Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 226

On Politics
I saw this headline: Religious Conservatives to Judge Top Republicans. Really? I thought that was a given, not news.

The Congressional hearings regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to demonstrate that politicians are more interested in politicizing the event than reforming the organization.

As chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has regularly demonstrated that he is a partisan ass.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) filing a lawsuit against President Obama regarding use of Executive Orders supports my growing disdain for each party … especially Republicans

To help bring stability to the party, I have a suggestion for the Republican party: Nominate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as your 2016 presidential candidate.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Pigeon wishes just once it could complete head movement smoothly
Man had no idea what to do with good mood
Magical office worker able to turn everything he touches into more work for colleagues
Anthropologists classify 43 new species of Weirdo within subway ecosystem
Area man wonders, If humans evolved to be social creatures, then why didn’t any come to my party

Interesting Reads
Heroes: Military, politics, and policy
Retrospective of a river on fire
A young-adult’s view of religion and homosexuality
Chaos and billiards

Bonus: Photo Galleries of the Ugliest Dog Contest
One
Two

On Potpourri
This post is later than normal because we were hosting a good friend for dinner.

I know the US advanced in the World Cup, but to me, there was a difference between the American and German teams. Nonetheless, it’s the first time the US has advanced in consecutive World Cups.
A busy weekend ahead for me.

I’m aiming for the return of Saturday Morning Cartoons on the second weekend in July.

Your weekend celebrations
(Weekend) Watermelon Seed Spitting Days, Water Ski Days
(Fri) Bomb Pop Day, Happy Birthday to You Day, Decide to Marry Day, Orange Blossom Day
(Sat) Backyard Campout Day, Body Piercing Day, Paul Bunyan Day, Tapioca Day
(Sun) Gnocchi Day, Log Cabin Day, Almond Butter Crunch Day

To send you into the weekend, enjoy Real Real Gone – one of my favorite Van Morrison songs. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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36 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 226

  1. “Anthropologists classify 43 new species of Weirdo within subway ecosystem.” I can say with authority Frank that I have encountered all of them in my many years of rail riding.

  2. I had a good mood once.

    I have about 50 or so tied for number one favourite Van songs, this is in the mix. Wavelength, though, is held in a special place for a special reason for a special person.

    Enjoy the weekend, Frank.

  3. I think Pabst was a worthy winner in the Ugly Dog competition. Poor Quasi Modo is very aptly named, but I think Spam-O-Rama is really quite pretty. As long as their parents love them. :D None of those weekend celebrations really appeal to me, so I’ll just celebrate the fact that it’s raining here. :) Have a great weekend, Frank.

  4. Politics… I am far of this, you know! But finds me always, actually the truth is life is politics in this geography!!!! Anyway… I loved this ugliest dog contest :) I loved them all so lovely they are… and and finally Van Morrison, I love him, but my favurite song is I don’t know why I love this song so much, maybe because of the story of this song, actually the story of this poem written by Patrick Kavanagh… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Raglan_Road

    Thank you for this rich and enjoyable morning visit dear Frank, have a nice day and weekend, love, nia

  5. NOT SO FAST! – suggesting that the GOP nominate Ted Cruz as their presidential candidate in 2016. My reading of this week’s New Yorker Magazine article, “The Absolutist: Don’t Underestimate Ted Cruz,” suggests that Cruz’s study of the tactics of Chinese military
    general, strategist, and philosopher Sun Tzu (544-496 BC), makes him far scarier and less bouffonish as a politician who the GOP might turn to in a desperate attempt to appease its right wing base.

    I also enjoyed reading “Chaos on the Billiard Table” by Marianne Freiberger. What I could understand of it will be the basis of a future discussion with my mathematics college professor nephew-in-law.

  6. The Congressional hearings regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to demonstrate that politicians are more interested in politicizing the event than reforming the organization.

    Since the breaking of the VA “scandal” it has been my suspicion that the root cause of the problem is not bureaucratic inefficiency but medical ineptitude relative to mental illness, specifically PTSD. In the old days that was called “shell shock” and was assumed to be untreatable, but now it’s on the list.

    The front-page article in Thursday’s USA Today paper confirms that mental illness is a serious national problem, not just in the VA. The article says that there are 30 million mentally ill in this country alone. That’s about 1 in every 30 people! Congress decreed decades ago that it’s not covered by Medicaid at all and Medicare for it is sharply limited. Further, treatment is feckless and there’s little research being done to improve it. I know this firsthand because of my mentally handicapped sister. She has some behavioral problems for which her psychiatrist routinely prescribes various kinds and strengths of medications, none of which is more than marginally effective.

    The problem of mental impairment has existed long before John Kennedy tried to deal with it. Congress threw a couple of billions at the VA bureaucracy and expected that to fix the PTSD problem, but of course it didn’t. Medical science doesn’t know how to fix it, much less fix it quickly, so insisting that it do so resulted in bureaucratic failure. When you squeeze a system hard, the pressure will out somewhere. Had the subjects not been veterans there would not have been a scandal. The crisis is not new. Research is needed, lots of it. The president launched an initiative on it last year, but the GOP house thinks we can’t afford it.

  7. The link on this post relative to Heroes: military, politics, and policy is a worthy one. As a retired Naval officer I completely agree with Captain Summers’ essay which basically says that the lavish praise heaped on all who serve in the military dilutes the acolades that should be reserved for the few who actually earn them.

    I would add that since my service there has been an explosion, no less, in the awarding of medals and campaign ribbons. The chest of just about every service member nowadays looks like Audie Murphy’s. It is, frankly, embarrassing. In the early ’70’s after two hard deployments on the Vietnam gun line I I was awarded a Navy Achievement medal and a Navy Commendation medal. Those were fairly rare in those days. The last time I renewed my wife’s dependents’ I.D. card at a Naval Reserve Center I noted photos on the wall of all the reservists and only found one or two people who did not have both of these medals.

  8. On the link to “chaos and billiards”: my conclusion after reading this interesting article is that it may explain free will. The ramifications of random thoughts seem to me as unpredictable as the ergodocity of billiards, or of chaos theory or the butterfly effect. The abilities of some human brains never cease to amaze me.

  9. Frank, I long ago stopped trying to go figure out the political opinions LOL.. But I smiled at some of those Headlines from the Onion… That Pigeon ..is cooing on our bird table I think! .. Enjoy your day and week…
    Regards Sue xox

  10. Van Morrison – a Belfast son. Long time since I listen to him, love his voice. We have election this September, but the circus haven’t yet. I wish a pleasant busy weekend and take the dancing shoes on.

  11. Magical office worker wishes just once it could complete head movement smoothly

    Being a pool player, Chaos and Billiards was my favorite this week!

    Nothing good in the days this week Frank, nothing really exciting to latch on to. I guess we all need a break. Hope you are having an excellent weekend and thank you for the music, love me some Van.

  12. I remember wanting to sue Nixon for pre-empting The Flintstones with all that Watergate nonsense. I wasn’t being political since I was just a precocious seven year old at the time. It’s really no fair that Boehner gets to behave like a politician AND a precocious seven year old. I blame it on all that bronzing he does, can’t be good for you…..

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