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Alex McRae Columnist

Published Sunday, March 17, 2013

Believe it or not

Back in the bad old days Americans burned witches at the stake. Now, we expel students from government schools for nibbling Pop Tarts allegedly shaped like pistols.

Everybody who considers that progress, please raise your hand. This will make it easier for “normal” people to avoid you. “Normal,” by the way, does not include current members of the U.S. Congress and bureaucrats charged with budget decisions.

If you don’t believe that bunch is out of touch with both constituents and reality, consider the following:

Once the Dreaded Sequester kicked in, Defense Department bean counters decided a swell way to implement mandatory spending cuts was to cancel air shows by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying teams.

Currently, more than 20 shows by the Pensacola-based Blue Angels have been canceled, according to Blue Angels spokesperson Lieutenant Katie Kelly. The economies of Pensacola and communities with canceled shows will suffer.

In Colorado Springs, where the Thunderbirds nest, local officials aren’t quite as worried. In fact, now that marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, they might not have noticed.

And what will taxpayers save with these Sequester-inspired cancellations? A few thousand gallons of jet fuel. Meanwhile, just days after military air shows were canceled to save fuel, President Obama took the world’s biggest gas guzzler — Air Force One — to Florida to play golf with Tiger Woods.

Speaking of air travel, federal officials kept the TSA fully-funded so whiz-bang airport security screeners can keep us safe. Or at least entertained. YouTube videos of TSA screeners harassing children, groping grownups or stealing cell phones and iPads are always viewer favorites.

That wacky TSA crowd had us in stitches again on Feb. 25, when they let a bomb slip through a “security” checkpoint in Newark. The explosive device was “hidden” in the trousers of a member of a four-man TSA special operations team that staged a security drill at the airport.

The day wasn’t a total loss, however. TSA agents missed the bomb, but an 87-year-old woman was busted and faces 500 years in prison for trying to smuggle an extra ounce of shampoo onto the plane.

Just days after TSA agents failed their bomb exam, the TSA announced that passengers would again be allowed to bring small knives onto aircraft. Golf clubs, too. Maybe passengers can earn bonus miles for taking out a terrorist with a two iron.

And cutting waste from programs is fine, but why doesn’t the government ever look for creative new ways to raise revenue? When 26-year old Natasha Hill of Los Angeles learned she was going to have a child, she didn’t roll up in a ball and cry. She hit the social networking sites and started auctioning off the naming rights to her unborn child.

The high bidder gets to name the kid anything they want. Like Moon Pie or Porta-Potty or BankAmerica or Sloppy Joe (if it’s a dude). Since total strangers are allowed to bid I’ll offer 5 bucks to name the baby Screwed Up, since that’s what this poor child will be until it’s old enough to legally change its name.

Speaking of which, maybe supermom Natasha should change names, too.

Considering what she’s doing to her child, Judas seems appropriate.

By the way, the word “FREEDOM” is not allowed on a vanity license plate in Washington D.C. No surprise here. Freedom has been an endangered concept for years in our nation’s capital. This just makes it official.

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Send your email comments to: alex@newnan.com .

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