Because We Say So

From time to time your kids “wander off the reservation.”  They do things which you verbally deplore, but laugh about with your friends: “back when we did (whatever you just grounded your brat for), we didn’t get caught.”

On occasion, your children will do things which actually appall, enrage or just plain terrify you. On those occasions, you likely mete out more severe discipline; but share no giggles afterwards. And on still OTHER occasions, your little monsters step over the line between the children you want them to be, and the adults you wish they’d never become.

From what I’ve observed—including observing from the “defendant’s chair”—the latter incidents often produce that all-time great kid-logic: “Why not?  YOU do it!”  And the parental response almost ends up being some version of “because I said so.” 

I remember from my childhood days that phrase also tended to work well on me; if only because if my old man fired that one off, the next step was the dreaded “fingerpoke of doom.”  Parents deploy “because I said so” because they can. And kids accept it because they must—Mom and Dad outrank them. Plus, Mom controls the dinner menu; and Dad has that fingerpoke thing. 

While you were willing to accept that kind of parental precept, there is no way you’d endure such guff from an employee. And yet, we all take it from President Barack Obama as often as your kids test your patience. Whether it’s an in between golf getaways command for more taxpayer belt-tightening; or another of those “Michelle-is-in-Majorca-and-I’m-dining-with-Oprah-but-the-rich-don’t-pay-their-fair-share” accusations, Barack boasts archetypical “because I said so” bombast.

Last Thursday, Obama, who chose to announce his re-election bid in the midst of his party’s near-submarining their beloved government, was at it again. During a fundraiser in Chicago, Obama proffered another of his “do as I say, not as I do” pontifications. What struck me was not his smartest-guy-in-the-room act; mostly because I can see right through it.

For all Obama’s efforts to avoid any sort of transparency, he’s paper-thin. His play-acting at gravitas is belied by the fact that he can’t order a Happy Meal without a teleprompter. Moreover—if you’ll pardon the expression—he sucks at his job. 

What kills me is that he delivered yet another smug sermon about tough times requiring tough sacrifices—and by the way, Republicans are evil—while standing in a restaurant which would bar the door at the sight of the very people about whom Obama professes to care so very deeply. N9ne is a part of a group owned by the billionaire Maloof family—the same folks who own the trendy Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. Enjoy one of the steaks for which N9ne is famous, and be ready to set yourself back about 50 bucks—presuming you drink water and skip dessert.

During Obama’s royal repast, he regaled his sycophants with the usual spiel:

“Right now, there are folks in the Chicago-land area who are… trying to figure out “…how am I going to fill up my gas tank?”  And all the tax cuts that we provided to help working-class families… they’re worried about those tax breaks being entirely eaten up by $4 a gallon gas.”

Really, Mr. President?  Did you consider asking your devoted acolytes—not one of whom likely arrived in a used car—to skip the $50 steak, order the chicken and give the difference to those “working-class families?” 

To be fair, I will stipulate that all Presidents—even the ones who are NOT the darlings of the effete NPR listener set—attend 5-star cash grabs like the one which Obama headlined the other night. (I suspect President George W. Bush never enjoyed them. For all Obama’s laughably stilted “man-of-the-people” posing, W. always seemed more comfortable in the sorts of places where eating with your hands is the norm; whereas Obama looks as out of place in such downscale diners as Rahm Emanuel in direct sunlight.)

Mr. President, your 2008 campaign haul was a record even before you broke your promise to stay within the bounds of public financing. The way you and your Democrat accomplices have performed of late, you’re going to need every nickel. 

Quit lecturing us, you supercilious twit. You’ve never met a payroll, never sweated the end of the month because you’re short on rent, and never had to choke down the kind of food they don’t serve in the places in which you and Oprah dine. For that matter—we’re the taxpaying citizens of the United States. Stop talking at us like we work for you, and not the other way around. 

Why? Because we said so.

Grading On A Curve

Teacher [tee-cher]—noun: one who teaches or instructs, especially as a profession; NOT “supporter of those who murder police officers in cold blood.”

The recent annual convention of the California Federation of Teachers—a cell of the American Federation of Teachers—passed a resolution at their annual convention extolling the virtues of the cop-killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal. Jamal murdered Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner back in 1981 and has since become a hero to Democrat Party travelers from George “Owner” Soros to the second grade art teacher at Santa Monica Elementary. (Or whomever.)

One might presume the CFT would spend their time at their latest junket constructing a plan to ensure that their young charges would receive the best academic instruction possible. At the very least, it would be reasonable to think that they’d at least resolve to ensure the kiddies learn that “2+2″ does not = “Senators Boxer and Feinstein.” (Especially considering that Boxer + Feinstein = 0; not 4.)

If only reason played a part in their conduct. While some educational matters were discussed, including continued opposition to charter schools (damned local accountability!); the CFT also made a principled stand on one of the most important issues confronting educators in the Golden State: Cop killers.

Most of Resolution 19, which passed at the 2011 convention, is the usual empty rhetoric and defamatory innuendo the Democrat Party normally substitutes for REASON. Resolution 19 ultimately calls for the release of the “journalist” Abu-Jamal, whom they rather predictably claim is a victim of police coercion and judicial and prosecutorial malfeasance. It even elevates the REPROBATE murderer to the level of political prisoner.

“Whereas, the continued unjust incarceration of Mumia Abu-Jamal represents a threat to the civil rights of all people…”

Although I feel fairly certain that the continued incarceration doesn’t represent a threat to MY civil rights—mostly because I have yet to murder a police officer; I suppose I’m glad to see the CFT is on the case for civil rights; although they must have run out of ink before they expressed any support for the victims of communist oppression in places like Cuba—the CFT resolved at their 2010 conference to support five of Castro’s spies who were caught in Miami.

Oddly, not one word about the ChiComs’ unrelenting harassment of dissidents made it into this year’s CFT agenda. They didn’t make room for the victims of Iran’s violently repressive regime, nor any of the rest of the targets and victims of Islamofascism worldwide (a number which is substantially higher than the number of cop killers currently awaiting execution in Pennsylvania). And evidently, the good professors of California didn’t think it important to proclaim support for the widow and children of Abu-Jamal’s victim, Officer Danny Faulkner.

Frankly, I would expect the CFT to focus on… well… teaching. Californians now rank 49th out of the 50 States in adults who have at least achieved a high school diploma.

The CFT DID pass a resolution (No. 30) decrying “bullying.” However, they specifically noted that they were not talking about the nerdy kid who suffered an atomic wedgie on the way to social studies this morning. No, the CFT is concerned about:

“…aggressive communication, excessively harsh criticism… false accusations, public discrediting, defamation, insults, personal attacks, taunting, hostile glares, yelling, shouting, screaming, terrorizing, threatening behavior or acts… designed to drive the target out of a job;

Screw the brats. They don’t pay union dues. And no matter that the aforementioned language is a spot-on description of the union thug-led violence and hate speech — officially endorsed by the Democrat Party — currently on display in Wisconsin.

American students are falling further and further behind their peers in academic performance. Liberals breathlessly pin the blame on everyone but themselves. Meanwhile, a cell of the second largest “teachers'” union in the country made room in their recent convention for a man who shot a cop in the face at point blank range.

Here’s a suggestion for the CFT: Next time you want more money, consider whether your students can name the victim of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s crime. After all, who’s a better role model for the students in the Golden State — cops, or cop killers?

A Whole New Ballgame

Note to the Democrat Party: Don’t let the tears fool you. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) can play hardball, and he can bring the lumber. And there he was Friday night, with the clock ticking down on the Democrats’ incredibly ill-advised gambit, taking President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the wall.

While there are still I’s to dot and T’s to cross, Boehner has managed to marshal the widely disparate ranks of the Republican Party into just enough of a politically irresistible force to break the lines of the Democrats’ eminently moveable object. While fair criticisms of Boehner can be—and often are—voiced by conservatives, consider his burden in the battle which unfolded last week. While the Democrats enjoyed the placid compliance of sheep, Boehner had to herd lions.

The Republicans lack the blind devotion upon which Obama and his accomplices rely. There is no Republican Service Employees International Union (SEIU), no Republican New York Times and no Republican Michael Moore. The Democrats are about as diverse as the Farrakhan family reunion—not counting the space aliens.

But from the rank-and-file Republicans to the Tea Partiers to the Libertarians, the conservatives are fueled by something the Democrat Party neither knows, nor understands: Righteous outrage (as opposed to mere outrage).

Righteous outrage is a conservative reaction to the President’s willingness to hold military paychecks hostage to abortion-on-demand. Mere outrage is Democrat-endorsed union thugs sending death threats to Obama’s political adversaries. Righteous outrage is conservative recognition that the corpulent bureaucracy of Obamacare is to functional healthcare as so-called “anthropogenic global warming” is to actual science. Mere outrage is a shrieking liberal harpy like Representative Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) spewing out the kind of defamatory drivel which calls to mind the pedantic pabulum normally vomited up by the idiot gasbags at MSNBC:

“In ’94 people were elected simply to come here to kill the National Endowment for the Arts. Now they’re here to kill women.”

Slaughter was referring to conservative insistence that the Federal Government cease funding abortion outside extreme cases. That’s a fair stretch from Eric Cantor (R-Va.) with a high-powered rifle firing at the Des Moines Ladies’ Auxiliary while they pose for pictures in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The sort of hubris demonstrated by Slaughter is clearly born of comfort. Democrats from safe districts have become so content that they’ve forgotten most districts are more variegated than the sorts of places which elect crooks like Representative Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and hypocritical millionaires like Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Perhaps the Democrats’ overconfidence was born of rosy recollections of 1995. In the months following the Republican Revolution of 1994, then-President Bill Clinton’s refusal to interact with the GOP beyond “triangulating” their message led to the kind of shutdown Boehner and the GOP managed to avert Friday night. Back then, the corporate media was no less prostrate before their Democrat masters than they are now. However, the access to real information was much more limited, thereby producing a population which was far easier to fool. Most Americans still thought the nightly network news was a legitimate source, not DNC-conceived editorials masquerading as unbiased coverage.

Moreover, Clinton had something Obama will never have: Likeability. Clinton is the “buddy you love drinking with even though you know you can’t leave him alone with your wife;” whereas Obama is more of the “buddy you hate drinking with because he sneers at your beer over the rim of his white wine spritzer glass; and your wife hates him because he reminds her of your neighbor who drives a Prius and talks with his eyes closed all the time” type.

And unlike the 1995 shutdown showdown, which Clinton won, the 2011 shutdown showdown will cost the Democrats dearly. Sure, Boehner didn’t get the kind of spending cuts most conservatives were hoping for (taxpayer funding for the now-completely-exposed NPR lucked into a stay of budgetary execution); but he wrangled a widely disparate group into breaking the Democrat Party’s normally solid lines. More importantly, he forced the President and his accomplices to pitch them over the plate, where the conservative bats “took them yard.”

Boehner didn’t get $60 billion plus, but he did force a President who spends money like he’s trying out for a spot on the “Real Trophy Wives of Beverly Hills” to give up more than $30 billion. And according to Boehner’s new editorial in the USA Today, “the next fight will be about trillions, not billions.”

The conservatives are on the field. Let’s play ball!

The Burning Question

Let’s all take a moment to welcome Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center. He’s back for his second 15 minutes of infamy. Now, let’s all wave goodbye to Pastor Terry Jones. Outside a bush-league Sam Elliott lookalike pageant, Jones doesn’t deserve another moment of our attention.

But his notoriety does. Jones is an aberration created in retort to the almost gleefully murderous tendencies of Islamofascism. He’s a religiously-twisted court jester. But the animals who kill and maim actual people (something neither Jones nor his flock have done) are a threat to a great deal more than just the scripture section of the Gainesville, Fla. library.

In an analysis of the violence supposedly touched off by Jones’ little campfire, the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail identified what they considered:

“…clear evidence that his actions have led to multiple murders and widespread violence in the Middle East… (Jones’s actions have) been directly responsible for a wave of violence that began last night and has left 30 people dead…”

What about the actual Islamofascists doing the actual killing? Are we that desperate to avoid upsetting savages who use 21st Century media and weapons to try and force the entire world back to the 14th Century on behalf of their funhouse-mirror image of a 6th Century historical figure? When do we tire of making excuses for the inexcusable?

If Islam works for you—as it does for more than 1 billion people worldwide—then have at it. I won’t be joining you for a number of reasons, including a serious devotion to bacon cheeseburgers. But I’m not going to cower under a dishdasha because you don’t like it. And you should learn to live with that. It’s not as if I’m pursuing romantic interludes with preteen girls, a predilection which Mohammed indulged.

Recently, backup bloviator Chuck Todd sat in for talking hairdo Chris “Tingle-boy” Matthews on Matthews’ unintentional comedy program on MSNBC. Todd allowed TIME Magazine reporter Aparisim “Bobby” Ghosh on the program to discuss Jones’s barbeque. If Ghosh’s name rings a bell, it might be because he’s the same sock puppet who helped fabricate the infamous story alleging a Marine Corps-perpetrated massacre in Haditha, Iraq. Outside the asylum which is liberal faux-journalism like the sort practiced at TIME and MSNBC, Ghosh is worthy of little more than: “How is this guy doing more than reporting ‘Sled Dog of the Week’ stories in Nome?”

But Todd brought Ghosh in to raise Jones’ cache to new heights:

“The thing to keep in mind that`s very important here is that the Koran to Muslims… it is not the same as the Bible to Christians. The Bible is a book written by men. It is acknowledged by Christians that it is written by men… But the Koran… if you`re a Muslim, the Koran… is transcribed, is directly the word of God. That makes it sacred in a way that it`s hard to understand if you`re not Muslim.”

Actually, there’s a great deal wrong with that statement, but given the total lack of credibility earned by Ghosh—well—let’s just move along.

Ghosh’s point, like the Daily Mail’s point, is that Jones is somehow responsible for the violent rampages of Islamofascists. While I would agree that Jones isn’t helping the situation, I disagree vehemently that his Koran-burning misadventures are the moral equivalent of “yelling ‘FIRE!’ in a crowded movie theatre,” or yelling “defenseless Israeli teenager” in a crowded Nablus mosque.

Jones isn’t yelling “FIRE,” he’s yelling “ARSONIST,” albeit in a supremely stupid manner. But those who focus on what Jones is doing are missing something more important: That Islamofascists don’t need anyone to point out the defenseless Israeli teenager in the Nablus mosque, nor the Dutch cartoonist who drew a parody image of Mohammed, nor the guy who was riding the elevator to the 81st floor of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

About a year ago, a New York group which calls itself “Revolution Muslim” threatened to murder South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone should Comedy Central air an episode of the cartoon which purportedly depicted Mohammed. Comedy Central heavily edited the episode in response to the threats. If a group of Islamofascists had used the South Park episode as justification for murder, neither Parker nor Stone would have been responsible; just as Jones isn’t now.

In blaming clowns like Jones, we’re treating Islamofascists with kid gloves, while they treat us like victims. More importantly, we’re blaming the wrong people.

Pop Goes America

Regular visitors to the Personal Liberty Digest™ have likely noted my tendency to reference popular culture. Although I feel like the day was wasted if I missed an opportunity to use “J-Woww” or “Snooki” in a sentence, many of my fellow Bob Livingstonians waver between head-scratching confusion and outright disgust that such pathetic personas garner even mocking attention.

The truth is: I agree wholeheartedly with those of you who find the mere mention of such soft-underbelly-of-society types as those fine ladies demeaning to Mr. Livingston’s august endeavor; if not absolutely nauseating. Nonetheless, personalities created from whole cloth by MTV (or MSNBC, which carries slightly less prestige) not only exist, they’re enormously popular despite lacking talent, intellect or—in the case of the cast of “The Jersey Shore”—a vocabulary of more than about 50 words.

There’s a lesson in the meteoric rise of such marginal individuals; and it’s a lesson which Americans have failed to grasp despite more than a century of instruction: We like to watch stupid people behaving stupidly, strange people behaving strangely and awful people behaving awfully. The only difference between “The Situation” and P.T. Barnum’s sideshow freaks—as an exemplar—is the immediacy of their availability to us.

Hundreds of channels, thousands of websites and an endless number of media outlets great and small saturate our consciousness with images of the obscene, the horrific… and Rachel Maddow. Against that parade of grotesqueries, real knowledge, real information and issues of real import fade into the background; obfuscated by the sound and fury—none of which signifies much. And I, being of sound mind and body, wholeheartedly encourage the transmission and availability of every last bit of it.

Late last week, the Parents Television Council announced an effort to lay siege to Comcast over NBCUniversal’s production of a pilot entitled “The Playboy Club.” Evidently, this latest shlock includes contractual obligations that the actors included therein agree to appear in even less clothing than one of the fine ladies of “The Jersey Shore.” Although “The Playboy Club” is merely a pilot, and may never be seen outside some studio screening room, the PTC is concerned that should it make to the small screen, it will further damage the intellectual progression of the nation.

It may well do precisely that. But I would posit that “The Playboy Club,” like “The Jersey Shore” before it, the “Jerry Springer Show” before that and their progenitors like Mr. Barnum’s gathering of the gauche are merely as impactful as we allow them to be.

I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of limiting the production of even repulsive forms of entertainment in the name of protecting the fragile minds of our fragile children. My discomfort stems not from some misplaced allegiance to lowbrow entertainment, nor the cheap thrills evinced by watching scantily-clad morons do things people used to have pay to see. While I certainly object to most of the programming described herein, I object more stringently to the idea of anyone elevating themselves to the position of cultural policemen.

As much as I agree with the PTC that “The Playboy Club” is undoubtedly offal, I prefer the idea of allowing those who seek a path of righteous intelligence to find it amidst the endless cacophony of crap which is most of what passes for culture.

An old professor of mine used to wax rhapsodic about the “limitless availability of the accumulated wisdom of the tribe.” It’s out there, hiding in plain sight amongst the sitcoms, the webcast-rantings of Charlie Sheen and the mendacious babble of Ed Schultz. Should people allow their children to watch “The Playboy Club,” or Lawrence O’Donnell, then they deserve no better than the ultimate product of their folly. I have no interest in listening to the complaints of people who employ television as an ersatz nanny, and are subsequently appalled by the upbringing television (or music or film) provides.

Sixty years ago, many Americans shuddered at the thought of Elvis Presley swivel-hipping his way into their homes. The nation survived, as it can now. Consider this: As the bulk of our population sinks into the swamp of stupidity, the cream will rise to the top. For every episode of “The Playboy Club”, every fakeumentary vomited up by Michael Moore, every op-ed spewed by The New York Times, there are inspired and intelligent ideas from Mr. Livingston, Chip Wood, Robert Ringer, John Myers and Dr. Mark Wiley, among others.

Despite rumors to contrary, the revolution will NOT be televised.

Operation Odyssey Wrong

 

To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and—more profoundly—our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are… Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” –President Barack Obama, March, 28, 2011.

In last week’s column “The Desert Rat,” I explained my issues with the idea of President Barack Obama leading us into a third global conflict with the “religion of peace.” The truth is that I generally like the idea of introducing homicidal autocrats to the business end of the most advanced fighting force in the history of the species. But I must also admit that sticking a cruise missile into the blowhole of every Islamofascist, tin pot and dictatorial screwball would turn the Middle East into a sheet of glass so reflective that John Edwards would move to Damascus just to fix his hair. (The ruined landscape of a sizeable portion of the Earth is the downside in that allegory, not the prolonged absence of the Ayatollah of Ambulance-Chasers.)

So, while many of my conservative colleagues are lambasting Obama for his mission to the Maghreb in general, my concerns are more detail-oriented. The obvious interrogative: “How can a President who has yet to keep his promise to extricate the U.S. from a pair of wars now involve us in a third?”

Less obvious, but no less important:

  • If America has a “responsibility as a leader,” then why is Obama so determined to put our assets under NATO control, a la Clinton in the Balkans?
  • If turning “…a blind eye to atrocities in other countries” is so abhorrent to Obama, how did LIBYA jump to the top of his list? I don’t mean to insinuate that Gadhafi isn’t a bad guy, but he’s hardly leading the league in D.R.A. (Dissidents Rendered Absent.)
  • Were it not for Libya’s sizeable oil reserves, would the decidedly anti-war Obama be so gung-ho to spend at least $100 million dollars a day to… well… to do to Gadhafi what George H.W. Bush did to Saddam Hussein?

I have noticed the port-side pabulum projectors have been pointedly silent on Obama’s justification for the NATO-led, U.N.-(mostly)-approved, big-budget, mysteriously open-ended Kinetic Military Action. The same folks who couldn’t seem to pass up a chance to bloviate about President George W. Bush’s “illegal war for oil” can’t seem to find their keyboards—much less their consciences—for Obama’s extra-legal battle for petroleum.

All I’m asking for is a little clarity. If we stipulate—for the purpose of discussion—that wars which begin during Republican administrations are about oil, while Democrat wars are entirely humanitarian, then explain the selection process. Is there some sort of vetting? How does a population targeted for extermination qualify for the Democrat Party’s rescue program?

On second thought, forget about clarity—I’ll accept a little honesty. A glance at the energy deposits across the Libyan landscape, when overlaid with foreign concession interests, reveals the reason why Libya got airstrikes and arms shipments to rebel factions while Iran got empty rhetoric, China got the Olympics, Darfur got George Clooney and Rwanda got forgotten.

I grew up in an era when Ronald Reagan was President, patriotism wasn’t a punch line, and “kinetic military action” was a complicated way of describing Arnold, Bruce or Sly wiping out some third-world dictator’s militia. I don’t reflexively oppose military intervention, provided it has a noble purpose. But the same President who doesn’t think the people of Iraq, Iran and Sudan (not to mention China and North Korea) are worth an airstrike has gone gung-ho for Gadhafi.

My apologies, Mr. President; but “Obama 2012″ is NOT sufficient justification.

Flunking Liberty

A story in a recent edition of Newsweek detailed an effort to determine the civic pride of our fellow Americans. The left-leaning journal offered 1,000 readers—they borrowed a few hundred from US Weekly—the opportunity to take the same citizenship test required of all prospective ingredients in our ever-expanding melting pot.

Keep in mind, with President Barack Obama’s dereliction of duty in dealing with illegal immigration, I’m not certain if that many people have actually taken the citizenship test recently.

I have no interest in burdening you with another maudlin monologue about Americans’ lack of civic pride (not to mention civic understanding). Lectures about the need for the people of the fruited plain to make time in between episodes of “Jersey Shore” to learn about the Bill of Rights are boring, depressing and trite.

Besides, anyone who really cares about the travails of “Pauly D.” and “J-Woww” is unlikely to give a damn how many voting members are part of the U.S. House of Representatives. The answer, by the way, is 435. If you answered correctly, then congratulations are in order. You just wrecked the national grade curve. I’d make some teacher’s pet crack, but something tells me most of the teachers’ union layabouts drew the same blank as the rest of the class.

Never let it be said that Ben Crystal isn’t as helpful as he is suave, debonair and quick-witted. Instead of standing on the dais and acting as if I have suede patches welded to my elbows, I’m going to invite each of you to partake of a little academic challenge. Call it: The Personal Liberty Digest’s™ Super-Citizen Survey. There’s no time limit, and you’re welcome to cheat. Think of it as an exercise in “outcome-based education.” If you don’t know the answer, just do as Obama does: Lie.

And remember, kids: There are no stupid answers, only stupid people. I wouldn’t worry too much about the stupid people. They’re over at Dailykos.com telling each other how tolerant they are for hating everyone who isn’t just like them.

To wit:

Question 1:
Sarah Palin is:

  1. A spiritual godmother of the Tea Party movement.
  2. A potential 2012 Republican nominee for President.
  3. Capable of making a kill shot from a moving helicopter. (AWESOME!)
  4. Pretty hot.

Question 2:
Michelle Bachman is:

  1. A spiritual godmother of the Tea Party movement.
  2. A potential 2012 Republican nominee for President.
  3. Terrifying to Democrats who are unused to women who still look like women.
  4. Pretty hot.

Question 3:
Hillary Clinton is:

  1. The Secretary of State (for now).
  2. Not running for President in 2012 (honest!).
  3. Dean Rusk, compared to her boss.
  4. Less hot.

Question 4:
Libya is:

  1. A nation in North Africa.
  2. A nation in the throes of civil war.
  3. A nation with which the United States is NOT currently at war.
  4. A rash which can be cleared up with a non-prescription ointment.

Question 5:
Moammar Ghadhafi:

  1. Is the dictator of Libya and a sponsor of the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing.
  2. Keeps a bedroom decorated just in case his special friend Louis Farrakhan drops in for a romantic evening.
  3. Dresses like Elizabeth Taylor (the late 80’s-onward version, not the Cleopatra version).
  4. Has to be the front runner for the Keith Richards look-alike contest.

Question 6:
Scott Walker is:

  1. The duly-elected Governor of Wisconsin.
  2. Standing up to Democrat-sponsored union thugs on behalf of children.
  3. A union-busting hero.
  4. Obviously related to Hitler somehow.

Question 7:
The Service Employees International Union:

  1. Is a group of dangerously violent thugs officially endorsed by the Democrat Party.
  2. Puts the “hug” in “thug.”
  3. Wears purple because it’s so slimming.
  4. Is probably watching me from across the street.

Question 8:
Sendai is:

  1. That new sushi joint down the street.
  2. A Japanese city devastated by a recent tsunami.
  3. Nowhere near Rio, Mr. President.
  4. Still nicer than Detroit.

Question 9:
Despite a series of bailouts and so-called “stimulus” packages, the unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently:

  1. Lower than it was during the Carter Administration.
  2. Lower than it is in Kenya.
  3. Lower than it is in Detroit.
  4. Higher than it is in George Soros’s front office.

Question 10:
Common Cause, Moveon.org and ACORN are:

  1. A group of Democrat Party adjunct organizations.
  2. A group of Democrat Party adjunct organizations.
  3. A group of Democrat Party adjunct organizations.
  4. About as collectively intelligent as the kids in the Chuck-E-Cheese ball pit.

Question 11:
Kinetic Military Action is:

  1. A euphemism for a limited-scope military engagement.
  2. A nice way of describing the sort of marching done by the New Black Panther Party. (Listen, fellas. I love the berets. But you’re wearing them like mimes, not soldiers.)
  3. Obama’s desperate attempt to look like a wartime leader.
  4. Probably a waste of time, under the current circumstances.

Question 12:
The Huffington Post has banned Andrew Breitbart from its front page because:

  1. Breitbart is a bigot.
  2. Breitbart is a liar.
  3. Breitbart is mean.
  4. Ex-Obama Administration laughingstock Van Jones said he would hold his breath until the Huffpo shunted Breitbart to the even-less-read back sections.

Question 13:
Joe Biden is:

  1. The Vice President of the United States.
  2. Neil Kinnock’s number one fan.
  3. Sy Sperling’s favorite client.
  4. That weird-looking old dude who f-bombed the President last year.

Question 14:
Nancy Pelosi is:

  1. The former Speaker of the House; and now the House minority leader.
  2. Even more surprised-looking in real life.
  3. Still planning to “drain the swamp.”
  4. No longer two heartbeats from the Oval Office.

Question 15:
Harry Reid is:

  1. The Senate Majority Leader.
  2. Deputy Droop-a-Long’s long-lost brother.
  3. Oddly obsessed by hookers in Nevada.
  4. Eminently qualified to hold Pelosi’s purse.

Question 16:
Obamacare is:

  1. A plan to deliver top-quality healthcare to every American, regardless of ability to pay.
  2. A bureaucratic monstrosity which is more about government intervention in your life than it is about healthcare.
  3. Really just the reanimated corpse of the mid-90s “Hillarycare.”
  4. Probably going to force you to watch reruns of “House” to determine whether or not you have cancer.

Question 17:
President Obama’s energy policy entails:

  1. Exploiting domestic resources, including fossil fuels, in order to lessen the economic burden on his constituents without sending billions to corrupt and/or hostile foreign powers.
  2. Signing an executive order requiring all Americans to drive mopeds to work.
  3. Paving Kansas, Nebraska and parts of the Dakotas in photovoltaic cells.
  4. Aiming Ed Schultz at a bunch of windmills.

Question 18:
The national debt of the United States is now:

  1. Worth about 97 percent of the U.S. annual GDP.
  2. Increasing at a geometric rate.
  3. Rapidly approaching one of those numbers that end up being used as a name for a search engine.
  4. Still smaller than Michael Moore’s waistline.

Question 19:
President Obama hails from:

  1. Hawaii.
  2. Kenya.
  3. Chicago.
  4. A secret laboratory in Warren Buffett’s basement.

Question 20:
The current Head of the Executive Branch of the government of the United States is:

  1. John Boehner.
  2. Harry Reid.
  3. Barack Obama.
  4. Oprah.

If you struggled with this exam, fret not. Many of your compatriots are still trying to figure out if Dean Rusk is that guy who’s married to Tori Spelling. In administering the actual citizenship test, Newsweek was likely demonstrating Americans’ lack of civic understanding. But they forgot that civic understanding may not mean the same thing to everyone.

An old colleague of mine used to say that “civic duty” encompasses everything from jury duty to picking up after Rover when he does his business on the sidewalk. That colleague of mine is entirely correct; albeit enormously optimistic.

In the age of Obama, I have learned to set my sights a bit on the low side. Don’t take stuff which isn’t yours. Don’t hit girls. Don’t make your mother cry. And once in a while, learn something useful. You can’t always count on British MP’s to do your homework for you, Mr. Vice President.

I’d tell everyone to go back to school, but there’s no point. The teachers are all cutting class to go scream at the Governor of Wisconsin.

–Ben Crystal

Just Breathe

Should you ever find yourself out for a drive along the Michigan-Indiana border, take a moment to venture by the Kalamazoo district offices of Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.). By itself, Upton’s office is entirely unremarkable; but not far away is a billboard which may arrest your attention like it was the police and you were a kleptomaniacal Hollywood starlet with a coke habit.

The billboard features a preteen girl with her face encased in what appears to be either an oxygen mask or an exceptionally Byzantine—albeit undoubtedly effective—delivery system for the kind of inhalants parents delude themselves into believing are foreign to their preteen girls.

upton-billboard

The billboard campaign is effective, at least on the surface. After all, no one wants to be the bastard whose legislative intransigence imprisoned poor Polly in her respirator.

The American Lung Association (ALA), theoretically a respected retinue of responsible folk, paid for these grim roadside reminders of respiratory distress, carbon dioxide and voting for Republicans. The ALA’s concern centers on the possibility that Upton, who serves as the current chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, may move to “…weaken the Clean Air Act.”

The billboards fail to mention a few fairly salient points. First, Upton has no plans to start pumping raw sulfur dioxide down your children’s throats. Second, Upton has no plans to weaken the Clean Air Act. His committee’s passage of the Energy Tax Prevention Act is designed to rein in runaway bureaucracy and unscientifically-motivated legislation which is in turn detrimental to economic and social progress. And third (and this one’s the kicker), this whole fear mongering campaign by the ALA is paid for by… you.

You read that last part correctly. The American Lung Association, a privately-run, tax-exempt, non-profit group, has received nearly $30 million over the last decade or so from the Environmental Protection Agency, a sub-cabinet-level division of the Federal government with enormous regulatory authority. And the ALA wants to stop Fred Upton from using the Energy Tax Prevention Act to put the kibosh on the EPA’s ability to crush economic development.

What Upton is planning with his Energy Tax Prevention Act—which rocketed through his committee and precipitated the ALA’s latest foray into fear mongering—is to return the Clean Air Act, and consequentially the EPA, to their legitimate purposes: Working toward cleaner air.

The Clean Air Act was most decidedly NOT implemented to institute what amounts to the odious Cap and Trade via a regulatory back door. Last November, the American electorate went to the polls slammed the door on bureaucratic regulatory subterfuge in resounding fashion; sending the Democrat Party busybodies who had spent the previous four years employing legislative authority to treat the American taxpayer like an ATM.

While the Democrat Party’s tendency toward the dictatorial isn’t new, the American Lung Association willingly serving as an accomplice to this sort of authoritarianism is less familiar. It’s terribly sad to see a once-proud organization dedicated to alleviating tuberculosis and other legitimately dangerous ailments sell its soul to a regulatory bridge troll like the EPA. It’s even sadder to see that once-proud organization do so by assigning real health problems to a theory which is the anecdotally-supported equivalent of geocentric astronomy.

And saddest of all: The ALA is either participating in this taxpayer-funded scam for the money—which means they have been motivated by pure avarice; or they’re in it because they really believe a sub-scientific theory is going to clog your children’s lungs, which makes them dupes.

Something is indeed rotten in Kalamazoo; but it isn’t Rep. Fred Upton.

The Desert Rat

 

“…What I am opposed to is a dumb war… Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States… the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history… I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences..”—State Senator Barack H. Obama (D-IL), 2 October, 2002.

"The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."—U.S. Senator Barack H. Obama, 20 December, 2007.

Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency on a platform which included proud opposition to what he called a “dumb war.” He was FOR the War in Afghanistan; and AGAINST the War in Iraq.

But now, he’s FOR a war against a “petty dictator” whose military “is a fraction of its former strength…” There’s no doubt that “in concert with the international community” Moammar Gadhafi can certainly “be contained until… he falls away into the dustbin of history.”

To be fair, the President, despite his statement suggesting Gadhafi is “unfit to lead,” has hardly called for the Third Infantry Division to bull-rush Tripoli. Not when the Navy can lob Tomahawk cruise missiles from offshore while our pilots keep the vaunted Libyan Air Force from taking to the skies in their retro-chic French Mirage jets and those vintage Soviet Sukhois which are best known for flaming out at air shows.

But THAT’s the problem. What exactly are we doing in Libya? Are we taking out Gadhafi? He “…poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States…” Are we helping the Libyans take out Gadhafi? What do we know about the Libyans who want to take out Gadhafi? Are they going to replace him with a peaceful republic; or the Umayyad Caliphate II? (The original Umayyad Caliphate was bad news; and they didn’t even have crappy Soviet ground-attack fighters). Or are we simply fencing off the neighborhood crazies so their domestic squabble doesn’t spill over into otherwise-Edenic Chad?

If I’m looking for answers, the last place I want to go is the White House. According to competing statements from earlier this week:

“(Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan)… underscored their shared commitment to the goal of helping provide the Libyan people an opportunity to transform their country, by installing a democratic system that respects the people’s will.”—White House, Monday afternoon.

…the effort of our military operation is not regime change…”—White House, Tuesday morning.

By the way, I’ll presume the length, cost and consequences of this operation are as yet “undetermined.”

War has always been the dark side of human interaction. We have a pronounced tendency to settle disputes over everything with bloodletting; from the best Matchbox car on the playground to the best God in the Heavens. A well-equipped, well-trained military, fighting on behalf of a righteous nation against an enemy which deserves no quarter is cause for tears only in that it must be unleashed; not that it exists. And my issues with the wars in which American lives have been lost of late have been the conduct, not the reasoning.

We gave 38,000 sons to Korea; but we gift-wrapped them in a box marked “to be opened only by the United Nations.” Even with the “Tower of Babel with artillery” effect; we managed a tie with the ChiComs.

We put together a coalition to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait; and then had to go back 10 years later because he’d broken out of his cage.

Now, we’re risking lives and spending money to “contain” a guy who couldn’t make it past Colonel in his own army.

I have no wish to elevate Gadhafi, nor Hussein, nor even those pesky North Korean Kim boys above their level; but when we fought a two-front war with the Nazis and Imperial Japan, we didn’t tiptoe through their territory, minding the breakables. We (along with our Allies) leveled them. We won the hearts and minds of the Germans and Japanese by shooting them in the heart if they didn’t mind us.

Mr. President, if you want to lay the proverbial smackdown on Moammar Gadhafi, by all means, be my guest.

Just don’t do anything… dumb.

Missing The Message

Now that the Nobel Prizewinning President Barack Obama—who campaigned for the White House on fervent opposition to two wars—is leading the United States into a third conflict involving the “Religion of Peace,” perhaps this isn’t the best time to bring this up.  However, timing has never been my strong suit.

While the U.S. started lobbing cruise missiles into Libya over the weekend, another story, one which didn’t involve the Obama Administration campaigning for the Nobel Prize for Duplicity, broke across the newswires:

For the first time in human history an object sent from the third rock from the sun has entered orbit around the first rock from the sun.  The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) probe, which departed these climes in 2004, signaled its successful orbital insertion around the planet Mercury. 

mercurysunThis is Mercury as viewed from the Earth.  Actually, this is the Sun, with Mercury in transit across its face (it’s the TINY round dot in the lower middle-right of the image.)

If nothing else, that image ought to give you a sense of humility; a glimpse of the idea that on a cosmic scale, we are smaller than the higher-order thinking section of Lawrence O’Donnell’s brain.

MESSENGER cost $280 million.  Should it have been proposed for these tight economic times I suspect it would have disappeared from the budget as quickly as a box of Ho Hos® disappears from Rosie O’Donnell’s kitchen.  But consider this: I’m glad we went. 

While it is fair to suggest that a mission to Mercury may not solve the crises of the world, I would posit that MESSENGER, like much of the space program, serves a metaphysical purpose.

The space program reminds us of limitlessness.  Seven centuries ago civilization was barely aware of the world outside its own door.  In some cases, even guessing at the unseen could result in ridicule, arrest, or even earthly perdition.  But some were undeterred, and the Age of Exploration bore out their dreams to the great benefit of the same world which questioned their goals.  As recently as 1969, when Neil Armstrong took those fateful first steps, Man was still reaching beyond his grasp. 

From Polo to Galileo to Aldrin, the real explorers delivered human “firsts” on an eternal scale.  And while MESSENGER was expensive, it’s another first which is worth celebrating. 

In the age of the media-invented superstars, in which Paris Hilton and Barack Obama can climb to Olympian heights on the backs of—not to mention in the rightful place of—the more talented, the more qualified and/or the more deserving; moments like MESSENGER hearken back to those heady days of the Age of Exploration, when accomplishment meant more than sound bites and photo-ops.  Missions like MESSENGER remind us all of the big dreams which carried humanity through far darker times.  There are no “K-Feds” in the heavens.  “Jersey Shore” isn’t on; and “The Situation” and the gang couldn’t fix their hair in zero-gee.

Out THERE, Hollywood blowhards can’t lecture us on our lack of compassion while they teeter around on the red carpet dressed in clothing which could feed a family for a year.  Oliver Stone and Sean Penn can’t vomit their venomous vitriol out there—there’s no air.  Al Gore’s junk science sideshow wouldn’t last amidst the real warmth of the solar wind.

And while the effort “to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield” is enormously expensive, so is the Department of Education; and I don’t remember anyone saying “When I grow up, I want to be a layabout union thug.”  Of course, I don’t remember anyone saying “I want to be a mouth-breathing parasite who’s famous for being famous,” but “Snooki” got a book published, meaning she has admirers.

During his State of the Union speech in January, Obama said “we do big things.”  Actually, Mr. President, we do an astronomical number of small things, and occasional medium-sized things. And we don’t do most of them particularly well. But we can.

I believe we can return the triumph of the human spirit to the American vocabulary. I believe that while exploration can sometimes be irrational, discovery is ALWAYS magical.  At the very least, let’s return to our children the sense of wonder that comes from dreaming big and doing bigger. 

Call it “the audacity of hope.”  Actually, don’t call it that.  That sounds like some hackneyed Democrat campaign slogan. 

At the very least, let’s remind them there are greater aspirations than being a community organizer.

–Ben Crystal

Duty Calls

As Japan faces a long, costly road to recovery, battles continue to rage across the Middle East, the American economy continues to flounder and Democrats are beginning to threaten active violence against their opponents—including death threats against Wisconsin’s governor and legislators and Tea Party leaders who have committed the unpardonable sin of standing up to the Democrat Party’s union thug accomplices. 

That menu of misery ought to provide enough to keep any chief executive busy for two or even three whole days.  Certainly, one might expect an engaged President of the United States to be putting in a solid couple of hours of work per week.  There are those across the fruited plain who would certainly clear their calendar of social, mundane or just plain silly scheduling conflicts to give their full attention to matters which require intense scrutiny. 

Then, there’s President Barack Obama.

During the eight years of George W Bush’s Presidency, Democrats and their flacks in the corporate media mercilessly flogged the nation’s 43rd President every time he scanned the sports section.  In fact, in August of 2005, The Washington Post devoted 16 paragraphs to the President’s vacation schedule.  According to a Democrat National Committee spokespuppet:

“The White House stonewalling operation is moving to Crawford for the dog days of summer, but they can’t hide from the legitimate questions dogging the president…”

Evidently, brush-clearing in Crawford is nowhere near as worthwhile an endeavor as working out your NCAA hoops brackets for ESPN, hitting the links (for the 61st time) and getting your crunk on with your homeboys at the Gridiron Club.

It used to bother me when Bush would take extended vacations.  I knew that despite Democrat-authored complaints about his lack of connection to his duties and his constituency, he remained very much in command.  But his remoteness seemed a bit on the cavalier side.  It’s all about the appearances, kids.  And given the fact that above-cited Washington Post story was hardly unique in its scope, Bush’s summer sojourns clearly bothered the hell out of the Democrats. 

Oddly, I have yet to hear a peep from the corporate media carnival about Obama’s oddly high number of non-natural disaster, economic collapse or Democrat sympathizer-issued death threat-related activities.  But they covered his congratulations to the 2010 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.  (As a Rangers fan, I say “boo.”)

Before those of you who list too far to port start emailing my address to the SEIU’s Department of Leg-Breaking, hear me out.  I love the idea of a thoroughly detached Obama. 

Play 36 instead of 18, Mr. President.  Don’t just wear the Blackhawks’ jersey with “Da Prez” emblazoned on the back—head out with the boys for their next road trip.  After you finish making out your brackets for ESPN, stick around and anchor SportsCenter for a while—you’re already familiar with the teleprompter.  Spend the rest of the week partying with your sycophant liberal “journalists” at the Gridiron Club. 

The disaster in Japan, the roaring fires in the Middle East and the economic morass at home are serious business; to be dealt with by serious people.  While some of my conservative friends might suggest Obama’s soft-shoe of a schedule distracts him from serious Presidential obligations, I’d like to point out that distracting Barack Obama from serious Presidential obligations is like distracting your toddler from the power tools in the garage.

Obama has hemmed and hawed on Libya.  He’s been a ghost in recent Capitol Hill discussions regarding the economy.  And he was so dismayed by the almost cosmic-scale disaster in Japan that he… hit the links, partied with his yes-men and chose between Gonzaga and St. John’s.

And that is all fine by me.  I’d rather have an absent President than a present imbecile.  Suggesting that Barack Obama is out of his depth is like noting that Rahm Emanuel is a little bit on the creepy-looking side.  Party on, Mr. President; and don’t forget about that enormously important White House conference on bullying.  Oh, right—that was last week.

This week is his big trip to Brazil.  Play to your strengths, Mr. President.

One Tough Mother…

To listen to the kids at Greenpeace, Earth First! and the International Philosophers for Peace and Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide, we (but not they) are the single greatest threat to life (and magnificently monikered hippie groups) on our big blue marble in space.

After all, we’re addicted to fossil fuels, which pollute the air, smell bad (although not as bad as a gathering of International Philosophers for Peace and Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide), and sometimes makes cute little sea creatures yucky. We have nuclear energy, which leads to radiation leaks, nuclear waste and racially insensitive movies starring rampaging, supernatural dinosaurs.

Then, there are our weapons. The most powerful weapon ever devised by our fiendish minds was the Soviet-era nuclear device nicknamed “Tsar Bomba.”  At close to 50 megatons, Tsar Bomba packed a wallop more than 1000 times the destructive force of all the bombs with which we slammed the door on World War II COMBINED.

Seen from inside the eco-freaks’ environmentally-sensitive yurts, we are just plain bad news, man. However, seen from outside the asylum, it’s easy to spot someone whose catastrophic competence makes every ICBM look like a potato gun by comparison:

It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

As of this writing, Japan is facing the long recovery from last week’s Sendai earthquake, a seismic event which registered 9.0 on the Richter scale. That’s the energy equivalent of almost ten times the force of Tsar Bomba. The quake which produced the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was almost 3 times as powerful as the Sendai Quake. And the impact event which sent T-Rex to that Jurassic Park in the sky was good for about 100 teratons. That’s a right cross 20,000 times as heavy as Tsar Bomba. If that doesn’t give you a sense of humility, then try this on for size: In 2004, astronomers observed a starquake on a neutron star which expelled 4.2×1029 tons of energy. That’s “Michael Moore, Rosie O’Donnell and Ed Schultz fall down an elevator shaft together” power.

In the wake of the Sendai disaster, much like Hurricane Katrina, the Indonesian quake, and every other natural disaster which befalls us fragile tenants of this planet, liberals have attempted to appropriate the carnage for their own delusional purposes.

According to Staffan Nilsson, president of the European Economic and Social Committee:

“Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity—not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming?  Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do…”

So, liberals are so desperate to maintain their façade of cosmic strength that they’re pinning the Sendai event on an anecdotal (not to mention unrelated) theory invented by the same guy who just hired Keith Olbermann? Get over yourselves; you’re really not that impressive.

Some have even endeavored to blame the ongoing nuclear crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant on the dangers of nuclear power, as opposed to—say—the dangers of monster earthquakes. According to one poster at the leftist website Huffington Post:

“This proves nukes are too dangerous.”

But not as dangerous as selling out to AOL, right?

What is happening in Sendai was a damnable, tragic shame. But what happened in Japan, like what happened in Chernobyl, wasn’t a result of man’s careless tinkering with the power of the atom—well, Chernobyl actually was a result of SOVIET man tinkering with the power of the atom. But Japanese nuclear power isn’t run by Igor, who’s spending work hours trafficking in illicit Levi’s or Nikita, who’s been sloshed since before Brezhnev’s eyebrows took over his face.

What is happening at Sendai is too BIG for Man… but not for his Mother.

I’m not taking a cavalier stance about the environment. There’s no reason to pour Pennzoil in the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn’t make the Gulf run more smoothly after 70,000 miles and it makes the kids tough to catch when it’s time to go back to the hotel. Nor is there any good reason to throw your THIRSTBUSTER 64OZ on the side of the road. (Fill those things with sand and they make for great ashtrays. Look at me recycle. I’m living green, baby!)

But there’s also no good reason to elevate ourselves above our station in the universe. Our dear Mother Earth reminds us of our infantile prowess from time to time and she did again in Sendai. She’ll probably do it again. Actually, if we hang on for about 5 billion years, the Sun is still going to evict us with more energy than has ever existed on earth.

Take Dad’s advice: Don’t mess with your mother.

Give The People What They Want

In the March 7 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, liberal columnist Eugene Kane fired another salvo at the Democrat Party’s target-du-jour, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. In the piece “Scott Walker, Charlie Sheen: In the same boat?” Kane compares Walker to the erstwhile star of the sitcom “Two and Half Men.”

While Kane’s method is a bit hackneyed, his vertex from the poster boy for “Just Say No” to the Cheesehead State’s Horatio at the Bridge—fending off the Democrat/SEIU Etruscan Horde—is somewhat understandable. Being a liberal, Kane is writing for liberals. Being a Wisconsin liberal, Kane is writing for the same teachers’ union layabouts, professional protesters and run-of-the-mill thugs serving in the Democrats’ ongoing war against the children of Wisconsin.

The fact that Kane reached for this particular metaphor should serve as a cautionary note about the growing acceptance of otherwise marginal personalities as cultural icons. While political bloviations from ill-informed (George Clooney), deliberately duplicitous (Dan Rather) or just plain crazy (Rosie O’Donnell) celebrities isn’t new, the establishment of an intellectual equivalency between them and those whose prestige is based on some semblance of accomplishment beyond starring in some ham-fisted sequel (Clooney), destroying an entire news organizations’ credibility (Rather), or being just plain crazy (O’Donnell) appears to be gathering steam.

I’ll call it the celebutization of America. While it might not necessarily portend the decline and fall of our civilization, it does serve to lower the nature of the national discourse. When Oprah’s endorsement of President Barack Obama is considered momentous, real examination of his presidential acumen falls by the wayside.

For the sake of balance, when Mike Huckabee takes to the airwaves to decry unwed Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, Huckabee is diminishing the real issue of broken homes and fatherless children. When Lady Gaga is asked her (his? its?) opinion on… well… anything, we lose collective IQ points. Actually, I suspect the mere existence of Lady Gaga may be costing us a few in that column.

Be honest. When was the last time you heard some Hollywood talking mannequin offer a pronouncement on anything bigger than makeup and hair care that wasn’t mind-numbingly stupid?

“I am like so like glad you know that um… like Obama is totally like the President, you know? Cause like I am soo bummed that there’s like… war for oil and stuff. Oh, and go see Babez’n’Wheelz 4!”

We can do better than the absurdity of celebrity support of Obama for President, environmental protections for the Endangered Northern Idaho tree ferret and/or free abortions for Gabonese 8-year-olds.

In the 1960s, noisy liberal entertainers were… noisy. By the 1990s, they were making policy. Remember the infamous Alar hearings in 1989? Hey, Meryl Streep—stop it. While you’re at it, stop with the ABBA movies, as well. Ted Danson and Laura Dern are afraid the human race will die in a global warming inferno? Laura, you already look sickly. Ted, feed her an organic… something.

In 1997 a truly decent woman passed away after years of service to those in need. Although she was famous, she never sought the limelight and indeed seemed somewhat uncomfortable in its glare. She bore without complaint the deprivations of life with those whom she sought to comfort. She even won a Nobel Prize back in the days when it was worth more than an after-dinner mint at Spago. When she passed away, stories of her death were overshadowed by a bigger headline from five days prior.

If only Mother Theresa had looked better in a Versace pantsuit she might have been more celebrated than Princess Diana.

The world is afire with battles between oppressors and the oppressed. Our economy teeters on a precipice. Our President is the most colossally inept executive since Carter, if not Harding. These stories and more, coming up!

But first: Lindsay Lohan is drunk, Paris Hilton is silly and some rapper is dead.

The Rush Is On

On the afternoon of March 2, Arid Uka murdered two American service personnel during an attack at the Frankfurt International Airport. In the days following the attack, German officials identified Uka—who evidently shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he fired—as a “quickly radicalized” Muslim and a part of a known network of al-Qaida sympathizers.

As information filtered out, President Barack Obama responded through a State Department mouthpiece named P.J. Crowley, cautioning against a rush to judgment:

"…look at the evidence and look at the motivation and then you make a judgment.”

A Muslim with known al-Qaida connections targeted and murdered Americans. I can see how Obama/Crowley might be confused about the motivation.

So what does it take to earn a terrorist designation in the opinion of the Democrat Party? Is there a jihadi decoder ring? Does the shooter have to show his autographed Ayman al-Zawahiri baseball card? Maybe Uka is merely a gentle shepherd, pushed over the edge of sanity after Ellie the ewe broke it off, and he wasn’t yelling Allahu Akbar, but “Ellie, you broke my heart!” (I’m leaving that one in, even though I know I shouldn’t. Sometimes, I like to see if Mr. Livingston is awake.)

Being a magnanimous sort, after a fashion, I thought I might offer my fellow Bob Livingstonians a primer on recognizing real terrorists when you see them.

The middle-aged woman waving the Tea Party sign protesting against union thugs and Obama’s now globally-recognized ineptitude before heading home to put pot pies on the table for her husband and two obnoxious tykes isn’t a terrorist; even when’s she’s holding up the line at the grocery store because those tykes are squalling for candy.

The guy with the rifle slung over his back at the Obama appearance in Arizona isn’t a terrorist; he’s not even breaking the law. The guy with the rifle slung over his back guarding the entrance to the Northern Nihilist’s Campground and Bomb-making Academy probably is.

People who donate to the Tea Party are not terrorists. To be fair, neither are donors to Media Matters for America or Moveon.org. The latter groups might be overrun by pathologically dishonest hypocrites, but they’re not terrorists.

Glenn Beck is not a terrorist, nor is Rush Limbaugh. Lawrence O’Donnell is also not a terrorist, nor is Rachel Maddow. The latter two are simpering idiots, which isn’t a crime, just a requirement for membership in the mainstream media.

Michael Moore is not a terrorist. He’s a corpulent gasbag who profited off the same nation he’s made a huge pile criticizing, but the only person who should be TERRIFIED of Moore is the guy who just bought the last triple-bacon megameal at the local McFatburger. I’ll bet Moore is deceptively quick when bacon is involved.

The guy who prays five times a day to Allah is not necessarily a terrorist. The guy who prays five times a day to Allah for success in his suicide bombing of the local Pizza Hut is. Speaking of religious crackpots; Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps isn’t a terrorist. His creepy acolytes also don’t meet the terrorist standard; although they certainly do meet the “makes observers nauseous” standard.

When exactly did we start worrying about the feelings of actual terrorists? Whose feelings are we trying to spare? Liberal mouthpieces began bloviating about the likelihood of psychopath Jared Loughner’s political motivations while the scent of gunpowder still hung in the Tucson air, but when some fruitcake shouts “Allah Akbar!” while firing on a couple of American service personnel at an airport, we have to avoid a “rush to judgment.”

A YouTube video is currently making the rounds amongst those who list to port politically. It displays a crowd shouting at mostly Muslim attendees at a fundraising event in California. The video purports to display racism, xenophobia and the basic evil which lurks in the hearts of conservatives. The protesters are perhaps a bit on the outrageous side, but none of them compares to the group which posted the video: a sub-cell of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Unlike the Tea Party, CAIR has well-established ties to the terrorist group HAMAS.

I have heard liberals condemn the Tea Party as “American Taliban.” But where’s the condemnation of CAIR? For that matter, where’s the condemnation of Arid Uka?

Take your time, Democrats. There’s no rush.