Opinions in the Shorts: No. 354

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It’s good to return to my little corner of the world with various tidbits, thoughts, and commentary. I sadly report that I didn’t write as much as I hoped during my blog break.

Love this factoid: Stephen Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death, then died on Einstein’s birthday (which also happened to be Pi Day). A toast to Dr. Hawking’s contribution.

March Madness of college basketball is officially underway. Cincinnati is proud to support two teams in the top eight seeds. Two teams located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) apart and ranked in the top 6 ,  Interesting that both teams start in Nashville. Meanwhile, besides the two local teams, I’ll be rooting for ABK – Anybody But Kentucky.

The tournament committee got many selections correct, but excluding worthy teams at the expense of selecting teams that we .50o or worse in their conference is pathetic.

We recently saw a play about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a musical pioneer who influenced greats as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, and more. She wheeled her guitar as she sung a blend of blues, gospel, and a forerunner to rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct her next month.

 

John Tyler, the 10th US President, occupied the White House 1841-1845. Amazingly, his grandson is still alive! Here’s the head-scratching story.

While south for 6 weeks, we danced very little because ballroom wasn’t readily available. Although we are back in cold weather, the good news is we have returned to the dance floor – but rusty. Being away from handbells for 6 weeks creates uncertainty when returning to rehearsal. Both dancing and playing handbells will improve with time and repetition.

A few editions ago I mentioned about I would be dancing a bolero at an upcoming studio event. Unfortunately, my partner and I have respectfully withdrawn.

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Although the quote isn’t by Gloria Steinem, the viral message of gun purchases following similar procedures a woman seeking an abortion in some states is an interesting thought.

This statement in Politico about the success of the National Rifle Association (NRA): It’s not the money. It’s because the NRA has built a movement that has convinced its followers that gun ownership is a way of life, central to one’s freedom and safety, that must be defended on a daily basis.

As Democrats have been loudly complaining about gerrymandering, I have to throw in some bits. 1) Gerrymandering has been around a long time. 2) Democrats do it, too. 3) The use of data and sophisticated software by both parties heightens the problem. Therefore, the time for finding a different way is now.

This week the House Intelligence Committee (and prime example of an oxymoron) concluded its investigation by stating no collusion existed between the Trump campaign. I give them as much credence as I would a Democratic-led committee finding collusion. I patiently await the results by the independent investigation led by Robert Mueller – therefore will accept this findings.

In my response to a poll about tariffs by my representative, I reminded him that I was against tariffs regardless of the president’s party affiliation – then asked him if he would react the same way if a Democratic president proclaimed the tariffs.

Personally, I wish many Republicans would give the party to the President Trump, his minions, and the uber-conservatives – thus walk away. At the same time I wish many Democrats would give the party to the uber-liberals, thus walk away. Too bad they lack the guts to do that.

Not that many years ago Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was a darling of Republican conservatives. Since withdrawing from the 2016 Republican Presidential primaries, I haven’t heard “boo” from the man – until earlier this week. It seems Gov. Walker is taking a more conciliatory tone and voicing a concern about his party’s direction. (Click here for the article.)

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides an infographic about the pros and cons of open relationships.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Roomba claims another pet gerbil
Beer aisle scanned for something asshole friend won’t mock
New evidence reveals Ancient Greeks immediately regretted inventing theater
Perverted measles virus exposes itself to playground full of children
Barbaric fifth grader gouges paper onto binder ring without so much as hole punch
FDA cancels bacon recall after finding U.S. population already ate it all

Interesting Reads
Bots and misinformation
France and the age of consent
Defining death
Nature on an island abandoned by humans
Life from microbes
The Smithsonian looks at daylight savings time
(Images) Winter Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

I know I featured this song not long ago, but it fits. Along with my return from Blog Break, April 14th also approaches – the day their long-delayed induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 225

On Politics
The Republican response to this week’s news about the capture of the alleged mastermind of the Benghazi attack is a perfect example of the question I asked several week’s ago: If Republicans asked President Obama to fart, and he did, would they complain?

Glenn Beck has said his share of stupid things, but I this may be his best: He warned the American people that President Obama is about to snap, thus react by sending conservatives to internment camps … .and sorry to say, yes, people actually listen to this man.

In the NRA Lobby

In the NRA Lobby

Seeing this inscribed at the National Rifle Association (NRA) headquarters is not surprising. Because the Second Amendment is not lengthy, it is interesting to discover that they left off the beginning: A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,

Earlier this week the US Supreme Court set the stage for overturning Ohio’s Truth in Campaign Ads law – something that President Obama agrees with doing. What a shame on both counts!

I appreciated this quote by a local resident in his published editorial: The moneyed interests (from outside the state) have no interest in Ohio as a state, or the people, thus just want that voting seat to further their agenda, even if it is harmful to the people of Ohio. (John Apanites, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 15, 2014)

I like this statement from conservative columnist George Will. Here is a question for Republican presidential aspirants: Given the absence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and given that we now know how little we know about “nation-building” and about the promotion of democracy in nations that need to be “built,” and given that Saddam Hussein’s horrific tyranny at least controlled Iraq’s sectarian furies, and given that Iraq under him was Iran’s adversary, and given that 10-year wars make Americans indiscriminately averse to military undertakings — given all this, if you could rewind history to March 2003, would you favor invading Iraq?

To House Republicans. You continually point the finger at the Senate for not acting on all the legislation you sent them. A word of caution – Purposely sending legislation that won’t get acted upon is at least just as pathetic – and maybe more so.

This image is appropriate in many ways.

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To lead you into The Onion’s headlines of the week, this one is fitting: Resigning House Leader Reflects on All the Accomplishments He Thwarted

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
New PS4 feature allows user to close eye and imagine really fun game
Study: More men opting to be in room when wife conceives baby
Employee executes daring 3:30 pm escape from the office
Aunt enters ninth year of raving about Wicked
More corporations using tag-and-release programs to study American consumers

Bonus Onions Regarding the World Cup
Teams to Watch
Players to Watch

Interesting Reads
Columnist David Ignatius look at the Middle East through a historical lens 
10 to-knows-about Brazil while watching the World Cup
An immigration infographic
SR-71: The Blackbird spy plane
The mystery of hiccups
The Bird-Poop Spider

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On Potpourri
The recent 20th anniversary of OJ and the white Ford Bronco brought forth many “where are they now” reports. But the most compelling question NBC answers: What happened to the white Ford Bronco? 

Two tidbits about next week: 1) The next Satire Bits will be the 100th in the series, and 2) the next act of Life: The Musical may be next week (thus announced Monday).

My less-than-a-year old phone suddenly died, thus I cringe of losing all the dance videos of steps.

My beloved Graeter’s ice cream will be advertising on Food Network and the Cooking Channel.

I’m getting closer to the return of Saturday Morning Cartoons – but not yet.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Flip-Flop Day, Vanilla Milkshake Day, Midsummer (in Finland & Sweden), American Eagle Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day. Productivity Day, Refugee Day, Ugliest Dog Day, Flitch of Bacon Day
  • (Sat) Peaches & Cream Day, Hollerin’ Contest Day (contest at Spivey’s Corner, North Carolina), Go Skateboarding Day, Daylight Appreciation Day, Polar Bear Swim Day, Handshake Day, Global Orgasm Day for World Peace (Southern Hemisphere), Cuckoo Warning Day, Pet Fire Safety Day
  • (Sun) Chocolate Eclair Day, Smurfs Day, Stupid Guy Thing Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a hit from 1970 – and one with a distinct bass line. Enjoy Green-Eyed Lady by Sugarloaf. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.