Saturday, November 14, 2009


Pets, the only single drawn from Porno for Pyros' debut album of 1993. PfP was formed by Perry Farrell and Stephen Perkins, both ex Jane's Addiction. Farrel was also the father of the touring festival Lollapalooza, of which I'm not sure it still continues.

What can I say? Rock with balls. Roger Daltrey CBE with "Say it ain't so, Joe", actually a Murray Head cover. One of my all-time favorites.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Just a couple of minutes ago, I could slap myself on the head for not having the appropriate cable right now to extract a number of photos from my digital camera, for on its memory card are several very relevant shots related to the battles around Nieuwpoort during WWI. Those photos were of commemmoration plaques of British and French soldiers who fell defending the Belgian coast town of Nieuwpoort in 1914-1915 - in Europe, Armistice Day as it is called here, or at least in my country, is still very much a "Great War" related event, as opposed to the broader concept it seems to have in Anglosaxon countries.

However, when I remembered I had a set of recent shots of WWII vets I thought I could just as well post from them. I took them in Oosterbeek near Arnhem, The Netherlands, about one month and a half ago. A business trip had taken me to Germany and, matters concluded there, I discovered I could make the return trip in about the same time going over Arnhem. It was the perfect occasion for a quick visit to Hotel Hartenstein in Oosterbeek, which was the HQ for the British 1st Airborne Division during those fateful days in September 1944, when Operation Market Garden was in full swing and upon it success depended whether the war could be ended that same year.

However, Market Garden faltered. The fact that a 100 km long corridor had been wrestled from German control did not matter, for it was leading nowhere. The British 1st Airborne Division was virtually annihilated, with barely 2,200 troops making it back to Allied lines. As all WWII buffs know, Market Garden required the capture of five crucial bridges across Dutch canals and rivers, and crossing the last and northernmost one across the Rhine in Arnhem would put the Allies in a situation from where they could storm unhampered either by natural obstacles or the Siegfried Line across northern Germany to Berlin. Of the about 10,000 paras and glider troops which landed near Arnhem on September 17 and subsequent days, only around 600 or so, constituting the bulk of Lt. Col. John Frost's battalion plus some scattered divisional subunits, made it to the bridge across the Rhine in Arnhem's centre. Unable to capture it entirely, they dug in around the northern end where they withstood the German armoured onslaught for several days. When they were finally defeated, what remained of the 1st Airborne concentrated in the village of Oosterbeek, some six kilometers west of Arnhem, whence the survivors were finally evacuated across the Rhine not one week later.

Today, Hotel Hartenstein in Oosterbeek's west has been beautifully restored, and it houses a splendid museum full of dioramas and artifacts. When I arrived there in the afternoon of a late September day, there happened to be a few vets around - which was no coincidence, since the fateful events of September 44 took place almost day to day 65 years ago. Below you see a snapshot of three Brits, I assume once all belonging to 1st Airborne, together with a Dutch lady. The troopers must now be in their late eighties - as for the lady, she said she was a teenager living in Oosterbeek at the time, so she must be in her late seventies. Meeting with these old warriors who, in the mist of time, liberated her from the yoke of nazi tyranny, was obviously a very moving moment for her - as it was to all of us tourists standing around.


A few passes further, behind the hotel, I took a photo of this small monument. In outward appearance it is not impressive, however upon reading the text with which it was emblazoned I felt I could not simply walk by it:


How... utterly true. But then of course, so many men laid down their lives back then not just for their friends, but for an entire population. Men not only from the 1st British Airborne, but also from the British XXX Corps, allied aircrews, and last but not least from the US 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, units which TODAY... sixty five years later, are AGAIN in the field, fighting an enemy which is every bit as inhuman as the nazi oppressor.

To all those warriors from past and present times, I - we - want to say

"Thank you for your Service".

God bless.


Monday, November 09, 2009


A.) Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws, 6 November: "BLOODBATH ON ARMY BASE BECAUSE PSYCHIATRIST HAD TO GO TO IRAQ".


B.) Belgian "top" daily De Standaard, 6 November: "MAJOR HASAN DID NOT SEE THE MEANING OF WAR"




Mark Steyn says it best on NRO's The Corner:

NUTS [Mark Steyn]

For the purposes of argument, let's accept the media's insistence that Major Hasan is a lone crazy.

So who's nuttier?

The guy who gives a lecture to other military doctors in which he says non-Muslims should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats?

Or the guys who say "Hey, let's have this fellow counsel our traumatized veterans and then promote him to major and put him on a Homeland Security panel?

Or the Army Chief of Staff who thinks the priority should be to celebrate diversity, even unto death?

Or the Secretary of Homeland Security who warns that the principal threat we face now is an outbreak of Islamophobia?

Or the president who says we cannot "fully know" why Major Hasan did what he did, so why trouble ourselves any further?

Or the columnist who, when a man hands out copies of the Koran before gunning down his victims while yelling "Allahu akbar," says you're racist if you bring up his religion?

Or his media colleagues who put Americans in the same position as East Germans twenty years ago of having to get hold of a foreign newspaper to find out what's going on?


We have nothing to fear except ourselves.


Sunday, November 08, 2009


At the 20-year anniversary of the fall of the Wall, The Guardian openly regrets the demise of the cruel dictatorship that the GDR was:


Quick reality check. The Boston Globe, May 2006:

"Matthias Melster, 40, says he still suffers nightmares from his time at Hohenschoenhausen, a notorious Stasi prison that today serves as a museum. He was inmate number 312. As with all Stasi prisoners, his guards and interrogators addressed him only by the number of his solitary confinement cell. Melster was more fortunate than most inmates -- he at least knew why he was shoved into a windowless van in 1987 and hauled away to prison. He and his girlfriend had plotted an escape to West Germany, a major offense.

``I liked the idea of freedom, and that made me an it antisocial element," Melster recalled as he led visitors along the same dimly lit corridors through which he was frog-marched as a terrified teenager. He passed rows of solid cell doors to the monotone chamber -- looking like the lair of the blandest of bureaucrats, with its wooden-veneer desk, clunky telephone, and metal file cabinet -- where he was grilled 10 hours a day for five months before being sent to another prison.

``At first you think, `I'll tell them nothing,' " Melster said. ``In the end, you tell them everything. Whatever they want to know, you tell."

Melster's life has never quite gotten back on track. He's nervous. He chain-smokes. His voice is flat, affectless. ``Was I beaten? No, I was never beaten. I have no scars to show," Melster said.

``Stasi torture was psychological. It was sleep deprivation and disorientation," he said. ``It was intimidation through insinuation -- the guard who would start screaming and touching his weapon, as if you were just seconds away from a bullet. The interrogator whose hints of `worse to come' were somehow more terrible than an actual fist to the face.

``It was months of never seeing another human, except for guards and interrogators. It was never hearing your own name, only your cell number," he said. ``It was being stripped of your humanity, layer by layer."

Sleep deprivation, intimidation through insinuation, months of never seeing another human, except for guards and interrogators. Hmmmm. Where have we heard that before? It's on the tip of my tongue...

... got it! The Guardian!


Hey, if there happens to be a The Guardian sonofabitch out there reading this, I just want you to know that I consider you a piece of shit and that I'd like to kick you in the balls!

That's all. good night!