Mark Steyn

We the Peasants...

As Thanksgiving week begins, a couple of turkey nuggets...

~The President's drive-by amnesty for however many bazillion fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community is particularly revolting to those of us chumps who were suckered into going through what passes for the legal immigration process in this country. Over at Powerline, an immigration lawyer points out one of the consequences of Emperor Barack's proclamation:

The proposed executive action on immigration (or whatever name you want to give it) will allow [illegal aliens] who have US citizen or green-card children and who have been here for five years to apply for some kind of quasi-status and open market work authorization. That would allow them to work for a period of time at any employer, the authorization presumably renewable until they decide to leave or have an option for US permanent resident status (green card status). This, the administration tells us, is fair and just and Biblical – yada/yada.

But this option is explicitly NOT available to those in the US in a valid legal status. There are millions of people in the US who have temporary status – as students or temporary workers or researchers or as investors (lots of Koreans own businesses with E-2 investor visas, for example). These people – many of them have US citizen children and have been here five years. These people who have been here legally and not violated their immigration status – these people are explicitly NOT eligible for open market work authorization, renewable indefinitely.

You must be in violation of the law to benefit from this provision.

That is to say, you must be a law-breaker to enjoy the protections of American law. If you're law-abiding, get lost. In my new book, I write about a perfectly lawful US resident called Deena Gilbey whose husband died on 9/11 helping evacuate fellow workers from the World Trade Center. Having breezily admitted to the country the persons who murdered her spouse, America's evil immigration bureaucracy then devoted untold effort to getting Mrs Gilbey and her children deported.

All western immigration systems are problematic, thanks mainly to chain migration. But, unlike Australia's or Canada's, America's now explicitly exists to favor the unskilled and ill-educated over high-value economic contributors. Or as Daniel Greenfield puts it:

Immigration requires opportunity. We still have it, but less of it than we used to. Our immigration system is not based on opportunity. It's based on a migratory flow of Democratic Party voters.

Which priority Obama has now formalized, with catastrophic consequences. Last Thursday he didn't just proclaim himself king, he proclaimed the rest of you guys peasants. That's why it was necessary to do it a few days after the election - just to rub it in.

~Who doesn't love a heartwarming tale of environmentalists in love? This one comes from the wedding chapel at Corcoran state prison in California, where Charles Manson and his lovely bride will be joined in holy matrimony:

Afton Burton left her parents' home in Illinois at age 19 to move to California, where she could be closer to Manson, [his future mother-in-law Melissa] Burton said.

It was Manson's work as an environmentalist that drew her daughter into him, according to Burton.

"He's an environmentalist, and she's involved in his environmentalist program," Burton said.

It's work that involves supporting the air, trees, water, and animals, she added.

Awwww, it's not just heartwarming, it's planet-cooling!

I shall be in court (in my amicus capacity) at 9.30am at the DC Court of Appeals tomorrow for oral arguments between Big Climate's serial litigant Michael E Mann and my co-defendants National Review, Rand Simberg and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I'm not a hotshot lawyer or anything, so it's unclear to me, if Dr Mann loses, whether he gets banged up in the big house or is merely out on probation with an electronic bracelet. Evidently, he's already worrying about it. So I'm sure he's heartened to know that an environmental activist can still put chicks behind bars. Maybe Jessica Alba can be his penpal.

On the other hand, if it all goes south for me, the chances of a denialist getting any babes behind bars seems pretty slim.

~While we're on the subject of Big Climate thuggery, why did Obama feel the need to rebuke Australia's Tony Abbott over climate policy while he was at the G20 summit Down Under? It is a basic rule between friendly nations that a guest does not insult his host. That's why, as Greg Sheridan reveals in The Australian, John Berry, America's ambassador in Canberra, advised the President not to give his speech. Yet he went ahead and gave it anyway - and, just to pile insult on insult, refused to provide the Australian Government with an advance copy of the speech and didn't bother acknowledging the presence in the audience of Sir Peter Cosgrove, Australia's Governor-General.

The Queen's representative and the highest-ranking Australian in the land would not have attended the speech had he known Obama was going to urinate all over Her Majesty's Government. The Prime Minister would have, quite rightly, advised Sir Peter not to be seen sitting through such a graceless provocation. But even such a basic courtesy Obama couldn't be bothered with.

I made a point to Hugh Hewitt the other day that in the end all governing systems in civilized countries depend on gentlemen honoring the codes and conventions. Obama says screw that - and, at home and abroad, is governed only by what he can get away with.

But hey, what's one more US ally to add to the mountain of the disaffected?

~What would Mark Twain have made of this? I'll have to mull that one over, but maybe I'll have an answer by December 8th, which is when the Mark Twain House is hosting me in Hartford, Connecticut. It's a great honor for me: as authors, Mark Steyn and Mark Twain don't have much in common, except that the latter is an over-zealous spellcheck correction for the former. But the honor is made even sweeter by the fact that my interviewer on stage that night will be the great Scott Simon from NPR's "Weekend Edition". How often do you get to see an NPR host and a Rush Limbaugh guest-host on stage together?

The fun starts at 7pm on Monday December 8th, and you can find more information and book tickets here.

November 24, 2014 at 8:37 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, November 17-23

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

He started the week with a celebration of the only Number One song written in the presence of a dead body.

~On Monday, Steyn wondered why President Obama can't use social media as effectively as a bunch of Islamic State head-hackers.

~Mark is still in book-promoting mode for his latest bestseller The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. Early in the week, he presented a couple of wide-ranging interviews on everything from the dessertification of tea to a German lingerie ad's contribution to civilizational collapse.

~On Wednesday, Mark looked at the accelerating abandonment of free speech by the supposedly educated class in what became our most read piece of the week: "A world stripped of Contraries."

~On Thursday, Steyn addressed the beheading of another US citizen, and the President's disgraceful response to it.

~The big news at the end of the week was, in America, President Obama's proclamation of himself as a one-man legislative branch and, in Britain, that UKIP had won the Rochester & Strood by-election. Mark explained why the two events are part of the same story.

To mark the passing of director Mike Nichols, Steyn's Saturday movie date was a limousine-liberal valentine to Bill Clinton.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week.

Mark will be on the radio later this Thanksgiving week, and, just to sour his pumpkin pie, he'll be in Washington on Tuesday morning at the DC Court of Appeals for oral arguments in his co-defendants' case against fraudulent climate scientist and big-screen bad guy Michael E Mann. After two years in the choked toilet of DC justice, Mark hopes his own trial will proceed shortly thereafter. If you're in the vicinity of the courthouse, do swing by and say hello. If not, we hope you'll consider supporting Steyn's pushback against the Mannatollah and his fellow climate mullahs by considering a SteynOnline gift certificate or a book or CD from the Steyn store for your loved one this holiday season.

As for Mark's latest hit, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn continues to jostle with Tina Fey on the New York Times bestseller charts. It's available in America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 23, 2014 at 6:52 am  |  Permalink

A World Stripped of Contraries

One of my favorite sections in The [Un]documented Mark Steyn (which I see is one of Politico's bestsellers this week) is entitled "Last Laughs", and deals with the ever more openly totalitarian ease with which everyone who matters in western society - from politicians to "educators" - is happy to ban opinions, attitudes, even jokes, all in the cause of regulating the new utopia. The more officially "tolerant" we become, the more intolerant we must be in enforcing it.

Older lefties can still just about pay lip-service to that apocryphal bit of Voltaire about disagreeing with what you say but fighting to the death for your right to say it - a line that used to appeal to the progressive's sense of self-inflating heroism. As I say in the book, nobody needs you to "fight to the death" for it: a mildly supportive Tweet every now and again would do. But among the leaders of tomorrow even these rote nods toward the "principle" of free speech ask too much. A fellow called Zach Traynor, exercising his "white privilege" from the cozily parochial confines of Dartmouth College, sums up what passes for current thinking:

This country has gone too far in allowing people to say whatever they want, and should curtail speech that is obviously harmful to society, such as hate speech.

Those in support of aggressive civil liberties will protest: What is stopping the government from moving past sensible restrictions on free speech, once they are in place, to something more Orwellian, as in China or other authoritarian regimes? At face value, this is a fair question, but given America's deeply-held cultural norms and the power of the Internet and social media, such a scenario is highly unlikely. We need only small but significant change to the freedom of speech in this country: namely, the prohibition of unambiguously destructive, hateful speech.

And obviously everyone can agree on what constitutes "hateful" speech, can't they? Some right-thinking chap from the Ivy League (Jonathan Gruber, for example - he seems to be available) could put his thinking cap on and draw up the "architecture" for such prohibitions. And then some disinterested bureaucrats could create an agency (perhaps headed by Lois Lerner - she seems to be available) to administer the new prohibitions fairly. And obviously "America's deeply-held cultural norms and the power of the Internet and social media" would prevent the new regime getting out of hand - in the way that Canada's deeply-held cultural norms and the power of the Internet prevented it prosecuting stand-up comedians for putting down lesbian hecklers homophobically, and Britain's deeply-held cultural norms and the power of the Internet prevented it cracking down on a bloke making disrespectful Nelson Mandela jokes, and Denmark's deeply-held cultural norms and the power of the Internet prevented it charging Lars Hedegaard for some private observations made in the privacy of his home about Islam's treatment of women...

Oh, no, wait, all those deeply-held cultural norms didn't prevent any of that at all. You'd be surprised how non-deeply-held most cultural norms are once push comes to shove. This Zach Traynor chappie seems entirely unmoored from any himself. But perhaps I underestimate "the power of social media". After all, it seems to be doing a grand job in persuading Canadians and Americans and Aussies and Frenchmen to take up head-hacking for the Islamic State. So who knows what it might accomplish if one were able to harness its awesome power in the name of unambiguous good - ie, "the prohibition of unambiguously destructive, hateful speech."

Personally, I like hate. I don't mean I hate Zach Traynor, although I do despise him - as the pampered beneficiary of a glorious inheritance too dim to understand what he's betraying. But as the years go by I am inclined to take Blake's view. That's Blake Shelton, judge of TV's "The Voice", wait, I mean William Blake, obscure dead guy, who remarked:

Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion,Reason and Energy, Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence.

He's not saying Hate is "good", only that it's "necessary to Human existence". The freedom to hate is part of what makes us human, and what makes us free, and therefore "without Contraries is no progression" - which is why those places most advanced toward Zach Traynor's utopia (American college campuses, say) seem most stagnant. I wouldn't necessarily want to argue that Jian Ghomeshi, the impeccably liberal, progressive CBC radio host of plonkingly correct attitudes Tweeting out his support for #EndViolenceAgainstWomenDay all year long while cheerfully punching their lights out in his apartment every night, is a testament to the strain of living under such a regime, but the strange, increasingly vicious urge to ban, silence, forbid, exile, obliterate even the mildest disagreeement that now characterizes "liberal" institutions such as the academy suggests that the formal proscription of "hate" only leads it to find other outlets. The world Traynor's generation is ushering in will be be bloodier than one of Mr Ghomeshi's dates.

~Speaking of The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, Jonathan van Maren has a word to say about my new book, and about the strength of some of those "deeply-held cultural norms":

On the announcement by Ontario school boards that in conjunction with newly imposed "Gay-Straight Alliance" clubs, they would be holding a "National Day of Pink," Steyn's sarcasm turns acidic. "Er, I don't think I have a lot of choice on that front, do I? 'For schools holding Anti-Bullying events in April, you still have time to order [pink] shirts at a discount.' That's great news! Nothing says 'celebrate diversity' like forcing everyone to dress exactly the same, like a bunch of Maoists who threw their workers' garb in the washer but forgot to take the red flag out."

Diversity, as it happens, is where Steyn says "nations go to die." Canada is one example. "If local Mennonites or Amish were segregating the sexes and making them enter by different doors for religious services in a Toronto grade-school cafeteria, Canadian feminists would howl them down in outrage," Steyn points out. "But when Muslims do it they fall as silent as their body-bagged sisters in Kandahar."

The entire book is a roller-coaster ride of ridicule and fiercely sharp analysis. Mark Steyn is one of the few commentators that can turn his pen, which often doubles as a harpoon in his hand, to almost any topic, intelligently lampooning his subject while not losing sight of the bigger picture.

~If that makes it sound heavier than you're in the mood for, hey, relax: The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is up with Lena Dunham, Russell Brand, Tina Fey and all the other cool kids on the New York Times Top Ten humor bestsellers. Ain't that a laugh? It's available in America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or you can be reading it within seconds - via Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy of this year's perfect Christmas gift direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 19, 2014 at 3:16 am  |  Permalink

Tweet of Clay

Kate McMillan contrasts the fawning media coverage from a couple of years back about Obama's brilliant use of social media with the revelation that over 60 per cent of Obamacare Facebook comments come from just 100 users. She adds:

It doesn't matter if you "win" the social media battle. What matters is that you convince an incurious, supportive media that you've won. That's why they spend so much effort on faking it.

This is true, and an important point. Almost every aspect of Obama's "cool" - from his peerless communication skills to his genius at cutting-edge social media - is totally bogus. His real genius is in pulling the wool over the media's eyes, and given that they walk into the room wearing back-to-front ski-masks that doesn't take much doing, either. For example, Jonathan Gruber couldn't get away with his contempt for the American people if he didn't also have a contempt for the American media. In the latter case at least, it's well deserved.

The real social media "winners" of our time, as I said on Rush a few months back, the Islamic State. They use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter et al far more effectively than Obama. They've used social media as a recruitment tool to attract thousands of western Muslims to grab their passports and head to Syria and Iraq. They've social media them as a way to mainstream beheading, to the point where people are taking it up in London, New York, and Moore, Oklahoma. And they've used social media to decapitate their hostages and entirely bypass that same "incurious, supportive media" which would otherwise be airbrushing them into "so-called extremists", as the BBC calls the Islamic State.

If Obama was so great at social media, wouldn't you think he'd be better at stopping these fellows having the run of the Internet? If you think "winning social media" means holding up a cardboard hashtag while putting on a pouty face, the Obama guys are geniuses. If you think it means using new media technology to accomplish your strategic goals, the Islamic State fellows are running rings round us.

~Speaking of "an incurious, supportive media", Steve Sailer draws my attention to this column from The Atlantic, in which Noah Gittell bemoans the fact that Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar isn't quite up to snuff as by-the-book climate-change propaganda:

Interstellar is set in a near-future Earth on the verge of total ecological collapse, with drastic changes in weather patterns and devastating food shortages driving human beings to the brink of extinction. We never learn exactly what caused this devastation (there is a vague reference to a crop disease called "a blight")... And so it stands to reason that whatever planet the humans in Interstellar end up colonizing, they will destroy it just as surely as a virus destroys its host.

Sometimes it helps actually to watch the movie that's been made rather than the one you think the guy should have made. It's not "a vague reference" to the Blight, but actually quite a thought-out explanation for it. As I wrote the other day:

Nolan actually goes to a bit of trouble to identify the problem as "non-anthropogenic" climate change. NASA's top boffin (Michael Caine, not on best form) explains that the Blight feeds on nitrogen - which is 80 per cent of the atmosphere, but, unlike CO2 emissions, nothing to do with man.

It would have been easy to make the Blight something to do with "global warming" and get Gittell hailing it as the greatest thing since The Day After Tomorrow. And yet Nolan chose not to...


In one scene, he shows in the background, on a distant ridge line, a row of wind turbines.

In other words, this shrunken, impoverished, backward world appears to have done everything the Gittells want - and this is the result: a world in which wind turbines blow nothing but a ferocious, ravening, poisonous dust.

There are other clues, too: There is no livestock. Is everyone perforce vegetarian? There are no Blight-proof GM crops. Did they get banned?

As you know, my main interest in Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar is that the villain is a climate scientist called "Dr Mann". So I took my kids along to the film on Friday night, and concluded:

Given the film's themes, it's difficult to believe the Nolans' choice of name for their bad guy is pure coincidence.

Once he's on his new world, he sends back data telling NASA what a perfect climate it is. When Coop & Co get there, they discover it's an ice planet - a vast frozen wasteland in which even the clouds ice up. Consigning the man who eliminated the Medieval Warm Period to a giant planetary icebox again seems too good a jest to be coincidental.

But this guy at The Atlantic, Noah Gittell, persists in seeing the film as some sort of metaphor for global warming that's a bit too elliptical for his tastes. As Steve Sailer says:

Something I've noticed over the years is that liberals are increasingly unable to notice when they are being satirized.

I used to write for The Atlantic, and one day the owner David Bradley took me to lunch in the Watergate building, which he owns. Over a cheeseburger, he told me that what he liked about my column was that a lot of the rest of the magazine was "earnest" and my stuff leavened the earnestness ...just enough - because, after all, a lot of the readers were earnest, too. But there's a big difference between being "earnest" and being as plonkingly unknowing as Mr Gittell is here.

~Speaking of Doctor Fraudpants, what's the real Michael E Mann up to? Over at Anthony Watts' site:

Evidence That Dr Michael Mann Misled A Court

Indeed, he did. In this case, Lord Monckton explores the fairly obvious contradiction between Mann's court filing, wherein he claims an "overly simplified" graph is "absolutely nothing to do with Dr Mann", and Mann's website, where the self-same "overly simplified" graph is listed among his published works. I wrote about this two months ago under the headline "Michael E Mann Repudiates His Own Hockey Stick":

Dr Mann may be kind to his dog and help old ladies across the street, but he is a serial liar. That's just the way he rolls. One gets the sense that he simply tells the lie that serves his purpose at that moment and does so on such a scale that he can't reasonably be expected to remember which lie he told a few weeks later...

But his attorneys, John Williams and Peter Fontaine, can't be similarly indulged. They're officers of the court and they have an obligation not to lay before it what is, in the objective sense, untrue. It is at best negligent and at worst fraudulent to assert that "Dr Mann did not create this depiction" when he boasts about creating it on his own CV.

It is well past time for the Court to rebuke Mann's counsel for the serial falsehoods in their pleadings. I will be interested to see if the DC Court of Appeals takes up this point when Mann stands before them on November 25th.

November 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm  |  Permalink

Pudding with a Tea Bag in it

Out and about promoting my new book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, I had a jolly time on "Louder With Crowder" - hosted by Steven Crowder, with whom I appeared on stage in Chicago recently. Mr Crowder was born in Michigan, but grew up in Montreal, so part of our conversation dwelt on the psychologically complicated relationship between Canadians and the United States. We also discussed the chapter in my book on coffee-house culture, and I said a few words about tea as well.

You can hear the full show, including an appearance by the fine novelist Andrew Klavan, here. It's a laugh. I show up an hour in, but the whole thing is a fun listen. As Steven puts it:

Mark Steyn & Andrew Klavan!! 'Nuff said!

~I was in somewhat more somber mode for my interview at The Blaze with Benjamin Weingarten:

It's interesting to me how even the most obvious provocations…for example a woman being beheaded in Moore, Oklahoma, a policeman having a hatchet stuck in his skull on the streets of New York, a guy being shot at the War Memorial in Ottawa, somebody ...hacked to pieces on the streets of London in broad daylight…even the most obvious provocations, we…duck into the multicultural cringe.

And Obama, and David Cameron and Justin Trudeau (who God help us may well be the next Prime Minister of Canada), all these people…keep saying "No Islam to see here."

The interview was recorded before the latest beheading of a US citizen - Peter Kassig - but it's pretty much on the money: Obama was at pains to ensure us that chopping a guy's head off "represents no faith, least of all the Muslim faith".

"Least of all"?

Bonus insult: The President takes poor Mr Kassig's enforced submission to Islam as a genuine conversion.

But, as with Steven Crowder, I took one of the ostensibly minor subjects of my book, and explained why I thought it was of broader significance:

I write in the book a lot about some of the smaller things, which I think are even more worrying in a way than the beheadings - because you can't ignore a beheading. Even if you talk rubbish about it, as Obama and Cameron do, you have to address it. When they're chopping the heads off of your citizens on YouTube, Obama and Cameron have to say something about it. The stuff they don't have to say anything about is in some ways more disturbing...

I talk about a German lingerie ad where you see this sexy woman…she's got no clothes on, she's getting ready to go on a date, and she's putting on all this sexy German lingerie and she's sliding up the panties up her legs and hooking up the bra ...and then just at the final moment, you see her pull a burqa over her head and step out into the street…

And the message is that…these Islamo-babes are just as hot under the burqa as German women, and you can be sexy wearing a burqa and…Muslim woman like hot sexy lingerie [just as much as everyone else]…

The reality is, if a Muslim woman — a Muslim actress — had played that role, she'd have been dead. She'd have been honor-killed. Her father would have thrown her off the balcony, as happens in Sweden; or run over her in the car as happened in Peoria, Arizona; or chopped her head off as happened in upstate New York. No Muslim woman can say when her father says, or husband says, "Where were you today, honey?" she says, "Oh, I did this great German lingerie ad. We spent eight hours filming me walking around the apartment in my underwear." She'd be dead!

…The entire premise of the ad…it's [aesthetically] fantastic, it's great, it should win tons of awards. But it's a lie.

It's a wide-ranging interview. Benjamin summarizes it thus:

  • The dangers of multi-generational dependency
  • How American taxpayers help indirectly subsidize European healthcare systems, and creates "Defense Welfare Queens"
  • Why civilizations rise and fall
  • Why Mark considers himself a genuine multiculturalist
  • Why the fall of the Berlin Wall is the biggest prison breakout in history
  • Steyn's take on GruberGate and America's technocratic elite
  • Why a Memorial Day parade is far more foreign to the president than Mark Steyn
  • Barack Obama's contempt for the American people, and his Latin American dictator-like tendencies
  • The solace Steyn takes in the idea that "the facts of life are conservative"

Phew. You can listen to the whole thing here.

~As for the book itself, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is currently jostling with Tina Fey on the New York Times bestseller charts. It's available in America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or you can be reading it within seconds - via Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy of this year's perfect Christmas gift direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 17, 2014 at 1:00 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, November 10-16

In case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

The week began with Steyn marking the 25th anniversary of the "fall" of the Berlin Wall.

~On Monday, just ahead of Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth, Mark considered the "poppy hijab" and the new security-ringed Cenotaph ceremonies in what became our most-read piece of the week: "Remembrance, Delusion and Usurpation."

~Tuesday was, variously, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day or Armistice Day. Steyn marked the occasion with a song for the season, and some thoughts on war and remembrance. At the Cenotaph in Toronto, things did not go so smoothly.

~By midweek, Mark was embroiled in one of those tedious pseudo-controversies about race in America. The good news was that his new book is a Top Five bestseller in Poughkeepsie.

~On Thursday, Steyn returned to The Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss Obama's post-Constitutional order, and the exquisite liberal condescension of Jonathan Gruber.

~It was a good week for Pongo Award winner and fraudulent climate scientist Michael E Mann. He turns out to be the big-screen villain in the new blockbuster Interstellar. On Friday, Mark took his kids to see the movie. We haven't yet sold the movie rights for the upcoming Mann vs Steyn trial of the century, but Mark continues to prepare for Dr Mann's deposition and discovery. He thanks all those readers who've supported his case by buying SteynOnline gift certificates and patronizing the Steyn store.

A new week at SteynOnline begins tonight with our Song of the Week.

As for Mark's new book, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn is currently jostling with Tina Fey on the New York Times bestseller charts. It's available in America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 16, 2014 at 7:25 am  |  Permalink

The Unknowing

On my regular radio date with Hugh Hewitt, we discussed much of the current political scene, including the President's threat of unilateral amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants:

HUGH HEWITT: Are you surprised that the President is going to jam down the legalization of four and a half million Americans via a stroke of his pen?

MARK STEYN: No, I'm not. I think a lack of seemliness has characterized this President's attitude to this office, and to the Constitution since he took office. You and I have talked about the difference between America and the rest of the English-speaking world before. I always say to you the difference is you guys wrote it all down. In Canada, whatever it is, paragraph 3 of the Constitution says "Executive power shall be vested in Her Majesty." And that's all. All the rest is codes and conventions. There's nothing about a prime minister. In the Canadian Constitution or the Australian Constitution, that office isn't even mentioned. And it depends on gentlemen respecting the codes and conventions. You fellows wrote it all down, but in the end, that, too, depends on gentlemen respecting the codes and conventions. And this guy is now going to ride a coach and horses through that. And the question is... what is Congress actually going to do about it? Or are they just going to have, be left in the ground with King Barack's coach tire treads over their bodies as he goes galloping off in the distance?

The Democratic Party is increasingly comfortable operating in a post-Constitutional landscape:

MS: What unites them is a kind of belief in a post-Constitutional order where, if it happens to be ideologically, philosophically congenial to Democrats, they don't care. And that's actually what ties them in with this fellow Gruber... The end justifies the means. And that's true of immigration, that's true of health care, that's true of Keystone, that's true of the whole thing - everything for those guys.

HH: Dr. Gruber has been a guest on this show a couple of times, and I put the transcripts, I pulled them out of the transcript pile and they're over at I'm not particularly surprised by what he said, Mark Steyn. Are you?

MS: No, I'm not - because I think a sort of technocrat's condescension is built into the liberal project... That's the other reason why they're impatient with old fashioned stuff like laws and constitutions, because I think I say this, I can't remember whether I said it in my new book or the previous book, but I've certainly said it in one of my books. Buy them all, and you'll be sure to have the one I say it in... If you have an hereditary monarchy, somewhere deep inside, those fellows understand that the only reason they're sitting on the throne is because of an accident of birth. When you have people like this who actually believe they are smarter than anybody else, and know what's best for everybody else, there really is no limit. That's psychologically a kind of unhealthy person to be wielding power in a free society...

HH: But they don't really know anything. They never had a plan for anything. It's no wonder it's a serial fiasco. They don't know anything. And it's that unmerited arrogance that is so maddening...

MS: I think it's that, to go back to Rumsfeld's line about known knowns and unknown unknowns and all the rest of it, which is actually a very sharp and sophisticated way of looking at the world.

HH: It was.

MS: These guys don't know what they don't know. And that's why it doesn't matter whether it's governmentalizing one-sixth of the economy, or deciding that they're going to go into Libya, or deciding what they're going to do about the Islamic State. They don't know what they don't know, so they don't care about what they don't know.

We end with a glimpse of what might have been - a new singing senator (not of the Larry Craig variety). You can find the entire interview here.

November 15, 2014 at 8:29 am  |  Permalink

Gruber ĂĽber alles

The Blaze's Benjamin Weingarten interviewed Mark about his new book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. Along the way they also discussed Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, whose smug, confident contempt for the people Steyn suggests is the acme of liberal technocrat condescension. Lots of other subjects, big and small, are covered in this conversation. We think you'll enjoy it. Just click below to listen:

~The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, a Top Five bestseller in Poughkeepsie, is available across America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. And, wherever you are on the planet (see satisfied customer Brett Farrell above), we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm  |  Permalink

Big in Poughkeepsie

This morning I started the day with Chris Stigall on Philadelphia's WPHT - The Big Talker, as I still think of it. It was a jolly back and forth, although it's no secret that WPHT-wise my dream gig would be to guest-host for Sid Mark. Anyway, you can hear Chris and me chewing over immigration and other matters here.

Later today I'll be on the radio across America with Hugh Hewitt and then Alan Colmes. Full details at right.

~Further to last night's exciting news that serial litigant Michael E Mann - always the bridesmaid never the bride when they're handing out Nobels - has been honored with the Pongo Award, Roger L Simon breaks down the climate cultists:

Anyone who still believes in "climate change" is likely to be:

a. a profiteer (like the financial wizards who put together those "carbon exchanges" a few years back, making off with billions before they went belly up),

b. a scientist looking for a handout,

c. a bureaucrat or official of a Third World country looking for a handout,

d. an official of the UN (virtually the same as c),

e. a moral narcissist, preferably rich, who thinks he knows better than us idiots, scientific training not required (cf. Tom Steyer, this year's George Soros wannabe),

f. a true-believing liberal camp follower of the sort that doesn't care when Nancy Pelosi says you have to pass Obamacare in order to know what's in it (this is the largest group),

or g. a journalist blinded by panic about losing their job if they dare to tell even part of the truth or wander off the reservation.

If you'd like to help my pushback against Big Climate, please see here.

~I'm excited to see that my new book, The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, is a Top Five bestseller in Poughkeepsie. Today, Poughkeepsie. Tomorrow, Schenectady!

But probably not Big Arm, Montana, whence Amazon reviewer Ed Kugler declares, "Didn't care for it at all." Maybe I can ask Chief Commissar of Permissible Opinions Michael E Mann to get Mr Kugler banned for life.

Outside the Greater Poughkeepsie area, my book is available across America from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, not to mention Costco, and from Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks.And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.

November 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm  |  Permalink

She Forgot to Remember

This morning, Wednesday, I started the day with Toronto's Number One morning man John Oakley, live on AM640. John began with an appalling soundbite from Councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, speaking at the city's Remembrance Day observances and flubbing the names and ranks of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, the two Canadian soldiers murdered by Muslim fanatics last month. Afterwards, she compounded her carelessness by sloughing it off with "Sh*t happens."

Right. In Flanders fields, sh*t happens. At the Cenotaph in Toronto, this particular sh*t didn't need to happen, and it happened only because Councillor Ramkhalawansingh, on a day to remember our soldiers, couldn't be bothered to remember.

This stuff shouldn't be difficult, unless you're a thoughtless twerp winging it. Yesterday, 75 years after it was dedicated by King George VI, and three weeks after the killing of Corporal Cirillo, HRH The Princess Royal and the Governor General, David Johnston, re-dedicated the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Their words were simple, solemn, and bore the weight of the occasion:

Freedom without peace is agony, and peace without freedom is slavery, and we will tolerate neither. This is the truth we owe our dead.

After chewing over Councillor Ramkhalawansingh, John and I moved on to discuss Remembrance Day more generally, and Obama, Putin et al at the big Asia-Pacific shindig. Click below to listen:

~John mentioned my piece on the heavy security at Remembrance Day services, in the wake of the murderous assault in Ottawa and the plot to stab the Queen in London. It included this picture of the Royal Gurkha Rifles at the Cenotaph in Whitehall:

Reader Bruce Gentner writes from Down Under to draw a more general lesson:

Does it not strike anyone else as strange that there is an armed police-person GUARDING armed soldiers?

No doubt the Gurkhas are carrying rifles, but equally without doubt, those rifles are not fitted with magazines containing LIVE ammo.

That was also true at the Cenotaph in Ottawa. The barbarian who shot Corporal Cirillo had a loaded gun. The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders did not, as is customary on ceremonial duty. Now the Ottawa Police dispatches officers from its SWAT team to guard the soldiers. Bruce continues:

Thus we have the ludicrous, but all-to-common, situation of DISARMED armed forces and a sprinkling of heavily-armed "law" officers to "protect" them.

It has been apparent for quite some time now that, at least in what remains of the "Western World", the cops have become militarised and the military have been reduce to lightly armed (no ammo, please) social workers sent to distribute aid in crappy places around the globe. This latter practice seems intended to remove the "aggressive" tendencies of those nasty soldiers. It is also definitely intended to sow tactical confusion in said soldiers: Nobody can be an effective COMBAT soldier if they have to switch "modes" in a life-or death situation on the two-way rifle range. That moment's "confusion" WILL be deadly, but not to the enemy.


There is something unsettling about the sight of soldiers being guarded by heavily armed policemen. I hope it's not becoming a habit.

~Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be south of the border with Chris Stigall on WPHT The Big Talker in Philadelphia, live just after 8am Eastern. I'll close out the day with my weekly date on The Hugh Hewitt Show at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific and then a reunion with my old pal Alan Colmes coast to coast at 7pm Eastern. Full details of all my telly and radio appearances can be found in the On The Air box at right.

November 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm  |  Permalink

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