On Satire Bits: Vol. 26

It was one of those head-shaking nights on the golf course. Oh well … it happens. Meanwhile, let’s move on to a mid-week dose of satire.

The debt European debt crisis is not new news by any means, however, leave it to The Onion to discover some of the measures individual countries are taking. Any favorites?

Austria: $5 surcharge every time anyone in the world watches The Sound of Music

Italy: Suspending all sewage and trash pickup services, effective 1993

Greece: Government to lay off thousands of government-employed anti-government protesters

The Netherlands: Releasing part two of Anne Frank’s diary

Finland: Increasing one of those European-sounding taxes, like the GATT, or the VAT, or the SCRAT, or whatever

Andorra: Tourism board charged with really getting the word out there about Andorra.

Poland: World War II–related tours now cost the usual price plus whatever is in one’s pockets and also that watch

Portugal: Quietly breaking away from Spain in the middle of the night and floating across the Atlantic in search of a better life

Germany: Subtly reminding the rest of Europe what happened last time they faced hyperinflation

On the Empty

I started this blog in late August 2008 focusing primarily on politics and sports. At that time, the presidential campaigns were in full swing, and I had plenty of material to write. Forty-seven months later, I venture into a wide variety of topics, yet still enjoy politics. However, the recent U.S. presidential campaign bores me – and I can‘t see that changing.

We have two parties who control their candidates as a puppeteer controls the marionette.

We have two parties who answer to the big-dollar donors over their constituents.

We have candidates who don’t have much meaning in what they say – but they can deliver a tagline.

We have candidates who deliver speeches to achieve cheers from their faithful attendees (as if they wouldn’t) – and to raise money for their cause of rhetoric taglines.

We have candidates and surrogates who won’t say much beyond the predictable, scripted responses that probably won’t answer the question.

We have candidates whose campaign teams actively seek past sound bites by the opposition so they can deliver a message out of context in order to support their side.

We have candidates who focus on peripheral issues while avoiding engagement.

We have candidates who continually avoid facing the music in terms of making the tough decisions that require going against the grain.

We have candidates who essentially promote gridlock by proclaiming a lack of compromise based on self-serving principles.

We have popular commentators whose method of going beyond scripted taglines is by tossing firebombs of misinformation against the other side.

We have reporters who may want to ask the tough questions and dutifully push the responder to answer the question, but they also want the next interview.

Bottom Line: As partisans blindly accept whatever their side says while unquestionably objecting to anything coming from the other side, there is another segment that will decide the election. Although we are finally inside 100 days until Election Day, some are openly wondering why many independents remain undecided because there contrast between the two sides is somewhat defined.

True independents are pragmatic, and many will delay their decision until the last three weeks. Meanwhile, this population segment that will decide this election’s outcome has a difficult time shifting through all the crap in order to find an honest information, worthwhile dialogue, and potential solutions about the issues of the day. No wonder some of the independents are disgusted and bored. Then again, maybe we expect more from our leaders than they can deliver.

On a Monday Pass

We had a full weekend, so how was yours? Friday started with the 150th edition of Opinions in the Shorts. From there, our composed of time on the ballroom floor, a dinner and pool party at friends, hosted our in-laws to celebrate an 83rd birthday, watch some Olympics, and time for some chores around the house.

The weekend gave us a short break from the summer blast furnace, but another round of heat and high humidity is set to return this week. Meanwhile, to start your week on a positive note, enjoy this clip from Family Feud. It also provides the basis for this post’s title. I hope everyone has a good week!

On Casper

This is not one of my favorites, but I’m sure many are ready to sing this theme song.

Points about Casper, the Friendly Ghost

Created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo

Debuted in a 1939 children’s book, 1945 as an animation by Paramount Pictures’ Famous Studios, 1949 as a comic book (published regularly until 1982), and 1963 as a made-for-television cartoon (sponsored by Mattel)

The last theatrically-released Casper cartoon was Casper’s Birthday Party, released July 31, 1959

Title song written by Jerry Livingston and Mack David

Most commonly voiced by Cecil Roy

Long-time controversy who he was during human life

Common storyline: Casper does like being a regular ghost, so he tries to find friends. He eventually saves a friend that leads to acceptance by others

Supporting characters include The Ghostly Trio, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Archibald the Talking Wishing well, Hot Stuff the Little Devil, Nightmare the ghost horse, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, and Spooky’s girlfriend Pearl

Enjoy this good tribute video

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 150

On Politics
Gov. Romney is off campaigning overseas. Because then-candidate Obama did this in 2008, I guess this is the new normal.

I find it interesting that Gov. Romney uses “European-style government” in his campaign, but dodged the question in Great Britain about his opinion.

Although I frequently use my remote’s MUTE button during commercials, I encourage everyone to do yourself a favor: check what you hear. Two good sources on in my sidebar: PolitiFact and Fact Check. Meanwhile, President Obama’s commercial of Gov. Romney singing is quite MUTE worthy.

Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) states he is open to raising fees to enhance the revenue stream. Interestingly, that means penalties are taxes, but fees aren’t. Sorry senator, this is not a one-way street. Meanwhile, count me in on opposing the Democratic tax plan.

Wow! A big-named banker now wants to separate institutional and investment banking – thus reinstate the Glass-Steagal Act.

The Giffords shooting incident brought forth cries for gun control that faded. Now the Aurora theater incident has reignited the thought, but it will also fade. For well over 200 years, the US Supreme Court has left gun policy to the people, well, until DC vs. Heller (2008). Meanwhile, here is a powerful post from reader here. Thanks Val.

The odds of me shaking my head are good whenever Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) starts to talk. However, as little respect I have for her, I have less respect for the majority of the voters in her district.

On Headlines from The Onion
Pet Smart VP Rolls on Back, Exposes Belly when CEO Enters Room
Civil War Reenactor Accidently Uses Renaissance Fair Voice
Multivitamin Snubs Magnesium
Exhausted Cyclists Ask for Some Drugs so they can Finish Tour de France
Area Man has Dietary Habits of Hanna-Barbera Character
Hiccupping Man also has Song Stuck in his Head

Interesting Reads
The 18-Day Vice-Presidential Candidate
Essential Facts about the Federal Budget
Rome’s Pantheon
When Arts Meets Science (Thanks Roxie)
Discover of the 600-Year-Old Bra
Ten Oddest Ex-Olympic Sports

On Potpourri
Interesting batch of facts from the US Census Bureau that you can examine at the national, state, counties, and cities level.

With the summer Olympics in mind, here are two related stories. Fasab, a commenter here, recently posted his view of synchronized swimming. Also, enjoy this story about the ten oddest former Olympic sports.

Dolt of the Year nomination to Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-fil-A restaurants. He is entitled to opinion, but as a CEO, he should watch what he says. Nonetheless, the City of Chicago shouldn’t block openings and permits.

Interesting batch of facts from the US Census Bureau that you can examine at the national, state, counties, and cities level.

This is the 150th post of Opinions in the Shorts. I guess this the Sesquicentennial OITS. I could go onto one of my marches to include as many meaningless factoids about 150 – such as there are 150 psalms in the Old Testament; or 150 is the sum of when adding the eight consecutive prime numbers (starting with 7), but I will spare you the trivia. Meanwhile, here’s the first OITS posted November 25, 2008 – oddly, a Tuesday. Too bad that video is no longer available because the secret presidential handshake between Presidents Bush and Obama (from Jimmy Kimmel) had me laughing!

Cheers, a classic cartoon post will go up this weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s something grand and dramatic for you to enjoy. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Sharing Song – Creating Magic

Like many Cincinnatians, the announcement (several years ago) of our city hosting the 2012 World Choir Games puzzled me. As the games neared, we shrugged our shoulders at the ads and announcement. We also heard the stories of slow ticket sales.

Over 15,000 singers in 362 choirs from 67 countries came to our medium-sized city along the Ohio River to compete in 23 categories – let alone for the first time U.S. has hosted the event. As a sudden flash from bright fireworks, the city embraced the numerous events associated with the games. Doors to free Friendship Concerts closed 30-45 minutes before the start. Tickets to the pay events were selling quickly – and yes – selling out.

It was a fun event! Like many, we regretfully waited too long before trying to get tickets to a pay event. A once-in-a-lifetime event was at our fingertips, and we missed something that we would have immensely enjoyed. We attended several Friendship concerts, but we missed competitions and concerts of champions.

With so many outstanding choirs in town, it’s not easy picking just a few to show – so at least here’s a variety to enjoy, and all from award-winning choirs. After all, the theme of the event was Sharing Song – Creating Magic – and that they did. Enjoy the videos.

Note: For those interested, here is the Results page. FYI: It’s not user friendly, thus involves examining a handful of PDF files.

COTA: A youth choir from Namibia. A friend of mine saw them and said he has never seen a crowd response to a performance like that.

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Latin: A Venezuelan choir who competed in folk music, and in this video, they are enjoying themselves in a Cincinnati hotel lobby.

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Barbershop: I saw a very entertaining woman’s chorus from Canada, but I was shocked to see that they finished something like 6 of 8 – which sparked me to wonder about the winning choir, which was this one from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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Sacred: Stellenbosch University Chorus (South Africa) won the Sacred Music category. Here’s one piece from their performance at the champion’s concert.

On Satire Bits: Vol. 25

Whew … What a steamy late afternoon on the golf course. Needless to say, perspiration drenched me! I played well, but putting continues to cost me strokes.

The Summer Olympics from London are about to start. Let’s hope the games go off without a hitch. In the Olympic spirit, I went to The Onion’s archives for your mid-week dose of satire. Enjoy …. Any favorites?

World Shocked at Possible Link between Olympics and Big Money

Nike Releases Olympic Track Suit Designed to Limit Penis Wind Resistance

Nation to Leave Olympic on in Background

Report: Olympics to Mathematically Happen This Year

IOC Clears Pros to Wrestle in Olympics

Many Viewers may be Using Oympics-Enhancing Drugs

Woman Turns Down $50 Million Offer from Professional Steeplechase League to Participate in Olympics

Green Clad Archer Steals Gold Metals from Rich, Gives them to Poor

Olympic Kayaker Hoping to Receive Endorsement from Good Paddle Manufacturer

Vaguely Irish Guy in Bar Thrilled by Rugby’s Inclusion in 2016 Olympics

Olympic Swimmer to Return to Tank at Sea World

TV Employee Pleased with Olympic Jacket

Nation to Seek Permission to Stop Watching Olympics

Quaint English Village Bulldozed to make room for Quaint English Olympic Village

Former Olympian Endorses Ultimate Workout Machine