Monday, May 31, 2010

salute to our fallen

As we enjoy the rest of this Memorial Day weekend, please enjoy this repost of one of our most requested and commented-on posts from the past few years by our very own Wolf Flywheel. Also, please remember the reason behind this day and take a moment to reflect and pray for the fallen and their families. And thank a soldier and their families for their current service.

As we fire up the grills today and enjoy family and friends I challenge us all to remember those for whom this day began. For centuries man has engaged in battle. Since time began there has always been a group somewhere who took up arms to defend their own or others who could not do so for themselves. Today we remember those who undertook this duty for our nation, but did not live to return home. I am not ashamed to say that as Americans, we live in the greatest nation on this green earth. God smiles on this country and those who feel otherwise can go jump in a lake.
The Declaration of Independence and Constitution alike are documents inspired of God and we live under the protection of their great canopy today. Lets take today to enjoy our freedoms and remember those who stand watch and hoist that canopy for us.

There is the famous phrase "All gave some and some gave all..". We hear it now and then and most of us pay little attention. Today is the day we remember those who gave all. My grandfather fought in and was wounded in the invasion of Italy in WWII. He is with us today because our family is greatly blessed. There are those who fought alongside him who never made it back to their families. I once heard him talk about the horrors of war saying that since returning home he has thought "Why did I survive? Why is it that when I was injured that I came out OK yet there were so many others who never made it past 19 or 21 years of age and returned home dead." He told me once that he had a great friend in his unit from Tennessee. He said they fought together in North Africa and into Italy. After he was wounded, he was taken to a field hospital and then to Charleston, S.C. to recover. Once he had gained his bearings in Charleston, he says he went to great lengths to check on the status of his friend who was still fighting overseas. In the process of doing so, he discovered to his horror that his unit had gone on to spearhead an attack on a city held by the Nazis and was almost completely wiped out. The list of casualties included his friend. This caused him to wonder why he survived and why he wasn't dead with his friend. I know he is grateful that he is here with us today, but I understand why he has had concern in the past.

There are those who have gone on before who died for the cause of our freedom or for the freedom of another. I don't care what your politics are. Whether it's our freedom or the freedom of some other nation, it is still freedom. People say that our soldier are dying for nothing in Iraq, but I say that disrespects the fallen who went out and put their life on the line for the freedom of another. No soldier ever died for nothing as long as they believed in the cause for which they fought. Let us put partisan views aside today and remember those who will never make it home. For the sake of their memory and the honor of their families, let us join together this day in a moment of silence to remember those who have fallen. I know we've all seen this video clip of the soldier returning from Iraq and surprising his son. As a father of two boys, I know what it is to enjoy the love of your children. In my career I have had several instances where I thought that I might not have made it home to see them again. Luckily I'm still with my family, but as we watch this clip today, let's think of what it is like for all of those little boys and girls past and present who won't get to hug mommy or daddy again. Let's think that even though our soldiers fight for freedom right now in another country, they still fight and die for freedom. Let's honor them for their courage and sacrifice and let's think about what it means when we hear "some gave all".

In America you can go on the air and kid the politicians, and the politicians can go on the air and kid the people.

Please feel free to comment if the need strikes you.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. ."

Friday, May 28, 2010

where have all the loopholes gone?

...Not very far, I assure you. Yes, dear Shelfers, we have been on somewhat an unintended hiatus. I could go into the many fascinating reasons, but will not- instead I humbly apologize for my absence and hope you can forgive old Uncle Loophole. Having been consumed with work and various other projects that have demanded my attention, I still have been taking snippets of time to check in on our fellow bloggers and try to keep up with the many things going on.

It is Memorial Day weekend, and I will re-post one or two favorite related articles from the past over the course of the next couple of days. I hope you will enjoy them. We have always supported and have great respect for our troops and I know that many of you out there do as well. So I wouldn't be surprised to know that while there will be many cookouts, etc- many of you will also be displaying the flag, thanking troops, attending parades, and some will be visiting the gravesides or memorials lost in thought. Let us all say a prayer and give a thought to those we've lost and all those out there still serving and defending.

Meanwhile, allow me to point your television clickers to several things being shown this weekend on TCM:
72 Hour Memorial Day Weekend Movie Marathon: Well that just says it all, doesn't it? Many of your favorites will be on this weekend, as well as a few that don't get too much play very often. Here is the schedule (all times est), plus one or two highlights for the old DVR:

Friday May 28th:
6 am: The Lost Patrol (1934): John Ford's film has been both heavily knocked and praised by critics and Ford fans alike. I happen to really enjoy of lot of Ford's earlier work. While not certainly not polished like later films, this one is full of raw edge and nerves. A British patrol is riding through the desert, when their leader (who is the only one who knows their mission) is killed by a sniper. Although a sargeant is able to lead them to an oasis, no one knows where they are to go next, and they becomed pinned down by the mysterious sniper. Featuring great performances from Boris Karloff and Ford troop regular, Victor McLaglen.

7:15 AM Dive Bomber (1941)

9:30 AM Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)

12:00 PM Command Decision (1948)

2:00 PM God Is My Co-Pilot (1945)

3:30 PM Battleground (1949): William Wellman directs this wonderfully taut and thoughtful (yes, I said it) film about a group of men from the 101st Ariborne, trapped in the Bastogne in 1944- commonly known as the Battle of the Buldge. Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore and John Hodiak lead a cast portraying a group of men, different from one another, but working together to survive the snow and the Germans.

5:30 PM Sergeant York (1941)

8:00 PM Stalag 17 (1953)

10:15 PM The Great Escape (1963)

1:15 AM The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

4:00 AM King Rat (1965)

Saturday May 29th:
4:21 AM U.S. Army Band (1943)

6:30 AM You're In The Army Now (1941)

8:00 AM Buck Privates (1941): Always a Loophole household favorite, two street hustlers (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) mistakenly join the Army while trying to evade a policeman, who turns out to be their drill sargeant. This film really brought Bud and Lou into the spotlight and led to them becoming one of the biggest box office draws of the 1940s. Buck Privates also laid the groundwork and became a template for so many more wartime comedies. The film also features an always welcome performance by the Andrews sisters as well.

9:30 AM In Harm's Way (1965)

12:30 PM Battle Of The Bulge (1965)

3:30 PM The Battle Of Britain (1969): Sir Laurence Olivier, Trevor Howard, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer star in this greatly compelling film about the defense of England against the Nazi Blitz. This film is a technical marvel as well. Months were spent assembling the cast, crew, extras, vintage planes, and even had several veteran flying aces, German and British, from the actual blitz itself as technical advisors. Some felt the film contained too much, and was almost overbearing in it's story structure- but it delivered such a visually intense drama and story, that's hard to overlook. Directed by Guy Hamilton and produced by Harry Saltzman, the team who were responsible for Goldfinger and several of the James Bond films of the time.

5:45 PM Midway (1976)

8:00 PM The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)

11:00 PM Pride of the Marines (1945)

1:15 AM Birdy (1984)

3:30 AM Let There Be Light (1946)

4:45 AM The Secret Invasion (1964)

Sunday, May 30th:
6:30 AM Battle Cry (1955)

9:00 AM Short Film: Picturesque New Zealand (1952)
9:17 AM Short Film: Nostradamus And The Queen (1953)

9:30 AM Darby's Rangers (1958)

11:50 AM Short Film: Operation Dirty Dozen (1967)

12:00 PM The Dirty Dozen (1967) You know the names and faces: Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Richael Jaeckel, Telly Savalas and more. This was one of the first World War II era films I ever saw, and it is one of my grandfather's favorites. I know I saw it at least 5 or 6 times just with him- more on my own.

2:45 PM The Guns of Navarone (1961)

5:30 PM The Green Berets (1968)

8:00 PM Mister Roberts (1955)

10:15 PM Operation Petticoat (1959)

12:30 AM Four Sons (1928)

2:45 AM Paisan (1946)

5:00 AM Nazty Nuisance (1943)

Clint Eastwood Marathon
On Monday, May 31st, TCM will air a marathon in tribute to Clint Eastwood's 80th birthday and will feature many of his films including: The Man with No Name Trilogy, Where Eagles Dare, Hang 'Em High, Kelly's Heroes and more. The star attraction of the day will be the TCM premiere of the recent documentary about Clint: The Eastwood Factor. This was included in the massive Warner Brother's DVD set: Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years at Warner Bros. I watched an advance copy of the film and it's terrific- many film clips and interviews, talks with Clint at home and at work, giving a glimpse into the man and also into his ideas and thoughts on not just his films, but the industry as well. Very much worth your time, and space on your DVR, especially if you (like me) aren't able to get the mega DVD giftset.

Well Shelfers- I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day and this weekend. There is plenty to see on TCM, but there is plenty of time to spend with family and loved ones and time to remember those who gave their lives to defend us and our country. After all, you can always DVR and record the movies- precious time with others only gets recorded in our hearts after we have spent it.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Throw your chest out! Go on! Throw your chest out! - I'm not through with it yet!


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