Setting the Record Straight

There is no way to even keep track of all the lies and nonsense floating around these days, let alone lay it all to rest. Still, every so often I find I have to make the attempt or I wind up feeling like the worst kind of slacker.

For instance, as a result of the Freeh Report on the horrific events that took place at Penn State, Joe Paterno’s reputation will never recover. That is as it should be. For obvious and sleazy reasons, the late football coach decided to turn a blind eye to Jerry Sandusky’s brutalizing little children. The problem is that college athletic coaches will continue to be referred to as builders of character and lauded as molders of men, at least so long as their teams continue to win championships.

I’m not suggesting there are no decent human beings in their ranks, but the only way that college coaches attain legendary status is by bending and breaking recruitment rules. After all, it’s difficult enough for professional sports teams to create dynasties, and they have tens of millions of dollars to toss around. But when your entire starting five or starting eleven is gone within a few years, as the team members graduate or simply leave to turn professional, how do you think colleges become basketball and football powerhouses?

And of course when the NCAA finally gets around to doling out punishment for recruiting violations, which generally include cash, cars and sex, it’s the colleges that have to endure the punishments. The coaches, with their winning records, simply move on to other schools and for fatter contracts.

But so long as alumni groups filled with perennial juveniles continue to base their financial contributions on the success of college sports teams, nothing will ever change, and folks as sleazy as Joe Paterno will continue to have statues erected in their honor.

On the nonsense front, we have a tree in New Jersey that is attracting thousands of visitors. They’re showing up in order to see the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary, in a 6-inch section of the trunk. Nobody is more respectful of other people’s religious beliefs, however far-fetched, than I am, but what are these pinheads thinking?

And when it’s not Mary, you have probably noticed, it’s her son. Hardly a year goes by that you don’t hear about folks seeing what they insist is the face of Jesus in all sorts of inanimate objects. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to understand that they are making a mockery of their religion. I mean, do they really believe that when their savior returns to earth, as they believe he will, it will be in the form of a head of lettuce or a rust stain on the side of a garage?

Not too long ago, a North Carolina assemblywoman named Becky Carney accidentally pulled the wrong lever, and her mistake spelled the difference in an assembly vote that opened the door to oil being extracted through a process known as fracking. Because environmentalists hate fossil fuels with a passion, her vote, as Joe Biden would say, was a big fracking deal. It also served once again to prove that the only time liberals ever vote the right way is by mistake.

By now it’s obvious that Obama realizes the only way he can be re-elected is for people to ignore his record and to focus, instead, on Romney’s negatives. So it is that Obama is constantly reminding voters that Romney is a rich guy. Fortunately, that’s a strategy fraught with problems. For one thing, Obama is a millionaire. So are such left-wing politicians as Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid. And while it’s true that Romney is richer than they are, the Clintons are worth well over a hundred million dollars, while John and Teresa Kerry could buy and sell the Romneys.

In fact, considering how wealth-conscious liberals are, I find it odd that they never held their family fortune against John, Ted or Bobby Kennedy. And that was a fortune built the old-fashioned way, through bootlegging.

When it comes to hypocrisy, probably nothing compares to international groups such as the U.N. and the Global Counterterrorism Forum. The GCF is comprised of 30 nations, co-chaired by the United States and Turkey. Its purpose is to bring together those nations that have suffered terrorist attacks in an attempt to prevent and punish those responsible. The problem is that because Islamic Turkey doesn’t like Israel, Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton have agreed to exclude the Jewish state, in spite of the fact that it has suffered more terrorist attacks and, aside from the U.S., done more to combat terrorism than the other 29 nations combined.

This is the same Turkey, by the way, that was behind the so-called “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” that set out to provoke an armed response by attempting to run the Israeli blockade and provide Hamas with weaponry.

This is also the same American president and secretary of state, let us not forget, who are always claiming to be Israel’s friend and ally, at least when election times roll around. In the meantime, however, these are the same two people who condemn the Israelis for building apartment houses in Jerusalem and for defending themselves against relentless missile attacks.

With friends like these, Israel, as the old saying goes, doesn’t have to go looking for enemies.

Finally, for those of us who regard Obama’s voice as the biggest drone in America’s arsenal, one of the great things about a Romney victory is that it will totally shock the egomaniacal Obama and render him speechless.

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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  • gbandy

    The reality is the US now has the most ignorant and illadvised “clueless” electorate since we were founded.  Obama can say one lie and his base jumps on it like flies on you know what.  Just take the fact Obamacare strips $750billion from Medicare yet the cluless still think it is Ryan who wants to take money from Medicare. Now just who belives Obama created million jobs/ Yet the numbers tell the truth.

  • BurtPrelutsky

    AWoman:  I suggest you buy the tree and then charge people to take a look at it.  In Obama’s economy, you can’t pass up a chance to make a buck.


  • AWoman

    “On the nonsense front, we have a tree in New Jersey that is attracting thousands of visitors.”

    A few feet from my apartment’s front door there’s a tree with a crack inside a branch collar that is in the shape of a Chinese character for the word “tree”. 

  • Chuckstudio

    Wow!  What a surprising analysis of Obama and his secret records and agendas… do you steal all of your work from Beck or Limbaugh?  You might try having an original thought once in a while – so far over the last few months most of what I’ve read of your columns has been pretty pedestrian reiteration of the GOP talking points.  You echo loudly but do not really think very deeply about what you’re echoing. 

    At least you have an audience that echoes with you… no wonder the GOP wants to put a stop to that evil concept of critical thinking!! LOL! 

    • GlenFS

      If Burt were writing the talking points they’d be a whole lot more pointed.  Of course he says some things that like-minded folks also say, but I’ve not run into a column that is willing to criticize so many pc hot spots anywhere else.  I guess you don’t like that, eh Chuck.  Big shock.

    • BurtPrelutsky

       I have noticed two things about my liberal critics, Mr. Studio.  One, they attack me personally, but they never contradict my facts.

      Two, whenever they dismiss my writing, I know they are getting even more desperate than usual because there are few columnists who write as well as I do, and who are able to write humorously.  I did, after all, write a humor column for the L.A. Times for 11 years and turn out scripts for the likes of “MASH,” Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda and Bob Newhart.

      And just for the record, I can’t possibly steal from Mr. Limbaugh or Mr. Beck because I don’t listen to their shows.  Perhaps they’re stealing from me.


  • GlenFS

    Becky Carney gets the best of both worlds for a liberal.  She gets to still claim she’s against the evils of fossil fuels while allowing that evil to benefit her district.  It’s easier for her to admit to being stupid than it is to crossing her fellows in leftist orthodoxy.  Here’s to getting results!  Bravo!

  • Brendan Horn

          Turkey is a nation that still will not admit its obvious genocide of the Armenian people yet has the gall to demand an apology from Israel when it kills a few Turks out  to martyr themselves. I hate when people who claim they want to be martyrs are made out to be victims when they get what they want. In the Arab world, I think “martyr” and “murderer” mean the same thing. This is why many Arabs so often use the word “martyr” incorrectly to describe the psychotic homicidal/suicidal bombers.  

    • BurtPrelutsky

       Brendan: Right you are.  Turkey only appears to be a civilized nation because we tend to compare it to other Muslim countries.


  • MarkKubiske

     After reading your opening paragraph I thought, “here is a rarity: a columnist who actually did his homework.”  And then I read your second paragraph and my hopes were dashed.  You’ve been sucked into the screaming mob, just like the others.  The simple (and it really is simple) fact is that Paterno did not turn a blind eye.  He did precisely what he should have done, which was to inform his superiors of what he was told and then not interfere with the investigation.  Your second paragraph is a falsehood, a factoid.  It has no basis in fact.  You all in the media really should stop repeating what you hear everyone else say.

    • BurtPrelutsky

       Mark–Even in death, Joe Paterno seems to have more propagandists working for him than Barack Obama.  Paterno did the very least he could do; he kicked it up to college administrators, a bunch of creeps who have long made a practice of ignoring rape charges brought by coeds lest their schools get a black eye and parents start thinking twice about allowing their daughters to enroll.  Paterno should have informed the cops.  Period.

      Furthermore, I never repeat what everyone else says.  On the other hand, I keep receiving messages such as yours from the Penn State faithful who are more interested in the success of their football program than they are in truth and justice.


      • MarkKubiske

         Burt, Where are you getting your information that Paterno did the very least he could do?  The fact is, he acted according to State Law.  State Law is very specific as to who should report what to whom. 

        Where did you get the notion that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz “have a long practice of ignoring rape charges brought by coeds lest their schools (sic) get a black eye bla bla bla”?    Where are you getting that from!  Your claims are preposterous!! 

        You stated you keep receiving messages “such as [mine]”  from those more interested in the success of football than justice.  Show me where in my comment I stated or implied that I was more interested in football than justice?  C’mon, show me.  ITS NOT THERE!!  It just goes to prove how easy it is for you to spit this out this crap that has absolutely no basis in reality.

        • Michael

          Have you gone back and read what you wrote?  Someone is being abused by people in authority or influence over him, and you fall back on some idiotic reporting protocol?  Please cite the “State Law” that says a man cannot call the police when someone alleges they’ve been abused!  Please, can you do it?  I doubt it, and here’s why:  Any time I see someone cite legal authority in vague terms, yet capitalized, like “State Law,” I know they don’t know what they are talking about. 

          I hope you care more about your family than you apparently care about the victims of Sandusky and his enabler Paterno, and I hope you are not in a position of care in which any of the weaker members of our society depend on you.  God forbid that there may be a rule or regulation that you can fall back on rather than actually risk something of yourself or your career to protect the weak and innocent.

          • MarkKubiske

            Michael, You’re not helping your case by attacking me.  You don’t know anything about me.  

            I have coached a lot of youth sports leagues and one thing that is drilled into us is that if we suspect one of the kids has been abused, we have to follow reporting protocol and go to our administrator.    One of my fellow coaches, whom I know very well, decided to bypass the protocol and called police himself when he thought one of his players had been beaten.  He was told directly by the detective that in the future he needs to follow the reporting procedures.

          • Michael

            I don’t have to know you. I know enough about leading peole and being responsible to and for people, and their families, to know that a man worth a damn makes sure something is done to protect the innocent. He doesn’t fall back on protocol to cover his butt.  He doesn’t fall back on, “Well, so-and-so told me this was the protocol.”  That’s a follower, not a leader. 

            My point, as I mentioned above, is that Paterno should have called the police once he realized nothing was done.  If a detective told me I should have followed a school’s protocol after I beleived someone had been “beaten,” I’d talk to the detective’s chief.  If that didn’t work, I’d talk to the mayor and the media.

            The law is the law, and it’s against the law to beat or physically abuse someone.  It doesn’t matter what a school administrator says or thinks.  Most of that “reporting protocol” is a screen for the organization to cover its butt.  A person interested in justice will not let protocol be a sutstitute.  The bottom line with Paterno is that he apparently followed protocol, and therefore allowed an alleged abuser to continue his activities, and denied justice to those who were already victims. 

          • MarkKubiske

             You might know about leading as you claim (which I very much doubt as you obviously don’t know anything about how an organization has to function with a set of rules, based on your last paragraph), but you certainly don’t know what may or may not have motivated Joe Paterno nor what he did or didn’t know in 2001, nor what “so-and-so” might have told him.  How do you know “so-and-so” wasn’t university counsel?  Do you want to stick with your position that a “leader” would ignore advice of counsel and do whatever he wanted to?  That’s not a leader, that’s a fool. 

            What makes you think Paterno took the actions that he did to “cover his butt” ?  If he wanted to cover his butt, if he wanted to cover up what McQ saw, if he wanted to protect the football program as everyone says, why didn’t he just tell McQ to forget what he saw if he wants to keep his job?  Why would he bother to report it up the chain of command as he was required to do by law?  Why would they tell the leadership at the Second Mile if they wanted to cover it up?  The whole notion of a cover up just defies logic! 

            How would Paterno know that “nothing” was done, as you put it?  There was no reason for him to be kept in the loop of an investigation of something that he did not witness.  He reported it to Curley and Schultz, two guys who have reporting responsibilities within the organization, and for all he would have known they followed up on it as appropriate.  It wasn’t his job to make sure Curley was doing his job, and Schultz, as top administrator of PSU Police was doing his.  The way it works is you report something and then step out of the picture and let the authorities do their jobs. 

            The fact of the matter is: there is absolutely no evidence, NONE, to support this notion of a cover up.  If there is, it is certainly not in the Freeh report.   Your bottom line is about 1/3 accurate:  Paterno followed protocol (i.e., the law), and continued on with his responsibilities as head football coach.  And that’s all there is to it.

      • Michael

        Right on, Burt.  I’ve never understood the way people worship these guys like Paterno who are, after all, simply doing what they were hired to do, while making a lot of money and soaking up lots of perks in the process.  What’s heroic about it? 

        Paterno showed his lack of character and backbone (which is something every hero I’ve known had in spades) when he passed the buck to administrators.  As soon as he saw that nothing was being done, he should have called the police.  That’s what any decent human being would have done.  Instead, Paterno passed the buck. 

    • Bruce A.

      Q.  What’s the difference betewwn a Penn State fan & a puppy?
      A.  After 3 months the puppy stops crying.

  • Bruce A.

    Burt, after reading this one I get the impression that the patients are running the asylum.

    • BurtPrelutsky

       Bruce, I thought every sane person had long been aware of that fact.  At least since January, 2009.