Monday, January 31, 2011

And a Caterpillar Shall Lead Us

by Burt Prelutsky

I have never understood why the rest of us have sat idly by while unions have gobbled up so much power and money. Even as their numbers in the private sector have steadily declined over the years, they have surged in the public sector. My question is, just exactly when did we lose our senses and allow civil servants to unionize and strike?

It had always been understood that the trade-off was that the members of the Civil Service had forfeited possible riches in the world of entrepreneurs and risk-takers for the security that went with a steady paycheck from the city, the state or the federal government.

But now, they are paid more than the typical wage earner. What’s more, even as the unemployment rate hovers around 10% for the rest of us, employment for this privileged class continues to increase. And it’s all because they tithe their benefactors in the Democratic party. One hand washes another, and both hands remain as dirty as sin.

Consider that over 300 New York City sanitation workers made over $100,000-a-year. Their boss, John Doherty, is paid $205,000 for basically shaking down the city council. What’s more, during the December storms, the workers intentionally delayed snow removal in protest of six percent of their colleagues being laid off over the past two years because of the financial meltdown.

The top stagehand at New York’s Metropolitan Opera made $334,000 in 2010. I bet the executives at the Met don’t talk about that when they go begging for operating funds.

At Carnegie Hall, one lucky stagehand pulled down an astonishing $422, 599. The average, when you include benefits, is $290,000-a-year. No wonder the tickets are so expensive. It reminds me of the old joke about the tourist asking how to get to Carnegie Hall and being told, “Practice, practice, practice.” We had always assumed that it referred to aspiring violinists, cellists and pianists. But thanks to Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, it apparently includes furniture movers.

Some years ago, the unions closed down New York’s newspapers. By the time the strike ended, most of the papers were out of business, and with them went thousands of jobs. On another occasion, they managed to close down most Broadway theaters for 19 days. Out of fear of a reoccurrence, the owners caved in and the contracts now call for the hiring of musicians for every show on Broadway, even two-character dramas in which nobody even whistles, hums or pretends to play a piccolo.

The greed and corruption doesn’t end with salaries and pensions. More than a thousand Postal Service employees are collecting workers compensation benefits, even though they are in their 80s; 132 of them are in their 90s. Not only aren’t any of these people ever going back on the job, but 75% of the money is tax-free.

It’s only an unconfirmed rumor that some of these folks started out with the Pony Express.

Recently, a stagehand, a member of IATSE Local 33 here in L.A., was sent packing by his union when he reached the job site at USC. He came fully prepared to help set up an Obama event. The problem was that he was wearing a sweatshirt depicting the USS George H.W. Bush, a Navy ship on which his son is currently serving.

The fact that politicians, particularly those of the liberal persuasion, are allowing unions to destroy our financial futures reminds me of something I recently read about the processionary caterpillar. It seems that a French naturalist enticed a group of these insects on to the rim of a flowerpot. Because they derive their name from their habit of following a lead caterpillar, each with its eyes half-closed and their heads lodged firmly against the backside of the caterpillar in front of them, Jean-Henri Fabre managed to connect the caterpillar at the head of the line with the one bringing up the rear, thus forming a furry circle. He surmised that after a few times around the rim, the critters would discover their predicament and move off in a different direction. As an added inducement, Monsieur Fabre even stashed some of their favorite food just six inches away.

But instead of changing their ways, the caterpillars continued circling for a week, finally stopping only because of exhaustion and starvation.

With insects, such behavior is regarded as instinctual. With people, it would be diagnosed as insanity. Which tells us all we really need to know about unions and the politicians who pander to them.

It is probably untrue that, instead of morphing into butterflies when these caterpillars emerge from their cocoons, they become welfare recipients and lifelong Democrats.

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©2011 Burt Prelutsky
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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Discredit Where It's Due

by Burt Prelutsky

Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of people taking bows because, let us say, they’re the first members of their families to go to college (even though they can’t spell or do simple math); or the first person to do the backstroke across the English Channel (there is a tunnel, you know); or the first woman to be the Speaker of the House (while ignoring the fact that she is the worst of the 51 people who have had the job).

Here in California, where we are renowned for our goofy firsts, we recently celebrated the election of Victoria Kolakowski to the Alameda County Superior Court. Judge Kolakowski, you see, is the first transgender judge in the country. At one point, Ms. Kolakowski had applied to the Louisiana State Bar Association, but been denied because “they said I was not of sound mind.” Well, God knows that’s never been a handicap in California, where time and again we elect and re-elect Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Henry Waxman and Barbara Boxer.

An added twist is that Ms. Kolakowski married Cynthia Laird in 2004. So not only was there a woman screaming to get out of her previously male body, but she happened to be a lesbian.

Lord Acton really nailed it when, a century ago, he observed that power corrupts. For proof, one need only consider unions. There was a time when unions were the only protection that workers had against heartless and avaricious employers. But those days are long past. Now it’s employers and taxpayers who need to be protected.

The worst of the unions are those representing teachers. However noble their original intention, they have morphed into organizations dedicated to feathering the nest of their leaders; funding the DNC in a symbiotic relationship that closely resembles that of sharks and pilot fish; and safe-guarding the jobs of those in their ranks who are stupid, lazy and incompetent.

I swear, any time members of that union have the gall to claim that anything they’re doing is “for the good of the kids,” I’d very much like to see their heads explode.

Although these days, there is very little that politicians can do or say that has the power to shock me, I must confess I was a little taken aback when I saw that Bill Richardson had spent five days in North Korea.

Although I know that Berkeley, California, has its own foreign policy, I had no idea that New Mexico had followed suit. But then it hit me that the next presidential election is less than two years off, and it’s never too soon to begin running when you’re from a little backwater state, even if it’s only for the second spot on the ticket.
Lord Acton really nailed it when he observed that power corrupts.
Inasmuch as simpleton Joe Biden had gotten the job for no other reason than that he’d served on the Senate’s foreign relations committee, where he’d been wrong on virtually every issue that came before them, it only makes sense that the governor of New Mexico would promote himself as a foreign policy maven.

The fact is that Richardson, being Hispanic, was already on the short list of candidates likely to send Biden packing in 2012. Speaking of Richardson’s heritage, it is probably the bane of his existence that it was his father’s last name he got saddled with. His mother’s name was the far more politically-potent Maria Luisa Lopez-Collada Marquez. Instead, he answers to William Blaine Richardson III, which makes him sound like a candidate for the House of Lords.

One fascinating footnote to Richardson’s resume is that until 2005, he had claimed that as a college pitcher, he had been drafted by the Kansas City Athletics and the Chicago Cubs. But after the Albuquerque Journal checked out the facts, Richardson claimed he’d made an honest mistake. It seems he had never been drafted. In the political lexicon, an honest mistake is any lie you’ve been caught telling and any bribe you’ve been caught taking.

It’s funny how these things work with politicians. They are always merely misspeaking about their backgrounds when they claim to be scholars, super athletes and war heroes; they never have a slip of the tongue that results in their confessing to be liars, womanizers and chiselers, although that is so much more often the case.
Ben Affleck

Finally, we get to Ben Affleck. Recently, I saw him mouthing off about how much money CEOs get paid. He claimed that whereas they used to be paid eight or nine times what regular workers got paid, they now typically get paid 200 times as much.

I’m not here to argue about whether or not corporate executives are overpaid. I figure that’s between them and their stockholders. Inasmuch as I don’t own any stocks, it’s really none of my business.

His big mouth, though, did lead me to check out Mr. Affleck’s earnings. Although this is nothing like a complete list, I discovered he was paid $10 million each for Changing Lanes, The Sum of All Fears and Jersey Girl. His paycheck for Paycheck” was $15 million. Heck, he even got $12.5 million for Gigli. (I assume he wasted no time making sure the check cleared before the producers discovered that not even Matt Damon was going to buy a ticket to see that turkey.)

So, here we have Ben Affleck banking nearly $60 million for what amounted to about a year’s actual work. How many times the salary of a grip, a stuntman or a makeup artist, would you imagine that is? More than eight or nine times would be my guess.

Also, any CEO who had that many flops in a row would be out on his rear end, whereas Affleck just keeps acting, if that’s what you choose to call it.

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©2011 Burt Prelutsky
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Too Bad Obama Is Only Half-White

by Burt Prelutsky

The worst thing about Obama’s being a black man is that when you take him to task for his leftist agenda, it’s so easy for those who endorse his policies to accuse you of being a bigot.

It’s fascinating how that works. If you happen to disagree with Henry Waxman or Charles Schumer, you’re not automatically called an anti-Semite. If you take exception to Nancy Pelosi, you’re not immediately dismissed as a misogynist. In most quarters, you can even dismiss the lunacies of Barney Frank without necessarily being labeled a gay-basher.

What is it about being black, 150 years after the end of slavery and nearly half a century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, that gives them this special status? Whatever it is -- and I suspect it’s nothing more than the non-stop, self-serving blather by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the assorted jackasses who comprise the Congressional Black Caucus -- it’s high time we stopped giving them the license to whine. In fact, it’s long past time that we told them to put a cork in it.
Barack Hussein Obama
I know a great many people who think that Obama is the worst president we’ve had in a very long time -- and they are not overlooking Jimmy Carter -- and not one of them gives a hoot about his race. Their reasons have everything to do with his politics and his policies and nothing to do with his pigmentation. If it were otherwise, wouldn’t these same people dislike Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Star Parker, all of whom are 50% blacker than the president?

Obama got off on the wrong foot when we discovered he was a friend of Bill Ayers and that he regarded Jeremiah Wright as his spiritual advisor. It didn’t help when we heard him say that the problem with the Constitution and the Civil Rights movement was that they failed to deal with the redistribution of wealth.

Things then went from bad to worse when, after being elected, he went off on a world tour where he bashed our allies, kowtowed to our enemies, and competed with Michael Moore, Hugo Chavez and Mahmud Ahmadinejad, in trashing America.

Not satisfied with all that, he went on to lie about the great contribution the Muslims made in the creation of this country, forcing some of us to wonder if he knew something about the Barbary pirates that Thomas Jefferson didn’t.

Perhaps his endless gaffes and apparent contempt for American symbols wouldn’t be quite so offensive if so many people, on the right as well as the left, didn’t, in spite of his almost comical reliance on Teleprompters, keep reminding us how doggone brilliant the guy is.

A while back, His Brilliance said, “America has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi.” Now, I’m grateful that for a change he complimented one of America’s few allies in the world, but why is it so impossible for this lunkhead to give credit where it’s due? Would it kill him to praise the Founding Fathers? I mean, I know they were a bunch of white guys, but they couldn’t help it.

Suggesting that Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, provided the roots for the United States, 1776-????, is comparable to the schlemiel who recently said it was our dropping the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that compelled Japan to attack Pearl Harbor.

I think I’m beginning to understand why Obama is so secretive about his academic records.

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©2011 Burt Prelutsky
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Monday, January 24, 2011

A Random Harvest

by Burt Prelutsky

There are times when so many idle thoughts are running through my head that they threaten to gum up the works if I don’t unload them. This is one of those times.

A liberal judge granted a felon with a long rap sheet release for a month so he could care for his dad, a recent stroke victim. The con took advantage of his temporary freedom to commit robbery and a rape.

Judge Michael Sonberg said he regretted his decision. That’s nice of him, but he’d be a lot sorrier if I were in charge, because I would send him to jail as an accessory.

The way I see it, if parole boards and social workers posing as judges make these kinds of mistakes, they should pay a price. Besides, there’s no good reason for parole boards to exist. No prisoner does anything behind bars to warrant time off. The argument that there’s not enough room in the prisons only convinces me that we should build more of them. Instead of building newer and more colossal sports stadiums, we should be erecting more colossal jails.

I understand that Judge Sonberg’s new best friend can expect to have five years added to his original sentence. Frankly, I would much prefer it if his rape victim were in charge of determining his sentence. I suspect that crime victims have a better grip on reality than people who get to wear their bathrobes on the job.

I used to be a fan of Broadway musicals. There was a time when shows such as Guys and Dolls, Annie, High Button Shoes, Where’s Charley?, How to Succeed in Business, Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun, Damn Yankees” and“Kiss Me Kate, not only had great scores by the likes of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Frank Loesser, but were funny. They were called musical comedies for a reason. The ads employed such words as “frolicking,” “joyful,” “tune-filled” and “highly entertaining.” Alas, those days are long gone. I, personally, blame Rodgers and Hammerstein. They could knock out great songs, but their shows were as solemn as bad sermons, as heavy-handed as Stanley Kramer movies. Thanks to their influence, I keep expecting to see that the newest musical to hit Broadway boasts book and lyrics by Fyodor Dostoyefsky.

I suspect that crime victims have a better grip on reality than people who get to wear their bathrobes on the job.

When I think of all the seemingly irreconcilable differences between men and women, I sometimes get the idea that the last man who might have received an “A” grade from his mate was Adam.

To get some idea of how hypocritical and self-righteous the New York Times and the rest of the MSM are when it comes to Wikileaks, just imagine for a moment how they would react if someone leaked their internal memos. Do you really think they would insist that the public has every right to know how they decide what stories to feature and which to bury, and exactly how much partisan politics enters into their decision-making over what is supposed to be objective news reporting?

I have no problem with our public schools teaching our kids and grandkids about Islam, just so long as they don’t neglect to mention that Muslims are this very day murdering Christians and Jews; stoning women, though not men, for adultery; and charging their fellow Muslims with blasphemy if they simply toss the business cards of men who happen to be named Mohammad in the trash can.

So long as the schools do that, I don’t even care if they devote a day to Arab and Islamic cuisine. It’s never too early for kids to discover for themselves that hummus, often used in lieu of library paste in the Middle East, tastes only slightly better than it sounds.

I’d like to share a quote by Margaret Atwood that I have found to hold true more often than not: “Wanting to meet a writer because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pate.” I’d like to think I’m the exception, but I very much doubt it.

Recently, while contemplating some of our recent presidents, I found myself comparing First Ladies and their various crusades on behalf of young Americans. Nancy (Just Say No!) Reagan devoted her time in the White House to fighting against drug addiction. Former schoolteacher Laura Bush used her bully pulpit to promote reading and encourage education. Now affirmative action poster child Michelle Obama has come up with “The food police have you surrounded. Drop that cookie!”

©2011 Burt Prelutsky
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Liberals Don’t Deserve America

by Burt Prelutsky

Considering the way that Obama shows his contempt for patriotism time and again -- as when he misquotes the Declaration of Independence, neglects to place his hand over his heart at flag ceremonies and denies American exceptionalism at every opportunity -- you’d think he’d learn to leave symbolic gestures to the professionals. Instead, whether the issue is closing Gitmo, providing civilian trials for Islamic terrorists or racial profiling at airports, his sole consideration seems to be whether something will annoy Muslims. Understand, I’m not claiming he is a Muslim. I have no proof of that. I’m claiming he’s an arrogant idiot.

As I see it, America has been setting the world a damn good example for over 230 years. Most people have gotten the message long before now. The exceptions have mainly been Islamics and communists, and they’re not looking for good examples; they’re looking for world conquest. If the president wants to set a good example, he should stop insulting our allies and mollifying our sworn enemies.

Frankly, whenever I hear those knuckleheads in academia and the media praising the likes of Castro and Chavez or lamenting the loss of Mao or Che, I want to rap on their heads just to hear the echo. I mean, is it possible that they are totally unaware that, starting with Stalin, every communist regime has started out by employing intellectuals (aka “useful idiots”) to propagandize on their behalf, and, inevitably, ended up by executing the ultimately unnecessary pests.
Barack Hussein Obama
The reasons that intellectuals are so dangerous is because, one, they reside in a bubble, be it at a university, a paper or a TV newsroom, where they are surrounded by their clones; and, two, they are so certain that they’re smarter than everyone else that any two-bit despot who pays them the least bit of attention will have them acting like lapdogs, eager to lick his hand and kiss his patootie.

Intellectuals remind me of Randy and Evi Quaid. They’re the couple that escaped to Canada. Psychiatrists have suggested that the Quaids suffer from folie a deux, the madness of two. It’s a delusional state shared by two people who bolster each other’s twisted take on reality. When more than two people share the same delusions, we refer to it as the Democratic party.

In the case of the Quaids, they believe there’s a secret cabal in America that has been responsible for murdering Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger. The Quaids believe those mysterious assassins they refer to as the Star Whackers are now after them. Of course, any sane person would realize how ridiculous that is. We’re talking about Randy Quaid, for crying out loud. He really shouldn’t start worrying until he gets word that he’s been targeted by the Has-been Whackers.

Finally, getting back to Obama and foreign policy, the man is convinced that we can actually undermine and destroy Iran through economic pressure. That might be described as folie a un. Still, I can see where he might have gotten the idea. After all, it’s worked like a charm for him here in America.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Liberalism Is a Progressive Disease

by Burt Prelutsky

The reason I devote so much time to liberals is because I find them endlessly fascinating. I simply cannot fathom how so many people manage to be wrong about so many things, ranging from same-sex marriage and the Second Amendment to tax rates, open borders and affirmative action.

How is it, I wonder, that liberals find capital punishment far more abominable than they do the criminals who commit capital offenses? And why is it they find it so impossible to acknowledge that America has a problem with Islam? Japan only had to attack us at Pearl Harbor to convince us that we were at war. But the Islamics have attacked us time and again for more than 30 years, and we still have millions of Americans who refuse to acknowledge that they are our sworn enemies.

It’s not just the man on the street who insists on wearing blinders. The government, whether led by George Bush or Barack Obama, refuses to even consider racial profiling at airports, even though we all know that nearly every terrorist act in the world is committed by a young Muslim male. It makes as much sense to suggest that members of the Mafia are as likely to be Australians as Sicilians. There is a middle ground, after all, between shipping off Japanese Americans to concentration camps and using commonsense when dealing with religious psychopaths.
photo by Espen Moe
Assange or Maher? (Assange by Espen Moe)
Why is it that liberals are so easily persuaded that there is something wrong with keeping enemy combatants stashed at Guantanamo? They claim it’s because Islamics use its mere existence for recruiting purposes. Well, frankly, I’d prefer executing the inmates, especially since we know that a large number of those who have been released have gone back to killing our soldiers. Besides, if the mere fact that we’ve imprisoned these creeps is the problem, and has nothing to do with the Cuban climate, it hardly matters if they’re held there or at Leavenworth. Heck, we could save ourselves a lot of trouble by simply changing its name from Guantanamo to West Mecca, although, frankly, I’d settle for handing them over to the tender mercies of Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

For a long time, I found myself thinking that Julian Assange looked like a villain in a James Bond movie. Then, one day, it struck me that he closely resembles Bill Maher. Now I realize that Bill Maher looks like a villain in a James Bond movie.

At some point, will it ever occur to Sean Hannity that any panel that includes Bob Beckel doesn’t rate even one “great,” let alone four or five?

One of the great mysteries of life is how it is that liberals, who contribute less to charity than conservatives, and are far less likely to do volunteer work for church or community, continue to regard themselves as better, nicer, more compassionate people. It seems to me that the basis for this delusion is that they are far likelier to read the New York Times and to go “tsk tsk” over tragic events in, say, Darfur and Haiti, and to nod solemnly when they read the usual blatherings of Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich.

To liberals, the words published in the Times constitute Holy Scripture. They regard the paper as the Newest Testament.

This is the same paper, let us keep in mind, that wrapped itself in the warm embrace of the First Amendment when it published the Pentagon Papers and, more recently, the Wikileak documents. However, when it came to exposing the global warming hoax by printing the East Anglia email exchanges, the newspaper suddenly determined they were private property. Far better, the Times decided, to place our troops and allies in danger than to embarrass Al Gore and his corrupt cronies in high places, one such place being the editorial boardroom of the NY Times.

For many years, those of us who are in favor of racial profiling have insisted that our position isn’t based on bigotry, but on commonsense. We have claimed that if all the terrorist activity was being perpetrated, not by Muslims, but by Scandinavians, we would concentrate our suspicions on Swedes. Well, truth demands that we acknowledge that we have finally uncovered a Swedish suicide bomber.

In case you missed it, his name was Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly. But until he blew himself up while trying to set off a car bomb in downtown Stockholm, his friends, I understand, called him Sven.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Stop the START Treaty

Donald Pleasance as Ernst Stavro Blofeld
by Burt Prelutsky

There are many incomprehensible moments in movies. For instance, in just about every James Bond film, the sadistic villain finally has his nemesis, Agent 007, in his clutches. Instead of just shooting Bond, because a gunshot would be too quick and relatively painless, he sets up an elaborate mechanism so that he can enjoy watching the British spy die a slow and agonizing death. But then, instead of sticking around and watching the execution through to its blood-curdling conclusion, the bad guy suddenly glances at his watch and says something along the lines of, “Good-bye, Mr. Bond. I would love to stay another minute or so and watch your excruciating demise, but there’s a tuna fish sandwich waiting with my name on it.”

We all realize that as absurd as that is, movie conventions require bad guys to do stupid things so that the hero can employ his ingenuity and act heroically. But when liberals do really dumb things in real life, what are their motives? Can it be that they live solely to provide me with endless things to ridicule?

For instance, take the so-called Dream Act. That’s the proposal that paves the way to citizenship for young Hispanics. It requires them to either serve in the military or attend college for two years. If you knew nothing else about this goofy proposal, you could bet that only a liberal would suggest that getting drunk, goofing around with coeds and being brainwashed by leftwing professors is in any way, shape or form, the equivalent of putting your life on the line for America.

When liberals do really dumb things in real life, what are their motives?

This is nothing new. For years, liberals have proven beyond question that they have no idea what the word “comparable” even means. As proof of that, you need only recall what they considered comparable when they were arguing that women be paid the same as men for doing comparable jobs. Instead of making the sensible case that women doing the exact same job as men, and doing it equally well or equally badly, should be paid the same, they decided to argue that various jobs were comparable to various other jobs. The boneheads, for instance, insisted that being a nursery school teacher was comparable to being a fireman. They never quite got around to explaining how risking your life to rescue people from a burning building was comparable to passing out graham crackers and finger paints, but it just felt right -- and, for those on the left, feelings inevitably trump rational thought.

Have you ever had a dream in which the pilot bails out of a plane, leaving you and all the other passengers to fend for themselves, or a train engineer decides to let loose of the controls just to see what the train does? Well, neither have I, but every time I see Barack Obama bumbling around in the world of foreign affairs, I keep thinking how nice it would be if I could just wake up and discover it was merely a nightmare.

Consider the START treaty. There’s nothing that presidents like better than signing treaties. It makes them feel as if they’ve really accomplished something. The problem is that you don’t send a goofus to negotiate with the Russians. The Russians are not our friends. If a Cossack like Putin is willing to cooperate with us, it is not to our advantage.

Naturally, the Russkies are willing to diminish our respective nuclear arsenals, but that’s only because they want to use the agreement to prevent us from developing nuclear defense systems for ourselves and for our allies in Eastern Europe.

The whole utopian idea that we will ever have a nuclear-free earth is insane. It is as preposterous as thinking you can put the toothpaste back in the tube or the genie back in the bottle.

As with guns, if nuclear bombs were outlawed, only outlaws would have nukes.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Feudin’ and a-Fussin’

by Burt Prelutsky

When you saw the lengths to which the left went in their attempt to connect loony Jared Loughner to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and/or the Tea Party, the surprise is that they never thought to connect the dots between Charles Manson and Barry Goldwater or Jeffrey Dahmer and Ronald Reagan.

Even though it was obvious that Loughner was as crazy as a bedbug and as political as a beanbag, it didn’t stop the likes of Dick Durbin, Paul Krugman, Steny Hoyer, Charles Rangel, Al Sharpton or Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, from trying to turn him into the poster boy for the Republican party.

As scurrilous as that was, what made it even more reprehensible is that those on the left never condemn the words or deeds of those who carry the water for the Democrats. Nobody, after all, has to sit around and wait for someone who just might be a Republican to display his hateful side. All a conservative has to do is visit the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos or tune in MSNBC any night of the week.

When Democrats accuse Republicans of hateful speech, you might notice that they never supply specific examples.

When Democrats accuse Republicans of hateful speech, you might notice that they never supply specific examples. On the other hand, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made this generalization about millions of Tea Party members: “My presumption is that they have unhappy families.”

My presumption is that Mr. Hoyer is very presumptuous. But if millions of decent, patriotic Americans are unhappy, perhaps it’s because louts like Hoyer are doing everything they can to destroy the country. He went on: “The fact is life is about trying to reach accommodation with one another.” I guess he’s referring to the way that members of his party accommodated those who opposed ObamaCare. I seem to recall that it consisted of Obama’s telling the Republicans to sit down, shut up and get out of the way.

I seem to recall that the same Democrats who now insist that Sarah Palin essentially put out a contract on Rep. Giffords when, in 2010, she “targeted” Giffords’ congressional district, didn’t have a problem with Democratic Senate candidate Joe Manchin’s TV ad showing him firing an actual rifle at the ObamaCare bill and promising “I’ll take dead aim on Cap and Trade.”

Does anyone recall liberals getting up in arms over Democrats hoping Dick Cheney would die on the operating table? Did I miss the editorial in the NY Times where they chided their readers for equating George Bush with Adolf Hitler or discouraging them from reading a book or seeing a movie that fantasized Bush’s assassination?

In the wake of Jared Loughner’s psychotic episode, the left is demanding an end to hate speech. But, hate speech, by their reckoning, is anything said in opposition to Obama’s agenda. It clearly does not encompass Chris Matthews calling Sarah Palin a zombie and saying that he hoped Rush Limbaugh’s head would blow up. Regarding Michele Bachmann’s appointment to the House Intelligence Committee, he claimed, “This is great irony. I wonder what the rules are for getting on that committee. I guess they’re pretty lenient.” But obviously the rules are not nearly as lenient as those dictating who gets a talk show on MSNBC.

Alec Baldwin, we should all remember, urged people to stone Rep. Harry Hyde’s house

Speaking of which, that network’s Keith Olbermann has a regular segment on his show in which he announces the Worst Person in the World. I can assure you that Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh get named far more often than Islamic terrorists or North Korean despots.

Hollywood liberal Alec Baldwin, we should all remember, urged people to stone Rep. Harry Hyde’s house; NPR’s Nina Totenberg wished AIDS on Sen. Jesse Helms and his grandchildren; former Florida congressman Alan Grayson announced during his campaign that Republicans who opposed ObamaCare were out to kill old people; talk show host Ed Schultz beseeched the Good Lord to take Dick Cheney to the Promised Land. “See, I didn’t even wish that the guy go to Hell. I just want him to get the hell out of here.” But when it comes to Republicans in general, Schultz is through being Mr. Nice Guy: “Shove those bastards right into the dirthole!”

Ever hear a left-winger condemn Bill Ayers, who regrets he didn’t blow up more government buildings than he did; or Jeremiah Wright, who espoused his racism from the pulpit for more than 20 years; or Al Sharpton, who rode to fame on the backs of New York cops he had knowingly slandered?

Has any MSM movie critic ever chastised Michael Moore for trying to pass off heavy-handed left-wing propaganda as fact-based documentaries or written an expose of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth?

For that matter, has a Democrat ever questioned why Tom Delay has been sentenced to a three-year term for money laundering, but Charles Rangel got a wrist slap for a laundry list of offences, including tax evasion?

As everyone knows, both parties “target” the opposition at election time and it is childish to pretend that political discourse, no matter how heated it may get, will set off a murderous rampage in anyone but a psychotic. And such pathetic creatures can be set off by any number of things, including cuckoo clocks, Andy Rooney’s voice and burnt toast.

But the fact remains that if there really were a way to curb rhetoric meant to incite violence, it wouldn’t be Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, who would be silenced. Instead, it would be army field officers, football coaches and stand-up comics who can’t go five minutes without talking about murdering, fracturing and killing their audience.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Monday, January 10, 2011

The Bloodthirsty Left

by Burt Prelutsky

I used to get a warm feeling when I’d read or hear the words to be found at the base of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a poem titled “The New Colossus,” and written by Emma Lazarus. Among its odd requests are that the world give us “your poor, your huddled masses, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores.” In the wake of tens of millions sneaking into the country, I think we need to replace that welcome mat with something a little more commonsensical. We are now at 305 million, and I think we’ve got enough wretched refuse to last us a while. However, if we ever find ourselves running short, we don’t need to import any; we merely have to elect ordinary Americans to public office.

Something I find amazing is that those on the left have the gall to pass themselves off as not only smarter than the rest of us, but more compassionate. How is it they manage to pull it off with a straight face when those on the left turned the 20th century into one big bloodbath? For all their big talk, the major accomplishment of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Castro and Guevara, was refining various techniques for murdering multitudes. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they managed to kill tens of millions of people, what made it even worse is that the American left was complicit every bloody inch of the way.
When Stalin was starving six million Ukrainian peasants, Walter Duranty of the NY Times was copping a Pulitzer Prize by writing odes about Uncle Joe; when Hitler and Stalin signed their mutual non-aggression pact, the left in America insisted it was none of our business when Germany invaded Poland, France, Holland and Finland, but when Hitler double-crossed his partner in crime and attacked the Soviet Union, Lillian Hellman famously rushed into a New York cocktail party and announced: “We’ve been invaded!”

It was just a scant three decades later, when Jane Fonda, who would, quite appropriately, portray a fictionalized, heroic Hellman in “Julia,” would proudly pose with a group of North Vietnamese soldiers.
Millions of us are being forced to choose between being zapped with radiation or having our private parts made publicTo be fair, there is one obnoxious habit that politicians on both sides of the aisle should resolve to break in the new year. I refer to the naming of bridges, roads and post offices, after themselves and one another. I understand the desire to be immortalized, and to garner name identification without having to blow campaign funds on billboards and TV spots, but unless politicians spend their own money erecting the bridge or paving the highway, the only place I want to see a politician’s name is on a ballot or, better yet, a criminal indictment.

Like most normal people, I cringed when Sarah Palin momentarily misspoke, referring to our ally, “North Korea,” before quickly correcting herself. I cringed only because I knew the lunkheads on the left would use it to bash her on the head. It never fails to repulse me how the same nincompoops in the media who ignored Obama’s reference to our 57 states will glom onto anything, no matter how infinitesimal or irrelevant, in an attempt to prove Mrs. Palin is a blithering idiot.

It costs us $182,000 for every hour that Obama is aboard Air Force OneSpeaking of blithering idiots, I recently learned that it costs us $182,000 for every hour that Obama is aboard Air Force One. I understand that the cost is the same, whoever the president is, but I seem to recall that Obama was using it to fly all over the country in order to campaign for Democrats during the mid-term elections. That means that when he flew across the continent to campaign for Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, the roundtrip cost the American taxpayer two million dollars. God knows, none of those trips were for the good of our nation. They were strictly partisan in nature, and I therefore want the federal accounting office to send the bill to the DNC.

Finally, all along I have been observing Janet Napolitano’s recent airport security measures from the point of view of the American public. Thanks to political correctness, millions of us are being forced to choose between being zapped with radiation or having our private parts made public. And it’s all because the feds don’t want to be accused of paying undue attention to those swarthy young Muslims named Ahmed flying one way without baggage to Yemen.

But perhaps instead of just focusing on our own discomfort, we should take a moment to empathize with the TSA agents. Picture yourself being one of those people a few years down the road and having your child ask, “Daddy, what did you do during the War on Terror?” and having to reply, “I groped grandmothers and three-year-olds.”

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Our Infantile Society

by Burt Prelutsky

While I acknowledge that there is a world of difference between conspiring to do something and merely considering it, when Ahmed Ghailani was found guilty of conspiring to blow up a government building, I bet there were millions of us who briefly flashed on those occasions when we thought about blowing up courthouses, city halls, DMV offices and the U.S. Senate.

In the wake of the Ghailani debacle with a civilian jury, we were told that even a military tribunal wouldn’t have found him guilty on those 284 other charges because “enhanced interrogation” had been used on the main witness. Frankly, that seemed insane to me. No matter what was done to make the witness come clean, what does that have to do with Ghailani’s involvement in blowing up American embassies and murdering hundreds of innocent people? It is at such times that I find myself wondering if Sharia law could be any more ludicrous than the legal system we already have.

Is it just me or does all the recent rioting seem even more embarrassing than usual? In England and the U.S., the most disgusting, most privileged generation the world has ever known seem to feel entitled to run wild any time the cost of college tuition is raised. What makes their childish hissy fits all the more reprehensible is that these punks rarely pay their own way. If anyone is going to riot, it should be their parents. But the targets of their outrage should be themselves for having raised these hordes of arrogant, obnoxious louts. And while we’re on the subject, it’s high time the 26th amendment was repealed. If 70 is the new 60, and 60 is the new 50, it’s fair to say that 18 is the new eight. Giving the vote to a bunch of brats who are still collecting an allowance, thus allowing them to cancel out the votes of their elders is insane. The sad irony is that the only youngsters who deserve to vote are members of the military, and they’re the ones whose ballots are least likely to be counted.

Running the young squirts a close second when it comes to causing trouble are the creeps in France who are running amok because economic circumstances demand that the retirement age be lifted from 60 to 62. These are the same folks who get six weeks of paid vacation every year. That’s one more month than Americans get, which means that in the course of 40 years, they are already working 40 fewer months than we are.

On the other hand, there was a huge outcry when a committee designed to get America out of its own financial morass suggested we might consider raising our own retirement age to 68…60 years or so down the line! Judging by the hue and cry, you might have thought we were all little children. And maybe we are.

When people wonder why the Democrats spend so much time pandering to black voters, the answer is that they have no choice in the matter. Democrats have to pander and blacks have to agree to play the role of poor, oppressed victims. That’s because Democrats can’t win a presidential election if they don’t continue to garner 90% of black votes. The truth is that in no presidential election since LBJ trounced Barry Goldwater in 1964 has the Democratic candidate, whether he won or lost the election, received 50% of the white vote!

The odd thing is that blacks used to resent the way they were depicted in the movies, when performers like Stepin Fetchit (nee Lincoln Perry), Willie Best and Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen, spent their entire careers acting stupid, shiftless and superstitious. These days, Hollywood shows us blacks like Denzel Washington, Samuel Jackson, Halle Berry and Morgan Freeman, smart, wise and highly competent. Yet a great many blacks in real life seem to be modeling themselves on those earlier portrayals.

But it’s not just the liberals who have been babying blacks for far too long. Whether it’s their violent crime statistics, their illegitimate birth rate, their involvement with illegal drugs or their basic illiteracy, white America chooses to either ignore the damning truth or to don the mantle of guilt. We even employ euphemisms, referring to those “bad sections of town” we’d be wise to avoid, whether we live in Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit or L.A., when we all know it’s code for those urban areas mainly populated by blacks. We pretend we’re talking about poor sections, but there are plenty of poor rural sections of America, and nobody fears they’ll be killed, mugged or raped, if they go there.

Furthermore, far too many blacks have an intolerance of education that verges on the psychotic. One of the sorriest aspects of all this is that it’s not atypical for black kids who show the slightest sign of scholarship being accused of acting white. It is simultaneously a nasty insult to the black kids and an unwarranted compliment for white ones.

Until we all start speaking openly and honestly about the facts of racial life, we’re doomed to be led around by the nose by such scoundrels and hypocrites as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the members of the Black Congressional Caucus.

I acknowledge I might be asking for a miracle. After all, we have become such a nation of wusses that our own president won’t even identify our sworn enemies as Islamics, and Homeland Security has to pretend that five-year-olds and their grandmas are every bit as likely to blow up planes as 25-year-old Saudis named Mohammad.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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Monday, January 3, 2011

G. B. Shaw Was a Horse’s Patootie

by Burt Prelutsky

Although I loved what Lerner and Loewe made of it, it’s a shame that George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion. That’s because all his other plays, including Candida, Man and Superman and Major Barbara, were snoozearamas and it would make it so much easier to dismiss him as an over-rated creep. This way, a fair-minded person has no option but to admit that the over-rated creep wasn’t entirely without talent.

When I was a kid, I recall seeing Shaw in newsreels. As he aged -- eventually making it to 94 -- reporters would make an annual pilgrimage to his cottage to find out how the aging Irish dramatist felt at 80 or 85 or 90. He would inevitably emerge into his garden dressed in tweeds and plus fours, looking as if he was on his way to the local golf course. By that time, it was as if he were playing a role in one of his own productions -- the querulous, but loveable old vegetarian.

In truth, Shaw, a devout socialist, was an outspoken fan of his fellow socialists, Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. To be fair, he didn’t share Hitler’s hatred of Jews; instead, he argued that the chemists of the world should concoct a humane gas that could be used to eliminate capitalists and other unproductive members of society. By unproductive, I assume he meant people who had neither written Caesar and Cleopatra, nor bought a ticket to see it.

Even if, knowing what I do about the playwright, I now find it harder to laugh at Professor Higgins’ frustrations with Eliza Dolittle, I find I can still chuckle at Andy Rooney’s buffoonery. Recently, for instance, in pooh-poohing a Gallup Poll that showed Obama having an approval rating of just 44%, Rooney announced that he had proof that Gallup was in the pocket of the GOP. It seems that Rooney had asked nine of his pals how they thought Obama was doing, and eight of them said he was doing a bang-up job. Or, in other words, according to the Rooney Poll, the president has an 88% approval rating, which is exactly twice as high as those rotten bastards at Gallup are letting on.

I guess it all comes down to whether you’re going to accept Rooney’s final word on the subject or if you’re actually going to believe what those 90,000 lying racists allegedly told Gallup’s pollsters.

For my part, I marvel at the notion that the 91-year-old sour puss still has nine friends.

Speaking of polls, a recent one conducted by Newsmax suggested that if the Democratic primary were held today, Hillary Clinton would trounce Obama by 20 percentage points. When I read that, I must confess that I found myself sharing some of Rooney’s skepticism about polls. Frankly, I didn’t get the point of even asking the question. It’s not that I doubt that the Iron Maiden is more popular than the president, but even if the unemployment rate remains where it is until 2012, how could she possibly defeat him in the primaries and still get herself elected in the general? Does anyone, including Dick Morris, think black Americans are going to vote for the white woman who brought down the first black president?

You needn’t be Charles Krauthammer, after all, to understand that if 90% of blacks didn’t turn every election day into Christmas for the Democrats, nobody with a (D) after his name would ever win another national election.

As a conservative, there’s nothing I’d enjoy more in 2012 than to see Mrs. Clinton challenge Mr. Obama, and if she got the nomination, even I might be tempted to run against her.

Speaking of the 2012 election, a number of pundits are insisting that the Republicans don’t yet have a frontrunner. That, I would suggest, is because there are so many first-rate possibilities in the mix. They include past candidates Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and, if she can tear herself away from the glories of Alaska, Sarah Palin. There are also a herd of attractive rookies on the roster, including Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Bob McDonnell, Marco Rubio and my personal favorite, Chris Christie.

On the other hand, when the Democrats refer to a fresh face, they only mean that Nancy Pelosi has just returned from getting another Botox injection.

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

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