The World’s Gone Mad Today

My title comes from a Cole Porter lyric for “Anything Goes.” If anything, it’s even more relevant today than when he wrote it 79 years ago.

For instance? For instance, we dither around while tinhorns in Iran and North Korea threaten to nuke us. I say that when you’re in an alley fight with thugs, you toss out the Marquis of Queensbury rules and do whatever needs to be done to cripple your opponent. What you don’t do is ask him time and again what you have to give him so that he’ll leave you alone, while in the meantime he has all the time in the world to get his ducks, not to mention nuclear missiles, in a row.

For instance, I heard that Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, is refusing to push for repeal of the ObamaCare tax on medical devices. It seems that he’s afraid that if the House sends such a bill to the Senate, Harry Reid will pull something tricky. I agree that it’s always in America’s best interests to distrust Sen. Reid, but that is hardly a good reason not to force him to deal with a bill that would go a long way to help various businesses stay solvent and keep thousands of workers gainfully employed.

If Camp is this easy to bluff, every poker player in Washington, D.C., must be eager to have this pigeon sitting at his table, just waiting to be plucked.

People used to joke that the Democrats have taxed just about everything but the air we breathe. In Maryland, the left-wing legislature is getting close with the new rain tax that will cost homeowners anywhere between $50 and $200 annually. The bill states that if you own a roof or a driveway, which are identified as impervious surfaces, you will be held responsible for your share of the tainted water that runs off into Chesapeake Bay. Hey, don’t look at me, you folks elected these humbugs.

The latest word from Europe is that Greece, seeking a way out of its fiscal malaise, wants Germany to pay reparations for World War II. So, first, these left-wing idiots go hat-in-hand, begging the krauts to send them money because they have lived the Karl Marx dream with its inevitable unhappy ending; and now the ingrates turn around and demand reparations. Usually there’s an “or else” that goes with demands. But aside from threatening to hold their collective breath until Germany comes across, I can’t imagine what the Greeks have in mind.

My favorite novelist these days is Donna Leon, an American who has lived in Venice, Italy, for several years and has written 22 books featuring a police commissioner named Guido Brunetti. In “The Girl of His Dreams,” Brunetti’s wife at one point is expressing her contempt for the sort of pious platitudes for which certain Italian newspapers are noted, but acknowledges that “they’re the sort of thing people like to hear.”

When a friend asks her why, she says, “Because they don’t have to do anything. All they have to do is feel the right things, and that makes them believe they deserve credit for having done something. It’s all so terribly American.”

“Why American?” her friend asks.

“Because they think it’s enough to feel things: they’ve come to believe it’s more important than doing things, or it’s the same thing, or at any rate, deserves just as much credit as actually doing something. What is it that poseur of a president of theirs was always saying, ‘I feel your pain’? As if that made any difference to anything. God, it’s enough to choke a pig.

“All you’ve got to do is have the proper feelings,” Mrs. Brunetti went on, “the fashionable sentiments, and make a business about how delicate your sensibility is. And then you don’t have to do anything. All you do is stand there with your precious sentiments hanging out while the world falls over itself applauding you for them and giving you credit for having the same feelings that any sentient being would have.”

Except that I would have substituted “liberal” or “celebrity” for “American,” I think Ms. Leon has brilliantly summed up what we saw at the Democratic convention last year and what we see and hear at every single gathering of left-wingers, be they on the floor of the Senate, on a late night TV talk show or at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration.

These self-anointed saints are always feeling someone’s pain, usually while on their way to collect yet another humanitarian award while driving their Hummer over some poor schmuck’s foot.

©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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  • Mike Jackson

    Umm, they already managed to tax the air. There are taxes on wind farms and the electricity generated. Maybe the air is prebreathed or post breathed or a combination of the two, but it’s a given that if it can be taxed, some schmo will yet find a way.
    And their Hummers probably run on home-made bio-diesel or hybrid?

  • JohnInMA

    Modern progressives have stretched this even further than simply believing feeling good is more important than doing things. In most cases they see the feelings as more important that ACCOMLISHMENT itself. One of the most current examples of justifying a position through feelings is the position many lawmakers take on gun control. It’s “feels” right that people don’t need “unlimited” firepower. Press the issue that their position doesn’t solve a single emotional event that is driving the legislation and they bring out the next packet of emotions. They attack your motives using Alinsky tactics – you are putting the life of children below your love of guns, or some such rot. Basically, they add “kids” to their artificial list of people their opponents hate (along with women, minorities, etc.). “Fair share” is also nothing but a feel good mantra. The enforcement (theoretical increase in ‘revenue’) solves nothing. But punishing those with money surely feels good….

  • Bruce A.

    Thanks Burt. This one I had to read three times. Since the truth is stranger than fiction I believe this column.

    • Prelutsky1540

      Thank you, Bruce.

      Regards, Burt