As Prepared for Delivery –
Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
For more than two hundred years, we have.
Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.
Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.
But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.
For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.
We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. 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. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.
For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.
By Marcus L Robinson
Hello my name is Marcus L Robinson, and I am a Photographer. I take a lot of pictures of just about anything and everything that moves. I am a Black photographer, and sadly to say, I have notice that many people here in the City of Chicago don’t respect Black photographers unless you work for a major publication.Well I really work for me, and every since I have been doing this I have had some very interesting run-ins with my own Black People. I didn’t know just how unconscious some of our people are until I started doing photography.
One of the sadness reasons that many Blacks as a whole fail in life is because they are not creative enough. After loosing my job with the Chicago Park district back in 2005, I decided to take my hobby to another level. During my extra free time, I venture out into the local Parks on the south side and photograph the guys on the Basketball court. Many play with there shirts off, and sweat dripping from there bodies. I personally never thought much about their appearance being considered as child porn. However, others may not share my opinion.
I also decided to take these guys and have them do some modeling for me. My plan was to take images of them posing shirtless and create a serious of greeting cards all geared toward a female audience for humor. Well I never knew that my Black people and perhaps some Caucasian
people thought the concept of creating greeting cards from bear chest bodies was so stupid. What is child porn, and why don’t we do enough to properly educate people on it?
People need to be detoxified from what the news reports say about pornography, and educate themselves on what child porn and pedophilia really means. Sense I have been shooting these photos, I have been called Gay, A rapist, and most worst of all a pedophile. But I am neither of those descriptions. I have received messages that convey that I never shoot or place photos of females on my Facebook page. At the same time, I have received some positive messages as well.
The reason I wrote this article was to clarify who I am and why I take the photos that I take. I don’t see a problem with the work that I do, and because I do this work, I have not suddenly shifted my gender or sexual preference to being Gay or something worst. I am highlighting the skills these young men display on the basketball court. What’s wrong with that? Why are peoples perceptions so distorted? It’s funny how people watch the news and see how a Gay guy is caught taking photos of some kids in a locker room, or playground but then turn around and ignore the part about the teen who was caught selling drugs near a park or school, or someone else is condemned for kind of gun violence.
White men can photograph Black people all day long, and nobody says anything because he’s White, and what he does is okay. But when I take photos of these young Black boys, I am either the boogie man with a camera or gay.
Why is it that Blacks don’t want to pay Black photographers for what they are truly worth? Are we so creative that we don’t know art when we see it? There is more to Black art than African art, and artist today have there own specialty.
It’s not that I am bent on just photographing boys or young men with their shirts off, I believe I have the right to speak my mind just as others speak their mind. I enjoy taking pictures of people, flowers and trees aren’t my thing. People make the world go around and with that said, a photo without a person in it is dead to me.
I can’t reveal all of the reason behind the pictures that I take, because others will steel my ideas and get rich off of them.
I often wonder what makes young men think and act so unconscious? Why must they show off his their bodies like they do? Are they trying to humor the ladies?
I also wonder why some people get so offended by their style. If everyone lived by today’s social standards, the world would have no perception of art.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:
Brooke Anderson (o. 312-814-3158; c. 312-590-0195)
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 Grant Klinzman (o. 312-814-3158; c. 312-237-6568)
Statement from Governor Quinn Regarding President Obama’s Strong Action to Protect Our Children
CHICAGO – January 16, 2013. After participating in a call with the White House, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and governors across the nation, Governor Pat Quinn today issued a statement regarding President Barack Obama’s public safety plan:
“I stand with President Obama in calling on Congress to adopt strong policies that will reduce gun violence. We must act now to protect the children and people of America.
“The President’s action today is the first step of a comprehensive public safety plan that Congress must act upon. We all have a responsibility to ensure that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines do not fall into the wrong hands.
“The American people should not have to go about their lives in fear of the kind of mass violence that can be inflicted by an assault weapon.
“The horrific tragedies that occurred in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut have cost our nation too many precious lives. While gun violence cannot be completely eliminated, we should not wait one more day to enact common sense measures that will save lives and help prevent these violent massacres.”
South Holland, IL – The South Suburban College Basketball Program will host a Martin Luther King Basketball Classic featuring area high school and college basketball action on Monday, January 21, 2013.
The schedule of games is as follows:
11:00 a.m. Curie High School vs. Thornwood High School
1:00 p.m. SSC Lady Bulldogs vs. Olive Harvey College
3:00 p.m. South Shore High School vs. Thornridge High School
5:00 p.m. Number 5 ranked SSC Bulldogs vs. Olive Harvey College
All games will be held in the SSC Fitness Center at 15800 S. State Street, South Holland, Illinois. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors or students, and all SSC students and kids under age 12 are welcome to attend free of charge. For more information please call Coach Pigatti at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2524 .
Program Director CCNEWS MEDIA
Chicago Communicator Newspaper
Woman 2 Woman TV Show
Omnibus Roundtable TV Show
By Marcus L Robinson
January 16 2013 was a perfect day for a great game at Chicago State University, in the Emil Jones Convocation Center 9500 South King Drive. The parking lot was filled and that could only mean that the stands were filled as well. Tickets sold for 10.00 per person, and people came from all over to see some of the greatest in the high school basketball league. Morgan Park high school verse Simeon Career Academy.
Simeon is known for it’s basketball and as you basketball fans know, Simeon Gave us Derrick Rose who now plays for the Chicago Bulls. The crowd went wild, as their favorite teams took to the neatly glazed floor dressed neat and ready for battle.
Simeon number one player Jabari Parker, who many came to see, showed true leader ship on the court last night when a team mate almost got into a brawl with one of the Morgan Park High School Players. Jabari stepped in and quickly defused the situation. Simeon also has Kendrick Nunn # 20 guard who showed off his skills but my camera wasn’t fast enough to catch some of his talented plays.
The whole team worked well together as a unit, and Morgan Park also showed that they weren’t no walk in the park team. It was a very close game. Morgan Park # 3 guard Kyle Davis held his ground against Kendrick Nunn. Sweat flowed as the tension built in the stands. You would have thought this was a NBA team going on as the teams played against one another.
Jabari did a dunk and scored many shots that night, he also missed some as well. Morgan Park stayed in the game because Simeon was filing out. Jabari had 3 files on his own. That sent Morgan Park High School to the free throw line. Morgan Park High School had it’s high lights as well. But in the end, Simeon High School ran the clock down and won the game.
The final score was Morgan Park High School 51 and Simeon High School 53. Just as the teams finished shaking hands, all hell broke loose. CPS Officials and Chicago State Officials quickly got a hand on it and cleared the floor. Unfortunately that wasn’t so outside the stadium, an argument broke out stemming from what took place inside, and some one pulled out a gun and opened fire.
An innocent teen was shot in the back and later died from his wounds leaving a mother asking why did this have to happen to her son? She went on to asked why wasn’t more done to protect the children from this mayhem. Hundreds of Chicago Police and State Police raced to the seen. People scattered from the university. Police stopped a Jeep that was believed to have been the vehicle that the shooter was in, they found a gun, and two people were taken into custody. No one was charged at that time.
Target: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Sponsored by: Consumers Union
Reverse mortgages are home loans that enable homeowners who are 62 or older to obtain cash by borrowing against the equity in their home. What most people don’t realize is that these loans can rapidly deplete the home’s equity.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) could help protect these seniors by enforcing a system to protect borrowers from predatory lending.
Reverse mortgages may be appropriate for some seniors, but reverse mortgages should be considered as a last resort.
Many seniors actually end up financially unstable as a result of these mortgages. Almost 10% of all reverse mortgage loans are currently in default. More borrowers are taking loans at earlier ages, which means that after exhausting their home equity, they have no resources to fall back on.
Sign now to demand the CFPB create a system to protect vulnerable seniors from predatory lending.
Care 2 Causes
Written by Ian Millhiser
On Friday, Internet pioneer and open information activist Aaron Swartz took his own life at the age of 26. At the time of his death, Swartz was under indictment for logging into JSTOR, a database of scholarly articles, and rapidly downloading those articles with the intent to make them public. If Swartz had lived to be convicted of the charges against him, he faced 50 years or more in a federal prison.
To put these charges in perspective, here are ten examples of federal crimes that carry lesser prison sentences than Swartz’ alleged crime of downloading academic articles in an effort to make knowledge widely available to the public:
Manslaughter: Federal law provides that someone who kills another human being “[u]pon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion” faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if subject to federal jurisdiction. The lesser crime of involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of only six years.
Bank Robbery: A person who “by force and violence, or by intimidation” robs a bank faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. If the criminal “assaults any person, or puts in jeopardy the life of any person by the use of a dangerous weapon or device,” this sentence is upped to a maximum of 25 years.
Selling Child Pornography: The maximum prison sentence for a first-time offender who “knowingly sells or possesses with intent to sell” child pornography in interstate commerce is 20 years. Significantly, the only way to produce child porn is to sexually molest a child, which means that such a criminal is literally profiting off of child rape or sexual abuse.
Knowingly Spreading AIDS: A person who “after testing positive for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and receiving actual notice of that fact, knowingly donates or sells, or knowingly attempts to donate or sell, blood, semen, tissues, organs, or other bodily fluids for use by another, except as determined necessary for medical research or testing” faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Selling Slaves: Under federal law, a person who willfully sells another person “into any condition of involuntary servitude” faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, although the penalty can be much higher if the slaver’s actions involve kidnapping, sexual abuse or an attempt to kill.
Genocidal Eugenics: A person who “imposes measures intended to prevent births” within a particular racial, ethnic or religious group or who “subjects the group to conditions of life that are intended to cause the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part” faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, provided their actions did not result in a death.
Helping al-Qaeda Develop A Nuclear Weapon: A person who “willfully participates in or knowingly provides material support or resources . . . to a nuclear weapons program or other weapons of mass destruction program of a foreign terrorist power, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be imprisoned for not more than 20 years.”
Violence At International Airports: Someone who uses a weapon to “perform an act of violence against a person at an airport serving international civil aviation that causes or is likely to cause serious bodily injury” faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years if their actions do not result in a death.
Threatening The President: A person who threatens to kill the President, the President-elect, the Vice President or the Vice President-elect faces a maximum prison term of 5 years.
Assaulting A Supreme Court Justice: Assaults against very senior government officials, including Members of Congress, cabinet secretaries or Supreme Court justices are punished by a maximum prison sentence of just one year. If the assault “involved the use of a dangerous weapon, or personal injury results,” the maximum prison term is 10 years.
It should be noted that Swartz faced such a stiff sentence because prosecutors charged him with multiple federal crimes arising out of his efforts to download and distribute academic papers. Similarly, a person who robbed a bank, sold a slave, and then rounded out their day by breaking Justice Scalia’s nose would also risk spending the next 50 years in prison, just like Aaron Swartz did.
Indeed, if Swartz’s story reveals anything, it is the power of prosecutors to pressure defendants into plea bargains by stringing multiple criminal charges together and threatening outlandish prison sentences. Whatever one thinks of Swartz’s actions, which were likely illegal and probably should be illegal, it is difficult to justify treating him as if he were a more dangerous criminal than someone who flies into a rage and kills their own brother.
This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.
Englewood/West & Englewood SAPP Coalition Meetinj
7th Police District
63rd & Loomis
Host: P.O. Goree-Pruitt
Tuesday, January, 29, 2013
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
M.A. Hudson I
Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Beloved Community Family Services, Inc.
6430 S. Harvard, 2nd FL.
Chicago, IL 60621
(773) 488-9063 Phone
(773) 488-9069 Fax