C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Digital Difficulties

Computer and internet problems may be keeping your Head Trucker offline for a while, but to tide you all over, here are some interesting but completely unrelated vids that I found over the weekend.

1.  SNL cold open, 1/21/17:

2.  The Obamas' new home in D. C.:

3. Grandma chefs, who could be better?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Drive: The Prayer

So I was wondering what to post for this week's Sunday Drive, and M.P., who keeps up with popular music, suggested this lovely duet. Charlotte Church and Josh Groban perform the award-winning song:

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

Don't Go!

I was going to write a long philosophical post here overnight - but M.P. found this drawing that says it all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Obameter: Final Score

Politifact, a website run by the Tampa Bay Times, started a fact-checking subsite called the Obameter when the current President took office in 2009, designed to track the fulfillment, or not, of Obama's 533 campaign promises.   The final tally is shown below, with a score of 48.4% for Promises Kept:

No doubt that score would have been higher if Republicans in Congress had not stonewalled the President at every single turn, to the point of actually shutting down the government.

At the Obameter site you can browse through all 533 promises to see what has been done or left undone with each one over the last eight years.

Politifact also tracks the statements and promises of other politicians, including Obama's successor, with its Truth-O-Meter.  Whether fact-checking and truth-telling will remain legal under the next administration, however, is anyone's guess.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Drive: O God, Our Help in Ages Past

From the Book of Common Prayer:
For Guidance

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Quiet Confidence

O God of peace, you have taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray you, to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Protection

Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Here is a lovely a cappella rendition, by a Mennonite choir, of the great Isaac Watts hymn, so appropriate for us now, upon the brink of we know not what:

Friday, January 13, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

Jack Mackenroth

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Obama Awards Biden the Medal of Freedom

A bromance for the ages. In a surprise ceremony in the White House today, President Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom with Distinction, for his long career of service to the nation. This ABC news clip captures the moment:

You can watch the entirety of the President's remarks and Biden's reply here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

President Obama's Farewell Address

Last night, the President addressed the nation for the last time from McCormick Place in Chicago.  An excerpt:
For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. It’s what pulled immigrants and refugees across oceans and the Rio Grande, pushed women to reach for the ballot, powered workers to organize. It’s why GIs gave their lives at Omaha Beach and Iwo Jima; Iraq and Afghanistan – and why men and women from Selma to Stonewall were prepared to give theirs as well.

So that’s what we mean when we say America is exceptional. Not that our nation has been flawless from the start, but that we have shown the capacity to change, and make life better for those who follow.

Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard, contentious and sometimes bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.

If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry, and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history…if I had told you that we would open up a new chapter with the Cuban people, shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot, and take out the mastermind of 9/11…if I had told you that we would win marriage equality, and secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high.

But that’s what we did. That’s what you did. You were the change. You answered people’s hopes, and because of you, by almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started.

In ten days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy: the peaceful transfer of power from one freely-elected president to the next. I committed to President-Elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me. Because it’s up to all of us to make sure our government can help us meet the many challenges we still face.

We have what we need to do so. After all, we remain the wealthiest, most powerful, and most respected nation on Earth. Our youth and drive, our diversity and openness, our boundless capacity for risk and reinvention mean that the future should be ours.

But that potential will be realized only if our democracy works. Only if our politics reflects the decency of the our people. Only if all of us, regardless of our party affiliation or particular interest, help restore the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.
Full text of the President's remarks here.

In the following video, celebrities as well as ordinary citizens share their most memorable "Obama moments":

And here is mine, from June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court extended marriage equality - and to me, Mr. Obama will always be the Equality President for his outspoken support for gay rights and the freedom to marry whomever you love:

I'm sure all my truckbuddies will join with me in saying,

Thank you, Mr. President, for this and for all the good things you have done. Despite fanatical opposition in Congress, and in the midst of a world racked with violence and terror, you calmly upheld the highest traditions of the Oval Office with dignity, intelligence, and grace, and did the nation proud. You will be sorely missed.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Drive: Danke

When this German hymn was written in 1961, it was denounced as blasphemous "Negro music" and called a sin against both religion and music by critics.  But I rather like it.  See what you think, fellas.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Liberal Redneck: Thanks Obama

Comedian Trae Crowder in his trademark vulgar way says farewell to President Obama:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Waitin' for the Weekend

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017

Though ominous clouds seem to be gathering all around this weary old globe of Earth, here's wishing health, wealth, peace, and prosperity to all my truckbuddies in the coming year, along with sincere thanks for keeping up with my scribblings here in the Blue Truck. God bless.

Sung by Dougie Maclean.

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