Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s Never Too Late To Stand Up For What You Believe In

Some will say it’s too hard or that they have no time.  Others will claim they have done their time or given enough.  A brave few – a tiny remnant of those among us – will still do what they know needs to be done.

Here is to Samuel Whittemore, aged 80.  Alone, he attacked a British relief column and killed three British soldiers on April 19, 1775 near Arlington, Massachusetts.  In the process he was shot in the face, bayoneted 13 times, and left for dead.  When found, he lay in a pool of his own blood; trying to reload his musket.  Out of what I would imagine is a pure stubborn refusal to allow the Redcoats the pleasure of his death, he recovered and lived to the ripe old age of 98.  He is rightly honored as the Official State Hero of Massachusetts.

samuel whittemore

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10 Commandments Of Logic

Pretty self-explanatory.  Perhaps someone should print these onto a card that will fit in your wallet.

10 commandments of logic

 

(Found on Facebook.  Thanks for sharing WB)

Warbirds – F-16 Fighting Falcon

Our latest edition of Warbirds brings us to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.  This storied Cold War veteran took its first flight on January 20, 1974.

f-16 fighting falcon thunderbird

Requests for proposals in the 1972 Lightweight Fighter (LWF)  initiative brought five companies into competition.  General Dynamics and Northrop were eventually awarded contracts for prototype production.  During a near disastrous taxi test the XF-16 was forced into an unscheduled first flight to avoid destroying the aircraft.  Despite this, the Falcon went on to win the joint U.S. and NATO Air Combat Fighter competition – outperforming the Saab 37E “Eurofighter”, the Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1M-53, the SEPECAT Jaguar, and the Northrop P-530 Cobra (similar to the XF-17).  Citing better maneuverability, greater range, and lower operating costs, the Secretary of the Air Force announced in 1975 its intent to order the first 650 F-16’s.

f-16 fighting falcon line drawing

The first delivery of an F-16A to the USAF occurred on January 6, 1979.  Operational deployment began on October 1, 1980 with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB in Utah.  Since then, over 4500 units of a variety of models have been built.  Air forces of 25 nations have had the F-16 in their service.

f-16 fighting falcon weapons load display

The first combat experiences of the Falcon took place during the 1981 Lebanese Civil War.  F-16s of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) successfully downed in air-to-air combat a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter and a MiG-21.  Later that year, a combined flight of IAF F-16s and F-15s destroyed the nearly completed Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak.

In the 1980s, NATO and US deployment of the F-16 provided an effective counter to the massive deployments of Warsaw Pact aircraft in Eastern Europe.  Innumerable aerial challenges occurred through the end of the Cold War, but no real combat.  The first action seen by US and NATO F-16s occurred during the 1991 Gulf War – Operation Desert Storm.  From January 16 to February 28, F-16s flew over 13,000 sorties with seven aircraft lost.  Of these losses, only three were due to enemy fire.  Despite their heavy operational tempo, it would be 1992 before the first USAF F-16 would get an air-to-air kill.  During enforcement of the US/UK no-fly zones over Iraq, an F-16D shot down a Mig-25 with an AIM-120 AMRAAM.  This event also marked the first kill by an AMRAAM missile.

f-16 fighting falcon burning iraqi oil wells

F-16s continued to provide vital service throughout the next two decades.  Action was seen in the Balkans in ’93,’94, and ’99 as well as Pakistan from ’86 to ’88 against  Afghan Air Forces.  Later, the Falcons saw combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom (’03-’10) and during operations of the IAF in Lebanon in ’06 as well as from ’08 to ’09.  Today, Japanese and South Korean F-16s routinely deal with aerial challenges from Russian, North Korean, and even Chinese threats.

f-16 fighting falcon show of force

With the ongoing upgrade scheme, the USAF plans to keep the F-16 in service through 2025.  However, with the delayed acquisitions of the F-35 Lightning II, the Fighting Falcon may see its US service extended well beyond that date.  You should expect to see them in the air forces of other nations quite a bit longer.

This is a great documentary on the USAF Thunderbirds, their history, and the F-16. Enjoy!

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigration

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an American – January 3, 1919

“In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one soul[sic] loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

This quote made the rounds as an e-mail a while back and I hadn’t gotten around to sharing it.  Well, I finally got around to researching it and just needed to correct a couple minor mistakes so that it be taken in the proper context.  First, the quote is NOT from a 1907 speech made by Roosevelt while still in office.  The text actually comes from a letter he wrote in 1919 just days before his death.  I also restored a couple lines that had been edited out.  If you would like to see the original document from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, it can be viewed here.

During my research on this I found some other quotes by Teddy Roosevelton along similar lines.  Here are a couple.

“Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it.  Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back.  He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here.  He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend on his knowing English and observing American standards.  the employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.

We must in every way possible encourage the immigrant to rise, help him up, give him a chance to help himself.  If we try to carry him he may well prove not well worth carrying.  We must in turn insist upon his showing the same standard of fealty to this country and to join us in raising the level of our common American citizenship.”

Excerpted from a speach by former President Roosevelt from The New York Times of February 2, 1916.

“I appeal to all our citizens no matter what land their forefathers came from, to keep this ever in mind, and to shun with scorn and contempt the sinister intrigues and mischiefmakers who would seek to divide them along lines of creed, or birthplace or of national origin…  The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin is certain to breed a spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens.  If some citizens band together as German-Americans or Irish-Americans, then after a while others are certain to band together as English-Americans or Scandanavian-Americans, and every such banding together, means down at the bottom an effort against the interest of straight-out American citizenship, an effort to bring into our nation the bitter Old World rivalries and jealousies and hatreds.”

Memorial Day speech by former President Roosevelt from The Washington Post of June 1, 1916.

Now, I am not a big fan of either Roosevelt.  But Teddy, despite being the first progressive president, was still able to recognize the exceptional nature of America and that it needed to be protected from enemies both foreign and domestic.

A Soldier’s Christmas Wish

Let’s never forget those whose sacrifices make us free and able to celebrate and worship as we please in this holiday season as well as the rest of the year. Published in the Magic City Morning Star December 24, 2009, this work really captures the feeling.  Transcript is posted below the video.

This poem was written by an Australian Peacekeeping stationed overseas. His request, send this to as many people as you can.  Credit is due to all of the service men and women for our being able to celebrate Christmas.  Let’s try to pay a bit of what we owe to these heroes.

Soldier’s Christmas Wish

By Unknown Original Author
 
T’was the night before Christmas, He lived all alone
In a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.
 
I had come down the chimney, with presents to give,
And to see just who, in this home, did live.
 
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, Not even a tree.
 
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures, of far distant lands.
 
With medals and badges, Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought, came through my mind.
 
For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
 
The soldier lay sleeping, Silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor, in this one bedroom home.
 
The face was so gentle, the room in disorder,
Not how I pictured, (A United States) Soldier.
 
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
 
I realised the families, that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these soldiers, who were willing to fight.
 
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate, a bright Christmas day.
 
They all enjoyed freedom, Each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
 
I couldn’t help wonder, How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
 
The very thought brought, a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees, and started to cry.
 
The soldier awakened, and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa don’t cry, This life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,
My life is my God, My country, my corps.”
 
The soldier rolled over, and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
 
I kept watch for hours, So silent and still,
And we both shivered, from the cold night’s chill.
 
I did not want to leave, on that cold, dark, night,
This guardian of honour, So willing to fight.
 
Then the soldier rolled over, With a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, “carry on Santa, It’s Christmas Day, all is secure.”
 
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas my friend, and to all, a good night.”
 

(Thank you Herta for sending this to me.  God bless!)

REAL Must See TV – Apollo 11 Landing

July 20, 1969 – Was this the pinnacle of American achievement?

Aldrin_Apollo_11

10 Commandments Of Logic

Pretty self-explanatory.  Perhaps someone should print these onto a card that will fit in your wallet.

10 commandments of logic

 

(Found on Facebook.  Thanks for sharing WB)

A little Patriotic Goodness

A blast from back in 2013 but well worth sharing again.  Couldn’t let our Canadian friends show us up.

*****

My first attempt at “constructive” baking.  Fun to make and bake.  Tastes even better!  Put a little America in your mouth.

IMG_0093 IMG_0095

 

It’s Never Too Late To Stand Up For What You Believe In

Some will say it’s too hard or that they have no time.  Others will claim they have done their time or given enough.  A brave few – a tiny remnant of those among us – will still do what they know needs to be done.

Here is to Samuel Whittemore, aged 80.  Alone, he attacked a British relief column and killed three British soldiers on April 19, 1775 near Arlington, Massachusetts.  In the process he was shot in the face, bayoneted 13 times, and left for dead.  When found, he lay in a pool of his own blood; trying to reload his musket.  Out of what I would imagine is a pure stubborn refusal to allow the Redcoats the pleasure of his death, he recovered and lived to the ripe old age of 98.  He is rightly honored as the Official State Hero of Massachusetts.

samuel whittemore

Lost and Found – April 5th Edition

What to remember about April 5th…

  • 1614  John Rolfe of Jamestown, Virginia marries Matoaka “Pocahontas”, daughter of chief of Powhatan Indian confederacy
  • 1774  Writing from London, Benjamin Franklin publishes satirical work “An Open Letter to Lord North”; government unfortunately liked the ideas
  • 1792  Presidential veto is exercised for 1st time; Washington vetoes bill on apportionment of representatives he considers unconstitutional
  • 1862  Union forces land behind Confederate lines on James Peninsula to begin Siege of Yorktown in Virginia
  • 1922  American Birth Control League is incorporated in New York by Margaret Sanger; later reformed into Planned Parenthood
  • 1933  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 6102 criminalizing possession of more than $100 in gold currency
  • 1951   Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for their roles in running a spy ring and passing nuclear secrets to the Soviets
  • 1955  Winston Churchill retires as Prime Minister; remains in Parliament until 1964
  • 1986  Libyan terrorists bomb West Berlin Discotheque killing 3 and wounding 230; U.S. planes will bomb Triploi in response on April 15
  • 1994  Pop rock icon and Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain commits suicide in Seattle, Washington (b. 1967); many fans blame his wife Courtney Love
  • 2008  Tough-guy actor, civil rights proponent, and NRA president Charlton Heston dies (b. 1923)