Friday, July 3, 2015

All the News That's Fit to Slant

By way of confession, I frankly admit to being amused by the way NBC decided to punish Brian Williams. It was a classic case of corporate irony. Instead of firing their resident Pinocchio, they shipped him off to their satellite, MSNBC, where he can fit right in with the low rent likes of Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton.

If the only problem with NBC’s posing as an objective conveyor of unbiased news was Mr. Williams lying about his heroic exploits, it would be much ado about very little. The real shame of NBC, ABC and CBS, is that they act as propagandists for liberalism as blatantly as Pravda and the NY Times did on behalf of Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union.

It recently occurred to me that if gun owners are to be punished for the actions of thugs and cuckoos by having their access to guns and ammo restricted, what’s to prevent the cars of responsible drivers from being confiscated in response to the crimes of speeders and those driving under the influence?

Furthermore, while guns are a convenient murder weapon, they are also, in the right hands, a practical way to defend oneself and one’s family. On the other hand, in just the past couple of years, the bad guys, as we’ve seen, have used knives, suicide bombs, cleavers, axes and even pressure cookers, to kill innocent people, but can you imagine using a pressure cooker to defend yourself? And 3,000 murders, need we be reminded, were committed by villains wielding nothing more lethal than paper cutters.

It was recently disclosed that Alexander Hamilton will be replaced on the ten dollar bill, probably by a woman. My friend, a Constitutional scholar named Steve Maikoski, is not one to take such nonsense lying down. In a letter to the editor of the Orange County (CA) Register, he wrote in part: “The planned demise of the bill is a political event that few people understand. Hamilton’s place in history is earned. It should not be replaced for political opportunism. If you look at the bill, you will see ‘We the People,’ which honors Hamilton’s contribution to our nation’s Constitution. Hamilton was instrumental in planning the Constitutional Convention, instrumental in its design, wrote most of the Federalist papers that explained its design, and was our first Secretary of the Treasury. He worked tirelessly for a limited federal government and to get the United States out of debt. All his accomplishments stand in great contrast to what our current government is now doing: more debt, more government.

“Now we learn that a woman is going to be on the new $10 Federal Reserve note. I believe that’s only half the story, given recent events in our nation that celebrate race and trans-genderism.

“I believe,” he jokes, “that the new person will be Georgia Washington Carver.”

He actually suspects, as do I, that the new face on the bill is likely to be Rosa Parks.

When fellow conservatives write to ask how I can stand to live in California, I admit that climate plays a major role, along with Newton’s first law of motion that dictates that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, especially if it’s a 75-year-old body.

But an additional benefit for a conservative writer is that California serves as a very large petri dish. Where better to study and to report on the most bizarre aspects of liberals than in their own natural habitat? This is the place, once the envy of the world, where industry and agriculture thrived, in concert with the best that America had to offer when it came to education, entrepreneurship and the fine and popular arts.

That was then, this is now. Today, in much the same way that municipalities such as Detroit, Chicago and Baltimore, act as object lessons when it comes to the dangers of liberal rule, California stands as a stark warning to every state in the Union. This is what must inevitably happen when people like Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Xavier Becerra, Brad Sherman, Ted Lieu and the Sanchez sisters, are allowed to rule the roost.

These hourly bulletins by GOP politicians announcing whether or not they’re running for the presidency would be a lot more suspenseful if any of them ever said, “Nah, I’ve thought it over and I've decided to pass. I think I’ll go fishing, instead. Besides, I don’t feel like moving to the White House. All my stuff is here and I like my neighbors.”

Speaking of candidates, I’m sure a lot of my readers were taken aback when I found much to like about Donald Trump. I think I pretty much explained why I welcomed his entry to the race. I like the fact that he says what he thinks without taking a poll to see how it will play in Texas or Ohio. One can easily dismiss that as a selling point because he has nothing to lose because we all know he won’t be the nominee. But I think we all know that Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Lindsay Graham, George Pataki and Rick Santorum, won’t be the nominee, either, but I often doze off while listening to them, something I never do when the Donald is tooting his own Trump-et.

I have heard people say that Trump is such a loose cannon that he will destroy the Republican brand. What Republican brand is that? Heck, if guys like John Boehner, John McCain, George Bush and Mitch McConnell, haven’t destroyed it by now, it must be damn near indestructible.

Before you think I have taken total leave of my senses, I’m well aware of Trump’s deficiencies. I know he often speaks before he thinks. Sometimes I’m not sure he thinks at all. And when he insists he is the one guy who should be the president because he wrote “The Art of the Deal,” I have to laugh. For one thing, real estate tycoons don’t write books. They rarely even read them. They pay people to write books and then slap their names on them.

Besides, a deal maker is not an adversary, he’s an accommodator. So when Trump builds a five star hotel in China, he’s not facing down a rogue state that is constantly cyberattacking our government, our businesses and our people, or threatening our allies in the Pacific. Building another Trump Tower will make him a nice piece of change, but it will also attract a great many tourist dollars to China, as well as increase its image among emerging nations.

It’s true that Trump is boastful, which is unseemly in anyone, but especially so in a presidential candidate. But it just means he says aloud what all the others are thinking; namely that “I’m the only person in America who is up to the task of being the leader of the free world.” But that’s not just being boastful, that’s being psychotic.

When I was a young advertising copywriter, I worked for Doyle Dane Bernbach. Bill Bernbach, the legendary creative force at the agency, always urged his clients to improve their product. He understood that it was easier to sell something that deserved to be purchased. If they couldn’t realistically improve the product -- salt, after all, is salt -- then he urged them to improve the packaging.

If I were trying to sell Trump, I would concentrate on his height, pointing out that at 6’3,” ours would be a world leader that shrimps like Putin, Kim Jong-un and Hillary Clinton, would all have to look up to.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?