Screwballs and Screwdrivers

[Enjoy a bonus article today! When you finish this one, be sure to read “No King Solomons in Sight.”]

When people voice their disgust with the legal system, it’s not merely because of such obvious miscarriages of justice as O.J. Simpson and Casey Anthony being found not guilty by a jury of their (really stupid) peers or the nuisance lawsuits filed against doctors, forcing them to insist on unnecessary tests and procedures simply to protect their heinies; it’s because lawsuits have become so numerous and absurd, it’s become the equivalent of trick-or-treating for grown-ups.

A while back, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed the most ridiculous lawsuits of the past year. The following are the four that got the most votes: A convict sued a couple he had kidnapped for not helping him evade the police; a woman sued over a preview for the movie, “Drive,” because the coming attraction didn’t show enough driving; a woman disagreed with a store over an 80-cent refund and, so, sued for five million dollars; a man suing for age discrimination, after losing his case, then sued claiming the judge in the case was too old!

The one thing I’m certain of is that the Chamber of Commerce had a hard time choosing from among thousands of similar lame-brained lawsuits. The fact that there are hordes of these people among us is no surprise. After all, who did you think was voting for the community organizer in 2008? But the fact that these people have no problem finding lawyers to represent them strongly suggests that the ethical standards of the American Bar Association are every bit as lax as those of the Democratic National Committee.

A lot of people I hear from like to quote Thomas Jefferson’s line about refreshing liberty with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants, but, unlike them, I like to believe he was referring to foreign invaders. When people quote those words today, I don’t think about the American Revolution, but about the Civil War, the conflict that left 620,000 of our fellow Americans dead at places like Shiloh, Antietam and Gettysburg. So, no matter how lousy I believe Barack Obama is, I’m not prepared to spill the blood of my fellow Americans over an honest difference of opinion. November 6 isn’t that far off. Unlike the unfortunate folks in Egypt, Iran, Russia, North Korea and Libya, we have an easy way of ridding ourselves of tyrants and would-be tyrants.

One of the issues that divides most Americans is welfare. The dole, as it was best known during the Great Depression, was introduced by FDR and his fellow New Deal liberals in Congress. As originally conceived, it was intended to be a solution to a temporary problem. Instead, once the Democrats realized how easy it was to buy votes with tax dollars, it became a permanent problem with, even 80 years later, no solution in sight.

I know that Clinton and Gingrich are still taking bows for reforming welfare back in the 1990s, but they hardly scratched the surface. Of course these days, with the expanding numbers of public sector union members, nobody refers to enormous out-of-control pensions as welfare, but, euphemistically, as entitlements. But it is welfare, nonetheless, and its purpose now, as it was then, is to garner votes for liberal politicians.

Speaking of liberals, every time you hear one of them wail against photo IDs for voters, you know what they are really grousing about is that it would make it harder to cheat at election time. As usual, they, along with Eric Holder, try to pass off their criminal activities as compassion for young people and members of the black and Hispanic communities, pretending that photo IDs would disenfranchise millions of potential voters. On the face of it, it’s such blatant hypocrisy that only born liars and cheaters like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, would even pay it lip service.

After all, as everyone knows, photo IDs are required if you want to drive a car, get on a plane or buy a six-pack of Bud. But the other day, the liberals in the Illinois legislature drove the point home when they passed a state law requiring that anyone who wanted to buy drain cleaner or any other caustic substance provide a photo ID.

While it figures that in Illinois, the state where governors regularly wind up in jail and dead people get to continue voting for Democrats, honest elections would not be a priority. Still, even in Chicago, it requires a monumental dose of cynicism to suggest that maintaining eternal vigilance over the sanctity of the hardware store trumps that of the voting booth.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky.Comments? Write!

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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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  • G. Daylan

    Illinois has one ex-governor in jail but Gov Rod is still out appealing his conviction for a crime that he admitted to doing at his sentencing hearing.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    cma: I never would have guessed that you’re a lawyer. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. I was very happy with the Florida election. And unlike Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, I would like to see the primaries end sooner rather than later. For one thing, money spent in the primaries would be better spent in the general election to defeat Obama. For another, the sooner the primaries are over, the sooner I can stop hearing people on FoxNews asking Palin her opinion. If there is anyone in public life with a more annoying voice than hers, I have yet to hear it. Men have divorced their wives over less.

    • cmacrider

      Burt: Re: Palin …. Any Canadian knows that those who reside in the North West Territories and Alaska suffer from sleep deprivation in the summer (when the sun never sets) and Vitamin D deficiency during 9 months of winter (when the sun never rises). The effects on the brain are not fully understood … but the physical manifestations are often quite evident. (If only Senator McCain had just checked with us)

  • cmacrider

    Burt: Having practiced law for 30 years I enjoyed your commentary on the state of jurisprudence … although I thought it was rather nuanced and possibly veiled your true opinions of lawyers in diplomatic niceties.

    In relation to Wil Burns concerns about disenfranchising the poor, elderly, and minorities I have a couple of questions: (1) With the introduction of Johnson’s Great Society and the subsequent expenditure of billions, are there still people out there who do not possess the life skills to obtain a photo I.D? What on earth have they been doing with all that money?? (2) Given that liberalism and left wing politics is the home of the intelligentsia and they continually say that conservatism is the bastion of the stupid, isn’t Mr. Burns concerned that these people who can’t figure out how to get a photo I.D. will just naturally vote for the conservative candidate?

    BTW: Re: Your “Not Newt Article” Now that the Florida Primary is over you can cancel my prescription for your nerves.

    • Wil Burns

      > isn’t Mr. Burns concerned that these people who can’t figure out how to get a photo I.D. will just naturally vote for the conservative candidate?<

      I do find it amazing, how the wealthy get the less fortunate folks to vote against their best interests.

      • cmacrider

        Assuming, of course, living in dependency is in their best interests/

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Wil: And perhaps you will explain how requiring photo IDs does what you claim it does.


  • Wil Burns

    Voter Fraud is a Myth:

    The TeaParty/GOP is actively removing the right to vote from minorities, poor people, and the elderly in the (fraudulent) guise of eliminating voter fraud.

    • Glen Stambaugh

      Democrats are actively promoting voter fraud in all populations in the guise of protecting voting rights for minorities, poor people and the elderly. Noble garb(age).

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Rick: Not necessarily liars, just judges who regard themselves as legislators.

    Glen: No argument. Liberals definitely see themselves as noble. Their self-image is so distorted, they might as well be gazing into those mirrors at the fun house.


  • Rick Johnson

    You need look no further than some of our Supreme Court decisions, to see that a whole slew of lawyers in this country are liars. Our legal system is definitely broken.

  • Glen Stambaugh

    Burt, the plumbers lobby must be a powercenter in Chicago politics. Liberals aren’t known for their consistency of thought. Their stance always depends on whether they see an edge for themselves. They always dress it up in some other noble-sounding garb(age).

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