Lead, Follow, or get the Hell out of the Way


via ABC News, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler

Is, of course, a very old American maxim. Back when the world was young and I had just met Jess, I used it in connection with a British academic who was irritating her. Jess, being a sensible girl, who loves America nearly as much as I love Britain, proceeded to mutter it at an academic function she attended, about some footless thing that nobody could decide, choice of wine or something like that. Needless to say, it raised a few eyebrows, leading the gentlemen with her to comment about the company she was keeping. Me.

4159So I’m going to do this story backward. On that train in France the other day, there was a 62-year-old British IT guy, an expat living in the south of France. Now, I don’t know about you but that is not where I’d first look for a hero – but that’s where we found one.  His name is Chris Norman He said he thought this:

“I saw someone running down the aisle to the front of the train. I stood up to see what was happening and saw a man with what I think was an AK-47,” he said.

“My first reaction was to sit down and hide. Then I heard an American say, ‘Go get him’. I decided it was really the only chance, to act as a team and try to take down the assailant.

“My thought was, I’m probably going to die anyway, so let’s go. I’d rather die being active, trying to get him down, than simply sit in the corner and be shot.”

“Either you sit down and you die, or you get up and you die. It was really nothing more then that,” he said.

Well, Kipling once wrote that:  “A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.” I hope Mr. Norman will forgive me if I call BS on that. I bet his thought process ran more like this, a toast by American general John Stark of New Hampshire. It goes, “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” because Chris Norman is by any standard a hero. He saw a chance to fix something and he took that chance, he didn’t lead, but he followed effectively, not many men would have, especially since we have all seen how docile the Brits have become. The same is true for that off-duty French train conductor. Damned good men, both of them.

But the Americans! Well, I happened to be listening to the BBC when the story broke, arriving with the information that the were marines. Without disrespect to anyone, I thought, of course, later the story changed that it was two soldiers and an American civilian. OK, if you look at the pictures they’re wearing their hair pretty high and tight, so it’s a more or less natural mistake, and besides no leatherneck could have done it any better. Think about that for a minute, a junior Air Force medic, an Oregon National Guardsman, in Britspeak, a territorial, and a civilian friend of theirs, running to the sound of the guns. Are they heroes? You’re damned right they are! It was nearly a perfect anti-terrorist operation. What flight 93 could have been with some more luck.

And that Air Force medic, Spencer Stone, who nearly had his thumb cut off by this thug, still had the guts and presence of mind to provide basic aid to a Frenchman who had either been either shot or knifed in the neck, I’ve read both, don’t know which is true, doesn’t really matter at the moment.

It was once written that:

“The truly amazing thing about me is that, as a product of this amazing country, I am utterly ordinary. However, once I leave the borders of these United States, I start to grow in power and influence until I become someone who can do anything; feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, protect the weak and clothe the shabby”.

And that pretty much applies here, utterly ordinary Americans, until some fool on a French train opened up with an AK, and then, well the adults in the train took over, three young American guys. And from what I read, he’s a lucky terrorist, he didn’t maintain his weapon, and it jammed, so they merely subdued him, instead of letting him tell Allah all about it, and his failure.

Kipling also wrote: “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack”. And that my friends is why terrorism doesn’t work on free men, it does not account for the sheepdogs, not all of whom wear uniforms.

And gentlemen in England now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks that fought with us.

A few years ago, in one of the documentaries about the war in Europe, they interviewed a Dutch woman about the day that the Americans liberated her town.

She stated she knew they were Americans because ‘they walked like free men’.

We still do.



About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

14 Responses to Lead, Follow, or get the Hell out of the Way

  1. Ike Jakson says:


    Somebody should ask the Kenyindonesian in the White House to react to your closing line.


    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      Well, they say he called them, although there are no reports as to what he called them. Our government is as screwed up as anyone’s, but America is still here.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on BPI reblog001.


  3. the unit says:

    Yeah, interesting how this story has unfolded and the participants involved.
    Even though DC Comics had Superman reject his U.S. citizenship in 2011, American truth, justice, and the American Way…and taking your medicine still reigns.
    “Truth, justice and the American way” is not enough anymore for Superman, though DC Comics says the superhero from the planet Krypton “remains, as always, committed to his adopted home.” Link below.
    That’s funny Superman committed to his adopted home. So besides the rest of the motto, also honesty which O maligns himself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Quite, that industry self-infected quite some time ago, Jess had a few really pungent​ comment on the Dark Knight​ as I recall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Well the P.C., leaning toward the NWO started back yonder a ways, Yalta and Breton Woods. Major James Devereux and men defended Wake Island in ’41. He sent message to Japanese “Send us more Japs.” After 15 days fighting superior forces he had to surrender to save his marines, probably other servicemen, and civilian workers. Spent nearly four years as POW. When released he denied he sent that message, which had become a war time legend. Deny a war time legend? Maybe orders? I don’t know. Just maybe like now from CIC to underlings… ISIS is not Islamic.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. the unit says:

    The administration should be praising and lauding this multicultural heroic event. Even a radical, extremis t(although probably not Islamic of course) was there who helped to provide a teachable moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yes, and the French police spokesman, who reported the event with evident relish was, by name and appearance, of Arabic extraction, as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        I missed that. French-Arab then? Even the French fellow who participated in the take down was described as French-American, so I read. About the other French I read about was train personnel who ran away and locked themselves in a separate car. I guess the were not authorized to defend themselves. Key to the lock in perfect condition, no scratches or been dropped even once. Oh, it was dead bolt. French zombie lock, I think. 554 train patrons glad they didn’t get robbed by fellow who found weapons in the park. Seems like I heard this about a fellow in San Francisco couple of weeks ago. Not funny but… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Don’t know but I’d guess Algerian. Didn’t hear much about him at all, really. Somebody said today that the one who got shot in the neck was the first American who tried to take him down. Pretty murky story, really.

          Yeah that’s quite a story, I’d like to find an AK, a basic load of ammunition, and a Luger under a tree in the park myself, Thought they had such good gun control in Europe. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on My Daily Musing.


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