Weatherford Democrat


July 16, 2012

COLUMN: "Straying the course"

— “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” — Yogi Berra

Old Yogi was quite famous or, if you prefer, infamous for his left-handed quotes, but they all make perfect sense unless you stop to think about them. When he made the one above, it seems to me he had to be thinking about our American culture — not a pretty sight in recent years.

Several things recently started me thinking about what I perceive as a loss of focus within our nation. Too many of the things that I feel made us into the richest and most powerful nation in the world seem to be missing in today’s society. Julie Killion, the Democrat Publisher, made a powerful statement in last Sunday’s editorial when she reiterated the standards of civility that would be followed by contributors to the paper’s content. For the past few years, letters to the editor and guest columns have become more and more polarized and vitriolic in content. In actuality it may mirror our society much more than we’d like to admit.

Not long before he left the Democrat, former publisher Steve Boggs emailed me a “head’s up” about a letter to the editor that he had received. It contained a couple of cheap shots taken at me in regard to a column I had written. Thankfully, by being forewarned, I was able to let the salvo go unanswered. Although the right thing to do, it’s sometimes difficult to turn the proverbial cheek.

Almost without exception, the controversial newspaper articles that have become increasingly ugly have focused on political ideology — liberal vs. conservative.

Adjacent to Julie’s editorial last week was another interesting letter by Pastor Patrick Hurd. He commented about a number of Baby Boomers who have left the political party of their parents and are dismayed at their parent’s loyalty to the party that has philosophically left them. I’m a pre-Boomer, but I would share this dismay as well if my parents were still alive. My wife Helen told me that her grandfather was the Travis County Democratic chairman for many years. A dyed in the wool Yellow Dog Democrat, he lived long enough to see the party’s gradual transition toward what we now see. During his later years, rather than vote for a dreaded Republican, he’d vote a split ticket and abstain from voting for any Democrat he didn’t like.

I like Julie’s idea about taking our philosophical differences to the Iron Skillet and discussing them over a cup of coffee. Again, she is absolutely correct in that we would find that in actuality we conservatives or liberals aren’t as far apart as it might seem on the surface. Many, although not all, of our goals and values are identical with the main difference being in the methodology to attain them.

On both the national and local level, as long as we continue to stray radically to the left or right of course, unyielding in our resolve to never compromise, our stature will continue to diminish. There’s a word to describe governance without dissent or compromise — totalitarianism.

Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy Commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Comments may be directed to

Text Only
  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hamilton, Lee.jpg HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Going on a wild goose chase

    In recent years I’ve written quite a bit about the introduction and negative consequences of non-native or invasive species. Fire ants, killer bees, English sparrows, Asian carp, feral hogs and others too numerous to list have forever changed our local ecosystem.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo


    Have you seen those TV offers where they give a price for one product and then offer a second like items for-free? All you have to do is pay a separate shipping and handling charge for the “free” items.

    April 13, 2014

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s in a name?

    Names are important. When my son, Rush, (who’s named after my father) and his wife, Vanessa, were expecting their third daughter, I gave up on having a male namesake and suggested, in jest, they call her “Johnnie Pauline.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: The Christian and the government

    The church in the Old Testament lived under a theocracy. That is, both the church and state were one. God anointed kings. Civil laws and religious laws were one and the same.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Getting in the chicken business

    Anyone who is my age or older has heard the famous quote, “A chicken in every pot.” It is normally attributed to Herbert Hoover during his 1928 presidential bid.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIEWPOINT: Obsessed with sports

    I remember reading a synopsis of the five reasons for the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon in which he listed the Romans’ obsession with sports at the coliseum as a cause of the fall of the empire.

    April 6, 2014

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    On March 21, this paper published an article about a six-month drug trafficking investigation involving 12 people. On the front page was a photo of the 12 people involved. The use of drugs had made them a sorry-looking bunch. The look in their eyes was particularly disturbing.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing