Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 281

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For those celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you had a bountiful day.

Volunteering in an English Second Language (ESL) class continues to bring rewards. A student (a gentleman from Libya) wrote an article about learning English, and it was published by a national publication – Easy English Times. It’s a wonderful read, but unfortunately I couldn’t find an online version. Before reading it to the combined classes of different levels, I helped him prepare. When the time came, he stood in front of his peers and nervously read it. His last line touched me – “We need the person who sows hope in our hearts, who smiles, in our faces, who motivates us to go forward, and we need them to hug us when we win.” At the end, I knew he was proud … so when he came back to me, I hugged him.

For at least a year, I published lists of monthly, weekly, and daily celebrations. Did you know Gnocchi Day is the 29th of every month? Here are the links to the two sites I used the most to compile my list of celebrations: Brownielocks and Gone-Ta-Pott.

Sky: The Musical’s Act 3 features clouds, so song titles must include Cloud, Clouds, or Cloudy. Curtain time is Tuesday, December 1st at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). Acts 4 and 5 information is on the Hear Ye page, along with another important announcement.

No Explore post this weekend.

Samantha Swallows sent me an email this week, but she didn’t say want she wanted – only a link. Oddly, I can’t recall ever meeting her, … I’m not sure why I received the email ..  so I didn’t follow the link.

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The number of Democrats who worry about the possibility of Republicans nominating Ben Carson surprises me. Although I would tell them that wasn’t worth worrying, some people just like to find angst. Meanwhile, Carson’s poll numbers are now declining nationally and in Iowa.

The gaggle in the field seeking the Republican nomination continue to provide its share of nonsense and fodder to consider. I appreciate this words by George Will (columnist, Washington Post) – Every day that errant nonsense sloshes through the Republican nominating debate is a day when the party’s claim to represent what the country craves – adult supervision – becomes less credible.

As Donald Trump (R-NY) continues to bloviate about the thousands who are pouring into the US across the southern border, here’s a Pew Research report about the net result (immigration minus emigration).

John Cranley, a Democrat, is Cincinnati’s mayor. Let’s just say that I’m providing an interesting timeline.

  • March 28, 2014 – While announcing a new initiative is in the planning stage – “If you’re fleeing political persecution anywhere in the world, we want you here,”
  • July 2014
    • When announcing the formation of his Task Force on Immigration, he explains his desire to make Cincinnati “the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States.”
    • FYI: Mayor Cranley’s Task Force on Immigration website states it is “working to make Cincinnati a great place for immigrants to call home, start a business and thrive.”
  • Oct 28, 2015 – Mayor Cranley states, “Obviously, there’s political rhetoric around the country that suggests it’s not a good thing and we are emphatically saying we love immigration, we want more immigration, we believe that it’s key to our economic future and you’re a better, more just society.”
  • November 16, 2015 – “However, in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Egypt, the federal government should halt its actions until the American people can be assured that exhaustive vetting has occurred,”
  • November 17, 2015 – I feel horrible that I unintentionally caused harm.”

To lead you into The Onion, see their suggestions for avoiding distractions while working online.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients
Girlfriend Promises To Not Cry So Much
Making Pancakes Best Idea Man Has For Saving Relationship
Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline
Healthy mashed potatoes made with cauliflower

Interesting Reads
How American view their government (from Pew Research)
Scientific faith is different than religious faith
About stupidity 
Drunk animals
The last perfumer in Belgrade
The glowing sea turtle
Lighting bicycles

To send you into the weekend, here’s a fun song with a video that makes me chuckle. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

44 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 281

  1. aFa, You are like a gift received Frank. One never knows what is going to be the gift of the day. After the video, I watched several of the video offerings on Paul Simon: Graceland and Homeless.
    One of Paul’s musical “brothers” in the “Homeless” short said: “Music is something like prayer.”
    Yes, it is. Yes, it is.
    Singing today for peace…
    For all that you do and are to the thousands of close-knit friends who call themselves part of your community XOXOXRaye


    • Jots,
      Your praising words caused me to blush … but the smiles and warm feeling inside was a pleasure. … More importantly to me, thanks for your support, kindness, and wit. Thanks for the video tip – and to “Music is something like a prayer” … I say AMEN.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice story about the man in your class. Helps counteract the ugliness of Trump’s latest–mocking a man with a disability. Of course, he’s denying it now, putting an entirely different spin on the events just as he does with all the other offensive things he’s spouted. But a video doesn’t lie.

    Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. 🙂


    • Cayman,
      Being the Bengals righted the ship against the Rams, I may have to celebrate a belated Gnocchi Day. Gotta love ’em with a tomato, sausage, and fennel seeds sauce. … but the Bengals can’t lay an egg in a place they generally don’t play well – Cleveland.


  3. I’m jumping in a bit late, but be assured that I see through your thinly veiled strategy to make me play you in golf with at least three fewer clubs in my bag. I plan to remove the clubs today in order to make room for a complete hard copy of the Pew Research Center’s “How Americans View Their Government,” which should be required reading (all 14 parts) for every U.S. citizen of voting age.


  4. aFa:

    Your post contained some of my favorite words and phrases – angst, bloviate, stupidity and drunk animals. It also pointed out how much those who wish to immigrate to the US appreciate both the country and its language and, conversely, how many of those who are already citizens denigrate both.


  5. Your ESL story is really heartwarming and stands in contrast to the frustration I feel with John Cranley, although he is hardly standing alone! I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving, Frank, and I’ll be making an “appearance” Tuesday night! 🙂


  6. The political drift of Cincinnati’s mayor on the refugee issue is rather to be expected, I think. In this representative democracy of ours, our representatives are supposed to, well, represent, and in this case his changing position reflects the changes in his constituents’ opinions., er, fears. That said, of course, there’s something to be said about lack of leadership as well.

    I was disappointed in the interesting read about “scientific faith v. religious faith”. While the author wandered his way to the right conclusion he still left the reader with the notion that he can’t really be sure of anything. Confirmation bias is rampant.

    I hadn’t seen the clip of “You Can Call Me Al” for decades. Wonderful.


    • Jim,
      The science-religion article wasn’t my favorite, but it was good enough to post here. Then again, (and to me) certain questions can’t be answered … but I don’t see that as a bias, but more of an understanding.

      Good analysis on Mayor Cranley .. and as we know, politicians love to change with the wind. … Glad Call Me Al could bring a smile to close the post.


  7. “Curtain time is Tuesday, December 3rd at 9:30 pm” – is this an oops? I looked at the calendar.
    Tuesday is December 1st. Have you changed it to Thursday?
    My Thanksgiving was a BLESSED one filled with the love and companionship of hubby and daughter. Very grateful for all who touch my life daily on my blogs … Thank you, aFrank, for being one of them.
    Isadora 😎


  8. About your class–heart-warming story and I applaud your efforts! I’m working on a children’s book series dealing with idioms in the English language. I think it will be very helpful for children learning English as a second language.

    And The Onion headline about cauliflower…I make a wonderful mashed potato substitute from cauliflower. But I suppose it’s only wonderful if you don’t do a side-by-side comparison to high-test mashed potatoes! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • LB,
      There is no doubt (in my mind) that the politicians are present to serve their party first, yet they hide behind the veil of serving the people. … Meanwhile, Congress continues to get low approval ratings and the people re-elect incumbents at an alarmingly high rate (85% or higher).


      • @ LBcruiseshipblogger and AFA,

        Which reminds me of a quote I find meaningful, i.e., that it is better to believe what you know than to know what your believe. Also, insanity being defined as doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting a different result.


        • The biggest problem of course is that there is never anyone running that would make things any better and even if there was the system would prevent it from happening. Too many politicians with their hands in the cookie jar to let anything change unless it is to benefit them rather than the country or people they are supposed to serve.


        • To support your point, I heard a senator at a convention who said (and I paraphrase from what I recall), “Anyone in Washington acting to do the right thing won’t get re-elected.”


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