Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 278

Dance: The Musical is over with the 4 acts unofficially providing 48, 34, 30, and almost 40 songs. Many thanks to all, and I’ll post the list of songs sometime in the future. (It’s almost done.) Act 4 was a difficult theme, but the readers came through … and with so many dances available, I also provided a dance to everyone participating guest – I guess one could say that was my way of dancing with everyone.

The next theme? I haven’t made the decision. However, I anticipate another short one.

No Explore post this weekend, but a post is planned.

Did you see the picture Jamie Lee Curtis in the shower screaming while holding the picture of her mother screaming in Psycho’s shower scene? If not, see it here.

Pope Francis visiting the US is big news here. In my opinion, he’s quite the humanitarian and leads by example. To honor his visit, I’ve provided an extra set of headlines from The Onion further down this post.

Kim Davis (Clerk of Courts, Rowan County Kentucky) didn’t let me down, thus did something stupid that made the news by the end of the week. Meanwhile, I think she could play the “Clueless” card, but neither she or her legal team seems to understand that move.

Last week I heard (with my own ears) Michael Smerconish (CNN personality and Sirius-XM radio host) use “bloviator” when referencing Donald Trump. On a similar note, The Bloviator and Pope Francis provide an interesting opportunity to compare and contrast humility.

Ben Carson (R-MD) seeks the Republican nomination for president wants to protect the US Constitution – well … unless he disagrees with it, thus being less faithful to the Constitution. Although his ridiculous statement served the purpose of raising money followed by playing the victim card, I can’t see how he could get the nomination – let alone, win the election.

17th September was Constitution Day in the US. Columnist Ruth Marcus (Washington Post) wrote this interesting piece fitting for both the day and the current Republican campaign.

As the Republican field use phrases as “war on religion” and “war on Christianity”, why am I (as a Christian) not having the sense of being on a battlefield?

With two of the original 17 in the field having recently dropped out of the race (good riddance to both)… and more are to follow suit … many voters may wonder what happens to the Super PAC money. NPR answers it here.

Before the next Republican debate happens on Oct 28th, the Democrats will start their debates on Oct 13th. To me, this means I won’t watch two debates in October.

Speaking of the debates, I enjoyed this column from Kathleen Parker (Washington Post).

To lead you into this week’s satire, The Onion discovered and published Pope Francis’ US itinerary.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Wedding guest in suspenders and bow tie unafraid to take to dance floor
Area woman’s hair always wet
Extension cord on stage steals show at campaign rally
Beautiful sunset wasted on a few schmaltzy bozos
Ethical Hunter Throws Duck He Shot Back Into Sky
First-time flasher definitely going to make sure he’s erect next time

My Combo (I’ve seen this happen): Unafraid erect flasher steals dance floor show

Special Edition Headlines about Pope Francis
Pope Leaves Detailed Instructions For Taking Care Of Holy Spirit While He Out Of Town
Pope Francis Reverses Position On Capitalism After Seeing Wide Variety Of American Oreos
House Lawmakers Brainstorming Some Good Things To Say About Poor People Before Meeting Pope Francis
Pope Francis Kills 3 Hours Milling Around Atlanta Airport During Layover To D.C.
Frustrated Republicans Argue Pope Should Leave Science To Scientists Who Deny Climate Change

Interesting Reads
Libraries and the public today
A new human relative
A hidden hero of jazz: Mary Lou Williams
Futuristic navy
For those remembering James Meredith
Linking medieval history and your DNA
(Photos) On the side of the road

Below are 3 songs to send you into the weekend: a leftover from Act 4 (one of my favorite dance songs – The Bop by Ms. Jody) and two classics. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 276

Obviously, the Running Late edition.

At last count, Dance: The Musical – Act 2 had 22 songs. Meanwhile, the theater crew is working overtime to prepare for next week’s Act 3 (Tuesday, 9:30 pm Eastern US). It’s a little tricky,

  • Songs titles with dancer, dances, or compound words including dance
  • (EX) Dancehall is an acceptable compound word,but happy dance is not acceptable because it is not a compound word.
  • Exception: dancehall, dance hall, dance-hall, dancefloor, dance-floor, and dance floor are acceptable – but this exception is not applicable to other compound words

No Explore post this weekend. Not only was this post late, I had a poor week with visiting other blogs … so hopefully this weekend will help me get back on the track. I’m even behind on replying to comments on the previous post.

Evangelist Pat Robertson recently blamed the recent drop in the stock market on the ills of Planned Parenthood .. but he changed his mind to blaming homosexuals.

Earlier this week Queen Elizabeth became the long-running British monarch. To most of us, including myself, she is the only queen we’ve ever known. A tip of the cap to her! Here’s a pictorial of her life.

How many people realize the difference between staring/having a conversation and having the final word?

Jackie at Breathe to Write is having a birthday party on September 12th … so make your calendar to stop by that day.

As Kim Davis (Kentucky County Clerk) continues to make the news and serve as a martyr for loud, this situation is full of ridiculous comments by people who should know better. Being ignorant can be excused by not knowing better, which is different that stupidity.

Yes, Judge Bunning did the right thing in letting her (Kim Davis) out of jail because his order was being fulfilled. I wonder how long it will take her to return to jail.

Yes, I believe Hillary Clinton using a private server was wrong. I also believe all government business should be conducted on government servers, thus any allowance by government is a poor choice. Even though her apology and acknowledge is predictably a bit late, I also believe much of the hub-bub is politically driven, and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

This delivers an important message: Donald Trump (R-NY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sarah Palin (R-AK) shared the stage at the same event.

I missed the first Republican “debate” of the campaign season, and I also plan on missing next week’s second encounter hosted by CNN. It’s simply a waste of my time.

In last week’s OITS, Alisha made this wonderful (worth repeating) comment about the US building a border wall . So, we build a wall against Mexico… then another against Canada… then 2 more to keep the rising ocean levels from flooding our coastal cities… then a dome as a futuristic missile defense system… and voila! We’ll officially live in an Ameri-Can! I’m sure read a sci-fi book about this.

For those worried about the polls, here’s something to ponder: The entire college football season (regular season and bowl games) will be completed before voters cast a ballot.

To lead you into this week’s satire, here’s The Onion’s help to parents talk to children about death. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
6-Year-Old Data Entry Prodigy Already Entertaining Offers From Major Temp Agencies
Glade Introduces New Air Freshener Mask
Cockroach Worried About What Kind Of Kitchen Cupboard He Leaving To Children
Pathetic 4-Year-Old Needs Father To Stand On Merry-Go-Round Platform For Entire Ride
Study Finds Earth’s Animals One Giant Creature Before Breaking Apart Millions Of Years Ago
Depression Symptom Checklist Speaking To Area Man As No Poem Ever Could

Interesting Reads
The trend in births by unauthorized immigrants 
Enduring myths
Will the world population reach 10 billion?
The DJ who brought down the USSR
Composition of the universe

Here’s a two-fer to send you into the weekend: an unused classic from Act 2 and one of my favorite music videos Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 275

After it’s smashing debut of over 40 songs, Dance: The Musical returns this week with Act 2 featuring songs with “dancing” or “dancin’” in the title. Those are the only two options. The show starts this coming Tuesday (Sept. 8th) at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

ALERT: Next week is the first of three consecutive weeks for Dance: The Musical. WARNING – Act 4 will be very tricky, so I suggest seeing the Hear Ye page.

Regular attendees at the musicals know that a cantankerous producer runs the show with burrs in his shorts. Not all that long ago he insisted I refer to him as The Producer (as opposed to the producer). I recently discovered why … he officially changed his name to The Producer.

As I mentioned last week, my pastor read my post about predestination – of which he commented about the civility here. Some readers were curious about his reaction to my content. He and I talked earlier this week, and he was supportive and had no issues. We also talked about other theological meanings for predestination.

President McKinley was from my state – Ohio – and I’m one Ohioan who has no problem with Mt, McKinley (the highest peak in the US) returning to its original name – Denali.

The previous post regarding teaching and training created many interesting responses and fruitful dialogue between visitors.cooltext_7

An Explore post returns this weekend with a person, place, or thing. Last week’s Salute post about the number 7 was a subtle way of celebrating the 7th anniversary of this blog that I commonly refer to as my little corner of the world. A special thanks to those who noticed that fact (#68) embedded amidst the drivel.

College football starts this weekend – a season that I enjoy. Amazingly, the highest paid coaches make $5-7+ million per year. Should they be paid that much? To me, it’s simple: If the investment brings in more than the investment, I unquestionably say YES. Here’s a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on the topic.

If there is anyone interested in playing a free, no-pressure version of fantasy football, let me know and I will email you the information.

Although I haven’t written it on these pages, I have wondered how long it would take someone to mention building a wall along the US-Canada border. Congratulations, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS)! Meanwhile, here’s a great video about the US-Canada border. Thanks Debra.

Interesting doublespeak: Some Republicans love to tout American exceptionalism, yet point to the fact that birthrate citizenship (14th Amendment & court cases) is not common with many other countries

Donald Trump (R-NY) loves to mock, but he also makes it easy to mock. If he doesn’t need anyone’s money, won’t ask for anyone’s money, and will self-fund his own campaign, why did a recent Bloviation event charge money? Why does The Bloviator’s website campaign website take donations? I know the drill – answer the question with a bombastic statement that doesn’t answer the question.

Here’s the one thing I confidently believe about Hillary Clinton (D-NY) since 2008: Like her or not, she (and her people) know how to run a lousy campaign.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated President Obama and his administration is intentionally vilifying law enforcement. Just another example of the type of voter Sen. Cruz is seeking.

Here’s an interesting quote regarding gay marriage from the elected official of my district to the state legislature. Well, I’ve got to hand it to President Obama. He has managed to figure out how to do what no one thought was possible: A national flipping of the middle finger at God, (John Becker). I yield to a great American orator below for his comment.

I shake my head not only at the county clerk in Kentucky (Kim Davis) refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but to also the ridiculous comments I’ve heard from others. As an elected official, she can’t be fired or request a transfer – therefore, she should either resign or taken to jail (which she has). Employees of the clerk office in the same situation should request transfer or find another job.

To lead you into this week’s satire, here’s The Onion’s explanation of the pros and cons of legalizing prostitution.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Full summer of tending outdoor garden produces single edible cherry tomato
Friends grandma to give you hug too
NASA deploys Congressional funding is search of funding
Pope cleans up dead angel who flew into Sistine Chapel window
New dating site suggests people you already know but thought you were too good for
Salt Lake City hoping to boost tourism by reminding visitors they are free to leave at any time

Interesting Reads
A historical look at India’s great divide (Thanks Jim)
Plagiarized anthems
Water and hangovers
Quotes about science by theologians
Competencies and limitations of science
(Interactive) Political media habits by generations

To send you into the weekend, here are two versions of the same one: the way we know it and the studio acoustic version. Any preference? Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinion in the Shorts: Vol. 274

Tough week for the stock market (US and elsewhere). A note for Republicans – You can blame President Obama if and only if you are willing to give him credit for the market run since he took office (Jan 2009). Meanwhile, the shoe also fits the other way – That is, the Democrats giving the President Obama the credit for past growth should be blaming him for this past week. In my view, markets are more complex than that.

Many are wondering why Donald Trump (R-NY) is high in the polls. The answer is simple. Trump is the candidate for people seeking affirmation – not information. The Bloviator has the knack for telling people what they want to hear, regardless if the statement is true or false. Case in point, here’s the most recent scorecard from PolitiFact regarding Trump’s bloviations.


Can you recall one person being about to do so-many phone-in interviews on TV? It is so with Mr. Trump, which tells me that the media is part of the problem because they are taking him whenever they can for ratings … thus limiting their challenges because they don’t want him to say “No” to the airtime.

Last week, Gov. Walker (R-WS) made three contradictory statements about birthright citizenship granted by the 14th amendment – yet the campaign described them as consistent. I guess that also means they see the situation as having no choice. Earth to Walker campaign – some us aren’t stupid.

The presidential election process is too long in the US. If the lengthy time is so important to the parties, the candidates, and all the donors, what about the taxpayers? Are some of us getting cheated. I have a suggestion that these people will hate. Sitting governors, senators, and representatives were elected by the people of their state (or district within the state) to represent them – yet a national campaign takes much time. In order to seek a national office, just resign your state-elected office. The choice involves cake or ice cream – not both.

Opening Night for Dance: The Musical was a smashing success! Two bits of good news: Act 2 is scheduled for Sept. 8th, plus, I’ve added an additional act. For those needing to know more now, see the Hear Ye page. Also, special thanks to Dale for her excellent job as the theater’s maître d … even if the WP gnomes are blocking me from commenting on her blog.

You may recall that Marina provided the artwork for my On Blue post. Here’s a post from Resa featuring a clothing item she purchased of Marina’s work.

My pastor read my post my post about predestination. Here’s something he wrote to me, How do you have such nice, generous people in your comment section? The civility is refreshing. … A tip of the cap and a round of applause to my blogging community!

No Explore post this weekend, however, there will be a Salute post. Of course, the burning question is – salute what? Hmmmm …. it’s subtle.

If there is anyone interested in playing a free, no-pressure version of fantasy football, let me know and I will email you the information.

To lead you into this week’s satire, here’s The Onion’s explanation of how Donald Trump (R-NY) continues to lead in the polls.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man spends entire weekend binge-watching neighbor
Report: 1 in 3 Americans will get dessert if someone does
Guantanamo Bay begins construction on Senior Care wing
Q-Tips introduces new multi-speed electric ear swab
Man to undergo extensive interrogation by co-workers about where he got falafel
Scientist confident artificially intelligent machines can be programmed to be lenient slave masters

Interesting Reads
Street artists in Ghana
About Neil Armstrong
Restoring a famed piano
A report on mobile messaging and social media
A planet’s habitation

To send you into the weekend, here’s a twofer. The first one is a leftover from Opening Night. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 270

With more than 460 days until Election Day, why are the debates starting so early?

This Onion headline made me laugh: Over Crowded GOP field forces Iowa to construct massive town hall stadium.

The Onion has let me down by not preparing a profile for Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) .. maybe his jump in a recent poll will spark one. Former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA) is candidate #17, and another one with no chance … well, in my opinion.

Making no bones about it, I’m one who believes (and have for a long time) that education needs reform. Although the need is there, the obstacles are plentiful. Reform-minded superintendents are rare, but for the few that are, the public will prevent change.

The Internet and various software technology has given everyone a chance to observe a wide variety of human creativity. The 8-second video below is a hoot!

For those who miss the list of celebrations by the day, week, and month, here are the two sites that served as my main sources: One and Two.

This last act of Meals: The Musical takes to the stage next week. The dinner is done, the guest are gone, and there is a lot to clean. Song titles must include any of the following in the title. knives, forks, spoons, plates, bowls, cups, dishes, pots, pans, and kettles. Singular forms are acceptable. Show time is this coming Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

The collaboration with Robin about light was well received. Thanks again to Robin for the images … and yes, I would collaborate again with her. Meanwhile, another collaboration is about ready, thus I anticipate it going live in two weeks, but I will work with the collaborator to get a date.

I’m looking for ideas where I can feature a word with many meanings (such as light). Good words are those that can be a noun, verb, and adjective. Any suggestions?

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their infographic about the Life and Works of Dr. Seuss.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Study: Those that go to college earn more degrees in the lifetime than those who don’t
Frustrated man doesn’t know what else to do to get cat purring
Chinese factory worker cannot believe the shit he makes for Americans
Man races against time to take out trash bag with widening puncture
Male orgasm captured on film

Interesting Reads
Tips for grilling burgers
60 years after Rock Around the Clock
Top 10 battles of World War I
Electronics and the doctor’s bag
Pee-proof paint
Good interactive map about global population shifts

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback from the 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 267

Donald Trump continues to do what he does best: Bring attention to himself and bloviate. Here’s The Onion’s candidate profile on The Bloviator, plus this related headline made me laugh: Trump tell Iowa farmers he has cattle 500 times bigger than theirs.

This headline captured my attention: Schools That Succeed Because of the System, Not Despite It … GAG … As one on the reform education side of the fence, I can justify the statement being true, but I ask a deeper question: But is this the system we want to master?

Discussions about flying the Confederate flag continue, while some seem to want to expand it to anything Confederate.

  • Should schools with Rebels as a nickname change? (No)
  • Should mascots of Confederate soldiers be replaced? (No)
  • Should schools reconsider using the Confederate flag as a school symbol? (Yep if the school receives any public aid)
  • Should the Confederate flag fly at public memorials on Confederate Memorial Day? (To me, this is a tough one as I can see both sides.)
  • Can a person fly the Confederate flag on a pole on their own property? (Absolutely, and this should remain)

The Daily Beast published this very-timely-now article (Jan 15, 2015) about Robert E. Lee’s view about reconciliation.

Cheers to the South Carolina legislature for voting to take down the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds.

Cincinnati is hosting this year’s mid-summer classic: Major League Baseball’s All-Star game. The city has done a great job getting ready for the week-long festivities. Meanwhile, the team’s owner and management continue to demonstrate they have lost their way.

The Coke machines with all the flavors … do you know the ones? Vanilla Ginger Ale is my favorite. Do you have a favorite?

Did you notice that the desserts theme of Meals: The Musical: Act 7 was calorie free? I anticipate only 2 more acts, and preliminary information about Act 8 is on the Hear Ye page.

My wife and I ballroom dance for fun – thus we don’t compete or perform solos in studio-related events – but we have participated in two formations (groups). It appears I’ll be performing with another dance partner (of course with my wife’s permission) at a future showcase. Here’s the song we are hoping to use for our dance. What’s the dance?

For those who will post the entire story on their blog (with their ending), the revised story (without an ending) is on the Challenge page to copy. The Dance Challenge date Sunday, July 12th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). I’m looking forward to the different endings, so feel free to promote the challenge!

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their short video about what children need in a male role model.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Disney unveils first virgin princess
Report: Male hair-loss 7 times more painful than childbirth
S&M couple won’t stop droning on about their fetishes
Insurance only pays for generic heart transplant
Ghost of Julia Child sounds the same
Meteorologist slips family members few extra days of extended forecast

Interesting Reads
Washington Post’s editorial board about independence
An example of Congress avoiding solutions (from the BiPartisan Policy Center)
Same-sex marriage around the world
Brain’s internal compass
13 facts about Crayola Crayons

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover dessert from the musical and a classic. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 266

Last week I wrote this: Numerous southern families support flying the Confederate Battle Flag because they have ancestors who fought under that flag. OK … so why isn’t the Nazi flag flown at the cemeteries for World War II German soldiers? I know that Nazi analogies are often in poor taste, my statement was by no means equating the Nazis to anything in the US Civil War. Flags are symbols, and my intention focused on the flags. I apologize to anyone offended by the question.

Statues of Confederate soldiers in public places are getting scrutinized and even defaced. To me, that’s absolutely absurd. Here’s an interesting Washington Post article about Confederate symbols.

Burning African-American churches? Hey South Carolina – you have a problem!

The recent court rulings offered more examples of Republicans proclaiming a return to the Constitution except when they want to change it. Meaning, the recent rulings have also provided many the opportunity to demonstrate that smart people can say and do stupid things – especially when pandering for votes.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (aka The Truth Teller) may be the King of Hyperbole. As the US Supreme Court went against his views twice in a short span, Cruz stated, Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history. Meanwhile, he describes (in his book) fact-checking as yellow journalism. Here’s an article from USA Today.

Speaking of Texas, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the top law-enforcement official in the state, is encouraging clerks, magistrates, and other officials who object same-sex marriage to not issue the marriage license.

The New York Times did this outstanding 13-minute video about the story that led to the US Supreme Court ruling. (Thanks Lame)

Given some conservatives are squawking about Chief Justice Roberts, this read is about Roberts’ consistency.

In my opinion, and time will tell, the recent ruling says nothing or even implies that churches are required to perform a marriage ceremony involving LGBT. Some have, some will, and some won’t.

Gov. Chris Christie became the 14th Republican seeking the presidency. (I foresee at least 2 more.) He’s a good example of it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Yep – the importance of speaking with conviction can cause others to not notice what is said. No profile from The Onion … Yet!

President Obama announced the intent for Cuba and the USA to open respective embassies. The next step is up to Congress – Oh boy! Given the 2016 election, this could be interesting.

The economic situation in Greece is troubling, yet complex. The heart aches for the Greek people.

Congratulations Missy Copeland on her accomplishment … and cheers to the American Ballet Theater for the historic decision.

I enjoy Enya’s music. I stumbled across this pleasing video to one of her songs. For other Enya fans, enjoy The Memory of Trees (which is good waltz music).

Desserts is the theme for Act 7 of Meals: The Musical. One note of caution: Because they had their own act, beware of using “fruits” or any fruit as they had their own act. (EX) Blueberry Hill is not acceptable because the dessert is not identified; but Blueberry Pie or Blueberry Ice Cream would be acceptable. Curtain time is this Wednesday, 7:30 pm (Eastern US)

For those who will post the entire story on their blog (with their ending), the revised story (without an ending) is on the Challenge page to copy. The Dance Challenge date Sunday, July 12th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). … Feel free to promote the challenge!

This is a holiday weekend in the US, so no Saturday post from me. Happy Fourth of July, America.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their mass extinctions timetable.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Boss’s clout evaporates after he’s seen in shorts at company picnic
Study: U.S. wastes 2 million hours annually figuring out where tape roll begins
Man commits to new TV show just hours after getting out of 7-season series
Family enters crisis talks after discovering restaurant has 45-minute wait
Only predictor of happy marriage is if husband won wife big stuffed animal at amusement park

Interesting Reads
Slavery, states rights, civil rights, and a flag
A year as a nudist
How the turtle got its shell
Endangered places is America
Mushrooms and weight reduction
Yes, photos of a crow landing on an eagle

To send you into the weekend, here’s a touch of Motown from years gone by, Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.