In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

“In Flanders Fields”

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army


MSNBC is reporting that in Texas, the government is dissassembling some of the last of the scariest nuclear weapons we ever constructed.

From the article:

First put into service in 1962, when Cold War tensions peaked during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the B53 weighed 10,000 pounds and was the size of a minivan. According to the American Federation of Scientists, it was 600 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II.

The B53 was designed to destroy facilities deep underground, and it was carried by B-52 bombers.

It is small comfort to know these weapons will never be implemented, but there are still thousands around the world that have yet to meet such a comforting fate.

Over at the Atlantic Blog, the writers strangely compared #OWS to the white power skinheads who marched in Skokie in the 1970’s.

The article:

Cities may impose reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on mass protests; a one or two month (or even a two week) time limit on a tent city in a small public park in a busy urban area would probably be deemed reasonable even by a court sympathetic to the protests (as I am.) So would a ban on overnight camping. OWS activists and supporters who disagree might stop to wonder if they would extend equal, indefinite appropriation rights to a group of white supremacists who set up protest camp in a mixed race neighborhood. Or they might ask themselves if they would have joined the many liberals who opposed the right of Neo-Nazis merely to march through (not occupy) a community of Holocaust survivors in Skokie, Illinois in the late 1970’s


Am I to understand there were no othercomparisons for mass protests? They really had to take the ball and run all the way to Nazism? That seems a little passe.

To be clear: I wouldn’t have let the Nazi’s march in Skokie either, but then again I also see where the government is coming from with regards to #OWS. I don’t think a bunch of people have the right to just start camping on another person’s property. That, and I am in general wary of most mass protests. Anybody remember 2003? That really showed ’em!

today marks the end of the unjust ban that barred members of the GLBT community from serving openly.

In today’s Times:

Soon after the Sept. 20 expiration of the ban, the group OutServe plans to release “Our Time: Breaking the Silence of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” a collection of first-person essays about gay life in the military. All the contributors will use their real names.

The editor of the collection, an active-duty Air Force officer and graduate of the Air Force Academy, is an outspoken advocate for open service who goes under the pseudonym “J.D. Smith.” Smith, a co-founder and co-director of OutServe, will be among a number of gay service members who plan to reveal their real names on Tuesday.

A survey of more than 500 currently serving gay and lesbian troops by OutServe indicates that Smith will be far from alone. The survey, to be released on Monday, found that nearly 40 percent of the respondents plan on coming out to some people in the military after the 20th*: nearly 17 percent said they will reveal their sexuality to a few close friends in their units; 9 percent said to most of the people in their units; and 13 percent said to everyone.

*emphasis is mine.

Thank goodness this arcane and idiotic measure is finally dead.

Did intelligence agencies conspire to shoot down the UN Secrwtary General’s plane?

Stephanie Hegarty of the BBC thinks so:

In 2005, the head of UN military information in Congo in 1961, Bjorn Egge, told the Aftenposten newspaper he had noticed a round hole in Hammarskjold’s forehead when he saw the body in the mortuary. It could have been a bullet hole, he said, and it had been mysteriously airbrushed out of official photographs.

Over the last four years, Swedish aid worker Goran Bjorkdahl has carried out extensive research and British academic Susan Williams published a book on Thursday – Who Killed Hammarskjold? Both conclude that it is likely the plane was brought down.

Did you ever have “that guy” in high school who, when talking to you, was totally nice and seemed to get a bad rap from everybody, but then about a week later you realized that he was throwing your name around in poor manner too? Do you remember hating yourself for ever trusting that guy?

Imagine if that happened in politics.

The drought raging through the Horn of Africa nations of Ethiopia, Somalia and to an extent Kenya, have been a bitter reminder that despite 30 years of We Are the World and Live World, the poor still suffer, and the Somali diaspora flows into bordering nations and the lucky ones find haven in the West.

More information here.