I’ve changed my mind on assault weapons. Credit to #PattonOswalt.

An idea I’ve shamelessly stolen from the great comedian, Patton Oswalt, (although he applied it to owning Hummers, not assault weapons.)

To those who claim they have an American right to assault rifles and other multiple-round shooters to “defend the American way of life,” I say…let’s give them a chance.

Want to own one of these war-grade weapons? No problem.

In fact, we’ll give you an opportunity to shoot it. We’ll even pay for the artillery.

If you’re that interested in protecting your American freedoms, well then — saddle up. You can buy and keep the weapon – AFTER you’ve used it to defend our freedom in our foreign theatres like Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

That’s the deal. You get the weapon – on the taxpayer’s dime. You just have to sign up for a two-year tour understanding those freedoms at a deeper level than the rest of us “America haters.”

Saddle up friends, see you in a bit.

 

Quit your sharing.

Every day, my Facebook feed is overwhelmed with shares.

People sharing nice stories about kids with cancer with uplifting tales, God intervening in the lives of kids and animals, veterans who just want a chance to come home for an event, etc. etc. etc.

The problem, of course, is that most of these stories are bu**shi#.

People…snopes.com. It’s a good source to check into whether that thing you’re about to “like” or “share” has ANY basis in fact.

Please…my Facebook feed is a collection of doubtful tales, superstition, and hooey.

Put all the eggs in one basket.

I’ve been thinking about the old cliché about putting all your eggs in one basket.

I think, at least for me, that this encouraged me to develop a wealth of interests, etc. But in hindsight, I’ve been thinking about how I need to choose less baskets. More focus, more depth on FEWER things.

Just a thought to kickstart a Monday.

Food is a language.

I’ve been thinking lately about the plethora of ethnic food choices we now have – versus the extremely limited, and “Americanized” versions I grew up with in the Midwest, in the Eighties.

For me, being open-minded is staying young…being open to new experiences, being aware of other cultures, etc.

And, if nothing else, the wealth of food choices we now have is providing an openness to a formerly more close-minded society.

So here’s to traveling, to sampling, to experiencing, to…living.

It’s what keeps us young.

Now if only a few of us (myself included) would pick up another language…

 

Is it possible our National Anthem is being sung too well?

I went to see college basketball this weekend.

Let me clarify — I went to see 7 basketball games this weekend,…as I watched my alma mater play in their conference tournament.

But something struck me…the lovely renditions of the Star Spangled Banner. Ah, fresh young voices hitting the high notes, and adding their own signatures to the classic tune. It’d be impossible to sing that well.

And, maybe…just maybe…there’s something else to that.

When I was young, the attendees of an event frequently sung along with the vocalist. Now, almost no one does. Why is that? Could it possibly be that these impressive vocalists are actually DISCOURAGING people from singing along?

Could these be just one instance among many (losing civics classes in school, people assuming Social Security is a right at 65, etc.) where we’ve chosen to reward the individual whilst devaluing our shared, common experience?

You might say I’m taking this too far…that it’s just one thing. And I might agree with you.

I wonder how many more we could come up with?

If I wanna see theater, I’ll check in for a flight.

I see today that the TSA has decided to let swiss army and other “small knives” on airplanes again. Chalk this up to the TSA being more about security theatre than reality.

As a person who travels constantly, I see three problems in the way TSA does things.

1) Here? OK…There? Not so much.

Some airports require certain things (like taking your iPad out of your bag) — others, not so much. Inconsistency rules.

2) People don’t change.

The security standards assume you’re always one kind of person. Suffice it to say, no one was BORN a terrorist. Something happened, and they changed course. How good is TSA in tracking these changes?

3) Thousands of years.

Finally, the people who want to hurt us are fighting battles that have been raging for centuries or more. The fact that we’re loosening our standards simply shows we don’t understand the long view.

Let me be clear – I want good security at our airports. I just resent the theatre. The attack on the WTC was conducted with box cutters and coordination — it’d be nice if our “security forces” helped guard against this, rather than loosening restrictions over time.

It turns out there’s a real downside to going to the TED conference…

After a week of seeing invisible cloaks, an attempt to put animals on the Internet, etc. — reentry into the day-to-day is challenging to say the least.

They call it the TED-ache. A withdrawal disease of sorts – it’s what happens when you pull away from intense discussions about scientific discoveries, overwhelming optimism, positivity, and the like.

So, as my TED-ache rages, I prepare to question the dogma of EVEN more than I have in the past.

(As soon as I get a little more rest.)