A Random Harvest

There are times when so many idle thoughts are running through my head that they threaten to gum up the works if I don’t unload them. This is one of those times.

A liberal judge granted a felon with a long rap sheet release for a month so he could care for his dad, a recent stroke victim. The con took advantage of his temporary freedom to commit robbery and a rape.

Judge Michael Sonberg said he regretted his decision. That’s nice of him, but he’d be a lot sorrier if I were in charge, because I would send him to jail as an accessory.

The way I see it, if parole boards and social workers posing as judges make these kinds of mistakes, they should pay a price. Besides, there’s no good reason for parole boards to exist. No prisoner does anything behind bars to warrant time off. The argument that there’s not enough room in the prisons only convinces me that we should build more of them. Instead of building newer and more colossal sports stadiums, we should be erecting more colossal jails.

I understand that Judge Sonberg’s new best friend can expect to have five years added to his original sentence. Frankly, I would much prefer it if his rape victim were in charge of determining his sentence. I suspect that crime victims have a better grip on reality than people who get to wear their bathrobes on the job.

I used to be a fan of Broadway musicals. There was a time when shows such as Guys and Dolls, Annie, High Button Shoes, Where’s Charley?, How to Succeed in Business, Peter Pan, Annie Get Your Gun, Damn Yankees” and“Kiss Me Kate, not only had great scores by the likes of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Frank Loesser, but were funny. They were called musical comedies for a reason. The ads employed such words as “frolicking,” “joyful,” “tune-filled” and “highly entertaining.” Alas, those days are long gone. I, personally, blame Rodgers and Hammerstein. They could knock out great songs, but their shows were as solemn as bad sermons, as heavy-handed as Stanley Kramer movies. Thanks to their influence, I keep expecting to see that the newest musical to hit Broadway boasts book and lyrics by Fyodor Dostoyefsky.

When I think of all the seemingly irreconcilable differences between men and women, I sometimes get the idea that the last man who might have received an “A” grade from his mate was Adam.

To get some idea of how hypocritical and self-righteous the New York Times and the rest of the MSM are when it comes to Wikileaks, just imagine for a moment how they would react if someone leaked their internal memos. Do you really think they would insist that the public has every right to know how they decide what stories to feature and which to bury, and exactly how much partisan politics enters into their decision-making over what is supposed to be objective news reporting?

I have no problem with our public schools teaching our kids and grandkids about Islam, just so long as they don’t neglect to mention that Muslims are this very day murdering Christians and Jews; stoning women, though not men, for adultery; and charging their fellow Muslims with blasphemy if they simply toss the business cards of men who happen to be named Mohammad in the trash can.

So long as the schools do that, I don’t even care if they devote a day to Arab and Islamic cuisine. It’s never too early for kids to discover for themselves that hummus, often used in lieu of library paste in the Middle East, tastes only slightly better than it sounds.

I’d like to share a quote by Margaret Atwood that I have found to hold true more often than not: “Wanting to meet a writer because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pate.” I’d like to think I’m the exception, but I very much doubt it.

Recently, while contemplating some of our recent presidents, I found myself comparing First Ladies and their various crusades on behalf of young Americans. Nancy (Just Say No!) Reagan devoted her time in the White House to fighting against drug addiction. Former schoolteacher Laura Bush used her bully pulpit to promote reading and encourage education. Now affirmative action poster child Michelle Obama has come up with “The food police have you surrounded. Drop that cookie!”

©2011 Burt Prelutsky

Write to: BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.
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