On the offense

Notice who got the Cubs right. Just sayin’ …
Editorial cartoon by Rick McKee, Augusta Chronicle.

Why are we always so quick to take offense? Why must so much be viewed through a hyperpartisan lens?

I have the distinct impression, based on some of the responses to last week’s column, that if I said the sky was blue I’d be accused of liberal bias (’cause blue is a danged librul color … I suppose I shouldn’t mention that two of my favorite old songs are “Blue Skies” and “Blue Moon”). Writing about the specific myth of Donald Trump (not both candidates) having won the majority of votes is not an attempt to diminish his presidency. It seems the events just in the past couple of weeks show that he’s doing just fine at that by himself.

He kinda went off the rails Friday (more than usual, anyway). I think that Comey tweet will come back to haunt him.
Screenshot of Trump’s Twitter page.

Oops, I’m guessing those news events are biased as well. And he’s definitely not digging a bigger hole on Twitter or in interviews.

Sorry … my nose just smacked the cat. Is this what Pinocchio went through every day?

Sometimes most of us can agree that something is offensive. The hard part, especially for writers, is that we never know what’s going to offend someone, and the most innocuous things will make someone somewhere turn red with the rage of righteous (they believe) indignation.

Dog lovers, prepare to be offended: I prefer cats. I like dogs, but given a choice, I’ll pick cats every time. It’s the paw curl. Gets me every time. Ooh, and the floofy belly …

This belly’s not gonna rub itself, ya know!

Pastor Shayne Looper of Coldwater, Mich. (no relation that I know of) wrote on the Huffington Post blog last year of two men who’d walked out on one of his sermons. He talked to the two a week or so later and asked them why they’d left.

“They explained that they took exception to something I said and were compelled by their beliefs to make public their sense of indignation. It’s funny: In private, they did not seem the least indignant but in public they felt it was necessary to register their offense for all to see. Taking offense was for them a tool they used to make a point and manipulate public opinion. …

“This mindset of offense seems to serve a purpose. It is forward-looking. It gives the offended a platform from which to demand that other people (parties, races, organizations) change their behavior. One could be excused for thinking that some people can’t wait for the chance to be offended.”

Back in my day (not really all that long ago), college was where we went to hear other perspectives. Now it’s apparently where we go to avoid them.
Editorial cartoon by Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal.

That’s just what so much of what we see now seems to be: Any difference in opinion is reason to be wildly and publicly offended. Sometimes it’s perfectly understandable, such as scientists marching to defend against what is seen as a full frontal assault on science and logic. Being offended by the idea that one is easily offended, on the other hand … and no, I’m not kidding, though I wish I were.

The recent town-hall meetings across the country have demonstrated what can happen when groups of irritable, easily offended people are put in the same enclosed space: A lot of yelling and not much listening, along with some who feel anyone who doesn’t agree with their view has no right to be there.

When Springer shows up, you know it’s gonna be a good ‘un.
Editorial cartoon by Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times-Free Press.

It was one of those meetings in Iowa that inspired Barbara Rank of Dubuque to write a letter to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald:

“Congressman Rod Blum in a Dubuque town hall … asked, ‘Why should a 62-year-old man have to pay for maternity care?’

“I ask, why should I pay for a bridge I don’t cross, a sidewalk I don’t walk on, a library book I don’t read? Why should I pay for a flower I won’t smell, a park I don’t visit, or art I can’t appreciate? Why should I pay the salaries of politicians I didn’t vote for, a tax cut that doesn’t affect me, or a loophole I can’t take advantage of?

“It’s called democracy, a civil society, the greater good. That’s what we pay for.”

Ya know, that black fella started it, so I hate it … but not what it does.
Editorial cartoon by Nick Anderson, Houston Chronicle.

Predictably, some were offended by her letter (how dare she bring up what we should have learned at least by ninth-grade civics!), but many more were impressed and it spread quickly on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter.

Rank told Avi Selk of the Washington Post: “The conclusion is something I always end up saying. Every argument I’ve ever had with somebody, friends or relative: Don’t you want to live in a civil society? Government is the structure of the country we live in. It’s not as bad as people make it out to be.”

To that, some right now are saying, “Nuh-uh! Wrong.”

It’s just so much easier to stay offended and uncivil. Sigh.

You’ll have to provide your own corner man, though.
Editorial cartoon by Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star.

Consider this a public service announcement for lovers of animals, especially those of the feline variety.

Some days I fear this is the last thing I’ll see. Luke can be just a little cranky …

My furry one is 14, and I know he won’t be with me forever. His teeth, though, might outlast him. Today I finish up a round of antibiotics thanks to a bite from him. Even though I love him dearly, this is the third pasteurella infection I’ve had in the space of about five years because the boy is so offended by my right hand (it’s evil … evil, I tells ya!).

The hyperpartisan may read whatever they want into the fact that all three infections came from a bite to my right hand, but it’s simply because that’s the closest hand to his mouth when he’s sitting in my lap (and I’m right-handed, so why not). And when your cat is old and cranky, moving your hand ever so slightly may be enough to make him decide that it must DIE!

This is after healing for a couple of days with the help of high-octane antibiotics. You really did not want to see it last Wednesday. Seriously … ew.

Any time you’re bitten by an animal (dogs and other animals can transmit pasteurella and other zoonotic diseases too) and it breaks the skin, clean it immediately, apply antibiotic ointment, and watch it closely for the next 24 hours. Pasteurella usually presents within that time period with swelling, redness, warmth and tenderness; if that happens, call your doctor as soon as possible because simple Neosporin won’t cut it, and you really don’t want to deal with complications like sepsis. Not exactly a laugh riot.

Lucky me to have an old cat with extremely strong teeth, unlike many other cats his age. But hey, with my new scar, maybe I can convince people I was bitten by a vampire. I have to get my entertainment somewhere.

This past week (heck, the past couple of days) has been one thing after another. As if we weren’t still reeling from the Comey firing and the shifting narrative on that, then came the news of the president having shared code-word level intelligence with his Russian visitors last week in a meeting that was closed to U.S. press (but, gee, one of the men’s “personal photographer” who just happens to work for Tass was allowed in). And the latest report (as of Tuesday afternoon, anyway) was that the intelligence shared had been provided by Israel. To officials from a country with close ties to Syria and Iran, both enemies of Israel.

Uhhhh … yeah.

Gives this sly photo (apparently taken for an ad campaign for the newspaper) a whole new layer of meaning.

Simple but effective … and at least it’s not another riff on the Titanic. 😉
Image of Der Tagesspiegel found on Twitter.

And without further ado, let’s get on with our Twitter burns for the week (and it was a busy one). We need something to remind us to laugh.

This was in response to a Trump tweetstorm Tuesday morning defending having given the Russians classified intelligence. Gotta love a Seuss shout-out.
Screenshot from She came undone’s Twitter page.

You learn something every day! Well … normal people do.
Screenshot from Zack Hunt’s Twitter page.


Grammar humor. And all because the president said “Lets make peace.” He was clearly talking about the citizens of Letvia (Letvokia? Letland?) and their proclivity toward peacemaking.
Screenshot from Nick Jones’ Twitter page.

How dare an actress have an opinion!!! And how dare this guy point out logic!!!!
Screenshot from Raoul Duke’s Twitter page.

You know he’s writing these down. And as a point of interest, Jennifer Rubin, who replied to this with that witty response, is a conservative commentator.
Screenshot from Tom Nichols’ Twitter page.

It’s the best place to discuss international relations and turn over classified intelligence (other than the Oval Office), that I can tell you.
Screenshot from Patriotic Dissenter’s Twitter page.

But they were the best!!! How???
Screenshot from Ian Boothby’s Twitter page.

And I’d say she wins the Internet, but …
Screenshot from Sister Mary Elephant’s Twitter page.

No, this guy won it and dropped the mic.
Screenshot from Igorvolsky’s Twitter page.


6 thoughts on “On the offense

  1. Don’t get me started on people being easily offended. SJWs drove me crazy several years ago.

    I must remember Barbara Rank’s comment. I have readers who occasionally need to hear that.

    I also must remember about the kitty bites. My boy is also 14 but so far hasn’t gotten cranky. He’s just gotten a lot friendlier in his search for additional warmth — which is kinda strange but kinda nice after many years of aloofness.


    • I see so many who just are offended by every tiny thing, and a whole lot of them are the ones who complain about the people who are offended by everything. There are a few on the newspaper’s comment board who are perpetually offended.

      When I saw Barbara Rank’s comment, you might have heard me screaming “yes” from Colorado. 😉

      Right now the boy is lying next to me. When he’s sweet, he’s REALLY sweet. He’s always been kind of aggressive (which I think stems from abuse from whatever ass dumped him), but he’s calmed down a lot. I just wish he didn’t see me as a chew toy …


  2. Pets make presidents seem more human and friendly. Maybe Trump would like to have Luke or the cat described in the public service announcement. But warn him that antibiotics are fake science.


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