Gitmo Detainees: Soldiers or Weapons?

November 30, 2009

Hey, remember a few weeks ago, when we were all outraged at the Obama administration’s decision to try Gitmo detainees in New York courts, rather than holding military trials for the self-confessed 9/11 mastermind and his minions? Whatever happened to that? Why has it died out of the news?

In fact, why aren’t we seeing blog posts and articles and, well, videos like this one?

“The people held at Guantanamo Bay are not crewing the weapons in this war; they are the weapons in this war. They are independently operating, constantly evolving, high-level weapons systems that understand our weaknesses — like our civilian air traffic system — and they have dedicated their lives to killing as many of us as they possibly can.

“We have an obligation to understand everything we can about these weapons: where they come from; how they were made; who put them together; where they were aimed; how they were triggered; and most importantly, what are their weaknesses and blind spots, so that we can most effectively defend against them in the future.”

Thanks, Bill, I couldn’t have said it better myself.


What Nationalized Health Care Looks Like?

November 29, 2009

No matter how you slice it, this is just frightening.

I stumbled upon this diagram (from Great Britain’s National Health Service) on the BBC news site. Check the site out, please. Am I missing something? I read and re-read the article and could find no reference to the numbers – only those on the picture. And they certainly don’t jive with the numbered list below Mr. Skinned.

Point #1 clearly aligns with the #1 symptoms listed below the figure: whole body | high temperature, tiredness and lowered immunity. Point #2, ditto. #3 location is the stomach: this is where you get a sore throat? I don’t think so. And it just goes downhill from there.

So what am I missing?

If by some wild coincidence I’m not missing anything and the chart is messed up, what does that say about an industrialized country’s  nationalized system of medicine? (And yes, I know that the folks across the pond can differentiate between the throat and the stomach. And I also understand that they can count!) But my point holds… Who signed off on this? Who released it to the press? Was this a joke, or an act of complete and utter incompetence (and if the latter, what does that say about the NHS)?

As I said, it must be me. But then again, google on the following and read the first half-dozen hits: “great britain” NHS… Say no more. Say no more!

What in the world are we doing?

Alan Speakman

Uh Oh! Stoutcat Disagrees with Krauthammer

November 27, 2009

Well, only in one small part, actually. The vast majority of his superb column on NRO today is absolutely spot on. The current health reform bill is indeed “irredeemable” and…

“…it wildly compounds the complexity by adding hundreds of new provisions, regulations, mandates, committees, and other arbitrary bureaucratic inventions.

Worse, they are packed into a monstrous package without any regard to each other. The only thing linking these changes — such as the 118 new boards, commissions, and programs — is political expediency. Each must be able to garner just enough votes to pass. There is not even a pretense of a unifying vision or conceptual harmony.”

But: Mr. Krauthammer makes one small but very important statement with which I disagree. He begins the end of his column with this statement:

“Insuring the uninsured is a moral imperative.”

Is it? Why?

If insuring the uninsured is a moral imperative, why isn’t ensuring food for those who can’t afford it also a moral imperative? After all, people can die from starvation, whereas a cold, fever, or flu may bring you down for a while, but it generally won’t kill you.

What about homes? Homeless people die of exposure; why not make homes for all a moral imperative as well?

No, the moral imperative is to make sure that the uninsured have access to the healthcare they need. But mandating that for-profit insurance companies must cover them is akin to mandating that grocery stores must give away groceries for free to the hungry; or that banks must give home loans to those who cannot afford to pay mortgages. Oh wait, we all saw how well that worked out, didn’t we?

Making sure that those who cannot afford healthcare coverage have access to good healthcare may in fact be a moral imperative. Insuring the uninsured whether they want it or not, whether they can afford it or not, whether the insurance companies want to or not, is most decidedly not a moral imperative.

Sorry, Charles.


Giving Thanks

November 26, 2009

Think about this: There is only one reason, one group, one entity that saves the image above from the scrap heap of the historically laughable and horrifically ridiculous. No matter what your religion or ethnicity, only one small slice of humanity saved your tail section, especially in America, from being on the endangered list. Given recent (and sometimes not so recent) history, virtually every ethnic, racial, political, and religious segment of the global village has found refuge in the silent arms of the United States Military. Doubt it? If the Nazis had had their way, all Jews, gays, blacks, Native Americans, and in general non-Aryan would be dead… Between the early and late 1900s (not to mention the Marshall Plan in between), Europe would probably still be a smoldering ruins. What would have happened to China if we acquiesced and gave the Japanese the petroleum they so desperately wanted to continue their vicious expansionism in 1941? What of South Korea? The Philippines? What of the USSR?

In short, where would this world be without the United States Marine Corp, the United States Army, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and the United States Coast Guard?

Well, we wouldn’t be eating turkey.

So today whether you are with family or friends, eating a feast or serving a feast, please remember our servicemen and women as you give thanks for all the blessings this great country has bestowed upon us all.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Mal 3:10

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Obama’s First Year Spending Shatters Record

November 25, 2009

It should come as no surprise, but at least now it’s officially documented. From Fox News:

The federal government spent $3.5 trillion during President Obama’s first year in office. This far exceeds the spending for any other first-year president.

This is double what George Bush spent on his first year in office and light years ahead of all previous Presidents… even when adjusted for inflation.

In fairness, this includes the final 3.5 months George Bush was President and, therefore, includes the TARP bailout which was Bush’s blunder.

That still leaves close to $3 Trillion – with a “t” – spent by the President and what Nancy Pelosi described as  “the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history,” as they proceeded to shove through (in the middle of the night and week-end)  a stimulus bill packed with more pork than you’ll find at Honeybaked Ham’s Headquarters.

As the President’s On-The-Job Training proceeded, he continued to act as if the way out of a recession is to spend more money that we don’t have. Maybe after his visit to China, he will have a better idea what we’re facing a couple of years down the road: An economic Tsunami he won’t be able to lay at the feet of George W. Bush.

Please, people… don’t anyone tell President Obama what comes after “Trillions.”

Gerry Ashley

Applause for the First Lady

November 25, 2009

We here at Grand Rants are frequently critical of the President’s policies, and for good reason. We have also had occasion to pick on the First Lady as well. But when either one of them does things right, we like to point out those instances as well.

Hubba hubba!Last night, Michelle Obama appeared every inch a First Lady the entire country could applaud. No dowdy red-and-black disaster dress, no unflattering dear-Lord-what-the-heck-is-that-outfit? moment.

She was drop-dead gorgous. Elegant. Stately. And just beautiful. Not only that, she actually appeared to be having a good time. She also looked as though she felt at ease with herself. That geeky fellow beside her looks like a sophomore nerd in his first tux who can’t believe the homecoming queen is his date.

For all I know the state dinner itself may have been a howling disaster, or a smashing success. The Indian Prime Minister and his wife may have stormed off in a huff after the first course, or they all might have stayed up dancing until dawn. Doesn’t matter for this moment. Doesn’t matter at all.

For the first time in my life, I was proud of our First Lady.


Man Overboard? Glenn Beck’s 100 Year Plan

November 24, 2009

There’s an old saying I just made up: “Don’t judge the message by the messenger. Judge the message on its actual content.” 

When I first heard that saying (about two minutes ago), it came to me as I was watching the youtube videos of Glenn Beck’s rally last week-end held at “The Villages” here in Florida. 

I had intended on driving up to see him in person, but a prior committment kept me from doing so. However, one of the principals of our local 912 Group was there and thoughtfully taped Glenn’s speech in its entirety. I present it to you in segments below.

Before watching, however, please allow me to make a couple of points:

Beck’s Flair For Theatrics

Upon first viewing, it would be easy to compare the theatrics of Beck’s presentations to any number of egocentric “look at ME!” performers, so full of themselves you simply want to run screaming in the other direction.

Only when you know Beck’s “back story” does one understand that what you’re  actually watching is a man who has been to the gates of hell and clawed his way back.

It may be difficult to get it at first, but what you are seeing is not so much theatrics, but the true, “my right hand to God” passion of a man who looked at death (by his own doing) in the face before experiencing his own personal  epiphany. That epiphany gave him the strength to say, “No! There’s   something better in store for me. Let that journey be my journey of choice.”   Understand, this man speaks his heart straight from the hip… and his shirt sleeve.

I wanted to ask Glenn one simple question (and if I get the chance, I will): “Glenn, if you had not plummeted to the depths you did, do you think you would have found the courage, the strength and the clarity of vision needed to get to where you are now?” Because, make no mistake folks. Beck puts his life on the line every day. When he uncovers corruption, he exposes it. When he knows who is behind some nefarious abuse of power, he names names. Not because he is trying to be a big shot, but because he has been to hell and back and he knows, there is right and there is wrong. And if you don’t have the guts to stand up against what’s wrong, those who stand up for wrong will always win.

The Wrong People Are Winning Because We Let Them

The wrong people have been “winning” in this country for too long. But, it’s primarily because those of us who know what’s right have been too comfortable in our barcaloungers and designer fashions to stand up and confront them. We didn’t want to spill our lattes. We’ve been more concerned with political correctness than the truth.

We’ve been lazy and we’ve been cowards.

Beck Has A Plan – And It’s Huge

Read the rest of this entry »

Rachel Maddow vs. Second Amendment

November 24, 2009

And if Ms. Maddow had her way, the Second Amendment would lose, big time. Even though she’s an avid shooter, she still doesn’t believe people should actually be able to own guns.

Let’s review that:

“I like making liberals shoot guns, I just don’t think we should be allowed to bring them home.” [Stoutcat: I have to presume she’s referring to the guns here, and not the liberals…]

“I mean, you go to the carnival, you know, and like, the roller coaster is fun. But that doesn’t mean you get one to come home with. Doesn’t mean you get to do your own home roller coaster. Just leave it there, it’s a game.”

“It’s a game.” Sheesh. What part of “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” does she not understand?

Actually, I think Ms. Maddow understands the Second Amendment perfectly well, but she disapproves of it, and so believes it can be conveniently ignored and/or legislated out of existence.

Liberals. Can’t live with ’em, can’t use ’em for target practice…


Note: If you’re interested in hearing about Ms. Maddow’s opinion of the Tea Parties, her first date with her girlfriend, or how to mix perfect drinks, the entire video clip can be seen here.

And How About that Ethnic Cleansing in Freedonia?

November 23, 2009

From National Review Online comes this week’s smile-quietly-to-yourself schadenfreude moment. It’s obviously a set-up, but I have to admit, it’s a beaut:

Slate magazine is just one of the countless media outlets convulsing with St. Vitus’ Dance over that demonic succubus Sarah Palin. In its reader forum, The Fray, one supposed Palinophobe took dead aim at the former Alaska governor’s writing chops, excerpting the following sentence from her book:

“The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn’t work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.”

Other readers pounced like wolf-sized Dobermans on an intruder. One guffawed, “That sentence by Sarah Palin could be entered into the annual Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest. It could have a chance at winning a (sic) honorable mention, at any rate.”

But soon, the original contributor confessed: “I probably should have mentioned that the sentence quoted above was not written by Sarah Palin. It’s taken from the first paragraph of ‘Dreams From My Father,’ written by Barack Obama.”

The ruse should have been allowed to fester longer, but the point was made nonetheless: Some people hate Palin first and ask questions later.

It isn’t until after the snip above that the forum’s commenters begin to defend the prose. However, several of them completely missed the reveal and continued to rail on the excerpt. The original poster commented on the next page:

The sentence really is from the first paragraph of President Obama’s book. When I posted it, I thought someone would quickly note that fact.

It’s funny how things haven’t changed that much for Obama. He still lives in an old building, and if you want to visit him, you still have to call ahead.

Yes, but the Doberman has morphed into a Portuguese Water Dog, and he has his own assistant to carry his beer bottle now.


Note: For those who don’t get the title reference: Back in the early ’90s, Spy Magazine did an expose in which members of Congress were asked what they thought about the ethnic cleansing happening in Freedonia. Since Freedonia is a fictional country from the Marx Brothers’ movie, Duck Soup, and since members of Congress seem congenitally unable to say “I don’t know about that,” you can just imagine the responses that were given.

Loose Lips, Pink Slips?

November 22, 2009

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) lays it on the line:

He doesn’t care what his constituents want, he’s going to toe the Democrat line, even if it means he loses his job in 2010.

That said, I have to admire Sen. Bennet; at least he has the courage of his (party’s) convictions, and is willing to say so, with no ambiguity or equivocation. Asked a direct yes-or-no question, he simply answers “No Yes.” We could wish for that same simplicity from the rest of our elected officials.

Of course, it remains to be seen if he will actually vote the way he’s said, or whether his sense of self-preservation will kick in if his constituents really lay it on the line for him.

At least we’ll have video evidence of the hypocrisy if that happens.


H/T: Sweetness & Light