Snowcialism: You Didn’t Shovel That!

Even when you did.  Apparently, the Washington DC Police Chief doesn’t want people who dig out parking spots to reserve them.

lanier

She admonishes not the poacher who swings his car into the spot vacated by the person who put in the effort to get out and go to work, but instead scolds the shoveler.  How dare you, despite the sweat equity you put into clearing all the plow residue from a parking space, feel any slight entitlement to reap the benefits of your work?

If there is ever a microcosm of the entire political philosophy of the Marxist clowns who run that benighted crap-hole of a city, and the even bigger Marxists living there who are supposed to run our country, this is it.  In other cities, particularly northern ones, being a poacher will earn universal contempt.  It can also be a leading cause of sudden tire deflation.  And an occasional skull thumping.  I have also seen nice cars packed to the gills with snow, presumably courtesy of the person who sweated and cussed and hacked at ice to clear the space now poached.  A more helpful and realistic message from ol’ Chief Lanier would have been something like this:

@DCPoliceDept Chief Lanier: Though someone can’t technically “save” a parking space they just busted a nut shoveling, it would be wise not to be a d*ckhead by poaching the space.  And if you do, don’t be surprised if someone dents their snow shovel on your head.  #LazyPoachingBastard  #ShovelYourOwnDamnedSpace

But when lazy poaching bastards who let other people do the work for them are a key constituency, I spose you aren’t so inclined.

 

H/T

The Lovely DB

 

How Obama Gun Control Works

barack-obama-0-800

Barack Obama made great theater out of his weepy press conference to declare he was closing the non-existent “gun show loophole” and other sundry evil means by which law-abiding citizens may acquire firearms.  His executive orders, he tells us, will “save lives”, Second Amendment rights and separation of powers be damned.

a-new-book-explains-how-el-chapo-became-the-worlds-most-successful-drug-lord

It would seem that the loophole our aspiring Imperator did NOT close was the one where a firearm, or two thousand firearms, is purchased with taxpayer money, transported at taxpayer expense, and sold to known criminals.  You know, the Fast and Furious loophole.  The loophole that is the reason that for the leader of the Sinaola drug cartel, the murderous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, came to be in possession of a .50 caliber rifle, and undoubtedly more firearms, courtesy of the Obama Justice Department.

mexico_drug

mexican_drug_war__39447

That’s right.  While Obama was crying his crocodile tears, the guns his Attorney General had authorized be allowed to “walk” into the hands of Mexican gangs on both sides of our borders, continue to kill Mexican citizens.  Hundreds of Mexican men, women, and children have been brutally slain by these violent criminals, with bullets from the barrels of Fast and Furious guns.  A US Border Patrol Agent has also died by the hand of a Drug Cartel criminal using a Fast and Furious weapon.  I have little doubt that other American citizens have lost their lives to criminals armed with guns provided them by the Obama Administration through Fast and Furious, whether we hear about them or not (which we won’t).

holder (2)

What was the purpose of this deadly and entirely illegal gun-walking operation run by the Obama Justice Department?  Why, it was provide fodder for the gun-control zealots to make their pitch for the disarmament of the law-abiding in the United States.  That’s right.  So that the case could be made for yet-stricter gun laws further infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.  “Sensible” gun laws.  You know, like the Emergency Decrees after the Reichstag Fire.  Sensible.  Oh, and Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder?  Never HEARD of Fast and Furious, as he did his best Lois Lerner/Hillary Clinton under oath.  He has, of course, been replaced by his female doppelganger in Lois Lynch, in a job that seems to have but three qualifications:  melanin content, contempt for the Constitution, and a desire to disarm the American populace.  The ones that aren’t “her people”, anyway.

358301_img650x420_img650x420_crop

ISIS-hanging-Hawija

Who else has the Obama Administration been considerate enough to provide guns to, courtesy of the American People’s wallets?  Right.  You guessed it.  Islamic extremists and terrorists.  Murderous animals differing from those in San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, Little Rock, and Boston (or Paris, or Mali, or Burkina Faso) only in geographic location.  Terrorist groups who have murdered thousands of Christians (and Muslims) across the Middle East.  Sworn enemies of the United States bent on the destruction of all they encounter in the name of their violent cult disguised as a religion.  The very religion that Barack Obama pledged to stand with.

Guns-to-Terrorist-590-LI

It would appear that the Obama White House is perfectly willing to believe that the populace of Syria, or Libya, needed to be armed, to help them in their struggle against the tyranny of dictatorship.  Americans, in Obama’s view, deserve no such redress against tyranny, despite the Second Amendment, and the clarity of the Founding Fathers on the requirement for it.  In fact, Obama is so dead set against our gun rights that he is willing to sacrifice the lives of an American CBP agent and hundreds of innocent Mexicans living in a virtual war zone, to produce a propaganda campaign to brainwash the American people into giving up their last means of protection from the tyranny of men and women like himself who hold so tightly the levers of power.

Charles+Schumer+Michael+Bloomberg+NYC+Mayor+SNRKdqdW8zfl

To someone who understands what Obama is, and what he intends, his faux-anger at “gun violence” is positively Orwellian.  To someone who believes such displays to be sincere, I would love to ask that person if Obama managed to mention between sobs the men, women, and children of Oaxaca, or Tijuana, or La Laguna, or Cuidad Juarez, or Aleppo, or Ramadi…  If that person doesn’t understand the question, then they can’t understand that Obama and his ilk (Hillary, Bloomberg, et al.) wish to disarm us for THEIR protection, not ours, and certainly not the children of Sandy Hook.   That is what Obama gun control is for.  That Obama is perfectly willing to have guns bought and supplied by the American taxpayer deliberately placed in the hands of the most dangerous drug cartels in Mexico, but not law-abiding Americans?  Why, that is how Obama gun control works!  So, please, if you still think that the “gun control” of the far left somehow makes us safer, you have the intellectual curiosity of a pack mule.  And no, I don’t want to have a conversation about “sensible” gun laws with you.  Because you haven’t the sense to do so.  Go hang out with loudmouth half-wits like Whoopi Goldberg or some other liberal nincompoop.

 

 

 

 

 

Philly Cop Shot in Name of Islam. What To Do?

Philly

The suspect in the shooting (“attempted execution”) of a Philadelphia police officer declared that he shot the officer in Islam’s name.   (From the Police Commissioner: “According to him, police bend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran.”) Somehow, the mayor of Philadelphia seems to disagree with the shooter.  Sorta like how Obama doesn’t think muhammedans shrieking their hatred and vengeance upon the infidel as they murder Christians by the thousands has anything to do with muhammedanism.

Be that as it may, the man used a stolen police gun, something the new Obama executive action surely would have prevented.  The police need to be armed, of course, so the real criminal here is obviously religion.  It is high time we recognize that religion kills more people than anything else.  And in order to keep our children safe, we need to have some serious curbs on just anyone having religion.   Schools should be God-free zones.  We need to stop the “extremists” who have hijacked the First Amendment to claim an individual right to faith.

Do you believe in God?  Then you are an extremist.  You should be listed in a federal database as a believer in God.  The place you attend church services should be legally liable for anyone of that faith who kills or harms another person.  That way, when people are no longer allowed to have religion and we are all thankfully safe, armed Federal authorities can come to your house and confiscate bibles, crucifixes, prayer books, rosary beads, and other religious paraphernalia that are dangers to themselves, their household, and their neighbors.

Such a plan, of course, is not unprecedented.  Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, replying to a questioner in Keene, NH who asked “[Regarding] churches…the Soviet Union managed to take away tens of thousands–even millions–of churches and houses of worship, and in one year they were all gone. Can we do that? And if we can’t, why can’t we?”

russiananti5pknetlewm

“I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Soviet example is worth looking at,” Clinton said at a New Hampshire town hall on Friday.

Common-sense religious laws.  Religion is responsible for more violence than any other single thing.  This outmoded idea that everyone has the right to have God in their lives, God telling them what to do instead of the dictates of the State, “makes no sense”, in the words of President Obama.  Maybe, if we can eliminate such dangerous religion in the hands of private citizens, we can avoid the tragedies like San Bernadino, Fort Hood, Umpqua, UC Merced, Paris, and elsewhere.  Let’s do it, for the children, so they can be safe from God and religious violence.  Like the ones in Kampuchea.

 

President Ronald Reagan’s Christmas Message from 1981

Compare and contrast with today’s occupant of “the People’s House”.

This, given by a man who nine months before had been shot and seriously wounded by a would-be assassin.  Yet, his faith in America and her people, and in the blessings of God and liberty, remained so strong.   A man who had been wounded by a gunman, it might be noted, but who never called for disarmament of the law-abiding, or the infringement by the government against the People’s right to keep and bear arms as a last redress against the tyranny of that government.

Thirty-four years is a long time, it would seem.  I mourn the loss of that America, and the President who led it.

H/T MM

The Boys Don’t Miss ANYTHING

…and have major-league senses of humor about their lot in the Corps and in life.

12360422_10153834595557276_5191092166634901843_n

This belongs on the bulkhead of every barracks in the Corps.  Wonder why Duffel Blog is so damned funny?   Because the writers come from the superb young Marines (and other services) who can appreciate this kinda stuff.   Damn, I sure do miss being around the young Marines.  They are good for the soul.  And I just wanna say one more thing:

Gents, you’re all doing a great job.  I’m gonna let the 1st Sgt give you the details, but keep up the good work.

 

H/T 5th Battalion 10th Marines Alumni

 

 

VADM Crowder, Retired GOFOs, Double Standards, and Cognitive Dissonance

Trotsky

In the November 2015 issue of USNI Proceedings magazine, retired VADM Douglas Crowder asserted that retired Flag and General Officers should refrain from engaging in the political process , “stay on the sidelines, and away from public endorsements” of candidates in a general election.  In his “Hear This”, Crowder seems to believe the genesis of such activity was Admiral William Crowe’s endorsement of Bill Clinton.  In reality, however, such activities on the part of retired Generals and Admirals, including their entry into the political process as national candidates, goes back to the founding of our Republic.   There has never been a Constitutional prohibition on retired GOFOs participating in the political process, up to and including using the titles of rank that they have earned in the expression of their views and opinions.

For some reason, we are suddenly hearing that such Constitutionally-protected free speech is now “dangerous”, that it could lead to a “politicization” of the Armed Forces.   General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the senior Officer on the active list, intimated such when he called that free speech “unhelpful”,  and later scolded retired GOFOs for exercising their rights.  Apparently he missed the irony of an active agent of the US Government engaging in behavior that has a “chilling effect” on free speech, conduct expressly forbidden as a violation of the very Constitution which Dempsey swore an oath to support and defend.  Indeed, Dempsey’s immoderate and despicable conduct illustrates the two things very wrong with VADM Crowder’s admonitions.  The first is that there is virtually no complaint or outcry when a GOFO goes on record, either in print or the visual media, expressing support for the far-left agenda.   As an example, the gay and lesbian retired GOFOs who openly advocated repeal of DADT were described as being “courageous”, some were even lauded at Obama’s State of the Union addresses.  So how is it that, when contrary to the agenda of the far-left, such political expression becomes dangerous?   It can’t be.  Unless there is a double standard when it comes to Constitutional liberties.  Heaven forfend.   And, here is where the cognitive dissonance begins.   In this month’s Proceedings, Navy Commander Michael Wisecup cautions us on such dangers of retired GOFOs:

“…think of the implications to our profession if a political party could endorse and groom select active-duty (O)fficers into greater positions of authority in order to advocate for their platform.”

Which brings us to the far more disturbing issue that is wrong with VADM Crowder’s (and CDR Wisecup’s) assertions.  They have little to do with the true danger, the increasing trend of active-duty Officers carrying the political water for their masters.  Warning of the dangers of the lawful free expression assiduously ignores damage being done by the increasingly-politicized GOFO ranks at the top of our Armed Forces under Barack Obama.  Advocate for political platforms?  Are you kidding me?  Such instances are impossible to miss.

  • Martin Dempsey’s admonition against lawful free expression was not limited to simply criticism of retired GOFOs who are private citizens.  No, General Dempsey, while in the execution of his duties as an active duty  Military Officer, admonished a PRIVATE CITIZEN to desist from lawful free expression that the General found disagreeable.  Dempsey should have been relieved of his duties.  Had he had such objections to retired GOFOs speaking out in support of the far-left agenda of his political master, he would have been relieved had he not kept his mouth shut.
  • Admiral Mike Mullen’s shameful charade in front of Congress, when he offered, unprompted, his personal views on repeal of DADT, and proceeded to inform the US Military that any disagreement with them would be considered lack of integrity.  Such arrogance and poor judgment also should have been met with censure, but instead Mullen was declared a hero for advancing the political agenda of the far left.  That he lost any remaining respect from many of those he was charged with leading mattered little to him.  Mullen did, however, admonish Army MajGen Mixon for advising his soldiers to utilize their Constitutional rights in addressing their Congressional representatives.
  • After the Islamist terrorist act at Fort Hood in 2009,  in which Maj Nidal Hasan screamed “Allahu Akbar!” while shooting 45 Americans, mostly service members, 13 of them fatally, Army Chief of Staff Casey never addressed how a known Islamist extremist might have been accessed into his Army, or how he managed to be promoted to Major.  Instead, in an act of pathetic political sycophancy, Casey hoped the Islamist terrorism (still called “workplace violence”) would not affect US Army diversity efforts.
  • Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, also pushed incessantly for the codified racial and sexual discrimination known as “diversity”, instead of ensuring the United States Navy was organized, trained, and equipped to fight a war at sea.  The Navy, following his tenure as CNO, is woefully unprepared for such an eventuality.  However, it seemed far more important to Roughead that the Navy “looked like America”, selecting and promoting its leaders on criteria other than merit and suitability.  Race and gender (and sexual preference) have replaced competence and performance.  The mess Roughead made will take a decade to clean up, if it even can be.
  • In the midst of a sabre-rattling North Korea, with its rapidly increasing ballistic missile capability and nuclear weapons development, and a PLA Navy becoming ever more aggressive and capable, openly hostile to US interests and that of our allies in the Pacific Rim, COMUSPACOM Admiral Sam Locklear declared that the biggest security threat facing his forces was…….   global warming.
  • As part of the debacle of being relieved for cause as COMUSFOR-A, (ironically, because he and his Officers were highly critical of political leadership) Army General Stanley McChrystal let it be known he had voted for Barack Obama.  Revealing whom one voted for while speaking as an active duty Officer was once considered a serious taboo.  In fact, I don’t know if I can recall any senior Officer acknowledging such quite so publicly.  To the surprise of nobody, as soon as he retired, McCrystal went on to rail about his support for gun control and other leftist agenda items.  Nary a peep of protest from Dempsey.
  • Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff USMC General “Hoss” Cartwright openly described Constitutional limitations to the authority of the Defense Department as “obstacles” to mission accomplishment rather than necessary bulwarks for the preservation of individual liberties.  In what context?  To push Barack Obama’s July 2009 agenda to expand the authority of Government over the internet, specifically privately-owned networks and information infrastructure.

Advocating for political platforms, indeed.  Yes, it is sometimes a tricky course to navigate, to follow the orders of the President as Commander in Chief, without being an active agent in his advancing a domestic political agenda.  But that is why much is expected (or had been, at least) of the professionalism and judgment of senior Officers.  Admiral William Leahy, despite his personal bent toward Republican conservatism, was able to serve his President, New-Dealer Franklin Roosevelt, loyally and superbly throughout the Second World War.  As did Dwight Eisenhower, who would become the Republican nominee in 1952.   There seem to be an ever-shrinking number of GOFOs in the higher ranks of our military with the character and willingness to do so.

The increasing politicization of the senior leadership of the Armed Forces of the United States means such egregious political pandering and subversion of our Constitution will increase, not decrease.  Yet, people like VADM Crowder and CDR Wisecup seem to think it is the RETIRED GOFOs that pose the danger to seeing our Armed Forces become yet another government weapon to be used against political opposition instead of fighting and winning our nation’s wars against America’s enemies.   I find that quite concerning.  Once again, just like we are told after yet another act of Islamist terrorism that law-abiding Americans are to blame for exercising their Constitutional liberties under the Second Amendment, it is actually the GOFO retirees who are the problem, not the invertebrate political lap-dogs on active duty doing the bidding of the left, and that those retirees should refrain from exercising their Constitutional liberties under the First Amendment.    Each of those assertions requires the embracing of a dangerous double standard.   And each requires a generous helping of cognitive dissonance.  A disturbing trend, to be sure.

 

Attack on Hotel in Mali; 170 Hostages

Gunmen entered the hotel, which is popular with expat workers, shooting and shouting “God is great!” in Arabic.

A Malian army commander told the AP news agency that about 20 hostages had been freed.

Hostages able to recite verses of the Koran were being released, a security source has told Reuters news agency.

BBC has the story.  

Very likely Boko Haram, or affiliated Islamist terrorists, are holding hostages in the US-owned Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako.  170 of them, at last count.  No word on the fate of those who could not cite verses of the Koran.  But if the pattern of past attacks by Islamist terrorists is followed, that fate will be violent death.

President Obama will continue to assiduously avoid using the term “Islamic”, as if the hostage takers are from the local Knights of Columbus.  (If they were, of course, Obama would be screaming loudly about Catholic terrorism.)

Since there is no feminism component, I doubt we will see any of those inanely trite Michelle hashtags about bringing back “our” anybody.  Even though there are likely Americans among the hostages.

 

20 November 1943 Tarawa; Keep Moving

Originally posted 20 November 2009:

The buildings in the “regimental area” of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina are modest, post-war brick buildings that, to the visitor’s eye, look more or less alike. Yet, each of the Marine Regiments of the Second Marine Division has its own storied history and battle honors.  As Captain J. W. Thomason wrote in his Great War masterpiece Fix Bayonets, these histories represent the “…traditions of things endured and things accomplished, such as Regiments hand down forever.”

There are symbols of these honors for one to see, if you know where to look. On a thousand trips past those symbols, there is one that never failed to make me pause and reflect. On the headquarters building for the 2d Marine Regiment hangs their unit crest. Aside from the unit name, the crest contains only three words. They are in English and not Latin, and they are not a catch phrase nor a bold proclamation of a warrior philosophy. They are simple and stark. Across the top of the unit crest is the word “TARAWA”. And at the bottom, the grim admonition, “KEEP MOVING”.

491px-2nd_Marine_Regiment_Logo

It was 66 years ago on this date that the Second Marine Division began the assault on Betio Island, in the Tarawa Atoll. The island, roughly two thirds of the size of my college’s small campus, was the most heavily fortified beach in the world. Of the Second Marine Division, the 2nd Marine Regiment (known as “Second Marines”) landed two battalions abreast on beaches Red 1 and Red 2. The assault began what was described as “seventy-six stark and bitter hours” of the most brutal combat of the Pacific War. More than 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed, nearly 2,300 wounded, along with nearly 5,000 Japanese dead, in the maelstrom of heat, sand, fire, and smoke that was Betio.

Assault on Betio's Northern beaches

Assault on Betio’s Northern beaches

Marine Dead on Beach Red 1

Marine Dead on Beach Red 1

I will not detail the fighting for Betio here, as there are many other sources for that information. Nor will I debate whether the terrible price paid for Betio was too high. What cannot be debated is the extraordinary heroism of the Marines and Sailors who fought to secure the 1.1 square miles of baking sand and wrest it from the grasp of an entrenched, fortified, and determined enemy. The fighting was described as “utmost savagery”, and casualties among Marine officers and NCOs were extremely high. As one Marine stated, initiative and courage were absolute necessities. Corporals commanded platoons, and Staff Sergeants, companies.

Marines assault over coconut log wall on Beach Red 2

Marines assault over coconut log wall on Beach Red 2

The book by the late Robert Sherrod, “Tarawa, The Story of a Battle”, is a magnificent read. Another is Eric Hammel’s “76 Hours”. Also “Utmost Savagery”, by Joe Alexander, who additionally produced the WWII commemorative “Across the Reef”, an excellent compilation of primary source material. For video, The History Channel produced a 50th anniversary documentary on the battle, titled “Death Tide at Tarawa”, in November 1993. I also highly recommend finding and watching this superb production. It is narrated by Edward Hermann, and interviews many of the battle’s veterans, including Robert Sherrod, MajGen Mike Ryan, and others, who provide chilling and inspiring commentary of the fighting and of the terrible carnage of those three days.

 Master Sgt. James M. Fawcett, left and Capt. Kyle Corcoran salute Fawcett's father's ashes on Red Beach 1. MSgt Fawcett's father landed on Red 1 on 20 Nov 1943.

Master Sgt. James M. Fawcett, left and Capt. Kyle Corcoran salute Fawcett’s father’s ashes on Red Beach 1. MSgt Fawcett’s father landed on Red 1 on 20 Nov 1943.

Tarawa remains a proud and grim chapter in the battle histories of the units of the Second Marine Division. Each outfit, the 2nd, 6th, 8th, and 10th Marines, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Tracks, and miscellaneous support units, fought superbly against frightful odds and a fearsome enemy. It is on the Unit Crest of the 2nd Marines, whose battalions paid the highest price for Betio, that the most poignant of those histories is remembered. Three simple words: “TARAWA; KEEP MOVING”.

 

Of Strength, and Courage

Strength and courage in such measures that I cannot do justice to using  a keyboard.  Indy Star sportswriter Gregg Doyel does, however: (To do his article justice, I have inserted it here in its entirety.)
Troy2

She had one more soccer game to watch, and maybe then she would let herself die. But not before Saturday afternoon, no matter what the doctors were saying, because what the doctors were saying was unacceptable.

They were saying almost two weeks ago that Stephanie Turner had just a few days to live, that what had started five years ago as breast cancer and had come back with a vengeance a month ago was now rampaging through her body and shutting down her liver and, well. It was a matter of days. That’s what the doctors were saying.

No, Stephanie Turner had said. I need two weeks.

Because her daughter, Brebeuf goalkeeper Lauren Turner, had a state championship to win.

And Stephanie was going to be there.

Stephanie has always been there, for all three of her kids, starting years ago when her eldest played football at Cathedral. John Turner is a senior safety at Notre Dame now, and Stephanie goes to those games, too. She watches William, her youngest, a freshman running back on the Brebeuf varsity.

On Saturday, Lauren Turner and the Brebeuf girls soccer team played Penn for the Class 2A state title at Carroll Stadium. Lauren was in goal.

Stephanie Turner was in a Carroll Stadium suite, in a wheelchair, under a blanket.

The family let me inside Suite 7, offering hot dogs and soda and strength and grace, and Stephanie is beautiful under her blanket. She is so weak she can barely speak, her words coming softly in small mouthfuls, gentle words like, “I love my kids.”

She tells me, “I had to be here.”

She tells me, “I wouldn’t miss this.”

One by one the Brebeuf starters are introduced before the game. One by one they jog onto the field, wave to the crowd, then turn toward Suite 7 behind them and wave to Stephanie Turner.

The announcer introduces Lauren Turner.

“There’s your baby!” says Stephanie’s mom, Nettie Watkins. “Oh, and she waved to her mama. Did you see?”

Stephanie Turner responds in the affirmative.

“Mmm-hmm,” she coos.

She is wearing a maroon Brebeuf hat, with a Brebeuf windbreaker over her Brebeuf soccer shirt. Her eyes are yellowing behind her glasses, jaundiced from liver failure. She didn’t have to be here.

She had to be here.

“I think it’s keeping her going,” Stephanie’s husband, Troy, is telling me.

We’re sitting in the bleachers in front of the suite, just a few minutes before kickoff of the Class 2A title game, and I’m asking him how his daughter is holding it together on the soccer field. Lauren Turner has been blanking opponents for weeks, even as her mom has been growing weaker and weaker, and her brothers – John at Notre Dame, William at Brebeuf – likewise have been maintaining their academic and football commitments. I’m asking Troy: How can these children be so strong?

Troy smiles. He gestures at the suite behind us, at Stephanie in her wheelchair, under the blanket.

“She’s our strength,” he says. “If she can handle this, we can’t justify not being able to handle it, too.”

And she can handle this? That’s what I ask Troy Turner about his wife, dying of cancer. Even now? Today? Is she still handling it?

Troy nods and tells me what happened this morning.

Well, it was game day. And Stephanie Turner, home on hospice care for almost a week, unable to get out of bed, suddenly was able.

Her parents have been in town for a week, Nettie and John from Baltimore, and for almost a week they’ve seen their daughter in her bed. Now they see her up and wearing the Brebeuf shirt and windbreaker, and she’s ready to go, and it’s not time.

“She was ready two hours early!” Nettie was telling me. “We had to tell her she could get back into bed for a little while.”

They’ve come from all over for these final days – her parents and sister from Baltimore, Uncle Bill from Atlanta, a handsome nephew named Carter, more – and on Saturday morning 12 members of the family woke up under the same roof. That included John, the senior safety at Notre Dame. The Irish played at Temple on Saturday, but Troy Turner had told Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly about the situation back home. He asked if John could come home to see his mom for perhaps the last time.

“And Coach Kelly was great about it,” Troy said.

Everyone has been great about it. U.S. World Cup keeper Hope Solo – Brebeuf coach Angela Berry-White is a U.S. national team alum – sent Lauren Turner a signed pair of soccer gloves. While Stephanie was in intensive care last week at IU Hospital downtown, seven members of the Brebeuf team visited her. And Stephanie being Stephanie, this is what she did: She had the soccer players stand over her bed, put their hands together and holler, “Braves!”

This game Saturday, it wasn’t going so great for the Braves. Penn scores two minutes into the game, just the eighth goal that has gotten past Lauren Turner this season – eight goals in more than 1,200 minutes –  and the score stays 1-0 into the second half.

Stephanie watches the game quietly, barely moving, until Brebeuf scores midway through the second half to tie the game at 1. Suite 7 explodes in happy noise. Family members turn to Stephanie, who bumps fists with her sister, Crystal, and raises her hand to the glass window in front of her, pantomiming a high five with her sons outside. Troy comes inside to wrap an arm triumphantly around her shoulder, then goes back out.

With 6 minutes left Brebeuf scores the go-ahead goal and Suite 7 erupts again. Stephanie is smiling and holding up her right hand, and family members rush to pat it. Troy comes inside for a hug, then goes back out.

“Six minutes!” Uncle Bill says. “Run that clock down.”

Six minutes later, it’s over. Brebeuf wins 2-1. Lauren Turner and the Braves are state champions.

“That’s my La-La,” Stephanie Turner says, softly, as Suite 7 explodes for a third time.

And then the most amazing thing happens.

The clock shows zeroes and a horn sounds and the Brebeuf soccer team is celebrating, and Lauren Turner is sprinting off the field, onto the track around it, over the railing. The Brebeuf goalkeeper has scaled the wall and is running up the bleachers toward Suite 7, and now the Brebeuf soccer team is following her.

Lauren bursts into Suite 7, and Stephanie is crying, and Lauren is crying, and now the whole suite is crying. And here come the Braves, one after another, forwards and midfielders and defenders and they’re all crying and hugging their goalkeeper’s mom. They’re hugging Stephanie Turner, who is wiping tears from her eyes as her husband watches.

In a corner of Suite 7, Lauren Turner is almost inconsolable. Teammates are holding her up, and after about three minutes the team is heading back onto the field for the trophy presentation.

Troy asks Stephanie if she wants to leave the warmth of Suite 7. Does she want to go onto the field for the trophy ceremony?

Troy

Stephanie says something I’ve heard her say before.

“I have to be there,” she says, and in a few minutes she is in her wheelchair, under her blanket, next to the field. She watches her daughter receive a championship medal.

Brebeuf gets the team trophy, a giant plaque of wood and brass, and now Lauren has it. She walks to her mom, setting the trophy on her lap. Behind them, Troy is tucking the blanket around his wife’s neck, and draping a jacket over that. Warm now, she lowers her head and closes her eyes.

Stephanie Turner is tired, so tired, but she has seen what she came to see. Whatever happens next, whenever it happens, she saw the game. And she saw her daughter win that state championship.

Troy Turner was one of the best Marine Officers I have ever served with.  He was one of my Lieutenants when I had the honor of commanding Romeo Battery 5/10 back in the mid-1990s.  Troy was the kind of young Officer I could rely on for anything.  I could assign him any task, and he was smart enough and professional enough to figure it out.  And a finer man, one could not find.  He and Stephanie were a delightful young couple.   Now, as they face this tragedy, I am in awe of the indomitable strength and courage of Troy’s lovely Stephanie, and of Troy’s, and that of his daughter and other children.   I haven’t words.   God bless you all.

-Rhino 6

H/T

“Lieutenant” Mewborn

‘England Expects Every Man to Do His Duty’

a_painting_of_nelsons_flagship_the_hms_victory_by_blueshadow_the_pony-d6hnuj9

When the fragile Peace of Amiens collapsed after just fourteen months in May of 1803, triggering the War of the Third Coalition, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was determined to invade England.  His goal was to remove once and for all the British interference with his plans for the conquest of Europe. In 1803, England was a part of that ultimately unsuccessful Third Coalition (Austria, Russia, England, Sweden, the Holy Roman Empire, Napoli and Sicily) opposing France and Napoleon’s alliance which included Spain, Württemberg, and Bavaria.

The main obstacle to those invasion plans, as had been so often in the past (and would be in the future) was the Royal Navy. Britain had stood, alone, against revolutionary Republican France, and against Napoleon, at various times between 1789 and 1803. In the autumn of 1805, a combined French and Spanish fleet under French Admiral Pierre-Charles-Jean-Baptiste-Silvestre de Villeneuve, operating in the western approaches of the Mediterranean, were to combine with other squadrons at Brest and elsewhere to challenge the Royal Navy’s sea power in the English Channel.

Lord Nelson, after less than a month ashore from two years at sea, was ordered to take command of approximately 30 vessels, which included 27 ships of the line, and sail to meet the combined French/Spanish fleet gathered at Cadiz.   Aboard HMS Victory, Nelson eschewed the more conservative tactic of engaging the enemy in line-ahead, trading broadsides while alongside the parallel column of the enemy. Nelson instead planned to maneuver perpendicular to the enemy line of battle, with his fleet in two columns. Nelson in Victory would lead the larger, northern (windward) column, while Cuthbert Collingwood in HMS Royal Sovereign, would lead the southern (leeward) column.

The goal was to divide the French/Spanish fleet into smaller pieces and leverage local superiority to destroy the fleet in detail before the remainder could be brought to bear. (The risk, of course, was the possibility that the allied broadsides would rake and destroy the British columns upon their approach before they could bring their own broadsides into action.)  It was a tactic used by Admiral Sir John Jervis at the battle of St. Vincent some eight years before, a British victory in which Commodore Nelson had served under the future Earl St. Vincent.

The French/Spanish fleet was larger, with 40 ships to Nelson’s 33, and counted more ships of the line, 33 to the Royal Navy’s 27. Several of the French and Spanish ships were far larger than even Nelson’s Victory, carrying considerably more cannon.   But the Royal Navy held two important advantages.

Firstly, the Officers of the RN were far more experienced than their French and Spanish counterparts, and of significantly higher quality. The bloodbath of the French Revolution, predictive of the Soviet purges of the 20th Century, saw the execution or cashiering of the cream of the French Officer Corps. Also, the British crews, particularly the gunners, were far better trained and disciplined than those on the allied ships. In the coming battle, both fleet maneuver and ship handling would be critical to the outcome.

Just after noon on 21 October, Nelson observed the French/Spanish fleet struggling with light and variable winds, in loose formation off Cape Trafalgar, wallowing in a rolling sea. Nelson and Collingwood led their respective columns toward the enemy, enduring broadsides without the ability to respond, and suffering considerable casualties.  However, allied gunnery was not accurate and the rate of fire was subpar, allowing the British warships to close.

As the two British columns sliced through the allied line, the battle degenerated into individual battles between ships, and sometimes two and three against one. Casualties on both sides soared, as cannon and musket fire raked gun decks and topside. Nelson’s flagship Victory herself was almost boarded, by the French Redoubtable, saved at the last minute by HMS Temeraire, whose timely broadside slaughtered the French crews preparing to board.

At quarter past 1pm, as Nelson walked topside with Victory’s Captain, Thomas Hardy,  he collapsed to the deck, struck in the left shoulder with a musket ball. The ball had torn through his chest and severed his spine. Nelson knew he had been mortally wounded.   Carried belowdecks, he lingered for about three hours, weakening, but still inquiring about the course of the battle. His last words, according to physician William Beatty, who was an eyewitness, were, “Thank God I have done my duty.”

Slowly, the superior British gunnery and seamanship began to tell.  Ships in the allied column, many a bloody shambles of broken masts, shredded sails, and dead crewmen, began to surrender.  By 4pm, the action came to a merciful end.  The result of the battle was a serious defeat of the French/Spanish fleet. The van of the allied line never were able to circle back and engage either of the two British columns. Twenty-two allied ships were captured, one French vessel sunk. The French and Spanish suffered almost 14,000 casualties, with more than 8,000 seamen and Officers captured, including Admiral Villeneuve. The Royal Navy had lost no ships, despite the dismasting of two frigates. Casualties numbered 1,666, with 458 dead, including Britain’s greatest Naval hero.

Nelsons-Column-WhichHoliday-tv

It was Nelson himself who was, of course, the greatest advantage the Royal Navy possessed. Nelson’s skill and aggressive command style, his ability to motivate men and engender something very close to complete devotion in his junior commanders, and his willingness to issue orders and refrain from meddling, all were part of the famous “Nelson touch”.   His tawdry personal life, his open affair with Lady Hamilton, a lawsuit against Earl St. Vincent over prize money from the Battle of Copenhagen, all this was overlooked, and in some cases added to the legend and celebrity of Horatio Nelson. His likeness, replete with empty sleeve (from a grievous wound received at Santa Cruz) adorns a 143-foot column in Trafalgar Square. Lord Nelson’s name is synonymous with the Royal Navy. The guidance he gave to his ships’ captains echoes down through the centuries. “No captain can do very wrong should he lay his ship alongside that of the enemy”**.

Ironically, the great victory at Trafalgar came one day after the annihilation of an Austrian army at Ulm, another in an unbroken string of successes for Napoleon’s armies on the European mainland. The Third Coalition, like the two previous would suffer defeat at Napoleon’s hand. As would the Fourth Coalition. It would not be until 1815 that Napoleon would be defeated for good, this time, on land, by Wellington at Waterloo.

Of course, Nelson hadn’t any knowledge of the Battle of Ulm, or even the campaign. But he likely did know that his defeat of the combined French and Spanish naval forces off Cape Trafalgar had once and for all eliminated the threat of invasion of the British Isles.

**A fascinating look at the evolution from Nelson’s entreaty of the duty of a Royal Navy captain to the risk-averse and centralized sclerosis of command that plagued the Royal Navy in the First World War is provided in a masterpiece by Andrew Gordon called The Rules of the Game (USNI Press). Worth every second of the read, as both a historical work and as a cautionary tale.