Contradictions and convolutions

by Jim Longworth

Life is replete with contradictions, many of which are fraught with convoluted logic. Here are some recent examples:

• Last week some leading economists said the recession was technically over. At the same time, the Census Bureau reported that the number of people living in poverty had risen from 39 million to 43 million. This could be explained by the fact that leading economists don’t live in poverty.

• Despite what most women’s health professionals say to the contrary, the New England Journal of Medicine just published a report that slams mammograms for being ineffective in saving lives. Coincidentally, that same week, many of Obama’s healthcare reforms kicked in, including one that requires insurance companies to pay for mammograms. We all recall the back-room deal Obama made with Big Pharma to keep cheaper drugs out of the country, so it makes you wonder if insurers had something to do with the Journal report. After all, if doctors start to believe that mammograms are useless, then they won’t order the procedure, and insurers won’t have to eat the cost.

Speaking of so-called healthcare reform, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to cap the amount of lifetime benefits for customers. The catch is that Congress put no cap on premiums, therefore, most of us with mounting medical bills will never fully realize our benefits because we won’t be able to afford the astronomically high monthly premiums.

• Citizens in King are upset because city council removed the Christian flag from a veterans memorial. Council felt the flag violated the separation of church and state. But the bigger issue is why so many Christians support invasions of foreign countries, and the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who fought Nazis, but politicizing a memorial while our country is still embroiled in two unethical wars, sends a mixed message about condoning senseless violence.

• President Obama just told us that creating jobs is his No. 1 priority.

Yet he’s done nothing to repeal the bad trade agreements that have depleted our workforce. He has also refused to end tax breaks and tariff relief for American companies who benefit from sending their jobs overseas where they can hire cheap labor.

And while we’re on the topic of unethical industries, Hanesbrands came out smelling like a rose at the recent opening of the Milton Rhodes Center. Local and national officials praised Winston-Salem for its innovation and leadership, yet no one mentioned that the new facility was paid for by a company who shuttered over 30 plants and laid off over 15,000 American workers. There is nothing innovative about decimating local jobs and sending them to third world countries. So let’s all give the Arts Council a pat on the back for building a monument to slave wage labor.

• And that brings us to college athletes who some claim are nothing more than slaves. The University of Georgia suspended football star AJ Green for selling his jersey. Meanwhile, the university makes over $100 million each year from the sale of jerseys and other sports-related items. I’m no defender of athletes who pretend to be students just so they can play sports, but those who work hard at athletics and academics have no time for a part-time job, thus have no spending money.

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams favors paying college athletes in revenue producing sports a monthly stipend. That’s fine, but what about the students who play golf, tennis and soccer? Maybe they can be paid from the endorsement fees the coaches get from shoe companies.

• TV stations say they are hurting for revenue, yet the makers of Zestra, a female enhancement product, say they are having difficulty buying time on local TV stations. These are the same stations who accept ads for male enhancement products, but don’t want to broadcast messages about female sexuality. This is probably more sexist than it is contradictory, but my position is, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I guess the TV stations just don’t want us guys taking a gander at products for the geese.

• And finally, a female sports reporter said she was offended by male nudity and cat calls in the NY Jets locker room. But if she is so offended, then why does she keep going in there? As I was pondering this contradiction, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile rolled into the Triad, giving me a moment of profound clarity. If God had meant for women to be in men’s locker rooms, he would have given both sexes the same equipment between their buns.

Jim Longworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cable channel 15).