Air Power

The air attacks on ISIS in Syria should accomplish at least a few things:

1. Start the process of degrading and destroying ISIS.
2. Shut up John McCain.
3. Shut up John Boehner in saying Obama is weak and leads from behind.
4. Shut up the journalists and pundits that think they know how the US conducts military operations; arguably the media was used by the Obama administration to enhance the advantage of surprise of the airstrikes.
5. Reinforce the concept that Israel has a right to defend itself. (Remember, two beheaded US journalists were the last straw which resulted in US military action; similar to the killed Israeli teens that precipitated the recent Palestinian-Israeli fighting.)
6. Maybe, just maybe, get the current Congress to start taking its role in leading and running America seriously.

This is what I’ve got so far, other consequences are sure to come to mind.

Oh yeah …

6. Get Putin to rethink his Ukraine strategy.

Is Syria America’s Next Bay of Pigs?

When has arming and training a “moderate” group of proxy rebels ever worked to bring about the regime change America desired?  It didn’t work in Cuba, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, The Congo, Nicaragua, and Sudan.  It didn’t work in Vietnam and Iraq either and look what happened in both those countries.

I thought Obama was aware that this strategy is always a very long shot (especially in the Middle East) and it’s why he didn’t want to arm moderates in Syria before?  I guess the “success” of Libya has made him forget most of America’s history with regime change?  He certainly knows ISIS is driving around in US tanks that we provided to the Iraqi Army assumed to share our strategic interests.

If we want to get rid of ISIS and Bashar al-Assad, it will take US boots on the ground, air, and sea.  And even then, if we do topple those regimes, we don’t know how to do nation-building at all as proven by our efforts at just that in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We can’t afford nor do we have the desire to occupy Syria & Iraq at the commitment levels it will take to bring the kind of change that we desire to those countries.

I don’t know the answer myself, but I’m pretty a sure that using a proxy army to further US interests doesn’t work.

The Day The Music Died (was somewhere in the mid 1990’s)

People don’t want good music, they want free music. Good is optional, in both the composition, performance, and the final recoding that’s listened to. Actually, good isn’t even desired at all, there has always been good music, great music too, and it has never sold well.

It’s people and listening habits that have fundamentally changed — not the artists or music distributors — that have eroded the ability to be a professional musician.

These days people invest in good headphones, not good stereo systems. Most listening occurs alone, and when groups of people listen to music it’s usually background to another activity. When was the last time you or anyone you know listened to recorded music together in your house where the sole intent was to listen to the music, and not do anything else simultaneously like converse, eat, or drink? My theory is that headphones have become so popular since they make low bitrate audio files sound better. Yes, you’ll also hear the digital artifacts (if you have a trained ear) but a $79 set of headphones brings more audio fidelity to the listener than a $79 stereo system. I mean there are not enough bus and train riders out there to explain the explosion in popularity in headphone use!

And even when people use headphones and listen to music alone, the music is usually background noise to other activities like working out, studying, housework, and web surfing.

Given that people don’t really treat listening to music as something they do exclusively with no distractions, and that music can be had for free, I don’t see that people will ever buy music again in any great numbers. I think people have to treasure listening to music more as a primary activity before ANY business model can be developed to support music recording sales at past levels.

Also, let’s face it, music can be rather boring when you hold it up against other forms of entertainment like TV and movies. Back in the fat and profitable years for the music industry — about the last half of the 1960’s, the entire 70’s & 80’s and the first half of the 90’s — TV and movies, especially TV, sucked ass. But now TV shows are amazing and they command your attention. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black etc. viewing parties have replaced album listening parties. We’re not going to pay $10 for an album when the same $10 gets us Netflix. Hell, we don’t even really pay $10 for Pandora.

Of course all of the above is a generalization and a lot of people still engage in music as something other than background noise. But I don’t think they’re enough of them left to support the music industry like in decades past.

With only a few exceptions (40 or 200?) being a musician is a now a low-wage job in an archaic industry. I think we have to acknowledge that the music industry was a bubble that burst and it will never be re-inflated. And like with all bubbles, all of us are partly to blame.

So don’t think that all it will take is some new “good” musicians or some new amazing music genre or scene to breath new life into the music industry. Music industry profits are now slim margins because music as a form of entertainment has been marginalized.

teenage (can’t) dream

Ima gonna channel my teenage self here and write something on the inside flap of my high school library’s copy of The Catcher in the Rye: If love makes the world go ’round, then unrequited love keeps it tilted on its axis.

Boom!

Is there a rehab for acting immature and melodramatic on social media and for posting far more than any grown-ass man should even when bored and unable to fall asleep? I have good health insurance. Lmk, thx, ttyl!

Ugh.

Everyone should read this article, click here!

But know there are a few things you can do.  In no particular order other than stream-of-conscious …

1. On an individual level, consume less media and produce more of it yourself.  2. Do the same with everything else, borrow and share too.  3.  Realize that when you rip off artists and musicians, by not supporting them with actual money, things get worse.  This may seem to conflict with #1 & #2 and it does really, so find the right balance for you and don’t expect it all for free.  4. Stop working in tech or other forms of content packaging and distribution and make content yourself.  Or at least respect and cherish the content producers that make your distribution job possible: don’t take advantage of them.  4a. Play a musical instrument, even poorly.  5. Volunteer and help other people out directly, don’t expect others or the government to do it for you.  6. Only read and watch the best in breed in journalism, avoid all the rest at all cost.  7. Dive deep and master something, don’t think you need to be aware of everything going on under the sun to survive and be happy.  8. Trust the experts and scientists that have done the work and the study and have the best credentials, ignore the rest.  9. Get a dog.  10.  Fall in love and have a lot of sex.  10a. If you’re not in love, you should still have some sex too.  11. Start a family (but be ready to do so).  12. Be social in real life, meet real people and make real friends, listen to their stories and share your own, have good conversations, start conversations.  13. Give back and pay it forward.  14. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help, advice, or knowledge.  15. Get an education and realize you can get one on your own outside of a school too if school isn’t an option.  16. Don’t be lazy, fight it off when it starts to get the best of you.  17. Vote, and vote with your brain not your heart, gut, or genitals. 18. Know that you will fail and other will too but don’t let it stop you (not that you have a choice really) or drive you nuts.