Sunday, November 13, 2005

CLASSIC FANZINE REVIEW: RAW POWER #5 (Spring 1978)

One thing I will say about Los Angeles in the seventies is that although their underground/punk scene wasn't as all-encompassing (whatever good that may have been) and downright intense as New York City's, they sure had the East Coast beat as far as full-throttle fanzines go. After all, while all New York's underground rock press had going for it was THE NEW YORK ROCKER and PUNK magazine (not counting a bevy of small-run and totally obscure offerings that certainly didn't cover the vast array of styles and energies that New York became famous for), El Lay seemed to be brimming with power-packed bedroom-published reads that continue to please the amateur-hour rockscribe fan even this far down the pike. From biggies such as FLASH, BACK DOOR MAN and (for two issues) DENIM DELINQUENT to interesting asides like TB SHEETS, the Southern California fanzine scene was pretty on target with regards to not only detailing the underground movements of the day but giving you a reason as to why some of those "dinosaur" biggies like Aerosmith and Blue Oyster Cult were perhaps on the same rockism level as all of those "accepted" punque forebearers like the Dolls and Stooges. OK, maybe those magazines didn't make THAT STRONG OF A CASE (which is why I've yet to buy an Aerosmith album and find BOC's best moment to be their long-withheld Stalk-Forrest Group disque), but I'd rather read Phast Phreddie Patterson or Jymn Parrett writing about Kiss or Black Sabbath than some ex-Queen groupie of a punk who couldn't convince me to buy toilet paper blabbering on about the flavor-of-the-month underground treat that everybody seems to forget about once next week's flavor rolls by.

Anyway, after reading all the rest and thinking things out with regards to just what a rock publication above or underground should convey to you (the discriminating fan), all I gotta say is that RAW POWER fits the ideal of a classic seventies El Lay total eruption of an engrossing fanzine with perfection. A pub that has eluded my grasps for well on my two-plus decades of searching, I finally laid my hands on an ish (#5) and let me tell you that even jaded "I" must admit that this fanzine is MORE than I've bargained for even this far down the line! Yes, I knew I was in for a treat after reading the reviews in BOMP! (which ranged from Greg Shaw's praise to Gary Sperrazza's disdain) as well as SLASH (who didn't care one whit for the thing given the mag's penchant for more mainstream and metallic aggregates), and given that editor Quick Draw seemed like an affable fellow and all especially on this tape I have of the Dictators (and Meltzer) appearing on the Rodney Bingenheimer KROQ show which has said QD calling in not only to give kudos to Handsome Dick and crew but to ask Rodney when the Van Halen album was coming out, I had the feeling that RAW POWER wasn't going to be just your everyday runna-da-mill fanzoon TOSS OUT that's for sure!

First off this fanzine doesn't even look like a fanzine which might add up to strictly dullsville "vibes" for some but at least given the total wowzer fanzine-level ENERGY makes me wanna slap the entire staff's backs for being able to grow from their xeroxed roots so fast. I mean RAW POWER's got a color cover and SEVENTY-TWO action-packed pages, and not only that but they were able to drag in some honest-to-goodniz advertising (for water beds and Greenpeace!) as well! Ted Nugent adorns the cover in typical late-seventies El Lay fanzine style, and not only do they got an interview with him inside but they also managed to track down talks with the likes of Debbie Harry and Tommy Shaw of STYX fercryinoutloud but don't let that fool you into thinking that RAW POWER's another late-seventies teenybop read with Shawn Cassidy (sorry Imants!) posters and Peter Frampton's top ten positions because it's still got that punk snat even if they ain't always writing about p-rock per se...

One thing's for sure, and that's RAW POWER is the music that these FANS write about PERSONIFIED...I mean, just one look at the high school pix of the mag's staff on page one (with editor Quick Draw still in shoulder-length hair and Crocus Behemoth-esque beard and the rest of the batch with typical THAT SEVENTIES SHOW 'do's 'n a moustache in the bunch as well!) oughta prove to you that the staff and management ain't Boris Badenovs on a subversive mission but REAL LIFE ROCK & ROLL MANIACS!!! The editorials on page four also prove to you that, like BACK DOOR MAN and Greg Prevost's FUTURE and perhaps UNLIKE SLASH (which I think was a fine paper even when their underground fashion plate sense was in full mode), these guys had their heads straight on and weren't about to be moved by prevailing undercurrents...Quick Draw on the punks' anti-sixties stance:

"The 60's were a booming time for rock 'n roll. It was the glory years of rock 'n roll. You could hear the Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" and see the Quick Draw McGraw Show daily. What more could you want?? Also, those of you who hate hippies are wrong, too. The hippie movement improved a lot of things you take for granted today. I hear everyone now yelling, "No rules, I wanna do what I wanna do and I won't listen to you." Well, I heard the same in the 60's. You people who want to put down the 60's are putting down yourselves, so laugh hard."


Well, the hippie ref does leave me cold (after all, it was them very same hippies [and I don't mean hippie punks like the MC5, Big Brother and the Holding Company or even Roky!] who were ultimately responsible for all those wonderful social engineering ploys we've hadda put up with for the past umpteen years!), but otherwise I get the drift. Hey, I'd like to hear "19th Nervous Breakdown" on the radio daily and watch Hanna Barbera cartoons (not nec. Quick Draw McGraw...never liked him!) without having to pay premium cable rates as well!

Besides pages of letters (including one from an "Al" of Whittier who sez that the fanzine concentrates too much on the mainstream which should be ditched pronto and thinks Bowie ruined Iggy for good, both points being counteracted with gusto by Quick Draw himself...and methinks this "Al" may be THE Al who had by this time started up his own mag namely FLIPSIDE!) you get the articles and interviews on the vast array of RAW POWER faves, and although acts such as UFO (post-Bolton), Starz and Ted Nugent ain't exactly BLACK/BLOG TO COMM rah-rah's I still find myself reading 'em because the way these amateurs/fans conduct 'em (and their ability to bring out the everyday down-homeness in their subjects) does make for more intriguing reading than you get from the last twenty years of pious and pretentious rock critiquing, that's for sure!

And amidst the pages of interview and record reviews of the latest rock/metal/punk offerings there are a few surprises, such as a piece on page 49 entitled "Who Put The Punk" regarding "Germany's Possible Influence On Punk" (Floh De Cologne, Franz K., Ton Steine Scherben and Neu!) which really does predate the krautrock revival of the nineties so we gotta give RAW POWER some credit for that! And as far as those record reviews go the brilliance shines through even the tenth-grade level English class-style of the contributors (and a "C+" at that!), with THREE reviews of NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS nestled between writeups of Queen and AC/DC...and I LOVE IT!!!!! I mean, it may be "uncouth" to the standard punk elite (not that there's anything wrong with that, at least on a few levels!) to see Quick Draw giving a page long appraisal of METALLIC KO and the Ramones right after heaping praise upon the standard FM twaddle being produced during the industry's absolute worst nadir (at least before the nadirs of the eighties, nineties...), but like I said, I kinda find it neat myself.

And what would a fanzine be without the local band/personality coverage anyway? The tipoff that Quick Draw would be a fan of and call up Rodney's radio show should forewarn you that there's a Kim Fowley interview here that was in part conducted by Bingenheimer himself. And not only that, but there are brief yet substantial bits on such local RAW POWER faves as the Dogs and Germs (names that I seem to recall having heard somewhere before...) as well as Sister, which it turns out was formerly known as the Killer Kane Band featuring none other than Blackie Lawless as frontman long before he spearheaded the worst aspects of eighties metal making that decade (between the faux metal, gnu wave and new age) one of the worst for music fans ever! (Or at least until what eventually transpired!)

Some of my less-astute readers (and there are many) may think that after all of the dross that RAW POWER championed I would fling my copy into the nearest incinerator but not really...like I said, I like the rockism mindset of Quick Draw, Bobbalouie and gang, and even with the weak attempts at humor and coverage of groups I could care less about I give RAW POWER one of the highest accolades I could (and you can buy a cup of coffee with that!), mainly by placing it in my box of mid-seventies issues of CREEM that languishes underneath the very desk I'm typing this post on. And could you think of a more fitting tribute than that? (And while you're at it, could you imagine what RAW POWER would have come off like had it lasted into the dreaded eighties and nineties [or oh-oh's]??? I kinda shudder at that to tell you the truth because I somehow see the mag mutating into either a boring metal mouthpiece or tiresome new wave fashion plate publication. But then again, I could be wrong. Whatever happened to you anyway Quick Draw????)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

My nickname in Brooklyn with all my friends was Hippie...I grew up in the middle of it all, I was and I still am a 60's child (ala hippie). That was my time in space, and ya got so many like too,
Lmo, Otto, Sumner, all flower power boys...yeah we are what we eat, and I love this, yeah this, Chris i could hung ya, and if ya want go right ahead and put this in your comments section, i would be honered, Lou Rone.

Jack Dee said...

"wonderful social engineering"

you mean those great hippies nixon, reagan, and the bush duo, who we can thank for corruption, 'faith-based' initiatives, environmental pollution, war debt, etc..... i don't quite see how the masses of conservative voters that cowtow to utter bullshit from the lips of our president have much to do with this "wonder social engineering" you speak of... and if you think most hippies were so goddam headstrong and actually won anything, then where's the cheap organic food for the masses, or legalized pot? or an end to suburban sprawl? the hippies LOST man... haven't you ever read "fear and loathing in las vegas"? it's fine to hate pretentiousness, but i just don't get yer political slant...

Christopher said...

OK Jack, I just hope you'll continue to read my blog after this but (sheesh, I haven't felt this way since the early nineties defending my deeply-held beliefs against the onslaught of Bob Bannister calling me a woman-hater for my anti-feminist commentaries!) but---anyone who doesn't at least agree with the PREMISE/FACT that it was the hippie generation, or at least the more MARXIST/anti-capitalist and gender-mutating variants thereof who, by trying to create the "new man" who would go against the grain of the past fifteen or so centuries of civilization as the pivotal evolutionary step into the Socialist Society, who have RUINED an entire generation left to their care via education and political experimentation, must be smoking a lot more than 100% American! THAT'S what I mean by "wonderful social engineering," the idea that some totally different creature of/for the "state" can be created and nurtured to think unselfishly for the benefit of others while marching together in unison with SMILES ON THEIR FACES all the time! Y'know, like they still do in China and other areas even when these policies have failed DESPITE all of the "well-intentioned" reconditioning, gender-blurring and human-nature twisting that has gone on in the name of "unselfishness" over the past century, a century where more people died in the name of "benevolence" than any other time in history which sure makes MY case for government LEAVING PEOPLE ALONE or better yet disbanding altogether! And while you're at it, take all that millionaire welfare and eminent domain robbery with you.

The hippie generation not-so-oddly enough took a lot from the communists (where do you think the whole twisted idea of "communes" came from?) in order to employ social conditioning on a smaller level. And the fact that these hippies didn't believe than man was an atomistic individual and believed he could be changed by re-education and anti-sexist/racist nurturing which usually backfired has certainly done an entire generation harm which I doubt could ever be repaired. Do you remember those failed experiments of the seventies, like giving dolls to boys and toy trucks for gals? Or even Hillary's IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD sense of communalism? Or in that case the fervent anti-capitalist dogma that many environmentalists have, not to mention the rabid anti-soldier/pro-"Islamo-fascism" of a lotta the current antiwar movement that's bound to make any right-thinking war-hater wince? I know I'm jumping all over the place but you gotta fess up that most if not a lotta the sad state of affairs that've been going on these days are more or less outcroppings of the hippydippy peace and love "We Are All One Culture" ROLLING STONE mindset that was such a sham to begin with that even the underground cartoonists at YOUNG LUST and CREEM magazine knew enough to lambaste it as early as 1972!

Although I think that Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were cool, I more or less agree with ace politico John Schmitz who wanted Nixon to take a one-way trip to China in '72! (And anyone who thinks Nixon was a bona-fide conservative better think again considering how he not only created the EPA but favored Keynsian economics---with Republicans like him who needed Democrats!) And I gotta agree with Murray Rothbard's opinion of Reagan (a conservative taking notes from FDR!) more than I do Rush Limbaugh's (though I'll take Limbaugh over most other political commentators out there given there aren't any really anarcho-right/libertarian radio shows I can find these days---meaning I probably agree with the guy 50% which is down about 5% from five years ago!), and I still think that the Democratic Party as it is today is about as corrupt today as the Republican Party was in the 19th century, which is saying a lot. I'm also convinced that most environmental debate and policy is driven by junk science and anti-business attitudes pushed on us by guilt-riddled millionaires who pump tons of cash into losing causes which I guess is fun to watch.

As far as "faith-based" (nice paretheses there Jack!) initiatives go, I am not exactly a believer in the seperation of church and state like a lotta the left seems to be (after all, if a law is based on Western morality that probably means it's better than one based on pagan premises!) Heck, at one time the two were intertwined AND FOR A GOOD REASON because it was that now-loathed Church that had to keep check on State (as John's Children said, "Remember Thomas a Becket") though obviously Henry VIII put an end to THAT idea for ages!

And you may think hippies won nothing, but take a look at all of those hippies and fellow travelers with their haircuts and suits you see nowadays who are CALLING THE SHOTS with regards to a lotta the state child-rearing social engineering programs that have been in force since the seventies. (Remember the "Children of the Rainbow" curriculum that was going to be imposed of NYC schoolkids in the early-nineties? "Commentators" were more than anxious to tell us that the foes of this program were bigots for opposing HEATHER HAS TWO MOMMIES as well as the various gay pride books that first grade kids would be reading in place of the ol' Dick and Jane...naturally they left out the fact that the sixth graders were learning about proper dildo care and urinating on each other!) You may disagree and you may feel free to do so, but I believe all this "wonderful social engineering" and attempts to turn natural behavior and thought on its head and indoctrinating kids into being perfect VILLAGE VOICE readers is a natural outcropping of the same ol' livin' off the land and everyone is EQUAL (which is not only an affront to God but makes little sense considering that I've never seen a midget playing professional basketball) sixties pipedream that, really, has only added to more strife and hatred than the sweetness and light its progenetors had in mind.

(As for legalized marijuana, heck I'm for legalized drugs PERIOD...as Harry Browne said, a hunnerd years ago you coulda walked into any drug store inna USA and bought some heroin for your cold as well as gulped down a Coca-Cola with the active ingredient intact, and the only people nowadays who say there was a "drug problem" back then are the nattering nabobs at PBS! Besides, I'll betcha didn't know that the anti-marijuana/drug laws were enacted in order to "get at" those nasty minorities who were enjoying pot and experiencing that dreaded pleasure without any major harm being done to their systems or society for that matter! Well, a recent article in REASON said just as much, and that fact does sound about right given what I do know about American politics and race relations!)

But really Jack, I ain't that hot on putting my maybe not-so-longheld political beliefs (like I said, read some of my early issues for some eye-opening views once held by yours truly!) into writing like I am talking about a hot proto-punk mindwarp platter or a classic thirties comic strip that NOBODY'S thought about in over thirty years! Maybe if I could just wing a MR. A. comic book your way??? Or read someone who's a lot more coherent politically, like Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com or even some Murray Rothbard when Lewrockwell.com decides to post this late writer's still-relevant musings.

Anonymous said...

yer right on the money Chris; I don't buy this idea that if you listen to 60's music, then you simply MUST buy into the New Left mindset; I also get annoyed at guys like Jack thinkin' that, if you're a Conservative, you MUST support Bush/drive an SUV/support Iraq, etc.etc...I'm on the Right, and I don't do any of the above...if Jack wants to read some REAL anti-Bush articles, he should check out the anti-globalist Right(antiwar.com...etc.)and Nixon ended the draft, wich was brought back (as 'selective service') by Carter!!Why does the Left overlook this little detail?(and I make a big distinction 'tween the old pre-"60's radical" Liberals, and the post-hippie New Left; the Liberal old timers were DISGUSTED with the Hippies, and rightfully so!!)

Christopher said...

...and the hippies didn't exactly get along with the old left/liberals either! It is kinda funny how all these people who were the scourage of radicalism in the late-sixties like LBJ, Hubert Humphrey and Richard Daley pretty much became the same left's spiritual godfathers once the hippies grew up, put on suits and became aware of the true nature of political machinations. I'm sure that if I had bet a dyed-inna-wool highschool radical type in 1971 that the hippies would eventually come to emulate the above establishment types I woulda been laughed at heartily. Eventually I would have come into a lotta money as well considering how the New Left Democratic Party has more in common with the Old Left than it would ever dare admit!

But I can understand Jack's point even if I don't agree with him...I mean, the presidents he listed in his commentary weren't exactly adhering strongly to what used to be called a conservative ethos. Even a big-government rightist like Reagan, who seems to be many conservatives' primo poster boy, yet helped triple the size of government while he was in power! But frankly, the masses of conservative voters are going to continue to vote republican or at least "right wing" as long as the Democrats are seen in their eyes as corrupt bureaucrats who pander to their various constituencies (while refusing to see the voter as an individual), all the while being supported and bankrolled by an entertainment industry that has an undying loathing of these people while trying to cater to them!

(BTW---I remember when Carter re-instated the draft and the left went ballistic as well. You gotta remember that Carter's MOR politics made him roadkill...the VILLAGE VOICE/MS. MAGAZINE left loathed him for not cowtowing to the radical left wing as much as they would have loved him to, and some of the most cutting critique of Carter [albeit from a more socialist standpoint] came from the New Left media of the day. Naturally after Reagan came along they probably wish they hadn't been so hard on ol' Jimmy to begin with, and in many ways Reagan probably pulled the Democratic left even farther over into a radical image that has stuck to them for years!)

Though as far as GW Bush goes, I gotta admit that I hate it when the rabid left attacks him (even if I may agree with a point or two...even a broken clock is right twice a day) because it makes me want to LIKE him, but when the right does the bickering it makes all the more sense to me. I dunno, but throw the politics away and the guy does come off like a big lovable teddy bear. But really, maybe Bush II is the Republican reply to Carter??? Who knows where that will lead...

Jack Dee said...

chris - i will be the first to admit, my political knowledge is far from sharp. i go by what i see, and when i don't like it, i just kinda bitch. so i get yer slant, and i will say the post-hippie p.c. onslaught is mindbogglingly annoying. i don't know if i follow any traditional beliefs per say, i don't really give a shit about people doing what they want to do as long as they don't bother me... the word "hippie" gets thrown alot of ways, just like the word "redneck" or the word "queer" or "conservative"... but when it all comes down to it when i think of the word hippie positively i think: fuck the man. in whatever sense that carries. and negatively: i think of it as a tired dogma of sharing, free love, free drugs, non-offensive bullcrap etc. that had not one chance in hell surviving in america. i pretty much swear allegiance to the freak flag: every man for himself. but don't worry, your politics don't scare me away from the blog or anything. reality is really only worth it for the music and the girls. thats my two cents.

tim ellison said...

So, OK, Carter reinstated the draft. And Kennedy and Johnson got us into Vietnam. But as far as the here and now goes, the simple fact is that a Democratic president would not have freaking invaded and occupied Iraq! Chris, you can say that the Democratic Party is corrupt, but the Republican Party has gone utterly berzerk.

Christopher said...

But Tim, all those Democrats (Clinton included) were also gung ho on the invasion at one time (before it became unfashionable)and agreed with the intelligence reports about Saddam's atomic capabilities! I'll betcha bottom dollar that if Clinton (OK, Gore, but they're structurally the same thing) had been holding the reins 'stead of Bush the Iraqi War would have gone off as scheduled anyway. Who knows, but I'll put my money on the real warmongers this time.(I'm speaking of the Democrats, albeit the Republicans have been doing their best to swipe the title away as of late, and given how "War is the Health of the State" and how the Republicans are initiating their own version of Democratic statism, what more could anyone expect?)

And although the Republican Party certainly has gone off kilter from whatever good (in a pure post/anti-Roosevelt Menckian stance) it may stood for when they weren't imitating the opposition, at least it can still come up with a few bright lights such as Ron Paul, a name I keep hyping over and over again to little avail. Frankly, at this time I can't see anyone on the Democrats' side offering anything of real value, or at least not since they locked Jim Traficant up!

tim ellison said...

Wait, which Democrats were "gung ho" about invading Iraq and when? Yes, a lot of people expressed the belief at one time or another that Iraq had WMDs or were developing them: Democrats, even Europeans ohmigod! But the idea that we would invade Iraq, topple Hussein, and attempt to establish a democratic form of government there was a Bush II project all the way.

Even apart from all of the indications that they just cherry picked intelligence, manipulated the truth about the intelligence all over the place, etc., I can't see that ANY Democrat (or many Republicans, for that matter) would have thought that, from a military perspective, the idea of invading Iraq, toppling the government, and trying to establish peace and harmony would have been a good idea.

Christopher said...

Good question, although there were many Dems who had voted for and stood behind Bush, and their candidtate last year would have pretty much stayed the course had he won. Of course Kerry may have broken that campaign promise and withdrawn had public opinion deemed so, but that doesn't necessarily make him any holier than Bush. As far as cherrypicking intelligence and reshaping things to fit into certain governmental worldviews, I'm sure that the Democrats would have acted very little differently than the opposition. Maybe schmalzier...

As the political scene grinds on and on though, I gotta agree more and more with the late Sam Francis who once called the Democratic Party the evil party, and the Republicans the stupid party. But considering how it seems both parties are stealing techniques and ideas from each other maybe it's hard to tell which is which these days. One thing is right (re. Justin Raimondo). and that the Republicans have taken the banner of being called "The War Party' away from the Democrats who proudly held it for years!

Christopher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tim ellison said...

I'm talking about theoretical Dems and Republicans in the White House instead of Bush, by the way, if that wasn't clear. What theoretical presidents would have been gung ho about invading and occupying Iraq???

Chris, I can understand your "apart from the politics Bush seems like a big teddy bear" thing, but don't know why that can't be extended to GOOD GUYS like Clinton/Gore/Kerry!

Christopher said...

There may not be any substantial proof (maybe there is somewhere), but I'm sure Bill Clinton would have done some invading with a little more prodding from some amen corner had situations been slightly different. It would only have been a step up from his aspirin factory bombing fiasco not to mention the humiliation at the hand of some African warlord. And really, I don't see Clinton, Gore or Kerry as any sort of good guys, nor do I see Bush as one at least as far as this current situation goes. At least I figure Bush to be driven by poor/stupid judgement and hawkish neocon advisors (who come from left/Democrat roots they haven't quite forsaken) and some mandate maybe only he can describe (I don't know what's really going on in anybody's head...). Clinton/Gore/Kerry seem downright shady and manipulative thinking they can gain brownie points and votes shoveling the showbiz schmooze at people I kinda get the feeling that deep down inside they undoubtedly hate with a passion. Either way things don't look that hot. Sheesh Tim, you got me so down that I think I'll go and see what's happening on the CHRONICLES webpage. And maybe some Mencken after that.

And by the way, what do you think of the disgusting Trotskyite commentator Christopher Hitchens and his pro-war rant and rave? If you think the "right" has monopoly on this sort of chicanery just give a listen to this bloodthirty red who's cheerleading the current administration (and getting a lotta accolades from the pro-war right...at least the people at THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE know enough to call Hitchens the warmongering Christophobic communist apologist that he is!). I'll take a right wing dove like Charley Reese or Joseph Sobran over him anyday and with gusto for that matter!

tim ellison said...

"It would only have been a step up from his aspirin factory bombing fiasco"

It would have been a HUGE step up! And one that I don't see as that they've given any indication that they would have wanted to undertake.

"Clinton/Gore/Kerry seem downright shady and manipulative thinking they can gain brownie points and votes shoveling the showbiz schmooze at people I kinda get the feeling that deep down inside they undoubtedly hate with a passion."

But isn't that like saying, "Bush hates minorities. Bush hates poor people?" I don't see as that either of these things are inherently true.

I don't know, maybe I give Democrats too many breaks. But the Bush administration has been a major disaster and the war in Iraq is the kind of huge military mess that, like I said before, most post-Vietnam Democrats and plenty of Republicans would not have gotten into.

Christopher said...

Hey, maybe Bush does hate poor people...naw, but I think that the slime emitted by the current Democratic hopefuls is just as sickening as the paternatistic enthnocentric bilge that the earlier Democrats (whether FDR liberals or Dixiecrats) used to toss out sixty years back. Not that the Republicans aren't emulating that sappy style...

And hey, Clinton's militaristic forays (no matter how clumsy they may have been) may have been a prelude to bigger endeavors had "things" only been slightly different. I'm sure everyone (maybe not) remembers how the man had big sights set on Serbia back in the late-nineties. Who knows what kinda disaster that coulda turned into. Thankfully, Clinton's Monicagate troubles helped divert his attention enough so that no major harm came out of our involvement in that mess. (Maybe not...if things had gone sour on the Impeachment Front who knows what carnage overseas might have come from Clinton trying to do a little attention diverting himself???)