The Last Horseman by David Gilman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Sometimes historical fiction can give a more keen and concise picture of what happened during a war than hours of pouring over the reports and comments made by field commanders or looking through reams of newspapers and letters written by reporters and individuals who themselves may not have seen or understoon the whole picture of a battle or conflict.
Author David Gilman, an historian in his own right, has given us this kind of a picture of the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa. A conflict which took place as the dawn of the 20th Century began to refine the tactics of trench and guerilla warfare along with modern weaponry to superceed the role of horse cavalry and mass frontal assaults in battles throughout much of the 19th Century.
The tale pits the brute force of the Empire of Great Britain against the fast moving, small bands of Boer horsemen who were able to initially stymie the massive troops of British foot soldiers marching in rangs to their slaughter. These ragged horsemen were joined by numerous Irish separatists who longed to throw Britain out of their own native Ireland. As the expected quick British victory is brought to a halt, our story begins in Ireland where the British are readying large numbers of Cavalry to join the conflict and seventeen year old Edward Radcliffe longs to be one of their number, despite his father’s refusal to let him join the conflict.
Making his own decision, despite his father’s opposition, Edward sails to South Africa and attempts to join up with the Irish separatists who are out in the field. wounded and captured by the British Cavaly, he is taken prisoner and held for trial and probable hanging.
Meanwhile his father, a former U.S. Cavalry officer, having realized what his son had done, proceeds to the front lines with his former comrade in arms, a Buffalo Soldier named Benjamin Pierce. The two men are able to initially assist the British troops in action, despite the fact of Benjamin being treated as an equal by Radcliffe in the face of a country and its traditions which place African blacks in the role of slaves and servants. The two men discover the plight of young Edward and infiltrate the British military compound in which he is being held while healing from battle wounds. They then are faced with trying to extricate Radcliffe’s son from his predicament which is going to result in his being hanged for shooting several British soldiers while helping the Boers.
The Author Gillman illustrates the racial and cultural conflicts of the times, explains the concentration camps that Boer women and children were interned within once their farms had been destroyed, and gives a picture of the corruptness within the British Officer ranks themselves in dealing with their own cultural caste system.
The entire book will keep your attention throughout and in addition to having a jolly good read of action and intrigue, you will learn a lot about the Anglo-Boer War which you would otherwise not have known. I recommend this as an excellent introduction to understanding the hatreds and conflicts within this part of the world which led to the establishment of apartheid and the eventual African rebellion beginning in the 1960’s that culminated in modern Black African rule of The Republic of South Africa.
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The Current Spin about Housing and Land Prices and Rents: We can get back to living the good old days of life in the 50’s and 60’s by just electing the correct political party
Ha! Let’s Look at this Fable – Only one area today! Land/Rents and Housing Prices
First – Cost of Agricultural Land: Check out 1900 to just the year 2000!
In 2000, the average value of agricultural land and buildings was $1,050 per acre! That’s 52 times greater than the average of $20 per acre in 1900. Don’t even contemplate what’s happened to real estate prices on houses from 2000 to 2022!
You’ll see in a moment! Below!
Land and Residential House Cost: Determined by Location – Location – Location!
The chart below outlines the cost of an acre in each of the 48 continental United States as well as the average home value, total value of land, and GDP per capita. The discrepancies may be astonishing from state to state. (Want your own State’s multiplier? Just divide the Price per acre of your state by 20 as I did below)
|State||Value per Acre||Total Value||GDP per capita||Med. Home Value|
|Wyoming||$1,558 (78x the 1900’s)||$97 billion||$61,091||$214,300|
|New Mexico||$1,931||$150 billion||$41,619||$171,300|
|South Dakota||$2,135||$103 billion||$48,004||$167,000|
|Montana||$2,283 (114x the 1900’s)||$213 billion||$39,833||$231,300|
|North Dakota||$2,517||$110 billion||$64,911||$194,700|
|Kansas||$4,220 (210x the 1900’s)||$220 billion||$47,435||$150,600|
|Maine||$6,142 (307x the 1900’s)||$122 billion||$39,521||$191,200|
|Arkansas||$6,739 (337x the 1900’s)||$224 billion||$36,714||$128,500|
|Texas||$7,542 (377 x the 1900’s)||$1.3 trillion||$53,737||$172,200|
|West Virginia||$10,537||$162 billion||$37,353||$119,800|
|Alabama||$12,356 (618x the 1900’s)||$400 billion||$37,508||$141,300|
|North Carolina||$16,230||$506 billion||$44,706||$171,200|
|Washington||$16,752 (837x the 1900’s )||$716 billion||$59,333||$339,000|
|South Carolina||$17,610||$339 billion||$37,637||$161,800|
|New Hampshire||$19,840||$114 billion||$52,509||$263,600|
|Illinois||$23,492 (1175x the 1900’s)||$833 billion||$55,102||$195,300|
|California||$39,092 (1955x the 1900’s)||$3.9 trillion||$60,359||$509,400|
|New York||$41,314||$1.2 trillion||$65,220||$314,500|
|Massachusetts||$102,214 (5111x the 1900’s)||$517 billion||$66,500||$385,400|
|Rhode Island||$133,730||$90 billion||$48,314||$257,800|
|New Jersey||$196,410||$930 billion||$56,776||$334,900|
Ask your Congressional Reps. How they are gong to fix this American Problem?
Freedom and Justice will Prevail!
The Bipartisan Joint Committee to Investigate the January 6th 2022 break-in to Congress has come down to the crux of the point that shows who was really running (or not) the Ship of State at the time of the riots that led to the intimidation of Congress, the attempt to overthrow the legal will of the people to elect a our President, and the threat to the life of then Vice President, Mike Pence.
It’s the same standard that was applied to former President Richard Nixon for whom I voted way back over 50 years ago! What did the President know and when did he know it!
When that investigation showed that Mr. Nixon knew about the break-in to the Watergate, I changed my mind about the infallability and the immunity of a President. Mr. Nixon knew of and planned the break-in with his official cronies. The few short tape recorder phrases of Mr. Nixon and the testimony of Mr. John Dean were all it took to persuade even his closest Republican allies to back off and say, “No Person is above the Law! The only reason Mr. Nixon was not prosecuted under the law of the land was because he was pardoned by the new President Gerald Ford. Otherwise he would have gone straight to trial and jail!
So now we have seen and heard from numerous witnesses, the fact that Mr. Trump, while holding the official office of President of the United States, worked and planned with his cronies to:
The Facts are Clear! Mr. Trump Knew! He Knew and Planned it and did nothing to stop it! Time to stop the pussy-footing around and call a spade a spade!
As we see this tragedy to our country unfold in the testimony from numerous witnesses and participants, we should be proud of:
Be Proud that Liberty and our Democratic Experiment Lives on! Get out and Vote! That’s the Revolution!
Flying the flag on Memorial Day: our time honored tradition. Remembering my brother and all my H.S. buddies and military friends who are now passed on.
On Memorial day I enjoy walking around my garden and looking at the flowers of spring, remembering friends. In the blooms of the year, I always remember that working for and hoping for a new, better and more peaceful world should always be a goal of our lives.
We never want to lose that hope and expending all our efforts to make the world a more peaceful, congenial and helpful world for all who do not have the amenities that we take for granted.
Here’s my favorite of the day, reminding me that even in the worst times of our lives we must focus on stiving to revive and make our world one where violence doesn’t reign.
What has happened to our National Perspective on gun deaths? Let’s think about the Vietnam era
BODY COUNT VIETNAM:
The Vietnam War was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, lasting from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. During that entire period of time, 19 years and 6 months, the total number of U.S. military deaths was 58. 220 persons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War
This number averages out at just under 248 deaths per month or 2985 deaths per year, although we know from the overall annual figures that these numbers ranged from a low of 0 in several years to a high of 16,899 in 1968. https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics
GUN COUNT USA : 1968 vs 2022
How many guns were there in the U.S. in 1968? versus today?
1968 – About 150,000,000 and now that figure is estimated to be 300,000,000 in 2021 – That’s three hundred million and we’re making more all the time as you can see from the stats on gun manufacturers productions. Think we have enough already? https://www.npr.org/2016/01/05/462017461/guns-in-america-by-the-numbers
Although not a direct comparison, because War deaths are for all causes, but just as a thought, I want you to think about 2 other figures from 1968 during this time. Remember, in general suicides make up about 55 to 60% of the gun deaths reported.
USA GUN Body Counts 1968
A. Total Number of Gun Deaths in the U.S. in 1968. – about 10 per 100,000 or just over 20,500 persons : https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00023655.htm
B. Number of School Shootings in 1968. – 4 students – (2 in Miami, 1 Chicago, 1 N. Carolina) See the link for all school deaths before 2000 from year 1840! : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States_(before_2000)
Just in Case you are interested in some pretty chilling statistics: Brittanica Pro-Con Org. has full 1999 to 2016 compilations of U.S. gun deaths by year with breakdowns on Homicides, Suicides and Authority Mediated gun deaths : https://gun-control.procon.org/us-gun-deaths-by-year/
NOW! USA Body Counts 2021
Active shooter incidents rose again in the USA in 2021: https://www.fbi.gov/news/press-releases/press-releases/fbi-designates-61-active-shooter-incidents-in-2021
Here’s 2017 – 2021 Numbers from the FBI: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-in-the-us-2021-052422.pdf/view
A. Total gun deaths 2021: Over 45,000 gun deaths of which 53% were suicides! https://news.yahoo.com/staggering-toll-gun-violence-united-161637589.html
B. Number of School Shootings in 2021: 34 School Shootings 53 injured, 15 students killed: https://www.edweek.org/leadership/school-shootings-in-2021-4-takeaways-in-charts/2021/12
C. Number of Active Shooter Incidents: 693 Incidents, 702 Persons killed, 2884 injured : https://www.thetrace.org/2021/12/gun-violence-data-stats-2021/
WE ARE LOSING A LOT MORE PEOPLE AT HOME TO GUNS THAN WE EVER LOST IN VIETNAM!!
ARE WE REALLY THAT CRAZY?
Do you need a single issue to govern your next vote! Try saving school children as a litmus test for candidates! The next time you hear a Congressman or Congresswoman candidate who is spouting about guns and keeping our kids safe in schools. Ask them:
A. Have you read the latest research by Jillian Peterson and James Densley on “How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic”? https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41300-022-00140-6
Yes means they most likely know:
1. The perpetrator is not mentally ill, but is rather, acting out rage against society, wanting to commit suicide, and take others with them.
2. The cost of the government providing just Psychologists in all public schools will run on the order of $7 Billion Dollars a Year or$35B for 5 years.
3. The cost to government of #2 is only a drop in the bucket compared to what it would cost to harden our 100,000 public schools with high gated walls with cameras and IT technology to scan the grounds, to have security guards on patrol while monitoring a single hardened entry with detectors, through-which everyone must pass to access the school will run on the order of $100 Billion Dollars to start and double that to continue for 5 years.
4. The time to complete #2 and #3 above Will take a minimun of 5 years to happen during which time we will anticipate and tolerate having another 2500 Mass Shootings at churches, stores, schools, synagogues, baseball fields, etc., etc., etc. All done as premeditated crimes, not by the mentally ill. Check out states with most mass murders: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/10-us-states-with-most-mass-shootings.html and check out total number of mass murders in US in past years: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gun-violence-mass-shootings-increase-united-states-data-uvalde-buffalo
If they know all of these things, then they know –
CONGRESS WILL NEVER PASS THIS KIND OF FUNDING
If they said NO! Then they really don’t have any reason to be spouting off. Vote someone else!
SO —- Is there a solution?
YES: We better return to good old CONSERVATIVE controls for our GUNS! (Conservative is used in it’s proper definition here, not to mean some political party.)
SOME common sense RULES ABOUT GUNS? So we can still own them and still keep using them? YES!>))
Gee Whizz, You mean kind of like we did for cars! Eh? Remember, cars don’t kill anyone either, but we have a Hell of a lot of rules for car use, car product safety, car recalls, and penalties for not using producing or recalling defective products.
Hmm! Gee that sounds like common sense that might just keep guns of any type out of certain people’s hands while the rest of us get to keep them and use them in appropriate manners!>))
START PRESSING YOUR CONGRESS PERSON TO GET OFF THEIR BUTTS, MAKE SOME COMMON SENSE LAWS ABOUT GUNS, OWNERSHIP, LICENSES, PRODUCT SAFETY, USE, CARRYING, HUNTING, AND IN THE PROCESS,
GET A HANDLE ON PROTECTING OUR KIDS, CHURCHES, SHOPPING MALLS, CASINOES, Etc .
Guns? I used to own 5, now it’s only 2 – Self-regulation or perhaps self-preservation. Enjoy your day!
Our American History and our Constitution tell us that in certain times and places, what is defined as a “Well Regulated Militia” is of high importance to our country. In fact, the “Well Regulated Militia” is stated as being of highest importance by being framed in our Constitution as part of the Second Amendment to our Constitution as being the reason for our right to bear arms. o, who are the “Militia”?
A militia is generally an army or some other fighting organization of non-professional soldiers, citizens of a country, or subjects of a state, who may perform military service during a time of need, as opposed to a professional force of regular, full-time military personnel; or, historically, to
US Code #246 describes the classes of Militia as Organized and Unorganized in the following Link : Organized and Unorganized. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/246
For any militia to be “well-regulated,” it requires standards. It requires training. It requires as sense of responsibility. And it requires that those who are irresponsible not be allowed in the militia. In other words, it requires rules called “regulations.”
Clauses from Congress on the basics of Regulating Militias: https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-1/58-the-militia-clauses.html
Are Militias Legal? A. Some are like your National Guard Units
B. Some aren’t. Here’s a link to a List of the illegals as compiled by Georgetown University : https://www.law.georgetown.edu/icap/our-press-releases/fact-sheets-on-unlawful-militias-for-all-50-states-now-available-from-georgetown-laws-institute-for-constitutional-advocacy-and-protection/
So Who Protects our Country from Illegal Militias? Supposedly the laws of the states and federal government. But check out the lack of prosecutions of Illegal Militias.
2014 Questions that arose and were not acted upon by our government: – https://thecrimereport.org/2021/01/14/will-authorities-crack-down-on-illegal-militias/
2021 – More inaction by our state and national government! https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/01/13/inauguration-protests-experts-urge-action-against-illegal-militias/6643440002/
2020 – Here’s a great Interview with Georgetown Professor Mary McCord on why some of our Militias are Illegal! Read it! or Listen! https://www.npr.org/2020/08/30/907720068/are-citizen-militias-legal
So who are the Illegals?
Here’s the list state by state of Illegal Militias that have not been acted upon by our state and federal governments. From Georgetown Univ. https://www.law.georgetown.edu/icap/our-work/addressing-the-rise-of-unlawful-private-militias/state-fact-sheets/
DEMAND THAT YOUR STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL MILITIAS!
TO NOT DO SO IS – DERELICTION OF DUTY!
You can tell it’s Spring when the flowers come out, but there are a lot of other indicators that show us Spring is just bustin’ out all over! The wine from the grapes that I crushed last fall and put to ferment has now gone still and it’s time to put a few Campden tablets in to stop any further fermentation and bad flavor bacteria, molds, or yeasts from spoiling the brew. Then it will be into the bottles for 10 gallons of my Heron Pond wine to be used as a home remedy for all sorts of ills over the summer and into next winter. Sorry! Home consumption only. McBee’s “Heron Pond” brew never seems to last long enough to get into the big times of Oregon Viticulture. OH! yes, don’t forget to notice the great daffodils in the background!
Then I came across another great Spring indicator, generally found just about the same time the Trillium and Erythronium flowers come out on my property. (You saw these in my last post!)
Where did you say you found that sack full of Morel Shrooms?
Ha! Top secret! I’ll never tell!
Whoa! You say just popping up everywhere around Hood River where there are stands of big old cottonwood trees? Hmm! Bet by now they are – All Gone!
Here’s what a batch looks like in the frying pan!
I put a bunch in a bowl for a breakfast snack. Eat your Hearts out!
And Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better! Morels in the Lunch-time Salad!
Wahoo! Cowboys! It don’t get much better!
The sun is just hitting the clouds as I walk out the back door and look past the big white Japanese Magnolia which has just popped wide open!
Here’s What I see!
Mind Blowing! Then as the sun comes up, I walk through the yard looking at all the new blossoms of the day!
What else could you ask for on such a beautiful morning!
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