Forty Four

44

“We have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world,
duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly.”
President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 44

Which is more important, your honor or your life?
Which is more valuable, your possessions or your person?
Which is more destructive, success or failure?
Because of this, great love extracts a great cost
and true wealth requires greater loss.
Knowing when you have enough avoids dishonor,
and knowing when to stop will keep you from danger
and bring you a long, happy life.

44 is a nice number today. I feel much better now, knowing our nation is on the right track again, moving away from the mistakes of the last eight years. My main feeling today is relief, mixed with a lot of pride and an underlying happiness. I didn’t go to any of the big screenings of the inauguration, didn’t do anything special, just sat on my couch and watched, but I feel a part of it all anyway. We are all a part of it now, and that is a very good feeling, to know that what each of us does matters. We are all called to responsibility by our new president, to a new era of being accountable for our actions.

After eight years of “it’s not my fault, bail me out for my mistakes”, that’s a nice feeling.

And this is a great new attitude:

A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life. One of the first changes is the White House’s new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world.

Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. WhiteHouse.gov is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.

Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first. Our initial new media efforts will center around three priorities:

Communication — Americans are eager for information about the state of the economy, national security and a host of other issues. This site will feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone up-to-date and educated. Check out the briefing room, keep tabs on the blog (RSS feed) and take a moment to sign up for e-mail updates from the President and his administration so you can be sure to know about major announcements and decisions.

Transparency — President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

Participation — President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.