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Hi girls! estatic

I do hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend last week. I was fortunate enough to be invited to contribute at some events and to write some special columns for the day of Remembrance. Now, we are into June and I can say Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. June 14th is also Flag Day and a day to reflect on our history.

The economic numbers were not as hoped for on Friday. Although still not negative, there were only 54,000 jobs gained out of the 150,000 hoped for. The word is we can thank McDonalds for that! Still, as is par for the course, the two parties immediately went into ‘blame game’ mode. Even that blathering was interspersed with the latest rage, Congressman Anthony Weiner's (DemNY) alleged Twitter exposure in under garments, criminal indictments filed on John Edwards and Sarah Palin's bus trip. Does anyone really care? I look at it all as distraction from what really matters, a horrid lapse in 'need to know' standards.

All the Congress people yapping the loudest now consist of many who had the opportunity to jump all over these problems before they became problems. Amazing how values change depending on what side of the power fence one is standing. These same Republicans that are asking for our vote now said nothing as the problems escalated over the last 25 years. I hope everyone has the opportunity to watch the HBO Film Documentary "Too Big to Fail". I thought of Annie who zeroed in on this question months ago! I shudder to think that we can spend millions on John Edwards's indictment, but none of these CEO's or politicians are behind bars. For most, they are right back to business as usual, bonuses tucked safely in back pockets until it can be safely deposited in Dubai or some place.

I've digressed to politics when my initial intent is  weather and how it applies to politics. In the analysis of the current slow down in economic growth, other than the Japanese tsunami's interrupting the supply lines for Japanese parts, more parts than you want to know, no one addresses the weather. They are all too busy blaming President Obama even though they've nixed every job plan he's put forward. (I can tell you the people of Florida are seething over the Tea Party governor, Rick Scott, turning down funds for high speed rail. That project alone would have created a lot of jobs in this state. The local paper op-eds are on fire and many are comments from people who voted for the man.)

The Gulf of Mexico has yet to even begin to recover from the massive BP oil spill. Now, we worry if another heavy hurricane season as we had in '04 and '05 will bring even more oil on shore. An active season is predicted. The rest of the globe aside, just here in the US we've endured another record cold winter with blizzards that shut even Chicago down! For those Oprah fans out there, that day was the only day in 25 years of her show that they didn’t broadcast. And now, we have a record hot spring. Baltimore soared to 99 degrees in early June! Again, Florida lost a big portion of its citrus and strawberry crop to freeze.

This spring has seen the worst wide-spread flooding, as well as drought, in decades. A paradox or a shared cause? A huge portion of the Mississippi Delta is once again inundated with disaster areas. How can the economies of states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Florida Gulf coast recover and grow?

Then came the tornados! Like bowling balls coming down an alley, they just kept coming. Many states over the US were affected; some places not even prone to tornados! Joplin, Missouri was near leveled. Many other cities are suffering large pockets of destruction. Hundreds of lives have been lost in a wide region of the nation, Oklahoma to Massachusetts! These are just the most visible well-known calamities. Many other storms and high winds have caused damage in communities. All this equates to businesses being closed, funds having to be shifted to clean-up and rebuilding. That means jobs temporarily, at least, lost. Crop damage equals higher food prices not to even mention distribution paying outlandish diesel fuel costs. And all these claims will cause long waits for settlements and the insurance rates to soar.

The next time one wants to ponder the deeper and bigger picture of world calamities, think of weather. For over 30 years, I've been an environmental activist. I preached the devastation we were committing against the planet at Kent State University in the 70’s. I warned that one day we'd pay for humankind's total disregard for rainforests and oceans, the destroying the habitats of other life forms. But we needed more, bigger and better even if it meant invading the very bowels of the earth, and leaving our garbage in outer space. That ‘one day when it would come back to haunt us,’ I do believe, is here.

We've allowed our governments to devolve, as well, in the process. We ravage the earth's surface with our wars and bombs. For thirty years and longer our values have continued to change. Now, it's all about money and power. If we are really honest with ourselves, can anyone in good conscience blame President Obama for unemployment ticking up to 9.1? Or any other one person or political party! We need to go back to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and how he fought to set aside the National Parks after the Spanish American war and then follow our descent from there.  

But for a few years of an economy and a generation that was built on the back of World War II, a necessary war to stop Hitler, we've descended. Although WWII wasn't a war of nation building intent on our part, in my opinion that is when it all began. With the rebuilding of Europe and Japan, the government learned there was power in war and people owing favors. A military industrial complex would create huge profits as well. Care of the earth was forgotten until the warnings of Climate Change began. At first, it was ignored and only the hippy tree-huggers in my generation paid attention. Now, it is buried in the realm of environmental ‘over reaction’ by most.

If nothing else, we can change the way we think. We can resort our priorities. We can vow to at least listen to an opposing opinion or idea. We can check on the elderly in a nursing home who have no family. We can donate a bag of food to the local animal shelter. Adopt a pet if we can afford to care for it properly. We can make an effort to support our president and contribute anything we are able to assist him as he faces almost overpowering challenges. We can take responsibility for what we are capable of doing, regardless how small the effort might seem. Somewhere, another fiber in the life web will thank us. I wish you all the courage to grow wiser, stronger, and survive what may be dealt to us.

I added a new quote to my website this month by William Muir – "When one tugs on one string of nature, one finds that it is attached to the rest of the world"        

Susan Haley, Author

**Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, editing and publishing. She is an award-winning poet, and the copy editor and book reviewer. She writes for Fabulously 40 and Fox and Quill out of San Diego and is the poetry editor for The Infinite Writer. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She is a contributor to a variety of editorials and excerpts of her work can be found in various E-zines, newsletters, and local papers.

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