Remembering the “Little Ships”

Seventy-five years ago this week, Operation Dynamo got under way – the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in France.  Its survival meant that Britain could continue the war against Nazi Germany, standing alone until the USA entered the war in December 1941. Evacuation was initially thought so difficult as to be practically impossible, because there were no major ports along the coast at or near Dunkirk.  Ships could not get close enough to load the troops directly.  However, a massive appeal was launched to all boat-owners along the English coast for any suitable craft to be brought

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Robert de Niro lays it on the line

Robert de Niro recently gave the graduation address at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  He congratulated the graduates . . . then immediately told them “You’re f****d” (and yes, he used that word).  He went on to describe the challenges that lay ahead for them, and told them what their lives would be like.  It’s a remarkable testimony from one of our era’s foremost actors, and the most clear and concise description I’ve yet heard of an acting life. If you, or anyone you love or know, has ambitions in that line, this is really worth listening

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A very courageous confession

Ken White, one of the lawyers who contributes over at Popehat, has put up a remarkable article in which he discusses his battle with severe depression, including recent voluntary treatment in a specialized hospital.  Here’s an excerpt. I’m still here. That’s a consequence of the grace, and love, and generosity, and decency of others, and my own ridiculously good luck. I’m here, I feel good — not just okay, but good — and I’m very happy to still be here. Not only that, I feel hope. If you haven’t been depressed, that may seem like just a little thing, but

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The Battle of Berlin, 70 years later

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1945.  The climactic European battle of that war was the Soviet fight to take Berlin, capital of Nazi Germany, in April and May of that year. The Big Picture, a publication of the Boston Globe, has provided a fascinating series of photographs of scenes from the battle, juxtaposed with the same location photographed from almost the same position 70 years later.  The contrast between utter destruction and modern prosperity is jarring.  Here’s just one of them to whet your appetite.  Click the image for a larger

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A very fitting recognition of a hero, 75 years later

I was touched to read about one aspect of the Royal Air Force’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. An RAF Typhoon fighter has been repainted in the Second World War colours of a Battle of Britain hero to mark the 75th anniversary of the crucial clash. The Eurofighter jet which is usually coloured a drab grey has instead been painted with the camouflage and 249 Squadron identification number of the only Fighter Command pilot awarded a Victoria Cross during the battle.  (It’s shown below alongside a WW2 vintage Hurricane fighter of the RAF’s Battle of

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A “spectacularly honest” job advertisement

The Telegraph reports: Budding chefs who don’t mind working in a kitchen the size of a closet for “s—t” money can look no further. A restaurateur has posted a brutally honest job advert seeking a colleague who is “fast, progressive, and not a total p—-k” to work alongside him in his new American diner in Glasgow. Justin Valmassoi, a Michigan-born businessman pulls no punches, warning potential applicants not to waste his time if they think a “good sandwich is a tuna mayo like your gran makes” and stressing that he did not want to receive any CVs filled with anodyne,

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Gangs and the threat they pose

Following the publicity generated by the motorcycle gang clash in Waco, Texas last weekend, Survival Blog has put up a three-part article on gangs that contains some useful information.  Follow these links: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 The articles don’t go into much detail, but provide a good overview.  For more information, see: FBI Gang Information Page National Gang Center There are many other resources on the Web, not all of which are as good as others.  A quick Internet search will reveal many more links. I ran into a lot of gangs and gang members during my work

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Fred gets his wookie on

The indomitable Fred Reed responds to recent news that Army ROTC candidates were forced to march in high heels as part of sexual-assault awareness events.  Here’s an excerpt. Dear General, I see that on your watch the Army is turning into a transvestite marching corps in high heels, a Ziegfeld cross-gendered or bisected gay-bath sexual zoo vacuuming up every sort of erotic loony, not to mention becoming a home for unwed mothers and prostitution rings. I commend you. I have always wanted to be defended by a freak show. . . . What I figure, General, is you ought to

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