Christmas Fail

India’s space program gets a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.

Indian Rocket Explodes Seconds After Liftoff

An Indian space rocket carrying an advanced communications satellite exploded in smoke and fire just seconds after lifting off from a launch pad at the Sriharikota space center in Andhra Pradesh state, about 50 miles from the city of Chennai.

The Christmas Day launch of the satellite had originally been planned for December 20, but was delayed after engineers discovered a leak in one of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle’s (GSLV) engines, the United News of India reported.

The GSLV was carrying a GSAT-5P communication satellite into orbit when it strayed from its planned flight path, and was deliberately blown up by mission control 47 seconds after liftoff, according to state-owned Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Radhakrishnan.

Radhakrishnan said the GSLV developed an error shortly after takeoff, and then lost command, resulting in a higher angle in the flight.

“That caused a higher stress, breaking up the vehicle,” he said.

The GSLV exploded “at an altitude of 4.9 miles (8 km) and the debris have fallen in deep sea,” Radhakrishnan said.

See also:
Indian space rocket explodes soon after launchIndian rocket explodes after take-off
Indian rocket explodes on launch
Satellite-Carrying Indian Rocket Explodes After Launch
Unmanned Indian rocket explodes
GSAT-5P, GSLV-F06 were not insured
ISRO teams analysing data to pinpoint GSLV failure
Heavier payload caused Indian rocket’s failure: Expert
Disaster leaves Isro with 1 cryo engine
GSLV failures fuel disappointment and anxiety
GSLV failure sparks safety fears for 2016 manned space flight

Apparently, this isn’t the first time this particular type of rocket has failed.

/India might want to rethink their plans to use these rockets for manned flights

In Your Face Commie Heathens!

Yes, it’s provocative, but please notice it doesn’t involve grisly carnage or any form of violence. Unlike Islam, it’s the Christian way.

Giant Christmas tree on Korean border causes North Korea to issue threats

SOUTH Korea says a giant Christmas tree near the North Korean border will stay lit up till January 8 – a move likely to anger Pyongyang since the date marks the birthday of its heir apparent.

The communist North sees the tree topped with a glowing cross as a provocative propaganda symbol.

Cross-border tensions are high after the North’s deadly artillery attack last month on a South Korean border island and military drills by the South in response.

The tree – a 29-metre metal tower strung with light bulbs – was lit up on Tuesday for the first time in seven years as marines stood guard against any cross-border attack on it.

The tree, atop a military-controlled hill near the tense land border, was due to be switched off on December 26.

”However, we have decided to keep it until early January 8, in consideration of requests from religious groups,” defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told a briefing.

”At first, we planned to keep the lighting on only briefly because of (military) burdens but we had second thoughts as it may send a message of peace to the North.”

See also:
North Korea sees war games and Christmas tree as it gazes across tense border
Korea Tension Shifts to Tree
O Christmas Tree: Squabble Over South Korean Border Display Could Escalate
S Korea to keep Christmas tree lit near DPRK till January
South Korea lights border Christmas tree
South Korea Lights up Christmas Tree Near North Korean Border
South Korea lights up giant tree

Nothing, I mean nothing, drives heathens crazy like a giant Christmas tree topped with a giant cross. I’ll bet the North Koreans are just itching to shell it.

/it would be interesting to see the reaction if California’s border states tried the same thing

Making Iraq Unsafe For Christianity

Mission accomplished. There are now half as many Christians in Iraq as there were under the Saddam Hussein regime and the Christians that remain live in constant fear.

A Major Al-Qaida victory: Christmas is canceled in Iraq

The radical terrorist organization Al-Qaida not only subscribes to the idea that Islam is the only legitimate path to God but that countries with predominantly Moslem populations are sacred and should not include residents who are infidels. In what is clearly a major psychological victory for Ben-Ladan’s band of terrorst-fanatics, the Christian community in Iraq has decided to not publicly celebrate Christmas this year.

On October 31st, 68 Iraqi Christians were murdered during an Al-Qaida terrorist-assault on Our Lady of Salvation (Catholic) Church in Bagdad while mass was being conducted. Eye witness reports stated that the terrorists entered the Church and began shooting randomly at worshipers. Crying children only called attention to themselves and were shown no mercy.

In the days that followed, militants targeted the homes and neighborhoods of Christians throughout the Iraq. Since then, more than a 1,000 Christian Iraqi families have fled to the Kurdish controlled province of Kurdistan in the north. Tens of thousands of Christians have left the country in fear since the start of the war in 2003.

See also:
Christmas canceled in Iraq for fear of violence
Christmas festivities canceled in Iraq after new Al Qaeda threats
Iraqi Christians mark safer Christmas in Kurdistan
For some Iraqi Christians, this may be last Christmas in Baghdad
Iraqi Christians Exercise Caution for Christmas
Iraqi churches cancel Christmas festivities
Iraq Christians cancel Christmas celebrations amid threats
Iraqis defy threats to pack massacre church on Xmas
Iraqi Christians Cancel Christmas
Iraq Christians cancel Christmas festivities
Christian exodus from Iraq gathers pace

Remember Colin Powell’s supposed Pottery Barn rule. “you break it, you buy it”. This is happening on our watch. Just something to think about.

/oh, and this just in, Islam is way beyond vile, an evil festering pus sore on the face of the Earth

Christmas In Bethlehem

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal carries the statuette of baby Jesus during Midnight Mass ceremony which marks the beginning of Christmas Day at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Dec 24, 2009.

/AP

Pilgrims crowd Bethlehem on warm Christmas eve

Thousands of pilgrims and dignitaries crowded into Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity for a Christmas Mass, where Latin Patriarch Fuad al-Tuwal urged visitors to return home bearing a message of peace for the Holy Land.

Entertaining crowds outside, bagpipers played carols and whirling dervishes danced, unfurling giant white skirts embroidered with the word peace in various languages.

Some 15,000 visitors packed into the stone flagged square opposite the small Door of Humility where pilgrims stoop to enter the multi-denominational church, built above the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born.

While much of North America and Europe were gripped in winter’s icy embrace, visitors to Bethlehem were buying chilled fruit juice in Manger Square and stripping off sweaters in the mild weather.

“It’s about 20 degrees (68 Fahrenheit) and it’s a little hard to get that Christmas feeling I’m used to having,” said Phillip Well, 22, from Germany.

Some tourists were bemused by the scene.

“I’m not used to seeing marching bands and scout troops do the Christmas festivities, but it’s entertaining,” said 40-year-old Vijey Raghavan, of San Francisco, California.

Inside the church at midnight mass, monks kept the celebrations traditional with Christmas hymns and al-Tuwal delivered a special Christmas message in six different languages, including Arabic.

Likening modern-day pilgrims to the shepherds who harkened the angel’s message of Jesus’ birth, al-Tuwal extended blessings of reconciliation and hope to families worldwide.

“You can take back with you the desire for peace and work for peace — peace in the Holy Land where the prince of peace was born. And peace to all the world for men and women of goodwill,” he said.

Tourism in Bethlehem has picked up in the past few years, after collapsing during the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, which erupted in 2000. Hotels expect a 60 to 70 percent rise in business this year.

See also:
Worshippers gather to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem
Thousands of Pilgrims Celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem
World pray for peace on Christmas Eve in Bethlehem
Hundreds mark Bethlehem Christmas
Hundreds celebrate Christmas Mass in Bethlehem
Bethlehem celebrates Christmas
Christmas at Bethlehem
Bethlehem Christmas isn’t all merry as celebrants protest Israeli presence
I vowed not to write another Bethlehem Christmas story

/Merry Christmas to all!

65 Years Ago Today

/US Army Signal Corps

CHAPTER 20 CHRISTMAS EVE

CHRISTMAS EVE WAS QUIET. The commanders and staffs took official notice of the occasion. To all of the command posts within Bastogne went a G-2 reminder from the 101st’s chief joker, Colonel Danahy. It was a sitrep overlay in red, white and green, the red outlining the enemy positions completely encircling the town and the green showing only in the words “Merry Christmas” across the position held by the defenders.1 (Map 18, page 156.)

General McAuliffe also rose to the occasion with an inspired communiqué in which he told his men about the German demand for surrender and his answer to them. The rest of his Christmas message read as follows:

What’s merry about all this, you ask? We’re fighting, it’s cold, we aren’t home. All true, but what has the proud Eagle Division accomplished with its worthy comrades of the 10th Armored Division, the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion and all the rest? Just this: We have stopped cold everything that has been thrown at us from the north, east, south and west. We have identifications from four German panzer divisions, two German infantry divisions and one German parachute division. These units, spearheading the last desperate German lunge, were heading straight west for key points when the Eagle Division was hurriedly ordered to stem the advance. How effectively this was done will be written in history; not alone in our Division’s glorious history but in world history. The Germans actually did surround us, their radios blared our doom. Allied troops are counterattacking in force. We continue to hold Bastogne. By holding Bastogne we assure the success of the Allied armies. We know that our Division commander, General Taylor, will say: “Well done!” We are giving our country and our loved ones at home a worthy Christmas present and being privileged to take part in this gallant feat of arms are truly making for ourselves a merry Christmas.2

Privately, on the phone that night to General Middleton, McAuliffe expressed his true feeling about Christmas in these words:

Map 18
“The finest Christmas present the 101st could get would be a relief tomorrow.”

But General McAuliffe’s greeting to his troops proved to be in every part a prophetic utterance though the quiet of Christmas Eve did not last for long.

That night the town was bombed twice. During the first raid, in the late evening, a bomb landed on the hospital of the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion near the intersection of the main roads from Arlon and Neufchâteau. It caved in the roof, burying 20 patients and killing a Belgian woman who was serving as a nurse. Another bomb landed on the headquarters of Combat Command B, doing heavy damage and knocking down the Christmas tree in the message center. The men set up the tree again, and in an elaborate ceremony, one of the sergeants pinned the Purple Heart on a mangled doll.2A

Except for those bombings Christmas Eve passed without unusual pressure from the enemy. (Plate 35 A and B.) The journal entries of the different regiments all use the word “quiet” in describing the period. But that is a word that simply does not record the tumult in the thoughts and emotions of the men of Bastogne. Such was their reaction to the Christmas and to the memories surrounding it, that for the first time all around the perimeter men felt fearful. It seemed to them that the end was at hand. That night many of them shook hands with their comrades. They said to one another that it would probably be their last night together. Many of the commanders saw this happening, though they knew it had little relation to the still strong tactical situation.2B (Map 19, page 158, shows the situation.)

In the 502d Parachute Infantry the officers heard Christmas Eve Mass in the tenth-century chapel of the beautiful Rolle Château (plate 34) which they were using for a command post.” It was a happy occasion, well attended by the neighboring Belgians who had rounded out the regimental messes with contributions of flour and sides of beef from their own stores.4

. . .

See also:
Bastogne: The Story Of The First Eight Days In Which The 101st Airborne Division Was Closed Within The Ring Of German Forces
Bastogne: The Story Of The First Eight Days In Which The 101st Airborne Division Was Closed Within The Ring Of German Forces (Hardcover)
Bastogne – Dec. 1944, a journal
Siege of Bastogne

And you think you have problems?

/take a few moments today to give prayers and thanks for those troops, away from home on Christmas Eve, past, present, and future, who have sacrificed and will sacrifice to defend and protect your uniquely American way of life, freedom isn’t free