'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

29 August 2013


The house funded yesterday. For those of you who have never sold a house before it's the call you nervously wait for and try desperately not to think about. But it's finally done. We should be getting a check in a few days. Plus, we no longer have that connection to California.

This has been a massive blessing for us. We have been carrying that mortgage on our backs for a long time. This means we can finally go forward with the next phase of the remodel on our house (I love saying our house and not having to append a modifier). We are thankful and have expressed such in our prayers. And thank you to all of you who wished us well and included us in yours! The power of prayer knows no limits. I hope MonkeyWrangler had the same success.

Of course now I have no more excuses on why I haven't started the latest home project. What's up next? It's currently a toss up between the kitchen and master bedroom/second bathroom. I've been leaning toward the kitchen but we really, really need that second bathroom. We'll see. I anticipate making the decision and starting demo next month. Ah, blog fodder.

And did I mention there will be two new guns in the Six household very shortly? Stay tuned, I'll have a write up just as soon as they're bought.

Ah, I feel so much lighter today.


25 August 2013

Sunday Kipling

Another week has come and gone. I hope it was a good one. Lu and I signed the paperwork on the California house today and it was sent on it's way out there. We're hoping it'll close on Monday or Tuesday. This is the hardest time. We're soooooo close.

Thanks to everyone who still visits and leaves comments. I've been so remiss lately in answering them. I apologize. Hopefully things will slow down just as soon as the house business is finished. I love being busy but this has been ridiculous.

Have a great Sunday all. Eat something hot and tasty. Have a few laughs with good friends. Kiss your better half and remind them why fell in love with you in the first place.


There was a row in Silver Street that's near to Dublin Quay,
Between an Irish regiment an' English cavalree;
It started at Revelly an' it lasted on till dark:
The first man dropped at Harrison's,
the last forninst the Park.
For it was: -- "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's one for you!"
An' it was "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's done for you!"
O buckle an' tongue
Was the song that we sung
From Harrison's down to the Park!
There was a row in Silver Street -- the regiments was out,
They called us "Delhi Rebels", an' we answered "Threes about!"
That drew them like a hornet's nest -- 
we met them good an' large,
The English at the double an' the Irish at the charge.
Then it was: -- "Belts, &c."
There was a row in Silver Street -- an' I was in it too;
We passed the time o' day, an' then the belts went whirraru!
I misremember what occurred, but subsequint the storm,
A Freeman's Journal Supplemint was all my uniform.
O it was: -- "Belts, &c."
There was a row in Silver Street -- they sent the Polis there,
The English were too drunk to know, the Irish didn't care;
But when they grew impertinint we simultaneous rose,
Till half o' them was Liffey mud an' half was tatthered clo'es.
For it was: -- "Belts, &c."
There was a row in Silver Street -- 
it might ha' raged till now,
But some one drew his side-arm clear, an' nobody knew how;
'Twas Hogan took the point an' dropped; 
we saw the red blood run:
An' so we all was murderers that started out in fun.
While it was: -- "Belts, &c."
There was a row in Silver Street -- 
but that put down the shine,
Wid each man whisperin' to his next: 
"'Twas never work o' mine!"
We went away like beaten dogs, 
an' down the street we bore him,
The poor dumb corpse that couldn't tell 
the bhoys were sorry for him.
When it was: -- "Belts, &c."
There was a row in Silver Street -- it isn't over yet,
For half of us are under guard wid punishments to get;
'Tis all a merricle to me as in the Clink I lie:
There was a row in Silver Street -- begod, I wonder why!
But it was: -- "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's one for you!"
An' it was "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's done for you!"
O buckle an' tongue
Was the song that we sung
From Harrison's down to the Park!
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24 August 2013


 My range, the Southern Utah Practical Shooters, hold what they call Tuesday Night Steel. It's really a blast and an excellent way to get introduced to the game. It's also a regular part of USPSA and affects your overall rating in the organization. I'm still unrated but I'm confident I can shoot Class C. Maybe B but then again......

The Range Officer announces the lineup to shoot. I'm second for the first stage. I'm a little nervous shooting competition in front of so many good shooters but I'm also beginning to find my groove and my confidence. This is the third steel shoot I've attended. Time to see if I've learned anything.

The steel rings and disappears with gratifying regularity. I shot that stage pretty well. I'm not exactly feeling cocky....maybe a bit overconfident. That's foreshadowing right there.

Stage 2 is just as satisfying. I'm not missing. My times are off the top shooters but hey, they've been doing this for years, they're supposed to be beating me badly.

Stage 3. Um. I'm still holding my own but that wasn't the best I've shot or know that I can shoot. I missed only a few but I had to make them up but that costs time. I gotta do better on this last stage. I'm feeling good. The targets are going down, my time is respectable and I'm feeling almost like I belong.

Stage 4. Near disaster. I was simply going too fast, trying to make up for the slow time on Stage 3 and it jumped up and bit me on the butt whilst simultaneously laughing in my ear. Mister Murphy is a cruel fellow. I got to one of the mini poppers and it just stubbornly refused to go down. I think someone was holding it up with a line or something because I just could not drop it. I must have shot 12 round at that little @#$%^&ing target before it fell with a soul crushing clang. 63 seconds. Dropped me from an easy 5th to a close 6th (Yep, they spelled my name wrong. Since I still pretty much suck I think I'll just let it go). Not bad for only my third ever steel competition but 5th would have been better.

It's an interesting discipline this USPSA. I'm enjoying it. Trying hard to listen, learn and absorb. Watching the better shooters and asking questions. So far I've learned a new stance, new grip and new sight picture for at least some of the targets. The learning curve is steep for a 54 year old who has it learned one way and then practiced that for 33 years. I am learning and improving. From 11th to 8th to 6th (should have been 5th dagnab it!!)

Luckily this range is run by a guy who believes in community outreach and bringing in new shooters. They run regular steel shoots, Friday night USPSA classes and every Wednesday night they invite the ladies who don't want to shoot USPSA (yet anyway) to come out and have some fun. One of the better shooters in the club, Glen Wong, has been kindly giving me the benefit of his knowledge and skills. All of it without cost. Yes, I said that. I've been getting instruction worth hundreds of dollars on a weekly basis gratis. Lu too. She's been going to the Wednesday night shoots and her Mom has been going with her. Good stuff right there.

There's more to come. I'll shoot my first qualifier sometime this Fall. Hopefully before it gets too cold. From there we'll see. It takes time and ammunition to get better. Time I got, ammo is another thing. I guess it's time to crank up the reloader.


21 August 2013

For Paladin And Gunny

I apologize up front for my dearth of posting. I'm in the middle of learning a whole new shooting discipline and trying to get some writing done. Until things start to break and settle I see a lot of puff posts for a while. But hey, there are puff posts and puff posts if you know what I mean and I think you do. Take this one for example.

That's cute to the power of infinity right there.

For those who don't know Paladin has a Bloodhound named Gunny who is a wonderful dog. When I saw this video I just couldn't help myself.

19 August 2013

Alternative Bicycle

I love my bikes. I'm always slavering over the latest and bestest new offerings and machinating over how to upgrade to something that costs approximately the same as an aircraft carrier. There's also some alternatives to the usual two wheels and one rider sitting atop combo most of us are familiar with. I know The MonkeyWrangler likes her recumbents though I have yet to try one.

But this is something new on me.

Talk about a bicycle built for two. I could totally see me and Lu on one of these. Maybe with a nice basket on back for Angus.

Ah, those wacky Poles.


18 August 2013

Sunday Kipling

No new gun as of yet though I am looking at two in particular; the M&P Pro 9 and the SA XDM 5.25 competition. I should have something bought this coming week but I'm in no hurry. I want to make sure I get what I really need. The shooting is coming along. Competition is a completely different animal compared to what I've done and taught. I'm learning a whole new discipline and teaching it is a case of trying to stay one step ahead of my students. So far so good but I'm sticking with the new shooters, at least for now.

Angus and Lu are doing well. Angus is showing improvement again. We had a scare last month when he came up lame and was tripoding around the house. Doc didn't know so we just kept him down and watched. That was just before the trip out to paint the house so it actually worked out. He spent a week basically just laying around. Now he's apparently taken another step on his recovery. His gait is better than it's been since the accident and he's no longer limping after an exercise session. Great news.

We're keeping our confidence up on the house. I'm hoping to sigh the papers this week. Man, if that happens it will be a massive load off our shoulders. I'm also hoping top get in one last long ride before the weather turns. I have a favorite uncle in Denver and we want to get together for a weekend ride through the Rockies. Gotta happen before it gets too cold up there.

Life is good my friends. I hope this day finds you all in good spirits and with hope for a new day. Never give up. Never succumb to despair. We cannot be beaten, we can only surrender. Have a great week my friends.

We and They

"A Friend of the Family"
From "Debits and Credits"(1919-1923)
Father and Mother, and Me,
  Sister and Auntie say
All the people like us are We,
  And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea,
  While We live over the way,
But-would you believe it? --They look upon We
  As only a sort of They!

We eat pork and beef
  With cow-horn-handled knives.
They who gobble Their rice off a leaf,
  Are horrified out of Their lives;
While they who live up a tree,
  And feast on grubs and clay,
(Isn't it scandalous? ) look upon We
  As a simply disgusting They!

We shoot birds with a gun.
  They stick lions with spears.
Their full-dress is un-.
  We dress up to Our ears.
They like Their friends for tea.
  We like Our friends to stay;
And, after all that, They look upon We
  As an utterly ignorant They!

We eat kitcheny food.
  We have doors that latch.
They drink milk or blood,
  Under an open thatch.
We have Doctors to fee.
  They have Wizards to pay.
And (impudent heathen!) They look upon We
  As a quite impossible They!

All good people agree,
  And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
  And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
  Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
  As only a sort of They!

17 August 2013

Maybe Not A Flying Car But Want Anyway

Man, it's been a hectic week. The sale of the California house continues apace. We didn't sign this week but we signed a few new documents the buyers needed and are a step closer. We have until the 29th but our agent is confident signing will take place next week. Knock on wood.

I caught this somewhere on the web and was fascinated. A one person flying 'Jetpack' for lack of a better word. There's a lot of companies out there at least toying with this stuff but it seems Martin Jetpack is at the point where they're ready to sell some. Price tag is a bit steep at an estimated $100,000 but hey, it's only money. It may not be a flying car but I'll take it.

It has a parachute safety device.

I love my motorcycles but I'd give them up in a hot second for one of these. I wonder if I have anything I can sell. How much for a lightly used kidney?


12 August 2013

35 Years Ago

The lovely and wonderful Lu married me. It was really the start of my life. Our lives together. The DO came along and our family was seemingly complete. Then came a son in law and two precious grandchildren.

A career came and went. We've had highs and lows. Sickness and health. Good times and bad. But we're still together.

I don't think there are any secrets to 35 years together. Nothing profound or brilliant. Just remembering that we love each other and that our lives would be infinitely emptier and sadder alone. In our case the sum of our parts are so much more than more than the individual. Lu and I fit. My weaknesses are her strengths and hers mine. She stays out of the man business and I stay out of the woman. Masculine and feminine. We are happy with who we are and appreciate those qualities we see, and need, in each other.

Lu was the best thing that ever happened to me if only because every other blessing in my life has flowed from that single event. The day she said I Do. That makes me the luckiest man in the world and believe me when I say that is the absolute truth.

To Lu on this day. Thank you sweetheart. For everything. A simple thing from a simple man but that is who I am. I can express it no better and I know I don't really have to. You understand. You always have. On this morning 35 years ago I busted into your room at your house and woke you with a kiss and smile. A few short hours later we were man and wife. A good. A very good day. The best day. You will ever be the treasure of my heart. Time has swept past us in an ever swifter flood but you look exactly the same as you did on that bright morning so long ago. You will always be my sweetheart. My love. My better half. I love you and I always will. I have no idea where the years ahead will take us but I am happy that we will travel that road together. I am content.

Your loving husband

11 August 2013

Sunday Kipling

Tomorrow is a very special day for Lu and I. I'll have a post up about that tomorrow. We spent Saturday at the range helping the shooting club with an Open House that was a rousing success. We had more than 100 new or returning shooters come out for 50 free rounds in a loaner gun, some simple instruction/coaching and just some all around fun. Lu greeted and I coached. I'm loving this place.

We got notice from our real estate agent that the loan process may be done as early as Tuesday and that we might be signing the house over later next week. I'm still trying not to get too comfortable but this is great news. 

We got some nice chicken so a nice early dinner with Sarge and MIL is in order. I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and an even better week. More tomorrow.

A little something light again today. This is another excerpt from Just So Stories.

How The Camel Got His Hump.

       The Camel's hump is an ugly lump
         Which well you may see at the Zoo;
       But uglier yet is the hump we get
         From having too little to do.

       Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
       If we haven't enough to do-oo-oo,
             We get the hump --
             Cameelious hump --
       The hump that is black and blue!

       We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
         And a snarly-yarly voice.                        
       We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
         At our bath and our boots and our toys;

       And there ought to be a corner for me
       (And I know' there is one for you)
             When we get the hump --
             Cameelious hump --
       The hump that is black and blue!

       The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
         Or frowst with a book by the fire;
       But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
         And dig  till you gently perspire;
       And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
       And the Djinn of the Garden  too,
         Have lifted the hump --   
         The horrible hump --
       The hump that is black and blue!
       I get it as well as you-oo-oo --
         If I haven't enough to do-oo-oo!
         We all get hump --
         Cameelious hump --
       Kiddies and grown-ups too!                
                           How the Camel Got His Hump 

08 August 2013

It's Going To Be A Good Day

We need something light and cool today. Something to take the edge off all our troubles and remind us all that sometimes 'just because' is all the excuse we need.

Behold Alejandro Paz in all his glory.

I love my mountain bike and hold my own technical skills in no small esteem but this guy makes me look like a 5 year old on training wheels.

I think we need some more of that awesomeness. 

Wow. I counted approximately eleventy billion times where I would have wiped out and eaten a face full of dirt. At least.

Remember. It's good to be alive. It's good to live in America. It's good to have friends and family and those who are just so special to us. Ignore for a day your cares and woes and revel in life and love and just being free.

Lu and I send each of you our love and our prayers. May this day be a good one.


06 August 2013

I Broke My Gun (Updated)

So tonight was my second USPSA Steel Shoot. It was going...better than last time when on the next to last shot on the third stage (of 4) this happened.

That's my Sig Sauer P226 in .40. I was shooting UMC 180 grain hardball. This happened on about the 50th round of the shoot. I had stripped, cleaned and oiled it before the shoot (lube was Breakfree). I could tell it happened on the recoil as opposed to going back into battery because an expended shell was still captured in the extractor. A closer look.

I tapped on the slide with a soft hammer and after two fairly light blows got it to go back into battery. I noticed that even after I got the slide to go forward the slide would still occasionally stick again though it was when it was fully closed. I decided to strip it down but nothing immediately jumped out at me.

I'm too tired to really get into it tonight but it seems likely I'm going to have to tear the whole thing down to the frame. I'm really hoping it's a part that's not the frame or slide. I've been shooting Sig 226s for more than 15 years and I've never even heard of this failure before.My Sigs have always been dead reliable. At the moment I'm stumped.

I'm open to ideas or suggestions. Anyone ever had this happen to them? Any Sig armorers out there that can give me the benefit of their expertise? This is my retirement gun so it has deep meaning for me. One thing for sure, after this it's going to be a safe queen.

I had my G35 with me so was able to finish the match. I even managed to finish 8th out of 13 so at least I'm improving. Now if I could only fix my gun!


Thanks to you all for the support. I'm in the market for a new race gun even as I type this and Lu is all for it. Ah, a good woman is such a joy and Lu is the best! I called Sig today and arranged to ship the gun back to them for inspection and repair. They say the repair is under warranty so all I have to pay for is the shipping costs which shouldn't exceed a hundred dollars.If all goes well it's a three week turnaround. When all is said and done I'll do a comprehensive post on the process. As for a new gun. I looked at a S&W M&P Pro9. Cost is reasonable and most folks report pretty good results. I want to take a gander at a Glock 34 and an HK before I make any decisions. This is strictly a race gun so if anyone has an opinion please weigh in!
Thanks everyone.

05 August 2013

Why I Just Cancelled My Membership In PORAC

 Rant Warning. About a 7 on the scale. Disgust but limited bad words.

PORAC is the Peace Officer's Research Association of California. It's basically a lobbying and legal defense organization that has branched out to include such things as retired issues, medic care coverage, etc. In those capacities it's fine. I haven't had to utilize any of their services but I know others who have and they have done good work championing cops and the work we do. But.

I have noticed over the last few years an increasing emphasis on their lobbying effort and political activism, including but not limited to endorsing candidates and allowing promoting 'causes'. It's a couple of those included in their latest magazine offering that has caused me to speak my mind and cancel my membership.

Here's a link to their site and the E version of the magazine I get delivered once a month. This is from the August issue.Please RTWT.

Let's start with an article by Paul Villa, the Chief Lobbyist/Government Relations  for the Reno Police Protective Association for PORAN (which is an associate member with PORAC) entitled Strange Bedfellows. It's on page 16 of the magazine. Flip through and give it a quick read. I'm not allowed to reproduce any articles in part or whole so I will have to paraphrase but I encourage you to give that a good read. I think I'm Ok with giving you the title to the article strictly for the purposes of clarity.

In that article he goes to some length to acknowledge that the majority of cops are in fact conservative, of one stripe or another. He went so far as to mention a PoliceOne.com survey that found that found a majority of street officers were opposed to gun control. Here's a link to that survey. He also acknowledges that puts us at odds with mainstream democratic/liberal policies. Ok, fine so far and accurate. He then makes the point that they (he says us but I don't count myself as among his supporters) will take the opposite tack and appeal to Democrats when wages and benefits are under scrutiny. He refers to Republicans in a derogatory manner in regards to fiscal policy. Note the language in that paragraph where the PoliceOne poll is mentioned and the differing way he refers to Dems and Reps. He whines about being questioned as to why they never endorse any Republicans. And here's the payoff.

Mister Villa then goes on, in the very next paragraph, to aver that those of us in the police business hold our pay and benefits above everything else, including the Second Amendment. And that is why they routinely endorse big D candidates in spite of acknowledging that those very same politicians often make the job of policing harder. He goes on to make the argument that he's really bi-partisan and just wants to find a reasonable solution to modern policing but in my mind he has already admitted that he's sold his soul for twenty pieces of silver. In the next to last paragraph he drives that point home when he again alleges that fiscal issues take precedence over other matters when it comes to political endorsements. Essentially he's saying that fiscal conservatives need not apply.

Mister Villa is of course wrong and if he's not then may The Good Lord preserve us all. My priority, both on the job and in my evaluation of political candidates, was police work first with financial considerations taking a distant second place. Most of the cops I know felt the same. We fought for our contracts hard but win or lose, the job was the most important thing in our professional lives. It's precisely the kind of thinking espoused by Mister Villa that got us into this mess in the first place. Me first and to hell with everyone else is anathema to all law enforcement professionals hold dear and to see such printed in the pages of a magazine dedicated to those same men and women makes my blood boil. If it's only about the paycheck it's time to find another line of work and if you believe it's your primary responsibility as a lobbyist for cops to deliver money and only money then you are doing your employers and the general public a huge disservice. Mister Villa, go sell life insurance you venomous, mealy mouthed, boot licker. Make endorsements based on the public and law enforcement good and let the chips fall where they may. Your cops will both understand and support such efforts. Making the job easier and the public safer is job number one and don't you ever forget it. And you cops in Reno (and all of Nevada for that matter) better take a long, hard look at your Chief Lobbyist and start asking some hard questions lest you end up like your California brethren, living in a liberal wasteland. You're uncomfortably close right now if that little tidbit has escaped you.

But wait, we're not done yet. Let's skip ahead to page twenty shall we? There we find the article that caused me to throw my hard copy of the magazine across the room lest I be contaminated by it's mere touch. It's entitled Back to Basics: Another View by Dan Milchovich DPA, a retired Captain from Inglewood PD.

Again, I highly recommend you RTWT as it's a pretty nasty piece of work. It's clear from inference that Captain Milchovich is a card carrying low information voter of the first stripe. I'm going to take just  aminute here to refute some of his garbage.

1. You're arguing the wrong point which was that Congress and it's staffers were going to come under the auspices of ACA (aka Obamacare). That was the law but Obama has now 'fixed' that. Once again the political elite have found a way to insulate themselves from laws they expect the rest of us to follow. Funny how often that happens.

2. Wrong. See above. And if you're wondering how the ACA is going to affect insurance premiums wonder no more.

3. It's not  moot at all. If they have no skin in the game they have no incentive to find reasonable solutions. Here, read this and answer these questions. Where are all those SS contributions going and where will the money to pay off just the current obligations come from?

4. And? The problem here is that we have incentivized political life by making it all about the pay and benefits as opposed to it being, you know, about the public service. You and Mister Villa from PORAN appear to be cut from the same liberal political cloth. Considering a run for public office perhaps? Let's tie Congressional pay to the Average Yearly Income for Americans, kick politicians out of their retirement system and require them to live under all the rules they require us to abide by. Then we can both sit back and watch the exodus of those who are more concerned with accumulating wealth than doing the People's work and maybe we can get this ship righted again.

5. Again. And? Do you support an opt out provision for Social Security? If so then what's your point? If not then why not? How much exactly are you personally willing to sacrifice to ensure SS doesn't go bust?

6. Are you kidding me? Here, take a look at this and tell me how great that program is and how we should be funding it with taxpayer money.

7. Oh really? The real questions are how much is too much and who gets to decide that? I don't think I'm too comfortable leaving those decisions in the hands of people like you, Captain.

8. And here we go. Gun Control. This is an either/or proposition and damn you for posting your lunatic ravings under your former title, Captain. Either you support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights or you don't. If it's the former then sit down and shut up. You're just wrong. If it's the latter then you failed as a police officer and served under dishonorable terms. I think I know which side of the line you fall on in this debate and it disgusts me. And you end with this quote from Jefferson;

"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens."

Do you understand how hypocritical you sound? You are arguing for the very thing Jefferson was warning against in a post espousing disarming Americans in violation of the second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. You're either disingenuous, stupid or a liar. Perhaps a nice combination of all of the above?

Bah. You make me ashamed to have ever worn the same uniform Captain. May my forefathers forgive me and my my children forget you were ever called an American.

So. I have sent off the following letter to PORAC in an e-mail;
A**** G*******

I just received my August issue of the PORAC magazine and I find that in the interest of maintaining my integrity and ethics I must resign from PORAC effective immediately.

I read with horror the articles from Paul Villa, entitled Strange Bedfellows and Dan Milchovich, entitled Back to Basics: Another View. In one the writer maintains that pay and benefits trumps all other considerations and in the other we are treated to a liberal screed full of nonsense and false information. Both are final straws for me.

I have witnessed the turn of PORAC, indeed much of law enforcement lobbying, from what's good for the general public to what's good for law enforcement bottom lines in general and Democratic politicians in particular. In both cases the missing element is the California Taxpayer. I cannot believe that the hardworking man and woman in California (and Nevada apparently) gets such short shrift from an organization ostensibly about protecting working cops so we can deliver a better service to those we are sworn to serve and protect. I am appalled.

Cancel my membership in RPORAC effectively this date; 8/5/2013. I will no longer support your organization in any way, shape or form. In fact I will speak out against your narrow minded and anti Tax Payer public policies at every turn. You will not turn my honorable service into something unethical and wrong. I will no longer be among PORACs supporters. Rather I will be a watchdog against your excesses and attempts to thwart public will through your political activism and pressure

(I signed with my real name)

I'll let you all know how they responded though I anticipate it will be unsatisfying.

04 August 2013

Sunday Kipling

I'm late today. Saturday was interesting. I got up at 6 and went out to the range to play range monkey for a match. I'm liking getting back into serious shooting. I've wanted to do it for a while now and it feels good.

For today's poem a definition is in order.

The medieval Christian personification of the rich man. Dives was doomed to hell fire, while his exact opposite the beggar Lazarus reposed in the bosom of Abraham. In iconography Dives appeared as the epitome of meanness, weighed down with his money-bag and tormented by devils.

I think this poem still carries weight but I'd change the definition of Dives from simply wealthy to political. Especially wealthy and political. It's going to be an interesting summer break. I'm planning on attending my Congressman's appearances to ask some pointed questions and make sure he understands what is and is n ot acceptable in The People's House.

Have a great Sunday everyone. Know that you all are never from our thoughts.

The Peace Of Dives


The Word came down to Dives in Torment where he lay:
"Our World is full of wickedness, My Children maim and slay,
  "And the Saint and Seer and Prophet
  "Can make no better of it
"Than to sanctify and prophesy and pray.

"Rise up, rise up, thou Dives, and take again thy gold,
"And thy women and thy housen as they were to thee of old.
  "It may be grace hath found thee
  "In the furnace where We bound thee,
"And that thou shalt bring the peace My Son foretold."

Then merrily rose Dives and leaped from out his fire,
And walked abroad with diligence to do the Lord's desire;
  And anon the battles ceased,
  And the captives were released,
And Earth had rest from Goshen to Gadire.

The Word came down to Satan that raged and roared alone,
'Mid rhe shouring of the peoples by the cannon overthrown
  (But the Prophets, Saints, and Seers
  Set each other by the ears,
For each would claim the marvel as his own):

"Rise up, rise up, thou Satan, upon the Earth to go,
"And prove the Peace of Dives if it be good or no:
  "For all that he hath planned
  "We deliver to thy hand,
"As thy skill shall serve, to break it or bring low."

Then mightily rose Satan, and about the Earth he hied,
And breathed on Kings in idleness and Princes drunk with pride.
  But for all the wrong he breathed
  There was never sword unsheathed,
And the fires he lighted flickered out and died.

Then terribly 'rose Satan, and darkened Earth afar,
Till he came on cunning Dives where the money-changers are;
  And he saw men pledge their gear
  For the bold that buys the spear,
And the helmet and the habergeon of war.

Yea, to Dives came the Persian and the Syrian and the Mede --
And their hearts were nothing altered, 
nor their cunning nor their greed --
  And they pledged their flocks and farms
  For the King-compelling arms,
And Dives lent according to their need.

Then Satan said to Dives: -- "Return again with me,
"Who hast broken His Commandment in the day He set thee free,
   "Who grindest for thy greed
   "Man's belly-pinch and need,
"And the blood of Man to filthy usury!"

Then softly answered Dives where the money-changers sit: --
"My Refuge is Our Master, O My Master in the Pit.
  "But behold all Earth is laid
  "In the Peace which I have made,
"And behold I wait on thee to trouble it!"

Then angrily turned Satan, and about the Seas he fled,
To shake the new-sown peoples with insult, doubt, and dread;
  But, for all the sleight he used,
  There was never squadron loosed,
And the brands he flung flew dying and fell dead.

But to Dives came Atlantis and the Captains of the West --
And their hates were nothing weakened nor their angers unrest 
  And they pawned their utmost trade
  For the dry, decreeing blade;
And Dives lent and took of them their best.

Then Satan said to Dives: -- "Declare thou by The Name,
"The secret of thy subtlety that turneth mine to shame.
  "It is knowvn through all the Hells
  "How my peoples mocked my spells,
"And my faithless Kings denied me ere I came."

Then answvered cunning Dives: "Do not gold and hate abide
"At the heart of every Magic, yea, and senseless fear beside?
  "With gold and fear and hate
  "I have harnessed state to state,
"And by hate and fear and gold their hates are tied.

"For hate men seek a weapon, for fear they seek a shield --
"Keener blades and broader targes 
than their frantic neighbours wield --
  "For gold I arm their hands,
  "And for gold I buy their lands,
"And for gold I sell their enemies the yield.

"Their nearest foes may purchase, 
or their furthest friends may lease,
"One by one from Ancient Accad to the Islands of the Seas.
  "And their covenants they make
  "For the naked iron's sake,
"But I -- I trap them armoured into peace.

"The flocks that Egypt pledged me to Assyria I drave,
"And Pharaoh hath the increase of the herds that Sargon gave.
  "Not for Ashdod overthrown
  "Will the Kings destroy their own,
"Or their peoples wake the strife they feign to brave.

"Is not Carchemish like Calno? For the steeds of their desire
"They have sold me seven harvests that I sell to Crowning Tyre;
  "And the Tyrian sweeps the plains
  "With a thousand hired wains,
"And the Cities keep the peace and -- share the hire.

"Hast thou seen the pride of Moab?  For the swords about his path,
"His bond is to Philistia, in half of all he hath.
  "And he dare not draw the sword
  "Till Gaza give the word,
"And he show release from Askalon and Gath.

"Wilt thou call again thy peoples, wilt thou craze anew thy Kings?
"Lo! my lightnings pass before thee, 
and their whistling servant brings,
  "Ere the drowsy street hath stirred,
  "Every masked and midnight word,
"And the nations break their fast upon these things.

"So I make a jest of Wonder, and a mock of Time and Space,
"The roofless Seas an hostel, and the Earth a market-place,
  "Where the anxious traders know
  "Each is surety for his foe,
"And none may thrive without his fellows' grace.

"Now this is all my subtlety and this is all my Wit,
"God give thee good enlightenment. My Master in the Pit.
  "But behold all Earth is laid
  "In the Peace which I have made,
"And behold I wait on thee to trouble it!"

01 August 2013

Oorah To The Marines And Lance Corporal Myles Kerr

How do you identify good men? It's actually pretty easy. A Marine, a young boy and a 5K race that ultimately meant nothing except to a boy who just wanted to finish. And, of course, the Marine who refused to leave him behind. I got a chill from reading that account and seeing this picture.

Being a man and a warrior is about so much more than just strapping on the gear and being a badass. It's about honor and fidelity and simple humanity. It's about courage, decency and the willingness to put anothers needs above your own. I am so proud of a nation that still produces men and women like Lance Corporal Myles Kerr. What an impact we can have on the lives of others simply from being honorable. Sometimes being a hero means finishing last.

A huge salute from me to a proud and worthy Warrior. Well done Marine. Very well done indeed. I am honored and humbled to consider myself your comrade in arms.

ht/Ace of Spades