According to my inspired compatriot Kathy Shaidle, Donald Trump is President Sinatra:
On the other hand, according to Bruce Bawer ...and, incidentally, Bruce and I once shared a stage with Frank's opening act, the great Tom Dreesen... anyway, according to Bruce Bawer, Barack Obama is President Dino:
So Trump is Frank and Obama is Dean. I'm an old Fleet Street hand, and I'm fully aware it takes three to make a trend. So c'mon:
Bernie Sanders is Sammy Davis Jr? They're both Jews. Like Sam, Bernie is the Candy Man, luring millions of impressionable children with promises of a rainbow utopia:
Er, okay. How about Ted Cruz is Peter Lawford? They're both British subjects who married into powerful American dynasties (Fitzgerald Kennedys, Goldman Sachs). They both had relatives involved in the Kennedy assassination...
No? Well, how about Marco Rubio is Joey Bishop? The lovable shnook with the great line in Vegas shtick: "Hey, have you seen Donald's hands? You know what they say: Small hands, small bird, pally..."
Okay. Hillary Clinton is Angie Dickinson. Like Angie, Hillary is a stand-up broad. Well, except for the standing-up part...
~Dispatches from Neverland: Eminent national-security Republicans, after declaring themselves #NeverTrump and denouncing him as "a danger to the nation", are apparently puzzled as to why they haven't been offered jobs in his administration. They're befuddled and bewildered. Why, it's almost like he took their principled stand seriously!
As Trump would say: Sad! You'd think "experts" on such internecine tribal sinkholes as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc, would have a better understanding that, when it comes to switching sides, you never want to leave it too late.
~On last night's Mark Steyn Show, we discussed a small manifestation of our incremental surrender - the Tweet by a Canadian cabinet minister that she is "fascinated" by Sharia. But these days who isn't? At Indiana's New Albany-Floyd County school district, they're also fascinated:
Of course. That's the purpose of it. Soon we'll have advanced to the next stage, which many European schools are already at: You can't teach the Crusades or the Holocaust, because they're too "controversial", but the joys of Sharia are something we can all agree on.
If you missed The Mark Steyn Show, you can catch it at your leisure here. Michele Bachmann previews the incoming Trump Administration, I take a look at who's who in the celeb-Dem boycotts, there's a stroll down memory lane with some inaugural disasters from the past couple of centuries, and, for Canuck and Commonwealth viewers, we play a round of "Know Your Ensigns". More details here.
On Tuesday's eve-of-inauguration edition of The Mark Steyn Show, former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann swings by the studio to preview what the next four years might bring. Also in presidential mode, I offer a few inaugural observations - and consider the attempt to de-legitimize the incoming chief executive. And it's Flag Day on the Steyn scene - if only for Canucks and Aussies. For more details on The Mark Steyn Show, see here.
~On the second anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo bloodbath, Douglas Murray looks at the pitiful condition of France's satirical magazine - and the parlous state of free speech throughout the west:
Douglas cites this particularly egregious betrayal of the principle of free speech, from a land that was once the crucible of liberty:
The likes of Mrs May are conditioning us to tolerate the avowedly intolerant: That way lies a descent into endless night. I wrote a book on that theme a decade ago, but, alas, the western leadership class chose to spend the last ten years accelerating the process. Nevertheless, a few prominent Europeans are none too happy about where they're headed:
One of the safest bets is that something beats nothing.
~I wrote the other day:
If you're in Goose Bay, Labrador and about to set off, save your Greyhound fare. The Mann vs Ball trial has now been mysteriously "adjourned" until a not yet specified later date. So yet again the court system appears willing to assist the litigious Mann's resort to interminable lawsuits that never actually get to trial. But I promise this: In BC as in DC, the courtroom doors will eventually be prised open, and I will be there.
~And, while I won't be in Vancouver next month, I will be north of the border. Three years ago, I spoke at the Manning Conference in Ottawa, which is, very roughly speaking, the Canadian equivalent of CPAC. My thesis was that the facts of life are conservative. This year I'm back, in very different circumstances for northern Tories. But, the Trudeaupian restoration notwithstanding, we will have fun and do our best to rouse the troops. The conference runs from February 23rd to the 25th, and you can find out more details here.
~W magazine - the magazine for George W Bush fans - has a feature called "Culture Diet", which I like to give the once-over every so often. The subject this week is Vanity Fair's maestro of profiles, Bob Colacello:
In the old days at the Speccie in London and Canada's National Post, I used to have a lot of readers who didn't agree with me politically but enjoyed reading me. My unexpected namecheck from Bob Colacello reminded me that, in all the years I've been in America, that's hardly ever happened here. As the new President would say: Sad!
See you tonight on the telly.
In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:
The week began with Steyn's Song of the Week and a wild jungle tribute to Debbie Reynolds.
~On Monday Mark addressed a huge media blind spot - the refusal to see the Islamization of Europe and what it portends - and their outright deception about a brutal attack in Chicago. It was our most-read piece of the week.
~On Tuesday Steyn unveiled the first current-events edition of the new Mark Steyn Show. He pushed back hard against Meryl Streep and Hollywood "victimhood", and noted that neither she nor other movie A-listers had said a word about film-makers and other artists who in recent years have been silenced for their art, even unto death. He also talked about the disease of "cultural appropriation" - can non-Mexicans wear a sombrero? can white novelists write black characters? - and celebrated a prototype reality star, Buffalo Bill. More details on the show here.
~Later in the week Mark's old boss Rich Lowry penned an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times on climate mullah Michael E Mann's five-year lawsuit against Steyn, and the hockey-stick huckster's serial hostility to free speech for anyone who disagrees with him. We thank those readers around the world who've enthusiastically backed Mark, and especially those who've expressed their support by buying his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.
~As Steyn noted this week, it cannot have been the intent of the authors of the First Amendment that Americans should enjoy fewer free-speech rights than those territories that remained within the British Empire. Just to underline that point, Breitbart's James Delingpole won an important victory in London this week over a Big Climate enforcer, but even in his hour of triumph he quoted a too familiar maxim:
~On Friday Mark ended the week with the second weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show. The theme was the future, the day after tomorrow - the America of 2029, as conjured in a new novel - but Mark and his guests also found time to pay tribute to the late songwriter Leon Russell, with his slinkiest, sultriest ballad.
~For our Saturday movie date, Steyn presented a special video edition of Mark at the Movies, celebrating a classic film and discussing both the high-tech security state and cinema's first sexy robot:
A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for further episodes of The Mark Steyn Show: On our pre-inauguration show this Tuesday, he'll talk the state of the world, and what the new administration will do about it, with Michele Bachmann.
If you missed the first weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show, Deborah Poore writes:
On the other hand, Brian Shanley writes:
If you incline more toward the Deborah Poore end of the spectrum, check in with us tomorrow night, Tuesday. We'll be talking, among other things, about "cultural appropriation". I may have to wear my sombrero for that.
~Tim Blair writes in Sydney's Daily Telegraph:
The Telegraph link links to that "bewildered" link which links to this Opinion Dominion link which links to this Herald Sun link which is unfortunately sleeping with the fishes. It's a great pity The Herald Sun has decided to eighty-six that 2006 column by Jill Singer, in which she and host Jon Faine "stared at each other with incredulity" during my appearance on his ABC radio show after I mentioned the Islamization of MalmÃ¶. The high point of her piece, as I recall, was Miss Singer's comparison of my dress style to that of Thurston Howell III in "Gilligan's Island". I would have responded in kind, but that would have been ungallant.
So instead I offered to fly the disbelieving Miss Singer and Mr Faine to MalmÃ¶ free of charge to see for themselves, as I've seen it for myself multiple times over the years. But evidently the ABC stalwarts declined to risk having the placid complacency of their illusions disturbed.
~In fairness to the Aussies, they're some miles distant from MalmÃ¶. The torture inflicted on Austin Hillbourn, a teenage schizophrenic, happened in Chicago, and the US media still couldn't bear to confront reality. I discussed the case on the radio last week, but Jim Goad lays out what occurred in unsparing detail. As livestreamed on Facebook, this is what the (white) victim's (black) tormentors told him:
And this is how CBS News, Edward R Murrow's network, reported the above:
As Mediaite's Alex Griswold observes:
You don't say. Golly, you'd almost get the impression they wanted people to think that a black guy had been beaten up by four white Trump fans who called him "the n-word". Maybe someone or other could launch a campaign against "fake news" or something...
Heather Mac Donald is also worth reading on the subject: "A Window into a Depraved Culture."
In MalmÃ¶ as in Chicago, the gulf between reality and the Official Lie will only widen in the years ahead.
UPDATE - from the Instapundit:
In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:
The week, and the year, began with a song for the season.
~On Monday Steyn marked two recent passings - the man who invented Kinder Eggs, on which vexed subject Mark and the Department of Homeland Security strongly disagree; and the great Debbie Reynolds, who did everything from sodden singing with Gene Kelly to hooty-hooting with the hooty owls.
~On Tuesday Steyn found himself reeling under a double assault - from the District of Columbia courts and from fans of the new film La La Land.
~On Wednesday Mark guest-hosted for Rush on America's Number One radio show. Among the topics discussed was the decision of Dr Judith Curry to quit Georgia Tech because of the "craziness" of the climate science echo chamber. As Jo Nova wrote, "Steyn doesn't hold back" in a withering dissection of the disgusting treatment of Dr Curry by hockey-stick huckster Michael E Mann and his Mann-boys. It was our most-read piece of the week.
~As for the ongoing lawsuit Mann filed against Steyn, now in its fifth year, Jo Nova put it well:
We thank those many readers who've written in support of Mark, and especially those who've expressed it by buying his climatological bestseller on Mann's damage to science.
~Steyn ended the week with a second guest-hosting stint for Rush behind the Golden EIB Microphone. An hour into the show, Fort Lauderdale International Airport went into lockdown when yet another "known wolf" opened fire at the Terminal Two baggage claim. As with recent attacks in Brussels and Istanbul, it underlined a point Mark made almost seven years ago - that the so-called "secure area" of the airport only makes the non-secure area an ever more inviting target.
~Later on Friday Steyn launched the first weekend edition of the new Mark Steyn Show. Among his guests were a Goodfella and his missus, Paul and Dee Dee Sorvino. Paul sang a world-famous Neapolitan song written for his aunt - "O Sole Mio" - and, more surprisingly, Rudyard Kipling's "Road to Mandalay". He then segued from Kipling to Kissinger:
~For our Saturday movie date, Steyn presented a special video edition of Mark at the Movies, looking at this year's Oscar favorite.
A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week - and stay tuned for further episodes this week of The Mark Steyn Show.
On Friday Mark will be guest-hosting America's Number One radio show and then non-guest-hosting his own TV show, The Mark Steyn Show. So, for Steyn fans, that's three hours on radio plus an hour on telly: as Mark said on the air on Wednesday, for a very occasional guest-host that's longer and harder than he's labored in a single day since he worked summers on a farm when he was a teenager.
~Among his guests on television tonight is Paul (Goodfellas) Sorvino, who inter alia is a brilliant mimic:
Paul will be talking about acting and sculpting and hunting, and about his personal connection to "O Sole Mio". Also on the show: live music from Maria Muldaur, who'll be temporarily abandoning "Midnight At The Oasis" for a wild jungle tribute to Debbie Reynolds. And Mark and Kyle Smith consider this year's Oscar favorite, La La Land.
We hope you'll join Mark on this first weekend edition of The Mark Steyn Show - and before that on the radio, starting at 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific.
~Next to the mountain of five-star Amazon reviews piled up by Mark's cat album, his and Jessica's Christmas album has languished somewhat. But we like this first five-star review of the New Year for Making Spirits Bright from Kerry Kaminski:
It certainly is, Kerry. And it's never too early to plan your Christmas CD mix for 2017.
On Wednesday, I'll be enjoying a little light radio work on America's Number One radio show, details at right. It starts at 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific. If you're in possession of the necessary receiving apparatus, I hope you'll dial us up, either on one of 600 radio stations across the US or via iHeartRadio livestream.
~Should hockey-stick huckster Michael Mann's interminable lawsuit against me succeed, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century. Such unlikely Steyn allies as NBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc, all agree on that - in their amicus briefs. But actual editorials on this case have been far thinner on the ground. Indeed, the biggest difference between the hockey-stick huckster's suit and the Canadian Islamic Congress' attempt to criminalize my writing north of the border is that (by comparison with the CBC, The Globe & Mail et al) mainstream US media editorialists have been entirely silent. So I was pleased to see this piece from the editors of The New York Post, headlined "DC Court of Appeals' Global Warming Decision Threatens First Amendment":
The Post notes that both Mr Simberg and I were making "statements of opinion" and that, "under the First Amendment, Americans can express their opinion". That's true - or it was until Judge Vanessa Ruiz and her colleagues came along. Her ladyship's view that, once an "expert" body has ruled on a subject, freeborn citizens are obliged to accept that ruling and shut the hell up is perverse and repugnant.
But the Post also adds:
Which is my position. I believe the hockey stick is fraudulent - which is why I stated that it's fraudulent. I've said it's fraudulent in major publications in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, inter alia, since the end of the 20th century - without any slapdash jurists in those countries presuming to say that I had no right to do so.
For the record, I did not write that Mann himself is a fraud, although I'm happy to prove that in court. As that is what the sclerotic and diseased husk of DC justice apparently requires of me, I wish they'd get on with it - as I've been petitioning for over three years. The Post concludes:
I thank all those readers committed to ensuring that a malodorous ideologue doesn't get away with hijacking the First Amendment. If you're interested in keeping me in the game until this outrageous case comes to trial, well, I wrote a whole book on this subject.
~My farewell to Debbie Reynolds included a casual aside on the new and extravagantly praised motion picture La La Land. Mark Shere responds:
Oh, dear. I had hoped I had a few more years before my views on this or that were put down to senescence and obsolescence. But, since the Age Card of "slow pacing" has been played, I ought to say that I saw La La Land with my kids at Merrill's Roxy in Burlington - the only cinema in northern Vermont or NH that was showing it - and, when we walked in, my daughter looked around at the crowd and said, "Hey, Dad, this is weird. Next to us, you're the youngest one here." Which wasn't strictly true: There was a callow millennial or two in attendance. But it was certainly an audience that skewed way older than Iron Man 9 or Cardboard Man 12.
As for my kids, their biggest disappointment was that it wasn't a musical, only a half-hearted semi-musical. There was an opening number, then a second number, and then, gradually, the songs petered out, until in the second half there were barely any at all. As my beloved daughter observed, "They didn't commit to the concept."
We may discuss this further on The Mark Steyn Show later this week. Meanwhile, see you on the radio.
In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Steyn:
~The week began with some appropriate musical performances from Mark's guests on this year's Mark Steyn Christmas Show - for the day itself, one of the most haunting of Christmas carols, followed by some mellow music for Boxing Day.
~As for Boxing Day itself, this year even more so than usual it signaled the holiday without end.
~On Tuesday Mark remembered George Michael, his rhymes and reasons.
~On Wednesday he rounded up various reactions to the very belated developments in the interminable lawsuit brought against him by Big Climate's serial plaintiff Michael E Mann. One of the dafter passages from the DC Court of Appeals' opinion was considered separately (scroll down). Down Under, Tim Blair knows what side he's on. We thank those many readers who've written in support, and especially those who've expressed it by buying Steyn's climatological bestseller on the subject.
~Also midweek, Mark spent Wednesday and Thursday guest-hosting America's Number One radio show, and covering topics from the Year of Trump and Brexit to the Twitter-policing of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' grieving friends and family.
~Even in holiday weeks, the planet spins. On Friday, Steyn pondered the outgoing Obama Administration's exertions upon Israel, and from Illinois a Big Government effort to turn hairdressers into Stasi stylists.
Stephanie Malaspian responds:
We do hope that's not gingerphobic. Speaking of ginger cheer, if you want to get a jump on Christmas 2017, here's a seasonal CD from Mark that is sure to make your spirits bright. We like this latest five-star Amazon review headlined "Perfect Christmas Album!":
Thank you, Jessica. It's never too early to plan your 2017 stocking stuffers.
This coming week at SteynOnline Mark will be back behind the Golden EIB Microphone on Wednesday and Friday. Don't miss it.
The New York Times reports on "the spirit of camaraderie in hair salons":
Let's just run that again: In Illinois, if you don't do your domestic-abuse training course every two years, you'll lose your hairdressing license - and your livelihood.
As I write in After America, in the Fifties one in 20 members of the workforce needed government permission to do his job. Now it's one in three. The original justification for requiring a government permit to cut another person's hair is that a salon contains potentially dangerous chemicals such as coloring products. Making the license conditional upon acing sexual-assault training courses is not just the usual Big Government expansion but the transformation of the relationship between a private business and the state:
The rule was inspired by the spirit of camaraderie in hair salons, said State Senator Bill Cunningham, one of the chief sponsors of the amendment. For some women, those salons are a safe space, where they can sit among other women, drop their guard and confide about life as their hair is braided or colored, or their nails trimmed and painted....
As Ann Althouse comments:
Just so. Just as the Stasi turned neighbors and relatives into spies, the State of Illinois is making your stylist one. Will the "spirit of camaraderie" survive this new legislation? Or will such stock inquiries about coming vacations and plans for the weekend suddenly seem far more loaded and alert the customer that she's now in the blow-dried equivalent of a Bulgarian hotel lobby circa 1978?
So, like so much government makework paper-shuffling schemes, it won't do anything to reduce the problem it's meant to be addressing, but it will be just one more tedious time-consuming obstacle to making a modest living.
And all this in Illinois, home to Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama's Murderopolis. Priorities.
~Speaking of priorities, as John Kerry has reminded us, the greatest iniquity and injustice in the world today is the scourge of Israeli "settlers". As I mentioned on the radio yesterday, America cannot "stand idly by" at this affront to its values. One of the affronters writes to Mark's Mailbox:
You're right that the word "settlement" is a loaded one. "Settlers" is intended to invoke what happened in, say, the "settlement" of North America and Australia, when British settlers settled on land that was not part of an internationally recognized sovereign nation but nevertheless had certain indigenous peoples in the area.
That's not what happened here. In 1948, one internationally recognized sovereign state (Israel) was invaded by the armies of various neighboring sovereign states (Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq). At the end of that war, much of the former British Mandate of Palestine was in Israeli hands, but the West Bank wound up with Jordan and the Gaza Strip with Egypt. Over the next two decades, nobody referred to Egypt's or Jordan's exercise of its sovereignty in those lands under loaded terms such as "settlement". [Clarification: Indeed, given that Hashemite kingdom sits on the eastern half of Mandatory Palestine, the entire Jordanian state might be said to be "settlers" on "Palestinian" land.]
In 1967, the Arabs tried again to wipe out Israel, and again failed. And this time their defeat was even more total: Egypt lost the Gaza Strip (and the Sinai) and Jordan lost the West Bank. That was half-a-century ago. One of the most basic laws of war is: to the victor the spoils. If you launch a war and you lose, then the guy who took your territory is the one who determines its future. Instead, the "international community" decided to intervene in the matter in a way it has in no other supposed boundary dispute.
Thus began the "Palestiniazation" of the problem. Uniquely in such matters, the victorious sovereign state is forbidden from returning the spoils of war to the defeated sovereign states - Jordan and Egypt. Instead, it can only treat with the designated representatives of "Palestine", who (as I mentioned on the radio yesterday) have no interest in nation-building, or capacity for it, only in Jew-killing.
To repeat: the "international community"'s treatment of this issue is like no other boundary dispute of the last 200 years. Maybe that's because this situation is unique to one small patch of land in the Middle East. Or maybe it's because the "international community" really really doesn't like Jews.
I say that Israel (independent since 1948), Jordan (1946) and Egypt (1922) are all sovereign states entitled to act in their own interests, and live with the consequences - especially after two or three generations.
~I'll be back on the radio next week, incidentally. I believe it's Wednesday and Friday.
I spent much of Thursday behind the Golden EIB Microphone guest-hosting America's Number One radio show. I'll be back next week in the bright new dawn of 2017, but meanwhile you can find a few moments from today's show here. We began with the Obama Administration's last-minute screw-over of Netanyahu:
Obama and Kerry have been happy to "stand idly by" for mass murder, decapitations, burnings, sex slavery, ethnocultural cleansing, etc, etc, etc. But put up a Jewish subdivision and all of a sudden they're not going to stand idly by, no sirree.
I also noted the way that humorless bullying unreadable scolds who never knew Carrie Fisher are demanding of those who did that they cease remembering the actual real human being in unapproved ways:
I was referring to Steve Martin getting his heartfelt tweet Twittershamed by some humorless talentless millennial dweeb at New York magazine, but look here comes another. Paul Simon:
To which someone called Pink Thouse responded:
Paul Simon was married to Carrie Fisher.
Who the hell is Pink Thouse to tell a guy how to mourn his ex-wife? Why doesn't Pink Thouse "show respect" to someone grieving for a person he actually knows better than almost anyone on the planet, as opposed to someone you've just seen on TV and insist on pushing into dreary identity-group cookie-cutter shapes? Why don't you piss off and find someone of your own to mourn?
The ugly totalitarian thuggery of these types makes civilized social interaction all but impossible.
I spent some considerable time with Paul Simon a few years back, and he spoke warmly to me not only about Carrie Fisher but also her mom Debbie Reynolds, for whom he had considerable admiration.
On the radio this afternoon, we also remembered Miss Reynolds, a great and (until yesterday) indestructible old trouper. It was a sad end to a life lived to the full. As I recommended to listeners, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to Debbie and Carleton Carpenter singing "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in Two Weeks With Love - the first of nearly seven decades of great Debbie Reynolds moments, and a song that never fails to perk up me and my beloved daughter.
~After Wednesday's show I received this missive from a listener Down Under:
That's a valid point. This totalitarian groupthink doesn't just consume your future, it destroys your past, too.
~On the endlessly delayed Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, I regularly receive mail from otherwise supportive readers politely suggesting that I should make my contempt for the genius jurists of the District of Columbia a wee bit less obvious. Well, I do my best, really I do. But then you wait three years for an "interlocutory" opinion, and no less than a troika of supposed judges offer up fatuous hackery like this, from page 64:
Oh, for cryin' out loud. Opinion-writing is a very minor skill, but over the years I've done it at Britain's biggest-selling broadsheet (The Daily Telegraph), Canada's national newspaper (The National Post), Ireland's national newspaper (The Irish Times), Australia's national newspaper (The Australian), and the oldest continuously published magazine in the English language (The Spectator). So I think I can serve as my own expert witness on this matter. One of the first things you either learn fast or are quickly told by cranky editors is that you never use phrases such as "in my view" or "in my opinion" - because it's perfectly obvious to all sentient creatures that it's your view and your opinion. In my own case, National Review is a journal of opinion, and I was advertised as a columnist for it - which is to say a man paid for his views and opinions - and "The Corner" is National Review Online's group opinion blog, which is to say a flock or bevy of opinionators. To keep writing "in my opinion" or "in my view" every other sentence would be as superfluous as these three judges peppering their brilliant legal reasoning with "Speaking as a judge" or "It seems to me, as a renowned legal thinker" every other paragraph.
It's truly pathetic that that's the best they can come up with after three years. For that kind of drivel, they might at least have coughed up their response 48 hours later.
PS As this fiasco is going to run and run, quite possibly to the Supreme Court, any readers minded to keep me in 'bus fare to the courthouse might enjoy my book on the litigious plaintiff and his cartoon climatology. The perfect gift for Hogmanay or St Stephen's Day.
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