Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 421

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Welcome to the last OITS of 2019 … so I’ve included a few extras!

Thanks to everyone for participating in Weekend Concert Series saluting Broadway. It was maddening because it was the first time I’ve done something like that. Plus, it turned out not to be the best weekend for me in terms of timing. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to have a good time and I enjoyed listening to all the songs. The next concert will be after the first of the year, and the finale to the series.

Next concert: Tentatively Saturday 4 January – Duets – (Two performers not normally paired together)

With the December holidays upon us, I will abbreviate my posting schedule. Below is a probable schedule that is subject to change (Times are based on Eastern US).

  • (Sunday afternoon) 22 December) A beach walk
  • (Tuesday 24 Dec – or late 23rd) Christmas post
  • (Friday 27 Dec) A caption challenge for an image
  • (Sun 29 Dec) – A food review
  • (Tuesday 31 Dec) New Years post
  • (Thursday night 2 January) – Opinions in the Shorts
  • (Saturday 4 January) – Weekend Concert – Duets

We recently spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We the Omnimax movies. Fortunately, for us, we saw two! After visiting the vert-well-done Apollo 11 exhibit, we went into the theater for the Apollo 11 movie. Interesting, no narration – just a story told through a string of actual film footage from the time. After the movie, we stayed in our seats for Superpower Dogs, an uplifting film about rescue dogs who work to save lives – and a must for dog lovers!

Readers may remember Fiona, the baby hippo that the Cincinnati Zoo cared from birth. Fiona, 29 pounds (13 kg) at birth, will have her 3rd birthday on January 2020. This 30-second video will make you smile.

Joe Barrow, the LSU quarterback not only won the Heisman Award (college football’s best player), he won the hearts of many. In his acceptance speech, he talked about the poverty of many people of Athens County Ohio. The nation has responded with well over $500K! But there is something lost in the story. Athens County is not an island. It’s one county in a region of 15 or so counties that are very poor – worse than Athens County – let alone additional counties in adjacent West Virginia and Kentucky. How do I know? I grew up one county south of Athens.

For those who need this and dare to reach into a grab-bag, here are some holiday classics: Dominick the Donkey, a classic Santa Norelco commercial, a clean naughty Santa, the infamous Carol of the Belts, and a crazy fast holiday song with handbells (the ending is frantic). Did you watch any? If so, let me know.

I admit, The Masked Singer is a fun show. Congratulations to The Fox – Wayne Brady.

Sadly, my Benevolent Impalers experienced the agony of defeat in the tournament semifinals. It was close, but my worthy opponent had an unexpected monster game from a player and big points from the New England defense against my hometown Bengals. Ouch!

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I’m not a Trump supporter – never have, never will be. Then again, after he won the election, I was willing to give him a chance. To me, he has miserably failed – yet, I see impeachment as a sad day. Congress has not upheld its Constitutional obligation of oversight and the behaviors have been pathetic at best. I’m officially embarrassed to be an American.

If I was single, I would consider moving to another country. Yes, I am that embarrassed and concerned.

I truly believe the polls, pundits, politicians, and citizens that America is a divided nation – and possibly the most divided in my lifetime and beyond. Two strongly divided camps with shrinking common ground – each with vitrole for the other – each with disdain for moderates – each with drums beating fervently in the echo chamber – one explains, the other not listening. A divided nation with a president wearing a hat stating, “Keep America Great” – a statement reinforcing the division. A friend asked me, “How do we solve this problem?” My answer is simple. “Unless the collective of elected officials lead the change, we can’t. Otherwise, we will need a national emergency. I hope I don’t live long enough to see the next US Civil War.”

In a discussion about the current impeachment, a friend of mine (a self-proclaimed unbiased source) told me that he wasn’t sure if President Trump warranted an investigation, let alone impeachment – but President Obama should have been impeached.

For those who forgot and didn’t know, the impeachment is Obama’s fault.

Here’s a recent report on polarization from Pew Research Center.

Darn … I’m missing another Democratic debate!

As we end the year, here’s how I see the 2020 election at this time:

  • Chances of President Trump nomination: 99.9%
  • Chances of President Trump’s re-election: 65%
  • Chances of me voting for President Trump: 0%
  • Chances of me voting for the Democratic nominee: 20%

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion separates facts and fiction about recycling.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Woman not as fun-loving and carefree as pom-pom on winter hat suggests
Hungover coworker a little too functional morning after holiday party not to be alcoholic
Boyfriend ready to take relationship to previous level
Man checking if chicken wings got hot enough in microwave like first responder searching for pulse
Mom holds knife to throat of dinner guest who offered to help with dishes
Hiker trapped for days under fallen boulder survives by cutting off own ponytail
Ant flees across state line carrying big crumb

Interesting Reads

The Ottomans: Their rise and fall
A bit of barcode history
Mysteries of pain
The most important battles of WW2
Bridging differences by seeing good
(Graphic) World debt by country
(Graphics) A series of climate change charts
(Photos) Murals of women in Iraq
(Photos) Winners of a National Geographic Photo contest

To send you into the weekend, here are The Piano Guys with a song of the season. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

95 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 421

  1. The joy on Steven Sharp Nelson’s face when he plays his cello is priceless.
    The Broadway concert was lots of fun (but yeah… hard to manage!!)
    Looking forward to your Duets idea.. could end up being quite cool….
    You are so naughty with those videos, Frank! I’m shocked! 😉
    I tried, couldn’t get into the Masked Singer – mind you, I don’t watch any of those shows except Survivor, which I just don’t feel like quittin 😉
    As for your presdient… I just don’t get any of it.
    Have a fantabulous weekend, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I earned Masters Degree No. 1 at Ohio University. I spent a lot of time photographing the people who live around Athens. I haven’t been back for a long while. My main professor is long passed. My best teacher has been retired for a couple of years. I went at a time when we still pasted type down by hand. . Computers arrived a few years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I watched the naughty Santa (well enough to see what it was)–umm, no, and the Carol of the Belts–uh, ok, why? So, I never need to see either of those again. 🙂
    Daughters’ high school winter concert alway ended with Carol of the Bells, and alum were invited to come up sing with the choir.
    Here’s an article for you, Frank. The photo of the group makes me think of “Cold War,” even though it’s the wrong time period. (If Dale is reading this, did THE SONG suddenly pop into your head?)


  4. Duets huh? Imma have to do some research on this one.

    It looks more and more like Burrow will be back in Ohio soon. I’ve got no idea about any of these quarterbacks coming out. I’d still love for the Dolphins to take a flyer on Hurts if he drops out of the first round.

    The Impalers had a great season, nothing to be ashamed about. Me on the other hand, still third place . . hanging on to it precariously.

    Cool video!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Needless to say what caught my attention first in this post…. yep… the doggies! [can’t help it – my apologies!] – Remember Fiona!!!! The concert [even if I was x’d] was fun! Can’t wait for the next one…which will be …in 2020! Where did ’19 go?! I hope you get a peaceful and beautiful weekend, my friend. 🙂 Yamas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marina,
      Glad you enjoyed the doggie collection of pics … somehow I’m surprised! 😉 Regarding the duets, sadly, MK-O doesn’t qualify. For the last weekend before Christmas, this weekend will be surprisingly peaceful! 🙂 … and I see that as a good thing. Yamas! … clink


  6. I watched them all, Frank. The only one I remember is the Norelco Santa. The mummies were unwatchable. Sad for America indeed, Frank. We have seen the worst of politics. You should not be embarrassed to be an American. You should be angry at the division we find ourselves in today. I have often said the legislative and executive branches have continually failed us. Of course, this is all Obama’s fault. We need to figure a way to find people who want to serve the country and not themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That Super Dogs IMAX show was incredible. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Like you I’m embarrassed to my core at what has happened in this country. If I thought it possible, I’d leave but not sure anyone would gladly take me in. We are in such trouble.
    P.S. Well done on the concert, with apologies for not participating like normal. It was a super busy weekend and I’m not very familiar with Broadway shows. Thanks again for bailing me out!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nothing like packing a zillion posts into one, Frank. Whew! I did however, look at the National Geographic winners of 2019 and was blown away. Now I know why mirrorless cameras are THE camera to have. I will not compare myself with what I saw, for if I did I would be very discouraged. Images were AMAZING!! I thank you so much for sharing.
    Politics ….. Europe looks really good for me right now. Unfortunately I have a life and am at an age that say no. So regardless of the sheer enormity of corruption and hate as seen by our “leaders”, I will hold my head high for I AM ME. I will not identify myself as an American. That is just a label. Yes I happen to live in the USA but that is NOT who I am!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AmyRose,

      Yep – this edition is loaded. Then again, it’s the last edition of the year.

      Glad you enjoyed the National Geographic collection. I always try to include a photo gallery or two in editions of OITS. Thanks for sharing your insight about photography … after all, you do well!

      Cheers to your hopeful outlook for our country. As you could tell, I don’t see a bright future. Of course I hope I’m wrong. Yes, my life is here, and as I mentioned, I placed the condition of if I were single. Then again, I have no clue where I would go. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love that opening photo! I keep meaning to ask if there are fees for those Getty images you use?

    I watched the belts and naughty, but not really my bag.

    I have a couple ideas for the duet concert.

    Last night we watched “The United States is Amnesia: Gore Vidal”. That guy really saw through all the political bullshit in this country. If he hadn’t died in 2012, I’m sure he would have had apoplexy when we elected Trump. And believe me, he was no fan of Democrats, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen,
      Good question about using the Getty Images. Yes and No … but I only use the free ones. (Here’s how off the top of my head – which will be close) Go to Getty Images. Click any picture, which will open in a new window. Below the image will be several black buttons. If an EMBED button appears, it’s usable! Click the button, copy the code, paste the code into your post at the place you want the image to appear. Let me know if this works.

      Both Democrats and Republicans are making strong cases for neither. The reason is they are making their case for themselves and their partisan flock.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Can’t wait for the duet concert! A ton of jazz combinations come to mind, however, at the risk the Producer pre-buzzing me – Do both or either of the performers have to be vocalists? (i.e. Can one or both be instrumentalists?)

    I agree that America is the most divided in our lifetime, but not necessarily beyond. A key to changing the situation is the concept of Moral Elevation talked about in the read – “Bridging differences by seeing good.” I submit that Moral Elevation/Empathy must start at the top, with the President of the United States, followed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Majority Leader. Absent in those, we will continue to tear ourselves apart.

    Joe Burrow – We need you!

    No splats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      No splats is almost as disheartening as the country’s current divide! This is an extra sad day.
      Seems your request for leadership leading the change is similar to mine – unfortunately I see it as wishful thinking. In his recent Washington Post column, former Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) asks a good question to Republicans: What would you do if Barack Obama did the exact same thing? It’s a great question, but I also ask one more question: Democrats, what would you do if Barack Obama did the exact same thing? Although we definitely know the answer to Flake’s question, thoughts about the my question saddens me. Put the two questions together – Houston – we have a problem.
      Good question about the Duets and one that I didn’t anticipate. I would say instrumentals are OK.


      • Don’t rule out Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at some point down the road answering that question in a surprising way, especially if more witnesses are allowed at the trial, and the poll numbers tighten up in his 2020 race against former Marine fighter pilot (with 89 combat missions) LtCol Amy McGrath. Also thanks for using your influence with the Producer to allow instrumentalists at the Duet Concert..

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great music!
    Thanks for the Fiona update! I never saw a cuter hippo.
    The whole trump reality is saddening.
    Dems attempting to pick a candidate is saddening.
    Saddening is the reality that Canada copy cats America in many ways.
    Frank, if you were young, where would you move to? IMO, The planet is overcrowded and has many problems.
    “Come senators, Congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.”
    Bob Dyaln

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Frank, with respect, you know from past discourse that I’m disappointed you hold Democrats in low esteem. I continue to hear from other people as well that they hold both sides responsible for the political divide. I do not agree. The divide began with the Gingrich era and its declaration of political war based on the abortion issue and anti-tax fervor. I will agree that much of the Democratic primary rhetoric is extreme, but it does not discourage me. Free college for all and socialized medicine, I submit, are not going to happen under a Democratic administration because there are many sensible moderates among Democrats in Congress.

    How to achieve national unity? I know as a naval officer that a ship tends to take on the personality of her captain and so, I submit, does a country. We need leaders who are themselves moral persons, who have a track record of bringing people together, not dividing them. Leaders who are students of history, who appreciate the need for allies, who understand the value of the global marketplace, and who tolerate diversity and the need for ordinary people. Leaders who place the nation’s interests over their own, who value poor children as much as the unborn. Leaders who recognize and value the dedicated professionals in our intelligence and diplomatic communities over their own gut feelings and who recognize that war is not merely a tool, but must be used only in actual defense and not nation-building. Leaders who can calm a nation in a crisis and resist goading it into overreaction.

    The administration we select in next year’s election will reflect its captain’s nature. American character is on the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      Thanks for your attempt to sway me. I always respect your thoughts and your record is one of stating your case with logic. I like Jeff Flake’s question to Republicans in his recent editorial: Republicans, would you be reacting the same way if Barack Obama did the exact same thing? (Regarding Ukraine) – The answer to that question is quite obvious. Yet – I turn the same question in the other direction. Democrats, would you be reacting in the same way if Barack Obama did the exact same thing? We don’t know for sure, but I have low confidence in what they would do in that situation. Rep Nadler today is similar to Sen Graham during Clinton admin – and Sen Graham today is Rep Nadler then.

      To me, Congress has the Constitutional responsibility for oversight, and they have miserably failed in this case – but it’s been building over the past 20-30 years.

      Good analysis about leadership. I can’t disagree at all. To me that also filters down to individual members of Congress. They currently do nothing to dampen the echo chamber. They actually heighten it.


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