It's great to be back after a challenging Thanksgiving week. Once again, I volunteered for the Liberal Thanksgiving Hotline and we were inundated by calls. You wouldn't believe how many Leftists still don't know how long it takes to unthaw a baby. Then there's the whole question of giblets.

My Thanksgiving started with a horrific crash at 5 a.m. My Roomba, RoboCop, had hurled himself down the stairs. Holiday depression is real, y'all. That might explain the outrage over my last column. I wrote an insightful, thoughtful piece on the Rittenhouse verdict that was so well-reasoned and balanced that it infuriated both progressives and fascists. In short, the perfect column. Lesson learned. I won't do that again. Even if I could.

Bender: We don't just get to 'lock them up'

Liberals were angry that I wrote, “We don't lock up terrible people just because they're terrible. If that were the case, I'd lock up Taylor Swift.” The goose-steppers were just mad because I'd written another column.

In my defense, Taylor Swift's shattered the lives of John Mayer, Joe Jonas, and Jake Gyllenhaal — and Jake Gyllenhaal is a national treasure, so I refuse to apologize. If I did, I'd take the tack employed by many celebrities after they've done something horrific: “I'd like to apologize for 'what happened'." As if they were pretty much just bystanders.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

At least Kyle Rittenhouse hasn't penned any pop songs about the lives he's destroyed.

One theme from conservative critics was that the three men Rittenhouse shot deserved it because they had criminal records. Fair point. There should be an extensive pre-shooting background check, don't you think? Sort of a cooling-off period.

One liberal, a former law student, took me to task for my lack of judicial expertise, which admittedly is limited personally to extradition issues, and then, when I politely addressed her argument, she accused me, an “old white man,” of mansplaining. That's so not true. I totally respect broads. Besides, she's an ageist.

For obvious reasons, I'm not going to delve too deeply into the Ahmaud Arbery verdict except to say that it's now clear that you can't shoot someone for jogging in Georgia. It's a coin flip in Wisconsin. That said, if you ever see me jogging you should be suspicious because it means I'm having an acid flashback, just knocked off a liquor store, or mansplained to the wrong woman.

We're living in a Seinfeld Bizzaro Episode. My colleague Rob Port, former darling of The Right, has been embraced by progressives and ostracized by conservatives after his recent insightful and thoughtful exposés on maniacs. At least he has somewhere to land. Both sides hate me now.

So it's no surprise that in the bitter annual struggle for column hierarchy at Forum Communications, Jim Shaw was again voted Best Columnist in the Red River Valley. I finished eleventy-third.

Defeat would be easier to swallow if Shaw, the master of intimidation, wasn't so cruel to his columnar compatriots. I don't know how many times a red-faced Scott Hennen has fallen for that “pull my finger” trick at staff meetings, and it takes a lot to embarrass Scott.

We can't concede to a man like Shaw. We certainly can't ignore the irregularities in the Arizona vote. I've got the Pillow Guy looking into this. If there is a God, Tammy Swift will be reinstated soon.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor Forum Communications ownership.