The Rhetoric of The Redirect

"Hey, I asked you once already, silence your cellphone, please."
“Hey, I asked you once already, silence your cellphone, please.” -President Barack Obama

During a press conference on Sunday, President Barack Obama was questioned if he had ever, in fact, shot a gun before. Obama claimed that “We go shooting all the time,” stating that he and I would only assume White House Mouthpiece Jay Carney shoot clay pigeons at Camp David.

A good number of Right Wing outfits fell into a collective laughing fit at the idea of Obama holding a gun (not to mention the terror from the extreme Right Wingers). And they should: I think Barack Obama might be embellishing to reach out to the bitter clingers and no one is falling for it. But kudos for lying. I mean trying. I just thought lying, right?

But what these career overreactors are missing out on the defining part of his comments that followed up the clay pigeon comment. Which was the whole point.

“And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations.”

That was Obama’s followup to his claim that he is Johnny Sixshooter on the weekend. It’s not malicious by any means, but it’s false. No one questioned his respect of hunting or related traditions, and that’s not what the laws would be abridging. The NRA, and the 51% of Americans who support the NRA, aren’t just thinking about hunting. Shooting clay pigeons, or real ones, is not what this issue is about. This is a bald-faced endeavor to redirect the nature of the issue.

Let’s take a step back and talk about the real issue. For whom is the 2nd Amendment written? If you answer militiamen or hunters, you’re right. And also, it’s for you. Yes you, humble reader, your entitled to own a firearm, which is not a universal right.

"Defending individual Liberties... LIKE A BOSS." James Madison's Autobiography
“Defending individual Liberties… LIKE A BOSS.” James Madison’s Autobiography

The founders, despite what Professor Louie Seidman tells you, had a good deal of foresight. They said that no government has the right to infringe upon the Freedom of Speech, the Freedom of Religion, the Freedom of the Press, and the Freedom of Assembly. Do you really think that coincidentally, the very next amendment James Madison decided randomly to honor the ‘tradition of hunters?’ Or do you think that, after making the most radical declaration of the rights of the individual against the powers of government, Madison thought it prudent to mention exactly how they would back that claim up?

President Obama is not maliciously lying; in fact he’s doing quite the opposite. He’s doing his best Bill Clinton (I feel your pain). He’s trying to relate, all the while admitting he understands why people own guns. The hunting, right? Because in this administration’s point of view, there are three groups that own guns: hunters, crazy radical right wing extremist homeland terrorists, and the government. Obama’s admitting that there is room enough for two of those three, at least.

Let me make a HisGrossness grand proclamation: if you think America is a safe place to live in, if you think that whenever something goes wrong, you can just call the police, if you think that there can never ever ever be another World War, or Civil War, or Revolutionary War, then you haven’t popped the hood and taken a close look yet. Part of being an adult is being prepared to take care of yourself, and unfortunately, in the world we live in, responsible gun ownership is sometimes a necessary part of that. And if you don’t believe that, or refuse to take that personal responsibility, the least you can do is not impede other people’s right to protect themselves.

Brian Gross is an irresponsibility opinion-owner, and he knows how to use it. Take a look at some of his other articles and spread them around!

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Brilliant Professor’s Idea: Ignore the Constitution

CBS ran a piece recently, “Let’s Give up on the Constitution.” I assure you, I spit took my coffee more than once.

"Get your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty Constitution" -Professor Louis Seidman's syllabus
“Get your stinking paws off me, you damn, dirty Constitution” -Professor Louis Seidman’s syllabus.

The monologue was delivered by Georgetown constitutional Law professor Louis Seidman (who might not realize his proposal would probably endanger his career). But his claim was simple: guns are a problem, and even though they are protected by the Constitution, if we try out a super secret method called ignoring the Constitution, we can get around that nasty old document and pretty much do whatever we want. Ingenius, right?

Now, he wasn’t just spitballing ideas, which is the hallmark of the American process (remember when we floated the idea of blowing up the moon to prove a point to Russia? I do). Louie has obviously given serious thought throughout his career as an EXPERT OF THE CONSTITUTION on how and why subverting the Constitution is a positive. Apparently, the temperature of the Gun Control debate is raised too high when the 2nd Amendment is nearly infringed, so we really ought to stop thinking about the 2nd Amendment.

Let’s do a thought experiment. Ray Lewis decides on Superbowl Sunday to chokeslam the referee sitting in the defense’s backfield and punts the football into a cameraman, declaring for himself 25 points. Reasoning: he does not agree with some rules in the NFL handbook, he didn’t write them after all, and he’d rather not adhere to them. The fact that we can get a moving bulk of muscles and human brutality to follow the NFL rules (they never mention no killing) like Ray Lewis should really make us think hard about what a political Ray Lewis (oh sh*t, he is retiring…) would do to our country without controls.

"Vote for me, don't vote for me, whatever. I'll see you on Inaugeration day and then your funeral." -Cand. Ray Lewis
“Vote for me, don’t vote for me, whatever. I’ll see you on Inaugeration day and then your funeral.” -Cand. Ray Lewis

But Louie raises the important point about other presidents who questioned or ignored the Constitution, like  Lincoln and FDR, insinuating that President Obama in a similar manner is facing a crisis that needs to be met with both barrels -ehm, I mean- both pea-shooters, we can’t leave any options off the table. Like Lincoln to the Civil War, and FDR to the Great Depression, President Obama has to take superlegal power in order to fix the Great Recession gun problem in America.

Think about the parallel more deeply: Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War. The move allowed the Union to imprison enemy soldiers without presenting them before a judge immediately. Alone one of the most difficult decisions in his presidency, but our historical knowledge of it is lacking. Lincoln didn’t single-handedly suspend the great writ with a wave of his top-hat. No, he passed through both houses of Congress a temporary suspension in order to preserve both the Union and the Constitution. While many like to point out Honest Abe’s badboy streak, it was actually a piece of bipartisan legislature that gave the temporary power, associating the law only to the Civil War.

And Lincoln didn’t push for abridgment of Habeas Corpus simply because he disagreed the law; one would imagine as a real student of the law he’d understand its significance. But he understood in the time of the greatest peril of the Republic, he needed to act in accordance with the needs of the people.

Fast forward to January 16th, 2013. President Obama blatantly ignores the 2nd Amendment and fails to read the part about Separation of Powers, announcing 23 Executive Orders in response to the Sandy Hook Massacre, tromping out young children who apparently wrote in to the President, pleading with him to take away guns (and assumably bring back T-Rexes, if children nowadays are anything like I was and am right now). And you know that you’re trying some monkey business when you need to bring out small children (I think every Illinois politician does this every day just to serve as moral human shields).

"But these children support me!" -Pat Quinn on every issue.
“But these children think I’m cool!” -Gov. Quinn on every issue.

Currently we are watching Government by Fiat, if you have been paying attention, and it is breaking the whole point of having a constitutional Republic: that no one person be indispensable to governance. Unfortunately, right now, President Barack Obama is trying hard to put himself between every debate, even if he then allows it to be settled by Congress.

What happened in Sandy Hook was a travesty, make no doubt about it, but does not pose the existential threat to our nation and it’s founding document in the manner the Civil War did. We are not on the brink of war with young boys with mental illnesses and guns. The 2nd amendment wouldn’t be abridged to save the nation but to serve a particular political outset.

We have a flexible enough constitution in order to be amended: the method was built into the Constitution itself. Article V states that an amendment can be passed with 2/3 Congressional Approval and 3/4 State approval. Simple enough? Yeah, and America’s also done that 27 other times. The other method is to hold a Constitutional Convention, which I really really really hope happens in my lifetime. (The other other method is to win in arm-wrestling against every one of the 50 governors, to find the Chief Justice who has been given a three days head’s start via hot air balloon, and convert two British children into Americans). So the idea that we need to just pitch the founding document, acknowledging it for its history signficance but forget about the men “who died over two centuries ago,” is out and out lazy and disrespectful.

Here’s a breaking HisGrossness revelation: those men who created the Republic and shaped the founding of the Country were smarter, less corrupt, more learned, and by miles more patriotic than anyone in Washington today. If there were to be a choice, I’d pick the values of the defenders of Liberty over the politically charged whims of our effete aristocracy any day.

Louie encapsulates his ignorance in one sentence, however, when he says that

For example, most of our greatest Presidents… had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way.

If the Constitution ever “got in the way” of either great presidents or bad ones (or even Grover Cleveland, what did he ever do for anybody), then it was doing its job. Strong constitutions obstruct, pester, and befuddle men of great ambition, who, even though they might have good intentions, pursue it in a reckless manner. It keeps our politicians in check, and don’t think for a second they’d hate an excuse to ignore it.

Oh yeah. There she rolls.
Oh yeah. There she rolls.

Ol’ Louie reminds us that “[t]his is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want.” And while that’s true, we need to remember that we inherited it. It’s your dad’s ’77 El Camino: yeah the transmission is bad and the heater actually shoots oil instead of heat, but there is a reason for every part of it (maybe not all the cigarette burns). We need to respect our heritage, do some proper maintenance on the Constitution when necessary, and not so callously toss away what so many people fought and died for (unless you want to be haunted by Benjamin Franklin’s Ghost. Ain’t nobodies got time for that sh*t).

Brian Gross is currently trying to pass an amendment making questioning the Constitution unconstitutional. He is currently two days behind Justice Stevens, but gaining ground. Support this article and others that don’t use the word Constitution in some form 23 times by subscribing and recommending him to your friends! Constitution!)

The Difference it Makes (and Why Hillary Clinton Revealed Too Much)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally started unravelling the Gordian knot that is Benghazi-gate a record-setting, break-neck 134 days after the Terrorist Attack (remember when it was a spontaneous demonstration? I do)  which left four Americans dead and the maker of the “Mohammed Video” in jail, as well as the terrorists responsible dead arrested reprimanded fined still at large. Let’s slow down here, guys, we don’t want to look internationally impotent too quickly.

"Why are you mad at me? I'm just as mad at those criminals, ehr, terrorists as you are!" The Honorable Hillary Clinton
“Why are you mad at me? I’m just as mad at those criminals, ehr, terrorists as you are!” The Honorable Hillary Clinton

And in those 134 days, Hillary Clinton prepared to give the performance of a lifetime. Most politicians have speechwriters. Clinton has an acting coach. What a performance at the congressional hearings today! I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. The line that stole the show, however, the line that all the congressional staffers will be repeating at the water cooler, the line that will keep Daniel Day Lewis up at night nervous about the Oscars, actually reveals a terrifying mindset in the whole administration.

“What difference at this point does it make?”

For you home practitioners, the device she employs is called Pathos. Plato didn’t invent it, but its been around since him. Remind us of the loss of human life, raise your voice, and hell, through a little quiver in there. I’ve seen better acting, but not often.

In case you didn’t catch the context, Senator Rob Johnson was pointing out the inconsistency from the State Department and the Administration, trying to pawn off the attack as a random outburst from a YouTube video. Apparently that’s how you say “I was wrong” in the Obama Administration.

Here is some examples of that line employed in the aftermath of other emergencies.

“What difference does it make why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? Let’s not dig too deep, here. Could have been a fluke!”

“What difference does it make why Nixon broke into the Watergate Complex? I think he said that he left his coat in there.”

“What difference does it make why the Japanese Reactor blew? How can we learn from looking into things?”

“What difference does it make why Godzilla keeps attacking our city? Just point and yell ‘Its Godzirra!'”

Those are things I might accept more readily than Mrs. Clinton’s blatant inability to perceive the importance of whether there was a terrorist attack or a random occurrence. (Since Lewinsky, I never took her as a very perceptive one, Amiright?)

It’s not important to Clinton to investigate this distinction because it doesn’t fit in the Obama White House narrative. Osama’s dead, Al Qaeda is on the run, and isn’t nearly as much of a threat as Green House Gases, Guns, Tea Partiers, Free Speech, and Traditional Marriage. Those are the issues the White House is concerned with. The War on Terror is over, if there ever was one, and we don’t use that no-no term anymore. It’s an ‘overseas contingency operation’.

Again, why? Why is it important for this administration to use word games (think 1984) to restate what we all know is the case? Why don’t we call this a terrorist attack? Why is a director of a shitty movie in prison (and if that’s the case, why isn’t the director of Jack The Giant Killer serving life for attempted Cinemacide?) Because we elected Barack Obama, remember? And every other country loves us because of it. That’s the reality, whether the facts choose to agree or not.

Think about how she finishes that assuredly practiced soundbite.

“[It is more important] to find them and bring them to justice.”

"No one said there would be all these questions!"
“No one said there would be all these questions!”

Bring them to justice? You mean, arrest them? We bring criminals to justice. We send terrorists to hell with drones up their ass. (I feel like that could be a Hank Williams Jr. Song. HW jr., call me). And what is the timeline on this bringing them to justice? 135 days after? Because the attack lasted 7 hours with a military base 1 hour away. We had a chance to bring them to justice (drone in the pooper) on the spot. We chose not to.

Meanwhile we’re playing world police in Libya and Yemen. Could those drones be used, you know, elsewhere?

Is there a detective on the case? Because terrorists are notoriously hard to find. Is he collecting clues, canvasing the joint? Our State Department is not. A CNN reporter was able to walk into the wreckage and find the journal from Ambassador Chris Stevens, highlighting how nervous he was and how frequently he had asked the State Department for more protection.

And if that line sounds familiar, it should. She said something similar to the mother of the slain Navy Seal.

“Don’t worry, we will get that filmmaker”

Smoke and mirrors. That she could actually look a mourning mother in the eyes and tell an out and out lie, now that deserves the Oscar.

Simply put, Clinton’s State Department’s stance was to do nothing before or during the attack that left four americans dead. Why would we ever expect them to do something after?

Brian Gross recently attended a congressional hearing for the use of humor in news. They recommended he start doing it ZING! Support Congress’s recommendation and share this with your friends.

Dining and Dashing: American Economic Policy

On Monday, President Obama scolded U.S. Representative Republicans for the current talks about the role of Government as it pertains to the national debt and specifically, the debt ceiling. And no, he did not walk in with a rolled up newspaper, bop them on the nose, and tell them that they have been a bad congress, a very bad congress. Yes you are. Whose a bad congress, it’s you!

"I was gravely misinformed what was in the Pork Package before it ended up torn to shreds on the kitchen floor" U.S. Rep Barkerson
“I was gravely misinformed what was in the Pork Package before it ended up torn to shreds on the kitchen floor” U.S. Rep. (R-IN) Barkerson.

No, instead the president addressed the reporters in a nearly hour long press conference, in a similar manner to how you let mom know when you and Johnny aren’t getting along: if you get the story out there first, she’s gonna whoop Johnny’s ass.

And Boehner has already publicly stated he won’t be working with the president any more after the Fiscal Cliff negotiations lead to exactly zero compromise, something near a 40-1 tax increase to spending cut plan (that’s about as balanced as Gary Busey, amiright?), with no real progress towards reducing the debt. Good job, everyone…

One of the most memorable lines out of Obama’s press conference?  “You don’t go out to dinner and then, you know, eat all you want and then leave without paying the check. And if you do, you’re breaking the law.”

President Obama and his Democrat controlled congress went to the Benihana’s of Government Spending and acted like the ala carte area was a buffet.

It must be nice to not have to worry about food in the Great Recession.
“Ohai there taxdollars. NOM NOM NOM”

“Oohh, have you tried this Stimulus Package? It’s to die for.”

“The Universal health care is so good, and on this menu I wrote it clearly says it’s debt neutral. I mean… it’ll save us money!”

“Oh, let’s go over to the Syria fountain. It’ll be quick, I swear.”

And now that the bill has come due, Barack Obama accuses the GOP of holding a “gun at the head of the American people,” demanding that we pull out some plastic to cover this mess.

(Wanna know a secret to why we’re in debt? It doesn’t help that the Democrat held Senate hasn’t passed a Budget in four year. Ask an accountant, budgets are important.)

Here’s the problem. The credit cards are maxed out. Everyone tightened their belts during this recession except for the Government. What Barack Obama is demanding now is a phone to beg Mastercard to raise the limit. Or a piece of paper to draw some money on and hand it over.

Simply put, the Republican party was dragged to dinner with an imputent child who pouts when he doesn’t get his way, and demands House Republicans cash in their values to pony up for the expansion of big government.

Barack Obama has already stated that he will not negotiate with Republicans on this. What? That’s the type of hardline stance you take with Terrorists, Regimists and kidnappers of bad kids. (Also, don’t bother with Used Car Salesman.)

Obama’s answer to our current Debt Ceiling problems is not to demonstrate any restraint whatever, which might let our creditors know that we are serious about out obligations, but get more people into the debt of the U.S. dollar, drastically inflating away your savings.

Here are some ideas floated about the debt ceiling problem from the left.

  1. Give the President power to raise the debt ceiling himself. -Barack Obama
  2. Get rid of the debt ceiling. -Ben Bernanke (that it comes from a real economist makes it all the more terrifying)
  3. Invent a trillion-dollar Platinum coin (because gold and silver are guarded by the Constitution) which would be “taken out of circulation once this problem passes” (Trans: used several more times until the trillion dollar coin barely covers the costs of one of those medicinal lap dances I need so often.) -Some liberal blog.
  4. Republicans just do what the President says. -Barack Obama
  5. Executive order our way out of this. -Joe Biden for every problem
  6. A serious, adult conversation between  Republicans and Democrats about the nature of Government, the importance of checks and balances between the Congress and the Executive branch, and a realignment to bipartisanship. -Gotcha (I thought I’d try to slip that one in, but you’d never fall for it).

As you can see, there is really only one mature way out of this, and after seeing what happened with the Fiscal Cliff deal, we (#hisgrossnessprediction) will not take that mature path. Instead, the nation’s ruling class will squirm and contort their way out of their seat and slither their way out of the restaurant.

However, next time you go out to a restaurant, leave an extra little tip. These fiscal policies almost guarantee a double dip recession, and as Americans, we need to still look out for each other.

Brian Gross uses your taxdollars on his medicaid paid medicinal lap dances. Thanks, by the way, and find out how you can get your own by following his blog and recommending him to others.

Let’s Talk about Guns, Baby (Pt1 of 2)

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I took a hiatus from the blog. My thought was simple: after such a fresh wound, for such a grievous tragedy, in such a landmine field of important issues, this wasn’t the venue to talk about the problems underlying the massacre. Plainly, I’ve always put humor first in deciding what to write about, and there is nothing funny here.

However, I seem to be alone in having tact, because the issue became politicized before the bodies had been removed. And while the shooting is in no way funny, the reactions from all sides, totting this tragedy as a banner for a new world order, there are a few chuckles in that. In one of those “Oh no, there goes the Republic” kind of ways.

Ha.

My reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting was like that of the attacks of 9/11. I needed to turn off the 24/7 news cycle, avoid the tweets, for the love of God not see another Facebook Chain letter, and actually process the gravity of it. For that reason alone I chastise most voices in the national debate: they haven’t stopped squawking since the attack, fueled up with the increased coverage of smaller gun related stories, and have only dug themselves deeper into one-point solutions.

In my reflections, I’ve become convinced of these things:

Like 9/11, we need to start the dialogue admitting we live in a Post-Sandy Hook era. There is a new level of super evil, a new terrifying threat that could happen literally anywhere at any time. We need to react to avoid such travesty again, but we also need to reorientate ourselves and admit that it did happen and might not be a fluke. Adam Lanza might have been a one in a million situation, but we’re a country of 300 million. Statistically, at least, we can round down and say it never happened.

So here is the His Grossness approved 5-point plan addressing the problems while focusing on the misteps so far.

1. Stop thinking the Constitution is a zero-sum game.

"I'm telling you, if you give them Freedom of Speech, they're just gonna sh*t on it." James Madison, Constitutional Convention
“I’m telling you, if you give them Freedom of Speech, they’re just gonna sh*t on it.” -James Madison, Constitutional Convention

We don’t need to pick between the 1st and 2nd Amendment and sacrifice the other to the gods, blindly praying for this to never happen again. America needs to keep in mind that the Bill of Rights as it is, is the bedrock of our Constitution and needs to be kept inviable. You can not void the 2nd amendment without bringing into question the strength of the others. Simply put, the Constitution stands intact or doesn’t at all.

We need regulations, I assure you, and to expound on Framer’s intentions through insightful understanding of the Constitution (Finally, we’re creating jobs for English majors!).

But the current attitude is that, between violence in the media and the right to bear arms, we need to sacrifice one to pull ourselves off the brink. And if you think restricting access to firearms to law-abiding citizens will help, consider this: we’re dealing with super crazies now. Even if they don’t have a gun, we still have some super crazies out there. There isn’t going to be an easy answer (besides to read this blog, of course).

2. Stop listening to Piers Morgan.

"Once we have all their guns, finally these rebellious colonists will be helpless."
“Once we have all their guns, finally these rebellious colonists will be helpless.” -Piers Morgan on a hot mic.

Who is Piers Morgan, you ask? Well, good for you, because you’ve avoided the blathering idiocracy of CNN’s own british replacement for Larry King Live (who is still alive, strangely enough). But for the rest of us, who tried our hardest to remove our ears with our own hands before we had to hear Piers call for sweeping gun regulations and refer to the Constitution as “Your little book” while bringing on Super Crazies like Alex Jones (see future cult leader) to play up the role of the Far Right American Gun nut. For whatever reason, Piers has taken point in the extremist reaction to disarm America in a manner similar to England. And by whatever reason, I mean that disarming England was what he started sharpening his crooked teeth on, as an editor for the Daily Mirror rallying against Handguns.

The problem here is that we’re giving extremists playtime. Why do you really think CNN, who I would actually say is generally a respectable news outlet, lets Piers run his ground war against Americans’ right to own firearms? Because, unfortunately, he is involved in news making, not news reporting, and Piers Morgan’s crusade is bringing some viewers to watch the spectacle, bolstering the network’s hurting numbers.

Make a calculated effort to have a realistic conversation with a member of the other side tomorrow about the role of guns, media, and restrictions, and go from there. Congratulations, you’ve just demonstrated that you are more of a functioning adult than most news outlets right now.

Pt. 2 soon to follow, in which I will include the real solutions (for the low, low price of the Republic!). Until then, I guess we can all take some comfort in the fact that President Obama’s hinting at sweeping gun reform has invigorated gun sales. He may have saved the economy after all…

Brian Gross has been accused of concealing a high round assault rifle in his pants AND being happy to see you. Happy New Year!