Opinions in the Short: Vol. 233

On Politics
Cheers to Congress for not doing something stupid this week … so not being in session is helpful.

As an independent with a small streak of Libertarianism, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has the knack of getting my attention … then causing me to shake my head after he keeps talking.

Because Cincinnati borders Kentucky, we (in Ohio) get our share of news about Kentucky, including political ads for their contested Senate race. My anti-McConnell readers will appreciate this TV ad.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Police satisfied after drunk man assures them there’s no problem
7.1 billion demonstrate in favor of global warming
Teacher who learns more from her students than she teaches them fired
Johnson & Johnson hoping brand won’t be tarnished if they dip into lethal injection game
Too late now to switch from checkout lane with talkative cashier
NASA administrator resigns after leak of offensive anti-moon email

Interesting Reads
Why bitter makes food better
Germany’s renewable energy investment
An interactive: 100 legacies from World War I that continue to shape our lives today
George Schultz’s perspective about progress in America
Porcupine sex

On Potpourri
Our local pro football team (Cincinnati Bengals) made national news in early September when they kept a player who should have been cut. The player, Devon Still, had more important things on his mind as his 4-year-old daughter is battling stage 4 cancer … and by keeping the player on the roster, the family receives medical insurance. The Bengals also started a fund-raising effort by donating 100% of the sales of his jersey (#75) to a children’s cancer fund. To date, people across the country have bought over 1,000 jerseys … and at $100 each, that’s over $1 million dollars raised so far. By the way, the young girl had surgery on Thursday (yesterday), the same day Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles released the Truly Brave video to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer .. and yes, the young Miss Still is in the video.

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Here’s an interesting graph, which is in the article above about Germany.

From the US Dept of Energy as published in the Wall Street Journal

From the US Dept of Energy as published in the Wall Street Journal

I’m bummed because Sharna’s partner was booted from Dancing with the Stars this week.

For golf fans, it’s Ryder Cup weekend! Wow … the Europeans are very strong.

Hooray … the last day of the regular baseball regular season ends Sunday, thus no more misery for Reds fans

There will be a Saturday Morning Cartoon post for your Saturday!

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Hug a Vegetarian Day, Love Note Day, Shamu the Whale Day, Save the Koala Day, Native American Day, Pancake Day, Johnny Appleseed Day
  • (Sat) Goose Day, Ancestor Appreciation Day, Rabbit Day, Family Health & Fitness Day, Fish Amnesty Day, Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Kids Day, Hunting & Fishing Day, Museum Day, Public Lands Day, Tourism Day, Sport Purple for Platelets Day, Rabies Awareness Day, Crush a Can Day, Chocolate Milk Day, Corned Beef Hash Day
  • (Sun) Fish Tank Floorshow Night, Drink Beer Day, Good Neighbor Day, Right to Know Day, World Heart Day, Gone-ta-Pott Day, Ask a Stupid Question Day, Marshmallow Twisters Day, Strawberry Cream Pie Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a hit from 1971 by a Canadian band. Enjoy One Fine Morning by Lighthouse, and I hope this weekend brings you three fine mornings. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 232

On Politics
The nation is watching the Senate race in Kentucky. Although I’m in Ohio, I get a ringside view because Cincinnati TV stations air campaign ads for the northern Kentucky viewers. One thing for sure, each side is pointing out the outside money of the opposition.

As some Republicans are quick to say I told you so regarding the predictable chaos in Iraq after the primary withdrawal of the US military, I ask, Would ISIS be a factor if Saddam Hussein was still in power?

If the Arabs aren’t willing to fight ISIS on the ground, I say, Get out of there!

Congress continues its mantra of preferring second guessing and criticizing over taking responsibility and decision making.

I know Congressional Republicans have been a continual roadblock for President Obama, however, I wonder how often the White House (and possibly Congressional Democrats) have been equally obstinate.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Absentminded nation catches itself turning to its leaders again
More cities using text-based alerts to warn Americans if they are in range of NFL players
Majority of Americans back Obama’s ISIS plan, but doubt it will work
Study: Liberals, Conservatives smell different
Report: Laura’s divorce threatens razor-thin Democratic majority in family
Reclusive deity hasn’t written a new book in 2,000 years

Interesting Reads
For Democrats fearing loss of controlling the Senate
California’s 100-year drought
A pro sports team helps a last wish
Unhappy medical doctors
Guten-free: Fact vs. Fad
The Crackpot Test & Index

On Potpourri
I find it interesting that the state of Kentucky is getting some push-back about public funding of Ark Encounters, a theme park run by Answers in Genesis (AIG), the head organization of the Creation Museum. I said this was a no-no over a year ago, and stand by that today. After all, AIG prospective employees must “have read and can support the AIG Statement of Faith.”

Another season of Dancing with the Stars (DTWS) is under way. Several immediately seem to be a cut above the rest, but time will tell who develops. OK, DTWS fans, which of the pros do you think is my favorite?

My golf league goes longer than most, thus able to enjoy playing in late-summer weather. Two weeks to go and my team is in the hunt.

Because I used this week to ease back into blogging, no Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend.

Thanks for another great collection of tunes for Life: The Musical. As always, I get the pleasure to listening to all the songs – although the omission of this one surprised me … and I dedicate this song to my friend at Lame Adventures who would never embrace this song.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Clean Up the World Weekend, Hummingbird Celebration Weekend, Octoberfest Zinzinnati
  • (Fri) Talk Like a Pirate Day, POW/MIA Recognition Day, Trademen Day, Citizenship Day, Brothers Day, Butterscotch Pudding Day, Slimey the Worm Day
  • (Sat) Big Whooper Liar Day, Eat an Apple Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, Puppy Mill Awareness Day, Red Panda Day, Gymnastics Day, Idaho Spud Potato Day, National Rum Punch Day, Farm Safety Day
  • (Sun) International Day of Peace, Worldwide Day of Play, Alzheimer’s Day, Miniature Golf Day, Pause the World Day, Gratitude Day, Pecan Cookie Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s one more work song – the 1982 hit Workin’ for a Liven by Huey Lewis and the News. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 231

On Politics
On November 19, 2010, I first asked for it on this weekly post (evidence 1)…. and earlier this week I learned it’s finally going to happen. (evidence 2) … the Palin Channel. Nothing like paying for any-time nincompoopery.

Cheers to Congress for going on their well-earned August recess for accomplishing very little. Throw them all out!

Cheers to the US Senate for quickly and unanimously (97-0) confirming a new secretary to lead the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department – Bob McDonald – yes, a Cincinnatian.

Not long ago I posted this link to a view about the policies of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R). Here’s a new link to a counterpoint.

Thursday (at 12:30 pm) I received a robo-call from my representative inviting me to a telephone town hall meeting that started at noon.

Some Ohio Republicans in the state legislature are trying to Ohio to repeal the state’s commitment to the new Common Core educational standards. That a way … follow the lead of education leader Louisiana!

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Assisted care facility hits jackpot with little styrofoam cups of sherbet
Scientists: Rich people, poor people may have common ancestor
Store job applications just asks prospective employees how much they plan to shoplift
Psychology comes to halt as weary researchers say the mind cannot possibly study itself
Executioner enters lethal injection room with bag from Home Depot

Interesting Reads
Columnist Peggy Nonnan about World War I
Top 10 battles of World War I
The Nixon Tapes: A book review
Uncorrupting New Orleans
Water resources and profits
Wine tasting thoughts

On Potpourri
Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar. These discount stores (and their competitors) have become big business over the past 10 years. Nonetheless, I thought this Wall Street Journal headline was a bit tacky: Battle for Poor Shoppers Fuels Dollar-Store Deal.

I see sizeable gaps in this scale. Locally-brewed beers in the USA has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. I recently discovered these designation standards based on annual production: Large Brewery (at least 6 million barrels) and Craft Brewery (less than 6 million barrels). However, Craft Breweries can subdivided into Regional Brewery (15,000-16,000 barrels), Micro Brewery (less than 15,000 barrels), and Nano Brewery (up to 100 barrels). FYI for beer lovers: Here’s an article for the Wall Street Journal.

Because people want to know, here’s an informative video about why dogs smell butts.

Cheers to another successful installment of Life: The Musical. At the time of writing this, 25 songs are in Act 8!

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Twins Days, Tree Climbing Days
    (Fri) Beer Day, Tomboy Tools Day, Spider Man Day, Girlfriend’s Day, Lughnasa, Braham Pie Day, Minority Donor Awareness Day, Rounds Resounding Day, Lung Cancer Day, Scout Scarf Day, Raspberry Cream Pie Day, India Pale Ale (IPA) Day
  • (Sat) Mustard Day, Take a Penny/Leave a Penny Day, Hangover Day, Ice Cream Sandwich Day, Dinosaur Day
  • (Sun) Doll Day, Kids Day, Sister’s Day, Watermelon Day, Friendship Day, Family Day, Day of Peace Day

Due to a full plate, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend. However, I can say this is a new month … so welcome to August.

To send you into the weekend, here’s something with flavor of the new month. Hot August Night was not a song, but an album by Neil Diamond. (Debra, where you there?) However, the opening tune from that night at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles become popular – so enjoy Crunchy Granola Suite. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 230

On Politics
Inside scoop is that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Mn) is considering a 2016 bit for the presidency. Other than the entertainment aspect of her willing to make an ass out of herself, I say NO … A thousand times NO.

Shortly after President Obama’s 2008 election, I called for the removal of all top Congressional leaders. Six years later as all remain in their positions, approval ratings of Congress are pathetic, and they haven’t accomplished much …. thus I enjoyed this Paul Kane article about the Senate’s top leaders.

I appreciate this Robert Samuelson column about the government budget.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote this opinion piece on changing the primary system.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Study finds only 5% of Americans have correct amount of pride in country
Life guard would save drowning man, but who is he to play God?
Everyone in Middle East given own country in 317 million-state solution
Study finds high school students retain only one-third of obsolete curriculum of the summer
God pledges $5000 for cancer research

Interesting Reads
A Nik and Dick encounter (that’s Khrushchev and Nixon)
Interactive graphic: Middle East friendship chart
Size of iPhone: the company – a what if graphic
The ugliest churches in the world
Beethoven: The Life
Science findings and people’s opinions

On Potpourri
I’ve had several posts about the influence of German immigrants on Cincinnati. Here’s an interesting article that recently appeared in our local paper about World War I’s influence on the area.

My baseball team (Cincinnati Reds) are going nowhere.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Ukee Days, International Pinot Noir Celebration, Gilroy Garlic Days
    (Fri) Talk in an Elevator Day, Carousel/Merry-Go-Round Day, Lumberjack Day, Thread the Needle Day, Video Games Day, Candles on a Cake Day, Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • (Sat) One Voice Day, Dance Day, Day of the Cowboy, Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day. Coffee Milkshake Day, All or Nothing Day
  • (Sun) Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day, Sleepy Head Day, Walk on Stilts Day, Scotch Day, Creme Brulee Day, Aunties Day, Barbie-in-a-Blender Day, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Parents’ Day

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce Act 8’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment post.

With family in town this week and over the weekend, my watering detail, and having a contractor in the residence, it’s best that I don’t have a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a pop R&B hit from 1976, which reached #19 on the Billboard R&B charts … I also owned the vinyl album. Enjoy Lou Rawls with Groovy People. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 229

On Politics
Interesting how members of Congress are quick to criticize President Obama’s funding request for the Central American children at the border, yet providing zero funding solutions.

Boo to Attorney General Eric Holder acknowledging Nincompoop’s call for impeachment

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) represents a district just northwest of Cincinnati, so we much news about him. This week he had a guest column in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Not only did I not read it, I did not link it here.

Although partisan, I enjoyed this piece regarding the race for governor in Kansas, in which a current poll shows the Democratic challenger leading by 6% in a very Republican state.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Beard husks on sidewalk indicates start of hipster molting season
Man needs verbal assurance that hand stamp will get him back in
Study finds humans only animals capable of recognizing former self in mirror
Giant 6-year old devastates local ant community
Deadly super rainbow tears through West Coast
Putting ice cream in bowl momentarily considered

Interesting Reads
Columnist Dana Milbank on ADD politics
A disconnect between job requirements and worker skills
Brain Codes
General Patton motivational posters
Rise and fall of WW II’s Desert Fox
Cold Comfort: Granita

On Potpourri
Cheers to everyone for excellent participation in Life: The Musical – Act 7 (School). I hope to stage the next act in two weeks.

Friday is Nelson Mandela International Day, so I hope you watch this short tribute.

The Faraday Institute gives one-minute video to stimulate thought

I have a graduate school degree from the University of Cincinnati. A recent alumni magazine provided two sets of images readers to enjoy.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Caviar Day, Nelson Mandela International Day, Stick Out Your Tongue Day, Cow Appreciation Day, Sidewalk Frying Day
  • (Sat) Celebration of the Horse Day, Toss Away the Could-Haves and Should-Haves Day, Hot Dog Day, Ugly Truck Day, Woodie Wagon Day, Ride a Motorcycle to Work Day
  • (Sun) Lake Superior Day, Moon Day, Ice Cream Day, Lollipop Day, Space Exploration Day, Hammock Day, Jump Day, Vanilla Ice Cream Day, Ice Cream Sundae Day, Ice Cream Soda Day, Daiquiri Day, Fortune Cookie Day, Nap Day

Another Saturday Morning Classic Cartoons is ready for Saturday!

To send you into the weekend, I’m following the theme of the latest act of Life: The Musical. Enjoy 38 Special’s Teacher, Teacher. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 228

Announcing a new header – an image from the Herschel Space Observatory of a huge dust and gas cloud called NGC 7538.

On Politics
The political climate is not only saturated with hyperpartisanship, it is also ripe for overreach … thus why I worry about 2016 election results producing a one-party majority.

Here’s an opinion poll regarding both parties …. and since it supports many my disgruntled nature, I say, Throw them all out … every damn one of them …. and then repeat the action with their replacements.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Area man pushes self to point of effort
Bored scientists now just sticking random things into large Hadron collider
Few more items knocked off list of desirable traits in partner as women turn year older
45 million gallons of crude blood lost in Red Cross pipeline rupture
Area woman finds strength in Bible or whatever else is around

Interesting Reads
Lincoln’s adversaries: The ex-presidents
US oil production
Octopi caught in the act … of???
Financial literacy of American teens
Chile and World War I
Enjoy this beautiful slideshow of Iceland

On Potpourri
Summer is a special time for ice cream, so the Huffington Post recently listed “The 13 Best Ice Cream Flavors for Summer 2014” …. the fact that Graeter’s made it gives the list credibility. :)

I imagine there may be someone reading this who has various positive thoughts about actor George Clooney. Well, he’s from Cincinnati, thus we have privy to numerous photos from his early years. Scroll through the photo gallery at the end of this article, which includes one of a very young George with his parents and sister.

Don Cheadle (a George Clooney buddy) is in town directing and acting (with Ewan McGregor) in a movie about jazz great Miles Davis titled Miles Ahead.

After hearing some of your interest in the Indiana Roof Ballroom, I found this promo video about the facility on YouTube …. just click here.

Next week is shaping up to host the next act of Life: The Musical, so my plan is to announce the act’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

I meet with the ophthalmologist on Friday, thus will report on Monday.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) World Future 2014 Days
  • (Fri) Cheer Up the Lonely Day, Rainier Cherries Day, Slurpee Day, World Population Day, Convenience Store Day, Pet Photo Day, Town Criers Day, Blueberry Muffin Day
  • (Sat) Bald is In Day, Collector Car Appreciation Day, Grange Day, Simplicity Day, Wayne Chicken Day, Pecan Pie Day, Eat Your Jello Day, Paper Bag Day
  • (Sun) Embrace Your Geekness Day, Gruntled Workers Day, French Fries Day, Puzzle Day, Barn Day

Unbelievable news … no kidding … Saturday Morning Classic Cartoons returns this Saturday!

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1985 hit … Enjoy the Eurythmics with Would I Lie to You. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.