Monday, May 29, 2006

"Thinking not only of the passing of the departed patriots,
But remembering the glory of thair spirit."
--Richard W. Peterson

 Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 27, 2006

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife

For this Memorial Day, I wanted to gather all the information I could and
compose a tribute to my Great Uncle who died 88 years ago this month,
but I've been so busy with work and running with the kids to their sports
activities that this is still rough, even by "The Half S Ranch " standards.
William Alvah Staley was part of Company L, 167th Infantry, 42nd Division.
He died in a gas attack on 29 May 1918 at Baccarat , France.
I learned that the Division Chief of staff for the 42nd "Rainbow", the officer
responsible for coordinating the formation and deployment of this division was Colonel Douglas MacArthur.
A chapter of a doctoral thesis on General MacArthur contains the following, perhaps we can glean some of William Staley's life from the times and events:

"The 42nd "Rainbow" Division assembled at Camp Mills near Garden City Long Island,
New York between mid-August and mid-September 1917. (The 42nd Division was a melding of National Guardsmen from 26 states, William must have met men from all over the country) It began its deployment to Europe on 19 October,( 9 days after William's 18th birthday - how did he celebrate? ) and had all arrived in France by 1 November 1917.
From 7 November 1917 to 13 February 1918 (I wonder what the family sent him for Christmas.) the division was in training behind the front lines. This training was a requirement because of the short time between the division's formation and deployment to Europe. It was also essential because nearly all of the division's artillery pieces, crew served weapons, and heavy equipment were of French or British manufacture. Training in Europe also allowed the division to train with French veterans of trench warfare... The 42nd Division did not enter the line until February 16, 1918 when it occupied a quiet sector of the line near Luneville. Normal practice was to introduce new units into quiet sectors. (How did 18 year old William handle the wait for combat?)By the end of March, the 42nd Division would see significant defensive combat near Bacarrat.
(Where Willaim died 2 months later. What did he experience in those 2 months?
Do any letters home exist?)

There were 268 days between February 16, 1918, when the 42nd Division entered the line and November 11, 1918 when the Armistice took effect. During this time, the 42nd Division participated in combat for 162 days, the third highest total for the twenty-nine divisions assigned to the American Expeditionary Force (AEF). It also suffered the third highest number of casualties, and advanced the third longest distance of the AEF divisions. German intelligence reports rated the 42nd Division as one of the three or four American divisions on a par with elite French and British shock divisions. "
pages 81- 89
I gather that William died in a defensive battle, though his death came one day after this event:
"Near Cantigny on May 28, 1918, the U. S. 1st Division launched the first American attack of the World War." Perhaps the American forces were attacking at Baccarat also. From-
(The above site mentions Company L of the 167th in action in July of 1918.
I am grateful for his sacrifice,
and that of the thousands of soldiers who
never came home. I hope I can live a life
worthy of what it cost them.
It is an honor to serve this nation in the forces
which protect our country and our way of life.
Let us never cease to give honor to whom it is due.

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Til all success be nobleness And every gain divine!"
(America the Beautiful, Katherine Lee Bates).
Veterans Plaza - Remembering Those Who Served Honoring Those Who Died Posted by Picasa
Our local Veteran's Memorial Posted by Picasa
William A. Staley 10 Oct 1899 - 29 May 1918 Posted by Picasa
page 2 Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 26, 2006

Poem 'The Glory of Their Spirit'
When destiny demanded and country called,
They in answer left our rolling hills
and great river valley and learned the arts of war.
Then, on and beneath restless waves of the deep
in endless skies and across vast oceans to island shores
on broad plains and barren hillsides, in dark forests,
on snow-covered mountains and in the rubble of smashed villages
and cities they faced and fought, with valor and dedication,
those who challenged our ideals and freedom and,
in the very vortex of combat were then greeted and embraced by Death.

The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen were not born
to die in the youth of their lives - yet they did.
they were not born to die deaths of violence - yet they did

By cruel and broad circumstances of war, they gave their lives
that we might live our lives in liberty and peace

Never should we forget their ultimate sacrifice

We now in their memory carve their names in stone
and enshrine them in our hearts,
we now cast in eternal bronze, figures who in sorrow and
in the long, long thoughts of youth
reflect on the last measure of devotion given by those we now honor
and we join their mute and motionless yet eloquent presence
in their silent meditation.

Thinking not only of the passing of the departed patriots,
But remembering the glory of thair spirit.
--Richard W. Peterson

 Posted by Picasa
The Veterans memorial in our county contains the name of my Great Uncle, William A. Staley, the eldest brother of my Grandpa. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

'sär-"ka-zm: noun


Main Entry: sar·casm
Pronunciation: 'sär-"ka-z&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Late Latin; French sarcasme,
from Late Latin sarcasmos, from Greek sarkasmos,
from sarkazein to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage,
sneer, from sark-, sarx flesh; probably akin to Avestan
thwar&s- to cut
1 : a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain <tired of continual sarcasms>
2 a : a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual b : the use or language of sarcasm <this is no time to indulge in sarcasm>
3 : The recent "Capitulate Now" post on The Lazy Half S Ranch. synonym see WIT

Regarding the "Capitulate Now" post,
Anonymous said...
you need to study your history more,
and learn that actually the first nuclear
centrifuges that Iran bought were sold to them
by Americans. 1978.Study some more, you know.
You would not want to make such ignorant comments
somewhere else. You know, for your own sake.
Why should an anonymous care about YOUR white ignorance!?
Saturday, May 20, 2006 12:53:49 AM

Why should an anonymous care about YOUR white ignorance!?

Gee, thank you for caring about my (presumed white) ignorance enough to leave an anonymous comment. Very charitible of you.
(BTW, the centrifuge sale was 10 monthes before the Iranian revolution)

Please tell me what was "ignorant" about my post? It wasn't an attempt at an exhaustive history of the Iranian Nuke plan.
Google one if you like.
It was an attempt at sarcasm.

Let me explain-
Bleeding hearts on the left want the US to swoon and bow at any sabre rattling threats or moronic letter writing of the Iranian puppet-of-the-mullahs, er , President.

Those of us on the right would have preferred the death penalty given to Moussaui and wish no compromise with people who are invested in the destruction of ourselves and allies.

The joke, you see, anon (can I call you that?) is that we CAN give in to demands and desires of the terrorists and islamic radicals with strong action against them.
A twist was, I don't want to send centrifuges , reactors, or uranium, just live weapons. Get it? HA,Ha,ha.

I am new at this blogging, I thought the tone of this post was clearly sarcastic.

However, to be perfectly clear,
I would certainly rather deliver nuclear weapons to Iran via cruse missile, airplane or FedEx than to allow the Iranian snakes to have the means to carry out their STATED threats to free people and nations.

Please write again soon!

Regards ,
A (presumed white)ignoramous

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Laughter, the best medicine.

Larry posted this in a discussion about "The daVinci Code":

Here's what a minister friend of mine (who also has a Masters in ancient history) said about The DaVinci Code, which I think is quite fitting:

As a historical commentary on church history
and the life of Jesus it is so laughable
that I am embarrassed for every Christian,
especially pastor who has reacted to it so negatively.
For those who are doing special series like
Exposing the DaVinci Code Myth
or Debunking the Lies of Dan Brown
and his DaVinci Code, how about doing a series
called I'm Sorry that I have not taught
the basics of orthodoxy and church history
because I have been too busy teaching politics
so it is no wonder you are bothered by
something silly like the DaVinci Code.

The fact that there are Christians, and a lot of them at that, who can do anything but laught at the silliness in The DaVinci Code is a sad commentary on the state of Christian discipleship and the ability of the church to fulfill its teaching function. (Doesn't say much good about our school systems, either.)

Contending for the faith entails preparation to respond to questions from honest seekers of truth, and the books, DVD's, websites ,etc. that equip the church to do the work are worthy efforts. But, boycotts, other-cotts, and rage are less effective than laughter at sticking a pin in this puffed-up movie.

Broken Hammer

It's funny that people who would never say,
"All I need to know about the Kennedy assination
I learned from 'JFK' by Oliver Stone."
or, "All I need to know about biology
I learned from the swamp scene in 'King Kong'. "
or "All I need to know about physics
I learned from Wile E. Coyote in 'Looney Toons'."

Will write as if all they needed
to know about Christianity is in "The daVinci Code".

The flick sure stirs up the anti-Christians
  • at the MSN movie review site.

  • Like
  • these

  • confused
  • bubbling fonts of ignorance

  • ( Caution- some reviews contain obscenities)

    The 'Code' is but another tiny hammer of thousands
    that have aspired to break the anvil
    for 2 millenia.

    The hammers wear out.

    The Anvil remains.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    "OK Houston, we've had a problem here."

    I haven't had much time to post lately,
    Mary's birthday, the usual soccer, baseball, softball whirlwind, etc.

    Mother's Day we went to Henderson,NE for Mary's Niece's graduation and party.
    Nice time, amazing how she has grown,
    Caitlin is a gifted artist on her way to college.

    We planned to be home around 11:30.
    On the way home, the alternator quit,
    we finally limped home about 1:30 am .

    I felt a little like Jack Swigert in Apollo 13-
    flipping switches and watching the ammeter closely .
    We powered down everything but the headlights.

    The battery was 5 years old, and fading fast so,
    after a phone call to our mechanic friend Joe,
    we stopped at Wal-Mart and I bought a new battery and tools.
    (Dad taught me better than to travel without a few tools, ooops.)
    Life's still good, it was late enough the kids slept throughout,
    and left the worrying to the parents, as kids should;
    and we made it home.
    I got the old alternator out this evening after some struggle,
    but need the pulley changed on it before I can put the new one in.
    I got the pulley off the old one,
    but I'll have to have the parts store get the other one off,
    my old impact wrench wouldnt budge it.
    Have to finish the job tomorrow.
    Still cheaper than payments,
    unless I need Prozac before the job is done.

    As we were driving up I-80 with headlights fading, I asked Mary:
    Q: What's worse than having to put an alternator in a paid for $2500 minivan?
    A: Having to put an alternator in a $2500 minivan that you owe $5000 on.
    Glad it's paid for.

    While wrestling with the brackets, bolts, wires, power steering reservoir, etc...
    Q:What's worse than changing the alternator on a 3.3 liter
    Mitsubishi motor in a Plymouth V'ger?
    A : &*%$#!! , NOTHING.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    I didn't kick her ...this time.

    Had a great time this weekend with
    Aunts, Uncles and Cousins 1st,2nd, etc.
    Many kids and grandkids of my Grandfather Staley,
    the one who's title I stole for this blog.

    Good food, good conversation, great people,got some
    interesting photos, including one of my Grandpa's
    elder brother , William, who died in Baccarat,
    France in "The War To End All Wars" which I will post

    Some I met for the first time.
    One cousin for the second time.
    Anita then age 10, was in town visiting her Aunt and Uncle's
    home at a family gathering where she asked my Mom if she could touch
    Mom's belly- she had never touched a pregnant tummy before.
    Anita said I gave her a strong kick,
    I assured her I wouldn't kick her anymore.

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    FRESH FROM THE CUBE: Who Are They?

    Who Are They?

    • They trekked thousands of miles in searing heat...
    • They crossed the border risking life and limb...
    • They get paid peanuts...
    • They do jobs others refuse to do...
    • Some people back in their own country treat them with little respect...
    • They live crammed together in substandard conditions...
    • They rarely see their families...
    • They have to learn a foreign language and culture...
    • They recognize only one flag...


    Click here to find out!

    While this video and attached script are clear in meaning and message, is a parody site and
    the posted comments you read when you click the link
    to find out "Who they are" need to be taken in that light.

    Who are they, indeed?

    What does being American mean to YoU?


    The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism. … It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.”-George Washington
    What does being American mean to YoU?

    Terry_Jim says:

    It means freedom
    To succeed, or fail.
    To live in liberty, or license.
    To live where I have rights that are inalienable,
    Like - but not exclusively
    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
    Inalienable rights,
    because they come not from government,
    but from the Creator.
    It means freedom to learn and live
    Who I am, Why I am here, Where I am going.

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Capitulate now

    I think it's time to give in to the demands of the terrorists.

    Yes, let's capitulate now and show the world what friendly
    folks we Americans truly are!

    For example: Moussaoui wanted to be a martyr-

    I say- Yes!
    Let's concede to his demand, immediatly.

    Iranian President Ahdoosoreallywannajihad wants nuclear arms-
    I say- Yes!
    Let's deliver a few,
    we have plenty and it would be wrong
    to withhold them from our madcap friends in Tehran.
    In fact the delivery systems are in place, it is as simple as pushing a button.

    Let's not be so darned stingy and share some soon!

    Can't we all just get along and give the Islamists what they demand?