Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 332

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When I published my return post, it was nice to see the spike on the graph of daily statistics. More importantly, it was great get to comments from friends all of the world. Thanks to all for the kind words and welcoming return.

I hope to announce a writing challenge in the next edition of this series.

Baby Fiona, (Cincinnati Zoo’s rock star baby hippo) continues to make great progress. Fiona now has a beer named after her, she is featured in a set of playing cards (we have), and continues to be a media darling. She does not regularly appear at the zoo’s exhibit, but she is making great progress bonding with her mother (Bibi) and father (Henry). Below are several links for videos.

With Amazon bid to purchase Whole Foods, this short clip (1-minute) is perfect.


In a pile of recyclable materials at a recycling center, what color do you think is the most dominant? (Answer later in this post.)

My wife and I are still enjoying ballroom dancing. Big news would be that we have changed instructors, and a big thumbs-up to our new one.

Did you know:

  • Otto Warmbier, the college student detained in North Korea who returned to the US in a coma and then died within days, was a Cincinnatian. I happened to be in his community the day before his funeral … and the trees lining the streets had blue and white ribbons tied around them.
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), the congressman who first attended to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) at the unfortunate, despicable shooting, is my representative.

Cardboard brown from all the shipping boxes is the most common color in a recycling pile. This has changed through the years, and given all the online purchasing people do today, this shouldn’t be surprising.

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American politics is not only frustrating, but is also has become a waste of my time and energy. It reminds of playground squabbles in order to see who gets their way, which actually solves nothing more than determining who gets their way – but this doesn’t mean I’m completely disengaging! No matter the political party, this is what I hear when politicians talk.

I’m no longer listing items for blaming former President Obama because (by now) realizes that he is responsible for everything wrong in the world over the past 10 years and for all ills to come over the next 30 years.

President Trump is a bully who disregards the institution and traditions of government because he thinks he is king.

After the House vote on the Republican-written health care law (AHCA) designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), I wrote these words to Rep. Wenstrup after the Cincinnati Enquirer published his column.

Thank you for sharing your story of the health issues in your family as well as your point of view concerning the ACA and the AHCA. You should know that as a political independent, I characterize your “Yes” vote for the AHCA without an assessment by the Congressional Budget Office as incompetent and a prime example of favoring the interest of your party over serving the best interests of the people in our district and all Americans. Health care and health care insurance is a very serious issue that demands more than a frivolous attempt based on partisanship and political gain.”

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion explains how cell phones have changed our lives.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Health scare prompts man to overeat healthier
Earth ranked as number 1 party planet
New study finds no long-term health benefits
Man pulling on loose hangnail slowly unravels skin from entire body
Beauty industry exec keeps photo of crying 15-year-old girl on desk to remind himself why he does this

Interesting Reads
Sagan’s baloney detection kit
Continued fascination with Phineas Gage
Tree-climbing goats
A personal view of cystic fibrosis and the benefits of research
(Photos) 91 picture of 91 years of Queen Elizabeth II

To send you into the weekend, here’s a fun song that you may not know. Enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

63 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 332

  1. Completely enjoyed the Charlie Brown video. Oh that sound! Thank you for the link to see pictures of Queen Elizabeth, I particularly like #62. On American Politics, I try not to listen nowadays. There is just too much ‘fake news’, using his words. Good luck with the new dance instructor.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thumbs up to baby Fiona. Two thumbs up to the craft beer named after her. Three thumbs down to politicians. And a big four thumbs up to your letter to your congressman! (Let’s just ignore I only have two thumbs.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Baby Fiona, the Original Spontanes, aging gracefully in puplic , aFa and Mrs dancing in the moonlight…too many good things happening to let more than a few idgits in Washington ruin our lives. Come on, People….let a Lotta love (and votes) in your life….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t suppose your congressman replied to your letter Frank? I very much enjoyed the final video – great music to paint to! And the bit of news about Fiona. And the bit on Carl Sagan…… And a new dance teacher – it’s always good to shake things up a little. Happy dancing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A great read for a Friday afternoon! I am impressed that you and wife are taking ballroom dancing. You are right about not listing things that are Obama fault as he is responsible for most failures. Keep writing your representatives! Loved the Sagan’s baloney detection kit. Another good “Opinions in the Shorts.” TGIF to you!


    • CC,
      Glad you enjoyed my trip through eclectic topics. We’ve been dancing social ballroom for 9 or so years. The fact that we didn’t start sooner in life is Obama’s fault.


  6. LOLOL … the amazon video is hilarious. I’m a prime memebr so I get eveything that I can through them. Recently, I was unpacking something and felt like I was going through a paper and styrofoam maze. Good one, aFrank.
    Charlie Brown video reminded me of a teacher who was so boring I thought I was going to bounce my head off of my desk. Truly funny …. 😄
    I’m with you on politics. I stay close to the line just enough to not be uneducated but not in enough to be aggravated. It’s a mess. 😳
    Glad you’re still dancing. Hubby and I were taking some classes. His rotor cuff needs attention now so we’re on a break. I’m hoping he heels soon. I miss it. Rock the dance floor! Have a fab weekend … Cheers 🍷
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great way to start the weekend! I love Sagan’s advice on not being gullible–too bad most of our politicians do not follow his advice. They must all have wanted to be teachers of the ilk who teach Charlie Brown: blah, blah, blah. Have a great weekend. Stay cool. Keep dancing.

    New study ranked Earth as #1 health scare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patti,
      The Sagan article is a good one. In terms of its relationship to politics, I see the gullible as the public who take what the politicians say. Now that’s being gullible! Meanwhile, your headline works!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When you write a post Frank you never do things by halves.. 🙂 And with all the online shopping being done these days I am not surprised its cardboard that comes the top colour..

    Though I have to say I do not do any sort of online buying.. Guess I am one of the old school who supports local and when a Bank teller asked me the other day did I want to switch to internet banking by phone. LOL… I told her firmly no, She tried to persuade me by saying how secure it was and it could be activated by voice.. I smiled sweetly and said oh yes, I saw on TV how the twin brother managed to access his brothers account in a bit of fun and he managed to open it.. It called into question how unique our voices are.. I said and while I am using the bank this way, I hopefully am keeping you also in a job.. She smiled sweetly back. 🙂
    Nothing to do with your post Frank.. Except the cardboard triggered the train.. lol Good to see you back Frank..
    🙂 Wishing you a Happy Weekend..
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder why those chickens crossed the road? Clearly they weren’t scared to. Wish there was a story behind that photo. Great about Fiona being a star. At least it’s not going to her head. Really sad about that soldier who died. What a tragedy. Welcome back to your routine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good luck with your new dance instructor and Congrats to you and your wife for completing 9 years or so of dance lessons.

    I liked the questions brought up in the read about goats and trees.

    Very good your sentence about President Trump! It indicates you haven’t thrown your hands in the air.

    Strangely enough, “Man pulling on loose hangnail slowly unravels skin from entire body” caused a splat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Glad to know about the splat! Regarding politics, you know that I’m not a Trump supporter … but you also realize that also don’t support the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party. Actually, both parties are doing a good job pushing me away from either.


      • No problem which party is pushing you away the most! The heavy lifting comes from to-the-point letters like the one you sent Rep. Wenstrup condemning the process that has produced the GOP’s AHCA, and if enacted will strip millions of Americans of their health care, lay waste to the vast number of hospitals across the country who’s patients are over 50% Medicaid recipients, and provide the affluent with a tax “relief” windfall which will shame our country in front of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

        • In terms of the pushing, the GOP has already pushed me away and continue that trend … but as the Dems are also pushing as they move left. Odds are good that one of two things will happen to my vote: 1) a vote against the incumbent – and if the opponent wins, they become the get-them-out incumbent … or 2) More blanks are left on my ballot.

          In terms of my letter to Rep. Wenstrup, I have sent one to Sen. Portman … and will probably sent something to Sen. Brown.


  11. Loved the final video!
    When I was working in universities giving lectures about brains, Phineas Gage was an important part of my “popular science” lectures. His story was guaranteed to get a groan from the audience.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Admittedly, I have become an Amazon whore. Giving and receiving, buying and selling. So I get that video, on a level to which it’s not so much a spoof as a real dilemma.

    I am so happy to see you back here, Frank.


  13. Peanuts has so much timeless common sense and truth. The Peanuts material should be a required course material for schools K-12
    The current health care bill has been damaging to our extended family, but the new one has every indication of being worse. It’s ridiculous- they are playing with people’s lives and so many are on hold not knowing what regulations/requirements will be. I do know that the insurance companies, Big Pharma, and the huge hospital corporations are having waaaay too much influence. Clerks in offices determining how much to pay for procedure, which procedures are “necessary” without medical training, and hey, use this drug instead of the one prescribed as it is cheaper for us..it’s almost the same…like this small regional hospital is almost the same as the big one with experience…cutting is cutting, right?
    (Suggestions: mandate all elected fed officials and employees cannot have their “special insurance” and their own healthcare program that is not available to the average citizen…maybe put them into the VA system? Tell all of them “no vacation time until your work is done” like the rest of us (Put a microwave, small fridge, sleeper chair or couch in offices of Congressmen – they can shower in their rec center, it’ll be like a dorm: lock Congress office building doors after 5 so they can wander around in their PJs and WORK like they were sent to do. And term limits. We can dream.)
    I too and very concerned about the collapse of interest in recycling. What happened, people?
    (We have found emails/notes to congressmen don’t have much impact anymore…so I sit on the phone…sometimes staffers, but be persistent. I’d be outraged if no response…although you might get the “canned ones” on a totally different subject than what you contacted them about…sigh)
    Cheery waves. Summer is on! Dancing called for!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mouse,
      Thanks for so much to comment about that I will keep it short.
      1) I was telling someone just the other day that the bigness of insurance companies and health care (oh yes – “nonprofits”) … is an issue in itself. …. and as I’ve said for a long time – serious reform would involve those parties squawking … and they currently aren’t.

      2) FYI – Members of Congress buy their health care insurance via the exchange.

      3) Who said anything about the collapsing of interest in recycling.

      4) I know messages to our elected officials have little to no influence – but they did hear from me. … and I selected “no need to response” because I know the only response I would have is canned rhetoric.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You saw the report of an insurance company telling a doc that the company would pay for assisted suicide drugs, but not for requested treatment or operations? More than once. Gads. We’re all about cost effectiveness now. ..so stay well.
        What’s been interesting this past week is watching the stock groups go up and down for hospital corporations, insurance companies, Pharm companies as rumors seeped out about the replacement bill – we may not know what’s in it, but they certainly do. Hmmmm
        Cancel their holidays. Playing with people’s lives with this: those in the middle of/starting treatments – so much uncertainty about what’s to happen. Not to mention in Nov, a bunch of companies are pulling out and people will be without choices or insurance in some cases. (BTW. remember the start of the exchanges and how all the websites kept crashing – except it came out that Congress and staff had their own special exchange website that had zero problems…and a few specialness in those exchange offerings the average person did not get offered. SNL church lady skit already written HAHA)
        There seems to be less interest in buying recycled. Our pick up service will not take any glass now – no profit for them. So we have to cart it to a big recycle place once a month. I shiver when all those cardboard boxes are on the curb on garbage day, not recycle day.
        Funny, Ron Paul used to be our Representative. He would actually return calls and discuss things/his reasoning and listen to your arguments. Totally amazing. He always called back and knew the topic you had called about. We didn’t agree on many things, but he always personally called back and was civil and courteous. Our new guy…not so…but we still call/email.
        Have a great weekend, Frank!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Maybe Amazon (very funny video) should buy the Health Care Industry in America? They’re maybe the only ones who can afford it, and with Whole Foods, people will stay healthy longer. Then they can buy a burial/cremation/funeral services company.
    From cradle to grave, a soundly branded lifestyle!
    😀 Facetiously stated! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Slowly cleaning up my emails after vacation I came across your “interesting read” of Sagan’s baloney detection kit. It has been many years since I read his Demon Haunted World but the review brought it back vividly. I recall it as a most enjoyable read because it conformed so well to my own thinking. His message was that, contrary to so much opinion nowadays, science is not an ideology but a method of thinking. Skepticism is healthy, but socially dangerous.

    Thanks for the refresher. I wish more people had read it – I am disappointed to see not a single other comment about it here. Oh, and I liked your letter to your congressman very much. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      That Sagan article was one of those on my “I hope Jim sees this” list .. so this comment made my day! I love this Wheelerism: “Skepticism is healthy, but socially dangerous.”

      Glad you enjoyed the letter. In the next OITS (v333) I included what I sent to Senator Portman (R). I will probably send a note to Senator Brown (D) once it is clear what the GOP senators are doing.


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