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Mark Steyn

A Se'nnight of Steyn, April 25-May 1

Happy May Day to readers around the world. Mark's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format - read by the author himself! More details below.

This week The New Criterion posted Ben Weingarten's in-depth interview with Steyn on Big Climate and its ever more naked hostility to free speech and intellectual inquiry. Here's their exchange on the similarities between the Islamic supremacists and the climate mullahs:

If you enjoyed that, you can watch the full Steyn/Weingarten interview here.

Speaking of the climate mullahs, Christian Thalacker, "environmental journalist" and one of hockey-stick inventor Michael E Mann's few remaining Mann-boys, attempted this week to revive Mann's fraudulent claim to be a Nobel Prize winner by posting Mann's photocopy of an actual Nobel Prize certificate. Mark linked to the Director of the Nobel Institute declaring "Michael Mann has never been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize", and the spokesperson of the Nobel Committee saying "He has never won the Nobel Prize", and even audio of the latter, but the last devoted Mann-boy on earth was determined to go down with his master's melting ice-floe.

(For more on the subject of the most notorious scientific graph of the 21st century, see Steyn's book on the subject.)

~In the US presidential race, it has been a long drawn-out contest on both the Democrat and Republican sides. But Tuesday's primaries made this November's match-up all but certain (with due allowance for an Indiana surprise). Mark considered the state of play here, and with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley on AM640 - where he also discussed the reaction of Justin Trudeau, Captain Quantum, to the beheading of a Canadian citizen by jihadist barbarians. You can hear the full Steyn/Oakley interview here.

~Listeners continue to enjoy Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, dedicated to his own beloved cat Marvin, and starring him on the cover. The CD has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and a lot of five-star reviews at Amazon. Among the satisfied customers is Jim Grichar of Woodstock, Virginia:

I just received my copy of "Feline Groovy" yesterday - It was superb!
My only question is "What gin does Marvin prefer in his martini and
do you prefer the same?"

Mark says:

I regret to say that Marvin's favorite gin is Tanqueray's Old Tom.

If you buy only one feline concept album this year, make it Feline Groovy.

~As mentioned above, Steyn's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is out now in audio format - and narrated by Mark himself! It's a Top Five bestseller on the political humor hit parade, so, if you need some companionship for a long car journey, we hope you'll consider taking some Steynian apocalyptic wit along for the ride.

May 1, 2016 at 7:41 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, April 11-17

Greetings to SteynOnline readers around the world. Mark's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format - read by the author himself! More details below.

The week began with more commentary on Steyn's performance in the Munk Debate on the great migrations afflicting Europe and beyond. If you haven't yet seen it, here's Mark's closing statement:

~On a related theme, this week Trevor Phillips, the former head of Britain's "Equality and Human Rights Commission" and the man largely responsible for introducing the word "Islamophobia" to western discourse, concluded that pretty much everything he and his chums have been saying for a quarter-century about Muslim immigration has been entirely wrong. Steyn welcomed Mr Phillips to the party, albeit somewhat belatedly.

~On Wednesday morning Mark joined Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley on AM640. Among the topics was Bono's proposal to the US Congress to fight ISIS with comedy. Click below to listen:

~Free speech continues to decline around the west. On Friday Steyn pondered the disgraceful decision of Chancellor Merkel and the German government to prosecute a comedian for mocking Turkey's President Erdogan.

~Also on the free-speech front, Brad Schaeffer at The Blaze looked at Mark's long legal battle with global warm-monger Michael E Mann, and the increasing hostility of the climate mullahs to freedom of expression. Soon to be entering its fifth year in the choked toilet of the DC Superior Court, the Mann vs Steyn case is the most consequential First Amendment battle of the last 50 years. We thank those many readers from Vancouver to Vanuatu who've continued to support Mark's end of this free-speech showdown via SteynOnline gift certificates and other Steyn store purchases - not to mention Mark's book on the subject.

~Listeners continue to enjoy Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats. It has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and a lot of five-star reviews at Amazon. This week he was particularly touched by this latest thumb's-up from Brendan Smith, "I Categorically Recommend It":

An album of (mostly) cover songs about cats, by a cat lover and dedicated to his cat is not an item I expected to buy in this life time. What ultimately drew me in were the 30 second snippets provided by Amazon.

After many listens, I can tell you those snippets don't do this album justice. It's a treat not just for cat lovers, but more so for music lovers...

His renditions are clever, unique, and satisfying... He's assembled a fantastically talented band that just nails it, and seems to be having a great time in the process.This album exists in the sweet spot where hard work and fun, as well as cleverness and joy overlap, Whatever the theme of Steyn's next disc, I hope he brings these players back for an encore. They and he are utterly delightful.

Mr Smith is quite right about the fantastically talented band. Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available on CD, but, if you can't wait that long, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

~As mentioned above, Steyn's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is out now in audio format - and narrated by Mark himself! It's a Top Five bestseller on the political humor hit parade, so, if you need some companionship for a long car journey, we hope you'll consider taking some Steynian apocalyptic wit along for the ride.

April 17, 2016 at 7:02 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, April 4-10

Greetings to our readers around the world. If you haven't yet heard, Mark's book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format - and read by the author himself! More details below.

The week began with the IPA posting the video of Steyn's speech in Melbourne. There are a few local jokes in the first minute or so to warm up the Aussies, but what follows on free speech and the habits of liberty is of more general application. Click below to watch:

~Mark himself made a little bit of news this week, thanks to his performance with UKIP leader Nigel Farage against Louise Arbour and Simon Schama in the Munk Debate on the European "refugee" crisis. Here's his red-carpet pre-interview, as it were, with Rudyard Griffiths:

After the debate, Douglas Murray reviewed the event in The Spectator, as did Barbara Kay in Canada's National Post under the stirring headline "When Mark Steyn Struck Back". Here's the moment Mrs Kay writes about - first Mme Arbour, then Professor Schama, then Steyn:

Further commentary on the debate came from Virginia Hale at Breitbart, Nicholas Nazar at The Huffington Post, and Kathy Shaidle at Taki's Mag under the headline "An Evening with the 'Rape Me First, Kill Me Last' Crowd". Mark himself shared some post-debate thoughts here.

As the week went on, Steyn mused on leftist labeling, and the curious case of the New Man and his Gender Gap. By Friday, Mark was humiliatingly forced to confess that he didn't know the difference between a cardboard hashtag and a whiteboard hashtag.

~Listeners continue to enjoy Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, featuring Mark and his beloved cat Marvin. It has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and a lot of five-star reviews at Amazon, including this one:

It's the only cat album you'll ever need...

The roundup of songs is simply great and although I'm more the opera and classical music lover, I was surprised that each and every one of Steyn's cat songs was a joy to listen to. My true favorite is the 'bonus' song or as Steyn calls it - the Baker's dozen, track 13 : "She Only Talks That Way To The Cat", something not only cat lovers fully understand, but others who live with them also can relate to.

That track was kind of an afterthought and nearly didn't make the album, but we're glad so many listeners seem to relate to its plaintive theme. Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available on CD. But, if you can't wait that long, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

~If you don't like Mark's singing voice, wait till you hear his speaking voice! His book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is out now in audio format - and narrated by Mark himself! It's a Top Five bestseller on the political humor hit parade, so, if you need some companionship for a long car journey, please check it out.

~Join Mark on Wednesday morning at 8.30am Eastern Time when he and Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley chew over the week's news, live on AM640.

April 10, 2016 at 8:37 am  |  Permalink

#WhiteBoardsMatter

For any readers who are interested, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is now out in audio format, if you've got a long car journey looming or fancy a quiet night by the fireside and eight-track player. The book is read by yours truly, mainly because Joy from Audible held my feet to the contractual fire until the final page. So, if you don't like my singing voice, wait'll you hear my speaking voice.

As for the book, in the Aussie Spectator, James Allan called it "beautifully written and funny"; in the UK Spectator, Julie Burchill said its writing was "rompily georgous"; in Canada's National Post, Robert Fulford wrote that "Steyn is a phenomenon of English-language journalism, a writer unlike any other, a commentator with a luxuriously original spirit"; and in America's New Criterion Roger Kimball declared "No one else combines Steyn's dazzling humor, astonishing erudition, and gripping apocalyptic prognostication."

Whether all that high praise survives to the audio version, I leave for others to decide. But I see it's Number Four on the political humor hit parade, whatever that means.

~Before the high drama of the Munk Debate proper, moderator Rudyard Griffiths interviewed Louise Arbour, Nigel Farage, Simon Schama and me to give viewers a taste of what was to come. I was supposed to be last, but Simon was delayed by the hard men of Her Majesty's Canadian Customs, who pulled him out of line and into the back room at Pearson Airport. As I said on stage, it's good to know Canada has finally found someone they don't want to let into the country. Anyway, while the CBSA were taking the tasers to Prof Schama, I stepped in and went third. Click below to watch:

For Louise's, Nigel's and Simon's pre-interviews, please see here. The main point of interest for fashion observers may be the difference between our teatime garb and our evening wear.

~Following Barbara Kay's column "When Mark Steyn Struck Back", National Post readers have been weighing in:

It was truly refreshing to see a conservative take on the refugee crisis so eloquently explained by Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage during the Munk Debates. The dramatic audience vote swing shows that many average Canadians (even left-leaning Toronto denizens) do respond favourably to a rationally presented conservative viewpoint.

The problem is that people of the calibre of Steyn and Farage are massively outnumbered by hordes of liberal media pundits, who normally win these sorts of skirmishes by ridicule and mockery, rather than by any form of logical argument. Kudos to both these gentlemen for achieving a decisive victory without resorting to the sanctimonious histrionics preferred by their opponents.
Herb Schultz, Edmonton.

And also:

I also watched the debate and was impressed with both Steyn and Farage. Louise Arbour is a convenient humanist who advocates an open-door policy for Muslims while ignoring the plight of Christians and Yazidis and a convenient feminist in favour of women's rights for non-Muslims ,but not for female Muslims. Whose side is she on?
Howard Bockner, Toronto.

Speaking of Barbara Kay, readers may enjoy this debate with her son Jonathan in The Canadian Jewish News.

~A gentleman named Cameron MacLeod appeared in yesterday's post on the wretched state of Toronto manhood and its disturbing "gender gap". Mr MacLeod writes:

Mr. Steyn:

I was featured in your blog post yesterday by name, but multiple false statements were made about me.

1. You appear to suggest I was a Twitter warrior "cheering the Doug Saunders line." This is false - I was not at the debate, and never stated my position since I wasn't there to hear the arguments. I did gently mock you because I'm not a fan of your previous work, and days later I expressed my disappointment that Munk selected, as you wrote, "cartoon characters."

2. A minor correction: It was a photo of a whiteboard. And just to ensure clarity, I didn't invent the hashtag, it was used by thousands before me.

3. Finally, you claimed that I believe women "...except women from Cologne, Oldenburg, Bad Münstereifel, Solingen, Chemnitz, Salzburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo, Brussels, etc. They're just 'urban myths'."

I am a strong supporter of fighting sexual violence and rape worldwide, period. I have never suggested otherwise, in public or in private. Your use of quotation marks around "urban myths" further suggests that I have said or written that, which is also false.

Your post contains libelous and false statements about me, so I request that you correct or remove them. If you will not, I request an explanation please.

Cameron MacLeod
(@c_9 on Twitter)

Oh, my! "Libelous and false statements"!!! Following extensive consultation with our legal department, SteynOnline has issued the following correction:

We regret that the "cardboard hashtag" we accused Mr MacLeod of constructing was, in fact, a "whiteboard hashtag". We have appointed a special investigative committee to identify the systemic failures that led to this appalling error and they will be reporting back with recommendations. An employee of Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc has been dispatched to Staples to buy a "whiteboard" for Steyn, so that he will know what one is.

For future reference, the phrase "cardboard hashtag" refers back to the apotheosis of the art form:

There's something slightly weird about taking a hashtag - which on the Internet at least has a functional purpose - and getting a big black felt marker and writing it on a piece of cardboard and holding it up, as if somehow the comforting props of social media can be extended beyond the computer and out into the real world. Maybe the talismanic hashtag never required a computer in the first place. Maybe way back during the Don Pacifico showdown all Lord Palmerston had to do was tell the Greeks #BringBackOurJew.

Meanwhile, our non-legal department writes:

Mr MacLeod's Tweet arose in the following context. The highly respected Steve Paikin of TVOntario wrote a blow-by-blow account of Friday's debate, which wasn't bad, except for the pansy headline. The Globe And Mail's Doug Saunders sneeringly responded:

So a debate about refugees was won with "brown people are rapists" arguments, no examples of which involved refugees

In fact, the only mention of "brown people" was from Mr Saunders. Still, one learns to be relaxed about the frantic racial pump-priming of his ilk. Slightly more jaw-dropping was his assertion that, of the many rape cases I cited, "no examples ...involved refugees". To take only the most obvious, in my opening statement I mentioned that a mere fortnight after acing a training course on how to treat women with respect (instituted after the Cologne mass sexual assaults) an Afghan refugee raped a caterer for refugees at a refugee centre. For the benefit of Saunders and the rest of the see-no-rape hear-no-rape crowd:

Vrouw verkracht in opvangcentrum asielzoekers

That means: "Woman Raped In Asylum-Seekers' Shelter." The victim has filed a statement of rape and indecent assault with the public prosecutor:

Het parket bevestigt de aangifte van verkrachting en aanranding van de eerbaarheid. Omdat de voogd van de niet-begeleide minderjarige in Gent woont, zijn de Gentse afdeling van het parket Oost-Vlaanderen en de jeugdrechtbank in Gent bevoegd. "De vrouw gaf aan in de instelling aangerand en verkracht te zijn door een minderjarige bewoner van het centrum", zegt parketwoordvoerster An Schoonjans.

So an aid worker for refugees has made a criminal complaint that she was raped by a refugee at a refugee centre. But, according to Saunders of the Globe, no refugees were involved in this rape by a refugee at a refugee centre. He knows better than An Schoonjans, spokeswoman for the prosecution service.

So we know that Doug Saunders does not believe women and does not believe survivors - not if they're women and survivors from a refugee center in Menen.

I could go on: That 16-year-old boy raped in Wolfsburg City Hall I mentioned? Attacked by a 36-year-old "Asylbewerber" - or "asylum seeker". That 15-year-old girl raped in Wuppertal? Another Asylbewerber. The 12-year-old boy sexually assaulted in Mudersbach? Go on, take a wild guess: einen asylsuchenden Mann aus Syrien - an asylum-seeking man from Syria. But, according to the ever more confident Saunders of the Globe, not a single Asylbewerber was involved in any of these incidents.

So we know that migrant-rape denier Doug Saunders does not believe women - young girls - from Wuppertal, nor survivors from Wolfsburg and Mudersbach.

Evidently feeling a bit lonely on his Twitter feed, Mr Saunders then decided to reply to his own Tweet:

Did the moderator at any point say "this is about refugees, not lynch-mob rumours about entire peoples"?

The "lynch-mobs" are the organized gangs sexually assaulting women in Cologne and many other cities. By "rumours", Saunders means police complaints, prosecutors' indictments, arrest warrants and newspaper reports. As noted in my earlier piece, when he's not dismissing them as "rumours", he scoffs at them as "urban myths".

At which point, enter Cameron MacLeod. Mr MacLeod responds to the above Saunders Tweet:

I'm quite disappointed in this @munkdebate - shocking they'd give platform to fact-free hate-spreader like Steyn.

Please note that calling me a "fact-free hate-spreader" is merely Mr MacLeod "gently mocking" me.

He now says he never saw the Munk Debate, which is not the impression a reasonable person would gain from his statement that he was "quite disappointed" by it. In the context of his Tweet, the reference to me being a "fact-free hate-spreader" appears to agree with Saunders' observation that I'm spreading "lynch-mob rumours" via rape stories, "no examples of which involve refugees". In other words, the "hate" I'm "spreading" is about refugees and the rumours that are "fact-free" are all that witness testimony from Menen, Wuppertal, Mudersbach, etc. The Tweet quoted in yesterday's column was Mr MacLeod's own response to his "fact-free hate-spreader" Tweet.

So, whether or not Mr MacLeod does indeed believe women and believe survivors, he appears to be agreeing with Doug Saunders who has flatly stated that he doesn't believe them - that these are "urban myths" and "rumours" and, on the off-chance that one or two of them actually occurred, "no examples ...involved refugees".

If that's the case, Mr MacLeod's reputation is being damaged not by anything I said but by agreement with a man who doesn't believe thousands of women and doesn't believe thousands of survivors.

If our correspondent, as he appears to be threatening, wants to take this to Ontario Superior Court, so be it. But you can't claim #IBelieveWomen and #IBelieveSurvivors and then agree with someone who says #IBelieveSurvivorsOfEuroRapeAreUrbanMyths and #IBelieveRefugee-RapedWomenAreMereRumours. As this Tweeter asks Mr MacLeod:

What's false about @MarkSteynOnline 's statement? Do you believe the women of Cologne?

I'm happy to take Mr MacLeod at his word when he says that he's "a strong supporter of fighting sexual violence and rape worldwide, period". But you can't do that when you're agreeing with Doug Saunders, a guy who explicitly dismisses sexual violence and rape in Germany, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc.

So the easiest way to settle this, Mr MacLeod, is:

Do you believe Doug Saunders when he says these extensively documented rapes, gang-rapes, child rapes and other sexual violence across Europe are "urban myths", "rumours" and that not a single one of them "involved refugees"?

I'll wait for your answer.

And I'm not the "cartoon character" here.

April 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, March 28-April 3

Happy April to our readers around the world. This week Mark was in New York to talk climate change and in Toronto to debate the "refugee" crisis.

~On Tuesday Steyn joined Will Happer, Richard Lindzen and other eminent scientists to discuss the state of the climate at a conference mounted by The New Criterion and the just launched CO2 Coalition. You can read William M Briggs' account of the event here. (As to why Mark gets invited to climate conferences, that's because he's being sued for a gazillion bucks by climate mullah Michael Mann.)

~On Wednesday and Thursday Mark was back in his hometown of Toronto for a flurry of media interviews. He started the day with Liza Fromer and Jeff McArthur on Global's Morning Show, on the matter of who exactly is "vulnerable" in the new Europe. Click below to watch:

Later, Mark gave extended interviews to both his old piano-playing imam Andrew Lawton on AM980 and to Canada's foremost freespeecher Ezra Levant. You can see the full Ezra show at Rebel Media but here's a taste:

~Finally, on Friday, live in Canada on CPAC and in the US on C-SPAN (TV and radio). Steyn and UKIP leader Nigel Farage debated former UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour and distinguished historian Simon Schama on the "refugee" tide sweeping Europe. It was a rollicking night, but, if you missed it, all you have to do is click below and stand well back:

The motion before the house was:

Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

At the start of the debate, the audience voted 77 per cent pro, 23 per cent con. At the end of the debate, they voted again:

The post debate vote is 55% pro and 45% con. The con side shifted 22% of the vote from the pre-debate results. Con wins.

Supporters of the pro side did not take it well.

~Listeners continue to enjoy Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, featuring Mark and his beloved cat Marvin. It has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and a lot of five-star reviews at Amazon, including this one:

Unexpectedly awesome!

I bought this CD as a gift for a cat-loving friend (I'm a dog person myself), but after hearing it I had to go back online and order a copy for myself... Simply put, if this record doesn't put a great big smile on your face, you may as well go out and slash your wrists now!!

Hold off on the wrist-slashing because Mark may do a dog album next. Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available on CD. But, if you can't wait that long, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

~SteynOnline will have more reaction to the Munk Debate in the days ahead.

April 3, 2016 at 7:54 am  |  Permalink

Steyn & Farage vs Arbour & Schama on the Great Migrations

On Friday Mark will be at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto for the Munk Debate:

It is the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Over 300,000 dead in Syria. One and a half million injured or disabled. Four and a half million people fleeing the country as refugees. And Syria is just one of a growing number of failed or failing states in the Middle East and North Africa. How should developed nations respond to human suffering on this mass scale? Do the prosperous societies of the West, including Canada and the U.S., have a moral imperative to assist as many refugees as they reasonably and responsibly can? Or, is this a time for vigilance and restraint in the face a wave of mass migration that risks upending Western nations' openness, tolerance and ultimately their very way of life?

To engage with the geopolitical debate of the moment, the Spring 2016 Munk Debate will move the motion:

Be it resolved, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free...

The former UN Human Rights Commissioner and Canadian Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour will be proposing the motion with the eminent historian Simon Schama.

Steyn and Nigel Farage, UKIP leader and scourge of the Eurocrats, will be opposing it.

For more details about the evening, see here. For tickets to the event, see here. For Mark's take on Nigel, see here.

~Just ahead of the debate, Steyn will be making a flurry of appearances on Canadian TV and radio. On Wednesday afternoon, he joins his old friend from National Post days, Don Martin, live on CTV's Power Play at 5pm Eastern.

On Thursday morning, he'll be returning to Global's Morning Show for the first time in a year or so, since when many of the co-hosts seem to have departed. But Liza Fromer is still there, and he looks forward to talking with her live at 7am.

Afterwards he'll be making an extended appearance with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley on AM640, and then catching up with Evan Solomon on 580 CFRA in Ottawa. Full details in our "On the Air" box at right.

~If you can't make the debate in Toronto, it will be broadcast live in the United States on C-SPAN (TV and radio) starting at 7pm Eastern this Friday.

March 29, 2016 at 7:25 pm  |  Permalink

It Was. Were You?

On Friday I'll be in Toronto debating the "refugee" crisis in Europe with former UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour and distinguished historian Simon Schama on one side and me and UKIP honcho Nigel Farage on the other. For more details, see here. For tickets, see here. I have the feeling Roy Thomson Hall will be filled with 2,500 Trudeaupian liberal sunny bunnies, so a friendly face wouldn't go amiss.

~The Independent published its last print edition on Saturday, the first of Britain's national newspapers to abandon paper for online only - but surely not the last. As a minor member of what he calls the "Class of '86", I enjoyed reading my old comrade Sebastian Faulks' account of the first chapter of the Indy:

It was an absurd idea. You couldn't just invent a newspaper out of thin air. In Britain, papers had to have existed since the 19th century; they had to have been owned by lords and barons who had the ear of Prime Ministers; they had to have evolved out of history, with a line on Irish home rule, Appeasement and Suez.

But this was 1986. After 40 years of hardship, there was money in Britain at last. There was something in the air. You no longer had to wait three weeks for the national phone company to fix your line. You could suddenly do stuff: start businesses, make profits, think differently; you could almost be American.

In the course of my life, I've been involved in the launch of two national newspapers, Britain's Independent and Canada's National Post. They were both great journalistic adventures, with a terrific stable of talent. For me at any rate, your writing improves with the company you're keeping:

There were so many good people. With Glover, Nick Ashford ran a foreign operation of a size and quality that no paper today could afford; and Nick, also much missed, was a hero of the early days. The photography was outstanding, and we even risked an early colour picture – of Tom Phillips's portrait of Iris Murdoch. On the arts pages, Tom Sutcliffe had hired, among others, Sabine Durrant, Giles Smith, Andrew Graham-Dixon, Adam Mars-Jones, Mark Lawson and – perhaps in those early days the most dazzling of all, Mark Steyn. The books pages, under Robert Winder and Veronica Youlten, had Auberon Waugh (to the dismay of some, the delight of others), Anthony Burgess and a young man called Anthony Lane, later pinched by Tina Brown to become a star at The New Yorker.

Speaking of The New Yorker, years ago they published a cartoon showing a theatre marquee bearing the blurb "Fun for young and old!" and standing underneath it an unhappy looking middle-aged man. The Indy was like that in its early days: There were young unknowns like me and old lions like Anthony Burgess (the Clockwork Orange guy), but an odd dearth of the middle-aged.

Sebastian is being far too kind in his description of me, but it makes up for the time he came to stay with me in New Hampshire to research a chapter of his novel (A Fool's Alphabet) he wanted to set across the river in Vermont: The book contains vivid documentary descriptions of the breakfast I cooked him, The Caledonian Record's front page, the local Catamount beer, etc. I was hoping to find a gruff, bearded, musical-comedy woodsman among the dramatis personae, but in fact the person who cooks him that distinctively Steynian breakfast is of the female persuasion. So he turned me into a woman and had sex with me.

The Indy changed over the years, and that's fine. But it was a beautiful-looking newspaper in that first half-decade, and I'm sad to think it no longer has physical form. Our headline is a modification of its original ad slogan.

~"Dazzling" as I was, I'm not sure I'd be entirely comfortable writing in today's Britain. In response to the Brussels bloodbath, Matthew Doyle, who runs a talent agency, Tweeted:

I confronted a Muslim woman yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said 'Nothing to do with me'. A mealy mouthed reply.

In response, the bozos of Her Majesty's Constabulary arrested Mr Doyle, locked him up and charged him with an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act, which carries a gaol term of up to seven years. If anyone in the chain of command and broader bureaucracy at the Metropolitan Police thought there was something thuggish and totalitarian and, indeed, unEnglish about criminalizing an unexceptional Tweet, I've yet to hear about it. Instead, it was the Crown Prosecution Service that was obliged to explain to the Met that they had exceeded their authority - or, if you prefer, abused their power:

Matthew Doyle, 46, from South Croydon, was due to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

But on Friday night the Met police said the charge had been dropped after it emerged the police officer in question had jumped the gun and charged Mr Doyle when in fact he needed CPS approval to do so.

This seems like a fairly elementary mistake to make, and I would be interested to know the identity of the copper who made it. Instead, the totalitarian plods issued what Mr Doyle might call a "mealy-mouthed" press release:

Matthew Doyle, 46 (30.12.69) of South Croydon was charged by police on Friday, 25 March, with an offence under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986.

Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Doyle is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing at court.

But we got to lock him up and make an example of him, didn't we? And we'll do the same to you, got it? Because in a tolerant, multicultural society, everybody has to fall in line and think the same way. Or else.

As my friend John O'Sullivan said a few years back, the British police are now the paramilitary wing of The Guardian. Whatever your opinion of Mr Doyle's opinion, the state's cure is worse than the disease.

~Meanwhile, back in America, your tax dollars at play. A headline for our times:

CIA-armed militias are shooting at Pentagon-armed ones in Syria

When Washington plays the Great Game, it funds both sides, money no object. Oddly enough, despite backing every team, about the only thing one can say with certainty is that we'll be on the losing side.

~When I think about who I was and the life I lived back in those Independent days, letters like the following depress the hell out of me. After my Easter piece, Fabio Scalia writes:

You keep adding in your columns that "most Muslims abhor terrorism/violence". Have you met most Muslims? How did you arrive at this conclusion?

Polls show most Muslims are virulently anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-everybody-else and anti-one-another (Sunnis versus Shiites), and support the death penalty for blasphemy, apostasy and homosexuality. I was teaching at a school the day after 9/11. All the Muslim students in my class were delighted by the attacks. Other teachers had students who said the same thing. You also report Muslim students celebrating terrorism in France, UK and Holland. We never hear of them criticising it.

So continuing to claim that most Muslims are peaceful is utterly pointless and quite counterproductive. It hampers attempts to stop the Islamization of the West.

Fabio Scalia

You need to read more carefully. I certainly do not keep claiming that "most Muslims abhor terrorism" or that "most Muslims are peaceful", and I did not do so in the column to which you refer. Ten years ago, on page 85 of my bestseller America Alone I wrote:

One is tempted to update the old joke: A ten-dollar bill is in the center of the crossroads. To the north, there's Santa Claus. To the west, the Tooth Fairy. To the east, a radical Muslim. To the south, a moderate Muslim. Who reaches the ten-dollar bill first?

Answer: The radical Muslim. All the others are mythical creatures.

The "moderate Muslim" is not entirely fictional. But it would be more accurate to call them quiescent Muslims.

So I have never held to the view that "most Muslims abhor terrorism". Indeed, your own response to such a claim - "How did you arrive at this conclusion?" - is one I've also deployed innumerable times over the last 15 years. For example, after the 2005 London Tube bombings:

If "of course" Mr Blair and Mr Paddick and the rest do indeed know that "the vast majority of Muslims" do not favour terrorism, is that because they've run the numbers and have a ballpark figure on the very very very slim minority of Muslims who do? And, if so, what is it? 0.02 per cent? Or two per cent? Or 20 per cent?

And, if they haven't run the numbers, why do they claim to speak with authority on this matter?

I've made the same point more recently re Malcolm Turnbull.

What I wrote over Easter was that "not all Muslims are like these savages" - which is not the same thing at all, and happens to be true: not all Muslims are like the savages who murdered Mr Shah by stamping his head into the pavement. If a billion-and-a-half Muslims worldwide were willing to stamp you to death, it'd already be over. Because there are approximately a billion of us in the developed world - and, on the evidence of the reaction to Paris, Brussels et al, the proportion of the west willing to resist Islamic supremacism barely makes it into double digits.

So I'm disinclined to get into a Who's Got The Biggest Swinging Islamophobic Dong? contest with you. In that Easter piece I said that Islam cannot abide the other and is incompatible with a pluralist society, and throughout last week I reiterated my call for an end to mass Muslim immigration. If that's insufficiently butch for you, if that's "hampering attempts to stop the Islamization of the west", then please bugger off and get on with stopping the Islamization of the west your own way. And then you wouldn't need to mischaracterize what I wrote and put your words in my mouth, would you?

By the way, this campaign to "stop the Islamization of the west that I'm "hampering", where is it? Is it a club you've formed? Are you the chairman? Can anyone fill in a membership application? Or are you blackballing?

If I sound a little tetchier than usual, it's because Sebastian Faulks' farewell to The Independent put me in a wistful and somewhat elegiac mode, mourning my carefree younger self. So I hope you'll forgive me if a guy who lives with death threats, and "human rights" complaints for "flagrant Islamophobia" with attendant legal bills, and tedious expenses like having to switch hotels at the last minute for security reasons, and US State Department and British Foreign Office advisories warning their nationals it's unsafe to go anywhere near my events, and even crappy restaurants deciding it's too dangerous to honor dinner reservations resents being told he's not puilling his weight and is "hampering attempts to stop the Islamization of the west". If you'd asked me back when I was "dazzling" Sebastian & Co, it would never have occurred to me that just moving around could get so complex and expensive, and that (with a few exceptions such as Michel Houellebecq) almost every influential voice in western culture would choose to sit out the biggest story of our time.

March 28, 2016 at 9:41 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, March 21-27

Happy Easter to our readers around the world. While the Pope washed the feet of "refugees", Steyn marked the occasion with an Easter message from the Religion of Peace.

This week Mark will be in New York on Tuesday talking climate change, and in Toronto on Friday debating the Great Migrations with former UN Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour and distinguished historian Simon Schama on one side and Steyn and UKIP leader Nigel Farage on the other. For more details, see here. For tickets, see here. Mark hopes to see a few SteynOnline readers among the Trudeaupian liberals at Roy Thomson Hall.

~The big story this last week was the latest mass murder by Islamic supremacists in the heart of a major European city. This time round, a Belgian cabinet minister managed to do the it's-all-our-fault routine the day before it happened. Meanwhile, amid all the candlelight vigils and renditions of "Imagine", Mark took up the suggestion of one reader and ran with it.

As to the impact on airport security of the Brussels attack, a mordant observation by Steyn from seven years ago has now come to pass.

~Following the news from Belgium, Michelle Malkin re-posted a prescient interview with Mark from ten years ago. Click below for Part One:

For Parts Two, Three and Four of Mark and Michelle's fascinating conversation on Europe, Islam, jihad and demography, see here.

Michelle Malkin has long been a fan of Steyn's timelier-than-ever bestseller America Alone, but Mark was surprised to discover this month that Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss calls it "a book I urge you to read" ...while having reservations about Mark's prose style.

~Listeners continue to enjoy Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, featuring Mark and his beloved cat Marvin. It has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and continues to rack up five-star reviews at Amazon, including this one:

It's positively delightful - musically, and emotionally!

We hope you'll agree! Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats is available on CD. But, if you can't wait for the mailman, it can be yours in seconds via digital download from Amazon or iTunes.

~If you're in New York or Toronto for Mark's live appearances this week, he looks forward to seeing you..

March 27, 2016 at 6:35 am  |  Permalink

"A Book I Urge You To Read"

Tomorrow, Wednesday, Mark will be starting the day with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley, live on AM640 at 8.30am Eastern. The epic primary showdowns in Florida and Ohio may well arise. We hope you'll tune in.

~Steyn's international bestseller America Alone has all sorts of fans. Last month, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, introducing Mark in parliament, quoted from it:

Our Canadian Braveheart has put it more succinctly in this very well thumbed copy of his bestseller, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It (which was in fact lent to me by my nephew, Edwin Mitchell, who is sitting there and bought my ticket here today – thank you Edwin).

This is how Mark Steyn put it: "Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we've led since 1945 in the Western World is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world, unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending."

Richard Dreyfuss, star of Jaws, The Goodbye Girl, Mr Holland's Opus, etc, comes from a very different point on the spectrum from Julie Bishop, but he too cites Mark's book. In a three-part theopolitical dialogue with Susannah Black published this month in Providence he writes:

Mark Steyn, a writer with an irritating case of the smart-alecs, has written a book I urge you read called America Alone. Just the first few chapters are a geo-political wake-up call, and he is not someone I agree with very much. But he quotes bin Laden: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." And he quotes Donald Rumsfeld: "If we know anything it is that weakness is provocative."

We are on a clock we don't see or comprehend.

For a book by an irritating smart alec, America Alone remains highly prescient. If you'd read it almost a decade ago, you wouldn't be surprised by today's headlines:

Latest Survey Finds 25% of French Teenagers Are Muslims

Mark is currently working on a tenth-anniversary edition of his remarkable bestseller. But, if unlike Australian cabinet ministers and Hollywood movie stars you've yet to read it, personally autographed copies are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore.

March 15, 2016 at 8:14 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, February 29-March 6

Happy Republican Primary Day to our Puerto Rican readers, and Happy Democrat Caucus Day to our Maine readers. Tomorrow, Monday, Mark will be analyzing all the weekend primary results from behind the Golden EIB Microphone, guest-hosting for Rush on America's Number One radio show, live from 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific. We hope you'll tune in either on one of 600 radio stations across the US or via iHeartRadio livestream or your Rush 24/7 subscription.

~Last Monday, Mark closed out his sell-out Australian tour with a tip of the hat to one of the Seekers' biggest hits, "Morningtown Ride".

~Tuesday was Super Tuesday in America. On the Wednesday morning after, Mark chewed over the results with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley. Click below to listen:

~The biggest issue of our time is the Great Migrations - the millions of "refugees" currently swarming over Europe and the rest of the west. This week it was announced that the next in the series of Canada's prestigious Munk Debates will feature Mark and UKIP leader Nigel Farage debating the issue with Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the eminent historian Simon Schama. It's live at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on April 1st, and tickets are on sale now. If you're in the general vicinity of Ontario, don't miss it!

~The photograph of Mark and his cat Marvin that AM640 embedded in the audio file above is from Steyn's new cat album Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats. It has a four-and-a-half star rating over at iTunes and continues to rack up five-star reviews at Amazon, including this one:

The band sounds great, and Steyn swings through each song like a cat prowling an alley. My particular favorites are #7: I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat, it's a great throwback to the childhood of many of us. I love the familiar cartoon themes worked into the music. Another is #10: The Cat Came Back. How could you not love a song that works in a cat destroying the North Korean Presidential Palace, and works the phrase "sub-derivative" into a masterful rhyme...

Feline Groovy is a swell cd that should be purchased and listened to on repeat. You won't feel disappointed.

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

Join Mark on the radio tomorrow, Monday, as he starts the week with three hours of substitute-host-level excellence in broadcasting on America's Number One radio show, live coast to coast at 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific.

March 6, 2016 at 9:02 am  |  Permalink

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