The Gripes of Wrath

| August 10 2013
Burt Prelutsky

There is so much in America today that calls for ridicule and contempt, one hardly knows where to begin.  But when in doubt, you can’t go wrong starting with liberals.

Whether they’re calling themselves liberals, progressives or Democrats this week, at the top of their mission statement is the feeding and housing of the needy. But what they never do is separate the needy who are deserving from those who aren’t.  To them, the needy are all the same.  They make no distinction between the elderly poor or severely handicapped and those who are young and able-bodied but feel themselves entitled to everything without having to work for any of it.

sour_grapes_of_wrathFurthermore, the last thing that left-wingers want to do is to turn the needy into the un-needy because to do so would eliminate the takers from their dependence on the Democrats.  That is why they ignore the adage that points out if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

The truth is that if Americans were ever forced to learn how to fish, no liberal would ever again be elected president.

The latest evidence of what happens when people keep voting for Democrats is Detroit’s bankruptcy.  It was only a matter of when, not if, Detroit would go belly-up.  No city, state or nation, can constantly cave in to civil service unions that demand large salaries and even larger pensions in exchange for its votes and campaign contributions.  Even FDR understood how insane it would be to allow civil servants to organize, but when Mayor Robert Wagner gave the green light to New York’s public service unions and then easily won re-election, it provided John Kennedy with the impetus to do the same at a national level.  We tax-payers have been paying the piper ever since.

It’s Detroit today, it’s your hometown tomorrow.

In the wake of all the racist demonstrations that greeted the Zimmerman verdict, I will share some of my own police-related experiences.  When I was 12, we moved to an apartment about a block outside the city limits of Beverly Hills.  Quite often when I’d ride my bike home from the playground, especially in the winter when it got dark early, I would be stopped by Beverly Hills cops.  Not very many kids, I discovered, rode their bikes after dark in that town.

When I started driving my dad’s car at 16, I looked about 12, and cops would often stop me and ask to see my license.

When I was attending UCLA, I rode a motorcycle.  If I worked late at the Daily Bruin, I would have to pass through Beverly Hills, and I grew accustomed to being stopped by the cops on my way home.

My point is that I was white and I still got stopped more frequently between the ages of 12 and 21 than any black kid in L.A., and it never got me upset.  Even at that age, I felt they were just doing their job.  Heck, if I’d been a cop, I would have stopped me and asked a few questions.  I never acted surly or gave them any lip or pretended they had stopped me because somehow they sensed I was Jewish.

I believe that’s a lesson to be learned, and I’m sure that most black teenagers never learn it.

I have attacked public education more times than I can count, but that’s because I never kept track, not because as a veteran of public schools I really don’t know how to count.  Actually back when I went to school, they were still pretty good.  Part of the reason they were good is that parents actually paid attention to what their kids were being taught.

These days, most conservatives do nothing to instill conservative values in their children.  They blithely send their offspring off to high schools and colleges that are totally under the control of Marxists, and then are shocked when their kids turn out to be the kinds of people who become Occupy Wall Streeters and vote for Obama.  Apparently, these simpletons think their kids will wind up being conservatives through osmosis.

In a piece titled “Prioritizing Our Concerns,” I wrote a defense of the NSA, pretty much upholding their right to collect phone numbers in the war on Islamic jihadists.  I pointed out that national security was one of the few things that the Constitution actually demands of the federal government.

Probably nothing I’ve written has ever brought me such a negative response.  A few readers agreed with me, but the great majority took me to task, assuming I was either naïve or insane.  I could understand their attitude.  After Benghazi, the monitoring of the AP and the IRS mistreatment of conservatives, a person would have to be nuts to trust this administration.  But the National Security Agency has been around since Harry Truman created it in 1952, and even today nobody can point to an actual misuse of its powers.

If in order to better avoid another 911 or another bombing at a public event, the NSA wants to make sure that nobody in Yemen or Iran has me on speed-dial, they have my permission to keep tabs on my calls.  To me, it’s as sensible as the cops keeping an eye on me all those years ago.  I just wish the NSA had the power to do something about those damn telemarketers who keep ringing me up on an hourly basis.

As for those who are terrified that Obama is going to round them up and toss them into what the North Vietnamese used to call re-education camps, I suggest they use me the way coal miners use canaries to check for poison gas fumes.  So long as I, who have devoted five years of articles and six months of weekly webcasts to insulting Obama, am still walking around loose, you probably have nothing to worry about.

Finally, we shouldn’t let Helen Thomas’s passing at 92 go unnoticed.  For my part, when I heard the news, I suddenly found myself whistling “Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead”!

dleeper47 moderator

I wish I could be so sanguine about the NSA's use of the data it collects without warrants. I used to have an implicit faith that my government wouldn't misuse its powers to intimidate or harass me or my family -- or worse. 

After the IRS debacle, that has all changed -- for me if not for Burt Prelutsky.

Good old Burt may think that data used to stop terrorists would never be used by a government to intimidate, harass, or pursue its political enemies. I now think just the opposite. And after the Obama regime gets away with using the IRS and its data for exactly that purpose, what's next, eh, Burt? How about using your vaunted imagination on that?

If NSA wants phone call metadata stored indefinitely, they can have the phone company do it. Have them manage the database. The NSA can pay some of their expenses. At least AT&T doesn't have SWAT teams with body armor and guns to break into my home in the middle of the night. And if NSA does abuse the data base, there may be an AT&T employee whistleblower who will come forward. It's not full protection against Obama/Holder-style abuse, but it's something.

Thanks for offering to be the canary in the coal mine, Burt. If Big Govt takes you seriously, it just means they'll come for you last. Is that supposed to be a comfort to rest of us?

WesternFreePress moderator

@dleeper47 I am becoming convinced that the line we have to draw is at "suspicionless" surveillance. National security and preventing enemy attacks is a core function of even the most minarchist government, so the only question is to how much defense, what steps are taken, etc. And I think it is reasonable to say that they must not cross the line to suspicionless surveillance or data collection.