Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 365

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Thanks to the hearty who stayed with me through the Christian America series this week. To develop the series, I researched information on both sides of the topic, so it was interesting to read the differing viewpoints – but to also discover the illogical, quantum leaps people make.

I’m looking into dual citizenship. Definitely interesting … and having a conversation with someone at the designated US consulate is not easy!

Check the box. We visited the Chinese Terracotta Army exhibit. Not only did we enjoy the exhibit, it is obvious to me that the First Emperor and the Chinese leaders at the time feared Obama.

This video of creative street art will make you smile.

I started an exercise program while at the Alabama coast this past January. In mid-March, I used my Silver Sneakers option in my medical insurance, so I’ve been exercising three days a week since then.

Is this strange? Take Your Kids to Work Day is during the school year (so the kids miss school) while Take Your Dog to Work Day is during the summer when the kids are home.

A tip of the cap to veteran columnist Charles Krauthammer who recently passed away. While one may disagree with his opinion, nobody can deny his brilliance, his skills as a writer, and his commitment to conservatism. I enjoyed the columns written about him as a person. Although I limited my reading of his column, I appreciate his description of the current president as “a rodeo clown”.

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The crisis along the southern US border is sad and complex. However, it’s a refugee issue – not immigration as many play it to be. I also appreciated these two articles from NPR: One and Two.

Congratulations to President Trump for successfully transforming Congress for ineffective to incompetent.

Recent tax cuts improved the bottom line for many businesses. Because tariffs work against many businesses, I want about the net effect. Meanwhile, in order to avid new tariffs, US-based Harley-Davidson is moving some operations to Europe to avoid EU tariffs. Damn Obama.

Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) made a solution statement about abolishing ICE (Immigration and Custom Enforcement) – and I see the statement in the same light as some Republicans saying they want to abolish the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

A huge thumbs down to the recent comment about Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) regarding encouraging harassment of Trump supporters and administration workers. Thumbs down to the restaurant owner who asked Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the restaurant.

To the Trump apologists believing that the media is too hard on President Trump, my response is simple – He brings it upon himself.

I appreciated this statement from Trevor Noah: “The two-party system in one of the most disruptive forces currently in America.”

Tidbits on Future Elections

  • At this point in time, I see good odds for Democrats gaining control of the House this fall, but doing so in the Senate is a steeper climb.
  • I wince at the thought of the Dems 2020 presidential nomination; therefore I raising President Trump’s chances of winning re-election to 51%.
  • Here are the early odds for getting my 2020 vote: President Trump – 0%; Democratic nominee – 20%; Libertarian nominee – 15%; Independent candidate: 30%; leaving the ballot blank – 35%.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for staying civil when debating child prisons.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Cops bust filthy, unshaven Mark Zuckerberg for selling personal data on street corner
Funeral attendees getting misty-eyed during first dance with corpse
Everyone in Pride Parade straight
Blood-covered finger confirms nose, in fact, bleeding
Saudi Arabia officially lifts ban on female Monster Truck rallies
Steel drum knows it has so much more to offer than tropical vibes

Interesting Reads
The psychology of money
The 1912 GOP Convention

The next global jihadi stage – but where?
The neuroscience of pain
The Sinai Trail
The satisfaction of biscotti
(Pictures) Life under apartheid

To send you into the weekend, enjoy this grand voice from the past for this summer song. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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36 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 365

  1. As per the street art, I loved the door as well as the Pac-mans and little girls dancing on the chains . . and the heart lock too, that was great!

    Kudos to anyone who can make any kind of sense of all the nonsense going on in the world of politics right now. Because just when I think it’s safe to go back in the water, I realize how wrong I am. And you’re right about Trump . . but there’s no talking to his backers. And really, I ain’t trying . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read any of Krauthammer’s columns, or seen him on TV, but I did read his book, ‘Three Decades of Passion’. I agree with you that he was a brilliant writer, but have the impression that he was truly an independent thinker, a liberal, and not at all committed to conservatism. Regarding Noah, I would say that politics in the US seems mutually antagonistic these days, but I don’t believe there is a more efficient system than the 2 parties. Here we have quite a variety of political parties, but they have not proven to be more effective than the 2 party system. And as for the one party system, we see many examples throughout the world which don’t seem worthy of much discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shimon,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Krauthammer. Interesting that he gave you the impression of being liberal. He had an interesting life. An accident while he was in medical school made him a quadriplegic, but that didn’t stop him.

      For me, the Trevor Noah quote is very accurate. The two-party system has dominated the US for many, many years. After all, other parties and independents have not had much success. However, over time (especially over the past 40 years), the parties are becoming more homogenous, therefore shrinking common ground.

      Like

      • I can see where that would be a problem. Here in Israel we have had multiple parties since independence. I used to prefer that because it gave direct representation to many different political views. But as a result, the government is always in power thanks to a coalition, and often we see a sort of political extortion by relatively small parties.

        Like

  3. We’re in the midst of steamy, hot weather here–Ella was perfect. Thanks.
    (We heard Audra McDonald sing “Summertime” recently, too.)
    Yes, you are right about it being a refugee issue.
    And the current political situation just keeps getting worse. I’ll stop before I go into full rant. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First off, only Ella Fitzgerald could sing “Summertime” like that!

    I like (1) your idea of getting dual citizenship, (2) that you’re keeping up your exercise routine which you started at the beach, (3) that you see the crisis along the southern US border as a refugee issue (thanks for the two articles from NPR, which many of my friends will appreciate), and (4) that in the future you might be willing to continue monitoring and commenting on the net effect of the GOP’s tax cuts combined with the tariffs.

    I’m thinking I’m not young and rugged enough to add “The Sinai Trail” to my Bucket List trip to Egypt – but I should.

    Dual splats from “Cops bust filthy, unshaven Mark Zuckerberg for selling personal data on street corner” and “Saudi Arabia officially lifts ban on female Monster Truck rallies.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I figured you would appreciate Ella’s Summertime. Wow – two splats in one post? I’m not sure that has ever occurred? Even if it has, the achievement is a rarity.

      Like

  5. I’m currently on vacation with limited WiFi, and it’s been wonderful to be away from the news. But I hope your 51% Trump re-election chance is wrong. I think I’ll stay on permanent vacation if that happens. 😁

    Kudos to you on the exercise program!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie,
      Regarding the 51% chance, oh yes – I still have a difficult time wrapping me head around him being in office – let alone the daily spectacle who brings upon himself – so the thought of him winning again causes me to question humanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, this is my second fave rendition of Summertime…. ever!
    Do you think that the USA needs a third official party? I’ve always wondered why you have only 2. Are the Libertarians an official 3rd party?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Resa,
      Cheers to you enjoying this rendition of Summertime!

      The US currently has many parties – and that has been the case for a long time. But the bulk of support continues to favor the two parties. Maybe change will happen in time, after all, the future is unknown.

      Like

  7. As a naturalized citizen I think the two-party system in the US is particularly doomed in the advent of Citizens United. Good luck with the consulate. I would happily take my original citizenship back these days, despite my country of birth (Deutschland) having its own set of problems. Life is not perfect any more but beats the alternative I suspect. 😇

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,
      Hmmm … you got me thinking, but I favor the thought that Citizen United entrenches the two parties – but time will tell. I’m not sure if I will go through the dual citizenship as I’m still at the assessment stage. Of course getting answers from the consulate is an interesting journey in itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I would say that the only thing that’s more disruptive than a two-party system is a multi-party system. In the multi-party systems, parties are rarely able to win outright majorities; generally, they have to form alliances or coalitions to govern – and coalitions can fall apart, causing a government to dissolve and requiring a new election to form another government. At least here in the US, we always know how long a government has until the next election.
    I think the two-party system is not so much the problem, it’s the way it works here that is so disruptive: most of Congressional districts are safe one-party districts, so whoever a small number of activists elect in the party primary generally becomes the winner in the general election.

    Liked by 1 person

    • X,
      Because we don’t have a multi-party system, your point is pointless. As one who heard the conversation that Trevor Noah made the point, he never advocated the multi-party system. Regarding your point about the way it works supports his point.

      Like

      • I would say that it is pointless to complain about something – for example, a two-party system – without considering the alternatives or solutions. As I’m sure neither you, nor Noah, nor I would like the alternative of the very stable and not at all disruptive one-party system, looking at a multi-party option provided a useful point of reference. And since a lot of countries have those, there’s a lot we can learn about it without actually having it.

        Liked by 1 person

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