Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 341

Embed from Getty Images

Last week we attended live theater 3 nights in a row: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, An Evening with Groucho, and Cabaret. The first two were at the Cincinnati Playhouse where we usher, and the later was a community theater production.

We saw the latest movie rendition of Murder on the Orient Express. If you don’t know who did it, it’s a good (not great) who-done-it movie … but I thought the beginning was too slow.

Last week our handbell choir played Fantasy on an Irish Tune (one many will recognize). For those enjoying handbell music, here’s a recording (not us) of the song, one that we had only a short time to prepare. Meanwhile, this week we started the preparing for a busy December.

If you appreciate outdoor murals, see these extraordinary works. (Thanks to Raye for leading me to these.)

College basketball season is underway. With two strong teams in my city (that are only 3.5 miles/5.6 km apart), expectations are high – especially after a lousy football season.

Sharing our British Isles cruise will continue this weekend – and the end should be before the next edition of OITS. The next post will feature the biggest surprise of the trip.

Embed from Getty Images

I’m awaiting responses from both my Republican Representative Wenstrup and Republican Senator Portman to the following: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, or Texas: No matter the location of a mass shooting, a common Republican soundbite describe the result as “a mental health issue.” What has your party – Republicans – done to address the issue since December 14, 2012? (As of this posting, no answer from either person.)

Seems Congress is aiming for a temporary tax cut … sunset provisions are not tax reform! Then again, much of what they are doing isn’t reform, just mere tinkering with the existing system. The Republicans are stuck between a pushy president and the desperate need to do something. So, they have backed themselves into the corner and can’t make good politics out of bad policy. On the other side, the Democrats are stuck with only saying “No” because they can’t develop a message of a better way.

A divisive president, partisan-driven Congress, and the blind rhetoric of partisan voters has turned me into more fervent independent than I was before. I enjoyed this article from Pew Research Center and the interactive (also from Pew) I listed in Interesting Reads below.

Now this is a classic. A statement from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry referred to President Trump as an “old lunatic” – so President Trump responded, Why would Kim Jong-un called me “old”?

Not to be outdone, radio bloviator Rush Limbaugh offered this head-banging-against-the-wall  defense for Senator Roy Moore (R-AL): “When he supposedly was attracted to inappropriately aged girls, he was a Democrat.”

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers a list of ways to make a difference your local community.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Toddler scientists finally determine number of peas that can fit in the ear canal
Neither boss nor employee paid enough to deal with each other
Flu takes down biggest guy in the office as warning to rest of staff
Doctors discover the purpose of appendix is to contain human soul
90% of bike accidents preventable by buying a car

Interesting Reads
Relationships: Saudi Arabia and its neighbors
How Cincinnati made the JFK files
People and information
Glass terrarium that changed the world
The most painted woman in the world
(Interactive) Political polarization in the US since 1994
(Photos) Facts about sunsets

For your weekend entertainment, here’s Sir Paul performing another classic Beatles song. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Advertisements

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 340

Embed from Getty Images

Sorry to interrupt the cruise tour of the British Isles, but think of Opinions in the Shorts as a cruise day without a port. So far we’ve visited Guernsey, Cork, Cobh, and Dublin. Do you have a favorite? Liverpool is the next stop sometime Saturday.

Last week I forgot to mention the passing of Henry, Fiona’s father. Henry was up in age (36) for a hippo, had a hard time fighting an infection that eventually led to kidney failure. Here’s a positive column at the hippo family from the Cincinnati Enquirer focusing on Henry.

Two weeks to go on the current season of Dancing With The Stars. There is no question in my mind that Jordan Fisher is the best dancer. The question: Will the fan voting validate that point?

We the movie LBJ. We enjoyed it, but I’m not sure how long it will stay in theaters.

It’s Cincinnati Pizza Week … and as of this writing, we have yet to participate. 😦

Embed from Getty Images

Some say that Tuesday’s election served as an anti-Trump referendum. My thoughts on that point.

  • Not only are some voters predictable partisan, another slice is fickle – fluid – always changing with the flow.
  • New Jersey: A Democrat wins the governor’s race replacing a Republican in a solid Democratic state. NOPE
  • Virginia: A Democrat wins the governor’s race replacing a Democrat in a state won by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. NOPE.
  • Virginia: Democrats unseating 15 Republicans in the state Legislature. BINGO!
  • Maine: Voters solidly passed Medicaid expansion over objections from their Republican governor. YAHTZEE! … at least in terms of health care.

Last week’s shooting at a church in Texas brings forth numerous emotions: including the typical Republican response saying the situation is not a gun issue, but a mental health issue – which sparks me to ask two questions: What have the Republicans done to address mental health issues in the past 10 years? Why haven’t the Democrats pushed the Republicans on their own words?

I looked at the GOP tax-form postcard. Whereas the current tax form follows a list-to-list-then-calculate format, card filers must complete calculations “off” the postcard before entering a value. In other words, simplifying the process and the code is a ruse – but it is in need of a thorough review!

About the tax plan, I liked this article from Politico.

Several weeks ago I watched an interview with columnist Thomas Friedman. I like his analogy (and I paraphrase). Donald Trump and many of his supporters are first paragraph people. The first paragraph states a position as “get rid of (fill in the blank)” (NAFTA, the Iran Nuclear Deal, or whatever). But when faced with the “then-what” question, they don’t have an answer because there isn’t a second or third paragraph.

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for getting organized.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Man resolves to read the Wikipedia tabs he has already open before starting new ones
Woman wearing jacket indulging in forbidden pleasure of having pockets
Excitement shifts to concern after coworker brings baked goods into office for fourth consecutive day
Styrofoam to spend next 500 years reflecting on how well it protected blender in transport
Office bad boy sees right through team-building exercise

Interesting Reads
Linking forensics and doll houses
The power of Calypso music
Dodger Stadium: The communities it replaced
The Lady Gaga of the 1920s
Science transforming the world
US cars is Japan

For your weekend entertainment, here’s another classic that still sounds great today. Besides, the next cruise stop is Liverpool. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 339

Embed from Getty Images

Well, the handbell monstrous piece is over – finally over – and at least out of our folder of music (although I fear it will return). We played it OK – but not our best – probably better from the director’s position than from mine. I gave us a C. Now we race to prepare a piece for an upcoming November service (1 more rehearsal), followed by the hectic month of December with the Christmas services.

Congratulations to the Houston Astros for winning baseball’s World Series. What a great thrill for a city still a long way from recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

The double elimination on Dancing With the Stars most definitely was a Halloween surprise.

I’m making headway with the vacation posts; so one may appear this weekend.

Many of heard the saying “all politics are local.” We attended a Meet the Candidates night of city council candidates. Even local politicians seem to have a way of not answering questions. Yep – I say, Throw the bums out – so I will not be voting for any of the 3 incumbents.

Embed from Getty Images

On initial assessment, I like the Republican idea of decreasing contributions to 401(k) accounts. As a matter of fact, I could be more aggressive. But they seem to have given up on the idea.

Last week I listed 10 verbs of President Trump’s leadership style. Here’s one more – forgetting.

Republicans say tax reform would grow the economy by 10%. News Flash! Growing from 1% to 1.1% will not take care of the tax reform plans debt. Therefore, 3-to-5% growth in the current GDP (from President Trump’s own Council of Economic Advisors) through the corporate tax cuts would be minuscule … and all that is different than tripling the growth to 3% (said by others). So then, why the disparity – even within the same party?

For those wanting President Trump’s impeachment, I say, Be careful what you wish for.

I will not be surprised if the newly released Kennedy assassination papers indicate Obama was at fault … Who else could have work with Oswald in such secrecy? Now that’s a powerful and destined 2-year-old.

Embed from Getty Images

To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion identifies the most popular Halloween costumes for couples.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Delirious koala hasn’t slept for 72 straight minutes
Most incompetent office worker once again shines at office Halloween party
Startling reports indicates Democrats may have attempted to influence 2016 election
Man wouldn’t have worn costume to work if he’d known he was getting laid off
Alpha trick-or-treater established by third house

Interesting Reads
Protestantism 500 years later
Leonidas of Rhodes
Dark matter & Halloween
Making Mt. Rushmore
Hardy spuds
Spanish Celtics

For your weekend entertainment, fortunately those no longer with us left their music. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.