by Burt Prelutsky

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

I admit I’m troubled by all the Republicans who have announced their retirement from Congress. How is it that someone as seemingly honest and competent as South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy could stick it out under Barack liar-nObama, but suddenly can’t wait to get out of town?

In Gowdy’s case, his cover story is the typical one about wishing to spend more time with his family. His intention, he claims, is to practice law. I’m sorry, but that simply won’t wash. These guys in Congress typically have three-day weekends and extremely short work days. They also take off for more holidays than Hassidic Jews.

A guy with a law practice has less leisure time, not more, than a congressman. Hell, bums in the park have less leisure time than congressmen.

On a related matter, I heard from a reader who was pushing for term limits. Although I understand the natural inclination to prevent people from getting too settled in the House or Senate, I don’t think it would prevent any of the problems. It wouldn’t get rid of lobbyists or corruption because it would still take money and plenty of it to get elected.

As long as we’re going to pray for miracles, I’d prefer to see the electorate smarten up. I understand that in most elections, we’re voting for a pig in a poke. Instinctively, smarter people will vote for the candidate with an (R) after his or her name, dummies will go with the one with a (D). Some dumb people who don’t wish to be taken for total idiots will claim they vote for the person, not the party, ignoring the fact that congressional Democrats get their marching orders from either Chuck clown-Schumer or Nancy Pulosi, and God help them if they stray off the plantation.

But there is no excuse for Republican voters in Arizona to send a couple of deadheads like rino-John McCain and rino-Jeff Flake to Washington. Clearly, those folks don’t pay any attention at all to what these guys are up to once they put 2,500 miles between themselves and the schnooks who elected them.

I know that my prayers for an informed electorate are unrealistic. Considering who’s running the education industry in America and who’s in charge of reporting the news, I might as well expect a soap bubble to have a life expectancy of a tortoise.

⦿ One of the virtues of conservatives is also one of its failings. I’m referring to their insistence on biting their tongues when under verbal attack. They will insist they’re merely being civil. But a lot of it can be explained as cowardice. Because so many of them are cursed with left-wing kids, grandkids, friends and relatives, they fear being shunned. At least when the Amish engage in the practice, it involves actual sins, not partisan politics.

It’s the reason, though, that ignoramuses control discourse in America.

Something that all of us, Republicans and Democrats, should keep in mind is something that Thomas Paine once said: “The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.”

⦿ Although it is my way to hang back in order to better observe the follies of politicians and those who elect them, I found myself becoming troubled by the direction the debates over the border seemed to be going in Washington.

I decided to do my part to remind the President how he got elected. I dropped him a note.

“Dear President Trump: In the enclosed article, I suggested that you ask Americans to donate to your big beautiful wall. To get the ball rolling, I am sending along a check for $5. If you move ahead with my suggestion, I promise to send more.

“You’re doing a great job, and I would personally like to thank you for saving America from liar-Hillary Clinton.

“Best wishes to Mrs. Trump and the kids. Sincerely, Burt Prelutsky”

I’ll keep you posted if I hear back.

⦿ My call for bucket list items mainly went unheeded, but I did hear from one person, Nancy Bradley of Las Vegas, whose list included 10 items, four of which she had already checked off. I found it interesting because it so clearly showed how different we all are. Although I had done two-and-a-half things on her list, some of the things she was yearning to do I would regard as punishments for my various transgressions.

She had already ridden an elephant, visited Europe “in 1958, when Europe was still fun”, walked on a volcano and visited Mt. Rushmore. She still has hopes of taking a ride in a hot air balloon, visiting Australia, staying at the Ritz Carlton or the Waldorf “if it’s still open”, crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II, visiting Washington, D.C. and celebrating with her husband their 60th wedding anniversary on May 16, 2019.

The two-and-a-half things I had done were to visit Europe, visit our nation’s capital and cross the Atlantic on the original Queen Mary.

⦿ One of my readers engaged me in an exchange about jury duty. I was happy to report that they had stopped calling me in to do my civic duty. I would like to think they had finally realized that no criminal defense lawyer would ever let me get within a hundred yards of a jury box, but I’m assuming it had to do with my age. Too many pee breaks.

⦿ Another reader, responding to my list of favorite singers let me know she had admired Ray Charles, a friend of mine who always billed himself as “The Other Ray Charles,” who had been Perry Como’s music arranger.

She also shared the news that in elementary school, she had had a crush on Mr. Como, and even years later, she still thought he was very handsome.

I admitted that although I am straight as an arrow, I also thought Perry Como was the handsomest of the crooners. In spite of which, he was a dud in movies. It took TV to allow him to make full use of his relaxed, nearly coma-like, personality, which made him the perfect house guest.

That got me to thinking about other pop singers, and the realization that if funny-looking guys like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, had gone into any other field of endeavor, they’d have been hard-pressed to get a date.

⦿ This bit of sage advice comes your way from Charles Dickens: “I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of any countenance, any day of the week, if there is anything to be got by it.”

Try to heed those words the next time you’re in the presence of a politician.

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

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