Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 227

On Politics
During the 2012 US Presidential campaign, the Republican candidate stated Corporations are people. … and now the US Supreme Court has confirmed that by granting religious freedom to privately held companies. Personally, I disagree … then again, it’s another example of what can happen with one-party overreach.

Last week the US Supreme Court ruled against the power of the president to make appointments during a Congressional recess. Fine, I can deal with that, so now is the time for the White House to file suits against Congress for failing to act on Presidential appointments … and as we know, both parties do this when the other is in the White House — an act that I find just as pathetic.

Although EJ Dionne is one of the columnists I usually don’t read, this one about the political center caught my eye. His column is based on this Pew Research Center report.

Last week, I (in Ohio) received a fundraising phone call from an opponent to Rep, Nancy Pelosi (in California). Just another example of the nature of money in politics.

Interesting how many Republicans complain about President Obama’s lack of leadership yet block numerous proposals … then again, in a climate ripe for overreach, let the stalemate continue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Cracks in facade visible as teen enters third day with friend’s family
Brazilian government vows to use all money from World Cup for much-needed soccer infrastructure
Mother ferries 4 more shirt options to son in dressing room
Child pleads case for why family rabbit should be named Aunt Susan
Humanity surprised it still hasn’t figured out better alternative to letting power-hungry assholes decide everything
FDA recalls food

Interesting Reads
Can Republicans be a party of ideas?
10 science predictions about the world in 2015
Mental health and the US medical system (Thanks to Jim Wheeler for this good read)
Secrets of the creative brain
From a Bible Belt upbringing to becoming a evolutionary biologist who is a Christian

Quick-Read Graphics
Graph: Cost of aging in Japan
Never before published images of WW I
Graph: Voice vs. Data since 2007
Graphic of Stars Wars Yoga

On Potpourri
I admit being usually surprised when a blogger identifies themselves as an introvert. After all, one becomes used to their blogging personality. A recent post by Mo, one of my Pioneers, caught by attention. He doesn’t blog very often, but this is a worthy read … so I encourage others to read his post … plus in your comment tell him I sent you.

The viewership of the US-Belgian World Cup match shows the sport’s growing popularity in the US … but here is something media reports missed. Youth soccer exploded in the US during the 1980s. Today, those early participates are adults with children playing soccer. Here are some stats to support my claim.

In order to repair my notification issues, I followed one of the suggestions here by unfollowing, then following, some bloggers … thus the reason you may have received my New Subscriber notification. But that time-consuming task may not have mattered because it seems a checked box suddenly appeared in my settings that could have been blocking the notifications.

Thursday morning I had my MRI/MRA/MRV regarding my brain and the arteries and veins in my head – which meant 90 minutes in the tube. No results yet, and my vision remains unchanged.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Boom Box Parade Day, Indivisible Day, Independence from Meat Day, Barbecued Spareribs Day, Caesar Salad Day, Sidewalk Egg Frying Day, Hillbilly Day
  • (Sat) Bikini Day, Hop a Park Day, Day of Cooperatives, Cherry Pit Spitting Day, Apple Turnover Day, Graham Cracker Day, Workaholics Day, Caribbean Day
  • (Sun) Kissing Day, Build a Scarecrow Day

Given the holiday weekend in the US, no Saturday Morning Cartoon this week. I really hope to get this going again next weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1971 hit that I heard earlier this week. Enjoy Signs by the Five Man Electric Band. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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60 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 227

  1. I love soccer. All three of my children started playing at age 5; this is the first year the teenage boy hasn’t played, the girls took a few yrs off after years of me driving them all over southern Ontario. This year they are playing again, the eldest is keeper, middle is a striker. They are on the same team, winning their last 4 games. (sorry mom brag).

  2. Great OitS – and a very interesting point about the soccer boom! I’ve read several articles on the perplexity of the sudden US interest in the World Cup, but not a single one of them pointed out that fact.

    • Twixt,
      Interesting that none of the articles you read stated that .. actually, it came to my mind fairly quickly … but I haven’t heard anyone else say what seems very obvious to me.

  3. Happy Fourth of July over yonder, EH!…………and don’t be setting off fireworks inside as some twit did in his basement not far from me. After being investigated, it was filed as ‘accidental’. How can stupidity be accidental?

  4. I have been unable to blog for a while and am surprised by your mention of your vision. Hope all gets well Frank – our vision is so important to us.
    Enjoy your holiday today as you celebrate America’s independence.

    • Colline,
      The moving experience has decreased my blogging time the past 5 months … so I’m with you.

      My eye issue happened suddenly while on the golf course about 5 weeks ago. Even though it was after 5 pm, I got to an ophthalmologist with about 90 minutes … I have a blood clot in the main vein leaving the retina, which is causing some blurred & slight obstructed vision in one eye. (Difficult to describe). Doctors trying to find the cause before any treatment. I imagine I’ll know more late next week (when I see the retina specialist again). Thanks for asking! …. and we had a wonderful 4th, and the weather was outstanding!!!

  5. I think the Brazilians could find a better use for thier cash Frank – By the way Hilary Clinton is over here flogging her book to anyone who will listen – hasn’t she got scary eyes!

  6. I liked your On Politics opinions but am hoping the fundraising call by Nancy Pelosi will result in an afrankangle proposal to neutralize (i.e., render {something} ineffective or harmless by applying an opposite force or effect) the disastrous effects of the “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision.

    Your Interesting Read “10 science predictions about the world in 2025″ made me happy, “Can Republicans be a party of ideas?” made me sad, and “Secrets of the creative brain” made my golf bag heavier.

    • Tim,
      I don’t think the call had anything to do with Citizens United … but I sure hope that is the only call I ever get from outside my district/state …. BTW … the Pelosi campaign would get nothing from me …. correction … make that Nothing … nope … NOTHING!!!

  7. Happy 4th, Frank!!!
    90 mins in that tube doesn’t sound nice – at al! They should award people with a medal for patience for going through that!
    Off to read Mo’s post now. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy weekend, my friend. :-)

  8. You covered a lot of ground in this post Frank. I wondered what was going on when you resubscribed to me. Loved all the Onion headlines. I’m on the same page as Marina with you undergoing a 90 minute MRI. I don’t suppose you were awarded a pint of Graeter’s or at least a glass of Pinot Noir upon exiting. I hope the results indicate the problem is not that serious and you will soon make a complete recovery. Have a great 4th!

    • Lame,
      Sorry to say, they didn’t have offer medals, wine, or Graeter’s upon my exit. One of the more interesting things was before the test when I got to the answer to, “How many people does it take to remove a pendent and chain from a patient’s neck?”

  9. “Last week, I (in Ohio) received a fundraising phone call from an opponent to Rep, Nancy Pelosi (in California). Just another example of the nature of money in politics.” Really? This is unbelievable to me. I’m not a Pelosi fan, but I’ll tell you this, don’t waste your money trying to unseat her. LOL! Californians are among the stupidest voters imaginable. I’d give you more data to support my claim, but I’m thinking you probably already figured out that it is true. And I am glad your MRI is over. I’m genuinely concerned for you, Frank, and hope you get reassuring results soon. And I always liked the song “Signs.” Brings back memories, but I don’t remember the opening 20 second musical introduction. I don’t think they used to play that part on the radio. Hope your 4th was enjoyable, Frank. Our was relatively quiet!

    • Debra,
      The robo call from whomever the candidate totally shocked me … and just another reason for my growing disgust with the politicians. I’m not a Pelosi fan, but at least she hasn’t called me … well … yet!

      That was a very thorough series of tests, so time will tell what happens. My biggest worry is what if something else is discovered? But I remain positive during this entire ordeal. Thanks for the concern!

      Our 4th was jammed pack, but it was very good … and the weather was spectacular! Cheers to Signs! BTW … go to YouTube to search Time for Three. Interesting musical trio.

    • Dilip,
      To set the stage, the weather was simply outstanding … dry, sunny, comfortable temperatures, and low humidity … and we ended the day with a wonderful outdoor concert followed by fireworks. Hope all is well with you.

  10. The E. J. Dionne piece about the “political center” makes grist for the political mill, but I think it strains too hard. Personally, I think the center is weak because most people don’t feel strongly about long-term, complex issues like economics. It is naive to think that they would, given the poor state of education in this country. Ideology is key and the short-term rules, as politicians well know.

    Gerrymandering has only sharpened ideology. Minimum wage, unemployment insurance, immigration, gun control, abortion, prayer in school. Those overrule everything else. And then there’s always fear, the demagogue’s most-effective foil, e.g., 9/11 and the two wrongful wars. It’s ironic. War is the single, most-uniting political force there can be. When war is just (WW II), the results are beneficial. When it is unjust and mis-founded (Vietnam and Iraq), the results are divisive and financially devastating. And what’s really depressing is that even war is losing its unifying character because the military has become culturally distinct from the broad population. To the majority, I think, war is an abstraction that doesn’t affect them personally.

    • Jim,
      Given what EJ Dionne typically writes, I read this column with caution … and if I recall, his last two paragraphs may have made more of his bent … but I still enjoyed it …. although I hope to read the actual study from Pew.

      In terms of the political center, I’m thinking there is a sizable segment of voters that are fiscally conservative, but socially liberal … thus have philosophical aspects of each party …. then again, each party (in there own way) want their votes and money, but not their policy. Instead of weak, maybe this group is more pragmatic.

      Given your military experience, I appreciate you sharing your perspective about war. Very interesting and thought provoking.

  11. Your link to “Secrets of the Creative Brain” was indeed a good read, Frank. It occurred to me that despite all their differences from normal people, creative people are similar to everyone else in terms of motivation. All achievement beyond the fulfillment of basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) is, I submit, nourished by a thirst for attention. The greater the achievement, or the more unusual, the more attention. I observe this in people of all ages, and even in our little Yorkshire Terrier, Winston, who will play joyously with a stuffed toy while I watch him, but who quickly looses interest when I leave.

    • Jim,
      Achievement through the desire of attention is also interesting when thinking of the workplace. Of course, I also had a boss who stated he would rather have employees that were perceived as good over having employees who did good work.

  12. I absolutely love soccer, having played it as a boy. The idea that since it has not been able to work its way into the “Big Four” of our sporting interests (One of the few times the NHL is spoken of, interestingly enough) is erroneous. It never has to achieve that kind of ‘status’, but it is important to note that futbol is number one in every other part of the world. So yanno, there is something to that. Excellent stuff, sir.

    • Cayman,
      No doubt futbol is tops in the world. I admire the individual skills of what players at that level can do with the ball …. but as a sport, it doesn’t excite me …. but I do follow the World Cup results.

  13. First let me say, the Times article is simply scary as hell. Given the history, yeah this one is scary. I believe this one will be a reference for my next post.

    The rest of the articles were interesting.

    Nothing can improve upon perfection Frank, Onion and Humanity.

    I wish they would figure it out, I do.

  14. I read Mo’s great post, gave you credit, and left a comment about being his twin.
    Haven’t been around often enough recently, and didn’t know about your eye problem till you explained to Colline. I also had to lie in the noisy torpedo for an eye problem a year ago. Luckily only for 40 minutes. Also got a spinal tap. The problem went away, but they never found the cause. I hope yours is easily curable. :)

    • Archon,
      Glad you saw my explanation to Colline regarding the eye. The situation is quite odd, but manageable … well, at least for now. Thanks for sharing your experience as it does give me some hope … even without the spinal tap!

  15. hope you had a great Kissing Day on Sunday. :P stopped over at Mo’s “Blah” post as well. always good to read on life’s reflections from other bloggers. have a great week, Frank! :)

  16. thought provoking as always – I love the Onion! Mind you it could be a good thing here, recalling food – we’re getting to be the fattest nation in the world (after spending most of the last 50 years laughing at fatsos).

  17. I always had a hunch that corporations were people the way politics runs…
    Pretty messed up – eh?
    So fitting… Sadly so fitting: Humanity surprised it still hasn’t figured out better alternative to letting power-hungry assholes decide everything

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