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January 15, 2006 - January 8, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006


She Was Hot.

They HATE her. How cool is that?

WOMEN. The non-MSM is filled today with outrage about the fact that the snotty aristocrats of the Judiciary Committee made Mrs. Alito cry. It appears that there's only one right-winger who knows what to do about it, though. Ann Coulter. She's not shocked. In her weekly column she just waded into the melee with forty-fives in both hands:

With all their hysteria about Valerie Plame, I had nearly forgotten what the Democratic Party stands for. It's good to be reminded that the sole item on the Democrats' agenda is abortion.

According to Dianne Feinstein, Roe vs. Wade is critically important because "women all over America have come to depend on it." At its most majestic, this precious right that women "have come to depend on" is the right to have sex with men they don't want to have children with.

There's a stirring principle! Leave aside the part of this precious constitutional right that involves (1) not allowing Americans to vote on the matter, and (2) suctioning brains out of half-born babies. The right to have sex with men you don't want to have children with is not exactly "Give me liberty, or give me death."

In the history of the nation, there has never been a political party so ridiculous as today's Democrats. It's as if all the brain-damaged people in America got together and formed a voting bloc...

We've told you before that there's a need for right-wing warriors who aren't nice. We've told you how awful lefties have been to Michelle Malkin, who is brave in her perseverance but can't help wincing when she's called a filipino whore (and much much worse). But we ask you to imagine what Ann Coulter has been subjected to during the same period of time. (Look at this book cover, not made up by InstaPunk. Definitely, absolutely NSFW.) And she never winces. She just ducks and returns to battle.

The next time you're of a mind to patronize her or explain her away, remember this. She's a warrior for all seasons, and we need her.




Wednesday, January 11, 2006


The Alito Hearings:
Live Television Feed!

For live audio, click the AUDIO ON button above.

XOFF News. We're very pleased to be broadcasting the Alito confirmation hearings live from the U.S. Senate, and we'd like to provide an equally excellent stream of commentary on the proceedings, just like you're getting from other networks and the smarter bloggers. Unfortunately, our most qualified and talkative pundits are currently unavailable. One of them is picking up his Prozac prescription refill at the RiteAid, and the other is at the laundromat. That leaves us, and frankly, we're at a loss. We keep watching, but nothing seems to be happening. Does it make us look stupid to say that?

Okay, then, in that case, we won't say anything till the big guns get back to the studio -- if they get back to the studio -- and we'll just remind you that XOFF News and our crack political analysts have been all over this story and the key players in it for months. It was XOFF News that scooped the announcements of the last two SCOTUS nominations (here and here). It was our analysts who foresaw the kinds of issues, principles, and atmosphere that would shape the confirmation process. And it was the same crew who gave you the straight skinny about Senators Biden, Schumer, Durbin, Leahy, and Kennedy long before they opened their foodholes in this particular girlfight. If you want proof, check out these entries:

BIDEN: Miscellaneous Madness (scroll down to subhead Diamond State Dimwit)

SCHUMER: Portrait of a Statesman

DURBIN: Disturbin' Durbin

LEAHY: Mysteries (scroll down to boldfaced term What He Said)

KENNEDY: The Wages of Liberalism

Maybe by the time you're done reading, the first team will be back on the job.

POSTSCRIPT. Oh. One more thing. Our editor reminded us that ace commentator Neal Boortz had an entry in his blog yesterday about the abortion angle in the hearings. Turns out it was pretty much what he said in his blog back on November 1, 2005, including one paragraph that was word-for-word the same. Here's what we said about that paragraph then. Sorry it's not new. Nothing new is going on here. Same idiots. Same platitudes. Same song-and-dance. It takes truly brilliant analysis to turn all that into something interesting. And we already told you about us. You know. We're just killing time here. Till something happens that convinces our smart guys to show up. Right.




Tuesday, January 10, 2006


May we have a body, please?

Bin Laden reported dead... again.

NOWHERE MAN. Michael Ledeen of the National Review buries a tantalizing rumor in his current column:

(A)ccording to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year's message in conjunction with the Muslim Haj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time.

It would be great news if we could believe it. After all this time, though, we need a corpse. Here's an idea. Let's tell Ramsey Clark that Moveon.org took out a big life insurance policy on Osama so that the fight to annihilate the capitalist Christian infidels would be sure to continue even in the event of the great man's death. But unfortunately, the insurance company needs proof of Bin Laden's death before al qaeda can collect the $500 million George Soros underwrote the premiums for. Then we send Clark to Iran with a forensic specialist -- say, Ollie North -- to take photographs and a DNA sample of the body. Mr. Clark can tell the imams that we'll get right back to them with the money after the body's identity is confirmed as Bin Laden. To show our good will, they can keep Clark right there with them till we send the money. If Clark is too busy, we can send Jimmy Carter instead. Or somebody like that. Somebody who can believe anything, no matter how idiotic, as long as it hurts the U.S., and would do anything to help our enemies. Actually, we have quite a lot of people like that buzzing around. We could send them all.

Now here's the good part. (And please don't tell this bit to Ramsey or Jimmy or Jesse or Harry or Dick or Jim or the other Jim or Cindy or Sean or Alec or Nancy or Teddy or John or Michael or Al or Randi or the others.) After Ollie gets back with the proof, WE DON'T SEND THEM THE MONEY.

What do you think? Sound good? We thought so too.





We just can't wait for
yesterday to get here!


We want hood rings, too, though.

THE FUTURE. If the headline sounds snide, sorry. It's sincere. We're foursquare behind Detroit's retro binge. It could be their salvation, just as turning its vision directly toward the past rescued Harley-Davidson from the ash heap of history. Here's what Popular Mechanics has to say about the Dodge Challenger concept car:

Not just a two-door version of the Dodge Charger, this Challenger concept car makes no excuses for looking like something out of Dodge's ponycar catalog from the 1970s. Design cues include "pure, minimal signature lines, an air-grabbing grille and bold colors." Mechanicals are just as retro for the Dodge line: "mega horsepower" and rear-wheel drive. Physical differences of the new Challenger versus the original include a 6-in. stretch in wheelbase and a 2-in. wider body overall. And if the number of comments we've received from Mopar nuts here at PM.com over the past six months is any indication, DaimlerChrysler management better not screw up the production version of this car or there's gonna to be hell to pay.

You can't have old-time muscle cars without old-time muscle car wars. Sounds like they're coming back, too:

The musclecar wars have returned. This Camaro concept is a direct response by Chevy to Dodge's Challenger concept. Yes, another retro style to whet the appetites of younger buyers--and those old enough to remember what the streets were like back in the day. The Chevy concept sport coupe holds a number of surprises under the new/old sheetmetal. For one, an independent rear suspension, something unheard of in days of yore when a solid axle was the final drive of choice. A six-speed manual harnesses the 400 horsepower of the small-block aluminum V8 engine. But when all that power isn't needed, displacement on demand cuts fuel consumption to a point where you get 30 mpg during highway driving. Inspired by the original late-'60s Camaros, the Chevy folks would love to see this latest Camaro go into production. But so far, no corporate commitment.

And how long do we have to wait for the ragtops... the day before yesterday?

Chevy better get busy. They've been a day late and a dollar short for a long time now.

We hope all the Detroiters are paying attention because we've got some nominations for additional retro models we're sure would be a huge hit in the era of boring aero-baked-beans that's turned most cars into Japanese Beetles. Savor the possibility of these beauties updated and brand new in your local showroom:


The REAL Pontiac GTO

The ridiculous suppository Pontiac is currently calling a GTO has to go. Don't care if it's fast. It's an ugly, generic loser. NECESSARY FEATURES for the new production model: pistol grip shifter, vinyl seats, cheap radio, blackwall tires, STP decal.


Corvette Roadster

This was the first, and regardless of what anyone says, it's been all downhill ever since. NECESSARY FEATURES: headlight grilles, whitewalls, chrome-rimmed cockpit, and shark-tooth front end.



The Cadillac Spaceship

The truth is, deep down inside, everybody wants one of these. Always have. This is America at her flamboyant, exuberant, and vulgar finest. NECESSARY FEATURES: All (although it would be okay if this time Cadillac included a suspension.)


The Buick Battleship Convertible

The only car ever modeled on the face of Winston Churchill, but American as a half-pound cheeseburger. NECESSARY FEATURES: bulldog eyes and grille, wide whitewalls, pneumatic power accessories, and those big chrome tits out front. (Oh, yes, he did. We'd bet on it.)


The Lincoln Marque

They got it exactly right this one time, then stank up the highways with decades of derivative, rococo abominations. Time to admit past mistakes and get on with the serious business of yesterday. NECESSARY FEATURES: All. (We're not kidding, you esthetically challenged goons at FoMoCo. This is your last chance.)


The Chrysler Walnut-Panelled Library

The children may not know this, but long, long ago, before there was fake wood, there was real wood, and they used to put it on cars. Some cars. It would heal something deeply broken in our culture if we did it again. NECESSARY FEATURES: Wood. You got it? WOOD. And the wide whitewalls, of course. You're allowed to include a CD/DVD player but the fascia had better be made of WOOD.


The Mercury B-17

Fighter planes weren't the only glamorous flying machines in the old days, you know. There were also heavy bombers, called flying fortresses, with room for a whole bunch of guys wearing leather jackets and sidearms. Maybe if we had them again it would put a little spine back into the metro-sexual followers of our age. NECESSARY FEATURES: split windshield, plenty of dials and things on the dashboard, and room on the front cowling for original nose art.


The Chevrolet UFO

Back then, people used to believe in flying saucers for a reason. They could be anywhere, everywhere, and things were a lot more fun as a result. Let's return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Now. NECESSARY FEATURES: Alien-eye tail lamps, inter-dimensional drive, and crap hanging from the rearview mirror.


The Plymouth Rattlesnake

For a long time there was only one real cop car, a pit-viperish sedan made by Plymouth that sat coiled and ready to strike from the side of every highway and byway in the land. It had no interior options, but it could cruise all day at 140 mph. It's better not to let the cops have them anymore because they've got more than enough enforcement tools to make our lives miserable. But why can't we have them? NECESSARY FEATURES: 440 V8, 4-barrel Carter thermo-quad, true dual exhausts, metallic brakes, police pursuit radials, Koni shocks, 3:23 rear-end, drilled hubcaps, spotlight, vinyl seats, and hand-cranked windows.


Ford Motorized Convertible Hardtop Transporter

Lexus, Cadillac, and Mercedes act like the convertible hardtop is a technology they just dreamed up in their 21st century labs. Nope. The original was far cooler, and we need it back. NECESSARY FEATURES: two-tone paint, whitewalls, and lots of whirring and clicking solenoids.


The Studebaker Modern Art Cruiser

Yes, cars really were better looking back then. And Raymond Loewy was the best of all designers. NECESSARY FEATURES: All.


The Chevrolet Hero

So it wasn't safe. That's why anyone who drives it is automatically a hero. The hell with Nader. It's where he's going anyway when his long cruise is done. This car is fun. Nothing gets sideways quicker under every sort of driving condition. You'll love it. If you have the guts. NECESSARY FEATURES: X-frame, swing arm independent rear suspension, carbon monoxide heater, rear-engine, violent oversteer. And NO AIRBAGS OR SEATBELTS, you chuckleheads. Don't spoil this ride.


The Mother SUV

Some of you nuts are still going to want to drive your tippy, top-heavy SUVs. But if you have any style, this is the only way to go. It's not for nothing that the American milkman was fabled for his sexual prowess. He's a vanished breed now, but here's his ride. See if you can live up to it. NECESSARY FEATURES: aluminum racks, glass bottles, and white paint.


THE Pickup Truck

The current fad for making pickup trucks look like 18 wheelers is just sad. Even the manufacturers have forgotten what a pickup truck is and should look like. Here it is. NECESSARY FEATURES: All. No miscellaneous crap, either.


The Optional Truck

For everyone who can't be satisfied with THE Pickup Truck, there is this, the Optional Truck. It's perfect for the one-man army that some men used to be. NECESSARY FEATURES: Four-wheel drive, wall-smashing bumper, cast-iron grille-and-headlight guard, concrete suspension, and fold-out windshield. Only men need apply.

Well, those are our suggestions. If Detroit could muster a lineup like this, all that gloomy talk about Chapter 11 at GM, Ford, and Chrysler would get trampled underfoot. We guarantee it.




Monday, January 09, 2006


History Channelling

The French have been cool before.

f(X)=0. It seems like a little thing. How many of us watch the History Channel to add an interesting drib or drab to our general education? Not as many as tune in to Desperate Housewives, no doubt, but those who do watch probably expect to be treated like intelligent adults -- say, a cut or two above the audience for the old "In Search of" series narrated by Leonard Nimoy. That show at least had a standard disclaimer acknowledging that there might be other interpretations of the material presented. No such luck with last night's History Channel offering called Little Ice Age, Big Chill. Here's the description from the network's website:



Of course, the news that the Little Ice Age amounted to a few degrees drop in average temperature didn't make it into the promos or the first dramatic scenes of the show itself. We did get to see a band of monks laboring their way up to an alpine glacier to exorcise (Fools!) the "demon" ice flow that was threatening a 17th century mountain village. We saw microscope slides of what purported to be Black Plague germs and illustrations of violent activity in the French Revolution accompanied by assurances that these events were precipitated or exacerbated by the Little Ice Age. We were also told that the leaders of the day (you know, church idiots) had no way of understanding the vast climatological forces arrayed against them before we were informed that these forces had contrived to lower temperatures by approximately three degrees celsius. Then just to make sure we didn't underestimate the impact of three degrees, the narrator plunged into a description of just how hard life was for the medieval peasants of the time, who had no FEMA or other government agencies to look after them when disaster struck.

Is it petty to point out that the narrator was Edward Herrmann, whose voice has become synonymous in TV land with FDR and the golden age of New Deal liberalism that the evil corporatist Christian Republicans keep trying to repeal? Okay, so it is petty. But it may be fair to suggest that the refined tones of an old school Bucknell Phi Beta Kappa do add a ring of credibility to a script, whether it's presenting documented history-slash-science or mere speculative propaganda.

And it's definitely not petty to suggest that Little Ice Age was put together so sloppily and disingenuously that it provokes many more questions than it could possibly have intended.

The producers' intentions aren't at all hard to decipher. The climate alarmists have been busy for some time now redefining global warming as global climate change. Too many of us commoners have been too unreasonably resistant to the idea that global warming is responsible, as we've been told, for colder than average winters as well as warmer than average summers. The real objective of the smart people is to pass worldwide laws reducing CO2 emissions, since these are the primary component of climate conditions that can be attributed to human beings. Therefore, the "emergency" that has to be sold to the populace is rapid climate change -- up, down, or sideways -- which mandates handing power over to scientists and globalist bureaucrats who know better what's good for us than do tainted nationalist institutions like the Bush administration and, well, the Bush administration.

So the message we need to understand is that rapid climate change can happen and when it does happen it's disastrous. There aren't too many avenues open for proving that point. In fact, there's only one: finding instances when rapid climate change has already happened in recorded history and demonstrating that those changes had enormous impacts on society and the general welfare. It's also helpful if you can make it look like you're not shilling for the global warming crowd, which makes people suspicious. That's why the Little Ice Age is so perfect. If you can make them believe in sudden cooling, they're more likely to believe in sudden warming, too, and then you can always explain later on that even sudden cooling is simply a regional permutation of sudden warming. Or could be the next time it happens. Or something.

The Show

Anyway, Little Ice Age gives us a twofer, because apparently it followed another odd period called the "Medieval Warming," which was actually responsible for the emergence of European civilization from the Dark Ages. All those beautiful cathedrals erected by the evil Roman Catholic church were not so much symbols of cultural renaissance as manifestations of the natural optimism created by balmier days and more luxuriant crops. Can you start to see how helpless the old-fashioned institutions are in the face of climate change?

Well, if you can't, that's why it's so important to understand the catastrophe of the Little Ice Age. For example, if you thought the French Revolution was caused by a series of incredibly bad kings who raised taxes to the stratosphere (that's NEVER the problem, is it?), you're wrong. It was caused by colder temperatures that eliminated the tiny margin of crop surpluses on which the peasants lived. That's why they responded by dreaming up all those ridiculous notions about liberty, equality, and fraternity and killing every aristocrat in sight.

There's also a complicated argument about how the cooling caused the rampant spread of the Black Plague, which is very convincing if you didn't see the History Channel's earlier documentary about how Black Plague probably wasn't Bubonic Plague, which means we don't really know what it was, where it came from, or why it died out eventually.

And to drive it all home, we can even see how the Little Ice Age lasted almost all the way to the 20th century and froze up New York harbor, which we have honest-to-(er)goodness photographs of, so are you convinced yet?

Don't forget that anything which has happened once can happen again, even if it happens for different reasons this time around. What you should all be asking yourselves is, who can protect us this time around and keep all the bad things from happening. Can they do it soon, please, or before that even?

Uh, not so fast

Okay. Let's say that there was a Little Ice Age which lasted, as the History Channel tells us, from c. 1300 to 1850 A.D (er, A.C.E.). And let's say, before that, there was a "Medieval Warming," which lasted from c. 900 to 1300 A.C.E. The warming wouldn't have been caused by CO2 emissions because of the relatively low incidence of SUVs during the late middle ages, and the cooling wouldn't have been caused by the Kyoto protocols of 1295 because there weren't any.

This creates a twofold problem right out of the box. First, these are -- in human terms -- quite lengthy periods of climate change that more or less have to have been caused by natural phenomena rather than human screw-ups.

Second, it doesn't take advanced mathematics to calculate that the current normal -- i.e., non-warmed, non-cooled -- climate ideal we're so desperate not to destroy with CO2 emissions is at most about 150 years in duration. Couldn't it, in fact, be something other than "normal" -- i.e., a blip, a transition, an aberration in the natural dynamics of the earth's weather? And how can we possibly claim that our historically recorded temperature data, which began sometime toward the end of the Little Ice Age and ended sometime this morning, is telling us anything significant about "trends" we're trying to project 100 or more years into the future? Further, if the weather is really changing again, it's the third time it's done so in the last 700 years, and what possible basis do we have for believing that we have the power to alter the cycle? What exactly would constitute stability in this timeframe -- how would we know for sure that we'd either secured it or lost it in the first place?

Are you laughing yet? Well, wait. It gets better. If you look beyond the History Channel and the gentle authority of Edward Herrmann's narration, it turns out that there's reason to doubt whether there ever was a "Little Ice Age" or (ta-da!) a "Medieval Warming."

With respect to cooling, there's this (just for one example) at RealClimate.org:

In the climatological literature the LIA has now come to be used to characterize a more recent, shorter recent interval from around A.D. 1300 to 1450 until A.D. 1850 to 1900 during which regional evidence in Europe and elsewhere suggest generally cold conditions. Variations in the literature abound with regard to the precise definition, and the term is often used by paleoclimatologists and glaciologists without formal dates attached... The utility of the term in describing past climate changes at regional scales has been questioned... A number of myths or exaggerations can still be found in the literature with regard to the details of this climate period... These include the citation of frost fairs on the River Thames as evidence of extreme cold conditions in England. Thames freeze-overs (and sometimes frost fairs) only occurred 22 times between 1408 and 1814 when the old London Bridge constricted flow through its multiple piers and restricted the tide with a weir. After the Bridge was replaced in the 1830s the tide came further upstream and freezes no longer occurred, despite a number of exceptionally cold winters. Winter 1962/3, for example, was the third coldest winter recorded in instrumental records extending back to 1659, yet the river only froze upstream of the present tidal limit. It is also sometimes claimed that the extreme cold of the "Little Ice Age" impeded the navigation of a Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic during the early 19th century. However, an exhaustive study of 19th century explorer logs for the region yields no evidence of conditions that would be considered unusually cold by modern standards.

And the same source has this about warming:

Period of relative warmth in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere in comparison with the subsequent several centuries. Also referred to as the Medieval Warm Epoch (MWE). As with the 'Little Ice Age'(LIA) no well-defined precise date range exists. The dates A.D. 9001300 cover most ranges generally used in the literature... As with the LIA, numerous myths can still be found in the literature with regard to the details of this climate period. These include the citation of the cultivation of vines in Medieval England, and the settlement of Iceland and southwestern Greenland about 1000 years ago, as evidence of unusual warmth at this time. As noted by Jones and Mann (2004)... arguments that such evidence supports anomalous global warmth during this time period is based on faulty logic and/or misinterpretations of the available evidence.

It's not our place to say that these arguments prove the History Channel wrong. What's far more important is that scientists are apparently still not in complete agreement about what was going on with weather and temperature in the period between 1300 and 1900. That's kind of a large gap if you're pretending to know what's been going on between 1900 and 2005, especially when you're planning to reengineer the entire global economy based on what you think you know about weather and temperature today.

Conclusion

So there may have been protracted but stable warm and cool periods during the past 700 years. Or not. The climate in the period from 1900 to 2005 may represent a third such period of relative stability. Or not.. Alternatively, the past 100 to 150 years may represent a period of gradual warming. Or not. If the climate is warming (or cooling) (or just getting more extreme), then the cause of whatever it's doing may be CO2 emissions from our factories and SUVs. Or not. Therefore we should just trust the scientists who are so rigidly sure of themselves that they're willing to overlook the nonexistence of valid economic prediction models and bet the farm on long-term weather prediction models, of which not one has ever been proven accurate. And we should be unfailingly grateful to the slightly confused but highly self confident seers -- and their minions -- who keep swallowing their exasperation to help all us dummies understand this particular science of doom.

Why does this remind us vividly of an excerpt from the Mark Steyn column we referenced at InstaPunk last week?

One way "societies choose to fail or succeed" is by choosing what to worry about. The Western world has delivered more wealth and more comfort to more of its citizens than any other civilization in history, and in return we've developed a great cult of worrying. You know the classics of the genre: In 1968, in his bestselling book "The Population Bomb," the eminent scientist Paul Ehrlich declared: "In the 1970s the world will undergo famines--hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." In 1972, in their landmark study "The Limits to Growth," the Club of Rome announced that the world would run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993.

None of these things happened... In fact, quite the opposite is happening. We're pretty much awash in resources, but we're running out of people--the one truly indispensable resource, without which none of the others matter. Russia's the most obvious example: it's the largest country on earth, it's full of natural resources, and yet it's dying--its population is falling calamitously... The default mode of our elites is that anything that happens--from terrorism to tsunamis--can be understood only as deriving from the perniciousness of Western civilization. As Jean-Francois Revel wrote, "Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

If we wrote a letter to Edward Herrmann, do you think he'd explain it to us?




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