The Plane Truth

Just across the Savannah River from the town in which I currently reside lies a blessed land of golf courses and archaic blue laws. South Carolina is home to Hilton Head Island, Myrtle Beach and some other noteworthy stuff. I kid my Palmetto State brethren, saying that South Carolina is rich with history and ripe with verdant luxury (especially the Bermuda-grass type). I’m willing to look the other way on the booze restrictions if they’re willing to look the other way when I duck-hook a three-wood into Calibogue Sound.

South Carolina wants what every State hopes for in today’s economic wasteland: more jobs. Fortunately for South Carolinians, their State isn’t run by the Democrats. South Carolina operates as a right-to-work State. That means citizens may work without checking their dignity, independence and a good portion of their hard-earned dough at the door to the local labor union offices (from whence it will be disbursed to the Democrats for whom they didn’t vote).

Courtesy of the Taft-Hartley Act, South Carolina disallows the Democrats’ union-thug protection racket in favor of opportunities for its citizens. Unfortunately, many of its citizens have been victimized by that other liberal abomination:  the teachers’ union. Thus, South Carolina, like many places dealing with even a moderate infestation of liberals, sees simultaneous feast and famine. South Carolina residents are free to work without a forced donation to the International Brotherhood of Fat Guys Wearing Track Suits and Gold Chains; but many of them are unable to do so, having had the sense stomped out of them by the International Personhood (I’m sure they’d insist on that) of People Who Finagled Teaching Certificates Despite Being Unable to Spell “Certificate.”

But the teachers’ union/Democratic Party war on our children’s gray matter is a topic for another column. The union/Democratic Party war on our paychecks is on display in South Carolina, where Boeing Co. wants to create thousands of jobs in a 787 Dreamliner assembly plant. The union thugs, outraged that Boeing would decide to build the plane in a State other than decidedly pro-union Washington, have contracted none other than the purportedly pro-jobs Obama Administration as a button man.

The Boeing plant opened in June, but it may well be forced to close, depending on the outcome of a case currently wending through the courts. That case features Boeing facing a fairly well-funded adversary: President Barack Obama. Lest someone claim that Obama himself is not involved, let me point out that the actual malefactor is the National Labor Relations Board. However, the NLRB is guided by Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon, a far-left flunky who — along with fellow job-killer Craig Becker — had to be recess-appointed to his post after Republican Senators indicated they had read their resumes. Solomon = Obama (and vice versa, given Obama’s limited acumen).

The NLRB under Solomon’s guidance is nothing more than an extension of the Obama Administration, which is noteworthy because the Obama Administration is an extension of the union thugs — at least regarding employment law. The NLRB is fighting Boeing on the Dreamliner plant because the union thugs think Boeing opened the plant only to escape their clutches in Washington. From my perspective, that seems like good policy; look what the unions did for General Motors Co. and Chrysler. However, the NLRB has proven no such malfeasance on the part of Boeing, while playing some hanky-panky of its own.

Congressman Darrell Issa subpoenaed NLRB records pertaining to the Boeing case only to be rebuffed by an agency which evidently believes “contempt of Congress” is akin to a parking ticket (it really, really isn’t). Meanwhile, documents obtained this week by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the NLRB’s motives, including two NLRB lawyers openly cheering a union thug press release defaming Boeing: “Hooray for the red, white and blue!” Another features NLRB Region 19 Regional Director Richard Ahearn (the guy who signed off on the anti-Boeing action) evidently promising to defy an Issa subpoena.

Obama is currently on a campaign swing, whining about how the Republican Party is to blame for the Democrat-controlled Senate killing his pretend-jobs bill. Meanwhile, his Administration is threatening the actual jobs of thousands of South Carolinians. A glance at the NLRB website offers statements regarding employee rights to unionize and/or engage in what they call “protected concerted activity” (aka acting like a union). It also mentions protections for unions themselves. I couldn’t find anything about Americans’ rights to simply work. Come to think of it, I haven’t heard that from Obama, either.

Something’s Rotten

I do so love the scent of autumn. The crisp air is rich with the essence of nature’s fireworks, mingling delicately in the breeze with burning logs in happy homes, potpourri cooking on kitchen stoves… and the body odor of overeducated-yet-underinformed college students, their pseudo-academic professors, bloated millionaire and billionaire Democratic donors and fading Hollywood cretins. But noisome as the so-called “occupiers” may be, they’re about as novel a political movement as the Soviet Politburo.

Meanwhile, the redolence of brainless adolescents, ivory tower refugees, babbling Hollywood players and the billionaire liberal hypocrites who bankroll operations like the “Occupy” movement is made all the more rank by another stench: pure political desperation.

During a Sunday afternoon speech, President Barack Obama, who has been blowing kisses to the occupiers from across the political room, began playing the un-neutered puppy to the occupy movement’s exposed leg. Obama faces public dissatisfaction rivaling the sad days of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency: an economy his party has thrown into the deep end chained to a cinder block, a scandal-ridden cabinet whose peccadilloes include a gunrunning operation which involved more dead bodies than a Kennedy road trip, and a crowning achievement — Obamacare — which is dying like a sick old man denied care by a death panel.

The President needs help. He needs votes. He needs someone other than the sideshow freaks on MSNBC to take him seriously. So on Sunday afternoon, Obama turned to the only group of people silly enough to consider voting for his re-election and said he “…will continue to acknowledge the (occupier) frustration that he himself shares… if asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a plumber, a teacher or a bus driver makes me a warrior for the middle class, I will wear that charge with honor.”

Begging the President’s pardon, but to which “frustration” might he be referring? He knocks down close to a half-million dollars a year in salary, dines regularly with billionaire entertainment magnates like Oprah Winfrey and is guaranteed the lifetime of easy excess granted to ex-Presidents. He has ascended the loftiest heights of political fortune in a remarkably short time despite a lack of meaningful experience, and he is backed by a king’s ransom paid by the same people the so-called “occupiers” claim to revile. He’s as attuned to the daily travails of average Americans as Nancy Pelosi is to the sort of real work done by “plumbers.”

And his claim to represent the self-and-grossly-inaccurately-monikered “99%” is laughable. Unless he is doing his taxes the same way Secretary of the Treasury Geithner did his, he is firmly planted in the “1%.” And why not wear the “1%” label like a badge of honor? That 1 percent covers close to 40 percent of the nation’s tax bill each year. Nevertheless, whether one employs the Obama litmus test of owning a corporate jet or earning more than $200,000 per year, Obama is very much one of the occupiers’ hated by “them.”

I suppose he should count himself lucky that the average “occupier” is about as astute as the sheep in the back of the flock. Furthermore, he enjoys the undying fealty of the corporate media, who have simultaneously offered both him and the occupiers underserved legitimacy. Add to that the fact that his party’s money and influence has turned what might have been a voice against injustice into the America-hating, flag-defiling, epithet-hurling asylum the Tea Party was wrongly accused of being, and he has a clear strategy: Identify himself with the Fleabagger mob and beg for their votes.

He may well pull off this “man of the people” charade, although I suspect he’s going to be disappointed that the “occupiers” don’t represent 99 percent of anyone except the audience at the Bonnaroo music festival. And he’s not fooling me for an instant; I can smell him from here.

–Ben Crystal

Razing Cain

It strikes me that as long as the race card remains in the American socioeconomic deck, liberals will play it like they were splitting a pair of aces at a Vegas blackjack table. President Barack Obama has skated past disasters which would have sunk some Presidencies as if they were involved in a scandal to falsify testimony in front of Congress to hide a nine-figure boondoggle which armed narcoterrorists and caused the deaths of two Federal law enforcement… ooh, this is awkward. But I’m a racist for mentioning it. The Tea Party is racist, too. You’re racist for nodding your head at the opening sentence. To be fair, there is real racism in America. There are real victims who really suffer, but Obama is not among them.

If you’re looking for the face of true targets of racism, 2011-style, look no further than Herman Cain. Cain’s campaign attracted little attention at its outset, deservedly so. Cain was a successful businessman and known conservative among those familiar with him. But he was hardly a national presence and even less of a political force. Cain has come on strong of late, and he has begun attracting attention from the deepest pits of the Democratic Party.

Cain is a conservative, and liberals hate him for it. Indeed, the very same Democrats who employ the brickbat charge of racism in defense of every entry on Obama’s prodigious resume of failure are running out of a playbook most Americans haven’t seen since Robert Byrd was still playing with Klansman action figures.

Comedienne and leading liberal philosopher Janeane Garofalo noted Cain’s growing surge in early August by declaring on Keith Olbermann’s nightly hatefest: “Herman Cain… is being paid by somebody to be involved and to run for president.” She’s saying Cain is no more than a paid minstrel, dancing like a calliope monkey. For his part, Olbermann wondered if Cain suffers from “…delusions of grandeur or are (Republicans) just taking advantage of him?” Of course, Olbermann never considered the possibility that Cain is an intelligent businessman who created his own personal and financial successes through hard work and dedication. For the record, Garofalo and Olbermann, in addition to being Democratic heavyweights, are only slightly darker than Edgar Winter.

But nothing could have prepared me for putty-faced liberal sock puppet Lawrence O’Donnell’s assault on Cain last Thursday. O’Donnell, whose racist streak is well-documented, once claimed Michael Steele was “dancing” for his “real master… the Republican National Committee.” To suggest that O’Donnell peppered Cain with racist invective is to suggest that Obama is on the fence about Saul Alinsky. O’Donnell attempted nothing less than a prime-time lynching. In questioning Cain’s commitment to racial equality, O’Donnell attacked Cain’s father for successfully keeping Cain focused on individual achievement, saying:

Where do you think black people would be sitting on the bus today if Rosa Parks had followed your father’s advice?… You watched black college students from around the country and white college students from around the country come to the South and be murdered, fighting for the rights of African-Americans. Do you regret sitting on those sidelines at that time?

The same man who thinks Scott Brown is a disgrace to the Senate seat once held by Clarence Thomas lynch mob member Ted Kennedy did everything but set a cross on fire on his set. It’s worth noting that O’Donnell’s program is preceded by Al Sharpton’s hour of rage. To my knowledge, Herman Cain never smeared human feces on a teenage girl in furtherance of a fraudulent conspiracy; but evidently, Sharpton exemplifies the white liberal ideal of a “good” black man. Granted, Sharpton is filth; but who the hell is O’Donnell to think Cain, Obama or even Sharpton want, need or care about his estimation of their racial credentials?

To Cain’s credit, he remained composed and dignified throughout O’Donnell’s spectacularly bigoted ranting. If some liberal talking hairdo took a shot at my old man, I admit I would have struggled to keep from knocking his teeth out.

During Tuesday night’s Republican Presidential debate, the other GOP contenders began focusing their discontent on Cain. But their objections had nothing to do with race. Congressman Ron Paul quite reasonably socked him for his unnerving defense of the Federal Reserve. Cain faced opposition to his 9-9-9 plan. (He should; the Fair Tax is a better system). They treated him in the same manner they treated each other, like a political adversary.

They treated him like an equal. There’s another “teachable moment” for the Democrats.

–Ben Crystal

Movement Made Up Of Fools

The so-called “Occupy” movement is difficult to quantify. They’re outraged, but over what: general opposition to American governance? The large population of Obama supporters belies that conclusion. Perhaps the movement is a “youthquake,” as a rising generation asserts its growing power? But the sizeable proportion of middle-aged ne’er-do-wells speaks to a simple rehashing of aging complainants. And a call for racial equity is out, given that the movement is about as racially diverse as the Kennedy compound.

Some seem to despise the wealthy and their perceived sway over politics. The influence of fascist billionaire George Soros and the presence of Jeff Immelt in the White House lend their outrage credence. Unfortunately, Democratic battalions including the Soros-controlled and the union thugs have co-opted what might have been a valuable voice against the increasingly imperial Presidency and its attendant excesses. The corporate media has toiled to offer the “occupiers” the grassroots legitimacy they denied the significantly more philosophically honest Tea Party. Ultimately, the so-called “Occupy” movement is fairly rote. Leftists and far leftists shrieking at the top of their lungs over the fact that life has failed to meet their expectations.

I considered catching local press reports and basing an analysis thereon. However, I’m not Jayson Blair, and this isn’t The New York Times. So I ventured downtown to the park in which the local chapter of this slacker revolution set up shop. I expected the same retro hippies endlessly searching for the second coming of Jerry Garcia, the pseudo-anarchists with their designer-label black clothing and made-in-China “Che” T-shirts and college students, ignorant of the harsh realities of life outside the dormitories, whipped into a partisan frenzy by ivory tower academics who have spent their lives similarly disconnected from the travails of normal existence. I was not disappointed by the confirmation which awaited me; although, I did experience a bit of a letdown over the meager attendance. While massive throngs attend rallies nationwide, the local “Occupy” chapter couldn’t manage to occupy more than the edge of the city park it chose as a base. A father and son merrily tossed a football on the grass within first down yardage of the assemblage.

As I approached down a side street, a group of eager youngsters stepped out of a Land Rover, signs in hand. The irony of arriving at a protest over economic distress and perceived oligarchy in America in a $50,000 car which can’t achieve 20 mpg off a cliff in a tornado evidently was lost on all.

Wandering through the “crowd,” I noted that all the protesters wore identical red bandannas, presumably to differentiate each other from the much larger number of tourists who were trying to take photos of the historic setting.

I observed one fellow toting a flip camera mounted to a tripod walking from protester to protester, demanding on-camera statements. Actually, he walked from young female protester to young female protester and gathered mostly giggles. I suppressed the urge to tell him that reacquainting himself with deodorant and a razor might improve his odds.

Another college-aged protester held up a hand-lettered and incredibly verbose sign proclaiming something about banks, but the combination of poor handwriting on his part and disinterest on mine left it unreadable and unread.

A number of the signs read: “Somos Uno,” although everyone in attendance spoke English. The protesters cheered each time a passerby honked his horn, blissfully unaware that at least half of the honkers were merely warning them to get back on the sidewalk.

A number of signs featured the slogan “war is not the answer,” alongside the logo of the “Friends Committee on National Legislation.” I have no issue with Quakers, although I thought it odd that a group dedicated to “legislation” was associated with a movement which has nothing to do with it.

I didn’t catch many of those ubiquitous “99%” signs. Perhaps someone clued the occupiers into the fact that they hardly represent 99 percent of anything other than Mother Jones subscribers. Either that, or someone noticed that the reviled 1 percent pay close to 40 percent of income taxes. I somehow doubt both scenarios, actually.

As I was leaving, I encountered a man wearing mismatched fatigues who was headed toward the occupiers in decidedly non-martial gait. I asked him if he had served.

“I was a Marine,” he said.

“So, you went through basic nearby,” I said.

“Oh yeah, Fort Stewart, man,” he replied.

Marines start Corps life at Parris Island, S.C. — Fort Stewart is the home of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division.

Next time, I’m staying home.

–Ben Crystal

The Smoking Gun

On May 3, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a House Judiciary Committee hearing: “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about [Operation] Fast and Furious (OFF) for the first time over the last few weeks.” Holder, already under scrutiny for protecting the racist hate group New Black Panther Party from prosecution despite blatant attempts at voter intimidation, willingly swore an oath to tell the truth to Congressman Lamar Smith’s panel that day.

Unfortunately for Holder, someone in the corporate media decided to investigate. Documents obtained by CBS News (and ignored by their colleagues at the other corporate media outlets) reveal Holder received detailed briefings about OFF as early as July 2010. It is possible that the calendars at the Obama Department of Justice are as accurate as, well, sworn testimony by Eric Holder. However, it is far more likely that when Holder told the members of the Congressional panel that he heard the lowdown on OFF just weeks before they did, he was prevaricating like Bill Clinton upon being caught in the cloakroom with a plump 23 year-old. (“I was just giving her a little outcome-based education, Hillary. I promise!”)

Let us peel this partisan onion and peer at the proof. Eric Holder lied. He didn’t “forget.” He didn’t “misunderstand the question.” And the internal memos outlining DOJ concerns that OFF had gone off the reservation were not about “a different case.” Granted, he has offered one and/or all of the aforementioned excuses, but his efforts are as transparent as Lady Gaga’s underwear. Holder knew, and people – including at least two Federal agents – died. What should worry you is not whether the most corrupt Attorney General since Janet Reno (possibly John Mitchell, which is saying something) willingly perjured himself in front of Congress; it’s patently obvious that he did.  What should worry you is that if Holder knew about the debacle in such detail, then someone else was fully apprised: President Barack Hussein Obama.

What the Obama Administration, in the person of Holder, wants you to believe:

1. U.S. Attorney and Obama appointee Dennis Burke, acting on a suggestion by Assistant U.S. Attorney and Obama appointee Emory Hurley, approved a gun-walking plan which cost (way) more than $100 million.

2. Despite misgivings from numerous field agents and gun shop owners pressed into cooperating with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, OFF went into effect, with acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson personally watching straw purchases from a CCTV feed in his office.

3. At least two Federal agents (Border Agent Brian Terry and Customs Agent Jaime Zapata) were murdered by narcoterrorists armed by OFF, and numerous OFF-walked weapons have turned up at crime scenes across Mexico and the border region of the United States.

4. Holder and his big buddy, Barack, knew nothing.

I’ll presume that the promotion of Hurley was reward for being such a great guy and was not at all related to the fact that Obama wanted to buy his silence.

I’ll grant the American electorate does not always demonstrate the strongest of intellectual prowess; hell, we elected Obama. But even Sgt. Schultz wasn’t as obtuse as Holder and Obama want us to believe they were, and Col. Hogan was a lot craftier than Eric Holder. Holder’s ever-changing story in the face of evidence that he knew that OFF was going bad like month-old milk speaks volumes.

Since OFF became a public disaster, Hurley has been kicked upstairs, Burke resigned, Melson has been transferred, the White House has issued opaque semi-denials and both Obama mouthpiece Eric Schultz and Holder mouthpiece Tracy Schmaler have launched profane tirades at CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson for covering the growing scandal. The vehemence of their obfuscation doesn’t whisper ignorance; it screams cover-up.

Keep in mind, the alternative is worse. In the only other scenario which approaches plausibility, Holder really did forget the briefings, and Obama never knew that his Justice Department was running a more than $100 million rogue operation which involved thousands of weapons walking into the hands of narcoterrorists, who subsequently employed them in untold numbers of violent crimes. In that case, the President and his Attorney General are so colossally incompetent that they shouldn’t be allowed to manage the lost-and-found at the mall, much less the nation and its Federal law enforcement apparatus.

Of course, if you believe that, I have a… gun to sell you.

A Righteous Kill

If you’re trying to figure out why President Barack Obama has lately appeared to be over-inflating that birdcage he calls a chest, U.S. aerial drones executed wanted terrorist and expatriate American Anwar al-Awlaki, along with his similarly American-by-birth sidekick, Samir Khan, last week. Therefore, Obama gets to walk around in his John Wayne shoes for a bit.

Let me be clear: I oppose virtually everything Obama planned to do, has done and/or will do during his four years in the White House. But the executions of al-Awlaki and Khan are not on the list. I know my kill-’em-where-you-find-’em attitude gets me sideways with some folks, including Bob Livingston and Congressman Ron Paul.

We shouldn’t be in the business of whacking people like we were in Tony Soprano’s gang and our victims were wearing wires in the back room at Satriale’s. But occasionally, the role America should play and the role America must play are not the same role.

Sure, it would be easier to simply let these animals continue spouting off about jihad in Jihadi-stan (Yemen, in this case). Consider it: Jihadi-stan sucks. It’s dirty, the food is terrible and the women are all dressed like beekeepers. You can’t tell if that’s hot Fatima or that hook-nosed Ayesha walking down the (dirt) street; and even if you could, walking around dressed like beekeepers in 110 degree heat all day makes them both smell like hamsters.

The problem is that al-Awlaki was not play-acting at terrorism. Al-Awlaki exhorted his followers to kill what he calls “infidels” and you call “the Nelsons from two houses down.” And punching his ticket hardly lowers the intellectual temperature in the human room. It’s not as if, given enough time, he was going to abandon his holy war against the infidel crusaders and concentrate on that cure for cancer he dreamed about as a junior jihadist.

For those of you who object to Obama trying on his big-boy shoes after al-Awlaki’s execution, that’s an unfortunate door-prize you keep when you win a Presidential election. The military scores the touchdown, and the President gets to spike the ball. George W. Bush did it, George H.W. Bush did it, Ronald Reagan did it and even Bill Clinton did it — although Monica Lewinsky helped. Jimmy Carter never did it; but, as we found out later, he was rooting for the other team.

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with sticking Islamofascists to a bulletin board like human thumbtacks — no matter which country they call home. Does it violate Yemeni sovereignty? Possibly, but ours is more important. I will concede that that sounds jingoistic; but from time to time, it’s perfectly reasonable to remember that the United States is better. They want to kill us because we live by ideals which are anathematic to them: free elections (unless ACORN is involved), cold beer and letting women drive (hey, maybe… nope — my mom will probably read this). And they have proven that — given time and some luck — they can do it. We, in turn, kill them because they’re planning to kill us.

However, what Obama failed to learn and his supporters will never acknowledge: If you want to dine on the spoils of war, you must use the utensils of death. Suddenly, the same people who spent the eight years of the Bush Administration decrying the idea of American troops even mildly inconveniencing Islamofascists have become the most hawkish people since Gen. Douglas MacArthur asked for permission to nuke China. The same doves who wanted a public trial for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are now channeling their inner Rambo over the executions of al-Awlaki and Khan. Barack Obama the candidate deplored secretive actions against Islamofascists. Barack Obama the President demands credit and respect for ordering them. Even some of their fellow travelers are compelled to recognize such blatant hypocrisy. On Sunday’s broadcast of the no-longer-compelling Meet the Press, Democratic Party sock puppet E.J. Dionne Jr. wandered off-script: “You’ve got to be honest and say what would liberals say if George Bush had done this?”

I do believe we already know the answer to that one.

–Ben Crystal

An UN-Acceptable Proposal

A good friend of mine is a citizen and resident of another country. A fine fellow, he shares very few of my political ideals. That said, he seldom engages in direct debate with me — mostly because every time he visits, we leave politics at the door. Also, we both agree on the merits of good wine and good food — an issue we both consider far more important than President Obama’s latest attempt to impersonate a competent executive. More importantly, he’s a better cook; and I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow the U.N. to cost me a good meal.

Among the areas in which we get crosswise to each other is the proper role of that august assemblage of the Upper East Side: the United Nations. He thinks the U.N. is a valuable diplomatic tool and potential military bulwark against the forces of tyranny, bloodshed and oppression. I think the U.N. takes up what might otherwise be fabulous East River real estate which could be put to better use as a landfill or secret mob graveyard. It is difficult for me to take seriously an organization whose biggest contribution to their host city is unpaid parking tickets.

Earlier this week, the U.N. followed up another red-carpet event for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, evil midget and President of the Islamofascist “Republic” of Iran, with the announcement that it is nearing success in its bid to expand its domain to include the Robert Moses Playground. Already in the midst of a $2 billion renovation (which was supposed to cost around $600 million, but who’s counting?), the U.N. wants to purchase the park in order to construct a more than $400 million high rise next to its current shrine to peaceful diplomacy — or bureaucratic incompetence and appeasement, depending on which newspaper you read.

Truth be told, if the U.N. is going to vacuum up American oxygen (not to mention prime parking spaces), I suppose it’s fair for the organization to enjoy nice digs. After all, we wouldn’t want Lil’ Mahmoud to rant about whatever while standing on shabby carpeting, would we? It’s tough work to murder thousands of your fellow countrymen, rig elections and grind your country’s culture down to Paleolithic levels. Mahmoud’s tootsies deserve plush pile. In addition, if the U.N.’s Manhattan palace is nice, then Ahmadinejad and the rest of his fellow super-creeps (I’m looking at you, Hugo Chavez, presuming the chemo works) are more likely to stay in Manhattan rather than bother the rest of us.

But here’s the rub: The American taxpayer shoulders the burden of nearly a quarter of the U.N.’s budget. We’re on the hook for 22 percent of every failed negotiation, every unprevented genocide, every stalemated military conflict which cost thousands of lives and every half-billion-dollar real estate boondoggle designed to prevent lunatics like Lil’ Mahmoud from bloviating like a character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in less-than-4-star environs.

Even in an economy which hasn’t been driven into a bridge abutment on the Alinsky Expressway by the profligate morons in the Democratic Party, I hardly think an institution as corpulent as the U.N. should redecorate its crib on the American taxpayers’ dime.

I’m not suggesting that the U.N. doesn’t serve a theoretically valuable purpose. If the nations of the world didn’t have a place to come and pay lip service to global peace and freedom, their various leaders would be forced to lie to the same flunkies all the time; and the flunkies would be forced to pretend they believe them without the benefit of the occasional vacation. But, surely, there are better locales and sources of funding than the United States and the contents of the wallets of U.S. taxpayers.

Instead of sponging off the beleaguered people of its least-favorite country, the U.N. should put the arm on those who are sympathetic to its cause (the real cause, not the stated cause). For example, George Soros is loaded. The Democratic Party has cash, and it will probably blow it on Obama 2012. For that matter, what happened to the billion dollars Ted Turner promised the U.N.? It obviously wasn’t spent on the victims of Islamofascism, Chinese purges or African genocide.

It is long past time to evict the U.N.’s collection of globalist riffraff, one-world buffoons and terrorist apologists. I hear Tehran, Iran, is lovely this time of year.

–Ben Crystal

Student Threatens Man Passing Out Constitution Copies

The video below was recorded by Phil Cleary, a National Guardsman and field representative for The Leadership Institute. Cleary filmed this at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Constitution Day. The characters in this real-life glimpse into the twisted minds of today’s liberals offer at least as much entertainment as their intellectual equals on reality television, albeit with neither the moral gravitas of an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show” nor the academic loftiness of “The Real Housewives of… Wherever.”

The self-proclaimed defender of the supposedly threatened “multicultural center” and devotee of the late terrorist and convict Huey P. Newton is a UMD student named Blair Jordon Moses. Moses (who I suspect would be ecstatic with the nickname “Baby Huey,” although the real Baby Huey allegedly murdered a woman for calling him “Baby”) takes up most of the screen time. However, his asinine rants are noteworthy only for the overt nature of the threats they contain.

In fact, I’m tempted to forgive Baby Huey, if only because he’s clearly a victim of the teachers’ unions and their apparatchik accomplices in what passes for higher education. Granted, he did threaten Cleary, so he’ll probably be expelled, or not. He is a member of one of America’s protected classes; so for all I know, he may ride this video of what appears to be his mental breakdown to the Presidency of the student senate.

Give Baby Huey credit for some remarkable logical calisthenics. First, he threatened to shoot Cleary: “I just want to let you know, that if you ever threaten the multicultural center, I will exercise it (my 2nd amendment rights).” Then — if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase — he shoots himself in the rhetorical foot by proclaiming that he doesn’t “believe” in the Constitution. Is that how that works? You just refuse to believe in it. He would be better off refusing to believe his idol was gunned down in a crack deal gone awry. Let me check… nope, Newton is still dead.

When I was in school, threatening to shoot another student usually resulted in a one-way ticket home, although I can’t remember any junior-varsity racists actually threatening to kill people back then. But I attended one of the finest colleges in the nation.  Baby Huey attends one of the finest colleges in northeastern Minnesota.

The real treat in this live-action dramedy arrives at 2:19. Witness the sweeping entrance of UMD senior administrator Susana Pelayo-Woodward, the director of the Office of Cultural Diversity. From her role in the incident, I glean that she clearly needs remedial education on not only diversity and tolerance, but basic adult responsibility — not to mention the U.S. Constitution. Although she was undisturbed by Baby Huey threatening another UMD student’s life, she was worried about something: Cleary was handing out copies of the Constitution. Pelayo-Woodward asked: “Is this a white supremacist group? It looks like one.” In yet another remarkable intellectual milestone for the peculiarly circular logic of liberalism, she ignored the death threat from the budding terrorist in order to smear the document which allows her the right to smear the document which allows her the right to smear… forget it.

Call it a sense of patriotic civic duty or perhaps a glimmering ember of hope that our country won’t someday be consigned to the stewardship of a generation which is cerebrally outmatched by currently lower life forms like cockroaches, amoebas and Rosie O’Donnell, but I actually expressed my concerns over the ordeal in an email to members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, the President of UM and senior personnel at UMD. I pointed out the obvious distress they should experience over one student threatening another, the fact that the aggressor was motivated by the unhinged hate which he appears to have picked up while imprisoned in their institution, and the fact that a member of their senior administration was unruffled by Moses’ verbal assault because she was too busy proving she wears the same idiotic blinders. I also noted that should they eschew disciplinary action against both Moses and Pelayo-Woodward, they would be exposing themselves to a lawsuit which would treat their funding like Godzilla treated downtown Tokyo. In fact, should Baby Huey decide to act out on his threats, not an impossibility if he’s trying to emulate Newton, then they may well be criminally liable as well as civilly so.

Wonder of wonders, someone at UMD is checking the mail. I received the following response:

At UMD, we place a priority on creating a positive and inclusive campus climate. In fact, advancing equity, diversity, and social justice is a core value of our university and is a goal of the UMD Strategic Plan. Freedom of expression, diverse views and opinions, and philosophical debate are part of the treasured tradition of this country’s public universities and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Moreover, UMD takes very seriously its zero tolerance for violence.

Regarding your specific concern, the September 16 incident involved people exercising their constitutional right to express their personal opinions and philosophies. UMD’s Office of Student Life is working to resolve any issues resulting from the encounter.

The representative from Youth for Western Civilization is not a UMD student. Like others who are not students at UMD or groups not registered as student organizations at UMD, he was welcomed to express his views and to distribute information on our campus within the guidelines established for such activities. This welcome continues for all who want to have a public forum to express views.

That qualifies as the most Byzantine babble which has ever appeared in my inbox, and I’m counting that sweet deal the Nigerian barrister clued me into. They are on the case, and they are planning nothing. UMD considers Baby Huey’s threat to Cleary’s life a “constitutional right.” As for Pelayo-Woodward, the email gave nary a hint as to her fate. After I read UMD’s simpering pablum, I called my brother and told him to scratch UMD off the list of possible schools for my nephew, who happens to be an exceptionally gifted hockey player. Actually, the little guy is also a smart cookie, so UMD was unlikely to make the list.

In the past, I and my colleagues at Personal Liberty Digest™ have often reminded you of the essential hypocrisy of liberalism. Although some of the other writers might be more diplomatic about it, I will simply say: Liberal ideology is pure excrement. (Actually, I was going to use more vivid terminology; but each time I do, Mr. Livingston says things like: “How’s your resume looking, Ben?”)

It’s not as if Baby Huey and his hyphenated-American consort are isolated in their appalling hatred. Just last week, a liberal named Stephen Hanks verbally assaulted Bristol Palin in a New York bar. Hanks’s rant was classless and obscene — or, as Bill Maher would call it, “brilliant.” However, it translates from the liberal hate speech as: “I hate your mother so much, I can’t stop myself from attacking her children.” Head union thug Jimmy Hoffa Jr. wants to “take out” the Tea Party. When a Teamsters Union thug talks about taking someone out, he doesn’t mean to dinner and movie. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said the Tea Party is destined for “hell.” The last time I checked, that decision is above her pay grade. And Mad Maxine should probably focus on her own upcoming judgment; odds are, she is far from guaranteed a ticket upward in eternity. Common Cause members have demanded the enslavement and/or lynching of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Lest we think UMD is alone in its madness, consider pretty much everything that’s ever happened at Berkeley.

Granted, we conservatives have a few rotten eggs floating in the barrel, like the heckler who recently called President Obama “The Antichrist.” Obama wishes he was that big-time. I’m not even convinced Satan would hire him as an intern; although, perhaps George Soros could put in a good word for him with the lord of evil. We conservatives make fun of our loose screws; the Democrats send theirs to Congress, elect them President and watch them on MSNBC. Moreover, the Democrats give them influential positions shepherding young minds. Judging by the incident at UMD and the school’s lack of concern, that’s where they are inflicting the most damage.

–Ben Crystal

Waiting In The Wings

If the polls are anything to go by, President Barack Obama’s popularity is unraveling faster than a John Edwards paternity cover-up. If you’re disinclined to believe the polls, take a gander at the gas escaping his own party’s vents. Democrats are running away from him nationwide. Even the Congressional Black Caucus has wandered off the Obama reservation. CBC Chairman Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) has gone so far as to suggest that if Obama were white, CBC members “…would be marching on the White House.” Now, beneath the usual liberal shrieking, a new rumble has emerged: a primary challenge to the President.

Democratic heavyweight Michael Moore was the first to take aim at the Obama Presidency when he began screeching for a Matt Damon candidacy, but those two are as much a threat to mount a real campaign as a Krispy Kreme glazed donut is to escape Moore’s greasy fingers. Ralph Nader popped up next, although Ralph has already crossed the electoral Rubicon between “A Campaign of Liberal Outrage” and “Lyndon LaRouche.” Just last week, The Chicago Tribune suggested Obama should spike his candidacy and spend the next four years “…on a Hawaiian beach, wrestling the cap off a Corona.”

As brutal as it must have been for Obama to find out his hometown paper just suggested the Cubs are a safer bet for the World Series than he is for re-election, imagine how galling it must have been to find out that in his stead, they’re pushing the woman who took him the full 15 rounds in 2008: current Secretary of State and eternal Secretary of “I’m not running, honest!” Hillary Rodham Clinton. Even Obama’s sock puppet Jay Carney is sweating over the specter of Hillary 2012. Asked about it at a recent press briefing, Carney responded: “You’ll have to ask her.”

A caveat: If Obama 2012 is a slow horse, Hillary 2012 is headed to the glue factory. Obviously, Bill Clinton would be consumed with joy over the idea of a Hillary Presidency. “She’s going to be busy for at least four years, right? What’s Denise Rich’s cell number?” But the rest of America would be less excited. Consider it: The window is closing rapidly on Sarah Palin, and there are actually people who like her. Compared to Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton is — well — Hillary Clinton. It’s not as if 1994 is ancient history. Of course we remember HillaryCare, Whitewater and Vince Foster; we’re the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy! What are the odds America, which is getting sweaty palms thinking about showing Obama the door next fall, will consider Clinton? Talk about a short in the Democratic National Committee’s logic circuits: “Let’s offer them the same thing as Obama; but more Ministry of Fear-ish.”

Then there’s the dreaded “Ted Kennedy effect.” Jimmy Carter could hardly have avoided playing the bug to the Reagan 1980 windshield (a lesson Carter’s Vice President, Walter Mondale, clearly missed in loser class). People wanted to like Teddy. He reminded them of his brothers, but with a glandular disorder. He looked like a Kennedy — or perhaps he looked like he might have eaten one or two of them. Were it not for that unfortunate business in which he left another human being to drown in a car, he might have had a real shot. Instead, he split the Democrats and left Carter gasping for air after the election.

Pity our poor President Obama. The Messiah of Grant Park just can’t get a leg up. Whether it’s economic woes thanks to his Keynesian “spray and pray” approach, foreign entanglements (we’re still in Iraq, we’re still in Afghanistan, and it would appear Obama’s promise to extricate us from Libya was as truthful as Charlie Rangel’s property tax filings) or diplomatic stumbles (talk to the hand, Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj!), Obama has fumbled the Presidential ball and kicked it all over the field. Pity further the Democrats. Among those who could reasonably garner enough support to be nominated, Obama is actually the best they’ve got. But save your most bitter tears for America; for allowing these cretins into the conversation.

–Ben Crystal

Justice Delayed

By the time you read this, cop-killer Troy Anthony Davis — whose street name in Savannah, Ga., was “Rough as Hell” — will be sporting a toe tag… or not, depending on whether President Obama decides to grossly overstep his authority and commute the death penalty to which Davis was sentenced more than 20 years ago. Davis has been dodging the needle through every legal avenue available since the day he was convicted of murdering Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. Davis is entirely unremarkable: He’s just another thug who committed an unconscionable crime and got caught and convicted. But the objections to putting Davis down like a rabid dog have almost nothing to do with Davis.

Some of the people vocally opposing the execution of Davis stand on religious and moral ground. They simply don’t believe the death penalty is an acceptable form of justice. There are good people who oppose capital punishment and will do so vocally no matter who is strapped to the gurney. For my part, I remain convinced that some people — Davis among them — simply don’t deserve to continue consuming our oxygen.

But even a casual glance at the mob shrieking for clemency for Davis reveals that many of Davis’ supporters back him for a more pedestrian reason. According to one such supporter, Alicia Blakely: “We as African Americans have never gotten a fair shake.” Begging Blakely’s pardon, but Davis has not only gotten a fair shake, he has been given about a dozen appeals over two decades since he murdered MacPhail. I’d say Davis has received a surplus of fair shakes.

The case for clemency for Davis has been fanned by a fairly impressive campaign of disinformation and distortion. At the fore of this campaign is the modern incarnation of a once-great civil rights organization: the NAACP.  The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People professes to focus on the struggle of black people in America. Davis was convicted by a jury of his peers, the majority of whom were black. So I suppose the NAACP is not focusing on the struggle of those particular black people. The NAACP has proffered a litany of excuses for Davis, none of which hold up to real scrutiny. On its website under the headline “Clemency Denied: Last Chance For Troy,” the NAACP points to claims that seven of the nine witnesses who identified Davis as the killer have recanted their testimony. What the NAACP doesn’t mention is that all of those witnesses testified in court two years after giving their statements. Not one wavered until years after Davis’s conviction — and only after considerable pressure from Davis supporters and defense team. The NAACP website also ignores a pile of material evidence and the endless stream of failed and rejected appeals. It also ignores Officer Mark MacPhail, the victim (but he’s white, so screw him).

The NAACP was formed out of righteous indignation. But that era has been relegated to the history books – or it would be, if chapters hadn’t been replaced by “Heather has two mommies, three daddies and a disabled goldfish, all of whom are better people than you are — unless you’re black, Hispanic, Muslim or some combination of the three.” With the Jim Crow era dead and gone, the NAACP has only two choices: disband or find something else about which it can be indignant. So the NAACP has evolved from righteously indignant to professionally indignant. And an indignant black community gives parasites like NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous a paycheck to rally indignation over the long-overdue execution of dangerous creatures like Davis. In a sense, we should be glad that Jealous has a job. Without it, he’d be a creepy fat guy in the two-sizes-too-small “I Am Troy Davis” T-shirt shrieking on the corner. (Note to Mr. Jealous: either wear the extra-large, or start doing sit-ups.)

Under normal circumstances, the kind of racism peddled by hucksters like Jealous and the modern NAACP is annoying, perhaps outrageous. But Davis murdered another human being in cold blood. While some might object to capital punishment, Davis earned his sentence. The idea that the justice system has maintained a massive conspiracy over more than two decades just to put this dog down is ludicrous: Davis isn’t that important. The debate over capital punishment may be worth continuing. The debate over Troy Davis is decidedly not.

–Ben Crystal

Caught In The Sunlight

On the scale of Presidential scandals, I would hardly rank the unfolding “Solyndra-Gate” at the top of the list. I’m not even sure it holds the top spot on President Barack Obama’s personal disgrace chart. The growing pile of evidence indicating Obama either did know or should have known about improper ties between his Administration and the Democratic fat-wallet – and the evil genius behind Solyndra – George Kaiser doesn’t reveal any murder victims; meaning it places second in my book to the still-unfolding Operation Fast and Furious debacle.

But the Solyndra bankruptcy did manage to flush a half-billion taxpayer dollars down the drain, so it certainly merits examination. Consider it: Solyndra chewed up $500 million. For what Obama burned on his accomplices’ failed solar experiment, he could have simply given every (legal) American about $1.65. To put it another way: For the cost of the Solyndra scam, we could all enjoy a soft drink and a lottery ticket. The soft drink is more refreshing than photovoltaic cells; and the lottery ticket would be more likely to pay off.

Assessing blame for Solyndra is a fool’s errand; mostly because Solyndra is simply the latest example of the scams politicians have foisted on the taxpayers since well before President Warren Harding got his Teapot Domed in 1923. The question betrayed by Obama’s “Solyndra-gate” is not how the Washington elite managed to flimflam the taxpayers again, but why.

The answer comprises more than the usual “because we can” which normally motivates the wire-pullers we foolishly keep dispatching to Washington. The roots of Solyndra-gate are firmly embedded in the pseudoscientific manure intellectual cult leader Al Gore has been shoveling since he wandered off his daddy’s tobacco farm and invented the Internet: so-called global warming. Actually, we have been swallowing the various iterations of “green living” for about 50 years at this point — generally to the detriment of improved economies, better living and enhanced opportunity for everyone except the snail darter and the guy who prints those “think globally, act locally” bumper stickers.

Rachel Carson’s seminal eco-babble Silent Spring certainly provoked the world to cut back on sending the noble mosquito to that great bayou in the sky; and we had to consign only a few million Third World children to the land of the eternal Deep Woods Off®. Of course, given American liberals’ distaste for dark-skinned tykes, I suppose they consider the saving of the most annoying bug on the planet a moral victory. Drawing a line from Carson to lunatics like Al Gore and on to Solyndra-gate requires far less time than, say, sitting through Gore’s Inconvenient Slide Show.

The Obama Administration appears to have willfully ignored a series of red flags in order to rescue Solyndra. Department of Energy emails (which have been partially redacted) reveal that at least one official warned that Obama’s Presidency could end up trapped in the Solyndra coffin: “Questions will be asked as to why the administration made a bad investment, not just once (which could hopefully be explained as part of the challenge of supporting innovative technologies), but twice (which could easily be portrayed as bad judgment, or worse)… The timing will likely coincide with the 2012 campaign season heating up.” God forbid anyone worry about the 1,100 jobs, half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer money and time wasted. I wonder how far down the liberal list those minor points might be found.

Solyndra-gate is purely bad governance spurred on by global warming hysteria and political paybacks. What people miss while focusing on the 1,100 Americans who just received their pink slips, the half-a-billion in taxpayer dollars which just went up in a cloud of carbon-neutral exhaust and President Obama’s latest adventure in stupidity is the human cost of the global warming industry. Barack Obama invested a huge pile of our money in a bad scheme based on even worse reasoning: junk science combined with good, old-fashioned back-scratching. As the economy sputters like a Government Motors bailout-mobile, Obama is playing footsie with liberal moneybag types like George Kaiser. Real people really suffer real consequences when crackpot scientific theories meet greedy liberal politicians, but they are never the ones who deserve them.

–Ben Crystal

Skin-Deep Politics

Forget reality television; we have the seemingly interminable pre-primary segment of the 2012 Presidential race to watch.

Critics unload heaps of inane trivia. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau wants you to compare former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota: Who has the better front end? Meanwhile, candidates display themselves like peacocks, trying to distract potential supporters from whatever flaws they may be squirreling away with magnificent displays of political plumage. For example, Mitt Romney has real executive experience fighting intransigent liberals within sight of the Kennedy Compound; but he hopes you won’t notice that during his Gubernatorial reign in the Bay State, he developed the State-level precursor to the abominable Obamacare.

While the Democratic Party has a long record of candidates who possessed the intellectual depth of Tupperware (does anyone know where Senator John Kerry can “get me a huntin’ license?”), the Republicans generally shied away from cosmetic appeal in place of legitimate competence. Witness Senator Bob Dole’s loss to President Bill Clinton in 1996: Clinton won with only a plurality of the vote, due in part to the fact that Dole was nearly as captivating a stage presence as shower mold. Of late, the GOP has begun to play the electoral version of “The Dating Game,” offering up candidates like President George W. Bush, whose folksy charm and 80s-action-film attitude supposedly made up for his mercurial policy directives, if not his tortured enunciations.

Taken to a logical extreme, this sort of political pageantry ratchets up the degree of difficulty for a quality candidate with strong ideas and sound principles, especially if the candidate in question looks like an aging college professor (Representative Ron Paul) or a guy who cuts his own hair (former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson).

As 2012 approaches like the T-Rex chasing the Jeep in “Jurassic Park,” we are welcomed to the aforementioned logical extreme. For those who think I’m overstating the case, say hello to the current field of Republican candidates and the two men leading the way: Governor Rick Perry of Texas and former Governor Romney. The very idea that the GOP is seriously considering these two men for the post of Leader of the Free(ish) World is testament to the barely subcutaneous levels to which most voters are ostensibly willing to venture in search of a true statesman.

Watching the remarkably telegenic Perry and Romney tear into each other during the course of the past two Republican Presidential debates has been the political version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em ROBOTS®.  Oh, they got testy with each other, but I kept wondering if there was someone behind the curtain, furiously tapping on a video game controller. “The Corporate Media and the Current State of American Politics Present: The Republi-Ken Dolls!”

Both offer curricula vitae chock full of crony capitalism and flashes of statism. Romney’s infamous “corporations are people” miscue was a telling moment, while Perry’s political appointee roster shows an almost 1-in-4 ratio between campaign donors and appointments. And perhaps Perry really didn’t try to force STD inoculations on the preadolescent female population of the Lone Star State on behalf of Merck Pharmaceuticals; let’s just say it sure would have been convenient for Merck’s profit margins – not to mention Perry’s campaign coffers.

That sort of backscratching is common in Democratic circles. Nearly 200 of President Barack Obama’s heavyweight “bundlers” are now enjoying the sweet taste of plum patronage. As an example, the current U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom is Democratic whale and former Citigroup exec Louis Susman, whose previous experience with the Brits is limited to the bar at the Connaught Hotel. But the Republicans ought to be running from such backscratching like Donald Trump would run from a crowd of helpful citizens after his limo breaks down in South Central Los Angeles.

If it comes down to a choice between Romney or Perry and the current tenant squatting in the people’s crib on Pennsylvania Avenue, I will obviously vote for – um – “change that matters.” But there are better choices than any of those three. They are easy enough to spot, if we’re willing to look a little deeper.

–Ben Crystal

How I Spent 9/11

I would have thought that — outside macabre celebrations in the Islamofascist sandboxes — there was no “wrong” way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. Among those with whom I share relationships, a variety of methods took shape. Some people took to social media outlets, sharing thoughts or memories or posting those ubiquitous pictures of the Twin Towers either standing tall or crashing down.  Many people seemed to find solace in the photo montages of varying sentiment — either tragic or uplifting — set to music ranging from Lee Greenwood’s staple “God Bless the USA” to Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ modern anthem “Empire State of Mind.” Still, others chose to pause only briefly before cruising through what would otherwise have been an ordinary Sunday.

I spent part of my day yelling at the television as my favorite NFL team coughed up an early lead and lost, looking terrible in defeat. I also followed the progress of my two fantasy football league teams, both of which performed on the electronic gridiron about as well as my team did on the actual gridiron. As the afternoon wore on, my attention wandered back to the reams of information, news and commentary I peruse every day in order to keep Mr. Livingston from replacing me with a twice-weekly recipe column.

No matter how you spent 9/11, it’s unlikely you did so poorly. It seems unlikely that anyone could fail to do otherwise. Even if a person chose to ignore the maudlin and the merry, I can’t imagine someone marking the day with behavior which qualified as wrong.

As the sage says: “famous last words, pal.” Late in the day, as I prepared to fire up the grill and crack open an ice-cold beer, I happened upon Democratic Party sock puppet Paul Krugman’s latest reminder of how the Nobel Prize has become a million-dollar Cracker Jack trinket. Writing for the desiccated liberal corpse you might remember as The New York Times, Krugman chose to mark the occasion of the biggest bloodbath on American soil since the Civil War with his 9/11 commemorative, “The Years of Shame.” The blog post is devoid of hope, robbed of civility and abandoned by decency. More importantly, it is absolutely pointless.

Krugman wrote: The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror.” Those evil conservatives, always politicizing terrorism to push an agenda and attack their ideological adversaries – how dare they! Nothing gets by Paul Krugman; politicians politicizing tragedy, you say? What’s next: an unConstitutional social engineering program which penalizes citizens for failure to purchase something?

Of course, Krugman also takes the obligatory shot at the Republicans at the fore of the 9/11 response. Granted, Kerik was a crook, but that’s “rain tends toward the damp” stuff. It’s hard to fault Rudy Giuliani for his 9/11 actions. Say what you want about Rudy’s other days — and I could say plenty — he was absolutely America’s Mayor then.

Even on 9/11 itself, Krugman didn’t want to discuss the potential greatness of the nation. He didn’t want to discuss a brighter future for America. He didn’t even want to discuss how much he despises the animals who perpetrated the terrible deeds forever welded in our minds to 9/11. No, Paul Krugman wanted to discuss how much he hates his fellow countrymen.

Actually, Krugman doesn’t want to discuss anything; he wants to sneer without interruption: “I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.” “Obvious reasons” meaning “because someone might out that I’m a simpering ninny who decided to rain on a national funeral.”

I understand Krugman is one of those liberals for whom everything is simultaneously political and emotional. But, surely, “The Years of Shame” could have waited — well, forever — but at least until Tuesday.

–Ben Crystal

President Zero (Jobs, That Is)

None. Goose egg. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Zero. That’s the total number of jobs added to the American economy during the month of August. During his Presidency, Barack Obama has continually managed to surprise me — but almost always in the a-satellite-fell-out-of-the-sky-and-landed-on-my-car manner never in the oh,-look,-I-found-a-quarter manner. Obama has certainly taught me to lower expectations. Well, congratulations, Mr. President, here’s a new low!

I hardly need to remind you that allowing Obama to spend one moment in the White House after January 2013 – unless he’s taking the tour – borders on national suicide. And you certainly don’t need me to tell you not to touch the third rail; the entire nation electrocuted itself in November 2008.  Most of you get it: Another four years of President Obama may well cook our collective goose.

For those among you who still don’t get it: Obama’s economic plan led the nation to produce nary a new gig in August. The domestic economy hasn’t managed to post a doughnut on the jobs scoreboard for an entire month since 1945. Even President Jimmy Carter’s dreaded malaise never spawned an employment whitewash quite so bleak; and he was outsmarted by the White House tennis court schedule (not to mention one fierce bunny). The United States comprises more than 300 million souls. Those 300 million (minus the babies, the infirm and the bulk of the population of Detroit) combine to produce a gross domestic product of $14.6 trillion. That’s a lot of scratch, especially considering how poorly we all fared in 2010.

And 2011 is worse. The economy, strangling in the grip of Obama’s Keynesian madness, is spiraling downward faster than the ratings for a television program hosted by a disgraced race pimp who once engineered a hoax which included smearing a teenage girl with actual feces – not that any channel would ever allow such offal in its studios. The national unemployment rate is still hovering above the 9 percent mark; that’s 4 points above the mark at which it stood on the day of Obama’s inauguration. The national underemployment mark – denoting people who work part time because they can’t find full-time work – is close to 20 percent. The latest figures from the Congressional Budget Office suggest that we may wait nearly a decade before the jobs picture brightens; although, the CBO was too polite to add “longer if we let Obama keep the keys to the Oval Office.”

For those who will accuse me of being unfair, consider Obama’s performance so far. The bailouts have flopped like fish on a dock. The decision to hand General Motors over to the union thugs who destroyed it in the first place left the taxpayers holding the note on a multibillion-dollar boondoggle. Obama’s “green jobs” campaign has not only provided no boost to the economy, it has tied the proverbial millstone to its neck. Solyndra swallowed more than half a billion taxpayer dollars only to choke to death. Democratic crony-run corporations such as GE ship jobs overseas while Obama and the Democrats whine about the lack of gainful employment. The union thugs openly threaten violence, and their anointed savior refuses to condemn their borderline-treasonous hostility. America teeters on the edge of a yawning chasm of depression, yet rather than come up with a plan to pull us back, the President of the United States will deliver… another speech. The only plus side to tonight’s latest edition of Obama’s Alinsky-ite blather lies in the sweet relief of knowing most Americans won’t be watching. The President’s popularity has plumbed such depths that he has fallen to the undercard for a football game.

Maybe this is his plan: babble endlessly enough to bore us all into submission. Offer inane ideas with all the forethought of throwing darts while blindfolded: “Hey, maybe this will work.” Judging by past performance, it won’t.

–Ben Crystal

Berkeley Course Demands Students Be Liberal

The biggest punch line in American higher education just got a whole lot funnier (or a whole lot more terrifying, depending on whether you have children approaching college age). One might fairly presume that at some point, churning out graduates who parrot leftist babble while lacking fundamental academic and societal skills will drag the University of California, Berkeley’s reputation lower than Vice President Joe Biden’s self-esteem after an hour at a Mensa meeting. If I took a spot as a senior administrator at Berkeley, I might even try to rescue the institution before it begins running late-night TV ads offering classes in TV/VCR repair.

Alas, I am not a senior administrator at Berkeley, and I am quite certain I won’t be showing up on their short list for hires anytime soon. Among other qualities which eliminate me from contention for future openings at what amounts to an incubator for the noisy brats who populate most left-wing whinefests, I am well aware of the old adage: “Those who can’t, teach.” Also, I bathe regularly.

Since I wield no influence over Berkeley’s curriculum, I cannot stop it from offering what may well be the first course which expressly demands students move up the grade curve by being as liberal as possible. Beginning this semester, Berkeley will offer students credits for course work in a class entitled: “Fighting to Learn, Learning to Fight: Building the Movement for Public Education and Equality.” According the syllabus, coursework includes “…an auto biography (sic) focused on one’s own poltical (sic) development.”

The course is conducted under the auspices of an ultra-liberal group named “BAMN.” BAMN is the spectacularly discursive acronym for the equally discursively-named The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrants Rights And Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary. As if someone outside BAMN is likely to mistake the “professors” — a pair of student instructors and a BAMN activist — for anyone in the English department (witness the above citation from the syllabus).

A perusal of BAMN’s website reveals standard Democratic Party rhetoric, albeit more grandiloquent than normal.  BAMN credits itself with “building the new civil rights movement.” Imagine the disappointment of the “old” civil rights movement. Among their predictable aims, BAMN supports the DREAM Act, which would grant amnesty to illegal aliens. Despite BAMN’s stated goal of opposing racism and some vague horror they call the “New Jim Crow,” it opposes California’s Proposition 209, meaning it subsequently supports racism and discrimination in public-institution admissions, which were rendered illegal by Proposition 209. BAMN even dedicates a section of its website to defaming former Berkeley regent — and BAMN opponent — Ward Connerly, even suggesting he is the “Spokesperson for the Campaign to Resegregate America.” Connerly is black, meaning BAMN is essentially calling him an “Uncle Tom.” Hey, maybe he’s the “New Jim Crow.”

I wouldn’t trust BAMN apparatchiks with walking a group of preschoolers through the adventures of Dick, Jane and Spot. The tykes would come home claiming Jane was running because Dick was trying to date-rape her, while Spot was the victim of animal cruelty. Yet BAMN is in charge of granting academic advancement to the kids whom Berkeley claims will “make key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation” at least until the illegal aliens sprung by the DREAM Act vacuum up all the paying jobs.

One hardly requires a MacArthur grant to recognize that higher education is rapidly falling victim to political indoctrination masquerading as instruction. And Berkeley has certainly earned its reputation as the ground zero of fatuous liberalism masquerading as intellect. To add insult to injury, according to the Berkeley website, close to 60 percent of the school’s nearly $2 billion revenue stems from State and Federal funding. Add to that the 18 percent derived from tuition and fees, and the taxpayers are footing more than three-fourths of the tab for nonsense like BAMN.

Unfortunately, “learning” to reflexively vote for Democrats isn’t the same as learning more worthwhile skills. At some point, Berkeley graduates will cease contending with the unemployment created by the ideological brethren of their professors and instead will contend with being simply unemployable.

–Ben Crystal

Family Tradition

The revelation earlier this week that Onyango Obama — likely the same “Uncle Omar” mentioned in President Barack Obama’s oddly premature memoir, Dreams from My Father — was arrested for DUI was just another chapter in Dreams, entitled: “Presidential relatives who were dumber than boxes of hair.”

After all, it’s not as if “Uncle Omar” is the first member of a Presidential bloodline who no doubt forced the President to wince in embarrassment. In fact, Onyango Obama isn’t even the first Presidential relative whose wince-worthy actions stemmed from an inability to hold their sauce. Consider Jenna and Barbara Bush, Ron Reagan (who may simply suffer from garden-variety-liberal stupidity, as opposed to three-sheets-to-the-wind stupidity) and Billy “Beer and Libyans” Carter. In fact, Onyango Obama’s latest brush with Johnny Law is strictly bush-league when compared to Roger “You mean he’s the brother of the President of the United States?” Clinton.

It would be bad enough if “Uncle Omar” were simply another pinhead who thinks getting pickled and then sliding behind the wheel is big-time fun. However, when Framingham, Massachusetts’ finest stopped him the other day, the fun was just starting.

Despite having a nephew in high places, Onyango Obama isn’t on the guest list for the next state dinner. In fact, Onyango Obama isn’t on the guest list for the United States of America. “Uncle Omar” is an illegal alien with an outstanding deportation order. Unbeknownst to the President (of course), when Onyango Obama blew a “blotto” on the Framingham Police’s field sobriety test, he had in his possession a Social Security card and driver’s license. His blood alcohol level was .14. According to the arrest report, Onyango Obama announced that he would use his lone phone call to ring up his nephew: “I think I will call the White House.” Oh, what we wouldn’t give to listen in on that family reunion.

Much like the President’s infamous aunt, Zeituni Onyango, who ultimately evaded justice long enough to permanently affix herself to the taxpayers’ underbelly, Onyango Obama may well embody a real reason President Obama pursues his olly-olly-oxen-free immigration policy. Obama called Arizona’s efforts to stem the flood of illegals racist, even “reporting” Arizona to the United Nations. He and his corporate media mouthpieces suggested taxpayers who want a return to secure borders and decent immigration standards are racist. Though Democrats call anyone racist who disagrees with them on virtually anything at this point, slandering opponents of amnesty with the spurious charge of racism has become as vital to Obama’s method of governance as high unemployment, crushing debt and undervalued currency — or perhaps, those last three are not on purpose. And as we learned recently, the President has introduced a new policy halting deportations of people facing… deportation.

I used to believe Obama opposed sound immigration policy because he’s a liberal. I assumed his goals were the same as the goals of nearly every Democrat who ever blurted out an idiotic remark such as: “We are all immigrants.” (That’s technically true, but it applies to everyone outside the Olduvai Gorge; and I’m certain we can’t all fit there now.) Democrats like illegal aliens because illegal aliens are indispensable to Democrats. They can carry heavy stuff, thereby eliminating the chance that Representative Nancy Pelosi will chip a nail. They can trim the hedges at Al Gore’s mansions with a true horticulturalist’s flair, for far less than minimum wage. A number of them work in the drug trade, making it much easier for Hollywood blowhards to get their next fix: They can go “talk to the gardener.” And some of them — like Uncle Omar — availed themselves of forged documentation, so they can help ACORN (or whatever that prestigious bunch call themselves these days) with the electoral “community organizing.” In the wake of “Uncle Omar’s” drunken swerve into the long arm of the law, I believe it’s fair to wonder whether there might be a familial reason behind Obama’s dereliction on immigration.

Hey, we all have a relative we pretend isn’t hanging off the lower branches of the family tree. Some of us are the relatives in question (which might explain why my brother doesn’t let me baby-sit his kids; mix up the scotch with the formula — one time). But few of us considered allowing an entire criminal class to move in next door just to keep the family disgrace off a one-way flight back to some dirt farm in East Africa. Perhaps it is just a family affair.

–Ben Crystal