A text message from my friend Tere woke me up this federal holiday around 10:30. That was quite all right of course. I needed to get up. Plus I woke just in time to see Barry O’Bama, my black Irish president, get sworn in a second time. Just kidding on the “black Irish” thing. I consider it a compliment since I am part Irish plus, everyone knows the President was born in Kenya!
I missed the infamous yawn laid down by little Obama Sasha, but did get to see the bizarre hat worn by Mr. Justice Scalia. I’m not going to link to the story about Sasha’s yawn because I don’t think it’s a worthy story. A photo maybe, but not a story about an 11-year-old who yawns at her daddy’s speech. She’s 11 years old, for God’s sake! And since I won’t share a link concerning a yawn, I won’t link with Justice Scalia’s strange hat. You all can be adventurous enough to find either one on the Internet if you so desire.
All inauguration speeches don’t have to be inspiring. I wouldn’t say President Obama’s second inaugural speech was totally inspiring although he uttered some inspiring phrases and thoughts. His was more a “let’s get to work” speech like you’d hear in a State of the Union address. But that is more than all right and even sort of inspirational in it own way. Perhaps the most uplifting paragraph the President said was:
”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.”
Those words are reminiscent of the great “I Have A Dream” speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., on whose birthday American’s presidential welcoming party coincided. There was one big difference and that was “when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty,” and not “I have a dream that … “little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” In other words, the first black President of the United States of America has gone beyond hopes for just the little black children and little white children and instead wishes all little children will have freedom and equality. That, in itself, is inspiring.
The President’s other lines which I felt were encouraging, instructional or both:
“We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”
”Our brave men and women in uniform tempered by the flames of battle are unmatched in skill and courage.”
“America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe. And we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad. For no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.”
And finally, Obama issues a call for those who feel their great gift to the union is to call others names is to get a civic life:
” … For now, decisions are upon us and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”
Barack Obama, whose favorite sport is shooting hoops, basically sounded the call to opponents and supporters alike that he is here to help to the best of his ability. But to ensure our nation accomplishes its needs, the ball is in the people’s court.
State Dept.: County native killed in Algerian raid.
The U.S. State Department confirmed today that a Jefferson County native was among the three Americans killed in a siege by Islamic terrorists at a BP gas plant in Algeria.
Family members of Victor Lynn Lovelady 57, of Houston, were notified of the BP conctract worker’s death, said KFDM Channel 6 News Website. He is a native of Nederland in mid-Jefferson County.
Early Wednesday, Algerian time, heavily armed militants attacked the BP In Amenas gas operation almost 20 miles west of the Libyan border. Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said his country’s special forces regained control of the site and killed about 29 of the militants, according to Euronews.
The oil and gas drilling news Website Rigzone, has reported 85 people were killed as a result of the invasion and resulting raid. BP group chief Bob Dudley this was the first time such an incident has happened to one of their plants.
”As a precautionary measure we are of course, reviewing security at our other locations and operations in the region and elsewhere around the world,” Dudley said. “There will undoubtedly be government investigations into the horrendous events of the past few days. And we will participate in them fully.”
On April 10, 2010, an explosion rocked the BP project on the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 and injuring 16. The explosion and subsequent sinking of the rig led to the largest marine oil spill in history. BP had spent $16 billion by the end of 2011 in costs associated with the spill and rig incident, according to the company. Many other legal challenges and costs are anticipated.