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COMMUNITY VOICE

See if you agree with my list of opinions below, which you should

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 12:01 am

“You are entitled to your opinion.” That is a phrase that is often heard, and it is correct. But there is a common misconception that all opinions are equal. That is not correct. Some opinions are better than others. Below follows one of those ever-popular opinion quizzes that allows you to test some of your own. Read the following statements and decide whether you agree or disagree.

1. The Broadway musical “Book of Mormon” has been a commercial success. It lampoons the Mormon religion. People laugh a lot and enjoy the music. But on close analysis, it is the religious equivalent of a minstrel show. Instead of relying on racial bias, it promotes religious bias. It is unfortunate that it has been such a hit with American audiences.

2. Cloth napkins should have a buttonhole in one corner. I learned this some time ago while riding on an airplane. It is not so important for women, but is a great boon for men. You can button the napkin to your shirt at any level you want, and it will stay put. If you are wearing a tie, you can easily tuck it under the napkin. (Note to local restaurants: Start putting buttonholes in your napkins and you will have a leg up on your competitors.)

3. Retail stores in shopping malls are making a serious mistake when they play loud music. When I am shopping, I try not to go into those stores, because the music is almost always unpleasant, because it is too loud, and also because of the choice of music. It must be really bad for employees, who have to put up with it all day long (not to mention the damage to their hearing).

4. Everyone who goes to the movies complains about the ads and the previews that we have to endure before the movie starts. Theater owners will claim that their customers like these, but that is not true. One thing that might help would be a “truth in advertising” law that would require theater owners to disclose the time that the movie really starts, after all of the ads and previews are over. Then we could plan to arrive just a few minutes before that.

5. The bigger the company, the more cavalier they are about service. If you call a plumber who has a family business, he will tell you when he will come to your house, and that is when he will come. A retail store that is going to make a delivery will provide a two-hour “window” and promise to deliver during that time. Someone like the phone company or the cable TV company, however, will expect you to be home all morning or afternoon to wait for service. Then their repairman shows up with 10 minutes to spare and tells you he does not have time to fix the problem and will have to return on another day.

6. The power of the president of the United States is not unlimited. That bears repeating. The power of the president of the United States is not unlimited. Our president learned this recently when a federal appellate court ruled that his appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were invalid because they were made in violation of the requirements of the Constitution.

7. People should not talk on cell phones in restaurants. In opinion No. 2 above, I gave a good idea to local restaurants about cloth napkins. Here is another helpful pointer. Enforce a policy that says, “Cell phones shall not be used in the restaurant; violators will have soup spilled in their laps.”

8. There needs to be some incentive for businesses to have a live person answer their telephones. Aren’t you tired of hearing, “Your call is important to us. Please hold”? If it is so important, why don’t they talk to you? And how about “Please listen carefully, as our options have recently changed.” This might be believable if it were not for the fact that every company uses that line all of the time. Apparently, all of their options are in a constant state of flux. Who wants to do business with a company like that?

9. And finally, some distressing economic news. When the European Union was formed, it set economic criteria for members. No country could join if its national debt was more than 60 percent of its annual gross domestic product. Today, the national debt of the United States is more than $16 trillion, and that is more than our annual gross domestic product. (National debt exceeds 100 percent of gross domestic product.) America’s balance sheet is in such bad shape that we could not qualify to join the European Union!

To see how you did, give yourself 10 points for each opinion with which you agree. You really should get 90 points. However, you may have gotten less if you own a movie theater, run a cable TV company or play loud music in your store.

And you might have disagreed with No. 6 if you are a Democrat. Therefore, 70 points will be considered a passing score. Less than that, and you may want to try again.

Howard Chapman is a resident of Fort Wayne.