Tag Archive: Mark Steyn


“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

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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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing His Tune Pete Seeger, 1919-2014

 

 

 

 

 

” Just a few weeks ago, Pete Seeger featured over at our Song of the Week department for his quite discreditable role in the intellectual-property heist of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight“. Seeger lived long enough to go down and join the Occupy Wall Street protesters a year or two back. I believe he sang “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” to them, although “Where Have All The Showers Gone?” might have been more appropriate with that crowd. He died on Monday at the age of 94. Here’s what I wrote about him upon the occasion of his 90th birthday:

  This week marks not only the first hundred days of King Barack’s reign and the 30th anniversary of Mrs Thatcher’s arrival in Downing Street, but also the 90th birthday of Pete Seeger. The celebrations of Mr Seeger’s tenth decade are extensive. If he seems a remote figure from the pop culture back catalogue, not so fast: He played at the Obama inauguration. Which, when you think about it, is quite something.

  One must congratulate the old banjo-picker on making it to four score and ten, which is a lot older than many “dissenting artists” made it to under the regimes he’s admired over the years. Two years ago in The New York Sun, you’ll recall, Ron Radosh had a notable scoop: Hold the front page! Stop the presses! Grizzled Leftie Icon Repudiates…

  Who? Castro? Chávez? Al-Qaeda?

  Whoa, let’s not rush to judgment. No, the big story was: Grizzled Leftie Icon Repudiates . . . Stalin.

  A couple of months earlier, there’d been some documentary or other “celebrating” the “spirit” of Pete Seeger, the folkie colossus, with contributions from the usual suspects – Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, one or more Dixie Chicks, two-thirds of Peter, Paul and Mary, etc. Mr Radosh had also been interviewed but his remarks about Seeger’s lifelong support of Stalinism had not made the final cut. No surprise there. In such circumstances, the rule is to hail someone for his “activism” and “commitment” and “passion” without getting hung up on the specifics of what exactly he’s actively and passionately committing to.”

 

 

As usual read the whole thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolly Birds Of The Hindu Kush

 

 

 

 

” A few weeks back, I wrote:

  At this point, Americans sigh wearily and shrug, “Afghanistan, the graveyard of empire,” or sneer, “If they want to live in a seventh-century s***hole, f*** ‘em.” But neither assertion is true. Do five minutes’ googling, and you’ll find images from the Sixties and early Seventies of women in skirts above the knee listening to the latest Beatles releases in Kabul record stores.

  Dangerous Minds has now assembled a collection of these photographs – not just Kabul coeds and teenyboppers but scientific researchers, too – from the Seventies, Sixties and Fifties, and they’re well worth taking a look at, if only to understand the totality of our failure there.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Like A Version Of Titanic Where First Class Cheers For The Iceberg

 

 

” Yes, yes, just to get the obligatory ‘of courses’ out of the way up front: of course ‘weather’ is not the same as ‘climate’; and of course the thickest iciest ice on record could well be evidence of ‘global warming’, just as 40-and-sunny and a 35-below blizzard and 12 degrees and partly cloudy with occasional showers are all apparently manifestations of ‘climate change’; and of course the global warm-mongers are entirely sincere in their belief that the massive carbon footprint of their rescue operation can be offset by the planting of wall-to-wall trees the length and breadth of Australia, Britain, America and continental Europe.

  But still: you’d have to have a heart as cold and unmovable as Commonwealth Bay ice not to be howling with laughter at the exquisite symbolic perfection of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition ‘stuck in our own experiment’, as they put it. I confess I was hoping it might all drag on a bit longer and the cultists of the ecopalypse would find themselves drawing straws as to which of their number would be first on the roasting spit. On Douglas Mawson’s original voyage, he and his surviving comrade wound up having to eat their dogs. I’m not sure there were any on this expedition, so they’d probably have to make do with the Guardian reporters. Forced to wait a year to be rescued, Sir Douglas later recalled, ‘Several of my toes commenced to blacken and fester near the tips.’ Now there’s a man who’s serious about reducing his footprint.

  But alas, eating one’s shipmates and watching one’s extremities drop off one by one is not a part of today’s high-end eco-doom tourism. Instead, the ice-locked warmists uploaded chipper selfies to YouTube, as well as a self-composed New Year singalong of such hearty un-self-awareness that it enraged even such party-line climate alarmists as Andrew Revkin, the plonkingly earnest enviro-blogger of the New York Times. A mere six weeks ago, pumping out the usual boosterism, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that, had Captain Scott picked his team as carefully as Professor Chris Turney, he would have survived. Sadly, we’ll never know — although I’ll bet Captain Oates would have been doing his ‘I am going out. I may be some time’ line about eight bars into that New Year number.”

 

 

The rescue of the icebound Global Warmists as only Mark Steyn could portray it . READ THE WHOLE THING .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Steyn’s Brilliant (And Funny) Critique Of Multiculturalism

 

 

Not exactly comedy , but funny , in a sad kind of way . Steyn is always a joy … to watch , to read and to listen to .

Political Timidity & Clerical Cowardice

 

 

” When an attempt was made to railroad George Zimmerman into prison for defending himself when assaulted, most conservatives fell silent, and some joined the lynch mob — and, to the best of my knowledge, not a single public official stood up to denounce what was going on.

  More recently, when A&E suspended Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty for having the effrontery to repeat age-old Christian doctrine in an interview with GQ, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, and Ted Cruz let A&E have it. But the Republican establishment was present and accounted for only in its absence from the scene.

  Moreover, when Mark Steyn blasted GLAAD in his inimitable way for trying to shut down public discourse, his editor at National Review Online took offense and went after him. Mark, being Mark,knew how to respond, and others at NRO have since rallied to his support. But I am nonetheless struck by the timidity on the right.

  Even more to the point, however, I am really struck by the silence of the clergy. We can debate whether what Phil Robertson said was right or wrong, but the priests and ministers of the various Christian sects profess precisely what he said, and they have been ostentatiously silent. “

 

 

 

An astute commenter posits the theory that this …

 

 

 

 

                                           

                                                … is the reason for our present state of affairs and he is correct , at least in part .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Are The Most Valuable Pieces On The Chessboard?

 

 

 

” What is the future of conservatism? Which voices should define the priorities of the movement in the coming decades? Who are its most skilled proponents today? How should the movement evolve to face the threats most endangering America?

  This list is my effort to advocate for both my favorite writers contributing to answering these questions and the ideas they champion.

5 quick ground rules first:

  - I’m being strict with the “columnist” title – no bloggers, journalists, or feature writers. A “columnist” is one who writes a 700-1400+ word polemical article on a regular basis for an established publication or syndication.

  - I’m likewise being strict with the “conservative” title – other various right-of-center ideologies (neoconservatism, libertarianism, Christian theocrats, and paleo-con conspiracists) warrant their own lists. (Which perhaps they might get next year as I continue mapping out today’s most important ideological advocates in the contests of politics, ideas, and culture…)

  [UPDATE: Confused why some of your favorites aren't on this list? See: 3 Basic Differences Between Conservatism and Neoconservatism]

  - In selecting these individuals, I am including them and the ideas they champion in what I’m calling Conservatism 3.0. This isn’t just a stand-alone list, it’s part of the bigger, ongoing project of my attempt to encourage ideological debate and dialogue. The columnists on this list each write books too and I’m adding their titles to my reading lists at the Freedom Academy Book Club. In next year’s installment of my “radical reading regimen” I’ll blog through their titles too.

  - I’m excluding writers that I edit. All of PJM’s columnists and freelancers have been going on a separate list of my favorite writers, which I’ve been accumulating over the last six months and you can read on the last page of this post. And as an extra mention I have to go out of my way to recommend Instapundit Glenn Reynolds’s USA Today columns too. Blogging isn’t the only medium that Glenn’s mastered.

  - I’m including excerpts from some of my favorite columns. Fair warning: this article today is over 13,000 words, highlighting some of the year’s best op/eds. (UPDATE: And apparently that means it’s too big for the view-as-single-page or print-this-post feature to work. I’m sorry. I assure you that was not intentional.) It’s really more of a free online e-book — a late Christmas present to all the readers, writers, activists, and patriots who have inspired and encouraged me in my own journey across the political spectrum… “

 

 

See Swindle’s choices at PJMedia Lifestyles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Christmas without the Christmas feast? In this much requested column from The Sunday Telegraph, Mark profiles the big bird:

 

 

 

 

” As Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s classic “Turkey Lurkey Time” puts it:

  Let us make a wish and may all our wishes come true
A snowy blowy Christmas
A mistletoey Christmas
A Turkey Lurkey Christmas to you…

  But in the British Christmas there’s not much snow outside of Richard Curtis movies, and in these days of sexual harassment suits and orientational diversity the mistletoe is an imperilled tradition. So that leaves the turkey, which doesn’t so much lurk as squat over the Brit Christmas, its poultry penumbra casting a pall over the season. As Bacharach and David urge:

  Ev’rybody gather round the table
Eat all the turkey you are able…

  Easier said than done. From my side of the Atlantic, where Christmas is a one-day holiday called “Christmas Day”, the interminable two-week British Christmas seems to have been fixed by some EU health agency as the safest minimum time in which to polish off the big bootiful British butterball, as the vast carcass slowly shrivels from Christmas Day through Boxing Day, Christmas Bank Holiday Tuesday, Hogmanay, the first Hogmonday after Hogtuesday, until the last relatives leave and you can put your feet up and enjoy a nice decaf turkey latte.

Indeed, one cannot help noticing that the traditional Christmas delicacy seems to have fused with Britain’s vaguely parodic approach to the holiday season. “Turkey” means a large North American gallinaceous bird but also, in American showbusiness vernacular, a flop. Yet these days the latter usage is far more prevalent in Britain. The last time I spent the holiday season in the auld sod I motored down from London to the country on Christmas Eve and, instead of jingly versions of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland”, every single radio station from Thames Valley Supergold to Clwyd FM had some sour disc-jockey counting down “Your All-Time Worst Christmas Turkeys”. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Steyn On ‘Duck Dynasty’ Controversy: Gay Lobby Enforcing ‘Ideological Compliance’

 

 

Steyn On Phil

” The syndicated columnist likened Robertson’s suspension from his A&E television program to something out of post-World War II Eastern Europe under Communist rule.

“ This is one of the biggest stories of our time – the strange need by the bureau of gay compliance or whatever the gay lobby group is calling itself these days and similar groups to enforce the most tedious ideological compliance,” he said. “It’s like something out of Milan Kundera’s Eastern European novel about post-war communist Europe, The Joke, where you make one little comment and your life is over. And we’re getting to that stage.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those Who Can’t, Govern

 

 

 

 

” What does Dan Pfeiffer know of this thing called “the private sector”? To say there is less private-sector experience in the Obama administration than in any other of the last century hardly begins to convey the particular pool of smarts on which this president has drawn. Nearly 60 percent of Eisenhower’s cabinet appointments had private-sector experience; Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes scored well over 50; FDR and Truman smack on 50/50; in Obama’s cabinet, fewer than 10 percent have real-world business experience. None of Obamacare’s begetters have ever created anything — certainly not a dime of real wealth.

  Instead, we have government by people who read Thomas L. Friedman and use words like “interconnectedness” and give commencement addresses where they rave about how our world is changing so fast — and assume that just being glibly au courant is a substitute for being able to do, make, build. There are lessons here beyond the abysmal failure of one misconceived government program, lessons about what our esteemed (if not terminally self-esteemed) elites value as “smart,” and about the perils of rule by a poseur technocracy. As for Obama, he’s not Jay-Z, nor even Justin Bieber: He can’t sing, or dance, or create a government bureaucracy that functions any more efficiently than a Soviet supermarket. He broke the lifelong rule that had served him so well — “Don’t just do something. Stand there” — and for the first time in his life did something, terribly. It will bear his name forever.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Post-Work Economy

 

 

 

” “Work” and “purpose” are intimately connected: Researchers at the University of Michigan, for example, found that welfare payments make one unhappier than a modest income honestly earned and used to provide for one’s family. “It drains too much of the life from life,” said Charles Murray in a speech in 2009. “And that statement applies as much to the lives of janitors — even more to the lives of janitors — as it does to the lives of CEOs.” Self-reliance — “work” — is intimately connected to human dignity — “purpose.”

  So what does every initiative of the Obama era have in common? Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security disability expansion, 50 million people on food stamps . . . The assumption is that mass, multi-generational dependency is now a permanent feature of life. A coastal elite will devise ever smarter and slicker trinkets, and pretty much everyone else will be a member of either the dependency class or the vast bureaucracy that ministers to them. And, if you’re wondering why every Big Government program assumes you’re a feeble child, that’s because a citizenry without “work and purpose” is ultimately incompatible with liberty. The elites think a smart society will be wealthy enough to relieve the masses from the need to work. In reality, it would be neo-feudal, but with fatter, sicker peasants. It wouldn’t just be “economic inequality,” but a far more profound kind, and seething with resentments. “

 

 

Must read , as usual

 

Illustration by Chip Bok

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Steyn

Surrender In Geneva

 

 

” In Geneva, the participants came to the talks with different goals: The Americans and Europeans wanted an agreement; the Iranians wanted nukes. Each party got what it came for. Before the deal, the mullahs’ existing facilities were said to be within four to seven weeks of nuclear “breakout”; under the new constraints, they’ll be eight to nine weeks from breakout. In return, they get formal international recognition of their enrichment program, and the gutting of sanctions — and everything they already have is, as they say over at Obamacare, grandfathered in.

  Many pundits reached for the obvious appeasement analogies, but Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal argued that Geneva is actually worse than Munich. In 1938, facing a German seizure of the Sudetenland, the French and British prime ministers were negotiating with Berlin from a position of profound military weakness: It’s easy to despise Chamberlain with the benefit of hindsight, less easy to give an honest answer as to what one would have done differently playing a weak hand across the table from Hitler 75 years ago. This time round, a superpower and its allies accounting for over 50 percent of the planet’s military spending was facing a militarily insignificant country with a ruined economy and no more than two to three months’ worth of hard currency — and they gave it everything it wanted. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Steyn

Knockouts High And Low

 

 

 

 As usual Mr Steyn is right on the mark regarding a societal lack of restraint …

 

” Restraint is an unfashionable concept these day, but it is the indispensable feature of civilized society. To paraphrase my compatriot George Jonas, punching a spinster’s lights out isn’t wrong because it’s illegal, it’s illegal because it’s wrong. But, in a world without restraints, what’s to stop you? If a certain percentage of your population feels no moral revulsion at randomly pulverizing fellow citizens for sport, a million laws will avail you naught: The societal safety lock is off.”

 

 

    He continues with the corresponding lack of restrain oozing from the world’s “greatest deliberative body” as embodied by it’s ersatz ringleader , Dingy Harry Reid …

 

 

That’s “visceral man.” What about Lewis’s “cerebral man”? In free nations, self-restraint is required not only of the underclass but of the rulers, too. Harry Reid is an unlikely gang leader, but, for a furtive little rodent, he landed a knockout punch on America’s governing norms. Like the lil’ old lady, Mitch McConnell never saw it coming. One minute, the time-honored practice that judicial appointments required supermajorities was there; the next, it was lying on the ground dead. Yes, yes, I know Senate procedural rules aren’t quite as gripping as “polar-bearing.” But, as I said, a free society requires self-restraint at all levels. Forget the merits of Reid’s move to simple majority rule, and simply consider how he did it. “

 

 

Read It All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incompetence Of Our Neo-Monarchy

 

 

 

” It is a condition of my admission to this great land that I am not allowed to foment the overthrow of the United States government. Oh, I signed it airily enough, but you’d be surprised, as the years go by, how often the urge to foment starts to rise in one’s gullet. Fortunately, at least as far as constitutional government goes, the president of the United States is doing a grand job of overthrowing it all by himself.

On Thursday, he passed a new law at a press conference. George III never did that. But, having ordered America’s insurance companies to comply with Obamacare, the president announced that he is now ordering them not to comply with Obamacare. The legislative branch (as it’s still quaintly known) passed a law purporting to grandfather your existing health plan. The regulatory bureaucracy then interpreted the law so as to un-grandfather your health plan. So His Most Excellent Majesty has commanded that your health plan be de-un-grandfathered. That seems likely to work. The insurance industry had three years to prepare for the introduction of Obamacare. Now the King has given them six weeks to de-introduce Obamacare.”

 

As always Mr Steyn is required reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War And Remembrance

We are proud to present a classic Armistice Day tribute from Mark Steyn

 

 

 

  ” This Remembrance Day/Veterans Day piece from the first November 11th after September 11th is anthologized in The Face Of The TigerAnd don’t forget Monique Fauteux’s and my live performance of the greatest of songs from the Great War, “Roses Of Picardy“, in a special Song of the Week audio edition.

On CNN the other day, Larry King asked Tony Blair what it was he had in his buttonhole. It was a poppy — not a real poppy, but a stylized, mass-produced thing of red paper and green plastic that, as the Prime Minister explained, is worn in Britain and other Commonwealth countries in the days before November 11th. They’re sold in the street by aged members of the Royal British Legion to commemorate that moment 83 years ago today, when on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the guns fell silent on the battlefields of Europe.

The poppy is an indelible image of that “war to end all wars”, summoned up by a Canadian, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, in a poem written in the trenches in May 1915:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Row on row on row.

And, in between, thousands of poppies, for they bloom in uprooted soil. Sacrifice on the scale McCrae witnessed is all but unimaginable in the west today — in Canada, in Britain, even apparently in America, which instead of sending in the cavalry is now dropping horse feed for the Northern Alliance, in the hope they might rouse themselves to seize an abandoned village or two, weather permitting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Drift Toward Despotism

 

 

” At a time when over 4 million people have had their health insurance canceled, it’s good to know that some Americans can still access prompt medical treatment, even if they don’t want it. David Eckert was pulled over by police in Deming, N.M., for failing to come to a complete halt at a stop sign in the Walmart parking lot. He was asked to step out of the vehicle, and waited on the sidewalk. Officers decided that they didn’t like the tight clench of his buttocks, a subject on which New Mexico’s constabulary is apparently expert, and determined that it was because he had illegal drugs secreted therein. So they arrested him, and took him to Gila Regional Medical Center in neighboring Hidalgo County, where Mr. Eckert was forced to undergo two abdominal X-rays, two rectal probes, three enemas, and defecate thrice in front of medical staff and representatives of two law-enforcement agencies, before being sedated and subjected to a colonoscopy — all procedures performed against his will and without a valid warrant.

Alas, Mr. Eckert’s body proved to be a drug-free zone, and so, after twelve hours of detention, he was released. If you’re wondering where his lawyer was during all this, no attorney was present, as police had not charged Mr. Eckert with anything, so they’re apparently free to frolic and gambol up his rectum to their hearts’ content. Deming police chief Brandon Gigante says his officers did everything “by the book.” That’s the problem, in New Mexico and beyond: “the book.” “

 

The MUST READ of the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Phalanx Of Lies

 

 

 

 

” CNN has been pondering what they call “a particularly tough few days at the White House.” “Four out of five Americans have little or no trust in their government to do anything right,” says chief political analyst Gloria Borger. “And now Obama probably feels the same way.” Our hearts go out to him, poor wee disillusioned thing. We are assured by the headline writers that the president was “unaware” of Obamacare’s website defects, and the NSA spying, and the IRS targeting of his political enemies, and the Justice Department bugging the Associated Press, and pretty much anything else you ask him about. But, as he put it, “nobody’s madder than me” at this shadowy rogue entity called the “Government of the United States” that’s running around pulling all this stuff. And, once he finds out who’s running this Government of the United States rogue entity, he’s gonna come down as hard on him as he did on that videomaker in California; he’s gonna send round the National Park Service SWAT team to teach that punk a lesson he won’t forget.”

 

As usual Mr Steyn is the “Must Read” of the day .

 

” Gloria Borger and CNN seem inclined to swallow the line that the president of the United States is not aware that he is president of the United States: For the media, just a spoonful of bovine manure makes the Obamacare medicine go down.”

 

Bovine manure indeed … Read it all 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midweek Steyn

Third-Party Statism

 

 

 

” Most developed nations have a public health-care system and a private health-care system — of variable quality, to be sure, but all of them far simpler to navigate than America’s endlessly mutating fusion of the worst of both worlds. Obamacare stitches together the rear ends of two pantomime horses and attempts to ride it to the sunlit uplands. Good luck with that. But we should remember that this disaster has been a long time incubating. The Democrats’ objection to the pre-Obama “private” health system is that Americans wound up spending more than any other country for what they argued were inferior health outcomes. But the more telling number is revealed by Avik Roy elsewhere in this issue: In 2010 (in other words, before Obamacare), U.S. government expenditures on health care were higher than those in all but three other countries in the world. Quick, name a European social democracy full of state-suckled wimpy welfare queens: France? $3,061 per capita in public-health expenditures. Sweden? $3,046 per capita. Belgium? $3,000. In 2010 the United States spent $3,967 in public-health expenditures per person — more than anywhere on the planet except Norway, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. I am confident that, under Obamacare, we’ll be outspending even the Norwegians. But in reality our so-called private system was a public system in all but name.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obamacare’s Magical Thinkers

 

 

” If you’re looking for an epitaph for the republic (and these days who isn’t?) try this — from August 2010 and TechCrunch’s delirious preview of Healthcare.gov:

“We were working in a very very nimble hyper-consumer-focused way,” explained Todd Park, the chief technology officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “all fused in this kind of maelstrom of pizza, Mountain Dew, and all-nighters . . . and, you know, idealism. That kind of led to the magic that was produced.”

Wow. Think of the magic that Madison, Hamilton, and the rest of those schlubs could have produced if they’d only had pizza and Mountain Dew and been willing to pull a few all-nighters at Philadelphia in 1787.”

 

 

   Mr Steyn is at his best today as he expounds on CGI Federal , HealthCare.gov and the geniuses that created the current plague of “glitches” in Obama’s State-care system …

 

 

” Appearing before Congress on Thursday, the magicians of Obamacare eventually conceded that, on their supposedly HIPAA-compliant database, deep in the “information architectural process” is a teensy-weensy little bit of “source code” that reads, “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication of any data transmitted or stored on this information system.”

Democrat members of the House committee professed to be bewildered at why anyone would be either surprised or upset to discover that his information can be shared with anyone in the federal government, including a corrupt and diseased IRS that uses what confidential information it can acquire to torment perceived ideological enemies.”

 

 

Spot on , as usual . Be sure and read the whole thing .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potemkin Parliament

 

 

” The least dispiriting moment of another grim week in Washington was the sight of ornery veterans tearing down the Barrycades around the war memorials on the National Mall, dragging them up the street, and dumping them outside the White House. This was, as Kevin Williamson wrote at National Review, “as excellent a gesture of the American spirit as our increasingly docile nation has seen in years.” Indeed. The wounded vet with two artificial legs balancing the Barrycade on his Segway was especially impressive. It would have been even better had these disgruntled citizens neatly lined up the Barrycades across the front of the White House and round the sides, symbolically Barrycading him in as punishment for Barrycading them out. But, in a town where an unarmed woman can be left a bullet-riddled corpse merely for driving too near His Benign Majesty’s palace and nobody seems to care, one appreciates a certain caution.

  By Wednesday, however, it was business as usual. Which is to say the usual last-minute deal just ahead of the usual make-or-break deadline to resume spending as usual. There was nothing surprising about this. Everyone knew the Republicans were going to fold. Folding is what Republicans do. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so good at folding Obama should hire them as White House valets.”

 

 

As usual Steyn is required reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Supreme

 

 

 

 

 

” My weekend column was headlined “Park Service Paramilitaries“. Just to prove the point they showed up today in riot gear.

Meanwhile, as part of our continuing series on the paramilitarized bureaucracy, following Seal Team Six I’ve tipped my hat in this space to Bunny Team Six and Deer Team Six. Now we have Chicken Team Six:

EPA Facing Fire For Armed Raid On Mine In Chicken, Alaska: Population, 7 “

Park Service Paramilitaries

 

 

 

” But the one place where a full-scale shutdown is being enforced is in America’s alleged “National Park Service,” a term of art that covers everything from canyons and glaciers to war memorials and historic taverns. The NPS has spent the last two weeks behaving as the paramilitary wing of the DNC, expending more resources in trying to close down open-air, unfenced areas than it would normally do in keeping them open. It began with the war memorials on the National Mall — that’s to say, stone monuments on pieces of grass under blue sky. It’s the equivalent of my New Hampshire town government shutting down and deciding therefore to ring the Civil War statue on the village common with yellow police tape and barricades.

Still, the NPS could at least argue that these monuments were within their jurisdiction — although they shouldn’t be. Not content with that, the NPS shock troops then moved on to insisting that privately run sites such as the Claude Moore Colonial Farm and privately owned sites such as Mount Vernon were also required to shut. When the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway declined to comply with the government’s order to close (an entirely illegal order, by the way), the “shut down” Park Service sent armed agents and vehicles to blockade the hotel’s driveway. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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