The Price Of Sharpton

As I watched President Barack Obama interrupt his busy schedule of crimes, misdemeanors and fundraising to address the racist hate group National Action Network’s annual convention, the usual thoughts wandered through my consciousness. Why would Obama stand up to be counted with a race-pimping parasite like the “Reverend” Al Sharpton and his coterie of cretins? How would the Democrats react if a conservative President spoke to a meeting of similarly repulsive bottom-feeders? How is Sharpton still considered influential, despite a resume that reads like something from a Jerry Springer pay-per-view special? Why do I continue to subject myself to the likes of Obama and Sharpton without drinking more?

Swimming around with those questions was another, more pertinent inquiry. Why would Obama bother risking his dwindling popularity by consorting with such debris? He has no re-election with which to contend, and his base requires no shoring. The sort of folks who would willingly attend an event in the same ZIP code as a guy like Sharpton would vote for Obama if he deliberately attempted to defraud the entire Nation in an attempt to wrest control of medical decisions from doctors and award it to Federal bureaucrats — not that anyone would ever display such arrogance.

Perhaps our man Barry has convinced himself that the adoration of hate groups, pseudo-journalists and Hollywood multi-millionaires makes up for the animus of the majority of Americans. Perhaps he believes that the Americans like him enough to forgive him for Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, the National Security Agency’s reading Grandma’s email and the Internal Revenue Service’s bludgeoning citizens for objecting to any of the aforementioned. Perhaps he actually thinks people will ignore the images of Federal storm troopers assaulting a pregnant woman and a cancer victim while trying to crush a family cattle rancher in defense of a small reptile. Perhaps he honestly believes that dismissing accepting the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius will somehow mitigate the damage done not only to his own legacy, but to his party’s future electoral hopes.

There’s a miscalculation inherent in Obama and the Democrats’ thinking. By consistently playing to their low-information base, they’re preaching to the proverbial choir. Sure, the applause and adulation are nice; but playing to their base involved ignoring, defrauding and even physically attacking the sizable majority of Americans. Obama is wildly popular, but only among an increasingly small wedge of the population. This fall, the Democrats are going to pay a stiff electoral price for his hubris. What’s worse, his arrogant refusal to even acknowledge our outrage has likely saddled his party with a debt that will require them to pay in installments, with the next one coming due in 2016. And I somehow doubt that Sharpton and the National Action Network have the dough to cover the tab.

–Ben Crystal

How Obama Defines ‘Equal’

The Great Eight: Some paychecks are more equal than others. The Democrats’ $6 billion woman. And: we’re going to need a bigger cat. All this, plus, the worst bumper sticker ever! Presented in 1080 hi-def, FOR FREE! It’s The Great Eight, from the Personal Liberty Digest!

 

TRANSCRIPT:

(clapping) It’s time. From Personal Liberty Digest studios. (clapping) It’s time for this weeks Great Eight.

And now the bench warmer himself, Ben Crystal.

Feds destroying property, assaulting citizens, and violating the Constitution over a turtle. Sadly, that’s about right these days. (laughter) With his boss pushing so-called ‘equal pay’, Jay Carney had to explain why President Obama only pays White House women a percentage of what he pays their male counterparts. Said Carny…bros before hoes, yo! (laughter)

Meanwhile, at the State Department we can’t find that $6 billion anywhere. We asked Hilary and she said to check under the Rose Law Firm billing records. (laughter)

I knew I smelled a rat, (laughter) look at the size of that thing, must be one of them city rats. (laughter)

Accomplice General Eric Holder said this week he’d like to force gun owners to wear special bracelets in order to exercise their Constitutional rights. Jewelry Eric? You shouldn’t have. (laughter) But look we’ve got something for you too. (laughter)

Harry Reid wants senators who accepted donations from the Koch brothers to “wear insignias.” What, like a yellow star for their chests? Maybe we can just tattoo it on their forearms, right Harry? (laughter) Just don’t tell Chuck Schumer.

Democrat Jim Moran thinks members of Congress are “under paid.” What’s the matter Jimmy, $174 thousand not enough to cover bail for you and the kid. (laughter) Have you thought about not hitting girls?

Here’s a question Lois Lerner CAN answer: You like prison food? (laughter)

Oh, yea, because dodging imaginary sniper fire is way easier at the Four Seasons. (laughter)

And that’s our Great Eight for the week kiddies from the Personal Liberty Digest. I’m Ben Crystal saying “Adios Kathleen, don’t let the door hit you on the way out” (clapping)

The Best Flea In The Circus

I have never felt badly for White House press secretary Jay Carney before. Actually, I still don’t feel badly for him; it’s more that I don’t envy him. I sympathize with the lead marionette in President Barack Obama’s sock puppet show; but I don’t — I can’t — empathize with him. After all, he took the job. And with that job comes certain inescapable duties. Serving as the press secretary for Obama requires the officeholder to face less fire than most, since the ideological kinship between the lapdog media and their man, Barry, borders on the incestuous. But even Obama can test the limits of their adoration. And when he does, it falls to poor Carney to grimace, adjust his ironic hipster glasses and try to soothe the media’s delicate feelings.

Monday afternoon, Carney stood his post when Obama blundered into yet another snare of his own making. Obama proclaimed Tuesday would be “National Equal Pay Day.” Given the Democrats’ tendency to wrap themselves in the righteous outrage of whichever self-identified victim class is currently in vogue, Obama’s announcement barely qualified as noteworthy. Democrats love co-opting other people’s suffering — especially when the suffering opens the door to a talking point like the Democrats’ oft-cited, yet entirely fictional, conservative “war on women.”

Unfortunately for Carney, someone noticed the elephantine hypocrisy wandering around the White House. It might have been ladies’ night in the Oval Office, but the rest of the Obama Administration clearly remained a man’s world. And in a sign that the love affair between the media and Obama has hit one of its periodic rough patches, a correspondent from the normally affectionate press corps hoisted Carney on Obama’s gender-bias petard. During the Q&A, a reporter noted the discrepancy between Obama’s equal-pay platitudes and his own workplace policies, specifically citing the American Enterprise Institute’s discovery of the 88 cents on the dollar earned by White House women compared to their male counterparts — a fact we’ve pointed out here at Personal Liberty on multiple occasions. And that’s when Carney found himself right smack in the middle of God’s little acre, east of the rock and west of the hard place.

I think that those studies look at, uh, the aggregate of everyone on staff. And that includes some of the most junior levels to the most senior. What I can tell you is that we have, as an institution here, have aggressively addressed this challenge. And obviously, though, at the end of the [inaudible] 88 cents that you cite, that is not 100, but it is better than the national average.

That was the moment I felt just a twinge of regret on his behalf. Because his boss is a duplicitous reprobate, Carney actually had to say that out loud — and with a straight face. Presented with Obama’s failure to live up to his own standards, Carney could do no better than a halfhearted excuse which translates to, “We’re probably better than average.”

Before Carney picked up the lead fan in Obama’s stage show, he served as the top mouthpiece for Vice President Joe Biden. I expect even the endless damage control required of an Obama spokesman seems almost relaxing when compared to the shame of working for a gibbering buffoon like Biden. Carney certainly could have stayed at TIME magazine, where mouthing leftist tripe delivers a smaller paycheck and less infamy than his current posting, but carries with it less risk of public humiliation than working for a pathological liar like Obama. Unfortunately for our pal, Jay, he forgot one of politics’ — and life’s — most important lessons: If you lie with Democrats, you’re bound to be a flea.

–Ben Crystal

Surfing The Web Of Tolerance

I pride myself on my tolerance. I tolerate it when I’m stuck in line at the grocery store behind the guy who’s paying for his malt liquor with pocket change. I tolerate it when my dogs decide to wake me up early on Sunday morning. I tolerate the hammerhead in the Prius with the “Think Globally, Act Locally” sticker who thinks 64 mph in the passing lane is “2 Fast 2 Furious.” In fact, I’m so tolerant that I even tolerate the existence of ideas other than mine.

Here at Personal Liberty, we share a rather obvious libertarian/conservative attitude. But not everyone who writes for Personal Liberty shares identical opinions about everything. Unlike your more homogenized liberal “news” outlets, we not only don’t censor dissent, but we encourage it. There’s a whole section right below this article set aside just for you to hash out how much you loved this piece, or hated this piece, or think Bob Livingston should replace me with “Marmaduke.”

We sport a surprising diversity of opinion among the many fine writers who share their thoughts with you. For example, our newsroom and editorial staff are riddled with SEC fans. I think Mr. Livingston himself roots for Auburn. Yet I tolerate their woeful choice in sports fandom. I’m pretty sure John Myers is either a Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks fan, and that’s the NHL version of pulling for one of those conferences that plays its bowl games in late November.

Quite a few people here don’t share my opinion that same-sex marriage should be legal. Others don’t agree that marijuana should be legal. And there is no shortage of you who have expressed less-than-convivial tones regarding my collection of firearms and my belief that the Bill of Rights ought to be the only license I need for it.

We disagree on some politics. We disagree on some social issues. We don’t all vote for the same people in national elections. We don’t necessarily even support the same Presidential candidates — although I’m going to predict that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will find few followers here should he get a hand on the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination.

I know some of you dear visitors to our stop on the information superhighway have fairly high opinions of the work we do here. I also know a few of you think our venture is several steps below the Web’s intellectual sub-basement. As an aside, I often wonder why you torture yourselves so; but that’s a different rumination entirely. And I know this about you, because you share it with us. Moreover, we allow you to do so at your convenience. In fact, as I noted earlier, we ask for your input. Unless your remarks are profane, libelous or involve a chance for us to make $10 million if we just allow you to borrow our bank accounts for a Nigerian wire transfer, chances are we’re going to let them into the fray. Even if you think only gay marriage should be legal, even if you believe everyone should be required to inject themselves with heroin before leaving the house in the morning, and even if you think the guy down the street with the unmarked and windowless van should be allowed to recruit our children right off the playground for Obamacare, we’re probably going to allow you to say it. All right, the serious-looking cats who handle the business end of our site might skim that last one off the top.

But we tolerate it. And if you’re still reading this, you do, too. To be honest, I don’t think I would enjoy a world in which everyone thought the same things about everything that I think. To me, that sounds like one of the lower levels of perdition, or the inner sanctum of one of those hate groups funded by George Soros. Furthermore, in a world where both of us share identical thoughts on everything, you’re vestigial; and I would miss you.

All things being equal, I’m a reasonably tolerant dude working for an extraordinarily tolerant operation. I’m nothing like the poor saps stuck toiling for the Mozilla Corporation, where even mild dissent on non-business-related political issues voiced six years ago can get you fired today.

–Ben Crystal

Inconceivable!

Regular readers of Personal Liberty know I tend to quote the sword-wielding Spaniard Inigo Montoya from the film “The Princess Bride.” Since the Democrats enjoy such a cozy relationship with Hollywood, I suppose it’s ironic that a line made famous by Hollywood would so perfectly fit the plot twists and cliff-hangers proffered by President Barack Obama’s legacy-defining Obamacare rollout. In the immortal words of the simple, but wise, Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I love that line — partially because it’s a terrific bit of writing, partially because Mandy Patinkin delivered it perfectly and partially because it’s an appropriate rejoinder to almost any claim Obama and the Obamacare horde might make.

For those victims of the teachers’ unions, “you” would be the teeming masses of Obamacare cheerleaders who continue to spout already-debunked talking points, phantom “success stories” and fictional “enrollment” numbers while either ignoring, discounting or outright slandering the sources of real-life horror stories created by Barry’s Big, Huge Fraud.

The “word” would be — as the latest in a series of delayed “deadlines” passes with yet another multi-car pileup at the Obamacare exit from the information superhighway — virtually every promise Obama and his accomplices made regarding every aspect of Obamacare.

But Montoya is hardly the lone “Princess Bride” character to serve as an apt metaphor for the Democrats’ showing over the past six years. While Inigo’s signature phrase fits the Democrats’ inexplicably rosy view of the Obamacare disaster like the holocaust cloak fit Fezzik, the Democrats themselves size up pretty well as Inigo’s ill-fated boss, that diminutive devil Vizzini. Even as each page in the Obamacare script has been forced into drastic rewrites, they’ve pressed on with their scam like Inigo’s pint-size employer. Despite increasingly predictable failures at every turn, neither the Democrats nor Vizzini hesitated to undertake their sinister tasks. With his own impending doom well known to every sensible observer, Vizzini considered failure “inconceivable!” Sounds like someone we all know and loathe.

Much like the incompetent, but overconfident, villain in “The Princess Bride,” the Democrats have been caught lying more often than Bill Clinton at a plus-size models’ convention. Yet they continued on their mission to take control of Americans’ personal healthcare decisions. While some of their subterfuges have bordered on comedic — witness Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempt to deny remarks he just finished making — most have been more blatant. Even as the sands ran out of the hourglass on March 31 hourglass with hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of people lost in Obamacare’s glitch-riddled digital minefields, the Democrats proclaimed 7 million new “enrollees.”

Put aside the fact that, according to the Democrats, the 7 million “enrollees” include pretty much everyone who’s typed “Healthcare.gov” and then successfully hit “enter.” The new milestone accidentally made a liar out of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Granted, Pelosi was already a liar; but in claiming 7 million enrollees, the Obamacare pushers were cutting 2 million off the number Pelosi herself pushed just the day before.

Tuesday afternoon, Obama stood in the Rose Garden and declared: “The debate over repealing (Obamacare) is over.” Perhaps Obama forgot about the millions of cancellations he falsely promised wouldn’t happen. Maybe he remains unaware that the overwhelming majority of uninsured Americans remain so, despite his many assurances to the contrary. Perhaps he missed the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans have never, and likely will never, support his ham-fisted bureaucratic morass. To quote Vizzini: “Inconceivable!” To paraphrase Inigo Montoya: Hello. You killed my healthcare. Prepare to lose.

–Ben Crystal

Yee Of Little Faith

California State Senator Leland Yee is hardly the first politician to sacrifice whatever principles he might have had on the altar of power and money. Obviously, Yee isn’t the first Democrat to lurch from crusader to crook. Heck, factor in President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s disastrous Operation Fast and Furious, and Yee isn’t even the only liberal to build his career on opposing the Bill of Rights to get caught trafficking illegal weapons to homicidal thugs. Actually, given Obama’s own Syrian misadventures, Yee isn’t even the lone Democrat to “allegedly” participate in political graft that involved funneling weapons to islamofascists.

So maybe those redoubtable town criers in the media are ignoring Yee’s indictment on multiple Federal charges, including weapons trafficking and campaign fraud, because he’s a fairly unremarkable example of the corrosive effects of political power on those whose entire ideology rests on the pursuit of power for power’s sake. A hypocritical liberal is, after all, about as unusual as a rapist at an Occupy riot.

Still, it strikes me that such a tale of even a minor-league pol from a godforsaken Gomorrah like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s lair ought to be worth more than a few column inches in a couple of newspapers. Yet Yee’s name disappeared behind the veil of breathless media coverage of Gwyneth Paltrow’s divorce and the usual Democrat-scripted attempts to excuse the latest fraud to fall out of Obamacare.

In the name of fair research, I perused a fairly wide section of purported news sources throughout the weekend to see if the story of one of America’s leading anti-gun rights crusaders becoming one of America’s leading arms traffickers had fallen into the memory hole of weekend news coverage. Visits to NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, CNN.com, NYTimes.com, ABCNews.com and CBSNews.com produced precisely zero front-page mentions of Yee’s sordid saga. Even the presence of a hoodlum like Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow didn’t manage to swing many self-professed journalists away from repeating liberal fantasies like “6 million Obamacare ‘enrollees’” or “global warming is real.”

I couldn’t help but wonder how our stalwart media would cover the sad saga of Yee’s descent into ignominy were Yee a Republican from South Carolina instead of a Democrat from San Francisco. So, last Friday, I posted to my Facebook page a link to a story about Yee’s implosion and noted the peculiar lack of coverage it has engendered. One friend of mine, a writer who lists perilously to port, suggested that fear of being branded racist has scared most journalists away from the Yee story. Considering the fact that the Democrats have slapped the racist label on virtually everyone who’s dared call attention to Obama’s lying, cheating and stealing, my pal may have a point. But then, anyone who can honestly lay claim to the title “journalist” stopped worrying about liberal libel quite a while back. Besides, putty-faced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid devolved into a gibbering slander-monkey years ago. Last week, the poor old sap managed to call himself a liar over his on-the-record statement that “all” Obamacare victims were lying shills paid by some conservative supervillain — and the media have stepped around that freak show like a prime-time TV viewer avoiding CNN. My take: The Yee blackout is just another case of a partisan media protecting one of its own.

An anti-Bill of Rights crusader from an anti-Bill of Rights nest like San Francisco in the heart of an anti-Bill of Rights wasteland like California went down for weapons trafficking. That, my friends, is a story. It’s got irony! It’s got tragedy! It’s got “Shrimp Boy”! If only it had had a conservative, it might have earned some coverage.

–Ben Crystal

Obamacare V. The First Freedom

To be honest, we should all probably be a bit mortified that Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby even slithered through the door to the Supreme Court. After all, if there’s a clearer case of deliberate violation of the 1st Amendment guarantee of religious liberty than Obamacare’s illegal requirement that privately owned companies pay for abortions, than some lawyer isn’t working hard enough. Although Obamacare has been repeatedly and comprehensively exposed as the biggest fraud in human history, the Democrats’ lust for power has led them to not only deny that President Barack Obama’s lies matter, but that his lies supersede the Bill of Rights.

Hobby Lobby was founded in 1970 by David and Barbara Green. The Greens, devout Southern Baptists, managed to shepherd a $600 loan into 561 stores providing jobs to more than 13,000 people. Then, Obama imposed his fraud-riddled regulatory nightmare on the Nation despite an overwhelming lack of popularity, compelling the Greens to examine the health benefits they would be forced to offer their employees. The Greens discovered that Obamacare required them to foot the bill for not only their employees’ contraception, but their abortions.

And that’s when the Greens, recognizing that their own religious liberty was under Presidential attack, decided to fight back. With Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (herself a repeatedly exposed liar) bringing the full force of the Federal government to bear on their (not to mention their employees’) livelihoods, the Greens headed to court — tiny Davids forced into battle against Obama’s governmental Goliath.

Despite the desperate reframing of the argument as somehow involving something to which self-described feminists refer as their “right to choose,” the central tenet of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and a number of similar cases actually rests on whether the religious freedom of the proprietor counts as much as the sex life of the employee.

Now, before the more “liberated” among you accuse me of being prudish, consider: The Greens have imposed no religious requirements on Hobby Lobby’s employees. Their employees’ health coverage includes 16 of the 20 items required by Obamacare’s fraudulent fiat — excepting only “abortifacients,” items specifically designed to terminate pregnancy. They simply don’t wish to subjugate their Constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom to the Democrats’ belief that life begins when one pays their first union dues installment. As noted on Hobby Lobby’s website:

While the Green family has no moral objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved drugs and devices that are part of the federal mandate, providing drugs or devices that have the potential to terminate a life conflicts with their faith.

And that’s all Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood v. Sebelius, Obamacare v. Bill of Rights and Democrat Demagoguery v. Future Generations is really about. It’s not that “Your boss shouldn’t be involved in your health care decisions,” as suggested by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s promiscuity poster girl and sock puppet Sandra Fluke. The Greens have indicated no interest in their employees’ healthcare. It’s certainly not about “Viagra,” as inexplicably declared by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Kermit Gosnell’s Fantasies). It’s about whether the first freedom guaranteed by the 1st Amendment can withstand the truly Machiavellian machinations of a liberal star chamber that honestly believes their hatred of the most innocent among us should rule the day.

–Ben Crystal

The Guns And The Glory

A traveling gun show visited Savannah, Ga., this past weekend. As always, I gladly paid the entry fee to spend a few hours browsing the arena-sized showroom. I don’t visit the gun show just to fondle the M2 Browning “Ma Deuce” one of the regular dealers always sets up behind his table — although I am impressed by such a fascinating (not to mention still fielded and functional) piece of history.

I also love to linger around the AR accessories. My own AR, to which I unapologetically refer as the “M4-gery,” is a continual work in progress, something to which AR owners will relate. This past weekend, I went in looking for an inside-the-waistband holster for my compact 1911 and found it with minimal effort. But even when I’m not in a buying frame of mind, I still never miss a chance to attend.

I enjoy the camaraderie, the characters and even the smell of cosmoline. The gun show is like a gigantic family reunion. I chat with real American small businessmen whom I see three or four times a year. I ooh and aah at the Norinco NDM-86, which would almost be worth the months of ramen noodles I’d have to eat in order to afford it. I chuckle quietly to myself over the guys who sell painfully obvious Chinese knockoffs; this year, Magpul stocks seemed to be the clone du jour.

Most of all, I marvel at the guns. Table after table sports firearms in virtually every conceivable shape, function and caliber. There are the pink faux-ivory handled .22 derringers just begging for a place in someone’s purse. There are rifles in calibers ranging from “squirrel” to “Holy cow! That elephant is definitely charging!” and every bore in between. Shotguns from the .410 starter perfect for Junior’s first hunt all the way to the Purdeys that cost more than a European sports sedan, if not the European sports sedan’s owner’s house. And for every firearm, no matter the caliber, there are magazines by the mile and ammunition by the palette-load.

Crowded into this forum of firepower are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who either own, plan to own or are about to own a firearm. The demographics of the Savannah area are fairly unusual in that Savannah is home to Hunter Army Airfield, itself home of the 1st Ranger Battalion. Fort Stewart, home of the 3rd Infantry Division, is a short march away. Just across the river lie Parris Island and the Beaufort MCAS. And the local airport provides hangars to the 165th Air National Guard Unit. Essentially, the Savannah area counts among its residents literally thousands of people who have been professionally trained to kill people. And many of those servicemen and women make the gun show a must-do.

Just imagine the scene: a civic arena full of firearms, enough ammunition to fuel a lifetime of range visits, and humans in all shapes and sizes, at least a plurality of whom are occupationally capable of mowing down a small town with a Crickett .17hmr and one of those weirdly ornate double-ended swords offered at the collectible knives table. And yet, despite the plethora of “killing machines” and the battalion-sized group of ostensibly trained killers, not a single shot was fired. Despite thousands of weapons and thousands of rounds within arm’s length of hundreds of people who know precisely how to use them against other people, no one suffered worse than a paper cut. (I’m guessing there.)

By liberal logic, even a small gun show should produce mass casualties and mayhem galore. Given the size of this past weekend’s event and the military backgrounds of so many of the attendees, this past weekend should have erupted in a conflagration of killing the likes of which doesn’t normally exist outside one of those Third World countries where murder is the unofficial national sport. Give a couple members of the 1st Ranger Battalion a .50 Browning M2 and say goodbye to a significant number of targets, presuming the Rangers are inclined to open fire.

It didn’t happen. It never happens. Savannah, along with cities across America, hosts gun shows on a fairly regular basis. And Savannah is home to a peculiarly high number of active, reserve and retired service personnel, people whom Secretary of State John Kerry has indicated are either too stupid or too dangerous to do anything nonviolent with their lives. And yet, unlike the “gun-free” zones that liberals promise will turn America into a blissfully nonviolent paradise, the gun show came and went without incident.

The Democrats would have you believe that the mere presence of a firearm in your world, much less your home, dramatically increases your likelihood of falling victim to someone they call “Gun Violence.” I spent the better part of my Saturday literally surrounded by not only guns, but people who really know how to use them. Not only did I not meet anyone named “Gun Violence,” it would appear that no such person even bothered to show up.

When I got home, I checked the gun safe. My firearms were all there, sitting in precisely the same spots I assigned to them. Much like the weapons on display at the gun show, not one of my guns has ever been so much as aimed at another human being, much less fired at one. According to the anti-Bill of Rights crowd, gun shows should naturally produce absolute bloodbaths. Saturday’s didn’t. At least, I’m fairly certain it didn’t. I left after a while and went home to not shoot anyone. I wonder if that means I’m doing it wrong.

–Ben Crystal

College Professor Attacks Child, Crows ‘Try And Stop Us’

Many fine institutions of higher learning dot the landscape throughout sunny California. Indeed, some of the more highly regarded halls of academe call the Golden State home. Among them is most decidedly not the University of California at Santa Barbara. It’s not that a fine education can’t be mined from the darkened tunnels of the fourth or fifth best college in Santa Barbara; it’s just that the quality education lies buried underneath dense layers of pseudo-academic fluff.

And by “fluff,” I mean subjects such as feminist studies — specifically, “Race, gender and sexuality in visual culture and sex industries in the United States.” Indeed, $37,000 per year seems a bit steep to learn at the feet of the noted sage, Mireille Miller-Young, Ph.D., about such crucial topics as “Pornification: Sex and Sexuality in Media Culture, Blackness and Sexualities.” Nonetheless, if Mom and Dad can live with the apple of their eye burning off the cost of a decent home in the suburbs while running their highlighter through the pages of “C’Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader,” then have at it.

A word of caution, however: If your child has any inkling that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has found its way into Miller-Young’s classroom — and by extension, the entire UCSB campus — prepare for disappointment. Not only does Miller-Young abhor the concept of a free society, she’s prepared to physically assault anyone who gets too close to “Queer Theory and Pornography” without accepting her dystopian vision.

A couple weeks ago, a pro-life group named “Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust” set up a display in a section of the UCSB campus specifically designated a “free-speech zone.” While the mission of these activists, including a 16-year-old girl, ought to be fairly self-explanatory, Miller-Young feels rather strongly that such a mission has no business on her college’s campus, even in a designated “free-speech zone.” In fact, Miller-Young, shepherd of young minds, considers destruction of property and even violence to accomplish such her “moral right,” provided the property in question is a pro-life sign held by a teenager.

Thus did Miller-Young violently attack the young lady who refused to toe her anti-life line, stealing and destroying the girl’s sign. As Miller-Young herself crowed following her violent assault on a 16-year-old, “I’m stronger, so I was able to take the poster.” She even went so far as to defend her attack on a child by designating herself a “conscientious objector,” albeit the first conscientious objector who believes might makes right.

I have no doubt that there are many fine professors at UCSB. I’d be willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of them manage to get through nearly every semester without so much as directing an angry word toward a child, much less drawing a child’s blood. Unfortunately, Morris-Young — self-professed feminist and “Co-Convener of the Black Sexual Economies Working Group, sponsored by the Center for Work and Social Capital at Washington University School of Law, and Co-Founder and Co-Convener of New Sexualities” and her disturbing tendency to revert to violence before reason — has seriously blunted their credibility.

This is the new America, my friends. Racism, misogyny and violence are unacceptable — unless the victims are Allen West, Sarah Palin and teenage girls, respectively. And lest you protest the hypocrisy, remember: The perpetrators of the aforementioned crimes are not only the real victims, but they’re the real heroes. Just ask Miller-Young. In an unintentional demonstration of what liberalism has become, she turned to the camera during her crime and crowed: “Try and stop us.”

–Ben Crystal

Obamacare’s Real Victims

So far, 2014 has been a roller coaster for Larry Basich of Las Vegas. The poor guy kicked off the year with a New Year’s Eve heart attack. Fortunately for Basich, not only did he survive his encounter with the reaper, he’d purchased a sparkling new insurance policy through the technological paradise of Obamacare’s exchange. Unfortunately, Basich’s Presidentially guaranteed coverage appears to have disappeared into one of the memory holes that have plagued so many people since the rollout of President Barack Obama’s legacy-defining legislative monstrosity.

In fact, despite the fact that Basich bought a plan through the State’s Nevada Health Link exchange in mid-November (after weeks of trying), he doesn’t seem to have a plan to show for it. Despite making monthly payments since he signed up, he doesn’t appear to have gotten much for his money. As of right now, Basich is facing medical bills in excess of $400,000; and the plan he found through Obamacare is lost in the Internet fog. He started with a coronary, and then found out his “silver” level Obamacare plan was actually cheap tin.

And then the real shocker arrived. According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Basich’s own Senator from the Silver State), Basich doesn’t exist. Three weeks ago, Reid took to the Senate floor to declare: “[T]here’s plenty of (Obamacare) horror stories being told. All of them are untrue…”

By Reid’s reckoning, Basich hasn’t been ripped off by a system whose creator swore unequivocally would work without a flaw because there is no Basich. Of course, Reid’s logic doesn’t explain how a figment of someone else’s imagination managed to hack his way through Obamacare’s byzantine jungle of glitches and misinformation, enroll in a specific plan and even make scheduled payments for that plan; but Reid and logic seldom collide in the same sentence.

Despite the wringer through which Obamacare has run him, Basich is enjoying a joyously fresh start compared to Julie Boonstra. She began her year under a dark enough cloud, considering she’s fighting leukemia. But cancer isn’t the only villain that stalked her into the New Year. Because she courageously told the truth about her own personal Obamacare horror story, she has also turned up the in cross hairs of the Democratic Party. While the liberal media attack dogs, including The Washington Post, Mother Jones and others have subjected her to withering fire, Michigan Senatorial candidate Gary Peters has gone so far as to threaten the media outlets that dare to tell her harrowing tale. By choosing not to simply crawl away and die quietly while Obama and his liberal accomplices — most of whom are conveniently exempt from Obamacare — continued to push their multitrillion-dollar fraud, Boonstra has become a target for the shock troops deployed by the left against anyone who dares question their criminal enterprise.

Viewed from a human perspective, Boonstra’s fate is a preventable tragedy engineered by the Orwellian overlords of Obamacare. Viewed from a liberal perspective, Boonstra’s fate is her just deserts for disloyalty to the Democrat cause. For Boonstra and so many others like her, 2014 is the year she learned that the President of the United States prefers cancer to cancer patients.

These are two tragic stories out of millions the lapdog media won’t tell about a fraud the Democrats deny and about which the President lies. Unlike the bogus enrollment figures that the media keep breathlessly reporting on their liberal masters’ behalf, Basich and Boonstra are real people. Moreover, unlike the bogus enrollees being touted by Obamacare’s pushers, they’re real victims.

Note from the Editor: As you’ve just read, the Obamacare abomination doesn’t bode well for anyone. But if you know how to navigate the system you can still control your own healthcare—as every American should! My trusted friend and medical insider, Dr. Michael Cutler, and I have written a concise guide to help you do just that. I urge you… Click here for your free copy.

–Ben Crystal

Laughing At God

Most of you who regularly peruse the digital pages of Personal Liberty Digest™ have no doubt referred to our liberal friends as “sheeple” or noted their tendency to “drink the Kool-Aid” or employed some similar, and similarly pejorative, allusion to the left’s monolithic lack of intellectual heterogeneity. I won’t fault you for that. I would offer a caveat, however.

Call it an adjunct to the Golden Rule. Don’t assume the Democrat in front of you is dumber than a box of hair just because the Democrat to his left can’t form a complete sentence without cribbing it from MSNBC. Just because comedian Bill Maher has reached the penthouse level of liberal politics doesn’t mean all Democrats share his white-hot hatred for women, common decency and — according to President Barack Obama’s million-dollar man, Maher himself — God.

During a visit to the sad remnants of NBC’s once-respected “Meet the Press,” Maher crowed God is a “psychotic mass murderer.” Maher’s remarks were stupidly sacrilegious; I suspect intentionally so. Considering the fact that he once vanity-produced an entire feature-length rant about hating religion, I don’t think there are too many folks who are as yet unaware that Maher has a low opinion of the Creator.

Don’t misunderstand my intent. Obviously, I do not speak for God. He neither needs, nor wants, my help. And much like every single human being not named Jesus Christ, I’m not qualified for the gig. If Maher or his fellow Democratic “funny” person Sarah Silverman wants to deny the Maker, he or she is welcome to it. They don’t have to acknowledge God, although He certainly knows them.

But just because a Democratic superstar like Maher is gambling against perdition doesn’t mean that the sad sacks who laugh at his misogyny have booked the same passage, does it? Surely, not all Democrats loathe the Lord like Maher. I do seem to recall a fairly sizable group of scab protesters hired by the Democrats cheerfully shouting “Hail Satan!” in Austin, Texas, last summer. And, to the best of my recollection, they gathered in support of abortion. I harbor no illusions about speaking on behalf of the Almighty, but I feel pretty confident that He has an even lower opinion of abortion than He does of Maher (who can still be forgiven, by the way).

Still, I’d hate to fall into the same judgmental trap into which the Democrats blunder every time they see a guy unfurl a Confederate flag (hardly a crime) at a Tea Party rally. An embittered actor with serious mommy issues and a bunch of shrieking abortion harpies shouldn’t force the entire left into therapy, right?

And yet, I recall the Democrats’ Presidential nominating convention in 2012. During the debate over the simple inclusion of God in their official party platform, the floor erupted in a rousing chorus of boos. That’s probably worth repeating, Obama-style. Let me be clear: They. Booed. God.

Our Democrat friends seem quite comfortable tarring us all with the same brush. And when they can’t find an instance that sufficiently elevates their gorge, they just invent one; Representative John Lewis’s infamous “phantom spittle” incident comes to mind. Each time they do manage to link some semi-fictional episode to every conservative from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Fairbanks, Alaska, I not only object, I actually pity them just a bit. How ugly their world must be, so skewed by hatred for and fear of everyone and everything different than they.

But I urge you all to remember: Don’t sink to their level. Just because one of the most powerful and visible members of their party hierarchy, a passel of pro-abortion protesters and a healthy helping of their conventioneers are blaspheming lunatics doesn’t mean all Democrats are blaspheming lunatics, does it?

I by no means intend to sermonize. God knows who I am, and He knows I’m far from sainthood. But Maher and his fellow liberals don’t just deny the Savior; they hate Him. Whatever they might be risking is their own proverbial cross to bear. But if the Democrats hate Him, imagine how they feel about you.

–Ben Crystal

Night Of The ManBearPig: The Senate Sleeps Over

Inspired, perhaps, by President Barack Obama’s State of the Union declaration that they’re as important to governing as a motorcycle is to a fish, the U.S. Senate took some action of their own this week. While their efforts might not equate to an Obama-esque “year of action,” they did manage to cobble together a night of action. Well, some of our beloved Senators took time out of their busy schedules to participate in a Senatorial bull session. All right, a handful of them got their jammies and blankies and threw themselves a Senate-floor sleepover.

But let’s not indict the absentees for missing out on the chance to toast marshmallows and tell ghost stories. It’s not as if they missed out on anything more than a good night’s rest. The Senate’s big night in didn’t produce, or even discuss, the trillions of dollars Obama has added to our crushing National debt. They didn’t untangle us from the fraudulent knots of Obamacare. They didn’t hear articles of impeachment against Obama for illegally deploying the Internal Revenue Service as a political cudgel. They didn’t demand Obama and his accomplices pull back the curtain of lies they’ve thrown over Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the funneling of weapons to al-Qaida in Syria. They didn’t even put an end to the Orwellian machinations of the National Security Agency and the illegal surveillance they swear they’re not conducting on American citizens.

Nope, rather than use their late-night lock-in to lighten the load our increasingly sinister executive branch has laid across our backs, 28 members of the upper house of Congress burned the midnight oil to discuss a discredited theory that is so divorced from actual science that its pushers have been forced to change its name no fewer than three times in the past three decades. With the exception of Democrats who are facing re-election bids in States where job- and industry-crushing pseudoscience sell like a Hillary Clinton campaign speech to a Sheriff Joe Arpaio fundraiser (not to mention Senators with better dinner plans), the people charged with handling Congress’ heaviest lifting spent an entire evening in an ersatz hippie drum circle discussing “global cooling” “global warming” “climate change” “ManBearPig.”

More than two dozen of what ostensibly ought to be some of the finest leaders our great Nation can produce spent an entire night exhaling enough carbon dioxide emissions for a year’s worth of Al Gore’s private jet travels — but over neither Presidential lying, spying nor crying. Instead, they talked about “global warming,” clearly blissfully ignorant of the epic cold, snow and ice delivered by this record-setting winter.

The Senate’s lock-in was led by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and featured face time from the usual suspects, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Chuck Schumer (D-the closest camera). Actually, as I perused the roster of attendees to the Senate Climate Action Task Force’s 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. babblefest, something occurred to me: Those 28 Senators spent the wee small hours talking about — but not actually doing anything about — a cartoonish hoax that would need a boost to reach the lofty scientific heights of phrenology and Piltdown Man. And I can’t think of a better place, or time, for all 28 of them.

–Ben Crystal

Behind The Bear

Behind the inexplicably bare-chested swaggering of President Vladimir Putin, Russia has done to Ukraine precisely what Russia has made a habit of doing to its neighbors since before Ivan was Terrible. Given the number of Russian flags flying about Crimea these days, either most of the locals don’t mind or “don’t mind — honest!”

While the world, except for certain boys in the Greater Beijing Area, reacted with shock and dismay at Putin’s bold sack of Ukraine, President Barack Obama did precisely what he has made a habit of doing since before he turned the Nobel Peace Prize into a “participation ribbon.” Facing a crisis involving an intimidating dictator violating another nation’s sovereignty, Obama hit the links.

To be fair, Obama might not have scurried down to Key Largo, Fla., just to avoid dealing with matter of diplomacy that clearly exceeds his meager skills. I don’t mean to minimize the very real horror unfolding in Ukraine. I do mean to point out that not only does America face more serious crises, but the architect of those serious crises just teed off on the back nine, casually smiling to himself over the fact that few people are focusing on his latest swipe at the brass ring of power.

In the event you missed the latest news from the front lines of the Democrats’ war on Liberty, Obama, who is exempt from his own monstrous creation, has decreed yet another delay in the implementation of what he supposedly considers his crowning achievement: Obamacare. The fact that he lacks the Constitutional authority to decree anything regarding the implementation of his extra-Constitutional bureaucratic nightmare actually pales in comparison to the other big news: He has no idea how it’s going. According to Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, the Obama Administration isn’t even sure how many uninsured people have signed up.

Asked to estimate the number of uninsured people who have taken the Obamacare plunge, Cohen responded: “That’s not a data point we are really collecting in any sort of systematic way.” After months of technical glitches, compounded by failures, compounded by outright lying, Obama not only has no idea whether Obamacare is working for the very people for whom it’s supposedly intended, he has no idea who those people are.

Don’t ignore Obama’s latest clowning in front of Putin and the world. But don’t forget that Ukraine is a long way from places like the White House — not to mention your house. Hell, the Democrats don’t even believe the Ukrainian situation is all that urgent. Obama didn’t do more than send his cartoon character of a Secretary of State, the perpetually dumbfounded John Kerry. Even the new Democrat talking point regarding Ukraine involves an idiotic theory that conservatives are somehow rooting for Putin, although that invalidates six years’ worth of the same Democrats calling conservatives “stupid” for warning that Putin would do precisely what he did. Some people have even gone so far as to claim the nonexistent conservative support they’ve dreamed up stems from the racism they falsely assign to conservatives rather than engage in meaningful dialogue. And it’s all a show designed to distract you from the real drama at home.

Just remember, if the partisan mouthpieces in the lapdog media “report” Putin’s Ukrainian adventure in the context of a racist groundswell of support for the creep, then they’re obviously not overly concerned with the plight of the Ukrainian people, who can’t bandage their wounded, fight off their attackers or feed their defenders on stale rants by self-discredited hacks like Maureen Dowd and Rachel Maddow. More importantly, Americans can’t do much of anything with Obamacare; according to Obama’s own people, they have no idea if they even can.

–Ben Crystal

Chinese Diplomacy

From the moment Russia invaded Ukraine without so much as courtesy nod to President Barack Obama, I waited for the other shoe to drop. And then Monday, the proverbial footwear hit the deck. Far from the firestorm enveloping the suddenly Russian-controlled Crimea, the Chinese foreign ministry signaled the Chicoms’ acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian blitzkrieg. Just like that, the geopolitical village drunk has teamed up with the geopolitical village psycho. And the man who should theoretically run the town sheriff’s office was too busy defrauding his own constituents to notice.

The Chinese decision to officially overlook Putin’s decision to coldcock Ukraine in broad daylight should come as no surprise to anyone with a better understanding of global politics than the truly benighted among us (looking at you, Secretary of State John “Conflict Resolution Man” Kerry). After all, the Chinese share the same philosophical roots as Putin and the Russians. But the Chinese are vastly more dangerous to America and the free world than Putin likely fancies himself.

By no means do I mean to downplay the threat Putin presents. This is a guy who spent the bulk of his career being spooky for a living. I’ve said it before: He’s a monocle and a pet cat away from being the villain in a James Bond film. But Putin is a bully with a bellyful of liquor. He’s big and bad, but he lacks discipline. He’s Drago from “Rocky IV.” If you can withstand the initial onslaught, you have a shot. And while Putin’s backup is the ursine-esque Russian military, it’s also the ursine-esque Russian military.

Bears are trouble, but only when they’re interested. And a bear who’s spent decades, if not centuries, knocking back potato liquor can be contained.

The Chinese are far less easy to pin down, and that’s precisely how they like it. Like Putin and the Russians, the Chinese regime honestly believes that: a) the world needs to be ruled like a herd of sheep, and b) they’re just the shepherds for the job. Like Putin and the Russians, the Chinese people have never really known actual freedom — at least in the Western sense of true individual liberty. A populace indoctrinated into complacency from birth eliminates a lot of oligarchs’ headaches. But unlike Putin and the Russians, the Chinese work quietly. While Putin clears the bar, the Chinese are cleaning out the cash drawer. While the Russians built more huge stuff, the Chinese bought American debt, real estate and politicians by the truckload. While Putin shakes his fist at us from the Crimea, the Chinese are rubbing their hands together from their sizable real estate holdings right here in the heartland. While Putin challenges us to dueling pistols at noon, the Chinese are sneaking up behind us with a brick.

I am not suggesting any sort of coordinated conspiracy. The Chinese are doubtless willing to let Putin dance the lead while they hide in the shadows backstage. Think about it. Anyone who regularly visits the pages of Personal Liberty Digest™ knows who Putin is. Heck, even the loafers who flip to MSNBC after Jerry Springer finishes his “final thought” recognize the name — even if they think he’s the assistant greenkeeper at their country club. But the Chinese leadership is nowhere near as well-known. In fact, the last Chinese capo di tutti capi whose name was instantly recognizable to the American man on the street was probably Deng Xiaoping; and his last major act involved running people over with tanks.

The gross incompetence of the Obama Administration is already a matter of record. A resurgent Russia presents problems reminiscent of the Cold War — only with the added danger of a leader who has learned that his American counterpart is an anemic bookworm. Putin has intimidated Obama right out of his “mom jeans.” But the Chinese have made no such moves. It’s possible they won’t, choosing instead to quietly observe as Putin mops the floor with Obama. But the Chinese decision to bet on Putin speaks volumes. Putin may well be a bear, but the Chinese dragon is no less worrisome.

–Ben Crystal

Government School Daze

We see the horror unfold every day. Across the Nation, government-run schools have become war zones. Despite establishing “gun-free zones” from San Francisco to Sandy Hook and back, the bureaucrats have failed to provide adequate protection for our children in a world beset by people who care as much about “gun-free zones” and anti-gun laws as they do for the lives of their victims.

Thank the Savior for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Last week, it upheld a lower court’s ruling that schools have a vested interest in ensuring the safest environment possible and can move to quash danger by forbidding students from hyping that internationally despised symbol of intolerance and hate: the American flag. Specifically, the court ruled that the Morgan Hill Unified School District of Morgan Hill, Calif., did not “violate the students’ right to due process,” and it rejected that part of the students’ claim. It also rejected the students’ equal protection claim “[b]ecause the record demonstrates that the students’ shirts ‘might reasonably have led school authorities to forecast substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities.’”

Barring students from displaying the American flag out of fear that it might make the Mexican kids go loco? ¡Ay, caramba! As if that judicial tomfoolery weren’t funny enough, Cinco de Mayo isn’t actually Mexican Independence Day. It’s not even a national holiday in Mexico, where Independence Day occurs on Sept. 16. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that American kids can’t wear the American flag in American schools paid for by the American people on American soil, lest they offend the Mexicans who came to America voluntarily during their own celebration of the wrong holiday. The fact that the previous sentence is true isn’t half as terrifying as the fact that some of the top jurists in the Nation think it makes perfect sense.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Cinco de Mayo. For the whole month of May, the grocery store discounts six-packs of Mexican beer; and the pizza joint down the way offers this delicious taco pizza thing. Also, I can shoot The Great Eight in a sombrero while referring to it as “El Ocho Magnifico.” If Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo want to mark May 5 as a day to get together before study hall and reminisce about the good old days back in San Martín Texmelucan de Labastida, they’re welcome to it. I’ll even give them an “¡Olé!” for effort.

But whether Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo ventured here legally or illegally, they came to the United States because they believed it represented an opportunity for a better life than the one they left behind. Yet the flag of their adopted Nation — the shining beacon of liberty that drew them out of the darkness of low pay, institutionalized corruption and undrinkable tap water — so enrages them that they want to give the Alamo treatment to the next kid they see wearing it on a T-shirt. Hey, let’s bring in 30 million or 40 million more people like that. They seem so grateful. What they don’t seem to have is a sense of direction. In this country, they’re allowed to say “¡Viva México!” And I’m allowed to respond “U.S.A.” without their losing their chalupas over it.

Moreover, the decision is actually kind of racist. In barring the image of the American flag, the school — and subsequently the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — implies that Mexicans lack the capacity to control themselves. The same liberals who think we should grant immediate citizenship to Tomás, Ricardo and Geraldo have a pretty dim view of all three of them.

Although they don’t fall to the level of pretty much anything President Barack Obama does when he’s awake, these sorts of court-authored infringements on simple personal expression represent the exact kind of incrementalism by which the left plans to extinguish freedom. While the President batters the walls of liberty by hurling the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and his army of low-information accomplices like stones from a trebuchet, his collaborators crawl through the justice system like sappers, digging under her foundation. Meanwhile, government-school indoctrinators simultaneously teach our children to not only abhor their own heritage, but to fear the heritage of others. I feel safer already.

–Ben Crystal