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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Hump Day odds & ends

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 09:22 am

Speculating on alternate history is one of those fun but pointless things some of us like to waste time with. Generally, AH scenarios are concocted by people aiming to scare us into thinking, "Hey, guess things aren't so bad today after all." What if the South had won the Civil War or Hitler World War II? What if Thomas Edison had never been born?

My current favorite is truly scary: Had Hillary won the election . . . Some of us who voted for Donald Trump reluctantly and with plenty of reservations get frustrated from time to time. We cheer his occasional victory but curse his inability to focus or control his impulses. It seems like the trends we abhor aren't going to be reversed anytime soon. At best, they're in a holding pattern.

But imagine how much worse it would be with President Clinton. Neil Gorsuch certainly wouldn't be on the Supreme Court. Instead of economy-killing regulations being trimmed, more would be on the way. We'd be halfway there to a completely open-borders policy. The Clinton Foundation would have the entire government open for bidders. Instead of being rebuilt, the military would be further eviscerated. Obamacare would be morphing into Hillarycare, and we'd be even closer to a one-payer system. The stock market would likely be tanking rather than booming. More refugees would be flooding in, containing who knows how many terrorists. We'd still be in the Paris climate accord, the Second Amendment would be on its death bed ... I could go on and on.

So I count my blessings.

*****

I have nothing profound to say about this story. I include it only because I can't tell if the headline was written by someone who is clueless or very clever: "Viagra won't advertise on NFL games, signaling softening ad market." But maybe the competition isn't as stiff as they thought. What if they're reading the signals wrong? They could end up — wait for it — pulling out too soon.

*****

The "experts" have changed their minds about the benefits/dangers of caffeine so often that it's probably best to just ignore them. But as a lifelong addict, I have to say I'm pleased with this report: Drinking coffee could lead to a longer life, two studies say. Not a study, mind you. Two studies. I've had so much coffee in my lifetime it's tempting to say I might just live forever. But perhaps the coffee is the only reason I've made it this far, and I've already used up all its benefits.

*****

Then I must be one of the smartest people in the world: Messy desk could be sign of genius, say researchers: "After testing how well participants came up with new ideas when working in both tidy and disorderly work areas, it revealed that while those in the messy room generated the same number of ideas as their clean-room counterparts, their ideas were considered as far more interesting and creative when evaluated by impartial judges. Furthermore, the data also found that people with a messy desk are more prone to risk taking while those at cleaner desks tend to follow strict rules and are less likely to try new things." To all the Felix Ungers in my world (and you know who you are): So there!

*****

So, OK, we're not at the point of "Beam me up, Scotty" yet, but, hey, they have to start somewhere: Space breakthrough as scientists teleport photon from Earth to orbit. Man, this is such a big, big deal.

*****

Don't let the door hit you on the way out: Recent poll suggests more Californians want to secede.

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Alexa calls cops on man allegedly beating on his girlfriend. The folks at Amazon say Alexa doesn't actually have this ability, but I've been using mine for so many different things that I can almost believe it happened just the way it was described.

*****

I think this is what George W. Bush meant when he talked about "the soft bigotry of low expectations" — College writing center says that insisting on proper grammar perpetuates "racist, unjust language structure." Excuse me for pointing it out, but if you think certain people aren't capable of proper grammar, maybe you're the racist.

*****

Remember President Obama's heralded "Cash for Clunkers" program? It was the complete and utter failure we predicted it would be.

*****

Just what I was put on this Earth for — to be lectured on global warming by the likes of Al Franken and David Letterman. And it's here not a moment too soon, because WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH! Famine, economic collapseand a sun that cooks us are coming, says David Wallace-Wells in "The Uninhabitable Earth" in (naturally) New York Magazine, and a lot sooner than we think. God, they never quit.

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