What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. I left the house a little later than usual. Where the street I live on dumps out into the local county road parents and their SUVs were stacked up like cord wood. There they sat, engines running, more or less blocking the road, and making sure their little princelings had enough heat while they waited for the school bus. It was just below freezing, not exactly polar explorer weather. Basically a decent coat and a good pair of socks would have been enough to make it tolerable for a few minutes. I can’t help but remember my own childhood where if you didn’t walk to school you at least walked to the bus stop – and that’s back at a time and place where temperatures below freezing weren’t cause for any particular alarm, being part and parcel as they are of the winter weather season. These kids have never been allowed to run through the woods throwing rocks at each other and it shows.

2. ISIS brides. The last few weeks have been thick with reports of women and girls who ran off from western civilization for the fun and adventure of becoming ISIS brides. Now, with the dream of an Islamic caliphate collapsing around their ears, they come out of the woodwork claiming to have learned the error of their ways. Here they come crawling “home” after years of providing aid and comfort to the enemy. I’m not a scholar of international law nor does my heart bleed for their reaping the results of traitorous decisions. They wanted the wonder of life in the belly of the beast, the best thing that we can do now is let them have it.

3. Fentanyl. I keep seeing news stories wherein a drug ring has been busted in possession of enough  Fentanyl to kill 375,000,000 people. Look, I know we can’t really aerosolize the stuff and indiscriminately launch it from a mortar tube, but maybe we hold back on making these arrests for a hot second. I mean, look, people are basically awful so with enough of this floating around in the underground economy it seems to me the problem with those who habitually associate with a culture of heavy drug use could significantly reduce the demand side of the market by simply dropping dead. If a subset of the population is committed to continuing  to inject a substance they know full well may kill them more or less instantly, I don’t feel any moral force compelling me to intervene between them and and their apparent desired end state. I’d rather spend a much reduced budget on saving the small minority whose exposure to fentanyl or other high powered narcotics is accidental or that happens in the line of duty. Don’t tell me I never see the bright side, damnit.

Over the horizon…

Some days you just have nothing to show for getting out of bed. As far as I can tell, this is one of those days. For the record, that’s not a complaint. It’s a simple acknowledgment of fact. It’s one of those days where the best thing you can say is that you’ve managed to do no harm – neither advancing the cause or making it substantively worse in any way. It’s a draw… and if you’re a smart bureaucrat, you’ve survived long enough to know that a draw is effectively a win, because the scales are almost always weighted in the direction of making things worse off than they were before you touched something.

I should really put a more positive spin on the day. To paraphrase what a wise man told me this morning, “Look on the bright side, it’s Tuesday. That means were as far away from next Monday as it’s possible to get.” It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic. After all, it’s Tuesday night now. If you strain your eyes hard enough you can start to see the first signs of the weekend coming on, even though it’s still out there somewhere over the horizon. That’s as cup-half-full as I’m likely to get, so make of it what you will.

And people say I never post anything positive. This’ll show ‘em.