Archive for the ‘celebration’ Category

“American Press has Turned Into a Joke” Comparing Obama To FDR, Lincoln

November 19, 2008

“Barack Obama is just like Lincoln,” a youthful and eager fan reported to me.

And I thought: except for the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, the preservation of the Union and his record as President of the United States.

Bill Sammon of the Washington Examiner said, “The American press has turned into a joke by comparing Barack Obama to FDR and Abraham Lincoln.  They do him no favor by raising expectations to a level that is not achievable.”

Barack Obama, the first ever black man elected to America’s highest office, should be honored for sure; but we should also put our regard for him in proper perspective and watch how the next four years transpire.

Barack Obama is still, to me, a potential agent of manifest change: and not yet a historically overpowering figure we honor for his many accomplishments.

Oh I agree with others that the election of a Black American is historic and memorable; but while it says a lot about our new President-elect it says more to me about the American people.

The notion that Barack Obama is, in many ways, “Linconesque,” is at least premature and could seem a tad bizarre, especially to historians seeking meaning, accomplishments and proven character.

Obama has not yet managed through his Cuban Missile Crisis, his Vietnam War, his Great Depression or whatever real crises we can anticipate — and even whatever nobody could ever anticipate like George W. Bush’s “Nine Eleven.”

Yet both Lincoln and Obama certainly share Illinois and a place in history.  Lincoln’s place in history is “writ large.”  We do not yet know if Barack Obama is a chapter or two of history; or just a paragraph or two. 

President-elect Barack Obama answers a journalist's question ... 
President-elect Barack Obama answers a journalist’s question during his first press conference following his election victory in Chicago, November 7, 2008.(John Gress/Reuters)

Barack Obama grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia. He graduated from  Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review.

Obama is an “indoorsman,” who wrote two books about himself and arguably became addicted to his BlackBerry.

Lincoln was an outdoorsman who grew up in a log cabin in the rough “west” of the United States in his time, including Kentucky and Illinois.

Wikipedia says “Lincoln struck out on his own, canoeing down the Sangamon River to the village of New Salem in Sangamon County. Later that year, hired by New Salem businessman Denton Offutt and accompanied by friends, he took goods from New Salem to New Orleans via flatboat on the Sangamon, Illinois and Mississippi rivers.”

Lincoln’s formal education consisted of about 18 months of schooling, but he was largely self-educated and an avid reader. He was also a talented local wrestler and skilled with an axe.

Barack Obama is skilled with a computer keyboard, a teleprompter, and as a very eloquent public speaker and, though I myself have been moved by the style of many Obama speeches, the next day I have found something sometimes lacking. Yet like some of Mister Lincoln’s orations and remarks, Mr. Obama’s speeches are filled with “hope” and “change.”

Obama's speech earned him praise from politicians on the left and right. But not everyone was impressed.

Above: Barack Obama before a crowd in Germany. Photo: Getty Images
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Lincoln participated in the most studied and recalled political debates ever held in America.

Barack Obama’s debates with John McCain will be recalled for one thing only: Obama became the elected president.

“I don’t think we need any big media-run productions, no processed questions from reporters, no spin rooms, just two Americans running for the highest office in the greatest nation on earth responding to the concerns of the people who’s trust that we must earn,” John McCain said well before the debates with Barack Obama.

Famously, McCain said he wanted ten “Lincoln-Douglas” style debates with Barack Obama.

The nation ended up with far fewer than ten debates and not one came close to resembling the famed and historic Lincoln-Douglas debates.

But the world is a different place now and our national attention span and will to concentrate is short for good reasons, even though we are multitasking…

Creators Syndicate

Oprah Already Has Dress For Obama's Inauguration
WireImage
Access Hollywood

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are pretty much comfortable everywhere — from public speaking in Germany to Bill Ayers house and onward to Oprah’s TV show and to Hollywood.

Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd, which many historians believe was at least “on the edge” and probably crazy, were famously uncomfortable in most settings.  Many Hollywood and TV people today say that Lincoln’s looks would probably make him unelectable today.

Lincoln mourned the loss of one of his own children: and he watched in horror as Civil War casualties bled the nation white.  He even took the time to pen a letter to a grieving mother who lost five sons in “Lincoln’s war.”

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s most famous oration, the Gettysburg Address, took just two minutes to deliver.  For more than a century, American school children memorized this magnificent piece of writing and oration, one of the finest speeches ever given in America, some say, and all in less than 280 words.

On the day of that address, Lincoln was not the featured speaker, who droned on for some time.  But nobody without a deep history education can even recall the man who delivered his remarks before Lincoln on Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the cemetery in Gettysburg.


Soldiers National Cemetery, Gettysburg

Lincoln freed the slaves and preserved the Union.  So far, Obama freed the media and the electorate of the feeling and belief that racism kept good men of color from key posts.

Lincoln was unafraid of firing his top generals — and then while U.S. Grant was gaining ground and winning battles and his staff said the man was a drunk, Lincoln issued an order to send Grant a case of his favorite spirits, or so the story is told.


Lincoln in the field during the Civil War

Lincoln had to sneak into Washington DC for his inauguration.  Obama will be greeted by a throng of millions.

Lincoln assembled a cabinet that was a train wreck of disagreement to the point of dysfunction.  Some in the media today say that Obama is emulating Lincoln’s ability to be “inclusive” in his cabinet selections.

But Lincoln did famously “reach out” to all great leaders who could help him including the Catholic Archbishop of New York, “Dagger” John Hughes.

Linoln also gave a seemingly open door to the White House to Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who pushed President Lincoln to create and issue the Emancipation Proclamation — against the advice of many including his top military commanders.


Above: Frederick Douglass, in about 1879.

Above:  Lincoln met with his cabinet on July 22, 1862 for the first reading of a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Barack Obama’s challenges have yet to unfold.

Lincoln’s challenges were manifest.

History has judged Lincoln.  Obama’s first full chapter, now, at least in part, well chronicled by eager contemporary media scribes, is mostly still a way off for historians to evaluate.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
November 19, 2008

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The Topeka Capitol Journal began an article on November 9, 2008 with, “Plans are being made to promote a national holiday for Barack Obama, who will become the nation’s 44th president when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20.”

My Vietnamese American relatives say, “We seem to have the Easter before the Palm….”

Lincoln’s Day, once celebrated on his birthday, is now largely forgotten and squeezed out by the celebration of other great Americans like Martin Luther King.  Frederick Douglass has no day at all. It might be prudent to hold off on the “Barack Obama Day” just a tad….

Related:
Barack Obama Needs To Know: Lincoln’s Dysfuncional Cabinet Was Not Your Mother’s A-Team
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 Frederick Douglass: Turning Points
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“Most Famous” Lincoln Letter of Civil War Found?

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Obama Tells Supporters: Stop Measuring White House Drapes! Watch For Joe The Plummer….

October 16, 2008

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama warned his supporters to guard against overconfidence on Thursday as he and underdog Republican rival John McCain opened a 19-day sprint to Election Day.

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent, Reuters

The two candidates hit the campaign trail — Obama raising money in New York and McCain holding a rally in Pennsylvania — after their third and last presidential debate on Wednesday, a testy face-off that made an Ohio plumber famous.

So far, all the stars seemed to be lining up in Obama’s favor. He leads in national opinion polls and in many of the battleground states where the November 4 race will be won or lost.

Traders betting on future events in the political prediction markets are overwhelmingly predicting an Obama victory, giving the Illinois Democrat a better than 80 percent chance of winning.

But Obama pointed out to deep-pocket contributors at a fund-raising breakfast in Manhattan that he was supposed to win New Hampshire last January in the Democratic primary but lost the state to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire,” Obama said.

“I’ve been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked,” he said.

NEW POLITICAL STAR

The new star in U.S. politics — at least for a news cycle or two — is Joe Wurzelbacher, “Joe the plumber,” who told Obama at a campaign stop that he wanted to buy a small plumbing business in Holland, Ohio.

Related:
Obama Measuring White House Drapes? Predicting Landslide, Plans Big Election Night Party

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081016/pl_nm/us_usa_politics;_
ylt=AhYmNFaUrWLuJYWMlB8kLeqs0NUE

Obama Measuring White House Drapes? Predicting Landslide, Plans Big Election Night Party

October 16, 2008

It’s not a done deal yet, but all indications are that campaign officials are leaning toward Hutchinson Field on the south end of Grant Park as the site of their election night party.
By Jay Levine
CBS Channel 2, Chicago

The field is home to softball diamonds, the popular summer Lollapalooza music festival and was the site of the mass pope John Paul held in Chicago nearly 30 years ago.

If Grant Park is chosen as the venue, it would not be the first big outdoor event for Obama. He announced his presidential run outside the old state capitol in Springfield on a very cold day last February and gave his nomination acceptance speech at Denver’s Mile High Stadium.

CBS 2 first reported last month that Grant Park was on Obama campaign officials’ shortlist. They tentatively decided on it late last week. The negotiations with the city and park district have begun. Security arrangements are reportedly starting to take shape, and Mayor Richard M. Daley reportedly said it was a great idea.

The record low for Nov. 4 in Chicago is 15 degrees. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine asked Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper what he anticipated for the night.

“Weather’s never a problem Chicago. We know how to handle it,” Roper said. “And there’ll be a lot of warmth that night, if indeed it does take place in Grant Park.”

Roper added that the event would be a “huge economic boost for our city.”
Presidential debate

Above: Senator Obama (L) and Senator McCain at the final presidential debate, October 15, 2008.  Photo from Getty Images

“People have been following Barack Obama around the world, and the world will have their eyes on Chicago that evening,” Roper said. “With the Pope’s visit from 30 years ago, to Lollapalooza, this city knows how to handle big events. … We’re prepared.”

WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG

Irish mark Saint Patrick’s Day with parades, optimism on peace

March 17, 2008

DUBLIN (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of revellers took to the streets of Ireland Monday for celebrations to mark the annual Saint Patrick’s Day national holiday.

Simon Rielly enjoys the festivities at the 184th consecutive ...
Simon Rielly enjoys the festivities at the 184th consecutive St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montreal, Canada on Sunday, March 16, 2008.(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)

An estimated half a million people watched the country’s biggest event in the capital, Dublin, where a 3,000-strong parade snaked its way through the city centre.

The procession was bolstered by 16 marching bands from countries including Ireland, Japan, Italy and the United States and members of Ireland’s burgeoning immigrant population.

Other parades were held across the country while a cross-community, multi-cultural parade was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

President Mary McAleese, who reviewed the Dublin pageant, said the Belfast event was particularly poignant because it was the first since a power-sharing government was set up in Northern Ireland last May.

“This year, more than any in our recent past, is one to savour with special joy,” she said.

“The welcome return of devolved government to Northern Ireland has brought to the island of Ireland a promising era of peace, prosperity and partnership,” she added.

Saint Patrick was a fifth century Christian missionary who is the Catholic country’s patron saint.

Related:
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Can Be Too Costly

Why Americans love the Irish (St. Patrick’s Day is Today!)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080317/ts_afp/lifestyleirelandholidayfestival;_
ylt=AgYO73jAc.JOor6ne91EH1Ws0NUE

Vietnam capital readies for 1,000th birthday in 2010

January 14, 2008
by Frank Zeller

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam’s capital on Sunday kicked off celebrations leading up to its 1,000th birthday in 2010, when Hanoi hopes to have its historic heart recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Vietnamese children cheer during a celebration of the start ...
Vietnamese children cheer during a celebration of the start of the count down, 1000 days until the grand ceremony of the 1000th anniversary of the capital city, Hanoi’s establishment, which takes place in 2010, at Ba Kieu Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008.(AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki)