Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 195

On Politics
The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech has been interesting. We have come a long way, yet still have so far to go. As Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said, Sometimes I hear people saying nothing has changed, but for someone to grow up the way I grew up in the cotton fields of Alabama to now be serving in the United States Congress, makes we want to tell them come and walk in my shoes.

I appreciated the way President Obama used these common metaphors: the flame of conscience, a stream of conscience, and a coalition of conscience.

As a large segment of Congressional Republicans continues to do what they can to remove Obamacare, here’s an article about some Republicans who appreciate the Affordable Care Act.

I recently saw this bumper sticker: I’m Catholic, and I vote. My response is I vote without labels.

I hope “clear evidence” about chemical weapons use in Syria is clearer than the weapons of mass destruction evidence in Iraq.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Study: Americans enjoy watching TV, eating
Narrow gap in bathroom stall door to be widened Monday
Some stupid things making the rounds among your Facebook friends today
Syrian conflict widens as bears enter war
New desktop folder created for sad little project
Man thought to be dead wakes up two days after cremation
Study: The majority of children lack strong male supermodels

Interesting Reads
Juicing A-to-Z
Just another example of injuries retired football players endure
Physicists debate world’s composition
Travel guide and slideshow of Belgrade, Serbia
Golf’s history in America (a book review)
Power of forgiveness
Science and cable news

On Potpourri
Happy Wear College Colors Day! I don’t think orange & brown and red & black will be a good combo, so I wore the first on Thursday (Go Falcons, Beat Tulsa) and the second (Go Bearcats, Beat Purdue) on Friday.

If this celebration isn’t for you, Friday is Holistic Pet Day and Toasted Marshmallow Day. Saturday is Love Litigating Lawyers Day. Huh? Meanwhile, this weekend is the final chance to celebrate Safe at Home Week and your last chance to celebrate Golf Month, Win with Civility Month, and Mutt-i-grees Rescue Month.

For us in the US, Labor Day weekend marks the last major weekend of summer. Being that it straddles two months this time, I won’t feature September celebrations until the next Monday Morning Entertainment post. September 1st (Sunday) celebrations include No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day, Calendar Adjustment Day, Chicken Boy’s Day Emma M. Nutt Day, Dolphins of Taiji Awareness Day, Toy Tips Executive Toy Test Day, and Building and Code Staff Appreciation Day.

Did you hear about the 11-year-old boy starting college to major in quantum physics?

This past Wednesday’s Tribute’s post was a lot of fun to do, so thanks for stopping by to celebrate the occasion … although it put me very behind on my visits! Although unstated, one of my goals was for readers to find new blogs to visit and for bloggers to get new visitors. Did it work?

As my Cincinnati Reds struggle, at least my golf game is trying to become more consistent.

Is Miley Cyrus going to be the next to follow the Lindsay Lohan/Brittany Spears meltdown model?

Because September is going to be a choppy month for me, the next act of Time: The Musical may be next week with the theme featuring songs with Hour(s) in the title. I hope to announced a definite on Monday Morning Entertainment.

Sorry, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

Here are The Piano Guys to send you into the weekend. (Well, I don’t think I’ve used this one). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

84 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 195

      • I watched all of the ceremonies via CSPAN for the Dream Speech. I was impressed and moved. One thing I noticed about crowd shots was how many non-blacks were in the audience. That’s a good thing. Another thing very obvious was the absence of R-cans. They were invited. They said no. They want to be more inclusive? Right.

        The ACA has done good things for many, our family included. It is slow to implement. More good stuff is coming. Melanie will get to review the choices come Oct. 1 in IA.

        Syria…what a mess. Arab League, step up and speak out against chemical weapons use. United States, hold on to the reigns. Wait. Bears, why the hell are bears now involved? This world is a nutty place.

        The TCU kid is the same age as two of my grandkids. Holy cow! I hope they take good care of him and he flourishes. Nice looking kid.

        Glad to hear your golf game is ok. Mine is on hold this week, too hot. I was doing well. When I go back, all hell might break loose. A key to my game has been to be sure I don’t try to hit too hard. Accelerate smoothly at a blade of grass in front of the ball. And, those short game approach shots are more important than most people think.

        Thanks, Frank, for your work on these posts. I know how much time and energy it takes. I appreciate your efforts.


  1. I respond to two of the subjects of your post today. First, it’s tragic that most Americans haven’t realized yet, that the complete integration of the Negroes into the social and financial life in the US is no more necessary for black than it is for white. And second, Frank, Sadam may not have had nuclear weapons, but there is no doubt that he had weapons of mass destruction, and that his forces murdered countless people among the minorities in Iraq. The war might not have been a success. And you might choose, like ancient China, to build a wall around your country, and ignore what happens in other places. But ultimately, the price of ignorance and willful blindness is higher than that of commitment to justice.


    • Shimon,
      There is no doubt that Sadam was ruthless to people in his own country. Here, President Bush sold the case for the invasion based on WMDs, which have yet to be found. I’m not an isolationist … and believe me, there are plenty who are. Thanks for your thoughtful insight!


    • Bulldog,
      As you know, the world has many cultures and perspectives. Given a global economy, the relative ease of travel and mobility, and the way technology has spurred communication, learning about and accepting others is more important than ever. After all, the people of the world still have more in common than not … a point why I enjoy this video.


  2. I am unclear as to the opposition against what is called “Obamacare”? Is it a proposal to move your health care system to a closer model of our Canadian system? Health care for all no matter the economic background of the individual? What is the problem? I guess having grown up in a system where healthcare is a given right, it baffles me that people would see it as a privilege…or am I misinterpreting something?


    • Kayjai,
      A couple of points
      1) President Obama can take a Republican idea, and then they would turn against him … and he actually chose the option that initially was a Republican idea.

      2) On the other hand, the admin has (IMO) done a poor job explaining the program.

      3) Many are against it because they don’t know what they are against.

      4) Republicans are all for the repeal, and their replacement is to return to the system previously in place. Huh?

      Oh well … an answer from my warped brain.


      • Interesting. Healthcare always has potholes along the road, but I think our system serves the greatest population and overall, is beneficial for everyone. It is unfortunate, that some choose not to keep themselves informed.


  3. Yeah. health care is a puzzle and totally confusing
    You’d be how many Canadian doctors/specialists/interns/med. students have hurried (for the past 10+ years) with their families to Texas (relocating in a variety of spots from the big med centers in Houston and Dallas to the smallest towns in East Texas.) They say they don’t like the Canadian system, the limits on their treatments/options for patients – and the wait for treatment. Many Canadian docs-in-advanced-training/Fellows locally are sure to get all their personal medical treatments done here before they have to return home.
    It’s odd, I’ve been told by relocated Canadian docs that in there docs can only make a certain amount in salary per year, and once that amount is reached they can either work for free, take vacation, or work in another country.
    Health care is a troubling issue – hope some answers can be found soon.
    Meanwhile, let’s sweeten things up with marshmallows.
    You always find the most interesting stuff, Frank. Cheers for the weekend!


      • Could roast those marshmallows on the sidewalk!
        (from what I hear, it’s easier to immigrate this way than that – doc jobs are hard to land there according to a Canadian friend looking (state run so no competition among groups). We’ll take all docs we can get – underserved area here in Houston due to population. My parents’ doc is Canadian, my daughter’s mentor is Canadian doc, neighbors are canadian docs, my doc’s resident is Canadian, even our dentist’s wife is Canadian. We love those Canadians! They say the love the weather – although beats me how anyone could enjoy the summers…but fall is around the corner) Hope your weekend rings a bell!


  4. My favorite gem from this week’s OitS: “I recently saw this bumper sticker: I’m Catholic, and I vote. My response is I vote without labels.”

    On another note, my boss is ex-NFL, and was heavily involved in the head trauma litigation that made headlines this week. He’s in his 50’s, but you’d guess 70’s if you saw him, as several decades of knee surgeries and pain meds have taken their toll.


    • Twixt,
      Interesting to even know a ex-NFL player, let alone work for one …. I imagine you got an interesting perspective on the litigation. I know the NFL has desires to lengthen the season …. and that makes me cringe from a health perspective.


  5. Happy weekend, my dear Frank and let us hope that the ‘heads’ will make the right decisions and not lead us in another unjustified war.
    As for Miley, I wouldn’t worry. She is finally her real self [in the appropriate outfit too!]


    • Marina,
      The situation in Syria is sad on its own, let alone any outside intervention. Meanwhile, Miley is certainly working hard at changing her image and keeping herself in the headlines.


  6. From Real Clear Science I read, “How to Discuss Science in an Age of Cable News.” Then I read from Scientific American, “Physicists Debate Whether the World Is Made of Particles or Fields–or Something Else Entirely.” Then I thought about your golf game and the Wright Brothers’ decision to emphasize CONTROL in their development of a practical flying machine.


  7. Wow, 5 years old and in the 8th grade…that must have been a treat. Good to see youngsters so brainy and parent(s) helping him in the right direction. whew. makes my brain tired just thinking about it. the Piano guys are like the tree guy. so unique it is funny. 🙂 happy wine and dance weekend ♥


  8. Great post as usual. I don’t know much about Obama, but I love to catch bits here. It’s magnificent that King had that dream, saw it, expressed it so loud.

    Re Miley, I feel sorry for her because when the headlines hit I couldn’t help but think “Women are either not sexy enough or ‘too sexy’.’ She was headlines for being “too sexy” which actually reads as unsexy and gross. I felt a bit sorry for her. She’ll have to tune into herself and be herself – only way to survive all that attention.

    How sweet you playing One Direction! 🙂


    • Noeleen,
      I’ve got the feeling Miley’s actions were a publicity stunt to keep herself in the news … especially if news delivers dollars. Oh well.

      ML King came along at an important time. After all, the late 60s were a turbulent time in US history … whew!


  9. It didn’t get much love in the comments but “New desktop folder created for sad little project” made me smile.
    Agree completely re the “clear evidence”, but don’t hold your breath, governments tell lies!
    And I don’t think I’ll be celebrating the Lawyer thingy on Saturday 🙂


  10. Agree on the voting without labels – vote however you want for whatever reason you want!

    On Syria – yeah, I think the US needs to tread lightly here and wait for the UN to report – Obama does not need to start a big fight like this without being sure. I think the British parliament is wise to tell the PM to back off and wait, no matter what the US wants.. Noone needs another Iraq of Afghanistan.

    On Miley – I don’t have a problem with her expressing herself, but I think she needs to think carefully about the songs she decides to do that expressing against – that Robin Thicke ‘blurred lines’ song is a nasty mysogynistic rant about wanting to rape a girl because the guy thinks shes hot. Really? Miley, you can do better than that – go dance to your own songs and don’t give that guy of thing a second of fame, he doesn’t deserve it!


    • Charlie,
      Miley definitely kept herself in the news and showing she’s no longer a kid. It should be interesting to see what happens to her in the near future.

      On Syria, President Obama has done the unexpected by seeking approval from Congress … which will be interesting to see how that plays out. I’ve got the feeling the British vote influenced that decision. Thanks for your thoughts.


  11. The juicing article, most excellent I am always looking for new recipes. The story of Reggie had me thinking of resiliancy and our humanity, it also had me considering the difference between doing what is ‘right’ and doing only what is required. There is such a vast difference usually.

    Loved the One Direction video!


    • Val,
      Not only was Reggie Williams an outstanding football player in his day, he was great with community service. A class act. Meanwhile, the fact that the NFL wants to expand the regular season make me cringe .. especially when I think of injuries.


  12. Just catching up Frank, but what a great, thought provoking post. The Onion headlines just made me very sad instead of laughnig, so I’ll skip that part.

    I loved the article on physicists pondering of the composition of the world – I’ve bookmarked it for additional pondering – but most important to me was the idea of the marriage of quantum physics and philosophy, in other words, moving out to the big picture. The arguments discussed reminded me of everything I hate about music analysis, i.e. breaking a creative gestalt down to the smallest elements and then trying to describe that gestalt from such a minutia perspective. Frankly, it sucks the soul out of a piece of music and completely misses the point. Quantum physics, the analysis of the universe in minutia, can so easily fall into the same trap. I don’t think this is much different than the composition of music; no music analyst ever composed something worth listening to, because the point of creative endeavor is to use the building blocks in the big sense, the large landscape created by an understanding of the minute building blocks but putting them together in creative ways. That said, I find elements in the article confirming that point of view, that the big picture matters. Hmmmm 🙂 Thanks for pointing the way to such food for thought, Frank.

    OK, this is a longggggggg response. The Piano Guys – always a pleasure. I loved the way that they combined the techniques of harp playing in the beginning, moving to acoustic guitar techniques (using the sound board for rhythmic elements) to prepared piano techniques (manipulating the strings with other “tools”) while still playing “pianistically.” Very cool!

    Hope you are enjoying a great holiday weekend and thanks again for a great post!


    • Lynn,
      Love your analogy between quantum physics and music analysis because one can be so deep into the weeds that the initial point is nowhere in sight. I really think that in any field, the ability to zoom in and out between extreme detail and it’s place in society is an important skill and insight … and one that many people lack or never get. BTW – I know you realize my interest in the interchange between science and religion, but the theologians with physics in their background are the ones bringing the new insight. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!!!


  13. You’re right on about the President. He was able to sew the fabric of fifty years time in a way that few orators would be able to duplicate. Nicely said.
    And your Reds aren’t struggling. They’re simply the unwitting victims of Pirate Ball- the MLB equivalent of Haley’s Comet.


    • Cayman,
      I’m not selling the Pirates short, but the Reds have trouble hitting the ball and running the bases. Interestingly, they go head-to-head two of the last three series of the season.


  14. I do think Miley Cyrus is headed into Lindsay Lohan territory! Quite a shame! And I am so glad that I know about One Direction. They would ordinarily not be on my radar, I don’t imagine, but I started hearing about them well over a year ago from a fellow blogger in Ireland. Her daughters were so impressed she would mention the group frequently. And thanks to you, I’ve been closely following the Piano Guys. 🙂


    • Debra,
      Finally … someone who sees Miley going in the same direction (sadly) as I do. You need to come back to see this video because it’s not the One Direction you mention … it’s The Piano Guys plus a few others. The heat is getting to you. 😉


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