Monday, June 29, 2015

The Point of No Return

When an airplane having engine trouble is closer to its final destination than it is to its home base, it is said to have reached the point of no return. I’m afraid that’s where America now finds itself.

This tragic fact was brought home for me when I watched a three-minute video produced by an outfit calling itself Government Gone Wild. It started out by telling us that if you type in the words “How do I qualify for…” on your computer, the top 10 sites on any search engine will tell you how to qualify for such things as food stamps, Medicaid, disability and earned income credit. In other words, you and millions of illegal aliens will learn how to latch onto the government teat.

The video also shared the alarming news that 41% of all births and 60% of elderly long term care is paid for with our tax dollars, and that one of every three households, accounting for 144,000,000 people, receive food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare and free health care.

It also divulged the fact that as investments go, being poor provides a greater return than silver, gold or stocks, because for every dollar paid in taxes of one kind or another by a poor person, he receives ten dollars in welfare. What’s more, the feds are funding a marketing program to get even more people on food stamps.

Assuming you haven’t been in a coma for the past 30 years, you should have noticed that the problem just keeps getting worse. Under Reagan, 19% of adults paid no income tax. Under Clinton, the percentage rose to 25% and, under George W. Bush, it jumped to 30%. Under Barack Obama, it has soared to 47%. In other words, 53% of us are paying for every government giveaway.

Hard to believe the Boston Tea Party launched the American Revolution over a penny tax on tea. Of course the rallying cry was “No taxation without representation,” which might translate into “It’s not the penny, it’s the principle.” But if they’d had any idea that one day their countrymen would be burdened by a legion of blood-sucking mayors, councilmen, assemblymen, state senators, congressmen, senators, a vice president and Barack Obama, I like to think they’d have spared us the grief and paid the extra penny.

Because I always look for the silver lining, I am hoping that China, having now hacked the government’s computers, not to mention Sony’s and those of several other American companies, will do the right thing and make public what they discovered on Hillary Clinton’s private server.

In recent years, one of the staples of Hollywood has been movies about cliques of mean girls in high school and college. The clique leaders are generally hard-bitten blondes who have it in for a nice girl, who has innocently caught the eye of her boyfriend. It seems to me that they should set one of those movies in Washington with a cast that includes Kirsten Powers, Marie Harf, Jen Psaki and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. When it comes to cold eyes, snarky smiles and a bratty attitude, Central Casting couldn’t come close to matching this quartet.

Apparently, Neil Young, a Canadian citizen who supports Bernie Sanders, was offended that Donald Trump used his “Rockin’ in the Free World” as a musical accompaniment when announcing his run for the White House. In rebuttal, the Trump team announced they had paid a fee for the song, reminding some of us of Ronald Reagan’s announcing he had paid for the microphone.

My question, though, is why Republican candidates keep picking songs composed by left-wing pinheads. John McCain, Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney, have all been ratted out. Does their musical knowledge go back no further than the 60s? Do they really think that the Beach Boys, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, are the be-all and end-all of American music? Are they all tone-deaf? Have they never heard of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Frank Loesser, Harry Warren, Vernon Duke, Harold Arlen and George Gershwin, all of whom, on their worst days, wrote better songs than the current crop?

It used to be that only politicians and criminal defense attorneys lied for a living, but it has become something of a growth industry. In just the past few months, we have seen Brian Williams, George Stephanopoulos, Tom Brady and Rachel Dolezal, caught fibbing. I guess because Williams and Stephanopoulos have spent so many years hanging with politicians, they were pretty good at it.

However, Brady, a football player and Dolezal, a psychotic community organizer, confirmed their amateur status by lying so badly, it was embarrassing. In poker circles, when you subconsciously tip off whether or not you’re bluffing, it’s called a “tell.” In Brady’s case, when asked if he had knowingly cheated by using a deflated ball against the Indianapolis Colts, he said: “I don’t believe so.” That was also how Ms. Dolezal responded when she was asked if she was lying when she claimed to be a black woman.

“I don’t believe so” is the appropriate response when asked if one would like to have seconds at a dinner party or if someone asks you if America’s safety and well-being is of primary concern to Barack Obama. On the other hand, when asked if you lied or cheated, “I don’t believe so” runs a close second to “Oh, shoot, how did you guess?”

Although I personally regard Donald Trump’s entry into the GOP primaries as a breath of fresh air in a room filled to the rafters with mealy-mouthed politicians, I must confess I got a kick out of a recent poster I saw bearing his likeness, captioned: “We Shall Overcomb.”

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Friday, June 26, 2015

"A Mess of Pottage" and "Playing the Trump Card"

Although it doesn’t appear in any English translation of Genesis, “a mess of pottage” has come to mean something precious, such as Esau’s birthright, which he surrendered to his twin brother, Jacob, in exchange for something essentially worthless, “pottage” referring to a thin gruel.

That is the bargain that the liberals have made, trading away the glorious endowment handed down by our Founders for the gruel of the welfare state, which demands nothing of the individual except that he continue to vote for more of the same.

I fully understand that the Confederate battle flag raises hackles among a great many people. I also understand that for a lot of Southerners, people who tend to have a great love of their region and a respect for those who fought and died on its behalf, the Stars and Bars represents a connection to their ancestors, most of whom did not own slaves or even necessarily favor slavery.

I, myself, don’t have a dog in the fight. If those who are offended by seeing the flag fly over their state capitals or see it emblazoned on their license plates decide that enough is enough and decide to fold it up and stick it under glass in a museum, I’m fine with it.

But I would like to point out two salient facts. One, whereas slavery existed under the Confederate flag for a scant four years, it existed under the American flag for seven long decades.

Two, as my friend Steve Maikoski reminds me, if the Confederate flag is so odious that it has to be removed from the sight of decent people, isn’t it time to do something about West Virginia’s obsession with naming things after Robert Byrd? After all, Byrd was a man who rose -- if that’s the proper verb to use in noting ascension in such a vile gang -- to the rank of Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops in the Ku Klux Klan. In case you don’t remember him, Byrd served six years in the House before moving to the U.S. Senate, where he spent 52 of his eventual 92 years representing West Virginia. Through guile and seniority, he managed to become something on the order of the Kleagle of that not so august body.

Anytime you turn around in West Virginia, you are going to see an institute, a bridge, a street, a library, a high school, a community center, a courthouse, a hospital or a park, named in his honor. If you then walk a few feet in any direction, you will then see a research center, a museum, a school or a garden, named after his wife, Erma Ora Byrd.

I mean, it’s not as if there haven’t been any notable people born in the Mountain State. Just a few of them were Chuck Yeager, Pearl Buck, Jerry West, Mary Lou Retton and Don Knotts. Okay, so maybe that’s most of them, but I’d say they are all more worthy of having stuff named after them than an Exalted Cyclops. On top of that, Byrd wasn’t even born in West Virginia. The swine who grew up to be the acknowledged “King of Pork” in the U.S. Senate was actually born in North Carolina.

I keep hearing from delusional Republicans who are already letting me know that if they don’t absolutely love the GOP candidate in 2016, even if it means Hillary Clinton gets elected, intend to stay home on Election Day. I simply don’t get it. The truth is I dislike Rand Paul almost as much as I dislike his father, but I would climb off my death bed to vote for him rather than allow Hillary to get within a country mile of the Oval Office.

If for no other reason than that the next president is not only likely to name Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement on the Supreme Court, but also Antonin Scalia’s, Clarence Thomas’s, Anthony Kennedy’s and Stephen Breyer’s. After all, on Inauguration Day, 2017, Ginsburg will be 84, Scalia, 81, Kennedy, 80 and Breyer 79. And by 2021, they will all be four years older or deceased.

(I wrote that paragraph prior to the Court’s pigheaded justification of the subsidies. It now becomes clear that I was wrong in defending John Roberts back in 2012 when, in spite of the government’s arguing that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t a tax, he decided it was. At the time, I believed he voted the way he did because with the presidential election just months off, he felt Mitt Romney would do away with the ACA, and the Court could thus avoid making a ruling that would be every bit as controversial as Roe v. Wade and the 2000 presidential election.

So, while I would still prefer that a Republican president be the one to nominate justices, I would urge them to do a great deal more vetting than George I did in seating David Souter and George II did when it came to John Roberts.)

For better or for worse, the Supreme Court is the legacy that every president leaves us. When you realize that Bill Clinton gave us Breyer and Ginsburg, and Obama has given us Kagan and Sotomayor, I can’t begin to fathom how any rational human being can accept Hillary Clinton getting to pack the Court with three or four more of these uber-liberal pinheads.

Did everyone notice how eager the very same people who pretend that “separation of church and state” actually appears in the Constitution glommed onto Pope Francis’s encyclical regarding global warming, wrapping themselves in the cozy folds of the papal vestments?

Naturally, they didn’t refer to or even pause to consider his objections to abortions and homosexuality. As they see it, even those officially deemed infallible can be forgiven for being occasionally fallible. For them, the important thing is that Francis parroted Al Gore’s lies about what they both pretend is the greatest danger facing mankind.

The major differences lie in their motives. Gore promotes the hoax because doing so has made him enormously wealthy. Francis’s motivation is even sleazier. He pushes the Doom’s Day narrative because he is a South American communist who despises capitalism and has nothing but contempt for the industrial nations.

Just like Obama, who vowed to destroy the coal and oil industries and send our energy costs soaring, Francis wishes to destroy capitalism even if the end result is that millions of poor people, a great many of them Catholics, will inevitably freeze to death.

In the end, such blatant cynicism may deny the Pontiff sainthood and even, for all I know, keep him out of Heaven, but in the meantime is very likely to garner him a Nobel Peace Prize.

Playing the Trump Card

Like everyone else, including Charles Krauthammer, I assumed that Donald Trump was merely promoting his brand when earlier this year he announced he was considering a run for the presidency. Like Lucy yanking aside the football just before Charlie Brown can kick it, Trump had yanked America’s chain four or five times in the past by pretending he was going to toss his hair in the ring.

Now that he has finally done it, I celebrate his candidacy for a number of reasons. First, you need to understand that I think that everyone who runs for the office is certifiably insane. Imagine waking up one day and deciding that in a nation of 320,000,000, you and you alone should be in charge.

Although you will, once you plant your keester in the Oval Office, surround yourself with advisors and policy wonks, you will be the person responsible for making final decisions about sending the military to fight and die on your order; about Supreme Court judgeships and appointments to the departments of State, Agriculture, Education, Interior, Health and Defense; about tariffs and subsidies; about the federal debt; and on and on it goes.

To seriously believe you are up to the task is to proclaim yourself the single wisest and most competent man or woman in the entire country. Such a person, I suggest, should go directly to an asylum for the terminally cuckoo, not the White House.

I recently saw Paul Ryan on TV being interviewed by Chris Wallace. Mr. Wallace reminded Ryan that he had run for the vice presidency in 2012, and wondered if he were the least bit tempted to join all the others running for the top spot in 2016. The congressman said he wasn’t, not the least little bit. Ryan told Wallace that he had spent the previous day playing basketball with his sons, implying that was something none of the others who were already wearing out the ground between Iowa and New Hampshire would have time to do for at least the next year.

That reminded me how tough it must be to be the son or daughter of a politician, having to live in a fishbowl, knowing that any slight blemish on your own record could sink your parent’s career. But as bad as it is if your mother or father is in the House or the Senate, if he or she winds up in the White House, you wind up in the custody of the Secret Service.

Although four of Trump’s children are in their 20s or 30s, his son Barron is still only nine. The one redeeming factor is that the son of Donald Trump can’t help living in a glass house, so by now little Barron may already be accustomed to the role. It’s even possible that he’d see more of his old man once Donald was ensconced in the White House and not zipping all over the globe building towers and golf courses.

Speaking personally, on the plus side, if I’m going to be stuck with seeing the First Lady on every magazine cover in America and being interviewed every ten minutes on TV, I’d prefer it be someone like Mrs. Trump. One thing you have to say about the Donald is that his wives are always lookers, and nobody ever has to pretend that her best features are her biceps and her manly shoulders.

Besides, if Donald’s wife, like all the other First Ladies, is compelled to have a pet project, it will probably involve something a lot less boring than beautifying Washington, D.C. or making everybody’s kids eat their veggies.

I initially came to like Trump many years ago when he was trying to make it his mission to get the U.S. out of the U.N., and get the U.N. booted out of the U.S. He even offered to pay a fair price for the building, which he proposed to tear down so he could build a five-star hotel on the site.

Something else Trump has going for him is a nine billion dollar fortune. Even if it's only half that amount, allowing for Trump's usual hyperbole, I am getting sick and tired of GOP candidates having to go hat-in-hand to the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson for campaign contributions. I have nothing against the Kochs or Mr. Adelson, aside from their reluctance to invest in the media, which would benefit conservatism far more than simply handing millions of dollars over to a Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum to waste.

Yet another plus for Mr. Trump is that he stands 6’3”. In nearly every presidential election, the taller candidate wins. One can rail at height bigotry -- and God knows I do! -- but it’s a reality and in a presidential race, nothing should be left to chance.

At the very least, even if he doesn’t garner the nomination, Trump’s brand of plain speaking about everything from immigration and trade deficits to Islam and China's evil ways, has to have a beneficial effect on the other Republican candidates. One hopes he can move them further to the right, in much the same way that Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and even an undeclared Elizabeth Warren has prompted Hillary’s lurch leftward.

I'm not saying that Trump is my first choice, but he is certainly in my top tier along with the likes of Walker, Rubio, Perry, Jindal and Fiorina.

Speaking of Carly Fiorina, assuming she doesn't get the nod, I would endorse her to be our vice-presidential candidate because, like Trump, she is someone who has achieved great success in the real world, where the competition is fierce and it’s for something more than face time on the 6 o’clock news.

As I see it, the worst thing about politics in America is that far too often we leave it in the incompetent, self-serving, hands of career politicians.

Probably the very best things I can say on Donald Trump’s behalf are that he is as politically incorrect as I am and that, unlike the other contenders, he doesn’t feel the need to take a poll before voicing an honest opinion.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Understanding Islam

For a long time after 9/11, a great many non-Muslims felt compelled to read the Koran to better understand the enemy. Even back then, I knew that was a waste of time. If you want to know the heart of a person, you don’t need to read a book or even figure out how he thinks, you just need to know how he behaves.

That was the reason that I have never bothered trying to distinguish good Muslims from bad ones. Although I knew that only a relatively small percentage of them would blow up a school bus or kill someone because they had drawn a depiction of Muhammad, I also knew that a majority of them in the Middle East celebrated the destruction of the Twin Towers and the murder of 3,000 Americans.

I also knew that even after that massacre, a great many American Muslims were contributing to the terrorists in Hamas and Hezbollah until the FBI put to a stop to it. It was also no secret that Muslim clerics were in our prisons converting prisoners, usually black ones, to their vile cult. Furthermore, I knew that American Muslims were plotting mischief in their mosques and that, instead of placing a bounty on Osama bin Laden’s head, they were whining about being profiled.

That is why I would counsel Israel to never enter into a deal with those sworn to kill all the Jews. As for pandering to so-called world opinion, Israel should never even consider it. Most of the world hates Jews, but the existence of Israel provides them with cover. It allows people like Vanessa Redgrave, Emma Thompson and the administrators at a great many American universities to pretend it’s Israeli national policies they find objectionable, when in reality the only policy they really oppose is the one that calls for self-preservation.

The reason that so many creeps in Europe and America respond to the siren’s call of ISIS is because for many, license to kill and pillage is irresistible. As we all know, it is far more difficult to build than to destroy, and the path of least resistance is always going to appeal to a certain number of people, whether they’re in Ramadi or Baltimore.

In the meantime, we have a man in the Oval Office who only objects to going to war with Muslims, but would delight in decimating Republicans, whom he regards as more dangerous and a far greater threat to all he holds dear than a bunch of savages burning and beheading Christians in the name of Allah.

China has conducted several successful cyberattacks on our government, on our corporations and even on our citizens, managing to steal our military and industrial secrets, along with personal information about millions of us.

But in spite of what some people think, we haven’t been asleep at the switch. In retaliation, our State Department can proudly boast that we now possess the recipe for authentic mushu chicken, Shanghai shrimp and hot and sour soup.

To the age old question as to whether a glass is half full or half empty, Michael Bloomberg and his environmental minions would simply insist that your glass is twice as large as it should be, and would flog you for using it.

One of my readers, Karl Jenkins of Scottsdale, AZ, wrote to me recently to report on his recent visit to his physical therapist. When she told him that because her name is Caitlyn, she’d recently been the brunt of a great many Bruce Jenner jokes, he asked her if she thought Jenner might be mentally impaired. She said: “No, I think he’s brave.”

He then posed the following scenario: “Before I come in next time, I’m going to call you and say that I am now a cat. When I arrive, I want a litter box in the corner. I want everyone to call me ‘Kitty.’ During therapy, I want my back scratched. I’m also going to declare myself female, so I’d like all staff members to refer to me as ‘she.’ I’d also like you to call me brave.

“If I did all this, would you think I was mentally ill? Without a moment’s hesitation, she replied: ‘Yes, I never thought of it that way.’

“I reminded her that no matter what Bruce Jenner does to himself, a DNA test will always reveal the truth. Yet the media tries to convince us that he’s perfectly sane, and that we should lie to our children and tell them to lie as well.”

What’s more, Barack Obama, who knows less about courage than I do about Sanskrit, has told us that Bruce Jenner is courageous, just as he insisted was the case with basketball player Jason Collins and football recruit Michael Sam, when they outed themselves. And yet he never felt impelled to say the same about American sniper Chris Kyle, who spent years risking his own life in order to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers.

As a side note, it’s worth mentioning that Jenner is the very first Republican about whom Obama has ever said a kind word.

I believe it is the endless repetitions of videos showing incidents in places like McKinney, Texas, that makes everyone believe we are having an epidemic of cops misbehaving. When you combine the videos that are run incessantly even on Fox along with race pimps like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Marilyn Mosby, inciting the brainless black mobs, it doesn’t take much to set our cities ablaze.

If the Justice Department and the White House weren’t part of the problem, these people would all be in prison along with the creep who, in spite of knowing there’s not a whiff of smoke in the crowded theater, nevertheless hollers “Fire!”

I have long subscribed to the belief that among the most important influences in determining how a person will turn out is his last name. Some names are just so imposing that it is nearly impossible to imagine that Churchill, Hemingway and Rembrandt, wouldn’t make their mark on the world.

But a name needn’t have nine letters, which, coincidentally, “Prelutsky” just happens to have, to facilitate success. For instance, I don’t think Walt Disney would have been nearly as successful if he’d had a different moniker. What he had was a perfect name for someone involved with cartoons and animation. “Disney” almost sounds like it could have been the name of one of Snow White’s dwarves, along with Dopey, Sleepy and Sneezy.

I mean, what if his name had been Gustav Schmidlapper? Would people be equally excited about visiting Schmidlapperland? Hardly. And would Schmidlapper World still be the happiest place on earth? I think not.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Monday, June 22, 2015

In the Midst of Madness

When I heard about Rachel Dolezal, my first impression was that she was one of those Froot Loops that had escaped from GloZell Green’s bathtub. But upon further consideration, I asked myself what’s wrong with a white woman claiming to be black so she could head up the Spokane chapter of the NAACP?

Although the NAACP is insisting they have no problem with a white woman in that role, it’s not something they’ve ever encouraged in the past. What’s more, the Congressional Black Caucus has made it a practice to white-ball Caucasian members of the House, even those representing predominantly black districts, denying them membership strictly on the basis of pigment.

But these are different times, we’re told, so if Bruce Jenner can get away with insisting he’s a woman, and even have Barack Obama laud him for his courage, why shouldn’t Ms. Dolezal be allowed to call herself a black woman? And if, in spite of overwhelming evidence, she insists that some black man is her father, I would think her biological father would feel nothing but relief. I can actually picture him mopping his brow and saying: “Whew, that was a close one.”

Even very young children are being urged these days to determine their own gender and their own names, and, with that, decide how they wish to dress and which bathroom to visit.

It makes me wonder just how far this new open-minded policy goes. I mean, if there’s a long line at the men’s room and I decide to use the lady’s room, can I be arrested if I explain that I am in fact a 75-year-old black woman named Geraldine with a very small bladder and a great deal of attitude?

Thanks to a bunch of new edicts handed down by University of California President Janet Napolitano, Cal students and professors can no longer refer to America as the land of opportunity or even to suggest that the most competent person up for a job deserves to get it. The idea is that foreign students shouldn’t be made to feel that their native land doesn’t measure up or that incompetence should ever be regarded as a shortcoming,

The irony is that Ms. Napolitano knows better than anyone that in America, even women who seem destined to wind up being linebackers in the NFL, can end up as a governor, the head of Homeland Security and the president of a major university, and that competence is never even a consideration.

Speaking of what passes for education, L.A. has now decided that students can graduate even with a D average. Inasmuch as most of those students are Hispanic, and accustomed to dropping out of high school without passing Go and collecting a diploma, the plan must be to encourage them to stick around an additional year or two.

The school board has also decided to offer more services to those high school students who are 22 years of age or older. They neglected to mention what those services might be, but I assume learning the ins and outs of collecting Social Security must be on the list.

Recently, a local writer saw a re-run of one of my old “Dragnet” episodes. In it, Sergeants Friday and Gannon appear as a couple of panelists on a TV talk show, defending the LAPD against a professor, a hippy activist and a studio audience packed with cop haters.

He got the idea of doing a phone interview with me to find out if my views had evolved over the years, especially in the wake of Ferguson and the other recent brouhahas involving the police and young blacks. He explained he was writing a piece for the Atlantic and that he himself didn’t like the police.

Having written the show 47 years ago (it was in fact the very first script I ever had produced), I had no idea how it would hold up. But I told him I’d be happy to answer his questions. He, in turn, promised to let me read his piece, so I could make sure he’d quoted me correctly.

Two days later, he emailed it to me. I read it and replied: “Obviously, we see the issue from opposing viewpoints. But you gave my side a proper hearing, so I have no complaint. I would like to point out, though, that there are tens of thousands of cops in America, but the fact that so few are thugs or brutes is the reason that such occurrences are so rare as to be newsworthy.

“Even then, as you saw in Ferguson, the facts don’t always jibe with the propaganda. The problem is that because everyone has a telephone camera, the events go viral in a matter of minutes. Even as far back as Rodney King, they very rarely cover the entire incident and, so, they’re not telling anything like the full story. Truth has become the greatest victim of technology.

“Even in the recent pool party incident in Texas that cost a cop his career, we got to see the seven minutes in which the cop went ballistic, but we didn’t see the previous half hour during which the invited guests had to deal with a gang of unruly teenage trespassers and we didn’t see the 15 minutes after the video ended.

“When we see these isolated fragments out of context, it’s a lot like watching “Gone with the Wind” with all references to the Civil War deleted.”

We’ve all heard of Stockholm Syndrome in which captives, after a period of time, begin to identify with those holding them hostage. Frankly, I can’t imagine such a thing. It sounds like a disorder from which only liberals would suffer.

But now I’ve heard of something called Jerusalem Syndrome (JS). It is a phenomenon in which a visitor to a holy place begins to experience a religious psychosis, such as believing himself to be a messiah. As weird as it sounds, it’s something I’ve seen with my own eyes. I believe the last recorded case of JS took place the first time Barack Obama set foot in the White House.

I belong to a small Republican group here in the San Fernando Valley. We are, for the most part, like-minded people with a proper reverence for America and for those who fought and died to defend it. However, at a recent meeting, a few members let it be known that if the 2016 GOP nominee doesn’t pass their personal litmus test, they will stay home on Election Day, even if it means that Hillary Clinton could move back into the White House.

Frankly, I understand liberals more than I do these self-righteous lunkheads. If I were running for president, and made it known that I would do everything in my power to defeat Islamo-fascists and to defend Israel; that I consider the Constitution a sacred document; would only appoint true conservatives to the Supreme Court; and that I oppose same sex-marriages and abortions, they would not vote for me. That is, they would not vote for me if they found out I don’t accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, that I occasionally smoked pot in college and that I have two divorces on my resume, even though marriage number three is still going strong after 30 years.

It is that sort of nit-picking, aka arrogant idiocy, that allowed Barack Obama to defeat Mitt Romney in 2012 and could help ensure Hillary Clinton’s coronation in 2016.

Is it too much to expect voters to understand that presidential elections are intended to elect mortals capable of leading a great nation, guided by a belief in America’s exceptionalism and a manual known as the U.S. Constitution?

God, on the other hand, is not an elected position.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hysteria, Inc.

Recently, I realized the reason that liberals are so unhappy is that everything throws them into a panic. I’m not just referring to things like armed men in uniform, be they members of the military or law enforcement, but, literally, everything, including the weather. In fact, in the midst of a world that sees the Russian bear expanding westward, the Chinese dragon expanding eastward and the entire Middle East going nuclear, we have such liberal icons as Barack Obama and Pope Francis insisting the greatest threat facing mankind is global warming. They base this contention on unscientific computer models, while ignoring the fact that the earth’s temperature has remained stable for the past 17 years.

What’s more, none of the nonsense Al Gore began spouting in the 1990s about rising sea levels, melting icebergs and drowning polar bears, has come to pass. But when one’s actual mission isn’t to save the planet, but to destroy capitalism and to become enormously wealthy doing it, facts are simply an inconvenient truth.

But this is always the case with the Left. In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote a book called “Silent Spring,” warning of the ecological disaster wrought by DDT. Because the same pinheads were running things back then, she succeeded in getting the safest pesticide ever invented taken off the market. In Africa, alone, she was the reason that millions of people have died from malaria over the past half century.

A byproduct of Ms. Carson’s work is that the EPA was created and the cult of environmentalism was born.

A similar alarmist was Paul R. Ehrlich, who also hit the best seller list with his 1968 jeremiad, “The Population Bomb,” a literary effort that insisted the world’s population was expanding so quickly that we would soon run out of food and that people would be killing each other over a crust of bread.

Apparently, the decade of the 60s has a lot to answer for, besides Yippies, Nehru jackets, LBJ and bell-bottom trousers.

But we currently have our own sorry band of Chicken Littles, who, when they’re not running around in circles screaming about rising temperatures, enjoy pointing out that some people actually make more money than other people. They don’t bother considering whether some people are smarter or more creative than other people or work harder or that a great many of the whiners don’t work at all. Instead they reply to poll questions in the following manner: Is the distribution of wealth fair? Answer: 66% no, 27% yes. Should the government do more to address the gap? Answer: 57% yes, 39% no.

The worst thing about this class envy is that those who do the most to promote it are often those with the most money. But, apparently, so long as you condemn wealth disparity, it grants dispensation to the likes of the Clintons, the Obamas, Warren Buffet, George Clooney, Glyneth Paltrow, Oprah Winfrey, Ted Turner and all the other hypocrites who show up at Obama’s $35,000-a-plate fundraisers.

As you may have noticed, they’re the same crowd who go around pretending that black voters, who actually vote at a higher rate than white people, are being disenfranchised in America, and who insist with a straight face that voter identification is a plot to bring back slavery. It’s very off-putting to hear those running the plantations pretending that would be a bad thing.

Speaking of politicians, will the day ever come when one of them takes the stage and doesn’t pretend to spot an old chum in the crowd? The Clintons have it down to a science. They almost manage to carry it off, too, as Bill makes the initial discovery, touches Hillary’s arm and they then engage in the joint wave. The fact is, unless the guy is waving a check for $500,000, neither of them has the slightest interest in anyone not named Clinton.

Moreover, the Clintons have no long-lost friends. Every person they’ve known since exiting the birth canal has been dunned constantly for campaign contributions, speaking fees and bribes. The only thing that’s long-lost with these two creeps are ethics and whatever tiny vestige of decency that may have miraculously managed to survive their several decades in the public arena. And in those cases, they’re not indicating recognition, they’re waving bye-bye.

In case it’s escaped your notice, ours is a sexually-obsessed society. It explains why pornography is one of the few growth industries left in America. It also explains why the same people who pushed Viagra on the world are now trying to push an aphrodisiac for women. It just so happens that a lack of interest or potency is God’s way of saying, “Give it a rest. You’ve screwed enough for one lifetime.”

This obsession also helps explain the plethora of daily bulletins regarding Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, whom my friend Tom Pflimlin refers to as Trans-Jenner. It should give Americans pause when all the obnoxious things the Islamics say about us turn out to be true.

It also doesn’t help our nation’s image when Obama, who can’t help showing his contempt for Christians, Benjamin Netanyahu and gun owners, goes out of his way to pass along his congratulations to homosexual football players and commending Jenner for his “courage.”

Probably the worst thing to be said about us, though, is that our media is as corrupt as that which is state-run in China, Russia and North Korea. It’s the media, after all, that influences how Americans think about the issues and how we vote.

For instance, the media has relished the opportunity to drag the Duggar family through the gutter, not because one of their 19 children inappropriately touched his younger sisters several years ago while still a teenager, but because the Duggars, who take their religion seriously, have spoken out against same-sex marriages.

I would argue that if most people considered what sodomy involves, they wouldn’t be so quick to regard its practitioners as cuddly little teddy bears, all thanks to their positive depiction in movies and on TV. At the same time, the same folks in the media who wish to tar-and-feather the Duggars regard Bill Clinton, who has been a sexual predator most of his adult life, as a sterling character.

The media condemns all the Duggars, although only one of the 21 did anything wrong. I dare them to randomly pick any 21 people out of the phone book or out of Congress, for that matter, and find a lower percentage of criminal or sinful behavior.

Or, better yet, consider how the media treated the Kennedy clan. Even though Papa Kennedy was a bootlegger, Jack was a satyr, Ted was guilty of manslaughter, and a whole bunch of the younger ones have been drunks, addicts and rapists, the media still hasn’t stopped heaping praise on the Camelot of them.

The latest example of malfeasance in political reporting comes to us from the NY Times. The paper, obviously embarrassed to have been responsible for reporting on a few of Hillary Clinton’s endless number of scandals tried to get back into the good graces of its readership by front-paging the news that Mr. and Mrs. Marco Rubio had collected 17 speeding tickets over the past 19 years.

It probably bugged the Times that he had only gotten four and his wife had collected the other 13. What’s more, the Rubios apparently paid all of them in timely fashion and never once attempted to use his influence to quash them.

If the paper was trying to derail his candidacy, it was a lame attempt. After all, if Rubio garners the nomination and defeats Hillary in the general election, neither of the Rubios will ever drive again. In fact, they might even consider handing out bumper stickers reading: “Vote for Marco Rubio. Keep Jeanette Rubio Off Our Roads.”

Finally, it is time once again to conduct a Prelutsky Poll. So cast your vote for the man or woman you would most like to see as the GOP presidential candidate in 2016, not whom you suspect will be the nominee.

I ask only two things of you, Dear Reader: Please vote for just one person and type his or her name in the subject line so that I don’t even have to open the email in order to count your vote. Also, please don’t explain yourself. Save that for another time when I’m not busy counting noses.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Islam & Liberalism

One of the great mysteries of our time is why jihadism is a growth industry. All one should have to do is take a look at the places in the world where Islamics rule the roost to conclude that the only plausible explanation is that those attracted to it must be two-legged swine who, like their four-legged, curly-tailed cousins, long to wallow in mud and slop.

I feel the same way about those who call themselves liberals. In what perverse universe would anyone choose to associate with and support the likes of Barack Obama, the Clintons, Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Al Sharpton, Charley Rangel, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley?

It’s no surprise that America’s media prefers ridiculing the GOP for its plethora of presidential candidates rather than pointing out that the three announced Democratic contenders are, one, a woman whose only actual achievements consist of lying, cheating and combining the worst features of Evita Peron, Imelda Marcos and Eva Braun; two, a crazy old coot, Bernie Sanders, who votes like a Democrat, labels himself for marketing purposes as an Independent, but boasts that he’s really a socialist; and, three, the ex-governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, who insists he should be the next president, but is too much of a partisan toady to point out all the reasons Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be.

As for the Republican contenders, it’s probably a good thing at this early stage that there are so many in the race that nobody can waste our time bad-mouthing the competition and, instead, has to at least try to make a case for him or herself.

Of course, that hasn’t prevented the pinheaded Rand Paul from indicting those whom he refers to as Republican hawks for the rise of ISIS. When you couple that with his war on the NSA, going so far as to accuse those Republicans who disagree with him of hoping for another 9/11 just so they can blame him, you wonder if his secret wish is to be Hillary’s running mate.

It was bad enough when the diminutive Napoleon Bonaparte had a Napoleonic complex. But at least the Little Corporal, as he was called, managed to lead a major nation and conquer a good portion of Europe before meeting his Waterloo. But, it’s really unseemly for the junior senator from Kentucky, a twerp given to unproductive filibusters and little else, to constantly flaunt his own Napoleonic shortcomings.

When liberals address riots and murders in the inner cities of America, they are always claiming the cause is poverty. We all know or should know that’s a lie. What’s lacking, by and large, in the black community isn’t money, but character, values and a sense of personal responsibility. This was brought home when I received the following email from a reader:

“I am a white American living in rural Southeast Missouri. The county in which I live is almost all white, and extremely poor. The people I know live on far less than the average rioter in Baltimore. Jobs out here in the country are rare and hard to get, and even if you land one, they don’t pay very well.

“However, crime in my part of the woods is almost non-existent. There is a gun in every home, and most years our murder rate is zero. I haven’t locked my backdoor in 20 years and I sleep just fine. There are only two sheriff deputies in the whole county and, at any given time, they are at least 20 minutes away.

“According to Democrats, we have every reason to riot. But we don’t. I wonder how they’d explain it.”

“They wouldn’t bother,” I replied, “because they know you folks won’t vote for them, no matter how many lies they tell in your defense or how much of other people’s money they offer you.”

In the same way, we keep hearing from the Islamic Bund (aka CAIR) every time a Muslim thinks somebody has looked at him cross-eyed. But government statistics bear out the fact that even since 9/11, there have been more acts of violence and vandalism directed at Jews than at Muslims in America and, no doubt, far more verbal assaults on Christians.

After pointing out recently that liberals like to portray conservatives as hypocrites because we defend capital punishment while objecting to abortion, it occurred to me that the real hypocrites are those who raise moral objections to executing serial killers, but strongly support murdering innocent babies.

But, then, nobody should be terribly surprised that Margaret Sanger, who created Planned Parenthood and provided it with that misnomer, thus earning her place in the Pantheon of Liberalism, alongside the likes of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, the Obamas and the Clintons, was a eugenicist widely admired by Adolph Hitler. And why wouldn’t he have a soft spot for Sanger? After all, he shared her conviction that certain groups of people, including blacks, Jews and the feeble-minded, should be eliminated for the good of society.

Those of us of a certain age were raised on the truism that in America absolutely anyone could grow up to be president. But is it really necessary that every four years we need to have that point driven home by some mediocrity named Bush or Clinton?

Speaking of which, a friend recently reminded me that Pogo, the eponymous possum in Walt Kelly’s old comic strip, was famous for having observed: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

That led me, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s telling a congressional committee that it made no difference who slaughtered four brave Americans in Libya; Obama’s telling us that everything’s coming up roses in Iraq; and the Pope’s insisting that global warming is the greatest catastrophe facing the world; to fully grasp that the wronger the opinion is, the stronger it will be stated and defended.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Monday, June 15, 2015

Crime & Punishment

The role of the police in 2015 America has suddenly become such a contentious issue that even presidential candidates have been forced to offer comments. Not too surprisingly, Hillary Clinton has opted to come out on the same side as Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Loretta Lunch, Al Sharpton, Bill Di Blasio and the lizard ladies of Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in favor of the rioters and in opposition to the cops.

But that’s not too surprising if you’ve read Ron Kessler's books about the Secret Service in which he quotes past and present agents discussing Mrs. Clinton’s open contempt for the military and the members of law enforcement, including, incredibly, even those responsible for protecting her, Bill and Chelsea.

Nobody on the Left ever wants to discuss the abominable way the black community treats cops, only to parrot the complaints of those in the community, including street thugs and the sleazy members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who have a vested interest in promoting an “Us against Them” narrative.

Years ago, when I was working as a copywriter in an ad agency, I had a friend who had a friend, a white college graduate who decided to become a cop for all the right, idealistic, reasons. My friend reported that a year later, after his friend had spent several months in a black-and-white, patrolling a pre-riot Watts, he was referring to the members of the community as the Mau-Mau.

First, the liberals told us we don’t need our guns because we have the cops to protect us. Then they told the cops to stand down.

Which brings us to my new favorite bumper sticker: It shows the back of a cop’s shirt. On it is written “My job is to save your ass. Not kiss it.”

When I recently wrote that I would make computer hacking a capital crime, I wasn’t referring to the sort of state-funded stuff that governments such as China, Russia and, yes, the U.S., all engage in, as they try to find out each other’s secrets. I was referring to the stuff that nerds do for no other reason than to aggravate other people. When someone wrote to suggest that I was going overboard, that the punishment should fit the crime, I told him, as respectfully as I could, that he was all wet.

The sad fact is that the punishment never fits the crime. Even when it comes to murder, the killer generally gets off with a mere prison term. Besides, even if he’s executed, how can that make up for his killing and possibly raping and torturing his victim? And if he killed more than one person, the imbalance becomes even greater.

We know that if there were no risk of punishment, there would be even more murders committed. But we don’t know how big a deterrent capital punishment is because nobody ever announces how many people he didn’t murder because of it. What we do know is that certain people kill in spite of the risk.

However, when people do things just for the sake of annoying people, motivated not by a profit motive or even for revenge, but just because they’re punks -- be it hacking a stranger’s computer or spray painting somebody’s wall -- my guess is that they’d think twice about it if they risked being executed if caught.

Such prominent leftists as Barack Obama and Pope Francis have decided that in a world beset with such existential dangers as Islamo-fascism, an expansionist China, a Stalin wannabe named Putin and a psycho named Kim Jong-un, the thing we really have to worry about is a globe that hasn’t shown any signs of warming over the past two decades. If nothing else, it should prove to skeptics that just because people such as presidents and popes are duly elected doesn’t mean a damn thing if those casting the votes are pinheads.

Some people like to deride social conservatives as being on the wrong side of history simply because polls indicate that a majority of young people favor government-funded abortions, same-sex marriages and legalized drugs. All it really shows is how many millions of parents have stood idly by while the left-wing schools and media have turned their impressionable young brains into mush, convincing the young louts that being empty headed and non-judgmental is synonymous with being broad-minded.

In case you missed the news, a report that Science magazine had published on gays was retracted when the editors discovered that the report was basically a work of fiction with no statistical underpinnings. What’s more, bribes had been paid in the process of putting together the phony data.

Although I had been unaware of the original article, I was not the least bit surprised that, as with the global warming hoax, it turned out to be the inevitable result of a political agenda and had nothing to do with actual science.

When it comes to homosexuality, which has labored for years to appear far more commonplace than it actually is, the best advice is to divide the purported number of sexual deviants by five or ten in order to approach the actual figure.

For some reason, those engaged in research on the topic-- people like Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson -- seem obligated to inflate the numbers, perhaps as a way to magnify the importance of their labors.

I can only imagine that when they got word that Science magazine had acknowledged the error of its ways, the four of them all started spinning in their graves. That, as I see it, is only fitting, considering how much spinning they did when they were still alive.

A reader wrote to ask me if I thought that now that Bruce Jenner is calling himself Caitlyn and posing for a Vanity Fair cover in a fetching one-piece bathing suit, he/she should be allowed to compete in track competitions as a woman.

I reminded him that 40 years ago, Richard Raskind underwent radical surgery and emerged as Renee Richards, and demanded to play tournament tennis as a woman, albeit a 6’2” woman. After being initially turned down by the officials at the U.S. Open, Richards won in the courts, where lunacy is often known to prevail. Renee went on to compete for about five years and even wound up the subject of a 1986 TV movie starring, ironically, the virulently anti-Semitic Vanessa Redgrave as the transgendered Jewess.

My correspondent then asked, if Bruce Jenner wound up competing in female track meets and set records, I thought asterisks would be appropriate.

After giving it some thought, I decided asterisks would be out of place so long as Jenner elected to have them removed before competing.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Scandals Galore

Every time you turn around these days, there’s a new Clintonian scandal in the news. Among conservatives, the scandals raise hackles, while among liberals, they don’t even result in a raised eyebrow.

It’s unfortunate that liberals only care what you say, not what you do, but, unfortunately, that’s the only way it can work with that crowd. Once you sign on to be a Democrat, the contract demands that you never dare question why, for instance, Barack Obama has kept all of his documents under lock and key or why Bill Clinton has never served time for sexual assault, accepting bribes or fudging on his income taxes.

So long as politicians on the Left utter the customary pieties about urban blacks, illegal aliens, Muslims, public schools, homosexuals, unions and single women, while blaspheming religious people, corporations, gun owners and conservatives, they will continue to hold their own in national elections.

Speaking of the 2016 election, I honestly believe that American society in general has been in decline for so many years and on so many fronts that there will never be a return to anything close to what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

We can still elect some people who will slow the descent, but only slightly. Once you have made tens of millions of people dependent on welfare in all its insidious forms, it’s impossible to wean them away from the government teat.

All in all, America has had a damn good run. It should have lasted longer, but in the end even the likes of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Adams, couldn’t save us from ourselves.

It was those Founders who represented our greatest generation. The over-hyped “Greatest Generation,” the one that had to deal with the Depression of the 30s and World War II, ran a very distant second. Let us not forget that they gave us what was, until then, the Worst Generation, the one that came to prominence in the 1960s, fully displaying the ignorance and arrogance of youth through drugs, sexual promiscuity and political nihilism. They in turn set about begetting the stupid, greedy, selfish ignoramuses, whose proudest achievements to date were twice electing Barack Obama to lead the nation and turning an intentionally blind eye to the numerous crimes and sins of Hillary Clinton.

A few readers let me know that in spite of my assurances to the contrary, they were certain Obama would declare martial law next year, preventing the presidential election from taking place. In response, after reminding them that the military would not stand idly by and allow it to happen, I pointed out that Obama has kicked a lot of cans down the road for the next guy-- particularly when it comes to foreign affairs involving the Middle East, North Africa, Russia, China and North Korea – and he has no intention of being that guy.

The real danger confronting America isn’t four or even 40 more years of Obama, but the fact that the same folks who elected him twice will still be around and still voting.

Another reader wanted to know how killing terrorists who wish to be suicide bombers dissuades them. I told him that dissuasion shouldn’t be our concern; killing them should be.

On a related subject, I find it depressing that we are neglecting to bomb ISIS strongholds because we’re afraid of killing innocent Muslims. One, I don’t believe there are very many of those. To me, be they Sunni or Shia, it’s a difference without a distinction. Besides, how is being bombed by us worse than being beheaded, burned or crucified, by ISIS?

A friend who attended a recent high school graduation in Burbank, CA, came home with a program, on the back of which was printed a message. It read: “The Burbank Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. District programs and activities shall be free from discrimination based on disability, gender, gender identification, gender expression, genetic information, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.”

I let her know that I, personally, as a proud thin-skinned American, was offended that there was no mention of height, weight or hair color. And I suppose the fact that it was excluded from the list, means that in Burbank it is still open season on left-handed people.

It is this widespread attempt by liberals to portray virtually everyone in America as a victim that has led Fox’s Megyn Kelly to start referring to members of these coddled groups as” cupcakes.” My own pet term is “cow pies.”

In the ongoing brouhaha over the NSA, I recalled that a former English Prime Minister, William Pitt, once said, “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”

If Rand Paul were more eloquent than the typical U.S. senator, he might have uttered such stirring words during his latest filibuster. However, there is nothing about collecting phone numbers and noting the length of calls that infringes even slightly on anyone’s freedoms. Otherwise, the phone company would be unable to send anyone a monthly bill.

After declaring that his fellow Republicans are to blame for ISIS, I half expected Hillary Clinton to announce that Sen. Paul would be her running mate. And if she happened to be south of the Mason-Dixon line at the time, we could expect her to introduce him to y’all as her honey child, as she continues to conduct her long-running audition for the role of Queenie in “Show Boat.”

In other news, 14 defendants, including nine current and former officials, four marketing executives and an intermediary, have been indicted in a scandal involving FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association).

“Football” being what such Third World nations as Spain, France and Brazil, call soccer, the scandal has a great deal of the uncivilized world aghast. To me, the only surprise is that the intermediary hasn’t yet been identified as Bill Clinton.

Nobody should ever be shocked when a small group of people who are granted absolute authority to determine which cities get to host major events such as the World Cup, the Olympic Games or political conventions, allow bribes to sway their judgment. Frankly, they’d have to be jabbering idiots to base the selection process on anything but the size of the payoff. It sure makes more sense than the alternative, which consists of flipping a coin.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Rats & Tats" and "Spelling Bees & S.O.B.'S"

Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran, has been indicted by the Iranian government on charges including espionage. I understand that is the risk of even setting foot in that Islamic septic tank, let alone being a journalist for an American newspaper. But the part I don’t get is that Mr. Rezaian holds dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship. How and why is that even possible?

In days gone by, someone like Winston Churchill, a heroic figure who also happened to have had an American mother, was able to receive honorary citizenship through an act of Congress. But for the past few decades, a great many people of no particular distinction have been allowed to be part American/part something else, making a mockery of the very notion of citizenship. In Rezaian’s case, it is particularly nutty because the two nations are mortal enemies. If we should ever go to war, could either nation or neither justify trying him for treason?

Finally, what possible defense of dual-citizenship couldn’t be applied equally to bigamy?

Perhaps once those who go on and on about comprehensive immigration reform get around to erecting a barrier at the Mexican border and doing something to overhaul the current sieve-like visa system, they can dump dual-citizenship in the waste bin along with other oxymoronic concepts such as “social justice” and referencing jihadists as “freedom fighters.”

The Clinton Saga continues unabated as it is now discovered that Bill and Hillary pocketed far more than the $25 million they admitted to sucking up in 2014. It seems that a good deal of unreported cash came to them through the use of a shell company. With those three -- no longer any reason to exclude Chelsea, now that she’s in her mid-30s and directly engaged in profiting from the shell game -- you can never say with a sense of relief, “Well, bad as it is, it can’t get any worse.” Whether we’re referring to the sex scandals, Benghazi, the private email server, the corrupt Clinton Foundation or the overbearing arrogance, it can always get worse and it always does.

The same obviously holds true for the creature 70 million loons entrusted to pilot the ship of state. Barack Obama brags that the U.S. is not engaged in a major ground war for the first time in 14 years. To measure the depth of America’s moral decline, you merely have to note that we are now using Switzerland as our role model.

Inasmuch as ISIS is carving out an Islamic caliphate, Russia is wreaking havoc in eastern Europe, China is bullying its neighbors and taunting us, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is busily fine-tuning his performance as Freddy Krueger in “Nightmare in the Far East,” boasting of our indifference to the world’s calamities is a lot like the captain of the Titanic responding to the collision with the iceberg by saying: “But if you’ve noticed, the ship’s band has never sounded better.”

To fully grasp Obama’s contempt for members of the military and law enforcement, I think Sigmund Freud would have had to tie him to the couch and made him spill his guts. Frankly, I suspect that the only men in uniform that Obama has ever fully appreciated were the four gay singers who comprised the Village People.

But in his blatant distrust of those dedicated to protecting both the nation and ourselves, Obama is not alone. Judging by their kneejerk response to violence, which invariably consists of invalidating the Second Amendment and disarming law-abiding citizens, you would think liberals simply hated guns.

However, that is far from the case. When it comes to those killings committed by black thugs in urban cesspools, they say nary a word. And if you point out that over the Memorial Day weekend, which saw 12 blacks, including a four-year-old child, killed and 43 wounded in Chicago, and another nine dead and 20 wounded in Baltimore, a predominantly black city which seemed out to break records with 33 fatalities in the first 25 days of May, you stand falsely accused of being a racist.

Only a liberal would fail to recognize his status as a bonehead when he gets in a tizzy over a little boy pointing his finger and going “Bang!” but accepts with perfect equanimity 21 black people being killed and 63 more being wounded by other black people during a three day stretch.

Perhaps it’s because a comedy short I’ve written about angels is about to be shot, but I have had angels on my mind of late. So when a reader recently raised the question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, I found myself wondering, one, if it was something I should add to the script and, two, why the question had ever arisen in the first place. Why, I found myself asking myself, would anyone, let alone an angel, ever feel compelled to dance on a pinhead? Are there no dance floors in Heaven? And if not, does that mean there’s no dancing allowed? And if that’s the case, would it mean that God is a Baptist?

Finally, what’s the deal with tattoos? Unlike most fads, which usually come and go in the blink of an eye, I keep seeing more and more of them on display. For openers, I have never understood why people would put stupid pictures on their skin they’d never think of hanging on their walls.

And what possesses black men, particularly basketball players, to adorn their arms and bodies with tattoos that on dark skin merely look like something they neglected to wash off in the shower? Even goofier are white guys who use tattoos as a way of declaring their undying devotion to women they haven’t the slightest intention of marrying and will have entirely forgotten six months down the road.

Spelling Bees & S.O.B'S

I recently received an email from a reader named Roy who said that he wished he could put together a single GOP presidential candidate who had the best attributes of all the announced candidates without all the things there are not to like about them.

He went on to ask how I would go about cobbling together this ideal composite. I agreed to give it a try, although I acknowledged that if I left out all the things I don’t like about the 15 or 20 contenders, I would be left with more spare parts than Dr. Frankenstein.

The winner I came up with was someone who possessed Carly Fiorina’s intelligence, Marco Rubio’s smile and ethnicity, Dr. Ben Carson’s speaking voice, Scott Walker’s record as governor and public union-buster, Jeb Bush’s bankroll and my charm, good looks and sense of humor.

Until recently, I confess I had never heard of the Duggar family. I accept that there is an alternate TV universe in which the Duggar’s “Nineteen and Counting,” the Duck Dynasty and so-called reality shows about people like the Kardashians and Bruce Jenner exist, but it’s a place I have no interest in exploring.

I only know about the Duggars and their 19 children because 13 years ago, one of their sons, then 14, confessed to inappropriately touching some young girls, including two of his sisters, while they were asleep. Until he confessed to his parents at the time, even the little girls had been unaware of his nocturnal activities.

But now, because the local police chief -- who apparently either dislikes large families or was looking for a sizable bribe to help augment her pension -- broke the law by handing over young Duggar’s supposedly sealed juvenile record to a tabloid, every hypocritical bottom-feeding member of the mass media has decided it’s open season on the family.

If you wonder why anyone would wish to condemn the Duggars and not the police chief, it’s because the Duggars are practicing Christians. Their sins are that they attend church, home-school their children and use the Bible as their owner’s manual. What’s more, they oppose both abortions and same-sex marriages. So naturally, as far as the media is concerned, all of that makes them far worse than Devil worshippers.

In fact, if like Muslims, the Duggars openly worshipped Satan, the same left-wing pundits would be defending them and venting their moral outrage on the police chief, and no doubt urging the Arkansas Attorney General to indict her.

Nothing beats sharing my own wisdom, but running a close second is sharing someone else’s unique observations. And as today happens to be Robert Fulghum’s 78th birthday, I am happy to offer his insightful observation: “If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.”

Those, I’d suggest, who need to learn it the most are the various crybabies -- blacks, illegal aliens, single women, homosexuals -- who seem to dwell 24 hours a day on the presumed injustices personally directed at them, ignoring the reality that most of us are too busy trying to support ourselves and our families to even think about them, let alone concentrate on destroying their lives. The other part of this reality, however, is that we are getting sick and tired of dealing with their constant whining, while simultaneously having to pay their bills.

As a follow-up to my recent diatribe about modern movies, I would like to point out that although James Bond was merely one of several British secret agents, he was so legendary that every shmuck out to conquer the world or rob Fort Knox knew of his exploits, but apparently never thought to remove his belt, his watch or his ring, after capturing him.

What’s more, although he was the chief nemesis of every overly ambitious villain from Dr. No to Auric Goldfinger, they never spent even a minute watching him be sawed in half or devoured by their pet sharks. They always found the time to set the timer on a nuclear device, but somehow any excuse -- from catching a plane that wasn’t about to leave without them or hearing the siren call of a tuna fish sandwich -- was reason enough to deny themselves the exquisite pleasure of seeing Bond both stirred and shaken.

In what strikes me as the most implausible statement I have ever heard, Barack Obama apparently told David Axelrod “I’m the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office.”

If Axelrod weren’t a JINO (Jew in Name Only), he would have replied, “That’s very true, Mr. President, if that Jew happens to be George Soros.”

Finally, the recent Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie when 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar of Missouri correctly spelled “scherenshnotte” and 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam of Kansas aced “nunatak.”

I hate ties, so if I had been in charge of the event, I would have insisted the kids try to spell each other’s name. Or perhaps even their own.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Federal Government is the Problem

Ronald Reagan was right when he stated that the federal government is not the solution and again when he said that the nine scariest words in the English language are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Having said all that, I do not share the fears of a great many on the Right who apparently lie awake nights worrying about the NSA listening in on their phone calls. From my earlier defense of the National Security Agency, I know that a number of my readers disagree. So be it. When push comes to shove, I prefer siding with Charles Krauthammer and John Bolton to sharing Rand Paul’s paranoia.

For one thing, even if Obama and his stooges wanted to listen in on a few billion phone calls a day, I don’t believe they are up to the task. But it does make me somewhat envious of all you folks who are having all those fascinating phone calls that you imagine others are dying to tune in on. For my part, anyone tapping my line will, ninety-nine times out of 100, hear me hanging up on a telemarketer who has just addressed me as Mr. Potsky.

Those who are vehemently opposed to the government’s collecting phone numbers and the length of calls will often point out that so far as we know, not a single terrorist attack on America has been foiled by the NSA. But it should be obvious that if any had been, the feds wouldn’t go around bragging about it, lest the bad guys tracked down and eliminated the weak link in their communication system.

More to the point, although a great many Americans have been harassed by the IRS, the EPA and the Justice Department, under Obama, no citizen has come forward to state that his privacy has been intruded upon by the NSA. And we all know that if anyone’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, the NY Times would have splashed the news across its front page and Rand Paul would have highlighted it during one of his weekly filibusters.

None of this should be taken as an endorsement of Obama and his approach to national security. So far, after six years in office, he has shown that the only use he has for the military is as a prop when he occasionally addresses the cadets at West Point or when he wants to do battle with Ebola or global warming.

Many pundits have pointed out that Obama has no strategy when it comes to fighting those who are massacring Christians, women and children, in the Middle East and North Africa and who have sworn to kill Americans. That’s not true. He has a strategy. It’s called non-engagement.

Like most liberals, he is opposed to warfare and despises those who wear the uniform. Like John Kerry, who dismissed those in the military as people too dumb to go to college, Obama hates people who wear guns to work, unless, of course, they’re protecting his sorry ass. It helps to explain his contempt for cops and for those of us who support them.

Some people believe his mantra of “No boots on the ground” is because he’s a Muslim or at least sympathetic to them. But he is equally unwilling to confront Putin’s aggression. Does anyone think it’s because he’s Russian Orthodox and was born in Minsk?

If anyone is going to oppose the barbarians, Obama wants the Saudis, the Qataris and the Jordanians, to do it. But as we’ve seen in Iraq, that doesn’t work out too well. At the first sign of ISIS, the Iraqi forces we’ve been training for a dozen years, turned tail and ran. If we have reason to fear ISIS or Iran, for that matter, we should stop relying on cut-throats and back-stabbers to do our killing for us, and we should forget about nation-building. We used to think that nobody could be worse than the likes of Gadhafi, Mubarak, Hussein and the Shah of Iran. But those creeps knew how to keep the Islamic radicals in line, and we now realize that those were the good old days.

The problems with our jobbing out the fighting to Arabs and Muslims is, one, we can’t tell our friends from our enemies and, two, they not only run, but they leave our weapons behind to be used by our foes. It’s like a weird kind of Middle East quiz show, where the parting gifts consist of American trucks, tanks and artillery.

I hate Obama, but let’s face it, the schmuck didn’t vote for himself 70 million times. For the past 240 years, our military has protected us from our mortal enemies. But in the end, it couldn’t protect us from ourselves.

Most of us look at Detroit and we see the inevitable result of decades of liberal leadership. It is what always happens when millions of people sign up to be dependents of the city, state and federal, governments, eager to surrender their backbones and their votes in exchange for a welfare check. Most of us look at Detroit and feel compassion or disgust or a combination of the two. Baltimore, however, looks at Detroit and the message seems to be “If they can do it, we can do it.”

One is accustomed to hearing that practice makes perfect, but Congress continues to disprove that notion. All they do all day is vote, but they are obviously as bad at it as those of us who only vote every few years. But the louts we vote for are essentially only running against one other person, limiting our choices to either a Republican or a Democrat.

But what possible excuse do these people have for electing and re-electing the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? On the face of it, the four of them have nothing to recommend them for leadership positions. They are all physically unattractive and, even when reading scripts, are deadly dull and unpersuasive. And yet their colleagues keep selecting them to be the face and voice of their respective parties.

In other news, while addressing the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C.. recently, Obama said, “Earlier this week, I was actually interviewed by one of your members, Jeff Goldberg, and he reminded me that he once called me ‘the first Jewish President.’ Now, since some people still seem to be wondering about my faith, I should make clear this was an honorary title. But I was flattered.”

Inasmuch as even in 2012, roughly 70% of the Jewish vote went to Obama in spite of his pandering to Iran, his refusal to take up arms against the Muslims or even to identify Islam as the existential enemy of Israel and the U.S. -- and that the Jews at the Synagogue gave him a number of standing ovations -- there’s no question he deserves the title. But, speaking as a Jew, it’s hardly flattering.

The art world, being what it is, it’s not the least bit surprising that the latest sensation is an artist-vandal named Katsu who, working in the medium of feces, has been painting the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

It seems to me that in a rational world, he would be commissioned to start painting presidential portraits.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Friday, June 5, 2015

Lessons to Be Learned

Women, blacks, homosexuals and Muslims, are not subjugated in America. They merely pretend to be. Women pretend to be underpaid in what they continue to insist is a patriarchal society, although when they have the same education and work just as hard and as long as men, they are paid the same to do the same job.

Blacks pretend to be profiled and picked on by the cops, but statistics show that young black males are far likelier to commit serious crimes, including murder, than any other group. The fact that, in most cases, their victims are other blacks only serves to show how hypocritical the black community is when it takes to the streets to blame their plight on the only people risking their own lives to protect them, the police.

Homosexuals, who had not only achieved a special status, civil unions, which provided them with all the rights they claimed to have been denied – hospital visitations, the rights of inheritance and adoption, etc. – decided to undo thousands of years of tradition by demanding same-sex marriages. Worse yet, they keep trying to equate their status with that of blacks condemned by Jim Crow laws to separate and unequal lives. It would be as if I, as a Jew, were denied membership in a country club and insisted I might as well be living in Nazi Germany.

As for American Muslims, when half the world is being over-run by people burning, beheading and crucifying, in the name of Islam, listening to them gripe about the FBI investigating their mosques strikes some of us as self-absorption in the extreme. When you add that to the fact that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them have been sneaking off to the Middle East in order to murder infidels in the name of Muhammad, and that even after 9/11, a great many of them continued to fund Hamas and Hezbollah through phony charities, occasional profiling strikes me as a rather benign response to a malignancy in our midst.

The more I hear the members of these four groups complain, the more convinced I am that they all suffer from the Munchausen Syndrome, a mental condition in which people feign disease, illness or psychological trauma, in order to garner attention and especially sympathy. When you realize that today all over the Middle East and North Africa thousands of women and girls are being turned into sex slaves and that Christians are being mutilated and murdered, these petty grievances are particularly unseemly. It’s the whine that doesn’t improve with age.

I realize that some will condemn me for my lack of tolerance and sympathy. But I like to recall that Victor Hugo once wrote: “Mirrors, those revealers of truth, are hated; that doesn’t prevent them from being useful.”

A friend, a movie reviewer, wondered why some talented actors seem so willing to devote their time and energy to over-bloated action movies unworthy of their talent. I responded: “Even if actors and actresses had any taste, which most of them don’t, there are only a handful of movies in any given year that are worth anyone’s attention – assuming they’re not teenage boys. And so long as Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Helen Mirren, Ben Kingsley, and a couple of others have dibs on those scripts, there will be nothing left for anyone else. So they may as well go for the big money and do cinematic shlock, as the very talented Robert Downey, he of the 'Iron Man' and 'Sherlock Holmes' franchises, has chosen to do.

I am not given to theological musings, but recently I found myself wondering why, if the God of the Old and New Testaments is the same entity, He would first make Jews His Chosen People, and then send Jesus down with the idea of creating a rival religion.

Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, or the sacred to the profane, depending on how seriously you take your football, I keep wondering why so much was made of the air pressure in the balls Tom Brady was passing in the playoff game between New England and Indianapolis. I am against cheating of all kinds, and was particularly offended that through the use of steroids, the unsavory likes of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire, were able to delete Babe Ruth and Roger Maris from the baseball record books.

But isn’t it worth noting that Tom Brady and the Patriots won the game by a score of 45-7? Does anyone seriously believe that, short of saddling Brady with a bowling ball, the Colts had the slightest chance of winning that game?

I keep seeing polls that indicate Americans don’t want to see another invasion of Iraq, even if that’s the only way to rid the world of ISIS. I don’t buy it for a second. I think most of us are sick of seeing these mutants on the march, and would cheer an invasion that didn’t simultaneously try to rebuild the nation, a la George W. Bush, but merely had the mission of annihilating the bastards and sending a clear message to the other Islamic cretins in the neighborhood, including Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei, that we mean business.

What makes people so suspicious of Jade Helm 15, the military exercises planned to take place in the Southwest this summer, is that everyone, including the leaders of Russia, Iran and North Korea, know that Obama has no intention of waging war on our sworn enemies. His mantra is “No boots on the ground,” so why spend the time and money on a whole series of unnecessary exercises?

Although I disapproved of the way that George Bush conducted the war, as if it were part military engagement/part major construction project, he at least left Iraq better off than he found it.

Obama, on the other hand, simply left Iraq hanging, in what might well be the worst case ever of premature evacuation.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Musings on the Movies

Igrew up loving the movies. Thanks to there being several reissue houses in L.A. when I was at my most impressionable age, I grew up mainly a fan of the movies produced in the 30s and early to mid-40s.

By the time the 60s rolled around, I still loved the movies, but mainly those produced in the 30s and early to mid-40s. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed a great many films made over the past 50 or 60 years, but most of the stars don’t measure up, in my estimation, to the likes of Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Spencer Tracy, Jean Arthur, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Jimmy Cagney.

These days, just about the only people who can lure me to a movie theater are Helen Mirren, Jeffrey Rush, Emma Thompson and Colin Firth.

Some of the people that diminished the pleasure I derived from films were the graduates of the Actors Studio who flooded Hollywood in the 50s and 60s, most notably Marlon Brando, James Dean, Vic Morrow and Rod Steiger, who brought with them the Golden Age of the Mumblebum. Because they were essentially unintelligible, you were left to assume their furrowed brows and odd mutterings suggested emotions far beyond the ability of human speech to convey.

The fact that, thanks to TV, the old studio system broke up, leaving actors and ego-driven directors in charge didn’t help things. Not that the old moguls could always be trusted to know what was best. For instance, MGM’s Louis B. Mayer insisted that “Somewhere over the Rainbow” be deleted from “The Wizard of Oz,” until the composer and lyricist, Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, either threatened his life or offered up their first-born before he’d change his mind.

Some years later, Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin had to resort to equally drastic measures to get Columbia’s Harry Cohn to relent and allow “The Man That Got Away” to remain in “A Star is Born.”

Judy Garland was very fortunate that Harold Arlen was as persuasive as he was or she’d have spent her last 30 years just singing “The Boy Next Door” and “The Trolley Song.”

Of all the actors I ever interviewed, two of the rudest were Robert Mitchum and George C. Scott. I had met Mitchum at a party hosted by our mutual friend, George Kennedy. I requested an interview, he agreed and we settled on a time and place.

The place was his office on Sunset Blvd. I arrived on time and his secretary led me into his inner sanctum. He didn’t look up. He didn’t greet me. Instead, he sat reading Daily Variety. I considered getting up and leaving. But my curiosity kept me planted on his couch, wondering how long he would pretend that, unlike everyone else in Hollywood, he was a rebel who didn’t give a fig about publicity.

It took about five minutes, but he finally acknowledged my presence. I must admit I was surprised I was as courteous as I was. I had, after all, seriously considered asking him if, after 30 years in the movies, he ever got tired of sucking in his stomach and sticking out his chest.

I was less polite with George C. Scott, but he was an even bigger phony. I had been sent to Spain to interview him shortly after he’d been Oscar-nominated for “Patton.” He was over there to shoot a trifle called “The Last Run” with Tony Musante, Trish Van Devere and his wife, Colleen Dewhurst.

As I arrived, Ms. Dewhurst, her part completed, was just flying back to New York. That proved to be the signal for Scott to move Ms. Van Devere into his bungalow. Claiming illness, Scott didn’t work for the next five or six days. I don’t know what excuse the studio gave the insurance company for Van Devere’s absence, unless it so happened she was both an actress and a registered nurse.

In the meantime, I walked around the Costa del Sol, bored to tears. A note to travelers: If you ever find yourself in southern Spain for any length of time, bring your own reading material. There are no English-language books, magazines or newspapers, to be found. So unless you’re shacked up with Trish Van Devere, you’re plumb out of luck.

Finally, Scott came up for air. I was given about half an hour for the interview, so I wasted no time. Scott, you should understand, had garnered headlines from announcing that if he won the Oscar for “Patton,” he would not accept it because he didn’t believe in competition between actors.

I didn’t laugh in his face, but I did point out that he had already been nominated on two previous occasions for Oscars as Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for “Anatomy of a Murder” and “The Hustler,” and he hadn’t spewed any malarkey about competition on those occasions. But he also hadn’t won.

I suggested that inasmuch as he had not only won a Tony Award for his work on Broadway but had even taken part in bestowing them on other occasions, he obviously wasn’t opposed to competition between actors. The only difference between the two awards, I pointed out, was that people outside Manhattan actually paid attention to the Academy Awards.

On top of that, everyone knows that actors don’t win Oscars, roles do; and that, off the top of my head, I could easily name ten other actors who would have been nominated for “Patton.” The real competition wasn't for awards, but for particular roles. Otherwise, as I told Scott, the very same people would be nominated year after year.

In conclusion, I told him that all he had really done was to cover his bets. If he lost, it would be because he had announced that he wouldn’t accept the Oscar; but if he won, it would mean that he was so magnificent that even after saying he wouldn’t accept the Oscar, they had no option but to force it on him.

I seriously thought he might slug me, as he was notorious for getting into drunken brawls. Fortunately, he was sober, so I didn’t get punched. But I also didn’t win a million dollar lawsuit. Scott did win the Oscar. He also divorced Colleen Dewhurst and married Ms. Van Devere.

Recently, someone asked me why they ever began using big name stars to provide the voices in animated features. That was an easy one. It’s not because anyone actually goes to see these movies because Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Mike Myers, Ray Romano, Tom Hanks, Anne Hathaway or Tim Allen, are giving voice to cartoons or because people who work for a lot less money can’t do the job as well. Rather it’s because when people ask the folks who produce these movies whom they’re working with, they don’t want to be stuck mentioning a bunch of anonymous artists; they want to be able to drop names that people recognize.

Finally, if you’re curious why I liked old movies so much, most of it had to do with the plots, the dialogue and the reasonable running times, but some of it, I suspect, was that I could identify with the leading men. For instance, Brian Donlevy and John Garfield were 5’7”; Eddie G. Robinson, Claude Rains and Jimmy Cagney were 5’6”; Alan Ladd was 5’5” and Mickey Rooney was 5’2”.

Just the other night, I saw an oldie on TV in which the victim of a mugging was asked to describe his assailant and said: “He was tall.” “How tall,” the cop asked him. “Oh, about 5-foot-6.”

What’s not to love?

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?