Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"A victory for eloquence at some expense to grammar"

12/22/2010 On December 22, 1944, General Anthony C. McAuliffe sent a famous one word written note to the German commander, General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, in response to the latter's demand that McAuliffe surrender his 101st Airborne Division troops at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Publius at Big Government has a post on the General's famous response, and a good photo of that great American hero.

McAuliffe, as the unit's artillery commander, was temporarily in command of the 101st Airborne Division, as General Maxwell D. Taylor was away at a staff conference in Washington, D.C. The written surrender ultimatum from the German commander arrived at the American headquarters under a flag of truce. That complete surrender demand was eventually taken to McAuliffe by staff, and attempted to play on American concerns over potential civilian casualties, should the battle continue . . . "All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity."

Here then was that typed written response from General Mac to General von Lüttwitz . . . word for word.
"To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander"
From the Wikipedia entry about the famous incident involving General McAuliffe:
. . .

According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "nuts". At a loss for an official reply, Lt. Col. Harry Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed up the situation well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Joseph Harper, commanding the 327th Glider Infantry, and his S-3, Major Alvin Jones, to the German delegation. Harper offered an explanation of the meaning of the word to the Germans, telling them that in "plain English" it meant "Go to hell."[1]

According to an article in the Daily Mail the reply was not "Nuts," but a four letter expletive that was changed for propaganda purposes for domestic consumption [citation needed]. But that was not the case, according to Vincent Vicari, McAuliffe's personal aide, who was there at the time. As quoted by Richard Pyle of the Associated Press Dec. 12, 2004, Vicari said, "General Mac was the only general I ever knew who did not use profane language. 'Nuts' was part of his normal vocabulary."
. . . .

Well said, General! Well said!

The footnote above, linking to the internet posting of Chapter 14 of S.L.A. Marshall, Bastogne: The First Eight Days, describes the incident in even greater detail. It is certailny worth the read for more information on the incident, and is the source for the "quote" title of this post . . . a characterization of the description of the entire incident and the immediate aftermath, written at the time by the unit's G-2 . . . the G-2 Periodic Report No. 4.

The real eloquence, though, was contained in that one word quip by General McAuliffe. It was one for the ages -- 66 years ago -- and it still brings a smile to our faces, and tears to our eyes!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Petitioners to Destabilize U.S. Economy & Ban Water

12/10/10 -- This is really priceless. Make no mistake about it . . . in addition to its open enemies, the United States of America, and for that matter, common sense, have their full share of stupid, mindless detractors in this world as well, some of whom live here, and most of whom probably think they really do mean well.

A bunch of them, for example, were among the petition signers on the following two "mock" petitions circulated by students belonging to an organization called CFACT at the very recent COP 16 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, held in Cancun, Mexico, last month. (ht, posts on "Watts Up With That" & HotAir)

The first of the two CFACT petitions, entitled "Petition to Set a Global Standard" called for the United States to be blackmailed into signing a Global Warming Treaty, and openly calling for the intentional destabilizing of the American Economy by imposing a set of United Nations enforced tariffs other trade restrictions, specifically aimed a reducing the GDP of our country by 6% over a ten year period. That, of course, would cripple the U.S. economy, and would cause tremendous dislocation and suffering for untold numbers of Americans, and others as well. But the conferees and others who signed on were apparently quite pleased with that prospect, or stupidly failed to think about what the consequences would be.

Watch the video recording some of the conferees as they eagerly signed onto the bogus petitions. "Good! I'll sign that!" intoned one eager signer when the purpose was specifically outlined.

The other petition, a "Petition to Ban the Use of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO)" openly demonstrates the abject ignorance of anyone who signed it. The petition calls for the banning, as described by the circulators as the major component of "acid rain." Mind you, that sophomoric gag was the subject of a well known Penn and Teller comedy routine, just a few years back.

But they fell for that one, too! The major component of acid rain is indeed rain, also known as, uhhhhh . . . "water." You know . . . good old H2O?

Watch particularly at the end of the original Penn & Teller video when one of the signers has it explained to him that he just inked his "John Hancock" on a petition calling for the banning of water.

That poor guy still has to be smarting from the original publication of the clip, way back in 2006! And here it is to haunt him once again.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

NJ Dems Talking Tax Cuts For Business

12/06/2010 The focus of politics too often turns to single issues that are seen in isolation, variously as personal victories or defeats for their proponents.

Changing attitudes, however, and thereby the agenda, is arguably the distinction with a real difference!

Watch below for the first sign that the Democrats, who currently control both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, may well have taken an attitude adjustment message away from the most recent election one month ago. We'll see how long it lasts!

Governor Chris Christie makes the point: