Some cool custom machining China services images:
This is one of the smallest graveyards I have visited on the First World War battlefields of the Somme. There are just two rows of tombstones like this. Many of the graveyards were originally close to front-line casualty clearing stations. Most of the bigger ones were assembled after the war from large numbers of little graveyards like this one.
Two things are unusual. The tombstones are shoulder to shoulder. More commonly, there is a little breathing space for the dead. Then there is that lonely German tombstone at the end of the line. How did he come to be buried here?
Ironically, the motto of the Welch (sic) Regiment is "Ich dien", which must have caused many a pub punch-up. But in the context of this photo, it makes that German grave all the more poignant.
If you’re specially observant, you’ll see there is one headstone that spells it "Welsh" while all the others spell it "Welch". According to David Langley in his book Duty Done. 2nd Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers in the Great War, the two spellings (ancient Welch and modern Welsh) coexisted for centuries before the Great War, when official publications and regimental badges all used Welsh. The soldiers, however, stuck to Welch, and after the war, the spelling was officially changed to follow that ancient custom. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission fell in line, using Welch on the official headstones, all of which were erected after the war. But in 1985 the CWGC decided in a fit of bureaucratic enthusiasm that headstones that wear away and are replaced, as all are sooner or later, will bear the Welsh spelling.
My granddad, Stan, was a linesman in the Birmingham Pals, which attacked Morval. I’ll have to read up a bit to see whether his company was involved. If so, he may have seen some of the landscape around here – only not much, I imagine. Smoke, snipers, gas, machine-guns and bursting shells probably limited the opportunity for sightseeing.
Stan enlisted in the 1st Birmingham Batallion on 10 September 1914 aged 22 years and 4 months, to serve in the 14th Service Batallion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, C Company, Platoon number X. He stood 5’9 and a half inches tall, had blue eyes and brown hair, and claimed to be a Baptist on his enlistment documents.
At first he served as a signaller, responsible for maintaining communication between trenches and with the headquarters. Some of this time he spent as a despach rider, using a motorcycle to carry messages from the lines back to the staff. He later became a linesman, whose job was to repair cut communication wires.
"Signallers were … separate [from the bayonet men, the bombers, mortar men, machine gunners and Lewis gunners] and a good example of a tribe within tribes. With eighteen in a battalion under their own sergeant, they had their own billet out of the line and were exempt from fatigues. They went up the line an hour before the rest and just carried their own equipment. Most of trench time was spent in their own dugout, testing lines and sharing private jokes on technicalities with other ‘iddy umpties’. Each quarter hour they would buzz all lines and, if there was no reply, the course of action expected gave them the prestige they enjoyed among the bayonet men. Under the heaviest shellfire, and in pairs, they went out to run a finger down the line, clothed and muffled to the ears in goatskins and comforters, chatting and whistling in their casual way. It was their duty, too, to dispense tea from frowsty dugouts and keep anxious-faced NCOs waiting in the vicinity, for they were the ‘news wallahs’, first into action and last out, propelling their outrageous handcarts packed with musical instruments, braziers, kettles and blankets, at which the greatest martinet would turn the blindest of eyes". [from Denis Winter (1978) "Death’s Men"].
For his gallantry under fire Stan was awarded the Military Medal. The citation reads: "Immediate Award. 14th (S) Battn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 14/707 Private William Stanley Sharman. Immediate Award. For great devotion to duty and pluck in front of Merville during the period of 13th to 21st April 1918. This man is a batallion signaller and during the period mentioned above showed the greatest possible devotion to duty. He was continually out mending telephone wires which owing to the fact that they passed through an area which was heavily shelled by the enemy were always being broken. It needed no order to call out Private Sharman to repair wires, but, whenever they were broken, he found this out for himself and went out to repair them without being told to do so. On several occasions he was very nearly sniped by the enemy but this fact never put him off from carrying out his duty. If had not been for his energy and courage telephone communication from Coy. to Batallion Hd.Qrs. would have been very much curtailed. [Signed] R. Richard[?] Lt. General, Commanding XI Corps".
This citation is ironic because he often told me "the only thing I learned in the Army was – never volunteer for anything". The medal came with a card that is now (1995) partly obliterated. It reads: "The Military Medal. Awarded to: /707 Pte. W.S. Sharman. R. Warwick [smudge] Date: 13/[smudge] Action: for gallantry and great devotion to duty in action".
"Birmingham Batallion" describes that period of the war in the following words: "Our line was firmly established facing Merville, with the 61st Division on our right and the Guards Division on our left. We had to dig in with entrenching tools, and the line consisted merely of a number of holes hurriedly dug out; there were, of course, no established support positions. The morning of the 13th found the batallion posted and ready for any emergency. At 11am the enemy delivered a determined attack on the batallion front at Les Lauriers, but this was repulsed everywhere except at Le Vertbois Farm, into which the enemy penetrated and from which we were forced to withdraw. [The farm was later retaken and lost again.] More attacks followed, but the enemy could gain no further advantage. The gap in the line had been filled in and attack after attack was repulsed during the day, merely by rifle and machine gun fire. The supply of ammunition often proved a source of great anxiety, for at times the front line was reduced to five rounds per man; all spare ammunition was kept for the Lewis and machine guns…. no less than 2.25 million rounds were sent up to replace expenditure at the front line. Determined attacks were resumed against us on the 14th… our artillery, with plenty of ammunition, had now come up into position, and put down some accurate and devastating barrages, thereby smashing up several attacks. The front line batallions were relieved on the night of the 14th-15th, and the batallion moved back into the woods, as reserve. The dead lay thick in the fields in front…. We returned to the line on the 18th. Little movement was possible by day, as we had no continuous front line, and communication trenches were conspicuous by their absence. After three days, the Brigade was relieved, and the batallion moved back to bivouacs in the woods for a rest. During the relief, the enemy sent over a quantity of gas shells. Our greatest enemy in the forest was gas. The Germans drenched the front part of the forest with mustard gas shells, causing many casualties and often temporary blindness…. The Corps Commander made the following awards for gallantry and devotion to duty: D.C.M. – Sergeant D.W. Tuffley; M.M. – Corporal N. Mooney, Privates W.S. Sharman, G.J. Smith, and G.O. Smith."
Stan was gassed, losing part of a lung and suffering wounds that would later require surgeons to remove much of his stomach and intestine. Mustard gas left superficial scars on the skin; until he died Stan had a long, broad yellow scar on his forearm that continually itched and would break open if he scratched it. After recovering in hospital from the gas attack he rejoined his company and was involved in several attacks "over the top". He lost nearly all of his friends in the trenches. He became a first-class poker player, playing for cigarettes and wages.
He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre in the 3rd battle of Ypres (Passchendale), and the Mons Star. He was promoted to King’s Corporal for an act of valour and confirmed Lance Corporal on the Somme. He refused to go to officer training school on the grounds, I think, that officers tended to get killed.
He became a machine gun expert ("and how" is his laconic comment) and was awarded the distinction "first class shot" at 400 yards. He became Assistant Instructor for signalling and was honourably discharged, having, in his words "passed the Army Poker and Solo [Whist] Exams, also Pontoon, Farmer’s Glory, Banker, Nap, Shove Ha’penny, Pitch + Toss, Cribbage and various other forms of sport".
His few trophies of the war include a German spiked helmet and a sugary picture postcard from a French woman. He became a driver in an ambulance convoy for the A.R.P. immediately after the war.
My feeling is that his survival through the whole war as a front line soldier owed something to his age at recruitment, and to his sense of what was important and what was necessary.
IBM, Hitler and the Holocaust: A Terrible Tale of Capitalism Without Conscience (g1a2d0060c1)
Image by watchingfrogsboil
IBM, HITLER AND THE HOLOCAUST: A TERRIBLE TALE OF CAPITALISM WITHOUT
Global Revolution 1: American Revolution 2: Day 60: Communication 1
IronBoltBruce’s Kleptocracy Chronicles for 15 Nov 2011 (g1a2d0060c1)
How many examples of greed and corruption must you see before you act?
This is taken from "Six million and counting", written by Peter Preston for
The Observer, Saturday 17 February 2001:
Hitler’s Holocaust was happening anyway. With IBM’s help, it was easier, as
Edwin Black demonstrates in [his book entitled] ‘IBM and the Holocaust’
You thought, perhaps, that there was nothing fresh left to write about the
Holocaust. Think, sadly, again. Edwin Black, a dedicated, even driven,
researcher, has a new charge sheet to present. It shows, in compelling
detail, that IBM, ‘the solutions company’, was also the company of the Final
How did Hitler, from 1933 on, find, herd and exterminate millions of his
Jewish victims with such sickening precision? Easy. IBM, through its German
subsidiary, Dehomag, ran his censuses and surveys on its unique punch-card
tabulators. It provided the vital infrastructure for persecution and the the
silence of the gas chambers. What is more, it knew exactly what it was
Thomas Watson, the chief executive who built one of America’s greatest
international enterprises, did not receive the Merit Cross of the German
Eagle for nothing, but for services knowingly rendered. Watson is the
villain of this piece. He was a classic American success story, the
sewing-machine salesman who became corporate emperor, president of the
International Chamber of Commerce and chum of FDR, but also a covert admirer
of the Third Reich who peddled his hanging chads with fawning eagerness.
There is no scope for doubt. Black has a relentless flow of memos, letters
and speeches. When Watson wrote in 1937 (long after his punch cards had
begun their whirring work) that the world ‘must extend a sympathetic
understanding to the German people and their aims under the leadership of
Adolf Hitler’, he had the clearest knowledge of what those aims entailed.
His fractious underling at the Dehomag subsidiary put it yet more
chillingly: ‘We are very much like physicians,’ he told his Nazi audience,
‘in that we dissect, cell by cell, the German cultural body… these are not
dead little cards; quite to the contrary, they prove later on that they come
to life when they are sorted at 25,000 an hour according to certain
As the war took hold, Watson found himself trapped between a PR rock and a
ruthless hard place. He sent his medal back and disavowed his German
clients, but he still kept the tabulators turning, still gathered the
profits, was still on hand as the conflict ended to turn Dehomag into IBM
Germany and go marching on. That, in a sense, is all you need to know. It is
a distinctive contribution to the history of the time. It wholly justifies
Black’s years of toil. At such a distance, however, the reader inevitably
looks for understanding beyond the damning facts, for a more contemporary
relevance to set multinational America wriggling uneasily in its chair. Such
parallels are easy enough to construct.
‘Watson was no fascist. He was pure capitalist. But the horseshoe of
political economics finds little distance between extremities. Accretion of
wealth by and for the state under a strong autocratic leader fortified by
jingoism and hero-worship was appealing to Watson. After all, his followers
wore uniforms, sang songs and were expected to display unquestioned loyalty
to the company he led.’…
The facts (to reiterate) speak for themselves. Hitler would have had his
Holocaust without IBM’s willing efforts, but it would have been a longer,
less clinically efficient business. IBM helped the trains to his
concentration camps run on time, spewed out the cards for slave labour and
watched its stock-market majesty grow. It was the backbone of Auschwitz and
Roosevelt’s first social security programme, a ‘service industry’ which
existed to serve whoever paid the bill and not to make moral judgments until
forced to confront them.
That, in itself, is a terrible warning…
IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO HOLD IBM ACCOUNTABLE…
By way of custom of international law, genocide, crimes against humanity,
and war crimes are usually not subject to statute of limitations, nor to
prescription. This custom has been codified in a number of multilateral
treaties. States that ratify the Convention on the Non-Applicability of
Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity agree to not
allow limitations claims for these crimes. Article 29 of the Rome Statute of
the International Criminal Court states that genocide, crimes against
humanity, and war crimes "shall not be subject to any statute of
…REPORT IBM HERE:
OCCUPY WALL STREET: NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 17 NOVEMBER 2011
SHOW ME WHAT KLEPTOCRACY LOOKS LIKE! THIS IS WHAT KLEPTOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!
Kleptocracy [klep-TOK-ruh-see]: A government or state in which those in
power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves. See
also the United States of America where, as Goethe said, "None are more
hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." Want
documented examples of the corporate greed that corrupts our government and
fuels the Revolution? Find dozens here, with more to come:
IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT OF THE LAST 14 U.S. PRESIDENTS, 7 HAVE BEEN
DEMOCRATS AND 7 HAVE BEEN REPUBLICANS.
Our Kleptocracy-controlled media focuses on America’s two-year election
cycles as if who wins or loses in the swinging of the pendulum was a matter
of life or death, when in fact even at the Presidential level it makes no
more difference than the outcomes of Monday Night Football, American Idol,
Dancing With The Stars, Hillbilly Handfishing or the trial of Michael
Jackson’s doctor. U.S. elections are staged primarily to give Sheeple the
illusion of control so they will (a) vent their frustrations and expend
their energy, emotions and resources supporting or attacking the Puppet on
the Left hand or the Puppet on the Right, and consequently (b) never
recognize and challenge the common omnipotent Puppetmaster.
There was no real change in 2008. There was no real change in 2010. There
WILL be real change in 2012, but it won’t be coming from tele-brainwashed
couch potatoes, manipulated voter lists, rigged voting machines or
predetermined ballot counts. It will be coming from us…
The 99 Percent
I AM NOT ANONYMOUS. I AM AN AMERICAN.
I am not just a Consumer. I am a Citizen.
I will no longer be labeled Left or Right, Liberal or Conservative,
Demopublican or Republocrat.
I will no longer follow Puppets labeled Left or Right, Liberal or
Conservative, Demopublican or Republocrat.
I am the People. And I am coming for the Puppetmasters.
I am part of the 99 Percent. And I demand the following:
1. End the Fed.
2. Reverse Citizens United.
3. Repeal PATRIOT Act.
4. Expose 9/11 Truth.
5. End Profit Wars.
6. Refund Taxpayer Trillions.
7. Imprison the Kleptocrats.
8. Single Term Limits.
Or, if these demands are not addressed promptly:
1. Regime Change.
LABELS (A POEM OF PROTEST)
The parties of the system;
Puppets both, for sale their votes,
No character or wisdom.
For change or status quo?
Pick either one, the change is none,
All charlatans and whores.
Far "Left" we place the Anarchists,
Libertarians claim far "Right";
Yet both decry the government:
False continuum brought to light.
For oil, "We" bomb their mud huts,
Strip them bare, then offer "Aid";
And fake their retribution as
Pretext – a false flag raised.
Unarmed hundred thousands killed
By weapons of "Defense",
While rights are lost for "Freedom" sake –
On profit, all depends.
With stroke of pen, the "Patriot" Act,
And patriots’ gifts are taken;
Then "Citizens United" leaves
Our citizens forsaken.
We protest loss of liberties,
Put "World Wide Web" to use;
Cloudmark Authority censors us
For "messaging abuse".
They label us to finger-point,
With labels, "They" deride us;
Their labels keep us all at bay,
For with labels, "They" divide us.
JOIN THE GLOBAL REVOLUTION!
Occupy Wall Street/OWS:
Occupy DC/Stop the Machine China:
Watch these Videos:
Take this Pledge:
How many examples of greed and corruption must you see before you act?
PLEASE HELP US STAY IN THIS FIGHT…
Freedom isn’t Free! The revolution needs resources, folks: Your donations
will be used to pay our living and operating expenses so we can continue to
devote our full time and attention to informing the People and exposing the
Kleptocracy pulling all strings Left and Right. Any amount you can spare
will make a difference, so please click or go here today:
HTPC Setup, Part 2 — Software
Image by infinisedesign
Here’s the full setup with the custom UI I created for it. And finally some details about the software, as promised:
* Ubuntu, because I didn’t want to build a Hackintosh and I couldn’t stand Windows for more than a day.
* Netatalk for AFP support, which makes connecting to it from my Mac and using Time Machine China a breeze.
* Air Video Server, so my iOS devices don’t feel left out.
* Minecraft Server; more specifically the Bukkit mod with some plugins.
* µTorrent Server & JDownloader with their respective web UIs.
* All of the above are set up to run as services, so they start automatically and run in the background.
* Avahi to make file sharing, Time Machine China, Air Video and VNC available on my Mac via Bonjour.
* And the aforementioned custom UI, which is simply a website running in Chrome’s fullscreen mode, with a PHP backend running on Lighttpd, controlling the system with shell scripts. It’s not entirely done yet though, so check back later for even more details.
* And finally, Boxee.
Next up: Doing something about those cables, and finding an IR receiver for the Apple Remote. Also getting a blog.