Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 421

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Welcome to the last OITS of 2019 … so I’ve included a few extras!

Thanks to everyone for participating in Weekend Concert Series saluting Broadway. It was maddening because it was the first time I’ve done something like that. Plus, it turned out not to be the best weekend for me in terms of timing. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to have a good time and I enjoyed listening to all the songs. The next concert will be after the first of the year, and the finale to the series.

Next concert: Tentatively Saturday 4 January – Duets – (Two performers not normally paired together)

With the December holidays upon us, I will abbreviate my posting schedule. Below is a probable schedule that is subject to change (Times are based on Eastern US).

  • (Sunday afternoon) 22 December) A beach walk
  • (Tuesday 24 Dec – or late 23rd) Christmas post
  • (Friday 27 Dec) A caption challenge for an image
  • (Sun 29 Dec) – A food review
  • (Tuesday 31 Dec) New Years post
  • (Thursday night 2 January) – Opinions in the Shorts
  • (Saturday 4 January) – Weekend Concert – Duets

We recently spent an afternoon at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We the Omnimax movies. Fortunately, for us, we saw two! After visiting the vert-well-done Apollo 11 exhibit, we went into the theater for the Apollo 11 movie. Interesting, no narration – just a story told through a string of actual film footage from the time. After the movie, we stayed in our seats for Superpower Dogs, an uplifting film about rescue dogs who work to save lives – and a must for dog lovers!

Readers may remember Fiona, the baby hippo that the Cincinnati Zoo cared from birth. Fiona, 29 pounds (13 kg) at birth, will have her 3rd birthday on January 2020. This 30-second video will make you smile.

Joe Barrow, the LSU quarterback not only won the Heisman Award (college football’s best player), he won the hearts of many. In his acceptance speech, he talked about the poverty of many people of Athens County Ohio. The nation has responded with well over $500K! But there is something lost in the story. Athens County is not an island. It’s one county in a region of 15 or so counties that are very poor – worse than Athens County – let alone additional counties in adjacent West Virginia and Kentucky. How do I know? I grew up one county south of Athens.

For those who need this and dare to reach into a grab-bag, here are some holiday classics: Dominick the Donkey, a classic Santa Norelco commercial, a clean naughty Santa, the infamous Carol of the Belts, and a crazy fast holiday song with handbells (the ending is frantic). Did you watch any? If so, let me know.

I admit, The Masked Singer is a fun show. Congratulations to The Fox – Wayne Brady.

Sadly, my Benevolent Impalers experienced the agony of defeat in the tournament semifinals. It was close, but my worthy opponent had an unexpected monster game from a player and big points from the New England defense against my hometown Bengals. Ouch!

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I’m not a Trump supporter – never have, never will be. Then again, after he won the election, I was willing to give him a chance. To me, he has miserably failed – yet, I see impeachment as a sad day. Congress has not upheld its Constitutional obligation of oversight and the behaviors have been pathetic at best. I’m officially embarrassed to be an American.

If I was single, I would consider moving to another country. Yes, I am that embarrassed and concerned.

I truly believe the polls, pundits, politicians, and citizens that America is a divided nation – and possibly the most divided in my lifetime and beyond. Two strongly divided camps with shrinking common ground – each with vitrole for the other – each with disdain for moderates – each with drums beating fervently in the echo chamber – one explains, the other not listening. A divided nation with a president wearing a hat stating, “Keep America Great” – a statement reinforcing the division. A friend asked me, “How do we solve this problem?” My answer is simple. “Unless the collective of elected officials lead the change, we can’t. Otherwise, we will need a national emergency. I hope I don’t live long enough to see the next US Civil War.”

In a discussion about the current impeachment, a friend of mine (a self-proclaimed unbiased source) told me that he wasn’t sure if President Trump warranted an investigation, let alone impeachment – but President Obama should have been impeached.

For those who forgot and didn’t know, the impeachment is Obama’s fault.

Here’s a recent report on polarization from Pew Research Center.

Darn … I’m missing another Democratic debate!

As we end the year, here’s how I see the 2020 election at this time:

  • Chances of President Trump nomination: 99.9%
  • Chances of President Trump’s re-election: 65%
  • Chances of me voting for President Trump: 0%
  • Chances of me voting for the Democratic nominee: 20%

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion separates facts and fiction about recycling.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Woman not as fun-loving and carefree as pom-pom on winter hat suggests
Hungover coworker a little too functional morning after holiday party not to be alcoholic
Boyfriend ready to take relationship to previous level
Man checking if chicken wings got hot enough in microwave like first responder searching for pulse
Mom holds knife to throat of dinner guest who offered to help with dishes
Hiker trapped for days under fallen boulder survives by cutting off own ponytail
Ant flees across state line carrying big crumb

Interesting Reads

The Ottomans: Their rise and fall
A bit of barcode history
Mysteries of pain
The most important battles of WW2
Bridging differences by seeing good
(Graphic) World debt by country
(Graphics) A series of climate change charts
(Photos) Murals of women in Iraq
(Photos) Winners of a National Geographic Photo contest

To send you into the weekend, here are The Piano Guys with a song of the season. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 406

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Summertime is definitely here. After a long streak of rain, we could use a good dose of water from the sky. I don’t care for this hot, muggy weather.

This Weekend Concert Series returns with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Because of the way these artists have mixed and matched, songs must be credited two at least 2 of the 4 musicians. Solo songs are not acceptable. Stage time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US).

Norah O’Donnell debuts Monday as the anchor of the CBS Evening News. I wish her well and look forward to watching. On the other hand, I recall feeling bored watching Katie Couric’s heralded debut.

I enjoyed the IMAX film about Cuba, so I encourage others to see it if/when it comes to a local theater near you. Future locations and dates are not listed. Here’s a link to the film’s website, which includes a list of current theaters. The trailer is below.

Congratulations to the US Women’s Soccer Team for winning the World Cup.

I’m a baseball fan, but All-Star Game bores me – so if I watch it, I only see snippets.

Earlier this week I substituted in my old golf league. It was good to see people I haven’t seen in 4-5 years. As we were sitting around after golfing, a few were complaining about Nike and Colin Kaepernick. I couldn’t resist the chance to use my explanation: “I hate to tell you but Nike isn’t marketing to anyone at this table. Their target market isn’t old white guys who generally vote Republican and wear New Balance shoes they bought from Target, WalMart, or Kohls.” Some nodded, others laughed, and the majority were speechless.

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I’ve mentioned the Biden Dilemma (my term) several times since I initiated the thought. Here’s the original thought.

  1. His age
  2. Voters may be looking for a fresh face (as they did with Jimmy Carter (1976), Bill Clinton (1992), George W Bush (2000), Barack Obama (2008), and Donald Trump (2016)
    Not Left enough
  3. If nominated, the party will force him left, that is forcing him to be who he isn’t (Similar to what happened to Hilliary Clinton (2016), John McCain (2004), and Mitt Romney (2008)
  4. His tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time
  5. Kate Smith Syndrome – Anything in the past can be placed into today’s standards and context
  6. Ties to the Republican Boogie Man: Obama

Although there is a long way to go, if Joe Biden does not get the Democratic nomination, I would not be surprised to see a strong independent candidate enter the presidential race.

On July 4th, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) declared his independence from the Republican Party. This action may cause him to lose his committee seat(s) and will unquestionably threaten his re-election. Consider this as a prime example of member of Congress doing the right thing to the expense of losing their position.

While the Republicans can’t do anything more about health care than criticize Single Payer and Obamacare, the Democrats also continue to miss the mark by not addressing the issue – including improving Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion lists pros and cons for sharable electric scooters.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Area man always thought he’d squander his life differently
Fork section of cutlery drawer overrun by invasive soup spoons
Craftsman confirms new hammer backwards-compatible with previous generation of nails
Weary, cynical woman knows better than to bring a tomato plant into a world like this
Area 8-year-old formally rescinds hunger complaint following mother’s insulting banana offer
OSHA special ops team raids local office after receiving intel of expired fire extinguisher
God orders all followers to swallow cyanide capsule in preparation for voyage to Alpha Centauri

(My Combo) Cynical 8-year-old orders weary man to swallow nails

Interesting Reads

The mission of Apollo 11
Plants and climate change
About Einstein
For those who like quirky
Chernobyl: fact and fiction
Demographics and the US political parties
(Photos) New UNESCO World Heritage Sites
(Graphic) Housing by countries over time
(Infographic) History of life

To send you into the weekend from hot and muggy Cincinnati, here’s one of my favorite heat songs. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 290

Happy Valentine’s Day Weekend!

My initial handbell ring went fine. In April, the choir will be part of a 650-member mass choir at a regional event. That would be something interesting for the audience.

Fortunately, I caught the film Journey to Space at the local Omnimax theater before it left. Simply wonderfully done and a must for all space lovers. Narrated by Patrick Stewart, the film links the Space Shuttle program to the Orion project, the NASA project designed to carry humans to Mars. Here’s a link to the schedule of theaters in both the USA and International locations, plus the trailer is below.

Our church wine group (last weekend) had a gathering, which included my presentation about the similarities and differences of Syrah, Sirah, and Shiraz. Should I turn it into a post?

Two weeks in a row of limited visits to your blogs bothers me. Thanks for your patience.

Act 2 of Colors: The Musical featuring Red provided quite the variety of songs. Although behind with my comments on that post, 😦 I’ll announce the next act’s theme and date in the next OITS, but the news will first appear on the Hear Ye page (hopefully over the weekend).

There will be an Explore this weekend about a person, place, or thing. I can say that it goes well with last week’s trip to Norway.

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Isn’t this a great image to lead into the political section?

Good news – Iowa and New Hampshire votes are done. Bad news – they are only 4% of the delegate count. South Carolina is next up – and oh my – it’s a state with a nasty reputation.

For those who may be wondering, nope – I don’t feel the Bern – but that’s a good, short slogan.

All candidates are scripted. On the other hand, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is scripted among the scripted. Although Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) has left the race, I applaud the way he called out Sen. Rubio about his scripted nature – of which, Sen. Rubio politely did all he could to support the governor’s point.

Although (my) Governor John Kasich (R-OH) finished second in the New Hampshire primary, does he have the infrastructure and support to make it to the Ohio Primary (March 15th)? Time will tell. Although I applaud his big-boy-in-the-room approach, my support for his candidacy remains tepid.

A friend of mine boasts about a conservative columnist who predicted Donald Trump (R-NY) won’t win any primary. Nothing like the first primary to prove that pundit wrong. The longer the Republican field stays large, the better the chance The Bloviator has at winning the nomination. Meanwhile, I stay the course pointing to the pivotal primary dates of March 1st (Republicans) and March 15th (Democrats).

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains the growth of ISIS. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Olay introduces new line of pre-moisturized skin
High school nurse getting pretty good at spotting morning sickness
Middle-aged man in locker room puts shirt on before underwear
Binge eater doesn’t remember going to second KFC
Evolution textbook hidden under mattress
Obama resigns from presidency after Michelle lands dream job in Seattle

Interesting Reads
President for 31 days
Chocolate
Eyes and natural selection
A revolution of mathematical proportions
Ways to keep yourself going (Thanks, Tim)
Mosquitoes resisting malaria
The gift of Lent
(Photos) The Silent Forest

Here’s a 2-fer to sent you into the weekend – a leftover from Act 2 and one that made me think of Elyse. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.