The men in the Pollak family live their lives by this simple philosophy.
“Why stand when you can sit? Why sit when you can lie down?”
As you might imagine, this sort of lifestyle governance lends itself not only to the hardening of every artery in our bodies, but to time well-spent in profound thought. Herewith, profound or not, are several of my recent epiphanies:
• I’ve noticed that all of those TV deals for food slicers, absorbent rags, laundry cleaners, etc., seem to have the same scam going. “But wait! If you call right now, we’ll DOUBLE your order. Just pay separate shipping and handling.”
It’s that “separate shipping and handling” _ usually about seven bucks _ that gets you to buy twice the product you want, assuming you even want the stuff in the first place.
Oh, and people such as Vince Shlomi _ the ShamWow character who was arrested for allegedly punching a prostitute _ and the late Billy Mays, whose cocaine use was a “contributory cause” of his death, have your credit card number.
• On the subject of scams, who has a better one than the National Rifle Association and the industry it supports?
Two years ago, the organization got its members and other gun owners so worked up over the election of Barack Obama that they bought up every bullet in sight, fearing that with a Democratic president, the government would come in and take their guns away.
Seriously, target shooters, hunters and others couldn’t find bullets for many of their weapons, such was the bullet-buying fervor drummed up by the NRA.
The NRA did the same thing, of course, when Bill Clinton was elected. Meanwhile, no law-abiding citizen had his gun or bullets taken away by Clinton and none has had his gun or bullets taken away by Obama.
It has been reported that sales of 9mm Glocks like that used in the recent Tucson shootings have been booming, thanks to people fearing they won’t be able to buy them anymore.
Someone, by the way, is going to have to explain to me why anyone needs a gun that fires 30 bullets in rapid succession instead of — say — one with a 10-bullet magazine.
I’m not buying the old “slippery slope” nonsense about one reasonable restriction leading to a total ban on guns, not when perhaps a 10-shot handgun instead of a 30- shot one might _ just might _ have spared the life of that sweet 9-year-old girl killed by the madman in Tucson.
• When it comes to Sunday’s American Football Conference championship game _ with the winning team going to the Super Bowl _ I’m having a tough time figuring out which team to root for. Do I cheer for the sideline player-tripping New York Jets, with their obnoxious coach, or the Pittsburgh Steelers, with their quarterback who was suspended for four games this season because of accusations from a 20-year-old college student that he sexually assaulted her? Gee, the lout or the thug? Some choice.
• Everybody makes mistakes. I just happen to work for a place that makes them in front of many thousands of readers. In case you might be wondering, finding out in the morning that you’ve screwed up _ and knowing the paper will be out there all day long and there’s nothing you can do about it other than fixing the online version _ is not a good feeling at all.
We do, of course, print corrections for all the mistakes we know about. Some aren’t totally our fault in that they’re based on erroneous information provided to the newspaper, but most of the boo-boos are ours.
The thing that surprises me every year is how consistent our number of corrections turns out to be. In 2010, The Daily Star ran 178 of them, down from 187 in 2009 and just slightly up from 174 in 2008 and 176 in 2007. Most folks who let us know when we’ve messed up are very nice about it. Others can get downright snarky. But believe me, no one is more upset than I am when we make an avoidable error.
Where that is concerned, we’ve already got a running start on 2011. Just this week, in an editorial, we managed to refer to the current New York governor as “Mario Cuomo.” If we were writing between 1983 and 1994, we would have been right-on. However, in 2011, the governor is Mario’s son Andrew.
We regret the error, and all the others we shall make in 2011.
And how to keep them to a minimum is certainly something to think about.
SAM POLLAK is the editor or The Daily Star. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.
The men in the Pollak family live their lives by this simple philosophy.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
There was just no telling about snow days
Winters get harder as we get older. Things change. It snows more. It snows less. It gets colder. It's a lot milder. It all changes as our knees start to creak and the thought of shoveling a foot of snow seems positively daunting.Continued ...
- And the music goes round and round
- When did pranks turn into vandalism?
- Happy and sad memories of Jan. 7, 1966
- Lesser known greats that passed away in 2013
- There was just no telling about snow days
- Cary Brunswick
It's time for warmer relations with Cuba
It has been 55 years since Fidel Castro and his bands of nationalist fighters and supporters took over the government of Cuba. The United States immediately took issue with that regime change, and ever since has had serious problems with the tiny nation just south of the Florida Keys.Continued ...
- Unconventional events changed my outlook
- Keystone XL pipeline is still a terrible idea
- We shouldn't trade privacy for security
- I'm pleasantly surprised by Pope Francis
- It's time for warmer relations with Cuba
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
State's budget gimmick is hindering schools
Recently, the Margaretville and Roxbury boards of education joined their colleagues across the region and throughout the state in adopting a resolution calling on the state legislature to end the so-called "gap elimination adjustment."Continued ...
- The state Board of Regents deserves a shakeup
- It's no wonder businesses avoid us
- How to bridge a widening wealth gap
- Nimbys, shills and celebs: A morality play for our times
- State's budget gimmick is hindering schools
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Beauty, grooming took center stage in Oneonta in March 1964
Good grooming, beauty and style seemed to be a recurring theme in the news around Oneonta during the month of March 1964.Continued ...
- Local news, opinion often mixed in 1889 newspapers
- Gasoline, demons and baseball were 'trending' locally in 1974
- Early efforts to halt Silver Creek were slow going
- Effort to establish Oneonta historic district began in 1970s
- Beauty, grooming took center stage in Oneonta in March 1964
- Rick Brockway
It's cold, but there's still plenty to do
This has been a tough winter. In fact, it has been one of the coldest winters on record. Now don't get me wrong, I love winter and I always have. I've always believed that people who don't like winter don't have anything to do when the snow flies and temperatures drop below freezing. But I've never had that problem.
- Animals' behavior a sign of wild winter
- Opossum is unique in many ways
- It can be too cold sometimes
- It's tough to say what you really did see
- It's cold, but there's still plenty to do
- Sam Pollak
Religion should be a comfort, not a weapon
Discuss politics or religion in any establishment that specializes in dispensing alcohol, and -- proprietors warn -- the discussion is highly likely to result in you waking up on the tavern floor and spitting out teeth, probably your own.Continued ...
- The world must think we're nuts
- Mistakes easy to take ... if they're not yours
- Celebrate 2013 with the annual 'Sammy Awards'
- The feds still aren't coming for your guns
- Religion should be a comfort, not a weapon
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner
An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues