Monday, June 24, 2013


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by Burt Prelutsky

I confess that’s a somewhat misleading title because there are lots of things worse than lawyers. But, in addition to cold sores, computer breakdowns and a flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis, they tend to be actual criminals.

The folks I have in mind are the academics, those escapees from college campuses who tend to congregate around Barack Obama. It’s almost as if Obama has made a pledge, vowing never to allow a person who has been actively engaged in, say, commerce into his inner circle.

It’s not that academic types are terrible people, it’s that they have little or no life experience that enables them to base their opinions on anything other than theory. And the trouble with theories is that they are unproven.

The result of Obama’s latest campus trolling is Samantha Power, who taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and is now the person he has selected to replace serial liar Susan Rice as our ambassador to the U.N.

While her champions like to point out that Ms. Power served on Obama’s high-sounding Atrocity Prevention Board as its first director, it’s an inconvenient truth that the Board remained strangely silent while thousands of civilians were slaughtered in Syria and the Sudanese government massacred countless Nuba tribal members in South Sudan.

What Ms. Power’s fans are reluctant to mention is that she recommended that the U.S. should invade Israel militarily in order to bring about a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and protect a new state of Palestine.

To be fair, in 2008, Powers did call Hillary Clinton a monster. So she’s not all bad.

Still, as a matter of policy, I would prevent anyone who has ever been a member of a college faculty from holding a position in government. I would also exclude anyone who has ever attended an Ivy League school. Nothing good, after all, can ever come of feeding the egos of the terminally egotistical. It’s not ivory towers we need to worry about so much as ivy-covered towers.

When I attended UCLA, I had a classmate who went on to get his graduate degree at Brown and then wound up at the University of Michigan, where he spent the next several decades teaching and writing the sort of fatuous poetry filled with references to old Greek deities. Starting at the age of six, he was rarely far removed from one school or another, except for vacations, until it came time to retire. As a result, he thought and spoke exactly as he had as a pretentious, but empty-headed, teenager. Perhaps if you’re teaching poetry to undergrads, none of that really matters. It does, however, when it comes to having a say in determining national policy.

Speaking of which, until Federal Judge Michael Baylson over-ruled her, Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebelius was going to deprive 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan of her shot at ever making it to 11. The only good thing to be said for Sebelius is that she gave us a pretty clear picture of what life under ObamaCare will be like.

When mushy-headed people insist that crime and violence have everything to do with poverty, nothing to do with race, you have to wonder how they explain that blacks committed 80% of the shootings in New York City last year, with 18% committed by Hispanics. Are there no poor white people in New York? Isn’t it just possible that violence has more to do with illegitimacy rates; an absence of discipline in homes without a father’s presence; and a lack of not only education, but religious values, than with money?

I have a lot more questions awaiting answers. For instance, inasmuch as the IRS started targeting conservative groups in 2011, I have to suspect those groups complained to their Republican senators and congressmen. So why is it that until recently the rest of us never heard about those dirty tricks? Why weren’t Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, John McCain, and all those other folks who have bully pulpits and love to hear the sound of their own voices, screaming their heads off about it?

Next, does Bill O’Reilly have to pay the going rate for commercial time on Fox to endlessly peddle his books, caps and coffee mugs? If not, why not?

Finally, why is it that liberals are never called fascists in public? After all, Harry Belafonte told Al Sharpton over at MSNBC that Obama should throw all of his political opponents in jail. He went on to describe Republicans as “an infestation,” a mighty big word for the “Banana Boat” man.

Bette Midler, upon learning that the Internal Revenue Service had targeted conservative groups, announced “I love the IRS,” four words that had never before been uttered in the course of human history.

Writer-director Nicholas Meyer, who prides himself on being a free speech advocate, declared that he was absolutely delighted that conservatives were now being blacklisted in Hollywood. I guess that would be Constitutional Amendment 1A, the one guaranteeing free speech for Nick Meyer.

Speaking of blacklists, when it was discovered that the director of the California Musical Theater, Scott Eckern, opposed same-sex marriage, Marc Shaiman, composer of “Hairspray,” and Jeffrey Seller, producer of “Avenue Q,” demanded he be fired. He was.

One can’t help reflecting that it was so much easier in the old days when you could recognize the bad guys by their black boots and Nazi armbands.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

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