Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lost and Found – June 30th Edition

What to remember about June 30th…

  • 1775  Continental Congress establishes 69 Articles of War
  • 1859  Charles Blondin 1st person to cross Niagra Falls on a tightrope
  • 1908  Huge atmospheric explosion above Tunguska region of Russia
  • 1943  MacArthur launches Operation Cartwheel in the South Pacific
  • 1953  1st production Chevy Corvette driven off the assembly line
  • 1971  All 3 cosmonauts of Soyuz 11 mission die on re-entry
  • 1985  Remaining 39 hostages released from TWA flight 847; passenger and U.S. Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was tortured and murdered by the Hezbollah / Islamic Jihad hijackers on June 15th
  • 1997  United Kingdom transfers sovereignty over Hong Kong to People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • 1998  Defense Department announces that Vietnam War service member buried in the Tomb of Unknowns has now been identified as USAF 1lt Michael J. Blassie; his remains are returned to his family

Lost and Found – June 29th Edition

What to remember about June 29th…

  • 1613  Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is destroyed by fire
  • 1776  Constitution of Virginia is adopted
  • 1861  Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning dies
  • 1886  Famed African-American photographer James Van Der Zee is born in Lenox, MA; leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance
  • 1897  Chicago Colts (Cubs) set record for most runs scored in a single game; 36-7 vs. Louisville
  • 1927  U.S. Army Air Corps Bird of Paradise completes 1st flight from U.S. mainland to Hawaiian Islandi
  • 1967  Israel removes barricades in Jerusalem reuniting the city
  • 1972  SCOTUS rules in Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty unconstitutional; in 1977 new guidelines make it legal once again
  • 1974  World-renowned ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from Soviet Union while touring with Bolshoi Ballet
  • 2003  Actress Katharine Hepburn dies at 96 in Connecticut

Lost and Found – June 28th Edition

What to remember about June 28th…

  • 1776  Thomas Hickey convicted and executed for mutiny, sedition, and conspiring with the enemy; Washington signs the death warrant
  • 1778  Mary “Molly Pitcher” Hays replaces her wounded husband on the battlefield as cannon crew helping win the Battle of Monmouth
  • 1836  James Madison dies; 4th President of the United States, “father” of the Constitution; husband of Dolley Madison
  • 1914  Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is shot to death beginning a chain of events leading to World War I
  • 1919  Future 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman marries Bess Wallace; afterward they lived in her mother’s house
  • 1919  Treaty of Versailles is signed; ends World War I
  • 1953  Assembly begins in Flint, MI on the 1st Chevrolet Corvette
  • 1965  3000 troops from the 173rd Airborne assault Viet Cong positions north of Saigon; 1st major offensive of the Vietnam War
  • 1978  SCOTUS rules in University of California v. Bakke that he be admitted to the medical school; ruled against reverse discrimination
  • 1997 Boxer Mike Tyson bites off ear of Evander Holyfield’s ear
  • 2000  6-year old Elián González sent back to Cuba
  • 2004  Sovereign power is transferred from the Coalition Provisional Authority to Iraq’s interim government
  • 2005  Navy Lt. Michael Patrick Murphy is killed in Afghanistan calling in support for his surrounded unit; he will receive the Medal of Honor
  • UPDATE: SCOTUS rules that Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is constitutional as a tax and not under Commerce Clause; largest tax increase in history of the world goes forward

INS Border Patrol agents take 6-year old into “protective custody”

I Am The 0.45%

Too many people today take for granted or even look down upon those who have chosen to sacrifice years of their lives in the service of their nation.  The letter below posits that the disconnect may come from the shrinking percentage of Americans that have shared this experience or had someone close to them that did.  Read it and take a moment to really consider the implications.

This came to me via Dave J. from Facebook.  I don’t know where it originated from so I’ll repost the whole thing here and add a link to where it was on Facebook.

*****

Scott

This is a long message but a friend of mine posted this and I thought it should be disseminated to the largest possible audience. Something only a few understand. These aren’t my words but the words of a fellow Soldier.

I remember the day I found out I got into West Point. My mom actually showed up in the hallway of my high school and waited for me to get out of class. She was bawling her eyes out and apologizing that she had opened up my admission letter. She wasn’t crying because it had been her dream for me to go there. She was crying because she knew how hard I’d worked to get in, how much I wanted to attend, and how much I wanted to be an infantry officer. I was going to get that opportunity.

That same day two of my teachers took me aside and essentially told me the following: Nick, you’re a smart guy. You don’t have to join the military. You should go to college, instead.

I could easily write a tome defending West Point and the military as I did that day, explaining that the USMA is an elite institution, that separate from that it is actually statistically much harder to enlist in the military than it is to get admitted to college, that serving the nation is a challenge that all able-bodied men should at least consider for a host of reasons, but I won’t.

What I will say is that when a 16 year-old kid is being told that attending West Point is going to be bad for his future then there is a dangerous disconnect in America, and entirely too many Americans have no idea what kind of burdens our military is bearing.

In World War II, 11.2% of the nation served in four years.

In Vietnam, 4.3% served in 12 years.

Since 2001, only 0.45% of our population has served in the Global War on Terror.

These are unbelievable statistics.

Over time, fewer and fewer people have shouldered more and more of the burden and it is only getting worse.

Our troops were sent to war in Iraq by a Congress consisting of 10% Veterans with only one person having a child in the military.

Taxes did not increase to pay for the war. War bonds were not sold. Gas was not regulated. In fact, the average citizen was asked to sacrifice nothing, and has sacrificed nothing unless they have chosen to out of the goodness of their hearts.

The only people who have sacrificed are the veterans and their families. The volunteers. The people who swore an oath to defend this nation.

You stand there, deployment after deployment and fight on. You’ve lost relationships, spent years of your lives in extreme conditions, years apart from kids you’ll never get back, and beaten your body in a way that even professional athletes don’t understand. Then you come home to a nation that doesn’t understand.

They don’t understand suffering.

They don’t understand sacrifice.

They don’t understand why we fight for them.

They don’t understand that bad people exist.

They look at you like you’re a machine – like something is wrong with you. You are the misguided one – not them.

When you get out, you sit in the college classrooms with political science teachers that discount your opinions on Iraq and Afghanistan because YOU WERE THERE and can’t understand the macro issues they gathered from books, because of your bias.

You watch TV shows where every vet has PTSD and the violent strain at that. Your Congress is debating your benefits, your retirement, and your pay, while they ask you to do more. But the amazing thing about you is that you all know this. You know your country will never pay back what you’ve given up. You know that the populace at large will never truly understand or appreciate what you have done for them.

Hell, you know that in some circles, you will be thought as less than normal for having worn the uniform. But you do it anyway. You do what the greatest men and women of this country have done since 1775 – YOU SERVED. Just that decision alone makes you part of an elite group.

“Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few.” Winston Churchill

 Thank you to the 0.45% who have and continue to serve our Nation

Lost and Found – June 27th Edition

What to remember about June 27th…

  • 1829  James Smithson dies leaving his estate to the United States of America; leads to establishment of the Smithsonian Institution
  • 1844  Founder and leader of the Mormon religion Joseph Smith Jr. and his brother Hyrum are murdered by a mob in Carthage, Illinois
  • 1864  Battle of Kennesaw Mountain; Union forces defeated but Confederate forces must withdraw towards Atlanta once more
  • 1880  Author/activist/lecturer Hellen Keller born in Alabama
  • 1923  American aviators Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter successfully complete 1st aerial refueling of a plane
  • 1927  Bob “Captain Kangaroo” Keeshan born in Lynbrook, New York
  • 1942  FBI arrests the last of 8 Nazi saboteurs sent to the U.S.
  • 1950  President Truman announces U.S. forces will move in support of a U.N. resolution to aid South Korea repel invasion by North Korea
  • 1973  John Dean tells Senate Watergate Committee about the “enemies” lists kept by the Nixon White House
  • 2005  Serial killer Dennis Rader pleads guilty and confesses to 10 murders in the “BTK” case; sentence is 175 years without parole

Warbirds – F6F Hellcat

June 26th, 1942 marks the first flight of Grumman’s F6F Hellcat.  Designed as the replacement for the F4F Wildcat, the Hellcat became the U.S. Navy’s premier carrier-based fighter aircraft.

Though Grumman was already working on the design to replace the Wildcat, the contract for the first prototypes wasn’t signed until June of 1941.  Using the design of the F4F as their starting point, the entire aircraft was re-engineered with one thing in mind – defeating the Japanese Zero.  Improve mechanical systems, a 25% more powerful engine, an armored cockpit with better visibility, more potent weaponry, and later even radar were added to this new Warbird.  Night-fighting capability and even a 2000 pound bomb payload capacity would enhance later versions of the F6F.

The Hellcat’s first saw enemy action on September 1st, 1943 when a pair from the USS Independence downed a Japanese “flying boat”.  Operational tempos increased rapidly for the Hellcats.  Engagements at Tarawa, Rabaul, and the Battle of the Philippine Sea saw kill counts soar.  With over 65,000 sorties flown by Hellcats during the war, F6Fs were responsible for over 5,000 downed enemy aircraft.  With only 270 Hellcats lost, they were responsible for over 50% of all U.S. aerial victories – an almost 19:1 kill-to-loss ratio.  Allied versions of the F6F build on this legacy.  Overall, 29 Navy, 2 Marine Corps aces, and one Medal of Honor recipient flew the F6F Hellcat.

The John Wayne film Flying Leathernecks (1951) features quite a bit of combat footage of the Hellcat in action even though F4U Corsairs were supposed to be the stars.  Spoilers like to point out that much of the footage is post-WWII and some even Korean War vintage.  Korea war the last theater of war in which U.S. F6Fs would see combat.

 

 

Lost and Found – June 26th Edition

What to  remember about June 26th…

  • 1804  Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the mouth of Kansas River
  • 1819  Major General Abner Doubleday born (d. 1893); popularly believed to be the inventor of baseball
  • 1844  President John Tyler marries Julia Gardiner in New York
  • 1862  Confederates attack Mechanicsville; Seven Days’ Battle begins
  • 1917  American Expeditionary Forces arrive in Europe
  • 1918  Conflict that begins June 1st ends today with victory of General Pershing’s American Army and Marine forces at Battle of Belleau Wood
  • 1942  1st flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-based fighter
  • 1945  50 delegates sign charter forming the United Nations
  • 1948  In response to Soviet blockade of West Berlin the 1st planes depart from England and West Germany for the Berlin Airlift
  • 1963  President John F. Kennedy speech at Berlin Wall declaring “Ich bin ein Berliner”; grammar mistake translates to “I am a donut”;  meant to say “I am also a citizen of Berlin.”
  • 1975  2 FBI agents and member of American Indian Movement die in shootout at Pine Ridge Reservation; Leonard Peltier convicted of murders
  • 1996  SCOTUS orders Virginia Military Institute to admit women
  • 2000  Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics announce “working draft” of the human genome
  • 2008  In District of Columbia v. Heller SCOTUS rules that 2nd Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms

Barack Hussein Obama – The Least Interesting Man In The World

PJTV knocks another one out of the park with this new video of President Obama as “The Least Interesting Man In The World” .

If you aren’t already of PJ Media or at least a follower on Facebook, go join up now.

Lost and Found – June 25th Edition

What to remember about June 25th…

  • 1788  Virginia becomes 10th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution
  • 1868  Florida conditionally re-admitted to the United States
  • 1876  Battle of Little Bighorn;   Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat Custer led forces in Montana
  • 1900  English Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten is born
  • 1910  Congress passes the Mann Act; makes it illegal to transport any girl or woman across state lines for “any immoral purpose”
  • 1942  Lt. Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower takes command of U.S. forces in Europe; later becomes commander of all allied forces for D-Day
  • 1950  North Korean Peoples (KPA) army crosses the 38th parallel and invades South Korea; Korean War begins
  • 1991  Slovenia and Croatia both declare their independence and secede from the formerly Soviet controlled Yugoslavia
  • 1993  Kim Campbell sworn in as 1st female Canadian prime minister
  • 1996  Islamic terrorists from Hezbollah detonate truck bomb outside barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia; 19 killed and 372 injured
  • 2006  Hamas terrorists kidnap Israeli Defense Force Corporal Gilad Shalit near Gaza border; held hostage until October 18, 2011
  • 2009  Singer Michael Jackson dies at age 50 in Los Angeles

Remembering Custer’s Last Stand – Encyclopedia Britannica

Supreme Court Death Panel

UPDATE June 25th, 2012:  Obamacare ruling delayed until Thursday the 28th

After Obama’s decidedly awful last week, I can only hope that his luck continues to hold.  The Supreme Court sits poised to deliver several key rulings.  While the immigration ruling in U.S. v. Arizona, life sentences for juveniles in Miller v. Alabama  and Jackson v. Hobbes, mortgage kickbacks in First American Financial v. Edwards, and the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act inU.S. v. Alvarez are all important, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is be the constitutionality of Obamacare.  Obama’s single claim to accomplishment during his tenure as President is the Affordable Care Act.

Drudge had it right last night with a headline that suggested that the Supreme Court is poised to act as the “Death Panel” in this case.  Sarah Palin famously used that phrase to describe groups of unelected bureaucrats that would decide what care a dying person could receive under the new government healthcare law.  Obamacare is on life support.  Will the Court decide yea or nay or a little of both?  The American people wait to hear whether the government will have nearly unlimited control over their persons as well as the economy.  President Obama waits to hear if his single, solitary “achievement” will stand or if it will be wiped away along with his reelection chances.