Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Patriots (part 4) - Pearl Harbor - 75 years ago

USS Arizona/wikipeida.com
75 years ago...

Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

So began President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's speech to a joint session of congress, asking for a declaration of war, the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
[reference: Pearl Harbor Speech: Day of Infamy ]

And below is a scene from the the movie, aptly titled, Pearl Harbor (2001) :

So began the United States involvement in World War Two on the fronts: the Atlantic and the Pacific.
[reference: World War Two ]

FDR's speech expresses America's will to triumph grounded in faith of God's help as well as faith in the military and we, the people.

With confidence in our armed forces - with the unbounding determination of our people - we will gain the inevitable triumph - so help us God.

The scene below shows the determination of FDR following Pearl Harbor and his push for a plan to strike back at the heart of Japan:

That plan came to fruition in April of 1942 as the Doolittle Raid. It was led by Jimmy Doolittle, which became known as Thirty Seconds over Tokyo.  The attack was a psychological blow for the Japanese.
[reference: Jimmy H. Doolittle ]

And three years later came total victory over Japan, known as V.J. Day. And the moment was captured in this iconic picture:

Kissing the War Good-bye/wikipedia.com

But 75 years ago, FDR and the  men and women who served, home and abroad, were determined to win and prevailed during those dark days.

They all were patriots.


Previous posts in series:

Patriots (part 1) - Taps (2016)

Patriots (part 2) - D-Day Courage  (2016)

Patriots (part 3) - Signers of the Declaration (2016)


photos: USS Arizona/wikipeida.com
             Kissing the War Good-bye/wikipedia.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pop Culture (part 3) - It's Gonna Be All Right

John Lennon/everystockphoto.com

Angry men! 

That could sum up the White Working Class during the 2016 election cycle.

And the Harvard Business Review has an excellent article about this constituency that felt disenfranchised for years:

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class (November 10, 2016)

And in the spirit of the age, some have felt drawn to this popular song from the musical, Les Miserables (2012).

A song of angry men

Based on the Victor Hugo novel, the setting for the musical is during troubling times in France.


The novel spanned the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the Bourbon Restoration, to the July Monarchy. [ reference: France in the Long Nineteenth Century ]

And during the July Monarchy, the workers revolted against their abysmal conditions.  The scene in the video clip above reflects this protest.

Then in...


This theme was picked up by some Trump supporters. Especially, after half of his supporters were described as a basket of deplorables:  Les Deplorables (September 16, 2016)

America has known turbulent times.  Just look back to the last century ...

The 1960s 

The unpopular Vietnam War sparked many protests and riots. The decade witnessed the assassination of many leaders: President John F Kennedy (1963), civil rights leader the Reverend Martin Luther King (1968), presidential candidate Senator Robert F Kennedy (1968). [ reference: America's Best Timeline (1960 - 1969 ) ]

Angry men...angry peoples... Even a call for....


And the Beatles, one of the icons of the era, had their take on the angry men of the time. It was even called  Revolution (1968) .

They put out this song answering the question about the Vietnam War. All the protests. All the riots. And their response in the lyrics is a surprising call for reason.

Let's take a closer look at them.

The entire lyrics can be found here: Beatles - Revolution Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here's my comments on some of the meanings of the words.

* Point 1

You say you want a revolution
You tell me that it's evolution
We all want to change the world

 Revolution and evolution can be a good thing.
(Something we've heard a lot about in the past few election cycles.)
Hope and Change
Good intentions, right? 
Change the world for the better

* Counter Point 1

But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

Violent protests, riots, vandalism, looting?
Allegedly sparked by grievances, real or imagined.
Especially when a group doesn't get their way ...
Like an election?

Count me out!

* Point 2

You say you got a real solution
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
We're doing what we can

Of course, we want solutions to our vexing problems.
Social, economic, judicial, educational,...you name it.

What's the plan? 
How do we fix it?
Of course it will take effort, time, and money.
We'll do what we can.

* Counter Point 2

But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait

Hate is not the answer.
So often those who protest against hate 
seem to be the most hateful, don't you think?

It's calling out all the poverty pimps, fakers, charlatans
shaking us down for money 
Those who came to do good 
and did very well (for themselves) indeed.

* Point 3

You say you'll change the constitution
We all want to change your head

Yes, there's been a call to change the rules.
For example, abolishing the Electoral College, 
requiring an amendment to our Constitution.

And changing minds in the body politic.

* Counter Point 3

You tell me it's the institution
You better free you mind instead

Some claim our institutions are broken
Infected with white privilege.
The opposition is labeled as
 racist, homo-phobic, sexist...

yada, yada, yada

Those preaching tolerance
lecture those who disagree

Consider freeing your mind instead.

Like being truly open minded yourself.

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow

Chairman Mao was China's dictator in the 1960s.
He brought about the Cultural Revolution 
as well as the deaths millions of his own people.
[ reference: Mao Tse-Tung ]

Oppression, suppression, death...
No, not this.

* Conclusion

Don't you know it's gonna be
All right...

In spite of all the turmoil, heated rhetoric, protests...
There's an optimism in these lyrics.

Even a faith expressed in a Higher Power.

After this election and the comings years...

It's Gonna Be All Right.


It's Gonna Be All Right!



photo: John Lennon/everystockphoto.com