David is shown his Doctor Who action figure for the first time…its sooo cute (and his accent…YUM!)
“I don’t think of myself as a hero. No, only dead people are heroes.”
Dieter Dengler (22 May 1938–7 February 2001) was a German-born US Navy pilot on the USS Ranger who, during the Vietnam War, became a POW after taking part in a bombing sortie.
Born in the Black Forest region of Germany right before the outbreak of World War II, Dengler never knew his father as he had been KIA while serving in the Wehrmacht. His grandfather, however, was a political enemy of the Reich after being the only person in the town to have not voted for Adolf Hitler. This is an important detail in Dengler’s life because when he was taken as a POW by the VC, his grandfather’s resolve against the Third Reich was what drove him not to sign the document that would send him home but at the same time would denounce the United States’ involvement in Southeast Asia. He refused and was imprisoned.
A guest of the Pathet Lao prison camp, Dengler was one of the seven men to escape the Laos camp. However, only he and one other man are known to have survive the initial escape. Dengler spent nearly 23 days on the run in the jungle, surviving the wilderness, roaming VC units and starvation before being able to signal rescue with the use of a parachute. When rescued, it was discovered he suffered from starvation, dehydration and held the weight of 93lbs.
He was the first US airman to escape after six months of torture and imprisonment.
After being rescued and given medical attention, a disagreement as to who should handle his debriefing occurred between the USAF and USN. In the end, the US Navy sent in a team of US Navy SEALs who literally stole Dengler from the military hospital. Hidden in a gurney, Dengler was taken out to the airfield, put onto Navy carrier delivery transport and flown to the USS Ranger where a welcoming party was set up.
He stayed with the US Navy for a year, earning the rank of Lieutenant before retiring. In his life he survived another four plane crashes as a civilian test pilot. He died in February 2001 at the age 62.
His story has been featured Werner Herzog’s 1997 doc Little Dieter Needs to Fly, Herzog’s feature length film Rescue Dawn, Dieter’s own biography Escape from Laos and Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War
Georgia Democrats held a hearing today in the state House on an anti-vasectomy bill, which aims to point out the hypocrisy inherent in a majority male legislature restricting the reproductive rights of women.
“Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” bill author Rep. Yasmin Neal (D-Riverdale) said in a statement. “It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women’s ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States.”
At the heart of the purposely ludicrous protest is House Bill 954, which seeks to criminalize abortions from the point at which “the fetus can sense pain.” According to the legislation’s author, Rep. Doug McKillip (R-Athens), his bill would make abortions illegal seven weeks prior to the limit set by Roe v. Wade.
McKillip took issue with the anti-vasectomy bill, saying it “make[s] light of something as important as protecting life.” House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams countered that McKillip’s bill is hypocritical.
“If we follow his logic,” she said, “we believe it is the obligation of this General Assembly to assert an equally invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of men and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men.”
McKillip, formerly a Democrat, made headlines in 2010 for switching parties shortly after being elected chairman of the Democratic caucus.
What a great way to spend New Years Day - walking in the woods w/the boy and the pups. By rights we should have been bundled up and freezing but not with this wacky weather!!! These pomapoos are the greatest!
Twee Overload of the Day: (500) Days of Summer co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel cover “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Frank Loesser of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” fame.
Earlier: Zach Braff and Donald Faison cover “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”