Tonight, Monday, I'll be joining Sean Hannity on Fox News, coast to coast at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific. Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be in Washington testifying to the US Senate on climate matters, specifically the question of "Data or Dogma?" It's Ted Cruz's sub-committee on Science, Space and Competitiveness in the Russell building, and it starts at 3pm.
~I think it's just about safe to pre-announce a public appearance in the US Senate. When I was booked at the Danish Parliament for the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons, my fellow speaker Douglas Murray commented:
Like Mark Steyn I've been doing these 'defend free speech' gigs for some years now and as Mark recently mordantly observed, I also sometimes wonder why I keep ascending up the running order only to realise that it's because everybody who used to be ahead of me is either in hiding or dead.
Late yesterday, Douglas announced:
In answer to new readers, I'm afraid for security reasons I can no longer give advance notice of speaking engagements. Hope this changes.
That's very sad. In the last decade or so, I've shared speaking platforms with Douglas from Malibu to Mayfair, and always appreciated his company. One of the points I reiterated in my own remarks in Copenhagen was one I've emphasized repeatedly since the Mohammed cartoons were published - that we need to share the risk. Douglas Murray is a very brave man. But telling the truth about what is happening across the western world is a very lonely occupation in the British media, and, because so few of his compatriots have been willing to share the risk, he has to bear an extraordinary burden. Even the responses to his announcement include a number that see him as the problem, rather than the malign forces he stands against. As I said in Denmark, it's much tougher to stand up against this creeping, remorseless retreat into silence if you live in London, Paris or any European city than if you live in remote northern New Hampshire. Here's what Douglas, on characteristically good form, had to say in Copenhagen a few weeks ago:
As I mentioned, after the Fiat restaurant in Copenhagen decided we were too dangerous to permit to dine and canceled our reservation, we wound up in a crowded pub with Nordic blondes, champagne and bottle-decapitating swords that Douglas said felt like a party at the end of the world. I get that feeling a lot these days.
~Speaking of which, the President gave a primetime address from the Oval Office last night. The President of where? The President of the United States, although it was kind of hard to tell:
In the third Oval Office address of his presidency Sunday, Obama spoke for 1,910 words. He spent 372 words telling Americans not to discriminate against Muslims, compared to 160 words directly referencing the threat of ISIS.
As I said somewhere or other a while back, if the President were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently? He's now adopted the central talking-point of CAIR and the other duplicitous Islamic supremacists - that, when there's a big pile of corpses in the streets of a western city, the real victims are always Muslims, because racist westerners might give them funny looks on the bus the next morning.
As King Barack sees it, the principal security threat is his own bigoted subjects. The Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, feels the same way:
Last week, a mere day after two radical Muslims slaughtered 14 people in San Bernardino, she told a group of Muslim advocates that her "greatest fear" is that the shooting would lead to anti-Muslim "rhetoric..."
The President's only novel idea is that, if you're on the "no-fly" list, you shouldn't be allowed to own a gun. All kinds of people make the no-fly list, mainly because the Department of Homeland Security is bloated and incompetent and also enjoys punishing its enemies. So, for example, Stephen Hayes, the Weekly Standard writer, wound up on there. To take the President at his word, if being on the no-fly list means you're a bad guy, never mind owning a gun: why are you allowed to roam freely around America by bus and car? Why, indeed, given the large number of foreign nationals on there, are you in the country at all?
Meanwhile, via the latest performance report on the Department of Homeland Security, we learn inevitably:
Dozens of Homeland Security Employees on Terrorist Watch List
Ah, now it all makes sense.
At the airport today, the elderly lady next to me at the counter was flying off for a family funeral. She had brought some cheese.
"You mean Cheese-Whiz?" The agent explained that you can't take Cheese-Whiz on the flight, presumably because it could be weaponized.
The elderly lady explained no, it was hand-crafted, artisan Vermont cheese. A conversation followed on how hard or soft the cheese was, because brie, for example, was a no-no. The lady thought hers was semi-soft, and no one seemed quite sure on where the TSA cheese regime stood on that. On the other hand, the San Bernardino killers breezed through - see picture above. The missus had never been to the US before. The hubby is what they now call "homegrown", as one can tell from his traditional American garb.
My other line around this point - sometimes a society becomes too stupid to survive - is too sad to reprise.
~Thank you for all your kind remarks about my cat album, Feline Groovy: Songs for Swingin' Cats, inspired by my own cat Marvin. I've had enough suggestions for other cat songs, so we may have to do a Volume Two. It's available at Amazon via CD or digital download, and also from iTunes - and I did like this review at Amazon UK:
Probably the best cat-themed CD release of the year.
On the assumption that there were any others, I'll take that as a compliment.
A couple of days ago France's leading feline forum, Bonjour Le Chat, interviewed me about Marvin. For non-francophones, I'll provide a few anglo snippets once this Senate testimony's behind me.