Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 388

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After a very busy week, my plan is to return to my normal posting and visiting routine. Thanks for your understanding.

It’s time for a new header – so I introduce a Hubble image of Herbig-Haro object (HH 24) capturing the birth of a new star. To see my collection of past headers, click the Past Headers tab above the image.

The next weekend concert features the Moody Blues. (Long-time readers aren’t surprised.) Concerts starts on Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Last week’s concert was unbelievably successful with 25+ songs and just-over 300 comments. The interaction between bloggers makes me smile. Thanks to all!!!

There is a rumor of the possibility of Pronouns 3: The Musical. One has to wonder if it will gain momentum and replace next schedule musical.

Not only was David Funk one of my early blogging buddies, he served as a mentor and role model as a host. Although he’s listed as one of my Pioneers in the sidebar, he finally made to WordPress. Now is the time for me to return him a favor by inviting others to visit (and possibly subscribe) to his new travel blog – One Funked Up World. If you visit and comment, tell him I sent you. Welcome, David!

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This picture reminds me of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). His role in the government shutdown is pathetic. This recent opener from Late Show with Stephen Colbert made me laugh.

Regarding the current government shutdown: “Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the President’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead. And he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength. And that’s why you have this horrible situation going on in Washington. It’s a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.” (Donald Trump, 20 September 2013)

For me, the best ending of the Trump saga would not be impeachment. Resigning wouldn’t qualify. Certainly I don’t wish death to the man. Nope, it isn’t even him losing his re-election bid. So what would be the perfect ending? It’s simple. Losing every state in November 2020 – therefore making 2020 the biggest margin of victory ever in the country’s history. That would be HUGE! Then again, that would be difficult to achieve in some states.

I appreciated this concluding statement from a recent article I read: “Because you’re not getting it right if you can’t admit when you’ve gotten it wrong. And you can’t boast of morality if you’ve no sense of shame.” (Matt Bai, journalist)

Democrats are starting to declaring their candidacy for the party’s 2020 nomination. While it’s going to be interesting, the early crop hasn’t caused me to blink – let alone get excited. However, I am confident the ticket will have at least one female.

Due to the government shutdown, my current projection for a Trump re-election drops to 55%

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Biologist still no closer to discovering how birds have sex
Woman amazed she found perfect partner just when she was getting desperate enough to accept anything
Rival gang members come together to help build community playground to fight over
Kinky girlfriend wants to try sexual pleasure tonight
Manager of combination KFC/Taco Bell secretly considers it mostly a Taco Bell
DNA test confirms Subway chicken only 50% poultry

(My Combo: DNA tests confirm kinky woman found sexual pleasure discovering desperate Taco Bell manager as perfect sex partner at Subway)

Interesting Reads

Europe’s most competition country
Capsulating the Venezuelan crisis
10 iconic Italian foods by region
A read for hockey fans
Crazy Horse’s last battle
A view of art theft
(Graphic) Media-bias chart
(Photos) The bests deep-sea dives
(Video) Earth 101 in 3 minutes

To send you into the weekend, here’s a Herman’s Hermits three-peat – but actually as a doubleheader. Take your pic – but we want to know the one you chose.In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 387

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After an outstanding kickoff to the new musical event, the aFa Weekend Concert Series continues this weekend. This time, individual Beatles in their careers outside of the Fab Four. Think of them as ex-Beatles. The Producer recommends staying away from songs they continued to sing (such as Yesterday, which Paul McCartney still performs). Concert starts Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

At the concert opener, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all the songs. Truly a concert – so I encourage others to do the same – and coming back on Sunday is even better because there are more songs.

The Oreos post provide two wonder discoveries: 1) For those who separate then eat the icing first, and 2) deep-fried Oreos.

Because I have a lot on my plate next week, I won’t post after the concert – but will return for next week’s OITS.

Even though professional football players put themselves in negative light when their actions involve the police, I’ve always believed that these talented knuckleheads are the minority. Here’s a wonderful story about an NFL quarterback.

The Omnimax theater at the Cincinnati Museum Center recently reopened after the museum’s extensive renovation. We’ve enjoyed many wonderful films there through the years, and we anxious to see the effect of digital projection onto a large, domed, wrap-around screen. Volcanos: Fires of Creation treated us. Thumbs up! For a theater near you, click here – and here’s the trailer.

Although elected officials, this story caught my eye while serving as a bridge into the politics section. This past November, Harris County Texas voters elected 19 African-American women to judge positions. Here’s the video story from CBS.

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No. I didn’t watch President Trump’s primetime address. After all, the man has a well-documented history of lying, exaggerating, misinforming, misusing facts, and blaming while accepting no responsibility – all for the purpose of intentionally misleading the public for his benefits. Reports indicate that the address was more of the same.

Sadly, what if a true national emergency existed – would be suddenly become believable? For me, no!

No – I won’t be watching the State of the Union later this month.

Instead of a “no wall” message, Democrats are missing a ripe opportunity to promote other aspects of improving border security. Simply saying “there is a better way” (Speaker Pelosi) is not enough. Get into the specifics of what to do and sell it to the people.

Shame, shame, shame on Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The newly elected representative made an ass of herself with her inflaming words about impeaching President Trump. Although many of us know the man is pathetic, her words do nothing more but inflame the situation and incite his supporters. During a time when the majority of Americans want and need civility and problem solvers, she says that – and then doubles down? Well done, Rep Tlaib. It didn’t take long to make it to my partisan-hack list.

Another shame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who didn’t publicly condemn Rep. Tlaib. Congratulations ladies for acting in a manner that supports re-electing President Trump.

Newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wants to raise the marginal income tax rate on top earners to 70%. Although tax rate would not affect me, I shake my head at the new representative. A suggestion to her and the other newly elected – carry the big stick of quiet as you learn the system.

To me, I see parallels between the actions of some of the newly elected House Democrats and the Tea Party wave. With that in mind, Speaker Pelosi has a difficult managing task – just like John Boehner had.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Key in but won’t turn
Man finally able to forgive self after terrible mistake he made 2 seconds ago
Report: Students who take Latin have better chance of summoning demon later in life
High school history textbook concludes with little blurb about last 40 years
Man stuck in dead-end body
Everyone at Consumer Electronics Show forced to share single surge protector
System for telling clean clothes in suitcase apart from dirty clothes falls apart on second day of trip

My Combo: Consumer Electronics Show concludes key in surge protector made clothes clean in 2 seconds

Interesting Reads

Artificial Intelligence and the future
Moderate policy in the age of political extremes
82nd Airborne at Normandy
New World, Old World, and chocolate
The concrete blocks that once protected Britain
The Sopranos Effect
(Infographic) History of life
(Images) National Geographic Photo Contest – People’s Choice Winners

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one by Herman’s Hermits. After all, their appearance last week created interesting reactions.. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 386

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Welcome to 2019! I hope you had a wonderful holiday.

This weekend is the inaugural aFa Weekend Concert Series. Determining the opening concert was easy – The Beatles – but selecting the opening song is difficult. Concert starts Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). PS: For those wondering – YES – The Producer will be involved.

This Sunday evening (Eastern US) I will continue posting about my Eastern Europe trip. This series will feature on various tidbits. The first one is ready, so I better work ahead.

The annual televised production of The Kennedy Center Honors (26th Dec on CBS) did not disappoint! What a great night of entertainment!!! I love seeing big name performers getting into the music of others. The 2018 honorees were Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter, Philip Glass, Cher, and a special recognition to the creators of Hamilton. YouTube has numerous segments, but click here for the full episode.

I enjoy various aspects of The Year in Review that are available in late December. CBS Sunday Morning did a great one about those that died in 2018. Read it here, but for me, the 23-minute video version (linked) is worth the time. The Interesting Reads below links The Onion’s 2018 review.

We did our share of travels to visit in opposite corners of the state from us. Those 5 days are the reason I wasn’t out and about very much in blogland.

A friend gave me a sample of an interesting herbal tea – Ginger-Licorice. I greatly enjoyed it, so if you want to try, here’s the link.

I think 2019 my the first time ever (for me) that I didn’t see one play of college football to begin the year. All the games were on ESPN, which I no longer have – and I had zero interest in the game on ABC. I’ve always enjoyed watching the Rose Bowl no matter who was playing, but not this year. So, I watched the annual NHL Winter Classic.

Have you noticed how varying uses and misuses of New Years, New Years’, and New Year’s?

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Although I feel for government workers because they are being used as political pawns, I’m unsure how long I would long I would like to see the shutdown go. Several months? For me, and because President Trump initiated and promoted this fight, he would have to give up something that he doesn’t want to do.

While Trumpians use “open border” to justify their wall, the same people cannot apply “open border” to the current situation in the US.

Some wonder why President Trump didn’t push for the wall harder when Republicans had full control. The answer is simple: 1) Democratic control of the House gives him a foil, and 2) its still Obama’s fault.

The Washington Post reports that President Trump averages 15 false claims per day. I say it’s higher because he also talks without cameras or reporters present.

A tip of the cap to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) for standing up for America and criticizing President Trump. Here’s his Washington Post editorial that contains many great lines. Maybe this will inspire other Republicans to take a stand against President Trump. Then again, I don’t have much confidence in that happening nor in Republican voters.

PS: Senator Romney, keep in mind that talk is cheap.

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines for the new year, The Onion provides a timely list of pros/cons of making New Year’s resolutions.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Report: There is nothing else in bottom of gift bag
Podiatrists recommend getting feet rotated every six months
Man methodically explains origin behind every poster hanging in apartment
Zoologists discover new fastest land animal after pumping white-tailed deer full of steroids
Department of Interior to control mole population by releasing mallets into national parks

(My Combo) Mole full of steroids methodically mallets man with rotated feet into bottom of gift bag

Interesting Reads

Belongings of those who fled
Inside Van Gogh’s mind
A view outside the partisan parties
A lesson about the importance of commas
America’s new religions
Time travel and the US National Parks
The Onion’s Annual Report (Year in Review)
(Photos) 10 powerful pics from 2018
(Photos) Interesting photos submitted to the BBC

To send you into the weekend, enjoy this musical trip back to 1965. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 223

On Politics
Interesting how a group of people proclaim they want to return to the original intent of the Constitution, but also want to amend it.

Many political pundits got what they wanted with the resignation of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Shinseki). Meanwhile, the systemic problems within the organization are deep and entrenched.

For as long as schools have been serving lunches, the educational system has had the chance to teach about nutrition … and they miserably failed. Given that “Kids Eating Healthy” has been First Lady Michelle Obama’s focus during her time in the White House, the cause has been politicized because that happens in Washington. Columnist Kathleen Parker recently wrote this interesting piece.  (Thanks, Tim)

President Obama issued an executive order regarding reducing carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants. It terms of the cost analysis of the order, was it even given? From my archives, here’s a post about environmental costs.

Tp politicians on both sides of the aisle: You can disagree with the solution, but that doesn’t mean you must deny the problem.

Although the exchange regarding American Bowe Bergdahl is odd in numerous ways, I await more information … but I can say that if President Obama is required to notify Congress, he should have.

Something to contemplate: If the Republicans asked President Obama to fart, and then he did, would they complain?

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Scientific community baffled by man whose waist 32 with some pants, 33 with others
Survey: Most common deathbed regret is never spraying fire extinguisher
Hockey team counting on goalie to step up on offense
Bounty launches beginner series for people new to paper towels
Man updates little monologue recited when extended relatives ask how he’s doing

Interesting Reads
US States and immigration since 1990
Columnist Ruth Marcus about Tiananmen Square
The German manufacturing: A model for the United States?
Leonardo da Vinci’s application letter

With events in Turkey in the news, here are two interesting historical articles
A look at Turkey through history
A year after the protests in Turkey

On Potpourri
June 6th is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. There aren’t many WW II vets left, and many less will be around for the 75th anniversary. So, I wonder … once they are gone, how will the people of the world remember not only D-Day, but WW II?  Will the lessons stay with society? I like this column from David Ignatius.

Health Update: Since Tuesday’s eye episode, I’ve had a blood test and an ultrasound on my major neck arteries, so now I await the results. Thanks to all for your concerns!

I’m due for a new header.

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce the theme on Monday.

Sorry, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post again. 😦 … but I’m not giving up! 🙂

Normally, our handbell choir has already started summer break by now, but not this year. This weekend we our playing during the service at our denomination’s southern Ohio assembly (convention). Given this weekend is Pentecost, our director selected an interesting piece associated with wind. Here’s a good recording of Windscape (start 30 seconds in), and given its over 7-minute length, it can serve as background when reading other blogs.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Horseradish Days, Lemonade Days, Positive Power of Humor and Creativity Days
  • (Fri) Donut/Doughnut Day, D-Day Anniversary, Drive-In Movie Day, Russian Language Day, Yo-Yo Day, Be-Bop-a-Lula Day
  • (Sat) Daniel Boone Day, Do-Dah Parade Day, Drawing Day, Pencil Day, National Trails Day, Turtle Races Dy, VCR Day, June Bug Day, Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • (Sun) Upsy Daisy Day, Oceans Day, Race Unity Day, Caribbean-Americans HIV Awareness Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a chance to sing along … well, for those old enough (like me) to remember this 1965 hit about Mrs. Brown’s daughter … Enjoy Herman’s Hermits. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.