Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 378

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Them in the title. Hint: This is not an easy theme. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Last weekend we attended a play that was a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It was interesting and well done – plus the set was fabulous. Here’s the link with pictures.

Although our National Parks Tour was 15 nights, I’ve shorten the travel series to 5-6 posts. Next one is this Sunday night.

Regarding the two huge lotteries this week – well – not only did we not win – we were shutout – no numbers on any of the 6 tickets/lines.

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Election Day for the midterms is approaching – but not soon enough because I’m tired of all the campaign ads: especially those of the 2 races buying the most time.

Party partisans continue to ignore messages from the independent middle. For instance,

  1. Long ago I suggested that leader of Democrats in the House (Nancy Pelosi: D-CA) should step aside ahead of the election. With an approval rating that is much lower President Trump’s, Republicans continue to use her in negative ads.
  2. Shortly after Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination I suggested that Democrats NOT pursue blocking his nomination. Now that he’s on the Court, multiple polls show the Democratic actions have worked against them, thus improved the stature of Republicans in the public.

Regarding the recent mailing of bombs, the perpetrator has not been found. As the partisans take to the airways to point fingers at the other side, here are two important questions of initial focus: Who? Why? The second can’t be answered until determining the first. However, President Trump had a great opportunity to set a tone with his comments that night – and he obviously chose to take a different path – the usual low road.

I heard an interview when a person explain that it took Donald Trump to bring out the differences in Washington. ABSOLUTELY NOT! The difference have been steadily growing for the past 50 years, but Donald Trump has amplified the differences.

Updating the ever-changing odds:

  • Chance of Democrats gaining control in the House: 80%
  • Chance of Democrats gaining control in the Senate: 10%
  • Chance of Donald Trump being nominated by Republicans in 2020: 99.9%
  • Chance of Donald Trump winning re-election: 70%
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion has a great picture about climate-change advocate Al Gore.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Thrill seeker microwaves pot pie without slitting crust
Mom hates bad guy in movie
Horrified nurses discover 40-pound baby after accidentally leaving it in incubator over weekend
Magpie worried mate only interested in him for collection of shiny objects
Study finds over 5 million birds die annually from head-on collisions with clouds
104-year-old reveals secret to long life being cursed by witch to wander Earth eternally

Interesting Reads

People over 65: Facts vs. opinions
A read about Claude Debussy
Africa and web conductivity
The European schism
(Pictures) Freak hailstorm in Rome
(Graphic) Most valuable global retail brands
(Video) A lady making arms

To send you into the weekend, here’s a throwback to Bruce Hornsby and the Range. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

33 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 378

    • Monika,
      Good morning. Great to hear that you are ready for the next Pronouns act. I wonder if my opener is one of your four. Meanwhile, the odds are what they are – then give the volatility of the current environment, something can shift them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Cincy,

    We shouldn’t (ever) have expected any different from Trump. He’s got all the subtlety of heavy metal and precious little idea as to time and place. In addressing these disturbing incidents, Trump talked out of two sides of his mouth; initially stating that we all have to come together, and in the next breath talking about how the media has driven us apart. He didn’t happen to mention his role in that divisiveness. Funny how that works.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Right out of the gate – “Thrill seeker microwaves pot pie without slitting crust” was a splat.

    The first four reads were a feast – #1 because (distressingly) it confirmed what I know, #2 because my Oct. 29 New Yorker Magazine hasn’t come in the mail yet, #3 because it’s global stuff I’d only get from the Pew Research Center, #4 because it expanded my knowledge of the EU which I plan to visit (again) in May.

    I also appreciated the EU read introducing me to the NewStatesman and Media Bias/Fact Check websites.

    Your political comments today, although valid, lead me to believe you’re keeping your powder dry until Nov. 9.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tim,
      For a splat to be mentioned as an opener in your comment shows the impact of that headline!

      Glad to know that you also found a feast with the reads. Of course, I’m always appreciate of those who enjoy even one of them.

      In terms of my political thoughts, as you know, I’m fiercely independent – and becoming more so. The results of the upcoming midterms will be interesting, and could be a good opportunity for Dems to overplay their hand.

      Like

  3. Enjoyed the Hornsby video. We saw him in concert in a small venue in West Virginia many years ago. Just Bruce Hornsby and a piano. It was great.

    I don’t care for those odds, but “that’s just the way it is.” I was an independent voter which surprises a lot of people given how I lean so far towards the Democrats. There are issues I am conservative or somewhat conservative about. That said, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever vote for a Republican again as long as they are the Party of Trump. Never. Not that they care or my one vote makes a huge difference. The ads they are running here are awful, especially towards women.

    I’m going to counter the article about people over 65 with this article from NPR about a Stanford study:

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/23/503129818/study-finds-students-have-dismaying-inability-to-tell-fake-news-from-real

    It’s an older article, though, so maybe things have changed. The one about people over the age of 65 doesn’t surprise given what I have seen on Facebook (which I consider the source of much evil lately).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      Thanks for your article. Of course, the questions themselves can lead to differences in results. I put the two thoughts together – If teens are bad, seniors can be even worse. I’m amazed how many times I’ve heard seniors buying into those “Internet” reports that turn into chain emails spouting something factual (which isn’t even close).

      For the record, the odds are my unscientific approach to share an opinion of how I see the future. It is subject to change – and has nothing to do with my political philosophy. After all, I’m fiercely independent!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good morning, Frank. I agree with Robin. I would never ever vote for a Republican because now they are the party of Trump, and even those who have said they oppose him, buckle down and vote the party line. I wondered about the article about people over 65–if there were difference if they broke it down by educational level, class, or other factors.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the play. We’re going to be seeing a sequel to A Doll’s House a couple of weeks. The same theater did A Doll’s House last season.

    Like

    • Merril,
      Knowing you enjoy theater, I wonder if the one I saw will make it to Philadelphia. One never knows what happens to regional theater productions. Thanks for the tip.

      Good question about the breakdown of those surveyed. I did a quick look and went back to the survey, and didn’t see it.

      For the record, my odds have nothing to do with my voting preferences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I know that about the odds, Frank. You’re just reporting. 🙂
        Yes, who knows about the show you saw. A Doll’s House, Part 2 was on Broadway, and apparently it’s being produced all over the country this year. So that one may come your way.

        Like

  5. I have to agree on the fifty years of differences, Frank. I would add the lack of an effective executive branch leadership profile. I remember when Jimmy Carter banned alcohol from the White House, Tip O’Neal (The speaker of the house and a drinker) declared he would never step inside again. Not sure if he did or did not, but Jimmy’s gesture was not a team building move.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Like Tim, I found the interesting read about people over 65 unsurprising. What’s more interesting than the age difference, I submit, is the degree to which all people are vulnerable to demagoguery. The message is that more than half of the population can’t figure out the truth. I’m just hoping that the wrong half gets distracted and forgets to vote. And, meaning no disrespect, Frank, being “fiercely independent” in this political era is a little scary when one side is advocating against a secular government, restricting global trade, increasing nationalism, using military force impulsively, and packing the judiciary with partisan judges. I see the choices this time in pretty stark terms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      No question that all of us are vulnerable when it comes to recognizing real and fake information. For the diligent, it’s a lot of work.

      Being fiercly independent has does not have the negative connotation you suggest. For the record, I was a registered Republican for many years. In recent years, I have worked to undo that by working within the registration system of my state and purging my name from party mailing lists. The GOP of today is not me. On the other hand, that does not mean I blindly accept the Democrats, Libertarians, or any other party – which also means I did not vote in any party’s primary this year. Being against what much of the GOP stands for today also doesn’t mean I won’t vote for any Republicans. I’m also one who will leave a position blank on the ballot if I think none on the list deserve my vote. I left the presidential ballot blank in 2008, but vote for Obama in 2012. My view of the courts is different than either partisan view, and I have that knowing that the partisans will only agree with me on a specific judge (such as Kavanaugh) when it is a matter of convienence to them and their agenda. So I proudly stand fiercly independent.

      Like

      • Fair enough, Frank. Thank you for your detailed voting philosophy and particularly that the “GOP of today is not for me.” Wish more were like you. My principle concern about splitting votes is that the GOP of today is so united behind Trump’s demagogic attitudes. Take “nationalism” for example. Globalism may sound bad but it stitched together an interdependent global economy that has benefitted most countries and promoted peace. Or, take Western alliances like NATO that thwarted Communism. Then there’s the issue of government staying secular. The list goes on of course and I know you are supportive of most of these views. But these days, a vote for the GOP is all too often a vote for Trump and government by impulse. I’m worried.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jim … thanks for understanding – and I know what you mean. I was just reading some information about those seeking state level offices as Auditor, Treasure, & Secretary of State – and even they gave me reasons to shake my head.

          Like

      • P.S., I should also include what may be the best example of blind allegiance to Trump, the years-long push to overturn the Affordable Care Act with its provisions to protect people with preexisting conditions and promote affordable health insurance for all. I believe there were some 70 congressional GOP votes to overturn it. The Congressional GOP is as united as a herd of lemmings.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Recently it’s been like watching a room full of tired squabbling toddlers fight over the toys. Trump isn’t the only one to blame for the infantile behavior.
    But they have caught the guy (what a van decor) and he’s known to authorities for previous bomb threats over the years. A nut job for sure…like the one that opened fire at the baseball diamond…Seriously – stupid attempt to scare people? Looked like a middle school kid garage afternoon activity after a trip to the library to us. “Bomb” – stupid wish I was important wannabe – now The Weathermen, they made bombs
    Realistically everyone and ALL leaders – all groups (even the termite haters) need to stop the tweets, the name calling, the stalking, demonizing of those who think differently and the ridicule.
    Civil. not sure we’ll ever get back to it – far to many have never seen it in action, consider it not important or have ever been taught civility.
    Not sure we’ll survive the negativity over these last few days before the election
    Thank goodness you and others are offering an opportunity for humorous distractions to get us through

    Like

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