Mt Vernon, NY– I’m offloading as this is written. So near to NY City, you have to run through the Bronx to get here. I had to come in at 3am so as to eliminate most of the traffic worries. Oh, I can handle traffic. It’s being LOST and handling traffic that concerns me.
To describe this place as “rough” underplays “rough” by several degrees. I am left wondering what the founders of this place would have thought about what has become of their vision. Depressing, really.
I note Ann Althouse, today: 
There’s a pattern in the department, at the top level, the chairman and the chief and the Joint Chiefs will recommend some rules of engagement for a certain circumstance. It will then be sent down the chain of command and it will get to the next command level, maybe the Combatant Commander, and the Combatant Commander will look at it, and then he will not want to violate it. So he might take a little tuck in it. And then it goes down to the next level. And it’s got now it’s in a country commander. And he looks at it and he doesn’t want to break the rule so he takes a little tuck in it. You end up with four or five layers down there taking tucks and you end up with some rules of engagement that don’t look like what the chairman of the Joint Chiefs or the Joint Chiefs of Staff or even the Combatant Commander intended. Now why is that? Well, it’s fear. It’s because of our litigious society. It’s because of Congress overseeing things and having hearings.
Damn right, Ann. Something there is about the lawyer…. who by their very nature thinks the law the end all and be all…. that wants to control everything. Such is the reason for the growth of government beyond any reasonable limits, regardless of how practical such a stand is… they never quite learn that simply passing a law isn’t going to fix a damn thing.
And here’s the thing… that dirty little secret: Adherence to arbitrary, feel good laws in warfare are the fastest way to loose a war. The reason for that is really as simple as can be… War is by it’s very definition, the ABSENCE of law… You cannot civilize warfare because war is the ABSENCE of civility.
Of course, the other secret here, is that the winners of the war… winnders by whatever means needed to WIN said war… get to define what is law and what is civility, you see. But…. that only happens, once the war has been won. I agree, these are harsh realities, but they are realities none the less and must be dealt with as such, because the first time we come up against an enemy who doesn’t follow our version of civility in a dispute, wins. Say, Islamic terrorists for example. Get the picture?
I haven’t said much about Charlie Sheen, but I was advised today that I should make a comment. OK, fine. He’s about all this publicity right now because the out of control addict is forever looking for approval. What other means of approval would a Hollywood actor seek, past all the publicity you can get? The guy’s a slimeball, plain and simple, and appears to be on a death spiral of the sort we saw with Robert Downey Jr some years ago The open question is if he succeeds in getting there, where Downey didn’t.
The GAO is saying nearly 10%  of Medicare payments are improper. Frankly, I doubt that’s even scratching the surface of the thing. Look, gang, let’s lay this thing out. Since 1968, in Johnson’s “Great Society” we’ve seen calls for “healthcare reform”, because the costs were too high. But look at the costs of healthcare, vs the amount of governmental involvement back in ’68, and you’ll see that the government isn’t a solution… government in healthcare costs as in most things, is the problem. Wanna bring healthcare costs down? Get government out of the healthcare business. It’s that simple.