Remember The Doughboys

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Note that the number of WW I vets has dwindled down to a tiny few (my paternal grandfather was one, who died in the early sixties). Barring some miracle medical breakthroughs, in another decade they will all lie (at least metaphorically) in Flanders fields. Honor today the few who are still with us, and their compatriots who no longer are. And thank, silently or otherwise, those in harm’s way today overseas.

[Note: this is a repost from two years ago. You can now count the number of remaining on a single hand. I may update later if I have any further thoughts in context. I’ll be keeping this post at the top of the blog all day.]

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s a worthy donation cause, if you have money to spare.

[Update a while later]

Every day is a bonus:

I Never Believed The Letters In Penthouse

…until it happened to me. An amusing publishing tale by Claire Berlinsky. I loved this:

I wrote the article, along with a sidebar about Sifu Emin’s top ten tips for defending yourself in hand-to-hand combat. It was a great assignment. I got to call people like Bob Wall and Chuck Norris to ask them who, in their view, was the most lethal man in the world.

Actually, to be honest, I couldn’t get through to Chuck Norris. I tried, but his secretary got frosty on me when I said I was writing for Penthouse. “Chuck,” she said sniffily, “is a conservative.”

Now, when I heard this, I was a bit surprised. I’m not really used to the insinuation that there might be a problem with my commitment to conservatism. “Ma’am,” I said finally, “I’m a conservative, too. In fact, I think my conservative credentials will impress him. Please let him know that I’m Margaret Thatcher’s biographer, okay? Really, I’m on his side.”

“You’re what?”

“I’m the author of ‘Why Margaret Thatcher Matters.’ In fact, I’m more conservative than Chuck.”

“Well” (doubtful). “I’ll give him the message.”

“I have a subscription to National Review, for God’s sake.”

“I’ll let him know.”

“Seriously, Ma’am, I make Chuck look pink.”

I think my tone probably put her off, though; she refused to put me through. Probably for the best. I mean, who wants to deal with Chuck Norris’s socialist nonsense?

Read all.

What Happened To The Cold War?

Younger people can be easily forgiven for not understanding the significance of what happened in Berlin two decades ago, both because they have little personal memory of what it was like to live under the nuclear threat, and because the teaching of history in public schools is so appalling. But Walter Shapiro remembers. It’s well worth reading for those who don’t realize how close we came to Armageddon on multiple occasions through those decades.

The president, of course, has no such excuse. He was born at the height of the war. Unfortunately, he was raised by people on the other side.

Fort Hood Media Roundup

…from Iowahawk, natch:

Investigation: Ft. Hood Killer Had Access to Fox, Talk Radio, Right-Wing Blogs

Receipts show killer’s apartment had cable

‘03 Nissan registered to Hassan had AM radio

Napolitano: “I told you so”

Sources: Despite 17 citations as Countdown’s ‘Worst Person In The World,’ FBI failed to detain Limbaugh

Defiant Palin rejects calls to apologize

The guy was probably a secret Christianist. After all, no Muslim would do such a thing — it’s a Religion of Peace™.

Shocked

I was thinking the other day that if the president were to make an appearance in Berlin, there would be no mention of communism, or liberty or tyranny. I should have made a note of it, because I would be proven correct. As is usually the case, the subject of the speech was his favorite one:

Obama’s brief remarks are an exercise in bowdlerization, circumlocution, evasion. Omitted from the remarks, among other things, is any mention of the Soviet Union or Communism, Harry Truman or Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher or Pope John Paul. Obama neither decries the villains nor salutes the heroes of the story. Rather, Obama celebrates himself. He is an agent of destiny. He is the fulfillment of history.

It’s always, first and foremost, about him.

Better A Teabagger Than A Scumbag

You stay classy, President Clinton:

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Clinton described the ongoing tea party protests against the Democratic agenda as a sign his party was making progress.

Whitehouse quoted Clinton arguing: “The reason the tea-baggers are so inflamed is because we are winning.”

Emphasis mine. I imagine that he has a lot of experience with tea-baggers. Probably under the desk in the Oval Office.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!