Hope – A Nice Concept for the New Year

We had a rough year in 2013.  No doubt it was an unlucky 13th year in this new century.



Some hope would be really nice.  Here is an article listing 10 things that happened in 2013 that gives hope to everyone for a better world.



Summary of Obama’s 2013 50th Anniversary Speech

Here is the complete summary of Obama’s speech marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington in 37 sentences.


In 1963, 200 years after the Constitution was written and 100 years after emancipation declared, that promise, those truths remained unmet.

People by the thousands from every corner of our country marched.

Dr. King’s oratory gave hope to millions.

In the face of hatred, marchers fought for freedom via discipline and persistence.

As a result, Civil Rights and Voting Rights laws were passed.

But the work of this nation is not complete.

Marchers were seeking jobs as well as justice.

For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can’t afford the meal?

King’s dream is every American’s dream.

But unemployment remains twice as high for blacks and Latinos.

The gap of wealth between races has grown.

There is a shadow of poverty hanging over our youth.

The measure of progress is whether all hard-working people, regardless of race, can join the ranks of the middle-class.

This remains our great unfinished business.

Technology and global competition have not helped.

Our policies have suffered due entrenched interests that failed to give a fair deal.

We were told that greed was good and compassion ineffective.

That inequality was the price of a growing economy.

Elected officials blamed the government for economic woes.

Legitimate grievances evolved to criminal behavior.

Thus progress stalled, hope was diverted and we remained divided.

We now have a choice between the status quo or making change.

We are masters of our fate.

We need to work together and regain empathy.

Courage comes from our interracial experiences.

We need to turn towards one another and find we do not walk alone.

We can stand together for good jobs, good health care and good education.

The road will be long and we will stumble. That’s how a movement happens.

The marchers back then were young and fearless.

They dared to dream different and to imagine something better.

The urgency remains.  The flame remains.

Tireless teachers, successful businessmen, mothers, fathers, and veterans are marching.

Change does not come from Washington but to Washington.

When you take on the mantle of citizenship, you are marching.

People who love their country can change it.

When millions of Americans join together in brotherhood, we live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Summary of Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Address

First, the winner of the evening: pastel ties.


Now the goals. [Responsibility Key: C-Congress A-Administration S-States E-Everybody]

  • Put the nation’s interests before party. (C)
  • Cut deficit by $1.5 trillion. (C)
  • Embrace the need for modest reforms (to) our retirement programs. (C)
  • Enact Medicare reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. (C)
  • Reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies. (C)
  • Ask more from the wealthiest seniors. (C)
  • Base medical bills on the quality of care that our seniors receive. (C)
  • Get rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. (C)
  • Pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. (C)
  • Ask ourselves three questions as a nation every day: (E)
    • How do we attract more jobs to our shores?
    • How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs?
    • And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?
  • Pass the rest of the American Jobs Act to create more than one million new jobs. (C)
  • Create a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth. (C)
  • Make America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing. (E )
  • Launch of three more manufacturing hubs, state-of-the art labs (A)
    • Where new workers are mastering new technologies
    • Where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy and
    • Where regions turn into global centers of high-tech jobs.
  • Create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America. (C)
  • Reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. (C)
  • Pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change. (C)
  • Generate even more Wind energy. (E)
  • Drive costs down even further for Solar energy. (E)
  • Keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. (A)
  • Encourage research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water. (C)
  • Use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. (C)
  • Free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. (C)
  • Cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. (C)
  • Give federal support to states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings. (C)
  • Upgrade our infrastructure, so they’ll bring even more jobs. (C)
  • Start a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent (infrastructure) repairs. (C)
  • Create a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: (C)
    • Modern ports to move our goods;
    • Modern pipelines to withstand a storm; and
    • Modern schools worthy of our children.
  • Pass a bill that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. (C)
  • Streamline the home buying process, and help our economy grow. (A)
  • Equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. (E)
  • Work with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. (A)
  • Give every American student opportunities like graduating their high school with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges. (S)
  • Reward schools that (C)
    • Develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and
    • Create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • Change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. (C)
  • Release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on the most bang for your educational buck. (A)
  • Put more boots on the southern border. (A)
  • Establish a responsible pathway to earned citizenship. (C)
  • Fix the legal immigration system (C) to
    • Cut waiting periods,
    • Reduce bureaucracy, and
    • Attract the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers.
  • Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months. (C)
  • Pass the Violence Against Women Act. (C)
  • Declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. (C)
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. (C)
  • Tie the minimum wage to the cost of living. (C)
  • Offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. (C)
  • Put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. (C)
  • Partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. (A)
  • Work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. (A)
  • Give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. (C)
  • Work to strengthen families (C) by
    • Removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and
    • Doing more to encourage fatherhood.
  • Bring another 34,000 American troops come home from Afghanistan. (A)
  • Negotiate an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions (C) :
    • Training and equipping Afghan forces and
    • Supporting counterterrorism efforts.
  • Help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security (C).
  • Help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. (C)
  • Take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans. (C)
  • Forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. (A)
  • Ensure that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances. (A)
  • Ensure that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world. (A)
  • Lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. (C)
  • Stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these (North Korean) threats. (C)
  • Do what is necessary to prevent them (Iran) from getting a nuclear weapon. (C)
  • Engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals. (A)
  • Lead the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands. (A)
  • Face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. (A)
  • Strengthen our cyber defenses (A) by
    • Increasing information sharing, and
    • Developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.
  • Give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. (C)
  • Complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. (A)
  • Launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. (A)
  • Join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades (A):
    • By connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women;
    • By giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves;
    • By saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and
    • By realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.
  • Remain the anchor of strong alliances (A)
    • From the Americas to Africa;
    • From Europe to Asia
    • In the Middle East.
  • Stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. (A)
  • Do not dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt. (A)
  • Insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. (A)
  • Keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people. (A)
  • Support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. (A)
  • Stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. (C)
  • Do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad. (C)
  • Maintain the best military in the world. (C)
  • Invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. (C)
  • Ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. (C)
  • Draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters. (E)
  • Give our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. (C)
  • Do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. (C)
  • Announce a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. (A)
  • Protect our most precious resource: our children. (E)
  • Reduce gun violence (C) by
    • Adding background checks
    • Sign tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals.
    • Get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets.
  • Make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government. (C)
  • Look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. (E)

Whew!  We have some work to do.