On A to Z

a-z-2013Someone declared April as A-to-Z Challenge Month. Sure, the challenge’s intent is to have a separate post for each letter, but hey – I have a streak of independence.

With 1,167 posts before this one, why not use my archives to meet the challenge? After all, even frequent readers aren’t aware of some of the posts.

Therefore, I present A Frank Angle’s A-to-Z. Visit as many as you like, because as in my tradition, there is something for all …. so hopefully you’ll visit at least one.

AFAa2zBadgeA is for Acquaintance – People that were not in my graduation class: set 1 and set 2

B is for Ballroom – … and ballroom dance delivers benefits

C is for Cruising – We like cruising, so start your trip with a click

D is for Dinner Group – … We hosted a night of Chopped

E is for Education Reform – Although the need is obvious, here are the obstacles

F is for Frank – Yep, that’s my name, but these are the All-Time Franks in baseball

G is for God and Government – I must say that this post about the separation of church and state is pretty darn good

H is for Handbells – It takes many bells to make one instrument

I is for Italian – I’m 100% Italian heritage, and Ellis Island is an important place

J is for Joys – To whatever give you joy, but for some of us, it’s reliving the cartoons of our youth, and here is where the series started, which led to the first honoree

K is for Knowledge – What do you know about supersonic kangaroos?

L is for LearnerLearning should never stop

M is for Moderate – This early post defines an independent moderate, thus shows why neither party wants me … well, except for my vote

N is for News – Staying informed is important, but there is something more biased than the media

O is for Ohio River – A story from my hometown on a river during my youth.

P is for Politics – I wrote this shortly after the 2008 election, but before the Tea Party’s emergence (which is what makes this post interesting)

Q is for Quantum – Actually, this past post was On a Quantum Thought

R is for Recipes – I’m sort of a Foodie, so try Cranberry Sausage Spaghetti or my own spaghetti sauce that offers a little crunch

S is for Science – Like sports, science has players, plays, rules, and boundaries

T is for Trieste – A beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea that is the place of my birth

U is for Universe – The universe is vast and inspiring, and this post includes one of my absolute favorite videos

V is for Victory – The raised arm created an unexpected moment in college

W is for Wonders – There are many wonders in our world, and let’s not forget Fibonacci, Pi, and Tau

X is for X-Factor – and one X-factor in life is forgiveness

Y is for Why because I can – This is the first main post about the religion-science interchange; now there are 44, plus here is the very first post

Z is for Zinfandel – I enjoy a wide spectrum of wines, especially reds, but zins were the first to capture my fancy – and cheers to the wine group at church

AAA+++ Bonus for the bloggers on my sidebar and on the More Bloggers page, for as without them and you, I wouldn’t be here, so try to visiting someone soon that you don’t know, and tell them I sent you.

Addendum: To learn more about the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge, click here.

On a Reblog: Independent Moderates

The political season in the U.S. creates a lot of discussion. For me, as Democrats claim I’m a Republican, and the Republicans call me a Democrat, I smile – after all, I’m an independent moderate.

This post originally appeared here on Sept 22, 2008 when this blog was less than a month old – and it tells who I am politically – and it is applicable for in other countries as well. Feel free to comment either here or on the original post.

A Frank Angle

Independent moderates view bumper stickers, laugh, then shake their heads.

Independent moderates see the best and the worst of the two parties at the same time.

Independent moderates view the political landscape as a football field, thus never let the ball cross either 30 yard line.

Independent moderates know all media is naturally biased, thus pick their preferred network on other factors.

Independent moderates honestly criticize or praise both sides.

Independent moderates have a better understanding of issues and positions because they study and don’t automatically side with a partisan party.

Independent moderates don’t jump on a party bandwagon because they don’t trust where the wagon is going.

Independent moderates don’t like nick-picky bickering, campaign BS, nonanswers to questions, and lack of specifics.

Independent moderates not provoke fear if candidate X in party Y is elected.

Independent moderates balance government programs with fiscal responsibility.

Independent moderates listen and reflect.


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On a GOP Primary Update

I remain bored with the Republican race for the nomination, yet I try to remain informed. Below are some random thoughts.

Michelle Bachmann is thankfully out, Huntsman (sadly) never caught on, and more will follow her after this Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Here’s the reason Newt Gingrich didn’t make the ballot in his own state: He’s on a book tour! So, will he vote for Romney or Paul? Not voting is an option, as is voting and leaving that part of the ballot blank.

Although I still have not watched a GOP debate, I heard one interesting sound bite explains a lot. In responding to Gingrich’s accusation of an anti-Gingrich ad from a Romney Super PAC, Mitt Romney said he did not know what was in the ad, and then listed all the points in the ad. The toping on the cake is that none of the other candidates called him out on this.

This year’s race is bizarre. The nominee will face a beatable incumbent, yet the candidates vying for the nomination can’t defeat the beatable leader of the pack.

The Ohio primary is in early March, but I wonder if a race will still be in play at that time. I recently learned that Rick Santorum did not make all ballots in the state. In the end, odds are I will either leave that part of the ballot blank or vote for Jon Huntsman if he remains on the Ohio ballot. Then again, my wild hair side may vote for Santorum just to see the party get annihilated in the fall.

Forget the drama, Mitt Romney will be the nominee, leaving the major question as who will be is VP. Because the far right will not embrace Romney, he will pick someone further to the right so he can play the center – which the far right won’t like, but will ignore.

As for Mitt and my vote, he may have too much to overcome.

As for this independent moderate, being socially liberal and fiscally conservative these days is the Island of No Hope as both parties want my vote, but not my policies. Much can happened between now and November, but I will say this much – the thought of Republican over-reach scares me as I lived it in Ohio and watched it in Wisconsin.

On the No Labels

January 2011 marks the start of the 112th Congress that has a political climate ripe for a third party. Consider the Republicans with their insurgent Tea Party arm and the Republican moderates they aim to oust if these RINOs don’t fall in line. The Democrats aren’t much different. Unless the Democratic moderates, some known as Blue Dogs, vote with the liberals, the party’s left has similar distain for their party’s moderates.

While some see the results of the recent Lame Duck session as hope for compromise, others see this as an opportunity for increased divisions. Will the Tea Party’s no compromise methodology lead to attacks of GOP Senators Brown (MA), Snowe (ME), Collins (ME), and Lugar (IN)? Will the GOP climate lead to more independents as Murkowski (AK)? Will these mavericks be able to survive?

Some Democrats openly wonder if these GOP moderates will bolt for the Democrats. After all, liberals will gladly welcome the disenfranchised as long as the newcomers vote their way.

The past 50 years has brought a shift in the political spectrum as a common overlap no longer exists between the two parties, thus leaving two distinct parties with distinct ideologies and distinct interests – thus leaving a chasm filled with moderate independents, many of whom who consider themselves as socially liberal but fiscally conservative.

In response, groups as No Labels attempt to fill the void – perhaps as a resistance to the pull from the extremely – even perhaps as a nostalgic effort for those of us who yearn for common ground days gone by. Yet respected columnist (and two-party purist) George Will tempered my hope by referring to No Labels as a political fantasyland filled with gaseous rhetoric. Although Mr. Will firmly believes that time brings a new equilibrium, today’s independent moderates feel disenfranchised by both parties.

I continue to maintain America is a politically centered country – perhaps even center right, thus the importance of political overlap. Groups as No Labels are interesting, but chances of them taking hold are slim because of their lack of exposure. The movement needs an infusion of defections from profile Republicans and Democrats, but that would require guts – Guts to leave the political and financial backing of a political party – Guts to abandon committee chairs – Guts to help fund a new movement – Guts to give up power– Guts to go against the flow.

Since I don’t believe the guts exist, perhaps I must wait for the new equilibrium while continuing to vote against a candidate rather than for one.

Interesting Reads: David Broder, William Galston, and John Avalon