Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 281

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For those celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you had a bountiful day.

Volunteering in an English Second Language (ESL) class continues to bring rewards. A student (a gentleman from Libya) wrote an article about learning English, and it was published by a national publication – Easy English Times. It’s a wonderful read, but unfortunately I couldn’t find an online version. Before reading it to the combined classes of different levels, I helped him prepare. When the time came, he stood in front of his peers and nervously read it. His last line touched me – “We need the person who sows hope in our hearts, who smiles, in our faces, who motivates us to go forward, and we need them to hug us when we win.” At the end, I knew he was proud … so when he came back to me, I hugged him.

For at least a year, I published lists of monthly, weekly, and daily celebrations. Did you know Gnocchi Day is the 29th of every month? Here are the links to the two sites I used the most to compile my list of celebrations: Brownielocks and Gone-Ta-Pott.

Sky: The Musical’s Act 3 features clouds, so song titles must include Cloud, Clouds, or Cloudy. Curtain time is Tuesday, December 1st at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). Acts 4 and 5 information is on the Hear Ye page, along with another important announcement.

No Explore post this weekend.

Samantha Swallows sent me an email this week, but she didn’t say want she wanted – only a link. Oddly, I can’t recall ever meeting her, … I’m not sure why I received the email ..  so I didn’t follow the link.

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The number of Democrats who worry about the possibility of Republicans nominating Ben Carson surprises me. Although I would tell them that wasn’t worth worrying, some people just like to find angst. Meanwhile, Carson’s poll numbers are now declining nationally and in Iowa.

The gaggle in the field seeking the Republican nomination continue to provide its share of nonsense and fodder to consider. I appreciate this words by George Will (columnist, Washington Post) – Every day that errant nonsense sloshes through the Republican nominating debate is a day when the party’s claim to represent what the country craves – adult supervision – becomes less credible.

As Donald Trump (R-NY) continues to bloviate about the thousands who are pouring into the US across the southern border, here’s a Pew Research report about the net result (immigration minus emigration).

John Cranley, a Democrat, is Cincinnati’s mayor. Let’s just say that I’m providing an interesting timeline.

  • March 28, 2014 – While announcing a new initiative is in the planning stage – “If you’re fleeing political persecution anywhere in the world, we want you here,”
  • July 2014
    • When announcing the formation of his Task Force on Immigration, he explains his desire to make Cincinnati “the most immigrant-friendly city in the United States.”
    • FYI: Mayor Cranley’s Task Force on Immigration website states it is “working to make Cincinnati a great place for immigrants to call home, start a business and thrive.”
  • Oct 28, 2015 – Mayor Cranley states, “Obviously, there’s political rhetoric around the country that suggests it’s not a good thing and we are emphatically saying we love immigration, we want more immigration, we believe that it’s key to our economic future and you’re a better, more just society.”
  • November 16, 2015 – “However, in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Egypt, the federal government should halt its actions until the American people can be assured that exhaustive vetting has occurred,”
  • November 17, 2015 – I feel horrible that I unintentionally caused harm.”

To lead you into The Onion, see their suggestions for avoiding distractions while working online.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients
Girlfriend Promises To Not Cry So Much
Making Pancakes Best Idea Man Has For Saving Relationship
Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline
Healthy mashed potatoes made with cauliflower

Interesting Reads
How American view their government (from Pew Research)
Scientific faith is different than religious faith
About stupidity 
Drunk animals
The last perfumer in Belgrade
The glowing sea turtle
Lighting bicycles

To send you into the weekend, here’s a fun song with a video that makes me chuckle. 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. 134

On Politics
Long, long ago I proclaimed these two points about the Republican presidential candidates: 1) Keep them talking and 2) Mitt Romney would be the eventual nominee. How did I do?

Remaining question on candidate Santorum: Will he leave the race after the losing the Pennsylvania primary or will he exit before the Pennsylvania primary to save embarrassment?

As the Supreme Court ponders the healthcare mandate that conservatives proclaim as an example of government intrusion, the conservative high court continues to apply the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to government-run law enforcement.

As conservatives proclaim liberties granted by the Constitution, a federal judge assigns the Justice Department a homework assignment because of President Obama’s comment? Surely, this can’t be political?

On Headlines from The Onion

Backup Healthcare Plan Involves Nation Sharing One Big Jar of Ointment
Dolphins Not So Intelligent on Land
Cheap Garage Disposal Can’t Handle Femur
Boarding School Student Received Wet William
Neil deGrasse Tyson Lets Slip that He has been to Mars
Friend whose Mom Just Died Allowed to Pick Pizza Toppings

Interesting Reads
David Ignatius on the Healthcare Revolution
A Google vs. Facebook Graphic
All Aboard for Mongolia
Evolution and Creationism: An Infographic
Your State’s Corruption Report Card (Thanks Beagz)
Science and Monkeys
Rise of the Medical Expertocracy

On Potpourri
Baseball season has started … and I did not watch one pitch until watching the Opening Day game in Cincinnati. Piss on MLB Commissioner Bud Selig! Meanwhile, the Reds won today’s opener 4-0.

For us golfers, it’s Masters’ Weekend! Although it’s not my favorite tournament, it’s a great one to watch.

I officially declare the recent NCAA basketball tournament null and void.

For those who enjoy sacred art, here is a short gallery of some in Cincinnati.

Funniest names of towns? Woo hoo … Rabbit Hash is close to me.

I accidentally deleted a spam comment I wanted to share about staring at genital warts.

Last month I reported that February 2012 set a new monthly high for visits to this blog, breaking the benchmark set in December 2011. Well, that didn’t last long because March 2012 beat February 38.9%. Thanks to everyone who visited – and a special thanks to my regulars!

Given the Easter holiday weekend, I will not post. Besides, and statistically speaking, numbers typically drop this weekend. (Graph is by the American Cancer Society)

This weekend our handbell choir plays. Interestingly, this is also a service when we typically do not play well, which I proclaim is due to being in a different area with different acoustics and having a different physical arrangement. Oh well, I hope we break the trend. The piece (To God All Praise and Glory) is tricky with interesting techniques, so listen here.

Have a good weekend everyone; plus Joyous Easter and Chag Sameach to all who celebrate those traditions. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 128

On Politics
I cannot recall a political graph looking like this one.

As we hear numerous leading Republicans mention the attack on religious freedoms, is it a Constitutional contradiction for Republicans in numerous state legislatures to introduce anti-Shariah Law legislation?

A conservative taking Rick Santorum to task.

Interestingly, as Rick Santorum links social issues to economic issues, his handling of past and current comments seems tentative (at best).

Here is last line from this column by conservative columnist George Will: “Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November.”

Dolt of the Year nomination to Rep Bob Morris (R-IN) for attacking Girl Scouts in this letter to congressional colleagues.

On Headlines from The Onion
Smug New Mom Going to Start a Blog
Woman in Ninth Year of Letting Boyfriend Down Easy
Duck only Interested in Area Man’s Bread
Senate Session Interrupted by Wailing of Ted Kennedy’s Ghost
Scientist Create Lab-Grown Meat

Interesting Reads
From Common Ground, a sensible discussion between a conservative and a liberal

Republican economist Bruce Bartlett about President Obama’s manufacturing policy

What conservative Barry Goldwater said (around 50 years ago) about the religious right (thanks Mo)

Columnist David Ignatius on the Muslim Brotherhood

Andrew Sullivan about President Obama’s Chess Game

Video games in a Urinal (thanks Mags)

On Potpourri
The 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historical space flight was earlier this week. He is an Ohioan, as is Neil Armstrong. Here’s an short, but well done editorial about John Glenn from USA Today.

According to Smart Money, the US tax code was about 30 pages in 1913 – but 5,296 pages in 2011.

Besides being an unnamed Dolt of the Year nominee, do we have a name yet of the decision maker for Qur’an burning on the USAF base in Afghanistan?

Kentucky High School Athletic Association sanctioned bass fishing as an official high school sport starting next school year (2012-2013).

During this past week, it was interesting to see pictures and reports of different Carnival celebrations throughout the world.

Woo hoo! It’s official – February 2012 is the most viewed month to date here. Thanks to all who visit this my humble little corner.

FYI: I am posting tomorrow (Saturday).

Many refer to Garrison Keillor as America’s Great Storyteller. Writer’s Almanac, his daily ten-minute show is a gem. To hear an episode, click here or see the link in my sidebar under Potpourri.

To send us into the weekend, watch this rare occurrence of an event at Yosemite National Park, which happened again recently. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 100

On Politics
This commentary by Bob Schieffer (CBS News) expresses my feelings about Washington – especially the first part. Simply outstanding!

On the Potpourri
Week 2 of physical therapy on my left shoulder is in the books. So far, so good – but I still have a ways to go. Still wondering if I will be able to golf in the fall.

Now that Anthony Weiner is unemployed, he would be perfect to accompany the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile on a promotion tour.

Our dinner group meets this weekend featuring Thai cuisine. (We’re responsible for dessert.) One thing for sure, when this group, we eat well.

This weekend is also my favorite golf tournament – the US Open. In this tournament I root for the course, thus want the winner to be over par. Being that 22 players ended round 1 below par, I’m not a happy camper.

Congratulations to the Boston Bruins and their fans for winning the Stanley Cup. What is up with the Vancouver rioters? Well, I believe they were ready to destroy and harm no matter the result.

We Cincinnati Bengal fans can proudly proclaim, “We’re #1!” Nothing like being the best worst franchise in all professional sports: 122nd out of 122. Woo hoo!

Hey hey … I won a contest this week! Fellow blogger, Beneath the Tin Foil Hat, takes suggestions every Tuesday on a future column. After being runner-up two weeks ago and no mention last week, BTTFN selected my suggestion of Campaign Songs for Each GOP President Candidate … and then delivered this post.

The first issue of Opinion in the Shorts was in the shadow of the last presidential election (November 25, 2008) – and today is #100. The first volume ended with a Jimmy Kimmel video of the secret handshake between President Bush and President Obama. What a hoot – but it’s no longer available. Yet the milestone is a bit hollow as last week I announced that blogger friend Al pulled the plug on his blog. I say that because OITS was his favorite. Nonetheless, life goes on and I wish him nothing but the best.

Have a good Father’s Day weekend.