Burt's Eye View: Questions Even Glenn Beck Hasn't Asked

I have a few questions on my mind and, judging by the questions asked by the likes of George Stephanopoulos, David Letterman and the mainstream media, if I don’t ask them, there’s a very good chance that nobody else will.

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First off, I’d like to know why the 535 members of Congress have to congregate in Washington, D.C. As Dick Morris and Eileen McGann made perfectly clear in “Fleeced,” they don’t do very much in the nation’s capitol that they couldn’t do just as well or just as badly if they stayed home in their bathrobes. Half the time, the sessions are devoted to naming post offices and other equally earth-shattering events.

So far as I can tell, the actual motives are to allow senators and representatives to have fiefdoms both in Washington and in their own state or district; to make things more convenient for lobbyists – one-stop shopping, as it were; and to keep our representatives as far away as possible from their constituents.

I keep hearing commercials for teleconferencing systems and I think they’re worth a try. With my plan, there is even an advantage for the politicians because they wouldn’t have to waste time and money flying back and forth. What’s more, they wouldn’t have to spend all that extra dough sending their kids to private schools, thus ensuring that their offspring be spared having to attend public schools in Washington, D.C. You know, those schools that politicians are always raving about when they’re out seeking campaign contributions from the Teacher’s Union, the ones where liberal candidates pose for photo ops during presidential campaigns.

My second question is how it was that of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, only 24 were lawyers or jurists, but of the current 100 senators, 60 are lawyers? While it’s true that there are slightly more than a million lawyers in America, that is less than one percent of the adult population. So how is it that 60% of the U.S. Senate and slightly over 30% of the House members, in addition to their party affiliation, are entitled to put Esq. after their name?

I believe the problem is two-fold. One, it’s just too easy and too much fun being a politician; two, it’s just too hard and not enough fun being a lawyer. If people enjoyed being lawyers more, they wouldn’t be so darn eager to run off to Albany, Sacramento, Springfield, Atlanta or Washington, D.C. Frankly, I don’t know how to make the practice of law a more exciting career. So, instead, I think it behooves us to come up with ways to make politics a less attractive option. The one notion that popped into my head was to take a leaf out of the Aztec playbook and initiate human sacrifices. Would any of us really have strong objections to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Arlen Spector, Susan Collins, Henry Waxman, Charles Schumer, Olympia Snowe, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, being offered up to pacify the angry spirits of the Founding Fathers?

My final question is, why, in 2009 America, are mulattoes invariably identified as blacks? Surely there is nothing wrong with being a mulatto. There is no stigma attached, as once there was. It merely refers to those who have one white parent and one black. There are many notable individuals who are mulattoes, including Halle Berry, Derek Jeter, Lisa Bonet and Barack Obama. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, is a true amalgamation, being one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter black, one-eighth Native American and one-eighth Dutch. And, yet, with the possible exception of the New York Yankee shortstop, we insist on identifying all of them as black.

It’s as if there is something shameful about their being half or even one-eighth white. If there is, I’d sure like to know what it is. If, on the other hand, there isn’t, why do we insist on acting as if there were?

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