One of the questionable benefits of being semi-retired is being able to tune into just about any news program I want to at just about any time of the day, short of the two mornings a week I still spend at the newspaper office.

Last week President Biden came out of his White House cave to give his first news conference in almost 70 days as President. I’m not being critical. After listening to the entire news conference I know why his handlers want to keep him from speaking.

It has to be tough following years of Presidents who are nimble in front of the press corps. In my lifetime, Ronald Reagan was probably the best, but Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump were all accomplished. H.W. Bush was efficient, but not particularly stellar and G.W. Bush always seemed a little uncomfortable, but had that Texas grin and ability to crack wise to keep things interesting. Jimmy Carter was dull as dirt, but could at least identify members of the press corps and had a pretty good grasp of the facts.

President Trump was just short of brilliant, not particularly for what he said, but how he entered a tremendously hostile arena to do battle with the press. It was high entertainment, if not particularly informative at times.

Now comes “Hidin’” Joe Biden, trying his best to remember what exactly he was supposed to be doing. Where Trump would scan the crowd of mostly hateful and belligerent reporters and point them out by name without hesitation, often picking the ones he knew were most hostile, the newly minted President had a cheat sheet with photos of the press and their names, slowly scanning the sheets, showing his bald head to the cameras, coming up with a name, then squinting into the crowd to spot the reporter, who was likely waving a hand.

Interestingly enough, he chose almost all women to ask questions.

My best description of this agonizing effort would be this:

“Bueller…Bueller…Bueller…” Ben Stein’s droning economics teacher taking attendance in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Answering mostly softball questions, the President had to revert to a notebook on virtually every answer and on probably 30 percent of the questions, got lost reading from the notebook.

Remarkably, the pundits on CNN, MSNBC and the like gave him an A+ for his “steady” grasp of the facts and his “humanity” in talking about his self-inflicted catastrophe on America’s southern border. Yikes! If this was an A+ performance, people on Skidrow should get participation ribbons for clean living.

Theologically, I was never a big fan of Oral Roberts. He was one of the first and most prominent over-the-top charismatic TV preachers whose name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel never related to my Protestant orthodoxy.

But neither did Liberty University’s founder, Jerry Falwell, on the opposite side of Rev. Roberts. The only things the two private Christian schools have in common today are great men’s basketball teams.

However, to condemn ORU and call for their outright ban from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, is maybe the most egregious “Cancel Culture” act I’ve seen yet. Columnists from USA Today and other liberal rag newspapers demanded (before the team lost a two-point heart-breaker to end their run to the Elite Eight) they be banned from competition because of the school’s stand on homosexual issues, as well as being anti-abortion.

This is what is so crazy. Gonzaga, maybe the best men’s basketball team I’ve seen in the past 30 years, and Loyola, another magnificent “Cinderella” team, are Catholic universities with theological baselines when it comes to the LGBTQ community and abortion similar to ORU.

And there hasn’t been a peep from liberal cancel culturalists about banning them from competition. Loyola’s beloved Sister Jean is likely expressing a sigh of relief.

If you want to start banning universities from NCAA competition because of their theological stands as it applies to modern culture, you’re going to have to start with Notre Dame (Catholic), then head west and ban Brigham Young University (Mormon), head down south and ban Baylor University (Baptist) and wipe out several all black Baptist schools in the south.

The fact that ORU has one of the most culturally diverse student bodies of any university in the United States, goes unnoticed by these liberal and progressive whack job journalists. Frankly, it is the writers of this nonsense that should be banned because of their anti First Amendment sentiments. Except that conservatives and universities like ORU, Baylor, Brigham Young and Notre Dame, generally, support and love America’s right to free speech and freedom of religion.

Truth be told, part of the hatred toward ORU from the left comes because they are one of the few universities in America that managed to keep their students in class throughout the COVID-19 epidemic. And, by all accounts, they did it safely, according to science, with a large dose of prayer behind the science.

I always cheer for the Cinderella teams in the NCAA Tournament and I had ORU, along with Loyola as my “heart” picks in the tournament. How can you possibly cheer against Sister Jean? My support for the Eagles will remain post tournament.

My wife and I are doggedly trying to get our retirement cabin completed, battling COVID-19 and derecho building material delays, skyrocketing material prices, COVID-19 illnesses hampering our sub-contractors, a miserably cold February where work stopped and an incredibly wet spring.

So I wandered up to the building site Sunday afternoon to work on plumbing and putting up interior car-siding and was there about a half hour when I heard the door open and then saw my eight-year-old grandson carrying a set of binoculars. “Can we go fishing, Papa?” he asked.

The sun was out and looking down at our pond from the cabin’s great room where I was working, looked inviting. As a grandfather with nothing much but time on his hands, I really didn’t have to think twice. I mean, it’s not like losing three hours of Sunday afternoon work will get the cabin done on schedule. That train left the station months ago.

So I left the cabin, found a couple of fishing poles. We fished, then shifted to canoeing on the pond, then went back to fishing and finally discovered newly hatched frogs at water’s edge. We ended up driving the Gator around. There is nothing better than allowing an eight-year-old to waste…no, readjust…your time.