On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 61

On the Gulf Oil Spill
Although the Drill Baby Drill chant is still resonating in my head, let us not forget that human technology is prone to error. Each time I think of lowering the dome, I picture the bar game of trying to land a coin in a submerged shot glass.

On the Vatican and Abuse
As sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Roman Catholic Church, now is the time for the best chance that Pope Benedict XVI has to deliver a much-needed maya copa and set a much-needed new direction for the church on this issue. To me, he just can’t seem to set up to the plate.

On Senate Math
We Cincinnatians are “lucky” to receive media blitz for politics in three states. With the approaching primary, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has an ad endorsing a candidate to “help stop the Obama agenda.” Since this primary is for a position held by a retiring, conservative Republican, how can replacing one person with an ideological clone change the votes? Does the new person get two votes instead of one? Bottom line – Senator McConnell is a party-first senator – and is one of many examples of what is wrong in Washington.

On the Supreme Court Nominee
I am confident that numerous Republicans will say that court-nominee Kagan is not qualified. So to that group, the one who loves to thump their chest as standing up for the Constitution, I ask this question – What are the qualifications?

On a Weekend Civil Rights Event
For the second consecutive year, the Cincinnati Reds are hosting MLB Civil Rights Weekend. The passing of singing legend Lena Horne earlier this week is a big loss – besides, she was planning to attend. Here’s the story about the weekend.

On the Cincinnati Reds
My Reds have been playing well of late as both pitching and hitting are improving. The starting pitching’s last two starts (Cueto and Bailey) were unreal: 2 wins, 2 complete games, 2 shutouts, 0 walks, less than 193 pitches, 57 batters faced.

On Purging the Office
I have been going through many of my files and materials from aspects of my past or the sake of purging things I no longer need, it is interesting to come across notes and reflections that I wrote in the past. Who knows – maybe they will work their way to this site.

On a Classic Angle
Since many people love to complain about media bias, I wrote this post about the topic this past January – and it is still timely and will likely remain timeless.

On Sports Shorts 062509

On the U.S. Open
Only hours following the conclusion of our national golf championship, many headlines were about Phil Mickelson’s second-place finish. Yes, he was playing in the shadow of his wife’s recently-announced cancer. Yes, he is a popular figure. Yes, he is a favorite of the Bethpage crowd. But hey – Lucas Glover deservingly won by having the lowest score over the predetermined tournament length. Congratulations Lucas!

On Past Players and Finances
It’s never good to hear bad news about notable people from the past. I’m not fond of the Cleveland Browns by any means, but this story about former quarterback Bernie Kosar filing for bankruptcy isn’t one I expected.

On Civil Rights Baseball Weekend
As I mentioned last week, MLB’s Civil Rights game and festivities were held in Cincinnati. Attending were honorees Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, & Bill Cosby; Major league greats Frank Robinson, Tony Perez, and Ernie Banks; as did the first African-American Cincinnati Red Chuck Harmon; Negro League players Charlie Whip Davis, Don Johnson, Tom Turner, and Ron Bunny Warren; as did former player Harold Reynolds, singer BeBe Winnans, Sugar Ray Leonard, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, and President Bill Clinton; as did the Reds Hall of Fame with their display honoring the Negro Leagues; as did the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (located nearby the stadium) acting as an event host and also having a Negro League exhibit; as did local celebrities, plus I’m sure a few others that I don’t know.

I also discovered that the San Diego Padres honored a group of Negro League players during pregame ceremonies on the same day. Good for the Padres and hopefully other teams would do the same in the future. On the other hand, they had the chance. Seems the Padres front office was the only one to tap into MLB’s promotion. Well done Padres on demonstrating one aspect of the weekend’s intent.

On the Reds
Oh how my Cincinnati Reds are struggling. Oh the pain. Then again, I’m not that surprised. Although they are better than a year ago, there are still gaps to fill.

On Baseball and Civil Rights

This weekend Major League Baseball (MLB) will celebrate Civil Rights. Whether it be Saturday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds or various events held beyond Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark over two days, the weekend is designed to celebrate racial equality.

The highlighted event is a luncheon to honor MLB Beacon Awards to Hank Aaron (Beacon of Life), Muhammad Ali (Beacon of Change), and Bill Cosby (Beacon of Hope). Whether national figures as President Clinton, famous Cincinnati athletes, local and national distinguished figures, or simply the people attending to honor and learn, events will look at both the journey taken to date and the journey ahead.

In light of electing a president who happens to be black, there are other events in the shadows this celebration. We have a prominent South Carolina conservative joking about a gorilla escaped from a zoo: “I’m sure it’s just one of Michelle’s ancestors – probably harmless.” – And then delivering this lame apology, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

We have racist comments from other notable individuals concerning a Supreme Court nominee – one being the same radio talk show host who promoted and aired Barack the Magic Negro, a song written by a conservative speaker and intentionally distributed by a prominent political leader. Not to mention numerous daily encounters that may or may not make the news.

Whether it be White on Black, Black on White, Christian on Muslim, Muslim on Jew, Catholic on Protestant, Indian or Pakistani, or countless others – whether it be obvious, subtle, in jest, or based on stereotypes and/or misconceptions, individual people need to take it upon themselves to look at their own behavior, as well as their responses when observing such behavior in others.

Let us hope that this weekend’s events in Cincinnati will remind everyone that we are all humans and all deserving the same respect and dignity. Since we humans essential invented the classification of people by race, it is also up to us to do its dismantling.

This is said of Bill Cosby.

He has challenged people to do better. He’s been a very courageous person and has not allowed his fame and his prominence to interfere with his ability to be candid when it comes to assessing conditions and calling on people to step up to the plate.
Retired U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Nathaniel Jones

Personally, I related these words to Tim Valentine – a fellow citizen and fellow blogger whom I regularly read to learn, thus invite others to read him. Personally, the Understanding Race exhibit that touched me earlier this year in this post. Personally, I’m trying to get better. Are you?