Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 392

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As always, I enjoy seeing the many interactions at the weekend concerts. Reminder: No concert this weekend.

A no-brainer. Because of sensitive skin, I use Cetaphil bar soap. I needed a bar to carry me over until my next shipping. CVS has it on sale with the second bar at half price. At $6 per bar, that’s 2 for $9. WalMart had a 3-bar pack at $8.67.

On Thursday morning, I saw this story from CBS News about descendents. Fascinating – Inspiring – and hopeful. For me, it was a worthy 6 minutes about links to Thomas Jefferson. Click here to watch.

A prisoner asked for an imam to be present at his execution. Shame on the Supreme Court for allowing the execution to proceed without the state honoring the request. Would the high court have ruled the same way if the same circumstance involved a Christian? I doubt it.

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At the time of this writing, another shutdown is possible. Here’s a scenario that wouldn’t surprise me. Congress gets a bill to President Trump, which he signs – thus no shutdown. Then he declares a National Emergency. That way he can keep the government open and play to his base. PS: It’s 5 pm (Eastern US), and this now seems to be the avenue of choice.

A friend (Tim) forwarded me this interesting column by Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post). I had to laugh because she is professing the same message I’ve been saying about 2020. However, much like their Tea Party counterparts, I can’t see (at least at his time) the enthusiastic liberals and progressives giving way.

Early in the week I encountered this quote that is very meaningful to me.

The Republicans appear gutless because few have dared complain een while their party is taken over by people who despise them; the Democrats seem unaware of something similar might happen to them. The vital center, which in the past have saved the country from divisions over a host of contentious issues, has become a lonely place – historically an augury of more extreme problems in the offing. (Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, written in 2018)

Earlier in the week President Trump stated a Democratic member of Congress should resign for anti-Semitic remarks (for which she apologized). Shortly thereafter, at a rally after one of his supporters attacked a BBC photographer, he did not apologize or condemn the action – but did ask if the one attacked was OK. President Trump is, without a doubt, the most hypocritical president of my life time – as well as one who favors blaming others over accepting responsibility, favors lying to cover himself instead of building trust with others, favors intentionally exaggerating, misinforming, misleading, distorting information in order to protect himself. He is a pathetic person and an even worse leader who brings the majority of his problems on himself. Nonetheless, it’s all Obama’s fault.

To lead you into the weekly dose of satire, and as a wine drinker, I appreciated the The Onion’s information about the myths vs. facts about wine.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Spacecraft from all over the galaxy to honor end to (Mars) Rover’s life
  • Man hoping girlfriend doesn’t notice Valentine’s gift came from gas station
  • Non-profit works to overturn convictions of prisoners who don’t like being in prison
  • Congress agrees to $1.3 billion for border fencers
  • Underfunded public schools lacking basic support systems leave students perfectly prepared for rest of life
  • Meals on Wheels volunteer delivers body chocolate, edible underwear to senior shut-in on Valentine’s Day

Interesting Reads

Latest Pew Research about origins and evolution
55 years ago: The Beatles and Ed Sullivan meet
Products that could replace plastic
Beer and the bier spa
Book review about Joe McCarthy
T-Rex: a sex victim
(Photos) Sony World Photography Awards

To send you into the weekend, here’s some jazz from Diana Krall with good Argentine Tango in the video. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

72 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 392

  1. Do Christians get a priest or a pastor for their execution? I do believe so, no? If that is the case than this is an absolute disgrace that a Muslim should not be allowed his Imam.

    Spacecraft delivers edible underwear from Mars to prisoners on Valentine’s Day

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Cincy,

    I’m working on precious little sleep so apologies in advance if this comment makes zero sense. Umm . . Imma keep it short just so’s I don’t make a fool of myself, LOL.

    Trump wanted 5 billion for his wall. Now it’s 8 billion, with threats and conditions and absolutely no end in sight. Because like I’ve been saying, 5 billion isn’t building the wall, or even twice or three times that amount. After which, where IS the money going? This is political hijacking.

    On a positive note, pitchers and catchers. Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the CBS story, Frank, and might steal the link from you if I post anytime soon. Of course I had to go see the photographs (wonderful!). The Pew Research story was quite interesting, too.

    I will never understand that SCOTUS decision (unless you put it into the context of the fundamentalist Christians who are all for freedom of religion, but only for their religion). It was, as you pointed out, shameful. As for the wall, I suspect most of that money (if he manages to get it) is earmarked to go into the Trump family coffers or into the pockets of those who have paid to play. (I laughed when I got to “Nonetheless, it’s all Obama’s fault.” Thank you for that.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Robin,
      Hooray – at least one person watched the CBS story … and liked it, too! A BONUS! Absolutely use it! Pew does that issue every year, so it’s interesting to see the change over time … but seems the numbers are stable at this point.


  4. I liked the link to the Jefferson descendants. When we visited the memorial decades ago, the slave quarters and the rest were not part of the exhibit. Glad you like the Jennifer Rubin piece on moderation. She is one of my favorite writers, especially lately.

    As for Trump’s obsessive passion for his “beautiful”, “strong” wall, his regal aspirations, and his fondness for putting his name on things, it occurs to me that he is acting much like Shelly’s Ozymandias:

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim,
      Cheers to you for watching the CBS story – Another watcher makes me smile … and I’m always thrilled when someone reads a link. Thanks for your wonderful response about President Trump’s wall obsession. He’s beyond pathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely concur with your opinion of Trump. A despicable and hypocritical would-be dictator. Love the meals on wheels story. 😀 The wine myths and facts was interesting to read There is so much hype about wine. To me, it’s just another drink to be enjoyed or not as the fancy takes me. I certainly wouldn’t dedicate a sizeable part of my house to keeping dozens of bottles of it, or even thousands, as one of my family members has done. 😯

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m glad you shared the CBS link about the descendants. I knew about it, but I’m glad the story has reached a wider audience. It was good to see the interaction–and affection–between the cousins.
    I had read about the situation about with the imam. It is shameful. I also doubt that they would have denied him a Christian clergy person.
    I am so sick of this administration and all who have enabled it. And now he’s declared a state of emergency for his literally trumped-up emergency? It makes me so angry. All the things you said about him are true. Sorry, can’t even smile at the Obama joke anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I really enjoyed the Argentine Tango video with Diana Krall’s stylish singing. With female jazz singers it’s ALL about the style, especially with a Jazz Standard like “Dancing In The Dark” capable of quickly flushing out the phonies. Also, it took me awhile to find a Top 25 Female Jazz Singers Of All Time list I agreed with, but here it is (Diana at No. 24 is OK): https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/best-female-jazz-singers-ever/

    THANKS for pointing out the injustice of the 5-4 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court’s new conservative majority against the prisoner asking for an imam to be present at his execution.

    Thanks also for the 2018 quote by Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, pointing out that the Republican Party is being “taken over by people who despise them.”

    The latest Pew Research about origins and evolution went into my golf bag.

    “Spacecraft from all over the galaxy to honor end to (Mars) Rover’s life” was a resounding splat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I had a hunch that you would enjoy the Krall song. She’s very good – but did you take anything out of your golf bag to make room for the Pew article? Always thrilled to get a splat – but of the 3 key points in the Albright quote, I find it interesting that you focused on that bit.


  8. Your prediction was right about Trump. This morning as I walked my NPR morning classical music was interrupted by his rambling monologue. At least they did not broadcast the question and answer session afterward. From what I saw on CNN he was rather hostile to reporters.

    Reading your post made my Friday better! Your wit and humor always help. Love the video too. Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo,
      Bummer that The Bloviator in Chief interrupted your walk music. But hey – if it happens again – change the station! Repeat after me … Change the station!

      Through all the gloom, thanks for the kind words. Keep on smiling!


  9. Excellent videos, Frank. I always enjoy the music you provide. I sure did smile at the headline about 55 years ago Beatles and Ed Sullivan meeting. I clearly remember that occasion and shake my head that it could be that long ago. LOL! Trump’s rambling speech today just once again reinforced the reasons I believe we are in deep trouble. Sadly, I have little confidence that anyone will unseat him. For reasons that don’t make a bit of sense to me, far too many people are willing to look the other way. Have a good weekend–anyway! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Glad that one of the reads grabbed your immediate attention – but your choice didn’t surprise me. 😉 … Fortunately, I didn’t listen to Friday morning’s rambling drivel. Instead of watching, I retreated to the basement to look at old strips of paint chips. Hang in there!


  10. The story about the descendants get no better than that, and I’m glad it’s gone viral as it should.

    I agree with you about the Supreme Court’s decision on the request for an imam. There’s no way a Christian would be denied that before execution, IMO.

    Loved the Diana Krall video at the end as well! Have a good weekend my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Leave it to The Onion to nail it on wine. That Supreme Court ruling was most telling about the state of the court and country which, if you believe in this kind of stuff, will probably become more prevalent. Stacking the court with justices to rule on issues that Congress fails to legislate, ignore or that the prez is ‘unhappy’ with, the administration gets it way via fiat. Citizens should be very concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Frank – sounds like wal-Mart is the place to get your soap. Have you ever tried Dr Bronner’s – whew – if you ever get the chance – get a small bottle and try it. They have such a wonderful product and it took me years to finally try it (after many folks suggested it) and they have plain- mint (my fav) – rose – etc.

    Laughing at the edible chocolate delivery and the Diana Krall Video was enjoyable – the dancing and her voice is so smooth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yvette,
      Didn’t know Dr. Bronner’s … so thanks for the tip! … and that WalMart price may be cheaper than Amazon! (but I’m not sure … yet!!!)

      Always enjoy knowing when an Onion headline causes a chuckle. And oh yes – Diano Krall and the dancing are both smooth – great adjective for both!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 😉
        Let me know if you ever get to try some dr bronner’s – I just got the 40oz bottle of their peppermint soap on amazon for the same price as Trader Joe’s 32 oz.
        They sell bar soap but the liquid is their best (IMO)


  13. Dear aFrank,
    I love to listen to Diana Krall but watching the video makes the song so much more pleasurable.
    The panaoramic view of the city lit up has a great imapact. Thanks for the eye candy of amor.
    You know I do like a bargain. Thanks for the no-brainer on Cetaphil. My hubby uses that soap too.
    I’m off to view the video on descendents. One can never learn too much.
    Have a super week ….
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isadora,
      I am not surprised that you enjoy both aspects of the Diana Krall song – that is, both the music and the dancing. 🙂

      Glad to help on the Cetaphil. I haven’t double-checked, but I think the WalMart price is cheaper than on Amazon.

      Did you see the descendants video? If so, what did you think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • aFrank,
        Thanks for directing me to that video on your post about Thomas Jefferson’s descendants. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish it had been a documentary so I could learn more about his life. I’m going to be on the hunt for a biography of his life at my 📚 library. Have you read a biography you’d recommend? I believe many slave owners had this type of lifestyle. It was common and accepted. Of course, some were cruel to them too. It’s interesting that despite the historical data about the slave children they still cannot be buried alongside their ancestors. I enjoy learning about history. I would be happy with a trip to Monticello. Thanks again for the heads up. BTW … if you pop over to athingirl.wordpress.com – she wrote a post about the infidelities of Roosevelt and Mellon. It’s short and to the point and eye opening – for me anyway. Have a Super Tuesday.
        Isadora 😎

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks for letting me know your thoughts about the descendants video. Fascinating .. and glad you enjoyed it. Jefferson was absolutely brilliant, but I haven’t read any biography about him – but I’m sure there are many good ones from us to pick. Monticello and nearby University of Virginia are very interesting places to visit. … and yes – thumbs up to the post about Roosevelt and Mellon!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I always enjoy Susannah’s writing and her ❤️ heart. She’s so sweet. She offered to mail me pizza when I left a comment I missed New York pizza. 😍 I’ve been to Virginia. Yes many historic things. We were with my hubbys sister and husband. Traveling with others limits what you do. Since we lived in NY, we visited many states along the coast and one year took a 6 week travel trailer drive from NY to California with two kids: 6&3. We even ventured down to Mexico and lost one daughter at a tourist shopping mall in Juarez. 😂 yikes – she made her way back to the car. Don’t know how a 6 year old would think of that. LOLOL 😂
          If I find an interesting read I’ll pass on the info.
          Thanks 👍 ps- shot in knee – bone on bone starting 🙁 hope it helps 😊😎

          Liked by 1 person

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