Programming note: Tonight, Wednesday, I'll be keeping my midweek date with Tucker Carlson on Fox News, coast to coast across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific. I'll also have the privilege of being honored with Kellyanne Conway and Diane Hendricks at the Independent Women's Forum awards gala in Washington. Look forward to seeing a few Steyn Club members and SteynOnline readers among the attendees. If you can't be there, I believe you can follow updates from the event here.
~On becoming Zimbabwe's first Prime Minister in 1980, Robert Mugabe told Ian Smith, the defiant leader of white Rhodesa, "you have given me the jewel of Africa". Mugabe took the jewel and shattered it, leaving a few splinters and shards strewn across a wasteland. Today, history came calling for the nonagenarian thug. He is apparently under house arrest as the army takes over and his wife flees.
Mugabe had an advantage over the first generation of post-colonial leaders from twenty years earlier: The mistakes were well known and he didn't have to repeat them.
But he did anyway. And he managed to hang on longer than Nkrumah and Nyerere, Kenyatta and Kaunda and the other Afro-Marxist kleptocrats.
I wrote about the old monster (and his Chinese-made prosthetic) here.
~Karl Lagerfeld, the German couturier, caused an uproar on French TV over the weekend with a few remarks on his native land:
"One cannot -- even if there are decades between them -- kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place," he told a French television show.
"I know someone in Germany who took a young Syrian and after four days said, 'The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust,'" he added...
The French TV regulator, the CSA, said it had received several hundred complaints over the weekend about Lagerfeld's comment, and was looking at the programme.
The designer was roasted for the outburst on social media...
I don't know why. His observation about killing millions of Jews and then importing millions of their worst enemies is as pithy a summation of the last eighty years of European history as anything else. It seems fairly obvious that these two acts - the Holocaust and mass Muslim immigration - will come to be seen as the bookends of post-war Eutopia, and that guilt over the former led to the insane embrace of the latter. Yours truly, five years ago:
Thus, posterity's jest. Pre-war Europeans would never have entertained for a moment the construction of mosques from MalmÃ¶ to Marseilles. But post-war Holocaust guilt, and the revulsion against nationalism and the embrace of multiculturalism and mass immigration, enabled the Islamization of Europe. The principal beneficiaries of the Continent's penance for the great moral stain of the 20th century turned out to be the Muslims â€” with the Jews on the receiving end, yet again.
It would help to be able to talk about this issue honestly. But you have to be extremely successful and established and old enough to have nothing to lose even to bring it up.
~While I'm cut'n'pasting, here's something I mentioned en passant during Al Gore's campaign to "streamline" government two decades ago. From The American Spectator in 1999:
When Vice President Gore suggested amalgamating these warring, inefficient, acronymic agencies into one slimmed-down ultra-efficient DEATFBI, the president ruled against it on the grounds that it would send ( all together now ) the "wrong signal": having lots of agencies, no matter how useless, sends the right signal. So, across the country, undercover DEA agents are staking out undercover FBI agents who are selling drugs to undercover DEA agents who are staking out undercover ATF agents.
I thought of that line when I read this story:
The encounter started when two special operations officers from the department's 12th Precinct were working on a drug bust on Andover, a notoriously drug-heavy area of the city.
The officers were pretending to be dealing narcotics in hopes that eager customers would approach before being arrested and having their vehicles seized.
But problems started when another group of undercover special operations officers from the 11th Precinct approached, posing as buyers.
So a group of undercover officers pretending to be drug dealers confronts another group of undercover officers pretending to be drug buyers, at which point they all start brawling with each other: "No, I'm staking you out!" "Screw you. I was staking you out first," etc.
~For Mark Steyn Club members, we'll be starting our latest nightly audio adventure this Friday in Tales for Our Time.
If you're thinking of giving the gift of Steyn this holiday season, we've introduced a special Mark Steyn gift membership that lets you sign up a chum for the Steyn Club and then choose a personally autographed welcome gift for them - either one of two handsome hardback books or a couple of CDs. You'll find more details here - and scroll down to the foot of the order form for the choice of books/CDs.