Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
March 10, 2012 - March 3, 2012

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Sajak's fault

. Good of somebody to stand up and take responsibility. Of course, nobody ever watched Pat Sajak's show, so maybe he's not really to blame. But somebody is. Something for Darrell Issa to look into. But he has a lot of stuff to look into.

Just a reminder that we've been onto Olbermann for a long time.

Just for Fun (Seriously)
More Trouble in Obamatopia
Transfiguration (just a mention but a fun one)
The Dumbest Talking Head
The Olber-Fuehrer

And lest you forget, he went to Cornell. So did I. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Sometimes I'm just humbled and ashamed.

OR NOT. Before he quit in a huff, JS charged me with being a fake. I guess he's right in some respects. I spent half the night last night talking to Peter, whom some of you may know as a Ron Paul afficianado, and I couldn't make a dent in his benighted foreign policy views. Stone-cold defeat for the fisker-in-chief. I've long regarded him as a son and taken credit for his abjuration of the hippie sixties politics I used to hammer him about in a South Jersey back yard. But now he has reconnected with his biological father and I am happy for him. At the same time, he is anxious to promote this cursed website because he believes in me as a writer (and because I introduced him to quantum physics at 1:23 am.). He's willing to paper the Internet with references to InstaPunk, find me a Microsoft guru to deliver Shuteye Town 1999 to you all in its original intact glory, and he shrugs off the abuse you see here every day as 'blog voice' and yet can't help but see as me as me, that nasty old back yard friend.

But the weak link is me. Brizoni, my other virtual son, is on my ass (and hard) about finishing the punk story. He says (and I'm paraphrasing here) he won't forgive me if I don't give you all the story of the kingships of Kobra Jones, Cadillac Mope, and Gypsy Jackknife on South Street. Like Peter, he's willing to go out of his way to find me the software tools I've lost and hinted (repeatedly, thank you) I must have to all of you -- PhotoShop and AnimationShop 5.0 . So what did I do? I passed him off to my wife. Yes, she's a computer executive, but I -- I'm looking at me now -- the guy who anticipated the Internet ten years in advance... I'm running like hell from the current technology. The only text mssages I ever send are to Peter's sister, my pride and joy and motorhead heir. Why I keep saying I'm old. My third virtual son, Lake, is also disappointed in me. He's teaching, although he took a year out of his life, along with Apotheosis, to put the Boomer Bible online with a living ICR. He thinks I should do what Brizoni's demanding. But I'm too noisily busy writing InstaPunk.

My response. I'm going to the Harvard-Penn game this weekend. Because I'm a shallow asshole? Maybe. Maybe. Peter, Brian, Joshua -- I apologize. The last thing I want to do is let you down. No man could ever have more brilliant and talented offspring than you, even if I'm not the real father of any of you. I wish you were all my sons. I'd be the proudest man alive if even one of you were my biological child. I'm proud to know you, regardless.

But, as I said, the weak link is me. There are times when I can hear the faint drumbeat of poetry coming back, even at this late age. But I'm afraid. Old poets are generally bad poets. Why I'm going to the Harvard-Penn game this weekend. Afterwards, we're going to Ralph's, the best and oldest Italian restaurant in Philadelphia. Mrs. IP comes home every night and goes to work trying to decipher Brizoni's clues about how to snag PhotoShop from the ether. She doesn't know about the old poets rule. She still believes in me, too. I'd get back to them all but I'm too busy blogging...

Okay. I have to do better. I am Harry. I am St. Nuke. I am Johnny Dodge.

I am Johnny Dodge. And I have driven the lowlands of New Jersey faster by car and bike than most of you have ever thought

I am Johnny Dodge. Still. Peter, Brian, Joshua. Still.

Whatever you think, I can still make two muskets sing like one. And I remain as ruthless, savage, and uncivilized as you always counted on. I am, to the end of time, the barbarian Scot you knew you knew. I'd apologize but I can't apologize. It's my nature.

Monday, November 08, 2010

The One Reform that could
Save the United States

Yeah. Pay what they say you owe. With a check out of your own account.

. I first thought of this many many years ago, maybe even before Reagan was elected president. I haven't thought of it for years. But if the Tea Partiers are serious about reducing the size of government, cutting spending and not just the annual rate of increase in spending, this is the only way.

Eliminate withholding of federal income taxes, which began as a 'temporary' WWII measure. Put employers out of the picture as co-conspirators with the government. Give people paychecks including all the money they supposedly receive for their work. Then make them write their own personal checks to the government for their tax liability. I don't care what schedule you select -- monthly, quarterly, yearly -- although the fairest scheme is obviously at the end of the taxable year.

The current system represents an unwarranted assumption that your current rate of pay, and therefore your current rate of taxation, will continue through the end of the year. Say you lose your job halfway through the year and can't find another job (pretty far-fetched, eh?). The taxes you've paid in the first half of the year are a gross overpayment because of progressive tax rates, and the government has, in fact, been borrowing from you money you don't owe them. Note that this wrinkle is also perniciously regressive; it most penalizes those who are most financially straitened.

The likelihood of general annual tax inequity is compounded by the fact that individual taxpayers can't know what legitimate deductions they will have at year end until the year is done. Because some deductions are associated with extraordinary events like gains and losses on investments.

Indeed, everyone who receives a tax refund in the current system should be pissed off, not happy about what they're getting back. That refund is a no-interest loan they have given to the government. It's money they could have invested, earned interest on, or spent before it was devalued by the current rate of inflation. (Yeah, I once majored in accounting in graduate business school. Truth is, no matter how clever you think you are about money, if you don't have to write a check to the feds on April 15, you lose. The government has just robbed you of some of your money and left you with no recourse. Sorry if that upsets any of you shrewd April 14 self-filing deduction imagineers...)

The irony of this is that all the political talk we hear about tax rates is bunk. Nobody in the federal government can tell you what your tax rate is. That's why your tax liability is shown on IRS documents in the form of tax tables, dollar totals not percentages, marginal or otherwise. If they expressed liability in terms of percentages, they'd be open to litigation based on the unpaid interest associated with their presumptive, confiscatory collection methods. Does that sound right? Or does it sound like the incredibly complicated scam it is?

But fairness isn't my point here. That's why I don't care about the schedules. All I care about is making every Tom, Dick, and Harriet who pays income taxes experience the pain and loss of paying them out of their own bank accounts. Money you never see or control or have any power to spend is not real. Withholding from your paycheck is not a convenience or a courtesy or a favor done you by your employer. It's thievery, carried out by government force via your employer as compulsory accomplice.

Do you think you're outraged by federal spending? I've got news for you. If you've ever been happy about your refund, you're part of the problem. If you've convinced yourself that your annual income is actually your take-home pay, you are part of the problem.

I want you to have to write the checks. the way the self-employed (i.e., the smallest of small business owners) do. Why so many of the smallest businesses go under with tax troubles and cash flow nightmares. Why there was so little protest when the feds did away with income averaging a generation ago. If you have a good year, you pay through the nose. If you have a bad year the next year, the cushion you might have had to survive is not there.  You're done. Last year, you were one of the fortunate ones who are obliged to "give back" for your lucky prosperity. This year, you're a deadbeat on an IRS hit list.

What most people don't realize is that a lot of wage earners and salaried folk are in the same boat. They just never realize it. Good year, bad year, the IRS doesn't care. Plutocrat, deadbeat, the scales that weigh taxable pounds of flesh always have a federal thumb on the scale, always in the government's favor.

Nothing will change until individual citizens, all of them, know what they are paying to the government. Feel what they are paying to the government. Feel that the check they write every month or quarter or year is a direct subtraction from the kids' orthodonture, their college fund, the savings that might be put toward income-producing investments, small business dreams, home improvements, or fulfilling avocations. You are writing a check to an entity that sees you as a usable unit, and their assumption is that the money you send them is money they know better how to spend on your behalf than you do.

Some of their assumptions you might agree with or reluctantly accept. National defense. Border control. Law enforcement. The courts. Roads and bridges, trash collection, fire departments. (Though why do budget cuts always lay off these essentials instead of the constantly rising tide of invisible bureaucrats? When's the last time you saw a sad exodus from a city or a state or federal office building of indifferent, paper-pushing government clerks defunded by budget cuts? No. You've never seen it. Closed police precincts and fire stations and mounting garbage piles are always the direct price of our spending protests. The DMV always seems to retain its full complement of layabouts.) I dare say most of us are even willing to contribute to a safety net within limits for those who would otherwise fall through the cracks. But how much more than that our elected representatives spend to look philanthropic by proxy, give away for favors and influence, and piss away on quid-pro-quo deals and interest groups and utter bullshit, is your business. Because you're writing the checks.

And you just might have a wholly different view of how much accountability they have for their decisions and how closely you should pay attention to their decisions. The reality of it is that we are all paying for all of it, and all the waste and insanity is coming directly out of our own personal accounts. A system that doesn't represent reality but does everything possible to disguise reality and cheat on reality is inherently corrupt.

Think about it. One reform. A reform that's a hell of a lot easier and more effective than rewriting the tax code (fair tax, schmair tax) for thousands of pages and debating it for multiple years. One simple bill. End withholding. Up or down. Real spending cuts and real tax reform would be sure to follow.

It would change everything.

If you agree, pass it on.


WE GAVE OUR STANDARDS. Everyone knows I'm a male chauvinist. But this weekend I saw a horse race I will remember as long as Secretariat's victory at the Belmont. I saw Zenyatta's bid to win her 20th race of 20 entered.

Then I saw ESPN's crawler. "Zenyatta loses -- comes in second by a head."

Loses? By a head? Try a nostril. And besides, the coverage made it sound like she'd been beaten. A horse named Blame outran her. You know. A male horse.

Which is why I want to go on the record. Because I know when I'm seeing genius. Always have. Always will. My wife is a horsewoman. Hates horse racing. Hadn't ever heard of Zenyatta before this particular race day. But even she had to watch.

So we watched. What did I see? What they tried to do cinematically with Sea Biscuit, only in real life. I've never seen a horse so dead last as Zenyatta after the first half mile. My wife -- the horse person -- said, "Sorry. No way we she can win. It's all over. That's just way too much distance to make up. All done."

And then she came. Like a fucking freight train. Making every other horse in the field look like he was standing still. Like a fucking freight train. I've never seen anything like it. Not even Secretariat. He was never coy. He just smacked your ass. He was Secretariat. Zenyatta, on the other hand, is a tease: "I'll let you get this far ahead and then I'll run you down like a dog." That's how fast she is. You could see it happening this time, too. Way, way, way back and then the glorious rush. Twice everybody else's speed. Ten, maybe even five more yards would have done it. Uuuuuh.

Blame won? Like an exhausted fighter who manages to duck and retreat and hide in the last round tp squeak out a win on points. Zenyatta was eating his ass and she was clearly the faster horse, eating up ground at a rate hardly anyone has ever seen before.

Sadly, she just mis-timed the finishing line. There's absolutely no doubt who was the better horse,

Imagine that it was the Belmont. With another eighth mile to go. HA  Blame? Bullshit. An exhausted also-ran.

I'm liking the female runners these days. And I will never ever forget the sight of Zenyatta running down her opposition at the Breeder's Cup. If you can forget it or explain it away, screw you. If that's a loss, so are all of you.

P.S. Just a reminder that Secretariat was, well, Secretariat:

"Boy. What are we going to see today?"

Why does it still bring tears to the eyes? Because, oh you dimwit millennials. Because.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Beware of Milady

Dangerously evil, with excuses, infinite wiles, and a mercenary obsession.

AMAZON. Here's a sobering forecast from the National Review about the probable fate of the Tea Party d'Artagnans who are riding to our rescue in Washington.

A Pig Walking on his Hind Legs

The Post ruminates today on whether the new crop of anti-Washington congressmen will go native, as so much of the class of 1994 did. Some great quotes suggest the answer is yes:

“They run against Washington calling it a cesspool and discover that it’s really a hot tub,” said Craig Shirley, president of Shirley and Bannister, a conservative public relations shop based in Alexandria.


Fourteen of those 73 freshmen [from 1994] remain in the House, but many more are still in Washington. “A lot of them went on to have relationships with big lobbies or law firms here,” Killian says. “Most decided, ‘It’s great in Washington and I want to stay, so I’ll figure out a way.’ People want to take you to dinner all the time, and everybody’s hanging on your every word.

“By and large, they became indistinguishable from the people they replaced.”

My natural pessimism leads me to think the same will happen this time. As Orwell wrote at the end of Animal Farm:

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

The only way to remedy this is to shrink the importance and activity of the national government (both at home and abroad) because talent and money will always flow toward power. But, once in possession of power, only extraordinary men like George Washington or Cincinnatus are going to give it up. And while Congress may not be, as Twain wrote, America’s only “distinctively native American criminal class,” they’re not Washingtons either.

Which suggests to me a reading recommendation for all those of Tea Party bent: Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers. How could it possibly be relevant? It features a character who may be the ultimate villain in the entire history of fiction, greater even than Iago, who was, after all, a creature of intellect. Not so with Milady de Winter. She was far more akin to the scorpion of the fable who fatally stung the frog on whose back she was riding across a torrential river: "Why?" asked the stricken frog. "We will both die now." The scorpion replied, "It is simply my nature."

Wikipedia actually contains a biography of the Milady de Winter. Here are some highlights:

A capable and beautiful spy, Milady is an unusual example of a strong, independent woman with a tragic and checkered past, filled with the seduction and willful destruction of men who will provide her with monetary support. Milady is remorseless and unrepentant for her countless "misdeeds". Late in the novel, after the reader is already presented with numerous examples of her villainy to the crown, she is revealed to be the wife of Athos, one of the musketeers in the title of the novel...

After being expelled by Athos, she winds up in the employ of Cardinal Richelieu, working as his spy, assassin, and messenger. She steals the jewels that Anne of Austria, wife of King Louis XIII, entrusted to her lover the English Duke of Buckingham, but the intended scandal is averted.

D'Artagnan himself later meets Milady and falls under her spell...

When the Catholic Richelieu lays siege to the Hugenot city of La Rochelle, the Protestant Buckingham leads an unsuccessful expedition to assist the besieged. In a house near La Rochelle, Athos and his friends Porthos and Aramis overhear a conversation between the Cardinal and Milady, plotting to kill Buckingham before he can make another attempt.

Even if he is the enemy of France, the musketeers regard Buckingham, the man, as a friend. They commit treason to the crown, and thus warn him of the threat and upon arriving in England, Milady is arrested and imprisoned in a house by her hostile brother-in-law, the new Lord de Winter. She seduces her jailer, John Felton, persuading him that she is a Puritan at heart and that Buckingham is persecuting her because she refused his advances. Felton has his own grievances against Buckingham, whom he blames for his lack of promotion in the army. He thus proceeds to murder the Duke (a real-life event), but after carrying out the murder he is aghast to see Milady's ship sailing away without him. He is later hanged.

Returning to France, Milady carries out the murder of d'Artagnan's landlady and lover, Mlle Constance Bonacieux, when the two happen upon one another in a convent. For her multiple murders, and for the other deaths she has caused, Milady is judged by the musketeers, Lord de Winter, and by the executioner of Lille, the group having proceeded to track and hunt Milady after the death of Constance. The executioner of Lille, who placed the brand upon her shoulder years ago, beheads her in one of the last scenes of the novel after a mock trial.

Don't get ahead of me here. Milady's not a stand-in for Nancy Pelosi, that dumbass Richelieu in the kingdom of Obama. She is, to my mind, far more a symbol of the Washington, DC, culture, that relentlessly corrupting and unscrupulous vortex of near-infallible seduction to the dark side. What is most clear about Milady is that no one is immune -- even those who know full well how terrible and treacherous she is. Even the hero of heroes, d'Artagnan.

Why I'm recommending you read the book, not just the synopsis. The scene in which the musketeers abduct her in the dead of night and (dare I say) frog-march her toward execution is as terrifying as any horror movie you've ever seen. The musketeers assign guards to carry her along, but their fear of her is such that as soon as they detect any conversation between Milady and a guard, they dismiss and replace him. He is tainted, no longer to be trusted. That's the image that came to me when I read the National Review entry.

Do not think that anything has yet been won. The naifs we have elected are just so many earnest Feltons; Milady is a genius at spotting every man's weakness and turning it to her own ends. The watchwords are vigilance, suspicion, and even paranoia. Milady is waiting, and she is an almost unstoppably mesmerizing monster.

Maybe you can't understand the words, but German is the language of control.

Not to be a downer or anything...

P.S. Don't trust any of the movies. They're all uncomfortable with the idea of multiple armed men illegally herding a woman to her beheading. Somehow, the seductress is always vitiated as a figure of pure evil. Why seduction is never wholly defeated; it is too often too beautiful to slaughter with the coldness it deserves. Only the original gets it right. So much for the illuminating power of the canon. We censor it when it offends our wishful thinking. But we do still have the original to look back to. If we have the will.

Tim Wise, Anti-Racist

Tim Wise. His High Mightiness.

SWARTHMORONS.35.9-13. Time for a fisking. Why bother? (There was a debate at InstaPunk about it. See the Comments here.) I wound up siding with DJ Moore (post what you've got so far and quit) and Brizoni (Kill him...!)  Here's a bio that should make most people sick:

Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States, and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise, who was recently named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, has spoken in 49 states, on over 600 college campuses, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.

Wise is the author of five books, including White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son; Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White; Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male; Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama, and his latest, Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity. He has contributed essays to twenty-five books, and is one of several persons featured in White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories, from Duke University Press. He received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals.

Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has conducted trainings with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions, and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State.

In summer, 2005, Wise served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he co-taught a Master’s level class on Racism in the U.S. In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. From 1999-2003, Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ’90s he was Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, David Duke. He graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans.

Wise has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN, and was featured in a segment on ABC’s 20/20, in 2007.

Sad, sad, sad.

Why do I say that? Because he's a man with a one-note career, and he's a phony at that. Herewith the fisking that proves it

An Open Letter to the White Right, On the Occasion of Your Recent, Successful Temper Tantrum
Posted on November 3, 2010

For all y’all rich folks, enjoy that champagne, or whatever fancy ass Scotch you drink.

And for y’all a bit lower on the economic scale, enjoy your Pabst Blue Ribbon, or whatever shitty ass beer you favor. [So everyone who disagrees with you is a drunk. Good to know.]

Whatever the case, and whatever your economic station, know this…

You need to drink up.

And quickly.

And heavily.

Because your time is limited.

Real damned limited. [Do you write books this way?]

So party while you can, but mind the increasingly loud clock ticking away in the corners of your consciousness.

The clock that reminds you how little time you and yours have left.

Not much more now.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.


Tock. [Yawn.]

I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong. [Speak for yourself, John.]

You have won a small battle in a larger war the meaning of which you do not remotely understand. [Let me guess. You're going to explain why you're smarter than everyone else...]

‘Cuz there is nothing even slightly original about you. [As opposed to the ultimate originality of you. Got it.]

There have always been those who wanted to take the country back. [You must have majored in journalism. One sentence = one paragraph. Congratulations.]

There were those who, in past years, wanted to take the country back to a time of enslavement and indentured servitude. [Who were those people exactly? Please be specific.]

But they lost .[No shit.]

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when children could be made to work in mines and factories, when workers had no legal rights to speak of, when the skies in every major city were heavy with industrial soot that would gather on sidewalks and windowsills like volcanic ash. [There were those who made up fantasy enemies who embodied all that was worst in humankind and then pretended that their fantasies were all the authority figures they spent their lives rebelling against. So? And there were those who bored the shit out of everybody because they hated their parents and pretended that personal hatreds were synonymous with social justice.]

But they lost. [No shit, again. Are you starting to see a pattern here, Lochinvar? Your worst fears are the same as your fantasies.]

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when women could not vote, or attend any but a few colleges, or get loans in their own names, or start their own businesses. [Now you're fucking with reality. It's people of your kind who have done more to keep women enslaved than the people you hate. You're the ones who have decided that women who aren't leftists are fair game to be derided as whores, sluts, and worse.]

[TIME OUT. Anaphora is a figure of speech that uses constant repetition of opening phrases as a rhetorical device. "This is a country in which..." "There are those who..." Thing is, it gets really tiresome. It's not writing. It's bad ad copy. Just saying.]

But they lost. [Who's they? Sorry. I'm losing track. Something, perhaps, about the thudding boredom of your prose is putting me to sleep.]

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees. [Let me guess. Anyone who disagrees with you is one of those people.]

But they lost. [Jeez. Do you know anything about pacing, let alone writing....?]

And you will lose. [Good Lord. Did you really write your masters thesis this way? Did you submit in crayon?]

So make a note of it. [I promise. In crayon.]

Tweet it to yourself. [Shit. My tweet thing doesn't have a crayon option.]

Put it on your Facebook wall and leave it there so you’ll remember that I told you so. [Will do. uh, who told me so? Sorry. I forget. Also, I don't have a Facebook page. Does that make me a racist? I suppose it does. So so sorry.]

It is coming, and soon. [WHAT is coming?! You and your hard-on about race relations? Or something else? Have you ever heard of an actual declarative sentence that doesn't consist mostly of antecedentless pronouns?]

This isn’t hubris. It isn’t ideology. It is not wishful thinking. [uh, then what is it, kemo sabe? I was pretty sure it was all three till you told me it wasn't. Now I'm confused...]

It is math. [Math? Really? Like a guy who can't write a simple sentence knows something about math?]

Not even advanced math. Just simple, basic, like 3rd grade math. [Oh. Third grade math? That I can believe.]

The kind of math that proves how your kind — mostly older white folks beholden to an absurd, inaccurate, nostalgic fantasy of what America used to be like — are dying. [You're going to do that with simple addition and subtraction? Can't wait.]

You’re like the bad guy in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass — even if it takes four sequels to make it happen — but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time. [Oh. Sorry. You weren't talking about math or even arithmetic. You were talking about counting. Damn if I don't feel intimidated.]

Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends. [I'll bite. How does this movie end?]

Our ankles survive. [Huh?]

You do not. [Come again. If your ankles survive, everything important survives? Well... maybe... given the level of intellect you've shown so far, maybe your ankles are as smart as the rest of you.]

Michael Meyers, Freddie Kreuger, Jason, and that asshole husband in that movie with Julia Roberts who tracks her down after she runs away and changes her identity–they are all done. Even that crazy fucker in Saw is about to be finished off for good. Granted, he’s gonna be popping out in 3-D to scare the kiddies, so he isn’t going quietly. But he’s going, as all bad guys eventually do. [uh, what? I confess it, dude. You've totally lost me here.]

And in the pantheon of American history, conservative old white people have pretty much always been the bad guys, the keepers of the hegemonic and reactionary flame, the folks unwilling to share the category of American with others on equal terms. [Which follows from which particular antecedent proposition exactly...?]

Fine, keep it up. It doesn’t matter. [Keep what up? Our incredibly extenuated suspension of disbelief that you can actually write, have something to say, and will ultimately get to some point us lowly ignoramuses might actually recognize...? Good luck with that.]

Because you’re on the endangered list. [Aw. What endangered list?]

And unlike, say, the bald eagle or some exotic species of muskrat, you are not worth saving. [Because bald eagles, unlike white males of European extraction, aren't stone killers who live high above their prey, looking for any any opportunity to swoop down and eat the most helpless prey they can find. Right.]

In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart. [uh, I challenge you to diagram this sentence, er paragraph. I grant you it's fiery. It's just not a sentence.]

There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle. [Let me get this straight. Accuracy increases when the people who actually remember the times in question are no longer alive to question your historiography. I see. One small example of your logic: the Republicans you despise so much were not "ethical miscreants who" didn't  "lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle." They're the ones who passed the Civil Rights bill by a greater margin than the Democrats were able to muster. Perhaps that's the rewriting of history you have in mind? But why?]

It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it. [uh, as long as they're Americans, who gives a flying fuck what color they are? Oh. That's right. You do.]

Nothing, Senõr Tancredo. [You must have me confused with somebody else. Almost all of us are not named Tom Tancredo. Funny how that works.]

Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck. [You've got your accents wrong, The mañana should be on the 'n,' not the 'o.']

Loy tiene muy mal, hijo de Puta. [Thanks. Reminds me of my favorite song...

My favorite because my mother loved it. She, of
course, was a white supremacist from way back.]

And by then you will have gone all in as a white nationalist movement — hell you’ve all but done that now — thus guaranteeing that the folks of color, and even a decent size minority of us white folks will be able to crush you, election after election, from the Presidency on down to the 8th grade student council. [Absolutely, positively right. Unless Marco Rubio, Governor Martinez, and Governor Sandoval can talk some sense into us in the interim.]

Like I said, this is math. And numbers don’t lie. [Of course they do. Like all tools, they're sibject to the person using them. In your case they lie like rugs.]

Bottom line, this too shall pass. [Which is where we're going to cut you off. You go on and on and on about absolutely nothing. You're a monomaniac with nothing to say. Nothing. Whatever. And everything you do say is wrong. Here's what's really sad. You've wasted your entire life on a delusion. You fucking majored in White Guilt. Guess what? You're a pea-brain. Nothing can save you from that fate. Not even being the lone white man who feels the pain of all the minorities. Your only claim to fame is based on the white superiority you everywhere disdain. Your views about race and equality are supposed to matter more than others because you're a white man saying it. Pitiful.]

Go to hell, Tim Wise. It's where you belong. You're a racist, pontificating sonofabitch with a third-rate mind. And you've never written a decent, compelling paragraph in your life.

End of lesson.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

All Right. A Little Gloating.

Sarah's a pistol. Scratch that. She's a bear.

JOY IS ITS OWN REWARD EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. Okay. We're human, too. The job ahead of us is daunting, but we did have a big victory. For example, Jon Stewart felt compelled to treat Chris Wallace of Fox News like a human being.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Chris Wallace Extended Interview
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

He even plugged Fox News Sunday. (For the wrong reason, of course, but still...)

And there's this gem from the Glenn Beck Show. Take the link. It's worth enduring their clunky software. You'll be laughing out loud. It's really reminiscent of Mad Magazine back when it was just zany and, uh, funny.

There's this, too. Kanye West apologizing to George W. Bush.

The former commander-in-chief revealed in an interview that he recalls the hip hopper's 2005 charge that Bush "doesn't care about black people" as a low point in his tenure as president.

"It was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency," Bush said in an interview with Matt Lauer of the moment he heard about West's comments during a benefit telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Bush explained that he interpreted the comment as a clear accusation of racism.

Bush reportedly blasts West in his new memoir, Decision Points. "I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now...I resent it, it's not true," he told Lauer of West's accusation.

But after hearing Bush's recent reaction to his comments, West says he can relate to the former president.

"I definitely can understand the way he feels, you know, to be accused of being a racist in any way, because the same thing he happened to me," West said Wednesday in an interview with 97.9 "The Box," referring back to the aftermath of his outburst against country princess Taylor Swift.

West was vilified as -- at best, a bully -- and at worst, a racist, after he stormed the stage at the 2009 Video Music Awards to declare that Beyonce should have gotten the best female video ward instead of Swift.

The public outcry prompted the newly "more sensitive" West a year later to write a song for Swift and to express his regret over the incident in a long Twitter soliloquy a year later. It's the Swift saga, an experience that he told New York radio station Hot 97 was "bigger to me than the Bush moment," that gave him empathy, West said.

"I think we're all quick to pull the race card in America," the hip hop mogul observed of his run-in with Bush. "And now I'm more open, and the poetic justice that I feel, to have went through the same thing that he went [through] - and now I really more connect with him on just a humanitarian level."

Which is more appropriate than he knows, given the slam-dunk rebuttal by outcome of Dem accusations of racism against Tea Partiers and Republicans this cycle.

After the 2006 midterm elections, many in the chattering class declared the GOP had been reduced to a “regional party” – white, male, and Southern. Since President Obama’s election in 2008, the Leftist mainstream media has worked diligently to paint much of the opposition to his policies as the bigoted and deranged spasms of a marginalized, racist conservative base. The tea party movement represented “racism, straight up” according to political philosopher Janeane Garofalo. Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich, Eugene Robinson, and Bob Herbert practically took turns writing weekly columns slandering conservatives using flagrant race baiting, including an embarrassing election-day screed from Robinson. Chris Matthews complained that the political Right was “monochromatic” for his taste. And the Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wondered aloud how anyone of Hispanic descent could possibly be a Republican. Then came the 2010 elections.

The midterm election not only busted the myth that the GOP is a regional party – seeing Republican gains in the Northeast, Midwest and West – it also puts to rest the notion that Republicans are a lily white party whose base won’t embrace a diverse slate of candidates. In eight prominent contests, Republicans nominated and elected excellent candidates and fine conservatives who also happen to be people of color

Definitely and absolutely read the whole thing. It spells out the diversity of the conservative electorate, and the only thing it's light on is the extraordinary number of women who competed, withstood horrifying slanders, and won nevertheless. To hell with all the damn hypocritical, soul-sick liberals, who are tolerant until some minority pawn tries to step out of his or her assigned box.

Watch the whole thing. But the part I was looking for was the scene, only
alluded to at the end, where referees try to fix the outcome. "Not another
yard" is the central idea. Bearing in mind that the conservative team now
consists of men, women, African-Americans, Indian-Americans, Mexican-
Americans, Puerto-Rican Americans, Cuban-Americans, and, well, Titans.

Sometimes, a little gloating is a confrontation with truth. And there's also something about the "little people," who just might be "stronger" than the elites, no matter how big or small or male or female or white or black or brown or red or yellow they are. Otherwise, we wouldn't do it. Unless we would anyway. Because it feels so good.

P.S. Speaking of George W. Bush, I still can't get over this scene. He and his dad at the Texas Rangers Game 4 of the World Series. Such a casually great strike thrown across the heart of the plate. (Can't find the Fox Sports footage that proves this, so the following will have to do.)

It was a good pitch. Unless you saw it for yourselves, you'll have to take my word for it. Something about how life is.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Sober Joy

The End of the Beginning

. The result was okay. But just okay. Remember that. It's hard to resist the notion, for example, that there's something "off" about Rand Paul. You know what I mean. I'm not happy with him being the face of the tea party movement. His wife is pretty. But can you imagine hearing that keening, curiously affectless voice all day long in your house?

This morning I watched The Daily Show. It was funny.

But charm isn't intelligence or a willingness to admit error and hypocrisy. As Jim Treacher makes very clear.

The thing to watch out for now is the Great Liberal Sucker Punch, or as Laura Ingraham so deftly put it, the Lucy swipe-away-the-football routine which has almost invariably fooled Republicans in the past.

As I write this, Obama is eating some humble pie in his press conference. He's still supercilious and we're still too dumb to understand what he was doing, but he's at least acknowledging how average Americans might interpret his policies as government overreach. Except that he's not changing any of his views on healthcare, for example. He's willing to talk about energy but not apparently about taxes. At least he's not bringing it up. Two promising developments. The press is asking tough questions. And Obama is being uncharacteristically articulate without a teleprompter. He insists he wants to talk to Republicans. Lucy...?

Still. I have to admit I'm liking him more than I have at any time in the last three years. He's standing there and taking the questions like a man. He's not really budging on any of his ideological issues, but he is willing to take the beating he admits he received. He seems, for once, human and, well, abashed. He's actually used the word "shellacking." Good for him. Although, when pressed, he has a tendency to revert to how he's "different, with a funny name," and so forth. Sigh. I wish I could trust him. I just can't. It feels like he's trying to play us yet again. Damn.

Advice. Make note of contact information for the new Republicans in congress. Pepper them ceaselessly with reminders of what they've been sent there to do.

The best news. The real slaughter was at the state level. Republican governors, Republican legislatures. The most since Reconstruction. The states now have the power to fight back against federal mandates and incursions on personal liberty.

All in all, only the end of the beginning. No party hats or balloons here. There's a big big job ahead, with many pitfalls and dangers awaiting...

The real video is here. We're Slash, departing the Church of Obama
and singing in the wilderness. And, yeah, it's still a wilderness. But
sing. And who's in the coffin? Us or them? Both? Think, my friends.

Just in case your energy was flagging. Don't let it.


SCUM. Sad. This disgusting, nasty creep is still in the congress. Seldom has the republic been disgraced by a lower form of lowlife than Barney Frank. He's mean, smug, sanctimonious, and a shining exemplar of every other stereotype attached to vicious queens the world over.What can we say? This:

Oh well. When there's no other alternative, laugh.

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