Novus Ordo Seclorum

The world my children (one, three and five) remember will always be one in which a black person has been President of the United States of America.

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About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

8 thoughts on “Novus Ordo Seclorum

  1. As an expatriate America living in France I have to say that I really regret not being home for the inauguration. I feel that I am missing one of if not THE defining moment of my generation.

    And as my thoughts turn toward home I have to say that after 8 years the grass is starting to look a lot greener on the other side of the Atlantic. There is so much energy and optimism and hope coming from the U.S. right now – we are very very tempted to pack up the Franco-American Flophouse and move to, say, San Francisco?

  2. The masses executed subprime mortgages and option arm loans – based purely on emotion and without any real analysis of what the hell they were getting into. Now look where the housing market it.

    Now the people have chosen their new president the same way: based upon pure emotion and without any real analysis of what they are getting themselves into.

    This is a sad day, a very sad day, that America sold itself out to for false suit bearing a $170,000,000 inaugural ball. The most expensive in history. Trillion dollar deficits for YEARS. Our new president puts W’s reckless spending to shame. God helps us for we know not what we do.

  3. I don’t share the excitement. In my view, US went mad. They are celebrating a black president and having parties all over the country. Everyone is just happy about it.
    But don’t they have more urgent stuff to deal with? As we speak, US is turning into a country of bankrupts. Banks are bankrupt, industrial companies are bankrupt. Households are in the debt pit. The whole world, which relied on exports to the US is now in deep shit.
    And the people in the US are partying. Are they crazy?

  4. I’m not American (yet) but although I can understand all the excitement about having the first black president, I’m not part of it. To me it’s like well this one is black, that one was white, so what? The important thing no one talks about is that he is the first first-generation American who was elected. Yes his mom was native-born American but she was rather cosmopolitan i think. Isn’t that more amazing than him being the first black president?

  5. Andrew Jackson’s parents were both immigrants. Though of course the country was a bit different in 1828. Still, in the 1990s the US had its largest wave of immigration since the Ellis Island years. I hope that MD is being good to you.

    As to amazement: Within Obama’s lifetime black people were murdered for trying to register to vote, and white people were murdered for trying to help them. Now a black person is president. (The best book I know on the subject is Parting the Waters, by Taylor Branch.)

    The comparable social change in a European state, I think, would be electing a Gypsy to the country’s most powerful office.

  6. Doug- thanks for the info and the reference. Yes MD is okay, although I can now move to a different state if I wish. After 6+ years of waiting for our Green Cards during which I couldn’t change my employer and my wife (PhD, MBA) couldn’t even apply for a job, it feels so good to be able to look for a new job. I hope Mr.Obama will find time to address terrible processing times for both GC and naturalization applications.

  7. I do wish that immigration and naturalization would be separated from the enforcement parts of border control. The necessary mindsets are so completely different. (Heck, on my more radical days, I wish that we would scrap them altogether and let people live wherever they want. It is so very sad to see America’s border crossings increasingly come to resemble the gauntlet I ran once to get into East Germany.)

    I was similarly beholden to my employer in Germany for a couple of years. On the other hand, I saw a real change at the immigration office after the switch from Kohl to Schroeder. It’s not high on their list, but maybe the Obama people will make something similar happen.

  8. I hope they will do something radical to fix the US immigration system. Bill Gates and others have been asking to make it less restrictive for such a long time, to no avail. What I really like about Obama is that he seems to have that independent and unobscured view on whatever subject he was talking about during his campaign. The guy just has the ability to look at the very root of any issue. Let’s hope that the scope and magnitude of problems he is facing will not get him bogged down.