The Cosmic Joke

Peruse the photograph that accompanies this column. Taken last Friday by the Cassini probe currently orbiting Saturn, it’s one of those pictures NASA likes to release to the public in an effort to remind us that they A) exist and B) can do stuff besides bum rides from the Russians to the International Space Station. Recalling the famed “family portrait” that the late, great Carl Sagan led the Voyager team to create in 1990, the Earth is in the picture. And much like the “pale blue dot” section of Sagan’s famous photo mosaic, the Earth is very, very small.


This latest photograph, which shows Saturn in all her majesty, actually includes the Earth only as a cosmic afterthought. Of course, our beautiful blue marble is a cosmic afterthought. Heck, Saturn is neither the largest of our planets, nor the farthest from home; those honors belong to Jupiter and Neptune, respectively. Nonetheless, the photograph is as humbling as any image that accurately depicts our infinitesimal smallness against the backdrop of God’s infinite creation.

But forget the metaphysical stuff. In fact, let’s put all the really cool regular physics aside, as well. Focus on the photograph. It was snapped by Cassini just six days ago. And that simple act of clicking the shutter on a plutonium-powered camera is amazing all by itself.

See, it took 14 years of development and construction, 16 years flying via remote control across more than a billion miles, nearly $4 billion and the cooperation of some of the most brilliant humans available in more than a dozen separate countries just to take that picture. Even the Italians, the same guys responsible for Fiat, pitched in. To be sure, there have been a couple of hiccups. A European Space Agency programming error caused the loss of one of the Huygens data channels and about 350 images of Saturn’s moon Titan. But given the fact that Cassini is about the size of a school bus and is assigned to cover a neighborhood even less hospitable than South Central Los Angeles, a minor transmitter failure is cosmically small.

The usual suspects nearly derailed Cassini years before its launch date. As zero hour approached, a far left eco-loon group named the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice tried to scrub the project on the grounds that its plutonium fuel posed a threat to the human race (or something to that effect). The Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice still exists, and it has continued its mission of scaring people with pseudoscience claptrap. Sixteen years after getting it all wrong about Cassini, its website is currently a mélange of so-called “global warming” babble and advertisements for something called “The Sustainable Living Center,” which sounds an awful lot like a “campground.” Beyond that, an impassioned campaign by astronaut Sally Ride and some luck at the budgetary butcher shop barely saved the program. And it still had to achieve escape velocity from the entropy that afflicts nearly everything that wanders too close to Washington, D.C.’s wild orbit.

Cooperating nations spent billions of dollars to make what amounts to a really amazing car that has functioned just about flawlessly for nearly 20 years — all despite worse working conditions than those faced by Keith Olbermann’s limousine service. Think about that for a moment; I mean, really let it sink in. Right now, as you’re considering the magnitude of the scientific, technological and bureaucratic success that is Cassini as well as the many parts of the incredible journey that produced that amazing photograph, the United Nations is spending many billions more Cassini cost to combat so-called “global warming.”

On the one hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties worked on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of the actual universe. On the other hand, a group made up of multiple nationalities and specialties is working on multiple levels over multiple years to advance our understanding of pseudoscience that averages a name change per decade.

The next time President Barack Hussein Obama and/or one of his liberal cronies goes into hysterics over global warming or suggests throwing taxpayer dollars at another “green” energy boondoggle, think of this photograph. Then ask yourself: “Could the same guys who came up with ‘global warming’ and Solyndra pull this off?”

–Ben Crystal

The Democrats Destroyed Detroit

Don’t look now, kids; but while you were laughing at the irony of the same Democrats who ignored the bloodcurdling murder of Baby Antonio Santiago gathering to demand “justice” for Trayvon Martin, Detroit provided one of the greatest “teachable moments” in American history. Despite enjoying the better part of a century’s worth of compassionate, caring and community organized leadership by the best Democrats money could satisfy — in combination with a primary industrial base shot through with the very soul of Big Labor — Detroit skidded through the safety cones of taxpayer-funded bailouts and slammed back into the bridge abutment of bankruptcy.

And let’s be clear about this: The Motor City isn’t dying. It’s dead. Sure, there are still residents skulking around the once-proud burg; but census figures show that their numbers are nearly 60 percent lower than they were a half-century ago. What remains is an urban zombie, a hollow-eyed corpse shuffling along in a mindless search for taxpayer funds.

But this isn’t news. Detroit’s demise didn’t sneak up from behind us while we were distracted by exploding Chevy Volts. Actually, in a sense, it did. We were told that Detroit had put its troubles in the rear view mirror. Thanks to a government takeover led by President Barack Obama, the worthless executives were expunged from the model line like Pontiac Azteks. In their place, even more worthless bureaucrats whose private-sector experience extended to coffee with the Undersecretary of Commerce’s scheduler joined hands with Big Labor to continue churning out the mind-numbingly depressing fleet cars that combine none of the competitors’ pizzazz with none of their quality control. Case in point: Pre-bailout, the Chevy Malibu versus the Toyota Camry. Post-bailout, the Chevy Malibu versus the Toyota Camry.

In truth, Detroit’s downward spiral began decades ago. Following the post-World War II boom; the Nation’s industries underwent an inevitable downturn. Since the Federal government had yet to get into the “saving union thugs from their own incompetence” business, companies like Packard shuttered their plants. Not long afterward, as the city reeled from the economic blow, a police raid of an illegal speakeasy so enraged the patrons that they started a race riot, which would ultimately hold the “burning down our own city” title until South Central Los Angeles claimed it a quarter century later. Not only did damages exceed $80 million (about $560 million in 2013 dollars); but they sent 2,500 businesses to “quitsville,” 43 people to the morgue and a huge portion of the productive population to the suburbs. Universally respected economist Thomas Sowell noted:

Before the ghetto riot of 1967, Detroit’s black population had the highest rate of home-ownership of any black urban population in the country, and their unemployment rate was just 3.4 percent. It was not despair that fueled the riot. It was the riot which marked the beginning of the decline of Detroit to its current state of despair.

Following the riots, an oil crunch took its toll. The auto industry, plagued by Big Labor attacks since the 40s, responded to rising gas prices with a series of incredibly awful automobiles and incredibly bad concessions to the unions. After GM essentially launched the Japanese import market with horrendous cars like the Vega, the United Auto Workers actually managed to exact the infamous GM jobs bank, a program in which laid-off workers were paid nearly full salary and benefits to not work. Over the next few decades, the jobs bank cost GM just less than $1 billion per year.

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While the city’s major employers desperately tried to keep their heads above water despite the unions’ attempts to drown them, the remaining denizens of Detroit decided to salt the fields they had so badly plowed under in 1967. Given the choice to elect redoubtable stewards of the public trust, the Motor City’s voters elected kleptocrats like Kwame Kilpatrick — twice.

Bad planning, bad production, bad employees, bad politicians and bad people took control of a city named Detroit. By the time they were through with it, Detroit was the city we see now: Democratted to death.

–Ben Crystal

Do It For Trayvon

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 300 million men, women, children and leftist college professors currently call the United States home; and that’s before we even consider the tens of millions currently waiting for President Barack Obama to write “Bienvenido a Los Estados Unidos!” on White House stationery. In the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the overwhelming majority of your brothers and sisters in red, white and blue did the exact same thing you probably did: nothing. You all continued right on living pretty much the same lives you lived beforehand.

Don’t mistake my intent; I am not criticizing you. Despite the opportunity to throw a shrieking tantrum, most of you chose to finish dinner, do the dishes and go to bed.

Think of the fun you turned down. You could have beaten the hell of a white guy in Baltimore; Milwaukee; Oakland, Calif.; or Mississippi. Granted, picking fights with random white guys is a risky endeavor; he could turn out to be a cage-fighting ex-Marine with a higher pain threshold than a rhinoceros. Worse, he could be a white version of Zimmerman. And I’m a little hazy on how beating a white guy in Mississippi into coma will alter the outcome of the trial of a Hispanic man acquitted of murdering a black kid in Florida. Sorry, champ; beating up a random passerby won’t help Trayvon Martin.

Instead, you could have looted the Wal-Mart on Crenshaw Boulevard in South Central Los Angeles.  Americans love expressing their social outrage through the power of theft.  And there’s no way anything less than battalion-strength numbers would manage to arrest every looter in the store. Plus: free flat-screen! However, looting the Wal-Mart won’t bring back Martin from the hoodie-huddle in the sky. Moreover, looting the Wal-Mart causes Wal-Mart financial pain, which it then inflicts upon its customers through price increases. And that means when you go back to pick up the HDMI cable for the flat-screen you looted, it will cost more — as will everything from beer to TV dinners. Furthermore, since riding the bus while carrying a looted flat-screen is an awkward proposition at best, you probably will loot the Wal-Mart in your own neighborhood. That makes looting local. Congratulations, you just wrecked your own house. I’m sure that would make Martin feel better about being dead.

Perhaps a trip might have been in order. You could have accompanied the “Reverend” Al Sharpton while he takes his race-pimping circus on a 100-city tour. But given Sharpton’s affinity for feces-flinging, you’d never rise above No. 2. You could have joined entertainer Stevie Wonder and other celebrities in boycotting Florida; though Wonder and his colleagues have yet to explain how avoiding the Sunshine State will undo the 5th Amendment and eliminate jury trials. Hanging out with screaming race-pimps and idiot celebrities is unlikely to deliver much of anything — much less justice — to Martin.

You could have gone on a bender of epic proportions. I’m talking “New Orleans post-Katrina, ‘Occupy’ riot on amphetamines or Detroit on Tuesday” wild. And you could have joined the aforementioned folk in claiming it was all “for Trayvon.”

You didn’t. If you’re anything like almost all of the rest of us, you chose to steal nothing, vandalize nothing and harm no one. Hell, you didn’t even try to use Martin’s demise as a sock puppet for some misguided assault on the Bill of Rights. Good for you. I’m sure Martin would be proud.

–Ben Crystal

The Low Cost Of Freedom

$5,320.88. On paper, it really doesn’t look all that impressive. To be sure, that many dollars would look lovely in my bank account. But weighed against the bank accounts of President Barack Obama and the multimillionaires who back and control him, $5,320.88 is pocket change, chicken scratch, couch cushion money. Stacked against the behemoth Federal budget, $5,320.88 is a particularly paltry sum. The Federal budget weighs in at about $3.8 trillion per annum. That’s 714,285 times the taxpayer funds dispensed by the Department of Justice’s little-known Community Relations Service to agitate against the now-acquitted George Zimmerman. According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act, $5,320.88 is all the President of the United States spent on organizing the racists, the low-information “loafers,” the lapdog media parasites and other human detritus who comprise the rank and file of the criminal enterprise masquerading as the Democratic Party.

Some of you might read the preceding paragraph and think: “If the Feds spent so little, what’s the big deal?” My response: “The President of the United States used your money to try to influence the verdict of a non-Federal criminal jury — an outrage no matter what the amount. Moreover, the souls of those who participated in Obama’s anti-Zimmerman wannabe lynch mob came awfully cheap. And to put a cherry on top of the completely crummy cupcake: The ‘creepy-ass cracker’ walked.”

However, rather than focus on Obama’s appalling attempt to subvert the legal process, let’s focus on a few items for which that money could have been used.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Consumer Expenditure Survey, 3rd quarter 2011 through 2nd quarter 2012” as well as publicly available sources, $5,320.88 could cover:

  • More than 80 percent of the average American’s annual food budget — including meals outside the home or just more than a pound of the Beluga caviar served at a Malibu millionaire’s fundraiser for Obama.
  • The average American’s rent for nearly two years or just less than 10 square feet in the Chicago condo Oprah Winfrey recently sold (despite having never actually lived in it).
  • The average American’s annual utilities budget — including water, electricity, gas, telephone and cable or about 1/47,000th of the next big blockbuster one of Obama’s Hollywood cronies throws onto the big screen.
  • Three-fourths of the annual clothing budget for a family of four or about three-fourths of the price of that drop-dead dazzling J. Mendel jacket the first lady wore to a Buckingham Palace reception last summer.
  • The annual vehicle fuel costs for nearly two whole average American families or the cost of just less than two minutes of the first family’s flight to Aspen, Colo., aboard Air Force One.

Of course, the $5,320.88 figure is about to skyrocket, given that Obama is almost sure to re-engage Zimmerman at a Federal level. But for now, the number is just $5,320.88. To a President and his coterie of crooks and cronies, it’s nothing. To the average American family, it could be everything. To those who realize that Obama invested America’s money in an effort to further divide us along racial lines — and will likely walk away without a scrape — again, it could very much be the cost of freedom.

–Ben Crystal

Fake Liberal Victims

I’ve seen Mos Def in a few movies and always admired what I consider his slyly understated acting ability. Mos Def can act. Mos Def can also make some pretty decent music. Unfortunately, like many of his multi-talented colleagues in the entertainment business, Mos Def can also diminish his own artistic merit with idiotic pronouncements on the subject of politics.

Earlier this week, Mos Def (born Dante Terrell Smith, but also known as Yasiin Bey) decided to show his support for the detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In a stunt orchestrated by a self-labeled “human rights” group called “Reprieve,” Mos Def endured a demonstration of the force-feeding method currently being employed at Gitmo to keep hunger-striking islamofascists from hunger-striking out.

The video, which was posted to liberal blogsite Huffington Post, is described in a warning as “graphic.” To be honest, it is a bit tough to watch; although my discomfort strayed from that of others. I have no doubt that being force-fed through a tube is about as much fun as watching Rachel Maddow after losing the key to the liquor cabinet. But dying actually sucks even more than sober Maddow viewing. It’s also worth noting that Mos Def isn’t actually starving. In fact, he probably celebrated his stunt by heading out for the finest whatever they eat in Los Angeles these days available for more than $50 a plate. While others note the extreme discomfort Mos Def experienced, I couldn’t help but think: This guy is an idiot.

What high-profile, low-information blowhards like Mos Def and so-called “human rights” groups like Reprieve miss through the haze of self-important ignorance is the fact that assigning yourself victim-by-proxy status is at best counterproductive. Mos Def is not a political prisoner. By pretending to be one, he’s drawing the spotlight away from whatever alleged abuses the Gitmo detainees might be suffering. Furthermore, the islamofascists undergoing force-feeding made a conscious decision to refuse nourishment — much as they made the series of brilliant decisions that ultimately earned them their room at the least friendly tropical resort in the Caribbean. (Author’s aside: Cry me a river, Akbar. Force-feeding or MREs might not be dinner at Le Cirque, but they beat the hell out of detonating a suicide vest in front of a group of woman who dared to take reading lessons.)

During my college days, one of those painfully socially conscious groups made up of wealthy suburban kids who major in sociology or the like put together an event on the quad in front of the main academic/administrative building. In what they claimed was either a protest against or for homelessness (they never really made it entirely clear), a lecture hall’s worth of Birkenstock-clad country-club refugees set up a temporary campsite and spent the night pretending to be homeless. The school’s administration remained mum on the squatters’ camp, though I expect the grounds department was less than pleased with the grass damage and mountain of garbage that almost always accompany large leftist gatherings. Meanwhile, the other students did what most college students generally do; and they ignored them.

Of course, the faux-bums were liberals, so they took the others’ apathy as a sign that their fake-homelessness had achieved some sort of consciousness-raising. It never occurred to them, just as it has never occurred to Mos Def, that the rest of us were not impressed by their theatrical faux-victimhood; we were embarrassed by their lack of sense. Refusing to sleep in the cozy dorm room that costs your old man an arm and a leg does nothing to elevate the situation of those who don’t get the choice; it mocks their suffering. Kids who drive Daddy’s BMW to the school Daddy pays for are not victims of anything except their own naïveté — and their professors’ lack of professionalism. And Mos Def is not the victim of force-feeding; he’s the perpetrator.

If Mos Def (or whoever) actually cares about human suffering, how about the millions of children who will be denied the chance to survive Kermit Gosnell and his abortionist accomplices? Where’s the love for the millions of Mideast citizens trying to survive the night while some Islamofascist terrorist group uses them as a human shield? If you have time to stage a concert to benefit cop-killing animal Mumia Abu-Jamal, couldn’t you spare a few tunes for the widow of Officer Daniel Faulkner (aka Abu-Jamal’s victim)? By the way, I couldn’t help but notice you never seem interested in “pretend to be a woman in Afghanistan” protests. Hmmm…

–Ben Crystal

2016: The Question And Answer

Sarah Palin speaks at get-out-the-vote rally in Anaheim, California

In a recent piece for American Thinker, author Michael Sheppard asked: “Bush/Palin 2016: the GOP’s Only Chance?” Now, Sheppard is a bright fellow; and I’m sure he’ll find a way to endure the slings and arrows of my outrageous critique when I say: Not just “no,” but hell no. And my response to Sheppard’s question is particularly negative, especially considering the Bush to whom he’s referring is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

While President George W. Bush (whose approval ratings are now better than those boasted by President Barack Obama) might compare as favorably with Obama as a bacon cheeseburger does with one of those faux-meat patties vegans pretend to enjoy, there’s no question that he was a far sight from Presidential prime rib. Under Bush, we endured No Child Left Behind, “too big to fail,” the Iraq war and a host of other enormously expensive programs that served to expand the Federal waistline like the buffet at Paula Deen’s restaurants. Given Obama’s ongoing demonstration of even more grotesque governmental gluttony, I feel quite comfortable saying a return to Bush would be better than a continuation of Obama — but not by much. I suspect I can make no such statement in reference to his younger brother.

Thus, let’s call the potential candidacy of Jeb Bush what it is: a giant leap backward. It’s not just that he represents the nanny-state expansions of the past couple of decades, which have created few worthwhile benefits while exacting a heavy toll of side effects. As a Nation, we are more divided by race, class and pure partisanship than we ever have been before. As they have demonstrated innumerable times, the Democrats are not disturbed by such societal fault lines. In fact, they revel in them, encourage them and exploit them whenever possible. Thus, it falls to the Republicans to rectify the statist excesses of the past few years. That suggests — nay, requires — an abandonment of the mistakes of the past. At the very least, it’s hard to rally behind a guy who can’t even earn the endorsement of his own mother.

In 2008, the GOP offered a candidate whose moderate stances would presumably boost his electability. Within weeks, conservative disappointment in Senator John McCain had grown loud enough to instill panic in the Republican ranks. Without acknowledging the fact that they were repudiating their own strategy, they welded the much more conservative Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, to the Arizona Senator.

But it wasn’t enough. Palin spent most of the 2008 election battling a Democratic Party that relates to independent women with all the warmth and gender-sensitivity of the Taliban. Any cache Palin might have delivered to the ticket was negated by the constant stream of anti-woman invective the left deployed against her and failed to compensate for the weakness of her would-be boss.

As much as I might recognize Palin’s potential positives as a member of a party’s Presidential ticket, I can’t help but notice the dreadfully shallow learning curve necessary to intentionally repeat the 2008 defeat. Jeb Bush is certainly not a bad person; but he’s struck from the same mold that produced not only McCain/Palin 2008, but Romney/Ryan 2012. The latter pair came up short against a scandal-plagued, grossly incompetent Obama Administration that has propped itself up with lapdog media and a quasi-official war on the Bill of Rights.

If the Republicans choose to proffer yet another candidate based on some misguided concept of electability, then they deserve to lose. Likewise, should they try to mitigate their candidate’s massive shortcomings with a transparent stunt like attaching a more conservative running mate to their man’s side, then they deserve to lose big.

And if that doesn’t convince them to choose the political path less taken, then perhaps this will: Clinton/Obama 2016. That’s: Hillary Clinton/Michelle Obama 2016.

–Ben Crystal

Obamacare And The Fourth Of July

Last week, while the rest of us toiled to pay her salary, House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-her husband’s bank account) took a moment away from her fabulously opulent life to remind us how lucky we are to live in the land of the formerly free and the home of the enslaved.

According to the erstwhile Speaker-ette:

Next week when we celebrate Independence Day, we’ll also be observing health independence. This marks one year since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The Affordable Care Act offers just that: A healthier life, liberty [to] pursue [a] person’s happiness, to be free of constraint, the job locked, uhh, because they’re policy locked. So, if you wanted to be a cameraman, a writer, you want to be self-employed, if you want to start a business, if you want to change jobs — whatever is you want to do — you are free.

It might be the Botox talking, but Madame Minority Leader clearly misunderstands the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Actually, I suspect she understands the Founders’ intent perfectly well; she just doesn’t care. After all, she sits atop a mountain made of millions of dollars in cash, at least some of which was not built through insider trading. And her immense wealth essentially exempts her from the guaranteed cost increases, shortages and death panels she and President Barack Hussein Obama assured us wouldn’t occur. Pardon me, Ms. Pelosi, but it’s “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It’s not “life, except for inconvenient babies; liberty, except for groups targeted for political hits by the Internal Revenue Service; and happiness, as long as you’re a member of the Democrat elite.”

Fortunately for the rest of us, the only thing Democrats like more than imposing their will on the rest of us is winning elections so they can impose their will on the rest of us. And that ambition has led them to relent on the imposition of Obamacare until the beginning of 2015. However, the delay affects only employers with more than 50 workers. The soul of any functionally free nation — the individual — has earned no such reprieve. The fact that the semi-delay was announced less than a week after Pelosi’s ludicrous speech extolling Obamacare’s supposed virtues, in combination with the shocking dishonesty the Democrats have displayed regarding its real details, reveals that they’re hardly prepared to throw in the towel. They’re not retreating; they’re reloading.

And considering the recent incidents in which the Democrats have treated the people whom they purport to rule about as well as the death panel will treat your grandmother, we should remember what Independence Day is supposed to be all about. In 1776, 237 years ago, what might well have been the greatest collection of intellects ever assembled in one room. They were appalled by the madness of King George III, repelled by his murderous methods and determined to reassert man’s unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They midwifed the birth of not only a new Nation, but a new idea:  freedom of the people, by the people and for the people.

On Independence Day, I will add: “…and from the government.”

–Ben Crystal

Showtime At The Show Trial

Let’s hear it for Rachel Jeantel. After all, without her spectacular performance last week on the witness stand in the show trial of George Zimmerman, we would never have learned that surly racists are neither surly nor racist. Indeed, when a black woman refers to someone as a “creepy-ass cracker,” she’s not allowing her bigotry to betray her; she’s simply behaving in a culturally appropriate manner.

Lest you think I’ve stepped into the rhetorical ring with my gloves unlaced, I have backup. According to a blog post by someone named Rachel Samara on a website called, Jeantel is neither an ignorant bigot nor living proof of the desperate state of Americans trapped in the labyrinth of intellectual, moral and financial poverty endured on a daily basis by the heart of the Democratic voter base:

Rachel was authentic, nervous and extremely herself. … But let’s be honest. Rachel Jeantel’s attitude is exactly what I would expect from someone from the hood who has no media training and who is fully entrenched in a hostile environment.

That is a load off my mind. I might have wandered aimlessly through the rest of my life laboring under the misapprehension that it’s a character deficiency to behave like an extra in a hip-hop video shot on a really small budget.

And soon-to-be-erstwhile Food Network diva Paula Deen must be dancing a jig of joy. After all, if living down to the worst stereotypes about a subset of the population is actually cultural celebration, then Deen’s rather unfortunate deployment of the dreaded “n-word” wasn’t a demonstration of innate racism; it was merely a reflection of Deen’s cultural upbringing.

In fact, by liberal reckoning, a person is nothing more than an aggregation of his background and upbringing. The next time someone takes offense at an offhanded remark, remind him that you’re not to blame; the accumulated traditions of your tribe are to blame. To put it in terms Jeantel and those paragons of journalism at might understand: “See, what hat happent wuz, I dih-ihn’t say nuttin’ raciss. It wuz my cultural traditions… yo.”

When Bill Maher calls former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin a “c*nt,” he’s not being a misogynist pig; he’s simply adhering to the accepted cultural standards of smug, liberal douchebags. When MSNBC host and race-pimp Al Sharpton smears feces on a teenager, he’s not resorting to absolutely appalling means in an effort to make a cheap buck; he’s just behaving in a culturally appropriate manner for a parasitic race-baiting carnival barker. When Alec Baldwin calls a retired black police officer a “coon,” he’s not being a blathering hypocritical jackass. Well, he is; but we should hardly expect more. Consider the culture in which Baldwin grew to jackass-hood. Hollywood is overflowing with blathering hypocritical jackasses. Finding an enlightened soul in Tinseltown is a taller order than sitting through Sean Penn’s video diary from his last trip to Venezuela. “Gangsta” rappers have been using the “cultural” excuse since the first time a hip-hop hero smacked up his “ho.” Rap is… Well, take away n*gger, ho and bitch, and rap would be semaphore in 4/4 time.

If Jeantel should be lauded for being “authentic, nervous and extremely herself” on the witness stand last week, then everyone should use the same get-out-of-scorn-free card. We can all just stroll through life like a bunch of gibbering Tourette’s sufferers. And if anyone is offended, we can just direct his complaints to the proper culprit: our culture. “I’m sorry, Chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz; but where I’m from, we call greasy-headed skanks ‘greasy-headed skanks.’ In fact, I’m personally offended that you’re not more sensitive to my cultural heritage. You’re racist.”

But that’s as idiotic as Samara’s blog post. To quote Jeantel one more time: “That’s real retarded.” And to quote Personal Liberty’s own Sam Rolley in MSNBC Lauds ‘Articulate’ Use Of ‘Black English’ By Inaudible, Mumbling Witness In Zimmerman Trial:

“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

–Ben Crystal

DOMA’s Demise

Some endeavors are best left to the Federal government, loath though I might be to admit it: the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, ADX Florence Federal supermax penitentiary, the 3rd Infantry Division, keeping Harry Reid occupied. You know, the big stuff.

The problems always seem to start when the Feds take an active interest in the little things, such as what’s going on in your bedroom. Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unConstitutional. Writing for the five justices in the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted DOMA:

… places same-sex couples in an unstable position of being in a second-tier marriage… The differentiation demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and whose relationship the state has sought to dignify.

I say it’s about bloody time.

I’m a conservative guy with libertarian leanings. Not only do I cherish the idea of limited government, but I’d prefer what government there is to stay the hell off my porch. I am well aware that the Feds seldom back up once they get a foot-, hand- or even toehold on our side of the fence. DOMA, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, and laws like it represent a Federal government that has not only invaded our personal turf, but has taken a dip in our pool, torn up our rose bushes and raided our fridge.

In what I will acknowledge was one of his typically masterful dissents, Justice Antonin Scalia rails against the Supreme Court being used as a cudgel, suggesting it had no business interfering in the issue:

We might have covered ourselves with honor today, by promising all sides of this debate that it was theirs to settle and that we would respect their resolution. We might have let the People decide.

But I would retort that DOMA is essentially the same cudgel, albeit wielded by the other hand. The court is no less a branch of the Federal government than the Legislature. If one has no business acting on marriage, then neither does the other.

Back in 2010, Judge Joseph Tauro issued summary judgment in Gill v. Office of Personnel Management and Massachusetts v U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tauro, appointed to the Federal bench in 1972 by Richard Nixon, noted that DOMA abrogates the Constitutional guarantees of due process and States’ rights. Had I been an attorney for the plaintiffs in either case, I would have hammered not only those two tenets of the Bill of Rights, but also the Full Faith and Credit Clause. I think a fair case could even be made for the Commerce Clause.

Before some of you begin feverishly filling the comments section below with your hopes that I be consigned to an eternity watching reruns of “The View,” think carefully. Many of you join me in staunch defense of the 2nd Amendment. For example, California refuses to honor Arizona’s open carry law. While draconian firearms laws might fall behind Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and the Cal-Berkeley faculty on the list of distasteful Golden State traits, they violate Full Faith and Credit Clause (not to mention that pesky Bill of Rights). As for the Commerce Clause, think of the money DOMA is costing Key West wedding planners.

Some people feel same-sex marriages threaten the sanctity of traditional unions. The divorce rate in this country suggests same-sex marriage is not the reason that sanctity is cowering under the bed. As for individual nuptials, the fact that the guys across the street have matching wedding bands isn’t going to get you out of taking out the garbage — nor is it going give you an alibi when your wife catches you with that hot new receptionist.

When it comes to the example same-sex marriages might set for the Nation’s youth, allow me to offer an allegory. In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of making the acquaintance of a couple of fine gentlemen who have been together for some time. They are erudite, cultured and well-off. I have a hard time imagining they would provide as poor a familial example as the welfare queen dragging her squalling brats through the checkout line while trying to buy lottery tickets with her EBT card, the trailer park Cleopatra who just popped her kid in the mouth for “interruptin’ mama while she’s a-watchin’ ‘QVC’s Ceramic Cat Cavalcade’” or the Hollyweird fame hound who treats her whelps like fashion accessories: “Not now, Apple. The paparazzi are getting Mommy’s good side.”

For the fine folks who might now direct me to the sections of Genesis, Leviticus, Romans and Corinthians that deal either directly or indirectly with this topic, let me redirect your attention to John 8:7 (we nailed the last guy who met that criterion to a cross), Matthew 22:21 (pay your speeding tickets, and let the Almighty worry about Heather’s two mommies), and of course, John 4:7-8 (it’s all about love).

As a matter of due disclosure, I find the concept of “being” with another man repellent. But I find MSNBC’s primetime lineup at least as awful. When it comes to the former, I can — as Eddie Murphy once said — go get a beer. When it comes to the latter, I can throw my television out the window. In this boy’s America, beer is easy to come by; and I don’t have to tomahawk the flat-screen.

If you’re looking for a real threat to the fabric of freedom, forget about the same-sex couples. Take a look at C-SPAN sometime, or watch one of those interminable press conferences during which President Barack Obama tries to slither out of his latest disgrace to the Oval Office. Now that’s scary.

–Ben Crystal

The Bill Of Rights: An Updating

Congress of Liberals

Begun and held on board Warren Buffett’s private jet, on a day that is none of your business, peon.

The Conventions of a number of the Democrats, having at the time of their abrogating the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent protection by or use of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public obedience to the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

Resolved by the President and his accomplices against the United States of America, in smoky back rooms assembled, two thirds of both Houses ignored, that the following Articles be imposed on the People of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three or four Democrats, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.

Articles in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by liberal hate groups, and ratified by the New York Times editorial board, pursuant to the Communist Manifesto and Rules for Radicals.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion other than the worship of its authority, or allowing the free exercise thereof; or promoting the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being a threat to the security of the Democrats, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be permitted.

Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, unless the house belongs to someone who didn’t vote for the President.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, unless Harry Reid heard from some guy that they didn’t pay their “fair share.”

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury or the Attorney General, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger, or in the event that person has demonstrated resistance to the President and the Democrats; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, unless that offence involves aforementioned resistance; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, unless the National Security Agency catches them reading Personal Liberty Digest™, or watching FOX News, or buying a copy of Atlas Shrugged, or attending a Tea Party rally; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation, unless a real estate developer determines it would be a good location for a shopping center or homeless shelter or ACORN office.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall be presumed guilty by a partisan jury of the corporate media; unless the accused is a cop-killer, or islamofascist terrorist, or a union thug, or might otherwise be considered really cool by the Democrats, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation via notice broadcast on MSNBC or uploaded to the Huffington Post; to be berated by Code Pink; to be mocked by Bill Maher when he’s not enumerating his “mommy issues,” and to be burned in effigy by the Occupy fleabags.

Amendment VII

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, as long as the American Trial Lawyers’ Association can make an easy buck off it.

Amendment VIII

The People will pay what the government tells them; and will thank the Government for the privilege.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the President.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the President by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the President, are reserved to the President, or to Hillary Clinton.

–Ben Crystal

America Goes South

By the time you read this, our redoubtable defenders of freedom in the U.S. Senate will have voted on whether to turn the illegal immigration spigot from “steady stream” to “build an ark.” Though my deadline arrived before the vote on the nearly 1200-page behemoth of bureaucracy, I doubt I’m treading on thin ice by guessing the Senate voted “si.”

Of course in doing so, the vaunted 100 is essentially telling those of us who’ve been paying them those fabulous six-figure salaries: “Vaya con Dios.” Putting aside the ludicrous attempts by amnesty fans to smear amnesty opponents as racist and the rather obvious desire of the Democrats to fill the voter rolls with 30 million or so of the best ballots Obamaphones can buy, take a moment to consider the total impact of granting unearned citizenship to millions of illegal aliens.

In the sort of coincidence that would make a bad sitcom writer sweaty, our new neighbors will be swarming out from under the refrigerator of illegal alien status at nearly the same moment the abominable Obamacare begins dismantling our healthcare system from the inside out. With Obamacare — about which virtually every statement President Barack Obama and his accomplices made was an outright lie — already thinning the ranks of physicians and jacking up premiums nationwide, the influx of newly legal consumers by the burro-load will kick the legs out of an already wobbly operating table. More people + fewer providers = a personal injury lawyer’s fantasyland. And as pretty much everyone with a soul knows, a personal injury lawyer’s fantasyland is a nightmare for the rest of us.

One of the talking points the Democrats and their weak-kneed Republican enablers have deployed in a an effort to distract from the ill-conceived idea of granting amnesty to illegal aliens entails demanding a renewal of investment in a supposedly crumbling national infrastructure. I’m certainly a fan of bridges not crumbling while I’m driving across them, but I hardly see how adding every Tomas, Diego and Hernando in the Western Hemisphere to the traffic load on the 405 will help.

One would presume that the newest members of the potential workforce might want food, clothing and shelter. Either they’ll get it by pursuing jobs that don’t involve trimming the hedges at Stephen Spielberg’s Malibu estate, or they’ll follow their fellow low-information Democratic voters onto the welfare rolls. As a result, either competition for jobs will progress from the usual permanent recession Obama has imposed on the Nation, or the average taxpayer will be forced to carry an even heavier burden of layabouts and loafers. On top of that, the appetite of a government expanded to meet the requirements of a 10 percent jump in the legal population will grow exponentially larger, demanding an ever-expanding portion of the legitimate workforce’s paycheck.

Beyond taking a wrecking ball to America’s healthcare, infrastructure and economy, the flood of illegal aliens will exact a massive toll across the board. Imagine millions upon millions more schoolchildren, teenage drivers, customers at the grocery store and senior citizens vying for the early-bird special at the Kountry Kookin’ Kitchen buffet.

One way or another, by granting illegal aliens and illegal aliens-to-be a free pass to the front of the line, our Senators guarantee we all end up begging for scraps from the government that chained us up in the first place.

On the plus side, there’s likely to be real estate going cheap in Mexico.

–Ben Crystal

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Papers!

On Monday morning, the Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling, struck down the State of Arizona’s voter-ID law known as “prop 200.” Across the Nation, a hue and cry rose from conservatives. From their perspective, the Supremes had just shredded not only the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, but the sanctity and security of elections to come. And let no doubt furrow your brow. An electoral system that has been breached by wire-pulling and shady political deals is, at best, in dire jeopardy and, at worst, a sham that makes the Castro boys down Cuba way green with envy. And anyone who catches one of James O’Keefe’s videos exposing ACORN and its ilk knows: America might not have fallen to Cuba levels, but we’re definitely wandering awfully close to Venezuela.

In writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia noted the Arizona law’s conflict with the pre-existing 1993 National Voter Registration Act (aka the “motor-voter” law), which “forbids states to demand that an applicant submit additional information beyond that required by the federal form.” Let you think someone replaced Scalia with an evil twin, he also added a cautionary note to the Feds, pointing out the decision “does not prevent states from denying registration based on any information in their possession establishing the applicant’s ineligibility.” Scalia might not be a “wise Latina”; but along with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, he may well be one of the modern era’s most redoubtable defenders of the Constitution.

Moreover, Scalia is absolutely correct. Before you break out the tar, feathers and/or low-yield nuclear devices, allow me to explain. Voting is a Constitutionally affirmed right. With the exceptions of those who forfeit those rights by behaving in a manner frowned upon outside Chicago, every American citizen is entitled to and even charged with participation in his government through the exercise of the ballot.

And much like the right to worship the Almighty, the right to vote shouldn’t require additional paperwork. Indeed, the idea of requiring identification to attend Sunday Mass is ridiculous; or at least, it used to be. And my sense of liberty is assaulted every time I check my wallet for my concealed carry permit before leaving the house. So you’ll pardon me if I’m a bit worn out over showing government functionaries “my papers.”

I would go so far as to suggest the liberties assured by the Constitution die a little every time government steps a little farther into our lives. We edge closer to tyranny every time a decent, hard-working American is ordered to kneel before the altar of the fraudulent Obamacare; every time the Internal Revenue Service asks for “the content” of a citizens’ group’s prayers; and every time some Transportation Security Administration thug who couldn’t cut it at the police academy asks an 8-year-old to step out of line at the airport check-in. And so should it be with voting. Beyond Scalia’s “federal form,” I don’t have to prove to some hanging-chad-counting hack that I am who I say I am.

To be sure, electoral fraud is a problem. Hell, President Barack Obama’s whole career is a study in the effectiveness of vote-rigging — even beyond the ballot box. Were it not for a couple of rather fortuitously leaked sealed documents (with which David Axelrod had nothing to do, of course), Obama would probably be working as Bill Ayers’ teaching assistant at the Weather Underground School of Bombs. But I shouldn’t suffer just because the Democrats can’t keep their hands out of the electoral cookie jar. To place additional restrictions on the overwhelming majority of those who abide by voting laws is no different than stomping on the 2nd Amendment just because those same Democrats (or at least, their base) can’t play nice.

Despite the Democrats’ best-laid plans, we don’t punish law-abiding gun owners when some nutjob steals his mom’s firearms. And despite the Democrats’ best-laid plans, we don’t punish law-abiding voters when some nutjob steals the White House.

–Ben Crystal

Welcome To The Wild Midwest

It’s been a while since I’ve written much about the plague of so-called “gun violence” raging through our beloved homeland like a nasty strain of drug-resistant gonorrhea through an Occupy squatters’ camp. I must admit, the daily deluge of disgrace flowing forth from the White House has distracted me from the Democrats’ war on the Bill of Rights and simultaneously provided cover for those liberals who exploit tragedy to further their attempts to violate the inviolable.

If only President Barack Obama and his accomplices’ unprecedented mendacity and unparalleled corruption had the same effect on the anti-Bill of Rights vermin. Last week, while Obama’s minions were lying through their teeth about the extent of the National Security Agency violations of our privacy, Obama’s former campaign machine — now operating under the name “Organizing for Action” (OFA) — set the taste bar to an all-time low by celebrating the six-month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. The ersatz evite it sent out included the line: “And in those six months, thousands more people have been killed by guns.”

Much like the hackneyed phrase “gun violence,” the suggestion that people have been “killed by guns” goes beyond the usual intellectual dishonesty that marks leftist dogma. Lest you think I’m being unfair, I checked the gun safe this morning. Everything was exactly as I left it the last time. If there are wild herds of guns wandering the streets and assaulting our fellow citizens, they must be extraordinarily stealthy. I wonder how the Democrats know which guns are at fault.

The OFA agitprop is part of a larger effort to reanimate the corpse of so-called “gun control.” Following their humiliating defeat in the Democrat-controlled Senate, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd is back for more. Much like the push to pass the bureaucratic monstrosity Obamacare over the objections of the majority of Americans, when it comes to expanding State control over the people, once is never enough for the Democrats.

Just what is it they’re planning to deliver? OFA and their ilk say so-called “gun control” will cure everything from drug-fueled gang wars to jaywalking. But Newtown already had the laws that the anti-Bill of Rights types want to impose on the rest of us. And Newtown is a libertarian paradise compared to Obama’s old stomping grounds of Chicago.

In a city that has labored under the bootheel of Democratic machine politics for more than a century, the 2nd Amendment is little more than a memory. In fact, the Supreme Court had to wade into the Windy City cesspool with the landmark 2010 McDonald v. Chicago decision just to remind the municipal tyrants that the Constitution doesn’t disembark in Des Plaines, Ill. Despite that Supreme admonishment, Chicago remains one of the most “unfriendly to liberty” cities east of San Francisco. By OFA logic, that should translate to a peaceful burg that is the envy of all others. Crime should be a pale shadow of the monster that used to stalk the Magnificent Mile.

So how to explain the war zone that Chicago has become? As if the city’s murder rate wasn’t already steeper than the Himalayas, this past weekend brought new horror to the shores of Lake Michigan. By the latest count, seven Chicagoans met their ends via so-called “gun violence” over the weekend. Nearly three dozen were injured. If I were inclined to substitute anecdotal evidence for solid facts (looking at you, Al Gore), I might conclude so-called “gun control” causes so-called “gun violence.” At the exact moment OFA reloaded for another offensive on liberty, the poster city for so-called “gun control” turned into the O.K. Corral… again.

As usual, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd’s lack of taste, sense and grammar is exceeded only by their remarkably poor timing. While their attempt to exploit Newtown for their own nefarious purposes failed in part because Americans were repulsed by their macabre politicization of tragedy, it also failed because their ultimate goal involved subjecting Americans to the same laws that had just publicly failed to prevent Newtown. Essentially, the Democrats said, “That didn’t work; let’s try it everywhere!” I just read another story about the free-fire zone formerly known as Chicago. Let’s not.

–Ben Crystal

The 62 Percent

According to the latest Pew/Washington Post poll, a greater majority of Americans are comfortable with the National Security Agency (NSA) reading everything except your thoughts than were comfortable with the idea of a President named Barack Obama. In fact, if the numbers are even close to correct (never a sure bet), 62 percent of Americans harbor no ill will toward government’s inexorable transformation into the sort of outfit one can normally find only in a George Orwell novel or the Department of the Treasury (Internal Revenue Division).

Nearly two out of three Americans believe gathering intelligence on potential terrorism is more important than their Constitutionally affirmed freedom. As a Nation, we are more unified about turning over our freedoms than we are about virtually anything else of significance. To give you some political perspective: A President hasn’t strutted into the Oval Office swinging that kind of electoral lumber since President James Monroe circled the bases unopposed in 1820. (Presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson got close.) I’m not convinced we could come to such an agreement over anything that doesn’t involve free beer and not watching MSNBC.

To be fair, Democrats are less bothered by the NSA’s intrusions than Republicans, but only by a few points. Both sides register well above 50 percent in the “yea” column. That’s sad, but unsurprising — especially given the fact that the two sides have selected Obama, Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain as their intended leaders of the free world.

But what do we actually receive in return for our gift of liberty? The poll results suggest we’re willing to trade liberty for security. Clearly, liberty is in shorter supply than straight answers at a White House press briefing. So where’s that shiny new security we’re supposed to be enjoying? The attacks on Benghazi, Boston and Fort Hood all occurred during the conduct of Operation Boundless Informant. In fact, given the scope of the program, not only should those horrors been averted, but a sizable chunk of crime nationwide should have been averted as well. I’d like to think that some cubicle rat at Fort Meade could take a break from reading my mother’s group emails to her bridge club to alert the local flatfoots that someone’s on his smartphone planning to knock over the First National.

They armed Mexican narcoterrorists, and they promptly lost track of the guns. They federalized our healthcare, but they lied about virtually every aspect of their plan. They left four Americans to die in the desert while they partied in Las Vegas, and then they blamed the whole thing on an old YouTube video. They turned the Internal Revenue Service into the KGB and told us we deserved it, what with all that praying we’ve been doing. The same guys who used to take over the principal’s office to protest something involving whales or Jane Fonda are now running the show in Washington, D.C. When they were kids, they were smug and ignorant. As adults, they’re smug, ignorant and elected.

Yet 62 percent of us are perfectly willing to hand over the Bill of Rights as a marker against future attacks like the ones the NSA domestic spying program has already failed to prevent. Sixty-two percent of us are willing to endure having our emails read by the same government that makes the Department of Motor Vehicles such a party. Sixty-two percent of us trust everything from our Web-browsing habits to our phone records with the same people who brought us a State Department that spends more time on duplicity than it does on diplomacy.

Sixty-two percent of us are willing to ignore patron of liberty Ben Franklin’s admonishment: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” As for the other 38 percent of us… well, we must be hiding something, right?

–Ben Crystal

The Terrorists Won

Actually, the terrorists — whoever they might be — didn’t really win. Terrorists never win, because terrorists can’t win. Terrorism might be able to inflict serious damage; but, ultimately, terrorism fails because terrorism is idiotic. The goal of super-patriarchal theocracy is unachievable beyond the benighted outlands like Afghanistan, Mali or Dearborn, Mich., where women have no sense of real freedom. Moreover, terrorism’s career arc is shorter than a teenager’s attention span. Most of the all-stars die at the height of their talents; the rest end up living in either caves or, worse, Pakistan.

Sure, the Democrats might try to dress it up in a beret and an AK-47 and call it “A People’s Revolution against the colonial blah-blah-blah.” But in the end, it’s Che Guevara in a casket, Osama bin Laden with a gaping head wound, Tim McVeigh with a needle in his arm or Bill Ayers teaching education to future ThinkProgress bloggers.

And terrorism does make the occasional incursion. The sort of anybody-but-America ideology does have its appeal to the permanent soft-underbelly-of-society types. Witness San Francisco, Chicago, the Upper East Side of Manhattan and whatever is left of Detroit. But beyond the urban rats’ nests that provide the Democrats with their triple soy lattes, imposing the sort of government terrorists dream of would be so costive as to make Pyrrhus wince. In short, terrorism can’t defeat us.

However, we can certainly do the job for the terrorists. In fact, the process is pretty simple. When terrorists attack, we turn to our government and beg for shelter like a battered wife begging forgiveness for overcooking the pot roast. We look past the rape of our liberty to the happy home of safety. And we trust a government that has repeatedly proven it’s almost as responsible as a teenage girl with an unsecured credit card.

The abominable Patriot Act, a bastard child of authoritarian greed and post-9/11 hysteria, is now the sole real tool by which they shall sow our freedoms… or reap them. And lest you make the mistake of thinking President Barack Obama is the lone villain in this tableau of tyranny, remember President George W. Bush midwifed the Patriot Act into the cold of light of day — with the full participation of a bipartisan majority. At the time, civil libertarians from sea to shining sea warned against it, noting that the act had essentially just added an unspoken “unless the President thinks you’re uncool.”

When President Richard M. Nixon wiped his feet on the Constitution, the Nation united to knock him out of his shoes. When Bush did the same, the Nation invited him in for coffee and doughnuts. The only difference between the two was that Bush used the magic words: “national security.” Neither Nixon nor Bush could imagine what Obama had in store.

And there’s no way in Allah’s endless sands that any terrorist could have foreseen it. Not only did we allow members of the political class to crush our windpipes with the jackboots of tyranny, but we begged them to do it. After the Patriot Act — which then-Senator Obama vociferously opposed — and its rape of the Bill of Rights opened the door, President Obama barreled through with Attorney General Eric Holder, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Security Agency and immediately set about proving correct his earlier self.

But look on the bright side: At least we freed ourselves from the terrorism — except for Boston, and Fort Hood and April 15.

–Ben Crystal