Insanity spreads through Article II agencies

June 26, 2007

From the Chicago Tribune:

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the president and vice president are not executive “agencies” and are therefore not covered under the executive order, but he stopped short of placing Cheney exclusively in the legislative branch. Snow He said the vice president has served “in an executive capacity delegated to him by the president” and noted that, constitutionally “there are no specified executive activities for the vice president,” and that his role “is a wonderful academic question.”

Chicago Tribune, “Emanuel seeks to cut funding for Cheney’s office, home,” June 26, 2007

Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1:

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows . . .

NY Times special on evolution – run, get it!

June 26, 2007

Evolution is the subject of a special edition of the Science section of the New York Times today. The section features articles by most of the best of the stable of science writing contributors the paper has, covering up to the latest developments in the field of evolution.

It’s available on-line, too, for a week or so — free subscription required. Or, Times Select customers will be able to access the stuff so long as they subscribe.

Since the section covers the best of science, there is nothing on intelligent design or other forms of creationism. The aim of the editors is the best of science, not “balance” in presenting opposing views even if vapid.

So, for $1.00, biology teachers can get a dozen weeks’ of enrichment material for this fall’s classes.

Run, don’t walk — your local Starbuck’s should have the paper, if your local newsstand doesn’t. It’s worth it just for the lead article featuring evo-devo, if that’s all you read.

Charles Lindberg, first Iwo Jima flag raising

June 26, 2007

1st flag raising on Iwo Jima, photo by Sgt Lou Lowery, Leatherneck Magazine

First raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. Photo by Sgt. Lou Lowery, Leatherneck Magazine

This photo doesn’t look like the Joe Rosenthal photo that won the Pulitzer Prize, and then inspired the book and movie, Flags of Our Fathers?

It’s not the same photo. Different photographer. Different group of Marines.

This is the first flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, the highest point of the island that was known then as Iwo Jima. This shows the mean of Easy Company, including Charles Lindberg of Grand Forks, North Dakota, raising a flag they carried on a pipe they found. The photo was taken by Sgt. Lou Lowery of Leatherneck Magazine.

Charles Lindberg, one of the Marines in the photo, died this week. He was 86 years old.

In addition carrying a name made famous by that other guy, the pilot, few people believed him when he said his company raised the flag first on Iwo. He wasn’t in the Rosenthal photo. But Lindberg told the truth.

From his obituary on the Associated Press wire (in The Washington Post):

Three of the men in the first raising never saw their photos. They were among the more than 6,800 U.S. servicemen killed in the five-week battle for the island.

By Mr. Lindberg’s account, his commander ordered the first flag replaced and safeguarded because he worried someone would take it as a souvenir. Mr. Lindberg was back in combat when six men raised the second, larger flag about four hours later.

Rosenthal’s photo of the second flag-raising became one of the most enduring images of the war and the model for the U.S. Marine Corps memorial in Washington.

Rosenthal, who died last year, always denied accusations that he staged the photo, and he never claimed it depicted the first raising of a flag over the island.

Mr. Lindberg was shot through the arm March 1 and evacuated. After his discharge in 1946, Mr. Lindberg went home to Grand Forks, N.D. He moved to Richfield, Minn., in 1951 and became an electrician.

If you’re over 45, if you read James Brady’s Flags of Our Fathers, if you saw the Clint Eastwood movie version, or if you’re a fan of Johnny Cash’s Ballad of Ira Hayes, you know the stories of heroism and sorrow and tragedy that accompany Joe Rosenthal’s photo. As so often happens in history, there is a back story, a bit of a correction — and it has some of the same bittersweet flavors.

Lindberg was 24 years old when his company landed on Iwo Jima. That was 62 years ago. Those who were eyewitnesses are mostly gone. We need to seek out those few remaining, brave survivors, and let them tell what they remember, what they saw, how they felt and how they feel.  Of the twelve men who raised the two flags, Lindberg was the last survivor.  Three of the men from each group died in battle action after raising the flags.

Here’s to the memory of Charles Lindberg, a good American, a good soldier. Thank you, Mr. Lindberg.

Charles Lindberg in 1999, holding a copy of Sgt. Lou Lowery's photo of the first Iwo Jima flag raising Charles Lindberg holding the photo taken by Sgt. Lou Lowery of Leatherneck Magazine, of the first U.S. flag raising on Iwo Jima, by Easy Company. Lindberg is the soldier standing in back, on the right of the photo. Lowery’s photo was taken about four hours before the second flag raising, captured by Joe Rosenthal, which photo won the Pulitzer Prize. This photo of Lindberg, left, is from 1999, by Associated Press photographer Jackie Lorentz.

Lindberg’s citation for the Silver Star is below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Quote of the Day: John Kennedy, June 26, 1963

June 26, 2007

President Kennedy addresses Berlin citizens, 6-26-1962 (photographer unidentified)

From the Smithsonian Magazine site:

June 26, 1963: “Ich bin ein Berliner”

In West Berlin, President John F. Kennedy delivers the famous speech in which he declares, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Meaning literally “I am a citizen of Berlin,” the statement shows U.S. solidarity with democratic West Berlin, surrounded by communist territory.

View a video of President Kennedy’s speech at American Rhetoric, Top 100 Speeches.

Photo of President Kennedy addressing Berlin’s citizens, photographer unidentified; from American Rhetoric site.

History is the Dickens — or could be

June 26, 2007

Faithful readers here may note some long, substantive comments from another “Ed,” who is connected with the Open History Project, it turns out. I’ve linked to the OHP before, but not often enough. It really is a treasure trove.

For example, there is a page of links to computer/internet media works. Included there is a fascinating animation from the British site accompanying what was a PBS Masterpiece Theatre program in the U.S. from Charles Dickens’ novel, Bleak House. The animation, by a creative crew called Rufflebrothers (Mark and Tim Ruffle), covers the life of Charles Dickens. As a simple cartoon, it’s droll — notice Dickens’ siblings dropping dead in an early scene. As a piece of history pedagoguery, it’s brilliant. [It’s Flash animation, and I can’t copy it to paste a sample.]

(I can’t find this animation on the PBS website for Bleak House — but there is another, simpler timeline, covering Dickens and more authors.)

Watch the British animation of Dickens’ life, then go back and take it scene by scene. A pocket watch allows you to see what else was happening in history at that moment. Careful linking allows you to get much more detail — in the scene where his siblings are shown dying (as they did, in fact), the feature gives the details of each of Charles’ brothers and sisters, opening a door of new understanding for the inspiration of the characters in Dickens’ work (It was originally Tiny Fred? Really? After Dickens’ younger brother Frederick?).

Imagine such an animation for the life of George Washington, or for the life of Abraham Lincoln, or Henry Ford, Queen Victoria, Sam Houston, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, or Albert Einstein.

What in the world can we do to encourage BBC to do more like this? Who else can get in on the act?

What other treasures await you at the Open History Project?

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