Author: Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

Retirement at 30

It was nice to see Br. Freddie back this week at the League.  Something that seems fitting given what I am about to say. I have already told the rest of the Ordinary Gents...


Prematurely Popping the McChrystal (w/ Updates)

This Rolling Stone article on Stanley McChrystal is causing a stir.  An aide has already been fired and some are speculating McChrystal himself might be next on the chopping block. Like Spencer Ackerman I...


What Would Freud Think of This: Golf Edition

I guess this is inevitable, but seriously FoxSports WTF?  Do you have to headline Tiger Woods’ round of golf today as:  “Turned On: Tiger Works His Mojo To Climb Into Contention.”  Seriously?  I followed...



From Joe Klein’s good piece on Afghanistan: “Karzai is not incompetent,” a Western diplomat told me. “He is acting according to his own priorities — his family, his tribe, his nation, in that order.”...


Afghan Army/Gov’t FAIL

As a surprise to no one with some understanding of the Afghan context, instead of relying on universalist abstract COIN theories (“assume a can opener” , “assume a competent national government”), the Afghan Army,...



From ESPN’s Tim Legler: Ron Artest, although regularly displaying a complete disregard for sensible offensive decision-making, can still make a great scorer’s life completely miserable.


That’s Like So Totally Fascist, OMFG.

I just lost 8 minutes of my life I’ll never get back watching the new Gaga video “Alejandro.” (It’s so abysmally bad I won’t even link to it; it doesn’t help that the song...


(Non?)Violent Civil Disobedience

Last week I wrote a post on my other site about how the Palestinians should organize a massive non-violent civil disobedience campaign against Israel, which I think is the only way for them to...


Can You Whitewash (Potentially) White People?

From Huffpo: They also note this weekend’s release of “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” a live-action adaptation of a video game that stars white actor Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role instead...



Around the tubes….LOG Alum Br. Jamelle Bouie and friend of the Ordinary Gents Sr. Dara Lind are both guest blogging for Matthew Yglesias [link fixed].  Congrats on the gig you two.  It’s well deserved....


I Called It: Sestak Style

I don’t take to the pages of Ordinary Gents to brag very often (I hope), but I feel like this mini-post from last year where I advised Joe Sestak to run against Arlen Specter...


Bolton on Bombing

John Bolton writing in the Wall Street Journal: We therefore face a stark, unattractive reality. There are only two options: Iran gets nuclear weapons, or someone uses pre-emptive military force to break Iran’s nuclear...


Friday Night Jukebox

The Jukebox spins back to the late 60s this evening to highlight one of the most underrated pop-rock bands of all time:  The Association (wiki here).  They were overshadowed by some of their better...


(Political) Myths Doesn’t Equal Unreal

Br. Jamelle goes on the attack against radical centrism of the Thomas Friedman variety. He writes: The term “radical centrism” is absolutely incoherent. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines radical as “relating to or affecting...


So Zizek Walks Into Google

For those of you losing sleep awaiting my take on Zizek’s commentary on Christian mysticism and politics, rejoice and be glad, your day has finally arrived (over at my other blog Beams and Struts).


Palibbinism: Or The Financial Servile State

Matt Taibi writes: The Republicans, meanwhile, are in the difficult position of trying to sell Wall Street’s position on the Regulatory Reform bill to their base. That might not sound so very difficult, given...


Volcker and Trans-national Regulation

All those mind-boggling financial products that nobody understood were no help to the U.S. economy, and led it to the sorry state from which it is now attempting to recover.  So says Paul Volcker,...


Derivatives Regulation Update

As an update to this earlier post, Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives rules have passed out of committee.