Thoughts on a summer day

Burt Prelutsky
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Posted: Aug 10, 2007 12:01 AM

Perhaps it’s all this warm weather, but I find myself bursting with notions. To begin with, I feel it’s high time that I stepped up to the plate and risked being called a few bad names by denying the myth of the essential Mexican. If you listen to such clodhoppers as George Bush and Ted Kennedy, you might actually get the idea that without a constant stream of Spanish-speaking illiterates, our economy would collapse like a punctured balloon. How is it, I wonder, that this nation managed to get along for the first 200 years of its existence?

There are only two groups of Americans who like the idea that the quality of life in this country is going down the sewer. They are, one, the political hacks who think they can hang on to their sinecures by ingratiating themselves with the illegal aliens, and, two, the various business interests who want a steady supply of low-paid fruit pickers, bus boys, hotel maids and construction workers.

But of course neither group wants to come clean about their tawdry motives. Instead, they resort to claims of compassion. The fact that there are millions of truly oppressed people all over the world on waiting lists is all the proof anybody needs to see through these obvious lies.

In the old days, a lot of bad jokes were made at the expense of female drivers. Usually, the remarks were directed at their alleged inability to parallel park or their insistence on painting their fingernails while on the freeway. But, lately, young female celebrities seem to have gone totally nuts. Every time you turn around, it seems like Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, are competing to see which of them can be the first to kill someone on the road. Considering how rich they are, I can’t fathom why, when they go out to party, they don’t have designated drivers -- namely, chauffeurs -- at their beck and call. When I asked a friend why he thought they’d even want to drive themselves, he said, “They must think it’s fun.” Well, all I can say is, if the ladies think it’s fun to drive in L.A., they really must be drunk.

Maybe, for her next birthday, instead of a nice piece of jewelry or the state of Rhode Island, Paris Hilton’s folks might consider giving her a bus pass. And, speaking of gifts that keep on giving, how about one of those “Mission Impossible” tape recorders, the ones with the tapes that self-destruct seconds after playback, for Alec Baldwin?

A sidebar to all this is that when Sheriff Lee Baca had Ms. Hilton released from jail after just 72 hours, he explained that her crime wasn’t a serious one. Seeing as how she has been found guilty of drunk driving on more than one occasion and driving with her license suspended, one can safely assume that Sheriff Baca will not be named MADD’s man of the year anytime soon.

Speaking of designated drivers reminds me that an equally fine notion is the concept of designated voters. It is glaringly apparent that such incompetents as Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are far better suited to driving than to voting.

A caller to the Dennis Miller radio show made me laugh out loud recently. He wondered if there was any such thing as a misdemeanor in the Islamic world. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that he had given voice to a great truth. Whether it’s a newspaper cartoon, the wrong clothing, heresy, adultery or whistling in the shower, everything with these creeps is a capital crime.

Speaking of the wrong clothing, I heard that Iran, in its latest attempt to crack down on its young dissidents, is enforcing a strict dress code. Which makes me wonder if we dare hope that Iran’s fashion police will soon lock up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I mean, where does he get off wearing sports jackets and even windbreakers? What can we expect next with this guy? Is he going to show up with Iran’s chief ayatollah wearing an I’m With Stupid t-shirt?

I don’t usually write e-mails to strangers unless they write to me first, but the other day I made an exception of Henry King, Jr. Being 87 years old and a professor at Case Western Reserve University Law School, he is the sort of fellow typically described as distinguished. A one-time prosecutor at the Nuremburg war trials, he was quoted as saying about one of his Nuremburg colleagues: “I think Robert Jackson would turn over in his grave if he knew what was going on at Guantanamo. It violates the Nuremburg principles, what they’re doing, as well as the spirit of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”

I sent him the following e-mail: “Dear Professor King, I am curious as to the basis for your remark about Gitmo. At Nuremburg, you helped convict Nazi high officials for perpetrating war crimes. They were men who had worn uniforms and committed their crimes while serving under Germany’s flag. The Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, wear no uniforms, carry no flag, conceal themselves midst civilian populations, hide in mosques, and are not themselves signatories to the Geneva Conventions. On the contrary, they target civilians and commit atrocious acts of barbarism, including suicide bombings and beheadings. How on earth do you dare compare Guantanamo and Nuremburg?”

As you may have guessed, I’m still awaiting a reply.

Speaking of prosecutors, I tend to think well of them, as opposed to criminal defense attorneys who, for a price, will happily devote their time and energy to providing rapists, pedophiles and murderers, with Get Out of Jail Free cards. However, I can’t help noting that of late it’s prosecutors who are most deserving of our scorn. The three most obvious examples are Mike Nifong, who tried to railroad the Duke lacrosse players into the slammer; Patrick Fitzgerald, who would probably have sought the death penalty in Scooter Libby’s case, if he could have pulled it off; and Georgia’s Attorney General Thurbert Baker, who apparently thinks that Genarlow Wilson should spend 10 years in a Georgia prison for having consensual sex with his girl friend. I don’t know it for a fact, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Baker is a direct descendant of Cotton Mather.

Still, honesty dictates I must confess I got a chuckle out of composing a sentence that included such goofy P.G. Wodehouse-type names as” Thurbert” and “Genarlow.”