Monday, February 1, 2016


              I turn 78 tomorrow (made it!) but find the world as puzzling as I did a year ago. Here are more questions for which I have no answers.
              --If “awful” means “terrible” why does “awesome” mean “wonderful”?
             -- So when did so many people start prefacing every remark with the word “so”?

              --Why is it news when an athlete who never has anything to say decides to stop talking to the press?

              --Why do people who decry very-large salaries for athletes not blink at $35m per for Roger Goodell, whom no one would pay to watch?

              --Would you spend big money to air a TV ad for a drug if you had to admit that its possible side effects range from constipation to sudden death?

              --Why does Hillary Clinton need dozens of paid advisers to tell her what she thinks? Most of the Republican presidential candidates receive the same service from just one or two billionaire campaign donors.

              --Why did the Republican presidential-candidate brigade knock itself out to win the goofy Iowa caucuses, whose last two GOP winners were Rick Santorum (2012) and Mike Huckabee (2008)?

--Why does every auto insurer claim that its annual premiums are $400-a-year cheaper than those of every other insurer? If that were true they’d owe us money.

              --Why are autos expected to have mufflers while motorcyclists can make all the noise they want?

              -- Similarly, why do bicyclists feel exempt from obeying the traffic laws that constrain motorists?

              --Why does anyone keep financial information in his computer when it’s clear that criminals can hack into it at will?

              --Has John McCain ever has seen a war he didn’t want the U.S. to join, not to mention the ones he’d like us to start?

              --In discussions of water use in the drought-stricken West, why is so little attention given to the 80%-or-so share that goes to agriculture? Is it worth five gallons of water to grow a single walnut?

              --If American Indians are great stewards of the land, why do they keep coming up with ideas like gondola rides in the Grand Canyon?

               --Why does Major League Baseball insist that team managers wear the same uniforms as the players? If it’s because managers sometimes go on the playing field, couldn’t an outfit be devised that doesn’t make middle-aged men look silly?

              --Isn’t it interesting that people over 100 years old have such different answers when they’re asked for the reasons for their longevity?

              --Isn’t it great that John McEnroe did a commercial for a toenail-fungus remedy? I thought he’d never amount to anything after tennis.

`             --Does any other industry go out of its way to infuriate its customers the way the airlines do?

              --Why must I suppress a snicker every time I see a guy about my age wearing an earring or a pony tail?

              --Has Donald Trump ever uttered a sentence that didn’t contain the words “I” or “me”? Does he have any answers to our national problems besides a vague promise to “fix” them?

              --What’s the big deal over same-sex marriage? As Robin Williams said, everybody who’s married knows it’s always the same sex.

              -- Do the people upset by Atticus Finch’s racist past understand that he’s a fictional character?

              --Could the Internet operate without the “recover webpage” box? You’d think all those smart nerds out there could create websites that wouldn’t keep needing to be recovered.

              --Do people who repeatedly use the word “incredible” think it makes them seem more credible?

              --How did all those little kids happily clacking away on computers learn to type?

              --How come people buy Vladimir Putin’s self-crafted image as a dynamic action figure? He’s playing a bad hand, ignoring mounting domestic problems to fight wars he can’t afford and eventually will lose.

              --How did the vaccines that are among the most important advances in public health become a subject of partisan wrangling in the U.S.? Don’t Republicans think their children can get sick?

              --Do gun owners know that if their weapons are fired in their homes the most likely victims will be family members?

              -- What makes people think that defeating ISIS on the ground would eliminate it as a terrorism threat? Al Qaeda controls no territory but still is able to pull off international nastiness. 

-- Are there any more-dispiriting words in sports than “there’s a flag on the play”? In its never-ending quest for officiating perfection the NFL has turned its game into a slog.

--Why is a short-term stock market decline of 10% or more called a “correction”? Is my new (lower) portfolio balance now more “correct” than it was a month or so ago?  Can I “correct” my bills in the same way?

--Who will back-seat drivers have to criticize when driverless cars come into vogue?

            Just askin’. 

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