Tonight, we heard another nice speech from President Obama. His words continue to impress. We will await the corresponding action. I remain hopeful that President is finally taking the fiscal responsibility seriously.
大統領が国の現状(State of the Union)について述べる演説。それが一般教書演説。
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:
Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. (Applause.) And as we mark this occasion, we’re also mindful of the empty chair in this chamber, and we pray for the health of our colleague — and our friend -窶骭 Gabby Giffords. (Applause.)
It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.
But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passion and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater -窶骭 something more consequential than party or political preference.
We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.
That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation. (Applause.)
Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow. (Applause.)
I believe we can. And I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all -窶骭 for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.
At stake right now is not who wins the next election -窶骭 after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but the light to the world.
We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.
But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.
That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together. (Applause.)
We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year. And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.
But we have to do more. These steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession, but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.
Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck and good benefits and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.
That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts on once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear -窶骭 proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.
They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an Internet connection.
Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became the home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.
So, yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember -窶骭 for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. (Applause.) No workers — no workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We’re the home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any place on Earth.
What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea -窶骭 the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That’s why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.
And now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. (Applause.) We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. (Applause.) And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.
Some students get so nervous before a test, they do poorly even if they know the material. Sian Beilock, a psychology professor at the University of Chicago in Illinois, has studied these highly anxious test-takers.
SIAN BEILOCK: “They start worrying about the consequences. They might even start worrying about whether this exam is going to prevent them from getting into the college they want. And when we worry, it actually uses up attention and memory resources. I talk about it as your cognitive horsepower that you could otherwise be using to focus on the exam.”
Professor Beilock and another researcher, Gerardo Ramirez, have developed a possible solution. Just before an exam, highly anxious test-takers spend ten minutes writing about their worries about the test.
SIAN BEILOCK: “What we think happens is when students put it down on paper, they think about the worst that could happen and they reappraise the situation. They might realize it’s not as bad as they might think it was before and, in essence, it prevents these thoughts from popping up — from ruminating — when they’re actually taking a test.”
The researchers tested the idea on a group of twenty anxious college students. They gave them two short math tests. After the first one, they asked the students to either sit quietly or write about their feelings about the upcoming second test.
The researchers added to the pressure. They told the students that those who did well on the second test would get money. They also told them that their performance would affect other students as part of a team effort.
Professor Beilock says those who sat quietly scored an average of twelve percent worse on the second test. But the students who had written about their fears improved their performance by an average of five percent.
Next, the researchers used younger students in a biology class. They told them before final exams either to write about their feelings or to think about things unrelated to the test.
Professor Beilock says highly anxious students who did the writing got an average grade of B+, compared to a B- for those who did not.
SIAN BEILOCK: “What we showed is that for students who are highly test-anxious, who’d done our writing intervention, all of a sudden there was no relationship between test anxiety and performance. Those students most prone to worry were performing just as well as their classmates who don’t normally get nervous in these testing situations.”
But what if students do not have a chance to write about their fears immediately before an exam or presentation? Professor Beilock says students can try it themselves at home or in the library and still improve their performance.
The researchers wrote about their findings in the journal Science.
At the end of each year, the Associated Press releases a list of the top ten news stories of the year. American editors and news directors are asked to vote for what they consider the top stories.
This year, the story with the most votes was the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An oil rig operated by BP exploded in April. The explosion killed eleven workers. Close to five million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf until the leak was contained in the middle of July. BP agreed to set aside twenty billion dollars to pay claims and damages to people working in the area’s fishing and tourism industries.
The AP says the second most important story was health care reform in the United States. President Obama won a major political victory with congressional passage of his health care reform plan. Among other things, it will extend health care insurance to thirty-two million Americans now without it. But many Republicans in Congress oppose the law and want to cancel parts of it.
The congressional elections in November were another big story. The Republican Party gained a majority in the House of Representatives. But Democrats kept their majority in the Senate.
The American economy was another major story. Economists reported in twenty-ten that the worst recession since the nineteen-thirties had ended. Americans began to spend more as the year ended. But the unemployment rate stayed above nine percent.
In January, a powerful earthquake struck Haiti. It killed at least two hundred thirty thousand people and left millions of others homeless. Disease and other problems have slowed efforts to rebuild the country.
Another important story was the Tea Party movement in the United States. The Tea Party supports limited government, less federal spending and lower taxes. The movement had a big influence on the Congressional elections.
Another major story was the rescue of thirty-three mine workers in Chile. A partial mine collapse on August fifth trapped them more than half a kilometer underground. They remained trapped for sixty-nine days. Millions of people around the world watched on television as each miner was safely brought to the surface.
In twenty-ten, United States forces officially ended combat operations in Iraq. The Iraq war began more than seven years ago.
Another major story was the activities of the WikiLeaks website. First the website released thousands of United States military documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then it published thousands of State Department diplomatic cables. They included comments by American diplomats about the lives of world leaders and criticisms of foreign governments.
The tenth story on the AP’s list was the war in Afghanistan. President Obama ordered an increase in troops fighting the nearly ten-year-old war. American troops are to begin leaving the country in July. Afghans are to control their own security by the end of twenty fourteen.
Economists across the world are expressing concern about rising food prices. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recently released its Food Price Index. The list showed that a number of foods cost more than during the world food crisis of two thousand eight. The index is at its highest level since it began in nineteen ninety.
Demonstrations and deadly food riots have broken out this month, as they did in two thousand eight.
The FAO predicts that world market prices for rice, wheat, barley, sugar and meat will stay high or continue rising. One reason for this is the threat of shortages caused by bad weather. Current and recent weather disasters have harmed agriculture and affected prices in several parts of the world.
For example, the current flooding in Australia has done great damage to crops in the usually fertile Queensland area. Chickpea, wheat, sorghum and corn are among the crops affected. Floods also have harmed other vegetables and fruits.
Local agricultural producers report that standing water could destroy up to half of next year’s sugar crop. And economists say prices for the fruits and vegetables could likely increase over the next six months.
The effects on prices from floods last year in Pakistan and China are still being felt.
Last week, Russia extended an earlier ban on wheat exports. Russia acted after heat, drought and wildfires destroyed about a third of its wheat crop last summer. The ban was placed to make sure Russians have enough wheat. The first ban caused worldwide wheat prices climb to last year by almost fifty percent.
In Algeria, the government has reduced taxes after food riots late last year and earlier this month. Among the causes of the riots were price increases for cooking oil and sugar. Several people died in the riots, and hundreds of others were injured.
Food prices are also part of economic problems to blame for the deadly riots in Tunisia.
Shenggen Fan heads the International Food Policy Research Institute from its Washington, DC, office. Mr. Fan says countries must invest in making their farmers more productive. He says the world will need to feed more hungry people with less available land, water and other resources.
Dogs are known for a strong sense of smell. Their noses can be trained to identify different odors. Dogs are often used in search and rescue operations and to sniff for things like drugs and explosives. Some dogs have even been trained to sniff for cancer in people.
Researchers have been trying to reproduce the extraordinary sense of smell that real dogs are born with. Now, officials at the Glasgow airport in Scotland are testing a new security device called an “electronic sniffer dog.” The electronic sniffer dog represents one of the latest developments in the area of smell technology.
A Scottish company, Cascade Technologies, joined with the French security company Morpho to develop it. The device uses lasers to identify explosive material in gases in the air. The purpose is to identify explosives that may be hidden on a person’s body.
The machine looks similar to the metal detectors now used at airports. Passengers walk through the machine as the lasers test the surrounding air.
People are not required to take off their coats, belts or shoes as part of the security process. And, unlike full-body scanners, the new device does not show images of the passenger.
Officials at Cascade Technologies say the machine can process one person per second and produce almost immediate results. They say future developments could cut security processing times at airports by screening all passengers at walking speed.
Professor Yushan Yan is the head of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. His research team has been working on a similar sniffer device since two thousand eight.
He points out that unlike real dogs, electronic devices do not get tired or need to be walked or require food and water. Professor Yan says real sniffer dogs also have other needs.
YUSHAN YAN: “They also need very extensive training that could be expensive. And when they work they have to have a very skilled handler around them.”
But Professor Yan says in his experience, there is an important area where man’s best friend still wins compared to technology.
YUSHAN YAN: “In terms of sensitivity and selectivity, the current technology out there is still inferior. The dog has amazing capability identifying some really really minor amount of explosives.”
But Professor Yan says electronic sniffer technology is developing quickly and could have a lot of uses in the future.
Americans experimented with many new customs and social traditions during the nineteen twenties. There were new dances, new kinds of clothes and some of the most imaginative art and writing ever produced in the United States.
But in most ways, the nineteen twenties were a conservative time in American life. Voters elected three conservative Republican presidents: Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. And they supported many conservative social and political policies.
This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue the story of American conservatism during the nineteen twenties.
KAY GALLANT: One such policy concerned immigration. Most Americans in the nineteen twenties had at least some ties through blood or marriage to the first Americans who came from Britain. Many people with these kinds of historic ties considered themselves to be real Americans, true Americans.
Americans traditionally had welcomed newcomers from such western European countries as Britain, France, or Germany. But most of the people arriving in New York City and other harbors in the nineteen twenties were from the central, eastern and southern areas of Europe.
Some Americans became afraid of these millions of people arriving at their shores. They worried that the immigrant newcomers might steal their jobs. Or they feared the political beliefs of the immigrants.
HARRY MONROE: Pressure to control immigration increased following the world war. Congress passed a bill that set a limit on how many people would be allowed to enter from each foreign country. And, the Congress and President Calvin Coolidge agreed to an even stronger immigration law in nineteen twenty-four.
Under the new law, limits on the number of immigrants from each foreign country depended on the number of Americans who had families in that country. For example, the law allowed many immigrants to enter from Britain or France, because many American citizens had families in those countries. But fewer people could come from Italy or Russia, because fewer Americans had family members in those countries.
The laws were very difficult to enforce. But they did succeed in limiting the number of immigrants from certain countries.
KAY GALLANT: A second sign of the conservative feelings in the nineteen twenties was the nation’s effort to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks, or liquor. This policy was known as Prohibition, because it prohibited — or banned — alcoholic drinks.
Many of the strongest supporters of Prohibition were conservative Americans living in rural areas. Many of them believed that liquor was evil, the product of the devil.
A number of towns and states passed laws banning alcohol sales during the first years of the twentieth century. And in nineteen nineteen, the nation passed the eighteenth amendment to the federal constitution. This amendment, and the Volstead Act, made it unlawful to make, sell or transport liquor.
HARRY MONROE: Prohibition laws failed terribly from the start. There was only a small force of police to enforce the new laws. And millions of Americans still wanted to drink liquor. It was not possible for the police to watch every American who wanted to buy a drink secretly or make liquor in his own home.
Not surprisingly, thousands of Americans soon saw a chance to make profits from the new laws. They began to import liquor illegally to sell for high prices.
Criminals began to bring liquor across the long, unprotected border with Canada or on fast boats from the Caribbean islands. At the same time, private manufacturers in both cities and rural areas began to produce liquor. And shop owners in cities across the country sold liquor with little interference from local police.
By the middle of the nineteen twenties, it was clear to most Americans that Prohibition laws were a failure. But the laws were not changed until the election of President Franklin Roosevelt in nineteen thirty-two.
KAY GALLANT: A third sign of conservatism in the nineteen twenties was the effort by some Americans to ban schoolbooks on modern science. Most of the Americans who supported these efforts were conservative rural Americans who believed in the traditional ideas of the Protestant Christian church. Many of them were fearful of the many changes that had taken place in American society.
Science became an enemy to many of these traditional, religious Americans. Science seemed to challenge the most basic ideas taught in the Bible. The conflict burst into a major public debate in nineteen twenty-five in a trial over Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution.
HARRY MONROE: British scientist Charles Darwin published his books “The Origin of the Species” and “The Descent of Man” in the nineteenth century. The books explained Darwin’s idea that humans developed over millions of years from apes and other animals.
Most Europeans and educated people accepted Darwin’s theory by the end of the nineteenth century. But the book had little effect in rural parts of the United States until the nineteen twenties.
William Jennings Bryan led the attack on Darwin’s ideas. Bryan was a rural Democrat who ran twice for president. He lost both times. But Bryan remained popular among many traditional Americans.
Bryan told his followers that the theory of evolution was evil, because it challenged the traditional idea that God created the world in six days. He accused scientists of violating God’s words in the Bible.
Bryan and his supporters called on local school officials to ban the teaching of evolution. Some state legislatures in the more conservative southeastern part of the country passed laws making it a crime to teach evolution theory.
KAY GALLANT: In nineteen twenty-five, a young science teacher in the southern state of Tennessee challenged the state’s new teaching law. The teacher — John Scopes — taught Darwin’s evolution ideas. Officials arrested scopes and put him on trial.
Some of the nation’s greatest lawyers rushed to Tennessee to defend the young teacher. They believed the state had violated his right to free speech. And they thought Tennessee’s law againt teaching evolution was foolish in a modern, scientific society. America’s most famous lawyer, Clarence Darrow, became the leader of Scopes’ defense team.
Bryan and other religious conservatives also rushed to the trial. They supported the right of the state of Tennessee to ban the teaching of evolution.
The trial was held in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee. Hundreds of people came to watch: religious conservatives, free speech supporters, newsmen and others.
The high point of the trial came when Bryan himself sat before the court. Lawyer Clarence Darrow asked Bryan question after question about the bible and about science. How did Bryan know the Bible is true. Did God really create the earth in a single day. Is a day in the Bible twenty-four hours. Or can it mean a million years.
HARRY MONROE: Bryan answered the questions. But he showed a great lack of knowledge about modern science.
The judge found Scopes guilty of breaking the law. But in the battle of ideas, science defeated conservatism. And a higher court later ruled that Scopes was not guilty.
The Scopes evolution trial captured the imagination of Americans. The issue was not really whether one young teacher was innocent or guilty of breaking a law. The real question was the struggle for America’s spirit between the forces of modern ideas and those of traditional rural conservatism. The trial represented this larger conflict.
KAY GALLANT: American society was changing in many important ways during the early part of the twentieth century. It was not yet the world superpower that it would become after World War Two. But neither was it a traditional rural society of conservative farmers and clergy. The nineteen twenties were a period of growth, of change and of struggle between the old and new values.