Names & Gnomes in the News

It was spooky watching Nancy Pelosi on Chris Wallace’s Sunday morning news show. Because Wallace looks and sounds so much like his late father, you might have understood it if she had referred to him as Mike. Unfortunately, she called him Bill. Still, it was far worse when she indicated her support of the First Amendment. You know — the one that guarantees our right to bear arms! Chris was either too much a gentleman to correct her or he was as shocked as I that after months of showboating over guns, the minority leader of the House confused the First and Second Amendments. Perhaps, it shouldn’t be too surprising, though, when Obama, himself, holds the sacred document in such obvious contempt.

A show of hands — how many other people got their hopes up when they heard that a major religious leader was announcing his retirement, hoping it was the savior-in-chief? What a terrible letdown when we found out it was Benedict XVI and not Obama I.

I used to tell my wife that the only things I took away from Titanic were, one, the hope that I would never again see a James Cameron movie, and, two, the wish that I could one day have an employee as loyal to me as Spicer Lovejoy (David Warner) was to Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). Even after the ship hit the iceberg, Lovejoy never gave a thought to his own survival. He was being paid to hound Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), and, by gum, hound him he did, even when he found himself waist-deep in the Atlantic.

Well, with the passage of time, I have come to realize that Lovejoy was a back-stabbing goldbrick compared to Juan Williams. As a regular Fox News viewer, I often have the misfortune to see Mr. Williams twice a day, and again as a member of Chris Wallace’s Sunday panel. And never once have I heard him utter a single unkind word about Barack Obama. Whether the topic under discussion is the national debt, taxes, Benghazi, drones, Gitmo, Iran, Syria, conservatives or unemployment, this guy not only has Obama’s back, he’s got his sides, his front and the top of his pointy head, covered. It’s as if Williams is constantly auditioning to steal Jay Carney’s job.

When you realize how ill-educated our kids are, in spite of our squandering billions of dollars, it makes me want to brain Obama with a Louisville Slugger every time he says we need to invest (raise taxes) even more for education. The fact is most teachers collect a paycheck for no other reason than that they work for the government. No other employer would put up with such incompetence and such embarrassing results.

The only group of Americans who have even less reason than our students to hold themselves in such absurdly high esteem are their teachers.

This being the season of awards, it struck me that conservatives do not win Nobel Peace Prizes, Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Grammys or Golden Globes. They also do not win Pulitzer Prizes. In fact, if it weren’t for the occasional Country Music Award, conservatives wouldn’t have anything on their mantels but dust. Therefore, it’s high time that we started handing out our own plaques and trophies. At least that way, when we die, the obits can mention something besides Little League championships and 4-H Club blue ribbons.

As you may have read, two students had fingers severed in a tug-of-war at El Monte (CA) High School. Apparently what happens in these situations is that combatants get their hands or arms caught in the rope, and when the rope gets pulled tight, fingers, hands and even arms, are at risk.

In Minnesota, back in 2008, a girl lost four fingers. In Taiwan, in 1997, two men lost arms and 40 other people were injured in a competition involving 1,600 people.

When, I ask, will the madness end? How many others need to suffer these entirely unnecessary mutilations before we get serious about finally banning ropes? Dianne Feinstein, do you hear me? Mario Cuomo, are you listening? Michael Bloomberg, are you even awake?

Members of Congress and Barack Obama — are you people so terrified of the NRA (the National Rope Association) that you’re willing to just stand by while fingers drop like flies?

©2013 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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  • GlenFS

    If the ban on rope just saved one finger it would be worth doing!

  • 1389AD

    Ropes aren’t a toy – they’re a useful tool for keeping down the level of evil among those who draw a government paycheck.

    Back in the day when people had some sense and treason was a capital crime, ropes were used for hanging those who gave aid and comfort to their country’s enemies. And yes, we had a lot more respect for due process of law then than we do now (which was the point of Rand Paul’s filibuster).

    Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are our country’s present-day enemies.

    It’s time we quit using ropes as toys.

  • Michael the Old Dog

    My take on Juan Williams (for what it is worth). I think Fox is correct in having someone on the payroll who has opposite views. None of the other channels have the guts to have, as a regular, someone who disagrees with their main slant. Fox does hold itself out as fair and balanced. If Fox did not have someone with counter views, they would be no better about informing us then all the other stations who just push their own views without any balancing opposing thoughts.

    Also, from a show business viewpoint, if Fox just had one sided commentary as all of the other stations do, it would be just another humdrum, patting each other on the back, hack series of “see how smart we are”. At least Juan adds some spice to whatever show he appears on, and really, he is about the only regular appearing desenting opinion on all of Fox. But, at least Fox has the cajonies to have a regular appearing commentator who stirs the pot and causes some debate.

    Personally, I want Fox to have some opposing commentary so I know there is at least one station which is attempting to show a balance of views. I do not want any one party to be the “one and only”. I want differing viewpoints aired. Our country is build upon the idea of opposing ideas and agreement on the best path to follow.

    I know I am an idealist, but one can only hope.

    • cbk

      Fox may be unique in this regard (having an opposing view on staff), but having only one, against the entire rest of the network is anything but “balanced”.
      (Neither is the way that Oreilly, whom I like, and Hannity have an opposing view don’t let them get a word in edgewise, and when they let them talk, they mock them. That is neither fair nor balanced.)
      Just having a liberal on camera doesn’t mean fair or balanced.

      • Michael the Old Dog

        Oh, I agree. Fox has a ways to go until they are truly fair and balanced.

        However, some is better than nothing as compared with the other Networks (which are mostly nothing or just outright dumb or wrong). O’reilly really did have a bug up his butt in his actions with Cooms; he normally does not go to such extremes with an opposing viewpoint.

        And, to give O’reilly and Hannity some credit for doing some mocking, some of the things said by left-wingers are utterly ridiculous and, if they really believe what they are saying, they are either mentally challenged (polite words for “nuttier than a fruit cake”) or disingenuous (another polite word for “lying”). I do not know which of the two options is the worst.

        Have you noticed, when a Lefty is asked a question, how they can tap-dance all around the subject without answering it? If I was the moderator, this would bug the heck out of me.
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      • Burt Prelutsky

        cbk: Et tu? Only one? Surely you jest.


    • Burt Prelutsky

      Michael: I have no idea if you watch Fox regularly, but Williams is merely one of the lefties they have on regularly. Or don’t you think that Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Leslie Marshall, Kirsten Powers, Marc Lamont Hill, Bob Beckel and now Dennis Kucinich, represent the Left?


      • americalsgt

        and Shep

      • Michael the Old Dog

        Burt: yeah, I watch Fox most every day. I do know about all of the other people you mentioned. I focused on Juan Williams as he was the subject of what I was replaying about. I know about all of the other lefties, especially Bob Beckel as the “Five” is one of my favorite shows. And I have to say Bob does a good job with a 4 to 1 difference in basic ideals.

  • JohnInMA

    Burt, you are a better man than I if you are able to sit and watch any Pelosi interview or clip of an interview. There are few people who I hold in such contempt for their abject dishonesty and non-stop partisan mindset. That she proves she is also one of the least intelligent in the elected class is not really a surprise, and by itself wouldn’t put me off like the other traits. For me she is one of the few who has progressed beyond being simply a hack.

    I tend to agree about Juan Williams, although he is far from the palace guard that much of the other talking heads are, and especially some of the ‘journalists’ who cover for the WH in nearly every instance. I’ve more than once heard Williams admit some dishonesty or ineffective effort from the WH, but in every case the excuse boils down to something like, “Oh, well, that’s just politics….everyone does it….”

    Since you are close to Hollywood, beyond awards, why hasn’t there been any more focused effort to build a competitive studio in a way similar to how FNC came along to serve an unmet need in broadcast? With the recent overwhelming success of some products (e.g. the miniseries The Bible; more conservative friendly movies like The Blind Side and those produced by the church members in south GA – forget the name; and others), it seems there is a profit opportunity. And if Tyler Perry can build his own tip-to-stern production company/studio and still get into ‘mainstream’ theaters, why can’t others? (I’m not at all referring to his content, just the business nature.)

    • Burt Prelutsky

      John: People in Hollywood would not want to be in business with conservatives. It would taint them by association. A better question is why those on the right don’t buy newspapers–especially Spanish-language ones–and TV stations. A lot cheaper than trying to get a movie studio off the ground.

      • Trochilus

        Maybe one reason they don’t buy newspapers falls under the category of “business acumen.” Seriously, would you run out and buy a newspaper, given the enormous success of the internet? It is certainly not the same business that it used to be. And you would need to focus a tremendous amount of effort on keeping afloat in a still constantly changing market, even among the established outlets — should you require subscription for all, or a portion of those seeking access? Can you survive and grow exclusively on the revenues from advertising? It’s a tough business these days, Burt.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          Troch: And yet liberals somehow manage, and then we whine that their side controls the media. Between buying a few newspapers and sinking $25 million into trying to garner the GOP nomination for Newt Gingrich, you tell me which is the bigger waste of money.


  • Ramon Espinosa

    Dot to hand it to you on Juan Williams,his extra left on issues with the Obama crew is hard to swallow & O’Reilly saved this guy for Fox cable;well that’s another Story of woe ……. He,s lifeless but enamored with race issues…. Get free Juan…some Day/right?

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Ramon: I’m glad we agree about Juan Williams, but it wasn’t O’Reilly who signed him to a multi-million dollar contract after he was dumped by NPR. That was done by Roger Ailes.


      • trailbee

        Then Roger Ailes must also have signed Dennis Kucinich. I tend to think Juan W. is small potatoes compared Dennis K. because both he and Pelosi and Boxer belong to the Democratic Socialist Party of America. No one ever mentions “Communist” on Fox, and socialist only slightly, leaving people as ignorant as ever on DK (D-OH). He is the slickest, ex-Dem on Fox, and ask him a question, you’ll get nothing but gobbledygook all day long. Case in point: John Stossel show for Libertarian Students, three Sundays ago. A pointless three minutes! What a hack!

        • Burt Prelutsky

          tra: On the other hand, whereas Kucinich only makes a few short token appearances on Fox, Juan Williams is all over the place, sometimes even sitting in for a vacationing O’Reilly.


  • Trochilus

    Nancy Pelosi so frequently gives Joe Biden a run for the money when it comes to embarrassingly stupid comments, correctly cataloging them has become something a cottage industry!

    And speaking of the consistently odd ways by which various Obama Administration officials and gnomes have each attempted to demonstrate a phony “harmonious” embrace of our Constitution, via some telling and careless comment or act which instead exposes their shallowness, look no further that the personal choice this week by newly minted CIA Director, John Brennan, to be sworn in on a rare and original archived copy of the federal document dating back to 1787. His spokesman pridefully pointed out that it bore an original signature and notes penned by none other that George Washington. The overall point was supposed to be his recognition that we are a nation of laws.

    Of course, it then took about two seconds for some wag to pointedly observe that the Bill of Rights, embodied thereafter by the first Congress and ratified by the people in the first ten amendments to the Constitution, were obviously and conspicuously absent from that draft.

    Given the considerable knock on the nomination of Brennan from various rights groups and advocates, he ended up reinforcing their concerns with that showy display.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Troch: The irony is that Brennan’s record suggests that he will make a pretty good head of the CIA, whereas everything about Hagel, including his blunder-filled Congressional hearing, proved him to be the very worst appointment Obama could have made. And yet a far bigger stink was made over Brennan, especially by Rand Paul.


      • Trochilus

        Absolutely. I wasn’t so much personally attacking Brennan for his record as I was for his pathetic show-biz attempt to respond to critics. It backfired on him, as it should have. But one or two stories and it was all over.

        It is the Obama team way. Theatrics. And before him, it was know as the Clinton dodge. You respond to a probing query in what is supposed to be some symbolically clever way, and suddenly the knock against you is summarily declared old news by the media. The play’s the thing, NOT the substance.

        Recall if you will when Hillary angrily responded to the Senate inquiry over her role (or should I say non role) when it came to her immediate involvement at the time of the attacks in Benghazi.

        Under questioning from Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), he noted that she and others in the Administration had made ample use of the the ongoing investigation as an excuse for not answering questions about their individual roles.

        That was when she suddenly blurted out angrily, in key part:

        “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out
        for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?

        And then she went on to change the subject back to what their appropriate roles should have been following the attack — investigation, ensuring it didn’t ever happen again, etc. We still don’t know what she was doing that night, and as Sec’y of State, she is legally in charge of security at diplomatic facilities in such instances.

        ut the media gave her an “Atta girl!” for that theatrical and frankly outrageous outburst, as if it was somehow a responsive counterpoint to a legitimate line of questioning.

        She got away with her obfuscation, and any continuing questions about Benghazi have been formally declared a “Republican obsession” by our no-see-ums in the media, who would never stop biting, were it a Republican in the public dock!

        • Burt Prelutsky

          As you may have noticed, I have taken her to task over her hammy performance more than once, and I will start all over again if she actually tries running for the presidency in 2016.


  • sheila0405

    Do you really expect any liberals to say an unkind word about the President?

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Sheila: Yes, I would. Obama, especially being a lame duck, needs them far more than many of them need him. Do you think if, say, Charles Schumer, Henry Waxman, Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein–all Jews–had spoken out against Chuck Hagel’s appointment, there’s anything Obama could have done to them? All the Democrats need to do is to recognize what happened to their House colleagues in 2010 as a result of passing ObamaCare, and pay heed.


      • sheila0405

        Let’s see how “lame” a duck the President really is. All of the above mentioned Dems are still carrying his water, after all.

        • Burt Prelutsky

          sheila: One, it’s not an election year yet. And I don’t believe that the Democrats have any chance of recapturing the House.


  • artlouis

    Why pick on Mario Cuomo? He probably sleeps all day.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      art: That was supposed to be Andrew. But it’s easy to confuse the father and son because they’re both left-wing screwballs.


  • Wally

    Pelosi misinformed AND once Speaker Of the House, how embarrasing.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Wally: And so much more.