Monthly Archives: January 2013

Thoughts on the Inauguration

I had some time to process the Inauguration. I was really looking forward to it. Even though Obama won, in an electoral college landslide smack down of Romney, it isn’t official until he’s sworn in. That was when I was able to fully exhale. People say it wasn’t as memorable or exciting as 2008. Of course, that has to do with him being the first black POTUS. That said, there is a lot I will remember…down the road as my short term memory sucks.

The Date
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. That was really significant. Obama is his dream realized. Someone who fought for basic rights and dignity for black people would be proud. The highest office of the land is occupied by a black person. Before the 2008 election, I said constantly that there would be a woman president before a black one. Obviously, I was wrong and had to eat my words.

The Actual Swearing In
Did anyone notice that the Vice President oath is longer? Or is it because Chief Justice Roberts was talking faster? That was weird. I loved that he swore on Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.’s bible. It was nice that Roberts read the oath instead of relying on his memory and stumbling.

The Speech
What I found memorable was his inclusion of the LGBT community. He’s the first incumbent President to do that in a general-election acceptance speech. It wasn’t merely a “shout out” as in “Much love to all my gay peeps!” The inclusion was substantive. He pointed to the struggles of the gay community by mentioning “Stonewall.” Most importantly, he spoke of marriage equality.

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

This was one for the history books. Oh and BTW, thanks Mr. President from one of your LGBT (bi) peeps!

The Music
Beyoncé-gate. I wouldn’t be surprised if she did lip-synch. A lot of people say, “Who cares?” I suppose, but one of my favorite parts of boxing matches, baseball games, the Superbowl is the singing of the National Anthem. I would prefer it to be live, and honestly, I respect the artist more. They are taking that chance, despite their nerves and weather. If she did lip-synch, she did a great job of faking it. Ripping out the ear piece was a great touch since singers do that to be able to hear themselves.

Whether or not she sang live wasn’t that big of an issue for me because it was Kelly Clarkson’s rendition of “My Country Tis of Thee” that moved me. And she didn’t lip-synch. I got chills. I’ve been a fan since she auditioned for American Idol. She has natural talent. Many can be trained to sing, but not that many possess that raw talent. Her ability to sing acapella really well is further evidence of that. The chick was born to sing.

The Fashion
coats I’m a girly girl, so I usually notice what they’re wearing. I liked the couture coat by New York designer Thom Browne. Interestingly, he is menswear designer. It had a vintage feel. Her bejeweled belt was J. Crew (off the rack), and they’ll be retiring it. The colorful coats that Malia and Sasha wore were gorgeous. I loved Malia’s fuschia one by J. Crew. Not-so-little-anymore Sasha wore Kate Spade. Both off the rack, which is nice. J. Crew said they’d be retiring that coat as well.

inaugration gownsMichelle’s Inaugural Ball gown blew me away. The couture gown by Taiwanese designer Jason Wu was amazing. A “true red,” and that criss cross halter top looks best on tall women, so she rocked it. I didn’t like her 2009 dress by the same designer, mainly because I don’t like one-shoulder gowns. Asymmetry bugs me.

I really enjoyed this Inauguration. The pomp and circumstance and the traditions makes me even prouder to be an American – especially when the President is someone I like. Most of all, I enjoyed it because it was Obama up there – not Romney. That would have made me physically ill in a way that Bush never did. The last person I want up there is someone who stands for nothing because he said whatever people wanted to hear to get elected. With Obama, you know exactly what he supports and rejects. And if many of these coincide with my values and beliefs, even better.

Fed Up with the Gun Debate

First, Happy New Year to Everyone! Second, a busy holiday season followed by preparing for a company audit (we passed) are my excuses for a shamefully long absence. Third, I’m sick to death of this gun debate, prompting my jump right back into blog waters. Fair warning, this is probably going to be a rambly rant.

The CT school shootings were horrific, which definitely took the 2nd Amendment off the back burner. I remember during the debates, gun control was not really addressed other than the usual, “make sure kids have a good childhood so they don’t turn into the Columbine monsters.”

The NRA has completely disgusted me. After the massacre, they wait days to give a statement, and when they did, their solution was all schools should have armed rent-a-cops. Because having them really helped in the Columbine shooting.

Bragging about their paid memberships increasing exponentially after the shootings pissed me off to no end. What kind of organization does that? Nothing like 20 dead kids to up your numbers. Ugh.

Vice President Biden meets with anyone and everyone related to guns and violence and comes up with recommendations. On the 16th, he took 23 of those recommendations and turned them into Executive Orders. For some reason, I get Conservative newsletters and alerts even though I’ve e-mailed them, saying that I’m a bleeding heart Liberal. Let’s see. In the past two days, I’ve read, “Impeach Him” (yawn) and “Congress must act to counter every single one of these orders! They have the power to do it, and they must take action.”

Every single one? Even this one?

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

Wasn’t that what the NRA was calling for? Damn that Commie Obama for giving us what we wanted.

The whole debate has gotten ridiculous, really. I have heard it all. From hard core gun nuts who say NO background checks to banning all weapons. Maybe we can have some sensible solutions? Like tougher background checks? Closing that gun show loophole would be great too. I still don’t understand how Joe Crazy can walk right into a show in many states and purchase an AR-15 without any kind of background check. Here in CA, there are background checks when you buy from a gun show. You purchase from the dealer and go through the background check. When you pass, you pick up your weapon from the transfer dealer who has been holding it until you pass. That should be in all states.

The assault weapons ban. Senator Dianne Feinstein is leading this campaign, as she did when assault weapons were banned in 1994. So, to the NRA, she is Satan incarnate. It makes me ask the question. Who really needs an assault weapon? A handgun or shotgun would suffice if Stranger Danger comes into your house. Do you really need something that will literally blow their head to bits? Dead is dead.

And the high capacity magazines. Again, do you really need a 100RD magazine when one bullet is all you need to kill a deer. Max 3 if you’re a bad shot. Limiting the capacity you can buy would be one way to go.

One of the things that I wish the gun lobby, gun nuts, and Conservatives would drop is the “tyrannous” government argument. Where were you when the Patriot Act was signed into law by Bush? And extended by Obama? I should have seen well-regulated militias storming the capital. Did they sleep in? Were they too inept to send an e-mail blast, “Our rights are about to be eroded. Grab your guns and meet at the steps of the capital. Donuts and coffee will be provided.” Either they don’t really care about a tyrannous government, or their militias really suck. Or a combination of both.

Anyway, I’m pretty much fed up with the whole thing at this point. Will real change happen now? I’d like to believe so, but I am a realist. The NRA has a financial choke hold on Congress, and a large group of voters will keep the pressure on to keep gun laws as they are. Nothing screams American machismo more than assault rifles with magazines stuffed with as many hollow point bullets it can hold. Go big or go home, baby.

Of course, on a more personal level, if that Commie Imam King Barack Hussein Obama tries to take away my shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile, he’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.