Friday, January 2, 2015

Civil Disobedience

What Barack Obama has done to America is so vile that one can only hope that he will receive his just comeuppance in the hereafter. After all, we know that as an ex-president, he will, like Bill Clinton, make tens of millions of dollars in book deals and speaking fees. He and Michelle will live in a mansion, fly between Chicago and Hawaii on a private jet, protected by the Secret Service, and hobnobbing with the show biz glitterati who adore him and see him as super cool and the fount of all wisdom.

Ultimately, only God will have the ability to punish him for trashing our Constitution, along with our traditions and values. It’s of small comfort to those of us who think he has single-handedly undermined American power and influence in the world by coddling our enemies, betraying our allies and turning a blind eye to the existential threat posed by Islam. Even on those rare instances when he has been forced to acknowledge the evil done in its name, he has referred to it as workplace violence or dismissed it as a generic form of terrorism.

Still, a great many people regard it as unseemly if you attack Obama’s actions or his motives, insisting that respect be paid to the office. To me, that sounds like baby talk. The office is the office. It’s what its occupant does that should determine how much respect you pay it. For better or worse, being elected president indicates nothing more than the fact you managed to win a popularity contest by spending hundreds of millions of other people’s dollars lying about yourself or your opponent.

I feel the same way when people take the NYPD to task because the cops have been turning their backs on the unrepentant commie bastard, Mayor De Blasio, who went on TV to reveal he told his bi-racial son, Dante, to be very careful when he comes in contact with New York cops because they’re racists and his life might be at risk. He told young Dante that lie in spite of the fact that blacks and Hispanics make up the majority of his city’s police force, and that Dante’s father never steps outside without having a squad of cops protecting his ungrateful ass.

The wonder of it is that New York voters are so devoted to liberalism that they’d never even consider recalling De Blasio. Chris Christie saw his approval numbers sink and his political career jeopardized simply because a few of his underlings shut down a bridge as political payback to a Jersey mayor. But De Blasio encourages a mob of left-wing thugs and fellow travelers to shut down streets, stores and bridges, in the week leading up to Christmas, while chanting “Kill the cops!” and even some conservatives, including Rudy Giuliani, think it’s disrespectful for the men in blue to turn their backs on the schmuck even though he’s made a career of turning his back on them.

Speaking of institutions that don’t deserve our respect, the U.S. State Department officially deemed Israel’s actions “unacceptable” on 87 different occasions in 2014. That placed the Jewish state in fourth place right between North Korea and Pakistan on John Kerry’s shit list.

One must admit that’s an odd place to find an alleged ally. When you realize that during the same period, Iran was working on a nuclear bomb; American soldiers were being killed in Afghanistan; China was menacing Japan and South Korea;, North Korea was committing cyber-attacks against an American company; Russia was gobbling up Crimea and threatening Ukraine; al-Assad continued to murder thousands of Syrians and ISIS in Iraq continued to slaughter Kurds and behead Americans and Brits; you wouldn’t think Israel would rank so high, considering they were mainly being condemned for building apartment houses within its own borders.

After referring to Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas in a recent article, referencing her farcical claims to being a Native American in order to enhance her resume and promote her rise in academic circles, and possibly cash in on casino money, a reader in Massachusetts let me know that within the state, conservatives have taken to calling her Fauxcahontas and Lieawatha. We would do well to keep these amusing terms in mind in case Hillary Clinton falls by the wayside and Sen. Warren winds up on the presidential ballot in 2016.

Meanwhile, in Argentina, a very weird century-long tradition was continued when President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner adopted a young boy as her godson in order to ward off the curse that supposedly turns the seventh son of a family into a werewolf on the first Friday after his 13th birthday. The child is not only saved from a life of baying at the full moon, but awarded a gold medal and a scholarship.

Until recently, only Catholics could apply. But this year, the lucky winner was Yair Tarvil, a young Jew. And high time, I say. After all, why should Jewish seventh sons be condemned to bay at the moon and run naked through the woods? Inasmuch as a 13th birthday is also the occasion for a bar mitzvah when a Jewish boy is magically transformed into a man, I’m curious if they somehow merged the two ceremonies for young Yair. You’d think it must have been really tough to shop for just the right greeting card. I wonder if his relatives congratulated him on becoming a man or on not becoming a werewolf.

In the old days, people thought there were three ways to cure the condition: through the application of wolfbane, which is a poisonous plant, surgery or exorcism. There was an odd cultural element to it, because Sicilians thought the best cure was to stab the victim through his hand (paw?); Germans believed that if you called the werewolf by his Christian name three times, he would snap out of it; whereas Danes thought that a good scolding would do the trick.

My own experience with werewolves was limited to seeing hair sprout on Lon Chaney Junior’s hands while fangs popped out of his mouth in old movies. All the while, Maria Ouspenskaya, who always seemed to be suffering from a curse of her own, which made it impossible for her to say “Hello” without making it sound terribly foreboding, would mumble, “Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers at night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.”

Being an impressionable child, even though, so far as I knew, there was no wolfbane in our neighborhood, for a long time, whenever the moon was bright, I would check to see if hair was sprouting on my hands. In fact it wasn’t until I was into my 30s that I came to realize that in my particular case the curse was that, moon or no moon, the hair would fall off my head.

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?