Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize … and the moral necessity of war?

barack_nobel_prize

Obama accepted his Nobel Peace Prize, and did it with a rather unusual defense of just war. Following is an excerpt:

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago – “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life’s work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak –nothing passive – nothing naïve – in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism – it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

The rest of the speech is online here (and a billion other places). I thought it was a very astute distinction between the role of social critic (MLK, Ghandi, Bobby) and the moral obligations of a head of state.

Thoughts?

Victory Song?

President Elect

President Elect

“Baaaaa-rack! Ohhhh-bama! Barackobamarackamaba, Baaaa-rack! O-bama, ooooh-bama!” was sung over and over again by Sophia, age 3 as we shopped in Target today. “Honey, do you know who you’re singing about?” I asked her. “No, not really, but I like to say it, it sounds fun.” Nice. You listen to a little NPR while on errands, you change a little history for the country, you get a little fun song. Again I say, nice.

Whether you voted for him or not, I think I can say this is a “well done” step for our country’s history as a whole. I’m excited for the world (to a degree) that my kids are heading into. One where this sort of thing isn’t out of the norm.

What is The Community Reinvestment Act?

So…  I’m gonna get political here.  Sorry.  This video got my attention in a big way today, and I think it’s worth talking about.  I’d really like to hear from both conservatives and liberals on this, because I’m trying to sort it out.  

I am an undecided voter.  Honest.  I like Barack Obama.  I like how he speaks.  I like that he acts presidential.  I feel that one of the most important things right now is that the country needs a psychological lift.  I was an early Bush apologist, but I have a hard time with him now.  I think leadership needs to be able to explain itself eloquently.  I get really testy when people attempt to dismiss the important of the perception of the masses, dismissing the masses as unwashed and uneducated.  The masses may indeed be unwashed and uneducated, but they’re our masses nonetheless, and if you don’t want to lead them effectively, go get a real job. (This from the musician… yikes.)  

In the past, I have liked John McCain.  I’m struggling with him right now.  It seems like he’s running a three ring circus.  Lions, Tigers, Bears, Oh My!  While Sarah Palin is certainly entertaining, I am really looking for people with conservative values that can raise the level of discourse in explaining and articulating the benefits of conservatism, because, frankly, conservatives pretty much suck at it, and then get all pissy when one points that out.  With all due respect to the governor, she has (in my opinion) failed to do so, and she’s the big rock star right now.  

So… here I am feeling like the conservatives have made a pretty huge mess of things in the past 8 years, and I’m getting ready to cast my first Democratic vote, ever, and then I run across this little video.  Now, it becomes a McCain propaganda piece towards the end, but the first 6 minutes or so raised my eyebrows.

Discuss.

Notes From an Undecided Voter #1 – Health Care

Yes, it’s true.  I am an honest-to-goodness undecided.  I don’t want to get into the reasons that I am undecided as much as get my thoughts on screen as to what it would take to make me stop being an undecided voter.  This first one is directed at the Senator from Illinois.  

Hey there Barackster.  

So, listen:  Health care in this country is messed up, and everyone knows it.  However, when I hear your compatriots talk about how they’re gonna fix it for us, my eyes start to glaze over a bit.  To my formerly Republican ears, it sounds a lot like you guys want to fix the blame for our national health care problems squarely on “Someone Else.”  Big Insurance.  Bit Pharmaceuticals.  Big Fast Food.  

I can’t remember how many times I heard something that sounded like, “I met Jack and Jane Americana recently in Clicheville, Indiana.  Jack is a (Insert Stereotypical Midwestern Job Here), and Jane is raising (insert national average of offspring here).  Jack and Jane work hard, play fair, pay their taxes, and yet they can’t afford health care because Large American Company X is evil and shafting them.”

Here’s what you’re not mentioning:  Jack and Jane Americana are fat.  The health care problem will never, ever be solved until we start giving the people of this nation a little wake up call.  We are the enemy.  We are the problem.  No nationalized health care is gonna fix that.  No corporation is going to fix that.  I realize that calling perspective voters fat-tubs-of-crap is not a great way to win votes, but it will win mine. 

Yes, Health Care is a mess.  Yes, some corporations are just downright evil (this means you, Blue Cross).  However, step one of fixing our national health care system is not shifting blame, it’s a little tough love.  

So c’mon, Barack,  Tell it like it is.  Go sink a few more 3-pointers, tell Jack and Jane that you love and accept them, and acknowledge that there are problems that are bigger than they can solve by themselves and that we all need to come together for a change,  but that they also need to get the eff up off the couch.  You mocked John McCain for his “Nation of Whiners” comment, but you need to tell the truth if I’m gonna vote for you.   

Oh, and also I’m coming for you next, Senator McBadass.