Clearing the Desk

Every so often, I find myself being buried in memos I have jotted down. It is then that I decide it’s time to unburden myself, lest my wife walks into my office one day and finds our dog frantically trying to dig me out.

To begin with, in the aftermath of the election, I found myself thinking that, as hopeless as things look, if Germany, Japan and Italy, could all recover from the mess that Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini, got them into, it’s just possible that we will ultimately be able to survive Obama. But I sure wish we didn’t have to wait four years to find out.

I was also reminded of something I believe Winston Churchill once said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with a typical voter.”

In “Metamorphosis,” a novella Franz Kafka wrote nearly a century ago, his protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find he’s been transformed into an ungeheuron Ungeziefer, which, literally translated, is a monstrous vermin, but is generally taken to be a cockroach. I can’t help thinking that in a modern version, it would be great to have a cockroach wake up in the White House and be magically transformed into a human being.

I think the reason that Democrats get away with so much cheating at election time is that they have managed to turn it into joke material. Although voting is one of the most sacred duties Americans have, we have all grown accustomed to joshing about people in Chicago voting early and often and about dead people casting ballots. We all know that it has become habitual for Democrats such as Al Franken, when finding themselves in tough elections, to suddenly have boxes of uncounted Democratic ballots showing up in closets, church basements and the trunks of ’87 Buicks.

In a way, it’s like all the jokes we used to hear about Siberia when the brutal Soviet Union, the left-winger’s weird notion of Paradise, was using it as a frozen burial ground for political dissidents. Nobody, you must have noticed, ever made comparable jokes about Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

We’re all much better off when we confine ourselves to making fun of liberals. For instance, it was recently discovered by 48 year old ditz Janeane Garofalo that she’d been married for the past 20 years to TV producer Rob Cohen. As she tells it: “We got married drunk in Vegas at a drive-through chapel while sitting in a cab. We thought you had to go down to the courthouse and sign papers and stuff, so who knew? But apparently now that Rob is getting married for real, his lawyer dug up something.”

Perhaps what he dug up was an article I wrote a few years ago in which I made fun of a number of show biz marriages, including hers!

Keep in mind this is a middle-aged woman who has devoted a good part of her life to calling conservatives stupid. I guess when you get to a certain age and are still saying things like “sign papers and stuff,” you have formally declared your intention of remaining a perpetual teenager, no matter what it says on your birth certificate, on your marriage license or in your mirror.

If the folks at Columbia who hand out Pulitzer Prizes were actually in the business of recognizing journalistic excellence — and not merely out to make the NY Times, in the face of diminished readership and revenue, feel good about itself — they would recognize Fox News for its singular coverage of the Benghazi massacre and the subsequent cover-up, a political scandal that dwarfs Tea Pot Dome, Iran-Contra and Watergate.

Speaking of Benghazi, I can’t recall a time when military brass has been quite this tarnished. In addition to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, we have recently seen 4-star General William (“Kip”) Ward lose two stars for squandering hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars treating himself and his relatives to travel on military jets and luxurious hotel accommodations; and Brig. General Jeffrey Sinclair stands a mighty fine chance of winding up in Leavenworth for raping and sodomizing women in the military and for turning a blind eye to troops under his command in Afghanistan doing the same.

Although I have great respect for the grunts who do the fighting and dying in far-off places, I have pretty much of a jaundiced eye when it comes to generals. This is especially so in the case of those who have risen in the ranks since the days when Jimmy Carter was the commander-in-chief. I have come to see them as people who would have been typical politicians had they elected to remain civilians. The way I see it, unless you die in action or come home with missing body parts, you’re not entitled to assume you command the moral high ground and you’re certainly not entitled to sport more medals than Idi Amin.

Finally, I have to confess that I have never understood the LGBT alliance. I really can’t imagine why any self-respecting lesbian or gay person would want to align him or herself with bisexuals, who half the time are consorting with the enemy, and the transgender crowd, those poor muddled souls who can’t even figure out which bathroom to use.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

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.
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  • Phil Silverman

    Bernie, The hitler “relevance” you write above is disgusting. Can we survive getting out of the two wars, finding a way for people with cancer, able to pay a premium, can actually get the coverage? or is saving the midwest with the Bush II-originated TARP so odious to U?

  • I Hate Fascists

    Leave it to a Fascist like Goldberg to argue against democracy

  • JohnInMA

    On the idea of how tarnished the military brass has been, I end up wondering about the roots. I don’t tend to accept conspiracy theories or even spend much time considering them. However, given this administration’s public history – meaning what we can see and therefore know and not just suspect – it is easier to think there may be less ‘bad behavior’ and simply a greater willingness (eagerness??) to play politics by the Axelrods and Jarretts who have the president’s ear. Brass has certainly never been saints. But it looks to me that in order to feed the compliant media the morsels they need to keep the focus off Obama, the parade of military and civilian casualties (appointed heads in spydom, e.g.) may never end until the matter becomes uninteresting to the masses (except for FNC, of course).

    I cannot connect the dots, but I can very easily believe it. This WH has less respect for the military (similar to Clinton) and has repeatedly proven there is a singular priority and focus – protect the man at all costs and waste no time showing detractors what can happen to them, too.

  • FloridaJim

    I Love the column the liberals will vilify you for your references to Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini but you are correct if those countries can withstand those leaders we can withstand Obama…if we don’t watch him.

  • Danny Lewis

    Just finished “NO EASY DAY”, by Mark Owen. Excellent book on killing Osama bin Laden (?)

  • BrianFruman

    We dont hvae journalist anymore. Just what call big city news. The New York Times is a local newspaper thats it. My suggestion for conservatives stop talking about it on blogs, radio and TV. Start finding journalist in different communties that represent all of Us. They will continue to write crap upon crap but pay no mind. They have set the stage for their own failure.

  • Switchlight13

    You can’t expect high school drop outs living on welfare, black racists, La Raza supporters, union stooges and the MTV generation to be an informed electorate. We reached a point where there are more riding in the wagon then their are pulling it.

  • P Owen

    I would retweet you fine article if it didn’t include LGBT remarks. I just can’t take on all the worlds conflicts. Bedrooms are off limits.

  • Switchlight13

    And who do the politicians get all their info from: A dog & pony show from “the generals”. The members of Congress walking around Afganistan wearing ballistic vests, helmets and surrounded by the generals body guards. They brag about all the tax funded free “fact finding” trips they made to Afganistan & Iraq.

  • floridahank

    The biggest problem is that we have stupid, corrupt, self-serving politicians on both sides of the aisle. In my opinion, 80% should be thrown out and we should have term limits to help correct the problem.

    • Bruce A.

      Who keeps putting these corrupt, inept self-serving politicians back in office? Term limits is the answer since the system is made to keep the same in power.

  • Ted Wight

    Nothing is funny about the election or the demise of rational, “conservative” thought. It is tragic. But inevitable as I have been saying for years. The Republican/conservative movement has been playing on the so-called Progressives playing field and to their tune and always responding, never leading. Romney had all the ingredients for winning. Except balls. Progressives win by catering (and giving) to union bosses and trial lawyers. Romney said what about this? Happiness is supposed to be each of us pursuing it as we individually wish, not how Progressives demand. (Go out and work for a non-profit, help the homeless. But more lives have been saved by U.S. entrepreneurs getting rich selling stuff like pharmaceuticals, computers, software.) Romney defended the magnificent good business has done for the world how? We legislate saving species of little bugs; liberals go out and rescue sick and abused dogs, but kill millions of human fetuses. Romney said what? He is so afraid of what the liberal NFM (non-Fox media) will say or write, he doesn’t stand up for much. Ditto all chickensh** Republicans.
    We have lost this wonderful country. Like the Jews of WWII, the princes of Russia, we do nothing and lose the greatest country in history. I am glad I am 70 and don’t have three decades to go through.

  • wally

    I also believe Winston Churchill said if you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart and if you are not a conservative by the time you are old, you have no brain. In appears that liberals who have remained liberal all their life are stuck in their childhood or maybe it is a gene problem. Many to most of the comments that are presented by liberals do not bother about the facts because it is in their DNA to dispute any statement from the conservative side by pointing to conservatives as only rehashing Fox news taking points even though Fox has not presented any of the statements. Case in point is Alan Colmes. There is one jewel for you. A. Colmes will argue that red is white of white is red. He just doesn’t care about facts. He just enjoys to take the opposite side in any discussion with conservatives.

    • deny916

      Alan Colmes is so beyond facts he must have been born somewhere in the outer limits!!!!! How can anybody listen to anything he says with a straight face????

      • dodgergirl88

        He’s about as stupid as they come. He disagrees with any logic because that is his job, but really Alan, is it worth it when your credibility is on the line, and facts?

  • Michael

    “if Germany, Japan and Italy, could all recover from the mess that Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini, got them into, it’s just possible that we will ultimately be able to survive Obama.”
    Germany, Japan, and Italy had the United States to help them recover. Who will help the United States?

    • nickshaw

      Uhhh, yeah. There is that, Jam.

  • jam24u

    This is all getting for naught in the media world. Bernie is one of the best for cutting through the crap, but until someone like Bernie can convince the network TV news to begin to take a position opposite of the liberal bias standard that they live by, it will never reach the ability to change the face of disasters and corruption like the Obama administration excels at. It will have to be TV to expose the way we hope.

    • nickshaw

      Burt’s no slacker either, Jam.

  • Chris Bateman

    Oh, booooooo-hooooooo. The People didn’t want our right-wing agenda, so it simply MUST have been cheating. Pots and kettles, Bernie. Let’s throw in a dash of homophobia while we’re at it.

    The reason there is so much coverage on Benghazi is that there isn’t a lot to tell. With Bush there were what, 12 attacks on Embassies? Oh, no. Not a fact!

    Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

    Let’s toss in this one…Red states take much more money than they put in. The conservative regions in the country are the ones leeching. How’d that happen?

    • JmThms

      ‘but most stupid people are conservatives’? The only reason people would choose the E.U. model over the traditional American one is either they don’t understand the difference or the reality of the choice, or they do but still prefer the E.U. model. In either case, its stupidity. Whats your excuse for stupidity Bateman?

      • Chris Bateman

        Actually, I do remember hearing “We’ll never have the elite, smart people on our side.” pretty recently.
        The EU model is fine for the most part, or at least it was until the austerity measures took effect. Then what happened? Crash after crash. Same here in ‘Murca. We deregulated the housing and banking markets, then continued to fight unfunded wars under republican charge. What happened? Crash after crash. See a pattern yet? Conservatism is only good for the wealthy, and is terrible for the masses.

        How is it stupid to recognize that these so-called “Job Creators” aren’t creating any jobs? They’ve had record-low taxes for over a decade, but unemployment is still high. How do you explain that? You don’t. You people blatantly ignore history. Obama’s tax proposals attempted to return tax rates to your hero’s rates (Reagan) and somehow it’s socialism. The right either has forgotten what socialism is or doesn’t care that they’re using the wrong word for a very moderate president.

        I was a nuclear reactor operator for the US Navy and now I’m a full time bio-chem student. I am, by no means, stupid.

        • JmThms

          First off I don’t give half a flying lib what you did in the Navy nor that you are a bio chemistry student. Look at the likes of Noam Chomsky. MIT linguist who has some of the most bizarre, skewed and inaccurate perspectives on history and America’s role in it. As Michael Crichton and others have observed, its ironic that some of the most formally educated among us are the biggest threats to the principles of classical liberalism. Also, why do you think austerity measures are implemented in the first place? Its not due to the EU model being ‘fine’. Its stupid to demonize and burden the ‘Job Creators’. Atlas Shrugged. Ironic that you accuse us of blatantly ignoring history. The Soviet Union is an obvious example. More and more intellectually honest Europeans are admitting that their social welfare state model is a failure. Western Europe is spiraling down the toilet bowl. The comparative models are there for you and your ilk to observe if only you had the intellectual honesty to do so.

          • POC247

            This is an interesting article from a V. Putin speech.

            In 2009 Putin called American voters illiterate. H warned that people should avoid the Soviet mistake, “During the time of the Soviet Union the role of the state in economy was made absolute, which eventually lead to the total non-competitiveness of the economy. That lesson cost us very dearly. I am sure no one would want history to repeat itself.”

            Putin must have heartily laughed when Obama won a second term.

          • dodgergirl88

            I wish this country would let more Europeans in instead of the third worlder’s that are taking over our country. As Europeans, and who we came from originally, they are smarter, have better ideas and generally better looking than the motley crews we are getting from Mexico, Africa and Asia. LBJ stopped Europeans from coming here, we need them now, especially Eastern Europeans, who want and believe in freedom. Everyone else coming here is looking for welfare benefits and free healthcare. You’re correct about Chris Bateman, who knows if he was ever in the Navy or is some left wing bio chem student. He’s still an idiot.

        • Joel Wischkaemper

          OK.. not stupid, but you missed the train when they were handing out common sense.

    • nickshaw

      Yeah, I’m going to listen to a putz who can’t even respond to the correct person who wrote what he just read.
      Must be one of those typical voters Winston spoke of.

      • Chris Bateman

        My error. I am so used to the worst of the propaganda coming from Bernie that I didn’t bother to check the author.

    • deny916

      Speaking of stupid Chris, this article was written by Burt–NOT Bernie!

      • Chris Bateman

        Huh? Actually, I did not see that. So frequently it is Bernie that puts out BS like this. Considering the blatant propaganda and the similar writing style, I just assumed that the repetition was all by the same person. My mistake.
        Cavil all you want, the author is still incorrect.

        • Patrick

          So much for you liberals being open minded. It seems like everything you disagree with is bullshit.

    • DB

      Hey Chris, I looked up the answer to your question “how’d that happen”. Answer: States that receive more federal dollars have at least one of the following high ticket items: federal defense programs, military contracts, federal farming subsidies, or high medical prescriptions and aging populations. Your article is a bit strange in using reference to the term “Welfare Queen” ?? Besides this is not the greatest part of federal spending.

  • deny916

    “If the folks at Columbia who hand out Pulitzer Prizes were actually in the business of recognizing journalistic excellence they would recognize Fox News for its singular coverage of the Benghazi massacre and the subsequent cover-up.”
    Amen to that Burt, but because the lame stream media will do everything in their power to cover obummer’s butt, I’ll betcha money that we will NEVER get to the bottom of that scandal…and those four murdered Americans will never get the justice they deserve. It’s enough to make you sick!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Deny: Right you are.


    • nickshaw

      The same applies to Fast And Furious, Deny.
      It will go down in history as a program Bush started ’cause you know who writes the history books.