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Resolve to stop beating ourselves up

Come Heller high water …

∫ I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year, but if I had, it would have been: “I resolve to stop nagging myself all year long, every day, to incessantly improve at this or that.” The older I get, the more I’ve learned the value of telling that voice in my head to shut the hell up, occasionally.

∫ Four well-known Republican strategists — George Conway, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver, and Rick Wilson — have created the Lincoln Project to defeat the orange Cheeto and restore the rule of law, even if that means helping Democrats take the Senate and White House. In a New York Times column, they said this: “Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics. As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.” I couldn’t agree more. They also made this excellent point: “The American presidency transcends the individuals who occupy the Oval Office. Their personalities become part of our national character. Their actions become our actions, for which we all share responsibility.” Think about that. People across the globe are thinking we are like him. Brr.

∫ A 45-foot, 250-pound steel rod, dropped by Enbridge Inc., was pushed onto the Line 5 pipeline recently by currents in the Straits of Mackinac. Another great reminder that an oil and gas pipeline doesn’t belong there. The risk of damage is too great. The cost of a puncture is way too high. Enbridge, so you don’t forget, is the company behind the 2010 spill of a million gallons of tar sand into the Kalamazoo River, which ranks among the biggest inland oil spills in U.S. history. Why we trust them with the health of the Great Lakes is beyond my comprehension.

∫ Pope Francis has apologized for slapping the hand of a woman on New Year’s Eve who wouldn’t let go of his hand. He didn’t have to say sorry. He did what most would have done. He’s the pope, but still human. I liked that he did apologize, though, because others will follow his lead. I especially liked it that he used his apology to say this: “Women are sources of life. Yet they are continually insulted, beaten, raped, forced to prostitute themselves and to suppress the life they bear in the womb. Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman.” If only the world would heed those words.

∫ The reviews were wrong. “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” was pretty darned good, I thought. Sure, it seemed like every other Star Wars movie. The emperor is still the center of all evil (dude simply refuses to stay dead), Darth Vader (in the form of Kylo Ren) is still the main muscle, the stormtroopers still can’t shoot straight (have they ever hit anybody?), the ghosts of dead good people are there for the living at critical moments (how come bad guy ghosts never appear?), and C3PO is as pointless as ever. But the story was decent, the acting was good, the special effects were great, we got to see some old friends, like Billy Dee Williams, and, best of all, no Jar Jar Binks. That’s worth 10 bucks, right?

∫ I got into a discussion recently about — of all things — favorite childhood breakfast cereals, and was amazed how passionate people were about it. For the record, my faves were Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries (whatever the heck those are), Apple Jacks, and Cocoa Krispies which were, basically, chocolate-flavored Rice Krispies. Don’t judge my choices and I won’t judge yours.

∫ Kudos to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for promising to provide a third gender option on Michigan licenses by next year. And if you’re one of those people who gets her, his, or their shorts in a bunch about things like this, what are you so afraid of?

∫ I like to think that I’d make lots of money on “Jeopardy” if it weren’t for that silly “answer in the form of a question” gimmick. That throws me off, even when I’m watching at home. Damn you, Alex Trebek!

∫ I may not stand for much, but I do stand for this: I never have and never will ask for a “tall” cup of coffee at Starbucks, when their tall is really a small. That way lies madness. They shall not win.

“Let me give you a wonderful Zen practice. Wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and laugh at yourself.” — Bernie Glassman