"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Beard Contest

Well, that's what Twyla calls it.

If you are a Navy person, you will especially appreciate this photo. For those of you who don't know, the goat is the official mascot of the U.S. Navy.  Don't ask me why, I haven't researched it.  There I am with my NAVY cap and blue windbreaker. This was taken this past winter as Twyla and I were out exploring the local area and looking at old barns in the neighborhood, so no, that's not our goat.

We are thinking seriously about getting some pygmy goats in the future.  Start off with a male and female and see what develops from there.  It will mean some kind of good fencing or tethering.  In order to do tethering, we would need a good guard dog to at least warn of predators, if not to outright chase them off.  Adonai would have to send us such a dog, because we aren't going to buy one.

Short post today, because it's SHABBAT SHALOM!!

UPDATE:  The answer for why the goat is the mascot of the Navy.

It brings me no joy or pride to share with you why the goat is the mascot. It's downright disappointing.  It has nothing to do with the nature of the animal or heroics or anything that makes good sense.  I guess I'll have to retain my pride in naval tradition from the likes of John Paul Jones, and the Sullivan brothers.  But here's the story on the goat:

The legend of Bill the Goat:

In the 1880s, ships sailed with livestock in order to provide sailors with fresh food.

There is a legend that a Navy ship sailed with a pet goat. The goat died during the cruise. The officers preserved the skin, to have it mounted when they returned to port.

Two young ensigns were entrusted with the skin. On the way to the taxidermist, they stopped by the United States Naval Academy to watch a football game. At half time, one ensign decided to dress up in the goat skin. The crowd appreciated the effort. Navy won the game.

In 1893, however, a live goat named El Cid made his debut as a mascot at the fourth Army-Navy game. El Cid was a gift to the Brigade of Midshipmen from officers of the USS New York. The goat helped Navy win 6-3 over Army that year, so he was adopted as part of the team.

There were other mascots in those years, including two cats, a bulldog, and a carrier pigeon. However, the goat has served without interruption since 1904.

In the early 1900s, the beloved mascot was finally given a name. On the return trip to the Naval Academy after Annapolis' triumph over West Point, the goat was led on a victory lap through the train and did not leave the midshipmen until they reached Baltimore.

It was then that the goat was given the name "Bill", which was the same name of a pet goat kept by Commander Colby M. Chester, Commandant of Midshipmen, from 1891-1894.

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