January 20th, 2009

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Quick reflections

Got off to a bad start as was delayed an hour on metro because someone got hit by a train at Gallery Place. Ended up exiting at New York Ave and had to hoof it.

Crowds huge. As befits the occasion, there is no lack of people selling junk.

"The stone that was rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone of the foundation. It is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our sight! This is the day the Lord has made, and we shall rejoice and make merry."

Thought the inauguration speech nailed it very well.

I have no need to hate the Bushies. I do hope that real crimes are investigated and punished, that war profiteers are exposed and their blood money repatriated, that fraud and corruption are rooted out and repaired, and the civil service restored to respect and dignity. But my mind goes back repeatedly to Frodo and the scouring of the Shire. We do what we have to do to root out evil and effect the work of repair. That includes punishing those that deserve it -- if for no other reason than because justice demands it, but it also makes good policy. As for the Bushies, their day is done.

Finally, no dearth of cynics still remains. Perhaps they will even be proven right. OTOh, I am rather fond of a quote from Lois McMaster Bujold's Brothers In Arms: The man who believes he is always being lied to is just as wrong as the man who believes everything he is told. We have an enormous opportunity here to shape policy -- whether it is in the form of taking five minutes every now and then to call a member of Congress or something more palpable. But good policy does not just happen. The Obama people have impressed me so far as willing to listen and having a good approach. We will see now how the dance unfolds. But it is up to us individually whether we plan to participate or complain on the sidelines how awful it is that no one is asking us to dance.

Leslie Fish has it right: "Nobody cares how you think or feel, unless you give them reason to.