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Monday, January 21, 2013

THE 2013 PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION

Barack Hussein Obama was born on 4August1961 in Honolulu.  Both his father and step-father were Muslims, but not particularly religious.  His mother was Christian, but more secular.  However, Obama's books indicated both were, actually, atheists.  According to Daniel Pipes, a credible Jewish Conservative (interesting combination, who got a PhD from Harvard in Islamic History), Barack was a Muslim in his youth (when he lived in Indonesia), and, of all the things, said that Obama claimed in 1991 that he was born in Kenya (see left).  However, again, here is Barack Hussein Obama's birth certificate:


Part of the confusion about this birthing issue is that the President's father was also Barack Hussein Obama, who, of course, was born in Kenya.  See details above.

I have some parallels with the President, for we were both born in Honolulu and we made it to our Nation's Capital. I was working for the U.S. Senate when Ronald Reagan became president.  I went to his inauguration in 1981 and was invited to sit in the House gallery when President Reagan gave his first State of the Union speech in 1982.  What a privilege because there are not that many seats available.  While I vividly remember this experience, my mind is a blank for the inauguration.  In fact, I don't remember viewing in any kind of entirety any inauguration.  I just happened to wake up at 5AM this morning and had nothing better to do.  The first scene was of the setting:


Ever wonder what's on top of the U.S. Capitol?  The Statue of Freedom, designed by Thomas Crawford, who was American, but moved to Rome at the age of 21, and who died in 1857 before the statue was cast.  The bronze statue is 19 feet six inches tall.  A plaster version is now in the Capitol's Emancipation Hall.


The view of the Mall in the other direction to the Washington Monument:


I've also been here for several Concerts on the Mall, and my overriding thought seeing so many people (a bit more than half a million here) is, good luck on finding a restroom.

No sign of George W. Bush, #43.  George H.W. Bush is still ill, but sent kind words.  Presidents Carter and Clinton were there.

First came the oath of office for Vice President Joe Biden, administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor:


James Taylor then sang "America the Beautiful"(click to view):


Then, Barack Hussein Obama's oath of office, with Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts:


Then President Obama gave his Inaugural Address:


Kelly Clarkson (first American Idol winner...can you believe they're into their 12th season) sang "My Country Tis of Thee."  You need to really concentrate to see her:


Richard Blanco read a poem:


I wondered why he was selected.  First, he must be a noted poet.  He is of Spanish descent.  Maybe most of all, he kind of has the same prominent features of the President.  It then occurred to me that things were going backwards, as the next official action was the Benediction by the Rev. Luis Leon, and, finally, the National Anthem by Beyonce:


The dignitaries then retired to a ceremonial lunch in the Capitol.  Energized, the Inaugural Parade went down Pennsylvania Avenue, the President joined by nearly 9,000 marchers and 200 animals representing 58 groups.  For security reasons, Barack and Michelle walked only short distances a couple of times.  The Hawaii State Float was a tribute to the late Senator Dan Inouye.  Too late now, but you could't watch if you had any backpack, bicycle, balloon, glass container, and weapons of any kind.  You were allowed a cardboard sign no greater than three feet wide and 20 inches high.  

Tada....Michelle wore Jason Wu, again:


They were entertained by Stevie Wonder:


Alicia Keys:


Plus, Jennifer Hudson, Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson and a lot more.

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Tropical Cyclone Garry popped up north of the Samoas at 40 MPH, but will become a real cyclone in a few days and at this point now seems headed between the Cook Islands and French Polynesia:


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