Commencement Address of the Year, Perhaps the Decade

Admiral William McRaven gave the commencement speech at the main graduation ceremony of the University of Texas at Austin (his alma mater).  His topic is life lessons from Navy Seal school.  Unlike most commencement speeches, there aren't any platitudes, just hard lessons learned from a hard existence.

It's a fascinating insight into the hardest training in the world, and he pulls universal truths out of various challenges that he and every candidate have faced in order to become a Navy Seal.  I find it awe inspiring that we have men who are willing go through such privations in order to serve us!

This had been all over the internet, and chances are that you have already seen it multiple times.  If you haven't invested the 20 minutes to watch it, DO IT NOW!  You will thank me when you do.

I put this up so that I can easily find it when I invariably want to watch it again. :-)

Hook 'em, Horns!

posted by Mike at 7:18 AM 0 comments


Obama's West Point Speech on SP-117

 What if Barack Obama had given his West Point commencement address after taking Truth Serum? You don't have to wonder; Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club has posted that speech in his blog post Brother Rat.   It begins:

Thank me. Thank me so very much. Even though this is ostensibly a graduation speech it is really about me. My ratings have been slipping of late and my media advisors said a photo-op in Bagram and a speech at West Point will boost the polls by about 3 points. Among you is the first all-female command team, which I mention as an accomplishment, since there’s nothing else I can boast of. You are the first class to graduate since 9/11 who may not be sent into combat in Iraq or Afghanistan though you will probably see action elsewhere, as everything is going to hell in a handbasket. But I mention it as another kind of fake accomplishment, the only other thing I can think of other than the all-female command team.
And he goes on, including:
The world seems to be going down the tubes with accelerating speed. The Chinese are expanding in the South China Sea, the Japanese are rearming, North Korea is preparing another nuclear missile test and Iran’s supreme leaders has just said America must be destroyed. But under these appearances everything is going to plan. Power is being redistributed at rate never before known in history. And that’s how you make things better. It will be your generation’s task to accept temporary sacrifices, in which for the first time you will seem poorer than your parents; be the first generation of West Pointers to be everywhere on the defensive, be the first Americans whose fundamental duty is groveling in public.
It goes on in damning fashion, concluding:
We have been through a long season of war. And I managed to lose them all. I just want you to remember, in case you feel like blaming me, that it’s Bush’s fault.
The long gray line has never failed us though the long line of gray politicians always has.  The twilight is here. The country you once fought for has vanished – tone and tint. It has gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. And we stand upon a the threshold of a new era. A fundamentally transformed America. But in the evening of my administration I come back to West Point to borrow from you some vestige of the luster and honor which I have never had myself.
Always there echoes and re-echoes in my ear: “three polling points, three polling points”. Believe me when I say I need you more than you need me. But I want you to know that when I board the plane to attend the next fundraiser, my last conscious thoughts will be those another West Point Graduate said here 52 years ago. ”These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.” Yours not to reason why, yours but to do or die.
Fernandez does to Obama what Satan did to Mohamet in Dante's Inferno. Read the whole thing.

posted by Mike at 12:21 PM 0 comments


“By my apostolic authority I command you… RISE!”

 Father Z is always a great read, but this made me laugh out loud!

posted by Mike at 6:55 PM 0 comments


The Ultimate Two Minute Tour of Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker needs to add these guys to the Dept. of Tourism payroll ASAP!

This video highlighted many of the reasons to vacation in Wisconsin, including:

- Lambeau Field
- Fishing
- Shooting guns
- Swimming
- Golf
- Kegs
- Observation posts
- Giant Muskelunges
- Capital (Brewing)
- Ducks
- and more beer than you can imagine!

The thing is a virtuoso performance all around.  They went all around the state (check the map montage) and passed a whole lot of beers with only one incompletion (did you spot it?).

Bravo, men!

h/t Vanderleun who really should have given this the Something Wonderful monicker!

Update: Sweet mother of cheese curds!  There is an outtake real:

Did you spot the Hodag?

posted by Mike at 3:21 PM 0 comments


Suor Christina - God works in strange ways

There's an old saying that "God works in strange ways".  It may sound trite, but if you pay attention to life, you will see those strange ways everywhere.

Here is a fun one that popped up in Italy a few weeks ago:

What?  The Voice Italy?  Really?  That is strange, but Tell me that didn't move you.  I watch it now and it brings me to tears.  Wow!

And did you notice the effect it had on her eventual coach, J-Ax.  Tell me those tears aren't a religious experience!

The next week...

Suor Christina offers a fist bump?  Those tricky Papists and their mind games!  It seemed pretty close until the last note, when Suor Christina blew the top off of it!  And who can resist the Sisters in the crowd?

As to the choice of songs (Girls Us Want To Have Fun), it is The Voice, and the producers make a lot of those choices.

Mariah Carey's Hero allows Sr Christina to show off her talents.  Not religious, but not sacrilegious.  Her competitor was pretty good, but not good enough.  And completely unfortunate posture during the judges' comments... I felt sorry for her, because she had that look like she knew she was beat, but had to spend 5 minutes on stage before hearing the final verdict.

And then this:  What A Feeling from Flashdance

(Secret HD Link) You have to love the energy of this song, even if you don't love the dancing.  This video was posted Wednesday, and she wasn't eliminated, so To Be Continued!

posted by Mike at 8:23 PM 0 comments