Friday, April 24, 2015

2017 Can't Come Soon Enough

Like everyone else who can’t wait for the Obamas to vacate the White House, I want to tell 2017 not to dawdle. No stopping to smell the roses while the rest of us are sniffing the swamp gas emanating from what has come to be known over the past six years as the Offal Office.

I have long believed that you could get a pretty good handle on a person if you knew his friends and his enemies. In Obama’s case, his friends, those folks for whom he doesn’t mind going that extra mile, seem to consist of Vladimir Putin, the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Castros, which explains why Raul Castro recently declared that “Barack Obama is a decent man.” As commendations go, that’s rather like having Hitler calling you a nice guy.

On the other hand, Obama’s enemy list includes Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Egypt’s President el-Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Christians, America’s conservatives, law-abiding gun owners and, of course, Fox News.

It is also telling that Obama and his stooges always manage to come up with tax dollars for illegal aliens, Planned Parenthood’s abortion mills and urban blacks, but rarely for our wounded military veterans.

Speaking of welfare, in Maine, a three-month limit has been established on food stamps for able-bodied adults without minor dependents (ABAWDS) unless they work 20 hours a week, attend job-training courses or volunteer for six hours a week. I think you’d agree that’s not too demanding. And yet the mere notion of doing volunteer work for about an hour-a-day was enough to decrease the number of these clodhoppers receiving food stamps by 80%!

I suspect that if Maine added mandatory drug-testing to the requirements, it could eliminate that last 20%.

In case you’re unaware of it, the Rolling Stone, the uber left-wing rag, recently ran a story about a gang rape that allegedly took place at a University of Virginia fraternity house. It turned out that Jackie, the “victim” had made it up out of whole cloth, which, unfortunately, is the case far too often when it comes to campus assaults. But what made this case worthy of attention was that nobody insisted that the reporter speak to the alleged rapists, to the woman’s friends or even to the local police.

Even when the Stone’s owner and editors fessed up, the apology sounded a lot like, “Okay, we were mistaken this one time (okay, twice, if you insist on bringing up the Duke Lacrosse team), but the fact is that young southerners enjoy nothing better than raping coeds unless it’s lynching black men.”

For those on the Left who pooh-pooh conservatives when they accuse the mainstream media of having an agenda, whether it involves cases such as these or endemic racism among white cops, this is what we’re talking about.

Speaking of cops, some of the stupidest people in America, and that certainly includes Al Sharpton and the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are those who compare cops to Klansmen. However, some of the other stoopnagels are cops. I mean ever since Rodney King, if a police officer so much as coughs without covering his mouth, it’s captured on video. So how is it that some of them still seem to believe that donning the uniform makes them invisible?

Speaking of stupid, how is it that so many so-called journalists haven’t caught on that if they’re going to devote their lives to shilling for the Democrats, they shouldn’t be working for newspapers and earning peanuts? What they should do is call themselves political strategists like James Carville, Joe Trippi, Mark Hannah and Lanny Davis. They’d not only make a fortune, but force millions of us to fast-forward through any Fox show on which they happened to appear.

Some of you may have noticed that I have cooled slightly on Scott Walker. It’s nothing that he’s done or even anything he said. In fact, it was his response to the English reporter who asked him what he thought of the Theory of Evolution. Instead of saying he believed in it or that he didn’t, he blinked and said something along the lines of “I wouldn’t touch that question with a 10-foot pole.”

While it’s true that there was no reason to pose the question, and we all know that the same reporter would not ask it of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, I don’t want a Republican presidential candidate to ask himself how an answer to any question is going to play in Iowa or New Hampshire, Ohio or Texas.

Frankly, I don’t care what Walker or any of the GOP contenders thinks about Charles Darwin. As president, nothing Walker says or does is going to involve evolution. But if you’re not savvy enough to say, “Darwin had his theories and I have my own when it comes to simplifying the tax code, building up our military, closing the southern border, shutting down the EPA, defending Israel, standing up to Iran and killing Islamic terrorists wherever they raise their ugly heads,” I’m not sure you’re ready for primetime.

After viewing Hillary’s video announcing her candidacy, showing her posed in front of a white picket fence, which didn’t even slightly resemble the Clinton mansion in Chappaqua, NY, a friend told me he expected some kid to come by and ask her if the Beav could come out and play. For my part, I was surprised not to see one of Ma Clinton’s famous hot apple pies cooling on the window sill.

When I recently wrote that Rand Paul was too short to be elected president, a couple of Sen. Paul’s fans reminded me that James Madison was a mere 5-foot-4. But I pointed out that was 200 years ago when the average height of American men wasn’t what it is today. Besides, without TV, most Americans had no idea how tall Madison was or how he measured up against George Clinton, Charles Pinckney or Rufus King. Moreover, people were a lot smarter back then, and welfare recipients, not to mention illegal aliens, weren’t being encouraged to vote.

Finally, I recently read that Olivia de Havilland, a contract player at Warner Brothers, begged Jack Warner to loan her out to MGM so she could take the role of Melanie in “Gone with the Wind.” Although it was commonplace and profitable for studios to rent out their stars, Jack Warner was reluctant because he always felt that when they came back to his no frills factory, they tended to be malcontents.

So after being turned down by Jack, Olivia invited Mrs. Warner to have lunch at the Brown Derby. She presented her case, Jack’s wife interceded on her behalf and before you could say, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” Olivia de Havilland had the role and an Oscar nomination.

The reason I mention this is because it relates to something in my own life. Many years ago when I was in my 20s, living in Los Angeles, I received an assignment from the Sunday supplement in the Chicago Tribune to write a piece about the upcoming TV season. They told me they wanted me to interview the producers of the many new one-hour dramas that would debut in September. They specifically told me they weren’t interested in the financial impact it would have on the networks when most of their half-hour sit coms were displaced.

I watched the pilot episodes, interviewed the producers and mailed the article off to Chicago. The next thing I knew, the editor of the Sunday supplement let me know he was dissatisfied. Where, he wanted to know, were all the financial details? I reminded him that he had told me to ignore all that boring stuff.

When he held fast, I wrote to his boss, the managing editor, who wrote back to say he gave his subordinate editors absolute autonomy to do as they pleased.

Fortunately, I still had relatives living in Chicago and both editors had distinctive names. So I wrote to a cousin and asked him to find out their home addresses. As soon as I had them, I addressed letters to their wives, explained the situation and asked them how they’d feel if they had a son living 1,800 miles away who was being jerked around this way.

I never heard back from either of the women, but within a week, I received a check from the Tribune.

At the time, I realized that nearly every man has a conscience. But as Olivia de Havilland had discovered, they often come by them the same way they wind up with in-laws and mortgages; namely, through marriage.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Who the Heck Isn't Running?" and "The Rolling Stone Gathers No Facts"

I, for one, am getting sick and tired of these over-produced announcements that so-and-so has deigned to run for president. We’ve known their identities all along and by now, unless I belatedly toss my hat in the ring, there are no surprises. At this point, what I’d really like to hear is that Chris Christie, Mike Pence, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, have decided not to run.

I hate to be viewed as a flip-flopper, but I have decided that Mike Flynn, the retired general who formerly headed up the Defense Intelligence Agency, might be more valuable as the Secretary of Defense than as president. In the meantime, Carly Fiorina has replaced Gov. Scott Walker at the top of my ticket. My reasons are two-fold. One, like Rick Perry in 2012, he has appeared to be unprepared for national politics. Two, everything I have heard from Ms. Fiorina has resonated with me. Although I prefer a governor to a senator for the top job, I am quite happy to have someone whose life experience is in the business world. In fact, if Mitt Romney hadn’t been a governor and been saddled with the albatross of RomneyCare, he and Ann might today be calling the White House home.

I must confess that I was blindsided by Fiorina. Even though she ran for the Senate out here in California, I paid very little attention to her campaign because I knew there was no way on earth she could defeat Barbara Boxer in a state where 60% of the registered voters, and 100% of the unregistered voters, are Democrats. In fact, the only good thing to come out of that campaign was that it knocked political blowhard Dick Morris, who confidently predicted a slam-dunk victory for Fiorina, off Fox News.

Of all the campaign announcements, Hillary’s was predictably the most embarrassing. It was a two-minute spot in which she didn’t appear until the 90-second mark. The opening consisted of a variety of people boasting of their new beginnings before Hillary got to lie about her own. So we had a couple who hoped to have greater success in the future housebreaking their dog; a couple of Spanish-speaking brothers who are starting a business, which naturally doesn’t require that they learn English; and, predictably, a homosexual couple who are looking forward to a summer wedding.

For Hillary’s part, although you might have expected her to mention that she is still hoping to housebreak or at least neuter Bill, who happens to be 13 in dog years, she pretty much limited herself to telling hard-working Americans that the deck is still stacked against them because the rich (Republicans, that is) have it in for them. Frankly, I don’t see why hard-working Americans would want to hear a pep talk from a woman whose family has accrued $200 million, not to mention a family foundation worth two billion dollars, without ever having done a single day’s worth of hard work.

The money aside, I am dying to find out what achievements she is going to brag about over the next 18 months. As First Lady, she gave us HillaryCare, which was the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act. As a senator, she strongly supported the Iraq War, which, you would think, would be reason enough for the Democrats to burn her in effigy.

As the Secretary of State, she pressed the re-set button with Russia, agreed with Obama’s decision to withdraw all of our troops from Iraq, pushed for a nuclear deal with Iran and announced that it made no difference to her who killed four Americans in Benghazi.

Finally, as someone who was setting the groundwork for her campaign with the customary book tour, she told us a whopper about being broke when she and Bill left the White House. But she neglected to mention that she jeopardized America’s security by using a private email server, lest anyone ever find out the truth about Benghazi or about the millions of dollars flowing into the family foundation from unfriendly nations while she was serving as the Secretary of State.

According to no less an objective authority than Chelsea Clinton: “It’s important for symbolic reasons” to elect a female president. Well, the last time we elected a symbol, we stuck ourselves with Barack Obama. But if we’re going to have a woman at the helm, as I say, I’d prefer to see Carly Fiorina, who seems to be in the mold of Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher and not another Nancy Pelosi or Barbara Boxer.

Unfortunately, too many women – particularly those who are young and unmarried – will vote for Mrs. Clinton for no other reason than that she fully endorses federally-funded abortions on demand.

Morality aside, the one inescapable conclusion I have glommed from the fact that one million abortions continue to take place every year in America is that sex education classes have been an abject failure.

The time and money spent showing the school kids how to put a condom on a banana have been a total waste, leading them to believe, apparently, that it’s produce, not people, that must be prevented from engaging in unprotected sex.

The Rolling Stone Gathers No Facts

When the Rolling Stone devoted a great deal of space to a cocked-up story about a gang rape that took place at a University of Virginia frat house, they had a pretty good idea it never happened. After all, they knew that the reporter had not spoken to anyone but the alleged “victim.” Even the Stone wouldn’t cover a traffic accident without interviewing those involved, the police and any eye witnesses. All of that is covered in the first week of Journalism 101.

However, all the rules are tossed out when the story involves any of the left’s favorite narratives. So if black hooligans riot, it’s reported as if it were an insurrection of slaves in 1850 Mississippi. If a white cop shoots a black thug, it’s reported as if it’s 1950 Mississippi. And if college boys are accused of rape, it’s assumed the rape actually took place, although even government statistics indicate that it’s just about as likely that the sex was consensual and that the coed woke up the next day, entertaining second thoughts.

Keep in mind I’m not diminishing the horror of rape. In fact, I have long proposed that actual rape, along with child abuse, would be a capital offense in a civilized society. That’s because it can never be defended on the grounds that a bank robber was merely trying to support his family, that a teenage car thief couldn’t resist showing off for his girlfriend or a killer was acting in self-defense.

A reader recently asked me why so many people, particularly Republicans, are so reluctant to refer to black-on-white or even black-on-black crime, but will leap at the chance to pretend that white-on-black crime is rampant in America. I replied that white people, politicians in particular, are terrified of being called racists. What makes their concern so peculiar is that no matter what they say or do, blacks and other liberals will always label them as such. As I see it, being someone that Obama, Holder or Sharpton, calls a racist is a commendation. But leave it to craven Republican politicians to worry about people who will never vote for them not voting for them!

Speaking of Democrats, they’re fond of repeating the mantra that all lives matter when expressing their solidarity with the likes of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, but suddenly when the victims are those not yet born, they don’t seem to matter quite so much. In fact, to listen to the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, they don’t matter at all. As for Barack Obama, he made his own feelings clear when he was still taking up space in the Illinois legislature and voted to legalize the killing of those babies who survived a botched abortion.

I keep receiving messages from my readers insisting that Obama is a Muslim. As proof, they send me photos of him holding up his index finger as a symbol of solidarity with the followers of Islam. Or they’ll explain it’s why he is so reluctant to confront Islamic terrorists or to even call them Islamic.

I have no idea if he’s a Muslim. I don’t even care. How much worse would it make him? I mean, he attended Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years and listened to sermons damning America, white people, Jews and Israel. Would it really have been worse if he’d spent two decades attending services in a Chicago mosque?

Besides, he also refuses to confront Vladimir Putin. He won’t even supply Ukraine with arms so they can defend themselves against Putin’s aggression. Should we take that to mean that Obama was born in Minsk?

What I assume is that he inherited his father’s hatred of white people. Isn’t it enough that Obama despises America and has only contempt for those who gave us a Constitution that never mentioned the redistribution of wealth, and that he openly despises those Judeo-Christian values that inspired the Founding Fathers?

On April 15th, I happened to drive past a church billboard that read: “Thank you, God, that tax day is only one day a year.” If I hadn’t been running late, I would have stopped and pointed out to the resident minister that we live in California, where every day is tax day, thanks to Jerry Brown and his sock puppets in Sacramento.

Because I like to share other people’s observations nearly as much as I do my own, I thought it worthwhile to let you know that Anatole France once advised people to never lend books. “Nobody,” he pointed out, “ever returns them. The only books I have in my own library are those which people lent me.”

Speaking of books, Lily Tomlin once asked: “Why if you read a lot of books, you’re considered well-read, but if you watch a lot of TV, you’re not considered well-viewed?”

Ms. Tomlin also wondered, “Why is it that when we talk to God, we’re said to be praying, but when He talks to us, we’re called schizophrenic?”

And, finally, Anne Lamott observed: “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

I see her point. For my part, though, inasmuch as that happens to be my criteria for picking my friends, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be the same for my God.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?