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For the past year, I've entombed myself in news shows and documentaries, debates and opinion polls, in an attempt to remain well-informed on the latest fiascos of government. Perhaps, I need to give up the continual analyzing by pundits searching for ratings and keep my eye on the road ahead? In my journalistic endeavors, I've attempted to remain somewhat impartial, often failing miserably, and presenting thought food more than absolutes. I doubt if there is such a thing as absolutes in these ongoing political productions other than the absolute of confusion, partisanship, and beating one's head against a wall if one attempts to change the status quo. Depending on where one resides in the economic fabric of things, the changing of the status quo can be a bad, as well as, a good thing.

The rhetoric for or against tax cuts or tax increases, for example, is based wholly on where the speaker resides in the fabric. Those of more wealthy status are against tax cuts that hurt them and help the working folk. What good is a decrease in capital gains taxes going to do for those of us who have no capital gains? What good is a decrease in taxes to small business going to do if they have no customers? Yet, we the consumers tend to be taken in by the carefully structured language of those who are so chagrined at the spending proposals of our new president and the increasing of the Federal debt they will require. Suddenly, borrowing from China is no longer acceptable! Why no mortification at our borrowing practices when it fed their own coffers in the pre-emptive wars and no-bid contracts awarded their buddies? Why no annoyance when the TARP money was dumped into Wall Street with no oversight? Now, that oversight is guaranteed, regulations are to be put in place, and results scrutinized, it's suddenly a bad thing? Why are tax cuts to 95% of the people who buy the products bad, but tax increase to those making millions bad, too? I don't understand that premise.

As most of you, I listened carefully to the "Joint Congressional" message from the president on Tuesday evening.  It was a welcome relief to have an intelligent and articulate leader for a change. His confidence in us, the people, is refreshing. His insisting on personal responsibility, a boon. The prioritizing of needed programs that do affect the overall economy like energy independence, healthcare costs, and a strong financial framework, logical. The openness and accessibility promised to the people to the government activities and the White House, unheard of! For this out reach, he does deserve our patience, support, and trust until proven otherwise. I suspect this is why his polls and approval ratings remain high, even with some that didn't cast their vote for him.  

I'm personally comforted by the interest shown by the women that come here to Fabulously 40 and Beyond. I've witnessed and read many titillating blogs and discussions among you, taken part in a few myself when time permitted. They were all given in respect and mindfulness of each other and the issues. That is what debate is supposed to be about, not as a whipping post for those that may hold different opinions or understandings. Not as a platform for fear and sensationalism and out of context assumptions. Debate is supposed to be a tool in the learning process, an opening of the mind to consideration of new ideas and thoughts. The women here apply that well. My kudos to all of you.

I'd like to congratulate Yana Berlin on her amazing feat in bringing this website together and connecting so many worthy folks. She’s invested a huge amount of time and money and dedication. I've enjoying being a small part of it with a column and private messages. Unfortunately, my writing schedule does not allow time for joining various groups and forums in a Premium Membership capacity, but as long as Yana extends me the column space on the home page, I'll attempt to continue to provide you all with some thought food and topics for your groups to discuss in-depth. Perhaps, some occasional humor.  

Years ago, I took part in Spiritual and Philosophical forums on Yahoo and I treasure the experience. I was fortunate enough to make friends that have since turned into real life visits and traveling and closeness. In fact, my son, and now daughter-in-law, met and eventually married as a result of that forum. Yana has provided such a base right here on Fab 40. Life time friendships are about to ensue, my friends. Treasure them.  

Susan Haley, Author

**Susan Haley is the published author of two books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, a contract copy editor, and book reviewer for AME Marketing. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, of which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work to various E-zines, newsletters and local papers, and presents editing workshops at Writers Conferences. Her third book, "Songs of the Soul", will be released this fall.


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