Anarchy In Britishland

Why do I giggle like a little girl when I read stories like this one?

Villagers are praising a fire that destroyed an ‘archaic’ toll booth that charged drivers 12p in cash only to cross the Manchester Ship Canal and caused frustratingly long traffic queues. Warburton bridge toll booth is suspected to have been reduced to ash by an arsonist who became fed up of waiting waiting to cross the bridge.

But wait!  The powers-that-be are not taking this lying down:

The booth’s owners, Peel Ports, are planning to replace the destroyed structure with a more modern toll.

…and I hope this one gets torched as well, especially if it’s an expensive modern one.  For a 12p (50c) toll?  FFS.

Anyone remember the spate of vandalism directed at speed cameras in Britishland a couple years back?  I do:

When Gummint has to put up cameras to catch the people who are vandalizing cameras, that’s when we’ll know we’re winning.

In the meantime back here in Murka, we can just fall back on the old (hypothetical, that is) question of whether one should use a rifle or shotgun instead of playing with matches;  and if a rifle, what caliber?  Myself, I tend to favor the .45-70 Government, but I’m prepared to listen to other suggestions.

Memorial Day

Charles Loxton was a small man, no taller than 5’6”, and was born in 1899.  This means that when he fought in the muddy trenches of France during the First World War, he was no older than 17 years old — Delville Wood, where he was wounded, took place in July 1916.

Seventeen years old.  That means he would have been a little over sixteen when he enlisted. In other words, Charles must have lied about his age to join the army — many did, in those days, and recruiting officers winked at the lies.  After all, the meat grinder of the Western Front needed constant replenishment, and whether you died at 17, 18 or 19 made little difference.

Why did he do it?  At the time, propaganda told of how the evil Kaiser Wilhelm was trying to conquer the world, and how evil Huns had raped Belgian nurses after executing whole villages.  Where Charles lived as a young boy, however, the Kaiser was no danger to him, and no German Uhlans were going to set fire to his house, ever.

But Charles lied about his age and joined up because he felt that he was doing the right thing.  That if good men did nothing, evil would most certainly win.

It’s not as though he didn’t know what was coming:  every day, the newspapers would print whole pages of casualty lists, the black borders telling the world that France meant almost certain death.  The verification could be found in all the houses’ windows which had black-crepe-lined photos of young men, killed on the Somme, in Flanders, in Ypres, and at Mons.

He would have seen with his own eyes the men who returned from France, with their missing limbs, shattered faces and shaky voices.  He would have heard stories from other boys about their relatives coming back from France to other towns — either in spirit having died, or else with wounds so terrible that the imagination quailed at their description.

He would have seen the mothers of his friends weeping at the loss of a beloved husband.  Perhaps it had been this man and not his father who had taught him how to fish, or how to shoot, or how to cut (from the branches of a peach tree) a “mik” (the “Y”) for his catapult.

But Charles, a 16-year-old boy, walked out of his home one day and went down to the recruiting center of the small mining town, and joined the Army.

When years later I asked him why he’d done it, he would just shrug, get a faraway look in his blue eyes, and change the subject.  Words like duty, honor, country, I suspect, just embarrassed him. But that didn’t mean he was unaware of them.

So Charles joined the Army, was trained to fight, and went off to France.  He was there for only four months before he was wounded.  During the attack on the German trenches at Delville Wood, he was shot in the shoulder, and as he lay there in the mud, a German soldier speared him in the knee with his bayonet, before himself being shot and killed by another man in Charles’ squad.  At least, I think that’s what happened — I only managed to get the story in bits and pieces over several years.  But the scars on his body were eloquent witnesses to the horror: the ugly cicatrix on his leg, two actually (where the bayonet went in above the knee and out below it), and the star-shaped indentation in his shoulder.

The wounds were serious enough to require over a year’s worth of extensive rehabilitation, and they never really healed properly.  But Charles was eventually passed as fit enough to fight, and back to the trenches he went.  By now it was early 1918 — the Americans were in the war, and tiny, limping Private Charles Loxton was given the job as an officer’s batman: the man who polished the captain’s boots, cleaned his uniform, and heated up the water for his morning shave every day.  It was a menial, and in today’s terms, demeaning job, and Charles fought against it with all his might.  Eventually, the officer relented and released him for further line service, and back to the line he went.

Two months later came the Armistice, and Charles left France for home, by now a grizzled veteran of 19.  Because he had been cleared for trench duty, he was no longer considered to be disabled, and so he did not qualify for a disabled veteran’s pension.

When he got back home, there were no jobs except for one, so he took it.  Charles became, unbelievably, a miner.  His crippled knee still troubled him, but he went to work every day, because he had to earn money to support his mother, by now widowed, and his younger brother John.  The work was dangerous, and every month there’d be some disaster, some catastrophe which would claim the lives of miners.  But Charles and his friends shrugged off the danger, because after the slaughter of the trenches, where life expectancy was measured in days or even hours, a whole month between deaths was a relief.

But he had done his duty, for God, King and country, and he never regretted it.  Not once did he ever say things like “If I’d known what I was getting into, I’d never have done it.”  As far as he was concerned, he’d had no choice — and that instinct to do good, to do the right thing, governed his entire life.

At age 32, Charles married a local beauty half his age.  Elizabeth, or “Betty” as everyone called her, was his pride and joy, and he worshipped her his whole life.  They had five children.

Every morning before going to work, Charles would get up before dawn and make a cup of coffee for Betty and each of the children, putting the coffee on the tables next to their beds.  Then he’d kiss them, and leave for the rock face.  Betty would die from multiple sclerosis, at age 43.

As a young boy, I first remembered Charles as an elderly man, although he was then in his late fifties, by today’s standards only middle-aged.  His war wounds had made him old, and he had difficulty climbing stairs his whole life.  But he was always immaculately dressed, always wore a tie and a hat, and his shoes were polished with such a gloss that you could tell the time in them if you held your watch close.

Charles taught me how to fish, how to cut a good “mik” for my catapult, and watched approvingly as I showed him what a good shot I was with my pellet gun.  No matter how busy he was, he would drop whatever he was doing to help me — he was, without question, the kindest man I’ve ever known.

In 1964, Charles Loxton, my grandfather, died of phthisis, the “miner’s disease” caused by years of accumulated dust in the lungs.  Even on his deathbed in the hospital, I never heard him complain — in fact, I never once heard him complain about anything, ever.  From his hospital bed, all he wanted to hear about was what I had done that day, or how I was doing at school.

When he died, late one night, there was no fuss, no emergency, no noise; he just took one breath, and then no more.  He died as he had lived, quietly and without complaint.

From him, I developed the saying, “The mark of a decent man is not how much he thinks about himself, but how much time he spends thinking about others.”

Charles Loxton thought only about other people his entire life.

In Memoriam

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings

Some dickhead walks into a restaurant and for reasons that will be forever unknown (see below) starts shooting indiscriminately into the patrons, wounding several.

Whereupon another patron takes umbrage at this foolishness, draws his own handgun and shoots Mr. Dickhead dead on the spot.  Because this happened in Oklahoma and not Massachusetts, California or New York, no charges will be filed against Our Hero.

[pause to let cheering and applause die down]

Of course, some people are going to be wondering Why This Man Did Such An Evil Thing, and What Are The Root Causes Of Such Behavior, and all that crap.  Me, I don’t care.  The asshole is dead, nobody else died, and all because a law-abiding gun owner was able to deal with the situation before the cops arrived, over five minutes later.

Predictably, the International Gun Control Set (IGCS) didn’t see it the way I do, arguing that if all eeeevil guns were banned, then there’d be no need for the law-abiding to carry guns of their own — based on the assumption that criminals are going to obey the law which bans guns.  Then the IGCS went off and had a meal of tasty pixie dust pie, washed down with a cool drink of unicorn tears on the rocks.

This evening, I’ll just take care of my own 1911, which will need cleaning after the Friday afternoon range session.

Then I’ll raise my glass of single malt to salute Our Hero, who did what had to be done.  Feel free to join me.


P.S.  If newspapers were truly interested in informing the public, they’d find out what gun Our Hero used, what caliber it was chambered in, what boolets he used, and where he shot the asshole.  But nooo… that would be akin to a public service, and we can’t have that.

Dept. Of Righteous Shootings — International Division

So this choirboy in São Paulo decides to indulge in a little impromptu income redistribution by pulling a gun and trying to rob some mommies waiting to pick up their kids outside a school.

Whereupon one of the mommies pulls a gun and pops said choirboy three times in the chest, killing his worthless ass.

[pause to let the cheering and applause die down]

Turns out that Our Heroine was an off-duty cop, but that’s irrelevant because she could have been any mommy packing a piece for self-defense, couldn’t she?  (Of course, this would have been impossible anywhere there’s one of those stupid laws banning guns within x yards of a school, but let’s not quibble about that for a moment.)

Even better, from our perspective, is that the entire incident was caught on surveillance video.  (Note how Our Heroine treats the soon-to-be dead choirboy while he’s still alive and lying on the ground: that alone should cause another round of applause.)

And one final note of good cheer:  Our Heroine’s bosses in the police have commended her on her actions instead of treating her like the criminal.  Good for them.

Pushing Back

Here’s a headline I can get behind:

Bavaria orders Christian crosses to be hung at the entrance of ALL government buildings

…and the rationale is equally pleasant:

The German state’s government said the crosses should not be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern state’s ‘cultural identity and Christian-western influence’.

Needless to say, the Usual Suspects are outraged, as always, but fuck ’em.

I’ve been to Bavaria many times, and I can’t say I’m surprised at this. From what I’ve seen and gathered, southern Germans have more in common with American Southerners than they do with their northern compatriots. They’re (relatively) conservative, deeply religious and fiercely patriotic.

Good for them. Let’s see more gestures like this, thrown in the teeth of the creeping socialism and nihilism of modern society. And not just in Bavaria, either.

As a reminder: I’m not even a Christian, and this pleases me.

Dept. Of Righteous Killings

This from Britishland:

Police were called in the early hours of Wednesday morning after reports of a burglary in progress and a man injured at an address in Hither Green.
Mr Osborn-Brooks, who was at home with his disabled wife Maureen, had found two men inside the address and a struggle ensued between him and the men.
It is believed that one of the suspects had a screwdriver and threatened the homeowner with it.
Vincent, from Kent, was found collapsed on the street and had suffered a stab wound to the upper body. He was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a central London hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3.37am.

So far, so good. To summarize: violent career criminal (it turns out) invades home, threatens elderly homeowner and gets killed for his efforts. [pause to let applause and cheering die down]

But of course, this is not-so-Great Britain, where criminals may not face consequences for their criminal actions — especially at the hands of the public, no matter what the cause. So Our Hero faced the wrath of the Fuzz:

He was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and further arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken to a south London police before being bailed.

[pause to let howls of outrage subside]

However, there is a happy ending:

[He] has now been told that no action will be taken following discussions between the Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Needless to say, the air is full of relatives (most of them career criminals as well) wailing about how the dead goblin had a heart of gold (a perforated heart of gold, as it turns out) and He Didn’t Deserve To Die because he was just trying to support his family (I’m not making this up; it was in an earlier report).

But this being Britain, there’s a sting in the tale [sic]:

On Friday, [Our Hero’s] house was being boarded up and metal shutters were placed over windows amid security fears. Two vans, one with a cherry picker on the back, arrived this afternoon to secure the empty house. Heavy duty security grills were also fitted around all the windows.

So in defending himself from two murderous intruders, he now has to live his life cowering behind boarded-up windows, in fear of reprisal from the dead asshole’s relatives; because while the Britcops are very efficient in arresting the law-abiding, they’re completely incompetent when it comes to protecting them. And of course, there is no way in hell Our Hero is ever going to be allowed to own a shotgun to protect himself.

This is not going to end well. You read it here first.

So when our local would-be gun controllers confiscators talk about “reasonable U.K.-style gun laws”, please note that this would be one of the outcomes for us law-abiding folks.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the range.