— Hailed by a huge, tumultuous throng, Barack Obama, America's first
African-American President sombrely told a hopeful nation and a watching
world Tuesday that great efforts were needed to restore a grievously damaged
economy and tarnished global image.
“Starting today, we must pick
ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking
America,” Mr. Obama told more than a million people gathered to celebrate a
historic moment. Many had walked for hours in bitter, pre-dawn darkness to
bear witness to history. The multitude transformed inaugural pomp and
ceremony into a far greater event; part outpouring of patriotism, part
magical moment, as groups of total strangers met and mingled in a festival
For many of the hundreds of thousands of black Americans in the crowd,
Tuesday was also a long-overdue milestone in healing America's racial
Mr. Obama, 47, the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American
mother, paid tribute to the hard-won achievements of the civil-rights
movement, noting he was “a man whose father, less than 60 years ago, might
not have been served at a local restaurant.” In bright sunshine, before a
sea of flags and booming chants of “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma” the Bush era ended
with scattered boos and the peaceful passing of power in the world's sole
Just after noon, Mr. Obama was sworn in before a cheering, boisterous throng
that stretched from the steps of the Capitol more than three kilometres past the
Washington Monument to the end of the Mall and the Lincoln Memorial. Michelle
Obama held a 150-year-old Bible, covered in red leather and last used by Abraham
The new President, apparently determined to reduce soaring expectations and
foster realization of the grim realities his administration faces, painted a
stark picture of the challenges ahead.
“That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood,” he said. “Our
nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our
economy is badly weakened. … 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.”
The message stilled the throng briefly but couldn't extinguish the
exuberance. Cheers and rolling applause repeatedly punctuated the 181/2-minute
Less than 30 minutes later, George W. Bush, 62, boarded a helicopter.
As the larger-than-life image of the deeply unpopular president making his
departure appeared on huge Jumbotrons, catcalls and boos sounded from the crowd.
By mid-afternoon, a big blue-and-white Boeing had taken Mr. Bush back to Texas.
For the first time in eight years with Mr. Bush on board, the aircraft wasn't
called Air Force One, because he was no longer president.
Mr. Obama had thanked his predecessor and given him a farewell hug.
In his often-sombre inaugural speech, Mr. Obama avoided crowd-rousing oratory
or soaring rhetoric, preferring instead to underscore tough times with a
relatively subdued call for a return to American bedrock values of hard work and
tolerance. Yet he also found room to deliver a grim warning to America's
“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.” It was Mr. Obama's most
bellicose moment and it brought his predecessor, Mr. Bush, to his feet for a
During his speech, Mr. Obama made the first mistake of his presidency,
although it was an understandable one. The newly sworn-in President mentioned
that “44 Americans have now taken the presidential oath.” While there have been
44 presidential administrations, there have been only 43 presidents; Grover
Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms in the late 1800s.
Mostly, Mr. Obama offered a new spirit of reconciliation.
“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and
mutual respect,” said the 44th President, whose father was a Kenyan Muslim.
He also warned the leaders of the world's nastiest regimes – without
mentioning any of them by name – that they were on the “wrong side of history,
but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” But
the new President's focus was domestic – and he painted a dark picture of an
economy in desperate straits.
“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,” he said.
More than 11 million Americans are jobless, housing foreclosures have
skyrocketed, stock markets continue to spiral downward.
Only a few in the crowd offered cautionary notes, warning that Mr. Obama
needed to be held to account.
Medea Benjamin, one of the foremost activists against the Iraq war and
founder of Code Pink, a women's peace group, said she was worried Mr. Obama
might fail to make good on his promises to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq.
“We want them out of Afghanistan, too,” she said. “We want Obama to keep his
promises about closing Guantanamo as well.”
An otherwise joyful day was marred by the collapse of Senator Edward Kennedy,
76, a key backer of Mr. Obama who made a moving vow last summer at the
Democrats' Denver nominating convention that he would survive brain cancer long
enough to witness the inauguration.
At the luncheon with congressional leaders where Mr. Kennedy fell ill after
the inauguration, Mr. Obama served notice that he expected less infighting and a
higher tone than the nasty, partisan battling that has stymied efforts for years
on a broad range of vital issues from immigration to health care to reforming
Ordinary Americans are “demonstrating their readiness to answer history's
call and to step up, and give back, and take responsibility for serving the
common purpose of remaking our nation,” he told lawmakers. “We have to do the
The world reacted with joy Tuesday to the ceremony in Washington. Thousands
danced Tuesday in the Kenyan village where Mr. Obama's father was born and
ecstatic revellers toasted him at parties worldwide as the first African
American U.S. president took office, Agence France-Presse reported.
At the Canadian embassy, flanking the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route,
hundreds gathered for what was billed as a “tailgate” party where beaver tails
and free beer were on offer. Mounties were flown in to add colour.
The two-hour inaugural parade, replete with dozens of high-school bands,
re-enactors of a black Civil War regiment, and Second World War veterans,
included more than 10,000 participants from all 50 states.
The President and his wife delighted crowds jammed atop office buildings and
lining the route 10 deep by alighting from their tank-like limousine and walking
a few blocks hand in hand.
They watched most of the parade from a reviewing stand, fronted with
bulletproof glass, after collecting their daughters, Malia and Sasha, from the
Later, the new first couple made the rounds of 10 glittering inaugural balls,
mostly attended by well-heeled Democrats who had paid steep prices.
For the million-plus ordinary people who filled the sprawling National Mall
in downtown Washington, it was a day to celebrate Mr. Obama's presidency and –
for some – to cheer the departure of one of America's least-loved presidents.
The crowd booed lustily as they watched giant TV screens showing Mr. Bush
arriving at the swearing-in ceremony. A few hurled abuse.
“Send him to jail,” screamed a woman at the foot of the Washington Monument.
Tuesday's ceremonies ended a four-day celebration that began with a
whistle-stop train turn bringing the Obamas to Washington.
Inauguration day included a church service at St. John's Episcopal Church,
and a traditional coffee at the White House including both the new and old
presidents and vice-presidents and their spouses.
Today, Mr. Obama is expected to order the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speed up
the pullout of troops from Iraq and announce that the prison for terrorist
suspects at the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be closed.
It will be the first day of a new administration and the first change in the
Oval Office since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It will also mark the
extraordinary political rise of Mr. Obama, who barely two years ago was a
little-known senator and ex-law professor from Illinois, with almost no
legislative record and no experience running anything bigger than a community
With reports from Barrie McKenna and AP
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre in the Globe and Mail regarding
Justice Denis Power and Justice Allan Sheffield aka "the worst judge" aka
"flagrant abusers of judicial discretion", aka "the underbelly of the judicary"
that is, some of the most vile examples of the judiciary in Canada.
Ottawa Mens Centre.com, from Ottawa Capital of Male Gender Apartheid,
Canada wrote: Obama spoke about Equality, Lets hope he makes that point
if and when he speaks to a Canadian Parliament. Obama will be landing at Ottawa
Ontario, the capital of Judicial Corruption with several of the greatest abusers
of Judicial Power in Canada's history. Almost every day, they routinely issue
draconian orders that treat men with even less respect than blacks received in
the Deep South decades ago. Men In Ontario, have their legal rights totally
removed at the whim of a vindictive angry judge who acts at the behest an
equally disturbed and troubled vindictive mother who simply ask for a "Power
order" or a "Sheffield Order" that means, asking a judge to do indirectly what
is prohibited directly, that is, destroy a father by ordering child support
without any evidence of income when the judge knows he is unemployed and a full
time dad. These two judges target the most vulnerable, the self represented male
litigant simply seeking access to his child.
Society hates child abusers, they are the most vile individuals on earth, the
problem is, the very worst are referred to as "the worst judge" or "the
underbelly of the judiciary", you can find them at 161 Elgin Street Ottawa. Yes,
they are a minority but , they have power and influence over administrative
judges who make administrative decisions, ordering trials when they know the
victim cannot attend and cannot appeal, the resulting decisions are constructed
to prevent appeal by ordering "astronomical security for costs" to prevent any
litigation regarding the best interests of a child and that is the act of a
professional child abuser. www.OttawaMensCentre.com
- Posted 20/01/09 at 11:29 PM EST