I had a grand time guest-hosting for Rush on America's Number One radio show. You can sample a few moments from the show - or, for Rush 24/7 subscribers, the full three hours - here. It was a strange blend of geopolitical foreign-policy big-picture strategy and, er, duck genitalia. In the grim roll call of America's retreat from the world, almost two years after the sacking of the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi and the murder of its ambassador, the Libyan embassy itself has also fallen:
As for the duck genitalia, that's something the United States Government is studying with your tax dollars. Apparently, the female duck has a vagina that is a clockwise corkscrew, and the male duck has a penis that is a counterclockwise corkscrew - which prompted one caller to observe that Obama is trying to insert is counterclockwise foreign policy into a clockwise corkscrew of a world. At any rate, HR chipped in with the following quatrain (author unknown):
Words to ponder.
HR, Mr Snerdley and I will be back for Wednesday's Rush Limbaugh Show, with three of live substitute-host-level excellence in broadcasting direct from Ice Station EIB starting at 12 noon Eastern.
A Happy Labor Day or Labour Day weekend, according to taste, to our American and Canadian readers. In case you missed it, here's the last seven days as seen by Mark:
We began the week with a rollicking song for the 75th anniversary of The Wizard Of Oz.
~Our Monday Mark looked at the latest US corporation to vote with its feet, as Burger King declines to have it Obama's way and decamps to Canada to "have it your eh?".
~On Tuesday Steyn checked in with Hannity on Fox News to discuss the President's penetrating insight that ISIS was merely the junior varsity team of jihad. As Mark saw it, the only JV player on the geopolitical court is Obama.
~On Wednesday, in what became our most-read piece of the week, we noted that the peer-reviewed climate science has now caught up with Steyn, and a throwaway observation he made five years ago. With the Mann vs Steyn trial of the century approaching, Mark is very grateful to all who've helped support his pushback against the increasingly isolated Big Climate alarmists via the Steyn store. He is preparing to depose self-conferred Nobel Laureate Michael Mann.
~On Friday, Mark considered one of the most horrifying stories of the week - the failure and collusion of politicians, police and child "protection" agencies in the sexual "grooming" of 1,400 girls by Muslim rape gangs in the Yorkshire town of Rotherham.
~To end the week, Mark paid tribute to the great actor (of Brighton Rock and Jurassic Park) and director (of Gandhi and A Bridge Too Far) Richard Attenborough.
A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week. After Labor Day, Mark returns to the Golden EIB Microphone to guest-host for Rush on America's Number One radio show, live coast to coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
My weekly appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show chanced this week to follow a rare appearance by Barack Obama at the White House. He happened to have a couple of hours between the golf game and the fundraiser, and so thought he might as well climb into the lightweight suit and make a statement about Putin, Iraq and all the other peripheral stuff President Tee-Time doesn't usually have time for. This was his position on ISIS:
As Vlad and the mullahs and the ChiComs must be thinking: Wow! When he promised he'd be the most transparent administration in history, he wasn't kidding.
So then we discussed the suit for a bit, and whether a serious man should wear that color on television:
But eventually we stopped talking about Obama's suit and moved back to less important matters, like his public announcement that Putin could pretty much do as he wishes in Ukraine:
As I commented:
Hugh also raised his remarkable interview with Mitt Romney, whose will-I-won't-I? tease on the 2016 campaign got cranked up a notch or two. I professed no great enthusiasm for this scenario and remarked:
But only very slightly.
We also found time to discuss forthcoming Steyn musical albums, on which I'm almost as big a tease as Mitt.
The full interview is here.
PS Our headline comes courtesy, of course, of our old chums Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.
UPDATE: Scaramouche takes the Sandy Man and makes him satisfying and delicious.
~Later this morning I'll be joining Michael Graham in Atlanta, and it will be a busy week for me radio-wise post-Labor Day, so stay tuned for details of that.
On Tuesday night Mark joined Sean Hannity live on Fox News to discuss President Obama's ridiculous characterization of Isis as the "JayVees" of jihad, and the White House's attempts to walk it back. Steyn was not impressed by the Commander-in-Chief's witless and shallow analogy:
To watch more from Mark's appearance on Hannity, click here.
While Obama golfed: Over the weekend, Tripoli Airport fell to the jihad boys. I was there some years ago, and thought it compared favorably with, say, Logan. Now it's a smoking ruin - part of the blowback from Obama's leading with his behind, or whatever he calls it. As things stand, this guy will end his presidency with a chain of failed states for al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, ISIS and the Taliban to gambol and frolic in stretching from West Africa to the Hindu Kush. But you can't see them from Martha's Vineyard, so who cares?
~Can you see Burger King from the Vineyard Golf Club? America's second-biggest burger chain is the latest US corporation to vote with its feet - by wooing Tim Hortons:
Like Pfizer and other companies, Burger King has figured out that the quickest way to escape Obama's America is to buy a business in another western nation and order up a new set of letterheads with a foreign address. President Tee-Time will doubtless give a speech at a fundraiser demonizing Burger King and reminding them that in this burg there's only one king and his slogan is "Have it my way!"
America is seizing up. A country that was once a byword for dynamism and energy has chosen not decline but something closer to suicide.
~The empire-building talk-show host Glenn Beck has apparently offered to buy Headline News from CNN. As Ed Driscoll points out, the news report at The Wrap manages to miss the main point of interest - which is that, before his present eminence, Beck was a minor host at HLN, one of several CNN anchors whose talents the network had no idea how to exploit, as opposed to the gate-delay deadbeats they keep on for decades. So the fun part of the story is the element of sweet revenge - as when former RKO contract player Lucille Ball returned to the studio lot and bought it for her production company.
~Also via Ed Driscoll, I learn that gangsta rap impresario Suge Knight was shot in West Hollywood - not by the Ferguson Police Department, I hasten to add. I only ever write about Suge when he's involved in a rap-wars shooting, and this time, poor fellow, he was the one who get perforated. The big guy has a small part in Mark Steyn's Passing Parade, which is available in a personally autographed print edition direct from SteynOnline, or in new expanded eBook format from Amazon worldwide and the other outlets listed at the foot of the page. Suge shows up in my obituary for his late client Tupac Shakur, shot dead in Vegas in 1996 while sitting in the passenger seat of Mr Knight's car:
Well, now they can talk about Suge's bullet wounds. I wonder if this time, as in 1996, the wily hip-hopper has any exploitable product to hand:
I can't help feeling we easy-listening types would get more respect if we did a bit of this sort of thing. Maybe I should shoot up Johnny Mathis' string section to promote my Christmas album.
~Don't forget Mark Steyn's Passing Parade can be yours in personally autographed print format direct from SteynOnline, or in the new expanded eBook edition, which you can be reading within minutes in Kindle, Nook or Kobo - from Barnes & Noble in the US, from Indigo-Chapters in Canada, and from Amazon outlets worldwide. Click below for your nearest branch office:
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Mark was busy with family matters toward the end of the week, but he still found time to keep an eye on the big news. In case you missed it, here's his take on the last seven days:
We began the week with the welcome return of Mark's Mailbox.
~Our Monday-morning Song of the Week was the song that gave birth to an entire genre - the first great love ballad in the American Songbook.
~On Tuesday Mark returned to one of the big themes of the summer - the contrast between the express check-in at America's evaporated southern border and the ever more insane harassment of the law-abiding at the northern border, with the latest installment of the federal commissars' crackdown on bagpipes.
~On Wednesday Mark joined Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley to discuss Ferguson, Missouri and the militarization of US policing, and the news that in the new Caliphate an American had been beheaded by a "Briton", which proved to be our most-read piece of the week.
~On the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, Steve McIntyre reported that Big Climate enforcer Michael Mann's newfound sensitivity to charges of "fraud" is at odds with the EPA's relaxed attitude to Mann's own use of that term. Thank you to all who've helped support Mark's campaign this week via the Steyn store. We continue to prepare for Mann's deposition, discovery, and trial.
~To end the week, Mark returned to the subject of beheaded American journalist James Foley, and the President's horrible, hollow evasions on the subject.
A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week.
Today, Wednesday, I started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man, John Oakley, at AM 640. We focused on two stories - the policing of Ferguson, Missouri, and the decapitation by ISIS of my fellow Granite Stater - James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire, who was kidnapped while reporting on the Syrian uprising.
His executioner - the man standing next to him in the picture at right - was speaking with a British accent. That's to say, he's one of thousands of citizens of western nations - British, American, European, Canadian and Australian - who've flocked to join the planet's coolest new gang and saw the heads off anyone who gets in their way: Christian, Yazedi, Kurd, Shia, Alawite, and, indeed, plenty of little schoolgirls in pretty pink dresses. As I said to John, more British Muslims are serving with ISIS than as soldiers of the Queen. Click below to listen:
As the apologists for mass Muslim immigration assure us, not every western Muslim wants to join up with the head-hackers. That's true, but the number of folks back home cheering them on is not insignificant: I mentioned to John a poll showing that "15 per cent of French people back ISIS". Ah, but don't worry: it's probably an outlier.
Just before I went on air, Jeffery Hype tweeted:
But you gotta get up earlier than that to beat me to this stuff. I recommended to former Nato commander General Wesley Clark that America invade Britain way back in 2007.
Don't worry, I was just winding up General Clark, and at this stage I'm not sure it would accomplish anything. From the United Kingdom's point of view, the Afghan war has long been in essence a British civil war relocated to the Hindu Kush and played out between those British passport-holders loyal to Queen and country and those who regard themselves as soldiers of Allah. But the execution of James Foley broadens the scope, and foreshadows a world in which Americans are beheaded by nominal "Australians", Australians by "Belgians", Belgians by "Canadians", Canadians by "Germans", Germans by Americans.
There are two approaches to ISIS: You can kill it. Or you can feed it. And right now we're feeding it - with manpower, and with victims. And, as it feasts, it grows.
But, as I said all those years ago, soon you won't even be able to make that comparison. Because we are becoming them.
And so it is that in the supposed "Syrian civil war" an American citizen is beheaded by a British subject.
~Tomorrow, I'll be keeping my weekly radio date south of the border with Hugh Hewitt, live coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.
I wrote two weeks ago about two New Hampshire teenagers having their bagpipes seized at the northern border by US Customs & Border Protection. This would be the same "border" "protection" agency that has turned the southern border into an express welfare check-in for any of the world's seven billion people minded to show up there.
My fellow Granite Staters - 17-year-old Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean, of Concord and Londonderry, New Hampshire - understood that if you go to a highland fling a couple of hours north in Quebec you're now obligated to get your bagpipes approved by US Fish & Wildlife.
Because that's just the way it is in the Land of the Free.
So Messrs Webster and Bean got their CITES certificate and presented it to the US CBP agent at the Vermont border crossing.
Whereupon he promptly confiscated their bagpipes on the grounds that, yes, their US Fish & Wildlife CITES paperwork was valid, but it's only valid at 28 ports of entry and this wasn't one of them.
Nor is any other US/Canadian land crossing. So, if you're a piper in, say, Pittsburg, New Hampshire and you want to play in a competition in La Patrie, Quebec 20 minutes north, you have to drive four-to-five hours south to Logan Airport in Boston, fly to Montreal and drive two hours east to La Patrie.
Because that's just the way it is in the Land of the Free.
When the CBP agent seized Messrs Webster and Bean's bagpipes, he told them - with the characteristic insouciance of the thug bureaucracy - that they were "never going to see them again". But thanks to the unwelcome publicity the Homeland Security mafiosi were forced to cough 'em up.
The two pipers are now heading to a competition in Scotland. So they'll be flying back via Boston, which is one of those 28 valid ports of entry. They've called Fish & Wildlife to arrange for the mandatory "inspection" of the bagpipes upon landing at Logan Airport.
Unfortunately, the official Fish & Wildlife bagpipes inspector is taking a day off that day - she's visiting her Auntie Mabel, having a seaweed wrap at the spa, whatever. So she won't be available to inspect the pipes. So she's told them they'll have to drive back to New Hampshire and then drive back to Logan the following day for the Fish & Wildlife bagpipes inspection. So she's taking a day off on Wednesday, and the bagpipers will have to take a day off on Thursday - just to comply with the diktats of the Department of Paperwork.
Because that's just the way it is in the Land of the Free.
And presumably, for the intervening 24 hours, their bagpipes will once again be seized by the feds, so here's a link to the petition they launched last time in case the government is minded to keep them.
By the way, here's an email to one bagpiper from Wildlife Inspector Rosemarie Levandowski - because at the Department of Fish & Wildlife bagpipes are designated as wildlife rather than fish. Because a wildlife inspector needs a bagpipe like a fish needs a bicycle. Here's what Inspector Levandowski writes:
Gotta love that "also": Every time you take a bagpipe in and out of the United States it's a $476* round-trip fee.
Demanding a CITES certificate for bagpipes is a burden upon free-born citizens. Restricting the paperwork's validity to only 28 ports of entry is an unduly onerous burden. Requiring the bagpipers to come back on the Wednesday to those 28 ports of entry because the inspector's washing her hair on the Tuesday is an even more onerous and insulting burden. And charging an American $476 to play his bagpipe in Montreal is a shakedown racket unacceptable in a free society. Tyranny starts at the edges and nibbles its way in. This bagpipe regime is tyrannous, but it will not stop there.
As I said before, where is "the party of small government" on this? When will they pipe up?
Or do bagpipers have to loot and riot to get any attention from anyone who matters?
The annual Highland Games at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire are a significant economic boon to the state. But it's hard to see many Scots or Canadians willing to undergo the torments of US Fish & Wildlife and the risk of losing treasured old pipes, even if they can afford the 476 bucks. So see you, jimmeh!
American is economically sclerotic because it's being hyper-regulated to death. But as I concluded last time:
In this republic, in 2014, there is little evidence of "the spirit of liberty".
Maybe there's a Fish & Wildlife form we can fill in to get it back...
*corrected from earlier innumeracy ($576): I usually take my socks off to count up the big numbers...
In case you missed it, here's the last seven days as seen by Mark:
We began the week with a trio of lasting songs from a flop musical.
~On Monday Steyn discussed the most arresting Tweet of the week - a proud Australian jihadist's photograph of his seven-year-old son holding up the severed head of a Syrian soldier.
~On Tuesday Mark pondered what happens when stone-age guys get space-age technology, and considered Isis supporters' fond memories of Robin Williams.
~On Thursday Mark kept his weekly radio date with Hugh Hewitt and covered almost as much ground as Isis.
~Our most-read column of the week was also our most controversial, with many readers strongly disagreeing with Steyn on the militarization of the American police.
~On the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, there was a surprising development: The ACLU, The Washington Post, NBC News and a myriad of other organizations all filed briefs with the DC Court of Appeals strongly opposing serial litigant and climate mullah Michael E Mann. On the other hand, Professor Paul Krugman is backing Mann and putting his faith in Google. We thank readers around the world for your continued support for Steyn's legal battle via your patronage of the Steyn store. We continue to prepare for Mann's deposition, discovery, and trial.
~Finally, for our weekend movie feature, we dusted off Good Will Hunting.
A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week.
Hugh Hewitt and I were back on the air together for the first time in a month or so, and covered a lot of ground:
Well, when you put it like that, it seems obvious to me that the biggest news of the week was that, as the White House announced, the President and the First Lady had every dance at that swank Martha's Vineyard party they went to.
Beyond the Martha's Vineyard social scene, President Obama and his advisers don't seem to grasp that nothing exists in isolation:
We also talked about the seven-year-old Aussie boy brandishing the severed head his dad gave him to play with, and I talked about how the left had moved beyond homophobia and Islamophobia and was concerned now not to appear headchopperphobic.
Oh, and Hugh found time to ask me about the latest developments in climate mullah Michael E Mann's suit against me:
You can find the full conversation with Hugh here. I appear on his show every Thursday at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.
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