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Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Man from Del Monte...he say 'yes'



Those of you who are of a similar age will remember the advertisement for tinned pineapples (or was it oranges?) It figured a man dressed like Colonel Sanders complete with white suit and black southern style tie, who went from fruit farm to fruit farm, on an unending quest for the juiciest oranges or pineapples he could find so that you the consumer would be treated to the best his company could supply.

Unless you've been living in a tent or hiding your light under a bushel for the last two years, it will not have escaped your notice that we now have a new 'yes man' and his name is Barak Obama. He has promised a lot. Here's just a brief list of some of the things he has promised courtesy of http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

No. 1: Increase the capital gains and dividends taxes for higher-income taxpayers
No. 2: Eliminate all oil and gas tax loopholes
No. 3: Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups
No. 4: Extend child tax credits and marriage-penalty fixes
No. 5: Expand the earned income tax credit
No. 8: Include environmental and labor standards in trade agreements
No. 9: Oppose agreements like CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement) unless it has environmental and labor protections
No. 12: Create an international tax haven watch list
No. 24: End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000
No. 26: Implement "Women Owned Business" contracting program
No. 27: Change standards for determining broadband access
No. 38: Repeal the Bush tax cuts for higher incomes

In addition to those above, he has also promised to open dialogue with the remaining so-called 'Axis of Evil' countries like North Korea and Iran, to restore the good name of America that was desecrated under the Bush Administration, and to make greater opportunities available to minority groups.

Can he do all that? It does seem like an insurmountable task, and the weight of expectation is carried heavily upon his broad shoulders. So far, he is enjoying the 'Honeymoon Period' (what was called 'Camelot' during the JFK presidency) and the largely liberal media of the world supports him along with the millions who voted for him up and down America. As that left wing bastion of The Guardian, Polly Toynbee says,

'So here comes the man who says he can. It's an American mystery that this great pool of genius has usually thrown such minnows into the White House. But the monumental present danger has summoned forth a man who promises the intellect, character and power of persuasion to match the hour.'

If there's one central message Obama has brought back to America, it's the concept of hope, that we should 'dare to hope' again. Remember that story you read about when you studied Greek Mythology at school? The one about Pandora's Box?

After Prometheus' theft of the secret of fire, Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create the woman Pandora as part of the punishment for mankind. Pandora had been given a large jar and instruction by Zeus to keep it closed, but she had also been given the gift of curiosity, and ultimately opened it. When she opened it, all of the evils, ills, diseases, and burdensome labor that mankind had not known previously, escaped from the jar, but the one thing that was good that came out of the jar was hope.


Whatever your political persuasion, it's difficult to ignore the tidal wave of optimism and hope that Obama has brought back to the American political system after the disaster that was the Bush years. And undoubtedly, because of that, one can be forgiven for the rampant cynicism that has resulted.


Let's hope that he doesn't become like that movie with Jim Carrey. The story centers on a man who decides to change his life by saying yes to everything that comes his way. "Yes Man" stars Jim Carrey as Carl Allen, a guy whose life is going nowhere - the operative word being "no" - until he signs up for a self-help program based on one simple covenant: say "yes" to everything and anything. Unleashing the power of "YES" begins to transform Carl's life in amazing and unexpected ways, getting him promoted at work and opening the door to a new romance. But his willingness to embrace every opportunity might just become too much of a good thing.

1 comment:

cos67 aka costick67 aka cosine67 said...

Well, Tom

Democracy is not synonymous with fairness. It usually helps a candidate if he's well-connected as Bush was. I'm just amazed that the Republican vote-stealing schtick was called off. Maybe there was a reason. It's just great to see this erudite guy talking real spin-less language. I'd gotten sick of the surreal double-speak of Bush and co.
Of course, you'll be aware that the RW conspiracy theories began the moment that the Republican Chief Justice (whom Obama voted against) flubbed up the oath. Check it out. Good pics on these new items.
Cos67