by Burt Prelutsky

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

One of the bigger mysteries in the political world is why so many Republican members of Congress are announcing they are retiring when their current terms end. The latest to announce his premature departure is Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Can anyone explain why there’s a stampede of conservatives quitting when it generally takes dynamite to dislodge incumbents in either party? It would be different if they had a good reason for leaving; for instance, if they knew they had no chance of being re-elected, or if they could only envision a bleak future in which Chuck clown-Schumer and Nancy Pulosi would be calling the shots, it might make sense to depart of their own volition.

But, thanks to Trump’s record number of de-regulations and the passage of the tax bill, the economy is booming. The GOP might not only maintain control of both houses in November but could easily increase its advantage.

Typically, the rats are expected to leave a sinking ship. These days, it’s some of the best members of the crew that are deserting, leaving the rats to run the ship.

* Another bewildering thing that is taking place in Washington is the way that in the wake of obvious malfeasance at the FBI, the Democrats have rallied to the defense of law enforcement.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Democrats, responding to liar-nObama’s racist dog whistle, were attacking the police, calling them storm-troopers who signed up, not to serve and protect, but in order to persecute and kill black people.

The change has been so sudden, I half-expect to see congressional Democrats outfitted with those protective collars worn by people suffering from whiplash.

* In the past week or so, a few of my eagle-eyed readers have called a few mistakes to my attention. Well, bless their hearts.

In one article, Margaret let me know that I not only renamed Peter Strzok’s adulterous mistress Lisa Page “Lisa Evans,” but called a koi pond a “poi pond.” In another article, Bob couldn’t wait to let me know that I called an ICBM an “IBM.”

Some people might assume that because I write so much, such mistakes are inevitable. The problem with that theory is that I made the same kind of mistakes when I was only turning out a couple of articles a week. While it’s true that I probably made fewer in those days because I was writing less, I have no doubt that I was making them at the same rate. Probably one every three or four articles.

As I see it, most of my goofs can be traced to the fact that I’m a mediocre typist. I am constantly having to back up and add or remove a letter from a word I typed because I hit the wrong key. The trouble is that once a word is on the page or, in this case, the screen, my eye tends to see the word it expects to see. That being the case, I think it’s easy to understand why I would “see” poi as koi and IBM as ICBM.

I don’t mind confessing to these kinds of errors because they didn’t constitute lies or negate the points I was trying to make. In fact, what I found remarkable is that only two readers called the mistakes to my attention. Now it’s possible that others spotted the gaffes but didn’t think it was worth their time to point them out. Perhaps, unlike those nitpicking know-it-alls, Bob and Margaret, they took pity on an old man and decided it was kinder to leave me with my delusion of competence.

But I suspect that most of you simply “saw” what you expected to see.

* One of my subscribers sent me a picture of liar-Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pulosi and mad-Maxine Waters, and challenged me to blast them.

I let him know that I had recently run out of insults, but I had written to the factory and they assured me that a new shipment was on its way.

* Writing in The New American, Charles Scaliger shared a few historical facts that left me reeling. We all know that, thanks mainly to the likes of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Jimmy Carter, liar-Bill Clinton and Barack liar-nObama, the federal government has been transformed from what the Founders intended it to be into a grotesque monstrosity. It’s as if someone had picked up a child’s balloon and not stopped huffing and puffing until it was the size of the Goodyear blimp.

In 1900, a storm with the intensity of Hurricane Harvey hit Galveston, Texas. Although no exact number of deaths was ever agreed upon, approximately 12,000 people perished, and virtually every single structure was demolished.

In fact, the Galveston disaster killed more people than have died in all of America’s other hurricanes combined.

Yet, as Mr. Scaliger reports, within five days, water, postal and telegraph services, were restored, and cotton was being shipped from its port two weeks later.

What makes the recovery worth mentioning is that the federal government was barely involved. Nearly all of the heavy lifting was accomplished by locals and the state of Texas.

Six years later, San Francisco was hit by its famous earthquake, which, in combination with the ensuing fire, destroyed the most prosperous city on the West Coast. The federal government quickly responded, but it took the form of calling out the military to help maintain law and order and to erect temporary shelter for the suddenly homeless.

But the federal government was not called upon to empty the nation’s treasury on the city’s account. Instead, San Francisco sought financing from a variety of private sources, promising its benefactors a business-friendly environment, rife with opportunities for profit. Among the first responders were Standard Oil, Andrew Carnegie, the City of London and the Bank of Canada.

Those who think that only the Feds are up to dealing with natural disasters will point out that a century ago, it wasn’t nearly as expensive to rebuild a city. But it is equally true that billionaires did not exist in those days and if anyone had predicted that a century later, the United States would be twenty trillion dollars in debt, he would have been locked away with the other boobies.

If anyone had possessed five hundred million dollars in the 19th century, he could have probably bought the entire world, and still had enough left over for cab fare and a ham sandwich. After all, in 1803, we had purchased the 828,000 square miles of the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million. It’s true that a dollar went a lot further in those days. In that particular case, it went from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

In 1867, a scant 39 years prior to the Frisco earthquake, we paid Russia a crummy $7.2 million for the 664,000 square miles of Alaska.

Perhaps it’s time that the states stopped treating Uncle Sam like Daddy Warbucks and began dealing with their own damn disasters.

* There are times when I feel as if time were standing still. Then there are those other times when I get hit with a jolt of reality and realize that not only is time not standing still, it’s laced up its track shoes and is going for a world’s record.

This afternoon, while looking up something, I discovered that Rodney Allen Rippy, the cute little black kid who charmed the nation in a series of Jack in the Box commercials a while back is now 50 years old!

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

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