Author speaks out in favor of travel restrictions on ‘Your World’
Andrea Tantaros and Mark Styen on Confronting the Islamoplogists’ Fear of Violating Social Norms and Correct MannersPosted: August 31, 2014
Q: Why Did British Police Ignore Pakistani Muslim Gangs Abusing 1,400 Rotherham Children?
A story of rampant child abuse—ignored and abetted by the police—is emerging out of the British town of Rotherham. Until now, its scale and scope would be inconceivable in a civilized country. Its details will make your hair stand on end.
A: Political Correctness
Imagine the following case. A fourteen-year old girl is taken into care by the social services unit of the town where she lives, because her parents are drug-addicted, and she has been neglected and is not turning up in school. She is one of many, for that is the way in Britain today. And local government entities—Councils—can be ordered by the courts to stand in for parents of neglected children. The Council places the girl in a home, where she is kept with others under supervision from the social services department. The home is regularly visited by young men who try to entice the girls into their cars, so as to give them drugs and alcohol, and then coerce them into sex…(read more) Forbes
What happens when public figures fear putting their reputation at stake to speak truthfully about the deadly force required confront these depraved, barbaric practices? Rapes and child slavery and beheadings that are, by now, plainly visible to all?
Fox News Channel host Andrea Tantaros is being publicly vilified for her blunt comments, ripping Obama’s handling of ISIS and other radical Islamic groups on last week’s Outnumbered.
“The only proper response, I think, Sandra, is for the president in about 45 minutes, to approach that podium and admit, not just that he was wrong, but that we’re going in there and we’re gonna flatten them. Last night we should have taken out 10,000 ISIS fighters, warned them, last night, not today, that if you kill that other journalist, we will be back and we will wipe out 10,000 more, and we will continue to decimate you with aggressive air war until we obliterate every single one of you, period, end story,” she said.
Tantaros added “they’ve been doing this for hundreds and hundreds of years, if you study the history of Islam … this isn’t a surprise, you can’t solve it with a dialogue, you can’t solve it with a summit, you solve it with a bullet to the head.”
“All we’ve heard from this president is the case to heap praise on this religion, as if to appease them,” she accused. “His Cairo speech, his remarks from last Memorial Day saying that we have a shared history of tolerance. Instead of making the case against this threat that is never going to stop.”
“AAJA calls for Tantaros and Fox News to apologize for the irresponsible, inflammatory statements,” the organization said. “We also call on Fox News to discourage its journalists from making blanket comments that serve to perpetuate hate and Islamophobia. Muslims and Islam are not interchangeable terms with terrorists or ISIS. We in the media know better and must be vigilant in our choice of words.”
As the left-wing islamopologist backlash continues, Tantaros responds:
I will not apologize for speaking the truth about radical Islamic jihadism. Period.
— Andrea Tantaros (@AndreaTantaros) August 30, 2014
All I can say is, bravo, Tantaros, and recommend NRO‘s comments, No, Pointing Out Muslims Have Been Beheading People for Centuries Isn’t Islamophobic.
It’s not just the kidnapping and beheadings of adult men, captives killed in distant deserts for prime time viewing on social media, it’s already brazenly at home torturing children in quaint communities in the modern west, protected by a collective fear of violating politically correct social norms.
If you dare read anything about the Rotherham nightmare, read Steyn‘s comments:
“The queasy reluctance among the fearless knights of the media to state the truth anywhere north of the 20th paragraph helps explain why this happened, and why it will happen again.”
Mark Steyn writes: It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture at right 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.
There’s something slightly weird about taking a hashtag – which on the Internet at least has a functional purpose – and getting a big black felt marker and writing it on a piece of cardboard and holding it up, as if somehow the comforting props of social media can be extended beyond the computer and out into the real world. Maybe the talismanic hashtag never required a computer in the first place. Maybe way back during the Don Pacifico showdown all Lord Palmerston had to do was tell the Greeks #BringBackOurJew.
As Mr Payne notes, these days progressive “action” just requires “calling on government” to act. But it’s sobering to reflect that the urge to call on someone else to do something is now so reflexive and ingrained that even “the government” – or in this case the wife of “the government” – is now calling on someone else to do something. Read the rest of this entry »
Mark Steyn speaks with TheBlaze on his new book, and everything from global warming to Common Core to the First AmendmentPosted: April 23, 2014
We spoke with best-selling author and columnist Mark Steyn in connection with the release of a newly updated version of his entertaining and insightful book of obituaries and appreciations, “Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade.”
[Explore Mark Steyn’s book: “Passing Parade: Obituaries & Appreciations” expanded edition at Amazon]
In a wide-ranging interview, Steyn spoke with TheBlaze Books on his newly updated book, the fate of America, and issues ranging from gay marriage to global warming to free speech to education and Common Core. The interview, which we conducted in-person, is transcribed below with edits for clarity and links.
Give us a brief synopsis of your newly updated book, “Passing Parade: Obituaries & Appreciations.“
Steyn: Well my big books in recent years have been on the big geopolitical, socio-economic picture. A lot of statistics, lot of numbers, lot of big picture stuff. “America Alone” is essentially a book about demography – I mean I got a best-selling book about demography which doesn’t happen very often, but it’s about fertility rates, really. “After America” in some ways is about debt – it’s about multi-trillion dollar numbers. And they’re all big picture things, but for me the real pleasure is writing about people, and reminding yourself…that it’s not all fertility rates and debt/GDP ratios, but that at the right moment of history, one individual can make a difference. And the people in this book are people who made a difference. That can be in the sense of winning the Cold War like Ronald Reagan did, or it can be in the sense of William Mitchell, who’s the guy who invented Cool Whip…I like writing obituaries. The only thing I would say is that it’s hard to write about people you…you can’t be entirely negative or hateful about people. There’s gotta be something in there [within the person] that you respond to.
And it’s interesting – even someone like Romano Mussolini, who is the Mussolini’s son – Il Duche – the big-time fascist dictator of Italy…Romano Mussolini was a jazz pianist of all things, and I met him once when he came to play in London. His group was called the “Romano Mussolini All Stars.” And after the war in Italy, his dad had been hung from a lamppost, the bottom had dropped out of the dictating business, but Romano got to be the jazz pianist that he’d always wanted to be. But he thought the Mussolini name wouldn’t go well, so he changed his name to the equivalent of “Romano Smith and His Trio.” And nobody came to see him. And then he discovered that actually, the Romano Mussolini All Stars, that that was actually quite a draw with the jazz crowd. But there’s even in that – as I said, Mussolini wound up hanging from a lamppost when they caught up with him with his mistress, but even…the final anecdote about that is that the last time Romano saw his dad, when his time had almost run out, and everybody was catching up with him, and his dad came in effectively to say “Goodbye…” he didn’t know it would be the last time he saw him and he asked him to play some music fromFranz Lehár, from The Merry Widow. And just that, even in the…just that little vignette is like a very poignant, human moment, in the life of someone who a couple weeks later was hanging from that lamppost.
I think you always have to if you’re writing – even if you’re writing about – whoever it is, there’s gotta be some little way into the story that makes them human.
And you know as bad as things are – when I think back to that time for example, and I think when Neville Chamberlain was forced out of the prime ministership in the spring of 1940, if the Tory party had picked Lord Halifax instead of Winston Churchill, the entire history of the 20th century would have been different. And so the lesson you draw…we’re in New York City…Winston Churchill was almost hit by a car crossing 5th Avenue in 1932 or whatever it was – if that taxicab had actually left the tread marks over Winston Churchill — again the entire history of the second half of the 20th century would have been different. And so the lesson you draw from that is that yes the debt numbers are bad, yes the demographic numbers are bad, yes all the big picture stuff, the trends, the macroeconomic stuff is all bad, but even so, one man, the right man at the right moment can make all the difference…extraordinary people can make all the difference.
One of the obituaries that I thought interesting was Strom Thurmond’s. Give some readers insight into the story in which you were stuck in an elevator between Barbara Boxer and Strom Thurmond.
Steyn: I was covering the impeachment trial of President Clinton, which was the first time I’d been exposed close up to the United States Senate, which is not a lovely site. And one of the few interesting things as that trial wore on was actually Strom Thurmond because he – Clinton had the sort of two sexpot lady lawyers – and Strom Thurmond used to bring candy for them each day, and then press them with his 112-year old lizard-like hands into their fingers. And you could see the women were like, fatally taken aback by this, but at a certain level they understood that this was what it was gonna take to prevent their guy from being removed from office. And in the end, Strom did not vote to remove Clinton from office, in part I do believe because he had the hots for those lawyers. Read the rest of this entry »
“Once you get a taste for shutting people up, it’s hard to stop. Why bother winning the debate when it’s easier to close it down?”
The delightfully dyspeptic Mark Steyn writes: These days, pretty much every story is really the same story:
- In Galway, at the National University of Ireland, a speaker who attempts to argue against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) programme against Israel is shouted down with cries of ‘Fucking Zionist, fucking pricks… Get the fuck off our campus.’
- In California, Mozilla’s chief executive is forced to resign because he once made a political donation in support of the pre-revisionist definition of marriage.
- At Westminster, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee declares that the BBC should seek ‘special clearance’ before it interviews climate sceptics, such as fringe wacko extremists like former Chancellor Nigel Lawson.
- In Massachusetts, Brandeis University withdraws its offer of an honorary degree to a black feminist atheist human rights campaigner from Somalia.
- In London, a multitude of liberal journalists and artists responsible for everything from Monty Python to Downton Abbey sign an open letter in favour of the first state restraints on the British press in three and a quarter centuries.
- And in Canberra the government is planning to repeal Section 18C — whoa, don’t worry, not all of it, just three or four adjectives; or maybe only two, or whatever it’s down to by now, after what Gay Alcorn in the Age described as the ongoing debate about ‘where to strike the balance between free speech in a democracy and protection against racial abuse in a multicultural society’.
I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.
No one who favors the law wants to be bound by it.
Mark Steyn writes: On his radio show the other day, Hugh Hewitt caught me by surprise and asked me about running for the United States Senate from New Hampshire. My various consultants, pollsters, PACs, and exploratory committees haven’t fine-tuned every detail of my platform just yet, but I can say this without a doubt: I will not vote for any “comprehensive” bill, whether on immigration, health care, or anything else. “Comprehensive” today is a euphemism for interminably long, poorly drafted, and entirely unread — not just by the people’s representatives but by our robed rulers, too (how many of those Supreme Court justices actually plowed through every page of Obamacare when its “constitutionality” came before them?). The 1862 Homestead Act, which is genuinely comprehensive, is two handwritten pages in clear English. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is 500 times as long, is not about patients or care, and neither protects the former nor makes the latter affordable.
“The Affordable Care Act means whatever President Obama says it means on any particular day of the week. Whether it applies to you this year, next year, or not at all depends on the whim of the sovereign, and whether your CEO golfs with him on Martha’s Vineyard.”
So what is it about? On Wednesday, the Nevada AFL-CIO passed a resolution declaring that “the unintended consequences of the ACA will lead to the destruction of the 40-hour work week.” That’s quite an accomplishment for a “health” “care” “reform” law. But the poor old union heavies who so supported Obamacare are now reduced to bleating that they should be entitled to the same opt-outs secured by big business and congressional staffers. It’s a very strange law whose only defining characteristic is that no one who favors it wants to be bound by it.
“A few weeks back, the president unilaterally suspended the law’s employer mandate. Under the U.S. Constitution, he doesn’t have the power to do this, but judging from the American people’s massive shrug of indifference he might as well unilaterally suspend the Constitution, too.”
Meanwhile, on the very same day as the AFL-CIO was predicting the death of the 40-hour week, the University of Virginia announced plans to boot working spouses off its health plan beginning January 1 because the Affordable Care Act has made it unaffordable: It’s projected to add $7.3 million dollars to the university’s bill in 2014 alone.
Crackpot Climate Scientist’s Defamation Suit Against Combative Mark Steyn, National Review a Go, Says JudgePosted: January 31, 2014
Good summary, except the Washington Times buried the lead. Here it is:
“Mr. Steyn is representing himself after firing the magazine’s legal team over a dispute related to how the judge was handling the case.”
Often not the most advisable way to go, in court. But, who knows. Maybe he’s a better advocate than his former legal team. Steyn’s been around the block with frivolous lawsuits and harassment. We wish Mr. Steyn luck. I hope National Review turns around and sues the snot out of Michael Mann. See the Washington Times for the full article, but here’s a sample:
A climate change scientist’s defamation suit against National Review writer and frequent Rush Limbaugh fill-in Mark Steyn will proceed, a judge decided earlier this week, ruling against the magazine’s attempt to dismiss the case.
The case stems from Mr. Steyn’s written reference to Michael Mann’s climate change data as fraudulent, according to news website Raw Story.
“the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”
At the time of the suit, several months ago, National Review editor Rich Lowry didn’t appear too worried.
The always entertaining, perpetually ill-tempered Mark Steyn writes: 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 Guardianreporters. 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.
A government that creates the climate for bullying is the worst of the bullies
Mrs. Clinton required translation into the language of truth, as she generally does when her lips are moving. By the “rights” of “all people” to “worship” as “they choose,” she meant the sharia-based desire of Muslim supremacists to foreclose critical examination of Islam. Madame Secretary, you see, was speechifying before her friends at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) — the bloc of 56 Muslim countries plus the Palestinian territories.
At that very moment in July 2011, Christians were under siege in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran — being gradually purged from those Islamic countries just as they’d been purged from Turkey, which hosted Mrs. Clinton’s speech. As Christians from the Middle East to West Monroe, La., can tell you, the Left and its Obama vanguard are not remotely interested in their “rights . . . to worship the way they choose.”
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action.”
That may be overly generous.
Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.
As the Instapundit likes to remind us, Barack Obama has “joked” publicly about siccing the IRS on his enemies. With all this coincidence about, we should be grateful the President is not (yet) doing prison-rape gags.
Without self-restraint, we slip toward barbarism
Mark Steyn writes: On November 22, 1963, two other notable men died, and got relegated to the foot of page 37 — the British authors C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley. Lewis endures because of the Narnia books (and films), but there’s a lot more in the back of his wardrobe. In his book The Abolition of Man, he writes of “men without chests” — the chest being “the indispensable liaison” between the head and the gut, between “cerebral man” and “visceral man.” In the chest beat what Lewis calls “the trained emotions.” Without them there is no honor or virtue, but only “intellect” and/or “appetite.”
Speaking of appetite, have you played the “Knockout” game yet? Groups of black youths roam the streets looking for a solitary pedestrian, preferably white (hence the alternate name “polar-bearing”) but Asian or Hispanic will do. The trick is to knock him to the ground with a single punch. There’s a virtually limitless supply of targets: In New York, a 78-year-old woman was selected, and went down nice and easy, as near-octogenarian biddies tend to when sucker-punched. But, when you’re really rockin’, you can not only floor the unsuspecting sucker but kill him: That’s what happened to 46-year-old Ralph Santiago of Hoboken, N.J., whose head was slammed into an iron fence, whereupon he slumped to the sidewalk with his neck broken. And anyway the one-punch rule is flexible: In upstate New York, a 13-year-old boy socked 51-year-old Michael Daniels but with insufficient juice to down him. So his buddy threw a bonus punch, and the guy died from cerebral bleeding. Widely available video exists of almost all Knockout incidents, since the really cool thing is to have your buddies film it and upload it to YouTube. And it’s so simple to do in an age when every moronic savage has his own “smart phone.”
Your moral and intellectual superiors! NYT embraces new ‘voodoo’ theory of JFK assassination, with Julie Andrews on the grassy knollPosted: November 18, 2013
Writer James McAuley, described as “a Marshall scholar studying history at the University of Oxford,” wrote that Dallas collectively “willed the death of the president,” and that it has prospered disproportionately in the subsequent 50 years because of “pretending to forget.”
The wives of these [powerful Dallas] men — socialites and homemakers, Junior Leaguers and ex-debutantes — were no different; in fact, they were possibly even more extreme.
(After all, there’s a reason Carol Burnett pulls a gun on Julie Andrews at the end of the famous “Big D” routine the two performed before the assassination in the early 1960s. “What are ya,” she screams, pulling the trigger, “some kinda nut?!”)
UPDATE – Ed Driscoll weighs in:
I shouted out who killed the Kennedys, when after all, it was Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.
Years after Ratherquiddick, 60 Minutes and CBS still confused by whole “internet” thing
UPDATE — Self-described “old showtune queen” Mark Steyn observes:
Shortly before this performance, Julie Andrews had been starring on Broadway in . . . Camelot. Coincidence? Maybe.
But, shortly after, she filmed The Sound Of Music, and begins by declaring, “The hills are alive . . .” A reference to the grassy knoll?
The incompetence of our neo-monarchy
Mark Steyn writes: 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.
Not even the coolest president ever can conjure up a national medical regime for 300 million people
“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.” Read the rest of this entry »
‘Govt institutions ‘utterly repulsive and disgusting’
Steyn, author of “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon,” told Hewitt it was understandable that Republicans like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies in the U.S. Senate would call for Republicans in the House of Representatives to use the power of the purse to pursue certain policy positions.
“Well look, you know, in my book when it came out, whatever it was, a couple of years ago, it had a very simple point, that the question was whether the governing institutions of the United States of America were capable of meaningful course correction,” Steyn explained. “And I think we’ve just seen, whether you fall on Jonah [Goldberg]’s side or on your side, the net result is that we keep telling the world that we’re not capable of serious course correction. And that’s a problem. And I well understand why people like Ted Cruz get impatient with it. They’re right to be impatient with it.”
David French writes: It had to happen eventually. The party of government and the government itself would start to merge into one seamless whole — capable of acting on their respective desires without even the necessity of explicit instructions. Kevin Williamson, Michael Walsh, and others sounded this alarm as the IRS scandal unfolded, and we were faced with two unsettling possibilities: Either the political branches of government were so craven they ordered a tea-party crackdown or the bureaucracy was so corrupt it cracked down on its own accord.
Mid-20th-century assumptions of generational progress no longer obtain.
Mark Steyn observes: A few years ago, after the publication of my book America Alone, an exasperated reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to be stupid.” That’s to say, Western democracies and their citizens are the wealthiest societies ever known, and no matter how much of our energies are wasted on pointless hyper-regulation for the business class and multigenerational welfare for the dependency class and Transgender and Colonialism Studies for our glittering youth, we can afford it, and the central fact of our wealth will ensure that our fortunes do not change. Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, we have been less rich, and our stupidity ought in theory to be less affordable. Instead, it’s been supersized. To take only the most obvious example, President Obama has added six-and-a-half trillion bucks to the national debt, and has nothing to show for it. As Churchill would say, had his bust not been bounced from the Oval Office, never in the field of human spending has so much been owed by so many for so little. Read the rest of this entry »
The decay of a free society doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re getting there.
Mark Steyn writes: ‘This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Mo., on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.”
He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, which glorious American tradition seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.” True. But we don’t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, “Mebbe you’ve had enough, pal,” we protest, “Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ’em up, Joe.” And he gives you that look that kinda says he wishes you’d run out on your tab back when it was $23.68.
Still, Obama is right. We’re not a banana republic, if only because the debt of banana republics is denominated in a currency other than their own — i.e., the U.S. dollar. When you’re the guys who print the global currency, you can run up debts undreamt of by your average generalissimo. As Obama explained in another of his recent speeches, “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.” I won’t even pretend to know what he and his speechwriters meant by that one, but the fact that raising the debt ceiling “has been done over a hundred times” does suggest that spending more than it takes in is now a permanent feature of American government. And no one has plans to do anything about it. Which is certainly banana republic-esque. Read the rest of this entry »
Let us put aside, as he so rarely does, Anthony Weiner’s spambot penis, and consider his wife and putative first lady. By universal consent, Huma Abedin is “smart, accomplished” (the Guardian), “whip-smart” (The Week), “accomplished” (Time), “smart and accomplished” (the Daily News) — oh, and did I mention “accomplished” (Forbes)?
So, if she’s so smart, what has she accomplished? Let us put aside her Muslim Brotherhood family background — let us put it aside in the same corner as Anthony Weiner’s infidel penis, the Muslim Brotherhood being one of the few things on the planet rising even more spectacularly than Anthony. Instead, consider merely the official résumé. Huma Abedin’s present employment is as “head of Hillary Clinton’s transition team.” Mrs Clinton, you may recall, was once secretary of state. This was way back in January. Since then, she has been “transitioning away from government to become more involved in her family’s charitable foundation.” You can’t make a “transition” without a “transition team.” Well, not in America. Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands recently abdicated and managed to transition away from being queen back to the non-queen sector without benefit of a “transition team.” But it would be entirely unreasonable to expect U.S. cabinet officials to attempt the same tricky maneuver.
In 2001, Bill Clinton was struggling with his own “transition back to private life.” He was reported by his ever reliable New York Timesstenographer Adam Nagourney to be having difficulty “trying to place his own telephone calls.” The telephone is a technology many older people can have problems with, particularly if they had a full-time staff to place their calls throughout the Nineties. The 1890s, that is. So, alone in retirement at Chautauqua, a bewildered Bill would pick up the speaking tube and bark, “Hello, Central, get me Gennifer Flowers.” Fortunately, he was able to make a full recovery, and has since earned (according to CNN) $89 million in “speaking fees.” But few others could manage their “transition” quite that adroitly. So for the last six months the smart, accomplished Huma Abedin has been the executive supremo of Mrs. Clinton’s “transition team.”
Is this a grueling, time-consuming burden? Is this why Anthony Weiner’s shorts find themselves alone in the small hours burning the midnight oil? No. Politico’s Maggie Haberman recently broke the exclusive news that Ms. Abedin is taking “extended vacation time from her job.” This is not because the Clintons are naturally revolted at having their good name sullied by association with a sick pervert and his creepy enabling wife, but because, as you eventually discover if you plough deep into Miss Haberman’s story, “Hillary Clinton has close to no schedule next month.” She is now transitioning from her transition to her summer in the Hamptons, and presumably that requires an entirely different kind of transition team, to bring the beach towels and mix the margaritas.
It took only six decades of “progressive” policies to bring a great city to its knees.
By the time Detroit declared bankruptcy, Americans were so inured to the throbbing dirge of Motown’s Greatest Hits — 40 percent of its streetlamps don’t work; 210 of its 317 public parks have been permanently closed; it takes an hour for police to respond to a 9-1-1 call; only a third of its ambulances are driveable; one-third of the city has been abandoned; the local realtor offers houses on sale for a buck and still finds no takers; etc., etc. — Americans were so inured that the formal confirmation of a great city’s downfall was greeted with little more than a fatalistic shrug.
But it shouldn’t be. To achieve this level of devastation, you usually have to be invaded by a foreign power. In the War of 1812, when Detroit was taken by a remarkably small number of British troops without a shot being fired, Michigan’s Governor Hull was said to have been panicked into surrender after drinking heavily. Two centuries later, after an almighty 50-year bender, the city surrendered to itself. The tunnel from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan, is now a border between the First World and the Third World — or, if you prefer, the developed world and the post-developed world. To any American time-transported from the mid 20th century, the city’s implosion would be literally incredible: Were he to compare photographs of today’s Hiroshima with today’s Detroit, he would assume Japan won the Second World War after nuking Michigan. Detroit was the industrial powerhouse of America, the “arsenal of democracy,” and in 1960 the city with the highest per capita income in the land. Half a century on, Detroit’s population has fallen by two-thirds, and in terms of “per capita income,” many of the shrunken pool of capita have no income at all beyond EBT cards. The recent HBO series Hung recorded the adventures of a financially struggling Detroit school basketball coach forced to moonlight as a gigolo. It would be heartening to think the rest of the bloated public-sector work force, whose unsustainable pensions and benefits have brought Detroit to its present sorry state (and account for $9 billion of its $11 billion in unsecured loans), could be persuaded to follow its protagonist and branch out into the private sector, but this would probably be more gigolos than the market could bear, even allowing for an uptick in tourism from Windsor.
So, late on Friday, some genius jurist struck down the bankruptcy filing. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina declared Detroit’s bankruptcy “unconstitutional” because, according to the Detroit Free Press, “the Michigan Constitution prohibits actions that will lessen the pension benefits of public employees.” Which means that, in Michigan, reality is unconstitutional.
The bozo leviathan sees everything . . . and nothing.
By Mark Steyn
Every time I go on his show, my radio pal Hugh Hewitt asks me why congressional Republicans aren’t doing more to insist that the GOP suicide note known as “the immigration deal” include a requirement for a border fence. I don’t like to tell Hugh that, if they ever get around to building the fence, it won’t be to keep the foreigners out but to keep you guys in.
I jest, but only very slightly and only because the government doesn’t build much of anything these days — except for that vast complex five times the size of the Capitol the NSA is throwing up in Utah to house everybody’s data on everything everyone’s ever done with anyone ever.
A few weeks after 9/11, when government was hastily retooling its 1970s hijacking procedures for the new century, I wrote a column for theNational Post of Canada and various other publications that, if you’re so interested, is preserved in my anthology The Face of the Tiger. It began by noting the observation of President Bush’s transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, that if “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida” and “a Muslim young man” were in line to board a flight, he hoped there would be no difference in the scrutiny to which each would be subjected. The TSA was then barely a twinkle in Norm’s eye, and in that long-ago primitive era it would have seemed absurd to people that one day in America it would be entirely routine for wheelchair-bound nonagenarians to remove leg braces before boarding a plane or for kindergartners to stand patiently as three middle-aged latex-gloved officials poke around their genitals. Back then, the idea thateverybody is a suspect still seemed slightly crazy. As I wrote in my column, “I’d love to see Norm get his own cop show:
“Captain Mineta, the witness says the serial rapist’s about 5′10″ with a thin mustache and a scar down his right cheek.”
“Okay, Sergeant, I want you to pull everyone in.”
“Everyone. Men, women, children. We’ll start in the Bronx and work our way through to Staten Island. What matters here is that we not appear to be looking for people who appear to look like the appearance of the people we’re looking for. There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and I want to hear all of them.”
A decade on, it would be asking too much for the new Norm to be confined to the airport terminal. There are 300 million stories in the Naked Republic, and the NSA hears all of them, 24/7. Even in the wake of a four-figure death toll, with the burial pit still smoking, the formal, visible state could not be honest about the very particular threat it faced, and so in the shadows the unseen state grew remorselessly, the blades of the harvester whirring endlessly but, don’t worry, only for “metadata.” As I wrote in National Review in November 2001, “The bigger you make the government, the more you entrust to it, the more powers you give it to nose around the citizenry’s bank accounts, and phone calls, and e-mails, and favorite Internet porn sites, the more you’ll enfeeble it with the siren song of the soft target. The Mounties will no longer get their man, they’ll get you instead. Frankly, it’s a lot easier.” As the IRS scandal reminds us, you have to have a touchingly naïve view of government to believe that the 99.9999 percent of “metadata” entirely irrelevant to terrorism will not be put to some use, sooner or later.
The inevitable corruption of the permanent bureaucracy
By Mark Steyn
I thought of those Canadian Liberal “integrity provisions” passing a TV screen the other day and catching hack bureaucrats from the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division reassuring Congress that systems had now been put in place to prevent them succumbing to the urge to put on Spock ears and moob-hugging blue polyester for the purposes of starring in a Star Trek government training video. The Small Business/Self-Employed Division had boldly gone where no IRS man had gone before — to a conference in Anaheim, where they were put up in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms and entertained by a man who was paid $27,500 to fly in and paint on stage a portrait of Bono. Bono is the veteran Irish rocker knighted by the Queen for his tireless campaign on behalf of debt forgiveness, which doesn’t sound the IRS’s bag at all. But don’t worry, debt forgiveness-wise Bono has Africa in mind, not New Jersey. And, as Matthew Cowart tweeted me the other day, he did have a big hit with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which I believe is now the official anthem of the IRS Cincinnati office.
It took Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to get to the heart of the matter: “With all due respect, this is not a training issue,” he said. “This cannot be solved with another webinar. . . . We can adopt all the recommendations you can possibly conceive of. I just say it strikes me — and maybe it’s just me — but it strikes me as a cultural, systemic, character, moral issue.”
He’s right. If you don’t instinctively know it’s wrong to stay in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms at public expense, a revised conference-accommodations-guidelines manual isn’t going to fix the real problem.
It was Obama who chose to blame a national humiliation on an obscure YouTube video
Thus, Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager, speaking on CNN about an armed attack on the 9/11 anniversary that left a U.S. consulate a smoking ruin and killed four diplomatic staff, including the first American ambassador to be murdered in a third of a century. To discuss this event is apparently to “politicize” it and to distract from the real issues the American people are concerned about. For example, Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki, speaking on board Air Force One on Thursday: “There’s only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane.”
She’s right! The United States is the first nation in history whose democracy has evolved to the point where its leader is provided with a wide-body transatlantic jet in order to campaign on the vital issue of public funding for sock puppets. Sure, Caligula put his horse in the senate, but it was a real horse…
- Greece gives Merkel a warm welcome
- Bounce? or Surge?
- Morely Safer appalled by New Media
- White House’s Center for Narrative Control struggles to contain a recent outbreak of lethal poll-eating supervirus
- Sesame Street respectfully asks Obama campaign to knock it off
- A scramble to reorganize in Chicago?
- Penal System plans a special welcome for new long-term resident
- Obama supporters confirm their commitment to tolerance and civility
- Mark Steyn suggests some new campaign slogans “Vote Obama: He didn’t cancel Big Bird, just the Benghazi consulate security.”
- Depressed? Apparently, a handful of other people are, too…
- President releases new ad — featuring Big Bird… (thehill.com)
- The Obama Campaign’s Absurd ‘Big Bird’ Ad (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Obama campaign deploys Big Bird in new ad (triblive.com)
- Side-splitting desperation: Obama runs attack ad starring Big Bird; Update: Axelrod beclowns himself (twitchy.com)
Behead All Those Who Insult Free Speech
Free speech is a “gift given to us by the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights,” said Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson during a press conference on October 2nd at UN headquarters in New York. It is “a privilege,” Eliasson said, “that we have, which in my view involves also the need for respect, the need to avoid provocations.”
Free speech is a gift given to us in 1948 by U.N. officials? Who knew?
The only appropriate response of free-born peoples to such a statement is: **** off, ******. Free speech is not in the gift of minor Swedish timeserving hack bureaucrats, either to grant or withdraw.
Where is the “respect”, by the way, in “Behead the enemies of Islam”? Under the not so subtle evolution of “free speech” advanced by the likes of Obama and Eliasson, you’ll be shackled by “respect” and “the need to avoid provocations” but kindergartners will still be able to parade around the local park demanding “Behead all those who insult the Prophet.”
In the end, the one-way multiculturalism of craven squishes like Eliasson will destroy our world. Nuts to him and to the U.N.
- High U.N. Official Calls Free Speech a ‘Gift’ (frontpagemag.com)
- MARK STEYN: BOWING TO THE MOBS. “After a week and a half of peddling an utterly false narrative of… (pjmedia.com)
- At U.N., calls to limit free speech (triblive.com)
- USA: Journalist Mark Steyn: Europe could sink into chaos due to muslim immigration (themuslimissue.wordpress.com)