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Crusader AXE of the Lost Causes
On the edge of the desert, just outside of Barstow...
Soldier, scholar, guitarist and business executive--only the first by choice.
Interests: History, government, military affairs, sports, popular culture, music and literature.
Recent Activity
Well, interesting perspective. Crispin is a native Washingtonian, so he's Southern by Birth...I've lived in the south, and I have had some issues (I've been called an "outside Yankee agitator trying to change us" which was funny because I was in the Army and the conversation dealt with military issues, but what the hell, I wear that as a badge of honor.) I've had plenty of contact with Southerners, and generally find them at least as human, humane, pleasant and bloody fucking awful as people in Maine, Washington or California. There are pockets of Scots-Irish all over the country, and a strong southern sense. The south in a lot of ways is our dark side; and in some ways, our bright side...we're a confusing country. The cultural influences of the south are pretty amazing, and that's neither problem nor virtue, just fact.
Toggle Commented Feb 11, 2014 on The River and the Thread at cheese it, the cops!
You know, Crispin, I have to ask how many people would have heard about Blind Lemon Jefferson et al if Dylan hadn't made noises about him? How much attention to Muddy Waters or Howlin'Wolf or Sonny Boy Williamson if some white guy from suburban London hadn't somehow gotten a copy of an old Muddy album and told the guy from the bar calling about a gig that the name of his band was "The Rollin' Stones?" If the meaning of your communication is the effect on the receiver, well, if nobody ever hears it, is there any meaning? Isn't it possible, and just a thought, that I happen to like Dylan and you don't? The rest of the exegesis is subjective bickering. As for the commercial, one could argue that Dylan is explaining Adam Smith's concept of relative competitive advantage, the old wine versus pins thing...staking out cars for us and yielding watches, cell phones and beer to other producers. Or as Steve Still said it by way in this case by the Isley Brothers...
I get a kick out of Gates concern that Obama wasn't passionate enough about Iraq, Iran and didn't like Karzai and had limited faith in the military leadership in CENTCOM and on the Ground. In some ways, Obama is kind of the son of GHWB that the old man wanted to have. Except for the whole Democrat thing. But, yeah, surrounded by tone-deaf, self-centered megalomaniacs and psychopaths with no obvious ability to learn from experience, I might be somewhat distant and dispassionate too. If I were not able to maintain that, I'd have to fire a whole bunch of motherfuckers, possibly including myself for having the hubris to think I could fix the mess in the first place.
Dylan is a changeling, a bit of everything. Some stuff is great, some stuff is awful and some stuff kind of transcendent. He suffers, especially the early stuff, from being cliche...I would no more sit down and try to play "blowin in the wind" for shits and grins than I'd try 'louie, louie" -- but, I could see someone asking me to play either one and after a grimace or to, playing them. Nobody would ever ask me to play Visions of Johanna...but I'll try that every now and then. And, so it goes...
Toggle Commented Jan 3, 2014 on a little more dylan at cheese it, the cops!
Lot of his stuff is damn near Steve Earle country as well. And, Midnight in Montgomery is one of the more haunting things I've listened to. The Drifting Cowboy style pedal steel at the end which I think comes from Be careful of the Stones You Throw is amazing.
Toggle Commented Oct 4, 2013 on wild and blue at cheese it, the cops!
I would probably charge them for air. It is interesting that behind closed doors, the Senate Republicans appear ready to roast some Texas Canadian Cuban long pig in celebration of Halloween. Since they have the real nuts 37 to 3, should be an easy gig. As for the Congress, they outnumber the Tea Party by 5 to 1. But, hell, in both cases would require guts...and ability to do something without talking points. "We used a orange-habanero marinade on Cruz, and he was a little fatty despite smoking him for 15 hours. McConnell did a lousy job trimming the meat, but old John McCain laughed and sang old stuff like Barbra Ann while rotating the damn spit while Kelly rubbed on the sauce."
While I'm not excited about the NSA domestic surveillance operation as a priority or "essential" function, I think trying to see a bright side into a basic failure of the legislature to legislate is really reaching for the Fox News approach -- they're all guilty bastards so they're all equally guilty. No. Nor are sins equal. NSA sucks but the program was put in place on Bush's watch. The excesses are often as not done by enthusiastic staffers trying to make a name for themselves. A helluva lot of government excess is based on the Henry II corollary to Murphy's Law -- Don't ask who will rid me of this troublesome priest unless you actually want to get rid of the damned priest. But, that's inspiring me to think a bit and write more. Thanks.
The Iraq clusterrodeogoatfuck had nothing to do with the Powell Doctrine. If he'd remembered it and implemented it effectively,we might be someplace else. Instead, well, he has admitted repeatedly and with a great deal of sorrow and humility that it was the worst mistake of his life. I think you've got a good insight though. Smart people can be overwhelmed by group think and basic stupidity. I watched a bit of Zero Dark Thirty last night and there's a great line where Gandolfini as Leon Panetta looks at John Barrowman as CIA Director of Ops and says "What do you think of her?" Barrowman says, "I think she's fucking smart." Gandolfini frowns and says, "We're all fucking smart."
We do have the "they're all guilty bastards" problem in Syria. That said, Assad is a Saddam class dickhead only with friends...just not friends with money. As for the Iran-Iraq war, that was pretty well reported back during the damned conflict; people may not have paid as much attention because both sides were pretty repulsive. Countering human wave attacks with Sarin should probably earn both sides leadership an all expense paid vacation to the Hague for war crimes and genocide. An Iranian friend has a boyfriend who was one of the Iranian Holy Warriors, meaning he was old enough to carry a gun, and as soon as someone got shot, he could pick it up. Guy is a bit of a basket case...PTSD is intensified by stupidity.
What's better? Famine, pestilence, war and death...for a start.
Could be, and remember his playing was pretty much driven by how screwed up he was at the time; if he was feeling too straight, was too uptight to play; too fucked up which by the time this was made if was him would have been all the time, he was pretty inanimately sloppy; if he was just right, was amazing. More on organ and piano tho...not a lot of Dead Harp playing...unless I missed that.
Oh, I think with the right red wine and some good cheese, maybe some olives, you could get Socrates to the point where he'd almost justify the sophists complaint that he asks questions and makes the best seem the worse and the worse seem the best...I think he'd have a lot of fun with us. I think Snowden is probably preparing for a life in Tibet or someplace, screwing Yaks and writing exposes...
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2013 on socrates and snowden at cheese it, the cops!
I was listening to one of the South London Muhajadeen last night babbling about being sorry that women had to see them chop someone up on the street for chips and giggles and God, and thought,"So much for inclusion." There is a qualitative difference between a nation killing in execution of a policy and a couple of individuals hitting a guy walking down the street and chopping him up with meat cleavers. One is the problem of scale -- we're all guilty bastards when the state kills in our name; however, when individuals terrorize in the name of a religion, race, or culture it's an opening into a deeper and darker abyss. While it's nice to see the guys from Area 51 and my brother Defeatists all excited about something, I see a huge problem with the dynamic of Islam in western Societies. A bunch of rednecks in Pennysyltucky decide to drive into Amish Country and forcibly shave beards, and we'd find it amusing; an autistic sociopath shoots up a grammar school and we find it horrific; a couple of sociopaths use Allah, sharia and US drone strikes to justify random acts of murder and desecration, and we find it symbolic? A difference of scale? Frederick and I were soldiers, and Frederick served in Iraq. He knows existentially about horror. I find it odd that he, El Serracho and Mr. Fun are defending political correctness. The deeper problem, the problem of the abyss goes back to a question posed by Augustine in The City of God: "How, then, should we live together?" I guess El S and Mr. Fun are advocating not doing so, or at least that's my reading of their comments. Crispy is asking a question -- in true Socratic fashion -- about political correctness as a response to religion-motivated murder.
Toggle Commented May 23, 2013 on god of the bloody hands at cheese it, the cops!
Given what we know of Scalia's temperament, if the question about dates was his best attack on Ted Olson's position, think it's fair to say that California will probably be tossed for lack of standing. The DOMA case may be more interesting.
And of course, the Rand Paul approach ultiamtely results in your hero Hobbes' vision of paradise...ultimately, I guess we're going to evolve as a creatures while devolving as communities into some dystopian morass of libertarian dictatorship. Get your head around that one... Given a choice between Reagan and Roosevelt, I go with FDR and TR. However, that's a choice between strawmen...
Toggle Commented Mar 1, 2013 on sequester semester at cheese it, the cops!
Not terribly surprising in a lot of ways. However, General Zinni is a Marine, not Army. He's a fine man and a good officer and a fellow Holy Cross Alumni. But, getting things like that wrong underminds credibility on what is really a serious issue.
Dear god, preserve us from the hordes of slacker youth gathering in mall food courts to sing "Da Da Diddy" while dancing on the tables. Of course, unlike Iran, we probably won't shoot them.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2011 on Moral Covalence at the defeatists!
Of course. Collaboration is the only way to change what we've got to what we need based on what we can do or say. I still think that the blogosphere has the potential for good, to be the equivalent to the English Coffee Houses in the 18th Century and the Left Bank Cafes in Paris in the 40s and 50s. Granted, there's a lot of preaching to the choir that'll go on, but the world is screwy enough that we need to have reassurance by other voices that the world has not become flat...arid...and empty.
Good. Wear Black whenever Susan or Louise or Jonathan is around. No comments, although occasional sobs may be in order.
Toggle Commented Nov 24, 2009 on " The motive is not clear..." at the defeatists!
Please. Love 'em. Email a bunch to So, I'm guessing Luna Lovejoy plays a roll in your thinking as well...or, you're channeling the human loving, semi-suicidal deceased whale
And, even more interestingly, Chrysler-Dodge-Seven Headed Dog Guarding the Gates of Hades Automotive Grope is now the poorest of the US brands for Quality. Of course, when your CEO came in second to Jack Immelt, drove Home Depot into the ground and is now trying to run a car company with zero talent at people, processes or engineering, I'm not too terribly surprised. My charger is a 2006, and still feels like a cross between a US muscle car and a German GT. Since Top Gear did a test of the Challenger at Bonneville, and it came in behind not only the hottest Corvette but also behind the hottest Caddy, I've lost interest. Next car will be either a loaded Mustang or...and this depends on what the twitbergers at GM do...a Camaro SS...or, fuck it. I'm getting a 370Z, unless I win the lottery. Which will never happen...of course, the way things are going economically, I should probably be looking at, oh, I don't know, a Kia Optima?