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