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