Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 389

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Queen headlines this weekend’s concert series. Concert time is Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Fiona turned 2 this week! Here’s a click with a story and a photo gallery. Need more? Here’s a collection of videos.

We recently saw Vice at the theater. Some points: 1) Christian Bale was outstanding, 2) I was never a fan of Dick Cheney or any of the neo-Conservatives, 3) I’m not a fan of hyper-partisan movies, and 4) Oscar for Best Picture? Someone had to be kidding.

I’ve finally got around to listening to Podcasts. I greatly enjoy the Ted Radio Hour. CBS journalists Mo Rocca just released his first in a series called Mobituaries. The first episode was about Vaughn Meader. Does anyone remember him? He was the famous for his President Kennedy impressions. Does the First Family Album ring a bell?

Back to podcasts. The two series listed above are 1-hour segments. Any recommendations of podcasts that are 15 minutes or less?

Remember Mr. Blackwell’s best and worst dressed lists? He died in 2008, but Roger Stone (yes – that Roger Stone – the advisor to President Trump) picked up Blackwell’s mantle. I heard an interesting interview with him about his lists – so here they are.

Congratulations to the latest inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Edgar Martinez. Cheers to Martinez finally getting his due, and a worthy tip of the cap to Mariano Rivera for being the first player ever to receive 100% of the votes on the first ballot. A worthy honor to a top-shelf player.

Super Bowl LIII is set. Two very entertaining games last weekend, but too bad the officials made a blatant error in one game, plus I don’t like the NFL’s overtime rule that determined the second game. Personally, I hope the Rams win.

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I not only don’t I understand comments like these, I’m even more surprised that people use them and others believe them.

  • “Stalin was a socialist who wanted healthcare for all, then went on to kill 80,000 people.” (Friend on Facebook)
  • “We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse-Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is promising. And it led to mass murder, it led to dictatorship, it led to genocide. These promises are old promises and they invariably lead to bad things.” (Ben Stein)

For goofy statements like the above, I have a simple response: Although I may not agree with the Left, I am glad they have their heads in the cloud because it is a response to the Right who have their heads up their ass – and I’m glad to be grounded with my eyes open and my brain thinking.

With all the bluster about the upcoming State of the Union, I could care less because I won’t be watching or listening.

Interesting how President Trump offered a DACA deal to the Democrats, and then the Supreme Court steps on Trump’s previous DACA actions. Oh how the stories around this administration get weirder and weirder.

White House Counsel Rudy Giuliani is competing with President Trump for best entertainment to those who know better. Earlier this week The Onion has this great headline: Giuliani: ‘Let’s Just Start Everything Over’ … and this Stephen Colbert about Rudy intro made me laugh. (It’s less than a minute.)

To lead you into The Onion, this headline and accompanying image may be one of the best ever. Click here to see.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man beginning to worry that best meals already behind him
Trump dismisses Trump as a distraction
Doctor weirded out by patient providing every lucid detail of medical history
Woman rushes to hide fragile objects, cover up sharp corners on tables before boyfriend comes over
Queen Elizabeth watches as oxen pull apart farmer who failed to provide yearly tithe of grain
Weird kid opts to sit perfectly still, let universe decide his fate after teacher instructs class to pair up

Interesting Reads

Rural states and clean energy
Ten cultural items turning 30
Tough economic times at Amsterdam brothels
Major news from the world of frog dating
Quinoa whiskey
(Photos) The architect exiled by Nazis
(Chart) Coal use by country

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song that I stumble across the other day that I hadn’t heard in a long time. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 33

On Woodstock
Last week was the 40th anniversary of the greatest ever celebration of music: Woodstock. I was in high school in 1969, thus lived the era and its music. Woodstock conjures many mental images, but the picture on the album cover of the couple standing and cuddling in a blanket is a classic. Last week NBC had a report on the couple and the photographer 40 years later.

On Pictures to Awe
Many of us appreciate quality photography and the uniqueness that images provide. The image gallery of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is an amazing place. See for yourself.

Another interesting NASA site is Earth Observatory with their Image of the Day. I’ve added both this and the Hubble site to the Potpourri links in the sidebar.

On Albie Pearson
Albie Pearson was the 1958 AL Rookie of the Year and also a member of the original Los Angeles Angels. Given a 9-season career with 3 teams, the rookie award, and a one-time all-star, Pearson is not enshrined in Cooperstown, but he is a hero to many. Now an ordained minister, Pearson took a chance and created a home for needy children:  Father’s Heart Ranch in Desert Hot Springs, CA – a much greater achievement than baseball. Here’s the story.

On Senator Kennedy
First he missed the confirmation vote for a Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and then he didn’t attend his sister’s funeral. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) must not be doing well. I simply want to say Best Wishes to the senator and his family, and Thank You for your years of service.

On Cheney and Bush
Last week former Vice President Dick Cheney revealed the split he had with President Bush. I can’t recall how months ago, but this story stimulated me to recall a David Brooks column where he mentioned the policy change from Bush-Cheney to Bush-Rice. Thank you David Brooks for preparing the way. Here’s Washington Post article.

On Town Hall Attendees
Listening to the talk hall cranks shows a lost sense of perspective on an important issue. This is not to say that the Democratic perspective is the best – actually far from it. But too many of these people display their ignorance by spouting gibberish. Unfortunately for most of America, Republicans are taking little to no interest in discounting the nonsense and working toward a meaningful solution.

On Bingo the Bee
Let’s end this post with a difficult moment for a mascot. Bingo the Bee does his thing after each homer, but this time … well see for yourself.

On Torture Shorts

Torture and Guantanamo continue to be in the news. Here are some random thoughts on the latest.

On Congress
Seems Republican Leader John Boehner is questioning the handling of Speaker Pelosi’s knowledge of torture issues. Beware Mr. Boehner, as a leader I also have same questions for you regarding torture during the previous administration: What did you know? When did you know it? As I’ve noted before, I want to know who in Congress knew … that’s Democrats and Republicans!

Specifically on Speaker Pelosi, sure the meeting was classified, but there are ways to question. Madam Speaker, it seems that you blew it.

Meanwhile Republicans lost their bid for a bipartisan probe about Pelosi (252-172). Let me off a suggestion to everyone in Washington that also saves time and money. Just publish a list of all members of Congress who were briefed, and then it’s up to the citizens.

On Media Reports
Recently columnist Leonard Pitts used a Sergeant Schultz reference regarding Speaker Pelosi. Hmmm, wish I would have thought of that anology.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich called for Speaker Pelosi’s resignation if she knew. Hmmm, wish I would have thought of that too. The difference being that I mentioned it first and he’s already changed his mind.

As the Democratic left continues to be upset on this issue (Newsweek), hats off to the President for working with the center. There’s something I really like about having the left and the right upset at the same time.

As former VP Dick Cheney continues promoting himself, columnists David Brooks and David Broder provide an interesting twist to ongoing barbs about national security.

If the current Obama policy is more like Bush-Rice than Bush-Cheney, does that mean some Republicans are currently against what they were previously for and some Democrats are now supporting what they previously opposed? The phrase from legendary Yankee announcer Mel Allen is fitting: “And how about that!”

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 24

On Pelosi and Torture
As Nancy Pelosi continues to two-step around what she didn’t know about military torture, I’ll simply say I don’t believe her. Again, I have three questions to Congress: Who knew? When did they know? Why did they remain quiet? ….And the Republicans are correct here.

At least the previous administration is admitting making the decision, so please step down Madam Speaker.

On Continual VP Cheney Comments
Dick Cheney repeatedly talks about how the Bush Administration kept us safe after 9-11. I have one question: 9-11 was on your watch. Besides blaming the Clinton Administration, where was the protection?

On Two Suggestions for Congressional Republicans

  1. Find an issue that you desire and President Obama supports, and actively go after it. Hello – you need to show the public something positive.
  2. On the other hand, you lack credibility because you didn’t practice what you preach when you were the majority. I have a better idea for improving your image more quickly than the Boehner-McConnell method of simply saying We lost our way and we’re returning to our roots approach. Every Republican elected since 2000 should NOT seek re-election; therefore the fresh faces don’t have to carry your baggage.

On Wanda Sykes
Did the comedian cross the line with her jokes about Rush Limbaugh? Yes. Is the incident worth all the coverage? No … just like Rush. Get a life people!

On Evolution Again
In Vol. 23 (last week) I mentioned the books I’ve been reading about evolution and religion. Then Kathleen Parker provided this timely column.

On Alfred Wallace
I don’t know how many people know about Alfred Wallace. With his studies in SE Asia, he is actually Charles Darwin’s co-discover of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution. Here’s a National Geographic story on the lesser known naturalist.

On Texas
Several weeks ago Governor Rick used the ‘secession’ card. I know Texans our both a proud people and proud of their history. Seems many Republican Texans like that going on their own is a good idea. Hmmm … should we beat Texans to the punch and give them back to Mexico before they leave?
TexasPoll
On Tasty Barbeque
Hooray! May is National Barbeque Month. I’ve got to give a shout-out to my favorite barbeque sauce – a white sauce from Big Bob Gibson (Decatur, Alabama). It serves as a great marinade too!

On Burger Grease
Everyone knows that hamburgers can be greasy. After all, burger enthusiasts love juiciness. But burger grease art? Hmmm … watch this short clip.