The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 5, 2014: it’s a Crimean Shame.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter’d & sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Someone blundered…

One hundred and sixty years later and war again threatens to break out on the Crimean peninsula.

Someone blundered…

And how many more are going to die?

When will we ever learn?
When will we ever know?
Where have all the flowers gone?


When dreams are swept away,
And the jagged edges of crystal time
Have etched their painful memories in the hourglass;

When angry seas crash
Upon the upturned fist of the shore,
Well worn,
Well worn,
And the clay breathed no more;

When blinding Truth and Reality collide
Into time’s crystal,
And the sounding of the bell,
The deep sounding of the bell,
Prophesying the virtues of the sand,
(The sounding of the bell,
The sweet sounding of the bell)
Tolling for the dust;

Then tears shall fall,
For the Counter of the sand.

(© 1985 Briseadh na Faire)


Who counts the sand
Falling gently in the hourglass?
Each grain a memory,
A memory in a crystal of time.

Who counts the tears
That fall in silent rage?
Each tear an outcry,
For vengeance in due time.

As the sand and tear drops fall;
Gath’ring torrents to the sea,
Who can stop the tide?
Who can change the course?
Who can heal the pain of each crystal memory?

Who will stop the sand?
Who will stop the tears
From falling, from falling?
Who will come to stop the children
From killing,
From dying?

Who will look into every grain
Of crystal time,
And hear mothers’ voices calling,

When will the sand stop falling?
When will there be
The Counter of the Sand?

(© 2009 Briseadh na Faire)


50 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Wednesday, March 5, 2014: it’s a Crimean Shame.

  1. Aw, shit! Why do the good ones have some deep, dark secret? Oh, well, this guy’s probably through with the Left (if her side of the story is true)…

    Rep. Alan Grayson’s (D-FL) wife obtained a temporary protective injunction against him following an encounter at their Orlando home in which she said he attacked her, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Tuesday.

    In her petition, Lolita Grayson said Grayson pushed her against a door, causing her to fall to the ground during a confrontation on Saturday. The petition also stated that Grayson had a “history of physical violence” toward her and “physically battered” her and the couple’s two children “from time to time.”

    Lolita Grayson filed for divorce from the congressman in January 2014, calling their 24-year marriage “irretrievably broken.”

    Or is that what happened…

    A member of Grayson’s staff, Juan Lopez, told the Sentinel on Tuesday that he witnessed the incident from 15 feet away, and that Lolita Grayson “charged” toward the front door as soon as her husband arrived and shouted obscenities at him. He said Alan Grayson “absolutely” did not shove or hit her.

    “It’s just unfortunate that this is happening and that she would say something like this,” Lopez was quoted as saying.

    Alan Grayson’s office released a statement saying his wife had become “increasingly erratic” since filing for divorce, and that he was “profoundly pained by her accusations.”

    “Sadly, it was Ms. Grayson who physically attacked the Congressman as he attempted to visit with his children,” the statement read. “He did not respond to Ms. Grayson’s violent assault,” the statement said.

    • I dunno, I think Grayson is too smart to rough up his wife in front of a witness.

      I have no doubt that he’s a difficult person to life with, but it sounds like the wife is trying to build a child custody case.

  2. Creation Museum founder Ken Ham claims he has raised the money he needs to build his “Ark Encounter” theme park, thanks in no small part to the publicity generated from his debate with Bill Nye last month. I called this one correctly too, unfortunately. Jerry Coyne, who predicted this exact scenario, rips into the Science Guy:

    “Nye said he was “heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky” after learning that the project would move forward. He said the ark would eventually draw more attention to the beliefs of Ham’s ministry, which preaches that the Bible’s creation story is a true account, and as a result, “voters and taxpayers in Kentucky will eventually see that this is not in their best interest.”

    Well, he’s heartbroken and sickened because of his own actions. By agreeing to show up and debate Ham—something I suspect Nye did (at least in part) to keep himself in the media spotlight—he’s allowed Ham to further his project. The result, even if you think Nye gained a transitory victory in the debate, is that Ham will build yet another popular tourist attraction, one designed to promulgate lies to kids. Nye, of course, devoted his career as The Science Guy to precisely the opposite: teaching and exciting kids about science. In other words, Nye scuppered himself.”

    • Too bad no one’s looking for funding to build a Theme park Natural History Museum and an Acadamy of Sciences across the street from the “Ark Encounter”.

      • It really is. My children loved every science exhibit I ever took them to. They’d have probably loved the ark thing too, but not because we were a bunch of evolution deniers, simply because they loved animals.

    • What puzzles me most of all is that science is so hard for so many to accept, even as completely unfounded (and so often brutal) mythology is so easy. Says something seriously incriminating about both the human mind and the tendency of same to believe bullshit even as it dismisses fact.

      Don’t know why that is, but it does explain the existence of both wingnuts and Republicans in general — two factions to whom facts have no usefulness.

      • Understanding science involves studying hard things like physics and math and stuff.
        For a lot of people, it’s easier for them to own one book instead having to read a whole bunch of them.

        • I’m amused by creationists who assume we couldn’t just “randomly” evolve. Based on my limited study of math, random is pretty f’ing difficult.

  3. Rapid fire events in Ukraine from Euromaidan, BBC, Kyev Post and a mom in a flat in Kyev after her son goes to school:

    Russian (yes Putin and Lavrov – fookin RUSSIAN) soldiers stopping the BBC from talking to the Ukranians in the barracks. One of the poor young Russian lads is now *inside* one of the barracks and he had his passport on him. This lie of Putin and Lavrov is simply for Russian consumption – I suspect if the Russians knew what was really happening, things might be a little different on the streets of Moscow. I dunno.

    Pinch of salt and critical thinking needed on this one – the snipers from the 18-20th deaths in Kyev – Russian press saying that there are rumours that the demonstrators shot at themselves – Estonian FM talking to EU Envoy. I am going to listen to the intercepted call and see what else I find.

    • I appreciate your take on these events. Every article I read in the WaPo is overrun with Putin trolls.

    • Ok, so an hour or so here in catch up. You can check the debate on Kos about this, a lot of fairly sharp people discussing one way or other.

      Here is part of the call I listened to all of it 9some of it really interesting and points to the remaining dangers in Kiev of a government formed by tainted people:

      1. Estonian Foreign Office (Paet) has confirmed the call is genuine – however they deny that the call represents any assessment of the opposition’s role in the violence of Feb 20th. A press conference is coming later today on this.

      2. The doctor Paet refers to in question is Olga Bogomolets, I actually linked to her being interviewed on Feb 20th on my guest post on Feb 21st as she ran a makeshift hospital in a hotel. Two things to note (1) She has refused so far to join the new Ukraine government and (2) she directly contradicts what Paet, the Estonian FM says.

      3. Check Bogomolets being interviewed by the Daily Telegraph on this today at 15:17 on this feed. She says she saw and said nothing of the sort. She understands that the police are investigating the shootings.

      4. Here’s some conspiracy theory to go deeper – the shooters were supposedly from a Ukranian neo-Nazi party with links to NATO…

      Ok, well knock yourselves out with this one, I have to step back for a while for my own sanity.

  4. ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ above – set in the Crimean War, 1854. Undoubtedly a jingoistic exposition of incredible bravery if you read it in 1854, but in 1977, when I first read it…. it just came across as stupid-entitled-fookin-Engish-upper-class-screws-up-and-the-poor-men-pay-with-their-lives-yet-again sort of poem. Clever bugger that Tennyson.

  5. How The Right Helped Sen. Graham Blame Ukraine On Benghazi:

    Graham made the same accusation on March 3 during Fox News’ On The Record with Greta Van Susteren. At Van Susteren’s prompting, Graham claimed that the Russian aggression in Ukraine “in many ways started with Benghazi, when our consulate was overrun and our first ambassador was killed in thirty-something years in the line of duty … You’re sending absolutely the wrong signal to our foes.”

  6. Headline of the Day:

    ‘Justin Bieber jail video to be released with his private parts blurred’

    There’s a more thorough way of making them not visible.

  7. (Issa truly thought she’d not, again, invoke the 5th)

    Issa Walks Out Of IRS Scandal Hearing As Cummings Calls Proceedings ‘Un-American’

    A House hearing on the IRS targeting of conservative groups erupted into an argument between Rep. Elijah Cummings and House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa just moments after former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify in regards to her role in the tax scrutiny scandal.

    • If you go and watch Rush, you see just how much that has changed since 1976….. that really is something to watch.

    • Yeah, well that’s easy if you don’t have to refuel the car. They allow three crew members per wheel, and do all four wheels simultaneously. One large single nut holds the wheel onto the spindle. A sub-three-second stop is not uncommon.
      In Nascar, only six crew members are allowed over the wall, They have to fill the car with two cans of fuel, gravity-fed, and each wheel is held on with five lug nuts, they do one side of the car at a time, all in just over twelve seconds.

      • You answered my question:

        One large single nut holds the wheel onto the spindle.

        • I had a 1974 Triumph Spitfire. It was the most entertaining vehicle I’ve ever owned. The really annoying part is that it would spin the hub on the left rear wheel lose every time I made a left turn on gravel or ice. Then I drilled out the hub and added a cotter pin. The old girl would hold more speed in turns than any motorcycle I ever owned after that little mod. Drivers and pilots say that their favorite vehicles are like comfortable clothes and the Spitfire definitely matches that description.

Comments are closed.