Day of Remembrance

Today is the Day of Remembrance at NASA, where we honor the crews of Apollo 1, STS-51L Challenger, and STS-107 Columbia. It’s the 30th anniversary of Challenger somehow, but it really doesn’t seem like all that long ago. While this brought tears to my eyes…
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(credit to Clyde Wells, Augusta Chronicle)
this is the one that hit me harder today.
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I showed that to one of the young engineers, young enough he doesn’t remember Challenger, told him about this photo being sent to the Apollo spacecraft program manager with the message, “It isn’t that we don’t trust you, Joe, but this time we’ve decided to go over your head.” I said, “How much confidence do you think they had in their vehicle?” and yet they got in anyway. Brave men.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Howie Carr on the Obama Gun Grab

The irrepressible Howie Carr tells it like it is at the Boston Herald.

So who’s kidding whom here? Obama, Holder, Lynch et al. have zero interest in enforcing the existing gun statutes because they’re violated in large measure by illegal aliens, gangbangers, drive-by shooters, street muggers and fifth-generation welfare layabouts — in other words, the core constituencies of the Democratic Party. Do any of these Obama voters get their weapons at gun shows? If you’ve ever been to a gun show, you damn well know the answer to that question.

Anyone who thinks that the Obama Administration (or Hillary) believe for a second that there is a “gun-show loophole”, or that any of the measures they are proposing will reduce the ability of criminals and muhammedan terrorists to obtain and use guns, is too stupid or brainwashed to have much of a discussion with.  The point, of course, is to disarm the law-abiding populace, so that there will be no redress against tyranny.  Because at the heart of every far-left socialist-communist secular progressive is a tyrant eager to use the force of government compulsion to force compliance with their ideas of the Marxist paradise.

As bad as Obama is, Hillary is worse.  But there are far more people, law enforcement, National Guard members, Veterans, who believe in the Constitution, and are willing to defend it with their lives.

Howie is correct.  If you don’t own a gun, buy one.  And sufficient ammunition to gain proficiency, and then make yourself proficient in defense of your home and your family.

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property… Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.  -T. Paine

H/T Brian P.

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

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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.

 

Food for Thought: Being Prepared

Some very sound advice from alte kamerad JPP over at the new place (intheoldcorps.com).

What do you carry? As in, what do you have with you on a consistent daily basis to help deal with emergencies at work or on the commute? In light of recent events, you might want to review your preparations.

In my opinion– and let’s leave guns off the list for now– you should have these things with you:

  • A tourniquet
  • An emergency battle dressing, sometimes called the “Israeli battle dressing”
  • A packet of gauze, better still gauze impregnated with a blood-stopper agent
  • Training in the use of the three items above
  • A good knife or a Leatherman, maybe both
  • A light, preferably a headlamp because that leaves your hands free, with fresh batteries
  • At least one way to start a fire
  • A way to charge your cell phone
  • A dust mask (might be a good idea getting out of a building)
  • A PLAN TO GET HOME OR TO AN INTERMEDIATE SAFE HAVEN

Gather those things, have them in your car, or somewhere handy.  And think.  Rehearse it in your head.  What would you do?  Where would you go?  Think it through.  With more and more reports of batches of cell phones being bought, and theft of large numbers of propane tanks, such thinking and rehearsing and equipping is more than prudent.  Despite B. Hussein’s incessant delusional rantings that violent muslim extremists don’t present a threat.

As for other things to carry?  More sound advice.

Regarding the gun, if your daily circumstances allow you to carry, you should. And with at least one extra magazine. If that’s a no-go (it’s a no-go in my work place), can you stash one nearby with your like-minded relative or co-worker?

Because those who tell you that the solution to radical islam is gun control, have armed guards 24/7, paid for by the very people they want to disarm.

The RFH Crap Tree is up!

There is a tradition here of reading Dave in Texas’s classic Crap Tree post or usually the Innocent Bystanders re-post. (Miss you, Michael.)
The house renovations that were supposed to be done before Thanksgiving are still weeks away from being finished. I’m praying for clearer weather, but in the meantime, I have to keep furniture in temporary spots, and this in turn means the older, smaller tree in a new spot. It still means a crap tree with colored lights, ornaments handmade by the kids, ornaments from 27 years of marriage, and ornaments handed down from my mom’s collection. The four of us were grateful to be together for Thanksgiving, and I was happy to have everyone decorating together.
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‘Tis the season.

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.)
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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?

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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

This Just In: Beatles’ John Lennon Was Really an A-hole

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A rich, spoiled, lazy, arrogant, self-centered, drug-addled hypocrite.   The Daily Mail fills in the details, as if we didn’t really know.  The rather amusing and altogether unsurprising piece is worth the read.

By the age of 25 he owned a Rolls-Royce and a Ferrari. When he was filming Help! in Bond Street in 1965, the director asked him to run into Asprey, the luxury jewellers, through one door and out of another. On the way, he contrived to spend some £600 — the equivalent of £20,000 today.

This is not, of course, the Lennon that his fans choose to remember. The real Lennon, we are often told, was an artist, an idealist, an ascetic who disdained possessions and rejected the hypocrisies of capitalism.

But this is nonsense. The real John Lennon always craved money. When their manager, Brian Epstein, secured them their first contract with record company EMI, Lennon’s telegram simply asked: ‘When are we going to be millionaires?’

As for political idealism, for most of his early life he never showed the slightest interest. As an art student he didn’t join the Labour Party, go on CND marches or demonstrate against apartheid.

It was only after he had fulfilled his primary ambition to become very rich that he began to indulge his artistic, political and spiritual enthusiasms.

There’s more.  When that other foul-smelling hippie Yoko Ono arrived on the scene, it seems Lennon dived deeper into his hypocrisy and became more annoying.

It was in this capacity, as a self-appointed prophet of world peace, that Lennon wrote Imagine. Ironically, the hymn to purity and simplicity was recorded in the purpose-built studio at his country house, Tittenhurst Park in Ascot.

The couple had bought the house with its cottages, magnificent gardens and 72 acres of land from the entrepreneur and chocolate heir Sir Peter Cadbury. It was an incongruously splendid setting from which to lecture the world on the importance of no possessions.

I am of the age where more than a few of my high school teachers all but deified Lennon and the Beatles.  I never cared for most of their stuff, for myriad reasons, and when I mentioned that to one fawning English teacher Freshman year, I was curtly informed that I could consider myself uneducated until I could appreciate their genius, particularly that of John Lennon.   When Lennon was shot in 1980, another teacher told us it would be a defining moment in our lives.  Words cannot express how wrong both of them were.

Some visitors were struck by the contrast between his millionaire lifestyle and the sentiments of his most famous song. Elton John was astounded to discover that Yoko had a specially refrigerated room just for her fur coats.

In 1980, to mark Lennon’s 40th birthday, Elton sent him a little verse: ‘Imagine six apartments / It isn’t hard to do / One is full of fur coats / The other’s full of shoes.’

An older friend, the Beatles’ former personal assistant Neil Aspinall, once heard Lennon moaning about the costs of running his business empire. ‘Imagine no possessions, John,’ Aspinall said.  Lennon glared back.  ‘It’s only a bloody song,’ he said.

So in the end, John Lennon was indeed a music pioneer.  He was one of the first mega-stars of Rock and Roll who was in actuality a fraud; an annoying, self-centered jackwagon who needed someone to kick some of his teeth out for his troubles.    All I can hope is that those teachers of my youth, now long retired, had some kind of epiphany at some point and realized “Geez, this guy was an a-hole!”
Which makes me appreciate Blutarsky even more.