Meditations

On those occasions when he wasn’t trying to convince people that he had swallowed a dictionary and could break his habit of using arcane multi-syllabic words, William F. Buckley proved he could be both Solomon-like and pithy in his comments about those who infest the Left. One of my favorites was his observation that “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

Although in no way would I ever defend or endorse the institution of slavery, when you see how blacks, even in the 21st century, live in Africa and the Caribbean, no one can honestly pity the plight of modern-day American blacks. Compared to most of their brethren around the world, even those perennial underachievers who choose to remain uneducated and outside the mainstream of American life, manage to own TV sets, cars, refrigerators and cellphones.

Although I prefer being able to expend my time and energy deflating left-wingers, we conservatives should never forget how absolutely worthless the GOP was from 2001-2007, when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. Aside from waging a war in Iraq, their only notable accomplishments were raising the national debt by several trillion dollars and kowtowing to the likes of Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold.

Among the many things they did nothing about was improving health care. If all they had done was to pass legislation that enabled people to purchase their insurance across state borders and deny insurance companies the right to drop customers who took sick and actually needed health insurance, they could have spared us the agony of ObamaCare.

It would also have behooved them to pass legislation to ensure honest elections by making it a federal crime with serious consequences to register illegal aliens and dead or fictional people to vote. They could have also made photo IDs mandatory in all elections, whether local, state or federal.

I can only hope that when the Republicans regain control this coming January, their to-do list contains something other than re-paint the office and hire additional staff. Otherwise, they’d do well to keep in mind that 2014 is just around the corner.

One thing that never fails to amuse me is when I happen to tune in the local (Southern California) news, and the reporter covering, say, a nine-car pileup on the 101 freeway, happens to be Hispanic. He will give his crash report in unaccented English, but as soon as it’s time to sign off, he suddenly sounds like a Tijuana street vendor: “Reporting from Sherman Oaks, this is Her-NAN-do DO-min-GUEZ. Back to you, Hal.”

Actress Ellen Barkin, 58, passed along a tweet that read: “C’mon Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean.” How I long for the days when aging actresses tried to desperately hang on to the last few shreds of fame by relating in a tell-all autobiography how they had once slept with Jack Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton and/or the starting five of the Los Angeles Lakers. It was so much more dignified than by displaying their ignorance and bigotry by engaging in political discourse.

To me, the most astonishing thing about the emergence of entertainers into the world of politics is that there are actually people who, apparently, are swayed by the likes of George Clooney, Barbra Streisand, Billy Crystal, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, Paul McCartney and Harry Belafonte.

I mean, why would anyone care who these people favored in a presidential election? They’re pretty much the same folks who, over the years, determined that Sweet Leilani was more Oscar-worthy than They Can’t Take That Away From Me, that Three Coins in the Fountain was a better song than The Man That Got Away, that How Green Was My Valley was a better movie than Citizen Kane, and not only decided that Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock never deserved to win an Oscar, but never even nominated Edward G. Robinson.

Normal people wouldn’t let these chowderheads pick out their neckties, let alone their presidents.

Speaking of chowderheads, considering that most of them can only get excited about elections when either Barack Obama or Ron Paul is a candidate, I’ve decided that it’s not youth that’s wasted on the young; it’s the right to vote.

Finally, a reader recently sent me an email asking me if I could possibly explain the difference between a socialist and a communist. When I wrote back that a communist is a socialist who has managed to gain control of a government so that he can torture and murder with total impunity, he seemed satisfied.

I hope it satisfies others, especially those who still haven’t decided whom to vote for in November.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • AZVick

    This was a pretty good column. Pathos and humor in one swell foop. I mean fell swoop. Prelutsky got it right-on about the Repubs. Throw the lot of  ‘em out, the bums, I say.

  • MarioP

    RESPONSE to WHEELS55 9/21/2012______________________________

    Wheels, you are making no sense again. If, like you stated, the democratic policies were poor, then why on average the democratic presidents create jobs, while the GOP presidents lose them? And why is most of the national debt caused by GOP presidents? You’re yapping with no basis, yet again. You’re in complete denial that your decision to support the conservatives is the cause for the national problems.

    Had Clinton not deregulated the lending industry, there would probably not be the economic meltdown we experienced, but we would not have recovered from Bush1’s housing burst as quickly either. However Bush2 passed his American Dream Downpayment Act, so even if Clinton has not deregulated the banks, Bush2 would have done it himself. Did you read Bush2’s HUD speech from 12/16/2003 yet? Read it! There you will find tons of undisputed evidence how Bush wanted to lend more and allow the riskier borrowers to get loans. Read it, and that will shut you up.

    I said Wall Street caused the economic meltdown? I did? I don’t recall that. But what I do recall is stating that the Republican government caused the bubble because of what they did, and did not, do during the phase they had complete control of the government.

    Also, do not blame the inexperienced and uninformed buyers who signed on the line, for the meltdown. Those home buyers were trying to live the American dream, that same dream Bush2 was pushing for with his Homeownership Society, and they wanted to buy the house by saving for a downpayment. But for years they have watched the priced jump 10-20 percent annually, and they were falling behind the longer they waited, because they could not save faster than the prices increased. The potential home buyers were eventually forced to make a move into a house, because the following year they would have missed the boat. The banks advised them to make the move and approved their loans. And why wouldn’t the banks approved the loans for even the risky buyers? Their goal is to make a profit. They have been approving such risky loans for years and always came on top. The banks are the experienced professionals, and they should analyze the risk they’re taking. So both the home buyers and the banks had justifiable reasons to do what they did that eventually caused the meltdown. We’re now left with the last party that was involved in the crisis, the government. The purpose of the government is to protect the dumb consumer from the praying industry. If it wasn’t for the government’s regulations, the capitalistic economy would be filled with abuses and scams. During the financial crisis the government failed to protect the consumer by not guiding and controlling the lending sector. The government let the sector run wild, meandering from one abuse and loophole to another, even during the period of its prime when the industry didn’t need such freedom. The government failed to prevent the crisis. Therefore, I don’t recall blaming Wall Street for the disaster. The Wall Street played their part in it, but that was to be expected.

  • cmacrider

    Burt: 

    Re:  Communists and
    Socialists:  They both have the same
    goal, namely, the creation of a central state which dictates economic, social,
    and cultural policy.  The communist is
    like the armed bank robber and is willing to use violence to achieve his
    ends.  The socialist is like the white
    collar criminal who objects to violence and resorts to fraud, misrepresentation,
    and trickery to deprive you of your money. 
    Personally I consider Jesse James and Al Capone to be more
    intellectually honest than Bernie Madoff 
    …. At least they knew they were criminals and directly went about their
    business.   However, whether it’s
    communists or socialist, it seems the tactics is merely a matter of style …. They
    both want to basically transform the state into a giant protection racket.

    • BurtPrelutsky

      cma: Well-said.  I’m reminded that when my son was a little boy, I told him that if he grew up and shamed me by becoming a criminal, I at least hoped he would be a bank robber and not a con man because the robber took his chances of being shot by a bank guard, whereas a con man was a coward who took advantage of people’s trust.

      I’m proud to say he grew up to be a bank robber.  Just kidding.

      Burt

  • brendan horn

    Burt,
          I think Obama likes Hollywood celebrities because they are some of the only people who have bigger egos than him. And thus, after he sees these people he can consider himself quite humble.       It is kind of funny to me how certain forms of wealth are more acceptable to liberals than others. Inherited wealth (JFK, FDR), or unearned wealth (John Kerry), or wealth gained by entertainers, or wealth obtained by vain writers (Barack Obama)   is somehow okay – but wealth earned by entrepreneurs or by almost any business person that produces a useful product is somehow evil and built on the backs of all the people they have employed.      It seems like liberals value only useless wealthy people, those who produce very little of benefit to society. It seems completely backwards. I mean, I could live quite happily without the acting of George Clooney, but I would find it difficult to live without access to a good plumber.

    • BurtPrelutsky

       Brendan: Actually the liberal bias against the rich has less to do with how the folks earned it, but whether they are then happy to dole it out to Democrats.

      Burt

      • MarioP

        Burt, you are mistaken about how the liberals view the rich. It matters to the Left how the money is earned. Sitting around and watching your inheritance collect millions annually in capital gains is no hard work. Hence, unlike the Right likes you to believe, not every millionaire worked hard for his fortune. 
        Today you actually seldom see a millionaire work hard enough to earn his outrageous salary and bonuses. The only reason the ones at the top are so well compensated is not because of the time and effort they sacrifice for their work, it’s because there is no one they report to, to take the profits the company as a whole, earned. There are plenty of more qualified professionals out there who would gladly take the top positions for half the salary. The ones at the top got lucky and got the job before the more qualified ones came around. Burt, do you think you’re so great at your job, that you were completely and solely responsible for getting this writing gig on this website? Well, you’re just fortunate someone with more qualifications and talent has not beat you out of your position, yet.And it also matters to the Left what the wealthy do with their fortunes. Obviously the actions of the ones that do good with it are greatly appreciated. The ones that have the mental disorder of greed, well, those should not have the luxury to be wealthy.
        So Burt, you don’ t know how the Left views the rich.

  • Wheels55

    Republicans certainly sat on their hands for a while. I think that is another reason 2010 turned out the way it did. The Tea Party rises.
    It does seem that this country is almost ready for a third or even fourth big party. The Libertarion party seems to be one. Could another be a Tea Party / Bluedog party hybrid? People in the middle really have no party to vote for.
    Clearly, the Obama socialism is not going over too well except for the Hollywood and politically blind types.

    • BurtPrelutsky

      Wheels: Please don’t campaign for a third party.  It will only ensure that the Democrats, who know better than to splinter off, will be able to win national elections while garnering only 45% of the vote.  If you don’t like the GOP, work to make it better.  But don’t do the Left’s bidding for it.  They have already screwed us up by donating to the primary campaigns of those Republicans they think will do the worst in a general election.  That is how Todd Akin won his primary election in Missouri.  The Dems poured a million dollars into his primary so that Sen. McCaskill would actually have a shot at holding on to her Senate seat.

      For more political candor, order “Barack Obama, You’re Fired!”

      Burt

      • Mariop

        Akin… hehehe, I almost forgot about that brainiac. Where does the Right find these characters? shesh…. the GOP is obviously full of them.

      • Wheels55

        Burt,
        Good point.
        I guess conservative splinter parties happen because conservative thinkers have energy to try to make things better. Liberals exhaust themselves whining about everything too much to even think about changing the spend now / worry later / let’s support the world ways.
        I challenge liberals to come up with new parties. How about: the Same sex Party, the Hollywood Party, the Hip Hop Party, The Women’s Rights Party (that may not work since the word “right” is in there), The You Didn’t Build It Party, The Whiner Party…

        • Mariop

          The reason why the conservatives split into many different parties is because of their mental makeup. They can’t help it, because it’s in their DNA. They all believe they are the wisest and know how to run the nation. Their aggressive mind-set doesn’t allow for negotiating or accepting anything other than their fantasy. 
          The conservatives have way too many chiefs and nothing gets accomplished.

          The liberals have fine tuned their philosophies, which they tend to agree upon and work out any minor differences.

          • Wheels55

            Fine tuned philosophies – good one. If you mean blaming others, dividing this nation, playing golf, going on talk shows and doing nothing of note – all fine tuning, then you are right.
            Conservatives are the wisest – way over your little head.

          • Mariop

            Look who is doing the blaming of others. The Right can’t come to grips and blame their party for not avoiding the economic meltdown. 

            First with full control of the federal government, the GOP didn’t protect our economy from the economic disaster and instead fueled it. Second, when the time became critical in fall of 2008, the Republican treasury secretary Henry Paulson came begging for help from the Democrats, and not from his Republican party, because the GOP policies would drive the nation into depression. So, instead of admitting your fault, you blame Clinton, but ignore the GOP congress, for deregulating the lending industry during a housing slowdown. And then you blame Dodd and Frank for making deals with banks, even though they were the minority party during those deals.

            Take some accountability for electing the party that caused the bubble. Your party didn’t put any preventative measures in place. Your party eliminated the downpayment requirement. Your party set record high numbers of sub-prime mortgages between 2004 and 2006, four times as many as in 2000. Your party wanted to lend more to minorities, even during record setting loan numbers (read Bush’s 12/16/2003 speech at HUD). And it was your party that played with the interest rate, drastically dropping it, causing bidding wars on homes, because for a given mortgage payment, the buyers could afford to pay a higher price for the home.

            Be a man and admit you’re at fault, especially when you accuse someone for blaming others.

            Hey, even the prime minister of Australia defended her deputy prime minister when he stated today that the biggest threat to the world’s economy are the “cranks and crazies” that have taken over a part of the Republican Party, implying the Tea Party. Last year even Boehner needed to tell those crazies to step back in line. The Republican party has turned into a  joke for the entire world.

          • Wheels55

            Mario,
            Diarrhea of the keyboard again, huh?
            I am Libertarian, not republican. I support many Republican ideas over the economic stupid demos.
            Yes, the GOP fell a sleep for several years in the 2000’s. But too big to fail would not have been an issue if Clinton had not deregulated banking (i generally dislike regulation, but that one seemed necessary to me).
            You have said that Wall Street caused our economic crisis – they are pure bi-partision greed (when I say Bi, don’t get excited).
            I wasn’t aware of the Republican party making mortgage loans or signing on behalf of the borrowers. That blame goes to everyone who signed on the line.

          • MarioP

            Wheels,

            See my response above. Search for 

            RESPONSE to WHEELS55 9/21/2012

        • NS Sherlock

           Wheels,

          You left out the “It’s all about ME” Party.

  • helplessinil

    I think you got every group but gays, bravo.  You kind of make me think of a polictal Tosh.  Help me, Obama will win my state nothing I can do about that.  I am watching the polls and thinking maybe my thinking is wrong, maybe I am missing something.  Is BHO doing a great job and I just don’t see it?  How can so many people think we are on the right track?  I don’t get it, help!

    • Mariop

      Well, even the conservative radio talkshow hosts in my town are now saying that McCain would not have fixed the economy in four years, and they don’t believe Romney will do a better job with the economy if he comes in. Hence economy is not the deciding factor. That’s what you’re not getting.

      • Deny916

        If/when Romney becomes president he will have to work 23 hours every day to try to fix up all of the mess obammy’s done to the ecomony.    Worst president ever–even worse than Jimmy Carter. 

        I’m not a real big McCain fan but I think he could have done WAY better!!!!!

        • Mariop

          You sure convinced me of all what you said. Brisk, and to the point, cutting out all the unnecessary fat, like facts and details.

          • Deny916

            Mario you just prove my point that dumbocrats have 50% LESS brain cells than normal people!   If you think idiot boy’s done a good job so far…there’s no hope for you…and no soup either!

          • Mariop

            How did you come up with that 50% number? Is there any science behind it?

            Obama is doing at least as good of a job with the deck he was handed as any other Democratic president would have. But you should consider yourself lucky to have a Democrat in the Office dealing with that economic disaster. Because if it was not for the Democrats, Henry Paulson would have no one to beg to, to save the nation back in 2008. The GOP would have driven the nation into a depression with their fend-for-yourself policies. The unemployment rate would have hit 20%, and you would not be typing these posts, because you could not pay your electric bill once your unemployment benefits have ran out.

          • Deny916

            Gosh Mario did I say 50%?  In your case I meant 99%–since you Occupy people like that number so much.

          • Mariop

            Deny916, again, you are so convincing. Why don’t you post something intelligent, like how the GOP was not going to screw the GM shareholders? Or how the EPA flooded New Orleans, because some bugs were going to be discomforted. Show me your brain power and write a convincing argument supporting the Right’s position. Or you can just write those lame one-liners, and truly show that intelligence of yours.

    • BurtPrelutsky

       Helplessinil: I, too, am helpless, but in California.  The polls are lying, but only partly because many people are lying to the pollsters.  Some conservatives simply don’t wish to tell a stranger that they’re not going to vote for a black man, which explains why so many polls are coming in with Democrats being polled at a 5-8% higher rate than Republicans.

      Keep my book in mind when things are looking bleakest.

      Burt

  • GlenFS

    .. and the difference between a Socialist and a Progressive?  Location.

  • Mariop

    Bravo Mr. Burt. You’re making progress in facing the reality. This blog is your most realistic view of the world, yet. Thank You.
    Although you did leave out some biggies, like noting the Republican government’s inability to avoid the housing bubble by not implementing some lending regulations post the 1990’s deregulated phase intended to get the housing ball rolling again; instead the GOP fueled the housing market by removing the downpayment requirement and lowering the interest rates to record lows. But you’ve made progress in coming across like more of a realist, rather than a crazed ideologue. Good job and keep it up! We can then have an intelligent and productive debate.

    • GlenFS

      Not with you on any side of it.

      • BurtPrelutsky

         GlenFS: That’s how it struck me, too.  I don’t object to Mariop’s reading my articles or even hating them.  But why he would think I would wish to spend my time debating with him, I can’t imagine.  It occurs to me, though, that when I sit down to write my articles, I am already debating with myself, presenting the other side of the argument so that I can honestly deal with it.  And, believe me, I do a far better job of arguing for the other side than Mariop can ever hope to do.  For one thing, I at least attempt to be amusing.

        You might be interested in my latest book, “Barack Obama, You’re Fired! (And Don’t Bother Asking for a Letter of Recommendation)”. It’s available through Amazon or through me.

        Burt

        • Mariop

          Burt, there is no debating going on whatsoever in your mind. If there was, many of your conservative opinions would not be so easily and completely destroyed. I mean what argument were you having when you decided to call Obama an Arab? I would love to sit in on that debate… grin…

          • concerned citizen

            “If there was, many of your conservative opinions would not be so easily and completely destroyed.”

            You’re right, they would not be so easily and completely destroyed although I doubt you meant to write that.

          • Mariop

            What are you saying? Of course I meant to write what I did, you silly citizen. Had Burt performed some of his opinion testing and debating in his mind, his statements would take a bit more to debunk. Instead he made it so simple. 

            How did that basic statement go over your head?

  • Deny916

    This kills me too!  WHY does every news reporter have to say everything with the fake accents?  We can figure out what you’re talking about with out the stupid fake accents that make you sound even more stupid!. 

    What gets me the most is the way all of these singers “sing” the National Anthem.  Excuse me–you may think you’ve got the most talented voice in the world but just SING THE SONG THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE SUNG without all of the vocal gymnastics!  That is truly my pet peeve!!!!!

    Thanks for letting me vent Burt!  Loved the article too!

    • BurtPrelutsky

      Deny: I have already addressed the way some people perform the National Anthem.  Send me an email at BurtPrelutsky@aol:disqus Burt. com and I’ll send it to you as an attachment.

      • Deny916

        I sent an email to you (copied & pasted the above address) but it said it didn’t work. I modified it and hope that will work because I would REALLY love to read it! Thanks Burt! Glad to know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by anthem butchering!

        • Deny916

          That was a truly great article Burt!  The title said it all.  I couldn’t agree with you more.  “Loving your country but not having sex with it”–genius.  I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one that got bothered by that.  Thanks for wading through your work for me :)

      • Lawrence Brown

        Burt, there is no particular reason why the National Anthem has to be sung.  I would rather listen to the US Marine Band belt it out than be embarrassed by an incompetent “singer,” or one that wants to give us the full “American Idol” melisma treatment.  By the way, I was inspired to hear the Air Force (I believe) Band play “Nearer my God to Thee” at the homecoming ceremony at Andrews AFB.  I wish whoever is in charge would get rid of the over-used “Amazin’ Grace” and those bagpipes! 

    • Chaitealover

       I’m old enough to remember when the fans in the stands sang the National Anthem, now most of them don’t even know the words because they’re content to let someone else sing it for them [even if the "someone else" can't carry a tune].

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YEOWVC5TXVXBKRXQCUMZSFO7FU johny

    You forgot to mention the 2006 Oscar winner for best song, “Life’s hard out there for a Pimp.”

    • BurtPrelutsky

       johny:  Actually, I didn’t forget it.  I have even written about it in the past.  The difference is that the Best Song Oscar category should have been done away with a long time ago because the Pimp song was only the worst of some other lousy tunes. In the article, I was focusing on terrible choices made by the Academy when great ones were available.

      Burt