Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 82

On Two Arizona Hurts
Most Americans are rooting and cheering for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), and the more I learn about her, how could one not.

Another hurt is that of the shooter’s parents. As they understandably stay secluded within their home, the media remains camped on the outside. They must feel a wide range of emotions as shame, rage, shock, bewilderment, and countless other adjectives. Personally, I would like to see three things for them: all media leave, someone close to the tragedy reach out their hand of forgiveness, and hope that they accept those who reach out – and the sooner the better on all counts.

Note: NBC reported that one of the injured went to the parent’s home for grant forgiveness, but he couldn’t get access.

On Mindless Finger Pointing
Sarah Palin is right in saying, “We are better than the mindless finger pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy.” However, is she is capable of mindless finger pointing?

Oh Rush for saying, “What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country.” Are any conservatives out there going to challenge him?

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently sent a letter seeking campaign funds while also mentioning the recent shootings in Arizona and the Republican far right. What were you thinking?

On the Two Speeches
President Obama delivered a magnificent speech Wednesday night in Tucson. Honest, genuine, compassionate, eloquent, realistic, inspirational, graceful, and many more adjectives can describe the speech. Anyone denying so is simply lost wondering adrift in the woods of partisanship.

After the speech, out of curiosity, I tuned to Fox News to hear their comments, which were all positive. Now compare that speech with the video released from Alaska earlier in the day.

Of the Tucson speech, I don’t recall seeing Speaker Boehner (R-OH) or Majority Leader Cantor (R-VA) in the crowd. If that was the case, not a good decision because one of them should have been there.

On an Upcoming Speech
On Tuesday, January 25th, President Obama will deliver the 2011 State of the Union address. Hey members of Capitol Hill. Consider standing and clapping only after Mr. President is introduced and at his conclusion. In between, sit and listen with dignity.

As a side note, I suggested this in a comment on CNN yesterday in a comment to a good letter by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO).

On a PBS Series
Sometime ago I recorded God in America, a 6-hour PBS series about the role religious faith has played in shaping life, politics, and culture in America. Both my wife and I found it to be enjoyable and enlightening. Not only can anyone view each segment online, the series’ website also provides transcripts, interviews, a study guide, and other resources about the topic.

On the BCS Championship
Congratulations to Auburn and their fans for winning the the game, but not the true national championship because there isn’t one to win.

BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock recently said the “old system” is more likely to return than a playoff system. Then so be it! Break up the cartel!

On Rushing Waters
Our thoughts and prayers to those affected by the horrifying waters in Brisbane, Australia and most recently in Brazil. Please consider donating to the International Red Cross or your favorite international relief agency.

On an Approaching Day
Monday is Martin Luther King Day, and these words from Bill Tammeus’s Faith Matter’s blog stuck me: The progress we’ve made as a nation has been by fits and starts and, in the end, has left much unaccomplished. Each of us, no matter our ethnic origin, no doubt has a list of what has been left undone and needs to be tackled. (Source post)

Have a safe weekend.

18 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 82

  1. About “On Rushing Waters” – Don’t forget Sri Lanka, my friend. They had just finished a long and bloody civil war with the Tamil Tigers separatists, and now over 1 MILLION people have fled their homes, meagre as they are. And cast a wary eye Europe’s way, as well. So far there hasn’t been any major flooding, though the Main river in Germany is near overflow. Let’s hope they don’t get too much more snow or melting. And though its’ disaster wasn’t water-related, don’t forget poor Haiti. Over a year has gone by, and much remains to be done. May all these people overcome their tragedies, even as we hope and pray the same for those in Arizona.


  2. And unrelated to any of your topics, but a negative occurrence from this week. The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois has been denied funding for their Tevatron particle accelerator. This now hands America’s leadership in high-energy sub-atomic physics to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern in Europe. While I agree that science should be without nationality or borders, what message does this deliver to the American scientific community? When the EU has no less that 4 of its’ members on life support (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain), they can come up with the money to run their LHC. America has denied its’ scientific community a number of potential discoveries, including the hunt for the Higgs boson which will tie up many loose ends in our understanding of how matter is out together. (“The God particle” was an inside joke, simply meant that it was the final piece in the jigsaw puzzle of sub-atomic particles. Contrary to Dan Brown, physicists are NOT trying to become God!) Yes, this is a pet peeve of mine, having spent time at Fermilab as a student and intern, but this is something everyone should know about. Pity we couldn’t trim those Congressional “freebies” a bit and keep Fermilab in the hunt for 3 more years, but I guess it’s more important to keep our politicians happy than to show our kids that science really matters in life. (Huge Raspberry!)


    • John,
      A lot on this comment. Unfortunately, I’m short on time … but will get to this one over the weekend. Many thanks for sharing.


      • No problem, take your time. As I said, it’s a pet peeve. I loved the time I spent at Fermilab, and have kept track of their progress even through my own personal life-crash. (A weird lifeline, but one nonetheless.) I watched science take a beating under W., and really hoped for something different from Obama. Unfortunately, he has lived down to my lowest expectations. I am not against the LHC at Cern – the more players, the more we (as humans) learn. But I’ve watched industry after industry vanish from our shores to others, and this is one few people know about, but will have a HUGE impact in the future. Medicine, nanotech, spaceflight, even pollution control comes from sub-atomic physics. Here goes another US key industry down the drain. (OK, I will stop preaching now!)


  3. There is not one thing you said that I disagree with, I did the same thing and put on Fox News after the speech, and was pleased to see the comments by them,

    But of course the Looney Tunes on the Morning show Fox and Fiends must have gotten the Memo from Conservative Leader Rush Limbaugh and started the slamming, I did see Beck gave good marks to Obama too, But on the other side and I will say here I lean Left, that Ed Schultz says he will never back off one minute against the right, so to me he is just as bad.

    Bernie Sanders really disappointed me, I also was wondering where The GOP leaders were, That was a lost opportunity for them to show America they are willing to to do what is best for America

    As far as the BCS goes, if they will not go to a 16 team Playoff.
    (it has to be 16 teams to give the Boise States, Utah’s and others a chance) they should go back to the Old Bowl System including bringing back the Southwest Conference
    If the BCS system was around in the early 80s we would never have heard of Miami, Florida State or Penn State as they would be stuck with playing in the GoDaddy Bowl or Beef O Brady Bowl.

    Remember that on Jan 1 1984 Miami was ranked #5 going into the Bowl and came out #1


    • Larry,
      The post-speech analysis at Fox News was Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, and columnist Charles Krauthammer. The first two of more credible journalists than the vile nature of many of their talking heads. Mr. Krauthammer is a conservative columnist at the Washington Post. Here’s good, but most of his columns are too one-sided, thus most I don’t read. But on this night, he praised President Obama without hesitation. Actually, if the Fox panel at that were others, I may not have stuck around to listen.

      On the other hand, I don’t know what they were saying the next day because I know how the morning crew (and others) can be. Keep in mind, I visits to Fox News are infrequent.

      And you are very correct – the unacceptable behaviors are from both sides of the aisle by the politicians, the media, and partisan supporters. Anyone, which ever side they are on, will notice more the words from opponents than those from their own camp. But that does not mean the words travel a one-way street.

      Larry … thanks so much for sharing. Hope all is well.


      • I only know what they said by watching Jon Sterart the next day,
        I am familiar with Charles Krauthammer. also from watching Washington Week on PBS, He does occasionally praise Obama and the Democratic stand, But he also is not afraid to bash the Conservatives rhetoric and lack of compromise.

        The only thing I will watch without getting angry on Fox News is Sheppard Smith who pretty much just does news and will criticize the GOP as he did when he bashed Jim Bunning on his stalling Unemployment extension and more recently ridiculing Tom Colburn stalling the 9/11 Health Care Bill.


        • Larry,
          Thanks for about Sheppard Smith b/c I don’t know anything about him. I actually tune into the news channels more in the daylight hours, thus really don’t see many of the talk shows on any of the networks. Wish I had MSNBC though to catch Morning Joe more often – but it is not on our package. Thanks for commenting.


  4. As we approach Martin Luther King day tomorrow, here’s an unsolicited plug for another website, Padre Steve:
    He has written an outstanding treatise on two important African-Americans who served our country, and in their way, helped push forward de-segregation. This year, I feel MLK day is far more important than usual – it shows the divisions that we, as Americans, have fought through and overcome. If we can overcome segregation and racism, even in our current incomplete fashion, we should be able to overcome the left/right rhetorical divide that led to the recent horror in Arizona.


    • John,
      Very good point about the day we set aside to celebrate Dr. King. Interestingly, I have a post ready to go for this day – thus to be posted soon.

      I appreciate your link to Padre Steve’s article. I haven’t read it yet, but having read some of his past posts, I encourage others to read him work.

      Many thanks John for sharing!


  5. Thanks for sharing some more interesting reading, Frank. I join you in and the growing chorus of well-wishers for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and the others affected by this tragedy. H/T to President Obama for exhibiting leadership when the nation needed someone to address the heartache and pain instead of fanning the flames of more finger-pointing.

    Have a good week! Carpe Diem, my friend.


    • Al,
      Rep Giffords progress continues to astound everyone. Amazing! Was it not Yankee great Lefty Gomez who said he would rather be lucky than good? Well, she sure is lucky — let alone the medical miracle of it all … but I saw that with all due credit to the medical responders. Oh … miracles? Ooops …. I just gave away my next post (up around 9 pm tonight). Thanks for commenting.


    • I do believe Napoleon also once said something like “I would rather have a General that is lucky than one who is good”. Kinda goes with the line attributed to Charlie Wilson (cleaned up for presentation here) “If you have a choice between girls with boobs and girls who can type, well, we can always teach ’em how to type but …”. I’ll leave it there – you get the idea!


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