On this day in 1776, General Washington led his cold, ill fed and ill equipped army across the Delaware River to attack and decisively defeat the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey. It was a morning of bloody footprints in the snow and supreme audacity.
My son captioned the image above after we joked about the idea. Some may find this inappropriate black humor, but we like it. There are a number of inaccuracies. The Hessians were not sleeping off a night of holiday merriment. They were stone cold sober. Washington crossed the Delaware in the dead of the night, not in the light of dawn. That particular flag was not created until six months after the battle. Nevertheless, I like it. It stands for the Army that I remember and love. The Army of the FIDO attitude. (Look it up if you don't understand.) This is the Army that Churchill aptly described when he said, "We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us."
Okay. I couldn't resist. It's been bouncing around my head since I set up the nativity this year. Besides, my younger son works for the ad agency that handles Gieco. He's pretty much responsible for their dancing caveman ads. It runs in the family.
I fervantly hope this brings a smile to all. I wish Colonel Lang, his family and the entire SST committee of correspondence a Merry Christmas and the peace and joy of the season.
"They landed at a place called Plymouth (once a famous voiture Americaine ) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai ) in 1620. But while the Pelerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pelerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pelerins was when they taught them to grow corn (mais). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pelerins.
In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pelerins' crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more mais was raised by the Pelerins than Pelerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges.
Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration." Buchwald (or Kilometres Deboutish)
This secret (esoteric) history of the first Thanksgiving was discovered many years ago by Art Buchwald (a leader of the Brooklyn branch of the "Illuminati") whilst he was doing research in the catacombs located beneath the "Crazy Horse" saloon and "salle des danseuses" in Paris (France) (as opposed to Paris, Virginia). The document had lain there moldering amid the cast off "caches sexes" and empty cheese crates for centuries (maybe).
Buchwald successfully penetrated the exoteric "surface"of the text itself to reveal its true meaning. This technique of discerning the inner truth of history had been acquired by Maitre Buchwald while studying at the feet of a great scholar of such matters in Peoria, Illinois (or somewhere out there in the middle of the country) perhaps during his internship at the University of Chicago?
Here, he shares his wisdom with us.
Pat Lang (or someone of that name) is reputed, to be descended from some pelerins (Jean et Priscilla, les parents de Priscilla et un pelerin qui s'appelait Richard le Warren. Les hommes signed the Compact de la Fleur de Mai.) PL
"Jan.10 5:00 P.M. It’s starting to snow. The first of the season and the first one we’ve seen in years. The wife and I took our hot buttered rum and sat by the picture window, watching the soft flakes drift down, clinging to the trees and covering the ground. It was beautiful!
Jan. 11 We awoke to a lovely blanket of crystal white snow covering the landscape. What a fantastic sight. Every tree and shrub covered with a beautiful white mantle. I shoveled snow for the first time ever and loved it. I did both our driveway and our sidewalk. Later a city snowplow came along and accidently covered up our driveway with compacted snow from the street. The driver smiled and waved. I waved back and shoveled it again.
Jan. 12 It snowed an additional 5 inches last night, and the temperature has dropped to around 11 degrees. Several limbs on the trees and shrubs snapped due to the weight of the snow. I shoveled our driveway again. Shortly afterwards, the snowplow came by and did his trick again. Much of the snow is now brownish-gray.
Jan. 13 Warmed up enough during the day to create some slush which soon became ice when the temperature dropped again. Bought snow tires for both cars. Fell on my ass in the driveway. $145 to a chiropractor, but nothing was broken. More snow and ice expected.
Jan. 14 Still cold. Sold the wife’s car and bought a 4×4 in order to get her to work. Slid into a guardrail anyway and did a considerable amount of damage to the right rear quarter-panel. Had another 8 inches of the white shit last night. Both vehicles covered in salt and crud. More shoveling in store for me today. That goddamn snowplow came by twice today.
Jan. 15 2 degrees outside. More fuckin’ snow. Not a tree or shrub on our property that hasn’t been damaged. Power was off most of the night. Tried to keep from freezing to death with candles and a kerosene heater, which tipped over and nearly burned the house down. I managed to put the flames out, but suffered second degree burns on my hands and lost all my eyelashes and eyebrows. Car slid on ice on way to emergency room and was totalled.
Jan.16 Goddamn mother fuckin’ white shit keeps on coming down. Have to put on all the clothes we own just to get to the fuckin’ mailbox. If I ever catch the son-of-a-bitch that drives the snowplow, I’ll chew open his chest and rip out his heart. I think he hides around the corner and waits for me to open our driveway again! Power still off. Toilet froze and part of the roof has started to cave in.
Jan.17 Six goddamn more fuckin’ inches of fuckin’ snow and fuckin’ sleet and fuckin’ ice and God knows what other kind of white fuckin’ shit fell last night. I wounded the fuckin’ snowplow asshole with an ice axe, but he got away. Wife left me. Car won’t start. I think I’m going snow blind. I can’t move my toes. I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. More snow predicted. Wind chill -22 fuckin’ degrees. I’m moving back to South Carolina!" Unknown Southerner
Egypt does not want McCain and Graham? How strange. The new government says it does not want to be interfered with by ajanib (foreigners). How strange. Bill Burns, the EU people, the Qataris, etc. have all been made to look foolish and the United States along with them.
It has been a long time since "the music died." These days it is difficult to hear even a distant echo.
Having tried so nobly to tell Egypt how to behave it would seem only right that the McCain/Graham peace train should roll on to yet more and even browner pastures. A bus trip across Sinai and through the territory of their friends would bring them to Damascus where they could once again work their magic.
A useful extention of their voyage northward would give them a chance to counsel Erdogan and the Ataturk Turks to love one another
And then the road or track will lead east to the Iraq that they did so much to transform.
The Iranians will undoubtedly greet them at the border as peacemakers and they can work out whatever difficulties there may be with President Rouhani and be back home to enjoy the rest of the Summer recess.
"In a hurried announcement this morning The Australian Defence Force released details of their latest clean energy developments in an alarming report stating that a new breed of autonomous solar powered wombat soldier will be deployed for domestic and overseas combat situations.
In a joint effort between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) called the Autonomous Wombat Research Department (AWRD) there are firm plans in place to deploy these genetically modified autonomous crime ‘regulating’ wombats onto the streets of Australia for an initial trial period before ‘rolling out’ the wombats to the rest of the world."
Walrus, our correspondent in Melbourne, forwarded us this item gleaned from the local press. He was sitting in a deck chair in the cockpit of his yacht anchored off Bora Bora and waiting for the sunset when he was inspired to use his on board wi-fi to get this to us.
I don't know how the sequester will affect Wombat deployments to America, but we can hope. We can hope. pl
"BOSTON, April 20 - National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed on April 19th by elements of a para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimated that 72 were killed and more than 20 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement. Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices.
The governor, who described the group's organizers as "criminals," issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government's efforts to secure law and order."
Try to restrain your outrage in the interest of humor. pl
Last night's episode featured Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D) New York and a variety of Democratic Party "liberals" interviewed in the lobby of the convention on the subject of "toleration." Both of these are worth watching.
The adorable senator was elected to fill HC's seat a few years back. She stands for re-election in a couple of years. She has the Valley Girl voice, blond good looks that ought to place her in the GOP, and the expectation that men will accept any sort of foolishness if she giggles at them. My very grown up wife finds her deeply offensive. I have no problem with Kirsten. She is still a little bit too much the PTA president and not enough Olympia Snow, but she is not my senator. Personally, I would rather vote for Michelle Dockery for the senate. She's not an American? Ah, shucks, this is a technicality.
Then there are the "liberal" faithful on the subject of inclusiveness. pl
On the 4th, Colbert (the second whitest man in North America) interviewed Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D) New York. She represents the "fightin' 9th" or maybe the "fightin' 11th." Born in the US she is a product of US/NY Schools even though her parents are from Jamaica. In the course of their talk it became clear that she thinks that slavery still was legal in Brooklyn, NY in 1898 and that the people responsible for this were "the Dutch." Seriously. Colbert, a South Carolinian, found this situation difficult to deal with. pl
About eight minutes into the Daily Show for 15 March, 2012, There is an interesting video essay on UNESCO, Palestine and Israel. The American congressman from Florida who is in the piece seems so stupid and unaware of his own buffoonery that one wonders if he understands that he is being made fun of. pl
This afternoon one of my colleagues came into my office and was very keen on having me look at something. That something is this article from the Economist. The article reports that an Israeli woman named Gita Boaron is claiming that her great-grandmother was Qhattafi's grandmother, which, according to both Judaic Law (as membership in the Am or People is transmitted maternally) and Israeli Law (the right of return regarding Jews and Israeli citizenship), makes Qhattafi eligible for Israeli citizenship. Oy vey indeed!
* Adam L. Silverman is the Culture and Foreign Language Advisor at the US Army War College. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Army War College and/or the US Army.
Isn't there some way to force New York City out of the Union? This idea has been festering in what passes for my mind for a long time. New Yorkers (of the city) are so self absorbed and regiocentric that it makes one ill. The local culture there is so alien to the rest of the country as to be absurd. The Irene weather coverage exemplified this. The "weather guessers" covered the rest of the storms track but when it appeared that the storm would touch "the big apple" then all the "stops" were pulled out and the spectacle was presented Sunday morning of a Weather Channel reporter standing in Battery Park at the foot of Manhattan in six inches of water saying that she was at "ground zero" for Irene.
BTW, we have blue sky in patches in Alexandria now.
Seriously, the morning TV drivel is an example. All these show are so New York centric as to be somewhat irrelevant to the peasanty in other places. "Morning Joe" is probably the worst of the lot in this regard. "Donny Deutsch?" Who the hell is this man to have his egotistical opinions inflicted on the public so often? A nouveau riche millionaire who is a feature on the New York egotist scene? Why should we care what he thinks? Mika Brzzzznsccki? Who cares what this empty headed fille a papa thinks? She perfectly represents the nagging scold type of self-satisfied New York matron. Poor Joe Scarborough, he is evidently condemned by the lure of money to live in that awful place. Well, perhaps Irene will give THE CITY a good rinsing.
"There was a sense of panic on the streets of London as a spate of rioting and looting that had erupted in poorer parts of the city over the weekend spread to at least four new neighborhoods on Monday, Aug. 8. The unrest kicked off on Saturday, Aug. 6 after a protest over the Aug. 4 fatal shooting by police of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old from the Tottenham neighborhood in northern London.
The riots, now in their third consecutive day, are being ledby gangs of young people and organized in part via BlackBerry instant messaging, the encrypted messages from which are more difficult for the police to monitor. The violence is steadily escalating: smashed windows and looted stores have led to the arson of vehicles and buildings and mass confrontations with riot police. At least 225 people have been arrested thus far in London, while 87 have been arrested in Birmingham. About 30 police officers have been reported injured." FP
British cop shows on television are amusing. "Buzz off!" the possible perp tells sone "copper " who wants to "interview" him. "Oi'm bizzy!" "But sir," the "copper" pleads "This is a murder enquiry." "Well, all right, then, five minutes and that's it!"
Or, "I say, Derek (or Neville or Gervase) make sure you call for the "armed police" before you try to "intervew" that chap."
Amusing. I think more of them will be "armed" after this. This must be a major blow to the collective English self-image. Anglophiles are amusing anyway but this is sadly funny.
Scene at the "Cavalry and Guards Club: "Noel, old thing, do you smell smoke?" or "Prime minister?" "Yes, mum?" "Is London burning?" pl
"The White House says President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the timing of troop reductions should be part of a broader security agreement being negotiated between Washington and Baghdad." NY Times
Bush's White House probably thinks it has outplayed the Iraqis in this matter, but the Iraqis are likely to see the situation in exactly the opposite way.
Having pressured the occupier (muhtalil) into conceding this much, the Maliki government will "pocket" the result and this expectation of US withdrawal at a pace satisfactory to the Iraqi government will become the "starting point" for future pressure on the US to pull its combat units out of the country gradually on a schedule that the Maliki government thinks will preserve its power.
If Obama is elected, the Baghdad government will find him accommodating in giving them what he already wants to give them.
If McCain is elected,(still a 55% probability IMO) he will have a very hard time denying them what they and the American people want. Since AQI is largely a "dead duck," and likely to stay that way, it would seem likely that the other contestants for power in Iraq; Sunni groups, Shia parties, Kurds, etc., will be quiet enough to set the stage for that. The Kurds will get some sort of overt assurance from the US. The Sunni Arabs will be helped as well, but much less visibly, and not just from the US. Their Sunni brethren will "sign up" for that help. Iran really wants a deal with America. How they will behave in the context of an American withdrawal from their backyard is unpredictable in detail. IMO, they prefer it that way. I would do the same thing, but their behavior would be altogether predictable in the context of a putative Israeli or US/Israeli attack on their homeland.
Nevertheless, I think that this "agreement" is the beginning of the end for a large scale American troop unit presence in Iraq. There will be a residual presence in Iraq for some time (several years) doing all the things that are endlessly talked about, but Admiral Mullen's statements about the unavailability of troops for Afghanistan should be taken seriously.
Get over it, neocons! You like to talk about Saddam being gone. Savor that thought! Revolution in the Middle East was always a bad idea. There are no good Islamist governments. How you could have thought there might be is a mystery which points unmistakably at the depth of your illusions about the region. pl
"It’s like listening to someone speaking a language you only partly know. And who’s being paid by the syllable. You miss a lot. I guess a guy bearing up under such a chestload of hardware — and pretty ribbons in a variety of decorator colors — can’t be expected to speak like ordinary mortals, for example you and me. He should try once saying — instead of “ongoing process of high level engagements” — maybe something in colloquial English? Like: “fights” or “meetings” (or whatever the hell it’s supposed to mean).
I find it painful to watch this team of two straight men, straining on the potty of language. Only to deliver such . . . what? Such knobbed and lumpy artifacts of superfluous verbiage? (Sorry, now I’m doing it…)
But I must hand it to his generalship. He did say something quite clearly and admirably and I am grateful for his frankness. He told us that our gains are largely imaginary: that our alleged “progress” is “fragile and reversible.” (Quite an accomplishment in our sixth year of war.) This provides, of course, a bit of pre-emptive covering of the general’s hindquarters next time that, true to Murphy’s Law, things turn sour again." Cavett
These two gents certainly were adrift in a semantical whitewater rafting expedition.
A lot of generals have learned to speak a specialized dialect in which they utter broken, incomplete, sentences, stumble over words and never fully express an answer to whatever it was they were asked. This is a technique, acquired I suppose, from observing others who have "made it" to high rank. If you talk that way, it is impossible to analyze transcripts or memory and assign blame for a trip "south" in whatever process the general may be engaged.
State Department guys do not usually resort to such rhetorical devices, preferring to express whatever it is, in a preppy imitation of actual culture and learning. Crocker has spent a lot of time around the military and I believe he has family connections to the soldiery. So, his style is a blend of the two. In private he can be quite pointed and nasty. Somehow all the duhs, uhs, etc. disappear on such occasions.
At a conference I was moderating a few months ago, I grew weary of listening to this kind of "burospeek" and asked one man if by "kinetic exhaustion" he meant "tired of fighting." He admitted that he did. pl
Take 60 seconds to do this, I guarantee you will show someone else, it's too funny not to.
1. go to www.google.com
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. click on "get directions"
7. scroll down to step #23
"and knock yourself on the head..." Saddam Hussein to the chief judge, 14 February, 2006. I am sure that it is even funnier in Arabic.
Someone said a while back that it was not a good idea to try this man. He is "making monkeys" out of the court and the new Iraqi government. He looks strong, looks humorous and is defiant and all the talk about what a coward he is does not "play" in the Arab World. He does not look afraid at all. His legend is growing by the day.
They are now in the second part of a ten part trial. The government is trying to bring witnesses who can and will establish his personal responsibility for the massacre almost thirty years ago of a hundred and fifty odd Shia in a village where someone tried to assassinate him.
They are having tough time doing that. 1-It has been a long time. 2-Those who are still "his people" are having lapses of memory and 3- Those who were never "his people" and would like to see him shot are frightened (with good reason) of the consequences for them an their families of testifying against him.
It would be embarrassing to not have enough evidence to finish the trial "satisfactorily."
Let's stop. Let's say that he is an EPW, that his army never surrendered (it did not) and so he is still at war with us. He was/is constitutionally commander in chief. Then we can hold him without trial for the rest of the war (whenever that might be).
Cynical? The alternative is to let him go on like this. Bad idea.
I confess to loving Willy and Joe. I will put up cartoons from "Up Front" from time to time. Best wishes to all those connected to the 45th Infantry Division (Thunderbirds), The Oklahoma National Guard and their museum.