Answers to questions no one asked me

Why would a guy who runs for office every year, writes really ignorant Letters to the Editor and offers long-winded screeds at town meetings continue to keep at it?

It is a democracy, it is his right, and people have often been proven right after years of everyone thinking they are off the wall. On the other hand, this is just the kind of person who dissuades good people from running for public office. Often, instead of having a productive hobby this IS the hobby.

I can only imagine the internal groans of our elected and popular public servants when they see him getting up to speak one more time. Sometimes when difficult people run for public office they get quite a few votes. In our town, Great Barrington, a very smart man who, according to the tastes of some, may appear disheveled, may run for the position of town moderator.

He might get quite a few votes because there is a great tradition in America for voting for an unlikely candidate to make a point about the incumbent. You would think that the incumbent, who is very good at his job, might consider adjusting his demeanor as moderator.

Why are politicians in New York thinking about changing state law to allow people to bring their dogs to the outside patios of restaurants?

In France, people can bring their dogs with them into restaurants. The chairman of the health committee in the New York Legislature doesn’t want to allow it. He bases his objections on the spurious reasoning that some large dogs might want to eat someone’s food off the table.

I suppose he is technically right. The way it works now, the dogs have to stay on the outside of the railing. Of course, some people are allergic to pet hair and I suspect that’s why the people offering the bill make the pups stay on the outside. Some dogs may be allergic to humans and I worry about that. Let’s face it — dogs have rights, too. If you want to share your meal with your dog, why not?

Why is it important for us to know what books were on Osama Bin Laden’s bookshelf? Let me put it this way — it might be worth thousands of dollars to any author to have his or her book on that particular list.

My bet is that any agent whose client’s book was on the shelf now has the job of letting people know about its placement. One guy I’ve interviewed several times on the radio is the iconoclast Greg Palast. His book, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” was on the shelf. “Obama’s Wars” by Bob Woodward did very well when it was first published but my bet is that bookstores everywhere will be reordering it right about now.

In fact, it took quite a while to get the feds to release the information about what they found in Osama’s lair to the general public. Now we hear that the man loved porno but even that raises questions. If true, it does point to a certain moral hypocrisy for a man who espoused Islamist-Jihadist positions. No question about it — there are situations where government has not always told the truth. As a result, some of this newly released and previously classified material has to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.

Does power really corrupt as Lord Acton once opined?

It can, but it is rare that people cross the line. However, the squeaky wheel gets noticed. When a police chief is put on trial for crossing that line his alleged actions tend to demean others in law enforcement who must have public support in order to do their jobs. That’s why it is important to hold them accountable.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 5/23/15

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