KOKOMO – Lately the Zen Master has encouraged me to open up my sensory powers and observe more of the world around me. I’ve embraced my Zen Master’s suggestion, and I have to say that much of what I’ve seen is disturbing. So, for lack of a better title for this column, I’ll call it things that make you go “Hmmm.”

By now I’m sure that you’ve noticed that you can’t turn on the television, peruse the internet, read the newspaper or go anywhere without being bombarded with the not-so-subtle message that a climate crisis is upon us, sea levels are rising, baby polar bears are dying by the thousands and you better buy your electric auto soon to save the planet. No less than our all-knowing former President Barack Obama warned us way back in 2009 that global warming and a rise in sea levels threaten our existence.  Surely, President Obama, a major supporter of the Paris Climate Accord, would lead by example and show the average Bible-toting, gun-loving dim-bulb American how to live.

Well, guess again! Just last month former President Obama purchased his second home, a 7,000-square-foot beauty on Martha’s Vineyard for a whopping $14.85 million. Added to his 8,200-square-foot home in Washington, D.C., one can see that the Obamas are going to leave a monstrous carbon footprint. Confounding climate alarmists even more is the fact that the Obamas’ new waterfront home on Martha’s Vineyard is only 3.3 feet above sea level. That means that our beloved former president is only one collapsed ice shelf away from being washed out to sea.

Frankly, it is alarming how many of my favorite Hollywood stars and climate pundits live on an ocean shore. Our entire entertainment industry is threatened by our rapidly rising oceans. Or not.

Markets tend to reveal more than the hollow words of climate alarmists. Homes and condos on the beach everywhere in the world, with the exception of Fukushima, are at record prices and rising. Home buyers know. Home sellers know. Real estate agents know. Would you pay out the wazoo for an oceanfront property that you believed might soon be under water or inaccessible? I didn’t think you would. When everyone in government and the captains and kings of industry start buying homes on the side of mountains, then I’ll worry.

Please notice that I did not go “Hmmm” and question the income inequality aspects of the Obamas purchasing a $14.85 million second home. Hooray for them. Warriors against white privilege!

On the same topic of climate crisis, did you go “Hmmm” when Prince Hairbrain and Meghan Marvelous flew on a private jet four times in one month to vacation and attend climate crisis confabs on luxurious islands? Couldn’t they just Face Time the meetings? And on an unrelated hmmm, what exactly have they done to need a two-week vacation?

It has been hard to avoid listening to the constant harping about the inequities of the Electoral College coming from media pundits and Democratic activists. It has been relentless, but what do you talk about when the Russian scandal falls apart? I can’t help noticing and, yes, going “Hmmm,” when I hear Democrats whine about the non-democratic aspects of the Electoral College while ignoring the existence of super delegates in the Democrat Party nominating process.

And that brings us to actress and liberal warrior Debra Messing. Dear Ms. Messing has come up with the brilliant idea that all Hollywood types who attend a fundraiser for President Trump should be outed so that actors, producers and directors may refuse to work with the wayward twits.  

Hollywood, the only place that could produce movies, documentaries and television programs about the excesses of the McCarthy era in the 1950s and its resulting Communist blacklists and then propose a similar type of blacklist against Trump supporters.  Hmmm.

We’ve all been entertained by the memes, jokes and coverage about President Trump’s many gaffs, fibs and screw-ups. We’ve been denied the relentless coverage of the faux pas uttered by the Democrat presidential field, most notably Joe Biden. When President Trump stretches the truth it is an earth-shattering crisis. Joe Biden makes up a story about pinning a medal on a hero in Afghanistan and the soldier refusing the decoration and the mainstream media and pundits allow him to dismiss his big fat whopper with, “The details of my story were inconsequential.”  Hmmm.

Right home here in Indiana the other day I was somewhat shocked by a billboard that I saw while driving in the great Hoosier State. The billboard said, “In xxx county, 70% of our teenagers are drug free!” I leave the name of the county out because I may need to drive through that county in the future. Does this billboard mean that 30% of our teenagers use drugs? Who came up with this statistic?  Presumably, there would be far fewer 13-year-old drug users than 18-year--old drug users. Does this mean that appreciably more than 30% of your older teenagers use drugs? Did you cut drug use down from 60% to 30% and you’re happy about it? This definitely made me go “Hmmm.”

I go to my favorite grocery store the other day and see a big display selling Joey Chestnut mustards and sauces for your hotdogs and wings. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I’ve ever seen Joey Chestnut doing with a hotdog during his July 4th eating competition is dunking his dogs in water before jamming them in his face. While it is understandable that Mr. Chestnut wouldn’t try and sell used hotdog water, it is confusing to me that he would market mustards and sauces that he doesn’t use.  

At this same grocery store I noticed that they only had green bananas for sale. This made me ponder the question, “Do pessimists buy green bananas?”  Hmmm.

Finally, as if you need one more reason to hate the New England Patriots, 15 minutes after the Oakland Raiders released wide receiver Antonio Brown from the team for calling his general manager a “Cracker” and threatening to assault GM Mike Mayock, the New England Patriots signed Brown to a one-year contract worth $15 million with $10 million guaranteed. That seemed pretty quick for a $15 million decision. But hey, if this was all planned out, that would be tampering and that would destroy my faith in the honesty of the New England Patriots. Makes you want to go “Hmmm”! 

Dunn is the former Howard County Republican chairman.