Brief items showing more or less (usually more) where we are....
-- First, Ft. Hood, then the Salahis in the White House receiving line, then (on a Detroit-bound flight) the Christmas Day underwear bomber, then Khost (Afghanistan) and the death of seven agents of the CIA. Imagine how the nameless they who rule the culture would be reacting if this were the administration of George W. Bush.
-- Regarding the underwear bomber, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that -- presumably because he didn't succeed in killing anyone -- "the system worked." President Obama's counterterrorism czar, John Brennan, said, "the system didn't work." You decide.
-- In the face of all this, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, having tightened regulations regarding the amount of water allowable in flush toilets, now is moving to reduce (from 2.5 gallons per minute) the amount of allowable water flowing through shower heads.
-- Among the lowlights of 2009 were the obeisant, apologetic bows the president made (a) in April to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and (b) in November to Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko -- all emphatic non-Westerners. Oh, and the Queen of England? She merited not even so much as a presidential nod, though Michelle Obama did touch her on the back.
-- The University of North Dakota's Faculty Senate and the school's Anti-Racism Team support dropping "Fighting Sioux" and a corresponding logo for school teams. So do the state's board of higher education and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). But supporting the name and the logo? Many of the state's Sioux. According to a legal filing against such a change from a group of Spirit Lake Sioux, numerous tribal members worry that eliminating the moniker "will cause isolation and a diminishing of public interest, knowledge, and respect for Sioux history."
-- Meanwhile, killjoys at the University of Colorado have banned Nerf guns that shoot sponge balls. So for their traditional game of humans vs. zombies, students dropped the guns and threw balled-up socks.
-- And speaking of Colorado, come November Denver's voters will decide whether the local government should establish an Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission -- you know, flying saucers and UFOs. Britain's military has just dropped a similar commission after 50 years of black holes and no positive leads.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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