Lest We Forget What’s Really Important

September 8, 2010

If it seems to you there’s been a lack of input from me lately, it’s not your imagination. Perhaps it’s been a lack of mine. The promise of Grand Rants is to discuss our world, not just politics. Unfortunately, the most important news over the past 2 years has been political in nature. And make no mistake: We intend to cover political issues as needed. Expect a lot of it from now until the mid-term elections.

But every now and then, I need to step away from the sewer of politics and just breath in the beauty of life itself. And the older I get, the more beauty I discover. Some of the most special moments can be found in the examples some people give us of their selfless devotion to causes. Sometimes it’s just a touching moment or lyric that makes me realize the beauty of a phrase or a simple act of kindness. These moments are easy to miss if we are so steeped in the argument of politics that we close our eyes to the awareness of that which sometimes surrounds us. I needed to open myself up to an awareness of these things, and so I stepped back from the body politic for a brief period in an attempt to bring something a little more uplifting and positive to the table.

I believe my efforts have paid off.

Meet Kristian Anderson, from Australia. Last October, Kristian was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Because he waited so long to be tested, he discovered it had also spread to his liver. Anderson, 35, is married and the father of 2 little boys. He’s not ready to leave his two children fatherless, so he’s stayed positive with the support of his wife Rachel. Together, they are fighting the disease.

Recently, with her birthday coming up, he wanted to make it very special… and he chose a very special way of accomplishing that goal: In addition to a surprise party, he created a video birthday card for her. Through a local radio station, he was able to get actor Hugh Jackman to make a cameo appearance and, because his wife is from New Zealand, Andeson managed to get New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to appear also.  The video has found its way to youtube and I predict it will go viral. I hope it does, because in the four minutes it takes to watch, it acts as a reminder to us all of just how important it is to get checked periodically for any unusual health issues that might benefit from early detection. And it also teaches us how important it is to stop and smell our own roses:

Kristian has kept a blog to chronicle his journey since becoming diagnosed with cancer. It’s called “Days That Matter.” I invite you to follow his journey. Something tells me that as this video goes viral, he and his family are going to have the prayers of a lot of people pulling for him.

I know he’s got mine.

Gerry Ashley


Michelle Obama: The New Marie Antoinette?

August 9, 2010

It’s been quite a week for FLOTUS (First Lady Of The United States) Michelle Obama and the youngest of the first couple’s daughters, Sasha. But more on that in a moment.

First, it’s good to be back. The two-week hiatus was a good opportunity to veg out and try to ignore the reality of our country’s abysmal economy, the unrelenting unemployment, the runaway train-ride towards being overwhelmed by illegal aliens while the federal government sues anyone who wants to enforce existing laws designed to combat the problem.  Ah yes, how nice it’s been to ignore it all. Kind of like, you know… being President.

AP Photo/Sergio Torres

As for the first lady, I’m so happy that Michelle had a chance to get away from the drudgery of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And Spain is such a great place to spread the wealth around, isn’t it?

Uh, perhaps for them but not, apparently, for us minions:

In July, Michelle Obama showed us all how concerned she was with the desperation of businesses in the Gulf states who are losing hundreds of millions of tourism dollars due to the BP Oil Spill. In a warm show of community unity, she traveled to the Florida Panhandle, hit hard by the oil spill and boldly stated that families who are “looking for things to do with their kids this summer… this is a wonderful place to visit.” And she sounded so sincere, didn’t she?

Then she went back to Washington to pack for a week-end trip in Maine. You may remember that was the trip where the family dog got his own chartered plane to join the family.

Last week, in true Marie Antoinette fashion, she jetted off on the Vice-President’s 757 Jumbo Jet with youngest daughter Sasha, a few dozen of her closest  friends, a complete staff of secret service  and attendants and spent the last 5 days in a luxury vacation area on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Spain…

But she’s back home now and all is well. If she hurries, she’s got just enough time to do a new PSA (Public Service Announcement) encouraging us minions to vacation in the Gulf of Mexico before she has to jump aboard Air Force One with the entire family for yet another vacation, this one on Martha’s Vinyard. I wonder if the dog will have his own jetski.

Of course, she’s entitled to a vacation, and all first families have taken them. My point is simply this:  Adding up hotel suites, private cottages by the sea, meals and transportation while there probably added roughly several million dollars to the coffers of Spain. It could have been the coffers of the businesses in the Gulf of Mexico.  And it would have prevented the inevitable comparison to Marie Antoinette.

But that would be an unfair comparison… While Michelle wants to put OUR kids on a strict diet, at least Marie Antoinette is purported to have said “Let ’em eat cake.”

Pass the twinkies…

Gerry Ashley


Remember In November: Take 1

July 10, 2010

In my previous post, I featured a billboard that someone with a keen sense of satire in Marshall, Texas put up, skewering “Ayatollah Barack Obama.”

After posting, I thought to myself, “What a great way to get the truth out before the mid-term elections. The President hasn’t yet signed an executive order to ban political billboards. And it doesn’t even have to be sponsored by an opposing candidate. It could just as easily be done by the general public, sick and tired of the current Congress rubber-stamping  the Obama administration’s efforts to “Fundamentally Change America” as we have known (and loved) it. 

The November mid-term elections are just over 3 months away. Now is the time for all good political pundits to come to the aid of their country.

Toward that end, I’m going to do my part and come up with some billboard designs. If anyone would like to “steal” my idea and implement it, please do so with my blessings. Seriously. There is no copyright on my ideas. If you can improve upon it,  so much the better. You get the idea. And if this inspires someone to come up with even better one as well, these will have served my purpose.

Feel free to forward these to your friends to get the message(s) out. We need to build the “resistance” as large as possible and that can only be done by getting the word out: It’s NOW (November) or, quite possibly, NEVER.

That said, here’s my first installment of my “Remember In November” billboard campaign suggestions.  Click on the image to see it full-size.

Gerry Ashley


The White House Fly: New WH Phone System

June 23, 2010

For those of you considering calling the White House… be aware: They have a new phone system designed to streamline calls to their appropriate extension:

Gerry AshleyUpdate: I’ve received several e-mails asking if there really is a “White House Fly” who is giving us exclusive access to comments made inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Others have been less diplomatic, questioning my sources and demanding proof that the White House Fly actually exists. In an effort to provide “full disclosure” and respond to all queries regarding this, I offer the following evidence:

The White House Fly… Semi-Fair and Nearly Balanced.

Thank you… now get back to work!


The Fly on the White House Wall: Obama and Sestak Part II

May 26, 2010

After eavesdropping on a call between the President and Joe Sestak yesterday, the Fly now finds himself on the wall of the White House Press Briefing Room, as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and a familiar figure enter: 

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Gerry Ashley


The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency – Part 8

April 28, 2010

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.”   
– White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel  

Note to our readers: This the 8th installment of a series called “The Abject Failure Of The Obama Presidency.” Intended to illustrate just how Obama’s policies fail us, and the Constitution he swore to uphold, it is based on The 10 tenets for establishing and maintaining democracy, written by William J. H. Boetcker and originally published in 1942. To read previous installments, just type or copy “The Abject Failure” into the search box to the right of this article, then click “Search.”  

The more research I did to support this particular tenet, the more I realized that this tenet is, perhaps, the most complex to explain and properly cover:  

8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.  

Photoshop by Josh Johnson

 Let me be clear about this: The United States is teetering on the edge of financial oblivion and it would be both factually incorrect and misleading to suggest the blame for this lies at the feet of the Obama administration.    

Neither the mainstream media nor Congress, nor most of the Presidential administrations over the past 40-50 years have been totally honest with the American public about this. But the numbers don’t lie, even if the politicians do: The amount of money the United States is committed to in either social programs or entitlements over the next decade is well over $100 Trillion (yes, with a “T”). Our own Alan Speakman of Grand Rants has written about this on a number of occasions. For a harsh look at the truth, read these pieces by Alan:   

This debt is principally the result of entitlements funded by Congress while you and I were not paying attention.  “Who’s going to win the playoffs?” became more of a concern to us than “What is Congress doing with our tax dollars?”  “What’s the number one song on the hit parade this week?” surpassed “Can we, as a nation, afford to do this now?” in importance. So, in a way, if you want to know who is most directly responsible for the economic crisis, we can all start by looking into a mirror.  

Even in years when administrations claimed to have a balanced budget, the deficit was, in fact, building in the background. Both political parties share the blame for this.  

In order to fully understand the nature of the beast preparing to devour our entire economy, here is a “quick-start” video to help get you up to speed. I urge you to watch it in its entirety.  When the video has finished, then please click on the link to read the rest of this installment to see how the Obama administration is heading in exactly the wrong direction… and why they are doing so intentionally.  

Read the rest of this entry »


What The Fly Heard At 1600 Pennsylavania Ave.

February 5, 2010

Episode One – Biden’s Revenge

Gerry Ashley