A Pause for the Cause

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Bullet Points:

** From VDH (h/t Claudio) –  The “broken windows” theory of policing in the 1990s and 2000s showed how the failure to punish even minor infractions soon leads to escalation to more violent crimes. The homeless take for granted that ancient rules forbidding urination, defecation, fornication, and injection on the sidewalks do not apply to them. Is it any wonder that they increasingly are not victims of circumstance but victimizers of innocent passersby?

Why are some violent criminals released from custody the very day they punch, club, or shoot innocents, while others committing lesser offenses are not?

** Wagner Group – Service in the Russian military has never been pleasant. Then again, it’s not unlike life in Russia in general. I suppose there are pleasant interludes and you take your joy where you can, but it’s Russia. The weather is harsh, conditions are dog-eat-dog and a certain brutality underpins a lot of living. Wagner Group (Private Military Organization) offered better pay and better conditions than most of the Russian Army offered, but it’s still — Russian.

** From PaulM – Within the questions: the FBI and government apparatus had advanced knowledge of the scale of the J6 mall assembly yet doing nothing?  Why were the Capitol Hill police never informed of the FBI concerns?  Why didn’t House Speaker Nancy Pelosi secure the Capitol Hill complex, and why did she deny the request by President Trump to call up the national guard for security support?  Why did the FBI have agent provocateurs in the crowd, seemingly stimulating rage within a peaceful crowd to enter the Capitol building?  There have always been these nagging questions around ‘why’?

** Oakley Boots – Everyone has their favorites. I think that the Oakleys, while expensive, come out as my favorite in the combat lace-up boot arena. They’re light, they breathe and they’re rugged.


Evading Impressment

Escaping from a pressgang was not an easy thing to do. You might manage to escape a crimper and not take his shilling. And maybe you were even exempt from pressment, which meant that you had a letter from the admiralty (rather from the sick and hurt board) exempting you from service because of a serious health problem. However, this was dissolved in 1803 because there were simply too few men and so those who were considered unfit were allowed to be forced back into service. This process was called Hot Press.


The Neglected Tar, c. 1800, evokes the effects of impressment on a seaman’s family and home. 

But now we come to how you could actively escape a pressgang and you had to be very creative because the men could not be tricked so easily. As in this case from Cork, where a desperate man tried to fake his own escape to avoid being caught by the active pressgang of a local warship. However, the poor soul had not reckoned with the Lieutenant on duty. He had gone so far as to go into the church and, surrounded by all the mourners, open the coffin and pull the not-so-dead man out of it and take him with him.

Bell, an already experienced sailor from Newcastle, was caught in 1813 and briefly stored in a room of a government building while the press gang went on with their business. Bell almost ended up back in the Navy if it weren’t for his sister. She had managed to gain access to him and was there with him to take the clothes. Now a rather tall and much stronger woman than before left the building and disappeared. A little later it came out what had happened and since women were not allowed to be pressed, she was released.


The liberty of the subject, by James Gillray, 1779 

 Thanks to a jack trick, a young sailor who had just been discharged from the navy escaped a press gang in 1815. They picked him up in London and just as they were about to take him away, he slipped out of his jacket and ran away. Of course, the press gang ran after him and right into the arms of a group of workers who had placed themselves protectively in front of the fleeing man. Eventually, a big brawl broke out and both groups parted badly battered. The victim himself managed to escape and was not seen again.


 The Pressgang, by George Morland, 1790 

Another type of rescue was the fictitious arrest. The pressed one was accused by his friends of having committed a minor crime or another minor offense against them, which required a trial and thus took him out of the press gang. It quickly turned out that there was no evidence against him and so he was released, hoping that the press gang had already moved on. But of course, they were not stupid and some lieutenants were so smart and just waited in front of the prison to collect the seemingly lost loot. Out of about 10 fictitious arrests, about 5 were recaptured.


The press gang seized a waterman of Tower Hill on the morning of his marriage day. Illustration from The Comprehensive History of England (Gresham Publishing, 1902) 

Another method was to sign in as a fisherman. There were agents and lawyers who drew up these papers and were in contact with fishermen who earned some money with each new crew member, even if the member never showed up for duty. But this way the men were protected from serving in the Navy.


Looking Forward…

21 thoughts on “A Pause for the Cause

    1. Keen boots are very good. They’re heavier than the Oakleys (and warmer) and I prefer a lightweight boot.

      1. In the store I got them at, you had to walk past the women’s section. There was a pair of Oakleys there, but they were in flaming hot pink…and that is just not my color so I had to pass 🙂

  1. ‘why’?
    The Dems stole the election.
    More than one, in fact.
    They believed the Right would try to take it back.
    But not by a riot. They had no fear of that having that effect.
    They had to discredit the Patriots and Trump supporters.
    So they manufactured a riot, an “insurrection”, that they controlled.
    Also, by making any mention of taking back the government, even if by legal means, an attempted “insurrection”, they could strike fear into anyone who might suggest it in the future.
    Look what happened to innocent people. It would happen to you, so sit down, shut up and take it.

    1. Yup. Playing We The People like a fiddle. Some anyway. The rest of us who are paying attention are in an untenable position, we have to stop the junta.

      Another bank failed, Signature Bank of NY. Happened Friday. The FDIC announced it will step in for both SB and SVB to secure depositors money. Sounds like a bailout to me. I’m being advised to pull out some cash to weather the impending storm.

      As many of us said back in early 2020, “The Dems will burn the place down to achieve their goals.” At that time looking forward we meant the election. Yet when that didn’t bring all Americans to heel they piled on. And now big banks are starting to fail, paving the way for a government takeover (aka steal depositors money) which could ultimately lead to their brand of crypto, only with built in social controls.

      Chicken Little? Maybe. But maybe not. My trust level that these criminal idiots will do the right thing is well below nil. Excising the cancer is the only way to keep the host from dying.

  2. Merrell Men’s Chameleon 8 Stretch tactical waterproof have outlasted all the above. They had a couple of years where the rubber on the tread would wear out too fast but that has since been corrected. They had a mid top Chameleons but they would last too long so they discontinued them. Anything that lasts they take off the shelve. I contacted Merrell on my second pump after burning through Oakleys and 5.11s like crazy. They sent a more than generous care package about three weeks later and even some friends in the teams and SFOD came sniffing around asking about them. I haven’t tried Keens but heard good things. Here’s a link hope this helps.


    STA Lethal.

    1. The Merrells look good. I got the Keens to give me some serious toe protection – one activity has been giving me a lot of toe bruising, so I got the steel toe version. At least I no longer work at a warehouse where I have loaded skids lowered onto toes.

  3. Why. Some cogent questions with answers here–


    Boots. A few years back, my daughter took me shopping for boots on my birthday. Only needed something for yard work here in DFW. Got a pair of 5.11 arid side zip boots. They have been very comfortable from day one are holding up well. My trick is to buy 1/2 size too big, then install 3/4 length inserts like Dr. Scholl’s that are for heel pain. I don’t have heel pain, but the extra cushion sure helps keep me going.

  4. lowa all the way. only boots i can wear after 30 years of lowest bidder army boots. but i like near’bout everything else oakley.

    1. I like light boots for Arizona wear. I went through a lot of boots when I wore them for a living. In some cases, they delaminated while I watched Ranger TV (campfire) and they got close to the flame. Boots and “combat shoes” have evolved. The Merrells that Hogsbreath mentioned are excellent as are Solomon. https://www.salomon.com/en-us/shop/product/quest-4-gore-tex.html#color=77341

      Some military units let you wear what works for you if you’re downrange. What a change. Uniformity is overrated in this regard.

      I’ve also had a lot of luck with Oboz goretex insulated.

      1. Just when I thought I was out, your recommendation pulled me back in. 🙂 I might have to try these salomons out. These look solid. Have some good reviews. Plus I’ve been trying to find a good mid-high top lightweight boot to keep from rolling and ankle but also to protect from chiggers, scorpions or any other hidden pest hiding in the tall grass or rocks. Keep you posted. Thanks.

  5. I’ve had Keens Targhee’s for 15 years…large toe box, great fit for me…but I destroy boots. Have their Revel winter boot, excellent, but no warm weather version. Have a pair of their Detroits, steel toe, but not comfortable for all day, even with Superfeet or Scholls inserts. MrsPaulM ordered a new model, we’ll see how these work. For a time shifted to Merrell Moabs in a Wide, good boot. Also have a pair of Obos leather Bridger hikers but these are for really narrow feet so got a size longer and in Wide. Well built but thin sock only.

    Every one is a far cry from my heavy leather Vasque Hiker II’s I wore tromping the backcountry too many moons ago.

    1. Did you ever read “A Fine and Pleasant Misery”? A fun look at hiking & camping in the old days.

      1. No I haven’t, which is funny since I thought I read them all (Colin Fletcher’s The Complete Walker was a favorite along with the original Boy Scout Handbook). But I can just imagine what’s in the book, I’ll take a look. We’ll never trade up our ‘56 Shasta camper for anything more modern…it invokes a certain old feel you just don’t get with new units.

      2. After A Fine and Pleasant Misery move on to The Grasshopper Trap. Just be sure to put any liquids down before reading it.

        1. Just looked up both, Patrick McManus…now I have to read them. Come to think of it the covers look familiar, I may have already, moons ago which is why I can’t recall.

  6. The Keen last (form for the shoe) fits me. Merrells used to fit too (but I dropped them after the quality went downhill — good to hear they’re doing better now). Salomon (and Arc’teryx, owned by the same conglomerate I believe) unfortunately don’t fit my feet.

    I don’t have much use for boots these days (sitting in front of a computer all day), but I’ve been surprisingly happy with a pair of Hanwag half-boots. The only downside is that stout Asian dudes (who look like Dr Strange’s sidekick in the Marvel movies) seem to like attempting to strike up conversations about the Hanwags; WTF?). I don’t need or desire “chick magnet” stuff, but can please not have stout Asian dude-attracting stuff? It makes me sAd.

    1. If you got a cute little dog, add the boots, you’ll have a fail safe chick magnet…in case you change your mind.

  7. Everyone’s leapt onto boots, with good cause, I favor Ariat Stockmans, but what grabbed me about this interesting post was the Press Gang.

    I know that part of London and enjoy it, but the place must have been a far more savage place back in the day, and I’m being polite.

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