Last of the Escapees Passes

Everyone here in this room is living on borrowed time. By rights we should all be dead! The only reason that God allowed us this extra ration of life is so we can make life hell for the Hun.

RAF Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, the officer in charge of the camp escape committee that carried out The Great Escape.  He and 49 of the other escapees were murdered by the SS.


Sad, but inevitable:


Tributes have been paid to the last surviving member of the real-life Great Escape team after his death at the age of 99. Former squadron leader Dick Churchill was one of the 76-strong group who escaped from the Stalag Luft III camp in Germany in 1944. The site is now part of Poland.

Their feat of courage became one of the most famous stories from the second world war, and was immortalised in the 1963 Hollywood film starring Steve McQueen. Churchill, who lived in Crediton, Devon, died on Wednesday.

The chief of the air staff, Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “On behalf of the RAF as a whole, I would like to offer my condolences to the friends and family of Flt Lt Richard ‘Dick’ Churchill, one of the RAF personnel involved in the Great Escape.

“He was from a selfless generation who offered bravery and sacrifice to secure our freedom. He will be sorely missed. Per ardua [through struggle].”

Go here to read the rest.  Rest in peace Squadron Leader, and may you be present now in the Kingdom no one attempts to escape from.


Published in: on February 28, 2019 at 3:30 am  Comments Off on Last of the Escapees Passes  
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News to Make All Baby Boomers Feel Very, Very Old


Peter Tork of The Monkees has died at age 77.  May his soul rest in peace.

Published in: on February 27, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on News to Make All Baby Boomers Feel Very, Very Old  
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The Duke Sends His Regards to SJWs Everywhere


(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the John Wane mavens of Almost Chosen People might enjoy it.)


News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:


HOLLYWOOD, CA—After a 1971 Playboy interview with John Wayne that was deemed offensive surfaced online, liberal activists took to the streets to boycott the actor, vowing that Wayne will never work in Hollywood again.

Wayne died in 1979 of stomach cancer.

Marchers could be seen on Sunset Boulevard with signs calling for the firing of “that cowboy guy from those old movies.” Many seemed confused about who Wayne actually was, with some assuming he may have been a relative of Batman, and others thinking that maybe he was in a Coen brothers movie or something. However, they all agreed he is what’s wrong with this country, as evidenced by their chant, “John Wayne bad!”

Activist leaders announced that at 10:30 am they would hold a massive burning of John Wayne films, posters, and other memorabilia at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. When the time arrived, many people arrived but there was nothing to burn. “I don’t think anyone here has ever even seen a John Wayne movie, now that I think about it,” one activist told reporters. 

Go here to read the rest.  Hmmm.  Wayne has been dead for four decades, but in a fight between him and any number of Social Justice Warriors, my money would still be on the Duke.


Published in: on February 26, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Duke Sends His Regards to SJWs Everywhere  
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February 25, 1863: National Bank Act


Originally called the National Legal Currency Act, the National Bank Act was signed into law on February 25, 1863.  The Act created National Banks that could issue notes printed by the United States Treasury that would serve as currency, the famous Greenbacks.  Precisely one year before the Congress had authorized the treasury to issue paper currency in an amount not to exceed 150 million dollars.  Although the move to a fiat currency not backed in gold was widely unpopular around the country, the nickname of the notes, Greenbacks, coming from people complaining that the notes were backed only by the green ink used to print the backs of the notes, when the economic house did not fall in from the issuance of the Greenbacks in 1862, Congress placed no limits on the issuance of the currency in February of 1863. (more…)

Published in: on February 25, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on February 25, 1863: National Bank Act  
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February 24, 1863: Creation of Union Arizona

The creation of an Arizona territory had been derailed prior to the Civil War out of Northern fears that this new territory would become a slave state.  That these fears were not unjustified was demonstrated during the Civil War when some Arizona settlers established the Confederate territory of Arizona.  Go here to read about the creation of this territory.  By 1863 the fortunes of war had swept the Confederate territorial government of Arizona out of the territory and into El Paso.  (more…)

Published in: on February 24, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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Fly Me to the Moon


Something for the weekend.  Fly Me to the Moon seems appropriate for a year in which we observe the 50th anniversary of Man first setting foot on our celestial neighbor.  Written in 1954 by Bart Howard, and originally entitled In Other Words, it was first sung by Kaye Ballard who passed away only last month at age 93.  The most famous rendition was that by Frank Sinatra in 1964.


Published in: on February 23, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Fly Me to the Moon  
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Brightness to the Sun


This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth-day of Washington. We are met to celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name of earth — long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name, an eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the sun, or glory to the name of Washington, is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked deathless splendor, leave it shining on.

Abraham Lincoln, February 22, 1842

Published in: on February 22, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Brightness to the Sun  
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February 22, 1864: Battle of Okolona

Okolona Campaign

It is quite easy to assume that of the many victories won by General Nathan Bedford Forrest during the Civil War, the saddest for him was that of Okolona where his brother Colonel Jeffrey Forrest was killed leading a charge of his brigade.  As Forrest himself observed:  War means fighting and fighting means killing.

As part of Sherman’s drive to take Meridian, Mississippi,  read about that campaign here,  Major General William Sooy Smith led 7,000 cavalry out of Memphis to rendezvous with Sherman at Meridian.  But Smith got off to a late start, and Sherman, waiting for Smith for five days at Meridian, marched out of Meridian on February 20, 1864.  Smith, learning of this, headed bakc north towards Okolona, Mississippi, pursued by Forrest.  The pursuit was classic Forrest.  Outnumbered three to one, and short of ammunition, it was of course Forrest who was pursuing Smith!    Late on February 20, Forrest skirmished with Smith’s force at Prairie Station and Aberdeen, which hastened Smith’s retreat.

At dawn on February 22, on the prairie south of Okolona, Forrest opened the attack on Smith’s force, which had dismounted and prepared field fortifications.  Forrest’s frontal attack and flank probes quickly caused the Union troopers to retreat, abandoning five cannon.  The Federals reformed on a ridge, where Colonel Forrest received his mortal wound.  Forrest rushed to his brother, and cradling him in his arms cried “Jeffrey! Jeffrey!”.   He then told his adjutant to look after his brother’s body, and led the charge which swept the Union cavalry into headlong retreat, Forrest personally killing three Union soldiers in close combat.  Forrest pursued the retreating Federals for eleven miles.

The defeat was considered a vast humiliation for the Union Army and General Smith resigned from the Army before the year was out.   Here is the report of Forrest on the battle: (more…)

Published in: on February 21, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on February 22, 1864: Battle of Okolona  
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Requiescat In Pace: George Mendonsa

(I originally posted this at The American Catholic, and I thought the World War II mavens of Almost Chosen People might find it interesting.)


George Mendonsa has passed away at age 95.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts does the honors:



Who?  Him:

A man who was part of the American psyche as I grew up.  I was that generational bridge.  I’m old enough to have grown up hearing about That President on the Dollar, God Bless America, and of course that legendary Greatest Generation.  America was great, our heritage a blessing, and though we had our bad parts – as all civilizations do – our heart and soul was in the right place.

I’m young enough to have watched that be dismantled and destroyed.  Our racist founders, genocidal imperialists all, our evil and racist government, all white Americans who are necessarily all racist, our military industrial complex funneling money into our baby killing soldiers to oppress the world for oil, and a generation whose soldiers were probably no better than the Japanese or Nazis they fought.

But Mr. Mendonsa was from a different, saner and better time.  A generation that rose to the challenge and rescued the world from real, not made up or imagined, terrors.  Back then, Mr. Mendonsa expressed the exuberance and relief that came with the end to that most horrible of all wars. 

Today it would be a #MeToo moment.   Back then everyone smiled and rejoiced with him, even as they would mourn those hundreds of thousands who experienced the ultimate loss.  Today we’d have lawsuits and protests and social media warriors pushing to have him destroyed for being part of the great Evil Nation or the guilty gender; a generation accomplishing nothing but destroying the civilization it inherited, and justifying it through a near addiction to self-righteous contempt for doing anything but criticizing others.

Nonetheless, thank you Mr. Mendosa, for what you and your peers actually did in the real world.  You were better than us.  Perhaps we are your fault, I don’t know.  Maybe the greatest generation was the worst parents.  But for stopping the actual evils of the time, you rose to the occasion.  May God bless you and keep you, and give strength not only to your loved ones, but for the hurting country you leave behind.


Go here to comment.  Mendosa was a veteran of the Pacific and was home on leave.  Greta Zimmer Friedman passed away at age 92 in 2016.  She was working as a dental assistant at the time.  A Jewish refugee from Austria, both her parents were murdered in Nazi death camps.  She later married a World War II veteran of the Army Air Corps.  They are buried side by side in Arlington.

Published in: on February 19, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Requiescat In Pace: George Mendonsa  
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Grant on the Civil War


I have never liked Presidents’ Day.  Why celebrate all presidents when only a select few of them, like Washington and Lincoln, deserve to be celebrated?   Officially the date is still the commemoration of George Washington’s birthday, which actually won’t occur until February 22.  However, I will keep up my tradition of writing about presidents on this day.  Today we will look at the musings of General Grant on the causes of the Civil War.  Grant was not a great president, far from it, but he was a great  general and, as this passage from his memoirs indicates. a fairly acute observer of the passing scene:



THE CAUSE of the great War of the Rebellion against the United Status will have to be attributed to slavery. For some years before the war began it was a trite saying among some politicians that “A state half slave and half free cannot exist.” All must become slave or all free, or the state will go down. I took no part myself in any such view of the case at the time, but since the war is over, reviewing the whole question, I have come to the conclusion that the saying is quite true.


Slavery was an institution that required unusual guarantees for its security wherever it existed; and in a country like ours where the larger portion of it was free territory inhabited by an intelligent and well-to-do population, the people would naturally have but little sympathy with demands upon them for its protection. Hence the people of the South were dependent upon keeping control of the general government to secure the perpetuation of their favorite restitution. They were enabled to maintain this control long after the States where slavery existed had ceased to have the controlling power, through the assistance they received from odd men here and there throughout the Northern States. They saw their power waning, and this led them to encroach upon the prerogatives and independence of the Northern States by enacting such laws as the Fugitive Slave Law. By this law every Northern man was obliged, when properly summoned, to turn out and help apprehend the runaway slave of a Southern man. Northern marshals became slave-catchers, and Northern courts had to contribute to the support and protection of the institution.


This was a degradation which the North would not permit any longer than until they could get the power to expunge such laws from the statute books. Prior to the time of these encroachments the great majority of the people of the North had no particular quarrel with slavery, so long as they were not forced to have it themselves. But they were not willing to play the role of police for the South in the protection of this particular institution.


In the early days of the country, before we had railroads, telegraphs and steamboats—in a word, rapid transit of any sort—the States were each almost a separate nationality. At that time the subject of slavery caused but little or no disturbance to the public mind. But the country grew, rapid transit was established, and trade and commerce between the States got to be so much greater than before, that the power of the National government became more felt and recognized and, therefore, had to be enlisted in the cause of this institution.


It is probably well that we had the war when we did. We are better off now than we would have been without it, and have made more rapid progress than we otherwise should have made. The civilized nations of Europe have been stimulated into unusual activity, so that commerce, trade, travel, and thorough acquaintance among people of different nationalities, has become common; whereas, before, it was but the few who had ever had the privilege of going beyond the limits of their own country or who knew anything about other people. Then, too, our republican institutions were regarded as experiments up to the breaking out of the rebellion, and monarchical Europe generally believed that our republic was a rope of sand that would part the moment the slightest strain was brought upon it. Now it has shown itself capable of dealing with one of the greatest wars that was ever made, and our people have proven themselves to be the most formidable in war of any nationality.


But this war was a fearful lesson, and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future.


Published in: on February 18, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Grant on the Civil War  
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