Karl Marx was convinced that religion was the opium of the masses. That, no doubt, was the reason he decided to make a religion of his screwy economic theory. Surely it must have occurred to him that if people were willing to accept improbable miracles on faith, they might also be convinced that economic policies that fly in the face of reality and human nature could also gain a foothold.
And he was right, in spite of the fact that his notions have failed time and again all around the world, inevitably ending in the tyranny by the few and the enslavement of the many.
Nothing, we’ve been told, succeeds like success. But as socialists and communists have shown for the past century, thanks to the terminally gullible, occasionally nothing succeeds like failure.
♦ Today, in the greatest irony of all, you have major religions following the tenets of Marx while simultaneously ignoring those of Christ. You have a Catholic pope parroting left-wing propaganda and showing far more concern about global warming than about Christians being burned, crucified and beheaded, by Muslims.
At the same time, you have Protestant church leaders siding with terrorist groups and calling for the divestment of investments in Israel, in spite of the fact that most American Protestants support the Jewish state and understand that Israel would like nothing better than to live in peace with its neighbors, if only those neighbors would stop trying to exterminate them.
Here in the U.S., we have seen the Boy Scouts, Catholic adoption agencies, along with Christian bakers, florists and photographers, all come under attack because they have, to some extent, not accepted sodomy as a norm.
We are all told to shape up and accept homosexuality on its own terms because, as five members of the Supreme Court pretty much stated in its majority decision, these people are simply in wuv. The decision I’m anxiously awaiting is the one they will inevitably be called upon to adjudicate, the one involving consenting bigamists and polygamists. I would think that so long as all the petitioners were consenting adults, Anthony Kennedy, for one, would have a very tough time explaining why twenty people should be denied the same right as two people to express their wuv by exchanging wedding vows.
♦ Speaking of the Supreme Court, whatever your politics or personal beliefs, you have to admit that the Democrats are experts when it comes to seating justices who will see things their way. Republicans, on the other hand, seem content to pull names out of a hat.
If you doubt it, consider that between them, Clinton and Obama have appointed Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor. No surprises there. Each of them has voted exactly the way Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, would if they were on the Court.
On the other hand, between them, Reagan and the two Bushes placed seven justices, including one Chief Justice, on the high court. Although they got it right with Scalia, Thomas and Alito, it might as well have been Obama who paved the way for Kennedy, O’Connor, Souter and Roberts, to wear bathrobes to work.
One surprising fact I recently discovered about the current Court is that in spite of the fact that fewer than one in four Americans is Catholic or Jewish, all nine justices are either one or the other.
♦ When I recently suggested that after all their recent computer hacking, the least that China could do was let us know what was on Hillary Clinton’s private server, a couple of readers decided I was being serious. I guess with some people, you have to add a “ha-ha” at the end of a sentence before they know you’re joking.
In both cases, they let me know that China would never hand over any damaging email. Instead, they would use it to blackmail Mrs. Clinton. I looked in vain for the “ha-ha,” so I decided they were serious. But the notion of blackmailing Mrs. Clinton strikes me as funnier than my line about the Chinese.
After all, we already know what she did and said in connection to Benghazi; we know she used a private server in violation of law and ethics; and that she and Bill were pocketing millions in bribes while she was Secretary of State. In spite of all that, seventy million Democrats are dying to vote for her in 2016. Does anyone really believe that anything the Chinese could disclose, including the alleged affair she’s long been rumored to be carrying on with Huma Abedin, vice-chairwoman of Hillary’s presidential campaign, could cool their ardor? After all, Bill Clinton was elected twice, and tales of his sexual misconduct were more than rumors.
♦ It’s not just the sorry state of politics that makes our society such an embarrassment. Millions of unmarried women give birth, and they’re celebrated. Moreover, the boy friends get to brag about it with no fear of financial or legal consequences. Actors, actresses, singers and athletes, go on TV and boast of their addictions to booze, drugs and sex, and they’re applauded. Bruce Jenner decides he’s a woman and the Commander-in-Chief praises his courage.
Worst of all, not only do most Americans now pride themselves on being non-judgmental, they’ve been taught to regard it as a virtue.
♦ Finally, when the University of Missouri at Kansas City sought a celebrity to headline a gala marking the opening of a women’s hall of fame, they first reached out to Hillary Clinton. But they were told it would cost them $275,000. I know that sounds like a lot of money to the university and to most of us, but you have to remember that 14 short years ago, she and Bill were flat broke, if you don’t count the $20 million in book advances.
Once the organizers of the gala got over their shock, they decided to invite Chelsea Clinton. For a 10-minute address, she agreed to show up for a mere $65,000. Never mind that, on a prorated basis, that still works out to $390,000-an-hour.
No one family -- not the Bushes, not the Kennedys, not even the Kardashians -- has more chutzpah than the Clintons. In spite of having billions in the slush fund they refer to as a Foundation, they never weary of griping about the disparity of income in America -- arguing how unfair it is that corporate CEOs make a hundred times as much as their employees . However, they see nothing out of kilter about Chelsea being paid much more for 10 minutes of her time than any of the hardworking waiters, waitresses and busboys, at the event will earn in a year.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: “Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me.” If Fitzgerald had ever met the Clintons, he might have added: “They are hypocrites of the worst kind.”
Trump Thumps the Pundits
It seems to me that when crazy white people like Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Dylann Roof, occasionally shoot a bunch of other white people, liberals will inevitably insist that stricter gun laws need to be enacted. But when 10 or 15 black people are shot by other black people on a typical weekend in Chicago, the poster city for gun control laws, liberals are as quiet as very shy mice. It makes me wonder if they really don’t believe that black lives matter all that much.
Furthermore, when an illegal alien shoots and kills an American citizen -- as happened in San Francisco recently, when a schmuck who’d been deported five times after committing seven felonies, murdered a young woman -- liberals, not to mention other GOP presidential contenders, responded by telling Donald Trump to shut up.
The hypocrites in both parties like to pretend that Trump slandered every Hispanic, including Father Junipero Serra, Fernando Lamas and Carmen Miranda, when all he did was tell the truth about illegal alien scumbags.
I’d like to know how it is that places like Arizona, Missouri and now Donald Trump, have all faced boycotts by tourists, unions and/or corporate entities -- among them, in Trump’s case, Macy’s, NBC, Serta and NASCAR -- but places like San Francisco and New York get to brag about being sanctuary cities for those who have broken into our country, but they face no financial consequences whatsoever.
What Trump is proving, if the polls are to be believed, is the truth inherent in the words written by 18th century scientist/philosopher Georg Lichtenberg: “It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.”
The Founding Fathers declared that there is a time when blood must be spilled in defense of liberty, whether the enemy is British or Islamic, and a time, as the loony response to Trump’s words suggests, when beards must be singed in defense of honesty.
One of the things that Trump said that has come in for the most derision from Fox’s resident pundits is that he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Is it just possible that Charles Krauthammer and George Will are unaware of the fact that the U.S. provided Mexico with $418 million in foreign aid in 2013 and another $971 million in 2014? Don’t you think we could build a pretty decent wall for $1.4 billion over the next two years if we simply decided to separate Mexico from America’s teat?
For me, one of the things I enjoy the most about Trump’s politically incorrect pronouncements is the way that sober-sided commentators like Will and Krauthammer, not to mention Jeb Bush, respond like Pavlovian Chihuahuas, yipping about all the serious issues being ignored and how Trump, whom they dismiss as a circus clown, is destroying the hallowed GOP brand.
Perhaps they could take their own advice and concern themselves with all the issues, from a $19 trillion national debt and a nuclear Iran to inexcusable Supreme Court appointments and a lousy trade agreement that the Republicans are doing precious little about. In fact, Obama’s trade deal only passed because the Republican cavalry rode to its rescue.
It should also be noted by those out to bury Trump that among Hispanics who are here legally, illegal immigration is very low on their list of concerns. Like all sensible Americans, they care about jobs, education and national security. It’s only a bunch of race-baiting Hispanic politicians like Xavier Becerra, Linda Sanchez and Luis Guiterrez, who are looking to increase their potential supporters through porous borders and sanctuary cities, that pretend that Hispanic Americans are eager to welcome drug dealers, gangbangers and those looking to steal their jobs, with open arms.
♦ Fortunately, not every state is as anxious as California, New York and Massachusetts, to roll over for this administration. Texas has had enough of school lunches mandated by Michelle Obama, but paid for by taxpayers, being dumped in trash cans. Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller has belatedly come to his senses and is lifting the ban on deep fryers in school kitchens.
Every so often, it seems, the Texans have to remind the rest of us that, all evidence to the contrary, this isn’t the United States of Obama, and our flag doesn’t consist of 13 stripes and 57 stars.
♦ Still, while we may not be the United States of Obama, we are no longer the United States of America. We’ve been Balkanized by our political divisions. By now, I despise the blue states even more than I do Russia, China or North Korea. That’s because I regard them as far greater and more immediate threats to the America the divinely-inspired Founders created and passed down to us.
♦ Finally, we have all grown up and grown old hearing that great minds think alike. While it’s true that great minds may agree about many things, I’m not convinced they think alike.
What I’ve come to believe is that really great minds are great because they think differently.
©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.