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March 24, 2011 - March 17, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011


The Disaster of Denial

The machine keeps running.

DIVIDED BY ZERO. Here's the thing. Everybody -- and I do mean everybody -- knows that Obama is a disaster. Think about it. Everything he has done has made everything worse. Without exception. He spends close to a trillion dollars on a stimulus that stimulates nothing but government jobs and, oh yeah, cataclysmic debt. Unemployment has hit a seemingly permanent high we haven't seen since Jimmy Carter. He passes a healthcare bill so expensive and bureaucracy-laden that a year later people still don't know what's in it, except that everyone with lobbying clout (remember, there would be no lobbyists in this administration) is seeking a waiver to bail the hell out of it. His first foreign policy initiative was to run around the world apologizing to everyone in sight about how horrible America is, especially to muslims, who can't possibly be behind the mysteriously motiveless terror attacks that bear only muslim fingerprints. Result? All the muslim nations in the middle east are in meltdown because the American cop has quit walking his beat. He bows out of any involvement in Iraqi politics, after the victory was won, and sits as a bystander while sectarian divisions paralyze a people yearning for a clear way forward. He off-handedly ramps up the war in Afghanistan without articulating any definition of victory, single-handedly bringing about the quagmire most feared by his own political base. He handles this problem by not saying a word about it ever, not even through his omniscient teleprompter. His domestic budget doesn't even exist, and he wants no part of the discussion. He commits American troops to a Keystone Kops miltary adventure in Libya, ignoring what everyone who has worked with Europeans has known for decades -- they don't want any responsibility, can't take orders from one another, and absolutely rely on America to run things and save the day, which can't happen this time because the American president is too busy with brackets and posh excursions on Air Force One to buckle down and do his fucking job.

Everybody knows this. Democrats in the Senate are sending him letters begging for guidance on the budget crisis. The general populace is mystified and scared about skyrocketing gas prices and vague threats of nuclear contamination from Japan, a longtime ally that has suddenly been plunged into near-apocalyptic crisis at a time when no one can afford the collapse of the world's third largest economy. About which he is mostly silent, except for the supposedly reassuring photo ops of him playing soccer with schoolkids in Brazil. And does anybody remember that he shut down oil-drilling in the gulf in defiance of court orders to the contrary and has absolutely no policy for developing our own national resources in the areas of oil, refineries, natural gas, and coal, except to shut them down and pray for wind farms, solar panels, and electric cars nobody wants or can afford? All while intimating at every turn that opposition to his bizarre agenda is somehow, however obscurely, racist in intent.

He's a clown. But that's not even the real problem. We've survived bad presidents before. The real problem is that the MSM machine which elected him is still unwilling to tell the truth about a bad president. Last night, ABC News led its nightly news broadcast with twelve minutes about Elizabeth Taylor. Really? There was nothing more important and dire than that to talk about? Elsewhere, Kirsten Powers is still defending Obama on Hannity ("I can't see anyone who can beat Obama," she said with a straight face), Andrea Mitchell is proposing an inane "Obama Doctrine" intended to make sense where none exists of his foreign policy, media watcher Howard Kurtz is just now starting to wonder whether the MSM should be, perhaps, a mite more skeptical of the Libyan comedy, and Brian Williams is making unapologetic excuses for the president's "Let's get the hell out of the Oval Office" approach to the most important job on the planet.



We've already seen that the conservative elites have no stomach for taking on the president. How long can this farce go on? It reminds me of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, when the whole country was frozen in place for more than a year by a professionally orchestrated set of talking points based on the idea that "everybody lies about sex." It was during that time, don't forget, that the preparations for 9/11 got underway with no one to monitor or stop the gathering threat.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. It's potentially a stake in the heart of the nation. We're not in a business-as-usual mode. We're in freefall in every possible arena. Talking about this as if it were business as usual is every bit as criminally negligent as having elected an unvetted state legislator to the presidency in the first place.

We got sold a turkey, never mind how. It's time we started recognizing the error and making sure we correct it before it's too late.

God damn all the whores who are deliberately turning a blind eye to the biggest electoral mistake we have ever made in this country.




Wednesday, March 23, 2011


New Boy

"I am Elliott."

WE KEEP GETTING NEWENS. Mrs. CP is supposed to be the sensible one in this household. Normally she is. Like when we go to Petsmart to spend our weekly king's ransom on dogfood, catfood, birdseed, etc, she won't let me even walk by the cats in the Pet Rescue booth. (I do anyway.) But on Friday she called me to say she'd seen a cat at Petsmart she had to have. We have four dogs and three cats, and the deerhound is still just one year old, a handful more demanding than a human infant, because he's one and one hundred pounds of trouble. What can you say? "Sure."

We went and got him on Sunday. After all the calls. Cat rescue people are, well, anxious and hyper. They had it in mind that this new boy might be too much for us to manage. He's an "alpha male," they said. He might attack and maul our other cats because he's such a bad dude in the cat universe. Mrs. CP knew how to handle it, which is good because all my instincts were (as usual) wrong. I'd have told them that our Bengal Izzie could kick his ass with one hand tied behind her back, and our feral Mickey is so huge he could simply sit on an an "alpha male" and forget about him. Which doesn't even address the real issue, meaning Raebert, who continues to think cats are mysteriously mobile toys, still unaware that one tap of his gigantic paw can send a cat to the hospital. Izzie doesn't care because she's Izzie, friend of Psmith and becoming friend of Raebert...

Mrs. CP just told them she could take care of it. Adoption approved. So on Sunday I spent the longest eighteen hours of my life in the sixty minutes it took to complete the paperwork in that claustrophobic booth and get the new boy into the carrier and into the car. (Occasionally, even the most enlightened male understands why so many men tune all women out completely. Jesus. Do they NEVER shut up?) His foster mom was worried that the 50 miles we had to drive to get him home would be too much for him. He meowed exactly three times en route. I think he was as glad as I was to get out of that place where all those women, in an incredibly confined space, were talking over each other continuously like lunatics. Never been asked the same questions so many times with no comprehension or memory of the answers. Enough said.

Guess what. He is an alpha male. Alpha plus. He doesn't need to kick ass. His thing? He's completely unafraid. Mickey stalked him, Izzie did her scary, warbling danger voice, and Raebert did his "Wow, a new toy I can paw and boot around." What did this guy do? Nothing. No retreat. No threat displays. He just sat there, plainly saying, "I am Elliott." The perfect answer. Meaning he was utterly unimpressed by any possibility of harm.

And meaning that Mrs. CP knows what she's doing when she bonds with a cat in a nanosecond through a plexiglass window at Petsmart. She just knew. Instantaneously. Maybe I'll learn how to fully appreciate this women before I die, but it's going to take some time. A lot of time.

Some key facts about Elliott. He's supposedly an orange tabby. He isn't. Anyone can see he's a blond cat, just like his new daddy. He knows his name, which came with him, and he responds to it just like a dog, coming at a trot from wherever he is. There's a lot more to him than dignity. He likes to play with all the toys, he will sleep with his head on your hand, and he investigates absolutely everything with a kind of patient resolve.

Truth. I sat up with him all night the first night. He didn't want me to go to bed. He knew he was home at last, and his whole attitude was, "I've been waiting and waiting, and now here you are."

The missus and I are still getting used to his implacable calm. Raebert paws him and he simply bats lightly at the paws. Incredible because Raebert's affectionate pawings still hurt me.

I know I've talked a lot about dogs and cats here over the years. I've never suggested that Instapunk.com needed a mascot. But maybe Elliott should be our mascot. Did I mention that Elliott is slightly lame? A hind leg that might have been broken in the past. Who knows what rescues endure before they fall into human hands? But I put it to you: Isn't this guy the essence of us? Standing there, calm and observant, somehow immune to the onslaught. Too cool to get violent. Too confident of his own destiny to let temporal provocations get in the way of his enjoyment of life.

Well. No pressure. We don't really need a mascot at Instapunk.com. But I'm sure those of you who don't hate cats will extend a warm welcome to our newest boy. His name is Elliott.

    





Velvet


ELIZABETH TAYLOR DEAD. For the last half of her life, she became a totem for gay men. But that's not how it began. She was an extraordinary actress and a great great beauty. Mrs. CP urges you to take another look at Raintree County and A Place in the Sun (Dreiser's American Tragedy). No two ways about it. She was just gorgeous.






Whereas I remain enthralled by her promise in National Velvet.



No, nothing creepy about it. I'm old enough to see her in that movie as a daughter -- and heartbroken to think that all her talent and beauty would lead her to so much internationally celebrated unhappiness. Her real husband was Mike Todd. He died in a plane crash.  I don't think she ever got over that. Why I prefer to forget about all the soap operas with Richard Burton, Cleopatra, weight gain and loss. repeated surgeries, the Michael Jackson infatuation, and so forth. It doesn't matter. She had violet eyes.

I also thought she was magnificent as Rebecca in Ivanhoe.



Oh well. She left her mark. She is immortal. She was a star. I hope she has found peace.





Anyfell season review. And news!

This image help me to understand the BCS anyfell system.

SAY IT IS NOT SO, ANYFELL! Hello again, mes amis. I am once again so happy to meet you here, by invitation of the Punks. My good grief. There is so many things in the world going on it is enough as to make my head spin! In fact, the number of things that happen in the events is so large, it is difficult to make the decision on which is the best topic to start on. However, I know it is in the spirit of The Punks to fight a challenge. Therefore, I accept and will do a good job. So, sans plus adieu, I will start.

Anyfell Season in Review - I make a promise back in the preseasonings that I will follow this anyfell season all the way. And I keep this promise. Even though I do not write about it until now. This is because I must drink while I watch the anyfell, and while I drink I soon feel the bite of nostalgic and I go to the computer and start watching old clips of my Quebec Nordiques. But still I take a notes and can present a review to you so I do not break my promises.

So I think that the Green Way Packers win all of the Superbowls despite that I am still many confuse about how they get to that game. There is the university minor league of the anyfell, called I think the NAACP, and it has what they call the BCS system. They play about one thousand Superbowls for some reason instead of make only six or eight teams have the playoff, and all of this Superbowls are spread in a time of four months. In start there are twenty four games to play every day and the number is smaller and smaller until, in the month number four, they play this last game alone very late at night. I think it is only that I am Canadian so I do not have l'comprehension about this idea, but to me it seems if you have one thousand Superbowl games it will make the experience feel not as excite. Also the team they say is university champion of the NAACP is made cheap because they did not have to fight in a playoff and only are include in the champion bowl because Tony Kornholer and a computer vote for them. And yet I must make the defend for the hockey when a critics say the anyshell playoffs are too long?

But anyway, the anyfell playoffs start during the BCS superbowls until there is one last superbowl after the university superbowl championship bowl. So I do not make the confuse, I will call this last anyfell game the Big Superbowl. This game is won by the Green Way Packer man Rogers who makes a throw of the ball so good, even the man with all the pubic hair flowing from the helmet cannot stop him. And I think there is some of the irony because the Green Ways are from your state of Wisconsin which brings me to...

More strikings
- Mes amis, I must be clean with you in this moment. I know so many of you do not like the hockey despite many of my effort to show you how good it is. That means you do not know a lot of news of the hockey and I must make la admission of misleading you. Long times ago I tell you the anyshell has LOCKOUT, NOT STRIKE. Well, I lie about this. Actually, we do have a strike during that time and it is cause by the anyshell union of the players. And every player, even moi, must make the participation in it, even if many player already is OK with their contract. The union says to us: "Le commissaire Gary Bettman is the devil. We must fight him and we win for you 20 million dollars U.S. and pensions for the tropical islands." Instead, I lose my job playing the hockey and never see even one of the million dollars U.S. And the only island I see is for two months when I live some with cousins in Ellesmere Island, where I catch the frost bites.

The problem always in our STRIKE is that the anyshell owners already have even more than 20 million dollars U.S. And they will keep their dollars even if the hockey season is missing. However, the players of the anyshell only will get the dollars U.S. if the season can be occur. And it is not very terror to say to Americans, "Give monies to us or we will take away the hockey!" It is maybe like when you say to a bad guy, "Stop being bad or Barack Obama will have many anger!" No body cares.

These thoughts are in my head when I hear about many other unions that make a protest against Wisconsin. They talk about many teacher and student to make a strike for la solidarité, but I think they are only enjoy to not be in the school. But also I have the curious of how many teachers have the job in Wisconsin and do not want to be in the unions but they do not have the choices? But one good thing comes from this. I mention before I am force to stop my job at the census, but still I am friends with my boss from there as he is so smart about how your government works. We are sad for the end of the census because, like my boss instruct me, the unemployments insurance we get is bad for it does not pay "the livable wage" (what he always names it), but one day he announce to me that we have a new job:


If you are having the trouble to find me in the crowd, I am near the front.

When I first get off the bus from union charter in Winconsin, I think I have not the right clothes. But then my census boss (he is always so smart), he say to me that my dress is not import, only the count of my body in the people. Also many protester think of my mask that it is the strong support of a teevee station called PBS. They think I dress as a puppet named Homo, even though it is le obvious thing my mask is of Youppi. What I like the most about this time in the protesting is the unions pay for my work in Molson, and addition I get a prescription for vicodin! I have such a gran time it feels like the vacation. What I like the worst is that two fat girls in picture above are many arouse by my support of the PBS Homo and follow me during this whole time. But there is not enough Molson in all of this world! I can not believe!

And now the anyfell has a LOCKOUT, NOT STRIKE. I suppose because treasure rookies such as Jamarcass Russel do not make enough money for making zero contribution to team or the sport. HAHAHAHAHA!! Stupid anyfell. I hope all these players also lose the dental insurance. But for truth, I am jealous at the anyfell player union because I know they will get what they want because the fans of anyfell are always so happy to pay more money. I miss playing the hockey.

Other Current Events - Let us see. I think about talking of Libyia. Or Japan. Or maybe the new scandal of the U.S. soldier (who are all guilty with no question anywhere) treating people so badly. But I am already bored with the talk of current events. I want to talk about...

The Hockey - Did you know that the anyshell playoffs start soon? They start so soon. I can not wait. I go ahead now and give you my picks for awards:

Stanley Cup Champions: Montreal Canadians.
Hart Trophy (MVP): Tomas Plekanec (MON)
MVP For Girls: Sidney Mary Crosby (PIT)
Vezina Trophy: Carey Price (MON)
Conn Smythe Trophy: Brian Gionta (MON)

I can go on, but I think you are getting this picture. If you are not a fan of the Habs, you will be so sad during the anyshell playoffs because your team will LOSE. Even the InstaPunk Phylers, which I change my mind about.

Well I have been drinking many Molson while the writting of this post, so as I mention I now only wish to see old clips of my Nordiques. So until next time, my name is...




Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What the Hell.


EVEN PRESIDENTS GET TIME OFF. All right. There really are times when I despair of the conservative movement in American politics. I hate to say it, but they're pushing me toward support of Sarah Palin.

The headline, I guess, is that beltway conservatives aren't comfortable with criticizing Obama for playing golf, doing televised segments on ESPN -- with elaborate whiteboard graphics -- about both the men's and women's college basketball "brackets," and then leaving the country for Rio with his mother-in-law in tow even as he puts U.S. troops in harm's way in Libya.

On the O'Reilly Factor, on-again off-again conservative newsman Bernie Goldberg denounced such criticism as "Obama bashing" and O'Reilly agreed. On the Brit Baer Report, Bill Kristol laughed off the whole subject and declared his satisfaction with the fact that Pitt's defeat made Obama's brackets go south (as far as Rio? We wonder.)

At Hotair, it was left to a minor Green Room poster to point out that the trip to Rio was more serious than a PR gaffe. After making Goldberg/Kristol type noises (first paragraph), Jazz Shaw actually detects something amiss (second paragraph):

I’m not blind to the role that optics plays in American politics, and I’ll be the first to admit that some accusations of this type get a bit overblown. Whether it’s hitting the golf course in the middle of a natural disaster or conducting a fundraiser with union representatives just as their role in bankrupting the states is all over the news, leaders need to be aware of these sour notes if they hope to succeed. But as is so frequently pointed out, the White House travels with the president in the modern era and he can generally conduct most of his affairs from the road.

War is a different matter, though, and committing our troops to any engagement in hostile territory is one of the most sober and serious responsibilities faced by any president. Yes, he can be briefed and issue orders from afar through the miracles of modern technology, but there’s more to it than that. Being in the war room with the joint chiefs is the proper place for him on the day he launches a war, not clinking glasses of champagne with foreign dignitaries. Breaking news arrives there first and in such a critical situation there really is no substitute for being there with the Joint Chiefs where he can look them in the eye, take the measure of what they are saying, receive updates in real time and make the best decisions possible.

Given that two U.S. pilots crashed in Libya overnight, and one may not yet be completely safe, his concern is well founded.

Against this, I retain the image of Kristol blithely ha-ha-ing about golf and brackets in the midst of a monstrous federal budget crisis, a region-wide political meltdown in the mideast, an unprecedented disaster in Japan, and what may prove to be a third war in the mideast. Perhaps it bothers me more since I started reading Jack Cashill's Obama Deconstructed, a book that more or less proves Obama's two great autobiographies were written by the terrorist Bill Ayers. Cashill recounts that Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard rejected his initial article on the subject out of hand shortly before the November 2008 election. They'd already published a "critical" review, but thanks anyway, and we'll call you if we want you.

And another image of Kristol caught up in an ugly intra-party controversy regarding Haley Barbour, which he dismissed with a patronizing two-sentence response.

There's a pattern here. The beltway Republicans are still afraid to confront Obama directly about anything, lest they be tarred as racists. But they're more than willing, even eager, to trash those among their own who have. Palin, for example, is fair game, even in the context of the ongoing lefty abuse of her, exemplified thus:


Bill Maher: Sarah Palin Is A "Dumb Twat"

On Friday night’s airing of the show, host Bill Maher took a shot at one of the left’s favorite targets, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, by contemplating her reaction to the tragic events that have unfolded in Japan over the past nine days. …

“Did you hear this – Sarah Palin finally heard what happened in Japan and she’s demanding that we invade ‘Tsunami,’” Maher said. “I mean she said, ‘These ‘Tsunamians’ will not get away with this.’ Oh speaking of dumb twats, did you –”

The sad truth is, the beltway conservatives agree:

Critics on right say Palin is 'becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition'

Sarah Palin has played the sexism card, accusing critics of chauvinism against a strong woman.

She has played the class card, dismissing the Bush family as "blue bloods" and complaining that she is the target of snobbery by people who dislike her simply because she is "not so hoity-toity."

Most famously, she has played the victim card — never more vividly than when she invoked the loaded phrase "blood libel" against liberals and media commentators in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

Palin's flamboyant rhetoric always has thrilled supporters, but lately it is coming at a new cost: a backlash, not from liberals but from some of the country's most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals.

Palin's politics of grievance and group identity, according to these critics, is a betrayal of conservative principles. For decades, it was a standard line of the right that liberals cynically promoted victimhood to achieve their goals and that they practiced the politics of identity — race, sex and class — over ideas.

Among those taking aim at Palin in recent interviews with Politico are George F. Will, the elder statesman of conservative columnists; Peter Wehner, a top strategist in George W. Bush's White House; and Heather Mac Donald, a leading voice with the right-leaning Manhattan Institute.

Matt Labash, a longtime writer for the Weekly Standard, said that because of Palin's frequent appeals to victimhood and group grievance,

"She's becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition"... [ED. Presumably she's her own Tawanna Brawley.]

This year, the conservative intelligentsia doesn't just tend to dislike Palin — many fear that her rise would represent the triumph of an intellectually empty brand of populism and the death of ideas as an engine of the right.

"This is a problem for the movement," said Will about what Palin represents. "For conservatism, because it is a creedal movement, this is a disease to which it is susceptible"...

Asked if the GOP would remain the party of ideas if Palin captures the nomination, Will said:

"The answer is emphatically no."

Columnist Charles Krauthammer, without talking about Palin specifically, noted that "there's healthy and unhealthy populism," and there is concern about the rise of the latter.

"When populism becomes purely anti-intellectual, it can become unhealthy and destructive," said Krauthammer.

So. When attacked as she outrageously was after the Tucson shooting, she fights back. That means she's playing the "victim card"? Really? Bullshit. Underneath their lofty rhetoric, the Beltway impotents think Palin is, well, a dumb twat. Okay. Way better than a PW limp dick, eh?

Once again (hope I'm not falling into a rut), two thoughts.

One. The beltway conservatives are delusional. Failing to attack Obama head-on and hoping some mild-mannered moderate will suffice to defeat him is idiotic. On the same Brit Baer show where Kristol laughed off the brackets, conservatives discussed the prospects of a Tim Pawlenty candidacy without mentioning the one thing grass-roots conservatives really do know about him: he stood by and did nothing for months while Al Franken nakedly stole a U.S. Senate seat under his acquiline nose. No thanks, TPaw. Don't need you. Do they really think they can sell us another castrato who belatedly says the cautiously right things?

Two. When Reagan won in 1980, nobody but his fierce partisans thought he had a chance. He had three huge strikes against him. He was an actor and a lightweight (Eureka College. Sheesh.). He was old. He was extreme, almost a joke. The polls were against him all the way to Election Day.

Make no mistake. Obama may be a weak, hopelessly indecisive and incompetent president. But he knows how to campaign. Chicago style. Mean, ruthless, underhanded, and to the last vote. We need a warrior who can take all the dirty blows and still keep coming. Who's taken the most dirty blows in the last two years without faltering for even an instant? Sarah Palin. Dumb twat? Really?

Maybe. But she's our dumb twat. Too dumb to quit just because a bunch of arrogant pricks (of both sexes) hate her for no reason. And I'd rather follow her than a bunch of hyper-intellectual eunuchs who don't know that they're walking around with "Kick Me" signs pinned to the back of their Brooks Brothers suits. Keep your Romneys, Pawlentys, corny Huckabees, date-expired Gingriches, and promising juveniles like Rubio, Jindal, and Christie.

Let's go frankly and openly to war. Behind Palin. If nothing else, the view from behind Palin is the best view there is in politics.

P.S. Is it a coincidence or incredibly useful information that the president's NCAA men's bracket picked all the top seeds to win? I have this feeling it won't go that way in 2012.




Monday, March 21, 2011


InstapunkHelkFile

The Helk Page

Joan Miro, Ubu Roi

THE IP COMMUNITY. A departure from our usual posts on behalf of commenter J. W. Helkenberg, who in responding to our last post indicated he was not happy:

Regarding Rio (and therefore topical):

I would sell everything I have for a car and a few hundred bucks. My bike was stolen by thugs. I don't actually have anything. Well, three Joan Miro lithos from the Ubu Roi, 1956. A bittersweet holding, now that I am faced with the prospects of having no allies, and no conceivable way out of this Midwest Freeholders Zone.

No way out. Trapped. With a bunch of stuff and rare and limited 'things' to accompany me down with the ship. A 1500 year old statue, a monument to Japanese Buddha. Where can it possibly take me now? The Captain-President is long gone. Is he a Punk, making some kind of mockery of Boomers? Is this the secret sign? For I surely need it now, a Sign that is. I need it badly, for the beans I stored require sunlight to activate. And I would love to have a spoon with a drop of gold upon it. For I should stick that spoon in every mouth that offered resistance, and surely they would be cured of resistance. For nothing cures ailments better than gold.

Unless you need to move really, really fast. Gold, being just slightly more voluminous than Uranium, though much less heavy, is still very heavy stuff. And you cannot run with gold.

And I cannot run. This, sadly, because I have a very small "capture crossection" for beans. I guess designing ones life around the philosophy that "less is more" is feasible up until the time one needs to drive quickly south. When one has no car, and is in fact economically insignificant, it becomes difficult.

I have a few books that I published no [on?] Amazon. I would sell the rights to them. I need a ticket for me (and my honey). Just as far south as I can get.

Any takers?

I don't know about any of you, but I've been in liquidation mode before. The need to go elsewhere, get out from under, even if it means shedding the objects held most dear.

Can't and therefore won't offer advice about the underlying causes. Those are personal and beyond reproach from outside. But Helk is obviously in pain, and a gang is better than nothing when information and resources are required. So I'm putting up this post for all who are disposed to contribute their part of the considerable research capability the commenters at this site have to offer.

I don't know anything about 1500 year old Buddha statues, but maybe someone else does. If you do, add your two cents. btw this is also the place where Helk can fill in some of the missing links -- what books have you written? how much do you know (or not) about electronic publishing? are you from the midwest and fleeing? or marooned in the midwest having been born elsewhere and missing home?

The more you can disclose, the more the IP community can offer. We really do stretch from sea to shining sea, all the way from the southern Atlantic coast of South Carolina to the northern Pacific coast of Seattle, not to mention the gulf coast of Texas. We're everywhere.

What little I know. If you want to be free, live cheap and not be bothered, South Carolina might be your best bet. Or West Virginia, whose politics are liberal Democrat but impossible to enforce because the state is so damn bankrupt.

I also looked up the Joan Miro lithographs from the Ubu Roi series. They're valuable but probably not valuable enough on their own to finance a flight to freedom. Each series was limited in number, but only a handful of each series was signed. The unsigned seemed to be going for $3250 each, and the signed for maybe double that. And that's at art house auction, which means you can count on getting clipped for a hefty percentage going in and coming out. Can't imagine what it would be like to have such pieces and contemplate losing them. Yeah. I like Miro too.

I know we've had our differences. H. But mean as we may be, we also have considerable good will here. Share more of your situation, more of the provenance of your possessions and writings, and it's my bet people will sail in with information -- and empathy -- that might enable you to navigate the despair and find a new, more hopeful course.

One good thing about the Internet, to which I can personally attest. You are not nearly as alone, in any respect, as you think you are.

Helk. This is YOUR page. Do with it as you will.

IP commenters. Read and keep coming back here. One of us is down. We don't leave our own behind. Now, do we?

P.S. Duh. Of course he meant "published on Amazon." Here are his books. Anyone have any ideas about how to promote or repackage these to give them new market life?




Friday, March 18, 2011


'Having Cake' Meet 'Eating Cake.'


WHAT SOME OF US KNEW BEFORE THE 2008 ELECTION. This is just too rich (pun intended). From the U.K. comes this pitiful plaint about the Obama administration.

BARACK OBAMA: THE WEAKEST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY?

INEFFECTUAL, invisible, unable to honour pledges and now blamed for letting Gaddafi off the hook. Why Obama’s gone from ‘Yes we can’ to ‘Er, maybe we shouldn’t’...

Let us cast our minds back to those remarkable days in November 2008 when the son of a Kenyan goatherd was elected to the White House. It was a bright new dawn – even brighter than the coming of the Kennedys and their new Camelot. JFK may be considered as being from an ethnic and religious minority – Irish and Catholic – but he was still very rich and very white. Barack Obama, by contrast, was a true breakthrough president. The world would change because obviously America had changed.

Obama’s campaign slogan was mesmerisingly simple and brimming with self-belief: “Yes we can.” His presidency, however, is turning out to be more about “no we won’t.” Even more worryingly, it seems to be very much about: “Maybe we can… do what, exactly?“ The world feels like a dangerous place when leaders are seen to lack certitude but the only thing President Obama seems decisive about is his indecision. What should the US do about Libya? What should the US do about the Middle East in general? What about the country’s crippling debts? What is the US going to do about Afghanistan, about Iran?

What is President Obama doing about anything? The most alarming answer – your guess is as good as mine – is also, frankly, the most accurate one. What the President is not doing is being clear, resolute and pro-active, which is surely a big part of his job description. This is what he has to say about the popular uprising in Libya: “Gaddafi must go.” At least, that was his position on March 3.

Weren't all the most cerebral Brits, in concert with our own intellectual caste, urging, insisting on the election of Barack Obama as a form of redress to a world offended by the Texas cowboy Bush and his bruiser accomplices? uh, yes, they were. So they wound up having the cake that looked so good in the shop window, and now they still have it, but they're not much enjoying the eating:

Every day for almost the last two months our television screens, radio broadcasts and the pages of our newspapers have been filled with the pictures, sounds and words of the most tumultuous events any of us can remember in the Arab world. The outcome of these events, once the dust has settled, could literally change the world. Yet Obama seems content to sit this one out. He has barely engaged in the debate. Such ostrich-like behaviour is not untypical of the 49-year-old President who burst through America’s colour barrier to become the first African-American to occupy the White House.

Although they are eating it, aren't they? Forced to swallow all the crumbs that once looked so sweet and now taste bitter to the tongue. The new line seems to be that he is weak, weak, weak, even though they're still irate about the things Bush did that were strong, and even more so about the Obama retention of those Bush things:

Two days after taking office in January 2009, he pledged to close down the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, which has become notorious for holding detainees for years without trial. Obama promised to lose the prison within 12 months and to abolish the practice of military trials of terrorism suspects. It was an important promise. America’s reputation had been severely tarnished by revelations about the conditions at Guantanamo, by reports of waterboarding and extraordinary rendition (transporting prisoners to a third country for torture) and by the appalling treatment of detainees in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Closing Guantanamo was a redemptive gesture. Two years on, not only is the prison still in use but its future is as assured as ever. Ten days ago, the President signed an executive order reinstating the military commissions at the island prison. Human rights organisations were outraged. “With the stroke of a pen, President Obama extinguished any lingering hope that his administration would return the United States to the rule of law,” said Amnesty International while Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, declared the President’s action to be “unlawful, unwise and un-American.”

White House spokesmen insisted the President was still committed to closing Guantanamo, which currently has 172 detainees in custody. It was Congress, they said, that had refused to sanction the transfer of the prisoners to the US mainland for trial, leaving no option but to keep the prison open in Cuba. Very little has been achieved in the quest to secure peace in the Middle East. Under Obama, US foreign policy is founded on extreme caution. At first this cool-headedness was a welcome change from the naked aggression of George W Bush and his henchmen Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

At first. But then it became downright inconvenient. The Brits, and the world generally, ALL want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the U.S. as a punching bag, an automatic target of blame for everything that goes wrong or hurts their feelings in any way, but they also want the U.S. to bail them out of every tough situation, sacrifice our blood and treasure on their behalf with no expectation of anything in return, indeed without even mentioning it. They want us to be their fix-everything daddy while they get to play the part of the spoiled, ungrateful teenage girl who denounces every stern daddy response as unfair and despicable. How dare we now appear to be acceding to their desires and abandoning them to the natural forces we've spent more than half a century protecting them from?

It is also true that the President is constantly stymied by a hostile, Republican-ruled Congress. [Give me a break: Stymied for three months now in half of congress? Please.]  But Obama’s apparent reluctance to engage with momentous events is starting to look like more than aloofness. Some tempering of America’s role as the world’s No1 busybody may be no bad thing but under Obama the US appears to be heading towards isolationism. He is hardly doing much better at home. Economically, the US is in big trouble but the national debt is not shrinking.

Got it. The conservatives who have consistently kept the U.S. engaged actively on the world scene and want to forestall U.S. bankruptcy are still the evil ones, but please -- please, please, please -- don't cut us off and leave us alone with all those other evil ones.

Two thoughts.

Screw the Brits and other Europeans who've been living under our roof all these years with their sullen demands and cast iron contempt for who we are and what we've done for them.

And maybe, just maybe, Obama is presently proving a point that couldn't be proven in any other way. The daddy who spends all his time apologizing to bratty kids really isn't much good for anything else, is he?

Is he?

How high a price will it be worth it to pay for the world to learn this lesson?

Just don't expect Obama to answer that particular question. He's busy in Rio for the next few days. Then there's the Final Four... And we'll have to get back to y'all later. Much later.




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