# Obama inauguration - Oh happy day

By Murray Bourne, 21 Jan 2009

There is palpable joy around my office today as people talk about Obama's inauguration. For us, it happened at 1:00 AM, but many people stayed up to watch the historical event.

In one swoop, the average IQ (and EQ) of the White House has gone up several notches.

The rest of the world really need to have a USA that is morally strong and intellectually sound. The folly of the last 8 years put a huge dent in the USA's standing in the world and we look forward to having the place run by someone who at least has lived outside America and has a broader understanding of people issues — and who clearly has some competence and empathy.

Some of my favorite parts of his speech:

...our schools fail too many...

I'm looking forward to seeing what he does about Bush's No Chld Left behind policies. There are huge challenges in this.

... each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet...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. All this we will do...

...With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

No talk yet of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol (which Kevin Rudd did in the first hours after taking office as Prime Minister in Australia in late 2007). But at least we have glimmers of hope that the effects of the unsustainable energy policies that were in play in the States during the entire 20th century may be mitigated.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs.

Yay - a move away from the anti-science policies of the previous administration (eg Intelligent Design; and putting obstacles in the way of those trying to release research on climate change).

There is hope for improvement in mathematics education as a result!

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

A big buzz for me is that Obama is multi-cultural. He can operate effectively in the worlds of white and black. He lived in Indonesia and Hawai'i, which also gives him insights that few former presidents have enjoyed.

I hope he lives up to his immense promise.

(Speech excerpts: source)

### 4 Comments on “Obama inauguration - Oh happy day”

1. Daniel says:

It's only been the first day and he's actually putting his money where his mouth is.

During the campaign he promised a more open and transparent government and only hours into his presidency he does the following:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/us/politics/22obama.html?ref=us

Could this guy possibly become the best US president ever???(touches wood)

2. Murray says:

It’s going to be very interesting to see what Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield were really up to.

BTW, why was there no call for impeachment? Surely lying to congress and the UN (over WMDs and whatever else) was enough reason?

3. Mick Malkemus says:

I'm extremely happy that Obama is now president. I predict good things for America, and feel very optimistic, for the first time in six years, regardless of the economic crisis...

Oddly, I did not think of him as being black until I saw Black Americans celebrating; I had just thought of him as "Obama".

Since Obama is half black and half white, I'm wondering what percentage of black or white does one have to be, to be known as one race or the other? Or is it simply a cultural definition, according to what culture or sub-culture one identifies with?

I'm convinced after studying bio-dynamic diversity that there is no such thing as race, other than in people's minds, but that is beside the point. (Skin color and hair characteristics are a response to how close or far a population is from the equator.) Most people still believe race exists, hence my question.

4. Murray says:

Hi Mick

Great question. In Australia, you can be Aborigine as long as you identify with being Aborigine.

People have a strongly in-built sense of "them" and "us". Even if we are in a relatively homogeneous group (say all white European), we still find things that separate us into groups (like Protestant/Catholic ; affinity to a particular football club; or class based on money).

It seems it's in our genetic makeup.

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