Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 238

On Politics

From WordPress

From WordPress … but I will vote on Tuesday

I encourage those in US states with Congressional races to use the three fact checkers I provide on the sidebar (under Resources): Annenberg FactCheck, PolitiFact, and The Fact Checker (@Washington Post). , ,

On the topic of fact checks, one of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) ads mentions a factcheck regarding his opponent. Interestingly, Sen. McConnell’s has claims don’t clear the same bar.

Not surprisingly to me, the Cincinnati Enquirer endorsed Sen. McConnell for the contested Senate seat. However, and sad to say, the last sentence in the endorsement caused me to laugh: We (the editorial board) just hope that, if re-elected, McConnell will remember that’s it’s Kentuckians first – not his party – whom he answers to first.

I find this scenario interesting: What if the Republicans gain control of the Senate, but their leader loses his re-election?

Mitt Romney says a GOP-controlled Senate would end gridlock in Washington. Sorry Mitt, I disagree. Did your Civics class leave out the White House’s role in legislation?

Last week I asked instead of disposing all four of the top Congressional leaders (Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi), and if you could keep just one, who would it be? … and who do you think I would keep. Surprise … for me it would be John Boehner (R-OH). Although he has to deal with a difficult caucus within his own party, as an individual, I believe he would be the one most willing to make a deal.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here a few about next week’s election:

  • Midterm candidates distancing themselves from the United States
  • 45-year-old to help candidate understand the youth vote
  • Traumatized nation terrified to make its voice heard in another election

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Two-year old never thought he would see the Giants win the World Series
Man’s heart stops as speaker asks audience to turn to person next to them
Four angels banished from heaven for attempting to unionize
Antidepressant can’t believe it’s expected it’s expected to fix this mess all on its own
Crowd outside White House hoping to catch glimpse of President naked

Bonus Graphic: How Ebola Quarantine Works

Interesting Reads
Shift college programs to 3 years?
Media habits of the partisans …. (and something I wrote in January 2009)
Keyless cars and thieves
Neil Young: Musician, artist, and painter
Denying science in politics
Interactive: Henry Hudson on the Hudson

On Potpourri
Happy Halloween. Here’s an interesting read wondering if adults have hijacked Halloween.

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants for winning baseball’s World Series … and special congrats to their fans who visit here that I know love their Giants … especially Lame and Amy.

Pope Francis’ support (this week) for science regarding evolution and creation not only does not surprise me, but it continues a trend going back to Pope Pius XII. Regardless the clamor of the noisy cranks, there is no question in my mind that when measured along denominational lines, this is the predominant view among Christians. Even in that light, much of the Atheist community is not willing to join in partnership against the conservative agenda of placing God-driven creationism based on Genesis in public schools.

To go along with the previous comment, I’ve been saving this one from Pew Research about attitudes about evolution by political party.

Dr. John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College. (I loved his book about Genesis that I reviewed here.) Recently, I read this worthy essay about right vs. wrong … and I think agree vs. disagree is also valid.

I continue to find a wonderful interest in Cynthia’s poems, Her audio versions add to my experience because she has an outstanding cadence. If you visit and comment, tell her I sent you … and a special thanks to Mary for directing me to Cynthia.

Lauren Hill, the college freshman from the Cincinnati area with an inoperable brain, is expected not to see 2016, yet this Sunday she will get her dream of playing in a college basketball game. It seems that various cable stations will be broadcasting the game in different parts of the country. I’m curious if this makes the local news (television, radio, or newspaper) in your area … so let me know. Here’s an article about her. PS: I’ve learned that she will be in the starting lineup, plus the last player introduced.

Cheers to everyone’s effort in yesterday’s Act 11 of Life: The Musical. In the history of musicals here, readers provided many songs that I didn’t know … and as one who appreciates a wide-variety of music, I say Many thanks!

This blog hit the 200,000 hits mark late Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the rollover, but my guess the celebratory moment occurred sometime between 11:40-11:55 AM (Eastern US).

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this week because tomorrow is a special day! Do you remember why?

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Punkin Chunkin Champtionships (Video to learn about it)
  • (Fri) Happy Halloween!, Knock-Knock Jokes Day, Caramel Apples Day, Books for Treats Day, Day of the Seven Billion, Frankenstein Friday, Girl Scout Founder’s Day, Bandana Day, Breadsticks Day, Magic Day, Scare a Friend Day
  • (Sat) Fried Clams Day, Extra Mile Day, Give Up Your Shoulds Day, Sadie Hawkins Day, Games Day. Authors’ Day, Family Caregivers Day. Family Literacy Day, Go Cook for Your Pets Day, Prime Meridian Day, Kite Day, Games Day
  • (Sun) Deviled Eggs Day, Cookie Monster Day, Plan Your Epitaph Day, Zero Tasking Day, Name Your Car Day, Look for Circles Day

Here’s another 2-fer to send you into the weekend. With Saturday being Sadie Hawkins Day, the first takes you back to 1959 with Stubby Kaye in Lil Abner. If musicals of that era aren’t your thing, you are only going back to 1980 for Turn It On Again (Genesis). 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. 237

On Politics
This week’s senseless horrors in Ottawa, Canada is just another reminder of our crazy world. My heart goes out to my northern neighbors.

Not that I don’t think Ebola is serious, but I do wonder how much of the fear and discussion is politically driven.

People are undoubtedly disgusted with members of Congress, and there’s no doubt in my mind that many voters will cast a vote against a candidate rather than for a candidate. Unfortunately, others believe both parties are pathetic, thus will stay home because it doesn’t really matter who wins.

Many of the ads of Grimes-McConnell race for the Kentucky Senate seat focus on coal. Interestingly, the coal industry accounts for 1% of Kentucky jobs, plus has been in decline for over 40 years.

Midterm elections in the US usually don’t get much interest from the voters. Nonetheless, outside groups are spending around $4 BILLION dollars on the election.

This is interesting to ponder, but nothing one can do about it … but still interesting. Given the top leaders in Congress (Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell) – If you could get rid of 3 (thus only keep 1), who would you keep? Who do you think I would keep? (My answer next week)

Cheers to The Onion for these election headlines

  • New election rules allows candidates to remain completely anonymous throughout campaign
  • Populist candidate gaining support among underrepresented corporations
  • Bitter concession speeches only thing Americans looking forward to in upcoming elections

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man coasting through life entirely on benefit of doubt
Hazmat worker sees no reason to throw away all this perfectly good food
Pueblo Indians can’t keep pace with area woman’s appetite for earthenware
New census study finds 40% of US population is filler

The Onion’s infographic about tracking Ebola in the US 

Cake left in breakroom without instructions (photo below)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Interesting Reads
How to keep your health-care costs in check in 2015
Ebola and the epidemics of the past
(video) Blue eyes: Endangered and on the road to extinction?
How nature sparkles … literally sparkles
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS) on poverty
The first Olympics games following WW II: London 1948

On Potpourri
I watch my share of CNN, so imagine my surprise when I learned that CNN and HLN are no longer on my system due to contract negotiations.

One of local college basketball players is known for his big hands … hands measuring 11.75 in (30 cm) from thumb to pinky, and 10.25 in (26 cm) from palm to tip of middle finger. Undoubtedly, that’s a big hand!

10 children, 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, 73 years of marriage, and they died 28 hours apart. Read this touching story about a Cincinnati couple.

Here’s an update on the two local athletic stories that are getting national attention because of cancer. The Bengals have sold about 15,000 jerseys of Devon Still’s #75 … that’s $1.5 million dollars to fight pediatric cancer. Across town we find Lauren Hill, the college freshman hoping to play in one college basketball game before she dies from the inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Her small college accepted Xavier University’s offer to use their arena for the game, and Tuesday the public responded by buying over 10,000 tickets less than an hour – that is a sell out. (Story)

I anticipate reaching a milestone sometime next week. Stay tuned!

We saw the movie Gone Girl this week. Whew .. talk about two people deserving each other!

Speaking of next week, I hope to raise the curtain on Act 11 of Life: The Musical next week, which also means I will announce the theme in the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this week because I don’t have one ready! :(

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Food Day, Bologna day, Sour Day, Black Cat Day, World Development Information Day, UN Day
  • (Sat) Cartoonists Against Crime Day, Chuckie the Notorious Killer Doll Day, Pasta Day, Make a Difference Day, Greasy Foods Day, Sourest Day, Pit Bull Awareness Day, Punk-for-a-Day Day
  • (Sun) Mother-in-Law Day, Mule Day, Visit a Cemetery Day, Privacy Day, Mincemeat Day, Horseless Carriage Day

Last weekend was the first of two weddings for us to attend, so those events made me think of this rock song from the early 80s … White Wedding (Billy Idol). 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. 236

On Politics
In the US, the Surgeon General would be the point person in the fight against Ebola. As Republicans are (predictably) attacking President Obama on Ebola, let us not forget that President Obama nominated Dr. Vikey Murthy for the post in November 2013, whose nomination is being blocked by Republicans. Once again I say that Senators should act on any and all presidential nominees regardless of the president’s political affiliation.

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey is remaining on the sidelines as much as possible, which causes me to wonder if its leadership is doing with hopes of eradicating the Kurds. I don’t know, but just a thought to ponder.

I like this statement in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article regarding climate change and politicians … When you get politicians in the room to talk about climate change, science doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. What does? Money, geography, party politics, and a region’s history.

Recent quotes for talk-show host Bill Maher and some of his guests about Islam has received much media attention. On the topic, I enjoyed this column from Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post).

I always appreciate the Stealers Wheel song clip Michael Smerconish uses on his XM radio show: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with you … and now I see this one from Nancy’s book review: Don’t go to the right, don’t go left, go deeper. Thanks, Nancy!

To lead you into The Onion, I appreciate these two recent gems they provide on our upcoming elections.

  • Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track
  • Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
TV show under fire for depicting murder
Man thinks people care enough about him to be let down by his failures
Facebook offers to freeze female employees’ newborn children
Entire conversation with parents spent changing subject
Lifelong dream no match for first brush with adversity
Susan G Komen Foundation launches deep-space probe to bring breast cancer awareness to rest of galaxy

Interesting Reads
A white-only town in South Africa
Constitutional balance
Evolution and faith: one’s journey
Columnist David Brooks on campaign spending
Top geologic sights in the UK (great pics, too)
Infographic: Extinction by Numbers
Microsoft Office is not needed

On Potpourri
Another story of a young lady from the Cincinnati area with cancer is getting national attention. She’s a college freshman with a wish to play in one college basketball game. Here’s the video from a local channel (one in which the reporter has a difficult time) and this written report from Sporting News that has a video for a different local station.

This week I made my first appearance to the weekly dance gathering for those with disabilities. It was a great 45 minutes, plus the dancer teacher was pleasantly surprised to see me. Later, I sent her the link to my post about the event, and she loved it.http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/on-an-extra-special-event/

CNN has a series (CNN Roots) about the family roots of some of their studio personalities. I’ve enjoyed the three I’ve seen so far, but this one about Michaela Pereira is outstanding, so I encourage you can watch it here. By the way, CNN will have a primetime special regarding this series on October 21st at 9:00 pm (Eastern US). Here’s the CNN page on the series with all the videos.

This week we got a new neighbor, and they used a POD storage system, which I’ve seen – but I’ve never witnessed one either loaded or unloaded to/from a truck. I must say, Very interesting! … so here are two videos for those who want to know more … from the moving company (1+ min) … and … by a user (4+ min).

Another act of Life: The Musical is in the official record, so thanks to all participants … and, as always, I love listening to all the songs. What’s your thought on this idea: Should I compile all the songs for the entire musical?

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us, so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Cartoon this week.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Something Gaudy Day, Pasta Day, Alternative Fuel Day, Black Poetry Day, Eradicate Poverty Day, Mulligan Day, Mammography Day
  • (Sat) Bridge Day, Chocolate Cupcake Day, Menopause Day, No Beard Day, Sweetest Day, Boost Your Brain Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, Seafood Bisque Day

Thought I’d send you into the weekend this week with a 2-fer. First, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel (because I mentioned it in the post), plus one that you may not know .. but I like the beat and its a great dance song … so here’s Ms. Jody with At the Bop. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 235

On Politics
With a third of the US Senate up for re-election,there is a consistency that makes me chuckle. Republicans are linking their Democratic opponents to President Obama. That means elect me to a 6-year term because the President Obama has 2 years remaining.

Earlier this week I saw my first TV ad for Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in which he didn’t mention President Obama.

Despite the fact that Congress has lower approval rating than President Obama, the majority of the incumbents will win re-election.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Olympic swimmer Phelps banned from having any contact with water for 6 months
Man wishes there wasn’t so much blank room on anniversary card
Local oaf not sure which part of counter to place order
Documentary viewer can’t wait to find out which 4 lads from Liverpool changed music forever
Serial killer makes an impassioned case for protecting local marsh
Nation’s cuckolded husbands gear up for first day of hunting season with wives’ lovers

The Onion’s list of must-watch fall TV shows includes Lamp Wars, Dance Baboons, and Pumpkin Patch Pickers.

Interesting Reads
Creationism’s disjointed science
An interview with Mikahil Gorbachev
Hummingbird madness
Improve wasting time
Herbert Hoover and the Colorado River

On Potpourri
A tip of the cap to the New England Patriots for generosity. During a commercial break, the team showed a video of Leah Still, the young daughter of a player on the opposing team with a rate cancer. Following the video, the crowd cheered, the Patriot cheerleaders were Still’s #75, and the Patriot owner donated $25,000 to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Interestingly, the Cincinnati Bengals can’t keep up on stocking #75 jerseys as 100% of sales go to a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and pediatric cancer care and research. Yes … like many, Devon Still (the player and father) shed tears on the sidelines.

Speaking of Cincinnati, I’ve set our DVR as Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network features my city in a new episode. Check your listings, but the first airing of the “One Street Wonders” episode is Friday night at 10 pm (Eastern US). Here’s a link to the episode schedule at Food Network.

I really like the Delta Airline commercial titled No Bag Left Behind. For those who haven’t seen it, click here.

Leaves are starting to turn, then make their way to the ground; which means this will be my year (since 1987) when I’m not on a twice-a-week 6-to-8-week mission of dealing with fallen leaves. … so NO … I’m not going to miss that!

I had a great view to watch Wednesday morning’s lunar eclipse. But after the moon was completely in the shadow, it ducked behind a tree.

I’ll have another attempt for Life: The Musical next week … well, as long as I remember to announce the acceptable words on Monday for the Play theme.

Hey hey hey … a Saturday Morning Cartoon post will be there for your Saturday.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Handbag Day, Egg Day, Mental Health Day, Emergency Nurses Day, Newspaper Carrier, Porridge Day, Homeless Day, Angel Food Cake Day
  • (Sat) Coming Out Day, Costume Swap Day, Family Bowling Day, Southern Food Heritage Day, Music Day, Food Truck Day, Sausage Pizza Day, It’s My Party Day, You Go Girl Day
  • (Sun) Frustration Scream Day, Scream & Shout Day, Day of the Six Billion, Clergy Appreciation Day, Free Thought Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a classic hit. Interestingly, it was part of an LP released in 1972 on the Wooden Nickel record label. Oh, of course, it must be Lady by Styx. 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. 234

On Politics
Congress failure to have a vote before leaving for the campaign trail regarding ISIS/ISIL is another example that members of Congress act with the party and personal interest first. After all, the majority of the House of Representatives skirt their responsibility while wanting to sue the President regarding use of executive powers. Vote them all out!

Did anyone see the Charlie Wilson’s War (the movie with Tom Hanks)? Discussions about arming and assisting the Syrian rebels reminds me of that movie.

A friend of mine told me that he heard a political commentator say that the reason nothing can get done in Washington is because there are too many people who are socially liberal but fiscally conservative clogging the streets. That’s a load of crap because there are very few in Congress who think that way. In other words, we are not a scapegoat!

An interesting interactive: US Presidents and their approval ratings

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man always taking good mood out on friends
Grasshopper dismembered by future Supreme Court Justice
Man having great time will soon have to apologize to everyone
Tense party enters third hour of unplayed acoustic guitar leaning against the wall
Man worried antidepressants will leave trace of original personality
Study finds mass extinction could free up billions of dollars in conservation funding by 2024

The Onion’s list of highlight from George Clooney’s wedding

Interesting Reads
Science is not democratic
Brookings’ on why government fails 
Mutual funds’ five-star curse
Bacteria may be telling you what to eat
Teaching is not a business
Insurance companies tracking your driving

On Potpourri
This past week was simply one of those limiting my time visiting blogs. :(

I heard this story that sounds right from The Onion (but isn’t) … It seems a reality show will determine the crew for a privately funded trip to Mars.

Blog party right here this weekend, so sure hope you stop by. Celebration starts at 12:15 am (Eastern US), so Europe, the party will be ready for your morning, and lunch time in the Lands Down Under.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon post is weekend because of the party of pre-empting normal scheduling.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Smile Day, Denim Day, Diversity Day, Borderline Personality Disorder Day, Caramel Custard Day, Techies Day, Butterflies & Hummingbirds Day
  • (Sat) Cephalopod Day, Balloons Around-the-World Day, Blessing of the Pets Day, Frugal Fun Day, Improve Your Office Day, Taco Day, Ship-in-a-Bottle Day, Cinnamon Roll Day, Golf Lovers Day, Vodka Day, Toot-Your-Own-Horn Day, Animal Day, Ten-Four Day, Card-Making Day
  • (Sun) Bathtub Party Day, Change a Light Day, Country Inn Bed & Breakfast Day, Blessing of the Fishing Fleet Day, No Prostitution Day, Apple Betty Day, Smile Day, Do Something Nice Day, Depression Screening Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a mild song to enjoy – it’s the Doobie Brothers with Black Water. Hope to see you at this weekend’s party, plus have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.

On Clarifying Science

Did you know …. 

Science is not an opinion.

Science is not democratic.

Science is not an ideology.

Science is not a theology.

Science is not a belief system.

Science is not a theory.

Science is not a political view.

Science is not a trend.

But ….

Science is a human endeavor.

Science is a way of knowing.

Science is impersonal.

Science is limited to the human perspective.

Science is a methodology.

Science involves verifying.

Science finds patterns and connections.

Science is a search for explanations of what we observe in nature.

Think about it – Disagreement around scientific topics is common in our lives. Whether it be evolution, climate change, vaccines deforestation, energy resources, or environmental standards (to name a few), a sizable number of people reject aspects of science for a variety of reasons – especially political, theological, and/or other ideological views … all reasons that are not science.