Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 7-14, a very big news week, indeed . . .

It began with Labor Day. To be sure, the week felt markedly like a transitional one. During the week President Obama spent a great deal of time at the podium, making a number of very significant speeches. NASA watched over its STS-128 mission and released a number of spectacular images on Wednesday from the newly refurbished Hubble telescope. On Friday, the anniversary of 9/11/01, the President and First Lady spent time giving service to the community, as did thousands of people across the nation marking a National Day of Service. The week's news was full of stories about the politics of health care reform in a Congress now back to work, opinion about the growing divide amongst the electorate, and uneasy reports about the future of the war in Afghanistan, as well as the future of the U.S. space program.

What has changed, if anything? There is a bigger divide between members of the two major parties, evident in the behavior of Republicans during the President's speech Wednesday evening to a joint session of Congress. There seems to be growing opposition among many Americans, as well as rank and file Democrats, to the war in Afghanistan and its climbing casualty figures. This may have caused President Obama to say in his 9/11 speech at the Pentagon that he does not want Americans to forget the true nature of al-Qaeda, reports Scott Wilson of the Washington Post.

Opposition to health care reform has now grown to the point that organizers were able to stage a 9/12 march on Washington. Tens of thousands (according to the Washington Post estimate) of a loosely organized coalition of conservative "tea party" protesters marched on the nation's capitol Saturday. Jeff Zeleny of the NYT, summarized the tone:

Their anger stretched well beyond the health care legislation moving through Congress, with shouts of support for gun rights, lower taxes and a smaller government. But as they sang verse after verse of patriotic hymns like “God Bless America,” sharp words of profane and political criticism were aimed at Mr. Obama and Congress.

At the same time a crowd of over 10,000 people came to enthusiastically stand and cheer at President Obama's health care rally at Minneapolis' Target arena. The President told the crowd that now is the time for action and warned against the scare tactics being employed by the opposition, reports Reuters.

What has stayed the same? A year later, little has changed on Wall Street, according to the New York Times' Alex Berenson. Big banks have not really restructured, financial stocks are on the rise, complex derivatives remain in play, few hedge funds have closed and executives are still pulling down huge bonuses. For instance, "30,000 Goldman Sachs employees will earn an average of $70,000 this year." Worst of all the Obama administration's proposed regulatory changes have gone nowhere in Congress. And the passage of time decreases the chances of significant crisis-driven reform.

The space shuttle Discovery completed another highly successful mission to resupply the International Space Station Friday, landing safely at Edwards AFB in California after battling bad weather in Florida for a couple of days. To quote Reuters:

Discovery had carried more than 7.5 tons of food, laboratory equipment, science experiments, spare parts, a new treadmill and crew quarters for the space station. The outpost is a $100 billion project involving 16 nations, which is nearing completion after more than a decade of construction.

NASA is turning over crew transport to the station to Russia, at a cost of about $50 million per seat, as it begins phasing out the shuttle. The space agency is also considering hiring U.S. commercial firms to ferry its astronauts. . . NASA has six flights remaining to finish outfitting the station and then plans to move on with development of a capsule and rocket that could ferry crews to the moon. Barack Obama considers the results of a study that has determined NASA's lunar ambitions exceed its budget by about $3 billion a year.

What could change -- "Humans aren't going to Mars -- or anywhere else -- without more money," is the story from Wired-Science (9/8/09). Another headline, "Panel’s report threatens NASA’s mission," comes from The Hill (9/10/09) via Twitter. The article opens:

A report suggesting that NASA’s space travel goals are too ambitious for its budget is imperiling efforts by Florida and Texas lawmakers to win more money for the agency’s budget.

"The full Final Report is still being prepared and will be released when complete" is also via Twitter from NASA_HSF, the U.S Human Space Flight Committee. Look for it to be released in early October.

What will not change is the mainstream media's fascination with conflict, with who is winning or losing, or with the latest little dust up of the day. Too many have the mistaken idea that any old lie is merely the viewpoint of the opposition. So we get precious little journalistic analysis of the really important issues. The President seems to have regained his stride, but the right wing crazies are redoubling their efforts to keep him and the Democrats off stride. Congress has its hands full with health care reform and has no time for financial regulatory reform, nor perhaps the stomach for it.

What everybody needs is a day off to catch their breath. How about today? It has been a big week.

Posted via email from Southwest Postings


Spadoman said...

Stopped by to see what you've been up to. Your report conjures up the old saying, "Same s**t, different day"

Not your fault at all. Just a failed system powered by greed.


Carol Gee said...

Thanks for stopping in, my friend. Sorry the news is bad. As an antidote I am returning this blog to purely "Making Good Mondays"-type posts. I am feeling like a bit of more personal writing is in order here. What do you think?


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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.