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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.
The men in the Pollak family live their lives by this simple philosophy.
- Sam Pollak
Garagiola shows that nice guys can finish first
Through the long decades, I have managed to retain the ability to really, really annoy people, especially, it seems, nice people.
Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
"I shoot first, and ask questions later."
My father is in my mirror, my dreams
"My father! -- methinks I see my father."
Being president doesn't look like much fun
I wish everybody would just quit bugging me about it.
Some changes are just style over substance
Many of us who toil day after dogged day at our nation's newspapers to do the work of the angels -- informing a grateful public all about what we think it should know -- have a profound interest in two books that have stood the test of time.
- Saturday, April 12, 2014
Mr. Adelson disturbs my 'ghetto mentality'
This Sheldon Adelson guy makes me very nervous.
- Saturday, March 22, 2014
A minority group that's getting out of hand
You know how it is with this one particular minority group. I'm pretty sure you know which one I'm talking about here.
- Saturday, March 1, 2014
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.
- Saturday, February 8, 2014
The world must think we're nuts
Full disclosure here: I have not surveyed the views of every one of the nearly 7 billion people on Earth who do not live in the United States. Still I feel on solid ground when I submit that the rest of the world must surely believe that Americans are crazy.
- Saturday, January 18, 2014
Mistakes easy to take ... if they're not yours
Every newspaper editor I know has the same philosophy about ghastly mistakes.
- Saturday, December 28, 2013
Celebrate 2013 with the annual 'Sammy Awards'
OK, now I'm good and angry. After eight years of pounding the keys until my fingerprints wear off while producing my coveted Sammy Awards, I discover that something called Security Sales and Integration (SSI) Magazine is attempting to horn in on my good name with its own Sammy Awards.
- Saturday, December 7, 2013
The feds still aren't coming for your guns
"Tuck this column you wrote away in your scrapbook ... it will one day prove to be a source of great embarrassment for you."
- Saturday, November 16, 2013
50 years can't fade a day to remember
For the record -- and to ease the burden of research for my future biographers -- I was eating a tuna fish sandwich … on white bread … with lettuce and mayo.
- Saturday, October 26, 2013
Getting robbed of my untapped potential
This …. well … could have happened.
- Saturday, October 5, 2013
Here's what I've learned about the next generation
"I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. ... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly (disrespectful) and impatient of restraint."
- Saturday, September 14, 2013
I blame the liberals for America's mess
I blame the liberals.
- Saturday, August 24, 2013
Treat A-Rod like a player, not a gladiator
Compared with -- say -- the practices of ancient Rome, the penalties for failure of character or performance on today's athletic fields could be considered rather mild.
- Saturday, August 3, 2013
Americans need a vacation from gridlock
Exhausted from a nonstop regimen of doing nothing, members of Congress -- the best politicians money can buy -- are badly in need of a vacation.
- Saturday, July 13, 2013
Success in politics is just scandalous
After a professional lifetime of chronicling the feats and foibles of politicians, I got to wondering what it might be like to become one.
- Saturday, June 22, 2013
Reflections of a really lousy movie date
All those girls who turned me down when I was single and asked them if they'd like to go to a movie with me don't know how fortunate they were.
- Garagiola shows that nice guys can finish first