Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 322

Many readers have enjoyed the previous two Al Stewart songs I’ve featured in previous OITS. Here’s one more, but this time as background music because the video is just the music (no performance). For those that chose, click here to enjoy Song on the Radio.

Embed from Getty Images

As I work morning news back into my routine, I recently developed a preference for CBS This Morning with Norah O’Donnell, Charlie Rose, and Gayle King. They have more substance and less fluff than their NBC and ABC counterparts, plus more calming than CNN.

We recently saw two movies to recommend, so THUMBS UP to The Founder and Hidden Figures.

If the movie is accurate, McDonald’s Ray Kroc was both a visionary and an asshole who sorely lacked business acumen – but smart enough to surround himself with the right people. Props to actor Michael Keaton for his role as Mr. Kroc.

A toast to Mary Tyler Moore for what she gave us through her life.

January has been a different month for me, so I will explain very soon.

Last week I reminisced about moving. After all, several years ago we moved from our home of 27 years – a home we built, maintained, and improved. Packing and moving is quite the chore, but in the end, there is a sense of sadness when we depart for the last time. The Obamas occupied the White House a much shorter time (8 years), but on a much grander stage. I appreciated this article from Politico about their final moments.

Embed from Getty Images

I continue to worry about the potential lack of Congressional oversight, so this article from Politico was timely.

Democrats can thank their former Senate leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for removing the 60-vote barrier. Just another reason for me not liking the man.

I met my goal of not watching the inauguration, but did see enough reports to be informed.

On his first full day, the way the new administration and their talking heads has treated the importance of something as irrelevant as the inauguration crowd size is both bizarre and telling. All they had to say was something like this: “While we acknowledge the in-person attendance was down from previous years, when also considering television and online viewing throughout the world, all indications point to this inaugural being the most-watched in history.” Oh no, instead they chose to make combative asses of themselves.

I have suggestions for the new administration who feels unloved by the media’s negative reporting.

  • Try a positive tone, not a negative, combative one.
  • Try truthfulness, not head-scratching absurdities.
  • Try portraying a positive image with a vision, not one focusing on doom and gloom.
  • Try respecting people, not humiliating them.
  • Try not making unsubstantiated facts on something meaningless.
  • Learn the difference between right vs. wrong and agree vs. disagree.

PS: Protectionism and isolationism doesn’t work.

Kathleen Parker is a columnist I appreciate. A closing of a recent column echoed the my feelings that I’ve stated here. “Donald Trump is our president. He deserves a chance to prove us doubters wrong; to create a government that he think will bring jobs and money back to the U.S.; to enhance educational opportunities for the less-privileged; to enhance our military defense without yearning to test it; to reform the tax and regulatory codes with deference to economic realities. Pray. Pray that our country survives these next few years and that the new president is both wiser and less impetuous that he seems. It’s the least and best we can do – for now.”

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
Spreading of Fake News
The Packers and Steelers not making the Super Bowl
La La Land receiving a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations
California’s rain and snow
John Howell in final preparation of another book release

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides the pros and cons for early retirement.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Anger-bottling factory explodes
Compassionate fisherman doesn’t have heart to throw trout back into polluted lake
Cockroaches feeling optimistic about future of planet
Shrimp would be pissed if he could see the lame party he’s going to be served t
Car rolls up to stoplight blasting Google Maps directions
Spider sitting on shower wall can’t wait to see look on man’s face

Interesting Reads
An inspirational must-read story about a young girl
How to be wiser
Aging and urban divergence
The Oddies Museum
The geographic pivot
(An interactive) How much do you know about what police think

For those who prefer the song at the end of this post or those who want more Al Stewart, here’s On the Border to send you into the weekend. Enjoy the final days of January 2017 and get ready to bring on February. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

35 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 322

    • Cindy,
      Interesting how much positive I receive with Al Stewart songs. But if I had Bannon’s job, I think I would be the lone voice in the wilderness on that team – a team that doesn’t seem to want to be sensible.


  1. Hi Frank… I see you have not lost your touch in in the least… love the post as usual…. on my return from the golf course build to hopefully a regular posting position.. I seem to have chosen the Trump era on the media sites… While I liked and enjoyed his ranting and promises on our TV, the American people seem now unhappy with rheir elected President. The shares on face book can only be called derogative and insulting to the most powerful man in the world, yet those that elected him seem almost silent on that site… Once more this confuses the hell out of me, as if so many were against how did he get elected?
    Frank I enjoyed your post immensely, as I have done so in the past… and hope that your enlightening ways will aid me to understand the American political way… if you are not to benefit from him as President, then God save us in Africa, not sure we will benefit…
    Look forward to your future posts now that ive returnef…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bulldog,
      Great to see you and I hope all is well with you and Linda.

      Your question and confusion about the American election is complex, so I understand your confusion. I will try to summarize from my perspective.

      I put Trump voters into 3 camps: His supporters, Clinton haters, and the party loyalists. His supporters backed him no matter what he said or did. Despite contradictions, inappropriate behaviors, inaccuracies, they remained loyal.

      The mantra of the Clinton haters was “Anybody but her.” … even someone with the above negatives.

      The party loyalists are the ones who only vote for a particular party no matter who the nominee is. Trump’s negatives outweighed anything because he was a Republican – so that identifier was more important because these voters always vote Republican.

      Of the three groups, I’m not convinced his support group was the majority of his voters.

      Because of the US system of national elections, 2016 was not the first time when the loser had more votes. That added fuel to the divisiveness of this election – arguably, one of the most divisive in our history.

      Given the above, no wonder he has such a low initial approval rating. Hope this helps, A short response to a complex question … and you noticed I didn’t even get into specifics or ideology. Maybe these past posts will help, but read them in the order below. Then again, it’s not the view of the partisans (as the comments will show).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like your analysis of election psychology, Frank. Trying hard to hold to my already cracked new-year’s resolution, I am looking forward to observing how our Dear Leader’s support base reacts to the effects of his actions on foreign relations, the economy, and the nation’s social structure. If nothing else, I submit that the next four years will be a unique case study in American politics for generations.

        This morning I found an article HERE on the subject that I highly recommend.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jim,
          Thanks for your kind words as I was simply trying to give a South African a broad view answer to a complex question.

          In terms of the president’s party, good point – but that is why my eyes have been more on Congressional Republicans rather than the president. However, polls showing support for the immigration executive order surprises me.

          Thanks for the article … and a worthy read! Good find!!!!


  2. I think you should send your six suggestions for how the Trump Administration can overcome negative media reporting to all the major newspapers in the U.S. for publication in their lead editorial sections under the heading- ‘Dear President Trump’ and ending with ‘A concerned non-partisan citizen.’

    I’m trying to decide whether your read ‘Geographic Pivot of History’ in the 21st Century by Francis P. Sempa is a dustbin curiosity or not, and also whether the premise of your BBC read about wisdom – “. . that wise people tolerate uncertainty and remain optimistic that even tricky problems do have solutions” – applies to my golf game?

    No Onion splats today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moving is indeed a challenge both mentally and physically…but were I to be as limber as the folks in that one picture I’m betting I’d be able to handle moving much better. I just don’t know how people get so loose-limbed. The economy here in January certainly got a boost from “alternative facts” coming out of the shadows into mainstream America. More job opportunities now as media organizations hire people to have them fact-check…facts. Well, I guess that IS job creation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. those acrobats pretty much sum up the week: awkward!
    you drew us in with cuteness – babies tend to do that – and gently held our hands, good to do, cause Mary Tyler Moore was an real lady and hero! sad news, her passing…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Try a positive tone, not a negative, combative one.
    Try truthfulness, not head-scratching absurdities.
    Try portraying a positive image with a vision, not one focusing on doom and gloom.
    Try respecting people, not humiliating them.
    Try not making unsubstantiated facts on something meaningless.
    Learn the difference between right vs. wrong and agree vs. disagree.

    These are excellent. I would hope everyone in America would adopt them as operating principles.

    Liked by 1 person

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