COLUMN: Bunk Mail

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. Harry is a resident of Logan and an alumnus of Utah State University. He can be reached via email at hacaines@gmail.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

“To be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature.”

—Dogberry, from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”.

Have you ever noticed that within a week or two of my self-described “random thoughts” column there usually follows a “CVD Mailbag” column? It is almost like I plan it out that way.

As Your Humble Columnist waits for a few news stories that I wish to opine about to play out some more, I offer some answers to questions and comments posed to me by my devoted readers.

Are these real letters? They are as real as the testimonies of the people who swear they heard yanny.

“You don’t bash Trump in your column anymore. Are you on the Trump Train? Hoooo, hooooo!”

—Dave, Cache Valley

Hell, no! Donald Trump could very well rank second only to slavery as the biggest mistake in the history of America. So long as I am granted this space on CVD, you should expect an amplitude of polemics decrying this avaricious, perverted, mentally unstable carny.

There have been a few regional stories I have wanted to cover. And sometimes I like to build a binder filled with events to hit on when going back to familiar subjects.

Anti-Trump columns are a staple. More to come. Prepare.

“Despite being a loony lefty, you appear to champion individual rights. Have you thought of becoming a Libertarian?”

Jon, Smithfield.

I often refer to myself as a “common noun libertarian”. I believe less government and regulation is preferred to a totalitarian ideology that attempts to alter thoughts and behaviors. Orwell warned against such measures in “1984” and “Animal Farm”.

My contempt for Republicans that have embraced Trumpism is only matched by my ubiquitous mistrust of Democrats that pander to groups that continue to push pseudo-sociology and divide Americans with identity politics.

As to being a Libertarian of the proper noun variety, allow me to list the two main reasons why I have, so far, avoided that. They are virtues that I believe most Libertarians sorely lack, and shouldn’t.

I am pragmatic.

I have a sense of humor.

“Your sports teams are doing well. I bet that makes you even more intolerable.”

— Skyler, Orem.

My arrogance is not determined by the winning percentage of the teams I root for, but by my high level of reason, culture and intellectual breadth.

Having the Eagles win a Super Bowl being coupled with my beloved Phillies doing very well this season makes me happy. That is good enough for now.

When you add the fact that my favorite soccer team, Liverpool FC, plays in the Champions League Final on Saturday then, yes, I admit that sports is something I am enjoying more now than in recent years.

“You can’t really believe Ben Simmons deserves ROY over Donovan Mitchell! Simmons is not a rookie! You need to be a rookie to be rookie of the year! This is just more people hating on Utah! Utah bias is the only reason to give rookie of the year to a guy who is not a rookie!”

— A.T. Logan, UT.

Firstly, I really do not care.

Secondly, the award is given out by the National Basketball Association. They can set any criteria they deem appropriate to the voters of this award.

Thirdly, no one thinks about Utah long enough to have a bias against it.

Fourth and last, like most Utah Jazz fans the argument is not whether Ben Simmons put up better numbers than Donovan Mitchell, but whether Simmons is qualified to be thought of as a rookie.

This is quasi-birtherism.

From Logan to Provo and all other points within the BeehIve State, Utahns continue to prove they are the biggest crybaby sports fans in America.

“If you love Idaho so much, why don’t you move there?”

— Bob, Snowflake, Arizona

When (If?) I leave Utah I will most likely go to a large metropolitan area. That disqualifies Idaho.

The Gem State serves my purposes nicely as is. I am just a 30 minute drive to the Idaho border. I am finding all kinds of wonderful outdoor recreational places where I can indulge myself before or after I buy good beer and lottery tickets, which are things Utah continues to deny me.

Given that you cannot go a whole week in Northern Utah without a story about the state, Cache County or the city of Logan announcing a tax hike for basic services, you have to wonder if the plundering of money by elected officials would be necessary if there were other revenues available to tax to pay for things.

“What is your opinion of the 2nd Amendment?”

—Elizabeth H., Paradise, Utah

Well, Elizabeth—if that really is your name—in my expert opinion, the 2nd Amendment is misinterpreted.

When the 2nd Amendment was adopted in 1791, the United States had no standing army, no warships made of steel, no nuclear weapons, no NATO and no guns that could mow down school kids with indiscriminately fast speed.

To suggest that the 2nd Amendment now allows for the unimpeded ownership of any type of gun is dangerously pedantic.

With that stated, I believe that gun ownership can be a deterrent to widespread crime.

I see both sides of the argument. My problem is with gun nuts attempting to find any illogical reason to explain gun massacres that are becoming too frequent. They sound desperate and glib.

Both sides on this issue have right and wrong arguments. But the kids that are being gunned down in cold blood do not care about this debate. They do not care about anything anymore…because they are dead.

Until we stop piling up dead school kids, I am not sure what argument 2nd Amendment proponents can offer that does not make them appear to be fine with school shootings just so they can continue to indulge in a right that has been skewed from its’ original intent.

And with that, we close the CVD Mailbag. More unpopular, uncouth opinions to come next week. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

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