By Norman M. Covert

Good morning, travelers. I am persuaded that Ernie Kovacs and Charles Dickens should be the lesson of this day as I plant my foot firmly and put on my best grump face.

There is this from British author Mr. Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities.” He wrote of London, King George III’s bunker in 1775, a time when American Patriots started to fight back and ultimately overturned his oppression:

British Author Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven….”

Sound familiar? That’s why I’ve entitled this commentary, “Deep Thoughts.”

Our modern world, with its collective sophistication, is being managed by international principles who appear mostly incompetent. Aside from the no-small prospect of world economic collapse, the issues are wearying, often sophomoric, and fit the notion that you truly cannot make up this stuff.

My title above isn’t an original. The late comedian Ernie Kovacs had a segment in his 1950s radio and television shows called, “Deep Thoughts.”

Ernie once told an interviewer that his thoughts were so deep he could see all the way to China. That was before President Richard Nixon scored his “détente,” opening the window to allow China to take our consumer dollars and lend it back to cover our current president’s excesses.

How comedic is it that the world could put on blinders and realize that Israel is not the problem in the Middle East. From its birth by United Nations mandate in 1948, Israel has offered the only hope for indigenous Arabs, who launched an invasion a day later. Sheer courage and ingenuity won that war for the Israelis. They added insult by whipping the Egyptians, their surrogates and cohorts in subsequent wars.

Captain Avraham "Bren" Adan raising the Israeli Flag at Umm Rashrash (now in Eilat), marking victory in 1949.

Arab militants launch daily rocket attacks on Israeli kibbutzes, which are producing some of the world’s best fruits and vegetables. Still, the American press panders to its liberal supporters writing that Israel is the ultimate reason for all of these attacks.

I suggest that it wasn’t the Israelis who murdered the Egyptian border guards last week and I remain hopeful the Children of Israel will maintain their unbeaten record should further disagreements arise.

We once had a “Deep Thoughts” conversation with some of the Army’s best tactical brains in the Fort Monroe (Va.) Officers Club Lounge. We pondered the problem with the Israelis and their belligerent Arab neighbors, circa 1972.

“Give them each two nuclear weapons,” we agreed, “and attach a three-day window in which to use them.”

Israel would have prevailed.  Arab factions still can’t remember whom they hate the most, brothers, cousins or Jews.

Problem solved; “Deep Thoughts.”

We have watched our president and his State Department utilize the Casper Milquetoast form of foreign policy. We negotiate from a position of weakness, bowing and cow-towing to the world’s bullies, believing they will respond to our sincerity with warm fuzzies.

Iran continues to laugh at us. The United Nations’ Kofi Annan has resigned his diplomatic mission, admitting the failure of our strategy and tactics. Our “Democratic” friends in Syria, as proclaimed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ignore our overtures. Sadly the Syrian rebels are in a precarious position now as they toil without either our encouragement or assistance. We treated the Iranian rebels with the same ennui.

The foregoing United States effort  transcends its pre-World War I and -World War II years of isolation. One can hardly conceive of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan or even Bill Clinton making up these blunders. Each of them showed an occasional flair for the random “Deep Thought.”

I still admire Mr. Kovacs. His satire was to the point and left no segment of society unsullied. His career would go nowhere these days because of “our” sensitivities and his willingness to poke fun at fellow travelers.

Comedian Ernie Kovacs portraying inimitable Percy Dovetonsils. (Courtesy

Forgive the remembrance, but one of Ernie Kovacs’ popular characters was “Percy Dovetonsils,” which he pronounced “Perthy Dovetonthils.” Percy loved his martinis, admonishing his man-servant Bruce to remember “just a modicum…” of Vermouth. Percy was quite a poet; one of his ditties, “Oh, Cowboy,” asking “…are you a gay Caballero?” Oooh, but that is a politically correct no-no for those who would rather kiss than eat Chik’n at Chick-Fil-A.

I told you, “Deep Thoughts.”

This every-day guy has seen the nation lose much of its excellence, pride, and character, but more than that, its humor. We are the butt of own comedy routines, and not just in self-deprecation. We are the “butts!”

We embrace games like soccer in which we want everyone to feel good and not suffer the humiliation of defeat, yet we make apologies for NFL players who earn “Bounty” money disabling star players!

I now see that Republican presidential presumptive nominee Mitt Romney is accused of being the cause of death from cancer of an Obama media star’s wife. It is a tragic true story of a man’s grief over his wife, but it has nothing to do with Mr. Romney. Is there no shame with our current chief executive?

Mr. Obama and his staff are a comedy routine, just about ready for the prime time they dominate.

A closing nugget for you: The monthly national unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July. The White House said last week in response that it proves we are headed in the right direction (badda-boom).

I did see an editorial comment yesterday from a well-known street roamer, who often comes up on the local police radar screen. He can be violent, but this time he was just being editorial walking up one of our main thoroughfares. He smiled at pedestrians and vehicles holding his hand aloft for all to see in a vulgar display.

“Deep Thoughts,” I told you. You can’t make this stuff up.

“Bruce, just a modicum.”—© 2012 Norman M. Covert

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This appeared in its original form at and is used with permission of the author and The Octopus, LLC.

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