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April 18, 2005 - April 11, 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005


Boycott!

Once upon a time, I had Exxon on its knees.

REFORMING CORPORATIONS. One day this week when I was thinking lesser thoughts, a friend sent me an email, which I'll quote in part:

Some food for thought: Please give it a minute.

The Saudis are boycotting American goods. That's bad for our economy. We should return the favor. An interesting tactic would be to boycott their chief export - GAS and other petroleum products.

Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the assets of Saudi Arabia and would-be terrorists and/or supporters. Just buy from gas companies that don't import their oil from the Saudis.

Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my hard-earned money to people who are trying to steal my money, kill me, my family and my friends.

I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil:

Arab oil:

Shell............................. 205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco......... 144,332,000 barrels
Exxon/Mobil............... 130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway... 117,740,000 barrels
Amoco....................... 62,231,000 barrels

If you do the math at [+-] $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION!

Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil:

Citgo....................... 0 barrels
Sunoco.................... 0 barrels
Conoco................... 0 barrels
Sinclair.................... 0 barrels
BP/Phillips.............. 0 barrels
Hess....................... 0 barrels
ARC0...................... 0 barrels

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and each is required to state where they get their oil and how much they are importing. Here is the website address: > energy.gov : DOE Home

The missive went on to suggest that if we boycott the companies that buy Arab oil, maybe they'd get the message and start buying other oil and drilling for new oil.

It certainly sounded hopeful. But almost immediately I began to have my doubts. For one thing, if all the oil companies who want American business stopped buying Arab oil, we wouldn't have enough oil. Isn't the real problem that there's more Arab oil than every other kind? And, of course, some of the other oil is Venezuelan oil, which is still another big problem that's getting bigger every day.

I had other thoughts. I'd written about the Saudi oil mess months ago, offering the exact opposite solution. Was that why I was dragging my heels?

No. Actually, I'm open to suggestion about the power of citizen outrage. It's just that I don't have much faith in citizen outrage. Why, I wonder. It does appear that we've put the hurts on the French wine industry among other things.

Then I remembered. I've been down this road before. I never told anybody, but I did mount a personal and very serious boycott of Exxon after the Exxon Valdez, whenever that was. I was serious about it too. I'd always liked the punning character of Standard Oil's regional names -- Esso, Sohio, etc -- all plays on the S.O. of Rockefeller's brainchild. But I gave it right up and I stayed fastidiously, haughtily, even affectedly away from those red, white and blue pumps. I didn't monitor their financial affairs closely, but I was modestly confident that sheer persistence would wreak its own quiet havoc. And then I slipped. I had a GMC Jimmy which had a faulty gas gauge -- a factory design as I later learned from other Jimmy owners -- and kept running out of gas when the gauge read almost empty. I ran out of gas in the empty wasteland between Dayton and Findlay, Ohio. I ran out of gas in the terrifying inner city of Detroit. And then one day I ran out of gas on the NJ Turnpike as I was escaping the Newark Airport after a two-week business trip to Milan. The Turnpike is no place to run out of fuel. The Jimmy coughed as I was descending the exit ramp, and it came at last to a deathly silent halt on some dark side street of the City of Newark. But there, just a short city block away, was an Exxon station. Gods be praised. How lovely it looked, the much hated but innately moving red, white, and blue shining with inner light in the dark soul of America's grimmest urban desert. I broke my boycott.

I have observed it ever since, but more from shame than conviction. Self interest defeated my lordly principles. So, I suspect, do all boycotts eventually end -- in the ignominy of personal convenience.

As it happens, I've been a steady and loyal customer of Sunoco for many years. I always liked their wide range of Octane options. (I still remember the "104 Megatane" blend that was needed to power Shelby Cobras and nothing else.) I'll keep on with that. Does it mean I'm a member of this new and noble anti-Saudi boycott? I suspect not.

Please forgive me.




Thursday, April 14, 2005


Hockey -- which is an excellent way . . .
Well, it spin a long time since I write because I thought we would go back to play the hockey and the anyshell would open up the lock out but that didn't happen. Now, the anyshell has cancelled season and draft and there is no hope I will play the hockey any time soon. The guys at InstaPunk asked me what I thought of the Terry Schiavo case and to provide some of my thoughts on the passing of Pope John Paul II, so here's what I thinking.

Cancelling the season and the draft were all too much bad news for me so I got to the liquor store and then got to the Stoli which I got a bunch of fifths for a check. The man there was very happy to see me again and told me to come back soon.

I feel much better now and so I write to the guys at the InstaPunk with more hockey thoughts. People are talking about the hockey for next season with or without the union guys. If we play without the union we have to pay the union guys back for whatever they paid us while we were on the lockout. That is okay with me. I will pay it back just to play. I really don't understand what the union guys do for me except keep me from playing the hockey. So, if the owners are interested in hiring me for next season I will make a deal myself to play.

The people talking about playing want to make some changes, like making the net bigger, but I have ideas too on how to make the hockey better. I will tell you them both. First -- put the puck in the net and it is five points. Points don't cost money so why not give more away? Second -- if the goalie holds on to the puck long enough to force a face off the attacking team is awarded one point. Third -- no icing allowed for any team at any time. That is all both.

Why? Well, this changes will have the score board keep better track of what is happening on the ice. I have played the hockey since I was born. My Dad tells me I didn't play until I was three years old because he didn't want me to get hurt. But, I tell you truth that the score in a hockey team rarely lets you know who is winning. Our team has won games we were getting killed in because a puck bounced in off somebody's foot. And, I play on teams where we beat the other team to death only to lose. My scoring changes make things more like they are because a team that is killing time and holding up play is trying to catch their breath and face-offs, even down their end, can go either way 50-50 of the time.

On penalty kills the penalized team gets to ice puck. That means they get to shoot the puck all the way down the ice without bringing the puck back into their end for a face off. This is bad because it forces the team that was injured to go all the way down the ice to get the puck while the penalized team gets to relax and wait. The clock continues to run and the penalized team rests up. No more. If the penalized team ices the puck the clock stops and the puck is brought back up and given to the attacking team. That means no face off. Just start again with the puck at the blue line.

I would also make so that the penalized team would lose another player if there was no score after the first minute of penalty. And, the penalty would continue even if a goal is scored for the full time of the penalty. Now, a penalty is over once the attacking team scores which is not right. A two minute penalty should be two minutes whether the attacking team scores one or ten goals. Two minutes will be two minutes if both of my changes are made.

These changes will keep the game going and get the more goals these tickering guys are trying to get without changing what is good about the hockey. Penalties should result in scores which will keep the guys from making the penalties and keep everybody playing. Now, let's play. I'm ready. Give me a call.

Puck Punk covers the NHL for InstaPunk.com --
here are his previous posts
:
2/23/2005 -- No Mini Season
2/1/2005 -- Money Problems; Looking for more $
1/6/2005 -- Christmas and a trip to the bank
12/13/2004 -- The NHL can learn from NASCAR
12/2/2004 -- President Bush gets involved
11/15/2004 -- The Bender
10/21/2004 -- World Series, big deal
10/12/2004 -- Lockout, not Strike
10/5/2004 -- First Post





Instapunk041405

Pie on our face

Mr. Horowitz a la mode

PSOMETHINGS.38.1-7. Yesterday, InstaPunk offered some comments about the pie-throwing that's been issuing from the liberal intellectuals of the country. The whole reason for the timing of the entry was the fact that conservative David Horowitz had just joined the club. Yet the picture roundup and the text omitted him entirely. Oops. That's what happens when a blogger gets lost in the technical minutiae of hunting down pictures and video links. Thankfully, Ann Coulter's newest column -- also about foodfights -- served as a reminder and prompted this update. Apologies to Mr. Horowitz.

While I'm at it, this is probably a good time to point out an obscure fact that may have escaped the attention of our regular readers. InstaPunk entries are prefaced by links to pertinent quotes from The Boomer Bible (TBB). Mostly, the links cited are chapters and verses that can be read online, which are only a fraction of the entire work. For example, those who have a copy of the book might be interested to know that even a comparatively abstruse topic like this one has multiple points of reference in TBB. These include Psayings.5J (from yesterday), Psomethings.38 (from today), Ed.77.1-14, Swarthmorons.PS.1-39, Boulevardiers.25.1-25, and Kensingtonians.13-19, among others.

MORE PIE: Thanks to InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds for being so gracious about linking to AutoPundit and our version of the Drudge Report despite our continuing impertinence. We were wrong. He does have a sense of humor. Here's hoping we don't test it too sorely. Heh.




Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Righteous AngerFun


Clockwise from top left: Pat Buchanan assaulted with salad dressing, Bill Kristol
smashed in face with pie (shades of the Zapruder film, anyone?), Ann Coulter
ducks away from pie attack , and Bill Gates
gets thoroughly splattered by pie.

JUST A JOKE.  That's the pretense anyway. Real life borrows a page from the venerated Book of Slapstick and deals an instantaneous comeuppance to the pampered, the pompous, and the self-satisfied. It's interesting, though, that so many of these incidents are perpetrated against those perceived to be right wing, which suggests there may be a leftist or two involved in the planning and execution. No doubt, their liberal allies are expected to enjoy an only half-guilty smirk at the indignity and overlook any sinister implications. It's a cartoonish act, after all, reminiscent of the harmless mayhem of the Three Stooges and the endless war between the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. But I thought it was the liberal-minded among us who discovered that cartoon violence is, in some sense, real violence and must be counted up -- pratfall by explosion by headwhack -- in the same list with gunshots on TV detective shows and Jerry Bruckheimer's parade of forensically dramatic corpses. I guess not. In this case it must be okay because the victims somehow deserve it.

With regard to those who do think it's funny, though, I'm curious about a couple of things. Is it part of the fun that the speaker at the podium who detects someone rushing the stage must feel at least a moment's real terror that the assailant is carrying a knife or a gun? Or is that merely a twinge to be papered over with the broad hilariousness of images like these?



Maybe the real message is that we're not supposed to think about it at all but just laugh at this and this and this. Doesn't it make you feel proud to have such a liberal reaction?




Tuesday, April 12, 2005


AutoPundit Flap Grows


THE BLOG BUSINESS IS GOOD. It begins to appear that the new blog elite may be just as humorless and self-important as the MSM stars they are seeking to replace. The erstwhile affable Glenn Reynolds refused to acknowledge the arrival of AutoPundit except for one cryptic and linkless(!) entry about someone impersonating him. Of course, this may relate to something altogether different, but if it does, then InstaPundit seems to be ducking the issue.

The good news is that stonewalling doesn't work in the blogosphere. Today's Drudge Report is all over the story. And in our humble opinion, the highest profile bloggers are dreaming if they think they're immune to a bit of fun at their expense. Something tells us Glenn Reynolds isn't the only blog star who's going to pay this very small price of celebrity. Stay tuned.




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