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Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco
by Burt Prelutsky

America Alone
by Mark Steyn


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PRELUTSKY  Words Worth Heeding
by Burt Prelutsky [scriptwriter] 7/27/06 

Over the past few years, people have sent me a number of quotations which I might otherwise never have come across. I’ve printed them out and put them in a drawer, thinking that, like pieces of string and rubber bands, they’re too useful to throw away, but not really knowing what to do with them. Sharing them with you strikes me as a nice gesture, plus it clears out the drawer, leaving lots more room for string.

I can’t claim to know the sources, although I think it’s safe to attribute some of these remarks to Mark Twain and Will Rogers, while others sound like the work of Ronald Reagan’s terrific writers. Frankly, a few remind me of my own wisecracks, but that’s probably just wishful thinking.


Scriptwriter Burt Prelutsky has writing credits from some of television’s best known series as well as having been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. [go to Prelutsky index]

Conservatives are from Mars
(Liberals are from San Francisco)
by Burt Prelutsky

The first observation comes to us courtesy of Gen. Robert E. Lee, and is every bit as timely now as it was when first spoken 140-odd years ago: “It appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all the defects plainly from the start but didn’t tell me until it was too late. I’m willing to yield my place to these generals and I’ll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper.”

Equally pertinent to the times in which we live, but sounding more like Reagan than Lee: “I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle.”

It’s hard to argue with “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul” or “A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.”

It’s safe to say that whoever said the following, it wasn’t anyone named Clinton: “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”

It’s an equally safe bet that it wasn’t a liberal who observed, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.” I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the same person who summed up foreign aid “as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.”

And if the deeply cynical Ambrose Bierce didn’t observe that “The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the latter leaves the skin,” he should have.

Finally, it was the Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu who said, “The named is the mother of all things.” But it was my pal, the far less cryptic Oakland philosopher Kenny Fong who, after a friend of his named her newborn son Aslan, after a character in “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” commented: “She thinks it’s a lovely name. But to me, it means, he who will be bullied on the schoolyard.”

Now that you have absorbed all this wisdom, don’t go getting a swelled head, for in the immortal words of Baba Ram Dass, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.” CRO

Copyright 2006 Burt Prelutsky





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