Highly Recommended

I just finished reading Lynne Olson’s Citizens Of London, and all I can say is I wish I’d read it before Tony Judt’s Postwar (which I recommended earlier).

Of course, as a keen student of 20th-century European history, I’m very familiar with the WWII period — or at least, I thought I was.  In fact, I’ve always been more interested in the military history thereof rather than the diplomatic side… and Citizens Of London  took care of that for me, in spades.

Oh, good grief:  how could I have been so ignorant?  Of course I knew about Edward R. Murrow (“the voice of the Blitz”), and Averill Harriman (more so for his post-war career).  But Gilbert Winant?  All I knew about him was that he was successor to the horrible-in-every-way-imaginable Joe Kennedy as U.S. Ambassador to Britain, and I vaguely remember him as one-time governor of New Hampshire.

Olson’s book has set me straight on that, and if you are similarly ignorant about this period and these characters, it will do the same for you.  Run, don’t walk, to your favorite bookstore or to Amazon, and buy this book because it will change your perspective on WWII completely.

I should point out in passing that in this history, Franklin D. Roosevelt does not come out well (not that this is a Bad Thing, of course), and nor does his successor Harry S Truman.  And I have never read so personal and compelling a story about not just Winston Churchill, but also the entire Churchill family during this period.

It is clear that but for Murrow, Harriman and Winant — with an excellent assist from Dwight D. Eisenhower — there may well have been a completely different outcome to the events of 1939-45.

And if that doesn’t get you to read Citizens Of London, we can’t be friends.

Oh, Why Not?

Looks as though Fargo ND dodged a bullet — more specifically, several bullets and a bomb — when they whacked a terrorist of the Religion Of Peace persuasion recently:

When he came upon a fender bender last Friday afternoon, [Mohammed] Barakat was armed with multiple weapons, explosives and grenades and had spray painted the back windows of his car.
“Based on the time and the direction he was going he was either likely to be taking a right when he got to main avenue going downtown and taking a left when he got to main avenue and going to the fairgrounds,” Wrigley said.
Video footage reveals he came upon the crash, circling and casing the scene for about 15 minutes before parking his car and opening fire, killing 23-year-old officer Jake Wallin and critically injuring officers Andrew Dotas and officer Tyler Hawes, as well as, civilian Karlee Koswick (who was involved in the initial car accident).
Barakat was eventually shot by officer Zach Robinson and later died at the hospital.

Given how much the Powers That Be (even in Fargo ND FFS) are keen to downplay the motives of this asshole, I’m surprised the D.A. didn’t describe him as a “street vendor, on his way to peddle his wares at the fairgrounds”.  (That the wares happened to include bombs and stuff are irrelevant, of course.)

Of course, the Fibbies had no fucking idea of this tool’s intentions, they being too busy tracking down terrorists in the Angry Anti-Grooming Parent Brigade.

Just a bunch of incompetent poltroons, the lot of them.

Righteous Stabbing

Not a shooting this time;  but it reminds me of the old saying, “If guns are outlawed, may we use swords?”

Seems as though some asswipe was hassling a couple on a NYC subway train, and when the hassling became dangerous, the male of the couple produced a knife and stuck it in the choirboy’s chest, the latter assuming room temperature soon thereafter.

But wait!  There’s more!

Of course, because this happened in NYfC, Our Hero was arrested and the fuzz set about charging him with murder, unlawful use of a kitchen implement, terminal frightening or whatever stupid laws they have in New York these days.

BUT:  after reviewing all the facts, all charges were dropped because, and I quote,

“Under New York law, a person is justified in using deadly physical force when they reasonably believe it is necessary to use such force to defend themselves or others from imminent use of deadly or unlawful physical force.”

Sounds more like Texas or Florida than NYFC, but whatever.

And speaking of quotes, let’s hear it from the late choirboy’s family:

Ouedraogo’s younger sister Marina said she believes the dismissal was “just wrong,” The New York Times reported. “It is sending a signal that basically any one of us can carry a weapon.”

Well, yeah… welcome to the Second Amendment, honey.

Full details here.

Day Of Days

This morning I woke up early and celebrated the anniversary of D-Day by watching the first three episodes of HBO’s Band Of Brothers.

Okay, then, the real Easy Company:

Heroes.  ‘Nuff said.