Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 400

 

Welcome to the 400th volume of Opinion in the Shorts (aka OITS). I published the first on November 25, 2008 – about 3 months after starting my little corner of the world. To celebrate the occasion, I’ve included a short self-perspective in each section.

Next milestone – Only 5 to go to post #2,200.

This section evolved into a potpourri of thoughts. Because it is more applicable and interest to wider readership, I moved this section so it can serve as a lighter opener.

The lengthy stretch of rain, storms, tornadoes, and record flooding in the central US has been devastating. For those who are able and willing to donate, I urge you to do so to the charity of your choice. Here’s a link to Charity Navigator a site rating organizations on performance, financial health, accountability, and transparency.

A few days ago, at least 18 tornadoes hit Ohio – the closest about 40 miles from me. Fortunately, the people we know in that area are OK, but others lost their homes or suffered repairable damage. FYI: Ohio typically averages 3 for the entire month of May.

After seeing images of a long line of people on the final ascent of Mount Everest, I said, “I don’t get it.”

Last week ended with a 3-day weekend for Memorial Day. The Sunday sermon by one of my pastors was one of the best I’ve ever heard about this holiday. For those interested (and having 18 minutes), click here.

I recently learned that my state (Ohio) is ranked #6 in most Bigfoot sightings. Stephen Colbert recently asked a very pertinent question – What is the plural of Bigfoot?

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This blog initially focused on sports and politics – so this section was an extension of the initial roots. For a long time, this section opened OITS.

Emphasizing improving the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was one of the reasons Democrats gained control of the House this past December. I’m still waiting, and failing to pass such a bill through the legit process (as opposed to force feeding) will work against Democrats in the 2020 election.

For the second time in a week, a House Republican blocked the passing of a disaster funding bill. One person having the ability to block a bill is one reason Congress has a low approval rating.

Bottom Line: Special Counsel Robert Mueller explained he was the fact finder, and Congress is the jury. In that light, while Democrats are foaming at the mouth aiming for political gain. Republicans are spineless, protectionists of their own kind. Then again, if the situation were reversed, the roles would be reversed. Members of both sides of the aisle march to their party-first mantra, followed by preserving their own seat. Contrary to popular opinion, “country” is no higher than third on their priority list.

Earlier this week the news reported President Trump contradicting the National Security Advisor. Hello – he not only frequently does this to his advisors and experts, he also frequently contradicts himself. No wonder he is “the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.” (Jon Voight) … but a great American orator responds

I just watched a report on CBS citing three studies/organizations supporting what I about to state.To those citing the current tornado activity as proof of climate change, to those condemning President Trump for ignoring climate change, and to those blaming Obama for everything & anything, current research shows there is currently no link between increased tornadic activity and climate change. That doesn’t mean the existence of an undiscovered link or the absence of any link. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (an “independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change”), states in their opening sentence on their page about tornadoes and climate change: The link between tornadoes and climate change is currently unclear.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a history of robocalls.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

The Onion has had a place on this blog for a long time. Long-time readers probably remember The Onion’s Satire Bits – a midweek dose of satire that ran for 134 weeks. That’s where the combo challenge started.

Showerhead self-conscious about single jet that sprays sideways
Boss encourages employees to take short mental breakdowns for every hour of work
World populace actually fine with rich people dying on Mount Everest
Businessman mortified to discover he’s been wearing suit backwards all day
Lowe’s reveals new table saw with attached ice chest for storing cut-off fingers (Click for the image)
Struggling single mother seriously considering putting baby up for audition

(My Combo) Mortified boss struggling putting self-conscious rich people on table saw

Interesting Reads

I’m not sure when this section first appeared. However, early OITS editions occasionally contained linked articles. Over time, articles switched from politics and economics to a collection of wide-ranging topics.

Linking democracy and dissatisfaction
Descartes laws of nature and theology
Getting pandas from China
About Portuguese citizenship and Jews
Virgin birth by an anaconda
(Photos) Waterfalls in black-and-white
(Photos) A collection from a river and streams theme

To send you into the weekend, here’s another one from Bonnie Raitt (since many appreciated her appearance last week). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 303

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Memorial Day (Monday) gives the USA a 3-day weekend. Here’s an interesting essay published by the Brookings Institute.

Also regarding Memorial Day, this week I heard an outstanding interview with the producer of an independent documentary about the soldiers who stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Besides the trailer below, here’s a link to the movie’s website.

On this Memorial Day weekend, a salute to all fallen veterans of all countries who fought for freedom.

The Zika virus: For real or an overblown concern? Guess we’ll find out.

Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars ended this week. Wow – what a surprise because we think this was one of the best casts ever. Champion Nyle DiMarco was good, but his story was compelling and inspirational (he’s totally deaf)… plus he probably got a lot of votes from the ladies. No doubt in my mind, Paige Van Zant was the best dancer.

Act 7 of Colors: The Musical featuring Brown provided a surprise number of hits. Two more acts to go. I will make the advance announcement someday mid-week for Act 8 on the Hear Ye page.

No Explore post this weekend.

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Modernizing infrastructure is an election-year issue – meaning that after the election, it greatly decreases in importance to the policy makers. This article (from the BiPartisan Policy Center) offers a new model for modernizing US infrastructure.

Finally – after 7 years of complaining, has finally written a health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and is done without repealing the ACA. That point alone is worth congratulating Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

Last week I mentioned about the away-from-the-center movement of both parties. Earlier this week I read this interesting column by Joe Scarborough, who looks at today’s movement through the lens of key Founding Fathers.

In terms of conversations I’ve had with people, the number of people who proclaim they can’t/won’t vote for Clinton or Trump outnumber the number who say they support Clinton or Trump.

This week’s aFa Power Ranking for Donald Trump’s running mate: 5) Chris Christie, 4) Jeff Sessions, 3) Bob Corker, 2) John Kasich, 1) Newt Gingrich NOTE: For the record, I had Bob Corker on this draft list before his Monday meeting with Mr. Trump.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion provides journalism style tips for all writers.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Congressional Compromise Legalizes The Study Of Stem Cells From Mothers On Death Row
Sixteen deer placed in small room and challenged to not copulate
Belt looks weird on child
Voyager probe badly damaged after smashing into the end of the universe
Fact unpatriotic
Heroic Police Officer Talks Man Down From Edge Of Purchasing Subway Footlong Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki

Interesting Reads
The new digital economy
The shocking 1976 wine tasting event
Is pornography a health crisis? 
A population of three
Heroic cave divers
(Photos) A gallery featuring ruins
(Video, 4.5 mins) A brief history of religion in art

Here’s a two-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is a leftover from Act 7 that certainly is a crowd please … and the second is a song from a legendary rock star. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Memorial Salute

Greetings on this holiday Monday in the USA!

Given the 3-day holiday weekend, I’ve developed this post ahead of schedule. If all goes as planned, our weekend will include two ballroom events, visiting the Cincinnati Museum Center for at least one (maybe two) Omnimax films, a bit of work around the condo, a long walk to town  (and back) for lunch, work, and hopefully some infrequent down time at home. What did you do this weekend?

Meals: The Musical returns this week. I wanted “Seafood” as a theme, but after researching the topic, I’m not convinced about the availability of songs. Therefore, Ingredients is the theme. Think flavors as herbs, spices, extracts, and other common ingredients that aren’t dishes themselves … however, no fruits or vegetables (a previous act) and no chocolate (reserved for later). There is a lot of leeway here, so chose judiciously.

Celebrations For Your Week

  • (Week) Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories, Hurricane Preparedness Week, Frozen Yogurt Week, American Beer Week, Emergency Services Week
  • (Mon) Something Day, Wine Day, Tap Dance Day, Brown Bag-It Day, Missing Children’s Day. Nerd/Geek Pride Day, Cookie Monster Day, Towel Day
  • (Tues) Lindy Hop Day, Blueberry Cheesecake Day, Sally Ride Day, Cheery Dessert Day
  • (Wed) Cellophane Tape Day, Popsicle Day, Senior Health & Fitness Day, Sun Screen Day, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day
  • (Thurs) Brisket Day, Hamburger Day, Slugs Return from Capistrano Day, Whooping Crane Day

Monday is Memorial Day in the US, so I’m passing on the normal Monday frivolity for one of my favorite military tributes. Have a good week.

On a Monday Salute

It’s a three-day holiday week for we Americans, so how did you spend your weekend?

I imagine you’ll be surprised to see that we had a wide variety of activities that included ballroom dance, a local festival, among the hoards of people at the Taste of Cincinnati, a Reds baseball game (we lost), a cookout with neighbors, and some decorating planning time … and we still have one day to go! Other than hosting my father-in-law in the afternoon for a simple meal, we are hoping for a low-key day.

Celebrations for your week

  • (Week) Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories, Hurricane Preparedness Week, Shoe Week, Pickle Week, Safe Boating Week, Good Stewardship Week, Frozen Yogurt Week, American Beer Week
  • (Mon) Memorial Day, Blueberry Cheesecake Day, Cherry Dessert Day
  • (Tues) Grape Popsicle Day, Cellophane Tape Day
  • (Wed) Senior Health & Fitness Day, Slugs Return from Capistrano Day, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day, Brisket Day, Hamburger Day
  • (Thurs) Learn about Composting Day, Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Coq au Vin Day, Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day

Given the Memorial Day holiday, this Monday Morning Entertainment focuses on the armed forces instead of humor. Many communities will celebrate Memorial Day with a parade and a remembrance event for fallen soldiers. Although this is a USA holiday, I know this blog is read in countries that also remember their warriors. Even though our Memorial Days may not be on the same day, this post is also for you. Have a good week!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 183

On Politics
I discovered that all but one of Oklahoma’s representatives and senators voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because of the recent tornado, keep your eye on them. Interestingly, the one rep that supported the relief is from the district taking the biggest hit this week.

Do you remember the cranky criticizing UN Ambassador Susan Rice? Well, the disclosed emails regarding Benghazi seem to be vindicating her.

Because important problems remain, I like the headlines of this Charlie Cook column: Republicans Hatred of Obama Blinds Them to the Public’s Disinterest in Scandals.

Earlier this week, I asked a question that Congressional committees focusing on the IRS scandal, so here is another one. Whereas the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling opened the door to financial contributions to campaigns, did it protect the fact that such a vehicle be through a 501(C)(4) tax-exempt organization?

This week we saw the dark side of humanity through the horror of the senseless attack of the British soldier.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
90% of audience at college graduation involved in heated family argument
Nation supposes it is outraged by White House scandals
Burundi Beef Council announces, “Please send beef”
YouTube to air first hour-drama: Turtle has Sex with Shoes
Everyone forgets to bring swimsuits to coworker’s party
Study: Anxiety resolved by thinking about it real hard

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Onion secured this picture of Duchess Kate Middleton with morning sickness.

Interesting Reads
The global garment trail
Ottomans then, Turkey today
Clergy and their views of origins
Importance of mom from Scientific American
Infographic: The evolution of headphones
Caffeinated toothpaste

On Potpourri
To my American readers, we have a three-day holiday weekend, don’t forget to remember Monday’s intent.

Congratulations to Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough for winning the latest Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). I know cast selection involves luck, thus this season’s cast was a bit weak (in terms of dancing). However, Kellie and Zendaya were awesome …. and how could anyone not enjoy Jacoby Jones!

Overall, I continue to believe that part of DWTS success is that it is a throwback to variety shows of the past.

The rash of followers continues, but it surely is not translating into increasing reads and comments. For someone who has blogged as long as I have, my stats are, at best, mediocre. On the other side, thank you to my regulars.

I’m taking a break after this post, which means another Saturday morning without a cartoon post. I know – that’s three in a row. Nonetheless, I plan on using the break to 1) finish some in-progress posts, 2) focus on visiting other blogs, and 3) doing some daytime activities with my wife during her time off. Besides, maybe I will at least sneak in some satire to charge my week.

I’ll send you into the weekend with two videos. The first is a commercial that I couldn’t take my eyes away. The second is a tribute to the US Armed Forces, fitting for our Memorial Day weekend. Personally, I like this tribute from 2008, as it also reminds me of a wonderful maestro who is no longer with us.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Omega Co-Axial Commercial

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Armed Forces Salute

On a Monday for Tuesday

For a Tuesday edition of Monday Morning Entertainment, I hope everyone had a safe weekend. Did you take some time to reflect and remember military veterans?

The three-day holiday weekend in Cincinnati has been hot and muggy. Nonetheless, our weekend included a variety of events, along with some relaxation to stay cool. Here’s our weekend through images (unfortunately they were done quickly). How was yours?

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Have you ever tried solving a Rubik’s cube? Is it a challenge or a frustration? To all puzzle solvers, this quick entertainment will get your attention. Have a good week.

On Memorial Day Weekend 2011

Memorial Day is on one of those three-day weekends that all of us enjoy. Although most of us will spend much of the extra time with fun and fellowship, let us not forget to take the time to remember those who are serving, have served, and died serving.

Your time may be somber and reflective, yet it can also be joyous and uplifting. Below are two wonderful versions of the Armed Forces Melody – one by a men’s chorus and one by a pops orchestra. The late Erich Kunzel, the King of Pops and longtime conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, leads the latter. Although we miss him, his memory also lives on through his concerts on the Washington Mall. Enjoy and be proud.

Chorus

Orchestra