Come Heller high water …
- End, winter. Just end.
- Seriously, I have a bad, bad case of cabin fever, which is odd because I have neither a cabin or a temperature.
- This is the time of year when I wonder what the original settlers of Michigan saw in the place. Who would think, “Six months of winter, three months of clouds and rain, and three pretty nice months – yeah, I can live with that”?
- At his White House meeting with high school survivors of the Parkland, Florida, slaughter, the Associated Press snapped a photo of the notes Trump had in his hand. It said (no kidding) “What would you want me to know about your experience?” “What can we do to help you feel safe” and “I hear you.” In other words, he had empathy crib notes. I’ll repeat that a different way for emphasis: The man required notes – written by someone else, no doubt – to remind him how to be comforting to people who just witnessed 17 of their friends and teachers being gunned down. Good god.
- You (if you’re extremely empathetic yourself, or a conservative): “But at least he’s tryyyying!” (It’s better if you say that in your head with a 4-year-old’s whine.) Sure. Yes. I’ll give you that. But is it really trying when your first act as president after a slaughter is to never once say the word gun, and to regurgitate the NRA talking point that “it’s a mental health problem, not a gun problem”? Is that really being the leader of the entire country? And is it presidential to then – after it’s clear that people are a little bit more cheesed off than after the last 48 slaughters – propose the weakest possible solution, the elimination of bump stocks, which turn bad weapons into really bad weapons? Is that presidential, especially when (if the analysts are correct) that you don’t even have the authority to ban them anyway, and thus what you did was nothing more than a PR stunt? And, yes, he’s proposed strengthening background checks. Which is great. But he could also have proposed building an ice cream stand on the sun because he doesn’t have the power to strengthen background checks either. That’s Congress, too, and if you think a Tea Party-controlled Congress (there is no more Republican Party) is going to rebel against their NRA masters, I’ve got some Bitcoin futures I want to sell you.
- Best story of the week was the one about the family of the man who invented the AR-15. The family said: “Our father, Eugene Stoner, designed the AR-15 and subsequent M-16 as a military weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47. He died long before any mass shootings occurred. But, we do think he would have been horrified and sickened as anyone, if not more by these events.” So the next time one of your dopey conservative friends pulls the “but it’s not an assault weapon” dodge, hit ‘em with that. It is an assault weapon. It was designed for the military. Case closed. Now shut up.
- The University of Michigan announced this week they’re no longer going to start meetings and classes 10 minutes late, or as the tradition is known on campus “Michigan time.” They did that? Man, if I’m a parent paying for tuition in recent years, I’d be asking for a refund for whatever 10 minutes of class time times the number of classes my kid took over the years comes to, I’ll tell you that.
- I thought I was gonna watch a lot of the Winter Olympics this time, but I didn’t. Seen one ski jump, seen ’em all. Seen one ice skater beat another skater’s time by .005, seen ’em all. Seen one figure skater or half-piper do tricks that all look exactly the same except to the announcers, who are either unaccountably breathless (“Oh, look at the form on that 3/4 Norwegian goonie bird!”) or abnormally disappointed (“Oh my, her skate clearly landed 1/4 inch off center – that’s going to really cost her with the judges”), you’ve most definitely seen ’em all. I think I’m back to agreeing with those who say if it doesn’t have a ball, a head to head score or a goal line, it ain’t a sport.
- A Russian curler failed a drug test at the Winter Olympics. Uh … why? Have you seen curling? The most athletic thing they do is a little light housekeeping. (See the quote at the end of the column.)
- Consumers Energy announced it’s going to stop using coal plants by 2040. Which I don’t get. Coal is clean, beautiful and the energy of the future, as President Nutjob told us during the election.
- One of the stranger things about getting older is you have the sense that everything – things you’ve done, things that have happened to the world – happened just yesterday. Then you realize, “Crap, that was 10 years ago.” It sucks being a fossil.
- I had a visceral negative reaction to Taco Bell’s new cheese fry commercial. Not because of the commercial itself so much. But I do object to the heresy of putting cheese on French fries. That’s flat-out heresy.
- “Curling is not a sport. I called my grandmother and told her she could win a gold medal because they have dusting in the Olympics now.” – Charles Barkley.
Image credit: Jim Sorbie