Our house is a mess
TRAVERSE CITY — It’s amazing to me (and I’ll bet Gov. Whitmer, too) how everyone has better solutions to fixing Michigan’s Third World roads the second anyone (in this case, Whitmer) dares to put forward a plan. Look, I don’t want to pay .45 extra cents per gallon. I’d prefer to keep every shekel I ever made and not give away a cent of it. But that’s not the real world. In the real world, roads and other nice things cost money. Michigan hasn’t spent that money for decades because we were too cheap, too short-sighted and our politicians were more interested in campaign donations than our best interests. And now, because of it, we’re stuck with goat paths. And for the same reasons, Flint has been stuck without a safe water supply for four years now. Four. They won’t be the last. It won’t be long before other cities face the same issue. This is Michigan. This is our house. And our house, frankly, is a mess. It’s the worst one on the block, in fact. If your house looked as bad as Michigan’s, wouldn’t you fix it? Of course you would. So, stop griping about paying for the roads we all benefit from. Stop waiting for a perfect solution. There is no perfect solution. Roads cost money. If you want good roads, you have to pay for them. Period.
– If I had a mic, I’d drop it right about now. Seriously, though, we all wonder why nothing gets done in society on … name an issue. It’s because we literally pick everything to death. Over and over we let perfect be the enemy of the good. Dose of reality: Good is far better than perfect because perfect doesn’t exist.
– A study published in Couple Family Psychology says Ishpeming, up in the U.P., is the divorce capital of Michigan. A lack of commitment, the journal says, is the most common reason for divorce. It didn’t cite “too much time togedduh over da long, unending winters, eh?” as a reason. But I figure that’s a leading one in Ishpeming or anywhere else north of the 45th parallel.
– I promised I was going to shut up about my irritation that the Detroit Tigers aren’t even trying to compete again this year. Then I saw a headline that said, “Detroit Tigers’ Christopher Ilitch: Discipline the key in team’s rebuilding process.” That sounds almost reasonable until you consider the Ilitches just spent $1.4 billion on their 50-block District Den project surrounding the new stadium in Detroit. Think that might have something to do with letting the Tigers wither on the vine while still asking fans to support them? I’d respect them if they said “Sorry, fans, we just spent a billion on an empty Field of Dreams neighborhood so we’re feeling too tapped out to spend what it takes to compete.” Instead, they’re fibbing to fans about how it takes five years to rebuild. Baloney. There are dozens of good, cheap free agents without teams willing to sign short term deals. The Tigers are missing an opportunity.
– Words I Love: cataclysmic, rumpled, polygon.
– Ever wonder why glasses are suddenly so expensive. An L.A. Times story says it’s good old-fashioned gouging. A company called Luxottica owns most of the brands you know, meaning they can charge whatever they want. And they do, selling glasses at a 1,000 percent markup. That should make you see red. Blurry red, if you don’t have your overpriced glasses on.
– “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi.
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Andrew Heller, an award-winning newspaper columnist, appears weekly in the Daily Press. He graduated from Escanaba Area High School in 1979. Follow him at andrewheller.com and on Facebook and Twitter. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.