Darrell “Shifty” Powers

I haven’t been keeping up on things recently, but I was forwarded this earlier today.

We’re hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell “Shifty” Powers.


Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle”, the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . ” at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.

I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said “I also made a second jump into Holland , into Arnhem .” I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France , and he said “Yes. And it’s real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take his in coach.

He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17, 2009 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center .

No wall to wall back to back 24×7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

And that’s not right.

Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way.

Rest in peace, Shifty.


Powers, Darrell C..: Awarded two Bronze Stars, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge, and Expert Rifleman Badge. Discharged in 1945. Moved to California becoming a mechanist. Then moved back to hometown and worked at Clinchfield Coal Company for 33 years. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_living_Band_of_Brothers_veterans )

Dr. Paul’s House floor remarks on the bailout

Dr.Paul’s House floor remarks on the bailout

September 29th, 2008 by Matt Hawes

Dr. Paul gave a quick speech on the House floor this morning concerning the bailout.
Due to the nature of the debate today, he didn’t have time to read his full remarks, which were put into the congressional record and are featured below:

The process of this bailout reminds me of a panic-stricken swimmer thrashing in the water only making his situation worse. Even a “bipartisan deal”—whatever that is supposed to mean— will not stop the Congress from thrashing about.

The beneficiaries of the corrupt monetary system of the last three decades are now desperately looking for victims to stick with the bill after they have reaped decades of profit and privilege.

The difficulties in our economy will continue because the Legislative and the Executive branches have not yet begun to address the real problems. The housing bubble’s collapse, as was the Dot Com bubble’s collapse, was predictable and is merely a symptom of the monetary system that brought us to this point.

Indeed, we do face a major crisis but it is much bigger than the freezing up of Wall Street and dealing with worthless assets on the books of major banks. The true crisis is the pending collapse of the fiat dollar system that emerged after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971. Continue reading

Georgie, we hardly knew ye.

I wasn’t quite ready, again.

Two weeks before Christmas, 2005, nearly 3 years ago now, I got a phone call that would prove as devastating as any I’d ever recevied:  After an aduous, lengthy battle, my good friend Richard Pryor had passed away.  Although Rich had been sick, and we’d all seen him in worse health, we weren’t quite ready to let go.  Still, we knew it was coming.  It struck me like a brick in the chest, and I was morose for weeks – the typical reaction that someone has when one of their heroes has died.  Rich and I had stayed in touch pretty regularly via Jennifer, sharing our mutual fondness for critters.

I didn’t know George Carlin quite so intimately, but his name was ALWAYS right behind Pryor’s when anyone asked me who my favorite comedians were…. Continue reading