Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 113

On the 9/11 Post
The three key points of my 9/11 post were political grace, education/learning, and forgiveness. Since political grace received the most comments, here are two goods reads from Politico: one from each, a Democrat and a Republican

From Francis Cardinal George about forgiveness: The common good is the goal of the economic and political orders, but it is a goal that cannot be reached by excluding God or by worshiping a false God. It makes a difference if one worships a God who tells us to forgive our enemies or one who tells us to get even with them. As we remember those who were killed on 9/11 10 years ago, we should come to a new recognition that forgiveness is essential to living together in peace. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness nor does it deny the power of evil. We have lived too close to evil to paper it over with platitudes. Forgiveness shapes our lives and makes social peace possible when we ask God for the strength to change the pattern of our lives together, to heal us and make us whole.

The portion of President Clinton’s speech in Shanksville that I heard about heroes knowing they were going to die was awesome.

On Politics
Sarah Palin says she is “getting a kick out of getting out there, giving a speech, and making comments about things that must be discussed … like corruption, crony capitalism, the waste, the fraud.” Cheers for The Nincompoop for accurately described herself in more ways than she realizes.

It will be interesting to see how the Solyndra issue plays out for President Obama.

Listening to the spin around the GOP victory in NY-9 district’s special election reminds me of the Democratic spin around their victory in update New York earlier this year. Could it simply be that many incumbents on both sides are in trouble? Then again, let us not forget that most people disapprove of other members of Congress much more than their own.

I appreciate this quote from columnist Dana Milbank’s column regarding the Supercommittee: The chief congressional bean counter (Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf), highly regarded by both sides as a neutral referee, laid out the choices: If you want to keep entitlement programs the way they are, you’re going to need big tax increases and sharp cuts to everything else government does. If you want to keep taxes where they are, you’re going to need severe cuts to entitlement programs as well as to everything else.

Kudos to Robert Samuelson for this quote from his article in Time:
Republicans and Democrats exult in vitriolic attacks on each other. Their pleasure from mutual vilification comes at the public cost of lower confidence. By contributing to this, the disarray over long-term deficits also undermines employment.

Early this week I heard this hoot-of-a-comment from British journalist Llewellyn King. (This quote may not be exact, but I am close.) “Bill O’Reilly should be treated as a piece of Americana to be glued on a shelf in a case of a museum. I watch him in the same sense of horror as a mongoose views a snake.”

I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 36 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads
About Jobs (from The Hill)
Two reads about regulations: Regarding Job Growth, The GOP’s Tough Sell

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week on The Onion
Dryer Sheets Recalled Due to Danger of Over Snugglification
Trojan Introduces “No One’s Pleasure” Condoms for Bitter, Resentful Couples
McDonald’s Releases McCrazy Burger
Lack of Media Interest Makes Genocide Cover-up Unnecessary
Study: Abstinence-Only Lunch Programs Ineffective at Combating Teen Obesity

I Saw These Research Studies this Week
Families with high number of dogs more prone to dog bites
Watching Sponge Bob can lead to learning problems
Facial symmetry study declares Buffalo Bills are most attractive NFL team

On Potpourri
Last week the Kennedy Center announced this year’s honorees: Meryl Streep, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo- Ma, Sonny Rollins, and Barbara Cook. I enjoy this show, which CBS will broadcast on December 27th, 9-11 pm

If you haven’t already done so, I highly recommended The Help as it is a powerful movie. After the movie, I felt ashamed of our past, proud of our progress, and angry about the how much further society has to go.

I’m stunned to learn that a friend of Kate Gosselin described Kate as “fame hungry.” Who would have thunk it.

I hope to have a casual post on Saturday.

In the words of Garrison Keillor: Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.

On 10 Years Ago

Regardless of the type of media, there was no shortage this past week of 9/11 stories. Sorrow, confusion, fear, pride, anger, grief, emptiness, and dismay – the stories were there to capture the emotion – as they were there to capture heroism, patriotism, or genuine service and compassion. This post is not about recounting where I was on that day; nor of my personal encounters with that day; nor is it to rehash the countless stories that already exist – but to stimulate thinking.

Learning is an important tool for everyone. All one has to do is read online comments regarding anything about Islam to conclude that many, if not most, American non-Muslims know very little about Islam and hold many misconceptions.

Forgiveness, an important Christian foundation, is something that one must do in order to heal their wounds. My November 16, 2010 post about forgiveness concludes with a challenge regarding 9/11.

My last aim is to remind us of something we had, but have lost. 9/11 brought a political grace to Washington. The event brought elected officials together. 9/11 gave leaders an opportunity to lead to heal. 9-11 gave Washington the opportunity to listen, discuss, and gracefully disagree. 9/11 gave leaders the opportunity to be country first. 9/11 gave us as citizens to be one. I a column titled Into an Unknowable Future, Tom Brokaw wrote these words a few weeks after 9/11: Will the surge of bipartisan spirit endure, washing away the pettiness that devalues public life and alienates voters? (NY Times, Sept 29, 2011)

It is my nature to be reflective and positive about life.  I appreciate the image above because it reminds us of what was and illustrates the light of hope for what is to come. And yes, a positive image.