Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
September 29, 2006 - September 22, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Friday Follies

TGIF. It's easy to get cynical about even the best and most beautiful things in life. Like marriage. In the week just past we had a grim glimpse of the ugly one-two punch that's the trademark of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. Bill did his bully-boy act on the Fox News Channel, and now the missus is trying to capitalize on the attention his tantrum drew by throwing one of her own. Some marriages really do seem made in hell.

But many of us are far more fortunate than the nation's Last Couple, and this week has reminded me of that in numerous ways. I learned, for example, that my good friends Mr. and Mrs. BalowStar have just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, which -- like their two beautifully poised and talented children -- is a tribute to their exceptional capacity for love, loyalty, and faith.

I am grateful every day of my life for Mrs. InstaPunk, who is unquestionably the biggest person in the smallest frame it has ever been my pleasure to know.

The incomparable Mrs. InstaPunk

So there will be no cynicism today. Instead, I'm taking the opportunity to spotlight a few great couples whom it's possible to appreciate from afar.

The first instance, I admit, caught me by surprise. Last year, Mrs. InstaPunk and I watched Lisa Rinna on Dancing with the Stars, and I was slowly won over by her determination and whole-hearted emotion. She survived deep into the competition, and it was sad to see her go. This year, I was skeptical when one of the celebrity contestants was her husband, Harry Hamlin. But he announced at the beginning that he was competing because he wanted to be able to dance with his wife as he had seen her dance, and I believed him. The first week he was just terrible, a stiff and cringe-inducing stick figure of a dancer, despite the fact that he had evidently gone into serious training for the show. But he was game. And by the third week, he had, through sheer unrelenting resolve, improved by an order of magnitude. Here's Harry doing the tango. But he didn't make the cut this week, and I was shocked to see his partner weep at his departure, unable to utter a word on camera. He really had worked that hard. I take my hat off to him. And to his wife, who is clearly an inspiration to her husband and family. Yes, I know they're well paid for appearing on the show, but I can tell when a man loves his wife. He does.

And then there's talent. What a great thing it is when a couple share an endeavor and complement one another in the process. I give you the Wuzzadems. For a long time now, both Wuzzadem and his wife, Mrs. R, (at least I think they're a couple. My bad if I'm assuming too much) have been producing truly outstanding gems of satire, each in his own way. Wuzzadem is so consistently funny that I've deliberately copied his style in the past. Right now, I'm jealous as hell of Mrs. R's brilliant Terro-gator, which you have to try out for yourselves. And I'm just as green about Wuzzadem's Islamic Rage Meter.


I mean, if they're not married, they ought to be.

But I know for sure that Glenn Reynolds is married to the face that launched a thousand ships, the beautiful and talented Dr. Helen. His devotion to her is the most endearing thing about a man who obviously has many extraordinary qualities. Lately, they've taken to podcasting together, which I hope means she is past the health problems that no one her age should have to suffer. I love it that this joint venture between them is so obviously the most enjoyable part of his busy (i.e., busy busy busy) life. You can hear the enthusiasm in his voice. (Listen here.) Congratulations to both of them. (And , no, I'm not doing this for a link. Can't an InstaPunk have some genteel sentiments on occasion?) They make me feel good.

I know there are many more examples out there of fine and fruitful marriages, but this small sampling will have to do for now. I just thought you might find it worthwhile to embark on the weekend with a smile at your own spouse, because the truth is, so many of us are indeed blessed, and it's always the right time to remember that.

Love you, Mrs. InstaPunk.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bring us your tired, your
 poor, your bad girls...

Her name is Deeya. She's naughty, and the muslims don't want her.

PEACE. This entry is to be filed in the category called "Why We'll Win in the End." We don't ordinarily pay much attention to muslim pop music, so we have to thank Michelle Malkin for acquainting us with Deeya. She's a Norwegian muslim who apparently wants to be a girl, which is a sin in Islam. (That's why they're going to lose in the end.) She got driven out of Norway, a country which left all its balls behind on the last page of Viking history, and everything she does to advance her pop singing career seems to irritate the imams, well, a lot.

You can see her music video here and a short documentary of her trials and tribulations here.

The bottom line, as our audio file suggests, is that she's spending a lot of time in the U.S. now, and we couldn't help wondering what will happen as the Muslim Madonna settles herself in for a good ol' American celebrity career. So, without further ado, our predictions:

She'll have widely publicized affairs with Brad Pitt, Jay-Zee, and then Fred Durst, who will post a video of the two of them having sex on the Internet. Her first CD will go platinum.

She'll be offered a prime time reality show in which she'll make millions pretending she doesn't know about anything American, like McDonald's, major league baseball, paintball, and strip clubs. When she learns about American lawyers, she'll sue her record company, her agent, Fred Durst, and the producers of her show. After she loses all her lawsuits, she'll have a very public nervous breakdown and go into rehab.

She'll launch her second career on a two-hour prime-time special with Oprah Winfrey, where she'll introduce America to her new Lesbian girlfriend Margot.

Margot will commit suicide on the front page of the National Equirer when Deeya elopes with 300-pound ex-movie star Alec Baldwin. The pair will become a fixture at concerts and telethons celebrating natural disasters, left-wing politicians, and hopeless Third World causes.

In the Playboy interview attendant to her nude Playboy pictorial (signed for a cool $5 million), Deeya will explain why American culture is so deeply corrupt that she and Alec now spend most of their time on either the Spanish Riviera or their 1,000 sq km ranch outside Buenos Aires. But she'll still be keeping up with politics enough to know that the new Republican presidential nominee is even more stupid and evil than George W. Bush.

After her divorce from Alec, she'll suddenly recommit herself to Islam and build a $10 million, 50,000 sq ft, solar-powered personal mosque in Malibu, where she'll live with 72 imams and issue fatwahs on a daily basis about Republican politicians in California.

After his divorce, Antonio Banderas will convert to Islam and marry Deeya in the most lavish wedding ceremony in Malibu history. The guest list will include Madonna, JLo, Lil Kim, Rosie O'Donnell, Brian Williams, Keith Olbermann, Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, Oprah, and, of course, Barbra Streisand, who will sing "Memories" at the reception.

She will be the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where she will blame the Republican Party and the Zionist state for America's humiliating defeat in Iraq and the subsequent thousands of American civilian casualties who perished in the tragic Chicago explosion. She will be mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate.

But instead, she will go back to Malibu with Antonio because she is about to have a baby. Whom she will name Latanya if it's a girl. And Fidel if it's a boy.

A typical American success story. We can't wait.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Warming Thing

Sun spots show us what Earth will be like if we reelect Republicans.

LONELY PLANET. I started writing this entry months ago but never finished it because new alarmist stories are being propagated at a torrid pace (pun intended), and it's difficult to keep up with all the flavors of spin. Today I've decided to post what I have at the moment for two reasons. First, Bill "The Bully" Clinton  has commandeered the Gore Global Warming Bandwagon (GWB!?) for his own purposes, which makes the whole issue even more blatantly political than it already was. And second, Senator James Inhofe has just made a comprehensive speech about the state of the science that everyone really should read. I'll direct you to his remarks following the introduction I wrote when I started this post back in April. Here's the original draft.

* * *

Be very afraid of Time Magazine.

It's clear that a lot of supposedly smart people want us to go into panic mode. In March, Time Magazine offered us a cover story that could have have been ripped right out of the script for The Day After Tomorrow:

Polar Ice Caps Are Melting Faster Than Ever... More And More Land Is Being Devastated By Drought... Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities... By Any Measure, Earth Is At ... The Tipping Point...

Pretty breathless, eh? And that was just Time's idea of a headline. Here's the lede:

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us. It certainly looked that way last week as the atmospheric bomb that was Cyclone Larry--a Category 4 storm with wind bursts that reached 125 m.p.h.--exploded through northeastern Australia....

If your heart isn't strong enough to withstand Time's concept of journalistic prose, you can get a slightly less frantic version of their piece at CNN, which summarizes the main argument thus:

Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.

From heat waves to storms to floods to fires to massive glacial melts, the global climate seems to be crashing around us.

The problem -- as scientists suspected but few others appreciated -- is that global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse. That's just what's happening now.

It's at the north and south poles -- where ice cover is crumbling to slush -- that the crisis is being felt the most acutely.

Late last year, for example, researchers analyzed data from Canadian and European satellites and found that the Greenland ice sheet is not only melting, but doing so faster and faster, with 53 cubic miles draining away into the sea last year alone, compared to 23 cubic miles in 1996...

As fast as global warming is changing the oceans and ice caps, it's having an even more immediate effect on land. Droughts are increasingly common as higher temperatures also bake moisture out of soil faster, causing dry regions that live at the margins to tip into full-blown crisis.

Wildfires in such sensitive regions as Indonesia, the western U.S. and even inland Alaska have been occurring with increased frequency as timberlands grow more parched. Those forests that don't succumb to fire can simply die from thirst.

With habitats crashing, the animals that call them home are succumbing too. In Alaska, salmon populations are faltering as melting permafrost pours mud into rivers, burying the gravel the fish need for spawning. Small animals such as bushy tailed rats, chipmunks and pinion mice are being chased upslope by rising temperatures, until they at last have no place to run.

And with sea ice vanishing, polar bears are starting to turn up drowned. "There will be no polar ice by 2060," says Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation. "Somewhere along that path, the polar bear drops out."

So much environmental collapse has at last awakened much of the world, particularly the 141 nations that have ratified the Kyoto treaty to reduce emissions. The Bush administration, however, has shown no willingness to address the warming crisis in a serious way and Congress has not been much more encouraging.

Sheesh. Thank goodness we can blame it all on George Bush. It's easier to accept the enormity of the catastrophe that way for some reason, as Al Gore has shown us so perceptively:

The former veep — President Bush's 2000 election opponent — keeps insisting that he has no intention of running again for the White House.

But that hasn't stopped him from writing a gasket-blowing polemic arguing that by refusing to face up to the threat of global warming, Bush is just like the disgraced British prime minister who appeased the Nazis before World War II.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish," Gore writes, quoting the Bible to bash Bush.

Warning that Bush and the Republican Congress have displayed "a blinding lack of awareness" about "the worst catastrophe in the history of human civilization" — global warming — Gore also blames the incumbent for ignoring the threat of 9/11.

Cute. Lumping Global Warming in with 9/11 almost invisibly asserts that both cataclysms are accepted milestones of history. They're old news that George Bush needs to be punished for. Notwithstanding the fact that 9/11 was not nearly as much the fault of George Bush as the administration Gore served as Vice President, one might be forgiven for believing -- in the context of today's mainstream media -- that Global Warming is a deadly reality that someone (or ones) need to be blamed for.

As if all that weren't bad enough, mass media god Tom Brokaw has now confirmed the validity of Time's panic attack with a two hour documentary on the Discovery Channel. Bloomberg summarized it thus:

Tom Brokaw's special on global warming claims to have ``no agenda,'' though some viewers will quickly suspect he's out to make us sweat.

If mankind doesn't change its polluting ways, New Yorkers will soon be snorkeling to work. That's the basic message of ``Global Warming: What You Need to Know,'' which airs on July 16 at 9 p.m. New York time... [and repeatedly since..Ed. Note 9/26/06.]

Despite all the purple prose and red-hot imagery. however, there are still two points at issue with regard to Global Warming. First is the question of whether it even exists. Regardless of the current hysteria, there are scientists who remain unconvinced. Front Page Magazine interviewed a dissenter less than year ago:

For a little balance, we called up Fred Singer, aka "the godfather of global warming denial." An expert on global climate change and a pioneer in the development of rocket and satellite technology, he holds a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton and happens to be the guy who devised the basic instrument for measuring stratospheric ozone. Now president of the Science & Environmental Policy Project research group (, his dozen books include "Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate"...

Q: Here’s a line from a recent Mother Jones article: "There is overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are causing global average temperatures to rise." Is that true?
A: It’s completely unsupported by any observation, but it’s supported by computer climate models. In other words, the computer models would indicate this. The observations do not.

Q: What’s the best argument or proof that global warming is not happening?
A: The best proof are data taken of atmospheric temperature by two completely different methods. One is from instruments carried in satellites that look down on the atmosphere. The other is from instruments carried in balloons that ascend through the atmosphere and take readings as they go up. These measurements show that the atmospheric warming, such as it is, is extremely slight -- a great deal less than any of the models predicts, and in conflict also with observations of the surface.

It's crucial to note that the arrogance of scientists on all kinds of subjects stems from their adherence to observation and measurement as infinitely superior to personal experience and speculation. No amount of technical jargon can conceal the fact that computer models constitute speculation. They are not reality, however good a guess about reality they might reflect. And they always embody assumptions that might not be right. In the case of Global Warming, the biggest and most undocumented assumption is that the temperature of the earth is essentially stable and not continuously variable for reasons that have nothing to do with human behavior. Conservative columnist George Will discussed this problem in an essay last April:

Recently, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer flew with ABC's George Stephanopoulos over Glacier National Park's receding glaciers....

While worrying about Montana's receding glaciers, Schweitzer, who is 50, should also worry about the fact that when he was 20 he was told to be worried, very worried, about global cooling. Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned of "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." Science Digest (February 1973) reported that "the world's climatologists are agreed" that we must "prepare for the next ice age." The Christian Science Monitor ("Warning: Earth's Climate is Changing Faster Than Even Experts Expect," Aug. 27, 1974) reported that glaciers "have begun to advance," "growing seasons in England and Scandinavia are getting shorter" and "the North Atlantic is cooling down about as fast as an ocean can cool." Newsweek agreed ("The Cooling World," April 28, 1975) that meteorologists "are almost unanimous" that catastrophic famines might result from the global cooling that the New York Times (Sept. 14, 1975) said "may mark the return to another ice age." The Times (May 21, 1975) also said "a major cooling of the climate is widely considered inevitable" now that it is "well established" that the Northern Hemisphere's climate "has been getting cooler since about 1950."

In fact, the Earth is always experiencing either warming or cooling.

But George Will also noted this fact:

Eighty-five percent of Americans say warming is probably happening, and 62 percent say it threatens them personally.

Such statistics are, obviously, a function of propaganda. Americans tend to believe that science is a dispassionate profession and that scientists are mostly trying to tell them the truth as they see it. But truth in science is not about publicity or even consensus. Way back in January 2004, we quoted Michael Crichton on the subject of consensus science:

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

The fact is, the facts are debatable in this case, which is precisely the circumstance that usually brings hysteria and amateur fanatics into the picture. Here's a sampling of some of the recent press on Global Warming, including both pro's and con's. (Feel free to skip through them quickly. They're all over the map and I include them because I amassed them in the first place, and if you're inclined to dig, you can follow the links and find much to pursue further. The emphases in text are all mine.)

* * * * *

From the U.K:  In a grim warning on climate change, the British government's chief scientist said the world must immediately put into place measures to address global warming, even if they take decades to produce results.

Sir David King said that, even by the most optimistic forecasts, carbon dioxide levels are set to rise to double what they were at the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

That will lead to a three-degree centigrade rise in temperature, King said, adding that if nothing is done to manage such change, few eco-systems on Earth will be able to adapt.

Even worse, said King in an interview on BBC radio, up to 400 million people around the world would find themselves at risk of hunger, because 20 million to 400 million tonnes of cereal production will be lost.

Junkscience. The notion that our atmosphere acts like a greenhouse – that is, so-called atmospheric “greenhouse gases,” like water vapor and CO2, “trap” incoming solar radiation to warm the atmosphere – is wrong. Not only doesn’t the atmosphere work that way, greenhouses don’t either.

Greenhouses work by physically blocking heat transfer (by convection) from inside to outside – the same effect that heats the inside of your car when it’s parked in the sun on a hot day. Opening the doors and windows allows air currents to flow and the heat to dissipate. But neither the atmosphere nor “greenhouse gases” block convection, so there is no literal atmospheric “greenhouse effect.”

Overselling Climate Change. Simon Cox reports on how scientists are becoming worried by the quality of research used to back up the most extreme climate predictions.

Every week we are assailed by scare stories about the climate. Malaria in Africa, hurricanes in Florida, even the death of frogs in Latin America - all are being linked to global warming. But does the science behind these claims really stand up, or are the risks of climate change being oversold to win the battle for influence?

A Campaign Gore Can't Lose. Boring Al Gore has made a movie. It is on the most boring of all subjects -- global warming. It is more than 80 minutes long and the first two or three go by slow enough so that you can notice that Gore has gained weight and that his speech still seems oddly out of sync. But a moment later, I promise, you will be captivated, and then riveted, and then scared out of your wits. Our Earth is going to hell in a hand basket.

You will see the Arctic and Antarctic ice caps melting. You will see Greenland oozing into the sea. You will see the atmosphere polluted with greenhouse gases that block heat from escaping. You will see photos from space of what the ice caps looked like once and what they look like now and, in animation, you will see how high the oceans might rise. Shanghai and Calcutta swamped. Much of Florida, too. The water takes a hunk of New York. The fuss about what to do with Ground Zero will turn naught. It will be under water.

A Review of Inconvenient Truth.  Rather than focus on real threats, the left must turn to rabid environmentalism as a point of difference. They cannot betray their own egos and agree with the rest of us about the nature of present-day evil- they need to carve out that one last spot on the wrongway world of the leftwing ideology to plant their feet and say, "You are a bad person for ignoring humanity's horrors committed against Mother Earth." The left clings to the ideology like a urine-stained teddy bear because it's all they've got. (Well, except for movies about electric cars. I would like an electric car. But I can't help but think that the extension cords would get tangled up at intersections)

You can quote me: "An Inconvenient Truth: it's laugh out loud funny!"

Bloomberg Review of Tom Brokaw Documentary.  Brokaw relies largely on a handful of experts in the two-hour show, particularly NASA's James Hansen and Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer. Both support Brokaw's view of global warming and consider the scientific debate closed.

Brokaw scoffs at the notion that there are ``any remaining doubts humans are behind temperature rises,'' while Hansen says ``99.5 percent of scientists say we know what's going on.''

You'll find more dissent at a North Korean political rally than in this program, which would have benefited from contrarian views, perhaps from MIT's Richard S. Lindzen or William Gray, the world's foremost expert on hurricanes and a critic of global- warming orthodoxy. Both are serious scientists, yet neither appears to be in Brokaw's Rolodex.

The Global Warming Hoax. On June 13, USA Today declared, "The Debate's Over: Globe Is Warming." That's another headline you can ignore.

The world has been warming ever since the last Ice Age, but it is not rapidly warming in ways that threaten our existence, nor warming in a way that requires the industrialized nations to drastically cut back on their use of energy to avoid the many scenarios of catastrophe the Greens have been peddling since the 1980s.

Global warming is a classic scare campaign initiated by the Greens after a previous effort in the 1970s to influence public policy by declaring a coming Ice Age failed to generate any response. What we are seeing now is yet another worldwide coordinated campaign by the Greens to rescue the global warming theory from the junk heap to which it should be consigned.

Warming ended in 1998. For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh.

Climate of Fear. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

California sues. California sued six of the world's largest automakers over global warming on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

It comes less than a month after California lawmakers adopted the nation's first global warming law mandating a cut in greenhouse gas emissions.

Warming not human-caused.  Global warming is happening, but humans are not the cause, one of the nation’s top experts on hurricanes said Monday morning.

Bill Gray, who has studied tropical meteorology for more than 40 years, spoke at the Larimer County Republican Club Breakfast about global warming and whether humans are to blame. About 50 people were at the talk.

Gray, who is a professor at Colorado State University, said human-induced global warming is a fear perpetuated by the media and scientists who are trying to get federal grants.

“I think we’re coming out of the little ice age, and warming is due to changes to ocean circulation patterns due to salinity variations,” Gray said. “I’m sure that’s it.”

* * * * *

Skeptics and true believers on both sides have to admit, at a minimum, that there is politics on both sides of the Global Warming issue. The same people should also be prepared to admit that there are opposing scientific views, scientifically based, which means that the advocates who claim there's no room for debate of the facts are not being purely scientific, no matter how arrogantly they declare that they are.

That's the context for Senator James Inhofe's speech on the science of Global Warming, which is both coherent and comprehensive, whether you agree with his position or not. Here is the full text. I urge everyone to read all of it, especially since I am only going to quote one brief excerpt:

My skeptical views on man-made catastrophic global warming have only strengthened as new science comes in. There have been recent findings in peer-reviewed literature over the last few years showing that the Antarctic is getting colder and the ice is growing and a new study in Geophysical Research Letters found that the sun was responsible for 50% of 20th century warming. Recently, many scientists, including a leading member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, predicted long-term global cooling may be on the horizon due to a projected decrease in the sun’s output.

The sun? Doesn't that seem like a remote and glacial influence? Not necessarily. There are two kinds of argument to be made for the sun as a cause of temperature and climate change on earth. There's a rational argument:

The sun provides all the energy that drives our climate, but it is not the constant star it might seem.

Careful studies over the last 20 years show that its overall brightness and energy output increases slightly as sunspot activity rises to the peak of its 11-year cycle.

And individual cycles can be more or less active.

The sun is currently at its most active for 300 years.

That, say scientists in Philadelphia, could be a more significant cause of global warming than the emissions of greenhouse gases that are most often blamed.

The researchers point out that much of the half-a-degree rise in global temperature over the last 120 years occurred before 1940 - earlier than the biggest rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ancient trees reveal most warm spells are caused by the sun. Using ancient tree rings, they show that 17 out of 19 warm spells in the last 10,000 years coincided with peaks in solar activity.

They have also studied other sun-like stars and found that they spend significant periods without sunspots at all, so perhaps cool spells should be feared more than global warming.

The sun has weather too. This is one of those solar flare
 things. The covered up circle
in the middle is the sun
 itself. So flares are not little. Neither are the sun spots
shown in the animated graphic at the top of the entry.

You see, the other argument is visual, intuitive, and massive. If you think capitalist nations and industrial robber barons are abig deal, get a load of this mathematically correct comparison of the earth to the sun.

Does it seem to you that the sun might have just a little bit -- or a whole lot -- to do with temperature variations on earth?

No, of course not. It's all the Hummers in your suburb. How do I know? 'Cause Al Gore tells me so.

UPDATE 09/29/06. Senator Inhofe's speech has now, predictably, been mugged by MSM twits like CNN, and he has responded here, in a statement that is as well worth reading as the speech that precipitated the furor.

A Big Girl Strikes Back

Big girls sticking together

BGNN. Men sound off all the time. It's time that girls started answering back. That's why it's so cool that Hillary gave her cool comeback to the Big Girl News Network. It doesn't matter that she didn't give us lots of details. She said what needed to be said, nothing more. Or maybe a little less than that, but you know. What matters is that she's a big girl and she said her little piece. Here it is.

We just couldn't be any more proud. Hillary's like some battleship. Standing next to an aircraft carrier. Named Rita.

I mean, how cool is that?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Raging Comebacks

IF.... Here's a question. You disgrace yourself in public because of deep, personal failings. Then you get an opportunity to put on your most winning face with the public. What's the best strategy for making people like you again? You're right if you guessed, Attacking Somebody Else Who Did Something You, In Your Infinite Wisdom, Don't Approve Of. At least, that's the right answer according to Mel Gibson, Bill Clinton, and George Michael. These are headlines (and links) from today's Drudge Report:



George Michael tour launches with Bush bash...

So Mel Gibson the anti-semite, Bill Clinton the Oval Office adulterer, and George Michael the drug-addled man's man of the restroom set all believe we'll find them more charming if they deride, mock, or intimidate other figures in the public eye.

Yes, it probably will work with most liberals, who have a long-ingrained habit of believing that public moralizing on social issues makes up for the kinds of personal weaknesses old-fashioned folk would view in moral terms. If this were not so, Teddy Kennedy's career would have ended with the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, and Robert Byrd would have retired from the Senate either shortly before or shortly after he resigned from the Ku Klux Klan. It's hardly a surprise that former President Clinton has now convinced himself that his tryst with Monica Lewinsky was a right-wing setup and Osama bin Laden was only a convenient political football for his enemies in Washington.

It's called denial, a classic symptom of narcissists in trouble, and that's why attacking others is a poor strategy for earning real redemption even if the preening narcissists of the left eat it up and ask for more. The path to personal happiness is not lubricated by the oily flattery of a Keith Olbermann. It begins with finding that calm place where it's possible to gain some distance from the moment, perceive the ephemeral but magical nature of life as we know it, and learn to laugh at something as big as the universe and as small as ourselves.

That's why we'll close with only positive suggestions. Here are two little doses of therapy we found on YouTube. The first might be soothing and freeing to the frustrated creative energies of Mel and Bill.

The second is somewhat more accessible to those of lesser intellect, which is why we specifically recommed it to George Michael.

Imagination, laughter, unexpected delight. Nothing better for blowing away the cobwebs of anger and resentment. And not a bad way to begin a new week no matter who you are.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A Drudge Report

BLOGOSPHERE. It's not looking good. Last week, we noticed but overlooked the odd placement of photographs about two entirely different Drudge items, one about anthropology and one about the Boss Bitch of the Bigtop.

Side by side. A coincidence?

Maybe an accident of layout, we thought. But maybe not, too, Then came tonight's bombshell. Who on earth cares if Barbra Streisand's tits are hanging out? (Of course, Ann Althouse might, but she's ultra-sensitive on the subject of women's breasts. In fact, she should probably read Dr, Sanity and breathe into a paper bag or something, but that's a different entry.)

The telling post was linked to this lurid piece:

You would think that by the age of 64, most women would be self-conscious enough to ensure their choice of evening wear does not expose parts of the body which have...well dropped below standards.

But no one seems to have shared this with legendary entertainer Barbra Streisand as she stepped out in this rather unflattering black dress at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.

Streisand seemed to forget what a photographer's flash can do to a black dress as she unwittingly revealed she had left the black bra tucked up in her drawer at home.

The thing is, do average Americans care about Barbra Streisand? No. She's an illiterate multi-multi-millionaire limousine liberal with a fan constituency consisting of little old ladies in track suits who go to see her in Las Vegas in between bouts with the slot machines. So why does Matt Drudge insist on afflicting us with stories about her?

Perhaps the answer lies in the skull he would no doubt like to have presented to us this way (if he weren't such a hard-nosed, objective journalist):

You see, the new skull is supposed to be a relative of Lucy, the three-foot-tall female ape scientists like to claim is the Mother-of-us-all. Because she walked on two legs, even though she had the IQ of a turtle. Hmmmm. The resemblance is starting to seem significant. Barbra also walks on two legs. Cool.

The Mother of us All? Is that what has Matt Drudge so distracted? The thought of a primordial female of extremely rudimentary brain power who is nevertheless our common ancestor? Is this what primes the pump for a journalist of his standing? Just to be sure, we went back and looked up the original Lucy. Here's what we found:

"Lucy," was a skeleton of "Australopithecus" &Hominid from 3.5 million or 4 million years ago, which was discovered in Ethiopia. This skeleton belonged to a young woman, and now she is the most famous woman in the world of paleoanthropology. Although the transition from ape to human being remains a great mystery, a series of discoveries of fossils are revealing the secret to us little by little.

The skeleton AL 288-1 was nicknamed Lucy, after the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", which was played as the find was celebrated. Lucy was only 1.1 m (3 feet 8 inches) tall, weighed 29 kilograms (65 lb) and looked somewhat like a Common Chimpanzee, but the observations of her pelvis proved that she had walked upright and more in the manner of humans.

Johanson placed Australopithecus afarensis as the last ancestor common to humans and chimpanzees living from 3.9 to 3 million years ago.

Okay. It IS exciting to think that Barbra might be the "ancestor common to humans and chimpanzees." It would certainly explain her political acumen -- and her spelling.  However, it entirely fails to explain why Matt Drudge would find her sexually attractive. Anthropoligical significance is intellectually stimulating but hardly an aphrodisiac. Unless you've never had a girlfirend

Oh.  You're right. We didn't think of that.

We also found a picture of Matt Drudge. No wonder he went thermo-nuclear on the Lewinsky story...

We hope Matt and Barbra will be very happy together. We also hope what's-his-name the husband doesn't kick Matt's ass for his lowdown dirty thoughts about the Mother-of-us-all.  You know. Marcus Welby wouldn't like it. Look lively, Matt.


Friday, September 22, 2006

The Friday Follies

La Danse Macabre. See who joined in this week.

TGIF. It's been a week of the macabre, the nonsensical, and the just plain gross. With Hallowe'en but a few weeks away, the fun-loving U.N. invited two of the world's most comical monsters to dance across their New York stage. First there was the pint-sized Hitler wannabe Ahmud Ahdumjihad, who had everyone in stitches with his claim that a country practically made of oil needs nuclear power for fuel, not weaponry. Then came the prize piglet of Venezuela, Hugo "Stalino" Chavez, who jeeringly characterized the President of the United States as "el Diablo" and repeated the slur to a standing ovation in Harlem a day later.

More fright masks were on display when a couple of Dem leaders decided it was necessary to tap-dance around the fact that Yugo Chavez sounded more like a liberal member of the U.S. Congress than a big-time oil executive. Therewith Charlie Rangel and Nancy Pelosi waxed eloquent about how unthinkable it was for someone other than a Democrat to describe george W. Bush as the ultimate incarnation of evil. It was all very convincing until Rangel attempted to sell President Ahdumjihad the Brooklyn Bridge, discounted to the wholesale Jewish price. (Thankfully, Tom Harkin was more reasonable and faithful to the liberal ideal.)

Pelosi was shocked, shocked to hear Bush bashing.

In the Hallowe'en season, you can count on Christians being in the news. The Pope decided to be frank with muslims, then thought better of it when his characterization of Islam as violent caused immediate worldwide violence. As a German, he has the neo-teutonic flavor of courage, which is basically French but less adroit. For example, the Germans -- also this week -- at first thought they were going to object to Madonna staging a crucifixion of herself as part of her zillion dollar European tour.

Then they decided they wouldn't.

BERLIN - Prosecutors plan to keep an eye on Madonna’s weekend concert in Duesseldorf to see if the pop diva repeats the mock crucifixion scene that has drawn fire from religious leaders.

Johannes Mocken, a spokesman for prosecutors in Duesseldorf, said Tuesday that a repeat of that scene during Sunday’s concert could be construed as insulting religious beliefs...

Mocken said authorities would rely on media reports rather than sending observers to the concert and that the show might be covered by laws protecting artistic freedoms.

After all, what's the big deal? It's not as if Christians are going to start burning cities and beheading people just because some old trollop commits blasphemy on a worldwide media hook-up. That's why the Pope swallowed his words and the German authorities swallowed Madonna's line about artistic expression.

Yes, if you're a post-modern westerner, it's time to recognize that crucifixion is all about fun. The oh-so-civilized Brits know that better than anybody. That's why the irrepressible Channel 4 (of Bush assassination fame) decided it would be great to do a show about crucifying a corpse, courtesy of "plastination" (see graphic above) star Gunther von Hagens:

Channel 4 is to broadcast a documentary showing a human corpse being hung on a cross to depict Christ's suffering.

Anatomist Gunther von Hagens will use a real body to show how people died when crucified in the 90-minute film.

The programme, Crucifixion, is already causing controversy, with Christians condemning it as blasphemous and one group threatening prosecution.

Although Channel 4 insists the body will not represent Christ specifically, a memo leaked to the Evening Standard states that it would indeed portray Jesus.

Von Hagens, who created the Body Worlds exhibits using his preservation technique of plastination, has been widely criticised for his work, which included an autopsy on TV in 2002. This is the first time he has touched on religion.

Somehow, we doubt Gunther will be plastinating a Muhammed stand-in anytime soon. But everyone knows it's far more important to revere an enemy religion like Islam than the faith that has made total irreverence into a cultural ideal for half the world's most educated intellectuals.

And speaking of education, it's altogether fitting and proper that we should conclude the Friday Follies with a dance item from one of America's leading states in secondar education. The article speaks for itself:

A furor over what Concord High School administrators call an "overtly sexual" style of dancing at school dances has split the school community: There are those who defend the students'right to dance however they want and those who believe the moves are just plain inappropriate.

Principal Gene Connolly is with the latter group. He said the school will cancel all remaining dances, including the upcoming homecoming dance, unless students step forward to help halt the "grinding."

"This style of dancing is wrong," Connolly told parents at a Parent-Teacher-Student Organization meeting Tuesday night. "If you were to see it, you would be equally offended."

Asked by parents to describe the dance, Connolly offered this: The girl leans forward and the boy puts his pelvis against her backside. Then, he thrusts.

"It's feigning a sex act," Connolly said..

.But some students and parents don't see it that way. They say that like the jitterbug and disco before it, grinding is just a sign of the times.

"We were raised to dance like that," senior Kayla Bisson said.

Raised to do that? Raised by whom? Oh, yeah. By MTV, the outfit that's raising all the kids these days while parents pretend that kids just happen and don't require any guidance rules, discipline, or punishment. Who couldn't see that simulating doggy-style sex on the dance floor is just another variation on old-fashioned teen rebellion? They're kids, not monsters. Jeez.

If you're one of the the old fogeys who don't know what grinding is, here's a brief look.

Isn't that sweet? I'm sure when your daughter does it, you'll feel all nostalgic for the swim and the jerk. Dance, little sister, dance.

P.S Apologies to InstaPunk regulars. Last week's Instalanche apparently used up our bandwidth for the month, and we were so busy worrying about the space shuttle we forgot to update our account. The really good news is that the shuttle landed safely, despite the mysterious "debris" that was trailing them through earth orbit. Color us relieved that the orbital companion turned out to be nothing but worthless junk.

See you next week.

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