Saturday, March 28, 2009

Celebrate Human Achievement Hour

This video is AWESOME. If it doesn't make you stand up and cheer and celebrate Human (and American) greatness and ingenuity, well, just go shut off your lights tonight at 8:30.




With thanks to the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a hat tip to Michelle Malkin.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

TFH 3/26: 1st Lt. Harry Linn Martin, USMCR

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:

*MARTIN, HARRY LINN

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Born: 4 January 1911, Bucyrus, Ohio. Appointed from. Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as platoon leader attached to Company C, 5th Pioneer Battalion, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 26 March 1945. With his sector of the 5th Pioneer Battalion bivouac area penetrated by a concentrated enemy attack launched a few minutes before dawn, 1st Lt. Martin instantly organized a firing line with the marines nearest his foxhole and succeeded in checking momentarily the headlong rush of the Japanese. Determined to rescue several of his men trapped in positions overrun by the enemy, he defied intense hostile fire to work his way through the Japanese to the surrounded marines. Although sustaining 2 severe wounds, he blasted the Japanese who attempted to intercept him, located his beleaguered men and directed them to their own lines. When 4 of the infiltrating enemy took possession of an abandoned machinegun pit and subjected his sector to a barrage of hand grenades, 1st Lt. Martin, alone and armed only with a pistol, boldly charged the hostile position and killed all of its occupants. Realizing that his few remaining comrades could not repulse another organized attack, he called to his men to follow and then charged into the midst of the strong enemy force, firing his weapon and scattering them until he fell, mortally wounded by a grenade. By his outstanding valor, indomitable fighting spirit and tenacious determination in the face of overwhelming odds, 1st Lt. Martin permanently disrupted a coordinated Japanese attack and prevented a greater loss of life in his own and adjacent platoons. His inspiring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


More on this great American can be found at Wikipedia.

Lieutenant Martin, thank you for your sacrifice, courage and service. Lovers of Freedom are forever in your debt. March 26, 1945 was your finest hour!

They're still after our Sarah...



With thanks to Glenn Beck and his Fox News Channel Program

Sanity from Across the Pond

The Hon. Daniel Hannan, MEP for South East England, excoriated British PM Gordon Brown at his address to the European Parliment. This guy gets it!




Daniel Hannan also blogs at the Daily Telegraph.

"Card Check" is NOT America!

The so called "Employee Free Choice Act" is nothing short of union thuggery. It must be defeated. From Fox News:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Winningest Ever

CONGRATULATIONS TO NEW JERSEY DEVILS GOALTENDER MARTIN BRODEUR.

WIN #552

THE BEST. EVER.

Oh, and Patrik Elias became the highest career scorer in Devils' history too! Go Patrik!

Friday, March 13, 2009

TFH 3/13: Technical Sergeant Morris E. Crain, USA

From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:

*CRAIN, MORRIS E.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 141st Infantry, 36th Infantry Division. Place and date: Haguenau, France, 13 March 1945. Entered service at: Paducah, Ky. Birth: Bandana, Ky. G.O. No.: 18, 13 February 1946. Citation: He led his platoon against powerful German forces during the struggle to enlarge the bridgehead across the Moder River. With great daring and aggressiveness he spearheaded the platoon in killing 10 enemy soldiers, capturing 12 more and securing its objective near an important road junction. Although heavy concentrations of artillery, mortar, and self-propelled gunfire raked the area, he moved about among his men during the day, exhorting them to great efforts and encouraging them to stand firm. He carried ammunition and maintained contact with the company command post, exposing himself to deadly enemy fire. At nightfall the enemy barrage became more intense and tanks entered the fray to cover foot troops while they bombarded our positions with grenades and rockets. As buildings were blasted by the Germans, the Americans fell back from house to house. T/Sgt. Crain deployed another platoon which had been sent to his support and then rushed through murderous tank and small-arms fire to the foremost house, which was being defended by 5 of his men. With the enemy attacking from an adjoining room and a tank firing pointblank at the house, he ordered the men to withdraw while he remained in the face of almost certain death to hold the position. Although shells were crashing through the walls and bullets were hitting all around him, he held his ground and with accurate fire from his submachinegun killed 3 Germans. He was killed when the building was destroyed by the enemy. T/Sgt. Crain's outstanding valor and intrepid leadership enabled his platoon to organize a new defense, repel the attack and preserve the hard-won bridgehead.


Technical Sergeant Crain, thank you for your courage, sacrifice, and service to our great Nation. March 13, 1945 was your finest hour!

For more on this great American, see Wikipedia.

Apollo+40: Apologies on Apollo 9 Coverage!

To my readers:

I apologize sincerely for dropping the ball on recounting the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 9, which landed after a successful first flight test of the Lunar Module on March 13, 1969.

I will post a complete mission summary and tribute over the weekend; work has been a real bear the last week.

I'll get my act together for Apollo 10, and write all the articles well in advance!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

David Brooks is a fool

From The New York Times:

Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was. His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice.

Anybody who thought that Barack Obama would govern from the center is, to put it mildly, a complete idiot.

Brooks' call for a "Moderate Manifesto" is completely laughable - moderates don't stand for anything, that's why they're in the middle! What a doofus.

Even Maureen Dowd is starting to have buyers remorse.

Punish the largesse of executives!

Everybody knows that the economy is in trouble. Corporate executives left and right are being called on the carpet for their lavish lifestyles, private jets, and events held at destinations such as Las Vegas, Malibu, and elsewhere where they spend thousands, tens or hundreds of thousands, living it up. All, according to the media, on the backs of working folks and government bailout money.

Right now, there is a group of executives having a conference at the lavish Fontainbleau Resort in Miami Beach. They haven't been summoned before Congress to defend themselves, so let's expose what they're up to!

First off, let's look at room rates. If you checked in tomorrow and stayed until Sunday, a mere "Superior Room" (the lowest) will set you back $399 a night. If you're a mid-level executive and want to stick it to the working man, how about an "Oceanview Balcony Room" for $559-$629 a night. If you're really at the top of the economic food chain and don't give a crap - and never have - about anybody who is employed by you, try on the "Versailles One Bedroom Oceanview Suite" for $1,099 a night. Still not good enough? Well, there are suites available at a $1,429 rate too.

Now, let's eat. At the "Gotham Steak" restaurant, a 10-ounce Black Angus Filet Mignon is $48 and the 20-ounce Ribeye is $52. Everything is a la carte, so tack on $15 for a Caesar salad, $10 for a baked potato, and $12 for creamed spinach. If you don't want steak, how about Italian food? At "Scarpetta", you can get a lovely "Puree of Chestnut Soup" (with truffles) for $14, to which we'll add some tomato and basil spaghetti for $25 and top it off with the Milk Fed Veal Chop for $42. All of this, of course, is before what I'm sure will be a substantial bar bill.

After this meal, we're going to need to recuperate so let's go to the spa. Services there range from mid-$100s to over $300 per - figure we'll drop an easy grand there.

Now, we're at the pool and we've gotten a cabana for us and our entourage - and the fat cat big-wigs we're entertaining. We're going all out here, so that's another grand.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Now, who are the actual executives that are enjoying Fontainebleau luxury this week?

Well, they're the leaders of the AFL-CIO who are there spending the dues money of hard working union members.



Still waiting for the Democratic political outcry at this extravagance.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Apollo+40: Apollo 9 - Flight Days 1-2

Apollo 9 had a busy day in orbit, putting the Command/Service Module (CSM) and its Service Propulsion System (SPS) rocket engine through their paces.

Command Module Pilot Dave Scott performed alignments of the guidance system and its vital computer four times and the crew executed burns of the SPS three times at 0912, 1217, and 1524 (Eastern Time; MET for the burns were 22:12:04, 25:17:39, and 28:24:41).

McDivitt, Scott, and Schweickart's day ended at 1700 ET (30:00:00 MET) when they began a nine-hour sleep period. They're going to need their rest, because the next day is scheduled to be the first time a manned Lunar Module is going to be powered up and tested.

Through 30 hours Mission Elapsed Time, Apollo 9 has completed 19 revolutions of the Earth.

TFH 3/4: Sergeant Troy A. McGill, USA

65 years ago today, a lone American fighting man stood alone in the face of insurmountable odds and was decorated with our Nation's highest award. Here is his story, from Medal of Honor Citations for World War II:

*McGILL, TROY A.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop G, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Los Negros Islands, Admiralty Group, 4 March 1944. Entered service at: Ada, Okla. Birth: Knoxville, Tenn. G.O. No.: 74, 11 September 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Los Negros Island, Admiralty Group, on 4 March 1944. In the early morning hours Sgt. McGill, with a squad of 8 men, occupied a revetment which bore the brunt of a furious attack by approximately 200 drinkcrazed enemy troops. Although covered by crossfire from machineguns on the right and left flank he could receive no support from the remainder of our troops stationed at his rear. All members of the squad were killed or wounded except Sgt. McGill and another man, whom he ordered to return to the next revetment. Courageously resolved to hold his position at all cost, he fired his weapon until it ceased to function. Then, with the enemy only 5 yards away, he charged from his foxhole in the face of certain death and clubbed the enemy with his rifle in handtohand combat until he was killed. At dawn 105 enemy dead were found around his position. Sgt. McGill's intrepid stand was an inspiration to his comrades and a decisive factor in the defeat of a fanatical enemy.

Troy A. McGill at Wikipedia

Sergeant McGill, thank you for your courage, indomitable fighting spirit, and sacrifice for our Nation and the cause of Freedom. March 4, 1944 was your finest hour!

Poster Girl for the Nanny Society

Memo to those who don't know better: your local McDonald's running out of Chicken McNuggets is NOT a valid reason to call 911.

Yet another tragic case of an American who's been bred to rely on authority rather than themselves.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

TFH 3/3: Corporal Charles Joseph Berry, USMC

The Battle of Iwo Jima raged from February 19-March 26, 1945. Twenty-seven Medals of Honor were bestowed upon heroic US Marines and sailors during the battle. From Medal of Honor Citations for World War II, here is the story of one of them:

*BERRY, CHARLES JOSEPH

Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 10 July 1923, Lorain, Ohio. Accredited to: Ohio. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as member of a machinegun crew, serving with the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces during the seizure of Iwo Jima in the Volcano Islands, on 3 March 1945. Stationed in the front lines, Cpl. Berry manned his weapon with alert readiness as he maintained a constant vigil with other members of his guncrew during the hazardous night hours. When infiltrating Japanese soldiers launched a surprise attack shortly after midnight in an attempt to overrun his position, he engaged in a pitched hand grenade duel, returning the dangerous weapons with prompt and deadly accuracy until an enemy grenade landed in the foxhole. Determined to save his comrades, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and immediately dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the shattering violence of the exploding charge in his own body and protecting the others from serious injury. Stouthearted and indomitable, Cpl. Berry fearlessly yielded his own life that his fellow marines might carry on the relentless battle against a ruthless enemy and his superb valor and unfaltering devotion to duty in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and upon the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


More on the life of this great American can be found at Wikipedia.

Charles Berry, I salute your courage and sacrifice for our Nation and the cause of Freedom. March 3, 1945 was your finest hour!

Apollo+40: Spider leaves her web

Apollo 9 would feature the first named spacecraft since the flight of the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" of Gemini 3 - a necessity since the CSM and LM would be flying independently. Astronauts McDivitt, Scott, and Schweickart named their CSM Gumdrop and the LM Spider; names both highly indicative of the spacecrafts' forms.

At 2:41:16 MET, Command Module Pilot Scott separated Gumdrop from the S-IVB third stage of their Saturn V booster, turned the spacecraft around, and docked with the parked Spider in her hangar provided by the now spent booster.

The first docking of a CSM and LM was completed at 3:01:59 MET; Spider was removed from the S-IVB stage later at 4:08:06 MET.

Pittsburgh Schools see the light

The Pittsburgh Public Schools have announced that 50 percent will no longer be the minimum grade given to students, and that students who don't complete assignments will be given zero. Why? Why are they going to risk the very psychy of these skulls full of mush by telling them they haven't achieved anything? To quote:

Some students have been refusing to complete assignments, telling teachers they'd take the 50 percent instead. Bill Hileman, a Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers staff representative, said "the No. 1 problem with the 50 percent minimum was the negative impact on student behavior."

This is Liberalism at its worst; tell people that they only have to do the minimum - or nothing at all - and guess what, that is all they'll do.

Can we all say together, "DUH!"

Apollo+40: Apollo 9 takes to the skies!

Apollo 9 Crew Members (L-R) Commander Jim McDivitt, Command Module Pilot Dave Scott, Lunar Module Pilot Rusty Schweickart (NASA)

Launch of Apollo 9, 11:00:00 EST, March 3, 1969 (NASA)

At 11:00:00 EST forty years ago today, the Apollo Program got airborne again with the flight of Apollo 9. Apollo 9 was a return to Earth orbit for the vital first manned flight test of the Lunar Module.
Astronauts Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott, and Rusty Schweickart rode Saturn V booster #504 into orbit on board Command/Service Module #104 with Lunar Module #3 in tow.
11 minutes and 14 seconds after launch from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39, Pad A, Apollo 9 attained orbit.
Follow along here as Their Finest Hour commemorates the 40th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 9!



Monday, March 02, 2009

TFH 3/2: Specialist Fourth Class Nicholas J. Cutinha, USA

When leaders are cut down, the fighting spirit of courageous Americans can never be quenched. From Medal of Honor Citations for the Vietnam War:

*CUTINHA, NICHOLAS J.

Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Gia Dinh, Republic of Vietnam, 2 March 1968. Entered service at: Coral Gables, Fla. Born: 13 January 1945, Fernandina Beach, Fla. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While serving as a machine gunner with Company C, Sp4c. Cutinha accompanied his unit on a combat mission near Gia Dinh. Suddenly his company came under small arms, automatic weapons, mortar and rocket propelled grenade fire, from a battalion size enemy unit. During the initial hostile attack, communication with the battalion was lost and the company commander and numerous members of the company became casualties. When Sp4c. Cutinha observed that his company was pinned down and disorganized, he moved to the front with complete disregard for his safety, firing his machine gun at the charging enemy. As he moved forward he drew fire on his own position and was seriously wounded in the leg. As the hostile fire intensified and half of the company was killed or wounded, Sp4c. Cutinha assumed command of all the survivors in his area and initiated a withdrawal while providing covering fire for the evacuation of the wounded. He killed several enemy soldiers but sustained another leg wound when his machine gun was destroyed by incoming rounds. Undaunted, he crawled through a hail of enemy fire to an operable machine gun in order to continue the defense of his injured comrades who were being administered medical treatment. Sp4c. Cutinha maintained this position, refused assistance, and provided defensive fire for his comrades until he fell mortally wounded. He was solely responsible for killing 15 enemy soldiers while saving the lives of at least 9 members of his own unit. Sp4c. Cutinha's gallantry and extraordinary heroism were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Nicholas Cutinha, I honor your sacrifice and service. Our Nation is forever grateful for the courage of you and your comrades in arms. March 2, 1968 was your finest hour!

Sunday, March 01, 2009