Bill Maher claps for Islam as ‘mother lode of bad ideas,’ blasts Chris Kyle for calling enemies ‘savages’ 4

Bill Maher APWhenever someone tells me that liberalism is a mental disorder I get slightly uncomfortable, but occasionally it’s hard not to think that when a guy like Bill Maher demonstrates that moral relativism has done something incredibly weird to his mind. The HBO host turned into a giddy schoolgirl when atheist guest Sam Harris called Islam the “mother lode of bad ideas,” but on Friday night he labeled the late Navy SEAL war hero Chris Kyle as a “psychopath patriot” for calling al Qaeda-inspired Sunni terrorists, those who use children as suicide bombers, and future-members of the Islamic State group (the men currently chopping off heads in Iraq and Syria) “savages.”

Mediaite reported Mr. Maher’s opinion on “American Sniper” and Chris Kyle Jan. 23:

Hurt Locker made $17 million because it was a little ambiguous and thoughtful. And this one is just ‘American hero. He’s a psychopath patriot and we love him.’ You know, I read some of the quotes from the real Chris Kyle. He said: “I hate the damn savages.” Talking about the Iraqis: “And I’ve been fighting and I always will. I love killing bad guys. Even with the pain, I loved what I was doing. Maybe war isn’t really fun, but I certainly was enjoying it.’ I don’t know. Eisenhower once said, “I hate wars. Only a soldier who has lived it, can.” I just don’t see this guy in the same league as Eisenhower. I’m sorry. And, if you’re a Christian — I now this is a Christian country — ‘I hate the damn savages,’ […] it doesn’t seem like a Christian thing to say. […] The idea that Americans cannot see an ambiguity — that someone has to be pure hero or pure traitor — is ridiculous.”

It wouldn’t be an installment of HBO Real Time without taking a cheap shot at Christians, would it? In October, however, Bill Maher was loving every minute of atheist Sam Harris’ conclusion that Islam is the “mother lode of bad ideas.”

CNN reported Oct. 16:

Ben Affleck’s appearance on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” on Friday turned into a somewhat heated discussion when Maher and author Sam Harris voiced their opinions on Islam.

“Gone Girl” star Affleck took umbrage at the pair’s contention that Islam is, in Harris’ words, a “mother lode of bad ideas” and that liberals are squeamish about criticizing Islam for stances on women and LGBT issues because people “have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where every criticism gets confused with bigotry toward Muslims as people.”

Bill Maher’s rants on Islam are prolific — and many of them do not contain the kind of “ambiguous and thoughtful” commentary he praises The Hurt Locker for. Most of them are not very ambiguous at all, and yet he bashes a guy who was deployed to Iraq four times for calling Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s henchmen and like-minded Iraqis “savages.” Telling.

In Bill Maher’s world, American snipers must be held to the General Eisenhower standard for articulating their world view or be deemed a “psychopath patriot.” If you’re a Christian, then you must utter each word and phrase with the tact and grace of a saint — even if you watched your buddy’s face get blown off while deployed to a war zone. If you’re an atheist, then you can make blanket statements about how Islam is inherently bad, and it’s considered nuanced. Is that a sign of a mental disorder on Bill Maher’s part, or are viewers just watching what happens when a man gets lost inside the maze of moral relativism he’s created in his own mind? It’s a tough question.

On Friday’s episode or “Real Time,” comedian Bill Burr tried to tell Mr. Maher that it isn’t right to “sum up a man by one quote taken out of context.” The host was having none of it, because doing that has served his bank account quite well for many years now. One might say that twisting a man’s words to further a political agenda is not a “Christian” thing to do, but since Bill Maher is an atheist — and right and wrong is simply dictated by whatever he decides on a moment-to-moment basis — then it’s no big deal.

Keep finding ways to slime veterans who served their country to the best of their ability, Bill Maher. Most Americans are willing to cut an Iraq War veteran with four tours under his belt some slack for not describing the experience as if he were a five-star general (yes, that’s right — five-star) who would go on to become the 34th President of the United States. With every petty insult hurled at Chris Kyle by men like Michael Moore and Seth Rogen, modern liberalism’s true colors are revealed. For that, I thank them.

Related: ‘American Sniper': Clint Eastwood does Chris Kyle’s memory proud

Related: ‘American Sniper’ success prompts Michael Moore to take pot shots at deceased hero Chris Kyle

Dan Slott’s feckless Peter Parker needs Doctor Octopus to inspire Uncle Ben: Spider-Verse Part 5 37

SpiderVerse 5 Uncle BenPart 5 of Spider-Verse is out, and Dan Slott has reminded Peter Parker fans once again just how much he must truly despise the character.

Only in a Spider-Man comic written by Dan Slott will you see Peter Parker intellectually flail about as he attempts to inspire an alternate universe Uncle Ben into battle. Only in a Spider-Man comic written by Dan Slott will Uncle Ben receive the shot in the arm he needs to realize greatness — from Doctor Octopus. And only in a Spider-Man comic written by Dan Slott will his feckless Peter Parker then have the temerity to say “I’m running the show.”

Long story short, thanks to Dan Slott’s deus ex machina from Spider-Verse Part 4 (i.e., Master Weaver’s scrolls) and the sheer coincidence that a member of the team can read spider-totem hieroglyphics (Anya Corazon says it’s a “long story” — probably the kind that you can find out if you shell out another $4.00 for one of the ancillary books), the stage is set for everyone to head to Loomworld for a final showdown with The Inheritors. The entire cast is ready to go except Uncle Spider-Ben, who gave up the webs when “The Emerald Elf” killed his wife and nephew.

Peter’s response is to plead with Ben to put the suit on “one more time” — and he is rejected. Uncle Ben says, “No. A man with great power is still just a man. And men…men have feet of clay. They make mistakes. Great mistakes at great costs. I…I can’t fail again.”

SpiderVerse Uncle Ben1SpiderVerse UncleBen2

Otto then steps up to the plate, and his response is to call Ben out for acting, ironically, like a mealy-mouthed Peter Parker written by Dan Slott.

“You’re pathetic, old man! … You’re afraid to fail again? Tough! I’ve lost more times than I’ve ever won, and every damn time I got back up. That’s all that matters! When victory is easy, it’s cheap. Every fight that’s ever been worth fighting has been against adversity! Against a so-called ‘unbeatable foe!’ But there is no such thing! Every enemy has a weakness! You just have to find it! Once! You just have to win one time! Say it!”

Ben is moved, agrees to say “One time,” and before long he is ready and willing to fight. Inexplicably, he thanks both Otto and Peter for the help, even though it was clearly Otto who roused him from his cowardly stupor.

Peter’s response to Doctor Octopus’ speech: “I don’t believe it.” 

Fans of Peter Parker don’t believe it, either. That’s because any other writer of The Amazing Spider-Man would not have allowed Doctor Octopus to steal Peter Parker’s one chance to inspire Uncle Ben — even an alternate universe version of the man — to greatness.

Even worse, the whole ordeal only reminds fans that Doctor Octopus is performing an inverse-Winston Churchill; Doc Ock’s many failures weren’t rooted in a desire to save humanity, but to commit world-wide genocide on levels that surpassed “Pol Pot, Hitler, and Genghis Khan combined.”

Yes, Doctor Octopus failed many times — at killing Peter Parker for good. Unfortunately, writers like Dan Slott are doing more damage to Peter Parker than any super villain ever could.

At this point, if you’re a Peter Parker fan, you can only sit back and wonder what Dan Slott’s coup de grace will be in terms of castrating your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in his own book.

Related: Spider-Verse Part 4: Side effects of Dan Slott’s Spider-Gluttony may include Spider-Diabetes
Related: Dan Slott’s Spider-Gump: Peter Parker is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re going to get
Related: Dan Slott’s Spider-Verse: Peter Parker sadly gives off ‘Where’s Waldo?’ vibe in his own book

‘American Sniper': Clint Eastwood does Chris Kyle’s memory proud 26

American Sniper Bradley Cooper“American Sniper” Director Clint Eastwood was given a difficult task: he had to somehow squeeze Chris Kyle’s incredible life story into 132 minutes. What could have turned into an incredibly bloated mess had he tried to do too much was successfully streamlined in a way that stayed true to the autobiography while also teasing out the most important themes. Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller both give strong performances, and audiences across the U.S. have rewarded them for all the hard work: “American Sniper” made $105 million in its first four days of wide-release.

Clint Eastwood seemed to have two goals with “American Sniper”:

  1. Show the audience what makes guys like Chris Kyle tick.
  2. Demonstrate the destructive power of combat on the war fighter’s psyche, as well as the family unit.

A glimpse of what Mr. Eastwood was able to transfer from the page to the screen comes towards the end of Chris Kyle’s autobiography, where he writes:

“My regrets are about the people I couldn’t save — Marines, soldiers, my buddies. I still feel their loss. I still ache for my failure to protect them.

I’m not naive and I’m beyond romanticizing war and what I had to do there. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. Losing my buddies. Having a kid die on me.

I’m sure some of the things I went through pale in comparison to what some of the guys went through in World War II and other conflicts. On top of all the shit they went through in Vietnam, they had to come home to a country that spat on them.

When people ask me how the war changed me, I tell them that the biggest thing has to do with my perspective.

You know all those everyday things that stress you here? I don’t give a shit about them. There are bigger and worse things that could happen than to have this timely little problem wreck your life, or even your day. I’ve seen them. More: I’ve lived them,” (Chris Kyle, American Sniper. Harper Collins, 2012. Page 379.)

As I mentioned in my review of the book when it came out in 2012, Chris Kyle said that a guardian angel must have been looking over him on the battlefield on multiple occasions, yet he never really stopped to dwell on just how much of a guardian angel he was to his brothers-in-arms. The pressure he put upon himself to save everyone under his watch — an impossible task —would break any man. Yes, even Navy SEALs have a breaking point.

Families have breaking points, too. Again, Eastwood brings it home in a scene that takes place just before Chris Kyle’s fourth tour in Iraq:

Taya: Do you want to die? Is that what it is?

Chris: No.

Taya: Then just tell me. Tell me why you do it. I want to understand.

Chris: Baby, I do it for you. You know that I do it to protect you.

Taya: No you don’t.

Chris: Yes, I do.

Taya: I’m here. Your family is here. Your children have no father. […] You don’t know when to quit. You did your part. You sacrificed enough. You let somebody else go!

Chris: Let somebody else go?

Taya: Yeah.

Chris: Well, I couldn’t live with myself.

Taya: Well, you find a way. You have to. Okay? I need you — to be human again. I need you here. I need … you here. If you leave again, I don’t think we’ll be here when you get back.

Even to those who are closest to these very special men, it often seems like they have a death wish. But that is not the case. Even those who are supposed to understand what motivates a war fighter, can not. The question becomes: How do you dedicate your life to a man who has dedicated his own to ideas that are bigger than all of us?

At one point during “American Sniper,” Chris laments how obsessed civilians are with their cell phones, trips to the mall, and a variety of other seemingly-trivial things when he should be “over there.” But that’s the conundrum: Just as the principles a SEAL is willing to fight and die for make life worth living, it is also those little moments — a conversation on a lazy Sunday afternoon with your wife, or a quiet night alone with that very same woman — that make it special.

“American Sniper” is about one man’s attempt to successfully balance the desire to selflessly serve one’s country while also living up to the commitment to love and cherish his spouse with all his might.

Clint Eastwood may be an old man, but his latest movie shows that he can still direct better than most people who are half his age. If you get a chance, then you should check out “American Sniper” while it’s in theaters. It is one of the rare war movies within the past decade that is actually worth the price of admission.

Related: ‘American Sniper’ success prompts Michael Moore to take pot shots at deceased hero Chris Kyle

‘American Sniper’ success prompts Michael Moore to take pot shots at deceased hero Chris Kyle 21

“American Sniper” is a box office hit. In four days of wide-release, it has pulled in $105 million. Audiences across the country have been moved by the Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. Director Clint Eastwood did a marvelous job showing the kind of selfless service displayed by American war fighters while also not shying away from the psychological toll that combat takes on them and their loved ones. It’s a stellar film about an American hero, which is why Michael Moore and Seth Rogen responded just as the world expects Hollywood liberals to act: like pathetic men who deep down resent the fact that for all their fame and fortune they are still glorified clowns.

Chris Kyle was a real hero, and instead of just dealing with their envy and jealousy in the privacy of their own home, Michael Moore and Seth Rogen lashed out on Twitter so the world could see how truly petty they are.

Michael Moore American SniperUsing Michael Moore’s logic, anyone who uses cover and concealment during the course of battle is a “coward.” Perhaps we should do away with camouflage and just wear bright red jackets with white pants in the middle of open fields, but I digress.
Michael Moore Twitter American SniperOnce negative feedback came rolling in, Michael Moore decided to just make it abundantly clear that whenever he talks about cowards, he is really just projecting his own inner demons.

Michael Moore Chris Kyle

Translation: “What are you so upset about? I wasn’t disparaging Chris Kyle with my sniper comments, even though I made them on the very day millions of Americans were talking about him. Where would you get that idea?”

And then there is Seth Rogen, whose main achievement in life is that he made a dumb movie about North Korea (we all know why he didn’t target Iranian mullahs), which forced millions of Americans to confirm: yes, we will defend Hollywood actors’ right to the freedom of expression, even if they are classless imbeciles.

Seth Rogen American SniperSeth Rogen’s tweet proves that he did not see “American Sniper,” or that he is a hate-filled buffoon (perhaps both?). The movie wasn’t a celebration of war or a piece of propaganda similar to faux-Nazi films created by Quentin Tarantino; if anything it was a clarion call to policy makers to think long and hard before sending men like Chris Kyle into war zones. Only a miserable person as defined by John Stuart Mill could watch Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and think “coward.”

“The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stuart Mill.

C.S. Lewis, who fought and almost died during World War I, puts it another way in his famous essay, “Why I am not a pacifist”:

“For let us make no mistake. All that we fear from all the kinds of adversity, severally, is collected together in the life of a soldier on active service. Like sickness, it threatens pain and death. Like poverty, it threatens ill lodging, cold, heat, thirst, and hunger. Like slavery, it threatens toil, humiliation, injustice, and arbitrary rule. Like exile, it separates you from all you love. Like the gallies, it imprisons you at close quarters with uncongenial companions. It threatens every temporal evil — every evil except dishonor and final perdition, and those who bear it like it no better than you would like it. On the other side, though it may not be your fault, it is certainly a fact that Pacifism threatens you with almost nothing. Some public opprobrium, yes, from people whose opinion you discount and whose society you do not frequent, soon recompensed by the warm mutual approval which exists, inevitably, in any minority group. For the rest it offers you a continuance of the life you know and love, among the people and in the surroundings you know and love.” — C.S. Lewis

Michael Moore and Seth Rogen are very much like the “miserable creatures” referenced in Mill’s “On Liberty.” On many levels they are not worth writing about; they run in social circles with like-minded fools who would never point out that maybe — just maybe — the dough-like man-boys disparaging Navy SEALs might have a few insecurities hiding in those rolls of skin. However, because of their Hollywood connections, men like Michael Moore and Seth Rogen do affect American culture. The bully pulpit they have access to almost demands that those who can push back against their attempts at character assassination, should.

Congratulations, Michael Moore and Seth Rogen: you’re the type of guys who take shots at deceased Navy SEALs and the creative works that respectfully honor their sacrifice. Try doing that outside Hollywood circles and see how much it endears you to the crowd.

Update: Seth Rogen is now backtracking with the incredibly lame “Apples remind me of oranges,” excuse. Next he’ll say that every once-in-awhile he sits down, bites into a banana, and thinks, “Zucchini.”

Seth Rogen American Sniper Twitter
Related: ‘American Sniper': Clint Eastwood does Chris Kyle’s memory proud

Related: At long last, Michael Moore openly admits he hates the troops

Related: American Sniper: Chris Kyle, Guardian Angel who doesn’t know it

Related: In remembrance: Navy SEAL Chris Kyle

Related: Eastwood’s ‘American Sniper’ trailer is out, and it looks like a movie Chris Kyle fans will appreciate

John Kerry uses James Taylor as diplomatic Band-Aid; world cringes 11

John Kerry FranceAt what point does the most ardent supporter of President Obama admit that his administration is out of its league? The U.S. was not able to send a single recognizable figure to meet with 40 world leaders as 3 million free-speech-supporting Frenchmen marched through the streets of Paris, but a week after the fact John Kerry can come strolling in — with James Taylor.

Business Insider reported Friday:

Secretary of State John Kerry brought singer-songwriter James Taylor to help sooth tensions in France on Friday after last week’s terrorist attack against the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Taylor performed a live rendition of “You’ve Got A Friend” as Kerry stood next to him.

“Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights,” Taylor sang softly.

The visit came after the White House admitted it made a mistake when it failed to send a high-profile US representative like Kerry to France’s massive anti-terror rally last Sunday.

Where does one begin? Perhaps there are some bongo-playing Baby Boomers out there who think this was a good idea, but in in general it’s just embarrassing. Imagine you are a woman in her mid-thirties and the guy you’re seeing starts making mix-tapes like you’re both still teenagers every time you want to talk about something important — that’s the State Department under John Kerry.

If James Taylor wasn’t available, would someone have asked Barbara Streisand to sing “No More Tears”? If she weren’t available, would someone ask Elvis Costello to sing “I Want You”? If John Kerry were a cellist with Yo-Yo Ma’s skills and he composed a personal tribute in memory of the victims of terrorism, then that would make sense; bringing in James Taylor to a diplomatic engagement is just weird.

If you feel like someone is playing a joke of gargantuan proportions on you, then just know that you are not alone.

Related: Obama, Biden, Kerry MIA at France’s anti-terror rallies; Eric Holder — in Paris — skips out on march

Obama admin. continues to deny that Islamic terrorists are Islamic; taqiyya practitioners rejoice 3

Josh EarnestPresident Obama said in September, 2014 that the Islamic State group was not Islamic, so on some level it should come as no surprise that his administration would deny the Islamic nature of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris. However, it is still worth chronicling for all the world to see.

The Washington Times reported Tuesday:

The White House tried to explain Tuesday why it has refused to use the term “radical Islam” in describing the Islamist terrorists responsible for last week’s Paris attacks and other acts of violence across the globe.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration doesn’t want to legitimize those terrorists or the “warped” view of Islam they hold. Also, Mr. Earnest said, the phrase “radical Islam” simply is not an accurate way to describe the enemies of the U.S., France and other nations across the globe.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position where I’m repeating the justification they have cited that I think is illegitimate. They had invoked Islam to justify their attacks,” he told reporters. “I think what I’m trying to do is to describe to you what happened and what they did. These individuals are terrorists. … We have chosen not to use that label [of radical Islam] because it doesn’t seem to accurately describe what happened.”

Islamic warriors are permitted to use taqiyya (deception) in their war against infidels. Given that, we can reasonably assume that in terrorist cells and radical mosques throughout the world, men and women are listening to Josh Earnest and hysterically laughing.

Imagine a scenario where millions upon millions of Catholics all across the globe cheered on “Confessāre,” a radical organization that crucified non-Catholics and “baptized” its enemies in blood. What are the chances that the Obama administration would refer to such deeds as “radical Catholic terrorism”?

If Mr. Obama did refrain from calling Catholic terrorism by its true name, what are the chances that articles titled “Don’t beat up on Obama for avoiding the ‘C’ word,” would appear like the Los Angeles Times’ “Don’t beat up on Obama for avoiding the ‘I word'” did on Monday? The answer is obvious — and, deep down, even the Los Angeles Times knows that the White House’s Orwellian language games are embarrassing.

Michael McGough wrote Monday:

“When the president does try to parse the relationship between Islam and extremism he can sound silly. In an address to the nation last September, he said the self-described Islamic State wasn’t really Islamic. That prompted one critic to tweet: “I was unaware our president was a theologian with knowledge sufficient to declare that which is, and is not, Islamic. Now I know.”

Perhaps Bill Maher — a man I rarely agree with — said it best last Friday when he responded to Islamic terrorism in Paris: “When there’s this many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard.”

The truth hurts, and in this case Bill Maher has his finger directly upon the pulse of Truth. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and millions of other Americans would rather lie to themselves instead of forcing 1.6 billion Muslims to have a serious conversation about their bad apple problem.

Obama, Biden, Kerry MIA at France’s anti-terror rallies; Eric Holder — in Paris — skips out on march 20

France Attacks RallyMillions of people took to the streets of France today in a show of solidarity against terrorism. Roughly 3 million people — “more than the numbers who took to Paris streets when the Allies liberated the city from the Nazis in World War II” — backed over 40 world leaders during the event. The U.S. government, for all intents and purposes, decided not to send a single recognizable person.

There was Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. There was President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. There was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President Francois Hollande, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

There was Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. There was Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. There was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and a whole host of other dignitaries.

President Obama was nowhere to be found. Vice President Joseph R. Biden was nowhere to be found. Eric Holder was actually in Paris — but he didn’t attend the rallies. Perhaps he decided to sit in a bathroom stall while the entire city marched in the streets. (The official line was that he was in a “meeting.”)

France Attacks RallyFor the Obama administration, today was just like any other day: Ambassador to France Jane Hartley was asked to roll out of bed, brush her teeth, and meander on over to the march.

The Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks perpetrated by Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12. On Friday, gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed four more at a kosher supermarket. All three men died in shootouts with authorities, but Coulibaly’s common law wife, Hayat Boumeddiene, has fled to Syria.

Given the nature and motivation for the attacks — and their links to the Islamic State group — it is embarrassing that a.) the Obama administration didn’t arrange to get U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry out of India in time for the Paris march, and b.) that zero Democrats or Republicans in Congress took part.

The Islamic State group has made it abundantly clear that it plans to attack on U.S. soil. When that happens, it will be a telling sign if the only representatives who meet with our elected officials in the aftermath are no-name career bureaucrats already shuffling around embassies in the nation’s capital.

Venezuela’s socialist paradise gets even better: Grocery stores now require military oversight 4

Maduro APNow is the perfect time to move to Venezuela’s socialist paradise: It has ration cards for food, no toilet paper, funeral homes forced into “recycling” coffins for wakes, and grocery stores are run by the military. For the young socialist, what could be better than massive caloric restriction, stained underwear, and the exercise that comes from desperately searching for life’s basic necessities?

Bloomberg reported on Friday:

Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection.

Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items such as detergent and chicken.

“I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent — I can’t find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting in line outside a supermarket in eastern Caracas. “We’re wearing our dirty clothes again because we can’t find it. At this point I’ll buy whatever I can find.” …

“You can’t find anything, I’ve spent 15 days looking for diapers,” Jean Paul Mate, a meat vendor, said outside the Luvebras store. “You have to take off work to look for products. I go to at least five stores a day.”

While it may have been incredibly inappropriate, Bloomberg’s reporters should have considered asking Ms. Elsa if she tried calling actors Sean Penn or Danny Glover for detergent and chicken. Hollywood’s socialist cheerleaders are noticeably absent when it comes to commenting on the average Venezuelan who is forced to wear dirty clothes, doesn’t have toilet paper, and can’t find diapers for her baby.

Mr. Penn did manage to say a few words about Venezuela’s unrest and economic crisis in May, 2014 during an interview with Al Jazeera:

“Are they demonstrating in Venezuela over oppression, or are they demonstrating because they’re on economic hard times? It’s the latter,” Penn insisted. “We’re all on economic hard times.”

“Hard times” for Sean Penn is finding out that the Whole Foods down the street is out of blueberry cheesecake wontons or having to deal with rumors that the organic grass-fed beef cattle he enjoys so much might not be consuming adequate proportions of legumes and range forage. Hard times for Venezuelans means, “At this point I’ll buy whatever I can find.”

Although much of the media prefer to give Venezuela’s predictable socialist implosion scant coverage, Americans would be wise to search out the details. There are 50 states filled with people who share Nicolas Maduro’s politics and economic ignorance. While it may seem like America will forever be immune to toilet paper shortages, that is most certainly not the case. Bad economic policies can bring a nation to its knees in no time, and it would be a shame of epic proportions if America one day found itself deploying U.S. Army Ranger battalions to guard bread lines.

Exit question: How many Venezuelans these days do you think are singing David Lee Roth’s “Just Like Paradise”?

Obama on community college: ‘Free’ stuff! ‘Free’ stuff! Get your ice-cold ‘free’ stuff! 2

President Obama has a brand new idea that sounds like most of his old ideas: he wants to make something “free” for millions of people. Even though the U.S. is $18 trillion in debt and money doesn’t grow on “free” trees in Washington, D.C., (the last time I checked, money had to be collected from taxpayers to fund the government, but someone can correct me if I’m wrong), Mr. Obama wants the first two years of community college to be “free” for anyone who chooses to explore that option.

Politico reported Thursday:

President Barack Obama will need the approval of Congress to realize his proposal for making two years of community college free for students.

So far, that plan doesn’t have an official price tag — other than “significant,” according to White House officials. If all 50 states participate, the proposal could benefit 9 million students each year and save students an average of $3,800 in tuition, the White House said. …

“What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Obama said in a White House video posted Thursday evening. “It’s something we can accomplish, and it’s something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world.”

Here’s a little background on yours truly. When I got out of the military, I wanted to go to the University of Southern California. These days, tuition will cost a student roughly $64,000 per year. In my day, yearly tuition was roughly $35,000. The point is this: it’s expensive.

What did I do? I, as a former infantryman already wrestling with the belief that people thought I was stupid, swallowed my pride and signed up at a local community college. I took a job working the night shift at Target stocking shelves. A counselor at the community college asked me for my goal. When I told her I was going to transfer to USC, she literally burst out laughing. She told me — without having any information on my intelligence or background — that I might want to “reevaluate” my plans. I walked out of her office and vowed that I would get into USC and shove the acceptance letter down her throat. Less than two years later I received an acceptance letter in the mail, but instead of circling back with the woman in dramatic fashion I bought a plane ticket to Los Angeles and never looked back. Regular readers of this blog know where things went from there…

The moral of the story is that sometimes the biggest opportunities for personal growth come from the obstacles we must traverse. I learned valuable life lessons that benefit me to this day from the struggles I faced in my early twenties. Perseverance, fiscal responsibility, the value of hard work, never losing sight of the big picture, endurance, and the ability to apply a laser-like focus when necessary are just some of things that come to mind when I think of that period in my life.

The kind of liberalism espoused by President Obama is insulting. Individuals are supposed to embrace public policy meant for infants and invalids. The soothing salve of another man’s money is supposed to ease an individual’s mind and prepare him for the challenge of becoming who he is truly meant to be, when in fact all that it offers is spiritual atrophy.

Nothing is life is ever “free.” The push for “free” higher education is not an act of kindness, but a surreptitious way to create a soul-sucking umbilical cord around the necks of young voters. The worst part about making community college “free” won’t be the spike in tuition (yes, schools will hike prices on all services if it is established that the federal government will cover three-fourths of each bill), but the changes to the national psyche when individuals view it as the State’s job to clear all major life hurdles from their field of vision.

Baby

Papers go into censorship mode over Paris terror attack; free speech heroes hang up their capes 15

Charlie HebdoThere are countless angles one can cover when they’re writing on the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack that left 12 people dead, including the paper’s editor. The instinct is to focus in on the attackers, but in this case the real story is that the so-called defenders of free speech are in many cases hanging up their capes. They’re like Superman, if Superman saw a house on fire and said, “There might be Kryptonite in there. I can’t take that chance. Hopefully the fire will go out on its own.”

Buzzfeed reported Wednesday:

[T]he New York Times explained their decision not to show the images in an email from a spokesperson: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”

Other outlets made more subtle choices to censor the images, with some using cropped photos that do not include the actual image of Muhammad. Three images of Charb were released on the Associated Press wire after the shooting, and none of them included a photo of the cover itself.

AP spokesman Paul Colford told BuzzFeed News, “You’re correct: None of the images distributed by AP showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.”

Was that a policy that was in place for “years” or “minutes”? Gawker reported that AP was willing to sell images of the infamous “Piss Christ” up until …. yesterday afternoon.

AP PCAsk yourself this question: Why was a piece of “art” that portrayed Jesus submerged in a jar of urine okay for The Associated Press to sell, but an uncensored picture from Charlie Hebdo is not?

Charlie Hebdo die on my feetPerhaps it has something to do with the fact that newspaper editors are not afraid Catholics will behead them when angered.

Free speech has taken a beating in the last few months. First there was Sony Pictures Entertainment, which had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing after it was hacked by the “Guardians of Peace,” and now major news outlets are giving credence to idea that content should be censored if it is deemed blasphemous.

Any western newspaper that goes out of its way not to offend the kind of people who would burst into an office shouting “Allahu Akbar!” while armed to the teeth is a newspaper that is not living up to its responsibility to defend free speech. If an individual works at a major newspaper and his mentality is, “Hey, I’m just the guy who manages the Twitter account — I didn’t sign up for defending free speech,” then that is not an individual who should be employed at said major newspaper.

If western media outlets are still clueless as to what they are up against, then they should spend more time listening to the words of Britain’s radical Islamic cleric Anjem Choudary: “If freedom of expression can be sacrificed for criminalising [sic] incitement & hatred, Why not for insulting the Prophet of Allah?”

Anjem ChoudaryLace up your boots and put on your capes, free speech superheroes. You have work to do. It’s embarrassing that such a thing even needs to be said.