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Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President;

Congratulations on this fine day for being sworn in as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Your speech today was outstanding. I never thought I would say this but today I wish I was American. You have come to this point to bring hope for a brighter future not only for the people you politically represent, but also for the people of the world.

I am sure you know of the joy and the hopes you have wrought from all quarters of the globe. So many of us consider you the foundation of change we hoped for from the United States of America. So many are depending on you to bring about a dramatic change of direction, to make the mark of historical change that comes once in a generation, to finally usher in the 21st century we were all expecting. It is a heavy burden no doubt. I am sure you must feel the weight of the ages, as Lincoln himself must have felt as he too tried to heal the wounds of misdirection and loss of purpose. I wonder what Lincoln would say right now? I am sure he too would be impressed with the hope you represent, and would worry about the mantle of responsibility you now wear. We on the outside of America can only trust that you will have the foresight and wisdom to fulfill your destiny as the leader of a new age.

Watching Obama's Inauguration Speech via web 09.01.20

Watching Obama's Inauguration Speech via web 09.01.20

Our hopes and fears are with you to live up to the promise of becoming the first global president of the United States. In trying economic times, with the constant threat of those who will work against freedom, we truly hope that you find the courage to defeat the forces of cynicism and insularity and protectionism that have threatened the foundations of freedom and democracy for nearly a decade now. We hope you will have the courage to end the pessimistic politics of Fortress America. We hope you will have the courage to finally make America green and to work with the rest of the world to create a truly sustainable future.

Watching Obama's Inauguration Speech via TV 09.01.20

Watching Obama's Inauguration Speech via TV 09.01.20

Long live your words last November: “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

Amen, Mr. President.

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January 21, 2009 Posted by | economy, future, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A future subverted

The real crime concerning the current economic crises, (real and media imagined), is that almost all talk of the looming environmental crises has disappeared from the political discourse. Instead of Silent Spring we have Silent Fall, (and maybe Silent Winter?) where the carbon heat death of the planet has taken the back seat to the gambling loses of the well-to-do. Greed is the new green, and we are all poorer for it.

Here in Canada this fall we had completed another $100 million election for naught. The opposition Liberals, who exhibited exemplary courage with a proposed “green shift” of taxes from income to polluting behaviours, also exhibited a lack of fortitude and leadership to keep it at the forefront against a Conservative government quite lacking in any environmental initiatives. The economic meltdown silenced the green shift as the Conservatives continually hammered the electorate with the dangers of the Liberal’s “carbon tax” during tough times. The silence of the Liberals sealed the fate of green shifting taxes forever. Despite a viable model in many countries, it will be political suicide for anyone to bring it up again.

The American presidential campaign has just wrapped up as well. I don’t recall hearing many pronouncements on the environment, though Obama has all appearance of becoming the first green president. (One can only hope). But…ten billion a month on the war in Iraq. One trillion dollars to bail out the mistakes of bankers and so called stock market analysts. You won’t be hearing much about conservation, biodiversity, ecology, sustainability, carbon sequestering, pollution control or alternate energy while jobs are being “outsourced” and “Joe six pack” is going to lose his job. The world wide future has receded into the background noise, and it may be long before we ever reconnect with the immediate problems of sustainable energy, food and water and air to breathe.

Funny thing is, the answer to these environmental issues may also be the direct and most possible solutions to the recessive economy.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | economy, Environment, future, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The 21st century can begin now

The Americans finally got it right. It seems that for a long time now we have lived in a world of deception and greed and suspicion and dirty tricks. The Bush years should be known as the Fortress America years. It felt like intelligence crawled under a rock and the sun was going to be forever hidden by cloud. But did you hear that? It was the collective giddy excitement felt around the world: the Americans got it right and elected someone we all felt they never would, an African-American clearly not of the ol’ boys club and a man of vision and hope for the future.

Remember the questions: “where were you when Kennedy was shot?” or “where were you when the planes hit the towers?” We will be saying “where were you when Barack Obama was elected President of the United States?” I have to beg forgiveness if it all sounds over-dramatic. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but in talking to people one comes away with the feeling that the world has suddenly shifted. Only this time it suddenly radiated hope that the future is going to be brighter.

I envy the Americans and their history. Born in revolution against the rule of empire and a history lived through a spirit of individualism and freedom, their story is something to marvel at. But their recent history…the cynicism and pessimism of Nixon’s Watergate and Vietnam, of Clinton’s executive privilege and especially Bush’s unjust and unjustified war in Iraq had dimmed Liberty’s torch. It seemed to signal the end was at hand for the American century, and it was only a matter of time before a new world order, a dark one at that, would be taking over.

Obama ran a positive campaign of hope and promise, not once stooping to the negative sarcasm that characterized the Republican’s messages. Some people never learn. Whether Obama can live up to the image and the promise remains to be seen of course. But the tears in the eyes and the cheers worldwide and the joyful look of the people of Chicago that night in November said it all… at least for now we can all imagine the heavy weight has been lifted and the world-wide future awaits in anticipation. Perhaps we can now see the promise of the 21st century.

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

– Barack Obama November 4, 2008

Bravo Barack!

November 7, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | 2 Comments