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Just a weird day

By Patrick Van Roy On September 11th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Just a weird day today, 10 years ago at this time of day we I was running a ramp control tower at PHL International Airport. We were scrambling to find places to park over a hundred planes more than the Airport was designed to hold, all being diverted from NY & DC. The first 4 hours were just to busy to feel anything. I had plenty of time to feel and think about the events of that day later, as I spent the next 3 days sitting in that tower by myself looking at all those parked planes. 

Now 10 years have gone by, some justice has been meted out, but far from all. The bureaucrats that run the various arms of our government have once again lost focus, petty squabbling, and political correctness has placed us in a more vulnerable state than we were before 9/11. Radio and TV are filled with nothing but “commemoration” shows (which for the most part are curiously missing actual footage from that day) Bloomberg won’t even allow prayer or police and fireman to be part of ceremonies at ground zero.

Last night as I fished by myself at a nice quite pond in the woods I said prayers for those that lost their lives, those that are still losing their lives bringing the fight to them, and safety for us all.

Today I have planned nothing, I’ll take it as it comes.

” Heart of A Soldier ” Opens Tonight

By Phantom On September 10th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Let me speak of Risk Rescorla.

Born in 1939 in the village of Hayle, Cornwall, England. Among his earliest memories were those of US troops preparing for the D-Day invasion.

A natural leader of men, he chose the life of a soldier. He joined the British Army and served in Cyprus, then in present day Zambia, Africa.

He later emigrated to the USA. As soon as he could, he enlisted in the US Army. He quickly became an officer, and as a young lieutenant, was a patrol leader in some of the nastiest fighting in a very nasty war.

Rescorla was known for great personal courage in the battle of Ia Drang. In the highlands of Vietnam, he raised the spirits of his men by singing Cornish and Welsh songs. He had great compassion for his men, for the wounded and the dying.

That’s a young Lt. Rescorla on the cover We Were Soldiers Once, and Young. The co-author of the book called Rescorla “the best platoon leader I ever saw”


Rick Rescorla, Vietnam, 1965

Fast forward.

An older Rick Rescorla is the head of security at Morgan Stanley. In Two World Trade Center, some floors below where I worked.

Rescorla warned the building management in 1991 that the building was vulnerable to a truck bomb that might be planted in the unsecured basement parking garage. They didn’t listen. In 1993, the building was hit with a truck bomb in the basement parking garage.

Later, Rescorla, on the advice of his great Army friend Dan Hill, is led to believe that the building remained a terror target, and that the next time the attack would come from the air. He asks his employer to move to a low rise building. They refuse. The lease won’t expire until 2005.

Rescorla does the best he can. He puts Morgan Stanley employees through up to four full scale evacuation drills every year, where they had to walk down up to 70 flights of stairs in an organized, floor by floor fashion. The stockbrokers hated the hassle. This type of frequent, full scale drill is completely unheard of in NYC.

When the plane hit the nearby One World Trade Center, building management announced that Two World Trade Center was secure, that they everyone should stay put. Rescorla ignored these instructions, and instead ordered a full scale evacuation. More than 2000 Morgan Stanley employees marched down the stairs, two by two, first one floor, then the next, then the next.

When the plane hit Two WTC, he kept his charges as calm as he could. ” Today is a proud day to be an American,” he said over his megaphone. As he had done in Ia Drang, he sang to his people to keep them calm – ” God Bless America “. And his much beloved songs from back home. ” The White Rose ” and ” Men of Harlech”

Men of Harlech, stop your dreaming
Can’t you see their spearpoints gleaming
See their warrior pennants streaming
To this battle field

Men of Harlech stand ye steady
It can not be ever said ye
For the battle were not ready
Welshmen never yield

He got nearly every one of his 2700 men and women out. Except himself, his security team and one or two others. Afraid that someone had been left behind, he went back up. His body was never found.

I first read of Rescorla in this article in the New Yorker which I couldn’t recommend highly enough.

There are many other articles about Rescorla, many quotes from his US Army comrades and from his Morgan Stanley co workers which back up everything said here, and more.

Today, we are on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the attacks, of the day when Rescorla got his people to safety.

Tonight, in San Francicso, Heart of A Soldier, a newly commissioned opera, will open. It’s about Rescorla.

And about courage, duty, of the love and loyalty for soldiers for one another, these and other themes could make for a great story. I hope that the San Francisco Opera pulls it off.

From the hills rebounding
Let this war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria’s call
The mighty foe surrounding

Men of Harlech on to glory
This will every be your story
Keep these burning words before ye
Welshmen will not yield

Music from me youth

By Patrick Van Roy On September 10th, 2011 at 1:59 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41ohFqkhASU&feature=related

September 9, 2011

By Phantom On September 9th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

The tenth anniversary of September 11 is upon us. I just came from my company’s interfaith memorial service at historic St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, steps from the World Trade Center. This is the church where the the body of the first recorded victim that day, Father Mychal Judge, the FDNY Chaplain, was carried and laid on the altar.

Today’s service was touching, exactly right.

We remember all of our many friends lost that day, now and forever.

9/11, We Don’t Forget, We Don’t Forgive, We will have a Reckoning

By Patrick Van Roy On September 9th, 2011 at 11:46 am

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.
                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.
          So I said to the Lord,
      “You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?”
                                 The Lord replied,
                          “The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you.”
                                                   Mary Stevenson

Republican Debate, Sept. 7, 2011

By Patty On September 8th, 2011 at 12:02 am

The Republican debate is tonight.  Photo live-blogging here. 

The debate will be held at the beautiful Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and  starts now, 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

This is your chance to judge for yourself:  is Huntsman really “intensely intellligent,” as Phantom claims?  Does Bachmann have “crazy eyes” like Tina Brown/Newsweek  portrayed her having?

Will Rick Perry remain the front-runner? Will Mitt Romney somehow make up for his lack of charisma by saying something so right and so wonderful that we all suddenly want to vote for him as Newt GIngrich did in the last debate when he criticized the lame stream media?

Follow along with drunk blogger Stephen Green, here.

 

A Little Reality

By Patrick Van Roy On September 7th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Yesterday some fool on here attacked my stance on Guns and Gun Control. The Used a mad mans attack as an example that I was wrong. Some poor Man in Arizona lost his mind and shot 36 people killing 7 with an AK-47. At this point the man has been described as a legal immigrant, he had no police record, and was described by neighbors as a nice quite man if a little “slow”.

I’m sure more information will come out on a how this handicapped man got his hands on an AK-47, who knows maybe the government sold it to him under Obama’s Fast and Furious, I’m also sure we will find out what made him snap. Yesterdays rocket science commenter pointed out that 3 of the people killed in the one restaurant were in uniform National Guardsmen, and therefore should have been able to take him out, if my right to carry belief was real. The fool believed we allow our soldiers to carry weapons, he obviously doesn’t know how hard it is to get issued a weapon in the military even in a combat zone let alone at a base at home.

The sad fact is maybe if the had been armed less people would have been injured by a disturbed man. We live in a dangerous country here is a story of why one might need to be armed.

Philadelphia Student Carrying Legal Firearm Shoots It Out With Armed Robber

A Philadelphia college student put his firearm carry permit to good use Monday, as he shot it out with a would-be robber, hitting him twice.

Robert Eells, 21-year-old Temple University student, was in front of his off-campus house smoking a cigarette at 1:30Am Monday when a group of teenagers approached him and asked for money. The main suspect- who is 15-years old- allegedly then attempted to rob Eells, who refused the demand for cash.

At that point, police say the suspect started shooting, and hit Eels in the stomach.

But Eels was able to fight back. He drew his own legal pistol and fired, hitting the attacker in the chest and leg.

School officials say Eells is recovering at Temple University Hospital.  He had a license to carry the weapon he used and faces no charges in the incident.

The suspect is also in the hospital, and will face aggravated assault and attempted robbery charges. Police are searching for two accomplices.

When a 15yr old can get a gun to rob you with, do you really think passing more laws making it harder for law abiding citizens to get guns to defend themselves is going to make the world a safer place?

THE WAY THEY WERE..

By David Vance On September 7th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Twin Tower Cameos from Dan Meth on Vimeo.

WHY I LOVE WIKIPEDIA

By David Vance On September 6th, 2011 at 9:53 pm

I guess it’s the idiocy that so impressed me about Wikipedia. I came across this delightful contribution…

“Following the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid TUV member David Vance sparked outrage regarding comments posted on Twitter social networking site. [14][15] It was later reported in 2010 that Mr Vance’s website faced closure over numerous instances of ‘hate speech’ in violation of Terms of Service. [16] The site had to change its hosting arrangements but remained open in May 2011,[17] in which month Vance was one of the unsuccessful TUV Assembly election candidates.”

First, it was SDLP village idiot Conal McDevitt and his BBC courtiers who “sparked outrage” amongst..erm….themselves over the Turkish thugs for Hamastan.

As for the “hate speech” nonsense, wrong. It was complaints from someone/some group in that bastion of free speech, Iran, that caused little flutters in Squarespace.

ATW is still here, providing a voice of principled dissent.

Sing A Song of Semtex

By Mahons On September 6th, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I wonder what people in the UK really think of the Prime Minister’s stated goal of seeking compensation for the victims of Libyan assistance to the IRA. It seems to me that gratitude in the form of a victims compensation fund would not be among the first priorities of whoever emerges at the top of the heap after the Libyan situation plays itself out.  In fact, I am fairly certain that there will be little enthusiasim among the revoluntiaries for such a program.  Indeed, they might ask why compensation was not required from the IRA itself, if in fact the issue troubles them at all.  

Of all the “this ship has sailed” moments, this one has to be one of the larger ones.  And it strikes me as gettting up the hopes of people unfairly.  If the Prime Minister is certain that such compensation would be forthcoming, couldn’t the government pay it out itself and seek reimbursement directly from the Libyans?   But they won’t do that because they know that the Libyans have no interest in this.

It seems to me that the military support which has morphed from protective action to outright support on behalf of the rebel elements could be conditioned on some sort of guarantee now, while assets are frozen and not in control of Libya.  But perhaps that makes too much sense.