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“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”

—Woody Allen

With so many stories needing context, I feel I should wait a week before indulging in another exposition about the world we live in—sucky as it may be.

And so I will use this week’s piece to empty out the notorious CVD mailbag. For those of you who doubt that the mailbag is real, allow me to put your mind at rest that Santa’s sleigh personally dropped it off on my doorstep Monday morning.

“What’s wrong with paying a fare for the bus system? Why should I pay for you to get around town?”

—Brock, North Logan, Utah.

Because you voted for it. And when I say “you” I mean the voters. You can run candidates whose primary agenda is to end the CVTD, or force them to charge a fare. Or you can get a voting bloc together and cajole the currently elected officials to act or be thrown out of office. But what you cannot do is pick which popularly-elected propositions you pay for and which you refuse. We live in a representative democracy. And when we vote on stuff, we live with the results.

“You wrote a column a few weeks back where you took both sides on the gun issue. You can’t make up your mind?”

—Dave R. Hyrum

No. It is hard for me to argue for gun rights when so many people in this country have a propensity for violence. Giving these shady characters accessibility to guns is asking for irresponsibly dangerous people to have a god complex.

With that stated, I think every American has a right to defend themselves, their families and their possessions. “Call the cops” really does not work. Autonomy is embedded in the American psyche. But do you need a trophy case filled with assault rifles to stop someone from breaking into your house? Simplest answer: no.

“I am sick of you talking about the East Coast all the time. You live in Utah, write about Utah! Why should I care about Atlantic City?”

—Brandi, Logan, Utah

My columns are personal and the second death in a half century of a town I am endeared to is what I wished to write about. Feel free to contact my editor and ask to write your own column. If you are anywhere near as interesting as me, he might say yes.

Cache Valley has a serious economic problem. Prices are going up, but wages are not. College-educated workers are fighting for jobs with recent immigrants and others of advancing age. Our schools are crowded and underfunded. Maybe the bubble is not going to burst this week, but Atlantic City teaches every town in America that when death comes, it does not always come suddenly.

“Ferguson, Missouri IS America! The militarized police forces we see in this racist country are going to make us all slaves to big government!”

—Randy P., Louisville, KY.

Or,

Police should protect themselves from the threat of violence by an overwhelming mob in case things go bad. Are you a Libertarian guns rights advocate, Randy? I find great humor in people who want many guns to protect themselves, but do not want the police to be afforded the same luxury.

“Congrats on your weight loss. You are still fat, ugly and obnoxious.”

—Merrill, Franklin, Idaho.

But on the upside, I have a self-effacing sense of humor that allows me to print letters such as yours.

“Did you ever get the problem with your New York Times delivery fixed?”

—Carlo V., Yonkers, NY

In fact, I did. A clever college-aged girl located in a call center in Iowa came up with a simple solution that worked. We canceled my subscription. Then the next day she called me up and gave me a new subscription. Boom! My name was back on the delivery list and I have not missed one Sunday paper since. This just goes to prove that Iowans are the smartest people on Earth.

“I guess with football season here, you and your alcoholic friends will be back in the parking lot making idiots of yourself. Do you really need liquor to make football better?”

—Alan P., Provo, Utah

You might find this hard to believe but alcohol is OK…so long as you only drink in moderation.

Tailgating is awesome! A group of my fellow Aggies talking and socializing while waiting to root on our team is what makes America great. I am so excited for Saturday!

The fact that those of the “dominant religion” in Utah look upon drinkers as pariah makes the act of (GASP!) public indulgence even more satisfying. And we are not a bunch of rednecks looking for trouble. Nearly all of the people I tailgate with are professionals—many of whom are professors at USU.

To your point, football is great without tailgating—way better with it. And we are playing Idaho State. We will be up by 35 points at half. That is going to be hard to tolerate sober. Go Aggies!

Well, that is quite enough for now. I am sure I will find time for more comments by my loyal followers before 2014 slips away. Is it really September? This year is speeding by. Autumn is the best season. With so many stories going on in the world, I am fairly confident that this column will go on with its usual vim.

By Staff