Transcript of speech:
My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about Syria — why it matters, and where we go from here.
Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country. In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement. But I have resisted calls for military action, because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war. Continue reading Obama on Syria
I don’t know about you, but every now and then I have to pinch myself. I still don’t truly believe that Barack Obama was elected the first time. I remember his walking hand in hand with Michelle in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. I just … let’s just say I had bad thoughts. A second inauguration? No way. Yet, it did happen. It was wonderful.
I have heard the pundits slice and dice Obama’s address. In my opinion, he just said that we need an America where everyone has the opportunity to be great. Everyone can get a good education. Everyone has the opportunity for a good job that pays a living wage. That’s all he said. Don’t believe me –
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.
He went on to say:
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American; she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
We need a fairer society that doesn’t discard the elderly or the sick:
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. (Applause.) For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.
Barack Obama didn’t say anything radical. He just said that we need to embrace our ideals.
Giving in to an obscure group of haters in Florida may have seemed like a good idea to the managers of Lowe’s last week. But the big box home improvement store’s quiet decision to pull its advertising from Discovery/The Learning Channel’s All-American Muslim has done exactly what they apparently figured they were avoiding: generated a backlash.
Music entrpreneur Russell Simmons has bought the ad space on TLC. A petition hosted by moveon.org urging other companies not to pull their advertising is only a few hundred names away from its 25,000-signature goal. A California state senator has excoriated the company, called for an investigation and threatened a legislative motion of censure. And the publicity keeps piling up.
Among other things, the moveon.org petition states:
The visible aim of those who have threatened the show’s supporters is to propagate hatred against fellow Americans because of their religious beliefs, while increasing the success of their own bigoted industries. Ultimately, it is these same critics who have often touted the question: “Where are the mainstream Muslims?” We believe that “All-American Muslim” portrays just that—mainstream American Muslims—and that these critics should celebrate an effort like this, not condemn it. Yet their reactions leave no more proof necessary of their actual, hate-mongering intentions. And we believe that America and our American companies are above that.
The Daily show breaks it down like this.