Saturday, August 23, 2008

Open Affirmation: Yes We Can!

Yes we can!

Those three words constitute the perfect campaign slogan. As a signature phrase it conveys a sense of optimism, unity and achievement. In its personal familiarity it resonates deeply. Its upbeat tone promotes a feeling of well being. As a firm assertion it carries the full weight and measure of a promises offered and kept.

It begins with the absolute affirmation, "Yes". This is the ultimate feel-good word. This is the word that we most want to hear. In its affirmation it gives permission by categorically refuting the implied historical put-down, "You can't do that." Permission in turn provides the ethical foundation for empowerment.

Literally, "We" are in the middle. "We" is the unifying element bringing everyone together. "We" can also be used self-referentially (the Royal "we") allowing individuals to be invested up-close-and-personal with positive empowerment. It should also be noted that from a political governance perspective "We" is shorthand for "We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union..."

"Can" is the very heart of promise. Simultaneously "can" denotes that we have knowledge, ability, power and that we have the right to use them. It implies that we are capable as well as suitably resourced or provisioned to meet the coming challenge. In this instance "can" is used as a synonym for "may". The more proper "may" gives us (we) formal permission to aspire and achieve.

Yes we can!

However, it promises everything and delivers nothing.

We feel good, we have the ability and we have permission. To do what?

Yes I will!

Yes I will accept personal responsibility for...
improving my health
improving my diet
reducing my carbon foot print

Yes I will affect positive change in my community.

Yes I will vote for Barack Obama.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

Open Sacrifice

The poor make sacrifices by default.

Unable to afford rising heating fuel prices means that thermostats are turned down. Higher food costs require "adjustments" in dietary standards. Difficult decisions are required when the cost of prescription drugs are balanced against the overall price of health care. Driving habits are severely modified in light of excessive gas costs. Luxury items like dinner and a movie don't come into the equation. Just getting by as the status quo is even more pressing.

The poor have never been irresponsible spenders.

As a single income family in a two income society we have always worked to meet our debt obligations. We insist on paying our bills on time. I believe that we like the vast majority are fiscally responsible. The fact that we have limited and finite money resources means that we must make sacrifices by default to remain in economic good standing.

Neither major party presidential candidate, or any candidate can significantly alter this fact. So all of the promises and rhetoric becomes just so much political tripe. Professionals jousting and positioning for the coming election - the process of enthroning the next leader.

So the sacrifices that must be made, and the promises that must be kept, are not for the short term good. We as a country must make larger sacrifices for the good of our future. We as a country must make and keep promises that will further the good of our nation.

What then are the sacrifices that we must make?

First and foremost we must sacrifice the misplaced belief that we are the superpower, that we are superior to all others. Next we must sacrifice the belief of entitlement that goes along with such superiority. In such a sacrifice, which will cost us nothing, we must realize that we must work to achieve our desired ends. We must realize that government alone is not responsible for our overall well being.

By establishing ourselves in the truth of our situation we will recognize that individual initiative at the grassroots level is our real promise. To that end we must ask not what our government will do for us but what we will do for ourselves.

If we wish to excel then as individuals we must ascribe to excellence. We must recognize the truth of our situation and strive as individuals to make our country better. This is easily attainable by simply seeing our own great wealth instead of berating our nation for our personal failures.

We must sacrifice our illusion of greatness for the reality of our true value.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Fearmongering: Taking your money.

Oil prices rose ~$5.00 per barrel because of saber rattling in and around Georga - speculators are afraid that a disruption in oil supply will cause shortages and their profits might fall.

I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Open xkcd Disclaimer > 1000 pictographs

Recently read at xkcd ...

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

We did not invent the algorithm. The algorithm consistently finds Jesus. The algorithm killed Jeeves.
The algorithm is banned in China. The algorithm is from Jersey. The algorithm constantly finds Jesus.
This is not the algorithm. This is close.


I am going to vote for Barack Obama.
I am William "Papa" Meloney and I endorse this message.

. . .