June 30, 2009

Getting Stoned

For those of you wondering, no, Mrs. Robbo did not meet me at the door dressed in a naughty French maid costume and offering a chilled martini when I returned to Orgle Manor last evening after work.

Instead, I found two large pallets of field-stone sitting on the driveway as I pulled in. Mrs. Robbo had gone out and ordered them during the day on the theory that with the gels out of the way, it would be the perfect week for me to take care of some landscaping I had been talking about for some time.

As a result, I've had this running through my mind all day:

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June 29, 2009

Kathy the Cake-eater

takes on Jon and Kate Plus Eight.

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A Coup? The Honduran Military Defends the Rule of Law

Read this in WSJ: the Honduran military acted in support of orders of that country's attorney general and Supreme Court.

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Every Llama Has His Day

After having put the youngest of them on the bus for girl scout camp yesterday, Mrs. Robbo and I are free of the Llama-ettes for the rest of the week.

As Mrs. Robbo also is done teaching for the summer, she remarked that she will be able to spend this week paying a little more attention to your humble host.

Woo Hoo!

I was only joking this morning when I suggested she meet me at the door this evening in a French maid costume and with a chilled martini, but I'm not completely certainly she took it that way.

We shall see. (At least, I shall.)

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This damn song is bouncing around my noggin:

I heard it yesterday afternoon as I was putting my bride's ride in the garage:

It was the first video played on MTV, back when MTV played vids.

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June 28, 2009

Farrah, RIP

The poster that that started it all:

Flixster - Share Movies

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According to This Flick, It is All Over in Three Years

Trailer for 2012:

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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Mrs. LMC, the Future ROTC Scholarship Recipient and Our Little Debutante saw it last night. Good action movie--high body count, great special effects, and plenty of scenery which is easy on the eyes of the male of the species. However, plenty of dialogue which is not, how shall we say, of the sort you would want your kids to repeat to the monsiegnor in front of the altar.

Flixster - Share Movies

Obligatory Megan Fox view (from the first movie).

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June 26, 2009

Beat It, Jacko!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Jonah Goldberg:

I say: Who cares who his famous friends were? Who cares what a “fascinating” person he was? If you want to talk about his death as an end of an era, have at it. But that’s not what the Barbara Walters set is doing.

I know that Michael Jackson wasn’t convicted of the despicable crimes he was accused of. And that’s why he never went to jail. Three cheers for the majesty of the American legal system. But in my own personal view, he wasn’t exonerated either. Nor was he absolved of his crimes because he could sing, moonwalk, or sell 10 million records. (Though many of us suspect the money and fame he made from those things is precisely what kept him out of jail).

And, while I merely think he was a pedophile, I know he was not someone responsible parents should applaud, healthy children emulate, nor society celebrate.

And while we’re at it, his relatively early death wasn’t “tragic.” He was one of the richest people in the world. He spent his money on perpetual childhood and he was perpetually with children not his own.

Meanwhile, in the last ten days, we’ve seen or heard of remarkable people who’ve given their lives for freedom in Iran. We’ve heard of innocents killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the last decade, America has lost thousands of heroes in noble causes and thousands of innocent bystanders who were denied the simple joys of life through no fault of their own. Those deaths are tragic, and we're hard pressed to think of more than a handful of names to put with the long line of the dead.

If anything, Michael Jackson’s life, not his death, was tragic.

Every year at the Oscars they show a montage of people who died over the previous year. Invariably, the audience only applauds for the really famous people. This has always offended me. Not necessarily because the famous people don’t deserve praise but because it’s so clear that the audience is clapping for the fame. Michael Jackson had many accomplishments. But the press is sanctifying him because he was famous, deservedly so to be sure, but not because he was good. So much of the coverage seems to miss this fundamental point, as if being famous made him good.

I feel sympathy for Jackson’s family and friends who understandably mourn him. But I can't bring myself to mourn him any more than I mourn the random dead I read about in the paper everyday. Indeed, I confess to mourning him less.

Every channel says this is a sad day for America. I agree. But not for the same reasons.

Read the rest. To me, Jackson was the perfect example of the way the celebrity system corrupts humanity into a mere parody of itself. This is true not just of the celebrity himself, but of those who do the celebrating, too.

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June 25, 2009

Denial Ain't Just A River In Cambridge


Congrats to the Nats for preventing the Sawx from getting the sweep tonight!

See, Mr. & Mrs. Doubting Baseball Thomases? We can do it, too!


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Storm of the Century of the Week - Summah Division

I see that it's "Lightning Safety Awareness Week" and NOAA is busy scaring the bejeebus out of us. You think you're safe in your house during a thunderstorm? Think again!

There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical, phone, plumbing, and radio/television reception systems. Lightning can also travel through any metal wires or bars in Concrete walls or flooring.

In the past, the use of corded phones was the leading cause of
indoor lightning injuries in the United States. However, with
more and more cordless and cell phones in use, the number of
phone injuries has been diminishing. At the same time, the number of
children injured while playing video games that are plugged into
a wall or television has been increasing. Lightning can travel long
distances in both phone and electrical wires, particularly in
rural areas.

Stay away from windows and doors as these can
provide the path for a direct strike to enter a home. Do not lie on the
concrete floor of a garage as it likely contains a wire mesh. In
general, basements are a safe place to go during thunderstorms.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. Avoid contact
with concrete walls which may contain metal reinforcing bars. Avoid
washers and dryers since they not only have contacts with the
plumbing and electrical systems, but also contain an electrical
path to the outside through the dryer vent.

I'm convinced there's a movie plot in here somewhere: Global warming and Big Agro genetic engineering somehow combine to produce smart, eeeeevile, long-lasting lightning bolts that hunt people down in their homes.

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Gratuitous Nats Posting - Early To Bed Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Yes, contrary to what some people think, we are a professional baseball team.

As Tom Paine said, these are the times that try Nats Fans' souls. You people from Baastahn ought to remember that it really wasn't all that many years ago that you routinely went through the same kind of thing. All I can say is that when we break out - and we will - I hope we won't become half so insufferable about it.

Having said all that, I turned off the game early last evening even though it never became an embarrassment. I don't know what the actual stats are, but my experience this season is that the Nats almost never come from behind for a win.

Oh, well. Let's see if we can avoid the sweep tonight. (How's that for a rallying cry?)


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Random Commuter Observation

Since the big crash earlier this week, Dee Cee's Metro has started having its drivers run the trains manually instead of relying on the computerized autopilot.

The ride has been noticeably different, with herky-jerky braking and unsteady throttle control. It's almost enough to make one seasick. And how the heck am I supposed to look suave and debonair standing there in the aisle when I'm getting thrown off my feet all the time?

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June 24, 2009

Gratuitous Nats Posting - "Welcome To My Hell" Division

Nats Hat.jpg

For those of you Camelidophiles who also happen to be Sawx fans and perhaps saw the Nats in action for the first time in their game last night, well, now you know why Robbo is growing a major league ulcer this year.

The loss was pretty durn typical of the 47 we've racked up so far this season: Good starting pitching, some scrappy defense, some missed opportunities with the bat, but overall, a close game through six or seven innings. Then the bullpen comes in and blows the whole thing to kingdom come.

The Nats' marketing slogan this year is "Get your red on." There's no need - watching the games is making me see plenty of red already.

Oh, well. Here's hoping for better tonight! GO NATS!

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War College Memorial

The U.S. Army War College has a small memorial to its graduates who died in combat in a quiet corner of Carlisle Barracks. I stopped by at the end of a run a few days ago to read the plaque. Among the names listed is Richard Rescorla, COL USAR (Ret.). The name sounded vaguely familiar and it was unusual to list a retired officer so I hit the innertubes and got a number of hits, including this one by his widow. COL Rescorla's picture is on the cover of Hal Moore's account of the Battle of the Ia Drang, We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young. A Briton who emigrated to the United States, he was commissioned, served in Vietnam, and was chief of security for Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He predicted another terrorist attack after the failed attempt in 1993 and his quarterly all-hands evacuation drills are credited with saving all but six of Morgan Stanley's employees. Three of the six who did not survive were Rescorla and two of his deputies who were last seen going up the stairs to ensure that everyone was out. They must have known that the building was coming down at any minute but they were determined to leave no one behind.

One of Manchester's books on Churchill includes this passage from the Lays of Ancient Rome:

Thus spake brave Horatious, the Captain of the Gate
'Death cometh to every man in this world, sooner or late.
What better death can a man have, than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?'

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June 23, 2009

She Is Not A Brunette

but deserves a special mention anyway. Mrs. LMC advises that yesterday was Cyndi Lauper's 56th. Here is one of my favorite's:

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Gratuitous Nats Posting - Imminent Rueage Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Snotty articles like this are just the sort of thing to put a hex on the BoSox as they start a three game series against the Nats tonight.

I'm not making any predictions here. I would instead simply point out that the Nats took two games each off both the Yanks and the Blue Jays this past week, so don't get cocky, kids.

I'm batching it for the next few days, as Mrs. Robbo and the Llama-ettes are dispersed at camp and relatives' houses. I'll be sure to watch the series on MASN, although I'm still kicking myself for not having thought far enough ahead to try and grab a decent seat at the park.


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Random Commuter Observation

Just to reassure our two or three remaining readers out there that yes, I am perfectly all right following yesterday's Metro crash. The Red Line serves the Mur'land suburbs, while I shuttle in and out of Northern Virginny on the Orange.

Indeed, I didn't even learn until this morning just how bad the wreck was. All during rush hour itself, the Metro p.a. system kept making veiled references to a "situation" but did not provide any details. I figured it was just another breakdown. And since it didn't directly affect my own ride, I didn't pay it any more attention.

From the conversations I overheard this morning, popular opinion seems to be that "someone had blundered," and the crash was the result of simple Metro incompetence.

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June 21, 2009

Sandra Bullock

has a new flick out. Continuing with the enduring brunette theme, here she is:

Flixster - Share Movies
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Yesterday's Trip

Our "staff ride" to Antietam was pretty slick. We started at South Mountain, then to Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, and then the battlefields of September 17, 1862, near the creek that gave the battle its name. Our guide was a member of the faculty who knew his stuff, provided dramatic readings at various places, and gave us his take on the events at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

Factoids: (i) General officers are memorialized with a marker which consists of a cannon barrel mounted vertically in a block of stone, muzzle first, and placed where they fell. One general died some twenty minutes into his first command and his first battle. (ii) Coffee played a role in the campaign--often one side or the other stopped to brew coffee before continuing the attack. There is a rather large monument to a certain master sergeant of Ohio Volunteers who was recognized for bringing coffee and hot food to his men under fire. The man was William McKinley. (iii) Clara Barton's first big test was Antietam. The Union had no system for evacuating men from the battlefield at that time, a situation which would be rectified by Gettysburg.

The only down side was the bug I picked up late the day before. By the middle of the afternoon, I had a low grade fever, a hacking cough, and felt like I had been beaten with a board. Fortunately, we were chauffered around in a bus yesterday so all I had to do upon our return was stumble to my room, swallow some over the counter stuff, and sleep it off. Feeling better today but I laid low all day and gave up my plan of indulging in one of my favorite past-times: showing up at Robbo's house with short notice and mooching off the hospitality of Robbo and The Butcher's Wife.

Yips! from Robbo: Just as well, as you would have found Orgle Manor emptied of its denizens. As it happened, we were taking the elder Llama-ettes up to camp in Pennsylvania. Our route, I-270, goes right over South Mountain and then skirts just to the north of Sharpsburg. As is usually the case when coming across the crest and heading down the west face, I almost put the car over the guardrails several times as I craned to look out over the valley and imagine the positions of the two armies. Really ought to stop to do that, but the mountain-top pull off is still closed for renovations.

I also indulged in my favorite pastime of boring the gels and teh Missus stiff with my Cliff Clavin-like recitations of historickal and geographical factoids.

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June 19, 2009

Tomorrow's Trip


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Five Myths on Fathers and Family

in National Review. I learned a long time ago representing kids in the criminal justice system that the most important factor in determining whether a child will grow up with their head screwed on straight is whether the child was reared by married parents living together. Hands down, it is the most important factor. I am further convinced that several consecutive generations of women who grow up in households without a consistent male figure (meaning father who is the mother's husband) in the household will result in women who are feral (as in feral cat feral).

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June 18, 2009

Suck It, Noo Yawk!


Ha! Who'd a thunk the Nats would take a series off the Yankees?


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Say What?

Why is NPR's Jean Cochrane suddenly saying, "EEEE-ran"?

Is that the hip, new, Worldy-wise pronunciation?

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Random Commuter Observations

The Dee Cee Metro has recorded announcements about safety, door-closing and the like, that begin, "First time riding Metro?........Great!"

The inclusion of that interjection increasingly annoys me, in part because I hate faux enthusiasm and in part because of the mere possibility that the WMATA thinks somebody down the platforms is actually answering the question.

On a totally different note, what's the adjective form of monsoon? Monsoonic? Monsoonal? Monsoonian? Whatever it is, it certainly applies to the weather round here these days.

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June 17, 2009

"Never Trust A Man With Better Hair Than His Wife"

Read Michelle Malkin's take on L'Affair Ensign and the bubbling corruption scandals involving the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and his wife. Via Hot Air.

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June 15, 2009

Pictures From Iran

The protests. Via Hot Air.

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Your Morning Cup O' Jo


The lovely and talented Helen Hunt turns 46 today. What would we Llamas do without her?

Mmmmmm.....Jo Harding.....mmmmmmm....

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Robbo Is Currently Listening To....

Softball season wrapped up Saturday afternoon, which means that yesterday I was finally able to turn my attention to the garden, which I have been ignoring shamefully all spring.

As I hacked through the undergrowth, I couldn't help but hearing in my head:

A-weem-o-wep, indeed.

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June 14, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

What happened to the plight of the homeless? Surely there must be more than ever now that the unemployment rate is 9.4 percent. I guess it is no longer news that a Republican is out of the White House because I cannot recall reading any stories about them for quite a while, execpt in the context of evil banks forcing people out of the homes they could never afford. While we are at it, where are the stories about the "real unemployment figures"--that is, the ones which include those who have given up looking for work? What about those who are "underemployed?" The silence is deafening.

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W. Gets a Backhanded Compliement From The NYT

in the form of Thomas Friedman, their foreign policy gasbag. Via Hot Air.

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Happy Birthday

to an organization that has done more to secure the blessings of liberty for so many for long than any other. 234 years old today, it is none other than the United States Army:

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June 11, 2009

Gratuitous Aging Babe Watch


Happy birthday, Adrienne Barbeau, who turns 64 today.

And from all of us guys who hit adolescence in the late 70's or thereabouts: Thanks for being there!

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June 10, 2009

Reason Magazine's Ten Most Ridiculous TIME Covers

Via Hot Air. I would have picked the January 1, 1990, cover annointing Gorbachev "Man of the Decade", not believing the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. Few people remember Gorbachev now, but they have no problems recalling Ronald Reagan, Lady Thatcher, and Pope John Paul the Great who, individually and collectively, did more than anyone else to sweep Soviet Communishm into the dustbin of history.

Posted by LMC at 09:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Forward Operating Base LMC

was turned over to the Iraqis in a ceremony on March 31, 2009. I came across the link this morning and it took me down memory lane for a few minutes. Rustamiyah is sandwiched between the city dump and a sewage treatment plant which guaranteed the smell was fragrant, to say the least. I will not miss it nor will I sign up for whatever trip is hawked 25 years from now for the old vets to visit the battlefields.

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Gratuitous Commuter Venting (TM)

God damn and blast the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority!

Ah....just had to say that.

Last evening, thanks to a track failure and WMATA's incompetent attempt to deal with the attendant rush-hour back up, it took me better than two and a half hours to finally get back to Orgle Manor.

A large part of that time was spent on the platform at Rosslyn station along with a seething crowd of fellow commuters. After we had finally crammed on to our Orange Line train at Metro Center and thought ourselves on the way out west, Metro in its wisdom suddenly announced that our train had become a Blue Liner, and thus would be heading instead for Alexandria and points south. Thus, we had to get out again. As we stood there, three or four practically empty Blue Line trains came along for every one Orange Line, and the first three of these were so full that there was no room to get on.

The crowd, as I say, was seething - shouting at the intercom system and hurling abuse at any Metro employee fool enough to show his or her face. As I stood there, I couldn't help wondering how many of these people still thought a guv'mint takeover of healthcare, banking and the auto industry was such a good idea after all.

Oh, and the evening was capped off when I had my toes run over by a fellah in an electric wheelchair the size of a young tank. Yeeouch.

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Time to Shake the Cobwebs from the old Economics Books

Arthur Laffer's take on the expanded money supply in NR. Sooner or later, the Fed will have to ratchet back the money supply is keep inflation under control and could wind up triggering second recession on the heels of the first.

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On to the Governor's Mansion

NR's take on yesterday's Dem primary in Virginia and the showdown between Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell. Turnout is everything in a low-turnout election and Deeds pulled it off despite Terry McAuliffe's huge fund-raising and organization advantage. My next prediction--grumbling in the early fall that ol' Terry has done nothing to help the Dem ticket--he packed up the money, the mailing lists, Bubba's cell phone number, and went home.

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June 09, 2009

Gratuitous Old Dominion Observation

Today is the Donks' Primary Day for selecting a candidate for this fall's gubernatorial election here in Ol' Virginny. It's a three way race among Craig Deeds, a fairly conservative state rep; Brian Moran, a much more liberal one; and former Clintonista Terry McCauliffe. Whoever wins today goes against the GOP's Bob McDonnell, the former state AG.

McCauliffe was out glad-handing at my Metro stop this morning. As I smiled and said "Good luck", two thoughts occured to me. First, I wondered how well his Noo Yawk carpetbagger accent - readily apparent in the teevee ads that seem to be everywhere - is going to play outside the NoVA burbs.

Second, I thought "Jesum crow am I sick of politics!" Wonder how many other people felt the same way.

UPDATE: An easy win for Mr. Deeds. Ha, ha. Go back to New Yawk, Terry! My resentment against McCauliffe's presumption that he could stroll into ol' Virginny and pick up the governorship was bolstered by the fact that his daughter played on one of the Llama-ettes' soccer team a year or two ago and he never showed up for the games. Ack! Thpppppptttth!!!

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June 06, 2009

Reagan's Address on the Fortieth Anniversary of D-Day

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved and the world prayed for its rescue. Here, in Normandy, the rescue began. Here, the Allies stood and fought against tyranny, in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

(Via Real Clear Politics and the Reagan Library)

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, two hundred and twenty-five Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.

Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here, and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only ninety could still bear arms.

And behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war. Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life and left the vivid air signed with your honor."

I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking "we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day." Well everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry, I'm a few minutes late," as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles, who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold; and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore; The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots' Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet," and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought -- or felt in their hearts, though they couldn't know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4:00 am. In Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying. And in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-day; their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer, he told them: "Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we're about to do." Also, that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together. There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance -- a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. The Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost forty years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as forty years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose: to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars. It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent. But we try always to be prepared for peace, prepared to deter aggression, prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms, and yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II. Twenty million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that someday that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We're bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we're with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

Strengthened by their courage and heartened by their value [valor] and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

Posted by LMC at 11:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

For The LMC

Looks like we've got your next birthday present locked down:

Inara Strikes.jpg

It's the Inara Strikes statue.

Posted by Robert at 09:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Andrew McCarthy on Islam as a Religion of Peace

Read it. In my limited experience, the piety of Iraqi Muslims is a lot like the piety for American Christians--it ranges from the truly devout to the "check the box twice a year." (I have to dispute one point he brings up. McCarthy says that the traditional Arabic greeting:"A'salaam-alaykum" ("Peace be upon you") is limited to one Muslim greeting another. The practice in Iraq is the greeting is universal and no one ever took offense when we used it nor did any of the Middle Easterners who provided our cultural awareness training for us.)

Posted by LMC at 07:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Where Are They They Now: Harrison Ford - **UPDATED WITH THROW-DOWN YIPS!

Sticking up for general aviation in response to some plan or another from Our Nation's Capitol to hike fees.

Via Hot Air

Yips! from Robbo:

Hunt Red October.jpg

I'll use this post to reiterate my long-held belief that Alec Baldwin was a superior Jack Ryan to Harrison Ford. Much closer to what Clancy had in mind.

Deal with it.

More Yips! from Robbo: Wondering where the vid went? It seems to have fouled up the Llama formatting, why I don't know. Whenever this happens, I know of no fix other than cutting it. Sorry 'bout that.

Posted by LMC at 06:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 04, 2009

Liz Cheney on The One's Cairo Speech

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Via Hot Air.

Posted by LMC at 08:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Sunshine Patriots Division

Nats Hat.jpg

In connection with my post below, our Maximum Leader has this to say about the Nats' possible rendezvous with the Big Unit's destiny:

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader did a very bad thing yesterday. While talking baseball with a friend he was asked if Randy Johnson would gain his 300th win yesterday versus the Washington Nationals. Your Maximum Leader said that he felt Johnson would become a 300 game winner yesterday. The friend believed that the Nats would hold off the Giants, or at least force a no-decision for Johnson (as the Nats often play you close then lose when they go to the bullpen). We went back and forth on this for a little while.

Then it happened.

The “wanna lay a wager on that” was thrown down.

Your Maximum Leader, in a moment of pique, bet against his team. It was his standard bet, $1.

Every since your Maximum Leader has felt guilty. His guilt is now extended as the game was rained out last night and rescheduled for today.

This can only mean bad karma will come your Maximum Leader’s way.

Carry on.

I still can't comment over at Maxy's site, so again I'll add my two cents here.

First, it looks from the radar as if the Rain Gods are going to reach down and save Maxy's bacon (mmmm......bacon) this afternoon, probably raining out the first and maybe raining out the second of the scheduled twofer. If that happens, I suspect that Johnson will have to go somewhere else to get his 300th.

Second, though, let me say.....shame. SHAME, Sir! If that ju-ju gets you, it'll be well earned.

UPDATE: Uh, oh - looks like they're starting the afternoon game after all. (Robbo's little league softball got kyboshed, however.) JU-ju-ju-ju, JU-ju-ju-ju......

Posted by Robert at 11:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Robbo Is Currently Listening To....

What with the MSM falling all over Obama's Sermon on the Mount Cairo Speech today:

Posted by Robert at 09:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 03, 2009

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Hey, What Does 'W' Mean?" Division

Nats Hat.jpg

I haven't had many opportunities to do so of late, so let me say congrats to teh Nats for taking one off the Giants last evening. (Hey, when you've only got 14 wins half way through the first week of June, every one of 'em is precious.) If nothing else, it meant that I didn't go to bed boiling with frustration and fury for a change. Slept better for it.

Tonight we face the Big Unit, who's going for his 300th victory. Maybe with a little mo' going in, we'll show him denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


Posted by Robert at 12:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Eco-Hooey In The Old Dominion

Because we've taken the Llama-ettes there so often, we're on the mailing list for the Williamsburg, VA branch of the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park.

Last evening, idling flipping through the collection of bills, credit card applications and Chinese take-out fliers that is the usual mail haul at Orgle Manor, I came across a pamphlet from GWL announcing the introduction of something called Project Green Wolf. To wit:

Welcome to Project Green Wolf, our initiative to make all of our resorts environmentally friendly.

As leaders in family entertainment, we feel strongly that it’s important for us to be leaders in environmentally responsible tourism, too. And we’ve heard from many of our guests that being “green” was extremely important to them. That’s why we decided to take the plunge, so to speak. We like to think of it as sustainable fun.

(Just as an aside, the term "sustainable fun" makes me grind my teeth.)

The pamphlet, in addition to touting all the wonderful things GWL is doing to make itself more "eco-friendly", also has a section devoted to things that we kids can do at home to help save Mother Gaia. It's generally sensible stuff like remembering to turn off lights and the like, but it struck me as positively absurd that we should be receiving such a lecture from such a source. I mean, consider the amount of power, water and other resources it uses every day, not only for its water rides themselves, but also for all the ancillary accommodations and entertainment. Orgle Manor's "carbon footprint" is the byproduct of our just trying to live our lives. GWL's, which is vaster by a factor of x, exists for no purpose other than frivolous amusement.

You tell me who ought to turn off the damned lights.

Posted by Robert at 09:20 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 02, 2009

Why Conservatives Are So Mean

Andrew Klavin and Pajamas TV. (H/T Mrs. LMC)

Posted by LMC at 06:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Mandatory Evening Reading

Steyn on the state despotic.

Go. Read. Now. Shoo!!

Posted by Robert at 12:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "She Tasks Me" Division - UPDATED With Dark Side Silver Lining!


I wasn't going to say anything about this week's sweep of the hapless Nats by the Philadelphia Rat-Bastards Phillies. What is there to say? Seems we can't buy a win in the N.L. East.

But then Mink Monica went and tossed this into the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack:

Thanks Nats! (Too bad we don't meet again until September). All hail Jamie Moyer. Winning 250 games with his stuff is the equivalent of a mentally challenged person building a nuclear bomb in his basement.

This concludes today's episode of trash talk.

Well, now I do know what to say:

UPDATE: Our Maximum Leader notes that MASN TV has doubled the number of Nats viewers in the market this year from last year. DOUBLED, Baybee! Okay, it's from 6000 to 12,000, but c'mon. We'll take what we can get.

Maxy attributes the increase to the addition of Rob Dibble as color man in the booth. For reasons I can't fathom, I can't seem to comment over at his place, so I'll add my two cents here: I have started to warm to Dibble myself as time goes on. "Angry Rob", as I like to think of him, adds a punch to the play-by-play and also serves as a useful conduit by which to vent my own frustrations, a la "Yeah, what he said!"

On the other hand, I'm still a might creepified by the rare appearances of "Happy Rob". It's too much like the scene where Wednesday Addams smiles in Addams Family Values. As I say, creepifying.

Alas, I'm afraid the only thing that is really going to bolster both teevee viewing and attendance at the park this year is a "Where To Put Manny Acta's Head" contest. Not that I myself want to see him axed, but I sense a growing desire by the fans to see blood.

Posted by Robert at 08:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 01, 2009

Field Trip to Our Nation's Capitol

later this month and I picked this place as the elective.

Yips! from Robbo: As a Llama PSA and in light of the fact that I've started in on my annual cranking about tourons in Your Nation's Capital, I would like to remind all of our lloyal readers out there that if you ever happen to be in town and actually meet me face to face, remember: I'm squinting, not scowling.

Posted by LMC at 06:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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