On a Blog Break: Summer 2019

 

Before I embark on my summer blog break, below is an abbreviated edition of Opinions in the Shorts.

The Doobie Brothers concert surprised a few people. With a blog break on the current docket, I do not know who the next concert will feature or when it will occur – but I have some ideas to consider during the blog break.

Unfortunately, on celebration day falls during the blog break. August 28th marks the 11th anniversary of this place – my little corner of the world.

My golf game resembles a yo-yo – but I still enjoy playing.

With August being the final month of summer, that also means September marks the return of handbell choir rehearsals, volunteer ushering at the Playhouse, fall festivals, football season, and more.

Has anyone watched “The Great Hack” on Netflix (about Cambridge Analytica)? If so, what did you think?

Last weekend gave us two mass shootings – including one in Dayton, Ohio (a bit less than an hour drive for me). Interesting how events like that affect you differently when they are closer to home. Events in El Paso and Dayton give Congress more opportunities to do nothing.

The Republican “mental issue” claim as a key cause of gun violence has resurfaced – so I ask an important question to Congressional Republicans: What legislation have you passed in the past five years addressing the mental health problem? I asked my representative. In his response letter, he didn’t answer the question – so the answer is none!

A state representative near me and close to Dayton blamed mass shootings on the following: fatherless families, transgender and homosexual marriages, drag queen advocates, recreational marijuana, violent video games, failed school policies, hatred for our veterans by professional athletes disrespecting our flag and country, Democrats in Congress, disrespect for law enforcement, anti-Trump voters, and last – but not least – the icing on the cake – you guessed it – Obama. Yes – the one who made this statement is an office holder elected by the majority of voters in her district.; which to me is sadder than the one making the statement.

The leader of the Ohio Republican Party asked Candice Keller to resign for the above statement, but (as of this morning) she’s standing by her statement and refusing to resign. “Establishment moderates have never been fans of mine because I ran against their endorsement and won. As the only conservative in this race, I will be taking my (state) Senate campaign to the voters to decide.”

A thought to remember about politics. The party’s goal is to win, therefore finding candidates with the best chance of winning and representing the party. Therefore, the candidate is in an office to represent the best interests of the party. After all, how much time does the office holder (and their organization) spend fundraising for the party and their re-election? The answer is simple – a lot. Therefore, the office holder’s interest in solving issues and representing the non-party flock in their district is (at best) superficial.

As I’ve stated numerous times on these pages, blog breaks are good. How long will this one be? To be honest – I don’t know – but I hope to return in the first 10 days of September – time will tell. Until then, I hope you visit the many good, talented, friendly people I list as A-Team Premium Visitors on the sidebar, plus others on the BlogRoll tab.

By the time I return, summer will be on its last leg – so here’s a classic from years ago to lead me into my blog break. Check out this chops! Keep smiling!

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 409

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Last weekend concert featuring the solo careers of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young went better than I anticipated. Doobie Brothers take this stage this weekend Concert time is Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Because of an approaching blog break, this will be the last concert until further notice.

What does a professional football player with a degrees in mathematical economics and religion and a minor in business who is working on an MBA in finance do in this spare time? Click here to discover the answer.

The recent baseball brawl between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates was interesting. The umpire had the chance to diffuse the incident when the Pirates’ pitcher threw at the head of the Reds’ batter. Oh no – not even a warning. Interestingly, the league gave the longest suspension to the pitcher. There is no place in the game for intentionally throwing at a batter’s head.

People who use hot weather days in the summer to justify climate change are just as clueless as those who use cold days to deny climate change.

Is there any difference between Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Heach Care?

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Of course I did NOT watch either of this week’s Democratic debates. I didn’t because I couldn’t answer this important question for me … Why? Nonetheless, from reports, I can say that the odds of me voting for Elizabeth Warren is the same as me voting for Donald Trump – Zero.

No – I did not attend the recent Trump rally in Cincinnati. For the record, I would go to hear him speak even if he spoke just to the residents in my neighborhood’s clubhouse.

Another shooting of a large crowd is another opportunity for Congress to do nothing – and that’s something I’m confident they can achieve.

Certain liberal groups want to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 11 justices. Oh please, please start focusing on important issues. Please!

Who would have thunk that House Democrats would lead the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

A Director of National Intelligence who is a political hack without intelligence experience would seem to be the best two reasons for the Senate to approve Rep. John Radcliffe (R-TX).

President Trump can’t seem to politicize an event. At the recent signing ceremony of the 9-11 responders health benefits bill, instead of recognizing responders advocating for the bill, the responders benefitting from the bill, and the families this bill is designed to help – he threw accolades to his chief apologist – Rudy Guiliani. President Trump is a pathetic person, and even worse leader, and he brings the majority of his problems on himself..

Jeers to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) for being the only two senators to vote against the 9-11 responders bill. Thank you voters of Oregon and Kentucky for sending us clueless, partisan hacks who are loaded with double standards.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion captured this unique debate moment.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Guy on bus really good at whatever phone game that is
Sincere email to coworker drafted, reconsidered, deleted
Four-year-old convinced father is a moron after 45th consecutive hide-and-seek victory
Insecure infant worried he’s unworthy of animatronic toy rabbit’s love
Exhilarated woman discovers last person who used jigsaw puzzle left lots of pieces stuck together

Interesting Reads

A ship’s flag
Humanity’s greatest threat?
Trust and distrust in political America
The moon landing – Fake News!
Need for humanity to know how to get better
Remembering an architect
(Graphic) World’s oldest democracies
(Photos) Wildlife

To send you into the weekend, here’s a Heat song by one who will be a Kennedy Center honoree this December. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 408

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This weekend’s concert features the solo careers of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young. Tip: Especially for those using live recordings, keep the others off the stage! Concert time is Saturday at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

Stage crew has a fast turnaround because another concert is next weekend (3rd Aug) featuring the Doobie Brothers.

Cincinnati actually had about a string of days of pleasant weather!

I greatly enjoyed last weekend’s golf tournament The Open (aka British Open). The subplot of Northern Ireland hosting, an Irishman winning, and the crowds appreciating the event heightened my interest. It was only the second time the event was held outside of England and Scotland.

I had a good surge in my golf league’s second session – but, I fell short.

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Despite Robert Mueller’s prior statement that he would stay within the scope of the written report, House Democrats decided to go down the path that would ultimately (in my view) cost them votes. House Democrats continue to lead the way for re-electing an incumbent from the other party.

The Mueller testimony to House committees demonstrated the following:

  • Elected representatives have a greater interest in representing their party’s needs over what citizens need to know
  • The art of grandstanding
  • No interest in fact finding

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a pros and cons list of meal kit delivery services.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Pizza crust saved to make pizza broth
Foreign candy has unrecognizable fruit on label
Nemesis has Wikipedia page
Real estate agents trying to gentrify run-down Earth by renaming it West Saturn
Nation’s men holding acoustic guitars announce plan to idly strum while you try to talk to them
Science class learning about harmful effects of sugary sodas by submerging classmate in Coca-Cola for a week

Interesting Reads

Paradigm shifts
Future of work in America
Is college too easy?
Asimov and creativity
Did Neanderthals speak?
Ranking villains of Bond – James Bond
(Graphic) Countries owning the US debt
(Graphic) Bullshit rankings by country and demographics
(Pictures) Led Zeppelin’s first concert

To send you into the weekend, here’s a throwback to 1982. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 407

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Last weekend’s Crosby, Still, Nash & Young concert provided over 20 songs. The next concert (tentatively 27th July) will feature the same four – BUT only their solo careers. Tip – Keep the others off the stage!

Although I haven’t decided yet, readers may get two beach walks next week.

A professional baseball player dies away from home. The team honors him at the next home game. The players were his number with his name on the back of the jersey. His mother throws out the first pitch – a perfect strike. The team wins the fame – a shutout – a no-hitter. All the day before his 28th birthday. That’s a difficult script to write.

The news is covering the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Here are several articles of interest for those interested.

A forgotten fact about the first landing on the Moon. The year -1969 – right in the midst of a turbulent social period throughout the world. Yet, the world stopped for this event, therefore humanity was united as one – at least for a brief moment.

For those who like this sort of thing, here’s a site focusing on media bias, which I’ve also added to the Resources section on the sidebar.

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Many refer to President Trump with a variety of names and adjectives: Bloviator, Narcissist, Idiot, Jackass, Asshole, and many more. Instead of inflaming a supporter, I continue to simply say, “He’s a pathetic person, an even worse leader, and he brings the majority of problems on himself.” By the way – it works!

I’m not a fan of the Congressional group known as The Squad, but at least a few Republicans spoke up condemning President Trump’s language about the four female Democratic representatives. Meanwhile, most of the GOP caucus were silent, evasive, or issued shallow statements.

Given President Trump’s controversial tweets about The Squad, I like this headline at The Onion because it speaks volumes about this supporters – who will still be around after he leaves office: Trump supporters worried racist attacks against progressive Democrats just talk

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion gives us some thoughts about the future of farming.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Moon receives standing ovation at Apollo 11 anniversary event
Exhausted Amazon customer forced to piss in bottle while browsing Prime Day deals
Gaming addict attempting to slowly wean self off of real life
MIT scientists successful swap man’s brain with an almond
Mom saving baby pictures for child to use on rap album cover
Man taking unemployment as opportunity to think about how he really wants out of life
Family creeped out by Alexa playing back conversations they haven’t had yet

(My Combo) MIT scientists successfully wean creeped out Alexa off family

Interesting Reads

Plastics as a fuel source
Future work in America
New Coke: What happened?
Picasso’s muse
The race to rule streaming TV
(Photos) Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium (1970-2002)
(Photos) Pictures of Spain
(Graphic) What people stream
(Infographic) The tale of two economies: USA & China

To send you into the weekend from hot and muggy Cincinnati, here’s a song that I like by an artist that I don’t like – but hey – I like the song! Besides, it fits my heat theme. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 406

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Summertime is definitely here. After a long streak of rain, we could use a good dose of water from the sky. I don’t care for this hot, muggy weather.

This Weekend Concert Series returns with Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Because of the way these artists have mixed and matched, songs must be credited two at least 2 of the 4 musicians. Solo songs are not acceptable. Stage time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US).

Norah O’Donnell debuts Monday as the anchor of the CBS Evening News. I wish her well and look forward to watching. On the other hand, I recall feeling bored watching Katie Couric’s heralded debut.

I enjoyed the IMAX film about Cuba, so I encourage others to see it if/when it comes to a local theater near you. Future locations and dates are not listed. Here’s a link to the film’s website, which includes a list of current theaters. The trailer is below.

Congratulations to the US Women’s Soccer Team for winning the World Cup.

I’m a baseball fan, but All-Star Game bores me – so if I watch it, I only see snippets.

Earlier this week I substituted in my old golf league. It was good to see people I haven’t seen in 4-5 years. As we were sitting around after golfing, a few were complaining about Nike and Colin Kaepernick. I couldn’t resist the chance to use my explanation: “I hate to tell you but Nike isn’t marketing to anyone at this table. Their target market isn’t old white guys who generally vote Republican and wear New Balance shoes they bought from Target, WalMart, or Kohls.” Some nodded, others laughed, and the majority were speechless.

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I’ve mentioned the Biden Dilemma (my term) several times since I initiated the thought. Here’s the original thought.

  1. His age
  2. Voters may be looking for a fresh face (as they did with Jimmy Carter (1976), Bill Clinton (1992), George W Bush (2000), Barack Obama (2008), and Donald Trump (2016)
    Not Left enough
  3. If nominated, the party will force him left, that is forcing him to be who he isn’t (Similar to what happened to Hilliary Clinton (2016), John McCain (2004), and Mitt Romney (2008)
  4. His tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time
  5. Kate Smith Syndrome – Anything in the past can be placed into today’s standards and context
  6. Ties to the Republican Boogie Man: Obama

Although there is a long way to go, if Joe Biden does not get the Democratic nomination, I would not be surprised to see a strong independent candidate enter the presidential race.

On July 4th, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) declared his independence from the Republican Party. This action may cause him to lose his committee seat(s) and will unquestionably threaten his re-election. Consider this as a prime example of member of Congress doing the right thing to the expense of losing their position.

While the Republicans can’t do anything more about health care than criticize Single Payer and Obamacare, the Democrats also continue to miss the mark by not addressing the issue – including improving Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion lists pros and cons for sharable electric scooters.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Area man always thought he’d squander his life differently
Fork section of cutlery drawer overrun by invasive soup spoons
Craftsman confirms new hammer backwards-compatible with previous generation of nails
Weary, cynical woman knows better than to bring a tomato plant into a world like this
Area 8-year-old formally rescinds hunger complaint following mother’s insulting banana offer
OSHA special ops team raids local office after receiving intel of expired fire extinguisher
God orders all followers to swallow cyanide capsule in preparation for voyage to Alpha Centauri

(My Combo) Cynical 8-year-old orders weary man to swallow nails

Interesting Reads

The mission of Apollo 11
Plants and climate change
About Einstein
For those who like quirky
Chernobyl: fact and fiction
Demographics and the US political parties
(Photos) New UNESCO World Heritage Sites
(Graphic) Housing by countries over time
(Infographic) History of life

To send you into the weekend from hot and muggy Cincinnati, here’s one of my favorite heat songs. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 405

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Introducing a new header. This is a collection of faint, newly formed (1-to-2 million years old) stars in Westerlund 2 (a small area within the Milky Way). To see past headers, visit Past Headers page (tab) or click here.

To my Canadian readers, a belated Happy Canada Day (which was July 1st).

To my American readers, Happy Independence Day! To the rest of the world, Happy July 4th (the day between July 3rd and July 5th).

Ohio is a strange fireworks state. We can buy a certain grade of fireworks from a licensed in-state dealer, but it is illegal to use them.

In my opinion, Number of Followers is the most insignificant stat in blogging – yet, I noticed crossing the latest milestone – 7,800.

Thanks for those participating in the Elton John concert. The next blog concert features Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young. Because of how these musicians mixed and match, all songs must feature 2, 3, or 4 of them – but not as soloists. Tentative date is Saturday July 13th – and The Producer is eager for this one.

For those who didn’t know and don’t remember, I hate hot, muggy weather – but to celebrate the arrival of the summer heat in the northern hemisphere, I will use a summer songs at the end of the post.

I struggled in the first mini-season in my golf league – so I’m hoping for better in mini-season 2.

Wimbledon – one of the greatest tennis tournaments in the world has started. In the midst of the Women’s World Cup (soccer) and the pay discrepancies between the men’s and women’s teams in the US, Wimbledon has an unusual approach for the prize money – equal pay for unequal work.

For those you saw Rocketman, here’s an interesting interview with Elton John and Taron Egerton (the actor portraying Sir Elton in the movie). FYI: It’s 14 minutes.

A friend of ours marched in Cincinnati’s Pride Day Parade. The number of Christian churches who marched supporting the day pleasantly surprised her.

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Back in May I established Biden’s Dilemma – which (so far) seems to be playing out – but it’s early.

Not to anyone’s surprise, I did not watch either of the recent Democratic debates. Where as last week I provided fact checks to Night 1, here are fact checks to Night 2: FactCheck, PolitFact, PBS, NBC, CBS

Do you remember the outrage involving the Elian Gonzalez situation in 2000? Compare that to the lack of outrage of what is happening today along the US-Mexico border.

To the Trumpians, President Trump is winning the trade battle with China. What Trumpians either don’t know or don’t care about is;

  • President Trump has not used the avenues of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Instead of involving traditional trading partners, President Trump has chosen to deal alone
  • President Trump has emboldened China in their dealings with other countries, so China has reduced tariffs with other countries while increasing US tariffs. Then again, he is the master of the deal. If you don’t believe so, just ask him.

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides tips for the perfect picnic.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Baby’s crows first word ‘Caw’
Historians reveal aqueducts were only a small portion of Ancient Rome’s intricate waterpark system
Barista only person in coffee shop with job
Porn star has face only a stepmother could love
If Earth continues to warm at current rate, Moon will be mostly underwater by 2400
Experts say earliest sign of mental health issues usually crossing eyes while dribbling fingers on lips, saying “Cuckoo, Cuckoo”

Interesting Reads

The most connected countries
The need for intestinal worms
Exiling a Greek philosopher
Data regarding thoughts about fake news
State of the news media
Coordinating Fake News and Fake Science
How fireworks came to America
(Graphic) Compare countries GDP ( a good visual)
(Photos) Seeking relief from the heatwave

To send you into the weekend, here’s a summer song that Dale will love. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 404

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With a national holiday on the near horizon in the US, the Weekend Concert Series resumes this Saturday with Billy Joel. Stage time is Saturday, 1 AM (Eastern US).

I’m looking forward to Yesterday – the movie about the Beatles music.

Do you have or know someone who has old eyeglasses sitting around? OneSight is a nonprofit organization bringing vision care to the needy throughout the world. You can help by donating old glasses at LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, or Sears Optical retail center nearest you.

My cell phone is an Android. The app I use to block unwanted callers is no longer free. Any recommendations for a replacement?

Earlier this week I actually started thinking about how I would end this blog. No – that’s not imminent, but the thought is on my mind. I will make it to my 11th anniversary of my little corner of the world. Plus, I just won’t walk away. Instead of new stuff, maybe I should finish at least some of my drafts. 😉

I submitted a request to change my jury duty dates, and it was accepted. Just another example of honest, timely communication yielding a good result.

Following Malted Pretzel Ball (OK) and Amaretto Crunch (Good), Graeter’s (Cincinnati’s ice cream treasure) just released another seasonal flavor – Molasses Honeycomb Candy, which I have not yet tried.

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Just saw the headlines that the US Supreme Court ruling that Federal Courts cannot block gerrymandering is another example of the checks-and-balances system going astray. The ruling is a win for the parties and a strike against the people.

I intentionally didn’t watch either of the Democratic debates because I will not be voting in Ohio’s Democratic Primary. From the clips I saw Thursday morning about the Wednesday group, I hate when multiple people are talking at the same time.

Fact-checking reports about the first group gathering: PolitiFact, FactCheck, PBS, CBS, and NBC.

Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats continuing to sidestep healthcare will work against them.

Somehow (and it wasn’t easy), I watched Chuck Dodd interviewing President Trump on Meet The Press. He frequently used his common foils: Obama, Democrats, and Jeff Sessions.

It’s the end of the quarter, so time for my 2020 election thoughts.

  • 99% chance of President Trump being nominated
  • 0% chance of me voting for President Trump
  • 15% chance of me voting for the Democratic candidate
  • 60% chance of President Trump being re-elected

To lead you into this week’s satirical headlines, The Onion provides a timeline about how American diets have changed over time.

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Maybe the Best Single Headline Ever by The Onion

Hot Wheels Ranked Number One Toy For Rolling Down Ramp, Knocking Over Dominoes That Send Marble Down A Funnel, Dropping Onto Teeter-Totter That Yanks On String, Causing Pulley System To Raise Wooden Block, Propelling Series Of Twine Rollers That Unwind Spring, Launching Tennis Ball Across Room, Inching Tire Down Slope Until It Hits Power Switch, Activating Table Fan That Blows Toy Ship With Nail Attached To It Across Kiddie Pool, Popping Water Balloon That Fills Cup, Weighing Down Lever That Forces Basketball Down Track, Nudging Broomstick On Axis To Rotate, Allowing Golf Ball To Roll Into Sideways Coffee Mug, Which Tumbles Down Row Of Hardcover Books Until Handle Catches Hook Attached To Lever That Causes Wooden Mallet To Slam Down On Serving Spoon, Catapulting Small Ball Into Cup Attached By Ribbon To Lazy Susan, Which Spins Until It Pushes D Battery Down Incline Plane, Tipping Over Salt Shaker To Season Omelet

Interesting Reads

Fascination with Leonardo da Vinci
How dogs evolved
Ohio’s corn is in trouble and that matters
Patents and Toy Story characters
Mobile devices: a fact sheet
(Graphic) World’s most valuable brands
(Photos) World’s Ugliest Dog Competition

To send you into the weekend, here’s a song not submitted at last weekend’s concert (as well as a throwback to the disco era). In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.