Friday, December 26, 2008

Wit And Wisdom Through The Ages

by Burt Prelutsky

Today, while making my way through a supermarket parking lot, I nearly got clipped when I didn’t hear a car backing out from its space. I assume it was one of those silent hybrids. Once I got done thanking God for providing me with my cat-like reflexes, it occurred to me to wonder why every vehicle doesn’t come equipped with those back-up beepers one finds on trucks.

That, in turn, reminded me that a friend recently informed me that she and her husband had just purchased a hybrid and that it ran as silent as a tomb. When I commented that such cars must be particularly dangerous for blind people, she said, “Well, they shouldn’t be driving in the first place.”

It’s not often these days that I laugh out loud except at my own remarks, but that one got a full-fledged chuckle. This being the season for gift-giving, and few gifts being as precious or as inexpensive as laughter, I will take this opportunity to share a number of time-honored witticisms which should at least warrant a grin, if not necessarily a guffaw.

Among Mark Twain’s numerous sage observations: “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.” “There is no distinctly Native American criminal class save Congress.” And, my personal favorite, “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

Winston Churchill, when he wasn’t otherwise occupied trying to warn the world about Hitler and Stalin, and doing what he could to defeat both, found the time to declare “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” and “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings, while the inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.”

George Bernard Shaw, although an avowed Socialist, was bright enough to acknowledge “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”

G. Gordon Liddy, probably the only person to emerge from the Watergate scandal with his manhood intact, described a liberal as “someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”

Douglas Casey, an economics guru and one-time college classmate of Bill Clinton, described foreign aid as “a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”

P.J. O’Rourke, the American who’s probably done the most to promote the cause of booze, cigars and political cynicism, is the fellow who said “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys” and “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free!”

Ronald Reagan, the last first-rate president we’ve had and very possibly, at the rate we’re going, the last one we’ll ever have, wasn’t called the Great Communicator for nothing. Among his many memorable comments: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” And the even more graphic “The government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.”

It was Thomas Jefferson who warned that “A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have,” while it was Pericles who, nearly 2500 years ago, uttered these rather blood-chilling words: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.”

But you needn’t go back quite that far for honest, pithy words of wisdom. It was Steve Downs, of Wisconsin, who, in a recent e-mail to Townhall magazine, struck a resounding blow against the corrupting influence of politically correct speech when he insisted that “Words have meanings! Calling an illegal alien an ‘undocumented worker’ is like calling a drug dealer an ‘unlicensed pharmacist.’

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Why I Became And Remain A Conservative

by Burt Prelutsky

[Related: A Long Night’s Journey Into Day]

People who know that I was once a Democrat occasionally ask me, depending on their own political beliefs, when I came to my senses or, alternatively, when I lost my marbles. Usually, I give credit to Ronald Reagan for providing a positive role model, and to my ultraliberal colleagues on the Writers Guild Board of Directors, where I served two terms from 1987-1991, for providing me with a laundry list of negatives.

But the other day, I suddenly recalled a phone call I received one morning about 40 years ago. The night before, the first TV script I had ever written had aired. It was for “Dragnet.” When I answered the phone, it was sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison. We weren’t close friends, but we had known each other for a few years and had always gotten along reasonably well. The conversation was brief. I said, “Hello.” He said, “I never knew you were a fascist.” Then he hung up.

Although it didn’t fully register at the time, that was my first inkling of how self-righteous, judgmental and intolerant, I would eventually discover liberals to be. It was enough that I had written a pro-police script for Jack Webb to be branded a fascist. So it now comes as no surprise when those on the left defame their neighbors and erstwhile friends for opposing same-sex marriages and illegal immigration and/or defending the 2nd amendment and Christmas traditions.

As I have admitted on other occasions, I am not a religious man. But even I can plainly see that a great many people who pride themselves for not believing in God have no problem whatsoever believing everything and anything else, ranging from man-made global warming to socialism as a viable political and economic system. That is, so long as they hear it from a member of their secular ministry, some indisputable fount of truth and wisdom such as Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi or Michael Moore.

The irony of this is that while reasonable men can argue till the cows come home about the existence of God because it comes down to a matter of faith, there is empirical evidence that whenever nations have opted for socialism over capitalism, oppression and human misery have inevitably followed.

Speaking of which, nothing has delighted me more in recent weeks than hearing that in the wake of being lionized by America’s homosexuals for starring in “Milk,” Sean Penn was pilloried in the Advocate. The gay magazine condemned Penn for visiting Venezuela and Cuba, and then praising Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro. As everyone but the ditzy Mr. Penn seems to realize, both men are tyrants. What’s more, Fidel Castro was well known for sending Cuban homosexuals to concentration camps, where his brother, Raul, apparently decided whether to execute them or simply work them to death.

It’s always difficult with Sean Penn to tell if he’s evil or merely stupid. Inasmuch as he consistently defended Saddam Hussein, it’s certainly possible that he’s both. He obviously has a sweet spot for dictators and I guess so long as Chavez and Castro continue rolling out the appropriately red carpet for him, he’ll keep showing up and kissing their behinds.

So, while the gays couldn’t muster the votes to defeat Proposition 8, they definitely have enough clout in the Motion Picture Academy to make sure Penn doesn’t win his second Oscar next February.

I honestly wish I could be more optimistic about the future of the human race, but when I look around and see left-wingers gaining more and more influence in America, while Islamics continue terrorizing much of the craven world, it’s hard to spot the silver lining. Sometimes, I wonder if the only chance that decent, sensible people have to survive is if they wind up, along with certain bears, bugs and whales, on a list of endangered species.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The New And Improved Ebenezer Scrooge

by Burt Prelutsky

Once upon a time, Santa Claus was a very popular figure around this time of year. Edmund Gwenn even won an Oscar for portraying him in a movie. But along the way, it was Scrooge who kept gaining in favor. His role has been played by a galaxy of stars, including Reginald Owen, Albert Finney, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Curry, Walter Matthau, Fredric March, John Carradine, Ralph Richardson, Cyril Ritchard, George C. Scott, Alastair Sim, Jack Palance and Basil Rathbone. I guess the allure of the role is that Ebenezer Scrooge goes to bed a mean and nasty creature, and by morning has undergone a dramatic epiphany and found spiritual redemption.

But time has taken its toll on his story, which first saw the light of day in 1843. These days, Scrooge strikes us as nothing more than a slightly eccentric old codger. His constant refrain of “Bah! Humbug!” suggests he’s just a little bit cranky, sort of like the loveable old grouch who lives down the block and grouses every year about firecrackers on the 4th of July and trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

I’m sorry to say that Scrooge’s day has come and gone. Which means we’ll probably never get to see Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio in the role.

But, really, how can Scrooge hope to compete with the ACLU and like-minded idiots who have a hissy fit at the mere sight of a Christmas wreath, who insist that the holiday doesn’t really celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but is merely a recognition of the winter solstice? I’m not even a Christian, but wishing someone a merry winter solstice not only sounds lame, but to my ears sounds pretty darn sarcastic.

I’m not sure just when a handful of self-righteous biddies decided to make an annual tradition of attacking Christian symbols and traditions, but this year the flash point has been the state of Washington. That’s where Governor Chris Gregoire has permitted a group of atheists to post a sign that reads in part “religion is a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds" in the capitol rotunda next to a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene. The governor claims she couldn’t object because of the First Amendment, but that merely confirms she wins the prize as 2008’s biggest Christmas fruitcake. It is, after all, the atheists whose belief system constitutes an extremely rigid religion of its own, and one that surely hardens hearts. Speaking as a Jew, I doubt that if there was a Chanukah menorah in the capitol rotunda, the goofy governor would have given the American Nazi party a thumbs-up if they had wanted to display an autographed copy of “Mein Kampf.”

But even Ms. Gregoire isn’t this year’s meanest grinch. That title belongs to Bernard Madoff, the man who managed to fine tune the Ponzi scheme to such an extent that he was able to steal 50 billion dollars from banks, charities and individuals.

Theoretically, such financial shenanigans are not supposed to be possible in this day and age. After all, there are all sorts of federal safeguards regulating the stock market. I mean, these are some of the same eagle-eyed bureaucrats who have seen to it that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac toed the line for all these years, thus serving as shining examples of financial integrity to the entire world.

None of this is intended to take the onus off Mr. Madoff, a man who should be roasted over an open fire and served up with an apple in his mouth.

Years ago, when my son was still at an impressionable age, I told him that even though movies often depicted thieves as charming, witty and glamorous, in real life they were scum. But I also told him that at least bank robbers risked being shot down in the process of trying to take things that didn’t belong to them, whereas there was no lower or more cowardly form of animal life than a con man. I pointed out that he was the most contemptible of thieves because he stole by pretending to be someone’s friend, simultaneously taking their money and betraying their trust.

I admit I know next to nothing about making, let alone investing money. For me to even be in the running for the Nobel Prize in Economics, roughly seven billion people would have to die. So how is it that even I know that when a financial investment sounds too good to be true, Prelutsky’s one and only rule is to grab your wallet and run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit?

Related: The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Captain Chandler & Me (classic)

by Burt Prelutsky

Recently, I received an e-mail from a young associate pastor in Maryland. He introduced himself as an avid fan of “M*A*S*H.” He said that one of his favorite episodes had been one I wrote, Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler? and that he was considering using the show as an inspiration for an upcoming sermon. He wanted to know how I had come up with the idea. He also wanted to know how my own faith and understanding of God or Christ had informed my writing.

I must confess that I am not usually given to thinking of my writing in such grandiose terms, and it shocked me to find a man of the cloth doing so. It took some thinking on my part, especially as the writing took place over 30 years ago. At the time, my TV writing career was at a standstill. Because my agents were a man and wife team who were well-meaning, but highly ineffective, it appeared that things weren’t likely to change for the better any time soon.

Fortunately, I was still a print journalist, writing a weekly humor column for the L.A. Times. Because I would occasionally mention having gone to Fairfax High School, I was invited to host an event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding. As part of the event, someone representing each of the five decades would reminisce about their years of internment. Larry Gelbart, writer-producer of M*A*S*H, spoke about the 1940s. I did double duty, hosting and talking about life at Fairfax in the 50s.

One day, some months later, I got a call from my female agent. She wanted me to know that they’d taken in a third partner. The new guy would specialize in sit-com writers. She suggested I come down and meet him. I did, and regretted it almost immediately. The guy was totally obnoxious. It seemed he wanted to be a producer more than he wanted to be an agent. He proposed that I should write up his ideas. I pointed out he didn’t seem too crazy about the way I wrote up my own. He said that was true, but this time he would be around to help. I told him that I would think about it, but in the meantime I had a family to support.

He asked me what shows appealed to me. I mentioned “Bob Newhart,” “Mary Tyler Moore” and “M*A*S*H”. He looked at me as if I were insane. “You’re only talking about the hottest shows on the air.” I told him I was fully aware of that fact, but those were the ones I wanted to write for, and, besides, I was merely answering his question. I told him that, inasmuch as I had to earn a living, I would gladly write for any shows that would have me. He told me that at least now I was being realistic.

When I got home, my wife told me I had a phone call from Larry Gelbart. I called him back. He started out by thanking me for having mentioned him in a column I had written that past Sunday in which I argued that for a quarter of a century the best comedy in America wasn’t in books or movies or on Broadway, but, rather, on TV. I then mentioned ten of the anonymous talents who were most responsible for writing “Sgt. Bilko,” “The Sid Caesar Show,” “Mr. Peepers,” “The Honeymooners” and “M*A*S*H.” Gelbart was one of the ten.

He went on to say that when he and his wife had attended the Fairfax event months earlier, they had assumed they’d be bored to tears, but that I had been very funny, and that he felt remiss for not having dropped me a note.

I thanked him for the kind words and was ready to hang up when he said, “By the way, I hear on the grapevine that you sometimes write for TV. If you ever get a notion for a ‘M*A*S*H’ episode, please send it along.”

Some of you will wonder why I hadn’t broached the possibility of my writing a “M*A*S*H” script. It’s not as if it didn’t occur to me, but I would have considered it impolite. I mean, Gelbart was calling to pay me a compliment and to thank me for mentioning him in my column. Taking advantage of his courtesy to ask him for a job simply struck me as rude.

In any case, as soon as we hung up, I called my new agent and told him he was now my ex-agent -- that “M*A*S*H” apparently wasn’t as locked up as he’d insisted it was half an hour earlier.

For a few seconds, I felt just great. Then it hit me that I was not only unemployed, but now I didn’t even have an agent. Talk about your Pyrrhic victories!

In a panic, I sat down in a chair with a steno notebook and my pen and hoped (prayed?) that a terrific idea would magically appear on the page. The idea that arrived within minutes was that a wounded soldier would arrive at the M*A*S*H unit without dogtags, claiming to be Jesus Christ. I took another twenty minutes or so to fill in the details pitting good Dr. Freedman and evil Col. Flagg in a battle for the man’s body and soul. I even came up with a title, Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?

I typed it up and mailed it to Gelbart at 20th Century-Fox. A day or two later, he called to say that he and his producing partner, Gene Reynolds, loved the idea.

The final script got nominated for a Humanitas Prize, and led to my writing seven more “M*A*S*H” episodes, and totally resuscitated my TV career.

At the time and to this day, although I am a non-observant Jew, I felt the idea was divinely inspired. How could I not? After all, when I sat down with pad and paper, I had no reason to suspect that Jesus Christ was going to wind up in a sitcom episode.

Although there is no way to really explain how the creative process works, typically a notion buzzes around in a writer’s head until the opportunity to use it comes along. But that was certainly not the case here.

With “Captain Chandler,” there was no notion, no buzzing, just a timely Christmas miracle.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Jewish Grinch Who Stole Christmas (classic)

by Burt Prelutsky

Dec. 17, 2008 - It has become an annual tradition for America’s Scrooges to attack Christian symbols and traditions. This year, the flash point has been Washington state where Governor Chris Gregoire has allowed a group of atheists to post a sign that reads in part that “religion is a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds” in the capitol rotunda next to a Christmas tree and a Nativity scene. The governor claims she couldn’t object because of the right to free speech, but that only proves she is the world’s largest Christmas fruitcake. It is the atheists whose belief system constitutes an extremely rigid religion of its own that hardens hearts. If the Jews of Washington had a menorah in the rotunda, would the goofy governor have given the American Nazi party a thumbs-up if they had wanted to display a copy of Mein Kampf? -BP

I never thought I’d live to see the day that Christmas would become a dirty word. You think it hasn’t? Then why is it that people are being prevented from saying it in polite society for fear that it will offend?

Schools are being forced to replace “Christmas vacation” with “winter break” in their printed schedules. At Macy’s, the word is verboten even though they’ve made untold millions of dollars from their sympathetic portrayal in the Christmas classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.” Carols, even instrumental versions, are banned in certain places. A major postal delivery service has not only made their drivers doff their Santa caps, but ordered them not to decorate their trucks with Christmas wreaths.

How is it, one well might ask, that in a Christian nation this is happening? And in case you find that designation objectionable, would you deny that India is a Hindu country, that Pakistan is Muslim, that Poland is Catholic? That doesn’t mean those nations are theocracies. But when the overwhelming majority of a country’s population is of one religion, and roughly 90% of Americans happen to be one sort of Christian or another, only a damn fool would deny the obvious.

Although it seems a long time ago, it really wasn’t, that people who came here from other places made every attempt to fit in. Assimilation wasn’t a threat to anyone; it was what the Statue of Liberty represented. E pluribus unum, one out of many, was our motto. The world’s melting pot was our nickname. It didn’t mean that any group of people had to check their customs, culture or cuisine, at the door. It did mean that they, and especially their children, learned English, and that they learned to live and let live.

That has changed, you may have noticed. And I blame my fellow Jews. When it comes to pushing the multicultural, anti-Christian, agenda, you find Jewish judges, Jewish journalists, and the ACLU, at the forefront.

Being Jewish, I should report, Christmas was never celebrated by my family. But what was there not to like about the holiday? To begin with, it provided a welcome two week break from school. The decorated trees were nice, the lights were beautiful, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a great movie, and some of the best Christmas songs were even written by Jews.

But the dirty little secret in America is that anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society; it’s been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity. For example, the hatred spewed towards George W. Bush has far less to do with his policies than it does with his religion. The Jews voice no concern when a Bill Clinton or a John Kerry makes a big production out of showing up at black Baptist churches or posing with Rev. Jesse Jackson because they understand that’s just politics. They only object to politicians attending church for religious reasons.

My fellow Jews, who often have the survival of Israel heading the list of their concerns when it comes to electing a president, only gave 26% of their vote to Bush, even though he is clearly the most pro-Israel president we’ve ever had in the Oval Office.

It is the ACLU, which is overwhelmingly Jewish in terms of membership and funding, that is leading the attack against Christianity in America. It is they who have conned far too many people into believing that the phrase “separation of church and ” actually exists somewhere in the Constitution.

You may have noticed, though, that the ACLU is highly selective when it comes to religious intolerance. The same group of self-righteous shysters who, at the drop of a “Merry Christmas” will slap you with an injunction, will fight for the right of an American Indian to ingest peyote and a devout Islamic woman to be veiled on her driver’s license.

I happen to despise bullies and bigots. I hate them when they represent the majority, but no less when, like Jews in America, they represent an infinitesimal minority.

I am getting the idea that too many Jews won’t be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.

I should point out that many of these people abhor Judaism every bit as much as they do Christianity. They’re the ones who behave as if atheism were a calling. They’re the nutcakes who go berserk if anyone even says, ?In God we trust? or mentions that the Declaration of Independence refers to a Creator with a capital “C.” By this time, I’m only surprised that they haven’t begun a campaign to do away with Sunday as a day of rest. After all, it’s only for religious reasons — Christian reasons — that Sunday, and not Tuesday or Wednesday, is so designated.

This is a Christian nation, my friends. And all of us are fortunate it is one, and that so many Americans have seen fit to live up to the highest precepts of their religion. Speaking as a member of a minority group — and one of the smaller ones at that — I say it behooves those of us who don’t accept Jesus Christ as our savior to show some gratitude to those who do, and to start respecting the values and traditions of the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens, just as we keep insisting that they respect ours.

Merry Christmas!

Related: The Grinch, Revisited

The Grinch, Revisited (classic)

by Burt Prelutsky

Nothing that I have ever written has provoked as huge a response as a piece I wrote recently called The Jewish Grinch That Stole Christmas.

In the article, which brought me roughly ten times as much e-mail as I’m accustomed to, I suggested that my fellow Jews were at the forefront in waging war on the values and traditions of Christian Americans.

Predictably enough, the response from gentiles was uniformly positive. The feedback from Jews was somewhat less positive, roughly two-to-one in my favor. What I found most telling was that those who damned me didn’t, as a rule, refute what I had written; they were merely angry that a Jew had written the piece. They accused me of lending aid and comfort to the Jew-haters.

Because I make it a rule to write back to anyone who writes me, and because I assume that those who took the time and trouble to write were representative of many more who didn’t, I’d like to share some of my responses.

The term that nearly every Jew used in condemning me was “a self-hating anti-Semite.” A few accused me of not really being a Jew. That didn’t mean they thought I was a Catholic or a Baptist flying under false colors; no, they meant that my sole claim to being Jewish was that my ancestors were Jewish. The fact is, they’re right.

As I have written on other occasions, I am not a religious man. I do not keep kosher. I do not help make up the morning minyan at the local synagogue. I do not even attend High Holiday services. So what? I’m Jewish because I say I’m Jewish. And because, quite frankly, with my face, who would believe me if I bothered to deny it? Furthermore, most Jews in America are not orthodox and can not read Hebrew or even speak Yiddish. For the most part, American Jews are circumcised, have a bar mitzvah, attend a reformed or conservative temple twice a year, and vote the straight Democratic ticket.

Finally, I say I’m Jewish because Hitler would have said I was Jewish, and then sent me off to Auschwitz, if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to have been born in America.

That was my whole point. I was lucky to have been born to a Jewish family in a Christian nation. It was, in the main, Christian soldiers who liberated the Nazi death camps. Even if I’m not as Jewish as some of my critics would like, I still believe it behooves us to be openly grateful to our Christian neighbors -- not because we fear future pogroms -- but because it’s the decent thing to do.

One of the very few points for which I was specifically taken to task was for referring to America as a Christian nation. To those people, I pointed out that Christians of one denomination or another compose 90% of America’s population. That is 10% higher than the percentage of Jews in Israel, but I am willing to wager that none of my critics would deny that Israel is a Jewish state.

The sad fact is that the ACLU is made up in large part of Jews, and it is that organization and its lawyers who are leading the assault against Christmas. What makes it particularly unfortunate is that most Jews are not only opposed to the policies of the ACLU, but are embarrassed and ashamed of the organization.

As one of my respondents put it, “An anti-Semite used to be someone who hated Jews, but it’s become someone whom Jews hate.” The problem with that truism is that Jews, in the great majority, don’t hate gentiles. Sometimes it just seems that way. In fact, most of us are well aware that Israel has no more devoted allies in the world than America’s most devout Christians — starting with George W. Bush.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case with black Americans, those who are high-profile and get most of the media attention are the radicals and the rabble-rousers.

When my critics accused me of promoting anti-Semitism, I pleaded not guilty. I asked them if they thought that gentiles were so stupid that they didn’t recognize that the ACLU seems to have nothing but Jewish attorneys on staff who spend most of their time insisting that Christians get Christ out of Christmas.

Finally, the problem is that if Christians complain that the minority group is trying to bully the majority, they stand condemned as bigots. If I, a Jew, suggest that Christians should be free to celebrate one of their holier holidays in any fashion they like, and not have to feel guilty about it, I’m accused of being a self-hating anti-Semite. In short, nobody can be critical of Jews. Well, it so happens that Jews aren’t perfect. And, believe me, I’m not just talking about my relatives.

Many of us, Jews and Christians alike, have been annoyed with American Muslims because they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time whining about racial profiling at the airports, instead of condemning the world-wide butchery of Islamic fascists. Well, to me, the silence of American Jews when it comes to Christian-bashing has been equally deafening.

What truly astonishes me is the patience and good grace with which Christians have dealt with this attack on so many things they hold dear.

It is, I think, a tribute to their religion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Liberals Under A Microscope

by Burt Prelutsky

If I had a bigger ego, I could easily imagine that liberals say and do the things they say and do simply to perplex or annoy me. But I know I shouldn’t take it personally. All sane and sensible people are equally dismayed.

For instance, Rep. Charlie Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has been accused of failing to report income on a rental house he owns in a Dominican Republic resort, used one of his four rent-control New York apartments for campaign activities, mailed letters on official congressional stationery soliciting funds for an educational center to be named after himself, and used government property to store his Mercedes.

In response to the accusations, the congressman said, “I don’t believe making mistakes means you have to give up your career." I agree. When a congressman makes these many “mistakes,” he should go to jail.

Even the New York Times called Rangel an embarrassment. House Speaker Pelosi, who vowed to rid Capitol Hill of corruption -- bringing to mind a picture of someone trying to drain the Pacific Ocean of water using a teaspoon -- said that she “saw no reason why Mr. Rangel should step down.” Of course not, Nancy. It’s not as if he’s a Republican.

Whatever you might say about Democrats, you can’t deny that they’re often good for a laugh. Back when he was the crack-smoking mayor, Marion Berry proudly announced, “Outside of the killings, Washington, D.C., has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” Now that’s what I call a half-full glass kind of guy.

Apparently nobody is immune to the financial meltdown. In return for endorsing Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton got him to promise to help pay off her campaign debt. Towards that end, Joe Biden recently sent an e-mail to three million of Obama’s donors, nagging them for contributions. What’s more, this is the second time the suckers were being hit up on Hillary’s behalf. Of course it’s not for me to say how people spend their hard-earned money, but the last I heard, the Clintons were worth upwards of a hundred million dollars. Are they saving it all for a rainy day? Do these people even pay for their lunches?

It’s said that cynics know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. Look up “cynic” in the dictionary and you’ll find a photo of the Clintons.

A while ago, I observed that sometimes it seemed to me that the people most anxious to get married were homosexuals. But I was conned. We now see by the low number of marriages that have actually taken place that the entire campaign was more an excuse to stage demonstrations and whine about inequality than a sincere desire to tie the knot that motivated them to make an issue of the issue.

It’s worth noting that Hollywood, as you would expect, is filled with people who believe fervently in same-sex marriages, but not so much in opposite-sex marriages. Even when there are kids involved. Just a few of the parent couples who have decided that marriage didn’t fit in with their plans are Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber, Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, Chris Noth and Tara Wilson, and, of course, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

I must confess I got a kick out of Pitt’s excuse for not proposing to the mother of his children. He said that until all the gays in America were given the right to marry, he wouldn’t marry Angelina. I mean, I’ve heard of guys using wars, the economy and even the nuclear bomb, as an excuse not to march down the aisle, but this one takes the cake. Just not the wedding cake.Bur Joe

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sheep And Goats

by Burt Prelutsky

The other day, I read a letter to the editor in the L.A. Times written by an irate homosexual. Come to think of it, is there any other kind? In any case, he was quite upset over the fact that a great many people are blaming gays in general for the actions of what he regards as a few. It was his contention that in the wake of the vote in favor of Proposition 8, only a tiny percentage of gays were vandalizing churches and intimidating shopkeepers.

What he says is probably true. But it is equally true that only a relatively small number of homosexuals have bothered tying the knot in Connecticut, Massachusetts or even in California, where such marriages were permitted until the recent election.

I don’t have a problem with homosexuals boycotting businesses because they found out that the owners had contributed to the “Yes on 8” campaign. That is certainly their prerogative. But the few shouldn’t think for a moment that they’re winning the hearts and minds of straights when they behave like vicious louts. At the same time, the majority shouldn’t think they deserve our respect when they don’t condemn the behavior of the barbarians, but, rather, try to convince us we shouldn’t judge them all by the actions of a minority within the minority.

I’m reminded that it wasn’t all that long ago that America’s Muslims were telling us that they weren’t all terrorists. And if you recall, a lot of us, gays included, I’m willing to wager, were asking why they weren’t busy condemning the cold-blooded brutality of their co-religionists instead of telling us not to judge them all alike.

This being the holiday season, the word “tolerance” gets tossed around like a beach ball at an L.A. Dodgers game. By and large, it’s liberals who carry on as if they have the word copyrighted. Which would be funny if there weren’t serious repercussions. One of which is the misnamed Fairness Doctrine, which hangs by a slender thread, like the sword of Damocles, over the heads of conservative talk show hosts.

Liberals are so intolerant they often can’t even bear to have people say “Merry Christmas” in their presence. In fact, they can’t even bring themselves to recognize it as a celebration of a specific event. Instead, they dismiss it as the holiday season. Well, in spite of Kwanzaa and Chanukah, this is Christmas season because most Americans are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though I’m Jewish, even I have to acknowledge it’s a special occasion, and those who feel entitled to disparage it are worse than Scrooge. They are bigoted, intolerant, ignoramuses.

Where liberals are concerned, one thing you can always count on is that they regard themselves as morally and intellectually superior to those who disagree with them. And, yet, surely there must be liberals somewhere who possess enough commonsense to realize how absurd it is when the city council of Berkeley, California, instead of dealing with potholes and street vendors, came up with a resolution condemning the Iraq War, or when a grand jury in Willacy County, Texas, recently decided to indict Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzalez. Aren’t there any liberals who find such things even faintly amusing?

It does occur to me now and then that we are well on our way to becoming a banana republic, but with a lot more bananas than republic.

The other day, during an e-mail exchange with one of my readers, Don Melquist, he explained how a Judas goat would be used to lead a herd of sheep aboard a railroad boxcar. I said I understood the goat’s function, but I could never figure out how the animal could then make its way past all the sheep and out the door. Mr. Melquist, who had been raised on a farm, explained that goats are extremely agile and could easily get through a bunch of bleating sheep in order to receive its food reward. He finished up his report, stating, “Goats and sheep may seem rather similar, but there is a huge difference in their habits and intelligence.”

I wrote back, “Sounds a lot like liberals and conservatives.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Like Cats And Dogs

by Burt Prelutsky

All those pundits who were forecasting the November election, busily analyzing blue states, red states and those all-important purple swing states, were spinning their wheels. At the risk of sounding even more presumptuous than usual, I contend that they were wasting their time and yours.

If you ever want to know who’s going to win an election, all you really need to do is find out how many people have cats living with them and how many have dogs. The cat people, I have decided, will go overwhelmingly for the liberal; the dog lovers will vote for the conservative.

It isn’t simply that single women, who often prefer felines to canines, tend to vote Democratic. It really goes to the nature of the animals, themselves.

Cats are finicky. Which is just a Madison Avenue euphemism for being snooty, snobbish and stand-offish. Dogs are honest, friendly and loyal. Just looking at them makes people feel good. Which is why you even find them appearing in TV commercials that have nothing to do with kibble or flea collars. It also explains why so many of them, including Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Asta, Old Yeller and Benjy, have been movie stars.

Cats speak French. Or are you going to insist that “meow” doesn’t sound like something nasty a Parisian would say behind your back? Dogs speak English, and they’re plain spoken. Cats arch their backs and hiss. Dogs wag their tails and let you know you’ve been missed when you’ve been out of sight for all of thirty seconds.

With a cat, you can’t do anything right. With a dog, you can do no wrong.

If you want to get your cat’s undivided attention, you have to turn on the electric can opener. If you want to get your dog’s undivided attention, you merely have to be breathing.

A dog’s favorite toy is a ball. A cat’s is either a living mouse or a toy filled with catnip, his drug of choice.

A dog will dive into a raging river to save a stranger’s life. A cat wouldn’t step into a puddle to save yours.

A dog, if he were your next door neighbor, would be the kind of guy who’d come over and fix your plumbing. A cat, if he were your next door neighbor, would borrow your lawn mower, and not only would he not return it, but would try to sell the darn thing at his next garage sale.

In fact, the only apparent difference I can distinguish between liberal politicians and a cat is the latter’s ability to clean itself with its tongue. But, I, who take nothing for granted, wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Barney Franks, Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton, are known to occasionally cough up hairballs.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Death Of Logic

by Burt Prelutsky

The problem with being a logical human being is that every day, sometimes every hour, you get blind-sided like a quarterback cursed with an underachieving offensive line.

It’s bad enough when a movie or a mystery novel scores a big fat zero on the logic meter, but when it happens in real life, if you’re anything like me, you find yourself wondering if you have somehow followed Alice down the rabbit hole.

For instance, one day not too long ago, a headline in the sports section of my local daily, the Los Angeles Times, insisted that black players were underrepresented in major league baseball. On the face of it, that is one of the silliest examples of race-baiting that one could possibly come up with. That was the same day they ran 17 photos in the section, and all but four were of black athletes, and one of the four was a race horse. (I was moved to write a letter to the editor, asking if perhaps black athletes were over-represented in the paper.)

The fact is, professional baseball is one of the only true meritocracies left in America. If you can hit, catch or throw a baseball better than 99.9999999% of the human race, the team owners want to make you an instant millionaire, and the folks signing your paycheck don’t care what color your skin is or whether your name is Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Ishiro Suzuki or Hideki Matsui.

Still, one can’t help but ponder how the Times would go about making things right. Would they begin by getting rid of all the Latino players from Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic?

But as asinine as that article was, the Times sports section managed to out-do itself more recently. They ran a piece suggesting that racism was the reason that there were only four blacks coaching football at the major colleges. That particular story ran on November 5th, the day after a black man was elected president of the United States, garnering 66 million votes. But I guess the Times missed the news because they were so busy fretting about football coaches.

This kind of focusing on presumed racism is enough to give a person pause. While everyone, well perhaps not everyone, was celebrating the election of Barack Obama, I found myself wondering what happens in 2012 if Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal defeats Obama in his bid for re-election? Will that mean that we are back to being a racist society? I’m dead certain that will be the conclusion of the Times, and one shared by Chris Matthews, Alan Colmes and Michelle Obama.

Still, as absurd and illogical as my newspaper is, that’s nothing compared to the lunacy taking place in our courts. To take a recent example, 100 Somali Muslims sued Gold’n Plump, a meat processing outfit with plants in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and the Work Connection, an employment agency, for $350,000…and, quite naturally, won. It seems the Muslims took five prayer breaks a day, which resulted in the non-Muslim workers complaining that it was unfair to them, while the employment agency had asked the Muslims to sign a form acknowledging that they might be required to handle pork.

The lawsuits, by the way, were filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your tax dollars at work. It occurs to me that the motto at the EEOC, like that in Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” is that all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Why anyone in his right mind would hire people who feel entitled to five prayer breaks a day is beyond me, but clearly the folks at the EEOC have way too much time on their hands. Come to think of it, perhaps that would be a good place for the Somalis to go looking for new jobs. But I suppose Washington is not the place to settle if you can’t risk coming in contact with pork.

In conclusion, as most of you are aware, homosexuals have been rioting pretty much non-stop ever since California’s electorate once again put the kibosh on same-sex marriages. They have picketed and vandalized Catholic and Mormon churches to display their displeasure, which suggests to me that, instead of “gays” being their euphemism of choice, perhaps “cranks,” “louts” or “bigots” might be more appropriate.

The one group of churches they haven’t gone after are the black ones, even though 70% of blacks voted in favor of marriage being limited to one man and one woman. What’s more, blacks were very vocal about objecting to homosexual marriages being touted as a civil right. The fact that, in spite of all this, homosexuals have given black churches a wide berth suggests that while gays may not always practice safe sex, they certainly practice safe demonstrations.Bobby JindalE

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recent Musings

by Burt Prelutsky

I admit I am not an economist. The truth is, I have trouble balancing my checkbook. Having said that, I can’t figure out how we can compete in a global economy. When China uses slave labor and other countries pay their workers a few dollars a day, it seems to me that we’re trying to fight with one arm tied behind us and a small dog biting our ankles.

I know even less about cars than I do about economics, so I have no way of knowing if American cars are as good as those produced by the Germans and the Japanese. But I did hear recently that when pensions and benefits are factored in, a UAW union member makes about $78-an-hour. That works out to about $156,000-a-year. I’m not suggesting that an American factory worker isn’t worth it, but how can the company paying out that kind of money possibly sell a car at a competitive price?

I don’t have answers, you understand, I’m just asking questions. Another question that comes to mind relates to George W. Bush. One of my readers took me to task for suggesting that the president didn’t do anything to ward off the financial crisis. He claimed that Cal Thomas, among others, had written about Bush’s attempts to do something about Fannie Mae before the crisis hit. My response is that it’s not the job of Mr. Thomas to carry the president’s message to America. The presidency is not supposed to be a covert operation. The president is the man with the bully pulpit, and if he isn’t prepared to use it, he probably shouldn’t have it. And I’m not referring to those dog-and-pony press conferences. I don’t need to see Helen Thomas hogging camera time, but I do need to hear what the president thinks and why he thinks it. Which is why I hope Obama makes it a practice to give weekly or bi-weekly reports, and I don’t need to see the first lady, the first kids or even the first dog while he’s doing it.

Next, I don’t ever want to hear a Democrat claim, as I believe Joe Biden did, that paying taxes is patriotic. Paying taxes is about as patriotic as going to the bathroom. In other words, at times, it’s necessary, but it’s always compulsive. I believe that for a thing to be patriotic, it has to be done on a voluntary basis. I suppose a case could be made that if a person paid more than he owed, he was being patriotic. So, as an example to the rest of us, I would love to see such tax-loving liberals as George Soros, Mr. and Mrs. John Kerry and all the various Kennedys, pay at the rate they would if most of their income didn’t come to them in the low-taxed form of trusts and off-shore accounts.

By the way, aren’t there any liberals who are embarrassed by the fact that their single biggest benefactor, George Soros, not only doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes, but made his billions the old-fashioned way -- through the tawdry practice of currency manipulation? Instead of using his ill-gotten gains to promote his left-wing agenda, I keep wishing Soros would simply buy an island where he could build a palace, plunk a crown on his fat head and make all his subjects call him King George.

Most people have an odd relationship with money. For one thing, they seem to take it personally when an athlete makes, say, $20 million-a-year. They carry on as if it’s coming out of their pocket. I mean, would you all feel better if the Steinbrenners kept all their moolah to themselves instead of paying it to Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez? It reminds me of when people used to carry on as if they’d been mugged when it came to the costs of the space program. I used to point out that NASA wasn’t taking that money, sticking it in a space capsule and shooting it to the moon. The money stayed right here on earth and went to buy materials and pay salaries.

On the other hand, even I know there’s a time to flaunt it and a time to keep a low profile. A while back, a lot of noses were out of joint because three fat cats flew from Detroit to Washington, D.C., on private jets in order to beg for money. Not only was it unseemly, but they blew a golden opportunity to garner decent publicity. Did nobody in the PR departments at Ford, Chrysler and G.M., even consider having the CEOs form a convoy and drive their company’s cars 520 miles to the nation’s capitol? While I am aware that, after having been severely scolded, the three stooges left their jets at home the second time they went begging, that only made them look like wimpy snobs.

Still, when AIG, after getting bailed out by the American taxpayer, hands out bonuses to its executives, and when the world’s leaders gather for dinner at the White House and toast each other during a financial meltdown with wine costing $500-a-bottle, you can’t help wondering if Paris Hilton or perhaps Lindsay Lohan is handling everyone’s PR these days.

It’s no secret that I am not looking forward to an Obama administration. The notion that the liberals will control the House, the Senate and the Oval Office, for the foreseeable future makes my blood run cold. The mental image that first comes to mind is a bull in a china shop, but the ensuing damage in that case would be inadvertent. The bull, after all, isn’t looking to destroy the crockery. It is merely looking for the quickest way back to the farm and the cows, whereas the liberals are looking to create an America in their own cockeyed image. That makes me think of vandals taking knives to the Mona Lisa or firebugs burning down a virgin forest.

Many people are questioning why Obama, the alleged agent of change, is filling his administration with a lot of Clinton re-treads. I am reminded of what took place in Germany after World War II. Suddenly, it seemed like all the mayors and bureaucrats were former Nazis. The explanation was that after a dozen years of Hitler, only the Nazis had the necessary leadership experience. Well, when you realize that since 1980, the only Democratic president was Bill Clinton, it figures that Obama would be forced to furnish his White House with second-hand goods from the Clinton thrift shop.

With that said, I have found one reason, other than not having to hear John McCain begin every other sentence with “My friends,” for cheering Obama’s election. As of this moment, he has removed Rahm Emanuel from the House, Bill Richardson and Janet Napolitano from their governors’ mansions, and Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton from the U.S. Senate. Now if he can only find new jobs for Barbara Boxer, Robert Byrd, Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, Dick Durbin, Barney Frank, John Murtha and Charles Schumer, heck, even I might vote for him in 2012!AIG

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You, Andrew Carnegie

a classic by Burt Prelutsky

I was about 11 years old when I first fell love with a public library. Up until then, I had certainly been aware that they existed, even apart from the small one at my school, but they had nothing to do with me. At that tender age, however, I happened to read John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and that literally changed my life.

From that point on, I was never to see one of those little brick buildings without experiencing a sense of wonder and amazement. Say what you will about the human race, any species that can come up with something as magnificent as the library isn’t totally worthless. There are very few things, and none that come readily to mind, that compare to them. Artichokes are pretty good, but they’re a heck of a lot of work. Sunsets are nice, but they’re unreliable. Puppies are cute, but they make a mess. But, where public libraries are concerned, there’s simply no downside.

A library card combines all the best features of a passport and a genie’s lamp. For openers, librarians are unfailingly kind and helpful. If they weren’t, considering the pittance they’re paid, they’d have gone into some other line of work, such as being meter maids or clerks at the DMV.

For another thing, libraries, themselves, are convenient and trouble-free. It’s not just that they’re usually within walking distance of your home, either; if one branch doesn’t have the book you want, they’ll get it from a different branch and hold it for you. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, I guess you’ve never tried returning a movie video to a different Blockbuster.

On top of everything else, it’s all free. The only time a library costs you a dime is when you neglect to return books or tapes on time. And even then, the cost is so nominal that the obvious purpose of the fine is to remind us to do the considerate thing next time, not to punish us for having been thoughtless this time around.

Andrew Carnegie, born into a poor Scottish family, is a special hero of mine, and not only because he was short. He once wrote, “A man who dies rich, dies disgraced.” And so, in the final years of his life, he gave away a third of a billion dollars to good causes, with about 20% going to Britain and the rest to his adopted country, America. A part of that generous legacy was the endowment of nearly 3,000 libraries across the entire country. Talk about a gift that keeps giving.

If it were up to me, his would be the fifth head up there on Mt. Rushmore and his birthday, November 25th, would be a national holiday.

I regret that I can never hope to repay the debt of gratitude I owe the man. I can only say, thank you, Mr. Carnegie. For, owing to your beneficence, from the very first time I stepped foot in a public library, I knew I wouldn’t have to die to get to heaven.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mixing It Up With Left-Wingers

by Burt Prelutsky

Whenever I refer to liberals in print as pinheads, chowderheads, morons and flakes, I can always count on angry responses. Invariably, they will accuse me of stooping to insult them, instead of dealing with specific issues.

The fact is, I am always dealing with issues, be it the left’s adoration of the U.N.; their cockeyed belief in man-made global warming; their constant attacks on the first two amendments; their intolerance of Christian traditions and symbols, which, by the way, relies entirely on an intentional misreading of the Constitution, a document which does not and never has contained the words “separation of church and state”; their contempt for the U.S. military; the alleged supremacy of gay, Islamic and illegal alien, rights; their opposition to capital punishment; their support of judges who legislate from the bench; and their affinity for professors and journalists who feel their duty is to indoctrinate rather than educate or report.

It’s only in the context of taking liberals to task that I ever make my ad hominem attacks. And please believe me, when I call them pinheads, lamebrains and ignoramuses, I honestly believe I am being kind and letting them off far easier than they deserve. Would they really prefer traitors, Quislings and Communists? If so, I’d be only too happy to oblige.

The truth is, it’s left-wingers who make a practice of evading the issues. For instance, I have yet to have anyone on the left enumerate the rights he lost because of the Patriot Act. I have yet to have any of them explain how it is that we invaded Iraq for oil but failed to confiscate even a single drop. Also, I have never had a liberal name all those countries that hate America because of George Bush. Even when I offer to help them get started by suggesting Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea and Cuba, they refuse to engage.

I have also never had a leftist explain his love affair with socialism and communism, forms of tyranny which have led to unparalleled human misery wherever they have been introduced. But, then, what sort of freedom lovers side with the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah, against Israel and make cultural icons of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara?

Silence is the same response I get when I have asked liberals, who allegedly favor honest elections, why they have never spoken out against ACORN, and why, although they pay lip service to free speech, people like David Horowitz and Ann Coulter require bodyguards when they appear on college campuses. And why is it that liberals, who already control newspapers, magazines and TV, are pushing for the “Fairness” Doctrine in a blatant, fascistic, attempt to keep conservative voices off the radio?

What sort of people are they who will defend the rights of pornographers and pedophiles to promote themselves in the public marketplace, but feel entitled to banish the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, High Hewitt, Dennis Miller, Sean Hannity, Michael Reagan, Larry Elder and Bill O’Reilly, from the marketplace of ideas?

If I had to describe liberals in a single word it would probably be “feminine.” In most cases, I wouldn’t regard that word as a pejorative. In its best sense, it conveys sensitivity and an emphasis on the emotional. As it relates to liberals, it simply means that feelings trump everything else. So it is that liberals love the idea of the U.N., excited by the notion of a lot of nations sitting down and talking out their problems, as if to a marriage counselor. Unfortunately, when dealing with evil nations with evil intentions, the U.N. is nothing better than a bad joke. Partly that’s because it is inept and partly because it’s as weak as its weakest link and, for good measure, is as corrupt as Chicago politics.

Liberals are in favor of open borders because they feel sorry for those people sneaking across. It doesn’t occur to liberals that American citizens suffer from the influx of millions of impoverished illiterates. They are not concerned with the drain on schools, hospitals, jobs and prisons, because what’s important for liberals is that they feel good about themselves. It’s a unique type of selfishness because it’s disguised as an altruistic concern for others. It’s the same reason they oppose capital punishment. They don’t care about the victims or their loved ones. Any schmuck, after all, can sympathize with innocent people. But it takes a very special kind of individual to hold a candlelight vigil for a monster who’s raped and murdered a child. A very special kind, indeed.

Recently, the voters in California voted against legitimizing homosexual marriages. The first thing that happened after the election is that our governor, the ex-actor whose biggest muscle is located between his ears, said that he hoped the courts would overrule the electorate. It’s not an idle wish. California’s voters have become accustomed to having their votes ignored. The second thing that took place was that large numbers of homosexuals went on a rampage, like the spoiled adolescents they so often tend to be.

The third thing that occurred is that L.A. County’s Board of Supervisors took the matter under advisement. Because I happened to be acquainted with one of the five supervisors, I sent him the following e-mail. (His name has been changed for our purposes.) “Dear George: I trust you won’t be party to overturning Proposition 8. It’s time that the people got to have their way at least once. By the way, are you still playing poker?”

He replied: “Burt: Thanks for your e-mail. The Board of Supervisors has joined with a number of others in challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 based on the equal protection provisions of the State constitution. This is an issue that affects the County because we issue marriage licenses. You and I appear to disagree on this, but the constitutionality issue has to be resolved. I hope all is well with you. I have not played poker in quite some time, and given the economy, I couldn’t afford to play anyway.”

I replied: “Don’t fall for that B.S., George. The homosexuals have equal protection and equal rights. They can all marry members of the opposite sex. What they are demanding, as usual, is to prove that George Orwell might have had California in mind, as well as the Soviet Union, when he wrote about the farm where all animals were equal, but some were more equal than others. It appears that you folks want things resolved once again by overriding the will of the majority. Californians have voted against same-sex marriages, in favor of capital punishment and against benefits for illegal aliens, and each time the liberals have found an obliging judge who happily disenfranchised the electorate. It won’t take too much more of this before people begin to regard voting as a futile exercise and will view the courts with utter contempt. On top of that, at this point, it would appear that you people are simply caving in to mob rule, inasmuch as the punks are expressing their pique by vandalizing churches and intimidating businesses and individuals. This is no time to support the barbarians. As for poker, you could afford to play if you won.”

It’s been a week now and I haven’t heard back.

An L.A. County supervisor, by the way, makes $178,789 a year. I have to assume they will soon be giving themselves a raise based on the cost of living and playing poker.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Does The G.O.P. Have A Future?

by Burt Prelutsky

I have no way of knowing whether the Republican party will go the way of the Whigs, the Bull Moose and the dodo bird. But perhaps it should. After all, when they held control of the House, the Senate and the Oval Office, for the first six years of President Bush’s administration, they were inept, lazy and corrupt. In other words, they behaved just like Democrats.

To give Bush his due, he prevented a recurrence of 9/11, a notable feat when you realize how desperately the Islamics wanted it to happen again and again. However, he did nothing to prevent the financial crisis from taking place. What’s more, when it did occur, he, like McCain, never laid the blame for it at the feet of people like Obama, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. I never could figure that out. Were they afraid they wouldn’t be invited to the really cool Christmas parties?

God knows I kept trying to give sound advice to McCain ever since he got the nomination, but I guess he was too busy studying the campaign strategies of George McGovern, Michael Dukakis and Bob Dole, to notice.

If there is one thing that the next Republican presidential candidate should take away from this latest debacle it's that, for all the pandering that Bush and McCain did with their open border policies, McCain, aka Mr. Amnesty, only received a smidgen of the Latino vote. So, while in some parallel universe, a Republican might be cutting into the Jewish, black and Hispanic blocs, here in America, for all the feel-good chatter about the big Republican tent, going after those votes is time and money misspent. Frankly, when you look at the demographics, the forecast for conservatives in America is none too bright. Democrats, after all, breed at a far faster rate and young people just keep getting dumber.

I hate to be a gloomy Gus, but this recent election really has me down. The inspiration for other presidents was often supplied by the likes of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Lincoln; we now have a guy who draws his moral and intellectual concepts from the likes of Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Pfleger, Alinsky and Khalidi.

So far as I’m concerned, we are already, thanks to the outsourcing of jobs and the insourcing of illegal, illiterate aliens, well on our way to becoming a third world nation. Now, with the election of Barack Obama, it seems to me we’ve made it official.

Here in California, we have an allegedly Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, after the voters for the second time voted against same-sex marriages, announced he wanted the courts to once again overturn the will of the people. To account for this, one either has to assume that his wife, Maria Shriver, has hypnotized him, that the use of steroids shrinks the brain as well as the gonads, or that Arnold spent far too many of his impressionable years in the showers at Gold’s Gym.

Liberal majorities in Congress were bad enough, but with a radical leftist in the White House, one can imagine the judges who will be appointed to lifetime sinecures on the Supreme Court and the various courts of appeal. You think Stevens, Ginsburg and Souter are bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

I have liberal friends -- mea culpa! -- who are euphoric because they’re convinced that, thanks to Obama, the world will now love America. For all my badgering, they refuse to cough up the names of those countries that were ready to divorce us, but are now eager to rush off on a second honeymoon. I do find it fascinating, though, that while we’ve now elected a Socialist, many of the European nations, having learned their lessons the hard way, have begun electing conservative leaders.

How long, I wonder, will it be before the Democrats turn Charles Schumer’s wet dream, otherwise known as the Fairness Doctrine, into a 1st amendment-shredding reality? And how long until Obama carries through on his promise to fund the U.N.’s campaign to end global poverty to the tune of a trillion dollars?

For the longest time, I had heard that in America anyone could grow up to be president. Now, when I consider Obama’s background, his friends and associates, and his views about wealth distribution, I can see they weren’t kidding. They meant absolutely anyone.

Years ago, I suggested that any man or woman who was convinced he or she should be president was clearly insane. For that reason, and because I was already fed up with all the lawyers being elected, my solution was to draw a name out of a hat. I was convinced there was a better chance of winding up with a sane, decent, honest guy in office if it turned out to be my next door neighbor or the lady who lives around the corner from you. Clearly, voting is one area where practice doesn’t make perfect. Holding elective office is another.

At this point, if I can’t have my lottery, I’d settle for two things. One, I’d limit voting to those people who pay income or property taxes. It’s just absurd that millions of Americans who have never held down a job or served in the military and are still receiving an allowance from their folks can cancel out the votes of their parents. Two, I’d make term limits mandatory for every elected office in America, and I’m talking about single terms. No more lifetime careers in politics. If you want to get rich, back off from the public trough and get an honest job.

Frankly, I don’t know if we could actually get by without politicians, but wouldn’t it be fun to try?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All The News That’s Fit To Censor

by Burt Prelutsky

Quite recently, it struck me that it’s not that the MSM has done everything in its considerable power to spin, deny or conceal, all the unpleasant truths about ACORN, Rev. Wright, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers and the Annenberg Challenge, that upsets me the most. The thing that truly depresses me is that millions of my fellow Americans know the truth, but simply don’t seem to care.

They also don’t seem too concerned that in a 2001 radio interview, Obama declared that his problem with the Warren Court was that although it ruled in favor of Civil Rights, it was not sufficiently radical when it came to redistribution of wealth. [Listen to the interview.] Apparently, Obama thinks the Founding Fathers should have included that in the Bill of Rights.

Obama can deny it all he likes, but anyone who subscribes to the belief that we should adopt a fiscal policy based on “From everyone according to his abilities to everyone according to his needs” is a disciple not of Warren Buffet, but of Karl Marx. Still, as some cynic once observed, when you rob Peter to pay Paul, don’t expect Paul to raise any objections. So, even though Obama claims he will cut income taxes for 95% of us, even though he knows full well that over 30% of us don’t even pay a single penny in income taxes, millions of Pauls are ready and eager to vote for this con man.

Frankly, I find it amazing and pathetic that so many Americans are anxious to finish the job begun by FDR to turn us into a socialist state. Is it simply because they long for America to go the way of China, the Soviet Union, Venezuela, North Korea and Cuba, or do they simply not give a damn? Sheep, after all, are not known for their spirit of independence or their intelligence.

When I suggest that socialism often leads to tyranny, I am not indulging in right-wing hyperbole. After all, aside from control of capital and the means of production, one of the essentials of all dictatorships is central control of the media. In 2008, the left already controls most of the MSM, not to mention the liberal arts departments on most college campuses.

The warning signs are all around us. Recently, as you may have heard, Beverly West, a reporter with Florida television station WFTV, dared to ask Joe Biden whether Obama’s connection to ACORN was a legitimate concern and whether Obama’s response to Joe the Plumber was Marxist. As a result, the Obama/Biden campaign informed WFTV that it was cutting off access because of such rude questions.

The American Issues Project, whose TV ad called for an examination of the Obama/Bill Ayers connection, led to the Obama machine’s demand that the Justice Department begin a criminal investigation of the AIP. The idea that the AIP should be investigated for running a legitimate TV ad, but ACORN should not be prosecuted for perpetuating voter fraud is the sort of thing that George Orwell would have dealt with if he’d lived long enough to write a sequel to “1984.”

Now that Obama is the President-elect, there’s no question that the Democrats will pass the ill-named Fairness Doctrine, thus ensuring that talk radio, the only part of the MSM not fully under control of the far left, will be silenced once and for all.

After that, our only means of communication will be smoke signals. That is assuming that under Obama’s new order we’ll be able to afford blankets.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Contrarion Comes Clean

by Burt Prelutsky

By this time, I don’t think it will shock anyone if I come right out and admit that I’m not a bleeding heart. When I read about a lava flow or an earthquake taking 500 theoretically innocent lives on the other side of the world, my first reaction is to ask myself if I knew anyone who might be visiting Sumatra or Mongolia. If the answer is no, my second reaction is to get on with my life.

There are, I’m well aware, many nicer, kinder people around -- the sort of folks who immediately organize collection drives, so that blankets, canned goods and medical supplies, can be rushed to the survivors. Quite honestly, that would never even occur to me. In fact, when the giant tsunami hit Indonesia a while back, my initial thought was that, as with Sodom and Gomorrah, God was sending a long overdue message to a part of the world where the child sex trade is a major industry.

I do have a hunch, though, that a lot of the same people who are always ready to provide pajamas and peanut butter to people they don’t know are the same ones who hold candlelight vigils outside prisons when serial killers are being executed. Whenever I see them huddled outside in the cold, looking as if they’re posing for stained glass windows, I always find myself wondering how they treat their spouses and their kids when they pack up their candles and go back home.

All that being said, it should come as no big surprise when I confess that I am not in line to receive awards from the ecological zealots. That’s not to suggest that I wouldn’t offer bounties for the hides of spray-painting vandals (aka taggers, graffiti artists, public nuisances). But I certainly wouldn’t ban cigarette smoking in the great outdoors or even in bars and restaurants if the owners wish to encourage that sort of thing. If you don’t like cigarette smoke getting in your eyes, lungs or clothing, you eat, drink and get a job someplace else. If rolling out the red carpet to smokers is a really lousy idea, the place will go out of business. That’s the way it’s supposed to work in a free society.

Something else I find irksome is the constant moaning over endangered species. I recently read an article that claimed the earth has gone through four major periods of mass extinctions. About 440 million years ago, give or take a month or so, 85% of marine animal species were wiped out. Roughly 70 million years later, many species of fish and marine invertebrates perished. Then, 245 million years ago, another major extinction of sea and land creatures took place. Finally, a mere 65 million years ago, 75% of all species -- including dinosaurs and saber-toothed tigers -- took French leave. The causes of these massive upheavals have been attributed to volcanic eruptions, huge meteorites and climatic changes which obviously had nothing to do with human beings or the internal combustion engine.

When I read about all those species vanishing from the face of the earth, my immediate reaction is “So what?” But after due deliberation, my response changes from one of mild disinterest to one of jubilation. Imagine if every single time you went outside to collect your newspaper, you had to fight a tyrannosaur for it or had to worry that a pterodactyl was going to swoop down because its idea of fast food is you.

Apparently, there are at present 10 million different species of animal life on earth. Even though, according to this article I read, only a small percent of all animal life has been evaluated, the ecologists estimate that 750 species of fish, 290 species of reptiles and 150 species of amphibians, are currently at risk.

Inasmuch as dogs, cats, horses, llamas, bunnies, cows and guinea pigs, aren’t on the list, frankly, my dear, I don’t give a darn. I mean, how many different kinds of reptiles does anyone need to be really, truly happy?

Thanks to Al Gore and his motley crew, I’m willing to wager that a lot of you suddenly flashed on a mental image of a polar bear going down for the third time. My question is, who cares if polar bears disappeared once and for all? The truth of the matter is that nobody would really miss the vicious brutes. And, what’s more, baby seals would throw a party.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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More Unsolved Mysteries

by Burt Prelutsky

When it comes to books and movies, I am a big fan of mysteries. For one thing, I like the use of logic, perseverance and moral clarity, to come up with solutions. There is great comfort in knowing that even the cleverest, most evil, ne’er-do-well will eventually meet his match and get his comeuppance, thanks to the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Inspector Wallander, Sam Spade, Lew Archer and Lincoln Rhyme.

In real life, however, I am not nearly so partial to mysteries. Too often, the crimes go unsolved and the perpetrators go unpunished. But not all mysteries involve jewel thefts and murders. For instance, I have long wondered why, if God only created woman after Adam complained he didn’t have a date for Saturday night, God included reproductive organs in His original design.

These days, I am perplexed in a similarly frustrating fashion by the rapture induced by Barack Obama. I know for a fact that not every single Democrat is an ignoramus, that not every last liberal has the emotional instability of a giddy teenage girl in the presence of a rock star, and that not all left-wingers actually believe that the junior senator is a messiah who will make the blind see and the lame dance a jig. For that matter, I’m certain they realize he will not bring the dead to life, although his disciples in ACORN will try to make sure they get to vote.

All that being said, why the heck do millions of Americans carry on the way they do? Why is it, to take an obvious example, that only Republicans make fun of Chris Matthews when he announces that Obama sends a tingle up his leg? That’s far more embarrassing than anything Sarah Palin has said. Plus, the man has a lisp, so he’s made to order to be ridiculed on Saturday Night Live, as are Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Al Franken, Rosie O’Donnell and Joe (Hair Plugs) Biden.

Why is it that people who should know better -- adults, I’m talking about, not the kids being indoctrinated on college campuses by tenured Communists and former terrorists -- are falling for Obama’s call for class warfare? Why are so many Americans so eager to accept that corporations are the enemy when corporations not only provide employment, but pay dividends to tens of millions of middle-class Americans either directly or through their pension funds? Why are the same folks who are waging war on corporate America so reluctant to utter even an unkind word about Islamic terrorism?

I realize that a lot of people get upset when CEOs get paid a ton of a money, particularly when it comes in the form of a golden parachute. But why don’t they get equally upset when a movie actor who’s generally a liberal gets paid $20 million to star in a movie that tanks? Do you think Sean Penn gave back the millions he received for “All the King’s Men” or that George Clooney tore up his check when “Leatherheads” went straight to video?

Liberals have even stooped to cheap scare tactics. They keep insisting that there will be riots in the streets if Obama loses the election. Well, as we all know, hooligans have rioted for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, it’s because a hometown basketball team has lost a championship game, but sometimes it’s because the team has won. If I have to choose, I’d prefer a post-election riot of anger and frustration to one of joy and jubilation.

Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is why anyone would want more money and more power in the hands of the federal government, which is really the basis of Obama’s campaign.

Recently, a reader sent me an e-mail which read: “Back in 1990, the Government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada because of tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it closed. Now we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nit-wits who couldn’t make money running a whore house and selling booze.”

Actually, it’s a joke. The IRS did in fact seize the joint following the conviction of the bordello’s manager and the parent company in a fraud and racketeering case, but they simply closed it down.

That’s the federal government for you. They won’t run a brothel for a profit, but they’ll gladly screw the American taxpayer just for the heck of it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mourning In America

by Burt Prelutsky

It’s been a while now since the election took place, but it’s still not easy for me to come to grips with it. Strangely enough, I slept okay the night I learned that Barack Obama had defeated John McCain. It was only when I awoke and realized that Sen. Obama would soon be President Obama that the nightmare began. I truly felt overcome with grief, the kind you feel when a loved one dies. In this case, the loved one was America.

I have been listening to conservative commentators on radio trying to put a good face on it. At times, they’ve sounded like they’re angling for the same White House dinner invitations they got from George Bush. But perhaps they’re just hoping if they do enough kissing up, they can somehow dissuade the Democrats from passing the misnamed Fairness Doctrine. I think they might as well expect that Al Gore and Robert Kennedy, Jr., will acknowledge that global warming has been a gargantuan hoax.

Liberals, after all, never admit their mistakes, never take responsibility for, say, destroying public education or taking an axe to the black family structure. But, then, liberals never take responsibility for anything. If they did, they’d be conservatives.

I know that a lot of Republicans are busy playing the blame game. Some, myself included, are pointing fingers at John McCain for running the lamest presidential campaign in memory. Others, not I, are pointing at Sarah Palin, while a few are singling out Mike Huckabee, suggesting that if he had dropped out when he should have, Mitt Romney would have won the primaries, thus preventing McCain from getting to do his dead-on impression of Michael Dukakis.

Some people simply blame the economy for Obama’s victory. They may be right, but I’d prefer not to believe that a sizable number of Americans think that electing a Socialist is a really clever way to solve a financial crisis.

Many of my friends and colleagues are already looking to 2012, vowing to learn from the mistakes of this campaign. Perhaps in four years, I’ll find a reason to share their optimism, but, frankly, I doubt it. When I look at the election numbers, I see no reason to believe that things will improve by then. After all, in spite of hearing how brilliant, how inspiring, how charismatic -- and how I hate hearing that word applied to a politician! -- Obama is, he’s the same guy whose friends, wife and religious mentor, combined with his nearly blank resume, should have kept him in the Illinois state legislature with all the other Chicago-based grifters.

The numbers, I’m afraid, tell the tale. When it came to young voters, 69% went for Obama; Jews, 78%; blacks, 96%; Catholics, 54%; Hispanics, 67%; females, 56%; 90% of Muslims. When you factor in birth rates, I’m not sure that in 2012, Republicans will get more votes than Libertarians.

Looking back, I think the left-wing cancer took root in the 1960s and the funeral took place on November 4th. That’s why I’m having a really hard time putting up with people who are so darn jubilant about Obama’s victory. To me, it’s as if they’re dancing on America’s grave.

I know that a lot of people will regard me as a racist for being so depressed over the election result. I am probably the least racist person in America. As I’ve always said, people who hate others because of their race, religion or national origin, are just plain lazy. After all, once you get to really know people, there are always better reasons than that for despising them.

Besides, it does no good to deny being a racist. Once you have to deny it, you’ve already been labeled. But I have to ask, if Hillary Clinton had been elected president and I had been upset about it, would I be branded a misogynist? The fact is, I would have been less upset if she had been elected. But that’s only because I only object to her politics and her voice. Her circle does not include the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Father Pfleger, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Louis Farrakhan and Rashid Khalidi. Aside from Hillary Clinton’s colleagues in the Senate, her only questionable associate is Bill.

Now that American conservatives have become an endangered species, I’m wondering if Obama and his gang of compassionate liberals will give us the same consideration they give polar bears and snail darters.

One of my friends wondered how it could be that I wasn’t thrilled to see millions of black people, including Jesse Jackson and all of Kenya, in rapture over Obama’s victory. I told him it’s one thing for Obama to garner 96% of the black vote when he’s running against a Republican such as John McCain, but quite another when he got 91% of the vote in the primaries when he was running against a liberal such as Sen. Clinton. That, to me, reeks of racism, and I see no reason to celebrate it.

I went on to say that it often seems to me that it’s only conservatives who ever took to heart Martin Luther King’s fervent wish that we all learn to judge our fellow men by their character and not by the color of their skin.

I concluded by telling him that he had every reason to be ecstatic that a man who shared his politics was elected, but that Obama’s color shouldn’t enter into it, and that if I and many like me were disgruntled about the election, it had nothing to do with Obama’s pigmentation, everything to do with his character and his leftist agenda. We elected a president, after all, the leader of the free world, not a prom king.

If there is one bright spot in all this, it’s that I won’t have to spend the next four years listening to John McCain begin every sentence with “My friends.” The sad truth is, I pick my friends far more wisely than we pick our candidates or, for that matter, our presidents.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alan Keyes And Abortion

by Burt Prelutsky

With the possible exception of who should be the next American Idol, there is probably no question that divides Americans more than abortion. It not only divides liberals and conservatives, parents and offspring, and men and women, but also divides those within each group. Even my wife and I have been known to argue about it; she feels that men shouldn’t even have a say in the matter, while I contend that cutting us out of the discussion is like saying that people who aren’t serving in the military shouldn’t have an opinion about Iraq, or that honest, law-abiding citizens aren’t entitled to comment on the legal system or voice an opinion about capital punishment.

That being said, my position isn’t all that different from hers. Yvonne’s major gripe is that irresponsible men who impregnate women, thus leading to abortions, suffer no consequences. They don’t have to undergo the trauma or suffer the guilt. Even if their promiscuous behavior leads to two or three or a dozen abortions, nobody talks about sterilizing them. In fact, in certain circles, they’re admired as studs. Well, I, for one, am all for sterilizing them. Vasectomies aren’t terribly complicated procedures and a friend, who had one some years ago, has told me that they’re not even painful, hard as that may be for most men to imagine. To hear him tell it, it’s less intrusive than a colonoscopy, and you don’t have to prepare for the big event by suffering through a day’s worth of Fleet enemas.

One of the arguments against the reversal of Roe v. Wade is that it would return us to the old days when abortions were performed in back alleys with wire coat hangers. But the truth is, it would simply be a return to life before Roe v. Wade when abortions were legal in some states and not in others. I guarantee you they would continue to be performed on demand in New York, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois and wherever the majority of citizens wanted them to be legal. In other states, the sperm donor would be expected to cough up in addition to dinner, drinks and a little sweet talk, a Greyhound bus ticket.

The Supreme Court should never have stuck its big nose into the issue in the first place because by no stretch of the imagination could abortions be regarded as a constitutional right. The U.S. Constitution is pretty doggone specific about such matters and nowhere in that precious document is the federal government authorized to rule on which operations are legal and which are not. That’s why those who promoted Roe v. Wade had to employ smoke and mirrors, arguing that the right to an abortion was covered by “the pursuit of happiness.” The problem with that interpretation is two-fold; one, those four words appear in the Declaration of Independence, not the U.S. Constitution; two, it’s high-flown rhetoric, but it doesn’t really mean anything. These days, the ladies of NOW, who must have their Kool-Aid delivered in oil tankers, defend abortion by arguing for a woman’s right to privacy. That’s even goofier than trying to make a case for the pursuit of happiness. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that a sexual predator could claim that it was in the pursuit of happiness that he raped a woman or molested a child, and that a killer could argue that the murder he committed was strictly a private matter between him and his victim.

But even I can see my wife’s point when it comes to a fellow like Alan Keyes. In a recent article, he took Sarah Palin to task because when she was questioned about Roe v. Wade, she said it should be reversed. If she had stopped there, Mr. Keyes wouldn’t have had a problem with her. But her sin was in concluding with “I think states should be able to decide that issue.”

Keyes, in his article, wrote: “She regards the issue of responsibility for human life as a matter of personal opinion rather than public principle.”

Now, Alan Keyes is a very intelligent man, but he sounds like an absolute goofus when he heckles a mother of five because she is realistic enough to accept that until the day that the mullahs take over America, a certain number of legal abortions will always take place.

Now, God knows I can be pretty self-righteous, but even I wouldn’t dare call a woman, a woman who decided to give birth to a baby with Down Syndrome, on the carpet over the question of abortion. When the Chutzpah Society of North America hands out its Man of the Year award, it’s my guess the plaque will have Mr. Keyes’ name engraved on it.

Perhaps Alan Keyes’ mistake is that he has devoted his life to politics instead of the ministry. Perhaps if he hadn’t spent the past 20 years running for the U.S. Senate (’88, ’92, ’04) or the White House (’96, ’00, ’08), and had delivered his sermons from a pulpit instead of a dais, he might have taken his place alongside the likes of Norman Vincent Peale, James Dobson and Billy Graham, instead of alongside such perennial also-rans as Norman Thomas, Harold Stassen and Dennis Kucinich.

Finally, speaking strictly for myself, I don’t approve of abortions….until I consider people such as Chris Matthews, Nancy Pelosi, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Barney Frank, Harry Reid, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell, and then I can see where a case could be made.

Monday, November 3, 2008

11/4/08: A Day Of Infamy?

by Burt Prelutsky

The criminal louts at ACORN must be as confused as I am. At the same time that the FBI is busy trying to put the organization out of business, the Supreme Court decides it’s okay for Ohio’s Democratic governor and attorney general to do nothing about enforcing election laws, pretty much ensuring that Obama will steal that state’s 20 electoral votes. One can only hope that there are still enough people in Ohio who are familiar with the word “impeachment.”

Americans have long disagreed whether our nation should be called a democracy or a republic, but the way things are going, it will soon be more accurate to call it a left-wing tyranny. Back in 2000, when I was the lone conservative on the writing staff of “Diagnosis Murder,” my liberal colleagues kept asking me if I thought George Bush should take office if he didn’t get more votes than Al Gore in Florida. I said he shouldn’t, and I meant it. As big a disaster as I knew President Gore would be, a fair and honest election was more important to me than who sat in the Oval Office. I knew America could survive four years of Gore if it could survive eight years of Clinton, but it couldn’t survive and shouldn’t survive if we were to become a banana republic.

At the time, I suspected that the other writers didn’t feel as I felt -- that they only cared that the Democrat won the election by whatever means necessary. Now I’m more convinced than ever. Which is why nobody on the left seems even slightly concerned that the thugs in ACORN are running wild. For those on the left, the ends always justify the means.

Liberals always insist that they love democracy and will at the drop of a hat parrot Voltaire’s “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” But that’s only rhetoric. They don’t mean it for a second. That is why, on college campuses across the country, they will boo conservative speakers into silence and why liberals are so eager to make the so-called Fairness Doctrine the law of the land. As things stand now, the left has such complete control of the mass media that were it not for the Internet and talk radio, conservatives would have no outlet at all aside from yelling from their rooftops. Once the Democrats get their way, conservative voices will be silenced on the airwaves.

Those on the left will continue to pretend that they’re in favor of free speech, but to them that only means that the Washington Post and the New York Times will continue to publish, and that Bill Maher as well as Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Jon Stewart, Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey, will continue to host TV shows. It turns out that, just as some of us always suspected, liberals never really disapproved of Stalin’s Soviet Union, Castro’s Cuba and Pol Pot’s Cambodia; down deep they envied them.

Liberals don’t simply disagree with conservatives, they despise them. That’s why they don’t want judges to be objective interpreters of the law. They only want political partisans on the bench. In the past, after all, that’s how they managed to overturn the results of elections they disliked when it came to such matters as illegal aliens, capital punishment and same-sex marriages. The will of the majority counts for nothing. The only thing that matters to them is the will of the Socialists.

Lately, I’ve been getting the idea that if only the Soviet Union had hung in there for another 17 years, with the complicity of Pelosi, Obama, Biden and Reid, the Russians could have won the Cold War without having to fire a shot.

There has been a little good news, though, even in the midst of the economic meltdown. In fact it’s a direct result of the meltdown, proving, I suppose, that even the darkest clouds can have a silver lining. The first of these bright spots is that the price of gasoline has plummeted. The other thing is that illegal aliens have apparently been going back to Mexico in record numbers. Now if only we’d get busy building that wall before the economy recovers and the scofflaws start making u-turns!

What amazes me is that in spite of Barack Obama’s having close ties to the likes of Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, most Jews will happily march out on election day and vote for the man. It simply amazes me that for two thousand years, my fellow Jews insisted that there was no messiah and, suddenly, they’ve decided there is one. And oddly enough, that he’s a junior senator from Illinois.

I lost all the respect I ever had for Colin Powell when, as Secretary of State, he betrayed his commander-in-chief. Did anyone actually expect him to endorse his old friend, John McCain? Only slightly less predictable than his coming out for Obama was the timing of the announcement. I had assumed he would wait until the weekend before the election in order to get the biggest bang for his buck. I find it terribly sad that the folks most likely to quote Martin Luther King on the primacy of character are so often the very same people whose actions prove that for them race trumps everything.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

America’s Last Will And Testament

by Burt Prelutsky

On the eve of the presidential election, I have a few last thoughts I’d like to share. First off, I keep hearing people say they don’t know Barack Obama. Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever known a presidential candidate nearly so well. I may not have seen his birth certificate or his medical records, but I’ve certainly heard his words, his wife’s words and his pastor’s words, and I feel they’ve told me all I need to know about this demagogue.

I know that he believes in the Marxist principle of sharing the wealth, and I know that doesn’t refer to his own wealth, but to everybody else’s. I know that he shares Mrs. Obama’s lack of pride in America, and that, in his gut, he believes America is a racist nation.

I know he shares Rev. Wright’s hatred of white people. Because he depends on their votes, he keeps that belief under wraps, but it certainly comes through loud and clear in his books.

I know that the people he surrounds himself with, people like Wright, Father Pfleger, Louis Farrakhan, Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers, are vile. And the ones whom he is forced by circumstance to be allied with, people like Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and John Murtha, are not much better.

Because even his disciples realized that Sen. Obama can barely identify such places as Iraq, Syria, Israel and Afghanistan, on the map, he selected an old political hack like Joe Biden as his running mate. Joe Biden was supposed to supply the foreign affairs expertise Obama lacked. It reminds me of the days when I was working in TV and was trying to get comedies on the air. The problem was that the networks only wanted to produce pilots written by people who had experience producing sit coms. So, even though I had written for the likes of MASH, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, they preferred being in business with people who had written and produced lousy sit coms. So it is with Joe Biden. The man has plenty of experience, but the problem is that he has always been wrong. Just one major example was his vote against Desert Storm. He would have gladly stood by while Saddam Hussein took over the oil fields of Kuwait. He never has bothered to explain his reasoning, but when it only takes about 200,000 votes to be a senator from Delaware, I guess all it takes to be elected are hair plugs and painted teeth.

It occurs to me that politicians continue, as a matter of P.R., to refer themselves as public servants. They are the only servants in the history of mankind to not only make more money than their masters, but are the ones who insist on giving all the orders.

Because we saw this election as the most important in our lifetime, my wife and I cast our absentee ballots several weeks ago. We wanted to be certain that our votes would count even if we died in the meantime. It’s nothing new. Heck, dead Democrats have been casting votes for years and, thanks to ACORN and complicit state governments, they still are. ACORN even registers cartoon characters. In one case, Barney Frank, there’s even an example of a cartoon character who managed to get elected to Congress.

It astounds me that Democrats continue to paint Republicans as plutocrats when kazillionaires like Kennedy, Boxer, Feinstein, Schumer, Kerry, Clinton and even a guy named Rockefeller, sit in the Senate, and people like George Soros, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, fill their coffers. I used to wonder why Soros, a bottom-feeder who made his fortune in the sleazy business of currency trading, would align himself with the far left wing of the Democratic party. Then, one day, it occurred to me that I used to describe John Howard Lawson, a screenwriter who used to run the Communist party in Hollywood, as a man who was born to run a gulag. I now believe that Soros sees himself as a honcho in a new Soviet United States, a man in charge of the men who would run the gulags.

I just read that former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said that Sarah Palin is not only unqualified to become president on short notice, but that even after some time in office would make, at best, an adequate commander in chief. What a shame he wasn’t half as prescient when he was secretary of state. I wonder what evaluation he would give to President George H.W. Bush, the man under whom he served, the man who, by the way, was the only president since 1980 not to be re-elected to a second term.

Finally, it occurs to me that former Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers didn’t really stop planting bombs in the 1960s, after all. As a matter of fact, the biggest bomb he set off was the O-bomb in the mid-90s, when he hosted the kick-off to Barack Obama’s political campaign.