10 Things They Aren’t Saying About Michael Jackson

michael jackson

Michael Jackson and I were exposed to America in the same year 1969.  The Jackson 5 landed their first megahit “I Want You Back”  and I landed in New York City. Michael Jackson with (and without) his brothers provided the soundtrack of my life – and a beautiful and memorable soundtrack it is.

I remember house parties in Brooklyn apartments from Ebbets Field to Vanderveer where the kids entertained the adults by  mimicking the choreography of  “I Want You Back”, “ABC”, and “The Love You Save”. I wasn’t in love with Michael, my heart belonged to Sigmund Esco Jackson the older brother with whom I created an inner fantasy life (if you have never listened to his album, you should run out and get it right now). Michael’s songs  “Ben”, “Got To Be There”, and  “I Wanna Be Where You Are”  took me from puberty into my teenage years.

My 2 oldest children watched “Thriller” every day, over and over and over, we wore the tape out. I think the fact that my son Khalil is a professional dancer and choreographer today is due in large part to Michael and Thriller. My youngest Jalen loved Moonwalker, we wore that tape out too and moved on to the Ones DVD.

So it just makes me want to “Scream”  that the foucs right now is on how strange Michael was, and whether or not he molested  children, and his many surgeries etc etc.. I had a real honest to God childhood, Michael didn’t as evidenced in this song

Have you seen my Childhood?
I’m searching for the world that I come from
‘Cause I’ve been looking around
In the lost and found of my heart…
No one understands me
They view it as such strange eccentricities…
‘Cause I keep kidding around
Like a child, but pardon me…

I learned how to interact with people as I grew older, I don’t think Michael ever learned how to trust adults, or handle money or any of that normal stuff. At the end of the day (I believe) he was a good human being, who left us with some wonderful music – his and the music of those he inspired (Usher, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Neo, Ginuwine, Beyonce and on and on).

Here are just a few  things I admire about Michael Jackson:

  1. He made the Guinness Book of World records for basically being  the superstar who gave  to the highest number of  charities in 2000
  2. He gave anonymously to parents who lost their children to  gang violence so that they could bury said children
  3. He donated 300 million dollars to various charities
  4. It was reported that he bought Little Richards catalog (which little Richard did not own, story for another day) and gave it back to him so that Little Richard could benefit from his own royalties – this brought Little Richard to tears
  5. Neverland was not just a private amusement park for him, it was also a part of his charitable giving
  6. He didn’t steal the Beatles catalog – it was available, he bid on it and won, Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono were not interested initially.
  7. He  was guilty of random and anonymous acts of kindness
  8. He donated money from his tours to orphanages and hospitals all over the world
  9. He can beatbox and he legally patented his patented smooth criminal lean (http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/06/25/michael-jacksons-pat.html) (thank u Chris)

Feel free to leave a comment and add to my list,

I am declaring this a MJ no bash zone – there are plenty of other blogs where you can go talk bad about Michael, this isn’t one of them.
michael joseph jackson
RIP Michael Joseph Jackson – thanks for the memories.

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The Effect Of A Passing Storm

Rest in Peace Storm

Rest in Peace Storm

Back in 1994 my then teenaged boys chose the black pup with the white chest from a litter of brown pups. She was a beautiful puppy with white paws and  a diamond shaped white spot on the back of her neck which  was probably why my son Khalil named her Storm.

Back then I was working on my degree and Storm kept me company  when I stayed up all night doing homework. When the kids grew up and moved out and my husband went on tour with El Pus, it was the presence of Storm in the house that helped me to not feel quite as paranoid as I can get to feeling.

She’s always been the kids’ dog or my husband’s dog but within the past two years or so I began to realize that dogs really can be as neurotic as their owners and that in some ways Storm and I (being the only females in the house) had acquired each others habits:

  • we are  both slightly deaf and you may have to call us several times before we come
  • we both enjoy a good rub (top of the head, behind the ears, back, belly) or a good brush as long as you go with the fur
  • we both run to the kitchen and get very happy when our men get home (but we try not to do it at the same time)
  • we are both very  jumpy, Storm is very sensitive to noises and quite capable of scaring herself while eating or drinking (did I mention that she trips over her own paws?)
  • we are also both going gray and losing our eyesight
  • and finally we are both getting older but we look pretty damn good

Last night I was fooling around doing online surveys and listening to some recorded calls when my husband came upstairs and we started talking about fast food commercials. Then he started telling me how Storm wanted to go out but got to the back porch and did that thing she does where she doesn’t actually want to go outside, so he left her on the porch and continue watching the Lakers/Nuggets.  When he checked on her he noticed that she had done her business right there on the porch and he got some paper and cleaned it up and then when he came back she was laying there dead.

Let me interject here that my husband is a bit of a kidder and the fact that he took so long to tell me this tale led me to the conclusion that he was kidding me , which is what I said and what I really truly wanted to believe.  So I ran downstairs to check, and sure enough Storm was laying  stretched out on the back porch and her eyes were open.

There’s not much else to say except I didn’t know that the death of  my dog would leave me so…so grief-stricken. Rest in peace my constant companion, I will miss you laying under my feet as I work at the kitchen table; I will miss your dismissive glance as I enter the kitchen from the garage each afternoon; most of all I will miss just knowing that you are here protecting me when no one else is home.

I know that you have gone to that big kitchen in the sky and that even now you are circling the island hoping that St Peter will drop a hot dog at the Memorial Day barbecue. But as your master always told you – be a Lady Storm, just be a Lady.

If You’re Serious About Finding A Job, Don’t Do This…

job huntingIn the average  month there are at least 300 resumes that come to me via email.  I am writing this post as a service to those of you who are  unemployed or underpaid and are seeking gainful employment.  If you know someone who is currently job hunting, please ,please pass these tips on; let them know that if they are serious about finding a job:

  1. DO NOT have inappropriate music (I don’t care if it’s  rap,rock, country or gospel) on your phone message. After all why should a recruiter have to listen to 30 seconds or more of your favorite song before they can leave you a message about the job that you applied for? Just yesterday,  a recruiter I know was treated to” u got one more time to feel on my booty, you’re turning me on” and then (this is the same call mind you) he  was played an entire song (Angel Of Mine) and finally there was a beep; just a beep no message.  He hung up, because he felt that this person does not really want a job, if they did they would have taken a few moments to ensure that their message to incoming callers was an appropriate one – end of story.
  2. While I am on the subject of voicemail, let me just say that the serious job seeker will ensure that their mailbox is set up correctly, and that it is never so full that a prospective employer cannot leave a message.
  3. Don’t save your resume as resume.doc or some other generic title.  You want your resume to stand out in all of it’s glory and this is just another one of those little things that can make the difference  between getting a second call and being buried in a pile of resumes named  resume_2008.doc .
  4. Do not use your current personal email address on your resume, especially when said email address is  sizzlingblonde@hotmail.com or hotnbothered@yahoo.com. Don’t use any email address that describes your sexual proclivities, race, ethnicity, or political orientation. You never get a second chance to make that first impression, so don’t blow it with an email address that sends the wrong message about you.
  5. DON’T send your resume in a format that is not widely used . Send a  .doc or .pdf or even .txt file;  there just aren’t that many businesses using WordPerfect or  Microsoft Works. To avoid sending your resume in a format that will never be opened, go out to openoffice.org and download a free office suite.
  6. If you don’t actually have an “Objective” or can’t think of an objective to put on your resume then just don’t put an objective. Let me show you what I mean about objectives that don’t improve your chances:
    1. Objective: To obtain a career with advancement in the company.
    2. Objective: To get a job.
    3. To get a job at a company that I can retire from
  7. Don’t get me wrong on this one,  I think that proper English is a beautiful thing. Actually I am so passionate about good writing that I won’t read certain authors because I just don’t enjoy their stilted writing. Here’s the thing, I have read some cover letters that were nothing but “words of the day” strung together to create sentences. Please don’t write a cover letter that requires a Thesaurus. Don’t over do it to the point where your cover letter doesn’t make any sense.
  8. This is the epitome of “tacky” (yes I realize the use of this one word exposes my age) and unprofessional: sending a copy of your resume and cover letter to 2 or more companies/recruiters at once and not even using bcc.  Why i s this a bad thing? It reeks of desperation and throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks. I certainly  won’t respond to you, because chances are you aren’t organized enough to know who I am. And if you are applying for a job as (for example) an administrative assistant and you can’t organize your own job search, then how can I expect you to organize my office?
  9. Every prospective employer and recruiter  out there can tell that you are not serious about your job search when you neglect to put an area code on your phone number. Not in your cover letter, not on your resume, not in your email – no area code anywhere. It’s 2009 , everyone has an area code,  here in the Atlanta area we have 3 area codes  which renders the number 555-1212 totally useless to me even if it comes with an address.

Help me to finish this post by providing me with number ten  and I will give you a free copy of the “Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace D. Wattles.

Leave a comment I want to know what you think.

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Papa Was A Rolling Stone, But…

I got out of bed on Monday morning April 28th,1997 after a sleepless night

Papa was A Rolling Stone

Papa was A Rolling Stone

and looked out at a beautiful spring morning. The birds were chirping like crazy, there was a nice little breeze and as I looked at the sky thru the 26 pine trees I could see from my kitchen window, I realized that my Daddy wouldn’t be seeing that sky any more.

I really took my Father’s death hard,  and today 12 years later I finally understand why. You see my Papa truly was a rolling stone, a good looking ladies man, father of 5 children with my mother, 4 other children that I knew of, and God knows how many unknown offspring.

I was a Daddy’s girl, he took me everywhere that he went (even if it was to visit one of my other “mothers”) and I loved my father to the Sun and the Moon and back again. And I believe he loved me the same way too. So when he brought us to America in November 1969, dropped us off at a luxury apartment, and then got into his car and went home, well the bottom dropped out of my world.

I prayed really hard every night that he would God would see fit to put my parents fractured marriage back together; instead God allowed me to overhear the conversation where my Mother asked my Daddy what she should tell his 5 children – and he replied “Tell them I’m dead”.

Oh, how I could go on with the list of ways in which my father wronged me, and the many reasons that I had to bring so much baggage into all of my relationships. I knew as I made each mistake in my life that it was my damn father’s fault, I was always searching for my Daddy.

Do fathers even realize or understand that when they reject and abandon the mother, they are also rejecting, abandoning, and scarring the daughters?

In 1993 when i was pregnant with my youngest, I realized how angry I was with my father for everything. I was so angry that I had to see a therapist (it didn’t help, do they ever?).

In the months before he died, Daddy begged me to come see him because he was dying. But I was in school, I was working on this huge project for work, I was renovating the house, I was full of excuses because I didn’t believe him. The last time I saw him he was well enough to point out that I had gained some weight, and I somehow managed to tune out how sick everyone told me that he actually was.

Sometime between April 20, 1997 and April 27, 1997 my father called me and left a message. I had every intention of calling him, but never did.  I saved the message until someone erased it accidentally. Regrets.

A few nights before he died, I was  sitting at my computer working on a

Disco Syd - The Rolling Stone

Disco Syd - The Rolling Stone

project for school, when suddenly I felt an embrace and started to cry uncontrollably, I was not crying because I was unhappy or sad about anything. As I cried I couldn’t even figure out what I had to cry about, but I felt strangely comforted.   Later, I told my Mother what had happened and she said that in the old country they believe that in the days leading up to your death, your spirit walks the earth, revisiting the places you’ve been and the people you’ve loved.

I firmly believe that because I would not go to him, my Father came to see  me one last time. I believe that it was his embrace and his regrets and his sadness that brought me to tears.

You see my papa was a rolling stone, but it didn’t mean that he didn’t love me.

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What Should Parents Tell Their Kids About God & Religion?

God & Religion

God & Religion

I was cruising Mamapedia looking for a topic for my next post and I found this very interesting question about talking to kids about religion. It got me to wondering just how did I learn about God/religion and what did I pass on to my kids?

My Mother raised me on a bedtime prayer that I naturally said with my kids at bedtime, and they say with their kids at bedtime:

“Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my Soul to keep,

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my Soul to take”

Followed by :

“In my little bed I lie, Heavenly Father hear my cry, God protect me through this night and keep me safe til morning light”

No, I don’t know why we say two prayers in a row, it’s just what we do.  And yes on careful reflection the first one does seem morbid and my sons did comment on it when they were small.

I sent my oldest two kids to Sunday school when they were younger, because I remembered Sunday School as a pretty good time, and I  wanted them to have that same great experience.

But I pretty much lost interest in church after age 16 or so and my kids didn’t even make it that far. My 15 year old has never attended church regularly, not even Sunday School.  So I asked him what he thought about God and religion, he said “Well I’m not an atheist am I?”.

I have a very interesting situation with my Grandson, his mother and grandmother are Jehovahs Witnesses and we are not.  This makes for very deep conversations about “Jehovah God” .  My grandson seems to think that “Jehovah God” is a pretty mean guy. I try to soften that message a little bit for him but  I do not try to unteach what he learns at Kingdom Hall. We do celebrate Christmas and his birthday when he’s with us though.

I read a study that said that kids who were raised in homes at  either of the extremes of religion (too much or none at all) are the most likely to end up in cults or what I like to call “extreme church”.  The person who asked the question on MamaSource alluded to this when she said: ” I had a very strange, fundamentalist upbringing and do not practice any religion. ”

Children being the curious people that they are, will definitely ask questions about God and about religion; just tell them what you know. If you don’t know enough to answer the question, research it together. But don’t lie to them, don’t be judgemental,  don’t avoid their questions altogether,  and definitely don’t  give such negative or angry feedback that they don’t dare ask again. After all the important thing is for our children to always feel that they can talk to us about anything under the sun.

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San Jose Earthquakes , March Madness, & Gratitude

Image by escribirconlacabeza via Flickr

Is it the end of the month already? Well let’s wrap it up shall we?
Couple of months ago I invited some of youse (that’s how we say y’all in Brooklyn) to join me in taking that excess weight off.  I am happy to report that I did manage to take off about 10lbs and am now working on the other 50 or so-:) I was reading a post over at Building Bigger Barns about the Hackers Diet and I got so excited I read the whole thing in a couple of hours. You can go read it for yourself or wait for me to find  time to tell you about it.

I read my last post and realized that I may have given the impression that all you have to do is say your affirmations over a steaming cauldron and anything you wish for will come true.  Well, not exactly, you see affirmations are just a way to reprogram your brain and remind yourself that you have the power to manifest your heart’s desire in your experience in reality. But…as with anything else, there  will probably always be some action required on your part.

For example, let’s say you need an income – you can ‘t just say “Infinite Spirit I give thanks that the 100k income which is mine by Divine Right has now been released and comes to me quickly under grace and in a perfect way” and spend the rest of the month watching M*A*S*H reruns on TVLand! You have to be the catalyst for change in your life. Nuff said, leave me a comment if you’re confused.

I am grateful for:

  • The awesome Freedom At Home Team & Ameriplan in general where you get love and advice and assistance  from people who don’t benefit financially from your success!
  • My wonderful team – I like to call them my Success Line
  • My family – I appreciate ya even if I don’t have time for you-:)

I haven’t been able to read much this month but Politicus and my girl RE  at Bad Gals Radio are shaking things up   – hop over and see what all the fuss about,  if you have an opinion make sure to leave it with one of them.  My boy Sheen did a hilarious piece on whether or not you should boost your number of Twitter followers artificially.  You should also check out my top commenter Steve who writes some seriously on point stuff for anyone looking to improve themselves on the journey to financial freedom.

Regardless of your political affiliation you need to read this article and learn what really happened with AIG, careful some profanity.

As always thanks to my Entrecard  top droppers for this month, the links are to the right, please visit their sites.

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Entrecard Top Droppers & What I’m Lovin Right Now

courtesy of Entrecard

courtesy of Entrecard

Is it the end of the month already? Does time move faster once you hit age 30? Anything is possible:)

First off, I’m psyched that  Re over at Bad Gals Radio reviewed my site and liked it so much she did an interview too, gotta love that. Here is what Re had to say about me:
“Originating in the Caribbean and growing up in New York; Denises’ sensibilities are current to the mood of today. she’s down to earth, thoughtful, forthright, Funny and an all around enjoyable read. I put her in the Gratitude Column, when I size up blogs. when you got it, you can share it. Denise Does in Each Blog.

4 Tips to Help You Keep The Faith While You’re Losing Everything Else is One of Our Favorites. We’ve sent this article to friends who’ve cried about foreclosures and layoffs; and they always say the same thing we did when we read it – Great Advice, in faith and functionality. no hellfire and brimstone, just a straight shooter calling out the options, clearly – so you can make the right choices in a time of stress.”

Bad Gals Radio is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get until the page opens. Today’s topic is quite sad, go take a look. And look for me to do an interview with the blogger who never sleeps sometime in the near future.

The next site I am loving right now is Rantings of a Mad Rodent he is a straight shooting son of a gun with a dirty mouth, chances are that in the middle of laughing at what he’s saying, you might realize that he’s probably right.

I also want to give props to my buddy Scott over at  Real Estate Investing Blog who is just such a go getter. Check out his social marketing package in the Entrecard market.

Now for some link love for my February  top droppers:

Parental Instincts 30
Comedy Plus 27
The Fashion Lovers 24
Speak Wealth Now! 24
Learning How To Make Money Online 23
_el@i_ 21
Article Marketing Methods 19
how much love 19
Lottery Power Picks News/Blog 19
Guy in Love 19
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Enter Bloganol’s Latest Contest!

Bloganol Contest

Bloganol Contest

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Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

Inaugural Address

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Washington, D.C.

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 forbearers, 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 short-cuts 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.

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Bush Farewell Speech: Hell Freezes Over

Hell Freezes Over By Denise Lee Porter 1/15/2009

Barack Obama's inauguration day might be coldest in history

It’s OK to start a fight based on a lie
And send our children off to war to die
It’s OK to kill abortion doctors to protect the unborn
Is it only me that sees that as an oxymoron?

History will remember the Bush years and how he spent them
While the banks clamor for more of the money we lent them
Our jobs disappear and we find it hard to cope
What to do but cling to Barack’s message of hope?

A Black President will happen on a cold day in hell
At least that’s the story we all used to tell
Across the country we watch as the temperatures fall
Ha, I guess Hell did freeze over after all

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