Michelle Obama probably didn’t think that the talk she was to give at a recent Democratic National Committee fundraiser at a private home in Washington would necessitate crowd control.
Alas, among this gathering of admirers was a heckler upset over the president’s failure to sign an antidiscrimination order on behalf of gays and lesbians, which had nothing to do with the first lady’s scheduled talk.
When the heckler wouldn’t shut up, Obama moved away from the lectern and announced: “One of the things I don’t do well is this,” followed by a stern, “Do you understand?” The protester, she continued, could “listen to me, or you can take the mike but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.”
Well, the crowd naturally sided with Obama, and she didn’t have to re-enact the scene from “Seinfeld” in which Jerry heckles the heckler, going to the woman’s office and letting out long cries of “boo … boo … boo!”
The story of Phoenix, the Jack Russell terrier, tells of the worst and the best of humanity. In an appalling act of animal cruelty, the pooch was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last fall. He was rescued and slowly nursed back to health thanks to the City Animal Shelter, the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital and many donors. Two teenagers were convicted of the crime.
Now, Phoenix has a new home with Judi Bunge, who works for the animal hospital. His new home has also provided Phoenix with a new buddy, named Ruckus. Plans now are for Phoenix to become a therapy dog, and few animals, we suspect, have a heart bigger than his. It’s a happy ending to a horrible story.
Bad news for those who like the idea of flying with knife-carrying passengers: The Transportation Security Administration has dropped its plan to allow passengers to carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes. The plan to allow those items into passenger cabins touched off major opposition when it was announced in March. This week, under pressure from Congress, the industry and the public, the TSA abandoned what was, in fact, a nutty ideal.
Maybe nobody would ever have done anything harmful with a pocketknife, but those tools are also weapons and, given the state of the world, they don’t belong in passenger cabins. Yes, many airlines now charge extra for checked baggage, but there’s a solution: Instead of spending $15 or $20 to check a bag, spend $7 on a cheap knife upon reaching your destination, then mail it home. Everyone wins.