Thank you for another week of lively reactions to matters large and small at SteynOnline. I'm reeling under a barrage of lawyers offering advice and/or comment on other lawyers' advice. Maybe we'll save that for a separate topic, but Michael, one of many attorneys kindly volunteering his services pro bono, also has a non-legal suggestion:
Dear Mr Steyn
Might I suggest that your SteynOnline gift certificates make excellent baby presents. I just bought one for a friend and another for my own infant son. Parents can buy books (or coffee mugs) to read to their children, and you can make sure that when those children grow up, they'll be able to read and write, not to mention think, freely. Perhaps someday these Children of the Steyn can have their own subversive book club or at least drive their freshman seminar teachers crazy.
I'm not a lawyer but I think reading my books to your moppets counts as child abuse in at least 47 states plus Guam. Fortunately, the SteynOnline gift certificates never expire so you can put it your newborn's bassinet and in a couple of decades Junior will be able to treat himself to my new book celebrating the 20th anniversary of my landmark legal victory.
Turning to an almost equally epic struggle, my remembrance of the late Andrew Stuart and this missive from the old New Hebrides prompted William Stroock to write:
Oh c'mon, Steyn, that whole South Pacific coconut war thing didn't really happen. It's too much like an Evelyn Waugh novel to be real. Be serious, man. You just got hold of a rough draft of Black Mischief.
If you say so. While we're on the subject of Evelyn Waugh, just about the only remotely endearing thing I ever heard about Julius Nyerere, the Afro-Marxist loon who beggared Tanzania through the Sixties and Seventies, was that he slept with a copy of Black Mischief on his nightstand just in case he ever needed it.
Speaking of rough drafts of Evelyn Waugh novels, Karla Schroeder writes:
Hope you saw this photo [above] of Prince Charles going native in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks for that. I hadn't seen him in the full Desert Song get-up since he climbed into the old Highgrove hijab for dinner with a bin Laden sibling a week or so after 9/11 and amusingly asked him, "So what's your brother up to these days?" You do get the impression that, left to his own devices, he'd wear it to open a shopping center in Nuneaton.
At any rate, apropos His Royal Highness' decision to recycle lame Michael Mann slurs, a future subject of the next King of Canada writes from Calgary:
The Royal Family is supposed to avoid political matters. The controversy around anthropogenic climate change is a "political matter" which Charles Windsor addresses whenever the opportunity presents itself. Therefore, hasn't he removed himself from being his mother's successor?
Well, I'd have cut him a bit of slack a few years ago, but, given the Queen's age and a measured but palpable slowing down (she sent Charles in her place to the Commonwealth Conference, etc), the Prince of Wales if not quite a de facto Regent is certainly assuming more and more duties of state. Look at Her Majesty's viceroys, and imagine the fuss if, say, the Governor General of Canada were to start denouncing the Dominion's "climate deniers" as "headless chickens". The Governor General can only speak, as I believe John Buchan was first to formulate, in "governor-generalities". The Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland, John Crosbie, took this advice so seriously that, when my old boss Conrad Black booked him to appear on a panel in Toronto a year or so back with Nigel Farage and me and expected him to give us his thoughts on foreign policy and the economic outlook, Mr Crosbie, as Her Majesty's viceroy, confined himself to 20 minutes of "Newfie" jokes concluding with one that ended "Look at the two assholes on that camel." Thus did he maintain the solemn and dignified non-partisan nature of the Queen's commission. The Prince of Wales should do no less - although, in his case, as that Saudi pic demonstrates, the punchline about the asshole on the camel might strike a little closer to home.
Denyse O'Leary draws my attention to an interesting admission:
I assume you saw this but climate change science is an area where it is considered okay to lie for the greater good.
Lost in the welter, one gathers, is the question of why, then, we should believe anything they say, except that we are sheep.
Once you accept that way of looking at it it's easy to understand why Dr Mann is an heroic figure. Reader Mike Novick reminds me of one of the Climategate emails, from Mann at Penn State to Phil Jones at the CRU:
thanks for forwarding. It may be difficult for me to sue them over a footnote, and in fact he is very careful only to intimate accusations against me in a response to your comments. Note that he does not do so in the paper. I'm sure they know that I would sue them for that, and that I have a top lawyer already representing me.
Wei Chyung needs to sue them, or at the least threaten a lawsuit. If he doesn't, this will set a dangerous new precedent. I could put him in touch w/ anleading attorney who would do this pro bono. Of course, this has to be done quickly. The threat of a lawsuit alone my prevent them from publishing this paper, so time is of the essence.
"The threat of a lawsuit alone may prevent them from publishing this paper" - all for the greater good.
Finally, further to my contention that the present debauched Republican Party is less fiscally conservative than the Canadian Liberal Party and the Australian Labor Party, Robert writes:
The Liberals did get our fiscal house in order here in Canada, but only after Jean Charest's wife was sleeping with half the Progressive Conservative caucus after the 1993 election. I wonder if the Liberals would have been fiscally better than their previous hundred years mostly in power if not for the Reform Party hammering away at deficit spending and taking almost every seat in the west.
Keep up the good work.
That was my point. In Calgary a couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of being introduced by Preston Manning, leader of the Reform Party throughout the Nineties, and, in response, I remarked that, even when a party isn't in the majority, it can still have an important impact by keeping certain issues in play. That's what Mr Manning did. And he obliged the Liberals, in an effort to contain him, to meet him halfway on fiscal matters and much else. In doing so, he moved the center of Canadian politics toward the right. That's the role an effective opposition party plays. John Boehner's House Republican leadership are the de facto opposition in Washington right now. What ideas are they keeping in play? What are they doing to move the center toward them?
I rest my case.
Oh, and for non-Canadians, lest you think Robert was casting aspersions on Mme Charest's virtue the only reason she was sleeping with half the Tory caucus is that in the 1993 election the governing party was wiped out and reduced to two seats. So it wasn't quite as onerous a burden as Robert made it sound.
PS I'll be joining Preston Manning and many other Canadian conservatives at the annual Manning jamboree in Ottawa at the end of this week. Hope to see you there.
~Drop Steyn a line on his lawsuits or anything else at Mark's Mailbox.
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