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Mark Steyn

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ULTIMATE WEDNESDAY POTPOURRI (NOW WITH LESS NEWT)!

Thank you for your kind (and unkind) letters from America, Canada, Britain, Australia and around the world. Mark reads all mail, but especially enjoys the vicious ones. Each day Monday to Friday we pick six of the best for our Daily Delivery. So drop a line to Mark's Mailbox, and on Friday if you're chosen to be the one and only Letter of the Week you'll join our roll of winners from four Continents and receive a copy of Mark Steyn From Head To Toe. It would help if you could indicate your city or town, or, at any rate, your state, province or country. If not, at least let us know what planet you're on.

BAP! KA-POW! SLICE! BATMAN!

In reading your piece "Puncture the Cocoon of Denial", I have come to the conclusion that President Obama does not like bats. Let me explain.

Barack Obama has dodged yet again the surety of supply and the economic stimulus implied by building the Keystone Pipeline to bring friendly neighbor Canada's oil to the United States; the ethical nature of which does not fuel Arab-funded terrorism nor the House of Saud's firm support of the casinos and bordellos of Europe.

On the other hand, Mr Obama's support of the "Arab Spring" in bringing down the US-friendly (ahem) dictator Mubarak in Egypt has delivered control of the Suez Canal into the hands of jihadist and hardline Muslim fundamentalists. This waterway is a key route of Arabian oil distribution to Europe and North America. His lack of determination in forestalling the Iranian bomb has also endangered the Strait of Hormuz, a critical outlet for global distribution of oil. Control of these two key choke points has largely passed from friendly hands to that of America's adversaries.

The shunning of Canadian oil and the relinquishment of control of key waterways for the distribution of Arab oil can only be explained by Mr Obama's predilection for alternative energy— or his tacit support of jihad. Indeed, the meeting of interests between the Left and fundamentalist Islam well coincides over oil. The Left wants to wean the West of off oil and certainly forestall the development of North American oil resources. The Left also supports the redistribution of the West's wealth through the Western oil purchases from the Third World: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Nigeria and Venezuela, to name a few. It also keeps Mother Russia strong relative to both Western and Eastern Europe. Fundamentalist Islam obviously gains monetarily, politically and militarily over the under-development of North American oil.

Let us assume the situation can be explained by Mr Obama's predilection for alternative energy. Less North American sourced oil means higher oil prices and the fundamentalist control of Arabian oil choke points raises the potential for future oil price shocks. This forces America to opt for more tilted windmills. Windmills kill bats. As a matter of fact, windmills kill not only by striking our nightly flyers but also by the decompression caused by proximity to the turbulence from passing windmill blades. This decompression destroys the sensitive lungs of our favorite insectivores. Thus Barack Obama must hate bats.

Grayme Anthony
Sudbury, Ontario

IT'S ALL OVER NOW

Mr Steyn, "Puncture the Cocoon of Denial" was another wonderful essay. I'm 45 with two children, 9 and 13. I get the impression we share the same belief that nothing will be done to stop our fiscal car from going into the ditch and off a cliff. I'm wondering what we should expect when this happens and what can I do for my children?

Mike Mulholland
Manchester, New Hampshire

WE DID START THE FIRE— SO SCREW YOU, CALIFORNIA!

Hi, Mark. When our 88-year-old grandmother told us this Christmas Eve that she was forbidden to light a fire for our family gathering because California Air Quality Management had threatened to fine her if she did, we all scoffed and lit the fire anyway.

Well, yesterday she sent us this newspaper article (clipped from the actual paper newspaper) with the note: "See, I told you we shouldn't have lit that fire". The article sounds like something straight out of one of your columns: Air Quality bureaucrats driving around on Christmas Eve in Priuses and natural gas-powered cars looking for outlaw families lighting illicit fires and handing out $400 fines and saying, "People don't get to take a break from breathing because it's a holiday."

Just thought you would want to add yet another absurd California government idiocy anecdote to the vast collection you already have.

Shane Ahern
Foster City, California

NOT ALL LATIN WARS LOOK ALIKE, STEYN

Mark, I have greatly enjoyed reading your book A Song for the Season. It is full of the kind of background tidbits that I love to carry around at the back of my head for future use.

That said, I believe that I have discovered an error on page 139 of your book. There you mention that Charles K Harris was "the king of Tin Pan Alley in the late 19th century". Then you go on to quote a lyric of his, which you say was written during the Mexican-American War. I think you must mean the Spanish-American War (1898). The Mexican-American War was fought in 1847.

Best wishes for 2012.

Arnold Kisch
Jerusalem, Israel

A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A DEPRESSING NEW YEAR

I received After America for Christmas, and I'm on page 13 and mad as hell. Should I continue reading?

Just kidding, Mark. I will continue reading. I have worked since I can't remember when, I'm a college graduate with a BA in Business, and my wife and I worked hard and saved so we could enjoy retirement. However, I am 65 now and working again as we watch our 401K dissolve. My wife is 63 and cleaning a home for some people once a week. I'm sitting here wondering how we can allow a great nation to fall. So many people have fallen into the entitlement trap and continue to remain uneducated about politics, so they keep voting in those that have no clue and cannot even relate to the average person.

So, Mark, keep trying to get the word out— some of us are listening. And thank you.

Michael Conrad
Valley Springs, California

OCEAN'S OOPSIES

Mark, the best moment in the original Ocean's Eleven, at least for us cognoscenti, occurs early on when the doctor looks at a chest X-ray and tells the poor schlub sitting in his office that he has the Big C. But look carefully— you'll notice that the chest X-ray is upside-down.

Eric Chevlen
Youngstown, Ohio

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD

You are a festering sore on my ass.

Mark Bean
San Jose, California

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