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Some things I’ll never understand

Date: 12/3/2015

There are many things I don’t understand. Because I’m a reporter I can ask questions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll get some answers.

For instance, I travel from my home in Springfield five mornings a week to the office in East Longmeadow. To do so, I drive down White Street and cross over Sumner Avenue.

Almost every morning cars traveling on Sumner blissfully go through the red light. This morning there were three of these blessed idiots who clearly care little for their safety, much less than for the safety of others.

What is so difficult about the meaning of a red light?

I’m assuming some of the people driving these cars are the same decision-challenged types who walks against the lights at a busy intersection and just stare at the ground, assuming if they don’t actually see oncoming traffic it will not affect them.

I also periodically argue with a friend on Facebook about the advantages of shopping at locally owned businesses. The truth is that economic studies show more of the money spent at a locally owned store stays in a community and strengthens it.

This fact alone should influence folks to keep as many of their dollars local as they can, but apparently the prices at a big box store are all they need to know.

Don’t would-be thieves understand that convenience store and gas stations have surveillance cameras? Don’t they understand the police will then plaster those images all over social media?

Are they really that stupid? Why yes.

People. People. People.

Here’s one that truly has me stumped. I watched a bit of the Sunday morning political coverage and the subject of whether or not a candidate is truthful in his or her statements doesn’t seem to be an issue with some people.

Voters interviewed on camera spoke that whether or not a candidate is accurate in what he or she says is less important than his or her overall message.

Aren’t honesty and trustworthiness pillars of the attributes candidates are supposed to have?

This issue has manifested itself lately especially with statements made by Donald Trump that he saw on television hundreds of what he assumed were Muslim-Americans celebrating the tragic destruction of 9/11 in Jersey City, NJ. Despite the statements made by local law enforcement as well as the FBI and despite there is no media coverage or television footage corroborating the assertion, Trump will not say he misspoke.

He won’t back away from the claim and now is saying that “hundreds” of his supporters say they saw it as well.

Politifact has assessed statements he has made and noted that 41 of his claims are false and 21 percent of them come in at the “pants on fire” level.

And before I get nasty emails, let me just add that Hillary Clinton has been graded as having 11 percent of her statements as false, 16 percent “mostly false” and 1 percent as “pants on fire.  

The candidates get a pass for making over the top statements but the press that challenges them gets the bird.

Carrie Dan, writing on the NBC news website, said, “A new Pew Research Center study released last week showed that 65 percent of Americans say that the news media has an actively negative effect on the way things are going in America.    

“That’s nearly two-thirds of the country calling the Fourth Estate a bad thing for the U.S.

“It’s a worse rating than respondents to Pew’s survey gave to banks, the entertainment industry and large corporations, and it’s not too far off from the dismal assessment given to the most hated of institutions: Congress.”

Clearly, no one wants to have the candidates they support questioned, because that means their own beliefs are being questions – and we can’t stand that.

The best way to deal with dodging the situation is by attacking the press – the “liberal,” “lamestream” media. Blame the messenger, not the message.

Now this part I do understand.

Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.