I've been wondering why Sarah Palin has been such a game changer as she's really a female McCain: anti-abortion, anti-environment, the list goes on. Why would people accept her, flock to her? Then I read this article by George Lakoff and it started to all fall into place. As with Bush, gut feelings are attracting people more than rational thought. It left me wondering: why don't people wake up, look around, think about where we are, how we got here and where we are going, and support the man that has an education, vision and can make change happen? Obama, to me, is the only sane choice. It comes down to education, and the desire to dig into the issues and think about them. I have some friends who staunchly support the McCain/Palin ticket. They also believe Fox News is the only news source worth watching and that Bill O'Reilly speaks Truth. They have two sons in the military and are a very religious family. And they are good people, intelligent, solid and fun to be with, if perhaps a bit fundamentalist for my taste. That's the word: "fundamentalist". In my experience, that often goes with closing down a side of inquiry, of investigation, of searching that may have been difficult until someone came along and provided neat answers that seemed to solve the problems. Unfortunately, that "someone" is often organized religion or the conservative right wing. For me, the true sign of intelligence isn't measured by years in school, degrees or other physical accomplishments. It's an open mind. Another friend of mine saw the Lakoff article and forwarded me this note by Deepak Copra. He contrasts the open mind vs. the shadow self. I'm excited and honored to be working with a company full of open - and expanding - minds working together to create world-class services using free and open source software. I hope that our work - and the work of our clients that we support - will lead to more open minds and better choices, for now and for our children.

Fen Labalme joined CivicActions as an Engineer in 2005.