Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

Any American citizen needs to pick up the June issue of Harper's because one of the articles is a forum done at West Point. The title in the magazine is "Combat High: America's Addiction to War." The panel was made up of former soldiers, most of whom saw combat in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. 

Here are some snippets that should get your attention: 
  • Dempsey: "Americans are beset by an attitude of respectful indifference."
  • Kreps: "The United States has its tentacles everywhere."
  • Dempsey: "It is utterly absurd. It ties in with the idea that the military can do no wrong."
  • Dempsey: "Sadly, being played for suckers in other people's wars might just be the purest expression of American exceptionalism." 
  • Bacevich: "To acknowledge that is to commit what, in the context of our civil religion, is a mortal sin."
  • Daddis: "We have moved from having respect for the military to being unable to criticize it." 
  • Daddis: "It's not a job ~ it's a drug. We've addicted our soldiers to war, and to the cycle of war. The costs of being addicted ~ damaging soldiers' psyches, tearing families apart, creating an unhealthy relationship between soldiers and the adrenaline rush of combat ~ are hidden until later." 
  • Dempsey: "He's [Moscow Don] almost irrelevant to the argument. He was probably faced with, 'Do you want to be seen as a loser, or do you want to just keep bombing for a couple of years? And keep bragging about how great you are?" 

In addition, the issue has an essay that Seymour Hersh adapted from his memoir. It's about his dogged pursuit of his first and subsequent articles about the My Lai massacre, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. It's titled "Looking for Calley: How a Young Journalist Untangled the Riddle of My Lai." 

On a dumb lark the other day, I bought a tiny bottle of Old Camp Peach Pecan whiskey at my local liquor store. I poured it into a highball glass, took a drink, and hated it immediately. I dumped it out in the sink. 

Why do all these bourbon companies have to corrupt perfectly good whiskey with flavorings? Honey, blackberry, cinnamon, and whatnot are adulterating perfectly fine bourbon. What a shame. The fact of the matter is though that probably most of concoctions use some bourbon and then use grain neutral spirits to make it cheaper and thus not true bourbon. Atrocious.  

No comments: