April 30, 2016

Positivity: Father Surprises Son as Captain of Flight Back from Deployment

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 2:00 pm

From Norfolk, Virginia (video at link; HT Daryn Kagan)

A soldier returning from deployment got quite a sweet surprise thanks to a clever plan from his father.

Capt. Mario Lopes, a Washington D.C.-based pilot with United Airlines, learned that his son, First Lt. Mario Lopes, was scheduled to return from Kuwait on April 14. When Lopes learned that there was an opportunity to pilot a military flight to Norfolk, Virginia, on the same day, he knew he had to seize it.

“I told my wife that this couldn’t be a coincidence,” Lopes said. “No one could confirm or deny if he would actually be a passenger on my aircraft, but I knew I had to take the chance and find out.”

When the day of the flight came, Lopes briefed the crew about his plan to surprise his son and asked for their help in distracting him.

“I gave my lead flight attendant Audrey a bag of Mario’s favorite cookies to distract him while I tried to sneak onboard,” Lopes told ABC News.

And then the moment arrived.

“It seemed like time was standing still; I was anxious, excited, and just could not believe that this opportunity was ahead of me,” Lopes said.

Once his son was on board and before the flight took off, Lopes made his entrance.

“I made my way behind him and asked, ‘First Lieutenant Lopes, what are you doing on my aircraft?’” Lopes told ABC News. “When he turned around we embraced for as long as I could hold him. I cannot express the emotions I felt holding my son after not seeing him for so long.”

The touching reunion was captured on camera and it’s something that Lopes said he will never forget. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 25, 2016

AP’s Matt Lee Outraged as State Dept.’s Kirby Claims More U.S. Troops in Syria Aren’t ‘Boots on the Ground’

State Department spokesman John Kirby did a fist-pounding imitation of Baghdad Bob at a press conference today on the Obama administration’s decision “to send 250 more troops to Syria.”

Note that the Associated Press report by Kathleen Hennessey linked in the first paragraph refers to “troops,” not “advisers” or “trainers.” This is important, because that AP report acknowledges that in everyday parlance, the additional forces involved are “boots on the ground.” The AP’s Matt Lee, one of the few genuine journalists at the wire service, had to endure hearing Kirby say that the administration wasn’t changing course. Lee didn’t take it well, nor should he have (HT Washington Free Beacon):

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March 22, 2016

Salon’s Marcotte: After Brussels Attacks, It’s a Good Thing Adults and Not Trump or Cruz Are in Charge

At Salon.com at 10:28 a.m., Amanda Marcotte wrote that “It will likely be days, perhaps weeks, before we know much about the horrific terrorist attacks on an airport and subway in Brussels on Tuesday morning that killed dozens of people.”

Actually, dear, as of when I began this post about 90 minutes later, we alreadly know plenty. Most crucially, the Associated Press reported that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks roughly an hour after Marcotte’s post. Once that’s verified, and it almost certainly will be in short order, what else beyond the names of the de facto soldiers of the Islamic State will remain of the “much” that we don’t know? But the most important thing to Marcotte, who is clearly blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other, is that the United States has “a grown-up in charge” (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

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March 10, 2016

This Is CNN: Takes 20 Paragraphs to Tag Killer of American in Israel as Palestinian

Those not well-versed on events in the Middle East and how the international press routinely distorts its coverage there might think from the following headline at CNN.com yesterday“American fatally stabbed in Israel terror attack that wounds 10 others” (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) — that the state of Israel carried out the brutal attack which killed Vanderbilt Universtity student and U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force.

Of course, that’s not the case. But it took the trio of CNN reporters who covered the story — Oren Liebermann, Steve Almasy and Amir Tal — a full 20 paragraphs before finally acknowledging that the attacker was Palestinian: “Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted that the attacker, a Palestinian from the West Bank, was fatally shot by police.”

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February 28, 2016

Vice-Chair Gabbard Resigns From DNC; AP Buries the News in a Timeline

The simmering feud between the Democratic Party establishment and leftists who believe that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has acted more like “Democrats Nominating Clinton” than a genuine political party presenting viable alternatives to Hillary Clinton, visibly erupted today.

This morning, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard resigned her position as Vice Chair at the DNC and immediately endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. Reuters jumped on the news quickly, and has a seven-paragraph story. The New York Times has also devoted a story to the matter. By contrast, the Associated Press posted a brief blurb in a running timeline at 9:55 this morning, and has reported nothing since, effectively burying the news so deep that almost no one will see it. Perhaps AP is awaiting word from either Team Clinton or the White House as to what they’re going to be allowed to report.

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February 22, 2016

Positivity: George Washington and a Little-Known Turning Point in American History

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

georgewashingtonWhen I remember to do it, this post is an annual Washington’s Birthday tradition.

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Few know that George Washington singlehandedly prevented a soldiers’ revolt in 1783.

*********

(from historyplace.com)

At the close of the Revolutionary War in America, a perilous moment in the life of the fledgling American democracy occurred as officers of the Continental Army met in Newburgh, New York, to discuss grievances and consider a possible insurrection against the rule of Congress.

They were angry over the failure of Congress to honor its promises to the army regarding salary, bounties and life pensions. The officers had heard from Philadelphia that the American government was going broke and that they might not be compensated at all.

On March 10, 1783, an anonymous letter was circulated among the officers of General Washington’s main camp at Newburgh. It addressed those complaints and called for an unauthorized meeting of officers to be held the next day to consider possible military solutions to the problems of the civilian government and its financial woes.

General Washington stopped that meeting from happening by forbidding the officers to meet at the unauthorized meeting. Instead, he suggested they meet a few days later, on March 15th, at the regular meeting of his officers.

Meanwhile, another anonymous letter was circulated, this time suggesting Washington himself was sympathetic to the claims of the malcontent officers.

And so on March 15, 1783, Washington’s officers gathered in a church building in Newburgh, effectively holding the fate of democracy in America in their hands.

Unexpectedly, General Washington himself showed up. He was not entirely welcomed by his men, but nevertheless, personally addressed them…
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February 12, 2016

Positivity: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

This post became a BizzyBlog tradition on Lincoln’s birthday in 2012. Bolds and several additional paragraph breaks are mine.

March 4, 1865:

Fellow Countrymen:

AT this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged.

The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

February 11, 2016

Paglia at Salon: Hillary ‘Has a Rap Sheet 5 Miles Long,’ ‘Heavy With Lies and Greed’

As Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential effort has weakened, many on the left in fairly prominent places have begun releasing years of pent-up frustrations about her, her husband, and their record. At long last, the long knives are beginning to come out.

Many of these missives are unhinged, but one which isn’t, and deserves a closer look, comes from Camille Paglia at Salon.com. Given that Paglia’s views don’t neatly check off all of the far-left boxes, the fact that Salon has Paglia back for biweekly commentary on “the presidential race, the culture world, and everything in between” after a four-year hiatus is quite telling. Meanwhile, readers can count on the establishment press hanging on to Hillary as long as they can, while ignoring the mostly excellent points Paglia strenuously made early this morning.

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January 28, 2016

Positivity: Military Wife Expresses Heartfelt Gratitude to Furnace Repair Man

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Greater Pittsburgh (HT Daryn Kagan):

Jan 24, 2016, 4:05 PM ET

… A mother of two boys was touched by a selfless act of kindness when her local repair man fixed her furnace free of charge.

Bridget Stevens returned to her Pittsburgh-area home earlier this month and realized her furnace was not functioning.

Stevens’ story, which she shared on Facebook, has now gone viral.

Stevens texted her husband, Bobby, who is deployed overseas with the National Guard. When Bobby couldn’t figure out what to do, she called Betlyn Heating and Cooling in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Owner Paul Betlyn immediately came to the rescue.

Betlyn, who has been in the business for more than 30 years, fixed the furnace quickly. Although the repair normally would have cost approximately $150, Betlyn said he decided to do the job without charging Stevens. He wrote on her bill, which came up to $1, that she received a “deployment discount.”

In her post, Stevens noted, “[Betlyn] said that the $1 was a joke and to thank my husband for his service.”

“I was completely overwhelmed and in shock when Paul handed me the slip,” Stevens told ABC News. “I didn’t really know what to say, and I still have a hard time finding the words to truly express my appreciation.”

Betlyn, 65, told ABC News his late grandfather, who is also named Paul, taught him about the importance of helping others and giving back to the community. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

January 14, 2016

Positivity: A Soldier Responds to an Accusation of ‘Privilege’

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

Perfect:

SoldierRespondsToPrivilegeCritic2016

January 13, 2016

NY Times Headline, As Iran Humiliates U.S.: ‘Release of U.S. Sailors Hailed as a Sign of Warmer Relations’

Iran’s increasing belligerence towards the United States in the wake of — or, more accurately, as a result of — the so-called nuclear “deal” between the two countries is unmistakable, as is the Obama’s willingness — no, make that eagerness — to kowtow before that rogue regime.

Thus, the facade created at the New York Times by reporters Thomas Erdbrink and Helene Cooper after Iran released ten U.S. sailors who were captured and detained on Tuesday should be cause for embarrassment at the Old Gray Lady, except that it appears to no longer have any sense of shame, or even of reality: “Iran’s Swift Release of U.S. Sailors Hailed as a Sign of Warmer Relations” (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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December 25, 2015

Positivity: Washington’s Gift

Filed under: Positivity,Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:00 pm

This post, published in the Wall Street Journal on Christmas Eve in 2007, is a Christmas evening BizzyBlog tradition.

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Washington’s Gift

There is a Christmas story at the birth of this country that very few Americans know. It involves a single act by George Washington — his refusal to take absolute power — that affirms our own deepest beliefs about self-government, and still has profound meaning in today’s world. To appreciate its significance, however, we must revisit a dark period at the end of America’s eight-year struggle for independence.

The story begins with Gen. Washington’s arrival in Annapolis, Md., on Dec. 19, 1783. The country was finally at peace — just a few weeks earlier the last British army on American soil had sailed out of New York harbor. But the previous eight months had been a time of terrible turmoil and anguish for Gen. Washington, outwardly always so composed. His army had been discharged and sent home, unpaid, by a bankrupt Congress — without a victory parade or even a statement of thanks for their years of sacrifices and sufferings.
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December 24, 2015

Positivity: A Soldier’s Christmas, and a Call to Action

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 5:55 am

Note: This post is a BizzyBlog Christmas Eve morning tradition.

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Posted by kmunchausen at YouTube (also at his National Institute of Prevarication), narrated by Bill Osborne (Merry Christmas, Bill):

Full text:

The embers glowed softly and in their dim light,
I gazed ’round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a wintry delight.
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December 17, 2015

AP: San Bernardino Terrorist Massacre Was a ‘Mass Shooting’

Pity the poor folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press.

The Obama administration, usually hyper-reluctant to characterize a domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil as, well, a domestic terrorist attack, has actually had to admit in the face of overwhelming evidence that the San Bernardino massacre on December 2, during which 14 were killed and two dozen injured, was indeed a terrorist attack. Failing to adapt at sufficient speed, the headline writers, tweeters and Obama fans disguised as journalists at the AP, so used to avoiding the T-word at all costs, have made fools of themselves.

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November 16, 2015

AP, NYT Not Interested in Reporting Obama’s Disinterest in ‘America Winning’

The obvious pull quote of the day from President Obama’s contentious press conference in Antalya, Turkey is this statement: “What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with …” Obama then claimed that any ideas coming from those who believe in such a notion have “no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people and to protect the people in the region.”

Ed Driscoll at PJ Media believes that these words are “the president’s equivalent of Carter’s malaise speech” in the 1970s. Just in case he’s right, related stories at the Associated Press and the New York Times have not mentioned Obama’s statement, a clear indicator of his lack of genuine resolve, in their coverage.

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