Come Heller high water …
- Apropos of nothing, President-elect Trump said this week that flag-burners should be jailed or kicked out of the country. Well, of course they should. So should singers who mangle the Star Spangled Banner at baseball games. And Olympic athletes who drape the flag around their sweaty shoulders. And people who have American flag butt patches or bandanas. And people who forget the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and just move their lips. And people – especially smart alecky columnists – who criticize the Donald for tweeting out stupid thoughts like people who burn the flag should be jailed.
- And you thought Trump would propose crazy stuff in office. How silly of you.
- “It is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt” – Justice Kennedy, 1989.
- I have given this matter a lot of thought, and I have decided that in the end I’m not a fan of those dancing lights you can project onto your house. It seems like lazy Christmas decorating to me. And I should know. Look at my house and you’ll see my Christmas lighting display consists of a single line of lights strung along the porch roof (very linear and creative of me, I thought) and another string that haphazardly encircles an arborvitae. Oh, and a couple of bush nets that are too small for the bushes they’re on. Next year I’m definitely getting those projected dancing lights. What the hell.
- I wrote recently about fake and misleading social media posts. Here’s one that annoyed me just now: “Michigan is about to sell 100 million gallons of groundwater to Nestlé for $200.” That’s simply not true. Yet. The state is, in fact, taking written public comment through Saturday. Submit via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance, P.O. Box 30241, Lansing, Mich., 48909-7741.
- And, yes, it’s ridiculous that, according to state policy, a company can pump as much water out of the ground as it wants for free and sell it.
- It’s also ridiculous that a company can sell Ice Mountain water that doesn’t, in fact, come from an ice mountain. I guess Mecosta County’s Finest doesn’t have the same ring. (Mecosta County, west of Mt. Pleasant, is where Nestle draws its water.)
- So let me get this straight: In Trump-think, a woman who potentially endangered national security by sending classified emails through a private server is not fit to be president. And her husband, who was involved in a sex scandal, is not fit to be First Dude. But a guy who actually did endanger national security (one David Petraeous) by sharing classified information with his mistress – and is still on probation for that offense – is somehow fit to be Secretary of State. OK. Got it.
- Here’s what I don’t get: Pro sports franchises are extremely lucrative, right? So how come every time a team wants a new arena, they plead poverty and beg for public money to get it built? The answer, of course, is they do it because they know they’ll get it. Cities and states fall all over themselves to shove money at sports franchises. It’s embarrassing. You and me, naturally, end up paying the bill. And how does the team pay us back? By raising ticket prices, charging an arm and a leg for parking and $8 for a damn beer, that’s how.
- I’m referring, of course, to the Detroit Pistons’ announced intent to move to downtown Detroit, which will cost taxpayers (in a state with crappy roads, substandard schools and crumbling cities) $34.5 million. Some Detroit City Council members have said – for show, mostly – that they haven’t made up their mind yet whether they’ll give into the Pistons’ demand, but you know they will. Public officials get all weak-in-the-knees giddy when it comes to sports glitz. Or as Mayor Duggan breathlessly said, “There are a very few times in this country that a professional sports team came to a city for a $34 million contribution.”
- Contribution? Is that what a ransom is called these days? (Pay up or we won’t grace you with our presence.)
- “In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve” – Joseph de Maistre.
Image credit: DonkeyHotey