Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 177

On Politics (but not a short)
The Founding Fathers designed Congress to be a public forum for debate. As a group of 13 Republican senators threatens to filibuster the US Senate from debating any gun control legislation, Senator McCain (R-AZ) asked, “What are they afraid of?”

Then (in a procedural vote), and after an agreed-upon proposal between a Democrat and a Republican regarding background checks, 24 Republican senators voted to block debate on any gun control legislation.

Because this group’s action is a blatant attempt to undermine a national conversation while hiding behind a weak, limited view of the Constitution, they obviously have forgotten that according to the Constitution, the US. Supreme Court determines constitutionality – NOT the United States Senate.

In addition, the record shows that in the DC vs. Heller decision (a case about handguns), Justice Scalia (a strong conservative) did not close the door to government intervention on gun issues when he wrote, “the (Second Amendment) right was not unlimited”. Therefore, for this group of senators, I yield to this great American orator.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Stock photo model scout finds something special in man in business suit with arms crossed
  • Man not certain of names of his coworkers
  • Waters tested as 12-year old says “Shit” in front of mother for first time
  • Teen boulder can’t wait for landslide to put it into ravine where “they get it”
  • D-battery elected to Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame
  • Stripper thinks customer flirting with her

Interesting Reads
Thomas Jefferson Center Muzzle Awards (a good headshaker)
The art of good writing by columnist George Will
Columnist Kathleen Parker on reconciliation
Book Review: The Complete Phillip Roth
Scientist Richard Feynman’s words on science and religion
America’s pooping technique is wrong
Shit Happens according to blogger Archon (not related to the previous read)

On Potpourri
I’m a firm believer in the need for educational reform, but I also realize that “education reform” is an oxymoron. I appreciate this recent article, which I will pair with this past post of mine.

Congratulations to the University of Louisville Cardinals for winning the NCAA Basketball Championship. Unlike in college football, at least basketball has a legitimate champion … and unlike last year, I do not have to declare the basketball championship as invalid.

Monday was an interesting day with the passing of Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funicello. Here’s an interesting read about five myths regarding the Iron Lady, plus a tribute to the popular 60s star.

My stats here have been pathetic, but I keep plugging away.

Coming sometime this week: Time: The Musical – Act 2. After this highly successful opening act, it’s time to prepare. Participants may recall that Act 1 involved posting videos of songs with “Time” in the title. However, Act 2 is Time: A Specific Time – thus the song title must include a specific time in the title – not the lyrics, not the performer, not the meaning – the title. Do your research as I hope to open Act 2 sometime this week.

There will be a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend … and it will feature a cartoon icon.

Because our handbell choir plays this weekend, I’ll send you into the weekend with a beautiful arrangement of How Can I Keep from Singing, which has an interesting “singing bell” technique with a dowel rod moving along the rim in a similar manner of getting a wine glass to sing with a finger.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

64 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 177

  1. Frank, I think I’m going to order copies of The Dirty Cowboy for every kid I know and some grown ups too. What Maroons.

    And the poop position article is hysterical. You know what it misses? The fact that it is so much easier to relax and, well, you know, with a good book when you’re sitting.


  2. I’ve had co-workers I wasn’t certain of, names or otherwise. I have a specific time in mind and time to do the research. The daughter has a Tibetan prayer bowl and stick which sings like your bell. And in conclusion….Thanks for the (dis)honorable mention. 😆


  3. Frank I don’t know where you find these articles but I enjoyed the pooping story so much that I read it out loud to Mr F. I was interested to learn that the Romans sat and socialized “while unloading their large intestine’s smelly burden.” Good grief I can’t imagine that!
    Neither of us know what “angry bird” is but we’re going to try squatting on the toilet seat – as an experiment. And take our shoes off! 😀

    I enjoyed listening to the handbell piece.

    I don’t feel so bad if you’ve also got dreary stats …


  4. 12-year old elected to Philadelphia Stripper Hall of Fame
    Man in business suit, not certain of shit, thinks customer flirting with his coworkers.
    Model scout says teen ravine “something special”.

    *evil grins*


  5. I often worry about the American politics.. the seemingly underhanded happenings we get to hear, make me wonder about the USA constitution… it is almost as though the same that is happening here is beginning to happen there.. government bending rules to suit themselves or the highest payer… I think of all the research I’ve done on GMO and how big business is getting it right to block simple things through the use of the touts they employ to influence officials… this to me sounds like Africa…


    • Bulldog,
      I enjoy getting the perspective of those outside the US.

      One correction: In Africa, “government bending rules to suit themselves or the highest payer” – Here, it’s not or, but AND.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  6. The poop position article was interesting, but I found the comments on it very entertaining, especially this one, “Yes, our ancestors squatted when they defecated. They also walked around all day with balls of the stuff stuck between their cheeks. Isn’t the ‘natural’ way wonderful?” 😆
    Thanks for the chuckles, Frank, and have a relaxing weekend.


  7. Should I just take it as a casual coincidence that your blog today has featured both congress and poop? You may be slick, but you can’t get that stuff past me 😉

    It is Republicans like the ones you mentioned that have pushed me from “middle” to “fleeing to the left” in the past couple of years. I have seen a similar pattern amongst a sizeable majority of the under-30’s type of voters. They are digging their own grave.


    • Twixt,
      Well now … only The Shadow knows if the mentions were coincidental or planned.

      Good take on the GOP, which is something I still don’t believe they understand as they stay with this mantra of we don’t compromise, so join us.

      Meanwhile, the left doesn’t care for the middle either … so I say bring on three parties!


  8. Reasoned debate is always to be welcomed and encouraged, but to no avail if the recipients arrive with minds already firmly closed to alternative arguments. Bugs summed it up perfectly.

    Also, I hear Rod Stewart is to sing his famous chart topping song “Maggie May” at Mrs Thatchers funeral. Not sure how the line “wake up Maggie” will be received 🙂


  9. Stripper thinks customer flirting with her – really feel sorry for this young lady .. *smile … what a big problem to tackle. The bells are beautiful in the video .. but let the cat out … her singing is spoiling the bells, glad that she didn’t sing that much. I prefer .. Mr Stewart – he can sing. Have a great weekend now.


  10. I think your gun control battles will be very ugly and drawn out. It is obvious there is a big push to remove gun ownership from citizens – its happened here and in other parts of the word. And let me tell you – it doesn’t stop guns from getting into hands of the wrong people xx


    • Spiced,
      On big correction on your statement – NO – there isn’t a big push to remove gun ownership from the citizens. Although there are some who would want that, but Constitutionally, that won’t fly …. and even many supporters of some sort of gun control recognize that.


  11. Love the ethereal sound of the handbell/dowel work.
    I’ve been doing some reading on the gun debate, and that seems to be breaking down more along rural vs urban/suburban lines than Rep/Dem lines. And some Dems voted with the Reps in the Senate.
    It is the Court’s job to decide if something is constitutional, but it is also the legislative body’s job to craft laws that fit within that framework.

    Looking forward to the time post. I have a few in mind already, hopefully some favorites, and some lesser known works.


    • Guapo,
      Good points about the breakdown of where people are on the gun control stuff. Thus why the House vote would be tougher sell (no matter what the proposal).

      Absolutely on the framework. To me, those in Congress crying “Unconstitutional” are attempting to by judge and jury when it isn’t even their decision!

      I’m hoping Thursday is the day for Time – Act 2.


  12. Ahhh what a relief, now that every one knows the best pooping position let us also go out and do it wherever like people do in India..
    Why we not only use the best posture but do it all out in greens, railway lines, think about it best posture plus amazing view( mean for one who is pooping )
    one day my friend mark my words one day we all will be using the entire planet as a huge latrine, and then we will all be friends may be peace will come this way who knows 😉


  13. Good stuff here, Frank! Your reading list looks fabulous, too… especially Feynman, (whom I adore). I’ll have to peruse, the art of good writing, and “reconciliation”. Looking forward to Time: Part II. Garrison Keillor, another one of my ‘besties’. Have a wonderful weekend!!


  14. I just read the article on Thatcher–thank you for that! And I’m definitely buying the Dirty Cowboy! It brings to mind an experience I had years ago when teaching piano lessons. I was taking an art class and had a book open on a table with some very abstract Matisse nudes–VERY abstract. A parent called me later irate that I’d left pornography open where his child could see it. After I made it clear that he had better never use the word pornography associated with my name or there would be action, we definitely parted ways. Maroon indeed! LOL!

    We are out of town, and your guess about the Morros is correct by the way, and so news has been spotty. But I caught something about Anne Coulter taking verbal “shots” at Meghan McCain that must come out of John McCain’s attempt to be reasonable within the Republican filibuster attempt. Frankly, as an American, I’m embarrassed! Have a good weekend…I’ve escaped some of the world’s nonsense for a couple of days!


    • Debra,
      Interesting story about the nudes. Oh my my … the havoc roars some get in their bowels! Thanks for sharing.

      We passed through Morro about 4 years ago … so it was easy to remember.

      Meanwhile, I try to avoid Anne Coulter every chance I get … thus whatever she says doesn’t surprise me.

      Hope your trip was a pleasant one!


  15. Man not certain of co-workers shit (isn’t that always the truth)

    A couple of the articles are interesting as always, science and God always tickle my fancy. Education, dang why can’t politicians who clearly don’t know spit stay out of the way of educators?

    I think I must stay silent, Congress and those who walk those halls continue to baffle me. I swear they are creatures of a dark night.


    • Val,
      Educational reform is an interesting topic in itself. Although politicians have a hand in this mess, I’m not convinced that educators (as a whole) embrace change – and may actually help inhibit it … along with the public, which runs the show. In other words, what a mess.

      As for Congress, they are 200 miles away from shore facing a stiff wind with land no where in sight, and trying to row with a set of toothpicks.


  16. Finally! I got back to really listening to the bell choir piece and it was exquisite! Loved the vocalist and I had never seen the dowel rod–not that I can remember. What a neat sound. That was worth waiting for. Thanks so much, Frank.


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