Friday, January 31, 2014

BIOS & BIASES

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by Burt Prelutsky

Every so often, so many items capture my attention that I either have to get them down on paper or accept the fact that I can never hope to catch up. But never let it be said that Prelutsky took the easy, logical, sane, commonsensical, approach.

To get the ball rolling, let me confess that I not only tend to shy away from non-fiction books in general, but even more so when it comes to biographies. I have multiple problems with them. To begin with, they are written by researchers and academicians, and so I usually find the writing dry and humorless. For another, they tend to begin with a rundown on the subject’s ancestors. Although parents and grandparents may have played a huge role in the way the person turned out, if I wanted to read about them, I’d be reading their biographies. My third reason, shameful as it must sound to many of you, is that I’m not that interested in reading five or six hundred pages about any one person.

Before opening the floodgates to well-intentioned suggestions for my reading list, understand I have come to these conclusion through experience, not rumor. To me, sitting down with a biography is the equivalent of asking someone for the time and being told how to make a watch.

I confess that as cynical as I am, even I’m shocked that so many people seem to be up in arms over the NSA keeping track of millions of phone numbers, but are seemingly unconcerned that the ObamaCare website has rolled out the equivalent of a red carpet for every computer hacker between here and Timbuktu. They don’t even have to say “Open Sesame” in order to know everything about you, including your medical history, your birthday, your social security number, your bank account and, yes, even your telephone number.

By this time, I assume everyone has seen the stomach-turning video of the little black child in a diaper being coached by his gangbanging uncle to repeat the most vulgar words imaginable. What I found interesting is that when some cop in Omaha used the word “thug” in referring to the uncle, the ACLU immediately jumped in to denounce him for employing a racist term. It’s one thing to be a knucklehead and quite another to hire a skywriter to let the world know about it.

Everyone knows that “thug” is a generic word that has no racial connotations. Thugs come in all sizes, shapes and colors. But the mopes at the ACLU who’d go out of business if they couldn’t trump up cases based on matters as trivial as hurt feelings or intentional misinterpretations of the Constitution, let us all know that whenever they hear “thug” or, I assume, “bully,” “dope dealer,” “rapist” or “scumbag,” they immediately assume the reference is to a black person. I’m just asking, you understand, but doesn’t that qualify as racist?

Although the next presidential election is still nearly three years off, I am already hearing from those who are certain that Obama is planning to pull off a coup so he can become a dictator for life. I grant that he doesn’t show a lot of respect towards the Constitution or even American traditions, for that matter, but I have to wonder how it is that the paranoiacs seem to have so little confidence in the military that they’d believe the Army would be party to a power-grab.

It so happens that I’ve been doing this for so long that I’ve heard the same concerns when Clinton and Bush were into their second terms. I acknowledge that Obama is a far worse menace than either of them, but this is not a banana republic. There’s no getting around the fact that the Obamas love the perks of the office, but inasmuch as the Clintons were able to bank over $100,000,000 between 2001 and 2008, I’m sure the Obamas will be able to pay for their own vacations after 2016.

Speaking of Obama, he and Kerry are clearly dying to give the store away to Iran. In fact they are so desperate to cut a deal with the mullahs, and make it appear they’ve scored a diplomatic success, they are willing to sell what passes for their souls to the Devil.

Nearly 70 senators, including about 20 Democrats, are basically saying, “Okay, negotiate with the bastards all you want, but if after six months, they haven’t agreed to halt their pursuit of a nuclear bomb, tougher economic sanctions will automatically kick in.” Aside from the fact that sitting down with jihadists makes about as much sense as Chamberlain trying to placate Hitler, you would think that Obama and Kerry could live with it. But the Iranians are insisting that they won’t negotiate with a threat hanging over their head. To me, the real problem is that the threat they face is merely financial and not thermonuclear.

With 2016 lurking around the corner, I was heartened to hear RNC kingpin Reince Priebus say that there are changes in the wind. Among those he mentioned was a shortened primary season, an end to the liberals controlling the debate formats and a much earlier date for the GOP convention. Those are all good ideas, and could go a long way to cut down on the backstabbing and bloodletting that invariably accompanies our internecine battles.

However, I would also suggest that the GOP finally grows up and puts a stop to the Iowa caucus, a charade that eats up enormous amounts of time and money, and doesn’t even result in the allocating of convention delegates.

As for New Hampshire, a tiny state that gets overinflated to such a degree that for a time during an election year, you would think it was the size of Texas or California. In fact it is no more entitled to hold the first primary than my big toe. At least my toe is representative of my foot, whereas New Hampshire is representative of nothing, including Vermont and Maine.

I will close with a bit of folk wisdom someone recently sent me: “A Liberal Paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities; and only Law Enforcement has guns. Such a place does exist. It’s called prison.”

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

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