President’s Obama’s Farewell Speech – Science and Reason Matter

President Barack Obama’s farewell speech last night in Chicago took a look at some of his positive achievements in the past eight years – and there have admittedly been quite a few. In his own words, his Presidency helped:

…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, 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…we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil; we’ve doubled our renewable energy …

Those are impressive achievements particularly when one remembers that there were many influential players, not least the Israel lobby, who were eagerly pushing for war against Iran. Who can forget the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who said “the day the United States finishes with Iraq, it should start with Iran” or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comical antics at the UN where he shrieked about the imminent danger of a nuclear capable Iran? Little wonder that Netanyahu has so warmly welcomed the election of Donald Trump.

Obama praised the spirit of the Enlightenment, the spirit that insists that “science and reason matter”, the spirit that:

… made us an economic powerhouse — the spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral; the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket.

He urged people to value their democracy and its values and be vigilant in protecting them:

I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved and they get engaged, and they come together to demand it…we are all created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing…If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.

He added that these Enlightenment values deserve to be spread around the world and that it was necessary to make the world a better and more safer place:

That’s why I reject discrimination against Muslim Americans…That’s why we cannot withdraw from big global fights — to expand democracy, and human rights, and women’s rights, and LGBT rights. No matter how imperfect our efforts, no matter how expedient ignoring such values may seem, that’s part of defending America. For the fight against extremism and intolerance and sectarianism and chauvinism are of a piece with the fight against authoritarianism and nationalist aggression. If the scope of freedom and respect for the rule of law shrinks around the world, the likelihood of war within and between nations increases, and our own freedoms will eventually be threatened.

And he mentioned some of the dangers that continue to face America:

…violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam; more recently by autocrats in foreign capitals who see free markets and open democracies and civil society itself as a threat to their power. The peril each poses to our democracy is more far-reaching than a car bomb or a missile. It represents the fear of change; the fear of people who look or speak or pray differently; a contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable; an intolerance of dissent and free thought; a belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.

Obama will have disappointed many Muslims around the world with his failure to make progress on the key issue of securing a just settlement for the Palestinians, yet it is fair to say – and perhaps particularly so given the impending handover of power to Donald Trump – that the world will miss him.

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13 Responses to President’s Obama’s Farewell Speech – Science and Reason Matter

  1. Ash says:

    For better assesment of Obamas Shameful legacy …people should read the opinion piece by Dr. Cornell West in the Guardian.

  2. I was unimpressed with President Obama’s speech. As usual, it was long on grandiose but very vague concepts and short on actual results. The Cuba thing helped nobody but the Castros. The ACA is a mess. Job growth? Anemic and part-time! The Middle East is still on fire, even after the 25K bombs the Noble Peace prize winner dropped last year.

    Also anybody that can talk about discrimination against Muslims and then use the words democracy, human rights, women’s and LGBT rights all in the same sentence is obviously detached from reality. Islam and those ideas don’t really go together. The only people that will really miss him are those who believe in the tooth fairy and those people who think that cute words are better than the golden rule – and there are a lot of them I grant you.

    One think we do know at this president is that he really likes Islam (and Iran, too – he gave the people that chant “death to America” billions of dollars). To Mr. Obama, Islam is above reproach. In eight years I have never seen him say one bad thing about Islam – and if there are bad Muslims, to Mr Obama they are not real Muslims (They only claim to speak for Islam). Actually, only the Quran and the Sunnah speak for Islam, right? Everything and everybody else – radical, moderates and even you Inayat – only claim to speak for Islam, right? That is bad news, if one reads the Quran and hadith. For this shortsightedness alone, Mr. Obama will not be missed.

    Mr Trump is an unknown. I didn’t vote for him but I think he can’t be worse than Mrs Clinton. I think his statement about “maybe we need to look into the issue of Muslim immigration” (not his exact words) makes sense. Given recent history, ending Muslim immigration to the West should be a no brainner. More Muslims means more pain, suffering, turmoil and death. Yes there are good Muslims, but how are we to tell which ones will decide to do the 9:111 thing?

    • Prohibiting religious discrimination is an Enlightenment concept. Many societies practiced discrimination based on religion prior to the Enlightenment and many still do… Just take a look at many Muslim societies in the Middle East and beyond. Do you think it is doing them any good? Does the USA really want to return to that?

      • Immigration policy is one thing, religious discrimination is another. I believe that Muslim citizens should have the same rights as everybody else — no more no less. The problem is that our elites handle islam with kid gloves, giving it special treatment it doesn’t deserve. Any criticism of Islam is immediately labeled “islamophobia” and dismissed. This helps nobody. If there is an ideology that deserves criticism, it is Islam — giving its obvious moral and ethical issues, and of course, it’s obvious shortcomings as practiced by Muslims around the world (ie, violence, discrimination, intolerance, denial).
        Pretending that it is only some, a few, that will go jihadi is silly. It is just a matter of time.
        All Muslims, by definition, accept the hate and violence in the Quran. They also have no problem with their prophet’s endless wars on his neighbors. This is why some nice quiet moderate Muslims suddenly decide that Allah wants them to kill infidels — people they have never met and who have never done them harm. Where do they get this from? The Quran and hadith, like it or not. Why do “moderation” effort frequently fail? because the radicals have more, better and clearer verses.
        It is not just Muslim societies in the middle east, Inayat, it is everywhere: Indonesia, Malaysias, Bangledesh, Pakistan, Morrocco, the the Maldives, Nigeria, etc… You name it, if it’s islamic, it practices discrimination and it come directly from the Quran.
        Why let Muslims immigrate to the West, when there are so many people wanting to come that do not have the morality issues associated with islam? Note that bringing Muslims to the West brings those same problems you refer to.
        I think the future will not be nice, for many reasons. One important reason is that our leaders have open the doors to a people with different values, and these people put their beliefs above basic decency and human rights.
        You take care, Inayat. I have been a long time reader and I consider you level-headed, much more than most Muslims. Do you think this immigration thing is going to end well, particularly in Europe?

        • Ash says:

          My Dear Old Chap…John J Kactuz I have been awaiting your arrival on this forum a long time… I am willing to respond to all the points that you raised.

          So My Dear Old Fellow you wanna play some Detroit Freestyle Academics.?

          • kactuz says:

            Well, Ash, I’ve seen you around here for a while. I check Inayat’s blog a couple of times a week. I like the variety of topics / issues in his work. He is pretty level-headed and tries to be reasonable. I am old, cranky and just hanging in there. I was away last weekend, doing old people stuff and no Internet. What do you want to discuss? I do have a classical education (much missed in today’s world) so I should be good to go with what you call Detroit Freestyle Academics. I am not sure really what that is, but it sounds like Chicago South Side Debate rules, or something. Oh yes, I would like Inayat’s view on this, since this IS his blog.

            BTW, when I said 9-111 I was refering to the verse, not the date.

            Take care. John

            • Hi John. I find Ash’s mock colonial style taunts and pseudo challenges very unhelpful. I do not see him or his attitude as part of any future resolution to the issue of how to improve understanding and relations between Muslims and the rest of the world.

              • Ash says:

                Yes I am sure you do! and you find My Dear friend Johns colonial style anti-muslim propaganda, very helpful I am sure.
                The fact that all the rabid Islamaphobes are praising you and you have quite a niche fanclub amongst them, whilst Zero support amongst the muslims aught to tell you something I dont see you being part any resolution to anything . Surprising thing is why you have not joined the Quilliam Circle as of yet.

            • Ash says:

              Well John my Dear friend..as you rightly pointed out this IS Mr.Bunglawalas blog. and since Mr Bunglawala has made it clear in his recent post that he does not quite approve of my engaging in Detroit Freestyle Academics…. I think it would go against the rules of Decorum to continue.
              I would agree a classical education is much missed in today’s world. Inayat despite his endearing qualities has very little credibility amongst the Main stream Muslim community, as he is fully aware off.
              If you are trying to understand the main stream muslim opinion, you would be better served in looking up Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson on youtube, He is a Scholar of both eastern and western literature and his views are far more representative and has a solid classical education from both his parents who were academics his father Professor David Hanson was a teacher of the classics

    • Ash says:

      Another Punkass Zionist Moron…!

    • Ash says:

      “…. Yes there are good Muslims, but how are we to tell which ones will decide to do the 9:111 thing?…”

      A thoroughly riveting question my Dear Old Fellow how can one tell “which ones will do 9/11 thing?”

      Well My Deary Darling Old Chap this has been addressed perfectly by

      Aaron Vaarson has perfectly shown how to tell which ones will do 911 in the Video below.

      Now thats what we call a Detroit Check Hook.

    • Ash says:

      My Deary Darling Old Chap, John J Kactuz esquire.

      I thought I would quickly help you out and help correct this post , my dear old fellow you keep getting your coordinates wrong.

      “I was unimpressed with President Obama’s speech. As usual, it was long on grandiose but very vague concepts and short on actual results. The Cuba thing helped nobody but the Castros. The ACA is a mess. Job growth? Anemic and part-time! The Middle East is still on fire, even after the 25K bombs the Noble Peace prize winner dropped last year.

      Also anybody that can talk about discrimination against Zionists and then use the words democracy, human rights, women’s and LGBT rights all in the same sentence is obviously detached from reality. Zionism and those ideas don’t really go together. The only people that will really miss him are those who believe in the tooth fairy and those people who think that cute words are better than the golden rule – and there are a lot of them I grant you.

      One think we do know at this president is that he really likes Zionism (and Israel, too – he gave the people that chant “Lets exploit America” billions of dollars to bomb the people of Gaza towards extermination, did not utter a word against the Israeli genocide but was quickly on TV to label the killing of an Israeli Terrorist Soldier named Goldin as Barbaric). To Mr. Obama, Zionism is above reproach. In eight years I have never seen him say one bad thing about Zionism no doubt terrified of the Zionist lobby and their smear campaigns – and if there are bad Zionists, to Mr Obama they are not real Zionists (They only claim to speak for Israel). Actually, only the Zionist Protocols and the Old Testament speak for Zionism, right? Everything and everybody else – radical, moderates and even you Inayat – only claim to speak for Zionism, right? That is bad news, if one reads the Zionist Protocols. For this shortsightedness alone, Mr. Obama will not be missed.

      Mr Trump is an unknown. I didn’t vote for him but I think he can’t be worse than Mrs Clinton. I think his statement about “maybe we need to look into the issue of Zionist control of the institutions of power” (not his exact words) makes sense. Given recent history, ending Zionist immigration to the West and Control of the Political establishment, Military Industrial Complex and the media should be a no brainner. More Zionists means more Imperialism, pain, suffering, turmoil and death. Yes there are good Zionists, but how are we to tell which ones will decide to do the 9:111 thing?”

      Glad to be of Service My Deary Old chap now I have to dash I am off for scones and Tea at the Dorchester yes us British Love Our Tea! ,..Many historic personalities have enjoyed the scones and Tea at this place from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot. Pity you cant join us…Anyways Cheerio Old fellow..!

  3. Ash says:

    My Deary Darling old Chap, John .J.Kactuz esquire.

    Its seems a the proverbial cat has captured your tongue I was looking forward to a gold old fashioned duel, The kind us British like to have with afternoon tea and Cucumber sandwiches.
    It seems you have managed to get your bearings and co-ordinates wrong so let me correct your above post for you.

    “Immigration policy is one thing, religious discrimination is another. I believe that Zioinists citizens should have the same rights as everybody else — no more no less
    I believe that Zionist citizens should have the same rights as everybody else — no more no less. The problem is that our elites handle Zionism- (in fact as proven in the al jazeera investigation of the previous post on this site the elites are on the payroll of Zionists)- with kid gloves, giving it special treatment it doesn’t deserve. Any criticism of Zioinsm is immediately labeled “anti-semitism” and dismissed. This helps nobody. If there is an ideology that deserves criticism, it is Zionism — giving its obvious moral and ethical issues, and of course, it’s obvious shortcomings as practiced by Zionists around the world (ie, violence, discrimination, intolerance, denial).

    Pretending that it is only some, a few, that will go Zionist Crusading imperialist is silly. It is just a matter of time.All Zionists, by definition, accept the hate and violence in the Zionist Protocols. They also have no problem with their Cruasding and imperialist ancestors endless wars on his neighbors. This is why some nice quiet moderate Zioinsts suddenly decide that god wants them to kill infidels just like their Crusading forefathers who waged endless wars in the of religion — people they have never met and who have never done them harm. Where do they get this from? The Old Testament? New Testament? Zionist Protocols?, like it or not. Why do “moderation” effort frequently fail? because the radicals have more, better and clearer verses and absolute control of Politics the Military industrial complex and media..
    It is not just Zionist societies in the West, Inayat, they engaging in a Zionist enterprise everywhere : Indonesia, Malaysias, Bangledesh, Pakistan, Morrocco, the the Maldives, Nigeria, etc… You name it, if it’s Zionist/Imperialism, it practices discrimination and it come directly from the Zionist Protocols..
    Why let Zinoists immigrate to the West, when there are so many people wanting to come that do not have the morality issues associated with Zionism? Note that bringing Zioists to the West brings those same problems you refer to.
    I think the future will not be nice, for many reasons. One important reason is that our leaders have open the doors to a people with different values, and these people put their beliefs above basic decency and human rights.
    You take care, Inayat. I have been a long time reader and I consider you level-headed, much more than most Zionists. Do you think this immigration thing is going to end well, particularly in Europe?
    If you have anything further questions my Deary Darling Old Chap… I will be happy to answer in which ever style pleases you..Pompous Colonial Style, Detroit Free Style…Or the Kentucky Hill Billie style… Its time to say Cheerio My Good Chap. Look forward to hearing from you.

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