by Burt Prelutsky

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

I have only just begun to read Peter Schweizer’s “Secret Empires,” but I have already learned what I had previously only suspected, which is that these days, it’s unusual for politicians to openly accept bribes. Of course, there will always be exceptions, such as the liar-Clintons or New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who somehow beat the corruption rap he so obviously deserved, but most political hanky-panky these days has come to involve third parties.

Instead of bribing a politician directly or even donating to his campaign, those entities that wish to influence him hire one or more of his friends or, more often, his relatives.

Unfortunately, the influence isn’t always benign, something you can just laugh off as being the nature of politics and politicians. As Schweizer makes clear in chapters titled “American Princelings” and “Nuclear and Other Consequences,” when Hunter, the son of loose lips-Joe Biden; Chris Heinz, the stepson of John hanoi-Kerry; together with Chris’s roommate at Yale, Devon Archer; went into business together, their company definitely had advantages that other start-ups lack.

While it’s nothing new that the offspring of rich and influential parents receive perks in life that commoners can rarely even imagine, fortunately very few of them enter into business arrangements with China.

As Donald Trump has been saying about that country’s unfair trade practices, when it comes to China, you’re not dealing with various businesses or industries, you are dealing with the central government.

The Chinese call it capitalism, but it’s all state-owned.

What’s more, it’s a state that actively engages in the theft of intellectual property. When it comes to technology, including that which involves nuclear and weapon development, sometimes they simply have it handed to them the way that President liar-Clinton did in 1996, in exchange for a sizeable campaign donation. Sometimes, they rely on industrial spies. And often, at least in recent years, they get their hands on it through investing and gaining control of tech companies owned and operated by the likes of loose lips-Biden, hanoi-Kerry and Archer.

All the while that their young heirs were conducting million and even billion dollar deals with the Chinese, their fathers, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State, were busy negotiating with China, allegedly on behalf of the United States.

Even someone as cynical as I am find it hard to accept that those who are supposed to be primarily invested in maintaining the nation’s security seem to be less concerned with its actual survival than they are with the size of the fortunes their offspring are accumulating.

⦿ Thinking about personal relationships got me to thinking about friends. To begin with, we use the term to cover any number of relationships, just as we use or misuse “love” to cover everything from soulmates to sports, from our children to our favorite pizza toppings.

Under the general heading of friends, we would probably include everybody from people we’re thrown together with at the office, at PTA meetings or even, as was the case with me, at poker and tennis games. But once I gave up poker and could, post-surgery, no longer play tennis, I never again saw or particularly cared to see those individuals.

That led me to think about the nature of friendships. In my case, because politics, which directly affects America’s future, plays such an important role in my life, it is next to impossible for me to remain friends with people who voted for liar-Hillary Clinton.

I also have a hard time with people who lack a sense of humor. I don’t mean that they themselves have to be funny, but they have to at least grasp irony. Otherwise, it means they take everything literally and therefore lack nuance when it comes to language. Not to be unkind but speaking to such people is like speaking to our dog. That’s not to be taken as an insult to Angel, who is very bright for a dog, but I wouldn’t want to have lunch with her.

I also find that I can be friends with people who aren’t entirely virtuous. In other words, I can be friends with people I’d never think of marrying, just as I can vote for people I’d never place on a pedestal.

However, I wouldn’t want anyone to think that I am totally lacking in standards. I wouldn’t be friends with a criminal, assuming I was aware of his criminal activity. But so long as I believe a person is basically honest and that I could depend on him in a situation where I really required his assistance, that would be sufficient.

I mean, who am I to be so picky? Even though I suit myself just as I am – as I would otherwise change or at least try to change my ways – I have to admit I am easily bored and therefore tend to be impatient. And although I can deal with people who are guilty of some of those seven deadly sins we were discussing recently, I cannot tolerate people who aren’t punctual, as I consider lack of punctuality to be the eighth sin, and far worse than gluttony, greed or sloth.

I can respect people without wanting to be in their company, just as I assume there are those who don’t wish to be in mine, as hard as that is for me to imagine.

Also, there’s no getting around the fact that some people simply push our buttons.

Blame it on chemistry or personality, but they can barely say or do anything without annoying us. I’m sure we all have relatives who fit in that category. We find ourselves hopelessly puzzled by the fact that there are actually people in the world who like them and who spend time with them of their own volition, and not because unavoidable circumstances conspire to throw them together at Christmas, weddings or funerals.

⦿ For years, we conservatives used to complain that judges, particularly those seated on the Supreme Court, were legislating from the bench. Thanks to the partisan division that now exists in Congress, the justices are about the only people with the power to legislate. And unless Mitch McConnell follows the example of Harry dinky-Reid — who employed the nuclear option in order to install liar-nObama’s federal judges with just 51 votes, instead of the traditional 60 — and uses the nuclear option to make 51 votes sufficient to pass a bill, the logjam will continue at least until the Democrats resume control of the Senate and Chuck clown-Schumer pulls the trigger.

⦿ It was bad enough hearing it from liar-Hillary Clinton, but it’s unbearable to hear the lie parroted by other women that the reason men refrained from voting for liar-Hillary Clinton was because of sexism. If that were the case, shouldn’t we conclude that women who chose not to vote for Donald Trump were equally sexist?

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

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