'For his second Inauguration, Barack Obama delivered the campaign speech he never got to give before his re-election, a paean to progressive values that called for a new movement of citizen activism to combat global warming, push for more gun control, protect entitlements and strive for greater equality among economic classes, genders and sexual orientations.

"'You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country's course,' he said, in a return to his organizing roots. '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.'"

-- Michael Sherer, Time Magazine

On the other hand. . .

"Why did Obama wait so long? ... how can he speak of gun control and the death of children, when his own program of armed drones for targeted assassination has murdered more children than all the gun deaths at home combined during his administration? I say, crocodile tears, unless and until he can express the same regret for the Pakastani and Somali children--also sacred human beings --VAPORIZED by his murderous program."

-- Norman Pollack, writing at apollo-wordvirus.blogspot.com, "Obama, Round Two"

Maybe it is tempting to be paralyzed with the confusing rhetoric of today with its ever shifting perspectives, and seductive to stay out of the fray and focus on one's own life and let the activists be damned or at least be the ones to shoulder the burdens.


The problems are alarming whatever your political persuasion: global warming, fracking, corporations determining our fate and the fate of the earth, a possible war on Iran, GMOs, a mountain of nuclear waste, the threat of increased production of nuclear weapons and the drone program, to name a few.

Then, there's our democracy under threat by the .01 percent and their war against the rest of us.

The president implores us to act. That may be an act, but the problems are real and looming, and broad citizen action could make the difference between a brighter future for the world or continued degradation and ever-widening inequality.

Don't we need to call lies "lies" and theft "theft" and work every day of our lives to help bring about a decent life for everyone and a planet that can still heal (I hope)? Choose your issue and go for it. This will take all of us.

Get ready, get set, GO.