Tomorrow, Thursday, I'll be back behind the Golden EIB Microphone to guest-host America's Number One radio show, live from 12 noon Eastern/9am Pacific. We hope you'll dial us up either on one of 600 radio stations across the land or via iHeartRadio livestream.
Christmas show was the perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Day! More please!
And by the Facebook comments:
It was FANTASTIC.....I am watching again this Xmas morn....everyone is still asleep....a cup of coffee and Mark....PERFECT....!
Lynn Randall Foster
And the emails:
I am an American expat who grew up in St Paul, Minnesota, married to a Canadian expat who grew up in Ottawa. We moved to Cape Town from New York City for my wife's job. This year, we had no family or guests for Christmas, so we watched your Christmas Special on CRTV. What a delight! We enjoyed all of it. The bûche de Noël brought back memories for my wife, and we both really enjoyed all of the music. We particularly enjoyed Anthony Kearns's rendition of the Wexford Carol - what a tenor voice! We also enjoyed Dame Siân Phillips whom I remember well from I, Claudius.
We look forward to new episodes in the future. Keep up the good work.
~On a less congenial note, we had some breaking news in the Mann vs Steyn case: Older readers still clinging to life may dimly recall that, way back when, Big Climate enforcer Michael E Mann sued me for calling his global-warming hockey stick "fraudulent", which it is. The somnolent troika of judges at the DC Court of Appeals has now issued an order on an interlocutory appeal filed three years ago. For laymen, an interlocutory appeal is an appeal filed while the case is ongoing, during which the proceedings are temporarily stayed. If you take three years to issue an "interlocutory" decision, you've basically pissed all over the very concept of an "ongoing" case, and underlined that American justice is these days mostly a sleazy and disingenuous version of trial by ordeal.
A few more takes on this very belated order. First, from my co-defendants at National Review:
The opinion is badly mistaken. Worse, it represents an unprecedented threat to the freedom of speech in our nation's capital. There's a reason that a broad coalition of groups including the ACLU, the Washington Post, the Cato Institute, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed briefs in support of NR in the case...
The court's decision breaks chilling new ground. It creates the Orwellian prospect of a legal proceeding where a jury is asked to impose significant penalties on journalists who have the "wrong" opinion on highly controversial issues such as: What counts as "wrongdoing" in the realm of scientific inquiry? Is the "hockey stick" graph deceptive and misleading, or does it fairly and accurately demonstrate a trend of man-made global warming? Are the techniques that Dr. Mann employed properly characterized as "molesting and torturing data" (a phrase itself open to interpretation) or are they appropriate methods of reconstructing global historical temperature trends? Should this type of scientific technique be considered misconduct, or is it morally and ethically appropriate?
These are precisely the types of contestable, value-laden inquiries that the First Amendment leaves to be resolved through free and open debate, not punitive litigation. It does not allow our legal system to impose coercive penalties on people who express the "wrong" view. Nor can that conclusion be altered by the fact that certain self-proclaimed authorities may claim to have conducted "official investigations" that provide "definitive" answers to these eminently debatable questions. The idea that such official pronouncements can be used to shut down debate and to stifle dissenting opinions on pain of legal penalty runs against the spirit and the letter of the First Amendment.
From Jonathan Adler at The Washington Post:
However intemperate the original blog posts at issue, this decision is tremendously unfortunate, as it threatens to make it too easy for public figures to file lawsuits against their critics and, as a consequence, threatens to chill robust political debate...
In refusing to dismiss claims against Steyn and Simberg, the D.C. Court of Appeals placed tremendous weight on the fact that Penn State and other institutions investigated Mann and did not find evidence of academic misconduct. Yet it is the alleged inadequacy of Penn State's investigation that was the focus of the very posts at issue. Indeed, this was the whole point of the Sandusky comparison. Both Simberg and Steyn believe that Penn State failed to conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations against Mann and that other investigations either did not focus on Mann's conduct or relied too heavily on Penn State. They were explicit on this point, and they cited the reasons for their conclusions...
It cannot be that once some official body has conducted an investigation of an individual's conduct, that further criticism of that individual, including criticism that expressly questions the thoroughness or accuracy of the investigatory body, is off limits.
That's correct. Professor Adler goes on to point out that, under the DC Court of Appeals' preposterous argument, it would be improper for Black Lives Matter to assert that Officer Wilson killed Michael Brown unlawfully or George Zimmerman Trayvon Martin - because, in both cases, official bodies have pronounced, and so all good Americans should just shut up and toe the official line. This is slapdash crap even by the standards of contemporary jurisprudence - unless, of course, America's horribly politicized judiciary are confident that court-enforced ideological compliance will always go their way.
Finally, a couple of more unusual reactions. This blogger agrees with Mann on global warming, but, when it comes to suing over it, "there are some really basic court-related issues on just how legally sound all of this is". Brandon Shollenberger, on the other hand, takes precisely the opposite view:
I am a fierce critic of Michael Mann, a scientist made (in)famous for creating what is known as the "hockey stick." I have repeatedly said his "hockey stick" was fraudulent as he intentionally deceived people by doing things like hiding unfavorable results of statistical tests while publishing those which were favorable.
Nevertheless, even though he agrees with me that the hockey stick is fraudulent, he's in favor of Mann suing my ass off - on the grounds (if I follow correctly) that, unlike Shollenberger, I haven't done sufficient research to pronounce the hockey stick fraudulent. Truth is no defense if it's breezy, lightly worn, insouciant, insuffficiently credentialed truth.
In the choked septic tank of DC justice, I have concluded that this case will consume much of my remaining time on this earth. But it is the most consequential case for freedom of speech in America in half a century, and one day far in the future we will win. If you'd like to help keep me in the game, do please consider buying the book I've written about the hockey stick's cartoon climatology.
See you on the radio.