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.

56 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 237

  1. Your posts are packaged with so much! It’s hard to know what to comment on. 😉

    Oliver’s 3rd Onion political headline and I read the absolutely hysterical Onion artical about the blank office cake.

    As for eboli, the media ought to be ashamed of itself. They are using their typical sensationalism to get ratings. They are not informing us;they are terrifying US so we’ll keep watching. :/


    • Lorna,
      The Opinions in the Shorts series is designed to toss many thoughts out there with hopes visitors comment on the one that strikes their fancy the post.

      Glad you enjoyed the office cake article. After all, The Onion has a way of delivering nonsense in a sensible way. Regarding Ebola, we are having too much stuff to sift through. … like a needle in a haystack.


  2. I saw that about the couple who’d been married for 70+ years and died within 28 hours of each other. Shows how emotion and health can be intertwined. It’s not the first time something like that’s happened. Guess science can’t explain everything. Yet. 🙂 Oh, and I loved Gone Girl, both the movie and the book.


    • X,
      I wondered the same thing about the sours, but then it hit me … sour is one thing, sourest is a step up … thus thinking of sour & sourest as a two-day celebration. Good luck on Privacy Day.


  3. I haven’t heard White Wedding in a long time so thank you. I also really liked the Onion’s Ebola Tracker! Very handy in case I need it later. And I am glad you shared about the local athletes and the way others have responded to give provide support. I haven’t even heard of DIPG! Quite a story! You have provided a really interesting compilation today, Frank and I’ll enjoy Interesting Reads over the weekend–good titles! Hope you have a great weekend. 🙂


    • Debra,
      The local media has covered the two local cancer stories very well … and both are worthy stories that have made it to the national scene. Regarding the basketball player, the NCAA has allowed the game to be played before the actual season starts … and the other team agreed to make it an away game … so many good angles on this one.

      Glad The Onion was able to give you very useful information about Ebola. After all, they are here to inform the public.


  4. My last few days have had me glued to the television. We have lots if friends in Ottawa where the shooting took place. Also the young man who died such a senseless horrific death is from my home town. Middle child knows him, though not well. Today I will go downtown and sign the book of condolences at city hall. On Tuesday he will be given a full military funeral which I know will have record numbers in attendance.

    I have not seen the movie Gone Girl yet but I have read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe this weekend.

    The young man will not let me visit until his father and I have a date night. He thinks we do not do enough together but I can’t take DH to see Gone Girl, he thinks it is a chick flick.


  5. Please send “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS) on poverty” article from the WSJ as I expect him to be the GOP pick in 2016.

    I hope you get your CNN back soon.

    If “Bitter concession speeches only thing Americans looking forward to in upcoming elections” then Mitt Romney disappointed in 2012 by having no concession speech (prepared).

    I, too, found the cake without instructions disturbing.

    Definitely interested in who you would keep among Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell, but more interested in which candidates in the upcoming election you’ve picked to vote against.

    I plan to celebrate UN Day today, Pasta Day tomorrow, and Mule Day on Sunday.


  6. This week has been awful for us but we are hoping to recover. Kevin Vickars has been lauded as a hero and deservedly so. Our Seargeant At Arms was definitely hero-status worthy. Have a good weekend,Frank !!


  7. I like my privacy – so I’ll be celebrating on Sunday. Notice how no one answers your question, here’s mine and it’s against your rules ~ I wouldn’t keep any one of them.


    • Mary,
      I’m a long time supporter of throw them all out … Once I asked (something like), “If you could have a single vote to remove all members of Congress, including your own and your favorites, would you?” … For me, that was too easy. I have also (right here on these pages) advocated both parties changing leadership … thus by keeping one, that makes it a tougher question to answer.


  8. I can’t answer your question Frank, I despise them all and think the entire leadership of Congress should be sent to a hot pit in Hades to roast. There isn’t a single one I would keep.

    Loved all of your offerings, both the obvious and the hidden gems. Such great and thought provoking entries.


    • Val,
      I would hesitate to toss out not only all the leadership, but also all the members … and then repeat … I figure after a few times they would get the message. However, in this question, keeping one makes the question more difficult to answer.


      • My problem is, there isn’t a single quality that any of them have that redeem themselves to me. If I had to choose? I guess I am gong to take Nancy, she is the least despised of the four in my opinion though I still despise her, I wouldn’t kick her when she was down. I would kick her if she was standing in front of me though. The three men? I would not only kick them when they were in front of me, I would kick them when they were down and continue to kick them until they were bruised and bleeding.

        Call me sexist.


  9. My favorite of your good reads this week, Frank, is Ebola and the Epidemics of the Past. It is a fine capsule of historical perspective on the subject of disease that would be revolutionary if only it were broadly absorbed by the body politic. Alas, history shows that it will not.

    One aspect of epidemics not covered in the WSJ article is the root cause of epidemics, i.e., the invention of agriculture which in turn led to population explosion and the massing of people into towns and cities. I was a little surprised that the author didn’t mention TB, a principal scourge of the middle ages that lasted until the 19th century and the discovery of microbes. Called consumption, it resulted in a public acceptance that life was likely to be short and full of suffering. TB kills slowly, typically over a period of years, and with great cruelty. This is one reason people still say God bless you when you sneeze.

    From an evolutionary perspective, we are very much in an early stage of development relative to epidemics, and here in the 21st century there is a major new factor to be dealt with: air travel so cheap that ordinary citizens use it regularly. (Have you ever been to the Atlanta airport?) This is a huge challenge to public health, and yet the world’s only super power has decided that public health ought to be profit-driven rather than government-directed. The profit is in medicines like viagra and statins, not in vaccines and basic research. Research is still in the budget sequester. It’s tragedy in the making.


  10. Easy enough to say throw all the bastards out…but that’s not the real world and not the universe of discourse as you have set it up…..I’d keep Boehner…no idea whom you would keep. I hope we don’t need to label each other.


    • Cynthia,
      Question is one of those interesting hypotheticals to stimulate discussion … so I appreciate your pick. Mine (assuming I remember) will come next week. Meanwhile, I know odds are good partisans will take someone from their tent, but as a moderate independent, I look at it through a different lens … Nope – I didn’t say you are a partisan. 😉


  11. Endangered blue eyes? Do we have to be more aware of pit bulls that usual? What have we learned about Ebola – that some aren’t as smart as they said/think they are (what a circus…prepared, they say? Oh, prepared for Zombie attacks – or politicians – whichever is the most annoying.)
    Great stuff, Frank. Hope your weekend is terrific


  12. On my commute this week, I’ve been reading a riveting story in The New Yorker about Ebola:


    Last night, on my jam packed subway ride home, I thought about Ebola reaching New York. That evening I received a New York Times alert that a doctor in Manhattan is now infected — and he rode the subway two days earlier. As you can imagine, there’s been a storm of opinion about that. Some people are so insane about the bowling alley he visited Tuesday night I half expect it to bulldozed, burned and buried. On that note, have a great weekend, Frank!


  13. The whole Ebola thing has me crazy, Frank. Because the chances of getting it are lower than winning the lottery …

    I’d keep Nancy Pelosi. She’s smart, savvy. Reid could have done so much more. As for Boehner — he is TERRIBLE at his job. And McConnell is a turtle. Who wants a to see Senator Turtle continue our slow progress towards — oh wait, we’re going back wards.

    I’m guessing you’d keep Reid. He is quite a reasonable guy, and I think that would appeal to a reasonable guy like you!


  14. Thank you for thinking of us up here in Canada. ❤
    I grew up knowing America is our extended family. I follow U.S. news and politics, and find your question "If you could get rid of 3 (thus only keep 1)" a very hard choice. I look forward to your answer. I suppose I would keep Boehner, although I do not consider myself a Republican.
    Finally, sorry to hear about your upcoming millstone, and … oops … milestone! Okay, not sorry, happy. 😀


  15. I’m bothered by two things in this post.
    Number one, how can there ever be a sensible ceiling for the amount of money wasted getting idiots elected, when it’s the elected idiots who make the decision?
    Number two, how do you have an un day 😦


  16. I have heard only good reviews about “Gone Girl” – it’s scary what I understand … and I don’t like scary movie, but I think I have to watch this one. “SEVEN” is a movie that I was under my coat most of the viewing.
    Over here we have a new government … and it’s such a mess … because the National Party suddenly is 3rd biggest party .. and nobody wants to work with them – witch I can understand, but it will be hard not to … and nobody wants to work with anyone for the moment .. and if the budget does go through we have to have a re-election, so I have totally given up on politics.


    • Viveka,
      Gone Girl is a good movie. To me, the main characters are both twisted and manipulative. Let me know what you think after seeing it.

      Thanks for the Swedish update. To learn more, I just read several articles. Ouch … that happens in coalition governments when each coalition goes after what they want. … and similar to the US and other countries, they look for what is in their best interest first – not that of the country.


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