Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 250

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Maybe the latest horrors regarding the Jordanian pilot will motivate the Arab world to fight ISIS with boots on the ground, and then the world follows their lead.

It was quite the week with some US politicians pandering for votes with vaccinations. Long ago on these pages, I stated something like this about Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – Keep him talking. Meanwhile, I wonder (thus I don’t know) if President Obama’s has been consistent since 2008.

Speaking of vaccinations, here’s part of the closing statement from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: Let’s chalk up the weird science of Messrs. Paul and Christie to a lack of information, and we’re happy to send them 13 years of vaccine editorials if they want to study up.

Here’s CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Op-ed on vaccinations.

Much has been made about the Seattle’s blunder in the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the game before marked an unbelievable comeback against Green Bay – a team who had won against Dallas on a questionable call by an official late in the game – yet Dallas won its previous game against Detroit on another questionable call by an official. Oh well … all is over.

For those who didn’t notice, this post is a milestone post.

Amazingly, the previous post marked the last act of Life: The Musical. Many thanks for the great songs!

I’ve decided on the next musical, which will probably start sometime in March. To order to see what my readers are anticipating, I invite you to answer the question on my first poll!

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an Explore post will appear. Wonder what person, place, or thing will serve as the highlight.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s an outstanding satirical flowchart about vaccinations (but not from The Onion).

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man figures he has two more bites or roommate’s leftover before it is noticeable
Pope nervous for annual performance review with God
Neighbors come together to watch BMW owner struggle in snow
Man wistfully looks around website he hasn’t visited for 30 minutes
Venus added to registry of historically significant planets
Fingerprints on Lombardi Trophy to be used in dozens of criminal investigations

Interesting Reads
A 2014 article about politics and the Affordable Care Act
A bit of history about US government’s budget
Are swing states disappearing?
Surprises on Uranus?
Texting and head positions affecting the neck and spine
(Infographic) 50-years of financial engineering

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Working Naked Day, Waitangi Day, Canadian Maple Syrup Day, Lame Duck Day, Doodle Day, Pay a Compliment Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day 6-8, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Monopoly Day Give Kids a Smile Day
  • (Sat) Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Ballet Day, Pinocchio Day, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Girls & Women in Sports Day, Leadership Success Day, Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • (Sun) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Autism Sunday, Boy Scout Day, Opera Day, Man Day, Fly a Kite Day, Molasses Bar Day, Marriage Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is an unused song from yesterday’s Life: The Musical, and the second is a classic blast from the past. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

81 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 250

  1. I apologize in advance but I simply could not resist it.

    Man figures he has two more bites of roommate before his annual performance review with God.

    great reads, as usual. Swing States and Budgets especially interesting, especially as I go through the Presidents Budget.

    Loved the music!


  2. This whole “swing state” concept is insane. The article makes a case that my vote in a solid blue state isn’t wasted because we could elect a republican on a state level (and we did), but I do like to hope that my vote in a presidential election is just as important as anyone else’s. Yet the fact is, your vote is many times more valuable than mine. 🙂 Not that I don’t trust you with that, but I’m sure we both agree this is wrong.


      • Right, California voters should have more clout than Idaho, just because there are more of them. But 18 million California voters should have exactly the same clout as 18 million voters in Florida and Ohio.
        As you remember, 2012 election wasn’t a blowout, but it wasn’t a very close one either – 51%-47% in popular vote and 332 to 206 in electoral college votes. Yet if Romney had been able to get 530,000 more people (0.4% of the those who turned out) to vote for him in the closest states that went for Obama – Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Colorado, he would have won enough electoral votes to win the election. However, if Romney wanted to win the election by capturing the electoral votes of California and Massachusetts, he would need 3,750,000 more people to vote for him in these states. So in 2012 election, one Ohio vote was basically worth 7 votes from California.
        And Romney could have gotten 20 million more people to vote for him in the red states, won a majority vote, and would still lose, making all those 20 million extra votes worth about zero votes from Florida. So how is it balancing the votes, exactly?
        A normal democratic election should work like it works for a Senate or governor election within a state – whoever gets the most votes wins, and no one’s vote should matter more than the other’s.


        • Discussions about the Electoral College occur every 4 years .. and have been for a long time. Not sure how I feel about it versus the straight-vote election. Then again, comparing what happens at the state level to the national level isn’t easy … and some could say apples and oranges. Nonetheless, until it changes, those living in my state will have to put up with countless ads.


  3. Good stuff, Frank. Why do I feel like we’re collectively slipping down the dirtiest of toilet bowls? Early morning pessimism, perhaps. The vaccination thing drives me crazy. Bonkers. X just posted on this, and it was an awesome post – this is a medical miracle we’re talking about here, it’s saved countless suffering… but politicians, of course, never miss an opportunity to make hay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trent,
      Politicians are goofy. Rand Paul’s statement was so out of bounds, but people believed it! Of course, politicians love to backtrack with after-the-fact statements from their office. Interestingly, statements like these are pandering for votes that they already have. Nuts!!!! Loved the X’s parody!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As usual, you’ve got me wishing I had access to the closing statement from the recent Wall Street Journal editorial that said: “Let’s chalk up the weird science of Messrs. Paul and Christie to a lack of information, and we’re happy to send them 13 years of vaccine editorials if they want to study up.”

    The headline “Neighbors come together to watch BMW owner struggle in snow” reminds me of the nightly radio financial advisor I enjoyed listening to, who opens his show with: “. . . . where the paid off mortgage has replaced the BMW in the driveway as the status symbol of choice.”

    I completely agree with the author of your first Interesting Read that ” . . vision alone can’t overcome the law’s {the Affordable Care Act} conflicting incentives, unintended consequences and logistical overreach.” THE PROBLEM is that up until the passage of the ACA the GOP had for 50 plus years been answering the American public’s cry for health care reform with the equivalent of the following dialogue from the movie “The Godfather, Part II” between Michael Corleone and Nevada Sen. Pat Geary:
    [Geary is demanding a large bribe for a gaming license]
    Senator Pat Geary: I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow. And one more thing. Don’t you contact me again, ever. From now on, you deal with Turnbull.
    Michael Corleone: Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.


  5. The whole thing with politicians spouting misinformation about vaccines this past week made me cuckoo. I think my blood pressure shot through the roof. Rand Paul, a physician, should know better. As an ophthalmologist, has he not heard of visual complications from measles and chicken pox? Oy, don’t even get me started…


      • Oh good. 🙂 So much misinformation out there just continues to get rehashed. At least now more people are chiming in on the importance of vaccines. Back when Ms. McCarthy was spewing her falsehoods, and I had to spend huge amounts of time reassuring parents that vaccines don’t cause autism, the only people speaking out in support of vaccines were doctors and other scientists and public health advocates. We weren’t as sexy as the celebrities. So it’s nice to see such overwhelming support now.

        Oops, I guess I got myself going there.


  6. Never mind WSJ opinion (and remember, it IS opinion)…did you actually hear the full speeches of Christie and Paul? Both of them had their own children vaccinated, and believe in vaccinations. It is simple minded to say this is about science versus non-science, or loving your children versus not loving your children. It is complex: “Studies” are not necessarily science. Statistics may DESCRIBE but it’s another kind of leap to PRESCRIBE. We must remember that inferential statistics are about inferences, not facts. There’s also the whole slippery slope of government telling people what to do with their own bodies. It’s not funny, or as simple minded as you’re making it. By the way, I and all my siblings and schoolmates had measles as children. It wasn’t all the doom and gloom “someone” is making it out. to be.


  7. The music can’t stop…must travel on!
    We all used to have measles: 3 day and German. Fine when under 10 or so. Might be better, but….anyway as edu is a states’ issue, all the state dunderheads need to step up now and consider…what’s to be done. (otherwise all the time wastedin court deciding exactly what is jurisdiction of the fed. gov. Work around it people – find another route- state legislatures and local school boards for a start. But as the epidemic fades, so will people’s interest….)
    Anti-vaxers are pretty selfish – do they even consider how measles in a pregnant woman causes (always) major birth defects, low birth weight, and often miscarriage?…and in grown men it can cause infertility (which many struggle with anyway). Older children often end up with hearing loss and almost always terrible scarring on their faces ( I have seen this when I taught during a measles epidemic running through a middle school). It was easier when everyone just got measles when young…but then some died, or lost hearing….
    Anti-vaxers, fine. Don’t have any consideration for others…but stay home away from everyone else and especially from potentially pregnant women and teachers. Consider their lives and the unborn children’s lives, too. (OK sitting down now)
    Molasses Day! Ahhhhhhhhh. Pancakes, too? Have a great weekend!


    • Mouse,
      I’ve got the feeling that we may be on the same side of this one. Yep … don’t want a vaccine for your kids, no problem … then send them to a school that doesn’t require them or homeschool. Hmmmm … I wonder is there is a correlation between homeschooling and anti-vaxers? … and yes, the states are the ones who need to step up, not the feds!

      OK … enough of that … .on to the good stuff … bring on the pancakes!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Godsend announced, “No thanks,” to Working Naked Day. Now, I’ve got to get dressed again.

    All of this idiotic misinformation about not getting children vaccinated appalls me, too. If there is one thing that seems to be working well in this screwed up country it’s childhood vaccination. Why fix what’s not broken, especially in a country that is growing increasingly more populated in this radically overpopulated world? I hate politicians and airhead celebrities.


  9. Have a great weekend, Frank! As usual, I really enjoyed the post.
    I took the poll, and had a great laugh seeing that Pronouns was tied with Music.
    Explore posts are always neat.
    I’m chomping at the bit to see what the next Musical is!


    • Sun,
      I will anticipate laughing a lot on Sunday after discovering I won Saturday’s PowerBall drawing! Meanwhile, I won’t divulge the choice, but I can say all the themes in the poll have received considerable thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Your poll is interesting, Frank. I voted, then I went back a little while later to vote again 🙂 but it told me that it had already counted my vote. That’s good, in one way, so you don’t get anyone stuffing the ballot box. On the other hand, how did it know it was me? Does it collect identities?


  11. Oh dear…only one other person thought that ‘meals’ would make a good musical. I guess it’s that latent Italian in me that keeps rising up to the front. I wouldn’t be nervous if I was Pope Francis. He seems to have his head screwed on right (at the moment, till the angry bishops unhinge it that is…). I don’t think he should be too worried about his annual performance review. Is it just me or is The Onion quite manic this week? I am too afraid to have a look at most of those interesting reads. Politics is a bit like mathematics. I delve into it when I absolutely, positively HAVE to. Too under the pump to wade through the weekend celebrations and as I am officially late to the party I had best slink around pretending that I have been here for days ;). I am completely and utterly in adoration of Sarah Mclachlan. So much so that I actually took the 4 day ‘finger scroll’ to go back up to the video to read how to spell her name. Now THAT is dedication!


    • Narf,
      I’ve got the felling Pope Francis is one who marches to his own drummer. I see the Meals received 2 votes (at this time), so I guess you were the second vote. My current plan is to announce (and then start) the next musical sometime in March. Cheers to your appreciation of Sarah McLachlan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anyone who appreciates Sarah McLachlan is a friend of mine :). ‘Meals’ always figure highly on my list of appreciable assets Mr Frank (or are they depreciating assets? Accounting was never one of my strengths, lucky I have a son in the biz…) Pope Francis is one of those gung-ho people who starts out how he means to finish off and good luck to anyone who disagrees with him. I am not Catholic but completely appreciate him. Most “Francis’s” march to the beat of their own drum 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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