October 2014

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My wild sighthound Colleen is gone.

We’ve had Molly for ten years. A beauty and a force of nature. In all that time the only signs of aging were increasing gray on her face and the usual problems with greyhound teeth.

Molly. The girls always know how to pose for the camera.

Molly. The girls always know how to pose for pics.

Until yesterday evening, she was as she has always been. Lively, eager, perpetually happy about dinnertime, still at near perfect racing weight, and suitably irreverent about his highness Raebert.

The change was sudden. After a dinner she ate with gusto she retired to her couch and then, oddly, had trouble standing up.

My wife knew the signs, as did I. We both dreaded the alarm this morning but we agreed to go down together. She was barely breathing. An hour later she was dead.

She was thirteen, which is very old for a greyhound, so we’ve known we were living on borrowed time. But the stunning quickness with which she left us was a shock. As if in her typically spontaneous style, she just decided, “I’m outa here.” No real chance to say goodbye.

I’m not going to wax sentimental here. Maybe later. We’re both still breathless at the, well, speed of greyhound departures. They don’t linger. They just go. The way they always go, with unbelievable acceleration and velocity.

But when they go for good it leaves a huge hole behind. Raebert is devastated. The cats are clingy and in need of comfort. But Molly’s life is marvelously free of tragedy. She was a rotten racer, who got out early, with only the obligatory ear tattoo to attest to her youthful servitude. The rest of her life was amazingly joyful. She loved her couch, her stuffed toys, her pug, her cats, and even her two Scottish deerhounds. Life on her own terms to an astonishing degree.

If you’ve a mind to, here are two links that kind of frame the day. The first describes the last trip to the vet Molly had with Raebert. Pure comedy.

Lord of the Jeep

The second describes the phenomenon of loving greyhounds and having to watch them go away. Just the price you pay for so much fun, laughter, and love.

Losing Greyhounds

But there will be no requiem here. Even on this “worst day since yesterday,” my memories are of insouciant vitality, never dimmed by all the vain attempts to restrain her exuberant nature. In fact, this seems like the perfect song for today.

Good golly. She was every bit of that. Perfectly black & white.

But I can’t resist this, either.

Yeah. It’s a psalm. Sorry. Love you, Molly.

P.S. The open question is just how hard the Scot will take it. He loved her like we did. He’s a conscious being. Hard to take, I know, but when he’s in your face, what are you supposed to do? Worse. He knew about Molly. Tried to tell us for two days. He’s not happy.

Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast.

Or this.

P.P.S. If you can stand reality, here’s how greyhounds usually die. The ones who aren’t rescued. Don’t look if you have a weak stomach. But consider getting one. You won’t regret it.

The Batman Library

The Batman Library at Mercersburg

Funny. My devoted wife objected to this post. She’s an FDR (Groton boy) advocate, but she objected to a post that said there used to be prep schools which consecrated the middle rather than an upper class. We were yelling at each other at one point. What we finally agreed on was that Mercersburg is beautiful, and all other prep schools are Stalinist-looking.

So beautiful you can't even imagine.

So beautiful you can’t even imagine.

She was irate. Don’t blame her. Catholic high schools are folding all over the country. Meanwhile, prep schools like Mercersburg are thriving. Where we got sideways was my point that the Mercersburg I went to was not about building new generations of the power elite. It was about building decent men. Hence my old post from the original Instapunk:

It all comes down to specifics. And maybe in this respect, old-time Mercersburg boys do have a lasting advantage. None of us claims the stamp of our school as some kind of badge, a logo we’d put on a business card. We didn’t think of ourselves as the latest version of some grand tradition. We weren’t in awe of Mercersburg; we were just enrolled there. We were the Cleveland Indians of prep schools, perpetual doormats for the Yankees of our kind. Mercersburg regarded the Hill School as its great rival in football, while Hill cared only about Lawrenceville. We regarded Lawrenceville as our great rival in swimming, but in ten years we beat them only once. We were the poor relation of elite mid-atlantic prep schools. Of all the American writers who ever wrote tedious books about going to prep school, only one ever gave us a mention, dismissively, in a John O’Hara story that referenced a song called “I’m Only a Mercersburg Boy.”

No disrespect to O’Hara. The song had it right. We didn’t feel rich, privileged, elite, or superior. Typically, our class presidents were dumb jocks who had been kicked out of more famous prep schools for various sins against good taste, sobriety, and female modesty. We weren’t really trying to live up to anything — we were in a constant state of low-grade rebellion that occasionally got the whole school smacked down. (Some commenter could ask me about Penny Sunday, which was hilarious but not germane to this post.) My freshman year, a field trip by the French Club turned into a scandal when every senior on the trip sneaked out of a Moliere play in DC to go drinking in Georgetown. Four of them were expelled.

Ah yes. The only tragedy ever recognized at Mercersburg was the expulsion of a “four year boy,” of which there were never more than about twenty-five in a graduating class. Rare birds, the four year boys. Who could put up with it all, the whole four-year sentence? Many didn’t. Four-year boys had a way of getting expelled in their final semester. We always mourned their loss.

Today, there’s this: Mercersburg 360. Enjoy. If you want, I have abundant recollections of life in a place without cellphones or easy resort to helicopter parents. Just ask.

We existed in a place that housed equally the smart and the dumb. And many of the dumb went on to have great lives. That was the state of lives in a place that — when I went to it — cost $2,250 a year in tuition. It was accessible to the great and wonderful middle class. It wasn’t that hard to get into Mercersburg. It was much harder to get into the more famous schools, many of which I scouted after I got unexpectedly into Harvard. (My callow Harvard interviewer sat comfortably in my headmaster’s chair and inquired why I had chosen to attend a bottom-feeding prep school. Later, I sat in the office of the Dean of Harvard Admissions, who wanted to know why the very first and very last of admissions to our class had come from the same bottom-feeding prep school.)

All gone now. Today, Mercersburg tuition is higher than Harvard’s. Over $50,000 a year. Why I wanted to do this post. Never expected my wife to claim that we had always been the power elite, always the heirs to the throne, always the elect, always blessed, always in charge.

In vain I tried to tell her that Mercersburg was different. My dad gave me a choice — not much — between Mercersburg and Exeter. “Do you want to be a man or a Harvard intellectual?” he asked.

Why I made, ultimately, a pilgrimage to Exeter.


Yeah, I’d met them. Harvard accepted one or two of us and 30 a year from Exeter. Back in my day, though, even Exeter wasn’t the professional government class. When our tuition was $2,250, Exeter’s was $1,800. They still wanted the best and brightest. Of course they were all pricks. Never met an Exeter grad I liked. They didn’t like themselves. Their experience at America’s top prep school was all about constant intellectual, personal, and petty warfare. But they were only the tip of the iceberg. Today, the Exeter tuition is $45,000 a year. I’m betting they’re not as smart as they used to be. Just richer. And even snottier.

My wife didn’t want me to show how much uglier other prep schools are. Where I part company with her.

Mercersburg is now in the top ten of prep school endowment dollars per student. Beating out some rivals who used to make us feel small, like Hill and Lawrenceville. And a bunch of New England schools who used to make us feel even smaller. But money isn’t the whole story, no matter what you think. Ranking higher than Mercersburg on the endowment per student chart is Woodberry Forest, a braindead school half our size who used to drub us in football because everybody in the school was required to play football. We beat them once. A great moment of my youth.

All the great prep schools who now cost more than the schools they’re designed to prepare you for. Remember, only a few of them are now better financed than the yuppies of Mercersburg.

Taft School. A tumble of Taft.

Taft School. A tumble of Taft.

Deerfield Academy.

Deerfield Academy.

Groton School

Groton School

Choate School

Choate School

Only two competitors to Mercersburg in all this. Sorry, Pat. We were the great American middle class while the rest of them were sheer nonsense. But we still give credit where credit is due. Groton has a decent quadrangle.

Groton. Been there. Loved it. Not as pretty as Mercersburg. Just saying.

Groton. Been there. Loved it. Not as pretty as Mercersburg. Just saying.

And Choate has a nice chapel.

Lovely. Lovely.

Lovely. Lovely.

But nothing like this.

Ask me for stories about this architectural wonder. Please.

Ask me for stories about this architectural wonder. Please.

It’s not the America I grew up in. Sorry. This was.

Hope Solo. She beats people up. Does anybody care?

Hope Solo. She beats people up. Does anybody care?

P.S. How about this? Wrongful Accusation.

Any comment now?

He wasn't happy posing for the Free Scotland stamp.

He wasn’t happy posing for the ‘Free Scotland’ stamp. And they lost. Waste of time.

And now he’s agitated about the midterms. Mommy is supposed to be home by three o’clock these days, midway between the noon nap and dinner time. Where the hell is she?

My terms are pretty simple. End of noon nap, Mommy's lap. Meanwhile the old bastard just laughs at me and plays with his keyboard. Sick of it.

My terms are pretty simple. End of noon nap, Mommy’s lap. Meanwhile the old miser just plays with his keyboard. Haven’t seen a dime from the stamp fiasco. Sick of it.

You should hear the mournful groan that goes with the pic.

What he’s trying to say is that I, Instapunk, am not doing enough to support the Republicans in the midterms. Either that or he’s sulking about not getting ravioli because it’s here and Mommy, the great dispenser of queenly largesse, is not here.

One of those. You really should hear his moans. Heartbreaking. Nobody gets that upset about ravioli. Why I’m sticking with my story. Otherwise he’d be nothing more than a giant mama’s boy.

The ravioli does smell good, though.

Can you trust your own eyes?

Can you trust your own eyes?

I know. Let’s have a race war to get our key demographic to the polls.

Alternatively, buy a copy of Cuomo’s book before he hits a thousand in sales. It will be a first edition someday. Worth maybe 80 percent of the original purchase price — if you can get him to sign it.

Is anybody else sick of the self satisfied mug of FLOTUS? Biggest What-If of this presidency: what if Obama had had a loving honest helpmeet rather than a resentful harridan for a wife? Maybe some good advice might have penetrated even his rock head on a pillow between silk sheets.

Probably not. They may hate one another, but that’s because they’re exactly the same person. Except that one of them has a (too) big booty and decent bust. One of them doesn’t have a booty at all or hair extensions. Neither one can play golf or basketball for shit. My guess is, somebody’s ahead of the other in the approval polls because of tits and ass. The way we vote these days.

That’s our news for the day.

Oh. Except that Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during the Watergate era, is now dead. I’m sure many Lamentations will be written. Well, that’s my first prediction. I recall him being very full of himself. The Lamentations will be too. That’s my second prediction.

Liberals just love, love, love themselves (pick your own idiom). Why else would a major financial corporation hire Tina Fey to do a commercial designed to turn off half the market for American Express cards? She had a critically acclaimed TV series. Nobody watched. She did a muppet movie. Nobody went. She had a romcom movie out a few months ago. Nobody’s seen it.

But if you’re an AMEX executive I’m sure the sex with Palin-hating MSM TV babes is worth all the unreported loss of revenue…

Okay. Now I’m really done.

Except for this. My favorite caption. “Folks like us.” Uh, no they don’t. Nobody likes you. Not even your most faithful voters. They, we, all, actively dislike you. Unless you were actually trying to compare POTUS and FLOTUS with their Ivy League scholarships and pampered daughters to the poor, unemployed, about to be inundated by even cheaper labor from south of the border, disgracefully loyal black Americans. You couldn’t possibly have been trying to suggest that “ordinary” people are “folks like us.” Either way, this phrase should make you ashamed of yourself.

Trust me on this. Her recent remarks occurred at a fashion forum. To a First Lady, life is wearing… new clothes every single day.

Well. To be fair, she can't wait to go back to Chicago and be done with it all. I can't wait either. First thing we've ever had in common.

Well. To be fair, she can’t wait to go back to Chicago and be done with it all. I can’t wait either. First thing we’ve ever had in common. And a sports bra is not a dress.

My wife wanted to know how Brown got into this post. The image at the front of this video popped it into my head and I couldn’t get rid of it. Sorry. My apologies to all the estimable and hardworking beavers of the world. It’s just that nobody’s building dams anymore, and a lot of those nobodies are Brown alums chomping their buck teeth about climate change and evil capitalism.

The environmentalists would like us to think that we can be collectivist, like beavers. Who are determined to build dams no matter what, despite not being paid. Beavers are beautiful. Industrious, brilliant, productive, nearly blind, and friendly as hell. Also clever about family matters: kick the 2 year olds out before winter comes. Worked well for thousands of years. But times change. Think of them now as Brown graduates entering today’s job market. Or think of them as the horse at Animal Farm, who agreed that some are more equal than others. But they’re pretty sure they should be in the more equal club.

There was once a mediocre university named Brown. People went to it. They did stuff. Now they go there and do no stuff, and I’ve been there, and I swear to God everything there really is brown. It’s like a big old beaver lodge no living beaver built, though the kits sit on top smoking dope, getting a tan, and talking about global warming. I know the world thinks Brown is great. Kennedy kids who fell asleep during the SATs go there now. I’m supportive. Do my best. Try to imagine getting a resume from a Brown student. Did you ever study anything besides Obama politics? No? Aw. Not a good sign. Do you know anything about math or science or literature or history besides feminist cant? I’m sure we can make allowances for Ivy League grads who know absolutely nothing. About which you probably know everything. Lookin’ good, my Ivy compadres.

But then there’s the job market. Which is a lot like a beaver — say, a Brown graduate — who discovers that he has to defend his dam against all comers, which is pretty much the way of nature. Only the government doesn’t want beaver dams anymore. At which point he becomes a federal bureaucrat. Or… he becomes thinner, smarter, and more opportunistic.

What do you do in the latter case? You become a predator. And a killer. But small and clever.

Now you’re a jumped up weasel. Interestingly enough, these exist in varying forms on four different continents. Won’t torture you with the Tasmanian Devil. You can do that for yourself. Incredibly brave idiot mammals who will do anything to win. (Think Crimson Tide.) Because they never give up. Same thing said about both beavers and jumped up weasels. Thinking yet? Little like us maybe? The way we used to be? Before we got so fat and lazy and stoned and stupid? Hardworking, relentless, and courageous. We’re us but nature still shows us what’s underneath our flaccid pretensions.

Hard-wired, folks. Try this. The mongoose are nothing compared to the honey badgers. Nothing. Who can take the balls off a hyena at no minute’s notice? Meet Stoffel, the smartest mammal you’ve ever met. And the meanest. (Think Fight Club.)

Which makes the Ann Arbor team the wimps we always knew they were. Kidding. There are no more wolverines in Michigan, but the ones we have left are still North American. Therefore nicer than the tiny monsters from Africa. (You didn’t watch the PBS honey badger piece yet, did you? Give yourself a break. DO IT! You’ll laugh your ass off, I promise.) Why in the hell hasn’t Stan Lee created a female superhero Honey Badger character? Chauvinism, I suspect. Not really. Just a want of knowledge and imagination. Honey Badger would completely kill Wolverine of the X-Men tales.

But wolverines are cool too. They’re not even scared of bears. 30 lbs isn’t big.

Think about civilization. It’s programmed in. Most mammals are conscious. Probably most life forms are conscious.

Even Michigan Wolverines. Hopefully, Ohio State Buckeyes don’t suffer from the same frailty.

Life consists of beavers and honey badgers. Capitalism consists of arbitrating between cooperation and aggression. Beavers are ambitious if not aggressive and even honey badgers are cooperative to a point. Life is like that. Capitalism is both these things. No conflict. Just a stretching synergy.

What part of this don’t you get? Maybe this part.

Sredni Vashtar. Do one thing for me. Save my country from Brown. And Harvard.

Inanity is insanity.

Inanity is insanity.

Look at this crap. It’s been this way for days, weeks. National Review has two, three articles per exhausted topic. Ebola. Government incompetence. Obama exhausted and hiding. Meanwhile the TV pundits keep talking about the midterms.

Enough. The truth is simple. The country is falling apart. It’s being systematically destroyed by the most malevolent, anti-American president we could ever have imagined. There is not a single issue on which a presidential policy might have helped the health of the nation that this president has not opposed in thought, word, and deed.

No energy independence because no Keystone pipeline. No transparency because he cannot tell the truth about using the perpetually feared but formerly trusted IRS to persecute his personal political enemies, and under his watch the once most trusted other government agencies — namely the Secret Service and the CDC — are just as corrupt as the GAO, the EPA, and the HHS team in charge of implementing ObamaCare.

Every single objection to his pronouncements and edicts is characterized as racism. This from the Great Uniter. Who cannot ever admit that he knew of a problem — from Benghazi to ISIS — without blaming someone, anyone else. He runs from news of an Islamist beheading to the golf course. And what Islamists do is not Islamic. The man has never read the Koran. I have. They want to kill all infidels. Fact. Read the damn book. What every serious student would have to regard as fake scripture, aimed at conquest not enlightenment.

He has divided us, crippled us at home and abroad, and he laughs at us while he plays golf and his wife starves schoolchildren at lunch.

Sick of hearing O’Reilly and pundit brethren give Obama a nod on not hating America. He DOES HATE America. Always has. And now the ship is sinking. Krauthammer knows it, and exhibits it in every bitter commentary, but cannot bring himself to acknowledge that our president is a Trojan Horse and a traitor. Why not? It’s so self evidently the truth. There is no other logical line of interpretation that makes sense of a presidency which has done everything possible to crumble America.

Every single Obama policy has been designed from the outset to hurt America and its citizens. Everyone but the political class has suffered. The lowers, the middles, and the upper middles have all been rocked and hurt. He hates the military, he despises women, and he mocks the black base which has sustained him in office. They have endured the worst hurts of any group in the nation.

And, to top it off, he wants to exact the finishing blow to African-Americans by turning the nation into an identity-less, Hispanic third world nation by executive edict. Which will kill the economic prospects of black Americans. He laughs and demands African-American support in the upcoming elections.

He is a monster.

Why I haven’t been commenting. He wants the Islamists to win. If you look at the record, there is no other interpretation you can draw. He wants Israel nuked, he wants America impoverished and destroyed by a flood of illiterate immigrants, and he wants the caliphate to embrace his chosen people, the only people he’s ever been president of, the followers of Bill Ayers and the Reverend Wright.

In the meantime we all talk drivel. And he plays golf.

On all sides but mine, it’s called denial, a.k.a. brain rot.

New Jersey

The only state shaped like a woman. Including the swelled head, hopeful bust, and big booty.

The only state shaped like a woman. Including the swelled head, hopeful bust, and big booty. Unclear whether the vagina is Atlantic or Ocean City.

Our friend Barbara who lives in Hawaii but was born in New Jersey is going through a tough time. I thought she was mad at me because I haven’t heard from her in quite a while. Because in my mind it’s always about me. It wasn’t. It was about her. Enough said. She’s down. So we need to lift her up.

I’ve tried to catch up. I’m not the only one who left New Jersey and had to come home. Mostly we all do. Here’s a rotogravure from someone better than I am on matters photographic.

There’s also this essay about New Jersey from the original Instapunk, back when I wasn’t as stupid as I am now. An excerpt:

Here’s the deal. New Jersey is the greatest state in the union. For so many reasons that it’s impossible to list them all. Okay, I’ll list a few, but there are many many more. New Jersey is:

The most topographically diverse of all 50 states, ranging from mountains to salt marshes and everything in between, including the best farmland in the world for growing vegetables, a beautiful and lightly populated bay shore that flows from one of the mightiest and most beautiful rivers in the country, one of the largest wilderness areas in the U.S. (the Pine Barrens), and horse country — and horses, by gar — on a par with anything you’ll find in Kentucky.

An architectural treasure and time capsule containing houses dating back to the 1600s and some of the best surviving specimens of colonial patterned brick houses, Victorian gingerbread, and Industrial Revolution commercial buildings.

The only state in the union that honored all its treaties with the Indians.

The site of the colonial town (Greenwich) Rockefeller tried to buy before he settled for Williamsburg, Virginia.

The site of the turning point in the American Revolution, the Battle of Trenton, and the only history changing duel in American History, the gunfight between Burr and Hamilton.

The home of a cattle brand older than any in the whole state of Texas.

Home of a greater university than any in New York or Pennsylvania — Princeton — and the only state university in the country — Rutgers — asked to join the Ivy League conference at its inception because of the school’s history and academic excellence. (Not to mention the fact that the first college football game ever played was between, you guessed it, Princeton and Rutgers.)

The birthplace of country music and, indeed, much of the recording industry. Jimmie Rodgers and numerous other artists cut their first albums at Victor Records in Camden.

The birthplace and/or home of numerous historical figures, writers, comedians, musicians, and actors, including Aaron Burr, Grover Cleveland, Molly Pitcher, Betsy Ross, Norman Schwartzkopf, Buzz Aldrin, Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Dorothy Parker, Philip Roth, William Carlos Williams, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Bill Evans, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Bette Midler, Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, Ed Harris, Jerry Lewis, Ernie Kovacs, Eva Marie Saint, Meryl Streep, Ray Liotta, John Travolta, Bill Murray, Michael Douglas, Kevin Spacey, Kirsten Dunst, James Gandolfini, Joe Pesci, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neill, Derek Jeter, and Martha Stewart.

The only state in the union which eschews jingoism for humility. New Jersey people root for the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers and the New York Giants, Jets, Yankees, and Mets, and they represent in many cases the majority constituencies for these teams and don’t even demand acknowledgment of their cross-state support from people who uniformly laugh at the mention of their state’s name. They’re the same way when they travel; people who have never been to New Jersey at all laugh immediately and scornfully pronounce the clicheed “New Joisey” trope that makes rubes from Nebraska to Alaska feel more sophisticated than they have any right to. New Jerseyans laugh right along with them, soak up what they have to offer, and ultimately move back to the greatest state in the union, where there are thunderstorms but not tornadoes, droughts but not uncontrollable wildfires, tremors but not earthquakes, rainstorms but not hurricanes, overflowing streams and rivers but not floods, and snowstorms but not blizzards.

Born to run. All of us. Boats, cars, bikes, and everything else. It’s called balls. You New Yorkers could look it up.

We all come home, Barbara. It would be a privilege to meet you in person.

Our own Helen Mirren. She's always known the Meaning of Life. Like all intelligent women.

Our own Helen Mirren. She’s always known the Meaning of Life. Like all smart women. What did it cost to learn? Ask the Obama thumbsuckers.

Two hundred million dollars. That’s what it cost to confirm what all men know. No significant accomplishment of western civilization would ever have been accomplished without female human breasts.

Gays will no doubt demur, but they’re a tiny minority. The rest of us have gotten up every morning, gone to war, elevated our artistic sensibilities, written novels, made movies, built buildings, manufactured civilization itself from the subway to the skyscraper, all because we want access to this treasure women carry inside their blouses.

And now women think this gives them special privilege to run things. Maybe it does. But I doubt it. There are women who have brains and ability not located in their breasts. But truthfully not many.

Well. Women can do a lot of things. They also do these kinds of things.

They’ve been coasting. On their breasts.

Which is kind of a shame. Except that they really do have breasts. All of them. Magnificent. Miraculous.

Oh. The NIH study. At a cost of $200 million they determined that women actually have breasts and that men find them attractive. Lots of quantitative data to confirm. Nipples seem to figure in to the attractiveness equation. When asked how much breasts affect male ambition, the percentage was 98.6 percent. Women have virtually no ambitious response to breasts. Which is why, according to the study, women lag in competing with men.

One more sad chapter in the War on Women.

Come dancing. It’s only natural. Why Michelle wears Spanx, starves children, and flips the bird to the mid-term congressional elections. She needs a man.

This is from Instapunk.com in February 2008. It’s in the book.

Hillary’s stock has plunged like Victoria Falls since then, but note that nothing I cited ever became an issue in the campaign. There were plenty of murmurs, of course, but only in the righty blogs, who have always been part of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” the Clintons succeeded in pinning Bill’s, uh, troubles on in the past. None of it stopped the party establishment from regarding the controversial, carpetbagger wife of an impeached ex-president as the “inevitable” heir to the Democrat nomination for the presidency of the United States. Despite the continuous, unending reams of scandals, large and small, the political pundits saw Hillary as formidable and probably unstoppable. Certainly, they expressed no early interest in stopping her themselves.

Now, though, the Conventional Wisdom is that Hillary ran a bad campaign, that she was a bad candidate, that the fabled Clinton magic had, like the Fonz of Happy Days, somehow “jumped the shark” and lost its mystical feel for the heart of the American electorate. Poor Hillary is suddenly a sad female hammerhead whose latest jump was a bridge too far. Isn’t that the new narrative?

It’s bunk. All of it. Make no mistake. The Clintons, both of them, are master politicians, whatever the weaknesses of their ethics, ambitions, and policies. In a curiously American way, the nakedness of their Machiavellian maneuverings was always part of their allure. That’s why Bill was deemed the first black president. You could see the game he was playing every step of the way, but he was so damned good at it, and charming to boot, that you let him take you in. Because he also knew that you knew, and he counted on you understanding that he was half sincere and half self-serving rogue.Which is to say that he was a pure politician and purely American — in that he was never claiming to be better than you in absolute terms, but only at working the system on his AND your behalf. That’s how he skated through the Lewinsky scandal and kept his approval ratings higher than all those dully virtuous presidents who didn’t enter the Oval Office and see it as a stationary exoticar pussy-magnet.

The blanket, knowing forgiveness that gave Bill his two terms was also extended to his wife — whose personal travails we all understood without her ever coming clean about them. As a people, we accepted her marriage of convenience and saw it as the dues she had paid to become just as pure a politician as her rapscallion husband. Despite her seeming lack of humor, that was the joke the members of her party were willing to share with her without forcing the punchline to be uttered out loud.

So now it’s all over. A long, deeply committed relationship axed via text message, What can do that? Only an infatuation. All the durable lovers have deserted them — blacks, feminists, poor single mothers dying for another chance to be betrayed by yet another sweet-talking user, and even the unionists who have always known their cause depended absolutely on smiling corruption. Momentarily at least, they have all forgotten that American politics is about finding the best politicians who are willing to be on your side for a price you can both agree on without spoiling the pleasure between the sheets at least one of you is counting on. They’ve forgotten everything, including the basic nature of the transaction.

You see, Hillary was never a femme fatale. That’s the role Obama has stolen. He’s the mysterious, alluring, elusive siren, arousing, intoxicatingly seductive, remote but poetic, blade strong yet easily wounded and possessed of myriad vulnerablilities, all of which must be observed, placated, avoided, kow-towed to, and appeased. He is running for the position of national Greta Garbo.

A romance made in heaven, to be sure, the stuff of dreams. But what if, underneath it all, he too is a politician. What if he should turn out to be simply a different kind of manipulator than the Clintons — not the jolly whore of our egalitarian tradition but a greedy mistress with a grievance and a murderous grudge?

Down to earth. If the Clintons can’t make a dent in the campaign of a coolly ambitious, non-African-American, Ivy League Chicago machine politician, what will any of of us be able to do if he turns out to be inept, short-sighted, vengeful, corrupt, or actively seditious? If some clumsy American politician accidentally says something to offend his 300K-a-year Princetonian executive wife, for example, will we all have to apologize — or pay in some other coin? If he violates his vow to uphold the Constitution, will we have the recourse we would have with mere politicians? Or will every voice — in politics and the press — fall silent, because raising an objection of any kind is tantamount to a hate crime?

What stories will not be pursued by the already horrifyingly cowardly PC media? What legitimate policy objections will not be posed by senators and congressmen who are already living in daily fear that their most inadvertent verbal slip will bring down 400 years worth of resentment on their heads?

Think about it. If the “First Black President” has already been made to look a bigot for daring to promote his wife’s candidacy over Obama’s, what chance do the rest of us have in the next four or eight years if we start to see in Obama a Carter, a Ferrakhan, or Quisling? No matter what he does, he could never be impeached. It’s debatable whether he could ever be criticized. Let alone mauled and mocked and belittled day after day like a Bush or a, uh, Bush.

The first black President must be a politican, not a messiah. We’ve already seen what happens when teflon meets a halo. The halo wins. Without even being responsive. The truth is — and this is not racist, but statistically valid — that the first black president really can’t coast unexamined into office; he has an absolute moral obligation to demonstrate with full candor and understanding that he isn’t Marion Barry, Alcee Hastings, William Jefferson, Ray Nagin, or all the mayors of Newark, Detroit, and Philadelphia who have ridden the horse of jury nullification into sinecures of power only to abuse that power in systematic ways while branding all who objected to their corruption as bigots.

What we cannot afford at this time in our history is a sainted Jimmy Carter, a well educated Huey Long, or a closet Castro..

Inquire of yourselves — again and again — how did a neophyte take down the Clintons?

There was never a time when I didn’t know who O was. See the previous post for instructions.

Oh hell. Everybody needs a little fun. Fire up this youtube, then go watch O dance.

Better than watching him hack at a golf ball. Poor boy. No matter what he does, his wife thinks he’s acting white. Why there’s a Valerie Jarrett.

She luuuuuvs the way he dances, white or not.

She luuuuuvs the way he dances, white or not.

And so, by God, do we.

Oops. Sorry Michelle. Maybe the progressive dream has soured.

Oops. Sorry Michelle. Maybe the progressive dream has soured.

Can’t wait for the BRAND NEW glistening progressive view of the future.

A brilliant future that's older than dirt. And just as luminous.

A brilliant future that’s older than dirt. And just as luminous.

Can you?

On the other hand…

…All of you. And the plywood rocking horse you rode in on. Just please, please, try not to do any more stupid shit. You know, stick to your own brilliant foreign policy. Because when it comes to progressives, WE are the foreigners. The few and the proud who still love this country. Who, by now, are the wasted and wounded left by the roadside.

Now scroll up and see if the Fool-in-Chief can dance to it. Thinking not. He’s never spent a night on a grate (and yeah, I have) needing the warmth. He’s been more coddled than most all of us privileged folk he so wants to punish.

Why I can so, so triumphantly, offer this response…

See if he dances to that. You know, scroll. Doris Day was like my mother. Ohio girl who loved dogs and did what she thought was right. First female picture in this post in that category. You do the math.

And, of course, send the Book.


I told you so. Long before today.

I told you so. Long before today.

Before Day One of the Obama administration, I knew exactly who he was and I can prove it.

Who’s Your President?

I told you all this. I told you the truth. I’m not looking for recognition. But if you realize that I knew, absolutely, long before he did what he’s done to us, you might want to consider sending this book to all your friends and relatives. Elections are coming. In November and 2016.

Indictment: An Obama Diary.

It’s just 300 pages of dead accurate analysis and predictions. (Except for the Romney will win part at the end. Wishful thinking. Who knew the greatest nation on earth would reelect a guy determined to destroy the whole country?) The analysis of the Obama campaign in 2008 and the horrifying first term is the best and funniest anyone wrote. People need to read it right now.

Most of you know more about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram than I do. Truthfully, I know nothing about any of them.

I saw everything important about this guy. My experience has been over the years that my readers regard me as a private possession, a secret vice, a guilty pleasure not to be shared. It was much the same in my business career; for multiple Fortune 100 executives, I was a carefully hidden asset never to be spoken of. Used to this odd affect of my persona. But I’m asking you to get over it. Get evangelistic. Send this book to the people who need it. You know who they are. It was right then, it’s right now, and maybe this is is something you can actually do.

I’ll never see a dime out of it. So don’t think I’m making a money pitch. (Do I ever do fund drives like other bloggers? No. This would be the right time to make up for all my failures to ask for money I need and don’t have.)

Just get off your silent dead ass and do SOMETHING to forestall the impending Dark Age. If you can’t talk to me, buy a book and send it to somebody who needs to hear what I have to say.

Or just sit on your dead ass and say screw it all. Which I’m perilously close to doing myself. It’s easier than what I’ve been doing.

Grazie amicos.

Grazie amicos.

Well, I’ll be back. Always am. But I’m too poor to send the book around myself. The only reason I’m asking. Alternatively, you could send me money. But I don’t know how to do the Internet things necessary to suck it out of your pockets. No wonder I’m poor. But incredibly happy. Except for how everything pretty much sucks in the whole world.


A nation in the jaws of fate.

A babe in the jaws of fate. Or a dog clamping its fangs on a supernaturally elusive predator. History says it was the latter. You decide.

Recognize this image? Probably not. It’s a detail of the greatest and most important presidential portrait ever painted. This one.

His name was George Washington.

His name was George Washington.

I can’t improve on the history related here. Trust me. It has no lefty agenda. It’s fascinating and educational. (Yeah. The whole thing is here. Best time I had all day.)

All I can add is my close up look at that one little glimpse of open sky. As if some giant hound is inhaling a red cloud shaped like England. Or exhaling it. Perhaps both were true. Either way, it seems like prophecy.

Give yourselves this moment.

Plague City

A cautionary tale available right now on Netflix.

A cautionary tale available right now on Netflix.

I’d have given you a trailer but all Youtube has is this truncated snippet showing us Patient Zero in a Chinese elevator.

Regardless, you need to hunt down this movie. It’s a dramatization of how the SARS outbreak in Toronto in 2003 spun out of control, despite the model Canadian healthcare system that was used as one of the main exemplars of what ObamaCare would do for Americans. Government firmly in control of all healthcare resources and costs, guided by the implacable wisdom of the most expert minds available. It was a disaster, so bad that the World Health Organization ultimately closed down air flights to Toronto.

The economic activity of the city was down 30 percent or so for weeks. (Canadians carp about depiction of empty Toronto streets, but they would.) The microbiologist in charge was publicly given all the resources of the province including the full support of the provincial lab. But all but one of the lab staffers had already been laid off years before. Then nobody bothered to communicate with the microbiologist in charge of identifying causes and cures. Couldn’t get access to patient records and the course of their disease. Big government bureaucracy. How they got so deep into the weeds with the WHO.

The brunt was taken by the first Toronto hospital to receive a SARS patient. The doctors were in denial that rapid death from pneumonia was a new disease. The first line medical care personnel didn’t have the appropriate physical protections against the growing numbers of infected. And the social services personnel who were charged with monitoring people who’d had contact with the infected who left the hospital undiagnosed had too few resources to do their job. Meanwhile, the ministry in charge was more concerned with reassuring the public than alerting them of the danger or extending their efforts in support of the medical response. (Maybe why the streets of Toronto weren’t as empty as the movie showed.)

More than 400 SARS patients died, the highest toll paid by medical workers, more than 40 of whom died of the disease.

SARS had about a 10 percent mortality. Ebola has a 60-90 percent mortality.

Why Americans are concerned. The president just played his 200th round of golf this weekend. The Democrats are seizing on the public’s fears to blame Ebola on phantom budget cuts. And the CDC, under the auspices of NIH, are also willing to politicize the issue. Read this:

Liberals’ new message: You know who is responsible for Ebola outbreak in America? Conservatives.

No, really. READ it.

Then you should listen to a doctor who has this thumbnail resume:

Jane M. Orient obtained her undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness.

Here is what she has to say:

U.S. prepared for Ebola – 10 patients at a time

Have you wondered why Ebola patients are being sent to Omaha, Nebraska?

It’s because one physician, Dr. Philip Smith, had the foresight to set up the Nebraska Biocontainment Patient Care Unit after the 9/11 attacks as a bulwark against bioterrorism. Empty for more than a decade, used only for drills, it was called “Maurer’s Folly,” for Harold Maurer, former chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The unit has a special air handling system to keep germs from escaping from patient rooms, and a steam sterilizer for scrubs and equipment.

It could handle at most 10 patients at a time, but one or two would be more comfortable, owing to the large volume of infectious waste.

It is the largest of only four such units in the U.S., and the only one designated for the general public.

Some say this is “overkill” – that our medical workers can be kept safe with much less stringent precautions. Ebola is “hard to get.” It is being compared to AIDS, which has not proved to be a significant threat to medical workers, not even surgeons.

“The Ebola outbreak is presenting some of the same challenges we saw with HIV,” writes Cheryl Clark for HealthLeaders Media, such as “fear of contagion.”

“In many ways, the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s was the best thing to happen to healthcare,” she claims. For one thing, it brought “universal precautions.”

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden also likens Ebola to AIDS. “In the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he said at a World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meeting in Washington, D.C. “And we have to work now so that this is not the world’s next AIDS.”

Ebola, however, has far greater disaster potential than AIDS. Here are six major differences:

• Universal precautions are mostly adequate for AIDS, which really does seem to be “hard to get.” But despite protective gear, hundreds of nurses and doctors have become infected with Ebola and died in Africa – and so far one is infected in Spain.

• AIDS, at least in the U.S., can be almost completely avoided by refraining from certain behaviors: needle sharing, and intimate contact with men who have sex with men (and with their contacts). But Ebola is an equal opportunity infection.

• AIDS impairs the immune system, so people eventually die of infections that a normal immune system would fight off – but that can often be treated successfully. AIDS does not attack body organs and blood vessels directly.

• Ebola attacks the immune system first, then many other organs and the blood vessels supplying them, leading to rapid death in up to 90 percent of cases. Past a certain point, the damage is irreversible, even if further viral proliferation could be stopped.

• AIDS has never had an explosive outbreak like Ebola’s, which appears to be doubling every three weeks.

• AIDS would not be a suitable pathogen for biological warfare; it is not contagious enough, and it does not kill rapidly. Ebola has been viewed as an excellent biological weapon and researched extensively for this purpose.

Both AIDS and Ebola are zoonotic diseases – diseases that long existed in wild animals and “spilled over” into the human population in Africa. AIDS has no known nonhuman reservoir in North America.

Ebola appears to be capable of infecting dogs and pigs without sickening the animals. This is why the dog in Spain had to be put down when its owner, a nursing assistant, became infected while caring for a patient.

Reassurances from the CDC, and the public policy based on them, rely on assumptions that are probably not true. The CDC still insists that the virus is not “airborne” – at least not for more than three feet. Barack Obama has said that “you cannot get it through casual contact like sitting next to someone on a bus.” But the CDC has told travelers who exhibit Ebola-like symptoms to avoid public transportation.

Our robust and sophisticated medical and public health infrastructure is supposed to be able to handle the situation. Like it did in Dallas? The Dallas public health department is supposed to be carefully following only about 18 – how many more does it have the resources to track? It was not following the caregiver who is now infected – she was self-monitoring.

The CDC says she must have “breached protocol” though it hasn’t said how.

If we have more than 10 or so patients, they can’t be treated in the biosafety-level 4 (BSL-4) facilities that the World Health Organization recommends for this pathogen. They’ll be in places like Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas.

Which is a lot like the Toronto hospital in the movie cited above.

Not inciting panic. Urging education and thought.

P.S. An interesting medical goof in the movie. The nurse heroine, Kari Matchett, flees the deathbed of another nurse, removes the hazmat headgear we’ve seen for the first time in use at the hospital, and collapses in grief with her hands over her face. She still has her possibly infected gloves on. Why interesting? Because when our remote CDC chief tells us of a suspected “breach of protocol,” early rumors were that this was exactly the cause of the current nurse infection, hand to the face. Hmmmm.

Well, maybe. An oddly humdrum addendum. Years ago, had a friend with a germ fetish. He pointed out during a period when fast food workers at mall food courts were all wearing clear plastic gloves that the food preparers tended to think the gloves were there to protect their hands, not the customers, and thus itched and picked as usual at themselves. This is clearly a related case, the gloves being intended to protect both patient and healthcare worker. The gloves aren’t the whole answer. Rigorous training until the counterintuitive requirement becomes second nature is. We can’t just add outfits and checklists and seminars to existing hospital procedures.

Ebola and its like doesn’t come to the emergency room every day, week, or month. Average small town or even community service city hospitals will never be able to ramp up to handle such crises routinely. It would be like training every beat cop to defuse terrorist bombs. Not going to happen. After all the necessary drilling and practicing, they’d have no time left to remain proficient at the tasks that make up 99 percent of their jobs. It’s nonsense.

Enjoy this video from Pennsylvania’s Zombie Senator, Robert Casey, Jr., who thinks such problems can be solved by more money and directives to local hospitals, if Republicans weren’t such skinflints.

His is just another federal money grab on the back of a crisis the Feds are evidently wholly unprepared to meet. Why it’s already become a matter of vicious partisan politics.

Are you disgusted yet?

Twice in two days, the same lame scenario.

We’ve been following The Strain, an FX series that strangely anticipates the Ebola crisis. Vampires assault New York with a contagion spread by bodily fluids. The purported hero, a CDC doctor, looks and sounds almost exactly like the CDC director who keeps assuring us there’s nothing to fear. Last night was the season finale. The real hero, an old man who’s been there and done that since the concentration camps of WWII, finally corners the master vampire and has a chance at ending the crisis and the series. But he doesn’t.

"I've been waiting for 70 years to kill you. Let me tell you how much I want to cut off your head and end this...

“I’ve been waiting for 70 years to kill you. Let me tell you how much I want to cut off your head and end this…

Keep talking old man while I escape into Season 2...

Keep talking old man while I escape into Season 2…

So, with that bad taste in our mouth, we watched several episodes of the new BBC entry Intruders. Bad people have the ability to occupy human bodies and keep doing their dirty work. One guy seems to know what’s going on and he tracks down the little girl into whom the chief malefactor has transferred his diabolical spirit. He has her in his gunsight and lets her get away because she acts so much like a little girl. Which puts her on the run, with the aid of a nice woman who also thinks she’s a frightened little girl. In the car, the woman gets hints that the girl is not just troubled but deeply weird. Yet she can’t resist the urge to keep asking more and more probing questions. To which the girl finally answers, “You talk too much.”

Proof being, nice woman is savagely murdered at the next rest stop.

But the would be hero keeps tracking her and finally runs her to ground at the house her previous identity had occupied, where the current owner has just been, uh, savagely murdered. By a little girl we’re starting to understand pretty well. Hero has her in his gunsight again and what does he do? He talks about their past relationship and how disappointed he is with having to kill the new persona.

I absolutely, positively have to kill you this time...

I absolutely, positively have to kill you this time…

Actually, sport, I have to be going...

Actually, sport, I have to be going…

I confessed my fading faith in both these shows to my wife. I illustrated with this clip:

To which she replied, “Tuco. That would be you.”

Okay. I guess it would be. Why I never get renewed for a second season or a sequel or anything. My bad.

Boy, am I sick of this phrase. If they’ll just stop talking about it on the networks, cable, newspapers, and Internet, I promise I’ll deliver the solution. Which looks a lot like this:

Open Mombasa bay doors...

Open bomb bay doors…

Get all footgear ready!

Get all footgear ready!

And put those fucking boots on the ground!

And put those fucking boots on the ground! That’ll show’em.

It’s not like we’re talking about human beings here. Or U.S. Troops, meaning the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. Just boots. Boots.

Listen to the lyrics. Not kidding. Best critique of the Obama administration and his foreign policy I’ve heard.

English used to be the most eloquent language created by the mind of man. Why have we allowed it to become an empty joke?

A corpse starting to stink up the joint.

A corpse starting to stink up the joint.

Bizarro World. For the first time the monolithic Obama edifice of infallibility has begun to crack, with betrayals by two secretaries of defense, a former Secretary of State, a couple of White House advisers, and the guy who felt a “thrill down his leg” when Obama spoke. To top it off, we learned just how desperate the MSM has been to keep the myth intact. NBC actually wanted Jon Stewart to take over the helm of Meet the Press.

I’ve enlisted Mrs. IP to help me keep this post to a manageable size. Because I have four essays to offer, all of which should be read in their entirety, to demonstrate that the myth of liberals as liberal, tolerant, and open-minded is finally cracking apart like the coldly deceptive, authoritarian mask it is.

We grin. Because we own you.

We grin. Because we know every single button to push to keep you under our thumb.

But what’s underneath that mask is astonishingly ugly. Ugly in matters of sex, religion, race, and fake religion. First up, a piece titled “It’s Time for Polite People to Ignore the Trolls.” (she also gets into climate change in a big way, but you have to read some to get there.)

It’s been a rough week. Jill Filipovic, noteworthy feminist and senior political writer for Cosmopolitan, has evicted me from my own sex. Check out her response to my most recent reflection on abortion…

But that’s how it works nowadays, right? If you’re Jill Filipovic, member of the Cosmo panetheon [sic], you can say or do whatever you want. We can’t expect Cosmo writers to be respectful of others’ gender identities. Nor can we expect Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be culturally sensitive about the poor. Nor can we demand that Lena Dunham to pay her workers a living wage (or any wage), just because she thinks all the rest of us should.

These Beautiful People can’t be expected to play by the laws they benevolently generate to edify the rest of us. It’s only we, the poor normal schlubs, who must toe the line and abide.

Next is an essay that explores the left’s extraordinary aversion to Christianity, even when it is demonstrably behaving heroically. It’s called “Why Do So Many Liberals Despise Christianity?” Apparently, liberals can admire what Christians do while hating why they do it.

[The] urge to eliminate Christianity’s influence on and legacy within our world can be its own form of irrational animus. The problem is not just the cavalier dismissal of people’s long-established beliefs and the ways of life and traditions based on them. The problem is also the dogmatic denial of the beauty and wisdom contained within those beliefs, ways of life, and traditions. (You know, the kind of thing that leads a doctor to risk his life and forego a comfortable stateside livelihood in favor of treating deadly illness in dangerous, impoverished African cities and villages, all out of a love for Jesus Christ.)

Contemporary liberals increasingly think and talk like a class of self-satisfied commissars enforcing a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. The idea that someone, somewhere might devote her life to an alternative vision of the good — one that clashes in some respects with liberalism’s moral creed — is increasingly intolerable.

But we can all agree, can’t we, that liberals own all matters of race, racialism, and racism. Unless you’re John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, who was also inadvertently born black. His contribution, “Acting White is Still a Barrier to Black Education,” doesn’t seem to find reflexive liberal demagoguery helpful but pernicious and condescending.

Newspaper coverage of the phenomenon has been rich. John Ogbu wrote a whole book squarely documenting black kids being told that doing well in school was white. After I wrote Losing the Race in 2000, I was surprised by thousands of letters, including over a hundred from black people explicitly attesting that they were teased as “white” for liking school, as well as from concerned teachers wondering what to do about black kids coming to them and telling them about this happening. I could go on, and on, and on (and have, elsewhere). The evidence is of crushing weight.

But no, all of this is apparently mere “anecdotes,” refuted by the fact that if you ask black kids whether they respect school they say yes. Or, beyond that, people who want to wish the “acting white” problem away have a rather extraordinary collection of further feints.

The “acting white is a myth” crowd see quite the weapon in, for example, Tyson, Darity and Castellino’s finding that it’s mostly in integrated schools that the “acting white” charge flares up. Their implication seems to be that because it isn’t an issue among poor black kids, it basically isn’t an issue at all. But whence suddenly the idea that only poor black kids’ problems matter? Anyone can see that the reason poor black kids underachieve is lousy schools, not being called “white,” but surely we aren’t under the impression that there are so few middle class black students in 2014 that their problems qualify as mere static. That black kids suffer this in advantaged circumstances such as these is exactly why the “acting white” issue is a problem.

There’s religion, which liberals despise, and there’s an ideology of murder, persecution (and mutilation) of women, and implacable hatred of civilization that liberals defend tooth and claw. Here’s atheist Sam Harris describing his set to in the debate between Bill Maher/Sam Harris and Nicholas Kristof/Ben Affleck. Affleck, the chief aggressor, being the illustrious liberal and college dropout (no credits). Harris asks the critical question of the moment: “Can Liberalism Be Saved from Itself?

After the show, Kristof, Affleck, Maher, and I continued our discussion. At one point, Kristof reiterated the claim that Maher and I had failed to acknowledge the existence of all the good Muslims who condemn ISIS, citing the popular hashtag #NotInOurName. In response, I said: “Yes, I agree that all condemnation of ISIS is good. But what do you think would happen if we had burned a copy of the Koran on tonight’s show? There would be riots in scores of countries. Embassies would fall. In response to our mistreating a book, millions of Muslims would take to the streets, and we would spend the rest of our lives fending off credible threats of murder. But when ISIS crucifies people, buries children alive, and rapes and tortures women by the thousands—all in the name of Islam—the response is a few small demonstrations in Europe and a hashtag.” I don’t think I’m being uncharitable when I say that neither Affleck nor Kristof had an intelligent response to this. Nor did they pretend to doubt the truth of what I said.

The answer is no.

If you don’t know how this applies, there is no hope for you.

Eloise is getting old. Eloise is getting old.

We have our own problems. I’ve been working on a post about the Mandelbrot set. My wife has a degree in mathematics and even she doesn’t like my Mandelbrot argument. Which I will inflict on you later.

People who are supposed to care about you mostly don’t really. Past couple of years, our extended family has been through cancer, broken limbs, and abdominal surgery. We care about each other obviously. But when electronic connections break, do not expect to hear questions about how anyone is doing. In the social network universe, it’s all about you, not your putative friends.

But that doesn’t apply here. I’ve been absent for a while. We have a sick cat. Izzie the Bengal who used to be robust at seven and a half pounds is now under four.

She's too little to lose half her weight.

She’s too little to lose half her weight.

Like the country as a whole, our little world is in a perfect storm. As you saw above, our pug is gray and getting dimmer. Molly the greyhound is still beautiful but chronologically as old as greyhounds ever seem to get.

Seemingly ageless, but nobody is.

Seemingly ageless, but nobody is.

My old pal Mickey is on borrowed time. He was always the handsomest. Now he’s just hanging on. (My wife’s going to kill me for this post but I’m making a point…)

Still handsome but hunkering before the inevitable. Brave old man.

Still handsome but hunkering before the inevitable. Brave old man.

My wife coughs half the night. I’m so feeble I don’t visit either of my motorcycles. Without his mother, Raebert is helpless. Our orange cat is hooked into the midnight Feline UPC, where he is so far an evident star, even though he comes home limping and bloodied. I give him six months.

Think Mike Tyson. Only Orange. And fights to the death.

Think Mike Tyson. Only Orange. And fights to the death.

So who will be left? The girl you’ve never heard of here. The third feral. Her name is Cassie. She lives in the garage. She won’t come in the house.

Cassie. She lives. She survives.

Cassie. She lives. She survives.

When they come and scoop us all out of here at the end, the last one standing will be Cassie. The wild one who never knuckled under.

Why you should all watch a movie called Samuel Bleak.

Maybe I’m the last feral. Ask Lake.