Archives for the Month of May 2009 on Through the Magnifying Glass

Supervisor Asks Woman To Take Down American Flag

Is it okay to show your patriotism at the office?

For one Arlington woman, the answer was "no" after she hung an American flag in her office just before the Memorial Day weekend.

Debbie McLucas is one of four hospital supervisors at Kindred Hospital in Mansfield. Last week, she hung a three-by-five foot American flag in the office she shares with the other supervisors.

When McLucas came to work Friday, her boss told her another supervisor had found her flag offensive. "I was just totally speechless. I was like, 'You're kidding me,'" McLucas said.

Link

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Memorial Day is an important event to remember by everyone. I question the reasoning on the supervisor who was offended by the flag.

Being told that a flag pole outside of the hospital is sufficient enough is ridiculous. I wonder if a patient who wanted an American flag in his/her hospital room would get denied.

In my office, there are American flags everywhere, and we even got a huge one mounted on the wall on our trading floor.

Record-breaking $3.55 Trillion Budget puts us deep in the red

President Barack Obama is seeking $81 billion more in spending on domestic initiatives in his record $3.55 trillion budget plan while calling on Congress to trim $17 billion worth of programs, including raising more tax revenue from the oil and gas industries.

Link

In a 1,360-page document released this morning, Obama proposes abolishing preferential tax treatment for the two industries as part of a package of 121 federal programs the administration wants to eliminate. Doing so would generate about $26 billion over the next decade.

However, his budget fails to address the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid imbalance that will jeopardize our long-term budget outlook.

As of May 5, 2009:

National US Debt is at $11.227 TRILLION DOLLARS!

Obama's $17 billion budget cuts won't likely happen

Obama's promised line-by-line scrub of the federal budget has produced a roster of 121 budget cuts totaling $17 billion -- or about one-half of 1 percent of the $3.4 trillion budget Congress has approved for next year. The details were unveiled Thursday.

Link on cleveland.com

However, the Democratic Congress has already rejected some of those cuts, so it's all going to be just a PR stunt anyways.

It goes to show how hard it is to eliminate a government program after it has been created.

Pressure on Obama to deal with gay issues

President Obama was noticeably silent last month when the Iowa Supreme Court overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

But now Mr. Obama — who has said he opposes same-sex marriage as a Christian but describes himself as a "fierce advocate of equality" for gay men and lesbians — is under pressure to engage on a variety of gay issues that are coming to the fore amid a dizzying pace of social, political, legal and legislative change.

Social issues like same-sex marriage bring together deeply held principles and flashpoint politics, and many gay activists, aware that Mr. Obama is also dealing with enormous challenges at home and overseas, have counseled patience.

More on MSNBC

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It has been past 100 days, and some gay activists are getting impatient with Obama. Do people think Obama can just do a complete 180 on the whole entire populace to accept gay marriage?

Now some are upset with Obama because he did not include any gays or lesbians in his cabinet, and even more upset if Obama does not pick a pro-gay Supreme Court nominee.

What if Obama could not find any good pro-gay candidates? I guess that does not matter. It seems to me just like with any other group, they can put it in a nice shiny press release saying that the Chief of Staff is the first [insert ethnic, religious, sex affiliation] ever to hold the position.

Could it even be said that gay issues may prove to be a conflict point within the Democratic Party? If Mr. Obama reverses on his stance on same-sex marriage, then he alienates the moderates and religious voters in the party. Of course, how can folks be sure that all Democrats are in favor of same-sex marriage? It is more likely that they would openly support same-sex civil unions, but marriage is always the touchy point. Semantics!

Gay issues are obviously a touchy topic to address but it must be done so in a patient way. If you push too hard, it will backfire.

Overreacting: UIC Bans Handshakes at Graduation

University officials at UIC say they came to the decision to skip the traditional handshaking at graduation ceremonies after consulting their medical center staff and infectious diseases specialists. They felt it was the best way to keep their students and faculty safe from the H1N1 virus.

Read more at CBS 2 Chicago web site

With folks saying that H1N1 flu may not be any worse than the regular cold flu and with only 225 confirmed cases across the country (out of approx 300 million), the decision by UIC may seem to be over the top.

Let's do the traditional handshake but put a bottle of purell on the podium.

Is NASA giving up on the moon?

According to USA Today, NASA is changing their mind about building a permanent base on the moon. Instead, they may focus more on sending a manned mission to Mars.

It's still a wonder that in the 21st century, we haven't achieved permanent settlement of the moon and more space stations in orbit. It is now more likely that China or the Europeans may have manned bases on the moon before the United States.

It is advantageous for the US to establish orbital and moon stations in order to reduce energy consumption of longer manned missions. If you build a space infrastructure, you have less fuel requirement.