Watched a TV ad the other day, offering a “smart” hydration vessel (water bottle) to tell you when to hydrate (take a drink of water).

The water bottle starts flashing in color when you need to ingest some water.

The doggone thing retails for $39, plus half-a-guzillion for “processing and handling.”

Why not save $39? Why not grab a paper cup, or a glass out of the cupboard, and take a drink of water when your body signals your brain that you’re thirsty?

Have we honestly dumbed ourselves down to the level that we can’t determine when we need to grab a drink of water?

(Don’t reply to that! I fear the answer will be a resounding “yes.”)
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Memo: To those who might think otherwise …

Bruce Jenner (aka Caitlyn Jenner) is NOT news.

He hasn’t been news for some time now.

He’s not a cover story.

He might be a little whacked out. But he’s about as newsworthy as an old sock with a hole in it.

A time-tested bromide tells us that “news” occurs when man bites dog. There’s no man involved here. There’s no dog, for that matter. As far as Mr./Ms./Missed Jenner is concerned, whatever celebrity he might formerly have enjoyed has gone the way of the mastodons.
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We recently learned that President Barack Obama, opportunist that he is, has once again shifted with the wind.

The nation’s chief campaigner declared several weeks ago that the war is over in Iraq. What might have been more accurate, what he should have said, was that the war FOR THE UNITED STATES is over in Iraq, because he was pulling out all of our combat troops so he could fulfill a campaign “promise.” (The word “promise” in politics means a much different thing than it does in real life. But that’s another story better tackled another day.)

Fact is, the war in Iraq — that Middle East bastion of modern-day political strife — continues, as it has for centuries.

Iraq embodies many warring factions: The Sunni Muslims, the Shiite Muslims, the Kurdish Muslims, the tribal leaders and their followers. Now, we have the ISIS Muslims snaking their way into Iraq. The war there continues because each one of these factions wants to control all the others.

But back to the beginning. Obama on Wednesday announced that as many as 500 more U.S. soldiers are being sent to Iraq, at the behest of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi to “train, advise and assist” Iraqi forces (which have no Sunni representation) in their fight against the thugs committing genocide there under the black banner of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS).

The latest mini-surge should up the number of U.S. ground troops in Iraq to 3,500. Does that paint a picture of “the war is over” in Iraq? Doesn’t sound like it to many of us who can think for ourselves without succumbing to “spin.”

Doesn’t matter that those just deployed are restricted to advisory capacities. They’re still armed. Backed into a corner, they will shoot at their adversaries. Furthermore, our guys are still party to the Iraqi army. As such, the ISIS fighters regard any and all U.S. troops and armed U.S. contract civilians as enemy combatants.

Deduction: We are still at war in Iraq, no matter how Mr. Obama tries to hedge it.

Finally, one of the first rules of war that any military strategist or officer in uniform learns is that you do NOT commit your forces piecemeal. We should have learned that with Vietnam. To defeat the enemy, you pick your battleground. You lay out a strategy in a no-press-allowed room with guards at the door. Your go in like D-Day with both feet. You annihilate the adversary. And then you leave a residual force for as long as it takes to maintain the peace and build a republic.

Unfortunately, we have a campaigner-in-chief who scoffs at the rules and flies by the seat of his overly inflated pants.