Filed under: Canada, Europe, Freedom, History, Military, The United States, United Kingdom | Tags: Eleven Months After D-Day, Seventy-Two Years Ago, The "Thousand Year Reich"
Seventy years ago this June 6, the Americans, British, and Canadians stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest amphibious invasion of Europe since the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece in 480 b.c.
About 160,000 troops landed on five Normandy beaches and linked up with airborne troops in a masterly display of planning and courage. Within a month, almost a million Allied troops had landed in France and were heading eastward toward the German border. Within eleven months the war with Germany was over.
Eleven months to reduce the “Thousand Year Reich” to rubble. From the archives:
Berlin After the War, An Archive of Photos, newly Discovered in 2010
The soldier with the Iron Cross on his chest lies in the middle of the street. His steel helmet has rolled away. The Red Army Soldiers are turning him onto his back and cleaning their weapons. They take no notice of the photographer kneeling to take the picture. He’s already taken dozens of shots today — this time he’s just chosen a corpse for the foreground.
It’s a scene from the final days of the World War II, taken somewhere in the center of Berlin. For decades this picture , along with thousands of others lay in the archives of a Berlin publishing house. Unnoticed. It is only now that the collection has come to light.
The pictures capture a moment in the city that had reached the end of 12 years of dictatorship and a devastating war: Signs of those final battles, of death, destruction and hopelessness — but also of life growing once again among the ruins. They are photos that portray a grotesque normalcy, in contrast to the better-known images of heroic liberation and optimistic reconstruction. They provide documentation of the city”s downfall in the blink of an eye between an end and a beginning. A Berlin that was just beginning to free itself from its lethargy.
The sampling of the photos is fascinating. And the book will fill a gap in the history of the War. For history buffs, I highly recommend Antony Beevor’s The Fall of Berlin 1945. And from John Keegan’s The Second World War:
On the 26th of April, 464,000 Soviet troops, supported by 12,700 guns, 21,000 rocket-launchers and 1500 tanks, ringed the inner city ready to launch the final assault of the siege. The circumstances of the inhabitants were now frightful. …Food was running short, so too was water, while the relentless bombardment had interrupted electrical and gas supplies and sewerage; behind the fighting troops, moreover, ranged those of the second echelon, many released prisoners of war with a bitter personal grievance against Germans of any age or sex, who vented their hatred by rape, loot and murder. …
The cost to the Red Army of its victory in the siege of Berlin had also been terrible. Between 16 April and 8 May, Zhukov, Konev and Rokossovsky’s fronts had lost 304,887 men killed, wounded and missing, 10 per cent of their strength and the heaviest casualty list suffered by the Red Army in any battle of the war. …
Peace brought no rest to the human flotsam of the war, which swirled in hordes between and behind the victorious armies. Ten million Wehrmacht prisoners, 8 million German refugees, 3 million Balkan fugitives, 2 million Russian prisoners of war, slave and forced labourers by the million — and also the raw material of the ‘displaced person’ tragedy which was to haunt Europe for a decade after the war — washed about the battlefield. … in the Europe to which their soldiers had brought victory, the vanquished and their victims scratched for food and shelter in the ruins the war had wrought.
Filed under: Canada, Europe, Freedom, History, Military, The United States, United Kingdom, World War II | Tags: Major Werner Pluskat, Nazi Germany, The Greatest Generation
Filed under: Africa, Australia, Canada, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor, Latin America | Tags: Mother's Day, The Animal Kingdom, Wild Mothers
Keep going, there’s more after the fold
Filed under: Africa, Bureaucracy, Canada, Domestic Policy, Energy, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline, PowerAfrica Pipeline, TransCanada Corporation
Five days ago I wrote a post on TransCanada Corp.’s two new lawsuits against the Obama Administration’s denial of the Keystone XL Pipeline for the long drawn-out, multi-year rejection of the pipeline. One lawsuit filed in a Houston Federal Court, states that President Obama exceeded his authority in November when he blocked the pipeline’s construction, the other, separately filed, is an international petition under NAFTA seeking to recover $15 billion in costs and damages incurred in its attempt to build the cross-border pipeline.
Today, it seems that the same Obama Administration that rejected the Keystone XL pipeline has no problem at all in supporting a new oil pipeline project in Kenya. U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec told Kenya’s energy minister that the Obama Administration would help Nairobi raise $18 billion to finance its PowerAfrica project. The pipeline, the Wall Street Journal reports, would stretch from Kenya’s Rift Valley to Lamu on the coast. Mr. Godec said that “Kenya needs $18 billion worth of financing, so one of the questions we are discussing is how we can work together with the private sector and governments to raise that sum, to find ways to make certain that this financing becomes available.”
Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. is obliged to treat a Canadian company in the same way it would treat an American company. The case may well succeed because of the extraordinary regulatory barriers the U.S. imposed on the investment. It’s clear that President Obama blocked the project on arbitrary political grounds. The resolution of these two cases will be interesting to watch. A oil pipeline would undoubtedly help Kenya, but I’m not sure it should be financed with taxpayer dollars.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Canada, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Environment, Foreign Policy, Global Warming, Junk Science, Law, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: NAFTA, The Keystone XL Pipeline, TransCanada Corporation
TransCanada Corporation has filed two major legal challenges to the Obama Administration. TransCanada is the company that has waited patiently while the Obama Administration played politics with the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The first lawsuit was filed in a Houston federal court stating that President Obama exceeded his authority in November when he blocked the pipeline’s construction.
The company separately filed an international petition under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking to recover the $15 billion in costs and damages which it incurred in its attempts to build the cross border pipeline. What a colossal mess the Obama administration made of the U.S. end of that project.
I’m on TransCanada’s side in this one. I’ve been writing about it ever since the first proposal. It has always been a matter of politics. Obama’s green supporters are violently opposed to the pipeline, mostly because they don’t like petroleum and want it to stay in the ground. Their science is that deep. Also Hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer promised $100 million to the Democrats if they just continued to oppose global warming. (I don’t know if he gave them the money) The unions desperately want the 13,000 construction jobs promised by the project, and the 118,000 estimated spin-off jobs as well. Obama responds that the jobs are just temporary, but all construction jobs are temporary. Skills learned on one job make you more eligible for the next.
“TransCanada’s legal actions challenge the foundation of the U.S. administration’s decision to deny a presidential border crossing permit for the project,” the Calgary, Canada-based company said in a statement.
“In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project,” it continued. “Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the administration’s leadership on climate change and the president’s assertion of unprecedented, independent powers.”
Obama has asserted his power to decide the fate of the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline because it would have crossed an international border — an argument TransCanada said is not supported by the law, the Constitution or NAFTA.
The oil was always going to go to market. Obama’s denial meant that it would go by train, much more dangerous than supposed pipeline leaks, for rail is subject to derailment, as has happened too many times. The State Dept. approved it twice, then disapproved it. The route was changed slightly to allay worries from Nebraska, and from Indian tribes.
For the Obama Administration politics rules in all cases. What is supposed to come first is the welfare of the American people. It’s really that simple.
Filed under: Bureaucracy, Canada, Democrat Corruption, Energy, Foreign Policy, Free Markets, Intelligence, Iran, Law, Politics, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: No Effect on Climate Change, Pompous Pandering Job Killer, What Global Leadership?
Obama announced on Friday that “the State Department would not permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the project’s completion would rob the U.S . of the moral authority to pressure other countries toward action on climate change.”
“If we’re going to prevent large parts of this earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky,”
Oh please! What a load of what we used to call, politely, road apples. Of course Obama would blame it on the State Department, which had previously approved the Keystone twice, once under Hillary and once under Kerry. Even the State of Nebraska has approved it.
Imagine, we have denied oil market access to our ally Canada, along with access to our refineries, but granted it to Iran.
The Canadian oil will go to market. It is going to market now, by rail. I heard there was a derailment today, but no spill this time. It is safer, considerably safer, by pipeline. It’s not as if we didn’t have all sorts of pipelines already, quite safely. Moving oil through a pipeline does not release CO2 to the atmosphere, and if it did, it would be a good thing. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is plant food, and makes plants grow. More food to feed a hungry world.
The oil refineries in the Gulf have tripled their processing supplies of Canadian crude since 2010 to more than 300,000 barrels a day. The urgent need for the pipeline is down because of the decline in oil prices from $100 a barrel to $45, which puts a damper on future growth.
The Seaway Crude Pipeline System (SCPS), commonly called the Seaway Pipeline transports crude oil between Cushing, Oklahoma and Freeport, Texas to the Texas City, Texas Terminal and Distribution System on the Gulf Coast.
For many years the Seaway shipped oil north to Cushing, but in June 2012, the flow was reversed to ship oil south out of Cushing instead. President Obama flew to Cushing a while back, for a photo-op in front of a bunch of big oil pipes.
And America’s ‘Global Leadership’ is becoming more and more of a joke. ” And frankly,” Obama said, “approving this project would have undercut that global leadership.” More likely Tom Steyer’s money.
House speaker Paul Ryan described Obama’s decision as “sickening” in a brief statement. “By rejecting this pipeline, the president is rejecting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. He is rejecting our largest trading partner and energy supplier,” Ryan said. “He is rejecting the will of the American people and a bipartisan majority of the Congress. If the president wants to spend the rest of his time in office catering to special interests, that’s his choice to make. But it’s just wrong.”
Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America said “The president nay be celebrated by environmental extremists, but with this act, President Obama has also solidified a legacy as a pompous, pandering job killer.” Ouch!