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Mark Steyn

The Consultant-Industrial Complex

This morning I started the day with the great John Oakley on Toronto's AM640. In light of the latest revelations re Donald Trump - he raped at least one of his wives!!! his kids have killed and grilled every single animal on the endangered species list!!!!! - we discussed the way the normal rules of American politics apparently do not apply to the new GOP frontrunner.

Given that the "normal rules" of American politics have delivered America into the hands of a permanent ruling class content to preside over a hyper-regulated, corrupt, cronyist, indebted borderless ruin mitigated according to taste by a deranged hyper-sexualized identity-politics totalitarianism hunting down homophobic bakers and confederate-flag decals, I'm rather relaxed about that. Your mileage may vary. But the fact is that in a two-party system the Democratic Party is relatively effective at delivering to its voters the world they want to live in. The Republican Party not so much. Responding to my attack on the GOP's consultant class, one of its most eminent members, Rick Wilson, responds:

@WillvonKaenel @MarkSteynOnline Weird. There are twice as many elected Rs in the county [sic] today than 15 years ago. Yeah, we built that.

Built what? If the purpose of a political party is to elect officeholders to sit in offices, you're doing great. But that's kind of Trump's point, isn't it?

Whether the Trump bubble can last till the New Hampshire primary is certainly doubtful. But then the conventional wisdom has it that calling Mexicans "rapists" will damage Republican outreach plans for a mariachi arrangement of "Hail To The Chief", while Trump has insisted all along that he's every Hispanic's dream ticket. And whaddaya know?

POLL: Trump Leads GOP Field Among Hispanics

~John and I also discussed climate change and, to be honest, my preferred Donald - Donald Sutherland, a great actor, albeit one of drearily predictable political bent. Click below to listen:

~Re that book that John mentioned, it's Climate Change: The Facts, and I'm happy to autograph it for you. But don't overlook my new one: it's all the fun of a DC Superior Court brief, but with cartoons. (They're already talking about it at Yahoo!)

~One Canadian who probably skipped this morning's Oakley show chit-chat is reader Ken Baskin, who writes apropos Monday's TV appearance on Hannity:

Love it when your hands clutch a keyboard - clutching a microphone, not so much. Timing, Mark, timing. I almost pity Sean Hannity as you brush aside his next question to continue a monologue. Much like the McEnroe brothers who destroy good tennis matches, you seem to be paid by the word. Brevity, Mark, brevity. Please.

Ken Baskin

~On the subject of running long, as one of the few guys not yet dead or in the witness protection program, I'll be speaking at interminable length in Copenhagen on the tenth anniversary of the Danish Mohammed cartoons (unless the Allahu Akbar guy takes the same attitude to my rhetorical style as Mr Baskin does and decides to detonate early). A UK reader writes to say there's really no excuse for you Brits not to be there en masse:

Just a quick one – worth noting re Mark's Copenhagen gig that return flights on the day itself from Luton Airport with good old Ryanair are currently as low as £20. Mo-nanza!

Tim Collins

Book early! More details on my Danish foray here.

July 29, 2015 at 10:56 am  |  Permalink

Clumps, Lies and Videotape

On Monday night I joined Sean Hannity at Fox News to discuss Planned Parenthood and Donald Trump.

Judging from Twitter commentary, many Americans are prepared to defend the harvesting of baby body parts by Cecile Richards and her staff. If so, shame on you. I wrote last week that no other country in the civilized world has a "Planned Parenthood": a billion-dollar abortion conglomerate. One Tweeter said so what? Abortion is only "three per cent" of what Planned Parenthood does. In fact, as I pointed out on the air, they perform a third of a million abortions a year, which is as many as France, Germany and Canada combined.

And, putting aside whether one is "pro-life" or "pro-choice", the nature of the abortions in those other countries is different: again, as I told Sean, in France abortion is legal up to 12 weeks; Italy, 13 weeks; Norway, 18 weeks, but it requires the approval of a government commission. Nowhere else in the western world takes 39-week-old "fetuses", delivers them sufficiently to preserve the commercially valuable parts and then crushes the non-sellable parts in order to preserve a technical denial of infanticide. That is a uniquely American evil, and Americans should be utterly ashamed of it. American liberals ought to understand that in far more left-wing societies (Scandinavia, the Netherlands, France) they do not do this - because it's not a left/right thing, it's a good/bad thing, and Planned Parenthood's abortion-industrial complex is on the wrong side of that divide.

The videos are devastating to the central evasion of American abortion advocates: Why, they're not like the rubes; they know the difference between a human being - and a zygote, "a clump of cells", or "a pile of goop", in the words of the sitcom actor Lucas Neff. Of course, if the kid were merely a zygote, a clump of cells or a pile of goop, you would not be able to operate a lucrative business selling the brain, lungs, liver, heart, etc, because a zygote, clump of cells or pile of goop does not have any of those things. In that sense, "Dr" Nucatola's breezy laundry list of what she's able to cannibalize for parts gets to the heart of the lie American abortionists tell.

The only pile of goop in this debate is Lucas Neff, a very characteristic exemplar of contemporary depravity and stupidity. The defense of Planned Parenthood in light of what has been revealed is almost as disturbing as the mound of body parts - because a moral vacuum can never be contained to the one little corner of life you don't mind it in; it always expands.

Meanwhile, another undercover video was released this morning, in which Planned Parenthood "medical" staff airily pick baby legs and spinal cords and other body parts out of a pie plate. Planned Parenthood huffs that this video could violate "medical privacy". Does the "pile of goop" sign the HIPAA form? Does "medical waste" in a pie dish have any privacy rights?

~Sean and I also discussed Donald Trump's disruption of the Republican presidential race, and the foolish response of the GOP establishment - both to Trump and to a large slice of their own base:

~As to the book Sean mentioned at the top of the segment, that's Climate Change: The Facts. I'm proud to be part of the book along with Willie Soon, Richard Lindzen, Ian Plimer and other eminent scientists. It's doing great business at Amazon, but if you'd like a copy personally autographed by yours truly, we can do that right here at SteynOnline. On the other hand, if you'd rather be reading it within 90 seconds, it's available in eBook via Kindle, Nook at Barnes & Noble, or Kobo at Indigo-Chapters in Canada and around the world.

Oh, and don't forget my brand new book.

~In my native land, the malign alliance of thought-crime commissars and the legal establishment is coming after my doughty comrade Ezra Levant yet again - on the shameless proposition that it is now illegal to describe the Alberta "Human Rights" Commission as "crazy". I wrote about it here. Kate McMillan has started a petition to give a big up-yours to the "Human Rights" Commission and the Alberta "Law" Society. You can sign it here. I did.

~Speaking of the deranged Dominion, tomorrow, Wednesday, I'll be starting the day with Toronto's Number One morning man, John Oakley, live on AM640 at 8.30am Eastern. Hope you can tune in.

July 28, 2015 at 8:48 am  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, July 20-26

Mark will be starting the week with Sean Hannity, coast to coast tomorrow, Monday, on Fox News at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific. And don't forget his new book is now available for exclusive pre-order.

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

The week began with news that the Hillary campaign is now calling the cops on non-supporters, while the Republican establishment continues to flounder cluelessly as it struggles to deal with Donald Trump: Mark's piece on the latter proved to be our most popular piece of the week.

~Monday saw the death of Wayne Carson Thompson, who wrote "Always On My Mind" and one of Mark's favorite songs of urgency.

~Tuesday brought two other additions to the SteynOnline obituaries department: Theodore Bikel, the man who introduced Rodgers & Hammerstein's last song "Edelweiss", and E L Doctorow, the novelist who gave us in Ragtime a sprawling panorama of the dawn of the American century.

~On Wednesday Mark considered the beleaguered state of free speech, following the news that Charlie Hebdo is out of the Mohammed business. In a further setback for free speech from Steyn's native land, it's apparently now a hate crime in Canada to call the totalitarian and disgusting Alberta "Human Rights" Commission "crazy". Nonetheless, if you do think they're crazy, there's a petition you can sign.

~On Thursday Mark addressed the grimmest news of the week on the domestic front: the revelation that Planned Parenthood is harvesting babies' body parts, and the mainstream media won't even cover it: Steyn's column was our most-liked on Facebook this week. On the foreign policy front, Mark joined Congressman John Campbell to examine the Obama Administration's relaxed attitude to the Iranian nuclear program versus their hard line on the Canadian pipeline. On the other hand, Forbes thought the big news of the week was that "Iran Is Not Nazi Germany And Mark Steyn Is Not Winston Churchill".

~Friday brought things full circle: Mark started the week with the last song of Frank Sinatra's mid-life career slump and he ended it with the first song of his amazing comeback.

For our Saturday movie date, Steyn celebrated the work of Ernest Lehman, who gave us the world's all-time greatest train scene.

It was a relatively quiet week in the climate wars, save for the news that Dr John Cook, promoter of the "97% consensus" that Obama and Kerry like to quote so much, has been trying to bump it up to 99.99% by trying to pass himself off on the Internet as skeptical Czech scientist Luboš Motl. If you want an alternative to the creepy freaks of the "consensus" enforcers, try Climate Change: The Facts, which this week got a thumb's up from the Conservative Book Club. You can order Climate Change: The Facts, personally autographed by Mark, direct from the SteynOnline bookstore - and, if you need it in the next 90 seconds, it's out in eBook via Kindle, Nook at Barnes & Noble, or Kobo at Indigo-Chapters in Canada and around the world.

This September sees the 10th anniversary of the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Steyn will be joining the editor who commissioned them and other freespeechers at a special event in Copenhagen. If you're in the vicinity, we hope to see you there. For tickets and more information, please see here.

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

July 26, 2015 at 8:05 am  |  Permalink

Top Billing

Breaking news from Forbes:

Iran Is Not Nazi Germany And Mark Steyn Is Not Winston Churchill

~Hard to follow a headline like that but we'll do our best. Reacting to news that Charlie Hebdo is out of the Motoon business, Douglas Murray writes in The Spectator:

The reality is that intimidation and terrorism work. It is the reason why every major publication in the Western world failed to do what Charlie Hebdo had done. And it is the reason why, from Copenhagen to Texas, the people with guns keep making themselves felt and everyone else keeps backing down. Of course we all say that they won't win ('Je Suis Charlie'). But they are winning, and at this rate they will win.

This September Douglas and I will be in Copenhagen to join Flemming Rose, the commissioning editor of the original Mohammed cartoons, in marking their tenth anniversary. Douglas observes:

The event will be in the Danish Parliament apparently because it's the only place in Denmark sufficiently secure enough that – we hope – the now traditional gunmen won't be able to get in and shoot everyone.

Thanks for that, er, reassuring note.

Like Mark Steyn I've been doing these 'defend free speech' gigs for some years now and as Mark recently mordantly observed, I also sometimes wonder why I keep ascending up the running order only to realise that it's because everybody who used to be ahead of me is either in hiding or dead.

Indeed. This is one of those specialty genres where your name in lights is a mixed blessing. Nevertheless, Douglas and I will be in Copenhagen going, "But I thought you were top of the bill!" "No, no, it's definitely you, old boy..."

To go back to that Forbes headline, I don't know whether Douglas Murray is Winston Churchill, either. I think we're both trying to keep certain important topics of discussion alive until the Winston de nos jours shows up. But the way things are going, he may already have been killed or forced into hiding. More details on the Copenhagen event here.

~I still get asked why I'm funding my pushback against climate mullah Michael E Mann by selling books, souvenir mugs and gift certificates. Why oh why, moan readers, don't I just set up a legal defense fund or some such? Well, the short answer is this headline from a couple of days ago:

New Documents Show IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Audits

Americans seem to be less shocked than a wee little foreigner such as I that this republic has a corrupt tax collection agency that torments its ideological opponents. I must say the original revelations about the IRS - what is it now? two, three years ago? - did shock me, and the fact that all those people are still in place carrying on as usual shocks me even more. I'm old-fashioned enough to regard a nonpartisan civil service as a basic building block of a civilized society.

But the relevance of this to my own situation isn't hard to follow: Michael E Fraudpants' lawyers have already asked for my "donor list". Mann's fellow scientist Dr Peter Gleick burrowed his way into the Heartland Institute and leaked their donor list, and, when that didn't quite do the trick for his purposes, he faked up his own Heartland top-secret document. (Like Mann, Dr Gleick remains a respected figure in the world of climate science.)

So I could set up a 501(c)79(f) and have Mann demanding I cough up the names so that Lois Lerner's chums can audit them, and, if I stonewalled, I'd have to stay up all night to check whether that weird noise at three in the morning is Dr Gleick crawling down the ventilation shaft.

So I'd rather do things the old-fashioned way and sell our exclusive range of DC Superior Court trialwear.

~Now we have the additional problem of Dr John Cook, the Aussie alarmist and tireless promoter of that phony-baloney 97 per cent consensus, showing up on the front door and pretending to be the plumber. The Czech scientist and supposed "climate denier" Dr Luboš Motl recently discovered that John Cook had been passing himself off on the Internet as "Lubos Motl" (Cook's keyboard evidently doesn't do those groovy Czech accents). Hence, weird exchanges in the bowels of the "Skeptical Science" website like this:

JOHN COOK: ...I propose we go with the d-word [denier] issue, I'll have a crack at writing it over the next day.

Edit: sorry, accidentally posted this under my Lubos_Motl username, sorry for any confusion :-(

TIM CURTIS: would you please stop posting as Lubos Motl. There is reason to doubt his sanity, so I don't like seeing his name...

ROB HONEYCUTT: John... You freak me out every time Lubos Motl's name pops up!

JOHN COOK: Sorry about the Lubos thing. Was posting some Lubos comments for the UWA experiment and forgot to log back in as John Cook.

Why is John Cook, a notorious scourge of "deniers" such as Dr Motl, pretending to be Dr Motl all over the Internet? My old comrade James Delingpole gets out Occam's razor:

You Don't Have To Be Venal, Weird And Creepy To Work In Climate Science. But It Certainly Helps...

By the way, speaking of ways to help prop up my end of Mann vs Steyn, Dr Motl is quoted in my forthcoming book. I'm pretty sure it's the real Dr Motl, unless John Cook has secreted himself in the false bottom of my hard drive.

~Over at the Conservative Book Club, Marc Fitch is reviewing Climate Change: The Facts. He seems to like it:

The essays vary from the bogglingly scientific works by former MIT Meteorology professor, Richard Lindzen, and scientist Willie Soon, to the beloved snark and witticisms of Mark Steyn, who is currently engaged in a lawsuit against Michael Mann, creator of the "hockey stick" graph. Speaking of that hockey stick, there is a fabulous essay by Professor of Economics Ross McKitrick that breaks the hockey stick apart, and leaves it in splinters, as well as an illuminating piece by James Delingpole about what qualifies as an "expert" in the climate change debate in a world where credentials are appealed to rather than actual arguments.

You can order Climate Change: The Facts, personally autographed, direct from the SteynOnline bookstore - and, if you need it in the next 90 seconds, it's out in eBook via Kindle, Nook at Barnes & Noble, or Kobo at Indigo-Chapters in Canada and around the world.

~A quick update re my friend Ezra Levant being hauled up before the Alberta "Law" Society for calling the Alberta "Human Rights" Commission "crazy": Kate McMillan has an entertaining petition, which you can sign here.

~On Monday I'll be joining Sean Hannity on Fox News, coast to coast at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific. I hope you'll consider tuning in.

July 25, 2015 at 8:05 am  |  Permalink

Centrifuges, Sure. Pipelines, No.

Congressman John Campbell was guest-hosting for Hugh Hewitt when Mark kept his weekly date with the show. They discussed Iran:

MARK STEYN: For whatever reason, Obama has decided that this is a kind of Nixon-China moment for him, in which he is reorienting the whole of Middle Eastern policy ...to rehabilitate Iran as a member of the global community, and the regional superpower in the Middle East and in effect, to turn his back on America's traditional allies, being Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Arab monarchies. So in that sense, I don't think they were 'bamboozled', because I think they got what they wanted, which is this entire reorientation, as dramatic as when America abandoned Chang Kai Shek for Maoist China, as dramatic as that. And I think that was really their goal, for whatever reason. I don't know why. I don't know that it makes sense, but I think that's what they wanted.

As for the nuclear program and its inspections regime...

MS: There's never going to be any inspections. All the component parts of it - they get to provide their own samples, they get to string things out for just short of a month if they don't want to be inspected... The Keystone Pipeline from Canada has been subjected to a greater inspections regime than Iran's nuclear program will ever be subjected to, because Obama cares more about stopping Canada getting its pipeline than Iran getting the bomb. That's the reality.

Mark was also asked to comment on Mrs Clinton's observation about "young black men in hoodies", and as a final thought offered a word of advice for the GOP establishment's reaction to their improbable frontrunner:

MS: When you have people like Senator McCain dismissing potentially one-fifth of the Republican base as 'crazies', you know, those guys - guys like McCain and Reince Priebus - have to learn how to insult Donald Trump without insulting his supporters. That way, they will condemn the Republican Party to lose.

You can find the full interview here.

July 24, 2015 at 9:04 am  |  Permalink

Gunfire at the Cold-Call Corral

Democrat presidential candidate Martin O'Malley went to the Netroots confab over the weekend and ran into a spot of bother. The incident itself, however, is not as remarkable as this CNN headline:

O'Malley apologizes for saying 'all lives matter' at liberal conference

That's as good a summation of contemporary "liberalism" as anything.

Hillary Clinton, who otherwise hasn't put a foot right this entire campaign, made the shrewd decision to steer clear of this crowd.

~Speaking of not putting a foot right, here's a cautionary tale from Candia - no, not Canada, that's a large expanse north of here, but a town called Candia, way down in southern New Hampshire:

A campaign worker making calls for the Hillary Clinton campaign Friday evening called police after she reached one local household and heard screaming and a gunshot.

So just being canvassed by the Hillary campaign is enough to make the guy cry "Aaaargh!" and blow his brains out? Well, I can understand that.

No, no, wait, I've got the wrong end of the stick:

Candia Police Officer Kevin Mahoney said the man who answered the phone at a Crittle Hill Road home around 5 p.m. told the caller he wasn't interested and hung up.

But just before he did, he said, "She could hear what she thought was screaming and yelling in the background, then a gunshot, then more screaming and yelling."

The campaign worker had the address and called 9-1-1. Police responded in force... "Everyone was thinking it could be a murder-suicide or a domestic," [Mahoney] said.

Other agencies also responded to the residence, including state police and officers from Deerfield, Auburn and the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department.

As police cautiously approached the house, a barking dog apparently drew the attention of the woman who lives there. "She was totally shocked and surprised," Mahoney said.

It seems the screams and gunshots came from this mechanical apparatus that some people apparently have in their living rooms called "a television set". Presumably they were watching reruns of Hillary landing at Tuzla.

But let that be a lesson to you Bernie supporters: Tell the Hillary campaign that you're "not interested", and within minutes five different police agencies surround your house. Other campaigns use robocalls, Hillary uses robocops.

~Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry Tweets:

Defending conservatism against the cancer of Trump-ism – I hope you'll join me Wednesday in DC #Perry2016

But the cancer of Trumpism appears to be metastasizing!

Poll: Trump surges to big lead in GOP presidential race

Trump is at 24 per cent, which is quite something in a 16-man race. He's nearly double that of the second-place candidate, Scott Walker, at 13 per cent. Rick Perry is at four per cent.

We've had a lot of mail, pro and con, about yesterday's Trump/McCain column, and we'll get to some of it in the days ahead. The con mail was mostly concerned that Trump had slandered all prisoners of war, or even all those in uniform. I think anyone who watches the video would have to acknowledge that there was nothing on Trump's mind at that point other than his contempt for McCain. But even so. What's more damaging to the military? Trump taking a cheap shot over a war America lost two generations ago? Or the sitting president's weirdly relaxed attitude to five men in uniform dead on the ground in the war we're currently in who died defenseless because of a stupid, anachronistic government policy?

And what's more "disrespectful"? A Trump crack? Or Obama having to be kicked and dragged to lower the flags on the White House and other federal buildings? So that what took a few hours after the Aurora movie shooting and the Connecticut school shooting takes five days, because four dead marines and a dead sailor doesn't fit his "narrative"

Trump is Trump, and mouthing off and shooting from the hip is part of who he is. Obama's chilly, calculated, bloodless indifference to victims of Islamic supremacism is part of who he is. Which, honestly, is more disturbing?

~In Monday's Song of the Week, I mentioned that Joseph McCarthy Sr ("Alice Blue Gown") and Joseph McCarthy Jr ("Why Try To Change Me Now?") were the only father and son lyricists who can both claim to have had their songs sung by Frank Sinatra. Gary Perlman writes from Tokyo to object:

Dear Mark,

One comment on the otherwise superb column on 'Why Try to Change Me Now?' Joseph McCarthy Sr and Jr may be the only father-and-son lyricists to each have songs sung by Sinatra, but at least one other pair of songwriters can make the same claim: lyricist Gus Kahn ('It Had To Be You', etc) and his son, composer Donald Kahn ('A Beautiful Friendship'). I imagine this won't be the only letter on the subject, but thought I'd throw this in just in case.

Gary Perlman
Tokyo

Well, I know "(This is the end of) A Beautiful Friendship", and I knew the late Donald Kahn, who was a lovely man. And I always thought it was cute that "Beautiful Friendship" has music by Donald Kahn, son of Gus, and words by Stanley Styne, son of Jule Styne. So lyricist Gus Kahn sired a composer son, and composer Jule Styne sired a lyricist son.

Which means that, if you're correct, then Jule Styne and Stanley Styne would be yet another father and son to be recorded by Sinatra. At this rate, they might as well book a convention center: Sinatra sang not only "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Cole Porter but also "Ooh, Baby, You So Skanky" by his son Nigel Porter. Who knew?

The only flaw in the theory is that I can't recall ever hearing Frank sing "A Beautiful Friendship". I know Ella's record and Nat Cole's and a handful of others. Did Sinatra sing it on TV in the Fifties? If so, it's eluded my mental Rolodex. I know he did "Just Friends (lovers no more)" which is the same theme as "Beautiful Friendship" but inverted. But, if he ever did sing Donald Kahn's song, I'd love to hear it.

July 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm  |  Permalink

A Se'nnight of Steyn, July 13-19

It was a mostly grim week, at home and abroad. But, in case you missed it, here's how the last seven days looked to Mark:

The week began with a federal judge called Richard M Berman ordering conservative film-maker Dinesh D'Souza to undergo psychological counseling. Steyn regarded this as an appalling exercise in Soviet-style medicalization of dissent.

~Tuesday was Bastille Day in France. Mark celebrated with a song and a film for the season. The festivities in Paris were in marked contrast to the ongoing fallout from the July Fourth fiasco in his own backyard.

~The big news midweek was the P5+1's "deal" with Iran. Steyn joined Hannity on Fox News to argue that Sean's comparison of Obama to Neville Chamberlain was unfair to Chamberlain. He also discussed crime and illegal immigrants. On Wednesday Mark checked in with Toronto's Number One morning John Oakley for more Iran talk, plus a little bit of climate change.

~On Thursday the latest attack by a card-carrying member of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves claimed the lives of five US military personnel. Shortly after, Mark and Hugh Hewitt offered some instant analysis, which we hope was more insightful than that of Tom Fuentes of CNN, who cautioned that we don't know whether Muhammad is a Muslim name. As the hours went by and the usual predictable profile of the killer emerged, Steyn was disturbed by the lack of righteous anger.

~On Friday our Sinatra Century countdown continued with a quartet of songs from The King And I.

For our Saturday movie date, Steyn opted for a Hitchcock classic, Strangers On A Train. Also for your weekend enjoyment, the Aussie Spectator offered a rave review by James Allan of Mark's most recent book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, which he calls "beautifully written and funny". (If you'd like a copy personally autographed by Mark, all you have to do is click here - where you can also find a preview of his forthcoming book.)

This September sees the 10th anniversary of the Danish Mohammed cartoons. Mark will be joining the editor who commissioned them and other freespeechers at a special event in Copenhagen. If you're in the vicinity, we hope to see you there. For tickets and more information, please see here.

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

July 19, 2015 at 8:05 am  |  Permalink

Senselessness and Sensibility

A fifth victim of the Chattanooga jihad boy has died: Petty Officer Randall Smith, US Navy.

I'm afraid the makeshift memorials of flags and other patriotic memorabilia that have sprung up on the edge of the police tape depress the hell out of me. A no doubt sincere veneration for the military apparently can only express itself with a feeble passivity that is a large part of the problem. This isn't a time for the bumper-sticker bromides of "We salute our heroes/Thank you for your service/We support our troops". Among the dead are men who waged a bloody and hard-fought battle to retake Fallujah ...only to come home and die unarmed in a crappy shopping mall at the hands of a halfwit fanatic whose family had been under the leisurely money-no-object scrutiny of the bloated security apparatus for years.

A Chinese-made teddy bear from Wal-Mart is not an appropriate reaction. Righteous anger is. And there's not a lot of evidence of that. At that parking-lot memorial, the public seems to discern that such anger is no longer an approved sensibility - whereas a teary generalized sadness gets plenty of media coverage. This is the same media, by the way, that, after a couple of perfunctory questions about Chattanooga, asked Josh Earnest for more details about the "father-daughter weekend" President Obama is currently enjoying in New York. Golly, you'd almost get the impression they're really not that sad at all.

Screw the cakes and balloons. We who did not know them cannot mourn them: That is for their friends and family. The nation's duty is to avenge them - so that they did not die in vain.

~When I first saw this spelling - in yesterday's column - of the name of this week's murderous Mohammedan, I did a double-take and assumed I must have mistranscribed it and corrected it to one of the usual iterations. But no, apparently we have a new variant of everybody's favorite boy's name:

PERRY, OH (WOIO) - The man FBI officials say opened fire on a military recruiting center and reserve center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four U.S. Marines once worked and lived in northeast Ohio.

Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez was killed after Wednesday's attack.

Mohammod? Great. Just what we need: another spelling of Mohammed/Muhammad/Mohamad/Mahmoud to bugger up the intelligence databases.

~Defense Secretary Ash Carter has released an official Pentagon statement on the mass murder of US servicemen:

My thoughts and prayers - along with those of the men and women of the Department of Defense - are with the families of those killed in this senseless act of violence.

On the other hand, Her Excellency El Presidenta-in-waiting Hillary Clinton insists it was not a "senseless act of violence" but "an act of senseless violence":

Hillary Clinton called Thursday's shooting of four Marines in Chattanooga, Tennessee, "an act of senseless violence".

Where do the Republicans come down? Tennessee Congressman Scott DesJarlais:

My thoughts and prayers are with our Tennessee community and all those affected by this senseless act of violence.

And, alas, even one of my favorite representatives, the great Marsha Blackburn:

I am deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence.

And Senator Lamar Alexander, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini, Tennessee AFL-CIO president Gary Moore...

Tragic and senseless... Senseless act of violence... Senseless act of violence... Senseless act of violence...

Is there an app for this rote incantation? Oh, wait, here's Florida senators Bill Nelson (Dem) and Marco Rubio (Rep):

We all mourn the senseless loss of life in Chattanooga... My thoughts and prayers today are with the victims of this senseless attack...

Which one's the Dem? Which one's the Rep? And does it matter?

What happened on Thursday isn't "senseless" at all. It shows great strategic purpose - as I've said so often before, including the last time unarmed soldiers were gunned down by "lone wolves":

If you seriously think this is a senseless act of senselessly senseless violence, then you're the one who's senseless. This isn't a harmless banality one can forgive in the stress of the moment. It's part of the reason we're losing.

~In this week's Aussie Spectator, James Allan reviews my book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn. It's already had a rave from the peerless Julie Burchill in the London Speccie, but this is the view from Down Under:

In the Introduction to this book Steyn repeats some of his 'Monica's dress' gags (they've not withered with time) before explaining how 9/11 changed all that for him. As Steyn puts it about himself, his writing went all 'jihad, demographic decline, the death of Europe, all the fun stuff'.

But that said the mood is not all doom and gloom... The reader is taken on a ride whose overarching theme cannot be described as 'optimistic', but which never, ever fails to be beautifully written and funny. Have I mentioned that this is the funniest political columnist alive today?

James Allan is too kind. In these awful times, an honest joke is a small act of defiance. But we will need much larger ones.

~Speaking of defiant jests, the new editor of Charlie Hebdo has announced there will be no more Mohammed cartoons. So another non-senseless act has paid off bigtime for the Islamic enforcers. I regret the decision, although I understand it.

For what it's worth, I'll be speaking in Copenhagen on the tenth anniversary of the original Danish Motoons. If you're in the general area - Scandinavia, Europe, the Northern Hemisphere - you can get tickets and more information by emailing here.

July 18, 2015 at 10:49 am  |  Permalink

The Enemy Within

On Thursday my weekly date on The Hugh Hewitt Show fell just a couple of hours after the murder of four US Marines by yet another member of the Amalgamated Union of Lone Wolves. It was a victory for the jihad, no question about it. One should be especially careful about what one says in the immediate aftermath of mass murder, but Hugh asked me and here's what I said:

HUGH HEWITT: Mark, this seems to be what everyone has been warning about for the past six weeks or so as Ramadan comes to an end, Abdulazeez arrives on the scene to kill four Marines.

MARK STEYN: Yes, these stories are all different, and in a certain sense, they're all the same. You said it was two "military installations", which makes them sound more secure than they are. This was in fact a recruiting center, which means it was a storefront in a shopping mall. It was next to a pizza joint, and it had a little sticker on the door saying in effect that this is a gun-free zone. So in fact, these storefronts, which are all over America (I passed one earlier this morning in a town in Northeastern Vermont), are incredibly vulnerable to attacks like this... Whether or not it's actually directed by ISIS or anybody, I mean, most of these "lone wolves" turn out to be, as I've said before on your show, "known wolves" - in that they've been on the radar of certain people, certain authorities at some point.

As I said, all the stories are different, but they're all the same. In the case of the Pantybomber, his father fingered him to the CIA - who then did nothing with the information. In the case of this man - Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez - it was (according to The New York Times) his father, an employee of the Chattanooga Public Works Department, who had come under scrutiny by the vast federal terrorism apparatus, who eventually let their investigation lapse. Other than that intergenerational wrinkle, the perpetrator (about whom not much was known when Hugh and I spoke) was a familiar figure: a young man with a university degree in engineering, living in a nice middle-class residence in a nice middle-class neighborhood.

To Marie Harf and her colleagues in the Administration, he's obviously a victim of economic deprivation whose urge to blow up America would be mitigated by a decent economic-stimulus package. In fact, the poverty is all on our side: a poverty of imagination, the inability of Marie Harf and others to understand that not everyone thinks like you do. And until we respect our enemy sufficiently to stop assuming he's just Marie Harf with a beard and a scimitar, we will keep losing. In a further jest on posterity, and a reminder that no good deed goes unpunished, the perpetrator was born in Kuwait in 1990, the year Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied the country ...prompting the first President Bush to send American troops, kick him out and liberate the Abdulazeez family's native land. If you expected them to be grateful for the sacrifice of American blood and treasure, well, that's part of that Marie Harf poverty of imagination, too.

But don't worry, this attack like all the other attacks is an isolated incident of no broader significance:

MS: Any moment now, the President and the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security will be going out and giving interviews insisting that this has nothing to do with Islam, and John Kerry does, as David Cameron does in London, as President Hollande does in Paris, this is the standard line... The same people who tell you that when nine people die in a church in South Carolina that it's all the fault of the Confederate flag, and the Confederate flag has to be run through the shredder, and Confederate war memorials all over the country have to be torn up and the ground salted, then turn around... when four Marines die in a recruiting office ...and will say that this has nothing to do with Islam, and has no wider implication. All jihad is local, there's no bigger picture to see here.

In my bestselling but unheeded book America Alone, I wrote:

Not long after September 11th I said, just as an aside, that these days whenever something goofy turns up on the news chances are it involves some fellow called Mohammed.

Indeed. But don't be drawing any conclusions from that. Yesterday, after CNN had informed its viewers that the killer's name was Muhammad, a genius called Tom Fuentes was anxious to clarify:

We don't know that it's a Muslim name.

That may be, literally, true. Thanks to the enforcers of political correctness, there may indeed be millions and millions of people in America who don't know that Muhammad's a Muslim name.

Hugh, very carefully, drew the Iran connection:

HH: We suspect that this man is a Sunni extremist, radicalized by the Islamic State. We don't know that, yet, but we suspect that. I understand that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a Shiia fanaticism, but they are fanatics, and they are sponsors of terror. Why is it, why does it make sense to negotiate with a terrorist regime of Islamist fanatics, Shiia branch, but to condemn the Islamic State Islamist fanatics, Sunni branch? It does not, it does not make any sense to me that we would trust one set of terrorists because they've been in power longer than the other set of terrorists.

Hugh's correct in the basic sense that the reappearance of Islamic terror on the home front two days after Obama's strategic realignment with Iran is not, as they say, helpful. But it also bolsters, again in a very basic sense, the other narrative of the hour: the Donald Trump line on immigration - in that the Abdulazeez family were graciously admitted to this country and then repaid their new "homeland" by murdering Americans. So, if you're not interested in the clash-of-civilizations angle, it works in Kate Steinle terms, too. The appeal of Big Government is that it offers security - economic security (in terms of welfare), medical security (in terms of health care), social security (in terms of massive regulation to protect you from the vicissitudes of life); that's its seductive appeal: security. But in its perverse final stage Big Government in the western world has decided to make you less secure and throw its doors open to large numbers of people who want to kill you. So Big Government's contradictory pitch is we can't let you hold a Fourth of July parade because that would be totally unsafe but we've got no plans to stop importing fanatics and career criminals and letting them gun you down at the shopping mall.

So it's a nanny state run by a nanny who's a mobsters' moll. That suits both the jihad and the Mexican druglords just fine - so expect the Trump narrative to gain a bit more traction as a result of this. But, even in purely jihadist terms, the response is that we're just gonna have to put up with it. Bo Dietl said on Fox News last night that Americans are going to have to give up freedom for security. Aside from its unwitting evocation of Ben Franklin, wouldn't it be easier maybe to restrict the freedom of our enemies instead? By, say, reining in mass Muslim immigration to the west? Or outlawing the foreign funding of mosques? Or any one of half-a-dozen other policies so obvious they will never happen.

Instead, we'll trade more and more freedom - and get less and less safety. As I said to Hugh:

MS: I think it's comparable with what happened in Ottawa and Quebec last fall, where ISIS supporters killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Office Patrice Vincent. And by doing that, ISIS is telling you look, if we can kill your soldiers with impunity, nobody is safe. If you can just kill four U.S. Marines from the most powerful fighting force on the planet, how easy is it then to kill the kindergarten teacher? How easy is it to kill the pastor? How easy is it to kill the accountant? If a soldier's not safe in a recruiting center, then nobody is safe - and that's the message that ISIS or whoever is trying to send.

So four Marines, some of whom survived the bloody battle for Fallujah, came home to die unarmed at the hands of a "lone wolf".

HH: My friend, retired Army Colonel Mark, came by today to drop off a symbol to me, and he also told me that it is prohibited by military regulations to have weapons in any recruitment center, regardless of the state law, which seems to me to be insane.

MS: Yes, I think is absolutely is insane, and we've seen this again and again. I understand that it's a Clinton era policy, but in fact, some of the most vulnerable places in the United States are actually "military installations" - just recruiting centers, or full-scale military bases. But basically, they're the equivalent of some insane left-wing campus that's all fluffy-bunny peacenik. And it is absolutely ridiculous that these four Marines were dependent on that sticker in the glass door of the shopping mall declaring that this place was a gun-free zone, that they're dependent on that to protect them. And that is going to have to change because you know - this is from an ISIS point of view, from the jihad's point of view - four high-value targets, the best in America trained to the highest level, and some nothing, some punk guy, some kid born in Kuwait whose dad works for the Chattanooga Public Works Department or whatever, is able to take them down, because as a matter of United States government policy, these Marines in these recruiting centers are vulnerable, because the government says they have to be vulnerable.

We also discussed Iran, where I somewhat dissented from the idea that the American hostages in Iran should have been, formally, part of the grand bargain between Teheran and Washington:

MS: You shouldn't be seen to be negotiating for hostages. So the idea that four hostages would be traded for a $100 billion windfall or whatever Iran's getting out of this would not have been good. But at the same time, if this was a genuine rapprochement between the United States and Iran, those hostages would already be on a plane...

HH: Yup.

MS: ...to the United States. The fact that they're not tells you that these guys are still in full-scale death to America mode.

Hugh and I also pondered the wretched behavior of the press corps in front of both the President and his designated successor. You can find the full interview here.

July 17, 2015 at 8:13 am  |  Permalink

The Competing Merits of Saudis, Iranians and Canadians

Some reader commentary on Obama's Iran deal. Craig Austin writes re the Chamberlain comparisons:

Chamberlain did not provide a pathway for advanced weaponry for his enemy, he negotiated with an elected head of government, and the German people were not burning the union jack and shouting " death to Britain ". This is worse than sending Kerry/James Taylor response to Charlie Hebdo.

After 6+ years of negotiations with Canada, Obama said it would be dangerous to let Canada build a pipeline, but after 2 years of negotiations, it is safe for Iran to build a nuclear program. Creating jobs and positive change in North America is dangerous, but giving nuclear weapons to Apocalyptic Mullahs is safe. No wonder Justin Trudeau loves this guy.

Craig Austin

That last point is well taken: the Keystone pipeline has been subjected to a more rigorous inspections regime than the Iranian nuclear program. Because what matters to Obama is preventing Canada getting a pipeline, not Iran getting a bomb.

John Lord writes:

You sometimes sound like one of these uncompromising student radicals always preaching perfection from the sidelines, never having to get your hands dirty. It seems to me that Iran for all its ills is streets ahead of the Western supported Saudi Arabia. Most, if not all of the Muslim mischief visited on our West is of the Sunni / Saudi variety. Iran has the societal capacity to change for the better even by increment, unfortunately the same could not be said for Saudi.

Obama may actually be right this time!

If you mean that the Shah's Iran was a more advanced and civilized place than Saudi Arabia, there's no question that's correct. In geopolitical terms, arguing whether the present-day Islamic Republic of Iran is less worse than the House of Saud is one of those Samuel Johnson questions about the precedence of a louse and a flea. But four years ago in my book After America I characterized Saudi Arabia/Iran as a good cop/bad cop routine:

Millenarian Iran wants to nuke us. Wahhabist Saudi Arabia wants to own us.

The House of Saud has advanced quite a long way toward the goal. Nevertheless, the idea that de facto acceptance of Iranian nukes plus giving them money, arms, technology and global legitimacy will assist Teheran to "change for the better" is stupid. As I said to John Oakley, Iran has spent 35 years declining to accept the most basic norms of state-to-state relations and using all means at its disposal to act extra-territorially. We have just substantially enhanced their means to act extra-territorially and cemented the regime in place.

Besides, Obama isn't thinking about any of that. He isn't weighing who's more likely to moderate their particular virulent strain of Islamic imperialism - any more than he cares whether what replaced Mubarak was better or worse. He was opposed to Mubarak because Mubarak was a designated American ally, just as he was opposed to Gaddafi because George W Bush turned him. That's why, in a choice between a pro-American theocratic dump and an anti-American theocratic dump, he instinctively favors the latter. The "student radical" here isn't me, it's Obama - aided by the quintessential superannuated "student radical" John Kerry.

~Speaking of Islamic imperialism's varied strategies, ten years ago this September an obscure Jutland newspaper published the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and opened up a new front in the clash of civilizations: free speech and jokes. The inarticulate goon imams threatened to rain down death hither and yon, and then began actually doing so. Given that the media are incessantly congratulating themselves on their courage, I carelessly assumed they would welcome the opportunity to show some, and would reprint those cartoons as part of a legitimate news story. In fact, only my magazine in Canada, Ezra Levant's Western Standard, and a satirical weekly in France, Charlie Hebdo, dared to show readers what all the fuss was about. Ezra was prosecuted by the disgusting Alberta "Human Rights" Commission and lost a six-figure sum. The Charlie Hebdo guys lost their lives.

On the fifth anniversary, I had the honor to appear in Copenhagen with a handful of friends from Scandinavia, the Netherlands and elsewhere at a conference to consider the question of Islam and comedy. There were six of us on stage that day: our host Lars Hedegaard, the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the pseudonymous Dutch cartoonist Nekschot, the comedians Shabana Rehman and Farshad Kholghi, and me. Nekschot, for security reasons, was obliged to appear disguised in a burqa, and has since been forced to abandon his identity and the cartooning life entirely; Lars Hedegaard dodged a shot at point blank range by a man at his front door who subsequently fled to Turkey, where they're refusing to extradite. Lars Vilks was the target of the jihadist attack on a free-speech event in Copenhagen this Valentine's Day in which a Danish film-maker and a synagogue security guard were killed, and so he too has been obliged to retire from public life. Shabana Rehman has had her family restaurant firebombed. So, of the six of us, that's an impressive 67 per cent hit rate for Islam.

But I'm still here and I love my beleaguered Scandinavian friends, and so I will be in Copenhagen for the tenth anniversary of the Danish cartoons. I will miss those who can't be there, either because they're dead or have had their public lives erased, but I will salute those who will be, including the editor who commissioned and published those pictures, Flemming Rose. It's important to keep the flame of free speech burning in Europe, and in Denmark in particular. Because all you can do as the weasels and cowards of the fin de civilisation west trade away freedom of expression incrementally day by day is to stand up and use yours as loudly as you can. Copenhagen's a nifty 20-minute high-speed train ride across the Øresund Bridge from Sweden and a short flight from Paris and London, so, if you're minded to swing by, I'd love to see you there. It's the afternoon of September 26th.

~Speaking of free speech, as readers may know, I'm being sued for "the high seven figures" by climate mullah Michael E Mann. Were Mann to win, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century, which is why the ACLU, NBC, The Chicago Tribune and various other unlikely figures have filed amicus briefs against Mann. So I fight on, and I fight to win - even though, as I always say about these things, the process is the punishment. When you have a filthy choked toilet of a justice system such as the District of Columbia's, just being lowered into it for a leisurely half-decade renders any eventual verdict largely irrelevant. Mann is backed by so-called "climate science defense funds", even though I'm the defendant here and he's a serial plaintiff.

I'm profoundly grateful to readers for helping keep me in the game this last year-and-a-half: as I've explained, I'm reluctant to set up a formal "legal defense fund" because I don't trust a corrupt, depraved and politically partisan Obama revenue agency not to demand donor information and then punish them. So I'm fighting a seven-figure lawsuit as best I can. But, if you are overcome by an urge to help out, we do have a new way you can do that. I think you'll enjoy it.

If I were looking at it objectively, the week after Mann filed suit I would have emptied my bank account, driven across the border and got on with my life somewhere else. But I've never ducked a free-speech fight, and here I will make my stand. Had I been in the situation of Dinesh D'Souza, however, I think I would definitely have scrammed. He was the target of a politically motivated prosecution and, bearing in mind that process-is-the-punishment shtick, he knew he couldn't win, so he cut a deal. Under the appalling hacks who pass for jurists in this system, D'Souza is now discovering that, when you cut a deal with the feds, the terms have a way of subtly evolving. For example, a man called Richard M Berman, who purports to be a US district judge, has just ordered D'Souza to undergo psychological counseling.

I should say, as I always do, that I have no use for Dinesh D'Souza. Nevertheless, he is the victim here of an abusive prosecutocracy and an out-of-control judge who disgraces his office:

The psychiatrists D'Souza was first ordered to see found no signs of depression, but U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman overruled their findings and ordered D'Souza see a new psychological counselor weekly.

The guy who needs psychological counseling here is Richard M Berman. It is a common tool of totalitarian societies to classify any opposition as mental illness. You don't have to like D'Souza to be utterly revolted when a thug operator posing as a judge starts using the medicalization of dissent with the enthusiasm of any old Soviet commissar.

D'Souza is in the horrible situation of having to weigh objecting to Berman against his urge to see family back in India and being denied freedom to travel - all for a campaign finance offense that is a barely discernible fraction next to what the Clinton Foundation, Lois Lerner's IRS and Obama's tax-exempt brother are pulling every hour of the day. The fact that d'Souza's freedom to see his family is even at issue testifies to what a vile system federal "justice" is.

~Please join me on the radio this afternoon to chew over a lively week in world affairs with Hugh Hewitt, coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.

July 16, 2015 at 8:27 am  |  Permalink

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