Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 390

Embed from Getty Images


Another huge weekend concert last week, so many thanks to everyone. Neil Diamond takes the stage this Saturday at 1: 00 AM (Eastern US).

Last week’s concert made my morning crazy. I awakened to many interactions (that made me smile) – and they kept coming and coming. Given comments and likes, I received over 150 emails before 8 AM. Fortunately for me, I’m process oriented, so I systematically got it to a manageable point.

For those wondering, there is not a pecking order for the concert series. All will be stars, so do not expect to see Rocco Flamefart and the Ultimate Deathtrip Chinese Icebox Jug Band. However, some concerts may feature multiple artists.

This just hit me – 10 more editions of this feature will be the 400th.

This week’s podcasts

  • This American Life (thanks Merril) – One about immigration and the other about walls
  • A Thousand Things to Talk About (Thanks Jim) – daily short segments on a variety of topics
  • Seven Minute Opinions – These are right up my alley

For temporary relief from lousy weather, we went to the theater for The Upside. With about (we think) 30 minutes remaining in the movie, a fire alarm caused everyone to evacuate the theater. Oh well … we will figure a way to see the ending.

One can easily think this next bit of information is from The Onion; but it’s not. KFC is introducing (in test markets) a new sandwich – a chicken sandwich with a Cheetos sauce and a layer of Cheetos. Here’s the article. Interesting, but not for me.

Just finished reading The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs (Madeleine Albright, 2006). Now that’s a complex topic – so I’ll post about it later. For now, I can say Thumbs Up to those who would be interested.

Embed from Getty Images


I smiled this week when I heard the reactions to former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz possible independent presidential. The reactions to warned against such a move when help, if not ensure, President Trump’s re-election.

The government has reopened for 3 weeks. This process is an embarrassment and a joke. I don’t think President Trump will repeat the mistake; however, because the man thinks he’s king and he lack of understanding of how government works, his big ego and thick skull will declare a national emergency, which will lead to a legal battle and more embarrassment.

As a result of a proposition vote in California and the immigration crisis it faced in the mid-1990s, I stumbled across this interesting quote.

“There is simply no time to lose. Too many people are still able to illegally cross our borders and too few states, most notably California, carry the burden of having to support, educate, and often incarcerate, the hundreds of thousands who enter this country illegally each year. Ladies and gentlemen, let me say to you what I, honest to God, believe is the truth. If we cannot affect sound, just, and moderate controls, the people of America will rise to stop all immigration. I am as sure as that as I am that I’m standing here now.” (Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, sometime mid-1990s)

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains the truths and myths of taxes in America.

Embed from Getty Images


Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Guest roster assembled for surprise birthday reveals minimal understanding of girlfriend’s social circle
Marine biologists train highly intelligent octopus to profitably manage mid-size aluminum goods supplier
Self-conscious puppet has no idea what to do with hands
A team of archaeologists discovered pile of bones labeled ‘The Last Of The Bones’
Man losing respect for incompetent boss who won’t fire him
The CDC issues a nationwide recall on all Salmonella
Older cafeteria monitor not a teacher or parent or anything

(My combo: Salmonella surprises self-conscious archaeologists with guest octopus) 

Interesting Reads

Rage in America
Priorities of the US public … for now
Reflecting with Smokey Robinson
Looking back at Jackie Robinson
Disappeared warships
Italy’s complete food – a cheese
A Cincinnati story about a Holocaust survivor
Happy Birthday Periodic Table
(Graphic) 200 years of stock market sectors
(Photos) Murals in London’s East End

To send you into the weekend, this happened 50 years ago earlier this week. The Beatles last performance. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

60 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 390

  1. Queen was definitely a fun concert!

    I keep wanting to get into podcasts but…I suppose as I wash my dishes would be a good time.
    Looking forward to Neil Diamond. I’m sure people will be surprised at how many songs are out there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dale,
      I’ve been wanting to get into podcasts myself – and I finally took the first step. Get recommendations from here helped because I was trying to find some short ones.

      Queen was a lot of fun. Amazingly, number of good songs are still available. Thankfully one didn’t appear because I have it ready for a future post. Neil will be a good change of pace, and a chance for some to get to know his songs.


  2. Love Neil Diamond Frank, and wow to your near 400! well done.. reading the onion headlines only one person came to mind with headliner of “Self-conscious puppet has no idea what to do with hands” and he usually likes his name in big letters on side of buildings..

    Have a great weekend Frank, keep warm… Just started to snow here where I am in the UK, we missed the bulk of it, for a change it missed the middle of England and landed down south. 🙂
    Take care.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning, Frank! I’m glad you’re enjoying This American Life. My husband and I just listened to the episode on rom-coms, and I listened to an earlier episode on libraries. I heard a story about the rooftop concert on All Things Considered this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merrill,
      This American Life is definitely good and interesting! NPR simply has so much good stuff. When I saw the report about the anniversary of the Beatles last concert on the roof, the song bumped the song I had selected – which will probably be used next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cincy,

    The same kind of thing happened to me when I went to see “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock back in the day. But in my case, the screen just went dark, which was followed with an announcement asking us to exit the theater.We were given a refund.

    I CAN imagine Trump will take this to the mat. Feinstein’s words . . eerily prophetic.

    Still no Harper or Machado signing, and I have to say . . I am good with that. I always side with the players, but these guys are going to get their money somewhere. But I’m sorry, Harper is not worth the money he seeks. He’s a streaky player who has three months where he’s the best player going, and the rest of the time he’s just okay. And Machado can’t be bothered running out a ground ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marc,
      Knowing we’ll return to the theater, we took the free passes over the refund. Plan to pick a movie timed that will allow us to go into The Upside at the right time. That will require research and a math problem.

      When I heard Feinstein’s words, Holy Crap!

      I’m with you on Harper and Machado. However, Harper as a Red for 2 years would have been interesting numbers to see – but that was only my pipedream. Reds supposedly in the running for Marlin’s catcher.

      Liked by 1 person

      • So that’s how you’re doing it? No . . really? Yes, that’s gonna take a little math indeed. But no . . you’re really not doing it that way. Are you? LOL.

        Prescient. And it brings up a sobering point. If these humanitarian issues are constantly being turned into political footballs, what does that say about the people running things?

        Truthfully, I would have taken Harper over nabbing Stanton last year. Same type player, but Harper is a bit better defensively and a lefty. But you’re right on, a short deal. Three years. Tops. How DID Harper become the beacon for a record breaking contract anyways? Because if ANYONE in the game is going to set a ridiculous new standard, I would think it would be Trout.

        Liked by 1 person

        • OH yes … either before or after another movie. Thus the planning. … and yes – with this peckerhead, humanitarian issues are political footballs. Harper is good … but he’s no Trout! Go Rams!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I dig the idea very much. A double-ish feature. I haven’t seen a double feature since the early eighties! LOL

          Humanitarian issues have been used this way for a very long time. I’m not surprised President Evil Corp would stick to the script and be the status quo. As he might tweet. “SO sad! NOT leadership!”

          I would have the Yanks trade Stanton, Sanchez, Andujar, Frazier and a couple minor leaguers for Trout!

          Rams need to make this the “bookend” game. Their previous existence as the heavily favored St Louis Rams didn’t end well vs the Pats. This slight underdog LA team can officially (hoping, praying) end our long national football nightmare for once and for all! LOL

          Liked by 1 person

        • Trout is a special player … maybe the best in the game. The Rams will have one problem … the damn Pats. The first quarter will probably set the tone.

          The theater operation seems to make our plan easy … just have to do the homework, Meanwhile, Presidential leadership is an oxymoron with this White House.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Personally, I hope Trout stays with the Angels and I hope the team does enough to make them a relevant postseason player while he is there. The East Coast teams don’t deserve him. He’s too good- a person- for us!

          The Patriots . . ugh! Didn’t we have this conversation last year? And the year before that? I mean . . I am all for not showing your age, but dammit Brady! Start showing your age!!

          Did you ever catch Ocean’s 8? I saw it with Dale last summer. I just watched it again the other night. Really great spin-off of the franchise. As with Creed, it’s a smart next step for a winning ticket. Pun intended.

          Hey, I DID start a Twitter account. Gotta tell Linds B about it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Trout is one of those players I hope plays for only one team – something that doesn’t happen much anymore.

          We saw Ocean’s 8! Simply a fun series. Not sure what we will see as part of our doube-feature heist. Again, part of the research! 😉 You started a Twitter account? Woo hooo … I just beat another person!

          Liked by 1 person

        • You’ve hit on a great talking point. I can name Kirby, Cal, Schmidt, Jeter and Mo, Brett. That’s off the top of my head and that’s of the players I’ve watched.

          It really is. I love Sandra Bullock and I thought the cast was amazing. She was the perfect answer to Danny’s role.

          Yeah, I did it the other day and I’ll have to tinker now. But needless to say, I think it will be HUGE!


        • He is a communicator, which always appeals to me in young coaches. Miami needs a change in culture, and they’ve needed it for a long time. I liked Gase, but he didn’t change the culture.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Of course, I am of the opinion that there should be a board which convenes every five years and reviews the status of a franchise and the job ownership is doing. Hey, coaches can be fired, players cut. There’s no regulation of coaches in that same vein.

          I realize it’s Ross’s business and he can run it as he pleases. But teams are a public trust. They ask for major league money from their fans and should be held to the standard of a major league product.

          I also realize Ross would not be forced to sell the team in this scenario. He does a ton in the community, and the team is not awful. But still, the idea that the owners should be held accountable as well might light a fire.

          I know, I’m dreaming.

          Liked by 1 person

        • And Mike Brown has always been uber conservative. He wouldn’t come under fire, because the Bengals have oftentimes been competitive.
          I guess a committee would have to look at special cases, like that ass hat in New York (Dolan) who runs the Knicks.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mike Brown is not a popular figure in Cincinnati. Gets a lot of heat when things go bad. Nothing sad when going good. Personally, time to step aside and let daughter and her hubs run the show. After all, that’s what Paul did for Mike. Dolan – the same Dolan that had the Browns?

          Liked by 1 person

        • PS: Saw the rest of the movie today. Here’s what we did. We knew we were about 90 minutes into the movie – plus the movie doesn’t start until 25-30 minutes after the listed start time. Start time listed at 12:30 … we showed up at 2:15 … explained to the ticket person the situation and what we wanted to go … No problem – Theater 8. Our timing when we walked in was perfect!

          Liked by 1 person

        • We did it this way because here, movies change on Fridays. Choices of other movies we want to see shrunk. Given the weather, this way was perfect, plus we stopped at the grocery after the movie. Woo hoo!!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Stefy,
      Glad you enjoyed Queen. Yes, loads of fun. Neil Diamond is a classic. A huge star in his day – and you probably know more songs that you think. Plus, this is an opportunity to get to know his music. Hope to see you at the concert.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done! Your ENTIRE Vol. 390 produced a splat, including ALL the Onions! I plan to dig into the reads this weekend, especially the two on rage and priorities, along with starting ‘The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs’ by Madeleine Albright.

    Concerning Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s quote from sometime in the mid-1990’s. Yes, she did say that, while at the same time encouraging her Senate colleagues to draft the type of comprehensive legislative solution found in the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” as put together by the following bi-partisan group of eight senators:

    Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO
    Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL
    Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ
    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC
    Sen. John McCain, R-AZ
    Sen. Robert Menendez, D-NJ
    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL
    Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY


    Liked by 1 person

  6. How frustrating to have your movie curtailed in such an abrupt manner. I hope you got a refund. Love your excellent choice of music video. Neil Diamond was a great favourite of mine and I can hardly believe that he’s now 78-years-old. How time does fly. I think it would be difficult to better your salmonella combo. Well done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Last week’s concert prompted to go catch the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and to say I was glad I did was a massive understatement. I savored every contribution and have been practically devouring every YouTube related to that incredible band and its legacy. From the bottom of my heart I am ever so grateful to you and your readers for making me smile and for waking up with a different Freddie song as an ear-worm all week. Thank you! This week may be hard because I’m not sure I can hear anything else beyond those incredibly talented guys from England but I’ll give it a go. Happy weekend dear Frank.


      • No, THANK you!! I was so impacted by the story, the sound, the performance that I went to the library to find out more about Freddie and found and now savoring Matt Richards & Mark Langthorne’s book, Somebody to Love. The nirvana continues in the written word. After seeing the movie, I felt like I was cheated by the radio station I listened to because they didn’t play enough of the songs like Radio GaGa. His catalog is amazing, beyond the overplayed hits.


  8. You’re welcome!

    The Read on Disappeared Ships shows, if nothing else, why submariners get hazardous duty pay. Going to sea has always been an adventure with risk and modern technology has not eliminated all of it. Two U.S. destroyers suffered deadly collisions last year. The Navy’s reaction was to declare a fleet-wide deficiency of leadership and management but the truth is, I submit, that humans aren’t perfect in a dangerous environment. Astronauts volunteering to go to Mars should take heed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jim,
    I always look forward to your comment about a read, especially because I don’t know the one you will select. Good thoughts from your navy experience. I think I will have a Mars article in the next OITS.


Comment with respect.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.