NRO Slideshows

Animal Selfies

Meet the Internet’s new most famous face and a sample of a perhaps inevitable phenomenon — the animal selfie. Here’s a look.
Uploaded: Feb. 27, 2014


Cartoon of the Day
Oct. 20, 2014
The Obama Warning System, by Michael Ramirez (October 20, 2014)
Ebola Gay, by Michael Ramirez (October 17, 2014)
Like Ostriches, by Michael Ramirez (October 16, 2014)
Dems 2014, by Henry Payne (October 15, 2014)
Back in Demand, by Michael Ramirez (October 14, 2014)
Porous Borders, by Michael Ramirez (October 13, 2014)
Protecting POTUS, by Michael Ramirez (October 10, 2014)
Got Yer Back, by Henry Payne (October 9, 2014)
Michelle’s Detector, by Henry Payne (October 8, 2014)
Under Control, by Michael Ramirez (October 7, 2014)
Footprints, by Michael Ramirez (October 3, 2014)
Hong Kong Café, by Henry Payne (October 2, 2014)
The Duck Stops Here, by Michael Ramirez (October 1, 2014)
Boots, by Michael Ramirez (September 30, 2014)
Holder Resigns, by Michael Ramirez (September 29, 2014)
Latte Salute, by Michael Ramirez (September 26, 2014)
Climate Summit, by Henry Payne (September 25, 2014)
Flood Wall Street, by Michael Ramirez (September 24, 2014)
The U.K., by Henry Payne (September 23, 2014)
The Hoax, by Michael Ramirez (September 22, 2014)
The Lap Dog, by Michael Ramirez (September 19, 2014)
The ISIS Strategy, by Michael Ramirez (September 18, 2014)
Space Taxi, by Henry Payne (September 17, 2014)
ISIS, by Michael Ramirez (September 16, 2014)
Apple Watch, by Henry Payne (September 15, 2014)
A Grave Threat, by Michael Ramirez (September 12, 2014)
Treating ISIS, by Michael Ramirez (September 11, 2014)
Ray Rice Penalties, by Michael Ramirez (September 10, 2014)
Rising Sun? by Michael Ramirez (September 9, 2014)
Daily Briefing, by Michael Ramirez (September 8, 2014)
iCloud, by Michael Ramirez (September 5, 2014)
Al Gore’s 2014 Prediction, by Henry Payne (September 4, 2014)
JV, by Michael Ramirez (September 3, 2014)
Happy Labor Day, by Michael Ramirez (September 1, 2014)
Going Solo, by Michael Ramirez (August 29, 2014)
Burger King Moves to Canada, by Henry Payne (August 28, 2014)
Regional Threat, by Michael Ramirez August 27, 2014)
Ferguson, by Michael Ramirez August 26, 2014)
My Thoughts Are with You, by Michael Ramirez August 25, 2014)
Investigating Abuse, by Henry Payne (August 22, 2014)
JV . . . by Michael Ramirez August 21, 2014)
Urgent Matters, by Michael Ramirez August 20, 2014)
Sectarian Tensions, by Henry Payne (August 19, 2014)
Between Iraq and a Hard Place, by Michael Ramirez (August 18, 2014)
Mind if I Play Through? by Michael Ramirez (August 15, 2014)
Fun • ny, by Henry Payne (August 14, 2014)
Tax Inversion, by Michael Ramirez (August 13, 2014)
Mission Iraq, by Henry Payne (August 12, 2014)
Trampled Under Foot, by Michael Ramirez (August 11, 2014)
Friendly Fire, by Michael Ramirez (August 8, 2014)
WHUAC, by Henry Payne (August 7, 2014)
Kerry, 1943, by Henry Payne (August 6, 2014)
What Cold War? by Michael Ramirez (August 5, 2014)
Regime Change, by Michael Ramirez (August 4, 2014)
Good News, by Michael Ramirez (August 1, 2014)
Incompetent, by Michael Ramirez (July 31, 2014)
Little Dutch Boy, by Michael Ramirez (July 30, 2014)
Perch, by Henry Payne (July 29, 2014)
Human Shields, by Michael Ramirez (July 28, 2014)
Putin’s Reset, by Michael Ramirez (July 25, 2014)
Presidents During a Crisis, by Michael Ramirez (July 24, 2014)
Wide Open, by Michael Ramirez (July 23, 2014)
Transparent, by Michael Ramirez (July 22, 2014)
Out, by Henry Payne (July 21, 2014)
Why? by Michael Ramirez (July 18, 2014)
LeBron, by Henry Payne (July 17, 2014)
Ha-Mas, by Michael Ramirez (July 16, 2014)
The Pawn, by Michael Ramirez (July 15, 2014)
Tear Down This Wall, by Michael Ramirez (July 14, 2014)
Obama’s Katrina, by Michael Ramirez (July 11, 2014)
Before and After, by Michael Ramirez (July 9, 2014)
I Don’t Know Why They’re Flooding the Borders, by Michael Ramirez (July 8, 2014)
Equal Justice, by Henry Payne (July 7, 2014)
The Times, July 4, 1776, by Henry Payne (July 4, 2014)
Happy Birthday, America, by Michael Ramirez (July 3, 2014)
Help Center, by Michael Ramirez (July 2, 2014)
5-4, by Henry Payne (July 1, 2014)
Rip Van Media, by Michael Ramirez (June 30, 2014)
The Piñata, by Michael Ramirez (June 27, 2014)
The Plan, by Michael Ramirez (June 26, 2014)
Red . . . by Henry Payne (June 24, 2014)
Iran to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 23, 2014)
White House to the Rescue, by Michael Ramirez (June 20, 2014)
Gap, by Henry Payne (June 19, 2014)
Baghdad Bobama, by Michael Ramirez (June 18, 2014)
Missing, by Michael Ramirez (June 17, 2014)
Dead Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 14, 2014)
Clinton Problems, by Michael Ramirez (June 13, 2014)
To Faithfully Execute . . . by Michael Ramirez (June 12, 2014)
Broke, by Michael Ramirez (June 11, 2014)
Talking Bergdahl, by Michael Ramirez (June 10, 2014)
Lemon, by Henry Payne (June 9, 2014)
The Imperial President, by Michael Ramirez (June 6, 2014)
Cutting Carbon, by Henry Payne (June 5, 2014)
The Obama Emporium, by Michael Ramirez (June 4, 2014)
After You, by Michael Ramirez (June 3, 2014)
It Was the Weather, by Michael Ramirez (June 2, 2014)
The West Point Address, by Michael Ramirez (May 30, 2014)
First Read About It in the Newspaper, by Michael Ramirez (May 29, 2014)
General Motors Theater, by Henry Payne (May 27, 2014)
Freedom, by Henry Payne (May 26, 2014)
Hope . . . by Henry Payne (May 24, 2014)
Fallen Soldiers, by Michael Ramirez (May 23, 2014)
Outraged? by Lisa Benson (May 22, 2014)
Obamacare, Brought to You by . . . by Henry Payne (May 21, 2014)
Now You Know How We Feel, by Michael Ramirez (May 20, 2014)
#You Think? by Michael Ramirez (May 18, 2014)
#BringBack . . . by Michael Ramirez (May 16, 2014)
Gospel Reading, by Michael Ramirez (May 15, 2014)
Today’s Lecture, by Henry Payne (May 14, 2014)
Truth, by Michael Ramirez (May 13, 2014)
Clinton Celebrity Gala, by Henry Payne (May 12, 2014)
Segregation, by Michael Ramirez (May 10, 2014)
Weather, by Michael Ramirez (May 9, 2014)
Under the Rug, by Henry Payne (May 7, 2014)
What Kind of Country? by Henry Payne (August 7, 2014)
Photoshop of the Day
Oct. 20, 2014
Klain’s Experience, by (October 20, 2014)
CDC’s Parallel Bus Universe, by (October 17, 2014)
Operation Inherent Resolve, by (October 16, 2014)
The Kiss, by (October 15, 2014)
ISIS Wakeup, by (October 14, 2014)
Dogs of War, by (October 13, 2014)
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Airborne Disease, by (October 9, 2014)
Enterovirus, by (October 8, 2014)
Empty Chair, by (October 7, 2014)
That Lincoln-Obama Comparison, by (October 3, 2014)
Gaza West, by (October 2, 2014)
Fight for Empty Shelves, by (October 1, 2014)
JV Locker Room, by (September 30, 2014)
Same But Different, by (September 29, 2014)
Climate Change, by (September 26, 2014)
Problem Solved, by (September 25, 2014)
Feet of Clay, by (September 24, 2014)
Belling the Cat, by (September 23, 2014)
Enablers Anonymous, by (September 22, 2014)
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Team Work, by (September 17, 2014)
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9-11, by (September 11, 2014)
Torch of Liberty, by (September 10, 2014)
The Unbearable Lightness of . . . by (September 9, 2014)
Broken Window, by (September 8, 2014)
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Dr. Obamastein, by (September 4, 2014)
Ascension, by (September 3, 2014)
Electric Vehicle Charging Station by (September 2, 2014)
The Great Escape, by (August 29, 2014)
Press Secretary, by (August 28, 2014)
Chain of Custody, by (August 27, 2014)
Cheshire Embrace, by (August 26, 2014)
A Push, by (August 25, 2014)
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Ghosts, by (August 20, 2014)
Social Justice, by (August 19, 2014)
In-Person Meetings, by (August 18, 2014)
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They Can Wait, by (August 14, 2014)
Don’t Tug on Superman’s Cape, by (August 13, 2014)
Emerald Gaza, by (August 11, 2014)
Bicycle, by (August 8, 2014)
The Voter Fish, by (August 7, 2014)
Scandal Goalie, by (August 6, 2014)
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Gaza Aid, by (August 4, 2014)
Don’t Shoot, by (August 1, 2014)
Minaret Missile, by (July 31, 2014)
Punch, by (July 30, 2014)
The Offering, by (July 29, 2014)
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Iceberg, by (July 23, 2014)
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The Bear Is Loose, by (July 21, 2014)
Farther Apart, by (July 18, 2014)
Secure? by (July 17, 2014)
So Many Scandals . . . by (July 16, 2014)
Mainstream, by (July 15, 2014)
Kidsnado, by (July 14, 2014)
Break Shot, by (July 11, 2014)
Pawns, by (July 10, 2014)
Ship of State, by (July 9, 2014)
Coyote, by (July 8, 2014)
Obama’s Pipeline, by (July 7, 2014)
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Blocked Shot, by (July 2, 2014)
The Obama Legacy, by (July 1, 2014)
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2.9, by (June 26, 2014)
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Cooperation, by (June 24, 2014)
Battle Ribbons, by (June 23, 2014)
Iraq Advisors, by (June 20, 2014)
Stuff Happens, by (June 19, 2014)
Invisible Hand, by (June 18, 2014)
Ping-Pong Bomb, by (June 17, 2014)
On Advice of Council, by (June 16, 2014)
Borders, by (June 13, 2014)
Bumping the Board, by (June 12, 2014)
Obama’s World, by (June 11, 2014)
Business Regs, by (June 10, 2014)
Sock Puppet, by (June 9, 2014)
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Implementing Obama’s Foreign Policy, by (June 5, 2014)
Bergdahl Makes His Way Home, by (June 4, 2014)
Broken Mirror, by (June 3, 2014)
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Train of Thought, by (May 27, 2014)
Memorial Day, 2014, by (May 26, 2014)
Tea Party, R.I.P., by (May 23, 2014)
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Caution, by (May 21, 2014)
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Meme Watch: Inherent Resolve?
Oct. 20, 2014
Weeks after he announced a military campaign to “degrade and eventually destroy” ISIS in Iraq and Syria, President Obama finally got around to actually naming that campaign: Inherent Resolve. Not everyone was impressed, and some took to Twitter to vent their flummoxed reactions and suggest some snarky alternates. Here’s a sampling, illustrated by NR.
“#InherentResolve... because #Meh was already taken.” (Brad Thor, @BradThor)
“The name Operation #InherentResolve sounds like it was dreamt up in a faculty lounge. Oh, wait.” (Maria, @MiaVeritas)
“Operation Inherent Resolve: 24 luxurious family vacations 200 golf days 412 fundraiser parties” (Dethrone Harry Reid, @RufusKings1776)
“They’ve named the Iraq/Syria mission ‘Operation: Inherent Resolve.’ Fire your naming person, Pentagon.” (Ben Howe, @BenHowe)
“#InherentResolve sounds like a pretreatment regimen for your carpet.” (Jared Rizzi, @JaredRizzi)
“#InherentResolve New version of the hangover remedy.” (Lois McEwan, @LoisMcEwan)
“Inherent Resolve is the worst name since Quantum of Solace (David Rutz, @DavidRutz)
“’Inherent Vice' was already taken MT” (Siddhartha Mahanta, @sidhubaba)
“Operation #InherentResolve? I can hear #ISIS dropping their weapons and running already…” (Brad Thor, @BradThor)
“Operation #InherentResolve is now the name of our new war/not-war. Because nothing says resolve like weeks of indecision.” (Stephen England, @stephenmengland)
“What was it again? Indecipherable ineptitude? Perpetual reprieve? Endemic servitude ….” (Green Mama, @mariamousemum)
“Operation Inherent Resolve? Operation Enduring Ambivalence is more like it.” (Max Boot, @MaxBoot)
“Operation Message I Care” (Michael Watson, @MichaelWatsonDC)
“Yes, Obama's #InherentResolve is to tell the enemy EXACTLY what he will/will not do and completely rules of options altogether.” (Directive 10-289, @Major_Skidmark)
“Saudi Arabia looks set to carry out a moderate Sunni crucifixion. Relationship to #InherentResolve unclear.” (Reidar Visser, @reidarvisser)
“FWIW, I suggested Operation Insipid Beagle (she was really grating me on that day).” (George M. Perry, @AtlasCoached)
“Someone misheard the new name for the anti-Isis action - it's meant to be Operation Incoherent Evolve” (Toby Harnden, @tobyharnden)
“I still think we should've gone with "Operation You'll Never Guess How We Plan To Defeat ISIS." Click bait is all the rage” (Bluto, @BlutoGrandex)
“Of course, my proposed named for the fight against #ISIS was Inerrant Resolve. I can do no wrong!” (Obamas Amerika, @ObamasAmerika)
“When #InherentResolve is the winner, you wonder what the other entries looked like.” (Reidar Visser, @reidarvisser)
“#inherentresolve other suggested names: operation optional volition, operation torpid torpedo, operation dilatory determination” (#hodgster, @matt0dge)
“Obama has chosen to call his ‘strategy’ against ISIS ‘Inherent Resolve.’ Try not to laugh. Or cry.” (Ken Gardner, @kesgardner)
“#InherentResolve, because #ISIS beheadings create stubborn stains.” (NeanderthalPrivilege, @Shgamha)
“Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ beats Operation ‘Implied Consent’ by a nose!” (Jonah Goldberg, @JonahNRO)
“Best anagrams of Inherent Resolve: Revelers None Hit. Enthrones Eviler. Relieve Hen Snort. Overseer Then Nil.” (Michelle Malkin, @michellemalkin)
“My resolve is inherent / my rap game is apparent / y’all’s caliphate is errant.” (CJ Ciaramella, @cjciaramella)
“Operation Inherent Resolve is better than the original name, Operation I'm Sure The Iraqis Have Got This One” (SunnyRight, @sunnyright)
”OP Inherent Resolve” DOD-wordsmiths: Inherent: "vested in (someone) as a right or privilege.” Is this the message we should be sending?” (Aki Peritz, @AkiPeritz)
“New ISIS campaign name #InherentResolve anagrams to Re-enthrones Evil” (Pete Metrinko, @curiousergeorgg)
“#InherentResolve The new Thomas Pynchon novel.” (Ben Kirby, @ben_kirby)
“American name: Operation Inherent Resolve Kurdish name: Operation, Oh Too Late, We’re Already Dead” (Cameron Gray, @Cameron_Gray)
USS America
Oct. 18, 2014
The Navy commissioned its newest ship during the recent Fleet Week ceremonies in San Francisco, the first in a new era of surface warfare for the Navy and Marine Corps. Here’s a look at the USS America.
USS America passes under the Golden Gate Bridge on its way to Fleet Week and its formal commissioning. (Photo: MC1 Vladimir Ramos)
The crowd at dockside for the commissioning of USS America. (MC2 Class Jonathan A. Colon)
Sailors fire a salute from the 40mm gun battery in honor of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’s arrival for commissioning ceremonies. (Photo: MC1 Vladimir Ramos)
Marines run to man America as her commissioning ceremony concludes. (Photo: Corporal Rodion Zabolotniv)
AIRBORNE ARSENAL: USS America is the lead ship in a new class of assault ships that represent the future of the so-called “gator Navy” — ships that specialize in attacking land targets from the sea, a traditional Marine Corps role. She will replace the older Tarawa-class assault ships. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger)
Unlike other amphibious assault ships, America does not have a well deck — the hangar-sized waterline deck where ships can launch and recover a range of landing craft, hovercraft, and other boats to ferry troops and supplies to shore. Instead, the America is focused on air power. (Photo: MC1 Michael McNabb)
America is a “big-deck” ship optimized to deploy the Marine Corps’s MV-22 Osprey (pictured) and the upcoming F-35B Lightning vertical-takeoff jet fighter, as well as a variety of rotor-wing aircraft, giving it a wide range of strike, support, and reconnaissance capabilities. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
Previous amphibious landing ships have deployed helicopters and AV/-B Harriers. Dubbed “Harrier Carriers,” these were the first of a kind of mini aircraft carrier for the Marines. Pictured, two AV-8B Harriers land aboard USS Kearsarge. (Photo: Sergeant Ezekiel R. Kitandwe)
The new F-35 (pictured) will represent a leap forward in capability compared to the Harrier. The F-35 and MV-22 together add greatly increased speed and range to the America’s air arsenal.
According to the Navy, America’s typical aircraft complement will be: Ten F-35B strike fighters, twelve MV-22 Ospreys, four CH-53 Sea Stallions, eight AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, and three Navy MH-60 Seahawks. Pictured, an MV-22 Osprey with VMM-165 (the "White Knights") land aboard USS America. (Photo: MC2 Lewis Hunsacker)
These aircraft will speed elements of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force quickly ashore and provide control, resupply, close-air support, and extraction.
The view from the cockpit of an MV-22 OSprey as it approaches the flight deck of USS America. (Photo: MC2 Ryan Riley)
America will also carry some the Marine Corps's workhorse aircraft. Pictured, two CH-53E Sea Stallions with HMH-465 (the “Warhorses”) land on the flight deck of USS America. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
An AH-1W Super Cobra with HMLAT-303 (the “Atlas”) takes off from America’s two-acre flight deck. (Photo: Corporal Rodion Zabolotniy)
A Navy MH-60 Seahawk with HSC-21 (the “Blackjacks”) transports passengers to USS America. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
The F-35 is still undergoing testing with the Marines, Navy, and Air Force, and will be deployed aboard America once the Marines Corps stands up an operational squadron.
When needed, America could carry and deploy up to 20 F-35Bs at a time, making it a formidable aircraft carrier in the same league as the Navy’s massive supercarriers.
TOWER OF POWER: Running 844 feet and displacing some 50,000 tons, USS America (LHA-6) will carry a standard crew of 1,059 officers and enlisted, with a troop complement of 1,687. USS America will be home-ported in San Diego (Photo: MC1 Michael McNabb)
Lieutenant Matthew Lai monitors the horizon from the bridge of America as it transits the Straits of Magellan on the way to San Francisco. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
Air Traffic Controller Second Class Leslie P. Lewis watches the displays in the air traffic control center below deck aboard America. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
Marines assigned to Special Purporse Marine Air-Ground Task Force South conduct live-fire training exercises on the deck of America. (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
Marines assigned to Special Purporse Marine Air-Ground Task Force South line up to board an MV-22 Osprey on the flight deck of America during partner training with Colombian Marines, part of the “America Vists the Americas” leg of the ship’s journey to San Francisco for its formal commissioning. (Photo: Corporal Donald Holbert)
If anything gets past America’s awesome air power, the ship is equipped formidable defensive options, including two RAM and two Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missile launchers and three 20mm Phalanx close-in weapon systems (pictured). (Photo: MC3 Huey D. Younger Jr.)
America is the fourth Navy ship to bear the name. It’s immediate predecessor was the Kitty Hawk-class supercarrier commissioned in 1965 and retired in 1996.
Sailors stand for evening colors aboard USS America in San Francisco Bay during Fleet Week ceremonies. (Photo: MC1 Demetrius Kennon)
Movie Preview: Fury
Oct. 17, 2014
Brad Pitt leads a tank crew on a dangerous mission behind German lines in the final days of WWII in Fury. Here’s a look at the new war film and its steel-plated star, the M4 Sherman tank.
Fury takes place during the final Allied push into Nazi Germany in April 1945, following a Sherman tank (nicknamed “Fury”) with the Army’s Second Armored Division that is sent on a near-suicidal mission during the last desperate fallings of the dying Nazi war machine.
Staff Sergeant Don Collier (Brad Pitt), aka “Wardaddy,” is the commander of a Sherman tank crew that has survived three years of bloody fighting with only one crew casualty. Collier sums up their situation with the memorable phrase: “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”
Private Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is a rookie tank driver, a typist clerk who’s been in the Army just two months who is unprepared for combat.
Technician Fifth Grade Boyd Swan (Shia LeBeouf), called “Bible,” is the tank’s gunner and a pious soldier more apt to quote scripture than curse.
Private First Class Grady Travis (John Bernthal), also called ”Coon-Ass,” is a tank’s gruff loader and mechanic.
Corporal Trini “Gordon” Garcia (Michael Pena) is the tank’s lead driver, and a man coping with an alcohol problem amid the horrors of war.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Filmmaker David Ayer was a stickler for historical detail. The production used vintage Sherman tanks and also borrowed Tiger 131 from the Bovington Tank Museum, the first time an actual German Tiger tank has been used in onscreen.
Ayers talks with his stars on their main battle tank. The Sherman portrayed in Fury is the M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" model, which had an improved suspension and larger main gun compared to earlier versions.
The interior of the tank was built on a soundstage and was only slightly larger than the actual vehicle to allow the camera into tight spaces. Of the experience of working in such close quarters with other actors in a tank, Pitt told USA Today: “It is amazing how well you get to know each other, five men in a tin can.”
Fury was shot near Hertfordshire in England, standing in for the scenic countryside and mud-filled battlefields of Germany in April 1945. The area also offered an ample supply of WWII-era equipment and props.
BAND OF BROTHERS: Pitt described Wardaddy’s relationship to his crew to USA Today: “He loves them and wants them to live, but at the same time has to expose them to danger.”
Says Wardaddy: “The war’s gotta end, soon. But before it ends, a lotta people gotta die.”
Wardaddy and Bible have some tense words.
The stress of war pushes the men to the breaking point.
Travis takes a break.
The crew of Fury take a break from combat for a dinner with two German women in one of the film’s calmer interludes.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Early reviews for Fury have been very positive, with critics praising the film’s realism and unsparing look and combat, and singling out Pitt’s performance in the lead role as key the film’s dramatic impact. Here’s a look at some critical takes.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: “If memorable war movies mean something to you, open that book to a new page and add Fury to the list. It belongs there.”
Peter Dubruge, Variety: “These guys look and sound like they’ve been to hell and back (even pretty-boy LaBeouf, who appears with his face scruffy and teeth blacked out for the role). But don’t let the constant stream of personal, off-color insults fool you. Their views may differ, but they can agree on one thing: ‘Best job I ever had!’”
A.O. Scott, NY Times: “Within this gore-spattered, superficially nihilistic carapace is an old-fashioned platoon picture, a sensitive and superbly acted tale of male bonding under duress.”
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: “Pitt is terrific here as a seasoned pro who's tough because the war has made him so but clearly has a lot going on inside; there can be no doubt he's committed acts he regrets. As a brave, bold fighter and a thinking soldier to boot, he's exactly the kind of man you want on your side in a tight spot and whom you'd willingly follow into battle.”
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: “Fury is a good, solid World War II movie, nothing more and nothing less. Rugged, macho, violent and with a story sufficiently unusual to grab and hold interest, it's a modern version of the sort of movie Hollywood turned out practically every week back in the 1940s and 1950s.”
Ty Burr, Boston Globe: “Brad Pitt creates a warrior who is terse, sometimes noble, more often brutal. The movie as a whole tries to balance the standard veneration of the Greatest Generation with an acknowledgment that what war does to men is the opposite of great. You could call it ‘Glorious Bastards’ and you wouldn’t be far off.”
WORKHORSE OF WAR: The American M4 Sherman medium tank was the most widely used tank series of WWII, driven in combat by the American Army and Marine Corps as well as British, Canadian, and Free French forces. Pictured, a Sherman tank with the First Infantry Division at Gladbach, Germany. (US Army)
The Sherman saw action in every major theater of operation for American forces, fighting in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Western Europe and throughout the Pacific Theater. Pictured, M4 Shermans roll off a landing craft at Anzio, May 1944. (National Archives)
Sherman tanks accompany Canadian Seventh Infantry Brigade soldiers onto the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (National Archives of Canada)
A Sherman tank with the British 13th/18th Royal Hussars in action near Ranville just days after D-Day (IWM)
A Sherman M4A1 tank lands at Red Beach during the invasion of Sicily, 1944 (US Army Signal Corps)
Weighing more than 30 tons, the Sherman was capable of speeds of between 25 and 30 miles per hour. It’s offensive punch was provided by a 75mm main gun (later upgraded to a 76mm on some models, such as the one portrayed in Fury), as as well as three Browning machine guns. Pictured, a Sherman crosses a bridge at Kassel, Germany. (Army Signal Corps)
The Sherman’s strong points were speed and mobility, attained by limiting the thickness of the armor and the size of the main gun, which also allowed it to fire and reload faster. Pictured, Sherman tanks with the Ninth Queen’s Royal Lancers on the move at the Battle of Al Alamein, November 1942. (Imperial War Museum)
But in important ways the Sherman was outmatched and outgunned by the German Panther and Tiger tanks it faced, which could both shoot farther and with greater accuracy. Pictured, a Sherman with the British 24th Lancers passes a knocked-out German Panther tank near Rauray in France, June 1944. (IWM)
One advantage the Sherman did enjoy was sheer numbers: Between 1942 and 1946, more than 49,000 Shermans of various models were assembled in American factories. Pictured, U.S. Army 60th Infantry Regiment soldiers follow a Sherman tank during fighting in Belgium, 1944. (National Archives)
In the Pacific, the Sherman played a smaller but still important role during the amphibious campaigns of the Marine Corps. Pictured, Marines advance behind a Sherman tank dubbed “Lucky Legs II” at Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, March 1944. (National Archives)
The Sherman was also retrofitted to perform specialized roles. Pictured, a Sherman Crab Mark II minesweeping flail tank uses a chain to detonate buried mines. (IWM)
After the war, Shermans saw action during the Korean War, fighting alongside its successor vehicles the heavier M26 Pershing and M46 Patton main battle tanks. Pictured, a Sherman equipped with a flame throw in action during the Korean War.
The Sherman also fought in other conflicts around the world. Pictured, a Sherman tank amid other destroyed vehicles during fighting in the Suez Crisis in 1956.
The Fight Against Ebola
Oct. 16, 2014
Every day doctors and medical personnel confront the threat of the deadly Ebola virus in western Africa, donning elaborate protective suits to guard their own lives as they struggle to halt the spread of the deadly contagion. Here’s a look some images from the front lines of the Ebola crisis.
The current Ebola outbreak is the largest ever seen, with more than 8,000 known cases and more than 3,800 deaths. The CDC predicts as many as 1.4 million people could be infected by January, and the World Health Organization has warned that there are less than 60 days to contain the outbreak before it grows out of control.
GROUND ZERO: The western African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea remain the center of the current outbreak, and where the virus has taken the most lives. Pictured, Red Cross workers in Monrovia, Liberia, carry the body of a person suspected of dying from Ebola.
Residents pass a mural encouraging awareness of Ebola risks.
Relatives pray over a patient at Island Hospital’s Ebola treatment center in Monrovia.
Health workers aid a patient at the JFK Hospital’s Ebola clinic in Monrovia.
Ambulance-service workers escort a young girl, one of six people showing suspected signs of Ebola infection, to a clinic in Freeman Reserve, Liberia.
Doctors Without Borders in Monrovia staff prepare to bring an Ebola patient into the clinic.
A man uses a wheelbarrow to carry a woman with Ebola symptoms to Island Hospital in Monrovia.
A health worker interviews a sick man at the Ministry of Health in Monrovia.
A worker enters the high-risk area of the JFK Hospital in Monrovia.
Health workers at Island Hospital in Monrovia talk with a woman delivering food to relatives being cared for inside.
Doctors Without Borders staff prepare food for patients in the isolation area of an Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierre Leone.
A health worker with Doctors Without Borders holds a child suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus in Paynesville, Liberia, while they await test results.
A visitor is decontaminated at Island Hospital in Monrovia.
A medical staff member disinfects his Croix Rouge badge after handling the body of an Ebola victim in Monrovia.
A health worker in Monrovia sprays disinfectant on the body of a man suspected of dying from Ebola.
A Liberian Red Cross burial team in Monrovia prays before handling the body of an Ebola victim.
A burial team removes a body from the Port Loko District Hospital in Sierra Leone.
A burial team prepares an Ebola victim for internment in Port Loko.
A burial team with the Liberian Ministry of Health carry bodies onto a funeral pyre in Marshall.
Medical staff burn clothing belonging to Ebola patients at a Doctors Without Borders facility in Monrovia.
Workers burn medical waste at a Doctors Without Borders center in Conkary, Guinea.
U.S. Marines arrive in Monrovia to take part in Operation United Assistance.
A U.S. Navy microbiologist prepares to test blood samples at a mobile laboratory in Gbarnga, Liberia.
An American soldier washes his boots in chlorinated water outside a Navy mobile laboratory in Gbarnga.
UNITED STATES: As health authorities gear up for more potential cases, so far only a handful of Ebola-infected people are known to have arrived in the U.S., including several doctors and one Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan (pictured), who subsequently died. Two nurses who treated Duncan at a Dallas hospital have also tested positive for Ebola exposure.
An employee of the CG Environmental HazMat team disinfects the entrance to a private residence of a worker at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, where Duncan was treated.
Worker decontaminate an apartment in Dallas where Duncan had stayed after arriving from Liberia.
A hazard materials crew person removes items from Duncan's apartment.
A health-care worker wearing a hazmat suit carries waste from the clean-up operation.
Ambulance workers carry a patient with suspected Ebola symptoms at Harvard Vanguard in Braintree, Mass.
SPAIN: In a similar situation to the hospital in Dallas, Spanish nurse Teresa Romero Ramos became infected after treating an Ebola patient, Manuel Garcia Viejo. Pictured, an ambulance transfers Ramos to Carlos III Hospital in Madrid.
Ramos arrives at the Carlos III Hospital in an isolation chamber.
Workers look out from an isolation ward at Carlos III Hospital where patient Ramos was being treated.
A sanitation team member cleans the building where Ramos lives.
Doctors transfer Miguel Pajares, a Spanish priest infected with Ebola in Liberia, to an ambulance at the Terrejon de Ardoz military base. Pajares later died.
PREPARING FOR DISASTER: Hospitals and health-care agencies in the West and around the world are stepping up efforts to train and equip their staff to handle any possible Ebola infections and stepping up inspections and monitoring of international arrivals. Pictured, quarantine officers in Quingdao, China, board a cargo ship that has arrived from Sierra Leone.
A doctor wearing an isolation suit discusses Ebola treatment at Charite Hospital in Berlin, Germany.
Doctors don protective suits at Charite Hospital.
Doctors demonstrate cleaning protective suits at a disinfection chamber at Charite Hospital.
A researcher at work a the P4 European High Level Security Laboratory in Lyon, France.
Medical staff wear protective gear at the University Hospital Frankfurt.
Military personnel conduct training drills at the Biological Defense Center in Techonin in the Czech Republic.
An Italian Air Force soldier takes part in a training exercise for handling Ebola victims at the Pratica di Mare Air Base near Rome.
Staff from the North East Ambulance Service and the Royal Victoria Infirmary take part in a national exercise on Ebola readiness in Newcastle, England.
Staff at Hillington Hospital in Uxbridge, England, take part in a national exercise on Ebola readiness.
A nurse wears protective clothing at a special facility in the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Health-inspection officers in Shenzen, China, demonstrate the use of a negative-pressure isolation stretcher to colleagues at the Shenzen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
Volunteers train in Brussels, Belgium, in a replica of a Doctors Without Borders treatment center prior to traveling to West Africa.
Volunteer doctors headed to West Africa wait to be disinfected during training provided by the German Red Cross in Weuzberg, Germany.
Cinematic Contagions
Oct. 16, 2014
News images of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus may seem strangely familiar thanks to decades of horror films about killer diseases and zombie apocalypses. Here’s a look at how Hollywood has faced some of our deepest fears. (Pictured, 2011's Contagion)
Deadly viruses and zombie outbreaks are a mainstay of many horror and science fiction films, largely replacing invading aliens and classic monsters in the rogue’s gallery of modern B-movies. But in recent years they have become fodder for more mainstream releases starring major Hollywood stars.
The era of zombie pictures began in earnest with George Romero’s classic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead (pictured) and continues through the current hit TV series The Walking Dead. Both owe some of their inspiration to Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend, which itself spawned three different film adaptations.
Panic in the Streets (1950): Elia Kazan’s film noir follows a government health agent and a local police captain who scramble to contain an outbreak of pneumonic plague on the New Orleans waterfront, focusing on the bureaucratic turf battles between the locals and the federales, as well as the machinations of a recalcitrant reporter.
The Last Man on Earth (1964): The first big-screen adaptation of Matheson’s novel starred B-movie mainstay Vincent Price and emphasized the vampire angle of the infected hoards — right down to mirrors and garlic — for audiences perhaps more familiar with classic monsters than modern zombies.
The Omega Man (1971): Charlton Heston plays a scientist immune to a disease that has turned humanity into nocturnal baddies in this second Matheson adaptation. Holed up in his Los Angeles mansion/fortress, he plays chess with a plaster bust of Caesar, binge-watches Woodstock, and fends off a former television journalist turned zombie. So not much has changed for Heston.
The Andromeda Strain (1971): Based on the Michael Crichton novel, Robert Wise’s film takes a deep dive into the hard science of researching a deadly alien microorganism at a super-secret, super-advanced laboratory known as “Wildfire.” Fearful as the alien agent is, Wise also milks paranoia over secret government programs and germ warfare experiments.
The Crazies (1973): George Romero took a break from zombies to create this cult classic about a Pentagon attempt to contain a deadly outbreak in a Pennsylvania town, showing how the residents cope not only with the virus-infected “crazies” but with soldiers who may destroy their home in order to save it.
The Cassandra Crossing (1976): A terrorist infected with a virulent strain of plague stows away aboard a train bound for Stockholm. While the passengers deal with the threat inside, military and health authorities try to re-route the train across a decidedly rickety bridge. Once again, fears of government conspiracies permeate the plot.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978): Philip Kaufman’s masterful remake of the 1956 original follows a pair of San Francisco health officials (including Donald Sutherland) who discover an alien spore that creates exact, emotionless copies of its human victims. A shrink is skeptical, and the feds tell him not to worry, but that cargo ship laden with alien pods spells worldwide trouble.
Day of the Dead (1985): In his third zombie film, Romero follows a group of desperate scientists and soldiers grappling with the undead plague from an underground bunker. Amid all the gore and Greek salad, the most unsettling scenes may be the spark of remaining humanity seen in a zombie named “Bub.”
The Plague (1992): Adapted from the Albert Camus novel and starring William Hurt, this film follows an outbreak in a South American town and the conflicting agendas of the doctors, religious leaders, and journalists.
The Stand (1994): Based on the Stephen King novel, this miniseries follows the aftermath of the release of a weaponized influenza virus nicknamed “Captain Trips” that wipes out most of humanity. No zombies to contend with, but the remaining humans aren’t exactly saints. Don’t fear the reaper.
12 Monkeys (1995): A convicted criminal (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to gather evidence of terrorist involvement in the release of a deadly virus that has driven survivors underground in the year 2035. The film’s final sequence follows an infected scientist about to get on an airplane and spread the coming plague around the world.
Outbreak (1995): Tracking the current Ebola scare especially closely, this film follows the CDC and military’s attempt to contain a deadly virus uncovered in Zaire that is carried to a small town in the U.S. by a pet monkey. The inevitable One Brave Scientist (Dustin Hoffman) discovers the military’s desire to weaponize the virus; mayhem ensues.
Resident Evil (2002): The first of a series of films based on the video game franchise, this outing follows Milla Jovovich and a team of commandos as they break into a secret laboratory where a genetically-engineered, zombie-creating virus has been released. Once again, an evil corporation is behind it all, aided by a sadistic security computer.
28 Days Later (2002): Animal-liberation activists release infected chimpanzees, quickly spreading a virus that kills in less than 30 seconds. Survivors clash with some rogue soldiers before they discover that the pathogen has been contained in the U.K. thanks to a quarantine blockade.
Shaun of the Dead (2004): Simon Pegg and Nick Frost lampoon the zombie genre as only true fans can, setting the apocalypse against the backdrop of a ne’er-do-well London twentysomething (Pegg) trying to reconnect with his estranged girlfriend and showcasing the survival utility of vinyl records, cricket bats, and one Winchester rifle. Don't forget to shut the front door.
I Am Legend (2007): The third bigscreen version of Matheson's story stars Will Smith as a military virologist trying to find a cure for a man-made (or rather woman-made) pathogen that was intended to cure cancer but instead transformed humanity into cannibalistic hellions. With few remaining humans to root for, the fate of Smith’s dog perhaps hits the hardest.
Quarantine (2008): A “found footage” thriller about a group of people trapped in a building quarantined by the CDC to contain a deadly mutated rabies virus that was stolen by one of the residents, a member of a doomsday cult.
Zombieland (2009): Woody Harrelson headlines a walk on the lighter side of the zombie apocalypse, where a group of survivors of a mutated Mad Cow virus travel to Los Angeles, partly in search of Twinkies, and find actor Bill Murray among the living.
The Walking Dead (2010): A gruesome, literally head-splitting look at day-to-day survival on the run from wandering zombie hoards and sometimes predatory human survivors, the show explores how resilient people can adapt, come together, and even retain their humanity even as civilization crumbles around them.
Contagion (2011): The danger of international air travel surfaces again as a virulent pathogen is spread by the infectiously winsome Gwyneth Paltrow after a trip to Hong Kong. Government agencies quickly jump into action, fearful at first the virus may be a terrorist attack, but the effort quickly bogs down in bureaucratic infighting. Travel ban, anyone?
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011): The reboot of the Apes franchise puts the blame for a leap in simian intelligence on a genetically engineered virus meant to cure Alzheimer’s, but which also wipes out most of humanity as it quickly spreads around the world along international airline routes. Travel ban, anyone?
World War Z (2013): The big-screen version of the bestselling book follows a U.N. scientist (Brad Pitt) trying to find the source of a worldwide zombie outbreak. Pitt travels to Israel, where the IDF has at least temporarily halted the spread by retreating behind giant walls, before dealing with yet another airplane outbreak. Travel ban, anyone?
Ebola Budget Battle
Oct. 15, 2014
The battle to contain the Ebola virus turned political this week as defensive Democrats charged that federal budget cuts prevented the creation of a vaccine. But critics responded by calling out skewed funding priorities and wasteful spending in Washington. Here’s a look at the debate.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Dr. Francis Collins, an Obama appointee, began the argument by blaming a “10-year slide in research support” for the lack of an effective Ebola vaccine. Democratic activist Paul Begala quickly tweeted: “Gee, thanks Republicans!”
Actual budget figures show the NIH’s funding more than doubling from $14.8 billion in 1996 to $32.4 billion in 2005, peaking at $36.1 billion in 2011 before returning to 2004 levels. Similarly, the budget for the Centers for Disease Control grew from $3.1 billion in 1996 to $5.8 in 2003 and $7.5 billion in 2010.
Critics called out the CDC, NIH, and other federal agencies for misguided spending priorities, pointing to a long list of questionable programs and frivolous studies that seemed to go well beyond the mandate of safeguarding public health. Here are some lowlights.
CDC: Last year in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, President Obama asked the agency to study a link between violent video games and real-life violence. The study scored a $10 million budget.
CDC: Earlier this year, Congressional Democrats pushed for a $60 million study of gun violence, labeling it “a public health crisis.”
CDC: A Stop AIDS Project venture in San Francisco that included a four-part erotic-writing workshop, “practical tips for friendly relations” with prostitutes, and a “bar night” for HIV-positive men.
CDC: The agency’s 15-member “Community Preventative Services Task Force” applied its authority under Obamacare to advocate for federal universal motorcycle helmet laws.
CDC: Thirteen “Injury Centers” have crafted a “national action plan” and funded numerous studies to explore and reduce accidents on playgrounds.
CDC: The agency has funded studies and campaigns on “social norming” in schools, “promoting positive community norms” and “safe, stable, nurturing relations.”
CDC: Construction of the new Arlen Specter Headquarters cost $110 million, including $10 million for furniture and a fitness center with light shows ($200,000), saunas and zero-gravity “mood chairs.”
NIH: The agency paid for the construction of a gay-porn website designed to instruct about HIV ($5 million to $7 million)
NIH: A study of the health benefits of television reruns. ($667,000)
NIH: A study of why chimpanzees throw their own poop. ($600,000)
NIH: A study of the importance of imagination while golfing. ($350,000)
NIH: A study to determine that heavy drinking in one’s 30s can lead to feelings of immaturity. ($550,000)
NIH: A study of why lesbians have a tendency to be overweight while gay men do not. ($1.5 million)
NIH: A study of the sexual proclivities of fruit files. ($1 million)
NIH: A stet of how fast husbands and wives calm down after a fight. ($355,000)
BUDGET ITEMS: Other critics and taxpayers compiled their lists of wasteful government spending to Twitter at the hashtag #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch. Here’s a sampling, illustrated by NR.
”Obama family costs taxpayers more than every European royal house, combined. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Terry_Jim, @Terry_Jim)
“Obama’s vacations. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (RB, @RBPundit)
“Obamas 200 rounds of golf #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Terri, @CantBelieve10)
“#TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch Michelle Obama’s horrible lunches than ended up in school dumpsters” (Beanfrompa, @beanfrompa)
“Drink Up, Michelle Obama’s campaign to convince you to drink #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (DishGirl, @R_U_Srs)
“White House Vegetable Garden #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Mix It Up, @AMFMPMTOO)
“IRS Star Trek Convention Video #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Brad Cundiff, @bradcundiff)
“$2 Billion Obamacare Website #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Peej, @peej1st)
“Obamacare Website fixes. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (RB, @RBPundit)
“The State Department misplaced and lost some $6 billion due to the improper filing of contracts under Hillary #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Keep Calm and Carry, @johnnyfriegas)
“‘Cash for Clunkers’ boondoggle #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (GregEsq, @GregEsq)
“Obama Bypassed Congress, #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch, gave $1.5B to Muslim Brotherhood” (@StenoJenny)
“$112 Million bogus tax-refunds to prisoners. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (DernDawn, @noprezzie2012)
“Solyndra. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (RB, @RBPundit)
“$1.8 Million museum where neon-signs go to die. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (DernDawn, @noprezzie2012)
“Priority shipping to return bust of Churchill #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Mix It Up, @AMFMPMTOO)
“Barrycades #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Brad Cundiff, @bradcundiff)
“Posting park rangers at the WWII memorial to prevent rogue veterans from getting in. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (MaxR.S, @Randy_Shannon)
“In the last 10 years, the NIH has spent over $90 million American $'s doing studies on Chinese Prostitutes. #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Mary Forbes, @MaryFores14)
“2013 Government Study Finds Out Wives Should Calm Down – (NIH) $325,525 #tookmoneyfromebolaresearch” (Heather, @hmfearny)
“$3.2 million to get monkeys to drink alcohol excessively #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Jenn, @JennJacques)
“#TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch but had money to study guinea pig chlamydia” (RB, @RBPundit)
“Taxpayer funded campaign flights for @SenLandrieu #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch” (Free Ebolacare, @lheal)
“Remember when the GOP wanted to fund just the NIH during the shutdown, But Harry Reid #TookMoneyFromEbolaResearch?” (BarneyFranken, @BarneyFranken)
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