The Right Opinion

Riddle Me This, Batman!

By Burt Prelutsky · Nov. 26, 2012

Over the course of my life, I have occasionally been labeled a know-it-all, but I'm happy to say that those who've said it have generally been those who know nothing. The fact is that there are any number of things I can't begin to fathom. For openers, I am hopeless when it comes to things mechanical and electronic. I just don't get how things work. I don't look down on those who do; if anything, I'm in awe of them.

That's one of the reasons that I wish our educational system made sense. Instead of acknowledging that most young people would be better off learning a trade, they are shuffled off to colleges and universities where they'll waste four years and a lot of their family's money as liberal arts majors.

As the story goes, most jobs in the future will require a college degree. That is a load of hooey. What it really means is that employers may demand the sheepskin, but performing the actual job will probably require nothing more than half an hour of instruction.

Although doctors, lawyers, engineers and mathematicians, have their own trade schools, the system dictates that they, too, squander four years running up enormous tuition bills as undergrads. But the truth is that most people are far more grateful when a plumber or an electrician shows up at their front door to solve a problem than when a literature major or a sociology grad drops by for dinner.

As far as academic types go, I recently read a fine description of them in Robert Barnard's “The Case of the Missing Bronte,” in which he has a Scotland Yard detective observe: “Of course, you could say I don't as a rule see them at their best; mostly when I've met them it has been in connection with some kind of offence or other – thieving from bookshops, mostly; or sexual offences of a slightly ludicrous nature. But I have to admit that they have seemed the most sniveling, self-important scraps of humanity you can imagine, and as windy and whiney a bunch as ever demanded special privileges without doing anything to deserve them.”

Why so many people are dedicated to the notion that a B.A. in any way is a measure of wisdom, intelligence, competence or commonsense, is one of the great mysteries of modern life. Another puzzle is why Fox feels compelled to provide a bully pulpit for so many left-wing ignoramuses. I seriously question the wisdom of constantly airing the cockeyed views of Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Leslie Marshall, Marc Lamont Hill, Bob Beckel, Kirsten Powers and Juan Williams. I understand that their motto is “Fair and Balanced,” and they want to present both sides of every issue. But do they really imagine that in a media world dominated by the NY Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, Newsweek, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC, we conservatives aren't hearing often enough from the other side?

Hell, even in my dreams, I've got Juan Williams, Joy Behar and Jay Carney, spinning nonstop on behalf of Barack Obama.

It confounds me that there were millions of Americans just itching to re-elect a guy who owes everything to affirmative action and a gang of thieves and political fixers who crawled out of the Chicago sewers. To me, those voters who happily cast their ballots for any schmuck with a (D) after his name are even more inscrutable than soccer fans. In fact, it's my guess that there's a great deal of overlap between those two groups. I mean, who else but a nincompoop could look at a 3-1 outcome and wonder why the winning team felt compelled to run up the score that way?

Baseball, the greatest game ever invented, has no clock. Basketball and football each have a clock, although the final two minutes of a game will often expand to fill half an hour. Then there's soccer, a sport so boring that instead of a clock, they use a sundial.

The greatest mystery of all is why so many people are still so infatuated with Obama. How does any American relate to the guy? It's not that he's black and has an odd name, either. It's that he throws a baseball like a little girl and that he once bowled a game, which means sending 20 balls down the alley, and only knocked down 39 pins.

Furthermore, in a nation that likes muscle-cars more than hot dogs, he keeps trying to get everyone to drive little kiddy toys that might as well be propelled by foot power. He hates oil and coal the way most of us hate Islamic jihadists and Madonna.

He says nicer things about the religion of our enemies than he has ever said about the one he claims to follow.

His friends, mentors and advisors, people such as Frank Marshall Davis, Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, are all people that most of us wouldn't have in our homes. Then, to further show his contempt for us, he selects as his second-in-command, Joe Biden, a world-class goofus we wouldn't trust to pick out our socks.

Over the course of the years, I have put together three collections of interviews. In the process, I have questioned well over 200 notable figures in a variety of fields. One of my standard questions is to ask them to list any eight people who have ever lived that they would invite to a dinner party, assuming that for this one evening they could all speak English. The person mentioned most often has been Jesus Christ, but running a close second is Winston Churchill.

I've never had the opportunity to interview Barack Hussein Obama, but, inasmuch as he attended a racist church for 20 years, I very much doubt if Christ would make his list; and, considering that the first thing he did when he moved into the Oval Office was to remove the bust of Churchill and send it back to the British embassy, it's obvious that he also doesn't share America's affection and respect for our greatest wartime ally.

Obama would have you think that I regard him as unfit to be the commander-in-chief because of his race and his name, but of course that's not true.

Otherwise, why would I think so highly of a black woman who happens to be named Condoleezza, for crying out loud?!

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86 Comments

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA said:

I just thought all my loyal readers would want to know that my most recent book of interviews, "67 Conservatives You Should Meet Before You Die," is now available. The 67 include the likes of Mark Alexander, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Gary Sinise, Phyllis Shlafly, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Charles Krauthammer, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, John Bolton, Joseph Wambaugh, David Limbaugh, the three Pats--Boone, Sajak and Robertson, and yours truly.

Makes a wonderful Christmas gift.

Regards, Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:34 AM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio replied:

Would love to read it, Burt. I will try Amazon first, but can you suggest other sources?

Thanks for a great read.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

George: I'm afraid there's just Amazon and there's me. I'll autograph it and inscribe it; Amazon won't.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Burt, my lovely wife and I are leaving for your neighborhood in about 5 weeks. I will make an effort to pick up this book, hopefully with a face to face visit. If it as entertaining as your other writing, it will be a jewel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

" Another puzzle is why Fox feels compelled to provide a bully pulpit for so many left-wing ignoramuses. I seriously question the wisdom of constantly airing the cockeyed views of Alan Colmes, Geraldo Rivera, Leslie Marshall, Marc Lamont Hill, Bob Beckel, Kirsten Powers and Juan Williams. I understand that their motto is "Fair and Balanced," and they want to present both sides of every issue. But do they really imagine that in a media world dominated by the NY Times, the Washington Post, Time magazine, Newsweek, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC, we conservatives aren't hearing often enough from the other side?" Burt, I'm surprised you haven't gotten why FOX airs the people you listed. You see FOX reports, then lets us decide, to do that they have given the opportunity to these people to defend the news which FOX reports, News almost invariably Bad. These people are for comic relief.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:02 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Burt: FOX has on the left wing nut cases because FOX is owned by CFR member Rupert Murdoch. And before you say the CFR is harmless, who do you think is pushing Agenda 21?

My list of eight would include Moses, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Issac Newton, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry. If someone asks how come not Einstein, very simple, his politics were left wing loon. A much better physicist was Edward Teller. BTW, the left wing nut cases hated him.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

enema: Maybe it's just me, but I need relief from all the comic relief they provide.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

Jesus Christ is a guest at all my meals, and I'm going to invite 16 people, just because. Jesus Christ will sit at the head of the table, Ayn Rand to his left, an interesting conversation, Queen Elizabeth I, to his right, Sir William Blackstone, Benjamin Franklin, Adam & Eve, Sir Winston Churchill, Abraham & Sarah, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci, Martin Luther King, George Washington, Sir Isaac Newton, & James Stewart.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:47 AM

G Dub45 in Lee's Summit, MO replied:

Howard & EotSQ & Burt-
I like your invitees. Perhaps two to three tables are indeed needed. Then I would also invite the gentle man who invented Air Conditioning - whomever that might be. He is aces with me.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Bill in Texas replied:

Walt Carrier is a good man to invite for the sake of HVAC. Back in the 50s he did alot of the math and science that is still utilized today for the design of HVAC systems.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

enema: Oh, great, another party I don't get invited to!

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

No offense intended. Since the idea was yours, it goes withourt saying you were intended as an invitee/co-host. I've already doubled your number criteria (not including the guests personal invitees). Catering cost could get expensive, I may have to apply for EBT, to feed the guests. 8*)) Does this suffice to CMA.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 8:01 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

"Societies that seek equality, before liberty, will get neither, but societies that seek liberty, before equality, will get a high degree of both." M.Friedman. And "The worst aspect of Capitalism, is the unequal distribution of weath, but the worst aspect of Socialism, is the equal distribution of Misery!"W. Churchill. I'd invite Billy Graham, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Disston.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:11 AM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio replied:

Wow, Tod, you are quoting Freidman now? You now have graduated to the top of the list of Brooklyn residents that I am certain I like. Well, it is a list of one, but you are on it! Great comments and quotes.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM

John Q Citizen in Colorado replied:

Carnegie was a thief and didn't much care for anyone else but himself before he got a conscious.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

At least Carnegie did get a conscience, which is unlikely to happen with Obama or any of his claque of Marxists.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

And C.S. Lewis, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eli Whitney, Davy Crockett, Daniel Webster, Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Arnand Kashoggi, Clint Eastwood--he has an extra chair.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:15 AM

Bob in Hattiesburg, MS said:

We are a society too easily impressed with credentials. One guy I went to school with told me he was getting his doctorate because it would help him climb the career ladder. He was a real jerk. And that was in a theological seminary. Then there are those pompous individuals who insist upon being called "Doctor" and get all huffy when it doesn't happen. One of my professors once told us that, when he was working on his doctorate, it all seemed so important. Then, after he got it, he wondered what the big deal was all about. For years I have told people that all a degree means is that the person who got it met the minimum requirements necessary to get the diploma, not that he is smart, me being the prime example. I have known a lot of people over the years who hold advanced degrees, but are too dumb to pour water out of a boot.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 8:04 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Bob: I've known a lot of them, too. Which is why it made it so much fun to pour water in their boots.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Dennis in Farmington, NM replied:

How did you get into their boots, Burt?

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

OR being called Senator, "because I'm sure I earned that", just for being elected for promising more "free stuff".

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 7:44 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Yah, they couldn`t do it with the directions written on the heel. My dad, who had only an 8th grade education often used that quote. One of the smartest men I have ever had the privilege to know.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 7:26 PM

wolfpat in Siler City, NC replied:

I once worked with a man who was a member of Mensa. I knew he was a complete idiot even before he hurt himself sawing off the tree limb against which his ladder was leaning.

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

I read an article in a magazine many years ago called: "The College Lock-step". The author was of the opinion that not every person was college material and their parents forcing them ususally wound up wasting a lot of money and time. He advocated trade schools or apprenticeships for those who had no interest in college. Unfortunely, apprenticeships are few and far between anymore. On a personal note. One of my grandsons, who has a form of autism, will never be college material but he is exceptional working with his hands. His grandmother and I will push him towards learning to be either an electrician, plumber, auto mechanic, or maybe something in the computer field so he can use those skills. It's my belief he would make a good living at any of these.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Old Sarge: A much better living, I'm betting, than a liberal arts major with a B.A. And he'll be of far more use to society.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:30 PM

alex torello in New Haven, CT said:

Our great colleges and universities are sometimes just "pay to play" hustles. Fork over $250,000, put in the time, and you get a rag that guarantees you'll be at the head of the interview line.
Yale, Harvard and the rest don't MAKE people smart. Smart people ATTEND these schools.
And, of course "smart" is a relative term. Back in the '70s a bunch of savvy Yale kids started a little gig they called "Yale Tech", designed to teach students how to make repairs on cars, electronics, how to dance, dress for interviews--and the other mundane things that most academics fail to learn in their quest for the summit.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Alex: You're right. Smart kids (ie, good students) attend Ivy League schools. But, by and large, these are kids with wealthy parents with good connections, and in most cases that counts for more than the sheepskin.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Burt: when my daughter was looking at colleges to attend in 2002, she wanted to be a DVM (for those that went to govmint skools that is a Vet, oops animal doctor, better keep it simple). She received offers from all the schools she applied to (I brag). Cornell was one of the schools and it does have an excellent vet school. She decided not to accept their offer. Her comment, daddy if I go to Cornell you will be paying for two other students besides me. She accepted a full academic scholarship to the Univ of Georgia and is now a Vet. (I am still bragging).

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Howard: You are entitled to brag. You reared a good one.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Holmes Simons in Tampa replied:

Howard, Go Dawgs, my final alma mater, where the vet school is tops. If Burt thinks a B.A. is ludicrous, he should have an A.B. in polysci like mine from the oldest public university in the USA! Talk about a clueless curriculum choice, it hasn't even provided me with a dinner invitation. And I know that I am more interesting than Satan...but maybe not quite as hot. However, after watching Goober for the past four years, I feel dead, and that should get me on someone's guest list.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Howard; & by sidestepping a Medical degree (smart choice) your daughter also side stepped Mandatory Employment in Universal Health Care. 8*)) GO DAWGS

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Although that may be the next incremental step, FIDOCARE.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 12:38 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Some colleges like to believe they not only give their indoctrinaires a Degree but a Pedigree.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 7:49 PM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio said:

Great words regarding education. My son has been saying the same thing for 10 years or more. It makes sense. I will forward a link to this to him.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 10:15 AM

ArmyofOne in MN said:

On the right side of the table: Jesus, Solomon (before being corrupted by pagan women), King David, Moses
On the left side of the table: Satan, Darwin, Obama, any dead atheist

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Army: Oh, great! Now even Satan is getting invited before me.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

Burt...You're invited! You and I will sit at the ends of the table! Should be interesting!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Neil C. Reinhardt in Hawthorne. CA replied:

Hey "Army of one in Minnesota"

BERT IS AN ATHIEST!

And so was Walt Disney, Tom Edison, Mark Twain, WC Fields, Charles Schultz, Pat
Tilman, Kathren Hepburn, Marlon Brando,
Bruce Lee and multi millions of other successful Atheists.

So "Army of one in Minnesota"

You should Try Getting a Clue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 1:55 AM

John Q Citizen in Colorado replied:

We'll grant the fact they were successful in life and good for them, however where have they ended up after death? My guess is with Satan as they refused to believe in the living God. Success in life doesn't mean squat once your dead.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Neil: To be honest, Burt, not Bert, is an agnostic, not an atheist. And I should know.

Burt

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 2:55 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Burt, you`re wasting your time with Neil. I doubt he even knows the difference between an agnostic and an atheist.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 7:40 PM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

Neil C. Reinhardt in Hawthorne. CA
Keep reading...I'm thinking you are the one that hasn't a clue! I personally wouldn't want to be any of the people you mentioned...my future is MUCH better! I suspect you are an Atheist, so your future is nothing to brag about either! Hot! Hot! Hot!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:47 AM

MajorStu in Peru, IN said:

Echoing your comments. I have said for many years that the only thing a college diploma represents is a certain tolerance for bureaucratic bullcrap and an ability to understand requirements and mindlessly comply with them. At least in my chosen profession, engineering, lots (but not all) of pompous know-it-alls get weeded out when they get into the heavy maths in electromagnetic fields, thermodynamics, optics, etc. I deliberately stayed away from the Ivy Leagues because this flyover state, farm-raised guy had enough confidence in his state-college to provide the education he desired. I've seen enough Ivy League credentialed idiots in Congress and on TV (look at the Fox lineup, they're the cream of the crop) to know that indoctrination is not education. At least Scientists, Engineers, and Math majors are required to think for themselves and question baseline assumptions. When I read a statement about "It's settled science" e.g. global warming, um, climate change, I recall what I learned about Galileo challenging the settled science of his day. And what the academics did to him.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Major Stu: I was just about to bring up the global warming hucksters, but you beat me to it. Well done.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Eb in Brick NJ said:

Bob in Hattiesburg, I agree. I work with some of the same ilk with Dr. in front of their names.
Old Sarge, by all means support and steer your grandson in that direction. One of our two sons was definitely not college material. Today he is a very happy and satisfied plumber waiting to take the test for his license after having done four years of night plumbing classes and doing well in that. maybe it's because he and his classmates were taught and tested on plumbing, the current code book, and business practices instead of some other useless tripe?

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Eb: And what's more, when he shows up at someone's house, they'll always be happy to see him. That's generally not the case with liberal arts majors.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Nick in Chattanooga said:

I would never invite Christ to eat at my table, as a guest.

I would find him, and ask if he was hungry. Then I would most likely eat what he provided.

That, or I would hide (lol). - N

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Nick: You're one cheap so-and-so. Even I would spring for a meal for Jesus.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Jim in Western NC said:

Deceased dinner guests--let's see... (Jesus is already a guest) Jacques Barzun, C.S. Lewis, Joe Pass, Leonardo da Vinci, Sam Houston, G.K. Chesterton, Winston Churchill, James Madison, Mortimer Adler, Ranald McKenzie, Maimonides, Aristotle, Ernest Shackleton, Isaac Newton, Sitting Bull, Steve McQueen, William Howard Armstrong, Wes Montgomery, Ronald Reagan, and of course Burt, to name only a few. Not sure what the order of seating would be.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Jim: I think it would be the usual...boy, savior, president.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

DaneChile in Unknown said:

Mark Twain, Churchill, Uncle Ronnie, Rene Descarte, Tom Wolfe, H.L. Mencken, Will Rogers, COL West, ADM Halsey, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin (schoolmate), and Sun Tzu.

Since my table only seats twelve, Hussein, Shrillary and Rice can sit at the kid´s table where The Law is, "Children should be seen and not heard".

Joe Biden for post-dinner entertainment.

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA replied:

Dane: I assume the entertainment for the children would consist of a rousing game of Pin-the-tail on Joe Biden.

Burt

Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:54 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

A redundant exercise.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 5:26 PM