Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

September 13, 2013

LEFFLER: Some things should just be avoided

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I have no idea what’s going on in Syria. I’m not sure what’s going to end up happening. But I know that the whole ordeal bugs me. I’m not in favor of bombing another country in response to their (allegedly) gassing their own people. Killing people in retaliation for them killing people makes no sense to me.

Yes, as I’ve pointed out before, I’m a peacenik.

I thought that Piers Morgan put it best the other night after President Barack Obama’s speech.

“Isn’t the message to other brutal dictators, ‘when you slaughter your people, don’t use gas?’” the CNN host asked.

That’s been one of my points all along. Dead is dead. People who die from Tomahawk missiles are no less dead than people who die from Sarin gas. So I don’t see how we can claim the moral high ground.

My advice to my congressman: Let’s stay out of Syria unless you have reason to believe that Syria wants to come here.

•••

I was downright annoyed Wednesday as I scrolled through my social media feeds.

On the 12-year anniversary of the attacks on America, the only thing worse than the sunny-day patriotism on my Facebook and Twitter feeds was the open use of the national tragedy to score political points.

How dare some people use the deaths of thousands of Americans as an excuse to sound off on matters completely unrelated.

Look. I get it. Some people hate Obama. And Muslims. And anyone else who doesn’t look, talk, act and dress like them. That’s not a valid reason for people to make fools of themselves. They’re embarrassing themselves and our country. And in short, these people are why the world hates us.

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I have, at times, some obsessive compulsive characteristics. For example, I cannot walk past my mailbox without checking it. No matter what time, day or night, and no matter how many times I walk past it.

Once a day — at most — my OCD pays off and there’s mail in the box. Thursday afternoon it paid off at about 3 p.m. when I had a catalog selling Christmas decorations.

Now, I love Christmas. Always have. I’m sure I always will. From the day after Thanksgiving until Dec. 25, I listen to Christmas music, eat Christmas cookies, gaze at my beautifully lit Christmas tree and basically bask in the glow of the season of good will.

But from Dec. 26 until Thanksgiving day, I steer clear of Christmas. I cringe when I see Christmas decorations in January, unless they’re on the clearance shelf. And I cringe just as much when I see them in September.

I’m guilty, as my family knows, of whistling Christmas tunes in July. It’s a signal that I’m particularly happy. But it’s an unintentional reflex, not something I do consciously.

Now, I understand that in order to get people to buy their Christmas stuff in order to wrap presents in time, they have to order them early. But September? It’s just too early.

Scott Leffler is frequently random and usually annoyed. Both are easily seen on Twitter where you can find him @scottleffler.