June 6, 2014

“You just do what you have to do, regardless.” [Darleen Click]

70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Normandy, France (CNN) — Jim “Pee Wee” Martin acted like he’d been here before, like jumping from a plane is as easy as falling off a log.

Maybe that’s because he had — 70 years ago.

“I’m feeling fine,” Martin told reporters moments after landing in a French field. “… It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

Martin was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted down over Utah Beach in their bid to retake France and, eventually, the rest of Europe from Nazi Germany. They actually touched down in enemy-controlled territory a night before what’s referred to as D-Day.

His jump Thursday in the same area was different and — despite his being 93 years old now — a whole lot easier.

“It didn’t (compare),” Martin said, “because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.”

Another pic of Jim Martin, dressed as he was 70 years ago as part of the 101st Airborne.

jimmartin

Good lord, what has America lost?

Posted by Darleen @ 12:54am
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Comments (85)

  1. Thank you for that, Darleen.

  2. He still looks more intimidating than some of the 23-year-olds strutting around these days.

  3. Great post Darleen.

  4. cigarette smoking is unhealthy for children and other living things

  5. McGehee

    The first comment on the post where I got his pic:

    93 years old and I’m 90% sure he could kick my ass (the 10% doubt is based on whether I could outrun him before he could so so).

    Quite the comparison with Barry’s struggle with 5 lb weights, eh?

  6. Sgt. Martin is several dozen orders of magnitude more badass than President Prancercise.

  7. Good lord, what has America lost?

    ….It’s soul. At least for now.

  8. I don’t thnk America has “lost” anything. The Baby Boomers didn’t “lose” it, so much as wad it up, wipe its ass with it and toss it to the side, then start handing out “You didn’t win, but here’s a framed certificate for trying” bumper stickers to the also-rans, while punishing those who were determined to succeed.

    FOR TEH FAIRNESS!!

  9. Another story.

    Bill Millin was the Piper of the 1st Special Service Brigade on June 6, 1944. The following is part of his personal account of D-Day and his role in the relief of Pegasus Bridge.

  10. Maybe lost a sense that those men who fought in France couldn’t possibly have imagined that the political evils against which they strove in 1944 would own the minds of the majority of US voters in 2008, and result in the loss of the political battle they sought to win in Europe without a shot fired in the United States as a totalitarian disposition took root in the nation they loved. Weird how pusillanimous “charismatics” stood at the center of each disaster, ain’t it?

  11. Leo Strauss writing in 1953 [NRaH, Introduction]:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The nation dedicated to this proposition has now become, no doubt partly as a consequence of this dedication, the most powerful and prosperous of the nations of the earth. Does this nation in its maturity still cherish the faith in which it was conceived and raised? Does it still hold those “truths to be self-evident”? About a generation ago, an American diplomat could still say that “the natural and the divine foundation of the rights of man . . . is self-evident to all Americans.” At about the same time a German scholar could still describe the difference between German thought and that of Western Europe and the United States by saying that the West still attached decisive importance to natural right, while in Germany the very terms “natural right” and “humanity” “have now become almost incomprehensible . . . and have lost altogether their original life and color.” While abandoning the idea of natural right and through abandoning it, he continued, German thought has “created the historical sense,” and thus was led eventually to unqualified relativism. What was a tolerably accurate description of German thought twenty-seven years ago would now appear to be true of Western thought in general. It would not be the first time that a nation, defeated on the battlefield and, as it were, annihilated as a political being, has deprived its conquerors of the most sublime fruit of victory by imposing on them the yoke of its own thought. Whatever might be true of the thought of the American people, certainly American social science has adopted the very attitude toward natural right which, a generation ago, could stll be described, with some plausibility, as characteristic of German thought. The majority among the learned who still adhere to the principles of the Declaration of Independence interpret these principles not as expressions of natural right but as an ideal, if not as an ideology or a myth. Present-day American social science, as far as it is not Roman-Catholic social science, is dedicated to the proposition that all men are endowed by the evolutionary process or by a mysterious fate with many kinds of urges and aspirations, but certainly with no natural right.

  12. Good lord, what has America lost?

    When it comes to people like Jim Martin, nothing, they are still out there, doing the dirty work because it needs to be done. I personally know men and women who have been shot down, shot up, beat up, broken, missing parts, all of whom have gotten back into whatever unpleasantness they came from.

    Not to take anything away from the WWII folks, but whether they enlisted or were drafted, they were in it for the duration, not so for the current crop. Everyone now in the service has the option of walking away at the end of an enlistment or other ADSO, and yet throughout the recent fracas, re-enlistment has never been a major issue.

    So, though the people are still there, what has been lost is, as Clausewitz would put it, national will, to be more specific, the will to see a war through to the end, and to devote the resources necessary to achieve that end. Such will has not been present since WWII. Regardless of whatever anyone thinks of the “rightness” of any conflict in which we have been engaged since the end of WWII, there is no doubt that the military, if allowed to act without the undue political constraints and interference, would have been able to achieve a WWII like victory (not just achieve a stalemate) in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Instead, however, we wind up with war by poll numbers and politicians picking targets and setting arbitrary withdrawl dates regardless of the facts on the ground.

    It is easy to explain that, coming just 5 years after WWII, there was not the same level of national enthusiasm, but it doesn’t explain why we settled for the half-measure we wound up with, the spectre of China aside. It also does not explain what came after. One can credit the long march through the institutions, the Cold War paranoia, technology, consumerism, or other factors, but one could make an SSC thesis out of what contributed most. The question is how to get it back.

    As Drum mentioned them, regarding Baby Boomers, bear in mind, they were raised by the generation that fought and/or lived through WWII, so is any culpability assigned to them ? Bear in mind also “Baby Boomers” is thin paint on a broad brush, and there has been a hell of a lot of us who have participated, or are now participating, in the fun, travel, and adventure of the last 13 years.

  13. From Jim Martin to Pajama Boy.

  14. I’m sure Pajama Boy would think that gun was icky, Charles.

  15. [T]he will to see a war through to the end, and to devote the resources necessary to achieve that end. Such will has not been present since WWII.

    WWII was the last war which the Left in this country supported rather than opposed. Due mainly to the fact that Germany attacked Uncle Joe roughly 5 months before Japan attacked us. Before that time the Left in the US were fully opposed to any involvement by the US.

  16. - I wonder how many minutes it will take for the paper thin veneer of faux bullshit narrative and manufactured perceptions to disappear like a morning fog in Frisco when the Choom gang and All-American College Communists and faculty lounge lizard professors are no longer able to pretend and keep all the balls in the air?

    “….and the horse you rode in on. Respectfully of course.”

    This week, George received a call from the White House, who said they knew he would be over in France during D-Day, and wondered if he would attend a private meeting the White House was arranging for veterans with President Obama.

    George thought about it for awhile and concluded he just couldn’t. “I have so many issues with the president’s policies, including the most recent ones,” he told me ruefully. “I just couldn’t convince myself to do it.”

    He is not alone. The recent Bergdahl prisoner swap in which five hardened Taliban terrorists were released from prison is rubbing a lot of the military veterans attending D-Day events the wrong way. “It’s not that we don’t want to respect the commander-in-chief,” one told me sadly. “It’s just that he makes it so hard to do so.”

  17. The USA is like Santino Corleone. We can beat a guy to the ground, but not into it.

  18. Jim Martin, you are one hard ass SOB.

  19. The sacrifices and achievements of that generation should never be forgotten.

    That said, the further away from that generation we get, the more I realize that a great deal of praise should be heaped upon the generation who raised them. The children of the Greatest Generation weren’t instilled with the values that drove young men like Jim Martin.

    Somewhere right along there we started trying to give our kids a better life instead of teaching them how to have a better life.

  20. Oh they got values alright, in spades, or dug down by spade, depending how you want to look at it.The problem is just that the American conception of government and politics didn’t include the Nietzschean derived free-floating relativistic term values put in place of the good or mistaken for a measure of excellence. More’s the pity, in other words. And yet the infection lives on. hurrah.

  21. The children of the Greatest Generation weren’t instilled with the values that drove young men like Jim Martin.

    I often have this sometimes heated discussion with Hubs, he being a Vietnam era vet and career officer. He insists that his generation was the last with any balls and the rest of us are a bunch of weak sisters. Since he is nearly 20 years older than me, I usually let it slide but occasionally have to remind him that he and his raised those of my generation.

  22. For those who have not seen it, Hey Yank, you got gum ?

    One would think this guy had some protocol gomers to tell him not do do this stupid stuff.

  23. Good lord, what has America lost?

    Bone and muscle mass, the inevitable result of spending too much time in null gravity.

    Ironically, the blood and treasure expended in WWII is what launched us into orbit. The Greatest Generation decided to give their kids everything they themselves never had, but neglected to give them what they did have: character, common sense, grounding in reality. They swore their kids would never go through what they did (the depression, and hopefully not war with the Soviets) and so their kids didn’t.

    The Boomers are the result, and the Boomers’ spawn (both literal and philosophical) is two-term POTUS Barack Obama.

    Bittersweet irony doesn’t even begin to cover it. I don’t think those soldiers returning from the war had the faintest intention of raising spoiled brats, but raise them they did.

    Thanks on the one hand, and thanks a lot on the other.

  24. ohnoes he’s wearing one of those germy wristwatches

  25. “God bless them, everyone.”

  26. Do you suppose he swallows?

  27. France not Happy.

    Ah come-on France, cut the addict some slack why don’tcha? It’s only on account of she couldn’t ask “Anybody got a match?“.

  28. leigh

    I’m part of BB generation (b 1954) and I only partly agree with your hubby. There was/is a substantial number of us that embraced much of our parents’ values & principles, but it was the rebellious/SDS/filthymouth/hippie/AgeofAquarius/TheGraduate/*Free*SexDrugsRockNRoll segment that captured the attention of the media.

    The Left has always been with us, but since the 60s, instead of outright blood in the streets, they took the malignant cancer route – taking over the culturally shaping institutions – universities, media, entertainment, politics.

    There is still a significant segment of American citizens who are “old-fashioned” – get married, raise kids, participate in things like the military, church, charity. Mostly they operate from a “live let live” perspective and have been more perplexed and saddened than angry when they see themselves mocked, derided and maligned as racistsexistpatriarchialtraitors to the country.

    I believe there is still great courage in younger generations, but it is a smaller percentage of the population and they are in the crosshairs of this admin & its apparatchiks.

  29. Interpretive “war” dance.

  30. these days the fascists attack us from within

    and it’s civilians what are on the front lines of the war today

    but a majority of them, they’ve gone over to the other side

  31. Darleen,

    I completely agree. You are only five years older than I am and although my own family wasn’t a military family, many of my cousins served, as did one of my brothers. We had a traditional dad works and mom runs the house upbringing with church on Sunday and scouts and camping all that 60s stuff that people love to snarl at while singing the praises of the hippy bastards that were starting to ruin the country.

    Kids got drafted when I was in high school until the draft was ended in my sophomore year. An awful lot of my friends served and one of my sons. I’m proud to say that none of my kids have gotten arrested or given me illegitimate grandkids. One is a college grad, one is a dad and a cop, and one is an honors student in high school.

    A lot of my elder sons’ peers have served multiple tours of duty and are very patriotic. It’s distressing to see all kids under 30 portrayed as douchebag slackers. Either that is a blatant lie or the fact that we live in Flyoverlandia is blinding me.

    That said, my brothers kids (raised in affluenenza) are slacker douchebags. We aren’t poor, but we made the kiddos work for spending money and pay their own car insurance.

  32. Geoff, that dance is pitiful.

  33. All it was missing was ice skates and for the Flintstones to come out and skate for the finale.

    Or are Ice Capades jokes no longer funny? Has it been too long since they died off?Is it too mundane and shamefully bourgeois now?

  34. Disney on Ice still rocks especially now they have Jake and the Pirates plus Frozen (!) so it’s fun for the whole family

  35. Rod Strohl [introductory sequence to hbo’s Band of Brothers] :

    “We came from a small, small town and three fellas in that town were — that were 4F committed suicide because they couldn’t go. A different time.”

  36. “Die for your country” is probably the phrase that turns human beings into young hippie zombies.

  37. “Wars aren’t won by dying for your country. They are won by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.” — G. Patton, GenArmy, USA

  38. When “your” means “belongs to you” it’s one thing, and when “your” means “you belong to it” or to a ClownDisaster, it’s altogether another thing.

  39. geoffb

    WTF???

  40. “WTF!!!”

    It probably goes great with the chewing gum, even better if it’s a bubble type.

  41. I’m just agog at that “interpretive dance” thing.

    Monty Python couldn’t come up with anything more absurd.

  42. compare and contrast

    Monty Python Pearl Harbour

  43. I was right, newrouter … that was absurd, but not as much as the Normandy thing.

  44. It’s nearly as creep-tastic as the giant NHS baby at the London Olympics.

    Say what you will about the Russians, they’re interpretive dance of Russian history (minus the bloody coups) was well done.

  45. “We are going to honor the fuck out of you old geezers, and you’d better sit there and pretend to enjoy it!”

    One can only fantasize about a Zombie George S. Patton (or a perfectly living R. Lee Ermey) suddenly appearing in the crowd, walking out onto the sands, and mowing the lot of them down with a Ma Deuce. It’d be the most awesomist thing in the history of ever.

  46. these days the fascists attack us from within

    Dressed up like children’s made-in-Japan toys, no less…

  47. i do not understand

    I fight the fascisms with every sinew and fiber of my wee lil pikachu self

    in the fields and in the streets I fight no matter the burden of weariness I carry

    as hopeless and futile as the fight may be I carry on because to surrender to fascism is unthinkable to one such as I

    pardon my saying so but you do not know me as well as you think you do Mr. Drumwaster

    now leave me be I have fascisms to fight

  48. >now leave me be I have fascisms to fight<

    for the next 3 years that's on the golf course

  49. in the organic produce aisles and in the comment threads I fight no matter the burden of weariness I carry

    FTFY.

  50. pardon my saying so but you do not know me as well as you think you do Mr. Drumwaster

    That wasn’t me describing you as “progressive”, pieceofshit, and your comments history shows beyond question where your loyalties lie (and I use that verb intentionally), so, no, I don’t think I will pardon you for being a fascist scumbag.

    If that harshes your mellow, then change your anti-American, fascist ways. It is not up to me to suddenly ignore reality just so you can feel better about stabbing your fellow citizens in the back.

  51. i don’t buy organic stuff

    organic is a hornswoggle for those retarded american moms who always run out of food stamps two weeks before the end of the month

  52. >i don’t buy organic stuff<

    as you are a "little debbie" connoisseur i concur

  53. That was kinda nice of Continetti to work Nietzsche’s loathing of communists into his profile of IWonPenPhone by suggesting IWonPenPhone is The Last Man, end of the line. Woulda been better without “site” for sight though.

  54. Back in the day (1978), I was a so-called 3rd Lieutenant (a cadet acting as a platoon leader) in 2/8 Cav at Fort Hood. President Carter was going to visit the post and there was to be a firepower demo in the impact area.

    We (the cadets) were told to be at a certain parking lot at some early time on Saturday morning so that we could be trucked in (2 1/2 ton truck) to get a seat and watch all sorts of shit get blown up.

    Boy, howdy, we were all there at the appointed time at the appointed place.

    Turns out that the President’s security team had already locked down access to the area so we couldn’t go to the firepower demo. The 2LT that was sent out to break the bad news told us that we could instead take the truck out to the airfield and meet/see President Carter out there.

    I’m pretty sure that I was the first one off the truck with a “No thank you.” I don’t think that anyone went.

    Watching tanks, TOWs, aircraft, and artillery blow up shit in the impact area is pretty cool. Meeting President Carter? Much less so.

  55. i learned how to make kibes this week Mr. newrouter

    kibes are a nutritious and economical thing to put in your mouth so you should pay close attention to what follows

    take your food stamps to the store and get a 3 pound package of the ground beefs (80% lean)

    also you buy a package of bulgur wheat from the store – probably the same store you bought the beefs

    then you soak the wheat it in water – it will soak up the water so keep adding water to the bowl so it’s just covered with water – then let it soak overnight

    go to sleep and wake up refreshed and knowing that you will have tasty kibes later in the day

    now you need to wring out the water from your wheat

    you do this with your hands, one handful at a time, and you do it joyfully

    now using your hands you curmungle the ground beef and the wheat – moosh moosh moosh

    use your food processor and chipper chopper grater grate two onions and moosh that in with the beefs and the wheat

    now add garlic powder

    i also add a jar of slicer dicered green olives and pimentos INSTEAD of salt

    otherwise add salt

    now you roll them into lil footballs and fry in three fingers or so of vegetable oil

    it takes awhile but when you’re done you will have a party platter of kibes

    you can serve with a tahini sauce or a mustard sauce or a honey mustard sauce or ranch but i like mine with ketchup

  56. then you soak the wheat it in water

  57. the bubble about the golfer

    Going for his legacy

  58. Or you could plunk the lot inna sturdy linen kitchen towel, twist and squeeze – with a surly mein — in the alternative. Still gets the water gone.

  59. ok that’s a good suggestion from Mr. sdferr – please to take note

  60. i think Mr. Drumwaster especially would be a good candidate for the twist and squeeze method

  61. >but i like mine with ketchup<

    ahh a heinz kerry elitist

  62. Turns out that the President’s security team had already locked down access to the area so we couldn’t go to the firepower demo.

    That is something that always baffled me, given that y’all were unarmed and there was going to be a high concentration of atmospheric metal anyway. A not wholly dissimilar thing occured in beautiful and scenic Bosnia when Clinton, the missus & kid decided to grace us with their presence and the unfortunates who were herded into the makeshift auditorium were made by the secuity team to remove the bolts from their weapons. Please ignore all the other ordnance lying around. Somehow I don’t think the Russian BTR 70s were downloaded.

  63. Democrats always know/believe their main enemies are domestic.

  64. And if that cowardly yellow pieceofshit wants to try to come twist and squeeze anything within my range of motion, he’ll slither away shy at least one appendage. Or, if he hurries me, get carried out feet first with a sheet spread discreetly over him.

    His call. I seriously doubt he’ll have the nads to show up and try, though.

  65. i piss on you surly head

  66. monty python’s pearl harbor in real time

  67. I don’t buy organic either, but I also stay out of that aisle. I don’t need to go sneer right at it so it knows I disapprove of it.

    I don’t need for it to know. Instead it gets that empty feeling it can’t explain because it never sees me. I don’t call, I don’t write, for all it knows I’m living in a van down by the river.

    Eating Hardees hamburgers and drinking Diet Pepsi.

  68. i piss on you surly head

    Talk is cheap, but fascism is expensive. Bring it, coward. Learn what freedom sounds like as it is tap-dancing on your pointy cranium.

  69. i stopped buying soymilk even cause every goddamn carton says organic on it even the unrefrigerated birkenstocks kind

    it just annoys me

    these are the same stupid freaks what won’t let us irradiate foozle or have tasty GMOs to munch on

  70. don’t worry Mr. Drumwaster I changed my mind I’m not gonna piss on you head today

    I went to cvs and got some brandy I’m super-depressed and anxious about the funeral tomorrow

    i need to go figure out what I’m gonna wear

  71. I changed my mind

    Funny that… Cowards usually do when their bluff is called.

    I’m not gonna piss on you head today

    Or any other day that exists so long as you wish to wake up the day following. Remember that lesson and you will still live a miserable life, but it’s likely to be longer, at least…

  72. McGehee says June 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    That cracked me up.

  73. i like waking up the day following so for sure i will think twice before i piss on you head Mr. Drumwaster

    now let’s hug this motherfucker out

  74. Like I said above, if you ever enter within arm’s reach of me, you’ll be carried away. I might even let you keep breathing if you beg prettily enough, but you won’t want to go through it twice, I guarantee.

  75. you tough like a new kid mister!

    you got swagga!

  76. >There’s only one direction in the faces that I see;
    It’s upward to the ceiling, where the chambers said to be.
    Like the forest fight for sunlight, that takes root in every tree.
    They are pulled up by the magnet, believing that they’re free.
    The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
    “We’ve got to get in to get out
    We’ve got to get in to get out.”
    <
    link

    or

    >You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course. <

    link

  77. bravo for the monty python pearl harbor reenactment. you go grrls

  78. >”The Carpet Crawlers”

    There is lambswool under my naked feet.
    The wool is soft and warm,
    -gives off some kind of heat.
    A salamander scurries into flame to be destroyed.
    Imaginary creatures are trapped in birth on celluloid.
    The fleas cling to the golden fleece,
    Hoping they’ll find peace.
    Each thought and gesture are caught in celluloid.
    There’s no hiding in my memory.
    There’s no room to void.

    The crawlers cover the floor in the red ochre corridor.
    For my second sight of people, they’ve more lifeblood than before.
    They’re moving. They’re moving in time to a heavy wooden door,
    Where the needle’s eye is winking, closing in on the poor.
    The carpet crawlers heed their callers:
    “We’ve got to get in to get out
    We’ve got to get in to get out.<

  79. that’s weird

    salamanders were born of fire

    everyone knows that

    they’re as impervious to fire as food stamp is to scandal

  80. >Can you tell me where my country lies?”
    said the unifaun to his true love’s eyes.
    “It lies with me!” cried the Queen of Maybe
    – for her merchandise, he traded in his prize.

    “Paper late!” cried a voice in the crowd.
    “Old man dies!” The note he left was signed ‘Old Father Thames’
    – it seems he’s drowned;
    selling england by the pound.

    Citizens of Hope & Glory,
    Time goes by – it’s ‘the time of your life’
    Easy now, sit you down.
    Chewing through your Wimpey dreams,
    they eat without a sound;
    digesting england by the pound.

    Young man says ‘you are what you eat’ – eat well.
    Old man says ‘you are what you wear’ – wear well.
    You know what you are, you don’t give a damn;
    bursting your belt that is your homemade sham.

    The Captain leads his dance right on through the night
    – join the dance…
    Follow on! Till the Grail sun sets in the mould.
    Follow on! Till the gold is cold.
    Dancing out with the moonlit knight,
    Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.

    There’s a fat old lady outside the saloon;
    laying out the credit cards she plays Fortune.
    The deck is uneven right from the start;
    all of their hands are playing apart.

    The Captain leads his dance right on through the night
    – join the dance…
    Follow on! A Round Table-talking down we go.
    You’re the show!
    Off we go with. – You play the hobbyhorse,
    I’ll play the fool.
    We’ll tease the bull
    ringing round & loud, loud & round.
    Follow on! With a twist of the world we go.
    Follow on! Till the gold is cold.
    Dancing out with the moonlit knight,
    Knights of the Green Shield stamp and shout.

    <

  81. >Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, “We don’t know how lucky we are.” And the Cuban stopped and said, “How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to.” And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

    And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people, is still the newest and the most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man.

    This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.
    <

    rr '64

  82. “They’ve hit happy!

    C’mon, girls!”

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