Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 265

Contrary to my predictive statement last week, sources tell me Donald Trump (R-NY) is in the process of completing the necessary paperwork for his presidential candidacy … and his poll numbers are rising. The Bloviator-in-Chief is a sideshow attracting a certain type of voter. Fortunately, those voters are a minority. Unfortunately, The Bloviator takes votes away from more worthy candidates. Then again, maybe he will announce The Nincompoop as a running mate!

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) just entered the presidential race as the 13th candidate. Here’s his candidate profile from The Onion. I’m also happy that his announcement put this past Onion headline to rest: Bobby Jindal unsure he wants to put family through 2-month campaign.

The Supreme Court’s latest decision about the Affordable Care Act was predictable to me … and so has been the responses by the presidential hopefuls.

Numerous southern families support flying the Confederate Battle Flag because their ancestors fought under that flag. OK … so why isn’t the Nazi flag flown at the cemeteries for World War II German soldiers?

Although tropical storm Bill made the news, Anna did not. Here’s the list of storm names for 2015 (which includes a subtle, but interesting, Cincinnati connection): Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda.

We recently attended a concert by a world-class handbell group. Their individual skills make their collective efforts shine. I was in awe with the fluidity of the fast runs … and Flight of the Bumblebee demonstrates my point. The upper-bell players (on the left) are holding two bells in each hand. Because each bell is at a different angle, each is individually rung by changing the hand position .. meaning the players are incredibly fast.

Act 6 of Meals: The Musical featuring alcoholic beverages to accompany the meal is complete. Although the number of songs was down, the crowd as a bit rowdy. For those wanting a head start on Act 7, see the Hear Ye page.

Unfortunately, this continues to amaze me: The number of bloggers who used to visit here, but they are no longer blogging.

Two announcements

  • An Explore post for your Saturday … this time – a place … but where? :)
  • Hoping to announce a challenge early next week

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their list of tips for managing your energy bill.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
Study: Workers happiest when pretending to be working from home
Disney World forced to euthanize character that attacked visitor
Mom recommends previously-unheard-of form of transportation son could take to get home
Guest given air mattress that will slowly deflate throughout the night
FDA approves female-libido-enhancing man

Interesting Reads
A world without work
Positive and negatives of online education
Innovation districts
(Photo Gallery) The Deteriorating Side of Ellis Island (from 2014)
Platypus venom
(Interactive Timeline) What the census calls us over time

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the week – a leftover from this Act 7 and a hit from the 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 264

Jeb Bush (R-FL) ended the suspense (and Super PAC fundraising) by officially announcing his candidacy for president. Here’s The Onion’s profile on him.

Donald Trump (R-NY) officially announced his candidacy with buffoonery. The process requires candidates to provide certain disclosures, so time will tell he is serious, thus complies. He loves attention, so announcing gave him that, thus I hedge on him actually being in the race. As a bombastic egotistical Bloviator-In-Chief, talking with conviction doesn’t mean he’s truthful. Here’s the Fact-Check on his speech and his profile from The Onion. For those needing more, a reminder that The Nincompop (aka Sarah Palin) praised Trump’s candidacy.

It’s easy to find something odd in the news, but the Rachel Dolezal (the former NAACP chapter leader) has my head spinning.

My post about what initially attracts one person to another (On Selection) fostered good discussion. I encourage everyone to start taking note of your casual observation when you encounter people at the grocery store, walking down the street, or at any gathering.

The US Open, my favorite golf tournament, is this weekend. After the first day of competition, I’m withholding my endorsement of the course and layout until later.

Remember the mural honoring Martha, the last passenger pigeon? ArtWorks recently announced 10 new murals for downtown Cincinnati. Click this link to see the current look and projected new mural. The slidebar on the images provides an opportunity to see before and after.

Some personal updates

  • For those recalling my eye issue of a year ago, it never fully recovered, thus giving me a new normal
  • I’m involved with a major watering project in the neighborhood
  • Next week I’m transitioning from a sub in the golf league to a regular
  • After boasting last week about visiting many blogs, this week wasn’t very good
  • Yes … we’re still dancing

Meals: The Musical continues next week with an act featuring songs with an alcoholic drink in the title. Act 7 starts Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US). In case you forget, there’s always the Hear Ye page.

Another Explore will appear on Saturday.

For those of you that get email notification regarding Likes, I’m curious … which 3 posts are listed for me?

To lead you into The Onion, here’s the Republican response to climate change statement made by Pope Francis. The headline is worth the look.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
Sexist pig had no idea when Team USA plays Nigeria
Co-worker who threw fit and stormed out of room looked like total badass
Man forced to come up with 45 seconds of facial expressions while server lists menu specials
New law determines bullets no longer responsibility of owner once fired from gun
Dept of Interior sets aside 50,000 acres of Federal land for anonymous sexual encounters

Interesting Reads
How each US President viewed God 
Europeans and the Bronze Age
800 years since the Magna Carta
Language of Apes
(Photo Gallery) California drought (Washington Post)

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 263

I wonder about the similarities between the following presidential campaigns: Hillary Clinton (D-NY) 2016, Jeb Bush (R-FL) 2016, and Mitt Romney (R-UT) 2012.

Wow … Unbelievably, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, said global warming is not a hoax and the primary cause is human action increasing the carbon dioxide level. I’m sure the GOP base is excited and the other candidates are thanking him for paving the way.

Amazon is now collecting sales tax on purchases by Ohio residents, and I’m OK with that.

The transition away from posting daily has been good for me because 1) I don’t feel rushed preparing, and 2) I’ve been visiting other blogs more. Then again, I tend to get behind on weekends.

I added a new page – Hear Ye – to serve as a place for announcements, such as information about the next act of Meals: The Musical. (Yep – it’s there now, but I will announce again next week.)

There will be an Explore post on Saturday.

For those interested in jello shots, this creative recipe is worth checking. 

Carrie Rubin is looking for help with your quest to be published by Amazon. Here’s her post on how you can help her.

Last week Democrat Lincoln Chafee (D_RI) announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a sign that his candidacy is in trouble, his name cannot be found in The Onion’s archives.

The Onion’s profiles of presidential candidates: Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)

June is the most popular month for weddings in the US. To lead you into this week’s satire, The Onion captured the latest wedding trends.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)
More US children being diagnosed with YTD – Youthful Tendency Disorder
Idiot zoo animal with zero predators still protecting young
New Claritin flamethrower incinerates whatever causes allergies
Automakers asks nation if it still wants handle above car windows
Laid-back company allows employees to work from home after 6 pm

Interesting Reads
Raising money: political campaigns vs. new-business startups
Building the Clinton Foundation
Powering the future car: hydrogen or electricity?
Is Pope Francis a Communist?
Six mysteries in biology
(Photo Gallery) National Geographic Traveler Contest

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. First, a video from the early MTV days (do you remember the song) and a bigger hit from a 80s. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 262

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) loves to imply that the NSA gathering meta phone data is unconstitutional. Two points: 1) Only courts declare constitutionality (not senators, interest groups, or citizens) and 2) the panel of judges ruled the collection was illegal based on the limits of the law because the law didn’t authorize the NSA collection – so, the court did not rule the data collection unconstitutional. (ACLU vs. Clapper). Yes, another example of a politician pandering for votes with incorrect and misleading information that people believe.

For the record, I have no problem with the NSA gathering meta phone data (including mine) if it would have been in the original law. In the end, a rare bipartisan agreement got something done to replace the old Patriot Act with the USA Freedom Act, which clarifies the data collection.

Bush (FL), Jindal, (LA), Christie (NJ), Walker (WS), Kasich (OH), Huckabee (AR), and Pataki (NY) are current or former state governors and have either announced or are expected to announce their candidacy to seek the Republican presidential nomination. All but Bush and Kasich denounce the Common Core education standards. Three interesting points:

  1. Most previously supported the Common Core standards before they were against it
  2. Federal intrusion/overreach is a common reason
  3. These standards were not developed by the Feds, but were driven by governors and state leaders (and the majority of states are controlled by Republicans) … and now you know.

After hearing the news about the recent Biden family news, I was wondering which Republican would make a stupid comment. Congratulations to Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). I maintain he planned it, practiced it, and purposely said it to a base that will laugh, and then it backfired. After all, politicians do that all the time. To be fair, at least he apologized. But come on, he or none of his advisers thought of the situation?

Given the wide swath of current and potential Republican candidates and the dilemma that causes around the debates, I say put them in groups of 4-5. After all, should the people get a fair chance to see all of them? Besides, this field has much more to offer than the 2012 group.

ESPN is giving their Arthur Ashe Courage Award to Caitlyn Jenner, not Lauren Hill.

I applaud Jennifer Lopez’s support for the Children’s Miracle Network. In the commercial below, I find something quite odd near the end when she says, Put your money where the miracles are (while raising her hand.) Watch below, but seeing the still is enough. What do you think?

If you were given the Stupid Test, would you rather pass it or fail it? Why?

Even though I didn’t expect much this season, following my Cincinnati Reds has been painful.

For those who need a touch on the retired Monday Morning Entertainment, this one from Weird Al Yankovic cracks me up. Thanks Cayman!

Earlier this week I realized that with the post about June was my 12th in the series, (whereas I thought it was my 10th). Therefore, I doubt they will continue, so maybe I’ll move on to saluting the days of the week.

It’s time for a drink as Meals: The Musical returns next week, so all song titles must include a nonalcoholic drink in the song title. (Hmmmm … Any idea about what Act 7’s theme?) One caution: Make sure no alcohol is also in the title. (EX: Rum & Coke is not acceptable) Curtain time will be Wednesday, 9:30 pm (Eastern US).

I updated the Schedule page to reflect the latest changes, which include weekdays Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Thursday.

The Explore series continues this weekend.

This week gave us two new presidential candidates, thus The Onion provides their profiles: former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Former governor and senator Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) also declared, but no profile yet. Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) will announce on June 15th.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Heartless monster walks out of local small business without buying anything
Parents worried children old enough to remember family vacation
Man at party comes crawling back to conversation he thought he could do better than
Pigeon that flew into subway going to need all his wits to get out of this one
Nation’s single men announce plan to change bedsheets by 2019
College allowing students individual commencement speakers to make ceremony acceptable for all

Interesting Reads
France honoring the Resistance heroes
Human migration
Genetics, breeding, and cows
Suspected spy pigeon
Death penalty in the US
A look at war from an insightful veteran and blogger who visits here 

To to send you into the weekend, a toast to June being Accordion Month – not with a polka, but actually a good version of a Lady Gaga hit for the ballroom floor. Which ballroom dance can you picture? Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 261

I know there is a long way to go, but for whatever reason, I have an uneasy feeling about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Just a perfect time for Vice President Biden to sit on the sidelines.

Although the Republican presidential field is many and growing, how these candidates pander to the right will continue to be a problem in a general election.

I wonder if the television ads by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warning of economic have any effect on his son’s candidacy, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Given the situation in Iraq , here’s the question I’ve asked before and one that I haven’t notice anyone else asking: Would ISIS/ISIL be a problem if Saddam Hussein was in power?

We recently saw D-Day: Normandy 1944, an Omnimax film at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s very well done, so I encourage everyone to see it if you get a chance. To learn more, here’s the film’s website, which includes Find a Theater on the Menu.

The On Satire Bits finale was a lot of fun. Many thanks for the chuckles you gave me in the 134 posts. After all, I’m probably the only person who read every combo! One more series finale to go.

Meals: The Musical – Act 5: Ingredients provide many ingredients. Well done … but no eggs, mustard, ketchup, butter, barbecue sauce, peppermint, chili sauce, cheese, hot sauce, mayonnaise, flour, or coriander … and (as of this time), no buzzers from the producer!  Act 6 should be in two weeks – which means I will announce the theme in next week’s Opinions in the Shorts.

This week has had some unexpected turns, so no Explore or cartoon feature this Saturday, but I’m hoping to toast the new month next week. After all, two more months to go (June and July), and then all 12 months will have a tribute – which is something I didn’t intentionally try to do.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their profile on newly announced presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Complete idiot forgot to shave between mouth and nose
Toyota recalls 1993 Camry due to fact owner really should have bought something new by now
Amusement park adds sleeper cars to its roller coaster for passenger who prefer more restful ride
Wedding guest blissfully unaware she barely made the cut
Long-time coffee shop employee thought customers would care more about his last day
Toddler adjusting to society after serving 2-minute timeout

Interesting Reads
Negative views of Congress crossing party lines
Changing size of bathing suits
Europe’s next cheap travel destination?
New ancient human species found
An inspired inventor
Gases We Emit

For the last time in OITS, here are Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Gnocchi Day, Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day, Day of UN Peacekeepers, Learn About Composting Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Bats Day, Paperclip Day, Coq Au Vin Day, Heat Awareness Day, Pink Flamingo Day

(Sat) Mint Julep Day, Water a Flower Day, Macaroon Day, Wicket world of Croquet Day, My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It Day

(Sun) Save Your Hearing Day, What You Think Upon Grows Day, No Tobacco Day, Speak in Sentences Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – two classics, including an unused song from Act 5. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Satire Bits: The Finale

The first post I dedicated to a collection of satire from The Onion was on November 8, 2011. Five weeks later, the second post. The weekly feature started the following month, January 10, 2012. Somewhere along the line, Curmudgeon-at-Large suggested what became the Combo Challenge .. .and the rest is history. (Thanks Mudge!)

The previous post explained a change in this blog’s format … and On Satire Bits is a casualty from the reality stick’s blow. That’s OK, after all, it’s been a good run of 134 posts. A special thanks to The Onion for making it easy.

Before we get on to the final Combo Challenge, a reminder that Meals: The Musical continues with Act 5 featuring Ingredients. Although there is much latitude here, song titles must include herbs, flavorings, spices, and common ingredients that aren’t dishes themselves. Herbs and spices are acceptable on their own. On the other hand, stay away from fruits, vegetables, meats, chocolate, and anything that might cause the producer’s shorts to knot. Curtain time is 9:30 pm (Eastern US) Wednesday.

Although some voluntarily participate creating their own headlines in the small collection in Opinions in the Shorts, the time has come for the final Combo Challenge. For the occasion, some of the headlines below the image are from the first Satire Bits. Make your own headline from the words from the headlines below. My Combo is at the end.

Thanks again for supporting On Satire Bits, have a good week, and hope to see you at the theater for Act 5.

Coal lobby warns wind farms may blow Earth off orbit

Adult bookstore to enhance shopping experience with café

An over-the-top Chinese salute to Lady Gaga, with old people

Chickenpox lollipops ineffective

Google “opt-out” feature lets users protect privacy by moving to remote village

Jennifer Lopez comes out with own clothesline line

Facebook increases user control with new ‘Cancel Account’ feature

Tests biased against students who don’t give a shit

Restaurant gives totally unwanted twist to Mexican cuisine

High school student taking rejection from first-choice college in stride as if future not over

Totally unknown guy strolling around your part of office for some reason

Report: Income inequality most apparent during fifth grade classmates birthday party

Parents of crying child must not be any good

Teen makes clever remark in science class

My Combo: Jennifer Lopez crying in adult bookstore over Lady Gaga experience

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 260

Generally avoiding questions by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is an interesting strategy. I wonder if it will cost her votes in the long run. Then again, there is plenty of time.

At least three more Republicans could very soon be joining the fray of seeking the nomination: Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), and former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) … and more are on the way. It also appears former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md) will be announcing on the Democratic side.

Fox News and CNN recently announced their selection criteria for the early Republican presidential debates. Although CNN has a Segment B for additional candidates, I would like to see a debate with the top 5 candidates being excluded.

Politico is a popular and reputable online news source about US politics. They recently expanded into Europe at politico.eu.

Speaking of Politico, here’s a gallery for political junkies about political guests with David Letterman.

This is interesting: A conservative economist and member of the Reagan White House explains how he believes Fox News hurts Republicans. For those wanting to know more, click here.

Here’s an excellent report by CNN about surveillance over the South China Sea.

Speaking of China, I want to know if one can read this blog in mainland China. Do you have any connections that can answer my burning question?

Attention bacon lovers. US bacon prices are 25% lower than a year ago.

It’s Memorial Day weekend – a 3-day weekend – the official start of summer vacation season- the Indianapolis 500 – parades, ceremonies, 21-gun salutes, pools open, picnics, outdoor activities, and more.

I thought the Dancing With the Stars Finals show was very entertaining … and Sharna Burgess was on every week. Cheers to Season 20!

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

There will be a Saturday post as the Explore series resumes.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their pros and cons about raising the minimum wage.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Anthropologists discover Ancient Greek Super PAC that helped shape first democracy
One year old still waiting for father’s first words
God realizes he forgot to put souls in humans
Child visits Ellis Island to see where grandparents once toured
McDonald’s reintroduces Hamburgler as attractive suburban dad

Interesting Reads
Cyber-archaeology saving relics
Islam and feminism
Photo gallery honoring BB King
Trains: driven by drivers or engineers
Columnist Roger Cohen’s thoughts about living in Italy
Smartphones and personal medicine

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Weekend) Mudbug Madness Days, Polka Weekend, Old-Time Player-Piano Days

(Fri) Toothpaste Tube Day, Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Don’t Fry Day, Vanilla Pudding Day, Canadian Immigrants Day, Harvey Milk Day, Heat Awareness Day, Biological Diversity Day, Maritime Day, Goth Day, Title Track Day, Wig Out Day, Maritime Day

(Sat) Lucky Penny Day, Jazz Day, Polka Day, Pickle Day, Crohn’s & Colitis Day, Turtle Day, Heritage Breeds Day, Taffy Day, Day to End Obstetric Fistula

(Sun) Scavenger Hunt Day, Escargot Day, Judgment in Paris Day, Brothers Day, Tiara Day, Mary Had A Little Lamb Day

The start of a 3-day weekend in a USA is a good reason for a 2-fer to send you into the weekend .. one from 1981 and one from today (which happens to be a Cincinnati band) … and both are timely. Which did you watch? Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.