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"Skunk" Baxter
May 25, 2005 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Rocker Jeff Baxter Moves and Shakes in National Security • "Jeff Baxter played psychedelic music with Ultimate Spinach, jazz-rock with Steely Dan and funky pop with the Doobie Brothers. But in the last few years he has made an even bigger transition: Mr. Baxter, who goes by the nickname "Skunk," has become one of the national-security world's well-known counterterrorism experts."
posted by dhoyt (27 comments total)

 
8-o
posted by fleetmouse at 7:37 AM on May 25, 2005


As a proud owner of the Jeff "Skunk" Baxter signature acoustic guitar, I'm pleased to see that my instrument can be used to keep the nation safe as well as rocking the fuck out.
posted by COBRA! at 7:46 AM on May 25, 2005


So he's a hawk in dove's clothing?
posted by stinkycheese at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2005


What's most interesting about this isn't just that he has this weird dual career path -- although that is pretty interesting -- but that he's a self-trained missile defense expert. Honestly, it's the kind of story that KISS probably turned down while hearing the pitches that ultimately generated KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.
posted by aaronetc at 8:08 AM on May 25, 2005


One more reason to find Steely Dan suspect
posted by Outlawyr at 8:14 AM on May 25, 2005


katy lied.
posted by quonsar at 8:16 AM on May 25, 2005


Mr. Rohrabacher passed the report to another influential Republican lawmaker, Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania. Mr. Weldon says he immediately realized that Mr. Baxter could be a useful public advocate for missile defense because his rock-star pedigree would attract attention to the issue.

"Most of Hollywood is from the liberal, 'let's hug the tree and be warm and fuzzy and sing Kumbaya,' bent," Mr. Weldon says. "You put Jeff Baxter up against them, and he cleans their clocks because he actually knows the facts and details."


So in essence he's a shill for the Beltway Bandits.
posted by johnny novak at 8:20 AM on May 25, 2005


One of his bands was named after a dildo, another was a marijuana reference. Good to know you can pass the background checks with stuff like that.
posted by scratch at 8:45 AM on May 25, 2005


He flew 230,000 miles last year, and makes a point of dissolving brightly colored packets of vitamin supplements into his drinks to stave off illness.

Yeah. "Vitamin packs". Suuuuuuuure.
posted by papakwanz at 8:49 AM on May 25, 2005


I'd like more details. What exactly does he do for his healthy six figures? What are some of his out of the box insights? (And what's this about this creating strategy in gummint war games? I thought that embarrassing the pentagon in those situations usually went to real soldiers?)

As with so much media, it raises more questions than it answers.
posted by IndigoJones at 9:19 AM on May 25, 2005


Not exactly a double post, but previously noted in this thread. Just sayin'.
posted by fixedgear at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2005


Every time I hear a story about this guy, and I see his picture, I think "what a fucking prick". I wonder why.
posted by sydnius at 9:29 AM on May 25, 2005


Every time I hear a story about this guy, and I see his picture, I think "what a fucking prick". I wonder why.

Has to be the 'stache.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2005


I thought it was weird that Buckaroo Banzai was a world-famous rock musician and a brain surgeon, and he was fictional fer cryin' out loud.
posted by alumshubby at 11:40 AM on May 25, 2005


He went to my high school (as did Trey of Phish), and donated a recording studio later on. Met him once - nice enough guy. The stache was bigger back then.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:49 AM on May 25, 2005


sydnius, do you think the same about this guy? If so, then I suspect SteveInMaine is correct!
posted by kimota at 12:46 PM on May 25, 2005


Good grief, you couldn't make this shit up, could you?

But I'm glad he still has the walrus moustache :-{
posted by essexjan at 1:44 PM on May 25, 2005


We've been over this people. it's a handlebar moustache, sheesh.
posted by fatbaq at 3:07 PM on May 25, 2005


I'm with johnny novak.
He's a shill.
Or prehaps a frank abagnale character.
Or likely a bit of both.

It just goes to show how far you can go if you parrot back the party line to the right people, and climb up from there.
You can be declared a genius by people who have dedicated entire careers and multiple doctoral degrees to get to where they are.

Incomprehensibly powerful forces have been pursuing missile defense for decades. The profit potential is just too good to pass by. That's the real reason for this guy's success.

Makes me want to switch careers.
From now on, I'm a self-taught-expert-in-social-security.
Now all I have to do is wait for the black DoD SUV's to roll up, and deliver a fat six-figure check in exchange for my mumbling policy advice that's heavily inspired by whatever the current buzzwords are on faux news...
posted by archae at 5:07 PM on May 25, 2005


They obviously put "Skunk" through the Skunkworks.
posted by wendell at 5:25 PM on May 25, 2005


One of his bands was named after a dildo, another was a marijuana reference. Good to know you can pass the background checks with stuff like that.

Actually, I heard that Ultimate Spinach came from a quote by Timothy Leary about LSD is the "ultimate spinach," much like spinach transforms Popeye into a muscleman. Either way, that's a lot of primo 1960s coded drug references for one background check. By the way, true fans of Ultimate Spinach know that the band was stronger under its founder Ian Bruce-Douglas, while Baxter's version of the band, which played on the group's third and final album, was a much inferior model cobbled together by the record company.
posted by jonp72 at 7:30 PM on May 25, 2005


As a fellow hippie-turned-capatalist-whore, I can only sympathize with this man.
posted by afroblanca at 11:15 PM on May 25, 2005


(oops, I meant capitalist. Just because I sold out doesn't mean I learned how to spell.)
posted by afroblanca at 11:18 PM on May 25, 2005


Think about if we dug up all those aging rocker guys to consult on stuff. Todd Rundgren could offer sagely advice on the spread of the avian bird flu. Davy Jones could consult on relations between Ecuador and the United States. Bob Weir could talk about the long term rates of inflation given the prospect of rising oil prices.
posted by ph00dz at 5:34 AM on May 26, 2005


gottabefunky writes "He went to my high school (as did Trey of Phish), and donated a recording studio later on."

Holy crap...they went to my high school. (Trey and I were in the same graduating class, along with the "Dude of Life", and my college roommate's band were the first to record in that studio.) What year were you?
posted by LairBob at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2005


In the immediate few days following the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, ex Steely Dan guitarist turned weapons expert, recommended the use of nanorobots to re-engineer the attitudes of those in the Mideast hostile to the US.

"Several days after the destruction of the World Trade Center, speaking at a seminar on terrorism before Department of Defense members, defense contractors, and military analysts at a Washington D.C. think-tank, the "Potomac Institute for Policy Studies", former lead guitarist for the rock group Steely Dan, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, made a visionary proposal for a radically new, cutting edge strategy to counter the seething hatred of the United States in the Middle east, reports David Corn writing for Alternet.org.

Acknowledging that the U.S. needs to fight a PR war on terrorism, The rock guitar legend, who has refashioned himself as an expert on the SDI initiative, the "Star Wars" Defense scheme first initiated during the Reagan years, suggested that the U.S. needed to use advertising, nanotechnology and Valium to " reengineer the perceptions of our enemies."

Dealing with the deep hatreds which led to the fiery destruction of the World Trade Center would be difficult, the rock legend noted, because "You live in a dirt-poor place, but if you blow yourself up in the name of Allah, you'll get 73 virgins, all the dope you can smoke, backstage passes to Bruce Springsteen ... How do we nullify and negate that threat?"

Answering his question Baxter, who refuses to acknowledge the origin of his nickname, noted that "The way to keep a kamikaze pilot out of aircraft ... is to deal with it at the source" and suggested a "Manhattan Project" for "perception engineering", a propaganda campaign run by the finest advertising talent money can buy - the elite ad execs of Detroit who were "selling Chevrolets when they were crap with the 'heart beat of America' "

Applying his keen grasp of futuristic technologies, Baxter suggested that the United States could develop specialized types of microscopic robots - called "nanobots" - to infect the brains of those who hate the US and re-engineer their thought patterns away from "Great Satan" sentiments and towards a deep love of Coca-Cola , the World Trade Organization, and the American way. Showering poor, U.S. hating, fundamentalist middle eastern neighborhoods with free packages of Valium or even Prozac might do the trick too.

According to Baxter, "it's an information war.... a war fought with the ideas...I can give you a Valium and make you feel good. I can give you a musical score and engineer your perceptions. All this is doable."
posted by troutfishing at 10:09 PM on May 29, 2005


"(Washington - September 14, 2001)
X-Steely Dan guitarist proposes brain implants, TV, Valium for those who hate U.S.

Several days after the destruction of the World Trade Center, speaking at a seminar on terrorism before Department of Defense members, defense contractors, and military analysts at a Washington D.C. think-tank, the "Potomac Institute for Policy Studies", former lead guitarist for the rock group Steely Dan, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, made a visionary proposal for a radically new, cutting edge strategy to counter the seething hatred of the United States in the Middle east, reports David Corn writing for Alternet.org.

Acknowledging that the U.S. needs to fight a PR war on terrorism, The rock guitar legend, who has refashioned himself as an expert on the SDI initiative, the "Star Wars" Defense scheme first initiated during the Reagan years, suggested that the U.S. needed to use advertising, nanotechnology and Valium to " reengineer the perceptions of our enemies."

Dealing with the deep hatreds which led to the fiery destruction of the World Trade Center would be difficult, the rock legend noted, because "You live in a dirt-poor place, but if you blow yourself up in the name of Allah, you'll get 73 virgins, all the dope you can smoke, backstage passes to Bruce Springsteen ... How do we nullify and negate that threat?"

Answering his question Baxter, who refuses to acknowledge the origin of his nickname, noted that "The way to keep a kamikaze pilot out of aircraft ... is to deal with it at the source" and suggested a "Manhattan Project" for "perception engineering", a propaganda campaign run by the finest advertising talent money can buy - the elite ad execs of Detroit who were "selling Chevrolets when they were crap with the 'heart beat of America' "

Applying his keen grasp of futuristic technologies, Baxter suggested that the United States could develop specialized types of microscopic robots - called "nanobots" - to infect the brains of those who hate the US and re-engineer their thought patterns away from "Great Satan" sentiments and towards a deep love of Coca-Cola , the World Trade Organization, and the American way. Showering poor, U.S. hating, fundamentalist middle eastern neighborhoods with free packages of Valium or even Prozac might do the trick too.

According to Baxter, "it's an information war.... a war fought with the ideas...I can give you a Valium and make you feel good. I can give you a musical score and engineer your perceptions. All this is doable."
posted by troutfishing at 10:40 PM on May 29, 2005


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