Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Eddie Rickenbacker in the "Great War"

PBS "American Experience" "The Great War" documentary discussed Rickenbacker, a World War I Army hero that the USAF has co-opted.

1. The professor asserts that the USA [ Democrat Party controlled ] government greatly censored news available about the war to the general public. They cherry picked which service members should be hyped as heroes

This video only had 29 views

If they are heard by the American public, that's because they think that's a story they think they will latch onto. Eddie Rickenbacker absolutely a case in point. He is one of the most all American heroes of the war.

Narrator: Eddie Rickenbacker had been fighting the odds his whole life.  His father died young, so Eddie had to drop out of school in the seventh grade and help feed the family.

Narrator: After working at a foundry, a brewery, a shoe factory, and a monument works, he wound up in the Columbus Buggy Company where he fell in love with their latest product: automobiles.

John F Ross: Rickenbacker found himself at a moment in American history when cars were going fast enough to race and automobile manufactures wanted cars to race so that they could sell them.  And here's this kid with not much to lose and everything to gain.

Narrator: By the time war broke out, Rickenbacker was a celebrity.

Narrator: He'd raced in the Indianapolis 500 four times and ranked third nationally.  But he also had an accent and a German name.

Thomas A Hoff: Even though he's born in the United States he grew up in a family that spoke a combination of German and English and he grows up with a bit of an accent.  And in fact when war breaks out there was a [spurious] news story that actually he was the son of a German baron and he had been disgraced and sent to America to prove himself.  and so he was actually "von Rickenbacker".

Narrator: As anti German hysteria swept the United States, the 27 year old arranged a meeting at the War Department [now the Department of the Army] determined to prove his loyalty.

Ross: He figures that all his buddies on the racing circuit should be the guys who are going to be pilots [not such a bad idea considering the wash out rate for pilot training] of these new airplanes so he marches into Washington D.C.

For some reason this video had over thirty times more views than the other videos in this thread, 650 views at the time of this transcription

Ross: He says, I've got a plan for you. And they listened to the way he spoke, he mangled his English, and they laughed at him.  They basically told him to get out of there.

Narrator: Rickenbacker wouldn't quit [if at first you don't succeed, try, try again]

Narrator: He went to France as a driver with General Pershing's delegation, a few weeks after America entered the war.  Through sheer perseverance, he qualified as a pilot and was assigned to a fighter squadron in the Spring of 1918. It was a dubious prize.  The life expectancy of a new combat pilot was 20 days. But the same combination of recklessness and calculation that had marked his career on the race track, served him well in the air.

Narrator: He downed his first German airplane on April 27, 1918 and never looked back. As Rickenbacker's score mounted, the public fell in love with him.

Ross: These aviators really invented the new icon of American manhood.  Ultimately, the old stereotypes of cavalry leaders and chargers and lumberjacks and cowboys gave way to the modern era

Ross: And what was that? Well, it was a pilot with his silk scarf and his goggles.

Ross: You see the beginnings of "The Right Stuff" right here. American manhood redefined.

Narrator: A working class hero was a reflection on the changing nature of the air war. Where early pilots had reveled in the image of the gallant, chivalrous airman, Rickenbacker had seen too many friends go down in flames to romanticize combat flying.  He called it, "scientific murder," and was constantly refining methods to make it more scientific, and more murderous.  "Most of the pilots he killed, never knew what hit them,"  a fellow airman recalled.

This video only has 13 views for some reason

Narrator: Out of the sun, a quick burst, then gone.

Ross: What makes him a great fighter pilot is his understanding that there was a science to flying and maybe because it was because he was a little older. Maybe it was because he had faced death a few times, he had different perspective. He understood the limits of his aircraft and he was going to use it as the tool it was designed to  be.

NARRATOR: Although the papers tracked the leading pilots' scores like a sports rivalry, the day of the solo air ace was over; the era of the air force had arrived.  When America declared war, its air force consisted of 55 airplanes, 51 of which were obsolete. By the fall of 1918, the United States Air Service comprised    740 front line aircraft and 200,000 men.  Operations were carried out  by ever larger formations, coordinated with movements on the ground.  Rickenbacker's scientific approach to combat flying was perfectly suited to this new air war.  He was promoted to squadron leader, ahead of more senior pilots, on the eve of the Meusse Argonne offensive. "The squadron began to love him," another pilot recalled.   "I don't know how to explain it. At first he was just an uneducated tought bastard who threw his weight around the wrong way. But he developed into the most natural leader I ever saw."

Ross: When a pilot took command of a squadron, the often lay back, didn't fly as much, were more cautious. Eddie actually flew more when he became the commander of the 94th.  And I think it was that willingness to tangle, to teach novices, to let them take a kill that he set up, to fly more than anybody, to log more hours

This video received 29 views:

Ross: That really made people come to regard him with such high esteem.

Narrator: Among other things, the fighter squadrons had to blind the enemy to American troop movements and to their perilous supply lines.  A week into the offensive, Rickenbacker led a flight of 24 fighters on a mission to bring down two German observation balloons.  He assigned three planes to shoot down the balloons while the rest of the group provided cover from carefully designated positions.  Rickenbacker flew thousands of feet above and behind the formation. So high that the lack of oxygen left him light-headed, while the freezing wind was an agony.  But from there he could survey the action like a general behind the lines.  As the Americans approached the balloons, Rickenbacker spotted eight German Fokkers racing in from one direction, and eleven from another.  Their red paint identified them as the most famous fighter unit of the war: the Flying Circus.

Ross: The Red Baron started the Flying Circus.  By the time Eddie Rickenbacker and the Americans hit the front line, the Red Baron had already died [been killed by the allies], he was shot down, himself.  But all of his Flying Circus members, all of his squadrons that he had trained were still very much alive and were very experienced. And they were a frightening thing to behold in their Fokkers all colored in bright scarlet paint.

Narrator: Rickenbacker dove to warn the others.  He and the Flying Circus arrived at the same time. and the sky became a swirling mass of airplanes with tracer bullets streaking in all directions.

This video only received 26 views

Narrator: Rickenbacker quickly set one of the Fokkers on fire and watched as the pilot bailed out.  Moments later, on of his comrades went down in flames.  For him, there was no escape. 

Ross: In World War I, the American pilots were not issued parachutes tough very serviceable parachutes existed.  But the American headquarters believed that parachutes would give them a sense of being defeatist and they would bail out of the airplane at a moment's notice.

Ross: This, of course, caused Eddie Rickenbacker to do back flips, he was so angry seeing so many of his men die who could have survived with that. 

Narrator: Each American pilot was left to plan his own death should his plane catch fire.  Some carried pistols to shoot themselves.  Others preferred to jump.  Rickenbacker planned to inhale the flames, he'd heard that shortened the agony.  Right now, he wanted no more of this huge dog fight miles behind enemy lines.  He coolly shepherded the group back towards friendly territory until the Germans finally broke off the fight.  Eddie's careful planning and cool head had proved more than a match for the virtuosity of the Flying Circus.  His squadron downed nine enemy aircraft that day, while losing just two [did he achieve the original mission of shooting down the German observation balloon?] It was a sign of things to come.  As American pilots fought for control of the skies, a very different struggle was unfolding below in the mud and darkness of the Argonne Forest. 

Although the documentary doesn't state whether Rickenbacker's squad achieved its mission of downing the German observation balloon, the Rickenbacker wikipedia article asserts that he achieved the reputation of a balloon buster over his military career;

Rickenbacker's amazing rise to success from blue collar worker to WWI flying ace is even more remarkable when placed in contrast to the stunning failures of many Harvard Ivy League graduates, supposedly the best and the brightest in America, to even earn their pilot wings, let alone make it into combat, let alone survive long enough to become an ace.

From Howe, Mark A. DeWolfe. Memoirs of the Harvard Dead in the War against Germany. III, Harvard Univ. Press, 1922.

An ivy leaguer who was killed in a training accident. Never saw combat:

Another ivy leagurer managed to pass flight training but died on his first combat patrol, possibly due to a fainting spell

Another ivy leaguer killed in training exercises

Another ivy leaguer killed in a training accident

Another ivy leaguer killed in a training accident

Another ivy leaguer killed in  a training flight

So the PBS documentary condescending attitude that Rickenbacker with his purported "mangled English" only received recognition because the Democrat controlled media deigned to recognize him is simply not true. Rickenbacker earned his officer's commission, pilot's wings, and promotions on his own talent and initiative, without the unfair manipulation from the media.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Sammy Davis Jr sings "Old Black Music" on #IDreamOfJeannie

In case link breaks:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

#ThingsILearnedFromPBS the Norwegian roots of the song "Mockingbird Hill"

#ThingsILearnedFromPBS the Norwegian roots of the song "Mockingbird Hill"

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Nietzsche was wrong-sometimes what doesn't kill you makes you weaker

From PBS "American Experience" "The Great War: 1918" documentary

Poor Fred Wadsworth relates his experience as a US Army ambulance driver during World War I:

Narrator: More than 30% of all casualties were caused by poison gas. Both sides used it.  In the first week of the Meuse-Argonne attack the American lines were heavily saturated.   Though everyone had a gas mask, there had been little training in the identification and detection of types of gas.

Wadsworth: I went in down into where the gas was and the gas was about three feet all over the ground -- it was yellow, real yellow.  And I had my mask on, I knowed what it would do. So I drove in there but I had to turn around down in there so I could load my patients to go bring them back out. And there wasn't one of those fellows had a gas mask on down in there, not one.  And that mask was there and the lieutenant says, "Oh, it's mild, that won't hurt you! Get that...."  He swore. And made me take mine off. So I goes to work and I said...I took this mask off then I went back in three or four more times then I  landed in the hospital.

Shpancer, Noam. “What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Weaker.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 21 Aug. 2010,

Friday, July 6, 2018

#ClassicArtsShowcase clip on subliminal influence of Aaron Copland music

A clip from documentary "Aaron Copland: A Self-Portrait"(1985)
Aaron Copland, composer (1900-1990)
His film scores ('The Heiress', 'Of Mice and Men') & 'Lincoln Portrait' (Leonard Bernstein, cond.)
Commentary by composers Jacob Druckman, Lukas Foss, David Diamond & William Schuman
Directed by Allan Miller
Films for the Humanities & Sciences

Narrator; Copland's interest in reaching the American public also extended to the movies.

Copland: "The Heiress", I'm happy to say, won my an Academy Award for the score.

Copland: There was a scene where she was supposed to be taken very seriously by the audience and to the dismay of the producer and director of the film [ William Wyler ], when they tried it out, as they always do in some little theater outside Hollywood, the audience laughed at her when she was stood up.  And the producer came to me and said, 'Copland, you've got to do something to save this scene. If the laugh at her at that moment, we're finished!' So I completely threw out the music I had written for the scene and wrote a much more dissonant sounding music than would be normal in a music house. [I saw a documentary that illustrated this precise fact, showing how using alternative music to "The Heiress" evinces different emotions, but I don't remember the name of said documentary] By golly, when they got to that scene, there wasn't a sound in the house.  Same scene, and, of course, I'm sure the audience didn't know music was being played, they were so involved. But there was something about the tenseness of the music that didn't suggest anything funny.  And it worked!

Narrator: In 1940, Copland's music for "Of Mice and Men" was central to the film's emotional impact. Although Copland never held a regular university position, he loved teaching. At the Tanglewood Music Center, Copland taught for twenty-five summers.

Narrator:  If you were a young composer, Tanglewood was the Mecca

Narrator: Copland helped launch the careers of several generations of composers. Many of today's major figures came under his influence.

Jacob Druckman: Tanglewood, in those years, was one of the most glamorous places ever. Just coming down from the top people closest to me, my immediate predecessors, were Lenny Bernstein and Lukas Foss who were outdoing themselves in talent and glamour and generally just radiating excitement. And of course, right in the middle of all of this was Aaron.

Narrator: Compose/conductor Lukas Foss

Foss: Aaron was in his advice to a young composer always very functional.  He never made prophecies, big statements.  He would say, 'What about this note? What about this instrument? I don't think that that combination of instruments is right for what you're saying in that bar.'

Leonard Bernstein:  When I would come with my new piece, or half of a new piece, or an idea for a new piece, and he'd say, 'Throw away it's warmed over [Alexander] Scriabin

Copland: [laughs]

Bernstein: Just start all over again! Forget it!

Bernstein: Or, he'd say, 'That's good! That bar - those two bars are good. Throw everything else away and do something about that.'

David Diamond: When he would look at my music, play it through, or when I would play it through with him. He'd say, 'Now, David Diamond,  I want you to be more [ soucieux ?]. You've got to be more self critical. You write too much.'

William Schuman: He didn't want to turn you into another little Aaron Copland. He wanted to try and help you achieve whatever it was he thought you were about. And that was extraordinary.

Narrator: Now the central figure in America's music, Copland made his patriotic contribution his own way with "Lincoln Portrait." It's narration was drawn from the own words of Abraham Lincoln.  And literally hundreds of distinguished Americans have narrated "Lincoln Portrait" since its premiere in 1942.

Copland [reciting "Lincoln Portrait"] Abe Lincoln was a quiet and a melancholy man.  But when he spoke of democracy, this is what he said. He said [from August 1, 1858: On Slavery] , 'As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is not democracy.'

Narrator: Despite this overt patriotism, [Copland] was accused of disloyalty by Senator Joseph's McCarthy's House on UnAmerican Activities Committee.

[As a youtuber noted, this makes no sense. McCarthy was a senator and didn't served on HUAC]

Foss: To cast doubt on the Americanism of the composer of "Lincoln Portrait" is really extremely foolish. But you couldn't laugh about that.  Nobody could.

Copland: I just felt like kind of a pawn in his machinations, I'd call them. How he happened to arrive at me I don't have any idea.  But uhm it wasn't a very pleasant thing to go through.  However, one goes through it and lives on. So that was that.

Copland [continuing reciting "Lincoln Portrait"] [from the "Gettysburg Address"] And that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Thursday, July 5, 2018

#AllenWest Critiques the #ReligionOfPeace

Allen West was unPC in his Independence Day sermon at Dr. Michael Youssef's church:

Youseff: Demand knowledge of who your real enemy is.  And I'm going to set this video [from "Reclaim American Liberty: Economics, Security, Sovereignty" January 2010 New York ]  and then I want you to watch.

Questioner: This question is mainly for the warriors. We were talking about how to identify the enemy.  And last week, Helen Thomas, when her question was, ‘Why do they wanna do this?’ And the answer was, you know, ‘Well, because there’s this warped version of Islam that is motivating them.’ And her question, again, was, ‘Why? Why would they warp a religion?’  What do you say to people who will jump through any mental hoops in order to make us the bad guy? 

Lt Col Allen West: Let me say this, and this, I don’t care about being popular, whatever.  The first thing you gotta do is you got to study and understand who you’re up against.  And you must realize that this not a religion that you’re fighting against.  You’re fighting against a theo-political belief system and construct.  You’re fighting against something that’s been doing this thing since 622 AD, so 7th century, 1,388 years.  You wanna dig up Charles Martel and ask him why he was fighting the Muslim army at the Battle of Tours in 732? You want to ask the Venetian fleet at Lepanto why they were fighting a Muslim fleet in 1571? You wanna ask the Christian — I mean, the Germanic and the Austrian knights why they were fighting at the Gates of Vienna in 1683?  You wanna ask people what happened at Constantinople and why today it’s called Istanbul?  Because they lost that fight in 1453. You need to get into the Quran.  You need to understand their precepts.  You need to read the Sura.  You need to read the Hadith, and then you can really understand, this is not a perversion.  They are doing exactly what this book says.  [ audience applauding ] 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ungrateful French repay American kindness with More Officious Condescension

From PBS "American Experience: The Great War"

Original Wharton text from Wharton, Edith. “FIGHTING FRANCE FROM DUNKERQUE TO BELPORT.” Gutenberg, Project Gutenberg, 8 Aug. 2009,

Blythe Danner as Edith Wharton : At worst they are like stone-yards, at best like Pompeii. But Ypres has been bombarded to death, and the outer walls of its houses are still standing, so that it presents the distant semblance of a living city, while near by it is seen to be a disembowelled corpse. 

Wharton: Every window-pane is smashed, nearly every building unroofed, and some house-fronts are sliced clean off, with the different stories exposed, as if for the stage-setting of a farce....

Wharton: with a little church so stripped and wounded and dishonoured that it lies there by the roadside like a human victim.

Narrator: In the Spring of 1915, one of America's most famous novelists embarked on a tour of the Western Front. Edith Wharton had come on her own initiative to deliver medical supplies, take photographs, and write letters and articles for publication back home about what she called 'the dreadful realities of war.' 

Narrator: For seven months, Wharton followed the track of the German invasion describing 'the huge tiger scratches that the German beast flung over the land.' She stopped to visit French troops who wrote <>in chalk on her car and got close enough to the front lines to peer out at a dead German soldier sprawled across No-Man's-Land. 

Narrator: 'I had the sense of an all pervading, invisible power of evil,' she remembered.   'A saturation of the whole landscape with some hidden vitriol of hate.' 

Dude: Edith Wharton, she's symbolic of a lot of Americans who were living in France, already had a deep passionate interest in France, a deep love of France.  They'll able to make clear exactly what's happening.  And the important thing about this is it's coming from an American voice.  

Narrator: At the outset of the war, Wharton had organized a series of  American hostels to shelter the wave of dislocated families pouring into Paris.  In little more than a year, her relief had provided clothing and jobs for more than 9,000 refugees and served nearly a quarter of a million meals.   She also begged Americans at home to help finance her efforts.  'For heaven's sake,' she wrote to a friend, 'proclaim everywhere  and as publicly as possible what it will mean to all that we Americans cherish in England and France go under.' In June, Wharton arrived in Dunkirk immediately after the town had been shelled   by the Germans.  'The freshness of the havoc seemed to accentuate its cruelty,' she wrote.   The hospitals in Dunkirk were struggling to absorb  the casualties from artillery but they were also confronting the effects of a shocking new weapon that had just been introduced [gas warfare]. 

So, after the USA spent blood and treasure defending French borders in both World War I and World War II, the French now try to guilt trip the USA into completely surrendering our national sovereignty by adopting open borders.

From Byerly, Ross, et al. “The Great Humanitarian: Herbert Hoover's Food Relief Efforts.” Metamorphoses Project:Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA , 20 Nov. 2006, one/befr.htm. Special thanks to Craig Wright, Maureen Harding, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & Museum

The French mooched food from the United States during World War I, and instead of either paying the USA back, or even paying our charity forward to other countries in need, the only thing the snotty cheapskate loan defaulting French know how to do is try to guilt trip the USA into spending even more of our own money on other random ungrateful foreigners:

Through these extensive undertakings, 3 billion dollars were spent delivering 11 million metric tons of supplies to the countries in need. The United States funded most of the money, though some others, like Britain, did help out a bit. Belgium and France tried to cover the cost of the food relief efforts by taking out loans. However, during the Great Depression, the loans were deserted.

From Vive L'Am├ęrique: Les ├ëcoles Fran├žaises Accueillent Les Am├ęricains.” Mission Centenaire 14-18,