©2018 Burt Prelutsky


I have never understood the reluctance of our politicians to make English our official language. Granted, many of them have a difficult time speaking or understanding it, but that’s no excuse for our being one of the few nations that refuses to certify an official language. But, then, it does go hand in hand with our being the only nation on earth that refuses to accept protected borders as our birthright.

When it comes to borders, other nations lock theirs up with the equivalent of a chastity belt, whereas we carry on as if we’re a 7/11 with a sign out front reading Open 24/7. Or, rather, Abierto 24/7.

⦿ On a related topic, a recent poll disclosed that in a quarter of American homes, a language other than English is spoken. It’s safe to assume that the language most often spoken is Spanish, but, based on my own experience, I suspect the numbers are greatly increased once you include Eastern Europeans, people from the Philippines and urban blacks.

⦿ Some things never change. When someone in Toronto went on a shooting rampage recently, killing a girl and a young woman and wounding 13 others, and the media didn’t identify the shooter, I wager I wasn’t the only person who assumed it was a Muslim with a name something like Faisal Hussain.

As it happens, the schmuck’s name was exactly like that.

It was also predictable that Toronto’s Police Chief Mark Saunders would insist he had no idea what Hussain’s motive might have been. But, then, who can blame Saunders for mincing his words the way celebrity chef Bobby Flay minces his onions and carrots?

In Canada, if a second-grader had suggested it was very likely that Mr. Hussain gunned down a bunch of strangers because he was a member of a cuckoo religion that encourages that sort of thing, the federal authorities would have the seven-year-old Canadian on trial for a hate crime.

⦿ I think I can be forgiven for assuming that when Jeff Sessions recused himself in 2017, it was tantamount to taking an early retirement. I mean, I pay pretty close attention, but so far as I can tell, he hasn’t done or said anything for over a year.

I apologize if he’s commented on any of the scandals swirling around the FBI and the Justice Department, but I have yet to hear him voice an opinion, pro or con, about Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Christopher Wray or Rod Rosenstein.

But, credit where it’s due. The other day, the Attorney General observed that “Schools are creating a generation of sanctimonious snowflakes.”

Understand, I’m not suggesting it’s up there with Spiro Agnew’s “nattering nabobs of negativity,” but at least it’s true and provides proof that Sessions didn’t enroll fulltime at Rip Van Winkle’s Academy of Napping, but merely audited several classes.

⦿ Although I pay an unhealthy amount of attention to the news, I confess that sometimes when I’m watching Fox and Juan Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Richard Goldstein, Leslie Marshall or Tucker Carlson’s ridiculous “liberal sherpa,” Kathy Areu, pops up on my screen, I hit the fast-forward button on my remote.

Sometimes, I’m a little slow on the trigger, which, on rare occasion, is a good thing.

The other evening, as Jon Summer, the perpetually smirking former aide to House Speaker Harry dinky-Reid, came on screen, I fortunately fumbled the remote, so that I got to hear him say that, in pushing for fair trade agreements with our allies and thereby risking a trade war, Donald Trump “was displaying a willful lack of ignorance.”

Such moments are precious and should be fully embraced and appreciated by as many people as possible.

⦿ According To Russ Mothershed, a guy named Mike and his wife Mary live in Minnesota.

One winter morning, while listening to WCCO, they hear the announcer say: “We are going to have eight or nine inches of snow today, so be sure to park your car on the even-numbered side of the street, so the snowplow can get through.”

Michael goes out and moves their car.

A week later, while having breakfast, they hear the announcer report that another storm is expected, so cars need to be parked on the odd side of the street, so that the snowplow can do its job.

Once again, Michael goes out and moves their car.

The following week, they are once again having breakfast when the announcer says: “We’re expecting 14 inches of snow today, so be sure to park…” when the electric power goes out.

Michael is frantic with worry. He turns to Mary and says: “Honey, I don’t know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplow can get through?”

“Mike, why don’t you just leave it in the garage this time?”

This isn’t the funniest joke I’ve ever heard, but it’s so rare that a woman isn’t the butt of a joke, I felt obliged to run it.



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