Category: Mark Steyn


Cigars, But Not Close

 

 

 

 

 

” The “narrative” of Ferguson, Missouri changed somewhat today. But, amid the confusion, the blundering stupidity of the city’s police department remains consistent.

  This morning the Police Chief, Thomas Jackson, released security-camera shots of the late Michael Brown apparently stealing a five-dollar box of cigarillos from a convenience store. So the 18-year old shot dead by Chief Jackson’s officer was no longer a “gentle giant” en route to college but just another crappy third-rate violent teen n’er-do-well.

  This afternoon, the chief gave a second press conference. Why would he do that? Well, he’d somehow managed to create the impression in his first press conference that the officer who killed Mr Brown was responding to the robbery. In fact, that was not the case. The Ferguson policeman was unaware that Brown was a robbery suspect at the time he encountered him and shot him dead. Which is presumably why Chief Jackson was leaned on to give his second press conference and tidy up the mess from the first. So we have an officer who sees two young men, unwanted for any crime, walking down the middle of the street and stops his cruiser. Three minutes later one of them is dead.

  On the other hand, Jackson further confused matters by suggesting that he noticed Brown had cigars in his hand and might be the suspect.

  It’s important, when something goes wrong, to be clear about what it is that’s at issue. Talking up Michael Brown as this season’s Trayvonesque angel of peace and scholarship was foolish, and looting stores in his saintly memory even worse. But this week’s pictures from Ferguson, such as the one above, ought to be profoundly disquieting to those Americans of a non-looting bent. “

 

Mr Steyn addresses the mess that is Ferguson , Missouri . Read it all .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About these ads

The Home Front

 

 

 

 

” On Friday, writing about the four-hour detention by US Customs & Border Protection of a troop of Iowa boy scouts, I put it this way:

  American life is bifurcating into the undocumented and the overdocumented. On the southern border, the bazillions of US laws are meaningless – proof of identity, medical tests, none of it matters. And the less it matters on the Rio Grande the more the zealots on the 49th Parallel will take apart your car if they think you’ve got a Kinder egg in there. Anyone who thinks that attitude can be confined to the border and not work its way deep into the rest of American life is deluded.

  Thirteen years ago, I opposed the creation of the “Department of Homeland Security” – on the classic Thatcherite ground that if you create a bureaucracy to deal with a problem you’ll never be rid of it. I had expected the usual “mission creep” but that term barely covers what’s happened in the last decade. There is no “homeland security”: At the southern border, the homeland is wide open, and ICE and the Border Patrol, which (like CBP) are both part of DHS, are actively colluding in homeland insecurity.

  Meanwhile, Homeland Security “agents” busy themselves raiding the Foxy Lady strip club in Brockton, Massachusetts, because the foxy ladies were giving away knock-off Red Sox or Patriots merchandise with every two lap dances, and dispatching six vehicles to a home in Statesville, North Carolina to seize an imported Land Rover that doesn’t meet EPA emissions standards.”

 

 

As usual Mr Steyn is the day’s must read 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exchange You Can Believe In

 

 

 

 

” Just because American influence has vanished abroad and American sovereignty has been surrendered at the southern border doesn’t mean that back in Washington all the old Obama scandals aren’t still rumbling on, delightfully unspoilt by progress.

  For example, the latest Obamacare exemption has just been proclaimed by King Barack’s Lord Privy Seal of Approval: Residents of American territories (Guam, the US Virgin Islands, etc) have been graciously released by His Majesty from compliance with the law. That’s another four-and-a-half million or so people in the express lane to Exemptistan. I was just getting up to speed on this when the latest court decision on Obamacare came down. And I was just getting up to speed on that when another Obamacare decision came down.

  Earlier today the District of Columbia Circuit Court announced that the federal health-care “exchange” was illegal on the grounds that Congress had only legislated for state health-care “exchanges”. For non-American readers, I suppose I should make an effort at explaining what an “exchange” is, but Lord Almighty, it’s a pain. A year ago, “exchange” was something to do with stocks or taking that purple sweater back to the store after Christmas. But by the fall it was the latest exciting jargon-barnacle to encrust to the hulk of American health care: “co-pay”, “HSA”, “Cobra”, “donut hole”, etc, etc – and now “exchange”. Here’s how the District of Columbia Circuit Court explains it:

  Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code, enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or the Act), makes tax credits available as a form of subsidy to individuals who purchase health insurance through marketplaces—known as “American Health Benefit Exchanges,” or “Exchanges” for short—that are “established by the State under section 1311″ of the Act. 26 U.S.C. § 36B(c)(2)(A)(i). On its face, this provision authorizes tax credits for insurance purchased on an Exchange established by one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. See 42 U.S.C. § 18024(d). “

 

 

 

Read it all

 

 

” In March 2010, almost four-and-a-half years ago, when the Democrats were attempting to pass Obamacare by the parliamentary legerdemain of “deeming” an unpassed bill to have passed, I wrote:

  Whatever is “deemed” to have passed in the next few days doesn’t end the debate but begins it. If you’re sick of talking about health care, move to Tahiti, because in the U.S. we’re going to be talking about it until the end of time, or at least until the Iranians nuke Cleveland. 

  And so it has proved – in part because in a post-constitutional, post-legal America the law of the land is whatever King Barack “deems” it to be. Welcome to the American Deem. “Health care reform” reform, now and forever. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nationalization Of Childhood

 

 

 

 

” ~When I was a kid and watched sci-fi movies set in a futuristic dystopia where individuals are mere chattels of an unseen all-powerful government and enduring human relationships are banned and the progeny of transient sexual encounters are the property of the state, I always found the caper less interesting than the unseen backstory: How did they get there from here? From free western societies to a bunch of glassy-eyed drones wandering around in identikit variety-show catsuits in a land where technology has advanced but liberty has retreated: how’d that happen?

  Well, the current Planet of the Apes prequels have also figured out that’s the most interesting part of the story. (I liked Rise of… immensely, Dawn not so much, but it would be a foolish man who would attempt to compete with Steve Sailer’s brilliant analysis. If American monodailies weren’t determined to die as the most boring papers in the English-speaking world, The New York Times would hire Mr Sailer as their movie critic.)

  But who needs to go to the multiplex when the prequel to all those glassy-eyed serf dystopias is taking place on the news pages? Megan McArdle writes today about the spate of American mommies charged with and, indeed, jailed for leaving their pre-teen children unsupervised. For example, NBC reports from Connecticut:

  Police arrived at 60 Middle Street in Bristol to find the girl alone in the car with the windows rolled up. She was alert and responsive and told officers she had asked to stay in the car while her mom ran inside, according to police.

  Police said the outside temperature was about 85 degrees and the car’s interior “was not excessively hot.”

  The girl’s mother, 30-year-old Christina Williams, was issued a misdemeanor summons for leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle.”

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Steyn

The Challenges Of Diversity

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Texas Governor Rick Perry is being criticized for declining to greet President Obama at Austin-Bergstrom Airport tomorrow when Air Force One touches down and the bazillion-car motorcade takes off for some vital Democrat fundraisers. Perry instead would like a substantive meeting to discuss the foreign invasion currently ongoing at Texas’ southern border, but Obama doesn’t do substantive meetings, and in any case, as the principal facilitator of the southern invasion, any discussions between him and Perry probably ought to be conducted under the auspices of the UN at the Hague or in Vienna or some such. Maybe Putin or Assad could mediate.

  Obama made a conscious decision to, in effect, dissolve the southern border, and, quite reasonably enough, the “unaccompanied minors” of Latin America opted to take him at his word. One of his party’s most senior figures, and the woman who if things go well for them in November will be Speaker of the House and second in line of succession to the presidency, explicitly refuses to recognize the international boundary. Down there for a photo-op the other day, Nancy Pelosi declared: “This is a community with a border going through it.” It’s bogus, so why get hung up on tedious legalistic nonsense like “frontiers”? “

 

 

It doesn’t take long for Mr Steyn to get to the heart of the matter , in his own inimitable way , of course …

 

 

” Mr Obama and Ms Pelosi apparently see themselves as leaders of some post-Westphalian entity wherein the political elite use the Third World to reconfigure the citizenry to something more to their taste. But, having voluntarily liquidated US sovereignty at the southern border, in what sense then is Obama President of the United States? Why should the head of a sovereign state that’s renounced its sovereignty still expect to be entitled to all the perks thereof – like fawning governors greeting him at the airport? “

 

 

As usual , you would be remiss if you failed to read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Steyn

Boots On The Ground

 

 

 

 

 

” I mentioned this 2002 column of mine last week in connection with the Saudi Ambassador’s idiosyncratic response to it. But it seems appropriate to give it a full-blown rerun today, Thursday, as the US footie team – or “soccer”, as they call it here – prepares for its samba-sultry rendezvous with destiny and a rematch with Germany, the team that did for them 12 years ago.

  I’d been thinking that this time round there was more interest in the World Cup than back then. But then I went on John Oakley’s show yesterday morning and the soccer banter ahead of my appearance reminded me that even Canada has an entirely different level of engagement with the sport. At any rate, that’s what caught my fancy three World Cups ago, when the American team looked at one point in danger of making it to the semi-finals, and maybe beyond, despite total lack of public interest – while in England and Ireland there were millions of fans in search of a team. This essay is anthologized in The Face Of The Tigerpersonally autographed copies of which are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore, and proceeds of which go towards my pushback against “hockey stick” warm-monger Michael E Mann and the Big Climate enforcers:

  And so the dream dies. The boys gave it their best, they played well, but it wasn’t to be. They’re out of the World Cup, to the bitter disappointment of their supporters.

  I refer, of course, to the United States team, the first in World Cup history with more players than fans. Across America yesterday, all nine of them gathered in bars to watch the big match, only to find that the other patrons preferred to see the Golden Girls re-run dubbed into Spanish on Channel 173 or the last half of Plastering Idol on the Sheetrock Channel. Twiddling my own dial in New Hampshire, I couldn’t find the game on anywhere except a French-language station from Quebec.”

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helicopters On The Roof

 

 

From London's Daily Mail, the embryo Caliphate arises

 

 

” In May 2011, in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria wrote a column headlined “Al Qaeda Is Over“:

 

  The truth is this is a huge, devastating blow to al Qaeda, which had already been crippled by the Arab Spring. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the end of al Qaeda in any meaningful sense of the word.

  Al Qaeda is not an organization that commands massive resources. It doesn’t have a big army. It doesn’t have vast reservoirs of funds that it can direct easily across the world.

 

  Zakaria is famously a confidant of Obama’s, but there are limits to the horse manure even devoted courtiers swallow. Three years on, just one malign al-Qaeda progeny, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now commands more territory than ever – from Aleppo in western Syria to the gates of Baghdad. It has all the tanks and weaponry abandoned by the Iraqi “army” we trained. It has control of the northern oil fields, the cash reserves of the second largest city in Iraq, and is now “the world’s richest terrorist group“.

  Meanwhile, the White House has apparently canceled its cable subscription and daily newspaper. On Tuesday, as half-a-million Iraqis were fleeing Mosul, Administration flacks were talking up Hillary’s Greatest Hits:

 

  Earnest was asked by a reporter at the daily press conference to describe Clinton’s accomplishments while she was Secretary of State.

“Ending the war in Iraq and winding down in a responsible fashion the war in Afghanistan, and doing that after the success of our our efforts to dismantle and destroyed Al-Qaida core that had established a base of operations in the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Earnest answered.

 

  Obama and Clinton ended the war in Iraq by losing it. They “pivoted” from Iraq to Afghanistan, and wound up losing both. Hillary crowed over Gaddafi’s corpse – “We came, we saw, he died” – and then sat by as her ambassador and best friend “Chris” was devoured by the mob: He died, she sat by, we’re gone. The Arab Spring that Zakaria claims “crippled” al-Qaeda delivered Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood and a military coup, Tunisia to soft Islamists, Libya to ever harder Islamists, and much of Syria and Iraq to jihadists too hardcore for “mainstream” al-Qaeda.

Events are moving fast on the ground. As I said on Fox News on Tuesday night:

 

  In Iraq, the al Qaeda flag flies in Fallujah on buildings American troops built. And as we have just heard, al Qaeda has taken hold of Mosul, the second-largest city in Iraq, earlier today. “

 

 

Read about Obama/Clinton/Kerry’s latest foreign policy triumph here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Gonna Quash That Mann Right Out Of My Hair

 

 

 

 

” Guest-hosting for Rush a few days ago, I said if your kid is graduating from high school this week there has been no global warming his entire life. And immediately the usual drama queens emailed that I was a know-nothing denialist. But, just to nail it down, there has been no global warming for 17 years and nine months. That’s since September 1996. The High School Class of 2014 has been blessed to have lived its entire life in a warming-free world.

  We’re supposed to ignore this nigh-on-two-decade warming “pause” because the “97 per cent scientific consensus” tell us to. But, as Richard Tol’s new paper argues, that 97 per cent consensus is no more real than the rampant global warming. In fact, there’s so little consensus that the only consensus the Geological Society of Australia can agree on is a press release saying there’s no consensus:

  AUSTRALIA’S peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.

  After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve.”

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 6th 1944

 

 

 

 

” In Dennis Sullivan’s photograph above, a landing craft from HMCS Prince Henry carries Canadian troops toward Juno Beach in the early hours of D-Day. Many years ago, I spoke to someone who’d been aboard the Prince Henry’s sister ship, HMCS Prince David, who talked about the subtly different dynamic among the guys on those landing craft. The Royal Canadian Navy men at the front are concerned to make their rendezvous on time: They’re in the middle of the mission, and they want to complete it. The infantrymen behind them are waiting for theirs to start. As the Prince Henry recedes behind them, they know they’re leaving the best-laid plans, and that what awaits them on shore is about to go agley.

  A lot went wrong, but more went right – or was made right. A few hours before the Canadians aboard the Prince Henry climbed into that landing craft, 181 men in six Horsa gliders took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset to take two bridges over the river Orne and hold them until reinforcements arrived. Their job was to prevent the Germans using the bridges to attack troops landing on Sword Beach. At lunchtime, Lord Lovat and his commandos arrived at the Bénouville Bridge, much to the relief of the 7th Parachute Battalion’s commanding officer, Major Pine-Coffin. That was his real name, and an amusing one back in Blighty: simple pine coffins are what soldiers get buried in. It wasn’t quite so funny in Normandy, where a lot of pine coffins would be needed by the end of the day. Lord Lovat, Chief of the Clan Fraser, apologized to Pine-Coffin for missing the rendezvous time: “Sorry, I’m a few minutes late,” he said, after a bloody firefight to take Sword Beach.

  Lovat had asked his personal piper, Bill Millin, to pipe his men ashore. Private Millin pointed out that this would be in breach of War Office regulations. “That’s the English War Office, Bill,” said Lovat. “We’re Scotsmen.” And so Millin strolled up and down the sand amid the gunfire playing “Hieland Laddie” and “The Road To The Isles” and other highland favorites. The Germans are not big bagpipe fans and I doubt it added to their enjoyment of the day.”

 

Mr Steyn continues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Griffith Goes Full Robocop

 

 

 

 

 

 

” I write often about the paramilitarization of American law enforcement, while always vaguely assuming it will never get too near my own corner of rural New Hampshire. But who knows? Reid Smith writes today about his particular hometown in Pennsylvania:

 

  Haverford straddles the border between Delaware and Montgomery Counties, some ten miles west of Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia, it’s most notable for being home to the renowned Haverford College and the Merion Cricket Club. The former is best known for its intellectual rigor and Quaker antecedents; the latter for its beautiful grass tennis courts.

  The local geography gets a little tricky, but a portion of the unincorporated town of Haverford is part of greater Haverford Township in Delaware County (affectionately known as “Delco”).

  Today a friend sent me an article from a local webzine. This is the sort of digital publication that usually leads with headlines about “Cast-Iron Cookware Restoration with Apple Cider and Elbow Grease” and heartfelt features on do-gooding business leaders.

  But not today. Instead The Haverford-Havertown Patch’s editor Alison Smith is enthusing over the local constabulary’s purchase of a 2014 Lenco “BearCat” ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle (see picture). Everyone’s happy. The County Council:

 

” As businesses continue to expand here in Delaware County, we are continually committed to making sure that our police have the ability to address new threats,” said Delaware County Council Chairman Thomas McGarrigle.

  Who knew a thriving business community presented such a threat to the security environment? Hey, it’s not just businesses, it’s also the local grade-school:

 

” We now have the ability to protect our police officers as they approach homes, businesses and schools while taking direct fire,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan.

  The SWAT ONE can “carry up to ten people, and has night-vision optics, a gas-injection system and a battering ram. It can withstand hits from a .50-caliber projectile”. Why would anyone buy anything so superfluous? Ah, well:  

 

  The vehicle, a 2014 Lenco “BearCat” ballistic-engineered, armored-response vehicle, was purchased with Homeland Security grants under FEMA’s Urban Area Security Initiative program.”

 

  Oh, right. Maybe the Afghan war only makes sense if you look on it as a dry run for Pennsylvania… As Laura Rosen Cohen says:

 

  “This is not a police force, it’s a bloody army and the guns are being turned against you.”

 

 

As usual read it all 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Handle A Woman

 

 

 

 

 

” THE WAR ON WOMEN …in New York:

  An elderly Pakistani immigrant beat his wife to death with a stick after the doomed woman made the mistake of cooking him lentils for dinner instead of the hearty meal of goat meat that he craved, according to court papers.

  Noor Hussein, 75, was so outraged over the prospect of eating the vegetarian fare that he pummeled his wife, Nazar Hussein, 66, inside their Brooklyn apartment until she was a “bloody mess,” prosecutors said in opening statements of his murder trial Wednesday.

  Mr Hussein used “a stick that the family had found in the street and used to stir their laundry in a washtub”. So, aside from a new wife, the poor guy now has to get a new laundry stick. His attorney says we need to be more culturally sensitive:

” He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife,” Clark said in her opening statements at the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench trial. “He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife.”

~THE WAR ON WOMEN …in Quebec:

  A father will serve 60 days in jail for a slap that killed his teenage daughter.

  Moussa Sidimé, 74, says he just wanted to correct 13-year-old Noutene for doing a bad job of washing the kitchen floor.

  If that 60 days in jail sounds a bit stiff, not to say culturally insensitive, don’t worry, Mr Sidimé is already a third of the way through it:

  Sidimé will not have to serve the 60 days consecutively. He will serve his time on Mondays and Tuesdays starting next week.

~THE WAR ON WOMEN …in British Columbia:

  The mother of a B.C. teen who died of suicide after being tormented online told a federal justice committee Tuesday that proposed anti-cyberbullying legislation doesn’t do enough to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

  Carol Todd, whose 15-year-old daughter Amanda Todd died in 2012, was in Ottawa to speak before the Commons Justice committee about Bill C-13, also known as the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act.

  Todd said she was “troubled” by portions of the bill, telling the committee that parents shouldn’t have to “sacrifice” their children’s privacy rights to make them safe from “cyberbullying, ‘sextortion’ and revenge pornography.” “

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Out On the Farm?

 

 

 

 

 

” ~As I’ve had cause to remark many times before, American government is corrupt. The IRS scandal is Ground Zero for the corruption of the republic, and, if you want it in a nutshell, the invaluable Judicial Watch just provided it. (Incidentally, the fact that an outside group gets more useful results than Congressional oversight does is itself testament to the diseased state of American institutions: the executive branch treats the legislative branch with ever more open contempt.) Here is Lois Lerner’s email explaining the BOLO (“Be On the Look-Out“) criteria for identifying and scrutinizing what it regards as “Tea Party’ groups:

1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ‘9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file.

2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes.

3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live.

4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run.

  That last gets to the nub of the matter: Supposedly impartial agencies of the state are explicitly targeting the ruling party’s political enemies. In other words, it’s the merging of the state and the party in order to criminalize opposition: the very definition of a banana republic.”

 

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BringBackOurBalls

 

 

 

 

 

” It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture at right (ed. above) is a useful contribution to rescuing 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by jihadist savages in Nigeria. Yet some pajama boy at the White House evidently felt getting the First Lady to pose with this week’s Hashtag of Western Impotence would reflect well upon the Administration. The horrible thing is they may be right: Michelle showed she cared – on social media! – and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?

  Just as the last floppo hashtag, #WeStandWithUkraine, didn’t actually involve standing with Ukraine, so #BringBackOurGirls doesn’t require bringing back our girls. There are only a half-dozen special forces around the planet capable of doing that without getting most or all of the hostages killed: the British, the French, the Americans, Israelis, Germans, Aussies, maybe a couple of others. So, unless something of that nature is being lined up, those schoolgirls are headed into slavery, and the wretched pleading passivity of Mrs Obama’s hashtag is just a form of moral preening.

  But then what isn’t? The blogger Daniel Payne wrote this week that “modern liberalism, at its core, is an ideology of talking, not doing“. He was musing on a press release for some or other “Day of Action” that is, as usual, a day of inaction:

  Diverse grassroots groups are organizing and participating in events such as walks, rallies and concerts and calling on government to reduce climate pollution, transition off fossil fuels and commit to a clean energy future.

  It’s that easy! You go to a concert and someone “calls on government” to do something, and the world gets fixed.”

 

As always Mr Steyn is right on the mark. Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After America Arrives Early

 

AfterAmerica

 

 

 

After America was a tough book to write. I meant it as a warning, not as a blueprint. But so far it seems to be proceeding a little ahead of schedule:

  With much faster growth rates between 2011 and 2014, China is now being forecast to eclipse the United States as the world’s largest economy sometime this year. The U.S. has been the world’s largest economy since the 1870s when it overtook Great Britain.

  That’s from the Heritage Foundation. If that comes as news to you, let me put in a plug for After America, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore and which go to fund my legal pushback for free speech, a campaign which will help determine whether we get to address honestly the real problems confronting us or fritter away what’s left of the western world on phony, bullying distractions like climate alarmism. Ed Driscoll notes what I wrote three years ago:

  If the IMF is correct (a big if), China will be the planet’s No.1 economy by 2016. That means whoever’s elected in November next year will be the last president of the United States to preside over the world’s dominant economic power. As I point out in my rollicking new book, which will be hitting what’s left of the post-Borders bookstore business any day now, this will mark the end of two centuries of Anglophone dominance — first by London, then its greatest if prodigal son. The world’s economic superpower will not only be a Communist dictatorship with a largely peasant population and legal, political, and cultural traditions as alien to its predecessors as possible, but, even more civilizationally startling, it will be, unlike the U.S., Britain, and the Dutch and Italians before them, a country that doesn’t even use the Roman alphabet.”

Read it all

How Now White Cowman?

 

 

 

look-a-squirrel

 

 

 

” Like everyone else, Gavin McInnes has weighed in on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s observations on “the Negro”. Mr McInnes concludes:

  This isn’t about some old guy’s views on slavery. It’s about government control. We’re not saying Bundy is the messiah and we accept him as our personal savior. We’re saying the government is wrong.

  Let’s stipulate that Cliven Bundy is a racist. Let’s also assume, if only to save time, that he’s Islamophobic, homophobic and transphobic. So what? Does that make criticizing the Bureau of Land Management “racist” or “homophobic”?

  During my battles with Canada’s “human rights” commissions, defenders of the racket liked to point out that the people it targeted were generally pretty unsavory. And I’d respond that the reason the standard representation of justice in statuary is a blindfolded lady is because justice is supposed to be blind: If you run a red light and hit a pedestrian, it makes no difference whether the pedestrian you hit is Nelson Mandela or Cliven Bundy. Or at least it shouldn’t: one of the basic building blocks of civilized society is equality before the law.

  Likewise, if what the Bureau of Land Management is doing is wrong, the fact that Cliven Bundy is a racist sexist homophobe whateverphobe doesn’t make it right – any more than at Ruby Ridge FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shooting Vicki Weaver in the back of the head as she was cradling her ten-month-old baby and running away from him is made right by the fact that she allegedly had “white supremacist” sympathies. As I wrote last week, I’ve little doubt that, in the era before cellphone video, the bureaucratic enforcers would have been happy to off Bundy and then come up with a reason why it doesn’t matter. At Waco, there were supposedly children being abused. So Generalissimo Janet Reno killed them all, and now they’re not being abused. In that sense, Mr Bundy is a lucky man: He got to live, and to trash his own reputation rather than having the feds do it for him.”

 

 

Mr Steyn knows a “squirrel” when he sees it … Read The Whole Piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Show Of Contempt, At Home And Abroad

 

 

World Says Obama Sucks

 

 

 

” Happy Easter, Happy Passover. On this Good Friday, we mark the tenth anniversary of Mel’s movie, and over the weekend we’ll have something with a lighter touch.

  Caroline Glick, my old colleague from The Jerusalem Post, has a column using a very Steynian word, “The Disappearance of America’s Will“:

  The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US’s indifferent response to it.

  In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America’s most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.

  That first sentence is very true. Thirteen years ago, the left hopped aboard the war-on-terror bandwagon for reasons of electoral self-preservation, and hopped off as soon as they could. But, after a decade of ineffectual thankless three-cups-of-tea transnational ersatz “nation-building” in Mesopotamia and the Hindu Kush, the right has largely checked out of global geopolitics, too. Whether the GOP nominates a compassionate amnesty guy like Jeb Bush or goes full Rand Paul, the world and its woes will not be much of a factor. Miss Glick again:

  The generation coming of age today is similarly uninterested in US global leadership.

  During the Cold War and in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the predominant view among American university students studying international affairs was that US world leadership is essential to ensure global stability and US national interests and values.

  Today this is no longer the case . It is because of this that the world is more likely than it has been since 1939 to experience a world war of catastrophic proportions.

  There is a direct correlation between the US elite’s preoccupation with social issues running the narrow and solipsistic gamut from gay marriage to transgender bathrooms to a phony war against women, and America’s inability to recognize the growing threats to the global order or understand why Americans should care about the world at all.

  If Putin closes down a transgender nightclub a week before the Special Olympics, he can get America’s attention. When he annexes neighboring states, not so much. Under Nato, the US has collective-security treaty obligations to the Baltic States, but if I were Estonian I wouldn’t bet on them. Not unless the Russians make the mistake of bombing a gay wedding in Tallinn.”

As always , read the whole thing from Mr Steyn who offers these words of wisdom …

” Around the planet, Russia’s neo-tsar, the Chinese Politburo, apocalyptic ayatollahs, Afghan goatherds and Benghazi jihad punks laugh at the very idea of American power, but on the home front, if your estranged wife failed to repay her college loan or you drink loose-leaf tea, you’ll get your door kicked down and be cowering in terror.”

“The First Amendment Is Not An Area”

 

 

Bunkerville mentality: Dissident rancher Cliven Bundy walks past the Bureau of Land Management’s designated First Amendment Area in Bunkerville, Nevada. The land outside the orange fencing stretching as far as the eye can see is the federally designated Non-First Amendment Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Indeed. The “First Amendment Area” is supposed to be something called “the United States“. If the Bureau of Land Management gets to determine which sliver of turf you can exercise your right to freedom of expression in, then it isn’t freedom of expression at all, is it? I’m less impressed by the First Amendment then I used to be, mainly because I’m having to spend a half-decade in court and a seven-figure sum for the privilege of hearing some judge years down the line inform me that my 270-word blog post is, in fact, permitted under the US constitution. (If you’d like to help lessen the toll of that seven-figure sum, I’d be awfully grateful.) But even so it’s extraordinary that even twerp bureaucrats from the Department of Compliance feel comfortable setting up an “orange plastic pen” labeled “First Amendment Area”. If an anonymous pen-pusher in the permanent bureaucracy can confine the Bill of Rights to tiny enclaves where it will be entirely ineffectual, then there is no Bill of Rights.

  By the way, what’s depressing about this is, if the issue worked its way in front of a judges or judges, the genius jurists would undoubtedly rule that, while an 11-foot wide free-speech zone is too narrow an interpretation of the First Amendment, it would be acceptable if you widened it to 17 or 18 feet.

~ I was on The John Oakley Show in Toronto yesterday, and, noting my reference to Magna Carta, a handful of American listeners emailed to ask why I only mention laws eight centuries old. Yeah, I’ve noticed that, too – not just Magna Carta, but the Assize of Clarendon and the Charter of the Forest:

  In 1217, King Henry III signed the Charter of the Forest, which despite various amendments and replacement statutes remained in force in Britain for some three-quarters of a millennium, until the early Seventies. If Magna Carta is a landmark in its concept of individual rights, the Forest Charter played an equivalent role in advancing the concept of the commons, the public space. Repealing various restrictions by his predecessors, Henry III opened the royal forests to the freemen of England, granted extensive grazing and hunting rights, and eliminated the somewhat severe penalty of death for taking the king’s venison. The [National Park Service] have not yet fried anyone for taking King Barack’s deer, but it is somewhat sobering to reflect that an English peasant enjoyed more freedom on the sovereign’s land in the 13th century than a freeborn American does on “the people’s land” in the 21st century.

  And so, as happened to Japanese and European tourists at Yellowstone, you can be arrested for photographing the King’s deer. That’s why I quote this stuff: if a 13th century peasant enjoyed rights a 21st century American doesn’t, something’s gone badly wrong.”

Read the rest

Celebrate Conformity!

 

 

mozilla brendan eich

 

 

” On Wednesday, I wrote about the Mozilla CEO in trouble for a five-year-old donation to Proposition Eight, the successful California ballot measure that banned gay marriage – if only until America’s robed rulers declared the will of the people to be “unconstitutional”. Brandon Eich is a tech genius: Aside from co-founding Mozilla and creating Firefox, he also invented JavaScript. Apparently, the disgusting homophobic hatey-hatey-hateful belief that marriage is a sacrament between a man and a woman is not incompatible with knowing your way around a computer.

  Nevertheless, unlike Hollywood director Brett Ratner, Mr Eich declined to eat gay crow. And so yesterday he was fired. Mozilla’s chairwoman Mitchell Baker issued the usual tortured justification:

“Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech,” Baker said. “And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.”

  I heard a lot of this stuff during my free-speech battles in Canada. The country’s chief censor, the late Jennifer Lynch, QC, was willing to concede that free speech was certainly a right, but it was merely one in a whole range of competing rights – such as “equality” and “diversity” – that needed to be “balanced”. What the “balancing” boils down to is that you get fired if you are an apostate from the new progressive groupthink. Underneath the agonized prose, Mitchell Baker is a bare-knuckled thug.

~ It’s the thuggishness and bullying that ought to disgust people, even those who support gay marriage. My final appearances at National Review Online were a spat with my editor, Jason Lee Steorts, over “two jokes one can no longer tell on American television” that I quoted in a column on Phil Robertson’s suspension for “homophobia”. First, Bob Hope, touring the world in the year or so after the passage of the 1975 Consenting Adult Sex Bill:

“I’ve just flown in from California, where they’ve made homosexuality legal. I thought I’d get out before they make it compulsory.”

Second, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on stage in Vegas throughout the Sixties and Seventies:

Frank: “How do you make a fruit cordial?”

Dino: “Be nice to him.”

 

 

 

As usual Steyn’s take is priceless and a do not miss read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twerking Your Way Through College

 

 

Miley Cyrus "Bangerz Tour" - Tour Opener - Vancouver, BC

 

 

 

” Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs has a new academic discipline for America’s scholars:

  The course, called The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media, is a 251-level special topics course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology Carolyn Chernoff. The professor encourages students to look past the colon in her course title and see what the class is really about.

In the photograph at right, it’s actually not that difficult to see past the colon.

  Skidmore junior Layla Lakos, a sociology/philosophy major, first heard about the new Miley course on Facebook. Lakos laughed, but was intrigued all the same.

” You can study a lot of things based on Miley,” she said. “She represents how transient wealth and fame can be, and shows how possible it is to change your image.”

  One of the easiest ways to understand how transient wealth is is to invest a six-figure sum in Twerk State University. The Atlantic reports on “the least valuable colleges and majors in America“:

  The self-reported earnings of art majors from Murray State are so low that after two decades, a typical high school grad will have out-earned them by nearly $200,000. “

 

~ Since we’re talking about The Atlantic, a few years ago, back when I was the magazine’s obituarist, a New Hampshire neighbor of mine called me up and said they were considering mortgaging the family homestead because their daughter wanted to go to Columbia Journalism School. Her ambition was to be an editor at The Atlantic and, as I wrote for the magazine, they thought I might have some useful advice for her. I don’t have a degree from Columbia Journalism School or even Murray State University; I don’t have a high-school diploma. Apparently, that’s fine if you want to write a column for the magazine, but to copy-edit the same column, and to correct any Canadian spellings I may have slipped in, your parents need to mortgage the home your family’s lived in for the last two-and-a-quarter centuries.”

 

 

Make this your mandatory Saturday morning read … Mr Steyn is spot on , as usual .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Charge Of The Lightweight Brigade

 

http://lh3.ggpht.com/-9I6dvFADeQQ/UxNnQDp3DcI/AAAAAAABHJM/Yos0pMcH0Zc/putin-owns-obama-russia-syria-standoff-over_thumb%25255B1%25255D.jpg?imgmax=800

 

 

 

” I heard the “leader of the free world” on the radio this morning speaking from the White House on Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. President Obama’s big thought was about the “choices that the Russian government has made”. It was delivered in the condescending tone of a grade-school guidance counselor lecturing Little Vladdy on the “bad choices” he kept making, and what’s more “choices that have been rejected by…” Stand well back! “…the international community”.

  Other than that, the President announced he was imposing “sanctions” for more individuals in the Russian government thinking of visiting Disneyland or opening a savings account with the First National Bank of Dead Cactus Junction. If you’re one of those so named and your wife’s hassling you for a weekend of shopping on Madison Avenue or Rodeo Drive, tough: Obama’s put you on the No-Shop list. For anybody in the Kremlin who still bothers watching US government press conferences, the only real danger from American “pressure” is that you may die laughing.

Daniel Henninger begins his Wall Street Journal column this week as follows:

  By the time the second World Trade Center tower collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, the whole world was watching it. We may assume that Vladimir Putin was watching. Mr. Putin, a quick calculator of political realities, would see that someone was going to get hit for this, and hit hard.

  He was right of course. The Bush presidency became a war presidency that day, and it pounded and pursued the Islamic fundamentalists of al Qaeda without let-up or apology.

   During that time, it was reported that Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer in East Germany, deeply regretted the fall of the Soviet Union’s empire and despised the Americans who caused it to fall. But no one cared what Mr. Putin thought then.

That’s true. “
 

Read it all , as usual and see what a difference an administration makes …

Islam And The Rest Of Us

 

 

 

” A couple of days ago, you’ll recall, we featured current controversies over a metal cross retrieved from the rubble at Ground Zero, and a roadside cross marking a fatal accident in Lake Elsinore, California. American Atheists and the American Humanist Association are suing over both outrageous provocations.

  On the other hand, as far as I’m aware, American atheists and humanists have no plans to bring any separation-of-church-and-state suits against the City of Minneapolis, for its observance at City Hall last month of “Hijab Day“. Female members of the city council wore the hijab, as did the Chief of Police, Janeé Harteau, a lesbian who recently married her “favorite sergeant“, Holly Keegel. I have no idea what Sgt Keegel wore for Hijab Day. Maybe she went as the Grand Mufti.

  Hijab Day grows a little bigger around the world each year. Its purpose is to enable the rest of us to show our support for women who choose to go covered. In reality, for most Muslim women around the world, the choice is made for them – by men. In Afghanistan under the Taliban, women were forbidden by law from ever feeling sunlight on their faces. Maybe most of them would have “chosen” not to feel it anyway, but we’ll never know, will we? And in the west young Muslimas who decline their fathers’ and husbands’ choices do so at their own peril:

  Why aren’t Noor Almaleki and Aasiya Hassan as famous as Matthew Shepard? They weren’t in up-country villages in the Pakistani tribal lands. They were Americans – and they died because they wanted to live as American women. “

 

 

Read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Honor Of CPAC – Where The Action Is

 

 

 

 

” We’re told that the presidency is important because the head guy gets to appoint, if he’s lucky, a couple of Supreme Court judges. But they’re playing catch-up to the culture, too. In 1986, in a concurrence to a majority opinion, the Chief Justice of the United States declared that “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy”. A blink of an eye, and his successors are discovering fundamental rights to commit homosexual marriage. What happened in between? Jurisprudentially nothing: Everything Chief Justice Burger said back in the Eighties – about Common Law, Blackstone’s “crime against nature”, “the legislative authority of the State” – still applies. Except it doesn’t. Because the culture – from school guidance counselors to sitcom characters to Oscar hosts – moved on, and so even America’s Regency of Jurists was obliged to get with the beat. Because to say today what the Chief Justice of the United States said 28 years ago would be to render oneself unfit for public office.”

 

Spot on as usual … read it all

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Quote Ever Uttered By Anyone Exonerates Michael E Mann

 

Cartoon by Josh

 

” The cartoon at right is by Josh via Watts Up With That. Sadly, Josh seems unaware that, per the letter from Michael E Mann’s lawyer Peter J Fontaine (appended as the final page to my Answer to Mann’s Amended Complaint), unauthorized use of Dr Mann’s facial features “infringes on various copyrights” that Dr Mann has taken out on his nose, eyeballs, ear lobes, etc. If you must engage in caricature, draw a cartoon of Hillary Clinton, Justin Bieber or one of the other seven billion people on the planet whose visage does not enjoy the unique protection under US law that Dr Mann’s does. It is not clear from Counselor Fontaine’s letter whether the bare-chestedness of Josh’s cartoon additionally “infringes on various copyrights” in Dr Mann’s nipples, but that seems the way to bet.

  The title of the picture – “Mann of Rigor” – alludes to the Nobel fantasist’s equally fantastic claims to have been “exonerated” by four separate British investigations. Having demolished the UK end of Mann’s false assertions, the invaluable Steve McIntyre now moves on to the US inquiries, starting with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of the Inspector General’s report. The NOAA comes under the Department of Commerce, and, in the “Dr Mann is Exonerated” section of Mann’s court pleading, is referenced on page 26:

  In the course of its inquiry, the department examined all of the CRU e-mails, including the November 16, 1999 e-mail referenced above in which Professor Jones used the words “trick” and “hide the decline.”52 The department found “no evidence” of inappropriate manipulation of data.53

As Steve McIntyre demonstrates, almost every word of the above paragraph is false:”

 

Continue reading Mr Steyn’s post .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New Tribalism

 

 

 

” Julie Burchill, my old boss at The Modern Review many years ago, has a bracing column in this week’s Speccieon the difference between the left she grew up with and the left today:

  While working-class left-wing political activism was always about fighting the powerful, treating people how you would wish to be treated and believing that we’re all basically the same, modern, non-working-class left-wing politics is about… other stuff. Class guilt, sexual kinks, personal prejudice and repressed lust for power.

  That’s why, as Kathy Shaidle observes here, the concept of free speech is no longer widely accepted. If you believe in “treating people how you would wish to be treated”, then it’s natural to accord them the same rights of freedom of expression that you yourself wish to exercise. But, if you believe (as I discussed with Steve Madely on the radio yesterday) that what matters is what identity group you belong to (the New Tribalism), then it’s natural to demand that members of non-approved groups should not be permitted to make their case.”

 

Today’s must read … Gee and it was only one administration ago when the Left claimed “Dissent Is The Highest Form Of Patriotism” … Remember ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,090 other followers