Friday, May 24, 2013


But is a very powerful word. Though small in size, it often takes the lead in stimulating heated arguments between people who were friends before "but" butted in. In grammar, but is defined as a conjunction, a part of speech that connects two words, sentences, phrases or clauses together. In usage, but presents a contrast or exception, for example, He enjoys a glass of wine BUT never touches hard liquor. Oftentimes, what follows a BUT can virtually erase what came before it by the extent to which it contradicts the earlier statement. Here are some famous "buts" right out of today's headlines.

The Internal Revenue Service is supposed to be non-partisan in their determination of what groups qualify for tax-exempt status BUT...instead they are using their resources to persecute conservative organizations who do not support the President. This is the latest fiasco to come out of the Obama administration, and the spin doctors are working feverishly to play it down. The poor woman who was in charge of the group that determines who gets tax exempt status, and who was trying without success to change the regulations that make this kind of vile partisanship possible, was forced to fall on her sword by higher-ups looking to limit the damage. Pretty cowardly behavior by an administration that supposedly prides itself on transparency.

Vito Lopez, the sleazy Queens politician who sexually harassed his staff should be in jail BUT...thanks to gutless Democratic Party boss Sheldon (The Weasel) Silver, Vito is still free. Moreover, supporters in his voting district want to re-elect him! It was announced that two large constituencies are especially forceful in their support of Lopez, Hasidic Jews and Hispanics. Given the track record of these two groups in the way they treat women, it is understandable why Lopez would be their hero. I wonder what transgressions it would take for the electorate in Lopez's district to throw the pervert out.

After the horrific tornado that recently took the lives of ten children in Moore, Oklahoma, you might assume that the new school they are building to replace the one that was destroyed would have a storm shelter, BUT...the head of the town council is quoted as saying: "While it's true you can't put a price on children's lives, you can put a price on construction costs, and a storm cellar adds to the cost of building a new school." Are the people in this town insane? What parent wouldn't be ranting at the next town hall meeting that a cellar in a school in a place called tornado alley is a no-brainer. You simply can't trade young lives for property tax-savings.

School should be a fun time for kids, BUT...thanks to cyber-bullies, youngsters are committing suicide after being hounded on social media by classmates. Recently, a 12-year old girl Queens hanged herself after being relentlessly teased by other kids. Surely someone saw this coming, whether it be another child, a teacher or family member. Schools must find ways to discourage this destructive practice, and provide confidential procedures for bullying to be reported. We need to get a handle on this type of behavior by young people or it will continue to drive impressionable and vulnerable young people to do desperate things. 


Children's Craniofacial Association