January 20th was truly a day of incredible change for America. Finally, we have a leader whose face is a true representation of the face of America – the WASP image fading and in its place; a richer, more vibrant tapestry was slowly taking shape.
America is a vivid and diverse tapestry, but our leaders have not been a true reflection of that diversity. President Obama has been working on revealing the lush image in an amazingly and incredibly intelligent way. At long last, we have a Hispanic selection for the nation’s highest court, one that Mr. Obama described as a candidate with empathy for “people’s hopes and struggles.”
Empathy in a justice, what a novel idea.
I am more than impressed with her and him!
I would say that the naysayers would have a tough time taking her down.
I have a feeling she well knows how to rise above the fray, with her eyes fixed on the prize nothing could get in her way.
Let the Republicans cry foul, I think you more than measure up, Sonia Sotomayor!
So, Gentle Reader – I Sotomayor, do you?
On a side note, I have done some remodeling here at Casa Del KatKnits; there may be more so stay tuned!
Who is excited besides me that there our President gave the commencement speech at Notre Dame last week?
Well, I am off the charts excited for a number of reasons!
No, I have not become a closet Notre Dame fan – but, I amutterly enamored of our President and the calm confidence that emanates from him and surrounds him like an aura.
There in the audience were protesters – yes, in the audience.
No government officials had relegated them to a “sanctioned site” some dozen blocks away.
They were there, in the building.
Moreover, our President handled them with gracious confidence.
Democracy in action… just a few miles south of my house.
It almost makes me giddy!
Last week was a banner week – not only were there protesters, our President actually mentioned Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers. In a sentence that actually made sense! In the 8 years of the Bush Presidency, I do not believe I heard him mention the civil unrest there once.
It is refreshing to have someone in office that cares about what is going on in the world around him.
Adding to all this excitement are what have been a month of “lasts” for my household – as in Heidi’s last classes, Heidi’s last concert, and Heidi’s last day of school – a momentous week to be sure. I have been unexpectedly melancholy about her graduating. I have shed a tear or two, vacillating between wanting to wring her neck and wishing she was just starting high school. Fortunately, the feelings of wishing she was just starting high school have been winning – so she will live to graduate on June 1st!
In addition, there was knitting…in case you were all wondering. FLS is off the needles and on the body and I love it! Pictures coming soon, I promise! I would knit this again! It is the perfect sweater!
This just might become the Summer of Sweaters – I am breezing along with my other summer sweater. Sleeves soon to be cast on…
Also, just to keep things interesting, I have cast on Indigo Ripples II – I have about 3 inches and knitting! Last time, silky wool, this time a little denim-y number!
All this in a week with overtime! Okay – So just, do not expect a well dusted home… seriously.
Anyway, I am off to bed – have a good holiday weekend all!
I have had several quite startling conversations with people recently about some topics that on the surface seem to have nothing to do with each other, however it could be that they are indeed, more closely linked than one would imagine.
Therefore, I ask you, Gentle Reader, where you fall in the following topics. I am seriously interested in your responses.
Why? Because, someone told that I represent a minority in my beliefs and I find that incomprehensible. Not from the standpoint that my belief is in the minority, because seriously – I often find myself in the minority. Rather because it seems to me there is an obvious right and wrong.
It all began over breakfast with a friend a couple of weeks ago, when she mentioned the termination of Rick Wagoner and included the word Dictatorship in the same sentence. Curious phrasing, to be sure, and I tried to joke that I did not believe that we woke up in Cuba. She did not laugh.
She went on to express her extreme dislike with what President Obama is proposing with his national health care plan. She went on to lament that any form of a nationalized health care plan would equate itself to no care, like our poor neighbors in the world for whom the government controls health care.
At this point, for me the conversation became heated.
I pulled out my soapbox, climbed to the top, and shared with her my thoughts on health care…
What we have is not working.
At least it is not working for the majority of us.
I have been saddened to see more “self-pay” patients who are coming to the hospital much sicker, requiring hospitalization and treatments that are more rigorous. This has become such a problem, at least for the hospital that I work for that they recently started a new initiative just to encompass the people who find themselves without any health care at all. I am not sure how many other hospitals are doing this, but I can tell you that I am proud to work for an organization that is taking steps to help the people who live in West Michigan! If you are interested in reading about the details of MetroCare, you can find the link here.
Lastly, on the Torture Debate that seems to be everywhere you go. I heard this report on NPR. When I brought it up to discuss with a friend, he shocked me with his statement that my beliefs were in the minority and that a majority of my fellow Americans think there is nothing wrong with torturing another human being. Yeah, if that does not depress you, I do not know what does.
I guess you can just call me a dictator-loving socialist who would not hurt a flea, much less another person!
I am just looking for a kinder gentler world, really…much kinder and miles gentler.
On a lighter note, I took a weaving class from the amazing and incredible Jane Patrick of Schacht Spindle Co. fame… she is a great teacher and add to that the opportunity to spend the weekend at Beth’s shop and you have the ingredients for a most remarkable weekend. I learned volumes. All I have to say is that what happens in Mecca stays in Mecca… however; the look on Lousmith’s face when I paid him a dollar was worth the price of admission!
Spring has been quietly arriving here in West Michigan and it is more than welcome. I leave you with a shot from the Crab Apple tree in my front yard!
Do not forget to share your thoughts on health care and torture; I am eagerly awaiting your input to this ongoing debate!
I have been closely following the taxpayer bailout of A.I.G, as you all have more than likely been doing also, and I have been stunned with each new turn of events.
Okay, truth be told, I have been more than stunned – outraged might be a better word.
Being a hard working, taxpaying citizen, who with my fellow Americans has become an unwilling co-owner in A.I.G. ; the recent news has me more than a bit confused with the idea that there is a reward for failure!
I do not know about you all, but in any review of my work performance, not once have I been rewarded for failure, and most certainly would never expect to receive compensation for putting my company in financial jeopardy, nor would anyone with an ounce of common sense! Yet, it seems that this is exactly what is happening. Moreover, beyond that, a clamor has gone up that there is a contract to pay, so pay we must, it seems.
Yes, that is right, there are, evidently, contracts that state bonuses are due even if the employee looses billions of dollars and pushes their employer over the edge of financial responsibility, causing a federal bailout to keep them afloat.
I mean really, do they expect us to believe that?
What I would really like to know is why these people are still employed and are still drawing salaries, much less getting bonuses – some of which were in the neighborhood of $3 million dollars! I do not know about you, but from my perspective $165M is a hell of a lot of money and that is what A.I.G. paid out thanks to the taxpayer. Although, a reporter from the New York Times pointed out on the Today Show this morning that the majority of the payouts did not exceed $1,000.00.
I suppose that to someone earning upwards of $500K, a thousand dollars is chump change.
Maybe that is chump change for some, but I would hazard a guess that for the majority of American’s a thousand dollars would indeed be a windfall.
It appears to me that there is such a vast divide between the “haves and the have not’s” today that they have put themselves in a bubble and have been floating around in something that does not even resemble reality and frankly is more like Peter Pan’s Never, Never Land.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo wants to shame these wastrel’s into giving the funds back and President Obama is up in arms and wants the contracts torn up – okay, good ideas, but it is a bit like closing the barn door after all the horses have gotten out. There is clamoring from the legislature to put a new law on the books to prevent this from happening, another idea with some merit but it seems a day late and several billion dollars short, if you ask me!
I do not know about you, but it seems to be that if one looks at this from a moral and ethical standpoint no bonus payout ever would have happened. Yet how do you get a group of people who obviously do not have morals or ethics to give them back or even to admit that they are the least deserving of any bonus compensation? A group of people who have obviously not given one thought at all about a contract that probably required them to be fiscally responsible for their employer or the shareholders, so tearing up a contract that has no value at all is likewise meaningless. Similarly, the legislature of morality and ethical behavior seems futile.
Once again, with the taxpayer held over a barrel in a damned if we do, damned if we don’t predicament it appears we have few choices.
It seems to me that when one is dealing with someone for whom reality does not exist would be t0 approach the situation from his or her level. In that vein, we should consider asking Tinkerbell to transport them all from Never, Never Land for a visit with Alice in Wonderland where I will gladly play role of the Queen of Heart’s and bring back the guillotine where off with their heads will be the agenda for the day!
In addition, if A.I.G. is concerned about how to replace the casualties they need look no farther than the ranks of the unemployed which I believe contains a multitude of worthy candidates!
Several weeks ago a new reader commented on one of my posts. She ws so eloquent and spoke so directly to my heart, I emailed her and asked her if she would not mind writing a post for my blog. I am humbled that she agreed, and so proud to present her to you now.
First, a bit of information about her:
Her name is Sharon McMillan and she blogs at New Urban Mom and she is also on Plurk, again as New Urban Mom. I would encourage you to add her blog to your blog reader, and friend her on Plurk.
And, without further adieu, I give you her brilliant thoughts:
I know “photo ops” are part of the political process and we really shouldn’t read too much into them, but I was really encouraged to see President Bush welcoming President-elect Obama into the White House during a visit this past week.
Beyond the historical significance, I couldn’t help but to feel I’m living in a new and promising age as I heard President Bush expressing his support for President-elect Obama. The global financial crisis and its pinch on the U.S. economy would have a lot to do with the “spirit of cooperation” in Washington and around the world, but nonetheless it’s refreshing to see…and feel.
Yesterday I listened to President-elect Obama speak about the need for a new spirit of service and sacrifice among Americans during his first weekly online address and I thought I’ve got to do my part–now. Our leaders are attempting to show such a degree of cooperation and clear sighted dedication to dealing with this problem that I think we can with confidence follow their suit.
Like many of you, I have family and friends that will be affected by a collapse in the auto sector – in fact we’ll likely all be affected if that happens. I worry about the impact that a uncertain economy will have on our schools – especially in those communities that can least afford any more cuts in education.
So instead of holding my head in panic, I decided that we need to do something. My particular focus is in helping to keep communities vital and attractive to new residents and businesses—primarily because I’m a strong school advocate and schools need revenues that our businesses and residents can bring. Here’s what our family is doing:
Investing in our community – and that includes everything from choosing colleges close to home to vacationing and shopping locally.
Instead of buying clothing or gadgets that our kids don’t really need for Christmas, we’re going to support a home-grown, community resource that brings joy to residents and attracts business and support for the struggling city of Cleveland – we’re going to purchase Cleveland Orchestra tickets and take our family there for a Christmas gift we’ll enjoy in so many ways.
We’re purchasing regionally manufactured clothing, toys and as many food items as we can for a local family in need (something we do every Holiday Season).
There is probably so many other things that we can do to help our communities through this period. If you have ideas about helping local economies across the country, please share.
All through this election season, the words of Martin Luther King Jr. have been echoing in my head. I asked myself repeatedly, had we finally gotten to the point that we could judge a man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin? I wondered if my fellow American’s were seeing what I saw as the days of campaigning trudged on before us, a person who was literate, well-spoken, and insightful.
Imagine my surprise at an email I received this morning in which Michael Moore eloquently wrote that while racism is not gone from America, it is no longer the majority, and in my lifetime, I will see their flame of hatred extinguished.
Those are powerful words to be sure, Gentle Reader, very powerful words.
I would like to shake the media, however, as they seem so focused on race this morning on every media outlet, NPR included. If the media would have their way, we all will stay focused on the visual differences that create barriers rather than seeing with our hearts and minds.
I in no way mean to diminish the power of Mr. Obama’s incredible victory, in fact, just the opposite. I believe that by removing racial differences it makes his win even more incredible!
I watched with indescribable joy his acceptance speech in Grant Park last night and was in awe at the sea of diversity in the people that were there to share in his win!
I will leave you with MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech… yes, almost 18 minutes of it.
I am off to roll up my sleeves and get to work with Mr. Obama in ‘making every valley exalted, making mountains and hills low: the crooked straight and the rough places plain’.