Friday, July 17, 2015

"A Few Basic Truths" and "The Devil Negotiates With Himself"

For some of us, the 4th of July has become a melancholy holiday, inevitably reminding us of what we once were and what we have become.

Ours is undeniably a trashy society. Our entertainment has grown increasingly obscene and pornographic; our media has become corrupt; education has morphed into state-sponsored propaganda; and our federal institutions, including the Justice Department, the Secret Service, Congress, the EPA and the IRS, have prostituted themselves, so that today Washington, D.C., more closely resembles a brothel than a national capital.

Some people like to blame Obama, but as vile as he is, he is less the cause than the inevitable result.

I am hoping that a conservative will be elected president in 2016, but that would merely slow our descent, it would not stop it. Too many people get away with not paying income taxes. Swapping their liberty for food stamps, college tuitions and free cell phones, strikes them as a bargain. The government boasts that the unemployment rate is 5.5%, but turns an intentionally blind eye to the fact that another 35% of us aren’t even seeking jobs, so they are magically removed from the ranks of the unemployed.

We are a lot like Ebenezer Scrooge, except that when he was paid a visit by the various Christmas ghosts, he was scared straight. But we see what’s happened to Greece, a socialist government that encouraged its citizens to expect Athens to provide them with everything from health care to pensions, including a fully funded retirement at age 50. And when Athens was no longer up to the task, they expected the Germans to adopt them. Frankly, left-wing nations like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, to whom austerity is a four-letter word, never belonged in the European Union. If they were looking to join a union, they’d have been more at home in the Service Employees International or the American Federation of Teachers.

Frankly, if I had been asked to bail out Greece, I would have insisted that they attempt to pay back what they already owe by selling off some of their assets, including such tourist attractions as their islands, the Parthenon and the Delphi Theatre.

While I have little patience or sympathy for Greece and its 11 million citizens who were quite content to live off the German teat, the fact is that the U.S. has 10 or 15 times that number leeching off the productive members of society, so I fully acknowledge that our glass house is much larger than theirs.

Obviously, nations are not immune to money woes of their own making. But before others fall prey to the lure of indebtedness, perhaps they all would be wise to learn from Nicolas Cage’s example. It is estimated that he has made close to $200 million over the course of his movie career, but like the U.S. Congress, which takes in hundreds of billions of dollars every year, it’s never enough. In Cage’s case, because he couldn’t turn to Germany, he finally had to start selling off his possessions once he filed for bankruptcy.

Among the items he had to unload, usually at a huge loss, were 15 homes, including European castles; a Gulfstream jet; yachts; a private island; an octopus; a shark; a crocodile; a haunted murder mansion in New Orleans; classic comic books; and a 67-million-year-old Tarbosaurus skull. Speaking of that skull, it cost him over $250,000 because he was forced to out-bid that other aging juvenile, Leonardo DiCaprio.

I know that Barack Obama was running victory laps because the noodle-heads on the Supreme Court ruled in his favor on the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriages. But that same week, he had to listen to Jimmy Carter point out that, with the possible exceptions of Iran and Cuba, we have worse relations today with every other nation on the face of the earth than we had in 2008. I’m not sure that it can get much worse than being dissed by the formerly worst president in American history.

Still, it wasn’t Carter, but Ted Cruz, who demonstrated how insane our foreign policy is by pointing out that we’re going to have an embassy in Havana, but refuse to have one in Jerusalem.

Obama is so demented that he refers to Russia and China as our negotiating partners when it comes to their ally, Iran; while referring to Iran as our ally when it comes to fighting ISIS in Iraq. The fact that we’ve allowed Iran to keep delaying an agreement on its nuclear program has shown the world that a deal is far more important to us than to the Ayatollah.

Another measure of our decline is to be seen in our presidential elections. We are long past the day when FDR could win all but two states, when LBJ could win all but six states, when Nixon could carry the entire country except for Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, and Reagan could carry 49 states. I’m not cheering any of those elections except for the last one, but it’s worth noting that nothing like that could happen again. Today, we are so divided between the red and the blue -- misnamed, by the way, by Tim Russert -- that there are no more than eight or nine states that are actually in play.

I am not a fan of every Republican candidate seeking the nomination, but can you imagine being a Democrat and having to choose between a liar like Hillary Clinton; a moron like Joe Biden; a nonentity like Martin McNally; Lincoln Chafee, whose mission in life is getting the U.S. to adopt the metric system; and a self-identified socialist birdbrain like Bernie Sanders? And yet whichever of them garners the nomination can count on receiving 65-70 million votes.

Some people, and by some people I mean Chris Christie and his handlers, want us to believe that Christie toppled from atop the heap of GOP wannabes because of Bridgegate. That’s because several investigations of that scandal have cleared him of any wrongdoing. But the fact is that what most conservatives despise him for isn’t a traffic tie-up on a bridge, but a cuddle on a beach. It was bad enough that he turned what was supposed to be an introduction to Mitt Romney at the Republican convention into an ode to himself, but far worse is that just a few days before the 2012 election, Christie did everything but French kiss Obama while strolling on the Jersey shore.

Left-wing Fox commentator Mara Liasson compared Donald Trump’s bouts with the media to fighting with a pig: “You both get dirty, but the pig likes it.” She’s right, of course, but she’s obviously confused about which one is the pig.

Univision, the Spanish language TV station, says that 80% of the women crossing our southern border are the victims of rape. So if it’s not Mexicans who are raping them, which is what Trump is being condemned for saying aloud, someone should ask Ms. Liasson who’s doing it.

Could it possibly be the Swedes, the Finns or those notoriously hot-blooded Norwegians?

The Devil Negotiates With Himself

Iwas hoping that Hillary Clinton would see the political advantage in nixing the deal with Iran and putting some daylight between herself and Obama. Now we just have to hope that Senate Democrats, particularly those who will be up for renewal in 2016, will remind themselves that the lame duck in the Oval Office doesn’t have to worry about being re-elected.

On the other hand, perhaps they learned nothing from the fact that 14 of their colleagues have bitten the dust over the past five years, generally because they fell on their swords in defense of the Affordable Care Act. For all I know, perhaps they don’t mind no longer being in the majority. Maybe they relish the fact that they can now stretch out on their side of the aisle because there’s all that extra legroom.

Obama and Kerry pretend that the deal precludes our having to go to war with Iran. The truth is that we’ve been at war with Iran’s proxies for the past 36 years, ever since Jimmy Carter pulled the rug out from under the Shah, ushering in the worldwide plague of radical Islam.

Obama hasn’t brought us peace in our time, he’s merely ensured that when we are inevitably forced to go to war with Iran, they will have nuclear bombs to go with their long range ballistic missiles.

Liberals are so terrified of armed conflict that they will go to any lengths to avoid even considering it. They sit in front of their TV sets and watch ISIS burning, beheading and crucifying, human beings for no other reason than that they’re Christians or the wrong kind of Muslims, and their only reaction is to go “tsk-tsk.” The mere thought of going to war with a rag-tag army of 40,000 driving trucks, lacking even the vestige of an air force, and they take to their beds with a collective case of the vapors.

The truth is that Neville Chamberlain had a far better reason to sign his pact with Hitler than we have for capitulating to the Ayatollah. For one thing, Hitler hadn’t spent the previous twenty years killing Englishmen. For another, England couldn’t rely on America, which was in the clutches of pacifists and the German-American Bund, and he certainly couldn’t count on France, which had anti-Semitism in common with Hitler and nothing in common with England.

For his part, Obama’s role model is obviously Humpty Dumpty, who told Alice that words meant whatever he wanted them to mean. President Dumpty forges a treaty with Iran, but insists it isn’t really a treaty, because that makes it easier for him to bully the Senate into compliance.

In Obama’s world, treaties aren’t treaties and, as we’ve seen with Bowe Bergdahl, traitors aren’t traitors, and as we saw in Baltimore and Ferguson, thugs aren’t thugs and mobs aren’t mobs.

It took Pearl Harbor before the majority of Americans came to their senses in 1941. I hate to think what it will take to wake up Americans these days, but I fear it will be something like the incineration of Tel Aviv.

In order to be fair-minded about liberals, I try really hard to find something good to say about them. But I seemed doomed to failure. It’s bad enough that they’re cowardly when it comes to our enemies. But they’re also hypocritical when it comes to their politicians compared to ours. They get in a tizzy when they discover that Marco Rubio collected four traffic citations in 17 years, but they barely raise an eyebrow about Hillary Clinton’s record of deceit and corruption.

They deride Christians who try to live up to the precepts of their religion, but, like the ancient pagans, they make gods of the oceans, the hills, the trees and even the lowly delta smelt. They can’t successfully provide health care for the masses or even for our military veterans, but they want to be left in charge of the weather.

They condemn Mitt Romney as a wealthy elitist, but they cheer the Clintons, who are far richer and who came by their money through graft and tribute.

Liberals insist they control the moral high ground, but turn a blind eye to Obama and the Justice Department’s insistence that blacks, even the most thuggish of them, are always in the right and the cops are always in the wrong. And when the Republicans take the IRS to task for illegally targeting conservatives, they even stoop to defending Internal Revenue and accuse conservatives of playing politics.

They condemn Republicans over the slightest hint of sexual transgressions, but rally around the trashy likes of Bill Clinton, Bob Packwood and Ted Kennedy.

If all else fails, the liberals always know they can fall back on raising the minimum wage, even though everyone knows or should know by this time that it means that many of the least-educated and least-equipped to survive in the 21st century will be let go because they simply aren’t worth $12 or $15-an-hour to their employers.

Because the liberals have no core principles, but merely a group of competing voting blocs, they often find themselves in a bind. For instance, left-wing environmentalists hate the Keystone pipeline, but left-wing unions want the jobs that go with it. Liberals hate fast food establishments because they are always far more concerned with the fat in their bellies than with the fat in their heads. However, they can’t hate them too much because if there wasn’t such a demand for burgers and fries, millions of illegal aliens and liberal arts college grads would be hard-pressed to find a job.

Like most Republicans, I thought Scott Walker’s announcement that he was running for president was no worse than most of the others. Alas, it also wasn’t any better, unless you happened to own Kohl’s department stores. I trust they will donate generously to Walker’s campaign after he delivered a 15-minute commercial lauding their prices, their men’s ware and their coupons.

I know that politicians hate it when I give them advice. But I happen to like Governor Walker, and I hope he heeds my counsel. It is a very bad idea to nod your head after every sentence you utter. We already assume you agree with yourself. But that incessant nodding not only makes you look less than presidential, it makes you resemble one of those dashboard doggies.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?