Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 417

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Like much of the country, winter has arrived in Cincinnati earlier than normal – and with prolonged temperatures delivering new daily records. Brrrrrrrr ….

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, is next to take the stage for a weekend concert. Schedule: Next Saturday, 23rd November 1:00 AM (Eastern US)

I continue to enjoy going through my blog closet. On the other hand, that cupboard is on the way to being bare.

I had my first grapefruit of the new season. With still a bit of bitterness that sweeter grapefruits do not have, I’ll try again after in two weeks.

By the time 2020 starts, and era will end – the last Sears store in Cincinnati will close. Just think – they could have been the Amazon of today before Amazon was Amazon.

While crushing their most recent opponent, the Benevolent Impalers (8-2) are in a 3-way tie for first place and face one of those teams this weekend.

Finally, Sean Spicer is off Dancing With The Stars. Nothing against his political role, but he was horrible on DWTS from day 1. To his credit, he tried. Here’s another thing that gets me. On DWTS, Sean Spicer came across as a nice guy. If that is who he is, why was he such an asshole when he worked in the White House?

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Oh boy. The Ohio legislature recently passed the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act. As a former science teacher and one interested in the interchange between science and religion, I don’t have a good feeling about this one. I simply see it as a way for religious advocates to circumvent science standards – something they could they could not get included in the standards.

For me, Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D-NY) entering the Democratic race muddles the waters. Instead, I preferred he enter the presidential sweepstakes as an independent. What the heck is Deval Patrick (D-MA) thinking?

Even though the vast majority of Congressional Republicans are unapologetically supporting President Trump, here’s one Republican view that may be the most honest perspective I’ve encountered from any Republican.

For a long time and regardless of the White House occupant, there are two problems in Washington: Democrats and Republicans … and if the current dialogue regarding the current administration doesn’t verify that, nothing will. Then again, the majority of voters are partisans.

The Republican defense is very poor and pathetic – yet a sizeable percentage of voters will buy it. Sadly, much of the public doesn’t know this important point – Impeachment has nothing to do with a crime -nothing to do with criminality.

I’ve said it before and need to say it again. Impeachment is about the actions of one person – and has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Oscar Meyer, Bill Clinton, Vlad the Impaler, or Popeye the Sailor Man.  Impeachment is about President Trump’s actions. PERIOD!

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion helps readers understand the Middle East by providing a timeline of US-Syria relations.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Busboy father works hard every day to take food off table for his family
Pack members worried young wolf may be sociopath after he maul rabbit
College freshman annoyed about having to room with 47-year-old adjunct professor
Bar fight de-escalates after both parties unable to tear off t-shirts
Field Of demography collapses after 92-Year-Old woman buys Monster Energy Drink And Sweet Fusion Vape Juice
Cocky atom that started out in cosmos-shattering Supernova reduced to humble role in urine puddle

Interesting Reads

Ranked-choice balloting (Thanks Jim W)
Mexico, 500 years later
Driving a hydrogen-powered car
Redesigning high school
Cars – automatics for Americans – manuals for Europeans Why? 
Europe’s unauthorized immigrant populations
(Video) Visualizing the speed of light
(Photos) Butterflies, birds, and zebras
(Photos) Patterns that birds fly (This is fabulous)

To send you into the weekend, here’s something more contemporary than my normal choices. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

88 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 417

  1. You always make me think, Frank. A fellow submariner a retired nuclear Captain, with whom I occasionally discuss politics, categorically dismissed rank-choice voting because he is a “conservative”. It was clear from his response that he had not taken the time to actually understand it, nor even get that it only applies to primaries (elections with more than 2 or 3 candidates.) This from an educated (engineer) man. It’s more evidence of what concerns Myra Adams, not to mention the truthiness of George Orwell’s 1984 novel, e.g., “double-speak.”

    The Speed of Light graphic was indeed very good. Speaking of that and recently raised doubts about the Standard Model, it occurs to me that time itself may be a variable! In other words, A second or an hour here might not be the same in a different galaxy! That would mean that the concept of speed itself would be a variable. When thinking about this, just consider Einstein’s discovery that space and time are not separate entities, but are one, “spacetime.” I’m no expert in cosmology, but I’m wondering whether this might eliminate the need to postulate dark energy and dark matter? What do you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      Thanks for sharing the story about your friend and for reblogging this post. Although value-rank voting is interesting, I do wonder about the effect on the public – that is, how capable is the public as a whole to do this? I also like considering the open primary system. … Oh my … now combine the two thoughts!

      Glad you enjoyed the speed of light video. As for variable speed, you need to have that discussion with another physicist who can go toe-to-toe with you … after all, on that topic, I know it’s not me.


  2. The Impalers are on fiiaahhh! Unfortunately, I’ve not been so fortunate in my football pool as I sit ten games back and in third place.

    As for that article, the sad fact of the matter is that too many Republicans are more intent on saving their seats than in doing what needs to be done. This administration has been one long, forgettable precedent.

    Looking forward to the hardest working concert next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marc,
      With a commanding lead going into Sunday and Monday night games, the Benevolent Impalers are still rolling this weekend! May even clinch a playoff spot if one particular team loses.

      Current batch of Congressional Republicans may be the sorriest lot in my lifetime. I’ve already written my comments on them for next week’s OITS – and Imma not taken it easy on them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure who I picked this week, but it’s not looking like such a rosy picture for yours truly. Things haven’t been quite the same since I was knocked off my dynastic perch last year, by one game. I’d won the pool three years running, but the mystique has vanished!

        As for Tua, I feel so badly for the kid. But if there is a bright side, he’ll go to a contending team that doesn’t need a QB right now. He’ certainly out of the running for the top five now and it’s speculated that he’ll go end of first or in the second round.

        Obama actually told the Dems they need to come back to the middle a tad. And meanwhile, Trump continues lampooning the office.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Appears you can’t reach the Pats level … Then again a bounce-back 2020 will return you to that level. The road to the Championship must go through you!

          Tua will drop … But likely remain round 1. Tough break for the kid. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see what the Dems civil war produces as a candidate.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I was knocked from my perch by a bullet train who loves the Saints, so this is a veritable double whammy for me. And now she’s well on her way to a repeat, so the new dynasty has arrived. Next season, I’ll be lying in the weeds . . .

          I was chatting about this with a fellow Dolphins fan and we thought to ourselves that wouldn’t it be ironic if Miami took him at the tail end of the first round instead. Then let him sit for a while as they build the club. And hey . . Kaep has been available all along as a bride . . but never mind, I’ve gone down that road too many times and it just didn’t happen.

          I think the Dems can use this current drama as a positive. IF the nominee is seen as the tonic to all of the divisiveness. Once upon a time, Clinton came out of nowhere to shore up the Democratic party. Of course, the dynamics have changed quite a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

        • The Fins have QB questions. Will be interesting to see which way they go. Regarding the Dems, I think their part of the process is political timing & an reaching for an effect on 2020. After all, they know the Senate’s chances of removal are between slim and none. On the other hand, I don’t have confidence in them selling the facts and informing the public – … but I don’t have faith in the public taking information in either.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I say no QB at all. If anything, trade down and collect even more picks for more players and build up the team that way. Grier has a Patriots background and I’m pretty trusting of him when it comes to talent evaluation. No need for the splash picks. Make this draft about the meat and potatoes.

          Same with FA next season. Sign pluggers, stay away from the big names. They’ve got lots of money to spend, but it should be spent wisely.

          The problem is they have gone so far that there’s no turning back now. And if impeachment does in fact result in an acquittal, its going to be a bad day at black rock.

          Trump broke bucco laws. He’s an assault on the very constitution his apologists insists he’s protecting. If anyone ever deserved impeachment, it’s him.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Glad plan for the fins. Bengals won’t gather picks or spend big free agent money … but they will try to find FA bargains.

          No question on acquittal. Meanwhile, I’m saving more blunt commentary until the next OITS.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Grier said the Dolphins will be spending in FA next year. I hope he’s prudent about it. As we’ve seen too many times before, the LeVeon Bell signings sure make good headlines, but they rarely result in wins.

          I look forward to reading it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I also still like Hurts if he doesn’t go too high. Kid is athletic, good arm and he can move. Project maybe? But a worthwhile one, considering he’s adapted to every kind of situation in his collegiate career.

          Liked by 1 person

        • There is only one Lamar Jackson, even though there are going to be a lot of teams looking to catch that lightning once again. Murray has the skills to succeed for sure. He’s limited right now in that the Cardinals really don’t have a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Thirty one other teams in fact. Mayfield was taken one, and while he is a good QB with a chance to stick around for a while, I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t take Jackson over him right now.

          Also, Allen and Rosen were taken WAY ahead of Jackson. As far as I’m concerned, those guys are going to be backups in this league when all is said and done.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I heard about your state’s passage of that bizarre piece of legislation…inexplicable!

    As for the two latest Dems entering the presidential race, all I can say is I think the country has heard enough from NYC mayors. Gov. Deval had his opportunity back in February and only now enters as a hedge against Biden’s dropping poll numbers. Bad form. Now go away, Governor. With all due respect. 😈

    Looking forward to ‘feeling good’ at the next concert. 🎶

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Enjoyed your post. Crimes and misdemeanors are cause for impeachment. All the other stuff around this proceeding is noise. I think the two parties are behaving badly but not much can be done about it.(you know how I love congress) As far as anyone entering the Democratic race is concerned you have to wonder who is telling them to do so. Has the DNC lost confidence in Joe and are a little afraid if Elizabeth (72 Trillion) Warren. Who knows for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The Dems are a mess as the fight within the party is evident. Meanwhile, the GOP is relying on the public not knowing that “high crimes and misdemeanors” is not about criminal law, but about an Constitutional law – as interpreted by Congress itself. … and the current president has a long list of actions that qualify – and his party is covering for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “When’s a good time to enter the race for president? When can I get some real traction and attention?”
    Deval Patrick: “Just as impeachment hearings start. I’m sure more people will be interested in me.”

    I think there’s a Sears store around Philly still… somewhere… … … … … maybe… … ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tara,
      Thanks for chiming in. Way back in the day, Sears was a highly-respected retail powerhouse. We old-timers can tell you how much we loved the latest Sears catalog. But – they didn’t change with the times … and they will go the way of the dinosaurs.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll probably arrive late at the concert as I will be working the first of eight Christmas parties – I’m already tired just thinking of if…

    Good for you on your Football team! 😉

    It was a sad day when the last Sears closed in our neck last year… It was my go-to store for most things. Sad times indeed.

    Have a fabulous weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The ‘leaping marsupial ‘ photo is so cute and my favourite. 😅 I’m so weary of political news and not just here in the US. Have a great weekend, Frank. The weather here in Florida has cooled down significantly overnight, but only temporarily. Next week will be sandals and shorts again. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We still have a Sears store. I read a while back about the last Blockbuster store – but I saw one on this road trip and don’t think it was THE one. 🤔

    I’m all for ranked-choice primaries. They’ve worked well where they’ve been tried. I wouldn’t mind a ranked-choice general election, too. I’d really like to have more than two viable options on a ballot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen,
      You still have a Sears? Wow … impressive … that store is a survivor! Interesting how Blockbuster burst on the scene then quickly vanished. Now that’s a short life span!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about value ranking the candidates … and you seem to be coupling them with open primaries … interesting thought to consider!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ranked-choice voting and Visualizing the Speed of Light together sound worthy of a discussion over First Watch pancakes.

    That sweet Texas grapefruit you remember might have been sold to you by my band students in order to finance the following year’s marching band show.

    Thanks for the heads-up on Ohio House Bill 428 ‘Student Religious Liberty Act.’ Oh my.

    In agreement with your comments “The Republican defense is . . . “ and “I’ve said it before . . . “

    A splat from “Busboy father works hard every day to take food off table for his family.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      I remember those band grapefruit sales … and glad I was able to rekindle another marching band memory. As always, glad to know that you found something worthwhile in the reads and the landing of a splat. Get ready for James Brown!


  10. Oboy! The Impeachment Hearings are crazy. I was very impressed with Yovanovitch. I was compelled to sketch her, even though I am not a portrait artist. I’m going to try to put in another comment.
    Neat song!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. YAY .. James Brown is one I know. Last concert, I was in a fog zone. No clue about them. BUT … Thanksgiving weekend???!!! YIKES … I have out of town company. 😬 I’ll do my best 😀
    Dang – Sears gone. I loved their catalogs. My kids folded more pages for Christmas then they were going to get but the excitement was great. Thanks Amazon … NOT!!!
    I agree with you on Spicer. I’m sure Trump was the reason behind his harsh persona when he was in the WH. Imagine him as your boss??!!😬
    WH … I questioned voting for him on dwts. There wasn’t any dance talent. He tried – yes. But, not everyone gets a trophy in sports in my book. You gotta be good. Who’s going to win? Hmmmm …. I’m going for two couples right now but will wait another week to reveal.
    Brrrrr here too plus overcast and cloudy rain.
    Happy Sunday 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isadora,
      Glad you have your eye on James Brown’s performing. FYI: It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.

      Weren’t the Sears catalogs ever so grand back in the day! Oh the number of times we would pick one up just to look and wonder. Meanwhile, Spicer is gone for DWTS. Supposedly there is a large group of people who intentionally vote to keep the worst around. Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

      • WOW … I suppose it’s more fun for these people to keep these non – talented dancers around. Sad!
        Yes, it’s the week before thanksgiving. My company is arriving the Saturday of the concert and staying a week 😬 Florida – they’re looking for sun and fun. LoL … It’s cold here though LoL
        but … I’m going to try to get a song in.


    • Jo,
      Sad to here your Sears is also closing – oh the end of an era. Meanwhile, part of the GOP strategy is to blame anything but his actions. Quite the diversion technique that works on too many people!


  12. This is probably unrelated to your post but now, whenever I hear ‘Cincinnati’ I think of you and your blog. One day I am going to visit this famous Cincinnati with its murals and early winters and its host of other charms.


    • Lenora,
      I’m touched. Thank you!!! During my time here, I’ve tried to promote the city in a variety of ways. It’s not a New York or London … it’s a small city that (like anyplace) has its plusses and minuses … yet, it also has its own unique charms. … and if you ever get here, I will gladly be your guide.


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