Commentary: I have questions

The Rock Hill HeraldDecember 9, 2012 

Guy Noir, the beleaguered private eye featured on “A Prairie Home Companion,” is said to constantly wrestle with “life’s persistent questions.”

I have a few of my own, including:

QUESTION: Why is Black Friday, official start of the post-turkey Christmas shopping frenzy, now followed by Cyber Monday? I thought one of the principal advantages of the Internet is that it’s always on. So why should the Monday following Thanksgiving merit such notoriety?

For that matter, since many of the major retailers now have found it necessary to open on Thanksgiving Day, should the media refer to that day as Black Thursday, thereby demoting the day after to Gray Friday?

The Herald published a story last week about a woman who allegedly beat her girlfriend with an ironing board during an argument over a misplaced sex toy.

QUESTION: Wouldn’t an iron have made a more effective weapon? On second thought, perhaps a hammer would have been less sexist.

A judge ruled that a woman was not guilty of arson in the burning of her house despite testimony that she had stored gasoline and other flammable materials in several spots around her home, including the bathtub.

QUESTION: Can I ask for this judge the next time I’m arrested?

Gov. Nikki Haley, who has made herself the Darling of the Tea Party by frequently scorning the federal government, sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service in which she accused the Big Brother agency of negligence by not insisting state governments encrypt Social Security numbers.

QUESTION: If Harry Truman were alive, would he accuse Haley of passing the buck?

Although the state Department of Revenue put some 4 million South Carolinians in financial jeopardy by failing to take that basic precaution, several other state agencies did encrypt Social Security numbers.

QUESTION: Since this took place on Haley’s watch, why should her constituents think her capable of overseeing the Department of Administration she’s so keen on creating?

A wire story recently recounted the fate of a Florida man who died after gorging on roaches and worms as a participant in a “Midnight Madness” event sponsored by a reptile store. The 32-year-old man was among 20 to 30 contestants trying to swallow as many critters as they could to win an $850 bald python.

TWO QUESTIONS: 1. Did this really happen? 2. Shouldn’t Florida law be amended to prevent ownership of a python by anyone with a IQ lower than that of the reptile he’s trying to win?

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John McCain, R-Ariz., vociferously have attacked U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for allegedly dissembling – if not outright lying – about what is now acknowledged to have been a terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Graham and McCain have indicated they would oppose Rice’s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

QUESTION: Where were Graham and McCain when President George W. Bush nominated Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of state despite her support of the invasion of Iraq, which was predicated on faulty evidence of Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction”?

Why was acceptance of bad intelligence forgivable conduct for a Bush minion but inexcusable for an official of the Obama administration?

People’s Daily, China’s state-run newspaper, announced in its online edition that The Onion had named North Korean leader Kim Jong Un its Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 without giving readers a hint that the source is known for its over-the-top spoofs of current events.

People’s Daily editors apparently failed to spot the put-on even after reading that previous Sexiest Man winners included: Bashar al-Assad, Bernie Madoff, Charles and David Koch and Ted Kaczynski.

QUESTION: Is satire just a Western thing? Or is it a requirement that Communist journalists undergo surgery to have their sense of humor removed?

Grover Norquist, noted anti-tax crusader, has accused some GOP lawmakers of “impure thoughts” for publicly wavering on their pledges never to vote for a tax increase.

QUESTION: Given the dire consequences predicted if the nation were to fall off the “fiscal cliff” at year’s end, why should we care what Norquist says or thinks?

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