Big Buts vs. Freedom

Recently by Brian Wilson: Yellow in Black and White

Freedom can make your But look big

Someone famous – or at least real smart – once said (paraphrasing here): "But" means: forget about everything I've said up to now."

Example: "He's attractive BUT his mother should have kept the stork."

Only what comes ATB (After The But) is relevant.

Listen carefully and you will hear people disagreeing with others – even themselves – about all sorts of things. Many of them are pretty damn important.

This morning, I heard in an interview on my station with a spokeswoman for a seemingly worthwhile organization. She was asked their position on "School Choice". "As a result of our annual membership polling, "School Choice" is very important". Then hastily, she added: "We're not trying to get rid of Public Schools BUT home schooling, charter schools, private and parochial schools are all very high in our members' opinions."

Translation: Public Schools suck. They are the Anti-Christ of Education. They are a chew-toy for the teachers' unions. Public Schools are where Mediocrity goes to breed; a rat-hole for taxpayer dollars. They are Lobotomy Central for curing the Common Student of any semblance Individuality. It is where "entrepreneur" is a 4-letter word. You cannot yell "THINK" in a Public School.

OK – maybe I'm reading a tad more into it than she intended. Still, the ATB message was clear: Public Schools? Not a fan.

Good for her! My folks yanked me out of 7th grade at the local "Junior High School" (a quaint title replaced with "Middle School" after the success of "Hee-Haw") and shipped me off to Tie & Jacket, New England for a prep school education that serves me well to this day. Of course, as some of my radio shows reflect, I manage to keep it well hidden much of the time. Don't wanna scare away any who believe their lokal skool systum iz duin a grate job.

But I digress.

The ubiquitous "Elected Officials" pull this stunt regularly and get a pass every time (NB: Except on my radio station).

Thanks to the Never-Ending Saga of Public School Scandals, a recent parade of the aforementioned "EO's" has made their positions and opinions known. To the men and woman, representing City, County and State positions, all have said something remarkably similar to:

"My Good Friends, as my constituents well know, I am all for charter schools (OR fiscal responsibility OR quality education), BUT we must support our Public Schools! We must Do It For The Children!"


"Screw the kids. Gimme the money." (See "Waiting For Superman" and "Kids Aren't Cars")

If everything (allegedly) done "for the children" was really done for the children, every kid would be brilliant, articulate, well balanced and immortal rather than mush-brained, over-weight little perfectionists expertly burnishing their Self-Esteem on FaceBook yet unable to find the United States on a blank map of the United States. Critical Thinking, Objective Analysis, Logic – all given up for Lent, 1968 by the Government Training Camps. Parental Apathy remains an Unindicted Co-Conpsirator.

But I digress.

Some of the biggest Buts can be found discussing Guns. No self-respecting Conservative, Republican or Independent (or rural district Democrat) can get away with GBT (Gun Ban Talk). But if you listen carefully….

"My friends, no one supports the Second Amendment more strongly than I do! It's our God-given right to defend ourselves! And to go hunting! And stuff! BUT these Assault Weapons and Saturday Night Specials and hi-cap magazines and bayonet lugs have no practical hunting purpose. That is why I support reasonable guns laws."

Translation: "Screw Human Rights, Bill of Rights, Right and Wrong and Common Sense. Ban guns. Ban u2018em all! They're evil! If it saves just one life…! (And by the way, vote for me because I stand for our American Values! And Freedom! Do it for the children! Really").

Coming in a close 2nd to Guns in big BUT showing is the oxymoronic War on Drugs. After all the logical, reasonable, statistical, medical, moral and legal arguments have been laid out demonstrating the stupidity, waste, fraud, abuse, costs, incarceration and loss of innocent lives in the never-ending pursuit of a Nanny-state "ideal", the response from too many is: "You're right! Everyone has the right to Free Choice! We own our bodies and our lives! In a Free Society, we have the inalienable right to live our lives as we choose, so long as we do not infringe on the rights of others to do the same….BUT legalizing marijuana just goes waaaaay too far. Think of the message it sends to the children!"

Translation: "If they legalize drugs, the kids will hijack my stash and make brownies while I'm at the office…!"

It's amazing how scared people are of Freedom but quite comfy with soft tyranny and incremental socialism.

Invariably, there's a big BUT standing in the way of Freedom, Liberty and the Herculean efforts being made to salvage the Republic. Especially beware of a big BUT in small groups. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the Fire Department usually prefers water. Should you encounter a big BUT, try the soothing efficacious applications of reason, logic, fact, historical perspective, judicial precedent, selected articles from and, when necessary, the occasional Louisville Slugger to gently but firmly adjust the thinking of the demented ignoranus (correct spelling) in front of you. Avoid citing the Constitution; the learning curve is just too steep. Be more pragmatic than dogmatic. Remember: there's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.