Off the Cuff: The Gun Violence the Left Ignores

How much do you know about victims of gun violence in Chicago?

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.


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Can America Be Saved?

Although I am by nature an optimist, I must admit that even I have begun to suspect that our nation’s best years, like my own, are behind us.

As some of you will recall, just prior to the 2012 presidential election, I wrote that I was confident America could survive another four years of Obama, but I wasn’t at all certain it could survive an electorate that would provide him with four more years. I still feel that way, and the thought that Hillary (“What difference does it make?”) Clinton could be next in line, chills my bones and curdles my blood.

Speaking of Mrs. Clinton reminds me that young single women constitute her largest fan base. In a way, I suppose that makes sense. After all, they put great store in cracking through glass ceilings, and their favorite icon has made a practice, verging on an art form, of pretending she’s spent her life doing that very thing. In point of fact, she hasn’t cracked a single one. She wasn’t the first female lawyer, the first female senator or even the first female secretary of state. And she certainly isn’t the first woman who ever owed her entire political career to having been the wife or daughter of a successful male politician.

In a way, her utter dependence on Bill Clinton might seem as if it would be problematic for those impressionable young women. But not once you realize that while they always pretend to be strong and independent, they invariably give the game away by voting for any sugar daddy Democrat who promises to take care of them, going so far as to promise to provide the young ladies, paradoxically, with both birth control pills and abortions on demand.

Although the liberal press did cartwheels over the Pope’s recent visit to the Holy Land, where he went out of his way to display an unseemly bias in favor of those who vow to exterminate Israelis, a more honest view of the event was provided by the cartoonist for Canada’s Calgary Herald: The cartoon showed Pope Francis indicating Israel’s security fence and asking Bibi Netanyahu: “Why this wall in Israel?” To which, the Prime Minister responds: “Why this bulletproof glass in the Popemobile?”

Anybody who thinks that Shinseki’s resignation will lead to a bright new day for the VA has taken leave of his senses. The annual budget for the department is $150 billion. If they were serious about improving things for veterans, they would shut down the VA and use that money in the form of vouchers, enabling the vets to seek health care on their own. The problem is that the Democrats are worried that such a radical notion might catch on with the general public, and that would spell the end of ObamaCare.

I pitied the West Point cadets having to shake Obama’s hand before being allowed to collect their diplomas. They had to settle for showing their contempt by maintaining silence during his commencement address, even though he paused at all the usual places where blacks, single women and college students, can invariably be trusted, like Pavlov’s dogs, to respond to the obvious cues with thundering ovations.

Proving that even a has-been has a responsibility to maintain her status as a Hollywood pinhead, Gwyneth Paltrow announced that being attacked on the Internet is just as hard on a person as serving in a war zone. She is also the Oscar-winning moron who said how much more difficult it is to be an actress and a mom than to be a mother working in an office. When you read comments like these, you should always be mindful of the fact that celebrities pay P.R. flacks a lot of dough to make them appear to be human beings, and not the alien life forms they actually happen to be. And yet, time and again, just like the federal government, all they really prove is that money is not the solution.

In the wake of the carnage by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista, it was as predictable as a sunrise that the anti-gun nuts would come creeping out of the woodwork to condemn gun ownership in spite of the fact that three of the six murders were committed with a knife. When you consider how reluctant liberals are to think rationally, it makes me wonder if they fear it will give their brains wrinkles.

For instance, someone recently sent me what he called a tale of two cities, in which he compared Chicago to Houston. The things they had more or less in common was population (Chicago’s 2.7 million to Houston’s 2.15 million); median household income ($38,600-$37,000); percentage of blacks (38.9% to 24%); percentage of Hispanics (29.9% to 44%); percentage of Asians (5.5% to 6%); percentage of non-Hispanic whites (28.7% to 26%).

The differences were that Chicago doesn’t have a concealed carry gun law, Houston does. Chicago doesn’t have any gun stores, Houston has 184. In spite of which, Chicago had 1,806 homicides in 2012, Houston had 207.

Another difference is that the average January high temperature in Chicago is 31 degrees, 63 in Houston.

From all of that, you would think the typical liberal would naturally conclude that, whatever else it does, global warming reduces the murder rate.

Finally, speaking of a typical liberal, Barack Obama has been called by some the Antichrist. Maybe, maybe not. But it is certainly fair to call him the Antimoses. Moses, you may recall, spent years leading his people through the desert to the Promised Land. Obama, on the other hand, has spent years leading his people from the Promised Land to the desert.

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at Noon Pacific Time.
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©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

“If I Like Your Health Care Plan” and “The Piltdown Man Signs Up for Obamacare”

Years ago, I wrote a TV movie. It was that semi-mythical thing known as a docudrama. That means the basic premise was factual, but names were changed and, more importantly, characters and dialogue were invented so that you would sit there through the last commercial. As it happens, the movie was never produced, mainly because one set of NBC executives were fired and, typically, an inferior group was brought in to replace them.

In any case, the reason I am referring to “Johnson vs. the World” is because it applies to what is going on with the Affordable Care Act. An old man went in to a clinic to have his eyes checked out, but was told that his insurance policy no longer provided coverage for such exams. Instead, his insurers had “improved” his coverage behind his back by providing him with pre-natal care. In my movie, as in real life, the fellow sued and won a two million dollar judgment.

Today, we see Obama and his stooges deciding that people who were smart enough and successful enough to afford their own health insurance are too stupid to tell a good policy from a sack of manure. Instead, because the Democrats insist that any policy that doesn’t cover mammograms for men, pre-natal care for women in their 70s and substance abuse treatment for people who have never and would never use cocaine, booze or marijuana, have obviously been buying their insurance from someone selling policies from the trunk of his ’94 Buick.

And while everyone is transfixed on the disaster that the Affordable Care Act rollout has been, more attention should be paid to all the lies that Obama repeatedly told us. We should also note who is now defending the Liar-in-Chief. Kathleen Sebelius, the person most responsible for the fiasco, tells us she doesn’t work for us, meaning that although we have to pay her salary and provide her with unlimited perks, she only has to answer to Obama. She even has the audacity to channel her inner teenage brat when being questioned by a congressional oversight committee, muttering “Whatever,” in response to a legitimate question, just like a 14-year-old who’s being chided by a parent for getting bad marks or turning her bedroom into a pig sty.

But she’s not the only one. Ever since the debacle began on Oct. 1st, we have had one Democrat after another trying to pretend that Obama’s mantra (If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” ) means something along the lines of “You poor dumb sap. I’m Obama, the Great and Powerful, and I know best.”

Apparently, where Obama went wrong was in his punctuation. It was all those damn periods he kept tossing around. He should have used commas, so we’d have had an inkling that there was more and worse to come.

But you have to admire his disciples. The way they’re prepared to take a bullet for the putz puts the Secret Service to shame. There’s no lie they won’t tell, no depth to which they won’t stoop, in their attempt to shield Obama from honest criticism.

One of their favorite games is to repeat one after another that the insurance policies the ACA will replace are “lousy.” It amazes me how liberals inevitably glom on to a single word, and then repeat it ad nauseam, although there are any number of words, such as “inadequate,” “rotten, “ “second-rate” and “stinky”, that convey the same thought.

Another thing the leftists have been doing is downplaying the number of people who were blindsided by Obama’s campaign of lies, and have lost their coverage. If you’ve noticed, the Democrats keep dismissing them as a trivial five percent of the population. That means 15 million law-abiding, self-sufficient, Americans could be kicked to the side of the road by the end of the year. On the other hand, when Obama, Pelosi and Reid, were pushing this legislative turd through Congress, they insisted they were consuming one-sixth of the national economy on behalf of 30 million uninsured people, a mere 10% of the population; which, by the way, was a number that the creeps only managed to achieve by counting illegal aliens and young people who preferred spending their money on booze, drugs, clothes and electronic toys.

Nevertheless, I don’t hold Republicans blameless. After all, some of us are aware that even before HillaryCare bombed in the 90s the Democrats have been pushing for socialized health care; a scheme, by the way, that, not too surprisingly, was not based on RomneyCare, but on the programs in England, Canada and Cuba, that have made such a colossal mess of health care in those countries.

The biggest laugh these days is provided by those Democrats who keep feigning outrage over conservatives, even at this late date, wanting to kill the Act. Well, duh. Inasmuch as the libs took great delight in passing the Bill without a single Republican vote, while ignoring 85 amendments that Congressional Republicans tried to get the Senate to consider, why should it surprise anyone that most of us wish that the coroner of Oz could confirm that ObamaCare is “not only really dead, but really most sincerely dead”?

Still, the Republicans, to their eternal shame, did nothing to fix the obvious problems with health care when they controlled Congress and the White House during George W. Bush’s first two years in the White House. All that was really required was to allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines, which should have been a no-brainer for the Party that allegedly promotes competition and free enterprise; and forced every health insurance company that does business in the U.S. to contribute to a pool that would cover any previously insured person who came down with a catastrophic disease.

Finally, I am sick and tired of hearing Washington bureaucrats, such as Kathleen Sebelius, telling us to hold them personally accountable, which are perhaps, at least next to “the check’s in the mail,” the five most meaningless words in the English language.

Whether those words are spoken by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the head of the IRS, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General or the President, I want them to be followed up by an indictment, a speedy trial and, one would hope, a hanging.

“The Piltdown Man Signs Up For Obamacare”

The language of liberalism is the language of liars. They pretend that the Affordable Care Act was divinely inspired and handed down in the form of stone tablets when everyone who doesn’t have his head in the sand knows that it only got passed because Harry Reid and Nancy browbeat or bribed their left-wing colleagues to get it enacted.

Even then, they had to promise that no senator or House member would be lumbered with the worst thing that’s come down the pike since unsliced bread. Obama might as well have said with a nod and a wink, “Don’t worry, my amigos, this is strictly for the suckers.”

A while back, my wife wrote to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, complaining about ObamaCare. The very day that Obama went on TV to try to explain how it is that a computer program that he blew $400 million of our tax dollars setting up has turned out to be something Rube Goldberg might have whipped up in his basement, Feinstein responded.

In her email, she stated among other fibs that “The ACA creates important benefits for health insurance customers, expands access to care, and protects Medicare while reducing the federal deficit.”

The truth, of course, is that none of those claims is supported by fact, unless you call providing men with pre-natal care and mammograms as important new health benefits, and if you accept that reducing Medicare by $700 million is a form of protection totally unlike any other.

One politician who has a saner perspective on the issue is Mrs. Feinstein’s colleague, Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. After being successfully operated on for blocked arteries, he said that if he’d been insured under ObamaCare, “I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

As Inhofe points out and as Harry Reid stated during a recent TV interview, ObamaCare is merely a baby step on the way to single-pay socialized medicine, the system that inevitably leads to interminable waits for patients requiring surgery or any other sort of medical attention.

If you’re going to identify yourself as a socialist, you have to swear allegiance to the cockeyed notion of government-controlled health care, but I guarantee you that, in spite of going so far as to make a movie praising the Cuban health system, when Michael Moore, or, for that matter, the simpleminded members of the Congressional Black Caucus, have a health issue, they go to New York or Bethesda, not to Havana.

It also works that way when it comes to public education. Those politicians, including Obama, who praise these propaganda mills to the skies can always be relied on to have their own kids enrolled in private schools. After all, their own children don’t need to leave the house to be indoctrinated in leftist doctrine.

Speaking of the imposter in the Oval Office, it wasn’t that long ago that liberals used to insist that George W. Bush was avenging his father by going after Saddam Hussein. And yet they never even mention the far likelier scenario that Barack Hussein Obama is avenging himself on his drunken, communist, father’s sworn enemies; namely, the white race, western civilization, Christians, Jews, all non-Muslims and capitalists.

“Chicago,” Obama has said with a straight face, “is the ideal blueprint for national gun laws.”

Even after five years, I had no idea that Obama possessed such a whimsical sense of humor. I mean, unless there’s a Chicago I’ve never heard about, the one in Illinois is to murder what Milwaukee is to beer, Wisconsin is to cheese and Washington, D.C., is to bovine excrement.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

Young Fatherless Elephants

Thanks to the cold-blooded murders in Oklahoma and Washington, black teenage thugs have been much in the news lately. But they’ve been newsworthy for quite a while now. It wasn’t that long ago that gangs of them ran wild in Philadelphia, forcing even the black mayor to denounce them. More recently, they ran amok here in California, looting and mugging in L.A. and in Long Beach. And we mustn’t overlook the record number of people they’ve been gunning down in the mean streets of Chicago.

What’s easy to forget, especially if you’re a liberal, is that it’s all an inevitable consequence of Lyndon Johnson’s policies. It was he and his stooges in Congress that made welfare to black women conditional on there not being a man on the premises. With a swipe of his presidential pen, Johnson ended black families, as America had known them. Until he put his welfare policy in place, the rate of marriages was higher among blacks than among whites. From 1890 on, the great majority of black children were raised in two parent homes.

I know that feminists and homosexuals think that the traditional family structure is archaic, but the evidence is all on the other side. Unmarried, generally uneducated women, raising children, especially male children, is a blueprint for disaster, and we have the crime and poverty statistics to prove it.

Years ago, I saw a TV documentary that drove the point home. It seems that game wardens on an African animal preserve started coming across the crushed and bloody carcasses of rhinos. They were at a loss to determine who was responsible and they couldn’t come up with a motive. As I recall, they finally resorted to placing cameras in the trees.

What they discovered astonished and repelled them. It seems that a sizable herd of young elephants were doing the killing. Like the three creeps down in Oklahoma who murdered the Australian jogger because they were bored, the elephants had no other motivation than that they felt like it.

It had nothing to do with turf or food or water. What it had to do with, the wardens realized, was that the bull elephants in the area had all been massacred by ivory hunters. Once they knew the problem, unlike our cowardly politicians and the race card hustlers who have spent half a century cashing in on LBJ’s legacy, they went about solving the problem.

They had a two-fold approach. One, they shot the leader of the young rogue elephants, convinced he was beyond saving. Two, they brought in a number of bull elephants to straighten out the rest of the gang. It didn’t take them all that long to set a good example. Like good fathers everywhere, they instilled discipline and showed the young ones how elephants are supposed to behave.

With the illegitimacy rate in the black community holding steady at about 73%, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the young creeps have decided they get to make the rules. And however much it benefits race hustlers to blame the plight of blacks on Caucasian bigots and to portray blacks as the innocent victims of prejudice and oppression, white people should not allow themselves to be confused with white hunters.

While it’s true that Lyndon Johnson did what he did because, as he said at the time, dependency would ensure that blacks — although that wasn’t the word he used — would vote for Democrats for the next 200 years, whites, it should be noted, haven’t trekked into the wilds of Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Newark and Philadelphia, and shot all the bulls.

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

Attention Publicity-Hungry Murderers: Find a Tall Building

If you are intent on mass mayhem, and want to maximize the media coverage, head for a tall building. Bin Laden and his cronies knew that, and so, it may be, did Jeffrey Johnson, who shot and killed a former colleague near the Empire State Building the other day.

After shooting his victim in the chest and head, Johnson crossed the street, where he is said to have pulled his gun on a couple of New York City policemen who confronted him, and was fatally shot.

Somehow eight other people were injured by bullets alongside the city’s tallest building, which had regained that distinction, alas, on September 11, 2001.
The early reports seem to indicate that at least some of those collateral victims, and perhaps all, were hit by stray bullets fired by the cops. Johnson evidently did not have enough cartridges in his gun to wound that many people, and preliminary accounts seem to indicate that he may not have gotten off any shots at all in his brief encounter with New York’s finest.

The shootings have received blanket coverage in the media, naturally, but one is tempted to wonder how much attention they would have received if the exact same events had occurred on a sidewalk alongside one of the projects in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, an area made up mostly of poor, black residents.

To  TV viewers in small-town America, those projects might seem fairly tall, but they certainly are not in a class with the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

With one innocent victim killed, and the shooter shot dead, and several other injuries that don’t seem to have been terribly serious – and with all the victims black – most of the media probably would have taken a pass. Just another one of those days in Brownsville. Put it on page eight.

There is a lesson to be learned here by the hoodlums of Chicago, the ones who have lately turned President Obama’s hometown – the town renowned for its “Chicago values” – into the murder capital of the United States.

On some weekends, several dozen blacks in the ghetto are killed by other ghetto blacks. These scenes of horror and tragedy make the Empire State Building incident look like a communion breakfast – don’t you just love trite metaphors like that?  — yet the media are reluctant to give them much coverage.

A half-century ago, when I entered the newspaper business, the assignment editors on the city desk used to distinguish between black-on-black crimes and crimes involving important people, meaning whites. They would play up the latter and pretty much ignore the former. Nothing much has changed in the news business, it seems.

If I may be so bold as to offer advice to the murderers and prospective murderers of Chicago, why not take the slaughter downtown, the way Al Capone and his boys used to do?  That way your murderous deeds will get more than just passing attention from the media.

Get yourself a copy of the 2012 World Almanac. Maybe you can boost one from the corner drugstore after shooting the proprietor. Turn to page 719, where you will find a list of more than one hundred Chicago skyscrapers, topped by the Sears Tower (pictured).
If you kill one or more people outside a downtown skyscraper, and maybe wound a few more, and if – this is crucially important — you include whites among the victims, you should make it to prime time.