Justice/Civil War Brevet Colonel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr:
"I shall go out to Arlington tomorrow, Memorial Day, and visit the gravestone with my name and my wife's on it, and be stirred by the military music, and, instead of bothering about the Unknown Soldier shall go to another stone that tells beneath it are the bones of, I don't remember the number but two or three thousand and odd, once soldiers gathered from the Virginia fields after the Civil War. I heard a woman say there once,
'They gave their all. They gave their very names.'"
Of course, that lady was wrong- their names exist, on muster rolls, monuments, letters, books, and family Bibles.
But those without marked graves aren't the secret veterans I'm talking about today.
In the United States, peacetime military service- especially enlisted service- has been a social disgrace among big swathes of the population, especially those worried about their appearance of gentility. For some it still is. The ranks were full of foreigners, criminals, drunks, and other wrecks of society. "Join or jail" was not an exaggeration.
Which meant that the services were full of people hiding out. The services were a refuge for the hunted. Not just those fleeing warrants, but failed family providers, black sheep, unintentional fathers, and disappointing sons.
In those days before fingerprints, the army and navy didn't care what name you chose. The whole thing was a foreign legion. Thousands of men- ashamed of something, sometimes most of simply being in uniform- enlisted and served under false names. Some finished their hitches and resumed their original lives. Some took advantage of the fresh start to live better lives. Some went just as awry as they did the first time.
Some were killed. They sleep forever under aliases borrowed from friends, books, or whisky labels and saloon signs.
Which brings me to this First World War honor roll tablet. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of them all over the country on court houses, schools, churches, factories, and purpose built monuments.
But none are like this one. It doesn't have a single name on it:
It's in the central rotunda of Eastern State Penitentiary, in Philadelphia. (Thank you, BLC!)
No one but convicts and guards was ever supposed to see it. It's not a proclamation, it's a memorial- reminding them the dead, the noble levelling of sacrifice, the power of redemption and the meaning of a new chance.
Thank you, secret dead. This is your day too.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Justice/Civil War Brevet Colonel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr:
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
NO!!! It was a COMPLETED BOMBING.
He MADE THE BOMB.
He PLACED IT AT HIS CHOSEN TARGET.
He SET IT OFF.
He GOT AWAY UNSOUGHT.
The criminal did EVERYTHING HE WANTED TO DO.
If he had bought his ticket a month earlier for the date of the bombing, or paid with a credit card, he'd have been in Dubai.
This bombing was a complete success. NO ACTION OF THE BOMBER WAS PREVENTED.
Sure, if the bomb had been constructed differently, lots of people would have died. This is not a stupid criminal. This is an educated, competent man, he could easily have made a better bomb. He could have easily escaped.
We ASSUME he meant it to go off. Why isn't it just practice?
Hint- today's lessons:
"Wah, Sharif! The Infidels are so eager to show their fear of the True Faith, and to turn our Jihad to domestic political advantage, that they hunt an innocent man, one of their own!
"And their Zionist pig Mayor accuses his own political enemies, without any evidence at all! They are so ripe for civil war, they will do anything to blame their own people, the ones who are our enemies, for doing what we actually do!
And when our Shaheed Brother brings himself to their notice, they apologise to US.
But we have "learned" some things. When we plant the real bombs, make the escape arrangements early, and use credit cards.
Don't buy cars that have been in dealer inventory recently. Use fake names when buying them. Get tinted windows, and put an old blanket over the bomb. Stupid brown people that we are, we could never figure those out!
And plant the real bomb where there will be lots of white infidels around, and security cameras.
Contessa Brewer will wet herself when we shoot up the Harlem schoolyard wearing Klan robes!
Allah is great!"
577 Snider is the Torah. Direct descendant of the Brown Bess, (begotten by the Queen Anne, begotten by the dog lock, begotten by the hackbut of Cromwell and Drake (the original Commandment) and out of the .577 Enfield by the Baker and Brunswick.
45-70 is the old testament, but in translation.
8mm Lebel is New Testament, Catholic.
30-06 is Jonathan Edwards'Pilgrim Congregational.
.30 carbine is Quaker.
.303 is Church of England (Blackpowder is the Catholic- burning one, cordite is the one with all the missionaries and the stopping suttee CofE).
Obviously 11mm Mauser id Old Lutheran, 8mm is Reformed.
30-30 is Baptist.
.223 is Methodist.
.243 and .270? Presbyterian.
.22 short? Amish.
22lr? Unitarian, because of the universality.
That leaves 30-40...
And courtesy of commenters:
Phil Wong said...
Gotta pitch in:
7.62X54 - Eastern(Russian) Orthodox
7.5 Swiss - Calvinist
7mmSTW - Mormonism("Western" and made-up ;^) )
6.5X55 Swede - Lutheranism(Uppsala Synod)
6.5 & 7.7 Arisaka - Shintoism
30-40 Krag - Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod(i.e. Norwegian-American)
7.62X39 - Atheist(i.e. Commie)
5.45X39 - Agnostic(i.e. "Atheism-Lite")
Still pondering who's got the temerity to claim .300WM and .50BMG...
.30-40 Krag would be the Church of Norway variant of Lutheran, I'd think.
Also, I'd argue for 7mm Mauser as German Catholic.
Ah, but there's a few good ones missing. . .
7.5mm Swiss -- Zwinglianism
7.92 Kurtz -- Church of Christ
7.62x54mmR Russian -- Islam (Still in front-line, widespread international service with few changes)
7.62x39mm M43 -- Sunni Islam of the Caliphate to present
5.45x39mm -- Nation of Islam
7.62x45mm Czech -- Bahai
4.7mm Caseless -- Scientology
.30-40 Krag -- Conforming Puritans
How about Televangelist Christian? Big, in your face, expensively produced variation of an old-school message, and effective at long range.
.338 Lapua Mag would be the modern radio equivalent, produced for similar effect at lower cost.
Anonymous Stretch said...
50BMG is Old Norse.
The Hammer of Thor.
The bringer of Ragnarök.
Keep them coming. I'll do a provisionalk list next week.
I love some of the explanations, esp. Islam and Mormonism! There has to be a reason beyond "The caliber and the religion come from the same place."
Saturday, May 01, 2010
“You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth. Son, we live in a country with an investment gap. And that gap needs to be filled by men with money.
Who’s gonna do it?
You, Mr. Middle Class Consumer?
Goldman Sachs has a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lehman and you curse derivatives. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know: that Lehman’s death, while tragic, probably saved the financial system. And that Goldman’s existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves pension funds. You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want us to fill that investment gap. You need us to fill that gap.
“We use words like credit default swaps, collateralized debt obligation, and securitization… We use these words as the backbone of a life spent investing in something. You use ‘em as a punchline. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to a commoner who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very credit we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide it! We’d rather you just said thank you and paid your taxes on time. Otherwise, we suggest you get an account and start trading. Either way, we don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!”: