Programming note: Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be back on UK telly screens for a full hour, sitting in for Nigel Farage on GB News. Farage airs nightly at 7pm Greenwich Mean Time, which is 2pm North American Eastern. You'll find a rather appreciative critique of Friday's appearance here. So, if you're in the presence of the receiving apparatus, I hope you'll dial us up.
~I have been reluctant to comment on certain well-aired rumors about Joe Biden at international meetings, mainly because a lot of them seem to originate on Chinese "social media", which, hard to believe, is slightly more tightly controlled than American social media. However, this latest incident was big news over the weekend - and we do seem to have a witness, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall:
An informed source has told The Mail on Sunday that Camilla was taken aback to hear Biden break wind as they made polite small talk at the global climate change gathering in Glasgow last week.
'It was long and loud and impossible to ignore,' the source said. 'Camilla hasn't stopped talking about it.'
On The Mark Steyn Show last year, you might recall, I quoted one of my favorite passages in one of my favorite books, John Aubrey's Brief Lives, published in 1696. It was in reference, aside from anything else, to why one should always bow from the neck to the sovereign, instead of from the waist, which is far more perilous, as the seventeenth Lord Oxford could tell you:
This Earle of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares. On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart.
Patrick Sullivan, a Mark Steyn Club member from Seattle, thought this story somewhat apocryphal. Still, I do hope that when the Duchess next sees Joe she greets him with "Mister President, I had forgott the Fart".
~Most of what I've had to say about the ChiCom-19 in recent months has been about the lockdown and the attendant politics. That's because with respect to the actual virus, in the blizzard of lies from public health officials, I have increasingly little sense of what "information" can be relied on.
However, the vaccine doesn't seem to vaccinate as other vaccines do, to the point where, in Kate McMillan's Saskatchewan, the latest tally of cases among persons over the age of eleven shows all but a tie between the vaccinated (49 new cases) and the un- (48 new cases).
I was told I was 'fully vaccinated'.
Now, a Covid NHS ad tells me I've had my 'first course'.
I believe misleading people into putting stuff into their bodies is against the Nuremberg Convention.
Across the world, from Chairman Dan's Victoria to Admiral Rachel's Pennsylvania, the pitiful deference to "experts" has resulted in the wholesale slaughter of the elderly, the mass terrorizing of children, and excess non-Covid mortality from mental-health issues, from postponed cancer treatments ...and, at least among boys, from the vaccine itself.
In my own childhood I had a school chum born with Thalidomide defects. That's to say, he had a malformed foreshortened arm and so wore a prosthesis ending in a hook, which we all thought was rather cool, including the girls. Thalidomide was a German drug introduced in the late Fifties for anxiety, sleeping problems, morning sickness, and the like. By the early Sixties, there was overwhelming evidence that it had led to thousands of miscarriages and, in those babies who survived, to phocomelia, which pre-Thalidomide was almost entirely genetic.
I had forgotten, if I ever knew, the extraordinary level of premature death. Of the two thousand babies born with Thalidomide in the UK, half died within a few months. Of those who made it out of the nursery, a further half thereof died young. So that by 2010 of those two thousand only 466 had survived. I have lost contact with my school pal, and I wonder if he is among those four hundred, or whatever it's down to by now.
Thalidomide was "the biggest man-made medical disaster ever". America was largely spared because of one woman at the FDA, Frances Kelsey, who held up approval of the drug. We complain, correctly, about America's sclerotic drug-approval process, which we now know can be waived with ease when the authorities so decide. But that's not even the issue here. The choice to take Thalidomide for a few years in the Fifties and Sixties was that of a relatively small number of women at the behest of their doctors. There is no equivalent to the extraordinary pressure from the state and the media to get the
two three four whatever shots in order to remain a municipal fireman, or go dancing in a nightclub, or lie on a Mediterranean beach. Just do as you're told, even if (as Miss Pearson notes above) what you're told changes from week to week.
We are almost certainly pumping the juice into groups who should not be getting it, and, as with Thalidomide, we shall not know the full picture on that for a while. But it is likewise certain that the numbers afflicted will be far higher than Thalidomide.
~Just when Chairman Xi thinks the flailing hyperpower can't get any more ridiculous, the Government of the United States steps up to provide him with his daily laugh. America accounts for forty per cent of planetary military spending and can't win a war, and has just lost one in particularly ludicrous circumstances, including turning a bunch of goatherds with fertilizer into one of the Top Ten most lavishly equipped armies on the planet, and using its crackerjack intelligence agencies to off a bunch of photogenic moppets on the way out the door.
Nonetheless, Thoroughly Modern Milley and the world's wokest general staff know their priorities: Celebrate diversity - so that the next time some not so jolly jack tar burns down a two-billion-dollar ship, there's a chance that, even if he's just another straight white yawneroo, the ship at least might be diverse:
A Navy ship named for slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk, who served four years in the Navy before being forced out, was christened and launched in San Diego Bay on Saturday.
The replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk slid down the shipyard ways after a bottle of champagne was smashed on the bow by former Navy officer Paula M. Neira, clinical program director for the John Hopkins Center for Transgender Health.
That's right: This is the first time a ship has been launched down the slipway by a transgender veteran. Progress!
Is there anything more bloody boring than "diversity"? The more diverse we get, the more everything comes out all the same. A month after the State Department ran the LGBTQWERTY flag up the Kabul embassy pole, the Taliban were forcing women back into body bags and gays into hiding for fear of being tossed off the roofs of buildings or being beheaded for be-bottoming. Yet the diversity-obsessives are oddly silent about all that. Why let downer reality get in the way of your tedious virtue-signaling? Particularly when tedious virtue-signaling is all you can do.
In the nineteenth-century Royal Navy, a life at sea was summarized as "rum, bum and concertina". In the twenty-first-century US Navy, rum is banned, and concertina is beyond the skills of the smartphone generation. So that doesn't leave a lot.
~Yesterday's consideration of the multi-generational Cole-family "Unforgettable" saw me throw in a snide aside about the Natalie remake's "cheesy perfume-ad sax" in the instrumental break. Pastor Mike tweets in response:
My brother toured w/Natalie on tenor sax. His contract specified that if he deviated even 1 note on the Unforgettable saccharine solo he wouldn't get paid that night. As sugary as it was, it was a key ingredient and they knew it.
~It was a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with an hour of me on camera for a Friday Farage from GB News that included a cracking convo with our chum Douglas Murray. For our Saturday movie date, Rick McGinnis celebrated Brits on the Costa, and our Sunday musical selection was the above-mentioned incredible unfuhgeddable ballad. Our marquee presentation was the launch of my latest Tale for Our Time - Agatha Christie's first published novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Part Two airs tonight.
If you were too busy setting new targets for Joe Biden's emissions, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.