All sense of proportion

Via Ron Davison, who maintains a blog HERE.

I have a knee-jerk reaction against the term “political correctness.” In my life, I’ve never heard anyone denied their right to say unkind things– but I’ve heard a lot of people say unkind things followed by “I guess I’m not ‘politically correct,’ hur-hur, hur-hur,” apparently believing that the suffix converts them from bigots and bullies into Fearless Defenders of Free Speech.

I gave this a chance because I trusted Ron’s judgement, and I’m glad I did because it’s brilliant.

(He also pointed out that I’ve been mispronouncing “Cleese” for my entire life.  It’s not pronounced the way you think it is.)


“Other than the burning eyes and cancer, it’s quite safe.”

From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:

This month’s water bill comes with some added reading material – a glossy four-page color pamphlet explaining recent issues with the city’s water supply and assuring residents the water is safe.

Apparently, this is some new definition of “safe” that I haven’t heard before, because what the pamphlet actually says is that the water can irritate our eyes and increase our risk of cancer.

The pamphlet goes on to suggest that if burning eyes and cancer are unacceptable to us, we should buy and install filters to remove the haloacetic acid.


Here in East Texas we get a lot of weird comparison arguments.  Maybe everyone does:

“How can you be concerned about the Cowboy’s running back situation when MILLIONS OF BABIES ARE ABORTED EVERY YEAR!?


How can you be upset about a lion in Africa when THERE ARE COMMUNISTS IN THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT!?

And my response is always the same:  “All that is very well, but let us cultivate our garden.” (source)


My neighbor told me today that Jesus is going to punish America for allowing abortion.  This wasn’t just rhetoric for her, she truly believes it, and she’s scared.

But here’s the thing:  There was a time when abortion was illegal, prayer in school was mandatory, and gays were safely ensconced in the closet.  This was the time of the Great Depression, the polio epidemic, and two world wars.

Since then we’ve legalized abortion, removed state-sponsored prayer from schools, and gays are allowed to walk freely among us- and we’ve entered an unprecedented era of peace, health, and prosperity.

There are things she should be legitimately worried about.

Divine retribution should not be on her list.

Michael Johnson

Mona got us tickets to see Michael Johnson at a little 100-seat venue in Winnsboro, Texas.  If you are Of A Certain Age, you’ll recognize him from Bluer than Blue or That’s That, but the song above is my favorite of his- it’s a unique blend of sadness and hopefulness.

Most of East Texas is like something straight out of Deliverance– a toxic cesspool of xenophobia, selfishness, and self-righteous stupidity – but we’ve had nothing but positive experiences in Winnsboro.  It’s everything you’d want a small town to be:  charming, friendly, and inviting.

I’m looking forward to this trip.

Old Soldiers

It’s become the fashion locally to announce one’s veteran status before even the most mundane of statements:

  • “I am a veteran, and I didn’t get my newspaper today.”
  • “I am a veteran, and I would like to buy a gallon of paint.”
  • “I am a veteran, and I for $50 I will mow your lawn.”

A man was in the paper this week because his two kids were found unconscious in his pick-up on a hot sunny day.  They were hospitalized, and one of them died.  He whined in an interview, “Now everybody thinks I’m a bad parent.  And I’m a veteran!”

Last night Mona and went to see the play Always… Patsy Cline, about the life and music of (you guessed it) Patsy Cline.  Before they’d start the show, though, they made us all stand up, recite the pledge of allegiance, and give a round of applause for “any veterans that might be in the audience.”

They’ve really started laying it on thick.

I wonder to what end.