Friday, July 31, 2015

Capitol Barricade 1 - Car 0

Just before 9:00 a.m. this morning, a car crashed into the south barricade of the U.S. Capitol building, and went no farther.  The driver was taken into custody and the car towed away.  Whether the crash was deliberate or accidental has not yet been determined.

Read more at WJLA, WTOP, The Washington Post and CNN.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

UK Prime Minister Hit By PC

British Prime Minister David Cameron got into a bit of hot water over his choice of words in describing the people who are trying to illegally enter his country by stowing themselves onto vehicles going through the Eurotunnel (a.k.a. Chunnel) from France.  As reported by the Australian site ABC, here is his offending remark:
"I accept that you've got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life," he said.
By referring to these illegal immigrants as a "swarm", he drew rebukes from his fellow U.K. politicians, such as:
Acting Labour Party leader Harriet Harman said Mr Cameron should remember he was talking about people, not insects.
In a way, I can see her point, since only people, not insects, are capable of understanding and therefore disobeying laws.  Perhaps "mob" would be a more appropriate term.  Read the full story.

The source of this story is not affiliated with the American Broadcasting Company, known by its acronym "ABC", but is instead the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Maryland Boy Receives Two New Hands

When he was just 2 years old, Maryland resident Zion Harvey underwent a quadruple amputation in which doctors had to remove his hands and his legs below the knee, because of an infection.  Now at age 8, he has become the first child in the world to receive a double hand transplant.  A medical team of 40 people, including 12 surgeons, took nearly 11 hours to perform the operation.

Read more at Yahoo News, ABC News, The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Tripp Down Memory Lane

During the late 1990s, Linda Tripp was a civil servant who worked in the West Wing of the White House, where she got to know a young co-worker named Monica Lewinsky and eventually exposed her affair with President Bill Clinton.  Now 65, a grandmother of 7, and with her husband the owner of a successful German Christmas store in Virginia, Tripp has broken her long silence by having an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail.  An excerpt:
It was the scandal that saw Bill Clinton impeached and which threatened to bring down his presidency. For many, it continues to define it to this day.
But according to the woman who outed Monica Lewinsky as the president's mistress, the real story was never about Monica. It was about 'subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice… a true abuse of power.' And it was about Hillary.
Because, according to Linda Tripp, it was Hillary who manipulated and stage managed the story, converting herself from a lackluster First Lady with unimpressive approval ratings to admirable First Victim - the blindsided wife standing by her man. 
Tripp has a lot to say about her former co-worker's ex-boyfriend's wife, and it's not pretty.  Read the full story.

Monday, July 27, 2015

LaGuardia Airport To Be Completely Overhauled

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a $4 billion plan to rebuild LaGuardia Airport, the smallest of the three major airports serving the area of New York City.  The announcement came at a luncheon with Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance.  Biden had previously likened the airport to a "third world" facility.  The reconstruction of LaGuardia is part of a larger plan under which John F. Kennedy International Airport, Stewart Airport and Republic Airport on Long Island will receive improvements.

This plan reminds me of something that happened near where I live about 25 years ago.  One morning, a friend of mine drove past a gas station, which had a sign that said "Closed For Remodeling". That afternoon, when drove past the same place, the gas station had been completely demolished.  A new gas station was then built where the old one had been.  LaGuardia Airport appears headed to a similar fate.

Read more at CNBC, The Verge and ABC News.

Monday Links

As the workweek starts, here's some things going on:

From MyFoxChicago, orders for durable goods increased by 3.4% in June.

From Reuters, 4-Teva will drop their bid to buy Mylan and instead will acquire Allergan.

From The Washington Post, physicist Stephen Hawking has signed up for his first AMA on Reddit.

From Yahoo News, an attack on a police station in northern India leaves 10 people dead.

From Market Watch, Disney's Ant-Man beats out Sony's Pixels at the box office.

From The World Post, the "far-right" mayor of Ozd, Hungary cracks down in the local Roma.

From KTVN, on Reno city call, the LGBT flag temporarily replaces the American flag.  (via The Daily Caller)

Wired presents a woman who, you might say, lives up to the site's name.

From Fox News, President Obama (D) responds to comments by former Governor Mike Huckabee (R).

From WFMZ, the U.S. State Department issues a report on human trafficking.

From the New York Daily News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a new cholesterol-lowering drug.

From ABC News, a campground in central California is evacuated because of a wildfire.

From Pioneer News, scientists in Switzerland and Germany solve the mystery of "hair ice".

From The Independent, police in Cleveland pepper spray a crowd of people at a Black Lives Matter gathering in order to remove an intoxicated 14-year-old.

From the New York Post, a Virginia man is taken into custody after a fatal stabbing at a church service in Maryland.

From The Tablet and the "better late than never" department, the German Protestant Church apologizes for the destruction of Catholic religious images during the Reformation.

From USA Today, stocks and oil prices fall after a plunge in the Chinese stock market.

And from The Christian Science Monitor, photos and video of Pluto.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Few Random Musings #5

It's about time for another Random Musings post, especially since recent events have given me plenty to think about.
I cannot help but think that in a sane world, Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner would be pitied, and Rachel Dolezal would be laughed at and then ignored.

George Zimmerman, the noted "white Hispanic", may have had a black Peruvian great grandfather.  If so, it would make him both blacker than Rachel Dolezal and more Native American than Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), and no more white than President Obama.  These would all be strange distinctions for someone held up as an example of white racism against blacks.

As a traditional Christian, it's not so much that I oppose "gay marriage", but that I find the very concept nonsensical, since the traditional definition of marriage has included the element of being based on a heterosexual relationship.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Music Break - Songs From My Younger Days

Here are some songs I enjoyed back when I was a Littlefoot.  I guess you could call most of these "bubble gum", but I still like them anyway.

One of the first songs I ever heard on the radio was Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron by The Royal Guardsmen.  Snoopy, in case anyone out there doesn't know, is a cartoon dog in the comic strip Peanuts and a series of TV movies inspired thereby.  With his vivid imagination, Snoopy creates several alter-egos, including the World War I Flying Ace, who faces his nemesis the Red Baron in aerial combat.  The Baron is inspired by the real-life Manfred von Richtofen, the German ace who shot down 80 Allied pilots in the First World War.  In these fantasy sequences, Snoopy's doghouse becomes the Flying Ace's sopwith camel.  In the TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, we see Snoopy flying off to fight the Red Baron, only to be shot down and stranded behind enemy lines.  These dogfights, if you'll pardon the pun, appear to be the inspiration for the song.  There are many YouTube videos which include the song, but I found one that combines the song with footage from the TV movie, thus showing how the movie would have incorporated the song, and then finishes with some live footage of The Royal Guardsmen.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Man Shoots People In Louisiana Theater

Around 8:00 p.m. this evening, an armed man opened fire in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.  There are reports of one victim being killed, and the shooter killing himself.  Six or eight others are reported as injured.  The gunman has been described as an "older white man".

This incident is tragically similar to what happened three years ago in a theater in Colorado.  The man responsible for that shooting spree has recently been convicted.

Read more at KATC, KLFY and The Advertiser.  Since this story has recently broken, its details will probably not be fully known for a while.

UPDATE:  The shooter has been identified as John Russel Houser, 59, of Phenix City, Alabama.  A second victim is reported to have died.

NASA Discovers Earth-Like Planet Orbiting Sun-Like Star

NASA scientists have discovered a planet so similar to Earth that it's being called Earth's "older, bigger cousin" and even "Earth 2.0".  The planet, designated Kepler-452b, orbits a star that is slightly larger than our sun, and in the same spectral class, at a distance 5% greater than the distance between Earth and the sun, with an orbital period of 385 (Earth) days.  Kepler-452b is classified as a "Super Earth" because its radius is 1.6 times that of Earth.  NASA believes that the planet is rocky, which would give it a surface gravity of about twice that of Earth, and that the planet and its star are 6 billion years old, and thus 1.5 billion years older than our solar system.  The Kepler 452 system is located about 1400 lightyears away.

Read more at BBC News, the Daily Mail, NBC News and Yahoo Tech.

Marine Veteran To Run 160 Miles

In Washington, Marine Corps veteran Bridget Guerrero is running 160 miles to honor fallen servicewomen.  From Runner's World:
Bridget Guerrero, 47, is no stranger to serving others. Beginning on Thursday, July 23, the Marine Corps veteran will run 160 miles to honor the 160 servicewomen who have lost their lives since September 11, 2001. Her plan is to cover 40 miles a day to finish on July 26.
Guerrero, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 13 years as well as the Department of Homeland Security, is running on behalf of Valor Run, a nonprofit organization that honors U.S. military women through running. The organization was founded by U.S. Navy Captain Nancy Lacore, a former classmate of Guerrero's, who served in Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012.
According to RW, Guerrero ran her first marathon at age 15.  Like the Energizer Bunny, she keeps going and going and going.  Read the full story, and also look at the picture.  Her T-shirt says "Valor knows no gender."  Neither does this blog's "Badass" label.

Fire Burns In Harpers Ferry

A fire broke out in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at around 3:15 this morning.  Three buildings and a shed were destroyed.  Several businesses were located in the buildings.  The nearby MARC commuter railroad station was closed, so that the firefighters could use its parking lot.

Read more at The Washington Post, WUSA, WTOP and WJLA.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Links

Once again in the middle of the week, here's a bit of what's going on:

From Fox News, in the United Kingdom, a Muslim delivery driver has been charged with plotting against the American military and trying to join ISIS.

Also from Fox News, a contractor for Maryland's "initially flawed" health care website has agreed to repay the state $45 million.

From CNN, the city of Ferguson, Missouri has hired a black interim police chief.

From KORN, a police officer in Hayward, California is shot and killed during a traffic stop.  (via Twitchy)

From The Hill, the arguably most obnoxious Republican presidential candidate plans to visit the border between Texas and Mexico.

From Townhall, a certain obnoxious Democratic presidential candidate is not doing too well in Quinnipiac polls in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia.

From CNBC, the National Retail Federation has revised their 2015 U.S. retail sales forecast downward.

From USA Today, improved ties with the United States will force Cuban 20-somethings to brace for change.

From The Washington Post and the "driver's worst nightmare" department, in an experiment, an SUV gets hacked.

From National Review, the recent nuclear agreement with Iran includes two side deals that will not be shared with Congress, the American people, or other nations.

From BBC News, scientists have discovered similarities in DNA between Native Americans in the Amazon basin and the indigenous peoples of Australia and Melanesia.

From Investor's Business Daily, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina uses the Planned Parenthood exposé video to assert that Hillary Clinton (D) has extremist positions on abortion.

From Bloomberg, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says that the man he wants to replace "has no class".

From The Washington Free Beacon, New York City's comptroller disagrees with Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to allow only 200 new Uber licenses each year.

From the New York Post, the father of Kate Steinle, who was allegedly killed by an illegal alien, speaks to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And from Mashable, Australian youngsters brace for the new varieties of Parrot MiniDrones.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rod Blagojevich Partially Wins Appeal

A federal appeals court in Chicago has overturned 5 of the 18 counts against former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D), along with his 14-year sentence.  He had been convicted of the 18 counts in two trials.  Prosecutors have the option of retrying Blagojevich on the 5 counts or dropping them.  This does not mean that he will be released from prison any time soon, only that the length of his sentence can be reconsidered.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune, WGN, CBS Chicago and Fox 6 Now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Massachusetts Woman Fatally Shot While Sleeping

In the wake of the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, here's another incident in an American appears to have been killed by an illegal alien.  In this case, the two aliens possibly involved were previously deported.  From the Boston Herald:
Deportation orders failed to oust two illegal immigrants who are now up on drug charges and under investigation in the July 4 shooting death of a Lawrence grandmother — in an alarming case that critics say illustrates a revolving immigration door with dangerous consequences.
Dominican Republic nationals Wilton Lara-Calmona and Jose M. Lara-Mejia were arrested on drug charges by police investigating the shooting death of Mirta Rivera, 41. The Lawrence nurse was killed in her sleep by a gunshot fired through the ceiling from an upstairs apartment, where both men lived.
The two illegal aliens had a third roommate, who was likewise arrested on drug charges.  I'm not a lawyer, but I can see where the shooting could result in some kind of homicide charge.  Lawrence, Massachusetts is about 30 miles north of Boston.  Read the full story.

ISIS Suicide Bomber Strikes In Turkey

At least 27 people were killed and over 100 others injured in an explosion at the Amara Culture Center in the Turkish border town of Suruç, near the Syrian city of Kobane.  About 300 young people had been staying at the cultural center, who were reportedly there to help rebuilidng work in Kobane.  The blast is believed to have been set off by an ISIS suicide bomber.

Read more at BBC News, Russia Today, CNN and the Daily Mail.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chattanooga Shootings Claim Fifth Fatality

A fifth military serviceman has died as a result of the shootings at two recruitment centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Naval Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, 26, has died from the wounds he suffered two days ago.

Read more at WCMH, CBS News, Fox11 News and the Daily Mail.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Slain Marines Identified

The four U.S. Marines killed in yesterday's attack on two military recruiting centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee have been identified:

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, 40, of Springfield, Massachusetts, who was deployed twice to Iraq and fought in the Battle of Abu Ghraib in 2005.

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, 37, who lived in Chattanooga and served in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Korea.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist, originally from Wisconsin, who lived in Jacksonville, NC  and served in Afghanistan.

Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, 21, of Marietta, Georgia, who briefly attended Georgia Southern University.

Lance Cpl. Wells was a reservist.  The other three were on active duty.  I regret not being able to learn Sgt. Holmquist's age.

Read more at Fox News Insider, NBC News, The Tennessean, and last but never least, The Marine Corps Times.

UPDATE:  The Daily Mail has more about the four fallen Marines, and reports Sgt. Holmquist's age as 27.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Colorado Theater Shooter Found Guilty

James Holmes, who fatally shot 12 people and wounded 70 others in a theater in Aurora, Colorado in 2012, has been found guilty.  The jury thus rejected his plea of insanity.  The trial, which has already gone on for 11 weeks and involved over 250 witnesses, now moves into the penalty phase, in which Holmes faces either life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Read more at KABC, Newsweek, CBS News, The Denver Channel and The Denver Post.

Policeman And Four Military Personnel Shot In Chattanooga

A police officer was shot this morning near a Navy recruiting center on Lee Highway in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has been taken to a hospital.  Some nearby locations, including Chattanooga State University, have been placed under precautionary lockdowns.  There are reports, apparently not yet confirmed, of other victims.

Read more at WHNT, WREG and WRCB.

UPDATE:  The links are now indicating that up to four other people, all U.S. Marines, have also been shot, and that the shooter is now dead.

UPDATE 2:  According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, four military personnel were shot and killed.  There were two military recruiting locations where the shootings occurred, one on Lee Highway, now identified as an Army recruiting center, and the other being a Naval and Marine Reserve Center at the Chattanooga River Park.  A quick look on Googlemaps shows U.S. Naval Reserve location on Amnicola Highway, a road mentioned in several of the above links, adjacent to a Tennessee River Park.

UPDATE 3:  As reported by the Star Tribune, the shooter has been identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez of Hixton, TN, who was believed to have been born in Kuwait.  Whether his citizenship was American or Kuwaiti has not been determined.  Besides the four Marines who were killed, a fifth Marine was wounded in the leg.  The police officer was hit in the ankle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Links

Some things in the news, here on earth and elsewhere in the solar system:

From AOL, as Greek legislators debate the latest bailout bill, a riot breaks out.

From The Washington Times, an immigrant recently released from jail after serving time for attempted murder, is now charged with a different murder.

From Fire Andrea Mitchell, a testy exchange between President Obama and reporter Major Garrett.

From The Verge and the New Horizons mission, the first high-resolution picture of Pluto.

From BBC News and the New Horizons mission, Pluto has mountains of ice.

From ABC News, a teen explains life in a coma.

From Fox News, here's the latest fake Cherokee.

From The Will County News, welcome to Mr. Obama's socially engineered neighborhood.

From The Daily Beast, the real winner of the Iran deal is Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

From Al-Watan, a Saudi reaction to the Iran deal.  (via The Daily Caller, with a bit of translation)

From Arutz Sheva, Israeli security forces have a arrested a man suspected of killing a hiker.

From Wired, more than 70 people around the world have been arrested as Darkode is taken down.

From National Review, Jonah Goldberg asks, "Why does the left treat Islamic terrorism with more nuance than the Confederate flag?"

And from The Daily Star, just as it's not advisable to yell "fire!" in a crowded theater, it's also not a good idea to yell "mouse!" in a crowded mosque.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Deal Reached With Iran

After about 20 months of negotiating, a nuclear deal has been reached between Iran and a group of nations including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany.  The deal limits Iranian nuclear activity in return for lifting international sanctions.  President Obama has reportedly stated that "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off".  The U.S. Congress has 60 days to consider the agreement.

Read more at NBC News, The Washington Post, CNNBBC News and USA Today.

UPDATE:  The Daily Signal has some reaction.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Ack! Ack! It's Back!

During most of the 1980s, I was a devout reader of the comic strip Bloom County, produced by cartoonist Berkeley Breathed (whose last name rhymes with "method", as I once read).  In 1989, two years after winning a Pulitzer Prize, Breathed discontinued the strip, but for a few years used some of its characters in a weekly comic named Outland, and later in another weekly comic called Opus, named after a penguin who appeared in all three.  Today on Facebook, Breathed revived his first famous creation by releasing its first cartoon in 25 years, under the title Bloom County 2015.

Read more at the two-way (at NPR), The New York Times and Wired.

Most of the Bloom County characters are human, but there are several animals, including the above-mentioned penguin Opus (who allegedly looks more like a puffin than a penguin).  Another one is a disgusting, occasionally dead cat named Bill, who rarely speaks but instead makes unintelligible noises such as the "ack" used in this post's title.

Hillary Clinton Supports Sanctuary Cities.....Or Does She?

What is the opinion of former First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY, formerly D-Ark) on sanctuary cities?  It depends on which report you read, and how recently you asked the question.  As of July 7, according to HNGN, she supported them.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton is taking heat from pundits over her previous unabashed support of sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and thereby afford deportation protection to illegal immigrants.
But just one day later, as reported by Fox News:
Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton joined the condemnation of San Francisco’s “sanctuary” policy Tuesday.
Clinton chided law enforcement officials in an interview with CNN, saying the city was wrong to ignore an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to hold Francisco Sanchez for federal authorities. Sanchez is accused of killing a young California woman along a pier last week.
So which is it, Madame Secretary?  Should cities cooperate with federal authorities or not?  Did one of these two sources misrepresent your stance on this issue?  Or are your views still evolving?

Read the respective stories at HNGN and Fox News.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Fuller Family Football Camp

Over the past 14 years, four brothers from central Maryland have played football for Virginia Tech.  Three of them were drafted by the NFL, while the youngest looks forward to his third year as a Hokie.  This summer, the quartet have opened their own football camp, giving area youngsters an opportunity to improve their skills.  From The Baltimore Sun:
The presence of three brothers who have played in the NFL and another still playing in college — Chicago Bears starting cornerback Kyle Fuller, 23, Detroit Lions wide receiver Corey Fuller, 25, retired former Tennessee Titans safety Vincent Fuller Jr., 32, and 20-year-old Kendall Fuller, an All-American junior cornerback and future top NFL draft prospect at Virginia Tech — imparted more than words during the first annual Fuller Family Football Camp.
The oldest of the four Fullers is now pursuing a law degree.  Read full story.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Links

As the first weekend after July 4 approaches, here's a bit of what's going on the world:

From The Washington Free Beacon, Iranians burn American and Israeli flags in support of Quds Day.  (Yes, this is the country which Secretary of State has been negotiating with.)

From The Hollywood Reporter, actor Omar Shariff, who starred in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, has died of a heart attack in his hotel room at age 83.

American Thinker asks if President Obama is trying to "love ISIS to death".

From the Washington Examiner, the Confederate battle flag has been removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds.

From Crain's Chicago Business, McDonald's swears that its talking toys, based on the movie Minions, do not say curse words.

From AOL, Katherine Archuleta, the head of OPM, will not step down in the wake of the recent hack, in which information on 21 million people was stolen.
UPDATE:  From Fox News, she has resigned, effective at today's close of business.

From The Washington Times, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WS) has accused the Inspector General's office of the Department of Veteran's Affairs of a cover-up and "smearing whistleblowers".

From FrontpageMag, the recently murdered Kate Steinle is just one of many victims of illegal immigration.

From National Review, Michelle Malkin thinks that Ariana Grande "needs her diaper changed".

From The RightScoop, radio talking head Mark Levin thinks Hillary Clinton should be "in an orange jumpsuit".

From The Hill, former Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) joins the presidential race.

From Fox News, a Civil War-era soldier, who was born in Germany, received the Medal of Honor, and was buried in an unmarked grave, was given full military honors and reburied at the San Diego national cemetery.

From LifeNews, TV personality Rachel Campos Duffy calls pro-abortion feminists "science deniers".

From ABC News, the Women's World Cup champions get a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

And from WGN, Pope Francis stops at a Burger King in Bolivia, to change his clothes.
UPDATE:  From MyFoxChicago, more on the Pope's travels in South America.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

D-Day Memorial, Part 2

The D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, as mentioned in Part 1, includes an area called the Beach Tableau, which comprises statues of soldiers landing on the Normandy beaches.  This one portrays two soldiers moving across the sand, with a fallen soldier behind them.  In the water is a replica of a Czech Hedgehog, one type of obstacle placed on the beaches by the Germans, but first developed in Czechoslovakia.

To the west of the Beach Tableau is the George "Jimmy" Green Circle, in which the contributions of the Allied naval forces are recognized.  In the middle of the Circle is this anchor.

The Green Circle also includes this ship's bell.

South of the Beach Tableau and Gray Plaza is Estes Plaza, which includes the Overlord Arch.

This statue, surrounded by flags, is at the south end of Estes Plaza.

South of Estes Plaza is a walkway named Stettinius Parade, along which is a recasting of the statue Le Monument aux Morts, originally by French sculptor Edmond de Laheudrie.  The statue was created to honor 44 men from Trévières, of which Laheudrie had been mayor, who died in World War I.  Believed to have sustained damage to its face on or around June 9, 1944, the as-damaged statue was later recast to produce the replica seen here.

Stettinius Parade was the southernmost part of the Memorial.  On the way back to my car, parked near the northern end, was the statue Homage, which was unveiled only a year ago.  This sculpture was specifically dedicated to the men from Bedford who died on D-Day.

D-Day Memorial, Part 1

After visiting family in Virginia, I decided to avoid my usual route back to Maryland and instead take a course that went through Bedford, where I could visit the D-Day Memorial.  The memorial is located there because the town suffered the highest per capita losses on D-Day of any community in the United States.

Visitors to the Memorial may go on a guided tour, or walk around at their leisure.  Either way, the recommended starting point is the Reynolds Garden, the Memorial's northernmost section.  This area includes a sculpture of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France.  To the right in this picture is a bust of British Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery, one of six Allied commanders thus portrayed.

This sword-shaped structure is designed to make the Garden resemble the SHAEF shoulder patch, worn by the the invasion's planners.  In the background are the flags of all the countries that participated in the landings, along with the Overlord Arch.

Here's another shot of the Eisenhower statue and its rotunda, showing part of the "sword", from a different angle.

These plaques commemorate the contributions of the alumni of the United States Military Academy at West Point (L), Virginia Polytechnic Institute (C) and the Virginia Military Institute (R).  During the war years, VPI, a.k.a. Virginia Tech, had not yet added "and State University" to its name and was primarily a military school.

In the Beach Tableau as seen from the Gray Plaza, statues represent soldiers advancing through the surf, moving on the beach, dead on the beach, or scaling a wall.  The Plaza is a large area in the center of the Memorial.

East of the Beach Tableau is the Maurice T. Lawhorn Circle, dedicated to recognizing the contributions of the Allied air forces.  Standing in this Circle is an Aeronca L-3 (or maybe L-3B) "Grasshopper" surveillance plane.

There will be more to see in Part 2.  Meanwhile, more on the D-Day Memorial can be found at the Encyclopedia Virginia and Roadside America.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Dukes Of Hazzard, PC-Style

In what appears to be a fantasy sequence from The Jeff Foxworthy Show, which ran during the mid-1990s, The Dukes Of Hazzard gets a politically correct makeover.  Since the General Lee's Confederate battle flag gets replaced, and "Daisy" appears to have gotten the Rachel Dolezal treatment, I wonder if someone on the TJFS production team had a vision of 2015.  Or maybe it's just a case of SSDD (same stuff, different decade).

Han Solo To Get His Own Movie

The Star Wars character Han Solo, known for flying around in a spaceship called the Millenium Falcon and getting into trouble, will be the subject of a spinoff movie to be released in 2018.  It will be prequel, focusing on his life before he met up with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.  Chris Miller and Phil Lord, who made The Lego Movie, will be in charge.

Perhaps in this film, we'll learn about Han's dealings with Jabba the Hutt and how he met Chewbacca, who if you ask me, bears an uncanny resemblance to the earthbound creature known as Sasquatch.

To the young male actors out there, if you resemble a young Harrison Ford, here's your chance.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter, the New York Post and the Star Wars website (the last link coming via Engadget).

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Man In Maine Kills Himself With Fireworks

While celebrating the Fourth of July, a man in Calais, Maine set off a fireworks mortar tube on his head, killing himself instantly.  He had been drinking with some friends.  This incident is the first reported fireworks-related fatality since Maine legalized fireworks in 2012.

I'd say that a Darwin Award nomination is richly deserved.

Read more at WGME, the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Independence Day

To celebrate our nation's birthday, there are many traditions, such as patriotic music.  Marksman Chris Cheng combines this tradition with his Second Amendment rights.

If you ask me, a few of the higher notes sound a bit out of tune, but I figure there's probably a way to adjust the pitch of the targets.  You can also watch the video directly on YouTube.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jim Weaver 1945-2015

Jim Weaver, who served as Virginia Tech's athletic director from 1997 to 2013, died suddenly early today at his home in Blacksburg, VA.  He had been fighting Parkinson's disease since 2004, and had also undergone several back surgeries.  During his tenure, he presided over Virginia Tech's moves from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the Big East and then to the ACC.  A graduate of Penn State who played football for Joe Paterno, Weaver served in the athletic departments of Florida, UNLV and Western Michigan, before coming to Virginia Tech.

Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Roanoke Times, Hokiesports and the Daily Press.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Links For July 1st

On the first day of the second half of 2015, known to our northern friends as Dominion Day or Canada Day, here's some news and opinion:

From AOL, the United States and Cuba will unveil their agreement to restore diplomatic ties.

From ABC4, according to investigators, a church fire in Greeleyville, SC was not the result of arson.  The church had at one time been a target of the KKK.  (via The Blaze)

From The Washington Times, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump lead Republican presidential candidates.

In National Review, Jonah Goldberg warns that the culture warriors of the left, who just won a victory at the Supreme Court over gay marriage, aren't about to stop.

From CNET, California's smartphone "kill switch" law takes effect.

From MyFoxChicago, Neil Wallis, formerly of News of the World, has been acquitted of phone hacking charges.

From Time, someone has been cutting Internet cables in the San Francisco area.

From LifeNews, how predictions that overpopulation would destroy the world have turned out to be spectacularly wrong.

From the New York Post, what you need to know if you're visiting Greece.  (A day old, but still very relevant)

From The Daily Caller, when she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton wondered why President Obama wouldn't see her as often as President Nixon would see Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

From Fox News, Hillary Clinton was getting diplomatic advice from Sidney Blumenthal as early as 2009.

From Weasel Zippers, besides her already noted private email server, Hillary Clinton also had a Blackberry Internet account.

From ABC News, the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church urges calm, and Greece's actions are criticized by Slovenia.

From Le Journal De Montréal, si vous lisez français, you can have the face of Miley Cyrus in your coffee.

And from SteynOnLine, former Canadian Mark Steyn wishes his native land a happy Dominion Day.