Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 193

On Politics
Several years ago, we stood in awe and applauded Egypt’s Arab Spring – but today we stand in shock, horror, and dismay. I recall writing in the past that the part of the Arab world’s transition was an unknown of the product – and that is remains true today.

This statement by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) is good: We (Republicans) have to get beyond being anti-Obama and we have to reconvince people that we can have hope in America. … People have to think you are serious about governing and have positive ideas.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) described many members of Congress having Dinosaur Syndrome – a condition of big hearts and a small brain. If someone does not think Sen. Paul is the smartest on Capitol Hill, just ask him.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Mom spends beach vacation assuming all household duties in closer proximity to ocean
  • Scientists create microscopic Mona Lisa
  • Expendable 3 cast to be paid in steroids, meat
  • Cat seemed perfectly content right up to moment he bolted from room
  • Unpaid internship a great experience for local company
  • Boy asks nation not to find his missing little brother

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
Friday (Aug. 16th) is the 36th anniversary of Elvis’s death. USA Today treats Elvis fans with this article: Imagine if Elvis Never Left the Building

Friday is National Airborne Day (Army paratroopers), Men’s Grooming Day, and the start of National Aviation Week. The weekend is loaded with celebrations as International Homeless Animals Day, Meaning of Is Day, and National Thrift Shop Day (all Saturday); and Sunday is Bad Poetry Day, Mail Order Catalog Day, Serendipity Day, and World Daffodil Day.

Although I don’t think it was good judgment for a parent to name her child Messiah, I don’t agree with the judge’s ruling that the mother must change the child’s name.

To me, losing pets is one of the tough moments in life. Elyse, we are sorry to hear the news about Cooper.

Get ready for the next rendition of Time: The Musical. Although I’m unsure of the exact day, the next theme features songs with Weekend, Saturday, Sunday, or their plural forms in the title. I’ll announce the day on the upcoming Monday Morning Entertainment post.

It’s not together yet, but I’m planning a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

Given the day, it seems that Elvis sending you into the weekend to Las Vegas is appropriate. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Connecting Egypt and Schools

With the power of instant news, we watched the events in Egypt as they happened. Whether the peaceful gathering of the masses or the few days of violence, there were and still are so many stories intertwined into this overthrow of a long-standing regime.

These two thoughts repeatedly played in my mind: the desire of people to be free and the peaceful nature of the masses – and each of these took me back to the 1960s and the way Martin Luther King treated civil rights. However, the Egyptians had something that Dr. King’s followers did not have: social media.

Some have described it tweets versus tanks. Columnist Kathleen Parker wrote these words:

Unarmed men and women inspired by tweets of freedom stared into the bullying armaments of dead ways. It was a stark image of the prolonged battle between good and evil that human apparently have been fated to fight. This time, enabled by what we casually call social media, evil finally may be outgunned.

Today, news travels faster than ever – and Revolution 2.0 has spread to other countries in the region – yet we are witnessing different behaviors by those with the tanks. Nonetheless, the events in Egypt have demonstrated social media’s power – and as this outstanding video shows, the numbers are staggering. (Sorry, this one can’t be embedded.)

Many people use social media as modern-day paparazzi to keep up with the latest news from someone they deem important. Businesses use social media to increase revenue through communication, customer service, and marketing. Many people (as me) use blogs to fuel our appetite for learning through informal means. Some corporate training departments are now incorporating social media tools. Meanwhile, can social media tools be the lightning rod to ignite public education reform? Do you really think schools entrenched in the industrial age model could react that fast?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 85

On SOTU
I continue to think about President Obama’s recent State of the Union. I continue to be weary of the dilemma between new spending and budget cuts – especially considering both are important. Meanwhile, Republican statements continue to reinforce my opinion that they have misread the recent election results. By the way, today is day 746 of the Obama presidency.

On the Health Care Dilemma
A Federal judge in Florida recently ruled the health care bill as unconstitutional – which now ties the ruling at 2-2. There’s no question the issue will make it to the US Supreme Court. Interestingly, because she was a member of the administration at the time, will Justice Kagan need to excuse herself from the case? Meanwhile, the House Constitution committee is going to discuss the constitutionality of the bill. Do you think the committee vote will follow party lines?

On an Upcoming Celebration
Need week we will hear more about President Reagan’s 100th birthday. Ah yes, as conservatives will provide have glowing praise for their hero of modern conservatism, while forgetting he was more liberal than most of them. Yep – Ronald Reagan would be a RINO today.

On Crisis in Egypt
The situation is Egypt is both interesting and frightening. Here are two articles that created thinking: Brookings Institute and New York Times Op-Ed.

On Modern Dentistry
Yesterday I had back-to-back appointments with two dentists. The first offered three different types of Valentine candy with a small red box as from a Chinese restaurant and the other had Otis Sprunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies. We’ve come a long way baby.

On an Interesting Family
Bill Tammeus’ Faith Matter blog provides a daily post about religion. Tuesday’s post provided this interesting perspective about family.

On the Super Bowl
Millions will watch this weekend’s Super Bowl – many from various parties. Enjoy, but return home safely.

Did you see the Tiki Barber interview on Yahoo! Sports where he was telling Packer players that the “G” on the helmet actually stands for greatness? This Packer blogger squashes that notion.

Here’s a music segway into the weekend. Louis Jordan is a legendary artist from the 1930s-1950s. I snjoy his up-tempo style of jump swing.