Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
May 23, 2010 - May 16, 2010

Friday, March 06, 2009

Royal Gifts

The Brits defeated the Zulus, didn't they? Mostly. She'll love this one.

BRIT BACKLASH. President Obama is drawing a little heat in the Brit press at the moment.

President Obama has been rudeness personified towards Britain this week. His handling of the visit of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to Washington was appalling. First Brown wasn't granted a press conference with flags, then one was hastily arranged in the Oval office after the Brits had to beg. Obama looked like he would rather have been anywhere else than welcoming the British leader to his office and topped it all with his choice of present (*) for the PM. A box of 25 DVDs including ET, the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars? Oh, give me strength.

Well, it wasn't just the Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. At least, The Mail had a more comprehensive listing of the cinematic riches given the PM:

Downing Street yesterday... refused even to state which movies were in the box set - perhaps a reflection of their embarrassment that the gift was less generous than the ones taken to Washington by the Prime Minister.

But the Mail understands the gift included Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, The Godfather and Orson Welles' ground-breaking flick Citizen Kane.

Perhaps pertinently given Britain is floundering in an economic slump, the DVD collection was thought to feature the movie of John Steinbeck's Great Depression novel, 'The Grapes Of Wrath'.

It also included the Oscar-winning boxing biopic 'Raging Bull' starring Robert Di Nero[sic] and Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller Psycho - maybe a comment on the PM's notorious short fuse?

And the Telegraph's Iain Martin is equally upset about the next scheduled Obama charm offensive:

All in all, he doesn't think much of us, as I explained in my post here earlier this week.

But what's this? Something, suddenly, seems to have made the Obama White House perk up and start to take an interest in the Brits. The Queen has invited the President to tea when he's here for the G20 in April. And he's in through the front door of Buckingham Palace faster than a Harley Davidson roaring along Route 66.

Okay. So the Brits are obviously a bit 'tetchy' about the whole gifting thing. Do they really think the President of the United States has time to scoot out to the mall and shop doggedly till closing time for the one exactly perfect present a boring middle-aged prime minister might want? I don't think so. And I also can't think that anyone -- not even a Brit -- objects in principle to receiving movies as gifts. Everyone likes movies. Including queens. I believe what's called for here is a more thoughtful selection process. People really do want to know that you picked movies with them in mind. Including queens. That's where I think I can help.

If you want the old bag monarch to beam with pleasure at the personalized set of films you deal out of the presidential diplomatic pouch, try leading off with these titles, which represent an eloquent symbol of her country, her throne, and the longstanding special relationship Americans -- and others-- have always had with all that claptrap, uh, pomp and circumstance.

King Ralph. Nothing sets the tone for a happy social occasion like infectious comedy. Here's a clip that shows what a terrific icebreaker this movie could be.

How much more "Special Relationship" could you get than  a
slob American extending his groping hand across "the pond"?

The Woman I Love. Comedy's great and we have more coming, but royal history and dignity are important, too. That's why we think this incredibly moving American treatment of one of the great royal dramas in recent British history will tickle her majesty no end. (Don't pay any attention to IMDB's unverified claim that "the royals hated it." Nobody can know that for sure.) For one thing, in this American version, we're treated to the rare sight of a male Windsor with hair. That's got to bring tears to her eyes right there. All the selfish and cowardly implications of abdication are subordinated here to the passionate tale of a middle-aged virgin who found the love of his life in a lowbred married golddigger. Charles Dickens would have loved it. So will the Queen.

With Faye Dunaway as Mrs. Wallis Simpson and Richard Chamberlain as
King Edward VII (a.ka."Edward The Pussy"). Affected cinema at its best.

The Naked Gun. All right. So it's not as brilliant as Mr. Bean or Benny Hill. It's still funny. And, pretty obviously, the joke's on us. If the Queen can't laugh at herself a little bit, well, she should learn how. She's had a lot longer to acquire that kind of humility than King President Obama has had. And don't you forget it, you limey bastards.

She actually looks younger here. What woman wouldn't appreciate that?

The Murder of Princess Diana. What? Don't tell me this subject is off limits. Didn't The Queen herself star in a movie about how awful she felt about Diana's death -- like it was almost as bad as seeing a 16-point buck gunned down on the royal grounds? So don't tell me that Americans as beautiful as Jennifer Morrison can't make a modest Lifetime movie about the same subject. At least, our movie didn't have an asshole Hill School graduate from Los Angeles playing the prince-consort. If her royal high-and-mightiness gives this flick a chance, she'll love it, trust me.

If Hugh Laurie thinks Jennifer's cool, why shouldn't Elizabeth Regina?

Sid and Nancy. What's most impressive about the Queen is how beloved she is by her subjects. Surely, she'd appreciate being reminded that even in the turbulent decades when Britain was disappearing into an ocean of socialist anomie, the sacred "kids" everyone always loves still admired her enough to sing her praises.

God Save the Queen. Says it all somehow. King President
Obama should be so lucky himself in another year or two.

Last of the Mohicans. And then there's all this shared history we have in our "special relationship." I'm certain the Queen would love to be reminded of how the always invincible Brits fought on the American continent to keep their indentured servants colonists safe from their current bedfellows in the EU dictatorship community.

Even if it didn't always work out as  politely and honorably as this.

The Patriot. Of course, there was a time when we were on completely opposite sides. Which is what proves that a "special relationship" really is special. It can overcome so much.  You know. Like a long marriage between a free-spirited and talented young beauty and a dead-eyed, controlling bastard imbued with shockingly ignorant delusions of grandeur that justify every form of treachery ever practiced on earth. You know. Special.

But we got over it. Except when they piss on us because they feel like it.

A Bridge Too Far. Not that we haven't repeatedly paid a price for the "special relationship." Like losing thousands of American troops in Montgomery's megalomaniacal dumb-ass strategy in 1944, which extended World War II a full additional year because we had, politically, to defer to the rockhead Brits.

Cheerio. Pip pip. And all that.

Zulu. Sorry if any of the above sounded at all resentful. This one's a sort of final placating obeisance to all that is greatest in the British spirit. We're not the only ones who have ever kicked Brit ass on the battlefield or had to make major allowances for their idiotic hubris. Back in the nineteenth century, the Zulus recognized they were dealing with a psychotic culture that seized on every possibility for self-congratulation, even in circumstances where they had been soundly whipped, strategically, tactically, and militarily. Like the United States has always done, they relented and let the presumptuous British pride off the hook.

You only need to watch about 3 minutes' worth.

So much the worse for the Zulus. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. (Which might explain this, our tenth gift nomination for the Queen.) But forget that. The Queen is getting some really neat movies on DVD. Maybe she should be grateful. Unlike the doomed and dying Brits, it's at least possible we are growing. That's the line King President Obama ought to take, anyway. If, along the way, he's counting their metaphorical guns and measuring their cultural firepower, that would be his business. And ours.

Particularly ours. Obama boma ye? Let's hope we're still standing afterwards, too.

P.S. Apropos of nothing, we were under the distinct impression that you Brits were really actively lusting for an Obama presidency. To replace the lunkheaded cowboy who alway showed you the uttermost in courtesy. Let's see. You've had a thousand years to learn to be careful what you wish for? Pardon us if all we can summon for you at the moment is a heartfelt "F___ You." Pip pip. Tally ho.


Himself. Taking up arms against a sea of troubles.

WHAT TO DO. I was disappointed in the comments on LocoPunk's call to arms. Giving up is not an option. We've posted some viable options here before, but it begins to seem as if surrender is built into your bones. OOOOOh well... Until I got this post from Jaytee. Which I'm reproducing in its entirety.

Some suggestions that have worked for me:

1. Stand up calmly for your principles, even in a strongly left/lib environment. (I'm in the media). As the facts are on your side, you'll eventually make a dent in SOME liberal craniums. I won grudging respect by bucking the global warming fanatics and predicting our current cold winter 8 months ago after reading the stories about disappearing sunspots. The CO2-centric idiots look foolish.

2. Challenge every PC grotesquerie that comes out of your kids' schools. When the elementary school tried banning every mention of Christmas at the "winter concert" a couple years ago, I gave them polite hell. They restored Christmas, if not Jesus, at next year's show. In a similar vein, when the America-hating teacher tried to indoctrinate my son about how great Castro and Communism are, I gave him nightly lessons to counter the tainted teaching. My son and his friends pushed back at school and the teacher was canned the next year.

3. Don't sit out elections in a pique over a single issue, be it abortion, McCain-Feingold or Palin's hair bun. McCain - or Romney for that matter - would be FAR superior to the current talking marionette in office. Remember how well Bush and Rove succeeded in creating a "permanent Republican majority" by bankrolling things like free Medicare drugs? Well, don't think Rahm-o-Bama will succeed any better in creating a Thousand Year Democratic Reich.

4. Don't kowtow to white guilt (if you're white). Just yesterday I attended a business conference in which the almost all-white crowd clapped for eons over a minor black success story. If you wouldn't clap the same for a non-black success story, it's blatant condescension. I only mention this because Obama's election is proof that this belittling attitute is rife. True racial equality means trashing Obama for the same offenses you imagined Bush was committing.

I'm also happy to post other advice in these perilous times. Thank you, Jaytee.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What to Do:


Forget about the Obama-Carville-Begala vs Limbaugh show. Now!

WAKE UP CALL. I don't know how many of you have noticed what Republican politicians and conservative journalists and pundits don't seem to, but let me spell it out in clear language. In a few short weeks, the Obama administration has hijacked the United States of America.

This is not politics as usual, no matter how much TV shows, newspaper columns, blog forums like National Review Online and RealClearPolitics, and, yes, even talk radio shows make it seem so because of their stolid, predictable formats. While everyone with access to a microphone frets about this issue, that controversy, and the other inside the beltway gossip, Barack Obama is taking this country apart in huge bloody chunks.

He has doubled the whole history of  U.S. national debt totals with one stroke of his pen. There is no end in sight to the level of additional spending, wealth transfer, and outright wealth destruction he yet intends within a matter of mere weeks. The stock market is plunging like a rock precisely because the people who must make economic decisions about the future aren't convinced the president of the United States isn't driving us single-handedly into a decade-long depression.

Why aren't they convinced? Because if that were indeed his stated aim, he still couldn't have chosen a better set of policies to achieve it. His income tax, capital gains tax, and payroll tax increases on $200K and up earners, coupled with his projected limitations on their deductions, including charitable deductions, will increase their tax burden by as much as 50 percent. This giant act of theft will significantly diminish new business investment and reduce job creation in the private sector. His unimaginably huge, unfunded increases in government spending will certainly suck vast sums out of private capital markets and result in enormous inflationary pressure, which will not only devalue pensions and individual savings but constitute another crippling tax on every income-earner in the nation. But even that isn't enough for him. He also intends to tax U.S. corporations for the income they earn overseas, which will decrease profitability and reduce jobs further at home by making our products uncompetitive in world markets. AND his planned carbon tax will ripple endlessly through the U.S. economy. hitting all businesses and individuals in wave after wave of additional costs -- for fuel itself and for all goods and services made or transported with fuel. But he also has already quietly buried the possibility of drilling for more oil at home.

All of this is mandated by what he has already signed, quietly decreed, or put on the legislative calendar. He is on course to destroy the entire American economy for a generation. The union card check bill he promised again this week to the AFL-CIO will doom small businesses. His mortgage bailout scheme will add more costs to every mortgage procured by solvent homeowners. His proposed healthcare system will represent a brand new tax for young workers who opted out of health insurance as well as for corporate employees, whose health benefits he intends to tax as income to subsidize indigents. The slate of new programs and government jobs in his $800 billion "stimulus" package will also eventually hit every taxpayer, hard -- because when the stimulus money runs out, those programs and government jobs will be a permanent part of the government infrastructure requiring funding (and increases) in perpetuity.

Overseas, he has already signalled his intention to cut Israel off at the knees by publicly chastising them for not reopening the roads to Gaza and by sending multiple envoys to friendly meetings with Israel's mortal enemies the Syrians. But he hasn't been too busy to insult the Prime Minister of the U.K. and to humiliate his own country with a moronic and weak attempt to bargain away missile defense for a kind word from Putin. Which he didn't get. All this has made him too busy to spend any time on working out a rational plan for leaving Iraq. We're just going to do it. As quickly as possible. Because we need the money. But he wasn't too busy to float the possibility of a New Deal for the whole globe, whatever that means. And he's openly shopping for ways to cut defend spending and the U.S. military while devolving the war on terror to its pre-9/11 status as a matter for law enforcement and the courts.

His social assault is also already well underway. He has restored funding for abortions in international medical aid. He is moving toward suspending the "conscience rule" permitting health care workers to opt out of procedures and drug sales that violate their standards of personal morality. He has allowed his goons in the executive branch and congress to begin the task of restoring the Fairness Doctrine, or a sneakier equivalent, to silence talk radio. And he has smuggled huge funding for racially motivated voter fraud and greenmail organizations like ACORN into his spending bills.

He is taking our country away from us at breakneck speed. It's happening so fast it's hard to keep up with the dozens of large and small explosions in the fabric of the nation that are occurring every day.

So what are the politicians and pundits of the loyal opposition talking about? Rush Limbaugh. Or the outrageous total of $8 billion in earmarks in the latest leviathan spending bill. ($8 billion? That's all John McCain can find to get worked up about?!) Or whether Obama's staff isn't acting a mite high-handed with congress. Or whether there's something wrong with the fact that all his cabinet-level appointments are lobbyists or tax cheats or both. Or whether the Republicans shouldn't try a little harder to seem more cooperative and less obstructionist. Or how much more time Obama has to blame everything on Bush before voters start holding him accountable. Or what the latest public opinon polls say. Or if it's any kind of a long-term problem that Nancy Pelosi is filling the Speaker's role like the brain-damaged harridan she is. Or who it is exactly who has the gravitas and vision (or spiffy enough education) to rebuild the Republican Party before the midterm elections...

Stop it.

This is insane. I N S A N E.  Everything is on fire, people.

So here's what everyone needs to do. Drop everything else and get busy with letters, phone calls, and emails. To all the Republicans in congress. To all the conservative journalists, columnists, bloggers, and media pundits. All of them. Tell them to wake up to what's going on and start talking about the only subject that matters -- the ongoing, well advanced hijacking of the United States of America. Tell them to oppose it, to fight it with all their strength, to talk and write about nothing else because every little thing is only part of the one great big thing, which is all-important. This president is already the biggest disaster ever elected to the office. It doesn't matter how much the clueless and inattentive love him. They're wrong. He's already had enough time. Now he must be opposed, stopped in his tracks, and condemned for his truly damnable intentions.

Do it.

Tell them. All of them. Now.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Derb Offends

From his website. He calls it a mugshot. He's under arrest here too.

BONEHEAD INTELLECTUALS. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here. John Derbyshire's assault on conservative talk radio is here. It is also competently fisked here. Which means that if you're interested, you can read up on the flap created by this inveterately grumpy National Review contributor and then come back for my few additional comments.

Blaming talk radio for the present misfortunes of conservatives is just plain idiotic. According to his own voluminous c.v., Derbyshire is a Brit who first lived in the United States in 1986. He cannot know what it was like growing up in this country before the Reagan administration terminated the Fairness Doctrine. The only broadcast on which you could hear conservative voices was Firing Line. And it may be news to Derb, but you didn't have to be a lowbrow to object to much of Buckley's presentation. He was so self-consciously intellectual, so enraptured by his own vocabulary and semantic complications, that even genuine intellectuals frequently felt like smacking him on the back of the head. Brilliant? Yes. Also often laughable. That conservatives in the population at large did not respond eagerly to conservatism as an elaborate gentleman's game does not make them lowbrows or deny them qualification as the middlebrows Derb claims to value.

Populism is an extremely argumentative term to throw around. By connotation at least, it usually refers to political movements which organize and manipulate the have-nots in an effort to extort benefits from the haves. It implies simplistic rabble-rousing rhetoric, phony "common man" leadership, and continual resort to the ugliness of class warfare. That's not Rush Limbaugh's shtick and it's not his audience, either. Limbaugh tapped into a huge population of "the Forgotten Man" intellectual conservatives claim to speak for, the ones who pay the bills for the social engineering delusions of liberals. But oddly enough, they're too busy living their lives and paying the bills to have much patience with the inside baseball affectations of the National Review. To them, politics is not an abstract philosophical debate that mutters on through the centuries in panelled drawing rooms and stylish cocktail parties. Someone who figures out a way to reach the people who are paying the bills is not a populist. He's an educator, a communicator, a common sense analyst, and, yes, an entertainer. He expands the political base among the competent doers on which the whole nation depends. That's a far cry from the populist bomb-throwing of a Huey Long or William Jennings Bryan.

Of course, not all conservative talk radio hosts are of the same caliber. Just as not all National Review contributors are quite as brilliant as Buckley even if they're ostentatious about wrapping themselves in his mantle. What's strange is that some of Derbyshire's charges indicate that he hasn't actually listened to talk radio any more than the liberal haters have. It's absolutely not true that Limbaugh and Hannity defended everything Bush did. Their objection to his spending, to his failure to veto outrageously wasteful legislation, was almost a drumbeat. But they knew, as so many intellectual conservatives seem to have forgotten in the past year, that the alternative waiting in the wings was worse, disastrously worse. Now we have Obama. Our country is vanishing down the rabbit hole at truly terrifying speed. And this is to be blamed on Limbaugh and Hannity? I don't think so. And quoting turncoat Christopher Buckley's disdainful sneer at comparisons between his father and Limbaugh in the course of making such a wrongheaded accusation is frankly odious.

Derbyshire can be smart, insightful, and thought-provoking. This time he is none of the above. He's being an ass.

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