Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 312

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Earlier this week we sent to the theater to see Star Trek Beyond. My thoughts include the following:

  • Entertaining
  • Interesting story
  • As science fiction, certain events hard to believe
  • Thumbs up to the various tributes to the original stars
  • Loved the animated images at the end

HGTV fans know the Property Brothers are very popular – but I had no idea that Fixer Upper has twice as many viewers as Drew and Jonathan.

The beginning of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro is a few weeks away. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has a way of demonstrating it is a bunch of egotistical buffoons.

Baseball’s trading deadline is approaching, so I have a trade suggestion for my Cincinnati Reds: trade management and ownership for a dozen fungo bats, 100 new baseballs, 50 used rosin bags, and a box of rocks to be determined later.

Daal @ Happiness Between Tails invited me to do a guest post about ballroom dancing. I invite readers here to visit the post. Daal, thanks for asking. Here’s the post.

I have a family obligation this coming week, so I won’t be posting – and I question if I will have any presence elsewhere.

No Explore post this weekend.

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I’ve never been a fan of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), so count me in as one in the good-riddance camp. Meanwhile, this incident works against the party nominee.

Hillary Clinton’s selection of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) was a predictable, safe pick. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much it appeases the progressive wing of the Democratic party. He has impressive credentials, but doesn’t strike me as the attack-dog type and he is a bit dull.

This comment makes sense to me: When someone makes a choice based on the lesser of two evils, they still select evil.

I finally got around to watch the CNN Town Hall event with the Libertarian presidential slate: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld … It bored me and I think they missed a golden opportunity to get people’s attention.

I like good political speeches – actually in either party. However, the political climate of recent years has worn thin on my enthusiasm for a good speech … so I didn’t watch the Democratic convention, but I did see several minutes of President Obama’s speech because my wife was watching.

I see conventions as a 4-day infomercial to inspire the partisans – and fortunately is great for the fact checkers because politicians and their parties frequently are inaccurate. Because the partisans are the target, the audience doesn’t care.

With a variety of email scandals currently on the table, it’s interesting that Republicans continue to talk about Russians hacking Clinton’s private servers, whereas the FBI report stated “no evidence” of a successful intrusion since 2009 but that intrusion was “possible”.

Research shows that 92.683% of problems today are directly linked to Presidents Roosevelt (FDR), Clinton, and Obama.

President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week

  • Russia’s state sponsored doping program for athletes
  • Sen. Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump
  • Donald Trump reaching out to Russian hackers
  • The way people dress at Wal-Mart
  • The dismal season of the Cincinnati Reds

Bonus Coverage of the Democratic Convention by The Onion

  • Supporters Aggravated Bernie Sanders Didn’t Use DNC Speech To Get Voters To Act Against Their Own Self-Interest
  • Convention Crowd Really Hoping Bill Clinton Breaks Tension With Joke About How Terrible He Looks
  • Lone Superdelegate Voting For Martin O’Malley Feels Like Total F*#&ing Idiot
  • Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot
  • Area Man Responds, “That makes sense” after being told the crowd isn’t chanting “Four more ears.”
  • Cannon Overshoots Tim Kaine Across Wells Fargo Center
  • Clinton Campaign Thanks Volunteers For Killing Millions Of Gnats In Hillary’s Bus
  • Biden Chokes Up While Describing Hardworking Americans Who Can Only Afford Shitty Ditch Weed
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To let you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers these tips for throwing the perfect bachelorette party.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man Checks To Make Sure No One Home Before Recording Song Into Laptop
Determinist Insurance Company Insists All Conditions Are Preexisting
Aquatic Turtle Discovers Limits Of Tank For 43,000th Time
Ellis Island Visitor Honored To Finally See the Location Where His Grandfather Was Deloused
Man Entirely Different Misogynist Online Than In Real Life

Interesting Reads
Mandatory education for adults
The evolution of turtle shells
History of clear sodas
The effect of full-time work on the brain
Life and quantum physics
(Photos) Soviet relics

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song from 1983. I didn’t high on the charts, but I like it. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

58 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 312

  1. I saw both the Democratic and Republican addresses and I thought Michelle Obama was great. Donald Trump came across as the fool he is. I cannot believe it is possible that he may be elected. I fear for America.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess it’s Obama’s fault that there were such great speeches at the DNC, too. 🙂 I agree Michelle Obama was wonderful. Such a contrast to the RNC. I had thought of going to some of the political themed events in Philadelphia this week, but we were away, and then it was so hot with thunderstorms, so we never made it.

    We always see the Star Trek movies with some long-time friends, so we’ll be seeing the new one soon. I’m glad you liked it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The great stuff in your post this morning leads me to mention:
    (1) The new ‘Star Trek’ was acclaimed by longtime New Yorker Magazine film critic Anthony Lane.
    (2) The seeds of the Cincinnati Reds’ future greatness started to sprout after the All-Star break.
    (3) The read “The Evolution of Turtle Shells” startled me with the proposition that many complex structures didn’t evolve for their current function.
    (4) I would like to know your Top Five favorite political speeches.

    Splats from: “Supporters Aggravated Bernie Sanders Didn’t Use DNC Speech To Get Voters To Act Against Their Own Self-Interest,” “Depressed, Butter-Covered Tom Vilsack Enters Sixth Day Of Corn Bender After Losing VP Spot” and, sadly, “Aquatic Turtle Discovers Limits Of Tank For 43,000th Time.”


    • Tim,
      In terms of good speeches, they are usually made by good speakers. For instance, Ted Kennedy was a good as anyone when it came to delivering a good speech to fire-up the partisans.

      Good that many headlines hit the splat target this week. Meanwhile, your view of our Reds is sad. But, they are one win away from equally the win total of ’62 Mets …. HOWEVER, they are there yet.


  4. Hey Frank! I haven’t been good at getting to posts in a timely manner. This week it is partly Obama’s fault — both Obamas, in fact. And Hillary’s. And Bills (oh, and I guess Chelsea’s now that I think of it). I watched most of the DNC, and some of the RNC (although my finger kept inexplicably reaching for the mute button last week, I just mostly watched them breathe fire).

    I thought this convention was different from the others I’ve watched. I think it served it’s purpose in reintroducing Hillary quite well. All those folks who hate her because they have for years would be pleasantly surprised. Of course, they didn’t watch it!

    And I like Tim Kaine. He’s boring (poor guy — the geek Dad jokes will last for the rest of his public life, I think — his Governor Moonbeam). But he is a good man and a good representative of good, honest government service. I worked for his gubernatorial and senate campaigns. And I think there is enough drama between the #1s on both tickets! EW and Brown would have lost a senate seat for the Dems, as would most other progressives. Vilsack is just as boring.

    I liked the movie, too.


    • Elyse,
      I knew you would be glued to the convention … and for the news clips I’ve seen, there were numerous good speeches. Then again, The Donald makes it easy to do so.

      Focusing on Hillary as a person is a good approach (although it won’t make a difference to those with strong negatives). In an interview with Tom Brokow, he said of all the public he’s met in public life, she has the greatest difference between her public and private persona.

      Horray for you also enjoying Star Trek. … and I imagine you enjoyed The Onion’s headline about Vilsack.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank, thank you for the mid-day break and dance session to Boogie Down, one of my all time 80’s favorites. My husband and I used to play this in the clubs and I loved playing the keyboard synth lines (performed by Michael Omartian, who co-wrote the song with Jarreau). Fun, fun, funky!

    I”m a little surprised at your reaction to the DNC, but you have more political savvy (an interest) than I do. I have to say that I’ve never watched a political convention before but I watched this one and was totally fascinated. It didn’t seem to me to be just boiler plate stuff; what intrigued was the diversity of speakers and sometimes the unpredictable power of the unknown speaker who drove home a point so powerful and so passionate that I often found myself in tears or saying “whoa!” out loud. This was a convention of surprises and depth, at least to me, and it seemed to me that Hillary at the end was transcendent in her appearance. Most of all, the attendees were such a powerful representation of America today, the diversity, even the strong protests seemed so important. It felt like a game changer to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lynn,
      That’s a great story about your band placing Boogie Down back in the day. Such a fun song!

      I know conventions are predictable, boiler-plate stuff designed to charge the masses … but both parties have played their role in creating the great political divide that works against problem solving – an essential goal of government … so for a someone who enjoys political speeches to turn his back on both parties is a sign of my disenchantment.

      I’m not surprised that the DNC had good speeches – after all, the current GOP climate set them up well for success. After all, Mr. Trump provides a lot of material with which to work.

      NY Times columnist David Brooks provided some interesting thoughts here.


      Liked by 1 person

  6. My favorite show at HGTV was Rehab Addict, but they must have cancelled it because it’s never on any more. I suppose their sponsors didn’t like her since she showed people how to restore a place rather than ripping everything out and putting in new stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

      • She bought old houses, often condemned ones, and restored them to their original glory as she put it on the show. She could restore a 100 year old hardwood floor in a house that had been abandoned 20 years with a leaky roof. She also restored stained glass windows and old fashioned rope-pull window frames as well as tubs and sinks that started out rusty and crusty looking ready for the dump. The houses were beautiful when she finished, with all their original charm and character. Not like most of the other shows where they rip everything out and make one more cookie cutter home to the current trends that they will call dated a few years down the road. I haven’t seen her show in awhile and would guess it probably got cancelled because HGTV’s sponsors want to sell new stuff.


        • She did a great job on that show. Responsible remodeling. It is beginning to drive me nuts seeing all the reality home shows destroying house parts that could be recycled and reused by others as is done in many places like islands and Central/South America. So wasteful. We’ve majorly redone 3 houses and always tried to take salvagable stuff to Habitat for Humanity’s resale Rehome Store.
          In college in the 60-70’s we had a phrase “Whatever you are about to throw away, someone is desperately looking for that item.” Was it just us or did the world just change so much? Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I enjoyed Al Jarreau, Frank. He’s always been an artist I’ve enjoyed but I’m quite sure I had never heard this recording. Wish I could move as smoothly as he does in this video! 🙂 I’ve also scanned the article on turtle shells and set it aside to read a little later. You find such interesting and somewhat obscure articles! I’ll also visit your guest post! I look forward to your continued political commentary as we move even closer to THE vote. I remind myself almost daily that the United States has been resilient in times of terrible struggle in the past, and we’ve come back from the edge. But, around my house, I’ve been singing songs from the Music Man…”We’ve got trouble, my friends, right here in River City….” and I can’t get the theme out of my mind. When I switch to singing the soundtrack from Les Mis I’ll know I’ve crossed an important line!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Many in the middle sharing your thoughts, so you are far from not alone. What the partisans don’t realize is how they are actually working against our vote … (something I hope to mention in the next OITS). Meanwhile, your song from the Music Man is very fitting … and just to think we have 3 more months of this stuff! Glad you enjoyed Al Jarreau!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the movie recommendation – haven’t seen it yet. Heard the games in Rio will go on in spite of the Zika virus… hopefully they won’t affect further transmission to other countries. I’ve never heard of a “fungo bat,” but will look it up! As for the politics, what do you do when you aren’t “for” either candidate? I resent feeling pressure to choose! Love the dog photo and the video is happy – need more of that right now! Hope all is well in your world, Frank. Happy August! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kelly,
      I sure hope no problems of any kind happen at the Rio games … but only time will tell.

      In terms of the election choice when a person doesn’t like either of the main-party choices, one has the following choices:
      1) Vote a third party. Although that candidate may not win, the voter must feel good about their choice.
      2) Leave that part of the ballot blank – that is, vote for none of them. Same rationale as #1 … and yes, I’ve done that.
      3) Checking the box of a candidate as a vote against the other. Although the vote officially counts for someone, the vote knows it wasn’t for that candidate, but against the other. Again, doing what is best for one’s own conscience.
      4) Look at the bottom line … looking through all the flaws to say given the two, which would do a better job.

      Just some thoughts …. good luck.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Some real chuckle with this post, Frank. (Actually the report/FBI said that hackers at that level wouldn’t leave “footprints” to show they had been there – and they didn’t expect to find traces. Hacks probably happen often anyway…but still, Hillary, what were you thinking, girl?)
    Kaine may be dull, but he looks sane. That’s a big plus.
    Enjoy your break! I’m pushing pause for a bit too as tomorrow’s post will say. Life is calling….(and I’m running as far away from the political noise)


  10. I got here, I read and as always I enjoyed. Loved Soviet Relics! Now I know what is wrong with me, I work more than 25 hours a week, this is why I have lost my get up and go, dang.

    I cannot even begin to discuss how disappointed I am…in all of them. Though there were some interesting and good speakers. There were some inspirations even. I am simply at a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Val,
      I admire our fortitude to watch the conventions, even when you are down on the parties and their candidates. Political speeches can be a lot of fun, especially when one takes them for what they are … but these days, may tolerance is very limited … thus why I didn’t watch.

      I also enjoyed the Soviet Relics link … cheers to you finding another gem in the list.


  11. I agree with you on Tim Kaine. Last night, neither my husband nor I could remember his name! I had to come up with a memory aid so I won’t be caught again with that blank stare (kind of like he–Kaine–often has). Here it is: Tim (pathetic but sweet Tiny Tim from A Christmas Carol) and Kaine (like Lidocaine, a numbing ointment).

    And there has to be some kind of word-play opportunity when you said he isn’t an attack dog (pit bull) because he is a bit dull. Pit bull/bit dull. Oh, I see it! Flip the first letters (“p/b” and “b/d”). Okay, it’s a stretch, but my brain is rather stretchy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your research presents us with fascinating reads. I was impressed with the biology/quantum story, as well as How The Turtle Got Its Shell. That’s one that will upset some evolution deniers. They claim that there are no intermediate fossils – that God created turtles just as they are. 😳


    • Archon,
      Thanks for the kind words. As for as the Creationists, I’ve learned to tuned them out as much as possible. However, with the Creation Museum and the new Ark Encounter in my area, they make it difficult to totally ignore.


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