Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 245

This week’s horrifying news out of Australia and Pakistan is insane, senseless, and heart-wrenching.

Cheers to President Obama opening the door for normal relations with Cuba. Boo to Republicans who link this action to supporting oppression throughout the world.

According to the Pew Research Center, my view about CIA torture is in the minority.

Although I support a sales tax on internet sales, count me in as one against government intervention into the internet as a whole. (a read)

Earlier this week the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame announced that Joan Jett (and others) deserves induction over the Moody Blues and Yes. This committee may be more pathetic than the US Congress and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig. Well, at least close.

Lauren Hill has played in her final basketball game, and ending her college career with 10 points. She’s struggling, and no longer enrolled. Her story has been one that keeps giving, and she continues to be a shining example of humanity. Her latest statement is, I want everyone to know that I never give up. Meanwhile, there is no question we will mourn when her day arrives.

This is probably the last Opinions in the Shorts for 2014, but I foresee the Explore series starting next Friday.

Next week’s posting schedule will at least include Monday Morning Entertainment, a holiday post, and the start of the Explore series.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their holiday gift guide for kids.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Mom gathers rolls of wrapping paper around her to stroke softly
Subway employee still unnerved by high-pitched screech sandwiches make when cut in half
Sexually frustrated woman just one of the guys
Increasing number of men pressured to accept realistic standards of female beauty
Family receives 38-piece Astra Zeneca assorted pill sampler
Schlubs from US, China meet in lowest level talks

Interesting Reads
Weird stocking stuffer ideas
Memoir of a political candidate
Improving the umbrella
How successful people stay calm
Why Zombies eat brains
(Infographic) Sleep deprivation and the brain

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Bird Count Weekend
  • (Fri) Underdog Day, Hard Candy Day, Oatmeal Muffin Day
  • (Sat) Sangria Day, Fried Shrimp Day, Games Day, Go Caroling Day, Human Solidarity Day
  • (Sun) Solstice, Global Orgasm Day, Don’t be a Scrooge Day, Yule, Hamburger Day, Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day, Crossword Puzzle Day, Kiwi Fruit Day, Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day

To me, music by The Tractors is fun, so here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – the first is their biggest hit that I really, really like, and the second is a bouncy tune for the holidays. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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52 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 245

    • Bulldog,
      I have several sources of the celebrations I post, but how you celebrate Global Organism Day is up to you. In terms of the bird counts, this is the time of year when bird counts occurs throughout the US.

      Like

    • Pauline,
      Tractors galore on this post … and yes, gotta love the fact that those two guitarists picked up on the tractor’s steady beat. In terms of The Tractors, they are big, but I imagine they have a loyal following. In terms of Global Organism day, well … I better be quiet.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Glad (but not surprised you’re n the correct side on torture, Frank. And Cuba. But given my history with trains the beginning of the first song made me a wee bit uncomfortable!

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  2. You know how much music I collect, Frank, and I do NOT know The Tractors! I enjoy discovering new music. It has been an awful week as far as violence, hasn’t it. I was having kind of a “bad day” on Monday and was grumbling through it. I got in the car to come home from work and heard details of what had occurred in Pakistan and hung my head in shame that I thought my day was rough. It’s painful to even read the account! And then you remind me of Lauren Hill…I really do need to sit down and give myself a good talking to! I’m still thinking about that! I agree with you on Cuba. The political back and forth on this one is going to be something! I’m really looking forward to your Explore series!

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    • Debra,
      Glad to introduce you to The Tractors. They offer a good, bouncy beat! i actually discovered them through the train video back in the day when I watched music videos. I’m guessing on CMT or GAC.

      Meanwhile, no matter if its news about Lauren Hill, Pakistan, or any other story (positive or negative), life is a matter of perspective … that is as compared to what. Yep, all of us make mountains out of mole hills when it comes to personal problems & issues, and stories like these serve as a reality check to us. Meanwhile, the Explore series will be an enjoyable trip, and one with a different adventure each day.

      Like

  3. Glad to see you agree with Rand Paul and me on Obama opening the door to Cuba. One favor, could you check today’s Wall St. Journal and let me know where Peggy Noonan stands? Also glad you agree with John McCain and me that torture should be eliminated.

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    • Tim,
      I cringe at many of the GOP responses to both torture and Cuba. At least Senators Paul & McCain have gone against the flow within their party. Of course with Rand Paul, I could end up debating himself after he changes his mind sometime down the road. Meanwhile, I think Noonan’s column appears on Saturday, and hear title and first paragraph will determine how much I read.

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  4. Wow, that Memoir of a Political Candidate piece was fascinating… I have long held the belief that we would receive infinitely better politicians if we all but abolished campaign fundraising. Though, there was one other part that stuck out as well: “Truth is, by the end of the campaign, I wouldn’t stop to talk to young people at all—the odds that they would show up on June 3 [Primary voting day] were practically nil.”

    Also, I echo your sentiments on Pakistan, Australia, torture, and Cuba. The world is a scary place, so let’s do our best to not make it scarier!

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  5. Quite the week in the news, no doubt. When I was wrapping Christmas presents, I had to turn off CNN and watch The Big Bang Theory repeats instead. Couldn’t handle the ick while I was trying to be festive.

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  6. (Oh, the image of mom gathering that wrapping paper around her! )
    Joan before the Who? Upsidedown world…which is why I, like Carrie and avoiding news shows.
    Few remember what Cuba was all about anyway. We have friends who fled there – and some born to parents who fled there. They have mixed feelings. The world changes. We are open to Russia and China and other countries who have dreadful treatment of humans/citizens….so? (The US will get those 80 or so criminals who ran from here to there to avoid prosecution/jail?…2 on the FBI Most Wanted List….they were smart enough in bargaining to get some of them back to face the music, right? Sigh.Good, but don’t give away the store, guys).
    All about money anyway. Travel industry is thrilled. Makers of goods see a new market. No doubt collectors and investors are lining up to run in there and buy all those “classic” American cars for restore and sell for profit (guys – please pay them in US dollars, not pesos.) We’ll see how the average person fares with the changes. (There are already those exclaiming fast food places like McDonald’s shouldn’t be allowed in. Not big brands allowed! Keep Cuba quaint and don’t ruin it! Guess they should ask the locals who might want jobs and goods.) Cigars and beaches for everyone!
    Love the festive paint pix. Merry merry and jingle on! Enjoy your weekend.

    Like

    • Mouse,
      Late responding .. YIKES! The Who were inducted in 1990, but the lack of respect the R&R HOF has for the Moody Blues & Yes dumbfounds me.

      Oh yes … the US travel industry is licking their chops on Cuba, but I imagine McDonalds are others won’t be far behind. 😦

      … and cheers to Case Keenum for besting the dreaded Ravens.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think that one should always have their strongest opinions whilst wearing shorts. That way no-one can take them seriously and those self-same strong opinions can be relegated to the humerous basket rather than into mainstream opinion. For this reason, I think that all politicians should be made to wear short pants and schoolboy caps when attempting to pass off their crazy ideas about what should and shouldn’t be formulated as group policy. MUCH harder to be taken seriously when you are wearing socks pulled up to your knees.

    We Aussies have been held hostage by our geographic position on this small blue planet. You would be horrified to find out how much we pay for simple everyday items let alone wonderfully addictive electronic devices that come from other countries. Our retailers are hopping up and down as their (massive) profit margin is shrinking thanks to our discovery of “the rest of the world’s cheap deals” and our (evil) Prime Minister wants to ram through some serious positive gearing (that’s the opposite of negative gearing right?) to make sure that we pay LOTS more for internet delights than we are currently doing in order to maintain the status quo for the “battling Aussie shopkeeper” (the huge multinational conglomeration with a finger in every pie who makes a killing here in Australia and is thus able to offer discounts to the rest of the world with impunity…sigh…). If you saw how much we poor Aussies have to pay for a copy of Photoshop or some other software you would turn pale and need a lay down Mr Frank.

    Ms Joan Jett LOVES rock and roll remember. As a Moody Blues fan who only found out that there WAS a band called “Yes” about 5 years ago (Stevie-boy was incredulous 😉 ) I am with you on your disdain. Seriously? Sigh…

    Here’s my gift guide for kids gifts…
    Throw away the gift guide and take them out on an adventure. DON’T tell them where you are going as otherwise they will make every whining sound known to man to be allowed to…
    a. “Go to my friends”
    b. “Take some kind of electronic device that will remove them from the present state to someplace else” or
    c. “Have time to stock up on verbal complaints”

    Purchase one of these: – http://www.jammer-store.com/ (I see they come in fetching camouflage for those in the U.S. with Southerly persuasions…) and feign ignorance when your howling children are unable to tweet or text. Drive like the wind to a place about as far away from civilisation as you can get and then stop the car and get out. If you have managed to make it to the beach, kudos to you! Spend a whole day out, eat an ice cream (if you are in the desert, might be better to drink something), rub 2 sticks together to make a fire (first turn off the jammer so that you are able to call the fire brigade when your fire inevitably goes feral). DO something with your kids that matters…much better than any toy, electronic device or other form of babysitter that sucks their minds into a vacuum and leaves them absent physical husks of themselves.

    The Onion headlines eh?
    (Bugger…I KNEW I would get found out…better stash those rolls of wrapping paper under the spare bed for midnight (unseen) fondling…)
    Get that poor guy some earmuffs! The screams of dying sandwiches are the stuff that nightmares are made of!
    Err…I know a woman like that. She is most certainly “at one with the guys” on a regular basis 😉
    Yeah guys…you want Barbie? “Buy a blow up doll!”
    The family that pops pills together stays together
    Good to see “Shlubs” coming together in the name of bilateral unity. Pity Australia wasn’t invited to the table as we don’t have mozzarella sticks so I dare say said “shlubs” would have lost a goodly proportion of their body weight over the period of their Brisbane stay. I don’t doubt that the delegates had to go into hoc to purchase Miller Lite (an expensive imported beer here in Australia). Ah-HA! I knew this article was a fake! Here in Australia we don’t do “pizza rolls and loaded potato skins”! I should have gone straight to SNOPES!
    I am lucky in that we put small cubes of cheese on our kitchen window ledge and the birds come to us. If I am clever, I can get Stevie-boy to rig up an electronic triggering device that will count them for us. Our dogs are the lords and masters here so that would make “us” the underdogs? We get a day? “WOOT!” I don’t like hard candies and oatmeal muffins? Meh. Stevie-boy is whipper snipping the back acre today. Best I don’t show him the “Sangria” Day till he finishes. Shrimps in Australia are teeny tiny aquatic creatures too small to be caught let alone thrown en mass onto a bbq. Too tired gardening and whipper snipping for games. Our neighbours have enough trouble with having to deal with us on a regular basis let alone us, turning up, and singing at them randomly. I think that might be the last straw to be honest…
    Don’t be a Scrooge? I reserve my right to be a Scrooge Mr Frank! I am allergic to kiwifruit so I might have to pass on that day and why are we remembering the homeless as if they have passed on? They are clearly and most obviously still here so I am officially changing it to “be kind to a homeless person” day.
    Great Tractor music. Perfect for those poor Aussie farmers in their HUGE tractors set with G.P.S. to automatically navigate around the fields without human interference, equipped with television, fridges, phones, wi-fi etc. My name is on the list to be a tractor driver…

    Cheers for the Onions Mr Frank. For once, they didn’t make me cry when I peeled them. Keep up the good work. Someone has to do it…

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  8. Mouse,
    I recall talking to a Canadian who had several vacations there … and loved it! However, no doubt, much is about money …. airlines, resorts, cruises, plus goods to be sold … cha ching!!!!

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  9. Last night I dined with my old friend, Martini Max, who is elated about Cuba. He cannot wait to visit Havana to get a box of cigars. And Max doesn’t even smoke!

    I loved that sleep deprivation and the brain chart, Frank. Today, Godsend and I ate cronuts. Eating just one of those hybrid calorie hogs feels like we were on a binge.

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  10. I would love to visit Cuba one day. I found “How successful people stay calm” to be a very good read, and I’m wondering how those weird finger food holders would go down at our golf club ‘Happy Hour’. 😀 Thanks for the boogie woogie music this Friday afternoon. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Frank.

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      • There’s a lot of new ships in the works for various cruise lines, if they haven’t scheduled where they go yet that’s a possibility. I suppose it would take some time to have some sort of docks or tender landings and things in place before too many could go there and by then maybe they will have run out of things they have already scheduled and sold trips for and be open to add new itineraries for other ships as well. Or if they wanted to go sooner they might combine already booked people to one ship and send another there or give them the option of changing itineraries. I suppose the people at the top get paid the big bucks to work these sorts of things out.

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  11. Good to see you, Frank. We have quite the weekend of celebrations ahead. A little something for everyone. I hope all is well in your camp. Just finally getting organized for the holidays. I’m pretty delayed this year. Yikes!

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  12. Yes Frank our hearts with both of those nations.. And today My heart is with Scotland as tragedy has hit Glasgow..

    On a lighter note I could do with the re-invented Umbrella Frank.. Mind blew inside out this week in Gale force winds.. 🙂

    Have a great Monday Frank.. Sue

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  13. I couldn’t agree with you m ore about relations with Cuba. At some point, I think it would make sense if all countries leaders could sit in one room, put egos aside, and just have a normal conversation about how to change shit. Too much to ask right?

    Like

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