Weapons of Mass Distraction

We all know that whenever liberal politicians start insisting that guns are evil, it’s for the same reason that stage magicians employ patter, top hats and silk capes. It’s done in order to distract us. At present, Obama would like us to ignore the fact that thanks to the end of the payroll tax holiday and ObamaCare everyone’s taxes have shot up. That’s not to say the liberals wouldn’t love to disarm us and make the Second Amendment null and void. But even they know that’s not going to happen. If they were serious about reducing gun violence, they’d quit yapping about guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, and go after the people who use them not for hunting or for defending their homes and families, but to murder.

I’m referring to the black and Hispanic gangs that terrorize inner cities. Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, the city in which 506 murders were committed in 2012 – only a handful as the result of assault weapons – doesn’t declare war on the punks responsible for spilling most of that blood. Instead, he demands that the city divest itself of any investments it might have in gun manufacturing firms. Displaying the wisdom for which big city mayors are renowned, he not only does nothing to diminish violent crime in his locale, but he makes certain that the city fails to profit financially from the only growth industry that exists in Obama’s America.

In fact, I think it’s fair to suggest that Benghazi was Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s idea of a gun-free zone.

When every massacre from Columbine to Newtown has taken place where firearms are banned, you would think that even liberals could get their pointy heads around the fact that just as outlawing guns guarantees that only outlaws will be armed, gun-free zones promise would-be killers that they have nothing to fear. They might as well post signs for the convenience of armed psychos that read: “You are now entering the Happy Hunting Grounds. Be a responsible killer and pick up your spent shells before you leave the park.”

Inasmuch as cars and booze are responsible for far more deaths than guns, why don’t the various municipalities initiate buy-back programs offering cash and concert tickets for ’94 Chevys and unopened six-packs? I happen to have a half bottle of Manischewitz Concord Grape I’d be willing to trade in for a pair of argyle socks.

As you’ve probably heard, a New York rag called the Journal News published a list with the names and addresses of registered gun owners in the area. The reaction of decent, law-abiding people was so overwhelming that the newspaper hired people with guns to protect its offices.

When someone suggested that the names and addresses of the self-righteous loons who own or work for the Journal should be circulated, Bill O’Reilly, who occasionally mistakes himself for an archbishop, sermonized against it, on the grounds that two wrongs don’t make a right. What unmitigated crapola! The members of the mainstream media, like the left-wing politicians they adore, assume that they can act with impunity, putting the lives and safety of others in jeopardy, while wrapping the First Amendment around themselves whenever it suits their fancy. Although they never think twice about defaming conservatives, they feel themselves impervious to the consequences of their words and actions.

If it were up to me, I’d not only print their names and addresses, I’d run their photos to increase the chances of their being vilified whenever they appeared in public. In my circle, we call it giving them a taste of their own medicine.

Some people, in attempting to show how wrong the Journal News was, suggested that what they did was akin to printing the names and addresses of those collecting food stamps. Well, frankly, I think that’s a swell idea. I’d love to know if I’m helping to put food on my neighbor’s table. It’s one thing, after all, if people want to pay for their own guns and ammo, and quite another if I have to pay through the nose for someone else’s dinner. Especially if I happen to notice that he’s driving a newer and nicer car than I am.

What’s more, I think welfare recipients should have to write thank-you notes. Not to me, you understand, but to society at large. Once people think they are actually entitled to live off the labor of others and not even have to express gratitude, we’re telling grown-ups that it’s quite okay to behave like spoiled teenagers.

Getting back to O’Reilly, I’m getting a little tired of hearing how he hosts the number one show on Fox. If that’s really the case, it’s because he has the number one time slot on the number one network. It so happens that I record everything I plan to watch on TV. When it comes to “The Factor,” it allows me to not only fast-forward through those commercials with Fred Thompson, but through any segment featuring left-wing half-wits. In fact, I only pause if I spot Brit Hume, Carl Cameron, James Rosen, Charles Krauthammer or Bernie Goldberg.

To me, the notion of tuning in to watch and listen to O’Reilly is as absurd as it would have been to tune in to watch the “Ed Sullivan Show” in order to see Ed Sullivan. Come to think of it, what O’Reilly could use would be more Senor Wences, Jackie Mason and the HarmoniCats, and less Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel, Geraldo Rivera and Juan Williams. In fact, I’d never have any of those twits on unless they first learned to juggle.

Speaking of twits, Colin Powell, who owes nearly as much to Affirmative Action as the Obamas do, claims that the GOP is having an identity problem. He also says that elements of the Party are racist and that it has shifted significantly to the Right, which has led to its losing the last two presidential elections.

For reasons of his own, Mr. Powell has chosen to overlook the fact that George W. Bush appointed two black Secretaries of State, he being one of them, whereas Barack Obama appointed a pair of Caucasians named Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. What’s more, only a nincompoop with an agenda would insist that John McCain and Mitt Romney are living proof that the GOP has been shifting to the far right.

Besides, if there’s anyone who has an identity problem, I’d say it’s a guy who keeps insisting that he’s a Republican, but has twice endorsed the most radical left-winger who has ever put his feet on the desk in the Oval Office.

Finally, although through his rhetoric and arrogant posturing, Obama seems to be suggesting that he received an overwhelming mandate from the American people, I have news for him. Starting with the election of 1860, every president who’s won two terms has garnered more votes the second time around. In 1864, Lincoln received 350,000 more votes than in his first election. In 1872, Grant received nearly 600,000 more votes than in 1868. Although Grover Cleveland lost his re-election in 1888, he got roughly 675,000 more votes in 1892 than he had in 1884.

McKinley received an additional 110,000 votes the second time around. Wilson jumped an astonishing 2,800,000 votes in 1916 by promising to keep us out of WWI. FDR picked up nearly five million votes in 1936. Eisenhower received an additional 1,600,000 votes against Stevenson the second time he clobbered him. Nixon went from 31,785,000 to a mind-boggling 46,740,000. But, then, I’d have probably done as well running against George McGovern.

Reagan added more than 10 million votes in ’84. Even Clinton picked up an extra 2,500,000 in 1996, and George W. Bush soared from 50,455,000 in 2000 to 61,837,000 in ’04.

You may notice a pattern. All 11 presidents increased their vote total by anywhere from approximately 100,000 to over 15,000,000. However, in 2012, Obama saw his numbers tumble from 69,498,000 to 62,611,000.

As mandates go, Obama’s is only slightly better than the one George Custer received at the Little Big Horn.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

The Tax Debate That Should Have Taken Place Before the Election

I’m not one of those conservatives who feels inclined to blame Mitt Romney for President Obama’s re-election victory. Sure, he wasn’t my first pick to represent the Republican Party, and there were times when I found myself annoyed with the decisions made by his campaign, but I think he was a strong and competent leader who promoted himself and his vision well. He was a good candidate, and was certainly qualified to sit in the Oval Office.

What did bug me about Romney, however, was something that has bothered me about the Republican party as a whole in recent years: A reluctance to challenge President Obama’s premise of tax fairness, thus allowing him to promote taxation as a moral issue.

A lot of people forget this, but until President Obama began incessantly talking about the rich paying their “fair share” about two years ago, the concept of tax fairness wasn’t even on the public’s radar. No one was calling their elected representatives and complaining that the rich weren’t meeting some moral or patriotic obligation to fork over more of their money to the government. When national polls asked voters which political issue was most important to them, tax fairness wasn’t even on the list. Why not? The answer is simple: It wasn’t on anyone’s mind. People were worried about the effects of a stalled economy…Not tax rates.

Of course, the Democrats have long tried to make the case for higher taxes, but they’ve traditionally done so by tying increased revenue to government programs or other spending initiatives. Tax fairness – the idea that middle and lower income people are somehow bearing a disproportionate tax burden compared to the rich – is something new. It was concocted by the Obama administration to play off of people’s frustrations during a tough economic time. Obama needed a villain to deflect the results of his failed economic policies onto, and rich people were a convenient scapegoat. The class warfare strategy not only worked for the president politically, but it perverted the public’s understanding of what taxation is supposed to be about.

One of the byproducts of this societal shift was the vile Occupy Wall Street movement, which the mainstream media and even prominent Democrats initially embraced but later distanced themselves from.

The Republicans would have served themselves well if they had aggressively called out the president on his sanctimony and reminded Americans what taxation is really about.

The debate finally did come, but not until after the election. It took place not between politicians, but between political commentators Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer last week on The O’Reilly Factor. I don’t believe the segment was quite designed to turn into the philosophical debate that it became, but viewers were treated to the most honest, mature discussion on taxes I’ve heard in years.

O’Reilly opened the segment by stating that the bottom-line tax rates for wealthier Americans (taking into account deductions and creative accounting) seemed a little low to him, in the interest of fairness.

Krauthammer rejected the premise of tax fairness on its face, and opened with this profound statement: “Taxation is not a moral issue. It’s an issue of necessity.”

It was a very simple and accurate point – one I believe we have lost total perspective of in our society.

Krauthammer argued against the idea that we should decide what people should pay based on what someone thinks is a fair amount to be taken from them. He stated that in a pure, ideal world, a fair share of taxation is zero. He explained that the founding fathers instituted our republic with zero income tax, and instead taxed transactions. They did so to pay for protectionism and our military without any concept of fairness in mind.

“Tithing to the church is a fairness issue,” said Krauthammer, citing it as an example of people giving willingly to demonstrate their moral conviction. He described taxation, on the other hand, as merely a question of how much the government is spending and how they’re going to pay for that spending.

Krauthammer described the modern day liberal view of taxation as the government having a moral claim on people’s earnings to dispense with it as it wants. He explained that if you apply the concept of a “fair share” to taxation, you’re giving the government, by right, a share of your earnings to do whatever they please with it.

The mindset he described is how I believe the majority of the country currently views taxation, and they’re dead wrong. It’s that new consensus that is allowing President Obama to promote what I’ll refer to as an envy-tax, that he is using as a punitive measure against wealthy people. It has nothing to do with any semblance of fairness despite what the president says. It also has nothing to do with paying down our national debt, but that’s a topic for another column.

President Obama’s view of personal income is whatever amount of earnings the government decides to leave you with after it has taken its share. That is completely backwards.

Conservatives, and anyone who believes in a free America, can’t afford to play on Obama’s field any longer. They need to explain to whoever will listen that taxation is NOT a moral obligation, but simply a mechanism used to fund our government’s spending. It wasn’t all that long ago that most people understood this, at least in broad terms. But to really drive the point home, the case needs to be laid out boldly and without reservation.

If tax fairness can effectively be exposed for the gimmick that it is, people will come to realize that the only truly moral issue related to how our government manages taxpayers’ money is that of how it spends it. The government – not taxpaying Americans – will accurately be identified as the problem, and we can start having serious national debates on our country’s fiscal state again.

For those of you who see importance in the topic I’ve drawn attention to here, I would suggest that you share the cited O’Reilly Factor segment with others, whether it be through email, social media, or word of mouth. Both sides of the argument are well laid out, and I think listening to the discussion would be in everybody’s best interest.

Here’s the link:

It’s Not About Losing the ‘White Establishment’; It’s About Losing America

On election night, the moment that Bill O’Reilly stated on FOX News that the “white establishment is now the minority”, I knew the mainstream media would latch onto that quote and not let go. I knew they would completely disregard the point he was trying to make, and attribute his concerns to that of people’s skin color, rather than the loss of traditional American fundamentals for achieving prosperity. After all, that’s what the left does. They disintegrate serious issues down into their lowest common denominator.

How many times have we heard dopes in the media insist that conservatives aren’t rejecting President Obama’s policies, but rather the color of his skin? How many times have we heard them insist that conservatives are against illegal immigration, not for security, education, and economic reasons, but rather because they don’t like Hispanics? How many times have we heard them insist that when conservatives point out how far our welfare programs have been stretched, they’re really pointing out how African Americans are a strain on our society?

Heck, there’s an entire cast of intellectually-deficient nuts over at MSNBC who’ve staked their careers on racist dog-whistles only they can hear.

To them, Bill O’Reilly suggesting than an Obama victory was an end to the “white establishment” was like free porn. It gave every hard-left nitwit something to play over and over again to confirm their own shallow, instinctive belief: Conservatives (aka old, rich, white guys) have been stacking the deck against minorities in this country.

If O’Reilly had it to do over again, my guess is that he would have argued his point a bit differently. Regardless, let’s look at the real problem for a minute…

Our country is in an absolute crisis. We’ve saddled our children with a national debt they’ll never be able to pay off. Trillion-dollar, annual deficits and chronic unemployment are the new norm. Gas prices are through the roof. Our economy’s barely growing. Our safety-net programs are lunging toward insolvency. The budget-busting, quality-healthcare-killing Obamacare is our new reality. Inflation’s about to explode. People aren’t able to retire. A record number of Americans are on food-stamps and other welfare programs. Half of college-graduates can’t find work. Another recession is now a real threat. We continue to enact policies that discourage innovation, private investment, hiring, hard work, self-reliance, personal responsibility and practically every other uniquely American fundamental that made this country what it is.

For the media to largely gloss over all of this chaos, and fixate instead over the notion that conservative-thinking people are worried about the dwindling percentage of white people in this country… Well, it’s beyond pathetic. Conservatives aren’t the ones who obsess over race. Liberals are – especially those in the media who feel compelled to inject it into practically every discussion.

Conservatives are worried about real problems, and the real consequences that come from not fixing those problems. We’re worried about our country’s move toward a European economic model where wealth-creation, individual success, and self-sufficiency are viewed as immoral and unhelpful to society. We’re worried about a complete collapse of the U.S. economy. We’re worried about the rejection of everything that is unique about America, and the freedoms that led us to become the world’s greatest success story.

No one’s stressing out over skin color.

But if the media wants to have an honest discussion about the “white establishment”, a far more interesting debate would be its use as cultural boogieman for the modern Democratic party.

For years, the Democrats have been pushing the narrative that the GOP is the party of old, rich, white guys – the inference being that such people are obviously worthy of our disdain. They’ve done this, not just to pander to the changing demographics in our country, but because they need a scapegoat to explain why their own policies, over the past several decades, haven’t bettered the lives of people in minority communities. Unemployment, poverty, and high school drop-out rates in these communities continue to soar (as they did even before the economic meltdown in 2008) in Democratic strong-holds throughout the nation. Things aren’t getting better. They’re getting worse. Thus, an excuse is needed.

It’s not all that different than how leaders in the Middle East use America as an all-purpose propaganda tool to explain to their people while their lives are so terrible. It keeps the public’s anger directed away from the real source of their problems: The actions and decisions of their leaders.

The reality is that the biggest obstacle standing in the way of the success of racial minorities in this country isn’t the “white establishment.” It’s the pompousness and condescension of the modern liberal movement. It’s these people who work diligently to convince minorities that they simply can’t succeed in America, based on their own merits. It’s these people who advance the idea that the deck is firmly stacked against them. It’s these people who have such little faith in minorities to achieve greatness through individual success, that they promote victimization and dependency as their only salvation. They are the ones who sell the idea that the betterment of minorities’ lives can only come at the expense of wealthy people. For many, the envy-fueled argument is a compelling one.

It’s this the culture that is worthy of a serious discussion. It’s this culture that conservatives worry about.

O’Reilly, Obama & Oh Brother!

Recently, Bill O’Reilly conducted one of his unscientific polls. The question put to his conservative viewers was whether they were able to maintain friendships with liberals. Apparently, 79% of the respondents boasted that they were able to do so. I’m with the 21% who can’t.

Keeping in mind that the question only asked about friends and not relatives, those people one can’t avoid no matter how hard you try, I have to ask myself what sort of friendships the 79% had in mind. Clearly it’s not a relationship that places any importance on values and character. Perhaps these “friendships” imply nothing more than a word we use to describe a group of guys getting together to bowl, play poker or shoot a round of golf. It certainly doesn’t involve a mature concern over America’s economy, security or future.

Otherwise, if conversation is involved, how do you avoid arguing about differences that involve everything from abortions on demand and voting laws to religious beliefs and America’s foreign policy? What common ground is to be found between those who believe that all power should reside with politicians and Washington bureaucrats and those who believe, as the Founding Fathers made clear in the Constitution, that the government that governed least governed best?

Speaking of which, every American, whatever his political leanings, should read the Constitution every once in a while simply to be reminded how few powers are actually granted to the federal government and how many more are left in the hands of the states and the individual.

Of all the truly awful things the Obama administration has been guilty of, perhaps none were as vile as its refusal to grant Ambassador Stevens the additional security he begged for, and to then engage in a cover-up that dwarfed Watergate in its moral depravity. After all, the earlier scandal merely led to a president being disgraced and driven from office; it did not lead to the brutal and preventable murders of four Americans.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta explained that it would have been dangerous to have sent the military in to Benghazi to attempt a rescue of the Americans who were under attack from Islamic terrorists during a seven hour siege. However, if the State Department’s response to Ambassador Steven’s request for additional security forces hadn’t been to deplete the small number he had to begin with, there’s a good chance the attacks would never have taken place. Granted, it would have been dangerous to have sent in operatives on 9/11. But does anyone really doubt that Israel would have made the attempt if those under attack had been Israelis?

My own belief is that Obama’s court advisor Valerie Jarrett, who apparently twice prevented Obama from giving the order to take out Osama bin Laden, recalled how Jimmy Carter’s bungled attempt to rescue the American hostages from Iran in 1979 helped lead to his defeat the following year. And, frankly, anyone who believes that Barack Obama would risk his re-election over something as trivial as American lives is a nincompoop.

When three weeks before the election, Colin Powell once again endorsed Obama, not even Big Bird was surprised. The surprise is that so many people continue to hold Powell in such high esteem. He is the guy, lest you may have forgotten, who allowed Scooter Libby to be accused of outing Valerie Plame, to be reviled in the media while he swung helplessly in the breeze while awaiting prosecution, when all along Powell knew it was his own assistant, Richard Armitage, who had inadvertently leaked her name.

Apparently he allowed it to happen because Libby was an advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and General Powell, whose own rise through the ranks obviously owed more to affirmative action and the playing of Pentagon politics than to military brilliance, resented the fact that Cheney had more influence with George Bush than he did. In other words, a good man suffered as a result of winding up being a pawn in a Washington version of sibling rivalry.

Recently, Ted Turner told Piers Morgan that the rise in military suicides was a good thing because, according to the alcoholic oracle, it proves that we human beings are programmed to love and help each other, not to kill one other. However, like most self-righteous pacifists, he neglected to point out what the proper response is to Muslim terrorists who are out to murder us.

Keep in mind this is the same saintly Ted Turner who called observers of Ash Wednesday “Jesus freaks” and opponents of abortions “bozos.”

He also said, in 2008, that, thanks to global warming, “within 30 or 40 years, most of the people will have died and the rest of us will be cannibals.”

Other items on Turner’s agenda are to drastically cut the military budget and to make certain that American parents have no more than two children.

It should come as no surprise that Mr. Turner has five children.

It is worth noting that one of his three ex-wives was Jane Fonda. Some marriages are referred to as ones made in Heaven. The marriage of the man who donated a billion dollars to the U.N. and the woman who lent aid and comfort to the North Vietnamese was clearly made in quite a different zip code.

Finally, in a recent article, I, a Jew, mistakenly included Dick Durbin, who is apparently a Catholic, on a list of my least favorite Jewish politicians. I based my assumption on the fact that Durbin, like Schumer, Waxman, Lautenberg, Boxer, Franken and Wasserman-Schultz, swims, walks and quacks like a Jewish duck.

Not too long ago, I made a similar mistake regarding Joy Behar. It never entered my mind until a reader set me straight that the resident yenta on “The View” wasn’t Jewish. After all, she looked and sounded exactly like all of my aunts and a few of my uncles.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Bill O’Reilly, You’re Wrong…

Recently, Bill O’Reilly commented on the gaffe by Vice President Biden who told an audience in Virginia that the Republicans want to put “y’all back in chains” and the ad which showed a Paul Ryan look-alike throwing a grandma off a cliff.  In both cases, Bill concluded that no one, regardless of their extreme ideology, could believe Republicans want to enslave people or throw old people off a cliff.

I looked at my husband and said, “I’m sure there are people who believe just that.”

Well, the following day, I was going through my Facebook newsfeed (if that’s what it’s actually called) and came across an entry from one of my “friends.”  Now, this gal is a young woman, whom I’ve known for many years; she’s very well educated and a therapist.  She probably considers herself a liberal.  I know she’s not a Republican.

On her FB page, she ranted about Mrs. Romney and how stupid she was and that she could be the First Lady of the United States and look what she’s saying and look at the way she thinks, blah, blah, blah, and she included a link to a speech purportedly made by Mrs. Romney.  So, I was very curious to know exactly what Mrs. Romney said that could raise the ire of an otherwise bright, thoughtful young lady.

So I went on the website and went right to the quote:

“At a meeting with the ‘Moms For Mitt’ group yesterday outside Philadelphia, PA, Ann Romney was asked her opinion on Lilly Ledbetter and equal pay for equal work regarding women’s employment. Without hesitation she responded with another question that seemed to shock even the most staunch conservatives in the room.

‘Why should women be paid equal to men? Men have been in the working world a lot longer and deserve to be paid at a higher rate. Heck, I’m a working mom and I’m not paid a dime. I depend on my husband to provide for me and my family, as should most women… and if a woman does work, she should be happy just to be out there in the working world and quit complaining that she’s not making as much as her male counterparts. I mean really, all this wanting to be equal nonsense is going to be detrimental to the future of women everywhere. Who’s going to want to hire a woman, or for that matter, even marry a woman who thinks she is the same, if not better than a man at any job. It’s almost laughable. C’mon now ladies, are you with me on this?’”

Before I go on, there’s something you have to know about me.  I’m probably one of the most literal people you’ll ever meet.  I’ve been like this since I was a kid.  When I was 6 years old, I heard my mother tell her sister on the phone (numerous times), “I’ll give you a ring next week,” I honestly didn’t know why my mother was always giving my aunt jewelry.  Seriously.

But, even being as literal as I am, I read this “quote” by Mrs. Romney and said to myself, “This is ridiculous; this isn’t real.”  So, I scrolled up to the name of the website and here’s what it says:  “News That’s Almost Reliable.”  Obviously it’s a satiric website and it would be obvious to anyone who read the titles of its recent posts.  Just to be sure (because I always check and double-check my facts), it took me another 30 seconds to “snopes” it to confirm that the whole thing was false.

So, not only did my “friend” think this was real (she removed the rant after I wrote and told her the story was false), but if you have any doubt how incredibly gullible some people are, please read the comments on thewebsite.  It’s mind-boggling how people will believe just about anything.

So that’s why I disagree wholeheartedly with Bill O’Reilly on this one.  There are people who will believe just about anything if it fits their ideological make-up.  Clearly, those who don’t like Mitt Romney or his wife will believe that he wants to enslave people and keep women out of the workplace and that his Vice Presidential running mate will be very happy to push old ladies in wheelchairs off of cliffs if they’re elected.

I don’t get it but if you do, God bless you.