Faking The News

I’m not sure why MSNBC chose network honcho Phil Griffin to host a briefing on their decision to abandon the pretense of balanced journalism in a web transformation which started beta-testing this morning. Surely, they could have presented a video compilation of Chris Matthews’ top tantrums, thereby allowing everyone to go back to playing Robot Unicorn Attack on their IPads without seeming rude. Perhaps Al Sharpton was forced to bow out after a tragic Soul-Glo mishap at the barbershop. Whatever the reason, Griffin took full advantage of the opportunity; bemoaning the trials and tribulations he faces trying to keep the flagging Democratic Party’s primary mouthpiece from imploding.

msnbc
MSNBC.COM

To that end, Griffin has decided the reason his charges can’t achieve the same ratings success as those crazy kids on Fox News isn’t that Megyn Kelly is a lot easier to look at than Rachel Maddow; nor that Kelly is eminently more trustworthy. Nope, our boy Phil thinks something fishy must be going on; and someone ought to get to the bottom of it.

According to Griffin, Fox News, which regularly trounces not only MSNBC but MSNBC and CNN combined, has somehow found a way to cheat the ratings system. Whined Griffin: “You guys should be doing some investigations – I have never seen it in all my years of cable. Same overnight, same everything, and they doubled their ratings in a day? It is impossible…”

Since Griffin and his retinue of has-beens, never-wases and never-will-bes operate as a de facto branch of the Administration of President Barack Obama, it’s clear that they suffer from the same cloudy thinking which has allowed the Democrats to transform from the party of slavery, Jim Crow and Chappaquiddick into an even sleazier collection of thugs, crooks and lunatics. In the twisted liberal mindset, conservative opposition to Obama’s daily drumbeat of disgrace must be a product of racism. Likewise, MSNBC can’t beat Fox – or that noisy guy hawking “Flowbies” on the Home Shopping Channel — and that must be a result of a secret plot involving Fox News, the Nielsen Corporation and the cable providers (one of which is MSNBC step-parent Comcast).

It never occurs to liberals that conservative opposition to Obama’s daily drumbeat of disgrace and dishonesty is actually a product of revulsion at his tendency to behave like a cheap knockoff of one of those old guys who used to own the Soviet Union. And it never occurs to a liberal like Griffin that MSNBC’s poor showing is actually a product of a lineup comprised of racist filth like Sharpton, two talking hairdos who are clearly clones of Keith Olbermann gone horribly awry (Maddow and that squeaky little fellow with the hipster glasses; like most of the universe, I’ve forgotten his name), and the essentially-unwatchable daytime filler MSNBC features instead of actual news.

Just as those who refuse to bow down to Obama’s fraudulent assaults on everything from our health to our wealth are smeared as “terrorists” and “traitors” by Democrats; those who refuse to waste viewing hours on a channel which the Pew Research Center noted is by far and away the least reliable in delivering unbiased reporting are presumed to be non-existent. Poor Phil Griffin; he’s confusing the available television viewing audience with Lawrence O’Donnell’s viewing audience.

To be honest, I’m not much of a Fox News watcher. Actually, I’m not much of a television “news” viewer. With resources like the Personal Liberty Digest™ and others, expecting to gain a meaningful insight into current events from the aptly-nicknamed “boob tube” is every bit the fool’s errand that is expecting MSNBC to attract viewers by hiring a violent – and quite possibly disturbed — racist like Alec Baldwin.

I have no idea who Griffin expects to lead the “investigation” of Fox News’ ratings. Evidently, the millions upon millions of Americans who find the Democrat Channel less palatable than the local cable-access channel’s “Houseplants with Henrietta” didn’t make his short list of TV detectives. Given that the incestuous relationship between the Democrats and the lapdog media produces inbred refuse like MSNBC, I wouldn’t be stunned to learn Attorney General Eric “Guns” Holder is on the job.

Let’s look at the bright side, kids. After carrying President Barack Obama’s water on Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS intimidation program, the NSA spying program and the rest of the scandals which have defined Obama’s tenure, the Democrat Channel finally found something worth investigating.

-Ben Crystal

The Democrats’ War On Everyone

Earlier this week, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Every Democrat’s Nightmare) stepped in a puddle of controversy when she linked President Barack Obama to the really nasty parts of the Revelation of Saint John the Divine. Bachmann said: “[T]he United States is willingly, knowingly, intentionally sending arms to terrorists… what this says to me… we are in God’s end times history.”

I’m willing to admit that kind of rhetoric carries a lot of weight. And I’ll further admit that I don’t share Bachmann’s apocalyptic world view. Among other things, the end times require some seriously heavyweight bad guys, and I have yet to see them appear. I’m not suggesting the world doesn’t have its share of creeps, and al-Qaida certainly qualifies. But for all the bloodshed and pain they’ve inflicted, al-Qaida terrorists live like cockroaches, constantly scurrying from the light to stay alive. I honestly don’t believe Armageddon can be engineered by guys who dream of one day moving out of that drafty cave in Waziristan and into a suicide vest. Even if they could force the world over the brink of destruction, their methods preclude them from enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Nonetheless, Bachmann’s pronouncement — which included the entirely accurate part about Obama’s arming terrorists — touched off a whole new round of Democratic hysteria. Among those who lambasted Bachmann was a friend of mine who happens to be a Democrat. This pal, whom I’ll call Darrow in reference to his career as a criminal defense attorney, is also a very nice fellow who plays a decent game of golf and knows a good glass of scotch when he drinks one, the truest test of a man’s character. When Bachmann fired off her catastrophic caveat, Darrow took her to task. A few of his fellow liberals piled on. And until I mentioned it, I doubt anyone realized that the whole conversation was essentially just a remix of the same songs Democrats sang about Sarah Palin, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer or any other woman who steps outside the role assigned to them by liberal men.

After all, Bachmann might be putting from the proverbial rough when it comes to apocalyptic predictions, but she’s dead-solid perfect on Obama’s shocking foreign policy ineptitude. And even if you refuse to believe that Obama is funneling weapons to some of the worst people on Earth, Bachmann’s warning is hardly the silliest thing said by someone in government. In fact, compared to a number of Democrats who seem stuck in their own personal auditions for “Liberals Say the Darndest Things,” Bachmann is a veritable sage. At the very least, I’d be willing to stake a pretty sizable claim that Bachmann:

  • Knows the moon is not a planet and that Neil Armstrong never walked on Mars.
  • Is aware that Guam is buoyant enough to withstand the U.S. military without capsizing.
  • Knows there are 50 States, and knows which ones border the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Can tell the difference between Tina Fey and Palin.
  • Recognizes handing weapons to al-Qaida is generally a bad idea.
  • Knows the difference between an actual terrorist and someone who simply believes the Constitution is worth more than a cocktail napkin.
  • Would prefer World War II veterans get the run of their memorial over, say, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a herd of illegal aliens.

Bachmann hardly lives above reproach. But it strikes me that some folks can’t wait to pounce on Bachmann’s gaffes — or even ones Palin didn’t actually make — but can’t seem to find their righteous outrage when Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton (pick one), comedian Bill Maher, Secretary of State John Kerry, Representatives Hank Johnson and Sheila Jackson Lee, the “Revs.” Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Rachel Maddow, Anthony Weiner, Chris Matthews, Michael Moore, etc. choke on their own toe fungus.

I’d call that a “war on women” were it not for the fact that the Democrats seem to be fighting pretty much everyone these days — except for al-Qaida.

–Ben Crystal

The Shutdown Follies

While President Barack Obama’s decision to physically bar those always-dangerous World War II veterans from viewing the memorial they paid for in blood has certainly reminded me of his almost pathological hubris, it has also reminded me that even Sisyphus himself would rather push his rock than try and talk sense to such a man. Sadly, Obama’s war on war heroes is hardly the lone example of the embarrassingly petty behavior Obama has displayed. From the magnificent vistas of the Grand Canyon to the National Mall, the Democrats staged this entire “shutdown” circus in an effort to distract attention from the sideshow freak that is Obamacare. Still considered the scandal-clouded Obama Administration’s crowning achievement, Obamacare — not to mention the statements Democrats continue to make in support of it — is as twisted by fraud as Bill Clinton’s next 5 a.m. “excuse.”

Rather than acknowledge the shocking cost increases, losses of coverage and even death panels that essentially define the $2 trillion behemoth, Obama and his accomplices have taken a two-pronged approach. When they’re not slandering Obamacare opponents as “terrorists” or even (my personal favorite) “Tea-hadis,” they’re pretending the debate over Obamacare’s future is somehow settled, since “it’s the law.”

Democrat rhetoric routinely descends to the sophomoric. But I can hardly expect more from a party that lionizes comedians like Bill Maher, a multimillionaire whose mommy issues could keep a whole team of psychiatrists busy until HBO’s next airing of “D.C. Cab.” Whether launching misogynist assaults on women like Sarah Palin, racist attacks on Dr. Ben Carson or the always-appropriate death threats directed at — well — nearly everyone, the left hides behind hate speech for the same reason Obama lies to his low-information base: Lying is easier, and it leaves more time for golf.

Harping on Obamacare’s legal status is fine. However, that the law passed under cover of “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it” has produced precisely the opposite of its promised effects seems like a poor topic about which to gloat. “Hey, we scammed America out of $2 trillion and made a fairly clean getaway!” And I’d be remiss were I not to point out that the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution has been law for more than centuries and that the Democrats have accepted that fact as well as a fat guy accepts “We’re out of cake.”

On the other side of the Democrats’ shutdown follies is the debt limit increase demanded by Obama. “(Y)ou don’t negotiate… by putting a gun to the American people’s head by threatening a shutdown.” Putting aside Obama’s gratuitous gun violence joke, if Obama really wants us to allow him to take out another mortgage on our children’s futures, he might want to try a route that he didn’t personally consider “a leadership failure” until he found out being President is, like, super hard, you guys!

Now, the shutdown has engendered discussion of negotiations. I’m curious as to why anyone want to negotiate with the Democrats. Obamacare is a $2 trillion fraud. Obama and his accomplices forced this shutdown rather than give up on an entirely unworkable con of which they personally want no part. Obama has delivered Operation Fast and Furious, Benghazi, National Security Agency spying, Internal Revenue Service intimidation and Obamacare.

I don’t negotiate with criminals, and I damned sure don’t want my representatives doing so on my behalf.

–Ben Crystal

Your Move, America

The Democrats wouldn’t negotiate. Instead, they slandered their opposition as terrorists, anarchists, cannibalistic pedophiles or whatever. The Republicans wouldn’t back down from their stand against the fraudulently passed and fraud-laden Obamacare. Meanwhile, they all exempted themselves from the main bone of contention. Two sides of the same coin argued over a bureaucratic behemoth that applies to neither of them, and they managed to raise their petty partisan squabbling to a level loud enough to drown out the crowd at a Seattle Seahawks game. And now, they’ve managed to “shut down” the government rather than reach some sort of compromise.

To be fair, the Republicans are closer to correct than the Democrats. Obamacare is riddled with fraud and waste, and President Barack Obama and his accomplices left virtually no lie untold in their campaign to impose it upon the rest of us. However, in the interest of further fairness, the Republicans knew this lumbering legislative golem slouched toward Washington, D.C., from the jump. Obama made clear his socialist sympathies long before the closing credits rolled on his coronation telecast. And his war to deploy the Obamacare blanket in order to smother America’s future took longer than the Ottoman siege of Vienna. The Republicans knew it was coming, but they snoozed at their posts until the Turks were in the town square.

Of course, now the GOP is howling at the moon over Obama’s and the Democrats’ mendacious brutality in forcing Obamacare down our throats. And some of them did manage to keep up the fight when Speaker of the House John Boehner and others took their eyes off the prize. Nonetheless, the idea that Congressional Republicans gladly accepted a career exemption from the same legislative monstrosity from which they’re supposedly rescuing the rest of us ought to hike more than few eyebrows.

All this week, both sides have hurled charges and countercharges at one another. But the fact that both sides are soaked in the stench of hypocrisy makes their squabble less Battle of the Bulge and more monkey feces fight at the zoo. The Democrats have proven that they’re better at lying, cheating and mugging than a New Orleans mayor. From exploiting deranged murderers and their victims in order to roll so-called “gun control” laws across America to reading your emails if they contain the words “tea,”  “party” or even “Jesus,” they’ve relentlessly hammered away at our Constitutional freedoms. And while the Republicans have occasionally displayed spinal fortitude at least as resolute as overcooked spaghetti, they’ve cowered more than they’ve crowed.

The Democrats lied. But the Democrats nearly always lie. The Republicans backed up until they realized America was as disgusted by their cowardice as it was by the Democrats’ mendacity. Both played the same roles they’ve been playing for decades. Ultimately, the politicians behaved exactly the way politicians always behave without proper supervision.

And that brings me to the really tough part: If you’re looking for the getaway driver in the Obamacare crime story, take a gander at that cat in the mirror. From the most twisted Democrat to the least forthright Republican, every one of the career politicians in Washington, D.C., supposedly represents a sizable number of Americans. But with spare few exceptions, none of them seem particularly interested in what Americans have to say. And we let them wander this far down the Tyranny Throughway. They may have done the crime, but we’re doing the time.

Next fall, the Nation will head to the polls to judge our would-be leaders. If the past few years have left you feeling as nauseous as a bulimic watching Michael Moore eating dessert, consider your options. You can continue watching both sides gorge themselves on your freedom, or you can stop the gravy train.

–Ben Crystal

Welcome To The Thunderdome

Last weekend, the Democratic Party pointed a loaded gun at the heads of the American people rather than discussing alternatives to shackling America with Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Jack Abramoff’s back pocket) took a break from the daily drudgery of making millions of dollars off corrupt land deals, shady gambling lobbyists and bid-rigging to turn both barrels on his Congressional adversaries. It seems the creepy curmudgeon from the Silver State has gotten his weave askew over the House’s continued refusal to simply accept the fraud-riddled and enormously unpopular Obamacare. According to the doddering corruptocrat Reid, those who rise against imposing Obamacare on an unwilling America — especially members of the Tea Party — are “anarchists.”

Now, I have no doubt that there are some people out there who honestly believe the world would be a better place without any government at all. And I’m not talking about the “black bloc” and other so-called “Occupy” wannabes who think it’s cool to wrap their faces in the table linens, avoid personal hygiene and throw bricks through the Dunkin’ Donuts window while their equally malodorous girlfriends video the whole thing with their iPhones. An actual anarchist believes in the complete termination — generally by violent means — of all government. That sounds like either a sequel to one of the “Mad Max” movies or maybe the doctrine of the sociology department at Berkeley.

That does not sound like the 17 Democrats who joined House Republicans in voting to add the so-called individual mandate to the list of delays and exemptions that Reid and the Democrats have already granted most of their cronies and all of themselves. As an example, consider Representative John Barrow (D-Ga.). I’ve met Barrow more than once. He is a squirrely little twerp who may well be the most perfect example of a white-bread, pencil-necked ambulance chaser living in the wild. For a guy like Barrow, ordering unsweetened tea at the country club is about as rebellious as he’s likely to be. If Barrow is an anarchist, then Reid is Tina Turner.

And I have yet to hear of anyone in the medical device field — especially the potential recipients of such devices — call for the violent abolishment of all government, simply because Reid doesn’t want to eliminate the outrageous medical device tax that President Barack Obama and his accomplices quietly tacked on to the already corpulent bill. For that matter, I have a hard time believing that the majority of Americans are plotting to violently overthrow the government and usher in a new era of America as organized and functional as Detroit (aka “Bartertown”). Nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose Obamacare. That’s 175 million anarchists. Sure, Harry.

And the idea that the Republicans hope for anarchy is just plain silly. Imagine Speaker of the House John Boehner. Now, imagine Boehner squaring up with the “Master-Blaster” in the Thunderdome. The image is as fantastic as Nancy Pelosi competing in the Miss America pageant.

Obama, Reid and their cohort of accomplices have raised the Democratic art of replacing debate and even partisan discord with rancor and rage. Indeed, I can’t recall the last time a liberal defended Obamacare with anything else. However, they’re now proudly threatening the safety and security of seniors, soldiers and sick people just to preserve a bureaucratic abomination about which their employers — that’s you — are nearly as excited as fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars are about the team’s Super Bowl chances.

More to the point: Reid, speaking on behalf of the entire Democratic Party, says that you are an “anarchist” for wanting nothing to do with a governmental intrusion into your life from which he has gladly exempted himself. All right, Mad Max; you don’t support Obamacare? You can take Boehner’s turn in the Thunderdome. Just remember: Under Obamacare, two men enter; no one leaves.

–Ben Crystal

Obamacare’s Last Stand Or Freedom’s Final Days?

By the time you read this, the countdown will have passed T-minus four days and counting. If those stalwart stewards of the public trust — your Congress and mine — can’t figure out a way to close the gap between the Democrats and the overwhelming majority of Americans, then the government will close for business at midnight on Sept. 30. The sticking point — beyond the usual partisan chest-thumping that passes for Congressional debate these days — is the same as it has been since President Barack Obama snuck Obamacare through the side door: We the People like Obamacare about as much as Tokyo liked Godzilla.

Despite the enormous unpopularity that has attached itself to the unprecedented expansion of government control over taxpayers’ lives, the Democrats have drawn their line in the dust. They would rather turn off the lights in Washington, D.C., than consider compromising over a bureaucratic monstrosity about which they’ve been lying since it crawled out of former First Lady Hillary Clinton’s fevered brain close to 20 years ago.

And the problem isn’t a simple matter of perspective twisted by partisanship. While the Democrats whine about conservative intransigence, they very carefully ignore the reasons well more than half the country has joined people like Senator Ted Cruz in playing Horatio at the bridge against Obamacare’s Etruscan army. From time to time, John and Jane Q. Public get tired of being treated like marks in an elaborate con. And Obamacare is the biggest con in human history.

The savings Obama promised do not exist. In fact, they are replaced by shocking cost increases that surprised even some of Obamacare’s most vocal critics. Obama promised Obamacare would “cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” According to Congressional numbers, individual premiums will rise by a minimum of 8 percent (Rhode Island) up to a maximum of 106 percent (Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio). Even a Common Core victim knows that math is bad.

Obama promised we’d be able to keep our coverage if we liked it. Yet Personal Liberty Digest™ doesn’t have the bandwidth to recount the tales of every taxpayer who has received the dreaded coverage cancellation notice from his insurance company. And millions more people have found themselves reduced to part-time status or even pink-slip status, thanks to the squeeze Obamacare has clamped onto their companies.

Obamacare is a scam from start to finish. It’s a penalty; no, it’s a tax. If you like your coverage, you can keep it — or maybe not, especially if you lose your job entirely. Even the death panels are real, albeit poorly hidden behind a smooth-sided pseudonym like “Independent Payment Advisory Board.” And that’s the kind of government we can expect in the future should the Democrats manage to get Obamacare in the barn before the Republicans close the door. If the conservatives in the House can’t put a halt to a law that is already stripping millions of Americans of the quality healthcare of their choice, we’ll have given up a major bridgehead between the America envisioned by the Framers and the America envisioned by Saul Alinsky.

As the proverbial clock winds its way toward midnight, Obama and his fellow Obamacare grifters are desperately trying to make enough noise to distract us from the same questions they’ve been ignoring from Obamacare’s infancy. If Obamacare is such a boon, why has Obama lied about its particulars? If Obamacare is such a miracle, why did Congress exempt itself; and why have so many of Obama’s cronies begged for similar get-out-of-Obamacare-free cards? House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously cracked: “[B]ut we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” If Obamacare is the key to a paradise of government-provided healthcare, shouldn’t its proponents — like the self-exempted Pelosi — be shouting its praises across the rooftops?

As I write this, Senator Ted Cruz has entered the 20th hour of his brave stand against a steaming pile of bureaucratic babble with which its own creators want nothing to do. He has assembled some allies, notably Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). The burning question: Shouldn’t every member of Congress who still believes that public service requires serving the public be lined up with him?

–Ben Crystal

The Liberty Test

With scandal, crime and death rocketing through the news cycle faster than President Barack Obama can double-talk his way through a foreign policy speech, I know keeping abreast of everything must seem positively Sisyphean. Between working to support the parasite class, working to support the political class and working to support yourselves, following the Democrats’ daily drumbeat of disgrace is probably more than you should be forced to handle.

Lucky for you, Personal Liberty Digest™ offers a handy primer to prepare you for the big, bad world in which you live. And today, I’m going to assess how much information you’ve retained. Think of this exercise as if it were Obamacare and as if I were the death panel (sorry: “independent payment advisory board”). The good news is that, unlike with Obamacare, you can survive flunking this one.

Put your textbooks on the floor and turn off the TV, kiddies. This won’t hurt much.

1: President Barack Obama is arming al-Qaida-linked “rebels” in Syria because:

  1. Nobody deserves to face chemical weapons attacks — except in Iraq.
  2. He’d give guns to the devil himself if he thought it would wipe that smirk off Russian President Vladimir Putin’s face.
  3. Who said anything about the “rebels” having links to al-Qaida (besides the rebels, that is)?
  4. The Mexican narcoterrorists who benefited from Operation Fast and Furious are all stocked up, and Attorney General Eric “Guns” Holder is worried the ammo will spoil.

2: Syrian President Bashar Assad has agreed in principle to:

  1. Hand over his chemical weapons arsenal to a multinational task force for cataloging and destruction.
  2. Hand over the chemical weapons he hasn’t successfully hidden to a multinational task force for cataloging and destruction.
  3. Do his best to avoid being killed by the chemical weapons the “rebels” may or may not possess.
  4. Do whatever Lord Putin commands.

3: In light of the Syrian debacle, the world holds the United States in slightly lower regard than:

  1. Vladimir Putin holds bad punk rock bands.
  2. Vladimir Putin holds free expression.
  3. Vladimir Putin holds Barack Obama.
  4. Pretty much everyone smarter than Chris “Final Jeopardy” Matthews holds Barack Obama.

4: Obama recently whined Republicans are “trying to mess with me” because:

  1. He thinks they hate poor people.
  2. He thinks they hate black people.
  3. He thinks they hate poor black people.
  4. They keep bogarting all the good choom, yo.

5: An increasing percentage of Congress is willing to stand up to Obama on Obamacare because:

  1. It makes the DMV look like a well-oiled machine.
  2. It is already causing costs to skyrocket higher than Michael Moore’s cholesterol.
  3. It will deliver the same high-quality healthcare one can expect in such socialist paradises as Bangladesh.
  4. They hate poor and/or black people.

6: If Congress fails to defund Obamacare, Americans will face:

  1. Rationing, crippling costs and death panels.
  2. Pain, suffering and bankruptcy.
  3. Doctors who went to medical school in Guadalajara, nurses who got their training by watching “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and administrators who are as warm and caring as Kermit Gosnell.
  4. The same high-quality healthcare one can expect in such socialist paradises as Bangladesh.

7: The recent massacre at the Washington Navy Yard was committed by:

  1. A deranged murderer named Aaron Alexis.
  2. Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association.
  3. America’s gun fetish.
  4. An automatic AR-15 grenade-launching ICBM shotgun.

8: Violent crimes like the one committed by Aaron Alexis are caused by:

  1. The people who commit them.
  2. Wayne LaPierre and the National Rifle Association
  3. America’s gun fetish.
  4. Automatic AR-15 grenade-launching ICBM shotguns.

9: The biggest current threat to Americans is:

  1. “Gun violence.”
  2. Obamacare death panels.
  3. Syrian “rebels.”
  4. Automatic AR-15 grenade-launching ICBM shotguns.

10: The Democrats and their RINO accomplices are pushing amnesty for illegal aliens because:

  1. They consider political pandering and vote-buying more important than national security.
  2. There are some jobs Americans just won’t do.
  3. The hedges at Nancy Pelosi’s house ain’t gonna trim themselves.
  4. “Illegal alien?”  ¡QUE RACISTO!

I’d post the correct answers; but if you didn’t already know them, you’re in the wrong class. Remember, kids, that there are three types of people in the world: Those who recognize the greatest threat to liberty is a stupid citizenry, those who exploit stupid citizens to press their attack on liberty and those who worry about automatic AR-15 grenade-launching ICBM shotguns.

–Ben Crystal

Obama’s Gun-Free Eulogy

If it had been nearly anyone else, I might have been surprised. After all, the only people willing to blame Aaron Alexis’ murderous rampage at the Washington Navy Yard on inanimate hunks of polymer and metal — as opposed to, say, Alexis — are the same anti-Bill of Rights liberals who think the phrase “gun violence” makes sense. In his disastrous 5½ year occupation of the Oval Office, the one thing President Barack Obama has been consistent about is his absolute dedication to partisan rancor, even in the face of tragedy. And that’s why Obama took to the rostrum during this past weekend’s memorial to Alexis’ victims and completely ignored Alexis — not to mention the victims — to focus on something he and his Democratic accomplices continue to refer to as “gun violence.” Another hyper-divisive Obama speech delivered from atop the graves of the innocent victims of a madman… try to contain your surprise.

According to Obama, Alexis’ killing spree was neither a result of the fact that Alexis was a gibbering psychopath nor the fact that other so-called “gun control” laws had rendered the people at the Washington Navy Yard as defenseless as were the victims of mass murders committed by mentally disturbed people, including those in Newtown, Mass., and Aurora, Colo. Instead, Alexis’ rampage should be attributed to the fact that “what’s different in America is it’s easy to get your hands on a gun.” I suspect the disarmed — and subsequently defenseless — victims of people like Alexis would probably beg to differ. For that matter, consider spending your next vacation in a maximum-security prison; the big house is a “gun-free zone,” too. Obama went on to decry “the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis.” Congratulations, Alexis, James Holmes and Adam Lanza. You’ve just been exonerated by the President of the United States. Everyone else should subsequently remain on the lookout for a suspect named “gun violence.”

But Obama wasn’t the only Democrat who took a spin dancing on the as-yet-to-be-dug graves of Alexis’ victims. Vincent Gray, the mayor of the “gun-free” paradise of Washington, D.C., managed to evade the “gun violence” that plagues that paradise long enough to complain: “[O]ur country is drowning in a sea of guns.” If America is indeed “drowning,” then we can probably boost our odds of survival by avoiding the hazardous waters of “gun-free” cities.

A lunatic wielding a shotgun (known to the Democratic party as an “AR” or “military-style something-or-other”) murdered 12 people inside a “gun-free zone” located in a “gun-free” city, and Obama and his sidekick, Mayor Vinny, turned what should have been a solemn eulogy into another speech blaming an intellectually dishonest phrase the Democrats invented to keep the low-information set cowering under their beds. If Obama wanted to blame someone other than the guy who did it (and his disgracefully partisan “eulogy” indicates that he clearly does), shouldn’t he blame Vice President Joe Biden? After all, Biden is the guy who told everyone to buy shotguns.

–Ben Crystal

ARDS: AR-15 Derangement Syndrome

While I have no doubt that most Democrats would prefer the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard had not occurred, I can’t help but notice they’ve seem to devolve into predictably partisan shrieking faster than first lady Michelle Obama can do the “Dougie.” For people who supposedly live by the credo “never let a crisis go to waste,” as expressed by Rahm Emanuel (former White House chief of staff and current mayor of the windy shootout known as Chicago), they don’t exactly focus when the chips are down.

Witness the newest lapdog media malady: ARDS (AR-15 derangement syndrome). When it turned out that Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis didn’t employ an AR-15 (a semi-automatic replica of a military weapon) in his killing spree, they did what all self-respecting liberal pseudo-journalists did; they doubled down on the wrong bet.

CNN, led by the Gen. Charles Cornwallis of television, Piers Morgan, spent the entire day of the massacre blaming the Navy Yard shootings on the AR-15. Morgan even revisited the site of his earlier rhetorical Yorktowns with his usual rants about “killing machines.” Unable to contextualize the object of their rage, CNN also ran a story on Tuesday entitled “Navy Yard shooting: AR-15, back in the news — briefly,” arguing that although the AR-15 wasn’t involved, that in no way diminishes the gun’s obvious evil. The writer even repeated the “killing machine” line and added some statements about rates of fire that he must have gleaned from watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. “An AR-15 is usually capable of firing a rate of 45 rounds per minute in semi-automatic mode.” Put aside the fact that an AR-15 doesn’t function in any other mode, and flex your trigger finger as fast as you can for a minute. Try that with so much as a Red Ryder BB gun, and you’d have better luck yelling at the target. It’s worth noting that CNN’s story retracting its erroneous allegation against a firearm that Alexis didn’t use mentioned a rifle that Alexis didn’t use 19 times — 16 times more than it mentioned Alexis.

MSNBC paraded the usual coterie of unlikable politicos vomiting up the usual platitudes about so-called “gun violence.” But it really worked some left-wing magic when it aired a computer-generated animation that included Alexis using, of course, an AR-15. Perhaps MSNBC could computer-generate a respectable audience.

But the patient with the worst case of ARDS I’ve ever seen would be the New York Daily News, whose meager subscriber base was treated to this magnificent bit of journalistic malpractice:

dailynews0918

Officer, I’d like to report a murder. It was Mike Lupica in the break room with the wrong rifle.

Less than two miles from the scene of the crime, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who spent most of last week presuming to reinterpret freedom of the press to include “as long as they voted for Obama,” used Alexis’ crimes to indict the firearm he didn’t use. “There are reports the killer was armed with an AR-15… when he stormed an American military installation in the nation’s capital and took at least 12 innocent lives.” Feinstein finishes a week attacking the 1st Amendment, then follows up with an attack on the 2nd. At this pace, she’ll be pushing to have the 3rd Infantry Division bunking in your basement next weekend.

I understand the anti-Bill of Rights crowd is made up almost exclusively of liberals. I also understand that liberals tend to react to things they don’t understand with almost irrational fear. Given the above examples of ARDS, it’s safe to say they understand firearms — specifically the AR-15 — nearly as well as they understand journalistic integrity. Fortunately, there is a remedy for ARDS. Unfortunately, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd will never learn about it; CNN bumped the story so that Morgan could blame killings on the wrong suspect. Again.

–Ben Crystal

Crazy In Syria

Not quite two weeks ago, a group of Islamofascists attacked the town of Maaloula, Syria. The attack didn’t garner all that much attention, primarily because it was drowned out by the roar of President Barack Obama getting sacked in his own diplomatic end zone by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, in a civil war like the one which currently has Syria in the headlines, a bunch of AK-toting murderers rolling heavy into some village which hasn’t upgraded its cable since the Crusades is about as common as Obama flunking an American geography quiz.

Credit:UPI

But the sack of Maaloula is actually noteworthy. The attackers were not a swarm of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s goons. They were elements of the rebel forces fighting against Assad; specifically, a gang called the al-Nusra Front. And the al-Nusra Front boasts of allegiance to al-Qaida. Therefore, we’re supplying weapons to a mob of killers from the same freakshow family that we’re firing our weapons at in Afghanistan.

Sadly, the al-Nusra boys are not the only examples of the bad guys getting geared up on your nickel. Last week, the world was treated to a series of images of the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) summarily executing prisoners in typically brutal Islamofascist style. And the cheering audience featured plenty of the local kiddies. ISIL is a prominent part of the anti-Assad Syrian resistance. And of course, ISIL is interchangeably linked with al-Qaida.

It was bad enough to endure seeing Obama get pantsed in front of the world by a former KGB spook, but now we’re going to start teaching Akbar the unbathed proper care and feeding of his anti-tank missile? As I’ve pointed out before, President Peace Prize has yet to proffer an entrance strategy for Syria. For that matter, I have yet to hear President Peace Prize proffer any particular goal in Syria. If we send our military – and the militaries of all our “secret” allies – into another desertified craphole, it might not be the worst idea to come up with something akin to an actual plan. Moreover, it might not be the worst idea to figure out not only who the good guys are, but whether there are any good guys at all. Alas, Obama’s Syrian strategy appears to be “talk out of both sides of my mouth and give guns to everyone with an accent.”

During last Tuesday’s bizarrely self-contradictory speech on Syria, Obama took repeated jabs at former President George W. Bush’s policy of fighting two different wars at the same time. At this point, Obama’s almost infantile foreign policy has essentially guaranteed we’re landing boots on the ground in Syria. And our mission will entail securing weapons of mass destruction, regime change, fighting terrorism and/or stopping bad people from doing bad things; more or less.

I’ll grant that there’s no shortage of crazy – and even stupid – in the Obama Administration. But the idea of a Nobel Peace Prize-winning President desperately trying to force his way into a violent conflict involving murky alliances, American-armed al-Qaida fighters and our old pals the Russians is certifiably nuts. And it was all supposedly planned by the same political polymaths who brought us Operation Fast and Furious, the Benghazi cover-up and a level of governmental spying on its own people which would be right at home in George Orwell’s nightmares.

-Ben Crystal

Peace Through Putin?

Even after the fall of the Soviet Union, I would never have expected it. After all, whether they call themselves “Russians” or “Soviets” or even “eternally vigilant sentinels against the decadence of the capitalist pigs of the West” (or whatever), they’re still not exactly the guys I’d go running to in a diplomatic pinch. Their President-for-as-long-as-he-wants-so-quit-asking, Vladimir Putin, who acts like a James Bond movie villain but looks like the villain’s badass henchman, used to be the top spook at the KBG, for crying out loud. This is a guy who put a really crappy punk rock band in prison not for being really crappy, but for being political. Putin is no friend to liberty. I don’t think I’m over the line suggesting that Putin is really just Vladimir Lenin without the goatee, Josef Stalin without the mustache, Leonid Brezhnev without the eyebrows, Mikhail Gorbachev without the birthmark and even Boris Yeltsin without the drinking problem. I also don’t think I’m over the line in suggesting that Putin would love the comparisons.

When I was born, Brezhnev had the big chair in Moscow. I remember his passing; and I remember the two doddering despots who replaced him, Konstantin Chernenko and Yuri Andropov, dragging the world to the very brink of nuclear war. Indeed, during my preteen years, the United States and the Soviet Union came as close to irradiating the planet as they had since 1963. The USSR even tried to murder Pope John Paul II. But then the walls came down. Germany reunified. Most of the Warsaw Pact slave states bolted for space in NATO. We even played patty-cake with the Russian Army in the former Yugoslavia.  Yet there was never a moment in which I thought it could happen.

At no point from the coldest nights of the early 80s to the brightest days of the early 90s did I ever think the world could again edge toward the brink of global disaster and that we would watch the Russian president, who is every bit the dictator his Soviet predecessors were, save the day from the brainless bumbling of the President of the United States.

On that note, welcome to the New World Order, version 2013. President Barack Obama decided to flex his muscles, picked Syria for the same reasons he opposed war in Iraq and promptly painted himself into a lonely corner. A year after issuing his now self-disavowed “red line” threat and a week after face-planting in front of the entire planet following a catastrophic war-wing failure, Obama was left watching our top allies head for higher ground. Poor President Peace Prize wanted to line up with al-Qaida’s junior varsity, and it took Vladimir bloody Putin to reel him in.

I’m done being outraged by the daily drumbeat of disgrace that has defined Obama’s occupation of the Oval Office. I just watched the supposed leader of the free world fall on his face, only to have the leader of the “less-free” world pick him up, dust him off and send him on his way. I’m not outraged. I’m mortified.

–Ben Crystal

P.S.: I just watched the President’s address on Syria. If his goal was to contradict himself, lie and take credit for things with which he had nothing to do, then he succeeded in spades. If I have to account for spending 15 minutes watching the speech when my time in front of St. Peter arrives, then I am royally screwed. Maybe I can get away with Obama’s Syria speech strategy. I’ll blame former President George W. Bush.

The Comedy Of Terrors

By the time you read this, President Barack Obama will be close to taking to the teleprompter to tell the Nation and the world that war is actually pretty cool, if he hasn’t presented his pitch already. Outside the usual lapdogs and low-information types who make up the liberal base, I expect Obama to have as much luck selling his war in Syria as MSNBC has selling its prime-time lineup to pretty much everyone.

Today’s dog and jihadi show ought to be fairly entertaining. After all, the run-up has already been at least as fun as watching liberals figure out how to transform from Jane Fonda to Charlton Heston without spilling their soy lattes. In the few weeks since Obama sprouted war wings and decided to playact at being hawkish, the comedy has flown as fast as Hillary Clinton ducking imaginary sniper fire. Were it not for the fact that actual people are actually dying (something Democrats consider acceptable only when the victims are unborn babies or “white hispanics”), Obama’s pathetic fumbling might actually be funny.

Whose Red Line Is It, Anyway?

A year ago, Obama dared Syrian President Bashar Assad to deploy chemical weapons against his own people, saying such a move would constitute crossing a “red line.” Now that Assad has allegedly waltzed across it, Obama has been forced to admit it was more of a light pink. Or at least, he would have been forced to admit it, if he’d ever met a buck he couldn’t pass. Last week, Obama claimed the red line was drawn by the “world.” The world seemed mildly surprised — almost as surprised as the rest of us were when Obama also announced that the debate over war represents a referendum on the credibility of Congress. Fair enough, Mr. President. It’s not like you have any left.

Coalition Blues

Former President George W. Bush took a lot of heat for his supposed failure to build a coalition for war in Iraq. Compared to Obama’s success in assembling allies for his planned Syrian incursion, Bush is Dag Hammarskjöld. Our most redoubtable allies in the United Kingdom have already told Obama to pound proverbial sand. Now, the Germans have decided to sit this one out. According to the newspaper The Guardian, German intelligence indicates that Assad did not order any chemical weapons attack and that he has blocked subordinates from doing the same. As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, the current Administration line as espoused by Secretary of State John Kerry holds that we should be excited that the Saudi Arabians are kicking in. We traded the Brits and the Germans for the guys who lead the world in Wahhabists and 9/11 hijackers. Whoopee.

Who Are The Bad Guys?

That Assad is a bad guy is not in doubt. That our potential allies in the war against him constitute the good guys really is. While our suddenly hawkish Democratic pals turn up their noses at links between the Syrian rebels and al-Qaida, the Syrian rebels and al-Qaida look increasingly like the same people. The group that recently overran the Christian village of Maaloula, Syria, was led by members of Jabhat al-Nusra, which translates loosely from the original Arabic to “al-Qaida’s top farm club.” I wonder if they used the weapons Obama shipped them from Benghazi, Libya.

Excuse Us; Excuses

James Carville tried to explain away Obama’s diplomatic disgrace as somehow — of course — Bush’s fault. At what point do liberals realize that spending 5½ years blaming the guy who isn’t President is the equivalent of spending 5½ years admitting Obama is as good at playing President as Carville is at making sense. You know Obama is panicking when he sends out a spokesman who increasingly resembles an angry Chinese cocktail onion. Supposed comedian Bill Maher even played the race card, tweeting:

A half-white guy decides to play army against a bunch of Arabs, and the people who demur get called racist by a Jewish guy who hates women.

Obama warmed up for his big week of warmongering by playing golf again. Maybe this is all a Byzantine plot to get Obama ready for the Champions Tour — although, from what I’ve seen, he would be as good a professional golfer as he is a President.

–Ben Crystal

The War Of The Two Obamas

I’m going to make this one simple, everyone. After all, if the fact that 91 percent of Americans want war in Syria almost as much as they want Obamacare, union thugs at their workplaces and the National Security Agency reading their emails doesn’t stop President Barack Obama from sending our service personnel to the sand-infested craphole next door to the one they just left, there’s only one other person who might be able to stop them at the goal line: Obama.

Actually, I’ll yield the floor to then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama, who shared the following foreign policy gem with a crowd of redoubtably anti-war Democrats in October 2002:

I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war… What I am opposed to is the attempt…to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals… That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics. Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power… The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him… But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors… and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

The same guy who wants to start rolling tanks into Syria in the immediate future said that about rolling tanks into Iraq just more than a decade ago. I know Obama likes to frame his policy shifts in terms of “evolution,” but asking us to keep straight faces on that magnificent a hypocrisy is just plain mean. Expecting us not to notice that he suddenly got serious about flexing military muscle at the same moment his stateside scandals reached a new fever pitch is likewise cruel. It’s almost as vicious as requiring the entire Democratic machine twist itself like a double-jointed Cirque Du Soleil contortionist on prescription muscle relaxers. By the way, Saddam had definitely used chemical weapons on his own people and invaded other countries, facts that cannot be welded to the current Syrian mess.

Having dispensed with his Presidency, let me point out the silver lining in the latest leaden cloud that floats above us: Neocon warmongers like Paul Wolfowitz and Karl Rove may be fading, but their heirs have been made apparent. Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and many members of the Republican establishment are standing up to be counted with Obama on Syria. The Republicans — who, theoretically, should be our white knights against the Democratic Huns — have turned their lances on us. They’re so enamored of war that they’ll even side with Obama — not to mention al-Qaida (it’s true, kiddies!) — for the chance to lob cruise missiles into another place with a funny-sounding name.

Meanwhile, Obama has arrived at loggerheads with his former self. His latest ploy involves attempting to make his war in Syria a referendum on everyone’s credibility but his own. At least he has that part right. It’s not as if he has any credibility to spare.

–Ben Crystal

The Fries Are Really Done

Despite the enormous amount of health, wellness and nutrition advice available courtesy of my colleagues here at Personal Liberty, I must admit: I eat more McDonald’s than I should. Given the quality of Ronald McDonald’s culinary expertise, eating any McDonald’s qualifies as “more than I should.” Nonetheless, I happen to like McDonald’s; and it’s not as if the restaurant is lying to me about its fare. It’s fast food: quick, cheap and filling.

Nutrition has nothing to do with the success of McDonald’s. We know it; and the company knows it. People do not go to McDonald’s in search of haute cuisine, and McDonald’s doesn’t offer it. The restaurants maintain their low prices by keeping their costs even lower. And they keep their costs low by selling their low-nutrition food and paying their low-skill employees low wages.

Apparently, the Democrats — who spend an inordinate amount of time telling us to avoid places like McDonald’s — think the people who work at McDonald’s should be paid more to serve us the food they don’t think we should be eating. Last week, the Service Employees International Union and the usual coterie of left-wing lunatics and layabouts organized another of their work stoppages, as McDonald’s employees across the Nation walked away from their Quarter Pounders (*pre-cooked weight) to protest against the $7.25 per hour minimum wage. Their demand: $15 per hour. Fifteen. Dollars. Per. Hour. Pardon me, Mister and Miss Fry Cook, but I didn’t catch the news about McDonald’s adding a McKobe Beef Burger.

According to the left-wing group National Employment Law Project, McDonald’s and the fast-food industry actually pay front-line workers an average of $8.94 per hour. They pay that wage because that’s what they can pay and still sell whatever those Chicken McNuggets are (my guess: beaks and tailfeathers) for $4.99 with a medium soda and fries. If McDonald’s starts paying Big Mac makers $15 per hour, they’ll have to make up the hike in labor costs somewhere. That means either the restaurants start charging $12 for that McBeaknFeathers Value Meal or they hand pink slips to about half their workforce. Obviously, the former idea would represent a fatal mistake akin to throwing the company’s business out with the used fry oil. That unfortunate “McDLT” business aside, McDonald’s hasn’t put Golden Arches from here to Tiananmen Square and back by overestimating customers’ palates and what they’re willing to pay to satisfy them.

McDonald’s workers earn $8.94 per hour because McDonald’s workers earn only $8.94 per hour. If they wish to earn twice that, they should apply at Morton’s. When I was just a lad, I got McDonald’s only if my mother was out of town. Mom can really put groceries on the table, whereas the old man… Well, if he can’t grill it, it’s being delivered. But even though I thought of “Mickey D’s” as a bit of a treat, I certainly didn’t dream of a career in the exciting world of fast food. While I never worked at McDonald’s, I did learn the value of my work. Stacking sand and concrete mix bags behind the old True Value was worth minimum wage, $3.35 per hour at the time. The skill required to flip a burger isn’t much different. The various managerial levels do offer better pay, but no one is ever going to buy a summer home in the Hamptons on a fast food manager’s salary.

If you want to earn more than $7.25 per hour, then make your labor worth more than $7.25 per hour. It’s a harsh reality of life that there are jobs to which no one really aspires, yet they have to be done. But it’s a fine reality of American life that you don’t have to do those jobs. You can aspire to more. But marching around outside the McDonald’s with a sign that reads “I’m lovin’ a living wage” is not going to make your aspirations come to fruition. If you want more money, you might want to think about getting back to work.

–Ben Crystal