by Burt Prelutsky

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com

I recently heard a speech that confirmed that if California was one person instead of 42 million, it would be locked away in a rubber room for its own safety, as well as the safety of the nation.

The speaker was Vincent Passanisi, who, together with his father John, owns Santa Fe Importers. They own three Italian restaurants and also a manufacturing plant where they produce food for other restaurants, as well as turn out XLNT tamales, a brand that has been around since 1894.

The story he told involved a disgruntled employee who, after being fired, had filed a worker’s comp claim. He claimed he had injured his shoulder six months earlier, and as a result was experiencing sleep deprivation, psychological problems and that old bugaboo, sexual dysfunction.

That was in spite of the fact that not only had he never reported an injury to his supervisor, but had signed a form each week that he had not suffered an injury. The insurance company nevertheless paid him $70,000. I guess that sexual dysfunction business must have hit a nerve.

Seeing how well the lie had worked, a few months later, he hired a second attorney to sue Santa Fe for violating the labor code under a state law called the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

Passed in 2004, PAGA allows an employee to act as an attorney general on behalf of the state, meaning he can file a lawsuit not only on his own behalf, but on behalf of all the company employees, both former and current.

The disgruntled employee sued for $3 million. Passanisi wondered what exactly his company had done wrong. He says: “We allowed our employees to take their lunch whenever they wanted, but because some of them chose to take it later in the day, we violated the labor code. What else? Our employees asked if they could combine two 10-minute breaks, so they could take a 20-minute break early in the day and a 30-minute break for lunch later, at a time of their choosing. Not allowed. When employees asked if they could skip lunch, so they could leave earlier and still get in their full 8-hour day, we said sure. Big mistake.

“Our choice, as with most companies, was to go to court and risk losing or settle for less. Even the lawyers call it legal extortion. We ended up settling for $300,000.

“Last year alone, there were 10,000 PAGA lawsuits filed in California. The average settlement was $500,000. Of which, the state only receives $10,000. Who are the real beneficiaries? Certainly not the folks who own the companies that employ thousands of people. Certainly not the consumers who have to pay more for products. And surely not the employees who face unemployment as more and more companies leave California for places like Arizona and Texas.

“The real beneficiaries are the lawyers who get to keep a third of all those settlement dollars.”

It certainly explains why trial lawyers are among the major donors to the Democrats. The question left hanging in the air is why any company would remain in California five minutes longer than it takes them to pack their bags.

It is worth noting that Kamala Harris, currently the junior senator from California, was the person behind passage of PAGA when she was still the state’s Attorney General. Sen. Harris is black, female, fairly young (53) and a senator from the largest state in the Union. That makes her, in my estimation, the frontrunner when it comes to the 2020 primaries, unless New Jersey’s Cory Booker announces he’s a woman or at least a transgender.

* Sometimes I even amaze myself when I pause to consider how much I write. But then I’ll hear something and realize that my output is a mere stream compared to the raging rivers churned out by others.

Although some of the texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and his main squeeze, Lisa Page, had temporarily gone missing, what remained of the two-year exchange apparently exceeded 50,000!

I was sent reeling. I mean, even if they were merely sending each other weird love notes that consisted of reminding each other that Donald Trump was a big fat dummy, 50,000 of anything is a lot. What I want to know is when did they find the time to cheat on their respective spouses? As much as I write, I barely have the time to walk the dog.

* I recently heard that 85% of blacks are opposed to illegal immigrants. It makes sense since those are the people who take away their jobs, but it still confounded me because it’s so rare that anything blacks do or say makes any sense at all. At the top of that list is their doglike devotion to the Democrats.

As for why Democrats would prioritize the desires of scofflaw Hispanics over law-abiding blacks, the answer is that they’ve counted noses and checked birth rates. They have cynically determined that they’d rather rely on the votes of 75% of Hispanics than 95% of blacks for their political future.

When even middle class blacks vote exactly like welfare junkies, why would the Democrats waste even five minutes courting them?

But, they’ll get no sympathy from me. They have only themselves to blame, and I’m not even referring to the hundreds of thousands of black babies that are aborted every year. For decades, Democrats have kicked blacks in the butt, and the poor saps have continued voting for the likes of liar-nObama, Mrs. liar-Clinton and mad-Maxine Waters. If insanity is defined as repeating one’s mistakes and expecting different results, 95% of black Americans are certifiably bonkers.

In considering the relationship between blacks and the DNC, I’m reminded that the 19th century French novelist Marie Henri Beyle pen name Stendahl once observed: “The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.”

One thing I have never fully understood about blacks is the dispensation they grant themselves to use “nigger” when speaking to each other or referring to one of their own. Heck, black comedian Chris Rock even built an entire career out of telling black audiences that he loved black people, but he hated niggers.

The odd thing is that I don’t know of any other group – be it racial, religious or national — that uses a pejorative as a sign of kinship. I have never heard a fellow Jew call another Jew a kike, and I very much doubt that other groups call each other chinks, slopes, nips, spics, polacks, krauts, dagos or frogs, without getting punched in the nose.

* I once got into a heated exchange with a liberal over “social justice,” with his defending it, and my pointing out that insisting that there should be one form of justice for certain groups gays, women, minorities, the poor and another for others heterosexuals, men, Caucasians, the rich was a perversion of justice.

Recently, NOprah Winfrey bastardized another word while speechifying at the Golden Globes, when she urged women who may have experienced sexual harassment to “Speak your truth.”

Nobody owns the truth, least of all women who may be using the recent sex scandals to punish men they simply don’t like for reasons having nothing to do with sexual harassment.

Truth, like justice, doesn’t require qualifiers. In fact, once you start qualifying those concepts, you are encouraging lies and injustice.

* I just checked a couple of bottles in my bathroom and discovered I should consider hiring a bartender to oversee my dental hygiene. It seems the restoring agent recommended by my dentist is 11% alcohol, my mouthwash is 22% alcohol.

After my morning ablutions, it’s a wonder I can walk a straight line.

Imagine being stopped by a traffic cop and trying to talk your way out of a DUI ticket by explaining that you didn’t swallow, but merely rinsed.

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. burtprelutsky@icloud.com 

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