All Hail Hillary!

According to The New York Times, it’s official: Former Secretary of State and presumptive 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has flip-flopped on support for same-sex marriage. In the annals of staged campaign events disguising a lack of principle, Clinton’s policy reversal is no President Barack Obama debt ceiling turnaround (it’s “unpatriotic”); but it’s certainly a hall-of-fame pandering effort. To be honest, I had no idea Clinton was ever against same-sex marriage. She clearly had no issues with a no-sex marriage. (Not that I can blame her for that; her husband was having enough for both of them.)

Let’s be honest with each other, kiddies. Clinton’s announcing she is now for something that most Americans already assumed she supported is about as Earth-shattering as Michelle Obama coming out publicly in favor of junk food and the taxpayers’ American Express card. Clinton’s statement didn’t — couldn’t — deliver her any wavering support. And it’s difficult to imagine all that many conservatives saying: “I was pretty mad about that whole Benghazi nightmare. And I remember what a Lady MacBeth she played as a first lady. But if she thinks Steve and Frank can tie the knot, I guess I’m good.”

There is no doubt that same-sex marriage is one of the more bitterly contested issues in the country. While it doesn’t rise to the level of the debate over the government-subsidized genocide of abortion, it’s difficult to imagine many issues on which Americans disagree more sharply. My own attitude is based on my own experience: I’ve been divorced. I’m as useful in marital politics as I would be in outer space. Nonetheless, if Hillary feels a need to goose her base three years before the green flag, she’s welcome to it.

But, in watching her weirdly fireside-style address, I couldn’t keep the following thoughts at bay:

  • This is a campaign speech. Of all the issues pressing down on us as a Nation and a world, you’re yammering about same-sex marriage. Your former boss has shoveled so many IOU’s onto the national debt that it’s the size of a Martian volcano. Any thoughts, Madame Secretary?
  • Your tenure as the Nation’s chief diplomat has coincided with everything from a nuclear-ambitious Iran to a nuclear-accomplished North Korea. The Mideast is tearing at the seams. How will you steer the ship of state off the foreign rocks upon which Barack Obama has foundered it?
  • How about the resurgence of al-Qaida and the islamofascist terrorists who think Obama is about as scary as Winnie the Pooh?
  • Europe’s economy is plunging faster than Ashley Judd’s neckline. Our own is staggering like a punch-drunk prizefighter. Will your Presidency be as filled with monetary hijinks?
  • With apologies to Senator Howard Baker, what did you know about the events of Sept. 11 in Benghazi, Libya; and when did you know it? Your former boss’s Administration concocted no fewer than four different versions of the story, each radically different from the others. While the corporate media has covered up the cover-up and the liberal rank and file have swallowed each tale whole without complaint; you’re now running for President. How can we trust you, since we clearly can’t trust Obama?

There are other questions Clinton will need to answer — unless she plans to continue the Obama policy of obfuscation and outright dishonesty. As I mentioned in the wake of her staged policy reversal on same-sex marriage:

Whatever your opinion on the issue in question, have no doubt: Hillary Clinton’s… every move is dictated by raw ambition. For those who oppose it: This is just another example of the soullessness which has defined her career. For those who support it: She is no ally of yours. As always, she will reverse course again the moment she thinks it’s politically expedient to do so.

Reminds me of, well, pretty much every Democrat out there — although none of them can match Clinton’s look in a pantsuit.

–Ben Crystal

The Democrats’ Minority Problem

During a CPAC panel discussion on the Democrats’ divisive racial politics, an attendee made the following remark: “Blacks should be happy that the slave master gave them shelter, clothing, and food.” That’s a remarkably silly point of view, and it would be best left to the Democrats who continue to espouse such policies under the guise of governmental assistance in return for votes.

Although the speaker was roundly jeered by the assemblage, he ended up in a personal discussion with the panel host, a black man named K. Carl Smith. Smith later said of the man, “[W]e left as friends.”

What Smith could have said was: “I’m sorry, sir. This is a conservative meeting. If you’re looking for inveterate and ignorant racism, you should try the nearest Democratic confab. Just look for the hoods.” But conservatism doesn’t recognize race as a character trait the way liberalism does, and Smith proved so by counseling the man and attempting to show him the error of his ways.

While Smith and the rest of the assemblage shut down the “slave master” nonsense, liberals let their racist freak flags fly on Twitter. Following a rousing speech by Dr. Ben Carson, the Democrats renewed their bigoted assault on the world-renowned physician. Carson actually mentioned during his remarks that detractors had treated him to a barrage of racial epithets in the wake of his critique of President Barack Obama. Subsequently, Carson was likely prepared for the racist animus liberals launched at him in return for daring to step off the liberal plantation. Among the barbs the left jabbed at Carson:

 

 

And the real winner of this week’s Robert Byrd Memorial Grand Dragon Award:

 
Carson, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, is one of the most respected neurosurgeons on the planet. Only an idiot would call him “dumb.” Only an almost irredeemably stupid person would call him a “nigger.”

And then, American University professor Deen Freelon gave us a glimpse at his own racial syllabus:

 

 
Evidently, Freelon thinks people who object to his attempts to marginalize Carson — and any black man who doesn’t toe the liberal line — are the “lunatic fringe.” I wonder how many parents of American University students are rethinking that tuition check.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Congressman Allen West, self-made success story Herman Cain and others have dealt with the left’s racism, mostly with the sort of grace that Freelon wouldn’t recognize if it extinguished a burning cross in his front yard. For a political movement that Freelon and his ilk cast as out of touch with minorities, conservatism sure seems to attract a sizable number of serious — and seriously intelligent — people.

Democrats routinely manage to find the rare racist apples in the conservative barrel and then suggest that the whole lot is rotten. But conservatives criticize liberals over policy, not skin color. I wish Obama were a markedly different person. But I wish the same about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both of whom are as white as the sheets Byrd used to wear to his Klan meetings.

During his own speech at CPAC, West told an enraptured audience: “I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that there is nothing on this green earth that a liberal progressive fears more than a black American who wants a better life and a smaller government.” The liberal progressive reaction to him, Carson and others proves him right.

–Ben Crystal

Habemus Magnum Octo

Quick — to the Choom-mobile! Just your garden variety Democrat war on women. And Old Man McCain gets grumpier. All this — plus — Welcome to the Motor City! Presented in 1080 hi-def, FOR FREE! It’s The Great Eight, from the Personal Liberty Digest™!
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlf0O7h4wyQ&w=560&h=315]

A Cool Day In Texas

Maybe it’s the nature of large annual festivals. Entropy is a law, after all. It happened to Lollapalooza right about the time Metallica showed up. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of skiing in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival knows how much “indie cred” is left in that annual Hollywood hobnob hoedown. Hell, even CPAC, which hosted President Ronald Reagan a dozen times, is featuring Donald Trump this year. It’s not that I think “The Donald” is a self-serving buffoon who is tailor-made to be a ringmaster for the twisted freakshow that is reality television; it’s just that I think… Well, that’s pretty much exactly what I think.

But down Austin, Texas, way, the ultimate cool-annual-gathering-gone-bad story is unfolding right in front of us. Once an almost painfully hip music and arts festival, South By SouthWest (SXSW) has morphed into another faux-hipster snotfest at which corporate-backed liberal icons indoctrinate smug twerps who might as well sport nametags that read “Hello, My Name Is: Low Information Voter.” In all honesty, SXSW is welcome to invite, feature and obtain enormous corporate sponsorship deals from whomever the organizers wish. But I’m afraid the cool factor has melted away in a sea of liberal hypocrisy. Either that, or SXSW is actually what passes for hip these days, in which case the whole country is seriously screwed.

I’m willing to admit I’m not the coolest cat on the block. Not only was I alive when that reanimated corpse they’re passing off as Madonna was “Like a Virgin,” but I’m pretty sure I was alive when she still was a virgin. But I’m Jay-Z’s next Grammy compared to one of the headliners at this year’s SXSW.

Global warming inventor, alleged massage therapist-molester and foreign oil beneficiary Al Gore hit the stage to a roar of approval. While banners for Samsung, AT&T and other corporate giants fluttered in the Texas breeze, the nine-figure-fortune holder and private-jet traveler proffered leftist bons mots; and the evidently irony proof audience lapped up the tired platitudes like thirsty kittens.

The multimillionaire former Vice President and self-proclaimed Internet inventor took to lambasting income inequality, something he called the “stalker economy,” so-called “global warming” (or whatever they’re calling it this week) and even the coming plague of “spider goats.” And then, in a moment that could happen only at a mass assembly of liberals, Gore fired off this non-sequitur: “The NRA is a complete fraud…” I guess it takes one to know one, right, Albert?

Instead of jeers, Gore’s attack on the NRA earned a standing ovation. The epicenter of American cool, version 2013, got on its feet to cheer the greatest living exemplar of liberal hypocrisy for attacking a group he used to support over an issue with which it is unconnected in a place in which it would never be welcomed.

Either SXSW has declined into an orgy of corporate-co-opted pop entertainment or members of the next generation of American style makers and trendsetters are skinny jeans-wearing drones who honestly believe pabulum puked out by eco-nerds like Gore is manna from heaven. Now that I’ve thought about it, I think we might be screwed.

–Ben Crystal

The Kentucky Derby

Let me call time-out for a moment and address the liberals who skulk around the dark corners of our comments section. Hey, kids. It’s your pal, Ben. Since we have this moment together, I just wanted to offer my gratitude for your continued readership. If I’ve offered you half the entertainment you’ve given me (and your remarks suggest I have), then you’re — well — welcome. Now, I wonder if I might ask you for a teensy little favor in return for the daily slices of awesome we provide you free of charge here at the Personal Liberty Digest™: Please support Ashley Judd’s prospective candidacy for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky.

Now, I’m not asking just for myself. Think of the endless material the second most attractive and third most talented of the Judd ladies will provide not only for me, but for all the pundits and commentators who need a few kickers to slip into their routines in between lines about President Barack Obama’s penchant for murdering Americans and Vice President Joe Biden’s penchant for mortifying them.

Judd is a multimillionaire Hollywood bubblehead whose lone political “accomplishment” is a graduate degree from the same university that boasts masters-level alumni like President George W. Bush, and we know how she probably feels about “W.” Beyond that, she’s been in some marginally successful films — although generally opposite someone who possesses enough talent to make up for her wooden performance.

I don’t just want to hear Judd tell the people of a State that produces the third most coal in the Nation and is home to the single most productive coalfield about her belief that coal mining is the equivalent of “rape” and “the era of coal plant is over, unacceptable.”

I don’t just want to hear Judd tell the people of a State that has seen a net growth in population during every decade since we sent King George’s boys packing about her belief that “it’s unconscionable to breed.”

I don’t just want to hear Judd tell the people of a State in which nearly 40 percent of the residents self-identify as evangelical Christians that “… Christianity… gives us a God that is like a man, a God presented and discussed exclusively in male imagery, which legitimizes and seals male power. It is the intention to dominate, even if the intention to dominate is nowhere visible.”

I don’t just want to hear Judd tell the people of Kentucky that a harpy from Hollywood who vacations in Scotland and represented Tennessee as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention is the right person to speak for the Bluegrass State in the Senate.

And I don’t just want to hear some bloviating Tinseltown super-liberal tell a State whose other Senator is Rand Paul — and which gave Republican milquetoast Mitt Romney a 23-point win over Obama in the most recent election — that she’s the best choice in 2014.

I don’t even want to hear Judd campaigning with her “2012 citizen hero” and fake Congressional witness and apparent sex addict Sandra Fluke among the aforementioned Kentuckians. Actually, I really, really do. I want to watch her turn herself — and the Democrats who will be forced to back her — inside out in an effort to sway the votes of people who positively despise her kind of arrogant, sanctimonious hypocrisy.

I want Judd to roll through the primaries uncontested so she’s well-rested for the general election. And then, I want her to run smack into the legitimate conservative who ousted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Republican primary. She’ll lose by 25 points — maybe 15, if she agrees to do full-frontal nudity.

–Ben Crystal

Adios, Hugo!

I’m still trying to make sense of it. Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, darling of the American left, has passed away. Today, Democrats from San Francisco to Midtown Manhattan struggle to come to terms with their grief and disbelief. How can there be justice in the universe if a people’s hero like Chavez has been taken from us so soon?

He did everything right. He stole private property for supposed redistribution and used it to build a personal fortune estimated to be as high as $2 billion. He nationalized Venezuela’s oil industry, simultaneously sticking it to the evil “big oil” companies who spent hundreds of millions of dollars to extract the crude from beneath Venezuelan feet and thumbing his nose at the United States. He crushed opposition by any means necessary, including repeated crackdowns on media that failed to toe his Stalinist line. He demonized freedom and free nations, all the while grinding a once bright and thriving Latin American country into another monotonous and fearful police state. He palled around with all the right people, making bromantic gestures to murderous islamofascist tyrants, terrorist-backing lunatics, communist despots, Hollywood morons and even President Barack Obama.

Despite all his successes in turning Venezuela into the American liberal’s idea of Shangri-La, Chavez developed cancer. Even then, he did everything right. Rather than fly to the United States to receive the very best treatment regimens available (courtesy of a system anathematic to his ideal), Chavez stuck to his socialist guns. He flew to Venezuela’s sister-in-socialism, Cuba, and availed himself of the many modern medical miracles proffered by multimillionaire war profiteer Michael Moore’s favorite healthcare system. (I wonder if they did the bloodletting with leeches?)

Chavez stepped on his people’s necks. He stole everything within reach. He murdered dissent, dismembered freedom of the press and buried personal property rights in the “people’s” backyard. In about a decade, Chavez built exactly the country today’s American Democrats consider the real “shining city on a hill.” He was even friends with Sean Penn, for crying out loud.

Despite it all, he’s gone. The ultimate expression of Obamacare couldn’t save him. All that’s left to do is mourn. Some will publicly bemoan their sadness, such as the people gathering in San Francisco. Others, like the Democratic Party mouthpiece New York Times, will pen adoring eulogies praising the despot’s “energy.” And I will miss the parrot. That bird was the smartest liberal I ever saw.

Vaya con Dios, Hugo. Tell Adolf, Josef and Mao I said: “Hot enough for ya?”

–Ben Crystal

Surviving Obama

If you’re reading this, then you’re one of the blessed few who somehow survived sequestration. By “blessed few,” I mean “everyone on the planet.” And by “sequestration,” I mean “infinitesimally minor reduction in the growth of our already grotesquely obese government.”

So, this is life in post-sequester America. Oddly, it looks remarkably similar to pre-sequester America. Despite dire warnings of horror issued by everyone from sequestration’s creator, President Barack Obama, to such respected Congressional luminaries as Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the world did not end. Our troops from Afghanistan to central Africa (yep, Obama has them there, too) didn’t suddenly find themselves without ammunition. And 170 million Americans didn’t wake up to find themselves unemployed. Highways and bridges didn’t buckle and disintegrate. And the Internal Revenue Service certainly didn’t halt its efforts to extract Uncle Sam’s annual pound of flesh. Hell, the U.S. Postal Service didn’t even stop delivering my Cabelas catalog to the neighbors. Vice President Joe Biden has been downgraded from Air Force to Amtrak on his 120-mile trip from Washington to Wilmington, but that’s mostly because he likes to stick his head out of the window like a Labrador retriever between stops.

I expect a little historical perspective is in order. During the most recent State of the Union, Obama bemoaned what he termed “manufactured crises.” Perhaps that was his motivation in manufacturing the sequester, a silly idea to which Obama finally admitted on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” when his minion Gene Sperling acknowledged Obama’s duplicity regarding the massively overhyped reduction in the increase in future government spending.

All the shouting about Americans sacrificing security, employment and even food was merely a situation cut from the whole cloth of Obama and the Democrats’ own folly. Evidently, the endless recession, the horde of illegal aliens pouring across our borders, Superstorm Sandy, al-Qaida’s African resurgence, the Benghazi murders and cover-up, Attorney General Eric Holder’s criminal and civil offenses in covering up Operation Fast and Furious and even the skyrocketing violent crime in Obama’s own hometown weren’t enough to keep the Democrats focused on the plight their derelictions have created. And with the public beginning to catch on to the usual phantom horrors like so-called “global warming” (or whatever they’re calling it this week), they invented sequester, blamed it on the Republicans, tried to use it to scare the pants off the public, attacked the credibility of anyone who questioned their narrative and then finally owned up to the whole thing.

Here’s a thought: Perhaps if Obama and the Democrats put the kind of effort into doing something constructive that they put into lying, slander and fearmongering, the bleak future of post-sequester America might be decidedly less gray. Then again, given the trail of crimes and misdemeanors (and bodies) left behind by Obama and the Democrats every time they do something they consider constructive, perhaps we’re better off if they stick to manufacturing crises.

–Ben Crystal

The Sequester Follies

I knew the so-called “sequester” house of cards would ultimately collapse. As Wayne Allyn Root pointed out in Sequestration Ponzi Scheme and as and Bob Livingston pointed out in When Cuts Aren’t Really Cuts, the sequester was never more than a pittance, an empty symbolic gesture by the Washington political elite made solely for the purpose of calming the low-information masses who quiver with fear until their masters pat their heads. President Barack Obama and his accomplices thought it up, only to deny their own folly and instead use their corporate media flacks to cast Obama as an innocent bystander to the Machiavellian machinations of the GOP. Fortunately for Obama, the GOP leadership has grown so jelly-spined that playing them for suckers is easier than convincing the Democrat masses that Obama’s latest course-reversal is just the President’s “evolving.”

But Obama and his cronies overplayed their hand this time around. Even casual observers recognized Obama’s poorly disguised duplicity, and the average citizens upon whom Obama’s economic cannonballs always land were too focused on basic survival amid the wreckage of Obama’s failed policies to care much about another liberal scam. And that may well be why Obama himself knocked over the shaky sequester construct.

During a speech at the Newport News, Va., naval shipyard (where they build what Obama equated with “horses and bayonets” during his final Presidential debate with Mitt Romney), Obama whined: “These cuts are wrong. They’re not smart. They’re not fair. They’re a self-inflicted wound that doesn’t have to happen.”

Just to ensure we’re all on the same page: The President of the United States, in an effort to further demonize his perceived enemies, attacked them for compromising on an idea he formulated but in which he evidently never believed, all while standing in an industrial center dedicated to building things he considers antiquated and unnecessary.

Presented with a similar knot of logical self-entanglements, I do believe the kids these days would respond simply: “Facepalm.” Nuff said.

Of The People, By The People And Against The People

As I read the article that was so blatantly planted in Saturday’s Washington Post, I couldn’t help but think: If only our good friends in Washington were as dedicated to doing something constructive with their time, such as not spending our money like drunken sailors on shore leave. I’m sure some of you missed it. Don’t think for one minute that isn’t why Ed O’Keefe’s piece, “Senators near a deal on background checks for most private gun sales,” was buried in the least-read edition of the week.

It seems as if the Federal government has abandoned its attempts to breach the Bill of Rights’ front door and has instead decided to climb through a window. According to the story, a bipartisan group of four Senators is just a few dotted Is and crossed Ts from crafting legislation that would bar private sales of firearms without restrictions, including a background check and extensive transaction records. Those who support this sort of intrusion will suggest that these are hardly onerous stipulations. However, beyond the obvious hassle — not to mention potential identity fraud risks — of forcing Tom to conduct a Federally acceptable background check on Dick before selling him the old Security Six that was taking up space in the safe, there are some rather obvious gaps in the logic of such a law.

Like most laws that are designed to combat so-called “gun violence,” a bill regulating conduct of private sales would hardly dent the murder rate in Chicago or one of those other Democrat-run cities that has turned into a Third World war zone. Criminals don’t want law enforcement to know what they’re up to; they certainly aren’t going to tip off the Feds to the contents of their arsenal. “Hang on there, fellow gangbanger. I need you to sign off on these Federal firearms sales records before I can legally allow you to take possession of this fully automatic RPK. We may be criminals, but God forbid we break the law.” Much like every law the Feds have bolted onto the 2nd Amendment, a law restricting private firearms sales between law-abiding individuals would bounce harmlessly off the side of the criminal element.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not as laissez-faire about gun sales and ownership as some of my libertarian friends. To me, gun ownership has always been fairly commonsense. Not everyone should be allowed to own a firearm, and I don’t mean just the criminals. The guy down the street with the trashbag-covered windows and a lifetime subscription to Mother Jones probably ought to be kept away from the boomsticks, as well. But law-abiding citizens needn’t fear their neighbors simply because the Democrats tell them they should. The fact that I own multiple firearms has proven to be of no consequence to anyone, save the occasional deer, pheasant or grouse (on a really good day). Using the specter of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy to try to convince people otherwise isn’t just dishonest; it’s cruel. By the gun grabbers’ logic, I’m as dangerous as the guy down the street who wears a tinfoil hat and watches MSNBC.

So-called “gun control” laws like the one our dear Senators are hammering out are the same as any other laws that seek to abrogate the Bill of Rights (think: so-called “hate speech” laws). At their heart, they contain a nugget of mistrust. By telling me I can’t sell a .38 to my next door neighbor’s mother, the government is telling me it trusts neither my judgment nor her character. And a government of the people has no right to question those people without just cause.

–Ben Crystal

Their War On Freedom: A Deconstruction

Perhaps a bit of background is in order. The full text of the 2nd Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” If only our current politicians could operate in such a straightforward manner. Yet liberals like President Barack Obama have managed to conjure up all sorts of fantastical hidden meanings in that perfectly worded statement. In the cold light of logic, however, the gun grabbers’ various arguments fracture like Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel under Congressional interrogation. Allow me to demonstrate:

Liberal argument: When the 2nd Amendment was written, “arms” referred to flintlocks and muskets.

Most famously deployed by CNN’s Piers Morgan, a disgraced British journalist-turned-game show host-turned-commentator, this bit of revisionism presumes that the Founding Fathers were incapable of understanding the march of progress and that the Constitution itself is anachronistic. The presence in Philadelphia in 1787 of more than one of the foremost minds in human history belies the former, and the liberal insistence that somehow abortion is Constitutionally protected belies the latter. At the time of the 2nd Amendment’s ratification, firearms were barely beginning to transition from man-portable artillery. The guns of the day were heavy, inaccurate and unreliable under the best of circumstances. War strategy of the day was essentially the same as it had been for the better part of human history: a fusillade of poorly aimed projectiles followed by a flat-out charge. Given the limitations of 1787-era firearms, war was still a pretty “stabby” affair. If the Framers were capable of recognizing the past in the form of swords and bayonets, they were certainly aware of the future in the form of guns and ammunition. Yet they worded the 2nd Amendment in precisely the manner they did.

Liberal argument: Civilians don’t need assault weapons.

Given the fact that “assault weapon” is, at best, a nebulous phrase that liberals seem to define as “scary-looking,” it has joined “gun violence” as a rhetorical red flag, indicating the user’s prejudice more than any legitimate debating point. And “need” is a relative thing. The 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting or sport shooting or even personal defense as much as it is about defense against tyranny. And defense against tyranny is something for which the Founding Fathers foresaw an eternal need, hence the lack of language specifying hunting, sport shooting or personal defense. As the Framers gathered in Philadelphia over the summer of 1787, our fledgling union was just a few years removed from victory over the largest empire on the planet. Tyranny wasn’t some amorphous villain hiding on the periphery of society; it was a clear and present danger. Indeed, King George and his red-coated minions would prove as much within a generation of the American Revolution, booking their return engagement in the War of 1812. The 2nd Amendment isn’t a declaration of need; it’s an admonishment. Just because the forces of tyranny no longer answer to Buckingham Palace doesn’t mean tyranny doesn’t still exist; ask the people of the Mideast, North Korea, Red China or Chicago.

Liberal argument: Guns cause crime.

I’ve noticed this fallacious fluff tends to be the default argument for the tinfoil hat-wearing extremists of the far left. Leftist websites like Dailykos.com and Media Matters will flatly state a cause-and-effect relationship between guns and violence, although no such link exists. The most gun-restrictive places in America are also its most violent. By restricting the firearm-ownership rights of law-abiding citizens, the liberals have also left them defenseless against an onslaught of criminals who couldn’t care less what Media Matters thinks of firearm possession. Moreover, the guns-cause-crime talking point assigns sinister intent to inanimate objects. Without humans to wield them, all the firearms in the world are merely complicated boat anchors.

Liberal argument: (So-called) high-capacity magazines are unnecessary.

This feat of logical legerdemain is actually more ludicrous than the guns-cause-crime argument. The idea that my ownership of multiple 30-round magazines for my AR-15 somehow endangers others is wrong and offensive. As I pointed out, left to themselves, guns are merely busy-looking doorstops. Therefore, magazines are merely oddly shaped paperweights.

Liberal Argument: Some guns are more dangerous-looking and, therefore, should be banned.

Take a look at the picture below. One of the guns is one of the — if not the — most commonly owned rifles in North America: the Ruger 10-22. It’s a redoubtable and recognizable weapon, chambered in the easy-to-handle .22 rimfire. It features a no-frills wood stock and a detachable 10-round rotary magazine, and it looks about as frightening as a BB gun. The other depicts a sinister-looking death machine. Outfitted in black polymer, it features a pistol grip and a folding and collapsible buttstock, and it is normally shipped with a 25-round magazine. One looks like an amped-up version of a Daisy air rifle. The other looks like something that would make Morgan lose control of his bladder. The thing is: They’re the same rifle. Sure, one looks awfully “tactical,” but it’s really just “tacti-cool.” They fire the same .22 rimfire round. The magazines that work in one work just as well in the other. And neither would be a particularly good choice as a primary weapon against agents of tyranny, from King George’s redcoats to Obama’s cronies in the U.S. Senate. By focusing on cosmetic features, gun grabbers are making specious points about tangential matters rather than focusing on the actual causes of crime.

Guns

Liberal argument: A disarmed America is a peaceful Nation.

Sure it is. That’s why Nazi Germany was such a fun spot for a party. A disarmed America is a turkey on the day before Thanksgiving. It’s fat, it’s rich and it’s defenseless.

I can’t fault Obama and his Democratic accomplices for their tireless efforts to keep the so-called “gun control” debate squarely in their political crosshairs. After all, as long as they can keep if not the general public, then at least their media accomplices and the poorly informed voters on whose necks they stand focused on one of the most exceptionally divisive issues of our time, they won’t have to explain themselves regarding their wars on the energy industry, the economy, the unborn or even their own diplomatic corps. As I’ve said before: Manufactured crises are perfect tools to keep the poor, huddled, liberal masses frozen with fear and hatred, and there’s hardly a more perfectly tailored fearmongering campaign than one in which the government can use dead children to sow mistrust among the public. By turning guns into menacing killing machines, the Democratic elite can turn gun owners into menacing killers. To be sure, what sort of soulless monster would dare suggest his Constitutional rights trump the lives of our Nation’s future — other than abortionists, of course. Thusly, while proponents of the Bill of Rights defend their basic freedoms against an onslaught of righteous — albeit wrongheaded — fury, the real issues of the day, from violence to economics, disappear behind a wall of promises, demands and Vice President Joe Biden’s bizarre rape-prevention tips.

–Ben Crystal

The Real War On Women

To hear the Democrats and their flacks in the kneepad media (hat tip: Brad Thor) tell it, the conservative movement is pressing a battle against the fairer sex with all the ferocity of an islamofascist who just caught sight of a woman who’s showing too much ankle outdoors. With the corporate media horde squawking the “war on women” slogan like meth-addled parakeets, one would think we should have armor-plated Mom’s Volvo, lest a roving band of glowering white men wearing Brooks Brothers ties tries to take a shot at her on her way to bridge club.

The “war on women” meme might not be borne out by actual events (unless I missed a rash of guys named “Chip” storming the cosmetics counter at Neiman Marcus), but it is perfect for the intellectual heavyweights Democrats count on to repeat it ad nauseam. “War on women” is short, it has rhythm and it fits perfectly on a bumper sticker. It’s tailor-made for the cowering liberal masses whose fear feeds the Democrat ideological machine. And it in no way hints at the reality that “war on women” translates from the original liberalese to mean “opposes late-term, third-trimester abortions.”

Casting aside the logical fallacy of “war on women” as a phrase, consider what life might be like if it were real. People could get away with virtually anything. The President might pay his women staffers 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Political party mouthpieces might call female politicians “c*nt” and “dumb tw*t.” People might depict female diplomats as racist caricatures. Political blogs might even attack female politicians’ children and mock their infirmities. Politically motivated mass hate groups might take to raping women at their borderline riots, and the male-dominated media might ignore it completely. Media blowholes might even take to calling their female ideological opponents “slut” or my personal favorite “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”

Indeed, the safety of our precious children could hardly be guaranteed in such a gender-war-torn environment. Hopefully, they’d be well-informed by their parents and teachers about the “war on women” well before they had to step onto the battlefield themselves. Certainly, institutes of higher learning could be counted upon to impart the lessons women need to know about self-defense. I can’t imagine any respectable university instructing their female charges to “tell your attacker that you have a disease or are menstruating.” Furthermore, it strains credulity to suggest that all of the aforementioned babble might fall out of the face-holes of the same people who oppose allowing women to own firearms for self-defense.

Not only would that kind of hypocrisy be really, really dumb; it would look terrible on a bumper sticker.

–Ben Crystal

Killer Science

No one knew it was coming until it streaked overhead. Fortunately, the meteor that rocked Chelyabinsk, Russia, didn’t kill anyone. But had it cratered in the Russian city of more than 1 million souls, the death toll would have been more catastrophic than the Arab Spring.

Although the near-miss was unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14 and the fireball seen in the skies over San Francisco on Friday, its impact reverberated across the planet. Democrat sock puppets immediately tried to link the cosmic bombardment with so-called “global warming” (aka ManBearPig) in an odd confluence of science (space rocks) and science fiction (ManBearPig) that could happen only when liberals encounter things Al Gore can’t explain in small words.

The timing of last week’s meteor shower couldn’t have been more perfect. Just days after President Barack Obama demanded taxpayer funding to combat “global warming,” science trumped science fiction. Real things like asteroids can really kill you. And they aren’t the only things out there that present a real threat to life, limb and property. What follows is a short list of a few other unlikely, but more likely than ManBearPig, natural killers:

Knife-Wielding Birds

Two years ago, Jose Luis Ochoa attended a cockfight and left in a body bag. Someone attached a blade to one of the birds’ feet, and Ochoa ended up on the business end of the chicken army’s revenge for decades of McNuggets. The next time you tuck into some KFC extra-crispy, remember the sacrifice Ochoa made so you could enjoy the finger-lickin’ goodness. And, no, I’m not sorry about Ochoa. He was at a cockfight. You’ll never see those in a red and white bucket.

Flying Crocodiles

In 2010, someone had the bright idea to smuggle a crocodile in his carry-on bag onto a Filair flight headed for Bandundu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The croc got loose from the bag, sending panicked passengers rushing toward the flight deck and subsequently unbalancing the plane.  The crash took the lives of 20 people, but the crocodile survived.

Runaway Segways

Little more than a decade has passed since the Segway was introduced. Held up by a series of gyroscopes, the weird scooter is supposed to be almost impossible to knock off its wheels. But all the gyroscopic stabilizers in the world can’t help if the Segway is driven off a cliff. Yet that’s what happened to James Heselden.  What’s worse, Heselden was the owner of Segway Inc.  The lesson: Segways are death machines… when dropped from high altitudes.

Killer Monkeys

More than 16 million people call Delhi, India, home. One would think the deputy mayor of such a huge burg would live, if not well, at least fairly monkey-free. Yet Surinder Singh Bajwa met his end when a gang of rhesus macaques sent him flying over the balcony of his apartment. “Planet of the Apes,” the Bollywood edition?

Wiley Coyotes

In 2009, a woman was attacked and partially eaten by two coyotes while hiking in rural Nova Scotia. She’s one of only two people known to have been killed by coyotes. By the way, that’s also two more than have ever been killed by guns. Bad doggies.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

When it comes to killer animals on the dark continent, neither lions nor elephants nor cheetahs can hold a candle to these adorably plump ungulates. Despite their odd resemblance to Roseanne Barr, hippopotamuses are the No. 1 killer of people in all of Africa.  A hippopotamus can run up to 30 mph, nearly as fast as a Chevy Volt. And woe be unto the poor soul in its path; a Twinkie has a better chance of escaping Barr.

That Mother Nature packs a real wallop. All of the aforementioned are natural hazards over which we have no hope of control, except for the Segway. It’s “green,” so it kinda fits. Beyond those nightmares, we have to worry about sharks, volcanoes, lightning strikes, honey badgers, cancer and union thugs. What two things do they all have in common with asteroids?

  1. They’re all forces of nature.
  2. They all actually exist.

Yet Obama wants us to fund efforts to combat “global warming.” The Chelyabinsk meteor was a not-too-subtle reminder that science trumps science fiction every time. Honestly, when was the last time Obama demanded taxpayer funding to combat killer monkeys? The funny thing is, the monkeys are a bigger threat than “global warming,” un-wielded firearms and space rocks combined.

–Ben Crystal

Small Raise, Big Trouble

Forget everything else President Barack Obama said during the State of the Union address. Forget the unfunded education mandates, the empty promises to do something for the troops. Forget the pledge to eradicate AIDS (which not even Obama can accomplish by decree). Out of the wreckage of a speech that, I would suggest, was the worst Presidential speech since Jimmy Carter “lusted in his heart” came one demand that presents a clear and present danger: The President wants to increase the Federal minimum wage to $9 per hour from its current $7.25 per hour.

In theory, a pay hike for the bottom rung of the labor ladder sounds lovely. Stock clerks, grocery baggers and other low-skilled laborers will see an extra $1.75 for each hour of work. Across the Nation, the (primarily) youngest segment of the working population will pocket an extra $70 a week, based on a 40-hour workweek. Flush with the extra scratch, they will reinvest their hard-won extra wage in our growing economy, resulting in huge increases in face piercings, tattoos and energy drinks.

And then, just as they’re ready to move forward toward a brighter economic future, emboldened by their newfound success, reality will jump up and lift their wallets. Unfortunately, the increased outlay by their respective employers won’t be covered by income (since everyone in a position to hire low-skill labor will likewise be facing higher payroll costs — not to mention Obamacare’s higher expenses). As the economy grinds to a halt due to the cracks in the foundation caused by a Federally mandated pay raise sans increases in productivity normally associated with paycheck enlargement, one of the oldest economic laws in the world will kick in: last hired, first fired.

Small businesses that scratch their way to profitability — if that — obviously can’t afford to have their newest and least-skilled employees nab a raise with no increase in work. Neither can large corporations that employ dozens, hundreds or even thousands of minimum-wage workers. While Obama draws attention to corporate profits, he ignores corporate profit margins — often the difference between real profitability and bankruptcy. Imagine the impact an extra $1.75 per hour per employee working a 40-hour workweek would have on an employer.
While Obama might argue that an economically secure minimum-wage worker would be spurred to greater workplace accomplishments, the hard reality of minimum-wage labor belies his flight of fancy. The impact of a minimum-wage hike on small business would translate fairly quickly to larger businesses. As smaller businesses laid off workers to preserve razor-thin margins, the laid-off workers would stop spending. The sudden decrease in consumer spending would translate doubly to larger businesses, where a combination of loss of customer base would be compounded by a decline in consumer confidence. (With the new guy gone, the next guy on the ladder would get pretty nervous about his own job security.) That translates to less spending by people who have jobs, creating a dangerous cycle.

Meanwhile, there’s the small matter of the workers who have managed to secure themselves raises from the current minimum-wage to, say, $9 per hour. Congratulations to them. They busted their tails for nothing; Obama just handed the new guy a raise he didn’t earn. That’s essentially Obama’s amnesty for illegal aliens translated to economics. And with that, the economy takes another hit as worker confidence declines.

Fresh from nationalizing American healthcare, Obama wants to nationalize American payrolls. And all it will cost us is $1.75 per hour — and our souls.

–Ben Crystal

Political Climate Change

Later on this evening, President Barack Obama will take to the floor of the United States House of Representatives and deliver the annual legislative, social and ideological grocery list known as the State of the Union (SOTU) address. In tonight’s speech, Obama will address myriad items which he thinks need immediate and definitive action. Among the entries on his wish list: something he refers to as “climate change.”

So, the leader of the free world will take to the most august stage on the planet; and lay out a Christmas – sorry, Kwanzaa – list of demands for the first full year of his 2nd term in the Oval Office. As per usual, none of Obama’s demands will carry a small price tag. But before we hear Obama’s plan to eliminate “climate change,” we probably ought to determine what climate change actually entails.

“Climate Change” Isn’t Its Real Name

Before they called it climate change, its proponents called it “global warming.” Before that, they called it “global cooling.” Before that, I’m guessing they called it the same thing you still call it: “weather.”

It’s Your Fault

The most appalling aspect of the whole climate change racket is the accusatory nature of the theory. While prominent liberals blame your sport-utility vehicle, your hairspray and/or your livestock for a future apocalypse, they have yet to actually prove they’re related. The supposed “science” on which they make their wild accusations is entirely anecdotal. You drive a sport-ute, use hairspray and own a cow. It’s hot outside. Therefore, you + suv + walking porterhouse = impending doom. Centuries past, Mesoamerican cultures thought solar eclipses were harbingers of destruction; anecdotally accurate to a point. Then, the Spaniards showed up and proved them really, really wrong.

It’s Hotter Out

The planet – heck, the UNIVERSE – is a constantly changing place. The planet has been dramatically warmer than it is now. Indeed, according to most historical climatological data, the Earth is currently mired in one of the coolest cycles in half a billion years. 65 million years ago, the animal kingdom was ruled by Godzilla’s cousins. But they didn’t take the dangers of unregulated dinosaur consumption seriously; and they paid for their wanton consumption by losing their global domination to proto-guinea pigs. The lesson: Paleo-climatology is an inexact science. Also: guinea pigs are bad news.

If We Don’t Do Something, We’re ALL GOING TO DIE!

Actually, it doesn’t matter what we do. The earth, and everything on it, is doomed. Billions of years from now, the Sun is going to run out of hydrogen to use as fuel. It will begin fusing helium before progressing to heavier elements. As this process intensifies, the sun will grow bigger than the sum of Al Gore and his new Al Jazeera oil barons’ bank accounts; eventually swelling large enough to consume Mercury, Venus and most of Congress. THOSE will be bad days indeed, kids. The atmosphere will burn away, the oceans will boil off, the surface of the planet will melt and Obama’s descendants will have to deliver the SOTU underground. We ARE all going to die. Not even a fully-funded Federal agency can stop it.

Forget about the heat; Google “Snowball Earth” for a look at pictures of the planet during its unruly teenage years. While liberals press their climatological phrenology on the rest of us; those aforementioned cycles continue; unaffected by our geologically unimpressive presence. Your soccer mommy-mobile didn’t cause “Snowball Earth;” nor did it cause the temperature spike which gave the dinosaurs planetary hegemony; nor will it be responsible for the Sun’s eventual self-destruction. For that matter, all of the minivans, all of the hairspray, all of the refrigerant, all of the fossil fuel usage, all of the bovine flatulence and all of the superheated air expelled from all of the lungs of all of the global warmists in history doesn’t amount to a bucket of magma.

And yet tonight, in front of a worldwide audience, Obama will demand we act to stop something he calls “climate change.” Nothing the Federal government – especially one headed by a recklessly arrogant liberal like Obama – does ever ends up costing less or being more effective than expected. Our National debt is closing in on $20 trillion. We can’t afford to pay for our proverbial groceries; much less a proverbial grocery list which includes changing the basic nature of the universe.

Join Ben tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time as he liveblogs the State of the Union address. You can comment along with Ben or take your best verbal shots at him as he employs his unique brand of humor to make sense of the festivities. To join the fun, click here.

25 Years Of Sex And Politics

It’s not that Senator Bob Menendez and his Dominican Republic juvenile jamborees are a novel concept. Heavyweight politicos have been tripping over their own — um — feet since the first time some Cro-Magnon decided to drag the cute female with the two-syllable name back to his cave. But some of the more recent dalliances with “girls Friday” have crossed the line between scandalous and enormously entertaining.

Now, I can’t possibly cover all the lawmakers who have been caught with their proverbial pants around their ankles. I eliminated some because Al Gore hadn’t invented the Internet when Thomas Jefferson slipped out the side door with Sally Hemings, others because we don’t have the bandwidth for the Kennedys. I left out still others because they’re just sad (Gary Condit and Chandra Levy), because I did a joke about them recently (Mark Sanford, hiking the Appalachian Trail) or because their sex scandal represented a small part of a much larger personal disgrace (former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick). So this list may be miles from comprehensive, but it is right next door to fun.

Senator Gary Hart (D-Colo.)

Senator Gary Hart actually dared reporters to catch him stepping out during the 1988 Democratic campaign for the Presidential nomination. The girl was named Donna Rice. The boat was named Monkey Business. And the nominee was named Michael Dukakis. You can’t make this stuff up.

Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.)

In 1989, Representative Barney Frank’s live-in lover, Steve Gobie, was caught using “Bawney’s” digs as a brothel. Hey, we all have a few past paramours whose behavior left us regretting the association. But none of my exes ran a prostitution racket — from my living room. Feel free to insert your own “employer discount” gag here.

Senator Bob Packwood (R-Ore.)

One would think Senator Bob Packwood, who met his legislative end in the middle of President Bill Clinton’s unprecedented womanizing, need only have kept a low profile in order to keep his seat. And by “low profile,” I most certainly do not mean “bragged about his sexual conquests in his diary.” On a related note: What 63 year-old keeps a diary?

Representatives Mark Foley (R-Fla.) And Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.)

Representative Mark Foley sent sexually explicit text messages to underage Congressional pages. Foley was then replaced by Representative Tim Mahoney. Mahoney hired his mistress, fired his mistress and lost a re-election bid in a year when President Barack Obama’s coattails were longer than a union thug’s rap sheet.

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho)

I fly through the Minneapolis airport fairly often. I’m still a little nervous about hitting the head while waiting for my connecting flight. Gee thanks, Senator.

Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.)

Even with the corporate media trying to bury the story next to the corpse of King Richard III, Senator John Edwards’ affair — and child — with paramour Rielle Hunter crawled out. The fact that Edwards tried to pay off staffers and lied like a trial lawyer to hide his infidelities was almost as embarrassing as the fact that he did it all while his wife was dying of cancer. What do you get when you cross an ambulance-chaser with a politician? John Edwards.

Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.)

How do you know your personal failings have hit the big-time? “South Park” mocks you. New York Governor Eliot Spitzer shall forever be known by his petit nom d’amour: “Client 9.” The best part: Spitzer was replaced by his Lieutenant Governor, David Patterson, who made Spitzer look like a Cistercian nun.

Representative Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)

This is the Congressman from New York’s 9th district. And this is the Congressman from New York’s 9th district on Twitter. Any questions?

President Bill Clinton

There’s no way I could file this piece without noting the most famous philanderer since Casanova, if not in all of human history. Clinton remains a “perv” to this day; check out the photo of Bubba giving Kelly Clarkson the twice-over at Obama’s inaugural. Sure, he followed a promising career as an alleged gubernatorial rapist by throwing himself at any White House intern with a blue dress and a weight problem; but Clinton did leave us with some parting gifts: He forced double-talking Republicans like Newt Gingrich to choke on their feigned morality, and his eight-year-long Presidential frat party relegated Al Gore to a career of chasing ManBearPig and “allegedly” pawing massage therapists.

Did I leave some out? Of course I did. The complete list of politicians who let their “little Senators” do their thinking would be as long as the Encyclopedia Britannica, albeit with unsettling photographs.

–Ben Crystal

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Join Ben Tuesday night, Feb. 12, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time as he liveblogs the State of the Union address. You can comment along with Ben or take your verbal shots at him as he employs his unique humor to make sense of the festivities.

Straight Shooting

There I sat, frozen in fear by the realization that President Barack Obama might have lied when he claimed to be the Annie Oakley of Camp David. As usual, one of Obama’s tall tales spawned a whole new series of reports in the media, most proclaiming his latest lie too small for their attention. Others (I among them) were less concerned about whether Obama knew which end of the .12 gauge was the “business end” and more concerned about who thought allowing Obama anywhere near a loaded firearm was ever a good idea.

Thank goodness for the White House press office. While liberals blamed heartless conservatives for endlessly hounding the President out of spite and (of course) racism, the kids from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue managed to hold the President still long enough to pose for a photo featuring him awkwardly firing a presumably borrowed shotgun and turned a molehill into a mountain.

If the President’s hijinks seem too small for national discussion, that’s because they are. However, focusing on them isn’t petty; it’s a result of Obama’s seemingly reflexive tendency to lie, even when telling the truth would be easier. The logical question is: Why would Obama fan such foolish flames?

Here are but a few of the matters Obama ignored while heading to Camp David for his “shewtin’ show”:

The Mideast

Not too far off in the distant past, a belligerent islamofascist regime which not only denied the Holocaust ever happened but also hopes to start another one soon, would have been serious. Two such regimes would have been headline news every day. Two such regimes — one of them actively working to develop nuclear weapons while the other worked to eliminate a sizable portion of its own population — would have been cause for badly directed TV movies. Add Obama’s decision to send American weapons to an increasingly chaotic Egypt, and you’ve got a perfect storm brewing in the unhappiest place on Earth. Remember when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on spec?

The Economy

As of this moment, the national unemployment rate sits just shy of 8 percent; compared with the rate on the day he took office, that’s hardly the change Obama promised. The national debt is rapidly approaching $17 trillion, and the gross domestic product fell for the first time since 2009. One of those cute little bumper stickers Obama ordered affixed to liberals’ cars during the 2012 campaign read: “Bin Laden’s dead. General Motors is alive.” Thanks to Navy SEAL Team 6, bin Laden is indeed feeding the fish. But GM is more undead than alive, and the taxpayers paid 11 figures for that folly. Meanwhile, Obama is already calling for even more new taxes. The stock market is booming, so Obama’s Wall Street cronies are rolling heavy. I guess that’s where the “change” went.

Benghazi

For all the blather about the massacre that unfolded before the world in Libya, little has addressed what actually happened. Obama and his minions have offered (by my count) five different versions of events, ranging from a YouTube video protest to — er, they’ll get back to us on that. What we do know is that four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were left to die, despite their warnings; and their calls for help went unheeded. We actually know more about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s headaches than we do about Benghazi, Libya. Obama offered neither a consistent nor credible explanation for Benghazi. The smart money says he never will.

Guns And Ammo

When crazy people do crazy things, Obama’s reaction is the same as liberal reaction to any tragedy: blame inanimate objects. Ever since the Newtown, Conn., massacre (which happened despite the sort of legal blanket Obama wants to throw over the rest of the Nation), Obama has the entire liberal horde marching against so-called “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines. When someone leaves the lights on, you don’t blame the lamp. When crazy people do crazy things, you don’t blame the millions of Americans who didn’t — unless you’re Obama.

There are certainly other problems which require our collective attention. Unfortunately, Obama and his accomplices have proven to be so divisive and their minions so consumed with partisan hatred that solutions are as likely to appear as a straight answer from Attorney General and Operation Fast and Furious commander Eric Holder. But the President shoots skeet. And don’t you dare Photoshop the image of him doing so.

–Ben Crystal