Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 366

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As heat has been blasting much of the US, fires are torching the western US. Interestingly, fires were commonly mentioned during our recent tour of western national parks.

For relief from the heat, we went to the movie theater to see Ocean 8. Interesting and in the same spirit as the other Ocean movies. Enjoyable – but not a must-see film – so waiting for it from Redbox, a streaming service, or pay-per-view is a good idea.

Interesting how July 4th events use the colors of the American flag for their event: Red White, & Blue Ash; Red Rhythm & Blues, Red White and Boom, and Rye Wine & Boom. Any interesting ones in your area?

We enjoyed a July 4th concert by the Cincinnati Pops. Besides a Broadway singer with a local connection, the concert also featured the US Army Chorus (composed of about 25 men).

I’m unhappy with my golf game because I can’t find the consistency that has been me for many years.

The current resurgence of the Cincinnati Reds is not easy to explain. Although still in last place of their division, they non longer have the worst record in the National League – let alone all of baseball.

As opposed to private lessons, learning a dance from group classes is a good way to develop many bad habits, which are difficult to break.

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The odds are good that I will disagree with President Trump’s upcoming justice nomination for the Supreme Court. Then again, I would also disagree if the numbers and situation were reversed favoring the Democrats. After all, I’m all about the High Court being for everyone@

Finally – EPA Director Scott Pruitt is gone!

Many weeks I suggested House Democrats dump Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as their leader, the latest reports of that possibility causes me to smile

Reflecting on the Fourth of July is a good time to synthesize how the use of the term “patriot” has sadly changed over time.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for being a savvy news consumer.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Clay Pot Shards From Dwelling Of Earliest Known Klutz
Asshole occupying two cemetery plots
Man silently eating personal pan pizza alone in corner of airport unaware this will be best part of 7-day vacation
Woman Takes Break From Dating To Focus On Everything About Herself No One Could Ever Love
Area man just wants a haircut without all the frou-frou
App knows it’s gone next time man needs space for photos

Interesting Reads
How America got its name
Changing your mind
Discovering King Tut’s tomb
The changing world of genetics and DNA
A view of George Clinton’s funk music
(Photos) Scottish birds of prey

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, enjoy this duo from the past. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On the Fourth 2018

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True or False: The British have July 4th?

Back in the day, I used to ask this question to my high school students, so I’ll embed the answer within this post.

Last week I worked more hours than normal at the golf course. Although I enjoy the work, the extra hours set me back in normal routines, including visiting other blogs. Hopefully, normal will return soon.

As the rest of the world sees July 4th as a normal day between July 3rd and July 5th, we Americans celebrate July 4th as our Independence Day. Many people will enjoy outdoor activities, family gatherings, and parties. Some towns will celebrate with a parade, activities, and music. Some concerts will include one of my favorites: The Armed Forces Melody. Fireworks will fill the night sky across the land to close the day.

Hoping your July 4th is a good one.

On Liberty and Freedom

July 4, 1776 – A new nation forms as it seeks liberty from a powerful country that is also free. A new Constitution delivers a new government to set sail into an unknown future. 237 years later, the great American experiment of freedoms continues.

Whether words from the Founding Fathers, future American leaders, or others from around the world at various points of history, calls for liberty and freedom ring strong.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. (Thomas Jefferson)

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. (James Madison)

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit, which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. (Abraham Lincoln)

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. (John F. Kennedy)

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. (Ronald Reagan)

The basics of a democratic state is liberty. (Aristotle)

It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. (Francis Bacon)

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. (Pope John Paul II)

Being democratic is not enough, a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law. (Margaret Thatcher)

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. (Winston Churchill)

To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body. (Mahatma Gandhi)

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. (Nelson Mandela)

Happy Independence Day … and may liberty and freedom continue to spread. Enjoy Liberty Fanfare (by John Williams) with narration … the music that actually sparked this post.

On a Celebration

It’s July 4th – Independence Day in America. Private and community celebrations of music, food, and fireworks will occur across the land. Meanwhile, this also means many American bloggers may spend less time on these pages. Time will tell if I post tomorrow, but I’m planning for Friday’s traditional Opinion in the Shorts.

I hope everyone has a safe midweek holiday with the activities of their choice. To those experiencing the torrid temperatures, keep your water level up.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of Independence Day, enjoy this wonderful video of our land. The owner blocked embedding, but follow the click to watch on YouTube because its worth it.

On the Fourth

With the fourth following on a Monday, this year’s holiday has given many a three-day weekend – and I imagine more than a few people took Friday off to make it a four-day weekend. This weekend will provide time for fireworks, parades, grilling, water activities, and countless time-honored traditions.

Whether it is one of the many patriotic songs as God Bless America, the Star Spangled Banner, or America the Beautiful … and no matter if the artist is Lee Greenwood, Celine Dion, Toby Keith, or Kate Smith – there are many songs that touch us not only on this day, but each day.

I was in college in 1973  when two Canadians step forward to defend America. Gordon Sinclair of CFRB in Toronto wrote a newspaper editorial. Later CKLW’s Byron MacGregor read the editorial and eventually recorded it with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – and that recording sold 3.5 million records with proceeds going to the American Red Cross.

Although the setting of those words were in a different context as today, they still carry a strong meaning. Have a safe and wonderful Fourth of July – and don’t forget the intent of the day.

On Celebrating the Fourth 2010

Although we know these days as a holiday and a day away from work, but I, like many others, probably don’t take enough time to think deeply about the significance of holidays as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans’ Day. I guess that’s one of the reasons why appreciate the various reports the cable news channels provide on this days because they stimulate my reflection.

We Cincinnatians see today as the first July 4th without Maestro Erich Kunzel, who passed away last fall. Not only was Maestro Kunzel the founder and conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, he was known by many across the nation who conducted annual holiday concert celebrations from Washington that PBS broadcast – such as tonight’s Capitol Fourth program.

So with this YouTube, I not only salute Maestro Kunzel for his role in our life, but this tribute is perfect for all those who have served our country – past, present, and future.

Have a safe holiday weekend everyone.

On July 4th 2009

Whether the initial fight for independence or various wars in our history, July 4th is a day Americans honor our country and our past. The various branches of our armed forces have a storied and integral role with that past.

No matter if I hear this tune in person or see it played on the television show, history and the role of people in that history touches me each time. Whether Memorial Day or Fourth of July celebrations on the Capitol Mall, this is a fitting tribute.

And thank you Eric Kunzel, director of the Cincinnati Pops, for leading the Capitol Mall concerts many times.

Happy Fourth of July everyone …. and have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.