“On & Off The Radar” and “Paging Eric Holder”

When some people dismiss others as low information voters, they’re not always being fair. For instance, I heard from a lot of readers in 2012 complaining that Mitt Romney didn’t bring up Obama’s Benghazi cover-up in the debates, but I pointed out that because the mass media had done such a good job of ignoring the story that if Romney had mentioned Benghazi, most of the viewing audience would have assumed he was speaking in tongues.

I mainly knew about it because Fox News had done such a good job of covering the story. But being a successful cable station doesn’t compare to being a major network when it comes to the number of viewers. But as good as Fox is, I still wish it had competition from a cable station that didn’t waste our time with the likes of Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Bob Beckel and Mark Hannah. We would get plenty of divergent viewpoints if they concentrated solely on Republicans. Pitting Ted Cruz against John McCain or Rand Paul against Marco Rubio would be a great improvement over watching Juan Williams rolling his eyes in mock horror whenever Bret Baier, Steve Hayes or Charles Krauthammer, disagrees with one of his inane statements.

Although I get a lot of my news from Fox, I wish they had someone whose sole function is to follow up on things that have been lost in the wake of subsequent events. For instance, when Boko Haram kidnapped those 300 Nigerian school girls, I heard that Obama had sent a few hundred soldiers in to assist in the search, and then I heard nothing more about it. Are the soldiers still looking? Is anyone?

According to Gallup’s latest poll, Obama’s approval rating has soared to 47%. The theory is that a lot of people applauded his re-opening diplomatic relations with Cuba. Even if they disagree with me and Marco Rubio about that bit of executive action, how is it that millions of us have apparently decided after six years of ObamaCare and the Benghazi, Operation Fast & Furious, VA and IRS scandals that they no longer mattered?

Mark Twain once joked that he didn’t lie because he didn’t have a very good memory. It seems to me that Barack Obama lies because he doesn’t think we have very good memories, and the same goes for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Josh Earnest and Jonathan Gruber. When nearly everything we say or do is recorded on video, you would think they would straighten out their acts, but, apparently, unless you watch Fox, you’d have no idea that these people lie, if for no other reason than to stay in practice.

But maybe Obama is wise to take our ignorance for granted. After all, even after drawing and then quickly erasing red lines with Russia and Syria, and allowing Iran to make a monkey out of him at the negotiating table, our Commander-in-chief has proven himself to be, in the words of my friend Steve Maikoski, the Great Capitulator.

In other news, we are told that Justin Bieber is worth $200 million. We have also heard that Oprah Winfrey is worth two billion and Warren Buffet is worth roughly 35 billion. I know it’s just a figure of speech, but I wish we would learn to just say these pinheads have an awful lot of money without suggesting they are worth a plugged nickel.

After dismissing the movie, “Whiplash,” as a waste of time, a friend let me know he planned to see it because he liked “drum music,” and I congratulated him on coming up with a new and unique oxymoron. But after sitting through 16 other DVDs provided by the studios, all seeking my vote in the WGA award competition, I am wondering why movies even pay editors. When the new releases average 150 minutes, it’s hard to imagine that any footage ends up on the cutting room floor. You would have thought editors had gone the way of those guys who used to provide dialogue titles for silent movies.

Speaking of movies, I can’t say I was disappointed with “Unbroken,” the story of Louis Zemperini, who first survived 47 days at sea after his plane was shot down during WWII and then, according to Laura Hillenbrand’s book, suffered daily beatings by a sadistic Japanese POW camp commander for two long years. It didn’t ring true in the book and didn’t in the movie.

It was hard enough to survive in Japanese captivity without having to endure constant torture and no medical attention. I even wrote to Ms. Hillenbrand asking if she had actually managed to confirm what she was told or had simply accepted what Zemperini said as gospel. After all, rumor has it that men, even those in their 90s, have been known to brag to women. So far, I haven’t heard back.

Because it’s been preying on my mind for years, I would like someone to explain why “Peanuts” has enjoyed such lasting success. I never thought it was a funny comic strip. Not funny or clever or thoughtful, and, what’s more, I thought Snoopy was a bore, even when he went up against the Red Baron. What have I been missing?

I once heard that the best definition of an optimist was a professional accordionist with a pager. But I have come to believe that Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist and librettist best known for “Brigadoon,” “Gigi,” and “My Fair Lady,” should have his picture next to the word in the dictionary. This is a man who married for the first time when he was 21 years old. By the time he died 46 years later, at the age of 67, he had been married seven more times. What’s more, he was married for 43 of those years, meaning he averaged less than six months between getting a divorce and once again tying the knot. If that’s not optimism, I don’t know what it is. Well, maybe insanity.

Because some of my more concerned readers continue to ask how I am doing in the aftermath of the surgery on my hand and arm last January, I am happy to report that the rheumatoid arthritis is no longer plaguing me.

However, I did suffer an attack of the gout recently. My only prior experience with the condition was seeing old Laurel and Hardy or Charley Chase comedies in which men suffering from the gout would be shown with his inflamed foot wrapped in a Turkish towel. But in spite of the towel, someone was sure to step on his aching foot or slam a car door on it.

I thought it was very amusing until I was the guy who felt like he had a pin cushion sewn up in his big right toe. I never assumed I would have anything more in common with King Henry VIII than the fact we had both been married more than a couple of times — though not as often as Alan Jay Lerner — our occasional disagreements with the pope and our roguish little beards. Too bad it couldn’t have stayed that way.

Believe me, the gout is no joke. The joke is that it’s commonly referred to as the rich man’s disease and somehow I got it!


Paging Eric Holder

If the cops are as racist as the idiots in the streets keep claiming, why is it we never see Asians or black immigrants from the Caribbean rioting and complaining about police brutality? With all the people of color residing in America, why is it always and only native-born blacks who take to the streets complaining of mistreatment? Could it possibly have anything to do with the violent crime rate and the lack of parental discipline found in their community that leads to so many unpleasant interactions between the police and young black thugs?

Furthermore, if things are as oppressive as they claim, why do we never see a mass migration to Canada or Mexico? The only blacks we ever see leaving the U.S. are those like convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard, who leave, seeking asylum in Cuba.

Every other group that has ever faced hardship and persecution has crossed oceans, if necessary, to seek a better and safer life. Mainly they’ve come to America, long a magnet for the world’s outcasts. Only blacks see this country as a loathsome place – a place like czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, Iran, Cuba and China — a snake pit to run from, and yet they never run. I find that very odd when you realize they could easily find refuge just across the border.

Could it be that even they know that their claims are bullshit, and that they simply enjoy getting to live off the labor of others, while still having the gall to gripe about it?

Eric Holder called white people cowards who were scared to have an honest conversation about race in America. Ready when you are, Attorney General Holder.

In America, black racism is apparently one of the few growth industries we still have. I’m not just speaking about Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, who have all grown wealthy by promoting racial divide in America, but the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are so bigoted against whites they should wear black sheets to work. And then there’s Oprah Winfrey, who, I’ll remind you, was so deep in Obama’s pocket in 2008 that she wouldn’t even allow his equally left-wing opponent, Hillary Clinton, to appear on her show.

Can you imagine the outrage if a white TV talk show host let it be known that he would have presidential candidates on his show, but would draw the line when it came to Herman Cain, Condoleezza Rice and Ben Carson?

Or as one of my readers, Pat Miano, pointed out: “Why shouldn’t white people racially profile blacks as criminals? After all, they racially profile us as racists. At least we have objective statistics to back us up.”

However you may personally feel about the police, it takes a certain breed of moron to demonstrate in the streets carrying signs condemning the cops, especially when those signs were provided by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, under the auspices of Bob Avakian, a proud Maoist who traces his tawdry career back to the radical politics of the Bay area in the 1960s. Some people grow up over the course of half a century, others merely ferment.

As insipid as Communist rhetoric inevitably is, you still have to give the sign maker, revcom.us, its due, because at least its messages are all spelled correctly. On the other hand, when Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James and his teammates decided to show their solidarity with the creeps tying up traffic in the streets, their shirts read: “I Can’t Breath.”

I don’t know who it was that started the fad of black Americans adopting Muslim names, but isn’t it time they wised up? It’s bad enough if you were named Barack Hussein Obama by your parents, but guys like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had perfectly fine names, Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor, before they went screwy. But these days, they’ve been joined by the likes of Ismaayl Abdullah Muhammud, who shot and killed the two cops in New York, and Zaim Farouq Abdul, who attacked New York’s finest with a hatchet, two American blacks who decided to adopt Islamic names along with typical Islamic behavior.

Are these people so abysmally ignorant that they’re unaware of the essential role that Muslims played – and continue to play – in the African slave trade?

Speaking of ignoramuses, Democrats in Congress are always ready to campaign for a higher minimum wage, claiming that people can’t possibly live on it. Actually, people can. But they’d have a hard time trying to raise a family on $7.10-an-hour. On the other hand, it was never intended to apply to the heads of households. In fact, if it weren’t for all those illegal aliens, nobody would ever receive it, except for high school kids looking to augment their allowances.

What the self-righteous, vote-trolling Democrats, never want to discuss is the destruction ObamaCare has wreaked on middleclass salaries by forcing employers to cut the work week by nearly 30%, reducing the traditional 40 hours to a skimpy 29.

After it was finally determined that it was in fact Kim Jong-un who had hacked Sony’s computers, thus removing Pope Francis, Bugs Bunny and the Tooth Fairy from the original list of suspects, Barack Obama promised a “proportional response” to North Korea.

It once again raises the question of Obama’s testosterone level. At the same time it makes some of us wonder if he even knows what “proportional” means. Clearly, a person who swaps five Islamic terrorists for one Army deserter has a very vague grasp of its definition.

But, then, Obama also freed three convicted Cuban spies and provided the Castros with diplomatic recognition and a flood of hard currency in exchange for absolutely nothing. And let us not forget this is the same schmuck who has dedicated himself to releasing one Gitmo prisoner after another, not even slightly concerned that a third of them return to the battlefield to resume killing American soldiers and hacking the heads off civilians.

After six years, some people think Obama is inept. However, if you agree that he has achieved a good deal of his original intention, which, as he vowed in 2008, included the redistribution of America’s wealth, the destruction of the coal industry, changing the way that the world viewed us and the radical transformation of America — including its economy, its health care and race relations – I’d have to say he’s been pretty damn ept!

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at Noon Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@fastmail.com.




“On & Off The Radar” and “Paging Eric Holder”

When some people dismiss others as low information voters, they’re not always being fair. For instance, I heard from a lot of readers in 2012 complaining that Mitt Romney didn’t bring up Obama’s Benghazi cover-up in the debates, but I pointed out that because the mass media had done such a good job of ignoring the story that if Romney had mentioned Benghazi, most of the viewing audience would have assumed he was speaking in tongues.

I mainly knew about it because Fox News had done such a good job of covering the story. But being a successful cable station doesn’t compare to being a major network when it comes to the number of viewers. But as good as Fox is, I still wish it had competition from a cable station that didn’t waste our time with the likes of Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Bob Beckel and Mark Hannah. We would get plenty of divergent viewpoints if they concentrated solely on Republicans. Pitting Ted Cruz against John McCain or Rand Paul against Marco Rubio would be a great improvement over watching Juan Williams rolling his eyes in mock horror whenever Bret Baier, Steve Hayes or Charles Krauthammer, disagrees with one of his inane statements.

Although I get a lot of my news from Fox, I wish they had someone whose sole function is to follow up on things that have been lost in the wake of subsequent events. For instance, when Boko Haram kidnapped those 300 Nigerian school girls, I heard that Obama had sent a few hundred soldiers in to assist in the search, and then I heard nothing more about it. Are the soldiers still looking? Is anyone?

According to Gallup’s latest poll, Obama’s approval rating has soared to 47%. The theory is that a lot of people applauded his re-opening diplomatic relations with Cuba. Even if they disagree with me and Marco Rubio about that bit of executive action, how is it that millions of us have apparently decided after six years of ObamaCare and the Benghazi, Operation Fast & Furious, VA and IRS scandals that they no longer mattered?

Mark Twain once joked that he didn’t lie because he didn’t have a very good memory. It seems to me that Barack Obama lies because he doesn’t think we have very good memories, and the same goes for the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Josh Earnest and Jonathan Gruber. When nearly everything we say or do is recorded on video, you would think they would straighten out their acts, but, apparently, unless you watch Fox, you’d have no idea that these people lie, if for no other reason than to stay in practice.

But maybe Obama is wise to take our ignorance for granted. After all, even after drawing and then quickly erasing red lines with Russia and Syria, and allowing Iran to make a monkey out of him at the negotiating table, our Commander-in-chief has proven himself to be, in the words of my friend Steve Maikoski, the Great Capitulator.

In other news, we are told that Justin Bieber is worth $200 million. We have also heard that Oprah Winfrey is worth two billion and Warren Buffet is worth roughly 35 billion. I know it’s just a figure of speech, but I wish we would learn to just say these pinheads have an awful lot of money without suggesting they are worth a plugged nickel.

After dismissing the movie, “Whiplash,” as a waste of time, a friend let me know he planned to see it because he liked “drum music,” and I congratulated him on coming up with a new and unique oxymoron. But after sitting through 16 other DVDs provided by the studios, all seeking my vote in the WGA award competition, I am wondering why movies even pay editors. When the new releases average 150 minutes, it’s hard to imagine that any footage ends up on the cutting room floor. You would have thought editors had gone the way of those guys who used to provide dialogue titles for silent movies.

Speaking of movies, I can’t say I was disappointed with “Unbroken,” the story of Louis Zemperini, who first survived 47 days at sea after his plane was shot down during WWII and then, according to Laura Hillenbrand’s book, suffered daily beatings by a sadistic Japanese POW camp commander for two long years. It didn’t ring true in the book and didn’t in the movie.

It was hard enough to survive in Japanese captivity without having to endure constant torture and no medical attention. I even wrote to Ms. Hillenbrand asking if she had actually managed to confirm what she was told or had simply accepted what Zemperini said as gospel. After all, rumor has it that men, even those in their 90s, have been known to brag to women. So far, I haven’t heard back.

Because it’s been preying on my mind for years, I would like someone to explain why “Peanuts” has enjoyed such lasting success. I never thought it was a funny comic strip. Not funny or clever or thoughtful, and, what’s more, I thought Snoopy was a bore, even when he went up against the Red Baron. What have I been missing?

I once heard that the best definition of an optimist was a professional accordionist with a pager. But I have come to believe that Alan Jay Lerner, the lyricist and librettist best known for “Brigadoon,” “Gigi,” and “My Fair Lady,” should have his picture next to the word in the dictionary. This is a man who married for the first time when he was 21 years old. By the time he died 46 years later, at the age of 67, he had been married seven more times. What’s more, he was married for 43 of those years, meaning he averaged less than six months between getting a divorce and once again tying the knot. If that’s not optimism, I don’t know what it is. Well, maybe insanity.

Because some of my more concerned readers continue to ask how I am doing in the aftermath of the surgery on my hand and arm last January, I am happy to report that the rheumatoid arthritis is no longer plaguing me.

However, I did suffer an attack of the gout recently. My only prior experience with the condition was seeing old Laurel and Hardy or Charley Chase comedies in which men suffering from the gout would be shown with his inflamed foot wrapped in a Turkish towel. But in spite of the towel, someone was sure to step on his aching foot or slam a car door on it.

I thought it was very amusing until I was the guy who felt like he had a pin cushion sewn up in his big right toe. I never assumed I would have anything more in common with King Henry VIII than the fact we had both been married more than a couple of times — though not as often as Alan Jay Lerner — our occasional disagreements with the pope and our roguish little beards. Too bad it couldn’t have stayed that way.

Believe me, the gout is no joke. The joke is that it’s commonly referred to as the rich man’s disease and somehow I got it!


Paging Eric Holder

If the cops are as racist as the idiots in the streets keep claiming, why is it we never see Asians or black immigrants from the Caribbean rioting and complaining about police brutality? With all the people of color residing in America, why is it always and only native-born blacks who take to the streets complaining of mistreatment? Could it possibly have anything to do with the violent crime rate and the lack of parental discipline found in their community that leads to so many unpleasant interactions between the police and young black thugs?

Furthermore, if things are as oppressive as they claim, why do we never see a mass migration to Canada or Mexico? The only blacks we ever see leaving the U.S. are those like convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard, who leave, seeking asylum in Cuba.

Every other group that has ever faced hardship and persecution has crossed oceans, if necessary, to seek a better and safer life. Mainly they’ve come to America, long a magnet for the world’s outcasts. Only blacks see this country as a loathsome place – a place like czarist Russia, Nazi Germany, Iran, Cuba and China — a snake pit to run from, and yet they never run. I find that very odd when you realize they could easily find refuge just across the border.

Could it be that even they know that their claims are bullshit, and that they simply enjoy getting to live off the labor of others, while still having the gall to gripe about it?

Eric Holder called white people cowards who were scared to have an honest conversation about race in America. Ready when you are, Attorney General Holder.

In America, black racism is apparently one of the few growth industries we still have. I’m not just speaking about Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton, who have all grown wealthy by promoting racial divide in America, but the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who are so bigoted against whites they should wear black sheets to work. And then there’s Oprah Winfrey, who, I’ll remind you, was so deep in Obama’s pocket in 2008 that she wouldn’t even allow his equally left-wing opponent, Hillary Clinton, to appear on her show.

Can you imagine the outrage if a white TV talk show host let it be known that he would have presidential candidates on his show, but would draw the line when it came to Herman Cain, Condoleezza Rice and Ben Carson?

Or as one of my readers, Pat Miano, pointed out: “Why shouldn’t white people racially profile blacks as criminals? After all, they racially profile us as racists. At least we have objective statistics to back us up.”

However you may personally feel about the police, it takes a certain breed of moron to demonstrate in the streets carrying signs condemning the cops, especially when those signs were provided by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, under the auspices of Bob Avakian, a proud Maoist who traces his tawdry career back to the radical politics of the Bay area in the 1960s. Some people grow up over the course of half a century, others merely ferment.

As insipid as Communist rhetoric inevitably is, you still have to give the sign maker, revcom.us, its due, because at least its messages are all spelled correctly. On the other hand, when Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James and his teammates decided to show their solidarity with the creeps tying up traffic in the streets, their shirts read: “I Can’t Breath.”

I don’t know who it was that started the fad of black Americans adopting Muslim names, but isn’t it time they wised up? It’s bad enough if you were named Barack Hussein Obama by your parents, but guys like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had perfectly fine names, Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor, before they went screwy. But these days, they’ve been joined by the likes of Ismaayl Abdullah Muhammud, who shot and killed the two cops in New York, and Zaim Farouq Abdul, who attacked New York’s finest with a hatchet, two American blacks who decided to adopt Islamic names along with typical Islamic behavior.

Are these people so abysmally ignorant that they’re unaware of the essential role that Muslims played – and continue to play – in the African slave trade?

Speaking of ignoramuses, Democrats in Congress are always ready to campaign for a higher minimum wage, claiming that people can’t possibly live on it. Actually, people can. But they’d have a hard time trying to raise a family on $7.10-an-hour. On the other hand, it was never intended to apply to the heads of households. In fact, if it weren’t for all those illegal aliens, nobody would ever receive it, except for high school kids looking to augment their allowances.

What the self-righteous, vote-trolling Democrats, never want to discuss is the destruction ObamaCare has wreaked on middleclass salaries by forcing employers to cut the work week by nearly 30%, reducing the traditional 40 hours to a skimpy 29.

After it was finally determined that it was in fact Kim Jong-un who had hacked Sony’s computers, thus removing Pope Francis, Bugs Bunny and the Tooth Fairy from the original list of suspects, Barack Obama promised a “proportional response” to North Korea.

It once again raises the question of Obama’s testosterone level. At the same time it makes some of us wonder if he even knows what “proportional” means. Clearly, a person who swaps five Islamic terrorists for one Army deserter has a very vague grasp of its definition.

But, then, Obama also freed three convicted Cuban spies and provided the Castros with diplomatic recognition and a flood of hard currency in exchange for absolutely nothing. And let us not forget this is the same schmuck who has dedicated himself to releasing one Gitmo prisoner after another, not even slightly concerned that a third of them return to the battlefield to resume killing American soldiers and hacking the heads off civilians.

After six years, some people think Obama is inept. However, if you agree that he has achieved a good deal of his original intention, which, as he vowed in 2008, included the redistribution of America’s wealth, the destruction of the coal industry, changing the way that the world viewed us and the radical transformation of America — including its economy, its health care and race relations – I’d have to say he’s been pretty damn ept!

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at Noon Pacific Time.
Tune in at K4HD.com His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@fastmail.com.




“You Call This Torture?” and “Cruz Control”

Some people have been wondering about the timing of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s release of her committee’s report condemning the CIA’s interrogation of Islamic terrorists. After all, the practice of waterboarding had ceased several years ago, so why bring it out when one knew it would lead to the U.N. condemning the practice and insisting that those who took part be indicted and tried by the World Court? They also had to know that it would endanger the lives of our spies around the world.

There is nothing odd about the timing. One, the Democrats had to release it before the end of the year when the GOP would take control of the Senate, and relegate the report along with Mrs. Feinstein to the nearest dustbin. But, two, and even more essential to the Democrats, was that it be released on the very same day that Jonathan (“The American people are stupid and had to be conned into supporting ObamaCare”) Gruber would be testifying before a Republican-controlled House committee.

Anyone who believes that was just a coincidence must also believe that it was coincidental that Clinton ordered the bombing of a benign Sudanese pharmaceutical plant in the midst of the Lewinsky scandal. You can carve it in stone that there is no such thing as a coincidence in Washington.

As for the report itself, I would like to point out that our constitutional rights and protections do not apply to our enemies and even the Geneva Conventions don’t protect illegal combatants, aka terrorists. As for those who keep hollering about the Conventions, the fact is that they were first drawn up in order to guarantee for both sides that one’s captured soldiers would be treated humanely by their captors. However, in the case of Islamic terrorists, one, they are not signatories to the Conventions; and, two, they not only don’t have POW camps, but they torture and murder those, including civilians, who suffer the misfortune of falling into their hands.

In short, the Conventions were never intended to be a suicide pact.

Furthermore, while I don’t happen to believe that most Americans are blood-thirsty, even if our legitimate motive hadn’t been to extract information from those villains who were waterboarded or deprived of sleep, I doubt if many of us would have minded their being gnawed on by rats. That would especially have been the case with the memory of 9/11 and of innocent people leaping from the roofs of the Twin Towers to escape the flames fresh in our minds.

I know it’s not entirely fair to just pick on Feinstein and her liberal cohorts. After all, John McCain has long been a loud critic of enhanced interrogation techniques, and because he was a POW during the Vietnam War, he is believed to hold the high moral ground on this issue. Unfortunately, Sen. McCain has never seemed capable of differentiating between the Vietcong torturing Americans for the hell of it and the CIA torturing jihadists in order to extract information that could prevent a repeat of 9/11 or lead to the extermination of Osama bin Laden.

I realize that Fox pundit George Will happens to agree with Sen. McCain, but that’s because he believes that whereas others merely rent the moral high ground, he holds the actual deed.

When it comes to Sen. Feinstein, whom I have heard even some conservatives describe as a non-partisan grown-up in the Senate, I have to question the integrity and even the patriotism of someone who thinks it’s essential to rehash events from long ago that serve no other purpose than to give America a black eye and endanger those currently trying to protect the homeland.

On top of that, the self-righteous senator has managed to ignore every scandal connected to Obama, ranging from Operation Fast & Furious, through the Benghazi massacre, the IRS targeting of conservatives, the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s bias against Israel and his promoting the alleged rights of illegal aliens while ignoring those of American taxpayers.

At the very least, you would think that a U.S. senator would object to a president who, for all his denials of having the power and authority of an emperor, has chosen to ignore the separation of powers enumerated in the Constitution that both he and Mrs. Feinstein have sworn to defend. In addition, he has made it a practice to lie to the American people and has turned Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney and now Josh Earnest into real life Pinocchios to fabricate on his behalf whenever he had a round of golf to play, a fund-raiser to attend or simply wasn’t in the mood to face the press and do his own lying.

In other news, I wasn’t even slightly surprised that Harvard, Columbia and Georgetown, law schools have all agreed to allow students who claim to have been traumatized by the grand jury decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island to postpone taking their exams, knowing that college administrators have the spines of jellyfish.

Still, can you imagine how these self-indulgent young milksops will react when a few years down the road a judge or jury rules against them? Will they burst into tears, faint dead away, take to their beds with a case of the vapors or merely insist on a re-trial?

Finally, the way Bowe Bergdahl has disappeared from the radar, in spite of his news-worthy exchange for five high-ranking jihadists, you might think he had been aboard Malaysian Airline flight 370.

Is it any wonder that Obama has come to believe he can get away with absolutely anything when even the newshawks at Fox never ask about the Army’s alleged investigation of Bergdahl’s desertion?

In my opinion, it isn’t only members of the military who should stand trial for dereliction of duty.


Cruz Control

I know that for a lot of my readers what I’m about to say is sheer blasphemy, but I wish that Ted Cruz would stop seeking the spotlight. More and more he reminds me of a creature from a sci-fi movie, but instead of turning into a giant fly, Cruz morphs into a giant moth. The only difference is that in his case, it’s a TV camera not a flame that serves as the object of his obsession.

I realize that for a great many conservatives, Cruz represents their ideal, but that’s because they place a premium on symbolic gestures, no matter how futile they happen to be. In fact, they celebrate that very futility because they believe it confirms the senator’s purity of purpose. I, on the other hand, who am every bit as conservative as Cruz, believe that politics should be rooted in reality and that before setting out on a crusade, one should not only have a specific and achievable goal in mind, but should be aware that failure often comes at a very steep price.

In Sen. Cruz, I see a man possessed of such naked ambition that his primary goal is self-promotion. I don’t happen to care for showboats in any field. I never liked football players who pranced around after sacking the quarterback or spiked the ball after scoring a touchdown. I never liked Barry Bonds or any other baseball player who stood in the batter’s box watching in awe as his home run cleared the wall. In short, I admire professionals who get the job done with a minimum of fuss and self-aggrandizement.

Cruz, on the other hand, seems interested in maximizing the fuss even if it accomplishes nothing more than garnering him TV exposure. In 2013, his prominent role in closing down the government achieved nothing except that it helped the Democrat, Terry McAuliffe, win the gubernatorial election in Virginia.

This year, Cruz was at it again. This time, his pigheadedness allowed Harry Reid to get liberal zealots Sarah Saldana appointed to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Tony Blinken to be the new deputy secretary of state. In addition, Cruz provided Reid with the opportunity to appoint a number of left-wing judges to the federal bench and saddled us with a surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, an anti-gun zealot who believes that the Second Amendment is the single greatest threat to the health of Americans.

Ted Cruz is an egotist who subscribes to the loony notion that whatever furthers his personal agenda is what’s best for the nation. It’s a psychosis he happens to share with Barack Obama.

I understand that some of my readers regard it as traitorous when I attack Republican politicians, whether it’s a conservative like Ted Cruz or an idiot like John McCain. I happen to believe that if you can’t write honestly about those in your own party, nobody should trust you when you write about your political opponents. On the other hand, I happen to sympathize with all of them, Republicans and Democrats alike. I mean, imagine if your employment depended entirely on really dumb people deciding every two, four or six years, if you get to keep your job. It’s no wonder that most of them wind up as crazy as poodles.

Recently, I was reading about painters and it got me thinking about the astronomical prices that some paintings fetch. It doesn’t bother me that some people can afford to pay $75 million for a single work of art any more than it bothers me that some people own their own jet planes or own mansions on three or four different continents. I readily admit that there are some very wealthy people I despise — people such as George Soros, Ted Turner, Tom Steyer and Warren Buffet — but it’s not their bank balance I resent, but the issues and individuals they choose to promote with their money.

I understand that the cost of most things is determined by the price people are willing to pay for them. It’s just that while I understand why mansions and jet planes cost a fortune, I’m at a loss when it comes to paintings.

After all, the paint, frame, canvas and varnish, are not very expensive, so that doesn’t explain it. And unlike sculpting, which requires intensive labor, painting is so easy, it can easily be done while sitting in a chair.

One painting can’t cost more than another because of its rarity because even an amateur’s work is unique. Also, most paintings aren’t even what you would call aesthetically beautiful. And what’s more, even the greatest forgery, no matter how faithfully rendered, is essentially worthless once it’s found out. In a way, that’s something of a shame. After all, whereas the original painter merely used the materials at hand, the forger is required to duplicate it centuries later, while disguising the fact that his own work only dates back to last Thursday.

So what is it that makes some paintings – paintings such as Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy” or Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” — worth tens of millions?

All I can come up with is that they’re famous. In a sense, they’re the equivalent of our own celebrities, people like Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber and people named Kardashian, who are famous for no other or better reason than that they’re famous.

In a logical world, or so it seems to me, a painting of a bowl of fruit would be worth far less than an actual bowl of fruit because you can’t eat a painted banana.

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©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@fastmail.com.