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NOT FOR NUTHIN’ - Paying the price of stupidity

Please no more talk about abject poverty. In this country, the far more prevalent abject is stupidity. From the government on down, stupidity flourishes like a wild ivy plant on ‘roids. This past weekend on Fox News the commentators were discussing the mortgage/foreclosure debacle that is choking hundreds of thousands of families. The woman, I’m sorry but I didn’t catch her name (my stupidity), said the most profound statement that I have ever heard, “You can’t regulate against stupidity.” In a nation whose population once had a great amount of common sense, usually achieved by the age of 10, we have become smart dummies. With BS’s, MS’s and Ph.D’s piled a mile high we should be smarter, alas we’re not. Common sense, like chivalry, is not dying, it’s just dead. It has gone the way of Chiller Theater and Ed Sullivan. Just a fading memory. We are now beset and besieged by stupidity. We can’t even tie our own shoelaces without first having watched, read or listened to a self-help guru who will take us from the first loop of the shoe string to the last neat bow. “Experts” now tell us how to be good parents, how to get healthy, how to lose weight, how to build muscles, how to get out of debt, how to work from home and be a millionaire, how to avoid getting sick by home remedies, how to live forever. How to, how to, how to, let’s sit and watch the show. The only “how to” show they don’t have is “how to” live without a “how to” show. The hosts of the shows smile and bestow their knowledge, all the while laughing their way to the bank. We, the dummies, gratefully sit and wait like trained seals for the next revelational program to appear, teaching us yet again how to do what we should have known from the get go. The worst of the “how to’s” are infomercials. Not only do you watch but at the end they want you to buy the books, tapes, machine, product, whatever that they are offering insight into. Not for nuthin, but have you ever noticed that everything offered on TV is always $19.99 plus shipping and handling? Anyway, getting back to regulating against stupidity. The movement is afoot to have the government regulate mortgages for house purchases – in essence, you can’t buy a house unless you have a down payment. The government should regulate this why? – Duh, shouldn’t it be a matter of course? Unfortunately, many people bought houses with one hundred percent financing. Let me repeat that, One Hundred Percent financing. No equity at all, just adjustable rate mortgages and DUMBOJUMBO mortgages at ridiculous rates. Of course there are going to be foreclosures. How can one expect to refinance when there is no equity in the house because you didn’t have a down payment in the first place? Did home buyers really think that prices were going to soar so much that the two-year payments were going to give them sufficient equity to refinance? I’ve been paying a mortgage for six years and still haven’t hit much of the principal. Like everything else financial, what ever goes up usually comes down and housing prices are no exception. I don’t even have a Ph.D (piled higher and deeper) and I know that. Years ago, people had common sense and knew this without an infomercial, talk show or the government regulating anything. If you didn’t have the down payment, you didn’t have the house. The other stupid thing rolling around these days is reducing carbon footprints by selling off your share. Which, in essence, means that you pay someone else to use your footprints – so you can waste all the carbon that you want. This is like saying, “I’m on a diet, but I can eat all that I want, because I am paying someone else to take my calories.” Hello -- the only person losing weight is the person cutting back. The only person saving on carbon footprints is the one that is cutting emissions. Simple, you think? As an aside, I also heard that almost half of all Americans are suffering from some type of depression and have at one time or another been given some type of medication to alleviate this condition. Not for nuthin, but of course they’re depressed. Who wouldn’t be if you had to have advice on how to tie your own shoelaces by age 30? E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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