03 August 2008


I must be an elitist. Who else but an elitist would ignore common sense [and marketing 101] and use a Latin word as the name of a blog, or anything else for that matter -- much less a Latin word in an unusual form whose pronunciation is not obvious? I do not intend this blog only for those who are comfortable with Latin or other "foreign" words: Catholic clergymen, medical professionals, lawyers, or practitioners of classical science or history. However, since this is not a photo or audio blog, it is intended for those who read. So in that respect, it may be elitist.

The truth is that I think arrows are a good symbology. They can indicate position, direction, velocity, momentum, intensity, acceleration, and more. These are the kinds of things I hope this blog will convey as it evolves. Besides that, the word looks like it has something to do with wisdom, as in sage or sagacity, and maybe it does. After all, in anatomy sagittal refers to the structure uniting the two parietal bones of the skull; and the sagittal plane divides the body into right and left: dexter and sinister; yang and yin.

Speaking of yang (light) and yin (dark), and right vs. left brings me to McCain and Obama. Interesting that Obama is maligned by the right as having sinister connections (I will not link McCain to Dexter). Then there is the "elitist" moniker pinned on Barack Obama by those who actually are elitists. Never mind that of the two, John McCain's background is unequivocally elitist compared to Obama's.

It is sad that we have the two best candidates, but not on the same ticket. In my view McCain's top three problems are the Republican Party, his mediocre executive abilities, and his age. His top three strengths are perseverance, tactical agility, and his past. On the other hand, I think that Obama's key strengths are his mass communication ability, strategic vision, and his education both formal and informal. His top problems are the Black community, the Democrat Party, and voter apathy.

Having said that, I must come down on Obama's side. Both McCain and Obama want to be postpartisan, but in my opinion the only way that the U.S. can move beyond the current extreme partisanship is from the bottom up. In order for that to occur, the leader must be able to effectively exhort the citizenry to force their representatives to behave that way. On this count Obama's celebrity should trump McCain's perseverance. As an aside, I had a similar issue with Hillary; e.g. (oops there's Latin slipping in again), she wanted to "work hard every day" with Congress, businesses, unions, and the insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical industries to achieve universal health care as she envisioned it, while Obama wants to get the people to lead their government to make the needed change inevitable.

For leader of the free world, I prefer someone strong on strategy. Great tacticians can be hired, but strategic thinkers are hard to find. Obama has proven himself as an effective executive and excellent manager. Consider the campaign organization he created and administers. Metaphorically, Obama is commanding an aircraft carrier that he built from the ground up, while McCain is still flying around alone in his fighter plane.

McCain's past is so powerful that he cannot conceive the world of the future, whereas Obama is a child of that future.

Then there is literacy - I so want a President that has a vocabulary, can structure a sentence, write a book on his own without a ghostwriter, ... Look at the flawless execution of Obama's recent overseas trip; could the current President have done the same? Could MaCain do it without Liberman on his elbow?

Finally there are the opportunities that only Obama may be able to capture: resetting the world's perception of America, and moving toward making race another sweet ingredient in the American melting pot rather than a bitter pill.

01 August 2008

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If your Latin is rusty (or pig), Sagittarum is the genitive plural form of the Latin word sagitta. Sagitta means arrow, so the English translation of sagittarum would be of the arrows or the arrows' (possessive). Sagitta is also the name of a small constellation that can be seen in late summer in the Northern Hemisphere (as well as in the image in the header of this blog). Follow this link to download a printable version of the simplified star map show below.