The Russians' reluctant acceptance of the British view - that their plane was blown up over Sinai by an on-board bomb - is a glimpse of a new world. Air travel, for tourism and business, is a major prop of the globalized economy. But many airport security systems around the planet exist with one foot in the First World and one in the Third - Egypt is fairly typical in that respect. So is Russia, which managed to kill Christophe de Margerie, the head of the Total oil company, by leaving a snowplough in the middle of the runway as his plane was taking off. Having concluded a successful meeting with Medvedev, M de Margerie was on his way home and assumed he was in an advanced functioning transportation system. He wasn't: He was in one of those parts of the world in which the veneer of technology is a mere veil for the vast dysfunction underneath - one that ISIS and others can exploit very easily when they choose to do so. If they ever find out what happened to that Malaysian jet (the first one), there may be similar revelations about Kuala Lumpur. As Europe Islamizes, such incidents will come to Frankfurt and Stockholm and Amsterdam.
It's what I called in both America Alone and After America "the re-primitivization of the map". What remains of civilization will, if we're lucky, live like Israel - as mostly secure fortresses, beyond whose iron dome you venture at your peril. And getting from one iron dome to the next will be ever trickier. But beach holidays in Sharm al-Sheikh will not be on the horizon.
Alternatively, we could push back hard and stop this re-primitivization before the planet goes to hell.
~Down Under Tim Blair reminds his readers of something I wrote a decade ago:
These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Centre? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet. A sniper starts killing petrol station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A gang-rapist in Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.
And then Tim adds:
A decade later, multiple Mos still lead the way when it comes to murder and mayhem. July's Chattanooga multiple killer? Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez. Sydney's teenage Islamic assassin? Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar. And now we have 18-year-old Faisal Mohammad, who this week stabbed four people at a California university...
But no broader conclusions should be drawn from these freakish appellatory coincidences. All jihad is local.
~I saw yesterday morning that something called Yale Scientific, "the nation's oldest college science publication", had reviewed my new book, "A Disgrace to the Profession": The World's Scientists - in Their Own Words - on Michael E Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage to Science Volume One. I was on my way to a conference with lawyers that lasted most of the day, and figured that in any case, being in Yale Scientific, it would not be a good review and there was no point demoralizing myself before an interminable legal meeting. Returning from the all-day gabfest, I'd fully expected Michael E Mann and his acolytes to have linked enthusiastically to the piece. But they hadn't.
And then I read it.
Well, I've had better reviews. And, although Amy Ho mischaracterizes my views somewhat, there's no doubt she's not a fan of the book:
Steyn's main argument is that Mann did a great disservice to science when he used flawed data to create a graph that "proved" his argument about Earth's rising temperatures...His outrage lies not only in the use of poor data, but in Mann's deletion of data in ignoring major historical climate shifts such as the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.
To Steyn, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and all those who supported the hockey stick graph also did a disservice to science by politicizing climate change to the extent that it gives validity to deniers. However, Steyn may be giving these doubters yet more ammo, because he has done nothing to de-politicize the issue. Steyn claims that Mann has drawn his battle lines wrong — but then, so has Steyn, by attacking Mann instead of focusing on the false science.
Steyn's writing style is broadly appealing, but his humor, initially reminiscent of XKCD, underestimates his audience.
Do read the whole thing - and notice what to me was the most striking aspect of Ms Ho's review: There is absolutely no attempt to defend Mann and his stick. Phrases such as "flawed data", "poor data", "deletion of data" and "false science" are used without scare quotes: whatever she feels about Mann's stick, she makes no attempt to defend it. And indeed the only scare quotes she deploys are for Mann's "proof":
He used flawed data to create a graph that "proved" his argument about Earth's rising temperatures.
Something is changing, albeit slowly - and fewer and fewer are willing to defend Mann's science. Whoops, make that "science".
Speaking of which, over in London Michael Liebreich is enjoying my book, well, at least the bits that mention him:
Apparently my @Twitter spat with @MichaelEMann helped inspire @MarkSteynOnline's "A Disgrace to the Profession"!
You can get the book in paperback, but if you can't wait that long and need it in the next 45 seconds, it's available instantly in Kindle and Nook. Did Mr Liebreich inspire my new cat album? Er, no, that was Marvin.
~Reince Preibus certainly knows how to run a Republican debate season. By common consent, Chris Christie performed magnificently in the CNBC debate - so, for Tuesday's, he'll be relegated to the kiddie-table debate. Lindsey Graham was widely agreed to have won the CNBC kiddie-table debate - so he's out entirely. One begins to see the sense of Jeb's somnolent low-energy strategy.
Just over a year after Anthony was fired, the Anthony Cumia Network has a studio in Manhattan that hosts four shows airing live Monday to Friday, including NYC Crime Report With Pat Dixon, Legion of Skanks, and my personal favorite, The Gavin McInnes Show. The network will take any show that is interesting and/or funny, but it refuses to hire anyone who has ever apologized.
That seems to work as a business model. Maybe it would for the Republican Party, too.
On Monday I'll be previewing the debate with Sean Hannity on Fox News, coast to coast at 10pm Eastern/7pm pacific. If you are in the presence of the receiving apparatus, I hope you'll dial us up.