As of noon on Tuesday, we have a new President. It’s something that is welcome and something that we’ve waited for for a long time. I think now, it’s time to stop talking about his race and start talking about the changes we need to see in the next few years.
It’s funny that with all of the talk of race, I heard one commentator sum it up pretty well. They said that, at first, many black people weren’t supporting Obama until they saw that white people were supporting him. And everyone started to realize that it’s possible that a colored man could become President, if we just took the artificial barriers down. For far too long, African American people have put up barriers and blamed everyone for their inability to move up. And then you look at the very successful actors, actresses, singers, politicians and now, the President of the United States and you can realize that, if you want something badly enough, regardless of your race, people of all colors, will support you. Personally, I think that people of color need to stop blaming everyone for their lot in life and start realizing that they are responsible for where they are. It’s about taking control of our lives, or letting people keep us down. We obviously have the power to make change happen—if we join together.
A transcript of President Barack Obama’s speech follows:
My fellow citizens:
I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.
So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.
Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.
For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.
Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.
For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.
For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it).”
America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
And with that, he’s off to work.
Just a week or so after writing the “Corned Beef” entry about the differences between the small, statewide company I now work for and the large, global financial organization I used to work for, I’ve found one more difference.
Just days ago, I received a sort of performance review, nine months in.Â The review was fairly typicalâ€”all good nothing bad.Â Nothing that I should do better at or improve upon. Just “keep doing what you’re doing”.
At the last company, they reviewed a little differently.Â Basically, it was like being graded on a final exam and then being told that you’ll never be able to get higher than a C.Â Everyone got C’s.Â If you got a D or an F, then you should be fired.Â If you got an A or a B, then you should be promoted.Â They didn’t like to do either, so no matter how hard you tried, you’d never get more than a C.Â And then they’d bullshit with you and tell you that a C is greatâ€”it means you’re doing your job satisfactorily.Â Ugh.
Along with my review, I was informed that they’d be adjusting my salary. To give a little background on this, when I interviewed at this smaller company and they asked me what I’d like for my starting salary to be, I told them I’d think about it over the weekend. That weekend, I came up with a number that was much larger than my salary at the global, financial organization and figured that I could rationalize it because I’d be losing some “perks”.Â Those perks weren’t really that big of a deal, but when you’re negotiating a salary, they become golden nuggets. I let the HR person know what number I’d come up with and she replied that it was in at the top of the range they’d planned on paying, so she’d be fine with it.Â Whoa.
So last Friday, during this performance review, I’m told that they’d be adjusting my salary. They’d done a review of people that perform the same job that I do and what salaries these people make and determined that I wasn’t making enough. Let me repeat that.Â I’m not getting paid enough. I’m getting paid too little.
So, they’re going to raise my salary to the level it should be at. Where that is, I don’t know. It could be very little, or it could be a lot more.Â Something tells me that they wouldn’t go to this much trouble if it’s just a cost of living increase.
Anyhow, did I just fall asleep and wake up in a dream??Â Come on now.Â The last company probably wouldn’t have ever told me.
I was just reading this story on CNNMoney.com about folks having a hard time making ends meet.Â Their stories tell of financial hardships due to fuel costs, mortgages, etc.Â As I read through them, I find that in a few cases, maybe they were living a life that they couldn’t afford in the first place.Â Others seem to be on the right track.
“As for me, I’m moving out of the dorms and into an apartment with some friends to save money, and instead of taking an internship in Washington, D.C. this summer like I had planned, I’m going to have to stay here in Chicago and work full-time to pay rent and save money for next year. “
This girl is a student at the University of Chicago.Â Her parents are considering selling their home and living in an RV. I actually applaud the fact that, instead of taking an internship, she’s doing the right thing by getting a job to make some money to finance that education of hers.Â I don’t happen to be one of these people that feel like their parents owe them a college education.Â Working your way through college won’t hurt you.
“We have two kids we are TRYING to keep in private school. [Like] most working couples, we want the best education for our children, because not just “the rich” deserve private school. … We don’t own a house. We are about to lose our vehicle.”
I have a problem with this. Sure, private school is nice, but if you’re about to lose your car and can’t afford a house, do the kids really need to be in private school? It’s not just for the rich, but it IS for the people that can afford it without living on the street in a cardboard box.Â Send the kids to public school and spend a little extra time with them outside of school educating them about the real world.
Gas is on average $3.25 a gallon here in North Florida. The prices at the grocery store are getting outrageous. My husband and I have a combined income to only place us in the lower middle class so there is no help in sight for the people in my class. … We have five children between us and it is hard to live paycheck to paycheck.
I’m sure you can figure out where this is going to go.Â Five children.Â If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and can barely scrape two dimes together to afford groceries, maybe some family planning should have been put into place.Â Sorry, but I’d rather have one kid that I can spoil than to have five that get hand-me-down clothes and some ramen for dinner. People get it into their minds that they have to have lots of kidsâ€”they want a big family.Â Yet, they can’t afford it so everyone ends up suffering.
My home went on the market in one of the worst housing markets I’ve seen in my lifetime. The funny thing, though, is it was a good year. I’m extremely grateful that I had the retirement account, the equity in my home, the credit available and the supportive friends to be able to tap into when immersed in a desperate situation.
Even though she had to sell her home in a bad market, she’d obviously done some planning ahead.Â Having a good retirement account, some equity and some credit available are all things that help ride out a tough economy.Â Just live within your means and you’ll be alright.
People are still lining up to purchase entry-level properties, and paying absurd amounts, up to $700 per buildable square foot. And this is not an ocean view, just plain Main Street type land. When I ask them why, they still say it’s the Palisades and it can’t go down.
People are stupid. They want to live in a glamorous area and make all of their family and friends think that they have it all going onâ€”that they are yuppies.Â I don’t payday loan store chicago1 hour payday loanpayday loan fast no faxloan online payday quickameriloan loan paydayamerica cash loan paydayloan milwaukee payday storelow interest payday loan,low interest rate payday loan,interest loan low paydayfaxing loan no payday,faxing loan no overnight payday,no faxing instant payday loandebt get loan paydayguaranteed no fax payday loanquick faxless payday loan,low fee faxless payday loan,faxless loan paydayadvance? cash loan online payday ?emergency loan paydayfaxing loan no payday requiredadvance cash loan payday today,advance cash loan payday,payday payday loan cash advance loanloan until payday100 loan online paydaypayday loan without fax,fax less payday loan,fax payday loanalabama loan payday store,payday loan store in chicago,loan payday storeapproval guaranteed loan payday,guaranteed loan payday,faxless guaranteed loan paydayquick payday advance loanlow cost payday loan24 hour loan paydayhour loan one payday,hour in loan one payday,faxless hour loan one paydaycalculator loan paydayone hour payday loancalgary payday loan,calgary loan paydayhour loan online payday1000 payday loan no teletrack,loan no payday teletrack,200 loan no payday teletrackcash advance loancash america payday loan,cash loan payday,1000.com advance cash loan paydayquick cash payday loanadvance cash loan military,cash in advance loan,cash advance loan idahoonline casino cash advance,online cash advance,cash advance online no faxingcash advance serviceadvance cash loan payday quickadvance cash line loan,budget line cash advance,advance cash on lineadvance cash overnightget payday cash advance fast online loan,fast cash advance,advance cash fast getadvance cash faxing money no now,no faxing cash advance,advance cash faxing no paydaynational cash advancecash advance nowpayday cash advance utah,payday cash advance,advance cash payday ringtoneadvance cash check credit no,cash advance no credit check,advance cash check credit no onlineadvance advance america cashadvance bad cash credit loan payday,cash advance for people with bad credit,bad credit cash advanceadvance card cash creditpayday us fast cash loan,fast cash payday loanfirst southern cash advance,first cash advance,first time cash advance understand what people are thinking.Â What makes that 2-bedroom house worth $700K??
I accepted a job in February 2007 that required relocation so we packed up and moved to Alabama. We had not gone through this before. We purchased another home in Alabama and we were sure that our house in Three Rivers, MI would sell. Not the case. Not only could we not sell our Michigan house but my husband could not find work in Alabama. So we made the decision to have him go back to Michigan to work as a temp in September 2007.
So they bought a new house before they sold their old one.Â Erm.Â And why would you do that? Why not rent an apartment until the old house sold? God forbid you live in an apartment. You’re homeowners, not apartment people.Â Ugh.Â Now you own nothing. There are so many things wrong here.
With huge energy bills in our house that almost equaled our monthly mortgage payment, my husband and I had to let our house go last year. We’ve lost our house and canceled our vehicle insurance.
I don’t know that background here, but what kind of house has energy bills that are equal to one’s monthly mortgage. We used to wrap ourselves in blankets and burn wood for heat at times growing up. I know that energy bills are going up, but something doesn’t quite seem right here.
As I read the news every day on the economy and the slumping housing prices, I have to say that I’m not all that surprised. How many people were oblivious to the fact that banks can’t continue to give away money for free and that eventually people wouldn’t be able to pay their mortgages and would start walking away from these homes that they never put money down on in the first place.
Everyone got excited about the fact that they could buy a home with no money down and live the life of a homeowner, paying the bare minimum. Some even got excited about buying homes and flipping them before the mortgages reset, allowing them to make a ton of cash off depressed property.
Unfortunately, the saying “what goes up, must come down” is a reality. In California, housing prices have been out of control. When you can’t even buy a 2-bedroom cottage for less than a million dollars, you know that something is wrong. When five couples are having a bidding war over that 2-bedroom cottage, you should really know something is wrong.
We have some friends that recently purchased a house. My advice during their search was to choose a good location because when the inevitable fall happened, they’d be in better shape.Â They didn’t listen.Â They didn’t want to “waste their money on a condo” and, instead, bought a house across the Bay. Their home is a 2-bedroom home that is smaller than our townhouse and in an area that could be called “undesirable”.Â Think about it.Â Every home in the Bay Area sells for more than $650K and they find one for $500K.Â Um.Â Ever think that something may not be quite right.
First, in this area, a 2-bedroom house is undesirable to most couples or families. Families typically look for 3-bedroom homes so that they have room to grow. Second, the only way to actually get to their house is through this kind of seedy, ghetto type of area.Â They’ve admitted to hearing gunshots and have bars on their front door, which I’m not exactly sure screams “homey”.
Had they taken my advice, with the market the way it is, they’d only be down maybe $30K or so.Â As of today, they are down about $70K. The hope is that they’ll get back into the black before their interest-only loan resets.Â My prediction is that they’re in for a tough time.
The real estate market has hundreds of these stories. People wanted to live the high life and compete with the Joneses. They wanted homes they couldn’t afford and are now paying the price. My advice at the time was to just buy what you could comfortably afford and to make sure you had plenty of money left over after paying all of your expenses. If you can get buy with a 2-bedroom condo, why buy a 4-bedroom house with a family room?
As I move forward with the reconstruction efforts with my HOA, I continue to hear people saying that they’re going to have to foreclose… that they’re going to lose their homes. We’re talking about an extra $250 a month.Â If that’s going to send them into foreclosure, then I can’t help but to think that they’re already headed there.Â You shouldn’t buy a house if you can’t do it and not have any extra cash in your budget.
I think it’s fair to say that we’ve been warned. The news of a housing and credit bubble has been around for a few years. They’ve warned us that it would burst and that housing prices would reset to where they realistically should be.Â It’s really no surprise.Â It is unfortunate.Â But maybe this is a lesson to everyone that we should all remember to live within our means and not to try and constantly keep up with everyone else.Â Maybe everyone else is also living outside of their means and when they fall, we’ll all fall.