Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 309

A global economy and nationalism seem to be opposing forces – so here’s a good read from William Galston in the Wall Street Journal.

I live in a part of America that has fireflies – an insect that fascinates those who don’t have them in your area. Here’s an article from National Geographic about what I also call lightning bugs.

Need new wallpaper for your desktop? This fabulous collection of photos from National Geographic Travel Photography Contest is a must-see.

I didn’t realize most minor league baseball players get a very low wage. I wasn’t expecting a gold mine, but more that the meager pittance they receive. Here’s the column where I discovered the disheartening news.

Earlier this week, Answers in Genesis (who operates the nearby Creation Museum) opened Ark Encounter – an exhibit about Noah’s Ark in the view of a 10,000 year old Earth. Being a local event, there have been many Letters to the Editor … many of which encourage me to bang my head against a wall.

Given current time demands and several life adjustments, not only did I not post this week, I’ve been reflecting about my future on these pages – which will probably lead to an open (irregular) posting schedule. Besides, not visiting other blogs bothers me very much.

There will be an Explore post this weekend.

The timing of the FBI report surprised me. At the beginning of this incident I stated that her decision to have private servers was a poor and careless decision – and it seems the investigation more than supports my statement. Meanwhile, the Republican response was more than predictable. I appreciated this comparison by the Washington Post of the Clinton and Petraeus scandals.

Regarding the FBI report and the Clinton email scandal, I enjoyed this comment, “Americans’ trust in public officials and public institutions has fallen abysmally, as we all know. So far as we can now tell, the country in this instance has been well served by a leader and an FBI that has been diligent, hard-working and fair. Embittered partisans will disagree, but for my book, the FBI seems to have gotten this one right.” (David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst in this column)

In terms of the effect on my vote in the election, I consider the Republican offering of an obnoxious bloviating jackass whose depth doesn’t go beyond insults, name-calling, and taglines is much worse than Mrs. Clinton’s poor judgment (in this case) and her distrustful nature.

Columnist George Will is a great writer. Although I haven’t read him much over the past 5 years, I have been noticing his battle with Donald Trump – and love this recent quote: “He (Trump) has an advantage on me. He can say everything he knows about any subject in 140 characters, and I (Will) can’t.”

Two weeks ago (in OITS 307) I listed an article about US politics in the Interesting Reads. Interestingly, last weekend Meet the Press interviewed the article’s author. Glad to know that NBC followed my lead. Here’s the article.

This week’s aFa Power Rankings for Donald Trump’s running mate: 5) Mary Fallin, 4) Jeff Sessions, 3) Scott Brown, 2) Mike Pence, 1) Newt Gingrich

The first week’s aFa Power Rankings for Hillary Clinton’s running mate: 5) Xavier Beccera, 4) Julian Castro, 3) Chris Murphy, 2) Thomas Perez, 1) Tim Kane

To lead us into the satire portion of this post, The Onion discloses what Vice President Joe Biden is doing this summer.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Swiss guards charge writhing mass of black tentacles devouring Pope Francis
Dad’s eyes welled up at sight of perfectly packed cooler
Synthetic tree removes carbon dioxide from air
Fireworks accident blows off tip of Florida
Rest of the evening spent declaring the asshole not going to ruin the evening
God regrets never creating any two-head snake creatures

Interesting Reads
State of the news media (Pew Research Center)
Georgia O’Keeffe: An American Painting Icon
Football and ALS
Are algorithms biased?
Mating habits of seahorses
(Photos) Dessert landscapes from National Geographic

When searching for a song to send readers into the weekend, this one came to attention. Paul, a friend and great person, pops in my mind from time to time. Although he died several years ago in a senseless murder, I smile when I think of him … and this song from The Piano Guys is what I link to him … plus, it’s a good song to send you into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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18 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 309

  1. It’s funny you mentioned fireflies/lightning bugs. The other night I was pulling down the shades and saw some outside–it seemed a while since I’ve seen them. I remember catching them (and letting them go) when I was a child.

    I’m not really a George Wills fan, but that’s a great quote! 🙂

    I liked the Piano Guys mesh of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version of Over the Rainbow and Simple Gifts.
    Have a great weekend, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      I used to read George Will’s column … but then he became too cranky for my taste. I also liked him when he was on ABC with George S on Sundays. … and he’s a smart man, a great writer, but still too cranky.

      Glad you enjoyed The Piano Guys!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have “several life adjustments” going on, Frank? Knowing from my own experience with those, they don’t always mix very well with blogging. I hope your adjustments are positive.

    The other day I saw a sticker posted to a scaffolding beam reading, “Trump? Never!” Worked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lame,
      Not life-changing adjustments, but a new normal as my wife retired on April 1 and I took a part-time seasonal job … and blogging has been the victim of the adjustments. … so I’m trying to find a new normal.

      Like

  3. First off – KEEP BLOGGING! You are essential to the balance I try to maintain in my media venues.

    I liked your “See the ball, Hit the ball” voting comment for the upcoming election.

    After reading your Op. Shorts, Vol. 309 this morning, I pulled out of my golf bag the article in The Atlantic “How American Politics Went Insane” to try and figure out how you could possibly support the writer’s conclusions/recommendations?

    I, too, had been doing some head banging over the latest ‘Answers in Genesis’ commercial enterprise until I read the article in yesterday’s Cincinnati Enquirer titled: “7 things I believe after my Ark Encounter visit” by Kevin S. Aldridge, the Enquirer’s associate opinion editor. Aldridge points out that:

    1. Nothing says “America” like the ark.
    2. Ken Ham is very good at what he does.
    3. The ark will change some minds, but not the majority.
    4. Science and religion are not adversaries.
    5. Debate about the ark is a good thing.
    6. The ark raises the stakes for religious attractions.
    7. The Ark Encounter is going to make lots of money.

    Only splat today was the collection of photos from the National Geographic Travel Photography Contest.

    Like

    • Tim,
      I also read the Aldridge piece, but I can’t convince myself to attend either of Ham’s attractions.

      In terms of the politics article from The Atlantic, regardless is I agreed with the author’s conclusions or not, it’s a worthy article to bring to the attention of others.

      As for my blogging future, time will tell.

      Like

  4. Just blog when you have time, and feel like it! That’s what I do, as there are no rules. 😀
    Thanks for the music, and have a great weekend.

    Like

  5. I love this particular arrangement by the Piano Guys and think it’s lovely to remember you friend by. That kind of tragedy never really leaves us.

    Regarding Clinton’s choices and how they reflect on her character, when put against the fact that Trump cannot offer me one thing in which I agree, questioning her trustworthiness just doesn’t get me too bothered. I think she has the ability to lead our country well, despite her personal weaknesses, but I’ll be the first to admit that when I say those words outloud to friends with differing opinions my own position sounds weak. I think in many ways I’m just trying to be solid with Hillary, given I cannot imagine Trump.

    And final for now…I have never seen a firefly! I feel that is a big loss! I hope you have a good weekend. Thank you for all the good reading material, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      I recall that you also know this type of tragedy … and more so than me. In this case, the song makes me smile when I think of him.

      In terms of the fireflies, I know that many in your state haven’t seen them, and believe it or not, I was hoping you would see this article! We have a place very close to us that is like a firefly sanctuary!

      Clinton’s experience is extraordinary, but she has a way of overshadowing her accomplishments. I’ve thought the same way in terms of your unconvincing statement – so the answer likes in comparison to the opponent … and in this case, a big N-O from the two of us.

      Like

  6. I’m late to the party, Frank. I’m up in Maine where I’ve been busy.

    Blogging when I want to works for me — but I am not much for routine. Just keep doing it– you will always be a welcome sight in my inbox!

    Like

    • Parenting,
      Gotta love not only The Onion, but others who also admires there effort. About a month ago the Today show did a report on The Onion office … what a hoot! … and cheers to another Piano Guys fan!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You would think that the minor leaguers would get more! At least some perks…given the INSANE amounts the big leaguers make per second they play!
    Lightning bugs are such a sweet, summer confetti. Aren’t they? A gentle reminder of simple goodness in this crazy world.

    Happy Sunday, Frank!

    Like

    • Audra,
      There a location close to our house that is loaded with lightning bugs … I’ve never seen anything like it. The news about minor leaguers surprised me very much … so I encourage you to read the column (if you haven’t already).

      Like

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