Monday, May 31, 2010

These Unknown Twenty-Two and Moore

05/31/2010 -- Set all in a straight row, they rest afield, up over the banks of the Delaware, where the river flows south toward Trenton.

They are neatly framed by a small rock wall. Behind the plain white marble slabs, each bearing a small original American flag* and a service medallion, scattered brush and a line of straight deciduous trees grow as natural backdrop.

UPDATE: Post-ceremony photo.

Just a few feet back from there, the earthen slope then sharply drops down sharply to the water's edge. In spring and summer, berry bushes first flower, then bear red and black fruits that ripen just behind their grave markers, almost as a symbolic offering of sweet remembrance for these twenty-two unknown, and Moore -- Captain James Moore that is.

They were all soldiers true in our then-beleaguered Continental Army. But these few died and were buried there in that beautiful memorial park in rural Pennsylvania, back in December of 1776 -- on Christmas day to be precise. The memorial park itself was constructed and formally dedicated back in 1929. It has a beautiful ground level tableau around the main flagpole, with each wedge bearing the name of one of the original 13 States, and the date on which it joined the Union.

The soldiers' burial in 1776 took place just as their fellow troops were beginning to muster. Washington's Army, having been reinforced during the month of December by General Sullivan leading in the troops of the fortuitously captured Charles Fox, and Horatio Gates having added another several hundred, before heading himself for Philadelphia, the force was now able to move, twenty four hundred strong, along with 18 canons and stores, and were heading for the river crossing at McKonkeys, six miles south that night, and thence on the march to Trenton, and victory.

Barely yards away, the collected Durham boats and rafts all floated past the site that Christmas day, also on their way to McKonkey's. Fresh out of hiding just upstream behind Malta Island, they were set afloat and run through the "horserace" that bypassed Wells Falls. Between the 9th & 14th of December, General Cornwallis had been reconnoitering up and down the area, on the New Jersey side, looking for boats. Obviously, one of his chief objects was to find boats that the Continental Army had used to cross over on December 7th, or any boats, for that matter. He never found any to speak of, and information sent back to England at the time reported that somewhere around what is today New Hope, PA, was where the boats were destroyed.

UPDATE: Looking upriver. Malta Island was near the buildings seen upstream.

Around New Brunswick during the retreat, General Washington had ordered a few troops ahead, to take all the boats to the Pennsylvania side, from all the way up into the Lehigh River, and even down into Delaware Bay. The boats kept and used for the Christmas Crossing where secreted behind Malta Island.

These men, these twenty three men, neither experienced nor heard of that turning victory at Trenton. Nor did they know of Trenton "II," or Princeton a few days later. Just months before, though, they had felt defeat, harsh defeat indeed. First in Brooklyn, and then escaping by boat in the night to New York, they were there when Washington's army was beaten again in the heights of upper Manhattan, what we now call Fort Washington. And again they crossed to escape, this time across the Hudson into New Jersey, where they endured the ensuing and failed struggle for Fort Lee.

And they were also there for the long flight and humiliating retreat across New Jersey, with the British army hard at their heels. The nascent American revolutionary struggle was in the balance.

But they stayed, these men. They did not desert, or head home their enlistments up, as many had. Nor were they enticed by the Loyalist views. They were Patriots. They had fully embraced the cause of liberty, memorialized in the Declaration of Independence, a document they maybe had had read to them but once, and on which the ink seemed barely dry. By the time they crossed in retreat at Trenton on December 7th, scarcely 10 percent of that Continental army marching with Washington remained. But these men were there, perhaps some of them having been wounded, or who were otherwise nursing the first deadly signs of camp fever and sickness that would tragically claim them by Christmas Day.

These men had not just heard of, but had actually lived the words of Thomas Paine, who wrote "The American Crisis," as he travelled along that sad but determined route with them.

Perhaps, just perhaps the stirring pamphleteer had looked into some of their very faces as they trudged along, none of them really knowing if they would ever succeed in throwing off the tyranny of King George and British colonial rule . . . when he began:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."
And they stood by it then, those twenty three men. They died within a month in camp, overcome but unbowed. Patriots all. Perhaps one or more of them had served as sentries in the rain, or signalers from the cold hilltop of Bowman's hill, or were guardians of the boats and caught their death of cold on some damp and sleety December night. We'll never know. A plaque mounted on the nearby Thompson-Neely House, the headquarters for Continental Army Brigadier General Lord Sterling (William Alexander) says that also quartered in that house were Captain William Washington, Lieutenant James Monroe, who would later become our fifth President, and Captain James Moore of the New York Artillery, who died there on Christmas Day, 1776.

Today, Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, we can look back assuredly, with 234 years of history to take into account. We know the great successes and the sometimes shortcomings of our nation. And when we do, we surely have to marvel at the faith of these twenty two unknown soldiers, and Captain Moore. Some of us even want to be able to cry out to them, and thank them for their faith in our future, a faith that caused them to put their lives on the line when times were dark and uncertain. "It's okay. It's okay!" we want to shout out to them.

The papers say that on this day all the men and women in uniform, soldiers who have given their lives for America will be honored, along with these patriots. Really, I sometimes wonder how "honor" got to be a verb. The honor was theirs. It was something in their character. We do not really honor them. They had great honor. And they gave their lives in the service of our nation. So, if anything, they honor us.

All we can really do today is acknowledge it in awe. And remind others.

* * * * *

Dozens of volunteers gave of both their time and money, and helped to restore this wonderful park to at least a decent and presentable condition over the past months. Budget problems in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have left some areas badly overgrown, trees fallen within the manicured areas, and even facilities uncared for, with fences and shutters needing fresh coats of paint, and a few windows broken. This park and that portion downstream where the actual Christmas crossing took place, still need your help.

I'll post the names of contacts.

* The top photo shows the line, just after the grass had been trimmed and before the individual flags were reset with each stone. The morning sun coming off the river can be seen.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, May 28, 2010

No Time For A High Crime
Co-host Fingers ABC Investigative Reporter Hubby - "Get off of it, Mika!"
Breaking: Did Bill Clinton Make The Offer Via Rahm Emanuel?

05/28/2010 -- In a recent clip from their show, MSNBC co-host of Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski, admits to Joe Scarborough that some of her friends and her husband, Jim Hoffer (an investigative TV news reporter at ABC-TV) have both told her to drop on-air discussions of the circumstances surrounding the offer of a federal job to Joe Sestak, who is now the Democrat candidate for the United States Senate for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by an official of the Obama Administration.

Mika says she she "got hammered" by them, saying to her, "This issue doesn't matter. Let it go. Get off of it, Mika!"

Joe Sestak has insisted that the offer was indeed made to get him to drop out of the Democrat primary race against Arlen Spector for the nomination. As reported by Politico, Sestak reconfirmed that recently during an appearance on Meet the Press. But Sestak will not say who the Obama Administration official was who made that offer. It is a federal crime to make a job offer to someone to affect the outcome of an election.

Curiously, Mr. Hoffer's reportorial investigative instincts have even led, in the recent past, to his brief detention by county shreiff's officers for refusing to back off from an interview of a County Executive in Rockland County, NY. It seems that Mr. Hoffer was persisting in pursuing additional information regarding why the county had
"filed a notice of claim seeking [Medicaid reimbursement] money from the estate of a nun, who died when an unbolted closet toppled onto her in the county-run Summit Park nursing home."
But, when it comes to the federal crime of bribery, at least according to Mika Brzezinski, her husband Mr. Hoffer told her Ix-nay on the offer!

Here is the Newsbusters coverage where we found the clip, above, and where they aimed their primary focus on Joe Scarborough's funny quip that the mainstream media would not follow the Sestak story even
"if Rahm Emanuel announced it in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue wearing nothing but a Speedo and that very nautical dress."
Well, that was obviously more visual suggestion than most people would care for! But the point is well taken! We certainly know now what a certain investigative reporter for ABC-News would do with the story!

It took his wife "diming him" on air, but when an investigative reporter for ABC-TV could care less about what would be a high crime committed by a high Obama Administration official, you've got to think that we're all in a little jeopardy.

And, by the way, can you imagine the off-air cell call Mika must have received from hubby Jimbo the minute he found out that she had "outed" him that way?
"What the . . . !"

Again, as noted at Politico, Sestak continued to refuse to identify the person who made the offer. Said he:
"I was offered a job, and I answered that," Sestak said. "Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about."

Breaking: And now, according to Greg Sargent at the Washington Post Plum Line, former President Bill Clinton was tasked through Rahm Emanuel to make the job overture to Sestak.

Here we go!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Separated at Birth?

May 18, 2010 (date corrected) -- Uncanny!

AP photo, printed in Fox News story, here.

From AP photo, printed in Star-Ledger blog, here.

UPDATE: May 19, 2010 -- Here is a comment from the thread of a post by AllahPundit at Hot Air on the topic.
"What’s the difference between Blumenthal and Jane Fonda? —- Fonda has actually been to Vietnam."

diogenes on May 18, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Labels: ,

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Coulter: SmokeBusters + The NYPD -- Saved Again!

05/06/2010 -- Ann Coulter's column this week (fr. Townhall) is just plain priceless.

I honestly can't stop laughing. Maybe I should try crying, which under the circumstances would be an entirely appropriate response as well because . . . it's all true!

The only deserving public official I can think of who she did not nail was Mayor Michael Bloomberg of NYC.

Maybe Ann thinks he was indeed "playing" Katie Couric with his idle speculation three hours before the guy was caught that this attempted bombing right in the Times Square area, may well have been done by someone who was opposed to the healthcare bill!

Here's a sample from Ann's column:

. . . [I]t would be a little easier for the rest of us not to live in fear if the president's entire national security strategy didn't depend on average citizens happening to notice a smoldering SUV in Times Square or smoke coming from a fellow airline passenger's crotch.

But after the car bomber and the diaper bomber, it has become increasingly clear that Obama's only national defense strategy is: Let's hope their bombs don't work!

If only Dr. Hasan's gun had jammed at Fort Hood, that could have been another huge foreign policy success for Obama.

The administration's fingers-crossed strategy is a follow-up to Obama's earlier and less successful "Let's Make Them Love Us!" plan.
. . . .
The column is definitely worth a full read. That way, you too can have a good laugh . . . and a cry to boot!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Did CBS Anchor Katie Couric Get Pwned By Bloomberg?
Either way, I Want That 25 Cents, Mayor!
(Updates: below)
05/04/2010 -- Just on face value, it is difficult to figure out who was the biggest public fool leading up to the identity of the Times Square car bomber.

Consider Nominee Number One: Mayor Bloomberg of New York, late last evening, engaged in some idle and off-the-air conjecture with CBS News anchor, Katie Couric, telling her that the person who attempted to set off a car bomb in the middle of the Times Square area this past Saturday night, could well be a domestic terrorist, a loner, someone who was likely angry at the government, maybe even someone who opposed the health care bill!

Apparently the only thing Bloomberg did NOT quite tell Katie Couric was that the guy could just as well have been on his way back from a Tea Party rally when he decided to park his vehicle and detonate the propane, gasoline and firecracker car bomb right at the curb outside a Viacom building on 45th Street in New York City. But he certainly implied it!

Consider Nominee Number Two: That would be CBS ace anchor, Katie Couric, who breathlessly lapped up all of the Mayor’s idle chatter, and then quickly contributed to the CBS News reporting about this so-called "domestic loner" nonsense late yesterday evening.

The CBS story was filed at 8:50 pm. Of course, two and a half hours later, at 11:30 pm, the feds instead picked up a 30 year old Pakistani-born individual named Faisal Shahzad by literally plucking him off a flight at JFK, a man, by the way, with strong family and other ties in Pakistan, who was apparently attempting to flee the country and return there, via Dubai.

In the case of Couric, also consider the fact that the car bomb, the one that thankfully did NOT go off and kill or injure scores of Americans, had been intentionally parked right on the south side of 45th Street, next to the corner of Broadway. Indeed, it was parked at the curb, just outside of a Viacom building!

Viacom, of course, is the parent company of CBS News. One might think that CBS would have had a special interest in wanting to get that story right, no? Well, guess again! There are several false "money lines" from yesterday evening’s CBS story, the one entitled, "Mayor: Times Square Suspect Acted Alone." Here are a few of them:
Bloomberg later told CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric that the suspect behind the bombing attempt could be a domestic terrorist angry at the government who acted alone.

"If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything," he said.

"There is no evidence here of a conspiracy, there is no evidence that it's tied into anything else. It looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person," he told Couric.
As of this morning, we all NOW know, the actual suspect in the case is one Faisal Shahzad, who was residing in an apartment in Bridgeport, Connecticut, who, as now reported by the AP, only this past year (in April 2009) became a U.S. citizen, per a story filed today by Tom Hays and Colleen Long. He was born in Pakistan, and still has strong family ties (including his wife) in the City of Karachi, Pakistan. In fact, he apparently had just last year returned from a five month trip to Pakistan, according to several reports.

As indicated above, late yesterday night, Shahzad was caught fleeing this country. Just caught, too . . . reportedly, he had actually already boarded a flight to Dubai at JFK when he was nabbed last evening. His eventual flight destination was apparently Pakistan.

Not exactly your garden variety Tea Party participant, as Mayor Bloomberg and Couric would have had us believing last night! Of course, we don’t know all the facts in the case yet, as the Washington Post failed to report any specifics on what international ties Shahzad had, and to what organizations, religious or otherwise.

Was he tied to any known Islamist terror groups, for example? Time Magazine is now reporting, based on Pakistani anonymous sources, that he may well have been and that he may have even attended terror training just last spring, right around the time his U.S. citizenship was coming through! Was he, accordingly, on anyone's radar? The fact that he got on the plane last night suggests that he was not on a "no fly list" though we know that may certainly not be dispositive! Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called "Christmas Bomber" was on the "no fly list."

But earlier this morning the Washington Post did report facts directly contradicting the CBS fantasy . . . i.e., lots of clues suggesting a possible terror plot:
Officials located Shahzad after a sweeping two-day investigation that yielded what senior Obama administration officials described as a flood of international and domestic clues suggesting a plot involving more than one person.
So, they apparently were not keeping Mike Bloomberg in the loop on any level! But that still would not account for Bloomberg having firmly come to the exact opposite conclusion –- i.e., that the guy was a loner, that there was absolutely no evidence of a conspiracy, and that -- who knows -- it might be related to opposition to the healthcare bill!

But Mike Allen at Politico is also reporting today that the top Obama officials had identified and were specifically hot on the trail of Mr. Shahzad by early afternoon (2:30 pm) yesterday, at least six hours prior to the CBS report, when Bloomberg implied to Couric that it might well be a loner opponent of the healthcare bill! Politico also suggested how the bomber had tried to cover his tracks.
The vehicle identification number had been removed from the bomb-laden 1993 Nissan Pathfinder left in Times Square. But investigators were able to lift it from a second location on the vehicle, and used that to track down a Connecticut man who said he had sold the Pathfinder for cash about three weeks ago.

The man had offered the vehicle on Craigslist, and FBI agents were able to recover the number from a disposable cellphone that had been used by the buyer.

The suspect didn't still have the phone. But using a lot of technology and access to database, agents located the suspect.
(Gee, that last sentence certainly could cover a multitude of possibilities, now couldn't it?)

Anyway, if pressed to pick the biggest fool here, I'd have to go with Couric. Why? Because there is at least a possibility Bloomberg was intentionally feeding her this bogus information so that it would signal Faisal Shahzad, and maybe any possible confederates, that the cops were still hot on a false trail. Possible.

That would clearly place Bloomberg in a category significantly different than "fool" . . . not a nice category, to be sure. But different.

If so, he should explain that, and immediately apologize to all opponents of the healthcare bill.

If not, he should explain that, and immediately apologize to all opponents of the healthcare bill.

And, while the investigators are at it, they should certainly all apologize to the poor white guy they targeted with the video clip, the one who fortuitously decided to remove his outer shirt on the street in New York because it was too hot!

There are probably still some Obamabot posse types still out there still reviewing that taped clip and trying to hunt that guy down!

The supporters of the Administration certainly cannot be happy with this latest turn of events -- yet another possible instance of undetected terrorism, one with possible foreign ties, unfolding right within our shores during the Obama Administration. And again --as back in December -- only quick action by local citizens may have avoided a disaster. Here was the WaPo description:
Administration officials said President Obama had been repeatedly briefed on the incident -- which authorities said could have led to significant casualties if the explosives had detonated properly -- since it began unfolding Saturday night. It bore some resemblance to the attempted bombing of an airliner in Detroit last Christmas, with citizen watchdogs earning much of the credit for averting the crisis and the White House scrambling to discover clues about a young male suspect with apparent ties that stretched beyond the United States.
And -- they might have added -- this time the Administration must really feel come heat because the terrorists have apparently headed back to downtown New York!

As for Mayor Bloomberg, the AP story specifically reports he is now right back out there busily protecting the reputation of all Muslims today.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the arrest should not be as used as an excuse for anti-Muslim actions. "We will not tolerate any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers," he said.
Of course, as for Tea Party members or any other opponents of the healthcare bill . . . well, not so much!

So, if Mayor Bloomberg was not the biggest fool over this incident, he is certainly proving to be the biggest jerk about it!

Update: Newsbusters is onto the Bloomberg/Couric angle of the story as well, with both audio and video.

Update : II Newsbusters is also reporting that Contessa Brewer is publicly lamenting that the Times Square Car Bomber is someone who was originally from an Islamic country. Is she trying to become Nominee Number Three for fool of the day? That really has to be a separate category, because she actually made that stupid comment after the identification was made! She wasn't just publicly hoping it was a healthcare opponent!

Labels: , , , , ,