Opinions in the Shorts: Vol 418

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James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, is ready to take the weekend concert stage! Concert time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

As part of my exit plan, I’ve added a new page/tab. Q&A page is a place for my audience to ask me questions.

The ending to last week’s Steelers-Browns game was embarrassing. And to think that some people are blaming the Steeler QB. Not that he’s totally innocent, but only one player intentionally swung the helmet.

Speaking of football, the Benevolent Impalers continue to roll. Besides steamrolling the third consecutive opponent, we’ve clinched a playoff spot with three weeks remaining in the season.

Long-time readers know I enjoy milestones. Cheers to Akismet catching over 100,000 spam comments.

For moviegoers, thumbs up to The Good Liar.

Odd are very few readers here have heard of Serpent Mound. It’s an Ohio historic site, and has even applied for status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A local TV station did this drone flyover with a short report. For those wanting to know more, here are three short (less than 5 minute) videos.

Zion National Park, a beautiful natural wonder, is turning 100. A new film is made for the park’s Visitors Center and for global distribution. Oh, now that would be great on an IMAX screen. Although the information I found was limited, I did find this trailer.

Typically, November and December are busy for the handbell choir – meaning many more songs to prepare for the various holidays. Our normal playing schedule is once a month, but this week we return after 2 weeks, then play again 2 weeks later, then again for Christmas Eve. To hear a recording of our next piece, click here to enjoy.

Because next week is Thanksgiving here in the US, no OITS next week – and maybe no Beach Walk …. but I’ll be featuring a series of travel posts.

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An Associated Press article was about a study stating Americans struggle differentiating fact vs. fiction. Whereas I continue to proclaim the people are just as biased than the media, and perhaps more so, several quotes in the article got to me.

  • “It is difficult to get the facts. You have to read between the lines. I rely on like-minded friends and family to help sort through conflicting information.”
  • “When I hear him on Fox News – that’s where I get all my information – Trump is the easiest way to cut through confusing information.”

With the hearing on one day, I switched the channel to watch a rerun of Laramie (an old western 1959-1963). … and nope, I didn’t watch the most recent Democratic debate (which keeps my streak intact).

Why have Republicans complained about the closed hearings when they intentionally chose to limit their attendance? Oh yes – they rely on the public’s ignorance and partisan bias. Meanwhile, on the public hearing, they only hear what they want to hear.

Part of the Republican defense of President Trump begins with statements like, “No judge in America, no trial in America, no jury in America, blah blah blah … To which I respond, In America any juror with a preconceived opinion – especially those stating their views before the hearing the evidence, would be excluded from the jury – including those that have dinner with the defendant before the trial. 

Because they prefer being a political hack favoring their party instead of following the law, the Ethics Committee should expel any member of Congress who demands or releases the whistleblower’s identity. Then again, Congressional Ethics is an oxymoron.

If Hillary Clinton would have won the 2016, would the Republicans (at the time, a majority in the House and Senate) have sought her impeachment over the private server? I confidently say, Yes! After all, it’s not about the evidence – it’s about what they want to believe.

An idea for Congressional Republicans: Seek to amend the Constitution – suggest removing “high crimes and misdemeanors” with something like “proven illegal activity” …. but you won’t … bwak bwak bwak … Chickens!

Bottom line about Congressional Republicans: The vast majority (if not all) are shallow, pathetic, selfish, spineless cowards who are more concerned about their party and self-preservation than about the country. Sadly, their voting constituents may be even worse.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion explains how political ads are made.

(Bonus Onion lead) President Trump visited the hospital earlier this week. Click here if you dare.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Pope Francis Bags 6-Winged Trophy Angel During Vatican’s Annual Seraphim Hunt
Area Man Loads Up On Half-Priced Armistice Day Candy
Girlfriend must have been drinking when she texted picture of knitted scarf at midnight
Man Starting To Think He Didn’t Win 1995 Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Sweepstakes For Free Trip To Australian Outback
Report: Looks Like Ex Gained Some Weight Ever Since They Started Dating Someone Better
Spider panics after losing track of human it noticed scurry across floor

Interesting Reads

Report: marriage v living together in the US
Looking for oxygen on Mars
Farming edible snails
5 facts about illegal immigration in Europe
Relating fictional plots to economic history
About the making of Ford v Ferrari movie
(Graphic) Broadband and cellphone service costs by country
(Photos) Comedy in the wild

To send you into the weekend, here’s a fun song that I like. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

34 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol 418

  1. Go James Browns and the Impalers! Hey . . . that could be a solid name for a cover band.

    As for the impeachment hearings, that would be a nyet for me. I’m not Russian to watch that parody. No way, it would get me seeing red. Okay . . . I’ll stop.

    I wonder if Trump is watching the proceedings from Hooters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marc,
      Thursday night football didn’t give the Benevolent Impalers the start I wanted … if I only would have started Colts RB Williams … I almost did! Damn!

      Avoiding (or at least minimizing) hearings time is a good thing .. .and old TV shows are a worthy diversion.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Here’s a few reasons why I like the league I’m in … no money involved, no trades between owner … therefore just about managing, having fun, and going for the bragging rights. Then again, that style isn’t for everyone.

          I’m still fighting an idea regarding the political situation. Too much appears (to me) to be a slam dunk …. therefore, I don’t have high regards for the White House, Congress, and the public.

          Liked by 1 person

        • No money is a big one. I would rather do it for the fun and the bragging rights.

          What’s frightening to me, is that this country feels as if it is approaching a fairly significant moment. And I don’t feel as if we’re going to take heed.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I phrased it wrong, forgive me. I meant to say that, to me, this country feel as if it is approaching its ‘moment’. And, like you, I don’t feel as if too many will see it as significant.


  2. Looking forward to the James Brown concert. I have no idea what time I’ll show as tomorrow is the first of 8 Christmas parties I’ll be working – at least there are no members 😉

    I hadn’t heard of the whole helmet swinging- epithet calling thing that happened. Shaking my head…

    I ain’t going into the whole political/impeachment thing. I’ll just wait for the highlights and end result 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • Honestly. Such a childish thing to do.
        Thanks, tonight’s is “only” 175… tomorrow, it’s 250 – with lots of youths as it is 3 grocery stores so lots of young employees. We have to play cops with the booze they try to bring in…it’s rather funny as much as annoying!


  3. Frank, it’s a good idea to open a Q&A page, you can never go wrong with one of those! The world is so complicated, there is some great food for thought in those quotes you shared about people getting news from Fox as Trump cuts through the confusion. I am confused. Most of his statements don’t make any sense whatsoever. But that is just an opinion. I feel anxious for America and the world, for that matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lenora,
      Thanks for mentioning the Q&A page … and I hope your participate. Your comment caused me to check the page, and OH NO … I don’t see a Comment box! Trying to figure out what to do.

      Regarding the comments about the news, don’t worry about being confused because I used those quotes because they are confusing and emblematic of the problems here. Crazy … simply crazy!


  4. Good luck with your handbell concerts, Frank! Ring them bells.
    As far as the hearings, I’ve listened to some of it on NPR–Fiona Hill is amazing. But despite the evidence, the GOP has decided they’re going to defend dt. Still, I did read that a conservative group was going to run an ad against dt on some big Fox news show, so perhaps there are a few cracks where the light is coming in (to paraphrase Leonard Cohen). 😉


    • Merril,
      What the representatives are doing is a disgrace. They simply hear what they want to hear while shedding their oversight responsibility. I’m confident there are cracks … even in Congress … but only behind the scenes. From what little I saw, Fiona Hill is impressive. Meanwhile, thanks for the best of luck with the bells this weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. All good wishes on the upcoming bell event. As to ‘fact or fiction,’ you wrote: “it’s not about the evidence – it’s about what they want to believe.” I would submit it’s not about evidence, it’s our partisan version of the evidence-damn the facts. Children clearly are not the only ones who believe in fanciful magic. Happy weekend; looking forward to the concert.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Frank, I’ve stopped listening to the news. NOTHING makes sense any more and the dire drama vocal tones used today any soap opera would be proud of. I detest the news. It is very scary to have watched in a matter of about 30 years IF that, the corruption and the pollution and the ignorance and the violence on the scale it is today. I create beauty in a world of my own making. I listen to others as they struggle to make heads or tails of the ongoing insanity that is witnessed in this chaotic world. I in turn encourage them, and by not allowing their “stuff” to effect me, stand in peace and love for them. Everyone is on overload. We need to step back and remember how to LAUGH, to really TALK with one another, putting our media devices down in order to look someone in the eye as we communicate with them. As for James Brown …. he ROCKS!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AmyRose,
      Thank you for sharing your refreshing perspective. I admit that (for a long time) I would have a cable news channel in the background for much of my day. Now, I don’t watch them … and get my televised news the old fashion way – from a major network in the morning and from the evening news – and they don’t integrate much commentary into the reporting … I feel informed and refreshed. Meanwhile, cheers to your work in nature delivering a positive perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      • A few more thoughts, Frank. Hubby keeps me informed of anything significant for he does watch the news. There are times I say to him, “That’s enough. Please.” IMO I don’t need to know the all that is going on in the world in order to live my life. And, if more people turned the news off, ratings would fall, and in turn, sponsored monies would fall. This in turn would force the news to change tactics, one that would be agreeable to the major public. At least that is how I see things. I’m thinking of writing a post on this subject. Thinking is the opportune word here ….. I honestly don’t know ahead of time what I will be writing about. It just “comes”. Have a great Sunday!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks again for sharing. Balance is an important theme through your various points. The news organizations are also businesses – which means ratings and profits. Unfortunately, people are tuning into the news that delivers what they want to hear – Yes, the biased news delivering information to the biased individual. Food for thought.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the Founding Fathers anticipated – and feared (1) a Donald Trump (2) a Fox News (3) social media. That’s why they made impeaching the President a political process. They correctly determined that removal of the duly elected chief executive from office had to be left to what the people had been led to believe.

    I now have two reasons to like the name Fiona.

    The graphic “Broadband and cellphone service costs by country” comes with me when I visit my two providers this weekend to protest my latest bills.

    The trailer alone has me wanting to visit Zion National Park.

    A splat from “Man Starting To Think He Didn’t Win 1995 Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Sweepstakes For Free Trip To Australian Outback.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      If we could only hear what the Founding Fathers would have to say during these crazy times. Personally, I don’t think they would be happy campers. Glad to know The Onion delivered another direct hit!


  8. Bottom line about Congressional Republicans: The vast majority (if not all) are shallow, pathetic, selfish, spineless cowards who are more concerned about their party and self-preservation than about the country. Sadly, their voting constituents may be even worse.

    Right, Frank. That is (wait for it); . . . . . . . . deplorable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      “Deplorable” is a good descriptor (sad to say). For me, more evidence of elected officials representing their party and their self interests over what is best for the country. In a speech that I attended, I recall a former senator saying, “A senator/representative voting for the right thing is a recipe for not being re-elected.” (A paraphrase on my part)

      Liked by 1 person

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