Instapun*** Archive Listing

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July 7, 2007 - June 30, 2007

Saturday, April 15, 2006


The Shuteye Train -- still the ultimate punk writer band.

DEDICATION. It was 25 years ago this Sunday that the punk writers of South Street formally dedicated The Boomer Bible. If you're a fan of InstaPunk, please take some time this week to examine how it all started. You can do that here, but not in one minute or thirty. This blog is only an outgrowth of a huge prior effort that can take days to explore. The BB website is the product of multiple contributors, including the original author and talented devotees of the book. Specific areas you might want to investigate include thumbnails of MSM reviews, the homilies of the lowly parish beacon, BS, the TBB numerology essays by Henry Elders, Rumors of the Metalkort (a photographic essay on South Street) by Matt Cordrey, the connection between The Boomer Bible and the events of 9/11 (various writers, including a bombshell from Henry Elders), the photographic gallery delineating TBB's Hollywood casting of Harry's followers, the map showing links from one of TBB's 12,000 intercolumn reference citations (Wil.25.5: "There isn't any God"), excerpts from the text content (incomplete and troubled by typos but nonetheless helpful), several essays and expositions that introduce some of the unique aspects of the book (e.g., here, here, and here), the two Psongs of Harry which commemorated his 60th birthday last August, and a listing of other books that can help illuminate this unusual work.

Do what you will. We just thought we'd remind you.

UPDATE. An email we had to share with you, from a longtime TBB forum member:

Why would it take me 15 years to figure out the significance of April 19th?

The single act of punk defiance that created everything we are today. The shot heard round the world. Jeez. I bet it's the origin of "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!"

I'm seeing the light, [InstaPunk], I really, truly, am seeing the light.

The Crisis by Thomas Paine,  April 19th 1777.  "America, till now, could never be called a free country, because her legislation depended on the will of a man three thousand miles distant, whose interest was in opposition to ours, and who, by a single "no," could forbid what law he pleased."  This is a quote that should be shoved down people's throats.

April 19th seems to be a day of defiance or mind altering tragedy. 

April 19th, 1943. Germans invade the Warsaw Ghetto, but hey: "Fuck you, and your jackboots." A shot rang out. Isn't THAT a coincidence?

April 19th, 1993. Waco. Defiance,  tragedy.  

April 19th, 1995  Oklahoma City. Criminal tragedy. I'm not condoning this in any way,  but the defiance factor is there,  albeit  psychotic defiance.

April 19th, 2000  Elian Gonzales...

That's all for now. Wish I could leave this on Instapunk... you know I like to make people stop for a second.

Very truly yours,

Now you're posted on InstaPunk. And we thank you for all you've done over the years. Don't underestimate your accomplishments. We don't.

UPDATE 2 (4/20/06). Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for acknowledging the anniversary, and welcome to visitors. If you've got the time, check out some of our newer entries while you're here. If we can't make you laugh, there's something wrong with you.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Where Credit Is Due...

Norman Geras and some of his favorite books.

VIEW FROM THE LEFT. Fair is fair. Readers of InstaPunk know that we are harshly critical of leftist politics and politicians, particularly in the context of the War on Terror. But when leftists demonstrate in word or deed that they do understand some of the simpler verities that sustain western civilization, we feel obliged to acknowledge it. That's what we're doing today.

Back in November of 2005, we appealed to Democrats in the U.S. to look deeper into some of their rigidly contradictory positions and call their leadership to account. We said, in part:

The current lynch mob mentality in the Democrat Party does no honor to those of you who do really love our country. It's absurd to suppose that you really would prefer to put Saddam back in power with all the resources he once had at his disposal. It's impossible to believe that the outcome you would most prefer is for American troops to come crawling home in defeat from a war in which they lost no single battle, leaving Iraq to the certain horrors of religious civil war and inevitable tyranny by the most ruthless combatant. It's reasonable to believe that all things considered, you would prefer to live in a world where millions of moderate muslims had democratically elected governments guaranteeing the same kinds of individual freedoms we Americans take for granted. Yet defeat, humiliation, slaughter, and tyranny, with no real possibility of the advance of human freedom, is the precise outcome that is being sought by your leadership -- all for the narrow partisan purpose of destroying the Bush presidency and Republican power in the Congress.

It's either ironic or it isn't that the first thoughtful attempt at self-rehabilitation on the left should come from the far left and not from the United States, but from the U.K. Regardless, that's the truth of it. Professor Norman Geras and a few like-minded colleagues have drafted a document called the Euston Manifesto which is intended to realign the "progressive" movement with its humanitarian conscience. The Manifesto addresses numerous aspects of policy, and some of its declarations will be anathema to conservatives, but on the most urgent matters facing the world today, the language is refreshingly direct and sensible. Here's the most relevant excerpt:

We repudiate the way of thinking according to which the events of September 11 2001 were America's deserved comeuppance, or 'understandable' in the light of legitimate grievances resulting from US foreign policy. What was done on that day was an act of mass murder, motivated by odious fundamentalist beliefs and redeemed by nothing whatsoever. No evasive formula can hide that.

The founding supporters of this statement took different views on the military intervention in Iraq, both for and against. We recognize that it was possible reasonably to disagree about the justification for the intervention, the manner in which it was carried through, the planning (or lack of it) for the aftermath, and the prospects for the successful implementation of democratic change. We are, however, united in our view about the reactionary, semi-fascist and murderous character of the Baathist regime in Iraq, and we recognize its overthrow as a liberation of the Iraqi people. We are also united in the view that, since the day on which this occurred, the proper concern of genuine liberals and members of the Left should have been the battle to put in place in Iraq a democratic political order and to rebuild the country's infrastructure, to create after decades of the most brutal oppression a life for Iraqis which those living in democratic countries take for granted – rather than picking through the rubble of the arguments over intervention.

This opposes us not only to those on the Left who have actively spoken in support of the gangs of jihadist and Baathist thugs of the Iraqi so-called resistance, but also to others who manage to find a way of situating themselves between such forces and those trying to bring a new democratic life to the country. We have no truck, either, with the tendency to pay lip service to these ends, while devoting most of one's energy to criticism of political opponents at home (supposedly responsible for every difficulty in Iraq), and observing a tactful silence or near silence about the ugly forces of the Iraqi 'insurgency'. The many left opponents of regime change in Iraq who have been unable to understand the considerations that led others on the Left to support it, dishing out anathema and excommunication, more lately demanding apology or repentance, betray the democratic values they profess.

Vandalism against synagogues and Jewish graveyards and attacks on Jews themselves are on the increase in Europe. 'Anti-Zionism' has now developed to a point where supposed organizations of the Left are willing to entertain openly anti-Semitic speakers and to form alliances with anti-Semitic groups. Amongst educated and affluent people are to be found individuals unembarrassed to claim that the Iraq war was fought on behalf of Jewish interests, or to make other 'polite' and subtle allusions to the harmful effect of Jewish influence in international or national politics - remarks of a kind that for more than fifty years after the Holocaust no one would have been able to make without publicly disgracing themselves. We stand against all variants of such bigotry.

The violation of basic human rights standards at Abu Ghraib, at Guantanamo, and by the practice of 'rendition', must be roundly condemned for what it is: a departure from universal principles, for the establishment of which the democratic countries themselves, and in particular the United States of America, bear the greater part of the historical credit. But we reject the double standards by which too many on the Left today treat as the worst violations of human rights those perpetrated by the democracies, while being either silent or more muted about infractions that outstrip these by far. This tendency has reached the point that officials speaking for Amnesty International, an organization which commands enormous, worldwide respect because of its invaluable work over several decades, can now make grotesque public comparison of Guantanamo with the Gulag, can assert that the legislative measures taken by the US and other liberal democracies in the War on Terror constitute a greater attack on human rights principles and values than anything we have seen in the last 50 years, and be defended for doing so by certain left and liberal voices.

If only we could hear such principled conviction from the left in our own country -- from Reid, Pelosi, Durbin, Murtha, Kerry, Gore, Dean, and McDermott; from the editorial boardrooms of the New York Times, CBS/NBC/ABC News, CNN, and NPR; from the professoriate of the Ivy League (and the Admissions Office at Yale); or even from so-called moderate Democrats who write and speak daily as if the American executive branch were responsible for every ill outcome in the world.

How interesting is it that Norman Geras is no moderate? He is an avowed Marxist, as his biography and this interview will attest. Is it that he possesses the rare academic credential of common sense? Or is it, as we're inclined to believe, that his origins in the old British Commonwealth have imbued him with a sense of fair play that requires him to see bitter, shallow polemics for what they are?

We were able to discover one clue. It's in a blog by the clever Aussie Tim Blair, who published the photo above. The books on display are Norman Geras's cricket library. At a guess, we'd say the professor knows enough about a game that embodies the essence of good sportsmanship to see that the left's reaction to Iraq and the War on Terror is "not cricket." We're convinced it would be possible to have a reasonable and educational conversation with such a man.

In his honor, we'll leave you with an opportunity to share, however slightly, his vast experience. (Click on the image.)



Let's Impeach the President

Not all messiahs have to sacrifice anything

GOOD FRIDAY. Well. There's this from today's Editor & Publisher:

NEW YORK As an E&P "Pressing Issues" column recently noted, rock star Neil Young is the son of a famed Canadian journalist, so it should not surprise many that he recently recorded a song in California with a very reportorial -- or at least pundit -- feel to it.

It’s called “Impeach the President,” so there can be little question what it is about.

Apparently it was recorded with a 100-voice choir. Rumors have circulated the past few days on the Web, but E&P has tracked down the strongest confirmation in a blog kept by Sherman Oaks, Ca. musician/singer Alicia Morgan.

Previous reports quoted hints by Young and Jonathan Demme (who directed the new documentary “Heart of Gold”) that Neil was working on a hard-rocking political or “anti-Bush” CD.

Last Friday, Morgan wrote on her LastLeftB4Hooterville blog that she had been “summoned” to a local studio to sing on the new record with 99 others. “I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was ‘Let's impeach the President...!’ (T)he whole thing is a classic beautiful protest record. The session was like being at a 12-hour peace rally. Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience. I can't believe my good fortune at being a part of this.

Imagine! Like being at a 12-hour peace rally! It would seem that halleluiahs are in order. The King of (exclusively) D-Chord Rock'n'Roll has at last decided to save us from ourselves. It was always a possibility but almost never a hope. He seemed too aloof and self-consciously spiritual to share his effulgent wisdom with the uninitiated (i.e., non-Canadians). But now we can assert that the great moment has arrived, and we can confirm it as fact because we've managed to obtain the lyrics for this song of all songs from a mole at the recording studio. (If you have any objections to this transaction, read the Judas Gospel according to National Geographic. Then you'll understand.) We've also been told that the tune -- like all Neil Young songs -- bears a close resemblance to Young's classic Round and Round. Enjoy:
Let's impeach the President
Lock him up for all his crimes
Make him suffer all his days
And bring back better times.
Listen to the dead boy's mom,
Bring the army murderers home
Let Iraq's insurgents win
And end imperial sin.

The Hundred-Woman Chorus:

Down and down and down he comes
From Canada to save the dumb
He's Neil, the One.
His voice is like mosquito wings
It whines and weeps and always stings
He knows how all of us should be,
He always tells the truth in D.
He'll crack the teeth of Condi's Bush,
Abort Satanic Christians.
He's Neil, the One.
Let's impeach the President
He killed Iraqi wives and kids
He lied to fool us into war
For dirty oil and greedy Yids.
Listen to the Towers' song
Listen humbly, hard and long
The truth explodes just like a bomb
The accusations of Islam.

Let's impeach the President
Let's restore the wronged Saddam
He only fought to slow the beast
That stalked the God of Peace.
Listen to the stern imam,
Recite the Protocols o'Zion
The world will never be at peace
Till Israel's occupation cease.


Let's impeach the President
Let's let Arabs spill their grief
In gore, blood shed
and severed heads.
Listen to the suicides
The poetry of dynamite
They only hate the cross and Jews
The rest of us are cool.
Listen to bin Laden's tapes
He only wants to end the rape
of Islam's precious sacred sites
And put to death those filthy kikes.
Let's impeach the President
Let's impeach the President
Let's impeach the President
Bring back the wronged Saddam
Apologize to everyone
Submit to Allah and Islam.

Down and down and down he comes
From Canada to save the dumb
He's Neil, the One.
His voice is like mosquito wings
It whines and weeps and always stings
He knows how all of us should be,
He always tells the truth in D.
He'll crack the teeth of Condi's Bush,
Abort Satanic Christians.
He's Neil, the One.

Wow. That kind of says it all for the peace-loving set, doesn't it? Thank you, Neil. You may not be young anymore, but you sure are fun.

Night of the Generals

Angry generals protesting Rumsfeld at the front entrance of the Pentagon

THE FACTS. It's pretty certain a lot of the milbloggers are going to get upset with us about this one. But we have to say it. We have a lot of respect for the troops in the field, but maybe not quite so much for the generals. In our reading of history, generals are mostly assholes, except when they're admirals, which is altogether worse. There are sometimes a few generals -- but not always -- who know how to fight, and win, and respond brilliantly to unexpected circumstances. Most of the time, though, generals are the beneficiaries of a kind of organization in which they are guaranteed to be surrounded by yes-men who depend upon them absolutely if they are ever to become generals themselves. Which means that generals, by and large, are the survivors of a yes-man competition they could have lost at any time by one distressingly candid objection to a superior officer. Which also means that most generals are clones of George McClellan, great organizers, administrators, and self-promoters whose egos far outweigh their talents or usefulness in time of war. A common feature of such armchair generals is their constant conviction that whatever resources they're offered, it's never enough. Never enough to engage the enemy, never enough to defeat the enemy, never enough to pacify the enemy once he has been defeated in the field. It is always, to them, much much better to do nothing instead and insist that all your junior officers congratulate you every day for the brilliance of your inaction. Every day they stall and equivocate and counsel patience, their self esteem increases. They come to fancy themselves great thinkers, politicians, statesmen, peacemakers. Think Colin Powell or Wesley Clark. What they are is bureaucrats.

Obviously, the rewards of winning the yes-man competition are great, even if (or especially if) you're a mediocrity. Troops in the field are rightly admired for serving their country. Generals, on the other hand, tend to self-righteously admire themselves for being so well served by their country. They are endlessly flattered by juniors, ferried from place to place gratis, and have free rein to enjoy the perks of a U.S. military base network that could easily enable them to play golf for free in every state in the union in 50 days.

This is not a new observation. Research the New York Times's habitual view of generals when they aren't trying to use them to bring down a President they don't like. They have no use for them. The very title general has been synonymous with the word 'liar' to the mainstream press since Vietnam. Until today.

So what's different about today? We have a bunch of major generals -- retired, and therefore not subject to military discipline, inflated with all the omniscient ego of a soldier who doesn't have to engage the enemy ever again -- who object to the absolute authority of a civilian who didn't spend thirty years kissing the asses of those who happened to graduate ahead of him at West Point. And they have a terrible story to tell about how their brilliant advice was rudely rebuffed by a Secretary of Defense serving at the pleasure of a President who actually dared to go to war. What could be awfuller than that?

Here's what could be awfuller than that. A corps of generals who could run roughshod over the civilian command of the military. All we've learned from the temper tantrum of the past few days is that generals don't like to be told what to do. Particularly by a Secretary of Defense. Today the NYT seems to agree with them. But ask yourselves this: If we hadn't renamed the office in the peace-loving aftermath of WWII and if it were still titled Secretary of War, how would you feel about generals wanting to bully the Secretary? But the dirty secret is, they didn't want to take orders from men in mufti even back then. They've always thought  they were above that. They aren't, but it's the danger they've posed to every government in history from Rome onwards. The absolute supremacy of the civilian government over the military is one of the great points of genius in our Constitution. It's why the government of the United States has never been seized by a general, not even Douglas MacArthur. But, by the way, does anyone remember the name of Truman's Secretary of Defense? No. Truman had to fire MacArthur himself, because his SecDef was too much of a wimp to do it himself.

We will all remember Rumsfeld's name. On the whole, that's a damned good thing.

Sorry, milbloggers.

CLOSING NOTE. Please don't overlook the complementary entry (posted mere minutes ago) just below this one about the great new Neil Young song calling for impeachment of the President. I'm sure we can all agree how important and significant it is that both generals and rock stars want this administration brought to heel. How would it be possible to find people who have more empathy for and understanding of ordinary citizens? Scroll down for the music scoop of the year.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Cartoon ComedyCowards?

We're waiting for an explanation...

COMEDY CENTRAL. There's a another South Park controversy underway. Read about it here and here. Check here to see if they've come clean yet about what's going on in the network boardroom.

There's one perspective we have to mention. Think of all those "irreverent" Comedy Central shows -- the foul-mouthed, anti-establishment comedians, the endless reruns of T&A-drenched teen sex movies, the smugly satirical political send-ups that always seem to feel brave for slinging feces (cleverly packaged perhaps, but always feces under the wrapping) at the President and his allies -- and ask yourself how hard and edgy and fearless it is to mock only those things which are traditional, grown-up, or somehow inconvenient (say, duty and honor) to a selfish, half-educated adolescent. Not very.

Comedy Central isn't edgy, fearless, or even witty. It's crass and exploitative, and it's no surprise that its management lacks even a nihilist's sense of principle. The so-called comedy network is nothing BUT crap, and we mean that in the most literal, South- Park connotation of the word.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Counting the Minutes

We're just glad Katie has job security through 2046.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

InstaPunk Protest Pics!

Not quite as huge as the Newark, DE, protest, but a good turnout for Salem

LEGACY. I won't make any bones about it. I thought my coverage of the Salem County Illegal Immigration March was going to be the splashiest in the southern New Jersey-Delaware region. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered via Instapundit that we'd been upstaged by Newark, Delaware. If you look at the map, you can see why Salem and Newark might be considered rivals.

I should have realized, probably, that Newark's status as a university town makes it a lot easier for them to hit the magic dozen mark when it comes to assembling protesters in a great cause like this one. Even so, the startling scale of the Newark march drained a lot of the verve out of this report. But here goes anyway.

The protest organization meeting was scheduled for Sunday morning in the Salem Oak Diner, which sits across the street from the highly symbolic Salem Oak, the tree under which the county's first Quaker immigrants signed a treaty with the Indians in 1675. Unfortunately for the ambiance of the current assembly, that treaty was one of a handful ever signed with the Indians that was actually honored. Maybe that's why the organizational meeting was so subdued.

An atmosphere of calm prevailed at the meeting.

As it happened, I didn't encounter Carlos at the meeting but later, outside the diner (see above) when he initiated the march through Salem's downtown section. I had the opportunity to interview him at some length, since other media seemed less eager to get too close to the protest activity. While not actually an immigrant, Carlos Harris, 34, of Cowtown, has an interesting story to tell. His family is mostly Scotch-Irish stock, but Carlos's mother visited Texas once with her cattleman grandfather and had a brief dalliance with a Brahma bull rider named -- you guessed it -- Carlos. Nothing came of the romance because Carlos was deported to Mexico after an obscure incident involving some toxic homemade tequila, but when the young lady got married some years later, her husband always teased her about her Mexican boyfriend, which made her so furious over time that she defiantly (and still under the influence of the epidural) named her firstborn son after the long lost rodeo rider. Carlos explained that his mother doesn't get around very well anymore, so he decided to join the protest on her behalf. Her position is that the idea of a wall along the border isn't very friendly and should be more like a fence, maybe with some broken glass on top.

The actual march was peaceful and lacking in serious confrontations. Once, a car approached Star Corner, the town's main intersection, while Carlos was demonstrating there, but it turned right and Carlos assured me he never felt threatened.

A moment of near-collision between traffic and the protest at Star Corner.

The remainder of the event was, well, uneventful. Carlos proceeded the additional block up Market Street to the County Courthouse, where a friend had promised to come by and give him a ride back to Cowtown. I would have stayed till the ride came, but it was almost time to feed the dogs and I had to go. I snapped one last picture as I was driving away.

The climax of the march at the Courthouse.

"Adios, Carlos," I yelled.

"What?" he replied.

And I guess I'll leave it at that.

UPDATE. I see that other bloggers, especially Michelle Malkin, are still trying to publish the flashiest and most sensational protest coverage they can find. This is kind of an insult to small town activists everywhere. We do the best we can. With what we have. So don't be such a snob about it, okay?

UPDATE 2. The Newark blogger has now penned a completely slighting entry about the Salem protest in support of illegal immigration. He says I'm "making excuses," but what could I have done, short of making up a much larger demonstration that didn't occur in fact? Like my role models at the New York Times, I am simply an impartial journalist who makes up the bare minimum of news necessary to inflate my sense of self-importance virtue. Perhaps Don' should learn from my outstanding (if I dare say so myself) example. And if he ever ventures over the bridge into OUR territory, he should bear in mind that we're not a bunch of college radical pussies here, but centuries worth of inbred gene pools that would scare the hell out of Ward Churchill himself.

Islamist Tsunami

. The good news is that students in American public schools who can't identify countries like France, Italy, and Spain on the map needn't worry about it any longer (if they ever did). Here's the new map. Spain's been off it ever since they caved in to Islamist extortion and voted in an appeasement government after 3/11. The French have been flailing in the water since the government found it couldn't stand up to a bunch of ghetto muslim punks who burn cars for fun, and they finally slipped under the waves this week when the government proved it couldn't stand up to a bunch of lazy, spoiled university brats who burn cars to demonstrate their qualifications to hold lifelong jobs. Italy's gone too, sunk in a night and a day like Atlantis, as a once proud nation signed up for a program of anti-American rhetoric and craven appeasement of barbarians.

The bad news is, if you really really hate war, this is the worst possible news. For explanation, we could direct you to two excellent essays (h/t InstaPundit), one by Charles Krauthammer and one by Daniel Johnson, but we won't do that. Instead, we'll leave you with one stanza from a poem by the great Irishman William Butler Yeats:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Have a nice day.

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