The Pen and the Sword

I have heard many speeches in my time pertaining to victory and heralding change in our world and our country.

But tonight’s…just rang hollow with me.

We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! – Ronald Reagan June 12, 1987

Maybe its my generation. Maybe its just me. I don’t need instant satisfaction or a microwave burrito. I don’t live for a sound bite.

My biggest problem with President Obama from the very beginning is I have interpreted him as a charlatan, a figure head, a mouth piece a person who will read a speech without any due fact or action from himself. Little more than a focal point to be used by his party without any substance himself. I felt he was elected based not on his color, which I have no issue with, but rather because he made the job a Hollywood casting part instead of a job, which it is, with duties and responsibilities which I feel he has left in the hands of the court jesters.

I am an African.

I owe my being to the hills and the valleys, the mountains and the glades, the rivers, the deserts, the trees, the flowers, the seas and the ever-changing seasons that define the face of our native land.

My body has frozen in our frosts and in our latter day snows. It has thawed in the warmth of our sunshine and melted in the heat of the midday sun. The crack and the rumble of the summer thunders, lashed by startling lightening, have been a cause both of trembling and of hope.

The fragrances of nature have been as pleasant to us as the sight of the wild blooms of the citizens of the veld.

The dramatic shapes of the Drakensberg, the soil-coloured waters of the Lekoa, iGqili noThukela, and the sands of the Kgalagadi, have all been panels of the set on the natural stage on which we act out the foolish deeds of the theatre of our day. - Thabo Mbeki, May 8, 1996

I have found President Obama’s speeches dull, droll, with no substance, lacking any emotion and frankly any purpose. A mishmash of subject hopping that focuses on absolutely nothing and brings no resolution to the table whatsoever on any single issue, or even a sense of closure.

All right, so what we’re not talking about today, we are not talking about cancer, because I spent a lot of time talking about that and I’m really not interested. If you have any herbal supplements or remedies, please stay away from me. [laughter] And we’re not going to talk about things that are even more important than achieving your childhood dreams. We’re not going to talk about my wife, we’re not talking about my kids. Because I’m good, but I’m not good enough to talk about that without tearing up. So, we’re just going to take that off the table. That’s much more important.

And we’re not going to talk about spirituality and religion, although I will tell you that I have achieved a deathbed conversion. [dramatic pause] … I just bought a Macintosh. [laughter and clapping] Now I knew I’d get 9% of the audience with that … All right, so what is today’s talk about then? It’s about my childhood dreams and how I have achieved them. I’ve been very fortunate that way. How I believe I’ve been able to enable the dreams of others, and to some degree, lessons learned. I’m a professor, there should be some lessons learned and how you can use the stuff you hear today to achieve your dreams or enable the dreams of others. And as you get older, you may find that “enabling the dreams of others” thing is even more fun. - Randy Pausch, September 18, 2007

When did we become so apathetic that we don’t even realize that elected official is selling us a bill of goods that are nonexistent and we take it and walk away without blinking?

Today I refused to sign a document for my dentist which gave him the right to use my records for a professional journal, educational purposes, research, instructional or advertising use. His billing clerk almost had apoplexy when I refused explaining I already paid him, why should he be paid a second time for my problem. Should I not be paid as well? It’s my mouth after all. But the fact was no one else apparently read it….she told me up front no ever refused before.

Have we become so accustomed to being kicked, used, abused and taken advantage of that we simply do not care what our politicians do to us anymore?

At what point will we hit a breaking point in this foolishness?

“For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value. For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such.” – Israeli Ambassador Chaim Herzog November 10, 1975

This was supposed to be a great victory speech!

The ending of a war we have been involved in for almost ten years.

The ending of a conflict that has cost countless American lives. Countless British, Australia, Germany and other comrades in arms from other countries and military branches. A war that began on our shores.

Yet our President snubs a former President, and speaks on the economy?

While I will admit that the economy is in shambles, and it needs addressing as I was often told in school everything a time and place…was this really the time or the place?

Ireland, as you may know, is in my blood. My mother was born in the flat above her grandmother’s hardware shop on the main street of Ballyshannon in Donegal. She lived there as a child, started school there and only moved when her father died; her mother remarried and they crossed the water to Glasgow.

We spent virtually every childhood summer holiday up to when the troubles really took hold in Ireland, usually at Rossnowlagh, the Sands House Hotel, I think it was. And we would travel in the beautiful countryside of Donegal. It was there in the seas off the Irish coast that I learned to swim, there that my father took me to my first pub, a remote little house in the country, for a Guinness, a taste I’ve never forgotten and which it is always a pleasure to repeat.

Even now, in my constituency of Sedgefield, which at one time had 30 pits or more, all now gone, virtually every community remembers that its roots lie in Irish migration to the mines of Britain.

So like it or not, we, the British and the Irish, are irredeemably linked. – Tony Blair November 26, 1998

My how far we have allowed us to be come and to be led.

Churchill was an Orator. President Obama is little more than a speech reader.

I find President Obama’s resolution to our successes dull and of no real consequence.

Much like his speech.

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