December 07, 2016
July 04, 2016
Army veteran rescues bald eagle dangling upside down from a rope in 75-foot tree by 'mowing down the branches' with his rifle...Galvin spent 90 minutes firing 150 shots into tree branches to free [the] bird. The eagle, now named Freedom, is recovering at a rehabilitation center.
December 07, 2014
November 11, 2014
June 06, 2014
May 26, 2014
November 14, 2013
It REALLY deserves to be spread around. I'd heard the name and knew what she'd done, but I did not know about the sheer audacity of HOW she'd pulled it off.
There's more on this remarkable heroine here, here and here.
This is a profound reminder that great deeds can be done even by those with no power or riches if they do not lack for courage and wits.
July 29, 2013
It seems that Reichmarshall Hermann Goering, the right hand of evil, had a brother. His name was Albert. He was an urbane, cultured sociallite with a reputation as a lady's man. He was svelte. Also, in further contrast to his zeppelenesque sibling, he also seems to have privately despised Hitler and led a secret life saving a large number of Jews and dissidents at great personal risk.
It seems that Israel is now looking into whether to posthumously award Goering their Righteous Among the Nations award for his actions.
Decency can appear the strangest places.
July 04, 2013
235 years ago today the 13
southernmost of England's North American colonies sent representatives
to Philadelphia to discuss what to do about the various political
disputes they had had with London...disputes that had been festering for
One of these representatives, Benjamin Franklin, had spent 11 years in London trying to resolve these disputes. He had attempted to, amongst other things:
*set up a process for the colonists to elect MPs.
*represent their interests in policy discussions
*relay the London perspective back to the colonies.
While he was in England, Franklin
was increasingly treated not as a representative, but an ambassador
from a hostile nation. Finally, in 1774, he received an audience with the Solicitor General ostensibly to try to resolve the issue, but in fact for a public humiliation before the Privy council. He was called everything but a
child of God, told his people were nothing more than subjects who were
not entitled to representation of any sort. He was summarily dismissed.
One of the most respected
Britons of his age had gone to bring the nation closer together and
returned convinced it was not possible. He'd seen firsthand how similar policies had ruined Ireland and he was determined not to have that happen to his home.
Things had already deteriorated in the colonies when Franklin got back. The battles of Lexington and Concord had come to pass and Franklin was appointed to join a group of Delegates to discuss what to do about the situation.
The various delegates
conferred and decided on a course of action. On July 4th they announced and published multiple copies of their
conclusion and the reasons they had reached it.
It bears remembering that
they did not come to their very difficult conclusion lightly .
Their statement is below.
Today is the day we celebrate their difficult, but demonstrably fortuitous decision.
It is also a time to
reflect on the fact that Washington imposes a far greater degree of
interference in our day to day lives than Lord North ever contemplated.
is equally important to remember that the founders provided us with the very
tool Lord North had denied them; the ballot box.
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Provnce, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
William Hooper Joseph Hewes
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Thomas McKeanNew York:
Robert Treat Paine
June 06, 2013
Thus D-Day was simply the landing operation for the Battle of Normandy, which lasted from June 6 to late August 1944. That battle is considered to have ended when Alied forces began to cross the Seine.
It is easy, with 20/20 hindsight to think of great historic battles as having foregone conclusions, but they were not ordained to come out the way they did. Stalingrad, Midway and D-Day could have gone very differently.
Those who fought that terrible battle that began on June 6, 1944 did not have the benefit of knowing pretty much anything about what was beyond those fortified cliffs. If they had not persevered, history would have been written very differently.
Many of those who went ashore that day did not live to read of their contribution to history. They wrote that history in their blood.
That men advanced under such withering fire boggles the mind.
The Germans had placed mines and obstacles along the beach. If a landing craft grounded on a rock or other obstacle short of the beach the troops had to reach the beach the hard way.
Operation Neptune was the naval side of Overlord, and it was costly a well. Here a minesweeper and a PT boat attempt to rescue survivors from a US minesweeper that is no longer recognizable as a ship.
In addition to mines the Germans sent aircraft and small coastal submarines to wreak havoc.
The old battleship Texas (BB35) was built in 1912 and was considered obsolete even at the end of WW1. As such she was powerful enough to lay fire support, but sufficiently expendable to be risked inshore. When the landings at Omaha Beach began to go pear shaped, Texas closed to within 9000 feet of the shoreline. Under intense fire from German heavy artillery she took out pillboxes, sniper nests, heavy guns and obliterated the fortifications at the western exit of the landing zone. When the Army Rangers tasked with taking the cliffs began to run out of supplies, Texas ran close inshore and dispatched a landing party to provide the Rangers with ammunition and bring the wounded back to the old ship for treatment....they also brought back 27 prisoners. Texas continued to fight until she had exhausted her ammo, she then zipped across the channel, reloaded and came right back.
This picture was actually taken several days after D-Day when USS Texas, USS Nevada, USS Arkansas, HMS Glasgow and HMS Enterprise thundered into the heavily defended Cherbourg harbor with the aim of taking out the heavy guns that menaced the allied forces. Moments after this picture was taken, the battery that caused that shell splash scored a hit on the old battlewagon's bridge. Nevertheless, the old ships took out the heavy guns protecting the town.
General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was one of Eisenhower's staff tasked with applying lessons learned from his experiences at Sicily and Salerno. Not considered fit for combat due to his previous war wounds and a heart condition, he nevertheless asked for and received permission to go ashore as an observer.
As such, he was the only Allied General to land with the first wave of troops. When things went horribly wrong on Utah Beach, Roosevelt took command, and even though he had to use a cane to walk, rallied the troops and deployed them to best effect. He salvaged what could easily have been a fiasco.
His medal of Honor Citation:
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France
He died a few weeks later of a heart attack, in a tent on the front lines. He is buried in the Normandy cemetery in France.
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