This Phil Hands piece is a good opener on a day when a power failure has delayed the process. It had nothing to do with weather but the lack of power is lack of heat in the house, which puts me in the mood.
The police in Hands’ home base of Madison are, I suppose, right to warn people that leaving your car running in the driveway while it warms up is an invitation to joyriders and more dedicated car thieves.
They’re also right that modern car engines do not require you to warm them up before you start driving.
But their warning is also a tribute to the mild winters in Madison, since in places with frostier winters, a cold engine means a frosted windshield on which you can write, instead of “Steal Me,” “Watch out: I’m driving blind.”
It’s nice to have two sets of keys so you can lock the doors while the car warms up.
Or no keys at all.
I have no idea how this applies to electric cars, but I suppose I’ll eventually find out.
Meanwhile, if everyone in Madison is furiously scraping peepholes in their windshields as they drive down the road, blame the cops.
The kerfuffle over Dear Leader’s bullying of Greta Thunberg continues, with a lot of fury over Melania having sprung to the defense of her own kid while her old man picked on another, and Scott Stantis has a thing about picking on kids.
I’m inclined to somewhat accept the First Lady’s excuse that Greta has thrust herself into the public eye while He Who Must Not Be Named has stayed firmly out of it.
But it is still worthy of notice that a woman who married a compulsive, vicious bully has made anti-bullying her alleged cause.
She might have chosen to headline a drive to wipe out golf with about as much logic, not to mention about as much success.
But there’s also this: Greta’s would-be defenders keep tossing in her “disability” as a reason not to pick on her.
Certainly, being anywhere on the autism scale poses challenges, but, then again, we’re all somewhere on the autism scale, and not all challenges are insurmountable.
Greta herself has declared Asperger’s a superpower, which may be overstating it, but the fact is, she wouldn’t be as effective without it: It’s given her the monomaniacal focus to learn all about climate change, and the lack of social skills to speak up on a level a more “well-mannered” child would not.
I say this, first of all, as someone with ADHD who found a niche in newspaper reporting and whose ADHD son has been a firefighter and is now a trauma nurse.
Second, I ran a Quiz Bowl for six years and never saw a team win that didn’t have at least one Aspie on the squad.
But Greta should be saluted, not pitied, for having found a niche where her unique psychology is a decided advantage.
Juxtaposition of the Day
It doesn’t take a lot to prompt a cartoonist to trot out the Grinch at this time of year, but Betsy De Vos really went out of her way to emulate the fellow whose heart is two sizes too small, purposely stalling loan-forgiveness to students who were cheated by fraudulent “colleges.”
And if you want to see how a Mean Girl behaves when she’s put on the spot, this clip of Grinchette being questioned by Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) is chilling — Her non-answers have a “How dare you!” flavor that really reveals how she feels about little people and peasants.
Though if Dear Leader is allowed to bully a schoolgirl while nobody is allowed to mention his kid, I suppose it fits that Dear Leader can be found guilty of running a rip-off, phony college without his minions feeling the need to make amends by going hard on other rip-off phony colleges.
Paul Berge notes a rightwing attempt to make sure Hallmark doesn’t do what Hallmark wasn’t planning to do anyway.
It takes my back to the mid-70s when I was working at an NBC affiliate and the network was poised to show Franco Zeferrelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Don Wildmon and various other censors decided it showed Mary being raped by a Roman soldier or some such nonsense, and mounted a massive mail campaign to get Chrysler (update: It was GM) and Proctor & Gamble to pull their sponsorship.
We were far enough down the chain that I didn’t have to deal with it myself, but we sure watched with interest because, once the thing was actually edited and in the can, we’d have to sell ads around it.
The would-be censors had a fair amount of success in deterring advertisers from being associated with the two-part feature they had never seen but were sure was blasphemous.
And which, today, is shown in their church halls each Easter.
I did, by the way, have one of my young critics say this in a recent film review: “‘Last Christmas’ is essentially a PG-13 Hallmark movie.”
But he’d seen it, and not on the Hallmark Channel.
Speaking of memories
BC reminds me of when we rented a lovely house that was not only on the flightpath of the local airport but on a gradual grade of a major highway, such that 18-wheelers were either braking down or gearing up as they passed the house.
Fortunately, it had a finished basement that even had a pool table.
We played a lot of 8-ball.