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

5 Reasons Why Governor Brewer Should Veto SB 1062

By the time you read this, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer may well have vetoed SB 1062, the “protecting religious liberty” act. And she bloody well should have. Before you begin composing an indignant rebuke in the comments section, take a deep breath and read on. I’m a libertarian. I’m also a capitalist. As such, I deplore any efforts to involve government in my life, my thoughts and my wallet beyond what’s absolutely necessary.

Presuming she hasn’t done so already, here are five reasons Brewer should do to SB 1062 what hiring Piers Morgan did to CNN’s ratings:

  1. It’s pointless. SB 1062 is an amendment to Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1999. But we already enjoy religious liberty in this country; it’s guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. The fact that some hyper-litigious malcontents in New Mexico and Oregon missed that lecture in cheap-payday school doesn’t mean Arizona needs to erect legal barriers against the lawsuit lottery set.
  2. It won’t work. It’s actually written backward. You can’t claim your religious mores have been attacked by someone who doesn’t attack them. In order for SB 1062 to apply, you would have to refuse service to someone else and then get sued for doing so. That’s the legal version of closing the barn door after the cows have taken to the field. Moreover, unless a customer literally dances into your establishment wearing a rainbow flag-emblazoned T-shirt and belting out Bette Midler tunes, I’m unclear as to how you’re going to sort out his sexual identity. The last time I checked, gays don’t wear nametags.
  3. It’s bad business. If you don’t want to accommodate someone at your establishment, you’re already welcome to do so. In fact, presuming you’re willing to forgo his patronage (and, therefore, his money), feel free to do so. But a true capitalist doesn’t turn away paying customers because of the customer’s romantic preferences. It’s one thing if a customer behaves poorly, is abusive or is crude. It’s quite another if the customer has a summer home in Provincetown, 400 pairs of Prada shoes or front-row seats to the next Liza Minnelli concert. As anyone who sells anything can attest, business owners are going to have to deal with unpleasant customers, though gays are not necessarily unpleasant. If you turned away every one of them, you’d be hard-pressed to keep your business open. That’s pretty much antonymous with capitalism.
  4. The Democrats essentially supported it, until they didn’t. The key language in SB 1062 is virtually identical to the key language in the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That bill, which was co-written and co-sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), passed a Democratic-majority House and Democratic-majority Senate by wide margins, and it was immediately signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Now, the Democrats are attacking Arizona like enraged Africanized death fleas over a bill they considered a wonderful addition to their legislative resumes at the Federal level. If Brewer vetoes SB 1062, she’ll simultaneously blunt their attacks and expose their hypocrisy; and that kind of double whammy never gets old.
  5. It’s a solution in search of a problem. SB 1062 was inspired, at least in part, by execrable lawsuits filed against a photographer and baker in New Mexico and Oregon, respectively. Both those suits represented disgracefully abusive litigation. The proper response would involve punishing the filers of frivolous lawsuits in New Mexico and Oregon (and anywhere else, for that matter) — not countering government overreach with more government overreach. Big Bubba’s BBQ ’n’ Oyster Shack cannot serve Muslim or Jewish customers. Neither group needs government interference in their non-transactions. Jews and Muslims can eat somewhere else. And Bubba can keep on dishing up the Brunswick Stew ’n’ Po’ Boys. By enacting SB 1062, the government is affording Bubba protection he doesn’t need from actions Maury and Mahmoud should, and probably will, never take.

–Ben Crystal

Survey Says

Of all the left-wing hate groups that orbit inside the Democrats’ sphere of influence, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is neither the ugliest nor the most dangerous.  While it exists solely to abrogate the Bill of Rights, its motives stem neither from the unhinged racism of groups like Common Cause nor the bloodlust of the Service Employees International Union. However, while the Brady-ites might not have the stomach to march to the bigoted and violent beats of those aforementioned liberal gangs, they do display the same tendency to ignore pesky obstacles like facts — not to mention that bane of liberals everywhere: the U.S. Constitution.

Last month, the Brady bunch sent out a “survey” that it laughably claimed was designed to “… assess and improve (the Brady Campaign’s) efforts to create a nation that is free from gun violence.” Of course, with howlers like that right there in the introduction, only the nuttiest of left-wing nut jobs could remain ignorant to the goal of the “survey.” As most Personal Liberty Digest™ readers already know, the Brady Campaign and its fellow opponents of the Bill of Rights have no interest in protecting anyone or anything other than their political stature and, of course, their sizable bank accounts. The former motive is revealed by the repeated use of hackneyed phrases like “gun violence.” The latter is exposed by the fact that the Brady Campaign stumps for donations in the bloody survey itself:

14. Drawing on the history of other public health and safety campaigns in the United States, we believe that real progress on preventing gun violence in America depends on a strong collective voice. The only way we can dramatically reduce the number of gun deaths and injuries in this country is by standing together. Will you join us?

– YES! I will support the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence with a generous contribution of: < various amounts $25-$1,000 and *other >

– I want to become a Brady Champion with my monthly cred card gift of: < various amounts $5/month-$250/month and *other >

– I cannot send a gift right now, but please accept my contribution of $12 to help cover tabulation costs for this national survey.

Being the fun guy I am, I not only managed to get my mitts on one of these thinly disguised push polls, but I managed to make some adjustments thereto. Am I undertaking a fool’s errand in trying to jam sense into a group that actually considers turns-of-phrase like “gun sense” anything other than an absolute rape of the language? Probably. But it runs counter to my nature to abandon otherwise innocent Americans to the ghastly fate of those trapped in cities that have been burned to the ground by people like the Brady bunch. To put it another way: If the Brady-ites had their druthers, America would be one gigantic Detroit, with the exception of the showpiece mansions of the super rich who own the Democratic Party. Let’s be honest, kids. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn’t live in Detroit. She doesn’t speak “middle class” well; she’d be lost in a land without lattes and Botox. Feel free to play along as your buddy Ben attempts to fix something that’s probably broken beyond repair.

1. When it comes to politics, how would you describe your affiliation?

  1. Republican.
  2. Democrat.
  3. I vote for whoever offers the most free stuff.
  4. I vote for whoever threatens my freedom the least.

2. If you had to describe where you fit on the political spectrum, what would you say?

  1. Conservative.
  2. Silly.
  3. Sillier.
  4. I still subscribe to The New Yorker.

3. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is dedicated to repealing the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution through blatant fearmongering and nonsensical attempts to vilify firearms rather than the people who misuse them. Which of the following areas of its “work” are personally repellent to you?

  1. Adding the prefix “gun” to as many unfortunate and/or tragic circumstances as possible in an effort to convince people that being shot is somehow worse than being stabbed to death, beaten to death or thrown off a cliff by an Obamacare death panelist.
  2. Fighting for draconian anti-Bill of Rights laws that make for good talking points at liberal hate group rallies, but do nothing to stem the tide of actual violence in so-called “gun-free” zones.
  3. Falsely blaming firearms for the actions of people who are criminals and, therefore, are likely to be Democratic voters.
  4. Working hand in claw with President Barack Obama and his accomplices to slander law-abiding gun owners while refusing to even acknowledge the fact that Obama is a liar who has armed both Mexican narcoterrorists and al-Qaida and who, as such, is directly responsible for more bloodshed than virtually the entirety of the legal gun-owning community.

4. What is your opinion of the NRA?

  1. I’ve got the sticker on my truck.
  2. Sometimes, I worry they’re more interested in influence-peddling than actually protecting the 2nd Amendment from hate groups like the Brady Campaign.
  3. Disgraced phone-hacker and soon-to-be-ex CNN bloviator Piers Morgan says I should hate them, and I’m a good liberal.
  4. At least they don’t tell me how to live my life.

5. In light of the fact that anti-Bill of Rights laws did nothing to prevent the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, do you think lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have done enough to strengthen our Nation’s gun laws?

  1. Um, is that a serious question?
  2. I’m sorry; I keep my EarPro on at the range. Did you say something?

6. In your opinion, what are the biggest obstacles to passing laws that could dramatically infringe on the Constitutionally assured right to keep and bear arms? (Check all that apply.)

  1. The Bill of Rights.
  2. The average Americans’ ability to recognize liberal BS by the stink of it.
  3. Some public officials’ ability to stand up to bullying by leftist hate groups like the Brady Campaign.
  4. The fact that conservatives tend to rely more on facts and experience than the hysteria, hate and ignorance peddled by liberals.

7. Of the following “work” the Brady Campaign does, which do you feel is most dangerous right now? (Choose one.)

  1. Working with Congress and Obama to pass legislation at the national level that will eliminate the Bill of Rights.
  2. Helping lawmakers enact more senseless laws to blame firearms for the actions of people.
  3. Shrieking at the top of our lungs in an effort to convince the public that Congress and Obama are more qualified than the American people to determine what’s best for them.
  4. Providing a way for fewer Americans to be heard above the din of leftist fearmongering and anti-Bill of Rights ignorance.

8. Each day, in America, 32 men, women and children are murdered with guns. Another 51 people use guns to commit suicide every day. Knowing this, which of the following statements best describes how you feel about guns and gun violence?

  1. It seems unlikely that 32 men, women, and children were carrying at the time they were murdered, and not one of them got off a shot.
  2. I doubt the 51 suicides would have been less dead if they’d jumped off cliffs, swallowed a bunch of pills or subjected themselves to a Piers Morgan marathon.
  3. The Brady Campaign’s grammar is as abysmally poor as its leadership.
  4. I find the use of nonsense phrases like “gun violence” as offensive as I find Piers Morgan.

9. In your opinion, how long will it take Congress to pass laws to abridge, amend or completely abrogate the Bill of Rights?

  1. Good luck with that.
  2. If they want to keep their jobs, it better be longer than my lifespan.
  3. Medical science hasn’t advanced far enough to keep anyone — much less Congressmen — alive long enough to undo the Bill of Rights.
  4. Almost as long as Al Gore has been pushing his Grand Unified Theory of ManBearPig.

10. Please describe what factors you consider when deciding to support an organization like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence? (Check all that apply.)

  1. Whether they support Democrats or patriots.
  2. Whether I’m being held at gunpoint by the ATF.
  3. Whether I’ve received my welfare check for the month.
  4. How did I get on this mailing list?

Since the Brady Campaign’s version of the survey was really just a Byzantine fundraising scheme, I’ll be a pal and include its mailing address: 840 First St. NE, Suite 400;
Washington, D.C. 20002. Feel free to send this edition to them upon completion. You’re welcome to throw in a couple of bucks, but I’d recommend something more appropriate. Tuck a spent shell casing in the envelope.

–Ben Crystal

Day Of The Living Fairness Doctrine

The fact that the Federal Communications Commission has retreated from its plan to place monitors in newsrooms across the Nation probably rates a minor celebration. The fact that it even considered trying to place monitors in newsrooms across the country definitely rates major concern. The FCC may have abandoned its Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN), which it claimed was research into minority media ownership. But CIN had about as much to do with racial identity as National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s Benghazi excuses had to do with the actual events in that godforsaken Libyan hellhole.

According to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai (the whistle-blower who turned the spotlight on his agency’s plan to make the Nation’s media at least as independent as Pravda was during the Josef Stalin era), CIN represents more than just an incursion into news dissemination by precisely the people who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the process. CIN represents an attempted return to the dark days of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”

For those of you who have forgotten the Fairness Doctrine, it lurched into existence in the late 1940s as a Federal attempt to regulate the content of media reportage on politically charged topics. Specifically, it mandated what liberals like to refer to as “equal time” and sane folk refer to as “wasted time.” Under the strictures of the Fairness Doctrine, stations were forced by the government to give as much airtime to opposing viewpoints as they did to any expressed on their share of the airwaves. As an example, under the Fairness Doctrine, any station that aired a report on the rapidly expanding arctic and Antarctic ice sheets would be required to give equal shrift to a “report” crediting the changing weather to pseudoscientific claptrap like so-called “global warming.”

The Fairness Doctrine finally met its ignominious end in the late 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan signed an executive order recognizing that the Bill of Rights absolutely negates leftist attempts at control of the national discourse. But the CIN proves the left never gave up on the dream of an America in which free information exchange is replaced with governmentally homogenized talking points. The fact that CIN met the same end as the Fairness Doctrine in no way mitigates the fact that the Democrats tried to reanimate the Fairness Doctrine’s corpse and send it out for another attack on free speech.

These people are literally trying to do to America what Stalin did to Russia, though they’ve replaced the show trials and gulags with MSNBC and death panels. Ironically, the people who continue to watch MSNBC, support death panels and generally back any and all liberal attempts at government incursions against freedom ought to be among the last to line up behind such tyranny. After all, when Reagan finally drove a stake through the heart of the Fairness Doctrine, they were among the biggest beneficiaries. Were the Fairness Doctrine still law, CNN would be hamstrung by actual ethical standards.  Moreover, were the Fairness Doctrine still law, MSNBC wouldn’t even exist.

Allowing unelected Federal goon squads to stalk media outlets is about as bright a plan as allowing former President, admitted perjurer and sexual predator Bill Clinton to babysit your chubby teenage daughter. Whether one considers the multitrillion-dollar fraud masquerading as Obamacare; the endless array of scandals birthed by Barack Obama and his accomplices through seemingly reflexive mendacity; or even the tendency of Obama surrogates like Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Attorney General Eric Holder to lie under oath with sociopathic ease, the Obama Era has been defined by dishonesty at a level that makes Clinton’s lackeys look like George Washington.  To be honest, the only people less qualified than liberal bureaucrats to interrupt the informational chain of custody are the people who blindly support liberal bureaucrats.

The real tragicomedy lies in the fact that much like the abominable Fairness Doctrine, the CIN is entirely unnecessary. Despite the endless government attempts to sanitize the information available to the Nation, the truth nearly always finds its way out. For every Fairness Doctrine, there’s a Wikileaks. For every CIN, there’s an Edward Snowden. For every MSNBC, there’s a Personal Liberty Digest™.  I’ll allow the eloquent Pai to have the final word:

The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch. But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

–Ben Crystal

The Consensus Of Dunces

If the United States were to enact a new minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, then the people would subsequently enjoy a higher standard of living. If you don’t believe me, then take it from President Barack Obama. During his State of the Union address last month, our beloved bringer of jobs, quality healthcare and a general sense of fulfillment said a 40 percent boost in the minimum wage is “… not going to depress the economy, it’ll boost the economy.”

And Obama would know. After all, in his five years at the national helm, the unemployment rate has declined from just north of 7 percent all the way down to… just south of 7 percent. I presume that represents the “hope” portion of Obama’s original campaign. As for “change,” the actual number of Americans not working for any wage — minimum or otherwise — opened Year Six of the Obama Era at an all-time high of 91.8 million. Lest you think that can be attributed to the growth in the American population as a whole, the Labor Participation Rate — the working portion of the population — has dipped to 62.8. That’s the worst performance since President Jimmy Carter’s “malaise.”

Having established the First Community Organizer’s impressive economic acumen, there’s no reason to doubt his claims. Of course, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would move the millions of Americans who can’t afford their own private Oregonian golf courses and/or Martha’s Vineyard beachfront manors into the penthouse next to Jay-Z and Beyonce. We know this because Obama says so — and Obama built an eight-figure fortune on a career as a professional politician, which is pretty remarkable.

But Obama is not alone in cheerleading for a minimum wage hike. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Obama’s war on the private sector. Tuesday, the fabulously wealthy Reid tweeted:

And if Reid doesn’t convince you of the need for a minimum wage hike with his spirited indictment of private citizens who have violated no laws, even the ones about bid-rigging and nepotism-based conflicts of interest, you should take him at his word anyway. Because Reid’s own economic resume is unimpeachable. He’s been a professional politician since the day he graduated from law school. So there!

Not everyone seems sold on the idea that a minimum wage hike will make us all healthier, wealthier and wiser. According to the Congressional Budget Office, giving America’s minimum-wage workers a Federally mandated raise will send at least an extra 500,000 Americans to the already historically swollen unemployment lines. When the CBO noted the likely outcome of Obama’s wage-hike push, Obama surrogate Jason Furman decried their findings, claiming the CBO estimate “… goes outside the consensus view of economists when it comes to the impact of the minimum wage on employment.” The CBO is just a nonpartisan Federal agency that exists solely to track, record and predict economic data based on empirical evidence and actuarial analysis. What do the bean counters at the CBO know? They’re just professional bean counters. Obama has a “consensus.” Pay no attention to the fact that Obama also had a “consensus” on throwing taxpayer money at Solyndra, General Motors and Mexican drug gangs.

This is actually fairly simple supply and demand stuff, kids. Artificially jack up the cost, and people will find ways to work with less. Despite leftist claims to the contrary, applying basic economic principles to labor isn’t tantamount to the old “apples and oranges” rubric. Ultimately, there is no difference between labor and apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of an apple, and people will buy fewer apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of labor, and employers will hire fewer laborers. Actually, the law of supply and demand has a “necessity is the mother of invention” clause. Arbitrarily hike the price of apples, and people will buy fewer apples. Arbitrarily hike the price of labor, and someone will invent a robot to replace the laborer at 10 percent of the cost.

The proposed wage hike, which would actually join Obamacare and amnesty for illegal aliens in Obama’s arsenal of economy-killing super weapons, represents unsound economics backed by severely flawed understanding of the Constitutional separation of powers. Obama claims to have a “consensus.” I have a consensus, as well, Mr. President: The overwhelming majority of American voters can’t stand you. Try this artificial minimum wage hike, and my consensus will grow by at least a half million people.

–Ben Crystal

‘Gong Show’ Politics

I swear “The Gong Show” offered better talent. At the very least, it wasn’t anywhere near as deliberately insulting to the audience. And Chuck Barris’ claims of service in the CIA were far more believable than nearly anything President Barack Obama and/or his Democrat accomplices might offer. Also, no one on the Gong Show ever killed anyone and then pretended it didn’t happen; nor do I recall any of the “gong-ees” accusing the semi-celebrity “judges” of racism for ringing the gong.

Literally nothing Obama and his accomplices say can be taken on faith. You’d be better off trying to scare a confession out of an Afghan heroin mule. They’ve given up any pretense of honesty. And I’m not just describing their tendency toward the kind of “big lie” politics that would make Joseph Goebbels blush like a schoolgirl. To be sure, multitrillion-dollar frauds like Obamacare provide plenty of glitz. When the President of the United States balances his signature scheme on a bald-faced lie that the Democrats have ceased acknowledging, that’s a full term’s work in and of itself. The mere fact that Obama and his accomplices continue to push something that both the perpetrator and the victim know to be a con tells us everything we need to know about the type of people who have taken over the port-side political party.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not perfectly willing to provide more proof. And when I say “provide more proof,” I mean they actively make liars of themselves on a regular basis. Indeed, if you need someone to expose Obama as a liar, give him time and he’ll do it for you.

Obama recently pushed Congress into betraying the Nation by again raising the debt ceiling. I suppose we were expected to ignore the sage advice of a certain former “community organizer” turned Senator from Illinois turned Presidential debt pimp:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills… Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

And Obama’s recent announcement that he intended to step up his habit of ruling by fiat seems particularly peculiar when compared to his Royal Highness’ own statement decrying such unseemly abuse of executive authority:

The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the Executive Branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.

They called Benghazi a “phony scandal.” I feel comfortable saying that the families of the four victims of that disgraceful, and disgracefully mishandled, disaster were less than pleased to learn the President of the United States officially believes it didn’t happen. The idea that Obama would not only fail to act on his countrymen’s behalf, but then would lie about the causes and responses, continues to be one of the stains that will forever mar Obama’s legacy.

To the wandering liberal who happens upon today’s column, I suppose my words might seem like beating a dead jackass. To those benighted souls, I’ll let a more respected President than Obama will ever be do the talking:

(G)overnments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.

And if that doesn’t convince anyone, consider the equally sage advice of Barris: “Gong. Get off the stage.”

–Ben Crystal

Obamacare: Because He Can

So President Barack Obama has delayed the implementation of his pride and joy. Why did Dear Leader decide to park another segment of his namesake in the bureaucratic garage? Why did Obama put his signature rabbit back in the hat? Why did Obama move unilaterally to hold off on the governmental takeover of healthcare provision that he and his accomplices guaranteed would make every one of us happier, healthier, younger, taller and/or more attractive to the hottie in accounting, for the second time?

According to the man himself, he did it because he can. During a tour of Monticello with French President François Hollande, Obama quipped to reporters, “I can do whatever I want.” That might have been a real howler if Obama had not, at that moment, actually been planning to do whatever he wanted regarding Obamacare. As of Monday, Obama plans to hold off on imposing the terms of servitude until 2015, the second time he has decreed such a delay.

Don’t get overheated, though. Like virtually every other delay, exemption and/or clarification beforehand, this latest amnesty doesn’t apply to common rubes like you, Marty Middle Class. Unless you’re somebody Obama considers important (like a union thug, “community organizer” or a member of Senator Harry Reid’s staff), you’re not getting out of the biggest scam in human history that easily.

This latest “delay” applies only to select employers. After passing a bill without letting anyone read it beforehand, Obama then handed out exemptions to his cronies like after-dinner mints. All the cool kids got them. The total roster of exempt groups reads like the AFL-CIO’s membership directory. Joining the union thugs on the invite list to Obama’s taxpayer-funded Obamacare-exemption hoedown:

  • Corporate mega-giants like PepsiCo, a fact at odds with the Democrats’ “champions of the middle class” routine.
  • StarTek, a company that cheerfully describes itself as “a global provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services.” That’s a fancy way of saying: “When your call to customer service is answered by a Filipino who speaks English as well as you speak Tagalog, that’s us.” Should you score the double hammy of both losing the coverage Obama promised you could keep and losing your job as one of the 2.5 million Obamacare casualties, StarTek helped replace you with Manuel in Manila.
  • I can only assume the first lady’s professed affinity for burritos led to the exemption for Uncle Julio’s Fine Mexican Food restaurants.
  • And I would dearly love to hear the explanation behind the exemption of the tobacco wholesaler Alliance One. Perhaps it’s part of the supply chain leading to the cigarettes Obama still secretly smokes in between statements on the evils of smoking cigarettes.

There are hundreds more exemptees, including a number of law firms whose only qualification appears to be generous donations to Obama. Someone is going to have to foot the bill for Obama’s Obamacare exemption party. And that someone is definitely not a member of the Teamsters Local Union 72 Welfare Fund (also exempt).

But you’re not on that list. And you’re not going to be. When Obamacare debuted, the vast majority of you wanted nothing to do with it. As it became readily apparent that virtually every promise Obama made was literally empty, Obamacare’s already-wavering support caved like the Denver Broncos’ defense in the Super Bowl. The rollout was the biggest national embarrassment since Vice President Joe Biden’s last visit to a 7-Eleven. There were exemptions, and then more exemptions. You, I and the family down the street comprise the one group that has yet to receive so much as a sideways glance. Yet we are paying for them. Obama and his Democratic accomplices have no intention of letting John Q. Public off the hook. They can’t. And the only reason Obama has given is, “I can do what I want.”

Here’s the real kicker: It’s illegal. And I’m not referring simply to this latest get-out-of-Obamacare-free card. Obamacare was passed under fraudulent circumstances. Fraud is still illegal. And the President is Constitutionally barred from altering legislation — even bad legislation — on a whim. Deliberately violating Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution is illegal. And the exemptions create legal inequalities, certainly violating the 14th Amendment. That’s an extra-illegal burger with lettuce and cheese. You’ll eat it, and you’ll like it. Why? Because Obama says so, and he can do whatever he wants.

–Ben Crystal

Dasvidanya, Obama!

As Olympic openings go, I suppose Sochi’s could have been weirder. Athletes and visitors discovered the Black Sea beach town lacked creature comforts like floors, windows and working doors. Others learned the tap water was almost dirty enough to warrant a commercial starring a tearful Sally Struthers, promising: “For the cost of your morning latte, you could protect thousands of elite athletes from confusing southern Russia for northern Mexico.” And of course, major elements of the production worked as well as a Ukrainian nuclear power plant. It is Russia, after all.

Not long after the Russian TV producers somehow managed to convince President Vladimir Putin that the mega-snowflake-to-Olympic-rings trick hadn’t bombed like an overweight ski jumper, the U.S. Olympians made their entrance. Given our less-than-cordial relationship with the Russians of late, I wouldn’t have been stunned if the well-below-capacity crowd booed our squad — or at least fired off that weird hissing thing they do at sports Americans don’t watch on television. But they really didn’t seem to care any more about our athletes than they did about the Lithuanians, who have demonstrated much more backbone in dealing with Vlad the President.

Of course, much of the rest of the world obviously doesn’t like us. And who can honestly blame them? We obviously don’t care about them. We’re embarrassing, and I don’t mean in the “ugly, arrogant American” sense with which we used to be viewed. I mean in the “these guys have lost their marbles” sense.

Under the regime of President Barack Obama, the United States has progressed from fighting against al-Qaida from Afghanistan to the Maghreb to sending al-Qaida care packages to Syria from the Maghreb. We’ve gone from interning foreign detainees at Gitmo to interning foreign detainees at Gitmo. When islamofascists murdered four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, we blamed the crime on a YouTube video almost no one had ever seen. Susan Rice lied to Congress and got promoted. Hillary Clinton lied to Congress about the same thing and will almost certainly be the Democrats’ Presidential nominee in 2016. And the Democratic Party, whose number includes our commander in chief, spends more time calling their fellow citizens “terrorists” than they do calling the actual terrorists “terrorists.”

We’re not even nice to our friends anymore. Obama’s choice to be Ambassador to Argentina, a deep-pockets political consultant named Noah Bryson Mamet, admitted during his Senate confirmation hearings that he’s never visited the country to which he will now represent American interests. At least he knows where Argentina is located. Obama recently sold the post of United States Ambassador to Norway to a campaign bundler named George Tsunis. During his confirmation hearing, Tsunis, who paid $500,000 for the posting, essentially revealed that he struggles to find Norway on a map of Scandinavia.

Last summer, Putin made Obama cower like a teenage girl in a slasher movie. The Chinese are pulling ahead of us on the world stage. The Iranians are now mocking Obama on Twitter with jokes about “Rouhanicare.” Even the North Koreans are laughing at us.

The Russians can’t successfully finish the plumbing in time for an Olympic Games despite a seven-year head start. In fact, Russia is downright Third World when it comes to almost any reasonable standards. Things don’t work right in Russia, with the exception of treachery and potato liquor. Yet the Sochi Games serve as a stern reminder: Russia might be Third World, but we’re definitely third place in the world these days.

Kelo Forever

In 2005, a property-rights case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Entitled Kelo v. City of New London, the case represented the last-ditch attempt by a small group of middle-class Americans to save their middle-class homes from an eminent domain seizure. Led by a nurse and single mother named Suzette Kelo, none of the six plaintiffs was the sort to spend a lot of time in the highest court in the land. And their opponents made the case an almost blatant metaphor for David and Goliath. Standing opposite the everyman plaintiffs was the city of New London, Conn. And standing behind New London was the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Thanks to a sweetheart deal proffered by a city nearly desperate for incoming capital, Pfizer was the incoming tenant of a tract of land just across the water from the Kelo homestead.

In the eternally infamous decision, the court’s liberal wing ruled in favor of the government-industrial complex. At the time, the decision sparked a brushfire of outrage amongst the politically active segment of the population; but the blaze was unable to breach the walls of American indifference. Of course, the Kelo decision hardly marked the first time our government stepped on our fellow citizens’ necks. But Kelo represented a new low. Kelo wasn’t a ruling extending freedom. Kelo was a ruling that specifically limited freedom. And it didn’t take place back in the days before 24-hour news channels and 24-second news cycles. Kelo happened against the backdrop of the Internet age. And we ignored it.

The court had not entertained an “eminent domain” case for more than 20 years. With Kelo, for the first time since the dawn of the digital age, the government blatantly abrogated the Bill of Rights — specifically the 5th Amendment’s Takings Clause — on behalf of the promise of corporate cash; and the people let them get away with it. Moreover, the government-industrial complex conclusively learned that outrage, even over the most egregious crimes the State might commit, has a definitive shelf life.

In the most recent edition of The Weekly Standard, writer Charlotte Allen presented ‘Kelo’ Revisited.” Allen reveals the postscript to the Kelo group’s heartbreaking saga is sadder than Justin Bieber in the county lockup’s general population. After years of legal warfare, crippling financial losses, endless hours of time and effort, the city of New London and its accomplices have turned Kelo, et al.’s homes into… nothing.

There’s nothing there. The land deemed so prime for a conference/condo/recreational/retail/riverwalk/tourist trap/airbrushed T-shirt mega-center remains little more than scrub pine and seagulls. Pfizer ended up canceling its expansion plans and left New London with nary a little blue pill as a parting gift. The construction company hired to develop the seized land failed to secure financing and hightailed it back to Boston. Government wanted Kelo’s land. Government got it. And then government left it sitting there. In the Kelo context, government is a spoiled baby — albeit a spoiled baby whose tantrums can involve drone strikes.

And we’re still paying for it in spades. Kelo was the go code for government to roll heavy across our Constitutional landscape. From Kelo came the unmitigated gall of every fraudulent, crony-capitalist, government abuse of power since. The bank and auto bailouts, the “green” energy scams, the gunrunning disasters, the terrorism cover-ups, the domestic spying, the Internal Revenue Service bullying and Obamacare all got their green lights from Kelo.

I might be overestimating Kelo’s import. Perhaps Allen caught me on a particularly impressionable day. But I can’t help but note the striking rise in unapologetic government intrusion into private life in just less than a decade since. Nine years after Kelo, a simple land-grab seems almost quaint.

–Ben Crystal

Scary Gunz R Scary!

Witness the sad decline of ABC News’ aging newsmagazine 20/20. While it never achieved the notability of 60 Minutes, it likewise never dove headfirst into the deep end of the crazed activism of its neighbors like Dateline NBC. But then last week, 20/20 served up “Young Guns.”

“Young Guns” included the usual worn-out pseudo-facts which turn up in every anti-Bill of Rights phlegm the left coughs up. Co-host Diane Sawyer put on her very best Emmy™-nominee voice to claim “7,391 children rushed to the hospital every year with those gun injuries.” Many of those “children” are 18-20 years of age; and nearly 4,600 of them are the victims of violent and gang-affiliated crime in “gun-free” paradises like Chicago and Washington, D.C. And the appearance of a hackneyed phrase like “gun injuries” betrays the already obvious intent of “Young Guns.” Much like “gun murders,” “gun crime” or the ubiquitous “gun violence,” “gun injuries” is literally designed solely to add a sinister tone to firearms; as if being shot represents a crueler fate than being thrown off a cliff, or bored to death by an endless loop of Attorney General Eric Holder trying to explain the Constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s rule-by-fiat.

“Young Guns” does make a passing mention of the NRA’s “Eddie the Eagle” gun safety program; although merely to dismiss its efficacy. In fact, the so-called experiments designed to expose Eddie’s limitations were as academically worthless as Al Gore teaching the Common Core syllabus. ABC producers left firearms in classrooms; where they stand out like Michael Moore at the salad bar. They even hid them among toys and candy.

In order to demonstrate the dangers of leaving firearms in weird places to which kids have access, ABC hid guns in some weird places to which kids had access; and HOLY CRAP! The kids noticed the guns! See! Proof! Guns ARE like, SUPER-BAD, OMG!” At least the NRA attempts to educate children about gun safety; a far sight better than ABC’ ignorant fear mongering. Ultimately, “Young Guns” sets out to prove “guns + kids = bad” (or whatever); but ends up proving unsupervised liberals + kids = potential disaster.

But 20/20’s self-debasement pales in comparison to the low-rent sideshow antics of State Senator Kevin DeLeon (D-Calif.). During a press conference to introduce Senate Bill 808, DeLeon held up a firearm and whined “This..’ghost gun’ has the ability with a .30 caliber clip to disperse, um, 30 bullets within half a second. 30 magazine clips in half a second.” If DeLeon thinks the “Ghost gun” is bad, wait until he gets a load of the “Phantasmo-Gun” with the optional IR-double-unicorn-magnetoscopic-sight-O-matic in Eleventy-four caliber with a the 17 Gajigaquillion clip-zine!

Time after time, the left attempts to subvert a God-given right deemed so important by the Framers that they listed it secondonly to the right to free expression. Time after time, their shocking ignorance shoots their own logic to pieces. Time after time, not only do their efforts rebound off the bulwarks of truth and liberty, their supposed gun-free utopias report murder and violent crime statistics comparable to one of those third world cities where they burn American flags while wearing Chicago Bulls jerseys.

“Young guns” might as well have been entitled “Scary Gunz R Scary.” ABC News might as well be retitled “TV time at Kevin DeLeon’s office.” And Diane Sawyer might as well retire.

-Ben Crystal