*Brief health update: I’m doing great, thanks!  This week, I’m doing my 2nd of 6 follow-up chemo cycles (5 days, once a month), but am not hampered much or at all by those.  I’ll go in for another MRI in a couple months; the last one was inconclusive (“increased bloodflow activity:” that’s either good or bad, can’t tell).  Thanks for your prayer and encouragement!*

In watching yesterday’s Inaugeration Day coverage, I’m struck by a few random thoughts, none of which I can articulate much more than a paragraph or two(this being my 2nd attempt at this posting, as WordPress viewed my first attempt unworthy, and decided to lose it :-p ):

– I’m disapointed that my guy (Mike Huckabee) didn’t make it to this day, but am still going to support & pray for President Obama.  Griping and moaning about the ’08 election won’t do anything but annoy people and make me grumpy; I encourage my fellow Americans to take on the same attitude…

– (from www.cnn.com) Jamaal Young was watching Barack Obama and his family greet an ecstatic crowd in Chicago, Illinois, on Election Night when he realized that something seemed wrong.

 Obama didn’t shout at his wife, Michelle, to shut up. The first lady didn’t roll her eyes and tell Obama to act like a man. No laugh track kicked in, no one danced, and no police sirens wailed in the background.

Young had tuned in to celebrate the election of the nation’s first African-American president. But he realized that he was witnessing another historic first. A black family was being featured as the first family, not the “problem family” or the “funny family.”

“They are not here to entertain us,” says Young, a New York Press columnist. “Michelle Obama is not sitting around with her girlfriends saying, ‘My man ain’t no good.’ You’re not seeing this over -sexualized, crazy black family that, every time a Marvin Gaye song comes on, someone stands up and says, ‘Oh girl, that’s my jam.’ “

I had a whole slew of commentary worked up about how, yes, this was a historic occasion, one which we can be proud of, but hadn’t even considered this angle of minority families and how they’re generally portrayed in the media.  Not only can our country make claims to having taken huge steps from the ridiculous “Jim Crow” laws of just 40ish years ago, now young black men and women have some real role models to look at when they turn their TVs on (not just rap stars or athletes).

That being said, I can’t help but think of some rap lyrics I overheard today: “(paraphrased) It don’t matter who the president is, the black man still ain’t free.”  For some, the civil rights struggles of years past will never be overcome, as some folks have decided to wake up each day as victims;  any Red Sox fans out there understand how that works? 

Here is my hope for this monumentous occasion: a little perspective.  We have elected a politican, and he should be held accountable as all politicians are.  Let’s give President Obama his day in the limelight, but then be willing to separate the black man from the commander-in-chief

– The other night, I was watching clips of old inaugural addresses on C-SPAN, and came across the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan.  Picture this, if you will: the US is coming out of the tailspin that was the 1970s.  The economy was in the tank, jobless rates high, national pride low, and the Middle East was in shambles.  Sound familiar?  So, riding in on a white horse (and funded by extensive Hollywood connections) comes a charasmatic, gifted speaker, bearing many “things are gonna be OK” speeches, and giving an inaugural address promising a new age of government accountability and efficiency, along with a renewal of the American spirit.  Thing is, he then went to Congress and had the stones to do something about it.  Pres. Reagan didn’t win a lot of friends in Congress in his early days, but indisputably laid the groundwork for a booming economy and the end of the Cold War. 

This is my hope for President Obama: that his words will be followed by action.  Despite my vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, I fully expect Obama can be a great president, given his leadership temperament and ability to direct policy teams (something Bush had hoped he could have done, but fell short).  I look forward to a successful Obama/Biden presidency, and wish for the best; but, in the meantime, can’t wait for the hysteria over a human being to die down.

– Speaking of Bush, I’m gonna miss the guy.  Unpopular as it may seem, I’m of the camp that believes his reputation will age well (like that of Gerald Ford, or perhaps Harry Truman).  Someday, when Iraq has played out and the economy settled down, I believe the world will view him as a good, decent man (surrounded by some ineffective, deceptive advisors), who did the right things, maybe sometimes in the wrong way, but left our country in better shape than he found it.  Thank you, W, for your service.