This Week: Exclusive Interview With Dave Carroll

February 28, 2010

Popular Singer Concludes “United Breaks Guitars” Trilogy With YouTube Release And An Exclusive Interview With Grand Rants

Grand Rants is honored and excited to announce that, coming this week, we will feature an exclusive one-on-one interview with popular Canadian singer/songwriter Dave Carroll as he releases the third and final video in the United Breaks Guitars trilogy. The Interview will be posted Monday, March 1st, 2010, and will be modified   on Tuesday to include the video as the video is released on Youtube. For those of you who may have missed the first two videos, they can be seen below.

“United Breaks Guitars” (song #1) ended up as one of the most viewed Youtube videos of the year garnering over one million hits in its first week.. The catchy country tune chronicled the misfortune suffered by Carroll, whose guitar was broken by United Airline baggage handlers while he was on a flight from Nova Scotia to a show in Nebraska.  While the first “United Breaks Guitars” video was what brought Carroll to the attention of the world, it’s his talent that has sustained (and furthered) interest in his music world-wide.

The video marked the first in what would become a trilogy. The first two videos in the trilogy have been viewed by nearly 10 million viewers and have made Carroll one of the fastest rising stars on the music scene today.

The second video was launched in August and now, on Tuesday, March 2nd, the trilogy completes as Dave releases the third and final video.In the interim, Dave has seen his solo career skyrocket, something he discusses in the interview along with insight you will only find here.

Grand Rants cordially invites you to join us as Dave speaks with me candidly about his musical roots with his brother Don and their group, “Sons of Maxwell” and now, his blossoming solo career and his stunning debut album, “Perfect Blue.” As you will quickly discover, there’s more to Dave Carroll than “United Breaks Guitars”… a lot more. The gifted singer and composer fills us in on not only his background, but where he’s headed. There’s a few surprises and twists that you won’t want to miss.

Again, for those of you who may not be familiar with Dave’s music and the “United” debacle, you can view the first two videos in the trilogy here:

United Breaks Guitars Song #1

United Breaks Guitars Song #2

Be sure to stay tuned right here on Grand Rants. The interview will be posted Monday, March 1st. And when “United Breaks Guitars – The Finale” is launched on Tuesday, you can also see it right here on Grand Rants.

H/T to Dave Carroll

Gerry Ashley

Week-End Fun: Let’s Play “Where’d Al Go?”

February 27, 2010


There’s a fun new game that’s sweeping the nation, in light of record freezing and snow storms. Based loosely on the children’s books, “Where’s Waldo?” this game is played by adults wanting to know what’s happened to the former Vice-President, author of the best-seller, “An Inconvenient Truth” and winner of both an Oscar and Nobel Prize. The game is called “Where’d Al Go?”

Illustration by Gerry Ashley

At the height of Al Gore’s great “Global Warming” scam, he was everywhere. Talk shows, Monday Night Football, Internet videos, radio, newspapers, magazines… He left no form of exposure unexploited. The crowds came showed up to reinforce their adulation. It was almost enough to make him forget he got beaten in the Presidential election a few short years before… 

His book and movie enthralled an American public that loves to grab onto any perceived crisis without bothering to do any fact-checking (the same people who forward e-mails with dramatic stories without bothering to check their validity). Next stop: The Hollywood Oscars. Yep, there was Al, fresh from hosting Saturday Night Live to collect his Oscar for his pseudo-documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth” (which, as we now know, was actually a propaganda movie whose real title was A Bunch Of Very Convenient Lies.” 

But that wasn’t the end of it. Next thing you know, Al’s flying off to Copenhagen to pick up a Nobel prize for his erstwhile work in demonstrating how the world (but mostly the United States) was destroying the planet. 

Children cried as they watched images of helpless Polar Bears adrift on ice chunks that had once been giant glaciers (or so the kids were led to believe). 

Then came Al’s second biggest invention since the Internet: Carbon Credits! While Al figured out how to make billions by being one of the only sources for Carbon Credits, environmentalists drew up new guidelines for “the rest of us.

When Gore was criticized for having a home that uses 30 times the amount of energy of the typical American home, we were told, “Well, that’s different… he’s buying Carbon Credits to make up the difference.” What we weren’t being told is that buying carbon credits, for someone like Gore, simply meant taking money from his left pocket and simply inserted it into his right.

When he was criticized for flying around the country in his own personal Gulfstream jet (one of the least fuel efficient in the business), we were told it’s a small price to pay for spreading  the word about global warming: 

Source: Photobucket


But then, like climate change, Al’s credibility started to slide:: 

  • Former CRU director Phil Jones was accused of covering up the fact that data from Chinese weather stations was flawed. Darned if he could find the original data documentation, too… 
  • Stoutcat recently covered the other aspects of the crumbling case for Global Warming regarding Glaciergate and Amazongate in her piece you can read here.
  • And, of course, there were the e-mails exposed when hackers broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia where, as it turns out, much of the Global Warming data was uh, massaged into supporting the agenda.
  • Finally (and this just has to really suck if you’re Al Gore), his Global Warming position was endorsed by non other than Osama Bin-Laden. Read my piece on that ringing endorsement here.

Then came appearances that had to be cancelled due to blizzards which, of course, Gore supporters now tell us is all due to Global Warming (which, oddly enough, was their explanation for  the lack of snow several years ago).  

In fact, the last known photo of Al Gore, before his disappearance was as he addressed a small group outside a Circle K  in Flagstaff, Arizona: 


Source: Photobucket

After this fiasco, Al retreated and was reportedly hiding out on a private Island near Fiji.  

At some point along the way, the decision was made to re-name “Global Warming” as “Climate Change.” It was discovered that it’s  harder to define and, therefore, harder to be held accountable for the resulting scams.

Which brings me to the crux of the matter: Al Gore, one of the principal architects behind the whole “Cap and Trade” scam, stands to make billions as companies are strong-armed into buying “Carbon Credits” as a penance for their sins of using electricity. While Global Warmi… oops, sorry… “Climate Change” is being blamed for the need of Cap and Trade, there doesn’t seem to be any discussion on scaling it back or eliminating it altogether now that the science supporting it has been debunked.  Ahhh… no wonder Al is in hiding. 

But there’s more bad news for Gore: On Tuesday, the editors of Investors Business Daily wrote: 

“The godfather of climate hysteria is in hiding as another of his wild claims unravels — this one about global warming causing seas to swallow us up. We’ve not seen or heard much of the former vice president, Oscar winner and Nobel Prize recipient recently as the case for disastrous man-made climate change collapses.”  

Yet, according to Fox News, Gore spoke at the American Library Association conference at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on January `16th. While there, he signed copies of his newest book, Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis. On Feb. 22nd, he appeared at the IBM Pulse Conference in Las Vegas where he discussed how the environment was a fantastic business opportunity. According to the Fox article, Gore said: 

“We are in the presence of one of the greatest opportunities in the history of business to become much more efficient and eliminate waste, pollution and losses all at the same time,” he said. 

Ohhhhhh… Now we get it, Al. By that, I mean, now we get why you’re so selectively incommunicado.  Since he attended the Copenhagen climate summit in December, Gore has, for the most part,  been unavailable to talk to the media, making only a handful of public appearances (and those were under strictly controlled conditions). 

Finally, it’s getting harder for Gore to run, and it has nothing to do with record snow-falls. From Fox news: 

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe — a prominent skeptic of global warming theory and the Republican leader of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee — issued a request for Gore to come testify on global warming. In an interview with, Inhofe said he wants Gore to appear because “it will be interesting to ask him on what science he based his movie,” a film the senator considers “science fiction.” 

Read the Fox report on-line here

Global Warming? Climate Change? Oh well, Al… you’ll always have the Internet… 

H/T Fox news 

Gerry Ashley

Are They Finally Listening? Probably Not

February 26, 2010


This video from last night’s Hannity show tells you everything you need to know about yesterday’s “healthcare summit” and how effective it was.

This is what the politicians in Washington — both liberal and conservative — still aren’t getting. Tea parties. Town Hall meetings. New Jersey and Virginia. Massachusetts. Now this.

Memo to DC: you’d better start listening. Otherwise, November is going to be a vertibable veritable bloodbath.

Can. You. Hear. Us. Now.


Why the 2010 Census Ticks Me Off

February 25, 2010

When it comes to the census, forget about the cheap politics involved. (As you may recall, one of the first things Obama did when he took office was to snatch the power of the U.S. Census from the Commerce Department and pull it directly into the White House… To control the Census is to control how state populations are counted and therefore how representation is doled out.)

But just forget about that. That’s the kind of crap we’ve come to expect from D.C…

Here’s the math that drives me crazy…

In 1970 it cost $1.22 per person to count every person in the United States – all 203.3 million of us.

In 2010, it’s projected to cost $45.31 per person to make the count.

Why such a vast difference? Well, there are two main factors: inflation and population growth. Fair enough. In today’s economy, a 1970’s dollar doesn’t buy much. In fact, due to inflation, it would take $5.58 to equal that old single-buck buying power.

Add to that the fact that our population has grown by a factor of 1.5, and you should start to see a Census cost per person count (in today’s dollars) of $10.25 [$1.22 *5.58*1.5]. Heck, let’s completely ignore the phenomenal efficiency of 40 years of technological revolution and call it an even $15 per person. This nets out to $5 billion for the entire Census count (and that’s an extremely generous estimate).

Instead, the actual projected amount for the 2010 Census is actually about $14.3 billion.

And why do you suppose it will cost $45.31 per person (just toss in a sleaze factor of three) in 2010 for a system that will no doubt be crooked as hell? You do the math.

Yeah, I’m ticked. You should be, too.

Alan Speakman

The Farce Behind The Toyota Hearings

February 24, 2010

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda

Point: Toyota has a serious problem. No, wait. Strike that. Toyota has two serious problems. Only one of them is the subject of investigation and seeing the light of day, however.

The first problem is, of course, that they have some serious issues that need to be addressed regarding the safety of their vehicles. Gas pedals that stick and, in one case, may be the cause of a crash in California that killed four members of one family.

But it didn’t take long for the Obama administration (and Congress) to turn a simple recall into a modern-day Inquisition. In record time, Congress ordered hearings.

Today, Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, is being grilled by a hostile House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, three members of which have a Chrysler, General Motors, or Honda presence in their districts.

In no way am I attempting to trivialize the importance of Toyota admitting to a problem, then fixing it. But the car maker has done both. What I do find troublesome is the fact that the Obama administration seems to be going after Toyota with a Torquemada-like zeal. It is unlike any previous cases of automaker recalls over safety issues:

  • In November, 2003, Ford recalled 343,250 Windstar minivans worldwide after a U.S. government compliance test showed a rear seat could become dislodged in a crash. There was no Congressional hearing.
  • The same month, Jeep recalled 438,000 Jeep Libertys due to
  • In December, 2003, Suzuki had to recall 196,876 Grand Vitara and XL-7 SUVs to fix an accelerator cable that can stick. No Congressional hearing.
  • That same month, Ford recalled 132,243 Ford Escape SUVs to fix seat belt buckles that failed to latch periodically. No Congressional hearing.
  • Also the same month, Volvo had to recall 71,000 cars worldwide (15,000 cars in America) to check for fuel leaks, following reports of fuel leaks into the engine. No Congressional hearing.

Honda, Subaru, Nissan, and Toyota all had recalls during that year. None of them resulted in Congressional hearings.

This is not to condone any problem that Toyota may be responsible for and I fully expect Toyota to make good on any issues; but given how previous recalls have been handled (including those by manufacturers who insisted they were not responsible or liable), one has to wonder if the hearings today aren’t an over-reaction by the Obama administration.

If so, could it possibly have anything to do with the fact that Toyota manufacturing plants in the United States do not use union labor? Is the hearing really impartial when the U.S. government is part owner of GM?

Or is it possible… just possible… that the hearings are part of a larger goal to force Toyota to accept union workers?

Without question, Toyota needs to resolve this acceleration issue (and it is doing so). But for the Obama administration to take this to the level of Congressional hearings is, in my mind, a dramatic over-reaction; some might even call it grand-standing, to make Obama appear Presidential at a time when his image is one of impotence as a leader.

If Toyota wishes to save face, I would recommend the following:

  • Spare no expense in solving the problem from an engineering standpoint.
  • Admit and accept responsibility.
  • Let your actions in taking these measures speak on your behalf.
  • Then, have Toyota CEO Akio Toyota meet with President Obama for a beer summit, then leave after grabbing a photo of Obama bowing to him. That photo would be worth its weight in gold for advertising.

Sudden, unexplained acceleration? Sounds like it could be a case of, “Ohhhh what a feeling… Toyota!”

Over-reaction at the Congressional level for political gain? Sounds like it could be a case of “Ohhhhh…bama!”

UPDATE: Tom Blumer of Pajamas Media weighs in on the Inquisition

Gerry Ashley

Heaviest Element Known to Science Discovered!

February 24, 2010


From our Farcical-Amusing-Completely-Inane-And-Loony  Tongue-in-Cheek desk:

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has now identified with certainty the heaviest element known to science.

The new element, Pelosium (PL), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Pelosium is inert, and has no charge and no magnetism. Nevertheless, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Pelosium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete.

Pelosium has a normal half-life of 2 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a biennial reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

Pelosium mass will increase over time, since each reorganization will promote many morons to become isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Pelosium becomes Senatorium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Pelosium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Author unknown

That pretty much says it all…


H/T: Commenter Josie

Outrageous Outrage of the Day: GM Edition

February 23, 2010


Remember former GM CEO Fritz Henderson? The fellow who stepped up to the plate when our President fired former GM CEO Rick Waggoner? Yeah, Fritz lasted less than a year, before giving up his CEO spot to Ed Whitacre.

Well, good old Fritz Henderson is back. Apparently he’s been hired as a consultant for GM, and will be taking home quite the hefty pay check for about 20 hours of work per month. From Automobile Magazine:

Henderson, who abdicated the CEO throne on December 1, 2009, was rehired to an unnamed GM subsidiary, where he will advise on international operations. Henderson will work on a monthly basis, spending 20 hours each month consulting, and will meet with GM’s international operations management once every 30 days.

And here’s the kicker: for his advice, he’ll be paid about $2,954.50 per hour of “consulting”. As BloggingStocks said:

Now shareholders have been wiped out, taxpayers are on the hook for billions, and Henderson still needs almost $3,000 an hour to help clean up the mess.

Nice work if you can get it stomach it.


Sayonara, Sci Fi?

February 22, 2010

There are good sci fi movies, mediocre sci fi movies, bad sci fi movies, and really bad sci fi movies*. And each movie flavor has something to recommend it to viewers. (I have to admit that one of my favorites is The Giant Claw.)

The unifying theme throughout, of course, is the science fiction element.  And from the great movies to those which are laughably awful, the element of science always plays a role in advancing the storyline, developing the characters, or simply defining the world in which the story is set.

But if Prof. Sidney Perkowitz has his way, you may never see another movie like “Avatar”, “Star Trek”,  “Godzilla”, or “The Giant Claw” again. The Guardian is reporting that Dr. Perkowitz isn’t a fan of bad sci in sci fi:

Science fiction movies should be allowed only one major transgression of the laws of physics, according to a US professor who has won backing from a number of his peers after creating a set of guidelines for Hollywood.

The proposals are intended to curb the film industry’s worst abuses of science by confining scriptwriters to plotlines that embrace the suspension of disbelief but stop short of demanding it in every scene.

The guidelines are by Sidney ­Perkowitz, a professor of physics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and a member of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, an advisory body run by the US National Academy of Sciences.

Let’s see… How many different ways is that idea profoundly arrogant and/or stupid?

  • There is no way to know what is absolute scientific fact… Geocentricism was the rage for centuries. Newtonian physics was the be-all and end-all in the mid 1800s. And heavens know that we can’t mess with the speed of light. The bottom line is that today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science fact.
  • Imagination is a wonderful thing. Consider “Edward Scissorhands”. Now that’s a sweet story, but the scientific implications are ludicrous.
  • When I was a kid, I lived for those stupid “Godzilla” movies. Yeah, they broke every law of physics and common sense, but they made me wonder, and they gave me ideas… Those ideas played no small role in my becoming an engineer.
  • As a writer, I’ll write whatever the hell I want to. So long as I don’t pen the equivalent of “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire, break copyright, or threaten public well being, I’ll write whatever I damn well please. If I write a crap screenplay and it goes down in flames, so be it.

Finally, just who does Sidney ­Perkowitz think he is? How is it that he’s so much smarter than the rest of us that he can recommend such a thing? No, his asinine idea will wither in the light of pragmatism. But it’s still frightening to witness such foolish ideas coming to the fore.

Alan Speakman

*For a list of the best and worst sci fi titles, click here.

Some Sweet Picking on a Saturday

February 20, 2010


Enjoy that wild and crazy guy, Steve Martin,along with Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka as they perform an original piece by Martin, entitled “The Crow.”

Now back to our regularly scheduled Saturday.


Amy Bishop, Destitute and Crazy?

February 19, 2010

Or a paranoid schitzophrenic who’s willing to add perjury to the list of her crimes?

Professor Amy Bishop, the tenure-seeking neurobiologist who cold-bloodedly killed three of her colleagues and seriously injured several more in her shooting spree, is now claiming indigence and has requested a public defender, rather than shelling money out of her own pocket, or that of her husband, James Anderson.

The Huntsville Times is reporting that:

“To get a court-appointed lawyer, UAH shooting suspect Dr. Amy Bishop swore on an affidavit that she had no assets, but records show she and her husband paid $190,000 cash for their south Huntsville home.

Bishop also swore she had no job, but she remains on the UAH payroll in a $66,000-a-year position as an assistant professor. The contract ends in May if UAH doesn’t fire her first, and the school is exploring its options.”

That affidavit asks various questions about Ms. Bishop’s financial situation, including:

  • Do you have a job or work for yourself?
  • Does your husband or wife work
  • Do you or your wife receive benefits from any other source?
  • Do you have any money in any bank, savings and loan, credit union or any other place including cash on hand?
  • Do you own anything of value (land, house, car, etc.) ?

The Times reports that Ms. Bishop answered “No” to each of these questions. Presuming that UAH does, in fact, fire her, she’s out of a job. But is she actually destitute?

What about that home in southeast Huntsville, which Ms. Bishop and her husband apparantly purchased outright for $190,000 back in 2003? Looks like a pretty nice home…

In a pretty nice neighborhood…

And what of her husband, Jim Anderson, chief science officer of Cherokee Labsystems in Huntsville?

What of her other associations with the University, particularly as regards her invention of a new type of cell incubator, and the prize money that garnered?

“Dr. Amy Bishop along with her husband Jim Anderson, developed a “portable cell incubator” which was placed third in state-wide contest, and won them $25,000 of beginning money in a business contest.”

What of her seat on the board of directors of the business founded to market and sell her invention? The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that:

“…Apart from her problems with tenure, Amy Bishop was quite happy and successful in her relationship with the university over her invention of a new kind of cell incubator, according to a business partner.

The invention, called the InQ, is an integrated machine for growing and examining cell cultures, in a manner that its developers are touting as wholesale advance over the archaic 133-year-old system of Petri dishes.

Its use could drive scientific advances against nerve-related ailments—such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke—because nerve cells don’t survive more than a day or two in a Petri dish, said Richard E. Reeves, chairman of Prodigy Biosystems, which is making and marketing the device…

The university, which owns the invention, brought it to BizTech, a business-incubator company, which used financing from Mr. Reeves’s Huntsville Angel Network to create a firm, Prodigy Biosystems, to make and sell InQ. Ms. Bishop serves on Prodigy’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Reeves said he could not discuss financial terms, though he said that the profit-sharing arrangements with the university followed a standard model and that Ms. Bishop was satisfied with the relationship.” [emphasis mine]

So here’s a woman who killed her brother with a shotgun, tried to flee by threatening workers at a local car dealership with the same gun, may have sent pipe bombs to a professor reviewing her dissertation, punched a woman in the head in a restaurant, and now has killed three more people.

Do you really think she’s worried about perjury? Me neither.

So we will all continue to pay that “Stupid” tax

UPDATE: Dan Riehl has a round-up of Bishop information. As does Gateway Pundit.