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Burt Prelutsky / May 2, 2020

The Governor Needs a Governor

It has become increasingly obvious that some of the state governors are getting carried away with their newly-discovered powers, using them to boss and bully their constituents.

It has become increasingly obvious that some of the state governors are getting carried away with their newly-discovered powers, using them to boss and bully their constituents.

Take Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Please!” one can hear the people of Michigan pleading.

She tested the waters by ordering boat owners, fishermen, golfers and hunters, to stop engaging in their favorite hobbies until she personally decided at some indefinite date that they could resume.

Once she got away with that, there was no stopping her. She has now put a stop to what she has determined are unessential operations, including hip-replacements. She must be the only person in the country who thinks that people elect to have their hips replaced with the same sense of whimsy that people like Nancy Pelosi, Jane Fonda and Debbie Dingell, sign up for facelifts and tummy tucks.

At the same time, the Governor has decided that abortions shall proceed uninterrupted, declaring: “A woman’s healthcare, her whole future, her decision if and when she starts a family is not an elective, it is a fundamental to her life. It is life sustaining and it’s something that government should not be getting in the middle of.”

Well, one thing you have to say for Gov. Whitmer. She’ll have none of that hoity-toity business about not ending a sentence with a preposition in Michigan! Good for her. This is America, by God! We don’t have to pay any attention to the rules of grammar that we didn’t enact with our votes.

On the other hand, there is something definitely Orwellian about her referring to the butchering of babies as “life sustaining.” One can imagine Count Dracula referring to the governor as the ghoul of his dreams.

I confess I’ve never known a woman named Gretchen. But first we had Gretchen Thunberg expressing contempt for her elders because the world wasn’t kowtowing to her fascistic demands when it came to Climate Change.

Now we have this other Gretchen depriving her betters of their favorite pastimes and their necessary surgeries in the name of combatting the Chinese virus.

If you happen to have a Gretchen in your life, be careful. It may just be a coincidence, but there is also a very good chance she is up to no good.


My mentioning the virus reminds me that I’ve heard that in China, they were referring to the outbreak as the Wuhan virus long before President Trump was being called a racist for blaming China for the pandemic. Not too surprisingly, the World Health Organization, which should be labeled a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese Communist Party, is the outfit that saved China the embarrassment of being saddled with the blame by re-branding the Wuhan virus COVID-19.


Dan Parker, who shares my concern over the trampling of civil rights brought about by the virus, wrote to say: “The American government, at every level, now has the power to suspend all civil liberties and unalienable rights (in the name of public health and safety). I’ve never seen such a power-grab. What will be their next excuse?”

I let him know I feared it might be brought about by a second Great Depression. “Desperate times, they always tell us, call for desperate measures. Look at what FDR managed to pull off during the 1930s. He nearly managed to add half-a-dozen hand-picked justices to the Supreme Court before, like Frankenstein’s monster, he was finally stopped in his tracks.”

But even the stop was merely a suspension.

After winning re-election in 1936 by a record margin over Alf Landon, Roosevelt, who was being frustrated by the Court’s rejection of several pieces of New Deal legislation, decided he would take advantage of his popularity by packing the Court with more obliging justices. But it turned out that the people saw it for what it was, a blatant political ploy to get around our system of checks and balances.

But the mere threat of FDR’s pulling it off in the future was enough to make a couple of the justices far more amenable to the President’s bills, the passage of which helped introduce the cancer of Socialism to the body politic.

At the time, it was said about the caving of the two justices that “a switch in time saved nine.”

As it turned out, Roosevelt wound up being president for so damn many years that he eventually managed, through natural attrition, to remake the Court in his own lefist image.


Scoot Nielsen sent along a bunch of aphorisms. Some were familiar, but there were a few I don’t recall sharing:

“Money will buy you a dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.”

“Seatbelts are not as confining as wheelchairs.”

“How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?”

“Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.” (I’d say this is equally true about government shutdowns.)

“Why is it that at class reunions, you always feel younger than everyone else looks?”

“There are no new sins; the old ones just keep getting more publicity.”

“Nobody ever says ‘It’s only a game’ when they’re winning.”

“The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.”

“Scratch a dog once and you’ll discover you have a permanent job.”


It’s been a while since I shared some of the wisdom to be found in “Screw Calm and Get Angry,” so without further ado:

“Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.” (Samuel Butler)

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” (Noel Coward)

“Never try to keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.” (Quentin Crisp)

“Nothing ages your car quite as much as the sight of your neighbor’s new one.” (Evan Esar)

“Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.” (Gore Vidal)

“Start off every day with a smile and get it over with.” (W.C. Fields)

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever live to regret.” (Ambrose Bierce)

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