Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 380

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For those that missed Tuesday’s special announcement, Pronouns: The Musical this weekend with an Encore act featuring songs with two or more different pronouns used in this musical (or click here). See the SPECIAL page/tab (below the banner/header) for more information. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

For the story writers in the crowd, hope you saw the Writing Challenge I issued earlier this week. See the Challenge page/tab (below the banner/header) for details (or click here). Responding to the challenge starts this coming Tuesday after I post my version. If you aren’t a short story person, pass along the challenges to others you know who may be interested.

A few days ago we saw First Man, the movie about astronaut Neil Armstrong. Interesting and well done, but I wouldn’t call it a must-see blockbuster. It’s not fast-moving, but has its tense moments. There’s a notice amount of silence throughout the movie. For most of his post-astronaut adult life, Mr. Armstrong lived in the Cincinnati area. From what I know of Armstrong’s personality, Ryan Gosling hit it!

I’m drafting a future post about shopping carts – which caused me to develop a new category – Shopping. Would you know it, I already have a few past posts that fit that new category. Feel free to visit the category in the future or by clicking here.

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President Trump says he could fire the entire Mueller investigation team to end the investigation. Mr. President, do what you mean and mean what you say. The time is now – enough talk – do it! Do what you say you can do. Do what you really want to do! Do it!!!

Although the anticipated Blue Wave didn’t not occur, Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. I give House Democrats a 95% chance to do something in one month (by the end of January 2019) that strengthens President Trump re-election – which I raise the chances of happening to 80%.

Gerrymandering is not new. Not only has it been around for a long time, both parties are guilty – even in recent times!

Important “-isms” are in the news: Anti-semitism, racism, Nazism, and others – let alone include other related terms as Islamophobia and homophobia. I want to toss in another one that would impact more than any of the above – partyism. After all, there is plenty of data showing pathetic candidates from each side getting sizeable number of votes.

Eight states still have straight ticket voting – the method allowing voters to cast votes for candidates in one party by making only one mark. Good news is that the number of states doing this pathetic practice is declining.

As an authentic independent who sneers at each party, I enjoyed this article about Congress by the Washington Post.

Last week I wrote these words, “Whereas the focus continues to be the last 14 words of the Second Amendment, I continue to say the key to the debate is the first 13 words. After all, those are the words not on the lobby wall at NRA headquarters.” This week brought us news of another mass shooting.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion discovered the latest “I Voted” stickers from Nevada. Are you willing to look here?

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man does incredibly well at slot machine demo embedded in ad
Girlfriend really has mind of her own today
Supposedly educated professor has no idea how to get bird out of lecture hall
Area man thankful to be single during Golden Age of Television
Slug just taking it easy today
Voter just needs to know which candidate chops wood in a flannel shirt
North Carolina voter in heavily gerrymandered district somehow voting for Montana Senate, Mayor Of Phoenix

Interesting Reads

Eastern and Western European differences
A large, unused airport
Analytics and health care
Butch Cassidy
The re-shaped Milky Way
(Photos) From the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest
(Photos) Beautifully designed spas

To send you into the weekend, here’s that I heard for the first time earlier this week. Enjoy Alex Murdoch with All My Days. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 379

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Pronouns: The Musical is continues this weekend with the final act featuring songs with It in the title. Caution: It and It’s are acceptable, but not Its. Don’t rely on YouTube getting it right! Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

I may have one or two important announcement by Tuesday. If so, there would be one or two new pages/tabs. So be watching for the Special page/tab and the Challenge page/tab.

This week marked the renewal of a Halloween tradition in our condo neighborhood. The adults get together for an outdoor social so the candy seekers can have a one-stop feast.

A new episode of Rick Steves’ Europe examines cruising. Being that we enjoy cruising, we felt that his assessment of cruising was very fair.

Amazing how each of us have encounters that hit us in different ways. I want to share four of mine from last week

My wife recently had a toe surgery involving a cartilage implant. November will be a slow month here, so my dancing is on hold – well, unless she either goes along to watch and socialize or she wants me away for a few hours. Meanwhile, I’ve come a butler.

Stephen Colbert make me laugh. This 2+ minute clip is very good spoof on commentator Lou Dobbs.

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I can honestly say President Trump will not impact any of my votes on Election Day. For the record, my ballot has races for Governor, other state offices, Senator, Representative, the state legislature, and local races.

Given next week’s midterm elections, I’m raising the odds of the Democrats gaining control of the House to 90%, but retain the 10% odds of the Republicans losing control of the Senate.

From my perspective, there is no difference between the Democratic party attacks on the Koch Brothers and Republican party attacks on George Soros. Of course, during an election, neither party is willing to look within themselves.

Last week was difficult: mailing of bombs to prominent people – a shooting at a grocery store in Kentucky – a mass shooting at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh – all three incident by loners with unhinged, deranged minds. Unfortunately, predictable statements about gun control and the Second Amendment again come forth. Whereas the focus continues to be the last 14 words of the Second Amendment, I continue to say the key to the debate is the first 13 words. After all, those are the words not on the lobby wall at NRA headquarters.

To understand the problems in today’s America, find a copy of the Roundtable discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos (28 October 2018).

Being that we are living in a time of a self-centered, bloviating, obnoxious, dishonest jackass holding the office of the leader of the free world, I hope you visited at least one of the four links listed in the previous section. Cheers to Master Yoda’s comment that is very applicable today.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion reports the latest on the Trump boys. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man exhausted having to explain Halloween costume for the umteenth time
Area man always carb-loading just in case
Polite high school football team runs around banner that took hours to make
Study finds placing one foot forward, then the other, remains best method of walking
Parents honor beloved dead grandmother by naming baby ‘GamGam’
Rash not going away on its own

Interesting Reads

100 years after the Armistice
10 countries gone after the Cold War
A Jew’s life between the wars
The complexity of 10 simple things
Building a Moon base: a how to
(Graphic) Growth, GDP, countries, over time
(Pictures) High water in Venice (and to think I was there 21 days before these pictures)
(Pictures) Mexico City’s Day of the Dead parade

To send you into the weekend and into the midterm elections, here’s that is applicable for me and a few of the readers here. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 378

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Them in the title. Hint: This is not an easy theme. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Last weekend we attended a play that was a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It was interesting and well done – plus the set was fabulous. Here’s the link with pictures.

Although our National Parks Tour was 15 nights, I’ve shorten the travel series to 5-6 posts. Next one is this Sunday night.

Regarding the two huge lotteries this week – well – not only did we not win – we were shutout – no numbers on any of the 6 tickets/lines.

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Election Day for the midterms is approaching – but not soon enough because I’m tired of all the campaign ads: especially those of the 2 races buying the most time.

Party partisans continue to ignore messages from the independent middle. For instance,

  1. Long ago I suggested that leader of Democrats in the House (Nancy Pelosi: D-CA) should step aside ahead of the election. With an approval rating that is much lower President Trump’s, Republicans continue to use her in negative ads.
  2. Shortly after Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination I suggested that Democrats NOT pursue blocking his nomination. Now that he’s on the Court, multiple polls show the Democratic actions have worked against them, thus improved the stature of Republicans in the public.

Regarding the recent mailing of bombs, the perpetrator has not been found. As the partisans take to the airways to point fingers at the other side, here are two important questions of initial focus: Who? Why? The second can’t be answered until determining the first. However, President Trump had a great opportunity to set a tone with his comments that night – and he obviously chose to take a different path – the usual low road.

I heard an interview when a person explain that it took Donald Trump to bring out the differences in Washington. ABSOLUTELY NOT! The difference have been steadily growing for the past 50 years, but Donald Trump has amplified the differences.

Updating the ever-changing odds:

  • Chance of Democrats gaining control in the House: 80%
  • Chance of Democrats gaining control in the Senate: 10%
  • Chance of Donald Trump being nominated by Republicans in 2020: 99.9%
  • Chance of Donald Trump winning re-election: 70%
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion has a great picture about climate-change advocate Al Gore.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Thrill seeker microwaves pot pie without slitting crust
Mom hates bad guy in movie
Horrified nurses discover 40-pound baby after accidentally leaving it in incubator over weekend
Magpie worried mate only interested in him for collection of shiny objects
Study finds over 5 million birds die annually from head-on collisions with clouds
104-year-old reveals secret to long life being cursed by witch to wander Earth eternally

Interesting Reads

People over 65: Facts vs. opinions
A read about Claude Debussy
Africa and web conductivity
The European schism
(Pictures) Freak hailstorm in Rome
(Graphic) Most valuable global retail brands
(Video) A lady making arms

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 375

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with We in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

Even though I was out-of-town at a family event during the last act, cheers to all for demonstrating the show must go on. Special thanks to Dale for hosting!

Attendance for the musical has surprised me! Thanks to all participants!!!

Beach Walks resume this weekend (Sunday, after 9 pm Eastern US).

College football started last weekend and the NFL starts this weekend. I enjoy football, but my interest level has declined in recent years.

This week was the final week of the regular season of golf league. I entered the week will a good chance of making the playoffs to defend my championship. I played well, but my opponent had his best round in 20 years. I played good enough, and because there is no defense in golf, all I could do is congratulate him on his great round.

On Thursday, Cincinnati made the national news for the wrong reason – an unnecessary random shooting. Just more evidence that one never knows the whereabouts of someone unhinged. Unfortunately, it can happen anywhere.

Next week we hope to visit the Chocolate exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center.

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I believe Bob Woodward’s latest book (Fear) about the Trump Administration will NOT alter public perception.

The New York Times publishing an anonymous op-ed in their Opinions section is both intriguing and strange. I enjoyed Jimmy Kimmel’s thoughts, especially his speculation about the writer’s identify. For that, click here – and for what I described, start at 2:30. It’s worth the look.

Speculation continues about Joe Biden’s possible 2020 candidacy. I could vote for him – but I’m also afraid he could follow John McCain’s footsteps in losing my vote with his running mate selection.

I had to laugh at this statement by former President Obama about John McCain. “After all, what better way to get a last laugh to make George and I say nice things about him to a national audience.”

This article from Pew Research says it all: Democrats and Republicans agree that they can’t agree on the basic facts.

Newspapers are struggling. Pittsburgh may be the largest city in the US without a daily newspaper. More and more people are selecting a news source that delivers news they want to hear. Outside money continues to flood into local elections. I question if this famous quote is still valid: “All politics is local.” (Tip O’Neill)

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a guide to Twitch: a top site for live-streaming video games.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Button-up shirt goes on life-changing odyssey around dry cleaner’s garment conveyor
Societal collapse narrowly averted after man honks horn at car paused at green light
Nation baffled by childless woman who doesn’t even have high-powered career
Trail of ants better be leading toward something delicious
Free toothpick transforms schlubby restaurant-goer into aloof bad boy
Evolution definitively proven as scientists capture first-ever footage of chimpanzee transforming into human (Click here for the image)

Interesting Reads

10 rivalries that shaped world history
Venezuela, crisis, and families
Feminist icon in 17th Century India
The tennis grunt
Clipper ships and world trade
Linking mouse poop and traveling to Mars
(Photos) Celebrating British diversity

Even though Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, I’m continuing the summer theme to send you into the weekend. Enjoy this classic. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 374

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Her in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Sorry about the glitch at starting the last act.

Extra-special thanks to everyone commenting on the 10th anniversary of my little corner of the world. Besides the kind words, your presence met so much to me. Thank you!!!!

In the anniversary post I guessed that Debra was the commenter with the longest tenure. Well, that’s not the case. I would say that Debra is the longest-running continuous commenter, but of the people who commented on this post, Patti Ross was the longest followed by Robin, Elyse, then Debra. Thanks to this great group of ladies.

In the last minute of the last game in last year’s pro football season, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass to win the game against Baltimore – and the Baltimore loss put Buffalo into the playoffs for the first time in many years. Buffalo fans responded by donating over $400,000 to Andy Dalton’s charity foundation! When introduced to the crowd before the Cincinnati-Buffalo preseason game last week, Buffalo fans gave Andy Dalton a rousing standing ovation. To give his thanks and announce a donation to a cancer center in Buffalo, Dalton recorded a message that played for the crowd.

I had an odd blog encounter this week. Discovered that I’m related to a person I met through a blogger. We have the same great-great-grandfather. I don’t research ancestry, but that was an unbelievable encounter. Just another example of how technology makes the world smaller.

What percentage (do you think) of internet users in China are mobile? Click here to check your answer.

Subject to last-minute change, I won’t be posting a beach walk this weekend. After all, it’s a 3-day holiday weekend here in the USA. My plan is for the series to resume next week.

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Why am I not surprised that rising gas prices has made very little news? Then again, summer usually involves an increase, so let’s see what happens the rest of the year.

President Trump’s messages about the passing of Sen. John McCain were expectedly pathetic. After all, he’s a pathetic person and an even worse leader.

This week I thought about John McCain: the politician. The one who saw a different way in 2000 compared to the one who caved into the party’s right wing in 2008.

I dislike negative campaign ads – and November’s Election Day seems so far away.

My odds for future elections

  • Democrats taking control of the House in 2018: 65%
  • Democrats taking control of the Senate in 2018: 25%
  • Democrats getting my 2020 presidential vote: 20%
  • Republican (other than Trump) getting my 2020 presidential vote: 10%
  • Donald Trump getting my 2020 vote: 0%
  • Donald Trump winning re-election: 60%
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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for winning escape rooms.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Green Energy Scientists Unveil 800,000-Ton Potato Capable Of Powering Entire City
New liver can really handle its Scotch
Landlord promises to figure out why leaky ceiling not his fault
Man knows in reality marrying Minnie Mouse wouldn’t be as perfect as he imagines
Grandmother can’t believe she hung on this long for granddaughter’s lame-ass wedding
Non-considerate passenger takes up entire overhead bin (click here for the must-see image)

Interesting Reads

Innovative infrastructure solutions in 5 US cities
Sex Education in the Netherlands
A look back at Chicago 1968: the Democratic convention
Heroin history and El Chapo
Looking Muslim
The Nazi officer who saved Paris
(Pictures) Aerial views of rich and poor

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a Golden Oldie introduced by an icon. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 372

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Pronouns: The Musical is continue its trek this weekend featuring songs with Him in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). Similar to the last act (He), Him is challenging.

As fires ravage the western US and flood waters run rampant in the east, a reminder to all who are able and willing to donate to a disaster relief fund of your choice. Charity Navigator rates charity based on performance, financial health, accountability, and transparency.

We were in downtown Cincinnati last weekend with friends, and I like this black and white picture that I captured.

Because I was off work at 2 pm and rained damped much of Thursday, we went to the movie theater to see Crazy Rich Asians. A sit-back-and enjoy type of movie. There is plenty of fun, interesting characters, beautiful scenery of Singapore, and opulence.

This was strange. I am prone to motion sickness, especially when spinning – therefore I avoid fast-turning dances like Viennese Waltz. My wife read a strange factoid that placing an earplug in one ear suppresses motion sickness – so we tried it at a dance lesson. Oddly enough, it seemed to work.

College football season is not far away. I foresee a long season for my teams (Oh how they’ve fallen). Meanwhile, I wish Texas and Oklahoma would leave the Big 12 for whoever wants them.

Congratulations John Howell for being the 80,000th comment! The next milestone will be August 28th – celebrating 10 years for my little corner of the world!

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Democratic senators who meet with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and then give me a fair hearing – therefore saving the fight for another day.

The Left and the Right have more in common than they realize – especially when it comes about carrying to those in their party that are more to the center. Other than wanting money and votes, the Left and the Right want nothing to do with their respective moderates – so I provide this article written by a disgruntled Democrat.

I watched and listened to Omarosa’s interview on Meet the Press. I didn’t give Omarosa much credence when she was a member of the Trump administration, and my view hasn’t changed just because she’s written a tell-all book that criticizes President Trump. I’m not saying there are no truths in her story, I still question her credibility; therefore will not automatically embrace her thoughts just because I don’t support President Trump.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides a historical timeline regarding studies on the effects of coffee.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Christian pornographer refuses to film sex tape for gay couple
Caterpillar in pupal stage for past 3 months going to be pissed if it turns out to be moth
Unhinged man with jackhammer slips into construction site undetected
Surgeon pretty bummed about losing patient, but it’s not like they were good friends or anything
Orca mother carries around dead calf for two weeks as warning to all who would defy her
Elderly woman spends day in park feeding pigeons dismembered husband

Interesting Reads

14 words defining the present
America’s “nones” and religion
Elephant’s way fighting cancer
What Americans want via reform
A transformation face transplant
Beer in Mesopotamia?
(Photos) Abandoned Russia

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a rocker from the past that also serves as a shout out to my Canadian friends. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 371

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Pronouns: The Musical is continuing its trek this weekend featuring songs with He in the title. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US). A word of caution: Songs qualifying for this act are not as plentiful as one my think – but that would be Obama’s fault.

Firestone Country Club (Akron, Ohio) hosted its first PGA golf event in 1959. This past weekend, the PGA held its last event at the famed venture. I don’t know who made that decision – the sponsor, the tour, or the course – but that is a pathetic decision.

For those who enjoy a wide variety of music, our church sponsored a summer concert series featuring strong talent in the Cincinnati area. The series featured a Bluegrass band, a string quartet, an organists, a French Gypsy jazz quartet, and a well-travelled concert pianist. Simply an outstanding effort!

I knew head position is important in ballroom dance, but wow – I’ve been underestimating its importance.

Don’t forget to check your Comments Spam folder on your WP Dashboard. I look before emptying because I occasionally find a legit comment in that location.

Because I like milestones, this week my little corner of the world may pass 80,000 comments.

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It’s early August, and I’ve already seen too many political ads for the November election.

Months ago I suggested that it would be best for Democrats if House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would announce that she would not seek leadership if the Democrats gained control in November. While Republicans continue to use her as a negative against Democratic candidates in competitive races, some Democratic candidates are saying they would not vote for Pelosi for House Speaker.

In the current season of special elections, Democrats are elated with strong showing while Republicans are happy with winning the high majority of elections.

Shortly after the US-North Korea meeting in Singapore, I made a statement about when President Trump would be meeting with Iran. So far, President Trump is following a similar playbook with Iran as he did with North Korea. Here’s an article by Aaron David Miller, a foreign affairs expert and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.

I see foresee the following 2020 scenario as a possibility: Republicans renominate President Trump while Democrats swing left for their nomination. This opens the lane of an independent moderate candidate, plus Libertarians learn from 2016 and nominate a sensible candidate.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion notes one of the problems of the current wildfires in California.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

This woman’s weekend-long trip with her friend should have really just been a lunch
Dog meets owner at door in desperate attempt to get ahead of diarrhea-rug scandal
Beloved father and infrequent pornography user loses 3-year battle with cancer
Owl can’t remember which direction to rotate head back
Report: Takeout place put burrito in completely different container this time
Financial planner suggest spending one evening each week ripping walls, floorboard, in search for cash

Interesting Reads

Dos and don’ts for a heatwave
Ways to apologize in Japanese
Resources of sub-Sahara Africa
An asylum seeker’s journey and back again
Thinking about economic data
(Graphic) Excise taxes and wine
(Pictures) Hiking the Sinai Trail

To send you into the weekend and continuing the summer theme, here’s a throwback to 1969 for you to enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.