People Aren’t All That Good

There are those who believe that in their natural state, people are kind, generous and good-natured. I, however, don’t believe they are any of those things. Unless they are raised by parents with decent values and taught at a very early age that evil actions have dire consequences, people will grow up to be savages.

I still recall an experiment in a college psych class some years ago. In test after test, three students seated behind mirrored glass were told that they were free to administer electric shocks to other students in a lab, and that nobody would be able to tell which of them was responsible. Well, no surprise to me, those holding the controls kept turning the knobs, believing they were delivering shock after shock. It was only later that they learned that their “victims” were being alerted by a noise and, so, in spite of their feigned spasms and grimaces, weren’t actually being tortured.

In other words, so long as they were anonymous and didn’t risk being punished, the college kids were as happy as a pack of frolicking otters, behaving like youthful versions of the Marquis de Sade.

Another illustration of human savagery can be found in the novel, “Lord of the Flies,” where a group of adolescents abandoned on an island quickly turn into beasts. Similar examples are found on a regular basis when those being inducted into college fraternities are forced to undergo cruel and often violent forms of hazing. The newcomers put up with it because they realize that the following year, as sophomores, it will be their chance to torment others.

As I often state, I am not a religious person. I make that point so that it is understood that when I defend religion, I am not being self-serving. I just know that I personally prefer those who believe in God to those who believe they are God. I’m also convinced that those who are truly religious would not have been delivering the electrical shocks to their classmates. In the same way, I believe that the only nations — aside from those under the demonic control of Islamists — that would have murdered people by the tens of millions are those that have banished God, such as Nazi Germany, China and the Soviet Union.

A recent study showed that in spite of our spending a king’s ransom on education, our students ranked in the middle among those in the 34 industrial nations when it came to reading (14th place), science (17th) and math (25th). When I heard that study being discussed on a radio talk show, a caller suggested that part of the reason that countries such as South Korea, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Finland, all ranked near the top was because they have homogeneous populations. That made sense to me, but not to the host who pooh-poohed the notion on grounds I could only interpret as being politically correct.

For my part, in spite of the money we spend, I’m frankly surprised that the U.S. ranks as high as it does. Between black students, only about half of whom even bother graduating from high school, and an enormous Hispanic population that combines language problems with a similar disinterest in education, I think it’s a miracle we rank higher than Mexico, which came in dead last in all three categories.

Although the presidential race is still three years off, the battle zones are already being drawn up. GOP candidates are already spending so much time in Iowa, you’d think they had moved to Des Moines, and Hillary, who we’re being told hasn’t decided to run, has raised over four million dollars for her campaign. Frankly, I much preferred the old way of doing things, when a few political bosses would enter a smoke-filled room and emerge with the name of the candidate.

Now that we pander to such silly events as the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary, indulge in months of worthless debates and more blood-letting than you’re likely to see at a slaughterhouse, the GOP invariably starts out in a very deep hole. I guarantee that the skirmishes between Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and whatever other egotist decides that he and he alone can save America, will hurt our chances in 2016 far more than Hillary Clinton will.

Instead of John Kerry wasting so much time in the Middle East trying to broker a two state solution between Israel and the vile Palestinians, it’s here in America we need a two state solution that could finally bring an end to the constant warfare between conservatives and liberals.

Finally, I find it shocking that abortion continues to be a major issue in America. In spite of decades of sex education classes and a plethora of birth control pills and devices, a million dummies a year are still resorting to abortions.

Down in Texas, a female legislator is basing her run for the governor’s mansion on the fact that she delivered a filibuster in opposition to a bill banning abortions after the 20th week. Frankly, I consider all these arbitrary deadlines to be signs of a depraved society. What if the period of human gestation was only a week instead of nine months? Would the knuckleheads be arguing that an abortion could take place up until 8 a.m. on Wednesday, but not a minute later? And isn’t it rather like saying murder is legal until the end of April, but a capital crime after the 1st of May?

The abortion advocates use very odd yardsticks. They seriously argue that abortion is okay if the baby couldn’t survive on its own outside the womb. But which of us can survive on our own? I don’t personally know anyone who can grow his own crops, drill for his own water, build his own house and barn, erect his own bridges, pave his own roads, guard against marauders and also remove his own appendix.

Or, on occasion, they will argue that an abortion is perfectly legitimate because an embryo doesn’t have intelligence or even a discernible personality. Well, neither, I contend, does Harry Reid.

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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  • Concernedmimi

    Responsible parents have been trying to help with their children’s school lessons. But here in Florida, especially Duval county where we have fifty (50) failing schools which are now offering week end schooling and tutors two days a week are a prime example of how useless the government unions are. They are dooming our children to failure by keeping the incompetent teachers from being fired. We need SCHOOL CHOICE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bob Olden

    Burt, you know that “there are none so blind as those who will not see.” A woman and her sexual partner who, in America, have absolutely no excuse (apart from rape) for causing a pregnancy against their will, simply cannot see that they have any responsibility to save the life of the child, even if they could let someone else assume the responsibility to raise the child– these are blind, immoral, reprehensible people. For virtually every abortion performed (and I believe that exceptional cases are extremely rare), there are 2 people who could have done the right thing and chose not to. And they are supported by the equally morally reprehensible people who encourage them by rationalizing away the crime that they have committed.

    It’s the same as looking at people who believe in God and seeing the difference in their lives, yet refusing to personally believe in God. That is another form of willful blindness. If the shoe fits….

  • Josh

    As to our stupid kids, that’s the fault of adults who can’t get their shiz together.

    As to abortion, I think it’s such a hot-button issue and an outlier that politicians advocating for late-term procedures and an all-out festival of women’s choice regardless simply pander to the nutso feminists who, for some odd reason, claim their children as their personal property for the purposes of murdering them.

    Serious detachment. Sociopaths, I think. And what’s worse is many young girls find it perfectly acceptable to think of a living baby as no more than luggage that can be dropped off, preferably at the taxpayers’ expense, at any time. And I’m pro choice, btw; just not supportive of free-for-all, abortions-as-birth-control, I-can-kill-it-at-any-time-I-want nonsense, particularly the fact that the man has no say at all what happens to his child.

    I don’t even think the feminists have a clue on what they want here. It’s just anti-male. The baby is theirs, dammit, and no neanderthal with a swangin’ schmeckle is gonna tell them what they can and can’t do! They’ll murder that little bugger before they let a man claim male sperm should have any sort of say-so. (Something else that’s evident within the black community in large proportion as well as failing children: Women using babies solely as bargaining chips and as weapons to fight fathers and earn money.)

    Abortion in this context is just a natural extension of the way America has been trending. Oh, you’re a father who dares believe he has the rights of equal custody of children? Get outta here, man. You need to turn over half of everything you own, pay as much–more than you can afford and then some–as we say or face jail, and then be thankful to receive supervised visitation.

    This whole crazy notion of terminating these pregnancies so far in is only about female dominance over the men they claim not to need. That’s what started it, IMO. It’s just a more deadly overreaction to nonsense like “s1ut shaming” and “if you don’t believe the patriarchy is real, you’re a rapist.”

    • Wheels55

      I too wonder about pro-choice people saying women’s rights are being violated when abortions have been legal for a long time and birth control even longer. What’s wrong with finding out you are with child and deciding in the first term to keep the child or abort?
      It’s the same type of thinking that is making our kids stupid. That is, short-term thinking and not enough long term attention being paid to what is truly important – our youth, our future.
      As for the idea of one being truly independent and not needing anyone else – those people are viewed as weird. I admire that ability.