Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 340

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Sorry to interrupt the cruise tour of the British Isles, but think of Opinions in the Shorts as a cruise day without a port. So far we’ve visited Guernsey, Cork, Cobh, and Dublin. Do you have a favorite? Liverpool is the next stop sometime Saturday.

Last week I forgot to mention the passing of Henry, Fiona’s father. Henry was up in age (36) for a hippo, had a hard time fighting an infection that eventually led to kidney failure. Here’s a positive column at the hippo family from the Cincinnati Enquirer focusing on Henry.

Two weeks to go on the current season of Dancing With The Stars. There is no question in my mind that Jordan Fisher is the best dancer. The question: Will the fan voting validate that point?

We the movie LBJ. We enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how long it will stay in theaters.

It’s Cincinnati Pizza Week … and as of this writing, we have yet to participate. 😦

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Some say that Tuesday’s election served as an anti-Trump referendum. My thoughts on that point.

  • Not only are some voters predictable partisan, another slice is fickle – fluid – always changing with the flow.
  • New Jersey: A Democrat wins the governor’s race replacing a Republican in a solid Democratic state. NOPE
  • Virginia: A Democrat wins the governor’s race replacing a Democrat in a state won by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. NOPE.
  • Virginia: Democrats unseating 15 Republicans in the state Legislature. BINGO!
  • Maine: Voters solidly passed Medicaid expansion over objections from their Republican governor. YAHTZEE! … at least in terms of health care.

Last week’s shooting at a church in Texas brings forth numerous emotions: including the typical Republican response saying the situation is not a gun issue, but a mental health issue – which sparks me to ask two questions: What have the Republicans done to address mental health issues in the past 10 years? Why haven’t the Democrats pushed the Republicans on their own words?

I looked at the GOP tax-form postcard. Whereas the current tax form follows a list-to-list-then-calculate format, card filers must complete calculations “off” the postcard before entering a value. In other words, simplifying the process and the code is a ruse – but it is in need of a thorough review!

About the tax plan, I liked this article from Politico.

Several weeks ago I watched an interview with columnist Thomas Friedman. I like his analogy (and I paraphrase). Donald Trump and many of his supporters are first paragraph people. The first paragraph states a position as “get rid of (fill in the blank)” (NAFTA, the Iran Nuclear Deal, or whatever). But when faced with the “then-what” question, they don’t have an answer because there isn’t a second or third paragraph.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for getting organized.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man resolves to read the Wikipedia tabs he has already open before starting new ones
Woman wearing jacket indulging in forbidden pleasure of having pockets
Excitement shifts to concern after coworker brings baked goods into office for fourth consecutive day
Styrofoam to spend next 500 years reflecting on how well it protected blender in transport
Office bad boy sees right through team-building exercise

Interesting Reads
Linking forensics and doll houses
The power of Calypso music
Dodger Stadium: The communities it replaced
The Lady Gaga of the 1920s
Science transforming the world
US cars is Japan

For your weekend entertainment, here’s another classic that still sounds great today. Besides, the next cruise stop is Liverpool. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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41 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 340

  1. In my opinion, the shooting was both a gun issue, and a mental health issue, and in the case of America, the two are intrinsically linked. Perhaps guns should not be eliminated completely, but the amendment.. amended? So in order to buy a gun, a person should have to be subjected to a complex screening system, for both mental well-being as well as ability to handle a gun, and annual or three yearly testing henceforth? I think that would regulate ownership far better and make sure guns are not so readily available to the wrong people! That is what they do in Japan, anyway. As for your cruise posts… I have been thoroughly enjoying them. Liverpool is an hour away from my home, and is a renowned, previously infamous port in the UK. I gather it was quite industrial a while back, and it is a beautiful city well worth visiting – I don’t know if you’ll have time, or how far it is from you, but there is a wonderful museum there called the International Slavery Museum. I went there last year and it seared itself onto my brain! Either way, I hope you have a great time in great Liverpool (the birthplace of the Beatles)! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lenora,
    Thanks for your input on the gun issue here in the US. Because he issue is highly political, I specifically aimed my statement at only one aspect of the situation – mental health – and the reason is simple. Whenever there is a major gun incident in this country, Republicans continually say its a mental health issue – and nothing about gun control (therefore protecting the Second Amendment). While acknowledging the mental health aspect, Democrats talk gun control. Therefore an impasse – and my statement.

    Regarding Liverpool, our day there was a good one. When cruising, we typically don’t visit museums because we want to enjoy as much time as possible outdoors – well, assuming suitable weather. I can tell you that our day there was rain free … and our time was short. … so I’ll save our day for the post.

    Like

  3. This many be a DUH, but am I correct that BINGO and YAHTZEE are the results you think indicate trouble ahead for Trump?

    Thanks for addressing the Trump supporters’ no second and third paragraph policy positions, the GOP’s bogus tax-form postcards, and their no-show on mental-health.

    I liked all the reads but especially “Science transforming the world” and “The Lady Gaga of the 1920’s.”

    I saved the Politico tax article for discussion after we see the final GOP House-Senate Committee tax bill.

    Splats from Onions 1&5.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      There is an aspect of DUH … but there is also the aspect of “at this point in time that is subject to change.”

      Regarding the GOP no-show on mental health, don’t forget I didn’t let Democrats off the hook.

      Two splats is a good day!

      Like

    • Carrie,
      Not only is Jordan consistent and precise, aspects of this form are unbelievable for a non-professional. Last week I watched his head position, and wow – it stayed locked in.

      Ms. Sterling is very good – very sharp – and could be the champ. After all, the people actually decide. Meanwhile, regarding politics, patience is important. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In my opinion (which my representative could care less about because he’s busy kissing Trumplethinskin’s butt), it’s a gun, mental health, and domestic violence issue (there have been several articles from various news outlets about the connection between the perpetrators of mass shootings and a history of violence towards women). I just deleted a big fat rant because this is not the place to do that.

    I think you may be right about the messaging of the latest round of elections. The results have given me a wee bit of hope (which was sorely needed during this time).

    I enjoyed the story about Luisa Casati (the Lady Gaga of the 1920′). And that song! It always reminds me of the summer when M and I got married (it got a lot of air time on the radio). Great memories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      Thanks for sharing your gun thoughts … and for deleting your rant. 😉 … After all, I almost didn’t include my point in the post for fearing of commenters going off in their own direction.

      I love it when someone finds a gem in the Interesting Reads … especially when they share it with me! Many thanks!!!

      Like

  5. Good observations, Frank. Both parties should be ashamed of their records over the last ten years. It is so easy for the Congress to blame those across the aisle and not do anything. It is sad to note the executive branch is now ineffective, joining the legislative branch who have been in that state for years. All we have left is the Judicial branch. Wonder when that one will fail?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aFA:
    I will avoid any comment on DWTS because the only “dancing” I do is when I trip over my own feet.
    Touring Ireland and Irish pubs is second on my list, only outdone by touring Scottish distilleries, although Ireland has some very fine distilleries as well.
    The GOP is right; the shootings like the one in Texas (and Nevada and Florida and Colorado) are a mental health issue. The mental health of those who support unrestricted gun rights.
    C-a-L

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mudge,
      I won’t saying anything about DWTS because I don’t won’t you to trip. Regarding Scottish distilleries, keep in mind is that rumor has it that there is no alcohol to be found in Scotland.

      Like

  7. It’s sounds like a great trip, Frank. I’ve been to a few of those stops, but never to Liverpool~ hard to believe for a Beatles lover like me. Thanks for the clip.

    As for VA politics, I beg to differ. The state often changes parties between D and R — there was a republican governor before McAuliff and a Dem before him. It does switch frequently. People in the state (including me) were really worried that hate would win — I think decency won on Tuesday. Finally! Hopefully it will in Alabama, too. And the VA House of Delegates still has some (4 last time I looked) undecided races which could flip control to the Democrats. It was a big day for my side, Frank! I haven’t felt this hopeful since 2016!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I am always interested in your political perspective, Frank. I have admitted to you before that I get too emotionally wrapped up, so when you speak in more balanced tones, I do listen! I was one who didn’t necessarily discern the “facts” regarding Tuesdays upsets, but was just glad to see them! I do know it’s not necessarily indicative of what I hope for in 2018. The tragedy in Texas last Sunday really disturbs all of us. And when earlier this year legislation was passed to make it easier for the mentally ill to obtain a gun, I knew there wasn’t any honor behind the decision. I don’t think there’s any situation that makes me crazier than the inability to even discuss reasonable firearm management.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      I sense your emotion and appreciate the way you have tempered here. In terms of the election results, my reaction of the sense of euphoria I heard on the day after. While it can offer a view, I just had to toss in the independent perspective.

      Regarding the gun issue, yes – it’s crazy. I get tired of the “it’s a mental health issue” statement following an event … so that’s why I don’t understand why Democrats don’t call Republicans on that stance. I’m considering writing my GOP Congressman asking a question around that point.

      Like

      • Frank, re the mental health issue v. guns, you might also consider another part of the argument for inclusion in your letter, i.e., the huge loophole in the background check system for trade shows and private sales. Anyone, sane or not, can get an AR-type rifle without a check. I too don’t understand why our control people don’t make more of it now. Maybe they got laryngitis after Sandy Hook, et.al.

        In general, you and I are almost completely in political sync on this OINTS. (I do agree with Elyse’s comments on VA.)

        Liked the article on science by the president of the Royal Society. I think it’s obvious that the Brits (and the rest of the developed world) have more appreciation for science than in our country, e.g., anti-vaccers, climate deniers, and creationists. I do have one nit to pick on the essay: I don’t think we really understand gravity yet. Some think there is a “force” with a “particle” involved while others, including Einstein, think it is a property of space itself.

        Excellent post!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jim,
          Thanks for the suggestion for my letter. My point is pressing the mental health issue; not guns, which (in my opinion) would give them an out for answer my question. Again, press the issue.

          The fact you found an article of interest in the reads list always makes me smile.

          Like

      • I think one reason why Democrats don’t call out Republicans on the mental health issue because there’s really no point in better monitoring mental health in respect to guns if pretty much anyone can buy a gun without a background check.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. In NJ, the governor’s race was also definitely an anti-Christie race. He is SO unpopular.
    I won’t do the political rant either. 🙂 The photos you chose were funny–hope you get some pizza!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Merril,
    I respectfully disagree about the race being an anti-Christie race. Two points to go along with my points above: 1) Gov. Christie was not on the ballot. 2) The GOP candidate, his Lt. Gov, received (in terms of percent) almost 3 times Christie’s approval rating.

    Like

  11. I wouldn’t even call Trump and some of his minions the first paragraph people. They’re more like the headline people with no paragraphs beyond, but often a few pages of small print inserted by their smarter colleagues.

    Liked by 1 person

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