Today, Monday, I'll be conducting the very first Clubland Q&A of 2022 - live around the planet at 5pm North American Eastern/10pm Greenwich Mean Time.
~The weekend seizure of a Texas synagogue by a "British man" is the umpteenth example of "Let's pretend that the 37,893rd incident of Islamic terrorism is anything but Islamic terrorism". The dirty stinking rotten corrupt FBI (whom the pom-pom girls of Conservative Inc still make goo-goo eyes at) immediately announced that the "British man"'s act was "not specifically related to the Jewish community", so that's okay then, although presumably it was a bit unfortunate that some of the "Jewish community" wound up getting "detained" by the "British man", as the BBC delicately put it.
You know, "detained", like you might be if the coppers ask you for your Covid papers and you left them on your seat at the Australian Open. I mean, these days who's not liable for detention?
Circa eighteen, nineteen years ago, it became implicitly accepted that both the authorities and the media would only talk bollocks about Islamic terror attacks. In fact, if I had to date it precisely I'd go for July 4th 2002. Here's me twenty bloody years ago:
I'm a dead white male, as you can tell from my picture. Suppose on Martin Luther King Day I went to the offices of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and shot the receptionists. How many nano-seconds do you think it would take before the attack was being characterized as racially motivated? Your top Olympic hotshot could ingest every steroid on the planet and he couldn't beat that time.
Suppose it was Judy Garland's birthday and I went to my local bathhouse and opened fire on the fetching young men handing out the towels. How many minutes would tick by before the word "homophobia" was heard?
Or suppose it was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and me and my semi-automatic swung by the abortion clinic ...
Well, you get the idea. On the Fourth of July (hint) a guy went to the airport in Los Angeles, sauntered up to the ticket counter of El Al (hint) and fatally shot two people and wounded three. How many folks hearing the news on a quickie radio update honestly expected it to be anyone other than a Muslim male of Middle Eastern origin? Obviously, Underperformin' Norman Mineta, the scrupulously sensitivity-trained U.S. Transportation Secretary, would have been wary of jumping to conclusions. Were he running the LAPD, he'd have pulled in a couple of elderly nuns and Kelli-Sue, a trainee hairdresser from Des Moines.
But, fortunately for the final death toll, El Al has its own security and so the suspect, after firing 10 rounds, was himself killed. And whaddaya know? He wasn't an elderly nun but a 41-year-old Egyptian male! His name wasn't Kellie-Sue, it was Hesham Mohamed Hadayet!
This stunning development seems to have completely disoriented the FBI. I quote from the New York Times headline:
"Officials Puzzled About Motive Of Airport Gunman."
Hmm. Egyptian Muslim kills Jews on American national holiday. Best not to jump to conclusions. Denial really is a river in Egypt. "It appears he went there with the intention of killing people," said Richard Garcia, the Bureau's agent in charge. "Why he did that we are still trying to determine."
Over the weekend, I received the usual emails from panting readers on the news-cycle hamster wheel demanding to know why I wasn't writing about Texas. Because I wrote that column two decades in advance and then retired to the Bahamas. "We've failed," as David Starkey told me on Friday night. Sean Hannity, whose 2017-2020 dining companion had his entire presidency subverted by the feds, still does his "Oh, there's just a few bad apples. I know these G-men. They're salt-of-the-earth decent honorable blah-blah-blah" shtick on the FBI.
So the Texas codswallop mainly reminds us that, long before the WuFlu, the citizenry had internally accepted that officialdom and the media could tell obvious laughable lies and not be called on it. The mistake, presumably, was in thinking that this would be confined to Islamic terrorism and not metastasize to China and public health and whatever's next.
~The Djokovic deportation is a sign that they're now taking it to the next level. Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, concedes that the world's Number One tennis player is no health risk to anyone but is rather a free-speech risk:
I have given consideration to the fact that Mr Djokovic is a high profile unvaccinated individual, who has indicated publicly that he is opposed to becoming vaccinated against Covid (which for convenience I refer to as 'anti-vaccination')...
I consider that Mr Djokovic's presence in Australia may pose a health risk to the Australian community, in that his presence in Australia may foster anti-vaccination sentiment leading to (a) other unvaccinated persons refusing to become vaccinated, (b) other unvaccinated persons being reinforced in their existing views not to become vaccinated, and/or (c) a reduction in the uptake of booster vaccines.
This is worse than the concept of "pre-crime"; it's "pre-speech": if Djokovic were to remain in Australia, he might say something that might cause Mrs Scroggins of Alice Springs to consider foregoing her seventh booster shot.
Not as many years back as that LAX column, I sat across a dinner table from Tony Abbott and discussed his decision to abandon the repeal of Section 18C: "Free speech isn't a first-order issue," he said confidently. He was wrong. It was then and it is now, when his political party is deporting persons for the crime of dissenting from the government line.
(Which happens to be rubbish: The vaccines are getting crummier by the month. But, as the judges say, we don't even need to reach that.)
~We had a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with the Friday edition of The Mark Steyn Show with two terrific guests - Douglas Murray on our woeful elites and David Starkey on the west and the woke. My Saturday column expanded on the latter theme as we marked the tenth anniversary of the sinking of the Costa Concordia. Rick McGinnis's weekly film date was Cary Grant and The Awful Truth, and my Sunday song selection recalled Gene Austin and "My Blue Heaven". Our marquee presentation was the latest entry to my anthology of Steyn's Sunday Poems, because video poetry is where the big bucks are: This week's presentation was a black slave's ode to His Excellency General Washington.
If you were too busy spending the weekend in the hospital waiting room because half the staff are furloughed with the Omicron and the other half were fired for being unvaxxed, well, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.