Don’t Wanna Go Back to the City by the Bay

It is always a great source of pride & joy in my life whenever I think back to the trip my wife & I took to San Francisco for our honeymoon ten years ago. It’s not just the fact we were on our honeymoon, and not just the fact we picked San Francisco. What makes me especially proud & joyful is the fact it was ten years ago, long before the place finally decided there was no point in continuing to resist the left’s relentless back-alley assault on its livability.

That was the good old days, a time when the homelessness problem was relatively manageable. A time when the worst littering you’d find on a given city block was maybe a crumpled receipt or candy wrapper; now it’s packed with more needles than the sum total in my grandmother’s pincushion and all the men’s dress shirts stocked at Walmart. A time when a good old fashioned stroll was uncomplicatedly neat; now people who leave one place on foot, with the goal of ending up at another place, have to engage in all sorts of dodging & weaving if their goal involves a lack of human feces on their shoes. A time when residents and visitors alike could avoid the stench of urine by regularly flushing their toilets and holding their breath during the Alcatraz tour. Before you know it the public at large will be sporting Aqualungs & navigating sidewalks on Segways modified for off-roading.

I gotta admit this puzzles me. Whoever heard of a major American city becoming less & less pleasant after years of being run by fiscally ignorant people whose entire skill set consists of obnoxious grandstanding & sucking money from others like a Kirby? Dammit, everyone knows that the instant fix for people who have fallen on hard times is listening to Democrat politicians endlessly upchuck shallow rhetoric & false promises! I mean, who among us hasn’t seen a typical street in Detroit’s inner city & mistaken it for Wisteria Lane?

Now that San Fran has turned into a giant diaper with streetcars, the things that annoyed this often overly-demanding dude a decade ago seem so trivial.

It had been barely 24 hours after my beautiful bride & I arrived when I remarked that anyone determined to become a multimillionaire overnight in that town need only open up a brake shop. Sure, I’d heard numerous stories about how steep the roads were. I’d seen plenty of neighborhood photos. I had the car chase scene from Bullitt gloriously etched in my brain. Then I spent an hour or so driving our rental car up & down those paved alp-wannabes, & concluded two things: A) the people who decided to settle there a couple of centuries ago were a bunch of drunk masochists with a geometry-fetish, and B) this place could make a carpenter’s level explode.

We stayed in the Marina District, and the parking in that part of town was so awful, it reminded us of the parking in every other part of town. The few dozen spaces closest to our hotel were small. Really small. I’m talking Alan Ladd plush doll accidentally shrunk in the wash small. Most of the time the closest we left our rental–which nobody would’ve mistaken for a Lincoln Navigator stretch limo mind you–was at least a 15-minute walk away. If it weren’t for the fact I was a right-winger with a sedan and plantar fasciitis, I would’ve felt right at home.

On one of our feet-commutes we came across a house for sale, and took a moment to check it out. If memory serves it was a two-bedroom (or a one-bedroom + den)/one bath condo, and, apparently keeping with the whole parking theme, a wicked-tiny one. The hallway was just wide enough for me to traverse it without my love handles touching the sides, and the kitchen was just wide enough for the oven door to be opened all the way. Unfortunately for whomever ended up buying the property, I’m not kidding about the kitchen.

Oh, I almost forgot–the listed price, which I assume reflected the local walkways not being a minefield of diseased human waste, was around $750,000.00. If it weren’t for the fact I wasn’t a tycoon with dwarfism who hated to cook, I would’ve felt right at home.

I believe it was on our first walk along one of the many fancy side streets, those rows of bookstores, bistros and boutiques not yet regulated into bankruptcy, where I got one of the biggest reality checks of my political life. It was in a corner souvenir shop, the type where unsophisticated tourists like your truly go to overpay for refrigerator magnets with rough sketches of the Golden Gate Bridge. There it was, a few feet or so from the cash register, floating in a sea of Cal Berkeley and Grateful Dead memorabilia: a rack stocked with Obama family t-shirts in all sizes. Including children’s. Barack wouldn’t be elected for a few months, and nobody knew whether he’d be the next Harry Truman or Woodrow Wilson, yet there he was, poised with Michelle and the girls, sharing the same pop-culture pedestal as Jerry Garcia.

To this day I’m convinced the late singer/songwriter/guitarist, who was an American icon even before his passing in 1995, didn’t end up so because of his musical talents. It’s because a sufficient number of people, whose daily diet regimen included assorted hallucinogens, were higher than the Coit Tower whenever they heard him play. That said, it was still decades of hard work that got Garcia to the top, and at least it wasn’t beneath the dignity of his job to be pictured on those garments.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to seeking out investors for my upcoming business venture: Jeff’s Brake Repair and Vacation Gas Mask & Off-Road Segway Rental.

Relax Liberals: The Third Reich Isn’t Coming (Back)

Perhaps you’ve noticed that some of the most illiberal people in America these days … are liberals.

Liberals are the ones who pride themselves on being open-minded. But who are the ones on college campuses stifling speech they don’t like? It’s not conservative students. In 1944, college aged men were storming the beach at Normandy. Today, more than a few liberal cupcakes on campus are demanding “safe spaces” and “cry rooms” to protect them from the bogeyman who we just elected president, and more broadly from any scary idea that doesn’t conform to their own.

And hasn’t it been liberals who say they don’t want to be lectured about morality, especially if it’s by a bunch of smug conservatives? But it was smug liberals who rudely lectured the vice-president elect from a Broadway stage recently about how he and Donald Trump should behave when they take office.

And it was liberals who warned us that undemocratic right-wingers would never accept the election results if Trump lost. But it’s undemocratic left-wingers who took to the streets to protest Trump’s election, sometimes violently. And it’s desperate liberals who are trying to overturn the election results by demanding useless recounts in several states Trump won. And it’s liberals who are playing with fire, trying to convince Electoral College electors to reject Trump even if that’s who voters in their states picked –and vote for Hillary instead; anything, including reported death threats against electors, to deny him the presidency.

Liberals claim to abhor anything even vaguely resembling a violation of human rights. But it’s liberals this week – not all, of course, but more than a few prominent ones – who are shedding tears over the death of that great man, Fidel Castro, who like all dictators didn’t tolerate freedom of speech or the press, whose autocratic regime wouldn’t allow even peaceful protests, who tortured and murdered many of those who wouldn’t fall into line. “In many ways, after 1959 [when Castro took power], the oppressed the world over joined Castro’s cause of fighting for freedom and liberation—he changed the world, RIP.” Thank you, Jesse Jackson.

At least that wasn’t as bad as the liberal prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, who said he had “deep sorrow” for “the loss of this remarkable leader …who served his people for almost half a century.”

The real problem with liberal elites is that they don’t think America is good enough – for them. I recently spoke to a liberal news reporter who, I got the impression, couldn’t so much as conceive of the idea that millions of good, decent people voted for Donald Trump. This journalist wanted to talk about all the bigots Trump had in his corner.

He certainly had some, I acknowledged, but I wanted to know what percentage of Trump’s vote did he think came from “deplorables’ – was it more or less than Hillary Clinton’s 50 percent? He wouldn’t commit to a number, but I got the impression it was more – a lot more.

He was also appalled that Trump supporters wanted the president-elect to fulfill his campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border. I told him the reason was both simple and benign: They were against illegal immigrants sneaking into this country. He had a different theory: Trump supporters didn’t want people here who don’t look (white) like them.

It’s interesting that liberals are the ones who tell us they care about the little guy. But a lot of little guys in Ohio and Pennsylvania and Michigan chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Don’t those little guys count as far as the sophisticated liberal elite is concerned?

The problem is that too many liberals have forgotten how to be liberal, the essence of which is to keep an open mind, to consider what the other side is saying before you cavalierly label them as bigots.

Instead, they’re too busy warning us that the Third Reich is coming.

William F. Buckley got it right most of the time, including the time he said that, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

A little humility wouldn’t hurt right about now. I was never a fan of Donald J. Trump (or Hillary Clinton), but I’m willing to see what kind of president he will be. Illiberal liberals might want to take a break from their non-stop disgust with the president-elect, with their holier-than-thou umbrage that never seems to end – and instead close their mouths and open their ears, and try to understand why he won, without conveniently blaming it on their horrible racist, sexist, xenophobic fellow Americans.

Liberal, Just Another Word for Stupid

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself how it is that so many of my fellow Americans can actually go out and vote for people as ignorant as Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer and Hank Johnson. Rep. Johnson, in case he’s slipped your mind, is the Democrat representing Georgia’s 4th congressional district, whose claim to fame is that during a House Armed Services Committee hearing, he asked Admiral Robert Willard if he shared the congressman’s concern that adding 8,000 servicemen and their families to the 175,000 civilians on the island could cause Guam to tip over and capsize.

The truth is, even if you ignore their politics, it would be hard to imagine any group of people in which this trio would not stand out by reason of their ignorance.

But just as often, I’ve found myself wondering why Fox keeps offering up the likes of Juan Williams, Leslie Marshall, Geraldo Rivera, Alan Colmes, Marc Lamont Hill and Bob Beckel. I sit at home listening to these donkeys braying the same predictable talking points to each and every question, and I find myself dismissing Fox’s claims to being fair and balanced. If that’s their intention, I say to myself, why is it they never invite some intelligent people on to present the liberal side of issues?

Then it struck me. There is no intelligent argument that can be made for liberalism. All any of them can do is parrot the same insipid sound bites dreamed up by the likes of Barack Obama, James Carville, David Axelrod, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and regurgitated ad nauseam by Jay Carney.

There is a very good reason why there’s nobody on the Left who is comparable to Charles Krauthammer, Mark Levin, Thomas Sowell, Brit Hume, Ann Coulter, Dennis Prager, Walter Williams, Mark Steyn, Steve Hayes, Bernie Goldberg, Harry Stein, Michael Medved, Mark Alexander, Bret Baier, Michelle Malkin and Lou Dobbs. The reason is that liberals never think for themselves. Aside from plotting how to game the system in order to steal elections, none of them ever has an original thought. Even questioning Barack Obama is regarded as an act of heresy.

What’s more, I can prove it. Every liberal in public life has called for abolishing the Second Amendment. Now why is that? I happen to know a number of liberals who own guns. What’s more, rich liberals who don’t own guns have security people on their payroll who carry them. Even anti-gun advocate Sen. Dianne Feinstein was once found to be packing a heater in her purse, and yet, with a single voice, liberals squeal for the abolition of all firearms. The only reason for all this hypocrisy is because some influential liberal along the way decided it was a divisive issue which could be used as a wedge between them and the rest of us.

How else could a Chicago punk at a San Francisco fundraiser be so certain that he would derive laughter, applause and huge campaign donations, from a bunch of limp-wristed fat cats by demeaning his betters as “those who cling to their guns and their religion”? For good measure, he was well-guarded at the event by a squad of Secret Service agents armed to the teeth.

If you still question my statement that liberalism is synonymous with stupidity, imagine a TV network whose intellectual heavyweights are Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton, or a now defunct radio network that headlined Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, whose combined IQ would have to climb a stepladder and then stand on its tippy toes in order to reach triple digits.

The truth of the matter is that if liberals were as smart as they claim, they’d be conservatives.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write!

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Racial Condescension from the Left

I like Herman Cain. I respect his achievements in the business world and I enjoy listening to him in interviews and debates. He’s an unapologetic conservative who speaks proudly of the American dream, and he comes across as an all around nice guy.

As a conservative, I know I’m not alone in that assessment. In fact, I’d say it’s probably the consensus among us.

According to actress Janeane Garofalo, however, there’s a much different explanation of conservatives’ affection for Cain. She has concluded that they like him because he’s useful in concealing their racism.

Garofalo recently made this declaration on Keith Olbermann’s television show (yes, he still has one), stating, “Herman Cain is probably well liked by some of the Republicans because it hides the racist elements of the Republican party… Herman Cain provides this great opportunity so you can say ‘Look, this is not a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-female, anti-gay movement. Look we have a black man.'”

How interesting that for the last three years, progressives (including Garofalo) have routinely touted the claim that conservatives who oppose Obama are racist. Now, the same people are telling us that conservatives who support Cain are… well, racist.

Now while I understand that analyzing the bizarre comments that routinely come out of Garofalo’s mouth isn’t all that productive, there is a purpose in doing so this time. Her remarks serve as a good case study for the racial condescension that is prevalent within the progressive ideology.

Here’s a key question: Why is it so painfully hard for Garofalo to believe that a prestigious black leader like Herman Cain could have actually earned his support? For that matter, why is it so hard for her to believe that Barack Obama could have earned his criticism? Sure, there’s a partisan element to it. Garofalo admittedly hates conservatives and takes every opportunity to bash them, but her implication of racism is what is particularly revealing.

As many might recall, Garofalo was actually the first public figure to levee charges of racism against the Tea Party, back in 2009. Unlike many who have continued her narrative, I believe Garofalo actually believes what she said. She’s not alone.

The reason is that many white liberals absolutely believe that black people in this country (even the highest achievers in our society) can’t stand on their own merits. Their viewpoint stems from white guilt over the racial atrocities committed by their ancestors, and a well-meaning sense of duty to right past wrongs. White guilt is certainly not exclusive to liberals. I’d say a large percentage of white Americans, including myself, have felt it at times in their lives. But the real problem is that the strain of 21st century liberalism that Garofalo comes from believes that there is nobility in identifying black Americans as victims rather than as equals. Sure, they’ll never say that outright, but their actions speak for them.

In Obama’s case, people like Garofalo view him as a helpless victim of white conservatives who resent him for no other reason than the color of his skin. In Cain’s case, they view him as a hapless victim who is too naive to understand that he’s being used as a prop by white conservatives.

To me, those positions are pathetically condescending to both men and to the African American community. Garofalo is essentially attributing their relevance to our political discourse along the lines of their race and not their individuality.

Obama and Cain have both achieved great things in their lives. They have worked harder than many of us to get there. They are not defined by their race as none of us should be. Whether you agree with their politics or not, they’re both American success stories who don’t deserve to be continually insulted and used by people like Garofalo who are obsessed with filtering critiques of individual African Americans through the prism of racism.

The condescension needs to be called out and stopped by those who actually believe in racial equality.