Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas To Everyone

To all my dearest friends, readers, regular commenters, Entrecard droppers, and all those who at one time or another participated in the discussions on this site; thank you and may the blessings of the season be with you.

For all those still struggling with tyranny and the oppression of their leaders, may the hope generated by the holidays uplift your spirits to continue the efforts for freedom and a better life.

To those we've known who suffer from hunger, disease, and deprivation that are aggravated by the wanton corruption, denial, incompetence, and abandonment by their leaders - may the joy of the Savior's birth heal you, nourish and strengthen you, and guide you to the fulfillment of even your simplest dreams.

For those who have lost their homes, property, savings, and the many more threatened by the same fate; may the essence of the holidays give you the endurance to proceed towards a life lived in simplicity, kindness, and the realization of the plight of those with a lot less than what you've had; and may your generosity towards your fellowmen, of whatever nation, race or religion, be enhanced by this experience that would lead to better understanding and co-existence.

For those who live in areas of war and conflict, may the spirit of Peace grace your orientation and settle into your sense of humanity, and make you realize that all races or religions have a lot more in common than differences - and that these differences are not threats to the existence of others if tolerance and understanding prevails in the spirit of Peace.

And may citizens of this planet we call Earth finally move as one under the realization that we are all brothers; and that this small piece of rock in the universe we call home, which is under attack from the abuse and unabated wasteful consumption of some of the most profligate members of mankind, finally find the light and guiding star to unite as one and save the only home we will ever have, and the only home we will ever know.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Capturing Consumers via the Cold and the Crisis

In the minds of most people, the mere mention of Siberia produces images of an eternally snow covered and vast wasteland, known to be the final destination of Russian dissidents during the communist regime; where they were frozen in time from the memories of the people, or merely froze to death. It comes as a surprise that this once barren and forsaken expanse has a Capital in Novosibirsk, with a population of over 1.3 million people. The bigger surprise is that it is the home of Inmarko, a company that is the biggest ice-cream maker in the entire Russian nation.

The city was established in 1893, and was named after Tsar Nicholas II. It has none of the natural resources that the country is heavily dependent upon for its economic engines, and no industrial areas nor factories either.
What it has are universities and research institutes that produce a lot of creative ideas from people who refuse to be cowed, intimidated, nor demoralized by a global financial crisis. They are happy to meet the crisis head on - despite the minus 25 degree weather almost all year round.

However, after 118 years of existence, its small population may be an indication of a cold and calculating race of people. They may not be a very romantic lot - cold to one another and having difficulty warming up to a relationship - or are terribly inhibited by the cold that they fail to remove their clothes when in the process of fully expressing their love for each other. Unless of course they prefer to preserve their respective reproductive cells for the day when global warming finally brings the heat to the place.

To outsiders, their fondness for ice cream (a $200 million company business) presents a stunning image (300 shops in Novosibirsk alone selling nothing but ice cream). But it should come as no surprise since the land was buried in ice and that's all their grandparents had to live on for sometime, flavored by whatever comes with it. To this end, Inmarko pays tribute by coming up with popular flavors such as black pepper, ice cream with fish, and a flavor called Vampire - a small stake of aspen wood stabbed into the ice cream. It wouldn't be surprising if the highest priced flavor is cannabis and cream.

However, the world should credit them for going into such a venture in the midst of all that ice, and nurture a company that has dominated the Russian market. It lends credence to the concept that similarities exist within people from whatever part of the world.

The Russian taste buds are just different from the rest as attested to by preferred flavors. But the world can find comfort in the fact that on major issues, similarities are more pronounced - especially among the more powerful nations and those emerging powerful ones. These are : domination, hegemony, political expediency, self-interest and greed.

Perhaps nations of the world should share their ice cream instead - whatever flavors these are made of.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shocked, Shamed, and Shooed by a Shoe Thrower

The United States Secret Service have always dedicated themselves to the idea of taking a bullet for the President, sacrificing their lives to save the most powerful man on earth. This has been proven many times throughout its history. Security arrangements for the US President always precedes the visit by at least 2 days, to ensure utmost safety, and to assure that all precautions are taken with all factors considered, and activities moving with pinpoint precision. While the US Secret service are willing to die, they may not be willing to take a shoe, and leave it up to their President to be agile enough to duck.

The good news is that President Bush knows how to duck, it's what he's been doing for the last 8 years - ducking all the exposed actions and machinations of his administration that are immoral and illegal with falsified reports, spurious constitutional arguments and outright lies. But the Secret Service has been caught napping by Iraqi reporter and shoe thrower Muntandhar al-Zeidi. What is most embarrassing is that the Iraq trip was supposed to be top secret, where they even released a schedule of activities for the President, only to be seen on a news video being shooed with a shoe, followed by the words " Take a farewell kiss you dog".

The news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was held in the green zone - the most heavily secured part of Baghdad - which turned out to be of questionable safety since the Secret Service and those securing the zone had not checked the background of the Al-Baghdadiya reporter who had been kidnapped as a result of the conflict and has always hated the US presence and Iranian interference. The Secret Service failed to thwart the shoe throwing which was done twice, and could have made the President of the United States kiss corrugated rubber or worn out camel leather with a dash or Iraqi sand. Or, have a visible external lump on his head from the sole of a smelly, dirty shoe - not that he has no internal lumps on his head from constant knocking with the fists from all his superiors and father for mangling the English language - but such a violently caused lump is a shame that all Americans would feel.

While it represents accurately what many Iraqis feel about America and Bush in particular, shaming Americans is too much of an additional burden for the already economically punished citizens. They have been embarrassed enough by 8 years of bungling and cover ups, by the loss of their homes, jobs, and incomes, by the disposal of their very personal belongings to pawnshops to generate needed cash for required expenses to keep themselves afloat. Bush is still the President, a choice many regret after two terms, but any humiliation he gets in a foreign country is a humiliation for Americans. This secret trip should not have been made, and perhaops President Bush should simply be locked up somewhere until Barack Obama's inauguration - to prevent any more miscues and untoward incidents that would only add to his long list of inanities.

The shoe thrower has become a hero, hailed by Arabs and Iraqis who rallied in the streets asking for his release - invoking the freedom of expression provision in Iraq's American made constitution. He has risen from obscurity to become a symbol for Iraq's self governance and interference free political and economic life. A big difference a pair of shoes make - and it is not surprising if many Arabs and even Americans would want to be in al-Zeidi's shoes - or rather have the sole of their shoes caress the face of the outgoing President as a going away relief from all the anxieties brought by the policies and management he has employed. This would perhaps lay to rest their confused predicament, and put an end to their arduous soul searching for what went wrong - and find solace in the sole act of letting their shoes fly.

As to the Secret Service, well the incident on video cannot be kept secret, and their service to an outgoing President has lapsed into disservice. These assigned people need to be retrained for they may have been infected by the incompetence virus of Bush and company after 8 years of exposure.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Devastating Defeat for De la Hoya

Saving a cherished reputation of never being knocked out in a legendary 10 year career that brought him an unprecedented 6 titles in as many divisions, Oscar de la Hoya managed to accomplish only that, nothing else. Yet his surrender after the 8th round made that same reputation hollow and meaningless. Touted as a true warrior who faced many fierce battles, de la Hoya's failure to fight to the death, like a true warrior, cast serious doubt on his spirit and substance as a tested fighter who never loses heart. On this fateful night, de la Hoya lost everything.

In the fight top billed as the Dream Match, Oscar lost the agility in his legs, his penetrating jabs were neutralized, his power punches blocked or evaded, his surgical approach dismantled, his speed was jammed into a halt - until the fight in him vanished. He didn't do this to himself, but was masterfully executed by Manny Pacquiao, who had triumphed over all Mexicans put in front of him until they could no longer find a match for his superior fighting skills. The last Mexican standing was a legend who was bigger, heavier, with longer reach and a reputation to protect - all the elements that bolster an advantage which made the Pacman the underdog. What Oscar did to himself was to lose heart and give up to evade an outright knockout. In the process, he also lost his reputation as a true warrior.

Ringside statistics attest to the domination by Pacquiao in the lopsided fight that made Oscar looked anything but old and retireable. His speed, power, agility, and fight strategy proved beyond doubt that he is the world's best pound-for-pound fighter there is. Pacquiao pummeled de la Hoya like a permissive punching bag, hitting him at will with 224 out of 585 punches landing, as against Oscar's 83 out of 402. He also gave Oscar 45 power punches in the 7th round versus only four received by the Pacman which threw de la Hoya at the center of the ring. Two of the 3 judges gave Pacquiao all the 8 rounds except for one judge who gave Oscar the first round. Manny Pacquiao put on a spectacular display; while Oscar de la Hoya, who was a mere shell of his old self, put on a pathetic performance.

Manny Pacquiao has unwittingly put an end to a remarkable story, one that began in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics when a young Oscar de la Hoya won the gold in a skillfully executed bout. He went on to become the biggest box office draw in boxing. In the last 6 years however, he has not won a major bout. In this match, he no longer had the elements to mount a counter attack to win the fight. He was all spent and wasted. His only other stoppage came via a referee's decision, this time, he concurred with his handlers.The decision was his, and he opted to end it standing up. All is not lost for he earned a substantially sizeable amount for his closed left eye and swollen face. Perhaps pride can be covered with money, which seems to be the main reason for this battle. Oscar de la Hoya has come full circle, from a fighting legend to a shrewd businessman.

The power of Pacquiao's punches may be greatly aided by his faith and augmented in large part by his prayers and those of around 50 million of 82 million Filipinos. He has defeated a legend, and has himself become one. He bears the weight of an entire nation on his shoulders whenever he goes up the ring, and dedicated each of his fights to the people of his country. He prays before and after a fight, win or lose; and refuses to give up even when badly beaten, heavily cut, and profusely bleeding - much like his idol Oscar de la Hoya some years ago. Perhaps a fighter loses part of his spirit with every punch received over the years - all because of their stubborn refusal to stop. The addiction to glory in a viciously violent encounter boosts their ego and makes them deny their diminishing power and strength, in an event so primitive yet continues to salivate a supposed civilized world in watching two men rearrange each other's face and bones; and become ecstatic at seeing blood and gore.

The Filipino people and the Filipino nation should be prepared to pray that Pacquiao cease this brutal sport while he is in one piece. He has done more than enough for the country and to the upliftment of the Filipino psyche' and spirit, more than any politician ever has. Pacquiao's humanity and sacrifice has encouraged unity and peace - the least the Filipino nation can do is to honor him in peace and let him enjoy the fruits of his very excruciating labors. The peak is the best place to end a quest. Pray that he isn't knocked senseless by all the adoration and the summer acquaintances who shower praise - yet disappear when the rains pour.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Ilumina : Investing in Inovention

Revolutions belong to the young, those who refuse to yield to the boundaries and limitations laid out by elders who hold power; and who stifle their freedom to express their concept of what is right for their generation. These are achievers who are not content with choices dictated by commercial interests, but rather adhere to function and adaptability; yet are denied the power to access resources that would fulfill their dreams which defy long held assumptions and conventions. These young revolutionaries are the Inoventors.

A core group of very young, talented, and adventurous Filipinos whose audacity is molded in idealism and tempered by nationalistic fervor have launched an Inovention Revolution that will install the Philippines to a position of global leadership in consumer electronics technology. Innovation and invention are their driving forces, and they have set up a company (Inovent Inc.) that unveiled the first true LCD Interactive Television. These young men see only a future where true convergence exists, unbound by various meshes of business ecosystems catering only to specific interest groups. Their optimism generates enough energy to break whatever challenge is brought their way; their enthusiasm and belief in what they have begun is more than enough to raise a groundswell of adherents and supporters.

The product, dubbed "ilumina", is a television set with the power and brain of a personal computer. It has a flat 32 inch LCD display screen, a 1 terrabyte hard drive, and a multimedia center that allows owners to listen to music, see movies, watch and record TV shows and surf the web. It has a USB port, is wifi enabled, plus a video camera that eliminates the need for separate players and multiple connections. It is compatible with any type of keyboard including the mac wireless keypad. The "gadget" represents the changing lifestyles of today's generation and those emerging multimedia users of the future. It is a revolution in industrial design spawned by functionality, substance, divergence and physical aesthetics that addresses the unspoken demands of an undefined constituency; large enough to create a major market, but ignored by traditional manufacturers whose concerns are focused on the mutual benefits shared with their ecosystem partners.

Exponents of the Inovent Revolution who created the "ilumina" targeted the 30th of November for the unveiling of the product, for it represents the anniversary of the Birth of the Philippine Revolution against foreign domination represented by Spain in 1896. The launch was held at Fully Booked on Bonifacio Avenue in Global city. The leader of the 1896 Philippine Revolution was Andres Bonifacio, for whom the street was named - who was a young and idealistic Filipino who dared raise the cry for freedom more than a century ago. The choice of Global City may not be coincidental as this revolutionary product is destined for global leadership.

The first revolution was a failure, and Filipinos had to endure American and Japanese rule which ended in 1946, but only on paper. Its economic policies, foreign policies and commercial activities remain foreign dominated. The "ilumina" is a historic inovention that champions the Filipino idea, the Filipino ingenuity, capability, creativity, management expertise, and multi-disciplinary harmony in creating synergy that is competitive and world class. These revolutionaries seek support and ask Filipinos to invest in inovention, invest in ilumina, and to invest in Filipino pride.

The revolution has begun and it is headed towards a victorious destination. All it requires is the sustaining power that comes from the patronage of its countrymen in terms of venture capital and subsequent product acquisition. Success is imminent, freedom is on the horizon, and honor for Filipinos globally is at hand. It cannot be prevented. Unless, Filipinos themselves turn their backs and opt for foreign created products that will once again abandon the revolution and leave its proponents to become orphaned non-entities. Should this transpire, the Filipinos shall be doomed to enslavement for one hundred more years. Heaven forbid!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bringing the Bees Back for Breakfast

The phenomenon of the continued decimation of bee populations signals an additional burden for the already difficult times ahead. The pollination of edible plants and vegetation is largely dependent on these busy insects whose efforts impact on food supply, including those that are used for animal feeds that breed livestock for human consumption. It would not matter one bit if the population of politicians globally were the ones being decimated, there's more than enough of them to endanger global harmony. But the bees are the better breed whose quiet productive activities and sustained contributions are not bound by race, country, ideology nor political party.

Members of the European Parliament have raised the alarm over the critical actions needed to save the world's bee populations, joining a growing number of scientists, non-government institutions, and citizen's organizations who have echoed the concerns of bee keepers all over Europe. The threat to Europe is very alarming as two of their largest beekeeping countries (Italy at 1.09 million hives and France at 1.2 million hives) have registered a bee mortality rate of 40% to 50%. These are countries with industrial scale bee keeping industries that have been reduced to about half of their normal production output. The threat is so serious that a name has been given to it: Colony Collapse Disorder.

Decline in bee populations does not only affect the supply of honey, but also the much heralded European institution known as the Continental breakfast - which could become a bleakfast. Bees pollinate almond trees whose nuts provide the filling for almond croissants. The one Euro cup of coffee, as well as the orange juice would increase in price since bees pollinate the majority of coffee plants and orange trees. Bees also pollinate most types of plants used for animal feed, and if livestock producers resort to cereals, the price of milk would also escalate.

Scientists suspect a kind of mite that suck the blood of bees as the culprit behind the bee mortality rate. Also considered are changing weather conditions such as the amount of rainfall in the last two summers. The Members of the European Parliament are looking at the creation of special recovery zones of arable land full of nectar rich plants that could help the bee populations to recover. Although a bit late, the beekeeping industry is happy with the attention obtained from the European politicians.

If the European politicians would busy themselves with this threat and work as hard as the bees they intend to save, the Continental breakfast will surely survive. However, if they take their normal pace, Europeans will be eating dead bees for breakfast - and the politicians will be eaten alive by the people because of it.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Bewildered By A Blank Belly Button

The fixation people have about what is normal is a powerful framework that often generates bewilderment when confronted with a deviation from an accepted standard. The absence of something as minor as a belly button could trigger wild speculations in an attempt to find a suitable explanation that would placate their mindsets; or satisfy their mischievous and derisive nature.

This was the furor that greeted Czech Supermodel Karolina Kurkova when she climbed the catwalk to model the underwear line of Victoria's Secret. Her non-existent belly button puzzled the audience and sent the press into a frenzy of conjecture that prompted the model's agent to declare that she's not an alien. Questions like "How was she fed when she was in the womb without an umbilical cord"? "Was she a test tube baby fed intravenously"? " Did she have it erased because it was unsightly"? Or, "Is her belly button located somewhere else that remains unseen even when wearing only undergarments"? "Isn't that freakish"?

Scientific explanations have been put forward about the phenemenon of the missing belly button or navel. One speaks of a weakness in the abdominal wall after developing a small hernia, which requires removal; or as part of a tummy tuck procedure. Ms. Kurkova herself has not offered any explanation why her abdomen is smooth and without any trace of where an umbilical cord used to be. Some argue that a belly button coud be made surgically to complete the body structure, as if one would be an incomplete individual without it. Others say it has much lesser sex appeal, elevating the belly button to the stature of a sex organ when it is merely the severed skin from which chewed food passed through direct to the infant's stomach.

Other people's notions of what should and what must be present need not be dictated upon those who choose to be without these "natural" body elements. Besides, she's modeling outer wear and undergarments, and there's no such thing as a garment for the belly button, unless they begin to invent one. Kurkova is withinn her rights not to reveal any reason for its absence, even if she happened to swallow her navel at a point in her life when she was hungry and without means.

The missing navel has not diminished her career one bit, but has even enhanced it. It is not far fetched to expect other models to follow suit.
At the rate she's earning from her modeling career, around 2 million pounds a year, she could easily have a navel or two crafted if she wants to, or even fill her entire body with belly buttons for those who are interested in "pressing her right buttons".

In the lull between the much awaited end to the Bush Administration and the anticipation of the Barack Obama inauguration, the American press is trying to entertain itself with inanities that measure the depth of their mental abilities.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prelude to the Pied Piper's Peak Performance

The resurgence of rats in the town of Hamelin, coming at a time when Germany's mighty economy slipped into recession, may be an ominous sign of unsavory events about to impact on the German nation. The rat infestation that plagued the town over 700 years before has reemerged from its legendary past, in an eerie development that seems to challenge the community's resolve to contest their existence. The rats have consolidated to do battle with the 21st century Pied Piper, and in the process, seek to alter the outcome of that classic deception and change the legend that has stood for more than seven centuries.

In the year 1284, based on the legend that sprang from Hamelin, this German town was overrun with rats that wreaked havoc on the its growth, development and regular activities of daily living; creating dysfunctional social relationships, conflict among citizens, and misery for the entire population. A pied Piper was hired to rid the town of its misery with a promise of compensation. The Pied Piper played music that entranced the rats and lured them in the river to drown. After his success, the townspeople reneged on their promise to pay, which compelled the Piper to teach them a lesson by luring all of the town's children in a cave and locking them inside with him, never to be seen again.

This year's rats are in an abandoned allotment site at the edge of town, but threatens to spread to neighboring housing estates. The rat population has exploded on the site and the town has sought outside assistance for its control and elimination. Response has been coming in, but this battle is a mere speck that the people of Hamelin, and Germany as a whole, need to fight. Germany's enviable economy had been infested with rats in investment banking clothing who feasted on the bounty and wealth of the country. As the economy suffered by the sheer volume of their insatiable greed and growing numbers, they infected adherents in government as well. And when the collapse was declared last Thursday, these rats even attempted to take a huge chunk of what was left for the winter of their avaricious lives.

A Pied Piper is indeed needed, not only for Hamelin but for Germany; to lure these dirty rats out into the open where they can be drowned - even from the spit of the entire German population. Next year, Hamelin plans to celebrate the 725th anniversary of the Pied Piper's conquest of the plague, together with a huge children's procession - even if the children were sacrificed by the Piper in the original story. Today, it is the citizens that are being sacrificed by allowing the rats to remain free and enjoy their spurious wealth. It would do well for the citizens and the government to celebrate the Pied Piper's anniversary by identifying these rats and locking them all in prison, never to be seen again. Or perhaps, to send them over to Hamelin, bound at the allotment site, to be feasted on by their ilk.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beautiful Butterfly by the Blogsite

A butterfly has metamorphosed on The Spitting Vessel courtesy of Jenaisle, site owner of Gewgaw Writings. The recognition is for being one of the "coolest" blogs known to the endorser of the award. Unknown to many perhaps is what a butterfly symbolizes.

A butterfly in folklore is a keeper of secrets. Once a secret is whispered to it, the butterfly carries the secret straight to the ears of the Great Spirit. Butterflies freed helps restore the balance of nature, which helps fulfill man's wishes. It is also a symbol of change, and the dancing pattern of its flight is a reminder for man not to take things too seriously. The most powerful symbol a butterfly represents is transformation, an excellent imagery for one contemplating change or is in the midst of change; where change need not be distressing nor painful.

Butterflies have also been used in many faiths and religions; as in a soul seeking reincarnation, or the soul of a loved one visiting family to send a message, or to provide warnings of impending danger. In its most profound form, a butterfly is a symbol of the transformation of the soul.

So to Jenaisle of Gewgaw Writings, the Spitting Vessel thanks you very much for the symbolism that this recognition represents.

Source: Vlinder, Butterfly Symbolisms.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Communion of Church and Citizens

Whoever brought up the idea that those people who were once under communist regimes were themselves godless have not been to Russia. In Komarovo, a small village located some 300 kilometers from Moscow, there is an acceptance of the fact that the Church is their savior - that it will deliver them from poverty and hunger - by keeping faith in the tradition of taking Church property and religious icons to sell to collectors; and using the structures to build their homes or sell it off as construction materials. It's durability tested by the number of decades or centuries it has survived.

Remote rural churches have been the favorite target of thieves, but this time their religious fervor seemed to have risen to great heights. A whole church, which was built in 1809 and owned by the Russian Orthodox Church, has disappeared. What was left of the 200 year old two-story building are the foundations and some wall sections. The Church of the Resurrection, as it was known, had miraculously ascended into Heaven. The structure was intact when last seen in July, but thieves must have dismantled it brick by brick after emptying its interior contents religiously. By October, the Church had vanished.

Investigations will not reveal what was done or who took part in it, perhaps because all of the villagers have benefitted from its disappearance. No one is claiming any miraculous act of God about the now invisible Church, and all villagers could be solemnly praying that attention is drawn away from them and their village to ease whatever guilt they might have. The incident could be another unsolved crime as far as authorities are concerned. They are not hopeful that the Church would Resurrect in the same place or in other locations anytime in the future; but could appear in bits and parts in areas where the market for these items are faithfully sold, miraculously presented, and spiritually priced. These have always been prized items that brought citizens closer to the Church, and which has proven the power of the motto "In God We Trust" - for their survival and well being.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Practice of Promoting a Pleasure Paradise

If promoting hedonism in its most basic form is an excellent idea for combating the credit crunch and global recession, people will enjoy the pursuit of pleasure even if they're penniless. The question of how man can live in pleasure if he is without means can be achieved by enjoying life in abject poverty - it's one of the few things money can't buy and free for all to experience. As insane as this may sound, this is the same logic being promoted by a resort in North Queensland, Australia. The nudist resort is heralding a month long "anything goes party" in March 2009, to combat the current financial difficulties.

The White Cockatoo in Mossman is not to be confused as a place for whites only, regardless of its name. Cockatoo is a parrot specie, not a crotch appendage. Resort owner Tony Fox has lifted the three year ban on partner swapping "because tough times call for stiff measures". This obviously intended pun is perhaps part of his promotional practice. Yet the nudist paradise has been deluged with inquiries from couples who would like to escape from the harsh realities they face with nothing but their bare essentials and the basest of intentions. It may well be a release of tension by indulging the ups and downs of carefree living and pursuing the ins and outs of pleasure seeking - performed with a stiff standing capital and pushing ambition - even if the only results would be fatigue, jealousies, broken unions, unwanted pregnancies, dreaded diseases, and an exposure of their shortcomings.

Cairns Mayor Val Schier was not opposed to the month long feast for as long as "it is between consenting adults". Assuming they come with their real wives or husbands, both consenting to break their vows to each other, this alone is anathema to continue being married. And what of the partner others bring along, are these safe alternatives? Even while they have the opportunity to scan the menu with their naked eyes (not the only thing undressed though), the old adage of the "proof of the pudding is in the eating" can be a dangerous threat to healthy living. The irony is that these people profess to seek pleasure yet enjoy no real lasting satisfaction out of it. The concept is pathetically flawed. And so are the hedonists.

Misplaced concerns were aired by Cairns Bishop James Foley (very close to Folly) about the code of moral behavior of people going to the feast. There is absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of moral code...they haven't got any.

Haaaarrrrrrwwwk...Twoooooooooph Ting!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Performance for a Presidency in Peril

Barack Obama's triumph was favored by history. The conditions that emerged at the precise point of his arrival and the sentiment of the youth long jaded by their disdain for politicians, joined by the more enlightened older citizens who risked the familiar standards for leaders, to invest in hope; have ushered him into the limelight of the global stage. His success or failure will determine whether or not a non-white will ever again be elected President of the United States. The times called for a historic moment, but the moment will come when it is time for his performance to be judged by history. And therein lies the peril.

Today, he is a symbol of change, but transforming the symbol into more concrete and meaningful terms for a deeply divided society after a bitterly fought contest remains vague. Its timetable indefinite. Other sectors of American society have, like the African Americans, also experienced discrimination - perhaps not as extensive as the slavery and persecution of the other half of his race - but substantially significant. All these sectors have high expectations that his call for unity of all classes and races, genders and faiths will translate into a rebirth of American society that will afford them the equality that has long eluded them.

Mr. Obama's promised tax cut to 95% of Americans, access to better health care for over 45 million citizens, a huge number of teachers provided with better salaries to improve the school system, are all money draining efforts that go on top of a budget deficit of around $500 billion and a national debt that could breach the $11 trillion mark. Foreign policy is a defining area for any President, and here he will be faced with two wars that cannot be won conventionally nor ended definitely. Both wars burden the economy, yet he must fulfill the Afghanistan promise of an end to the conflict that has already spread to its ambivalent Pakistan ally. He must also mind the nuclear ambitions of Iran and seek a withdrawal from Iraq without unduly enhancing Iranian influence in the region. A task that requires the strength of Hercules and the wisdom of Solomon.

There are, however, two elements that could tide him over - the goodwill that he generated worldwide and his masterful eloquence in communication. How far that goodwill will take him by way of getting the international community to support his initiatives may be dependent on trade-offs he may have to negotiate. Whether these trade-offs would be acceptable to a yet divided but watchful nation deserves serious consideration. He will then have to use his gift for communication - especially when events turn dark, promises are deferred, or doubts persist - to synthesize situations and extract its essence; and to outline the country's directions to overcome any obstacle in its path to a just and humane society. He will need all the graceful eloquence of his words to uplift the spirit of a nation broken by the unconscionable acts of the high and mighty.

For President Obama, failure is a gargantuan luxury, and there will always be those lurking behind dark intentions to see that success is kept at a distance, while scandal is a breath away. It would seem that an African American holding a powerful position would safely deliver all other ethnic groups on the road to equality. This is an illusion at worst and wishful thinking at best, for it will be a Presidency that will perform in constant peril. If not from the enemies of America, it will be from the enemies of hope and change.


Thursday, November 6, 2008


Jenaisle of Gewgaw Writings is collecting "Inspirational Stories from Bloggers All Over the World", which she will publish in a book of the same title. Bloggers interested in joining, or having their articles/posts included, may visit her site to submit their stories.

The book is scheduled for publication on August 2009. The site provides a generous incentive for articles/posts submitted and accepted. She also posts each of the accepted stories.

For the past week, Gewgaw Writings has posted the Spitting Vessel's story published last May 2008 for Mother's day. The post title is "Memories for my Mother".