“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” ― Winston Churchill
This picture of him in uniform is (surprisingly) the earliest picture of Don in the family album. Don’t know if he was camera shy or his family couldn’t afford a camera or didn’t think to take his picture, or maybe didn’t share. I estimate his age at 17 years (he was born May 16(?), 1923, best guess).
Despite the lack of glamour, fanfare, and opportunity, he was one of the lucky ones. He came home. The only other early picture is this one from someone named May – with the words “To Donny with love from May” written across one corner –
Time went by…. to the last months of 1944 –
This card had the wrong surname (Drover is one of the harder names, apparently), and no province, but got home just the same for the grand sum of 3 cents (probably $3 in today’s economy). New York to Toronto.
Here’s the message on the back –
Gelfangenennummer: 139611 means “Prisoner 139611”, Lager-Bezeichnung: VII-A means “Place name: VII-A” Kriegsgefangenenpost means “Prisoner of war post”. The back side of the card –
Kriegsgefangenenlager means “English prisoner of war” (rough translation)
My father was a foot soldier – a sniper. He was captured in northern Italy, and shipped to a POW camp, Stalag VII-A ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalag_VII-A ). I do not know if he was processed there then relocated, or if he stayed until the camp was liberated on April 29th of 1945. This is the ensign of the American liberators of Stalag VII-A
The 14th Armored Division – officially nicknamed “The Liberators” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Armored_Division_%28United_States%29 ) was responsible for setting free 130,000 prisoners from Stalag VII-A as numerated in the Wikipedia article. I assume my father was one of those. At this time the German war effort was more desperate than efficient. I can imagine feeding hundreds of thousands of POW’s in (literally) hundreds of camps was not a top priority – they were having trouble provisioning their own troops.
From the information I have gathered about this event, my dad (not a small man even at 17 years of age when he enlisted), was 86 pounds when released from the POW camp. 86 pounds. It boggles my mind.
Here is a document that must have been issued when Don was being discharged –From this document, he did 1498 days of overseas service, and 1582 days total service. That’s 4 years 122 days give or take a leap year. Bureaucracy aside (calculating a $$$ value for service not the hardship and suffering!!!!), He was barely 22 years old when discharged. When I think about my own frame of mind at 22 years old then imagine what my father lived through by the same age, I am speechless………… I literally cannot comprehend.
I remember my dad as a strong, steady, mostly silent presence in my childhood and adolescence. Regular as clockwork, dependable as the sun rising. I can’t remember a time he struck me, and very few times he spoke harshly to me. Yet, he could stop me in my tracks with a look. Eyes really are windows to the soul.
I never heard him complain ever, not once. When he died in 1990 of cancer, he didn’t weigh 90 pounds. Bitter irony.
The world, my world, that these incredible people built was profoundly good. There was infrastructure. There was stability. There was hope and opportunity. Everyone knew the merits of public policy and were anxious to aid, enable, and comply. The public policy was sane – unlike current PC driven regulatory oversight which strangles normal human activity and development. I can’t remember while growing up a feeling of anxiety or loss or deprivation or injustice. There was always a job to be had, a clear objective, and hope for a prosperous future.
What we inherited, then abused, is subject for another discussion.
On Armistice Day, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, I watched some old videos of WWII. I looked at some old photos, personal and on the Internet. I did some thinking (which is hard work). I drank some drinks. I shed a tear and more.
I salute those people who preserved and propagated the western way of life. I can’t imagine a better way to be or a better philosophy. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we prove only half as stalwart, as worthy, it will be sufficient.
According to this article, there are 5 people alive today who were born in the 1800’s. That would be the world that actually has documentation and medical records to support such a claim. These people have lived to see amazing events and advances: http://io9.com/how-many-people-born-in-the-1800s-are-still-alive-1465156510
They are all women. Men just don’t have that staying power now do they?
Shine On Shiny Pony
The Shiny Pony has ads on YouTube that about make you want to chuck your lunch. This is one odious person…. More Shiny Pony flim-flam:
An insightful quote from the above link –“Rather, the Trudeauvian gaffe generally involves a quite deliberate statement, presented not flippantly or off-hand but in a determined effort to sound provocative or profound. If they instead strike the listener as ill-judged, it is because he seems to have invested so little actual thought in them. It is in the gulf between his intellectual reach and grasp that his reputation as a ninny has been earned.”
Alberta Bound (and Gagged)
I can’t help think Alberta would gladly exchange Premiers with Saskatchewan….. Brad Wall walks and talks like a Premier should:
I smirked reading the comments. Then I looked at the website – CTV. That explains the bleeding heart anti-industry, hyper environmental, left-leaning, progressive babble. Canada’s capacity to “awww shucks” and be embarrassed about it’s strength and wealth causes a dangerous dichotomy in International politics….. How long will we turn the other cheek to tin pot dictators with big mouths? Or the United Nations for that matter? Come on Harper, kick some International ass and make us proud….
CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This article is very interesting. Focused mainly on the States, almost all of the points identified are valid in Canada.
16 people (immigrants) discuss the things that struck them as very different from their home countries:
My favorite –
My Russian in-laws were shocked when they found out that we get packages left on our doorstep and no one steals them.
They were also shocked by buffets. My father-in-law told everyone back in Moscow, “No, really! You just pay to enter!”
A Veteran’s Day address from George Bush:
God bless America!
Several people have sent this to me. Hitler finds out about Obamacare Exchange problems:
If I could write as well as Jonathan Goldberg, I’d give up my day job. I don’t have a day job? No matter….. Here’s a quote from the King of Simile, metaphorically speaking –
“It was, in the parlance of liberalism, a “false choice” to assert that Obamacare couldn’t be a floor wax and a dessert topping.”
The article this quote comes from absolutely lays out the factual foundation of why Obamacare was doomed, is failing, and cannot deliver as promised. Click on the link to read “Obamacare Schadenfreudarama”:
Most corrupt administration.
Most impeachable motley crew by number and offense.
Kick the bums out!!!
Mia Marie Pope from Hawaii has lots to say about Barry Soetoro aka Barrack Obama. Not much is complementary. OK, OK….. None of it is complimentary:Dr. Manning was vocally abusive about the “Mack Daddy” long before he was elected. This is a “watch and ponder” alert.
The audacity never ceases to amaze and entertain.
A wind farm is seeking a permit to allow the killing of endangered / protected birds.
The nerve of the “greenies”. What a bunch of mislead tyrannical fascists.
The fucking government and the equally fucking bureaucracy is the source and cause of the fucking problem. Every year that passes the spectre of Orwell’s “1984” melds with Kafka’s “The Trial” in the world around me. This article causes shortness of breath, narrowed vision, and loss of hearing. Careful with that axe Eugene!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3R2PgMiTvw Better set the controls for the heart of the sun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RbXIMZmVv8 Even my saintly mother (GBHS) would break her rule (“if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”)
A silver lining in the U.S. political clouds? Impeachment articles to be filed on Friday (tomorrow as I write). Against Eric Holder no less! Is it Santa Claus or the smelling salts of reality?:
This will be a long, twisty, nasty grind. Dear Diary, (dairy?) moo know who’s side I’m on……………..
The Wizard of Auzzie
I’ve always thought highly of Australia, and Australians. The few I have met were wonderful people. My impression has changed. I’m now immensely impressed and think the world of Australia. They are telling the United Nations to pound sand:
No more bleeding the west for $$$. No more western or white guilt…. well, maybe a little less. No more coercion from all the wanna be states. Remember, the only thing holding them back from success is their cultures……….
Canada has noticed Australia’s lead:
So has J. A. Pan & Co.:
What a great early Christmas present!
…..Because, my explanations are too simplistic (I’ve been told). Woof to you too –
So, here’s the straight goods –
AXIS OF EVIL NEWS
Is it really “news” to learn 80 people were executed for watching (unauthorized) television shows in the gulag of North Korea? What a rotten evil ugly little man in a fascist outfit:
My mommy cautioned me to think well of other people. Kim Jong-un too? Sorry mom. This man and his regime are not human. Their time is passed but they don’t know it. Sorta like a “Walking Dead” culture……
POLITICS, POLITICIANS, HUMOUR, WACKEROOERY, CARTOONS
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AWESOMENESS
A quote from the article speaks of order of magnitude power savings and impressive noise reduction figures –
The team at UC Santa Barbara have worked out how to etch narrow and wide circuit patterns into a sheet of graphene–acting as components and interconnects–and then use deposition techniques to layer actual grapheme-based transistors on the top. Their proposed circuits have 1.7 times higher noise margins, and 10 to 100 times less power loss compared to typical CMOS chip tech. Though the chip is just a theoretical concept at the moment, breakthroughs happening around the world are very likely to make its production possible very soon.
GUNS, GUNNERS, GUNNERY
The video is a Mattel commercial. Happened in my lifetime. Nothing wrong with it. What changed?:
PHILOSOPHY, PHILOSOPHERS, SMART TALK
The philosopher ‘o the day is a favorite polemicist and repeat pick – Mr. Bill Whittle. He has the gift of presenting sterling ideas in a universally comprehensible context that is both entertaining, educational, comfortable, folksy….. and reaffirming if you should already embrace the ideas and concepts he espouses. In the following two videos you get an idea of his talent. In the first video, Mr. Whittle makes great sense of an always touchy subject – educating the children. Here he speaks out about “The Cookie Cutter Curriculum”:
Now a sample of enduring words…… The following video is from years and years ago (2009). The subject of that time is the Sarah Palin haters, but the underlying message and foundation argument has legs. I find it as, perhaps more, valid today as when he first stated the case:
This is the best philosophy yet! –
Andrew Klavan is brilliant. Why didn’t I think of this?…… The obvious answer is I’m not brilliant. C’est domage….. Anyway, a short video from Mr. Klavan on “How to Behave During an Islamic Massacre”:
The next article simply flabbergasts me. The press now treats this as “de jour”. The fucking fuckers decapitated the wrong fucker and the fucking press reports the fuck-up as a misunderfuckingstanding. Fuck!:
Maybe he was speaking tongue in cheek. In order to keep his tongue in his cheek and his head attached to his neck. What is wrong with these people? Small mercy – the motherfuckers are killing each other more than anyone else………….
If the voice fits, you can’t acquit? What idiocy…… If I hold the “copyright” to a sound, that means no one can ever make that sound again without “permission”? This happened a while ago (1993), and even though he successfully defended himself against the lawsuit, it was years before he could claim court expenses against his suitors. Kinda Canadian Human Rights Commission-ish, Kafka-ish, and rubb-ish sounding, da? He has a unique and singular sound. I for one am glad he sounds like himself. Stories like this remind me of how little esteem I hold for the lawyerly in our culture who hide behind the purpose of the law while abusing everyone’s common sense. And the greedy talentless parasites trolling the water for corruptable opportunity.
A BBC production entitled “The Family That Walks on All Fours” takes the pulpit. A story of blind faith, human ego, the danger of inseminating your close relatives, why you would father 19 children, and (of course!) faith:
Of course, witnessing the BBC fall all over itself trying not to mention the elephant in the room adds mucho smirkyness to the watching.
The study of DNA will be this century’s major human accomplishment.
p.s. Ramirez warms a body –