Dec 16, 2012

Obama: We will have to change

President Obama at vigil, Sunday night

“Newtown, you are not alone”

Grew up on WW II movies.

Recall parents telling us how—imperfectly but with common effort—people joined the war effort against the fascists.

Dramatization, rhetoric and culture matter.

A couple of old quotes follow; and some of President Obama's words tonight. Think they matter.

Sometimes you need the help of other people ... more than anything else ... but you have to let them get close enough to help.
- I don't want any help.
I found when I was deeply troubled ... that I needed people very badly. People want to be needed. I found that out, too.
(Lewis Gilbert, Sink the Bismarck, 1960)

Anything can happen in a war. Slap in the middle of absolute insanity people pull out the most extraordinary resources: ingenuity, courage, self-sacrifice. Pity we can't meet the problems of peace in the same way, isn't it?
(J. Lee Thompson, Guns of Navarone, 1961)

On caring for our children

“It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right,” Obama said, asking: “Can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we are doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm?”

Mr. Obama asked whether the nation is doing enough to give all children a chance at a good life with “happiness and with purpose.” “If we are honest with ourselves, the answer is no,” he said. “We are not doing enough, and we will have to change.” (Landler, Baker. NYT)

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