Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday, everyone!

On my mind this morning: President Obama’s stirring, heartfelt, pitch-perfect speech at last night’s memorial service in Tucson.

He is a masterful speaker, of course, but he really rose to the occasion at the most delicate of moments.

Here is the excerpt that hit home with me:

“We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved – and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better.”

And here is the passage that made me weep:

“That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed – they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.

And in Christina…in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.

So deserving of our love.”

What did you think of the speech? What happens next? I am praying that this was a watershed moment in the ugly political atmosphere that we’re currently embroiled in. I am hoping that the silent, reasonable majority will finally sit up, take notice and see the difference between good and reasonable leaders, and those who are self-serving at best, and ignorant and vindictive at worst.

This is an open thread, so chat away!

53 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. I’m in New York

    but the dear friend I rode down with has to go home- her husband and daughter are sick.  :-(  I hate being on my own at things like this.  But at least I made it.

    • Go to

      The Strand and wander around a couple of hours looking at all the wonderful books.  That’s an activity that’s best when you’re by yourself.

      • oh, lord the Strand

        I could stay a week in that place. Love, love, love the strand. The summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, I was an intern at The Village Voice (which was an awesome experience). I used to go to The Strand at least once a week. I had no extra money to speak of, so mostly I’d just lust and breath in the smell of books. But I did buy a few books when I could…. good times.

  2. When does Sarah Palin stop getting attention???

    Seriously.

    I won’t blame her or even her Tea Party for what happened in Tuscon, this case is a lot more complicated and we could get into all kinds of reasons and analysis on that.

    But seriously….

    Will this woman ever fade from the spotlight? Or will we be destined to have to hear about her, from her, for the rest of our lives?

    • seriously

      I am really hoping this is the beginning of the end of her public life. Probably too much to ask for.

      How about Rush, Glenn, Michelle and Sharon and that “you lie” guy while we’re at it.

    • Oh, I know.

      When I turned on the television yesterday morning and heard that dreadful video, I just wanted to pull the blankets over my head and tell her to GO AWAY.  For a very, very long time.

      But, she won’t…and she’ll keep inserting herself because, you know, no one had talked about her enough in the past couple of days, I suppose.

    • ITA

      I noticed a while ago that approximately 40% of Huffington Post stories are about her, and the number of diaries about her at dKos can be overwhelming too.

      Please, Sarah, just go away…

      If the media would shut up about her that would really help.

  3. Obama’s speech really resonated with me

    In fact, I was thinking during the speech, “He’s back!”  After drying my tears, it made me think a lot about what it takes to be a hero, and how I honestly believe more people get it than don’t.

    I got this sense of the atmosphere in New York City in the days following 9/11: a sense of unity, civility, compassion and help for one another. No, it wasn’t shared by everyone…there were business-as-usual people who got up on 9/12. But mostly we had a shared sense of longing for unity and common ground.

    His speech made me think and re-examine my own purpose and behaviors.  Are we teaching our kids too much aggression? Showing too much anger?  Are we curtailing our knee-jerk reactions enough? It starts there, with improving ourselves especially in front of our children.

    What about our writings, our blogs?  It’s not just the words that come out of our mouth, but what we put out there on the ‘net: twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. It’s there forever and yanking words or graphics off your website is a perfect waste of time. Maybe this is a time of renewal, when we can all learn to be a little more accountable for our actions and our tongue than we were yesterday.

    I think that’s the beginning. I’ve certainly started thinking more about my blog and it’s effect on others. Then again, I’ve also become a more hopeful person in my “old” age, lol…so call me naive, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

  4. My sister

    I posted a while ago about my older sister.  She lives in Santa Barbara with her 5 yr old son.  We had a scare last year when we found out she’d been doing meth for a few years and was in jail for a while.  She’s 40 now and has been unemployed for a year at least.  She’s an amazing talent (has a degree from Brook’s Institute of Photography) but she’s been working as a bartender for the last decade or more and doing photography as more of a hobby.
    Anyway, we’re not close.  We see each other once a year and never talk aside from the very occasional FB comment.
    Long story short, she is moving to VA to take care of our Nana and I couldn’t be more excited!  I was never able to visit her in Cali because we couldn’t afford the airfare but I can make the drive to VA with my eyes closed!  She will also get to meet our brother since he’s in Charlotte.
    So here’s hoping this is a new chapter in her life and maybe even in our relationship!

  5. I loved his speech, it reminded me how truely

    we are each others keeper.  We Americans are one, full of love, caring, and when situations like what happened on 9/11, and Tucson prove that.  

    When they announced that Congresswoman Gifford opened her eyes I praised God first of all, and I know she will get better for our Lord Jesus Christ is with her.

  6. President Obama

    Sometimes I’m pleased with the president he is, and sometimes not.  But there’s no denying that he is a class act.  

    I enjoyed this article on the fact that yes, this shooting was very likely the chickens coming home to roost.  

    When writing political copy or giving a political speech—or tweeting a political tweet—you are speaking not just to “real Americans” but to crazy Americans. Any elected official who has ever sat through a town hall meeting knows this. Crazy people gravitate toward politics. Politics is the discourse of the people, and it’s the one public sphere where all have to be heard, even the nuts. Attend any town hall meeting or call for public comment on even the most mundane public policy issues—a new park, an addition to a children’s hospital—and you will see at least one clearly crazy person step up to the microphone to say crazy shit (the barbecues at the new park give off carcinogens that will render the whole neighborhood barren, say, or the children’s hospital is funded by the Freemasons). The elected official politely thanks the crazy person for his question and changes the subject. Even brand-new elected officials understand this: Don’t confront the crazy. Don’t affirm or deny anything they say. Don’t feed the crazy. And most importantly, don’t be crazy yourself.

    And here’s why: because when politics goes crazy—when politicians go crazy—the crazies go crazier.

    In more personal news, the number fairy came in the night and stole my six-year-old, leaving a seven-year-old in her place.  She seems taller even to me today–almost up to my shoulder, not that that’s saying much;-)

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