By Ned Cantwell: Syndicated Columnist
Things I will never understand, no matter how old I grow, how smart I get, or how much I read:
• Why New Mexico charges you a $3 “convenience fee” for paying certain taxes online when, it would seem, it is more convenient to the state than to the taxpayer. How about a discount?
• Why lawbreaking Americans who have been given amnesty for not paying their traffic tickets will be the first to decry the notion of some type of path to citizenship for lawbreaking Mexicans who came illegally to this country to do jobs the rest of us won’t.
• Why they made such a big deal about Brad Pitt being a really fine fellow for being by her side when Angelina Jolie’s baby was born. He was certainly by her side, or somewhere in the immediate vicinity, when the baby was made.
• Why King and Bibb and Wilson and Madrid and all the rest of them aren’t just totally embarrassed by the attack ads they broadcast, TV spots loaded with half-truths and fear mongering. What price victory?
• Why we can’t live without computers even though they ratchet up the stress meter eight notches a week.
• Why the viewing public doesn’t stage protest marches in front of New Mexico television stations demanding they stop the maddening practice of cranking up the sound during the commercials.
• Why a 14-year-old girl has to have her mom’s permission to get her tongue pierced but can get an abortion without her parent’s permission.
• Why time goes so fast unless you are waiting for good news.
• When a farmer prays for rain, and the bride at an outdoor wedding prays for sunshine, how does God decide?
• Why a rap-singing thug whose music tends to lead youngsters toward sex, drugs and violence makes a million a year, and a teacher who gives kids a key to the future makes $30,000 a year.
• Why New Mexico spends freely to promote her national image but allows the brutal spectacle of cockfighting even though it makes us a national joke.
• Why we get past the thing we have been worried about for three months and then immediately find something else to worry about.
• How anyone could vote for Heather Wilson after her latest attack ad reveals Patricia Madrid as a bumbling, stumbling debater, but more importantly reveals Heather Wilson as a horribly mean-spirited woman.
• Why a person has no problem being squeezed into a chair alongside other gamblers playing slots at a New Mexico casino, but gets nervous when he has to sit close to someone in a pew at church. Doubly curious when you figure the folks in the pew probably aren’t smoking.
• Why this great country — and there is none better — won’t come to grips with the reality not much is going to change as long as big money controls politics at every turn. Start with eliminating “earmarks,” that device that allows lawmakers to attach special interest pork provisions to any bill they choose.
• Why it is free to have your mail delivered but costs you 70 bucks a year to drive to the post office and get it out of a box?
• Why New Mexico newspaper editors pay me peanuts for this column. NEVER MIND. You don’t have to answer that.
• Why you don’t send me your personal “whys” so that they may be shared with other readers.