Burt Prelutsky / Nov. 25, 2010

Surviving Quakes and Political Correctness

There are still Americans around who could have stood their ground, shoulder-to-shoulder, with this nation's founders at Concord and Valley Forge. You find them fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you'll see them showing up at Tea Party events. But, too many of us have become timid, terrified of offending, more fearful than school children of being called names by liberals. Somewhere along the way, we have become the land of the not so free and the home of the not so brave.

There are still Americans around who could have stood their ground, shoulder-to-shoulder, with this nation’s founders at Concord and Valley Forge. You find them fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and you’ll see them showing up at Tea Party events. But, too many of us have become timid, terrified of offending, more fearful than school children of being called names by liberals. Somewhere along the way, we have become the land of the not so free and the home of the not so brave.

Rather than risk being accused of racial insensitivity, we stand silently by while public funds are used to build footbaths for Muslims. At the same time, we allow craven politicians to banish Christmas trees from city property and permit cowardly school boards to call “Christmas vacation” anything but Christmas vacation. And a happy Winter Solstice to you and yours!

We anesthetize ourselves with football games and “American Idol” while our public schools deify Islam, assigning kids to adopt Muslim names and wear Islamic garb as part of class projects, while liberal secularists pretend that the 1st Amendment makes America a religion-free zone.

Thanks to nothing but cowardice masquerading as racial tolerance, we turn a blind eye to a 70% illegitimate birth rate among blacks and a 50% dropout rate among black high school kids, and pretend that these numbers aren’t a blemish on the nation and justification for racial shame.

Furthermore, when race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, Charley Rangel and Al Sharpton, blame black poverty on white Americans, rather than on the lack of initiative and education that permeates the black community, far too many of us sit quietly and accept their insults and scorn like a bunch of sheep.

When black ministers sell their pulpits to Democrats during presidential election campaigns, we don’t make liberals explain why, suddenly, they’re not yammering about “separation of church and state” or why “reverend” so often seems to be the honorific that black racists and con men employ as camouflage.

Speaking of courage, I recently dismissed earthquakes in what might have appeared to be cavalier fashion. I’m neither that brave nor that oblivious. It’s just that major earthquakes, even here in San Andreas fault country, are quite rare.

The scariest thing about them is that, unlike hurricanes and cyclones, they don’t warn you they’re coming. Instead, like obnoxious neighbors and relatives, they just suddenly show up on your doorstep.

Having grown up in Southern California, I’ve been hearing about the mythical “Big One” for most of my life. Frankly, I’d hate to think they could come any bigger than the Northridge earthquake, whose epicenter was a scant two miles due west of our house. To best describe the sensation for those of you who have thus far been spared, imagine you’re in a dollhouse, minding your own business, sipping tea from a tiny teacup or asleep in a tiny bed, when suddenly an insane monster picks up the dollhouse and begins shaking it up and down for what seems like several hours.

After surviving these experiences, I am invariably left with two questions. The first is: What exactly do seismologists do between earthquakes? We know that in the aftermath, they show up on TV and let us know that the quake measured a 4.8 or 5.3 or 6.7 on the old seismograph at Cal Tech. But inasmuch as these so-called experts are worse than my dog at predicting the darn things, why are they drawing a weekly salary?

The other question will, I hope, go unanswered in my lifetime: When the Big One finally comes along, will California be left looking like one massive pile of rubble or will the earth lift up like a huge cookie sheet and slide everything into the Pacific?

If it’s the latter, I sure hope that the U.S. Congress isn’t in session at the time, because I’d want the entire California contingent along for the ride. That’s what I’d call an act of God.

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