At the end of the movie, “Chinatown,” when the rich, powerful and totally depraved Noah Cross drags his granddaughter away in order to use and abuse her as he used and abused his own daughter, the private eye, J.J. Gittes, tries to stop him. But he’s held back by a friend, who says, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” And although at the time they are standing in the middle of a street located in L.A.’s Chinatown, what he’s really saying is that some things never change, that those in power are always corrupt and, tragically, that corruption always triumphs at the end of the day.
If the movie had been made in 2014 rather than 40 years ago, he might have said, “Forget it, Jake, it’s Washington,” and conveyed the same cynical message.
Recently, the IRS agreed, on behalf of the atheist group Freedom from Religion, to go after churches that they feel have gotten too involved in politics, and should therefore face forfeiture of their tax-exempt status. But how involved is obviously less important than who’s involved.
For instance, when the Catholic Church pushes for amnesty on behalf of illegal aliens, 99% of whom just happen to be Catholics and are likely to fill its pews and collection plates, not to mention the ranks of the Democrats, I have a feeling the Church is not likely to be reprimanded by Obama’s IRS. And when at election time, black Baptist ministers pick up a few extra bucks by renting out their pulpits to leftwing candidates, I don’t think they have to worry about Eric Holder’s Justice Department lowering the boom.
One would have thought that America would have recognized what a terrible idea it was to join the United Nations back in 1945. After all, it had been less than ten years earlier that Haile Selassie, the leader of Ethiopia, had gone before the League of Nations, the precursor of the U.N., to plead for the world’s help in fending off the invading Italian forces. Predictably, the League, a pipedream of the vile Woodrow Wilson, did nothing. On his way out the door, Selassie uttered the ominous warning: “Today, it’s us; tomorrow, it will be you.”
As he foretold, World War II was waiting in the wings, even as Neville Chamberlin promised “Peace in our time” and the isolationists in the U.S. had us twiddling our thumbs for an additional three years until the Japanese foolishly dragged us into the fray by demolishing our fleet at Pearl Harbor.
That is why I get so annoyed when people like Rand Paul suggest that we keep our noses out of foreign affairs and others insist that Americans are sick and tired of waging war. I could be mistaken, but what I think Americans are sick and tired of is rushing off to defend one sect of Muslims being attacked by some other sect, and settling for cease-fires instead of actually winning wars by defeating the enemy.
That’s not to suggest we should keep our hands off the Middle East. For one thing, we have an ally in that part of the world, Israel, with whom we share a great deal, including civilized values, human rights and common enemies. What we shouldn’t do is what George W. Bush did in Iraq and Afghanistan; namely rebuild that which we had just knocked down, or pretend that we had anything in common with those who pray to Allah, parrot the lie that Islam is a religion of peace or announce that we actually expected to leave a western-style freedom-loving democracy in our wake.
The only thing we have a right to expect of those who refer to us as the Big Satan and to Israel as the Little Satan is what we had prior to Jimmy Carter’s pulling the Persian rug out from under the Shah of Iran: namely, a collection of backward nations ruled by tyrants who were beholden to the U.S., ruthless despots who would either keep their heel on the necks of would-be terrorists or exterminate them on our mutual behalf.
Something that is impolite to mention, but is nevertheless true, is that inbreeding has long plagued the Arab/Muslim world, where for centuries marriage between first cousins has been the norm. It certainly helps to explain their lack of progress, even in terms of personal hygiene, since the days when Mohammad was racing around on his camel killing everyone he couldn’t convert.
Were it not for the oceans of oil that lie beneath their sand, they would probably have died off by this time, assuming that Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” is anything more than a rumor.
The only cultures that come close to the Muslims when it comes to exhibiting signs of inbreeding are certain clans to be found in the hollows of the Ozarks and among the liberal pinheads whose natural habitat are urban areas such as Berkeley, West L.A. and New York’s Upper West Side.
Much like Africa, whose most important contributions to the modern world have been AIDS and Ebola; and the Middle East, which prides itself on having introduced suicide bombs and clitorectomies; liberal enclaves have bestowed precious little besides the New York Times’ nonsensical editorials, politically correct censorship and wine spritzers.
Or, to put it another way, it’s still Chinatown, Jake.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.