Sunday, May 20, 2012


My husband is in Business school right now. Upon hearing about Prop 29 I wanted to get involved somehow. And he had just read this paradox in his studies. He shared it with me and that night I started this blog.

The Stockdale paradox received it's name from a Jim Stockdale who was a US military officer in the Vietnam war. He was held captive for eight years. One can only imagine the intense torture Stockdale underwent as a prisoner of war. During that eight years he watched his fellow comrades cling to hope as a way to escape their pain. He noted that the most optimistic POW's died. It is said, "...they died of a broken heart."

The optimists failed to look reality in the face. They couldn't handle the reality. However, Stockdale saw the reality he faced on daily (hourly?) basis and worked to do something about it. He "...he stepped up and did everything he could to lift the morale and prolong the lives of his fellow prisoners. He created a tapping code so they could communicate with each other. He developed a milestone system that helped them deal with torture. And he sent intelligence information to his wife, hidden in the seemingly innocent letters he wrote."


How can the Stockdale paradox be likened to Yes on 29? Any effort to raise the tax on cigarettes has failed the past fourteen times on California ballot initiatives. I have not done anything to change that. I figured it was time. It is a reality I have faced the past three months that this might not pass. I am not overly optimistic that it will pass this time. But, here is to hoping. Hoping that what I have been doing will make a dent in an effort to create change.

Yes on 29. Yes on 29. Please share it: Yes on 29 come June 5th!

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