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Observations on the passing scene

By Walter Geiger My lovely bride sometimes complains that I am not very observant. However, I feel people observe things that are of interest to them. I make mental notes of things I take notice of but I am less likely than some others to comment on them. So, I hope that I am more observant than I may seem. Here are a few observations that are at the forefront of my feeble brain as yet another cold, rainy Monday dawns. Fuel to feed the global warming/climate change debate: ’¢ At one point last week, the Great Lakes were 87% frozen with no end to below freezing temps in sight. ’¢ Boston has had 102 inches of snow. It needs only 5.7 more inches to break the all-time record. Vegas will give you pretty good odds on that mark falling. ’¢ February saw multiple low temperature records set in the northeast. Among those cities setting low temp records and the average lows recorded there last month were Buffalo (10.9), Syracuse (9.0), Binghampton (12.2), Ithaca (10.2), Hartford (16.1), Harrisburg (20.9) and Portland (13.8). ’¢ It’s bad along the Continental Divide out west, too. Blizzard and avalanche warnings abound in Colorado. Again, there is no end in sight. ’¢ Extreme cold weather forced the cancellation of a marathon and ultramarathon in Fort Worth, Texas. Yep, that global warming is hell to deal with. Heartburn over executing a female: Meanwhile, those darned polar vortices bovine intestinal gasses and our car exhausts have created brought so much global warming to Georgia last week that the state actually cancelled an execution. At this writing, Kelly Gissendaner was less that 12 hours from a date with the lethal injection gurney. The usual suspects are calling for Gissendaner, who plotted with a boyfriend to kill her husband, to be spared in that she has become a Christian. Sorry, jailhouse conversions are no reason to circumvent justice. Judging by prison photos, Gissendaner is a big ole girl who has been enjoying the taxpayersupplied menu in prison. She raised eyebrows with her last meal request: cornbread with a side of buttermilk, two Whoppers with cheese, two large orders of fries, cherry vanilla ice cream, popcorn and lemonade. The meal request was not totally unhealthy, however. She also asked for a salad with boiled eggs, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots, cheese and Newman’s Own buttermilk dressing. It appears the woman set to be the first to be executed in Georgia since 1945 has a thing for buttermilk. While we’re on inmates: Some are in an uproar over a bill designed, according to its author, to clean-up previous legislation regarding Georgia’s public defender system. There are worries we might not properly defend the thousands of repeat offenders who clog the legal system and pay not a penny for their defenses. I have long felt applications for public defender support should be more closely scrutinized. I am not sure if they are currently scrutinized at all. I can only recall seeing one or two turned down in some 37 years of covering courts. Young lawyers desiring to get into criminal defense will tell you the public defenders snap up nearly every case on the docket. Perhaps we should raise the standards for qualifying for free legal work and put some of those dollars in the hands of these young attorneys where they would be much more likely to be recirculated in the local economy. And, finally: ’˜Jihadi John’, the Kuwaiti educated in London with a knack for beheadings which makes him essential to ISIS, has been identified as Mohammed (no surprise in that first name) Emwazi. He was so troubled that he considered overdosing on sleeping pills but took up decapitations instead. Now he is a prime target for a drone strike. If, by some miracle, he were taken alive, I wonder how long the Obama administration would hold him before declaring him ‘˜rehabilitated’ and returning him to the sand box to play with the long knives.

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