Inevitable Consequences

One of my favorite God stories involves the guy named Harry who sought shelter on the roof of his house during a flood. When a fellow with a boat rowed by and offered to take him to higher ground, Harry turned him down, explaining that God would provide. His response was the same to the next two guys who rowed by. He was still perched on his roof when nightfall came and the storm resumed. When he woke up, drenched, in Heaven, he asked God why He had failed to rescue him. God said, “What are you talking about? I sent three boats.”

I think the story works better if God refers to Harry as a darn fool, but I wouldn’t want to offend anyone who thinks God shouldn’t say “darn.”

What put me in mind of that story is the recent strike called by fast food workers who are convinced their pay should be doubled to $15-an-hour by Wendy’s, McDonald’s and the other fast food chains I read one interview after another of the strikers who not only never attended college or a trade school, but dropped out of high school because they were lazy, stupid or pregnant. But now they have two or three kids at home, and they feel oppressed by a capitalist society that’s telling them in no uncertain terms that they have no marketable skills.

I’m sure there are people who feel sorry for them. I don’t. I feel sorry for their children, although I have reason to suspect they’re going to be the muggers, car thieves, rapists and killers, of tomorrow.

The people I really feel sorry for are those who are doing all the right things having to help support those who have made sure they will never be any higher on the food chain than when they’re asking if you want fries with your burger.

Raising the minimum wage inevitably leads to increased unemployment for unskilled workers. But liberal politicians are always pushing for it because they know that the typical liberal voter will see it as an act of compassion, ignoring the fact it’s downright criminal to promote the lie that a minimum wage was ever intended to be a living wage.

Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, like every other war we’ve waged since 1945, has been an unmitigated disaster. We fought poverty, and poverty won. His welfare policy singlehandedly destroyed the black family, giving black men the impetus to leave their women and children to fend for themselves. It’s a shame that Johnson didn’t wage the war in Vietnam with the same vigor and success.

I have often wondered where Obama finds all the dunderheads to fill leadership roles in his administration. Is there a factory in Duluth that turns out people like Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who recently opened an address by looking out over the audience and saying: “I hope there are no climate change deniers here.” Naturally, there were none. Just as there is never a single person in any group that Obama addresses who’s opposed to the Affordable Care Act.

I’m still hearing from people who are taking me to task over my defense of the NSA. What people fail to grasp is that I understand that the agency has the potential to behave badly. What I am waiting for is proof that they have. I simply don’t understand why anyone believes that a program to collect the phone numbers of Americans who are receiving calls from Yemen or Iran is cause for alarm. I understand that for some reason people are terrified that their numbers are also being collected. It just seems reasonable that when you’re panning for gold, you’re inevitably going to have to wash away a lot of unnecessary sand and grit.

It would also help me if I had a handle on what these people are worried the government will find out about them. But of course if they don’t want the NSA to know, they sure don’t want to tell me. Everyone knows I can’t keep a secret.

But what I find truly confounding is that while these people are very open about wanting the NSA shut down, they don’t say anything about shutting down the Pentagon. Compared to the NSA, the Army has been a virtual cesspool.

After all, it wasn’t the NSA that chose to ignore the fact that Major Nidal Hasan was doing everything short of petitioning the federal government to make Osama bin Laden’s birthday a national holiday. The Army not only didn’t throw his jihadist ass in the brig before he had a chance to murder and maim dozens of his fellow soldiers, they kept promoting him!

As if that’s not bad enough, they not only welcomed Bradley Manning into the U.S. Army in spite of the fact that he was a homosexual dying to be turned into a woman — and just how crazy is that? – but they gave him, a mere private, access to a ton of classified information.

So it seems to me that while you’re all waiting for the NSA to show us a smoking gun, you should be demanding a full investigation of the apple-polishing, medal-wearing, political hacks in the military who are obviously more concerned with job security than national security.

And, finally, just in case I haven’t mentioned it before, it strikes me that hockey is soccer on ice skates.

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




You Don’t Like It, Don’t Eat It

mcdonalds-restaurant-outsideI thought we heard enough from the food police disguised as the First Lady and the Mayor of NYC.  Well, I was wrong.  We now have a 9-year old “scolding” the CEO of McDonald’s for not wanting kids to be healthy so they can live long and happy lives.

Yes, Hannah Robertson, whose mother is Kia Robertson, member of the advocacy group, Corporate Accountability International, attended a shareholders’ meeting of McDonald’s and told Don Thompson, “Something that I don’t think is fair is when big companies try to trick kids into eating food that isn’t good for them by using toys and cartoon characters…. It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.”

I don’t get this story on so many levels.

First of all, I believe this 9-year old child was used by her mother for her own ideological views and I hate it when parents do this. I guarantee if the child spoke on behalf of the Tea Party, her mother would be blasted by the liberal press and audited by the IRS.

The last time I looked, we had child labor laws in this country so 9-year old children are not forced to work and earn their own money to buy their own food.  Parents still control the purse strings and if a parent doesn’t want his or her child eating food at McDonald’s, it’s up to the parent to make those decisions, not the child.  Period.

This nonsense reminds me of the story about Park Slope (Brooklyn) parents who backed a ban on ice-cream trucks in Prospect Park in order to avoid screaming kids.  How pathetic is that?  Parents didn’t want to suffer through their child’s meltdown when an ice cream/Italian ice push cart came by in the park.  One stupid woman had the audacity to say, “I should not have to fight with my children every warm day on the playground just so someone can make a living!”  She’ll be in for a rude awakening when her children hit puberty.

Next, we’re talking about capitalism and advertising.  I see ads on television for a thousand different items every year.  That’s the beauty of capitalism and advertising.  It doesn’t mean I go out and buy those thousand items.  In the case of children, again, it’s up to the parents to control what they buy for their children, be it food, clothing, toys, or anything else.  If you don’t want your child to eat hamburgers, then don’t buy them hamburgers.  If you succumb to your child’s every wish or whim that you believe isn’t good for them out of fear of a tantrum, then you’re a lousy parent.

I fondly remember eating Cracker Jacks, a combination of molasses, popcorn and peanuts, as a child and the whole point was to get to the toy inside.  I don’t ever remember anyone complaining to the Cracker Jacks Company that it shouldn’t tempt children with toys by hiding them in a sugary treat.  But, back then, we weren’t numbly sitting around in front of the television or computer screen or playing games on a hand-held machine.  We were actually outside playing and burning off all those delicious calories.

When I was a kid, I ate what was put in front of me, not because there were starving children in China (my parents never said anything like it), but because my parents were the boss of me.  I guess, nowadays, a child is the boss of their parents.

Finally, young Miss Thompson and her mother should be aware of the millions of dollars donated by McDonald’s every year and especially the good works done by the Ronald McDonald Houses.  They’re obviously unaware of the 322 houses in 52 countries which provide a place to stay for families with hospitalized children who are receiving treatment.  The estimated value to these families is $257 million.  There are currently 43 Care Mobiles that offer affordable health care to more than 100,000 children in their own neighborhoods which saves families about $10 million in medical and dental costs each year.  Apparently, this doesn’t mean much to them.

If you don’t want your children eating at McDonald’s, don’t take them there.  End of story.

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