Early Optimism on Trump and Iran

While it’s important not to draw any stern conclusions about our current conflict with Iran, it sure appears as if President Trump has won the first round.

His order last week to kill Iranian general Qasem Soleimani (a man responsible for countless deaths, unimaginable human suffering, and the recent attack on our embassy in Iraq) was not only militarily and legally justified, but arguably long overdue. And it now seems likely that Iran’s retaliatory missile attack (on two American-staffed bases in Iraq) was done mostly for show — a face-saving tactic designed to avoid U.S. casualties.

Again, it’s way too early for a victory dance, but there’s reason for cautious optimism that Trump’s bold hit on Soleimani might (at least temporarily) tamp down Iranian aggression in the region. And that would be a good thing for both America and Iraq; Iran too, for that matter.

Predictably, many on the political left immediately jumped to worst-case conclusions, framing Trump’s decisive action as the start of “World War 3.” Some insisted that the president had ordered the hit to distract the American public from his impeachment, and a few even appeared to revel in the news of Iran’s countermeasure:

Again, such political rancor was to be expected. And if it were Obama who’d made the call, these same people assuredly would have framed the decision as a brave demonstration of American leadership.

Reactions on the political right have been a bit more fascinating.

While Trump’s foreign policy actions have been all over the board since he took office, ranging from targeted military strikes to embarrassing flattery-offensives against brutal dictators, the president’s defenders (including media-conservatives) have mostly latched onto his nationalist, non-interventionist rhetoric (especially when it comes to the Middle East). I’m talking about the former hawks who’ve since adopted Code Pink’s (and Trump’s) anti-war oratory about “neo-cons” and “ending endless wars.”

This crowd has rarely missed an opportunity in recent years to lecture the “establishment types” about their war-mongering ways, yet the second Trump pulls a “cowboy diplomacy” page straight out of George W. Bush’s playbook, these same folks are among the first to shout, “yee-haw!”:

The intellectual flexibility is amazing.

You also have to marvel at members of the Trump administration now disparaging those who are questioning the credibility and reliability of our intelligence agencies, when Trump himself has been the main prosecutor of that effort for past three years.

But thankfully, when it comes to Iran, Trump’s action is speaking louder than the words of the punditry class on  both the left and right (and even his own often unhelpful rhetoric). Setting the hyperbole and hypocrisy aside for a moment, this was a tough, consequential call by the president…and there’s a good chance that it was the right one.

That’s important…and let’s hope his decision is validated by history.

Megyn Kelly, on John A. Daly’s new novel, Safeguard.

Enough With The Damn Gates

Is it too much to ask that the media stop adding “gate” to every political scandal? Has everyone forgotten that Watergate was actually the name of the building where Nixon’s plumbers, who clearly channeled their inner Three Stooges, broke in to the DNC headquarters. I mean, if the place had been, say, the Park Sheraton, would every subsequent scandal have had “Sheraton” pinned to it? I suppose I should be grateful that the recent furor over the former Defense Secretary’s expose wasn’t labeled Gatesgate.

Still, I say 40 years is long enough; it’s time for the media to move on because it has become something of a tritegate.

We all know that Obama is a wienie, the sort of kid we all knew in junior high school who received daily wedgies. Still, how is it possible that President Rouhani boasts after signing the abominable peace treaty, ”The west surrendered to the will of Iran,” and our president doesn’t immediately cancel the deal carved out by John Kerry and the other five dwarves?

Iran’s defense minister celebrated the occasion by laying a wreath at the tomb of the jihadist responsible for killing 241 U.S. Marines in 1983, and Obama responds by calling those senators who wish to impose harsher sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t abide by the treaty as “warmongers.”

Even if we forget impeachment for a minute, is there nobody in Washington who can give this schmuck the super wedgie he’s been begging for?

Speaking of Iran, its major news agency claimed that documents leaked by Edward Snowden provide “incontrovertible proof that an alien intelligence agenda is driving America’s domestic and international policy.” To which I say, “Well duh! And, what’s more, we re-elected the alien!”

I confess I thought I was caught in a time warp when, in response to those questioning the wisdom of signing the agreement with a rogue nation that not only allows them to continue its pursuit of a nuclear bomb, but tosses in seven billion dollars to sweeten the pot, Obama said we should “give peace a chance.” Suddenly, I thought I was watching “Back to the Future IV.” I expected he would next suggest we should “Make love, not war.” I thought that sort of swill had died with the 60s, along with such silly fads as bell bottoms, Nehru jackets and beads, and knuckleheads saying “groovy,” “cool” and “Some of my best friends are Kenyans.”

Our State Department keeps sending millions of dollars for reasons I can’t imagine to places like Nigeria. At the same time, I keep hearing from Nigerians offering to send me millions of dollars. It makes no sense. My suggestion is that the feds skip the middle man and send the money directly to me.

Speaking of waste, according to the Inspector General, Medicare spent $175 million between 2006 and 2011 on penis pumps. What’s with you people? Isn’t there anyone in America who still bowls or plays gin rummy?

The current administration spends more and more time talking about the vanishing middle class and less and less time changing its policies in order to deal with the problem. Ever since FDR showed them how it was done, the Democrats have relied on a dependent constituency in order to win elections. They pay lip service to a middle class, but the only members of it they’re concerned about are those enrolled in public sector unions, from whom they receive votes and tithings.

The fact of the matter is that the real middle class doesn’t just have a financial identity. In spite of what liberals will tell you, it’s also a way of life. It consists in part in education and learning a skill – whether the end result is a brain surgeon or a plumber – being law-abiding, forsaking illegal drugs and not having babies until you’re married and can afford to raise them. In addition, members of the middle class tend to be patriotic, not out of chauvinism, but because they sincerely believe in the exceptional nature of the nation founded by the extraordinary likes of Washington, Madison and Jefferson.

Liberals assume you can ignore all those other things, though, and so long as the government provides people with $50,000-a-year, whether it’s through extended unemployment payments, disability checks, food stamps, a home purchased without a down payment or free health insurance, you can magically transform millions of welfare recipients into a stable middle class.

Another thing that Obama and his minions are wrong about is trying to use mass killings as a way to wage war on the Second Amendment. For one thing, when most normal people hear about these tragic events, they don’t say to themselves, “Something has to be done about those damn guns.” Instead, they say, “The shooters were obviously mental cases. Why didn’t any of their relatives, friends, teachers or psychiatrists, get them to an asylum before they blew their corks?”

The next thing they say, assuming they’re not liberals, who also shouldn’t be allowed to run around loose, is, “I wish to God there had been someone in the neighborhood who could have plugged the maniac before his final tally reached double digits.”

Finally, with all the tacky sex scandals that politicians get involved in, you would think that adultery was part of the job description. Therefore, my advice to any woman who’s seriously considering marrying one of these twerps is that she forget about registering at any of those stores specializing in fancy dishware and sterling silver. You can always buy your own dishes, toasters and teapots. Instead, you’d be much better off registering at a local gun shop.

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

Bios & Biases

Every so often, so many items capture my attention that I either have to get them down on paper or accept the fact that I can never hope to catch up. But never let it be said that Prelutsky took the easy, logical, sane, commonsensical, approach.

To get the ball rolling, let me confess that I not only tend to shy away from non-fiction books in general, but even more so when it comes to biographies. I have multiple problems with them. To begin with, they are written by researchers and academicians, and so I usually find the writing dry and humorless. For another, they tend to begin with a rundown on the subject’s ancestors. Although parents and grandparents may have played a huge role in the way the person turned out, if I wanted to read about them, I’d be reading their biographies. My third reason, shameful as it must sound to many of you, is that I’m not that interested in reading five or six hundred pages about any one person.

Before opening the floodgates to well-intentioned suggestions for my reading list, understand I have come to these conclusion through experience, not rumor. To me, sitting down with a biography is the equivalent of asking someone for the time and being told how to make a watch.

I confess that as cynical as I am, even I’m shocked that so many people seem to be up in arms over the NSA keeping track of millions of phone numbers, but are seemingly unconcerned that the ObamaCare website has rolled out the equivalent of a red carpet for every computer hacker between here and Timbuktu. They don’t even have to say “Open Sesame” in order to know everything about you, including your medical history, your birthday, your social security number, your bank account and, yes, even your telephone number.

By this time, I assume everyone has seen the stomach-turning video of the little black child in a diaper being coached by his gangbanging uncle to repeat the most vulgar words imaginable. What I found interesting is that when some cop in Omaha used the word “thug” in referring to the uncle, the ACLU immediately jumped in to denounce him for employing a racist term. It’s one thing to be a knucklehead and quite another to hire a skywriter to let the world know about it.

Everyone knows that “thug” is a generic word that has no racial connotations. Thugs come in all sizes, shapes and colors. But the mopes at the ACLU who’d go out of business if they couldn’t trump up cases based on matters as trivial as hurt feelings or intentional misinterpretations of the Constitution, let us all know that whenever they hear “thug” or, I assume, “bully,” “dope dealer,” “rapist” or “scumbag,” they immediately assume the reference is to a black person. I’m just asking, you understand, but doesn’t that qualify as racist?

Although the next presidential election is still nearly three years off, I am already hearing from those who are certain that Obama is planning to pull off a coup so he can become a dictator for life. I grant that he doesn’t show a lot of respect towards the Constitution or even American traditions, for that matter, but I have to wonder how it is that the paranoiacs seem to have so little confidence in the military that they’d believe the Army would be party to a power-grab.

It so happens that I’ve been doing this for so long that I’ve heard the same concerns when Clinton and Bush were into their second terms. I acknowledge that Obama is a far worse menace than either of them, but this is not a banana republic. There’s no getting around the fact that the Obamas love the perks of the office, but inasmuch as the Clintons were able to bank over $100,000,000 between 2001 and 2008, I’m sure the Obamas will be able to pay for their own vacations after 2016.

Speaking of Obama, he and Kerry are clearly dying to give the store away to Iran. In fact they are so desperate to cut a deal with the mullahs, and make it appear they’ve scored a diplomatic success, they are willing to sell what passes for their souls to the Devil.

Nearly 70 senators, including about 20 Democrats, are basically saying, “Okay, negotiate with the bastards all you want, but if after six months, they haven’t agreed to halt their pursuit of a nuclear bomb, tougher economic sanctions will automatically kick in.” Aside from the fact that sitting down with jihadists makes about as much sense as Chamberlain trying to placate Hitler, you would think that Obama and Kerry could live with it. But the Iranians are insisting that they won’t negotiate with a threat hanging over their head. To me, the real problem is that the threat they face is merely financial and not thermonuclear.

With 2016 lurking around the corner, I was heartened to hear RNC kingpin Reince Priebus say that there are changes in the wind. Among those he mentioned was a shortened primary season, an end to the liberals controlling the debate formats and a much earlier date for the GOP convention. Those are all good ideas, and could go a long way to cut down on the backstabbing and bloodletting that invariably accompanies our internecine battles.

However, I would also suggest that the GOP finally grows up and puts a stop to the Iowa caucus, a charade that eats up enormous amounts of time and money, and doesn’t even result in the allocating of convention delegates.

As for New Hampshire, a tiny state that gets overinflated to such a degree that for a time during an election year, you would think it was the size of Texas or California. In fact it is no more entitled to hold the first primary than my big toe. At least my toe is representative of my foot, whereas New Hampshire is representative of nothing, including Vermont and Maine.

I will close with a bit of folk wisdom someone recently sent me: “A Liberal Paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities; and only Law Enforcement has guns. Such a place does exist. It’s called prison.”

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

Disasters Sprouting Like Mushrooms

Only a stumblebum like Obama would think that signing an agreement with Iran that basically caves to an evil nation would be a good way to distract people from the catastrophe known as the Affordable Care Act.

Just because Obama can’t do two things at once – or even one thing if it requires anything beyond reading words off a Teleprompter – he assumes other people can’t recognize that he is as toxic on the world stage as he is domestically.

Because John (“Why do people keep calling me Mr. Ed?”) Kerry is as inept as his boss, in exchange for legitimizing Iran’s nuclear program and handing over seven billion dollars, he couldn’t even negotiate the release of American pastor, Saeed Abedani, who was trying to open an orphanage in Iran when he was arrested over a year ago, and subsequently tortured on trumped-up charges of being a spy.

It’s not just that Iran should never be trusted, but Obama, along with the representatives of the other western nations that signed the treaty, chose to ignore the fact that Iran has been the single largest sponsor of state-sanctioned terrorism for the past 34 years. The blood of every American soldier who has been killed or wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, can be found on the hands of the Iranian mullahs. But in order to take some of the heat off himself, Obama chose to reward Iran for three decades of bad behavior. I wonder if Malia and Sasha have been paying attention.

I can only say that Hitler must be kicking himself for coming along 80 years too soon. Back in the 30s, Hitler only had to deal with a single Neville Chamberlain, and he would soon be replaced by Winston Churchill. Today, all the western leaders are carrying umbrellas, and there isn’t a Churchill in sight.

Reagan would have had the mullahs eating their centrifuges for lunch. But Obama goes on TV to brag about this foreign policy coup even as the Ayatollah Khamenei celebrates the signing of the pact by once again announcing his intention to annihilate Israel.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai is kicking sand in our face, and the government is talking about punishing those engaged in pre-marital sex with a hundred lashes, and, as a punishment for adultery, death by stoning. Keep in mind that we have squandered thousands of American lives and billions of tax dollars protecting these vermin from the Taliban. So, the next time someone suggests we go to war to protect Muslims and Arabs from one another, ask them why on earth we would ever do such a thing when it is clearly God’s way of thinning the herd.

When I heard that Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu said something about “an historic mistake,” I heartily concurred. But then I found out he was talking about the sucker’s deal we cut with Iran. He was right, of course. But, initially, I assumed he was referring to the elections that put Obama in the White House and then extended his lease.

There are times when it’s easy to imagine that all the lunacy can be traced back to our nation’s capital. But it’s just not so. For instance, it makes no sense that drug dealers face far harsher penalties than those who slaughter elephants. Even on those rare occasions when poachers are arrested and tried, the creeps involved in the ivory trade generally get off with a wrist slap. The elephants, after all, are innocent victims; whereas drug users are not. But because hypocrisy has become a way of life for many of us, we simply pretend they are.

The latest proof that college campuses are among the most corrupt venues in America is Bard College’s refusal to cut its ties with the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds University, even after the Palestinian administrators failed to condemn an Islamic jihad demonstration that included students trampling on Israeli flags and exchanging the Nazi salute. But, then, Bard, the pride of Annandale, NY, also boasts a Chair in Social Studies named in Alger Hiss’s honor. For the uninitiated, Hiss was a high-ranking member of the State Department under both FDR and Harry Truman, who just happened to moonlight as a Soviet spy. As some wag suggested, the big surprise is that Bard doesn’t have a John Dillinger Chair in Banking.

In case you were wondering, similar lunacy prevails in the education system below the college level. Verenice Gutierrez, the principal at the Harvey Scott K-8 School, in Portland, Oregon, has decided that her teachers shouldn’t make reference to sandwiches because in some cultures they don’t eat sandwich bread. Furthermore, on the first day of the school year, at a staff meeting, it was decided that the teachers should engage in a “Courageous Conversation,” in which they would examine news articles in class and discuss the “white privilege” they convey.

Because I’m a big proponent of both courage and conversation, I would suggest they devote one of those sessions to the Knockdown Game, currently the rage with black teens, in which the object of the game is to sucker punch a white person. Extra points, as I understand it, are earned if the victims are elderly women or World War II veterans.

I realize that it might be difficult to spot white privilege in these accounts, but I’m betting that Ms. Gutierrez is up to the task, and that an administrative position at Bard College is very likely in her future.

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

What Happens In D.C. Should Stay In D.C.

I keep hearing that Obama’s poll numbers have never been worse, and I realize that as a conservative, I should be reveling in the news. The reason I’m not as gleeful as I might be is because they remain so damn high.

For instance, a recent poll reported that whereas 52% of us think Obama is dishonest, 44% of us continue to believe in his veracity. How is that possible? The man spent the better part of four years telling us that ObamaCare wouldn’t infringe on our freedom to keep our insurance policies and our doctors when he knew that was a lie he had to keep repeating if he was going to push the Affordable Care Act down our throats. And yet 44% of Americans continue to take him at his word? Are they simply unclear as to the meaning of the word “honest”?

Something else that continues to bug me are the lawsuits filed by homosexuals against people whose religious convictions prevent them from agreeing to sell them wedding cakes or flowers or, most recently, take photos at one of their weddings. The gays and their supporters in the media and Congress try to pretend that it’s the same as not serving blacks at a lunch counter. If sophistry were an Olympic event, these folks could bring home the gold.

Being black is a matter of race, being gay is a question of behavior. One can argue – and they do – that they’re born that way. Well, that can be used as an excuse for all sorts of things. I would suggest that a better comparison would be a store owner’s refusal to serve someone who is either shirtless or shoeless. After all, there’s no law against walking around without a shirt or a pair of shoes, but it’s understood that the owner has the right to forego a sale if he places a higher premium on maintaining his shop’s dress code than on turning a profit.

What’s more, unlike the South in the old days, where service was denied to blacks at all the lunch counters, there are inevitably bakeries, flower shops and photographers, in any town who are more than willing to peddle their goods and services to gay couples.

I have no doubt that homosexuals are intentionally seeking out devout Christians in order to punish them for their religious beliefs, assuming correctly that most courts will side with them in the inevitable lawsuit.

As the lawyer defending the photographer in the New Mexico case said, “Would the government force an African-American photographer to shoot a Klan rally?”

Some of you have no doubt seen the commercials pushing the Affordable Care Act to young people, spots that promote keg parties and promiscuity. It is, I believe, a case of selling the unthinkable to the non-thinkable.

Speaking of the depths to which this administration is willing to stoop, it took France to stop John Kerry from going through with an agreement to relieve sanctions on Iran. Even the French called it a sucker’s deal. When has it not been the height of stupidity for the U.S. to negotiate with a tyranny? Whether it was Bill Clinton’s attempt to bribe North Korea with thousands of tons of coal and wheat in order to stop them from going nuclear or Obama’s feeble attempt to get the best of Russia and Syria, diplomacy is usually counter-productive.

It is worse than naïve to imagine that when you sit down at a table with rogue nations, anything they say or sign is anything but a gigantic stall. As Sam Goldwyn was alleged to have said, “A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” But when dealing with tyrants, unless you’re willing to go to war, the last thing you want to do is try to cut a deal. The only thing that’s going to get cut is your throat.

With the notable exception of ObamaCare, abortions on demand is the biggest con game ever perpetrated, at least since Charles Ponzi was busy planting his name in the dictionary.

I’m aware that the major activists for abortions are women, but wouldn’t you think that by this time, even the harpies at Planned Parenthood would wise up to the fact that it allows slackers and sleazebags free rein to have non-stop sex with no risk of being obliged to pay child support for the next 18 or 20 years?

Thanks to people like Nancy Pelosi and Sandra Fluke, every punk in the hood is encouraged to impregnate at will, with the assurance that any politician with a (D) after his or her name will defend his inalienable right to do so. And that includes the putz in the Oval Office, who even gave his blessing to infanticide when he was in the Illinois legislature, voting to permit those butchers with medical degrees to murder the survivors of botched abortions.

Finally, because I can’t resist any opportunity to ridicule Hollywood liberals, allow me to share the fact that Scientology’s poster boy, aka Tom Cruise, recently divulged that his job, acting in movies, is every bit as tough as being a soldier in Afghanistan.

To which I can only say, close, Tom, but no cigar. What’s really tough is sitting through a Tom Cruise movie.

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