Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 390

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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.

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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.

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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.

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On a Weekend Concert with the Ex-Beatles

Ex-Beatles

The Producer’s Guidelines

  1. Only songs by solo ex-Beatles outside the Beatles
  2. Songs by the Beatles are unacceptable – even if done as a soloist
  3. No duplicate songs
  4. Include the song title in your introduction text so others can see it
  5. To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line) – (I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary)

Let’s start with what I think is the first #1 song by an ex-Beatle: My Sweet Lord (George Harrison)

 

Next Concert: Moody Blues

Past Concerts: Beatles

On 1968

1968 – 50 years ago; a year of triumph and tragedy; a year of social unrest and cultural changes; the year that some describe as the most tumultuous in history; a year I remember as a 15 year old; a year captured below with randomly ordered events.

 

1968 – A leap year starting on a Monday

1968 – World leaders included Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, Charles de Gaulle, Indira Gandhi, Leonid Brezhnev, Lyndon Johnson, Harold Wilson, Mao Tse-tung

1968 – Vietnam War, Tet Offensive, My Lai massacre, and the end of US bombings

1968 – Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April) and Robert F Kennedy (June)

1968 – Eastern Bloc armies (Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary) invade Czechoslovakia

1968 – Intel Corporation created

1968- Super Bowl II (2) – Packers vs. Raiders

1968 – Anti-Vietnam War protests throughout the US and the Western World

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1968 – The Beatles White Album

1968 – Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France – the first Winter Olympics broadcast in color

1968 – North Korea captured the USS Pueblo (an American surveillance ship) and its crew

1968 – General Strike in France by students and workers

1968 – Enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 in US

1968 – Dutch Elm disease

1968 – Earthquake in Sicily with 231 dead, 262 injured

1968 – South African Dr. Christian Barnard performs his third human heart transplant

1968 – London Bridge sold for $1 million and re-erected in Arizona

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1968 – US President Johnson surprisingly announces he would not run for another term

1968 – Redwood National Park created in California

1968 – Pope Paul VI bans Catholics from using the contraceptive pill for birth control

1968 – The Poor People’s March on Washington, DC

1968 – Zodiac serial murderer in California

1968 – France becomes the world’s fifth nuclear power

1968 – Several major US cities elect black mayors

1968 – Unrests on college campuses across the US

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1968 – Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry

1968 – The Ferry TEV Wahine capsizes in Wellington Harbour, New Zealand_

1968 – The nuclear-powered US submarine Scorpion sinks in the Atlantic Ocean (99 crew members died)

1968 – Hong Kong Flu pandemic begins in Hong Kong

1968 – Student riots threaten Mexico Olympics

1968 – Black power salute after the gold and bronze medalists at Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico

1968 – Completed: The Aswan Dam in Egypt and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

1968 – The border between Spain and Gibraltar is closed

1968 – Riots at the Democratic Party National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

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1968 – The first Big Mac goes on sale at McDonalds at a cost of 49 cents

1968 – The Beatles create Apple Records and release “Hey Jude” as the first single on the label

1968 – Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace for US President (Wallace is the last third-party candidate to win Electoral votes)

1968 – Boeing introduces 747 aircraft

1968 – Mattel introduces Hot Wheel Cars

1968 – Kymer Rouge forms in Cambodia

1968 – Led Zeppelin performs for the first time

1968 – Allen K Breed invents an airbag for cars

1968 – Yale University announces it will admit women

1968 – Apollo 8 orbits the Moon (first manned mission to do so)

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1968 – US Explodes experimental hydrogen bomb and France explodes its first

1968 – Emergency 911 Telephone service starts in the US

1968 – The first ATM (automated teller machine) in the US (Philadelphia)

1968 – CBS airs “60 Minutes” shown for the first time

1968 – Musical Hair, featuring nudity and taking drugs) opens in London and then New York City

1968 – Popular films include The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, The Odd Couple, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary’s Baby, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

1968 – Popular Songs include Hey Jude (Beatles), Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel), Hello I Love You (Doors), Honey (Bobby Goldsboro), I Heard it through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye), Love is Blue (Paul Mauriat), The Dock of the Bay (Otis Redding), People Got to Be Free (Rascals)

1968 – Birth year for Will Smith, Celine Dion, LL Cool J, Cuba Gooding Jr, Guy Fieri, Kenny Chesney, Michael Weatherly, Barry Sanders, Rachael Raye, Mary Lou Retton

1968 – Death year for Yuri Gagarin, Helen Keller, Charlie Chaplin, Robert F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr

1968 – First interracial kiss on US television (Star Trek)

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Learn more about 1968

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 346

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For those willing to have some background music, here’s something interesting: Il Divo’s version of the Moody Blues hit Nights in White Satin.

I hope everyone had a good holiday. We travelled a few hours to my family several days before Christmas, but returned as the handbell choir played at 2 Christmas Eve services. We will host my wife’s side of the family in early January.

Bone-chilling temperatures are smacking many of us in the USA. YUK!

Hope you didn’t miss it, but this past Tuesday night was another great year of entertainment at The Kennedy Center Honors show (CBS). The honorees were having a great time! It worth looking around for it.

The recent 15th post in the Beach Walk series is the last … well, at least until I return to the beach. After all, having authentic beach walks is important to me.

John Howell (Fiction Favorites) and I are starting a business together where we aim to provide blaming solutions to anyone’s problems. Blames Are UsWe assign blame to any and all situations. Get your problems ready because the time will come when John and I will solve your problems right here on these pages.

A video recently inspired me to write a short story (I’m aiming at less than 300 words). I’ll post it here sometime soon.

Unfortunately, we only saw one between the holidays: Downsizing (with Matt Damon). An interesting premise, but I felt the storyline was a bit unsteady. On the plus side, it provides numerous chances to think about human behaviors. No need to rush to see this one.

The next post will lead us into 2018.

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Congratulations to Congress as it didn’t do anything stupid this week. Of course, not being in session helps.

I had to laugh at the statements both President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made about future bipartisan agreements. Hey guys – that means you have to do three things: 1) Sincerely reach out, 2) Know that you won’t get your way, and 3) give them something substantial in return. After all, seeking bipartisanship is more than inviting the other side to follow your way.

Not only ago the US Supreme Court heard the argument from a Colorado baker who contends the right to deny making a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission). This article about a Indiana University study bothers me.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers suggestions on being a savvy news consumer. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Woman stood up on first date got all drunk for nothing
Dad gets dolled up for trip to Lowe’s
Uncle puts more thought than usual into this year’s gift cards
Alcoholic’s plan for turning life around doesn’t involve getting sober
Cockroaches feeling really good about the planet

Interesting Reads (as a whole, a bit more relaxing than usual)
The Crown’s recreation of Buckingham Palace
About ArtWorks, Cincinnati organization responsible for many great murals
Thoughts about tamales
Digitizing important old manuscripts
A new way to see cancer
(Photos) Beautiful bird pictures by Cindy Knoke (a visitor here)
(Photos) Most dramatic weather images of 2017

To lead you closer to the new year, here’s the last in the Beatles series that I’ve been doing since returning from the UK. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.