There's lots of craziness out there
I spend about half the year in New Jersey and the other half in Florida. When I am in Florida, I subscribe to two newspapers. One is the New York Times, which I consider essential reading. I praise the Times despite a lifelong grievance that the paper turned me down twice when I applied for a job.
I also buy the Palm Beach Post. Because of my limited stay in Florida, I subscribe for only short-term periods, renewing every two or three months. I receive the paper daily, including Sundays. I very rarely get a chance, however, to read it on Sundays. When I was recently solicited to extend my subscription, I therefore asked for the paper only on weekdays.
I was told that it would be cheaper for me to take the Post seven days a week rather than only six. The sales rep explained that my subscription is on a special reduced promotional rate. If I were to renew my subscription, excluding Sunday delivery,I would lose the discount rate and have to pay the regular higher subscription price.
In short, I would have to pay more to get less. I thought the Post's circulation department was crazy. But then I began to ponder about all the other craziness out there in our society. I decided that the Palm Beach Post's policy was minor-league craziness. It could not compare to far more stunning examples out there on the political and cultural scene...
* The Federal government employs some of the nation's most talented scientists. Increasingly,however,the Bush Administration disregards their research on such matters as pollution, climate change, reproductive health, stem-cell research and other fields in which science clashes with religious, ideological or corporate interests. Moreover, the scientists are often punished for disclosing their research findings to the public.
* Religious fanatics fight to prevent a woman's right to abortion, calling themselves "pro-life." But many abortion opponents harass and try to kill doctors who perform abortions and are indifferent to the lives of unwanted babies.
* The Bush Administration invades a country posing no security threat to the U.S. and goes to war with inadequate, ill-equipped forces and with no plan on how to manage conquered territory.
* Televangelists, claiming to hear and talk personally to God, create commercial ventures out of religious ministries, while promoting reactionery social and political views and making a mockery of genuine spirituality.
* The Bush Administration tries to fix a Medicare system that isn't broken with proposals that would benefit insurance and money-management companies more than senior citizens.
* The Administration, claiming to offer low-cost drugs for the elderly, devises a complex plan that few of them can understand but that benefits the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
* The Administration offers a $1.3 trillion tax cut for the wealthy over the next decade. But the budget is cut for education, Medicaid and Medicare. It also provides inadequate funds to care for Iraq war veterans and to rebuild Gulf Coast communities devastated by the Katrina hurricane.
* The Administration spends $16 billion to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq, where the utilities still fall short of pre-war performance. Meanwhile, there are not enough funds to rehabilitate an ailing infrastructure in the U.S.
There is clearly so much craziness out there that one wonders how our society as a whole remains sane. So maybe I'm nuts to be concerned about the Palm Beach Post's subscription policy in times like these.