Category Archives: Events

High Voice

I was asked yesterday about the “surly bonds of Earth” reference in the post about Neil Armstrong’s death.  There is indeed a story behind that and a very unusual young man.

John Gillespie McGee Jr. was born in Shanghai to a US ambassador, thus was American. His initial school was in Shanghai, “The American School” there — no doubt he was fluent in multiple languages by the time he left around age 10. As a boy in the US in the Rugby School, he became fascinated with poetry. And when war broke out in Europe, he was ready — but the US was not. In 1940, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and wound up eventually in the UK flying Supermarine Spitfires protecting London from bombing attacks.

On December 8, 1941, the US joined World War II officially after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Three days later, McGee and two squad mates were diving together through an opening in the clouds near London, only to have a trainee suddenly appear in their path.  In the collision, McGee’s aircraft was badly damaged, and he was unable to get out before the craft struck the ground. Witnesses suggested that he’d just gotten the canopy open.  He was 19.

Weeks before, across the back of a letter to home, McGee had scrawled this text after a particularly inspiring flight: Continue reading

Texas A&M shooter?

The fellow, identified as Thomas “Tres” Caffall, seems to have shot and killed the constable attempting to serve an eviction notice. He shot others as well (one more died) — and we will hear a lot about him now, because he can actually be associated with the US conservative movement.

UNCONFIRMED: He was married in 2007 to a young lady that seems to be quite a good photographer, and with her pink hair and certain photos does not fit the typical conservative mold. But she has a picture of herself opposing the Westboro Baptist left-wing church, and holding up a sign that says “God Loves Ft. Hood” — I don’t know her politics per se. Continue reading

Happy Independence Day, friends. And Google, too.

I hope all of you in the States have a meaningful American Independence Day, and that those from other lands have a safe and warm day even if it’s just a Wednesday where you are.

For those who can stand poetry, I’ve put a piece I wrote called “Independence Journey” at the end here. In the meantime, I can’t help being somewhat amused at Google. Let me explain. Continue reading

Memorial Day

Memorial Day we gather and pay homage to our fallen
Who gave themselves completely in response to duty’s callin’
Some joined to see the world, some merely thought of education
And some were drawn by kinship with the proud that guard our nation

But trials and training molded them into a joined precision
That holds our cause in high esteem, and suffers no division
Our military crew stands tall, and ready for the battle
And ready, too, to give their all, impervious to rattle

They serve in combat, serve in peace, and make of one the other
Rebuilding schools to grant a lease of freedom to a brother
The tasks they sometimes face are grim, and few of us would choose them
And each one stands his place, and we are poorer when we lose them

But richer still are we, for still we keep Liberty’s fire
Not just for those at home — those far away know we won’t tire
And countries ‘cross the globe recall when we came to release
Oppressed ones from their bondage, and we brought a well-earned peace

Unlike the conquerors of times before, we keep no soil
Just what we need for plots to lay our soldiers freed from toil
Instead we show by doing that the freedom’s worth the cost
We mourn our dead, then lift our heads, go on without our lost

The brothers and the sisters of our noble fighting forces
Are not just guardians of Liberty, they are its sources
Indeed, we owe our troops far more than we can ever pay
But thanks to all who served, and fell—on this Memorial Day

Andrew Breitbart, RIP

Andrew Breitbart, journalist titan and founder of the “BIG” websites (BigGovernment.com, BigJournalism.com, BigPeace.com et cetera) passed away early this morning, apparently of natural causes.

He was much reviled by progressives. It seems to me that the hate, vitriol and profanity streaming in from the “tolerant” Left indirectly confirms that Andrew Breitbart was on the correct side. (I have written before about the odd doctrines of “tolerance” as seen by progressives; today’s display is sad but unsurprising.) I notice also that a number of the hate-filled tweets are from Twitter IDs suggesting journalism or media positions.

In any event, I had never met AB. I’ve written about him on a few occasions, including some analysis of the Shirley Sherrod/Pigford racism scam exposure.

I was saddened to learn of his death, and wish the best to his family and his team. He has left behind some “BIG” shoes to fill, and his team will be challenged to fill them.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

A Joyful Yuletide (with High Technology)

May the Christmas cheer at this time of year
Lift you high and ease your loads
Of all faiths and creeds, each of us still needs
To find joy along our roads

For the folks alone, and of somber tone
May a mate you find, and be
As I’m here to say on this Christmas Day
This has meant so much to me

For the family groups and the far-off troops
May the season keep you sound
And may each return bring the love you earn
Love to cushion and surround

Perhaps our book writing is less exciting
Than other sorts of distraction
But may the coming year make your vision clear
And provide you creative traction

From right here the view of the lot of you
Is a view of worthy friends
May the holiday find its happy way
Bearing love our family sends

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Veterans Day and a bit of rhyme

We in the United States are here, and we are able to continue to live in the lifestyle that we enjoy, thanks to veterans. Of course, there are others involved as well, but only a small percentage of the population places themselves in harms’ way in support of ideals and principles that we worked so hard to establish more than two centuries ago. From time to time, these are threatened.
Continue reading

Memories of 9/11

As of 9/11/2001, my company had recently celebrated its 25th anniversary (I’d founded it in 1976), and I had come in around 3AM to put the finishing touches on a new business plan. That plan was a multi-hundred-million-dollar casino to be located in Las Vegas; investors were already lined up and I had imagined a complex with sections devoted to parts of America from natural wonders to snapshots of the country’s cultural history.

A little before seven, my staff called upstairs: Continue reading