Friday, July 10, 2015

Unburdening My Mind

In a way, I envy those pundits who write once a week about a single issue and are satisfied with themselves. I write three or four times a week, cover multiple topics every time out, and I still feel I’m falling behind.

For instance, I don’t feel strongly one way or another about the Confederate flag. I understand why good people would have strong feelings on both sides of the controversy. On the other hand, I don’t share the belief of most people that Abraham Lincoln was a great president or a great human being. As he made clear, he wasn’t waging a war to eliminate slavery, but to preserve the Union. Would it have mattered if the Union hadn’t survived? I don’t think so. What would have been so terrible about there being two separate nations? When it served their mutual interests, as with trade or waging war against a common foe, they could have easily worked together, just as we do with Canada.

The South would have soon enough eliminated slavery because, one, it would have become economically unsound and, two, their trading partners would have forced the issue.

I sincerely believe that the reason for Lincoln’s enduring popularity was the result of his being named Abraham and resembling a biblical prophet and having a gift for high-sounding oratory. Otherwise, the world would have looked at the 700,000 young dead Americans and, instead of Honest Abe, we would more appropriately refer to him as Bloody Abe.

Although he has come to be regarded as a poor country lawyer, he was in fact a highly successful attorney whose fees were often paid by railroad magnates.

Given that Lincoln not only suspended habeas corpus during the War, but encouraged General Sherman to burn down homes and farms in his march to the sea, and did nothing to prevent Union forces from using Southern homes as their own and to steal food from starving Southern women and children, the prevailing notion that he is one of our greatest and most compassionate presidents is as absurd as suggesting that the only ones greater have been Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama.

In addition to its other recent, more noteworthy, decisions, the Supreme Court has decided in a 5-4 decision, as reported by Investor’s Business Daily, “that housing and lending discrimination lawsuits based on no proof other than statistics showing different outcomes by minority groups are within the bounds of civil rights law. It agreed with housing rights advocates that zoning and underwriting policies that have a harmful effect – or disparate impact -- on minorities are illegal, even if that harm is unintentional.”

In other words, the Supremes have introduced a time bomb into an already shaky economy by deciding that if statistics suggest that even if the actual reason that blacks and Hispanics have a tougher time receiving home loans is because they lack the down payment or a credible credit history, lending institutions will be forced to provide the loans. Can we all say “housing bubble”?

Someone sent me an email showing an open container of Tylenol with a caption reading “CNN Breaking News: South Carolina to ban the sale of Tylenol because they fear picking the cotton out of the bottle may represent racism and slavery.” Silly of course, but, as I wrote back: “A joke today, an issue tomorrow.”

What I find fascinating is that it’s nearly always liberals who parrot Santayana’s line about those who refuse to learn from history being doomed to repeat it, but it’s always they who ignore the facts regarding the ultimate fate of every socialistic nation ranging from Soviet Russia to Nazi Germany, from Cuba to Greece.

These days, whether they’re arguing for the absolute right to abortions on demand or same-sex marriages, liberals insist they’re on the right side of history, and then point to young voters as proof of that silly claim. Among liberals, the only people who have a looser grasp of history than elderly pinheads like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton, are the young pinheads in our college classrooms.

I am proud to have among my most loyal readers` a pastor who worked for many years as a prison minister. Although he claims to have had great success in bringing prisoners to the Lord, I have always been a respectful Doubting Thomas. As I had occasion to write last week: “You would know better than I, but I am always extremely skeptical of prison conversions because most convicts are simply looking for a way to game parole boards. My own take on it is that God wasn’t hiding before they were caught and convicted. The only prison conversions I believe are sincere are those brought about by Islamic clerics. And that’s for the same reason that a certain segment of the population was attracted to the Gestapo and the KGB: a system that promises to reward, not punish, rape and murder will always have to beat off sadistic applicants with a stick.”

Although I intend to go down fighting, or at least writing, I don’t believe that the America the Founders visualized can be resuscitated. We are doomed by demographics, but that’s only a part of it. It’s not even just politics. While we can easily improve on Obama, just as Reagan improved on Carter, a difference worth noting is that Carter wasn’t re-elected; Obama was, and we are stuck with the same electorate.

I’m hardly a fuddy-duddy, but when so many people are in favor of legalizing narcotics; celebrating homosexuality; defending jury nullification; promoting abortions on demand, welfare for able-bodied men and women and dual-citizenship; while turning a blind eye to skyrocketing rates of illegitimate births; a pop culture that targets the lowest common denominator; a media and an education system that see their primary role as propagandists for the Left, I see very little worth salvaging.

That’s not to say I don’t have a few ideas that might improve things a little. For instance, those who were in favor of the Supreme Court’s legitimizing same-sex marriages like to compare it to the 1967 decision that struck down the laws prohibiting inter-racial marriages. What they choose to overlook is that the earlier decision was the result of a 9-0 vote; this time, the Court over-turned thousands of years of tradition and, I would suggest, common sense with a 5-4 vote.

However I personally feel about Court decisions, on issues that affect the entire country, I don’t believe a 5-4 decision should settle anything. Criminal cases require 12 people to reach a unanimous decision. Even civil cases require a two-thirds vote. So how is it that a mere 55% of the Supremes are allowed to make final life-changing decisions affecting 100% of 320,000,000 of us?

If even six or, better yet, seven of them can’t come to an agreement, I think they should keep their opinions to themselves.

I even know how to stop the state from compelling religious florists, bakers and photographers, to service same-sex weddings. We just need that guy who went into the offices of ACORN with a video camera, asking for government funding of a proposed brothel employing underage Latinas, to enter a bakery owned by a Muslim and demand he whip up a cake for a unisex marriage.

Speaking of which, one of the greatest propaganda campaigns ever waged in the U.S. was the one that turned homosexuality from a condition that the Psychiatric Association of America designated a mental disorder to being an alternative life style and, finally, a civil right, all within a few decades.

The way it was conducted was by always portraying homosexuals as sympathetically as possible in the media. They were rarely if ever depicted as criminal or even greedy. Instead, they were passed off as the best neighbors anyone could dream of and, most important of all, as asexual as stuffed toys. Lust was apparently the furthest thing from their thoughts, as they baked cookies and babysat for their friends, gossiped with their female chums and made witty, cutting, comments about straight men.

To blow that well-staged campaign out of the water, all you’d have to do is to devise a way to show sodomy in action.

Finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The results of the latest Prelutsky Poll are in. Most of you, I’m happy to report, abided by my request that you vote for only one candidate and to place his or her name in the subject line. I blame myself, though, for merely assuming that people would vote for one of the Republicans who was actually pursuing the nomination. As a result, twelve non-contenders, including Mitt Romney, Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin, Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy, received between one and seven votes. Because I’m the one who got the seven votes, I can certainly understand the temptation to vote with their hearts. Fortunately, I was able to persuade most of the 26 rebels to vote for one of the announced candidates.

So, without further ado, I can report that Scott Walker was the runaway favorite, scoring almost as many votes (116) as the next two, Ted Cruz (70) and Marco Rubio (52).

If I were conducting the debates and had to limit the speakers to 10, the other seven qualifiers would be Carly Fiorina (42), Donald Trump (36), Ben Carson (25), Rick Perry (12), Rand Paul (11), Bobby Jindal (8) and Jeb Bush (6). The also-rans were John Kasich (5), Mike Huckabee (2) and Chris Christie (1).

I wish to thank the nearly 400 of you who took part, and to let you know there will be additional polls as we draw nearer to the primaries.

©2015 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?