Beer Will Make You Feel Better

Beer Will Make It All Better:

...if you're a man.

Drinking alcohol every day cuts the risk of heart disease in men by more than a third, a major study suggests.

The Spanish research involving more than 15,500 men and 26,000 women found large quantities of alcohol could be even more beneficial for men.
Well, in celebration of that little piece of wisdom, here's a Singapore blues band performing a classic by the Reverend Horton Heat.

The title of this post is taken from another song, whose chorus goes: "Everybody's got to believe in something; I believe I'll have another beer."
Give them the bayonet.
Colonel Lewis L. Millett, an Army veteran of three wars who received the Medal of Honor for leading a rare bayonet charge up a hill in Korea, died Saturday in Loma Linda, Calif. He was 88.

The colonel was hard core. He would have been an interesting man to serve with.

Wood = Felony?

The Insanity of the Law:

We've reached a point in our history at which we honestly have no idea what the law says. For example:

This amendment deals with illegal plants -- the primary thrust being illegal wood. Henceforth, all wood is to be a federally regulated, suspect substance. Either raw wood, lumber, or anything made of wood, from tables and chairs, to flooring, siding, particle board, to handles on knives, baskets, chopsticks, or even toothpicks has to have a label naming the genus and species of the tree that it came from and the country of origin. Incorrect labeling becomes a federal felony, and the law does not just apply to wood newly entering the country, but any wood that is in interstate commerce within the country. Here are some excerpts from a summary:


Anyone who imports into the United States, or exports out of the United States, illegally harvested plants or products made from illegally harvested plants, including timber, as well as anyone who exports, transports, sells, receives, acquires or purchases such products in the United States, may be prosecuted.
So, if you buy an incorrectly labeled pack of toothpicks, you've just committed a felony.

Did you know that? Of course you did not. Nobody knew it. These omnibus bills create new crimes all the time.

How many new felonies are in the more-than two thousand pages of the Senate's health care bill? Will we know by the time they vote on it, scant days after compiling it? How many of them will have read it?

I'm sure you read that Texas appears to have accidentally banned all marriages.

This break-neck, all-the-time changing of the law is the absolute enemy of liberty.

First, it hems in the space in which we are free.

Second, and worse, it undermines the rule of law itself. "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" is a bedrock legal principle: you can't claim, as a defense in court, that you weren't aware of the law governing your actions. When the law becomes unknowable, due to rapid, massive, and constant changes, that bedrock principle becomes unjust.

A standard often invoked in the law is 'the average, rational person.' If the average, rational person honestly can't know what laws he lives under, how can the system be just? How can it be valid? How can we morally prosecute anyone for violating such laws?

The law, in such a system, becomes wicked. It no longer protects that average, rational person. The average, rational person becomes a felon.

The government must be stopped from changing the law all the time. We need to find a way to put on the brakes.

No Decision?

No Decision?

That's what the White House is saying:

President Barack Obama will not announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan before the Thanksgiving holiday, senior aides said on Thursday. The news came as the president greeted 1,500 troops at Osan Air Base in South Korea, just before boarding Air Force One....

"You guys make a pretty good photo op," the president said.

Standing on a riser wearing a blue suit and red tie, with a cluster of troops and a large American flag behind him, Obama expressed "the gratitude of the American public" and said his meetings in four countries over eight days in Asia will help deliver a "safer more prosperous world for all of us."
Thanksgiving is an important holiday, and a time for reflection. There's been quite a lot of reflection already, though; and besides, isn't this the decision?
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have turned the focus of Afghan war planning toward an exit strategy, publicly declaring that the U.S. and its allies can't send additional troops without a plan for getting them out.

The shift has unnerved some U.S. and foreign officials, who say that planning a pullout now -- with or without a specific timetable -- encourages the Taliban to wait out foreign forces and exacerbates fears in the region that the U.S. isn't fully committed to their security.

"It's not a good idea," said Rep. Ike Skelton (D., Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Whether it is or not, it's the decision. What we're now debating is means to the end of getting out.

That may seem like a small thing, since our mission in Iraq also includes an end-state whereby we withdraw remaining forces. However, the Bush administration pushed the public debate in the direction of how to achieve victory, not an exit strategy. The difference in that debate is significant even if you designed precisely the same practical steps to achieve one as the other. That is, even if your plan for 'achieving victory' is exactly the same plan as an 'exit strategy,' there's an important difference in perception.

"The moral is to the physical as three is to one," as Napoleon said. Telling your troops, your allies and your enemies that you are not committed to the region will have effects. Those effects may echo from little battlefields at distant outposts, to the cities of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

VALOUR-IT 2009 Final

Project VALOUR-IT 2009 Final Scores:

I'd just like to pass on Cassandra's words of congratulation to all of you, in her capacity as Marine Corps Team Leader. As you can see from the scores, the Marine Corps team met and surpassed their goal in a very difficult year (indeed, none of the other teams achieved the goal; in most years, the competition is to see who can get to $35K first).

Thank you for your kind attention, and for your concern for our wounded veterans.

Don't be hatin'.

The blogger Instapunk has an interesting rant (note: very strong language in parts) on the phenomenon of what I'm going to start referring to as Palin Derangement Syndrome:
Americans -- remember them? -- should be asking themselves what it means that a woman of traditional American values can be so reviled, so relentlessly, so unscrupulously, so take-no-prisoners viciously. She doesn't need to become president to perform an invaluable role. Why is she so popular in the heartland?
Because she is us. A good-hearted ambitious American doing her best to offer her best. If they -- and who are they, exactly? -- hate her so much, then it has to be the case that she's only a symbol of the hatred they feel for all the rest of us. If ordinary average Americans ever figure this part of the equation out, the 'liberals' are done forever. I'm thinking Sarah Palin is making that outcome more likely.

And I say to that sentence: I certainly hope so.


Whiskey Tango...

If I ever meet this fellow who has gotten himself elected President, I'm going to demand to know why he isn't bowing to me.

"Why should I?" I imagine him saying. "You're not a king, a monarch, a head of state."

No, I'm not. But I'm a free American citizen, and as such, I'm the equal of anyone in the world. If he'll bow to them, as America's primus inter pares, then it must be personal. That is, he's not bowing because it is right for the President of the United States to bow where no "mere" citizen would, but because he personally is a scoundrel who knows his place.

An American citizen can look the Queen of England in the eye as an equal, if he chooses. We won the right on the battlefield. In her case, one might choose to do otherwise, as she merits special honor. A gentleman might bow to her as a lady without shame, for she truly is one.

But Hu Jintao? He's no lady.

The Road Is Not

The Road Is Not:

Tonight I made the last long run to finish the move. Man, family, horse and dog, and all their gear have made the movement to a new home. We should begin to be good, tomorrow.

Lots to do yet, but things are better than they have been, starting time now.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That quote is attributed to Ghandi, but I'm thinking it has applications here. Like the article says:
"...for somebody who's supposed to be such a political joke, an Arctic ditz and eminently dismissable as a serious anything except maybe a stay-at-home hockey mom, Sarah Palin is sure drawing an awful lot of attention from Democrats and eager critics."

I usually don't read political memoirs, but I think I'm going to be making an exception in this case.

And speaking of the governor, Nate Silver of (a basically Democrat polling website) makes the case for why Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. But what I find especially interesting is the comments. Just look at all the anti-Palin comments, and replace "she" with "he" and "Palin" with "Obama" and see how they sound. Very, very interesting.
I’m unhappy and my life is hard and nobody understands and this should be important to you.

Read it quickly before the woman comes to her senses and takes it down.

Grim, you ain't missing anything. Get settled with your family.

(via Ace of Spades)

Out of Touch

Out of Touch:

I apologize for the continued lack of new posting here. We're moved, but the phone company doesn't have a cable pair in this part of rural Georgia to carry our phone/internet signal. We're working on resolving that one way or another; until that happens, I'll have to connect from the public library!

I want to thank my co-bloggers for their interesting entries. I'm glad to read Joesph's commentary on the subject of the FT Hood shooting trial.

Aside from that, I'm afraid I haven't had enough internet access lately to be much abreast of the happenings of the world. I have been working on wells in a pasture, cutting hay, and laying some white clover seed for the benefit of certain horses.

Hope to be back soon. In the meantime, I'll be around as I can be.

This is pretty funny. Sarah Palin pretty much just called the AP a pack of liars.

Really? Still making things up?

You go, girl!
This little bit of fluff seems to be making the rounds:

I am always slightly astonished at the lengths people will go through for a joke. But it's still pretty neat for all that.

The original, if anybody wants to compare.

(via Glenn Reynolds)

Sadko - Song of the Varangian Merchant

Sadko - Song of the Varangian Merchant

For no better reason than that I feel like it: here is a favorite Russian song of mine.

This is from the opera Sadko by Rimsky-Korsakov. Sadko is a musician of Novgorod who once boasted to the local merchants that, if he had a hoard of gold, he wouldn't stay home - he'd buy trade goods, sail overseas, and bring back fabulous wealth to decorate the city's churches. At this point (Tableau IV of the opera), he's just acquired a fortune by catching the golden-finned fish of Lake Ilmen and he intends to keep his promise - but where to trade? Three foreign merchants sing songs of their homelands, and the first is the Varangian (Viking). This is how he describes his home and people:
On the terrible rocks the waves break with a roar
And run backwhirling with white foam;
But the grey cliffs stoutly bear the pressure of the waves,
Standing over the sea.

Our Varangian bones are of those rocks,
Our life's blood came from those ocean waves,
Our secret thoughts from the mists.
We were born in the sea; we will die on the sea.

The Varangians have swords of Damascus steel,
Deadly sharp arrows, they bring unfailing death to our foes.
Courageous are the people of the midnight lands,
Great is their god Odin, gloomy their sea.
I long ago heard (but never saw verified) that the "Song of the Volga Boatmen" is a rare remnant of Viking music, and this recalls that, so the composer may have thought so.

In case you were wondering, the other merchants are from India and Venice. Sadko decides on Venice.