No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Day by Day cartoon

Archive for the 'History' Category

September 11, 2014

9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 7:42. Filed under History.

Editor’s note: 5 years ago, Allahpundit tweeted out what happened 13 years ago. Back then, he lived in lower Manhattan, close to the World Trade Center, close enough that he heard the planes hit the twin towers. Once again, I’ll repost them because it still is as moving as when I saw them show up in my timeline (back when I was on Twitter) live.

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

September 11, 2012

9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 7:29. Filed under History.

Editor’s note: 3 years ago, Allahpundit tweeted out his day 10 years ago. Back then, he lived in lower Manhattan, close to the World Trade Center, close enough that he heard the planes hit the twin towers. Once again, I’ll repost them because it still is as moving as when I saw them show up in my timeline live.

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

December 7, 2011

Does December 7, 1941 still live in infamy?

by @ 8:24. Filed under History.

70 years ago today, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, plunging the United States fully into World War II. The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared that it would live in infamy. The Washington Times interviewed some of the survivors of the attack (H/T – Ed Morrissey)

The sad news is that the survivors, just like the larger group of World War II veterans, are dying due to old age, and the memories and lessons of that day and that war are in large part being lost. From the Times article:

Since the 1950s, Mr. Davis and others have kept their legacies alive through the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, but the group will disband at the end of the year. Its members are nearing 90 years older, and many have serious health problems.

“It was just getting to be too much for them. The youngest survivors are 88 years old,” said Carol Gladys, the daughter of a Pearl Harbor survivor and secretary of Sons and Daughters, Pearl Harbor Survivors Inc. It’s been in existence since the 1970s, but now will play a much larger role in ensuring the stories aren’t forgotten.

“I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. You walk up to a lot of younger people and ask them what the USS Arizona was, and they have no idea,” Ms. Gladys said. “The younger generation, they have no idea what happened in Hawaii.”

Another indication of that is what is featured, or more-properly, not featured, on the front pages of the three major search engines. Much like what was noted two years ago, neither Google nor Yahoo did anything special for today. Indeed, nothing related to Pearl Harbor is listed among the “trending now” topics on Yahoo as of 8:20 am CDT. Fortunately, Bing picked up the slack, featuring the USS Arizona Memorial.

Revisions/extensions (12:06 pm 12/7/2011) - Allan Bourdius recognizes the sixteen who earned the Medal of Honor 70 years ago today.

November 11, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

by @ 0:05. Filed under History, Military.

I may have been too silent the last few weeks dealing with and finally (I think) whipping an ugly cold so I could make it to BlogCon, but it’s the 11th of November (or at least it is back in Wisconsin). That means it’s Veterans Day, the day to thank those who served in the armed forces of the United States.

Thank you, vets, for preserving the freedoms we have.

September 11, 2011

9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 7:27. Filed under History.

Editor’s note: 2 years ago, Allahpundit tweeted out his day 10 years ago. Back then, he lived in lower Manhattan, close to the World Trade Center, close enough that he heard the planes hit the twin towers. Once again, I’ll repost them because it still is as moving as when I saw them show up in my timeline live.

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

February 28, 2011

Last Doughboy passes

by @ 12:18. Filed under History, Military.

CNN reported that Frank Buckles, the last surviving US veteran of World War I, passed away on Sunday. Rest in peace, sir; you have earned it.

February 3, 2011

Thursday Classic Read – Iowahawk’s “Black History Month: Quarter Mile Soul”

by @ 10:10. Filed under History, Sports.

The reason why it’s a Classic instead of a Hot read is because Iowahawk penned this back in 2006. I’ll give you the open, and leave you to read the history:

February, as we know, is Black History Month. February is also the official start of the drag racing season, beginning with the annual NHRA Winternationals at Pomona. Coincidence? Maybe. I can’t claim any expert knowledge about Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. DuBois or other textbook notables, but I do know a bit about drag racing; and I know that African American gearheads have been trailblazing the quarter mile for some 50 years. They might not be Dr. King, but I think their stories deserve a retelling, too.

Some background: American car racing has three major branches — road racing, oval, and drag/lakes racing — and each has its own distinct socioeconomic history and heritage. Road racing first developed as the leisure pursuit of coastal bluebloods, who had the cash to afford pricey European sports cars and the winding country lanes on which to play with them. Oval track racing — including open wheel, sprints, and stock cars — has always been a more blue collar phenomenon, evolving out of the county fairground horse tracks of the Midwest and South. Nascar shares this heritage, along with an additional link to moonshine runners in the segregated South. For obvious economic and social reasons, neither of these racing forums were conducive to Black participation.

By contrast, drag racing evolved with fewer cultural barriers. Like oval track racing it was a blue collar phenomenon, a natural extension of straight-line street racing by young guys in cheap homebuilt hot rods. Unlike oval racing, it developed largely on the postwar West Coast, a society less encumbered by the legacy of segregation. As a result drag racing was more or less born ‘multicultural’ and egalitarian; the roll call of hod rodding greats — Xydias, Iskenderian, Hirohata, Pedregon, Karamesines — reads like a passenger list from Ellis Island. And African Americans were there from its inception.

December 16, 2010

Thursday Historical Read – Michelle Malkin’s “Boston Tea Party: 237th anniversary”

by @ 10:06. Tags:
Filed under History, Politics - National.

237 years ago today, a bunch of soon-to-be-ex-colonists protested the Tea Act by dumping a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor. Michelle Malkin takes a look back, and brings it into the present…

On December 16, 1773, the taxpayers of Boston had had enough.

The Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum website recounts the story:

On the cold evening of December 16, 1773, a large band of patriots, disguised as Mohawk Indians, burst from the South Meeting House with the spirit of freedom burning in their eyes. The patriots headed towards Griffin’s Wharf and the three ships. Quickly, quietly, and in an orderly manner, the Sons of Liberty boarded each of the tea ships. Once on board, the patriots went to work striking the chests with axes and hatchets. Thousands of spectators watched in silence. Only the sounds of ax blades splitting wood rang out from Boston Harbor. Once the crates were open, the patriots dumped the tea into the sea.

The bipartisan Party-In-Government, complete with Scott Brown (who wouldn’t be in the Senate if it weren’t for the Tea Party Movement), is doubling tripling down on stupid. Guess it’s time to increase the skeer on Congress, even as the foes of liberty increase their violence against us…

Make sure to commemorate the anniversary by picking up the phone and making yourselves heard in Washington as the tax-and-looters carry on.

Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. If you don’t, no one will.

December 7, 2010

Never forget – Pearl Harbor, 1941

by @ 16:55. Filed under History.

69 years ago today, the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the United States Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and several other American possessions in the Pacific, plunging the US into an active role in World War II. Never forget…

YouTube Preview Image

September 11, 2010

Reposting last year’s 9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 8:35. Filed under History.

Editor’s note – Last year, Allahpundit remembered living through the events on 9/11/2001 in lower Manhattan, first on Twitter, then thanks to Andy Levy’s collation of the stream, on Hot Air. Even as I sit in my hotel room in Arlington, a short distance away from the Pentagon, I’m getting misty-eyed remembering both watching the tweets in real-time and the events of the day.

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

July 4, 2010

This is what it’s all about

by @ 6:00. Filed under History.

I originally ran this on Independence Day, 2007 and again on Independence Day, 2009. It’s time to dig out the Declaration of Independence again.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Something else that I highlighted 3 years ago – Rick Moran’s 3-day liveblog of the Continental Congress. Do make sure you read the following:

December 7, 2009

A date that still lives in infamy – 68 years later

by @ 10:00. Filed under History, International relations, War.

I originally posted this in 2007. Let’s re-run that, and add to it.

Hat-tip for the video – Jawa Howie. Now, watch and remember (or learn if you’re a recent product of public school education):

YouTube Preview Image

Of course, the lessons are rapidly being forgotten, as Ed Morrissey points out:

It took hundreds of thousands of American lives to defeat both Japan and Nazi Germany in the war that followed — a war that had already enslaved China years before on one side of the US, and half of Europe on the other side. We thought we had learned a lesson on December 7, 1941 ,which was that we had to be prepared to fight a war in order to keep from getting surprised like that again. Of course, we shouldn’t have been surprised at all by Japan’s attack in the first place. They didn’t suddenly become warlike and aggressive on December 6th, 1941, as the Chinese, Manchurians, and Koreans could attest. They had been attempting conquest (and succeeding) for several years in the Pacific Rim. We just preferred to keep our eyes closed in order to keep from doing anything about it. When we attempted to cut off oil to Japan, we discovered that negotiations and sanctions don’t keep war-drunk, expansionist powers from increasing their expansionism.

The lesson from that war is that appeasement and complacency doesn’t keep one from having to fight a war. It usually forces one to fight from an extreme disadvantage. That’s a lesson we have not remembered in dealing with expansionist powers in our own time, even after a second shock like 9/11 after years of complacency in dealing with al-Qaeda. We’re falling back to treating radical Islamist terrorism like a Law and Order episode, and allowing one of the main drivers of radical Islamist terror, Iran, to arm itself with nuclear weapons with no consequences whatsoever.

To that, I’ll add that Red China, which has rather open designs on both Taiwan and the entirety of the South China Sea, is still arming itself to the teeth while holding a rapidly-growing lot of US government debt. What do you suppose will happen if the federal government decides to default on some of that debt held by Red China?

November 11, 2009

Thank you, vets

by @ 10:37. Filed under History, Military.

I believe I said it before, but it bears saying again – Without your service and the service of those who served before you, I wouldn’t be here doing this in the greatest country in the history of mankind.

November 9, 2009

Monday Hot Read – Spiegel Online’s “The Guard Who Opened the Berlin Wall”

by @ 12:07. Filed under History.

The German website Spiegel Online had one of their reporters interview former East German border guard Lieutenant-Colonel Harald Jäger as part of their extensive coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Jäger, who was in charge of the East Berlin checkpoint at Bornholmer Strasse, was the first guard to let East Germans cross over to West Berlin on November 9, 1989. As a teaser, I’ll give you a single question-answer exchange between Cordt Schnibben and Jäger that illustrates just how different the 9th was from the average day at the Berlin Wall:

SPIEGEL: The border guards used to refer to anyone trying to cross the border without the right documents as ‘wild boar.’

Jäger: Yes that’s right, we would use that term for people who would turn up at night, often drunk, at our checkpoint and wanted to get across. But it was different that night. These were people who wanted to get across because they were referring to a statement by a member of the Politburo. I didn’t regard them as wild boar.

September 11, 2009

9/11 Hot Read – Allahpundit remembers 9/11

by @ 6:54. Filed under History.

Revisions/extensions (8:52 pm 9/11/2009) – After multiple requests to post it on Hot Air, Allahpundit has done so. Thanks again AP.

Allahpundit, one of the two main bloggers at Hot Air, ran the following on his Twitter stream starting a bit before midnight Eastern (reposted in its entirety in chronological order as Twitter posts Tweets in reverse-chronological order):

Eight years ago, I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. in my downtown Manhattan apartment because…
…I thought a truck had crashed in the street outside
I remember pacing my apartment for the next 15 minutes thinking, stupidly, that a gas line might have been hit in the North Tower…
…and then I heard another explosion. I hope no one ever hears anything like it.
All I can say to describe it is: Imagine the sound of thousands of Americans screaming on a city street
It was unbelievable, almost literally
I remember being on the sidewalk and there was an FBI agent saying he was cordoning off the street…
…and then, the next day, when I went back for my cats, they told me I might see bodies lying in front of my apartment building (I didn’t)
We held a memorial service in October for my cousin’s husband, who was “missing” but not really…
He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. They found a piece of his ribcage in the rubble not too long afterwards.
This is the guy who conspired to murder him: http://is.gd/38h7y
Had a friend from the high school speech and debate team who disappeared from the 105th floor
Had another friend of a friend who worked on the 80th floor or so, married six weeks before the attack…
Speculation is that he was right in the plane’s path, and was killed instantly when it plowed through the building
Did a bit of legal work for a couple whose son worked in the upper floors. Was dating someone else up there at the time…
I was told that she managed to call her parents while they were trapped up there and that the call “was not good”
Never found out if it was cut off by the building collapsing or not
I remember opening my eyes at 8:46 a.m. thinking “I hope that was just a pothole.” Then I heard a guy outside my window say, “Oh shit”
Opened the window, looked to my left, saw huge smoke coming out of the WTC
Left at around 9:30, decided to walk uptown thinking that the buildings would never collapse and that…
…I’d be back in my apartment by the next night. I never went back. It was closed off until December.
I remember thinking when I was a few blocks away that the towers might collapse, and so I walked faster…
…although I sneered at myself later for thinking that might be true and for being a coward. Although not for long.
To this day, you can find photos of thousands of people congregated in the blocks surrounding the Towers, seemingly…
…waiting for them to fall that day
When I got to midtown, rumors were that Camp David and the Sears Tower had also been destroyed. I remember looking around…
…and thinking that we had to get out of Manhattan, as this might be some pretext to get us into the street and hit us with some germ
I callled my dad — and somehow miraculously got through — and told him I was alive, then headed for the 59th street bridge
To this day, the scariest memory is being on that bridge, looking at the Towers smoking in the distance,
and thinking maybe the plotters had wired the bridge too to explode beneath us while we were crossing it.
I remember talking to some guy on the bridge that we’d get revenge, but…
…you had to see the smoke coming from the Towers in the distance. It was like a volcano
I remember being down there two months later. There was a single piece of structure…
…maybe five stories tall of the lattice-work still standing. It looked like a limb of a corpse sticking up out of the ground.
They knocked it down soon after
At my office, which I had just joined, I was told that…
…some people had seen the jumpers diving out the windows to escape the flames that morning
There was a video online, posted maybe two years ago, shot from the hotel across the street,,,
…and it showed roughly 10-12 bodies flattened into panackes lying in the central plaza
Maybe it’s still online somewhere
You have to see it to understand, though. You get a sense of it from the Naudet brothers documentary hearing…
…the explosions as the bodies land in the plaza, but seeing it and hearing it are two different things
I remember after I got over the bridge into Queens, I heard a noise overheard…
…that I’d never heard before. It was an F-15, on patrol over New York. Very odd sound. A high-pitched wheeze.
I remember on Sept. 12, when I got on the train to go downtown and try to get my cats out of the apartment…
…the Village was utterly deserted. No one on the streets. Like “28 Days Later” if you’ve seen that
We made it to a checkpoint and the cop said go no further, until my mom intervened. Then he took pity…
…and agreed to let me downtown IF I agreed that any exposure to bodies lying in the streets was my own fault.
Didn’t see any bodies, but I did see soldiers, ATF, FBI, and so on. The ground was totally covered by white clay…
…which I knew was formed by WTC dust plus water from the FDNY. It look like a moonscape.
There was a firefighter at the intersection and I flagged him down and asked if I could borrow his flashlight, since…
…all buildings downtown had no power. He gave me a pen flashlight.
The doors to my building at Park Place were glass but had kicked in, presumably by the FDNY, to see if there were…
…survivors inside. When I got in there, all power was out. No elevators, no hall lights…
…I had to feel my way to the hall and make my way up to my apartment on the third floor by feeling my way there…
…When I got there, the cats were alive. There was WTC dust inside the apartment, but…
…for whatever reason, I had closed the windows before I left to walk uptown that day, so dust was minimal. I loaded them…
…into the carrier and took them back to Queens. That was the last I could get into the apartment until December 2001,…
…and then it was only to get in, take whatever belongings were salvageable (i.e. not computer), and get out. I lived…
in that apartment from 7/2001 to 9/2001, but given the diseases longtime residents have had…
…I’m lucky I decided to move
My only other significant memory is being in the lobby of the apartment building on 9/11…
…and trying to console some woman who lived there who said her father worked on the lower floors of the WTC. I assume…
…he made it out alive, but she was hysterical as of 9:30 that a.m. Who could blame her?
I do remember feeling embarrassed afterwards that…
…I initially thought the smoke coming out of the North Tower was due to a fire or something, but…
…it’s hard to explain the shock of realizing you’re living through a historical event while you’re living through it.
For months afterwards, I tried to tell people how I thought maybe the Towers…
…were going to be hit by six or seven or eight planes in succession. Which sounds nuts, but once you’re in the moment…
…and crazy shit is happening, you don’t know how crazy that script is about to get.
When I left at 9:30, I thought more planes were coming.
I left because I thought, “Well, if these planes hit the building the right way, it could fall and land on mine.”\
I remember getting to 57th Street and asking some dude, “What happened?”
And he said, “They collapsed” and I couldn’t believe both of them had gone down. Even after the planes hit…
…I remembered that the Empire State Building had taken a hit from a military plane during WWII and still stood tall
So it was never a serious possibility that the WTC would collapse. I assumed…
…that the FDNY would get up there, put out the fire, and the WTC would be upright but with gigantic holes in it
It took an hour for the first tower to go down, 90 minutes for the second.
Even now, despite the smoke, I’m convinced most of the people trapped at the top were alive…
…and waiting, somehow, for a rescue. The couple whose legal case I worked for told me that…
…their son and his GF contacted her father very shortly before the collapse. Which makes sense. As much smoke as there was…
…if you have a five-story hole in the wall to let air in to breathe, you’re going to linger on.
So for many people, the choice probably quickly became: Hang on, endure the smoke, or jump
If you listen to the 911 calls, which I advise you not to do, some of the chose “hang on”
Although needless to say, if you ever saw the Towers…
…you know how dire things must have been up there to make anyone think the better solution was “jump”
They were ENORMOUS.
Another weird memory: Shortly after I got my apartment in lower Manhattan, on Park Place…
…I remember taking my brother to see “The Others,” which had just opened.
And afterwards I remember taking him up to the rooftop of my building to admire the Towers. According to Wikipedia…
“The Others” opened on August 10, 2001, so this must have been within 10 days or so afterwards. Very eerie.
And I remember we also went to Morton’s and Borders right inside the WTC complex to celebrate my new job
That Borders was gutted, needless to say, on 9/11. You could see the frame of the building in the WTC lobby after the attack
I was reading magazines in there the week or two before
One of the weirdest feelings, which I’m sure everyone can share, is that I remember distinctly feeling…
…in the month or two before the attack that “important” news no longer existed. It was all inane bullshit about…
…shark attacks and Gary Condit and overaged pitchers in the Little League World Series. To this day…
…I try never to grumble about a slow news day because the alternative is horrifyingly worse
After the attack, maybe a month after, I remember going to see “Zoolander” in Times Square and…
…coming up out of the subway tunnel having the distinct fear that…
…the sky would light up and a mushroom cloud would appear instantly above my head in my lost moment of consciousness. No joke. In fact…
..I ended up going to bed around 6:30 p.m. for maybe three months after 9/11.
Even when I ended up working downtown for years after that, with a luxurious view of upper Manhattan from the top floors…
…I always feared looking out the window because I was paranoid that at that precise moment, the flash would go off…
…and that’d be the last thing I see. And in fact, for a moment in 2003 when the power went out city-wide,
…I did think that was what was happening. The wages of 9/11.
I leave you with this, my very favorite film about the WTC. If you’re a New Yorker, have a hanky handy. No. 3 is golden http://is.gd/38qsT
One more note: If you’ve never seen a photo of the smoke coming from the Trade Center after the collapse, find one.
Watching it from the 59th bridge, it looked like a volcano. There was so much smoke, it was indescribable. Just *erupting* from the wreckage

For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the photo AP was talking about, here’s one from the United States Coast Guard (hosted on Flickr):

Reading them as they came in had me reliving all the emotions I experienced that day.

Never forget.

Also collating the entire stream:
Snark and Boobs
BigFurHat at iOwnTheWorld
(Added 8:15 am 9/11/2009) Andy Levy in the HotAir Greenroom

June 6, 2009

Storming the castle, revisited

by @ 20:59. Filed under History, Military.

Sixty-five years ago today:

D-Day.

Addendum: Black Five has an excellent roundup of D-Day posts from many blogs. And have a look at this entry for a photo essay on D-Day.

Photo link courtesy of Confederate Yankee.

(First posted in 2006. I was going to write something else to commemorate D-Day, but that photo says it all.)

Flag

UPDATE: President Reagan’s speech at Normandy, delivered on the 40th anniversary of the landings in 1984: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc. One of the great presidential speeches, ever. Audio of the speech: Part 1 and Part 2.

(cross-posted at Public Secrets. Thanks to Steve for letting me play in his sandbox.)

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

by @ 9:09. Filed under History, Military.

This is the first Memorial Day I spent on this side of the border since 1995. Last year, Patrick put up a video of his trip to Wisconsin Memorial Park. I’ll rerun it for you.

YouTube Preview Image

I thank those that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be free.

December 5, 2008

I’ll drink to this anniversary

by @ 11:38. Filed under History.

Doug Mataconis reminds us that today is the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.

Hoist a cold one.

September 11, 2008

9/11

by @ 5:40. Filed under History.

Never Forget!

Congratulations Max Thomas! Job well done!

June 4, 2008

19 years ago…

by @ 8:56. Filed under History.

June 4, 1989 was a day of infamy. On that date, the People’s Liberation Army stormed Tienanmen Square and killed an untold number of people protesting the corrupt nature of the Red Chinese government. Lawhawk has a very nice rememberance, including video of both the crackdown and the bravest person on the planet facing down an armored column.

February 3, 2008

WWII German subs found in the Black Sea

by @ 16:11. Filed under History, War.

(H/T FReeper Stoat)

Two of the three German U-boats stranded in the Black Sea and ultimately scuttled when Romania turned against Germany in World War II were found by a Turkish team.

Those three U-boats, as well as 3 ultimately sunk by the Soviets, had a very interesting trip to the Black Sea. All 6 were part of the strangling of Britain when Hitler decided to make his fateful turn east. It was decided by the German High Command to move them to the Black Sea to attack Soviet shipping. Because Turkey, which controlled access to the Black Sea through control of the Bosporous and Daradelles straits, was neutral, and those straits were too shallow to allow submerged passage, Germany couldn’t just sail the subs into the Black Sea. Instead, Germany partially disassembled them and floated them via canals and the Elbe River from Kiel to Dresden. At that point, they trucked to Ingolstadt. There, they were floated down the Danube River to Constanta, Romania. They had some success, as they sunk over 45,000 tons of shipping.

December 7, 2007

A date that still lives in infamy

by @ 9:45. Filed under History, War.

Hat-tip for the video – Jawa Howie. Now, watch and remember (or learn if you’re a recent product of public school education):

YouTube Preview Image

November 11, 2007

Thank you, vets

by @ 19:03. Filed under History.

You, and those that came before you, are the reason why we live in the greatest country in the history of mankind.

Note; comments are disabled because, unless you are a veteran, I can’t think of anything more to say.

October 19, 2007

The Founding Fathers on immigration

by @ 14:52. Filed under History, Immigration.

Guest-blogger extrodinaire see-dubya has a very interesting post over on Malkin’s site on a bill before Congress in 1790 that would have naturalized immigrants after only one year of residency.

I could simply steal see-dub’s material, but instead, I’ll just say go read and be edified.

September 17, 2007

Constitution Day

by @ 13:10. Filed under History, Politics - National.

220 years ago today, the world’s oldest national Constitution was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates who attended and 70 who were appointed to the constutional convention called for by the Continental Congress. A bit of trivia; Rhode Island sent no delegates.

Kevin Fischer passes along a 50-question online quiz. See if you can beat my 45-of-50 score (without cheating, that is).

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