Friday, May 3, 2013


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by Burt Prelutsky

My title comes from a Cole Porter lyric for “Anything Goes.” If anything, it’s even more relevant today than when he wrote it 79 years ago.

For instance? For instance, we dither around while tinhorns in Iran and North Korea threaten to nuke us. I say that when you’re in an alley fight with thugs, you toss out the Marquis of Queensbury rules and do whatever needs to be done to cripple your opponent. What you don’t do is ask him time and again what you have to give him so that he’ll leave you alone, while in the meantime he has all the time in the world to get his ducks, not to mention nuclear missiles, in a row.

For instance, I heard that Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is refusing to push for repeal of the ObamaCare tax on medical devices. It seems that he’s afraid that if the House sends such a bill to the Senate, Harry Reid will pull something tricky. I agree that it’s always in America’s best interests to distrust Sen. Reid, but that is hardly a good reason not to force him to deal with a bill that would go a long way to help various businesses stay solvent and keep thousands of workers gainfully employed.

If Camp is this easy to bluff, every poker player in Washington, D.C., must be eager to have this pigeon sitting at his table, just waiting to be plucked.

People used to joke that the Democrats have taxed just about everything but the air we breathe. In Maryland, the left-wing legislature is getting close with the new rain tax that will cost homeowners anywhere between $50 and $200 annually. The bill states that if you own a roof or a driveway, which are identified as impervious surfaces, you will be held responsible for your share of the tainted water that runs off into Chesapeake Bay. Hey, don’t look at me, you folks elected these humbugs.

The latest word from Europe is that Greece, seeking a way out of its fiscal malaise, wants Germany to pay reparations for World War II. So, first, these left-wing idiots go hat-in-hand, begging the krauts to send them money because they have lived the Karl Marx dream with its inevitable unhappy ending; and now the ingrates turn around and demand reparations. Usually there’s an “or else” that goes with demands. But aside from threatening to hold their collective breath until Germany comes across, I can’t imagine what the Greeks have in mind.

My favorite novelist these days is Donna Leon, an American who has lived in Venice, Italy, for several years and has written 22 books featuring a police commissioner named Guido Brunetti. In “The Girl of His Dreams,” Brunetti’s wife at one point is expressing her contempt for the sort of pious platitudes for which certain Italian newspapers are noted, but acknowledges that “they’re the sort of thing people like to hear.”

When a friend asks her why, she says, “Because they don’t have to do anything. All they have to do is feel the right things, and that makes them believe they deserve credit for having done something. It’s all so terribly American.”

“Why American?” her friend asks.

“Because they think it’s enough to feel things: they’ve come to believe it’s more important than doing things, or it’s the same thing, or at any rate, deserves just as much credit as actually doing something. What is it that poseur of a president of theirs was always saying, ‘I feel your pain’? As if that made any difference to anything. God, it’s enough to choke a pig.

“All you’ve got to do is have the proper feelings,” Mrs. Brunetti went on, “the fashionable sentiments, and make a business about how delicate your sensibility is. And then you don’t have to do anything. All you do is stand there with your precious sentiments hanging out while the world falls over itself applauding you for them and giving you credit for having the same feelings that any sentient being would have.”

Except that I would have substituted “liberal” or “celebrity” for “American,” I think Ms. Leon has brilliantly summed up what we saw at the Democratic convention last year and what we see and hear at every single gathering of left-wingers, be they on the floor of the Senate, on a late night TV talk show or at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

These self-anointed saints are always feeling someone’s pain, usually while on their way to collect yet another humanitarian award while driving their Hummer over some poor schmuck’s foot.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

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