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.