Sarah Palin will pry your Klondike bar from your cold dead fingers.

calendar   Thursday - August 06, 2009

A Family Heirloom is created

Louis Haros is a Vietnam veteran. His son, Paul, has been serving in Iraq. Father Louis vowed to fly the flag until…

“I made a promise to him that it won’t come down until he’s home,” Haros told on Tuesday. “Well, it’s still there. I feel if I bring it down and something happens to him … I don’t know.”

Well, admittedly, the flag is looking pretty tattered now, and under normal circumstances, I’d have consigned her for ceremonial burning. See for yourself:


Yep, a candidate for proper disposal, yes?


Mr. Haros has created, whether he knows it or not, a family heirloom.

I was looking to find an email address for Mr. Haros. I failed, but I did find a a blog and posted the following as ‘Anonymous’:

I would have to say that I’m in total support of Mr. Haros.

I go further. Mr. Haros has just created a family heirloom. Think of that. When his son does come home, I’d wish that Mr. Haros did NOT dispose of the flag. Instead, it should be folded as best it can, and presented to his son in honor of services rendered.

You know, there is a practice where the Government hoists flags to fly for ten seconds or so over the Capitol building or the White House, and then Congressmen or Senators will send said flag out to constituents. Meaningless flags, when you get right down to it.

The Haros flag has meaning. It flew for however long, the provenance is known, and should be considered a family heirloom, passed down with the stories of why it was flown, and the feats of Mr. Haros’ son attached.

That’s what I wish for this flag. Mr. Haros, I salute you.

What do you think? Would you treasure such a flag? Is it more meaningful than some generic flag that flew over the White House for ten seconds?

Really, it’s just such small things that create such great family treasures and stories.

BTW, Drew, need a Family category.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. Original FOX story is here.


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 08/06/2009 at 12:13 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 15, 2009

A Soldier’s Take on Michael Jackson


This is written by a young soldier serving his third tour of duty in Iraq.  Thought you might find his take on the Michael Jackson news interesting and he’s right.

Okay, I need to rant.

- Carole

I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael Jackson.  As we all know, Jackson died the other day.  He was an entertainer who performed for decades.  He made millions, he spent millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many people.  I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn’t the point of my rant.

Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their minds with grief.  When a man dies whose only contribution to the country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to flock to a memorial in Hollywood, and even Congress sees the need to hold a “moment of silence” for his passing?

Am I missing something here?  ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he’s a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades?  What about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom?  All those Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war, still raised their hands and swore to defend the Constitution and the United States of America. Where is their moment of silence?  Where are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over them because they made the ultimate sacrifice?  Why is it when a Soldier dies, there are more people saying “good riddance,” and “thank God for IEDs?” When did this country become so calloused to the sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a “Pop Icon?”

I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS for Michael Jackson, they need to hold a moment of silence for every service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They need to PUBLICLY recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE, those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for them.  But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have been so many willing to make that sacrifice.  After all, we will never make millions of dollars.  We will never star in movies, or write hit songs that the world will listen too.  We only shed our blood, sweat and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.

Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it.  Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is serving in the military; “So that others may live...”


P.S.-"So that other’s may live...” was also the creed of the Air Rescue & Recovery Service during Vietnam & is still is.

You guy that right soldier. Amen.

I was hoping that FINALLY we were done with the MJ overload. But no. Now it’s round table discussions on “When Michael’s life went bad” with the current lead being the Pepsi commercial where his hair caught on fire. I’ll buy that. I think he was even still black at that point. But puh-lease! Find something else already. Something other than the endless parade of toothless, drooling, senile old flatulators in love with their own voices elected leaders of our wonderful government flapping their gums by the hour passing wind and saying nothing asking in-depth, erudite and tightly focused questions of that sanctimonious, oleaginous, half deflated buck toothed beach ball pinnacle of the legal profession, Sonya “W.L.” Sotomayor.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/15/2009 at 09:41 PM   
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calendar   Tuesday - July 14, 2009


Greeting us on the front page of the morning Telegraph was an almost full page photo of Lt. Evison, along with a journal he was keeping.

I feel very bad for the casualties they are taking.  True, Americans may have lost more but then we have a larger population to draw on.  Doesn’t lessen the loss most of us feel for all of them. They are ALL TOO YOUNG.

One of the pressing issues over here and it is approaching a scandalous level, is the charge (supported by the late Lt. Evison here) that Brit troops are NOT being given the proper military support in weapons and armour.  In fact, an article only yesterday suggests that British troops have been given vehicles that have already been REJECTED by the US Military as not up to the task.

The suggestion btw, that Brit troops are given short shrift when it comes to equipment is not a new one.
I have been reading that for at least a year.  Returning veterans have spoken with awe in regard to what Americans have to fight with, and have begged for same.

It is further charged that the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has made cuts in the military budget that have brought this sorry state of affairs about.
I’m not close enough to that to know if it’s true or political rhetoric by his opposition.  But the papers do report a budget cut for the army so I would imagine it is true.  Which I personally think put the blood of fallen Brits all over the hands of those responsible.

Obviously I have not posted the journal here in full.  I have just taken cuts from it.
I urge my fellow Americans to take a minute to read it. In fact I urge everyone to do so. 

Lieutenant Mark Evison, who died in May from wounds received in Afghanistan, kept a remarkable journal - published here for the first time - about the harsh realities of fighting in Helmand.

21 April
I have been trying to work out exactly what is and what is not here. This is harder than it seems. Paperwork trails which tend to disappear are commonplace. As it stands I have a lack of radios, water, food and medical equipment. This with manpower is what these missions lack. It is disgraceful to send a platoon into a very dangerous area with two weeks’ water and food and one team medics pack. Injuries will be sustained which I will not be able to treat and deaths could occur which could have been stopped. We are walking on a tightrope and from what it seems here are likely to fall unless drastic measures are undertaken.

The ANA are an interesting bunch. They earn $200 a month, compared to what they could do if they farmed poppies, $4,000 a month. Many of them fight for blood feuds with the Taliban who have killed family members. All they want to do is kill Taliban and it will be interesting how they deal with being contacted on the ground. Currently they seem rather blasé. They will happily leave the PB [patrol base] without helmet or body armour. They came with various weapon types – Ak 47s [assault rifles], M 16s [rifles], etc as well as what looks like a couple of bagfuls of RPGs [rocket propelled grenades] – could be interesting.

The first casualty. Yesterday morning at 10.48 Sgt Fasfous an MFC [mortar fire controller] was on patrol with an OMLT [operational mentor and liaison team] in a joint patrol with an ANA [Afghanistan National Army] North of Gereskh. The call sign was contacted and unfortunately he was killed instantly as well as one interpreter. A captain in the Light Dragoons was seriously injured and extracted by MIRT [medical instant response team] to Bastion.
Life is fragile and out here it feels like it can be removed in an instant. It almost makes life even more valuable and shows the fragility that many in the West I believe do not understand.

There were now just 7 bods plus myself stuck on the wrong side of the canal. We had to make the decision just to go for it. With a rapid fire from the Platoon we sprinted down the bank, through the canal, back up the friendly bank and then tried to push back into the PB. More luck than anything else saw the platoon safely back behind sturdy walls, laughing at the contact we had just been in. For me it is still the fear of making a wrong decision which sits heavily on my mind. I am responsible for every person within this PB and I fear that we will not always be as lucky as we were today. At least today I proved to myself that I will not freeze the next time I get shot at. I do not expect this to be in the distant future.

The flies are uncontrollable. As I write this there are approximately 10 crawling over my legs and an unknown amount swarming over my head. Amazingly once they have disappeared in the early evening they are replaced by another of life’s annoying creatures, the mosquito. They seem to be able to infiltrate any clothing and get into mosquito nets like effective bank robbers. They then spend the next few hours eating their hearts out much to the annoyance of the body lying below.

(Mark was fatally wounded by a single bullet in his shoulder during an early patrol and ambush on 9 May. He commanded his men back to safety, and lost consciousness from bleeding within an hour. He never regained consciousness).
© Margaret Evison 2009



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/14/2009 at 06:07 AM   
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calendar   Friday - July 10, 2009


I don’t do these every day or even every week.  I suppose I could do one every day as those old soldiers fade away.
I think they belong in the blog world and as far as I am aware, nobody else is doing it.  They belong to a past generation who have made today possible.
And so I honor them as I can.

This was not a ‘politically correct’ generation.  They can not have been happy to see the mess following generations have made of the world they helped to save.


Major Roy Vallance, who has died aged 86, commanded a tank in every battle from Normandy to the Baltic and won a Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Published: 6:50PM BST 09 Jul 2009

In the last days of the campaign in Germany, Vallance, then a sergeant serving with the 2nd Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps (2 F&FY), was patrolling the banks of the River Elbe, north of Winsen, when his troop was attacked by a bazooka patrol of 20 SS.

It was first light and in wooded country. Vallance, as point tank, allowed the SS to infiltrate past him before moving his guns under fire and at close range into a position where they covered all the enemy’s lines of withdrawal. None of the SS got back with any information.

On another occasion, his tank and another were guarding an important road junction on the main line of advance. They were without infantry support and, as darkness fell, a car full of the enemy – armed with bazookas and supported by infantry – approached his position.


Unwilling to reveal his precarious situation, Vallance dismounted from the tank and went forward with a Bren gun.

He set the car ablaze from a range of 10 yards, killing all the occupants and, using the light from the flames, swept the wood with bullets, dispersing the infantry and accounting for three of them.

The citation for his DCM stated that he had been subject to anti-tank and bazooka fire on many occasions but that he had deployed his small force with such cunning that he had never been knocked out and his troop had suffered the fewest casualties in the squadron.

Royston Ivor Vallance, always known as Roy, was born near Aldeburgh, Suffolk, on June 8 1922 and educated locally. By the time he was seven, both his parents had died and he had a lonely childhood. Aged 15, he left his foster parents and went to London, where he did any job that he could and attended night school to learn bookbinding.

During the Blitz he worked in a printing factory and served as fire warden. After being called up in March 1942 he was posted to the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, but could not, at first, understand a word that they spoke. In June 1944, while waiting for its invasion orders, 2 F&FY was at Aldershot.

The hours dragged by and nerves were taut. When, for the umpteenth time, Vallance was told to clean his tank, he refused.

He was put on a charge and was under close arrest when he landed on the Normandy beaches with an advance party on D+3. The charge was subsequently dropped.

On July 18 Operation Goodwood, launched to the east of Caen, ran into fierce German resistance. By mid-afternoon, Vallance’s troop was out of ammunition and the barrels of their machine guns were worn out. Hulks of tanks were raided for replenishments. The Yeomanry lost 54 of its 60 tanks. Vallance, with a resourcefulness which became a byword, put out smoke, ran his tanks into the shelter of a railway cutting and so saved most of his.

In the battle of the Falaise Gap, he picked up an enemy uniform and cap. His crew, for a prank, marched him to their squadron leader kitted out as a German officer – but the joke nearly turned sour when Vallance narrowly avoided being shot by a sentry.

2 F&FY fought a series of fierce engagements – including the battle for the liberation of Asten, near Eindhoven – before finishing the war near the Danish border. After the German surrender, Vallance and his fellow survivors celebrated by setting fire to a petrol tanker and galloping around it on horseback, bottles in hand.

After the war he saw active service in Korea with the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars and, in 1951, fought at the battle of the Imjin river.

Following its amalgamation with the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars to form the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars, he became the first RSM and was promoted to quartermaster in 1959.

Vallance served subsequently in BAOR, Aden and Malaya. He was appointed MBE in 1970 and was medically discharged from the Army the next year. He then moved to Nostell Priory, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the family seat of Lord St Oswald, as estate factor.

In 1982, after the death of his first wife, he settled in Norfolk, where he enjoyed watching cricket and reading military history.

Roy Vallance died on June 5. He married first, in 1947, Peggy Paling, who predeceased him. He married secondly, in 1990, Audrey Spellar. She too predeceased him, and he is survived by a daughter of his first marriage.


VC ... That’s THE VICTORIA CROSS my fellow Americans.  They are not given lightly or in any great numbers.

The last surviving Australian VC recipient of the Second World War.

Ted Kenna, who died on July 8 aged 90, won the Victoria Cross on May 15 1945 while serving with the 2nd/4th Australian Infantry Battalion in the South West Pacific. He was

Published: 6:06PM BST 08 Jul 2009

Japanese troops had established a defensive line in rugged terrain south of Wewak, New Guinea, and were shelling the Australians from the missionary station at Wirui. After a sharp battle on May 14, the 2nd/4th had captured all but the north-western spur. The only position from which supporting fire could be obtained was continuously swept by heavy machine-gun fire, making it impossible to bring artillery or mortars into action.

On May 15, Private Kenna’s platoon was ordered forward to deal with three enemy machine-gun posts. Kenna moved his support section as close as possible to the bunkers in order to provide covering fire for a flank attack by the rest of the platoon.


Two sections of the platoon attacked, but as soon as the enemy spotted them they were pinned down with heavy automatic fire from a position which had not previously revealed itself. With several of the men already wounded, Kenna endeavoured to bring his gunner to bear on one of the bunkers but was unable to bring down effective fire because of the difficult ground.

On his own initiative and without orders, Kenna stood up in full view of the enemy less than 50 yards away and engaged the bunker, firing his Bren gun from the hip. Fire was returned at once, bullets passing between his arms and his body but somehow missing him. Undeterred, Kenna continued to fire at the enemy until his ammunition was exhausted. He then discarded his Bren gun, called for a rifle and despite intense machine-gun fire killed the enemy gunner with his first round.

When a machine gun opened up on him from a second position, Kenna, who had remained standing, killed the gunner with his next round. The bunker was captured without further loss, the company attack went forward and the enemy position was carried.

The citation declared: “There is no doubt that the success of the company attack would have been seriously endangered and many casualties sustained but for Private Kenna’s magnificent courage and complete disregard for his own safety.” Kenna was invested with the Victoria Cross by the Governor-General of Australia, the Duke of Gloucester, at Government House, Melbourne, on January 6 1947.

Edward Kenna, always known as Ted, was born on July 6 1919 at Hamilton, Victoria, the fourth child of a family of seven. He went to St Mary’s Convent, Hamilton, but left at 14 and worked as a plumber to look after his mother when his father fell ill. He was an accomplished sportsman and a keen cyclist and sportsman.

Kenna served in the Citizen Military Forces before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Forces in 1940. He served initially in the 23rd/21st Battalion but was posted to the 2nd/4th in 1943. In October 1944 he embarked from Cairns with his unit bound for New Guinea.

In June 1945, three weeks after the attack on the Wirui Mission feature, Kenna was taking part in a similar operation when he was hit in the mouth by an explosive bullet and evacuated. When told he was likely to die he simply exclaimed: “Pigs”. But he recovered and in December 1946 he was discharged.

Kenna returned to work in Hamilton at the Borough hall and then as curator of the Melville Oval. He was presented to the Queen when she visited the newly-restored Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra in March 2000; he appeared on a postage stamp in the same year. A portrait of Kenna by Sir William Dargie hangs in the Borough hall.

Ted Kenna married, in 1947, Marje Rushberry, who had nursed him in hospital. They had two sons and two daughters, one of whom predeceased him.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/10/2009 at 08:41 AM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 08, 2009

Chinese fireman stops man from dropping daughter from window in dramatic rescue.

Just booted again and found this. WOW.
A crowd tried attacking the slug. Good.
Hey, I approve of the way the Chinese do things. Or should I say their attitude. ok, I approve both cept I wish they’d have let the creep jump. And what is it with those who want to kill themselves but also feel like they must take an innocent child with them. What’s with that?

A Chinese fireman crawled along the eighth-floor ledge of a building to stop a man from dropping his two-year-old daughter out of a window.

By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Published: 12:09PM BST 08 Jul 2009

Hu Binjun, a 34-year-old unemployed man in the central Chinese city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, spent three hours threatening to commit suicide and dangling his daughter out of an apartment building by her legs.

Mr Hu’s wife told Chinese reporters that the couple had argued in the early hours of the morning and that he had been taking drugs.

Several attempts to coax Mr Hu into putting the girl down failed, until Chen Long, a 22-year-old fireman dressed in army uniform, dropped down from a window on the floor above and grabbed the child away from her parent.

As Mr Chen intervened, Mr Hu tried again to snatch the girl back, eventually falling back into his apartment.

He was arrested by the police after the incident on Tuesday, but subsequently attacked by a crowd of onlookers for threatening the life of the girl.

His daughter, who has not been named, suffered bruising on her arms and legs, but no serious injury.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/08/2009 at 09:39 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeHeroesInternational •  
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calendar   Saturday - July 04, 2009

The Americans Who Risked Everything

Hello, and happy Independence Day to all you BMEWSd out there.

While casting about for something to post in honor of what could arguably be the last ‘Independence Day’ celebration under the Obammunista regime (seriously, we need regime change in the US of A NOW!), the best that I could find was this speech from Rush H. Limbaugh, Jr.

That’s right, this is father of the Rush we all know and love; or love to hate if you’re a liberal.

Face it, only liberals can engage in ‘hate’ speech or ‘racist’ speech. Conservatives don’t acknowledge the premise.

In these times, I pray I may live up to the examples of patriotism listed here…

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 07/04/2009 at 02:56 PM   
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calendar   Wednesday - July 01, 2009


Just something some may not have seen and of interest.  And it’s AMERICAN!

The moment construction worker dangling from a crane plucks woman trapped in swirling river to safety

By Sarah Titterton
Last updated at 5:54 PM on 01st July 2009

A construction worker dangles from a crane, his arm stretched out to reach a terrified woman trapped in swirling water at the base of a dam.

These astonishing images show the dramatic rescue of the woman after her boat overturned near the dam on the Des Moines River in Iowa.

She was pulled to safety by the quick-thinking construction crew - but her husband, who was with her in the boat when it overturned yesterday, tragically drowned.

Meanwhile, fire crews tried to throw life preservers from a boat.

After the initial attempt with the crane was unsuccessful, the construction company rigged up Oglesbee to the crane with a harness and Oglesbee was able to grab the woman from the water.

‘They just harnessed me in and dipped me down in the water and I grabbed her,’ he said.

When asked if he volunteered to be rigged to the crane, Oglesbee said he just happened to be wearing the harness.

‘I just told her to hang on tight. I won’t let go,’ Oglesbee recalled.


Emergency crews said it is likely the woman would have drowned had it not been for the construction crew’s heroic rescue operation



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/01/2009 at 01:45 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - June 11, 2009

Gardening Heroics

Wardmama Overcomes Fear and Ick Factor

To Rescue Giant Snake

In case you missed it in one of her comments yesterday, here are the frightful details.

Hey - short break - we have a snake (biggest I’ve even seen - probably 4+ feet) entangled in the plastic bird netting that is the grape protection system. I discovered him yesterday at about 5 pm - he is still alive at 10:41 am. We are trying to figure out how to get him out - 1) without expending money, 2) without getting bitten - although he seems to be more flight than fight) and 3) preferably without cutting the heck out of the netting (which now seems impossible) however, since he was alive - I tried using the small shears we have out in the garden - no luck and the tree pruner (give me some distance please) - again no such luck. So I think I will sacrifice one of my forever knives (as they are brand new, I have two paring knives and I think that they might be sharp enough to do the cutting). Did I mention that it is pouring down rain? What fun.

I wrote her back with a couple of suggestions for capturing snakes, and some advice for putting in a couple of plants that are natural snake repellents. And I asked for pictures of course!

Drew, I had the urge to run screaming (or magically levitate as your mom did) - but I’ve been around the most egregious of animals (heck a crocodile in the bath tub) - that my run screaming mode has a kill switch. And then yesterday my ‘oh look at the poor animal trapped - how can I get him out’, mommy mode kicked in.

However, I do know that holding his tail end while hubby was cutting the netting away - my heart was racing at about 200 beats a millisecond.

So here:
The first one, shows you how far away I was taking the first pictures.
The rest are pretty much self explanatory.

I am shooting off a note to Fiskars - can’t believe that the garden shears (which I’ve used to cut the metal tying ‘string’) and the pruners didn’t cut at all but the Fiskars scissors (and older ones at that, they started in my desk) did the trick.

I have never heard about the rue - will look into it. And tell people if they can identify the snake - we’d be much appreciated - would like to know exactly what is roaming around behind us.





Ok, do we have any herpetologists with snake ID skills here? She didn’t mention that it had a rattle, so it’s not a rattlesnake. But that big diamond shaped head says Viper to me ... but I don’t know squat about snakes.

And I think she deserves some sort of recognition, for both eco-sympathy and braveness. Maybe we should call her Snake Wrangler from now on or something? LOL



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/11/2009 at 11:21 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsDaily LifeHeroes •  
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calendar   Monday - June 01, 2009

World’s Most Dangerous Fire Department

I think the award, which I just thought up, would have to go to the good men and women of Jaffrey, NH.


current members of the Jaffrey NH fire department

Jaffrey is a small town in southwest New Hampshire. Population about 5700. Your typical, quaint, quiet New England town, right?

Wrong. Jaffrey is home to D.D. Bean & Sons, the company that makes just about all the paper matches in the western hemisphere. It is also home to the Atlas Fireworks Company. Printgra, a large printing company, is there too, along with Millipore, “a biomanufacturing and Life Science research company”. Not to mention an electronics company and a concrete screeder company.

So you’ve got thousands and thousands of tons of sulfur, phosphorus, and other igniferous chemicals, huge amounts of dry paper, thousands of more tons of blackpowder, plus all sorts of germs and things in a big research lab.  While this makes it seem that unemployment in Jaffrey should be very low, I’ve got a feeling that one wrong spark and the whole place would disappear right off the map.

Hey, let’s see if the town fathers want a welding machine testing company, or perhaps a propane torch company to come and join the industrial throng! And a munitions factory while we’re at it! And a coal mine and a cotton lint processing plant. Plus a flour mill! Horry clap.

Yup, most dangerous fire department in the country. Or the world. My hat’s off to them.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/01/2009 at 01:41 PM   
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calendar   Thursday - May 21, 2009

Women in battle against Taliban in Swat.  Hey, if true it’s good news. Macho Talis gunned down

Taliban gunned down by the women of a village. Kudos to them.

Women joined villagers in a revolt against the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley where a major military offensive against fundamentalist fighters has been launched.

By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Last Updated: 3:31PM BST 21 May 2009

An attempt by the Taliban to infiltrate Kalam village was repulsed in the first sign that the army’s action is encouraging residents to stand up against the militants. Kalam’s deputy mayor, Shamshad Haqqai, said that about 50 Taliban fighters tried to enter Kalam on Wednesday but that locals had fought them off.

The militants had come to the village to collect arms, ammunition and food.

Muhammadi Room, a Kalam resident, said the Taliban visited the house of a local elder, Mehar Rafi in the Bijlee Ghar area of Kalam but, as there were no men inside the house, the women climbed to the rooftop of the house and opened fire. Five Taliban were killed at the scene.

A doctor from the area, who did not want to be named, said a group of Taliban entered his clinic before taking him to a place were several fighters were injured. He said he treated the Taliban, numbering around six or seven, before being asked to leave.

Locals said the Pakistani security forces, which are involved in operation against the Taliban in Swat, had not yet reached Kalam to assist the revolt.

The army claims it has killed more than 1,000 militants and won back swathes of territory in Swat. But it faces stiff resistance and has ventured no prediction of when the Taliban will be defeated.

Authorities say the clashes have prompted about 1.9 million people to flee their homes, creating a humanitarian crisis that could sap popular support for the drive. Locals said an outflow had also started from South Waziristan amid predictions of a Swat-style operation in the stronghold of Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

At a donors’ conference yesterday in Islamabad, Pakistan’s allies promised $224 million in aid for people displaced by the offensive.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 05/21/2009 at 12:14 PM   
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calendar   Friday - April 24, 2009

ANOTHER BATTLING BRIT PASSES.  R.I.P.  Flight Lieutenant Walter Morison.

That generation and especially the men and women who saw action of one kind or another in WW2, are sadly passing.

Last month, my wife’s Uncle Ray, aged 89, proud member of the RAF and wore his patch with pride, passed away.  There aren’t any war stories connected with him. No dramatic escape from a POW camp as he was never in one. Fortunately.  I only bring up Uncle Ray, a tough old guy to the very end and much loved, because he too was a part of that generation who made sure I survived and the rest of you don’t have to speak German.  Or Japanese.

Well, this post is to honor and say RIP to one hell of a brave airman of that period, Flight Lieutenant Walter Morison.
This proud Yank is sure glad you were on OUR SIDE.  Thank You.

Flight Lieutenant Walter Morison, who has died aged 89, escaped from Stalag Luft III in June 1943 when he and a colleague attempted to steal a German aircraft to fly to Sweden; their audacious effort was thwarted at the last moment and he soon found himself imprisoned in Colditz Castle, where he remained for the rest of the war.

Morison’s path to captivity had begun on the night of June 5/6 1942, when he took off in his Wellington to bomb Essen. As he crossed the Dutch/German border his aircraft collided with another bomber. He was the only member of his crew able to parachute to safety, but on landing badly damaged his shoulder.

After a few weeks in hospital he arrived on July 28 at Goering’s “show camp” on the outskirts of Sagan, 100 miles south-east of Berlin. He soon discovered that the principal pastime was attempting to escape, and he described it as a game that was “like an English field sport played by the rules, which both sides understood”. These rules were to endure until March 1944, when, after the Great Escape, the Germans shot 50 prisoners.

By the spring of 1943, the escape organisation at Sagan had been placed on a formal footing under the control of Squadron Leader Roger Bushell (known as “Big X"), one of those who would be shot a year later. Morison became a member of the “Gadget Factory”, making tools, ventilation systems and pumps to be used in the tunnels for the Great Escape. He and his team saw themselves as “subcontractors”.

He also hit on the idea of building a glider, and convinced Lorne Welch, a colleague who shared the same hut and had an excellent and imaginative engineering brain, that it was a feasible project. They approached Big X, but before the plan could be put into action, there was an opportunity to escape.

Welch and Morison were chosen to escape by “borrowing” a German plane, and homespun Luftwaffe uniforms were run up for the purpose. On June 10 they were among 22 prisoners who shambled out of the compound “guarded” by two of their number, both of whom spoke German and were dressed in the bogus uniforms. Once out of the camp, the party dived into the surrounding woods, where Morison and Welch exchanged their clothes for the Luftwaffe uniforms before heading for a nearby airfield.

While all the other PoWs were quickly recaptured, Morison and Welch made it to an airfield near Kupper after living rough for a week. Overnight they shaved and tried to make their uniforms presentable. The following morning they picked the lock of a security gate and strolled on to the airfield.

There they found a small training aircraft, a Junkers W34, parked by the control tower. They got on board, only to discover that it had to be started by an external handle. While Morison remained in the cockpit, Welch was about to start the aircraft when the rightful crew appeared.

The two RAF flight lieutenants saluted the approaching Germans, who assumed that they were ground crew and ordered them to start the aircraft. As soon as it had taxied away, Morison and Welch made themselves scarce. The following day they returned to the airfield and found a small biplane. But as they tried to start it, the pair were apprehended; the game was up. A few hours later they were welcomed back to Sagan by the commandant, who rewarded them with six weeks in the “cooler”.
Walter Morison (right) and Lorne Welch in their Luftwaffe uniformsimage

They were threatened with a court martial and execution for wearing German uniforms and for espionage. Instead they were transferred to Colditz.
Walter McDonald Morison was born on November 26 1919 at Beckenham, Kent, and educated at Stowe. After a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, he volunteered for the RAF on the day the war broke out. He was already a glider pilot, and was soon accepted for pilot training. After being commissioned, he joined No 241 (Army Co-operation) Squadron in February 1941, flying the Lysander.

Morison’s time with No 241 was short, as he was transferred to a bomber training unit as an instructor on Wellingtons before joining No 103 Squadron in May 1942. His second operation was on Bomber Command’s first “Thousand Bomber Raid” when 1,046 aircraft attacked Cologne on the night of May 30/31. Six nights later he took off for Essen on his third and final operation.

The basic qualification to be in Colditz was to be a member of the “Prominente”, or an inveterate escaper. Morison’s escaping activities, however, were over, and he took on the job of running the canteen, participated in theatre productions and studied for accountancy exams. Compared to Sagan, he found Colditz a relatively comfortable place and the guards friendly; he did, though, express irritation at the incessant patter of the bridge players.

Finally, in April 1945, the American Army arrived and Morison and his fellow prisoners were freed. A few days later he was flown back to England, and in July was released from the RAF.
Morison qualified as a chartered accountant, and in 1960 he became the senior partner in Morison & Stoneham, where he remained until his retirement 21 years later.

Like many of his breed, Morison was quintessentially unassuming. When asked what he had done in the war he replied: “Not a lot. Taught some people to fly. Dropped some bombs. Taken prisoner. Escaped. Tried to borrow an aircraft from the Luftwaffe. Caught. Sent to Colditz. That was all there was really. A very ordinary war.”

He wrote about his wartime experiences in Flak and Ferrets – One Way to Colditz.
Walter Morison died on March 26. He met his wife, Joan Devas, a physiotherapist, shortly after returning from Colditz. She died in 2005, and he is survived by their two sons and two daughters.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/24/2009 at 09:54 AM   
Filed Under: • HeroesUKWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Monday - April 13, 2009


The Goons ...
Abbott and Costello

This little blurb appeared last week in a Richard Littlejohn column. Sorry, no link so am copying. It’s funny but it’s stupid too and shows how much thinking does not go into a council’s decision. Jeesh.

A FLYING school at an airport in Essex applied for planning permission to build an accommodation block for trainee pilots.

They were initially turned down because they didn’t have a bathroom with disabled access.  EVEN THOUGH THEY PROTESTED THAT THE FLIGHT DECK OF A BOEING 737 wasn’t wheelchair compatible, the council insisted.  So now they have a huge bike storage room complete with disabled toilet.


I should explain for Yanks who may not know.  Bader was a highly decorated RAF fighter pilot in last war.  Had no legs.  Check out the link below. This guy was Unbelievable.
He was shot down by Germans, escaped and was captured and tried again.
The Germans so admired his bravery, they allowed an artificial leg to be air dropped at POW camp.

DOUGLAS BADER - “personification of RAF heroism during the Second World War.”



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/13/2009 at 01:51 PM   
Filed Under: • HeroesUK •  
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calendar   Saturday - February 28, 2009

Update on Rachel Lucas

I don’t know how many of you follow Rachel Lucas but I have for a few years. Recently, she’s moved to Britain (pay attention peiper) and blogs quite a bit about the differences between Texas and Britain. Funny as only Rachel can make it. But she does miss certain things

My new best girlfriend.

I miss blogging about the news. Especially news involving elderly women, sauce pans, burglars getting hit with sauce pans, and hilarious after-action quotes:

The 70-year-old wife of a Lorain County Family Court judge meted out a little domestic justice of her own Tuesday afternoon when she fought off four robbers with her favorite saucepan.

Ellen Basinski refused to be intimidated by a man and three boys who forced their way into her house on Columbus Street and demanded money.

“One of them picked up my purse and just dumped it out,” she said Wednesday. “Now, my purse is like Fibber McGee’s closet, it’s got everything in there. I got very angry.”

Before she even gave much thought about what she should do, she grabbed an Emeril Lagasse 5-quart saucepan.

“I picked up the saucepan and smacked him right on the head,” she said. “He looked at me and said, ‘Lady, why did you do that?’ And I hit him again.”

Ellen, I love you and would like to take your hand in marriage.

All four of the ‘tards ran away in fear and were immediately caught and charged with aggravated burglary. LOL. Sorry, it had to be said and said again: LOL. Thwarted by Grandma with a sauce pan.

Love ya Rachel. And I found the video:

Judge’s wife serves up justice

“I’ve learned that alcohol can cause problems” laughing_tv Did she say that to be funny? What? Alcohol causes you to throw a bottle of Jack Daniels...and miss?


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 02/28/2009 at 06:51 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimeFun-StuffHeroesStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Sunday - February 22, 2009

The Real Prize

A guest post by Rancino.


There recently was the death of a 98-year-old lady named Irena Sendler.

During WWII, Irena got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist.

She had an ulterior motive… She KNEW what the Nazi’s plans were for the Jews, (being German).  Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of her tool box she carried, and she also carried in the back of her truck a Burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

During her time and course of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi’s broke both her legs and arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard.  After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it, and reunited the families. Most, of course, had been gassed. Those kids she helped were placed into foster family homes or adopted.

Last year Irena was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ...


Al Gore won for doing a slide show on Global Warming.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/22/2009 at 04:38 PM   
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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