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While Chubby Women Dance, A Good Man Dies

An interesting week. A few things happened.

One: a friend shared a tidbit about Mendocino public school education. Some years ago, his stepson was smoking dope at high school. It was affecting his grades. My friend arranged a meeting with his teacher. The teacher told him not too worry “It’s just part of the local culture.”

Two: A lady I know from Mexico tells me “Americans are lazy.” She was referring to all Americans.

Three: I’m watching television. A swarm of fleshy sports fans are angrily staking out the headquarters of the Oakland Raiders. Some are dressed in costumes—skeleton masks, rhinestone, spiky helmets, etc. All are adults. They’re riot angry because the Raiders might move to Vegas.

Four: My county supervisor, a previous or current (?) member of a self-awareness, sex cult, is divorcing his wife—locally know as the Sex Goddess—after he embroiled the county in a legal dispute because he wanted to bury his former wife in his own back yard.

Five: Prince is dead. News commentators lament and gush; millions mourn; San Francisco City Hall is bathed in purple light, while chubby, middle-aged women dance commemoratively in a nearby square. On TV, there are purple teddy bears piled up along the fence outside the compound where Prince popped his final farewell pill.

Six: John Kerry delivers a commencement address at Northeastern University. He’s doing a hit on Trump, who, oddly, came to Bernie’s defense this past week chastising Hillary and the Democratic Party for short changing Bernie on delegates. Ketchup Kerry goes on to inform the graduates “You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.” The students and future elites cheer madly. National borders are no longer relevant. Graduates can move to Pakistan and buy a cheap house.

Seven: Mark Zukerberg turned thirty-one. Recently, he consigned ninety-nine percent of his mega billions to a charitable LLC trust, but I read in the NY Times that, although it may sound admiral, it’s really a tax dodge and a method of secretly dispersing political funds.

Eight: Charles Keating, also thirty-one, is dead. He was a Navy Seal. ISIS killed him in Syria. I knew Charles Keating. I met him briefly last fall at a relative’s wedding reception. It was a beautiful, warm evening in San Diego. The city lights across the bay shimmered on the water. It was a young, attractive crowd. Music wafted across the bay from the up-scale restaurant where people were dancing, eating and enjoying a free bar..

Keating and two pals had driven non-stop the night before from Phoenix to celebrate with my relative and his lovely young wife. Love and promise were in the air. Keating was to be married this fall. For the young woman he loved, love and promise are gone. After dinner, my brother and I spoke with Keating and his friends. All were Navy Seals. My brother has led an adventurous life. He was a deep-sea diver for over fifty years. I was a solider when I was young, a barely effective Green Beret, a military advisor in Southeast Asia to the Vietnamese and other indigenous groups at the starting line of a terrible war. I also spent twenty years at sea.

I can’t speak for my brother, but there was a tinge of envy in my heart while we spoke with Keating and his friends. Two old guys too old for adventure anymore, talking to three young men serving their country in an adventure we’d never fully know. All three were unassuming guys. They said nothing of their military exploits, although I knew Keating did several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and had received a bronze star in combat. These are the men who keep Americans safe while students cheer for open borders or Americans place purple teddy bears to the memory of drug addled singers. If you met these guys in civvies on the street, you’d never know they were Navy Seals, unlike so many shaved head, tattooed, muscle-bound morons—white, black or brown—who currently strut their stuff as arrogant American males lathered up in self esteem. Keating was the most unassuming of all in his tailored, black and white tux. He had a charming, boyish smile. He spoke clearly and directly, mostly joking about the groom. Keating looks much bigger in the official, Navy photo that they posted after his death. In life he was average size, although what he did for America was never average stuff.


Keating was killed by gunfire in or around Telskof, in northern Syria during a prolonged gunfight. He was part of a rescue team, a quick reaction force, sent to Telskof to extract a twelve “military advisors” imbedded with Kurdish Peshmerga forces. ISIS had overrun them in a surprise attack. Keating’s reaction team successfully saved all of the military advisors. Keating was the lone American killed. He was lost saving his fellow American’s lives.

Although I only met him briefly, I will always remember Keating, especially that lovely, innocent smile and the ribbing jokes he told. I’ve already forgotten Telskof—another dreary sand hole stuck in the Middle East where my President sent a hero to die after my President drew a line in the sand and chickened out on Bashar Assad. People can blame G.W, Bush for whatever they want for as long as their heads stay in the sand, but ISIS is Obama’s deal after he failed to act on Assad and pulled our troops from Iraq before he subsequently sent them back.

Recently, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told Christiane Amanpour of CNN that we’re involved in a “risky campaign” in Syria and Iraq, but “we will defeat ISIS.” How? By droning or bombing every nasty, Islamic killer merged within the civilian population? By sending twelve Americans to rescue another twelve Americans? This is not how a war is fought. It’s all in or all out. Currently, the administration is sending small groups of heroes to confront ISIS to simply maintain political appearances. It’s a facade that pretends President Obama is doing something about ISIS before he shortly returns to the faculty lounge, lecture circuit or mega book contract that awaits him. Appearances are not worth the death of a single person—especially a young American hero like Charles Keating. Condolences to his family; I grieve for their loss.


  1. david ellison May 11, 2016

    Mr Koepf

    Thank you for your extraordinary observations. The AVA is blessed with good writing, but much of it is based solely on political idealism, not the facts that are staring us in the face.
    I assume you Mr Koeph,like myself find political correctness and “everyone gets a trophy” concept anti-American, anti-self dependent, and not workable under all historical realities. Throughout history the first step in a totalitarian regime is to control the narrative. Socialism then Communism. Hitler, Stalin, Marks, Obama.
    Our country has a moral and dignity deficit as large or larger than our U.S. deficit, and I worry that we are past the point of no return.
    I can’t stop thinking about JFK’s infamous inaugural speech in 1960, I was 12 yrs old: ” Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”
    If Obama could have his inaugural speech today
    ” ask not what you can do for your country, you need big gov., we can do it all for you, just remember to vote Democratic, after all, we’re from the government and we’re here to help”.
    Any Government big enough to give it to you is big enough to take it and then some away.

  2. david ellison May 11, 2016

    Yes Obama
    The smartest professor in the faculty lounge.
    Hard to believe that he could be worse than Bush Jr., but he’s sent us down a path that we may likely never recover from.
    How in the world, can I man, take this country downhill so fast? He can’t. The capital hill club right and left, there is no right and left, actually, only money and power.
    Now we got the royalty Clinton, and Trump.
    Clinton is a globalist, a (new world order), that takes her instructions from the U.N. and George Soros types.
    Does Trump really care?? That’s the 64 dollar question.

  3. R. Weddle May 12, 2016

    How far can you get cringing before the ‘new world order’ boogie man there down the road, while the old world order is riding you just like it stole you…it’s how we got in this god-awesome mess. The challenges we are facing are plenty, even without all those we insist on carrying. These bright ideas about ‘making America great again’ better not be near like the traditional supersonic tailspin that got us here.

    Blaming any president, or praying to any candidate is empty at best, and Terrorific as demonstrated, without the full participation of the Public in Decision Making/Action Taking. The Corpirate Oligarchies have had their chance at Unlawful Rule, and have failed, are failing miserably, as well as quick as a bunny. The crucial question, especially in a self-described democratic republic, is: Where is the Active Ingredient, A Free, well-informed Public?

    Is it at home, gone comatose under the thrall of their ‘communications’ devices, and the Live-On-The-Same-Stage thrill of the information age? Out bringing smoke in foreign lands to emphasize our Greatness? Insuring that those who’re so poor they have to pay for everything (Everything) keep paying?…

    Just wondering…

  4. BB Grace May 12, 2016

    NWO is corporate oligarchies uniting to establish global control over all resources through the UN Agenda 21: Suatainable Development. Non Fiction – Reference book.

    The UN Agenda for the 21st Century is being implemented by the 1% and their selected officials. Like George Carlin said, “They want it all, and they’re going to take it all”.

    Trump is a MSM candidate out of New York, like Hillary, where the UN sits next to where the WTC used to be. Republican Party has been a facade for decades. Ron Paul was censored on MSM exposing the GOP. Where is the GOP now? Who “vetted” Trump? New York GOP? Not. Where’s the outrage? Spent on too much MSM programed party hate for each other, while the seleted worked together. Too many overly paid government workers to do the job least they be homeless.

    With a Trump win, all those blamed presidents and congressional failures can be absolved. They won’t matter anymore. Nothing they did will matter anymore.

    What will matter is that wee the people don’t mess with anything owned by the 1%, and they will own everything, including us. Don’t pick ip a peice of broken glass on Glass Beach, that’s a $500.00 fine. If you think Judeo Christian laws were bad, just wait til you get a load of Sharia Law, because it’s the best way to control the masses, ask any Mid East King or dictator, or the majority sitting at the UN.

    See what’s going on in oil rich Venezuela? $2,000.00 for a hamburger. Healthcare? Poof!

  5. LouisBedrock May 12, 2016

    “Keating was the most unassuming of all in his tailored, black and white tux. He had a charming, boyish smile. He spoke clearly and directly, mostly joking about the groom. Keating looks much bigger in the official, Navy photo that they posted after his death. In life he was average size, although what he did for America was never average stuff.”

    How touching. However, I’m sure there have been SS officers blessed with the same unassuming good looks.

    Green Berets and Seals are hit men at the service of the American Empire. Their job is to assassinate and sabotage in places like Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and anywhere else the Empire sends them to defend its interests—usually natural resources usurped by international corporations: copper mines in Chile, oil in Iraq, a proposed gas pipeline in Afghanistan, weapons that would be used in Syria and gold in Libya, rubber, rice, and opium in Vietnam.

    Keating got what was coming to him—what he inflicted on others, many of whom were civilians. Good riddance. Good riddance to all mercenaries of the empire killed in countries where they have no business other than repressing the locals who resent and resist being subjects of the American Empire.

  6. Michael Koepf May 12, 2016

    He or she who applauds the death of a hero shines a light on who they are—a degenerate, psychotic entity handicapped by a jealous spider’s heart.

    • LouisBedrock May 12, 2016

      Seals and Green Berets are not heroes: they are “degenerate, psychotic entities”; Trained killers pit bulls with AK 47s or M16s or the latest toys we pay for..

      I applaud when their heroic victims turn the tables on them and kill the bastards

  7. Jim Updegraff May 12, 2016

    Hero is one of the most over worked words in the dictionary. If there are heroes they are people like Gandhi and Mother Theresa. Killing people does not make one a hero.

    • LouisBedrock May 12, 2016


      Don’t forget the late Daniel Berrigan

  8. LouisBedrock May 12, 2016

    Seals, JSOC. and Mythology:

    The Joint Special Operations Command, known by the acronym JSOC, pronounced jay-sock by members of the US armed forces, carries with it a mystique. The press, JSOC’s promoters and its critics, as well as the entertainment media, have all contributed to its mystique; and that mystique is promoted by the military because it functions as a kind of deterrent.

    One of the advantages of official secrecy is its contribution to this mystique – writ large for secretive units, but this mystique-maintenance is also useful throughout the military. Hollywood, pulp fiction, television drama, infotainment “news,” and military-veteran boosterism all contribute to the vast ignorance of military matters, by overdramatizing military life and military operations, and by idealizing it.

    Film and popular literature are packed with protagonists whose past or present CV includes membership in some elite and highly secret combat unit, where individuals are seven-language linguists, flawless marksmen with every firearm ever manufactured, field surgeons, helicopter pilots, chess masters, and gymnasts.

    The arms race among entertainment moguls to one-up each other’s fantasies has only accelerated this stupidity; and the thirst among (primarily male) consumers for this drivel has corresponding and escalating ratio of profit to humbug.

    Hannah Arendt once noted:
    —The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.

    Obviously, I insert this quote with the subject of evil in mind, and in the context of a discussion of this mystique-laden military institution, JSOC. Because that is what they actually do, evil, and not some salvific secret missions that keep us unknowingly safe abed at night. Moreover, they are not the idealized archetypes, but simply a bunch of men who are conjoined primarily by their overarching commitment to US nationalism, their belief that ends justify means, and their personal pursuit of probative masculinity.

    Few are multi-lingual, most are only marginally in better physical condition than the average civilian gym rat, many are stupid – more so than you want to know – and all are committed, when under orders, to bully and kill helpless people…

    They are far more banal than anyone would like to believe; and the culture is closer than anything else to a boys locker room. They like sports, pornography, gun culture, video games, alcohol, and misogynist humor. Gun-slinging is dick-swinging – the dare-ya atmosphere we males know well, what I call probative masculinity. That’s as stupid and banal as it gets. Our entire culture has become stupid, banal, macho, and adolescent – decadent beyond reckoning: The grotesque reality of the militarized imperial core of 21st Century rentier capitalism.


    • Michael Koepf May 13, 2016

      What I’ve always found curious about Hannah Arendt, who was born to a German Jewish family, is that while at university she had a long affair with the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who was a member of the NSDAP and a committed Nazi. Arendt was a Zionist and helped relocate thousands of Jewish children to Israel. Later in life she reestablished her relationship with Heidegger and made excuses for his Nazism while at the same time she was writing vociferously about the monster Adolf Eichmann. She was a significant 20th-century philosopher and commentator on the human condition, however, she was human, and intelligence aside, in the end: do bare emotions exclusively rule the mind? Take for instance Madame Bedrock, who despite her erudition has succumbed to hate. Bedrock is obviously a child of the 60s come full circle from love and enlightenment to the rock bottom simplicity of a totalitarian point of view. Imagine: hating those who would readily give their lives for us. What sad or failed life prompted loathing such as this?

      • LouisBedrock May 13, 2016

        That’s Monsieur Bedrock, Monsieur Scheisskoph.

        Your ad hominem attack on Hannah Arendt does not address her argument, which is not surprising given your simplistic understanding of the world. I doubt that you’re capable of reading anything not in comic book form.

        Navy seals, green berets, and other mercenaries murder and sabotage for the United States government which acts on behalf of multinational corporations, banks, and other criminals. Their actions should not be misconstrued as being realized on behalf of U.S. citizens.

        I’m not grateful for your service, or the service of any other hit men and thugs that commit crimes against people who have not harmed me. People that loathe you and your fellow felons have good reasons for doing so.

        • Michael Koepf May 14, 2016

          Madame Bedrock,

          Well, I presume it takes an ad hominem attack to misjudge an ad hominem comment. Yesterday, thousands of Americans lined the streets of San Diego to pay their respects to Keating as his funeral procession passed. Bedrock, why weren’t you there screeching your vile invective against the men and women who bravely serve us all? Bedrock, identify yourself. Come out from behind your trolling, phoney-baloney, coward’s name and tell us how your life went so wrong, because all that remains is envy and hate.

          • BB Grace May 14, 2016

            Wow, Mr. Koepf! I’m touched by what happened in San Diego yesterday. My parents, grandparents and most my family, are buried at Point Loma, so maybe you can understand why I am so moved, my spirit is with you and all who grieve the loss of Charles Keating, who I would have liked to have met and his fiancee and family, who have my deepest sympathy. That’s nice company you keep Mr. Koepf and I’m very proud of all of you.

            Thank you for being part of this community and sharing a pertinant current event and making it real beyond MSM just another headline.

  9. Jim Updegraff May 12, 2016

    Louis, yes, your right – I will add Daniel Berrigan to my list.

  10. LouisBedrock May 13, 2016

    Murder Incorporated

    Col. W. Patrick Lang, a retired Special Forces officer with extensive operational experience throughout the Muslim world, described JSOC’s forces as “sort of like Murder Incorporated.” He told The Nation, “Their business is killing Al Qaeda personnel. That’s their business. They’re not in the business of converting anybody to our goals or anything like that.” …retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey called JSOC’s operators the “most dangerous people on the face of the earth.”

    JSOC—and the Navy SEALs in particular… has had its share of controversy. JSOC forces were responsible for the October 8, 2010, botched rescue that ended up killing British aid worker Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan. JSOC also carried out a raid in Gardez, Afghanistan, in February 2010, during which five people, including two pregnant women and a US-trained Afghan police commander were killed. In that case, senior Afghan security officials and eyewitnesses claimed that US forces dug the bullets out of the women’s bodies. NATO had initially tried to cover up the incident, suggesting it may have been a Taliban “honor killing”; but eventually Admiral McRaven took responsibility for the botched raid and apologized to the family.


  11. Mike May 13, 2016

    Good report….you got some sense of what you share here in some of the film they showed on TV.

    Correction: Lauren Sinnott is known locally as the Art Goddess and has a business (online based) under that name.

    Concur that Obama should have acted at the red line moment. Created a no fly zone, and unseat Assad, and secure territory for refugees. (My thoughts anyway. This is basically my only complaint about his record, btw.)

    • LouisBedrock May 13, 2016

      “Good report….you got some sense of what you share here in some of the film they showed on TV.”

      Yes: in both cases, propaganda disguised as history

      “Concur that Obama should have acted at the red line moment. Created a no fly zone, and unseat Assad, and secure territory for refugees.”

      Syria has the misfortune to be among the countries listed by the PNAC gangsters for regime change. Whatever the crimes of the Assad regime, which pale in comparison with the regimes of American client states like El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia—to name just a few, the goals of the United States in Syria have nothing to do with the interests of the people of Syria and everything to do with the interests of The American Empire.

      I cheer when I see American mercenaries get killed—whether it’s in one of Hollywood’s or tv’s violent melodramas disguised as history or in real life.

    • Michael Koepf May 14, 2016

      I stand corrected. She is the Goddess of Art, and love is a private matter. I wish her well in her escape from Adi Dan.

  12. Rick Weddle May 14, 2016

    re: American mercenaries…

    During the ’60’s, while the draft still lingered and a good portion of the rank and file were ‘conscripts’ who would’ve been somewhere else given a real choice, it was frequently acknowledged in the services that we grunts were in fact hired killers. This admission was widely accepted among ‘our troops’ in a world besieged by Bad Guys determined to do us (US) Wrong. It never occurred (in public) that we’d think or speak of ourselves as The Wrongdoers; too bad. There’s a Career in Tragedy waiting for those who’ve decided they can do no wrong…witness reports from all quarters of the Planet.

    While all this is transpiring, observe that there are those who grieve over the Loss, and those who cheer. When the dust finally settles, and the blood soaks into the dirt, there won’t be much to celebrate, whichever ‘side’ you’ve become attached to, except the fact that it’s OVER.

    Ceasefire is the Answer, whatever your question…

    • Michael Koepf May 14, 2016

      Lamentation is not a celebration.

  13. Mike May 14, 2016

    Re: “It’s only a break-up”.

    I never understood marriage myself. A married friend told me once when I asked her to explain it to me said: “It’s a business relationship at its core.”

    Co habitating seems a simpler way to go…..if it lasts for a lifetime, so be it. If not, same thing.

  14. Iggy May 15, 2016

    It must be very difficult to realize that your combat brothers killed and were killed to keep the world safe for capitalism. Pity macho Mike K.!

  15. LouisBedrock May 16, 2016

    Those interested in learning of the legacy of Michael Koepf, Charles Keating, and their ilk, can start with Doug Valentine’s THE PHOENIX PROGRAM, Jerome Scahill’s DIRTY WARS, and Bill Blum’s AMERICA’S DEADLIEST EXPORT, KILLING HOPE, and ROGUE STATE.

    Periodicals like “Soldier of Fortune”, “Survive”, and “Gung Ho!” offer all the insight into the minds of these misfits that you need.

    • Michael Koepf May 17, 2016

      Those interested in learning the legacy of Louis Bedrock (a pseudonym he cowers behind) and his dwindling, fellows in what is left of the geriatric New Left, should consult any and all psychiatric theories dealing with ethical and social failure. Envy and jealousy are often at the foundational core of anger and hate.

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