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?