Mark Steyn

Tuesday nightCap

Mark Steyn talking about the fraud of multiculturalism, which he calls “a cult of ignorance”, on The Michael Coren Show.

Steyn believes that what he describes as “Eurabia“?? a future where the European continent is dominated by Islam?? is an imminent reality that cannot be reversed.

Mark Steyn on the growing IRS scandal swirling around Obama

panopticon1

Mark Steyn blogs about the massive IRS scandal that is engulfing the Obama administration:

Left-wing groups had their 501(c)(4) applications approved in weeks, right-wing groups were delayed for months and years and ordered to cough up everything from donor lists to Facebook posts, and those right-wing groups that were approved had their IRS files leaked to left-wing groups like ProPublica. The agency?s commissioner, a slippery weasel called Steven Miller, conceded before Congress that this was ?horrible customer service? ? which it was in the sense that your call is important to him and may be monitored by George Soros for quality control.

This hasn’t yet made news here, but the scandal is growing.

A civil ?civil service? requires small government. Once government is ensnared in every aspect of life a bureaucracy grows increasingly capricious. The U.S. tax code ought to be an abomination to any free society, but the American people have become reconciled to it because of a complex web of so-called exemptions that massively empower the vast shadow state of the permanent bureaucracy. Under a simple tax system, your income is a legitimate tax issue. Under the IRS,everything?is a legitimate tax issue: The books you read, the friends you recommend them to. There are no correct answers, only approved answers. Drew Ryun applied for permanent non-profit status for a group called ?Media Trackers? in July 2011. Fifteen months later, he?d heard nothing. So he applied again under the eco-friendly name of ?Greenhouse Solutions,? and was approved in three weeks.

That is telling.?Someone?must have ordered such a pogrom against centre-right organisations.

The president and the IRS commissioner are unable to name any individual who took the decision to target only conservative groups. It just kinda sorta happened, and, once it had, it growed like Topsy. But the lady who headed that office, Sarah Hall Ingram, is now in charge of the IRS office for Obamacare. Many countries around the world have introduced government health systems since 1945, but, as I wrote here last year, ?only in America does ?health? ?care? ?reform? begin with the hiring of 16,500 new IRS agents tasked with determining whether your insurance policy merits a fine.? So now not only are your books and Facebook posts legitimate tax issues but so is your hernia, and your prostate, and your erectile dysfunction. Next time round, the IRS will be able to leak your incontinence pads to George Soros.

Pure coincidence I am sure.

Big Government is erecting a panopticon state ? one that sees everything, and regulates everything. It?s great ?customer service,? except that you can never get out of the store..

A “reluctant and accidental public figure”

Mark Steyn documents the claims of Michael Mann, the fabricator of the climate change hockey stick graph, that he is “a reluctant and accidental public figure”. Michael Mann, the sensitive wee petal is suing Mark Steyn for defamation.

I was interested to note this recent verbal tic from Dr. Mann. From the May 8th?Daily Press?of Newport News, Virginia:

?I?ll often characterize myself as a reluctant and accidental public figure,? he said.

He?s right! I had no idea how often he?does?characterize himself as a reluctant and accidental public figure. Here he is on May 1st at?the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association:

Mann called himself ?a reluctant and accidental public figure in the debate over climate change.?

And here?s the press release for his April 22nd speech at?Dickinson College:

Mann will discuss the topic of human-caused climate change through the prism of his own experiences as a reluctant and accidental public figure . . .

March 28th at the?College of Wooster:

He described the recent scientific history of climate change research and then how he became an ?accidental public figure? . . .

And the day before in?The Scientist:

I?ve become an accidental public figure in the debate over human-caused climate change.

And in the March edition of?The Yale Alumni Magazine:

Now 47, bald and with flecks of gray in his goatee, he has become, as he puts it, an ?accidental public figure.?

Etc. Never before has anyone worked as tirelessly as Dr. Mann to promote his accidental celebrity, or given so many interviews to insist what a shrinking violet he is, or volunteered quite so often to announce he?s an ?involuntary public figure? ? in the same way that he?volunteered to make himself a Nobel Laureate, which also turned out to be?an unfortunate accident.

Quick question: Name the other two authors of Dr. Mann?s famous ?hockey stick? paper.

Golly, they?re not even accidental public figures. Sometimes accidents don?t happen.

Steve Milloy is tracking Dr. Mann?s voluntary involunteering?here.

Margaret Thatcher: The Good Reactions

images-1

This is a selection of good reactions to the death of Margaret Thatcher. There are some real nasty reactions surfacing out there, I will expose them in a seperate post.

Mark Steyn has this wonderful quote:

In 1990, when Mrs. Thatcher was evicted from office by her ingrate party?s act of matricide, the difference she?d made was such that in all the political panel discussions on TV that evening no producer thought to invite any union leaders. No one knew their names anymore.

Daniel Hannan?says Baroness Thatcher took a ruined, dishonoured and bankrupt Britain and left it prosperous, confident and free.

Margaret Thatcher, almost alone, refused to accept the inevitability of decline. She was determined to turn the country around, and she succeeded. Inflation fell, strikes stopped, the latent enterprise of a free people was awakened. Having lagged behind for a generation, we outgrew every European country in the 1980s except Spain (which was bouncing back from an even lower place). As revenues flowed in, taxes were cut and debt was repaid, while public spending ? contrary to almost universal belief ? rose.

Mitt Romney, defeated by Barack Obama in the 2012 US presidential election, hails Thatcher as a “transformational leader”.

History will enshrine Margaret Thatcher as a transformational leader who helped defeat communism, promote freedom, and bring hope to the oppressed. Her penetrating words and compelling vision will last for generations.? Read more »

Still more reasons why Canada isn’t falling off the fiscal cliff

The Huffington Post article on Canada that I blogged earlier is fascinating…we have already looked at?the role of big government in stuffing everything up and then attempting to fix it.

But what about the role of debt:

Governments must lead by example when managing their own debt and spending. Low debt is the result of low spending. Federal government spending as a share of the overall economy is 15 per cent in Canada (2) and 24 per cent in the U.S. (3). The numbers are not merely the result of prodigious U.S. military spending, though that is certainly a factor. Non-military federal government spending is 14 per cent of Canada’s economy (4), and 18 per cent of America’s (5).

Just as cause equals effect, spending equals debt. Net government debt as a share of the?Canadian economy is 36 per cent. In the?U.S., it is 83 per cent.?America’s gross government debt is now bigger than the entire U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Treasury Department website, Mainland China holds $1.1 trillion of it. To quote Mark Steyn: “If the People’s Republic carries on buying American debt at the rate it has in recent times, then within a few years U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese armed forces.”

Read more »

The Perils of Defamation Action

People mistakenly think that when you sue someone for defamation that the case is run like it is for criminal cases. They aren’t, in fact they are a suckers trap.

You see what happens is the plaintiff gets to say they think they have been defamed and where…after that the case is handed to the defendants to explain as fulsomely as possible why it is they think what they think about the plaintiff. The plaintiffs invariably lose, or if they do win are hopelessly destroyed by the close examination of every conceivable honest held belief as to why the?defendant?believes what they have said to be true.

Take ?Michael Mann…the inventor of the hockey stick fraud in climate science, ?and his ill-conceived defamation action against Mark Steyn and national Review:

Meet the plaintiff: Penn State climatologist Michael Mann.

Meet the defendants: writers Mark Steyn, Rand Simberg, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Professor Mann claims to have been defamed by the defendants for attacking his work and making fun of him after embarrassing emails were released to the public in the scandal known as ?Climategate.?

The professor found this sentence written by Steyn to be particularly offensive:

?Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.?
Pretty good, huh?

But Professor Mann found it not the least bit amusing. He demanded that Steyn?s snappy critique be removed from the NRO website and when it wasn?t, he sued.

I say, Professor Mann is not the Jerry Sandusky of climate science. I say he is the Jerry Falwell.

A few decades ago, it was the Falwell who sued Hustler magazine and its owner Larry Flynt for publishing a satirical ad claiming that Falwell was an alcoholic and the first time he had sex it was in an outhouse with his own mother.

Like Professor Mann, Rev. Falwell was not amused either. He sued Flynt for emotional distress and he actually won $150,000. But the Supreme Court overturned the award, citing Hustler?s First Amendment right to make gross fun of a public figure.

For defending his free speech rights all the way to the Supreme Court, Flynt was hailed a great First Amendment defender. An Oscar-winning film (?The People vs. Larry Flynt?) was made about his life, portraying the pornographer Flynt as a hero, and Falwell as a sanctimonious and thin-skinned loser.

And that is what I expect will be the outcome in this case, though a movie being made about it seems unlikely.

Of course on the way through the media becomes involved,?stories?are written, that which the plaintiff has fought to stay out of the limelight is dragged even more into the spotlight, and at the end of the day everything is published and made public.

The only other reason to pursue cases like this is to try to financially damage the defendant on?the?way through…but again that is fraught with risk…the defendant may well be award costs and damages of his own to pursue at his leisure…and if the case is particularly ill-conceived then the plaintiff risks being declared a vexatious litigant…especially if they have a history of foolhardy and losing actions.

Still fools like Michael Mann do charge in…

Playing Checkers with Chess Players

Michael Mann, the wamist is trying to sue?the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a CEI adjunct, National Review Online and Mark Steyn for libel. Michael Mann has just made a strategic error. He mistakes libel or defamation action for being like a normal criminal trial. They are not. The way case like this are tried puts the burden of proof on the defendant and so the co-defendants in this case will be able to systematically unpick Michael Mann in a court of law while he sits there impotent as they present mountains of evidence for their honest held belief or proof of truth as to why they have negatively characterised him.

Christopher Horner explains Michael Mann’s blunder in excruciating detail:

Michael Mann has made what will, I expect, prove to be his greatest misjudgment yet. He has filed suit against the Competitive Enterprise Institute (with which I am affiliated), a CEI adjunct, National Review Online and Mark Steyn for libel.

The gist of his claim that negative characterizations of him and his activities are actionable is that he has been ?exonerated?. No, he hasn?t.

The truth is he has never even been investigated, and has furiously warded off scrutiny of what he and his allies insisted was the missing ?context? explaining away Climategate. This suit, if he continues with it, should put an end to that.

I and my co-counsel encountered this talking point after Mann intervened in litigation against the University of Virginia, seeking to block release of certain public records relating to his tenure there (our judge rightly waived that away as irrelevant to applying the law).

Like so much else in the ?climate? realm this claim suffers badly under scrutiny. As I detail, in discussing publicly funded academia?s refusal to self-police, in my new book?The Liberal War on Transparency: Confessions of a Freedom of Information ?Criminal?.

Exoneration requires investigation; investigation requires pursuit aimed at discovering material facts. Two bodies are actually positioned to pursue and produce such facts. Mann?s employer since 2005 and where he worked when the Climategate leaks occurred, Penn State University, has done no such thing. Neither has the University of Virginia where he worked when first organizing against researchers who were undermining his claims.

[A]s Mann now seeks to again use the courts to push this claim, the reality is plainly otherwise. Mann has never been credibly investigated. By definition he has therefore not been exonerated. In fact, he and his allies furiously oppose all possible independent inquiries ? scrutiny of public, yet still-hidden records providing what they all swear is the missing context that would explain everything away as a big misinterpretation. Only release of UVa and other Climategate-related emails has the potential to actually exonerate the Hockey Team.

Read whatever you wish into their fiercely opposing release of precisely that which supposedly would clear their names. With this latest lawsuit, they may find they have no choice.

Confronting Islam

Mark Textor calls our leaders cowards, for not confronting militant Islam:

Returning home from a long and tiring training ride on Saturday, I was confronted by the aftermath of the Islamic violence in Sydney?s Hyde Park. A friend who also witnessed the aftermath described groups of young protesters seemingly quite happy after a ?weekend outing of police bashing? in the name of a prophet.

These actions are disturbing, yet our politicians have not condemned them in anything but a generic way. There?s an unwillingness to tackle the elephant in the room. Many would see it as a failure to defend our values and condemn alternative ones. This is weakness.

It is another example of political and business elites growing adrift from the commonsense values of Australians. Last week, for example, billionaire Kerry Stokes said he was ?physically repulsed?? by the presence of US troops on Australian soil. This from a man I admire as a true patriot. Yet most Australians would not share his views on China. Many would see it as a weakening of our hallowed defence alliance with the US. Nor did any of Stokes?s peers care to differ. This too is weakness.

Similar criticisms were made about the United States President?s weak response to the American deaths in Libya last week. US columnist Mark Steyn wrote ?On a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a US ambassador through the streets.

?Then the President flies to Vegas for a fundraiser .?.?. ?. Again: weakness.

I?m sure many, in weakness, would like to wish away this tension and have the world at peace. But Australians know that what we value must be fought for and protected.

Former US president Ronald Reagan said this best in 1983: ?We know peace is the condition under which mankind was meant to flourish. Yet peace does not exist of its own will. It depends on us, on our courage to build it and guard it and pass it on to future generations.?

Now this peace is threatened by what military experts see as an asymmetric threat ?grown on a foundation of?instability and religious extremism? that has ?leveraged technology, strategiccommunications, and divergent Western policies and priorities to enhance both its credibility and efficacy?.

Our ?policies and priorities? ? our values ?must therefore be very clear. And they must be defended, not compromised in the name of a fictional, temporary appeasement.

Mark Steyn muscles up

Mark Steyn isn’t one to back down, especially when he is smacking up global warming advocates:

When last we heard from Michael Mann, his chest-thumping lawyer was bellowing, “I don’t bluff.” As Jonathan Adler writes today at the Volokh Conspiracy?lawyers’ blog:

I think the folks at NR just called it.

Indeed. You can get the general line of NR’s response to Dr Mann from?the headline:

Get Lost.

Watts Up With That calls it “the best Michael Mann headline evah“. But read the rest of Rich Lowry’s reply, too – especially the bits related to discovery, or, as Aussie Climate Madness calls it, “Mann’s risky path“. Red State also?weighs in, and a sharp post by Powerline’s Steven Hayward?concludes:

By the way, hasn’t Mann heard of the track record of people who haul Mark Steyn into court? It isn’t pretty.

Actually, I’ll bet Michael Mann had never heard of me when he blew his gasket, and I’ll wager his high-priced counsel never bothered doing two minutes of Googling. If they had, they’d have known that once they start this thing they’d better be prepared to go the distance.

For my part, although I’ve been dismissive of Mann’s “hockey stick” for over a decade, I’d never paid much attention to him personally. All I’d say is he seems strangely insecure for a person of such eminence. I wonder what he’ll be like on the witness stand. And I’ll be interested to see whether?his page?links to NR’s?lawyer’s letter?the way?my page?linked to?his lawyer’s.

Hockey sticks akimbo, baby!

 

Mark Steyn on Free Speech

As parliament looks to remove the right to silence it is perhaps appropriate to also look at the flip side to the right to silence, that is the right to free speech. Mark Steyn comments in?the?Australian.

Restrictions on freedom of speech undermine the foundations of justice, including the bedrock principle: equality before the law. When it comes to free expression, Britain, Canada, Australia, and Europe are ever less lands of laws and instead lands of men-and women, straights and gays, Muslims and infidels-whose rights before the law vary according to which combination of these various identity groups they belong to?

As John Milton wrote in his Areopagitica of 1644, ?Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.?

Or as an ordinary Canadian citizen said to me, after I testified in defense of free speech to the Ontario parliament at Queen?s Park, ?Give me the right to free speech, and I will use it to claim all my other rights.?

Conversely, if you let them take your right to free speech, how are you going to stop them from taking all the others?

×