Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Lemming Gets Serious: Obama's Now President Obama

President Barack Obama was sworn into office today, making him the 44th American president.

It's a pretty big deal, and the 2,000,000 or so people on or near the Mall in Washington, D.C., seem to think so, too. That figure is an estimate from the Park Police, reported on a news channel. I haven't found it in online news yet.

The Lemming Reminisces

I've seen a few big milestones go by in American history since I was born, back in the Truman administration. I remember the:
  • First president who identified himself as Catholic
  • End of segregated lunch counters and drinking fountains
  • First pocked calculator
  • Last working steam locomotive in the Red River Valley of the North
  • Jet airliners take over long-distance passenger service
  • First people to walk on the Moon
  • Beginning of direct long-distance dialing
  • First commercial push-button phone
  • First trans-Atlantic live television signal
I remember when it became possible for a
  • Man to carry his baby in public without ridicule
  • High school boy to take Home Ec
  • High school girl to take Shop
Those technological changes made it possible for people to travel faster, farther, more comfortably. And, made it possible for them to have conversations with each other, even if they were on different continents.

Someone in central North America being able to order a book from a store in England, and be reading it a few days later, isn't just convenient. It makes Europe, and North America, and Asia, and Africa, and all the rest of the 'connected' world, neighbors. I think we're only beginning to see major changes in the way people deal with each other, coming from 'the Information Age.'

Depending on your point of view, the world is cosier, or more crowded. And each of us, again depending on how you see things, has either a wonderful set of new neighbors on the block, or a neighborhood full of disturbingly different strangers.

I tend to see the world as a cosier place, with a refreshingly unfamiliar set of neighbors as close as an online forum: but I know that not everybody sees things that way.

Back to Obama

Barack Obama is black. About half his ancestors came from Africa. His father is from Kenya: and yes, Barack Obama is an America citizen. Born in Hawaii. Thanks to peculiarities of various laws, he had dual American/Kenyan citizenship until he was 21, but make no mistake: Barack Obama is an American citizen.

Not everybody's happy about Barack Obama being president. There are quite a few people who will hate the current president at least as much as others hated #43. It'll be for different reasons, but the feelings will, I think, be about the same.

Judging from the crowd in Washington, D.C., having a sort of street party on steroids, a whole lot more Americans are tickled pink that Obama will be behind the big desk in the Oval Office. We may not get an 'official' count for Obama's inaugural audience. The National Park Service says that Congress told it to stop doing those crowd counts, when the NPS came up with a number that Congress didn't like for the 1995 Million Man March.

I'm glad that I was around when Martin Luther King led an effective civil rights organization, and now, then the first American president who is from Hawaii - and black - took the oath of office.

What I feel is at most pennies on the dollar to what the Reverend Joseph Lowery must be experiencing. As CNN put it:

"The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a close friend of King's who will deliver the benediction at Obama's inauguration, said the timing of the two events 'reflects the mysticism of the movement.'

"[Andrew] Young chuckled upon hearing Lowery's words relayed and added, 'I always say that coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. ... I can't think of a nicer birthday present for Martin Luther King.' "

Barack Obama Day at Apathetic Lemming of the North

I've decided to make today's posts 'all Obama, all the time,' more or less. I've found a few items that should be interesting. Don't worry, though, the Lemming isn't making this into a fan site. I just think that an historic occasion like this warrants special treatment.

News and views: More posts about Barack Obama's inauguration day:

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory