Cowboy test

The Cowboy Test:

Who knew there was a cowboy test online? That seems a little odd to me, but whatever. I was sent to it, and so here are the results. Those of you who wanted to know, know who you are.

Badass Outlaw
Yeehaw pardner! You scored 98%!

Yee-haw! You're badder than Cash and Wayne combined! Way to go, darlin' Let's head on down to the saloon and celebrate! Yee-haw!

I don't know about being badder than Wayne or Cash. Wayne was a horseman, and I think we all know Johnny Cash was a man for all times.

If any of you take the test, let us know how you make out. I had to laugh about the question that asked if you'd 'ever drunk beer from a Mason jar.' I was doing so right at the moment -- one of the old fashioned kinds, with "MASON" in sunken letters. I mean, it had spaghetti sauce in it when I bought it, but why waste a good Mason jar?


CENTCOM is Podcasting:

Now this is a pretty good idea. Central Command is now doing podcasts, which shows that the folks at CENTCOM PA continue to be attuned to developing new media.

Listen here.

Shameful unlearning

A Shameful Unlearned Lesson:

A probing attack against our border overruns a US position held by National Guardsmen. How did this happen?

A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona's border with Mexico.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state's West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat.
More here.

How did it happen? I'll bet this is how:
The guardsmen are unarmed and wearing hardhats instead of Kevlar helmets — “we do not want to appear as if we’re militarizing the border,” Greeff said.
That refers to a different unit of National Guards, but it has been common to deploy them without arms. Also in the Tucson sector, tribal law bans armed Guardsmen from performing the Border Patrol support duties. The confluence of the need to obey tribal laws, and the desire not to inflame Mexican sentiment by 'appearing to militarize the border' has kept many of our people from deploying with even defensive arms.

Since the Guardsmen apparently neither shot at nor were shot at, the odds are very high that they were not able to resist an incursion by armed men. That's not acceptable for soldiers on a contested frontier.

One would think we might have learned.
Steve Edward Russell, an E-5 sergeant with the 2nd Marine Division out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., was in the guard post directly in front of the lobby when he heard a loud snap, "like a two-by-four breaking" out by the main gate. When he turned to look, he saw a large Mercedes water truck coming through the open gate, leaning heavily as it swerved around barriers. Russell fiddled briefly with his sidearm, but realized it was not loaded - in keeping with the rules of engagement for this "peacekeeping" mission. Then he saw that the truck was coming straight for him.
A moment later, two hundred and forty-one Marines were killed by the truck bomb.

The Long War

The Long War: A Strategy

I have an article on the subject at BlackFive. Due to the length, I posted it there (lacking "jump" coding here).

Kerry explnd

Massachusetts: The Female State

I'm guessing this explains the flip-flopping of Senator Kerry. He's just a feature of the culture. Consider today's session of the MA legislature:

Lawmakers in Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is legal, voted Tuesday to allow a proposed constitutional amendment to move forward that would effectively ban the practice.

Within two hours, they voted to reconsider, but then voted again to uphold their initial decision.

Sixty-one lawmakers voted in favor of advancing the measure, which would appear on the ballot in 2008 and declare marriage to be only between a man and a woman. The proposal still needs approval of the next legislative session.
So, let's get this straight. If you want to amend the constitution in Massachusetts, first you vote for a ballot initiative. Then, you can immediately vote to reconsider -- not, notice, revote -- that is, reconsider right now. Rather, you are actually voting to reconsider the issue later. So then, later, you actually do reconsider, vote a third time, and change your mind back to the original decision. However, it only counts if you still think so next year! Plus you can always reconsider. Or even revote.



Cutting back on Coffee:

It's not a new year's resolution, but I have been getting less coffee lately. That's because of my piece of crap "Mr. Coffee" coffemaker. The hot water running through it repeatedly for a year or so has deformed the plastics, so that about half the coffee runs out onto the countertop. I put it in a pan to cut down on the mess, but so far I haven't replaced it because I don't know what else to buy.

I have a metal coffee pot I use on the trail and at campsite -- all it needs is fire (or a stovetop). And I have one of those 'press' style coffemakers, which is more or less the same thing except you don't boil the water in it, you add almost-boiling water heated elsewhere. Both produce excellent coffee if you know how to use them correctly, but both sorts of coffee are unfiltered -- that is, you don't drain the coffee through a paper filter. This means all the oils are still in the coffee, which makes it extra delicious but also raises your cholesterol sharply.

So, at least, my doctor informed me after my last cholesterol test a year or so back. That's why I bought the sorry-piece-of-crap coffee maker.

So, I'd like suggestions. I have the following needs:

1) At least 8 cups of coffee to be brewed.

2) Paper filter.

3) Stainless steel pot. This one is b/c of the wife's temper -- she's destroyed several of the hardened glass ones over the years.

I'd also like something I won't have to replace right away. You know, if possible.

Eh, I'll probably just go back to boiling the coffee. It's cheaper, the coffee's better, and all it costs is a few years off the end of my life when I'll be sick and old anyway. :)



Regular readers of MilBlogs are aware of that the author of "A Storm in Afghanistan" announced in September that his wife's cancer had gotten to her brain. She died today.

He writes at his blog:

Ellicia enjoyed your cards, letters, and notes of support. They warmed her heart, and mine too, to see all of the caring from around the world. If you'd like to write to the family, or... to the kids - it'll be nice to show them how much their Mother was loved and cherished. You may write at: (Kira, Marissa, and Thomas) The Stanley's P.O. Box 4793 Fort Eustis, VA 23604
My condolences to a fellow husband and father.

NYear Pardons

New Year Pardons:

It has, in several cultures, been the habit of kings and presidents to issue pardons to deserving (and sometimes undeserving) persons on the new year. Here are some cases I think are deserving.

Two Border Patrol Agents convicted of shooting a drug smuggler in the backside, in the course of his escape and while he was armed. The smuggler was granted immunity(!) for his testimony against the agents. They are meant to serve 11 and 12 years for attempting to stop his escape from American justice.

Cory Maye, convicted of killing a policeman who burst into his house, in the course of a raid, at night and without warning -- the raid serving a warrant on the wrong address. In defense of his child, he killed one, though he surrendered when the policemens' identity became clear. Maye is sentenced to life in prison. (H/t Instapundit, who has regularly reminded us of the case.)

These three men -- two agents of the law, and one wrongly handled by agents of the law -- deserve their freedom.