Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236

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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

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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.https://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.


40 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236

  1. “A white-only town in South Africa”… Orania… a source of humour for South Africans… more jokes are made up about this town than any other… in fact we all tend to ignore such a duncical place….


  2. Finding myself in a mood of general disillusionment after reading today’s news headlines, I decided to apply the “What Hits Me In The Face First” criterion to your Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236.
    The winner was the photo by Luca Cortese of the fisherman at the end of the pier, followed by “Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track” followed by the read “Cronyism vs. the Constitution” which, fittingly, the Wall Street Journal wouldn’t allow me to read because I’m not a subscriber.
    THANKS if you can send me a copy of the WSJ article, which I’d very much like to read as I plow through Lynne Cheney’s new biography of James Madison in hopes of finding out why the Tea Party thinks Madison’s idea of Federalism agrees with theirs?


  3. Thank you for your weekend wishes Frank.. sounds like you will be busy.. I enjoyed your thoughts from the Onion The FB one made me smile..I wonder how many eggs will lay in cold storage ,, I mean to say.. people on FB hardly ever meet face to face… LOL.. 🙂 I saw a programme the other night on how employees are getting funded to freeze eggs and extend their fertility ‘Right’s 🙂 😉

    Happy Dancing!


  4. Of course, I’ve never been to Orania, but “to each his own.” I never thought they’d make a go of it, but twenty years later, it’s still there, and their unemployment and crime stats are very impressive, compared to the rest of South Africa. 🙂 Great to hear Stealers Wheel again. Have a wonderfully busy weekend, Frank.


  5. Dang, can’t read the WSJ story without subscribing. The story of the Whites Only town, troubling to say the least. Evolution and Faith, another very interesting one. Finally, my favorite the thought of continuing to shell out tons for more MS software, yet I do love the features.

    I pick Saturday with a throwing in the Gaudy from Friday!

    Great music pics Frank.


    • Val,
      I unsuccessfully tried to find another source for you. 😦 … BTW … I think WSJ gives readers a limited number of free views each month after registering .. I think 20.

      One of the things that interested me in the evolution & faith article was that the author seemed very careful .. then again, given his employer, I understood it.


  6. Almost missed this post, Frank! I just shared this brilliant Onion headline (Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets) with Godsend over here at The Grind. That thunderous sound you just heard was us laughing.


  7. Jim’s gratuitous opinions on some of Frank’s always provocative “good reads” this week:

    1. Evolution and faith: one’s journey. The author doesn’t understand the essential difference between faith and science, but I’m glad he’s comfortable that way.
    2. Infographic: Extinction by Numbers. Depressing, but probably fairly factual. Omits the critical answer to the question: how many species are not enough?
    3. Microsoft Office is not needed. N.A. for me, as I own a Mac, but it’s still a mystery to me why Microsoft continues to haul in big bucks for software that’s less reliable than what’s out there for free. Must be some kind of cultural momentum.
    4. Constitutional balance. A WSJ article on Congress’s vague laws give too much discretion to regulators. It’s time to take its power back. It demands I subscribe in order to read it, so I demurred. Also, I already don’t agree with it just from the subtitle. Bureaucracy is pretty bad all right, but would it really be better to, say, regulate Wall Street with a committee of 535 people who generally can’t stand each other? And where would they find the time to meet with their lobbyists if they had to regulate? (Oops, I think I know the answer.)

    P.S., I really liked the Ms. Jody clip, Frank. 🙂


    • Jim,
      Glad you enjoyed Ms. Jody as it is a fun song!

      A couple of points for you. Regarding the extinction infographic, don]t forget that the source is The Onion.

      In terms of terms of the science and faith article, I think the author does understand the difference between the two, thus why he is comfortable as a Christian and as a biologist in his acceptance of evolution … nor does he think that supporting evolution requires shedding his religion belief.


      • Oh. Onion. :embarrassed: That’ll teach me to pay more attention. Ouch.

        Relative to the science/faith issue, it is a mystery to me how he can do as you say. F. Scott Fitzgerald would have said he’s a smart fellow, I suppose. I would’a locked up.

        The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.
        F. Scott Fitzgerald


        • The author is simply saying he doesn’t see evolution and religion as a choice, thus the two are compatible with one another. Yes, some Christians do is it as a choice… but not the majority. Then again, there is also an atheistic view that one must choose … not that is not true for all atheists (yet I am not sure of the percentages as I am on the Christian side). Thus there’s the battle … two polar opposites holding detain for the other … thus they are very similar. So those who find compatibility with the two are criticized by each side.


  8. Evolution and faith….Belief is often a source of conflict, I.e. my belief, if I truly believe it, finds something erroneous in your belief. A belief needs to be defended, often, which is a form of offense, and so there is conflict. With the dichotomy of science and religion, however, I see no conflict: only one of them is a belief.


    • Cynthia,
      Categories in the sidebar here shows written 50 posts on Relion & Science as a topic, so my views are well documented on these pages. I agree with you that only one of them is a belief, so as you mention seeing no conflict, my posts would support that. There is a spectrum about the intersection of science and religion , and what makes the news are each end of the spectrum. As each end promotes their disdain for the other, they actually behave like the other – thus agreeing that one must make a choice. Yet, as the bombs fly over the rest of the spectrum, too many in the public get the impression that one must make a choice, thus not realizing that much thought favors an integration of the two. As a whole, I really think that churches themselves have done a lousy job with their flock … well, except for the fundamentalists who have fought, preached, and educated their flock for many years. Oh well … I’ve gone on too long. 😉


      • Thanks, Frank. Looks like we may be on the same page. Science v. Religion is a lifelong curiosity of mine, too. But since I was raised, deeply, in Catholicism and have gone the adolescent route of rejecting all that, turning to Buddhism, and various Christian persuasions until today when I follow no institution but appreciate the good that they may do, socially and psychologically—I guess I am an agnostic of great faith, no church, most interested in the perrenial questions of epistemology and theology, perplexed and devoted to compassion.
        I appreciate your taking time to once again tell what you’ve been saying for so long. 🙂


        • I’m glad you chimed in here, Cynthia. I too appreciate Frank’s tolerance and patience with controversial topics like religion. He is probably the nicest cynic I’ve met, and because of him I realize I need to be more sensitive to others’ views.

          My own frustration with religion may be similar to yours, but the dichotomy (your appropriate word, since the comparison is apples and oranges) between science and religion is one I’ve been unable to reconcile in my own mind. Maybe it’s because I have an engineer’s mind, I don’t know, but I find I am unable to believe without testable evidence, much less conflicting evidence. But, like you, I am obviously still searching because, here we are, talking about it. There must be some reason why anything exists.


        • Jim … thanks for the kind words.

          I’ve come to respect both the agnostics and the atheists. 1) Everyone is entitled to have their own belief system, and 2) I don’t try to change their minds (religiously), Differences in issues doesn’t mean lack of respect, but it’s not that I can’t get my shorts in a knot from time to time … for instance, I have a difficult time with the thought that I can’t support evolution if I believe in God … in others words, this person would not want my support in the fight against the fundamental Christians’ continual attempt to bring their view of creation into the science classrooms of schools.

          From the experts I’ve read, I see for simple models about the interaction between these two disciplines … https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/on-the-models-between-science-and-theology/ … sure they can be subdivided, but its a good starting point.

          With me, I would say this is my focus is this … I aim at educating other Christians on the topic … that the two disciplines are compatible, thus not a forced choice .. thus the reason why I put articles as I did in the Interesting Reads section – therefore also knowing it’s not an interest to all.


  9. Glad you included that topic in your interesting reads, Frank, since I am new to your site…and very much enjoyed the interchange with you and Jim, whose point of view I also understand.(You…a cynic?…nah!) I see now that your impetus is educational…and aimed at the proper audience. I myself have been accused of continuing to teach, on occasion, even though I’ve been retired from that profession for several years now….we can’t help ourselves…and maybe that’s good, in cases like yours. Onward and upward!


    • Each of our journey’s is individualized, so thanks for sharing a small portion of it.

      My journey in these area truly started in early February 2009 … especially in and around the 12th when I read posts and interesting comments about Darwin’s 200th birthday. They sparked a quest to learn more … and believe me, I read a lot … and the posts in this category are a result all countless hours. I admit that I read to strengthen my position, and that it did as I was reading the leaders in the field.Oh well … just a bit of sharing.


  10. From someone who uses it on a nearly-constant basis, we absolutely still need Microsoft Office! Google Docs simply does not compare…. admittedly, I’ve not really explored Apple’s products, but their price point tends to be significantly higher than Microsoft’s.


  11. I think it would be fun to see the compilation of the songs submitted to “Musical,” Frank, if that’s something you can do without too much work! I know how much work your Opinion in the Shorts takes. So much research! But good stuff, always. I am impressed with all the reading you do to stay current with so many topics. I have always liked “Stuck in the Middle with You,” and now that you’ve brought the lyrics into a political discussion the words are going to have a whole new meaning and impact. And they are perfect!


    • Debra,
      Gathering the song list would be a time-consuming task, but one that could be done in small chunks of time. Then again, time is still required.

      The “Stuck in the Middle with You” line is outstanding, so glad you enjoyed the different slant. Credit goes to Michael Smerconish.


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