Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 425

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Welcome to the last edition of OITS. To celebrate the occasion, there is a little more this time.

Although I’ve been proclaiming the end is coming for months, the fact that it is actually approaching is a weird sensation. I spent so much time cleaning out the blog closet, I thought the closet was more like a bottomless pit.

With 425 posts, Opinions in the Shorts is (by far) my longest running series. It’s been fun to do.

With this series having different sections, it has been interesting to notice reader preferences. But I get the biggest thrill when someone reads one of the Interesting Reads and then comments about it. 😀

Over the years, I’ve tried to showcase Cincinnati and the surrounding area. Here’s an article about 10 lesser known historical sites in the area. Some may surprise you.

This is from five year ago, but just saw it for the first time.

 

Remember Fiona, the premature hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo. This post is perfect timing with her birthday. Happy 3rd Birthday, Fiona – which is this Friday, 24 January. Here’s the latest local article about her celebrating her birthday.

We saw Ford v Ferrari. Very good movie. A tad long, but tense from early on to the end. FYI: Being a racing is NOT a requirement to enjoy the film.  Click here to see the trailer.

As per the previous published agenda, the two posts (parties) this weekend are designed to be fun – so I hope you participate!

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Instead of leaders promoting the feat they associate with the other side, America needs leaders who are fearless in attacking today’s problems – not to return to a time that has passed – and not to get us stuck in today – but fearless to address today’s issues with an eye on a positive tomorrow.

My thoughts on my Elite 8 states to watch in the 2020 election: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Which also means I’m hoping Ohioans will see fewer ads than in the last 2 presidential elections.

I have long believed that Washington has two main problems: Democrats and Republicans. Both are selfish organizations favoring self-serving over governing. Because of their preference of shoving ideals down our throats, I hope that the 2020 election results deliver divided government. We need more, but given the environment, unfortunately divided government is the best answer. Today’s environment lacks the attitude of intentionally gathering to collectively pursue a goal – and then achieve it. But maybe that attitude is only an ideal because politics has always been a selfish nasty fight of us versus them.

For the record, the Senate phase of impeachment is unfortunately a joke and an embarrassment. Then again, they are following the precedent of past impeachments … and the Republican stance is weak, sad, and aimed at the blind faith of partisan hacks. Also, given the precedents, if the Founding Fathers would have seen impeachment playout, I wonder if they would switched the jury responsibility from the Senate to the US Supreme Court.

President Trump is a pathetic person, an even worse leader, and one who brings most of his problems on himself. He’ll take credit for anything and avoid taking responsibility. America deserves better. Unfortunately, a high percentage of Americans don’t believe that, and that’s a problem that is bigger than him.

Given’s President Trump’s normal behavior and high chances of election, odds are very high that he will become the first president to be impeached more than once.

I’m tired of partisan-hack Republicans who continually claim that anti-Trump people don’t feel he was dutifully elected. Hey Jackwagons, I hate to tell you, but most anti-Trumpians would disagree with your statement. You sound like the anti-evolutionists who say, “Evolution says humans came from apes.” Interestingly, I’ve never heard an evolutionist say that.

 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Couple decides there are better off as siblings
Financial expert recommends waiting until chaos is law of the land
New cable bundle includes 24/7 live-in tech support
New sip-and-weld studio provides opportunity to drink wine and create own masterpiece with blowtorch
Amazon reviewer posts selfie with toaster
Man afraid he’ll seem vulnerable if he reaches out to fire department for help
30-minute silence in car broken with “We are making good time”
Report: Clicking this link will add you to FBI Watch List

My Combo: Man decides wine, toaster, and blowtorch make chaos better until expert recommends Amazon to silence siblings for help

Interesting Reads

James Bond music – the hits and the misses
A universe with no end?
The F-14 Tomcat
Rise and fall of the Hummer
Impacts of America’s slow-growing population
A discovery that may treat all cancer
Bismarck: The battleship
Where to eat in 2020
Land Use in America
(Photos) Volcanic eruption in the Philippines
(Photos) Contest winners of photo contest involving boulders
(Photos) Ocean Photo Contest winners
(Graphic) China’s global influence
(Graphic) The true size of countries

Selecting a song to send you into the weekend for the last time wasn’t an easy task, but once I heard a podcast that reminded me of this song, I knew it was it. Thanks for reading. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 424

 

Welcome to the next-to-the last edition of OITS.

As a baseball fan, the baseball trilogy of beach walks was a lot of fun. I actually wrote the drafts last February as Spring Training was starting. I knew that non-baseball fans may not like them as much, but I felt the fans would love them.

The conclusion is officially mapped. Note the following:

  • Saturday (early) – My last attempt at fiction – and definitely something different
  • Sunday (evening) – The last Beach Walk (and a seemingly odd topic)
  • Tuesday (evening) – Agenda for the finale series
  • Thursday (evening) – The last OITS

After months of scrounging through my blog closet, being on the homestretch is starting to sink in to me.

In 2019 the top golf tour for aspiring golf professional was the Web.com Tour. I friend of mine asked me about the new tour name – Korn Ferry Tour. Being unfamiliar with the name, I pictured Corn Fairy.

I’m enjoying the book I’m reading: Leadership in Turbulent Times (Doris Kearns Goodwin), which focuses on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

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I know this will be hard to believe, but I missed another debate. Maybe I’ll catch the next one …. NOT!

Appears the impeachment trial will begin next week. I’ll pass in order to look for reruns of old TV westerns.

I have read past oaths regarding senators and an impeachment trial, but I am curious to see this oath because I know the vast majority of senators are lying under oath.

Last week I criticized Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) for making extra stupid remarks and then doubling down on them. Since then, he apologized. Sorry Rep. Collins, I don’t accept because your true colors clearly demonstrates you are a partisan hack and that you meant your foul words. After all, if you meant them, you would change your behavior.

To lead you into The Onion headlines, here’s one that left me speechless. For those who dare, click for yourself. https://www.theonion.com/excited-park-rangers-announce-lincoln-memorial-actually-1840896775

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

US plagued by widespread Website crashes after mouse gets into Internet
Area woman’s baseless hatred of Anne Hathaway reciprocated
Archeologists discover cave with earliest built-in shelves
Nation gathers around area man trying to parallel park
Landlord figures he can pass off uninhabitable shithole as ‘great for students’
Cereal too crispy, needs to soak

Interesting Reads

Thoughts about genetic engineering
Polarization in the media
Something to think about regarding Free Shipping
Visual Capitalist’s 20 best graphics of 2019
The decline of cash
(Pictures) The Nature Conservatory Photo Contest winners
(Graphic) 20 years of Internet giants 
(Graphic) The apathy vote in the US

To send you into the weekend, here’s a classic made famous at Woodstock. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 423

 

The final Weekend Concert was unbelievable! Thanks to all, and an extra thanks from the bottom of my heart to Dale for her energy and kindness.

Looking at the remaining posts, I finally started charting my departure. I will say that if all goes as planned, I will be around into early February.

Obligations this past week have put me behind – but I’m trying to catch up.

Cincinnati was named after Roman leader Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was known for good governance. Because he saw himself as a modern day Cincinnatus, Benito Mussolini donated a statue (in 1931) to Cincinnati (as well as Rome, New Year and Rome, Georgia). That statue has resided in a city park ever since. A Cincinnati council member is considering the statue’s removal. Like any place, the city has its share of issues – but sorry – that is not worth the time and effort.

Although young by European standards, the Cincinnati Symphony will celebrate its 125th year at next weekend’s concert.

The Ohio Medical Board received a submission that being a Browns or Bengals fan in Ohio is a condition that should qualify for medical marijuana treatment.

 

The January 5th Meet the Press episode was (for me) one of the best ever. After the opening segment about Iraq, most of the show focused on lies, fake news, biases, and more.

Forgot to mention this last week. I observed this in one home I visited during the holidays. These items were clearly visible: Trump – Make America Great sticker on the outside front door, Trump wall calendar, Trump bobblehead, Trump ashtrays, framed pic of the First Couple, and Trump stickers for holiday cards.

The killing of an Iranian general was significant news. It was also a prime example of how can one believe a president who routinely lies and distorts? If there was a national disaster/event that requires the president to make a national address, who would the listener know if they are receiving the truth?

Until the impeachment proceedings, I have never heard of Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). The man is a piece of work. Whew. Now he states Democrats “in love with terrorists” and they “mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani.” I yield to a great American orator for my brief response.

I seldom read the columnists from the left or the right, but a recent one by Mark Thiessen (conservative, Washington Post) caught my attention. Personally, it gave me new-found respect for him and provided a faint glimmer of hope. If you are interested, click here.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man still can’t believe he’s not a virgin
Report: Only 2% of internet worth sitting through 15-second ad
Man doesn’t want to put too much effort into fixing up house he just going to burn down
Study finds comparing yourself to others actually a pretty good way to gauge success
Woman ties reading shampoo bottle directions in French first to test if she’s secretly smart
Las Vegas residents worried that proposed construction of new casino will bring in riff-raff

Interesting Reads

Advertisers tracking people
The first humans to the Americas
Who was Buddah?
Art of decision making
Differences in snowflakes
Wines around the world
(Graphic) Changing demographics of China and India
(Pictures) An ice festival in China
(Pictures) Culturally important sites in Iran

To send you into the weekend, here’s a Van Morrison song I’ve always enjoyed. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 422

 

Happy 2020! Welcome to the first OITS of 2020. On the other hand, I still don’t know how many more OITS there will be – but I know at least one! … but I’m guessing two.

The last Weekend Concert Series is this Saturday featuring Duets – two people together who normally are not together. The Producer says Simon & Garfunkel is not a duet for this concert – but Willie Nelson with Luiciano Pavarotti would be. Duets take the stage this Saturday 4 January at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Why Duets as the theme? Easy – This is a tribute to those who have interacted with me here at my little corner of the world. We have been a duet – and this is a way for me to say thank you!

My holiday period has been too hectic – and to the point of no fun. Plus, I missed many of your posts.

Being that I am on the final leg of my blog journal, the Q&A page/tab is an opportunity to ask questions. Not much activity. Hmmm …. wondering …. Should I take it down?

The Benevolent Impalers won the consolation game – therefore securing third place – but a disappointment after being the top seed. The Yahoo algorithms are a bit screwy. They rated my draft as a C and predicted my final record to be 5-7 in the regular season. After finishing 12-2, they gave me a C+ for the season. An odd analysis.

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Impeachment and the people involved continue to embarrass me.

The impeachment process continues to be a political spectacle while delivering a severe black eye onto the Founding Fathers. This article explains why 88 of the 100 senators should be disqualified as jurors.

This link made me laugh – 9 things President Trump says all the time.

I keep thinking about that America is more divided than in a long time, and we have a group saying “Keep America Great: …. Which to me means Keep America Divided.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for displaying artwork in your home.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Miracle dumbbell found in proper place on rack
Woman knows husband just acting affectionate because he wants food
All of area man’s positive qualities stolen from past friends
Man watches video about habits of effective artists so he too can be effective artist
Town hag getting in pretty good day of shaking jangly bell-covered stick while pointing and screaming ‘You Will Die!’
Fox News condemns 2020 election as partisan witch hunt orchestrated by Democrats to unseat President

Interesting Reads

A gene-editing experiment
Mistakes by science fiction
Can science rule out God?
Event that changed the course of Saudi history
The transition of St. Nick to Santa: A brief history
(Graphic) Space-Race History
(Pictures) BBC Readers’ Picks of the Year
(Pictures) National Geographic: Favorite Space Pics of 2019
(Pictures) BBC: Best space images of 2019

To send you into the weekend, let’s start 2020 with a bit of Lindsey Stirling. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.