Saturday, May 26, 2007

70 Missions over Europe

This post from last Memorial Day is very appropriate again this year; as it may be every year.

As we give thanks to America’s veterans and soldiers this Memorial Day our prayers and thoughts turn to those who did not make it home; my thoughts today have also turned to those I have known who did make it home. Last weekend I attended a memorial service (on Armed Forces Day) for Arthur H. Barton, a man I wrote about here and alluded to here. At the time I was writing from some old memories but today, thanks to Art’s daughter Lesley, I have Art’s war record in front of me and it is impressive. During Art’s ceremony, one that included the very moving military Flag Ceremony, Art’s brother-in-law quietly alluded to the fact that Art had flown 70 missions over Europe and how he had known Art for years before he learned of that fact. As he slowly repeated “Seventy missions over Europe” it was clear that those of his generation know how incredible and important Art’s achievement was. Quite simply, Art could have been buried in a farmer’s field in France.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Art was a 20 year old Chicagoan selling furniture during the day and attending Northwestern University at night. Like so many of his contemporaries Art soon joined the military, in his case the Army Air Force. Art trained in Santa Anita, California and received his Navigator Wings in October of 1942, about the time that he turned 21. Second Lieutenant Barton was assigned to the 453rd Bomb Squadron, 323rd Bomb Group, which was part of the 8th Air Force. In April 1943 Art was stationed in Earls Colne, England as a navigator/bombardier. Art flew in the Martin Marauder B-26 medium bomber named “Goatee Hell”.

Among Art’s military awards were two Purple Hearts, the first for being wounded on a mission over Martinvast, France and the other for being injured on D-Day. One of Art’s proudest moments was serving as lead navigator on two low-level bombing raids in support of the D-Day landings, June 6, 1944. During his second mission on D-Day a Nazi anti-aircraft shell-burst shattered the Plexiglas nose that Art was seated in; he died earlier this month with some of that shrapnel still in his body.

Art served with and remained friends with a number of his old crew members including: pilot Col. Robert (Bob) H. Adams, co-pilot F/O Robert “Brownie” K. Brown, engine gunner S/Sgt. Clarence “Blackie” M. Blackmore and radio operator-gunner Sgt. Archie “Russ” Russell Martin. Of course Art also had a war-time nickname, it was “Buzz”. The group flew most of their missions over France, Holland, Belgium and the submarine pins in Norway.

One of Art’s amusing war time memories was of the time that the B-26 “Marty Marauder” crashed into their base and right into the “Goatee Hell”, wrecking both planes. Their Master Sergeant George Feehan was not about to lose 2 planes in one crash so the crews spent the next 3 weeks welding the good halves of each plane to each other. The new plane featured the nose of the “Goatee Hell” (veteran of 51 missions) and the tail of the “Marty Marauder” (veteran 57 missions); unfortunately I do not know the name of that B-26 mashup.

After leaving Europe Art trained French officers at Selfridge Field in Michigan and Barksdale Field in Louisiana. After that Art participated in the Seventh War Bond Drive. The 23 year old First Lieutenant Arthur H. Barton was honorably discharged from the Army Air Force on June 14, 1945 after being awarded the following decorations:

The Distinguished Flying Cross

2 Purple Hearts

The Air Medal with 2 silver and bronze oak leaf clusters

The European Theater Medal with 2 battle stars

American Theater and Liberty Medals

Thank You Art and Thank You to all who served honorably.

My initial post on the life of Art Barton can be found here, it contains a few great tidbits that are not contained in this post like:

As Art went from plane to plane during the war he amassed so many missions that the Air Corps wanted him out of the theater and back in America selling War Bonds as a bona fide war hero. They were also worried that after so many missions he was starting to enjoy them. When Art was getting the necessary paper work done in order to return to the States, he was pulled out of line. The officers who pulled him out of line asked him if he would like to train for a secret bombing mission in the Pacific theater. Art replied that he had already cabled his mother to tell her of his imminent return and that he couldn’t disappoint her. Art likely would've trained for a mission to carry a nuclear weapon but he wouldn't disappoint his mother.

Many thanks to
the wonderful Dr. Sanity and her Carnival of Insanities for inclusion again this week.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Who Is Your Favorite Carter Brother?

Who is Your Favorite Carter Brother?
Jimmy Carter
Billy Carter free polls

Well have at it, the notorious Billy or the notorious Jimmy? Billy Carter lent his name to the awful Billy Beer, but still it was beer. Jimmy could do well with a few beers, on the other hand he doesn't strike me as a potential "happy drunk."

Thanks to the Instapundit for the Carter inspiration.

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I Did Not Have Sex With That Haircut

Although for $400 he should have. This video clip of John Edwards shows the occasional inanity of our elections and the recurrent inanity of John Edwards. Thank you Senator Edwards.

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Get the Art out of Europe - While we Can

(AP/POLFOTO, Andrius Karolis)

As you can see from the above photo of Edvard Eriksen's Little Mermaid sculpture (a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen) muslim misogyny does not stop at the water's edge. It appears that some of our wonderful islamic friends were worried about a "naked" sculpture and had to clothe "her". Americans should consider buying even more European art in order to get more of Western Civilization's art works away from the muslim nutcases of our world. The Gateway guy from the Gateway Pundit has this sad story. If you are at all curious about islamic misogyny then you should definitely read this morning's post by the great Dr. Sanity.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

CTA Back on the Rails

The CTA posted a notice on their website at 6:15 AM this morning that the rail lines are back up and running.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

CTA Rerouted Downtown!

The Tribune is reporting that a crane accident downtown has rerouted all el service south of Belmont on the Brown Line but due to previously scheduled construction the Red Line is running on part of the Brown Line route through the loop (it is running over Van Buren and over Wells) and all of the North Side south of Fullerton.

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Gore Laments Fundraising - Suggests Clinton/Gore ’96 as Model

Time Magazine has excerpted Al Gore’s aptly named new book The Assault on Reason and it contains some very helpful hints for US Senators forced to run for reelection. In his new book the former Vice President laments that former Ku Klux Klan member and current Senator, Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) was forced to observe that Senate members were not even in the chamber when Byrd presented another in a long line of his boring and nonsensical speeches. Al Gore brilliantly answered Byrd’s question of where the other Senators were that fateful day with the retort, “(t)he chamber was empty because the Senators were somewhere else.” A statement like that from the man who was once a heartbeat away from the Presidency is, well, frightening.

The former Vice President further wrote that members of the Senate spend too much time raising funds for elections and suggested that they should concentrate their fundraising activities on foreign nationals “like President Clinton and I did.” Mr. Gore suggested getting in touch with any Buddhist Temples in the Senator’s state saying that “those Chinese, they love to gamble, they love American politics, they are concerned about the environment and they want to help!” Gore also mentioned the possibility of registering illegal aliens and criminals to vote saying that “once you have helped them falsify their citizenship papers they will vote for you from beyond the grave.” Mr. Gore also stated that Democratic Senators should consider “raiding the Lock Box to ensure that they can continue saving Social Security from those evil neo-con Republicans”

Warning: the Al Gore quotes in the second paragraph are satirical, as far as I know.

Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of the Insanities again this week.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Who Does This Guy Think He Is, Leona Helmsley?

Brit Hume’s site the Political Grapevine has this great story about a former Gitmo prisoner who has complained that he was “forced to use unscented deodorant and shampoo, had to play sports with a ball that did not bounce, had his baby pictures taken away, was not given a DVD player, and the people who cleaned his cell left marks on the walls.” You just can’t make that stuff up; unscented deodorant? Who knew?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thompson Responds to Moore

Flying Debris commented on Michael Moore's attempt to gain free publicity by "debating" former Senator Fred Thompson (R-Tn) here; well the Senator has responded. The video is short because the Senator is one busy guy and likely much busier than a guy who has time to see a doctor in Cuba; maybe that's why Moore looks so bad.

Last summer Flying Debris commented on the "Joe Walsh Defense"; it certainly would be an reasonable argument for the Senator to use in this case. The "defense" refers to Mr. Walsh's 1976 live album You Can't Argue With a Sick Mind.

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Michigan: The State of Stupidity?

Michael Moore has challenged former Senator Fred Thompson to a debate and he included this warning: “I feel obligated to forewarn you that I was the winner of the 1971-72 Detroit Free Press Debate Award for the state of Michigan.” Mr. Moore dropped out of a Michigan Junior College after one semester, if the nonsense concerning the sorry state of debate in Michigan is true then it says volumes about Michigan. However I am skeptical of this claim. Also note that Mr. Moore believes that his latest “film” may be seized by the Bush Administration. Sicko indeed.

Hat Tip: Drudge

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Even Worse Than the Cheese Curtain?

Photo by (AFP)

The Gateway Pundit has a report from the Gaza Strip that includes the above photo of some sort of disaffected youth in a St. Louis Rams shirt. As I read the post I thought, well at least it’s not a Bears shirt. The Gateway guy must’ve known that NFL fans from other cities would take some humor (and some relief, like mine) in the Rams shirt because he compared the Palestinian nonsense to the Bears/Packers rivalry. Now I will admit to getting a few chuckles over the comment but it really isn’t fair, after all Muslims generally don’t drink. The Bear/Packer feud is not only fueled by the usual neighborly football rivalry but also by copious amounts of alcohol, mostly liquor; it’s easier to get some Jack Daniels into the stands than a few six packs. One of my favorite stories from the rivalry was reported by the Chicago Tribune as follows:

November 14, 1995

In the old days, it was tar and feathers

Several Bears football fans reportedly took out their anger over the Sunday loss
to the Green Bay Packers by duct-taping a packer fan to a stop sign.

The unidentified man (later identified as Beak ed.) was forcibly removed from KC’s Cabin on IL. Hwy 173 in Spring Grove by the Bears fans and taped to the sign along
with a placard above his head that read “Packers Fan”, according to Police

Police said the man apparently was “dogging” the Bear fans
about the Packers’ victory, and that the man, who was cut loose from the
signpost by a police officer, did not wish to sign a complaint.

Sadly, if all they had was duct tape, the Palestinians would build duct-tape bombs.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Kuchinich Finds Two Crazies

The Chicago Tribune reported this morning that my former Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (D-IL.) has joined that wacky Democratic Presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Oh.) and is co-sponsoring a House Bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. Ms. Schakowsky is Chief Deputy Majority Whip and a woman who seems to use the Big Lie theory of public discourse. She was joined by William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) in this latest bit of Democratic lunacy. Both Ms. Schakowsky and Mr. Clay were co-sponsors of Rep. John Conyer's (D-Mi.) attempt to impeach George Bush during the last congress, a time when the Democrats were in the minority. I must ask, where the heck is Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx.) when you need her?

It is worth noting that Ms. Schakowsky's husband, Bob Creamer plead guilty (read the link it outlines outrageous behavior) to defrauding three banks in different Midwestern states with a check kiting scheme in order to keep his charity, Illinois Public Action, solvent. One can reasonably presume that his own six-figure salary was preserved by keeping the charity solvent. Additionally a scandal would have posed problems to Ms. Schakowsky's then upcoming primary run to replace retiring twenty-four term Democratic Congressman Sidney Yates. When Mr. Creamer's case became public Congresswoman Schakowsky and other local Democrats insisted that it was all a misunderstanding and that he was scamming the banks for the children, that the check was (literally) in the mail, his dog ate the checks, the sun was in his eyes...

Mr. Creamer opened checking accounts at three banks in the Midwest and drove to those far-flung banks to kite those checks. Mr. Creamer's scheme was no misunderstanding and in fact when the music for this game of musical chairs stopped there was still $370,000 missing. It took months for Creamer to raise enough money to make the banks whole. Her husband has nothing to do with this latest nonsense from Ms. Schakowsky but it is interesting to note that she lives with and has publicly excused a felon but she wants to impeach Vice President Cheney over a policy disagreement. As part of her posturing Ms. Schakowsky will likely call Mr. Cheney a liar. It is also worth noting that Ms. Schakowsky will not stand up for the freedom and liberty of others; no surprise in this corner but worth noting.

See Jay Tea's prediction over at Wizbang of one possible outcome of impeaching Cheney; a bums rush to impeach Bush and install Pelosi as the first female President.

See the moonbat's reaction here, just don't feed them, please.

Update: Speaker Pelosi was in town Friday to help Rep. Schakowsky raise money at her annual Ultimate Women's Power Lunch.

Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity and her Carnival of Insanities for inclusion again this week.

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