Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 165

On Politics
It was interesting to discover that some members of the House of Representatives have sued the Senate over their filibuster rules. I believe a court heard the case earlier this week. Here are two resources: Politico and the plaintiff’s blog.

As some in Congress want to pass the fiscal cliff responsibility to the next Congress, I ask, What about all the time you wasted in 2012?

Many of the cranks want to blame the fiscal cliff on President Obama; yet the Constitution clearly states that fiscal matters  are Congress’ responsibility.

Here’s an interesting article about the fiscal cliff and the debt limit from an economist I enjoy reading.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) resigned to lead the Heritage Foundation. Good riddins’.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • 15-year-old trailer park duchess announces pregnancy
  • Apple promises to fix glitches in map software by rearranging Earth’s geography
  • Recent Powerball winner already divorced, bankrupt
  • Congress arrested on manslaughter charges
  • UN agency says 2012 celebrities hottest on record
  • Pope tweets picture of self with God

Special thanks to two readers who submitted some of their Onion-esque headlines on Wednesday.

  • Curmudgeon-at-Large for combining two: Obese salmon did not see Mark Walberg’s sex change coming
  • Mobius for one from a reference later in this post: Scientist steals Pat Robertson’s Children after big fight

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
An Addendum: Take time today to remember 71 years ago – Pearl Harbor.

Stats Review: November 2012 closed as the fifth best month; plus last week was   strong.

Thursday’s birthday celebration for El Guapo was a lot of fun … and my first time participating in a big event. More importantly, I’m confident that he had a lot of fun.

I’m due to change my header here, so I’m in the planning stage.

This week I watched a fantastic 2010 edition of NOVA (PBS): Hunting the Edge of Space: The Ever Expanding Universe. Images from the Hubble telescope capture my attention.

I’ve criticized Rev. Pat Robertson on more than one occasion. After all, he makes it easy to do. However, this comment surprised me. Thanks Mobius!

The handbell choir plays again this Sunday, so here’s an audio to the brisk Jig on Morning Song. Enjoy.

A Saturday morning classic cartoon post returns this week.

Let’s go into the weekend with by saluting the life of a jazz legend that passed away this week, Dave Brubeck Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Free Will

Acts of God are acts of God. From time to time there are going to be things that can’t be prevented. (Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) regarding the gulf oil spill)

There are those who believe that the recent earthquake and hurricane along the US’s east coast is God’s sign that he disapproves Democrats in Washington. Then again, do the same people believe that the fires in Texas are God’s way of warning Americans about Texas Governor Rick Perry? At least he is out of the 2012 picture.

Last year I wrote this post about the burning of a large Jesus statue near Cincinnati. A friend of mine told me that it was God’s way of showing his disapproval of the statue; so, I respond of saying that is God’s way of wanting a newer and bigger statue. Of course, I could add numerous Rev. Pat Robertson examples to the above, but I will spare my readers. Interestingly, all this leads to the concept of free will.

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, Adam and Eve would be one of the first examples of free will in the Bible and Torah by demonstrating their free will by rejecting God’s will. To me, Adam represents all of humanity because of the free will we possess.

Life involving making choice – and no matter our choice – that choice leads to other choices. Regardless if the relationship is with a spouse, friend, neighbor, family member, co-worker, managers, or stranger, our individual choices affect our relationships. No matter the relationship, every choice one makes leads one makes leads them toward or closer to that personal entity.

For those of us believing in God, each choice we make leads us toward or away from God. Sure God has a preference, but we have a choice. However, no matter our choices, we still sin, we remain selfish, people die, and some do horrible acts on humanity.

As God gives us a gift of choice our own path, free will has consequences because the greatest freedom also leads us to unacceptable behaviors as abuse, murder, greed, deceit, evil, hate, and others lead to suffering. Free will is a gift, an opportunity, and a curse – thus how each of use it is a matter of individual choice.

God’s free will gift also extends to nature and the universe for they operate within the parameters natural laws. As with human behavior, this free also leads to abuse and suffering – such as, natural disasters, diseases, genetic disorders, and handicaps to name a few. Although the natural laws are not the same as human behavior, the natural world’s free will allows it to operate with ever-changing forces that work to maintain a steady state with benefits and consequences. Yet, Pat Robertson wants to use natural disasters as a way of God punishing people.

Human creations are subject to disasters as Exxon’s Valdez, Union Carbide’s Bhopal, coal mine explosions, and post-tsunami meltdowns of a nuclear reactor. Yet, Gov. Perry refers to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as an act of God that can’t be prevented.

Each of our lives are not pre-programmed with dates of birth and death, family information, interests, occupations, locations, and events; nor is God playing out the natural world as a video game. Just something to think about the next time someone makes a statement about God’s involvement in a natural disaster, a horrible highway accident, or a personal illness.

Other posts done here about free will:

On Stay Out of the News

The news is full of people. First, everyone not only has their preference of news channels, news watchers also have their favorite broadcasters. On the other hand, think about the people in the news. The news is full of the rich, the famous, obnoxious politicians, arrogant athletes, and village idiots; then sprinkled with good Samaritans and the needy.

I am not a fan of Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) or Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), but they maintain positions that are in the news. Although I cannot stand to hear either of them, both are news worthy.

On this post, I ask this question: Who are the people in the news that you wish would go away? No wish of ill or harm, just get out of the news!

Here is my list, so who are yours?

Tiger Woods – I play golf; enjoy watching golf, and a Tiger fan. Because he made bad decisions, his personal life has its share of struggles. Given all the problems in this country and in the world, I wish he would be out of the news – well, at least until he returns to golf.

Pat Robertson – The man simply has the propensity of saying stupid things at the wrong time.

Rosie O’Donnell – Oh please, not her again.

Rush Limbaugh – He can say all he wants on his radio show because I do not listen. I even wished him well during his health issue. Otherwise, stay out of the news!

John Edwards – Currently, the undisputed #1!

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 48

On Haiti
Thoughts and prayers go to those suffering from the recent earthquake. It’s tough to imagine how such a poor country copes from such devastation. I encourage everyone to donate to the charity of your choice to help with the relief effort.

As for Pat Robertson’s comment, the one thing I find more troubling than the comment of one man is that there are so many people believing the same thing.

On the Bank Loans
The banks are unquestionably goofy and losing the trust of many. Although (in principle) I supported the bailout because the financial system is the foundation for so much in our life, the too many in the banking sector have abused the system. Yes, some banks voluntarily paid back the money, but I support President Obama’s claim that the people deserve payback of every dime. Well, plus interest! Of course getting Washington to call in their marker is another story.

On More Sex
CNN’s health specialist, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reported last weekend about the benefits of sex that the Journal of Sexual Medicine recently published. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the actual report. In its place, here are several links: a different CNN videoa CNN article, and an article from WebMD.

On the American Girth
As a whole, we Americans are an obese society – but wait – a recent report says the obesity rate is leveling off. This picture (and accompanying post) is a must see/read. What a hoot!

On My Open Letter
This weekend I hope to submit my open letter to Congressman John Boehner through the Cincinnati Enquirer. The paper printing it will be the first hurdle, and Mr. Boehner answering is another.

On an Different All-American College Football Team
Since the BCS schools typically dominate the All-American roster, here’s an interesting list that excludes the BCS players.

Have a great and safe weekend! Enjoy this short introductory clip from the past. Oh the memories.