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INAUGURATION SPECIAL: "'America the Beautiful,' a shared experience once again"

Original post made on Jan 19, 2009

(Editor's Note: Pleasanton Vice-Mayor Cheryl Cook-Kallio a 30 year veteran teacher of Advanced Placement U.S. History and Government at Irvington High School in Fremont, is in Washington for the Presidential Inauguration festivities. This is the first of her special reports to the Pleasanton Weekly.)

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 7:49 AM

Comments (21)

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Posted by Sheila Cunha
a resident of another community
on Jan 19, 2009 at 9:43 am

We are so fortunate to have Cheryl there and bringing the Inauguration experience to us first handed. Her background in history makes her the perfect voice for educating us in this historic event! I look forward to reading more of her columns and would welcome the opportunity to hear more of the experience when she returns to Pleasanton. Great job!!

Sheila Cunha
J. Rockliff Realtors

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Posted by Sara Sato
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 19, 2009 at 11:57 am

Cheryl, you're our personal connection to the inauguration! We're so excited for you! Your big brother has been braggin' on ya!
Sara, Josh and Guthrie

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Posted by J.Olson
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jan 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Cheryl, Can't wait to hear all about your adventure when you get back to school. Be safe.....

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Posted by Helen
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Cheryl, I can only imagine the emotion you experienced singing "America the Beautiful" at this precious moment and this wonderful place of our great nation. My grade school teacher introduced the poem, and it's been my all-time favorite ever since. My son just learned to recite this poem last summer. Now when he sings the song, he insists on singing all verses, and always brough tears in my eyes.

Thank you for sharing!!

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Posted by Bro
a resident of another community
on Jan 20, 2009 at 6:56 am

I have spent time imagining how Mother and Dad would have felt and what they would have said. I think they would, like the rest of the family, be proud of you and excited for you.

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Posted by Or....
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

Not! United as a people today... blah, blah blah.

Did she compare the guy to Lincoln or Roosevelt anywhere in there like so many other schmucks covering this thing???

He's black. Great. I got it. What the hell happened to equality? If we are all equal, get over it already.

When he goes FDR on us with his recovery plans and the economy still sucks in November of 2012, I am thinking the average man wont care about the color of his skin... and bounce him out of office.

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Posted by Nicole
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm

How sad.

That day after the swearing in, he (or she maybe one day) is OUR president even if you didn't vote for him. It was true when Bush was elected and it is true now. It is really counter-productive to hope that he fails.

It's not because he's black, he just happens to be black. It is because he's smart and he speaks to many through his shared experiences. Don't diminish the moment because you disagree with him or his supporters. It's ok if you don't agree with him or don't like his policies. Don't dismiss those that do over race.

You think he won because of race?

If you had been there, and I was there too, you would understand the sentiment.

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Posted by Huh?
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm

How sad???? I think I'm with Or...
I don't seem to remember that everyone agreed that Bush was OUR president. I remember that for the liberal/far left dissention was the height of patriotism. I remember seeing protesters with "Kill Bush" signs and with a hatred that was face-distorting. But now these same "people" say we are all united, we're all one, just because their guy got into the position of power. So, we now should no longer be able to express a contrary opinion because it would be divisive. My head is spinning.
Sorry, but I don't want to become a socialist country. So we are not all united.
"Shared experiences"??? What are those? I didn't grow up with a communist mentor (Frank Marshall Davis). I didn't attend a Muslim school or have a Muslim lawyer and Black Nationalist (Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour) make a recommendation for me for admission to Harvard Law School. I didn't associate with a former domestic terrorist (William Ayers). I didn't attend a church for 20 years with a racist minister (Jeremiah Wright) but just didn't realize it during all that time. I didn't buy my house and property through the assistance of a convicted felon with shady Chicago government dealings (Tony Rezko).
Haven't we all been financed to get ahead by a socialist billionaire foreigner (George Soros)
There is so much of this unshared experience that most will not know because of a great lack of reporting.
Groupthink can be a very dangerous thing.
Feel good all you want, but know that not everyone thinks the same.
Feel united all you want, but know that there are at least 45 million people out there that don't agree.
And if you can say race wasn't a factor in the election, then not all who criticize should be labeled as racist.
I disagree and don't join into this mass euphoria because of his positions on issues and race doesn’t matter.

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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2009 at 5:15 pm

If you weren't interested, why read it? It's a personal account.
Elections are like this. Some like the outcome some don't. It was an account of the atmosphere. Geez.

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Posted by 52.8
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Or was it 52.9% of voter chose Obama on 11/4...

With all the hatred of GWB, the media being in the bag for Obama and having outspent McCain by over two to one, the guy got 52.85%...

And now you want to play it up like he won decisively and everyone loves him. WRONG!!! His politics suck and he has been incredibly lucky in his political career. I want him to fail because I dont believe in socialism, not because I dislike Obama.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Our failed President, Barack Hussein Obama, has only been in office for three days and the Dow Jones is down almost 400 points, his economic advisore Robert Reich told us that the 850 billion stimulas package will not go the "white people" and will be GIVEN to the poor and minorities. Sound like redistribution of wealth or SOCIALISM Comgratulation to the 63 million usefull idiots who voted for him. You get what you wished for.

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Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm

President Obama, like all presidents before him, inherited the issues we all face. The deficit is not of his making. However, I think you are missing Cheryl's point. It's an article on how it felt to be there. It's too early to tell whether his policies will turn the economy around.

The money thus far has gone to CEO's and executives of companies who were failing because of bad business practices. What is it called when the government bails out big business and saves the earnings of the ones that made the bad choices? This is while their midlevel and below employees loose their jobs.

The guy that was the head of Merryl Lynch paid over two million in bonuses before they were taken over by Bank of America. What is that called, merit pay?

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 23, 2009 at 8:22 pm

I was a little disappointed when Obama said in his inaugural speech that forty-four Americans have taken the presidential oath. There's only been 43 Americans who have served as President.

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Posted by fact checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Obama is correct. Cleveland is counted as number 22 and 24 because his two terms was bisected by Benjamin Harrison. They were not consecutive.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 24, 2009 at 10:33 pm

There have been 44 presidents, but only by 43 different Americans. Obama's speech mentioned the number of Americans who have served, not the number of Presidents. You can count Cleveland as President twice, but you can't count him as two people, unless you're making fun of his weight.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Obama said: "Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath."

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Posted by rs
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 26, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Nauseating. Your paper and this particular article are so biased toward "socialism." Those from Pleasanton who attended the "Messiah's" inauguration are absolute "lemmings."

When Ronald Reagan began his first term, he inherited a much worse economy and jobless rate -- thanks to the hapless Carter administration. Reagan turned the economy and unemployment rate around very quickly...on policies that are the exact opposite of what Obama is proposing and implementing. Obama is an avowed socialist and socialism simply does not work to build economies and produce jobs.

Wake up you socialists at the City of Pleasanton!


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Posted by annonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2009 at 6:35 pm

So this bail out for corporations is capitalism?

Reagan's trickle down theory has not worked for most Americans. No man is an island. President Obama inherited this mess.

Former President Bush inherited a budget surplus. Is he alone responsible for squandering it?

We need to quit focusing on personalities and start looking at issues.

There is nothing wrong with having some hope as long as it is tempered by critical thought. We will see how this administration works out.

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Posted by rs
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 27, 2009 at 7:11 am

That comment regarding "bailout to corporations representing capitalism" is an example of the colossal jewel of ignorance that is out there regarding conservatism.

There is nothing about the democrats "bailout" policy that represents capitalism. (BTW: This IS the absolute fault of democrats ranging back to the Carter admin thru Clinton.) Capitalism works best when government regulations are minimized or eliminated so that free-enterprise can function. There is no level playing field when government decides which organization is worthy of receiving bailout.


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Posted by annoyed with it is their fault mentality
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 27, 2009 at 8:07 am


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Posted by rs
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 30, 2009 at 7:05 am

So what is "unbelievable" Mr./Ms. Amberwood/Meadows? Sounds like the main political philosophy you 'believe" in is "big government" , "European Socialism/Marxism". Don't you see that this is Obama's vision to transform the very economic foundation that made this country great?!!!

I simply do not understand how reasonably educated people cannot see that his political philosophy is wrong for America and it does not work. Socialism robs the human spirit of motivation, energy, innovation and strips the country of jobs.


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