Wednesday, January 1, 2014


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by Burt Prelutsky

One of the many oddities of this administration is that while it’s constantly referring to congressional Republicans as bomb-throwing terrorists, villains with whom it’s useless to negotiate, they are always willing to give away the store to actual bomb-throwing terrorists in Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and Palestine.

The fact is that they were so fearful that the Palestinians were going to walk away from peace talks with the Israelis, Kerry slipped them a $75 million bribe to stay at the table and continue the charade. Even though everyone knows that the Palestinians have no desire to reach a peaceful agreement with the Jews, with this administration, everything is finally about optics, and Obama and Kerry thought it would look bad if the Arabs left in a huff.

Meanwhile, in Libya, dozens of our armored vehicles, along with grenade launchers, night-vision goggles and hundreds of weapons, have been stolen and are now in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood – all without a single background check. It seems that Operation Fast and Furious was just a dress rehearsal.

Although the Democrats insist that when Republicans call for an end to state-subsidized birth control pills and abortions it’s all part of the GOP’s war on women, the real war is the one that feminists and liberals are waging on the middle class. After all, why should strangers be expected to pay for all those pills and operations?

With liberals, when it comes to anything having to do with sex, no matter what bizarre form it takes, the only thing that matters is that it be consensual between two or, okay, maybe three or four people. But, when there’s a bill to be paid for all that sexual activity, it suddenly becomes everyone’s business. The other thing to keep in mind is that whenever the government is picking up the tab (with our tax dollars), people are going to take increasing advantage of the product or service.

As I see it, there’s already too much screwing around taking place in Washington, D.C. Why do anything to encourage that sort of thing in other parts of the country?

A recent poll indicates that 69% of the people wish to return to the health care system that was in place in 2009. It figures, human nature being what it is. Four years ago, people often whined about unnecessary medical tests, long waits in the doctor’s office or slow payment by the insurance companies. But now we all look back with a sense of nostalgia and refer to them as the good old days.

I’m reminded of a story told, as I recall, by the Jewish writer Sholem Aleichem. A married couple in a poor Russian village never stopped fighting. Finally, they agreed to go to the rabbi and ask for his advice. After patiently listening to their various complaints, he advised them to go home and bring their cow into the house. It made no sense, but the rabbi had spoken, and they were so desperate, they brought the cow into the house.

But the fighting continued unabated. Back to the rabbi they went. He told them to bring a horse in to join the cow. It still made no sense, but they were devout Jews and it wasn’t their place to argue with the wisest man in the village.

But even the cow didn’t bring peace to the household. It only increased the problem. After a couple of days, they returned to the rabbi. This time, he suggested they bring their two goats indoors. By this time, they seriously began to suspect that the rabbi had gone nuts, but they couldn’t see how things could get much worse than they already were with the other livestock wandering around their little house.

They soon discovered how wrong they were. On top of everything else, the goats smelled like goats. By this time, the husband and wife were clearly at the end of their tether, and they returned to the rabbi to complain that he had only succeeded in compounding their wretchedness.

The rabbi heard them out, nodded sagely and then suggested that they collect the horse, the cow and the goats, and return them to the barn.

The couple did just that, and found such relief that they never again exchanged a cross word.

If you think of the Affordable Care Act as farm animals that have been invited into all of our homes, where they are free to graze on the furniture and poop on the floor, you’d understand why if we could magically turn the clock back four short years, nobody would ever again gripe about America’s health care system.

I’ll leave you with a terrifying thought that has recently been plaguing me. It’s often been said that people get the government they deserve. What if it’s true?


The winner of the December drawing is Humphrey Sarlo of Marco Island, Florida. A copy of "The Secret of Their Success" is on its way to him.


©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

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