and the
Citizens Economic Research Foundation

Barbara's Column
April 2004 #1

A curse on all things PC
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Friday, April 2, 2004

Political correctness has become so annoying that sometimes I wake up wondering how many people I can offend today.

As a recent guest on New England Cable News, I was asked about the Kobe Bryant trial, in which I have zero interest. But because two other panelists seemed to be ardent feminists, I found myself saying the rape charge should be dropped in cases of "he said, she said" date rape, and that young women shouldn't go to hotel rooms with men they don't know.

Well, that's what our mothers told us. So if we ignore their advice and get in trouble, should this really tie up the courts for months?

On the other hand, shouldn't all young women be armed, just in case?

Wish I'd been on NECN with Paul Guzzi, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, when he defended the Democrats' convention as a great way to showcase the city and suggested that if people fear being inconvenienced they should stay home that week. I'd have said: "Great idea, genius." 

Working people of Boston, take the week off - cooks, waiters, hotel workers, caterers, street cleaners, trash collectors, anyone who might be servicing the conventioneers. That'll "showcase the city": Restaurants and tourist attractions closed, trash piling up, while the city's working class vacations on Cape Cod with chamber executives.

Cabs will be sitting at the airport waiting for a fare to Salem or anywhere north of the city; Democratic delegates can call Congressman Michael Capuano of Somerville, who first suggested that businesses close for the week, for a ride into town.

Doctors and nurses at Mass General, take a break: sick people can take the week off, too. No surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatments; just stay home and enjoy yourselves.

New subject: One of the most controversial sections of the Patriot Act is the one that allows law enforcement officials, with a court order, to access library and bookstore records. Clearly, what I buy at a private-sector bookstore is my own business. But we taxpayers are funding the library and paying for the books; why shouldn't we all have access to records showing what library patrons are reading whether it's the classics, today's best sellers or pulp fiction about houseplants taking over the town (which I once borrowed myself, and can explain if the FBI wants to know)?

Also, how come it's illegal to download music without paying the artist, but legal to read best sellers without paying the author? If it's obvious that one teenager who buys a CD shouldn't be able to distribute it, at no cost, to thousands of teenagers who have computers, then why should libraries that buy one book be able to distribute it, at no cost, to all their patrons without paying royalties?

Entitlement questions of the month: Where did we American drivers get the impression that we are entitled to cheap gas? We don't think we are entitled to cheap cars. Also, why is the government entitled to tax gas at more than the sales tax rate it uses when you buy the car?

When did children start acquiring adult rights? They have the right to be physically cared for by the adults responsible for their existence; or, failing that, by society. But they have no right to free speech, including T-shirt statements, anymore than they have a right to drive, vote or bear arms without specific adult permission.

Grow up, kids. Same request to judges who rule otherwise. And bravo to school systems that are instituting basic dress codes.

And where did people get the idea they are entitled to cheap, or even affordable, cable TV? Let's all cancel our subscriptions and go to the free library.

At least, let's abolish Spanish-language television stations. TV used to be one of the best ways to learn to speak English, and immigrants should be learning English in their free time, not watching sitcoms in their native language.

One good judicial decision - that killing a pregnant woman can be judged as two murders. This is politically incorrect for people who fear that it's an assault on Roe v. Wade. But regardless of which side of that debate one is on: If the mother gave it a name, it's a baby.

I'm so glad the Defense of Marriage plus civil union amendment is finally on its way to wherever it is going. As legislators debated the issue, I'll bet I'm not the only one who's also been arguing with friends and family members. 

Even though I'm not opposed to gay unions, my son called me a fascist because I don't like calling them a "marriage!" Annoyed, I found myself arguing against the whole concept, making points I don't even agree with!

Political correctness has infiltrated my family. But it isn't going to get me.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her syndicated columns appear weekly in the Salem News and Lowell Sun; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette; and occasionally in the Providence Journal and other newspapers.