Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dr. Frankenstein, Meet Barack Obama

by Burt Prelutsky

Whenever I write an attack piece about President Obama and his cronies on the Left, I invariably hear from a handful of barely literate dullards whose message is that Bush and the Republicans were pretty bad when they ran things from 2000-2006. Well, the fact is, I don’t entirely disagree, although I prefer them to the gang currently in charge. But, truly, aside from the fact -- and it is a heck of a huge aside -- that they prevented a sequel of 9/11 for over seven years, I didn’t hold the Bush administration in terribly high regard. For one thing, they spent too much money. For another, they let Rumsfeld badly micromanage the Iraq War for far too long. For still another, in a futile attempt to garner Hispanic votes, they did next to nothing to close the border, and Bush shamelessly pandered to Vicente Fox.

Then, for good measure, Bush showed that even a Republican president didn’t have to take a backseat to anyone when it came to expanding the federal government. I might even hold him slightly responsible for the financial crisis, but it wouldn’t be fair to deprive Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank of any of their well-deserved credit.

When, on top of all that, you factor in my low opinion of John McCain, one might even wonder why I’m even a Republican. The easy answer is that, as bad as Republican politicians are, they’re better than the Democrats. But the biggest difference is between the two sets of voters. By and large, Republican voters are more patriotic, more mature, more logical and far more honorable. If only the politicians measured up to the civilians in the party, a lot of us could stop holding our noses when we entered the voting booth.

Recently, one of my angry left-wing readers wrote to let me know that in addition to all their other sins, Republicans are greedy. I’m afraid that’s a word I simply don’t understand. I’m not parroting Gordon Gekko, who announced in the movie “Wall Street” that greed is good. I think that greed is neither good nor bad. It always seems to be something we accuse other people of being, but never ourselves. We are merely prudent, thrifty, maybe even ambitious. We’re not money-mad, we’re merely concerned about those rainy days. We want to be good providers for our loved ones, but we are never, God forbid, greedy. My question is, whether you’re a rock star, a professional athlete, a school teacher or a guy on the assembly line, have you ever asked to be paid less? If you haven’t -- and God knows you haven’t -- I guess you’re as greedy as the next guy, even if you’re a Democrat.

Those on the Left actually believe that those of us who don’t see Barack Obama in the same flattering light they do must be racists. I’m certain they won’t believe me when I say I don’t know any Republicans who dislike or distrust him because of his race, but it happens to be the truth. How is it that liberals figure we’re racist for not adoring Obama, but don’t regard themselves as racists when they bellow their hatred of Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Condi Rice, Michael Steele and Ward Connerly?

On a personal level, the reason most Republicans dislike Obama is because they find him arrogant. The way he is constantly tilting his head, as if posing for a statue, reminds many of us of Mussolini in his heyday. He, too, was forever jutting his jaw skyward.

Which reminds me, several centuries ago, it is said that King Canute grew so weary of listening to his butt-kissing courtiers proclaiming his greatness that he went down to the ocean, sat in a chair, and commanded the tide to stop. He didn’t expect it to, and not only didn’t it stop, but it got his shoes wet. Being a religious man, it was his intention to prove that he was a mere mortal, and that although he was a king, he was not the King of Kings. On the other hand, one has the feeling that Obama would expect the earth to stop spinning if he simply sent a memo to Rahm Emanuel.

Arrogance aside, the guy is just plain scary. If you believe that, all in all, America is the best country the world has ever seen; the place where immigrants from all corners of the earth yearn to come; where the individual has the greatest opportunity to fulfill his aspirations and live out his dreams; it is terrifying to see the leader of the free world go to Turkey and Europe, and apologize, ironically, for America’s arrogance, while simultaneously embracing the likes of Ahmadinejad, Chavez and the Castros.

It is scary that this former community organizer and leftist friend and ally of Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, the Chicago Machine and ACORN, has revised Bill Clinton’s 1992 Defense Department Directive 1404.10, which initially dealt with the overseas deployment of civilian personnel. In its current form, it states that the Civilian Expeditionary Workforce “shall be organized, trained, cleared, equipped, and ready to deploy in support of combat operations by the military; contingencies; emergency operations; humanitarian missions; disaster relief; restoration of order; drug interdiction; and stability operations.”

A well-armed, highly trained group of Americans to deal with unspecified contingencies, emergencies, stability operations and the restoration of order? It would seem to me that between the Armed Forces, the National Guard, the FBI, the Coast Guard, the Red Cross, Homeland Security and the various police forces and sheriffs’ departments, we already have such things pretty well covered. What is Obama so worried about? That one of those future Tea Parties will get out of hand? That law-abiding citizens who take the Second Amendment seriously might not agree to surrender their firearms? That some conservative writers and commentators might not be willing to knuckle under to the Left? That Republicans will have the audacity to actually run against Democrats in the 2010 elections?

I think a reasonable person might ask one or two reasonable questions of President Obama. One: who does he have in mind to run this paramilitary organization now that Hermann Goering is no longer available, and, two, what color shirts will they be wearing? Black or brown?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wanted: A Vaccine For Liberalism

by Burt Prelutsky

Whenever I have suggested that left-wingers aren’t normal human beings, and have wondered if perhaps they’re some weird interplanetary life form like the pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” the liberals accuse me of indulging in ad hominem attacks, and I suppose I am. But I am honestly bewildered. It just doesn’t seem plausible that Americans could find good things to say about tyrants like Castro, Chavez and Ahmadinejad, while at the same time reviling the likes of Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh and General Petraeus.

Left-wingers side with the so-called Palestinians and insist that their country was stolen from them by the Jews, but when you ask them just exactly where the country was located, what their flag looked like and who their president was, they huff and they puff and they denounce you as a tool of the Jewish lobby.

Liberals argue for the sanctity of the 1st amendment as if they had personally invented free speech, but they’re the same people who’d like to use the Fairness Doctrine to turn off the microphones of conservative talk show hosts. Furthermore, they are so terrified of hearing or letting other people hear the words of those who disagree with them that they boo their opponents into silence on those rare occasions when conservatives are invited to speak on college campuses.

When George W. Bush and the GOP were in control from 2000-2006, the Democrats complained, generally without cause, that they didn’t have enough influence, that the Republicans didn’t reach out to them, even though John McCain, to name one, spent so much time reaching out that Cindy McCain began to worry that she’d lost her husband to Russ Feingold or Ted Kennedy. These days, those same Democrats are so eager to disenfranchise Republicans that they’re ready to do anything up to and including sending the entire stimulus package to Minnesota if only they’ll make Al Franken a senator.

Speaking of senators, what’s the idea of Republicans Martinez, Bunning, Hutchinson and Brownback, announcing that this is their last term? If I could suck it up and vote for McCain last November, the least these four can do is sign on for another six years. It’s not as if being a U.S. senator calls for any heavy lifting. Heck, if Robert Byrd can do it, Sam Brownback certainly can. This is simply no time for Republicans to go AWOL.

I admit that I’ve been delighted to see Nancy Pelosi catching some heat for lying about not knowing that waterboarding was taking place. Initially, I think she claimed she was confused by the term, believing it meant that the prisoners at Gitmo were learning to surf. But things didn’t get a lot better when it came out that she had only bothered attending one of about 70 congressional meetings where the subject was discussed. I suppose she was busy getting Botox injections. But that doesn’t mean I want to see the Democrats replace her. I mean, it’s not as if they’d give the job to Eric Cantor or John Boehner. I’m sure they’d simply replace the incompetent Speaker of the House with someone like Barney Frank, the embarrassing lisper of the House.

Left-wingers are always wringing their hands over separation of church and state. What we should all be arguing for is separation of communication and state. What right does the federal government have supporting NPR, PBS and the NEA? Frankly, I’d be opposed to the feds spending taxpayer dollars to fund public radio, public TV and the arts, even if they weren’t all run by left-wingers. I’m sure liberals think I’m lying, but I’m not. Nowhere in the Constitution is the government given the authority to meddle in these matters, and once it does, it opens itself up to charges of censorship or collusion. Is there anyone who believes that NPR or PBS will ever question anything President Obama says or does? Of course not. Liberals in the media claim they speak truth to power, which sounds good, but would sound a lot better if they ever spoke truth when their own darlings were the ones in power.

It’s bad enough when NBC goes into the tank for the president, but NBC is not subsidized by the American taxpayer. If the liberals want to disseminate left-wing propaganda, I say let them do it the old-fashioned way. Let Howard Dean and the entire DNC crawl to George Soros and ask him to pay for it.

Finally, whenever someone gripes about the pay raises, perks, health care and pensions, that politicians provide for themselves, we’re told how much more money these “public servants” could make in the private sector, and I have to laugh. These egotistical dunderheads would have to be running major corporations -- assuming there will be any of those left by the time Obama gets done -- to have the kind of fiefdoms that come with being in Congress. Can you seriously imagine Barbara Boxer, Arlen Specter or John Murtha, running a store, let alone a major corporation? For that matter, can you even imagine Barbara Boxer, Arlen Specter or John Murtha, being hired to sweep out a store?

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Health Care Plan On Life Support

by Burt Prelutsky

By this time, I’m sure we’ve all heard more than we care to about Professor Henry Gates. Still, I can’t let it go without tossing in my two cents. Admitting he didn’t know the facts of the case didn’t prevent President Obama, allegedly our first post-racial chief executive, from siding with the black professor and admonishing a white Cambridge policeman. Nothing too surprising about that, inasmuch as he appears to be far more concerned with the health and comfort of the Islamic terrorists down in Gitmo than he is with America’s elderly citizens.

I also have a bone to pick with the media’s portrayal of Prof. Gates. The way they kept describing him, you might have thought the guy had cured cancer or invented the microchip. His field happens to be black studies. Even at Harvard, that’s tantamount in academic terms to basket weaving.

My own field of study is liberals. As I see it, the major difference between Prof. Gates and me is that he gets paid a lot of money, gets to eat in the faculty dining room and when he acts like an egotistical jerk and swears at a cop doing his duty, he’s the one who not only gets the apology, but gets the President of the United States to defend his boorish behavior.

The other day, a reader sent me an e-mail in which she stated: “Obama is economically illiterate, 100% politically motivated, a bold-faced liar, thin-skinned and completely incompetent. And I must say that, contrary to the majority of the population, I believe he is inarticulate. I don’t know what it is that others are seeing, but it certainly escapes me.”

In response, I wrote, “Apparently they see the great and powerful Oz, whereas you and I see the mumbling, bumbling bumpkin that Toto exposed behind the curtain.”

The truth is, it’s not just Obama who confounds me. It’s all liberals. I mean, doesn’t it even occur to them that when a conservative points out that Obama, Pelosi, Schumer and Barney Frank, are burying America in trillions of dollars of debt that saying, “Well, Bush left us with half a trillion dollars of debt” isn’t much of a rejoinder?

Something else that baffles me about those on the Left is that even though one of their major bugaboos over the course of the past hundred years has been the monopoly, a single soulless entity that had the power to determine the price of gasoline or the life of a light bulb, they hale monopolies so long as they’re run by the criminally inept bureaucrats in Washington. I mean, who in his right mind would hire the likes of Chris Dodd, Henry Waxman or Barbara Boxer, to run a hardware store, let alone a major car company or the banking industry?

Perhaps even the Democrats are finally reading the writing on the wall. Obama’s poll numbers are dropping like a rock, and a little more than a year from now every congressman and a third of the senators will be up for re-election. There was a reason that Harry Reid announced that Obama’s health plan wouldn’t come up for a vote until after the summer recess. At the risk of being a cockeyed optimist, it’s my hunch that during the recess the Democrats are going to catch so much flak from their constituents that Obama’s health bill will be buried right next to Bill Clinton’s up there on Capitol Hill.

I’m sure that Obama will continue to blame Bush and the Republicans even if every Democrat votes against the damn thing, but the important thing is to keep socialized medicine where it rightfully belongs -- in England, Canada and Cuba.

It’s not easy determining which aspect of Obama’s bill is the most vile -- the fact that the costs would be astronomical, that health care would get progressively worse or that young illegal aliens would rate higher on the food chain than older American citizens. In fact, considering that the President subscribes to the notion that, instead of a life-saving operation, any old person not holding elective office or named Obama, should just take pain pills for what ails them, you could say that it’s Obama’s final solution for America’s elderly.

I heard Rush Limbaugh say, “This health care plan is the single greatest tool to regulate every aspect of our lives this government could ever have.”

To which my response was, Obama has a great many tools at his disposal, including pork-laden stimulus programs, Cap and Trade and multi-millions earmarked for ACORN, but they all look like shovels with which to bury America.

As for his health care plan, calling it a cure for an ailing system is like calling assisted suicide a cure for heart disease.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Labeling Or Libeling Obama

by Burt Prelutsky

Certain conservative commentators have begun taking exception to those of us who have identified Barack Obama as a socialist, a communist or a left-wing ideologue. The worst thing some of these people are willing to say about the president is that he’s a proponent of big government and increased federal spending. But, heck, that also describes George W. Bush. What would make it so ironic is that during last year’s campaign, the Democrats kept saying that voting for John McCain was the same as electing Bush to a third term.

When I recently compared Obama’s spending spree to that of a drunken sailor, a few readers, including Larry Reznick, took umbrage, pointing out that the sailor is spending his own money, not ours. So I am taking this opportunity to offer my sincere apologies to drunken sailors everywhere.

In discussing the sort of person he’d like to appoint to the Supreme Court, replacing Justice Souter, who, in announcing his retirement, made his first good decision in 19 years, President Obama emphasized compassion. I’m afraid that’s exactly the sort of statement you have to expect when you put an ex-community organizer in a job above his pay grade. Compassion should no more be a prerequisite for sitting on the Supreme Court than the ability to balance a basketball on one’s nose or to juggle flatware. The job calls for someone who understands what the forefathers meant when they wrote the Constitution and to have the ability to interpret the document in the manner that those gentlemen intended when they put pen to parchment.

The judges are not supposed to right what they regard as historical wrongs or to give greater weight to legal matters because the plaintiffs are rich or poor, black or white, atheists or believers. I want my wife, my friends and my relatives to be compassionate, but I want my judges to be objective, rational and well aware of the fact that they are members of the judicial branch of the government, and not de facto members of the executive or legislative.

It seems that Obama was at least prescient about one thing. As a candidate, he insisted that America would have greater influence in foreign countries once he was elected. Well, it turns out he was right. In England, it was recently discovered that a number of legislators and government ministers have been using public funds to pay for such personal items as pornography and horse manure. So while we may still have a few things to learn from those on the other side of the Atlantic when it comes to avoiding confrontation with Islamic terrorists and accommodating those who prefer sharia law to the law of the land, their public servants have clearly been influenced by our own rapacious politicians.

I keep hearing comedians and late night talk show hosts insist that the reason they don’t take pot shots at Obama isn’t because they, like the rest of the MSM, are in the tank for this guy, but because he’s so smart, so well-spoken and so doggone wonderful, that there’s simply nothing funny to be said about him. Well, I’m certainly not one to question high-paid professionals, but I would think there might be a little fun to be had at the expense of a fellow who said that America has 57 states; who inherited Bing Crosby’s ears; who can’t say “Hello” without using a TelePrompter; who lied about having bowed to a Saudi king (“Are you going to believe me or your own lying eyes?”); who hand-picked a man he trusted to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, a nincompoop whom he has since turned into the butt of his every joke; and, for good measure, is living under the same roof as that longtime comedy staple, the mother-in-law.

Those on the left are always telling us how smart they are. It all began during FDR’s first administration when every left-wing kook who ever gave him a piece of advice or lit his cigarette or kissed his fanny was called a member of Roosevelt’s brain trust. These days, those who would refer to themselves that way would include the likes of Chris Matthews, Janeane Garofalo, Keith Olbermann, Nancy Pelosi, Janet Napolitano, Harry Reid, Wanda Sykes, Chris Dodd, Rahm Emanual, Bill Maher, Barney Frank, Sean Penn, Patrick Leahy, Hillary Clinton and now, no doubt, Arlen Specter. The irony is that the members of this particular brain trust have no brains and can’t be trusted.

Speaking of Ms. Garofalo reminds me that every time I see her on TV, I’m reminded that in the old days, when Jewish parents took their children to be photographed by a professional, the photographer would often supply a pair of eyeglasses. That’s because Jewish parents placed a premium on scholarship, and it was thought that, with glasses, the kid, who might be dumb as a doorknob, would at least look like a young Spinoza.

So it is that Ms. Garofalo is the only actress I know who doesn’t wear contacts. For all I know, she may have 20/20 vision, but she desperately wants to be taken seriously and therefore goes for the intellectual look with her black-framed specs. Sadly, the disguise is wasted because once she opens her yap, she might as well be wearing mittens, a large red nose and great big floppy shoes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Notes From A Lapsed Democrat

by Burt Prelutsky

I was born in 1940, which means that during my lifetime 13 men have been the president of the United States. For many of those years, I was a Democrat. As was the case with Ronald Reagan, I didn’t feel I had left the party, but that the party had gone stark raving mad and left me.

By and large, I don’t find the baker’s dozen to be overly impressive, either as leaders or as individuals. There are only three or four of them I can even imagine being friends with or wanting to have as next-door neighbors. But there are only two of them, Carter and Obama, whom I regard as unmitigated disasters. While it took Carter four years in office and 29 years out to achieve his greatly deserved recognition as an incompetent, a phony and a sanctimonious anti-Semite, Obama has pulled it off in just a few short months.

He has managed this by displaying his general incompetence by surrounding himself with clowns like Joe Biden; the seriously corrupt, such as Bill Richardson and Tom Daschle; and too many tax cheats to list in the space available.

Obama has also proven himself to be a liar of such proportions that if he had started out life like Pinocchio, his nose by this time would stretch from sea to shining sea. He has fibbed about everything from barely knowing Bill Ayers to never listening to a Jeremiah Wright screed, from banishing pork and lobbyists to providing transparency and change we can all believe in. On top of all that, while spouting the usual political piffle about economizing and saving the environment, he hosted the largest, most expensive inauguration in history, and from the way he and his posse jet around on the fuel-guzzling Air Force One, you’d think he was a rock star.

All of that would be no more or less than business as usual, Washington style, if he weren’t also working overtime to simultaneously bankrupt the country and turn America into a socialist state patterned after Castro’s Cuba.

The scariest part of all this is that so many Americans continue to root him on. Those of us who are opposed to his agenda are accused, like Rush Limbaugh, of hoping America fails. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. What we’re hoping for is that America can somehow survive this frontal assault on our freedoms, and that our economic system can remain basically intact in spite of the combined efforts of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd and Geithner, to destroy it.

When I hear people in and out of the media who should get down on their knees and thank God or at least their ancestors that they were lucky enough to be born in America, instead parrot left-wing insults about this country, I want to slap them silly. I sometimes wonder if those folks who, in the 1950s, nattered incessantly about the Communist-inspired fluoride conspiracy were right. Perhaps there was something in the water that turned so many brains to mush. I mean, why else would so many of my fellow Jews be so utterly convinced that Barack Obama is the messiah we’ve been waiting for?

For what it’s worth, now that the president has fired CEO Rick Wagoner and taken over General Motors, do you suppose it will henceforth be called Commander in Chief Motors, and that Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet, will be re-named Michelle, Natasha and Malia Ann? Which reminds me, it’s still nothing but a rumor that Obama fired God earlier today, claiming that the universe isn’t big enough for both of them.

My old friend, Pat Sajak, who, when not busy spinning his wheels, is politically savvier and wittier than any of the talking heads you find on TV, has revised the question that plagued Richard Nixon 60 years ago to better fit GM’s new chief honcho: Would you buy a new car from this man?

Although I am not usually given to omens, I can’t help feeling it means something that the next presidential election will take place on November 6, 2012, the day before Gen. David Petraeus turns 60. I, for one, can’t think of a more appropriate birthday present for the man and the nation than giving him a well-deserved promotion

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama, Mothers and Muslims

by Burt Prelutsky

There are times, I must confess, when I consider our current culture and conclude that the Muslims are right about us. We are, as they insist, hedonistic, and far too many of us do have the morals of goats. We do rely on sex and violence for our entertainment. Our popular music is swinish. We are, by a wide margin, the world’s largest market for drugs, both of the legal and illegal variety. Our politicians are selfish, ignorant and, more often than not, at odds with the American ideals of the Founding Fathers. Leaders of both major parties are wont to turn a blind eye to foreigners who ignore our sovereignty for no other reason than that they hope to garner Latino votes in future elections. Worst of all, they regularly engage in race and class warfare out of strictly partisan motives.

We elect a new president who, for all we know, doesn’t even meet the few Constitutional qualifications of the office. We stand idly by while he bankrupts us and future generations, nationalizes major industries, and nominates a person for the Supreme Court who has gone on the record stating that the judicial branch of government creates policy and that her race and gender automatically makes her a better judge than most other Americans. “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!” would apparently be Judge Sotomayor’s response to Martin Luther King’s fervent wish that Americans be judged by our character, not our color.

All of that being said, we are still better than Islamics. Our women have the same rights and privileges as men, even if they tend to use them as unwisely as men. We do not stone adulterers. We do not kill Christians and Jews, but when, occasionally, one of us does, he doesn’t get to justify it by saying he was just doing God’s work.

We do not blow ourselves up in our insane desire to kill other people who don’t happen to do their praying in mosques. We do not call suicide bombers martyrs and send $25,000 checks to their mothers; instead, we call them lunatics and villains, and we send their mothers our condolences.

When I ask people why they are still enraptured with Obama, even though he has continued many of the Bush policies they once claimed they despised, when he has printed and spent money like a counterfeiter gone amok, and when his promise of governmental transparency has turned out to be a big, fat lie, they simply repeat the mantra that he’s better than Bush. They remind me of two kinds of mothers. The first kind is the mother of a young hoodlum with a rap sheet longer than “War and Peace,” who tends to say that her angelic offspring merely got involved with a bad crowd; overlooking the fact that all the other mothers are making the exact same claim while glowering at her son. The second kind of mother is the one with a normal kid, who never stops boasting about how smart, how honest and how handsome, her son is, even though the rest of us, who didn’t happen to carry him for nine months, find nothing the slightest bit special about him. In fact, behind her book, we are likely to observe that if you looked up “average” or even “mediocre” in the dictionary, you’d very likely find his picture.

This isn’t to suggest that the mothers of either young man are lying. It’s a matter of perception. They just happen to have an emotional investment that blinds them to the objective truth. I’m afraid that’s the way it is with those liberals who’ll go to their graves defending Obama as if he were their first born.

Speaking of Obama, lately I’ve been thinking about the different ways he has reacted to the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran. The notion that Kim Jung Il has a nuclear bomb makes him quake in his shoes, but he is apparently quite sanguine about the same weapon in the hands of Ahmadinejad and the mullahs.

I find that very peculiar because even if Obama isn’t as concerned about Israel as he is about Japan and South Korea, if Iran nukes Israel, it’s not just five million Jews who’d be incinerated. It would also wipe out two million Arabs residing there, with the nuclear fallout killing God only knows how many people in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Is there anyone, aside from possibly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who really thinks that would make the Iranians hesitate for even a nano-second from carrying out the annihilation of the Jewish nation?

Allah should be alerted, though, because even if no more than, say, four million male Muslims were to bite the nuclear dust, he would be expected to immediately provide those Paradise-bound martyrs with at least 280 million virgins. Good luck filling that order!

Friday, July 10, 2009

If I Were Boss

by Burt Prelutsky

I have always contended that anybody who seeks the presidency is an egomaniac, every bit as certifiably crackers as those poor souls wandering around the grounds of the asylum insisting they’re Napoleon.

Still, I’m generally willing to cut people a reasonable amount of slack. But it’s quite another thing to pretend that a community organizer with just four years in the Senate, two of which he spent on the hustings, is qualified to be the leader of the free world. Even if I approved of his left-wing agenda, I’d find it impossible to make a case for him. Frankly, if it were up to me, I’d send this Napoleon wannabe to Elba.

I, on the other hand, a mature and seasoned individual who has never set foot in a law school, would make an ideal leader. However, I’m put off by politics. Rather than presidential material, I see myself in the role of a benevolent dictator.

For openers, I’d censor movies. It used to be great sport for smart people to ridicule the Hays Office and the Breen Office for keeping a jaundiced eye on Hollywood. But the plain fact is, movies were a lot better in the 1930s and 40s than they’ve been ever since. They have been particularly lousy these past couple of decades and, as a movie fan, I’d like to see what today’s writers and directors could turn out if they had to rely on their imaginations and on ours.

Next, I’d clean up baseball. First, I’d remove all the tainted statistics from the record book of every player guilty of having used performance-enhancing drugs. Next, I’d kick all 105 major leaguers who were found to be using them out of the game. Then, I’d boot Bud Selig out as Commissioner. By not policing baseball as he should have, he encouraged players to cheat. And for that, he was getting paid about $17 million a year. That’s a lot of moolah for some schmoe who can’t hit, run, throw or catch.

For many years, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was pictured as a bad guy because, as the first Commissioner of Major League Baseball, he had banished Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven of his Chicago White Sox teammates from the game. He took a great deal of abuse because Jackson played his heart out in the 1919 World Series and because the players had been found not guilty of taking bribes by an early version of the O.J. jury. But Landis said they had all sealed their fates when they went to gambler Arnold Rothstein’s hotel room to discuss terms for throwing the Series.

The Black Sox scandal, as it came to be known, could have destroyed the game if not for Landis’s integrity. As a sidebar, it should be noted that in spite of looking like a very austere undertaker, Landis was known as a very soft touch. Every down and out ex-major leaguer knew that Landis was always ready to reach for his wallet.

After straightening out baseball and Hollywood, I would turn my attention to Washington, D.C. With me in charge, people like Barbara Boxer, Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Pat Leahy, Charley Rangel and Chris Dodd, would all be free to go home and play with the grandkids. Robert Byrd would be free to go home and play with the great-great-great-grandkids, and Barney Frank would just be free to go home and play.

With no further need of a Supreme Court, we’d no longer have to sit through such spectacles as seeing the likes of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Arlen Specter, sitting in judgment of their betters, people such as Clarence Thomas and Charles Pickering.

People like Bob Beckel and James Carville, who have spent their lives sucking at the teat of the DNC, would have to find honest work, and I’d see to it that Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and Al Franken, found employment as a barbershop quartet. After all, they’re already in perfect harmony, so let these bozos sing for their supper.

As for George Soros, a man who simultaneously manages to give Hungarians, Jews and money-changers, a bad name, he would go on trial for being a Nazi collaborator. To be fair, he was still a teenager at the time. But, like Bill Ayers, he is proudly unrepentant. As he explained to Steve Croft on “60 Minutes,” if he hadn’t helped the Nazis confiscate the belongings of his fellow Jews, someone else would have. And, no, he went on, he’s never been troubled by bad dreams or a guilty conscience when he watched his friends and neighbors being herded into boxcars.

Finally, if I were boss, we’d hear no more claptrap about the Fairness Doctrine. In case anyone is wondering why, after all these years, the Democrats have declared war on Rush Limbaugh, it’s not entirely their clumsy attempt to distract us from the crumbling economy and Obama’s heavy-handed attempt to turn us into the Soviet Union of America, it’s to help gain popular support for the more aptly named Censorship Bill.

After all, the other side only has the Oval Office, the House, the Senate, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, the New York Times, the L.A. Times, Newsweek, Time and the Washington Post, whereas the all-powerful conservatives have talk radio. As the liberals are so fond of saying, it’s just not fair.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Politics, Money & Sex

by Burt Prelutsky

On more than one occasion, I have asked myself how it is that in a country where twice as many people call themselves conservatives, liberals are able to control the media, the schools, the courts and to put a radical leftist like Barack Obama in the White House. I have come up with two possibilities. The first is that most of the 38% who identified themselves as moderates and independents in a recent poll are big fat liars; that, in fact, they are actually left-wingers, but dislike being pigeonholed even if they wouldn’t be caught dead voting for a Republican.

The other possibility is that those on the left have made one of those sinister deals with Satan, in which they swap their eternal souls for power and influence. Of course there’s always the possibility that it’s not a case of either/or, but a combination of both.

Another reason that liberals have so much power is that people on the right live more balanced lives that include work, family, hobbies, charity and religion, whereas for those on the left, their political agenda trumps everything else in life.

In the recent past, we have had two glaring examples of judicial ineptitude. I have to assume that both judges are left-wingers. In the better-known case, an Oklahoma judge, Thomas Bartheld, gave a serial child predator, David Earls, a 12-month sentence after he pleaded guilty to raping a four-year-old girl. Thanks to Bill O’Reilly’s efforts, it appears that the folks in Oklahoma are making sure that Judge Bartheld doesn’t spend another 12 months on the bench.

In the meantime, in a case involving three young people who beat and kicked a Seattle policeman so severely as to cause brain damage, Judge Chris Washington determined that the proper punishment for the 17 and 18-year-olds was 30 days in juvenile lockup for the two males and 75 hours of community service for the female thug. One can’t help wondering how it is that people born to be social workers ever wind up wearing black robes. While it’s still only a rumor, I’ve heard that Bartheld and Washington are on Barack Obama’s short list for the next opening on the Supreme Court.

To prove that I’m not a total partisan when it comes to politicians, I’d like to take this opportunity to take Republican Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford out behind the woodshed for a good paddling. In case you haven’t heard, Ensign and Sanford are the latest politicians to be caught with their pants down. The fact that adultery seems to be as commonplace in politics as it is in show business shouldn’t shock me, but it does. The reason why I find it so surprising is because when actors, singers and TV personalities get found out, it costs them a great deal of money, as Mel Gibson recently discovered, but it doesn’t hurt their career. However, when the sexual escapades of politicians are uncovered, as Wilbur Mills, Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Gary Condit and now Ensign and Sanford, come to find out, it’s “hasta la vista, baby” time.

I’m not suggesting it’s right that their careers should end up in the junkyard, even though I tend to regard politicians as second-rate human beings, who, so far as I can see, are as interchangeable as geese. Still, I generally feel that the appropriate punishment is doled out by the wife and her divorce attorney. While I am morally opposed to adultery, my general attitude is one of relief. It’s nice to know that for once, these creeps are screwing someone besides the American taxpayer.

Still, isn’t it curious that politicians, knowing that roughly 50% of the people would like to see them crash and burn simply because of their party affiliation, would place themselves in such jeopardy? But, then, I’m also amazed time and again when people like Bernie Cornfeld, Robert Vesco and Bernard Madoff, manage to gyp so many people out of so much money. Am I really the only person in America who actually believes that if a deal sounds too good to be true, the proper response is to grab your wallet and run for your life?

In conclusion, I’d like to quote from an e-mail I recently received from a reader named J. Pyle. In response to a piece I had written ridiculing the state of higher education, he wrote: “I remember when ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies’ meant trying to figure out what’s wrong with those people. In fact, if your child is majoring in something that ends in ‘Studies,’ you better not turn their bedroom into a den, because that one is coming home after college.”

To which I would only add, that’s assuming you still own your home after taking out a second mortgage so your kid can waste four years studying how to be black, Hispanic, bisexual or lesbian.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Fourth Of July

On behalf of Burt and Yvonne, all of us at BurtPrelutsky.com wish all of you a Happy Fourth Of July.

We hope you’ll enjoy “The Flag & I," a Burt Classic.

-editor

The Flag & I

another classic by Burt Prelutsky

July 3, 2008 - In the days and weeks following 9/11, friends and neighbors saw the American flag flying by my front door and assumed it was in remembrance of the people murdered by Islamic terrorists. I didn’t bother correcting them because, by then, that was certainly part of my intention. The thing is, the flag had been out there for several months, but they just hadn’t noticed. Or maybe they just thought it was corny and didn’t want to comment. But, now, I think, is a good time to set the record straight.

I went out and bought the flag because of my grandparents. I should explain I had never known my dad’s parents, both of whom died before I was born. I knew my mother’s parents, but could never speak to them. Although they had come to America in 1921, they never learned English. They could speak Russian and Hebrew, but they preferred Yiddish. I couldn’t converse in any of those languages. And, so, to me, my grandmother was this little old woman who would give me a wet kiss on the cheek and slip a quarter into my hand. My grandfather was a very quiet, bearded man who always wore a black frock coat; he looked like a short Abe Lincoln. He went to shul twice a day. When he was home, he was either reading the Torah, shelling lima beans or sipping tea through a sugar cube held between his front teeth. In short, if my life were a movie, they’d have been dress extras.

So why did I buy a flag because of those four people -- two of whom I had never met and two of whom I had never spoken to? It’s simple. Because of sheer, unadulterated gratitude.

You see, one day, on my way home, I began to think how lucky I was to have been born in this country. Through no effort of my own, having made no sacrifice, taken no risk, I was the beneficiary of freedom, liberty, education, comfort, security and, yes, even luxury. It was not the first time I had acknowledged this good fortune. The difference this time is that, for some reason, it suddenly occurred to me that my good luck hadn’t just happened. It had been the direct result of these four people pulling up stakes and moving thousands of miles, across an entire continent and the Atlantic Ocean, to a new country, pursuing a dream that their children and their children’s children, of whom I am one, might, just might have better lives.

There were no guarantees. That was my epiphany. They had been denied the assurances of hindsight. They had done all this on a roll of the dice, only knowing for certain that there would be no going back.

My father’s parents were illiterate peasants. My mother’s parents not only never spoke a word of English, but her father -- although he owned a small grocery store in Chicago -- never, in 30 years, spoke on a telephone because he didn’t want to embarrass himself. But their grandson, bless their hearts, has enjoyed a career as a successful writer. I doubt if any of them imagined anything so specific or anything quite that wonderful when they snuck across the Romanian border in the dead of night, but they had certainly heard a rumor that in America anything was possible.

The fact is, had those four people, all of whom were poor and barely, if at all, educated -- their little children in tow -- not somehow found the courage to make the journey, I would have been born a Jew in the Soviet Union. Between Stalin and Hitler, the odds are likely I would have wound up a slave in Siberia or a bar of German soap.

So it happened that day when I was out driving and thought about the enormous debt I owed those four immigrants, a debt I could never possibly re-pay, I decided to pull in at the local hardware store and buy a flag. I thought it was something they’d have wanted me to do on their behalf. It wasn’t nearly enough, I know, but it was something.

Being Taken For A Ride

by Burt Prelutsky

The other day, I received an e-mail from a lady who let me know she was in the habit of forwarding my articles to her daughter who’s away at college. Apparently, she felt I could provide the young woman with an antidote to her left-wing professors. I wished her luck, but I didn’t hold out much hope. After all, by this time, the young coed has been immersed in public education for 13 or 14 years. Let a child be raised by wolves and you shouldn’t be too surprised if, upon being rescued, his table manners leave something to be desired.

I’m not engaging in hyperbole when I say that I’d sooner send a youngster to Florida during hurricane season than to most colleges. As I see it, he or she has a very good chance of surviving the hurricanes. Their hair might get mussed, but at least their brains wouldn’t be scrambled.

Frankly, I’m surprised that there are any young conservatives left in America. They deserve to be on the list of endangered species. Considering the amount of pressure they face from peers and professors, I am in awe of those with the gumption to stand their ground. If the nation’s Founding Fathers came back to life, I believe they’d recognize them as the progeny of those Americans they last saw hurling tea into Boston Harbor, fighting at Lexington and freezing at Valley Forge.

However, I also believe that after taking a good look at America today, they’d shake their heads and wonder how, after such a glorious beginning, we’d wound up in this pitiful condition. How did we go from George Washington to Barack Obama in, historically speaking, the blink of an eye; from the man who refused to be king to the man who would be czar?

Speaking of Obama, the White House is trying to convince us that the recent date night that took him and the missus to New York, along with his usual entourage, cost the taxpayers a mere $24,000. That’s supposed to be the total amount of the roundtrip flight, the two helicopter rides, the limo, dinner and the show. Fat chance. My brother-in-law in Michigan had a heart attack last year. His heart must be working just fine now because it didn’t stop when he got the bill for the 50-mile helicopter ride to the hospital. It was $12,000, and that was one-way, and without a squad of Secret Service agents riding shotgun.

I guess the good news for those of us who had to pay the freight is that Obama’s mother-in-law is still hanging around the White House, so he probably didn’t have to spring for a babysitter. But next time he and Michelle want to step out, I wish he’d just ask for the car keys and 20 bucks for burgers and a couple of cokes.

On a more serious front, I sincerely hope that when the president goes in for his annual check-up, the doctors at Bethesda will do a brain scan. Surely something must be terribly wrong with a man who seems to be far more concerned with a Jew building a house in Israel than with Muslims building a nuclear bomb in Iran.