Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 346

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For those willing to have some background music, here’s something interesting: Il Divo’s version of the Moody Blues hit Nights in White Satin.

I hope everyone had a good holiday. We travelled a few hours to my family several days before Christmas, but returned as the handbell choir played at 2 Christmas Eve services. We will host my wife’s side of the family in early January.

Bone-chilling temperatures are smacking many of us in the USA. YUK!

Hope you didn’t miss it, but this past Tuesday night was another great year of entertainment at The Kennedy Center Honors show (CBS). The honorees were having a great time! It worth looking around for it.

The recent 15th post in the Beach Walk series is the last … well, at least until I return to the beach. After all, having authentic beach walks is important to me.

John Howell (Fiction Favorites) and I are starting a business together where we aim to provide blaming solutions to anyone’s problems. Blames Are UsWe assign blame to any and all situations. Get your problems ready because the time will come when John and I will solve your problems right here on these pages.

A video recently inspired me to write a short story (I’m aiming at less than 300 words). I’ll post it here sometime soon.

Unfortunately, we only saw one between the holidays: Downsizing (with Matt Damon). An interesting premise, but I felt the storyline was a bit unsteady. On the plus side, it provides numerous chances to think about human behaviors. No need to rush to see this one.

The next post will lead us into 2018.

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Congratulations to Congress as it didn’t do anything stupid this week. Of course, not being in session helps.

I had to laugh at the statements both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made about future bipartisan agreements. Hey guys – that means you have to do three things: 1) Sincerely reach out, 2) Know that you won’t get your way, and 3) give them something substantial in return. After all, seeking bipartisanship is more than inviting the other side to follow your way.

Not only ago the US Supreme Court heard the argument from a Colorado baker who contends the right to deny making a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission). This article about a Indiana University study bothers me.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers suggestions on being a savvy news consumer. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Woman stood up on first date got all drunk for nothing
Dad gets dolled up for trip to Lowe’s
Uncle puts more thought than usual into this year’s gift cards
Alcoholic’s plan for turning life around doesn’t involve getting sober
Cockroaches feeling really good about the planet

Interesting Reads (as a whole, a bit more relaxing than usual)
The Crown’s recreation of Buckingham Palace
About ArtWorks, Cincinnati organization responsible for many great murals
Thoughts about tamales
Digitizing important old manuscripts
A new way to see cancer
(Photos) Beautiful bird pictures by Cindy Knoke (a visitor here)
(Photos) Most dramatic weather images of 2017

To lead you closer to the new year, here’s the last in the Beatles series that I’ve been doing since returning from the UK. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

34 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 346

  1. I am ready to go down the blame trail anytime you are ready, Frank. Enjoyed your comment regarding the bipartisan behavior of Congress. not going to happen anytime soon. Enjoyed your beach series and will welcome it next time you visit the beach. Happy New Year to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grazie per il meraviglioso video!
    Have planned a day to sit down and read each beach walk in order. They’re lined up already.
    A very Happy 2018 to you and the Missus!
    Lotsa love,
    Dale xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Big Happy New Year smiles from listening to Il Divo’s “Knights in White Satin” and John Lennon’s lead in “Twist & Shout,” and also from hearing about your new short story.

    No smiling from reading the IU study “Denying wedding cakes to gay couples is not about religious freedom” which said what I hoped wasn’t so.

    Let’s hear it for author Dan Brown for his recent donation of €300,000 to the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica House of Living Books!

    A splat from “Uncle puts more thought than usual into this year’s gift cards.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      Glad you enjoy the variety of musical selections in this post. Knowing your tendency of over-thinking situations, I have the feeling the splat occurred because you can relate to the uncle in the headline.


  4. In the spirit of bi-partisanship for the New Year, I have made a modified combo:
    “Congress puts more thought than usual into getting drunk for nothing.”

    As an aside, I found out that I have antique stained glass windows made in Cincinnati at the turn of the 20th century by Third Street Studios, a term coined by an art dealer referring to the glass making studios on Third Street. (Perhaps, this topic may be a future blog post on your fair city.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tim,
    Glad you enjoyed both of my musical offerings in this post. Meanwhile, because I know you have a tendency to overthink your share of situations, I wouldn’t be surprised if the splat occurred because you could relate to the situation.


  6. This whole religious baker vs gay wedding situation bothers me. While I support gay marriage, I don’t think the baker should be compelled to make (or at least decorate) a gay wedding cake, just as I don’t think a Jewish baker should be compelled to make a “Heil Hitler” cake with swastikas for a local Nazi club. (Yes, I do realize that gay weddings and Nazi parties aren’t the same thing, but both are legal in the US).
    Maybe the line should be drawn at having to provide a generic service (like an undecorated cake), but having the freedom to refuse custom service? I’ll have to defer to the Supreme Court on that one, though I’m sure their decision – whatever it will be – will upset a lot of people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • X,
      Agree … a difficult issue. Does that mean a restaurant owner could decline serving food to an gay couple or even an interracial couple? After all, the could declare their food was an artistic expression. I only say this not to criticize, but to acknowledge the difficulty in the question facing the court. There’s also a side of me that believes the owner’s freedom of expression goes out the window as soon as one decides to enter business.


    • @ List of X
      Like you and Frank, the SCOTUS cake case bothers me. Your “Heil Hitler” cake example made me rethink the matter. My previous impulse was that the baker should be required to serve all customers equally, but I think that it’s similar to a First Amendment issue. Even hate speech is legal because it’s impossible to draw a fair legal line between issues within a spectrum of generalities. Tolerance of diversity can, and should be, encouraged but it can’t, and shouldn’t be, forced. Hopefully, the baker will find that the “hidden hand of the economy” will, at least eventually, promote the general welfare.


  7. I like the sound of Blames Are Us…I typically have a gripe somewhere that could be offered to you for assistance! And I just read the Indiana University Study, and have to agree with you that it has a disturbing twist I haven’t heard. I cannot imagine the temperatures you are experiencing right now, Frank. I don’t know how you ever get up the nerve to leave the house. 🙂 We seem to have made it through the hectic holidays, and now on to the new year! I enjoyed the Kennedy Center Honors, too, and simply wouldn’t miss them! Looking forward to reading more of your “reads” here…you find some good ones!


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