Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 357

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Thanks again for the Happy Anniversary wishes. It was a normal Monday for us (dance lesson and handbell rehearsal).

Readers provided many nice comments on the recent Beach Walk about horizons. I touched – thank you. The fact that the post inspired Merril to write a poem is quite the honor, so I invite others to read it by clicking here.

I greatly enjoyed NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Concert performed live last Sunday. Broadway voices are extremely powerful. (Actor portraying Judas was awesome!) Did you watch it? For those that didn’t but want to, NBC had it available on their site (for free). Click here.

Congratulations to the Villanova Wildcats and their fans for winning college basketball’s National Title. Not only did they soundly defeat opponents in the tournament, the regular season demonstrated they were clearly one of the elite teams.

For many golfers (included me), Masters weekend is fun television.

Cincinnati has a local station owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG). When I first heard their statement about their responsibility toward reporting unbiased news, I thought it was the station’s response toward the “fake news” shouts from the White House. I later learned it was an edict from SBG’s upper management to all their local stations forcing lead anchors to read the editorial script. Meanwhile, SBG has prefered to slant toward President Trump. Time will tell if I move away from my preferred choice for local news.

Because I didn’t watch Roseanne back in the 1990s, why start now?

Earlier in the week I saw this headline: The burger that McDonald’s can’t answer. My response – That’s assuming one considers McDonald’s as master burgers.

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I was a teen during the Dr. Martin Luther King years. No way I understood then about his impact. With the 50th anniversary of his death earlier in the week, Brookings Institute posted this wonderful collection of reflections by some of their experts.

John Pepper, a retired Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble and a retired Chairman of Disney, wrote this very interesting editorial about guns that is worth reading.

I’m still amazed at how many Republicans, and not just President Trump, are still running against Hillary Clinton.

More amazement: President Trump’s approval rating has been rising over the past three months.

I’m not sure what the Mueller investigation will find, but I’ve got the feeling neither party is going to be happy.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for a successful parent-teacher conference.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
New ‘Cut Off Your Genitals’ Challenge Gains Popularity Among Teens Online
Doomed rabbit about to teach 8-year-old about responsibility
Doctor asks new mother if she would like to keep newborn’s exoskeleton
Family Has Way Too Many Daughters For Them Not To Have Been Trying For Son
God starting to worry Heaven may be haunted

Interesting Reads
Sugars healing powers
Avocados and global trade
Revisiting Martin Luther King’s final sermon
The bodies of dead big-box stores
(Infographic) 50 inventions of modern life expectancy
(Photos) For those of us needing a dose of spring

To send you into the weekend (and as move toward their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction), here’s another Moody Blues classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On Selma: A Perspective

Selma: The movie

Setting: Selma, Alabama, early 1965 during the Civil Rights era

Me: At the time, a 12-year old living in rural Ohio, and oblivious to the actual meaning of the movement, but aware of events at a 12-year-old level

The movie trailer

From the opening scene, Selma is a historical, powerful, suspenseful drama that took me through many emotions – shock, sad, joy, shame, pride, surprise, awe, and probably others. Although I knew elements of the story and how it ends, the film was absorbing and suspenseful. Although it appeared to creep through time, the film moved at a reasonable pace and kept me engaged.

The film centers on important names that I already know: Martin Luther King, Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, Malcolm X, Lyndon Johnson, and George Wallace … and some important ones that I didn’t know. I don’t know what percentage of the film is factual, but I’m confident that enough of it is for historical relevancy.

I appreciated David Oyelowo’s portrayal of Dr. King, and wow … the voice and the demeanor! As Dr. King’s wife, Carmen Ejogo’s displayed someone stoic, solid, and supportive.

Tributes to the event with video and images

Selma is a cultural barometer that provokes thought. Because then and now are points in time, it shows how far American society has come since those dark days yet, it should help one realize how far we still have to go. Shamefully, events like Ferguson, Missouri, New York City, and others still exist, but there is no way I can be convinced that the overall situation isn’t better today than 1965 and earlier … and Selma helps cement my belief.

With Martin Luther King Day being this coming Monday, this weekend would be an excellent time to see Selma.

Below is a short video that starts in the early 60s yet ends in 2009. It’s one of my favorite videos here because it speaks volumes to me about perspective, about growth, and about the hope that humanity can provide.

On MLK 2013

Courtesy of the American Anthropological Association

Courtesy of the American Anthropological Association

Monday (January 21, 2013) is Martin Luther King Day – a federal holiday (since 1986) in the US, which actually means a vacation day for federal employees.

States have the opportunity to declare a holiday for its employees – and most, if not all, have on this day. In my state of Ohio, local government/public groups have the option of declaring the day a holiday.

Private employers also have an option of exercising the holiday,but only a bit more than a third do. A small percentage of others offer this day as a floating-holiday option.

Whether one chooses or not, and no matter the occasion, holidays provide the opportunity to reflect. In other words, holidays are more than just a day off from work.

Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights movement was huge news in the 1960s. Today, two factors dominate my mind: Yes, we as a society have come a long way – but we still have a long way to go. Let’s look at a some information that may seem disjointed, but there’s a relationship.

Barack Obama’s candidacy, election, and reelection sparked its share of racism, although many disguise it in other ways.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the number of hate groups has increased 69% since 2000.

An Associated Press survey (released 2012, in cooperation with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago), concludes that when measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, anti-Black sentiments increased to 56% in 2012.

Somewhere there is a city council member proudly stating their city does not recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday in the name of prudent fiscal management, while also pointing out there are no Blacks living in that city.

Whether professional, spiritual, or personal, reflection is a powerful tool that can drive personal change. I sincerely wish that race was irrelevant – unfortunately it isn’t – and maybe that day of irrelevance will come in the future. However, if it does, it will not be due of legislation, Supreme Court rulings, or any other civic action, but from personal reflection – after all, that’s what modifies individual behavior – but that will be have to done by a vast majority.

On a Smile for Monday

How was your weekend? The cold blast of winter hit Cincinnati, but a few warm days are now upon us. This weekend we enjoyed some time on the ballroom dance floor and saw the latest Sherlock Holmes movie (which was ok). Otherwise, it was a low-key weekend.

Monday is Martin Luther King Day. For those who lived the 1960s, you realize the importance of Dr. King’s work, how far society has come, and how far society still has to go. Regardless of what we know, there is so much more for all of us to learn.

For your Monday Morning Entertainment, enjoy this Internet craze about one place for learning – books. Have a good week.


On MLK 2011

With Martin Luther King Day upon us, this is a good day to step away from the frivolity of my Monday posts. Thanks to Dr. King and many others, the 1960s were a time of civil rights gains. I was in my youth during the 60s, yet the more time moves forward, the more I realize about the gains since those days. In addition, as I get older, I also realize how much more society has to travel to implement true equality.

To those who did not live the turbulent 60s, I hope you remember that everything has a history. It’s the knowledge of history that helps us understand where we are in relationship to where we have been – and that view is necessary to understand the journey ahead.

As my years moved forward, I also realize importance of Dr. King using a message of peace to gain dignity for many. The 1960s were volatile times – especially 1968, which many consider one of the most turbulent years in American history. Even with the pathetic vitriolic behavior within today’s politics, 2010 and the small bit of 2011 are not even close to the tenor of 1968.

On the other hand, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Day and the words and work that Dr. King gave society, enjoy this short, well-done music tribute.

On MLK Day 2010

With today being Martin Luther King Day, I find it appropriate to set aside my Monday entertainment feature to reminder others of something of greater importance. While new watchers will see various clips featuring Dr. King, I decided to repost one of my favorite reports from 2009. May it serve as a reminder of how far we have come, but more importantly, how far we still have to go on the journey for a better tomorrow. May Dr. King’s dream become a reality.

On a similar note, I started reading Tim Valentine’s post sometime ago. Not only has he taught me a lot, he makes me think – so I invite you to not only read his MLK Day post, but visit him every day.