Sometimes people are surprised to learn that my favorite books are mysteries, many of which are written by Brits. I particularly enjoy those that are leavened with humor, but those are extremely rare. The reason I like the genre is because mysteries tend to be logical and they invariably end well with justice being meted out to the guilty -- unlike real life.
I also prefer mystery novels because, unlike most non-fiction, which is either ghost-written if it has a politician’s name on the cover or is the work of an historian or an academic, mysteries are written by actual writers with an eye to style, not by those whose long suit is research.
I can’t possibly list all of my favorite mystery writers, but my English short list includes Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Barnard, Simon Brett and Agatha Christie. Among the Americans, I like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Aaron Elkins, Lee Child, Donna Leon and Elizabeth George.
I have a special regard for Daniel Silva who, through his protagonist, Gabriel Allon, art restorer and sometime Israeli assassin, acts as the Elie Wiesel of the mystery world. His targets are invariably Islamic terrorists or neo-Nazis out to do Israel, the U.S. and England, great harm. Along the way, acting as a witness for the victims of the Holocaust, Silva shines a spotlight on those nations, mainly France, Holland, Austria, Poland and Switzerland, where huge portions of the population collaborated with the Nazis, either because they agreed that Europe’s Jews should be exterminated or, in the case of the Swiss, because they stood to gain so much financially through the looting and killing of six million Jews.
But there are other mysteries whose solutions often elude me. For instance, I recently wrote a piece titled “Dear Chairman Rogers…” in which I admitted being confounded by the whitewash of the Obama administration by his House committee’s report on Benghazi. Fortunately, a couple of readers quickly solved the mystery for me. It seems that his wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, who is now the CEO of Aspen Health Care, was at the time of the Benghazi attack the President and CEO of Aegis Ltd., an English-based company that had a $10 billion contract with our federal government to provide security at U.S. diplomatic posts around the globe! That would definitely include Benghazi.
Mike Rogers is leaving Congress this January. Apparently he has always had his heart set on hosting a radio talk show. I hope that once he’s settled in, you’ll all call the show and ask him a few of those embarrassing questions that he neglected to ask the members of this administration.
Recently I watched an old movie on TCM called “The Dark Horse.” It’s a 1932 political satire that starred Warren William as a political fixer and Guy Kibbee as the nitwit William has been hired to get elected governor. At one point, William describes his client as “the dumbest human being I’ve ever known. Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.” It definitely rang a bell for me because every time Barack Obama opens his mouth, I feel he subtracts from the sum total of human decency.
These days, parents and grandparents are often dismayed to discover that many youngsters are no longer taught cursive writing in public schools. Combined with the fact that so much of what now passes for communication takes place on some sort of electronic gadget that only prints words, cursive writing may soon go the way of cave paintings. The mystery in this case is why we actually pay public school teachers more than we pay babysitters.
God knows that by the time the kids reach college, where 63% of professors admit to being liberals and only 12%, mainly those in the hard sciences, are conservative, they are already propagandizing on behalf of global warming, abortions on demand and same-sex marriages and against Christianity, capitalism and Israel… I, for one, say it’s time to start sending the young blighters to trade schools before we sacrifice yet another generation of Americans to the untender mercies of academic pinheads.
After the GOP takes control of the Senate in January, one of the first items on their agenda should be to rein in the EPA. I don’t happen to believe that those who churn out thousands of regulations, most of which result in the loss of jobs and property rights, are evil. Instead, because Obama has granted these environmental zealots unlimited power, they assume they are doing God’s work.
As a result, they end up behaving like spoiled brats, but instead of running up and down store aisles, eating too many sweets and making minor, but noisy, nuisances of themselves, they manage to destroy the nation’s economy while doing irreparable harm to individual property owners.
Someone wrote to me last week and asked why black urban dwellers – generally the least educated and least productive members of society -- representing a mere 14% of the population, garner so much of our time and attention, not to mention our hard-earned tax dollars.
The answer is pretty simple. It’s because the Democrats and the liberal media have colluded to make them our answer to the sacred cows of India, and the obvious motive behind this hanky-panky is to ensure that 95% of them continue to give their votes to the party of slavery.
The fact is that not since 1964 has any Democratic presidential candidate received a majority of white votes. Without that lopsided black vote, Carter, Clinton and Obama would be mere footnotes in the history books, just like Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry.
Without that dependable vote from the modern plantation dwellers, the Democrats would have long ago joined the Whigs, the Greenbacks and the Prohibitionists, in the political boneyard.
Still, at the rate they’ve been losing elections since 2008, it’s just possible we’re getting close to the reading of the last rites of the Democratic Party. That will be one burial service I won’t want to miss.
Because I suspect seating will be at a premium, I’ll plan to get there early and hope to God it’s a closed casket so I don’t have to view Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Charley Rangel, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Elijah Cummings and the rest of the sorry crew, lying in state.
I shudder and my blood runs cold at the mere thought of the undertaker’s assuring me that they look absolutely lifelike.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.