Jerryaughtry’s Weblog

October 22, 2008

Appaloosa

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 1:39 pm

Appaloosa is no Lonesome Dove but having said that, it was a good and enjoyable cowboy movie. All westerns have pretty much the same theme that I like. There’s a bad guy or guys who run rough shod over the good folks. Then, there’s a good guy who, against unbelievable odds, takes on the bad guys. It is good vs evil and as a rule ends in a gunfight and some sort of finality.

Most of the time, there’s a woman. In Appaloosa, which was the name of the town, all the elements were there. Both Ed Harris and Vic Morgeston were perfect for their roles. Both fit Ayn Rand’s “indivituali at all costs.”

The movie did something that movies rarely do, explore the relationship between men. Morgenspn was an articulate former West Pointer and Ed Harris was always out to improve his mind–themes rarely pursued in westerns. With this one and Lonesome Dove, my favorite, to include recent Westetns like Open Range, good dialogue appears to be as important as gun play.

The female played by &&& hit that mark of exploring relationships with some of the best dialogue ever, Ed Harris says about xxx on praising her qualities even while knowing her less than stellar character, “She is clean, takes a bath everyday.”

There are way too many nuances in this movie to fully explore, less I give it away. Morgasen understands quickly about her philosophy, “if she ain’t with the one she loves, she will love the one she’s with.” She is headed toward choosing a more powerful and rich former bad guy and Morgensen a woman like this one. For his old feiend, he performs a final act of kindness. He takes care of the powerful bad guy so that his old friend can have the woman.

Good movie, check it out.

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October 18, 2008

THREATS

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 2:03 pm

I knew there was some reason that I liked the general, Patreas’s replacement, given the fact that I’m not usually in the camp of most: too political to suit me. And, it sure ain’t the General’s good looks. However, now that the Iraqi premiur has threantenwd the good General Odietno with losing his job, I’m liking him better. The general told the Washingon Post that intelligence showed Iran attemptimg to bribe Iraqi lawmakers to sabotage the Status of Forces agreement.

Makes sense to me, anything to get us out of Iraq. We’re in a weird spot now anyway. If you think about it, we’ve armed and recruited the Sunnis (Awakening Councils) formerly the insurgents, now on our side

Think about this: basically we have an official Shiite Army. We also have a Sunni Army, armed by us. They hate each other and have for hundreds of years The Iraneans are Shiite, like the government. And, why would Iran not want us to get put of Dpdge and if a few bribes gets us on the next train, what is the big deal.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way, of course, but the author of Uninintended Consequences has made this the thesis for an entire book.

Getting out of Iraq has to be a priority. We basically can declare victory: we got rid of Saddam, God bless you, we are gone. According to the author of Unintended Consequences, we have lost the war. I think he’s probably right. If our goal is to keep the warring factions apart, staying in Iraq for years might accomplish this. I doubt it. We are about in as much a mess in the Middle East as we’ve every been so why not as the GIs use to say about Vietnam when we were there, let’s “diddy mal” (get the hay out of here)!!!

October 12, 2008

LEADERSJIP

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 6:27 pm

Standoff

October 10, 2008

FOR WHAT PURPOSE

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 1:57 pm

Recently, my grand daughter and I were at the park in San Francisco and the serenity of a bright and sunny day was interrupted by the screaming overhead of these gloriously precisioned airplanes, jets, the Blue Angels. It was thrilling. Wow and more wow is what I thought.

But, later on in the day as I watched the stock market plunge to levels not seen since the great depression, I began to think about the money spent on the “WOW” show of the Blue Angels and how many morgages that the Blue Angel money could save. And what about things like the trillions spent in Iraq. What about it? What does it all mean? For one thing it is unbelieably complicated. How could saving on the Blue Angels possibly help the economy. It is the same view of eating one less expensive meal, how will it help the starving on Africa. Well, it surely is complicated but there has to be a connection to our expenditures on the Blue Angels, the war in Iraq, all sorts of other things. It all has to be have to be related. Having served at fairly high levels of the military, O use to marvel at the budget process. A government entity has a budget. They must spend that money where they need it of not of they will not get as much for next year. Spending more is nest and that way you can asked got more. This gomerent, this is the thinking. The Nlue Amgels have a budget, it is training and the thinking is that of is also receiitmebr, kids will see the WOW of the Blue Angels and run right down and reenlist.

The Nobel

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 4:03 am

The Nobel Prize. Where is mine? I cannot get this. On occasion, I read something about writing and prizes and ot makes me smile. Awarding of the Nobel Proze is one. What makes a good writrer of the Nobel prize calibre.

What is Nobel calibre? Damned if I know and doubt that the Swedes who award the prize know either. Is a good writer who they say it is.

To them maybe but not neccesarily to the reading public. And, they are about as objective as some right wing political commentator on Fox News. For years, they selected only Swedes. The fact that the benefactor of the Nobel prize was from Seden and all the judges were Swedish–think that influenced them?. I’m smiling.

The last American was MaryLou Angelo. I like her but hardly think
she ass the best writer in America when she won the prize. And wonder what part polical correctness played im her selection

All I’m saying is that a good writer is who the reader says it is. When people asked me about what I’m reading, I can tell them based on what I like. I determine my own Nobel Prize, without the money of course.

October 4, 2008

BRING NACK THE DRAFT

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 1:31 pm

Forget it. For a long time, I thought that just maybe someone would see the need for bringing back the military draft. Or, if not the military draft, at least some sort of community service. It isn’t going to happen. The Volunteer Army in terms of numbers appears to be stronger than ever. We are throwing money at it to the tune of millions of dollars in retension bonuses and it is working. Kids are staying in the Army (this is all the services, not just the Army).

What may eventually happen is that we simply can’t afford the Volunteer Military. It is expensive, just in terms of numbers. I hear the old soldiers talk about, “When I was in the Army, I got $80 a month, etc.” They’re proud of it. Now, bonuses make the military more attractive. To a young kid, it is a new car or something exotic that a young kid might be enticed to want that his new found riches move him to buy.

To me, it is no mystery that the voluntary military looks good on paper and with the numbers. Young kids, mostly High School graduates with less than stellar prospects see the military as a sure thing. Add to this a nice chunk of taxpayer dollars and the question is, “where do I sign?”

And, it is a great deal for the military. They want young cannon fodder guys, especially for the combat arms, i. e., infantry, tankers, artillery , and specialty “gun totin” types who are the fighters. And some General somewhere is breaking his arm, congratulating himself for being in a place where he can advance his career knowing he has made the Voluntary Military work on his watch. The truth of the matter is that the economy, big bonuses, and few prospects have swelled the ranks of our voluntary force.

The real story and maybe toll for Americans who care, however, may lie in the emotional fact that most young Americans don’t choose to jpin the military and a prevaling make no sacrifice as related to their lives. And, more critical is that we are paying others to fight our wars and as

October 1, 2008

POLITICS

Filed under: Essay — jerryaughtry @ 4:07 pm

As a Calvinist (Presbyterian), the recent debacle on Wall Street and various other crisis of which the root cause is greed is wholly understandable. John Calvin built his belief around the Biblical concept of the “depravity of man.” Man is sorry, good for nothing, and left to his own devises will do or be nothing outside of his selfishness.

Sound harsh? In the Christian faith, Jesus said it long before John Calvin. Read the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and read what Jesus did and said. Everything from throwing the money changers out of the temple to theSermon on the Mount was built around decrying the self centered nature of man (mankind). Without getting into the religious notion of how to counter man’s depravity, I’ll just stick with the idea that this is simply the way it is. Examples are everywhere.

The sad case of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is an example. Here is a guy, 84, who has had a distinguished career and suddenly he is going to end it with a corruption conviction. Why would Stevens risk of all for a few measley bucks? Selfishness (depravity of man)!

And, of course, we only have to look at our present financial crisis to see unadulterated greed. The very idea that Wall Street, making money hand over fist, could police itself is absurd. It is easy to understand the Stevens of the world and Wall Street if you start with the “depravity of man” concept.

What to do about it is the real question? How do you counter greed? Basically, I don’t think you can. Self interest is too strong (depravity of man). We have to legislate against it, pass laws that watch the “till” and those like Stevens know that if they get caught and they will, jail is in their future.

A present example are those who brought about the financial crisis who have not been nailed and should be. The “depravity of man” should be the realism of how we police ourselves. It is just who we are.

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