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. 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. 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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 225

On Politics
The Republican response to this week’s news about the capture of the alleged mastermind of the Benghazi attack is a perfect example of the question I asked several week’s ago: If Republicans asked President Obama to fart, and he did, would they complain?

Glenn Beck has said his share of stupid things, but I this may be his best: He warned the American people that President Obama is about to snap, thus react by sending conservatives to internment camps … .and sorry to say, yes, people actually listen to this man.

In the NRA Lobby

In the NRA Lobby

Seeing this inscribed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters is not surprising. Because the Second Amendment is not lengthy, it is interesting to discover that they left off the beginning: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,

Earlier this week the US Supreme Court set the stage for overturning Ohio’s Truth in Campaign Ads law – something that President Obama agrees with doing. What a shame on both counts!

I appreciated this quote by a local resident in his published editorial: The moneyed interests (from outside the state) have no interest in Ohio as a state, or the people, thus just want that voting seat to further their agenda, even if it is harmful to the people of Ohio. (John Apanites, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 15, 2014)

I like this statement from conservative columnist George Will. Here is a question for Republican presidential aspirants: Given the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and given that we now know how little we know about “nation-building” and about the promotion of democracy in nations that need to be “built,” and given that Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies, and given that Iraq under him was Iran’s adversary, and given that 10-year wars make Americans indiscriminately averse to military undertakings — given all this, if you could rewind history to March 2003, would you favor invading Iraq?

To House Republicans. You continually point the finger at the Senate for not acting on all the legislation you sent them. A word of caution – Purposely sending legislation that won’t get acted upon is at least just as pathetic – and maybe more so.

This image is appropriate in many ways.

To lead you into The Onion’s headlines of the week, this one is fitting: Resigning House Leader Reflects on All the Accomplishments He Thwarted

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
New PS4 feature allows user to close eye and imagine really fun game
Study: More men opting to be in room when wife conceives baby
Employee executes daring 3:30 pm escape from the office
Aunt enters ninth year of raving about Wicked
More corporations using tag-and-release programs to study American consumers

Bonus Onions Regarding the World Cup
Teams to Watch
Players to Watch

Interesting Reads
Columnist David Ignatius look at the Middle East through a historical lens 
10 to-knows-about Brazil while watching the World Cup
An immigration infographic
SR-71: The Blackbird spy plane
The mystery of hiccups
The Bird-Poop Spider

On Potpourri
The recent 20th anniversary of OJ and the white Ford Bronco brought forth many “where are they now” reports. But the most compelling question NBC answers: What happened to the white Ford Bronco? 

Two tidbits about next week: 1) The next Satire Bits will be the 100th in the series, and 2) the next act of Life: The Musical may be next week (thus announced Monday).

My less-than-a-year old phone suddenly died, thus I cringe of losing all the dance videos of steps.

My beloved Graeter’s ice cream will be advertising on Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

I’m getting closer to the return of Saturday Morning Cartoons – but not yet.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Flip-Flop Day, Vanilla Milkshake Day, Midsummer (in Finland & Sweden), American Eagle Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day. Productivity Day, Refugee Day, Ugliest Dog Day, Flitch of Bacon Day
  • (Sat) Peaches & Cream Day, Hollerin’ Contest Day (contest at Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina), Go Skateboarding Day, Daylight Appreciation Day, Polar Bear Swim Day, Handshake Day, Global Orgasm Day for World Peace (Southern Hemisphere), Cuckoo Warning Day, Pet Fire Safety Day
  • (Sun) Chocolate Eclair Day, Smurfs Day, Stupid Guy Thing Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a hit from 1970 – and one with a distinct bass line. Enjoy Green-Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf. 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. 223

On Politics
Interesting how a group of people proclaim they want to return to the original intent of the Constitution, but also want to amend it.

Many political pundits got what they wanted with the resignation of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Shinseki). Meanwhile, the systemic problems within the organization are deep and entrenched.

For as long as schools have been serving lunches, the educational system has had the chance to teach about nutrition … and they miserably failed. Given that “Kids Eating Healthy” has been First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus during her time in the White House, the cause has been politicized because that happens in Washington. Columnist Kathleen Parker recently wrote this interesting piece.  (Thanks, Tim)

President Obama issued an executive order regarding reducing carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants. It terms of the cost analysis of the order, was it even given? From my archives, here’s a post about environmental costs.

Tp politicians on both sides of the aisle: You can disagree with the solution, but that doesn’t mean you must deny the problem.

Although the exchange regarding American Bowe Bergdahl is odd in numerous ways, I await more information … but I can say that if President Obama is required to notify Congress, he should have.

Something to contemplate: If the Republicans asked President Obama to fart, and then he did, would they complain?

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Scientific community baffled by man whose waist 32 with some pants, 33 with others
Survey: Most common deathbed regret is never spraying fire extinguisher
Hockey team counting on goalie to step up on offense
Bounty launches beginner series for people new to paper towels
Man updates little monologue recited when extended relatives ask how he’s doing

Interesting Reads
US States and immigration since 1990
Columnist Ruth Marcus about Tiananmen Square
The German manufacturing: A model for the United States?
Leonardo da Vinci’s application letter

With events in Turkey in the news, here are two interesting historical articles
A look at Turkey through history
A year after the protests in Turkey

On Potpourri
June 6th is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. There aren’t many WW II vets left, and many less will be around for the 75th anniversary. So, I wonder … once they are gone, how will the people of the world remember not only D-Day, but WW II?  Will the lessons stay with society? I like this column from David Ignatius.

Health Update: Since Tuesday’s eye episode, I’ve had a blood test and an ultrasound on my major neck arteries, so now I await the results. Thanks to all for your concerns!

I’m due for a new header.

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce the theme on Monday.

Sorry, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post again. :( … but I’m not giving up! :)

Normally, our handbell choir has already started summer break by now, but not this year. This weekend we our playing during the service at our denomination’s southern Ohio assembly (convention). Given this weekend is Pentecost, our director selected an interesting piece associated with wind. Here’s a good recording of Windscape (start 30 seconds in), and given its over 7-minute length, it can serve as background when reading other blogs.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Horseradish Days, Lemonade Days, Positive Power of Humor and Creativity Days
  • (Fri) Donut/Doughnut Day, D-Day Anniversary, Drive-In Movie Day, Russian Language Day, Yo-Yo Day, Be-Bop-a-Lula Day
  • (Sat) Daniel Boone Day, Do-Dah Parade Day, Drawing Day, Pencil Day, National Trails Day, Turtle Races Dy, VCR Day, June Bug Day, Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • (Sun) Upsy Daisy Day, Oceans Day, Race Unity Day, Caribbean-Americans HIV Awareness Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a chance to sing along … well, for those old enough (like me) to remember this 1965 hit about Mrs. Brown’s daughter … Enjoy Herman’s Hermits. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.