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« Cold-blooded polling | Main | Come on, surely SOME of Stonekettle's readers are only there to marvel at the gaping masses »

May 09, 2015


Anne J

Everything you just wrote is precisely why I come here on a regular basis, and have been for the last eleven or twelve years. I have enough mental issues as it is, and when it comes to anything political, when I feel like I am losing that part of my mind, your words bring me back to sanity.

Peter G

Jim Wright is a strange duck but many of us are. He is capable of writing intelligently on aspects of intelligence gathering which appears to have been his military specialty. I well recall his descent into loony land on one specific occasion. He went nuts because piece he had written had gone moderately viral and he did not personally benefit because he did not receive monetary compensation. Dire threats issued against these miscreants and not just legal. It was just plain nuts. The irony, if you cared to look for it, resided in his site rules, since scrubbed, for commenting. If you agreed to his rules any comment you made becomes, he claimed, his intellectual property. I think a lawyer may have told him how funny that was in the light of his fondness for posting you-tube music videos in defiance of copyright law. Strange duck indeed.

Peter G

And, btw, go ahead and write about anything that catches your imagination. You do write extremely well and thoughtfully and that is he reward I claim for coming here. Even when I completely disagree and that is rare enough. Language, Shakespeare, ancient history, whatever, have at it.


Not knowing how many people read this blog, it would still be a large loss for it to disappear. Maybe covering hard news and adding historical context would be more interesting for you than only commenting on political writers. They're mostly a predictable waste of time, especially on the right. It would also be possible to read those usually unread serious sites and condense the content in entertaining ways.

Another problem with political blogs is they rarely lead to good exchanges between people with differing opinions. Discussions usually devolve into the name calling, fallacious and dishonest type we saw here recently. Facebook and other social media, at least for non-exhibitionists, are worthless for anything but selling stuff or keeping up with friend and family gossip and posting pictures of the kids. My wife uses it. I won't go near the thing except to occasionally look over her shoulder. A "like" could mean anything; including a click only to mollify some crazy uncle. Besides, the business model works by gathering personal information to sell to marketers of all stripes.

As far as Andrew Sullivan is concerned, why should we take him at his word? It's just as likely he doesn't want to blog because he sees the next election as further confirmation that his political philosophy and party affiliation are mistaken. Considering that Republicans stand for exactly nothing other than winning by any means necessary to service their plutocratic employers would depress any honest conservative.

It's certainly no surprise the public is drawn to sensationalism and simple minded fare that confirms their own prejudices. What else could we possibly expect? Jerry Springer went from mayor of Cincinnati to an absurdly clownish and wealthy TV show host, no doubt wised up by the predilections of the public learned while in office.

Calling James Thomson Callender infamous is unfair. The great paragon of liberal values Thomas Jefferson shamelessly goaded him to attack his political enemies, especially John Adams. Adams retaliated with the loathsome Alien and Sedition Acts to put Callender in jail until his administration ended. The trial judge was later impeached in part because of the trial. Jefferson, once in office, then refused Callender a political appointment for the service he had done as a propagandist. Callender retaliated by exposing Jefferson's affair with his slave Sally Hemings. DNA evidence gathered from descendents of the Jefferson-Hemings relationship have since shown Callender's reporting was correct.

After that last paragraph I'll return to my real voice, such as it is, to second Peter G. You're a talented writer and anything heartfelt would be appreciated. To me it seems that's when you're at your best anyway. Maybe only one or two such entries a day would leave time to work on that book.


Maybe the the center-left and center-right "respectable" writers you refer to have themselves failed? Maybe the narrow spectrum of opinion they represent has driven people to seek alternative sources of information? Not to put too fine a point on it, but the "thoughtful" and "sophisticated" writing of professional scribblers like Sullivan and Hitchens was rammed down our throats, and it helped ram us straight into Iraq. That's precisely when I started reading blogs - they were a refreshing change from the stale, narrow, pro-war, pro-Administration line that cluttered mainstream media outlets, both in print and on TV, during the run-up to the Iraq invasion. Who cares if some of it was stylistically rough? The fact that there are a lot of cranks with bad grammar and poor literary style on the Internet is a small price to pay for genuine diversity of opinion. Most caterpillars turn into moths, not butterflies (shrug).

Beside, bloggers don't have a monopoly on bad writing. Shit, reading George Will sometimes feels like paddling a canoe through wet cement. And even Hitchens, who was a genuine literary talent, was capable of slinging some pretty awful stuff around in his last years (I almost had to stop reading him at a certain point).

Sorry, but the "respectable" mainstream punditocracy has badly fallen down on the job. Stone Kettle Station, which I don't read and only just heard of, doesn't seem guilty of any sins greater than those committed almost weekly by the David Brooks' and Thomas Friedman's of this world, who push ideological agendas under cover of soft, centrist language.

And, honestly, is Stone Kettle Station more harmful than reporters like Judith Miller and Michael Gordon?

Hey, if it wasn't for the wild, untamed blogosphere, I never would have heard of P.M. Carpenter, who writes one of the few blogs I read every day.


OK, so my curiosity got the best of me and I came back and read the whole piece on Stonekettle Station. Sure it's bad, but the style is actually familiar. I lived in Houston, Texas for about a year and occasionally read the local underground weekly. I think it was called 'The Houston Scene' and it was full of similar stuff. I think of it as something like folk prose in comparison to what Hofstadter does - or a Thomas Kinkade print compared to a van Gogh painting if you will. Imagine living in one of our most backward states, Alaska, having liberal impulses, and working in an oil refinery for a living. This is the kind of stuff that lights you up. That and looking across the Bering Strait at Russia. We already have proof by the click count it has wide distribution, even if we don't know how many people actually read it or took it seriously. If education is continually underfunded and saddled with more meaningless standardized testing the audience will undoubtedly get even bigger.

Richard Doane

"The rest of us will be reading Gibbon, Hofstadter or Shakespeare."

Name dropping does not a good writer make, and writing to please writers is certainly not the same as writing to please readers.

Katherine Walton

Ah, the Tone Argument. Never mind what Mr. Wright actually has to say, let's, by all means, eviscerate him for his style, for being "crude".

That you consider his readers, and those who like what he has to say, "zombies"? Tells me all I really need to know about you, Mr. Carpenter.

Just speaking as someone who *also* reads (and, as well, has *studied*) Gibbon, Hofstadter and Shakespeare. Amongst others.

Morgan  Smith

Jim Wright has a voice. A unique and interesting writer's voice.

You, on the other hand, write like every precocious 11th grade emo boy whose English papers I ever had the misfortune to grade.

Eric Gubelman

Jim Wrught has a touch of Miolly Ivins and Jim Hightower in him. That may not be your cup of tea, but he is engaging with a distinctive voice that is not always predictable, despite his Leftward leanings. As a PhD candidate, I would love to have his audience fir my writing--they are thoughtful, funny, and engaged. More like anti-zombies.

Page E.

Your writing is pretentious, overblown, and frankly, boring. You might do well to study and try to emulate Mr. Wright's style and populist voice rather than engaging in ad hominem attacks. The blogosphere prefers his writing to yours by roughly 1,000 to one; perhaps not all of those are simply brain dead zombies.


I don't quite understand your point. As far as I could tell, Jim Wright is denouncing hysteria, quite the opposite of what you ascribe to his writing. If you're critiquing purely on style, then you're remiss if you compare someone blogging their own thoughts and opinions to paid writers like Sullivan, who I loathe.

When one is paid by the word, of course there will be thesaurus abuse. When one is expressing their opinion in their own milieu, that of a blog that is not written for national exposure, of course there will be more colloquialisms and asides. You're acting like a verbal elitist, but your arguments have no merits.

I can't tell the crux of your issue, whether it's that you disagree with Mr. Wright's opinions or merely his writing style. And that makes me feel that you are the one lacking in clarity.

war blur

this writing is depressingly, hopelessly pedantic, humorless, self-absorbed and dull. how or why this writer finds it profitable to criticize others is a mystery, but not one that invites the reader to try to figure out the reason. bleargh.

Mary Stone

Lo these many years ago, I was thought that arguments must be backed up with evidence, and that assertions by themselves do not a cogent, persuasive thesis make. Your commentary on Mr. Wright's post on Jade Helm 15 fails by that rubric. What is your evidence that Mr. Wright is incorrect, pulled from the piece that you are criticizing. You have neither an argument nor (it seems) an audience. Enjoy your two seconds of reflected notoriety while it lasts, then get busy writing actual arguments with actual supporting examples, and perhaps your blog won't simply be an echo chamber.

Rick Scalf

First visit to this blog, drawn as you might suspect, by the masterful take-down of Dr. Carpenter's critique of Stonekettle Station. Having sampled a few of the good doctor's posts, I am marginally impressed by his ability to fetch the most lengthy suggestion from Microsoft's Word Thesaurus. Beyond that...well, let's just say my time is limited and not much more of it will be wasted here.

Cheers. ;-)

Peter G

Well that's amazing. Did some guardian of All Things Wright report back to the hive that words had appeared on the Internet disrespectful to the Right Writer. Either all these new commenters were lying quietly in the background as silent readers or this is a transparently organized counter fee fee operation. As befits, I suppose, a blogger/ warrior who frequently likes to remind his readers of his abilities in the issuing of lethal attacks should they get uppity. To each his own I suppose. I have read both and I find Wright's analysis in his claimed field of competence to be persuasive. His style of phoney bonhomie however I find off putting and his arguments outside of narrow competence to be simplistic. I suppose I could go there and piss in his corn flakes but he might track me down for execution.

Mario R.

Like you, I was put off by Jim Wright's style at first -- but I soon realized that it was, indeed, simply his *style*. His voice is distinctive, the voice of a retired military man who is fed up with the blinkered foolishness -- utter idiocy, really -- seen in much of society today. His essays are couched in a deliberately populist language patterned after the daily speech of the common man. They are not an example of ignorance-based, ungrammatical writing but are, rather, parodies of that sort of writing on the part of those whom he derides. He articulates what his readers think, and does so with a hard-edged brilliance and a cold, often barely controlled fury just under the surface.

His style may be utterly unlike yours, Mr Carpenter, but it is a good one for his purpose, just as yours is for yours, and it is equally legitimate.

Peter G

Well let us consider what brilliant insights Mr Wright brings to the Internet. Let's see. Texas is populated by lunatics despite the fact that the number of people who believe conspiracy theories about Jade Helm is minute and not in the least restricted to Texas. In fact in Palinland, where I understand he resides, they almost surely represent a larger percentage of the population than they do in Texas. This is pretty much the standard simple minded argument that the most persuasive argument is just to hurl insults at those other people. And frankly if this is the best analysis a purported intelligence analyst has to offer then there is a very very good reason he remained a warrant officer.

Peter G

If he ever does I'm out of here.


You claim Mr. wright is ill-informed, yet you provide no examples. He is anything but Ill-informed. You describe those (like me) who like his postings zombies. Mr. Wright has a style that works. It's not my style, and it might be more angry and conversational than you might appreciate. But I admire his smart wit and his acute observations. He is far more aggressive against opponents than I could be, and I find his feistiness refreshing.

I'd also like to mention a cojent fact: I regularly read his postings. They make me laugh and think. Until now, I've never heard of you. You can thank Mr. Wright that I even bothered to look at your dull effete scribblings.

Vicki Lane

Speaking as a 72 year old Southern lady with a Master's degree in English and six traditionally published books to my credit, I must say that I regularly read Jim Wright's posts and often share them on my Facebook page because he speaks loud and clear in the language that my Proper Southern Lady upbringing restrains me from using, however much I may be thinking it. His colorful hyperbole is far more compelling than a quietly reasoned exposition. As a previous commenter said, Jim Wright has a style that works.

Peter G

It should be obvious. What is, in fact, a minor story about a small minority scattered throughout the US becomes to the simple mind, a story about Texas. And this is a classic example of the false polarizations so common to click bait journalism and blogging. Are these Jade Helm conspiracy theorists and their determination that their own government is out to get them any different at all from the conspiracy ass hattery from tiny minorities on the
on the left? Nope. The click bait bullshit availble at places like Crooks And Liars is no different from the bullshit at Red State.
As to style, that is a matter of personal taste. Wright can be funny but for me his style gets old fast. Carpenter reminds me of Mencken with a dash of Swift.
Wright, I would say is strongly influenced by Robert Heinlen with a hint of Charlie Pierce. And I haven't read Heinlein since my youth. When I want Charlie I'll take him straight up in pure form.

Peter G

Well that answers my question about how so many new arrivals came to comment. Mr Wright has got minions. Hi minions. You know what I would do if Mr Carpenter suggested I go to some other site to protest criticism of him or his site? I would cordially invite him to go fuck himself. Big boys and girls don't cry.

Peter G

I'll endorse that opinion. If his style works for you then you will enjoy reading his works. And furthermore, as an English teacher, that it might not be everyone's cup of tea. For savage hyperbole I'll take Driftglass but I don't necessarily agree with his political positions.

Alan H

You disapprove of him, and he has a large audience, therefore they are all zombies? I would have expected more than an ad hominem attack from someone with your credentials. I'm sensing a little envy behind the curtain.

Peter G

Btw if that ratio is true I am happy it is so. But if I may attempt to make a dent in your understanding, what do you call an opprobrious personal attack on the population of an entire state. Is that an ad hominall. As ratios go how does that one work out? What is the population of Texas? How many nuts are there? Start with that ratio.

Heidi Hanson

"The number of people who believe conspiracy theories in Texas are minute" Excuse me! Have you seen who wins elections in Texas? Louie Gohmert, Dan Patrick, Self anointed king of the world, Ted Cruz. Each one of those elected politicians have given the Jade Helm conspiracy theory credence. They all had to win the majority of votes cast to become office holders in Texas. I have lived in Texas all of my 59 years and sorry but Texas is now filled with lunatics.

Heidi Hanson

Look who wins elections in Texas. Count the votes they receive. That will give you the number of nuts in Texas. For instance the recent state legislator who proposed a bill to force women to carry dead fetuses "to term" even though being dead there is no "term". Unless you live in Texas you can not understand the depth and breadth of the insanity that has taken over this once great state.

Anne J

Well I broke down and went over to read the guy's commentary and I get what you mean about his writing style. I don't think I would be able to much better. But as someone living in the Red State part of Southern California, I know people who actually believe this stuff. When you are dealing with minds like this, sometimes only harsh, crude, language is the only thing that gets through to people. But only sometimes.

Peter G

You are absolutely correct. Carpenter is jealous and has expressed this jealousy on more than one occasion. The financial security that comes from a larger audience fed an a la carte diet of simplistic analysis is definetely the way to go if financial security is your goal. That is far and away the larger market. And he has frequently lamented his own inability to cater to this market. Now how many of the party faithful over at Stonekettle Junction called out Mr Wright for his casual stupidity with regard to his characterization of Texas and Texans? Will I need all the fingers on one hand to count them? Because if Mr Carpenter offered that as a reasoned analysis I would be giving him a very hard time indeed. Boasting of audience size? Why not just boast about your penis size. Bill O'reilly says the same shit. It does not make him wise.

Peter G

People who win elections in Texas are exactly like the people who win elections in every state under a deeply flawed primary process and extensive gerrymandering. They reflect the most ideologically committed. But that in no way supports the idea that such a system accurately reflects the beliefs of the population on the whole. Where would the far left be if they believed that were true? It is an article of faith on that part of the political spectrum that low turnouts are directly caused by a lack of yearned for progressive alternatives. They literally believe that people in Texas are stupid and not at the same time. Who's stupid again?

Debbie T

No, he told no one to do anything, but commonly posts things for interest and mockery. And some of his readers take the time to see for themselves. You have made assumptions that are incorrect, and a statement that seems totally wrong ("...who frequently likes to remind his readers of his abilities in the issuing of lethal attacks should they get uppity".) Could you point out such a 'reminder' that he has made, since in the years of reading him I have never seen such a threat?

Nothing 'phoney' about him, certainly not 'phoney bonhomie'. He has high standards, and he models them and insists that his readers/commenters display them. No, one of those standards is NOT 'don't swear'. Big deal. He has a totally different style, but no less intellect, and he does not dismiss those who have a different style or attitude or presentation. However, he WILL dismiss those who cannot discuss civilly, rationally, and provide facts to back them up. Disagreement is no problem for him, passionate dissent is no problem for him; stupidity, meanness, hypocrisy, etc. - well, they will get you called out, corrected, and booted if you don't behave.


Who works in the oil refinery?


Jim Wright did not suggestion anyone come here to do anything. He does not encourage anyone to go anywhere, comment on anything. If people have come here to read what he wrote about and have their own opinion, that is because those are the kind of people that like Wright. People that want to find out for themselves, not sheeple who blindly follow. Yes, there are minions there, proud minions who will publicly say so, it's a joke and you using that word is funny, not insulting. It's a joke there.


Sorry, suggest.


Yes, I'm sure Wright is making beaucoup bucks off Facebook postings and SKS entries. Uh huh. Sure. Right.

Peter G

I will have to strongly disagree with you on this point Anne even as I seldom do. Nothing whatsoever will change the fixed minds. Painting everyone in the same geographical area is tempting but more likely to change their minds in the opposite direction. In a long long career devoted to pointing out idiocy I have yet to have an actual idiot say thanks. Most of Jim Wright's readers are not the least bit idiotic but they enjoy partisan attacks. So do we all. I prefer more precise targeting.

Peter G

Well my guess is that the quite reasonable plea for financial support on his main page in conjunction with the size of his readership does have some influence on the income he derives from blogging. Precisely the same phenomena drives the ideologically oriented click bait journalism that everyone laments. If it doesn't and the amount money he derives from these donations is less than average then are we not forced to assume that either he is also below average, his readership's income is or that they are just cheap bastards. Who cares?


I *live* in Texas, folks, and I can assure you that the Crazy is strong here, and it is most assuredly NOT limited to a minuscule, cultish few. As another commenter observed above, virtually all of the state's high-profile Republican officials have chosen to dignify the Jade Helm conspiracy nutjobs.

I have lived here for decades, and while it's always been a relatively conservative place, the last 10-15 years have seen a hideous upswing in the popularity of fringe-right ideas and people who spout them. Stonekettle is spot-on in his characterization of the *voting majority* of Texans, if not the population of this benighted state as a whole. Again, I know: I live here. It's an enormously embarrassing and frustrating place for a progressive to inhabit. Yes, I know I could move, and intend to do so when that is practicable. Things like jobs and growing kids make that impracticable for now.

I don't put myself in the same class as Jim Wright as a writer, but his exile in Palinland must feel pretty similar to mine here in Gohmertworld.

Alan H

"Now how many of the party faithful over at Stonekettle Station called out Mr Wright for his casual stupidity with regard to his characterization of Texas and Texans?"

If you took the trouble to look you might find a few. How many I will leave to you. You may end up scrolling through a lot of comments (over 200 on the blog for that essay and many more on his Facebook page) I also don't remember it being offered as a reasoned analysis. It's an opinion laced with sarcasm and humor. Mr Wright does not seem to do what he does for financial gain. He just has something to say, and it seems to appeal to a large group of people. Mr. Carpenter seems to share many of Mr. Wrights viewpoints, though he isn't as good at appealing to an audience. Don't like how the guy writes? Fine. Opinions are what blogs are all about. Even the ones that sound pouty and arrogant.

Debbie T

Incorrect assumption again - he does not ask readers to protest or comment on his behalf!! Not his style. He is not sensitive to criticism, as he has developed a very thick skin, probably through his years in the military. He finds humor where some might be offended; I like that!

Peter G

No problem. We all make mistakes. I am rather happy about the turnout. Many protests are not unduly harsh. Some people seem to enjoy both sites. More power to them. My problem with him is that he prefers blogging carpet bombing to drone strikes. And on civilian populations no less. Where does that get you?

Peter G

You are correct. I might find a few but not many. My personal preference is for more reasoned analysis rooted in a deep appreciation of history and politics. Others find this unentertaining and dull, even pedantic. I thank Mr Wright for directing attention to this particular blog for the commentariat is not as large as it deserves and there is every chance that people who were perhaps unaware of its charms and the opportunity it presents to offer reasoned agreement and disagreement. There is humor too, of course, but it is not perhaps to your personal taste. There is a simple cure for that.

Peter G

Have you considered why that might be so? Popular wisdom would have it that statements by the governor encourages the crazy. That's certainly one way of looking at it. Certainly a bottom feeder like Cruz, whose campaign is rooted in crazy, pretty much demands it. The governor, on the other hand, needs to assure the crazies who believe in Jade Helm conspiracies that he, ahem, takes their concerns seriously, will keep an eye on it so the crazies don't need to shoot at the soldiers in defense of freedom. Please. If he didn't he likely would have become part of the conspiracy. That is the nature of conspiracists. He gets a pass from me on that account alone. Politicians often humor the fringe elements of their political bases. That doesn't mean they don't know they are crazy.

Heidi Hanson

The fact remains that over half of all people who cast votes do vote for people who would assign the state guard to monitor the US military (Abbott) and would force women to carry dead fetuses just to name a few. YOU said that the RWNJ numbers who believe this conspiracy are MINUTE. I say they are not just a few but in the millions. I know hundreds of them myself. I did not say the population "as a whole" but there is definitely a preponderance of Alex Jones, Fox News, Drudge followers and their Open Carry, Sovereign Citizen, Posse Comitatus, Oath Keeper militias here and the election results prove it.

Heidi Hanson

When the Governor of Texas calls out the State Guard to "monitor" the US military while they are doing this exercise it is quite a bit more than a "minor story about a small minority scattered throughout the US" When not just one but TWO presidential contenders (Cruz and Paul) have made statements that they will be monitoring and investigating the intentions of the military in regards to Jade Helm 15 that it INDEED has become a Texas Story.

Heidi Hanson

Also I can see why you like Carpenter's style. You write just like him. Are you his twin, or a student, perhaps.

Heidi Hanson

Sorry, Abbott and the rest of the RWNJs here in Texas really DO believe this stuff. Have you not heard the speeches by Ted Cruz about having a Theocracy in the USA. Have you really not heard about the crazy laws they are PASSING down here? Bans against banning fracking, Bans against cities passing their own minimum wage statutes, bans against funding alternative energy projects. Sending rouge militia to the border to shoot Mexican citizens on the Mexico side of the border (they have killed people) Texas just passed a law allowing private guns in Airports. You just have not been keeping up on the high level of Crazy in the State of Texas today.

Peter G

Bless you for it. That is Mr Wright's strength for those that appreciate that. But here is a politcal question such as we discuss here. All demographic trends point to Texas returning to the purple column within a decade and possibly sooner. Unless the people who study such things just happen to know with some certainty the date of The Rapture that cannot be if everyone in Texas is nuts. Mr Carpenter himself resides there. If you prefer a more humorous take on Texas politics may I recommend Juanita Jean, who is probably the most astute observer hair dresser north of the Rio Grande. Funny too.


I would have thought that a learned man would realize that Shakespeare took great care to ensure that the groundlings understood his plays. He needed them to fill the audience, and everyone got something from the exchange. He also used ridiculous language and made up words. He was widely dismissed as vulgar, and if he hadn't the patronage of the Queen, it is doubtful his shows would have been so widely attended. Christopher Marlowe's works were far more popular (and proper, oddly enough, considering his personal life).

By turning up your nose at a populist by citing a populist playwright (yes, to this very day; why, they do Shakespeare plays in prison!), you have given me the gift of assurance that irony is not dead. Thank you. Truly.

Peter G

Yea I kind of have been doing exactly that. See my comment about the imminent shift of Texas to purple state status. I am more persuaded by measurable statistical trends than anecdotal evidence. Really I have no problem with Mr wright's shtick. It just isn't mine.

Peter G

That right there is the problem. Election results prove no such thing. They do prove that low turnout primaries and low turnout elections mean that the more extreme candidates get both selected and almost automatically elected.

Peter Hockley

Mr. Wright was a lot more than "just" a Warrant Officer. He is if you read his Blog Bio you will find that he is a Chief Warrant Officer.

"For chief warrant officer ranks (W-2 to W-5), warrant officers are commissioned by the President of the United States and take the same oath as regular commissioned officers."
"However, the warrant officer's primary task as a leader is to serve as a technical expert, providing valuable skills, guidance, and expertise to commanders and organizations in their particular field."
"In the United States Navy, the chief warrant officer (CWO) rank is a technical specialist who directs specific activities essential to the proper operation of the ship, which also require commissioned officer authority. Navy CWOs serve in 30 specialities covering five categories. CWO should not be confused with the limited duty officer in the Navy. CWOs perform duties that are directly related to their previous enlisted service and specialized training. This allows the Navy to capitalize on the experience of CWOs without having to frequently transition them to other duty assignments for advancement. With the exception of the Navy's short-lived flying chief warrant officer program, all Navy warrant officers are accessed from the chief petty officer pay grades, E-7 through E-9, analogous to a senior non-commissioned officer in the other services."
"In 1975, the Navy ceased utilizing the rank of warrant officer 1 (WO-1), also known as pay grade W-1, because chief petty officers in pay grades E-7 and above with many years in service would lose pay when appointed to the rank of warrant officer.The Navy appoints their warrant officers directly to the rank of CWO2 (i.e., as chief warrant officers), and are "commissioned" officers, with the Navy Personnel Command/Bureau of Personnel managing all grades (CWO-2 through CWO-5) by billets appropriate for each rank. In past years, some CWOs resigned their warrant commission prior to retirement in order to receive greater retirement pay at their former senior enlisted rank. However, this pay disparity has effectively disappeared in recent years and all Navy CWOs now retire at the appropriate officer grade."

I have cut and pasted the above from Wikipedia, to make sure I have my basic facts right about the USN Senior Warrant Officer promotion pathway.
If you read more than just one of Mr. Wright's Blog posts, you would have found that Mr. Wright was the top ranked Senior Warrant Officer across the entire USN, with a speciality in Intelligence gathering and analysis. He has worked with or for The NSA and other Intelligence Services of The American Government.
I'm an British Ex-Warrant Officer myself, not of Mr. Wright's experience or seniority, but I have some idea of Mr.Wright's experience and seniority within the command structure. It may appear to you that the armies, navies and air forces around The World are run by the officer class. It is a fictional trope that they are in fact run by The Non-Coms, but it is a true to life one. We are normally more widely experienced than the officers who nominally command us, so they look to us for advice and information, as a consequence we punch far above our nominal rank.
I discovered Stonekettle Station about two and a half years ago, and found it a breath of fresh air. Mr. Wright can be scatological, scathing, and very forceful in his views. He is also a fiercely intelligent and passionate writer, who has learnt and honed his craft as I've watched and read his Blog. I'm pretty sure he's read Shakespeare, a writer who along with making us cry and wonder at the world, also wrote scatology. I'm also pretty damn sure he's read Gibbon and Hofstadter.
Unlike yourself, Mr.wright does not wear his intellect on his sleeve.
Mr P.G.Hockley SRN, RMN, SODP (City&Guilds Distinction) BSc Hons, BA.

Peter G

Yep. I am a regular reader of Redstate and other right wing blogs. Lefty blogs too. That's where I started. My natural sympathies are with the left but I am nevertheless constantly astonished by the foolishness I find that passes as policy analysis or opinion. You must step out of your comfort zone.

Peter G

Which is all the more depressing to me. I accept his credentials, his writing on intelligence matters is often spot on. Why then can he not bring a more sophisticated analysis to politics than Texas is crazy? He very clearly has the chops to do this. I've read some his pieces that demonstrate it. I would expect an intelligence officer to bring more nuance and insight than he sometimes demonstrates. That is not speaking truth to power, it is speaking prejudice to the receptive.

Peter G

That's almost certainly true but accidentally so. I am an engineer.I do write in a scholastic style but that is not attributable to Mr Carpenter. I often disagree with him but I guarantee that if you stick around you will learn something. He is an extremely good whetstone on which to sharpen your thinking. And I do so love to learn new facts and perspectives.

Peter Hockley

Ever heard of satire?

Peter G

Mmm. No. He made sure he always included characters that would resonate with those groundlings, Hamlet's gravediggers and Romeo and Juliette's nurse spring instantly to mind. It is doubtful he thought to explain the political plays to anyone but the people who could decide his fate at a whim. He was dismissed as vulgar because he often was. Tha's marketing folks!

Peter G

Sure have heard of satire and that wasn't it. Have I betrayed intellect? Gosh I better apologize if I have done so in an unapproved way. It does beg the question about where intellect is properly worn. You may be aware of logical fallacy of the appeal to authority but possibly not judgng by your alphabits. Whether or not you are you should know that it is completely inconsistent with anti-intellectualism. They are quite incompatible.

Peter G PB ( paper boy) , BS ( boy scout) AC (air cadet) completely without distinction.

And that son, is satire.


Please look up the word "hypothetical."


That is a rather shallow reading of his plays and his audience, and hence a fairly common assumption. I don't expect everyone to go as deeply down the rabbit hole as I do when researching, but there is plenty of criticism (peer reviewed, obviously) readily available to support my statements, as well as the box office records (such as they are) from the time. Empiricism is old-school, I know, but I rather enjoy primary source exploration and the even older-school textual analysis. Not everyone's cup of tea, I'll admit, but quite rewarding.

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