For nearly 40 years, Bill Burhans has steadfastly maintained he wasn’t drunk when, as an Air Force lieutenant colonel driving fellow U.S. military liaisons home from a holiday party with their Soviet counterparts in East Germany, he lost control of the car, careened up an embankment and slammed into a bus.
Matthew M. Burke and Marcus Kloeckner report: When the car came to a stop on Dec. 29, 1979, Air Force Lt. Col. James Tonge, his passenger, called to him to move the car to the shoulder. But Burhans sat frozen, except for his trembling hands.
It was as if he’d been “hit in the head with an ax at the slaughterhouse,” Tonge would later tell U.S. investigators in a sworn statement.
“He didn’t respond at all,” Tonge said of Burhans, who at the time was set to replace him as deputy of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission.
Based in Potsdam, near Berlin, the USMLM’s official mission was to serve as a liaison between the U.S. military command and its Soviet counterpart in post-war Germany, but its personnel also gathered intelligence, monitored Soviet forces and reported on readiness throughout the Cold War era. French, British and Soviet liaison missions did similar work.
After helping Burhans into the back seat, Tonge moved the car himself.
Police arrived in minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
All they wanted was to escape tyranny and slavery and give their children and themselves a chance to live in freedom. For Cuba’s Castro dictatorship, however, such yearning for liberty is a sin against the revolution. In fact, it is a sin so grave and so heinous that it is punishable by death….(read more)
— Daniel John Sobieski (@gerfingerpoken) July 12, 2014
For National Review Online, Molly Wharton writes: Vice President Joe Biden referred to himself as “the poorest man in Congress” during his speech at a White House summit for working families on Monday.
“I don’t own a single stock or bond . . . I have no savings account.”
— Vice president Joe Biden
When discussing the struggles that working parents experience as they balance their careers and family time…(read more)
— Ian Geldard (@igeldard) June 12, 2014
Obama Biographer: “The world seems to disappoint him”
First purchase of legal marijuana in Colorado, 2014
Astronauts go for a walk
A young Afghan woman shows her face in public for the first time after 5 years of Taliban Sharia law, 2001.
May Day, the first day of May, was a time to celebrate the arrival of spring. In the Middle Ages it was the custom to gather wildflowers and green branches, weave floral garlands, and dance around a Maypole.
image: Folio 5v: the calendar page for May of Les Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigns over the government response to a ferry disaster on April 16. Sarah Toms reports.
Imagine this happening in the US., a high-level government official — the Chief Executive, even — confronting scandal, and resigning in disgrace, with minimal delay. Unthinkable.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
—Luke 24:5–6 (ESV)
For Breitbart.com, Ken Klukowski writes: “He is risen!” For centuries, it was proclaimed in the streets on Easter morning. It was a way that Christians identified each other on this day, as another Christian hearing it would respond, “He is risen indeed!”
Easter was the hope of an eternal existence, and one that has baffled scholars for centuries to explain. It’s hard to come up with a theory that explains it all away.
There was a sizeable group of men and women, whose leader claimed to be divine. They saw their leader arrested, tortured with a series of savage punishments that often proved deadly in their own right, nailed to a wooden cross through his hands and feet by professional executioners who crucified convicts on a regular basis, hung on that cross for hours until he was dead, then one soldier thrust a spear into his chest to confirm his demise before taking him down. The soldiers involved in this process would themselves be executed if a person handed over to them for termination was let go alive, so they tended to be thorough. After that point, his body was wrapped in burial clothes and he was put in a tomb under guard. His followers fled in fear and despair.
Then three days later they say they saw him, and spent time with him over a period of days. They said they spoke with him, ate food with him, and walked with him. Then they say he was taken up before their eyes into heaven. And for the rest of their lives, they would travel the known world heedless of any dangers, talking about Jesus Christ and writing the New Testament of the Bible. They were persecuted and executed one by one, yet still continued with unabated zeal for decades until their last breath. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] President Obama Makes Appeal to Tuned-Out Young People With Controversial Appearance on Wierdo Comedy ShowPosted: March 11, 2014
Oh, wait. That’s not President Obama. It’s that other president who stonewalled Congress, lied to the press, deceived the American public, kept enemies lists, spied on reporters, used the IRS to harass political opponents, rigged his second-term election victory, and spent his last days in office engulfed in corruption, scandal, and disgrace.
Draft statement by President Eisenhower on Joseph Stalin, 03/04/1953
In Destination Tokyo 1943, the only military-action film he made during the war, Cary Grant plays Captain Cassidy who skippers his torpedo-laden thunderfish, the U.S.S. Copperfin with courage and resourcefulness as it makes its battle-strewn way from San Francisco to the Aleutians and into the enemy’s front yard. Under the trim, taut direction of Delmar Daves in his directorial debut, John Garfield leads a stellar array of costars as boys-next-door gone to war. Makes a perfect naval companion to Howard Hawks’ Air Force 1943.
The wage gap myth, most recently used by President Obama during the State of the Union Address, states that women make only 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. AEI resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers debunks the bogus statistic.
One of my favorite simmerin’-sauce jazz bloggers, Jazzybeatchick, has an item you’ll want to see more of…
I wanted to feature the Phenomenal Women who have influenced and were inspirational in my life particularly in the 1960’s when civil rights was not solely relegated to race. Mom was my role model. my B1FF and beside the fact that she was the best mom; it’s because she was an educator who believed and promoted multiethnic culturalism including women to assimilate into American cultural life. That meant not to segregate but the inclusion where we all would learn about diversity and to respect and appreciate one another. My father, forced to deal racism in the jazz world, chose not make waves however it was whole different talk show when it came to allowing women to participate in performances because that would’ve make the situation worse on both fronts. Neither agenda survived!
China is preparing to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in purchasing power parity terms (using China’s grossly exaggerated economic figures). Already its economy is supposedly 80% the size of the US, and if current growth rate differentials persist, it could possibly take China only about four more years to surpass the US .
At market exchange rates, China’s GDP is much smaller, and is expected to remain less than the US until 2028. This is hardly surprising. After all, China has four times as many people as the US; if every Chinese worker were to earn the US minimum wage, its GDP would be larger than the US. That is not a very high bar. With that economic size comes military power and global cultural clout.
China’s awe-inspiring rise is often framed as the return to a historical norm. A common belief is that…
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Besides Founding a Nation, Collecting Books, and French Wine, Thomas Jefferson also Designed a Pasta MachinePosted: January 15, 2014
Drawing of a macaroni machine, with a sectional view showing holes through which dough could be extruded, by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson became interested in pasta and other exotic foodstuffs as a result of his travels…
Holy Macaroni, what didn’t this guy do?
Drawing: Wikimedia Commons
Amazon has this fine book: Dining at Monticello: In Good Taste and Abundance (Distributed for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation)
For a more involved take on this, with sources, references, and even a Jefferson macaroni recipe, there’s a wonderful blog post at acenewsservices.com – “Thomas Jefferson the President and the Cook”:
“Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United states, acquired a taste for continental cooking while serving as American minister to France in the 1780′s. When he returned to the United States in 1790 he brought with him a French cook and many recipes for French, Italian, and other au courant cookery. Jefferson not only served his guests the best European wines, but he liked to dazzle them with delights such as ice cream, peach flambe, macaroni, and macaroons. This drawing of a macaroni machine, with the sectional view showing holes from which dough could be extruded, reflects Jefferson’s curious mind and his interest and aptitude in mechanical matters…”
[VIDEO] American Conversation: Shelby Steele describes how the Civil Rights Movement veered off coursePosted: January 13, 2014
In the third video produced in conjunction with New York City’s 92nd Street Y, Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow, describes how the civil rights movement veered off course after its greatest achievement, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1965. After its initial success in securing individual freedom, the movement increasingly called for government transfer programs, which had the unintended effect of creating dependency, resentment, and an ongoing sense of victimization.
An entire generation has passed since the end of the Cold War. It was an era of jingoism and paranoia, and while there wasn’t actual conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union except through proxy, each side took the other very seriously. Even civilians were part of it, thanks to the indiscriminate killing potential of nuclear weapons. These vintage home front posters are from a time where America was ostensibly at peace, but was but a hair’s breadth away from total annihilation.
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The atomic age had brought with it the idea that anyone in the United States could be immolated within a matter of minutes of an attack from the Soviet Union. The United States had already been preparing civilians for air raid since World War 2, but after the USSR developed its own nuclear bomb in 1949, its preparation efforts went into overdrive.
Compared to some posters produced during World War 2, and certainly by today’s standards, a few of these posters are actually surprisingly fatalistic. It was actually assumed that some people would die in the event of an attack and the focus became more on flimsy attempts at damage control than anything else. It might be hard to imagine for many young people today to understand the mindset of people back then. Take a trip back in time and have a look at these:
Check out their slideshow of just a handful of Kennedy’s consorts
In total, the Apollo program resulted in 12 spaceflights and 12 astronauts who walked on the moon. The program developed as a result of President John F. Kennedy challenging the nation, in 1961, to land on the moon by the end on the decade.
The obsession with all aspects of JFK’s murder is toxic to our cultural health
Mona Charen writes: The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s murder is being marked, not primarily by retrospectives on his life and accomplishments, and not by reflections on the myth versus the reality of his presidency, but instead by one of the features of our media age that are poisonous to our cultural health — a macabre focus on the details of his murder.
National Geographic aired a film with the title “Killing Kennedy” (based on a book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard). Trailers featured images of the first couple in the open limousine and close-ups of the actor who played Lee Harvey Oswald raising a rifle to his face and closing one eye. The movie Parkland likewise features a reenactment of the fatal day Kennedy was shot, complete with descriptions of the president’s “shattered head” when he reached the hospital.
CBS’s contribution will put CBS figures front and center. JFK: One PM Central Standard Time will reportedly focus on “the story of two men forever linked in history — Kennedy and CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, who delivered the tragic news to millions of TV viewers.” Bob Schieffer will also get his opportunity to bask in the reflected gore with As It Happened: John F. Kennedy 50 Years, during which Schieffer will reflect on the “fear and tension” in Dallas.
Gritty 1970s pictures show New York City in decline as crime soared a hundreds of thousands fled to the suburbs
From the Daily Mail Reporter: The 1970s are considered a low point for New York City. More than 820,00 people fled the crime and an unreliable transit system over the course of the decade, moving from the city to the suburbs. The city went nearly bankrupt as Wall Street sputtered under the economic stagnation of the era.
Photographer Leland Bobbe captured the gritty, sometimes desperate nature of the men and women who populated New York in the 1970s.
“Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians.”
Gillispie said, of Sebelius, “she should have tendered her resignation,” and added “This is the biggest G.D. deal that a liberal administration has put forward since Harry Truman.”
“If the President didn’t know a couple days before how bad it was,” Gillespie added, “what is he, Hitler in the bunker? That is objectionable. ”
“Almost as objectable as the Hitler reference,” a smiling Van Jones added, because this is Crossfire.
“He’s like Nixon,” Gillespie allowed. “Is that better?”
Victor Davis Hanson writes: A classical liberal was characteristically guided by disinterested logic and reason. He was open to gradual changes in society that were frowned upon by traditionalists in lockstep adherence to custom and protocol. The eight-hour work day, civil rights, and food- and drug-safety laws all grew out of classically liberal views. Government could press for moderate changes in the way society worked, within a conservative framework of revering the past, in order to pave the way for equality of opportunity in a safe and sane environment.
Among elite liberals today, all too few are of this classical mold — guided by reason and empirical observation. By far the majority are medieval and reactionary. By medieval I mean that they adhere to accepted doctrine — in this case, the progressive doctrine of always finding solutions in larger government and more taxes — despite all the evidence to the contrary. The irony is that they project just such ideological blinkers onto their conservative opponents.
Reactionary is a good adjective as well, since notions of wealth and poverty are frozen in amber around 1965, as if the technological revolution never took place and the federal welfare state hadn’t been erected — as if today’s poor were the emaciated Joads, rather than struggling with inordinate rates of obesity and diabetes, in air-conditioned apartments replete with big-screen TVs, and owning cell phones with more computing power than was available to the wealthy as recently as the 1980s. Flash-mobbing sneaker stores is more common than storming Costcos for bags of rice and flour. Read the rest of this entry »