Victimless Crimes

It’s been called to my attention by a few readers – a little too gleefully in a couple of cases – that I goofed when I recently passed along the news that Barack Obama had opened up gas stations in certain urban enclaves that, thanks to a little known section of the Affordable Care Act, were offering free gas to poor people.

Apparently it was part of a satirical piece that had been posted on the Internet and red-flagged by Snopes. Okay, mea culpa. I wish I hadn’t spread misinformation. In my defense, I can only say that it certainly sounded like a stunt that Obama would pull off in order to rev up his base in preparation for the 2014 elections. Besides, as we all know, my mistake today could easily be an Obama brainstorm tomorrow.

In fact, when you take a close look at Obama’s policies, they’re reminiscent of that old folk song, “The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Although in its earliest version, it was a raunchy song about a hobo’s raunchy life, the words were cleaned up and turned into a song for children, filled with lyrics about birthdays that occur every week and every day being Christmas, where you never have to clean your room or put away your toys.

You have to admit that it could serve as Obama’s theme song, crooned, as only he can, to childish college students, single women, illegal aliens and blacks.

When some people – nearly always liberals – dismiss burglary, shoplifting and embezzlement, as minor offenses simply because they don’t involve physical violence, I dismiss them as knuckleheads. After all, if some lout steals your $400 TV set and you earn, say, $20-an-hour, he’s essentially made you his slave for 20 hours. And before anyone mentions insurance compensating you for your loss, even on Obama’s Rock Candy Mountain, that insurance isn’t free and there are no federal subsidies.

So perhaps nobody will ever make a movie called “20 Hours a Slave,” but I also don’t think anyone is about to dismiss slavery as a minor offense.

Being a weak and incompetent executive, Obama naturally surrounds himself with the likes of Joe Biden, Eric Holder, Chuck Hagel, Katherine Sebelius and, of course, the only nincompoop capable of replacing Hillary (“What difference does it make?”) Clinton, John Kerry, who somehow manages to simultaneously resemble both ends of a horse.

Recently, while laying down the law to Vladimir Putin, Kerry had this to say about sanctions: “None of what we’re saying is meant as a threat, not meant in a personal way.” What he neglected to say was “Please don’t hurt me. I had to say something about sanctions, but believe me, I had my fingers crossed,” but that’s what I heard and it’s certainly what Putin heard.

Speaking of Putin, I have to admit I thought Rand Paul was every bit as loony as his old man. But that’s easier said than done, as proven when Ron Paul said that Crimea should be able to break away and join Russia. “That is how our country was started. It was the right of self-determination, and voting, and asking and even fighting for it, and seceding.”

Okay, the syntax lacks a certain something – something like coherence – but I think we all got the gist of it. Not content to give every English major in America a migraine, he went on to say that the U.S. had engineered a coup in Kiev against the Yanukovych tyranny. “Our hands are not clean,” he said, which sort of suggested that he thought our hands were dirty, unlike those belonging to Yanukovych and Putin. He also insisted that any sanctions against Moscow would be “an act of war.”

To his credit, Rand said, “If I were president, I wouldn’t let Putin get away with it.” That doesn’t mean I’d vote for Rand, just that I’d vote for him if he were running against Ron.

Finally, I recently saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the umpteenth time One of the striking things about the movie is that Jimmy Stewart, who was 38 when the movie was made in 1946, was called upon to play a high school senior at one point. His high school sweetheart, though, portrayed by Donna Reed, was only 25, as was Todd Karns, who played his brother.

That led me to think about other occasions when the movies have ignored age discrepancies when it came to siblings. Because one of my two older brothers was 12 years my senior, I am aware that such things happen, but sometimes the differences are downright ludicrous. For instance, in the 1947 release, “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,” Myrna Loy, 42, was 19-year-old Shirley Temple’s big sister. In “Sweet Smell of Success,” Burt Lancaster, 44, was big brother to the 19-year-old Susan Harrison. Three years later, in “The Unforgiven,” Burt was at it again; at the age of 47, playing big brother to the 31-year-old Audrey Hepburn.

But taking the cake was the “The Mountain” (1956), in which Spencer Tracy, 56, was cast as the brother of Robert Wagner, 26.

The closest that TV has come to matching the madness was on “Bonanza.” There were clearly strange things happening on the Ponderosa, where Pa Cartwright, Lorne Greene, was a respectable 21 years older than Little Joe (Michael Landon), but only 13 years older than Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Adam (Pernell Roberts).

As we all know, age is relative, but never more so, it seems, than when it comes to Hollywood’s casting of relatives.

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
Tune in at His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write

“Reading the Polls” and “Another Job For Clarence Odbody”

I don’t recall a time when it was so profitable to be in the polling industry. It seems as if there’s a new one every five minutes, and most of them, you’ve probably noticed, show Obama cratering at the speed of light. As a result, Republicans can hardly conceal their glee. I, on the other hand, look at the numbers and I feel like tearing my hair out. That is, I would if I had hair. Instead, I’d settle for tearing out someone else’s; perhaps Chuck Hagel’s or Harry Reid’s.

I know I should celebrate the fact that 59% of the electorate think Obama is doing a lousy job, but that means that 41% don’t see it that way. How can I feel good as an American knowing that 83% of the people believe that our country is weaker and less powerful than it was six years ago? For one thing, that’s not a situation in which I ever want America to find herself, but for another, it means 17% think we’re stronger and more powerful since Obama took office, and they can’t all be smoking pot in Colorado.

There are even 9% of our friends and neighbors who think Obama has been too tough with the Russkies! One of those nincompoops, I’m happy to say, is neither a friend nor a relative of mine; he is, however, Rand Paul’s old man.

Speaking of Rand Paul, I am happy to see him peaking in 2014 because I’m hoping that by 2016, he’ll be “Rand Who?” during the GOP primaries. I don’t think he’s a bad fellow, and I wouldn’t want to misjudge him because his father is an anti-Semitic nincompoop. But I do believe his crusade against the NSA is a cheap and dangerous political stunt. I think that anyone who actually believes the government is eavesdropping on several billion monotonous phone calls every day or monitoring tens of billions of email messages every 24 hours is either a paranoid schizophrenic or is addicted to pornography and is terrified that the NSA is going to snitch him out to his wife.

Even Paul’s receiving 31% of the votes cast at the annual CPAC convention isn’t all that great when you actually break down the numbers. I mean, when your platform involves legalizing pot and other illegal substances; accepting same-sex marriages as the norm; opposing a military draft; and turning a blind eye to any evil taking place outside our borders; and you realize that a totally disproportional 46% of the CPAC voters were very young, garnering a mere 31% of the vote has to be regarded as a massive underachievement.

While listening to radio host Dennis Prager the other day, I heard him mention that at Harvard, they have come up with a notion that anything that is said about a specific group, even if it’s positive in nature, should be regarded as bigotry. So if someone assumes that an Asian got a high-paying job as a computer programmer because Asians are widely assumed to be technically proficient, that’s racism.

And if someone assumes that I’m one thing or another because I happen to be Jewish, that’s a sure sign of religious bigotry. So if you decide I’m smart or dumb because I’m a Jew, you’re a bigot. So, as I see it, you may as well decide I’m smart. At least that way I’ll put in a good word for you when you’re put on trial for being politically incorrect by the knuckleheads at Harvard.
Speaking of academic knuckleheads, one of the great mysteries of life involves the way so many professors and their young liberal charges have opted to side with the Arabs and Muslims in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. I mean, if you believe in free speech, equal rights for women, equal protection under the law and religious tolerance, on what possible basis, aside from anti-Semitism, can anyone identify with those opposed to those democratic virtues and who, instead, side with the rabble that applaud the jackals who blow up school buses and pizza parlors?

As for the trouble being fomented by Vladimir Putin, my question is why Europe has become so totally dependent on Russian oil that this cheap thug can so easily turn them all into sniveling little eunuchs? Has Saudi Arabia run dry? Have France, Germany and England, all heard nasty things about Canadian oil? Has Mexico been caught watering their product? Or is it that, like Americans, the poor dears are simply war-weary? After all, it’s only been 69 years since the end of World War II.

Speaking of which, Ukraine asked Barack Obama for weapons with which to defend itself against a Russian invasion. Instead, he gave them MRES (Meals Ready to Eat). Or in other words, food stamps; thus increasing the number of recipients in the blink of an eye from 50 million to 95 million.

At this point, it’s only a rumor that he’s arranging to sign up all 45 million Ukrainians for ObamaCare by the end of April.

Another Job For Clarence Odbody

Because it’s so easy and so much fun to belittle politicians, and because the fun isn’t limited to just Republicans or Democrats, we often lose sight of the fact that these folks are not members of royal families who inherit power the way others may inherit a farm or a family photo album. They actually have to run for office and be elected, even if their names are Bush, Clinton or Rockefeller.

That being said, can you even imagine how stupid people have to be to elect Sheila Jackson Lee to represent them in Congress for the past 19 years? In spite of having a BA from Yale and a JD from the University of Virginia’s Law School, Ms. Lee recently said, “We have survived for 400 years under a Constitution that defines what is constitutional and what is not.” Even if you overlook the fact that she hasn’t uttered a single negative word about the way Obama has trampled on both the Constitution and the House of Representatives, you would have assumed that a member of Congress would be aware that the Constitution is only 227 years old, not 400. I guess it’s safe to assume that those degrees owe far more to affirmative action than to Ms. Lee’s scholarship.

In New York, the recently-elected mayor, Bill de Blasio (born Warren Wilhelm, Jr.) has declared war on one of NYC’s few educational successes, charter schools. The reason is elementary. People like de Blasio and his fellow Democrats are so deep into the pocket of the teacher’s union there isn’t even room for lint.

The mayor would be a fascinating subject for a clinical psychiatrist. He decided to adopt his mother’s maiden name for his own, to forsake Catholicism for atheism and to marry a black woman who had previously been a lesbian. They met while both were serving in the administration of Mayor David Dinkens. (Dinkins, by the way, was such a disaster that from the time he left office in 1993, the liberal capital of America didn’t put another Democrat in the mayor’s office for 20 years. Strange as it may seem, Michael Bloomberg, a lifelong Democrat, ran all three times as a Republican.) Bill and the missus naturally honeymooned in Cuba.

In other news, Iraq’s Shiite majority, which came to power once we eliminated Saddam Hussein, is now looking to legalize marriage for men to girls as young as nine, and to allow husbands the right to have non-consensual sex with their wives.

The idea that a single drop of American blood was spilled in the defense of these creeps is obscene. If in the future, we have cause to fear attack from Muslims, we should be prepared to bomb them off the face of the earth, but never again should an American soldier’s life be risked on their behalf.

Closer to home, Warren Buffet is once again the world’s second richest man, having overtaken Mexico’s Carlos Slim. His worth is now estimated to be $63.4 billion, having increased by 4.3% just since the first of the year, proving that even in this pathetic economy, it’s still possible to do well if you’re a pal of Barack Obama’s.

Speaking of he who seems intent on being Putin’s favorite bitch, Obama has managed to become the biggest scofflaw to have ever had the key to the White House. For in addition to his obvious contempt for the Constitution’s clearly specified separation of powers, he has personally seen to it that various federal agencies don’t enforce laws regarding drugs, marriage and illegal aliens.

In one of my favorite movies, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Clarence Odbody, Angel Second Class, decides to grant George Bailey’s wish to have never been born as a way to show him what a difference his seemingly nondescript life has made in the lives of others.

The differences range from his uncle winding up in a mental asylum and George’s wife Mary ending up a spinster. It also includes a thousand American G.I.s dying when their troop ship is sunk, because George’s brother, Harry, whose own life had been saved by George years earlier, wasn’t around to save theirs.

I feel that for the past five years, thanks to Obama, we Americans have been living in the hellhole Bedford Falls became once George wasn’t around to do battle with the town’s evil banker, the corrupt and soulless Mr. Potter.

Over the years, a lot of American presidents have been depicted on screen. Off the top of my head, I recall mediocre movies devoted to Andrew Jackson, both of the Roosevelt’s, Wilson, Truman, Nixon and, of course, Lincoln. It seems to me that if they ever get around to devoting one to Obama, they might consider calling it the third version of “Despicable Me.”

Burt’s Webcast is every Wednesday at 1 PM Pacific Time.
Tune in at His Call-in Number is: (818) 570-5443

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write