Between the surgery and the flu, I have been pretty much housebound for a few weeks now. Between coughing, sneezing, taking meds and doing the hand exercises prescribed by the physical therapist, you wouldn’t think I’d have time to also be annoyed on an hourly basis by external events. But God, in putting me through Job’s trials, has not even spared me that.

For instance, David Ortiz, the 38-year-old designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, has been negotiating a new contract. He has asked for a multi-year deal, but because of his advanced age, the team has been reluctant to oblige. Mr. Ortiz is certainly within his rights to ask for the moon, but it’s the basis of his demand that has me reaching for the double strength Tylenol. It seems that Ortiz, who has been a major leaguer for 17 seasons and received $112 million in salary, exclusive of endorsements which, last year alone, brought in an additional 5 million, is requesting the multi-year deal for the security it would provide! I’d say Ortiz gives a whole new meaning to financial “insecurity.”

Whenever I read about prisons dumping inmates because of overcrowding, I find myself asking why Obama never mentions prisons when he yaks about funding for infrastructures. God knows we have enough roads and bridges. We merely have to maintain them. It’s obviously prisons that are in dangerously short supply.

I know a lot of people whose favorite TV show was “Monk.” I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Its strong points were its star, Tony Shalhoub, its novel mysteries and the fact that, for once in a TV crime show, the police captain wasn’t either corrupt or stupid and acting as a stumbling block to the gifted detective.

What I didn’t like is that the producers lacked respect for the viewers. For instance, we were told that it was the murder of his beloved wife Trudy that turned Monk from a normal person into an obsessive-compulsive, but subsequent flashback episodes showed him to be suffering from an advanced case of OCPD (obsessive compulsive personality disorder) when he first meets his future wife in college. When she first brings him home to meet her parents, she even has to slice his food for him and make certain the various items on his plate don’t touch.

It also bugged me that in addition to his various fears and phobias, the producers felt compelled, for no discernible reason, to make Monk as miserly as Jack Benny’s classic tightwad persona. But, unlike Benny, it was never funny. It merely made him look small and petty. For instance, when his assistant Natalie, a single mother with a young daughter, pleads for her overdue salary, Monk blithely turns her down. But, as we later discover, Natalie’s adoring parents are San Francisco millionaires, so she might just as well be paying Monk a salary.

On one occasion, Monk even stiffs a young neighbor who has babysat a dog for him.

Maybe it’s just me, but I have this feeling that if I knew the show’s producers, I wouldn’t like them.

Experience more of Burt Prelutsky’s humor and wit in his books — at WND’s Superstore.

As I recently wrote, the announced retirement of Rep. Henry Waxman is a good thing because it removes 40 years of seniority from the left side of the House aisle. Still, when people speak of term limits, 20 isn’t usually the number they have in mind, but I suppose it’s better than no limits at all. As I pointed out, however, change is not a synonym for improvement, as Obama has proven over the past five years.

Now, lest you think I was too pessimistic when I suggested that breaking out the confetti and party hats was premature, none other than Sandra (“Somebody has to pay for my damn birth control pills!”) Fluke briefly considered running for Waxman’s seat!

To this day, like-minded people keep sending me emails questioning Obama’s religion and his birthplace. Inasmuch as I have already declared that the only portion of the Constitution to which I object is its prohibition of the foreign-born to be president, I personally don’t really care about his background. Knowing he was a product of Chicago politics was more than enough for me. If the worst thing about Obama is that he’s an Arab, a Muslim or was born in Kenya, we’d all be a lot better off. Better an ex-Kenyan than an ex-community organizer. After all, nobody questions the religion or birthplace of Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Schumer, Maxine Waters or Dick Durbin. The problem with them and with Obama is that they are devout left-wingers, which makes them all fascists at heart.

They will all lie, cheat and steal, in pursuit of their ends because they all subscribe to the Marxist maxim that the ends justify the means.

And the end, as we have seen over the past several years, is the fundamental transformation of America from a shining city on a hill to a Soviet-like slum, where few speak Russian, but you still have to hit a button on your phone if you wish to speak English.

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