Honduras: Revolt by the Book

June 30, 2009


When citizens took to the streets of Iran in protest of a massively fraudulent election, President Obama was slow to respond in any substantive manner. He was “troubled” and “concerned” and didn’t want to “meddle” in Iranian affairs.

When the Honduran government sent the military to remove then-President Manuel Zelaya both from office and from the country, President Obama’s response was swift, if completely misguided, given the circumstances surrounding Zelaya’s removal:

“We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras.”

The truth is, it was most definitely not a coup or an overthrow of the Honduran government; it was in fact and in deed, the government protecting the country’s constitution. In a bid to emulate Hugo Chavez, his thug buddy to the south, Zelaya attempted to circumvent the Honduras constitution in the time-honored tradition of would-be dictators: he tried to rescind the constitution’s term-limit so that he himself could be re-elected again… and again… and again.

As  Mary Anastasia O’Grady wrote today in the Wall Street Journal:

That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.

The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.

Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court’s order.

The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.

The narrative is very clear here. This was not a coup. This was not a military junta. This was a nation protecting itself when faced with actions by a leader who wished to subvert the law of the land with his own rule.

The government of Honduras seems to be doing absolutely everything by the book, to prove to the world the legitimacy of its actions, despite the censure of  Chavez and his pals down south, and sadly, the condemnation of our own President.

Bloggers (and others) are, of course, commenting about this, and Wellsy at Wellsy’s World put it remarkably succinctly:

There’s a curious nature to the full-throated denunciation of Zelaya’s ouster by Obama when coupled with his timid response to the Iranian democracy protests. While I appreciate on one level that “meddling” in Iran could be seen as destructive American interference, supportive words cost nothing, and the CIA is being blamed in Iran and Honduras regardless anyway…

He need not put himself squarely in the corner of a leftist President clearly interested in aggregating more power for himself – unfortunately, that’s exactly what he seems to be doing as the goal seems to be to get Zelaya back in charge. It’s a stance that puts him in agreement with Hugo Chavez, who has threatened military action, and it’s a side Obama frankly shouldn’t be on, especially in this case when the waters are murkier than most people think.

Perhaps the next time our learning-on-the-job President is tried, he’ll figure out how to come down swiftly on the side of democracy and free and fair elections, instead of supporting mullahs and would-be socialist dictators. We can only hope.


Iran: Dogma vs. Technology

June 30, 2009


 It’s a shame it had to come to this. That is, it’s a horrific shame that people are being slaughtered in the streets of Tehran in what will be (if history follows course) a hopeless struggle for the theocratic government of Iran.

Historically, when religion collides with technology, religion and/or fundamentalist dogma lose big time. Consider…

The Catholic Church’s tangle with Galileo Galilei‘s support and refining of Copernicus’  work on the heliocentric concept of our “universe” was a nightmare from a religious standpoint. Guess who won that one.

The “Flat Earth Society” didn’t hold up too well to the tens of thousands of images from NASA.

The traditional religious view of the age of the universe got absolutely skunked by carbon dating.

And so it goes, over and over and over again. Now for Iran… Theocracy has met the Blackberry. True, the Mullahs may crush this revolt. (By the way Mullahs, how do you like your prescription glasses? Geeze, I would have thought that given your religious connections, you could have taken care of failing eyesight by a more divine means… Whatever…) But even if they (the Mullahs) do crush the uprising, the kernel remains the same – this is no more over than Tiannamen Square is over.

Put another way: time, technology, and objectivity will trump dogma every time. It just takes time.

Alan Speakman

Supreme Court To Sotomayor: You Blew It… Again

June 29, 2009


Sotomayor 2In what can only be seen as a blow to Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation chances, the Supreme Court overturned her ruling in the New Haven firefighters’ case, in which a group of white and Hispanic firefighters charged that they were unfairly denied promotion because of their race – a clear case of reverse discrimination.

I salute what may be one of the final common sense decisions being handed down by the Supreme Court before it becomes Obamanized.

As to Ms. Sotomayor’s chances for becoming a member of this hallowed part of America’s judicial system, time will tell if she has shot herself in the foot. This is the fourth time one of her decisions has been reversed by the august body she hopes to join. That puts her reversal rate at 80%, or four out of five. A 20% success rate does not speak very highly for the “rich experiences” of this woman.

Personally, I would reject her nomination instantly based on her presumptuous judgement and her inability to separate race from the merits of a case when adjudicating, especially at the Supreme Court level. We already have a Thug administration. Our last best hope for “The last best hope for mankind” is that reason and logic remain intact on the Supreme Court. It may, in fact, fall on their hands eventually, to take back this government back.  

We’re a long way from being out of the tunnel however. Even if Congress doesn’t agree with Sotomayor that, “a Latino woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” we know that Emperor Obama will be waiting in wings with yet another inappropriate Solomon.

Hmmm… I wonder if Michelle O. has any plans to getting back in the law profession?

Gerry Ashley

R.I.P. Billy Mays

June 28, 2009

In recent days, we’ve lost quite a few celebrities: David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson. Although there have been a few exceptions, we don’t usually post about these things; and we’re not ones to glom onto any tragedy in search of hits and ratings.

But sometimes a character is so compelling that you just have to comment. There was something about Billy Mays that was annoyingly endearing. Made you want to like him in spite of yourself. (We like to say he had a very high “Vince” factor.)

Loud, brash, enthusiastic. Hawking wares from Mighty Putty to OxyClean, Billy’s brassy voice was unmistakable. We here at Grand Rants have long had great affection for him, and surprisingly enough, he has crept into our posts more than once.

Why not use Billy Mays as a national health care adviser? Could his plans possibly fail more spectacularly than did Hillary’s way back when? Besides, anyone who can sell the cheap epoxy putty as “Mighty Putty” for $20 must have something on the ball. (By the way… Being a hobbyist boatbuilder, etc. I tried MP, and got to eat crow for my initial disdain. See “Why I owe Billy Mays an Apology”. The stuff is far from perfect, but it isn’t a rip off.)

Top of the Ticket, the LA Times, wrote movingly about Billy today, and yet even eulogizing him, they couldn’t extinguish those elements of humor and joie de vivre that were his hallmarks.

Recently, Billy was filmed going through a McDonald’s drive-through, ostensibly for a morning radio show, but clearly Billy was in it just for the fun of it.

A voice is now silent. A loud, raspy, annoying voice, to be sure; but also a voice filled with zest and joy. I hope he’s up in heaven selling harps and halos to the other angels, with no shipping charge, and if they buy now, he’ll double the order!


The Cap ‘n Trady Bunch

June 28, 2009

cap n trady bunch

Here’s the story of a cap and trade bill
That would saddle us with very ugly tax.
It had earmarks, it had junk science,
The perfect bill for hacks.

Here’s the story of a bunch of turncoats
Who were busy trying to make deals of their own.
They were eight Reps of the Grand Old Party
Yet they stood all alone.

Just last Friday when the bill came up for voting
They all knew that it was much more than a hunch
That this group would pimp for Waxman-Markey,
That is why they’re called the Cap ‘n Trady Bunch!

Cap ‘n Trady Bunch!
Cap ‘n Trady Bunch!
It’s how we wound up with the Cap ‘n Trady Bunch!


Inspired by Leo Alberti’s image as posted by Michelle Malkin. See also Malkin’s follow-up.

Gangster Government

June 26, 2009

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) puts her finger right on the problem we’re currently having with Gangster Government:

Don Corleone: “Someday – and that day may never come – I’ll call upon you to do a service for me…”


National Security and the Illicit Hokey Pokey

June 26, 2009

Why is it that I always have to write these stupid posts? I mean, someone has to write this stuff, but why always me? All right, all right, all right, here’s my premise; power players like Congressmen, Senators (John Ensign, and Mark Sanford are just two immediate examples), and Presidents alike should avoid the covert hoochie coochie because it presents a threat to national security. My justification…

  • To be horribly indiscreet on a most indiscreet subject… Humans can deliver a substantial bite. Teeth (let alone a ball point pen or a stapler) can maim and intimidate, especially at that special moment.
  • Typically, the “action on the side” hasn’t been properly vetted. Duh!
  • Almost always (one would guess), hidden “whoop-dee-doo” is cavorted without the oversight of security.
  • Of course, there are the issues of photography/blackmail, disease, and pregnancy.
  • And beyond doubt is the issue of national security itself.

Yeah, go ahead and yuck it up, but there’s a reason why you know the name Mata Hari. But how about the names Won Jeong-Hwa, Katrina Leung, and Princess Stephanie Julianna von Hohenlohe?

I don’t know, I come from a different angle of reasoning. But it seems to me that folks like Ensign and Sanford (and all the others who haven”t yet been caught with their pants down) should keep the zipper up… If not for themselves, then for the common good.

Putting it another way… It’s patriotic to not screw around!

Alan Speakman

Truth Over Firing Of I.G. Exposes More Obama Thuggery

June 25, 2009


When the firing of former Inspector General Gerald Walpin was suddenly announced, something just didn’t seem right about it to me… and it’s now starting to look like I had good reason to wonder about it. If, in fact, what is starting to come forward is true, Obama may be in direct violation of federal law requiring a 30-day notice to Congress when firing an I.G.  Irony of ironies: When he was in Congress, Obama sponsored the legislation.

If we had a non-partisan Congress, we could even see action taken against the President. But hey, when has Obama ever worried about trampling laws and the Constitution? All he needs to justify his actions (in his mind, anyway) is to smirk and say, We won. So sit down and shut up!” 

Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, writes in his column that former IG Walpin’s determination to investigate further the alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds may have led President Obama to fire him. His source is an unnamed Republican member of the board overseeing the volunteer agency. 

This, of course, completely contradicts the explanation given by the White House, which described Walpin as being “disoriented and confused” at a recent board meeting, as well as being “engaged in other troubling and inapprorpiate conduct.” Mr. Walpin subsequently appeared on the Glenn Beck show and proved to the audience that he is neither disoriented nor confused.

According to the article, here’s how it played out:

On the evening of Wednesday, June 10, an official of the White House counsel’s office called Walpin to tell him he had one hour to resign or be fired.  The action flew in the face of a law (sponsored by Barack Obama when he was a senator) that requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus cause, when he intends to fire an IG.  In this case, the White House apparently wanted to dispatch Walpin quickly by pushing him to resign, which would not have required the president to go through the congressional notification process.  Instead, Walpin refused to quit, and only then did the White House tell Congress.

Since this is being written on June 25th, it’s fair to say the 30 day notice was not adhered to. So why the bum’s rush to get rid of Walpin? It would appear that the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service (which oversees AmeriCorps) was not happy with Walpin’s aggressive investigation into the alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds former NBA star Kevin Johnson. Johnson, a big supporter of Obama, is also the current mayor of Sacramento, CA.

The real reason Obama took his “resign or be fired” position? According to the article:

Prior to his election as mayor, Johnson ran an educational organization called St. HOPE, which received $850,000 in AmeriCorps money.  Walpin discovered that Johnson and St. HOPE had failed to use the federal money for the purposes specified in the grant and had also used federally-funded AmeriCorps staff for, among other things, “driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car, and running personal errands.”

Walpin recommended that Johnson be banned from ever receiving any more federal funds.  But after the passage of the $787 billion stimulus bill, amid worries that such a ban on the mayor would keep Sacramento from receiving its share of the stimulus cash, the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service reached an agreement with the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento under which Johnson would repay some of the mis-spent money and also be eligible to receive new federal grants in the future.  Walpin strongly objected to the agreement.  (Knowing his opposition, the board excluded him from the negotiations.) 

Meanwhile, a former counsel to President Clinton along with four former U.S. attorneys, three former federal judges and one former attorney general drafted a letter to the Senate in which they vouch for Walpin’s  competence and integrity.

I would encourage you to read York’s entire article here.  The bottom line is, once again Obama’s arrogance is the real issue. He continues to act as a dictator with complete disregard for regulations that even the President is required to follow. He does so knowing that a gutless “do-nothing-but-support-Obama” Congress and press corps will not hold him accountable for his bullying tactics against anyone who checks into his own improprieties or those of his friends.

This is just more proof that America’s  system of checks and balances required by the Constitution has been declared out of order and it would appear the repair service can’t get here until 2012.

That said, folks, those mid-term elections are looking mighty important to stopping the Obama  Express. The time to start preparing by locating quality non-Democrat candidates is now. If Obama can dispense with anyone in the Federal Government that doesn’t see eye-to-eye with him, just how long will it take for him to completely convert Washington DC into “Thug Central?”

Gerry Ashley

Hope, Change, and Overkill

June 25, 2009


It started with posters. Then we saw flags, tee shirts, neckties, earrings, and doggie shirts. Amusing, or at least funny, in a creepy and overly-idolizing way. But it’s all fun and games until someone comes up with something that makes you wonder what the heck is wrong with certain people. File this in the “Going Way Too Far Overboard” department.

Obama doll

In case you are unclear on the concept, this is not a doll. It is a “fine collectible to be enjoyed by adult collectors.” And each one (you’re expected to purchase all five) will set you back $29.99 plus $6.99 shipping and service charges.

Exit question: will anyone actually buy these hideous little tchochkes? ?


Plea for Help from Iran

June 24, 2009


Oh God, this is heart-wrenching! Where is Obama? Why isn’t he saying anything?

Security forces throwing people off bridges, beating old men, shooting people, killing students with axes.

“This is genocide, this is a massacre, this is Hitler…”

Please make sure everyone sees and hears this.