Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best. Season. Ever.

Why do we love fall? Let us count the ways...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Did

I don't know who you voted for. I don't know how late you stayed up last night. I don't know where you were watching. But I would hope that our new President Elect's words stirred something in each American and inspired every citizen to action far beyond the voting booth. On November 4, 2008 we all stood together at a unique moment in history. And when Barack Obama stepped to that podium in Grant Park, he called this nation to a higher ideal and asked us to help change things for the better...he reminded us of just how far we have come and dared us to dream even farther. In essence, he asked us to stop cynically watching governance from afar and start believing again in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Perhaps that feels like empty rhetoric to some, but it certainly does not have to be. When my son is 106 years old, he will have seen things I cannot even imagine and he will know a United States of America far different than the one I know now. No matter what comes next, I am hopeful for his country and grateful that the first President he remembers will be someone who represents hope, optimism and the better angels of our nature. I don't know who you voted for or how late you stayed up last night or where you were, but I hope none of us forget this moment,

- Cliff

"What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek ­ it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

'So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers ­ in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

'Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House (note: referring to Civil War president Abe Lincoln) ­ a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies, but friends ... though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.' And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn ­ I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

'And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world ­ our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down ­ we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security ­ we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright ­ tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

'For that is the true genius of America ­ that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

'This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing ­ Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

'She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons ­ because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

'And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America ­ the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

'At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

'When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

'When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

'She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that 'We Shall Overcome.' Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

'America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves ­ if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

'This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time ­ to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth ­ that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

'Yes we Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

- Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Count on it

What can we say? Sam's a prodigy.

Sunday, November 02, 2008