Category Archives: Political Correctness

Tony Gwynn’s Death Makes Addison Reed Think, Stops Using Smokeless Tobacco

Tony Gwynn, one of the great pure hitters in Major League Baseball history, lost his battle with cancer last week. The cancer, he says, was the result of years of chewing tobacco, a practice that has been part of baseball since it’s very beginning. MLB has been discouraging the use of smokeless tobacco for years because it is known to increase the chance of cancer. And while the use by players has been in decline there are many who haven’t been able to kick the habit. Addison Reed of the Cincinnati Reds was one of those who kept telling himself he would quit, soon. The slap to the head for him came with Gwynn’s passing, it finally brought home the reality of what could happen because of his habit.

First Think, Then Think Again. Easy enough to say but the reality is we don’t usually do the hard work of thinking through issues. We shortcut the process to come to the conclusion we want to reach regardless of how the facts stack up in an argument. Then there is the problem of actually going through the process of analyzing a situation, really trying but in the end making the wrong decision. If you read the articles I have linked you will see that there is nothing new here, just guys who have made a decision and nothing that is said can change their behavior until an event becomes the trigger that makes change possible for them. That trigger for some is the birth of a child, a death such as Gwynn’s or even a dream.


This isn’t a screed against the use of smokeless tobacco, unlike the editorial board of the Modesto Bee which wrote that, “We MUST Snuff Out Smokeless Tobacco Use“. They call this a teachable moment which it is, and hopefully will open more eyes and save others from the suffering from cancer that can be a result of a nasty habit. Of course it is a legal product and untold numbers of people have dipped and enjoyed it from childhood without becoming a cancer victim. We are all different and what makes me happy may not do anything for you. Obviously I am a little “prissy” for others, I watch an outfielder chewing and spitting all game long and the chance of him succumbing to cancer doesn’t bother me as much as the idea of the other outfielder having to make a head long dive for a screaming line drive and winding up getting tobacco juice, spit, on him. That is plain nasty.

Many of us suffer from bad habits and just don’t have the necessary motivation or will power to escape. Many of us have bad habits and thoroughly enjoy every moment of them despite any negative consequences. The power of thought is amazing, we can convince ourselves what is good is bad, and what is bad is good and leave me alone it is of your business what I like to do. It is never easy to make others do the right thing even though I know very well what you need to be doing. However, culture can be changed to advance public health, is the conclusion of Robin Silverstein of the University of Minnesota in her great presentation, Smokeless Tobacco and Baseball.

Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn and condolences to your family. May your story be the trigger that helps others possibly avoid something so avoidable.


Doctor’s Group Says, Ban Bacon From Ballparks

A group of doctors, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine  has opened an attack on a minor league baseball team, namely the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The organization claims a membership of some 10,000 physicians and health care professionals and has launched an attack on the operators of the minor league team by placing a billboard near the team’s home stadium, Coca-Cola Park which urges the team to ban bacon at the ballpark.


 Billboard urging healthy food at Coca-Cola Park in Lehigh Valley

PCRM claims bacon may cause cancer and the IronPigs have promotions that target children. “During baseball season, we shield our kids from fastballs with helmets and chest protectors, but we should also be protecting them from the dangerous marketing being thrown their way by organizations like the IronPigs,” says Wells. “Baseball is our national pastime. As a community, we need to step up to the plate for our country’s health by taking bacon out of the ballpark.”

Wonder when they will notice the stadium is named Coca-Cola?

If you are in the area and would enjoy a night out at the ballgame get a ticket and enjoy yourself. Although the IronPigs point out that they have healthy fair available at the games I would suggest stopping by a new concession stand for this year, Ferrous’ Fries and FeFe’s Funnel Cakes. They have quite line-up of great sounding offerings such as Porker Fries: Waffle Fries or homemade chips topped with BBQ pulled pork, nacho cheese sauce and jalapeno peppers. But whatever you do don’teat them in front of the kids.

The PCRM points out that, “Baseball recently banned players from using chewing tobacco in front of kids, but offering them free bacon is just as dangerous. It’s turning a family-friendly event into a public health nightmare.”

While there is little doubt that as a nation we can stand to exercise more and improve our nutrition, but pulling a “Reefer Maddness”  is not acceptable. While the PCRM is not only free to do their part in nutrition education I would applaud them for their efforts if they did it reasonably and by not bully private businesses into running their operation the way the PCRM sees fit. The organization is also pushing legislation, Eat for Health Act,  which would require physicians to take yearly nutrition classes to keep up to date. Interesting the PCRM offers all sorts of nutrition information themselves. Oh, yes they do charge for it. I don’t know, maybe its just me but that just doesn’t sound right.

Durham NC Restaurant Robbed By Gunmen Wearing Hoodies

I am not taking any advocacy position here, just seeing a little humor in a dangerous situation. The Pitt barbecue restaurant in Durham, North Carolina was held-up by gunmen wearing hoodies. Really, hitting all kinds of talking points in just a few terrifying minutes.

Firs off, t it probably didn’t happen because The Pitt is a “Gun Free Zone”, they have a prominent sign in front plainly stating “NO WEAPONS”, “NO CONCEALED FIREARMS”. OK, the police report states gunmen entered through the back door, so maybe they didn’t see the sign. Because obviously no respectable, hoodie wearing robber who goes on to assault a couple of employees would break the restaurants rules if she had seen the sign.

Then again maybe it did happen and they did see the sign and thought they had found the perfect spot. Again this situation doesn’t prove any side of the issue but the bumper sticker slogan does come to mind doesn’t it? When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns! Well, at least they didn’t have their guns concealed.

And I don’t know if President Obama will claim that if he had a son he would look like these guys, but maybe it does give Mark Cuban a little cover for his comment relating a little nervousness seeing a black kid wearing a hoodie. Wait, I didn’t say these guys were black, I have no idea, because they were wearing hoodies! And two of them had masks on, but it doesn’t matter because the police and media are to PC today to give such a helpful identifying characteristic of suspects that they want you to turn in.

Gun rights advocates are running with this story trying to make their point, which you would expect. Again, I’m not taking a position, had people been packing in the dining room it might have been worse than it was. We will never know because the diners were following the rules laid down by the owner, Greg Hatem. Not making it up, his name is Hatem. He really should change it to something a little more PC, a little less angry than Hatem.

And what is the matter with spell-check, it keeps telling me I have misspelled hoodies. It is 2014,it should know this word by now. But it suggests I should change it to goodies or foodies, woodies or hoodoos. So then I had to look up hoodoos to see what that means because I always take advantage of learning moments. Some would say I haven’t had enough of those. Anyway, according to the dictionary a hoodoo is a tall, thin spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin or badlands. Wait, there’s more, they are sometimes called a tent rock, fairy chimney, and earth pyramid. Will this never end? Did I just read a gay slur in the dictionary? Never mind, at this rate I’m going to wind up being banned from the interwebs and the people who really know me are going to dislike me even more.

If you have gotten this far, let me apologize for taking your time with my feeble attempt at humor but really, I am so tired of trying to make sense of a seemingly senseless world. I am working on an actual thought piece on the subject of race relations, political correctness and the like,but I am taking the time to really Think. Then Think Again., to be sure I state my case clearly so when I offend people with my opinion it will not be because I didn’t do everything possible to avoid hurt feelings if possible. So check back in a couple of days and see if I can lay out a case for my take on the subject or if you feel I need to go back and Think maybe a third time.

Go forth, have a wonderful day and please whatever you do, try not to offend anyone.

Back That A– Up – Appropriate For A High School Yearbook? Paris Gray Says It Is

Paris Gray is an honor student at Mundy’s Mill High School in Georgia. And yes it it that time of year again. The time when a lot of graduating seniors find themselves in trouble for something they have done to be clever or taking a school tradition a little too far. In the case of Ms. Gray it was a message she put into the school yearbook that eventually brought her to the attention of school administrators. She used the periodic table to spell out a message, a message that got past yearbook advisers and made it into print,

“When the going gets tough just remember to Barium, Carbon, Potassium, Thorium, Astatine, Arsenic, Sulfur, Uranium, Phosphorus.” Which means, “When the going gets tough just remember to back that a– up.”

Ms. Gray says, “Basically, it was me just saying start all over again,” she insists. “You have to go back and start all over.” The initial reaction of her mother, Zarinah Woods was, “you’re such a nerd”. This piece in The Good Men Project suggests there is no problem here except with the school administration which is punishing creativity. They feel, “Our education culture suffers from a desire to standardize and censor.”

So from her mother being tickled that her daughter is a nerd and others thinking she is creative and we shouldn’t censor there isn’t any concern that this is what passes for acceptable behavior in today’s young people. Well except for the school administrators and they are just trying to control everyone.

Times do change and what was considered inappropriate behavior in the past may be acceptable to many today. But I would suggest that those who see no harm in the way a young lady chooses to express herself need to Think. Then Think Again. But in 2014 many would not approve of my use of the term  young lady either.

So we are moving on towards a better tomorrow as the school’s principle and area superintendent  apologized to Ms. Gray for the miscommunication and said of course they would not stop her from giving her speech at graduation ceremonies. Ms. Gray had been stressed and said the fallout was threatening to ruin her senior year.

So she wound up with an in-school suspension and didn’t get to participate in the senior walk but will be allowed to graduate and speak at the exercises. She was being threatened with not being able to participate in the graduation at all.

I’m happy Ms. Gray’s senior year hasn’t been ruined but I wonder if she has been sent the wrong message, a sort of miscommunication? She may believe that once out in the real world she can continue to behave as she wishes, just being a nerd I suppose, and won’t suffer any consequences. Because every week I can give examples where lives have been ruined, careers lost, reputations damaged beyond repair because of a misstatement, a harmless comment taken out of context. And for all of those for whom Ms. Gray’s words were not a problem, it did bother others. So for you who feel it doesn’t matter, for you who say it isn’t up to a school or society to “standardize and censor”, don’t be surprised by the reaction from others the next time you claim to be upset by a remark. That will be a good time to remember who doesn’t believe in standards and doesn’t like censorship.

On the other hand there is always another point of view to ponder,

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

At another Georgia high school, Calhoun High in Calhoun, three seniors won’t be getting their diplomas after being charged with gang rape at an after prom party. I but that might ruin their senior year with some serious stress. Glad there are still some boundaries. But then too, they have only been charged with the crime. Does anyone want to debate due process? The girl who is just a nerd, the girl who is a victim and the boys who have been charged with a serious crime – all of this could have been avoided. No one would have suffered needless stress if there had been a modicum of Thinking going on. Sure we can, I know I have, thought things through and then still made the wrong decision but the Thinking Process being short-circuited is the crucial factor here.

There are many variables in life. But wrong-headed decisions are usually the result of justification, denial and a good old case of not Thinking Things Through. You can put the blame on immaturity, even youthful indiscretion until you are well into middle-age it seems, racism, poverty, etc. But that doesn’t really let one off the hook. There are plenty of young people who can, and do make good decisions. And despite all the ism’s and poverty there are good people of all races and ethnic groups; people as poor as dirt and even some rich people, who rise above it all by using the brain their Creator gave them and are successful and happy. While others, with the exact same set of circumstances are living lives of despair and looking for someone or something to blame. But even if you can make the blame stick, it isn’t likely to change your circumstances.

So when things go wrong and you want to blame your situation on the poverty you live in, the color of your eyes or that you are just too beautiful to get a fair deal… Think Again. The condition you are in may be largely of your own making and the way out and up is usually going to be up to you as well.

#LaMarseillaise, Is The French National Anthem Racist? Trending On Twitter

The national anthem of France, La Marseillaise, is many things. Nationalistic in spades. But then it is a national anthem. Militaristic. Well it was written in the 1700’s as a call to arms, so yes it is that as well. Beautifully stirring? Well even to this American I would agree. But racist? Not in the least. Although for the past few days the argument has raged as the subject has trended on Twitter, #lamarseillaise.

The latest dust-up began when Justice Minister Christiane Taubira was criticized by Geoffory Boulard for not singing along during the playing of the national anthem at a commemoration of the abolition of slavery.  Boulard’s Tweet called for resignation not believing she wasn’t singing because she didn’t know the words. Taubira enlarged the Twitterfude by responding, “some occasions are more suitable for contemplation… than stage karaoke.”

Lambert Wilson, a French actor of note weighed in calling the anthem, ..”terrible, bloody, racist and xenophobic”, calling for the lyrics to be changed. One stanza he would be referring to says,

“To arms citizens
Form you battalions
March, march
Let impure blood
Water our furrows”

Certainly understandable if a pacifist objected to killing, even if it is the enemy who is being targeted. But to come to the conclusion that calling for victory by killing the enemy (impure blood being the enemy from Prussia and Austria) is racist, seems to be going way out-of-the-way to be insulted. But so many of us today seem to be happiest when we can imagine being slighted in some way.

La Marseillaise is a European March style of anthem, which is characterized by speaking of war. It first became the national anthem in 1795, lost its title under Napoleon I and was banned by Louis XVIII and Charles X. In 1879 it was restored as the French national anthem. 

In finding the version of La Marseillaise that I have linked to at the top I also learned of the artist singing the anthem. Mireille Mathieu is a wonderful French singer and even if you prefer Freedom Fries to French Fries, I would highly encourage to take a look at her in concert on this YouTube video. Listening to this talented woman sing was worth the anguish of hearing of more petty squabbling over insults, real or imagined.