Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 302

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The Cincinnati Reds are not only a horrible baseball team … and the ownership and the front office is an embarrassment to the city and its long-time fans. I have one suggestion – please consider another line of work.

Here’s a feel-good story. A local teen’s friend died two years ago, but the friend’s organs helped more than 70 people. He honored his friend by asking a girl to prom from several states away because she received the friend’s lungs to combat her cystic fibrosis. She accepted and all the parents involved support the date. … The original story  … and the story about the outcome

Wow – the Today (Sunday version with Willie Geist) did an outstanding story about The Onion. See it here.

We recently went to the movie theater for two movies. Each movie is different, but worth your time. Money Monsters is a thriller starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. Thumbs up. A few days later we saw The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel. It’s a wonderful story that is well done. Extra Thumbs Up.

Earlier this week, I saw a farewell post from a blogger – Carrie Rubin. Carrie and I stumbled across each other years ago on Starla’s blog. Since then, we’ve been regular visitors on the other’s blog. Carrie is not only a physician, author, mother, spouse, and self-proclaimed introvert – I have no doubt she is a classy lady in person. Being in opposite corners of the same state, I’m confident that some day we will meet in person. For that day, she has taught me well … that is, I must be prepared with questions to keep the conversation going. 😉 Carrie – thanks for being a faithful reader here – and thanks for sharing the inner extrovert side of yourself – which is a hoot! Good luck with your future novels! … and I encourage readers to visit her last post.  Tell her I sent you.

Colors: The Musical returns next week with Act 7 featuring Brown. For those who don’t know the rules, stick to brown being in the song title. The theater curtain rises on Tuesday, May 24th at 9:30 pm (Eastern US)

No Explore post this weekend.

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I’m still amazed that Donald Trump (R-NY) has gotten this far. Besides numerous insults, his constituents allow him to avoid answering questions and willingly change positions.

This week’s aFa Power Ranking for Donald Trump’s running mate: 5) Sarah Palin, 4) Chris Christie, 3) Jeff Sessions, 2) John Kasich, 1) Newt Gingrich

Hillary Clinton (D-NY) can’t seem to put-away Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). To me, it’s further evidence that the Democratic Party is following the Republican Party in a movement away from the center … which is not a good thing for those in the center.

To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how hackers steal data.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Woman Had No Idea Participating In 5K Walk Could Be So Unrewarding
NCAA investigating God for giving gifts to athletes
Americans lead the world in compressing big sandwiches so they are bitable
Woman Recreating Famous Marilyn Monroe Photo Has Rat Blown Up Skirt
Report: Unreleased Harry Potter Book More Secure Than U.S. Trains
Porn Star XXX-hausted

Interesting Reads
Advice about the Middle East
The creativity of genes
A cherished Irish Bible for the 6th-to-8th century
Pad 14 and Mercury astronauts
Faking one’s own kidnapping
(Pictures) Nomads in Nepal

To send you into the weekend, I dedicated this song to Carrie. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


65 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 302

  1. I’m going to miss Carrie too. I don’t know how she and I found each other, but it’s been so much fun. But I look forward to reading her future books — a tough bargain.

    Trump has no constituents. He hasn’t been elected to anything. He has nutcase followers. 😦


  2. Oh, Frank, you are too kind. Just as I was about to power off my laptop, I saw this. Thank you so much for your warm words. I feel the same way about you (though I suspect you’re a classy man, not a classy lady…). You know I’ll be stopping by from time to time. I always enjoy reading your sensible views on politics. You use common sense, which is sadly lacking in the political world. This political season is too crazy for me to stay away from you and Elyse’s views on it!

    Seventy people benefiting from those organs is so wonderful to hear. What a gift. As for Trump’s running mate … I can’t even go there.


  3. That really is a feel good story about the teen/organ transplant/prom. I like to dwell on stories like this that speak to the best in people, and hope that it somehow balances out some of the revulsion I feel for Trump and company. I also agree with you about the Democratic party similarly imploding. I’ve always bemoaned that my California vote hardly ever counts. This go-round I’m not complaining! I love the photos you’ve chosen, Frank. Excellent!


  4. Such a “feel-good” story about the teens at the prom.

    Trump-aaaaaaaaaaaaa! I just want him to go away–and his running mates, too.

    There are several movies I want to see–something keeps coming up. Those two are on my list, but we may opt for something else. So many movies; too little time. 🙂

    I remember listening to “Piano Man” on the radio late at night when I was a teen. It was probably on Philadelphia’s Gene Shay show–the legendary folk show host, and it was before Billy Joel was famous. I was amazed by the song.


  5. You are for sure going to be challenged this election season to stay in the center between a Democratic Party that is being pressured to become like Europe (horrors!) and a Republican Party that is being dragged toward fascism by the followers of Donald Trump.

    Sounds to me like you’re in denial about the need for the Cincinnati Reds to join the Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies as this year’s Houston Astros style “Big Rebuild” teams.

    Thanks for the fascinating read about The Book of Kells, of which I saw a single page many years ago on a visit to the library at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (the library displays a different page every day).

    Also thanks for the read “Six Stubborn, Essential Middle East Truths” by Aaron David Miller from the Real Clear World website. I was unaware that the Real Clear Politics website had expanded to include a number of sister sites ranging from economics to sports, all of which I plan to check out.

    No splats.


    • Tim,
      For me, the election is a perfect setting to leave the presidential portion of the ballot blank. However, odds are good I will step outside of my comfort zone to cast an anti vote.

      Denial about the Reds? As you point the denial finger at me, don’t forget you are pointing three fingers right back at yourself. This team is so bad it would have a difficult time competing at the AAA level. They are an embarrass this city.

      Aaron David Miller is one of my favorites regarding foreign policy because he doesn’t see it through a political lens. Meanwhile, the Real Clear site as had many sister sites for as long as I’ve been using them (at least 7 years).


      • I’m sure New York Yankees fans aren’t having any part of “Big Rebuilds” as the answer to their team’s last place 18-22 record (only 3 more wins than the Reds). Instead, following your lead, they no doubt are calling for their ownership and front office to “just slip out the back, Jack – make a new plan, Stan!”

        I found it reassuring that the aFa Power Rankings had the Nincompoop 5 heartbeats away from the presidency.


  6. I too had the opportunity and privilege to see a piece of the Book of Kells in Dublin once, alongside some other lesser known illuminated manuscripts… an unforgettable experience. I also ventured to Lindisfarne/Holy Island in Northumberland a few times, but it was always foggy or rainy… probably the most genuine way to connect with history 😉 I can just imagine the monks painstakingly spreading color all over those pages against the backdrop of perpetually grey skies.

    Lucky you, you live in a swing state… I have a feeling this general election campaign will be even more brutal than most. I’ve got a good pair of earplugs if you need to borrow them for the next 5-6 months.


    • Alisha!!!!! How have you been? I hope life is treating you well.

      I can’t image the general election ads we are going to get. It’s already started because one of our senators is up …. so outside money on both sides is pouring in.

      Interesting how the Book of Kells article has caused many comments. Thanks for sharing your encounter with history.


      • I still lurk around WordPress, though admittedly less frequently than I used to! I’ve written about half a dozen blog posts that I’ve rejected before actually publishing them… perhaps I’m getting too picky. But yes, is all is well, thanks!

        Here’s an interesting piece of history I learned today – New Jersey is home to a 0.25 square mile town called Tavistock, currently consisting of 5 people, which was created in 1921 just so that a group of country club members could play golf on Sunday. I can almost hear patriotic music swelling in the background at this display of brazened freedom-fighting.


  7. I thought the “interesting read” about the medieval bible said even more about human psychology than about art. I found this comment by the author insightful:

    So why did the monks go to so much trouble to create these amazing pages? It’s as if the book itself flaunted the spiritual qualities of the text to those who saw it. The large pages and illustrations could be seen from further back in the church to make an impact on a congregation that for the most part couldn’t read or write. Recent research has shown that books were used in religious processions, enhancing the notion that they were almost objects of worship themselves or at least had talismanic properties for a medieval populace.

    In this case, as in many modern movies for example, form and art (special effects) exceed substance (plot and dialogue). The monks were creative and obsessive. And, I think it shows why leisure can never be a satisfactory human goal.

    Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?
    — Robert Browning


  8. The Atlantic article, Advice about the Middle East, is outstanding and insightful. It is also politically depressing and unsatisfying. The Problem lies in wait, demanding a solution that doesn’t exist. What really blows my mind is trying to imagine what a president Trump might do to try to cut that Gordian knot!


  9. I have reproductions of many of the pages in the Book of Kells—and the Lindisfarne gospels— since a study of those illuminations is de rigueur for one who trains as a professional calligrapher. But no reproduction , especially on the internet, comes anywhere close to going and seeing the actual thing. It is not a bible, as such, but a lettering and illumination of the gospels. And the “book” was nothing like what we think of as a book today, in size, materials, or binding. To realize what they went through to pounce and pumice the skins for parchment, and grind paints from natural plants and ink from oak galls and animals, is to become unable to dismiss the work as “special effects.” I guess I was glad to see a current article about the book but I think the author showed very little understanding of the object, its composition, the reason for it or the work of the monks, in his easy opinions.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Piano Man is a really great song! It’s a strange feeling when a blog pal stops. It’s like someone moved out of the hood. I’m working long hours & Tuesday will be a rough day for me. I will at least attempt to enter a Brown song.
    Jeremy Irons is an A+ actor, one of the funnest I ever worked with!


    • LB,
      Politicians are what they are … and none of them can please everyone every time. No way. However, this election has given us candidates with the highest negative ratings in history. Unfortunately, it is what it is … but one thing for sure – the partisans will be up on their bandwagon.


  11. I will miss Carrie, as well. I always enjoyed her words but I understand the time restraints, as evidenced by how late I’m responding to this post..:)
    I’m sorry about your Reds Frank. If ownership is an issue you may be in for long difficult days which is unfortunate because the Reds have a long history in the sport. I remember when the first pitch of the season always happened in Cinncinnati.
    I think everyone is amazed that Trump is where he is, that Hillary can’t put away Bernie and the national polls are so close. Strange times. Scary times.
    Great story about that local team and nice song choice.


    • George,
      Regarding the Reds, I include management in my address about the Reds issues because they run the club … and in my opinion, very poorly. Ownership isn’t off the hook because they hired office management and bought into their Kool Aid. Management talks about rebuilding the farm … hello out there, who stocked the farm system? Hmmmm …. however, I think the primary owner is a very competitive person, so recent years have been driving him crazy. On the other hand, injuries happen, and this club has been hammered by them the past two years.

      Politically, oh yes … very strange times … and I’m will say more in the next OITS (up soon).


  12. 70 organs? Really? There are that many usable parts? I’m going to focus on that and not on the Donald, who, by the way, has probably a lot fewer usable parts. A lot fewer. 😐


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