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Mark Steyn

Plaid About The Boy

Primary Morn in New Hampshire. Of the midnight votes, Kasich and Sanders took Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, but Millsfield went for Cruz (a stunning nine votes) and Clinton.

Let us note that Mark Stewart Greenstein, who describes himself as "a liberty-oriented Democrat" from the Live Free Or Die Alliance, got two votes in Hart's Location, so he's currently tied with Rubio and Bush and he's got as many votes as Fiorina, Christie and Gilmore combined. We'll see if that holds up throughout the day.

Otherwise, so far, the votes are:

Cruz 9
Kasich 9
Trump 9

And on the Democrat side:

Sanders 17
Clinton 9

I doubt that early GOP cluster will hold throughout the day, but the Democrat spread well might. I'd say we're looking at a strong Bernie win over Hillary, and among the GOP field Trump in first place. After that, who knows? I'd put Kasich and Rubio in second and third, although which order they come is a tougher call. Likewise with Cruz and Bush in fourth and fifth. Everyone below that will be folding their tents on Wednesday.

But if you absolutely nailed me down, let's say:

1) Trump;
2) Kasich;
3) Rubio;
4) Bush;
5) Cruz.

~An obligatory note on "Let's dispel with the fiction Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing": Given that someone wrote this line for Marco Rubot and programmed it into his software and then pulled the string at the back and sent him out on stage, you'd think they could have got it right: You "dispense with a fiction" or "dispel a fiction", but you don't "dispel with a fiction". So, at the very least, let's dispel with the fiction Marco Rubio has a competent speechwriter.

There's no getting over the weirdness of that moment in Saturday's debate. An executive presidency with a three-year electoral process in a mass-media age will, by definition, attract mostly weird, psychologically unhealthy candidates. But Rubio's selling point is that he's the most electable because he's the most normal - young, fresh-faced, with a telegenic family. Nice and normal - unlike the bullying Trump, the unctuous Cruz, the grouchy Kasich, the unsmiling Fiorina, the princeling Bush, the bruiser Christie... But the dispel-with moment suggested Rubio may be weirder than any of them. What normal person does that? How can a guy be so rattled that when he's attacked for being a canned phony who retreats to his rehearsed soundbite all he can do is retreat to a rehearsed soundbite even as his opponent is providing a play-by-play mockery of it?

~Have you seen Bill Clinton stumping for Hillary in his plaid shirt (top right)? Those checks are almost as big as the ones he gets for Saudi speeches. Unlike his leaden, charmless wife and daughter, Bill is still supposed to have the magic touch. It hasn't been in evidence on the Granite State hustings. He's meandering and unfocused and entirely un-self-aware - as in his claim that the Sanders campaign is "sexist".

There was a Bill with a magic touch, once, long ago. No one's seen it in a while. Indeed, this century, apart from fat layabout sheikhs paying him for gazillion-dollar speeches or the jailbait hostesses on Jeffrey Epstein's Lolita Express, very few people have seen much of Clinton at all. To "millennials", his name means no more than that of Gerald Ford or Lyndon Johnson - and the croaking, emaciated, exhausted, terminally-fellated wraith on stage across New Hampshire this weekend isn't going to do anything to bring Bernie babes back to the fold. The Clinton-with-the-magic-touch has been blown out of all proportion.

At the height of Bill's cool, Tina Brown was invited to some celeb-studded bash at the White House: "His glamour is undersung," she panted. "A man in a dinner jacket with more heat than any star in the room. He is vividly in the present tense and dares you to join him there."

Not anymore. In 2008, Hillary ran on the radiated heat of Bill's deflected glamour. In 2016, her problem is that he no longer has any to deflect.

~The great Jo Nova, an indispensable voice on the climate front, has an over-generous preview of my Australian tour:

For me it's unmissable. Mark Steyn is top of my gifted-writers-list, and is the most fearless pundit in the West today. One of the things I most admire is his classy ability to cut down dumb ideas without also cutting down the humans behind them. Steyn genuinely seems to like humanity for all its outrageous flaws. His writing is elegant, cutting — he's an artisan experimenting with words, punctuation and ideas. His ability to transfer an abstract concept from one brain to thousands is a gift.

Jo is too kind, but do read the whole thing. The tour kicks off in Perth this Sunday, Valensteyn's Day. It's sold out, except for my debut appearance at the Post Office Hotel in Cloncurry. But, if you want to put your name on the wait list for Brisbane, Sydney and whatnot, please email the IPA here. As Miss Nova says, they're thinking of offering some standing-room-only slots at the back and sides for the sold-out dates.

I'll be getting into Oz a little early to swing by Chris Kenny's show on Sky News live on Friday evening. Next Monday, by the way, I'll be making a return appearance with Tony Jones on Q&A, which is always fun to do.

~Me and my cat Marvin's new CD, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and continues to rack up five-star reviews at Amazon. But I'm especially touched by the personal letters we get here at SteynOnlne:

Just a note on Feline Groovy. I love the whole album, but especially "Chase Me, Charlie," because I have two cats, and one is actually named "Charlie," and the other (Lili) totally does love being chased -- not over the garden wall, because they're indoors, but all over this place which is practically a giant cat condo.

Michelle

Thank you for that, Michelle. "Chase Me, Charlie" is an unusually sweet Noël Coward waltz that we oomphed up a bit. But we kept it in three-quarter time, which I never find the easiest signature, particularly at the lick the band are going at in the final stretch, when I'm clinging on for dear life. So I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hope it aids your Charlie in his pursuit of Lili. Attaboy!

Feline Groovy is available in CD, but, if you're the instant-gratification type, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

Oh, and our headline today comes courtesy of Sir Noël's "Mad About The Boy". If I run into Bill Clinton in the course of the day I promise to serenade him with "Plaid About The Boy".

February 9, 2016 at 9:44 am  |  Permalink

Where The Bern Is

Aside from the Marco Rubot malfunction, the most dismal aspect of Saturday's Republican debate was the sight of supposed conservatives competing in their enthusiasm for making women sign up for "selective service". For non-Americans, I should explain that registering for "selective service" - as in military service - is something all young men have to do upon turning 18, so, in the event that the draft is ever reinstated, they'll have everybody's name in the big database. As with many aspects of the vast bloated federal bureaucracy, it seems a largely redundant exercise: I mean, between Social Security numbers, the IRS and the US Census, don't they have every 18-year-old male in the database already?

Be that as it may, there's now a proposal to make the young ladies register for selective service, too. And naturally the Republican candidates were falling all over each other to say how hot they were for the idea. For my own part, I'd like to go back to the days - barely within living memory now - when America won wars, rather than figure out ways to lose them more diversely. But, as usual with Republican pandering, it seemed to me a bit behind the curve. Here's the horrible discriminatory reality of selective service:

Individuals who are born female and have a gender change are not required to register. U.S. citizens or immigrants who are born male and have a gender change are still required to register.

Got that? If you're a female-to-male transgender, you don't have to sign up. But, if you're a male-to-female transgender, you do: "Trannie, get your gun!" for me but not for thee. Is there no Republican panderer willing to take a stand against the appallingly selective transphobia of selective service?

~Speaking of transitioning, it's not just that supposed right-wing sexists are transitioning into left-wing feminists, but it's happening the other way round, too:

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem has drawn the wrath of the Twitterverse for suggesting that young women supporting Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign are doing so to gain the attention of men.

"When you're young, you're thinking, 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,'" Steinem told Bill Maher Friday night on the comic's HBO show "Real Time."

I think I saw that film. Was it Where The Bern Is, or Beach Blanket Bernie or How To Stuff A Wild Bernkini? The one where Annette Funicello talks Connie Francis into skipping out on Hillary's speech to Goldman Sachs because Frankie Avalon and Fabian want to sign them up as town committee chairs while they read Bernie's policy paper for a 90 per cent marginal tax rate over a chocolate malt.

Meanwhile, fellow feminist icon Madeleine Albright warns:

"A lot of the younger women don't think — that think it's been done. It's not done. And you have to help. Hillary Clinton will always be there for you," Albright said. "And just remember — there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other."

You'll be feeling the Bern all right - on Satan's roasting spit for all eternity, you hussies!

~Speaking of a woman's place, how's that old Two-Tier Sisterhood coming along? While America's coeds see violent raging rapists in every effete pajama boy, in Britain the micro-aggressions are more precisely targeted:

A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is reported in England every 109 minutes, according to official health figures.

Some 2,421 instances of mutilation were reported from April 2015 to September 2015 - the latest full six months of figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

Experts said the figures, which are released on the eve of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on Saturday, are just the "tip of the iceberg".

That's an unusually vivid cliché in this context. The great Tim Blair, whom I hope to be seeing in the course of my antipodean foray this month, notices a strange omission in this otherwise thorough news story:

The Press Association's report doesn't offer any reasons why female genital mutilation is increasing in England.

Just so. It seems to be just something in the air - like climate change, except that in this case it's not man-caused. It's just sort of ...happening:

Tanya Barron, the chief executive of the anti-FGM charity Plan UK which collected the figures, said: "FGM has been a hidden danger threatening girls in the UK and around the world - only now is the full scale becoming clear.

"A hidden danger threatening girls"? Could you be a little more specific perhaps? I mean, by 2014 it was estimated that 137,000 girls in England and Wales had been genitally mutilated. On a rough count, that's about 137,000 more genitally mutilated girls than there were in England and Wales circa 1954. Any idea why something hitherto unknown to a civilized country is now rampant?

[Crickets chirping outside the cricketidectomy clinic]

You don't occasionally wonder if the "hidden danger" mightn't have something to do with a certain word beginning with...?

Whoops, we're right out of time. Maybe we'll get to that when the FGM rate is up to one every 19 minutes. Then again, maybe not. Unlike the flower of America's maidenhood, no one needs to sign these girls up for the new war: They're already on the front line.

As Tim Blair concludes:

England is basically a third-world country coated with a micron-thin patina of fading civilisation.

Or, as I put it in my book, "Somalia with chip shops".

February 8, 2016 at 8:41 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, February 1-7

Happy Super Bowl Sunday to our American readers. For our friends Down Under, Mark's nationwide tour of Australia kicks off a week today - on Valensteyn's Day live in Perth. All dates are sold out except for a few remaining tickets for Mark's debut appearance in Cloncurry. If you'd like to grab one of the last seats at the Post Office Hotel (see right), please click here. And, if you'd like to be put on the waiting list for Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Sydney or the big gala beano in Melbourne, please email Rachel at the IPA here.

~Monday saw the presidential nominating process formally kick off with the Iowa Caucus. On the Republican side, it was a victory for Cruz, a disappointment for Trump, but it was third-placed Rubio who instantly emerged as the pundits' darling. On the Democrat side, they flipped coins: as Steyn saw it, if Iowa was a Third World banana republic, Jimmy Carter and the UN observers would decline to certify the results.

~The biggest story of our time continues to be Europe's civilizational suicide via fast-track Islamization. This week we posted Mark's interview in the Danish Parliament from last September - before the Paris attack, the German rapes, the Swedish murders, yet timelier than ever. Click below to watch:

~On Wednesday Steyn started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man, John Oakley. They discussed the climate alarmists' call for those who disagree with them to be "thrown in jail" - and the comparative risks of calling elections on Canadian quarters vs US quarters. Click below to listen:

~This week President Obama visited a mosque and declared that Islam means peace. Mark thought something got lost in translation.

~On Friday Steyn checked in with Boston radio colossus Howie Carr to preview the New Hampshire Primary.

~For our weekend movie selection, Mark reviewed Michael Bay's new film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

Steyn's new CD, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, dedicated to his own beloved cat Marvin, has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and continues to rack up five-star reviews at Amazon. For example:

It looks like a weird joke until you actually listen to it

I bought this album as a gag gift for my 10-year-old niece, thinking that it would be a record of cat noises that would annoy her parents. The joke backfired. My niece and her parents love it. Far from finding it annoying, her parents are thrilled that their daughter is listening to - and thoroughly enjoying - jazzy tunes from the 20th Century that they listened to as children.

Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available in good old-fashioned CD format. But, if you can't wait for the mailman, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week. And, if you're minded to hit the Flinders Highway, don't forget to snag those remaining seats in Cloncurry for Steyn's Australian tour.

February 7, 2016 at 7:14 am  |  Permalink

Sumner in Winter

On Friday I checked in with New England radio colossus Howie Carr to survey the political scene on the eve of the New Hampshire primary - with a brief detour into the strange wraith-like quality of Bill Clinton in his Iowa stage appearance, which led Howie and me to speculate on the increasing similarities between Bill and deposed CBS honcho Sumner Redstone (see right).

To hear the full interview with Howie, click here.

~I said yesterday that, if Iowa were a Third World banana republic, Jimmy Carter and the UN observers would decline to certify the results. From The Guardian:

In Grinnell Ward 1, the precinct where elite liberal arts college Grinnell College is located, 19 delegates were awarded to Bernie Sanders and seven were awarded to Hillary Clinton on caucus night. However, the Iowa Democratic party decided to shift one delegate from Sanders to Clinton on the night and did not notify precinct secretary J Pablo Silva that they had done so. Silva only discovered that this happened the next day, when checking the precinct results in other parts of the county.

So one of Bernie's Grinnell delegates got mysteriously "shifted" to Hillary. In the Democrat Party, shift happens.

~It's not just Donald Trump who's talking tough about deporting illegal aliens, so are the Europeans:

Six in 10 migrants arriving in Europe are economic migrants with no right to asylum, one of the EU's most senior officials has disclosed.

Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the European Commission, said that the majority of those coming to the EU are not fleeing war or persecution.

Many are Tunisians or Moroccans who were joining the migrant trail through Turkey, he said, and they must be deported if the public is to consent to aiding asylum seekers.

"They must be deported": That sounds pretty butch. The Spectator's Douglas Murray is not impressed:

Does anybody honestly believe that the Swedish authorities are currently preparing to deport 80,000 fake asylum seekers from their country?

Or let us assume that the 60pc figure is correct for Germany and that 60pc of the people who have arrived in Germany in the past year alone should not be there. Given that it has taken in more than a million people in the last twelve months, is Germany now going to deport as many as three quarters of a million fake asylum seekers from its territory? Of course not. They will not even attempt it. Everybody in Europe knows that. And everybody following events and weighing up their chances from outside Europe knows that.

For one thing, the Germans have managed to misplace 50 per cent of their "refugees":

The German government has lost track of the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered the country in 2015. N24 television has reported that up to 50% of "asylum seekers" have gone into hiding; their whereabouts are unknown. They presumably include economic migrants and others who are trying to avoid deportation if or when their asylum applications are rejected. The SaarbrĂĽcker Zeitung reported that up to 30% of the migrants being sheltered in the eastern German states of Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt have "simply vanished." Separately, German authorities estimate that hundreds of thousands of migrants have entered the country without being registered and whose whereabouts are unknown.

Fortunately, some of them do occasionally emerge from hiding to blow things up:

BERLIN — An Algerian couple, suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Berlin and arrested on suspicion of belonging to the Islamic State, entered Germany late last year and applied for asylum as Syrian refugees — part of a pattern of terrorism suspects entering Europe under the guise of fleeing war, the German authorities said Friday.

~With my Australian tour all but totally sold out, Kiwi readers are demanding to know why I'm not zipping across the Tasman for a date in New Zealand. Well, I'm very fond of the country, and would love to see all those spectacular locations where Sir Peter Jackson filmed his boffo Tolkien movies. Alas, these days it's less Bilbo and more dildo:

A New Zealand MP got smacked across the face with a dildo at a press conference in Waitangi.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce got the sex toy right in the mouth as a protestor shouted 'that's for raping our sovereignty'.

The MP appears shocked (as you would be), then lets out a cheeky grin when he realises what he's been struck with.

It was pretty big.

After the seven crappy mailers a day I get from Jeb, I do feel the New Hampshire primary would be enlivened by the occasional flying dildo. Given that Jeb must have some of that 100 million bucks left to blow through before Tuesday, maybe Mike Murphy could order up a monogrammed fleet.

February 5, 2016 at 9:19 pm  |  Permalink

The Peace of Submission

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union funded "peace movements" throughout the west - because for the Soviets "peace" meant "the absence of opposition".

In our time the new peace movement is Islam. And so we are told today, from the podium of a mosque with "extremist" "links", that the very word Islam means "peace". Actually, it means "submission" - ie, the absence of opposition.

The only difference between then and now is that instead of being chanted by scrofulous hippies protesting outside a Nato air base the old line's being peddled to us by the President of the United States. Odd.

~At the end of September, I spoke in the Danish Parliament on the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons. (See my speech here.) Afterwards I was hustled off-stage and, a little weary and the worse for wear, gave an interview in a rather handsomely appointed ante-room on the subject of Chancellor Merkel and her Million Muslim March. You might be interested in what I had to say - remember this was two months before the Paris attacks and three months before the New Year sexual assaults and the cover-up by German police and media. Click below to watch:

Thanks to Frau Merkel, everything old is new again:

Fears Mount for Jews in Germany

Just to reiterate a point I've made before: Two decades ago I met many refugees from Yugoslavia's descent into civil war - for example, a family from Mostar in Herzegovina. They'd spent months living in the roofless remains of a bombed house eating rats and whatever else they could find. And it showed. They were youngish people but they were war-ravaged: sunken-cheeked, slack-skinned, with rotting teeth and clothes that hung off their emaciated bodies. You didn't need to be told they were refugees from a civil war: They might as well have had a neon sign on their heads. Oh, and they were Muslim, too.

Twenty years on, their co-religionist "refugees" don't look like that at all. The ones I saw in Denmark and Sweden were well-fed, well-dressed - and fit and muscular, as German women discovered at New Year.

~Rand Paul came fifth in Iowa, which isn't bad. Nevertheless, he has decided to drop out of the presidential race. He's much more of a conventional politician than his father is and his finger-in-the-windy sail-trimming wasn't quite artful enough. And for whatever reason he never generated the cult-like levels of devotion that his dear old dad did. That said, in Iowa, he got as many votes as Bush and Christie combined. I spoke to him when I guest-hosted for Sean Hannity just before Christmas, discussing mainly US immigration in the wake of San Bernadino and Merkel's mass Islamization:

Rick Santorum is also out. He fought an honorable campaign on an innovative platform. But it's hard to make lightning strike twice. In Iowa in 2012 he came first. In 2016 only the presence of Jim Gilmore prevented him from coming last - and Gilmore got just 12 votes.

~It's hard to find an original angle on Donald Trump these days, but this certainly qualifies:

Trump support among Muslims towers over GOP rivals
'Remarkable' poll: More votes than all Republicans combined

It's true. As long as he remembers not to deport them all before voting day, the Michigan primary should be in the bag.

Douglas Ernst's column also brings us full circle, as he quotes me on why, to the average person, Trump's position on Muslim immigration sounds a lot less insane than the official lies of western leaders:

Conservative commentator Mark Steyn responded to the media outrage at the time by telling Fox News' Greta van Susteren that objective people understand there is a strong correlation between Islam and Islamic terrorism.

"To most of the American people, Trump sounds a lot less insane about this than John Kerry standing up in Paris as they're still washing the streets clean of blood, saying [Islamic terrorism] has nothing to do with Islam," Steyn said Dec. 8, 2015.

Steyn's comments were in reference to the Obama administration's reaction to the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, France, that killed 130.

~On Thursday I'll be keeping my weekly date with Hugh Hewitt, live coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.

February 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 25-31

Happy Iowa Caucus Eve to you. For our readers Down Under, Mark's nationwide tour of Australia kicks off two weeks today - on Valentine's Day live in Perth. Most dates are already sold out, but there are still tickets available for the final night in Sydney and for Steyn's debut appearance in, er, Cloncurry. They're going fast, though, so don't leave it too late. For tickets and more, see here. If you'd like to be put on the waiting list for Perth, Brisbane, Canberra or the big gala beano in Melbourne, please email Rachel at the IPA here.

~Mark was abroad this week, tending to personal matters. He hopes to be back this week. Before he left, he did find time to comment on Muslim male outreach in Europe and the women who get outreached to plus Trump vs National Review and its unforeseen impact on Doctor Fraudpants vs Steyn. (For further complications, see this item on Steyn vs National Review.)

Many readers have asked why Mark has not set up a "legal defense fund" for his half-decade legal battle against the Big Climate warm-mongers. He gives his reasons here.

~Speaking of Australia, Tuesday was the Lucky Country's national holiday and we marked the occasion with a Steyn Song of the Week celebrating a land where men chunder.

~Mark's new CD, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, dedicated to his own beloved cat Marvin, continues to earn plaudits:

It's cheery and fun, and as if it wasn't enough to be the best English language writer alive today, and part-time prophet (PBUH), Steyn's actually quite an elegant crooner and the musical arrangements and musicians are top-notch.

STEYN AKBAR!

There are plenty of five-star reviews (plus a couple of one-stars) over at Amazon. Diana S Kington:

LOVE IT! LOVE IT! If you like to smile it is a 'MUST' buy!

And it's got a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes. Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available in good old-fashioned CD format. But, if you can't wait for the mailman, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

The countdown to New Hampshire Primary Day begins tomorrow night, and Mark will be in the thick of things back in the Granite State. And don't forget to snag those remaining seats for Steyn's Australian tour.

January 31, 2016 at 7:25 am  |  Permalink

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Great news! Anglican bishops are moving toward the same position on facial hair as Mullah Omar:

Vicars should grow BEARDS to reach out to Muslims in their areas, says Bishop of London

Yes, the Taliban comes to the Angliban Communion:

One of the priests praised by the Bishop of London, the Rev. Atkinson told The Telegraph he found having a beard had helped provide a connection with many people in his parish, around 85 per cent of whom are Muslim...

The heart of the Cockney East End: 85 per cent Muslim. As they sing in Oliver!, "Consider yourself at 'ome!" So one must adapt as one can:

He said he had forged new links with people after growing his facial hair.

He explained: 'It is an icebreaker – St Paul said "I become all things to all men that by all possible means I might save some"...

Really? The C of E is back in the conversion game?

The second vicar - the Rev Rogers - told the newspaper he was approached by a man who told him he respected him because he had a beard.

The man went on to tell him his beard showed dedication and commitment to something and it showed wisdom.

In a very real sense, the Church of England is a beard for Islam.

~Alas, for those on the distaff side, making "a connection" with the hirsute lads all around is more fraught:

The young Fräulein's name is Bibi Wilhailm. Watch her video while you can, because its presence on the Internet seems to be somewhat precarious, given social media's enthusiasm to be Chancellor Merkel's thought-crime commissars. At any rate, Fräulein Wilhailm poses an interesting question: Where are the men?

One time in summer, the Muslims said we were sluts for walking outside in a t-shirt. Yes, we were wearing t-shirts. It's summer!

Another day, I was wearing this. My friend and I purchased it while shopping hehe. If we feel like wearing it, we will wear it! And you Muslims have no right to physically assault or rape us for it! God willing, never in my life. You have no right to attack us because we are wearing t-shirts. You also have no right to rape.

The life of Germany has changed because these people cannot integrate. We give them so much help. We support them financially and they do not have to work. But they only want more babies and more welfare and more money. Men of Germany, please, patrol the streets and protect us. Do this for your women and your children.

But the men of Germany are preparing to grow such beards as they can.

~Sooner or later, in any discussion of American political hardball, someone says, "Politics ain't beanbag." Being a foreigner, I have no very clear idea of what "beanbag" is in this context. But, at any rate, for me personally there was over the weekend what I'd call an unforeseen development.

The story so far:

In 2013 I bust up with National Review, for various reasons, some of which I'm not at liberty to disclose but all of which fall broadly under the banner of free speech. I'm very big on that. It's my core issue. So in the dispute between National Review and me I'm cheering for me. Go, Steyn!

On the other hand, fraudulent climate mullah Michael E Mann is suing National Review for defamation. So in Mann vs National Review I'm cheering for National Review. Because we happen to be co-defendants in that case. Given that it was filed four years ago, I had hoped that even the sclerotic, dysfunctional craphole of District of Columbia "justice" might have got on with it and held the trial by now, but not so. Two years ago I filed a motion asking to be "severed" from National Review and have my own trial, but Judge Weisberg, the second trial judge (don't ask), gave me the bum's rush. So we remain yoked together. So, as I said, in Mann vs National Review I'm cheering for National Review, faute de mieux.

National Review has been opposed to Donald Trump since he entered the Republican race. I wasn't, because aside from jollying things up tremendously I think Trump performed a very useful service in utterly destroying then frontrunner Jeb Bush's presumed nomination. I regard the attempt by a third Bush in a quarter-century to occupy the White House as obnoxiously un-republican, with a small "r". So in Trump vs Bush, I 'm cheering for Trump.

Which means that in National Review vs Trump, I'm cheering for Trump. I thought their anti-Trump issue was a strategic disaster that did more damage to them than to its intended target. The danger to the frontrunner last week was Bob Dole saying he could live with Trump, and Trent Lott doing likewise. And for all I know John Boehner and Denny Hastert were all lined up to do the same. Fortunately, just as The TimeServers Who Brought You This Mess were readying their class-action endorsement of Trump, National Review stepped in to restore the old narrative: The Establishment vs Trump. In that one, I'm cheering for Trump.

But Trump didn't like National Review coming at him. So over the weekend he Tweeted an approving link to a two-year-old column arguing that National Review is doomed. Unfortunately for me, its thesis is that National Review is doomed because of the Michael E Mann lawsuit. So, when it comes to global-warming fanatics vs free speech, Trump is apparently cheering for the global-warming fanatics.

More to the point, the column's argument is that National Review is doomed because of my supposedly defamatory remarks about Mann. The doom prediction isn't correct, by the way: National Review would survive losing the Mann suit. But I wouldn't. I'd be over, in every sense. Yet, in Mann vs Steyn, Trump is apparently cheering for Mann.

Which meant that over the weekend I got assailed by various Trump fans who'd carelessly skimmed the piece and erroneously concluded that Steyn "is an editor of National Review". So I have the fairly unusual distinction of being denounced as both a "Trump sycophant" and an anti-Trump National Review editor. When it comes to Steyn the Trump sycophant vs Steyn the anti-Trump editor, no one is cheering for Steyn.

Oh, well. Mann hasn't endorsed Trump yet, but Trump endorsing Mann may yet be, as they say, a game-changer - at least in the sense that the 45th president taking the plaintiff's side will make it harder to get an unbiased DC jury. Assuming that is, the trial starts before President Trump's second term is over.

I don't know how Ted Cruz feels, but I occasionally get the sense that American politics is too much for a simple Canadian lad. It may be time to take up beanbag.

January 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, January 18-24

For our readers Down Under, Mark's nationwide tour of Australia kicks off on Valentine's Day. Perth, Brisbane and Canberra are already sold out, but there are still tickets available for other dates such as, er, Cloncurry. They're going fast, though, so don't leave it too late. For details of dates, towns, tickets and more, see here.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Steyn :

The week began with Canada's Prime Minister mourning the murder of six Quebeckers slaughtered by al-Qaeda ...by holding a moment of silence for them at a mosque.

~On Monday Mark had a song for the late David Bowie: "The Man Who Sold The World."

~On Tuesday one of Steyn's co-authors on the climatological bestseller Climate Change: The Facts, Professor Bob Carter, died of a heart attack at his home in Australia. Mark paid tribute to him as a principled man in a corrupted field.

~On Wednesday Steyn considered the destruction of Iraq's oldest monastery - and what may be headed Europe's way.

~It was a turbulent week on the presidential campaign trail as the Trump/Cruz split widened. On Thursday the GOP establishment confronted the world they made, and on Friday National Review produced a Trump-trolling special edition. Over on the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton and General Petraeus signed the same non-disclosure agreement with the US Government, but their breaches thereof seem to be getting very different treatments.

~January marked the tenth anniversary of Mark's first draft of the thesis that evolved into his international bestseller America Alone. In what became our most read piece of the week, he concluded it's still the demography, stupid.

~On the weekend, New York and Washington were snowbound. For our Saturday movie date, Steyn was in a pre-Oscars mood with the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 15 years ago - Gladiator.

Mark's new CD, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, dedicated to his own beloved cat Marvin, continues to pile up five-star reviews. Maija Liisa Cooper calls the album"Amewzing!":

I loved it, great songs! Really entertaining. MEOW, MEOW, MEOW.

Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available in good old-fashioned CD format. But, if you can't wait for the mailman, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with an Australia Day Song of the Week - and don't forget to snag those remaining seats for Mark's Down Under tour next month.

January 24, 2016 at 8:10 am  |  Permalink

Witless Ape: The Director's Cut

If you're in the New York-Washington corridor this weekend, Miss Jessica Martin and I have the perfect musical accompaniment.

~This is a droll line from Professor Glenn Reynolds:

If Obama had 2 more terms, he'd have to build a wall to keep Americans in.

~National Review's initial reaction to Donald Trump's entry into the presidential race appeared a few hours after he launched his campaign under the headline "Witless Ape Rides Escalator". Their condescension has got a little subtler since then, and it's now gone long-form with an entire issue dedicated to the singular proposition: "Against Trump".

I've received a ton of emails today asking me what I make of the National Review hit. I used to contribute to NR, and I generally make it a rule not to comment on publications for which I once wrote. Just move on with your life, that's my advice. In this case, we parted on not terribly pleasant terms, and we remain co-defendants on the unending Mann vs Steyn et al law suit, which means I have to get on well enough with Rich Lowry so that he doesn't want to punch my lights out when we're sitting in the dock together - or, if things go really badly, sharing a cell.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding some contributors I admire, the whole feels like a rather obvious trolling exercise. As I explained yesterday, I don't think Trump supporters care that he's not a fully paid-up member in good standing of "the conservative movement" - in part because, as they see it, the conservative movement barely moves anything. If you want the gist of NR's argument, here it is:

I think we can say that this is a Republican campaign that would have appalled Buckley, Goldwater, and Reagan...

A real conservative walks with us. Ronald Reagan read National Review and Human Events for intellectual sustenance...

My old boss, Ronald Reagan, once said...

Ronald Reagan was famous for...

When Reagan first ran for governor of California...

Reagan showed respect for...

Reagan kept the Eleventh Commandment...

Far cry from Ronald Reagan's "I am paying for this microphone" line...

Trump is Dan Quayle, and everyone and his auntie are Lloyd Bentsen: "I knew Ronald Reagan, I worked for Ronald Reagan, I filled in Ronald Reagan's subscription-renewal form for National Review. And you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan."

You have to be over 50 to have voted for Reagan, and a supposed "movement" can't dine out on one guy forever, can it? What else you got?

Well, there are two references to Bush, both of them following the words "Reagan and". But no mention of Dole, one psephological citation of Romney, and one passing sneer at McCain as a "cynical charlatan" - and that's it for the last three decades of presidential candidates approved by National Review, at least to the extent that they never ran entire issues trashing them.

Will the more or less official disdain of "the conservative movement" make any difference to Trump's supporters? Matt Welch in Reason:

Many or even most of the people who make a living working in politics and political commentary—even those who think of themselves as outsiders, such as nonpartisan libertarians—inevitably begin to view their field as one dedicated primarily to ideas, ideology, philosophy, policy, and so forth, and NOT to the emotional, ideologically unmoored cultural passions of a given (and perhaps fleeting) moment.

I'd put that contrast slightly differently. The movement conservatives at National Review make a pretty nice living out of "ideas, ideology, philosophy, policy, and so forth". The voters can't afford that luxury: They live in a world where, in large part due to the incompetence of the national Republican Party post-Reagan, Democrat ideas are in the ascendant. And they feel that this is maybe the last chance to change that.

Go back to that line "When Reagan first ran for governor of California..." Gosh, those were the days, weren't they? But Reagan couldn't get elected Governor of California now, could he? Because the Golden State has been demographically transformed. From my book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn:

According to the Census, in 1970 the 'Non-Hispanic White' population of California was 78 per cent. By the 2010 Census, it was 40 per cent. Over the same period, the 10-per cent Hispanic population quadrupled and caught up with whites.

That doesn't sound terribly 'natural', does it? If one were informed that, say, the population of Nigeria had gone from 80 per cent black in 1970 to 40 per cent black today, one would suspect something rather odd and profoundly unnatural had been going on.

The past is another country, and the Chamber of Commerce Republicans gave it away. Reagan's California no longer exists. And, if America as a whole takes on the demographics of California, then "the conservative movement" will no longer exist. That's why, for many voters, re-asserting America's borders is the first, necessary condition for anything else - and it took Trump to put that on the table.

~My Australian tour kicks off on Valentine's Day in the wild west. I always love my forays Down Under, and I'm looking forward to this trip immensely. I understand the Perth, Brisbane and Canberra gigs are already sold out, but there are still a few tickets left for other dates such as, er, Cloncurry. Don't leave it too late, though. Full details of the schedule and availability can be found here..

January 22, 2016 at 8:34 pm  |  Permalink

Smite the Land

St Elijah's monastery stood on the outskirts of Mosul for 1,400 years, the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq. We learned on Wednesday that it has been razed to the ground by the Islamic State:

"Bulldozers, heavy equipment, sledgehammers, possibly explosives turned those stone walls into this field of gray-white dust. They destroyed it completely," [Stephen Wood] said from his Colorado offices.

On the other side of the world, in his office in exile, in Erbil, Iraq, Catholic priest Rev. Paul Thabit Habib, 39, stared in disbelief at the before- and after- images.

"Our Christian history in Mosul is being barbarically leveled," he said in Arabic.

In my book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, I write of the ethno-religious cleansing of the formerly "diverse" Middle East over the last half-century and describe Islam as "king on a field of corpses". Even so, very few of the shock troops of Muslim totalitarianism have taken that phrase as literally as ISIS does. If you "degrade" and "contain" the Islamic State in as desultory and lethargic a fashion as Obama does, there will be nothing left to liberate - other than a vast "field of gray-white dust".

I doubt one in a thousand westerners knows the fate of St Elijah's. To the fatuous social-justice pontiff who sits in St Peter's, it's not as big a deal as climate change. It's not a big story on the network news - it might embarrass the "leader of the free world", and complicate the narrative for a Secretary of State running on her immense foreign-policy experience. Christianity in Araby is being "barbarically leveled", and yet the President in his already forgotten State of the Union can only confirm Islam in its indestructible, pathological sense of its own victimhood:

His Holiness, Pope Francis, told this body from the very spot that I'm standing on tonight that "to imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place." When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn't make us safer. That's not telling it like it is. It's just wrong. (Applause.) It diminishes us in the eyes of the world. It makes it harder to achieve our goals. It betrays who we are as a country. (Applause.)

No, sir. That "field of gray-white dust" in Iraq betrays who we are, all too tellingly.

~On the eve of the transnational A-listers' favorite beano, the founder of Davos says that "migrant"-wise we ain't seen nothin' yet:

As the crash in commodities prices spreads economic woe across the developing world, Europe could face a wave of migration that will eclipse today's refugee crisis, says Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

"Look how many countries in Africa, for example, depend on the income from oil exports," Schwab said in an interview ahead of the WEF's 46th annual meeting, in the Swiss resort of Davos. "Now imagine 1 billion inhabitants, imagine they all move north."

Whereas much of the discussion about commodities has focused on the economic and market impact, Schwab said he's concerned that it will also spur "a substantial social breakdown."

A billion man march, eh? The population of the developed world - North America, the European Union, Japan, Oz, NZ - is about a billion. Of the remaining six billion people around the planet, is it really so absurd to think that one-sixth of them would "move north" if they could? Or if they chanced to see a YouTube video of "refugees" in Sweden and Germany demonstrating how easy it is?

The population of Africa is projected to grow from one to four billion in the course of this century - to about two-fifths of the planet's people. Is it remotely likely that 40 per cent of humanity will choose to stay in the most dysfunctional continent on earth when it can't support a population a quarter that size?

Herr Schwab has a point. For Cologne and other cities, there will be some even livelier New Year's Eves ahead.

~Several readers have asked me how that Kermit Gosnell movie is coming along. As we've mentioned every so often, Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney decided to crowdfund a feature film about the infanticidal abortionist mainly because no Hollywood studio or TV network will ever go near the subject - even though he's America's all-time champion serial killer, which, in any other circumstances, would be considered a can't-miss pitch.

Well, on Wednesday Dean ("Superman") Cain turned up on "The Today Show", and Kathie Lee Gifford asked him a question en passant:

"What's the movie you're doing," Gifford asked Cain.

"Gosnell. I just finished the movie — coming out in 2016," answered Cain, who will play the role of a Philadelphia police detective who investigated Gosnell and his house-of-horrors abortion clinic accused of conducting thousands of late term abortions.

Cain didn't hesitate to describe the scale of Gosnell's crimes (dismissed as a "local crime story" by one Washington Post reporter and generally ignored by the national media), "One woman died. But he performed late-term abortions on maybe even thousands of babies..."

"It's a tough story," Cain concluded.

"Talk about a war on women," Gifford added.

"No kidding, yeah," [Hoda] Kotb had to agree.

Kathie Lee Gifford is exactly right, and good for her for saying it on network TV.

January 20, 2016 at 11:30 pm  |  Permalink

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