A few words from the grouch
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written by Bill:
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Bill Barth
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They don't like what they see
Punish conduct, not thought
Emotion. The enemy of reason
What's so scary about tea partiers?
Celebrate being alive
Yes. Be careful
Lessons to learn from conflict
No longer needed?
Why Americans are angry
Things that puzzle me:


   • How can an automobile company (GM) succeed when it’s owned 60 percent by the United States government, 12.5 percent by the Canadian government, and 17.5 percent by the United Auto Workers? Who decides what products to build? Who hires and fires the boss? Who negotiates labor contracts — does the UAW sit across the table from the UAW?
   • Why does it make sense to give billions of taxpayer dollars to a foreign company to take ownership of an American company (Chrysler)?
   • Companies that employ nearly 120,000 non-union Americans in this country to make Hondas, Toyotas and the like get nothing from the government, despite collapsing sales figures. Is that just a coincidence, or calculated competitive favoritism for unionized firms?
   • Billions of red-ink federal dollars are being poured into state and local governments and school districts to prevent layoffs this year and next of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees. What happens the year after that?
   • Government spending as a percentage of GDP is projected to approach 50 percent in 2010, a figure previously reached only during World War II. How can that be sustained without choking off credit in the marketplace, or sparking runaway inflation?
   • Since government produces no products and creates no wealth, isn’t it reasonable to conclude the purpose of the spending is “to spread the wealth around” in a redistributive fashion? So, who picks winners and losers? Based on what criteria?
   OK, enough about the government. I’m depressing myself.
   • If LeBron James is the best player in basketball, how come he’ll be watching Kobe Bryant play for the NBA championship on television?
   • On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on the moon. Why didn’t we keep going, like the explorers we were made to be?
   • Remember when automation was supposed to produce a new “Age of Leisure” for humanity? If computers are so smart, why are we working so hard?
   • Are Americans just naturally contrarian, or is it a coincidence that when we talk a “green game,” we drive to the meeting in an SUV?
   • Why do we make and use pennies? Wouldn’t it save money to quit?
   • When the last newspaper is gone, what will bloggers blog about?
   • Why can a 19-year-old serve in Iraq but not buy a beer or rent a car?
   • Why are dogs nicer than people? Exhibit A: Michael Vick.
   • Why do fattening foods taste better?
   • Why do people hold onto the armrests when they’re scared on an airplane?
   • Why do normally polite, sane people become jerks when they drive?
   • Why do kids use their phones more for texting than talking?
   • If life is so short, why do we waste so much of it in front of the TV?
   • Why do we lament the loss of living-wage American jobs, then drive our Nissans to Wal-mart for bargains made in Bangladesh?
   • Why is gambling a sin and buying stocks a virtue?
   • Why are jails bigger than churches?
   • Why is it only sick people appreciate good health?
   • Why does anyone have to ask the state’s permission to get married? Why can’t the government bless contracts, and the churches bless (or not) marriages?
   • Why is rap called music? Isn’t it talking?
   • Why are people willing to do anything — really, anything — just to get on reality TV?
   • And why do they call it reality TV? Most of it’s about as real as a starlet’s boobs.