The term “wind chill factor” is an invention of TV meteorologists to add drama to their forecasts and enhance bragging rights for folks living in cold-weather climates.
Before wind chill factor, winter temperatures were straightforward reports quickly dispensed with. A nephew in Arizona would phone his Uncle George, a Michigan hog farmer, and ask the question that kicks off 97.3 percent of all long-distance telephone conversations:
“How’s the weather there, Uncle George?”
“Twenty-five degrees,” he would reply. “The hogs are just fine.” End of subject.
But now, armed with a phony and totally unscientific “wind chill factor,” Uncle George can hype his local weather as a life-and-death struggle of Arctic proportions…
“How the weather there, Uncle George?”
“Twenty five degrees,” he replies, voice breaking. “But the TV woman says we got a wind chill factor of 60 below zero.”
“I know, right? Me and your Aunt Karen only got a few beans and coffee left, but there’s no driving to the store when it’s 60 below.”
“What about the hogs, Uncle George?”
“Don’t know. I’m afraid if I touch one of ‘em, he’ll break into a thousand pieces like a glass statue. This may be the end of us and the whole damn herd.”
“I’m going to hang up right now and start praying for you, Uncle George.”
“At 60 below, nephew, that’s all any of us can do.”
President Obama delivered a casual kick to the groin of all caring parents with teens when he told The New Yorker magazine that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.
Seeking regular-guy status, the reluctant leader of the free world also found it necessary to dredge up his own dance with the doobie, which will lead to the following exchange in thousands of American households:
Parent: “Do you know what happens to kids who smoke pot?”
Child: “Yeah. They grow up to be president of the United States.”
Ouch. Marijuana – One. Parental Guidance – Zero.
Words have weight, and to the masses, the weight increases as the speaker grows larger in the public eye. This is why companies pay movie stars and sports heroes to endorse everything from perfume to pickup trucks.
We equate celebrity with wisdom, with knowing something we don’t know, with possessing an insider’s knowledge of the way things really are.
The correlation is a fallacy.
Barack Obama doesn’t know anything more about the dangers of marijuana than you or I or Joe Metuzzio. In fact he knows a lot less than the doctors, scientists and psychologists who put in the actual work of studying it.
The president owes a whole bunch of parental groins a big apology. More important, he needs to remember the weight of his words – before weighing in.
The Democrats should consider putting Hillary Clinton on mandatory bed rest until 2016, because if she is not their presidential candidate, here are the clowns waiting in the wings…
Clown Number One: Joe Biden.
The man is simply not bright enough to be president. If he were the night light in your tiniest bathroom you would trip over the toilet and fall into the tub.
Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates says the vice president has been wrong on every major foreign and national defense issue over the last 40 years. Joe even argued against the operation that killed Osama bin laden.
Clown Number Two: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Here’s all you need to know: On the sole strength of her improbable and non-verifiable claim to be one-thirty-second Cherokee, she sells herself as “the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate.”
One-thirty-second? You can become one-thirty-second Native American just by driving
through a reservation. If you simply shake hands with an Indian you will collect enough of his DNA to become a one-thirty-second.
To Elizabeth Warren’s credit – and this is the only thing I can think of – she has yet to claim she was suckled by unicorns as an infant.
Clown Number Three: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Last Friday, Cuomo said those who are pro-life or anti-gay or supporters of gun rights “have no place in the state of New York.” Presumably, they will be required to leave on the next train out.
Hillary or the clowns. It’s why Democrats desperately pray for her continued good health.
President Obama’s clampdown on the NSA storage of Americans’ phone data will not erase the fears of the most paranoid among us.
A poll shows over 20 percent of citizens believe government spies are actually listening to their private phone conversations – citizens like the elderly wife of my neighbor, Joe Metuzzio…
“It’s out there now,” she told me, her voice breaking. “The government has it! I’ll bet the White House chefs are drooling over it as we speak.”
“Drooling over what, Mrs. Metuzzio?”
“My great-great grandmother’s Secret and Glorious Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, that’s what. The recipe that’s been passed down from mother-to-daughter for the last 100 years.”
“The recipe you promised to give us on your deathbed?”
“The very same. My sister called yesterday to say she’d lost her copy.”
“What happened then?”
“That dang fool husband of mine took it out of the wall safe and read it to her over the phone. Over the phone! Every ingredient, precise measurements, exact cooking times – even the special prayer we have to say as the baking
sheet goes into the oven.”
“I don’t see the problem, Mrs. Metuzzio.”
“The NSA has it now, you know they do! And that means every damn Democrat from the president and Hillary on down has my great-great grandmother’s Secret and Glorious Chocolate Chip Recipe. Dear God, when I think of Bill Clinton eating my cookies I could just die.”
“Mrs. Metuzzio, maybe, just this once, the NSA wasn’t listening to your phone.”