Imagine my surprise when I read this one from friend and colleague Kristine Uhlman of Texas A&M bearing the subject line, WaterWired Banned in Texas:
Michael - perhaps the perceived offense was use of the term, "climate change?" - note the message below. Kristine
She included the message she received:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org On Behalf Of
Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2012 7:15 PM
To: Kristine A. Uhlman
PureMessage has replaced the body of this message
with this text as it was found to contain offensive language
and is subject to Texas A&M Rule 29.01.99.M2 Section 2.
[WarerWired note: see below for Section 2] The message
was not quarantined and cannot be retrieved.
You may want to contact the sender for further
information and detail or to ask the sender to edit
the original email and resend it.
Event: Offensive language detected
Location: message part
Offensive language? Right away I knew what the problem was: in yesterday's post, I twice used a four-letter word that John Fleck had used in a post of his. The offending word was a vulgar term for 'intercourse' (risking another scrubbing here). I used it because I know John Fleck and thought his use of the word signified a great deal of displeasure, since I've never known him to be a potty mouth. Had Denis Leary said it, well, BFD!
I suppose the offense might have been 'hookers' and 'blow' (as in cocaine) but I suspect not. It should be noted that when I Tweeted John's post, I did use the 'asterisk spelling' of the word.
So you Texas A&M folks - be glad that an electronic Twelfth Man, PureMessage, is scanning your email, searching for offensive language and scrubbing the entire message if any is found. I know you're all resting more easily now.
Now click here to see the offending post.
Here is what Texas A&M Rule 29.01.99.M2 Section 2 says:
Censorship is not compatible with the goals of Texas A&M University. However, some computers may be dedicated to specific research or teaching missions that limit their use.
The University should not limit access to any information due to its content when it meets the standard of legality.
Huh? Oh, well.
Since I do not want to mess with Texas (it ranks #4 among US states in terms of readers), as a form of penance, I thought I would close with the Texas state song, Texas, Our Texas. This was a learning experience, because I thought the state song was The Eyes of Texas (heaven forbid - it's the UT song), The Yellow Rose of Texas, or Get Your Biscuits in the Oven by Kinky Friedman.
Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! So wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev'ry test;
O Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest.
[Refrain] God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, Thro'out the ages long.
Texas, O Texas! Your freeborn single star,
Sends out its radiance to nations near and far.
Emblem of freedom! It sets our hearts aglow,
With thoughts of San Jacinto and glorious Alamo.
Texas, dear Texas! From tyrant grip now free,
Shines forth in splendor your star of destiny!
Mother of heroes! We come your children true,
Proclaiming our allegiance, our faith, our love for you.
Check out the line 'from tyrant grip now free'.
“Do right and risk the consequences." - Sam Houston