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Franklin bifocals Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scientist Joseph Henry    Scientist Joseph Henry statue at Smithsonian
[1797 - Joseph Henry, scientist, born in Albany, New York]

Poet John Greenleaf Whittier
[1807 - John Greenleaf Whittier, poet,
born in Haverhill, Massachusetts]

Conductor Arthur Fiedler
[1894 - Arthur Fiedler, conductor, born in Boston]

[1903 - First powered airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina by Wright Bros.]
The Wright brothers airplane

Wright Brothers make first sustained powered flight
[1903 - First successful powered airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina by Orville & Wilbur Wright]

Writer Erskine Caldwell
[1903 - Erskine Caldwell, novelist, born in Moreland, Georgia]

Nobel Laureate Willard Libby
[1908 - Willard Libby, Nobel prize-winning scientist,
born in Grand Valley, Colorado]

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN
[1941 - Admiral Chester W. Nimitz named Commander in Chief,
US Pacific Fleet, to relieve Admiral Husband Kimmel]

Writer William Safire
[1929 - William Safire, journalist, author, born in New York City]

Bluesman Paul Butterfield
[1942 - Paul Butterfield, blues musician,
born in Hyde Park, Chicago]

[1991 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev agree to dissolve the Soviet Union by the new year]

Heroes All

In the Old Navy it only took ten days for the leadership to figure out that the Admiral who permitted December 7, 1941, to live in infamy should be canned and replaced by a competent officer. In this century we rewarded the failed leader who permitted September 11, 2001, to live in infamy by giving him an additional four years in office so that he could pin medals on his pals. Recall that President Bush in his second term awarded the Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian honor this nation can bestow) to three individuals. In one ceremony he made heroes of George Tenent, the former intelligence chief whose junk information about WMD led to the disastrous war in Iraq, Tommy Franks, the former general who was rolled by the pentagon into accepting an inadequate force to secure that country after it was captured, and Paul Bremer, the ambassador who bungled the occupation and allowed it to degenerate into chaos and insurgency.

The Medal of Freedom

William's Whimsical Words:

In the Bush-Cheney administration no good deed was unpunished, and no failure went unrewarded.

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