Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 308

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The recent attack at the Istanbul airport rips one’s heart. Blogger Nia quickly came to my mind because I know she’s a kind, sensitive person who is unhappy with the political turmoil and the regional violence. I encourage you to visit her blog to offer your support to her and the good people in Turkey.

Although I continue to believe my personal mantra that the majority of the world is good, this and similar incidents challenge my view …. but I continue to hang on! Meanwhile, the key to defeating ISIS (in my opinion) starts within the Arab world.

Loud cheers to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for allowing the Cincinnati Reds to honor Pete Rose by retiring his number and allowing him to enter the Reds Hall of Fame. The previous commissioner felt the need to extend Rose’s punishment to the Reds organization, Reds fans, and the city of Cincinnati.

Hey hey hey – it looks like our Argentine Tango class will be extended by one week!

The distance separating Cincinnati and West Virginia isn’t very much. Whereas very little rain has fallen at my residence, West Virginia is flooding. I think it’s President Obama’s fault.

My life has been one of major adjustments the past 3 months. My wife’s retirement and my part-time job have affected whatever time is left in a day – therefore, my poor attendance among the blogs.

Thanks to all who participated in Colors: The Musical! As of this writing, I’m way behind on replying to comments, but I’ll get there! Thanks for your patience.

This is a long holiday weekend in the US (4th of July), so no Explore post this weekend.

The combo came to mind by using the subject lines in my email spam folder: Rock-hard Trump destroys Cialis implant

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I found interest in this week’s Supreme Court ruling regarding the abortion laws. Although Ohio was not on the list of states with similar laws, my state has also been on the restrictive path.

Polls and studies showing the majority of Americans say that Congress is doing a bad/poor job make me laugh because the vast majority of elected officials in Congress get re-elected. Which best describes the voting public: anger or complacency?

The recent BREXIT vote created many shock waves across the world. Around all the chaos, it is important to remember the primary cause: It’s President Obama’s fault.

Be cause of the US process for electing a president, I know national polls are essential meaningless – but the closeness of the polls is both fascinating and disturbing.

This week’s aFa Power Rankings for Donald Trump’s running mate: 5) Mitch Pence, 4) Chris Christie, 3) Bob Corker, 2) Jeff Sessions, 1) Newt Gingrich

The first week’s aFa Power Rankings for Hillary Clinton’s running mate: 5) Sherrod Brown 4) Elizabeth Warren, 3) Xavier Becerra, 2) Thomas Perez, 1) Tim Kane

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To lead us into the satire portion of this post, The Onion provides tips for handling social anxieties.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man driving while making YouTube video to explain how PC culture destroying America
‘Five-Second Rule’ disproven
Black mark on birth control manufacturer’s record weighs in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces
Factory robot working on some of its own designs after hours
Three-year-old announces plan to point out fat people all day long.
Only news source man trusts has logo of eyeball with crosshair

Interesting Reads
A moderate working in a polarized environment
Classic music and new technologies (Thanks Tim)
A collection of matchbook boxes from India
Education in Estonia
The Irish pirate queen
Has physics made philosophy and religion obsolete?
(Photos) The Night Skies

Here’s one of my all-time favorite music videos. 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. 287

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A major snow storm is forming in the central US and aiming at the major cities on the eastern seaboard. It appears (at the publish time) the brunt of the storm will pass to the south of Cincinnati … but that could change. Good luck to everyone affected.

We saw the movie Carol. Very interesting and I can see how critics love the movie. Although the setting was New York City in the 1950s, it was filmed here in Cincinnati – so my eyes were on the constant lookout for familiar sights.

I didn’t know that Iranian women can drive and vote – something that Saudi women cannot.

St. Louis lost another sports team as the Rams leave the Gateway Arch city for more lucrative offer in Los Angeles. The NFL is a money-making machine, and each team is worth in billions. I don’t know the stadium deal in LA, but I do know that teams have held (and continue to hold) their city and county governments hostage to build them a stadium for their product. What a shame.

I recently started a second volunteer project as I attend a Senior Living complex for an hour of ballroom. The lady attendees don’t move well, but their smiles are priceless.

We enjoyed this lemon risotto recipe by Rachael Ray.

Although far from perfect, no doubt in my mind that player on-court sportsmanship is much better in basketball than football.

Hats off to ML Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for allowing the Cincinnati Reds to induct Pete Rose into the team’s Hall of Fame, retire his number, and place a statue on the plaza outside the stadium … all of which his peckerhead predecessor wouldn’t consider.

Although some spotted the preview announcement on the Hear Ye page. Opening Night for Colors: The Musical is January 26th, curtain time at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). All songs must include Black in the song title, but not compound words containing black. Shades of black are also unacceptable. The Hear Ye page also contains information about other acts and the awesome Marina-designed Playbill cover. Resa is also offering her wardrobe-design services for this gala event.

I’ve seen several segments of the CNN special The Person Who Changed My Life (this Sunday, 8 pm, Eastern US). I hope to record to watch later, thus encourage readers to turn in.

There will be an Explore this weekend – and I will say it’s not a person, not a place … but a thing.

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I imagine the majority of the people of Iowa can’t wait for the circus to leave town.

A question I would want to ask the Republican candidates: If you don’t believe that humans have influenced climate change, would you reduce the research efforts of governmental groups as NASA and NOAA who support these findings?

Here are the fact checks for the most-recent Republican debate: Politifact, Annenberg Fact Check, Associated Press, Washington Post.

… and the most-recent Democratic debate: Politifact, Annenberg Fact Check, Associated Press, Washington Post.

This Monday, CNN is hosting a Democratic Town Hall event with the 3 seeking the party’s nomination. Yep – I won’t be watching, thus my record will remain perfect.

Other than via comments on these pages, I ran into the first person who is also unhappy with the fact that our governor is drawing a salary while running for president … and I didn’t prompt the suggestion.

Sarah Palin (R-AK) (aka The Nincompoop) returns to the news cycle to endorse Donald Trump (R-NY) … perfect!

Meanwhile, dysfunction continues in The Nincompoop family. After her son’s arrest for domestic violence, The Nincompoop placed the blame on President Obama … Classic Nincompoopian … and priceless.

Something to ponder: Is Sarah Palin a celebrity or a politician?

To lead you toward the weekly dose of satire, The Onion offers tips on arranging a funeral.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Kind Of music that’s playing indicates movie character must be entering Italy
NCAA investigating God for giving athletes gifts
Naughty EpiPen reveals naked lady when injected
Bungled Apocalypse causes light drizzle over Southern Ohio
Porn DVD’s commentary track just more moaning
Drummer forced to retrieve sticks from audience for encore

Interesting Reads
The Stormtrooper army
The dogs that protect little penguins
Saudi women
Vintage vending machines (Thanks, Tim)
The global movement of money
That many in the human body! Really?
(Pictures) Three colors

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

On Rapture and Baseball

By now, most of us have heard the news of the upcoming rapture that is to occur at 6:00 pm (EDT) today. As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I can see that this increases the likelihood that the Reds may not win the NL Central title. Fortunately for the Reds, the Cardinals have an afternoon game, but must lose. Unfortunately, the Reds game starts at 4:05 pm, thus unlikely the game would be completed by 6:00 pm.

As a baseball fan, I am disappointed that MLB has yet to issue a public statement around the event. With that in mind, here are some of my questions/concerns.

If a game is in progress, what happens if neither team has enough players to complete the game?

If the pitcher is raptured, thus leave the game without an injury, will the replacement pitcher get unlimited time to warm up?

Will MLB replace the Angels franchise? After all, all of them automatically qualify for rapture.

If all the umpires are gone, to whom does a manage file a protest regarding the outcome of the play in action at the time?

Are ticket holders entitled to refunds?

Will ESPN continue broadcasting Sunday Night Baseball?

Will MLB George Steinbrenner be able to resume ownership of the Yankees?

If the rapture is accompanied by hell freezing over, will MLB reinstate Pete Rose?

So, what questions do you have?

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 66

On He Got it Right
This is something I didn’t think could happen. As surprising as this may be, he’s right! Yes, I totally agree with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) who (in a recent speech)  said, “It’s time to put grown-ups in charge.” Again, he is right! So, Mr. Boehner, when are you resigning as House Minority Leader?

Although Ruth Marcus takes Mr. Boehner’s speech to task in this column, I most appreciate her last sentence.

Democrats — and the country — would benefit from a responsible opposition party. I’m still looking for evidence of one.

On the Latest Primaries
While some boast about primary wins by Palin-endorsed candidates, I ask this critical question: Can these candidates capture enough votes from the center to win the seat? Time will tell, but I say no.

On the College Football
Hey hey … college football is around the corner and Alabama is ranked #1. Who did they beat to earn the top spot?

On Tiger and the Ryder Cup
Tiger Woods has not earned enough points for an automatic selection to this year’s Ryder Cup team. Would I make him a captain’s pick? At this point, absolutely not. His swing is out of whack and his mind is all over the place. I know that he’s off to a great start at the Barkley’s, but I don’t think he is reliable at this time.  Captain Pavin announces his picks Sept. 7th, so maybe I’ll say more before then.

On those Storm Names
On Thursday, Frank reached hurricane strength in the Pacific. The National Hurricane Center provides this interesting list of storms names. I didn’t realize geography made such a difference!

On the Passing Space Station
Wednesday night I observed the Space Station pass directly over my house. Being one remembering the earliest days of the manned space program, I thought it was cool. For we in Cincinnati, it passes again Thursday and Friday night.

On the Reds
To the dismay of some national pundits, my Cincinnati Reds continue to hang in there. Let’s see … they rank high in batting average, runs scored, fielding, and pitching (since mid-June). Although the trip to SF was horrible, mirrors or not, they are real at to this point in time.

On Honoring 4192
Much to my surprise, and to the chagrin of former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent (his comments), Commissioner Bud Selig granted approval to the Reds to honor the 25th anniversary of Pete Rose breaking the all-time hits record. Not only that, he approved Pete’s on-the-field participation.

I realize that Fay Vincent is a crank who only gets media attention on the Rose issue, but is this the first step for the Reds to eventually retire number 14?

I continue to maintain that I can accept no Cooperstown induction. I can accept no involvement with an MLB team. However, as I said in this popular April 13, 2009 post, I cannot accept the Reds not being able to retire #14, let alone Pete not being in the Reds HOF.

On a Cincinnati Addition
Kings Island, an amusement park just north of Cincinnati, announced this week a new ride for 2011 – the 301 ft tall WindSeeker. See the animation for something I don’t think I could ride.

On Opinions in the Short: Vol. 34

On PeteAnniversary
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of MLB’s banishment of Pete Rose from baseball. It must be the reason for the uptick of readings of this archived post.

On More Misinformation
As I stated in this recent post, health care debacle continues to be an ever-flowing fountain of misinformation. Here are a couple of more.

Rep Roy Blunt (R-Mo)
“I’m 59. In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”
PolitiFact Rating: Pants on Fire – PolitiFact Explanation

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt)
“We spend twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation on Earth.”
PolitiFact Rating: False – PolitiFact Comment: As long as Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and others aren’t “nations on Earth” – PolitiFact Explanation

President Obama (D)
“If we went back to the obesity rates that existed back in the 1980s, the Medicare system over several years could save as much as a trillion dollars.”

PolitiFact Rating: False – PolitiFact Explanation

On Insurance Companies
Who do insurance companies represent: doctors, hospitals, or patients? The answer is none of them because their prime concern is to the shareholders via Wall Street. Dropping insurers, limiting coverage, and raising premiums are actions they do to maintain profits.

On the Economy
Now this is quite the paradox of 2 lives As Wall Street continues to be on a roll, the Americans continue to lose jobs and jobs remain difficult to find.

On the Pan Am Bomber’s Release
Last week’s release of the Pam Am bomber brought out the full range of emotions. On one hand I had a difficult time understanding the response by the Libyan people at the airport. On the other hand I understood Scotland’s compassion and the anger from many family members of victims. Given the different emotions, I kept thinking about the concept of forgiveness. It’s easy to seek, but difficult to grant. As a Christian I continually reminded of Pope John Paul II going to the prison to forgive the person who tried to kill him.

On Social Security Reduction
Recent news seems to indicate an upcoming reduction in social security payments. Not a surprise when considering the current number of unemployed. Let us remember that withholding only occurs on salaries up to $106,800; that’s approximately 25% of the minimum salary of a Major League Baseball player.

On Sports Shorts 072809

On Pete
Seems that some Hall of Famers have approached Commission Selig about reinstating Pete Rose. Ha ha … fat chance Bud Selig changes his mind. As I’ve said in a previous post, although I think Pete should be in, I can live with Pete not being in the HOF, and not working in the game. But the one thing I can’t accept is #14 NOT being a retired number in Cincinnati.

On the Reds
Here’s more good Cincinnati news. Reds ownership believes the Reds are still in the race. “If we can get our pitching to show up and get our hitting to show up at the same time, we’re still possibly considers.” Mr. Castellini, you’re a good guy and the organization is better today because of you. But outside of the month of May, the situation you described hasn’t happened. The team is not very good.

On Bill James Stats
Bill James is a noted statistical guru in baseball … no question; but now he publishes a report saying there no harm of steroids in baseball. Hmmm … now what does that do to his credibility? What will Commissioner Selig say or do?

On an Alternative HOF
Larry (Nutball Gazette) sent me an article of interest written two years ago. The writer suggested an Alternative Baseball Hall of Fame for Cheaters – thus for Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc. And he suggests Cincinnati be the location because it was home to Pete Rose. Yes, he broke rules and makes questionable choices, but he didn’t cheat; and to put his troubles in the same category as the steroid guys is ludicrous.

On NFL Training Camp
NFL talk is also increasing as training camps are opening. We in Cincinnati are proud to say “We’re #1!” What other city can boast being the long-term worst football-baseball team combination in the country?

On College Football
Kickoff to the college football season is about a month away, so the talk is intensifying. Meanwhile, many of the BCS teams continue to play soft out-of-conference schedules for two reasons: more home-game revenue and padding their record to get more bowl revenue.

Meanwhile, I bummed as I just discovered that The Sporting News is not having one of my favorite fantasy games: Salary Cap College Football.

On a Special Jersey

peteroseAs a lifelong Reds fan, I think about Pete Rose. There’s no question that Pete is his worst enemy, but this post is NOT about his poor choices. There’s no question that Pete had a great career and his stats warrant Copperstown (HOF), but this post is NOT about the HOF or even his return to the game.

For whatever reason, Major League Baseball (MLB) continues to punish Cincinnati Reds fans for Pete’s wrongdoings. I simply cannot understand why #14 isn’t retired and hanging on the ballpark façade with other great Reds from the past. Although no player will ever wear #14 again in Cincinnati, MLB’s stance is selfish, arrogant, and an intentional slap in the face to Cincinnati Reds fans and to the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Every time I go to a game or even drive by the ballpark, I think about this travesty. How would MLB be hurt if it lifted the Rose ban for a day or even a weekend to retire #14 and even induct him into the Reds HOF? The Cincinnati Reds fans deserve this because this has nothing – NOTHING to do with Cooperstown eligibility or reinstatement into the game. NOTHING!

Pete Rose grew up in Cincinnati, played hard for his town, and Cincinnatians love him. Even with his tarnish, Pete is still a legend. Yet MLB is led by a commissioner who always says the game is about the fans, but continues to act to the contrary by punishing Cincinnati Reds’ fans for Pete’s indiscretions. Mr. Selig, temporarily lift the ban so the Reds can honor him, so the fans can honor him, and so he doesn’t have to buy a ticket. Better yet, consider calling the Cincinnati Reds with your idea.

To the best of my knowledge the image is the property of Getty Images