“Poverty: Another War We’ve Lost” and “Minimum Wage & Minority Rights”

Because this is the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s declaring war on poverty, there has been a lot of attention paid to the problem that I’m betting will somehow survive even longer than cockroaches and Twinkies.

Over the past half century, more than $20 trillion has been squandered on various programs intended to magically bring those who refuse to be educated, to refrain from using drugs or waiting until marriage to have children, into the middle class. Like all federal programs initiated by liberals, it demands nothing of recipients but that they refuse to change their ways.

The upshot of all these programs is that whereas there were 36 million people living below the poverty line in 1964, today there are 47 million. The Democrats would have you believe that the soaring of the illegitimate birth rate from seven percent in 1964 to 40% today is nothing more than a coincidence.

The benefit to the Democrats is that at no cost to the DNC, they ensure themselves of at least 25% of the votes anytime an election rolls around.

That is also the reason that the Democrats are so heavily invested in raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits. Dependent voters are dependable voters. That’s why Obama and Harry Reid actually insist that unemployment insurance creates jobs. But they don’t bother explaining why, that being the case, after five years, anyone is still jobless. They also don’t explain why they are pushing for a mere three month extension of unemployment payments. Why not three years? Why not 30 years if it’s such an enormous boon for the economy?

Liberals insist that adding people to the dole is an act of kindness. If so, they’re killing America, especially the vanishing middle class, with kindness.

The reason, I believe, that democracy is so irrational is that it empowers the irrational, the illiterate, the slothful and the greedy.

Speaking of which, after sending Barack and the kids, presumably her nearest and dearest, home from Hawaii, with whom was Michelle sticking around to celebrate her fiftieth birthday? And for a president more concerned with optics than reality, did it ever occur to Obama that blowing a million of our tax dollars so that the missus could extend a two-week vacation for herself and her team of Secret Service agents looks like the sort of boorish behavior one might have expected of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette?

Obama, who makes a habit of spitting in America’s eye, recently selected Debo Adegbile to head up the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Up to now, Adegbile’s major claim to fame was that he represented notorious cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. A question that inevitably pops to mind is whether Obama’s proclivity for appointing people with Islamic names to positions in his administration comes naturally or if he goes out of his way for no other reason than to piss us off.

Once again, we’re hearing from certain quarters that college athletes should be paid to play football and basketball. I guess in their constant search for the downtrodden, some knuckleheads don’t mind making absolute fools of themselves. Are they totally unaware of the fact that college athletes are already getting a free ride and their choice of coeds, whereas those who are trying to become doctors and lawyers are forced to run up thousands of dollars of debt in student loans?

What’s more, the athletes spend their four years being coached, housed and fed, while getting the opportunity to audition for the teams waiting to make them millionaires for no better reason than their ability to throw passes, shoot baskets or muscle other 300-pound behemoths around a field.

I know there was a time when Americans were forbidden from visiting certain nations. Apparently that is no longer the case. Still, how is it that Dennis (The Worm) Rodman is apparently free to fly off every other weekend to play footsies with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un? Is Jane Fonda his travel agent?

The truth is I have no real objection to Rodman’s going wherever he likes, whenever he likes. But why on earth do we keep letting the jackass back in?

“Minimum Wage & Minority Rights”

The big brouhaha that ensued after “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Paul Robertson shared his biblical-based opinion of sodomites ended as I assumed it would. After first bending to objections from the homosexual community and suspending Mr. Robertson, the A&E network quickly reversed itself when some grown-up at corporate headquarters must have said, “Are you guys all insane? Robertson’s TV show is the only thing that’s keeping the lights on around here.”

I’m not saying that homosexuals or any other minority group shouldn’t have every right to make its feelings known. I’m only suggesting it doesn’t entitle them to having the final say.

I know that’s not the politically correct attitude to have these days when we’re all expected to stop in our tracks and make a U-turn simply because someone who happens to be black or gay, Hispanic or Jewish, starts whining about having his feelings bruised. But when you get right down to it, political correctness is really just a silly term that was invented in order to dignify cowardice and dishonesty.

The best news to emerge from the contretemps is that apparently Jesse Jackson had demanded a meeting with the executives at A&E – and miracle of miracles — he was snubbed. Perhaps other corporations will take the hint and quit paying extortion to the despicable old thug.

In a related matter, comedian Steve Martin wound up getting hammered because of a joke he tweeted when asked: “Is this how you spell lasonia?” He replied, “It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?”

In his attempt to quell the ensuing outrage, he went on to tweet, “I knew of the name Lasonia spelled with a capital, but I just thought it was amusing to point out it sounded like ‘lasagna.’”

For one thing, I figured Martin had established his liberal credentials by using “African-American” where we lesser mortals would have gone with “black.” But are we supposed to ignore the fact that it wasn’t that long ago that black politicians and elite academicians were promoting Ebonics as an authentic and legitimate dialect? Or maybe we’re expected to pretend we haven’t noticed that blacks have begun sticking their newborns with names heretofore unknown anywhere in the universe.

Speaking of which, here in L.A., you often come across cheesy apartment buildings with names like RaSar or MaReb, indicating that a married couple whose names happen to be Ralph and Sarah or Marvin and Rebecca own the joint. But I think SeaTac, WA, a combination of Seattle and Tacoma, is the only city that ever came by its name in a similar manner. At least I hope so.

But SeaTac has now achieved distinction in a whole new way. It is now the first city in the nation that has established $15-an-hour as its minimum wage. It didn’t take long for the owners of local hotels, restaurants and car rental agencies, to announce they’ll be firing large numbers of employees. One hotel owner, who already has three hotels in town, announced he has canceled plans to open a fourth.

That didn’t prevent Kshama Sawant, a newly elected city councilwoman, from announcing, “There may be a few jobs lost, but it’s a good thing.”

Even if she hadn’t run as a socialist, you would have guessed as much. It is equally obvious that she and her fellow council members are people who, like the folks in the Obama administration, have never had to meet a company payroll.

Moreover, I insist that Ms. Sawant and her colleagues are a bunch of cheap bastards. Since we know it’s not their money they’re tossing around, why didn’t they raise the minimum wage to $50-an-hour? I know I personally would feel a lot better about myself if I lost a $50-an-hour job than one that paid a paltry $15.

What these progressive dimwits never seem to grasp is that when you force employers to pay unskilled workers far more than they’re actually worth, they move their businesses if they can or shut their doors if they can’t. Then, as night follows day, you lose your tax base, and, voila, you get to be the next Detroit.

The NY Times, which doesn’t mind embarrassing itself any more than Bill Maher, Chris Matthews and Miley Cyrus, seem to, ran a front page story that insisted that al-Qaeda had nothing to do with the Benghazi massacre. In what was obviously a clumsy attempt to protect Obama and Mrs. Clinton from the fallout, the paper not only ignored real-time film of the attack but eyewitness testimony to Congress. The Old Gray Lady even went so far as to parrot Susan Rice’s lies that the attack was a spontaneous response to that silly video nobody had even seen.

It is extraordinary the length to which liberals will go when it comes to turning a blind eye on innocent corpses, whether it be in Chappaquiddick, Massachusetts, or Benghazi, Libya.

Also, it strikes me as high time the media quit trying to determine whether one group of jihadist creeps committed specific crimes against humanity or whether it was merely an affiliate. Maybe an Arab mother could tell the difference between Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban, but I fail to see, in the immortal words of Hillary Clinton, what difference it really makes. It is a viper with a hundred million heads and they all need chopping off.

In yet another attempt to get us all talking about something besides the mess Obama has made of our health care system, the Democrats are now crying “Foul!” over the Republicans’ refusal to continue extending unemployment benefits.

Only a liberal could convince himself that two years isn’t more than enough time to either find a job or learn a new skill. But, then, Democrats have long contended that Welfare Recipient and Permanently Unemployed are legitimate careers.

Finally, the Hippocratic Oath requires all doctors to swear to “First, do no harm.” I would say that’s a vow that Obama and every other Democrat who foisted the Affordable Care Act on us should have made.

But perhaps I’m just being naive. After all, those schmucks already swore to abide by the Constitution, and we’ve all seen how that’s worked out.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

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/
  • DanB_Tiffin

    Just addressing the dumb minimum wage (price fixing) laws:

    ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON by Henry Hazlitt clear back in 1948
    Download it and read it. It is not that long. The economics presented were true then and they are true now. Austrian School! This is not liberal parasite economics.

    And then get to these chapters
    XVII. Government Price-Fixing
    XVIII. Minimum Wage Laws

  • Wheels55

    This just shows how wrong our attitudes are, on the whole. Politicians react to attitudes. So, if we all acted more responsibly, so would they.The problem is, most people enjoy getting a free pass – at paying their bills, at paying their debt, at being hypocritical, etc. Therefore, politicians react to that. Don’t get me wrong, politicians are the blame for many things. But not more than all of us (think of them as pets that pee on your neighbor’s leg – your dog, your fault).

  • Royalsfan67

    I am stunned on a daily basis how an alleged constitutional professor can show either total disdain (my guess) for said document or a complete lack of knowledge/understanding of it.

  • helplessinil

    Again, WOW, you need a pressure release valve on that, we don’t want you to blow. Great article, but I think I had to read it 3 times before I caught most of it. Thanks, and leave my twinkies alone, I already had one scare thinking they were gone forever.
    I hope you don’t mind, but I will light a candle for you for your upcoming surgery. Good Luck and GOD bless.

  • gold7406

    Wow, you had a lot on your mind. Maybe the left will wake up soon and realize they have been hustled. After 5 years, the poor are poorer, the unemployed are still unemployed, disability and food stamps are expanding, al qaeda is gaining momentum, and the msm still serves as a doormat for the administration. Fortunately for the dems, the republicans have run interference. If they had given the dems an easy path, the poor and middle class would be in even worse shape.