The Right Opinion

Clearing the Desk

By Burt Prelutsky · Dec. 15, 2012

Every so often, I find myself being buried in memos I have jotted down. It is then that I decide it’s time to unburden myself, lest my wife walks into my office one day and finds our dog frantically trying to dig me out.

To begin with, in the aftermath of the election, I found myself thinking that, as hopeless as things look, if Germany, Japan and Italy, could all recover from the mess that Hitler, Hirohito and Mussolini, got them into, it’s just possible that we will ultimately be able to survive Obama. But I sure wish we didn’t have to wait four years to find out.

I was also reminded of something I believe Winston Churchill once said: “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with a typical voter.”

In “Metamorphosis,” a novella Franz Kafka wrote nearly a century ago, his protagonist, Gregor Samsa, wakes up one morning to find he’s been transformed into an ungeheuron Ungeziefer, which, literally translated, is a monstrous vermin, but is generally taken to be a cockroach. I can’t help thinking that in a modern version, it would be great to have a cockroach wake up in the White House and be magically transformed into a human being.

I think the reason that Democrats get away with so much cheating at election time is that they have managed to turn it into joke material. Although voting is one of the most sacred duties Americans have, we have all grown accustomed to joshing about people in Chicago voting early and often and about dead people casting ballots. We all know that it has become habitual for Democrats such as Al Franken, when finding themselves in tough elections, to suddenly have boxes of uncounted Democratic ballots showing up in closets, church basements and the trunks of ‘87 Buicks.

In a way, it’s like all the jokes we used to hear about Siberia when the brutal Soviet Union, the left-winger’s weird notion of Paradise, was using it as a frozen burial ground for political dissidents. Nobody, you must have noticed, ever made comparable jokes about Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

We’re all much better off when we confine ourselves to making fun of liberals. For instance, it was recently discovered by 48 year old ditz Janeane Garofalo that she’d been married for the past 20 years to TV producer Rob Cohen. As she tells it: “We got married drunk in Vegas at a drive-through chapel while sitting in a cab. We thought you had to go down to the courthouse and sign papers and stuff, so who knew? But apparently now that Rob is getting married for real, his lawyer dug up something.”

Perhaps what he dug up was an article I wrote a few years ago in which I made fun of a number of show biz marriages, including hers!

Keep in mind this is a middle-aged woman who has devoted a good part of her life to calling conservatives stupid. I guess when you get to a certain age and are still saying things like “sign papers and stuff,” you have formally declared your intention of remaining a perpetual teenager, no matter what it says on your birth certificate, on your marriage license or in your mirror.

If the folks at Columbia who hand out Pulitzer Prizes were actually in the business of recognizing journalistic excellence – and not merely out to make the NY Times, in the face of diminished readership and revenue, feel good about itself – they would recognize Fox News for its singular coverage of the Benghazi massacre and the subsequent cover-up, a political scandal that dwarfs Tea Pot Dome, Iran-Contra and Watergate.

Speaking of Benghazi, I can’t recall a time when military brass has been quite this tarnished. In addition to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, we have recently seen 4-star General William (“Kip”) Ward lose two stars for squandering hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars treating himself and his relatives to travel on military jets and luxurious hotel accommodations; and Brig. General Jeffrey Sinclair stands a mighty fine chance of winding up in Leavenworth for raping and sodomizing women in the military and for turning a blind eye to troops under his command in Afghanistan doing the same.

Although I have great respect for the grunts who do the fighting and dying in far-off places, I have pretty much of a jaundiced eye when it comes to generals. This is especially so in the case of those who have risen in the ranks since the days when Jimmy Carter was the commander-in-chief. I have come to see them as people who would have been typical politicians had they elected to remain civilians. The way I see it, unless you die in action or come home with missing body parts, you’re not entitled to assume you command the moral high ground and you’re certainly not entitled to sport more medals than Idi Amin.

Finally, I have to confess that I have never understood the LGBT alliance. I really can’t imagine why any self-respecting lesbian or gay person would want to align him or herself with bisexuals, who half the time are consorting with the enemy, and the transgender crowd, those poor muddled souls who can’t even figure out which bathroom to use.


Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Burt, I see you agree with me that the higher military officers are basically political animals that owe their allegiance to the crooks and/or mental midgets in Washington. Oops better not call them midgets. Bye the way is anyone aware if Guam has tipped over yet. And like you I admire the grunts. I expect the grunts to tell Barry and BloominIdiot to get lost if they expect them to disarm American Citizens. Speaking of disarming American Citizens, have you noticed how BloomingIdiot could not wait to use the shootings in Connecticut to call for more gun bans. It is already illegal to carry a gun in a school so can anyone explain to me how an additional law would have prevented the carnage. That old crazy guy Ben Franklin had it correct, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM

WTD in AZ replied:

Ironical counterpoint in the news to the anti-gun gang outrage. School situation in China with 23 injured by a knife-wielding assailant. Three killed in an Alabama hospital . Might have been another massacre, but the shooter was shot dead by a cop who was on the scene. A hundred new laws wouldn't have prevented the Connecticut tragedy, but just one armed person could have.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

Apparently the Principal tried to stop the shooter as he forced himself into the school. It's too bad she wasn't trained in the use of a weapon and carrying. She might have stopped the entire thing before it started...

NEWTOWN, CT - The Sandy Hook school principal and another staffer were killed after lunging at a gunman who forced his way inside to begin a
deadly shooting spree, the regional school superintendent said Saturday.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Israel had a problem with ragheads shooting up schools, in one case 30 kindergarten children were killed. After that a policy of having administrators, teachers, parents, grandparents and older students armed and trained. It put a stop to it. Even ragheads do not want to be shot. What would of been the outcome on Sept 11 if the pilots or several passengers were armed. Did anyone say several ragheads meeting 72 virgin goats?

Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Patrick in Houston replied:

I agree. Existing laws make schools gun-free zones. Now I ask you, which of the following scenarios would have had the better result in the Connecticut tragedy:
A.) More gun laws making it even more illegal to bring a gun onto school property, or,
B.) If one of the six adults killed had had a concealed carry license, and had been armed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 4:02 PM

TruthInAction in TX said:

Excellent. Still chuckling. Wisdom in a wise guy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

Having served in the Army for 22 years, it sickens me to see how the Generals act today. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is an idiot blaming his own soldiers for the Afghan police and military for killing them. It is amazing how many of them are politicly correct instead of being honest about the situation in Afghanistan. Getting that next star is more important than taking care of soldiers. Ever notice how many of them retire and go to work for one of the defense corporations? They aren't leaders anymore but bend whichever way the political winds are blowing. You can't lump all of them together but more of them play politics than the ones who don't.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Tom Mumford in Manchester, Connecticut said:

Burt, I wish you would get out of the habit of say "... lesbian or gay person ..." and simply use the more accurate term 'homosexual'. Now, given that you were possibly using this less specific term so that your readership would align the 'L' and 'G' in LGBT, I think we would know what you mean without you continuing the obfuscation of the term 'homosexuals', or 'homos' for short, just like 'heterosexuals' or 'heteros' for short.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

Burt as to Garafalo, "I guess when you get to a certain age and are still saying things like "sign papers and stuff," you have formally declared your intention of remaining a perpetual teenager, no matter what it says on your birth certificate, on your marriage license or in your mirror." You may need to give her a half point. In our regimented, regulated, & controlled society, we do have much too many "Papers and Stuff" to sign and file, when most would best be shredded.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 1:18 PM

JJStryder in Realville said:

The Churchill quote is priceless. It is too bad that we have so many Generals taking orders from their privates.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 1:37 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Generals taking orders from their privates. I love that one JJ. It should become a classic.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:18 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

In case anyone wonders why there are no replies from Burt, he and his wife are taking a weeks vacation. Have a good time Burt. We will miss your replies.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:19 PM

WTD in AZ replied:

Tks, Richard. Was wondering.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Honest Abe in North Carolina said:

America has simply become a script written for a present-day Hollywood movie. The lovable black president is faced with an impossible challenge and the writers concoct a bizarre plot with phoney special effects to miraculously get him out of it without any concept of reality. It also is scripted with a cast of idiots lacking a devotion to ethics and moral character, but the entire production manages to wow the audience with their effortless manipulation of events. The movie finally ends and the impressionable audience who paid the theater big bucks to get in cheers and eagerly anticipates the equally absurd sequel to come.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Yeah, that whole campaign and election sequel will get Best Original Screenplay, and the Voting machines will receive Best Special Effects, the next sequel will be epic- a cast of millions falling over the cliff.

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

I went to a homosexual wedding. I was unsure of whom to dance with, and what restroom to use, by the end of the party. No alcohol-for me that day!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA replied:

Tod: No telling where you might have ended up. Maybe on Belafonte's banana boat drinking rum when the daylight come!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA replied:

Best you didn't have to go to the restroom, might have caught something from the toilet seat 8*)).

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Burt Prelutsky in North Hills, CA said:

Dear Readers: I will be on vacation until next Saturday, so I will not be commenting on the comments.

Best wishes, Burt

Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Old Desert Rat in Las Vegas, NV said:

Forgive my sceptical
nature but wasn't Hil's concussion convenient. Now she won't be able to testify to congress about the 9/11 tragedy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Howard Last in Wyoming replied:

Did she hit her head getting out from under the desk? Oops that was Monica.

Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado said:

Burt, Germany, Japan and Italy recovered from WWII quickly because of the United States of America (remember the Marshall Plan?). There is no one to rescue or even help us. I would also disagree about our military commanders. A few bad apples don't mean the whole bushel is spoiled. Many are heroes who do not claim to be such. Many serve or have served their country well and do not expect kudos. By the way, if a soldier dies in action I am sure he will not assume he/she has the moral high ground or display his/her medals like a peacock. I always enjoy your columns and agree with you mostly. I just see no reason to denigrate our military with unproven blanket accusations.

Monday, December 17, 2012 at 8:32 PM