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Smart bombs

It’s real simple

These uncertain times have taken a toll on my certitude, but plenty of people are immune to the complexities. Maybe you’ve run into them. Maybe you’ve seen them on TV. They sound like this:

Me: “Oof! That’s some depressing front page today. State senate closes $9 billion shortfall by laying off thousands, kicking people off health care, closing the sexual predator prison, slashing slots at colleges, increasing class sizes and on and on.”

Mr. Certitude: “About time they tightened their belts. Live within your means, I say.”

Me: “Says here automakers may have to file for bankruptcy protection.”

Mr. C: “No-brainer. Unions have been sucking them dry for years.”

Me: “And here I thought the quality of the cars was a factor.”

Mr. C: “Whatever. The government should let them die. Obama should let all those banks fail, too”

Me: “Well, economists say that would be even worse for the economy.”

Mr. C: “Did they ever start a business or meet a payroll? Thin the herd. Let the strong survive. We’ll bounce back!”

Me: “The Washington Post-NBC News poll does say optimism is growing.”

Mr. C: “See? Told you. Is this a great country or what?

Me: “Poll says Americans have more confidence now that Obama is in office. Says they’re willing to give his solutions a chance.”

Mr. C: “What is wrong with this country? Cut taxes. Stop spending. Problem solved.”

Me: “Look, it says here the state might have to close Mount Spokane State Park.”

Mr. C: “What!? I ski and snowmobile there. They can’t close it!”

Me: “What about that belt tightening?”

Mr. C: “This is important. Just kick those illegal aliens off health care and keep the trails groomed.”

Me: “About 7,000 state workers are probably going to lose their jobs. The remainder won’t be getting raises for two years. College tuition will be going up 7 percent. All kinds of misery is coming because of these budget cuts. None of that bothers you?”

Mr. C: “Let me guess. You don’t ski.”

Me: “That Tony Bennett story sure was surprising.”

Mr. C: “Idiots! They should’ve paid him more!”

Me. “It’s basketball. He was making a million a year.”

Mr. C: “Exactly! Can’t expect a coach to get by on that! It’s all about market value.”

Me: “I see that the Chicago Sun-Times has filed for bankruptcy protection. It seems newspapers everywhere are in trouble.”

Mr. C: “That’s what they get for being biased.”

Me: “Well, it’s a little more complicated. …”

Mr. C: “Spare me. All you need is Fox News. Fair and balanced. They’re not going out of business!”

Me: “I’m beginning to see why.”

Smart Bombs is written by Associate Editor Gary Crooks and appears Wednesdays and Sundays on the Opinion page. Crooks can be reached at or at (509) 459-5026.


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