James Crabtree's Blog

A small glimpse into the thoughts and ideas of James Crabtree in Austin, Texas.

Location: Austin, Texas, United States

I'm a 29 year old Captain in the US Marine Corps Reserves. I served close to eight months in Iraq with an infantry battalion and returned home to Austin in April. I'm recently engaged to the love of my life, Meredith, and we live in central Austin. She's a nurse and takes great care of me. I work in politics and government and enjoy my life here in the best town in the US. I'm also a Christian and my big passions in life are politics, baseball, and Civil War history. I'd like to think I'm easy going and have a good sense of humor. This site is my first attempt to start a blog.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Saddam's Doritos and UT baseball

Well, it's a great evening tonight as UT beat Tulane easily by a score of 5-0. The defense was outstanding and they made the Tulane pithcer, a number one draft pick of the Astros, look pretty bad. I'm a big UT baseball fan and watching them defeat Ole Miss to get to the College World Series, and then handle tough teams like Baylor and Tulane once there, has been great. I hope they keep it up and think they will.

In other news, I read today where soldiers that guarded Saddam Hussein for over a year in Iraq claim among other interesting details that he enjoys Doritos chips and sprinkles water on them before eating them. I don't know if this is good or bad news for Frito-Lay, but I thought it was interesting. I wonder if they have the Jay Leno policy of "crunch all you want. We'll make more" or if he only gets a bag per day, week, month or what? There was no word however about what type of underoos he wears in terms of brand name.

One other note for what it is worth - yesterday at the HEB Central Market store in Austin I received a 1950 $20 bill in the ATM machine. Amazing! First off, most bills you see in circulation are usually no older than three or four years due to wear. Secondly, the US govt has undergone an extense anti-forgery campaign by twice changing the looks of the $20 bill over the last several years to the point that the newest version has little 20s written all over its back and has so many different and odd markings that it resembles Monopoly money. Finally, most ATMs will dispense new bills that are so crisp and fresh that sometimes they even stick together. Well, this one is the real deal. It looks old and worn, but isn't torn. It's clearly got the signatures of President Truman's then Sec. of Treasury as well as the US Treasurer. It also notes how the bill is backed up by gold. The gold standard - now there is an idea that folks have forgotten. I'm not a money collector so I have no idea the value of this bill (it may just be $20 still) but I think I'll keep it. Getting a $20 bill that is over 50 years old from an ATM has got to be up against some very long odds.

Finally this evening, I'd like to thank Ron Gunzburger for mentioning this new and very rough blog on his stellar site, www.politics1.com, today. Hopefully over time this blog will become more enjoyable for the reader. At this point its simply something I enjoy doing. Oh, I guess I should throw in some quick political news too since the readers from Politics1 might be wondering why this blog is mentioned on that site. Well, on Sat. June 11th Austin had a single run-off election for city council in which a 32 year-old rookie candidate defeated a much more seasoned and hard-core liberal candidate by a 54-46% margin. This was a bit of a blow to the city's enviro-green wing, but what has really got to be bugging them (since even I've noticed it) is that the winning candidate (Jennifer Kim) has still got her signs all over the town on virtually every road, intersection, parking lot, and other spot in which a sign could be stuck. It's been over a week and yet the signs persist. Perhaps she should organize some sort of effort to take them down or is she already running for re-election?

Good night from Austin.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Club for Growth

One of the best groups in the nation when it comes to electing pro-free market candidates to office is the Club for Growth. I'm proud to be a member of their organization and I'm impressed with how they target RINOs (Republicans in name only) in primaries and help low-tax and limited government candidates win. They have been successful with defeating some isolationist candidates like the former Gov of SC last year in the GOP senate primary. Their success has caused them to be recognized as one of the best PACs in the country. Check out their site at www.clubforgrowth.com to learn more about them and some of the good works they've done.

Another site I love is Power Line Blog. They are the best blog in the country. No doubt about it. They were one of the sites that exposed Dan Rather's lies in the Bush "national guard papers" story. You can see them everyday with new commentary and insight at www.powerlineblog.com.

Hope y'all had a great weekend. Meredith and I are off to see Riverdance soon. Should be fun.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Thurs update

Today in the mail we received a copy of our appearance on the Sam and Bob Show last Friday. It was cool being able to listen to it. We've bought some disk and will be burning some copies for our families.

All is well here. Another nice day of running errands to places like HEB and Target, working out in the gym, and relaxing at Upper Crust Bakery and home. We also rearranged our living room to take better advantage of the fire place. It looks great.

In the meantime since I want to throw some political stuff out there - visit www.setlovefree.com to help Southwest Airlines end the horrible Wright Amendment that is anti-American in every form and was created by then Speaker Jim Wright to protect behemoth American Airlines from a small little upstart airline called Southwest. This horrible law that is still on the books keeps SW from making any direct flights from Dallas Love Field (their home base) to any states except those that border Texas as well as Missippi and Alabama. Insanity!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wed afternoon

Meredith and I just returned from a trip to Highland Mall and this evening we will be going to a Round Rock Express baseball game. This will be Meredith's first Triple-A game and my first time to a Round Rock game since their first season in 2000.


This is my first foray (is that spelled right?) into the world of blogging. While in Iraq for over 200 plus days as a Marine, I was able to write weekly and sometimes twice weekly updates on my battalion (1/23 Marines.) It was often hard to find the time to do so, but I enjoyed it and I know that the families of our Marines and sailors greatly appreciated the updates via a wonderful political site called Politics1.com that adopted us. I guess I miss writing those updates, so now I've found a free web log site (or blog) and have started messing around with it. This post is a test. Hope it works.

Semper Fi,