHawk.  

By Anonymous John, at Tue Jan 20, 07:23:00 PM:

I'm still waiting for a few things to come out of his mouth:

(a) if you're drowning in debt, it's because you put yourself there;
(b) if you're a fat slob whining for free food, healthcare, etc., get some exercise (and a job);
(c) if you're a black ghetto dweller contemplating the neck tattoo and a life of crime, get an education. The era of whining that you can't get a fair break because you're "colored" is over.

That I'd call leadership.

As for Obama's difficult childhood ... give me a break. He was the grandson of affluent people, and hardly walked the walk of those who truly fought for civil rights. It is high time people stop looking at their own skin color and using it as a crutch.

My presumption also is that he had the benefit of affirmative action, particularly since he's still not released the transcripts. I assume if they were favorable, and reinforced the folklore of how brilliant he is, they'd be all over the net.

We need leadership badly. He's talked a good game, but has no record of accomplishment. I'm willing to give him a break. He has almost a super-majority, intense popularity, and the everlasting support and admiration of the press. Let's see what he gets done.  

By Blogger StarbucksGirl, at Tue Jan 20, 08:58:00 PM:

yes Dad, you ARE insane.  

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