Thursday, May 28, 2009

Geezers Versus Pirates...

Deck Chairs Versus AKs...

Geezers win!

FEISTY pensioners used deck chairs to fight off Somali pirates who tried to hijack their cruise ship on the Indian Ocean

No need to rewrite this one!

Although it is nice to think of a little drum head court on the quarter deck, presided over by someone whose last ocean voyage was under a White Ensign sixty years ago.

Even a cruise ship has a yard, blocks, and half inch manila line...

After all,
  • "Five or six seventh-grade kids and a 95-pound art teacher can basically challenge, bring down and immobilize a 200-pound man with a gun."

  • These people beat real navies, Germany, Japan, and Italy- a bunch of Somalis in a skiff is a joke.

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Post Memorial Day Thoughts from Sabra...

    Get a hankerchief for this one.

    He probably loved accordions and polka music without the slightest hint of irony...

    A Good Name for your Son...

    Last year's seven hundred and sixtieth most popular name for boys in the United States ?

    It's his.

    It's a shame the Social Security Administration doesn't publish the least popular names any more. I'll bet there are some Attas, Moussawis and McVeighs.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Memorial Day Epitaphs.

    The piece that's known as the "Kohima epitaph" is called that because it's on the memorial at the Battle of the Tennis Court:

    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today ”

    John Maxwell Edmonds'original version is

    "When you go home, tell them of us and say
    "For your to-morrows these gave their to-day."

    Less well known are Rudyard Kipling's

    "Epitaphs of the War" They were written for 1914-19, but they apply to all of them.

    Equality of Sacrifice

    A. "I was a Have."
    B. "I was a "have-not."
    (Together.) "What hast thou given which I gave not?"

    A Servant

    We were together since the War began.
    He was my servant - and the better man.

    A Son

    My son was killed while laughing at some jest. I would I knew
    What it was, and it might serve me in a time when jests are few.

    An Only Son

    I have slain none except my Mother. She
    (Blessing her slayer) died of grief for me.


    Pity not! The army gave
    Freedom to a timid slave:
    In which freedom did he find
    Strength of body, will, and mind:
    By which strength he came to prove
    Mirth, companionship, and love:
    For which love to death he went:
    In which death he lies content.

    The Wonder

    Body and spirit I surrendered whole
    To harsh instructors - and received a soul . . .
    If mortal man could change me through and through
    From all I was - what may the God not do?

    Hindu Sepoy in France

    This man in his own country prayed we know not to what powers.
    We pray them to reward him for his bravery in ours.

    The Coward

    I could not look on death, which being known,
    Men led me to him, blindfold and alone.


    My name, my speech, my self I had forgot.
    My wife and children came - I knew them not.
    I died. My mother followed. At her call
    And on her bosom I remembered all.

    A Grave Near Cairo

    Gods of the Nile, should this stout fellow here
    Get out - get out! He knows not shame nor fear.

    Pelicans In The Wilderness
    (A Grave Near Halfa)

    The blown sand heaps on me, that none may learn
    Where I am laid for whom my children grieve. . . .
    O wings that beat at dawning, ye return
    Out of the desert to your young at eve!

    Two Canadian Memorials

    We giving all gained all.
    Neither lament us nor praise.
    Only in all things recall,
    It is fear, not death that slays.

    From little towns in a far land we came,
    To save our honour and a world aflame.
    By little towns in a far land we sleep;
    And trust that world we won for you to keep.

    The Favour

    Death favoured me from the first, well knowing I could not endure
    To wait on him day by day. He quitted my betters and came
    Whistling over the fields, and, when he had made all sure,
    "Thy line is at end," he said, "but at least I have saved its name."

    The Beginner

    On the first hour of my first day
    In the front trench I fell.
    (Children in boxes at a play
    Stand up to watch it well.)

    R. A. F. (Aged Eighteen)

    Laughing through clouds, his milk-teeth still unshed,
    Cities and men he smote from overhead.
    His deaths delivered, he returned to play
    Childlike, with childish things now put away.

    The Refined Man

    I was of delicate mind. I stepped aside for my needs,
    Disdaining the common office. I was seen from afar and killed...
    How is this matter for mirth? Let each man be judged by his deeds.
    I have laid my price to live with myself on the terms that I willed.

    Native Water-Carrier (M. E. F.)

    Prometheus brought down fire to men.
    This brought up water.
    The Gods are jealous - now, as then,
    Giving no quarter.

    Bombed In London

    On land and sea I strove with anxious care
    To escape conscription. It was in the air!

    The Sleepy Sentinel

    Faithless the watch that I kept: now I have none to keep.
    I was slain because I slept: now I am slain I sleep.
    Let no man reproach me again; whatever watch is unkept--
    I sleep because I am slain. They slew me because I slept.

    Batteries Out Of Ammunition

    If any mourn us in the workshop, say
    We died because the shift kept holiday.

    Common Form

    If any question why we died,
    Tell them, because our fathers lied.

    A Dead Statesman

    I could not dig: I dared not rob:
    Therefore I lied to please the mob.
    Now all my lies are proved untrue
    And I must face the men I slew.
    What tale shall serve me here among
    Mine angry and defrauded young?

    The Rebel

    If I had clamoured at Thy gate
    For gift of life on earth,
    And, thrusting through the souls that wait,
    Flung headlong into birth--
    Even then, even then, for gin and snare
    About my pathway spread,
    Lord, I had mocked Thy thoughtful care
    Before I joined the dead!
    But now? . . . I was beneath Thy hand
    Ere yet the planets came.
    And now - though planets pass, I stand
    The witness to Thy shame.

    The Obedient

    Daily, though no ears attended,
    Did my prayers arise.
    Daily, though no fire descended
    Did I sacrifice.
    Though my darkness did not lift,
    Though I faced no lighter odds,
    Though the Gods bestowed no gift,
    None the less,
    None the less, I served the Gods!

    A Drifter Off Tarentum

    He from the wind-bitten north with ship and companions descended.
    Searching for eggs of death spawned by invisible hulls.
    Many he found and drew forth. Of a sudden the fishery ended
    In flame and a clamorous breath not new to the eye-pecking gulls.

    Destroyers In Collision

    For Fog and Fate no charm is found
    To lighten or amend.
    I, hurrying to my bride, was drowned--
    Cut down by my best friend.

    Convoy Escort

    I was a shepherd to fools
    Causelessly bold or afraid.
    They would not abide by my rules.
    Yet they escaped. For I stayed.

    Unknown Female Corpse

    Headless, lacking foot and hand,
    Horrible I come to land.
    I beseech all women's sons
    Know I was a mother once.

    Raped And Revenged

    One used and butchered me: another spied
    Me broken - for which thing an hundred died.
    So it was learned among the heathen hosts
    How much a freeborn woman's favour costs.

    Salonikan Grave

    I have watched a thousand days
    Push out and crawl into night
    Slowly as tortoises.
    Now I, too, follow these.
    It is fever, and not the fight--
    Time, not battle - that slays.

    The Bridegroom

    Call me not false, beloved,
    If, from thy scarce-known breast
    So little time removed,
    In other arms I rest.

    For this more ancient bride
    Whom coldly I embrace
    Was constant at my side
    Before I saw thy face.

    Our marriage, often set--
    By miracle delayed--
    At last is consummate,
    And cannot be unmade.

    Live, then, whom life shall cure.
    Almost, of memory,
    And leave us to endure
    Its immortality.

    V. A. D. (Mediterranean)

    Ah, would swift ships had never been, for then we ne'er had found,
    These harsh Aegean rocks between, this little virgin drowned,
    Whom neither spouse nor child shall mourn, but men she nursed through
    And - certain keels for whose return the heathen look in vain.


    We counterfeited once for your disport
    Men's joy and sorrow; but our day has passed.
    We pray you pardon all where we fell short--
    Seeing we were your servants to this last.


    We have served our day.

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    I Know Why Antis Get The Hump...

    (Remember you can click on any picture to make it aggrandize itself.)

    So off for a day with stghounds in the forest of Cm piegn. As you can see, a pretty day to be out.

    Any more in that thing?

    Lots of people at the Rapport....

    And the stars of the show were ready!

    Off we go...

    Nice to see a good clean turn out.

    The first draw.

    At the second, hounds spoke!

    Oops, ro der. Well, move along...

    "Regardez-moi! I am ze most beautiful 'orse evair, non?"

    Again, hounds!

    Um, piggies this time. Oh well, third is the charm...

    Sure enough! A good strong cry this time, and moving quickly!

    Off and away! There was a good view of him, stopped and thinking,

    Right behind that character's hand!

    Alright. If you were the monarch of the forest, which way would you run- across this allee,

    Or this one? No lie!

    So away he went. He ran for a while, and we stopped to listen at this bit of forest. And what happened? Here he came, left to right , not thirty yards into the forest. Hounds were two long strides behind him, I thought it was all over. We happened to be beside one of my favourite French hunters to see, and as everyone bore right I heard her say, quietly, "Non, recule." I thought no way, there isn't any room to recule, they are all but nipping him now!
    Well what happened but along he came, this time THREE strides in front and only twenty yards away. His gallant risk had bought himself some distance.

    Across the allee, hounds pursued but they began to string out.

    And it was run and listen, run and listen for an hour or more.

    Staff had to dash!

    At one point he picked up some biches, and then split off to let them take the heat. Didn't work, but again it bought time and distance. On again, barreling along.

    Hunting #1, Ecole #2.

    Mme. J is never far from the right spot.

    He's in there somewhere...

    Good photographers set it up in advance...

    Hounds were hot on him again! You think you have road problems?

    But an overrun, he didn't cross after all.

    Hounds still at it, he came this far and now back again. But adding a little more distance for himself...

    No luck here, he's gone back again.

    We took another long loop to a fresh allee. Hold hard!
    What's that crashing through the leaves?

    There he is!!

    Under these treetops!

    Two strides away from me, behind this tree!

    Straight through a line of whip cracking, "ARRRRRET!"-shouting, trompe- blowing, galloping hunters...

    "Sacre Bleu! Zut Alors!"

    Right into the city of Cm pieg ne!!

    Where could he...

    Uh oh...

    "Well, you chassed me 'ere, wat air you goang to do wiz me?"

    Last season, this happened. With the help of un agent féminin de l'office de la chasse et de la faune sauvage, that one was given Vitamin S, removed, and released to run another day.

    As, I believe, it should be. When game, through bravery, cleverness, or accident, runs into a place WE have made which prevents its escape, it has beaten us fair and square.

    This fellow ran hard and clever. On three separate occasions, by my own eye, he was only three or four canter strides in front of a full on pack of hounds. I would have bet money each time that he was had, the old fashioned way. Over and over, he jinked and twisted, adding distance every time. He picked up Biches and used them to confuse hounds.

    And that double back!

    And bursting right past our line, across a busy street, into a neighbourhood!

    There was still an hour of daylight. If there had not been a BIG CONCRETE CITY to trap him, hounds would likely have prevailed. But he won, give him best and let him go.

    Unfortunately, not this time.

    He stood at bay, defiant, for fifteen minutes or so.

    And then we killed him.

    My understanding from what I overheard with my poor French, is that the police, who arrived and took charge, ordered it. I suppose that the other choices- lassoing and drawing him back to the forest, or waiting for the dart, lost out to public safety risk.

    Of which there was some. It was rush hour. Ropes break, drugs take time and sometimes fail, wild animals decide to run for it, crowds gather and do stupid things. Not faulting the tactical necessity of the decision, just hating the moral wrongness of it.

    At least they let us do the job quickly. Many a U.S. SWAT team would have insisted on "taking the shot", when the hunt staff have killed more of these creatures than most marksmen have ever seen.

    I hate it that modern technology more and more often impedes hunting. Sure it's bad that highways slow our runs down and towns impede them. But worse is an event like today, when the world we live in most of the time gets in the way of the ancient one we try to honour and preserve.

    The title of this post comes from years ago. I was out with a pack of foxhounds in England. Hounds found, and their fox got moving. Almost instantly, he ran toward a road just as a huge lorry blew past.

    The wind blast and racket, the vibration in the earth, stunned the fox. And before he could get his bearings, hounds were on him. The truck- something that isn't part of the hunt at all- killed him.

    The Terrierman stepped over and dug a little pit for the body. As he lifted it in, this man who enthusiastically killed foxes for a living muttered,

    "I know why antis get the hump".


    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Hunt Scum! A bloodthirsty "toff" and savage killers...

    Warning! Not for the squeamish!Too awwwful for direct viewing by the unadvised, I had to put this one in a link. So-

    Click on these blue words for a graphic image of the terrible true face of hunting with hounds...

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    A Brilliant Twenty Minutes on Constitutional Law...

    As a staunch small c conservative, I've often been at odds with Republicans over the fact that I respect and very often agree with John Jay Hooker in his current incarnation as anti-corruptionist and defender of the State Constitution.

    But I can't come up with a bonner mot about Constitutional Law than

    "The Constitution was written by non lawyers to be read by non lawyers... If your mother can't understand it, no lawyer can understand it."

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    Another Handgun Tragedy in Atlanta...


    In College Park last night, a party at the apartment of college student Charles Bailey once again proved that a handgun in a home is far more likely to injure acquaintances and friends than strangers.

    Police say that two men, including Calvin Lavant, a neighbor, may have joined the party uninvited. During the confusion following their arrival, party guest Prominently Named Shooter may have thought that Lavant had made advances to Shooter's girlfriend.

    Shooter grabbed his concealed semiautomatic pistol and opened fire at one of the men, who then ran out of the apartment. Shooter then turned his gun on Lavant, who was in another room with Shooter's girlfriend and other female guests. Lavant jumped out of a window to escape the gunfire. The youth was shot at least once, and died as he tried to return to his nearby home. People nearby said that Levant's last words were pleas for help, and for someone to call the police.

    A young woman, also a party guest, was shot several times. She remains hospitali2ed.

    Lavant's family and friends were shocked and horrified. A friend told reporters that Lavant would never have gone to the party if he had thought he wasn't wanted, and certainly would have left if he had been asked."

    Think the JoCon might run that one, Tam? I only took two Journalism classes.