by Burt Prelutsky
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. 

When I watched President Trump address the crowd in Elkhart, Indiana, I saw a connection to, of all things, Minnie Marx’s brood of madcap hellions, Groucho, Harpo and Chico.

Before you conclude that I have taken total leave of my senses, I’ll remind you, as the Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali, once remarked: “The sole difference between myself and a madman is the fact that I am not mad.”

When Trump holds one of his rallies, his intention isn’t simply to rev up his base, taunt the media and give us a few laughs at the expense of the media. He is also gauging the crowd’s response to certain topics. He’s calculating if the Wall continues to be something his people care about; if they’ve personally experienced a benefit from the tax cuts; if they approve of his releasing us from the Paris Accords and the Iran deal; and even if they support his moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The reason I liken his approach to the Marx Brothers is because before they would begin shooting one of their movies at MGM, the boys would test their routines on the road. The bits that got laughs outside L.A. would wind up in their movies. The set pieces that died onstage in Chicago or Denver would be buried and forgotten in Chicago or Denver.

What’s more, the people notice and recognize that when the President refers to the nation or the economy or even the 2016 election, Trump says our nation and our economy and even our victory, so unlike his arrogant predecessor who was so full of “I,” “me” and “mine,” that even when it came to the execution of Osama bin Laden, Barack liar-nObama made it sound as if he had joined the Navy Seals in repelling down from the helicopter and had personally led the charge up the stairs of the Pakistani villa, where he shot and killed the deranged architect of 9/11.

⦿  I don’t believe I am any more patriotic than any of you. However, when I listen to most of the politicians and federal functionaries in Washington, D.C. and consider the outrageous behavior of people like Chuck clown-Schumer, Nancy Puelosi, scum-Adam Schiff, mad-Maxine Waters, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Clapper, John Brennan, Susan Rice and Samantha Powers, I can’t help thinking how contemptible it is that people who have been blessed to have been elected or appointed to serve this great country have chosen, instead, to betray everything for which she stands.

⦿  When I was younger and would hear people refer to California as “God’s country,” I assumed it was because it had such great weather; magnificent mountains, deserts and coastlines; and some of the richest and most fruitful farmland in the world. Today, when people continue to refer to it as God’s country, it’s only in recognition of Jerry Brown’s delusions of grandeur.

⦿  Considering the amount of lunacy in the air, it should be no great surprise that some people seem more terrified by the prospect of a trade war than one involving armies and perhaps even nukes. When it comes to trusting people to do what’s best for the American economy, it makes far more sense to me to trust a guy who has made billions of dollars duking it out in the real world with construction unions, building inspectors and mobsters, than a bunch of half-baked mediocrities who have devoted their lives to running for public office.

It occurs to me that the same crowd that was certain that Trump was going to land us in a nuclear war with North Korea are now terrified that China and the EU are going to demolish our economy because Trump is calling for tariffs on steel and aluminum and demanding a re-do on treaties like NAFTA and TPP. 

As I see it, when one side has been right about removing job-destroying regulations, building a wall and confronting Little Rocket Man, and the other side has been wrong about, well, everything, it would seem to make a great more sense to string along with Trump.

⦿  It sometimes occurs to me that I might well be the exception to the rule when it comes to American heterosexual males. For openers, I hate watching football and basketball. I have only liked a handful of westerns in my life. I prefer songs from the Great American Songbook Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, Rogers, Kern, Loesser to nearly everything that has come along in the meantime.

Most telling of all, I even hate driving. But for that, I can at least fix the blame. It’s all because of my father, who decided for some peculiar reason that he was the ideal driving instructor.

It was a Sunday morning late in my 15th year when he took me out to prepare me for my driver’s test. It started out innocently enough. He had me drive around the empty parking lot of a local supermarket.

He then had me drive over to Sunset Boulevard and turn west. The famous street has a lot more hair-pin turns than you might imagine if you have only experienced it watching Billy Wilder’s homage to silent movie legends.

As scary as that was, my dad then directed me to turn onto Beverly Glen, which has more twists than a pretzel, and drive into the San Fernando Valley, which I barely knew existed at the time. My relatives all lived on the city side of the hill, so I only had this vague impression that once you came down on the other side, you might be within sight of San Francisco.

My dad, who was either a sadist or a masochist or a weird Russian-Jewish combination of the two, then had me drive north or is it west? on Ventura Blvd., the main thoroughfare in the Valley. But, apparently, my dad bored quickly once I didn’t appear to be placing our lives in jeopardy, so he then had me drive through the canyon until we hit Pacific Coast Highway, which by then was thick with fast-moving traffic.

By the time crazy Sam Prelutsky finally decided that I had mastered the basic principles and directed us homeward, I felt as if I had driven across the continent, at times while drunk and blindfolded.

It may be my imagination or a faulty memory, but I seem to recall that by the time I finally pulled into the driveway, he had to pry my icy cold fingers off the steering wheel.

I do recall thinking that my trusty old Schwinn bicycle had served me well up to that time and fervently wished that we lived in a small town where it might remain my main mode of transportation. But, alas, I passed the driving test a month or so later and have dreaded driving for the last 62 years.

By now, I have no doubt that in this car-crazy society of ours, some of you are questioning not whether I am an American male, but whether I was lying when I claimed to be heterosexual. 
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy. 

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Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

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Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.


Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors. adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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