Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Playing Hide & Seek With Common Sense" and "Pet Peeves & Pet Heroes"

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Although I understood that when George W. Bush was in the White House and the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, America did not enter the state of Nirvana. Far from it. Bush banned incandescent bulbs; wasted fifteen billion dollars fighting AIDS on a continent where those suffering from the disease were convinced that the surest cure was having sex with a young virgin; and micromanaged the war in Iran by insisting that we re-build every structure a minute after either we or the enemy had knocked it down.

In the meantime, Republican senators fluttered their collective eyelashes at Ted Kennedy, hoping in their girlish hearts that he would invite them to the senior prom.

I had assumed that after the shellacking they took over the next few years, they had learned their lesson. But, obviously, I was mistaken. Mea culpa.

Over the past 52 months, the Republicans have taken back 14 seats in the Senate and over 70 in the House, and yet they have once again assumed the role they clearly find most comfortable; namely, serving as geishas for the Democrats.

In the Senate, Mitch McConnell refuses to use any of the weapons against the Democrats that Harry Reid used so effectively against the Republicans, so that, for all intents and purposes, the Democrats are still in control. Making matters worse, we have Senators Flake, Hatch and Graham, voting to confirm Loretta Lynch, Eric Holder’s hand-picked successor at the Justice Department, even though she has already testified at her confirmation hearing that she regarded Obama’s executive amnesty to be constitutional.

Then, when rookie Senator Tom Cotton campaigned to get his fellow Republicans to send a letter to Iran’s theocratic despot, letting the Ayatollah Khomeini know that if he signed a nuclear agreement with Obama, absent Senate approval, it wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on, he couldn’t even muster a simple majority. In case you’re wondering about the identities of the seven sniveling holdouts, they are, in alphabetical order, Lamar Alexander (TN), Dan Coats (IN), Thad Cochran (MS), Susan Collins (ME), Tom Corker (TN), Jeff Flake (AZ) and Lisa Murkoski (AK).

An interesting aspect of the rumored treaty with Iran is that, at the very least, they will be able to pursue nuclear energy to their heart’s content, which is more than the liberals, taking their marching orders from environmental zealots, will allow us to do. How is it we’re not insisting that Iran start relying on solar panels and windmills for its energy needs?

Although nuclear energy is cheap, available and safe, and would make us energy independent for the foreseeable future, we haven’t built a nuclear plant since the 1970s. Perhaps if America could go to Switzerland and negotiate with John Kerry we, too, could start building centrifuges for peaceful purposes.

It is delightful to watch Hillary Clinton swing in the breeze and endlessly amusing to watch her defenders circle the wagons and try to ward off the arrows, but I can’t help wondering about those pathetic excuses for human beings. I mean, really, when long time Clinton consiglieres like James Carville and Lanny Davis respond to every scandal swirling around Hillary and Bill like traffic cops at a traffic accident (“Move along, folks, nothing to see here”), are they not aware that it’s 25 years too late to protect the reputations of these latter-day Borgias, and that all they’re doing is further trashing their own?

Someone recently sent me a note that asked a legitimate question: If gender is no longer determined by genitalia, why is race still determined by skin color?

In a day in which people are encouraged to use any public bathroom they personally feel is appropriate, why is it that people like Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton, are concerned with what they perceive to be injustices only when the alleged victim happens to be the same color they are?

Another reader corrected me when I attributed the offensive term “compassionate conservative” to George W. Bush rather than to his father. In response, I wrote, “Thank you for setting me straight. By way of explanation, I can only say that my wife and I had two male Maltese dogs prior to acquiring Angel. As a result, we often confuse Duke with Sammy when we reminisce about them. I find I have a similar problem when it comes to the two Bushes, which is part of the reason I am so reluctant to see us saddled with yet a third."

Recently, there was a minor shakeup at the talk radio station to which my car radio is pre-set. As a result, Mark Levin has been added at a time I am most often driving. Frankly, I was shocked. You see, I was familiar with him, having read one of his books, but I had never heard him speak. Although our politics are quite similar, I confess I find his voice extremely annoying. To my ear, he comes across as so mouse-like, he almost squeaks.

I am therefore ready to conduct yet another Prelutsky Poll. Please let me know which radio talk show host you like best and which one you like least. Please limit your votes to one of each and place your choices in the Subject Line. If you wish to add commentary or defend Mr. Levin's voice, I'd appreciate it if you would place that in the body of your email.

And please keep in mind that the sooner you vote at, the sooner I can announce the results.

Pet Peeves & Pet Heroes

Any list of my personal peeves would have to include New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio. Those of us who used to take shots at the former mayor, referring to him as Nanny Bloomberg, didn’t fully appreciate how much worse New York voters could do once they really put their minds to it.

I honestly thought that after siding with the street mob against the NYPD, De Blasio ran the very real risk of facing a recall election, but I should have known better than to expect New Yorkers to show any sign of sanity.

Now I have no doubt that the city’s left-wing Jewish and Italian voters will applaud De Blasio’s latest decision, which is to close the public schools for two Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. No doubt the voters will also applaud themselves for having elected this ecumenical buffoon.

In announcing this brainstorm, De Blasio explained: “This is a common sense change. It recognizes our growing Muslim community and honors its many contributions to our city.”

Unfortunately, he neglected to mention if he was referring to 9/11, the Times Square car bomber or the Muslim convert who attacked two New York cops with an axe.

In the distant past, I was a movie critic, and for a good portion of my life, I was a movie fan. But not so much lately. Part of the problem is that Hollywood has pretty much decided that stories, characters and dialogue, are nonessential, mainly due to lousy writers and to technological advances in special effects. In the industry’s defense, they have determined that they are satisfying its base audience, which consists of children and young adults.

Believing in capitalism as I do, I don’t really have a problem with the current state of affairs. Thanks to other forms of technology, I have ready access to the great movies of the past. But, having said that, I still rue what has happened to an American art form that, as with popular music, once held so much promise.

Among my major peeves is that the majority of films I’ve seen in recent years have been under-lit, as if trying to pass themselves off as radio shows. It is a fad I simply can’t get my head around. I mean, it’s not as if light bulbs constitute a major studio expense.

Another annoyance I’ve encountered are movies that open without credits, holding them off until the end, as if the producers are worried that if the action doesn’t start as soon as the film begins to roll through the projector, the audience will switch to another station.

And what’s with the damn fireballs? How many times are we going to see the hero have to out-run flames without even singeing his tail feathers?

One final peeve are directors who think that by having characters talk over each other, they’re striking a blow for realism, when in fact people are rarely that rude except on Fox News and in other lousy movies.

In the real world, one of my major peeves happen to be wealthy communists. Maybe because I grew up with a bunch of rich Russian-born uncles who never stopped praising the Soviet Union -- although none of them ever packed their bags and moved back -- such people have a special place in my craw. Today, of course, the rolls of the Democratic Party are full of these rich hypocrites, and they can always be counted upon to ballyhoo Obama’s radical transformation of America and his trampling of the Constitution.

I recently came across a word, “ultracrepidarian,” that describes a person who spouts opinions far beyond his area of expertise, assuming he or she has an area of expertise. What makes the word unique is that it allows you to describe Obama without resorting to obscenities.

Another of my numerous peeves are parents who give cutesy or crazy names to their children. This is particularly popular among the celebrity crowd. Until I looked into it, I thought that perhaps Kenye West and Kim Kardashian, who named their daughter North (North West) were the prime offenders. But that was before I delved more deeply into this pathology.

Sylvester Stallone named his kid Sage Moonblood. Rob Morrow named his son Tu. (Get it? Tu Morrow.) Jason Lee labeled his first born Pilot Inspektor. Penn Jillette went with Moxie Crimefighter. Nicolas Cage, showed his allegiance to Marvel Comics by naming his son Kal-El, while Frank Zappa apparently had two kids so he could curse one with Moon Unit and the other with Diva Thin Muffin.

Just in case you were wondering if drug use is as widespread in show biz as you’ve heard rumored, wonder no longer. All I can say is if Moxie Crimefighter or Tu Morrow ever gets around to killing his parents, he’ll want me either serving on the jury or as his defense attorney.

Of late, I have been urging my readers to drop certain charities and to support others. Having recently warned that the Humane Society of the U.S. is as corrupt as Congress, stashing untold millions of dollars in the Cayman Islands while offering only chump change to a very few animal shelters, I’m happy to report that dog lovers who wish to make a real difference should consider contributing to Paws & Stripes.

After rescuing the animals from shelters, the charity trains them to be service dogs for military veterans suffering from mental or physical injuries.

Help a dog help a soldier. I don’t think it gets much better than that.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?