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

Yes, Ma’am!

As of last week, the armed forces of the United States will henceforth allow women to join front-line combat units. Defense Secretary Leon “Panther” Panetta directed the military to prepare to rotate members of the fairer sex into firing position. The decision has touched off a fairly predictable firestorm of controversy, with some stating the complete gender-integration of the military was likely overdue and others saying women in combat is an idea whose time should never arrive.

I’m of two minds on the topic. While I fully understand the desire to preserve some semblance of gender roles in an increasingly confused society, I struggle to comprehend the idea that women are somehow unable to perform properly in a firefight because they’re using different plumbing. There are no ladies’ rooms “outside the wire.” And the enemy certainly doesn’t display any hesitation about, or even awareness of, gender differences when rigging improvised explosive devices or aiming B-40s at a passing convoy. Already, women go through the same training expected of any service personnel and engage in air, ground and sea combat, although their primary assignments may vary. Indeed, the lone distinction is essentially a matter of paperwork.

Not too far off in American history, integration meant including blacks in front-line combat units. Conventional wisdom of the time stated that racial integration of the armed forces posed a danger to everything from command structure to unit morale. Find former Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent and tell the men under him that he was not fit to serve with them. I strongly suggest you start running before you finish. Should you survive, try out the same logic on one of the senior officers serving under Vice Adm. Carol Pottenger. Bring your floaties.

I have encountered some people who think women lack the detachment to kill without reservation. I need only two words to gun that down: Janet Reno.

From an anecdotal perspective, with whom would you rather fend off an armed assault, much less participate in one: Sarah Palin or Dennis Kucinich? Ask that same question of some half-starved North Korean zombie or cave-dwelling Akbar who smokes hash to keep the hunger pangs at bay. Something tells me Private Jong-Sun will seriously reconsider just how badly he wants Alaska after he runs into the “Mama Grizzly.”

On the other hand, I once asked Cmdr. Dick Marcinko about women serving in combat units. If that name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he’s the bestselling author of the Rogue Warrior series of novels, and he also happens to be the founder of SEAL Team Six. This guy seriously knows his warfare. Marcinko told me he opposes women in combat not because they can’t be effective soldiers — he noted Israeli military servicewomen and Eastern Bloc snipers as examples — but because of the effect their capture might have on their own units. Marcinko worried that units might take extreme risks should a female member be captured — especially given the fact that the captors are almost routinely islamofascists who force women to dress like beekeepers, find 12 year-old girls alluring and kick back with a nice “honor killing.”

Marcinko’s point is well made. But women who enlist in the military know what they might face. To suggest that they’re unaware of the occupational hazards is to diminish their quality, and I think that’s a bit unfair. If the military — which actually tends to be ahead of the curve when it comes to integration — could learn that the only color that matters is green (or Army Combat Uniform, MARPAT or MultiCam), then I have no doubt that they can learn that the gender of their colleagues matters as little in combat as the gender of the enemy.

I am not proposing some massive social engineering experiment that uses the military as the petri dish. I just honestly believe that women can be just as effective in combat roles as men. In some cases, they might even be a little bit better. My mother is a graceful, delicate woman who makes drinking a martini look like ballet, whereas I have watched my father tear tree stumps out of the ground with his bare hands. And he does what she tells him to with the unblinking obedience of a Marine boot running into the ghost of Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller. With that in mind, imagine the reaction of a cadre of hajis confronted by a battalion that includes women with Hillary Clinton’s disposition.

–Ben Crystal

Playing 20 Questions With The Commander In Chief

Anyone who has ever sat through one of President Barack Hussein Obama’s heavy-petting sessions the corporate media call “interviews” or one of his extremely infrequent press conferences knows that wresting a straight answer from Barry is one tall order. As a conservative, I have about the same chance of scoring a sit-down with his Imperial Highness as Media Matters high priest David Brock does of silencing the voices in his head.

But what if I could interrupt one of Obama’s secret skeet-shooting sessions for a little verbal one-on-one? What questions would I pose to the most deliberately opaque President in American history? Since CBS News’ Steve Kroft has already handled the light lifting, I suppose there’s not much point in repeating the same softballs “60 Minutes” substituted for substantive sound bites.

I compiled a list of 20 questions I’d love to hear Obama answer. Of course, given his dim view of media outlets that don’t toe his statist line, I’m aware that I’m more likely to play Q&A with Obama’s auditory hallucinations and/or his little friend who totes the unregistered, semi-automatic handgun with a capacity of well more than seven rounds. But, hey: If liberals can dream of a day without liberty, then I can certainly dream of a day with a forthright President.

Thus, I would pose these interrogatives to The One, and I fully intend to do so (right about the same time Secretary of State — and Obama heir apparent — Hillary Clinton learns how to make those crocodile tears believable):

      1. Since your plan to reduce so-called “gun violence” centers on the elimination of so-called “assault weapons” instead of something that hasn’t already been proven ineffective in places like Chicago; Washington, D.C.; and Newtown, Conn., will you consider yourself responsible when so-called “gun crime” rises after you disarm the people? Or will you just stick with blaming President George W. Bush, conservatives and/or law-abiding citizens for your own ineffectiveness?
      2.  

      3. I suppose you can’t really deport Piers Morgan just for being an imperious British twinkie, but can’t you sign an executive order forcing him to do his show from the Camp Lejeune rifle range? I would DVR the heck out of that show.
      4.  

      5. How do members of your Secret Service detail manage to stifle their laughter when (if) you shoot skeet at Camp David?
      6.  

      7. How do you Democrats reconcile being pro-abortion but anti-capital punishment? Is it just that the unborn are easier targets, or are you concerned about the death penalty’s detrimental effect on the ability of ACORN (or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves these days) to “get out the vote”?
      8.  

      9. Is Eric Holder’s Spanish good enough to order lunch in Mexico, or do his narcoterrorist clients speak English?
      10.  

      11. Did you let the “Benghazi Four” die because you really didn’t give a crap, or did you think you were watching “Blackhawk Down” on Air Force One’s big screen before grubbing for cash in Las Vegas?
      12.  

      13. Does Hillary Clinton make little stabby gestures every time your back is turned?
      14.  

      15. Since you’ve broken your promise to close Gitmo, have you considered putting in a golf course? I hear it’s lovely this time of year, and you could hit the links with some of your friends?
      16.  

      17. When the Democrat Channel (aka MSNBC) minions come for a visit, how do you get those unsightly Rachel Maddow stains out of the rug in the Oval Office? Furthermore, does Al Sharpton have to fight the urge to pick up Maddow and hurl her at every teenage intern who walks by?
      18.  

      19. What did fake Congressional witness Sandra Fluke have to do in exchange for the Democrats making her famous (for a little while, anyway)? Did it involve the sort of behavior Bill Clinton might enjoy? Did she charge the whole thing to Georgetown University?
      20.  

      21. Is it possible to dial some of those 1-900 numbers from an Obamaphone?
      22.  

      23. How come I’ve never seen your wife and Oprah Winfrey in the same room? Hang on; they’ve been in the same room. Which one was which?
      24.  

      25. As or at which is Joe Biden most effective:
        a.Throw rug
        b.Doorstop
        c.Paperweight
        d.Guessing the number of jelly beans in the jar on your desk
      26.  

      27. Do you actually enjoy hanging out with union thugs like Richard Trumka, or is that just part of the job? (Cough twice if you’re afraid to answer because they’re in the room.)
      28.  

      29. According to your party and its corporate media, high gas prices were the fault of President George W. Bush during his term, but you are powerless to affect them. Does it hurt your feelings to hear your own minions say you’re impotent by comparison?
      30.  

      31. Where is the “Choom gang” now, and can you hook a brother up?
      32.  

      33. Have you told Malia and Sasha about the crippling national debt with which you’re saddling their generation, or will they be running for office as well?
      34.  

      35. Since you lied about not hiking taxes on the middle class, can we at least get a better spot in line for the Obamacare death panels?
      36.  

      37. If the Democrats successfully pass Representative Jose Serrano’s bill to eliminate the 22nd Amendment, will you personally visit the Texas Legislature to convince lawmakers to ratify it, or will you send Serrano? (If I were you, I’d send Serrano.) Also, will you still be known as “President Obama” or will you go with something cooler, like “His Most Royal and Serene Highness, Lord of All He Surveys and Ruler of the Known Universe, the Sultan Barack I?”
      38.  

      39. Before he goes to bed at night, does the boogeyman check under his bed for Rahm Emanuel?
      40.  

      I’m willing to acknowledge that not all of these questions are worthy of a dignified interview with the commander in chief, but neither is the current commander in chief. At the very least, I’d obviously hit the real issues a great deal harder than Kroft. Fortunately for me, I work for Personal Liberty Digest™, not some bush-league liberal hack farm like “60 Minutes.”

      –Ben Crystal

Life Comes Last

If half a million people march for life on Washington, D.C., and the media pretend not to hear them, did they still make a statement in defense of the unborn? Ask the corporate media flacks and their Democratic overlords, and I’m quite sure they’d respond: “Did you hear about the college football player and his fake girlfriend?”

A half million citizens did shake down the thunder in our Nation’s Capitol this past weekend; and the media did ignore their roar, opting instead for incisive coverage of a linebacker’s love life. In fact, the March for Life — which managed to draw a crowd more than five times the size of a sold-out Notre Dame home game without any of the criminal hijinks or mountains of litter of a liberal get-together — fell behind not only Manti Te’o’s heartbreak on the information superhighway but also behind a comparatively meager get-together of anti-2nd Amendment activists.

Now, pointing out that the corporate media list badly to port is as groundbreaking an observation as noting Bill Clinton likes chunky gals. But there’s a difference between allowing your biases to bend your coverage and letting them delete it entirely. Liberals will stop traffic to preserve access, especially taxpayer-subsidized access, to abortion; ask anyone who has ever witnessed those creepy vagina costumes.

Half a million Americans stood together and stood up to be heard on behalf of the voiceless. Their collective shout dwarfed even the racket made by U.S. Department of Justice lawyers booing Representative Paul Ryan on Inauguration Day. Their force of will radiated more powerfully than a diva lip-syncing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Yet the people charged with informing Americans of important goings-on paid more attention to a few dozen people wailing plaintively against something called “assault weapons” and something else they refer to as “gun violence.” Moreover, they updated us on Te’o’s sad tale — again. I’m sure they aren’t keeping that sideshow on life support just to keep from noticing the crowd as large as a medium-sized city down the street, demanding protection for the innocent.

To be fair, some corporate media types did take note of the March for Life. One of the bit players for the Democrat Channel (MSNBC) managed to work in some material about the march. A fellow who calls himself “Touré’” (like Prince, except that Touré is “The Artist Formerly Known As No One Special”), in discussing the march, crowed: “I thank God and country that when I fell into a bad situation, abortion was there to save me.” I suspect God doesn’t want the credit for that, buddy. Indeed, I suspect God doesn’t want credit for you, either. You could have tried stepping up as a man and taking responsibility for your behavior. For that matter, you could have avoided the whole mess by behaving responsibly from the moment you realized she was unconscious. (I’m guessing at that last part.) Call it a hunch. No matter; at least Touré’s pro-abortion parable stems from his own lack of compunction.

I prefer that to the usual liberal efforts to present the extermination of the most innocent among us as a minor elective procedure. Senator Barbara Boxer (Butcher-Calif.) calls abortion a “health decision.” The circumstances in which pregnancy presents an actual threat to the mother’s life are exceedingly rare. The rest of the time, the “women’s health issue” is just a matter of convenience. Democrats like to frighten their masses with claims of some conservative “war on women.” Of course, anyone fighting to protect defenseless babies must be consumed with misogyny. And pro-life women are beyond the pale; just ask Sarah Palin.

There were other Democrats paying attention to the March for Life. The Twitterverse ran hot with their rage:

 

 

 

I’ll bet other pro-abortionists would excuse their threats as support for really, really late-term abortion.

In recent days, the scientific world has been riveted by the likelihood that life may have — and may yet — exist on Mars. Though that life is probably merely microbial in nature, astronomers are as excited by the possibility as Touré is by a “drunken lingerie lock-in” at a sorority house. Yet the media have focused far more attention on Martian bacteria than human children — and on Te’o’s fake girlfriend, of course.

–Ben Crystal

The Divine Right Of Obama

I watched the coronation — sorry; inauguration — of Emperor Barack the Magnificent I — sorry; President Barack (don’t say “Hussein”) Obama. As he recited the oath of office for the second time in as many days (he took the “official” oath in the Oval Office on Sunday), a light switched on. At first, I thought it might just be the camera lights reflecting off of that fright wig stuck to the first lady’s cranium. But the light was actually a revelation, one much greater than the knowledge that Obama should put that thing back before the janitor notices it’s missing. Obama, who has made it clear that he thinks as highly of the Constitution as I do of The New York Times, placed his hand on not one but two copies of the Bible — one belonging to Martin Luther King Jr. and the other belonging to President Abraham Lincoln.

Obama — who believes he can overrule the 2nd Amendment by what amounts to imperial fiat; Obama, who endorsed Attorney General Eric Holder before, during and after Holder’s criminal mendacity regarding Operation Fast and Furious; Obama, whose nationalization of the Nation’s health held down the Interstate Commerce Clause and beat the justice out of it; Obama, who brazenly lied (and still lies) to the country about the Benghazi, Libya, massacre — literally swore to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” on an actual stack of Bibles. The arrogance to do so with a straight face, despite it being an affront to Nation, office and Almighty God, sets the bar at a whole new level. He even “tweeted” while in church… really.

What sort of person can so easily lie, not to mention blaspheme like the little kid in “The Exorcist”? I’m aware that many of you believe Obama is a Muslim. I doubt it. Others may believe he is a Christian. Not bloody likely. Others still may consider him a fairly typical American “Christmas and Easter” type. You’re all off the mark. Before you firebomb Bob Livingston’s in-box with demands that he replace me with “The Wizard of Id,” hear me out: the Obama I watched on Monday with his hand on two copies of a book by which he does not abide, swearing an oath in which he does not believe, is a spiritual man. And he attends Mass every single day. Indeed, he holds to his holy strictures with the devotion of a Trappist monk. His temple attracts millions of believers: The First (and Only) Church of Barack Hussein Obama.

He floated through the oath with such ease; it was almost enough to keep us from noticing that Beyonce lip-synched the national anthem. He thrilled the assembled throng with his plans for the coming years, including more debt, more war and less of something he referred to as “climate change.” I believe that might be the current moniker for the hoax formerly known as “global warming” and even more formerly known as “global cooling,” although normal people just call it “weather.” He demanded an end to partisanship, “We cannot… treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” while his minions booed Representative Paul Ryan. And he even worked in some material about a new dedication to immigration amnesty, which will probably grant citizenship to every Tomas, Diego and Javier south of the Rio Grande.

Only a man with absolutely no regard for the Bible and the Constitution could treat them both so shabbily. Only a man with absolute faith in himself could immediately turn to his minions and murder the truth so casually. And only a congregation mostly comprised of people who have either abandoned or forgotten the lessons of both of the aforementioned texts could cheer him on.

Hey, I can’t blame the guy for reveling in his own myth. I’m man enough to admit that if I’d gone through life so rarely hearing the word “no,” I might not have turned out so fabulously. I do blame him for forgetting the difference between fact and fantasy. And I do blame his supporters for attacking me for pointing out the difference.

The liberal deification of Obama violates not only the 1st Amendment, but the first commandment. We don’t recognize a monarch in this country. We don’t have a national deity either — ask any liberal, if you can get him to stop whining about prayer in schools long enough to listen. The man I saw take the oath of office believes he’s both.

Aiming For Failure

Last week, while America was reeling from President Barack Obama and his Democratic accomplices’ increasingly ugly war on the Bill of Rights, one of Obama’s ugliest cheerleaders — Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina — sent an email to the Democratic horde. Messina is the dough-faced creep who starred in the “For All” meme which, I presume, was intended to frighten parents into voting for Obama in exchange for people like Messina staying away from their children. Given his history, I would have guessed most of Messina’s emails concern cats dressed up like people or the best places to meet unattended kids. However, this one addressed the recent Democratic attempts to divert attention away from Obama’s exploitation of children to sell his new plan to disarm law-abiding Americans.

In the electronic missive in question, Messina wrote:

Friend — Yesterday, President Obama announced his plan to protect our children and our communities by helping reduce gun violence. We won’t stop every violent act like the one in Newtown, Connecticut.

Just a month after the Newtown massacre, which occurred despite precisely the sort of firearm restrictions Obama wants to impose upon the rest of us, and just days after Obama signed his oath- and Constitution-violating executive orders (behind a wall of yet more defenseless tots), one of his top lieutenants admitted that Obama’s plan is about as likely to work as a sizable number of his voters. Rats! And here I was so excited about the prospects of an America free from the specter of crazy people who do crazy things. It’s a bit of a shame that the Obama Administration doesn’t seem to share my enthusiasm.

But wait. If it’s already acknowledging that Obama’s grand gun-grab gambit screams “Epic fail!” as loudly as Joe Biden debating anything smarter than my Labrador retriever (who still gets good odds), then what was the point of the exercise? In an effort to stop so-called “gun violence,” Obama came up with a program that not only won’t work, but has split the Nation like a wishbone. Who else is glad to know these clowns are on the case? Pardon me for daring to question his Imperial Highness, but if you know your plan is nothing more than a thinly disguised abrogation of the Bill of Rights and will be as effective in stopping so-called “gun violence” as an Atlanta sports team is in winning when it counts, then you need to run a different play.

Obama’s minions got away with Operation Fast and Furious. They got away with Benghazi, Libya. They got away with Solyndra, “Government” Motors and the host of scandals and crimes that have defined Obama’s tenure. I remain aghast that none of Obama’s retinue of circus freaks and goose-stepper wannabes will spend the next 10 to 15 years living out Messina’s secret fantasies in the shower room at Leavenworth. But did they really think they would get away with a frontal assault on a group of people who not only recognize the authority of the Constitution, but are willing to defend it by precisely the means it affords them? What’s more, Obama’s attempts to implement his fascist vision have backfired. Gun sales have leapt into the stratosphere. Some magazine manufacturers have suspended the acceptance of new orders in order to deal with a mounting backlog.

Obama took national heartbreak and tried to exploit it — and any unattended children within reach — into a blitz on the Bill of Rights. As usual, his nefarious plan blew up in his face. He’ll survive this latest blunder; his arrogance and the blind obedience required of all liberals providing him with a shield. But his constant barrage of lies, failures and outright disgraces will eventually exact a toll. Of course, the Democrats won’t pay it; they’ll bill it to us. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but I’m all tapped out. All I have left are my freedom and my firearms. I’d recommend they avoid sending Messina to my door to collect.

–Ben Crystal

Armed And Serious

I’m going to open today’s remarks with an act of contrition. In Tuesday’s column, I identified the M1 Garand as having a 10-round capacity. A number of you pointed out that that weapon’s capacity is eight. You were right, and I was wrong. In watching gun-grabbing general Piers Morgan’s daily self-embarrassments, I watched a liberal refusing to acknowledge his ignorance despite irrefutable proof that he had his head wedged so far up his overbred British rectum that he could see the scones he had for teatime. I can admit when I missed the bull’s-eye. Working with the gang here at the Personal Liberty Digest™ is a source of real pride. Working for a sharp, intelligent readership is even more so. I’m so inspired by you that I’m going to take a break and watch some “Band of Brothers” clips on YouTube.

In recent days, I’ve noticed an increase in the chatter regarding a planned “Gun Appreciation Day.” Promoted by Larry Ward and his pro-Bill of Rights group Political Media, Inc., the observance is scheduled for Saturday and is fairly self-explanatory. It’s a chance for firearms enthusiasts to cheer the 2nd Amendment and thumb their collective noses at President Barack Obama, his liberal accomplices and their assault on our rights — all without missing a day of working to cover the Democratic voters’ Obamaphone bills.

Gun Appreciation Day: It’s a sentiment with which I can agree, in a general sense. But count me out of those who will tweet, hashtag or Facebook post my support. It’s not that I don’t recognize that a day spent at the range is every bit as worthwhile in a Constitutional sense as a few moments of watching Piers Morgan beclown himself. But observing Gun Appreciation Day strikes me as a bit on the juvenile side. It’s almost as if the celebrants will be throwing an exceptionally noisy tantrum. It also undersells the importance of the central issue: making private firearm ownership a bone of contention instead of the symbol of American unity it should be. Moreover, every day is as much Gun Appreciation Day as it is Free Speech Appreciation Day or States’ Rights Appreciation Day. As an aside, notice all three would be conspicuously absent from a liberal calendar. I celebrate each time I take my AR-15 (affectionately known as the “M4-gery”) to the nearby outdoor range, pen a column about Obama’s crimes or vote for a candidate whom I believe to be the least likely to threaten to stop me from doing either. Think of it this way: Planned Parenthood, which kills an exponentially higher number of Americans each year than all the gun owners in the country could even imagine, doesn’t celebrate its taxpayer-funded massacres with a big, annual shindig. It’s too busy providing – ahem — women’s healthcare.

One of the things that has always gratified me about the pro-Bill of Rights side is the intellectual sanity we dispense in the face of an endless stream of brainless invective from the other side. While sock puppets like Morgan humiliate themselves by dismissing the Constitution itself as “your little book,” Constitutionalists respond by systematically dismantling every aspect of the gun grabbers’ agenda with the same Constitution that Morgan foolishly dismissed.

Sometime after this column makes its way to Bob Livingston’s electronic in-box, Obama is going to announce a fascist end run around the 2nd Amendment, the separation of powers and common sense.  During the speech (in which he will claim imperial prerogative in abrogating the Bill of Rights without having even approached proving the necessity of such a move), he will be surrounded by passel of fresh-faced kiddies. The little moppets will fill the role of stage props for Obama’s liberal dog and pony show.  Exploiting children to sell a plan to violate their civil rights in perpetuity repulses me, as it should anyone with even a shred of decency.

That’s the sort of political theatricality conservatives eschew in favor of real logic. I don’t want the people on the side of the Bill of Rights to behave like a bunch of unbathed trust-fund babies at some Occupy rally. We have the weight of history on our side. Armed with that knowledge, we should be the serious ones in this political war. Then again, Saturday at the range does sound like a fine idea — even one I can seriously appreciate.

–Ben Crystal

The Gun Gap

Over the weekend, I had a chance to discuss with an acquaintance firearms and the current controversy surrounding them. This friend falls into the “not a fan” category when it comes to private ownership of anything powerful enough to stun a squirrel. During the course of our discussion, I realized that he also falls into the “doesn’t really know much about firearms” category; he joins nearly every liberal on the planet in that ignorance.

My friend continually referenced the availability of “automatic weapons with high-capacity clips.” I responded that those do sound awfully intimidating, and it’s a good thing they’ve been illegal in this country — excepting a tiny number of special permit-holders — for decades. He looked stunned, more so when I explained that “high-capacity clips” don’t really exist.

That’s the understanding gap that plagues the United States regarding gun politics; it isn’t a simple lack of communication between “pro-“ and “anti-.” The anti-liberty leadership has been lying to and frightening their supporters so effectively and for so long that the “anti-“ group has no idea what it’s actually protesting against. President Barack Obama and his accomplices are not trying to ban automatic weapons; those are already tightly controlled. For those of you who dismiss my argument as focusing on minutiae, I would respond by pointing out that focusing on minutiae and disseminating erroneous information are the essence of the liberal position on gun control.

It’s difficult to take seriously the Democrats’ fear and hatred of firearms if their rhetoric belies a lack of understanding of the subject. While “clip-fed” weapons do exist, they aren’t particularly plentiful, they aren’t particularly “high-capacity” and they certainly aren’t “automatic.” An M-1 Garand is clip-fed; but its capacity is limited to 10 rounds, and it weighs a relative ton. The ones owned legally by private citizens are also only capable of firing one round per trigger pull, meaning they are no more “automatic” than a .22 pistol. Furthermore, banning “military characteristics” like pistol grips may seem productive, but banning cosmetic effects would be about as useful in stopping crime as banning cars with spoilers would be in stopping the auto accidents that kill far more Americans each year than madmen with guns. Sure, you might clear out a few of those Lamborghinis favored by drug dealers, Hollywood blowhards and South Beach Eurotrash types; but mostly, you’d be ruining the weekend projects of a country full of teenagers who have seen too many Vin Diesel movies.

Should the left wish to be taken seriously on the subject of so-called “gun control,” perhaps it should reconsider not only the information on which it bases its prejudices but also the people who speak for it. I remain mystified by the idea that disgraced British gossip columnist and eternally smug peacock Piers Morgan has taken a leading role in the liberal anti-liberty passion play. The fact that Morgan is a mouthy twerp with clear disdain for America and Americans really isn’t material. The fact that Morgan is a moron really is. In an exchange on Twitter, Morgan pressed the liberal case against guns by inventing a new firearm and caliber.

…(Adam Lanza) used a Bushmaster .233 AR-15 assault rifle… Do you understand how a modified AT-15 behaves? It can fire up to 6 bullets a second, like a M-16 military assault rifle. Wise up.

Oh, my.

The Newtown, Conn., massacre that spurred on the liberals’ latest assault on the Bill of Rights tore into our sense of calm weeks ago. Since that time, the Democrats have proposed everything from forced registration to outright confiscation. Not one of those proposals would have prevented Newtown any more than similar draconian measures have made Chicago any safer. With sock puppets like Morgan leading the anti-Bill of Rights cheering section, at best, the gun grabbers think that forcing me to turn in my AR-15 will somehow avert tragedies elsewhere. At worst, they’re proposing non-existent solutions to the wrong problems. Classifying weapons as possessing “military characteristics” and then banning them based on that classification is ludicrous. My AR-15 isn’t a military weapon; it’s a replica of a military weapon. Anti-Constitutionalists like Morgan and Senator Dianne Feinstein don’t understand the difference; subsequently, they either can’t or won’t recognize that their demands will produce only one effect: more victims. And my friend (along with quite a few other people) doesn’t understand the difference… yet.

–Ben Crystal

Guns And Obama: The Stand

The Newtown, Conn., massacre has touched off a new front in the liberal assault on our most basic freedoms. And this time, the cult of personality around President Barack Obama and his accomplices appears to have rendered them all impervious to not only criticism, but even simple justice. Not only have they used the mindless fealty of their liberal subjects to avoid answering for crimes like Operation Fast and Furious and Benghazi, Libya, they’ve deflected attention from those disgraces by turning the Newtown victims into political carrion.

The reality is that the Democrats’ war on the Bill of Rights isn’t markedly different from their efforts to punish success and achievement in order to pay for “Obama phones” and Detroit. But their macabre use of human suffering to further their nefarious goals — while fairly predictable — has never coincided with a perfect storm like this one: a criminal President who actually believes he’s above the law and the Constitution, a Democratic Party bent on subjugation of the people and an electorate willing to trade freedom for perceived security.

Hence, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s opening salvo: a bill that would not only restore the useless so-called “assault weapons ban” but take it to its fascist extreme — with national registries, magazine restrictions and the rest of the Democratic list of meaninglessly symbolic gestures that have been repeatedly proven to exert no discernible effect on actual violence and actual crime. (See also: gun Grabber paradises like Chicago and Washington, D.C.)

But former concealed-carry permit holders like Feinstein are just the tip of the projectile. Behind her, Obama charges ahead, flanked by cohorts like the anti-Constitutionalists in the Brady Campaign, media sock puppets who use phrases like “gun violence” and the very same masses of liberal sheep who consistently vote to keep in power the architects of violence and poverty who now claim high-capacity magazines and so-called “assault rifles” are the cause of the problems they themselves deliberately exacerbate. And recent Obama tactics such as Vice President Joe Biden’s so-called “task force,” in concert with fire from Democratic legislators like Feinstein and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) expose a push toward a Federal attempt to disarm the populace.

If Obama and his cretins’ attempts to grab your guns give you the willies, consider this response to their best laid plans: “Taking my guns? You and what army?” Certainly not the U.S. Army. While Obama clearly believes he lives beyond the reach of the Constitution, I doubt he can convince the U.S. military to violate Posse Comitatus based on his whimsy. Despite Obama’s delusions, I suspect the overwhelming majority of servicemen and servicewomen, many of whom own firearms privately, would be loath to break down their own doors — not to mention those of their comrades, active and retired. If the Democrats want to take that up with the 1st Ranger Battalion, they’re welcome to it.

Of course, Obama could follow the example set by Bill Clinton — aka “the first black President” — and “go Waco” on the gun-owning population. But the gun-owning population is a great deal bigger than a handful of religious kooks on a compound. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 270 million firearms in private citizens’ hands in the United States. Even if Obama does try to restage Tiananmen Square domestically, the results would be the kind of catastrophe that usually involves Occupy protestors and defenseless teenage girls.

Of course, any attempt by Obama and his cronies to abrogate the Bill of Rights by force of arms would physically tear the Nation apart. To suggest such a plan would be the equivalent of suggesting the 22nd Amendment should be eliminated to keep Obama in office in perpetuity — not that anyone would ever dream of such a colossal error in judgment. (I’m looking at you, Representative Jose Serrano [D-N.Y.].) An attempted government gun grab would likely lead to armed insurrection. A Democratic attempt to violate both the spirit and the letter of the law in such a manner would be an exceptionally bad idea. So they’ll probably try exactly that. Lock and load, kiddies.

–Ben Crystal

An Incredibly Convenient Sale

If a greater living liberal than Al Gore exists, I would dearly love to meet him. The scion of an exceptionally wealthy Tennessee clan that built a king’s fortune on tobacco and racism, Gore took the prodigious wealth bestowed upon him and used it to construct an empire. Between his inheritance, the money he made from pseudoscientific screeds like the book Earth in the Balance and the sci-fi slideshow “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore has salted away a pile large enough to fuel his private jet, heat his multiple homes and send his progeny to the finest schools. But forget about his time as a U.S. Senator.  Forget about his complicity in the various crimes of the Clinton Administration. Forget even about his subzero treatment of his ex-wife. Hell, forget about those allegations that he relates to massage therapists the way his old boss Bubba Clinton relates to chubby interns. Focus on Gore, the liberal icon, Democratic hero and super-capitalist.

With the impending sale of his failed hate-speech outlet, Current TV, to terrorist-linked Al-Jazeera, Gore has transcended the usual hypocrisy that defines modern liberalism to become its living god. He will personally make somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 million by signing over a cable outlet that struggled against more intellectually stimulating content such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” And Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the government of the nation of Qatar, floats on a sea of the same oil against which Gore has railed for the better part of the generation generously augmented by Gore’s own prolific fertility. (Despite his efforts to convince brown people to stop reproducing, Gore has extended his own lineage by a factor of four.)

A man who may well be the biggest hypocrite in recorded human history — no small feat against the competition afforded by not only American liberals but the various and sundry dictators who live like emperors on the backs of oppressed populations from North Korea and China to Venezuela and Cuba — will bank eight figures from the oil barons in the Mideast. Already wildly wealthy, Gore has sold a vanity project with all the journalistic credibility of VH-1 to guys who were probably wiping the crude off their hands when they shook on the deal.

And (insert liberal-approved deity here) bless Gore for the effort. I’m a conservative. If Gore can turn a lifelong crusade on behalf of the biggest scientific fraud of the modern age into a nearly 10-figure personal fortune, then I say: “Ditch the ball and chain and the rug rats, stride proudly out of whichever of your palaces in which you’re lounging, jump in that SUV, tell that chauffeur to drive you to the airport, board that private jet, fly to the nearest tax-haven tropical island, check into the Global Warming Suite at the Ritz and start pawing the masseuses, Albert!” I don’t blame Gore for making a few hundred million bucks off liberal gullibility — even if he blames me for trying to make a few bucks of my own.

And look who he sold out to. Al-Jazeera, aka the al-Qaida Channel, floats on sea of oil money. While Gore and his shrieking sideshow clowns have repeated laughable Democratic conspiracy theories about some so-called “war on women,” the new owners of the network have proudly campaigned against women doing anything but cooking and bearing children. While Gore and his merry band of idiots have imagined a conservative lack of tolerance, the new owners support programming that includes a weekly host who proclaims the Holocaust “divine punishment” for the Jews. Despite all that, liberals nationwide are lining up to offer their endorsement to what is about to be Al-Jazeera America. I can’t decide if their sudden love of a network that shows al-Qaida recruiting videos stems from their usual “America last” attitude or a desire to let Gore off the hook. But, hey, at least he didn’t sell to that bastard Glenn Beck.

Global warming is dead, buried under the weight of data falsified by its primary perpetrators and titles that change — by necessity — more often than Hollywood freaks change their designer clothes. Perhaps now is as good a time as any to cash out before Gore’s Democratic accomplices finish destroying the economy. After all, that’s what Gore did.

–Ben Crystal

Over The Cliff: Us And Them

Like many Americans, I rose to greet 2013 with a renewed sense of hope and a belief that the new year would bring forth joy and success. Following a couple of aspirin and three or four cups of coffee, I actually began to think my optimism might stem from more than just whatever booze was still pumping through my system. (Note to self: absinthe = bad.) Maybe 2013 will be the year that decent Americans rescued our beloved Nation from the clutches of President Barack Obama and his accomplices. Against the rising tide of statist crimes like Obamacare and the Democrats’ war on the Bill of Rights, we red, white and blue stalwarts will press our government to steer the ship of state away from the storm-tossed seas of class envy, racial animus and outright crimes into which Obama has steered us.

I made it as far as my morning news roundup before I realized my rosy view of the coming year really was just the booze talking. As a present to those of us whom they purport to represent, the U.S. Senate gave us the proverbial crap sandwich. With a very mere 8 “nay” votes, the upper house of the Nation’s Legislature passed a plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a plan which may push off the spending sequesters for a month or two but simultaneously serves to push the rest of us into the gaping chasm of budgetary excess.

89-8. That was the final vote count. Although the plan, supposedly constructed by Vice President Joe Biden, will avert financial calamities for Obama’s “green energy” cronies and the dependent-class minions who have repeatedly traded their individual rights for a vote (or two, depending on who drove them to the polls) for the Democrats, the plan really hikes taxes and spending while offering almost nothing to the regular Americans upon whom this and every other flimflam ultimately comes to rest.

Forget about the economy-crushing punishment the deal inflicts upon the most successful among us — punishment that will reverberate through the economy in the form of lost jobs, lost revenue and lost hope for the Nation’s future. Instead, focus on that vote count: 89-8. Most Republicans joined their Democratic partners in crime in passing a so-called compromise that compromises only their own respectability. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deal, which spans 157 pages, costs $4 billion in tax hikes per page. The ratio of spending hikes to tax relief comes in at 41-to-1. With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell behind the wheel, the Republican Senators may not have robbed us of our money and dignity; but they certainly drove the getaway car.

While I’m willing to offer kudos to those great eight who stood their ground on our behalf, I’m hardly dancing a jig over the House following suit in butchering this abominable compromise deal and feeding it to the hogs. We needed someone to play King Leonidas and his Immortals. Instead, we had House Speaker John Boehner and a bunch of Congressmen who would look really stupid dressed as Spartans. And in the late-night hours of New Year’s Day, the House wall cracked and crumbled; the Republican-led House voted to approve the deal, 257-167. Ostensibly conservative Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) described the fiscal cliff avoidance boondoggle as the “safest bet.” What Barletta left out was that he and his fellow Washington wire-pullers are betting with our money.

At this point, I should probably tell you all to contact your respective Congressmen and remind them just who it is who really signs the checks around here. But the lesson we should all be taking from Washington’s ham-fisted handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations is the virtually complete lack of respect most of the people in that godforsaken city have for every single one of the rest of us. We’re not witnessing the usual partisan Republican versus Democrat political theater. We’re witnessing the politicians teaming up to stick it to the rest of us. Should my Congressman choose to continue to toe the line, I’ll contact him from the ballot box. Remember this moment. Obama and his liberal cronies are waging war on our most basic freedoms. And when the time came to stand fast at the proverbial battle of Thermopylae, the Republicans didn’t run away. Worse, they turned and joined the onslaught.

–Ben Crystal

Obama Opens Fire

So I went ahead and watched the rotting corpse of Meet the Press this past Sunday morning. While I harbored no delusions about David Gregory suddenly demonstrating the journalistic integrity which apparently joined Tim Russert in the great beyond, I was curious to see how that pale imitation of Russert would guide President Barack Obama through his latest public salvo in the Democrats’ war on the Bill of Rights. What ensued was less an interview and more the sort of thing that airs on Cinemax after midnight. Hollywood freaks don’t fawn over each other the way NBC’s Sunday morning poodle bowed and scraped before Obama.

Obama, who sends his children to the excellent — and well-defended — Sidwell Friends School (as does Gregory), repeated his opposition to the National Rifle Association’s suggestion to place armed security at the schools Obama’s and Gregory’s children pass on their way to the mall. While the NRA owed neither an explanation of recent tragedies with which it had nothing to do nor suggestions as to how to correct the problem of ill-supervised insane people, Obama was quick to denounce their plan: “I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools. And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.”

The idea of scattering firearms randomly throughout the halls of our National cradles of government-dictated “learning” does sound fairly sketchy; after all, one of those union thugs posing as teachers might get ahold of one. And we’ve certainly seen what armed union thugs are liable to do; witness their knife attacks in Michigan last month. But no one has suggested anything of the sort. The NRA merely suggested offering to the students trapped in government schools the same protection that the children of the Democratic elite enjoy at their private schools. Obama twisted the NRA’s idea in order to lead up to his showstopper: “We can’t have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high-capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids.”

As we know, his solution to that problem has nothing to do with “somebody with severe psychological problems” (nor protecting children) and everything to do with so-called “high-capacity weapons.” For further proof, take a gander at the summary of the bill Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), herself a former concealed-carry permit holder, squeezed out last Thursday. The bill stops just short of leaving us to defend ourselves with our kids’ BB guns. The bill promises all manner of pointlessly symbolic gestures involving pistol grips and “military characteristics” without addressing the inadequate supervision of mentally disturbed citizens.

Liberal logic dictates that we ban firearms that frighten liberals in order to protect ourselves from the kind of people who ignore such bans. But Adam Lanza himself was living proof of the lack of such restrictions’ effect — as was Tim McVeigh, who needed no firearm at all. Indeed, Newtown, Conn., occurred despite precisely the sort of gun laws that liberals claim will prevent tragedies like Newtown.

Places that force such draconian measures upon their citizens — Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. come to mind — also share well-deserved reputations for being slightly better-landscaped versions of the Thunderdome. Actually, they also share long histories of Democratic political hegemony; but I’m sure that’s purely coincidental. Obama and his accomplices now want us to believe that we should all aspire to live in such lofty circumstances. And he actually thinks he has credibility on the issue.

This is the President who willingly and willfully condemned the “Benghazi Four” to a brutal death while he partied in Las Vegas. This is the President who willingly and willfully backed Attorney General Eric Holder when Holder lied his way into criminal and civil contempt of Congress. This is the President whose minions in the Administration and the corporate media brazenly lied about the tragic consequences of Operation Fast and Furious, an over-funded but under-conceived (or not, depending on just how sinister Obama and his minions really are) program ostensibly designed to… cull the herds of wild Mexican beauty queens threatening the safety and stability of Mexican narcoterrorists.

And we’re supposed to give up our best means of defending ourselves because Obama thinks that’s the best plan? If we do, who will protect us from violence? For that matter, who will protect us from Obama?

–Ben Crystal

Hypocrisy Unchained

The days between Christmas and New Year’s always seem to bring about a bit of the lazy in all of us. Fortunately, Hollywood rides to the rescue during the holidays; proffering blockbusters aplenty to keep you — and more importantly, your family — from potential harm inflicted by inappropriately swinging your new 3-wood in the kitchen.

Nonetheless, millions of my fellow citizens will meander to their local megaplexes in the next few days. Being the helpful sort of fellow I am, I thought “why not catch a movie and then yammer about it in print for the Personal Liberty Digest™?” Since Bob Livingston wasn’t around to say something like “that’s the kind of idea which makes me consider replacing you with a syndicated horoscope;” off to the theater I went.

If you DO decide to brave the crowds, there ARE a few films worth watching. “Django Unchained” is seriously not among them. Quentin Tarantino’s latest effort carries a tremendous amount of either buzz or baggage; depending on your perspective. Truth be told, Tarantino’s direction doesn’t ring any bells for me. Although I’m a fan of “Reservoir Dogs,” I insist that Tarantino’s movies are self-indulgent schlock. They employ stunt-casting, bizarrely stylized violence and spectacular profanity to tell tasteless tales about almost routinely horrendous people. Some might suggest that’s the point; but I would retort that I already know what monotony sounds like; I don’t need to pay to hear it.

“Django Unchained”purports to proffer a tale of a slave who gains his freedom with the help of a white man; and then sets about killing pretty much every white person he encounters. I suppose there’s some sort of empowerment message contained therein; but it gets lost in the same profane, non-stop violence which turns every Tarantino flick into a funhouse-mirror reflection of the old “Blaxploitation” films of the 1970s. If Tarantino wanted to share a message about the plight of blacks in post-slavery America, he certainly had room in the script for it. In between bouts of semi-dimensional characters delivering paper-thin pronouncements on… something, the dreaded “n-word” appears nearly as often as the word “the.”

Ostensibly an homage to the spaghetti westerns of the 1960s, “Django Unchained” stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Walz and the man who called President Barack Obama “our Lord and Savior,” Jamie Foxx. In addition to his fawning over his big buddy Barack, Foxx is essentially the actors’ version of Tarantino: a marginal talent who has benefitted from remarkably fortuitous timing and a magnificent lack of humility. During publicity touring for the film, Foxx crowed about getting to “…kill all the white people… how great is that?” I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; nor should I have ever expected better. I could say Foxx is a hypocrite for appearing in a film like “Django Unchained” while lecturing the rest of us about our conduct; but suggesting some Hollywood bubblehead is a hypocrite is hardly an earth-shattering revelation.

And Foxx revels in all of it. In fact, amidst nearly 2.5 hours of non-stop gratuitous EVERYTHING (except worthy storytelling), Foxx barely contains his glee. As I watched the film, I couldn’t exorcise the last image of Foxx I saw, pre-Django. Following the Newtown nightmare, Foxx joined some of his fellow Left Coast lightweights in filming a YouTube spot demanding an end to so-called “gun violence… for the children.”

I’m hardly a puritan, but I hope I’m not the only one who catches the dichotomy of pretending to worry about guns and children while simultaneously appearing in the title role of a film which features more killing than a serial killers’ convention and more frequent cursing and racist language than a busload of Democrats passing the home of Justice Clarence Thomas.

People like Foxx shouldn’t really affect us. But in the age of a tabloid Presidency, it’s tragically apropos to see him palling around with Obama and being taken seriously on issues like violence and our children. What’s worse — as bloviating Hollywood hypocrites move into central roles in the national discourse, voices of sanity are muted.

“Django Unchained” hurls gunplay, violence, profanity and racial epithets; all in an effort to hide a lousy film. I suppose it might qualify as a guilty pleasure; but it’s not worth the price and the hassle. Come to think of it, it’s not just a perfect metaphor for some smug Hollywood hypocrites — it’s a perfect metaphor for the Democratic Party.

“’Twas the Night Before Christmas, 2012”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the White House heard cheer:
“Kwanzaa is coming! The best time of year!”
A stocking cap hung in the bathroom with care,
In hopes Pluggsy Biden would give up on that “hair.”

Hillary looked toward 2016, while pundits wondered:
“Can she win? She’s so MEAN!”
Reporters joyously exploited our grief,
Except when they smiled and just lied through their teeth.

Susan Rice in the cold, her mouth left agape,
While John Kerry measured his new office for drapes.
Obama sat down with Holder the liar,
To plan throwing the Bill of Rights in the fire.

When out in Benghazi arose such a clatter,
Obama demanded, “What the heck is the matter?
We’ve given you money; covered up stuff as well.
I’ve got a damned Peace Prize; I mean… what the hell?”

Obama and Clinton then both hit the links,
And Boehner surrendered (that sell-out stinks).
Joblessness, homelessness, the debt is ginormous,
But Harry and Nancy don’t want to inform us.

Instead, blame the Tea Party, they say with a wink,
They’re evil and racist; they should be in the klink!”
But when Nikki said Tim was her guy for the Senate,
They called them both tokens, and they actually meant it.

On, Griffin! On, Maddow! On, Sharpton, poo-tender!
On, O’Donnell and that fat guy whose name I can’t seem to remember!
All my millionaire pals who live behind walls,
We’re smug; we’re stupid; we’re hypocrites all!

And I heard Barry say as the limo doors slammed:
“I’d do something worthwhile, but I don’t give a damn.”

My Christmas Message

When Mr. Livingston told me that I’d be leading off Personal Liberty Digest™ on Christmas Day, the only suggestion he offered involved “something short and light.” Suitably forewarned, I mused on the idea of finding something short and light amid the chaos and anger that grip our Nation and our world. Eventually, I turned away from the keyboard; and in an almost ludicrous moment of serendipity, I glanced at the bookcase and spied my old copy of the Bible.

Feeling not a little sheepish at how long it had been since the last time I had even cracked the spine of the Good Book, I began leafing through for suitable Christmas inspiration. As visions of holiday cheer danced in my head, I turned to the most Christmasy passage I could think of: Luke 2:10-14.

And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

I read it twice. And it occurred to me: I can’t say it any better than that; no one can.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless you in the coming year.

–Ben Crystal