Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 267

Donald Trump continues to do what he does best: Bring attention to himself and bloviate. Here’s The Onion’s candidate profile on The Bloviator, plus this related headline made me laugh: Trump tell Iowa farmers he has cattle 500 times bigger than theirs.

This headline captured my attention: Schools That Succeed Because of the System, Not Despite It … GAG … As one on the reform education side of the fence, I can justify the statement being true, but I ask a deeper question: But is this the system we want to master?

Discussions about flying the Confederate flag continue, while some seem to want to expand it to anything Confederate.

  • Should schools with Rebels as a nickname change? (No)
  • Should mascots of Confederate soldiers be replaced? (No)
  • Should schools reconsider using the Confederate flag as a school symbol? (Yep if the school receives any public aid)
  • Should the Confederate flag fly at public memorials on Confederate Memorial Day? (To me, this is a tough one as I can see both sides.)
  • Can a person fly the Confederate flag on a pole on their own property? (Absolutely, and this should remain)

The Daily Beast published this very-timely-now article (Jan 15, 2015) about Robert E. Lee’s view about reconciliation.

Cheers to the South Carolina legislature for voting to take down the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds.

Cincinnati is hosting this year’s mid-summer classic: Major League Baseball’s All-Star game. The city has done a great job getting ready for the week-long festivities. Meanwhile, the team’s owner and management continue to demonstrate they have lost their way.

The Coke machines with all the flavors … do you know the ones? Vanilla Ginger Ale is my favorite. Do you have a favorite?

Did you notice that the desserts theme of Meals: The Musical: Act 7 was calorie free? I anticipate only 2 more acts, and preliminary information about Act 8 is on the Hear Ye page.

My wife and I ballroom dance for fun – thus we don’t compete or perform solos in studio-related events – but we have participated in two formations (groups). It appears I’ll be performing with another dance partner (of course with my wife’s permission) at a future showcase. Here’s the song we are hoping to use for our dance. What’s the dance?

For those who will post the entire story on their blog (with their ending), the revised story (without an ending) is on the Challenge page to copy. The Dance Challenge date Sunday, July 12th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). I’m looking forward to the different endings, so feel free to promote the challenge!

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their short video about what children need in a male role model.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Disney unveils first virgin princess
Report: Male hair-loss 7 times more painful than childbirth
S&M couple won’t stop droning on about their fetishes
Insurance only pays for generic heart transplant
Ghost of Julia Child sounds the same
Meteorologist slips family members few extra days of extended forecast

Interesting Reads
Washington Post’s editorial board about independence
An example of Congress avoiding solutions (from the BiPartisan Policy Center)
Same-sex marriage around the world
Brain’s internal compass
13 facts about Crayola Crayons

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover dessert from the musical and a classic. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


63 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 267

  1. Hmmmm. “Should the Confederate flag fly at public memorials on Confederate Memorial Day?” Is that the right question? Shouldn’t the question be why is Confederate Memorial Day be celebrated? I am not among those who want to bury history. But celebrating secession? Celebrating traitors? Sorry, no.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elyse,
      It is the right question for me because honoring that aspect of heritage doesn’t bother me. Nor to I have any problems with statues of Confederate soldiers. So we agree to disagree – which is fine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • From the outside looking in, and with admittedly little knowledge and absolutely no stake in this, I would nevertheless have to agree with you on that. We are mystified by this entire topic and usually handle the confusion by drinking a lot of beer. And maple syrup.


    • My wife, a Southern girl from Virginia, seldom cares much about politics, but she gets emotional on the subject of the Confederate flag. When I attempt to reason with her she agrees with the points I make and then reverts to resentment, saying such things as “Poor Bobby Lee, he must be spinning in his grave”. I have learned to avoid the topic. Her passions are much deeper than mere intellectual analysis. Her feelings persist even while she sympathizes with the lingering heritage of Jim Crowe laws and discrimination. They are visceral. Amazing.


      • it may take a few generations. Jim Webb went there on a news show this weekend, guaranteeing he will not be the dem nominee (not that he had a snowball’s chance anyway).


      • Jim,
        I appreciate you sharing this story, especially since I can’t relate to the situation in that way. I can understand certain aspects of the heritage argument, but in terms of SC & other states, their is a certain aspect of timing – that is using that flag as a counter to the Civil Rights fights starting in the mid-to-late 1950s.


  2. WoW, I only took the time to quickly glance at the topics.
    I did read what you wrote on the Confederate Flag Issue. I agree with your thinking.
    I usually don’t get involved in discussions like this: Mainly because I can’t vocalize how I feel well enough to argue a point.
    I have very mixed feelings about this issue,
    The one I feel strongly about is:
    the issue of displaying it at your own private residence.
    Yes, one should be able to.
    We have that freedom.
    I dislike when people start waving the flag because it seems to be the thing to do. Now. When they never had before.

    As to the COKE issue. I am mainly a Diet Pepsi drinker. With lime or lemon in it. So I would drink Diet COke.
    I am not into any of the other flavors.
    Why spoil a good thing?


    • Sarah,
      OITS is all about short thoughts over a variety of topics. Most (if not all) of the time is some political, but not all. The Onion headlines and Interesting Reads are regular features.

      You will also see this is a respectful place. Look at the exchange between Elyse and I … we disagree, and that’s it.


    • Jackie,
      Oh yes … I only have my posting time up there as an FYI for those who will be posting on their end, thus they have to wait for the post for linking. Looking forward to your entry. 🙂

      Oh yes … that accordion is far from boring!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Crayola Crayons based upon my experience.

    • fact 11: Some dogs like to eat them.

    • fact 12: They are not digested by said dogs. Chewed bits create colorful yard art after rain.


  4. Whew – jam packed post (jam wasn’t on the earlier menu was it?)
    Most of the schools here had already changed mascots/flags from anything that has to do with Confederacy or residents of this land before the colonial period.
    A little tolerance on all sides and ignoring situations will make irritations disappear away faster. Praise the good, ignore the bad behavior – recommended with problem children?
    (I always get a laugh when we drive through west TX and see one small town’s school mascot is a tornado…there’s a dark whirling image on a sign with a fierce face…but looks a great deal like one of Molly’s early outdoor visits.
    Trump. snort.(I am soo turning off anytime a candidate comes on tv…I can get more healthy laughs elsewhere.)
    Cool song for the dance – sassy.
    Disney unveils times more painful than their transplanted ghost of family members.
    Well, I tried.


    • Mouse,
      Good to hear that you are aware of many schools that have changed. We have one Rebel high school in our area currently getting a lot of press, which is what sparked the thoughts. I’m curious if anything happens at U of Mississippi.

      There was a Tornado school near my hometown … but they were the Purple Tornadoes.

      Meanwhile, that sassy song is a tango, … and thanks for the example of Disney innovation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quiet guidance may take time, but changes last longer and are less resented?
        Had to laugh when one class wanted to pick the Honey badger ( who doesn’t care) as a mascot. While it’s a big state with assorted opinions, most of the urban areas begin decide to change starting some 10 years ago. (but we are not deep South) Around here all that remained were one or two very old schools of long traditions. Over and done last year long before the fuss.
        As long as they are changing, I wish they would change the one from my school…having a red cardinal mascot seemed pretty twirpy. Voting for Honey Badger. Schools need to teach a sense of humor, too.
        Enjoy dancing into the weekend.


        • About a year and a half ago, the Lamar HS former Redskins (last HS to change locally as it is one of the oldest and there was the benefit of a large alumni network group for graduates.)
          Administration overruled the students’ choice of Honey Badger. Now they are the Lamar HS Texans. (rather bland, but more assertive than a cardinal mascot….they might have gone with the mockingbird but that might be a bully, I suppose.)
          Hey, couldn’t the schools with rebel mascots just say it’s for James Dean? (giggles)


        • Thunderchickens. That would have been a wInner! (More assertive than Cardinals…)
          You have to wonder why people would want to name a HS mascot after a football team, right? (snort) Hope you weekend danced along fine.


        • Another HS here, Austin, originally had the Scottish Brigade with real bagpipes, kilts, and dancers, then in the early 70’s the principal met with parents, kids, teachers, alumni and asked if they were happy with that. (originally a blue collar Anglo Catholic area that by then was 90% Hispanic. Still Catholic – many said the plaid reminded them of parochial schools so it was OK). End of the year they phased out the bag pipes and kilts but kept the white horse/mustang mascot.
          (Odd info: the mustang is the most popular choice for mascot in the US) Good to keep in tune with the times.


  5. I’m guessing/hoping your dance is the Pasa Doble. I have no [publishable] opinions on US politics – but I do chuckle and/or cringe from time to time…… I’ll be away for the story challenge, but look forward to catching up later in the week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pauline,
      That music could be a Paso, but for us it’s tango. However, both of us have visions of incorporating snippets of Paso into the routine … but time will tell.

      Bummer that you’ll be away for the challenge. In the rewrite, I incorporate you suggestion, so I want you to see the cleaner reader. 🙂


  6. I’m not a dance expert like you, Frank, but I know it’s probably not Riverdance or a ballet that you and your dance partner are performing, so I’ll guess it’s the tango. But maybe I’m thinking that because I’m writing this while clasping a rose between my teeth.


  7. You have had a hey-day in finding topics that are interesting this week, Frank. There are so many stories worth reading! I have “Rebel” ancestry, but as a girl raised on the west coast, I’ve never had any relationship with the Confederate flag. I have family members who do, though, and I have heard the frustration at being “misunderstood.” Still, the decision today to remove the flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds was tremendously important and a first step in what I hope will lead to more important discussions. Good luck with your Tango! Great piece of music! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Several of the points about the Confederate flag that haven’t been mentioned as much as 1) in SC, it was raised in era in the Civil Right era (1961?) as a rejection of the idea. (which to me dismissing the heritage argument) …. 2) for the states that have it as part of their state flag, it too hasn’t always been that way.

      Cheers to you for identifying tango. 🙂 … Interesting piece of music … a bit on the quick side, but still manageable (even at our age).


  8. You don’t have it easy in the USA… over sea, we have “just” some little skirmish between the arrogant Germans and the poor Greece (those shipowners that have the pocket full of money while the people suffer). All around the planet is about the same…
    Have a lovely weekend :-)c


  9. I now have a new favorite word to get me through today… bloviate! Many thanks for that gem!

    As for the confederate debate, as one who has lived in both the South and the North, I can understand (to a degree) why people are upset about it on both sides of the fence… but, regardless, there is a certain population that will become upset only because the OPPOSITE side is upset. The sooner we can put this all behind us, the better.


    • Alisha,
      You are the second reader who has react to my use of bloviate. 🙂 … and I’m far from a vocabulary person. Meanwhile, absolutely – love the way you described reactions based on reactions. So true … and yes, the sooner the better so we can move it.


  10. First, I had to Google bloviate. Second, Donald Trump just makes me laugh every time he opens his mouth and words come out. Third, I not sure about the Confederate flag, yes it bring horrid memories for a lot of individuals, but at the same time, I’m not completely sure whether or not I agree with the negative associations people are giving it.


  11. I am new here but happy to weigh in on your serious topic about the Confederate flag. My Mom was puzzled, she is 86 and has poor short term memory. She asked, “How long ago did Dad and I go to March in Washington? I said it was 1963 or 64. She then wondered why anyone would not think the Confederate flag stood for segregation. My oldest daughter who has a bi-racial son said it was so cool that my parents were so into the Civil Rights. Both her sons, aged 6 and 10 thought it may be wrong. Lastly, my matrrnal grandmother who came as a teenager to America cringed when my brothers were playing cowboys and Indians, Russians against Americans (Blame this one on “Bullwinkle”) and she told us using a swastika was showing hatred. She said she did not want us to ever forget why she chose to stop speaking German. She was “proud to be an American.”


    • Reo,
      Welcome first-timer commenter … and many thanks for sharing your personal perspective. You have a wonderful heritage with your parents being involved with the March on Washington. Interestingly, the Confederate Battle Flag took new life during that era as a symbol of segregation – probably stating with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown vs Board of Education (1956?). That coincides with SC decision to raise the flag in the capitol grounds (1961?), and use by the KKK. Georgia adopted a new state flag with the stars & bars in the late 50s (1956?). Cheers to your maternal grandmother for her pride in America, but also in her belief in the good of humanity.


  12. S&M couple slips family members extended virgin more painful than childbirth.

    The reads today, interesting. Loved the Crayola read, just took me back.

    Loved the music, don’t know which dance. Not a clue, but still loved it. So passionate.


    • Val,
      I was hoping you would enjoy the Crayola read! 🙂 As far as the music, it’s a good tango … a tad quick, but still a good one. Meanwhile, glad to see the S&M couple taking care of family members.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahhh … visions of a very well danced Tango came to mind instantly.
    I know you’ll be great. Enjoy the moments that your body is allowing you to have on the dance floor. Sadly, I fell four times on my cruise; once on the dance floor. A former dancer loses her legs. A very devastating moment for me. i.e.: the reason for my back surgery. I have faith in my surgeon when he says, “You’ll dance again. I promise.”
    I’m on heavy pain meds so I’ll skip the heavy stuff. Instead, I’ll dream of the day I will feel the wood under my feet once again.
    Isadora 😍


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