We need to retire all phrases like this: “This is not our America” “This is not who we are.” “We are better than this.” The good and the bad—both have been in America from its inception. The bad is at least as much part of this country as the good. We need to recognize that if the country is to get better.

To my surprise, Edith Piaf recorded more than one song. In spite of what my ear tells me, I am not hearing the same song over and over.

The news reported that a pastor of a Methodist church was killed with his own gun by a fugitive who had taken shelter in the building overnight. The minister drew his gun when confronted by the fugitive, but the fugitive wrestled the firearm away and killed the pastor. I am guessing that this is not a situation that Second Amendment fanatics will be citing often.

The District of Columbia has strict gun laws. Is that a reason that there was not more gun fire during the insurrection?

The spouse was right again. I thought “ukase” had three syllables.

The spouse right yet again. I did not know the difference between “mantel” and “mantle.”

The final season of The Good Place mocked my alma mater. I don’t know what it says about me, but I thought it was funny and a bit too much on the mark.

Trump believes that he is a self-made man. He wants to relieve the Almighty of a great responsibility.

In an updated take on a story about Disraeli and Gladstone: “What is the difference between a misfortune and a calamity?” “If Trump fell into the Potomac, that would be a misfortune;  if anybody pulled him out, that would be a calamity.”

People I know once included the president in their prayers. Now they look at the president and pray fervently for the country.

I would not be upset if I never encountered the word “proactive” again. Most often its use is merely pompous without adding anything to the thought supposedly being stated. For example, I recently read a job description for a manager of a club. One requirement for the job stated: “[He/she should] proactively anticipate, address and resolve member and guest issues with utmost timeliness, courtesy and professionalism.”  A dictionary defines “proactive”: “acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.” Another dictionary concludes its definition with one word: “anticipatory.” Perhaps to the writer the word “proactively” in the job description sounded weighty and meaningful, but it was merely redundant. (Of course, we could also ask what “utmost” added to the job description.) Another part of the listed qualifications said that a new manager must “be creative and proactive in the development of a marketing strategy.”  How is the meaning changed if “and proactive” were excised? Let’s quit using it.

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