From The Peanut Gallery
May 20, 2011 by Chip Wood
*Please, Mr. President, shut up. There’s a lot I love about the South, particularly my adopted state of Georgia. But there’s one thing I am definitely not proud of: the wacky pronouncements from incredibly ineffective do-gooder Former President Jimmy Carter. Did you hear his latest? He said we are guilty of a “human rights violation” because we “deliberately withhold food aid to the people of North Korea.” After all, “one of the most important human rights is to have food to eat.” So every hungry person in the world has a claim on what we grow? Only a peanut brain — excuse me, I meant a peanut farmer — would say so.
*Someone should tell the Feds to butt out. The U.S. Department of Justice has promised to investigate whether college football is unfair in the way it selects its national champion. I kid you not; the Federal agency says it is concerned that the Bowl Championship Series may violate Federal antitrust rules. It wants to know why college football doesn’t use a playoff system, as so many other college sports do. If you think this issue sparks some heated debates now, just wait until Washington tells us how to pick the winner.
*Elvis no longer makes the list. For the first time in 55 years, “Elvis” is not one of the 1,000 most popular boys’ names in America. When he heard the news, Commissioner of Social Security Michael Astrue, whose agency tracks baby names via applications for Social Security numbers, said: “I was all shook up.” The most popular boys’ name continues to be “Jacob.” The most popular girls’ name is “Isabella.” Also continuing a very old tradition, “Barack” did not make the list.
*Aren’t you glad you didn’t bid? Here’s another example of how quickly computers can screw things up. It happened when two booksellers offered the same title on eBay — but one instructed the auction house to list its copy for a little bit more than any other copy. When a second seller told eBay to price his copy at 99.83 percent of the highest price, a robotic price war broke out. Before it ended, eBay was offering “The Making of a Fly” (surely not the most popular book it ever offered) for $23.7 million. You will not be surprised to learn there were no takers at that price — or even .01 of 1percent of it.