Irregular Reporting of Societal IssuesSM

"Get your news weakly"SM 4 June 2007

NASA Adopts New Policy Stance

Based on a series of criticisms from organizational experts that began with the Challenger disaster, NASA is widely considered to be critically in need of an organizational overhaul. Last week, NASA administrator Michael Griffin pointed the way toward this new organizational culture with a policy statement establishing the "Sunny Disposition Organization" (SDO). The main theme of the SDO is to look at the bright side of everything, on the time-tested premise that a positive attitude may not solve all problems, but it will irritate enough people to make it worth the effort. Consistent with this change, Griffin told NPR that we should look on the bright side of global warming. NASA also began revisiting the Challenger and Columbia disasters, preferring to refer to them as "mishaps", though critics point out that NASA has merely copied this approach from the Department of Defense.

Griffin insists that the SDO theme is more than mere window dressing and that it extends to all aspects of critical inquiry at NASA. Shoring up this assertion, Griffin has ordered agency-wide SDO-approaches to all critical inquiry, including a reevaluation of the bright side of Hell. A new report commissioned by Griffin notes some positive aspects of Hell, starting with the labor pool. The report notes that all religious traditions that contain a concept of Hell (or its analog) assume that all non-believers are members of the set of souls in Hell, so it is safe to assume that the set of all souls in Hell is inclusive of all souls, making the labor pool in Hell essentially infinite and, obviously, captive. Further, Hell is ripe for industrialization, based on the high availability of sulfur production, which is considered one of the markers for a successfully industrial society, based on its critical nature in batteries, detergents, and the vulcanization of rubber. Importantly, the high sulfur content of Hell also means that it is a relatively fertile, insect-free location. "We have been too quick to write-off Hell as a place of eternal pain, suffering, and damnation", says Griffin, adding, "There are obvious upsides that have yet to be considered. We need to be value neutral in our observations of Hell". Agnostics welcomed the shift at NASA, while decrying the study as a faith-based initiative.


Voters Increasingly Suspicious Of Political Process

Long concerned that Democrats and Republicans offer no distinct political alternatives, many voters see the presidential primary debates as direct proof of the similarity between the parties. "I always suspected that they were really just the same thing, but now I know", said an alert voter in Manchester, adding, "Party platform used to mean something, but the fact that they can just use the same platform night-after-night, really burns me". Election experts are also reportedly quite concerned about the use of the same platform in both debates.

Economists Increasingly Concerned

The global marketplace is a volatile environment, but no sector embodies this truism more than global terrorism. Funding for terrorism can dry up as quickly as a short fuse, leaving radicals without a reliable income source. In many cases, terrorists have been forced to cross international boundaries for their funding needs, as the recently thwarted JFK bombing plot made clear.

In the JFK incident, domestic terrorists found funding off-shore in Guyana. According to economists, this situation represents a significant funding gap. "Home-grown American terrorists playing a game of catch-up, which should have us all concerned", says Harvard economist Seamus O'Sama. Members of Congress quickly reacted to the news. "We cannot tolerate a situation, where American terrorists are forced to seek funding overseas", said a staff member for a leading member of Congress. In particular, experts are concerned that the hands of domestic terrorists will be tied by multi-national funding, which has led to increased pressure for government funding of domestic terrorism. "We have a long tradition of funding extremism around the globe, including Saddam Hussein, the Iranians, and Osama Bin Laden, so we need to take that kind of out-of-the-box thinking and apply it right here at home", said Senator John McCain, on the campaign trail for the Republican presidential nomination.

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© 2006, 2007 Lea Ann Mawler & Stuart Mawler