Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 296

Our hearts and support to Belgians this week. Wishing them peace and strength today, in the days past, and in the days ahead.

Hard to believe that an 18-year-old American injured in the Brussels blast was also in Boston (the day of the Marathon bombings) and in Paris (the day of the recent attacks).

Thanks to those who watched and commented on the PSA in the previous post. My weekly volunteer time with Down Syndrome adults has taught me a lot. It’s where I learned how they see themselves as normal – and it’s where I’ve learned to appreciate them for who they are. A parent told me that the video bothered them as a parent. I responded by saying what I’ve learned from volunteering – to which the parent responded, “You’re exactly right. They really don’t see themselves as any different than anyone else. Thanks for pulling me back.”

We recently saw a stage version of To Kill a Mockingbird. Wow – it still carries a powerful message.

Next week is The Right Angle’s last week of work as she is ready to ride into the retirement sunset.

This is a great laugh.

Being in the middle of basketball’s March Madness, my city is lucky to have to top programs within the city – let alone, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) apart. But the way both the Bearcats and Musketeers lost was difficult. Ouch! On the other hand, in my opinion, the torch has passed from UC to XU for having the top program in the city. Nonetheless, by the end of the weekend, only 4 teams will be left.

Season 22 of Dancing With The Stars is off to a good start. Definitely a group with some interesting people. It was great to see Edyta back on the show, but ouch – she got the contestant with the worst rhythm and lowest ability.

Act 5: Green of Colors: The Musical was huge! At the time of this writing we’re approaching 50 songs! Then again, I went a bit crazy in my replies … and that’s before Marina and I start playing our additions game.

On the topic of colors, I understand the cherry blossoms of Washington, DC are in full bloom. Elyse and Duncan would gladly give you a walking tour if you stopped by. Make sure to ask her to show you the two trees that are from the original plantings. But if you can’t join her tour, here’s a video to help you enjoy them.

To those celebrating Easter this weekend, a glorious and happy Easter to you.

No Explore post this weekend.

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Republicans love to praise Ronald Reagan, but a 1980 Reagan would be lousy 2016 candidate … just as he would have been lousy in 2012. Don’t believe it? Just compare the party platforms.

There’s a lull in primary season as all eyes are directed at Wisconsin. I wonder how much money the campaigns and organizations will spend on ads in the Dairy State.

In terms of this summer’s Republican convention, keep your eye on changes involving Rule 40-B.

I called Sen. Portman’s office (R-OH) about his stance regarding the current Supreme Court opening – and yep – I said the stance will cost him my vote in November.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion offers tips for establishing a campsite.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Chess onlooker sees a possible move
Scissors kills Paper and Rock; then turns blade on self
Volunteer exercises option to stop volunteering
Shit … new girlfriend snores
Stomach sets aside synthetic additives until it has a few minutes to figure out how to digest them

Interesting Reads
The boom in craft beers
The hidden strengths of introverts
The man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice
3-D printing and the blind
Animals of the world (article & images from National Geographic)

Given Blog Musical Week, it’s a two-fer to send you into the weekend. 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. 126

On Politics
Newt Gingrich came to Cincinnati this week, and I didn’t consider giving him any of my time. Even if he was just down the street (which he wasn’t), I have no interest in the boisterous curmudgeon.

By the way, no GOP candidate has 10% of the delegates needed, so Super Tuesday (which includes me in Ohio) could be a big swing for someone. These campaigns are so hungry that they are calling my fax machine to talk to the fax shrill.

As Republicans continue in yearn for President Reagan’s resurrection and return to the political scene, they continue to miss an important point – Whether conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, Americans want to a president that they respect and can believe in – and in retrospect, the majority of Americans felt that about Ronald Reagan.

From conservative economist Bruce Bartlett: My concern is that the Republican effort is just a smokescreen to incorporate phony-baloney factors into revenue estimates to justify unlimited tax cutting. How soon before the CBO is required to incorporate estimates from the right-wing Heritage Foundation in its calculations? ….. It is reasonable to assume that the Republicans’ effort to alter the budget process is just another aspect of their goal to politicize policy and institutionalize their philosophy.

I wonder how many times politicians have misused “small business” in their statements.

As the situation in Syria continues and gets more press, our pathetic politicians are a much better alternative to bombing one’s own people.

Here is a classic leading to my next section. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) thought this story from The Onion was real: Planned Parenthood opening a $8 Billion Abortionplex

On Headlines from The Onion

  • Fantastic Roommate Won’t Stop Buying Toilet Paper
  • Man in International Airport Only Speaks Business
  • New Photos Reveal Stress of Obama’s First Term has Rapidly Aged Americans
  • Group of Calm, Confident Squirrels Stroll Upright through Central Park
  • Congressman Hurt to Discover Lobbyist not really His Friend
  • Intelligent, Condescending Life Discovered in Distant Galaxy

On Headlines from the Campaign Trail

  • Ron Paul Blames Florida Loss on Expensive Advertising Costs of Poster Board and Markers (The Onion)
  • Coke Super Bowl Features “Mean Mitt Romney (Satirical Political)
  • GOP Introduces New Mystery Candidate with Paper Bag Over Head (The Onion)
  • Mitt Romney Attacks Ben Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac (Satirical Political)
  • GOP Nomination Now Two-Way Race between Romney and Total Voter Apathy (The Onion)
  • Right Proves Every Super Bowl Commercial was Pro-Obama (Satirical Political)

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
Just learned about the Abrahamic Council – a group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim scholars committed to longer-term dialogue.

Why are banks sitting on a robust of cash (thus not lending)?

Our handbell ensemble plays this weekend. It’s a very calm piece, which you can hear with a click. However, we do this without a vocalist, use different striker settings, but hopefully with the flute.

FYI: I will be posting tomorrow.

Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Here is an interesting song to send us into the weekend. (Thanks xandi.)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 85

On SOTU
I continue to think about President Obama’s recent State of the Union. I continue to be weary of the dilemma between new spending and budget cuts – especially considering both are important. Meanwhile, Republican statements continue to reinforce my opinion that they have misread the recent election results. By the way, today is day 746 of the Obama presidency.

On the Health Care Dilemma
A Federal judge in Florida recently ruled the health care bill as unconstitutional – which now ties the ruling at 2-2. There’s no question the issue will make it to the US Supreme Court. Interestingly, because she was a member of the administration at the time, will Justice Kagan need to excuse herself from the case? Meanwhile, the House Constitution committee is going to discuss the constitutionality of the bill. Do you think the committee vote will follow party lines?

On an Upcoming Celebration
Need week we will hear more about President Reagan’s 100th birthday. Ah yes, as conservatives will provide have glowing praise for their hero of modern conservatism, while forgetting he was more liberal than most of them. Yep – Ronald Reagan would be a RINO today.

On Crisis in Egypt
The situation is Egypt is both interesting and frightening. Here are two articles that created thinking: Brookings Institute and New York Times Op-Ed.

On Modern Dentistry
Yesterday I had back-to-back appointments with two dentists. The first offered three different types of Valentine candy with a small red box as from a Chinese restaurant and the other had Otis Sprunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies. We’ve come a long way baby.

On an Interesting Family
Bill Tammeus’ Faith Matter blog provides a daily post about religion. Tuesday’s post provided this interesting perspective about family.

On the Super Bowl
Millions will watch this weekend’s Super Bowl – many from various parties. Enjoy, but return home safely.

Did you see the Tiki Barber interview on Yahoo! Sports where he was telling Packer players that the “G” on the helmet actually stands for greatness? This Packer blogger squashes that notion.

Here’s a music segway into the weekend. Louis Jordan is a legendary artist from the 1930s-1950s. I snjoy his up-tempo style of jump swing.