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Politics and fireworks

TRAVERSE CITY — This will not surprise you but I disagree with our tinhorn dictator about his Fourth of July celebration. Turning it into a military parade is so juvenile, so beneath us, so … Soviet. We’re better than that. Or used to be, anyway.

– I like Michigan’s more restrictive rules on fireworks. A few years ago when anyone could buy and fire off anything any time of day or night, I was in favor because I’m a guy and guys like blowing stuff up (there’s a reason America has been at war 222 years in our 239-year history). But people abused it, as they do most things. The way it is now is better. My dog thinks so, too.

– If you didn’t see the cartoon that got Canadian cartoonist Michael DeAdder fired, I highly encourage you to look it up online. It’s absolutely brilliant. It depicts the Golfer-in-Chief asking the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, who drowned crossing the Rio Grande to get into the U.S., if he can play through. I’m defending my own here, I guess. Cartoonists and columnists are supposed to have an opinion and to afflict the powerful. We need more of that in society, not less.

– By the way, Trump, who often criticized Obama for golfing, has golfed at least 189 times since becoming president two and a half years ago, according to trumpgolfcount.com, costing American taxpayers well over $100 million. Obama golfed 306 times over eight years. In 2016, Trump said this: “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.” Fun, huh?

– If you weren’t sickened by the photo of Oscar Martinez’s daughter clinging to him in death, I don’t want to know you. Seriously. Turn the page right now. Go read Garfield or something. Republicans often claim to be Christians. Well, tell me what’s Christian about our immigration policies? You can argue all you want about the need to “get tough” on immigrants but can you imagine Jesus treating them the way we are? This is becoming what America stands for in the eyes of the world. Not freedom and opportunity.

– Kamala Harris surged in the polls after attacking Joe Biden on his busing stance from 40 years ago, but it lessened her (one of my early favorites) in my eyes. It seemed like a cheap, gimmicky, substance-free attack. Biden voted against busing as a means to achieve integration. Yes, others did so because they were racist. But does anyone seriously believe Biden is racist? C’mon. Busing was a difficult issue back then and it remains so to this day. What surprised me most about the debate exchange was that Biden clearly wasn’t prepared to handle what should have been a jab that missed. (Disclosure: I’m not a Biden fan, nor a Biden critic, per se. I simply prefer many of the other candidates, including Harris.)

– Meanwhile, our president had this to say about the busing “issue” when asked: “You know, there aren’t that many ways you’re going to get people to schools,” he said. “So this is something that’s been done. … It is certainly a primary method of getting people to schools.” Sigh.

– No, don’t invite me to play corn-hole. That’s a disgusting name and a lesser backyard game than bags, which is the Yooper version of corn-hole. What’s the difference? First, in corn-hole landing a bag anywhere on the board is one point, which is ridiculous. In bags, there are two scoring zones – one point AND two points. Which is a MAJOR difference, trust me. And second, bags players do not use corn in their bags because corn absorbs moisture. Bags players use either beans or plastic beads. Amateurs play corn-hole. People who know what they’re doing play bags. And now you know.

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson

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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 vis email at andrewhellercolumn@gmail.com.

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