Posts Tagged ‘video

18
Mar
15

The First Lady Travels To Japan And Cambodia

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First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Japan And Cambodia

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has arrived in Japan for a three-day visit designed to highlight her global women’s education initiative.

The First Lady landed late Wednesday in the capital, Tokyo.

On Thursday, she will hold separate meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie. She also plans to meet with the Emperor and Empress of Japan before heading to Kyoto, on Friday.

A White House statement said the First Lady will announce a partnership between the U.S. and Japan on the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to help educate the 62 million girls globally who do not attend school.

On Friday, she will head to Cambodia, which is one of 11 countries initially included in the initiative. It is the first time that a sitting U.S. first lady has visited the Southeast Asian country.

In Cambodia, Michelle Obama will meet Bun Rany, the Cambodian first lady. She will also meet meet volunteers with the U.S. Peace Corps program, which will play a key role in helping expand access for schooling for girls.

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Instagram: A stunning view flying over Alaska’s Chugach Mountains

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The First Lady:

This week, I will be traveling to Japan and Cambodia — and I want young people like you across America to join me!

This trip technically starts today when I leave the White House and get on a plane for a long flight to Asia. But really, this visit is part of a journey that began decades ago, back when I was a little girl.

Like many of you, I came from a pretty modest background. My family didn’t have much money, and my parents raised me and my brother, Craig, in a tiny apartment in Chicago, Illinois. While my mom and dad never had the chance to attend college, they were determined to see me and Craig get the best education possible.

School was the center of our lives, and I worked as hard as I could to learn as much as possible. I often woke up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning to study, because that was the only time our little apartment was ever really quiet.

With my parents’ encouragement and a lot of hard work, I was able to get into college and get the financial aid I needed to pay for it — and my college education opened doors of opportunity I never could have dreamed of back in that tiny apartment. I studied subjects I was passionate about — like English literature, African American history and sociology. I met classmates and professors from all over the world who opened my mind to all kinds of new ideas. And because I got my college degree, I was able to attend law school, become a lawyer, work in city government and as a hospital executive, and even run a non-profit organization that trained young people in Chicago to serve their communities.

Unfortunately, so many girls just like me and like many of you — girls who are so curious and hungry to learn, and so willing to work hard — never have the chance to get an education. Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school at all. Many of them simply can’t afford the school fees (unlike in America, where every student can go to school for free, in many countries, parents have to pay to send their children to school). Sometimes, even if their parents can afford it, the nearest school might be miles away, and it’s simply not safe for girls to walk there and back each day. Sometimes, a school will be located nearby, but it might not have bathrooms for girls, so they simply can’t attend. And in some countries, girls are forced to get married and have children at a young age — sometimes before they’re even teenagers — instead of getting an education.

This is such a heartbreaking loss, not just for those girls, but for their families, communities and countries. Studies show that girls who attend school have healthier families, earn higher salaries and even help boost their entire countries’ economies.

That’s why, earlier this month, the United States Government launched a new initiative called Let Girls Learn that will help girls worldwide go to school and stay in school. Through Let Girls Learn, we’ll be supporting education projects across the globe — leadership programs and mentorship programs, and so much more.

But the United States can’t address the global girls’ education crisis all by ourselves — it’s just too big. We need countries around the world to step up and help. That’s why I’m starting my trip in Japan — because this week, the United States and Japan will be announcing a new partnership to educate girls worldwide, and we’ll be calling on other countries to join us in this effort.

After spending a few days in Japan, I will be heading to Cambodia, which is one of the very first countries where Let Girls Learn programs will operate. I will visit a school and meet with girls whose lives are being transformed by the power of education.

But while the focus of Let Girls Learn is international, this effort is also very much about inspiring young people like you here at home to truly commit to your own education.

Through Let Girls Learn, I hope that more girls — and boys — here in America will learn about the sacrifices that girls around the world are making just to go to school each day: working multiple jobs to pay their school fees, enduring threats and harassment from people in their communities who think girls shouldn’t attend school, walking for hours each way to school, and more.

I want all of you to be inspired and motivated by these girls. I want you to realize that while your own school might be far from perfect — and my husband is working as hard as he can to fix that — you still need to show up to your classroom every day and learn as much as you can.

And finally, I want young people like you to be citizens of the world — I want you to connect with other young people of every background and nationality and learn about what’s happening in countries across the globe.

That’s why, as I travel, I will be using all kinds of social media to share my trip with you — and I’ll be taking questions from kids across America as I go.

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First Lady Michelle Obama waves upon her arrival at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo Wednesday, March 18. The First Lady is visiting Japan and Cambodia, who are among Asia’s richest and poorest nations, to highlight cooperation on helping girls finish their educations

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07
Mar
15

The President’s Selma Speech

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by Jacqueline

The Bridge to Everywhere

This day, many hadn’t come
But all that was for naught
Because no one really noticed.
Those who came could have
Closed their eyes and still felt
The singular beauty of the place.
Could have still heard the silenced voices
Of the old warriors, and could have
Heard the sound the old bridge made
With the wind softly moving through it
And the shoes passionately walking over it
All voices still silent.
See and hear the beauty of the place
Look out into the rivers of time
Touch each other in
Warm embrace
And feel the beauty of the day.
The remarkable memories it brought
Were enough. I wouldn’t change a thing.
No need to change the name of the bridge, either
That bridge belongs to everyone and no one, anyway.

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President Obama:

It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.

Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;
Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.

Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government — all you need for a night behind bars — John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.

President Bush and Mrs. Bush, Governor Bentley, Members of Congress, Mayor Evans, Reverend Strong, friends and fellow Americans:

There are places, and moments in America where this nation’s destiny has been decided. Many are sites of war — Concord and Lexington, Appomattox and Gettysburg. Others are sites that symbolize the daring of America’s character — Independence Hall and Seneca Falls, Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral.

Selma is such a place.

In one afternoon fifty years ago, so much of our turbulent history — the stain of slavery and anguish of civil war; the yoke of segregation and tyranny of Jim Crow; the death of four little girls in Birmingham, and the dream of a Baptist preacher — met on this bridge.

It was not a clash of armies, but a clash of wills; a contest to determine the meaning of America.

And because of men and women like John Lewis, Joseph Lowery, Hosea Williams, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, Ralph Abernathy, C.T. Vivian, Andrew Young, Fred Shuttlesworth, Dr. King, and so many more, the idea of a just America, a fair America, an inclusive America, a generous America — that idea ultimately triumphed.

As is true across the landscape of American history, we cannot examine this moment in isolation. The march on Selma was part of a broader campaign that spanned generations; the leaders that day part of a long line of heroes.

We gather here to celebrate them. We gather here to honor the courage of ordinary Americans willing to endure billy clubs and the chastening rod; tear gas and the trampling hoof; men and women who despite the gush of blood and splintered bone would stay true to their North Star and keep marching toward justice.

They did as Scripture instructed: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” And in the days to come, they went back again and again. When the trumpet call sounded for more to join, the people came — black and white, young and old, Christian and Jew, waving the American flag and singing the same anthems full of faith and hope. A white newsman, Bill Plante, who covered the marches then and who is with us here today, quipped that the growing number of white people lowered the quality of the singing. To those who marched, though, those old gospel songs must have never sounded so sweet.

In time, their chorus would reach President Johnson. And he would send them protection, echoing their call for the nation and the world to hear:

“We shall overcome.”

What enormous faith these men and women had. Faith in God — but also faith in America.

The Americans who crossed this bridge were not physically imposing. But they gave courage to millions. They held no elected office. But they led a nation. They marched as Americans who had endured hundreds of years of brutal violence, and countless daily indignities — but they didn’t seek special treatment, just the equal treatment promised to them almost a century before.

Continue reading ‘The President’s Selma Speech’

04
Mar
15

This Is The Damage That Occurs Due To Racism

When Black people tell society there are valid reasons why cops are not to be trusted, THIS is what we mean

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09
Jan
15

The President’s Day

A Warm Tennessee Welcome: Supporters wait for President’s arrival today along Hardin Valley

‘Yellow Dog Democrat… Who Loves Obama Biden …. Thank You For Your Service To The USA! Love You!’

Enthusiasm Gap: The Line outside Knoxville auditorium this morning where the President was due to speak

(all by Knoxvillephoto)

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Spring in Step: Leaving the White House this morning

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Leaving Andrews

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@nedrapickler: Nice hometown welcome for Obama in Clinton, TN. Miles of folks lining the motorcade route waving hands & flags

Knoxvillephoto

@JacobWBIR: People waiting near the air base excited for POTUS to pass by

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Continue reading ‘The President’s Day’

30
Nov
14

Solidarity

St. Louis Rams’ Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Kenny Britt put their hands up to show support for Michael Brown before a game against the Oakland Raiders at the Edward Jones Dome.

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Tavon Austin #11, Jared Cook #89, Chris Givens #13 of the St. Louis Rams pay homage to Mike Brown

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Professional sport, as we know, is generally an amoral cesspit (eg see Ray Rice’s reinstatement) jammed with self-absorbed, overpaid twats who couldn’t give a crap about anything outside their own ludicrous worlds or anything that doesn’t feed their egos.

But then, occasionally, we get gestures like today’s from those Rams players, and from the Miami Heat back in 2012. And they’re powerful, not least to the kids for whom these guys are idols.

And their idols honored Michael Brown and protested against what was done to him. That matters. That’s good.

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In this image posted to Miami Heat basketball player LeBron James’ Twitter page, Miami Heat players wear team hoodies. Heat stars Dwyane Wade and James decided, March 22, 2012, to make their reactions about the Trayvon Martin situation public, and James felt the best way to do that was the team photo with everyone wearing hoodies.

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Not remotely comparing the Rams and Miami Heat players to Tommie Smith and John Carlos, universes and life experiences apart – but, the gesture …

“The move was a symbolic protest against racism in the United States…..”

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“1968: American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists and give the Black Power Salute at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

The move was a symbolic protest against racism in the United States.

Smith, the gold medal winner, and Carlos, the bronze medal winner, were subsequently suspended from their team for their actions.”

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St. Louis Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt puts his hands up to show support for Michael Brown.

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“The move was a symbolic protest against racism in the United States…..”

The more things change, the more they stay the same?

29
Nov
14

Book Worms

The President after spotting Chuck Todd’s comic (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Bought Books

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End – Atul Gawande

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business (Junie B. Jones Series #2) – Barbara Park

A Barnyard Collection: Click, Clack, Moo and More – Doreen Cronin

I Spy Sticker Book and Picture Riddles by Jean Marzollo

Nuts to You – Lynn Rae Perkins

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Junie B. Jones Series #1) – Barbara Park

Brown Girl Dreaming – Jacqueline Woodson

Redwall (Redwall Series #1) – Brian Jacques

Mossflower (Redwall Series #2) – Brian Jacques

Mattimeo – Brian Jacques (Redwall Series #3)

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms – Katherine Rundell

The Narrow Road to the Deep North – Richard Flanagan

The Laughing Monsters – Denis Johnson

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

Nora Webster – Colm Toibin

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China – Evan Osnos

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29
Nov
14

Supporting #SmallBusinessSaturday

President Obama, Sasha and Malia shop at Politics and Prose bookstore for “Small Business Saturday,” on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, in Washington

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